Children learn what they see everyday. Think back and you’ll probably remember at least one thing that hung on the wall of your childhood room.  Whether is was a fanciful picture, a favorite character, a religious image, those images stick with us. 

As children grow older, they learn to read and pictures with words suddenly have meaning — a reminder to be polite, a phrase of encouragement or a wish — seeing it on your wall helps anchor the message in a young mind.  We call it subliminal parenting

We are very pleased to have a large selection of message signs for every age group.  The signs you hang in a nursery may well remain there for the duration of a childhood, or even leave home to take up residence in a college dorm room. One of our favorites is a quote from Winnie the Pooh – “Promise me you’ll always remember you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”  That one is a keeper because the message really applies to everyone of every age.


Even the youngest children enjoy looking at words even if they can’t read them yet.  But with a little help from mom, dad or an older sibling, these words take on meaning and will be memorized.  “No whining” is a directive all toddlers understand even if they don’t readily comply!  Having the words hanging on the wall of their room re-enforces the message.  “You have two hands, one for helping yourself, the second of helping others” is a wonderful message preschoolers understand.

The world opens up for children entering school and they will learn many lessons about getting along with others.  Many of our subliminal parenting signs reflect cooperation and messages of encouragement.  “Be respectful to teachers” reads the Rules for Boys and Rules for Girls signs, along with  “Be kind to someone no one else is kind to. ”   Inevitably kids make mistakes  “Don’t Look Back, it’s not where you’re going” offers a positive, uplifting perspective while “Get over it!” is a reality check we should all embrace.


Messages for older kids can be more sophisticated and philosophical. From a list of family rules to “get along . . . take turns . . . have patience” to pointers on how to treat others, even simple one phrase signs can have an impact.  “Pick Your Battles” is a lesson we can all learn. 

Great inspirational sayings take on new meaning for children as they grow older.  “Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else” is a great Vince Lombardi quote.  For kids who may face learning challenges, “Different but not less” is a timeless quote from Dr. Temple Grandin, a world renowned writer and animal scientist with autism. 


Tweens are special creatures who dwell in the trying years between childhood and full-fledged teenager.  Our subliminal parenting signs for this age group includes sayings that seem designed just for them.  Middle school tweens strive to fit in, but as we all know even conformists can be singled out for being different. “Life’s too short to stay angry” is a message for all of us.  Signs for tweens emphasize messages to believe in themselves, develop character and stand strong.   “Life doesn’t have to be Perfect to be Wonderful” is one of our favorites.  


Teenagers in high school and college may ignore advise from adults, but they still need gentle guidance about life, goals and relationships. Our selection of subliminal parenting signs for young adults may be direct and to the point, but they also offer soothing sentiments for young people figuring out their way in life. “Never let the odds keep you from what you know in your heart you were truly meant to do.” 

For college students, the gift of a special sign from CMP can have a prominent place in a dorm room or apartment.  Let them carry words from home in their hearts and along on their journeys.  Most of these motivational sayings have meaning to all of us.  “LIfe isn’t about surviving the storm but learning to dance in the rain.” 

A unique sign from Country Marketplace can be a special gift that truly keeps giving for many years to come.  Share timeless lessons — of caring, giving, honesty, and love — passed down from one generation to the next. “Be the change you wish in the world” is a message every child should take with them into the world. 





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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Beauty, Mystery, Romance and Function – The Rolltop Desk

Beauty, Mystery, Romance and Function – The Rolltop Desk


Before the classic, mass-produced roll top desk became the mainstay of the 19th century office setting, cylinder desks containing secret compartments, introduced during the 1700s, were the rage of the French court. The most famous cylinder desk, commissioned in 1760 by King Louis XV,  took nine years to complete. Known as the ‘Bureau du Roi’  the opulent desk featured intricate marquetry, gilt-bronze molding, statuettes, miniature busts and vases. But the cylinder desk had its drawbacks.  The top, formed from a single piece of wood, tended to warp and only the very wealthy could afford one.

In 1850, the U.S. Patent Office issued a patent to Abner Cutler of Buffalo, New York for the first American-made rolltop desk.  Building on the functional features of the kingly cylinder desk — multiple drawers, slots, and pigeon holes, Cutler’s desk featured a slated rolltop ( or tambour door) known both as a waterfall-style or curtain top.  Abner’s company manufactured sturdy, massive decks that filled offices everywhere through the end of the Victorian age. Keeping things tidy and proper by closing the cover was beneficial, but there was (and still is) an aura of mystery about all those secret drawers and cubbies. Leave it to the Victorians to be both practical and proper while maintaining a mysterious allure.

DID YOU KNOW?  The curved slots on the sides of the top were added for letter delivery when the desk was closed and locked? The side slots were also used to slide letters out to drop into a Out basket that would be picked  at regular intervals by office staff.


The 1897 Sears-Roebuck catalog featured a “curtain top” desk in three sizes.  The largest at five-foot long was priced at $20.  Five years later, the catalog offered six different models along with additional high top sections. 

Stately rolltops flourished through the turn of the 20th century until the sleek lines of Art Deco and Art Nouveau became fashionable in the 1920s. As more women entered the workforce as secretaries, offices changed and the era the masculine roll top was over.  Not only were they heavy to move around, modern office girls handled a greater volume of work and saving time was important.  Opening and shutting little drawers and re-folding letters to place them on slotted shelves was counter productive.

Lighter, metal desks that could be arranged easier in an office became more popular, but the romance and functional elegance of the roll top remained alive.  These beautifully crafted pieces of sold-wood furniture were passed down in families as treasured antiques.  Rolltops became popular finds for antique dealers, and the image of the roll top has been a part of popular culture for the past one hundred years in film, theatre and later television. American artist Normal Rockwell’s captured roll tops in three famous illustrations of family doctors, each sitting in front of his desk consulting with patients. 


Today’s roll top desks combine the best of traditional design and craftsmanship with modern elements for computer adaptation, cable access, and hanging file drawers.Country Marketplace offers carefully crafted classic 19th-century styling roll top desks featuring sturdy dovetail construction and beautiful side paneling.  Desks can be shipped almost anywhere directly to your home or office.

Both the 54” Deluxe Executive  and 54” Executive comes in three stains – Harvest Oak, Antique Glazed and Rich Dark Cherry.  Each model features 17 drawers to organize your office, two deep file drawers with heavy duty metal extension glides, locking file drawers, solid oak/birch tambour with full canvas underneath, tambour locks, two writing tablets; and seven letter slots to organize your stuff. An under shelf can be used for your printer, scanner or just for extra storage.


The Student pedestal roll top desk is 42″ wide and features: a deep file drawer with lock, heavy duty extension glides; solid oak tambour with full canvas underneath; locking tambour; writing tablet; and seven drawers.  Three finishes are available including Harvest Oak, Antique Glazed and Rich Dark Cherry.

Designed for small spaces, the 32” Mini-roll top desk features a solid oak tambour with lock, felt lined center drawer with pencil tray organizer, envelope slots, and four cute little drawers for small items.  Your laptop will fit the space surface desk space perfectly. The mini is available in  Harvest Oak, Antique Glazed and Rich Dark Cherry.

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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Uncategorized


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You Are My Sunshine by Kasey Carney


‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.’

How can a song with simple, endearing words and a pleasant melody evoke such strong memories? In a magical second, you can almost hear the familiar voice of a parent or grandparent singing the song to you. You Are My Sunshine, first recorded during the Great Depression in 1939 by the Pine Ridge Boys, is an American classic. The song grew in popularity nationwide when Bing Crosby and Gene Autry recorded it in 1941. The song has been covered over the years by famous singers including Ray CharlesJohnny Cash, and a six year old  Donny Osmond.  More recent versions include one by children’s’ entertainer Elizabeth Mitchell, actor/singer Will Smith, and television versions for episodes of The Simpsons and Sons of Anarchy. There are other versions shared on YouTube including a senior couple and an adorable baby. Of course, YouTube has even more versions of Sunshine from people of all ages. Sunshine is even the Louisiana State Song! What’s your favorite version?  Let us know at

 ‘You make it happy when skies are gray.’

When I’m at the store and see someone gazing at the array of our ‘Sunshine’ wooden signs, I often get a glimpse into how much the song means. Everyone has a personal connection. Sometimes they sing softly to themselves, some have tears in their eyes, and others stand there with a big smile. Each time anyone buys a Sunshine sign, I smile too, knowing they’re remembering wonderful moments and creating new memories.

‘You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.’

Recently, a young woman dropped by the store to choose her Sunshine sign. She explained that she was a URMS black framelittle girl when her mother passed away. Her grandmother used to sing the Sunshine song to her and tell her stories about her mom.  She said being at Country Marketplace and seeing the sign reminded her of the two important women in her life. I was so touched she shared her story with me.


The words are seemingly simple– but they’re not. The lyrics are splendid and very  powerful. They complement the music so well that it creates a harmonious effect. In an instant, our senses are awakened because our memories radiate sight &  sound.  It’s an orchestration: magical word choice meets extraordinary word  placement meets wonderful music. For example: inserting the word ‘please’ in the  final lines. It is a loving appeal…a plea to keep the love everlasting. The song  accomplishes this for so many of us. Whether it’s cerebral, emotional, or  something else– the moment is very special. It may bring a smile or a tear.   When it happens, it can also feel like a soft, warm hug.

‘Please don’t take my sunshine away.’

A soft-spoken, good-natured cotton mill worker named Oliver Hood of LaGrange, Georgia is said to have written Sunshine in the early 1930s.  Without any formal education, he was a master of the mandolin, a popular music teacher, an a local radio show host. His front porch was a favorite gathering place for local musicians every Sunday afternoon and he wrote hundreds of songs. According to family members, he wrote Sunshine on the back of a brown paper sack and sang it for the first time through a megaphone out a hotel window in 1933 at a VFW convention.  He sang twenty verses of Sunshine that day. Oliver never thought to copyright his song and lost his chance at fame and fortune.  In 1957 he wrote another song “Somebody Stole My Sunshine Away” at the urging of his sons.  The song was set to be recorded in 1959 by a country western band, but a suspicious Oliver refused to sign the contract.  Sadly he passed away before his sequel to Sunshine was recorded. The lyrics of  “You Are My Sunshine”  remind me how powerful words can be, flooding us with emotion whether printed on a page, an email, a text, or printed on a wooden sign.  You Are My Sunshine is that unique combination of words and music that has a special place in everyone’s heart. Do you have a You Are My Sunshine story? Or a song that forever plays in your heart? Would you share it with us?  (  

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Posted by on January 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Image  Image

People have loved decorating their spaces for the past 40,000 years, give or take.  The first cave artists who adorned their interior walls with painted figures quickly moved on to carving delicate figurines from bone, stone and clay. From there, they began decorating outdoors on a mega scale. Think giant rock carvings and Stonehenge.

Evidence suggests pre-historic humans started their own decorating trends too. It is quite easy to imagine new artistic ideas moving from clan to clan.  Keeping up with the Paleoliths, so to speak. You might say it is our human nature to decorate as a means of communicating with others.  “This is who I am.”


WHO? HOO-HOO!  Much like our prehistoric ancestors, we like animal figures and objects from nature. Owls are very popular this year and Country Marketplace has a terrific selection of owlish ornaments of various shapes and sizes to adorn your holiday tree. Or to decorate your home year-round with the traditional symbol of wisdom. Choose from owls constructed of real feathers to delicate glass ornaments. Start a collection.



TREASURES FROM THE SEA  Objects from the sea make wonderful ornaments for ocean or beach themed holiday displays. Natural, colorful, shimmery – our great selection of beach and coastal ornaments will festoon and ‘Under the Sea’ tree or decorate your mantle, shelves and tables. This year Country Marketplace is very pleased to offer exclusive Starfish Trees and One-of-a-Kind Driftwood Signs crafted by a Cape Cod artisan. Have a custom sign constructed with your family name, town or zip code. What an excellent gift idea for anyone for loves the beach and seashore. Don’t forget we have a great selection of wooden beach and lake signs with many sayings in lovely colors and fonts.


FAVORITE SPORT OR ATHLETE?  Take you pick of sports-related ornaments. Sturdy, well-crafted emblems and figures can be personalized for your favorite athlete or sports enthusiast of all ages. A great gift idea for a coach, teammates and your special sports star!


FIRSTS AND FAVORITES  Your choice of ornaments tells the story of who you are.  A holiday tree can be a family history.  ‘First’ ornaments made wonderful mementos.  Engagement, first home, expecting moms, new baby ornaments can all be personalized at Country Marketplace. Have a special interest that defines who you are? You’ll find a huge selection of specialty themed ornaments for occupations and hobbies.


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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Sign of the Week: Anniversary Special

‘Tis the season for flowers blooming, love in the air – and lots of weddings! Which in turn means future wedding anniversaries, which of course means stressing over the perfect gift each year. We all know those special traditional anniversary gifts – like silver for the 25th, gold for the 50th, and diamond for the 75th, but did you know there’s actually year-by-year traditional anniversary gifts? We didn’t either, until Mike came into our store last week looking for gift for his wife made of wood. He certainly came to the right place, but we were curious why his gift had to be wood. He taught us that wood is the traditional gift for the 5th wedding anniversary. Who knew?

This information piqued our curiosity as to what the other traditional anniversary gifts were. It turns out that there is a “traditional” version of the list, as well as a “modern” version. Traditionally, the first anniversary gift was paper, but it’s been updated to be clocks. The 4th anniversary gift was traditionally fruit or flowers, but is now kitchen appliances, and the 20th anniversary gift was china and is now platinum. (We’re starting to see a trend here, in terms of the value of the gifts, hmmm…)

We’re glad that Mike chose to stay with the traditional 5th anniversary gift of wood, instead of updating to the modern option of silverware. He managed to find the perfect wood sign for his wife – a sign that reminded him of a reading from his wedding:


In honor of Mike and his perfect anniversary gift find, we’re making his sign the Sign of the Week! Take $5 off this sign, in black, burgundy, or off-white, at, this week only! Be ready for your 5th anniversary (and don’t let your spouse find out about the more “modern” gift options). Use code STWLOVE510.


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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Tribute to Therapy Dogs

Our nation has had one tough week. It started with the tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15th, and then we heard of earthquakes in Oklahoma on Tuesday, a poison scare in the White House on Wednesday, a huge explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas on Thursday, and we topped it off Friday with a city-wide manhunt in Boston for the suspects responsible for Monday’s bombings.  Last week has brought us sadness and grief, as many mourn the loss of innocent lives, and question the evil in our world.  But it has also shown us the incredible resilience of the human spirit, as we saw first responders, law enforcement, and everyday people become heroes, and help those wounded, both physically and emotionally, in any way they could.

We saw people from all walks of life step up to help out, but one unlikely helper tugged on our heartstrings a bit more than any other story we heard: Tara the Therapy Dog.  Tara belongs to Margie, a retired Kindergarten teacher residing on Cape Cod, MA, 89 miles away from the site of the tragic bombings.  One week after the Marathon, on Monday, April 22nd, Boston observed a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m., the time the first bomb went off.  To honor this day and the moment of silence, Margie took Tara on the long drive to the ceremony at Berkeley and Boylston Street to provide comfort for those gathering to commemorate the lives lost and damaged due to this senseless act of terror.  Margie said, “She lay silently at my feet, and then greeted the people gathered there. Young and old patted and caressed her, gaining strength and solace.  She received a multitude of hugs, and gave comfort to all.”  Margie and Tara’s service was very well-received.  One person who met Tara and other therapy dogs that day said, “The dogs turned my tears into smiles.”  Margie’s friends and family are proud of her generosity and service; her daughter, Patti, says, “That’s my Mom and her giving spirit! Born in Boston & Boston Strong!”

tara and margie

Margie with her certified therapy dog, Tara, at Copley Square on 4/22

Tara is certified by Therapy Dogs International, a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.  Margie had hopes that Tara could be a therapy dog when she first came into her life as a puppy.  She anxiously waited for Tara to be old enough (dogs need to be at least 1 year old to begin training, but Margie waited until Tara was 3 because she needed to be calmer).  After extensive training, including regular dog commands like sit, stay, down, come, as well as extra commands necessary for therapy dogs like leave it (so she wouldn’t pick up a pill), wait, slow, and training not to go after tennis balls (think of how people use tennis balls on the ends of their walkers!)  After her training, Tara passed the Therapy Dogs International, and has now earned her official neckerchief!  Margie takes her to nursing homes around Cape Cod, and to the annual MS Challenge Walk to provide comfort for those who need it.

In honor of Margie & Tara, and therapy dogs everywhere, we present you with this week’s Sign of the Week:


Honor the special dog in your life – save $5 off this sign this week only at, use code STWDOG426.

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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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For Boston

As our nation is struck with yet another senseless tragedy, we’d like to take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to those affected in the Boston marathon bombings.  This event struck very close to home for Country Marketplace, as our two stores are located right outside of Boston.  We’ve been connecting with our customers and our community to share our experiences with this horrific event.  We’re sure you are overwhelmed with the media coverage, and can’t bear to hear any more sadness, so we want to highlight the stories of human compassion that keep emerging, which are truly touching, and are sure to inspire and amaze you.

  • Some marathon runners kept running past the finish line to go donate blood to help the victims.
  • The runners who didn’t get to finish the race don’t even think they deserve their medals.
  • Boston residents open their homes to strangers who were stuck without a place to go after the day’s events.
  • The New York Yankees set aside their rivalry with Boston, and hold a moment of silence during their game.

With these examples, and more, we are reminded that human nature is inherently good, and we know that we will all pull together to get through this tragedy. As the days go on, more stories will be uncovered – more stories of sadness, for sure, but we will be looking for the stories of human peace and compassion, and will continue to share them with you.

We’ll leave you with the wise words of Mr. Fred Rogers; we sure can use this advice.


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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized


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