Friday, July 18, 2008

MMMmmmm, Thai food

I should say I am excited because my beloved cousin Terry is coming to visit from Fredericksburg today. I am delighted to see her but I am even more excited because she called me yesterday and say "Hey, why don't I pick up Thai food from Pilin on my way?" I don't get out much , can you tell???

I say though, that but I DID go out last night to a Falls Church Chamber event and attended the opening of the newest Jason's Deli location. When Jason's opens a new location they pick a local charity to highlight and sponsor at their event. Homestretch was their charity of choice. If that sounds familiar it is because Homestretch is one of the charities our big art show is benefitting on August 22 & 23rd. DO mark your calendar for the event. Both Homestretch and CHO are wonderful organizations that deserve support (and as everywhere else, help and support tend to disapear in the summer when people go on vacation)! I had a wry chat with Adam Roth, the Catering Manager over at Jason's, about how impressed we are with Homestretch but how it sort of cows us, as in "What do you do?" "Oh I head an organization that helps get families out of shelters and back into safe, transitional housing. What do you do?" "Oh, I make sandwiches". "Uh, I sell art and uh, stuff". But you have to think bigger than pickle slices and vintage jewelry. Jason's Deli is providing jobs and good food at decent prices and I am providing local artists an avenue to reveal their passion to a whole new community PLUS keeping all of my "art supplies" out if the landfill. Aaah, the joys of working with recycled objects.

It's just a normal happy Friday for me but I found out today is Ryan Oliver's 40th birthday! (Ryan owns BreakThru Technology Partners, Inc. across the hall.) It's a wonderful life: lovely wife, nice kids, owns his own business, what more could you want?

I would want to be able to catch up on my "to-do" list! But then I think, eh, how uneventful! My life is full of events (of course we Stifels make an event of sitting on the front porch!) and I like it that way....

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Holy HatBags Batman!

One of the silliest things I make of all the treasures I "save" are HatBags. The embroidered hat was the first hat bag I made. It was cute as a button but so small that my then 8 year old daughter could barely wear it on her head so I knew the odds of selling it were slim. The hat was soft and as I held it in my hand it sort of folded together forming a shape like a clutch bag. With its light color I thought, "hmm, no, it will get too dirty as a clutch" and the first HatBag was born!
I lovely how the damaged Pucci blouse transformed the heinous olive tulle pillbox with green glitter (!) polka dots into something almost stylish. Stylish with a goofy edge that is. Hatbags are certainly conversation starters! The bag keeps the structural integrity of the hat intact. All the weight of your sundries are born by the bag itself. If someone wanted the hat "back one line of stitching can be removed and the hat is restored.

I carried the hot pink one at a Fund Raiser where it was a big hit before it was raffled off.
And the Mamie Eisenhower-esque gun metal and silver beaded cloche was transformed with the slubbed silk of a salvaged ball gown. My friend Melissa carried this to one (of her many!) award banquets where she is a top achiever at Valassis.
I have made custom bags out of sentimental hats (grandma's old mink comes to mind). They are a fun way to transform something that sits in the closet to something that you can use any day.
PS I FINALLY got he pictures of the wedding gown-pillow transformation to post; scroll down three entries if you would like to see it!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There's no place like home

"House & Home" that is! That's the name of the new novel by Falls Church resident Kathleen McCleary. I was lucky enough to be invited to her book launch party on Monday evening. Except for the fact that I was suffering from SEVERE house envy (The hostess, Barbara Cram lives in an exquisitely restored Victorian with lovely gardens.) I had a wonderful time. Saw some folks that I knew, met a bunch that I didn't and bought two copies of the book! It has a reputation as a "plot twister" so I am excited to read it.

We have LOTS of new art in the shop this week. Phil Napala stopped in and brought me four new pieces including this floral at bottom left.

We have a lot of new and different jewelry as well. One of my favorite pieces in the store right now is this unusual, chunky buddha necklace from Ting & Pixie. I think the carving is beautiful but I love how Jennifer combined the vintage blue beads and the colored stones.

I am madly trying to get the word out about the upcoming art show. I am also having fantasies about knowing a publicist that is fond of the charities that we are supporting (Homestretch and CHO) and would just pop up and offer to do it for free for me! Not holding my breath on that one though.

You have heard of "just in time manufacturing" ? Well, I am kind of like that with my orders and my life at the moment. My poor husband found that out the hard way when he made the mistake of filing an extension for our personal income taxes on April 15th. What was yesterday, hmmmm, the 15th? You guessed it, there I was at 7:30 pm entering my share of the numbers so we could file on time for the extension. And in just another example of "give us this day our daily bread" our refund was EXACTLY equal to the co-payments on Bob's latest prosthesis and my extensive dental surgery that are on this month's VISA card bill. The blessings are there if you look for them.

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