Tea Time and Magnolias

Today there is rain and low hanging fog banks. There are puddles on the ground and drops collecting on the eaves. The birds are singing and fluttering about the trees. The air is clean and cool and heavy with the smell of good earth. I have longed for these things. Our poor state has longed for these things, as we have not had rain for what feels like a year. But it is back! And has been steady for the past few days. In honor of the thrill of moisture back in the air, I have taken the dog on several long rain walks. We bundled up and roamed the town just for the feel of the drops on our faces. We stood and watched birds, or just paused silently to enjoy the softness of the sounds about. We smelled the good smells and splashed the muddy waters along the embankments.

And now, everyone is dry and curled up in the warm house. Dog is curled up in her bed asleep, and I am perched at the dining room table with a view of outside, a cat in my lap, and a warm

Imagepot of tea. I made some brownies, which are now baking in the oven, and the smell wafts through the house. There is something so wonderful about enjoying the rain from inside. The soft pitter patter on the roof, the diffused grey glow that seems to warm the light. It is all very cozy and romantic. And, feeling this way, I even went out and picked a few magnolias from our bursting tree to bring them into my little snugly bubble of tea time and musings. 

However, as much as I long to dilly dally away the morning with fluttery thoughts, I have been hard at work and will continue to be for the next few months. RLM is preparing for a very big feature in April, and must prepare stock. As 2013 was such a good year for RLM, I realized that my stock was almost nil! So, with my fingers flitting away, with pricks and pokes, I am churning out some fun new pieces. And, dear readers, as you are my special and loved coterie, I am going to give you a preview. Ta-da!

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This lovely will be available very soon, as will some others that I have hidden away. Meanwhile, I must get back to stitching and warming myself with tea. Stay cozy, my dear ones, and enjoy your weathery weekends! Until next time.

Rose La Mer Enters 2014

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I have neglected my poor blog for so long! 2013 was a very busy and successful year for RLM. As part of getting back into the swing of blogging, here is a quick review of the major events I participated in.

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1. Photoshoot with the spectacular Ruby Collins. We got together with Melissa Dee, model, and

Lilly Fuentes-Joy Photography in Port Costa for a vintage inspired shoot. We took over The Bull Valley Roadhouse and the Burlington Hotel for a few hours to catch some stunning images.

2. Trunk shows. RLM participated in several awesome trunk shows this past year! One of the shows even helped benefit a school in San Francisco, which is always a fun way to get people excited. Another was at my girlfriends hair salon in the Haight for an art walk! Met some wonderful new acquaintances and sold several of my all time favorite pieces.

3. Custom orders. The demand for custom pieces this year totally exploded! I love doing custom pieces. Not only do customers get exactly what they want, but it gives me the chance to really get to know them. Its a great way to make new friends!

Image4. Gatsby! My goodness! Thank you, Mr. Gatsby and Daisy. With their help, I was able to participate in several 1920s shows. Each was a fashion show wrapped into a swanky party attended by some very well dressed folks! The final Gatsby show of the year I helped with was run by Global Green and my wonderful girlfriend, Lily Achatz. With a fashion show and a fundraiser, Global Green helps raise awareness for local and community issues that need help. It was an honor to be included in such a amazing fundraiser! RLM even got a huge banner up on the wall. Fun!

5. Shop and branding updates. In the grand scheme of things, RLM has not been around for very long. I've been figuring out things on my own as I move forward. Part of the learning curve is continuing to create a cohesive look and feel for my brand. I want all aspects of RLM to coordinate. Everything from the little tags I tie on to the look of my social media sites. So, over the summer and into the

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winter, I worked diligently on shifting the look of RLM. Signage at shows, tags, cards, Facebook, Etsy, everything is now slowly coming together. My Etsy shop is now starting to feel like one page with the colors of my backgrounds and the way I take my product photography.

I also have had the joy of coming together with a fantastic group of women who are excited to help me move forward. My girls are all models and photographers with a similar esthetic to me. During the summer we came together for a huge all day shoot. With three gals taking photos and a bunch of us modeling, we churned out an amazing slew of product photos. Its been such a joy to work with so many amazing ladies, including House of Winter, Roxy Tart, Cherry D'Lish, and Elyse. We are looking forward to another huge day together, this time in Port Costa, coming up in March. It should be a total fashion and girls in pretties explosion!

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6. The Vintage Doll for RLM. My darling acquaintance, Mimi La Rue, was so sweet to do a full review and feature of RLM. Mimi is a wonderful pin-up model who is actively engaged in the "Love Your Body" campaign and is constantly promoting self love and worth for women.

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All in all, 2013 was a fantastic year! Saying goodbye to original pieces is always a tough move, but its better to say hello to new customers and friends. I had a fantastic journey and am looking forward to another great year with the amazingness I've been lucky to surround myself with! Stay tuned for more!

Cheers!

xo Kelsey

Summer Days Are Here Again...

Well, its that time of year again. The sun is shining, the bugs have moved in, and my redneck neighbors are hollering at the top of their lungs again. I swear, they're like mosquitos. All winter they disappear and as soon as it gets warm, they burst forth in a frenzy of "f**k you"'s, "I don't give a sh*t"'s, and slamming doors. And they tell me my 10lbs chihuahua is the terror of the town. Please. Anyway, my car has decided to give-up on life today, so I've had to forgo work and stay at home. As weird as I feel being at home on a work day NOT being sick, I've enjoyed myself. And so I've decided to write a happy blog post. This is a recap of my life since last time.

I have spent much of my time hidden indoors stitching away until my fingers turn red, but since the sun has graced us with her presence, I have found myself making up reasons to spend time in her glory. And one of those excuses was throwing a picnic. I rounded up a few of my most cherished persons, packed them into my car, and drove up into the Tilden Hills of Berkeley. We brought cheeses, fruit, breads, guacamole, dates, hummus, wine, whiskey, and stuffed my new $5 picnic basket

and $5 vintage booze case (which I mentioned a long time ago in a previous post). We sprawled out on blankets and soaked up the sun. The men puffed cigars, and the ladies made daisy chains and all the while we enjoyed each other's company, good music, good food, and laughed at Iggy the pup chase turkeys. And then we all went home and were asleep by 8pm. Good times.

After my relaxing day with beautiful weather, delicious food, and wonderful people, I discovered I was not done with being in the sun. I took walks through my tiny town with Boyfriend and the pup, I rolled my windows down in the car, and in the evenings I would sit out on our deck. It would not do! And then, as if by divine intervention, my darling friend Stephy, from Honey Cooler Handmade,  called me and asked me to share a booth with her at a fair. I immediately said yes, and found myself thrown into the excitement of Urban Air Market.

Urban Air is a festival that happens once a year in Hayes Valley in San Francisco. Vendors are chosen through an application process, so the quality of the items is extremely high, and the materials sold must be repurposed and recycled. The fair is set up in the beautiful area surrounding the park between Octavia St. and Hayes, and the streets are shut down for one day. That day being May 6th.

It dawned a gorgeous sunny day with a breeze. Stephy got our booth space early in the morning, and I met her at 9.30. We set up tables and racks, and Boyfriend set up a dressing room for us. By eleven we were as ready as we would ever be, and then the people came. What an amazing experience! We could barely leave the booth there were so many people. All the amazing SF folk were out; bikers, couples, families, tons of dogs, and more! We made friends with Melody, the adorable girl next to us, who runs Isobell. She makes gorgeous jewelry. Go look-see.

After hours of standing on our poor highheeled feet (I wore my gorgeous 1940s cream and red spectator pumps) and talking to tons of people, we were able to break down our booth at 6 pm. Steph's man came and helped us load out, and we parted ways tired and ready for food. Burgers and milkshakes to be precise. Both of us made sales, new friends, and had a blast teaming up. We are officially making it work. Thank you, Tim Gunn.

Now, I am feeling those post-show blues and trying to figure out what to make next. Instead of thinking hard, I decided to spend my day off organizing all the new goodies I have stacked around my studio. I have put on Joni Mitchell and Maria Muldaur, poured myself a whiskey, and am singing loudly to my animals as I find places for everything.

The new goal for myself is to do a trunk show. Something bridal. I must tap further into the bridal market. I did finish a piece for my darling friend and bride Susie, and I have another piece coming up for Gaby, but the market for wedding shows is amazing. Steph and I are conspiring ways to do private shows in gorgeous hotels in the city before the wedding season hits so we can get our stuff out there. The only catch is actually making some more pieces for brides and bridesmaids. White, ivory, flowers, and netting. And something blue. Life goes on.

And now, instead of avoiding my fate, I will wrap this up and begin the planning for my next adventure. I will watch my Downton Abbey, and I will make sure my table space is usable. Until then, enjoy the sunny days and don't forget to wear sunscreen!

Thank You! And Downton...

First of all, I want to give a huge shout out to every single one of you for your undying support! Thank you thank you thank you to those of you who have 'liked' me on facebook! Thank you to my dear 12 loyal blog followers! Thank you to all of the busybees on etsy who have added me to circles, added my items to their favorites and treasuries, and given me wonderful advice! And thank you to all of my poor friends who have to listen to me talk constantly about my passion. I know it can be tedious, but you have no idea what your support does. I feel like I can do anything with all of you behind me! But, with that said, my taxes have put me in a foul mood. I have decided to remedy this awful knot of money pain in my stomach with whiskey, Powerberries from TJ's, and Downton Abbey. These, as of now, are all currently my obsessions. If you have not eaten Powerberries you must go buy some right now. They are like crack but of dark chocolate and fruit. And if you have not watched Downton Abbey you must NOW. It is a remarkable soap opera with gorgeous 19teens clothing and jewels, poignant glances between people as they walk down candle lit hallways, intense sexual tension, and the wittiest banter I wish I could speak daily. I do nothing but weep and squeal when I watch it. Poor Boyfriend. But the girls' nights are so much more hilarious!

Anyway, I am in love with Mary's hats. I. Want. To. Be. Her. Loooooooooookkkkkkkkk...look at how elegant. Not only is each hat unique, but they always look like her hat. The cute little upturned, asymmetrical brims are just so wonderful.

I cannot stand it any longer. I have decided I want to make a hat similar to a Mary hat. I've never worked with making something with straw before, and I know one can buy pre-blocked straw forms, but I think it would be fun. This is the one I want to do. If you've watched DA, you know that the last episode of Season 1 is the garden party. There, Mary wears the sweetest little hat, and I am crushing so hard on it. It is of very light straw with different purple hued ribbons, and what appears to be white silk flowers bunched at the upper side of the hat. This is the best shot i was able to find, for it seems that no one cares as much about this as I. Thats okay. I want it.

I'm not sure what it is about Mary and her hats (not to mention her clothing), but they have changed me and my appreciation. I never was much into the tighter, asymmetrical, almost 20s looking hats. But with these wonderful creations I have a new found love. Thank you, milliners of Downton Abbey, for doing such a fantastic job.

So, as I growl at my tax forms and groan at the e-filing, all I have to do is push play to enter a world that makes my stress seem so...mundane. Oh, to be wealthy, gorgeous, and torn between duty and love. And on that parting note, I will leave you with my all time favorite outfit and scene from this world. Happy tax weekend!!

 

 

 

Spring Has Sprung!

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So, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and lots of things are happening!

First and foremost, one of my best friends in the entire world is getting married, and she has asked me to make her a headpiece for the wedding. I am so honored! And very excited. She has given me a brooch that her mother gave her, and I will be adding cream netting and feathers. Photos to come! Love to my Rosemary.

Secondly, the wonderful gals at SF RAW have asked me to come back and showcase again this month! Whoohoo! I can't wait to get back out there. And I can't wait to be apart of the activities again.

Third, I have added four new listings to my etsy shop! Here is a view of one:

 

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Lastly, I have made bunches of little daisy and rose clips. The roses are for sale on etsy, but the daisies are awaiting my decision. I really want someone to love them, but I think I want to do a give away. I'm not sure. Suggestions?? Mucha seems to want to keep them all for herself...

 

Well, there is my short update for the fun that is awaiting me! I have several new pieces lined up (including a piece that has Victorian goodies from my darling Stephanie over at Honey Cooler Handmade) and will be reshooting some of my older fascinators . Look out world! And enjoy your Easter!

 

 

Rose La Mer Makes Headway

So, as it turns out, I made some amazing contacts with some amazing people through RAW. And one of those amazing people runs her very own fashion blog and talks about lots of wonderful things. She decided to do a quick interview with me about Rose La Mer and feature me on her blog. Hurray! I am super excited and thrilled that she picked me out.

Olivia and I have decided to team up and hopefully do some photoshoots together using her stylish eye and my hats. I can't wait!

Finally!

Wow! Where to begin? Life has been so crazy these last few months. I will condense. 1) I launched my Etsy shop! You can check it out here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RoseLaMer?ref=si_shop. I was not prepared for how long it would take to set up all of my listings, but it sure is worth it. Three glasses of wine, and several hours later it was ready for business. I have sold two pieces so far, and am hoping to get more sold. You all have somewhere fancy to go! Go buy something.

2) I just was a featured artist at the San Francisco RAW event this last week! RAW is a nationwide collective that finds up-and-coming local artists and throws a huge expo to let the chosen artists show their work. I was chosen as one of two fashion installations along with my girlfriend Stephanie and her lingerie line Honey Cooler Handmade. It was a blast! What a wonderful experience to have for my first show ever. There were fashion

photographers, painters, and musicians all showing off their talents in one huge room at 1015 Folsom. I sold one headpiece and four little rose clips, and have generated some wonderful contacts with a few other artists. And now that I have participated in the show, I will have a profile on their website for good. I am so honored! Thanks, RAW! *photos to come soon!*

3) My pieces have been photographed by two wonderful photographers: Barbara Lamont, and Cherise Josephine Photography. Each session produced some gorgeous shots of my pieces and made it all look so good! I am so thankful to these ladies for all of their generous help in creating some great publicity photos for me and my shop.

4) My studio space has been transformed into a much more workable space! Darling Boyfriend got me a second work table, and we set it up with the first one into a large 'L'. I finally can spread out, cut large swaths of fabric, and store things neatly (mostly). Boyfriend, being an artist himself, grumbled and moaned that the space was turning into "KELSEY'S" workspace. But after everything was clean and organized, he saw how useful the room had become and gave up complaining.

5) I have two brides booked! My darling friend, Susie, and a sweet friend of my Rosemary's, Gaby. Each lady is totally unique and lovely! I am so excited to help them create a special and meaningful look for their happy day! Yay!

Hm. Looking at my list here, it doesn't look as much as I had thought I had done. I feel I'm missing something? Ah well, what can I say? A first time for two big things can feel like a bigger experience. And now that the show is done, I am feeling post-show-blues. I've got to create a new goal to aim for! I look around at the kitty attacking spiders on the windowsill and the puppy sleeping on her favorite workroom blanket, and it seems so tempting to crawl down and curl up with them. But, upwards and onwards! No one ever succeeded by laying on the floor with a puppy and kitty.

Edit: Got my first photo from RAW! Thanks, Kristina, for being an awesome "cigarette" girl!

Ending Summer

A dear friend of mine complained to me last week that I had not written a blog post in over a month so I am now writing. Happy, Rosemary? I know! I know...I've been pretty busy. And not just with a crazy-packed life, but with fun hair thingies! Where to begin? I shall do my best to write a coherent and mildly entertaining piece of blog, but I am listening to one neighbor whistle incessantly at his new bird  and the other neighbors yell at their new dog. And possibly each other. Lots of profanities and slurred language. Your guess is as good as mine at this point. Last time I wrote, Sara had just had her beautiful wedding. Since then, I have moved on to helping out another gorgeous lady with her wedding hair shenanigans. My darling friend Jenn is preparing for a crafty-fun wedding up in Tahoe to end summer. Or begin it. I'm not quite sure with all this fog and cold we've had for the last couple of months.

Anyway, she enlisted me to doll her up. So, on a fine afternoon she stopped by my house and we fooled around with antique brooches, lace, and feathers and came up with a design. She has created a simple look for herself (knee-length, strapless Betsy Johnson cocktail dress with shimmery heels) so we decided the headpiece should go along with the dressed-down idea.

I used tulle with little triangles on it to create a caplet, surrounded this with deep purple feathers, and pulled it all back with a neat retro brooch. The tulle is a soft cream, matching her dress, and with the triangles and rumpling we were able to give a slight 30s or 40s look. Jenn has beautiful luscious curls so the veiling sits perfectly in the cradle of hair at the back of her head.

Next up is my new pillbox hat. For those of you who follow me, you have heard about my pillbox and my excitement for it, I'm sure, is overwhelming. I decided to make it completely from scratch. Base included. As a milliner you have options for starting hats: to use a pre-made buckram frame or build your own frame. I have never built my own. Until this month. I grew bold and adventures after a quick jaunt to the Alameda antique fair where I bought a few yards of millinery raffia. I knew I had to start small, and what else then to build a pillbox hat?

It took me a few days (not including the days it took me to figure out what the heck to put on the hat once I was done) but I was able to stitch it all together. Voila! Vintage dress clip, 1930s netting with cute little birds (eeeepp! I couldn't wait to use this netting!), and Seabright feathers. I think it turned out nicely for a first hat-making-from-scraps experience.

I also put together a quick number one evening in anticipation for a photoshoot I had with Jessie over at Crops & Bobbers. She's been trying to build up a portfolio for herself, and I offered to let her doll me up. She did my hair and my make-up, and made me look like a right little pin-up.

Trust me when I say this girl can really swing when it comes to beauty. I do pin-up hair and looks for myself often but mine look like feeble attempts next to hers. Anyway, we've decided to try to do these photoshoots to help each other out. I provide the frills and feathers, and she the beauty care and camera. We both get great photos for the things we do. I

had a blast hanging out with her all evening. She played great music, gossiped with me, pampered me, and never once made me feel silly for posing in front of her camera. I kept telling her, "I've never done this before! Tell me what to do!" And she kept saying, "you're doing great! Just keep doing what you're doing!" And I did. And she got some great shots out of me. Who knew?

The plan is to finish a couple of more pieces for her so that I can get some girlfriends into her shop for some dress-up fun. So far I have two complete pieces for her window and a third one in process right now. Jessie loves vintage hats, and she asked me to make some more hat type pieces for her. I've been digging into all my fashion books, 1930s-50s DVDs, and old records for inspiration. If you ever see anything that would be fabulous to remake, let me know! Its always great to get other people's input on the creative process.

Along with building new pieces I have also been deconstructing. I've bought a bunch of vintage hats that are in poor condition and am taking them apart. I will then revamp said hats into new and wonderous treasures! Its been fun! I've been ripping apart seams, cleaning netting, saving scraps, and reusing patterns. Thats been my month so far. Aside from the hollering neighbors and lack of sun (where did the sun go?!) and Peppermint Pinwheels buying me a stack of vintage hats in Virgina (I really need to drive across the country and go shopping on the East Coast) I have been up to here in lace and trims. Ah well. Such is life! Until next time...

Kate Will Hate Your Estate Sale Sign

Today is all about gushing...and one complaint. But, mostly gushing! About pretty things, and pretty people, and all the good things that go on in this tiny world called the East Bay. First and foremost, I have to gush about my several tidbits of news. 1) Rose La Mer will be partnering with Crops and Bobbers salon in Crockett! Jessie, who runs this sweet little place, has graciously invited me to feature several pieces in her windows. She makes fabulous mannequin heads with beautiful wigs and neat painting styles on the faces. And, to top it all of, she is a kindred vintage spirit! Yay, pinups! I am very excited for this opportunity and will be churning out six new pieces for her.

2) Rose La Mer has gotten the nerve to sign-up for facebook. Check it out, and like it here: https://www.facebook.com/RoseLaMer 

3) My darling Sara and her new husband, John, celebrated their wedding weekend before last in Trinidad, California. They stood in the misty redwoods, spoke beautiful vows to each other, and made me cry terribly. It was a beautiful wedding, and I felt immense pride and honor to be involved in the affair. Thanks to a friend who takes lovely photos, I have gotten some sneak peek pictures of the headpiece I made for Sara. Check it out!

And now on to gushing about things that have nothing to do with me. The Royals. I know, I know. Everyone loves them right now. But...I do, too! And I only just discovered that the other day. Let me explain. When I was a child, everyone loved Diana. I get it. But I didn't love her. Maybe it was the poofy blonde hair, wide and very blue eyed stare, and cheesy 90s chic. Or maybe it was that she just kind of creeped me out a little. Whatever it was, I was not diggin' the Di. And so I stopped paying attention. Until this year when everyone started wedding-ing it up. I was flipping through Maclean's, the Canadian version of Newsweek, and came across a huge spread following Kate and Will. And then it struck me. Kate Middleton...is gorgeous! And stylish and charming! I have been won over. I am now a Royal watcher.

But only a watcher in the style sense. Sure, I'll peek at her humanitarian exploits when they happen. Or sneak gossip magazines if she's on the cover, and giggle at drama the media creates. But my main concern right now is her fashion. And, of course, her hats.

I love this woman's hats. She's not doing the normal Royal family thing and sticking poles of fabric or baskets of fruit ontop of her head. She is following classy fashion trends from decades past and keeping her look simple and chic. Much more chic than 90s fashion. Sorry, Di. You just weren't for me. But, if I play my cards right, I could be entering a trend. We shall see. Keep her in mind, fellow style people. (By the way...couldn't get Sara out of the Kate gallery. Sorry, folks!)

Alas, no matter how much I may daydream about Kate Middleton's cute upturned nose and sleek hats, I will forever be tormented by awful garage and estate sale signs. Boyfriend and I, per usual, drove around this weekend in search of garage sales only to find old signs, poorly written signs, and NO sales. Signs with no dates, signs with words you couldn't read, signs bent over the pole because they were taped badly, signs written by 3 year olds, signs pointing you in a direction only to be amiss in follow-up signs. We drove around for 2 hours looking, being pointed in the wrong direction, being pointed in no direction, and finding nothing. All I could think of while we got more upset (Boyfriend likes to yell at imaginary people and shake his fist) was "if you knew the Royal couple would be visiting your town, how would you do your sign different?" Big bold letters, cardboard, a date, a time, an address, an arrow, follow-up signs, and NO cutsie 3 year old drawings. And so my parting words for this evening are: Kate hates your signs. If you're having a sale, make signs like she and "Big Willy" were coming to you this weekend.

Summer Crazies!

Well, Rose La Mer has been busy busy busy! Summer has finally kicked in with such a force I almost caught myself wishing for cooler days. But, I've wanted this warmth for so long I might as well get used to it... Along with getting used to this weather I am trying to get used to networking. I've lurked on blogs, subscribed to blogs, commented on blogs, added myself to circles on Etsy, been added to circles on Etsy, messaged wonderful artists, and totally neglected my own showcase. I am not good at doing the blog thing. I'm hoping the more time I spend finding people, the more I will be found! Such as the wonderful stumble I had when I fell into the blog of Jen who runs Green Earth Goodies. She has wonderfully charming posts about her life, and her continual crafty struggles. I plugged away, looked at her work, and voila! Her style reflects a style similar to my vision of Rose La Mer. We corresponded and she made me some custom tags for my goodies! I also happened upon a business that wove me custom labels to stitch onto the back of my pieces. But you should totally check out Jen's work. She has beautiful stuff!

Among the flurry of administrative organization (who knew all the little paper things you need!) I have been slowly...slo...wly...getting together headpieces. A few weeks ago, Boyfriend and his family and I bundled into a car and drove six hours to Ashland, Oregon for the delightful Shakespeare festivale (yes, I'm snotty and use 'e'...hey! Ren Faire does it!). For the occasion, I decided to make a glamourous headpiece to advertise.

The older ladies got their knickers in a twist, and were very interested in the business. I handed out a few cards, but we'll see. People never do what they say they're going to do. Anyway, the piece is Victorian applique with vintage ostrich feathers and curved peacock feathers. It was lots of fun to make and wear, too! And now it's for sale. Along with five other pieces I've been working on. I thought by the time summer rolled around I would have more time to make more pieces. But, as you probably can relate, it has been a hectic mess over here. Fortunately, I have a wonderful group of women in my life who are offering their services to help me with a photoshoot at the end of summer. Couple of months of my plugging away, and I should be up and running full heartedly with an Etsy. I am getting together a Facebook page today. Nothing fancy yet, but just a name and info and hopefully the brides I've worked with can add their favorite pictures. As of now, I will continue with a few custom orders.

Last week I finished my custom bridal order for lovely, charming Sara. She adored the owl brooch with pheasant feather cap (look back to "Little Turtle That Could" for the beginning stage photo) and is almost ready for her wedding in two weeks! Can't wait for photos! It should be a very special day, and I am so honored to have been apart of her process. There is nothing like bringing to life an idea someone has had. Helping create a special memory and treasure is so meaningful. I can't wait to meet more wonderful people this way. I now have business cards, so those of you who have items from me should grab some up and pass them out! Lets get this ball rolling!

As ever, the little ones help with the work load...

..and Boyfriend and I continue to lose our minds go shopping for antiques.

My goal for next time I post: more stuff! more stuff! more stuff! As ever...I go to the thread and needle. Stay cool in this roasting heat, and don't forget to use that rusty Weber in the evenings. There's nothing like bbq veggies and chicken wings in the balmy summer evening.

Antiquing

Despite the Crockett weather making a turn for the better these last couple of days, I have found myself delving into a funk. Whether it be the lack of social-ness on my behalf, the terror of weeds taking over my garden, or the itch of summeritice setting in (or maybe the torment over judgment day) my normal mental state has been one of continual struggle between the dark and the light. I swear, if I were not a lady living on the banks of the Carquinez Straits, I would think myself Luke Skywalker. But! It is not so. Boyfriend, sensing the imbalance of my Jedi self, took it upon himself to turn things around. So, after a day of working and a night of drinking beers he told me, whether I liked it or not, that he was taking me antiquing. Well, how could I not! Boyfriend piled me into his little red bean Ford Focus and drove me off to the most wonderful antique mall. On the way to Fairfield on highway 80, not 2o minutes from Crockett, there is a little tiny town called Cordelia. And in this tiny little town is an antique mall called Cordelia Junction. This mall is built completely out of old train cars! Each dealer, or two, gets a whole car to set up their stuff. And since its kind of an out of the way place, the prices are pretty reasonable. We spent hours digging through hundreds of dealers' stuff. And we found some pretty neat-o things!

After our long day of digging we drove back towards home, bought some ribs and whiskey, and called our friends to come over and barbeque. We celebrated our survival of the 21st, and our love of life.

The next day, not having had our fill, we jumped back into the car and went garage sale-ing with my parents. Again, we cached in on some very cool things including a vintage cocktail picnic kit and a puppy-dog beanie. I have never mixed a cocktail while picnic-ing, so I am making a New Year's resolution with the purchase of our new kit: make cocktails while picnic-ing. It sounds very decadent and ultra hip, and makes me feel like I need to wear bright red pumps and a pencil skirt while hiking through the grass.

Feeling fully rejuvenated by this experience, I got home and immediately started beading away on a new headpiece. I set up my little beading station in front of the TV, playing Law&Order, and got to work. I am currently still working on said new beading project. I have all my pearls set out, my thread and scissors, pliers, and my own little felted plum pincushion made by my darling friend Patty at Papaver Vert. If you do not know what felting is, or have never seen Patty's work, you should. You will love it.

So now I feel back on track after a weekend full of living primarily in someone else's past. And my house is that much more cluttered. I have also ordered some business cards (look out folks!) and had my laundry peed on by my cat. Back to reality...

Rose La Mer Goes to the Symphony

So, as the days chug on, I do too. I've been churning out pieces while juggling a hectic work and social schedule. Which, included an event that I normally do not find myself frequenting. The symphony. 

Boyfriend was given two complementary tickets from Grandma Velma who, dully note, is a valued friend of the SF Symphony. She wanted us to attend in her honor and so we obliged. Now, mind you, I have not been gliding off to San Francisco for a musical performance of this caliber since I was fifteen. And only then was it for school when they piled 200 kids on a big yellow bus so we could experience culture. We needed refinement as hormonal teenagers, apparently. Needless to say, I loved going. All the discussions with the conductors and musicians, and the big staircases and windows, and the beautiful City Hall across the street. As I recalled all of this I began to get very excited. I also began to think about what it was I should wear. Obviously.

And then it hit me. A fabulous headpiece. I've been making feathery things, so I might as well wear one, right?

So I did. And holy cow what a stir it caused! Boyfriend wanted to take BART so that we didn't have to deal with awful parking in the city. As we walked down the street to the entrance, we were stopped by a man driving his car so he could tell us how fabulous we looked. (I should probably mention here that Boyfriend is a snazzy dresser. He wore a dark grey pinstripe suit, teal shirt and a fifties wide tie of teal and salmon, and he gave himself a nice slicked pompadour.) We were chased down Market street once we got to the city by the BART flower vendor so he could give me a rose. And once we got to the symphony people were asking about the headpiece all night; "where did you get it?" "how can I get something like that?" "you must have come from the wedding."

Boyfriend gets carried away with his "artistic" photographing abilities. But you can see how large the darn thing is.

Boyfriend is a great shmoozer and was able to gush about me to the sweet old ladies asking about my "hat". He would ramble on about my business, and my bridal clientele. I could then tell them about my handcrafting without feeling weird and awkward. 

It was nice feeling like a princess for an evening. I don't much go for fervent admiring attention, but this feather bauble on top of my head definitely put me in that arena. Maybe I should go in for the Royals? I could totally makeover Princess Beatrice but I don't think I could contend with that kind of publicity. That girl turned heads. Ah well. I'll keep my fingers crossed for Prince Harry's wedding.

My cute fifties celluloid purse with the rose I got!

The Little Turtle That Could

Have you ever watched Discovery Channel's Planet Earth? Or Blue Planet? You know those little turtles that hatch on the beach, crawl out of their shells, battle the odds of ten billion to one (like birds eating them, or fish, or sharks, or people), make it to the water, get washed away for a second, get back into the water, and swim away and live to be five hundred years old? (Okay, not really, but you know what I mean!) Yeup. I totally feel like a little turtle crawling on the beach of hairpieces. Not that I'm finding it difficult. Just...I have so much stuff I'm wading through. Look at this mess!

I have crawled into a tangle of feathers and baubles and pins and ribbons. But I am having a blast! And I am creating some things. So far it hasn't been too much. Much of my time is spent in collecting googahs to really get myself going. Boyfriend and I went galavanting off to the Alameda Antique fair a couple of weeks ago, and I found some neat Kellogg cereal buttons from the 40s and 50s with pictures of old cartoon characters. Tackled a few garage sales, was helped out by my mother's vintage dealer friends, and delighted in eBay and Amazon and online dealer sites. I have also been pecking around a few local shops, such as Lacis. I used to work here years ago when I was still finding my place in the career world. They have some very unique products, a museum in the back, and an excellent literary resource for old crafts and arts. But! If you go a-peekin' beware...some of the staff are unpleasant and unhelpful, and I have found items for sale with high prices where elsewhere the same has been cheaper.

Yet amid  all of my toodling around town, I have managed to crank out a few headpieces. My first is a flower with little vintage sailor boy earrings stitched on, the second is a huge lacy and feather purple thing, and the third is a custom order for my dear friend Sara's wedding in July.

Sara is a dear soul who has had a meaningful experience with owls. I found a perfect owl setting, which she loved, and gorgeous pheasant feathers. She originally wanted hawk feathers but, though these are prolific throughout California, we decided on the delicacy of the pheasant. And they have a similar look. Once I start tackling this piece a bit more, the feathers will be curved over the top of the head to create a cap look. Right now I have them stuck in there all willy-nilly. 

Hopefully soon I will have enough to get my Etsy shop going. A bunch of talented and gorgeous gals in my close group have decided to lend their abilities to help me with a photo shoot! I'm excited at the prospect of this. I want to get my networking going as soon as possible. Whoohoo crafty-ness! My goals for next time I post: more work done on pieces, logo and banner done. We shall see!

A Beginning...

As a multi-dimensional art person, my interests have always fallen to creating items or images with my hands. Painting, collage-ing, crocheting, sculpting (ehh, not so much), sewing, muraling. You name it, I'm pretty sure I tried it. Or if not, am willing! Heck, I even went to school for art and STILL didn't find just one category I wasn't interested in trying. But for sometime I have been searching for that "thing" I do well. I've always been good at different subjects and jobs and crafts. But I've never hit a stride with just one I really truly love and aspire to. Until last year. One of my best friends, Suzanne, was getting married and she needed me to help with, well, wedding stuff. Invitations, buying table center pieces, organizing, choosing colors, choosing dresses, shlepping stuff. It was a lot of fun having a big excuse to be silly and go shopping with someone you love. We drove all over town, and all around. Whew! But through all of this I still felt I could do something special. And then we both realized: "A headpiece!"  She was wearing her mother's six foot veil for the ceremony, but she felt (and rightfully so) that it wouldn't work for the reception and dinner. Can you imagine dancing to Chuck Barry in a six foot vintage lace veil? No way. So, she asked me if I would make her one. "You're so artistic!", she gushed, "I bet you can make something wonderful and unique!"

I got to work right away. Suze and Jeremy were having their wedding on the beach in Bodega Bay, CA. If you've never been you really should go. Drive up the Northern California coast, past Marin, Petaluma and Sebastopol, and you find yourself surrounded by gnarled hills covered in red and yellow weeds, twisted trees, and pristine tide pools and ocean views. The town is small and sea-battered and filled with old buildings and yachts. Check out some pictures here: http://www.california-blog.com/photos-information-places/2010/12/15/bodega-bay-ca.html It's also where Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds was filmed. But you already knew that! Anyway, because of this sea setting, we decided to go with an ocean look for her headpiece. I found a dried starfish, 1930's white netting, peacock feathers, and threaded pearls. I stitched the pearls and feathers together loosely then bound them with florist tape. Next, I glued them to the back of the starfish, followed by the netting which I stitched to the florist tape bulk, and then I attached black felt mounting. Finally, I secured a hair clip to the felt. Voila! Headpiece.

Now here I am, launching a new business and getting ready to meet new people. And Suze and Jer? They had one of the best weddings I've ever been to.