Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Handmade Ribbon Collection

I wanted to share more photos of our booth in Charlotte at the Metrolina show this past weekend and show you my new favorite project. Actually this is a two part project that I just love and it attracted a lot of attention at the show. I am excited to present my first handmade ribbon collection. These ribbons are all hand stamped on ivory muslin, blue denim (yes, from recycled bluejeans...the worn fabric has a beautiful, soft texture) and burlap. I love the color and texture combination together, and all the edges are either pinked or hand fringed. Some are stamped with keys, chandeliers, birds, laurel wreaths and script. I even have one bride-to-be considering it for her wedding! I loved the idea, since she didn't want the typical satin ribbon look, and has a very Provencal sort of theme. This would be great around a gift, embellishing a floral arrangement or wreath and the little bird themes would be so sweet on an Easter basket. I even had a Grandmother purchase some for her granddaughter's hair! You can see in the photo above how I tied off a stack of old books with a piece (more about the books later, too). Although I intend to sell it in 3 yard lengths, I have been selling it by the yard so far and just snip off the desired yardage right there in the booth, and drop in a brown paper lunch sack, which is the perfect size for a small purchase.
Part two of the project are the ribbon organizers made from old sewing machine drawers. These two drawers are the prettiest shade of blue and have some decorative detail that you can't really see in the photo. I had Rory cut a slit along the side to string the ribbon through and control the unraveling, and then he made notches in both sides of the ends, placing a hand turned dowel inside with the wound ribbon. It is so great to have a handy guy around that can help me with projects!
I liked the concept of having collections to compliment each other and to make a stronger visual merchandising impact. I have lots of thoughts about where I want to take this idea from here using all kinds of fabrics, colors, textures and graphics. You know that most retailers know by June what kind of Christmas collections they will be showing, so it is certainly not too early to be thinking in those terms now if you are a crafter or artist.
I'm off to the craft room...
Lee Ann

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Charlotte Show Photos

Wow! Our trip to Charlotte for the antique and collectibles show was a whirlwind of a weekend! I had hoped to be able to blog while there, but since I am so new at this the going is slow and I didn't want to take too much time away from meeting new customers and sharing our fabulous items. I think the booth looked terrific and we got so many nice compliments on it. The best part is just getting to talk (and talk and talk) to so many wonderful people. So thank you to all of you, especially Kevin for being such a great vendor neighbor, Beryl for the umbrella, ball caps, and sharing her passion and heart with me (you are one special lady!), Linda for inviting Rory and I into her beautiful home on the lake, and Grover and his cute family for just stopping by to introduce themselves (new blogging friends)! The staff and vendors at this show really seem to be like an extended family, as so many of these dealers have been coming here for years...some since the 70's! Anyway, what a difference it makes to work with such kind folks!
Hope you enjoy a few shots of our goodies! The vanity stops every girl aged 3 to 83 dead in their tracks! The drawers are padded and lined in white satin which I have filled with French lavender so that every time the drawers are opened the fragrance fills the senses even more, and the stool is covered in a yummy grey rabbit fur from a vintage coat. Every girl needs her own special spot to powder and perfume, and since this is a 3/4 size, it not only works for a young diva, it's great in a smaller guest room or even the right powder room! Can you imagine having weekend visitors to pamper with that little jewel?
The table and chairs are a set that Rory and I worked on together. This is made of English oak, but unfortunately, was not really attractive enough to refinish, so we decided to just do something over the top with this set. We started with covering the entire thing in a coat of silver (I'm sure the neighbors wondered what in the heck we were doing to that set) then light blue, then light green, squished some amber shellac in spots, while wiping or sanding between each coat. Then three coats of poly on the top for durability, and ended up with the loveliest, almost mother of pearl affect with that silver adding some wonderful sparkle through all those layers of paint. Oh, and we did the chest to match as a sideboard (that would also work in a bedroom). I love it when a plan comes together, don't you? Then to really top it off, I made small bolster pillows for each chair out of vintage silver fox. I'm telling you, this group is a pearl of a set in a sea of boring old dining rooms out there! I love that it is all solid woods, well constructed, recycled, useful and beyond beautiful!
I will share some of our other bon bons in another post. Enjoy for now!