Category Archives: Items

Shop Local – Support Local

For the last several years we have hosted a dinner at the Barn. We prepare the meal, some sort of activity and a discount on shopping. This dinner is a charity event for St. Anthony Catholic School donated as an auction item during their school carnival. In addition, we done another 10% of sales from the evening to the arts program at the school.
We all as independent retailers constantly ask customers to shop local, but what are you doing as a retailer to support local needs? We must be an active partner in our community if we expect the same from shoppers within the community. We are proud of our participation and get so much from it when kids tell us how much they do and learn in the art program at the school. We know we’ve helped in some small way to help them spread their wings and learn new things.
Don’t forget your customers and the community in which you both live. It does make a difference!


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Filed under Antiques, Community service, Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, Items, Publicity

A Trip to Marburger Farms is Like a Trip to the Idea Bank

Repurpose This!

How many times do we all stand there looking at things that are being thrown away and think, “there must be SOMETHING useful there.” That is one of my favorite things about attending Marburger Farms Antique show each season; seeing all the great artists who come up with unusual and unique ways of salvaging all kinds of things and making them new again.

From lamps based on vintage pictures and postcards at Found Images, to vintage transit route signs turned into pillows, chairs, ottomans, you name it, at British Route Signs Designs, I found myself falling in love with stuff all over the place!!

Marburger is one of those design events that celebrates the special and I think everyone should stroll the aisles at least once in their life. Now, let’s see how much I brought home….

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Doors Open All Kinds of Things….

“Where the heck have YOU been?” ask some of our blog followers. And, for quite some time I just didn’t have an answer. Well, we have been busy. Moving kids upstairs, moving Brighton to a special area, cleaning, redoing, ordering, shifting…and throwing in a tiny little vacation. But, to not communicate with our blog friends is like taking a sabbatical from our customers, no valid excuse for that.

So, today, after months of this…that and everything else. It hit me. Literally. As we were loading a great door I salvaged from an old hotel being torn down, it fell back on me. It hit me. “You are opening a new door for me!” Without knowing, we open doors every day to new adventures, new ideas, new directions. I sometimes wonder if we choose the path we take, or the path chooses us by moving in our way. Now, a door that stood in place for over 70 years, holding secrets, opening dreams, and for the last 30 years doing its part to keep a building together, moves to our little store to become a beacon of what one little door can do…open up new ideas.

Today, our little door left on a journey to get some tender, loving care. When she returns she will do what doors rarely do….well, I’m not ready to tell you all those secrets that lie behind a door!!

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Here’s to the Class of 2011

We salute the brides, we honor the new babies, but I’m actually most excited about a new salute we have initiated at Silver Barn this year. We are saluting the graduating Seniors of Columbus High, as well as the other area high schools – Rice and Weimar High School.

Midway through our first year at Silver Barn my daughter graduated from TCU and began her own apparel boutique called Velvet Frog. Since we weren’t sure what the girls in Columbus might be interested in, Cydney formed a Velvet Frog Teen Board to give her input as to what she might want to carry. Those girls are now graduating from high school, Velvet Frog offers the best in apparel for high school to, well, everyone, and Silver Barn is starting our fourth year in business! Needless to say, these girls have special meaning. We will continue our Senior Girl Gift Registry, we will love all the girls who come in and excitedly put together a list of things they’d like to receive for graduation, but the class of 2011 will hold a special place in our heart.

Our seasonal tree features the Columbus Cardinal ornament which benefits the Columbus Booster club as well as ornaments representing the colleges of their choice. Below the tree we have filled the table and surrounding area with an array of goodies all college bound girls need to help keep them organized and ready for the beginning of a new era in their life. Each girl registered also has a frame ornament in the tree with their name, college, degree plan and career plan included. While you may not be able to read the small frames, we put them there as a symbol of pride. We are sending out into the world some wonderful young ladies and we hope each and every one achieves all their dreams.

Congratulations Class of 2011.

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Host a Party…Clean the House

What is it about hosting a party that inspires us to clean and re-arrange? Whether it is at home or at the store, a full plate just gets fuller when you decide to remodel while you are at it! Yet, we all do it. But, I must admit, the after effects are worth the effort. Now, if I could just convince my body of that I’d be in good shape!

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Oh, Baby it’s Cold Outside!

Imageglow Candles & Fabulous, Tall Candelabras!

So, I was telling a friend how I couldn’t wait to go home and get the fireplace going, it is a great way to enjoy the winter. She was less than impressed! “Thanks, I live in an apartment in Chicago. No fireplace for me!” But wait, create your own.

After she laughed and pointed out there had already been one big fire in Chicago and she wasn’t into repeating others creations, she let me suggest getting fabulous candelabras, finding fabulous candles that will put out a wonderful glow, and maybe even a subtle scent to fill the cold night air. Dim the lights and enjoy the natural beauty of your own mini-fireplace-creation.

Then, she pointed out she didn’t live here where she could shop at the Silver Barn and get these fabulous items I’ve just mentioned. Well, I can’t solve all her problems! (Well, I can, but she wasn’t in the mood to listen! LOL)

But, she’s my friend. So, since I can ship anywhere. This problem solved. Ann, am Imageglow candle and candelabra are on their way. Now, on to the boyfriend issue……


Filed under Country Living, Furniture, Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating, home decor, Items, Tabletop

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Artoo...less than festive

Artoo, the guy with an opinion wanted to say a few words tonight about this festive holiday season….Is IT Over Yet? Why does the season get so many people down? Put them in a bad mood? Frustration abounds, traffic is horrible and the only happy sounds are the ones coming from your All Holiday Music station. Why? Because we all try to cram 12 months of love and affection into one month and one special gift. We race to the store, stand and stare waiting for that special, one-to-remember item to jump out at us. When we can’t find it we seek help. Ah, there in lies the problem. We seek help in the shopping center, the department store the mega-whatever. This is why I’m happy to report we are seeing more people in our area shopping locally. We even have city folks coming to the country to shop with friends. They want to share the excitement of their search and they want someone to help them find that special find. Some people are great gift givers. We all know them, we all have things in our home that remind us how special they are to know us so well. Some people are bad gift givers. It’s a sad truth. We all know them too. They know who they are and they don’t want to always be in the re-gift closet. They are the ones you see racing through the mall; they are the ones who look like Artoo. While Christmas is not about the gift, it is TRULY about the thought, we still want to do something special. So, we can shop locally and enjoy getting to know our area retailers, avoid traffic jams and keep what we do spend flowing back into our neck of the woods…not elsewhere. So, don’t be the bah-humbug party cat. Be the party animal you truly are and head to your friendly, local retailer. They ACTUALLY have folks there to help you be a gift-giving star. Imagine….help from a retailer. What a thought! Now, go and enjoy.

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Season Changes…Coming Up Next

Well, another Halloween is about to be, “one for the history books” and we retailers march on to the next season. Yes, I know I’m one of those rare ducks who refuse to put Thanksgiving ahead of Halloween, Christmas ahead of Labor Day, and Valentine’s before the last drop of New Year’s champagne. So, my turkey has booted the black cat to the sidelines and the velvet pumpkins have gone from their witchy glow to one of warmth and family gatherings. In 24 hours Boo will be packed away for another spooktacular season and the store will be filled with pumpkin spice…umm, so nice!

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Filed under Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating, home decor, Items

Our Retail Experts at Work

Every day I, like many other buyers, peruse numerous catalogs. We look at each page, each item, with an questioning eye. “Would this be something Pat, June, Julie or Dianne would like?” Then, we have to decide if it fits with our store overall and price lines we work to maximize an item at the best price. But, sometimes we need a little assistance from true experts! Who wouldn’t want an extra bit of support? Vegas, the original store mascot, is still our best guide in selecting the right items for your pet. (She selected a mouse cat collar for Lenox; we will soon see if she likes it when it arrives.) I’m lucky to have such experts on staff. I’m also lucky they are so cheap!

Oh, and if Temptations would like to send some free turkey bites, we know some “retail experts” would be happy to add a few comments.

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Halloween Goodies – Yes! Embalming – No!!

Yep, It's An Original!

[/captions As we prepare for our 3rd Annual Witches’ Tea, it is time once again to tell the story of Jim. Long ago, this was the Untermeyer Building. Downstairs has gone from a general store, to a bar, to a plumbing supply and hardware to an antique store and now The Silver Barn. But, upstairs was the home to the Untermeyer funeral home. There is still a hand crank elevator where the bodies and the coffins were carried up. There is still a wooden frame where the cloth was draped over the casket so you couldn’t tell if they had shoes, or even pants on for that matter. The bodies were carried down the narrow wooden stairs and out into the street where families and friends would gather to take their loved one to their final resting place.

There was however, one pour soul who didn’t appear to have a home. He was found dead on the railroad tracks. Obviously on the losing end of a drunken assumption he could outdo the oncoming train. But for his belt with the branded “Jim” no one knew his name. He lay in state upstairs in our little building for several weeks as family after family would come to try to identify and claim this poor soul. Children would hold their daddies hand tightly as they were led up the stairs to view the stranger. Today those children, now in their 80’s still remember Jim.

As the years went by, Jim was all but forgotten. Folks who owned this building recounted stories of strange and bizarre happenings. The photographer upstairs for 16 years said she had all kinds of interesting things, but never could identify. When we prepared to open the store, things would shift, sometimes falling to the floor right in front of us. Some days we would find our cash drawer over by a dollar or two…sometimes under by the same. That might seem normal for a store to have that happen, but when you received no cash that day, it becomes harder to explain.

Then one day a woman remembered who she thought our ghost was. “It must by that Jim,” she decided. “I remember the whole town trying to figure out who the fellow was.” We elected our ghost to be Jim. We called him by name. We told him to watch over us. We asked him to stop making the cow sounds we’d hear from time to time. Jim has become somewhat quiet of late. We suspect it is because he has been remembered and even though his earthly figure is buried in an unmarked grave, he lives here with us for eternity. This month, if tradition follows suit, he’ll start being more active. He must love the holidays! He’ll spin the twirling ghosts a bit more, he’ll blow out the jack-o-lanterns when there is no breeze at all, he’ll roll the eyeball soaps around the floor – this year to the delight of Lenox, the store kitty.

We like Jim. We respect that this is his home and we are merely one of his visitors. We look forward to many years with Jim and hope he doesn’t tire of us. I’m not too sure I want to get on his bad side! Have a happy Halloween season and remember the ghouls around you!!


Filed under Country Living, Gift shop, Gifts, holiday decorating, home decor, Items