Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Look at What I Found in Ballard!

I confess... love a great bargain.  Also love discovering new places to find treasures - thank you Melissa for introducing me another hidden jewel in Seattle, a new (to me!) consignment shop in downtown Ballard of all places.   I highly recommend "Classic Consigment" on 24th Ave., they have wonderful furniture, accent pieces, china, art, jewelry and a whole lot more. All at very reasonable prices and good quality + the shop owners are welcoming and fun!

Don't worry - I did restrain myself from buying a whole set of Blue Willow, but I may have to go back and get some vintage wicker chairs that I found.... Would look perfect in the new apartment, great lounging seats to enjoy the view of the San Mateo Bridge spanning the San Francisco Bay.  hmmmmm...

I carried Vietri Italian Artisan  inspired dinnerware in my coastal living  retail store in Poulsbo, and one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't buy any for myself!  Love the shapes, the colors, the history, the artistry and in all of the painstaking care in the hand painted details.  If you have ever seen Vietri, you will know what I am talking about!  I found two PERFECT examples of Vietri, while happily searching the shelves at Classic Consignments - almost giddy with excitement!

Check out my find - 2 collector pieces from the Ristorante' series - "Mauelina" and "Nannina".  Trying to decide if I should keep them or list them on the website in my "Beach Finds" category.  What do you think?

Off on more adventures this week - stay tuned!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Texas Beauties

Emily Boehme White

Miss her every single day.. miss clam digging, sandy fingers, home made berry wine (extremely potent!), chocolate chip cookies, eating pea pods, cutting Christmas Trees, the best clam chowder, Southern Fried Chicken,  sleeping in my dad's old brass bed, picking strawberries in the sand dunes, buttery bisquits, orange soda, blackberry syrup, oatmeal with "bugs" (raisins), making grape vine wreaths, collecting sand dollars at Ocean Shores....

So glad I found these photos of her with her best friend, Dorthy Mae, having a wonderful time at the shore in Galveston!  Look how carefree they are on a much needed break from the farm, the citrus packing sheds and the heat of the heartland in Texas. Sitting on a seawall sometime in the mid-1930's, just teen age girls in matching bathing suits... enjoying a day at the beach. (I suspect looking for boys too!)

And in the sand....what fun they had that day! Escaping for just a short time from the pressures of the great depression and the dust bowl in Texas.

Cannot imagine what courage it took for her to get on a train in Texas, go to San Diego to marry my grandfather before WWII and never look back...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Exploring the World of Cuttysark Nautical Antiques in Pioneer Square

I first discovered Cuttysark Nautical Antiques when I still worked for Wells Fargo as a wholesale mortgage account executive in the Pacific Northwest. Whenever I had a particularly challenging day with customers and situations, (and believe me - there were a lot of those days!)  I would find myself wandering down  into the Main Street section of Old Town Bellevue. What a fantastic place to simply browse and dream of seafarers in bygone days!

At that time, Cuttysark had a whole basement full of really questionable and broken nautical items - I found one of my favorite possessions in that basement! An old oxidized brass porthole, it had turned the most lovely shade of green, was very heavy, and had a big crack in the glass right down the middle.  It was perfect for my beach cottage - I wonder what happened to it??

In 2004, new owners bought the Cuttysark and moved the store into the heart of Pioneer Square in Downtown Seattle.  As it turns out, Roger Otterbach and his wife were actually neighbors of mine, living just down the beach in Manchester. It is such a treat to visit and check out all of their new antiques!  Roger attends several specialty auctions around the country every year to find some very unusual boating, yachting and nautical vintage items.

They also carry all kinds of new nautical items, flags, fine maritime art,  and instruments for navigation.   Just look and see a few of the images I was able to capture!

A fabulous collection of new and also vintage model boats and sailing ships can be found at Cuttysark Nautical Antiques.  I am a little partial to this vintage Chris Craft - can imagine myself, looking a little like Rita Hayworth or Marilyn Monroe with big black sunglasses in a 1950's bikini out for a cruise around Lake Washington.
(please don't laugh - I can always dream...)

Or how about this vintage Lake Union model  - something out of the 1920's! Lazy days, slow cruising  reading the Great Gatsby in the salon area....

Or, a traditional sailing ship from the Eastcoast..... 

How about a vintage Hawaiian Hula Dancer masthead?  The Cuttysark has the largest collection of mastheads that I have ever seen!

I will confess my terrible affinity for old naval dishes! Kicking myself for selling most of the ones that I had in the old Caron's store, although I did manage to hold onto 1 dinner plate and 1 salad plate.  Roger not only carries a great collection of old naval dishes from various ward rooms, but some great specialty dinnerware from various yacht clubs on the West Coast too. (I bought 2 small dessert dishes as I just could not help myself!)

Cuttysark is a one of a kind experience, what Roger and his "deckhands" do is so unique - I can honestly think of only one other nautical store (Will save that story for another day:  Maidhof Bros. in San Diego.) that I have been in that truly specializes in nautical antiques.   There is always something new to be found at this "can't-miss"  treasure trove of an antique store in Pioneer Square!  Call me and I will go with you!!!

Cuttysark Nautical Antiques

Saturday, February 6, 2010

California Vintage Glory in Belmont at The Ralston Hall Mansion

Had a pleasant surprise yesterday when we had an impromptu self-tour of The Ralston Hall Mansion in Belmont. William Chapman Ralston, co-founder of the Bank of California, bought the property in 1864 from an Italian Nobleman  for his "country" estate to escape the pressures of city life in San Francisco.  The estate became grander over time, eventually expanding to 80 rooms and 50,000 square feet!

The grand ballroom was absolutely spectacular!  Lined floor to ceiling with gilded mirrors, framed in hand-polished antique frames, lit by French crystal chandeliers that are over 150 years old - AWESOME!  Look at the details in the  floors, striped with two different types of hardwood.... Suzanne was convinced that we were in a Jane Austen novel, expecting Mr. Darcy to appear any minute!

Sun streaming into the big bay window overlooking the gardens at Notre Dame de Namur...   Can simply imagine the elegant parties and gatherings that have been held in this room!  All of the antique furnishings have been restored, and are  lovingly taken care of in the grand style that they were meant for.

Incredible intimate alcove on the left side of the ballroom - will give you an idea of the amazing detailed wood work and the scale of the room.

Selfishly, I hope Kylie decides to go to college here, so that I have many excuses to go back and explore some more! 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Looking for Beach Cottage Inspiration

Took a break this weekend from my never-ending task of adding products to the Caron's Beach House website (hoping to launch mid-February!), for some inspiration at the Fremont Flea Market.  If you are a local Northwest person, and have never gone to this unique event, held every Sunday rain or shine, you are really missing out on some great handmade crafts, awesome vintage finds and lots of interesting people.  This is definitely a Seattle tradition - I like it much better than Pike Place market for FREE parking, less tourists and for the chance to hang out in the funky neighborhood of Fremont.

Here's a few of the things that I saw this weekend!

Vintage booth full of Tiki memorabilia - kicking myself for not buying the purple tiki cups for $2.50/each!  

Vintage Monterey Bay watercolor with bamboo frame - also should have bought..

Thought that these were interesting. Actually saw quite a few different images like these. My grandfather served aboard the Aircraft Carrier, The Enterprise during the 1930's, and can't help that I really like these images pre-WWII.  

Also saw globes in every shape and size, this one was the perfect table top, desk, or bookshelf decor.  Can't wait until I have a real office again and this is one of the first things that I will put on my desk, right next to my favorite shell finds....

Was so excited to see my friend, Amber of Season's Creek Furniture and Decor! Some of you might recognize the colors that she uses - the aqua and the greens were featured in my old store in Poulsbo. 
Season's Creek collection of painted furniture and accessories, vintage shells and linens

Gray-Blue wicker tray with seashell vintage seashell bowls (I know, I should have bought these too!)

 Love the clear green plates! Perfect touch for spring - 

Close-up shot of Amber's repainted frames! Like her imagination, think of  how a painted frame could make over a room... frame a plain mirror, bring out the highlights in a stormy sea picture....

Simply one of my favorite things to do. Hang out at the flea market and let my imagination run wild with ideas for creating my own space, and helping others define theirs!  Happy Hunting for beach treasures - 

Relax and Live at the Beach Every Day of the Year!

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