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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Dreaming of an Art Retreat

Spellbinders EventOne year ago I saw an ad for this art retreat and I was dying to go. I’ve wanted to go to a mixed-media event for years, but they’ve always involved airfare and I just couldn’t justify it. This Spellbound Event was just two hours drive from my house, but since I didn’t have any extra cash, I didn’t go last year. I promised myself I would go this year so I set aside money ahead of time. I signed up for it the day registration opened in April and I’ve been counting the days ever since.

embellished bookThe retreat consists of a formal welcome dinner, followed by late night crafting, two days of classes, a mixed-media market, an up all night craft party and a field trip to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. I’ve died and gone to Heaven!

mixed media necklaceI’ve signed up for 5 classes, three of which I’ve posted photos of the finished products here. I picked classes that were either teaching techniques I’m not familiar with or products that I haven’t used.

embellished panelI didn’t want to post all five photos because you would be sobbing with jealousy. I’m sure by now you’re a little weepy and I’m sorry, but I just had to show you why I’m so excited. The group has also added a pre-event Soiree at A Gilded Life Studio, and a field trip to The French General in LA, both of which have been on my must-see list for years.

Because I wasn’t worked up enough, I decided at the last minute (no joke, like two weeks ago) to rent a table at their market and bring all my Salvaged Sanity products to sell. One of the major sponsors of the event is “Where Women Create” magazine, which is my all-time favorite magazine, and I would love to get my products in front of their editor who is attending the event. I think my stuff is right up her alley.

So the past few days I’ve been putting a table together and getting my stuff ready to sell. It would be nice to sell a few things, but more than anything I’m just trying to be seen.

Langham Hotel PasadenaThe retreat takes place at the Langham Hotel which looks stunning from the pictures. I’m going to be sharing a room with a woman I have only spoken to on the phone and through email. We actually have a lot in common and I’m really looking forward to meeting her.

So that’s what my life is revolving around this week. I leave November 6th which is just a few days away. I’ve practically got my table finished and I’m going to make a few more things to sell. The big challenge will be getting all of this into my Prius. Wish me luck!

All photography, except the hotel shot, are by I See the Moon photography.

Matilda’s Mouse Antique Show – Halloween 2013

Welcome to Matilda's MouseI am totally loving my daughter’s senior year. Every once in awhile she gets out of school at 11:19 am because she doesn’t have a 6th period class. Today that scheduled blessing was timed perfectly to coincide with Matilda’s Mouse monthly antique show………the Halloween Edition! Our favorite. (One sad note: Matilda, the dog who the show is named for, passed away last month. Make sure you sign the condolences book at the entrance)

Skeleton welcome crewLoved the welcome gate. The skeleton dude just gives you that warm fuzzy feeling.

Halloween barn entranceMatilda’s Mouse Antique Show takes place once a month in a barn on the Betty Crocker Estate in Valley Center (29200 Miller Road, Valley Center, CA 92082). It’s a three day event from Friday through Sunday. There’s a theme every month, and October is always Halloween. We love Halloween.

creepy portrait vignetteThe show has everything from crystal and china, to rusted primitives and architectural salvage. Definitely something for everybody.

3 guys and a coffinIt’s a antique home decor show…….with a twist. I wanted this coffin box bad but it’s not as fun without the three creepy dudes, and I just couldn’t swing the whole group. Their prices are very reasonable, but having just come off a big trip, I’m trying to keep the purse strings tight.
antique dress formI have a thing for crows and a couple of cool ones did make it home with me. This dress form is fantastic, even without the raven wings. The metal frame at the bottom is in perfect condition. She’d be so much fun to decorate for each season, don’t you think?

upside down furniture

The women that put this event together are so creative, and the layers are so deep. This vignette is hanging high in the rafters. You have to go slow to catch all their ingenuity.

wood carved birdcageThis highly detailed, carved wood birdcage is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. I’ve never seen anything like it.

frightful frolicLove the witches legs. Great job with the chalkboards all around the place as well.

Halloween vignetteWe’re putting our Halloween porch together this weekend and we love going to Matilda’s to pick up a couple new things, but what we really fill up on is inspiration. How could we not?

witch vignetteIt’s an outstanding show and I can’t recommend it enough. Before the holiday season gets in full swing, take a quick Saturday drive out to Valley Center. It’s a great mother-daughter day out. I know this mother-daughter couple sure had a great time. What are you doing this weekend?

Marburger Farm’s Antique Show

(this is part of a series that began September 27th)

cream and brown design schemeThanks to my cousin letting us take her car first thing, (Thanks, Cheri!) Dianna and I got our Starbucks and headed out to the Marburger Farm’s Antique Show as fast as our loaner car could take us. Not as fast as the speed limit, however, which is 80mph in some places…….crazy Texans. You can see by the very first photo that it was totally worth going. Yummmmmmmmm.

dark and lovely displayI have been to a fair share of shows, but I’ve never seen one this big or with such a high caliber of display and merchandising all in one place. I’m used to going to big shows and seeing a handful of vendors who go all out with eye catching booths. This show didn’t have one display that was boring or uninteresting.

vintage crates and boxesEven the vendors who specialized in a certain thing made an effort to grab your attention. I loved these crates. The vendor adds the handles and varnishes them to really bring out their color. Love that.

vintage books and tinsThis was the first booth we saw, in the first tent we went to . They had a little bit of everything, so we took our time. My goal was to see as much as we could but not rush. It was hot so I didn’t want us perspiring anymore than necessary.  A sweaty shopper is an unhappy shopper.

antique chandeliersThey have several old houses and shacks on the property that were shared by a small number of vendors whose stuff complimented eachother. This one had lighting, coral and metal bins. Works for me.

columns and butterfliesThis booth made me want to cry it was so beautiful. I mean, come on! If you aren’t crying right now it’s because you have no soul and you might want to do something about that.

antlers, branches and busts, oh myThe way they displayed their wares also gave me new ideas for the stuff I already have. I love how this vendor used natural materials to enhance their architectural pieces.

mmmmmmmm...egg saladNow for an intermission: The heat outside made us steer clear of the bbq stands. We settled on egg salad on homemade bread with pickles, Lays potato chips and sweet tea. Scrumtious. The egg salad was cold and yummy and fortified us for the rest of the day.

deer head artI’m just now realizing that I probably shouldn’t put this photo of deer heads so close to the lunch picture……..too late.

Taxidermy is big right now. This will make my friend, Amy G., never speak to me again, but I am going to say that I really liked this display. I’m not saying I’m going to go kill one of my own, but if someone gave me one, I would probably hang it in a similar fashion, and I’d probably name it, and put hats on it.

taxidermy artSorry again, Amy. I really loved these, and if I had $450 burning a hole in my pocket I probably would have come home with one. She also had skunks that were really cute. Dead…….but cute. That doesn’t make sense, does it? Sorry.

dreamy bed displayOkay, sorry again, Amy. They’re friggin’ everywhere. This one’s pretty creative. Who would have thought that a deer head, old film reels, metal siding and branches would make such an awesome headboard. Obviously Amy wouldn’t think it’s awesome, but some people would. Someone like me, unfortunately. (I can almost feel her deleting me from her Contacts)

glamourous birdcageThis should make everyone feel a little better; the birds in this fantastic aviary are alive. But now that I’m thinking about it, caged birds make me sad. Dang it, I was so close.

Anyway, the lengths that some of these vendors went to was awe-inspiring. These people brought live birds all the way from somewhere. Sheesh. That’s committment. Bravo. I’m going to pretend they released the doves back into the wild after the show. Come join me in Fantasyland, will you?antique basket rackThis is one of those things that I truly wish I needed because it’s so dang cool. They had it filled with upholstery trim and metal junk.  I’m sure I could find a use for it, right after I find the $2000 I would need to make it mine.

antique letteringI hate to close with another deer head, but it was pretty hard to find displays with out them. This was outside one of the tents. There was so much good stuff that they couldn’t contain it on the inside.

Although we sweated a lot and were overwhelmed by this size of the show, we had a really good time. We didn’t buy hardly anything because everything was a lot more expensive than most shows we go to. I saw a lot of designers with clients, so I think the vendors were aiming for that lot. I don’t blame them. The cost of their booth, as well as shipping costs and lodging during the show had to be astronomical. I’m still really glad we went and loved looking at all the creativity. If you’re ever in Round Top around this time of year, definitely make time to attend. It’s totally worth it.

Marburger’s Farm Antique Fair or Bust

Fun on WheelsI set out Wednesday with a couple of my favorite people and my dog Percy on an RV adventure to Round Top, Texas for the Marburger’s Farm Antique Fair. Marburger’s is an annual show that takes over the tiny town of Round Top, hosting vendors from all over the world for four glorious days in October.

Marburger's Farm Antique Fair

It’s not just an antique show, it’s an event, with ten huge tents, three restaurants and a saloon….that’s right…..a saloon. I don’t know why more antique fairs and flea markets sell alcohol. I understand that most of these shows open around 9 am, and that doing shots before noon could be considered poor taste, but you sure would sell a lot more antique French armoires if the customers were liquored up. Hell, they’d be handing over cash before they even realize that it will never fit in their Prius.

We decided to rent an rv and really make it an adventure. None of us have seen the Grand Canyon, so we decided to make that the first stop. We’ll go from there through Grand Junction, Colorado, followed by Denver to see friends and family. From there we’ll head down to Austin, Texas. Round Top is just outside Austin.

I’ve never taken a trip in an RV, but I figured it would be the best way to include Prince Percius. I hate leaving him behind. I’m so crazy about this dog that it actually subtracts joy from any activity that I have without him. Call me whatever insulting name you use for people like me, but know this…..rolling down the road with this precious soul snoozing on my lap, I am having a way better day than you are.

shhh...angel sleepingI mean………how can you stand it!

Stay tuned, I’ll be posting along my journey whenever I get wi-fi.

 

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

Matilda’s Mouse Antique Clearance Event

Matilda's Mouse AntiquesMatilda’s Mouse is having their August Clearance Event this weekend. We had the chance to go up yesterday, and as always, it was totally worth it. For the clearance event they have a ton of stuff set up outside the barn at really good prices. I think it’s a garage sale for each of the vendors. They get rid of stuff that they’ve decided they’re not going to use or no longer have the energy to refinish.

Matilda's muralThe theme of this event was “The Dog Days of Summer” so they had this adorable mural at the entrance. The mural is of Matilda herself. So cute.

Matilda's Dog HouseHere’s her dog house. She was on a break when we got there. Matilda is very old so it’s rare that you see her anymore.

photos of MatildaThey had plenty of photos of her just in case you miss her.

cool green velvet chairThe barn was beautiful, as always. So much stuff to look at. I loved this green chair, but that will have to wait for my widow house. No tufting allowed in my Husband’s-still-alive house.

Beautiful antique vignetteWe brought home several treasures, but since they were clearance priced, we didn’t end up spending very much. The clearance event goes through Sunday if you still want to go. It’s warm this weekend but not nearly as hot as last year and they have a million fans in the barn to keep you cool. I hope you get a chance to go. It’s like a mini vacation, with awesome shopping.