Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Soulful Hauntings

Soulful Hauntings

Soulful Sparrow
10 Douglas Ave. • Downtown Elgin IL 60120
is decorated with goulish items for sale through 

All Hallows Eve.
Visit us soon during our regular business hours:
Mon. 11-6
Tues. 11-6
Wed. 11-6
Thurs. 11-8
Friday 11-6
Saturday 11-4
(We'll be open late Sat. Oct. 27 with your paid admission to the Nightmare on Chicago Street after 4:00)... more information on the event in this post.
Call us during these hours if you have any questions

‧EnJoy the PicTure Show‧

The Witches are IN
Industrial Harvest Window
FunKy JunKy Pumpkins

Sparky Verone sings for his super behind the his mansion bars

Etc... eTc... EtC!

Stationary for Witches
We're keeping that shovel handy for 10/27
sKeleToN BreW BoTTles
Just Hangin' Around

Bone Chopper & Sifter
Rustic Industrial

Cubby Boneyard - Time will tell your FATE
Silhouetted  Plates for Decor 

Grunged Silhouetted Plates for Decor

Industrial Light & Vintage Gaming
"some skels walk in the rain... other's get wet"


This is the second annual event in Downtown Elgin & we're in the midst of it all.  Chicago Street and our block of Douglas is closed to traffic on Saturday while the city prepares the safety zone.  Foot traffic is allowed and we'll be open regular hours Saturday Oct. 27.  We are extending our hours to 8:00 or later and you can seek shelter with us with your paid admission to the event.

10/27/12 seek shelter at Soulful Sparrow 

Nightmare on Chicago Street

The Zombie Apocalypse returns this Saturday, October 27 from 6-11PM
Nightmare on Chicago Street is your only hope to survive the undead again this year. This may be your last shot at survival, so the Zombie Defense Initiative will make sure that every human has a good time with two stages of entertainment, bands, booze, food vendors, booths, games, live graffiti artists, and guests like SVENGOOLIE, HAIRBANGERS BALL, and V IS FOR VILLAINS. Plus the first ever Miss Zombie Pageant.

Buy advanced tickets from DNA for $7 each in person at DNA, 2 Douglas Avenue, or PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sparrow's flight across the pond

Where has the Summer gone?

We opened the Soulful Sparrow June 30th at 10 Douglas Ave. in Downtown Elgin IL ~ This GREAT town has welcomed us with open arms.  We can hardly believe it's been two months since we went tromping around the English countryside in June, scouring the villages for wonderful items to bring back for the shop. Sharing our experience there is far overdue. 

Sparrow Across the Pond

Enchmarch Farm 

Enchmarch Farm/Bed&Breakfast is a working dairy and sheep farm.  It was our home base for the two weeks we spent there.  The Enchmarch herd are milked twice a day and are a high merit Holstein Friesian Herd.  The sound of their gentle mooing lulled me to sleep every night following the bountiful and scrumptious home cooked meals provided Sandra ~ our pleasant and witty Hostess/Innkeeper. 

The views here are breathtaking... we will share more about the Farm in the days to come.

Enchmarch Farm
The farmhouse was built in the 1700s and has many of the original features, set in the midst of the farm in the glorious South Shropshire Hills, 10 mins from Church Stretton, 20 mins from Much Wenlock and 25 mins from Ludlow, Shrewsbury and Ironbridge. The farm is an ideal base for walking or cycling and has numerous walks criss crossing the farm as well as only being 2 miles from the Lawley or Caradoc hills.

Car Boot Sales

In the UK, the trunk of one's car is referred to as the "boot".  Therefore a Car Boot Sale is much like a flea market.  When the weather cooperated we tried to get to as many as possible.  They were awesome.

Car Boot Sale in UK

Antique Market

This video captures the essence of the open air Antique market in Ludlow city center that was filled with unique vintage items.  It was wonderful and magical in this old world setting shopping as the church bells rang.

Antique Market in Ludlow City Center - UK

English shops

We were so inspired by the vintage shops we visited and we adored the shopkeepers... and yes we found so many treasures.

Zanies Warehouse, Ludlow UK
Creative Decorating in Zanies Warehouse - Ludlow UK 
Vintage Clothing at Zanies Warehouse - Ludlow UK

The owner of The Blue Door in Leominster - UK

Vintage Suitcases Galore

Shop in Hay On Wye - UK

Roadside Impromptu Shopping and Country Generosity.

We took a road trip to Hay on Wye on the Welsh border. On the way, we discovered this wonderful road side gem ~ Utter Clutter ... {wonderful clutter}.  It was so much fun getting to poke around these interesting and very old out buildings shopping for GREAT stuff.  The owner of the property was busy flipping welsh cakes while we shopped, which she shared with us before we left.  Some of our treasures came from here.  If only the bike would fit in a suitcase.

Utter Clutter on the Welsh English Boarder

Vintage Bike at Utter Clutter

{Welsh Cakes} Welsh Hospitality at Utter Clutter

Products from England we LOVE

Just before we left the US for England, we discovered some wonderful products we wanted to carry in our store.  We were fortunate to meet the artist's who create the Merchant & Mills products we carry.  Stop by and see their products featured in the store. 

Carolyn & Roderick of Merchant and Mills from Hay on Wye.

sample of postcards we carry

Thank you for following and supporting our shop :)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sparrow {Re} Locating

Sparrow {Re} Locating

Moving Day

We won't soon forget our friends in Century Corners located on Cedar & 2nd Avenue on the East side of the Fox river in Saint Charles Illinois.  It is such a quant area with lovely shops and good people.

Moving Day 
But, moving day has come and gone...   It was a lot of work and we had so much to move.  Thanks to our friend Mark, who helped make short work of it, we were able to transfer almost everything in one day - then we could concentrate on setting things up at the store in Downtown Elgin Illinois also just east of the Fox river at 10 Douglas Avenue.

 Preparations for the new store

Elgin Main Room Prep
Meanwhile prep work has been going on at the new location in downtown Elgin IL.  We painted the walls and integrated a huge brown chalk board to be the backdrop behind the counter - We'll have fun with that!

Elgin Main Room Prep

...and highlighted the architecture by outlining the walls.

A Gift from above.
This natural element was a gift from above.  When Judy and I were leaving the Sparrow House one windy day, this tree branch fell before our eyes.  We both recognized at that moment that it would be perfect for the store.

Mark - working out the clothing retail space
Behind the main room, we will carry clothing, showcased on clothing racks designed by {Re} Purposing wheels and steering wheels joined by poles from which we will hang and display the new lines clothes that is starting to come in.

New Lines of Clothing

The FLAX Designs line of organic clothing is comfortable 100% linen.  Each garment is sculpted in cloth with enthusiasm, love and perfection into a new definition of "Fun and Comfort"
FLAX Linen clothing is made with rich beautiful lines in a range of weights and colors, from dramatic to demure that appeal to a wide range of tastes and transcends trendiness.
For added convenience FLAX linen garments are preshrunk making them washable, dry able and wears like iron.
Each FLAX garment has an affirmation that will make you feel special everytime you wear it.

Handmade Touches

Handmade Tote
We will also be carrying many handmade items.  Judy created this tote by integrating the store name and logo design.

Vintage Bits & Bobs

Paris Binoculars & Vintage Song

Vintage Illustrated Books
Vintage Garden

Settling in

Chalk Board Wall Backdrop
Things are taking shape and we are excited to begin a new chapter.  Judy and I are in Shropshire England,  June 10 ~ 27 on a the vintage hunt to find wonderful and unusual items for the new store opening June 30, 2012.  We'll share some of our journey in the next blog coming soon.

soulful Sparrow
We hope to see you soon ~ Thanks for following,

Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Sparrow House, {Re} Visited

Sparrow (Re}flecting

July seems to be a {Re}occurring month of moves for me.  My family moved to Elgin and closed on our 1893 house in July of 1998. After spending a brief couple of years in La Crosse, WI, my husband Jeffrey was offered a job with RR Donnelley, which is now located in downtown Elgin.  We were attracted by the historic neighborhoods and were impressed with the direction in which the city was moving.  It worked with our philosophy of "live where you work".

In July 2011, Judy closed on the Sparrow House, so it seemed fitting to showcase the house for this blog post as we get ready to open the Soulful Sparrow store in downtown Elgin, IL in July 2012. 

In my previous blog posted April 4, I explained how the Sparrow House rehab inspired the opening of our shop, Soulful Sparrow.   Since Judy bought this house last July, we have rehabilitated and decorated the home in about six months.  Unlike a typical home renovation project, we set our minds to recycle, reuse and repurpose in order to decorate this home in a creative and artistic way.

Sparrow House Kitchen

{Re} Claimed Counter
The kitchen counters were an ordinary and very plain Hunter Green that did not suit "the look" we wanted to achieve. But instead of replacing them, Judy discovered a way to decoupage torn pieces of brown craft paper to the surface. She finished it with several coats of poly acrylic for a soft shine and added depth.

Counter detail with a creative touch

The kitchen cupboards were glazed and stained and we pooled our collections of salvaged backplates to create a unique vintage style for the cabinets. 

{Re} Purposed Collection of Backplates 

Salvaged architecture feature on the wall.  Curtains are easy no-sew, gathered and tied remnants of fabric.

Salvaged Art and No-Sew Curtains

We considered ordering a carpet runner for the stairs, but we realized the glue from the old carpet left behind a rough texture on the treads that resembled a rug like look that would enhance a faux finish on the stairs.

Painted Stair Runner
Master Bedroom Wall 

After picking at the painted wallpaper in the Master Bedroom, we discovered many beautiful layers and patterns left behind from days gone by.  We love the vintage background.

Peeling Back the Painted Wall Paper Detail
Finally,  our finches have been the talk of the town since we brought them to the shop in Saint Charles last spring.  My birds at home were still multiplying, so naturally we thought they would be a perfect addition for the Sparrow House as well.  We decided to convert the top of this china cabinet to become their home.  
{Re}Purposed Bird Cage Condo
...of course our shop finches will be making the move to our new store in Downtown Elgin.
Stay tuned for more Soulful Sparrow store updates.
See you in JULY ;)