We are pleased and excited to share that just a few days ago we welcomed a long-awaited shipment from India! As you can see, we’ve been quite busy unloading, unwrapping, and unpacking these new (antique) treasures from the Old Silk Road.
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So far Stuart Hough has created 22 blog entries.
It’s been a very long time since I was a student in a classroom. Well…since I was a student in what you might consider a “typical” classroom: the kind with four walls, desks, no screens, and a chalkboard (there were chalkboards back in my day!). Throughout my life, I’ve always enjoyed learning. And much of this has occurred outside of the confines of a classroom. I have grown simply by being open to experiencing new things, people, cultures, and ways of thinking and being. And I’m not done yet!
We are in the height of summer, and what a summer it has been! In June, I travelled throughout Spain and Morocco. I returned with more rugs than photos! We also started unloading our (very big!) shipment from India, full of treasures in my favorite color, blue. In July, Sunnyside reached our fifth year at Foundy Street, which is located in the heart of Asheville’s River Arts District. Here we are pictured celebrating with our friends at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce!
By the time that you receive this newsletter, I will be a few days into my sojourn in Morocco. While I am away visiting one part of the Old Silk Road, the staff at Sunnyside are busy preparing new (antique) arrivals from another part, India! I am especially excited about all the beautiful blue items! We have blue shelves, doors, mandirs, kitchen cupboards, armoires and bookcases! By the way, if blue is not your color, we have the others covered, too! This shipment also has some really unique items, including what it is depicted in the pictures above, incorporating vintage tile, bright and bold colors, intricate craftsmanship, and ornate carvings.
Change, in and of itself, can get a bad rap, disrupting routines, forcing new patterns, and taking us outside of our comfort zone. However, not all change is inherently bad. Embracing this time of seasonal change, what shifts might you have been considering? Have you (also) had that itch to explore? To seek a new path or passion? To experiment with something new? To tap into your creative spirit? Are you ready for (new) adventures? If Spring has been about planting and tending to our seeds, then Summer is time for adventure, creativity and fun.
I'm often asked if it is hard to let go of the Old Silk Road treasures at Sunnyside, and take them all home. Each piece is truly one-of-a-kind, with its own history. I confess that I do have my favorites, but I rarely buy any item that I would not be happy to have in my home. The thrill for me is in the "hunt" and I find it much more fulfilling to find their forever homes, often with buyers who become Sunnyside friends (of our 6 staff members, 2 were clients before working here). And because of all the time spent with our large inventory, I get to live with many of these items daily at work. These antique items have stories to tell, you just have to listen closely.
Being outside is a good thing. And, it is good for us. In fact, research shows that there are multiple positive benefits to simply being outside - for our emotional and physical health. Walking or even just looking at trees has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce stress-related hormones. Being in nature improves our mood, lowering anxiety and depression symptoms. Spending time outside can also make us heal faster from illness or surgery. And, these are just a few examples! For those who follow the stars, we've entered the season of Taurus, which is all about slowing down and savoring the little things - pausing to soak in the experience with all of our senses. And to literally ground ourselves in nature.
Whenever we are on buying trips in northern China, we search out these wonderful elm and pine compound doors, which are usually sourced from Shanxi province and date back to the nineteenth century. They originally served as the security opening along a wall which circled a residential compound. Once these massive "gates" were opened, you would encounter a courtyard before reaching the residential structure.
Spring is finally here in western North Carolina! We are getting warmer, brighter days and with them, glimpses of gorgeous flowers and blooming trees. One of my favorite things to do, and for most of the folks who live around here, is hike, and there is no shortage of trails in this area. This is a picture of me at Craggy Gardens, which has trails that I visit quite often.
Last summer I was fortunate enough to spend a few days on an isolated beach in South Carolina. In the evenings, I would take a walk through the marshland’s barrier to the beach and one evening I noticed a plump frog sitting on the edge of the walkway. Almost mistaking the frog for a statue, I stopped to stare from a distance that did not alarm the frog. This frog was incredibly still. In fact, it looked to me as if it was doing nothing but sitting. After a few minutes of further, intense observation, I went on about my business. An hour later I returned, and the frog was still there. Same place, same position, same frog. I sidled a little closer to confirm that this was, in fact, a real frog. And, then, I realized something: this frog was waiting.