This week was a big week for us on the design front! First of all, both Grace 1972 and our home were featured in our local Design and Living April edition. Considering I literally have zero formal training as an interior decorator, I was extremely humbled to be featured alongside accomplished designers and area business owners in the industry. I am honestly just a middle aged woman who enjoys moving my couch around, snapping photos and writing about it all on the internet, let’s be honest.
If you aren’t local to Fargo, North Dakota, you can read the full issue here online. (The Grace article starts on page 46 and the article on our home begins on page 52).
This month’s edition was dedicated to local DIYers, including my new friend, Katie Sullivan, who publishes the amazing design blog Pretty Domesticated. (Her article is on page 105 and chronicles some fantastic DIY projects she and her husband have tackled in their new home. You can also follow her on Instagram @prettydomesticated.)
In the magazine article written for our home, the D&L writer focused on our main living areas as that is where we’ve made the most improvements in our first year living in our home.
My best friend, Nicole, joked that I can check “being a centerfold” off my bucket list after she saw the spread. I will take it! This is as close as I’m ever going to get to playing “Angel” in the J. Geils Band tune . . . thank the Lord.
So if you’re local to Fargo, pick up a copy while you’re bee bopping out of Hornbacher’s on a milk run in the next week or two and check it out!
(Note: The Grace article was great for awareness, but when it came out I actually realized business must be going well because many of the items that were photographed at the time of my interview have already sold! I keep updated photos of Grace inventory here on the blog, so check out my Shop Grace 1972 page here on the blog to see current photos of products for sale.)
On a final note, the other thing that was big this week (at least for me) was a very precious moment with my mom. If you follow the blog, you know from my post Behind the Name that the meaning behind the name of our shop, Grace 1972, was partly influenced by my mom’s story. In addition, she is also an accomplished seamstress and one of the “makers” behind some of our products. One of the items that she has started making for Grace are beautiful fabric garlands. I found the concept on Instagram as a popular piece many people are using to decorate their mantels, children’s bedrooms or dining areas to add softness and texture. They can also be used for birthday parties, graduation open houses and weddings. And honestly? They’re just straight up adorableness. Here’s one my mom made that is available now at Grace:
I actually have also started taking custom orders for garlands and one of the first women to place an order did so for her little girl’s bedroom. It is her daughter’s first “big girl bed” and she is making the milestone special by personalizing and decorating her bed.
And so . . . we took the order, I gave the specifications to my mom and let her loose on the project. In about a week she sent me photos of the garland and I just loved it! It was perfect.
I called her to tell her how much I loved it. For some reason, when I saw the photos it gave me goosebumps, it was so precious.
My dad answered the phone first. “Yellow!” — Honestly. He says “yellow” not “hello” when he answers the phone. And yes, I’ve teased him about this forever and a day.
“Hi Dad! Is mom around? I got her email with pictures of the latest garland and wanted to tell her how much I just love it!”
“Well she will be glad to hear that. It’s a garland factory around this place! It is taking over our house, there are strips of fabric everywhere. I can hardly walk! Here’s your mother.”
“Hi mom! Ok, first I just have to say, I don’t think Dad even knew what a garland was before you starting making them.”
“Ha! You got that right!”
“I got your email – I love the new garland!! It is perfect, this mom who ordered it is going to just love it!”
“Oh, thank you! Are you sure you like it? I wasn’t sure about the bow.”
“Mom! You always say that and I always am sincere. Yes, it’s gorgeous. Wow! And yes, I love the bow!”
“Oh good! I wasn’t sure but I felt like it was so long the center needed something. It is removable in case the mom doesn’t feel it needs it.”
I assured her, I loved it all – including the bow, and that the mom who ordered it would probably love it as well.
Mom breathed a sigh of relief and then said, “I actually have a story to tell you about this fabric!”
My mom and dad live on the farm that I grew up on and she now has an entire craft shed where she keeps her sewing machine, fabric and endless supplies. My parents’ home isn’t huge so this way my mom can go to her sunny little shed, listen to her radio and sew away without bothering my dad (they are both retired and she doesn’t want to interrupt his old Western television viewing habit).
“So as I was making this garland I realized that the floral fabric was something I had purchased forty years ago to make dresses for my two little girls. And when I realized that, as I tied the little flowered strips to the string, I started to feel very sad that I had never made those dresses for my two little girls. And now you’re both all grown up. And I cried!”
“Oh mom!” I said as my own nose started to do that burning thing as the tears welled up in my own eyes. As a mom myself of daughters, I understood those moments of realization when you see how quickly the years have melted like the snow.
But my mom never cries. She is as tough as nails. She has herded cows through blinding blizzards, fed her family for years on food she grew herself, driven a dusty grain truck with little kids bouncing on the seat next to her and worked several jobs throughout her career without a single complaint to help make ends meet. My mom does NOT cry. Ever.
I am the crier in the family! Not my hardy farm wife mom.
“But wait, it’s ok!” she said. “Because I told myself, ‘This garland is being made for the bedroom of another little girl. So I guess in the end, it is still going to be a part of a little girl’s world after all after forty years in a box. So I will not be sad!’ ”
I laughed out loud through my own tears and told her that that was the spirit! I also reminded her that one of those little girls is me, and we’re doing this Grace 1972 thing together – and the floral fabric is still a part of our story. I also offered to send a picture of the garland to my sister, LaNae, the other “little girl” – so she’s looped into the fabric via text! And my mom thought that was pretty funny.
And so this is why I love decorating and design and garlands and flowers and creativity and vintage. They are all pieces of our stories, the ones we’re living now, the ones we’ve lived before and the new ones being written right now. Our stories are like the garlands, tattered and varied, and sometimes momentarily forgotten in a box until we decide to pull them out and give them a new purpose and meaning. And strung all together in the end? Our stories are absolutely beautiful creations, tatters and all.
Thank you for stopping by and letting me share this story with you! I hope you enjoy the articles and if you are local to Fargo, North Dakota, and get a chance to stop into our little shop sometime, we’d love to see you.
Have a blessed week, friends!
Peace, Joy and Blessings,
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.