Thursday, May 17, 2012

Affaire at Tiffany's with Kim Caldwell

At home with my shade
How much fun can one old gal have. . . ?  It began on Thursday at 9 am, when I picked up birthday girl, Robin Sanchez at her home and we set off to get our nails beautified.  Why am I always the contrary Indian?  I choose pink (my most favorite color) and of course, EVERYONE had Tiffany Blue toes and nails.  I'm sure no one noticed.
Not sure who theses "over the top" nails belong
Then on to downtown L.A. to shop for "stuff".  We spent most of our time at the Bohemian Chrystal Bead Factory getting great deals and then went and tried on vintage type clothes at this great shop.  Robin purchased the outfit she wore on Sat. (I wore one of Robin's outfits that she brought and felt like I was playing dress-up).  Remember, I live in jeans and t-shirts and just about don't own anything else.

It didn't take us long after we left L.A. to get to Manhattan Beach and the Belamar Hotel and check in.  When we got to our room we were amazed at the size!  Wow.  Two sinks in the bathroom, Jacuzzi tub, long curved couch, stand alone glass bar, and my most favorite (that I feel every hotel from now on should have) "cubbies" like at Ikea along the wall for easy access to all your stuff.

Cubies down right side of wall

Robin getting ready

Robin Ready!

We then set out to get ready for the welcome cocktail party that was hosted by two of the attendee's and best friends of Kim - Cheryl Stoneham Mylnar and Terry Frias.   There were cupcakes with Audrey's famous Breakfast at Tiffany's face that were so good, plus champagne in darling pink champagne glasses. 
Audrey Cupcakes
Photo Session
The backdrop for our photo session was painted on canvas by Karla Nathan.  It was amazing!

See how large the canvas was. . .
At the  pre-party is where I met Frick and Frack. They were like two peas in a pod.  Best of friends who have moved away from each other but still get together and have so much fun!  Their real names are Vickie Stevens Orlando and Teree Minney (with an accent on the second "e")! 

Frick and Frack
Then we went down for Vendor's night and to have our photo's taken in Breakfast at Tiffany's dress in front of Karla Nathan's fabulous painted canvas that she painted for Kim's event.
Robin & Sally "dressed"
My dress has a story of it's own. My good friend, Kathie Gillaspey, brought over this "real" vintage velvet dress last November thinking we could cut it up and use the material to display our jewelry.

I took one look at it and realized it was exactly the dress that Audrey Hepburn had worn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.  It had cost Kathie $3 or some ridiculous amount.  I tried it on and it fit perfectly.  Now go forward to the end of April, 2012 and I try the dress on again.  My husband can't get the zipper up!  OMG.  Off to the tailor and $30 plus material - another $7 for real velvet, 1/4 yard (velvet is very expensive) and gussets set in the sides and it fit.  How did I gain all that weight since last winter? Wahhhhh.  Thank you Kathie!

Vendor's Night
Wow, all the "stuff" and how magnificently everyone's products for sale were displayed!  Yep, I was in the "buy" line.  The fabric I purchased from Kecia that was all bundled and hand died a beautiful shade of blue was the best!  Plus, I also purchased earrings that I love with doll heads.  Eye candy everywhere as you can see.  Check out the doll head in photo 3rd down.  Later I will show you what I purchased to make this for myself!  Wish I could tell you whose table was whose.  Sorry.  

iPhone decorated by Karen Hillman
(I believe)
This too could be Karen's or Kecia's.
Loved it!
Friday Morning
The next morning we went down to the room that had been full of tables for the vendors and our tables were there.  Kim greeted everyone at the door with our really nice name tag and told us which table we would be at for the duration of classes.  
Tables with Swag

Nine Tables Ready

Of course Robin and I were together, but we didn't know the others at the table.  I think Robin knew one of the gals.  Well, by the time the event was over, we had gotten to be friends with all of them.

Table 9
Two of them were a kick in the pants - Nancy Nelson and Ginny Carano.  Ginny bought the table a bottle of champagne that day!  They were picked up from the airport flying in from Reno by Nancy's long time friend, Ruth Rae.  Nancy has a shop in downtown Reno where she sells and offers classes revolving around art.  Everyone waited each day to see what Ginny would be wearing.  They were so much fun!

Next to me was a gal named Shawn Strect.  She was very helpful and friendly and was friends with the other two at our table,  Christine Strickland and Kadee Metzger.  I enjoyed meeting theses new people and "playing" with them.

Friday Morning Class
Our first class which turned out to be my most favorite class.   All the teachers were excellent and I like all the projects.  I also liked that they were all so different.  But, the Lamp Shade class with Kecia Deveney using fabric was wonderful.  
Kecia's shade upclose

Kecia and Kim
Kecia's Finished 
Kecia gave us so much to work with on theses shades. Very generous! Or,  we could use our own fabric and knick knacks, but needed not brought anything but a needle and thread and you had everything provided! 
Robin with her shade
Nancy and her shade
Ginny holding her shade

Vicky with her shades with lights!
Teree and her beautiful shade

I was so enthused with this project that when on Sunday we went to the Irvine Flea Market, I purchased a table lamp to create (I haven't even finished the first one yet. . . ) two lamp shades for this glass based lamp.  I love it. 
My Flea Market lamp - $45!
Lunch was a buffet out doors and on paper, you would think it was your typical women's luncheon - veggies, chicken, pasta and salad.  But, oh my, all the dishes were over the top and gourmet!  And my favorite and easiest dessert - chocolate chip cookies!

Friday Afternoon Class
Lonnie Jenck's designed
Friday afternoon, we made a beautiful necklace under the direction of Lonnie Jenck.  Again, our table helped each other out if we didn't understand some of the directions.  The table next to us had all brought their own beads.  It was fun to see other people's work.  In this class I used a torch (creme burlee type) to make my first head pin!  Almost none of us had ever done that before.  Everything we needed was there and presented so beautifully!  I actually finished this project in class!  I also learned another new technique using floral wire and weaving it in and out of a chain and gathering it all up!  

That night everyone was on their own for dinner and I went and got Robin and I the Belamar's famouse Mac and Cheese and took it up to the room where Robin was finishing up the swap she was in charge of that was to be first presented at 7:15 that evening.  Yummy!

Friday Night and The Swaps
Robin made all the book covers
Bag was made by Olga

My page.  I hand drew 8 Aundry's
and painted them and added jewels

I was only involved in one swap that Robin registered me - which was her swap.  I was not around a phone when we could register and was so glad Robin had gotten me in as her assistant.  We were to make the same page eight times to be included in a book that Robin made the wonderful, creative cover for and put them all together.  We were also to make a bag that would hold this book and the bags would all be different.  I used some fabric I had painted in a Alisa Burke class at Elena's charity"Beach Soiree" on the water front in Oceanside a couple of years ago.  

The Rest of the Swaps!
The swaps were like nothing I have ever seen.  Everyone brought their "A" game to theses. Nothing but the best was used and you could tell everyone had search high and low antique stores, garage sales and thrift stores for the BEST!  

Robin with her bottle swap 

Audrey Shrine Swap

Another Audrey Shrine Swap

I loved the Audrey Shrine Swap Results!

Audrey Dress Form Swap

Tote Bag Olga Received in swap
Holly Golightly's Tote Bag Swap

We were still screaming at 10 pm that night as we saw crown after crown exchanged, jewelry boxes filled with vintage everything, dress forms out of this world,  magnificent Tiffany themed cigar shadow boxes, bottles, purses, on and on.  Plus, all the swaps were wrapped in the most decorative fashion possible.  Those that flew - I have no idea how they did their presentations. Again, off to bed.  Soooooo tired!

Saturday Morning Class
Laura McCollough sample book

Our first class on Saturday morning was making a beautiful Mat Board Book designed by Laura McCollough.  Everything was there for us and the teacher took us through, step by step putting it together.  I think it was great that we had this project.  I'm not sure if everyone has done scrapbook type projects in this large group of women.  We were told me could deviate from the project if we chose.  One of the most interesting and youngest of the artist present was xxxxxxxxx.  She pushed the envelope on every workshop we did.  Very friendly, quiet person with an overload of amazing talent!

Robin and Me at lunch

Karen Hillman and me

Lunch was served to us at tables at side.  Ginny purchased Margarita's for all of us.  Fun!  We drank as we heard Kim's great friend Carol Spinski, speak to us about ourselves and how to promote ourselves and our art.  

Saturday Afternoon class
Just Call Me Holly
Jeannie Oliver's Samples

My cover not finished
Just Call Me Holly - Jeannie Oliver
Our last class of the day was given by Jeannie Oliver.  It started off with Kim presenting a video from Jeannie's husband and three children. Jeannie had come to Kim's event on her 40th birthday.  Her family wanted to wish their mom/wife well and to have a very hapapy 40th!  Wow!

We were then given large sketch books with a heavy cover to collage and paint.  We only had to bring brushes.  Everything else was provided.  We had instructions from her on a big screen plus, she had a large easle with a HUGE canvas to demonstrate different techniques and product use.  Plus, we had sketches of women/girls that we could apply with carbon paper to our covers if we choose.  It was a lot to absorb in a short period of time but Jeannie did an excellent job.  I really liked what I did and look forward to finishing it now that I am home.  A great start.

That night we went to dinner in the hotel. Pretty upscale restaurant.  The food was really great.  Our table consisted of Ginny and Nancy and Priscilla's crowd- her mom Olga and great friend Marisella.  Boy did we laugh and laugh.

More Photos
Frick, Frack, Robin and me
Favorite Mother and Daughter
Priscilla Cerda and Mother Olga Berdie
Kecia's darling niece
Erika Cook
Group Photo with our photographer
Tiffany right in front.
Sunday Events
Since we live in San Diego, Robin and I did not purchase the bus event - a deluxe touring bus that took everyone to four stops all the way down to Pacific Beach and back to Manhattan Beach.

The bus went first back to downtown L.A. to a store that sells fabric.  (Don't know the name). Robin and I didn't go because we didn't know!

We set off to the Irvine Flea Market.  Guess what, they moved it and thanks to our dear friend Jackie Baxted, we found it at the old El Toro Marine Base just off the 5 freeway and Sand Canyon exist. 

Here is my doll head and body and arms
I purchased at Flea Market

By the time I got back to my car, my arms were so sore from carry so many big and heavy items I had purchased to create after being inspired at the vendor's night.  Before leaving we went to the food section where they now have the gourmet food trucks and we had Korean Taco's while being song to by an really good Elvis impersonator!  We hooked up briefly with girls from the bus when they finally got there.

Urban Barn
Next, on to Urban Barn in Escondido.  This is Robin and my stomping grounds.  Linda have an entire display set up recognizing the Affaire at Tiffany theme.  There crescent sandwiches and cookies to die for - all in the Tiffany theme!

Priscilla and her husband's trailer
at Urban Barn Flea Market
Lastly, the bus, but not Robin and I, went to Ocean Beach to Vignettes where I believe they not only shopped but were treated to dinner.

What an event.  I guess there are others like this all over the United States, but Kim's is heralded to be the best with her interest in details and her smiling friendly face and top quality worker bee/friends and family.  I see why it is sold out every year!  Can't wait to see what the theme will be next year and whether I will get in to go.  I know that one of my friends really wants to go next year.  We'll see. . .

Robin's Jewelry
Theses final two photos I took in our hotel room of my friend Robin's jewelry that she makes.  She is so talented and really needs to start selling her wares.


geogems said...

Sally, How fun living the event through you and YOUR attention to details. Still bummed I wasn't able to go, because I knew it would be so fun. Brought back some memories with you from other events---tho' this one (from your description) was first class. Loved all the stuff you showed us---and love Robin's jewelry! Hope to see you both soon. Hugs, geo

Elena Lai Etcheverry said...

I love it Sally! You documented that adventure Wonderfully! Looks like you had so much fun. Miss you girl!

Kat Baker said...

Wow! What an amazing event. It's always so fun to get all dressed up, fun to take awesome classes, fun to shop, fun to eat great food, and always fun to be with wonderfully talented artsy ladies. I'm happy that you got the opportunity to go and that you had such a fabulous time. Thanks for sharing the fun. I almost felt like I was there.

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Silly Sally Says
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J Lowe said...

I felt like I was right there with you!!!

Patty Antle said...

Hi Sally. I am so glad to find this post and your beautiful photos of Kim's event. I am going to the one next May, Affair at Downton. Are you going? I am so excited! Thanks for sharing your photos. Looks like so much over the top fun!!