Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sand Point Sunday

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to Sand Point this weekend to see us! We had a great time seeing friends, making new ones, and talking decorating & shows with our 'tribe'...

We had a lovely visit from Beth Evans-Ramos & Lisa Hildebrand from the Salvage Studio .... imagine, these two out shopping on a weekend, instead of having to work a store! ;0) They were having a blast, and everyone was thrilled to see them. And the photos Bob took of me with them didn't turn out at all. ;0(

Our booth neighbor was our Faded Elegance neighbor, Debi Burton of Ormolulu, and we had fun chatting all day (and sneaking our bird eggs under her rooster whenever she moved it in her booth!). Debi says she's glad we brought a radio to play jazz throughout the show...she's a music lover like me, who can't be without some happy tunes playing!

Thank you to my friend Lisa & her gal pal Irene for taking time to come visit us... Lisa is my former cohort at Columbia Winery and oh MY did we get into a lot of trouble together! We frequented the showrooms & gift show - She bought the merchandise, I displayed it. Since Lisa retired and I have ended my consultancy with Columbia, I don't see her very often. Irene came in one year and helped my crew with the Holiday product prep, so it was nice to see her again.

Mari, the sweet shopgirl from Faded Elegance , & her hubby Rick came by to shop, browse, and visit, and they arrived just as the sun came out! I've always said that Mari lights up a room.... now I have proof! ;0)
Debi Bock of Garden Party stopped by, too - she is such a ray of sunshine! Her cheerful smile is contagious, I tell ya'.

A couple of darling gals let us know they know us from our booth at Faded Elegance (thank you girls!) and others from this blog or my design blog (and Thank YOU, as well!). Always nice to meet new friends! The gentleman across the aisle from us heard some of these comments, and engaged Bob in conversation about how blogs make this possible. He got an earful!

We met Jermonne of BarnHouse Boys fame when he came over to introduce himself. My, what a charmer he is! Joe (the other half of Barnhouse Boys) was hard at work on the incredible booth setup so I didn't meet him until later. Let me tell you, these are two very talented young men. SO inspiring, and a great attitude to boot. No wonder they are so succesful!

I had to laugh when Cindy, the Queen of Tarte herself, came over and looked at me for a minute and then suddenly said 'I just figured out who you are! You changed your hair!!!!' I met Cindy last June at Farm Chicks, when I was filming videos for the Gift & Home Channel. (And I was a blonde then, thus her confusion!) Our booth location for Farm Chicks this June is catacorner from Cindy's, so I will get to watch her magical booth setting unfold. She's a master - um, mistress! - of display and I SO wish we could have included her booth in the video shoot last year - the producer was the one who chose the locations. pffft. (I also have to add that Cindy & the BH Boys are total PROS at load-out: I've never seen that much stuff packed into a trailer so fast in my life!)

We also met Kimberly Taylor, a charming young woman who came into our booth and with a practiced eye took in every detail.... then asked us if she could photograph it for a blog post. Of course we said yes! You can see her lovely shots of our booth on her blog, mimi charmante, and some she took of the Barnhouse/Tarte booth, as well. Beautiful shots, Kimberly! (I meant to get shots of BH & QoT.... but I was too busy)

I hope you've enjoyed the show, this very tired girl needs to get some sleep. It's been a crazy five days! Edited to add: I was so tired that I forgot some people when I originally posted this last night, and also forgot the linky love. Bad Deb! I fixed that...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sneak Peek....

Spring may refuse to arrive by way of the weather (it SNOWED today, people!) but we are doing our darndest to usher it in in our decor elements...

We spent the better part of today setting up our booth for the show tomorrow, all the while hearing horror stories from other dealers who had encountered miserable weather on their journey there. Joe, Jermonne, and Cindy (of the hugely popular Barnhouse Boys and Queen of Tarte, respectively) got stuck in traffic and a freak snowstorm on their way up from the Portland area. Debi Burton came down from Bellingham and told us about the torrential downpours on the way. We had rain, but it wasn't anything to compete with those stories!

Our booth is full (and I mean crammed!) of fresh decor ideas, inspiration, and furniture, lighting, & accessories to chase the gray away. Come by and see us at Sand Point tomorrow, and put a little spring in your step! (Click here for directions & show info)

(PS: photos of our complete booth setup on Monday!)

Off To The Big Easy!

I am so excited to let you know you that I am off to New Orleans for a shopping trip for some of my clients. While I am there I will be meeting with a few great talents!!!

First, I am headed to Julie Neill Designs - The wonderfully creative and artistic Julie Neill, will be meeting me and showing me some of her exciting new products and designs.

I'll also be meeting with the stylish and talented Tara Shaw! We'll see some of her new shipments from Europe and she'll share with us her visions for decorating the home.
I'll also be meeting the famous, Suzanne Kasler as she launches her elegant new line of furniture for Hickory Chair, and get to see her new designs in person.

Also, get ready for some exciting information on an antique collectible that is gaining in popularity, (which you are going to just love), as well as several other goodies and surprises along the way.

On Thursday and I'll announce the winner of the gorgeous, antique grain sack pillow. Thank you all for entering - Kym Fraser of Three Fine Grains and I are absolutely overwhelmed by your response!

On Friday I'll begin my series on my trip to "The Big Easy" - I hope you are excited as I am!!
See you in few days!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Retreat at Sand Point Market!

Due to my impulsive nature and the sun making an appearance this afternoon, I called Dennis Eros and chatted him up. And now, Retreat will be selling at this Sunday's Sand Point Antique & Design Market! We'll have a total Spring Garden theme goin' on, so come by and say hello!

Grain Sack Pillow Giveaway!!!!

We have had so much interest in antique grain sacks over the past few weeks! First with the different ways you can use linens and grain sacks in your home, and, secondly, rare, antique grain sack pillows and upholstery from textile artist, Kym Fraser at Three Fine Grains.

To celebrate the launching of her new website and on line store, Kym is offering one of our readers their choice between two rare, antique pillows.

Would you like this lovely German grain sack printed with stripes? As you recall many are printing reproductions over grains sacks to get this look, but this pillow is a true original! An antique German grain sack from 1849. Very rare salmon and blue coloring. Or this German Grain sack with roses which are very rare and usual? It has a wonderful original patch at the top which is amazing. This is the only one she has ever seen with roses before. This pillow is from 1899 Authausen, Germany.
Just leave a comment below and you will be entered to win one of these pillows. I will randomly select one winner from the comments next Thursday and Kym will ship you your choice of one of these two pillows.

Here are a few more of Kym's new items. Check out these gorgeous new stools!
And I love her collection of new Bolster pillows!
And here are some of her new German Grain sack pillows!Love these two matching pillows!
But here is my favorite new item: To see her entire collection check out her website

And don't forget to leave a comment to win one of those great pillows! Thanks so much Kym!!!
I'll post the winner on Thursday, April 2!

Note: Leave a comment and become a Willow Decor Follower and we'll put your name in twice so you'll get a second chance to win!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hidden Elegance...

Today we added several more furniture items to our space at Faded Elegance.. side & accent tables and another dining table really helped to fill it up before the weekend. A minor re-arrangement helped us fit it all in and give the space yet another fresh look. (Large pastiche mirror is sold)

(dresser is sold)

Come in and see what beautiful things we have for your spring decor!

Bring on Spring!

The cute little collaged dinette table with chairs in our space at Poppyseeds sold yesterday, so today we took in another vintage diner table - in perfect condition, it's chrome & yellow and has two leaves. These fake confections ('FooFooFauxFood' original creations, made only by us from recycled materials) are a perfect compliment!

We popped in a few small accents, like this vintage-look pillow

and another custom lampshade with ribbons.

By the way, these cute lamps with custom shades (made with vintage art and millinery fruit) are still available - honestly, I can't believe they are still here - at a really great price. Come on out to Stanwood this weekend to visit Poppyseeds, and celebrate the arrival of spring with color!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Romance Of Italy - Rimini's Grand Hotel

Is there anywhere more romantic than Italy in the Spring?
A favorite place for Europeans and Americans alike is the Grand Hotel in Rimini, Italy. Famous as a beautiful national historic landmark and made more famous by acclaimed Director, Federico Fellini, The Grand Hotel is a beautiful now as it was in the past.
Many years ago I had the pleasure of staying at the Hotel and even spending time in the luxurious Fellini suite, where the famous director spent many wonderful holidays.
The hotel became world-famous through Federico Fellini's films. As a poor child growing up in Rimini, he often looked through the gates of the hotel in awe, dreaming of a life of luxury like the hotel's guests. These childhood memories inspired some of his most successful films. The Grand Hotel is featured particularly in his film Amarcord, where it is in the background of some of the film's most memorable scenes.
Elle Decor UK recently did a tribute to Fellini by styling and photographing a shoot at The Grand Hotel. They chose to shoot in black in white, which really highlights the architectural features. To really see the grandeur of the location, I have tried to find the coordinating locations in color.
Elle Decor says: La dolce vita is as iconic a film as they get. Fellini’s masterpiece has been referred to throughout fashion, film, architecture, philosophy and music. As the title suggests, “The sweet life” is about frivolity, glamour, fame, style and surrounding yourself with beautiful things and people. This shoot pays homage to Fellini and the film in its black and white style photography by Fulvio Maiani and luxury setting at Grand Hotel Rimini in Italy.

The styling by Chiara di pinto and Arianna lelli Mami is seamlessly co-ordinated with the vibrant, cleverly designed furniture and interiors. “Lounge chairs” scatter the foyer, poolside and club room as if to challenge the viewer with their positioning. Sky high heels indicating power and prestige work with designer swimwear, head scarves, capelets and jewels which allude to “dressing up” for a leisurely lounge by the pool.

Like the film, the series of images presented by Elle D├ęcor end on a reflective note, showcasing the human desire for masking the tragedies in our lives by living and searching for beauty and enjoying the sweetness of life! - Kate Vandermeer

One of the most attractive aspects of the Grand Hotel is its classic style.
Directly above and below are photos of the main lobby area. The rooms are still decorated with Venetian and French antiques of the XVIII century, and the original wooden floor (parquet) and Venetian chandeliers have been restored.
Plaster work has been restored it original grandeur.

Venetian glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling at every turn - adding to the Hotel's glamour.

In the restaurant and the other banqueting rooms, the furniture, the paintings, and the lights, reinforce the original atmosphere of the past.
Here is the Grand Ballroom - done in lovely soft pinks. Notice the ceiling is also painted pink highlighting the plaster work. Also notice the arched french doorways. Stunning.
Here is a smaller more intimate dining space. Notice again the chandelier. Mirrors are also used very often - see the very large one in the far right of the photo.
Lets go up stairs to see the more private rooms. Notice the iron work on the staircase - again the large mirrors reflect the gorgeous interiors. Beautiful carpets add another layer of luxury.

Here is one of the sitting rooms and bedrooms in one of the Hotels many suites.
Here is the sitting room in the Fellini Suite. When I visited I had the opportunity to spend time in these famous and lovely rooms.

Fellini himself loved to be a guest at the Grand Hotel once he was successful, and stayed in this favourite suite on a regular basis. Today, some guests specifically request to stay in that room. It was actually in this room, while talking on the phone, where he had the collapse that ultimately led to his death. The friend he was talking to on the phone heard a sudden silence from the other end, and called the Grand Hotel back immediately to ask them to check to see if Fellini was alright. They found him lying on the floor, and he was rushed to hospital. He later died in Rome.
Above the adjacent sleeping quarters and bath of the Fellini Suite. Though difficult to see, the floor to ceiling french doors in the bedroom open to a spectacular view of the ocean. Again many mirrors, Venetian glass chandeliers, plaster mouldings and marble abound.
The outside grounds of The Grand Hotel are equally as beautiful.
Outdoor dining in the garden - Also the area where many parties and weddings have taken place.Here a semi-outdoor pavilion has a permanent painted "tented" ceiling. Notice the gorgeous floor.
Dining by the pool - Wouldn't you love to sip champagne cocktails here?

More outdoor dining, with a spectacular view.
A beautiful tablescape with the Hotel as a spectacular backdrop.

Getting ready for a wedding - Oh so romantic!
And, of course, do not forget the ocean! Just steps from the hotel.
Make sure to reserve your private cabana.
Evening parties on the outdoor pavilion!
Ahh - wouldn't it be fun to escape to Italy in Spring?!
All photos from The Grand Hotel website, Golden Star Events and Elle Decor UK.
Research from Wikipedia, Fashionista, and The Grand Hotel.