BETHLEHEM — The mother-daughter team of Diane Fallacara and Grace Wolcott have opened Between Heaven and Hell, a petite boutique carrying spiritual, religious and metaphysical goods and more, in a small building adjacent to their historic home at 53 Lakes Rd.
The 10x20-foot space was a storage building outside the 1744 home built for the Rev. Joseph Bellamy until Diane, a long-time art collector, and Grace, an accomplished artisan, decided they needed a “she-shed.”
With help from family, Diane and Grace cleaned out the shed, repainted it and installed shelves and lighting. The result is a shop as fascinating as it is tiny, holding a remarkable collection of items, from crystal skulls to sterling silver jewelry, antique religious medals to rare minerals, artistically arranged in a display that makes use of every inch of space.
Bethlehem residents since 2001, Diane and Grace opened the little shop in October, filling it with items from all over the world, as well as their own creations, much of which they describe as “altered art.”
“Most of our stuff is older,” said Diane. “We call it ‘upcycled.’ We look at something and say I could do something with that!”
One example is a collection of remembrance lockets — repurposed antique watch cases inset with vintage photos and embellished with jewels. One side of the case is left blank to receive a photo of the owner’s choice.
“They’re like little shrines,” said Diane. “You can wear them, you can use them as prayer beads or hang them on the wall.”
Grace enjoys finding old jewelry, taking it apart and recombining the elements to create something new.
“We’ve always been very creative,” said Grace. “We love making this stuff — it’s therapeutic and fun.”
The first thing visitors to Between Heaven and Hell will notice is a preponderance of skulls. There are skulls made from labradorite, from quartz and calcite. Skulls made from fluorite, known for its healing properties, and from chrysocolla, combining azurite, malachite and shattakite.
“You name it, we have it,” said Diane. “They’re all handmade. Each one is different.”
People use crystal skulls for many reasons, the women explained. They can be used for divination, for meditation, for protection and healing.
The shop also offers a selection of gemstone spheres, “crystal balls” of all colors and sizes.
“Some people use these things to connect to the other side, to the spiritual realm,” said Diane. “To me, they’re beautiful pieces of art.”
“Even if the spirituality aspect escapes you, it’s beautiful work,” said Grace.
Since the shop’s opening, people have come from long distances seeking skulls, spheres and other items for their aesthetic beauty as well as for a variety of spiritual and healing practices.
“If somebody buys something in the shop, they can do anything they want with it,” said Diane. “There’s no right or wrong way, it’s for whatever you feel it could be used for.
“But only for good things,” she added.
Which begs the question: Are Diane and Grace witches?
“Not at all,” they laughed, adding that “there’s nothing scary here.”
Grace is the mother of two young children and an ICU nurse at Danbury Hospital.
Diane is a Reiki master, an ordained nondenominational minister, a life coach and a crystal therapy practitioner.
They describe themselves as “spiritual, not rigidly religious,” but Diane noted that she holds “an affinity for the Blessed Mother.”
That affinity is reflected in a number of the shop’s offerings. There are antique medals from the 1800s, signed by the medal artist; vintage religious statuary, some restored and embellished; and rosary beads for every taste.
For those not seeking the religious, the spiritual or the metaphysical, there are authentic Art Deco lithographs in the style of Maxwell Parish, a line of scents and a case filled with traditional sterling silver pendants, rings and bracelets.
There is a large selection of wire-wrapped gemstone jewelry, most made by Grace, along with her cleverly repurposed vintage jewelry and hand-embellished “boho chic” pieces.
“I’m big into finding something old and making it new again,” she said.
Diane and Grace share a vast knowledge of minerals and the shop contains a beautiful selection of crystals in their natural state.
“We’re going to be carrying coins from the 1800s to the early 1900s,” said Diane. “We also have cats, owls, handmade fairy sculptures — a little bit of everything!”
If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for at Between Heaven and Hell, chances are that it’s in the attic of their house next door and available at www.HeavenHell.shop, Grace and Diane’s online store.
“This is the tip of the iceberg to what we actually have,” said Grace. “We have more than 5,400 items on our website. We have antique prints, Catholic items, Christian items, crystal healing items.”
As for the name of the shop, well...
“Everything on earth is somewhere between heaven and hell,” said Grace. “It represents all the aspects of what we have here. It’s all inclusive.
“It’s a cool, funny name, and we’re cool, funny people!”
Between Heaven and Hell is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday through the holiday season, and by appointment. In January, hours will revert to 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays only.
Those seeking additional information may call 860-417-8001 or visit www.HeavenHell.shop.