Dec 7, 2009

Shoppin' Gabbin' Drivin' and Laughin'

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 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.

I just loved this wall of sconces. This is just one wall of many!

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, 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 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.

Only Deb could roll out the red carpet so well....her store never disappoints!

Simple ornaments always quietly say "Christmas" and that never grows old.

Is this fantastic or what? Love the crochet balls hanging off the chandelier.

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 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!!

Me: Laughing

Wendy: I follow yor blog all the time, don't cha know!

Me: Laughing

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


Nancy said...

Elizabeth - It made me happy just to read your blog and laugh out loud about the "Fargo" accent. Thanks for sharing your adventures!!Nancy N

Tamra said...

I LOVE the Fargo accent, dont'cha know! Elizabeth you blogs are such an inspiration to me! As I come to the end of my barn redo I look to both you and Debbie of Curious Sofa to give me fantastic ideas. And you are welcome anytime to get yourself out here to the central coast of California and see it girlie!

Thank you so much for sharing your world with the rest of us!!


Fabulously French said...

What a fabulous time you had, so many beautiful places to visit.


Garden Antqs Vintage said...

E: You are such a great writer and the pic of you and Deb, so pretty! You were right about Carol, I too feel I've known her all my life, she's just so sweet. One day I'm coming to this show. Enjoyed reading about your trip.

Sweet Old Vintage said...

I had a truly charming and fun time on your trip with you through your writing.... How wonderful.... I even giggled alittle.

Claudia said...

Oh, Elizabeth, I just love reading your posts! You have a way of including all of us and I feel like I went right along with you and Debbie on your adventure! I love that MN, WI, Fargo accent, too!


Jenny Danna said...

You did make me laugh....thanks! I loved that you noticed how Deb covered the urn with a sweater! I think anything you or Deb touch turns to gold! What fantastic minds! I am also from Texas and I have had "the look" so many's no big deal...I just smile and continue to have fun! My family thinks I am nuts because I am trying to get one of them to drive with me to Curious Sofa. I told them we could leave early and it is only eight hours and we could come home the same day! It sounds like you and Debbie did a lot in one I may give it a try! Thanks for the adventure and for the laughs! Jenny Danna

summersundays-jw said...

You got the name right -- it's Jan. It was great seeing you & reliving it through your pictures. Thanks, also, for saying such nice things about Leola's. Come & see us sometime. Jan

Six divided by two..... said...

I adore your pictures!!! What a wonderful and creative place!!!

Debe said...

Love writing, so expressive! Here is another Debe who wishes she had been with you! I would love to have gone to Miss Frenchie's too...such wonderful ladies with great stuff. Pulled my Jan 08 Romantic Home out of recycling after your last post. Photographed, styled and written by now takes on whole new meaning. Understand your hesitancy to take that all on again. Enjoy your blog so very much!! said...

It was good to see you at Miss Frenchie's and I really enjoyed meeting your "driver" as she called herself!

Hope you are back as a seller in April!


Glamarella Junk-Sherry said...

Elizabeth...this is just Fabulous!!!
What a Day of "Vintage Heaven"!!
You are too Cool Girlie!!
Hopefully we will cross paths...Love your Eye for Beautiful things!
Have a lovely Christmas!
(Former Blog-Prairie Home)

Curious Sofa said...

Oh honey THANK YOU for shooting such lovely shots!!! You really caught the essence of the show as only your creative eye could do. I was too busy (lazy) to take any pics of my own but I would have never captured it the way you did. WE MISSED YOU THERE. Thanks for bringing reinforcements!

by.hÄrenberg said...

so happy I found your blog! It is truly wonderful!:)
I will soon be back to visit you and your blog!:)
//la petite perle

Bags That Fit said...

Thank you Elizabeth! You are such a sweetie and your opinion means the world to me! Thank you for your thoughtfulness and leaving a comment on my blog. It made my day! I'm so glad to see you're writting on your blog again. I have missed you! amber

Anonymous said...

I need to meet Renee and Wendy - as someone who was born in St. Louis but have lived most of my life in Wisconsin!
And I love it when people say to me "you don't sound like your from Wisconsin" - THAT'S a compliment. I need to find Wendy as most folks around here think I'm nuts for loving such wonderful "old junk"!


Debra@CommonGround said...

Hey Elizabeth, two posts in a week(?) your on a roll here girl! Just loved your photos of the show, I wanted to be there so badly, but couldn't make a connection to get there. Thanks for taking us along. I could totally envision you two on the trip from STL. Some of the best greasy spoons in the world! I spotted Jan and Brenda before you commented and had Jan's photo there! Loved seeing the Curious Sofa photos and the salvage place. Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Season. Will you take some photos of your personal Christmas decor at your house? We'd love to peek in and see what you are doing. No pressure, don't cha know!

Lisa said...

How wonderful, it was a great trip wasn't it? I felt like I was in the back seat! Thanks for the road trip!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your little trip was fabulous...loved all your photos!!!
Loved your Fargo conversation!!!

Mary said...

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up on your latest escapade with your wonderful friends and business acquaintances (who are basically the same great gals!) Elizabeth.

Everything you show at C. Sofa, Frenchie's and the architectual store are just fabulous - I have to come that way for a visit......when the weather is a bit warmer!!

Thanks for sharing the beauty and some great ideas....such as Debbie D's sweater-wrapped urns (fabulous idea)....and Julie's beautiful jewelry (I've bookmarked her shop).

I'm off to NYC next week - will definitely retrace your steps through the garment district and show my granddaughter some of those fabulous fabric/findings shops you told us about.

A very Merry Christmas to you, Randy and your families. Look forward to reading of your trips/jobs/fun times in the coming year. Stay well and be happy dear.


linda marcov said...

Elizabeth.... you were a hard act to follow, we were simply honored to have been asked to fill your space... it was so nice seeing you, you look wonderful, and I hope the New Year brings you all the joy,health, and abundance you so deserve... thanks for the great comments and photos.. I know we all appreciate your eye.. Love Linda

Laura said...

What an inspiring post- I want to take a car trip too.

I enjoyed visiting, and your blog is wonderful!


Anne Lorys said...

What fun it would be to go on a shopping adventure with you!
And I LOVE that precious little sink!

I actually think I'll be headed up your way in the New Year to pay a visit to Debra of Common Ground. Of course, we will plan on going to Curious Sofa and Leola's, and if good fortune is with us, to possibly meet YOU!

All the best,

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

Hello Elizabeth~ I am finally making some very late rounds! Thank you for visiting me. I do hope to get a peek at the stockings you have made. They really are quite quick & easy after you get the hang of it. I think it took me longer to take all the pictures than it actually took to make the stocking! Merry Christmas.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Anne, if you are ever in my area, I would LOVE to meet with you or better, shop with you! That goes for any of my reader for that matter. What an honor it would be to meet you.

Safe and happy traveling!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Pansy Cottage (Sharon)

Yes, I did see the stockings and they are so fun and you did a great job and showing how to make them - I can appreciate the work you put into that project of photographing them!!

Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with us all,

Simply Iowa said...

Hi Elizabeth...
I am your northern neighbor...I'm from Iowa... I saw your artical, in Romantic Homes, and Love it... I am a shop owner, as well, and it appears, we love many of the same things! I love old, worn well loved things, with a lot of soul, and take things, most overlook, and give them a beautiful voice, so they may sing, once again... I also have handed my life to the Lord... Sometimes it takes Angels with 2x4's to get me to my knees, where I should have been in the first place, but, eventually, I get there! I am now a follower of yours, and excited to see what you come up with! My next trip to St.Louis, will be a brighter one... Hope you can get up my way... I think you would be inspired... Lots of Gnarly places!
Barb C.

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