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Hi This Is Sam!

Hi This Is Sam!

Hi this is Sam! Mom is having me guest blog tonight as she finishes up some last-minute things for the Market on Old Lake George coming up this weekend. Usually, I write these blogs with Mom, but this time I’m all on my own.

No pressure.

On Saturday we thought we would be ambitious and get the guest bedroom all painted. That didn’t end up happening. We figured out that it would be easier to paint all the trim in the room first, so that when we painted the walls we could cover any splatter from the trim painting. So instead of the getting the whole room painted, we got almost all of the trim painted. Not bad.

Yesterday, we didn’t touch the guest bedroom. We as in, Mom, Alyssa and I, were busy setting up for the Market on Old Lake George that starts Thursday. I won’t go into the details of how we prepared, because basically it was just a lot of cleaning, but the fun part was setting it all up.

We decided the best strategy would be to get all the big items into the garage first, then build around them. It turned out that building around the big pieces in the sale created little “rooms” within our garage. The first “room” started with the black bench. This will be the first thing people see when they walk into the Market, so we wanted to make a bold colorful statement with patterned pillows.

There’s another room with a bench as the centerpiece, and we wanted it to be colorful as well, but this time we decided to add some color in the rug and use more neutral accents.

I think the thing I love most about the set up is how much we have. Every “room” has a billion pieces that can be incorporated into any home. Plus, my Mom always does a great job of displaying things in ways that people would actually use them.

We even have two special themed areas, one I call The Kitchen and one I call Christmasland. In the kitchen there are some super cute coffee cups with handmade cozies by Alyssa. I want one for myself. From Christmasland, I could use an awesome, huge throw pillow and cute Santa head to decorate my apartment. (I hope you caught my subtle hints Mom.) 🙂

Honestly, we didn’t make Christmasland very big, because Mom and I are not ready to admit that winter is fast approaching, but for those shoppers who are prepared we thought they might enjoy these items.

The Market on Old Lake George actually came together quicker than I thought, but I guess I’m not surprised because Wendy always has a vision. (Yes I refer to my Mom by her first name sometimes. It’s weird but it’s fine).  🙂 I can’t wait to see how successful the sale is, and if I know my Mom, which I do, I know she will keep working on the bedroom all week too. I hope you are as excited as I am to see it.


Fall Mantel Decorating Ideas

Fall Mantel Decorating Ideas

After last weekend’s family gathering I asked my Mom to come home with us for the week. I was excited for her visit, but I had ulterior motives. She is a very talented quilter and has a great eye for decorating. So I hoped she would be willing to help me sew for the upcoming Market on Old Lake George. I also thought it would be fun to ask her to help me decorate the mantel for Fall.

Bright and early Monday morning, Mom and I headed out for a big shopping day. First we went to an estate sale south of the cities. We went to this estate sale specifically because of all the wedding decorations for sale. Turns out the lady having the sale was retiring from the wedding decorating business.


We got a ton of stuff for Sam’s wedding and it just so happened the sale was on the way to Ikea. We obviously had to stop by. We picked up a few things there and by the time it was all said and done, my checkbook was on fire. That meant that Fall decorating had to be done with what we already had.

“What we had” consisted of decorations I had in storage, some I had hanging on the walls, and some that were already on the mantel. My Mom went right to work and created these looks.

How creative is she, right?! I think the mantel just wants you to sit, look at it, soak it all in, grab a blanket and have a cup of hot chocolate to look at it some more.

And the next morning as I was doing just that, except with a Mt. Dew, not a hot chocolate. I decided to see if I could use all of the same items and come up with more Fall Mantel options.

Same items, different combinations.

I guess we can tell where I get all of my decorating skills from. 🙂

To see even more Fall mantel decorating jump over to my friend Jodi’s blog, Lyndale Drive, and see what she has created in her home. She is amazing. I met Jodi at the Haven Conference in August and we became fast friends.

I hope I have inspired you to decorate your own Fall mantel, I would love to see pictures of your creations 🙂


Helping Build A Whole New Old Lake George

Helping Build A Whole New Old Lake George

Hey… It’s Spencer again. Wendy asked if I would chime in and do a bit of a 2015 wrap up from my point-of-view.

Hey! Who would have thought that it has been seven months since Wendy wrote the first post on the Old Lake George blog?!? After 91 posts, we have all read so many fun stories, seen some DIY fails/wins and had fun reading about corndogs and Christmas trees. I can only wonder about what she will write about next.

I help Wendy run the technical side of Old Lake George and both of us have learned so much in the last few months as we try and make it a better blog for YOU! Here are a few things that have changed (for the better) in the last few months and where we are headed!

  • The look and feel saw a dramatic overhaul at the beginning of December… it was long overdue. We worked for weeks to ensure that the blog’s new design felt custom and unique, just like every pillow and project Wendy works on. (It also loads faster!)
  • The email newsletter was launched with the new site design. We wanted to ensure you knew right away when a new post was live. (We have also updated the popup to not be so pesky. If you don’t sign-up, you will see it far less often now.)
  • Photos, Photos, Photos… Have you noticed Old Lake George has a lot of photos? We have worked hard to make sure every post and project has great photos. Wendy is becoming a better photographer every day and you now see a lot more of her photos on the blog and Instagram all the time. We have lots more to come!

In 2016 Old Lake George is only going to continue to get better thanks to you! We hope to do more collaborations with other bloggers, we might include a little video here-or-there and of course we are working on even more projects and DIYs.

Is there anything you would like to see more of? Do you have any favorite posts? Are you having trouble with the site anywhere?? Please leave a comment or send us a note 


Guest Post: A Year of Transition

Guest Post: A Year of Transition

Well, hello there. You’ve read my name roughly 100 times on this blog and probably know I take pictures but I have the honor of knowing about all the behind the scenes things that happen at Old Lake George. Wendy asked me to start helping with the shop about two years ago, back in the Pooh Pooh Pillow days and since then I have gotten to witness the dramatic transformation that this blog and business has done.

In the early days of the shop I would help design banners for the shop or take a few pictures when I was in town, I lived 4 hours away at that point. A year ago, I moved to Minneapolis and Wendy asked me if I wanted to take a larger role in helping create the face of the shop and what would become the blog. In the last year Old Lake George has gone through a dramatic transformation.

The Photos

The transformation really started with the renaming of the shop and with a focus on the product photography. Together, Wendy and I spent hours talking about a new name for the shop. (She covered the story here.) When “Old Lake George” was settled on and a new logo designed, it really started a whole new era for the shop.

We also started photography days. Wendy and I had long talked about how important the photos for the shop were. She took the plunge and had me do all of them. Once a month I make the trip to Wendy’s house and we spend the morning taking photos, laughing, rearranging her house, and usually breaking something. Yes you read that last one right. We have broken candle holders, decorations, and completely dissembled fake flower arrangements. Its all for the perfect picture.

Our photo shoots usually take over the whole living room area. We move couches, carry tables down stairs and just generally destroy the beautiful utopia you can see in the house tour photos. We take great care to create great pictures every time and the light in her living room is perfect for photos throughout the day. The photos below show the great length we went to make a fake bedroom within her living room.

At this point we have taken over 10,000 photos. Many of these photos will never see the light of day, but they are part of the Old Lake George story. We are doing a big shoot this coming Friday. I can’t wait for everyone to see whats to come.

The Blog

I’ve always known Wendy as my Aunt but also never one to shy away from telling a good story or sharing her opinion. When she brought up the topic of a having a blog last spring, I knew she could do it well. She was nervous at first, like anyone would be when you start sharing your life with the internet. We talked on a daily basis during the first few months. She wanted to do it right, she wanted to make sure the blogs made sense… she cared that she was “doing it right.”

Now, after 50+ blogs I would say Wendy is doing it right. Wouldn’t you???? 🙂 Its been fun to see the progress the blog has made. (For the record she said I could write whatever I wanted in this guest post… so Wendy… take the compliments and enjoy them. I know you struggle taking positive feedback.)

As the blogs have been published, I have seen the writing become more fun to read but have you seen the pictures??? Sometimes I have caught myself thinking, “Did I take that photo?” Nope, Wendy has gotten 10000% better. I may be out of a job soon! 😉

What’s Next

I knew when I started working with Wendy that she would push me to help do great work. She is never sitting still and waiting for the day to just drift by. Her mind is always running and thinking about what’s next. We talk often about how to do bigger and better things. In the last few months I made the jump to working full-time for myself and helping small businesses like Wendy’s. I would never have been able to do that without her support and that of my friends and family. (If you’d like to work together… you can contact me here. Shameless plug!)

Old Lake George will always be trying new things. I look forward to what Wendy will dream up and pitch me. I know when a big idea is coming because I hear…. “Spence… what if we did this….”