Friday, November 30, 2007
I know I said that I would do the Silver Bella giveaway drawing on Thursday, but time & sunlight got away from me (man, I hate this getting dark at 4:30 nonsense!) so it got postponed to this morning. I printed out & cut up everybody's comments and put them in the ol' Goblet of Fire, and had my trusty assistant draw the winning name:
And the winnner is...Dawn from Oh So Pretty! Dawn's blog title is a very accurate description of the things she posts--her thrifting finds, her original creations, her home decor--everything is a feast for the eyes! Do go check out her blog if you haven't visited before. And Miss Dawn, please email me at fraulein_h at hotmail dot com with your address so I can mail out your Silver Bella goodies! Thanks to everyone who read and commented--I love reading what you have to say and visiting your blogs!
You know, I've yet to be knocked off my feet by any of the ornament collections out there in the retail world this year. Last year Target had some super cute stuff--the red & aqua snowmen, the little houses, the glass glitter figures & ornaments. I went to Target to check out this year's collection and all I could think was "eh." The only thing I couldn't live without were a pair of these giant glass glitter snowflakes. They look very similar to the Wendy Addison snowflakes I bought last year at Tinsel Trading Co. on my trip to NYC--they are the same size as the smallest WA flake but the glitter is not as twinkly. You can kind of see the difference in this photo; the Wendy Addison is the one on top and the Target is the one on the bottom.
They're a little different, but I think the slight variation is a good thing--no two snowflakes are alike, right? Unless you buy them from Target! LOL The Target version are $5.99, while the same-sized Wendy Addison was almost double that, so they're a pretty good deal.
I also braved the drive to the ghetto to visit our only local but very skeevy KMart for the sole purpose of checking out the new Martha Stewart ornaments. It was the same thing there--I had high hopes but was soundly disappointed when I saw it all in person. I did end up buying the set of ornaments that look like vintage kitchen utensils with painted handles and a new red & aqua striped bow for my antique sled, but other than that, it was all "eh." I even felt that way about Martha's Craft line at Michael's--I had seen it online weeks before I saw it in person and it looked so cute, but when I got there with a 50% off coupon in hand, ready to BUY BUY BUY, I couldn't find a single thing I wanted.
I think part of the disappointment is that I see so much amazing stuff being created in the blogosphere and elsewhere online that there is just no way for the retail world to even come close (for example, check out the gorgeous red & blue color scheme over at Fredsworld). That's a great thing, though--I'm so inspired by what I see that I want to bring to life the visions in my head rather than wait for someone at Target to fulfill my creative leanings. So thank you all for what you do and what you share--you inspire me!
I'm hoping to start getting out the Christmas stuff this weekend and get started on the decorating. I'm really excited to open all the boxes and see the things I love and come up with a new design scheme for the year!
Have a lovely weekend!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The theme for this package was "Tags & Swags". Laurie made me the neatest garland in my very favorite color combination of turquoise & red. She used wool felt and vintage fabrics & buttons to make yo-yos (which I LOVE) that are attached to a turquoise beaded garland. It is just gorgeous, and my lame-o flashed-out photo simply doesn't do it justice. I love that it looks festive but not exclusively "Christmas" so I can display it at other times of the year. I've thought of just the place to hang it so I just need to get a few more hooks and I'll be in business. Laurie also included some cute Christmas gift tags and one of darling handmade wool pigs (which I've coveted ever since I saw the one she made for Jane in the Pink & Brown swap earlier this year). What a delightful package, and how lucky I am to have been paired up with Laurie!
I got more good mail in the form of my order from a.bel emporium. When Amanda posted on her blog about her new Christmas miniatures, I just had to go check them out! I ordered some darling Hansel & Gretel scrap (destined for Valentines, methinks), a set of wee plastic deer, Halloween dresdens and the cutest little red & white toadstool cupcake picks, because I am obsessed with toadstools lately.
I was tickled when I got my order and found that Amanda included extra several goodies and it was all packaged up like a gift! Do go over and check out the Holiday Kitsch Samplers at her blog.
And the last bit of happy mail came from Sarah. A while ago she mentioned on her blog that she'd found an aqua Lu-Ray pitcher at the flea market. I commented on it--I adore Lu-Ray, but have only ever found 3 pieces in all my thrifting. Sweet Sarah rolled up that pitcher in a ton of bubblewrap and sent it to me as a wonderful surprise!
It is now one of my very, very favorite things and I just smile whenever I look at it. As I told Sarah, I could not be more delighted! :)
Thanks to all the wonderful bloggers I've met, the Happy Mail quotient around here has gone up substantially. :)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Since then, I've been on the never ending, voracious hunt for Shiny Brites. In my experience they've been hard to find so my collection is still small, but one look at the zillions of Shiny Brites for sale on eBay tell me that they're still out there, waiting to be found. The difference is that I wouldn't dream of selling them! I still have mostly plain glass balls but slowly I've been finding more and more of the 'special' ones--those that have stripes or glitter or are a different shape. When I find those at a garage sale or thrift, I don't think I could be more excited if they were diamonds and rubies! They are truly treasures to me.
All of the thrifts around here wait until after Halloween to put their Christmas donations out for sale, so I have to wait to search. Ever since I got home from Silver Bella I've been on a bit of a thrift bender, and I've been lucky in the vintage Christmas department! These were all in one big bag. All of my local thrifts just throw a bunch of stuff in a bag and price it, a dangerous situation for delicate glass balls. Sometimes I get very lucky and find a whole bag full of good stuff like this, but mostly it's a whole bag of crap and one or two good things. Not all of these are Shiny Brites but they are all vintage. I especially love the small boxes of feather tree ornaments.
For me, the graphics on the old ornament boxes are just as appealing as the contents! The ornaments inside this box are nothing special, but the box is great! The dipsticks at the thrift store had crisscrossed the top with clear packing tape and I took a chance, hoping I could use some Un-Du and get the tape off without completely destroying the box. I was mostly successful, but you can see on the edges where the red paper lifted off despite the care I took. Oh well, it's still great and once I glue down that errant flap and fill it with "good" ornaments, it will look great!
More wonderful old graphics! I don't know how, but I very nearly overlooked these at the thrift store. They should have jumped right out at me, as different as they are from all the modern boxes of ornaments they were stacked with. Thankfully, I looked again and snatched them up as fast as I could! Good thing, because there were treasures inside:
A few of these are plain glass balls, but most of them are really neat! There are even three that I think are made out of spun cotton and are quite old--need to get a close up of those to show you later. The only problem with these is that it looks like someone hung them on the tree and then sprayed the tree with that awful flocking stuff from a can, so several of the ornaments have white yucky stuff on them. I think that if I'm careful I can get it off without damaging them too much.
If you want to really drool, search "Shiny Brite" on eBay and look through just a few of the 1400 listings that come up. Whoa, nelly. I used to think that buying off eBay was cheating, but knowing how hard it has been to find the few ornaments that I do have, mostly one and two at a time, eBay is starting to look a lot more appealing. If I had lots and lots of money, I think I'd be bidding just as fast as my fingers could click the mouse. Chasing the Shiny Brite dragon. Yikes.
This year I have enough of the special ornaments to decorate my tree, and I'm so excited to get everything out and see how it looks! I'm a little nervous about the potentially catastrophic combination of fragile glass ornaments + curious toddler hands but I'm going to risk it. I can always buy more on eBay, right?
Monday, November 26, 2007
Click to enlarge the photo so you can see all the pretty details up close. Each collage is made to hang so I'm going to have to come up with a way to display them all. They were such fun, so creatively satisfying and something that I think I can definitely replicate. I'm so glad I got to take the class! Rebecca is a lovely person and a pro at teaching. One down, four more unfinished Bella projects to go...
To spread the gospel of Bella, I have a little package to give away! It includes a class kit from the lovely Carolyn Peeler for her "Look at Frosty Go" class (these were selling for $40 but Carolyn graciously gave a few away as we were heading for the airport) that makes a cute little stuffed snowman, a pair of fancy Melissa Frances flip-flops (size 7/8, a gift in our Bella goodie bag), a December back issue of Country Living (since the CL editors were our guests for the weekend), a few of the tags I made for the Bella tag swap, and some chocolate, because all good mail includes chocolate. :) If you'd like to enter, just leave a comment on this post and I'll bring out the ol' Goblet of Fire for a drawing on Thursday!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor...
"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
"And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplication to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
"Given under my hand, at the city of
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
A second cake is in the oven. Her grandparents cannot possibly arrive soon enough.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
1. My feet got 1/2 size bigger after I had my daughter. I was a not-so-dainty size 9 to begin with and we'd really like to have more than one child, so this is just another reason why I am not terribly thrilled at the idea of being pregnant again any time soon.
2. I love Alice in Wonderland and when I was in Oxford, England I made a special trip to The Old Sheep Shop to feed my obsession. I think Lewis Carroll was a total perv, though. Seriously. ick.
3. I am terrified of scorpions. Not a huge fan of spiders but I can deal, don't mind snakes at all, but scorpions scare me to death! I can't even watch them on TV or look at photos in books without getting completely skeeved. I think they are of the devil.
4. When I was younger my favorite dinner was Spaghetti Pie (a baked dish of spaghetti, meat sauce, cheese, and egg) and whenever I told anyone at school that, they thought I was crazy. I guess they were envisioning a pastry crust filled with noodles? I still love spaghetti pie but I haven't made it in a long time.
5. I am good at trivia games and crossword puzzles. My brain is a vast repository of mostly useless knowledge, but trust me--when we're playing Trivial Pursuit, you want to be on my team. :)
6. If I ever had a shop or a business selling the vintage crapola that I love, it would be called Magpie's Nest. Magpies are attracted to shiny things and so am I. :)
Thanks, Elizabeth! If you read this and need something to blog about (or just like to talk about yourself, like me :) consider yourself tagged!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
My class ended at 10:00 a.m. and as my next class wasn't until 7:45 p.m. I had the whole day free! I had anticipated this and actually brought a project for the Sweet Sister Swap with me to work on, but the lure of Second Chance was too great and I hopped on the shuttle with these cute girls and headed over for more shopping. Ever since our initial visit to Second Chance on Thursday night, I'd been itching to go back when it was less crowded and I was less overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of STUFF and could focus a little. I wandered in when they opened at 11:00 a.m. and I was there for about two and a half hours! I didn't intend it to be quite that long--I ended up waiting for my mom to meet me after her class ended at noon--but I spent a long, leisurely time sifting through the piles to find a few more treasures. That place is so packed that even though a horde of Bellas had descended and shopped like crazy over the previous two days, the amount of inventory was hardly diminished at all! Yikes.
We left for lunch and looked around the Old Market a little more until it was time to catch the shuttle back, as my mom had class at 4:00 p.m. I joined her on the ride back to the hotel, but once I got back I realized I still had hours until my next class, so I impulsively hopped the shuttle back to town. :) I looked around a little more but didn't buy anything else. What I did find was a whole bunch of ghost signs. I have no idea why, but I love ghost signs, though I'm rarely in a position where I can take photos of them. On this day, the afternoon sun was hitting the buildings just right so I wandered around taking pictures until it went down. I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I took more photos of ghost signs than I did of anything else at Silver Bella! Duh. Anyway, from there I walked the five blocks back to the hotel instead of bugging the shuttle driver again.
My last class of the evening was with the darling Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom designs. The class was called "Sweet Schultuten" and we learned to make those cute little cones that are so popular right now. Jennifer also gave us the kits for her other class, a cute Christmas Wish banner! She is just an absolute sweetie and it was so fun to be in her class; it was very relaxed and fun which was perfect because by that time I was hitting the crafting wall.
When classes ended that evening, people stuck around and took photos and hung out for a while. We dropped our bags back in our room and headed down to the bar to get something to eat. By this time it was 10:15 p.m. and though we were all tired, I don't think anyone was ready for the fun to end. We sat and visited with some more darling Bellas, I ate a ridiculously huge plate of the most divine mac & cheese, and we just missed seeing some celebrities who were also in the bar. And although we didn't want the magic to end, it was really late and we were exhausted!
Sunday morning we were able to sleep in before attempting the Tetris-like task of fitting everything into our suitcases for the trip home. We caught our flight at 1:30 p.m. and I was back home by 3:00 p.m. Even though it has been more than a week since I returned home, I still feel inspired and motivated by all of the creativity and sheer eye candy that I saw during Silver Bella. The whole weekend was SO wonderful and I am so thankful that I was able to participate this year! After I read about it last year on Teresa's blog I knew that it was something I dearly wanted to do, so when registration opened in June I was at my computer with nervous fingers, afraid that it would sell out in minutes and I'd miss my big chance! It did sell out, though not in minutes, although I'm a little nervous about next year! I definitely plan to go again. It was all such an incredible lift to my spirit that I don't think I could pass up the opportunity to do it again. I so appreciate all of the teachers and the vendors who put so much time and effort into making things special for us, most especially Teresa, who was like our Fairy Godmother for the weekend. It was amazing!
I didn't set out to buy so much pink stuff, it just happened that way. It's funny because the main areas of my home are done in reds and blues, so all the pink and aqua stuff that I am attracted to does not match at all and I have nowhere to put it. Does that stop me from buying it? Not apparently! The Moderntone sherbet cup and Ripple tea cup came from Fairmont and the Moderntone salt shaker and Ripple saucer came from Second Chance. I have one aqua Ripple saucer that I thrifted long ago and it is a dream of mine to someday have a whole set of that stuff, but I never see it. In Second Chance I found a whole stack of saucers ($1.50 each) and luncheon plates ($3 each I think) but I could only bring myself to buy one little saucer to match the pink cup I'd just bought. Someday I'm going to regret not buying the whole stack, but I just couldn't justify buying more at that point. The sparkly earrings were a splurge for me at $12, also from the magical basement at Second Chance. They are particularly enormous to be worn as earrings but the way they are made, they'll make great buckles when I get around to figuring out what to do with them! Here's a close-up:
All of these were from Second Chance. From the left, a vintage plastic tree-topper that was $2. I bought an identical blue one from a thrift right before I left. The bag of green mercury glass bead picks was $4, and I wish I could have found more. They're one of the things I'm always on the lookout for but this is the first time I've ever found any. The aqua and silver tree topper was in the box but I do not believe it is original to the box, although it is vintage and still has its West Germany label. The box is in perfect condition and may just be my favorite purchase of the weekend! It's Shiny Brite and I've never seen another like it, though I have many Shiny Brite ornament boxes. The box & tree topper were $6, which I think is a steal.
This box of Shiny Brites was $4 at Fairmont. I saw it early, before most of the Bellas had gotten there and I know it would have been snapped up by someone else if I hadn't gotten to it first! That's a great price for a whole box of glittered vintage ornaments--I'd be awful lucky to find them around here. The atomic design isn't my absolute favorite but there are a few with snowflakes and I couldn't pass them up at that price. They'll go on my tree this year. The Santa box was $3.50 and has great vintage graphics. Did anyone see the article in the newest Home Companion about collecting vintage wrapping paper and Christmas boxes? I read my mom's copy on the airplane ride to Omaha, so it was fresh in my head when I spotted this!
From left, a vintage cardboard and net stocking, $5 from Manto Fev on Vendor Night. The magazine is from Second Chance; it was also $5 and is the December 1950 issue. It has the greatest ads and graphics inside! My grand plan is to scan them so I can post them here on my blog for your enjoyment as well as using them in my artwork. The sheet of vintage metallic Christmas wrap was $2, as were the gold medallion thingies--both from Manto Fev.
From left: a November 1948 issue of Household magazine, $2 from Second Chance. I have the same plans for this as the other magazine. Let's hope I actually get that far! I do not have a great relationship with my scanner right now. The vintage flash cards were $1 each from Manto Fev. Not sure what I want to do with them but I had to have them! The old photos were from Second Chance and were less than $1 each--they show scenes of snowy houses that I think I can make into something interesting for Christmas. The little round dark thing ($5 at Second Chance) is a very old, very tarnished copper dish (ashtray?) with an image of this, which just happens to be where I got married. I'm hoping I can clean it up with a little lemon juice and kosher salt; it will go in my travel-themed guest room when I'm done. The vintage buttons are also from Second Chance and cost anywhere from 10¢ to $1 per card.
Vintage wallpaper samples from the 1950s, $1 each from Manto Fev. I may have mentioned before that I want to wallpaper the panel on the old-door-turned-headboard in my guest room. I bought these papers for that project, but this is just a start--I'm going to need much more!
Love the sparklies! The snowflake pin and the flower bouquet were both from Fairmont and I bought them specifically to hold on my sash at Bella Gypsy night--I had forgotten to pack any of my vintage brooches, so I had to go buy some, not that I minded! LOL They were inexpensive at $7 each, which is much less than my local thrifts would have charged, and I will definitely wear them again. The other pieces are old single earrings. Second Chance had boxes full of them for us to choose from--they had advanced notice that Bellas are much like magpies in their love of anything shiny. :) These were from the $1 box but they are great! Again, my local thrifts would have charged far more, even for earrings with no mates. If they see even one rhinestone in a piece of jewelry, they automatically mark it up to $9.95, with no regard to the quality--many times the pieces are missing stones or are just plain ugly. It was such a treat to be able to choose from so much, so reasonably priced at Second Chance--the jewelry selection was definitely one of the highlights of the store!
One other thing I bought but didn't photograph is a vintage feathered headband. It is various shades of bright pink & fuschia and it is slightly ridiculous, but I love it so much! I have NO idea what I'll do with it or where on earth I could possibly wear such an over-the-top thing, but I knew that if I didn't buy it, I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it and I would regret it terribly. I'll have to fix my hair in a 40's chignon and model it for you--it's a hoot! Looks like it was made from some poor, unfortunate flamingo. It's awesome.
Even with all that I bought, I've still had a few pangs of wishing that I had bought more--more jewelry and old photos at Second Chance, more stuff at Vendor Night. I'm not sure that even if I had bought more I'd be satisfied though--I always want more! So I'm just going to be happy with the treasures I did find; I think I got some pretty neat stuff!
Friday, November 16, 2007
I have no idea where she learned that--the only toasting that goes on at this house is the variety that I eat topped with peanut butter for my breakfast in the morning. I almost choked on my banana, I was laughing so hard.
Photos taken yesterday afternoon. The first one is what I got when I asked her to smile, the second is when I told her to "say cheese."
My first class was entitled "Christmas Vignettes," taught by the talented (and tall!) Rebecca Sower. We made a series of six "Christmas Vignettes" using vintage images, silver glass glitter, and various trims and mirrors and bells and other fun little things to embellish them. I didn't finish my vignettes (actually, I didn't finish a single project the whole weekend!) so I don't have a photo to show you right now, but hope to soon. Another highlight for that class for me was meeting the darling Amy Powers of Inspire Co. Amy's blog was one of the first I started reading and I've loved it ever since. Amy is charming and delightful, (which you know if you read her blog) and it was such a treat to meet her! Her happiness is infectious!
After Rebecca's whirlwind class, my next stop was Teresa McFayden's "Bella's Bracelet." In this class we learned how to make a bracelet out of beautiful vintage velvet ribbon, tulle, buttons, and beaded chain. Now, I don't really sew, nor do I embroider, so I don't have a lot of experience with a needle & thread beyond sewing lost buttons back onto my pants. However, I do have experience with beading and working with my hands in general, so I thought I'd be able to make my bracelet with no problem. Wrong! I don't know what happened, but I was all thumbs and while everyone else at my table was confidently sewing their pleated ribbons, I was fumbling along, just trying to get started. I think my awkwardness was partly that I had just broken several fingernails all the way down to the quick, and without my nails my fingers feel like stubs and they just don't function right. Silly, but it's true! Also, the room was cold and I was nervous so my hands were alternately cold and clammy, further rendering them useless appendages. Everyone at my table finished their bracelets, and I...well, I didn't even come close. I need remedial Bella Bracelet-making class or something! You can see a photo of what the finished product was supposed to look like here. I've since found an easier way to make the flower ruffle so I'm just going to unpick all of my stitches and start again from scratch. Maybe I'll wait for my fingernails to grow in again, just to be sure! Here's a photo of the ladies at my table and Miss Foof (Teresa) in the middle. Notice that everyone else is modeling their bracelets, and I'm holding mine together. Ha! I will finish it and it will be fabulous, you'll see.
After class we hightailed it to the ballroom for our Bella luncheon. We had a lovely lunch (I was starving!) and we were able to hear more from the two Country Living editors who had been hanging out in our classes that morning. They were really great and answered questions from all of us about the magazine, how they spot trends, where they go to do stories, etc. It was really interesting, and it seemed like they had a really good time all weekend! They told us that the Silver Bella story will be published sometime next fall, maybe October or November. I can't wait to see it! Another fun thing at the luncheon--I won a door prize! I never win anything, so I was thrilled, and when I saw my prize I was even more excited! I won this daddy-o, which I saw at Michael's the other day priced at $59.99! I have been wanting a large paper cutter for a while, so I am just tickled. Now I just have to find a place to put it where Maren can't use it to cut her fingers off.
After lunch I had one more class, this time with Jenny & Aaron of Everyday is a Holiday fame. I absolutely adore their work, so I was so excited to be in their classes! They designed the cutest project for us with hand-painted snowy cottages and trees, all in their signature pastel colors. I didn't finish mine but if you click on Jenny's blog and scroll down you can see what it will look like. I didn't finish mainly because I wanted to do a little more customization, but didn't have the tools I needed with me.
By the time class was over it was 4:00 pm and I'd been going non-stop since 8:00 am, so I was beat! I had just enough time for a quick rest and then my mom and I had to get dressed for the big Bella ball that evening. I've already shown you what we looked like, but here's a link to one more shot taken by cute Hope of Paper Relics. Vendor night was just amazing and it was such a treat to see everyone all dressed up. What fun!
After the vendors packed up we all met back in the ballroom to exchange our swap items. I participated in two swaps: Aquabella (Christmas ornaments made in a silver & aqua theme) and the Christmas tag swap. For the Aquabella swap our hostess, Tammy Gilley, provided the prettiest Tiffany-blue paper bags for us to divide out our swaps. Don't they look inviting, all stuffed with ribbon and cellophane? There are some amazing creations in that bag, let me tell you! The tag swap was a little chaotic, and I'm not 100% sure that I ended up with one from everybody, but the creations are really wonderful and now I have 20 little individual works of art from some of my fellow Bellas.
After the swap we went up and went to bed--it was at least 11:00 pm at that point and we'd had a busy but exhausting day. I slept like a baby!
Back later with day 3 and photos of all the goodies I bought!
Tablecloth Thursday! I took the photos yesterday but didn't get them posted, so I'm a day late.
This week it's my vintage Thanksgiving tablecloth, an excerpt of which you see here. I bought this last year sometime at a thrift store and I feel so lucky to have found it, as I know it probably wasn't a common design. It has a mustard-colored panel in the middle and a design of orange and mustard fall squash & veggies in the border, punctuated by cute little Pilgrim village scenes like this one. It has a few stains that I now suspect are rust, so if I can get hold of some Whink I'll see if I can get them out. Otherwise, I love it!
And today's Friday Fiver:
1. What's the last thing you threw away?
A sodden diaper and the eggshell from Maren's scrambled egg breakfast.
2. Have you ever been to Paris?
Yes, almost this exact time of year, but in 1998. We spent Thanksgiving there. Can't believe it was so long ago! Maybe I should get working on that scrapbook, eh?
3. What do you stare at?
My Bloglines, waiting for it to update. :) I'm addicted!
4. What do you hurry for?
I hurry get things done during Maren's naptime, my only chance for a little peace & quiet.
5. Friday fill-in:I could have been ___.
I could have been showered & dressed by now if I hadn't gotten sucked into looking at the extra clearance items on Talbots.com.
More Silver Bella to come!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
When we got to the hotel to check in we met even more Bellas! Our first official event was a 6:00 pm private shopping event at a local antique store in the Old Market part of town. Some of us decided to catch the shuttle over there early to beat the rush, and I got to meet a few more Bellas--Linda and Kimla. Our first stop was Fairmont Antiques, which turned out to be the most enormous antique mall I've ever seen! No kidding, it seemed that every time I turned the corner a huge new room opened up in front of me, and every booth was simply packed to the gills with great stuff. I knew I needed a brooch for my outfit on Friday night so that is what I set to finding. One of the neatest things I saw was a case full of these amazing, gorgeous vintage Czech Christmas tree pins. Wow! The sparkles and colors were eye-popping.
It didn't take me long to find some treasures! Prices were very reasonable compared to similar items here in Denver. After Fairmont, we walked across the street to Second Chance Antiques for our special Bella event. We arrived at 5:00 pm, an hour before the official event's start and already it was packed with Bellas scooping up bargains!
Let me stop and tell you about Second Chance. Second Chance--Ha! More like Second Home for most of us that weekend! I've never been a store like it and doubt that I ever will again, unless I get to go to Silver Bella 2008! The store is large, but to say that it was packed would be a gross understatement. It was unbelievable--antiques and vintage items piled all over each other, stuffed under furniture, stacked to the ceilings, in every nook and cranny you can imagine. It was actually a little difficult to navigate the narrow, labyrinthine aisles--I was terrified I was going to knock something precious and breakable to the floor with my purse. The basement is filled with vintage clothing, sewing notions, and cases of the most beautiful, sparkly rhinestone jewelry you could ever hope to find in one place. Honestly, I think I walked around with my jaw agape for the first 30 minutes I was in the store, as agog as I was at the sheer amount of STUFF there was. Now, it was dirty and jam-packed and dusty and I know I saw at least 4 cats wandering around, so it is not for the faint of heart or faint of dirt. But it's the kind of place where if you're willing to dig, you'll be rewarded.
It didn't take long for the ambient temperature to get way above the comfortable range, and the noise and crowding got to be a little too much so we paid for our purchases and left, though I was already planning when I'd be back. Before we left I did notice a couple of photographers, and knew that my suspicions about Teresa's hint about "company" coming to Silver Bella were true! A team of two editors and two photographers from Country Living were there taking pictures for a future story on Silver Bella!!
It felt delightfully cool and quiet once we escaped the chaos of Second Chance, and we met up with some of our new friends to go find something to eat. We ended up at Julio's, a teeny-tiny Mexican place, with Linda, Natalea, Sharon, Janey, Jessi and Tiffany, sharing chips and salsa and chatting away like old friends, until it was time to summon the cute shuttle driver to deliver us back to the hotel. We got back fairly early--I don't think it was even 9:00 pm yet, but my mom and I went back to our room to get unpacked and ready for our classes the next morning. I had a hard time getting to sleep that night--visions of rhinestones and vintage Christmas ornaments swam in my head for a long time until I finally drifted off, well past midnight. I knew that if that day had been any indication, it was going to be an awesome weekend!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I still haven't unpacked all my projects and treasures because I want to get photos of everything before I put it all safely away and out of reach of a certain 2-year-old, so I will share those later posts. I do have a photo of my mom and me dressed up for our big party on Friday night.
The dress-up theme for the evening was "Junk Gypsies" so all the Bellas wore our cowboy boots and hats along with gobs of jewelry and poofy skirts and crinolines. My mom and I decided we needed to go a little more toward the rodeo queen look and she made us some glittery sashes to wear--mine said "Mrs. Silver Bella Colorado" and hers said "Mrs. Silver Bella Utah" and we got laughs out of them all night long! If you look close you can see that I'm even wearing a corsage--the head Bella, Miss Teresa, picked me as one of the best-dressed and so I received a pretty corsage of pink roses and aqua ribbons, with added rhinestones, of course. :)
That night was Vendor Night, and we were able to shop at 40 tables of the most amazing, talented artists and vendors that etsy has ever seen! It was just eye-popping to see the displays and the wares that people had brought and I think I'm already kicking myself for not buying more. :) I know for sure there are definitely some some etsy shops I'll be visiting again and again! After the vendors had cleaned up, we all went back to exchange our swap items. I don't have photos of those yet either, but I will post them soon! It was like Christmas to get bags stuffed to bursting with beautiful, glittery creations from my fellow Bellas! That was just the capper to the most amazing day--I went to bed that night SO happy I just wanted to burst!
While you're waiting for me to get some more pictures up (hoping to get it done during Maren's naptime today), here are some other Bellas who already have photos posted:
ArtsyMama Kari Ranstrom
Kim Haynes (official Bella photographer)
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Greetings from Santa's Sweatshop!...er, Workshop, that is. I've spent all weekend with glitter, glue and feathers stuck to my fingers and clothes as I've been preparing goodies for Silver Bella, which I leave for on Thursday! I am participating in two swaps and although I swore when I signed up for them that I'd get my items finished well before the deadline, it somehow snuck up on me and here I am, scrambling at the last minute (as usual). DH joked about the "Silver Bella Sweatshop" labor I was putting in while we caught up on Season 2 of "Heroes" and the multiple trips to the local craft stores I've made over the past few days (three trips on Saturday alone).
I finally got it all done last night and now comes my traditional "swap angst" period in which I stress and worry that everything I made is crap and when I see the amazing, fabulous creations everyone else has made, I'll want to commit seppuku to spare myself the shame and embarrassment that comes from making inferior craft items. Hey--I didn't say it was a rational fear.
Since I've been crafting all weekend the house is a disaster, so today and tomorrow I need to pack, clean up this mess, do the laundry, and I really want to take down the Halloween decorations before I leave because as much as I love them, I am tired of seeing them. That means I need to get moving, but before I go I must show you the lovely Sister Swap package I received from Laurie last week (sorry I'm so late in posting it, Laurie!):
Laurie sent me lots of yummy chocolate (most of which has been devoured), some fun Halloween decorations like a scary skull (perfect for my creepy decor!) and the foil spiral things (which Maren loved). She included a cute little package for Miss Maren that included cool bugs and spiders and cute Snoopy fruit snacks. But my favorite things in the package are the little bat (in Maren's bag, but swiped by me) and the darling owl! Laurie is a very talented maker of wool softies and I am just tickled to receive some of her work. The owl came complete with costumes for the holidays--you can see them all here on Laurie's blog where she has a better photo. When I put the pig nose on the owl I laughed and laughed--yes, I am that easily amused. :)
And now, I must fly!
Friday, November 02, 2007
And now, on to the gratuitous cute Halloween kid photos. :) Maren made a darling little mermaid! She was so excited to put on her costume and asked all day if it was time to go Trick or Treating yet. We practiced all morning and she was a pro by the time it got dark. We had only intended to go to our neighbors' houses, but she took to it like a duck to water (or should it be a mermaid to water?) and soon we were running to catch up with her!
She had SO much fun, and we had even more fun watching her. Daddy took the video camera so we could catch all of the cuteness in action. She is just a doll anyway, but put her in a cute costume and teach her to say (in her cute little chirpy two-year-old voice), "Thank you! Happy Halloween" and I don't care who you are, if that doesn't make you melt then you have no heart. Then when we came home, she had as just much fun handing out candy to the kids who came to our door. Halloween--the best night of the year to be a kid. :)
And to end, an appropriate Friday Fiver:
1. Did you celebrate Halloween? Silly question! ;)
2. Do you like to dress in costume? Love it! I dressed up for our party but didn't dress up in costume to go ToT with Maren. I did wear a Halloween shirt that day, though.
3. Favorite chocolate? Neuhaus (fancy schmancy hard-to-find Belgian chocolate) but the past two days it's been anything I can swipe from Maren's ToT bag.
4. Best scary movie? "The Changeling"
5. Friday fill-in: ____ scares me. You want the truth? The thought of having another baby anytime soon scares me! I don't know how I'd deal with a newborn and Maren. yikes.