A Gilded Life – Spellbound Event


Welcome Dinner
The Spellbound Event hosted by A Gilded Life Studio was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done. Forgive me for taking so long to post this, but the amount of photos I had to go through was a little overwhelming. I want to take you through the event, but I don’t want this to be a never ending post so I’ve made collages to keep the photos to a minimum length.

Pre-Event SoireeFor people that were able to get to the hotel one day early, they were treated to a Pre-Event Soiree at A Gilded Life studio in Santa Ana. A bus collected all of us for free and took us to a place where my kind of dreams are made of. They really should have handed out napkins at the door because the drool was seriously flowing.

The studio hosts classes and is also a retail shop for the most beautiful things you can imagine. They primed us with an amazing buffet, ridiculously beautiful desserts and of course champagne. Then they taught us a craft with a brand new embossing/cutting machine that’s yet to be on the market. Crafting AND Champagne?! I was giddy. So of course I went shopping.

A Gilded Life purchaseThis was my first night, so I really tried to reign it in because I knew there were going to be many other shopping events throughout the week. I bought this remnant of ruffled fabric that I plan to make a skirt with for Dianna. The two yards of lace are also for Dianna, but the lime green, velvet leaves are for me. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, but I just had to have them.

The French General StoreThe next day a local store called The French General hosted a free crafting/luncheon for those attendees who could drop by. I have loved French General products for years so to have a chance to craft in the store was so exciting. The store did not disappoint. They have an incredible assortment of fabric, beads, buttons, ribbon and paper ephemera. I ate my lunch, made a couple bracelets and scanned the store for what was going to have to go home with me.

French General NotionsMy restraint had started to weaken, obviously. So, so many pretty things.

We rushed back to the hotel with all our goodies and got ready for the Welcome Dinner in the ballroom of the Pasadena Langham Hotel.

Gift Tote bagThe first thing I noticed was that every chair had a really beautiful tote bag hanging on the back. We took our seats and tried to be grown ups and not the little kid inside who wanted to dump out the bags on the floor and check out all the candy. It took a couple glasses of wine to quiet that desperate impulse. I was able to keep a handle on it, which was difficult considering that this is what the inside looked like:

gift bag treasuresThe hosts and sponsors of this event were extremely generous with their products. There were so many cool new products in this bag that I think I’ve returned to  square one on my destashing efforts. But wait………there’s more……….

Spellbound embossing machineAfter dessert they surprised us by giving every single attendee a brand new, not on the market yet, Spellbound Artisan machine and a ton of dies and plates to go with it. I thought Oprah was going to come out and hand out car keys next. If you haven’t heard a room full of grown women squeal before, you’re definitely missing out. It absolutely made my heart race.

embossed bookThere are lots of embossing and die cutting machines on the market. This new machine’s advantage is that it can do both at the same time. The little book above is what we made the night before. We inked the plate before running the linen covered paper through the machine so not only was it embossed, it was stained in the low areas as well. So beautiful and so easy. It works on paper, fabric and leather. You have to get one.

When I got to my room with my new machine and bag full of awesome crap I totally dumped it all on my bed like a little girl and looked at every little treasure one at a time. It was awesome.

mixed media classesThe four classes I took over the next two days were amazing. I would love to show you all the finished products but I’m going to give a couple as gifts, so they have to remain a secret. The teachers were great and I learned so many new techniques that I’m still pumped up with ideas.

mercantile displayFriday night was the Dreamland Mercantile, and with a lot of help from my roommate I got my display set up with enough time to shop the other vendor tables.

Dreamland Mercantile vendorsThey had about 30 vendors, all real different, but all so beautiful. I sold enough to pay for my table and make a little profit. The feedback I got was very valuable so I’m definitely glad I did it.

Saturday night they hosted an Up All Night Craft Party that was a total blast. The vendors set up about six different craft stations with a different project at each of them. More free stuff!

They also provided late night munchies like sliders and mac n cheese, which was followed by an amazing display of desserts. I should have taken a picture but I was in a chocolate coma.

Craft party projectsThese are the things I made. They taught us how to make flowers with our new machines and we cut flowers out of a bunch of different fabrics and glued them all on an apron. It’s adorable. I made a mixed media tag book that’s so cute. I also stenciled a canvas bag to hold all my new stuff. The long necklace laying on top was the name tag every one wore. They made 150 of these, and each metal bezzle has our name floated in the resin inside. It’s stunning and actually one of my favorite things from the event.The Rose Bowl Flea MarketThe event was topped off with a Sunday morning trip to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. I had always wanted to go, and it was definitely worth the drive. They have a huge number of very good vendors with a vast array of antique and vintage finds. I loved the fabric stall at the top which specialized in vintage fabrics and trim. Very good prices and a large selection.

I have to say sorry to my good friend Jerry for not picking up the clown painting. I know it would go great over your bed, but I just didn’t have any more room in my car.

Rose Bowl purchasesThis is what came home with me. I’m going to use the vintage runners on my Thanksgiving tables this year and they’ll be so cute.

From there I drove home with a car full of treasures and a brain buzzing with ideas. The event was more than I could have dreamed of and I will definitely be returning next year. The generosity of the hosts and sponsors was overwhelming, but it was their attention to every detail that really pushed it over the top. It was obvious that they understood what makes a woman’s heart sing, and they were just so willing to make it happen.

A big Thank You to the women at A Gilded Life and the people at Spellbound. You gave me more than you’ll ever know.

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Nautical Style Mail Organizer

mail organizerThis mail organizer is my latest creation…..and I’m in  love with it! All the pieces of this message center came together over the last few months. Every time I found another nautical piece I put it in a little pile in the corner of my studio (a clean pile, I swear). Last week I found the final piece at the Mattson Co. sale, so I got to finally put all the pieces together. Ta Da!

cork boardThe brass key rack at the top of this message center was the little treasure I found last week. It’s so patriotic and kitschy, it’s awesome. The fabric I used for the bulletin board came from my friend’s house when we cleaned out her grandmother’s fabric stash. It’s got little anchors and ship helms running across it. The pushpins are covered button and are covered in fabric from my late mother’s stash. The notepad holder is upholstered with vintage fabric, again from my friend’s stash (I brought home so much fabric that it will take me years to use it all up). The notepad holder hangs from a hook screwed into a piece of plywood that I added some hand painted details to. It’s adorable. The pad holder itself is refillable, so you can keep it forever.

mail holderThe mail holder is the piece I love most. I found this book at an estate sale months ago. My daughter and I let out a little squeal when we unearthed it. The nautical symbols on the cover are so graphic and cool, I just had to bring it home. It of course hangs from a 3-ring binder spine, making it portable when you open the rings. I decorated it with red and white cording and a silver crab pendant that I picked up at a flea market. The old camping cup sits on an L-bracket and can hold all your pens and scissors.

So that’s my newest listing. Please check out my Etsy shop and pass this post along to anyone you know that needs help getting organized and has a thing for sailors. Have a great Wednesday……..Hump Day!

Inventory used: latex paint, acrylic craft paint, antiquing glaze

Fair Warning: You’re going to be jealous

I’ve never been one of those girls that like purses. Let me rephrase that…I’ve never been one of those girls that like traditional purses. I don’t understand why people like Coach, Dooney & Burke, Dolci Gabbana, etc (please forgive me if I’ve misspelled those, I don’t like them so I don’t know how to spell them). Categorically, I think traditional purses are too heavy, too flashy and too big. So when I need to get a new bag I pretty much drag my feet on the way to finding a replacement.

For about a month I have been dragging around a small backpack because I got sick of how big my last purse was. I didn’t put all the stuff in it that I actually need because I didn’t want to admit that I needed a new purse. If I admitted to the need I would have to actually shop for a purse, and I hate shopping for purses. I decided that maybe the best way to prevent one of those horrible shopping trips I could just try to make a purse. So the other night I searched Pinterest for “free purse patterns.” I found one I liked and found the time yesterday to sew it up. Warning: it’s adorable.

Phoebe BagTo die for, I know. This pattern is called the Phoebe Bag and is from Rebeka Lambert at artsy-crafty babe. I found her free pattern on Pinterest and it took me only 4 1/2 hours to sew, and I swear I wasn’t racing. The pattern and directions print out in 4 pages and the pattern pieces are the correct size, you don’t have to enlarge them at all.

artsy-crafty babeThe fabric I used is all from my stash. The only thing I had to buy was a magnetic snap closure. The lime-green flocked linen and the green damask print on the inside were pieces I picked up at Matilda’s Mouse Clearance sale last month. The cream tulip patterned fabric on the flap came from my friend Kate’s garage when we were cleaning it out. The bright blue, brown and green floral on the strap was a vintage piece I picked up at an antique store in Capitola when we were visiting Aunt Crystal’s beach house (aka: Heaven on Earth).

inside pockets inside-handmade-purseThere are two pockets on the inside for my phone and my keys. The pattern was really easy to follow and I didn’t find any flaws with the design or the directions. I don’t consider myself an expert sewer at all, so if you’re tempted to try this, definitely jump in. I’m so happy with the way it turned out (obviously).

I know this post has nothing to do with painting, so thanks for indulging me in my stray from the main topic of this blog. I just think this bag is so stinking cute that I have to share it. So what did you do with your Labor Day?

Vintage Patchwork Curtain

Mollie Makes Magazine

Mollie Makes is my favorite magazine right now. It’s a British publication, but you can either subscribe (it’s my annual birthday present from my husband) or pick it up at Barnes & Noble. It’s not shown above, but it always comes with a little gift like a crafting kit or a spool of ribbon, it’s adorable. It has lots of crafting how-to articles, and highlights artists and stores both in Europe and America. I love it.

Anyway, in one of the issues this summer they showed an idea for making a patchwork curtain out of vintage handkerchiefs and napkins. I tried to find that image (I gave the magazine away) but I can’t find it, so sorry for that. The image energized me to make one for my studio.

Inspired by my husband’s aunt Crystal and her craftiness, I’ve collected quite a few vintage hankies, tea towels and napkins with the intention of turning them into pillows. Crystal makes these beautiful patchwork pillows out of vintage pieces and they’re so pretty. However, since my husband and daughter can’t deal with texture (don’t ask) I never attempted to make any. (I also noticed that some of my pieces were a little stained, which when you consider they’re hankies, is kind of gross and who wants to rest their head on that?) So I had a collection, but nothing to do with them. Then Mollie Makes gave me a new idea.

vintage patchwork curtain

First of all, forgive me for the quality of the photos. I have photoshopped the crap out of these images. Taking photos of windows still has me baffled.

Anyway, this is the curtain I made from my collection. Making this up are tea towels, napkins, handkerchiefs and pillow case edging, all vintage. It’s nice because even though I mounted it all on a lining of sheet fabric, it’s still transparent enough to let the light in, but protects me from the searing afternoon sun that hits my window every day. I am not complaining about the sun in San Diego……it’s perfect compared to everywhere else in the world………I’m just trying to minimize the skin damage.

patchwork hanky curtainsThis is what they look like when they’re tied back. Again…adorable. I don’t know why, but they remind me of curtains in old Airstream campers. So cute.

hanky tie backI made tie backs out of embroidered napkins……..also……..adorable. I love them. I used up my entire collection, which fits the Destashio mission statement, so I feel pretty good about it. It didn’t cost anything, except time and backache from hunching over it while I pieced it together on my floor (no table big enough). So that’s another plus.

Well, that’s what I made last week. It was a bit of a brain teaser, but I love the results. Thanks, Mollie Makes!

Really Quick Chair Makeover

black toile chairsSeveral months ago my stepmother brought me two chairs she had picked up at an antique shop. She knew I’d love the fabric and thought I could probably fix up the paint and make them better.

She was right, I do love the fabric. Unfortunately the person who had them before me had used a ton of hot glue to stick the trim on, so when I removed the seats to paint them the fabric got kind of trashed. Now what?

I knew my sister needed new chairs and I decided to make them over for her instead.

adorable chairs Aren’t they adorable! I found the fabric at JoAnn’s Fabric and it’s made for the outdoors so it’s really durable. Durability is a must at my sister’s house because they have big dogs running around and they just brought home a new puppy.

very colorful chairsThis makeover only took a couple days. Removing the original fabric was the toughest part. After that was gone, the rest of the work was simple. I used a new Valspar prime + paint spray which covered the black quickly. The new paint is really bright and high gloss so it’s fun and trendy. I added some new padding to the seat before covering it with the new fabric.

My sister loves them and they look adorable in her dining room. Easy peasy.

Visit South Park, San Diego

Rebecca's Coffee ShopSouth Park, San Diego is one of the neighborhoods we’ll be looking at when we move out of our suburban home next year. The neighborhood sits just south of beautiful Balboa Park (get it, South Park).The photo above is of a mural outside Rebecca’s Coffee House on the corner of 30th and Fern St.

Rebecca's Coffee HouseRebecca’s is always my first stop when I get a chance to visit the area. This Saturday I indulged in a large apple cinnamon muffin and a medium latte. They always sprinkle a little cinnamon in their lattes which is heaven. It’s the perfect snack place before you wander across the street to my favorite store in South Park.

The Grove at Juniper & 30th

The Grove at Juniper & 30th is a completely unique store. It’s a bookstore/yarn store/fabric store/kitchen store/clothing boutique/gift store. I love independent bookstores but the book buyer at this store is especially good at her job and they carry a really different collection of books. They don’t carry Miley Cyrus’ memoir but I did pick up a copy of Anne Lamott’s newest book. Yay, Me! 

yarn departmentFor all you yarn addicts out there….the yarn collection here is spectacular. I don’t knit, but this place makes me want to learn. They hold classes here and you can also arrange for private lessons in knitting and crochet. My daughter and I are considering arranging a beginning crochet lesson for the both of us before her Fall break. Going to get our crochet on!

fabric departmentIf you’re a quilter, this is the place for you. They have a great collection of the newest fabrics. They carry Amy Butler and Judi Patuti fabrics as well as a large line of laminated fabrics. It’s really hard to walk out without any. So pretty.

gift sectionIf you’re looking for a gift, this is a great store for finding really unique gifts. They carry items created by local artists, as well as a great collection of kitchen tools and aprons.

country cottageThis corner has several cool stores, adorable cottages and the cafes are dog-friendly, so next time you’re near Balboa Park, wander over to South Park and see where the cool people hang out. Hopefully next year, that will include me as well.

Craft Supply Organizing at its Best

craft stationI know none of you are affected by good organization the way I am….this new piece I listed today makes me a little weepy.

Washi tape dispenserThis craft supply organizer was made to organize a scrapbooker. The paper holder is made from a book that’s over 12″ wide so it can handle 12″ x 12″ papers. The washi tape holders were made from old souvenir coaster holders. The have removable dowels so you can add/subtract rolls as needed. They hold 3 standard rolls each. Plus, they’re adorable.

ribbon organizerThe bottom shelf is made of galvanized steel. I’m not sure what this thing was originally created for, but I snagged three of them in the salvage dept of my local Veteran’s Thrift Store. It’s plenty big and sturdy enough to hold all sorts of glue, paint and craft punches.

ribbon rackThe ribbon rack was made from an old bottle rack. I just cut them apart so they could accommodate bigger spools. They’ll hold about 4 or 5 spools each.

craft centerIt’s a beautiful piece. I love the color combo, the fabric of the book, but really, I just love the idea of someone organizing all their craft supplies. The peace that comes from seeing all your crap turned into beauty is priceless, right?

If you’re itching to get organized, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Inventory used: acrylic craft paint, latex paint, Stain & Seal