where do i begin? this may be my most picturesque post ever. i have a million more photos but i’m cutting it off here so i can at least get to the matter at hand…the party at vignettes was a roaring good time that was beyond my wildest dreams. mere thanks would never cover what lori and her crew did to welcome and host me for what was truly a fairy tale.
walking into the store was like a dream! everyone in the collective is on the same wavelength and each area was decorated to the hilt with glorious french finds.
i guess i took so many photos cause it was a way to have a piece of this place forever. it’s one of the best resources i’ve ever come across either in the us or in paris. the prices, the selection, the sheer creativity in unique design, display and undeniable passion reinvigorated all my senses and sensibilities for all things french.
to be around such wonderful and expressive people was pure bliss. take a look at the spread, this was just the tip of the iceberg! there was champagne, strawberries and so much more!
but the real highlight was having the ladies and gents come from around town, l.a. and even as far phoenix. it was beyond flattering, it was awe inspiring. some ladies had my book for years and to see it in their hand touched me more than i can say. thank you to everyone who came, i hope you keep in touch!
so if you weren’t there, i hope these photos inspire you to check out this one of a kind wonderland. if you live near san diego please go and say hello, you will not leave disappointed or empty handed. if you’re looking for a one of a kind gift then this is one stop shopping for all tastes and ages, men and women. i plan to interview some of the designers and post their goodies so you can get more of an idea of the variety. these are not crafters, they’re artisans.
thank you thank you thank you to everyone and everything that went into making this one of the best days of my life and something treasure forever! i can’t wait to get back to san diego and play and in the meantime i’ll try to get to the individual posts about some of these creative souls. till then have a great week and more soon!
4828 Newport Ave
San Diego, CA 92107-3111
Open Daily 10:30am-5pm
i don’t think i’ve ever received such a warm and inviting invite to host an event as i did from lori chandler of vignettes in san diego. apparently anyone who’s anyone knows about this treasure trove but it will be my first time visiting. it’s an antiques collective filled to the brim by passionate, creative fairy princesses who let their love fly for all things fabulous, frilly and french!
as i was getting an image to post tonite for the event on saturday, i googled ‘vignettes’ and came across so many gorgeous pix that i got lost in interviews with lori, past hosts’ ruminations (rachel ashwell)! and the wealth of merchandise in the shop. i know it’s not easy to run a store, much less with a lot of vendors, but lori makes it look like so much fun! i’m sure they have a blast all year long, but this is their anniversary party, 15 years! if you don’t know lori yet, check out her store via her blog and website. from what i can see, it’s an atmosphere of pure joy and i feel like i’m heading to a princess party.
in the meantime, i spoke to her hubby today who said she’s busy putting quite the soiree together and i’ll be going on the 7th to help set up. we’re going to have a real ball, so if you’re around please come and play! here’s her adorable invite:
‘We hope you’re planning to put on your
Best Party Dress & attend
Vignettes’ Grand Anniversary Event
this upcoming Saturday, October 9th, from Noon to 5:00 pm.
From taking in all the lavish settings & luxe décor, to meeting Miss Claudia Strasser of The Paris Apartment
& all of Vignettes’ dealers who work so hard &
(just added!) the French Tent Brocante in our back lot, to the lavish patisserie & French macaron display (Edible art!) to the French Champagne – pouring all day (Ooh La La!) to having your picture taken in front of the Eiffel Tower,
(Say “Cheese”, I mean “Fromage”) you’ll feel like you’ve been wisked away on a tres magnifique French getaway/escapade – with no jet lag, luggage or passport required!
Come Celebrate 15 Fabulous Years With Us!’
and these are some of the pics i found just surfing about the place.
i could go on but it’s midnight, you get the picture tho, it’s going to be singing and dancing and chocolate and champagne and strawberries and just like the movie marie antoinette when they had that decadent party! hope you can make it!
hi guys! it’s been a whirlwind summer and truth be known, i’m slightly exhausted and am only now going through the pics i just couldn’t bear to deal with while on the road. you bloggers know what i’m talking about. it’s all fun and games taking the shots but editing, resizing, balancing, cropping, and sorting can take all the joy out of it!
so tonite’s the night. my new goal is to do things in real time cause it’s just not the same when you wait, you know?
anyway, going thru it all i remember how much i love californians who let the ÜbeR foliage grow wild even when it’s trimmed.
totally random non sequitor but in san fran i thought it would be fun to start sending stuff from paris to different collectives, starting with this one, past perfect.
they have two locations and happen to have a space available.
actually the shopping there was amazing, with everything from lighting to big furniture.
this is the space they have open:
so changing gears, cause i could stay on cali for another 10 posts but the weekend took us back across the country to a weekend wedding in lake george. i’ve never spent time there but it was an another incredible hotel and the wedding was of course spectacular.
and i have to give them props for the foliage at the sagamore hotel
and though i couldn’t capture the beauty of the centerpeices, they used champagne grapes tucked in with the flowers and it was absolutment charmant!
on the way out i had to stop by the villa marie antoinette antique shop but it was closed.
still there was enough eye candy to amuse me and the staggering beauty of the architecture in our very own country never ceases to amaze me. there’s much to see and do. what a world!
we took the long way home and stopped at little towns along the way like saratoga and woodstock which were as pretty as anything we’d seen yet.
but i have to draw the line somewhere and just say ‘when’! besides i don’t need to bore you with my vacation shots but do want to remember these last couple weeks. it seems like a recurring theme to make sure the memories don’t get stuffed in a folder along with the pics and i’m grateful for blogging to give me that incentive to do more than just let the days pass by. hope you’re having a great summer and making memories you’ll always remember too. have a fabulous weekend!
hi everyone, happy friday! hope you’re getting ready for a great summer weekend. i’m on a five hour road trip to lake george for a wedding and it’s just getting to be the golden hour so i can’t stay too long but just wanted to continue going thru the sf pics. part of my vow to be more disciplined with both my pics and remembering good days.
i’m trying to go thru one folder a day and today’s is the palace which was a nice surprise on a walk to breakfast.
we went in through what must have been the side door cause even though i had heard it was special, i wasn’t prepared for how magnificent it really was.
the approach was low key
but even a peek into a window revealed we were about to enter another universe
the ceiling literally took my breath away. partly cause i didn’t expect it, but also for its delicate beauty, knowing who created it and the struggles they faced. (this was re-built after the 1906 fire). and made with nothing special, just imagination and sheer will. not knowing if it would happen again, but faith that it wouldn’t and not compromising their art.
buy holy cow do they need a decorator?! i would love to pitch that!
just across the way is a knockout entry with an enormous bouquet of red roses. well, that almost makes up for the furniture! ok i better go, i’m being a terrible co-pilot! xc
i guess i kind of made a vow to myself to get here every day for the foreseeable future. it’s a great escape from the inbox and lets me relive last week. i just came across our day in napa and if i don’t go thru it now, i never will.
it’s our second or third time coming up (for work)!
all our days have started with breakfast at the bouchon bakery in yountville.
i was playing with my new camera, can you tell?!
of course napa was exquisite.
we stopped by a couple wineries but none compared to the robinson family vineyards. of all the places we’ve ever gone, this was by far my favorite. we met the proprietor, tom, and felt like we were at a friend’s house.
their entire business is small and intimate and everyone is involved from his daughters (who created a killer red called ‘great legs’), to the grandkids.
in fact, in season he says everyone comes over and they have a grand old time making wine. he said lots of guests turn friends and come up just for that. anyway, if you’re heading up there i highly recommend a visit for a really special experience and the best red we had in napa!
the cherry on top was a picnic lunch in their beautiful backyard. that was a fun day.
the rest are just some random napa shots. i’m still getting used to the camera but having the different art filters is making taking them more fun. ok back to the grindstone! xoc
wow i can’t believe the day flew by. what a whirlwind and it’s 2am. since life is moving faster than light right now, blogging seems to be the way to reign it in and not let great days go by. working on the pics is turning into a nighttime meditation after a full day. in sf i couldn’t bring myself to post, i was so exhausted! looking at the pics now i remember why! everyday was jam packed. this was one of those great days. lynn picked me up on saturday morning and we arrived bright and early for an outskirts auction. it didn’t look like much at first glance but there were a lot of fantastic pieces tucked into nooks and crannies.
lynn got this old painting
and we both loved this portfolio of all things.
and she wanted this goyard trunk but it went really high
i always look for vanities and loved both of these
finding the pioneer gear is incredible, so much history in a hat.
(i promise to get the name of the auction and details tomorrow). our next stop was an hour away to petaluma. it’s a lively couple of streets in an old fashioned all american town. oh and the best part is that it’s full of great antique shopping in 4 or 5 collectives!
this old bank was our first stop. there are three floors and lots of little rooms to explore.
down the street is her favorite place, again i’ll get the deets tomorrow for you. it was filled with great old signs, big harvest tables and styled beautifully!
i would love to get this for lorraine
a collective across the street had 3 more floors of at least 50 dealers.
and the one next to that…
i could go on but there’s only one thing left to say tonight. we didn’t take pics and we didn’t leave the hotel, but it was just as magical. i had the pleasure to have had tea at the hotel with none other than melissa of reverie dreams. she brought her husband sean and daughter gaia and my life will never be the same! they’re the most beautiful trio you’d ever want to meet and i hope you do one day get to experience the joy that’s them! mel, i hope it’s ok i used this photo, it captures these two perfectly.
oh it’s late, ok gotta shut down, bonne nuit!
hi guys! i got to ny on the red eye and am taking tonite to pretend i’m still in sf. and if i don’t go thru these pics right now, they’ll sit in a folder for the rest of my life!
when i was outside the fairmont, there was a lot going by!
i started practicing using my camera and testing its tricks on the fly
i love this city more than ever. it’s got fresh air and beauty everywhere you look.
ok, more soon, buona notte!
when i got to this hotel i had no idea how much of our time in sf would be devoted to it! now i see why the show ‘hotel’ in the 70s was centered around this incredible place! around every corner is more intrigue, history and glory like the tiny vanderbilt in pink and blue above and below.
anyway, from my trip to see some of the ballrooms, i met jessica, one of the kids in charge of running the place who really got my love of the old nooks and crannies. she was gracious enough to give me a tour of the penthouse which was an unexpected treat.
this is just a small sampling of the magnificent floor:
since john’s in food, she introduced us to their hip executive chef (unfortunately i think i erased the photos)! he showed us some of the projects he’s working on, like creating all the hotel’s honey (he put beehives on the roof), and adding sustainable gardens which will grow all the hotel’s herbs and vegetables! fairmont.com/sanfrancisco bee hives
and i didn’t see jessica this morning but wanted to thank her for the invitation yesterday to see the sf ballet in the park. it was a real treat and something we wouldn’t have seen if not for her ongoing hospitality!
so, that will have to do it for my little obsession today as we’re packing up and heading out. i look at this photo above (dorothy draper’s incarnation of the lobby, thanks lynn) and think of the young cool crew that’s handling it now. they’re set to remodel the laurel court restaurant which still has the old school feel but with who’s in charge i know they’ll do a great job preserving it. more soon!
hi guys! i can’t believe it’s actually been an entire week since i’ve had a chance to post about this trip to san francisco. even as i write this it’s rushed. lynn is about to pick me up again for another morning of foggy fun and although i got up early to write, it’s dwindling fast and my connection is slow. still i’m determined that before i see another thing or take another shot i’d say hello and nip the tip of this iceberg of a city!
our home for the past week has been the fairmont hotel at the top of nob hill. (yes virgina, they do have affordable rooms)! it’s been an incredible experience as a history buff and lover of all things old and grand.
the gold dining room in the teens above and today below
the detail is stunning.
this grand dame has seen it all. there is no way to squeeze it all into this short time but the hotel halls are lined with ephemera and photos, old menus and archives from breaking ground to the earthquake to the fire to the resolve to rebuild. just being here is humbling, knowing what the early settlers went through to create this splendor, revel in its glory and see it destroyed. their strength to regroup and rebuild, not knowing if it could all just crumble again is mind boggling.
yet they did it without hesitation, living in tents, carrying supplies uphill, in chilly fog, without bathrooms, heat, electricity or phones.
the more i learn about san franciscans and the pioneers who created this masterpiece of a city brick by brick the more in awe i am.
these men and women are unsung heroes whose names are forgotten but their work lives on.
the ballroom was used in the relief efforts after the quake. it is such a grand room, i’m sure they were beyond grateful it was spared. it must have been strange to live and work in such contrast but they did it. twice!
i’m dying to get into the archives of the hotel. the shot above is from one of the many incarnations the lobby has had over the years. i would have killed to see this one by dorothy draper. ok she’s here, more soon. hope you’re having a great weekend!
happy monday and greetings again from san fran! i’ve got a nice window before changing hotels and have a little time to post about yesterday’s shopping extravaganza.
my girl lynn picked me up at 5:30 am to hit the once monthly alameda flea market, (aka, antiques by the bay), touted as the largest antique market in cali. the rumors were not greatly exaggerated, it was staggering! it’s held in a vacant, sprawling (like miles big) abandoned naval ship yard. it’s organized in alphabetical rows and each dealer has a number. it’s probably a 1/2 mile wide and goes into double letters. if that’s not enough, there are two michaan’s auctions happening down the road once you leave!
i do find everything in california to be big. the people are larger than life, the foliage, the fleas! my college roomie, mb (above left) and her girl kim knew the drill and met up with us. we were about 10 rows apart for most of the morning they finally caught up to us when lynn and i got sucked into a time warp for at least an hour.
we stumbled onto a stack of the new york times from an old library. they were enormou volumes of the actual papers from the 1920s through 40s. the were so heavy and beautiful, bound in canvas. leafing through them was true time travel.
you can click to enlarge
quel vie! the stars of broadway: charlie chaplin, clara bow and john barrymore
i could have stayed forever. it was just an eye opener to see in the flesh, in such a tangible way, that some things don’t change.
especially black and white fashions from paris!
the want ads were all consuming!
the empire state building was almost ready for occupancy!
we finally made it out of and back into the light of day. it’s a great market for sellers cause it’s only one day and everyone knows it’s now or never. there’s no contemplation. if you want it, gotta get it cause someone else will if you don’t! going early, everyone was really negotiable and the prices were great. i’ll do another post featuring some of the vendors cause this is a market to visit if the stars are aligned when you’re here.
lynn says there’s an influx of french influence in sf lately and we did see a lot from france.
it’s wild how an entire event is set up in a day and broken down. it’s like magic.
lisa goligtly down in row x sure contributes to the magic. below is her pretty glowing booth. (she turned the lights on but i didn’t take a pic, duh)!
and it’s incredibly organized. you write down your aisle and booth number, pay for your stash and then go get a cart to gather it all up. then someone gets the car and you load up. ikea style.
we decided it’s the ultimate recycling program and it was so much fun to do it with someone so in the know. thanks for the day girl, i’ll treasure it!
ok gotta switch hotels and clients coming in, more soon!