Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meet My Very First Retail Customer!

Last year when I launched Retro Revival I quickly snagged my first retail customer, YOLO Salon and Spa!  YOLO is an upscale, full service salon and spa in Winter Park, Florida (a suburb of Orlando).

YOLO's owner and head stylist is Eileen Mathis:

Eileen's the only hair stylist I've ever known who wears high heels all day long (they were not just for this photo op)!  Aren't they fab?

I visited YOLO last week to make another shower cap order delivery - Eileen's 7th order!

Here they are in her salon:

(Paul cut a shower cap out of plywood for me and I painted it.  I think it looks great in YOLO!)

In addition to a wide array of hair services, YOLO also has a full service nail salon,

massage services, facials, spray tanning and amazing spa packages.

If you're not already a loyal YOLO patron, give them a call and learn about their specials!

And if you live outside the central Florida area, remember that you can snag one of my pretty, waterproof, washable shower caps at Retro Revival - they're sooooo much nicer than those cheapo hotel caps!

And with the holidays right around the corner, keep in mind that they are a wonderful, unique gift idea (over 20 great fabric choices)!

Remember to leave a comment on this blog (or any of my September blog entries) for a chance to win my September blog giveaway - this great how-to book on crafting for a living:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Upcycling Vintage China & Candlesticks

I've been considering projects (other than sewn items) that will compliment my product line, something kitchen-y or bathroom-y and thought why not try upcycling my stack of beautiful, mismatched china plates into dessert and cake plates?

So I set about trying to find the spindles/hardware that I would need for this project.
Hmfp!  I cannot find any in the United States!  The few I did find are too pricey and must be shipped from the UK.  Plan B...research alternatives to metal spindles/fittings.  Looking online I found quite a few people are using candle sticks and bud vases.  Yay, I can do this!

So I grabbed some of my plates, saucers and shallow bowls from my collection:

...Then made a trip to Renniger's Flea Market:

...Where I scooped up a small collection of glass and crystal candlesticks, bottles, oil lamp shades and candle holders.  Gotta love the flea!  Most pieces were $.50 or $1.00 and many are antique milkglass:

...Sent Paul to the hardware store pick up some apoxy:

And scrubbed the china, glass and crystal clean (note to self: be more disserning at the flea; a couple of the pieces I bought will not come clean, even with bleach and vinegar!).  Then I measured and marked the center of each plate, saucer and bowl, applied the sealant to the glass and crystal bases and pressed them against the plates.  Super, duper easy!  Here's a peek at a few of them:
(This hand painted plate looks like my 1950's Wilendur tablecloth!)

They will work well for serving cakes, cookies, cupcakes, petit fours - all sorts of desserts.  And I think the smaller ones will look lovely on a bathroom counter holding pretty soaps or on a dresser for small bits of jewelry.  Versitile and beautiful!

I'm delighted with the results and am planning on taking them to my craft fairs in October.  To help my customers see the potential of the cake plates I needed to come up with something to display on them that won't melt in the Florida heat and I found a felt cake!
It's a life-sized chocolate cake handcrafted by Debi at Debra822 Custom Crochet Creations.  It's so yummy looking I think my customers will be tempted to swipe a bit with their fingertips for a taste!

And for my double decker dessert stand I found these lovely petit fours - get this! - made out of soap!
Don't they look beautiful on my plate?!  There are so life like I'll definitely keep an eye out to make sure no one at my shows tries to eat one!  Alexandra, the owner of Clean Confections made them. 

I'm hoping my plates sell well - wish me luck!

In the meantime, please remember to comment on any or all of my September blog entries for a chance to win my blog giveaway!  Drawing is September 30th.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Fall" Into Retro Fashion

Have you been watching Project Runway?  I think it's the best season yet.  Gorgeous and hideous creations alike, constructive guest hosts and lots of drama!  I was shocked that Tim Gunn called out the elite team for their bad behavior and for following Gretchen's lead.  And by the way, is anyone else irritated by Ivy?!

Anyway, between watching this ridiculous (in a good way!) show, flipping through my issues of In Style and Elle magazines and cruising the Internet I've been thrilled to discover that vintage/retro is still all the rage for many designers this fall and winter!

I suppose as soon as past styles and materials become outdated, they remain a deep reservoir of recyclable ideas.  When you think about it, how many new "trends" are really new?  Yep, what's old is new again - yay!

Many designers have dipped back into the vintage and retro pool, including Prada.  Prada's dress (on the left) reminds me a bit of this 1953 picture of Eva Marie Saint...

Louis Vuitton is certainly in the retro mood...
...OMG, I am seriously in LOVE with this - everything about it!  And the gloves are gorg!

Vuitton's also designed vintage inspired purses for their collection this year:

Nina Ricci's sunglasses are clearly inspired from the 50's:

This picture, from British Vogue, captures the retro stylings of Lucinda Chambers (the model is wearing a Rochas knit sweater and cotton print skirt by Betty Jackson)...
Her teased hair is perfect with this outfit, don't you think?!

Looks like the Fall 2010 fashions are grounded firmly in the classics, with modern twists like chunky jewelry and these platform shoes (with "bobby" socks):
Are the socks a little goofy?  I'm kinda digging them - ha!

I'm happy to see a nod to 1950's retro and vintage this fashion season.  I wonder what the designers have planned for next year - gawd, I really hope they don't look back to the 1970's for inspiration!

September's flying by so don't forget to leave a comment here for a chance to win my blog giveaway!  Drawing is September 30th.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Visit to Where We Live

We live in Astatula, Florida.  Asta what?  It's pronounced Ass-tah-too-lah.  Kinda fun to say.  Established in 1872, today it's home to 1,400 residents.

It's a small spec of a farm town about an hour northwest of Disney World.  Amazing that a 45-minute drive from downtown Orlando lies miles and miles of mostly untouched farm land - really beautiful country!

In Astatula we found exactly what we were longing for - a smaller home, a little land, wide open space and quiet.
Just about a mile down a winding, unpaved road canopied by lush trees... our little farm:

There's not much to Astatula other than the police station/town hall (shared building),

and the post office, two churches, two bars, a tiny diner (seats 8), and a family-owned convenience store. 

Mostly, we have acres and acres of orange and grapefruit groves:

Lots of horse farms...

...and pretty old barns:

And unlike most of Florida, Astatula has many rolling hills that cut through the farms and citrus groves.  Bikers (bicyclists and Harleys alike) travel from all over central Florida to work out on or just enjoy these amazing hills.

Many Live Oaks and Hammock Oaks dot our town's landscape, including this giagantic, ancient Hammock Oak on the shore of Minneola Lake:

Look at the size and sway of this this branch!

My favorite oak tree is the one just down the road from our house where cows shade themselves every afternoon:

Without a doubt, this is the most beautiful place we've ever lived.  I love it here!  Whatever environment you're in today, I hope you enjoy it!

For a chance at winning my September blog giveaway just leave a comment on this blog, or any of my September blog entries!  Drawing is September 30th.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Wonderful Son!

Happy birthday, Davey!  You are wonderful, so brave, loved beyond words and missed!
Jeez, have 28 years REALLY flown by?!

David's serving in the Army infantry right now in Iraq.  He's one of the 50,000 troops still there and we're hoping and praying he'll remain safe and return home near the end of the year!

(Davey receiving a promotion in Iraq- he's to the right of the flag)

I blogged last year about this, but as a reminder...if you’re interested in helping boost the morale of our soldiers there are quite a few organizations to help you, including Give2theTroops, OperationShoeBox and MilitaryCarePackages.

Wondering what to include in a care package? Consider packing a care box with these items (good for male or female soldiers serving in the Middle East):

Flea collars (like you'd buy for a large dog)
Wipes (like diaper wipes)
Foot powder
Multi vitamins
Body lotion
Ziploc bags
Prepaid international calling cards
Inflatable pillows
Canned air
Playing cards
Newspapers & magazines
Slim Jims
Dried fruit
Hard candy
Sunflower seeds
Breath mints

Keep safe, Davey, and we'll be seeing you soon!

Remember to comment on this blog or any of my September posts so that you'll be entered to win this month's giveaway: