Thursday, December 18, 2008

For the Person Who has Everything

Dear Santa,

I know we haven't talked much since that incident at Macy's in 1981 involving your beard and a handful of rubber cement but I'm hoping we can start fresh. I know what I want this year and I figure since you already have plans on the 25th, you can go ahead and give it to me now.

  1. I want to be seated at Bombay bistro by the sweet owners who bring out their new baby to meet you.

  2. I want Nate from Sabor catering to call me and say that dreamy (and 100% true) sentence "I've got it all taken care of."

  3. I want Susan from Accurate Bookkeeping to appear on a white horse whenever reports start making my head spin.

  4. I want Cheryl at Whole Foods to walk me way out of her department to teach me everything there is to know about organic non-dairy creamer.

  5. I want the teenager in the takeout window of Good Times to tell me she loves my hair.

Service like this makes me like humans. It makes me think that, given the option to live out my days on a deserted island with only Joy, Tina Fey, Javier Bardem, Jeannette Winterson, and the Dalai Lama I might decline.

"Gosh, no thanks. I think I'll just stay here at Joyful and take my chances on being surprised, impressed, charmed, irritated, and inspired by whomever comes through the door."

Your seasonal friend,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why not?

Having always been 34, I can't speak from experience, but I think being a kid must be like being a visionary working as an IRS file clerk. Kids (at least the ones worth their weight in cheddar bunnies) have a million ideas for making things good and they spend their lives hearing why the ideas won't work. Some parents don't even explain why. They just pretend that the kids' voices simply couldn't be heard over the din of the nearby garbage truck/blowdryer/sunrise.

One sassy parent I knew had the same answer for every kid brainstorm.

Kids: "If we didn't have to go to school we could catch enough newts to put on a musical with them."
MOM: "Yes, and if our poop were purple we could sell it!"

Kids: "If we dug a huge hole in the backyard, we could put a fire in it and practice swinging over like Tarzan."

Mom: "Yes, and if our poop were purple, we could sell it!"

Kids: "If we painted the house and yard the same color as the street, we could hide inside and no-one would ever find us."

...and so on.

Lately at Joyful we've been swimming in this chasm between what we imagine and what we can realistically do. Thank goodness we still have the minds among us that say things like:

"Let's have a trapeze basketball game in the store!"

"Can Brandi Carlile play at our next party?"

"How many homeless people could we fit in here on a cold night?"

"Why aren't we selling sofas made from bathtubs cut the long way?"

or the seemingly practical: "How about we make four hall trees before the first day of winter?"

or the desperately necessary: "Let's figure out what an email authentication setting is, so I don't have to wimper to the support guy any more."

How do you cultivate both imagination and patience? How do you have these dreams and keep showing up to look at them half done? How do you accept what's impossible when you're secretly living on a steady diet of blueberries, beets, and grapes?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December Newsletter

Thanks for coming to our party! If you didn't make it, fear not, we are still stocked to the gills with gift items.

What to get everyone for the Holidays:

For your best friend who doesn't even try to hide her inner duchess...a freshly reupholstered antique settee $399 SOLD

For the kid who you think is cuter than my beloved neice, but isn't...a comforting felted wool pillow filled with lavender and adorned with a handstitched lamb $24

For your grandma who doesn't try to hide her inner grandma... a handknit tea cozy.

Why did everyone I know suddenly get pregnant as soon as the weather got cold? All I do when it's cold is watch movies. For Trixie, Jean, Amy, Sally (all names have been changed to protect the nauseated)...some natural, gentle, bath products from Mountain Girl Organics

They don't make teenagers like they used to. They make them better now. Despite all the same hormone-related physical deformities that we had, many of them are creative, confident and kind. If you know one of these, they deserve a one-of-a-kind mosaic and star nightstand $199 SOLD

For your sister with the bouffant, your brother with the wingtips, for my old friend Pammy whose heart would race a little at the sight of real Tupperware. Hip yet heartfelt, retro yet eco... Recycled paper letter press cards $13 per pack

Your wife is radiant after all these years and every day you count yourself lucky that she chose you over that professional athlete guy. If she's at all interesting, she does NOT want a $5000 diamond pendant in the shape of an heart....Vision Jewelry $15-$180

For the person who has everything but loves to be inspired....Glowing orange, sage and brown dishes $90 per set. Goes with everything, never goes unnoticed.

For the creative slob that you love. A place to hang a robe, candy necklaces, sweatsocks, origami birds, fairy wings, purple wig ...$119-$199


December 9th 4-5 pm. Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at Joyful Furniture. Some professional fun, food, and networking. Okay, if you want to stay home and get pregnant I understand.
I'm also starting to open up the space for people who want to have their low-key parties or meetings here. I provide the space, you bring me a few people who didn't know about my store. Free if I don't have to do anything but eat your food. $200 if I have to move all the furniture out of your way for a breakdancing competition.
Free Sand! Lately, I suppose in conjunction with gifting and crafting season, people have been wanting to try their hand at painting furniture. It's fun, it's meditative, and (for better or for worse) you can make something unlike anything you've ever seen. In support of your creative impulses, we will sand and clean any "rough room" piece of furniture you buy in the month of December.

Warning found on most brands of Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only".

Thursday, November 6, 2008

November Newsletter

We have moved! For more info click HERE

New Stuff:

Mexican-style pie cabinet made from reclaimed wood. I check it every morning for pies. Still no luck. $450 SOLD

Elegant expresso-colored sofa table $250 SOLD

Compact and classy dining set. Perfect if you live in a small space or if you're having Holly Hunter for dinner and don't want her to feel outscaled by the furniture. $399 SOLD

Sage Dresser $399 and matching nightstand $199. These aren't our usual "almost match set" These are really a set, really made from maple and really came from one of the most beautiful houses I've ever seen. SOLD

You think you've seen this before but you haven't. Kenny's reclaimed furniture is going like hotcakes and his latest bookcase has cool tapered sides. $399 SOLD


$21 off on 21st Street. If you haven't been to our new location yet, mention this deal and get $21 off any one furniture purchase (can't be a consignment item.)


Grand Reopening Party: November 29th 6pm-9pm

Hot furniture, hotter people, music, food, and a chance to see Joy and Emily after being up for 4 weeks straight. How could you resist?

Holiday Gift Sale Nov 28, 29, 30

The minute you recover from the excesses of Thansgiving, be they culinary, alchoholic, or familial, you're going to want to breeze on down to Joyful and start your holiday shopping.

This is no Wal-Mart wrestle for the last plastic Hannah Montana whatever. This is you shuffling around our beautiful new space, warm coffee in hand, feasting your eyes on hundreds of locally made one-of-a-kind gifts. Take a look:

Picture frames made from reclaimed wood.

Bright and sassy handbags for the extroverted tween in your life.

Hand beaded animal pins for the stay-at-home and play with toy horses type.

Asian-inspired square dishes, ceramic-stemmed wine glasses. Sleek ikebana vases, earthy mugs. I want this whole set.

If you know someone who only owns one purse, they probably don't believe in have more than you can use at once. Do not buy them a bag. On the other hand, if you know someone who owns two or more, they are holding their breath for the arrival of their next one. Save them.

I have yet to meet someone who doesn't love these colorful ceramic switchplates. This is the ultimate casual, affordable, yet personal gift. They come in all colors and designs that say "Hey, I like you and I think you have style." Without saying "I think we should move in together" or " I'm planning to have your job by this time next year."

Locally made, organic soy candles scented with essential oils.
This is the perfect gift to get for someone else then give to yourself on the sly.

Locally made leather and bead bookmarks. You must know someone who still reads.

Hand painted and hand tiled mirrors.

If you haven't bought her a bag since you bought the one listed above, it may be time.

Aprons made from reclaimed and remnant fabric.

Rocking chickens, rocking horses, bears, reindeer, you name it. The kids go crazy for these and you don't have to plug them in.

These porcelain pendants are like little dreams or ghosts to float near your heart. This one might say "Let's move in together."

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." - Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In an uncharacteristic moment of assertiveness, Joy has declared this room a "showtune free zone." Now I, for one, can't imagine why anyone would want to go through an entire day without humming a few lines from Kiss me Kate, but whatever.

Maybe those of us who've already tried to customize the entire universe to our tastes should take a lesson. Our efforts to rid the world of everything from reality television to walnuts are failing miserably. Perhaps it's time to ask ourselves, "Would we have better luck if we only conquered one room at a time?"

Picture it: the NO SUV foyer. The NO EMAIL SPAM dining room. How hard could it be to enforce a NO ELIZABETH HASSELBOT rule in your bathroom? I've already had a 12 day ban on the words "edgy" "extreme," and "literally" in my bedroom and it's going great so far. If you're planning to push an elevator button incessantly, talk too loudly at a swimming hole, or build a subdivision and call it a community, you better steer clear of my kitchen.

Once we get the hang of this we could change the rules as often as we want. NO SMELLY, CANCER-SHARING SMOKERS one day. NO ELITIST, HIPPIE-ASS, CONTROLLING SMOKING BANS the next day. NO ADJECTIVES USED AS ADVERBS on alternate Tuesdays and NOTHING BUT CORPORATE SPEAK LIKE FYI, VALUE-ADDED, AND PUSHBACK on national holidays.

All we have to do is drastically reduce the scope of our dominion and we can live happily, even openly, as control freaks. Now, go out there and claim a room.

Friday, October 3, 2008

October Newsletter

We're moving across the street! We're moving to a bigger, better, cheaper space at the corner of 21st and Pearl and we get to share it with the eco-goddesses at Planetary Solutions. We should be over there by November 1st. Life is good.

New Stuff:

We've seen too many chinese character tattoos that probably translate to things like watermuffin and springonionbunny. We've been frightened by plastic-wrapped convenience store sushi. We've been bombarded by ads implying that yoga was developed as a weight-loss method. Exhausted by pseudo-Asian junk, we've dodged Asian design. Maybe it's time to start learning about the good stuff. Step one: A tall, black bookcase with Asian-inspired metal details. Simple and elegant. Perfect for beginners.

Equally out of character, we've fallen in love with a trendy color. So....if grey is cool, and we have grey stuff, could we be....? No. Not possible.

We almost never refinish something and put the old-school hardware back but this old gal wears it well.
It's hard to tell from this photo but Ethan rocked this color. It's the best green we've ever had.


Simple lines, bright color, almost modern. Don't tell anyone. I'll have to start wearing my go-go boots to work.

We've never had a wine rack before. I feel very grown up.

My sister is the best yardsale shopper in the world. She's the perfect combo of sweet and friendly mom, high-speed junk rejector, and ruthless negotiator. Our pick-your-own-finish stuff is just getting better,

and better,
and better.

Deals: Odds and Ends sale. (Did I mention we're moving???)
I know we're only moving across the street but we're lazy and don't want to take anything that we're not in love with. How about any as-is chair that's not part of a set goes for $25? How about as-is end tables for $40? TV stands for $85? How about you come make us an offer on anything that's been hanging around a while?

As explained above, we're pretending we're cool this month. As part of that effort we've got John Bunzli playing live music from 5-7 pm on October 19th. We realize that most cool people don't party quite that early but we're hoping it might catch on so we can participate more often. For more info email

Quote of the Month: "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border." --Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008 Happy Halloween.

Friday, September 5, 2008

September Newsletter

New Stuff:

Reclaimed wood desk $399

Antique rolling chair $99

Small writing table with hand-painted and woodburned pond scene $399

Original necklaces and earrings designed by our own Marissa Nowels $35

Large reclaimed wood desk $499

Cute red dining set $449

Even cuter lime dining set $399

Mosaic and painted mirrors by BeHapE Designs $30-$90

Antique dresser $150 as is, $399 refinished

Antique drop-leaf table $150 as is, $299 refinished

Locally made unfinished pine dresser $599 as is $799 refinished

Matching nightstand $299 as is, $399 refinished

September Deals: 30% off custom cabinet refinishing

Today I dragged my soggy yoga mat inside, rented ten episodes of Six Feet Under and put on something called "socks." It must be fall. That means that if you're lucky, there are people out there in the world dragging in their yoga mats and making plans to visit you for the holidays. How's your house looking? I promise you if it looks gross when they come, they'll still love you, but if you get a kick out of sprucing up your place for a cozy winter, we'd love to help you out. Outdated kitchen and bathroom cabinets don't have to be replaced. They can be completely transformed by a couple of coats of ivory white, chinese red, celery green, or espresso brown. Call in September to book your refinish for any date this fall and get 30% off.

September Events:

Come see us at the Pride Block Party on Sept 13th. We'll be introducing people to our store, refinishing some furniture, and giving away free swag. Okay, it ain't Dinah Shore but it should be some good fun.

Sept 19th 7pm come see us at the shop for Hannah Upham's glass art show, COLOR BLOCKS. Hannah is a local artist and therapist who makes jewelry, vases, boxes, and dishes out of recycled glass. Her colorful pieces lift the spirits, spark the imagination and make great one-of-a-kind gifts.

Quote of the month: "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --George W. Bush

136 days left. Take care.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August Newsletter

New Stuff!

Big red dresser $499
Matching red bookcase $129

Saucy, commanding, and zafdig. YA!

Armoire or TV cabinet $300 as is/ $650 refinished

You could probably fit a live person in this thing if you needed to.

Rustic writing desk in espresso brown $249

We're not sure what qualifies as rustic writing. Thoreau?

Periwinkle coffee table with a heavy distress $139
Not like "being-chased-by-a-mountain-lion" distress. More like "the-ice-in-my-mint-julip-has-all-melted" distress.

Black file cabinets $159 each
Heavy, solid, fully equipped with file hangers (and not those sissy ones either.) In a word, MANTASTIC

Sage green dresser $399
Matching nightstand $159

Yes, it will go with your bedspread and yes it will go with your southwestern watercolors. You will never regret this.

Red dining set $999
Seats 6 but you could remove the leaf and not invite the neighbors who criticized your topiary menagerie. Whatever.

Solid wood old-school hutch. $200 as is/ $350 refinished
Little House on the Prairie all the way.

Contemporary wood desk $125 as is/ $250 refinished
A lean, mean working machine. Like you.

Rustic dresser $140 as is/ $399 refinished
Perfect for storing your Little House on the Prairie dress.

Antique desk $150 as is/$250 refinished
The desk formerly known as a sewing table

Corner bookcases $150 as is/ $250 refinished
Wall shelf $200 as is/ $450 refinished

Here's the plan. Go down to Red Letter Books, buy the fattest tomes you can find, fill this wall unit, look real smart.

Oak pedastal table $150 as is/ $299 refinished
Never straddle a table leg again?

Teacher's desk $150 as is/ $450 refinished

Detention slips included for an extra $5

Movie seats $300

A very hip place for a popcorn binge

Elegant side table with wood-burned design $139
There's only one thing happening in August and it's big. Back to school, baby.
All month long, in addition to our usual array of elegant home furnishings, we will have select desks, chairs, dressers, nightstands, and bookcases marked at 20% off. You don't have to be a student either so put away your ug boots and come on down.
Quote of the month:
“You moon the wrong person at an office party and suddenly you're not "professional" any more” -Jeff Foxworthy