Category Archives: interior decorating

Sweet Salvage Gift Shoppe

This is a house turned into a store full of treasures both inside and outside. It is Sweet Salvage Gift Shoppe, 6483 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY 13078. Proprietor Kathy Hastings certainly has the gift of merchandising. She’s created a series of vignettes in each room of the house, combining old and new products for that rustic charm that speaks of nostalgia, as though you could take something home and claim it as your own personal heirloom.

Outside, you can find a multitude of objects for your yard – tables, birdhouses, birdbaths and objects d’arte for the garden.

Her eye for placement is impeccable! I love this store!

This is the perfect place to photograph a grouping to use in a still life assignment at school (and maybe it will be!). It’s all about the layering, the texture and the repetition of elements, I think.

There are several of these affirmation blocks (above). This place is filled with positivity!

And you can even find a bathroom sink! Yes, it is for sale!

They are open Monday-Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Saturday-Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. For inquiries call (315) 492-1266 or email

They are also on Facebook. I’ve been following them for years and I finally stopped in for a visit! So fun! <3

On the Fringe

I am currently in a post St. Valentine’s Day love affair with the home goods/home decorating/interior design firm and store Fringed Benefits. It is a manifestation of clever, inspirational design and good taste.

The brainchild of Interior Designer Amy Burns, who has established herself in the business locally for over twenty-years, and her partners Michelle O’Connor (business) and Kate Burns (designer), this venture is a stunning array of home decoration brilliance.

The store is located in the plaza adjacent to Wegman’s DeWitt (6825 E. Genesee Street, Fayetteville, New York 13066). It is closed on Sundays but operates every other day of the week. (Check their website for more information)

The venue is set up like a one-bedroom studio apartment with living-room, bedroom, office and dining-room decor supplemented by areas of small accessories, art, floral arrangements, gifts, candles and plenty of pillow options.

Retailer Glory took me on a tour including the back room, which is Burns’ design studio and offers personal assistance in home decorating including selecting fabrics and wallpapers. Glory’s enthusiasm for the products and budding business acumen made me want to make a purchase. It was a wooden heart ornament (pictured below) that I will cherish.

I had been a Facebook “Top Fan” of this place, but had never wandered in until today. It is an amazing store! You must go to there. Bonus if you tell them I sent you. <3

Soflea Sophie

My sister owns two businesses: Syracuse Yoga (6181 Thompson Road, Suite 803, Syracuse, New York 13206) and Soflea, a small store operating in the basement of Wildflowers (217 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13203).

Sophia Tashkovski is part of the McCarthy Mercantile. Her collection of flea-market finds and antiques includes her signature horseshoes, brass trays, statuettes and wicker baskets, as well as furniture and rugs.

Items are one-of-a-kind gems and so, there are always new finds to covet, which always makes the shopping experience a fun adventure.

Hours of operation: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday. It’s open today!!! (you’re welcome <3) Enter Wildflowers then head to the basement where the collective of shoppes is housed.



I live in a one-hundred-twenty-year-old house, which tends to get dusty within minutes of dusting/cleaning, etc.  To promote wellness, I have lots of plants.  I go with a red and green plus neutrals color palette, so the greenery fits with the decor while helping me breathe the sweetness of fresh air.



This morning, as I face week two of cloistering, I thought about how I achieve wellness.  It is a state of mind that represents positive energy and is always with me despite the outside world’s attempt to create the fear of doom/gloom and mayhem.  My plants are not concerned about a health crisis (nor is my cat, Pablo, for that matter, who is loving having mommy at home).  I recently repotted them all with new soil and in larger pots, and they are thriving.  They are happy with just a bit of water and the low light sunshine they receive from the windows of my East Syracuse, New York American Bungalow.




They are alive.  They thrive.  They are happy.  They are well.  They bring peace and joy to my life.  It is my sincere pleasure to take care of them.


What does wellness mean to you?  Send me a photograph that utilizes the theme of wellness.  It can be a person, place or thing.  It can be an abstract notion or a portrait, landscape or still-life.  Show me wellness and together we will saturate social media with it.  Attach your images in the comments section.  My students – send yours to my school email address and we will make this an enrichment assignment towards your 4th quarter grade.




Let the wellness in, my friends.  Allow and receive.  Just…let it in. <3