Monday, November 25, 2013

Viva's Holiday Market, and How to Make it a Day Trip or a Full Weekend!

We are thrilled that Saturday is getting closer, and the barn is in full twinkle!
If you are thinking about coming to the sale, but worry there's not enough to do this time of year, let me help you out!
In Sister Bay…
*FOG (Friends of Gibraltar) Craft Show Friday and Saturday
*Friday Evening visit with Santa and lighting of the tree and other special holiday themed events for the weekend (see posters and ads when you get here)
*Spot (a mini Anthropology) and Cupcake Heaven will be featuring big sales, local artists, face painting and Family Center of Door County Donation Drop offs here.
*Quite a few shops open with really great sales going on
*Don't miss Pipka's (in her charming cottage you will find 
all kinds of papers and trinkets for crafting, jewelry, books, art… very inspiring)
*Northern Door Day Care Center is hosting their annual Holiday Home Tour, you can tour the BIG HOUSE:) and other charming decked out homes all while contributing to a new roof for the center.
*JJ's will have live music Saturday night!  Have a marg and dance the night away!

Ellison Bay…
*A wonderful group of artisans will be hosting Holiday Open Houses Friday and Saturday where you find fabulous gifts for giving this season:
*Clay Bay Pottery
*Gills Rock Stoneware
*Turtle Ridge
*The Cider House
Ellison Bay Pottery

*Blue Dolphin House is hosting it's annual Holiday Sale with everything being 20% to 50% off! An inspiring, more contemporary store featuring all kinds of art, fragrances, outdoor art and home decor… well, and a whole lot more!

Egg Harbor…
*Egg Harbor's Holly Days are going on!  All day Friday and Saturday with lots of family friendly events.  Again, check the paper and ads when you get here.
*Family Center and Door County Children's Christmas Store…. kids ages 4 to 12 can buy gifts for family member with items priced from 1.00 to 10.00.  Items donated by local businesses… so sweet.
Don't miss…
*Patricia Shoppe
*Maxwell House
*Door County Nature Works
*Something Fishy
(a few of my own must sees)
For a wonderful lunch or breakfast…
*MacReady's…. lovely bakery with lovely owners featuring delicious baked goods, sandwiches, soups and more!

Fish Creek is open an bustling… don't miss breakfast at the White Gull, and Dinner at the Whistling Swan… just park and walk up and down the street for lovely shopping and strolling.

And Don't Forget…
Viva's Holiday Market!!!
I am totally stoked about this.
Saturday from 9 to 3, 2004 Cty ZZ two minutes from Sister Bay.

Now this is what I call really good local shopping! 
Come and join us!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Viva's Holiday Market, Sat. Nov 30th!

You know how you start out with one great idea... things happen, disappointment and a little fear set in?  Then you take a step back, start the conversation and an even better idea is born?
This is it.

A mix of our Winter Wonderland and a Vintage Market.
Step into a charming (and heated) Door County barn and you will be in for an experience.
Six of my favorite vendors will fill the barn with one of a kind handmade and vintage items for gift giving and holiday decorating.
You will be greeted with warm drinks and holiday treats to enjoy while you shop.
Twinkly lights, festive decor and holiday music will set the mood for a wonderful time.
It's a great time to be in Sister Bay.  Really.
In my next post, I will feature how to make this a day trip or a complete weekend... you know, I'm in the know, wink wink.

On a more personal note...
One day my husband and I were driving home from a quick trip to Green Bay.
I was quietly pondering the closing of my shop.  Late fall has always been my favorite time to be in the shop.  Fewer customers coming in, more "visits" from my friends dropping by and my creative juices welling up for the holiday show, excited about the trade shows and visions of a new season.  

It was a bitter sweet feeling and I was contemplating how times have changed and wondering just who and what I am these days.  My days are very different now.  There are some wonderful changes that have happened, mainly both my boys living close by and my time has been more open for social events and time spent with friends.  But there are many days where I am home trying to define myself.  Sometimes feeling a little lost.

  It was a beautiful day and I let my eyes just roll over the landscape, taking notes of the clouds and the lighting.  Something was stirring in me... eating at me.

I started this conversation with my husband,
"Remember when you could visit wonderful little towns and places, step into and out of wonderful little shops and eateries that presented delightful and inspirataional sites and smells... the kind that made you want to turn your own home and surroundings into the same feeling?  What ever happened to that?".
Don't get me wrong, there are still some wonderful places to get that experience... just not near as many, and it's not the same.

2008, that's what happened and I know it.  
But still... John mentioned to me that the experience has just shifted.  While most of us can't afford to drop a 2,000.00 on some new bedding, we can afford to eat.  So many wonderful places in Door County alone have popped up.  The food scene here is quite something, and I can walk into many delightful places that offer that experience.
Luckily Door County has two other precious commodities that keep people coming back... the arts, artists and the landscape.

That's when I realized my true desire, to create that feeling.  To my core I want to set up and present to you a feeling, an experience... to inspire you and make you feel good.
To send you on your way with new ideas and wonderful memories.
Can't do it in a shop anymore, but I can still do it.

Just when I thought I couldn't pull off an event or experience, my heart and my brain kicked in.  I could make it the best one yet.

I want you to feel like you've entered into the sweetest, most charming, feel good kind of event.  I want you to ooh and ah over all the delightful sites, items to purchase and new ideas to take home with you.

Don't forget to check back... I'll set you up for a great day trip or weekend here in the county.  
Where to eat, shop and experience the county.
There's some fun to be had.

While it's blustery and cold, I'm off to the barn... you're going to love it, and thanks for hanging in there with me.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wedding Photo Shoot... Details, the Real Wedding...Serendiptiy.

To just skip the story altogether, or get the background on the story
 you can go to
The Magnolia Rouge Wedding Blog to see our work published. Published!!!!
Keep in mind, what you will see is the styled shoot, not the real wedding, which is below.
It's awesome!
The shoot was also published on a German wedding blog (which for some reason I can't get to link)... so I'm thinking we're an international sort of group here!  Little ole Door County... with a splash of Milwaukee.

At this site you can see exactly what we were working on and the "fruits" of our labor, and after you've seen it, this story makes more sense

To continue, and onto the "real wedding"...

Time was running short.  We had to get to Fish Creek and set up the Robert Wahl homestead.
Privately owned, with all the original buildings (including the silo with the police lookout) we knew this would add that prohibition look we were after.
Because we had a real wedding, we were in a time crunch.  I was panicked about the "bar/no bar"  that I had waxed poetic about.  Luckily some of our younger friends showed up and pitched in.
Joe stopped by the house, curious... he had a pick up.
"Joe!  We're loading!"  And somehow he just went with it.  We threw prop after prop in his truck, and mine... and off we went.
 Kari, Katie and I were in overdrive.
Clock is ticking.
 When we got to Fish Creek, we were so incredibly lucky to see that Jake and Claire (Ms. Sign Maker) were there just to get a look at the shoot.
It was clear to them immediately... pitch in, unload and set up!!!
Mosquitos were loving us and you could see the bug spray floating in the air. 
Props were flying, flowers were being placed everywhere and the camera was clicking away.

Jesse and Rachael were cool as cucumbers.  Honestly, they were so gracious and patient.
Click, snap get it done.  Whoop!

 And then it happened.

Please, no.

  We had forgotten to take a couple of very important shots in the orchard, and we knew the real guests were gathering.

As we all stood there dumbfounded, someone, I don't remember who, said "Let's go!".
We scrambled back to the house Molly, Kari and Helene were awesome at quickly resetting what was needed... all just within ear shot of the real wedding guests.

Then. It. Was. Done.

When we all agreed on a real wedding after, I told Rachael... get it organized, and on the day of the shoot none of us will be involved in the setting up of the real part... we'll shoot, have fun and then just show up knowing the real wedding is ready to go.

Joe and I pulled our trucks around to the back of the barn to unload, maneuvering the cars parked all over.  
I'm telling you, what happened next was magic.  Magic.
Joe and I were lugging a big table to put in the barn... we slid the big door open and could not believe what we saw.
People, in costume... in COSTUME, I tell you, everywhere.
Pinned striped Zoot Suits, flappers... hair and makeup over the top.
Drinks flowing, candles and lights blazing, conversations buzzing and smiling happy people everywhere to celebrate Jesse and Rachael.

Rachael and Jesse suggested dressing in prohibition style, and the guests took it to heart. 
At that point, I stopped unloading and went into the house.

I found Kari and Rachael getting ready for round two.
Being so caught up in the styled shoot, I had to regroup for a real wedding.
Rachael was sitting at my kitchen island, sipping a bit of bourbon, in her real wedding dress.
Kari was whispering advice and calming words to Rachael as she finished her hair and touched up her make up.
The contrast of my own feelings of being sweaty, exhausted, covered in bug spray and wind burned, to seeing our bride sitting there was so moving.
She was getting married.

Out we went to wait for our cues... and like Mama bears watching our cubs, Helene, Katie, Kari and I watched a beautiful wedding take place.

I was taken with Molly.  How she had changed into her professional wardrobe, was clicking away like the professional that she is taking care that she gets the best pictures she can of the wedding.  As if this was her only and most important duty of the day.

And here they are...






You know, you're only getting teaser pictures of this wedding.... because it was so glorious, it's going to be published as well.

And the chickens, remember the chickens?
As the chaos of family pictures, cocktails, music and general festivities were taking place, Kari came running over to me with outstretched hands.
I'll be damned.
That chicken laid an egg.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jenn and Dave... Destination Wedding from LA to Gills Rock.

I know Jenn's Mom.
I know Jenn's Dad.
Jenn.... I've vaguely and remotely watched her mature, and rung bells with her her through her early 20's into her early 30's. 
Another story altogether.
When someone recommended me as the stylist, she questioned "Bells, Angie?!?".
I'm always nervous about the first meeting with a bride... what's the personality?  I'm easy going and adaptable, what if she's not... and the groom?  
We clicked right away.  After a bit, it was very clear to me that the groom really wanted to be as much a part of this wedding and had some wonderfully creative ideas as well.  Their vision and the setting of the wedding is one I will never forget, and one I was thrilled to be a part of.
Tucked away in the woods.  A beautiful, beautiful log home, ceremony up a long path through the woods, eventually being seated in the most remote spot in Door County, most of us will never see.
 What I did not expect was just how talented Jennefer was.  I let her "borrow" this frame.  The lettering you see is all Jenn. 
 This was a wonderful idea.... after the ceremony, the guests are waiting and milling around while pictures are being taken.  Here you would take a polaroid of yourself, tape it into the guest book and sign it with good advice for a newly wedded couple.

 This was where the ceremony took place.  The altar back drop was actually the front of an old hunting shed that they were tearing down to get ready for the wedding, when Jenn said, "hmmm...".  Perfect.
The shepherd hooks held glass orbs with candles inside hanging from ribbons and flowers adorning the center.

Here you can see the layout of dinner.
Now, the truly important part... the real deal.

I will say, as the worker bee I was caught off guard when the toasts were being made.
Jenn's sister, Amy...  I had to stop picking up used glasses and just sit back and listen.
I'm not sure if you know that when you are young, have a sister and it's Christmas Eve... "you need more makeup because Santa is coming".
Amy had me, and the guests so tickled that at one point almost every guest was bent over laughing.
As a "behind the scenes person" it's a treasure to stop in your tracks and take notice.

How lucky am I... love, romance, family, food, decor, friends and loved ones in Door Coutny?
It doesn't get better.
I will never forget this one.
Photos by Braden Moran, Kay McKinley and me.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Say Yes to the Paper Dress!

Debbie Frank, former owner of the Magic Jacket, and I were dreaming up some fun things to do a couple of years ago.  Wouldn't it be fun to make paper dresses... get a group together to make paper dresses... have a paper dress workshop.... have artists make paper dresses.... have it in the barn... this should be a fundraiser.
So you can see, it has evolved a bit!
Here are the details:
The event starts at 5:30.
Nistebox, which is a fabulous food truck that makes everything fresh and from scratch, will be set up behind my barn selling their food.  You can make dinner of it, no cooking for you!
They will donate a portion of their sales to We Are HOPE.
We Are HOPE.... Helping Others Prosper and Excel.
Please click on the link to see all the wonderful things they do for folks around Door County who just need some help getting their lives back on track.
Around 6:00 there will be a short presentation from HOPE describing what they do, and then our emcee, Dennis Lonstine will let you know just how the silent auction will work, and a bit about how this evolved.

Then, literally, we will drop the curtains and the viewing and bidding will begin!
This will be a silent auction, and every single penny we raise will go directly to HOPE.

We know that not everyone has deep pockets to bid on dresses, so we are asking for a 5.00 donation at the door.  We want everyone to be able to see the dresses, and afford to give a little something.

We've contacted some of our favorite artists from around the county, as well as just some plain, over the top creative sorts to make these dresses.

I hope you can join us... Debbie and I have had some serious fun with this... and you know my barn is going to be tricked OUT!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Viva's Vintage Market Set Up On Friday... Hot Temps, And Hotttie Me At 51.

Every year I have everyone set up their tents Friday between 4pm and 6pm.  Some can't make it, but let me know and we work out the details.
One of our new vendors (who had never even done a show before) wanted to know if he could come earlier.  I said sure, thinking I would set up my own tent and just be available to help others when they arrived.
I was the first to arrive and started unloading the tent, tables and basic props that I would store overnight.  Actually, I was really proud of myself... I set up my own tent and unloaded with no help.
Man, was it hot... and sticky.

I look up and another vendor has shown up with several friends in tow to help.  She had one of those really big tents that measures 10x20.  They were all fussing and directing, but got it up.  It was very clear I could just stay out of it.
About ten minutes later, out of the corner of my eye I saw some blinking lights, not thinking much about it.  A few minutes later an ambulance pulled up... right there.  EMT's jumped out and I went running over.  One of the ladies was laid out on a blanket... heat stroke.
After a thorough exam, it was decided she needed to go to the hospital.  

Quite a few first responders showed up, which was more than reassuring.
After she was loaded into the ambulance, I talked to one of the gentlemen responders asking him what would happen... and the weirdest thing happened.

He glanced down at my chest, back up and quickly made eye contact, saying "two hours of fluids and she'll be good as new".  
Very reassuring, but he did look at my chest, I kid you not.

What kind of first responder takes a quick "lookie look" when someone's health is in jeopardy?

Not the first person to be caught trying to check it out... although it's been a while.

In the meantime more vendors start showing up, everyone pitches in to help raise tents and the overall camaraderie ensues.  (This was the happiest and friendliest bunch of vendors)

I had been debating whether or not to unload a really large mirror that was in the back seat of my truck... someone might take it over night.

Oh, why not.  There will be more room in the morning for loading the rest of my stash.

It measures about 2 1/5 by 4 feet.  Ornate, with a gold floral frame.  Heavy.
I pull it out (alone, thank you) and start walking over to my tent.
My hands were on each of the longer sides with the mirror resting on my chest.  Walk, walk, one two three... keep going, you're almost to the tent.  That's when I noticed the mirror sticking to my chest, and "bouncing" along to the rhythm of my steps.  I gingerly set the mirror down, step back, notice that whole neck thing, then the horror struck.

Boob sweat.

  Proof not only on my shirt, but the mirror as well if you know what I mean.
From my mid section... up and over my shoulders, down my back, but only to a certain point.
I realized that every piece of "clothing" I had on from the waist up was soaked, and that paramedic couldn't help but worry.
It was then I remembered him saying to me, "now make sure you are drinking plenty of water, take care".


I was torn between crawling in a hole, laughing at it all or just letting denial be my friend, that he didn't notice at all... hence his "looking".  Oh well.

More later on the market itself and just how happy it was.
I went to bed that night pleased as punch, feeling lucky for the truly special vendors that were there, just bringing it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Viva's Vintage Market This Saturday in Baileys Harbor!!!!!!

Finally!  My favorite day of the year!
I am also having my own booth this year.  I loved everything about hosting this event at the shop except for the fact that I was always needed inside and missed most of the action outside... not this year!
The weather is looking really good... hot and steamy this week, but Saturday..... 70 degrees, which means below 70 degrees in Baileys!
Just an FYI, the market is strong and crazy busy right off the bat.  If you prefer to shop leisurely, sip, eat and visit... come later in the afternoon, say 2:00 or so.  I miss seeing and visiting with a lot of you!  In the quieter afternoon, maybe we could catch up?!
Here are some pictures of markets past, enjoy and see you Saturday!

Sideways... sigh.

Wouldn't let me correct it, but you get the idea!