Saturday, January 30, 2010

Treasure Chest

Nestled behind a Superdome-shaped Kinko's/Fed Ex (Don't ask. It used to be a mattress place...even weirder) and located right off a strip of highway that is home to at least three McDonaldses and a Taco Tico (!) is a little slice of my personal heaven. Please don't stop reading.

Okay, hear me out. I am talking about this gem of a consignment store, Renaissance Interiors. Design-savvy friends and weekend warriors always raved about it and often showed me their incredible finds, but I never made the trip out to Mecca myself until about a year ago.

Most of my hesitation had to do with the fact that a substantial amount of New Orleans people (from any part of town) are really spoiled about distance...myself 100% included. We think that if a destination is more than one mile away and reaching it requires driving in a car for more than ten minutes, then it is "annoyingly really far."
This form of laziness still never ceases to entertain Beau even though he has lived here for over eight years. He thinks it is hilarious when people say that they don't feel like crossing the Park. (That Park being Audubon Park which is less than one mile across.) But, hey! It is trafficky sometimes and it can take a. whole. five. minutes!!!

My friend Leigh, a native New Orleanian now Los Angeles transplant, was so eager to drive around last time she was here. She was the first to volunteer to pick me up at my office downtown and bring me "all the way back" after lunch Uptown. She explained this eagerness by noting that everything is so adorably close together here. I believe her word was "provincial." We have been called worse. She reminded me of her daily one hour commute each way to work in LA. The horror!

ANYWAY...I digress. Back to The Promised Land. Like many consignment stores, you definitely have to wade through some scary to get to the true deals and steals. Sometimes, you come across nothing and other times, you have to brutally edit the pile of stuff you bring (or drag, or get brought/loaded) to the counter or else your significant other will leave you.
Par Example, you will see a fair amount of this...

And this...

I'm really sorry to have scared you...and potentially gotten you fired.

And this....


Before you get to this....

DYING!! The entire set of this Sarrinen-style table and tulip chairs was 1395.00. After thirty days on the floor, the price is reduced if not sold. Then, it is reduced again if it still is not sold after another thirty days. Now, I am not a proponent of knock offs, but this baby was in good condition and the price is right! I would personally break up the set and rock the table separately from the tulips (re-upholstered).

And this....

Dying Part II! Gorj Barcelona-y sofa. And, there were two. And, they were under 1K each. And, I would have to have both.

Check out this lil guy...

oo la la, no? He was under $100.00 and had just been listed so his price could drop. He was very handsome for an outside side table! I may have to snatch him up before someone else does.

What about this lovely?

I would paint this baby kelly green or white and call it a day. $400.00 first listed.

Last, but certainly not least....

Great candlesticks. I think they were like $20.00 each. As I was paying for my merch, I actually saw someone in line holding two of them. Smart girl. Ignore Beethoven/Mozart/Bach in the background. Unless you like him. He was $45.00.

Now, let's quickly play a game that I like to call "Fab or Fug?" I think it may be sad that this is a question I have to ask myself (and any unwitting victims) at least once a week. Here she is...

I think she would be cute and fun for a vintage table setting for a shower or ladies event. She could even be a girlie soap or tissue holder in a gilded Liberace-fabulous powder room with dark walls? Again, I may need to be lectured. She is questionably fug, but I like her.

I snapped many many more shots of great and some less great items at Renaissance. The merchandise changes daily because they are constantly getting new shipments and things are always getting snagged by savvy collectors, designers and hoarders alike. I have been very successful selling some furniture as well as a graveyard of cut crystal wedding gifts there. I highly recommend that you make the trip to Renaissance whether you are local or visiting. You can hit Tar-jay and then drive thru CC's Coffee after you score your finds!

Here is the link for all of the info on Renaissance. You really have to see it to believe it.



P.S. I also purchased a set of four vintage 1950s martini glasses for $3.25. They were originally a whopping $7.00, but had been there since November. Once I finish styling up our new bar, I will show you my find!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Corps de Tutus

I cannot take any credit for the popularity that a gaggle of little girls along the Uptown parade route will soon gain. It is courtesy solely of my friend, Julie.

What will cause grown women and their Mardi Gras rugby shirt-wearing children to stop in the streetcar tracks, stare, and inquire, "Where did you get that?!" or squeal "That is so adorable!" ?? Why, the homemade "no sew" tutus Julie and I have created (err--will create), of course!

On one of her short eight mile runs one weekday morning, Julie was distracted by the precious tutu in the window of the chi chi baby store on Magazine, Angelique Baby. She says she is not crafty, but, without any prompting, she declared that she was going to make one for her little girl, Lucy. In my usual style, I was overbearing eager to join in the crafty fun. After scouring one too many youtube videos, making an insane amount of pilgrimages to scary craft stores with stained carpets, and some minor trial and error, we are in business!

No longer, however, are we making just une tutu for Lucy. Nope. We are creating at least one for Lucy, one for our visitor, Cup Cate, and, um, twelve for Julie to take to "Parent Involvement Day" at Lucy's school. Then, of course, the multitudes of adult tutus in both Mardi Gras colors as well as Saints colors. We have pre-orders, thank you very much.
Now the kitchen looks like a 1950s prom dress exploded and Beau is looking at me with fear. I know he is thinking, "What project is she working on now and how will it devalue my new house?" as I continue to maniacally cut three (or six, based upon the size, of course) inch strips of tulle. All of the toiling is worth it though....if I can avoid wearing a nudie suit on Mardi Gras Day AND spread the costume wealth to at least fifteen little revelers, then we have succeeded.

Without further ado, behold, the delightful confections...

Here is the tiny tu...I wish my waist was 21 inches. I think it would make a festive collar for a canine carnival!

Here is the tiny tu next to the big 'un. I think they look quite professional.

Here is the link to the helpful video made by our girl, Julie F (Poor Julie F. doesn't know that she is our girl...)

as well as the link to the awesome Angelique Baby if you want to avoid all of this fun and buy one for your very own King Cake bebe...



P.S. Email me if you want more detailed/ further instructions.
P.P.S. The tutus can be worn by boys too. This is an equal opportunity blog. Just sayin'.