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Let me tell you about us. Our home, built in 1874, boasts all the charm
and...problems of an old drafty farmhouse! Originally a 200 acre farm that
was purchased for $500 by Mary Chapman from Canada, my husband Jim and
I saw it while driving by one day and we fell in love with it...and had to have
it. My Dad told us to run as fast as we could to get away because it would cost
nothing but money and lots of it. However, I knew that this was the perfect spot for my
shop and our life together. I could not get to the phone quick enough to declare
WE WANT IT, WE WANT IT!
Our home( actually I call it our money pit, ha ha ) across from the new shop
Our home has five bedrooms (with 5 kids, two had to share a room), double
staircases, and parlors. Walls had to be torn down, kitchen made bigger (three times), 35
new windows, new roof, siding.... ohh the list goes on and on as Dad had warned us.
My shop at first was the old woodshed that we converted on one end of the house. As the aisles got
smaller and smaller, we purchased more land next to us which had an old
garage already on site. After a big addition and a new front porch, our current
shop was created. 85% of what I sell is made right here. Our shop is full
of a little bit of everything.
Our shop - chuck full of goodies!
I am a self-taught
quilter. My grandmother was what I consider a utility
quilter, in that she quilted out of necessity to keep seven kids warm.
When I wanted to try my hand at sewing, she let
me borrow her old black portable singer sewing machine. Heavy as could be,
I used it to make my first quilt at 17, which I still have. Now I have four
sewing machines always at my table, and I still can't wait to start the next quilt!
(below is a quilt I repaired)
My grandmother also made
rag rugs, but unfortunately I did not find out
until after she was gone, so I bought one at an antique shop and ripped it
apart to see how it was made. After taking it apart and putting it together
a few times, and a couple of hours with my Aunt.. I started making my own. Now after hundreds of new rugs, I
am still making them. I always have one on my counter in the works.
Ms Bec at my antique loom I use to make woven rag rugs
My new inspiration for
making rag rugs comes from a floor loom that I
purchased five years ago to make woven rugs. I have three on the loom
now and have made two others using the loom. I have traced my loom
back to 1918 - yes it could use some improvements, but I am only the third
owner/operator! The first family had it for 82 years which they used
to make all of their rugs and bedspreads. The next owner was an art teacher
that kept it set up in her living room, but never used it. It is pretty
cool that I
am only the third owner, and cannot wait to get the rugs out into the shop!
Our first shop was just off the main house, with Ms Bec -they grow up so quick-she's 20 now!
I grew up on homemade
jams and jellies, and canned vegetables. Every
year my Dad had two big gardens which we were either always weeding
or picking beans and more beans and more beans - We ate 10 different kinds of beans
all winter long! I always enjoyed eating the jams and jellies the best.
Dad would take us way back in the woods looking for blackberries, or
down the pole line for blueberries. Mom would send us down to the sawmill
for strawberries warning us not to come back until we had four cups,
which took us all day. We would eat two or three for every one we brought
home! Plus, we had to spend half the time playing on the saw dust piles.
NOW those were the good ole days!
We stock Jams & Jellies year around!
Now my jams and Jellies
are one of my best sellers. I have been making
jelly for over 30 years and now carry about 50+ different flavors
year-round, including "no added sugar" varieties. I am a collector of old recipes,
so if I find something unique, it will be on the shelf soon. I try to grow
everything I can right here on this little plot of land among all the
flowers, Koi ponds, and veggie gardens. I even grow beans!
Sunflowers in my gardens -
We now have a big barn
that my Dad built for me (along with a couple of uncles) where we do all of
our wood working and creating. A special thanks to my Dad, because after this barn, he built me a garage for my truck but then I turned into a showroom for my farmhouse furniture! (and my truck sits outside again until I can get Dad down here again!) We make awesome cabinets and farm tables, birdhouses, benches and...............
My Dad finishing my new barn- he's the best and oh so cool!
I believe that
inspiration is a huge part of owning and running a business
that is your own! Inspiration for me comes in all forms, like driving down
the road, looking through a magazine, seeing one thing yet seeing something else totally different.
T he different seasons,
times of the day-they all inspire me.
I think of most of my
customers as part of my family, my friends. We inspire each other!
Without you the customer, there would be no "me"...and I am always so grateful for
As always, my sincere
thanks and appreciation goes out to all of my
customers....and for you new customers, I JUST KNOW THAT AS SOON
AS YOU STEP THROUGH MY DOORS, YOU WILL JUST LOVE MY
PLACE AND RETURN AGAIN & AGAIN! I am always changing and
creating and growing and always up for a chat. Come to see me - I would
love to see you. Check out my website often, put me in your favorites, because it will always be changing.
Smiles & Hugs,
Denise Murphy, Proprietress