Our Obsession With Chalkboards

This is the logo we created with the help of my talented, computer animator, brother!  The silver frame around the chalkboard is part of our story.

Logo

You see, when my husband and I owned Jahva House, this hung on the wall over the counter.

DSC_0054

The board was covered with coffee drinks and prices.  It was eclectic just like our coffee shop.  Our coffee station was an old secretary that we had painted green and it was full of sugars, stirrers, lids and half and half.  It sat right next to the stone fire place.

Another chalkboard hung by the front door and it always held a proverb of the day.  The walls were full of original artwork.

The floors were 200 year old wood and were a bit wonky just like our three story store.  The tables all had a different picture painted on them.  They were done by local high school students and the chairs were an eggplant purple color.  Tunes like Morcheeba, Rusted Root and Marley played throughout the day.  Many times we had a barista with dreads to the middle of their back or an artist like David Sitek who was making a few extra bucks to pursue his passion.  Up the stairwell, one of our talented employees had painted a textured fire mural up the wall.  The second floor always smelled of roasted red peppers, garlic and onions.  You could also get a sniffter of fresh lemon that was used in the homemade hummus.  Our vegetarian menu kept the shop filled with fresh flavors!  On the third floor, customers with kids could retreat.  Their kids could play with toys while the parents relaxed on the white leather couch.  They could also shop.  Chris Ann’s vintage boutique was dispersed throughout the three floors.  I remember a black globe, an over sized cut glass mirror, a hand painted red tray.  We were living Fancy Friday out.

Jahva House

Every Wednesday night, there would be a line halfway down the block.  Some nights there were police stationed at the door.  It was Open Mic night after all.  Open Mic took on a life of it’s own.  Our customers made it their own.  They began to organize the lists, advertise the night and pack the house.  A few great musicians, (like Ellen Cherry, We’re About 9 and IlyAIMY (journaling here about Jahva House) just getting started, rolled through there.  Fridays and Saturdays you could come and sip your mocha and order a Bella Donna and listen to live music.  Sunday nights, you could come and join a group called XScape and explore all matters of faith.  You’d find Buddhists, atheists, Christians and wiccans discussing why they believed what they believed.  This night was hosted by Todd, Chris Ann’s husband.

When we sold the coffee shop, most of it remained…but, this chalkboard came with us.  It represented so much.

A couple of years later, Devon and I sold all that we had, including our house.  We were headed off to travel the world with our four kids.  I went over to Chris Ann’s.  She was packing up her boxes to move back to Minnesota.  Our houses sold within a month of each other.  I gave her this chalkboard.

sept2006012

And like the tea set, she cried.  She knew what it represented.  It represented a part of our journey.

DSC_0144

The journey that took a risk to open a coffee shop on a dream and a dime (literally…but, I’ll share more about that later).  A journey that allowed us all to meet amazing people and have incredible conversations.  A journey about faith.  A journey that afforded us an outlet to explore music, art and things that just made us happy.  A journey that always had good food and coffee at it’s center.  A journey of friendship.

That’s why, good friends, the chalkboard is still a part of our journey!

I made one this week for a friend.  I found a vintage mirror at a thrift store.  I wiped it clean and took it a part.

DSC_0125

Then I flipped the mirror over and primed it and the frame.  I let them dry for an hour.

DSC_0127

DSC_0129

DSC_0130

Then I sprayed silver paint on the frame.

DSC_0131

Followed with a spray of black chalkboard paint.

DSC_0133

DSC_0132

After another hour, I did this step again.  I put it together and gave it a few special touches.

DSC_0152

DSC_0153

This gift went with me to Virginia.  It stood in line with me for 3 hours.

DSC_0159

Just to give it to her.

DSC_0169

DSC_0174

Pioneer Woman and chalkboard

She had inspired us to continue on this journey and we just wanted to thank her.

DSC_0172

So, thank you Ree for following your passions and for allowing us to join you every day at your Table.  We hope this chalkboard brings you good conversations, inspiration, great food (and coffee) and friendship!

~Kristin and Chris Ann

Join the Conversation!

  1. Yeah – Chris Ann said you had something awesome
    in the works … love this post, getting a glimpse of
    the memories you’ve shared & help make for others
    and all that is being done in & through you with your
    generosity, compassion and flair for fun! Hooray!!

  2. I love the story behind the frame – and I’m sure Ree is going to love having it and making her own memories.

  3. Kristin, I wish our Main Street experiences would have overlapped. It would have been fun to see that side of the town’s personality.

  4. I love chalkboards, too! Especially custom made! I really like the quote by Kevin Carroll, too. Great post!

  5. This is a sweet story. But I honestly don’t get the Pioneer Woman thing at all. GREG

  6. what a great gift for Ree! I’m sure she loved it!

  7. Oh wow! What a wonderful story and a beautiful gift :)
    Just lovely.

  8. This post made me tear up.

    Plus, I want to hear lots more about that coffee shop.

  9. Laura, we promise more in the future!

  10. I LOVE IT!!!!!

    Reading this, made me realize I know very little of your story. I’ll have to start at the beginning… but I so, wish I could hear it sitting at your table!

    Have a great weekend!

  11. Love that you gave it to Ree!!! She is amazing (and you guys are too). I’m making two of her cowgirl recipes this weekend for a girlie get together, can’t wait!

  12. Yay – I hope she hangs it smack dab in the right place in her home and thinks of you!

    You girls R O C K!

    Love you much! Happy Mom’s Day!

    (I linked to you today!)

  13. Kristin says:

    Sandy,
    Thank you!!! We saw it!
    ~kristin and chris ann

Trackbacks

  1. [...] remember our obsession with chalkboards, right?  Well, the chalkboard is a symbol of our journey of friendship here at LoveFeast Table.  [...]

  2. [...] the years at the table using recipes created during the time Kristin and her husband Devon owned a cafe in Old Ellicott City, Maryland.  We soon learned that blogging would be a good place to start to create a good platform [...]

  3. [...] we have a thing for chalkboards…and great architecture, this took our breath away!  Perfect compromise if you have a builder [...]

  4. [...] meal.  We looked at font after font that captured our feel and Kristin sketched it out.  We put a frame around it, because it was part of our story, and created our original [...]

  5. [...] Ann and I have a thing for frames around here. That love affair began with this frame that use to hang over our counter at Jahva [...]

  6. [...] found in the attic of the centuries-old historic building that was home to their coffee shop, Jahva House in historic Ellicott City, MD.  There were two.  One served as the table all the time and the [...]

  7. [...] blogger at our BlogLove Event in January!  Within minutes, she said, “Did you use to own a coffee shop in Ellicott City?” “Yes”, I responded.  She said, “I worked for you and [...]

  8. [...] anything stand in the way of making it happen.  My uncle was our business manager when we opened Jahva House.  He helped us write a business plan, think through the finances and marketing and was a wealth of [...]

  9. [...] recipe was created with the same spirit we brought to the kitchen at Jahva House….it’s a bit out of the box. But, I promise, one bite, will leave you wanting [...]

  10. [...] They decided, “This BlogLove is the perfect event to taste test beans and let our guests choose a LoveFeast Espresso!” (‘Cause we had plans…plans to sell coffee and espresso, because it’s soooo a part of our story!) [...]

  11. [...] in their community, in Northern Ireland, is to open a Cafe. Since my husband and I owned Jahva House, we have always had a heart to help others open their own. We are firm believers that whole [...]

  12. [...] we owned Jahva House, we also did mad catering. I think we kind of burned out, but having taken a number of years off, [...]

  13. [...] we are those kind of parents. We let our teens drink coffee. Seeing as we used to own a coffee shop and spent over 7 years in the coffee industry, it’s kind of a culture in our home. Coffee [...]

  14. [...] hard really.  I finally landed on the Mocha Brownie recipe…’cause I have a thing for coffee.  My husband and I once owned a coffee shop for the sheer fact we would be able to support our [...]

  15. [...] chicken Caesar salad recipe will give you a taster of what we served! This recipe goes back to our coffee shop days. It is a favorite at our Table and we make it often when we want to give our guests a fresh twist [...]

  16. [...] life experiences have spanned from owning a coffee shop, to being an artist, to traveling the world in service, to raising artists, to envisioning [...]

  17. [...] to help friends of ours start the process of opening a cafe. Ever since we closed the doors on Jahva House almost 10 years ago, we have dreamed of helping others open their own coffee shops. Needless to [...]

  18. [...] She writes hers on the chalkboard I gave her before our family left the country. It use to hang over the counter at our coffee shop, Jahva House. I love that it hangs in her house. I love that a piece that [...]

  19. [...] board I’m on the hunt for:  old cake stands, maps, suitcases, and globes and as always chalkboards. Check out LoveFeast Shop for Texas Marquee Lights or Star Marquee Lights ~ perfect celebration [...]

Join the Conversation!

*