Saturday, July 25, 2015

Christmas in July sales!

Small business owned stores in the old neighborhood that Duane lives in, Seminole Heights, decided to hold a 'Christmas in July' sale starting yesterday (Friday) and continuing through Sunday.  Many of the same stores have been holding a nice holiday sale each year before Christmas and we've always enjoyed going to those.  The stores have various discounts on their items and shoppers also have a chance to win a gift basket in a raffle.

We decided to go the first day, Friday, even though the weather was truly awful.  Lots of hard rain that lasted pretty much all day long.  But, hey, we're hardcore when it comes to shopping.  We didn't have time to hit all of the stores participating but we began in the morning and shopped until it was time for lunch.  Linda and I both bought items from Christopher Wayne Home.  I bought one of their wine bottle photo/postcard/note holders and Linda found a beautiful pillow to spice up her sofa.  One of the owners spent a long time talking with Duane because they both grew up in the area.

Our next stop was Cleanse Apothecary which carries all sorts of boutique brands of make-up, soaps, pottery, etc.  I had been raving to Linda and Duane about Lipstick Queen lipstick for some time.  Cleanse Apothecary began stocking it last year so Linda loves the pinks.  She purchased a tube of Saint Pink previously and I suggested a tube of Jean Queen (which I also own).  She tried it and loved the color, so that was her purchase.  Duane had yet to try it but decided on a tube of Saint Natural.  Even my mom is a convert.  I showed her some of my colors and she now never leaves the house without a tube of her favorite, Coral Sinner.  Linda also purchased some lotion while we were there.  The owner, Greg, had a lovely champagne punch that we all sampled.  

In and out of the driving rain, we made our way down to one of our favorite shops, A Modern Line, which now has one of Duane's paintings for sale!  It was very exciting for Duane to see it on the wall.  David, the owner, has been doing really well, and his inventory (particularly furniture) was actually pretty low at the moment.  It made Duane's day to see her art for sale, though! 

We made our way across the street to a consignment shop called Vintage Post Marketplace.  This is a very large store which features not only vintage items but also items made by local artisans.  A great place to take your time and browse.

We hit one more of our favorite stores before we just had to get some lunch.  Debra at D & D Antiques and more was putting out treats for her shoppers.  We were just in time!  Debra is always fun to chat with along with browsing her shop which has numerous vendors items located in different rooms.  I purchased a green depression glass dessert plate to add to my mismatched dessert plates -- I actually use them.

After D &D, we knew it was time to eat, plus we were finally tired of the storms which dogged us the entire time we were shopping.  We wanted comfort food so we headed to Nicko's diner and had a filling and leisurely lunch.  Then we went back to Duane's house before parting ways for the day.  It was a lot of fun.  (Except for the storms!)

Our purchases.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Indie Art/Craft Bazaar in St. Pete

Duane, Linda, and I went to a small arts and crafts show in St. Pete today that featured mostly items from young vendors.  My nephew Sam's girlfriend, Samantha, had a booth there for her vintage clothing shop, Beach Voodoo Vintage.  Sam was there helping her and it was nice to see both of them.

We arrived early -- around 9:30 -- and Sam suggested a coffee/snack shop just down the street.  It was a good choice.  We had drinks and a snack and finished up just a little after the bazaar officially opened.  The venue, called Nova 350, has a large downstairs area and a smaller one upstairs plus a 'bamboo' garden.  Samantha's booth was in the bamboo garden.

Inside the first floor of the bazaar.

Although it was a small show, there were some really cool items.  All three of us bought something.  I purchased a string art rendering of Florida, Linda bought a book, and Duane bought an organic cotton tee shirt to wear for her tai chi class.  One of the vendors outside was a neighbor of Duane's from Tampa.  She was there with her bus, the gypsy junQue store on wheels.  It's amazing how much cool stuff she has in that little bus.  The owner has a website that will feature more items soon. It can be found here

The gypsy junQue bus.

We also shopped in a small boutique that was located near the bazaar.  Duane found a baby gift there.  After that we headed back to Tampa and lunch at Mikey's Cafe & Bakery in Duane's neighborhood.  Other than the heat when we were outside, it was a really nice way to spend the day.

Our purchases.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Observations of a Transplanted Southern Belle now an audiobook!

My recording of Laurie Byrne Smith's book Observations of a Transplanted Southern Belle is now available for sale on Audible.

This a collection of nonfiction humor columns that Ms. Smith wrote for a small newspaper in the Florida town she and her husband moved to after a lifetime as a North Carolinian.

These essays cover southern living, holidays, family tradition, mothers and mothers in law, children, and even men's hairstyles. Really fun to record this one.

To listen to a sample and/or purchase the book, head here

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Double Estate Sale Friday

Yesterday morning, Duane, Linda and I set out for two estate sales that were taking place near where Duane lives.  We hadn't been to estate sales for a few weeks but had been doing other things together instead.  (Plus all of the better sales seem to be taking place out of town.)  The one closest to Duane had a ton of books.  We realized we had been to a yard sale at this house before but that's when the family was still living there.  This time, they were moving, so they employed an estate sale company to sell off everything they didn't take with them.  All three of us founds books and Duane also bought a small piece of Delft for her collection -- a small house like the ones she saw when she visited The Netherlands.

The second sale was actually an antiques dealer who purchases from estate sales and needed to move some of his inventory.  He had everything placed nicely in a building that he owns and opened it to the public for a two day sale.  Lots of beautiful furniture and glassware.  Duane came across an adorable little side table with a deep drawer.  Great condition for it's age.

Afterwards, we headed for coffee and snacks and just chilled out for awhile before heading home.

Our haul.

Duane's tiny Delft house.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Winners of the 'June is Audiobook Month' drawing announced!

June is over and that means the end of the 'official' audiobook month.  Of course, I think every month should be audiobook month!

As we've done in the past, a very high-tech procedure is used to select the winners.  Yes, that's right, George picks them from slips of paper from a bowl.  

Yes, this is the same picture from last year.  I saw no point in having to be neat while cutting up names and putting them into a nice bowl.  This year it was torn paper in a cereal bowl.  But you get the idea.

And the winners are:

Doresa Wise Young
Avery Sines
Terri Abbett

I've contacted everyone and I've already heard from two winners.  They both chose Romancing Olive by Holly Bush as their free book.  It will be interesting to see what the other three winners choose.

Congratulations to the winners and a big THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by and entered.