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Supporting small business Back home,David almost left town with this 1976 F250. (it was parked in front of my sister & BILs boot store- one of the rotation of store mascots)Crowes Boot & Shoe is tucked into a former 1920s Buick-turned-tractor-dealership in the southern Illinois town of Carlinville (Pop.6000).A half dozen years ago, my little sister Holly & her husband Adam bought three storefront windows, and the adjoining 1800s shop/ building (rent it out) and another historic brick building behind them known as the combine shedTheyve repurposed it all to a dream small business of Main Street Americana.They are Mom & pop shop, proudly stocking 30 brands of everything that the locals cant get Walmart (the Goliath that has shuttered every small shoe store in town)Their whole brick compound sits right on Main Street- where they keep the local trade workers outfitted in boots for :Carpenters.Lineman. Mechanics.Arborists.Contractors & more (These have been the trades of my family for generations, whove stayed loyal to life in rural Illinois).They also stock boots for the rest of us (My favorite @DannerBoots and Davids daily @RedwingShoes came from Crowes.)Its long been said that when you support a small home town business, you arent helping a CEO buy his 4th beach vacation house. Youre helping to paying for piano lessons & little league jerseys. For mortgages & college funds. Its true. Heres to the small shops – like my sisters – that keep us outfitted.And to continuing our support of them all the days after the holidays- when they need it most. -They appreciate their supporters, and shoot portraits of many their hometown regulars (scroll to meet some of them) #shopsmall #crowebootandshoeco

Early Christmas present!!(Sneak peek!!)Weve always wanted a cedar barrel sauna – the kind that can fit four guests and use all year. And now Its almost finished! (First pic from the doorway – it overlooks the lake- second pic shows its current perch near the Hillhouse )Our fav part:The full smoked amber dome on the side end to frame the view overlooking camp (and the lake in the distance)Just in time to use this (blizzard) winter.Now the fun part: shopping to outfit it with accessories & gear.What are we missing??Towels Those weird retro hatsRadioAromatherapy dish Suana kit (ladle & bucket )Thermometer ???Cant wait to break it in & share!!!We havent decided its final forever spot on the grounds, but luckily we dont have to (its under 1k lbs so we can just move it around with the tractor).

This is for all my fellow holiday crafters.So were knee-deep revamping the new craft selections in our C.C,C. (Camp Craft Cabin) And its got me thinking about seasonal versions – so I started digging back into favorite holiday craft projects Ive done for camp in Christmass past:So to kick it off early, sharing this Camp Holiday Edition some of my favorites that were made on assignment or in partnership with brands and magazines that we love: @Anthropologie @Better homes and gardens @Sweet Paul, Flea Market Style Magazine, Glossed & Found HERE:No.1: Custom local syrup (signed & numbered bottles wrapped in local prohibition era newspaper).No.2: Collab with @Anthropologie – mens holiday gift box candle.No.3: Custom PBN Holiday wrapping paper for a mag story .No.4: Evergreen tablescape for flea Market style mag.No.5: Graphite lllustration of my favorite hometown Victorian a for holiday card .No.6: Drawing / leaf decor craft project for Sweet Paul magazine.No.7: PBN Stationary design commission for press feature.No.8: New Years cocktail recipe for a Glossed & Found feature .No.9: Packaging for Maple syrup year II ( in custom wooden crates with recipes books).No.10: Christmas cards (printed felt lined wooden shields, wool liners). We are endlessly inspired by the friends who are makers – and makers whove become friends. One of my new years resolutions is to take the time to make more of the little handmade things. The hand crafted things. Its all part of ongoing research to bring these opportunities to our guests in seasons to come.More to come !

A blizzard is coming.So we are wrapping this up just in the nick of time -Welcome to our new little RANGER STATION. AKA: our new groundskeepers mobile HQ Weve been asked more than once what this little building is thats parked ij the back acres at our trail head – this is the best way we know how to describe it:Imagine a mobile 1940s National Park Ranger Station (meets Wes Moonrise set) to haul, hold, & hide camps machines/gear that help keep this place runningItll also serve a few other duties:hikers trails way finding stationcamp counselor hang out grounds bulletin board We are finishing outfitting then inside & stocking it up- (looking for vintage gear lockers still) but for now its in winter hibernation, keeping our camp gear safe from this blizzard that we read is on the way. During the high season, we can pull it from location to location, to meet the needs of our never-ending project list. While its registered and licensed, were not planning any road trips : )

Early Christmas present!! We just got word that our episode of @MagnoliaNetwork’s new show “Bespoke Inns is going to air to help kick off the series!this Friday on @DiscoveryPlus #bespokeinns #magnolianetwork * BTS pics here shared with us from the folks at @credononfiction – they worked their tails off creating the whole season and series Gratitude to the amazing crew:@jesseroesler @misterberndt@jonnrobinet @mr_rubber_burner

THE LIST is out(Were still trying to get into these two rentals)1. @anawayplace 2. @nordlyslodgingco Not giving up!There are a couple FLWrights on the list that weve been able to book & recco you snag if you can!Seth Peterson cottage Still Bend, Two RiversEXCERPT: This spot in Elkhorn, also known as Wandawega Lake Resort,warns visitors that they are “not a proper resort by a long shot. Abrochure, the Manifesto of Low Expectations, prepares guests for what they might encounter, from toads and spiders in the camp showers to windows that stick and doors that dont lock.But those are all part of the experience at this historic property that has been everything from a speakeasy and brothel to a lake resort and a Catholic summer camp.Wife-and-husband team Tereasa Surratt and David Hernandez bought the property in 2003 and began to lovingly restore it to the camp Hernandez had attended as a kid. Both have creative backgrounds in advertising agencies and brought their design sense and passion for preservation (Hernandez also sits on the board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust) to the property, peppering it with flea market finds that add to the charm.Today the camp features cabins, tents, A-frames and even a treehouse filled with vintage furnishings from a bed frames to old tennis rackets. Outside, guests can enjoy camp activities from archery, hatchet throwing and shuffleboard to bicycling, boating (in a vintage rowboat, of course) and bonfires.While the idea of the camp is to get away from everything there are no TVs or WiFi the property is an Instagrammers paradise and has garnered coverage from Conde Nast Traveler, the Today Show even a short video series from Reese Witherspoons Hello Sunshine media empire.The property is primarily rented out for all-camp events (weddings, retreats, etc.), but there are occasionally openings for people to rent individual units or clusters on Airbnb. The owners admit the prices are steep for the rustic accommodations some of which have shared showers but the money goes toward the ongoing renovation of the property thats on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo creds in tags

Weve had to keep this a secret since summer – so were excited they are letting us announce it!We filmed a feature episode with @MagnoliaNetwork for their new show called BESPOKE INNSThe series premise is a creative inspiration:The owners and innkeepers behind America’s most enchanting boutique inns share the stories behind their properties’ creation, renovation and designThe trailer just went live yesterday >>scroll here>>The show will start streaming on @DiscoveryPlus. It airs this Friday, Dec 23rd, with new episodes of other properties airing every Friday through Feb 3rd. The amazing production crew : @jesseroesler @misterberndt@jonnrobinet @mrrubberburner @credononfiction Were by far the least fancy of the inns featured in this series. When we watched the trailer, the thing we couldnt shake was how we could have ever made the cut to be in the company of all of these fancy places..And also for including cameos of those who have played a roll here in different phases of our 18 year journey.We’re so grateful for all the different team members whove passed through here over the years,whose contributions will remain in the buildings, spaces & rooms theyve helped us bring to life during their stay with us. So were thrilled that this episode includes a few of those staffers from prior Camp seasons as well as many of our family, friends, neighbors (and of course Charlie & Frankie!)This feature episode marks many new beginnings for us. 2023 is a year of fresh starts. For the past 18 years, every few years we hit the reset button as we look for ways to continue our growth & ambitions. As part of our latest efforts, were excited to welcome new team members who bring an abundance of enthusiasm to be part of camps mission, purpose, vision, and future. The optimism and positive energy theyre already bringing to all of ournew creative projects have been contagious.Wereso looking forward to introducing the new amenities, products, spaces, partnerships & programming.More to come.Your Camp Directors,Tereasa & David#BespokeInns #MagnoliaNetwork