Sunday, April 24, 2011

March FabUlousness recap: N’awlins - Laissez le Bon temp rouler!

Yup, I was on a plane at o'dark thirty on a Sunday morning.  Let me just say
there was no hair & makeup go'in on til about an hour before landing in the Big
Easy!  My flights were on time, my bags made it and my rental car was a tad
bigger than last year's Matrix.  Had my Yahoo maps ready and was not about
to end up driving back & forth on the Causeway like last year.  But, of course,
there had to be a snag, as in a parade!  God bless these people, they will use
any excuse to have a parade and make me take a detour -   REALLY!!!  I was
literally a few blocks away from my destination but couldn't see across the
street through the sea of people.  After a few distress calls and U turns, I
made it.  The birthday girl was wait'in at the front door and we must have
hugged for at least 5 mins.  She was a friend of my mom's way before I was born and they kept in touch their entire lives.  We've become very close since my mom passed away 9 years ago and I've decided I'm going to visit her every year for her birthday.  This year, I missed it by one day because of the Moulin Rouge event, but she didn't care as long as I got there.  She is just the cutest thing ever and I love her to pieces.

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This part of my trip was about spending time together, shopping and eating.  And
boy, did we ever!

I went from cold & rainy California to hot, sticky and 100% humidity in NOLA.  I
love the food but no so much about feeling like a wet rag!  LOL  For the
birthday dinner, we went to a local teppan grill restaurant for her first
experience which she loved.  Our adventures included eating tons of seafood and of course, I had to have my beloved muffalatta - yum!

I had seen a feature on the Food Network about an ice cream shoppe called Creole Creamery and we made a bee line there.  They had cream cheese ice cream with chunks of red velvet cake in it - OMG!  There were several trips to TJ Maxx, which is too far for Miss Leah to drive and she is now proudly a Maxinista!  We drove down to Bilouxi, Mississippi to Beau Rivage casino where there was some BIG winnings go'in on!  Check out Miss Leah with her whopping $11.05 ticket from the Phat Cat penny machine!  That's 10 times more than she won last year; just wait til next year - WOO HOO!

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While I was on the plane, I read a feature about the New Orleans Roadfood
Festival.  It just happened to be held on my last day there down in the French
Quarter.  It was like city food festivals where they have a "taste of" with
plates ranging from $2 to $8.  There were 3 blocks on Royal Street lined with
restaurant booths from small locals to biggies like Antoine's and Court of Two Sisters.

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There was also the world's longest oyster poboy sandwich made with about a thousand oysters from Acme Oyster House.  It was made by 24 of New Orleans' best chefs (and a few helpers) and stretched along 3 blocks on Bourbon Street.   Each chef was assigned a car-length section of French bread and there was everything from classic to crazy.  As soon as they finished making it , it was cut into pieces and offered free to the crowds and it went really fast!  

oyster poboy100_1563We spent the afternoon in the Quarter and made one last trip to TJ Maxx before I
headed to the airport for my next adventure in Texas - Round Top!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

March FabUlousness recap: Moulin Rouge – c'├ętait Magnifique!

WOW, I’ve got so much to share that I'm gonna break it down into a couple of posts!

First up is Moulin Rouge, hosted by Kim Caldwell.  This was an over-the-top,
elegant affaire where 70 women were transported to the days of  decadent French charm.  The entire room was decorated in deep burgundy, rich gold, fleur de lis, Eiffel Towers and tons of feathers.

room decor                                                                 
                                                                    Our table, Day 1
                               Moi, Charlene, Debby, Kim, Lulu, Holly and ChristineTable 5 day 1

                                          Day 2 with one of the Moulin mannequinsDSC_0231  
The event started with a vendor night overflowing with yummy supplies and hand
made items.  Here’s just a sampling from Dyanna Cooley of Broke Jewels and Deb Hodge of Breathing Beside Us.

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Our first day of classes were a stunning necklace, Tres Jolie, by Shea Fragoso, and a cute 3-D paper project, Show Time at the Moulin Rouge, by Jenny Heid & Aaron Nieradka.

Shea project

Jenny project
There was a short dinner break and then the much anticipated swaps!  There were
tags, banners, canvases, paper dolls, garters, bracelets, necklaces, journals,
mini books, jewelry boxes and pillows.  And they were all absolutely amazing! 

I participated in Le Bijoux Box swap hostd by Denise Hahn.  How cute is her sign made with chalkboard paint on a silver platter and blinged out -- Love it!

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I received a gorgeous box filled with frozen charlottes and vintage findings from Lonnie Jenck.  You can see the box I made for my partner, Valita, here.

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I hosted the FabUlous Vintage Pocket Pillow Swap and my girls pulled out all the stops!  Here are all the pillows wrapped up pretty. . .

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And here are all 14 of them on display . . . (open the photo to see all the FabUlous details).

pillows on long table copy

One of the most notable swaps in our group was between Maureen Kosewic and Karen France (neither of them have blogs!).  Just to show you how talented these girls are, Maureen went the extra step and hand wrote the most detailed and fascinating story of how all of the items on the pillow were collected by it's French owner in the 1800's.  I asked her to read the story as she presented it to Karen and everyone in the room was totally captivated.  Great job, Maureen!

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I swapped with my partner, Andrea Villareal last.  This is the beautiful pillow she presented to me and I love it!  Thanks so much!  You can see the pillow I made for her here.

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As the hostess of my swap, I made a pillow for Kim and everyone contributed something to add to it.  Here’s the finished pillow and coordinating pillow case . . .

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And while the swaps were going on, Christine Rose Elle conducted a stunning fastenator hat make ‘n take.

Christine's fastenater mt 
Day two classes were a dry erase marker board made with a vintage piano roll,
She Does All She Can-Can, by Kerry Lynn Yeary and an adorable paper clay doll with her very own stage, One Last Number, by Colleen Moody.

Kerry Lynn project Colleen Moody project

That concluded my amazing Moulin Rouge experience.  The last day of the
event was an optional all day shopping trip on a luxury bus, but I was on a plane
at o'dark thirty to New Orleans!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm having an Affaire!

Yes, you read that right; Stampington and Company's Jewelry Affaire Spring 2011 issue!  This is my first time being published and I'm so excited.  I, well we, owe it all to the talented and inspiring Natalie Hansen.  I attended Silver Bella in 2009 where I met the lovely ladies who participated in this amazing necklace round robin that Natalie hosted.  After seeing how all the necklaces were coming together, she took it one step farther and submitted our work to the magazine and there we are on page 128-129!

CVR_AFF0411_xlgPG_128 AFF0411 PG_129 AFF0411

It was like Christmas every time I received the next necklace to work on and the best present was receiving my own necklace when it was completed and sent to me by Natalie.   I made the focal piece second from the left with the blue globe marble & metal piece that reads "hold dear" and the necklace I received is on the far left with the framed frozen charlotte.  I absolutely loved participating in this round robin and I hope it inspires you to put one together with some of your friends as well.