Monday, March 31, 2008

And The Friendship Awards Go To......

I'd like to take this opportunity to award
The Friendship Award
Two of my best blogger friends.....
Heather from The Maple Barn
Jacinda from Creative Legs!
Both of these ladies have helped me create
The Brown & Hopkins Blog
(which I hope you are enjoying)
and I couldn't have done it without them!
Of course, Thank you to Cheryl from The Country Junction
for giving the friendship award to me.
I would have given it right back atcha....
but that's not how this works!
It is now Heather's and Jacinda's
responsibility to pass the torch to other blogger friends!

"Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together"
Woodrow Wilson

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wall Of Honor

This is just a smattering of what you would see
upon entering our 199 year old country store...
We call it our Wall of Honor.
It's a collection of various items sold through the years,
collected by past shop owners (there's only been about
17 different owners in 199 years!), and
placed on display behind the 20 foot long counter.
Many folks often comment on the
Cut-Rite Wax paper box, still filled
with wax paper and priced at just 29 cents....
Or the Red/Blue Combination pencils....
"Do you remember using those in school?", is often
overheard when referring to these gems.
Sorry, but the antiques on display on
the Wall of Honor are not for sale.
They are just for taking you down Memory Lane......
Enjoy the journey....

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's IN to be SQUARE!

We received some new wreaths....
And they are square!

Don't you love how it acts as a frame
for a framed picture or photo?
It would be great around a mirror as well!
We can make up a custom wreath to match
your decor using berry garlands,

faux florals, ivy, vine garlands....
The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Crazy For Quilts!

I love quilts!
Plain and Simple!
I love the patterns, the fabrics, the colors....

The way they are pieced together by hand.
I love old quilts, new quilts, and tattered quilts.
I love the way ladies used to get together and help each other complete a quilt.
My mom belonged to a quilting group and she loved it.
They would share fabrics, expertise, stories, and laughter...
all while sewing a new creation.
There are many ways to display quilts,
other than using them for your bedding.

Folded atop an old wooden trunk.

Draped over a rustic ladder.

This quilt has a casing sewn into it,
so that it may hang from one of our expandable iron curtain rods.
If you are handy with a needle and thread, it is easy to do!
If not, I am sure you can find someone who is!

This is my favorite new quilt in the shop!
It's color is magnificent! I would love to do a room in my home,
based upon the colors in this quilt.
It is available in Twin, Queen and King Size.
We carry about 3 dozen different quilts in the shop
and if we do not have the size you need in stock,
we will order it for you! Matching pillow shams,
toss pillows, dust ruffles, and more are also available.
Quilts, especially vintage ones,
should be kept out of direct sunlight.
If you display them folded, it is good to gently
shake them out once in awhile and re-fold in
a different fashion when replacing them.
Never wash an antique quilt until you consult with a textile expert.
Hey, I could think of worse things!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Aren't All Eggs Hard Boiled?

Happy Easter Everyone!
I wanted to share an amusing story from days gone by....
One morning, my footie pajama wearing son,
then just 3 years old, (he's now 19!)
got out of bed earlier than usual.....
(I was still just waking up).
As I lay in bed,
I hear Sam say from the kitchen...."Oh, no.....",
then I hear, "Ut Oh..."

It was then that I walk into the kitchen
and discover my little Sam
helping himself to what he thinks are hard boiled eggs.

He had cracked two eggs by this time
and was on to his third when I snapped these photos. It's one of those memories that makes you smile.
My kids love hearing about the silly
and innocent things they did when they were little.
These realistic eggs (just $1.95 each)
that we sell in the shop were recently purchased
by a woman as a joke for her son....
She was going to mix them in with her eggs in
her fridge. That is how real they look!
We think they look cute in our little egg baskets.
We hope your Easter baskets were over flowing,

and if not, we are offering
15% off everything*
that you can fit
in one of our shopping baskets
from Monday, March 24th thru Thursday, March 27th!!!!
*very few exclusions

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sweet Success!

The other day a man walks up to our old fashioned penny candy counter....

He asks, "Do you have any fruit slices?".
I reply, "Of course!"
At first he says that he would like 12 of them......
On second thought, make that 24.
I think that's an unusually large order of one type of candy.
I ask, "What are you going to do with all these?"

It appears he has been sent in by his wife
who is at home making butterfly cupcakes.
Ooh, those sound pretty! So I googled the idea and found them!
They require 2 fruit slices (halved), 1/2 gummy worm, and shoestring licorice antenna.

The next day, I mention it to our very talented Barbara,
and she comes up with a dragonfly big enough for the top of a cake!
So I baked a cake!

Obviously, it does not require a baking school degree,
it's just fun, and did I say easy???????
This is a great idea for kids to make!

Oh, and by the way, some of the calories have been removed.....
I made this cake with a packaged cake mix and a can of solid pumpkin!
And you can't tell the difference!
And it is low fat and low calorie, if you don't add the frosting or candy!
Here is a recipe for cupcakes (only 3 points per on the WW program!)

1 box devils food cake mix
1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin
Mix together.
Do not add anything else that is mentioned on the box.
It only takes these 2 ingredients.
That's all. Mixture will be very thick (and you will be tempted to add something, but don't.) Place in muffin tins, sprayed with non stick spray.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
This makes 12 muffins.
1 Muffin is 180 calories, 2.5 G fat, 37 carbs, 2.5 G fiber, 2.5 G protein = 3 WW points

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Birth Announcement!

Whoa Nellie.....first of all,
no one who works at Brown & Hopkins had a baby....

But a new section of the shop was born....
It's chock full of UNIQUE baby gifts and new mom gifts!

Handmade in the USA clothing!
First Birthday party hats!Lighting for the nursery!
Hair Bows That stay in the finest of peach fuzz.....
One of the props we are using is the very same antique wicker cradle
that both of my sons (now 20 and 16) used as babies......
On Saturday, a customer and her
expecting~any~day (if not moment) daughter
were visiting and just loved a little lamb jacket
that we were showing. However,
they didn't know if she would be delivering
the baby in time for Easter, so they didn't purchase it.
But first thing on Sunday morning,
Grandma came back and
said..."She had the baby, a little girl, this morning!
Sold!!! These are the stories I love.....

Shown above are cute little socks, called Mary Janes.
They are available in pastels and brights!
This would make a fine little gift for a baby shower!
Oh and the baby in the picture frame(above and below)
is my dear great niece, Clare Catherine.
I have dubbed her mom, Jacinda,
the WCMS (West Coast Martha Stewart),
and if you
visit her blog, you'll see why.

This triple 8 x 10 frame is shown in black,
but available in several colors by special order.
Loving signs for the nursery make a wonderful gift.

Please check out the baby boutique soon!

Visiting Hours are Everyday 10 am to 5pm and Thursday 10am to 7pm.....

Monday, March 10, 2008

Split Peas Are Not Just For Soup Anymore

At Brown & Hopkins,
We like to look at things beyond their intended use.....
Add a little country bling to your Spring
by using split peas for bowl fillers....
Place them in the bottom of one of our bubble glass vases
top with a metal candle pan, and a spring candle...
You could even scatter them around your tablescape of herbs
and potted plants for a nice impact.
Sure, you could use traditional tie backs to
hold back your curtains....
But how about using a vine such as this?
Just wrap it into a circle and, wa la, you now have
created an interesting way to hold back your curtains!

This versatile vine also works well gathered around
the base of a lamp, or wrapped on the handle of a basket.

This little blackbird is fitted with a clip and wire on the back
and is intended to be used to attach to a wreath...
We bent the clip and inserted it in between the sash
on a double hung window and it's new home
has it perched and looking out yonder....

Combine items in displays that play off one another...
We hope you enjoy our displays as much as
we love creating them for you.....

And as always,
Thank You for Shopping at Brown & Hopkins!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cow Country Contest!!!! Caption this Photo for $25 Gift Certificate!

This is just a random post......

about ordinary happenings in a day in my life.

Everyday on my drive to work, I pass this cow on the corner....

Today I decided to take her photo....

She was completely unimpressed with me...

The goats were a bit interested, but not really.

No matter what I did to get her attention,

and believe me, I whistled, I turned up my radio, I hooted, I hollered...nothing......

she just continued grazing.
Until, her owner, drove by her corral......

He rolled down the window on his pick-up....

She trotted close to the fence....

He said, "Bye-bye." to her......

She actually moo'd to him.....

Loudly, several times.....

As if to say, "Hey, where ya going? I wanna go too!"

It was then that I seized the opportunity!

I walked closer, and snapped this head shot.....

And this is where you come into the picture......

Post a comment and

Write a caption for this photo for a chance to win

a $25 Brown & Hopkins Gift Certificate!

Contest ends March 23 at 5PM

By the way,

Does anyone know if it's true that
kissing a cow is good luck?

My mom always said it was,
but I think I am all set with that......

Just wondering.

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's Hunting Season at Brown & Hopkins!

And we are looking to "shoot" your home......errr, let me explain....

We are currently looking for people who
love decorating in the country style,
and who will invite us into their homes,
so that we may take photos of their displays to showcase on the blog.
Of course, we will be looking to feature items that
you purchased at Brown & Hopkins,
so be sure to take some photos of those displays to show us!
We have two homes set up for the spring and are now seeking
others for the summer, fall and winter.

Please email a few photos of your home to for consideration.
We would love to photograph all entries,
but due to time constraints, it just isn't possible.

If your home is selected,
you will receive a
$50 Brown & Hopkins
Gift Certificate!

And if you are a Key Tag member, you will be able to say,
"I got punched and shot at Brown & Hopkins!"

Oh, and please, don't feel like you have to clean til the cows come home,
after all, dust is just a country accent!
I like to say...."It's okay to write in the dust,
just please don't date it!"
Of course, if you want to clean,
we recommend the
Original Beeswax Furniture Polish! : )

Brown & Hopkins Winners Circle!

And the winners are...

Kim Morse from Glendale won the Berry Heart Wreath!

Jayne Dresser (shown above) won the mural painting,

but opted for a large painting instead as she really

didn't have a wall available in her home,

and she said that if she ever moved,

she would want to take her winnings with her!

We can't say we blame her!

Linda Rotella was the runner-up winner

and won the painting that Gladys Desmond completed

during her demo here on February 16th.

We also had a key tag drawing on February 14th,

and the winner of a $50 gift certificate was

Maria B. from Glocester, RI

Congratulations to all!!!!!

The next key tag drawing is on Mother's Day for a $50 gift certificate.

Busy Bee...................

Oh, how I have missed creating entries for this blog!!!!
This past week has been so crazy!
I am going to say one word.....DMV ~ and most Rhode Islanders
will know what I am referring to! For those of you who
do not know what DMV stands for, it is The Department of Motor Vehicles.
I recently moved to Connecticut,
and needed to apply for a new drivers license,
and register my vehicle in that state.
So, I was equipped with all the necessaries,
my birth certificate, my emissions certificate, my insurance,
my old registration, my old license, good hair for a new photo......
I thought I had it ALL!
But one never, ever, has it all when they go to the DMV.....
It appears that my birth certificate is no longer valid
after 40-something years......
So I went from Norwich, CT to Providence, RI (for a new birth certificate),
and back to Norwich, CT, all in the same day
in order to get this mayhem over and done with!
And I would have to say that the entire week went on just like that day,
lots of appointments, with unimaginable waiting room times,
lots and lots of deliveries (but that's a good thing : ),
with lots of furniture coming in....and when 5 pieces come in,
about 17 have to move to accommodate them!
Anyway, we are now settled, and it was a good way to do
a little spring cleaning with our Original Beeswax Furniture Polish.
I love this stuff!

Shown above is the polish on top of our new 8 foot table
in the second floor dining room.
Come on in and check it out.
The table is made in New Hampshire and we are already taking orders on it!
And as for the furniture polish, let's just say,
it makes spring cleaning a little happier.
If that's possible... : 0
It leaves no wax build up, and doesn't fact,
it truly enhances the natural beauty of wood.
Perfect for antiques, kitchen cabinets, stainless steel, glass, marble, appliances and more!

Don't you just love Bumble Bee and Lady Bug?
We call them skinny leg people.

They are two of the newest designs from folk artist, Lori Mitchell.
Lori was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia.
A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design,
Lori has always been inspired by children's themes and
literature, old illustrations and toys. Full of whimsy
and charm, her characters have won a place in the
hearts of folk art enthusiasts worldwide.
We have lots of collectors on the Brown & Hopkins Wish list
and call them whenever new pieces arrive.
Is there something that you like to collect?
Post a comment and tell us about your collections!!