More than any other time of the year, this is the time when we throw open our doors to welcome friends and family . . . with cookies, spirits and other fancies. This generosity of spirit is the very essence of the yuletide season. The traditions of Christmas have changed over time, ever since young men and women left their village to marry.
Celebrating Christmas as a new bride, I was surprised that we did not share the same rituals. For example, the tree. In his family, the tree was decorated on Christmas Eve, none of the children participated in trimming the tree. Late on Christmas Eve, the children came down the stairs to see the spectacular sight – a tree aglow wit candlelight. And it is true, there is nothing quite like seeing a Christmas tree lit only with candles. It is soft and ethereal. But . .
Quickly, I clicked log out and returned to my real work.
Later in the day, there was another notification from Etsy about a convo.
I am gathering materials for a vintage Christmas photo shoot to be featured in Romantic Homes magazine.
Would it be possible to use your vintage set of dishes that feature a mouse?
They are the perfect colors and will complete our vintage holiday decorating guide.
Your shop will be credited and I will return them to you promptly.
Please let me know today as I am on deadline.
Sarah Jane O’Keefe
Well, I said, maybe this is legitimate. I texted my closest advisors for advise (my internet savvy children).
I paraphrase, The editor had asked that I send a set of china for a photo shoot for the Christmas issue.
Here is where it gets really funny – all of the opinions were all different of course but,
I was very surprised by the lack of enthusiasm for the little project, the presence of Putnam and Speedwell
in a successful national magazine and the suggestion that a legal contract was needed, otherwise,
it simply would not happen.
Well, maybe I should just forget about it and text her that are not interested.
But, I thought, what if . . . ? So, I decided to take the chance, the leap of of faith, if you will, that we can trust –
even if we have not met face to face. So, immediately, I began researching the magazine (legitimate),
the story editor (found her byline in previous issues) and the address that she had sent. It all checked out.
No, I did not draw up a contract nor did I ask her to pay for the china . . .but I did write on the packing list
the expected date of return. I figured, what the heck anyway – they are concerned about losing a few dishes?!?
Really! Then they really do not understand how many dishes there are in the barn!
The package arrived in a timely manner with the pink pastel mouse on a green Christmas wreath. . .Sarah Jane also included a note thanking me and remarked that the mouse was “just the right touch” . . .
The whole episode was quickly forgotten . . . at first, I refused to tell anyone – JINX. A few weeks ago, my daughter asked if I had any news and then suggested that I contact the editor. But, I did not follow her advise (a big mistake) . . . and I realized that I had really pushed it way back in my mind – as in nearly forgotten! I then re-listed the dishes on Etsy!
Late last Thursday, I noticed that there were lots and lots of people visiting putnamandspeedwell.com. And we had a lot of new orders – it was the weekend of the Halloween Block Party and a birthday party for my beautiful little nieces! In the middle of the night, the cell phone continued to vibrate and then, the familiar sound of a vintage cash register, CHA-CHING.
I was still clueless. I did not know how to account for the dramatic increase of visitors to the blog –
or on Etsy. One of the hot items was dinnerware decorated with a Christmas Mouse.
Here is the description on Etsy,
The design – a certain favorite for children of all ages –
incorporates a retro color palette that includes pink, peach
and green on a white background.
In a note to one buyer, Carol, I mentioned that the Christmas Mouse had quite an adventure – he travelled all the way to California for a photo shoot. So maybe, “your plates will appear in the magazine.” Carol replied, “I saw the set in Romantic Homes that’s why I looked at your Etsy site to see if you had any left. I was lucky!” Mystery Solved!
And then a big whoop . . . . YAAAA HOOOO! Cowabunga . . . YES!
Next stop . . . Little Professor. Of course, they had the issue in stock, found The Special Christmas Issue by Romantic Homes but then read the little blurb aloud: