Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shop Tour: Haute, a delightful fabric hoard in Marhsall, VA

You won't believe this.  I still can't believe it and I was there.  There is a store in the tiny town of Marshall, Virginia called Haute.  I heard that Haute is a great resource for fabric and decided to check it out.  At first, I wasn't sure how to get in the place.  It's in a house that has a few different signs on it.  I didn't see one for Haute.

On the other side of this unassuming, green door lies an amazing collection of fabric. 

There are fifteen rooms full of fabric.  When I say full, I don't mean on pretty racks.  This isn't Calico Corners.  This place is for serious fabric lovers who are happy to dig and do a little hauling to find the perfect fabric and a great deal.

At first, there doesn't seem to be any organization at all, but after a few rooms, a pattern seems to emerge.  Florals.  Silks.  Neutrals.  Blues. Reds. 

Thankfully, I was looking for a specific color, so the blue room was where I concentrated my energy.  I found myself wishing I had a project that required red or pink fabric.  There were some gorgeous rolls in those areas.

These next few fabrics would be great in a little girl's room, don't you think?

The trim...on my goodness, the variety of trim was astounding.  

The women who work at Haute are so nice.  You'd think working in this environment would be overwhelming, but they seem totally at home. They seem to know where things are.

8393 West Main Street
Marshall, Virginia 20115
(540) 364-1221

Haute Georgetown
2603 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 965-1123

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Time to dress the children!

W.C. Fields said "never work with animals or children."  While he was talking about show business, there are plenty of people who maintain that saying applies to weddings.  I've mentioned my dog enough times on this blog that you probably knew we'd ignore the part about animals.  What you might not know is that between us, we have a gaggle of nieces and nephews.  We're inviting them all to be in our bridal party.

The oldest nephew is going to be a groomsman (is he technically a junior groomsman?).  I have fond memories watching he and Marc playing catch, of him teaching us how to play Guitar Hero (one Thanksgiving, he had the entire family playing), and going to Disney World together (Marc said "is there anything that your mom won't let you do that I'll definitely let you do?").  Sometimes, I think he's like a mini Marc...kind, sensitive, a bit of a comedian.  He'll be wearing a tux along with the other groomsmen.

The other nephews are much younger.  We plan on letting them walk down the aisle doing whatever comes naturally to them.  One of my nephews decided that he needs to carry a flag.  No problem.  Whatever they want is fine with me.  I'm not really set on dictating a specific outfit for them (there's a bit of an age range), but I'll probably talk to my sister-in-law and Marc's sister about what they think.  I still have to do a little research here.

When it comes to our flower girl, I'm a little more excited...

As a child, I dressed up a lot.  Probably too much.  I don't remember owning jeans until 5th grade and that first pair had flowers painted on them.  I sometimes wish I had more play clothes, but I'm thankful that I had pretty dresses as a little girl.  When I thought about what Marc's niece would wear in the wedding, I had images like these in my head:

 Those are from Strasburg Children, a store whose windows have always been filled with beautiful, "dress up" clothing for children.

 As luck would have it, there's a Strasburg Children store about five minutes from the hotel where I'm staying this week on a business trip.  One night, I made the trip over and found this:

What happened?  Strasburg Children filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.  They closed stores for a while and finally sold the company to another.  As of August 19, 2011, most of the dressy clothing is on sale for 50% off.  The entire format of the store is changing.  It's going casual.  Really, really casual. 

I guess many people aren't buying their children dress up clothing anymore?  I'm kind of sad...I loved getting a new dress for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  I loved twirling around in those dresses and stopping to make the skirt "swish" around me.  I even had a gig in a Polly Flinders fashion show at Bamburgers (now Macy's) when I was in kindergarten.

So now, the search continues.  I've taken a look at Janey & Jack (one of my favorite children's stores), found some amazing dresses on the Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom websites, and briefly looked at J. Crew's crewcuts line.  I think I'm going to see if my future mother-in-law and sister-in-law will have a "girl's day out" and look for a dress for Little Miss M (my nickname for our cutie pie flower girl).

I'm wondering what stores we should visit.  If you have children or had a flower girl at your wedding, what stores do you think we should visit?
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Express pet costume

For the first time in years, I'm going to be in Charlottesville for Halloween.  I'm so excited!  We don't get trick-or-treaters at our place, but I love going to the Lawn at UVa, where area children trick-or-treat (the Lawn has student rooms and some faculty housing). 

When he was a puppy, I brought Baxter along to the Lawn for pictures.  I had some pretty cool costumes for a couple years (check back on Halloween for a little look back).  I wanted to make him another costume, but my travel schedule has me out of town until just before the big day.

At first, Marc suggested that I make Baxter some long, brown ears and let him be an Irish Setter.  People constantly ask us if he's a setter (he's a golden retriever, but a deep colored one).  I liked the idea, but didn't really have time for a sewing project.  Then, I remembered how many times people have make comments about Baxter being the dog from the Bush's Baked Beans commercial.  One groundskeeper at UVa once called out "roll that beautiful bean footage" as he drove by us.  It was perfect.

Here's the real dog (his name is Duke) on the set of the commercial that's airing right now:

I didn't have time to make a jersey, so I went to the fabric store to find some cotton that would match the Bush's colors.  I decided I could make a bandanna instead.

I found the Bush's logo online, flipped it (so easy on a Mac), and printed it on iron transfer paper.

It was too easy.  When I peeled the transfer paper off, the logo wasn't showing up at all.  I realized that the dark background was the problem.

So, I found an old t-shirt and repeated the process on white cotton.

I carefully cut the logo out so I could mount it on the royal blue cotton. 

If I had more time, I would have stitched the logo onto the bandanna, but I wound up using Liquid Stitch. 

I was pretty happy with the result! 


Baxter seems pretty happy with the result, too.  This is probably his most comfortable Halloween costume ever!

Do you dress your pup up for Halloween?  What is he/she being this year?
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Shop Tour: Three Islands at Martha's Market

Martha's Market was back in Charlottesville this weekend.  Instead of trying to recap the entire show, which brings together a huge variety of vendors selling jewelry, home goods, food, art, and clothing.  Shoppers snake through the aisles to the sound of Christmas music and 15% of their purchases go to support breast cancer programs and women's services at Martha Jefferson Hospital.


I thought I'd profile the booth where Marc and I found a few things to take home with us: Three Islands.  At first, I was attracted to the patterns on the clothing...

Then, I realized that they had tunics in a variety of styles.  All were tailored (I love tunics that are a little fitted) and they came in three different lengths and a few styles. 

Once I decided on the size I wanted, the man running the booth (either Phil Barney or  Justin Goff, which I learned from their website) started pulling out all the patterns from which to choose.  There were bins and bins of options.

Marc started flipping through the men's shirts at this point.  He loves his Tommy Bahama shirts, but it's a pain to constantly be taking them to the dry cleaner.  These Three Islands shirts have the same feel, but can be washed at home.  Phil/Justin said they dry in just a few minutes.  The shirts were also versatile enough to be worn casually or under a blazer. 

Marc wound up picking a double batik shirt (stamped once, dried, stamped again).  We even got to see one of the stamps that gets used to make the shirts.  


I also learned that the company is from Rhode Island, where I went to college.  You don't often run into Rhode Islanders in Charlottesville, so that connection made me smile. 

I wound up picking out a tunic and a bracelet.  Marc found a shirt and a few pairs of boxers. 

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Introducing DesignEye...TinEye for the design crowd

Have you used TinEye before?  It helps identify images found online that might not have credits.  I only use it once in a while because I'm pretty good about using Pinterest to save my inspiration pictures.

However, just because I try to save my sources doesn't mean everyone does.  Decorator's Best, a fantastic source for fabric based in NYC, has introduced DesignEye, which is meant to be a TinEye for the design crowd.

From Decorator's Best's announcement:
When you like a pattern you found on the web but you don't have the product information, or if you need to match an existing fabric or wallpaper in your home, simply upload a photograph of the product onto DesignEye, crop the area to focus on the pattern, and let DesignEye search our site for the product.
Seems easy, right?  I'm going to give it a try...

First, I went to Decorator's Best and clicked on the DesignEye page.

I decided to upload this image from Design Sponge.  I love this wallpaper!

I selected a bit of the wallpaper for DesignEye to identify.

Drum roll....

Well, that was underwhelming.  I tried it again with another image and didn't get any results. 

Then I tried it with a fabric I KNEW Decorator's Best carries.

So it works...but it isn't perfect.  Still, it'll probably be a nice resource for bloggers or amateur decorators who might not recognize every pattern and fabric design under the sun.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Time to decorate (and some random fashion notes)

I think I've written about fashion more than I've written about decor in my Wedding Wednesday posts.  I've been keeping a secret.  Between business trips, I've been busy collecting inspiration and thinking about decorative elements.

I actually might have gone a little overboard...

Yes, that's ten lanterns.  I got a great deal.

I might use the lanterns on the aisle for the wedding ceremony and in a few other places around our venue.  Sort of like this (but without the flowers):

Maison Small & Chic is getting a wee big crowded.  The wedding stuff had been limited to the front closet, but it's creeping into the dining alcove.

The random fashion notes?  First, after pouring over options for quite some time, I selected a label for my wedding gown.  It arrived yesterday and as soon as I saw the envelope, I remembered my order.  I ordered my label with my current monogram on it.  I suddenly got a little scared that I was supposed to order the label with my future monogram on it.

Thank goodness for google.  It took a while, but I managed to find reference to the monogram using the maiden initials.  Whew!

Second, it's Bridal Fashion Week.  Spring Bridal Market is usually a bigger deal, but I've been hanging on the Twitter, Facebook, and blog posts of the people in the industry who are there.  If you want to follow along (many of these people are posting pictures as dresses go down the runway), here are a few blogs to watch:

The Wedding Row & Smitten (I met Della when I went to Charleston for my Jorge Manual dress!)
Completely Unveiled (Weddings Unveiled blog)
The Bride's Guide (by Martha Stewart's staff)
Backstage at Style Me Pretty (they only went for the weekend)

I think Wedding Row and Smitten are the MVPs at market for those of us who want information from the shows.   Go check out the Amsale and Romona Keveza posts on those two sites.  They new collections are stunning!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How do you take your art?

My mother visited this weekend and she laughed at Olivia.  It wasn't an "oh, this is so delightful" laugh.  It was an "I can't believe you like this" laugh.  Olivia is my favorite possession (besides my dog, but he's more of a family member than a possession).

But, I've always said that I love art that makes me laugh or smile and some people don't.  My mother, for example, likes pictures of ships and the sea.  Her favorite painting seems moody and depressing to me.

How do you take your art?  Are you drawn to certain subjects?  Colors?  Styles?  Looking at my Pinterest files, I like contemporary pieces quite a bit...

Not sure what I like about also seems moody to me.  The colors are nice, though.

I pinned this to my Pinterest boards before a local gallery had Massimo Vitali's work.  I love it!

For some reason, I love Jamie Drake.  I have a feeling he likes art that makes him laugh, too.

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