- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- September 2010
- February 2010
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- May 2009
- March 2009
Monthly Archives: September 2009
September 22, 2009
I love the town of Oxford, Mississippi. It is the home of William Faulkner, John Grisham, Ole’ Miss (Univ. of Miss.) and Square Books, a well stocked independent bookstore and City Grocery (this year’s winner of the James Beard award) www.citygrocery.com .
It is a gem of a town, the county courthouse dominates the elegant town square and is flanked on all sides by various shops and restaurants, many are very tempting.
This is my fourth visit to Oxford Floral, I know so because the new owner David Doran found two Annieglass pieces in the attic engraved to (the recent owner) Betty Butler’s children for Christmas of 1997! The store was started in 1924. What else is in that attic?
Oxford Floral has a talent for dramatic displays, add to it their lovely flower arrangements and it’s easy to see how they sell so much Annieglass. Roger Fargeon, the national sales manager of Annieglass wonders when every man, woman and child in the state of Mississippi will own a piece. He calculates it must happen soon.
My visit took place during Rush week, a hectic time when the female students are pledging the sorority of their choice. Miss Donna and Miss Norma (Queens of Bridal Registry there) needed running shoes to keep up with all the orders coming in for gifts, flowers and Annieglass.
I missed by one day seeing the 2300 roses and 1800 hydrangeas being delivered for a wedding that included 60 Annieglass votives for the tables. The happy couple registered for Annieglass as well.
A quick trip to Square Books lifted my spirits even more, so did the personal attention of the owner and mayor of the town, Richard Howorth. He set me up with some great “reads”. I heartily recommend joining his First Editions Club because I practically kiss my UPS person when it arrives every month, I’m so happy to receive it. Each month a signed first edition arrives, guaranteeing a good read you can sink your teeth into. www.squarebooks.com
A word about Southern accents- I find them delightful and I like discerning the changes from one part of the South to the next. Some accents, especially the men, can be nearly knee-buckling.
Off to the Birthplace of Elvis Museum and Gift Shop…I’ve got some Christmas shopping to do.
September 24, 2009
A big day today- two events in one day. Bromberg’s was started on 1836 and is still family run. They have been selling Annieglass very well since 1993 as one of my first customers in the South. www.brombergs.com
I visited the Summit store in Homewood and the nearby store in Mountain Brook, a lovely English village created in 1929 with winding scenic roads and bridle paths. The village houses a delightful assortment of independently owned shops (thank goodness for the originality and lack of chain stores, it is hard to find anyplace without them) of high quality antiques, home furnishings, clothing and more. A mountain brook separates it from the cozy neighborhoods of beautifully crafted homes and towering oaks. The Birmingham Zoo and Botanical Garden is nearby.
First stop was the TV show “Wakeup Alabama!” at 6 am, which went well despite the hour. Interior designer, Christopher Lowell followed me, plugging his new line of fabric for Joann’s Fabrics.
We re-met in the only coffee shop nearby that was open at that hour. I thought it was great that he was redecorating the Ronald MacDonald House and promoting handcraft for school children, something missing in our high tech world. www.christopherlowell.com
I enjoy Coastal Living magazine. It is unfussy, casual and more reflective of the way I live than fancier shelter mags are. Some of those magazines are NOT inspiring. I ran into the executive editor Sara Anderson in a meeting with her editor and had to thank them for all they have done to promote Annieglass in the magazine’s pages. I promised to send them my Hanalei and Big Sur blogs asap. www.coastalliving.com
First up was an appearance at the Summit store with cake and desserts by local favorite Edgar’s Bakery. The praline squares were like a concentrated candy, they were so good. I was happy to see a gentleman come by to choose a gift for his wife. It was their 4th wedding anniversary and he ordered a personalized engraving for it. They started collecting Annieglass for their wedding.
Next stop was the Bromberg’s store in Mountain Brook. The area is beautiful. I see why people love it here so much; beautiful homes, a great sense of community surrounded by nature and nice people. Wikipedia says it is one of the wealthiest places in the U.S.
There is an area nearby called Hollywood that was developed in the 40”s with homes in the Spanish Mission style, mimicking what was being built in Hollywood, Ca. at the same time. These homes have undergone recent well done remodeling. My favorite had an attached china and glass cupboard with great big windows on 3 sides that showed off all their tableware and is as large as a lot of kitchens.
Chef Ben Kirk from a new restaurants across the street from Bromberg’s, called Avo brought over some Annieglass platters loaded down with crostinis, deviled eggs and his own pimento cheese (a Southern favorite, I’ve learned to like it). Unfortunately, I missed a lively group of women who rented a limo from an hour away for one of their birthdays to come to the Annieglass event. Sounds like there was drinking involved….. and a lot of fun. It’s a good thing they had a limo sized trunk to get all their purchases home. I sent the birthday girl a card thanks to Julia Glass, the Bromberg’s buyer organizer of both events.
One minute I was innocently looking at the John Hardy jewelry when my old buddy Swan showed me a 22 carat diamond he said I needed. He even “proposed” for the camera. I sure do enjoy visiting my customers that sell jewelry. Sometimes they “insist” I wear their jewelry while in the store- I love that rule.
No trip to Birmingham would be complete without a visitor to my other customer, Table Matters. Patricia consistently puts together fabulous tables with well thought out combinations of hard to find china, glass and linens. I confess my weakness for her napkin ring choices. I always get another set whenever I am in town. www.tablematters.com
Both events were very successfully and it was a relief to see a return to better times. Seeing all the fall tables makes me want to host a dinner party as soon as I get home and use some of my new Copper Leaves for salad plates, just like the Bromberg’s display.
September 23, 2009
On my last visit to the Birthplace of Elvis Museum I liked how funky and homemade the displays were. I got the impression someone who had worked at Graceland decided to make a museum of the castoffs, complete with typewritten descriptive postcards explaining each item. It has been updated since then, but the family home, a tiny cabin that Elvis’ dad built is still there, just as remarkable in its humility. www.elvispresleybirthplace.com
My real destination though was the gift shop, a veritable treasure trove of Elvis inspired knick-knacks only available here and at Graceland, his home in Memphis. I have been building a small collection from multiple trips to both museums. On my first trip to Graceland, I could not resist the pillow of him in his gold suit and it looks pretty good on my purple velvet couch at home. I did feel self- conscious carrying the thing thru several airports and on the plane. I supplemented that with another pillow and matching afghan, a border mural of all his film stills, Christmas ornaments, playing cards and stationery to name a few…but now it’s back to business and Elizabeth Clair’s.
The Annieglass collectors were lined up before the store opened. I love Southern women and their great sense of style. E.C. exceeded my expectations with a holiday display of staggering genius. Pale blue ribbon and brown garland climbed up the walls and wrapped around my platinum rimmed dishes, interspersed with giant hanging silver stars and snowflakes.
An antique metal bed carpeted with lush grass held stacks of every variety of Annieglass. My newest design, Arabella, nearly sold out with its stylized feather/paisley pattern that mixes gold with touches of platinum.
As soon as I arrived, a woman grabbed my hands curious to see what they looked like. She was surprised by their smoothness and I reassured her that I can never touch the hot glass to shape it but rely on gravity and molds to do it.
I barely had time to do any shopping we were so busy. I did manage to grab a new purse and a few gifts wrapped in the store’s signature bright ribbons. I admire E.C. (Elizabeth Emmons) and her talent for finding and putting together delightful things to buy. Along with her outgoing mother-in-law, Sandi Emmons, they make a great team. As I left, E.C. was busy helping a customer over the phone choose gifts for 13 weddings…..yes 13 weddings. She chose my new Ruffle wine coaster for many of them.
You can find the store on Facebook.
Next stop: Birmingham, Alabama