Thursday, August 14, 2014

Downtown Digging in Los Angeles

For the past thirty five (!) years, I have been digging for gold in downtown Los Angeles.  Whether I am looking for old beads, feathers or buckles I am surprised to learn there are still some wonderful old vendors that have shops filled with vintage and new treasures.  I have gotten to know some of these dealers over the years and have come to rely on many of them when I need a new batch of inspiration for designing jewelry, fabric and ribbon.  
For those of us not going back to school this September, I thought we should go on a little tour of downtown Los Angeles!  I've designed a day of exploring some of my very favorite vendors who sell some of the most beautiful supplies for sewing and crafting.  We will explore my favorite source for Liberty fabrics, an old millinery shop where you can still find hand-curled feathers, and of course, drop in to some of my regular bead and button suppliers.  The tour includes a petite breakfast at French General in the morning, and afterwards we will drive the 15 minutes to downtown LA and start our walking tour.  Lunch at the Ace Hotel and then back to the district for more sure to wear your digging clothes and I'll bring the hand wipes!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Home from France

Every summer, Mogull, Molly, Mom and I travel to France to spend four weeks in a beautifully rural area just north of Toulouse.  We rent a 17th century chateau and fill it up with friends from near and far to craft, eat amazing food prepared by the fabulous chef Charlotte and visit local flea markets and farmer's markets.  Every summer I am amazed at how we always see something new, learn something different and uncover a bit about France that was hidden for years.
Here is a peek into what we learned this past summer...

Sitting in the Cafe de la Halle in St. Antonin is the best place for a morning check in!

Mr. Garcia still has some treasures hidden in his garage!

Sometimes you get lucky and stay in a grand house with a laundry room the size of a small house!

You never know what you will find in a 50 lb. box of old linen....

There are still hats to be found in Septfonds!

Sometimes it's just better to buy the whole box of cafe curtain rings!

There are way too many beautiful baskets at the flea markets in France....

It's always good to be in France with friends....

Saltwaters are the best traveling shoes!

Farewell dinners are good, but the women that come on our Chateau Getaway are the best!

Beautifully laundered linen looks better in an old armoire....

Stitching in a cafe in Montpezat, drinking a grand creme, makes the day fly by!

Learning to weave on a handmade tapestry loom is addicting!

 Woad dyeing ever year, for the past six years, doesn't get old!

Early morning walks through the sunflower fields is the best way to start a day!

Finding cornichons at the market and learning how to pickle them with our Chef Charlotte is pretty cool!

Drinking wine and eating local cheese with our sommelier, Laurent and his beautiful assistant, Flora is the best dinner of the week!

Beautiful scraps look even better when framed in old hoops!

Buying old linen skeins at the Cahors market was worth every euro!

The sunflowers do pop once it gets hot enough!

Designing an embroidery map of the area we visit was a natural, finishing it...priceless!

Finding a box of old spools at the vide grenier, in the pouring rain, was my best find ever!

Artichokes do flower!

Antique toiles can still be found in France...for a pretty penny!

Having my mom, Kick and daughter, Sofia on our Chateau Getaway trips makes it all worth while!