Late this afternoon, I returned 15 library books that I had checked out for my grandkids for their visit from New Jersey two weeks ago. It seemed a waste of a trip to town just for this one errand, so I pulled into an open parking spot directly across the street from a shop called Twiggy's Treasures. I had learned of the shop from my friend, Jackie, who had stopped by the shop during her stay at my bed and breakfast over MEA (Minnesota Education Association) Weekend. Now how does it happen that an out-of-towner discovers such a fun funky shop with "an eclectic mix of vintage treasures at very affordable prices" (quote from owners' facebook page) before I do? The two owners, who just opened their business on October 5, have created an artsy oasis in downtown Brainerd (Minnesota) on a stretch of street whose neighbors include Coco Moon Coffee Shop, Cat Tales Book Store, The Bead Shop, Between Friends Yarn Shop, and Downtown Art and Frame Company. Their wares are creatively displayed in "rooms" formed by using a sofa, chairs, and various other tables and shelves that hold merchandise but also serve a secondary function of warmth and coziness. One of the owners practices Reiki, which she offers in a corner of the shop. According to the International Center for Reiki Training, Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Thursday evenings, the shop is open for special events. Tonight they were offering wine or cider and snacks with music by Emily Hammer, a singer songwriter guitarist. Just a bit ago, I listened to some of her music on her MySpace Page. Oh, I do wish I had braved the cold temps in the low 30s tonight to listen to her perform. I got too comfortable curled up in my flannel pjs and by the time I realized what I was missing... it was too late. Take a listen... http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=181422081
I came away with this old but well-preserved lap quilt sewn in cheerful bright colors and a bonus of polished stones. The stones are "gratitude stones" for placing a monetary donation in a jar to be used for women in need. The shop's owner recently organized an event that raised $50,000.00 for the cause, which was matched dollar for dollar by the Brehmer Foundation in Brainerd. The donation jar is to add to the fund.