Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Open for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday

Twenty years ago during the Thanksgiving weekend of 1994, we moved our business from Confederate Avenue to our present location.  We were open for business without a hitch (except for phone issues) on the following Monday.  A month later we moved our personal belongings upstairs and sold our house.  In honor of 20 years in business at our Park Street business and residence, we will be open on Friday November 28 (9:30AM to 5PM) and Small Business Saturday, November 29 from 10AM to 2PM.  Susan will be here on Friday and probably Saturday with demonstrations of her fiber art techniques.   All visitors during these two days will receive a free gift.  Please come by and shop for one of Susan's unique art pieces, our framed mirrors or other framed images. 

Custom framing orders can be dropped off for Christmas, but they must be here by the end of December 11 to be guaranteed for Christmas pickups.  We will be closed from December 17 through December 24 but will be open on December 26 through December 30 at our normal business hours.  Please come by and celebrate with us.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

20 Years Ago

September 2, 1994. 3 1/2 months after the City of Columbia Zoning Commission told us we had to move or close.  Here are a few of the many highlights of our lives and circumstances during this period:

The Mouse House was finishing the final negotiations to buy/finance our present Park Street home and business. Assuming a favorable rezoning ruling, this would allow us to legally live and work in the same building (which occurred in November, 1994!).  Running and managing an ever growing framing business with employees in our illegal Confederate Avenue location needed to come to an end.  We were already selling framed antiquarian prints and offering limited custom framing at Terrace Oaks Antique Mall in Charleston; framing for most of the Charleston King Street antique dealers; working for our best corporate/personal client, Leonard Long as well as Kiawah Development Partners; attempting to raise our two little boys and exposed them to the arts; making numerous out of town trips in search of antiquarian prints to resale, etc. I was one year past any chance that I would ever return to the scientific and academic world that I knew during my 13 years of college and three years of professional work.  Whew and Wow!

September 2, 2014.  Terrace Oaks is a nice and distant memory (by choice).  Nearly all of the King Street antique dealers have died or retired (we miss SOME of them). KDP was sold and we choice not to continue our relationship with the new corporation. Leonard has retired and enjoying life.  (We hear from him occasionally.)  There are no employees or children (at least one kid likes us!).  We have a small but loyal custom framing clientele.  Best of all, Susan's art is making amazing strides and accomplishments.

We are coming up to our twentieth anniversary of Mouse House at Park Street.  We will be celebrating this milestone in some soon to be named exciting way.  We are also going to use the untapped social media market to brand and advertise the New Mouse House and all we have to offer in the coming months.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer at The Mouse House

 One of Susan's stain-glass fiber pieces.  More images can be found on her website.

The summer season has arrived at The Mouse House.  Historically this tends to be a slower time for custom framing and walk-in business.  Susan has been taking advantage of this slow period by creating more of her stain-glass fiber work which is locally available  here at The Mouse House and Ellen Taylor Interiors.  She is also teaching this and next week in Goose Creek, SC for the gifted and talented high school art students in Berkeley County.  She is making the long commute up and down I-26 Monday through  Thursday and will be at The Mouse House on Friday.  I am also able to attempt the impossible task of cleaning the downstairs gallery.

We are continuing the transformation of Mouse House into a gallery showcasing Susan's artwork, a nice selection of beveled mirrors and a few original oil paintings by Stephen Chesley.  New storage space created when I downsized the antique print collection now shows Susan amazing art quilts and other original work.

A sample of Susan's art quilts

We still have a large selection of 19TH century antiquarian decorative art engravings by Owen Jones, Racinet, and others,  as well as a few really nice larger antique botanicals and other antique prints.  Contemporary prints include larger Audubon birds and other miscellaneous prints.  All of these can be customed framed if you allow Susan to do her thing with the matting and frame selection.  Come in and visit.

Some of Susan's unique fiber vessels.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Ice Storm Cometh

Elmwood Avenue looking toward Interstate 126 at 8:45 AM

Way back in February, 1988 (our second year living in Columbia, SC), we had a sleet storm.  We had 4 inches of sleet which shut down the city for days.  I had never experienced such a prolonged period of sleet in my sheltered winter life.  My Ohio blood had not thinned so I immediately went driving after work (I did walk the one mile to my office...in my past life I was a coastal engineer and meteorologist and worked for Coastal Science and Engineering until 1990).

View of the Columbia Greenway looking toward Finley Park at 9AM.  The walkway was open!

I assumed something would be open, like a bowling alley...they never closed down in Columbus during snowstorms.. but I was wrong.  Nothing was open...no one was driving... I remember doing controlled spins  on I 126 because NO ONE was on the road.  It was so much Fun.  Twenty-six years later (oh God have we lived here that long!) we are having a similar ice event.  This morning Susan and I walked to her studio on Lady Street and guess what?  Starbucks was closed!  Everything was closed in the Vista.  Luckily the Kangeroo Express Gas station by our house was open and I got my morning newspaper (although I could have stolen all the State and NY Times and Wall Street Journals that were delivered to the closed Starbucks...those wimps).

Later today this mess is supposed to change to freezing rain and ice accumulations of 1/2 to 1 inch may occur.  This will definitely cripple the city...sleet only freezes on the road but not on the trees and power lines.  Power failures are expected.  By the way, our cat, Max, "King of Park Street" hates this weather but nature called and he is outside for a little while.  If only Shadow was here...I could take her outside and torture her.

I hope we do not have this type of weather next week as we will be selling Susan's fiber art at the  Baltimore ACC Craft Show (Feb.21-23) and Philadelphia for the Germantown School Craft Show (Feb. 28-March 2).  It should be quite an experience.

Taylor Street looking east at 9:15 AM