Kickstarter :: Koel Magazine

I have shared with you for many years the talents of Irene Hoofs of Bloesem Blog - she is such an inspiration to me and I am constantly trying to be better just so that I can 'try' to stay in her league. She is hosting a kickstarter for her new magazine called Koel, which will be all about crafting and working with yarn and if I know Irene it will be lots of amazing things you can do with your hands, inventive projects - which are not overly complicated, just things you want to make and do for you home.

If you are like me you want to be a part of it from the start... I signed up for the Macrame kit! (can't wait!!) and a copy of her first issue - but you can choose your left of support. I just love seeing someone this talented always working on the next thing and moving forward.

Visit her kickstarter page to get all the details but it's going to be good! So get in there now and support from the beginning!

Happy Crafting and I'm so happy to share this with you!


Roadtrip :: Minnesota to Rhode Island

Life is funny, I was going to take a quick trip to help my mom with a garage sale as she prepares to move to Colorado to be closer to my sister (it was way too hard for us to keep track of her active 87 year old lifestyle from far away - so now she is going to be near my sister - thank god!) It's not the first garage sale our family has been through - that was back in 1984 - but still lot's of my childhood memories and things from my past. Boxes of notes passed between me and my friends in grade-school, drawings I made in art classes and things I haven't looked at since I left them behind.

Since my mom is downsizing quite a bit she is also getting rid of her umpteenth set of Swedish crystal, pottery sets from her hometown in Sweden made by Nitsjo - our family favorite, we have pots and sets for glogg and just about anything else. You'd have thought we lit the entire house with candles we had so many... even after I made my pick (most of it) there was still a large table full of candles and candle holders - we were giving them away at the end of the sale! Copper pots and cooking utensils, my dads tools and I could just go on. So in the end what I thought I was going to ship back to myself in Rhode Island, I packed a SUV rental full of these memories and useful items and drove them back to Rhode Island. Some items will be on my 'Flea Market' in the shop coming up soon here when I get the time to go through it all.

It was a trip down memory lane, I am lucky my mom has her head on straight and she was totally ready to just let it go and live smaller. I on the other hand still want to hold onto every detail of my youth and each piece I touched brought back a delightful memory of our childhood. It's not that I want to hang onto it, I want to share with my kids how delightful and full of love each piece is and the story that it all brings together. I'm well aware that things were not perfect, but we tend to dwell on how perfect it was not and forget that there really was so much that was... perfect. Remember those trolls, we got them in a Scandinavian gift shop "up North" near our cabin in Garrison, MN on Lake Mille Lacs a log cabin in the middle of nowhere... she still had them! I was happy to find so many things I had forgot about and my mom and I laughed together about all of the 'stuff' and how my husband was going to kill me when I got home with it all packed up in the car.

I saw a lot of this... open fields

The trip took me 21 hours in total, I stopped at midnight and woke up at 8am to get back into the car and drive some more! So there was not a lot of sightseeing but I am here to say that Minnesota and Wisconsin are beautiful! I had an eyeful of lush and green, farms, deer, cows and even buffalo. Nothing against it but I don't think I need to get to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio anytime soon although I follow a couple of people from Ohio on Instagram and I know it's an interesting place! New York State is where it got pretty again and I knew the only 'stop' that I wanted to make was in Albany, NY at the Empire Plaza and that did not let me down! Since I have been home I have been talking about it and I have not met a single person who knew about this plaza, it's the most peaceful, beautiful place I have seen since we used to lay in the middle of the World Trade center, on the benches surrounding the fountain and just bask in the silence. The Empire Plaza has that same stillness just like being in a different time. The sheer size is just a boggle to the mind, it's GIANT the towers are so large and cantilever in a way that makes them balletic.

Empire Plaza in Albany

I will be taking the family back to Albany and the Empire Plaza, I can't imagine NOT having them see it - it's a natural feeling/man-made wonder. On the same vein as Brasilia... I think the trip would be to Albany, then Herkimer to look for gems and do some camping and then down to Hudson again. There is something peaceful about taking a road trip alone, I completely enjoyed it. I got the new Krista Tippet book 'Becoming Wise' on tape and listened to that much of the way - fantastic book! (another blogs worth) - there was something I loved about driving across the country and listening to her voice much of the time that just made me feel Wise and Peaceful!

a truck full of onions

Thank you Enterprise Car Rental for offering such a reasonable rate to pick up and drop off in another location. It's nice to know that there is a company out there that can fathom the 'road trip' and facilitate a trip like that and encourage people to get out there and see our great country.

Follow me on Instagram where you will see more photos and more stories of my travels and the shop - at nonchalantmom


music :: what's your delight?

I am terrible with music and I can't even believe that I am giving advice on music but this is just meant to be a light... what are your 10 favorite things-type post. I have so many favorite things right now, my shop, my sweet customers that come and actually remember our old shop on Main Street and say that they missed me, big *heart* goes out for all that and my kids are the biggest delight. I'm not home as much anymore but they are handling it with true rigor - homework, chores, and new challenges - it's all been a good thing.

But life is not always a bowl of cherries, I know that... I have found that music is my drug - I have a new relationship with music that I never had because I play music all day in my shop - well not on Sundays when I listen to all the storytelling on NPR. These are my top five searches I have found in Pandora. I shared some of these with my sister and she told me I should write a post about it and so here it goes.

1. My most favorite Pandora search is "Billy Paul" - he sang "Me and Mrs. Jones" (one of my all-time favorite songs). Well he died recently, just about the same time as Prince, and as tribute to him I did a Billy Paul search and it's the most delightful music for the entire day!

 2. You are not going to believe this but my second favorite is "Gordon Lightfoot" - I have no idea how I came upon this but it's great! I just let it go all day long and it's perfect, it makes me laugh.

3. I read an article about Benjamin Clementine in the T Magazine and bought the album and I love it - it also makes a great Pandora search. You end up with a bit of bluesy songbird-type music.

4. Johnny Hartman is one of my later in the day searches and I love it - just a cool lul that helps me finish off the day. And we all need a bit of romance in our lives, we would starve without it.

5. The Eagles is my last... this is a bit similar to Gordon Lightfoot but just slightly different.

E N J O Y...


elixirs & co. - to the RESCUE!

I found these people on my last trip to Paris, when I ran out I knew I needed to get this in my shop because I knew you would love these scents and helpful - homeopathic - healing remedies. I will say up front that these do not work the same for anyone and everyone, but I know they work for me and my family, so I wanted to share them with you. I use them and I know they help me get through some of the toughest of times. On an easy day I like to use the harmonious toilet waters and if I go out I like to use the perfumes (I have this secret feeling that they bring light and delight to an entire room!). The toilet waters are light and easy, the roll-on's are my serious ammunition against trouble.

I know it wouldn't seem like it but the Art world that my husband is a part of is quite stressful, I tell people it's almost like being married to a gambler and I am never sure how we are going to make out. So there are quite a few times when I secretly roll his temples before bed with either "stress" or "depression" and even "urgency" - and to be perfectly honest I have put all three on him (in the very recent past). It's amazing - of course doesn't solve your problems for you -- but I like to say that you don't get mired in your troubles, you have a way of seeing your way out - optimistically. And sometimes that's really all you can do... He doesn't even ask anymore, he just puts his head forward and I roll them on.

I didn't really cross my mind to use them on my kids (I don't know why not they are like my own personal laboratory!), and since these are based on Bach's flower remedies they are completely natural and it's not as if there can become an addiction and you can't overdose.. it's just flowers for gods sake! Anyway, my son said to me one day that it's very stressful being a straight A student, and I thought... I didn't know it was stressful for him, I just thought he was getting A's! He said it's stressful worrying that he's not going to get an A - so I rolled his forehead with "stress" and he walked away. I did it just a couple of other times (maybe 2-3) and it's never come up again. Now I'm getting into what prompted me to write this.. I'm not going to get into our boring life story but when my husband is out of town I spend a lot of time running the kids around from school, soccer, after school activities... now that I have a shop I can't always just take off. So our solution was for Sander to skateboard to my store after his tennis practice (it's about a 40 minute ride on a bike path) - he arrived at the front of my store with a large bleeding elbow scrape and bleeding from his knee and need I say... in tears. I will go so far as to say that he was a bit hysterical and super upset. URGENCY! I thought, he sat down and I rolled it on his forehead, and we cleaned up the scrapes and it was done. A couple of days later we were talking about it and he said "that was weird, after you rolled that on I had an immediate calm feeling and I felt like I was okay" It was true, it just helped him get a grip.

Next up was my 10 year old daughter. They are doing the Parcc tests at school and she is crying every night because she is just terrified of it... it's crazy for 4th graders to be put through this stuff but I just told her to do her best and that's all she can do and by the way, she will be taking tests for the next ten years (if not more) so try to get used to it and maybe even like it. That didn't work so well... she was still upset - but I thought.. "Stress"! One night when she was crying in bed (for quite a while before I noticed) I checked in to see what was wrong and I gave her some of the "Stress" and it was almost immediate, she turned over and fell asleep... just like that. We have been doing the "stress" each morning as she goes to class during this testing period and when I talked to her teacher she said that she was doing a lot better and I can tell that she is handling it better.


.. I just had to tell you about that :)

Urgency = really difficult situations - I used it for surgery, kids traumatic events (I know there are lots of those), big events in your life (death or sickness)

Depression = You don't need to be in a deep depression, although if you are I'm sure it will help, I use it for my period, crappy days...

Stress = I think the world should take this right now... but you will find so many instances when this can work. Family stress, school, work... list goes on.

If I don't have them in stock then I am working on it! Almost sold out of Stress and Depression right now...


Mothers Day 2016!

We are offering a special MOTHERS DAY 20% OFF!

use code: 'mom2016' during checkout and the 20% off will be applied
cannot be used on past orders
no stacking of codes
not included: black crane, little paisley people and Two caftans

jewelry in photo
foreground: margaret solow
background bracelet: kalosoma
14k gold fine jewelry: Melissa Joy Manning
brass pieces: soko
handmade leather and stitched pieces: Robin Mollicone

Looking back... and forward!

While we are in the midst of opening our new store I wanted to take some time to reflect on why it is that we are doing this and how it all started...

I started Nonchalantmom back in the summer of 2004 with a simple idea. I wanted to provide something for women and mothers like myself, there was nothing like it online (funny to think of that now). I wanted to offer alternative ideas when it came to raising their children and to provide a place where moms could find beautiful handcrafted things for their kids, and then later we began to offer things for women too. I loved Lucky Fish, Makie, Erica Tanov and Margaret Solow and I knew that other people would too. I still work with these guys and we have become the best of friends, in the coming years we added talented people like Jess Brown, Sue Tsai of nico nico, and Katherine who makes Wovenplay among others. I don’t like to have anything in my store that isn’t made by someone I respect and equally respect what they are doing, I have nothing against men, but this meant that most the people I work with are women. It’s almost as if I become friends with all my vendors - and if I don’t they don’t stay around long. It’s important to me that we are all a big family and invested in each others success. When people ask me how do I know that I want in my store, I tell them that when I am in a partnership with a designer I know it’s going to work for me and be good for my customers. I believe that a store like mine is about being in a partnership with my customers, the vendors and myself. I know I can’t compete with big stores and I don’t try to - what we are doing is different. When you shop from us you are helping a designer work from home and raise her kids, she works with a factory that employs people who work hard, have regular hours and go home and spend time with their family. The garments are made with fabric that isn’t always organic but it’s made in the USA, Italy, India or Japan, again in factories with workers who are paid to work and then go home and spend time with their families. It’s all a part of a chain of respect - and that respect comes at a price that is different from something that is made in a factory with less than optimal conditions (that’s putting it lightly), that is not living wage.
Part of that loving relationship meant that I wanted to open a shop again, I missed being part of my community in the town we have called home for the last 12 years - Wakefield, Rhode Island. The decision to open a shop was not an easy one, I’ve never had the kind of wealth that allowed me to think extravagantly - whatever I was going to do needed to focus on ‘simple’ and straightforward, in both concept and design. When the space that I eventually took became available I knew it was the perfect place for Nonchalantmom - and things just came together after that, we built the furniture, we took things from our home and the result is just beautiful! So whether you are shopping online or in the store you are a part of our family, you are contributing to a place that is part of a hard working chain of people making good things. One day our concept will not be so unique and I will look forward to that day - it means more people making and designing great things that will make this planet better for all. PEACE OUT!