Friday, September 16, 2011

Miss Charlene was here!

In my previous post, I mentioned that my Texas gal pal Charlene was com'in for a visit.  Well, she got here in record time (her plane was even early) and we made it to all the points of interest on our list.  As soon as she landed we were headed to our first destination, Vintage Emporium, in Long Beach.  I've read about it but never been so it was a first for both of us and we also met up with another friend, Cynthia.  It's so cute and shop owner is so sweet.  It's a must see if you're in the neighborhood.


Next was dinner at the Belmont Brewing Company where Robin (hiding in the back) and Lia met us.


The next day we headed out early to the Urban Barn where we shopped til we dropped and had lunch with Deb Hodge (Breathing Beside Us).

UrbanBarnBlogBannerEdited[1]Deb Hodges Photo from Urban Barn 
Then it was off to Laguna Beach for some window shopping, a quick bite to eat and Pageant of the Masters.  This year's theme was “Only Make Believe” and they did not disappoint.  It's truly a unique experience and I highly recommend it if you get a chance.2Tickets2011Thursday was our road trip to San Luis Obispo for some shopping and a 2-day PMC class with Diana Frey.  We blew right past our bed & breakfast, House of Another Tyme, and bee lined it to Lina G's in Morrow Bay with just enough time to pour through all of her vintage trims and millinery.  I must admit, I was totally unprepared and a little over whelmed by all the amazing vintage FabUlousness she has to offer.  Can you even find me in this picture?  I did manage to make a few decisions, but next trip I will definitely have a plan!

On Friday we had lunch with Diana and another friend, Susan.  It was so nice to spend time some quality time with them.  Then we were off for some vintage shopping in the Arroyo Grande area followed by dinner at Olde Port Inn in Avila Beach where we had the most amazing bacon wrapped, cheese stuffed shrimp – OMG!

Saturday and Sunday was our much anticipated PMC class.  This was a technique class in Diana's home studio and she never disappoints.  Her classes are small and intimate with lots of personal attention.  Her studio is absolutely FabUlous and filled with so much inspiration and BLING!   She even has a chandelier in there!  Yup, she's my kinda girl!

PMC stands for precious metal clay and we were working with sterling silver.  These are some of Diana’s samples for us to be inspired by – WOW!

It's really a unique process starting with soft clay which dries over night, to a dry, fragile "green" state and then after a firing in the kiln, sterling silver.  When it comes out of the kiln, it has a white film on it sort of like white ash that needs to be cleaned off and then put in a tumbler.  Next, a little patina and polish and finally a FabUlous one-of-a-kind piece.  We learned so many different techniques from using rubber stamps to emboss the clay, to using molds and setting stones to layering separate pieces.  Of course, I had to do all of them in one FabUlous piece which will be a focal point in a future necklace, a pair of earrings, a connector piece and a bracelet  piece with an orange CZ!  I love it all!

And here are Charlene’s pieces; each one just as unique and FabUlous and she is!

Charlene pieces
This was my second class with Diana and each time, I have come home filled with so much inspiration and creativity.  I truly have found my passion. There's nothing better than FabUlous jewelry!  I highly recommend taking one of her classes either in her home studio or at one of the many events she teaches at.

Our last 2 days together were spent at my dining room table making jewelry.  We broke on the first day to have dinner with Joy and Susie at Kings Fishouse at Victoria Gardens where we got an outside table with a warm summer breeze and caught up on everything since our last time together in March at Round Top.

Although we talk and email all the time, there's nothing like spending quality time with FabUlous friends.  I'll see Charlene next March for Spring Round Top and hopefully another event later in the year.  She's always saying "why don't I live in California" and I'm always saying "why don't we live closer."  I have to say, I'm spoiled and while I do love all the FabUlousness that Texas has to offer, I don't love their weather!  It's so not good hair weather!  LOL

My fur baby, Boo Boo, already says he misses Charlene and Rory promises to come out of hiding a little sooner on her next visit.  Please stop by Charlene’s blog to see her posts (yes, there are several) and more pictures of our FabUlous adventures.