Our Gift Shop
The Castle La Crosse Gift Shop is a wonderful addition to our home. Our guests have been asking for the opportunity to take home something special from the Castle to remind them of their stay here. What better way than through a Gift Shop!
The Gift Shop is located in a large glassed-in section off of the Library. Originally a porch on the first and second floors that also included the balcony on the third floor, the Gift Shop is large and spacious. We have photos of this part of the house from the historical era. It is fascinating to see that, years ago, that same second floor porch was enclosed to make the marble bath for the Master Bedroom. The ground floor portion of the porch contained the wicker furniture Victorian homes seemed to require at the time, and was enclosed with windows allowing plants to grow thick and beautiful.
Recently, we added glass shelves over those same windows and we now have an ever-increasing variety of quality gift items and artwork available for our guests.
At Castle La Crosse, we are proud to showcase artwork from a variety of our fine local artists. Paintings by Shawna Johnson have just arrived; see her work at The Abstract Pallet on Facebook.
Colleen Shively, who we met at the local farmers market, also has some fine examples of her pottery on display. Her work is both simple and elegant and her glazes invite you to touch. The pieces she makes are practical and will not be sitting idly on shelves. Examples include small bowls, wine chillers, ring holders, and a wonderful cell phone holder that makes your phone into a speaker! Check out Colleen on Facebook at Colleen's Clay Works.
We love the exotic scents that permeate our Gift Shop now that candles from Foolishly Inspired have filled a shelf or two. Mulled Cider, Citrus & Sage, Oatmeal Stout, and Laundry Day are just a few of the scents available. Katy Lou Fawcett has repurposed wine bottles, cut and polished them, and then filled each design with slow burning wax and fragrance. The results are not only lovely, but the scents are just heavenly!
Castle La Crosse is also excited and proud to showcase a line of furniture paint at our Gift Shop that is especially unique, catering to the creative side of this Midwestern region. When I first tried the paint myself, I fell head over heals for it! FrenChic paint hearkens from the UK; it's a chalk-based paint with a wax additive that spreads creamy and rich with superior coverage. Using FrenChic, I've painted a few of the chairs that are now in the guest suites at the Castle and I found it extremely easy to work with. And the best part: it has virtually no smell - which is really important when you are painting indoors!
A few more painting projects are planned for the Castle including a huge pergola from Mexico that now resides in the side yard. This Spring will see that pergola painted in the Fresco Outdoor Line. Check out the FrenChic Fan Forum on Facebook showcasing dozens of project photos with before and after results. Their full line is growing and we have a good supply on hand at Castle La Crosse. Soon, our guests will be able to take a painting class as part of their weekend stay.
Next Phase: A Classroom!
We are in the process of building a classroom in the basement in the old servants hall. It's a good space to hold a class for a few guests. Each person will be able to paint a small piece and get the feel of the paint. When I think of a word to summarize the paint, the word 'luxurious' comes to mind. Take a class and see for yourself! The colors are varied, special, and easy to blend. In the class, when completing your own project, you can decide whether to leave the finish buff and bring out the wax sheen, or just leave it at a semi-matte finish. Either way, you will love the result. You can see the full line at www.FrenChicPaint.co.uk
Ready to stay with us? Wanting to take a painting class? Check out our rooms now and reserve one for your visit!
Take care, all, and safe travels.