Sunday, December 17, 2006

The one where I'm really excited

I has such a great day of hunting the other day. Everyone was in a wonderful mood and so friendly. Oh, that we could always see such spirit through the year.
An interesting phenomenon happens out there in the antique world. Every time I go out there is one item I will see EVERYWHERE. For a good year or two it was the chrome penguin ice bucket. They must have made millions of them back in the 40's. Friday it was the cast iron cornbread maker. I am not kidding you, it turned up in the strangest places, I saw at least 10 of them.
On the way home I sang along with Christmas music on the radio. I could hear Johnny Mathis sing "sleigh ride" 20 times a day.
I'm very excited about the things I found for the shop. Here are a couple of pics. One is an amazing antique french settee, newly upholstered, and I am having a really lovely hemp slipcover made for it. The original paint is so freaking perfect in color and patina. The other is a great pine table top writing desk. It opens to hide paperwork. Update - both sold

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The one where I tell you how much I need you to buy stuff to keep saffron and genevieve in business and another secret

I had to write today to dispell any notion that this store is supported by some rich husband or family money. I don't come from money, and although my boyfriend, my family and friends, and the great gals who help me out here at the shop are wonderfully supportive in many ways, Saffron and Genevieve is all me. With the help of my great mentor Jim McGovern at the CCSBDC, I put a plan together to go into heavy debt (thanks to SCCCU) to make my dream come true. I LOVE working for myself, although I am not a very demanding boss and probably should be. I love hunting for great things to put in the shop. I love seeing customers come in and "get" what I do and appreciate it. I love designing and having my clients tell me how happy their rooms make them and their families.

I will let you in on a little secret. I will often find a fabulous unusual wonderfully different thing, and instead of marking it at a fair price, I will price it ridiculously cheap. The person who discovers it is SO thrilled, and I know that it was meant for them. That makes me happy.

So I want to thank all of my wonderful customers for keeping my dream alive. It's all you.

The one with the cookie recipes

Here are my cookie recipes, and thanks so much to all of my friends who came to the party the other night. I only wish there were more of me so I could have spent more time with all of you.

colleens tea cakes

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract (cream these 4 together first)
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup toffee bits
1/2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate

mix, shape into 1" balls and bake at 350 for about 10 min. roll in powdered sugar while warm, roll again after they have cooled.

sunflower seed cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sunflower seed butter or peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract (cream these together first)
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 cup choc chips

shape into balls, bake at 350 for about10 min

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The one with 2 cool pieces

October 9th.
Back to the grindstone. The store has survived quite well without me. I must thank Tobin, Ann, Kate, and Cayce for filling in while I was gone. You all are amazing!

Here are a couple of gorgeous antiques I found since I got back. I would love to keep them myself, but mama needs to pay the bills. A big beautiful pine chest on chest, and an insanely cute and functional pine secretary.
Double click to see larger images. Update - both sold

The one where I am home from Texas the 1st time

8 days, almost 4000 miles, and more antiquing than even I can handle. We are home! Darling boyfriend has made reservations for spa nite tommorrow for us! What a sweetie, I am blessed.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The one where we miss our animals

Palm Springs, almost home! No time to stay and play, though, we miss our families.

The one with the cool bug

Still driving home, somewhere in Arizona. We stop at one of the awful tourist gas stations with no gas pumps for a bathroom break and run in. On the way out, I look down and see a really big bug eating a dead bug just like him. I should not have pointed it out to Jessie. The car is not close and there are hundreds of these suckers. She turns into a raving lunatic. I should not laugh, bad friend. I guess they bite hard and draw blood. We were lucky, they spared us.
Cottonwood Jessie! On the way back, she would fill up on Red Bulls, put on my cowboy hat and turn into Cottonwood Jess. She was on a mission, driving like nobody's business to get us home. It was pretty scary, I must say. Throughout the next 3 days I saw a lot of CT. It was nice, since I could not talk to her I could actually try and sleep.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The one with the funny and sad sign

Wednesday Morning, Goodbye Round Top! On the way out of town we see this sign. The locals here, they ain't right, God bless 'em. We power through all the way to lovely Las Crusas, NM., and spend the night. In the morning we head straight off again. We decide at the last minute to take the bypass through the Sonoran desert and miss Phoenix traffic. There's gotta be gas stations along the way, right? It's 105 degrees, we're pretty much out of water, and definitely out of gas. Jess is driving, it's so stressful, we don't speak. Cell phone signal comes and goes. (we were NOT pleased with verizon's coverage
this trip, but that's another story). The gauge says 0 miles until empty for 20 miles. We totally made it to the station. We are SO lucky. We are blessed.

The one where we are D-U-N done

We make a very weak attempt, but we've decided we can't shop any more. The best thing about today was Jessie's brisket sandwich "the best brisket I've ever had." See pic of us the with the brisket man. I had ice cream instead. We were going to stay for the "prom" but we are not looking forward to the drive home and want to take our time. Tonight in DT's booth things are mostly the same, but tonight we discover the Mexican food stand. Yummm. The band sounds exactly like Stevie Ray and Double Trouble. We make our plans to pack the trailer early and get on the road.

The one with Armando

Night 3 at Zapp Hall. Last night we met Dave (or Armando), a singer songwriter who currently resides in San Miguel de Allende. He sang on stage between the bands and stole the show. We heard him sing "Blackbird" 4 different ways. Tonight he hung in the booth with us and was our personal jukebox and philosopher. We stayed up until 3am just talking. It was a very nice time. See Dave above. When the antiques fair ended, Danny took Dave home with him and is sort of sponsoring him, he wants to produce a cd for him. I can't wait. We really wanted him to come home with us. I think Santa Cruz is a great venue for his music. But for now he is bringing joy to Austin, Texas.

The one called "day 3 at round top"

Day 3 at Round Top antique fair. Today we ventured a bit further out, and drove down the road a mile. There are many different "fields" where dealers set up, and each has it's own flavor. This was like an upscale shopping district in Dallas. You could find a farm table for $4000.00, a bergere chair for a bit more. These were not even fine antiques. I can see the draw for the rich texas women to come shop here though, they don't have to get thier feet dirty, and they have a good time at the "fair". More power to these dealers if they can get someone to pay that. I did find some good deals though. A pair of 70's Italian sconces that would go in any home, very different and fabulous. Also a midcentury modern steel wire chaise lounge that swivels and rocks. I love it! Above is an item I passed on. It's called "round wee go". Made in 1920, you put an infant in the seat and it spins around. Death trap, but the colors and the style are great!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The one about nightlife at Zapp Hall

Day 2 Night Life

We begin our nightly routine like so...naps, a couple of cocktails in the room as we get ready, and off to Zapp Hall. Dinner is some yummy steak and salad concoction. Mr. Danny Rae Tytenicz is our gracious host for these nights we will always remember. Our comfy seats in his booth face the stage, where excellent bands play nightly. In addition to the music, people on thier way to the bar stop by to entertain us. A very bizarre gal named Becky did the scene from Steel Magnolias for us "my colors are blush and bashful - honey, your colors are pink and pink" with the best Dallas accent. A couple of locals came by and did a comedy routine. The funniest thing all night was when Michael (one of the owners of Zapp hall) came up to the sheriff (who was giving DT a lecture) (and also breeds horses) and said this "hey, I need a horse for my daughter. She already had one she can ride, she just wants one she can brush and love on" Jess looked at me and said "a man is literally seeing another man about a horse" We just about died laughing. for those of you not familiar with this phrase, "I gotta see a man about a horse" is a way of excusing yourself to use the restroom. Like most of the stories of our trip, you probably had to be there, but it was so surreal, I had to write it down. See Jess below in her element. Above is Zapp Hall, band in front, bar on the left.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The one about day 4 in Round Top

Day 4 Round Top, Texas Antique Market (day 2 buying) I'ts so very hard for me to remember the days here. It's SO hot. I can't see much because I am "glowing" like crazy. Glow is pouring like rain into my eyes. We stumble around in and out of shaded booths, panting. I do find a couple of great mantles, and a giant wall of antique post office boxes that I could not stop thinking about yesterday. It makes a superb room divider, with cubbies on the back side. (I had to include the picture of our "country feet", it gives you a pretty good idea of our days here)

The one with cool stuff in Texas

I thought you would also want to see some of the amazing booths people create there. It is for 2 weeks, so they get there early and go all out.
One of the best things about this fair (we'll call it Warrenton, since it's technically different than Round Top) is twilight shopping. The different sections alternate the nights they stay open late, but even better is shopping after they are closed! Almost all of the dealers leave their booths wide open, so we wandered around in the cooling dusk, looking at all of the goodies we were too delirious to pay attention to in the hellfire heat of midday. We scouted out what we wanted to buy the next day, leaving notes to the dealers to hold things for us. Even small items like jewelry, were left out. That fact, and the warmth of the people, gave us an immediate feeling of home and trust, and family.

The one with more cool stuff from Texas

I'm sorry, did you want to see what I bought that day? A very cute green and black enamel steel table with a light. We think maybe and old manicure table? Anyway, very cute and useable, and looks great in my Halloweeney front window now. Some vintage glass beakers (great for vase), more doll heads, antique metal stools, 1, 2, 3, somebody stop me! Antique oak church pew, shabby-chic-d (but very cool), and a really great cabinet someone had made from antique doors in beautiful colors. Click on any picture to enlarge.

The one about day and night 3 in Warrenton, Texas

Still day 3... Did I mention how HOT it is? 100 degrees, and humid, like stepping out into a bathtub at 8am every morning.

We set out to look for great things to buy. Amazing how everyone takes a check without asking for id. We found a wonderful space with the nicest dealers. I spent a lot of money and Kathy (see pic with Jess) invited us to her booth that evening for a beer. We met up that night at dinner, and after introducing us to other dealers (who were such gentleman, buying us all those drinks), she decided we needed to go to the inbred bar across the street to track down the woman with the breasts that could spin in opposite directions.

The bad news is - we never found her. Good news - I somewhere found the brains to leave early (1 am) and 9 beers later. We had WORK to do the next morning. I now must give thanks and say hello to our new friends from that night - Danny Tytenicz, red - the beautiful rescued pit, and the VERY cute Clark (see pic), from the great state of Nebraska.

The one where Texas welcomes us with open arms

Day 3, cont..Jessie has a great friend (thanks, Alicia!) who somehow found all sorts of vacancies in the area. Susan (our savior) picks up the phone first and welcomes us with open arms and a hug. We are smack dab in the middle of the market, in a very clean and cool 2 bedroom. She gives us a key, tells us when breakfast is, and takes off. She doesn't even know our names! We also meet her husband, Jimmy (see pic of VERY cute man). We soon find out this is the most interesting and fabulous couple you could ever meet. The stories we heard! This is only the beginning of the absolutely wonderful and friendly people we meet in Texas.

The one where Jess freaks out for the first time

Someone is pounding on the door, screaming "Sylvester!, Sylvester!" Jess is a bit freaked out , I yell that he has the wrong room.

She gets out of bed and sees something in it. I tell her it is part of a plant and flick it away. Then she goes out to the car and gets her bag and comes in a little more freaked out. Tension is rising. Someone with no teeth is gawking at her, and it appears that people live in this motel. She showers, I unpack. She comes out on a higher level of insane-ness, I unpack and ignore her. The rest of the dead cricket she has spent the night with is unearthed from her bedsheets. That's it, we're getting the h--- out of here, RIGHT NOW! I repack, wondering who I can call to talk her down....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The one about the bad motel

Day 2 continued...

at 2am, we arrive at the lovely Motel, the only hotel with availability (3 months ahead) and a bargain at $55 per night.....

We are so tired we ignore the interior hollow core door that is our only protection from the outside elements in La Grange, Texas. As well as the janky door lock. And the dead cricket behind the toilet. This is Texas, after all. I expect bugs.

The room is the color of an egg yolk. Everywhere. It's not a good thing to look at. We pass out.

The one where we are driving to Texas

Day 2, Driving

Today we got on the road at 7am, hoping to catch a starbucks on the way out of town. no such luck. Many hours later in New Mexico, we finally found our drug.

On the 10 in Texas, the speed limit is 80, which is nice. I did get away with 101 for most of the day, so I was not too upset when the state police made a u-turn and caught me at 96mph. Alas, at night it is only 65, so we took much longer to get to our destination.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The one about the first day driving to Texas

Round Top Antique Market - Day One - Driving

And we're off. My good friend and fellow designer Jessica Kaminski is coming along to join in the fun! We get on the road in Santa Cruz about 11am. Later that evening at sunset, we are on the 95, which goes fron the top of Arizona to the bottom. I never tire of sunsets, they amaze me every time. This was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. In the middle of the desert, on some 2 lane road, I told Jessie if she got out and stood on top of the nearest mountain, it would change her life. It was then that after 16 years of knowing this girl, I find out she is not high on nature, mostly the insect aspect of it. (more on this later)

1am tucson time, we finally stop at a motel and sleep for 6 hours. I can't believe I drove the whole way.

By the way, it's apparently a big deal that I went in to my first WalMart today, also I ate at my first Cracker Barrel (not quite my style).