Photos

Well, I finally managed to drag myself from the little den I had made while I was sick this week to find new photos from SF RAW! I hope some more emerge on the inter webs soon because these have been lots of fun! For a full set of the night, please go to the SF RAW facebook photo album. There were some stunning artists that night.

Click my cheesy face to see the rest of the wonderful photos courtesy of Space Cat Photography!

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Finally!

Wow! Where to begin? Life has been so crazy these last few months. I will condense.

1) I launched my Etsy shop! You can check it out here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RoseLaMer?ref=si_shop. I was not prepared for how long it would take to set up all of my listings, but it sure is worth it. Three glasses of wine, and several hours later it was ready for business. I have sold two pieces so far, and am hoping to get more sold. You all have somewhere fancy to go! Go buy something.

2) I just was a featured artist at the San Francisco RAW event this last week! RAW is a nationwide collective that finds up-and-coming local artists and throws a huge expo to let the chosen artists show their work. I was chosen as one of two fashion installations along with my girlfriend Stephanie and her lingerie line Honey Cooler Handmade. It was a blast! What a wonderful experience to have for my first show ever. There were fashion

Stephanie, from Honey Cooler Handmade, and Kelsey at the SF RAW showcase. Can you tell we're terrified?

photographers, painters, and musicians all showing off their talents in one huge room at 1015 Folsom. I sold one headpiece and four little rose clips, and have generated some wonderful contacts with a few other artists. And now that I have participated in the show, I will have a profile on their website for good. I am so honored! Thanks, RAW! *photos to come soon!*

3) My pieces have been photographed by two wonderful photographers: Barbara Lamont, and Cherise Josephine Photography. Each session produced some gorgeous shots of my pieces and made it all look so good! I am so thankful to these ladies for all of their generous help in creating some great publicity photos for me and my shop.

4) My studio space has been transformed into a much more workable space! Darling Boyfriend got me a second work table, and we set it up with the first one into a large ‘L’. I finally can spread out, cut large swaths of fabric, and store things neatly (mostly). Boyfriend, being an artist himself, grumbled and moaned that the space was turning into “KELSEY’S” workspace. But after everything was clean and organized, he saw how useful the room had become and gave up complaining.

Photo from Cherise's photo session. So gorgeous! This piece sold at the RAW show!

5) I have two brides booked! My darling friend, Susie, and a sweet friend of my Rosemary’s, Gaby. Each lady is totally unique and lovely! I am so excited to help them create a special and meaningful look for their happy day! Yay!

Hm. Looking at my list here, it doesn’t look as much as I had thought I had done. I feel I’m missing something? Ah well, what can I say? A first time for two big things can feel like a bigger experience. And now that the show is done, I am feeling post-show-blues. I’ve got to create a new goal to aim for! I look around at the kitty attacking spiders on the windowsill and the puppy sleeping on her favorite workroom blanket, and it seems so tempting to crawl down and curl up with them. But, upwards and onwards! No one ever succeeded by laying on the floor with a puppy and kitty.

Edit: Got my first photo from RAW! Thanks, Kristina, for being an awesome “cigarette” girl!

Ending Summer

A dear friend of mine complained to me last week that I had not written a blog post in over a month so I am now writing. Happy, Rosemary? I know! I know…I’ve been pretty busy. And not just with a crazy-packed life, but with fun hair thingies! Where to begin? I shall do my best to write a coherent and mildly entertaining piece of blog, but I am listening to one neighbor whistle incessantly at his new bird  and the other neighbors yell at their new dog. And possibly each other. Lots of profanities and slurred language. Your guess is as good as mine at this point.

Last time I wrote, Sara had just had her beautiful wedding. Since then, I have moved on to helping out another gorgeous lady with her wedding hair shenanigans. My darling friend Jenn is preparing for a crafty-fun wedding up in Tahoe to end summer. Or begin it. I’m not quite sure with all this fog and cold we’ve had for the last couple of months.

Anyway, she enlisted me to doll her up. So, on a fine afternoon she stopped by my house and we fooled around with antique brooches, lace, and feathers and came up with a design. She has created a simple look for herself (knee-length, strapless Betsy Johnson cocktail dress with shimmery heels) so we decided the headpiece should go along with the dressed-down idea.

I used tulle with little triangles on it to create a caplet, surrounded this with deep purple feathers, and pulled it all back with a neat retro brooch. The tulle is a soft cream, matching her dress, and with the triangles and rumpling we were able to give a slight 30s or 40s look. Jenn has beautiful luscious curls so the veiling sits perfectly in the cradle of hair at the back of her head.

Next up is my new pillbox hat. For those of you who follow me, you have heard about my pillbox and my excitement for it, I’m sure, is overwhelming. I decided to make it completely from scratch. Base included. As a milliner you have options for starting hats: to use a pre-made buckram frame or build your own frame. I have never built my own. Until this month. I grew bold and adventures after a quick jaunt to the Alameda antique fair where I bought a few yards of millinery raffia. I knew I had to start small, and what else then to build a pillbox hat?

It took me a few days (not including the days it took me to figure out what the heck to put on the hat once I was done) but I was able to stitch it all together. Voila! Vintage dress clip, 1930s netting with cute little birds (eeeepp! I couldn’t wait to use this netting!), and Seabright feathers. I think it turned out nicely for a first hat-making-from-scraps experience.

I also put together a quick number one evening in anticipation for a photoshoot I had with Jessie over at Crops & Bobbers. She’s been trying to build up a portfolio for herself, and I offered to let her doll me up. She did my hair and my make-up, and made me look like a right little pin-up.

Trust me when I say this girl can really swing when it comes to beauty. I do pin-up hair and looks for myself often but mine look like feeble attempts next to hers. Anyway, we’ve decided to try to do these photoshoots to help each other out. I provide the frills and feathers, and she the beauty care and camera. We both get great photos for the things we do. I

had a blast hanging out with her all evening. She played great music, gossiped with me, pampered me, and never once made me feel silly for posing in front of her camera. I kept telling her, “I’ve never done this before! Tell me what to do!” And she kept saying, “you’re doing great! Just keep doing what you’re doing!” And I did. And she got some great shots out of me. Who knew?

The plan is to finish a couple of more pieces for her so that I can get some girlfriends into her shop for some dress-up fun. So far I have two complete pieces for her window and a third one in process right now. Jessie loves vintage hats, and she asked me to make some more hat type pieces for her. I’ve been digging into all my fashion books, 1930s-50s DVDs, and old records for inspiration. If you ever see anything that would be fabulous to remake, let me know! Its always great to get other people’s input on the creative process.

The photoshoot piece. 1940s clip, peacock feathers, velvet leaves, vintage lilac netting.

Along with building new pieces I have also been deconstructing. I’ve bought a bunch of vintage hats that are in poor condition and am taking them apart. I will then revamp said hats into new and wonderous treasures! Its been fun! I’ve been ripping apart seams, cleaning netting, saving scraps, and reusing patterns. Thats been my month so far. Aside from the hollering neighbors and lack of sun (where did the sun go?!) and Peppermint Pinwheels buying me a stack of vintage hats in Virgina (I really need to drive across the country and go shopping on the East Coast) I have been up to here in lace and trims. Ah well. Such is life! Until next time…

Awesome hat picture of the post. (I won't say day because I'm boring and don't post often.)

Kate Will Hate Your Estate Sale Sign

Today is all about gushing…and one complaint. But, mostly gushing! About pretty things, and pretty people, and all the good things that go on in this tiny world called the East Bay. First and foremost, I have to gush about my several tidbits of news.

1) Rose La Mer will be partnering with Crops and Bobbers salon in Crockett! Jessie, who runs this sweet little place, has graciously invited me to feature several pieces in her windows. She makes fabulous mannequin heads with beautiful wigs and neat painting styles on the faces. And, to top it all of, she is a kindred vintage spirit! Yay, pinups! I am very excited for this opportunity and will be churning out six new pieces for her.

2) Rose La Mer has gotten the nerve to sign-up for facebook. Check it out, and like it here: https://www.facebook.com/RoseLaMer 

3) My darling Sara and her new husband, John, celebrated their wedding weekend before last in Trinidad, California. They stood in the misty redwoods, spoke beautiful vows to each other, and made me cry terribly. It was a beautiful wedding, and I felt immense pride and honor to be involved in the affair. Thanks to a friend who takes lovely photos, I have gotten some sneak peek pictures of the headpiece I made for Sara. Check it out!

And now on to gushing about things that have nothing to do with me. The Royals. I know, I know. Everyone loves them right now. But…I do, too! And I only just discovered that the other day. Let me explain. When I was a child, everyone loved Diana. I get it. But I didn’t love her. Maybe it was the poofy blonde hair, wide and very blue eyed stare, and cheesy 90s chic. Or maybe it was that she just kind of creeped me out a little. Whatever it was, I was not diggin’ the Di. And so I stopped paying attention. Until this year when everyone started wedding-ing it up. I was flipping through Maclean’s, the Canadian version of Newsweek, and came across a huge spread following Kate and Will. And then it struck me. Kate Middleton…is gorgeous! And stylish and charming! I have been won over. I am now a Royal watcher.

But only a watcher in the style sense. Sure, I’ll peek at her humanitarian exploits when they happen. Or sneak gossip magazines if she’s on the cover, and giggle at drama the media creates. But my main concern right now is her fashion. And, of course, her hats.

I love this woman’s hats. She’s not doing the normal Royal family thing and sticking poles of fabric or baskets of fruit ontop of her head. She is following classy fashion trends from decades past and keeping her look simple and chic. Much more chic than 90s fashion. Sorry, Di. You just weren’t for me. But, if I play my cards right, I could be entering a trend. We shall see. Keep her in mind, fellow style people. (By the way…couldn’t get Sara out of the Kate gallery. Sorry, folks!)

Alas, no matter how much I may daydream about Kate Middleton’s cute upturned nose and sleek hats, I will forever be tormented by awful garage and estate sale signs. Boyfriend and I, per usual, drove around this weekend in search of garage sales only to find old signs, poorly written signs, and NO sales. Signs with no dates, signs with words you couldn’t read, signs bent over the pole because they were taped badly, signs written by 3 year olds, signs pointing you in a direction only to be amiss in follow-up signs. We drove around for 2 hours looking, being pointed in the wrong direction, being pointed in no direction, and finding nothing. All I could think of while we got more upset (Boyfriend likes to yell at imaginary people and shake his fist) was “if you knew the Royal couple would be visiting your town, how would you do your sign different?” Big bold letters, cardboard, a date, a time, an address, an arrow, follow-up signs, and NO cutsie 3 year old drawings. And so my parting words for this evening are: Kate hates your signs. If you’re having a sale, make signs like she and “Big Willy” were coming to you this weekend.

Summer Crazies!

Well, Rose La Mer has been busy busy busy! Summer has finally kicked in with such a force I almost caught myself wishing for cooler days. But, I’ve wanted this warmth for so long I might as well get used to it…

Along with getting used to this weather I am trying to get used to networking. I’ve lurked on blogs, subscribed to blogs, commented on blogs, added myself to circles on Etsy, been added to circles on Etsy, messaged wonderful artists, and totally neglected my own showcase. I am not good at doing the blog thing. I’m hoping the more time I spend finding people, the more I will be found! Such as the wonderful stumble I had when I fell into the blog of Jen who runs Green Earth Goodies. She has wonderfully charming posts about her life, and her continual crafty struggles. I plugged away, looked at her work, and voila! Her style reflects a style similar to my vision of Rose La Mer. We corresponded and she made me some custom tags for my goodies! I also happened upon a business that wove me custom labels to stitch onto the back of my pieces. But you should totally check out Jen’s work. She has beautiful stuff!

Among the flurry of administrative organization (who knew all the little paper things you need!) I have been slowly…slo…wly…getting together headpieces. A few weeks ago, Boyfriend and his family and I bundled into a car and drove six hours to Ashland, Oregon for the delightful Shakespeare festivale (yes, I’m snotty and use ‘e’…hey! Ren Faire does it!). For the occasion, I decided to make a glamourous headpiece to advertise.

The older ladies got their knickers in a twist, and were very interested in the business. I handed out a few cards, but we’ll see. People never do what they say they’re going to do. Anyway, the piece is Victorian applique with vintage ostrich feathers and curved peacock feathers. It was lots of fun to make and wear, too! And now it’s for sale. Along with five other pieces I’ve been working on. I thought by the time summer rolled around I would have more time to make more pieces. But, as you probably can relate, it has been a hectic mess over here. Fortunately, I have a wonderful group of women in my life who are offering their services to help me with a photoshoot at the end of summer. Couple of months of my plugging away, and I should be up and running full heartedly with an Etsy. I am getting together a Facebook page today. Nothing fancy yet, but just a name and info and hopefully the brides I’ve worked with can add their favorite pictures. As of now, I will continue with a few custom orders.

Last week I finished my custom bridal order for lovely, charming Sara. She adored the owl brooch with pheasant feather cap (look back to “Little Turtle That Could” for the beginning stage photo) and is almost ready for her wedding in two weeks! Can’t wait for photos! It should be a very special day, and I am so honored to have been apart of her process. There is nothing like bringing to life an idea someone has had. Helping create a special memory and treasure is so meaningful. I can’t wait to meet more wonderful people this way. I now have business cards, so those of you who have items from me should grab some up and pass them out! Lets get this ball rolling!

As ever, the little ones help with the work load…

Mucha the cat likes lace...

...Iggy the dog likes sleeping under my feet...

..and Boyfriend and I continue to lose our minds go shopping for antiques.

We got some sweet pin-ups for my pin-up bathroom downstairs.

And I got two 1950s hats for ten bucks! What a score!

My goal for next time I post: more stuff! more stuff! more stuff! As ever…I go to the thread and needle. Stay cool in this roasting heat, and don’t forget to use that rusty Weber in the evenings. There’s nothing like bbq veggies and chicken wings in the balmy summer evening.

Antiquing

Despite the Crockett weather making a turn for the better these last couple of days, I have found myself delving into a funk. Whether it be the lack of social-ness on my behalf, the terror of weeds taking over my garden, or the itch of summeritice setting in (or maybe the torment over judgment day) my normal mental state has been one of continual struggle between the dark and the light. I swear, if I were not a lady living on the banks of the Carquinez Straits, I would think myself Luke Skywalker. But! It is not so. Boyfriend, sensing the imbalance of my Jedi self, took it upon himself to turn things around. So, after a day of working and a night of drinking beers he told me, whether I liked it or not, that he was taking me antiquing. Well, how could I not!

Boyfriend piled me into his little red bean Ford Focus and drove me off to the most wonderful antique mall. On the way to Fairfield on highway 80, not 2o minutes from Crockett, there is a little tiny town called Cordelia. And in this tiny little town is an antique mall called Cordelia Junction. This mall is built completely out of old train cars! Each dealer, or two, gets a whole car to set up their stuff. And since its kind of an out of the way place, the prices are pretty reasonable. We spent hours digging through hundreds of dealers’ stuff. And we found some pretty neat-o things!

Boyfriend found some wonderful ceramic cockatoos from the 1940s, and I found a dorky glass owl piggy bank. I named him Bubo.

Apparently we like birds. Boyfriend wanted a clock, I found this in a corner, it was cheap, it was cheesy. We bought it.

After our long day of digging we drove back towards home, bought some ribs and whiskey, and called our friends to come over and barbeque. We celebrated our survival of the 21st, and our love of life.

The next day, not having had our fill, we jumped back into the car and went garage sale-ing with my parents. Again, we cached in on some very cool things including a vintage cocktail picnic kit and a puppy-dog beanie. I have never mixed a cocktail while picnic-ing, so I am making a New Year’s resolution with the purchase of our new kit: make cocktails while picnic-ing. It sounds very decadent and ultra hip, and makes me feel like I need to wear bright red pumps and a pencil skirt while hiking through the grass.

Picnic mojito, anyone?

Feeling fully rejuvenated by this experience, I got home and immediately started beading away on a new headpiece. I set up my little beading station in front of the TV, playing Law&Order, and got to work. I am currently still working on said new beading project. I have all my pearls set out, my thread and scissors, pliers, and my own little felted plum pincushion made by my darling friend Patty at Papaver Vert. If you do not know what felting is, or have never seen Patty’s work, you should. You will love it.

Beading kit!

So now I feel back on track after a weekend full of living primarily in someone else’s past. And my house is that much more cluttered. I have also ordered some business cards (look out folks!) and had my laundry peed on by my cat. Back to reality…

Rose La Mer Goes to the Symphony

So, as the days chug on, I do too. I’ve been churning out pieces while juggling a hectic work and social schedule. Which, included an event that I normally do not find myself frequenting. The symphony. 

Boyfriend was given two complementary tickets from Grandma Velma who, dully note, is a valued friend of the SF Symphony. She wanted us to attend in her honor and so we obliged. Now, mind you, I have not been gliding off to San Francisco for a musical performance of this caliber since I was fifteen. And only then was it for school when they piled 200 kids on a big yellow bus so we could experience culture. We needed refinement as hormonal teenagers, apparently. Needless to say, I loved going. All the discussions with the conductors and musicians, and the big staircases and windows, and the beautiful City Hall across the street. As I recalled all of this I began to get very excited. I also began to think about what it was I should wear. Obviously.

And then it hit me. A fabulous headpiece. I’ve been making feathery things, so I might as well wear one, right?

So I did. And holy cow what a stir it caused! Boyfriend wanted to take BART so that we didn’t have to deal with awful parking in the city. As we walked down the street to the entrance, we were stopped by a man driving his car so he could tell us how fabulous we looked. (I should probably mention here that Boyfriend is a snazzy dresser. He wore a dark grey pinstripe suit, teal shirt and a fifties wide tie of teal and salmon, and he gave himself a nice slicked pompadour.) We were chased down Market street once we got to the city by the BART flower vendor so he could give me a rose. And once we got to the symphony people were asking about the headpiece all night; “where did you get it?” “how can I get something like that?” “you must have come from the wedding.”

Boyfriend gets carried away with his “artistic” photographing abilities. But you can see how large the darn thing is.

Boyfriend is a great shmoozer and was able to gush about me to the sweet old ladies asking about my “hat”. He would ramble on about my business, and my bridal clientele. I could then tell them about my handcrafting without feeling weird and awkward. 

It was nice feeling like a princess for an evening. I don’t much go for fervent admiring attention, but this feather bauble on top of my head definitely put me in that arena. Maybe I should go in for the Royals? I could totally makeover Princess Beatrice but I don’t think I could contend with that kind of publicity. That girl turned heads. Ah well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Prince Harry’s wedding.

My cute fifties celluloid purse with the rose I got!