Saturday, July 30, 2011

A new old friend: IKEA opens in Centennial

You have no idea how excited I was that the promised IKEA store opened up this past week in nearby Centennial.  It just appears as if it sprouted up as you come around a bend on Highway 25, and this one is huge!  I've been a fan of this store chain from my days in CA; if you've ever been in one, you know it's just a refreshing shopping experience.  One year, we furnished my son's "big boy room" (when he moved from the nursery) from IKEA, in a lighthouse theme.  So much fun!
We had to go on the second day it was open.  This time, I was most enamored by the different lighting they had available...
like this one that is actually made from a bunch of thin, paper-like stars!
I also found myself wanting a pillow, like this one:
or, this one:
which would have looked so cute with this bedding set -- and look at those adorable little tube pillows!
But, come on.  Me, need a pillow?  I know, right?  I did come to my senses.
It's been probably 3 years since I've been to an IKEA, and I noticed their style has changed to include a more retro look instead of their previous streamlined, minimalist stuff.
More traditional patterns and colors.
And a bit more "feminine." 

We spent about 2 hours walking around the store, seeing what was new, and then bought mostly practical things, like 99 cent toilet brushes in holders for each bathroom, and thrifty lint brushes.  But we also got this wonderful chair that I saw there years ago and have wanted ever since:
I've been waiting months for the store to open to buy it!  I'll have to take a photo of it in my home to show you -- it's a bright splash of color and design in my green and purple living room!
We also bought a bright pink chair for my office -- you can see the chair part on the dolly here.  (If you've never been to IKEA, you have to pick up your purchases from the warehouse and assemble it yourself.)
Have you ever been to IKEA?  What do you like to buy there?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Blogging joy, charming china, and a live lobster

Do you remember when I blogged about the wonderful time Dennis and I had shopping for Antiques in Florence, CO?

Somehow, a member of the Florence Merchant's Association found that blog post and really enjoyed it.  I heard, via comments on the blog and email, from several of the antique store owners and even the Mayor, who all expressed their thanks for my talking about their town on this blog!  They asked for my address to send their written thanks.

The response really made me smile; it's just an example of one of the things about blogging that give me joy.  So imagine my surprise yesterday to receive an envelope in the mail with a lovely note of thanks -- and a pile of gift certificates to those wonderful antique stores!

The thank you note reads in part, "We know that word of mouth is the very best advertising that money cannot buy!  We are so glad that you had a fun day shopping, found some treasures along the way, and have shared your experience with the world."

Wow -- I am so blown away!  In a very good way!  I can't wait to go back to Florence!
I wanted to show you this beautiful brooch/pendant I purchased from Tracy at Charmedware.  It's made from a beautiful broken china piece that shows September, my birth month, soldered in a wonderful frame, with beads and a pearl hanging from it.  I love it SO MUCH!  She has other wonderful pieces -- including some of the cutest birds you've ever seen -- in her shop; go see!
If you click on the photo above to enlarge it, you might be able to see me wearing it as a pendant around my neck.  This picture is after a wonderful seafood dinner at Landry's in Englewood with my family and, to the left of me, my twin nephews last night.  The thing that Dennis is holding on the platter is a live lobster that is on its way to be someone's dinner. The waitress we asked to take our photo thought it would be funny if we posed with it.

And it was.  Except, the kid who handed us the lobster had just said, "You'd better be quick, he might jump off."  And the lobster was facing me.  So, if he jumped, it would be at me.  Needless to say, I had a hard time smiling for this photo!  Do I look scared?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Catching up on summer fun

 My Birdsong Tagbook, at home on its rack
Ever since Lisa taught me how to weave at the Birdsong event, Jeanelle and I have been wanting to get together and use the same method to weave a cuff bracelet.  But it's been such a busy summer that we've had to cancel or put off crafting together.  The other day I got to choosing fabrics, cutting the strips we would need to make the cuffs, and finding fibers and things to use.  Once I had the basketful I just couldn't wait -- I had to get started!
Here's the cuff, sitting in the basket of strips of fabrics.  There are enough pieces for 50 cuffs, I think -- I went a little hog wild!
I tried my best with the weaving method, but we had learned how to make a pouch so I had to adapt it to a cuff...and it didn't go as well as planned.
I ended up sewing the woven part to an old piece of linen, which I folded around to make a sort of binding on each short end, and then a ribbon tie.  Also -- buttons and a layered fabric flower for decoration.
I can't take credit for the pretty bird above; it's on a framed scrapbook page that I bought from Michael's at Christmas and finally put to use for buddy Rebecca's birthday.
I scoured through my older photo albums until I found just the right photo to put in the frame for her; it shows her daughter, my son, and her son at a baseball game in 2004 -- it was opening day.  I love the photo, and so did she.

Especially with the contrast these days -- here are the same kiddos, 7 years later!
For Rebecca's birthday, we celebrated at Splash!
That's the place I blogged about before, where you get a painting lesson and create a canvas, as you sip cocktails!
We had some champers...
It was so much fun!  Rebecca is an artist in her own right, although her specialty is watercolor.
The picture was supposed to be a wine bottle pouring out with wine words beneath it; Rebecca did non-wine words, and I didn't do words at all!  I did a Napa Valley wine country scene, instead.  We were both happy with our finished pieces!
See: you can tell by Rebecca's piece that she is talented!  My wonderful husband was our taxi, and he brought us home to ice cream cake.  I do believe in celebrating birthdays!
I'll leave you with this photo of some of the plump, juicy raspberries in abundance on our vines!  This morning when I was picking some, they were literally falling off into my fingers when I touched them!
I really love summer, don't you?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vivacious Vintage Vera

I'm a big fan of Vera Neumann, who made a name for herself by inventing the signature scarf.  Even though she passed away several years ago, her company is going strong and keeps a cool website.  I especially like their blog and the information they publish that helps you to identify the age of her pieces -- since her career spanned decades.  I'm also hoping to find Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon wrapped up for my birthday next month!
I've been on a Vera kick since yesterday, when I took some time to update all of my listings for Vintage Vera Neumann in my shop.  This included draping the scarves onto my lovely dress form to show them at their best, lowering prices on the already listed pieces, and listing several new pieces I've been lucky enough to find lately!  I also created a shop section just for her stuff since I seem to have a collection now!
Here's one of my favorites -- the colors!  It's silk and long and so playfully Vera!
And not just scarves...
You never know what you'll find that's Vera!
Do you own any vintage Vera?  Do tell!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Queen of the nest

That's what I feel like today -- the Queen of the nest! -- after receiving my Birdsong Tagbook swap!
It arrived yesterday, prettily wrapped in a page covered with eggs, tied with Marie-blue ribbon!
Karla's beautiful birdcage cover, embellished with...
a gorgeous blue bird feather, and her hand painted charm!
The reverse of her tag book cover had sweet, tiny rick-rack embellished trim and layers of wallpaper.
My first beautiful tag -- a wonderfully layered bird in nest made by Robin Sanchez.  I love, love, love the bird and the tiny farm scene in the lower right corner of the tag, and the shrinky-dink flower that hangs from the bottom!
Look at this sweet, hand painted tag from Laurie May!  I love the soft pink color, her frilly birdcage, and the texture of the piece.
Here's the back -- she made is so lovely, didn't she?
Terri Gordon's tag -- you already know I think this is FABULOUS!  I adore the paper she used for the background, too.
Amazing, amazing layers of embellishments and detail by Wendy at Blissangels!
Here's the reverse -- look at the tiny bird stamped on the back of the wings from the front!
The next one has the most beautiful grays and shadow colors that move perfectly into greenish hues...
and sparkles!  I love this tag by Marilou Bain.
The gray and green tag above transitions perfectly to this one by Beth Leintz; it is layers of wonderful vintage wallpaper and then this image on a card of birds, yellow on gray, all stitched together!  Beth is a new friend from the Birdsong weekend we both attended, so it was so fun to receive a tag from someone I know!
Karla knows how I feel about buttons...
so what a joy to end the bundle with this beauty by Abby!  I don't know if I will ever get over...
this little crown!  It is cuteness itself!

What a wonderful swap!  It will be bringing me joy forever!  Thank you Karla!