How to Stage a Front Window Display: Lumber Jack Style

Here is a YouTube video to help you stage a front window display. This one is in the trending lumberjack style.


::Stew’s Says Farewell to The Shop::

Where to begin… I think I have re-wrote this first sentence about 28 times now.

So much thankfulness, appreciation, love, & respect for Kay, Karen, & Kate.  The opportunity they have given me this past year to be 1/4 of such a unique business is humbling.  These three women have taught me so many things.  The most remarkable of them all is the growing in my faith.  Speaking about my faith has come easier because of them.  My view points have become more clear.  The one thing I will miss about my 1 hour 45 drive to Kalona will be the time I would take to reflect and connect more in my faith.  Life 101.9, you rock ❤  I will forever thank you three for this (and there goes a tear…).  I thank Him for bringing us together.

To invite me in on this business knowing the distance and all of the slack they would have to pick up for me is enduring.  Which could lead into why I have made the decision to step out of “The Shop…”

  1. I kept running into instances where I found it extremely unfair to call myself 1/4 of something I was participating such a small amount in.
  2. Originally, our family had intentions of moving closer to the area, but life happens and that doesn’t seem to be the direction we will be going.
  3. Focus on our children while they are little.  I will never get this time back with them!
  4. Building customer relationships is SO hard with the distance I live from The Shop.  I want to be able to keep building personal relationships with everyone that repeatedly comes through that door.  2 days a month spent down there just doesn’t make it possible to do.  There were two customers in particular that stick in my head… 1) a mother who moved from the east coast… Had a short little pixie cut. Was adorable! Her husband did construction… I clicked with you 😉 2) the sweetest lady who came in who elaborated on the fact that she used to be Amish and her stepping out of that role.  So interesting!  I loved our 15 minute conversation.
  5. Baby #3 coming in April with a Winter of driving ahead does not sound appealing!  We don’t need another one of these instances in Ole’ Blue…


I will so miss being a part of this gig girls!  I wish you ALL of the success in this world!! I want to see you three in HGTV with your own column someday. It’s possible.  The talent that lies within you three could move mountains.  Somehow I will keep connected and try and stay as tight knit from the sidelines 🙂  The power of women is incredible, and then there’s you 3… more than incredible!  I will forever be one of your biggest cheerleaders and say I was a part of that once ❤

I will look back at our first year together on Facebook often reminiscing all of the fond memories.  You three are a happy place for me 🙂

You can stay connected with me on my business journey at  Stew’s in Cedar Falls will continue to keep doing her thing 🙂



Farewell to My Sweet Vintage Camper Travel Trailer 1959 Tour-A-Home

The girls at The Shop have a new project on their hands! A 1960’s SHASTA! Or, the Nasty Shasty, as we are currently referring to it… it needs A LOT of work. So, in with the new project, out with the old. I Sold my Tour-a-Home. Bye bye sweetie! 

Some specs: This Travel Trailer is a 1959 Tour-A-Home. I have a clean title for it and I hauled the trailer with a Ford Escape for years, but that wasn’t ideal, a truck would be more suitable (I am not sure the official weight.. in the 1300 – 1500lb range…ish… I think…).  The tires and axel are good! It is a renovated camper, in good repair, but some wear and tear with age… she’s old. The brake lights do not work, you would need traveling lights to get it home (I could reimburse you for the cost of those). I am asking $2800 OBO. Can’t hurt to ask!

Here are some pictures on this sweetie:




Repurpose. Just Do It.


People repurpose for a myriad of reasons.  Environmental. Financial. Nostalgia. We agree with all of this but we also repurpose because we love unique modern design!  If our shop walls could talk, they’d tell you our customers daily say, “Now look what they come up with?!  Who would of thought of that?  We put that in our garbage pile last week.”  Ha!

I don’t actually recommend we all turn into horders because we ‘think’ one day we’ll use Aunt Kathy’s old beat up table.  But try to look at the table with a new perspective.  Is there a trendy color scheme that you could repaint the table?  Could you recover the entire top (local vintage yardsticks, barnboards, leftover wood flooring, vintage ceiling tin)?  Maybe take apart the entire table.  Use the top to paint a huge simple graphic or short text. Then cut up the base to make chunky unique candle sticks.

What will you repurpose next?  Or give us a challenge!  Tell us what you have and we’ll throw out some suggestions. Ready. Set. Go.


imageWe truly love one another and we’re also co-workers.  It’s rare to find, but when you do, you’ll hold onto it.  Our love is honest and outspoken and fun-filled!  Sure, we yell at each other, we get mouthy, we know each other’s faults, and we disagree on any number of things!  But at the end of the day, we have each other’s back.  Her success is my success.  Her failure is my loss.  Her pain I feel.

It’s been a little over a year since we opened the doors to The Shop.  In that year, our personal lives changed, some more dramatically than others (divorce, babies, moving).  We laughed and celebrated new lives!  But we also cried over heartache.  The key pronoun here was ‘we’.  Because that’s what the shop sisters do.image

{{Fall Home Decor Sign Tutorial}}

Fall is my love language.  Fall is my favorite season to date because of what I do for a living.  I love to decorate for Fall.  The smells, driving the countryside looking for cat tails in the ditches, buying mums by the truckloads for my amazing customers, scavenging pumpkin patches in efforts to find the roundest one… I do enjoy taking an evening off to go jump in the combine with the hubby at least once during harvest.

My favorite thing to create for my customers in Autumn are fall signs with silly, quirky sayings. Any word that pops in my head that reminds me of Fall I stencil on a ratty, worn piece of wood and call it home decor!

Supplies needed:

Sponge dabber, stencil letters (i used 3” and 6” letters for this sign), piece of wood, stain, paint.


  1.  Pick out the letters in the stencils that you will need.  Measure it out and make sure it will all fit on the piece of wood you have chosen.
  2. Dip your sponge in the paint and dab on the wood with the stencil in place.  Continue until your “saying” is done.


3. Let dry.


4. Rub one layer of stain over the top and VIOLA!


You can find this sign for sale at The Shop Kalona, 424 B Avenue, Kalona, IA right now for just $25! (posted 8/27/15)  Hurry, it won’t last long and I rarely ever make 2 of the same sign 😉


New Life to Old Dressers

Posted by: Kay

I came across these beautiful old dressers (thanks to my friend Kailee), and I knew I wanted to add new life to them. I love old furniture. Old furniture is usually made of sturdy material and the price is usually right. I of course hate the old wood tones, so, a paint job is just what the doctor ordered. I decided on a crystal knobs for them. and, a sweet ocean blue for one and the trending color of coral for the other. I filled holed, sanded, painted, and changed knobs. And these out dated dressers were given new life.







The Picture That Inspired It All

Posted by: Kay

Here is the photo that inspired it all!

She is beautiful
She is beautiful

Here is the shop before it was “The Shop” — when it was just a lonely and vacant building. It was across the street from my first shop in Kalona, Iowa. I had stared at this beautiful brick-and-mortar location for years. I had dreamed of a large storefront for my business, but knew that I couldn’t do it alone.

So, I sent this photo to my junker friends: Karen, the rambunctious “wiser” woman that joins me on every adventure, Emma, a young and spirited entrepreneur and Kate, the classiest junker I had ever met. And, as fate would have it… they loved the building. They loved the giant front windows. They loved the brick facade. They. Loved. It. All.

So, thus began the adventure of  “The Shop”. Follow along with us!

Starting at the beginning: