Thursday, July 30, 2009

In Need of a Bit of Advice – I know you’re good for it

but first . . .in the midst of putting things back together around here, I’ve learned a few things.

- This piece of plastic will go into the Hall of Fame for its ability to stop progress for 30 minutes while you try to fish it out of a ceiling fan.

- No matter how many trips you make to Home Depot, there’s almost always at least one thing you discover you need after you return home.

- It is better to wear old shoes when you spray primer, otherwise it looks like you have a strange skin disease on the bottom of your feet.

- It is possible to make your own ironing board, but there is no record for how long you can expect such an item to last. Time will tell, maybe.

- White is not consistently white everywhere.

- You can get a 1” X 12” X 4 foot board in a Mini Cooper without any problem.

- My husband and I both have a defiant side. He because it’s only a little – cut, tear, sting, blood, or bite and doesn’t need first aid. Me - because I think I can move furniture by myself until I can’t get it through the door. After a while, it’s just funny. As he has become fond of saying recently, “Never a dull moment in the Brame household.”

- These next little devices are the coolest things since sliced bread. Very handy when you have so many electrical cords you could actually create a map of the entire interstate system.

- When you are looking for something in a store, people will come up to you and ask you “Are looking for something?” And when you reply, “Yes, where is _____?” they say, “Well, I don’t actually work here.”

- And finally, it is so much easier to drill holes in a piece of board when the drill is not going in reverse.

So, here’s my question for you. Should I put things in place that I think I will be using consistently before I return to my studio work or should I begin working and then as I discover I need something, retrieve it and put it in a proper place? Then, once you’ve sorted that out, which came first - the chicken or the egg?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Third of Three - NYC Shops

My advice for seeing shop Number 3 is simple. First make a plan to visit Tinsel Trading. See the post below. Of course, if you have a spouse who is patient but not necessarily interested in trimmings but might be interested in a cup of coffee while he/she waits, my husband has already figured out a plan. Tell him/her on 38th Street, the next block up, there is a neat little coffee shop called Culture, as in Coffee Culture. It is a good place to wait, watch people go by and enjoy a little peace and quiet. Then when you are finished visiting Tinsel Trading, you walk out the door and take a right. Then at the intersection, you take another right. Your goal is to eventually rejoin your spouse at the coffee shop. But first you must pass a special shop that I enjoyed immensely. I didn’t figure this out all by my lonesome self. My husband discovered it on his way to Culture and actually told me about it. Is he something or what?!

If you like ribbons, trims, buttons and so forth and you haven’t spent all your money in Tinsel Trading, you should stop in here:

My teeth just about fell out of my mouth. Thankfully, there were a lot of people in the shop and all engaged in shopping, buying or measuring so they didn’t see me looking like an idiot that just dropped from the sky.

This place is massive in terms of selection. I know they don’t have everything in the way of ribbon, braid or whatever, but really, if you are looking for something special, you should be able to come really, really close to something you’ll be happy with. So close in fact that you’ll wonder if what you’ve found wasn’t what you were looking for all along and didn’t know it.

This stuff is all new, not vintage so the selection is quite different from Tinsel Trading. Talk about walls of ribbon - these walls are so high they have to have a step stool to reach the top shelves. Then there's braid and tassels and leather and cord. They have an amazing selection of trims - hence the name. They have these appliques.

They have flowers in many colors and styles . . .

and they have buttons. This was just one side of the button section.

If you plan to go, my advice is to get started early, eat before you leave, allow time for a mocha here and there, wear good shoes to shop in and pace yourself. There are several similar stores in the area and I didn’t even get to them all. I still have money left and that means there is something seriously askew. By the way, if you go, there was a ribbon I was looking at but didn’t buy. It’s on the third shelf on the right, about half way down, a bit of blue and a bit of lavender in the design. I could use about a yard and a half. I’ll pay you back. I promise.

Second of Three NYC Shops

My studio space is still in progress but I have my table back! Oh my, it's wonderful. And I can find my purse too - consistently. That is something that I have come to appreciate since we've begun to put things back in place. It'll take some time still. Progress is being made, but more on that later.

Today I wanted to share the one shop in NYC that I was anxious to see for myself. You may have heard of it or even been there yourself but it was all new to me. I had heard from a friend a couple of years it was a place you just had to see. So when my sister went to NY about a year and a half ago, she went to check it out for me. The Christmas following I got a lovely surprise of a selection of things from Tinsel Trading, but I still wanted to see it for myself.

You may have read the article about it in Where Women Create, the Premier Issue. If you like trims at all and vintage ones to boot, you'll like Tinsel Trading.

The store I visited is the new location on 37th Street. I regret that I was too late to see the original location where they had been for years, but the new place has the same offerings in a bigger space. This is the front of the store.

And here are a few shots of the interior. When we were there, we were practically the only customers in at the time, so we had the whole place to ourselves.

There really is a lot to see - walls of trims and ribbons.

These drawers hold some magical things - charms, buttons, all sorts of little things.

I could have spent loads of time here but you know, these people have to go home too.

They had a whole display of Wendy's Addison's work - all sorts of glittery things.

If anyone wants to see these photos of Tinsel Trading really huge, let me know and I'll share them with you personally. I tried to keep these small for space saving reasons.

Now, there's still one more place I would like to take you to and then NYC will be just a memory. I'll save that for the next post. In the intervening moments until we meet again, I will have paintbrush in hand and paint in hair, still working on the last bits of the studio. The big stuff was less time consuming! Go figure!

A wonderful Monday to you all!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First of Three - NYC Shops

As you can well imagine, I did not get to all the shops I would have liked to have visited. I'll keep a list of the ones I missed and maybe on my next trip to NYC, I will be able to visit them. In the meantime, I'd like to share with you three of my favorites. I heard about this one from Lili M., a blogger who posted photos of her visit to NYC. When I saw the pictures she had taken, I added it to my list.

This is Fishs Eddy. It is a place to buy dishes, glassware, some things for the kitchen, a little of this and a little of that. Not that I actually need any of those things . . .

I think what is great about this place it the way everything is displayed. In another store, maybe these things wouldn't be so fascinating.

As you enter, you see this display of glove molds. They also had some reproductions in smaller sizes. The place has dishes stacked on the floor, not just in this photo but throughout the store.

It isn't that big of a place as this photo seems to imply. I was standing at almost the very back wall of the store looking towards the front door when I took this photo.

This photo was taken from near the front of the store looking towards the back. Some of the offerings are vintage and some are new. Some are exclusively Fishs Eddy. All of it was tempting and charming.

These polka-dotted dishes were very colorful. If only I had needed some new dishes and had a way to get them home . . .

This wall was where you could find most of the vintage china. Some of it was from restaurants and others who-knows-where.

As you can see in this next photo, the wares encompassed a bunch of different designs and styles, some reproductions, and some plain ol' clear glassware (those you can't see those in this one).

I could have browsed in Fishs Eddy for quite a long time. My husband probably thinks I did. There was lots to see and the prices were pretty reasonable. You could buy a fork, knife or spoon for 99 cents or spend a little more and get something fancier like this cheese tray made to look like graph paper and cups that looked like composition books or you could take home . . .

a glass cake plate in your choice of colors - pink, blue, green and a variety of styles - square, round, plain, fancy.

I hope you enjoyed this visit to Fishs Eddy. Tomorrow I will take you to a place you've probably heard of if you haven't actually been there yourself. It was one of the places I was determined to see for myself - in person. Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you'll join me for Shop Number 2.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Small Taste of NYC Chocolate

Had I only known and planned way in advance, we could have gone on three different, maybe more, Chocolate Tours. Now doesn't that sound delicious? But our time was limited and we chose to indulge our chocolate whims whenever we could fit it in with all we had planned.

I took this first photo as a memo. That is to say, we walked by this chocolate cafe on the way to somewhere else and I thought, "I must remember this place so I can return and take it all in." The problem was we never had a chance to return. It's on the list for our next trip. Yes, I know. We walked and walked and fell into bed every night exhausted having done every possible thing we could manage at the time. But that's all just a memory now and my feet have a short attention span. Yep, I can definitely see going back. Maybe I'll just take me one of them chocolate tours next time!

So this is Lily O'Brien's Chocolate Cafe. I did pop in for a brief second and it really really deserves to be explored thoroughly. I will offer myself up as a volunteer next time.

Now I want to take you into MarieBelle Chocolates. I did not get a photo of the exterior, but I hope these photos of the interior will somehow compensate.

But first you should see this photo of the dark chocolate gelato they had that day. It was very rich.

We also ordered a couple of mochaccinos. I think that's how you spell it plural. Or is it "mochaccinoes"? Hm-m-m-m. Guess I'll have to go back and ask them in person.

Okay here's a few photos of the interior of MarieBelle's. The walls and the packaging are done in this restful, calming blue color. I wanted to buy something, anything to take some of the blue home with me. The tins were great. The problem with chocolate in the summer in NYC is that if you are walking around, it will melt. So, no chocolate to go this time.

This display was unique and exactly right for the feel of the shop - a huge trunkful of chocolates along with some suitcases equally charming.

And lastly, the chandelier set against the white ceiling and the blue walls.

This was another chocolate place we happened upon. I made another photo memo and this time I was determined to return. It was the very last thing we did in NYC before we packed our bags to come home.

This is Max Brenner's Chocolate Restaurant. It's quite the experience just to walk in the doors. See for yourself.

In one part of the restaurant they have this Chocolate Bar where you can order items to go - chocolate drinks, chocolate pastries, chocolate this, chocolate that.

Then they have this station that has three different chocolate syrups to choose from - white, milk and dark. They spoon it out with a soup ladle.

If you come in and you just need a shot of chocolate, they have it.

This is the chocolate concoction my daughter ordered. It began as a simple chocolate filled cake, but then they warmed it, poured chocolate over it and sprinkled it with powdered sugar. She's just now waking up from her chocolate coma . . .

My husband and I ordered mochas there. They were delicious, but we didn't get anything to eat. You know we really should have had a meal there. Just one more delicious reason to go back to NYC. Now I'm kinda hungry. I wonder if I can scrounge up an M&M between the sofa cushions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Things You See and Hear

I cannot say that these photos and the things I overheard while in the Big Apple only occur there but I can say for the most part, it would be very unusual to see them or hear them where I live.

First I present you with something that one might see occasionally in New York City, but it just struck me as kind of odd. While on the subway late one night, we saw this guy with his surf board. I couldn't quite figure out where he was going, but I'm sure he had a plan.

Overheard on the subway: An older gentleman saying everyone has a bag. It didn't use to be this way. Nowadays, everyone has a bag. My thoughts were "And. . . ?"

Anything for a buck. A gentleman pulled this huge snake out of a sack and was offering tourists a chance to hold it and have their photo taken with it wrapped around them. This guy was the first customer of the day. I passed on the opportunity. Maybe next time . . .

Here's a sight we don't often see here in North Carolina. Okay. Okay. We hardly ever see here in North Carolina. Oh alright. I've never seen this in North Carolina . . . so far. A line of Statue of Liberty imitators. It'll cost you $5 to have your photo made with one.

Overheard in a shop: I didn't realize that models needed so much babysitting.

Looking for a button? This giant button and needle identifies a place where you can find information on New York's fashion district.

These two guys were sitting on the sidewalk on the way back to our hotel. It could be a problem fitting them into a suitcase though.

Overheard in Times Square around 10pm at night: Will you marry me?

These dancers were in a cupcake shop up high near the ceiling. There's just something about dancing cupcakes wearing tutus and garters.

This older gentleman was keeping some late hours. He was in a subway station with his electronic keyboard, amp, and three dancing dolls. Looks like he earned a dollar or two.

Overheard in a packed subway car: I can't stand tourists.

And this last photo for your entertainment: Superman sells handbags. Boy, times really have gotten tough when your local superhero has to take on a second job.

Tomorrow will be chocolate day. Yes, New York City has just a few chocolate shops. Unfortunately, we didn't see them all, but I'm more than happy to show you the few we did visit.
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