Happy Easter!


Thanks to all my clients (newly recent, recurring, imaginary and real).  I feel so blessed this Easter for so many reason.  Though I have to say that my focus hasn't been on God or the beauty of the Easter Holiday.  I've been busy and overwhelmed with the new store.  

I want to thank all my lovely clients for being so patient as I've settled into the new place.  The blessing of having an open storefront is getting to meet and help more people than I did when I ran things out of my little house.  The downside is that it's been a struggle to keep on schedule.  I know there are a few gals itching for me to get them their proofs and I appreciate their kindness and patience while we've been working hard.  We (meaning my "saint of a mother" and my "not so much a saint but still pretty great" husband) finished several extra large jobs this week.  So my schedule is going to be less hectic and I will be able to connect with these excited brides again.

I'm looking forward to celebrating Easter with family, especially Saturday night as my sister-in-law and friend will be baptized into the Catholic faith.

Next week I'll be back on track.  Plus I want to share my 2014 New Bremen Garage Sale finds with you.  It was a lack luster year, unfortunately.  I scored some cheap tension rods, boring lighting and other practical items (boo).  But that was good since I saved a bunch of money on things I wanted to buy anyway.  GIven the choice between spending $3.00 on a tension rod at walmart or getting them for $0.25 - I'll happily lug those from your garage to my car.  And, I'll spend the $2.75 on a piece of pie from the Pie Shell.  

It wasn't a total bummer though.  I now own a rustic birdcage and have a few new things to spray paint.  A lamp shade for $0.25 will be good for a fun low-cost project.  The weather was beautiful and I got to enjoy my friends for a few hours.  So that was great.

Happy Easter to everyone.  Enjoy your cadbury eggs and what the heck, bite the whole head off of that chocolate bunny - you deserve it!

Closed Saturday

Sara Paper will be closed on Saturday, April 5th so I can attend the funeral mass of my husband's Uncle Gene.  

I apologize for the inconvenience but of course these things can't be helped.  You are welcome to contact me during my regular hours of:

Sunday & Monday - Closed
Tuesday & Wednesday - 11-7
Thursday 10-6 & Friday 10-5
Saturday 10-12 or by appointment

A Fleeting Moment of Spring!

"It's a moment that I'm after, a fleeting moment, but not a frozen moment."
                                                                                              Andrew Wyeth

This morning I proudly showed off my outfit to Cindy at the post office.  I'm wearing my capri pants from last year.  They fit and with this spurt of warm weather, they feel awesome.  Sure, I have my winter coat hanging on the hook because when I go home tonight it won't be capri weather anymore.  And tomorrow I'll probably have to use the snow shovel before I flip the open sign.  But for today - I'm wearing capris.  As an added bonus - I could button the pants - which means I'm roughly the same weight as I was last year.  So this is a great day!  Enjoy yours!!

Wait, it's almost March?

My new years resolution, to blog more consistently, was a lovely thought.  The blogging calendar I had drafted was paved with good intentions.  Just not realistic.  Between bridal shows, snow, a ribbon cutting (unfortunately I didn't think to take any photos of that fun night) snow and lots of new brides - life has been busy.  Cheer up - Spring is almost here.

CLOSED FRIDAY & SATURDAY - Bridal Show Weekend

Just a "heads up" to anyone who might want to stop in over the weekend.  I'll be CLOSED on Friday and Saturday due to Bridal Show season.  

I'll be participating in a Business Open House on Friday at The Galleria in Celina.  Deb, the boss lady in charge over there is cooking up a fabulous batch of samples for local businesses.  These folks will be touring the facility in order to get ideas churning for company parties, meetings and whatever else people need.

The vendors will be keeping their booths up and we're inviting the public to come on Saturday for a Bridal Open House.  This is a FREE event and sure to be worthwhile to prospective brides and grooms.  The Galleria is a really nice facility and the folks there are passionate about serving their customers and making events special.  I know Deb from Perfect Party Catering is always looking for recipes, design ideas and she has her chef work up Vegan and Gluten Free dining options.  I'm personally looking forward to making some new connections with potential clients (not to mention trying out a Bavarian Ham Skewer and sampling the Chesapeake Citrus Tilapia).  

Check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/217977185040089/

Hope to see lots of people there!


Catching Up

Not even a full week into my resolution to blog more and I've already fallen behind.  No matter.  I can catch up.

The vast amounts of snow here kicked me into the kitchen.  A fresh loaf of banana bread hits the spot when it's below zero temps.  Then I was inspired by my Aunt Ann and sister-in-law Annette, to make snow ice cream.

With unlimited amounts of snow available to us I got creative with flavorings.  First the basic vanilla.  I was surprised at how good it tasted.  It was just milk, sugar and flavoring mixed with snow but I guess simple ingredients make for a good product.

Next I added some hersheys since I know Adam prefers chocolate.

In a second batch I got creative.  A portion of it I added Rose Water (purchased from Jungle Jims for a special cookie recipe (which I never even got around to making).  Adam was stumped on that one and ultimately not very impressed with the taste.

Another portion I used kool aid which received better reviews.

Finally I broke into the liquor cupboard and used a chocolate chili liqueur (also purchased from Jungle Jim).  That wasn't super impressive but by this time we were sick of ice cream so I didn't proceed with the rums and whiskey (or the ancient bottle of Watermelon Pucker).

p.s. the dogs were not impressed with the ice cream at all.


Vendor Shout Out - Thobe Vintage & Antique Rentals

One thing a business owner learns quick is to make friends and network with other business owners.  I have gained some great friends that I probably wouldn't have met if it wasn't for my business.  I tend to be a wallflower and prefer to sink into the background at larger gatherings.  As a result I don't always make the sort of effort I could.  I'm probably missing out on some fabulous people and that is a shame.  And something I hope to change about 2014.  

The day of her Open House

The day of her Open House

Luckily there are fun outgoing people who sometimes shoulder the load.  So it's fitting I should introduce one of my newest (and outgoing) friends, Allisa Thobe.  Allisa and I share a love for vintage.  I heard about her business on Facebook.  In fact, my aunt learned about her on Facebook and messaged me to suggest that I "like" her.  I believe I even went out on a limb and messaged her and introduced myself.  Funnily enough her husband Rob was helping our HVAC guy in our new place.  Allisa replied back with enthusiasm.  She was already cooking up business plans and was arranging an open house at her home.  She invited me to be a part of it and it was a memorable day.  


I drove up to her home which is situated perfectly at the end of a residential block.  Behind her home is  a great big barn/garage just stuffed full of her great inventory.  They had a charming little set up in the backyard.  Allisa went all out with a rented tent, port-potties, a food service and a collection of really talented vendors, of which I was proud to be included.  

It was decorated beautifully and with bright skies, no one believed the weather forecast of rain.  But guess what - that rain hammered down on us not once but twice.  Poor Allisa, her husband Rob (and I believe her mother) were soaked to the bone as they ran around helping the vendors protect their things.  A gracious and considerate host till the end.  I was sold.  

Allisa and her hubby are a class act.  I've spent time with them socially and they are just a fun couple who genuinely enjoy their lives.  This show in their business dealings.  Not only that, they have generous hearts.  When a local gal wanted to spread word about a disease that was taking her life, Allisa jumped in and put her heart into a quarter auction and donated the rental of her inventory toward a special photo session with Corynna Strawser and her family.

This couch makes a stunning achor for an amazing photo.

This couch makes a stunning achor for an amazing photo.

Without further ado, I give you information on Miss Allisa and her business . . .  

Thobe Vintage & Antique Rentals
48 North Olive Street | Versailles, Ohio 45380
(NEW website in the making)

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Hours of operation are primarily by Appointment Only

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Some of Allisa's inventory

Some of Allisa's inventory

We know that a Wedding can be a very costly event. So we are here to help you spend a little less on items that most don’t have a desire to keep after their wedding. We rent out our one of a kind and unique items to help give your wedding or event that special little touch you are looking for. 

My husband and I started this business because we had the same theme when we got married. We fell in love and one of the things we truly loved doing together were to go out on what we called “Our Adventures”. We go to auctions and antique all over from state to state. So we don’t just shop and hunt in just one area. We travel all over for our finds. We meet amazing people and see amazing places. 

More Inventory

More Inventory

After we got married and started settling in our home. We found that other family & friends wanted that same theme for their weddings and events. After being asked if we still had our items and if they could borrow them, we thought why not do what we love and make a business out of it. So next thing we know we have business of our own and we are making others dreams come true for there special events.   

We have now been in business for almost 2 years now. Last year we had 7 wedding and this year we have already booked 9 and they are still coming in. We hope to keep growing our business in a very big way! We have some amazing ideas for 2014. 

My long term goal for this business is to be a stay at home mom and do a job I am truly in love with. Right now we both work full time jobs and just do this business on the side. So that is why we are primarily by appointment only. Otherwise I would be out in our shop 24/7 doing project after project as my mind never stops turning with ideas. 

The thing I like best about my business is that I truly love what I do and when you truly love something I believe your passion shows in your work.

To narrow down a favorite piece in my inventory I really don’t think I could do it. Well I really can’t because I love each and every piece and it’s hard to even sell some of my pieces to make room for new to make my customers happy. I began to have a bond with some of my pieces with the touch ups and or work that I do on them as well. So in a sense you begin to get attached. 

Allisa and Rob enjoying my mom's cheesecake bars at my Friends and Family night.

Allisa and Rob enjoying my mom's cheesecake bars at my Friends and Family night.

Other info about my life:  I am 26 years old and I grew up in Arcanum and moved to Versailles because I met my amazing husband Rob. Who I truly adore.  He has such a passion for antique and vintage items just like I do and it’s something that we can enjoy and love together. He is great with his hands and has an amazing talent of inventing and making some great items. He loves working with wood and tinkering in his barn. We have now been married for a little over 2 years. We have two dogs Ziggy & Zipper who go with us everywhere and enjoy traveling with us on "Our Adventures". We are so very lucky to have an amazing set of family and friends that support us in every step we take and we are truly blessed I thank God everyday for the all the amazing things he has brought in my life. 

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Thanks Allisa for being a part of my blog today!!  I urge everyone to visit and "like" Thobe Vintage and Antique Rentals on Facebook and follow Allisa and her amazing ideas. 


Programs, get your programs

 A collection of the different styles of programs.  Stop in for a quick peek of the various options or make an appointment to see everything else I offer.

Happy Snow Day - Updated

The holidays are over and it's back to work - fueled by the excitement of New Years Resolutions still yet to be broken.  One of my resolutions is to be more creative.  While moving to my new location I took the opportunity to purge some things that I no longer use.  During this process I couldn't help but notice all the items I picked up over the years with full intention of crafting just for fun.  I know I kicked them around the office for awhile before tossing them in a box to get them out of the way.  Then I totally forgot about them.

So today I started out by shoveling snow (exercise!) and firing up my new Keurig (Gloria Jean Hazelnut) and decided to see what this Mod Podge was all about.  Using this pinterest link I decided to do a wood transfer.

Not willing to commit to a large piece of wood I selected a piece of wood shim.  If it looks cool maybe I'll do a bigger and better one.  

Not willing to commit to a large piece of wood I selected a piece of wood shim.  If it looks cool maybe I'll do a bigger and better one.  

Here's the photo I'm using.  Several of my favorite photos of Adam and I.  A basic copy or print is all you need. 

Here's the photo I'm using.  Several of my favorite photos of Adam and I.  A basic copy or print is all you need. 

I painted a layer of Mod Podge and placed the print face down on the wood.  Now I have to wait 24 hours to wash it off and see if it worked.  Fingers crossed.

I painted a layer of Mod Podge and placed the print face down on the wood.  Now I have to wait 24 hours to wash it off and see if it worked.  Fingers crossed.

I was pretty careful to dampen and rub the paper off of the wood and it was not looking promising.  When it dried it was hazy and bits of paper still stuck to it.  

I was pretty careful to dampen and rub the paper off of the wood and it was not looking promising.  When it dried it was hazy and bits of paper still stuck to it.  

So I thought - what do I have to lose?  A piece of paper and a junk piece of wood?  So I ran it under the faucet and washed the stick.  Suddenly my images appeared nice and strong.  But I think I rubbed the semi wet paper too hard and in different parts my image was rubbed away.

So I thought - what do I have to lose?  A piece of paper and a junk piece of wood?  So I ran it under the faucet and washed the stick.  Suddenly my images appeared nice and strong.  But I think I rubbed the semi wet paper too hard and in different parts my image was rubbed away.

You can see how this looks "kinda cool".  Not exactly as good as I expected but considering I wimped out by using a cheap piece of material it was a fun trail run.  I liked learning which photos work best.  For instance I like how the top photo (which had a light background) just sort of faded into the wood.  Photos with a busy background didn't look as good. 

You can see how this looks "kinda cool".  Not exactly as good as I expected but considering I wimped out by using a cheap piece of material it was a fun trail run.  I liked learning which photos work best.  For instance I like how the top photo (which had a light background) just sort of faded into the wood.  Photos with a busy background didn't look as good. 

The stick now lives on my little memo board behind my desk.

The stick now lives on my little memo board behind my desk.

Next time I'll "go big or go home" and choose a great photo and a great piece of wood.  This is an easy project with lots of potential.  And pretty cheap if you have a pile of junk wood at your disposal.  It was free for me since I had a long forgotten bottle of Mod Podge, a box of shims and a foam paint brush already in my stash.  Brides looking for that rustic look might consider doing something like this to create custom table numbers, or a cool bar menu.  After all, anything you can print on a laser printer will transfer using this method.

Family, Friends and Faith

And lots of food. (and champagne)

Adam and I were blessed to have a great many family and friends turn out for the last minute and informal Open House.  We decked the halls and opened the doors.

I can't tell you how pleased we were at the end of the night to be eating the last of the delicious food and looking around this beautiful building remembering all the joy that just took place.  

Thanks to my first visitor Laura (who couldn't make the party so stopped in earlier in the morning) to the last guest to leave (thanks Tasha for helping with clean up - you weren't the first like you wanted to be but you stuck it out to the end).  It was so full of people Adam and I realized we barely got to stand next to each other all night.  We also had cards, calls and texts from those who couldn't make it.  So many gifts of wine and champagne - we lost count.  

Thanks to Mom, Mike and Janet, and my sister-in-law Annette who supplied the food (I only had time to purchase a couple bags of chips so they really saved the day with the food).  Miss Shirley from the Cottage Cafe stopped in with her amazing cinnamon rolls.  

We even had an appearance from new friend Edna Wise, who raised a family in this building in the 1960's.  She toured her old home with her friend and former neighbor who lived in the house next door that has since been torn down.

Add in a lovely toast from my mother-in-law and a special blessing from Father Tom - well, I'm not embarrassed to admit that that this simple little party was the best night of my life.

My First Event

The beginning is coming!  In fact I got a head start when I hosted a group of Minster ladies.  When my sister-in-law's mother asked if her group could visit in October I suggested that November would be better.  By then I'd "for sure" be ready to host them.  Well, the joke was on me.  I was not ready but the ladies were good sports about it.  Adam and I gave them a tour and shared with them our stories of renovating this little space.  I did bring in some furniture and my designs so they could learn more about what I do.  I'm looking forward to seeing them again in December when I'm properly ready and all decorated up for the holidays.

I'll miss my current office.  Let's face it - you can't beat the commute.  But this cozy space is ready to be a living room again.  Lots of memories in this place.  Happy, excited brides.  Sometimes every seat was filled with their family and friends.  Tense mother-daughter squabbles with stressed brides happened every once in a while.  I'd pretend to get something out of my paper closet and then would hide for a little while.

I enjoyed visits with newly born babies and their tired mothers ordering birth announcements.  There was secret-sharing as other clients planned surprise parties or special moments for an event.  

There were even sad visits with clients asking me to design a memorial for a loved one or wanting to order thank you cards after a funeral.  A few tears have been shed around my table.  It was an honor to be a part of those moments.

I won't miss the late night work sessions or the dinners with my husband after I shove piles of work out of the way.  This whole last year we ate off of TV trays or standing in at the kitchen counter.  I won't miss planning my meals around bridal visits.  Some scents linger and not in a good way. ("no Adam we cannot fry up a pound of bacon or dehydrate habeneros tonight - I have a bride coming over")  I'll be happy to not worry about keeping the one bathroom in my house always "company ready" or penning up crying dogs in the back of the house.

I'm looking forward to new memories in the new place.  I'm excited for new connections and new friendships to happen.

Feeling Sappy Today​

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable —

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I spent a portion of last week sick on my couch missing life.  (though I did enjoy watching two seasons of Bomb Girls on Netflix - a great Canadian tv series about women during WWII) Today I feel great and am especially feeling thankful.  I'm geared up and ready to roll!

The excellent or praiseworthy of my life.

Friday Fun!!

Curly & Andre’

Add Curly to the list of out-of-town clients I've never met in person.  It's been so long I can't remember who pointed her in my direction.  Our first project together was when I designed the birth announcement of Curly & Andre's daughter Capri in 2009.  Since then we've done multiple projects, communicating with each other between Columbus and New Bremen.  

Shortly before Curly began wedding planning she moved to Arizona which pretty much ensured that we'd not meet in person anytime soon.  Not that I was opposed to commuting to Arizona to show her my samples.  I could have used the break and then skipped over to visit my friend Margie (hey girl!) .  Turns out we didn't need to visit in person.  Curly had a very clear vision and with the help of pinterest, and online proofs emailed back and forth, we got it done.  Plus, Curly wins the award for "fastest replier of emails".  This girl is driven to accomplish!

Thanks Curly for your business!  You and Andre looked amazing and I'm so happy for you. I had to laugh when only days after you returned from the honeymoon you were in party planning mode again - I'm looking forward to designing the birthday party invites for Miss Capri!

"Wood" you like to see the progress?

The flooring is being laid, the interior doors installed.  Adam is finishing up various tasks.  I even bought towels for the bathroom.  Yes, things are really moving.  I still couldn't say when the official "day" will be.  I cancelled all my November vendor opportunities in order to focus on setting up the store.  All the coupons I distributed at the bridal show are good for the month of December.  While it seems we're very close to opening the reality is that there is still lots to accomplish.  Building countertops, trimwork, final plumbing, installing the kitchenette area.  Then we have to move in the heavy equipment, purchase final furniture and make it all look pretty.

Some of my Best Ideas (aren't mine at all)

Time and again I've said that I'm lucky to have so many great clients with great ideas.  I totally hit the jackpot with the Regula Family.  Three sisters (Lindsey, Brandi, & Brittani) getting married in two years - SCORE!!  Even better was the fact that the Regula girls (and their patient mother Deb) were lots of fun and loaded with great ideas.  

Their weddings are over and the brides are settling down into married life.  However the partying nature of the Regulas can't be stopped and a Surprise 30th Birthday Party was in order for Brandi's husband Bryan.  

(side note: I LOVE knowing secrets but I stress that I will let something slip so I'm always very happy when the cat is out of the bag)  

Anyway, nothing ordinary for these folks.  From her temporary home in Canada,  creative Brandi put together a full bash with all the details.  

(another side note: This couple became engaged at a post game Buckeye Party (Hineygate for all you OSU fans in the know).  I saw it on the U-Tube. The Danger Brothers let Bryan sing the Brandi song -  "Brandi, what a fine girl, what a good wife you will be")

With that history behind them an obvious party location would be a Buckeye tailgate at "the Shoe" in Columbus, Ohio.  An OSU win against San Diego State and partying with the Danger Brothers?  What could be better?

Thanks to The Regula Family for their continued business.  It's been a pleasure helping you on your special occasions and I admire your flair for entertaining.


I have no clever title.  I'm tired.  I probably only saw Adam a total of 5 waking hours this whole week.  I ate at McDonalds more than I care to admit.  Full disclosure - Today I showered for the first time in three days.  Day 1 - I didn't bother because I knew I was going to be painting later that morning.  After working I headed back to the office and got busy there.  Then I accidentally feel asleep.  When I woke I knew I I was painting again.  I gave the world the courtesy of brushing my teeth and I hit the road.  When Adam saw me he carefully asked if I was working at the store and I said, "yes, but this is pretty much how I look now so get used to it."  I painted then stopped in at my insurance providers office (they didn't recognize me)  That night I worked late finishing an order and crashed again.  This morning, however, I cleaned up proper and I'm back to myself.  Tonight is date night! (which, btw, will involve a trip to Menards - I've turned into my parents aaaggg!)

All kidding (and complaining) aside - Adam and I are excited because the end is in sight.  Or rather the BEGINNING is in sight.  We're looking forward to everything that this new space will offer.  And that makes all this effort worth it!

Paint. And Lots Of It.

For the past 5 weekends I've worn the same outfit.  I should have taken a before and after photo of my paint splattered outfit.  I'm happy to report that the inside is fully painted and looks great!  I haven't gotten any good photos of the painted walls yet but I assure you - they look beautiful and I'm so grateful for the help!!

Photo Shop

I recently borrowed a bunch of family photos.  Well I borrowed them quite awhile ago but I recently took the time, late one night, to scan them.   I've printed copies for my mom's cousins and it occurred to me that this could be a service that other families might enjoy. 

Old photographs scan beautifully and those black and whites have really stood the test of time.  In our digital age we can take photographs whenever we want and they are preserved (for the time being) on various technologies.  What the future hold, who knows.  Still, many of us have shoe boxes full of memories. 

A lot of time a treasured photo is damaged.  The photo below is of my Grandpa William "Willy" Miller with his military buddies during WWII.  It's rather beat up and while it's not a photo I really want to clean up and display - it's a perfect photo to demonstrate how I could improve a special photo for someone.

Then and Now

This building has helped us make new friends, specifically with people who once lived at 55 North Main.  Mom borrowed these photos from her new friend.  Not sure when they were taken but it's fun to see the similarities as well as the differences.  { Click on the photos to get a better look.}

Looking at that first one I can almost smell the sauerkraut that was probably on the stove as that little guy waits on the stoop for dinner.  It's likely he spoke english but I'll bet he had a grandparent still speaking German.  His family probably walked that sidewalk each Sunday, to beautiful St. Augustine, as many still do.  As I might from time to time.

These sort of photos make me proud.  I'm glad his home still stands.  From the beginning I'm sure it was a quaint, modest, little place. Obviously built with careful labor.  With the hard work of our crew, dignity has been restored to it.  How I wish the walls could talk.  (Wait. Never mind.  I really don't want to be working late, all by myself, and hear voices.) 

For sure these photos will find their way into frames and be displayed in the store.  Anyone else have some old photos they would like to share?  I'd love to see them and hear your story.


After the store is open and running I want to start highlighting the various jobs I do for people.  From a surprise tailgate at "the Shoe" to a bubbly outdoor wedding in Arizona or an elegant bridal shower in Missouri.  Not to mention all the fun events that happen locally to me.  For instance the Duck Dynasty shower that is happening soon.  I can't WAIT to get the report back on that particular event.  

I  have so many brides (and grooms) come to me already armed with great ideas and expressive creativity.  I help them out, they have the party and life goes on.  I often don't have time to follow up and see how it all came together on the big day but I want to change that.  I want to start sharing those special details so it might inspire others.  In the meantime here's some quick pics of recent work.