Hello my friends!
There is something about a pair of hanging ice-skates that just screams Christmas to me. I grew up in Texas and remember wearing a pair of shorts, not ice-skates one Christmas and the only ice that I saw that year was in my mother's ice tea she was drinking as she basted the Christmas ham. I didn't wear a pair of ice-skates until I was almost 43 years old...I always wanted to learn to skate and finally one brave soul took mercy on me and tried to teach me. While I am sure I looked liked a middle-aged toddler taking her first steps; in my mind, was gliding gracefully over the ice. When you have a creative mind, you can do that sort of thing...pretend you are doing one thing when in fact you are not. It's wonderful! However, in 25 years they will call it dementia. But let's stick with the present and leave the future to take care of itself, shall we?
I saw this pair hanging in the Miss Frenchie's show in Carol's booth, Raised in Cotton. I know I promised in my last post that I would show you a New Years shoot that I did two years ago that I felt my new readers would enjoy (along with some photos that my long-devoted readers have never seen), but I promise that post is coming soon. Instead, I had a quick trip to Kansas City with my good friend, Debbie (from St. Louis) that I thought I would share with you instead....you know how I like to share my travel adventures with you.
Debbie always wanted to go to the Miss Frenchie's show in KS City and never got a chance to see me as a vendor there. So since I wasn't doing the show this Christmas, she asked if I wanted to go with her and do some antique hunting in KS City as well. Besides that, her neighbor (and my friend as well), Renee, was going to be in KS City with her sister and how fun it would be if we all could meet up at the show. So, I am all for a quick trip and we agreed we could do all this in a day.
Now, let me explain the geography a bit in case you haven't driven this part of the country. St. Louis is a solid four-hour drive to KS City. Debbie and I are wanting to drive there, shop around town, go to the infamous Curious Sofa, eat some lunch, and go to an antique mall. Then I want to take some photos of the Miss Frenchie's show, then we want shop the show when it opens at 5PM, visit with friends, and then drive home after the show...another four-hour drive. What are we? Twenty? No, we are just two giddy middle-aged (okay, maybe we are beyond middle age, but who is counting), friends who will yak non-stop for four hours, drink gas station coffee, eat crispy creme doughnuts and get lost once we arrive in town, but find the best time while being lost.
Our morning starts out early at 6AM where Debbie picks me at my home and we take off. She is the driver and I am the lucky passenger. We talk non-stop (hard to believe, I know) and cover all topics imaginable in a four-hour drive that two women could cover: men, food, weight, decorating, family, shopping, food, vacations, sex, health, aches, pains, food, fabric, getting old, buttons, linen, food, how we must go to Paris together, food, how we must go antiquing in Belgium together, food, getting a turkey neck (what is that all about?), food, food....did I say we talked about food? Getting up so early and so much talking can create a huge hunger pang. So we stop at a big truck stop for breakfast. It is one of those cool, old vintage eateries with the old booths complete with the old men drinking coffee and smoking. We are the only women when we arrive and we are starving and yakking. A big plate of pancakes and several cups of coffee later (and a box of fudge to go), we are on our way again.
As we approach KS City, I whip out my Garmon (GPS system) and I have saved Curious Sofa's address from a long ago visit and we decide we are going to go there first. Soon, we discover that we are no where near the right location....we are at the old location. I still had the old address in my Garmon which led us downtown...but no matter. We found a fantastic architectural salvage store that was calling our name. Below are some photos that I took. The lighting selection is fantastic. The location is on the corner of Southwest and Broadway. 2045 Broadway is the address.
Debbie is in light heaven and appears to be gasping for air as she clutches her chest after each "OMG! Elizabeth, get over here and look at this one!" :-)
The above photo looks upside down, but the chandeliers make you look twice to see that it isn't. This photo doesn't do the lighting justice. It was such a pretty room.
I have a thing for "piles" of stuff. Whether it is door knobs, hardware, fabric, thread, your name it. If there is a pile of it, I will usually think it looks cool. Junk, trash, crap....it can all be cool...however, being a Texan, a "pile of crap" has a whole different meaning that isn't so cool.
We then discover that Curious Sofa is not that far after all and we head over there. If you ever get a chance to visit Debbie Dusenberry's store, Curious Sofa, you must! But, you should also know that the little "strip mall" (which isn't really a strip mall at all, but rather a beautiful little "village" of stores) is easy to miss if you aren't paying attention...so keep an eye out for the busy intersection of streets that surround the area. Below are a few photos that I took while on my visit. Debbie Dusenberry (from here on out, I will call her Deb to avoid confusion with my St. Louis friend, Debbie) was not in, but busy setting up at Miss Frenchies.
I love bedding...and this little setup is so pleasing to the eye that it took all my will not to crawl in it for a nap. Don't you just love the snowy light above and the tree behind it? The colors are so soothing and yet rich at the same moment.
Now is this a kicker or what? I was walking through the store snapping my photos while my friend was shopping away and I come across this vase (above). Upon closer inspection (below) I see that Deb has taken sweater parts and covered her urns! Now I know what to do with all those old sweaters - cut off the arms and stick urns in them. I am dressing mine up! I later met with Deb at the show and we laughed how we could take old tube socks and make beer cozies or a wine gift bags. But what a brilliant idea, with the vase, don't you think?
After shopping Curious Sofa, I then ask Debbie if she would like to squeeze in some time to go to an antique mall before we head out to Miss Frenchies...of course she isn't going to pass this up. But it has been hours since we had our pancakes and as we drive towards the mall, we pass the Salty Eguana and decide that Mexican food would do the trick. After a quick lunch we head to the Mission Road Antique Mall, which is very deceiving. It looks normal on the outside, but inside, it is a friggin maze. Hallways that turn this way and that are everywhere that lead to no where and in circles. Debbie and I were inside, I swear, not more than five minutes, and I lost her. I mean, she literally disappeared. I came across a booth that had such great stuff that I thought she would love and I turned around and she was gone. So I called out her name, and no answer. I walked down several hallways, and again called out her name...no answer. I mean, how fast can someone get away? And the mall was quiet, surely she could hear me...An employee was looking at me as I raised my voice and sort of called out, "Debbbiieeee!!!" I am not joking, I really did that, my hand cupped to my mouth and everything...the employee gave me "the look" and then she told me they had an electronic intercom system at the front desk. I know, I know, but all because I want to live an elegant life, doesn't always mean I am elegant...I shouldn't admit that now that I see it in print. Oh well. But seriously, I have never seen anyone disappear so fast in my life. Right at that moment, I get a text from my friend Gretchen, who is doing her jewelry show back in St. Louis. She texts me: "What have you found? Anything good yet?" So I text her back, "I lost Debbie in the antique mall..."
Several minutes later, I call Debbie on my cell phone, and we are on two different floors and we finally find each other. We laugh and then we put out heads together as I snap a photo on my camera and send our photo back to Gretchen with the words: "I found something great!" At that moment, the employee walks past us and tells me she is glad we found each other, and gives me a smile as well as "the look." Debbie leaves with a fabulous vintage cream Christmas tree in an urn that we both fell in love with. I told her I want to use for a photo shoot after the holidays...she bought it for only $28! I didn't buy anything, but I did see a few goodies I may go back and get on my next visit if they are still available.
We are now heading to Miss Frenchies and get there early so I can take photos before it gets too crowded. The vendors are pretty much set up and ready, but look pooped and I know exactly how they feel. Having done this show, I know all too well the amount of work that goes into it and for that reason, I passed this show. Late last spring my health was "interrupted" once again and not knowing exactly what to expect, I notified Deb of Curious Sofa to let her know to make plans for another vendor. I wanted to give her plenty of notice. It was a difficult decision, as I love the create my space and participate in such a lovely show, but I didn't want to have to pull out at the last moment and put Deb in a spot of having to fill my space. However, it was great to be able to attend and relax and visit with the vendors and see all the beautiful merchandise that I never had a chance to as a vendor.
Below are some photos of the fun event and if you ever get the chance to attend, you should. Everyone has a great time and it is an exciting way to jumpstart your holiday shopping. Enjoy the photos:
Willow's Nest had the most beautiful tree - little vintage coin purses clipped to the tree with small roses in side - so lovely!
Karla's Cottage always has the best "little stuff" that anyone would want to dig around for. The prices are great and the goodies are even better!
Carol with Raised in Cotton and Willow's Nest were "neighbors" and their styles went together so well. It was soothing, and yet so lively. I loved the looks and the creativity of the two being next to each other.
Above is my friend Renee (right) from St. Louis and her sister Wendy, from Wisconsin. They met us at the show and I met Wendy only once before. I could have listened to her all night long. Renee is so vibrant and fun beyond belief and her sister is the same WITH the Wisconsin accent which is hilarious! If you have ever seen the movie, Fargo, then you have just heard Wendy. (By the way, I love the movie's character, Marge. She is one of my favorite characters ever written.) I just kept laughing and I finally had to answer her back in her "lingo." I know I must have been so rude, but she was just a doll. Our conversation went something like this with a VERY heavy northern (think Fargo) accent, lots of smiling expressions and gestures:
Wendy: Ah!! Now! It is so gud to see ya, Elizabeth!!
Wendy: I follow yor blog all the time, don't cha know!
Wendy: Oh! The way ya write! Oh.... Now! I'm serious now....
Me: (trying to do an accent) You are, are you? Well now... You don't say?!
Wendy: Ah! Yes! I do! Don't cha know I read cha all the time! All the time, mind cha!
Me: Laughing (can't stop)
And so it went. I just loved listening to her. She was the sweetest and most sincere person I've ever met. What I really, really found hilarious is that later, when I was alone with Renee, I told Renee how much I loved her sister and Renee said that she loved her as well, but it is hard to get a word in to which I really BURST out laughing because if you have had the privilege of knowing Renee, you will definitely know that is the kettle calling the pot black, don't you know! :-) Sisters!
They are the best because we blame them when it is convenient and we take credit when we shouldn't and they never let us get away with either.
I should know - I have one.
It was nice to see that other shoppers were as busy as I was!
Look what I scored! (Below) I bought this fab sink from Curious Sofa's booth. It is just tiny enough for me to squeeze in the corner of our tiny bathroom next to our claw foot tub to hold all our soaps and sponges. I love the shaving mug - which is so fitting for a barber husband!
Love this giant ball of string (don't know why, I just do), and I love the simplicity of the little tree under the cloche. Sometimes, we just love what we love and that is all there is to it.
Beautiful felted pins (above) created by Julie Reed that my photo does not come close to doing them justice. And what is a show without the ever-so-sought baby head? Creepy, funny, however you view it, a show isn't a show without at least one.
Deb of Curious Sofa is busy checking out customers, which she does all night long. The show was busy and the shoppers kept coming. No sign of the recession in this barn....
I ran into many friends, customers, readers and other dealers in the biz. It was so nice to see everyone. I met, Jan, one of Leola's owners (below) and I hope she forgives me if I got her name wrong. I am horrible at remembering names, but in my defense, there are several dealers at Leola's (Springfield, MO) which is a wonderful shop that is worth a stop if you are in the area.
Deb of Curious Sofa managed to stop for a sec to snap a pic, but she was back to her customers right after this photo. As always, she works hard, and does a great job.
Carol of Raised in Cotton, is the woman of my kindred spirit. I feel as though I have known her my entire life. She and I were next to each other at the last show. Her stuff is great and her sense of style is very creative, fun and elegant all at once. If I lived in KS City, I would be glued to her side (and probably have her glitter on me).
And here is my lovely Debbie who did all the driving. She was my Louise and I was her Thelma...except we had a better ending. We had such a fun day (and night). We managed to get back to my home by midnight. She drove safely (she avoided all cliffs), we talked about all the treasures we found, how there wasn't enough time and how we must "do" Paris, Belgium, or London.... Or maybe we can just meet up next week for an estate sale...and pretend we are in Paris. I don't speak French, but we could eat chic croissants while waiting in line for the sale to open. And if it is cold, we could even wear chic berets.
Or better yet, we could just wear our chic berets and eat our chic croissants in a warm, chic cafe and get out our datebooks and start planning our trip abroad for some serious flea-marketing! Who knows? Plenty of fun plans have been made while munching on a croissant and looking chic in a beret.
Beret, no beret. Flea-marketing awaits which means treasures to be found and I considered myself one keen explorer. While in Curious Sofa, I caught up with my friend Debbie, who was shopping and after I snapped some pics I went over to her and she was looking for some things for her kitchen. I knew her style and so I looked down, under a table, on a shelf and I pointed and said that a basket under there would be perfect for her kitchen. She bent down and looked and gasped and asked me how in the world did I see it and find it so quickly? I held up my arm and made a muscle and told l her I am "one keen explorer." She loved the basket and bought it.
And I once again proved my hunting skills - Ta Da! :-)
And I wasn't even wearing a beret.
I hope you enjoy my little visit to Miss Frenchies - please visit the site to see all the vendors and their websites. There are many more worth visiting. May these next few weeks of shopping be a fun hunting expedition rather than a chore. For it is the laughter and friendship that is created along the way that is the true gift that lasts. Take a friend with you and laugh, eat, shop, and eat some more. (The diets start in January anyway, so who are we kidding?)
Thank you for taking time out of your very busy day to visit with me...I hope I made you laugh a little and if I did, then go get a piece of fudge and call a friend and go shopping. Really, go do it. Stop reading and call her....go call...she is waiting... :-)
From my house to your house