Monday, September 26, 2011

Whispering Pines Antiques - Amarillo, Texas

 Once we entered Texas on Route 66 while on our road trip,  I quickly checked the back of my Romantic Homes Magazine to see if any shops were close by. Little did I know I was about to find a fellow blogger and a place I want to get back to soon!

 Lucky for me, nestled between a row of antique shops on 6th  Street, in the Historic San Jacinto District of Amarillo, Texas, I found a unique home decor shop,Whispering Pines Antiques.  

After being on the road a while, and then entering this shop with its welcoming country prairie theme, the homey atmosphere made me want to just settle in for the day.  I have a particular fondness for all things bee related, so when one of the first accessories I saw was the bee skip atop this cupboard, I knew I had found a kindred spirit in shop keeper Angie Mitchell. Angie was so welcoming and gave me all kinds of information about where to shop in the area.

Then I looked down and saw the checkered floor - similar to Melange's, but not set on the diagonal - another sign!   I was in awe over the way Angie layered her linens on the twin bed in the middle of the shop - there was burlap, and leopard, grain sacks and linen and it all worked beautifully together.  

 A fireplace sits center stage and even though my visit landed in the dog days of summer,  it seemed to call you in to stay a while.

This tabletop display shows how Angie brings the outside in by incorporating pine cones, greenery, antlers and lots of pine wood to carry on the cabin feel.

Surprises pop up in smaller vignettes - here a vintage pair of ladies lace up boots sits perched alongside a vintage bottle and vanilla scented candle.

A pine bough wraps itself around vintage crib springs - a pair of shutters tucked away behind while a gorgeous carved chair presents itself in front.

Angie has a second twin bed dressed in the second room. I love the way the white linens were layered with the earth tone floral giving it a pop of crispness.  A breakfast tray sits on the bed complete with plates and napkins.  At this end of the bed, two busts sit with another serving of dishes - perhaps company is coming?

Heading back into the main room I looked up and there was a full size canoe suspended from the ceiling!  The pine paneling throughout the main room provides a honey hued glow and serves as a perfect backdrop for displaying forest greens, warm reds and even a shabby piece or two.

Good lighting makes an impact without being obvious and Angie has it down.  Lamps cast soft glows to accent various pieces such as on this vignette of a salvaged grate,  a bowl of vintage photographs and a couple big Texan seashells.

The natural light cast on this dress form sporting a garden apron makes you think she's going to grab the basket and head out into the crisp morning to gather flowers or pick the daily vegetables in the garden.

The shabby porch railing was one of my favorite pieces in her shop.  The ghost and green pumpkins filling up the pull cart next to it left nothing to imagine - it was easy to picture it on my own front porch. As I thought about Whispering Pines Antiques, it is that which makes it such a beautiful escape - anyone can walk into this store and see a use for the merchandise. So stop by whenever you are in Amarillo!  
There are 17 antique shops and malls next to Whispering Pines Antiques
located at 2727 SW 6th Ave - a quick jaunt off Interstate 40 on historic Route 66. 
And if you can't get there right away - visit Angie's blog - you can't get much better than a virtual coffee break with Angie and her gorgeous shop!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bella and The Cupcake Cafe - Lake Havasu City, Arizona

 While on our trip cross country, I found some wonderful shops and met some great people.  Over the next week, I'm going to let you inside these shops - all of which are places you must see if you are ever close by! 

First up is Bella and The Cupcake Cafe, owned by Anita Fluke, located at 171 Swanson Avenue #102 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Before I even start I have to say I loved meeting Anita!! What a kick! Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious! When I entered her shop and introduced myself, she welcomed me with opened arms, offered me a cool glass of water and before I knew it, there was a delicious cupcake set aside for me!

I first read about Bella and The Cupcake Cafe when the stores were featured in the article "Sweet Shop" in the August 2011 issue of Romantic Homes magazine.  While nearing the California-Arizona border, I checked the map to see how far off our route Bella would be - only 20 miles off the main highway AND the London Bridge was there - another sight we wanted to see. The side trip was well worth it!

Anita created beautiful graphics for her store - The Bella logo you see in the first picture - it is painted on a wall above her wrapping station for the gift shop.  The Cupcake Cafe logo you see here is painted on canvas and hung in a prominent corner in The Cupcake Cafe- a separate area in the same building!  She came up with a great idea to have a place to gift shop and a place to grab a sweet treat, when a group of regular customers like to linger in her shop!

We got to the store an hour before closing and we were lucky to get a cupcake at all as she was just about sold out!  This is the cupcake display case - the front panel of the case is a salvaged window she turned on its side.

The window makes a beautiful display!  
The pom-pom trimmed banner adds a whimsical touch!

Cupcake towers, pedestal dishes and boxes sit atop the display cabinet waiting to fill orders to be delivered - Boxes all receive a sticker with "The Cupcake Cafe" logo before going out the door!

A signature decoration at the Cupcake Cafe is the floor to ceiling "Cupcake Tree".

The flocked tree is decorated with pink feather boas and of course, lots of cupcakes!

But cupcakes aren't the only reason people visit Anita's shop!  Bella, the gift store side of the shop, is filled with fabulous European and shabby chic treasures displayed in creative ways by Anita. I love her display of bangle bracelets displayed on a cupcake display piece - a perfect marriage of cupcakes and gift ware!!

A queen size bed anchors the space filled with luxurious linens!  I love the sign "The Queen will NOT be accepting an audience!"

Soaps made from lavender and olive oils fill the old postal cubbies - I love the green color she picked to paint the wall - it subtly tells shoppers the soap are 'all natural'.

A combination of industrial galvanized boxes and wire baskets anchor this tabletop display - note the Romantic Homes magazine in the middle basket - it is the issue the store is featured in!

Apothecary jars sparkle with their decorative stoppers.

 A shabbied vintage cupboard displays Cavalleni postcards, stamps and note cards.

 A lavish Louis XVI dressing table shows off purses well. 
I just love the vintage clothes rack!
Anita carries lots of vintage and European inspired jewelry - This weathered cement statue sums up how I felt about my visit to Bella and The Cupcake Cafe - Satisfied and relaxed!  I recommend a stop by this wonderful shop on your travels!  You can contact Anita at (928) 855-PINK (7465).  Anita and her friend, Tammy, also have their own online shop where they sell vintage and European inspired gift ware.

And don't forgot to visit the little European landmark as well!  A billionaire moved the London Bridge to Lake Havasu City brick by brick - the gorgeous bridge features ornate street lamps and there is a English Tudor style tourist town built at the base where you can even pick up some fish and chips! Next post - a find in Amarillo, Texas . . .

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inside the Treasure Box!

Time to reveal the contents of the "Treasure Box"!  Sorry it took so long for this post but I needed a few days of rest after our long journey before I started taking pictures - and I had lots of pictures to take!

Just a reminder of what the box looked like inside before the trip.

We managed to fill it up just fine!  The contents were a bit jumbled when I opened the door but I only had a few minor breakages!!

 This vintage brass tea cart caught me eye while I was at Mimi's in Laramie, Wyoming.  Mid Century furniture is making a comeback and I just moved this into my space for display!

Also at Mimi's I couldn't resist these dishes!  These Royal Worcester Plates were made in England and they are back stamped "The Cowell & Hubbards - Cleveland"

As you all know, I am a dish-o-holic, tiffany blue or turquoise blue is one of my favorites and with the pink flowers - these were just to die for so I purchase the set of 9 plates - one of them has a hairline crack from the edge to the inside of the rim - but it will still be nice to have an extra just in case!  They will look great when I mix and match them with some of my other dishes!

Also from Mimi's  - this simple white birdcage - our customers love these - one of the most creative uses is at weddings - guests insert their cards for the couple right through the sides of the cage!

Mike actually found this gate leg table!  We are going to use it as a sofa table behind the couch in our 'lodge room' to to hold our Dragonfly lamp.  I am giving our old sofa table to our niece - but not until I un-countrify it!  Look for the post "Country-fied to City-fied!"

It will serve double duty when we have Thanksgiving or other large family gatherings since it opens up to seat 6!

These 3 inch wooden spools for 50 cents a piece were just laying in a bowl waiting for me to discover them!  I think I will wind some vintage burgundy and green velvet ribbons around them to sell at Christmas time.

To actually find a Catalina Potteries Vase was like hitting the jackpot for me!  My whole family loves hunting for Catalina as well as Malibu pieces and I had never found any on all my hunts!  And this one was a combination of my favorite shabby colors!

A customer had written "Vintage Medicine Cabinet with glass shelves" in our wish book so when I saw this one at a Goodwill Store in Nebraska I had to get it!  The Victorian frame fits the shabby chic style perfectly -

And the manager had wrapped all the glass shelves and hardware nicely for traveling
had them and stored inside!

Another client is collecting vintage oars for her sister's cabin in Oregon so I call her whenever I find some unusual ones.  I found these two oars in Amarillo, Texas at Whispering Pines Antiques store  - I can't wait to call my client and let her know they will be in the store for her to check out!  I may just decide to keep one or both if she decides she doesn't want them - they would look great in our lodge room!

I also picked this up at Whispering Pines Antiques store.  Pottery Barn markets these 'found' bottles and sells these large 24" tall bottles for $125 in their catalog!  I picked mine up for about a quarter of that price!

I saw a display in a store done with vintage player piano rolls that was striking so when I came across these for a few dollars each, I gathered up a pile!

Small glass bottles are really hard to find - I know a few people who make jewelry out of them so when I find some that look old or are unique, I buy them for them.

Vintage vanity trays sell well at Melange and I found lots but only but only purchased two!  The first was this classic gold filigree one - these are pretty easy to find but in California they are sometimes pricey!  This soft-edged rectangular one was only $6 and it was a large size one so I had to get it!  The turquoise grape motif candy jar and the light green pitcher with roses on it were finds in a 'sale' section at an antique store.  I just had to get the Avon Collectible Scarlett O'Hara figurine - a memory of the South!

Here is the second tray I bought. It has Lucite handles and the mirror silvering is all crinkled and shows lots of aging on the bottom, which only added to its appeal!  It was priced at only $8 because it was 'worn out'! On this mirror some smaller treasures: a vintage cut crystal honey jar and a french compote are joined by the little Japanese ladle - The compote and ladle would be lovely to use for bath salts in lavish boudoir!!
Anything with roses says shabby chic!  This 'dummy board' was used to hide the fireplace during summer months in a Victorian home somewhere!  The hand painted floral motif will sell this piece in no time! 

Hats and more hats!  I found six different pill box style and other hats.  Our customers love vintage hats and with Mad Men on TV these days, the themed parties have customers requesting these pill box style hats frequently!

My son, Sam, is stationed in Oahu and works at Tripler Medical Center - he is in the Army Nursing Corp so when I saw this vintage "American Red Cross Home Nursing" book I thought of him!  The vintage creamers with the Army medical corp logo on them will make a nice addition to this gift for him to add to his collection!

Another customer collects vintage glass egg dishes - this one was just gorgeous - the light green glass still was crystal clear and not a chip on it!

These vintage 'Shiny Brite" Christmas Ornaments were the ones I found in that barn in Tucumcari, New Mexico when we stopped after seeing the 'Trade Days' sign!  The whole box set me back $9!

And who would have thought that in that old barn, along with the ornaments, I would find this 7 inch ceramic shoe - my color!  The lady explained that her husband's great aunt had made it years ago when she was in high school - the hand formed flowers and the gilting around the edges were just too special to pass up for $5.
I'm a sucker for things with great stories behind them!

Mike was able to sift through a whole box of hardware and decided on these pieces - he is working on building his own bar and thought he would add these for character!  My oldest, Max, does a lot of training at the American Airlines facility in Dallas, Texas, and when Mike went back to visit, they frequented the World's largest Honky Tonk - Billy Bob's - I think the cowboy boot hooks will add a bit of Billy Bob's to his bar!

And of course, as posted already, we got this mirror/shelf combo made personally by Shirley Evans - she told me that Buck 'had nothing to do with it" when I took the picture of both of them!!

And because we were one of their best customers all day - they threw in this piece of raw turquoise they had found in   Arizona!  

And now for some of my best buys!
I told you about the gorgeous dress I found for my friend's daughter for $19!  I went straight down to her house to have her try it on and as you can see it fit beautifully!

I can just see Rebecca going to her sorority 'cotillion' with this dress on!

This Victorian Birdcage and stand was one of my best buys of the whole trip!  Sets like these retail at antique fairs for about $125.00

The original stand had all the original hooks and the original birdcage as well!  Rarely do you find a complete set - and I got it for a steal - only $13.50!

The biggest purchase of all on our trip was made by Mike!  He tells everyone he built the "Treasure Box" for all of my shabby stuff, but he was able to take advantage of having it when he found this unusual wine cabinet!  He had been looking for something to store his wine in and when he saw this in an antique shop in Missouri.  He counted 36 cubbies to store 36 bottles and it was just about the right height at 4 feet to put underneath our hexagonal window in our lodge room! The other side has three shelves - perfect for storing other wine bar accessories!

And we can't wait to fix this find up!  This was one of our favorite 'finds' at $22.00! This vintage double laundry tub will look beautiful once restored! We are planning on taking it to an automotive painter who can dip the legs in a de-rusting medium and then professionally paint it!  We just need to agree on a color!  Hosting our first party with this being the "Beverage Tub" will certainly spark conversations!

Last, but not least - a few souvenirs!

In addition to our 'finds' I did purchase a few souvenirs on the road.  My niece Amanda was right in style at the Taylor Swift concert this past weekend wearing the pink cowboy hat I got at The Big Texan restaurant.

Also from The Big Texan Restaurant - I can't wait to give my 21 year old son, Alex, 'the boot' in about 5 days when he returns to Cal Poly for fall quarter! No doubt this will hold a brew or two in the coming year!

I found this tee shirt at Bella in Lake Havasu City - it will be perfect for my early morning hunts!  And it pretty much sums up my addiction!  So you can see our trip was very rewarding!   Thanks for reading along as we journeyed across our great country - Mike and I both agreed we love road trips - but next time - we won't be hauling 8 tons on a 28 foot trailer - we'll leave that at home!