Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Grand Re-Opening of Wise Ways Emporium!

When I built the first Wise Ways Emporium the Brimbles Mercantile kit by Greenleaf wasn't in production. Oh, occasionally one might be found on eBay but overall they were scarce as hen's teeth and if one did pop up on eBay, it carried a price tag the size of Wyoming or was in deplorable condition. Therefore I didn't have much hopes of ever getting my hands on one. Sarah Ann was terribly disappointed but we made do with an RGT Front Opening Shoppe picked up at one of Ernie's 50% off sales. I liked the interior but the exterior left a lot to be desired. It just didn't have the personality and character of the rest of my back opening houses.

And then came the glorious day when trumpets sounded and a light shone down from the sky, bathing the Greenleaf webstore in a white glow........the Brimbles had been re-released in laser cut!  Be still my heart!  I danced around a little while, sang a few choruses of "Happy, happy, joy, joy" and danced around a little more.  Napoleon thought I'd flipped but he often thinks that so after looking up from his nap with one eye still closed, he sighed and went back to sleep.  Sometimes that cat exhibits a serious lack of enthusiasm.

On the other hand, I got a Brimbles into my hot little hands faster than a cheap dress comes off on prom night!  I opened the box and did the "junkie-inhale" of the wood smell and spent a great deal of time petting the wood and murmuring softly to myself.  Yes, it was a dream come true.

Sarah Ann observed all this quietly until her patience reached it's end and then commented, "Lovely.  Now do you want to stop acting the fool and build the damned thing?"    Sarah Ann is my Great Grandmother so she can talk to me that way.  For those of you who haven't heard the story of Wise Ways, it is a tribute to my Great Grandmother, a true wise woman.  You can read a little about her life here.  In fact, I kinda recommend that you do, otherwise you won't understand the joke about why my Great Grandfather looks like Kermit and lives in a cage. 

I sent pictures of my Great Grandmother to Gina Gagnon of Lone Wolf Miniatures and had her create a custom doll for me.  Gina did a fabulous job and my mini Sarah Ann is the spitting image of my Great Grandmother.  But you can see why it was so important to me that Wise Ways Emporium be absolutely perfect.  The RGT just wasn't cutting it, but the Brimbles.........ah, the Brimbles is everything I wanted and more.  It's a fitting home for a tribute to my heritage.

Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, since the Brimbles is laser cut, it didn't take long to build it.  That was fortunate because Sarah Ann started packing up the store as soon as I picked up the first piece of wood and she'd moved half the inventory into the store before I even had the roof on!  And I wonder where I inherit my lack of patience!  LOL!  Since Brimbles has more space, we were able to expand the research room upstairs and add a garden outside.  I think that Great Grandma would have liked that a lot.  We also added lights and even made some glowing crystal balls and some lovely sea shell lamps. All in all, I think it's the perfect emporium for witches and wizards with a large inventory, a nice space to research or just hang out, and a little bit of humor thrown in for good measure.

So without any further ado, welcome to the Grand Re-Opening of Wise Ways Emporium! 

Sarah Ann is thrilled with the exterior of the shop. 

Finally a place for a rocking chair and her geraniums!

The Rose of Sharon cutting that she put in is taking hold nicely.

The garden is her pride and joy!  You can even see the famous Balm of Gilead tree growing next to the porch. 

I'm not sure if she bought the bullfrog bird bath or if it's someone we used to know.  It's probably better not to ask.

Napoleon swears that he's not going to eat the fish.  He's just counting them to make sure they're all there.  Nope, wouldn't even think of eating those little bitty fish.  He just wishes I'd get the hell out of there with the camera so he can get on with "counting" them.

I really love the Goddess statue in the garden. 

Come on inside and look around!

Upstairs is the research room.

There's a really nice converstation area where customers can sit down and relax a little bit with a cup of tea (or something stronger), listen to some music and read or chat with friends. 

Here's the lab table that Sarah Ann added to the research room.  It's turning into a very popular feature with customers who like to have space and resources to experiment with new spells.  I'm not sure if the mice are ingredients for a spell or the results of one, but it's quite likely that when the kitty on the top shelf finishes his fish appetizer, there will be a three course mouse dinner on the menu.

Phil O'Dendron popped in to say hi and do a little research.  We never ask the customers what they're working on, but Phil has mentioned something about a "jack and the beanstalk" theory.

Downstairs, the morning sun pours thru the windows just before opening time.

This is Sarah Ann's favorite time of day as she prepares for her customers.  On the wall behind her, you can see the picture taken of her on the day she received the deed to her land.

There has been lots of new inventory added to the store.  This month's special is on apples.  Sarah Ann keeps a basket of them on the counter.  If you want to put a spell on them, that's entirely up to you.  Even without the spell, they're delicious! 

Somehow a litter of ginger kittens has gotten into the store and the little fellows are everywhere.  One of them is falling off the counter by the candles and another one is batting parchment scrolls around on the table.  One has taken up residence in the chairs upstairs and there's another chasing a mouse at Sarah Ann's feet behind the counter.  Good thing she likes cats!

Maharet and Percutio have stopped in to do some shopping and visit with Sarah Ann.  Maharet has been considering a new scrying mirror and I think that today she's made her final choice.  Napoleon has been insisting on the one with the cat frame and I think that's the one she's finally decided on.

Percutio seems a little puzzled about why this plant keeps calling him "Seymour".   (Just a word of caution, please don't feed the plants at Wise Ways)

If you'd like to see more pics of the new Wise Ways, drop into my website,  

**happy dancing**  I'm really excited about the new Wise Ways.  It's everything that I had hoped it would be.  I moved it upstairs to the living room last night where it has pride of place in the center of the room.  Later on next spring (when I have time and the use of both hands) I'll be moving all three houses on Magick Street into one display and re-landscaping them as an actual street.  Until then, I'm quite content to sit in the middle of my living room and happily gaze at my little fantasy world come to life.


  1. It is indeed beautiful, Deb. I have wanted a Brimble's since the first time that they came out. I am resisting right now because I still have a Magnolia and a Harrison in their boxes. You are making it very hard to resist! Great work!

  2. Great project! Love the details!

  3. fabulous ...the colours are wonderful :)

  4. I love it, just fantastic, did you make all the wall and window display bookcases yourself? I need large ones like that for my Dumbledore study , they are great!
    Love the chairs in the relaxation room upstairs too.
    I have this kit and cant wait to turn it into an antique store or chocolatiers not sure which yet!! But mine isnt the laser cut so could take some time :-)
    Kate xx

  5. Marvelous! I love all the books stored in the wall shelf and the researching area.
    I have a similar magic shop, but it doesn't have so much room to decorate :( It's amazing the details one can think of for this kind of theme...
    Congrats on your great work!

  6. It is sooooooooooo beautiful!!!