Oh what a year 2016 was! It was a year for me of needing to turn inwards and I wanted to share with all my Misfits where I went and why. And also to share some exciting news about my online world.
First, I have to go back to late 2016 to really tell the tale. In December we lost our sweet rental cottage to a foreclosure that we knew nothing about. On December 10th, as we were starting holiday preparations, we were told that we had 20 days to vacate the premises and no amount of negotiating or pleading would sway the bank's mind. With four dogs finding a new home in such short notice was a challenge! Luckily, we were able to secure a lease on a wonderful new house with wonderful new landlords and spent our Holidays moving into our new home.
The move was hard on our older animals however and we lost three of them within six months. Starting with my adored 16 year old Ella. Some of you probably remember her from my brick and mortar store, where she was my constant companion and customer greeter most days. I had had her since she was seven days old and she had gone all over the country with me. Her loss was utterly devastating to me. I felt, and still do feel, adrift without her as my rock.
Not long after Ella passed on, our sweet Tortoise, Tulip, also passed away due to old age and most probably the disturbance to her winter hibernation because of the move. And then, our other old dog, 15 year old Nepal, who never quite recovered after Ella died, also passed on from a stroke. You can imagine how sad our family was with one such hard hit after another.
Most of 2017 was spent just trying to stay balanced and keep myself from falling apart, and helping my family recover. I got a tattoo to honor my lost ones, a memorial tree on my wrist and they, as well as all the ones who have gone before, each have a branch on it.
Now its 2018, and the one year anniversary of Ella's passing draws near. As I write this, it's less than a day away, tomorrow, Feb 6th. She was always my creative muse and the source of my magic and I can feel her energy and her love swirling in me as I sit down to redesign my entire online world.
I have made my online world one giant super store basically. Think Pottery Barn, Banana Republic and Hot Topic all next to each other in a mall. With a much more elegant and vintage vibe of course! :) Toadstool Farm Vintage remains mostly the same, and represents the lighter side of our Vintage World, but its focus is now completely on clothing, accessories and beauty/bath. My darker, more Victorian Goth Vintage store, The Black Velvet Emporium now has it's own division on the greater Toadstool Farm website where all its wonderful darker clothing, goodies and oddities reside. Other than that, it hasn't changed. My newest creative baby, Mint Chips Vintage is a revamp of a small linens and book store I have on Etsy that was called The Ghost Farm. That's now where all the Home Goods that used to be on Toadstool Farm have gone, in addition to the linens etc. that were on The Ghost Farm. Again, it has it's own division on the main website.
I'm so pleased with how this all came out. I'm so looking forward to the ease of shopping and the ability this is going to bring to you all to cross over from one shop to the next without losing any of the distinct personality and feel of the three shops. I'm still adding new products most days, and haven't gotten everything added from the three Etsy shops here yet, but I didn't want to wait on sharing this with you all. I hope you enjoy this new shopping experience, and do let me know what you think in the comments below. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
All my love!