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Sit a Spell IX

October 22, 2013



Recently a client came with eight chairs, some fresh ideas, and a request for us  to paint these lovelies a pale gray.

Her initial plans were to use a chocolate linen for the custom-made cushion bottoms.  Oh my, that would have been beautiful.  But she opted for a dark gray blend that will wear like steel.  She has grandchildren and glorious  times around her table.  Red wine glasses will be clinked and kool-aid will be spilled.  Her table will be flanked by these chairs for beauty that moves.  I love that.

Her plans include keeping her original dining table in stained wood. 

Take a look at these dining rooms…



Eleish van Breems


Eleish van Breems 

The combination of painted and stained wood…both relaxing and tonic, would you agree?

Good week to you,



Post Scripts

October 16, 2013

The Wide Open Bluegrass festival was definitely one of The Fig’s most memorable events. There are two more things I want to share.

#1 The good news/bad news/I guess really much more-good-than-bad news 

We almost sold out at WOBWe came home with only two pieces of furniture left in our inventory.  October has given us a time to begin again.  Begin-agains are a gift, eh?

#2  A clarification 

If you saw Frankie and I rolling on the sidewalk with laughter late on the last evening of WOB, there is a reason.  Frankie had been out delivering furniture, while I was manning The Fig tent.  I got a call from her while she was also on the elevator phone with a 911 operator. She calmly told me,  I’m going to be late.  I’m stuck in an elevator in the parking deck.

Firemen and policemen came to her rescue.

We literally ran into each other on the sidewalk (Frankie with her free-at-last smile, and me with my thank-God-relief)  When she recounted the story, we could not stand for the laughter.  Granted, we were punch-tired.  But oh, to laugh like a fool.  A laugh like that adds a week to your life, eh?

With thanks for firemen and policemen and begin-agains and fall-down-laughter,



Post P.S.   Here’s a couple of pieces that sold but had not found themselves on the website.


Tall desk chair from Bert’s in Sanford, desk built by The Fig



Live-edge slab console

Good October to you!


October 9, 2013

I was thrilled to receive photos from two young couples that we met at WOB!


Wes & Leigh’s home office

Wes made the desk a few years ago.  And the chairs have found their new home at this desk.  Love the chairs with it!  (I  think I could even learn to sew here:)

oak slab coffee table

Kevin & Malinda’s den

This rug was waiting for a coffee table.  And the oak slab table was waiting for this rug.  (I could relax here even with a screaming to-do list:)

I love how these couples waited for the right pieces.  And how their home spaces reflect that.  There is a certain je ne sais quoi about a room that has been decorated over time.  Maybe it’s the sense of history and time.  Maybe it’s the virtue of patience.  Maybe it’s the admittance, without apology, that I’m a work in progress.  Whatever it is, these kind of spaces are authentic and honest.  They are thoughtful and comfortable and beautiful.

Thanks, guys!

Note to self:  slow is good,


WOB Recap

October 2, 2013


In the shadow of Raleigh’s tallest building, we set up shop at the Wide Open Bluegrass festival.  As you can tell from the reflection in the glass façade, the skies were happy ones.  The blue and cumuli (don’t think I’ve ever used the plural of cumulus before!) of September skies are one of my very favorite things.



Frankie at The Fig’s spot

It was an amazing event.  The vibe and energy and lovely crowd were so enjoyable.  It was well-worth the exhaustion on Sunday!

Have more news to share soon…until then,



Wide Open Bluegrass

September 19, 2013

We have cleared our calendars for  Friday & Saturday, September 27 & 28.  We are excited to be heading to downtown Raleigh for Wide Open Bluegrass.  The Flying Fig will be one of 30 participants in Artsplosure’s Art Market.     

We’ll be part of WOB’s Street Festival.  Two days of music, food, art! 


Yes, this is Steve Martin, Edie Brickell, and the Steep Canyon Rangers.  They, too, will be at Wide Open.

Promise to be in our booth and not stalking them and maybe humming this,


Sizing Up

September 9, 2013

Our little Ollie has grown and grown and grown.  He’s a sweetie whose purr matches his big paws.  And when he decided to ‘splay himself recently, I realized that there should be a size comparison warning: tables with Ollie on them are larger than they appear. 


This asymmetrical oak slab and fabricated metal legs are coming together for a coffee table.  Almost as awesome as the Big O, eh? 

Good September week to you,


Bring on the Pie

September 3, 2013


Last week, a friend came and we spent time picking these apples at The Fig… and picking up where we left off since we last saw each other.

One year ago, today, I posted this.

One-and-a-half years ago, I wrote this about her.

And two years ago, I wrote this:

Sometimes it takes a while to find your way home. Leather artisan Tammy Castro was born and raised and, in her words, ‘misplaced’ on Long Island . She and her family contentedly reside in Raleigh where her suburban home has a lot of cow hides stashed upstairs. She dreams of living on a farm one day and owning a cow (whose hide will be safe)

Two years ago, she was the leather guru for The Fig.  One-and-a-half years ago, she was an official Flying Fig encourager.  And a year ago, she was dear friend and neighbor.


Today, she is still a dear friend, but no longer a neighbor.  Last week, as we picked apples for soon-to-be apple pies, we reflected on life’s changes since the year-ago-pie.  She and her husband and daughter have moved to the country and are restoring an old farmhouseLucky for me, it’s only 10 miles from The Fig:)  

And lucky for her, she’s going to bake me another pie.  Otherwise, I would steal this desk she made from old boards salvaged in their restoration.


That, my friends, is a desk. 

Someone better bake a pie soon,


Finding Home

August 26, 2013



Photo #1  ~ HOME

I was thrilled to receive this photo on my phone.  It is always a treat to hear back from our pieces!   As evidenced in photo #1, this one found a very good home last week! 



Photo #2   ~ BEFORE

This was one of the great pieces that we got from Colonial Corner in Coats.



Photo #3  ~  AFTER

We used a luscious dark gray paint, detailed the drawers, and changed out the hardware.

Makeovers.  What is it with before-and-afters?  For me, they are interesting and inspiring.  Fun and fascinating.  And sometimes, admittedly, the inspiration and fascination are  skin-deep at best. 

Transformations.   Now those strike a deeper-than-cosmetic chord.  They require time.  And thought.  And intentionality.   Less of look better and more of am better.

Rethinking can be powerful.  And I love that our client went home with this piece, thinking it would be for her now-toddler, soon-to-be boy (and one day it may be!) …but it stopped in the entry way and found its new home. 

Rethinking widens possibilities, alters plans.   Game changing.  Which can lead to living true.  Which leads to finding home in your own skin.  And that’s where the a-game is.

Even though it is early in the morning, I think I’ll have another think

Won’t you join me,


Flight Risks

August 21, 2013


012 (3)

at The Fig this past spring

Yesterday, I found myself rushing from one flight risk to another.

After Frankie and I sweated and swatted gnats forever (ok, just a couple of hours),  I visited my mom.  Our visit was relaxed, peaceful.  Punctuated with her wisecracks and wise words.   We’ve come a long way in the last few weeks.  

But lest I forget that we’re adjusting to a new normal, I look only as far as her wrist.  She wears a ‘bracelet’ that alerts the caregivers when she is too close to a building exit.  In my mind, I imagine the  Elvis Emily has left the building announcement and see her smileWhile she has settled in, she would sing that refrain if she could.

While visiting,  a text came in from my son.  The one who moved into a dorm this past weekend.  ‘Rushing home to grab something.  Don’t forget to play my piano-recording on your phone for Grandmother.’

So I played a grandson’s music for his grandmother.  And then I fled home so that I could see  my son as he dashed in, dashed out.  You see, he too is a flight risk. 

Yes, he’ll come back home, and possibly often.  There will be favorite meals and laughter, short visits and longer visits, but there’s been a shift.   He will come home and leave again.

There is no going back.  I know it.  I feel it.  Change has come.  For the grandson and the grandmother. 

And I hear, and ask,  Frodo’s question in The Lord of the Rings. 

How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back?

This is all I know right now.  Turn the corner.  Just turn the corner and walk.   Walk in the grief, but limp in gratefulness.  And   look up at the big sky and observe the birds of the air.  The big sky covers the one whose wings have been clipped and the one who has spread his wings. 

the reluctant flight attendant,



August 15, 2013



The Flying Fig is going to be here.  Let me write that again, The Flying Fig is going to be here.  Maybe repeating it will help me believe it.



Above  is a few of the others who will be there.   We will be in good company, eh?

While they will be on stage, we will be part of the Artsplosure’s  art market.  Again, good company. 

These wigged-out broads are

excited & humbled,

june & frankie