Jan 29, 2014

white elephant treasure chest

Over the weekend I attended the Annual Oakland White Elephant preview sale for the first time and I have some fantastic treasures to share with you all. I have attended this sale for the past 2 years but this year was the first time going to the preview sale. WOW, it was CRAZY packed! Almost more crazy than the public sale. So for those of you who don't know about this event, let me fill you in. The sale is to raise funds for the Oakland Museum of Art. Each year people will donate things to the cause and then a HUGE sale is held. Last year the event raised $1.8 million dollars so you can imagine how massive this thing is. And what's even more crazy is that the money is raised in only 3 days!  And since they only accept quality donations you can score some very high end items, furniture, vintage, linens, kitchenware like Le Creuset, musical instruments, books, art, shoes etc.. It's all there under one roof.

a sneak peak inside (pic taken from last years event)
The first year I went, I got there about 10 minutes before they opened and was so shocked at how many people were already there. I mean this line stretched for at least 6-7 blocks!  It was nuts. So last year I decided to get there really early to avoid this and get better parking. I got there at 7am and was probably #60 in line. I was thinking for sure I'd be right up front too. I was totally shocked again. So this year I decided to go to the preview sale which is held 2 months before the public sale. You pay $20 to get in but you get to have first pick of everything. This is crazy to me, because being someone that has attended in past years and not attending the preview sale, I can't tell you how many great things I have found at the public sale. So knowing that things had already been picked thru in the past and I still walked away with some nice things,  you can only imagine how excited I was to get to see the first round this year. I knew it was gonna be good!

waiting in line, it's practically still dark!
But it was insane! Gus came with me and brought the truck because we were on the hunt for furniture for the little guest room and things for our house. I had to get Gus prepared for shopping madness and he was such a trooper and actually was pretty intrigued about this event. I told him there would be  lots of guy stuff like tools and camping gear etc. so he was down for the adventure. We got there at 7am and so many people had already beaten us. I would guess we were about 100th in line or so. The people that were first in front camped out the night before. Some people are really hard core!  Gus left me in line and walked over to a cute little breakfast spot called The Little House that I had researched before hand. Having breakfast before this event is a must! In past years I didn't manage to eat before  and by noon I would be walking around the event with the worst headache. But not this year. Gus came back with eggs and spinach for me and a tasty coffee to share. He's such a sweetie. We watched the sun get brighter in the sky as the time passed by and the arrival of many many new people that joined us in line. Some people brought chairs and blankets, card games and a boom box. And then about 20 minutes before the doors opened, husbands were packing things up and taking stuff back to their cars. I was laughing to Gus at how many men were doing this for their wives. It was pretty funny. I'm glad we didn't have to hassle with that stuff. It was fine for us to just sit on the ground and eat our breakfast, although having a simple little card game to play would have been nice. But time, in some weird way,  goes by kinda quick. Maybe it's just all the excitement and anticipation and the build up.... because before you know it, the time has come! 10 am finally arrived, the doors opened and the crowd cheered and then the line started to move in and fast. The first people in line literally ran inside. I was hoping it wouldn't get pushy and I'm glad to report everyone I was near was pretty respectful.
the line growing by the minutes
 I knew exactly where I wanted to go and went right to my spots. I was one of the first to hit the ladies vintage and looked thru the racks in search of something awesome. I scored a few things and then ventured on to linens which is one of my favorite sections. I quickly spotted a King size duvet cover for our down comforter and some beautiful embroidered pieces. Then it was off to the sewing section. By this time it was starting to get kinda crazy as more people filled in. Lines were starting to form at the check out spots so I quickly scanned thru this section and then I was off to the baby vintage section. Now in past years they had this section in a different spot and I think it helped keep it kinda hidden because I found some amazing things there. But this year was different. They swapped sections with the women's accessories, so by the time I made my way to the baby spot, most of the really good stuff was gone. But I did find some cute things. I'm sure some of you  are wondering why I'd go there, and no I'm not pregnant but my sister is and I have plenty of friends that are or just had a baby so I'm always collecting for that reason alone. But of course I do hold onto a few things for myself for that "one day" when I'm ready : )

amazing skirt from probably the 50's
silk/lace bed jacket with tiny ribbon detail

this is a sweet little rooster decal sticker- 50cents!
silk applique collar piece
unfinished embroidered pot holder - gonna make use of this!
vintage applique placemats

such a soft cotton baby dress with sweet details

look at all this hand stitching! so incredible, I hope to incorporate this in a dress someday

crochet blanket to go in guest room

can you believe these pieces were only $4 each! So much detailed work went into these
baby romper with garden embroidery detail!

cherries dress

wool baby jacket with sweet french knot details

By the time I got to the furniture many things had already been swooped up or were just too expensive for my budget. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by all the people. It started to feel a little too crazy for me. I went back to the vintage to check it out again and then I heard someone say over the intercom, "Will Gus please go to women's shoes" And then I thought to myself, oh no this is for another Gus, but I know my Gus will think I called for him. So I went to the shoe section and waited and sure enough he came. We laughed when I told him it wasn't me that called for him. But it was good timing cuz we were both  getting hungry and I wanted him to check out a cedar chest I was looking at. He thought I should get it so we paid and loaded things up and headed out.
cedar lane trunk

We went to Berkeley for lunch at La Note which is a really cute French breakfast/lunch spot. We started to get our energy back and then decided maybe we should go back to the sale since the lines and people would have died down. We pondered at the idea over our lunch and then at the last minute we decided to go back. And we were right, the crowd was gone, no more lines, and you could actually move thru the sections. There was so much I hadn't seen the first time around. I didn't even realize there was a whole brick a brack section full of rad baskets and decorative things for your house. WOW so much to see.
yummy french breakfast in Berkeley
mocha to keep me going for round 2
After leaving the sale, we headed to San Francisco to meet with a few craigslist people to pick up a bed and a really cool headboard for the guest room. I am so excited to get this room all fixed up because Gus's mom, Darby is coming for a visit next month for a week and I want to have the space all ready for her. Gus got the flooring in and painted the walls and now he just has to finish up the wood ceiling and put trim around the windows and then I can decorate! Here's some photos of the guest room back in April when Gus moved it up to our land. It had to be placed on a trailer and he hauled it 17 miles up a dirt road. It took him over 2 hours and he did it all by himself!

guest room on the trailer

loving its new placement

putting a new roof on
got the roof finished just in time for the snow
walls are up and spackle complete

insulation and electrical complete
Oh yeah before I forget, so the public sale starts March 1st-2nd. If you loved what you saw on my post, love thrifting and don't mind the crowds, hit this up! There's something for everyone and the money raised goes to a good cause.  It's located at 333 Lassen Street in Oakland and its a 10,000 square foot warehouse of some truly amazing things for thrift store prices minus the really high end stuff.
I bought a grab bag of fabric scraps and this sweet heart was hidden inside. what a deal for  50 cents

Jan 17, 2014

sweet travels

Okay I am finally home after a month long journey!  It feels good to be back. I've had a very fun filled month and a lot to share now that I am settled in. Man going out on road trips are just the very best, I must say. This one served many purposes big and small this time around. Of course the main reason was for my mouth. Which I am very happy to report the procedure went great! Better than I had anticipated.

Our first stop on our road trip was to see Cirque De Soleil with our friends from here in Covelo. We had about 29 people in the group so it was kinda hectic but totally fun. We all met up in San Francisco and stayed at the Kabuki Hotel. The circus show was absolutely fantastic! I couldn't recommend it enough. It was my first time attending and I loved every minute of it. It blows my mind what humans are capable of. If I could've taken some photos they would surely be here in the post but it was not allowed. We saw the Amaluna show which was predominately all women. So good!

this is only half of our group!
limo ride

The next day I had to finish my final Tailoring class at Apparel Arts so I jumped in a cab in the morning and headed over to school. I am still working on my jacket can you believe it? Seriously I have put in over 100 hours at this point. I'm soooo close and will be posting pics of the final soon.

Gus met me after class and then we departed the city and headed north to stop in Ashland to visit my sweet friend Brittany and her boyfriend Mike. It was her birthday that evening when we arrived so it was such great timing! We had a lovely meal of tacos and drank some yummy cocktails and laughed with friends. We hung out the next day and went for a nice walk in the woods. We brought all 3 of our chocolate labs with us on our road trip so they were loving the woodsy trails and playing frisbee along the way.

birthday girl smiles

Next stop was Bremerton, Washington. We got in kinda late and found a cheap hotel with a nice lake view. It snowed that night so was really pretty to wake up to in the morning. We made our way over to the dentist and I of course was pretty nervous. But all my fears were quickly calmed when the doctor took some new x-rays and gave me some good news. That things weren't that bad at all. She did the procedure in under 2 hours and I literally felt nothing! The only part that was uncomfortable was trying to talk afterwards because my tongue was so numb. I have to do a follow up in 6 months but the doctors think things will be very good. I am staying super hopeful about this and have now adopted a very strict regimen. This includes a daily dose of an ayurvedic herb called Haritaki, Vitamin D supplements, flossing like non other, an ionic toothbrush and a water pick. I'm also going to meet with a nutritionist in SF to get more insight into why my body has suddenly become sensitive to grains and gluten. I was really good on the trip not to eat gluten even at the most tempting of moments. Right now my health is the most important thing to me and getting back on track.

Brittany mentioned we should check out a cute place called Port Townsend. We looked on a map and it was only 45 minutes from the dentist so we drove there after my appointment. Stayed the night and found an amazing breakfast place in the morning. They served gluten free bread from a local bakery down the street that was soooo good, I'm still dreaming of it now. We checked out the local farmer's market and we stopped at a couple cute boutiques. I scored a pretty unique skirt in a sweet little vintage shop we found around the corner from our hotel.

gorgeous vintage dress in antique shop-Port Townsend

my happy face because I just got a new pair of boots! yay
 Then we made our way to Seattle via the boat ferry. Gus really enjoyed this part. He loves boats and the science of motors etc. So while he was out on the cold upper deck, I found my way to a Chinese acupuncturist doing pulse readings. It was amazing how the guy knew right away so many of my issues. He told me my circulation is very poor, that I am fatigued a lot and that I had a lot of sugar in my body. Funny because I had just downed a hot chocolate like 5 minutes before.
gluten free muffin on the side...so good

ferry car line up

After a pretty short ferry ride, we arrived in Seattle. It was pretty hectic that day with all the holiday shoppers and travelers. We found a few vintage shops and made our way to the Museum of Flight so Gus could enjoy checking out old airplanes and even Air Force 1 that President Kennedy flew on back in the day. The next day we scouted out as many vintage shops as we could. Gus is such a trooper when it comes to me and vintage. I was very surprised at the selection of most places, hardly anything that really wowed me. Which was probably for the better considering I am on a budget these days.

so creepy!!!
So my mom and grandma live up in Washington and we haven't been in contact in over 4 years. (That's a post for another day) so I was contemplating if I should go to my Grandma's house to see them while passing thru. I wasn't sure if it would be a good idea or not but at the last second before the exit, I told Gus to take it. We made our way to my Grandma's driveway and of course all kinds of memories came flooding back. There was a gate at the entrance with a fence bordering the perimeter which of course was locked. I knew I could hop the fence but wasn't sure if I should, so I called my brother and he told me " you only live once just do it"... so I gathered up my courage and Gus helped me jump over. I walked down the long driveway getting more nervous as I got closer. Trying to stay centered. As I approached the door to put out my hand to ring the doorbell, my mom opened the door right at that moment to let her dogs out to go to the bathroom. Talk about timing! Of course she was super startled. I mean it's not everyday you expect to see your daughter standing at the door. She screamed and then gave me a hug after she realized it was me. We went inside and I got to see my Grandma. It's been hard since my parents divorced to have a relationship with my mom and her side of the family. It's been a long road these past 17 years. But it was good to see her and my grandma. I'm glad Daniel convinced me to jump the fence. After about a 2 hour visit we had to get back on the road. I was feeling really happy when we left. That I got to see them and that they were happy to see me. It was probably the most important part of this road trip. Although I didn't know it at the time.

The next day we headed to Portland. We checked out the vintage scene and did most of our Christmas shopping with many coffee breaks in between. Made it to Eugene in the late evening and checked out an amazing craft fair the next day. It was full of really unique and quality made goods from some pretty talented artisans. I found a beautiful purple handmade broom and also scored a rad wood inlay hair barrette. We had breakfast at a spot called Off the Waffle and then strolled down the street to check out a few antique shops. I found a really cute one called Pewter Rabbit Antiques.

We made our way back to Ashland to meet up with our friend Anouk from Covelo to spend Christmas eve with her. When we walked into her mom's house I instantly fell in love with the place. Everything from the decor, the sweet smells of the kitchen to the "christmas room" that was lovingly decorated with a wood fire going. Her mom brought out appetizers and we drank champagne and got to hang out with some of Anouk's sweet childhood friends. Her mom was fantastic and such a funny lady. We had the best time!

sweet Anouk cooking up a dish
After dinner we headed back to Brittany's house and spent christmas day with her and Mike.
We went ice skating in the afternoon and then had a yummy roast for dinner with all the fixings. We drank wine and watched comedy. The next day Gus and Mike went mountain biking while Brittany and I did an acupressure session. She's been training for her certification and I'm so lucky to get to partake in sessions with her when I visit. They are soooo good and I can't wait for her to have her license. She truly has a magical healing gift. I love her so much and was so glad we got to spend some quality time together. Twice in one road trip!
Then we were off to Placerville to hang with my family and friends. We went to my friend Rebecca's annual white elephant party which is something I'm always looking forward to each year. This year was pretty hysterical! Somebody brought 50 posters of T-Rex and everyone was laughing so hard. I scored Rebecca's art on magnets and was pretty stoked! She's an amazing artist, party host and friend. We go way back to high school days. She's a sweetheart. It's always nice to catch up with friends in P-ville, especially around the holidays because everyone is in town. We found out there was an ice skating rink this year so Daniel and Bridget went ice skating with us. Gus and I were stoked we got to do this twice in one month. I'm not very good but it's still pretty fun. We kept it pretty mellow for new years and went to dinner at Allez in Diamond Springs. Had some pretty tasty food and drank some good wine. We stayed with my brother for almost a week and it was really nice for us all to be together. Danny and Bridget took us to a new coffee house that just opened in Coloma. It's so cute inside and has awesome delicious organic food!! I'm soooo happy this place is only a few minutes from my brother's house! It's called the Argonaut and I highly recommend it!
new year's eve spread
good ol' Cozmic Cafe
 It's always hard to leave placerville when it's time to go but I had to get home because my Pattern making class was starting back up. It feels so good to be immersed in that world again. I'm finishing up a skirt design I've been working on for the past few months. And I'm proud to say that I've just completed the embroidery work! It took so many hours but its finally finished. I will have the skirt totally completed by next week and look forward to sharing the pictures here on my blog.
I'm excited it's the beginning of a new year. I have so many goals already on my list and I've been feeling super inspired these days. I feel like this is gonna be a great year with a lot of growth and new changes which I happily invite my way. Looking forward to having our house finished, taking our yearly road trip to Arizona next month, planting a veggie garden, visiting my sister in Argentina when she has her baby, finishing school and making lots of beautiful clothes. So much to do! Hope you all are enjoying 2014 so far! Lets pray for some rain though. I can't believe this beautiful weather and it's January?