Birthday card for my sister. The only sibling out of five that still goes to church. Fortunately, since we are apparently made in his likeness, he has a sense of humor. #disfunctionalcatholics I mean, how can he think this is not funny?


RIP Daniel Johnston. This sunset was in Villas NJ the other day.

rando pics of the shop and sun and moon crystals. I’ll be stringing up the stars soon. (Yes, they are Swarovski and the are petite and pretty)

some of my dia de muertos collection

This is the kitchen art I bought from local Pittsburgh artist Ryan Numair. You can catch his work at deadofnightart.com


Good stuff!

When I find something I really like, be it another shop or a good piece of truffle cheese or an artist, I find the need to share.  Especially if it is in the Pittsburgh  area.

Let me start from the beginning. Wayyy back in 1985 when we lived in Baltimore, Cape May became a destination we enjoyed going to as a day trip.  

Back when we didn’t have two pennies to rub together, we would jump in the car early Saturday or Sunday morning (no kids, full time jobs) and get there in time to get the prime parking by the sea and pump quarters in the meter by the hour. By mid-afternoon we would hit up the fifty cent weenie wagon for lunch and when we ran out of quarters, we would pack up and drive back to the city.

Before leaving we would sometimes walk through the open shopping mall. On one of these walks I found a really cool shop called Trade Winds.  Inside of this shop I discovered these awesome little skeletons that were hand made.  (This was before “the google”and social media and also well before the presence of sugar skull kits in the big chain craft stores you see now).  These little guys were representing the Catholic Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. I immediately fell in love with these figurines and bought one and that started a small collection. I would buy one every time we went there. I felt as if I had discovered something I wanted to share.

When I opened The Stillroom in 2002, I actually managed to find the family in Mexico that made these awesome little figurines. These little pieces depicted pretty much everyday life.  (I will follow up with some pictures of some of my collection). This happened after I tried to make them and let me say it was an epic fail.

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately the only people that recognized these awesome little figurines were a couple of local Spanish teachers.  We soon realized that we needed to create little tags that went with each figurine explaining what Dia de Muertos is. It really is a very special holiday to me.

This year Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) will fall on Thursday, October 31 and end on Saturday, November 2nd.  These are the days that small home alters will be created to remember our deceased loved ones and I can’t think of a better way to do this than to buy a terrific piece of artwork from Ryan Numair right here in Pittsburgh!  Here is what you should know about The Day of the Dead.  It is not the same as Halloween, it originated in Mexico and Central America, it is a celebration of life, not death, the alter is the central part of the celebration and flowers, butterflies and skulls are symbols used to decorate. (yes, I got that off of the internet).

Oh dear, I guess this is about me!


This brings me to a local Pittsburgh artist named Ryan Numair.  His artwork depicting this holiday is stellar.  To find Ryan’s art, please go to

deadofnightart.com /   to contact-deadofnigt.art@gmail.com / @deadofnightart

After a few email exchanges, I discovered that Ryan and I had a common love of Grateful Dead and Phish. It is fun when a retired senior citizen can connect with someone young enough to be a grandchild through music.

I will post some random pics my collection and of the really lovely piece of art that I purchased from Ryan recently for my kitchen. It reminded me of my husband Mike and me in our Baltimore days as newly weds and how we would cook together after we both got home from work.

Mike says now I just basically elbow him to get out of my way. lol

Ahhh, love.


Looking Claire Burke Original spray? I love this heady and aromatic fragrance. Always available at the shop! Plus the adorbs sleeping girl with goblins and fairies keeping watch. A small, festive Halloween decoration. (Made in USA)