To Market To Market

It's been a while!  Hope all survived whatever holiday you celebrate and hope you have gone into hibernation for the duration of this very strange winter, where, in Virginia, one day you need to bundle up and the next day you can go barefoot.

The Thistle had a very successful first year as an on-line store.  I have been living at the warehouse since the middle of November, and even had to corral some of my children to help immediately after Christmas.  Then we were busy with inventory in anticipation of the winter Atlanta market.  This is the best market...everything and everybody is there...three HUGE buildings with everything imaginable.  This is also the time of the Christmas market, where we buy goods for next Christmas.  Seems weird, while putting away decorations at home to be thinking of what decorations to buy for the next Holiday season!

One really cool thing about this big market are the Temporaries. These are temporary booths where vendors come with new merchandise that they've designed.  It's always fun to make a new find, and I had luck this year.

One of my favorite finds are these swing tops that fit and flatter any figure type.  They basically fit through the shoulders and "swing" from there, so no need for a lot of sizing. These come in two sizes, Medium, which would fit misses size 8 -16, and X Large, which would fit most women's sizes (Ix - 3x).  The fabrics I selected were patterned polyester  and poly raw silk shantung.  These are great for travel...machine wash and wear!


I bought the black on white and a reverse white on black x pattern in size medium;  the shantung silk swing I bought in x large in fuscia, royal blue, gold, and chartreuse.  At $90, these are a great bargain!  If you're interested you can check them out on the Women's Accessories page.  If you need a different size, contact sales@thesilverthistle.com.

Stay tuned...more goodies to come!




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Giving Thanks

I believe that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.  Lately we have been going to my married daughter's house in Georgia, and the Thanksgiving meal is the centerpiece around which we gather with other family members.  The setting of the table with  beautiful china, gleaming silver carefully polished for the occasion, a delicious meal lovingly planned and prepared by everyone leaves us with full tummys but hearts even fuller with gratitude for our many blessings.

This cloth with matching napkins would be a wonderful start to a Thanksgiving table.


You really want that silver to shine!  Easy as pie with silver cleaner from Hagerty.  And this silver brush is the best invention yet for getting to those hard to reach places. 


Now, don't forget a centerpiece of loosely arranged flowers in this fabulous ice/bucket/vase   and you're ready to move on to the main event...the cooking, the tasting, the smelling, the eating of the best meal ever prepared... Happy Thanksgiving!

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Falling leaves

As we eagerly anticipate the peak of fall color here in Virginia this week-end, I realize that with autumn upon us, it's time to concentrate on the upcoming holidays.  The house must be put in order, gifts bought, trees decorated, wardrobe replenished as the cold dark days descend upon us.  Since it's getting to be sweater weather, here are a few of my favorite necklaces to wear with sweaters


Or if you're hot-natured like some of my friends, a sweater is too heavy and a cashmere topper is all you need.  Another wonderful use for these toppers is as a cover-up for nursing mothers!  They're so soft against baby's skin!


 But for you who are already feeling the cold in your bones, there's nothing like this luxurious wrap to warm you up!



Now on to getting the house shined up!




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Travels and Thoughts

We're just back from a wonderful trip to Scandanavia where the weather was lovely and the sights unbelievable and unforgettable.  We cruised down fjords in Norway, traveled overland in buses between impressive waterfalls stemming from the still melting snow that topped the mountains, down narrow hairpin roads that sloped at such an angle as to leave one breathless.  What a memory!  As was our day hike to a glacier.  I will not soon forget the stunning countryside...so green and dotted with houses and barns painted red, white or yellow.  Nor will I forget the people...beautiful and fit and happy.  I had fun buying wonderful handknit Nordic sweaters for my grandchildren, and couldn't resist this beautiful knit Christening Gown for a newborn.  Almost one yard long and with such detailing.  I had to buy it to offer to someone who was in search of such an heirloom for their family to cherish as I cherish the gown in which all my children, and now grandchildren were christened.



And we came back to reality which, in these dog days of summer in the USA, is mainly about politics.  I have been thinking about this historic Presidential election of 2016 and am not here to offer any advice or opinion (although I have plenty of both!) but want rather to offer up a little levity in the face of a lot of uncertainty.  Surely this is an election to be remembered, and one easy way to do it is with an ornament symbolizing your favorite party. The Republican Elephant or the Democratic Donkey will serve as a reminder of the candidate you supported, or, in the case of our split household, both candidates that have been the topic of much conversation around my house!  These ornaments would also make wonderful gifts for like minded friends...an unusual and affordable gift for political junkies!


As summer begins to wind down, we are off to the lake for one last fling with grandchildren, who will be coming in from all over the country.  Our lives will be filled with swimming and fishing and tubing and potty training for the next several weeks...we are blessed (I think)!               

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The Children of Summer

One of the things I look forward to doing right after Memorial Day is getting my "Summer Children" out of their boxes and into an old, precious wooden birdhouse that I acquired somewhere along the way.  There they will live and play happily until the leaves begin to fall, when they will be replaced by their "Autumn Children" friends. 


I don't personally have a lot of collections, but the Wendt and Kuhn Flower Children are very special to me.  I have Wendt and Kuhn angel ornaments that were my mother's, and after 50 years of decorating Christmas trees, I still get a thrill of discovery when I finally uncover these old friends tucked away in some ornament box ready to perch on a tree limb.  So it is for me and my "wooden" children, and I hope that my real children and  grandchildren will come to love them as I do.


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making summertime memories

Well here it is May...Mother's Day is tomorrow...so much for giving you ideas for gifts from the website...oh well.  Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there, and, being one, I'll just send that good wish to grandmothers too!

We're close to being ready for summer around my house.  The last hurdle is THE POOL. We have this really neat pool that is made out of slabs of marble and slate...very glamorous, very old, and very leaky. We've had a million people out to look at it and they all say.."Yep...it's gonna leak with all that grouting...better just gunnite it."  Well that isn't happening with a husband who lives in the 19th century!  Luckily we have the nicest young man who maintains the pool, and although it is a challenge to him, he's up to the challenge.  He's found some new epoxy that we'll try this year.  But the hose will always be handy for keeping the pool "at full pond".

Warm weather is the time to be outdoors and collect all those extra doses of vitamin D to help us through the dark months.  Eating outside couldn't be more fun with a colorfully set table...Blue is always a safe color, and check out this great French jacquard cloth with matching napkins from La Maisonette.  Add blue wine glasses and a pretty china and a bouquet of flowers and you're good to go!

Needles to say, the French cloth would also make a great picnic blanket!  And speaking of china and eating outdoors, we shouldn't forget children who can't hand handle glass and porcelain yet.  Is this not the cutest 5 piece place setting for a child?  The way it comes packaged also makes it the best baby gift ever!

I am going to try not to waste a moment of this wonderful season...Like a squirrel, I want to store up a lot of family/friend memories for the long winter that inevitably comes.  So, on to making some memories!



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April Musings...

April already!  Springtime in Virginia.  Heaven.  Just over Easter with lots of fun ahead.  I am lost in the possibilities of Spring...do I turn on the fountains?  Open the pool?  Get the cushions out of storage and start cleaning them?  Set the annuals?  Find the ferns for the pots?  Or do I just go to the lake, sit on the dock and wait for summer?

All of this is daydreaming of course, because what needs to be done is to get the website ready for the many gift giving opportunities that lie ahead....christenings, birthdays, MOTHER'S DAY, graduations, and weddings.

Let's talk baby gifts and Christenings today.  This little knit day dress is a perfect gift for a newborn.  The softest cotton and the right weight for the spring/summer newborn... .

Or if you live in colder climes, this one of a kind, 3 piece layette consisting of an adorable hat with a knit ruffle around baby's face, the scalloped edge sweater and the stroller blanket, hand knit of the softest yarn by a Lynchburg grandmother is a truly beautiful, keepsake gift...  

And as a memento of the Christening, we offer a plethora of silver frames and boxes...the Silver Cross Box that plays "Amazing Grace" is one of my favorites.  

For that all important child's birthday, why not a special decoration atop the cake?  

 Of course, it's never too early to teach the value of saving your pennies in this block bank handpainted by Anne Marie Murray!  

Check out the link "For Baby" for many more gift ideas!

Bye for now...I think I'll go pull some weeds and wait for someone to rescue me with an order!  :). And while I'm weeding, I'll be thinking of Mother's Day gifts...stay tuned!

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New Beginnings

I just love Spring.  All winter long, I anticipate the coming of the new, sensuous season with all its wonderful colors, sounds, and smells.  This annual "new beginning" never gets old, nor do all the plans I make for the garden, summertime at the lake, and, yes, even for my perennial diet!  I am prepared for the new beginnings I see all around me...I've ordered the mulch; the plants ordered during the winter are beginning to arrive; and I am hurrying to get this website loaded so that I can spend days outside instead of in front of a screen. Because this online business is a new beginning also, I am just as excited about it as I am my Lady Banks rose.

It has taken an inordinate amount of time and effort to make the change from storefront to online...We have just spent the last two days sans telephone trying to get the store line and fax transferred to our house.  And although the new Silver Thistle Online is operating out of a storage unit, you ought to see this storage unit!  With carpeting and canned music, I could give a party over there!  I just need to get in a pattern of knowing what's 5 miles away across town and what's here at home!  But it's coming...just like spring...and I am eager for your orders and your likes on Facebook and your feedback for improvement as much as I am eager to see the plants newly beginning to peep their heads up in my garden!  

So, welcome to the new Silver Thistle Online!


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Smile for what happened.

Yesterday was a banner day in my little life.  It was Leapday, Feb 29; it was warm enough in Virginia to wear bermuda shorts; I turned the key for the last time on the storefront that was The Silver Thistle.  I took some pictures that I am posting here...you loyal customers play a game and see what's missing in each of them...

The sweet daughter of our manager sent her a bouquet of flowers with the following quote from wise old Winnie the Pooh:  "Don't cry for what is over; smile for what happened."  So, Onward, with a smile on my face!


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