Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jewelry making, birthday celebrations and vintage shopping – it just doesn’t get any better!

Miss Charlene came to town again last month to celebrate her birthday and attend Diana Frey's Petite Retreat in San Luis Obispo.  And boy did we have a good time or what!  I scooped her up at the airport on a Thursday & we shot right up to SLO where we met up with new and old friends for an absolutely FabUlous weekend that we might just make an annual event.

We started with dinner at the Cracked Crab in Pismo Beach that evening with Joy and Vickie where we had 2 buckets for two of delicious seafood and wine selected by our personal sommelier, Joy.


Friday was all about the Birthday Girl and our B&B hosts served up a special waffles with fresh fruit breakfast before we headed out to Diana's studio.  Our first class was the Briar Rose which is a soldered box containing a dress you design and a vintage doll head that’s cold joined on top.  We had our choice to make either a necklace or place the box on a pedestal.  Here are Diana’s samples.

briar rose pedestal sample briar rose necklace sample

I came prepared and all set to make the pedestal version in vintage cream and then I saw the orange Dupioni silk Diana had to share for the class and I quickly switched gears cuz I just had to use it!  Of course, she also had some orange stones for sale that just happened to go perfectly and my necklace was in progress.  Everyone got the cutest pair of vintage shoe charms in their kit and I choose to add some bling (of course) on the toe and dangle them from the box.  Everyone did such an amazing job.

briar rose 1

briar rose 2

Diana had a special lunch for us in honor of the birthday girl with a crown, a cake and some FabUlous presents.  Little did Charlene know this was going to be a full blown birthday party and she loved every minute of it.


Saturday was our Remnants of the Past shopping day and we were up & out early so we could be at the front of the line.  We got to see Judy Watkins, the organizer of the event, who came by holding the amazing crown she had commissioned from the talented designer and author,  Brooke Giannetti from last year.

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This year, Matthew Mead and Jo Packham were the guests of honor.  We also met up with our pal Cynthia and ran into Shawn Street, who lives not too far away.  There were vendors inside the Madonna Inn Convention Center as well as out front and our group immediately spread out. 

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We met back up for a quick lunch break where we got a great group photo.

Remnants of the Past 2012

I didn't have anything in particular I was looking for except for vintage bling, which is always on my list!  And I just happened to get quite a few FabUlous pieces.

remnants haul

Diana graciously opened her studio that afternoon for us to go back and complete our pieces so we would be ready for the next day's class.  And ya know we all showed up and some stayed until 8pm!  A group us us went to dinner at Novo in downtown SLO where we ate on the patio that over looks a creek.  It was FabUlous and you would never know about the patio seating from the street side of the restaurant.  You’ve got to check it out if you’re in the area.

Sunday was our Bird in the Hand necklace class that Charlene had been drooling over ever since she saw Diana's piece a few years ago.  This class was packed with techniques and we loved every minute of it.  We spent the entire day making soldered components, bird nests and a trapeze for the hand to swing on!

Here’s Diana’s sample

bird in the hand sample

We had THE most talented group of kind and sharing women at our Petite Retreat.  Diana just brings out the best in her students and we all just keep coming back for more.  That's why we're headed back up this weekend for Queen's Ransom.  This class is to make a statement piece and we're all GO BIG OR GO HOME kinda girls so ya know we were all over that when we saw the class samples in February!

Stay tuned for photos of my finished pieces and more jewelry adventures with my gal pals and the FabUlous Diana Frey.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Marburger, baby!

The Marburger show always starts on a Tuesday so we try to shop the fields for a few days and then hit the opening day of Marburger.  Shopping in the fields is free to everyone but Marburger has an entrance fee and is a juried, more upscale shopping event in large tents constructed just for this antiquing event twice a year.

This Tuesday morning they were talking about the threat of heavy storms coming in so Miss Charlene made sure we had a "storm plan" just in case.  We had our Wellies (thx to Miss Cindy for my pair), umbrellas & rain gear in our carts and an escape plan if it got bad.  We had a little "spitt'in" when we headed out and then just clouds , heat and TONS of humidity.  The first stop is always Magnolia Pearl.  Cindy is a true fan and has a closest full of their clothes.  It's a Texas thing, it's a cult, it's a lifestyle!  LOL  These women are serious!  The booth is always decorated so incredibly with one-of-a-kind sculptures and is always a mob scene.  It's tradition to go and see but Charlene and I stayed outside in the isles this time while Cindy busted in!  As always, the vignettes were amazing!  I loved the bicycles wrapped in vintage lace and look at the little coin purse hanging from the handlebars – so cute!

mp collage MP dress collage

This display was beyond FabUlous!  It’s sort of hard to  tell in the photo, but it’s  a metal sculpted dress covered in all sorts of natural items including sunflower pods!  Also scattered throughout are baby shoes, coin purses and small bottles.

MP dress 
Right across the isle from Magnolia Pearl was none other than Judy Taylor Hill's booth!  Not that I knew that, but when Charlene said this vendor was a friend of Lisa's and I just about died when she told me who it was!  I love Judy's style and would give anything for a chance to go to one of her open houses, but I just never seem to be Texas when she has them.  Of course, I needed a pic of us.  She was so sweet and just a petite little thing.

JH collage

While we were having lunch, Cindy made a call to her hubby who told her about the tornadoes that hit the Dallas/Ft. Forth area.  Luckily, her & Charlene's homes were not in the path.  When we got back to the hotel, we watched the videos online and all the TV coverage; just devastating how quickly it can happen and how random they hit.  My heart goes out to all of those affected.

Here’s some other FabUlous vignettes to enjoy . . .

rt collage

manni collage

There were also celebrity sightings as well!  Matthew McConaughey & his Victoria Secret model/girlfriend, Camila Alves, Miranda Lambert and Rachael Ashwell to name a few.  Unfortunately, we seemed to just miss 'em all - shoot!

Wednesday morning we awoke to beautiful clear skies and headed back to Charlene's where Larry and Miss Elle were wait'in for us.  We had perfect temps in the mid 80's and almost no humidity.  But, there was definitely something in the air as Charlene's allergies were in high gear and something was tickling my nose too!  I stayed for a couple more days and of course, we did some more eat'in & shopp'in.  Just gotta love Texas!! 

This adventure was a month ago and now Charlene and Cindy are out here for Kim Caldwell's Affaire at Tiffany's event.  I’ve already donned my chauffer's hat to show them LA LA Land for what else, more shopping!

Let them Eat PIE! - Bloggers luncheon at Royers Cafe

Monday stated off with a little field shopping as we worked our way toward the Bloggers Luncheon held at Royers Cafe.  Royers is a Round Top institution and a must stop and EAT PIE whenever you're in town.  This was our first time to attend this invitation only annual luncheon sponsored by the Dallas Market Center & Dwell with Dignity, a non-profit organization who's mission is "to help families escape poverty and homelessness through design: one household at a time.”  The guest speaker was Carol Hicks Bolton who shared her lifestyle/design philosophy.  The format of the luncheon was informal and more of a discussion between Carol and Bud the Pie Man's wife, Karen, who is a formidable match for Bud.  Their families are quite close and share the same passion for simplicity in life and home.  Although Bud expresses his experiences through the many colorful layers inside and out of this FabUlous eatery, it's clear that family, home and giving back are the roots of this PIE MAN.

Royers collage 1  Royers collage2

It was also great to run into Janna Perenchio who we had met at the Gilded Life Events in Dallas.  Jana lives in San Antonio, so she came for the day.  And, she won the contest for the best post about the luncheon!  You can read it here; congrats, Jana!  Also at our table was another local gal, Kristi Day.  She had extended our invitation to the Picnic on the Prairie on our first day in Round Top.

Royers collage 5 
The luncheon was a great success and we hope to be able to attend next year.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"If you don't buy it, I'll buy it"

The title of this post quickly became the mantra between the three of us.  That way if one of us was "on the fence" about a purchase, one of us was gonna get it no matter what!  Our first full day of shopping was hotter than Hell but we came prepared with lots of water, mister bottles, hats & sunscreen.  The fields were overflowing with tons of FabUlous vintage finds and we managed to acquire quite a few.  THE most notable was this amazing crystal chandelier.  I watched as the seasoned Blonde bargainer extraordinaire in our group (Ms. Cindy) batted her baby blues to get the deal of the century on that bad boy.  I knew it wouldn't fit in the overhead on the plane so I had to let Cindy & Charlene share it and I'll come visit it at least once a year!  LOL

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The evening was topped off with Theresa Cano's famous Blog Party where Lisa Love Harris was the guest of honor, signing her new book, First Monday Murder. Who’d a thunk it! “A murder, a little romance and a whole lotta junk’in!”

LLH book signing

And this years' contest theme was to make and wear a crown.  Well, we did not come prepared, although I did bring my rhinestone tiara and then left it at the hotel!  But, hands down EVERYONE said this Rodeo Royalty Queen won.

RR Collage (I am so sorry I don't have her name even though I asked at least twice!  Just too much excitement to remember it all.)

OMG, that crown was the bomb!  Completely hand made, on the fly, out of rusted chair springs, vintage rhinestone jewelry pieces, feathers and lace.  I WANT IT!  We actually ran into the owner of Rodeo Royalty who helped create it and she gave me a little insight as to how they did it - SO COOL!  And take a look at their tent, the entrance was a life-size tepee covered in burlap and layered with vintage crochet tablecloths!  OMG!!  You can see it just over her shoulder but here it is up close and FabUlous.

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They even had a life-size horse AND a trailer inside the tent!  So much eye candy we were all in a daze. 

TP collage

Of course, ya know I managed to make a FabUlous purchase (or two) from them.

               SAMSUNG            SAMSUNG

This amazing top had my name all over it  It's a bit hard to tell, but it's comes just below the waist in the front and is full length in the back.  I ran amuck last year buying doilies so I had told myself I didn't need any more this trip.  I don't think this purchase counts, do you?? LOL

Next up the Bloggers Luncheon at Royers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ruffles in Round Top

Glam Gals

My Texas BFF, Charlene, came across this image which just happened to look a lot like mini me's of her, Cindy and I all dolled up for Round Top.  Even though I made the "no room mate gifts" declaration, I couldn't resist doing something with this image of the redhead, brunette and blonde.  So, I came up with a ruffled cuff adorned with our very own horseshoe and the image transferred onto a vintage brass charm blank.

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It’s all hand-stitched with touches of pearls and rhinestones, of course!  I actually used some vintage lace and doilies I had purchased last year at Round Top.  We got lots of compliments on them as we wore them throughout our adventure and I’m pretty sure the horseshoes brought us some FabUlous good luck.

And so the adventure began . . .

After checking into our hotel, we hit the fields late Saturday afternoon.  I had showed Charlene & Cindy the FabUlous vintage velvet and lace top I had gotten from Paris Montana in California (I posted about it here) and as we were driving by her Round Top trailer I spotted them on display inside!  Cindy yelled out “I’ll pay for parking!” and the shopping began.  We made a quick stop for Cindy to make quite a nice purchase and walked some of the fields in the heat of the late afternoon breeze.  Yup, it was SO hot the entire time we were there but we didn’t let a little thing like heat or even tornados interfere with our shopping cuz we were on a mission, baby!

Next stop, a private Picnic dinner on the Prairie hosted by the lovely ladies of Petticoats on the Prairie, better known as the Rodeo Queens.  It was held at a private residence that is now a B&B off the main road and into the fields a bit.  When we arrived, they had picnic tables set up in the back yard which just happened to have it own stream!  OMG!  What a magical setting to meet new friends.  They made us all adorable name tags and boxed dinners with sandwiches, chips and dessert - an apple with THE most amazing caramel sauce I’ve ever had.  I licked that mason jar clean – slurp!
 Praorie picnic collage
And that was just our first day!  Next up more FabUlous shopping and Theresa Cano’s blog party.

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Orleans

Well, the dust is finally settling after being back home and at work for 2 weeks already!  This year my New Orleans rental car was a Chevy Cruise with Tennessee plates!  Seems that I just can’t get a rental car with plates from the same state I’m driving in!  LOL  That little Cruise took us from one end of Louisiana to the other.  We ate tons of seafood and of course, my beloved muffaletta, shopped til we dropped and proved that we ARE true Maxxinistas!  We had great weather in the mid 80’s with the standard Southern humidity, but not to fear . . . I packed the vacation hair so I was good to go!

Here are some of the sights of this great city. . .

Jackson  Square / A quiet morning in the French Quarter2012-03-29 12.18.532012-03-29 12.56.45

FabUlous chandeliers in Royal Street antique stores2012-03-29 12.34.342012-03-29 11.58.52   

We just happened on this little band in the French Quarter.  You’ll need to turn off my tunes at the bottom of this page in order to full enjoy them!

We were so busy running around and checking things off the “to do list”  that I almost forgot to get a photo with the birthday girl!  Took a couple of tries but I got a pretty good one with my phone.   Happy 39th, Leah!

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The week flew by way too fast and before I knew it I was off to my next stop, Round Top Baby!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Classes, Creating FabUlous Jewelry, Shopping and more Classes!

I've been a little busy lately . . . In February, I headed up to Pismo Beach with Joy for a FabUlous 2-day class taught by Diana Frey and Riki Schumacher, A Charming Romance. 

Charming Romance class _1            diana riki
We stopped in Carpenteria for some quick vintage shopping, had a delicious lunch at The Enterprise Fish Company in Santa Barbara and then made a beeline to Lina G's in Morro Bay for a vintage trim fix before scooping up Charlene at the SLO airport.

Our class was at Riki's beautiful beach home where we got to see her to-die-for studio in person. You can see a video tour on her blog.  We also had our class mascot, the adorable Miss Maddie, watching over our every move.  She even managed to get some chocolate out of Charlene's kit box; not enough to cause concern, but she was definitely part of the class. 
This was a technique class where we created charms with silver PMC (precious metal clay), did some brass etching and learned to use some seriously cool tools!  Then after our charms were fired, tumbled, patinaed and polished we (OK, Joy) attached our charms to our bracelets for a truly inspiring project.  We had a great group of talented students who made some FabUlous charms.  How cute is that little elephant made completely by hand by a 16-yr old!  Of mine, my personal fave is the textured bead caps at the top of the pic - love them!

Diana is teaching at Art is You in Petaluma this September and we were honored to be able to see the two projects she's teaching in person.  The Madame Bijoux Boxes are to-die-for and the Twisted Sistah cuff is the matching piece to the necklace in my header and ya know how I feel about that!  If you have a chance to take either or both of these classes, do it!  You will love every minute of it.  Diana also shared samples of her next studio class, A Queen's Ransom.  Needless to say, we lost our minds when she took those babies out and we've already booked our spots.  If you think the pictures are stunning, you'll be agasp when you see them in person - OMG!!  Check out Diana's blog for her upcoming online classes and tutorials, they’re all just as FabUlous as she is.

Queen's Ransom flyer
Joy was wearing a necklace made by Hope Ellington that I had eyed but didn’t purchase way back in 2009 at Silver Bella vendor night.  That necklace has been in the back my mind ever since and there it was!  I had kicked myself for not buying it and now I had the opportunity to see it again up close and personal; how cool is that!  So, when I got home, I tried my version and I absolutely love it!

Paris necklace
This past weekend was packed with shopping and another FabUlous class by Riki Schumacher.  First stop, The Vintage Marketplace where I met up with my shopping buddy, Cynthia.  As always, the vendors did not disappoint; there was vintage FabUlousness everywhere you looked and we had an absolute blast.  The venue is the perfect size; you can make it around a couple of times just in case you might have missed something.

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I really blew the budget this time but it was so worth it!  Here's my haul . . .

purchasespink crystalsflower pearls bling
The FabUlous top is from Paris Montana.  This was Heidi's first time at The Vintage Marketplace and she fit right in with her textural vintage luxe style.  Her things are over-the-top-FabUlous, so ya know I was totally in!  The pink chandelier crystals (oh so hard to come by) are from the adorable Trisha of Vintage Bliss.  She & Heidi are traveling buddies and I'll see them again at the end of the month in Texas for Round Top - YEE HAW!  The flower pin with vintage rhinestone clip center is from Sherry of Glamarella Junk, the pearls and some of the bling are from Sara of Sweet Magnolia's Farm.  She is just the nicest person and brought a FabUlous selection just for me!   The pearls still have the original tag on them - so cool!

After the Vintage Marketplace, we made a stop at TJ Maxx cuz ya know we ARE Maxxinistas!  Cynthia made a quick sweep of the entire store with a full load so she checked out quickly, dropped her purchases in the trunk and came back in only to end up with a second full load at the check out!  LOL  And, of course ya can't be in the same shopping center as Hobby Lobby and not go in so we made sure we got our HL fix too.  We were on a roll and quite the shopping Divas.

My weekend ended with Riki Schumacher's Birds in Flight class at the home of the owner of Gilding the Lily in Fullerton.  We had a great group of talented students and learned Riki's techniques for flooding solder over prepared, hand cut copper, soldering rhinestones with a butane torch (do ya see that flame?), drilling and setting eyelets and wire wrapping.  What a great class and a little birdie told me she may be back for future classes so check their class schedule for more FabUlousness from Riki.  She's also teaching online for Artful Gathering this summer and has some awesome tutorials for purchase as well.  You can find all the info on her blog.

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I found just the right vintage piece for the finishing touch on my necklace when I got home and I love the way it turned out . . .

birds of flight
My next adventure will be my annual trip to New Orleans to see my dear family friend for her birthday.  I had to push back my trip a week this year as Round Top changed their dates and I always fly from New Orleans to Texas to meet up with my Texas gal pals.  So we'll be celebrating Miss Leah's bday a week late, but she doesn't mind as long as I get there.  So, I'll catch up with ya'll in April when the dust settles a bit.