Mission Statement/Values: Our goal is to offer an online shopping experience that is unparalleled in quality and attention to detail, presenting a wide range of tempting treasures that we would cherish in our own homes. We believe that gift-giving and sharing (even the smallest of treasures or a few kind words), is a refreshing way to make the world a gentler place. We treat our customers the way we enjoy being treated ourselves: with personal attention, integrity, fair pricing, memorable presentation . . . and a touch of warmth and friendship.
Ronda Juniper Ray
Painting was a long unfulfilled dream for Ronda until four years ago when she first reached for a brush and took the steps that would guide her into a career as an artist. Up until that point she had pursued a number of artistic passions in music, fabric arts, writing, and restoring old homes. It would be through painting, however, that Ronda finally found the right medium to combine her love of art, nature, antiques and history. From the beginning she was drawn to the beauty of roses, seeking out unique surfaces upon which to apply her beautiful floral bouquets - antique doors, architectural salvage pieces, dressers, beds, vintage dress forms, old shabby chests, headers, and - her most beloved surface - antique windows. Ronda has traveled nationwide visiting antique stores, auctions, flea markets, barns, attics, basements, and even junkyards seeking out just the right surfaces to be her next canvas. Self-taught, studying from both the old masters of floral painting and the classic masters of oil painting, she has built a worldwide following for her stunning and unique works of art.
As many of you know, Ronda finally leapt head-first off the corporate ladder several years ago and moved to rural Port Austin, Michigan, along the shores of Lake Huron, to pursue her passion full time. Having recently relocated back to her original home of Central Ohio, she continues to relish her pursuit of painting full time.
Ronda's husband Jack began dabbling in broken china mosaics last year and has built himself quite a little cottage industry selling his charming pieces. We will from time to time snatch a piece away to feature right here on Our Cottage Garden! Jack notes that anyone who thinks mosaicing is not a very "manly" past time has never spent an evening building up those manly calluses cutting up china plates!
Denise Jeanne Coté
I grew up in Massachusetts in a large family of 7 children. We didn't have too much that was "just ours". Perhaps in response to this lack of distinction, I became a collector. Throughout my life, I was always able to find time to collect. As Public Affairs Director for Palm Beach County, Florida and an Assistant Administrator for Broward County, Florida, never mind that I often worked 13-hour days: a collector finds the time. Over the years, as my knowledge and experience grew, I was inspired to continuously upgrade my collections. It was impossible for me to resist the wealth of unique and charming vintage treasures from local Palm Beach estates. Bursting with collections and inspired by a keen eye for all beautiful things, I recently decided it was time to "discover my bliss", dedicating my passion and expertise to collecting full-time. And sharing many of my fabulous finds through Our Cottage Garden. If, as I do, you truly enjoy the serendipity of discovering delightful new things every day, you've come to the right place!
I LOVE hand painted porcelain!! My Grandmother was a china painter also, so I have feasted my eyes on these kind of treasures since I was a very little girl. I am a Registered Nurse by profession, but am retired now, so after many years of just being able to paint now and then, I am finally able to devote some time to this wonderful art. I am lucky to have studied with some of the finest porcelain artists alive today. My husband is my best friend and main support. Together we raised three wonderful kids and have five grandkids. They are all very supportive of my art endeavors and give me lots of encouragement. We are both enjoying retirement now - hubby golfs, I paint. I especially thank my Lord and Savior, who gave me a little talent and a great love for art. In a million lifetimes I could never begin to capture the wondrous beauty God gives us to enjoy each day. I hope you will enjoy my porcelain art even one-half as much as I've enjoyed painting for you!
Judy Nixon Kent
Although I have been working for almost 20 years in my chosen profession as a clinical laboratory scientist, I have been creative since childhood. I?ve done many different types of arts and crafts, from folk art painting to needlework to basket weaving to rug hooking. I enjoyed them all, but never really stuck with them. Since being introduced to the art of mosaic, however, I finally feel I have found my creative ?voice? as it pulls together several different aspects of my life. I love working with a variety of materials, but find I am most drawn to vintage china and porcelain. As a part time antiques dealer, I am constantly exposed to ?broken beauties? whose life as a cup or dish or figurine has past, but people are hesitant to discard the pieces because they are so lovely. By incorporating these pieces into mosaics, I am able to give them a new life in a different form which I find very gratifying. Working in a hospital, I see many people who are experiencing some sort of ?broken-ness?, either through sickness of the body, or of the mind, or of the spirit. I believe that objects, like people, can be broken, but still beautiful, tattered, but still useful, and are almost never beyond hope. In the right hands, they can still serve a purpose, and sometimes become even greater than they would have been without their catastrophe. This gives me great hope for the future? I hope my work touches something in you as well, even if it is just your funny bone. Each piece is one of a kind as I often use vintage pieces as my base and then mosaic them with a mix of old and new china, glass tiles, stained glass, and even an occasional found object. You just never know what will turn up next!