Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best of the Best

Stay Tuned for The Best of The Best Coming Soon!

Lazy Hazy Days of Santa Barbara Summer

September is always the best month for beach activities in beautiful Santa Barbara. Other parts of the country are singing "Autumn Leaves" while we are getting our beach toys out! My son's birthday is at the end of September and he will always be remembered by his classmates for having the best birthday parties...they were always at one of our gorgeous beaches. A great time for bonding with back to school mates. The fun part about beach parties is that you can invite the entire class (there's plenty of room), set out the toys, make sure the kids have a buddy system, invite some of the moms to help watch them, lay out the beach blankets and umbrellas and settle down for a lazy late summer afternoon. Our coolers filled with drinks, bags of chips and goodies; and Pizza delivered. What could be better! Through the years the kids always had a fabulous afternoon and thought we were 'cool'! What a no-brainer!
The last great beach party was during our son's Senior year in high school. Christmas Unity's fundraiser held annually at the Association of Realtors featured a Beach Party & BBQ at Hope Ranch Beach for 50 of your favorite friends. Offered up for bid by one of my Real Estate Associates and her husband, I was the successful bidder and decided to use it for our son's final Birthday Beach Party the following September. What a fun event! It was the last days of September...a gorgeous day. We started setting up around 11 am and didn't leave the beach until after sundown.

Come have your own lazy day of summer. Here is a suggestion for a single, couple, group of friends or the whole family:

Saturday, September 12 is a Sandcastle Building Workshop, (free) to be held from 11 am to 1 pm, at East Beach by the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion (across from the Mar Monte Hotel). Open to all, it is a great fun day to learn tips and techniques for building sandcastles and sand sculptures. People of all ages are welcome (children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult).

Bring: a couple of buckets, few pieces of plasticware, and any other tools you think might be helpful.

Saturday, September 19 is the Santa Barbara Sand Castle Festival, located at East Beach, presented by the Citizens Planning Association. Admission to this fun filled festival is free. Entry fees to participate in the Sand Castle Contest are nominal with special rates for sancastle contest teams for kids 6th grade and under (no adult help, please) and nonprofits.

Festival time is 11 am to 6 pm

10:30 - 11:45 am Contestant Sign-in and Team Registration
12:00 - 3:00 pm Contest (Building San Creations)
3:00 - 3:45 pm Judging & People's Choice Voting
4:00 pm Surf-a-Duck Race
4:30 pm Sandcastle Awards Ceremony

Take the MTD Waterfront Shuttle to or from the festival for only 25c

Additional fun events: 60's surf and sun era music with DJ Jerry DeWitt, The KELP Surf Band will be performing classics from the surf scene's heyday; Sweet harmonic fingerstyle guitar played by Bruce Foldfish.

for more information: for information by telephone contact Naomi Kovacs at 805 (or 877) 966-3979

Enjoy the last lazy days of summer!

Monday, August 3, 2009

More Antique and Vintage Shopping

More Treasure Hunting

After lunch at the wonderful Santa Claus Lane Garden Market we were off to Carpinteria, just 5 minutes south. By the way, the beach area at Santa Claus lane is a very popular surfing spot for locals and visitors.

Carpinteria off-ramp hwy 101 South, first stop Susan Willis's shop of treasures, located at 4488 Carpinteria Ave.

Susan Willis in her shop...

oozing with charm...

both Susan and her shop!!

Located on Carpinteria Avenue, near the Carpinteria Street South 101 offramp. Susan carries vintage and new items. She is an amazing seamstress who makes beautiful handtowels, bed spreads, etc. I believe that she even does slipcovers. Her husband and son are cabinet makers whose shop is right behind hers. There is a lovely baby gift area, luxurious sleepwear, soaps, lotions, candles, dishes, glassware and lots of beach cottage items. Wednesdays is Tour Day for Realtors in Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria...and I usually manage to stop by Susan's. She recently made me some beautiful hand towels for my powder room.

On to Linden Avenue, the center of down-town Carpinteria. There are lots of fun restaurants as well as some casual eateries such as The Spot (on Linden near the beach) a very popular hamburger take-out place since the early 1950's. I actually have a charming painting of The Spot which I purchased from the LA artist as she was painting it. I purchased the other painting she had of The Hot Dog Stand, located on the Casitas Overpass. It became a housewarming gift for my buyer of a Singing Springs Condo to commemorate the hot dog lunch we had there on the day she got the keys to her condo. More on restaurants and eateries in another post.

Whimsy's main store &
Pamela's Cottage Display

Whimsy, a very appropriately named antique/vintage cooperative has two locations in Carpinteria. One on Linden Ave, almost on the corner of Carpinteria and Linden, (close to The Candy Store); and one on 7th St, a left turn off Linden. Both stores are very "whimsical"! I love them both. My personal favorite is in the Linden Street store, an area owned by Pamela. You can't miss her's loaded with beachy and cottage items. Gorgeous shell covered items; furniture, pictures, paintings, clocks... My sister and I purchased several original paintings. Sis found two small paintings of Galleon ships, beautifully framed; and I found a small painting of a pot of flowers which I will be storing to use for staging a listing. On my last visit I found two very old small (unframed) paintings which currently hang in my kitchen. Very reasonable prices. Lots of collectibles and kitch, also lots of vintage clothing. A fun shop


Magpie is owned by Bonnie. She also really knows how to stage and showcase her wares. I have found some lovely old linens and a beautiful small cake stand in her shop as well as several jewelry items. It's really fun to go to her shop during holidays as Bonnie knows how to set the scene!

Last stop in Carpinteria - Homestead Antiques, also located on Linden Street. Lots of great vintage items and an area of real antiques. I've had my eye on a gorgeous vintage table's still out of my budget, but I'm keeping an eye on it.

Now a quick stop at The Candy Store, loaded with
all kinds of candy, and more candy; much of it made right there.
Have fun shopping! We need to go home and look at our wonderful finds.
By the way, Carpinteria has several B&B's, a small hotel and a wonderful camping area on the beach.
The Carpinteria Valley is an agricultural area with hot house and field growers; horse and avocado ranches. I have sold several ranches: avocado ranches, acreage for nursery development and an exising nursery with hot houses. The area's wonderful climate is condusive to growing orchids as well. The Island View Nursery is a wonderful nursery for landscaping, home/office plants of all kinds, orchids, garden sculptures and so on. Open to the public, it is a must stop! Which we did....almost no room left in our car, but we managed to get a couple of gorgeous plants in!
My sister has helped me stage several homes I've had for sale, in which we put up a little sign, "Staging by The Sisters!" Next time we'll say, "Staging by The Shopping Sisters!"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vintage & Antique Shopping

My sister and I spent a day browsing through favorite Vintage and Antique Stores in our communities. What a fun day we had together!

We started out at the Santa Barbara Consignment Company, located at the corner of State and Guitierrez Streets. Excellent parking right in front of the the event you have found some treasures you can't live without! I was on the hunt for vintage broaches, in particular good buys on Weiss Rhinestone broaches from the 40's and 50's, which I use as focal points for my custom necklaces. I did find a couple of nice ones. Both of us collect red transfer-ware. My sister found lots of treasures and made arrangements to have the store handle some items she wants to sell. There was a stunning old formal dining table and 8 chairs which I absolutely fell in love with. It had a true Spanish/Italian look to it..gorgeous hand carving, not too ornate and gothic. It was in beautiful shape and what a buy...$1,000 for the entire set! Another lady was looking at it quite seriously. I told her that I didn't need a dining set, but that if it was still there in a week I'd have to take it home and figure out what to do with my china hutch, etc.

Then off we went towards Summerland which has become a treasure trove of real Antique Stores and some great Vintage Stores as well.

Our first stop was The French Market, right at the first turn-off in Summerland. This has always been a favorite of mine. My sister found a little lamp that she loved. This store is staged beautifully and always has a terrific variety of lovely items.

Across the street is the Summerland Antique Collective. This large facility contains numerous dealers showcasing a variety of fabulous antiques and some great vintage and collectibles. Everything is pretty high quality and certainly not in my budget. However, we both enjoyed and coveted numerous gorgeous items.

Our next stop was Summerland Antiques located in the large Dutch Barn style building along the main street of Summerland. This two story building houses some stunning garden statues and urns along with marvellous antiques which were certainly not in our budget but lovely to behold. There were some pieces like the kind we've seen in European castles.

At this point we were pretty hungry. After all shopping is hard work! We went to one of our favorite places, The Garden Market on Santa Claus Lane. This wonderful cafe and market offers terrific home made breakfast and lunch, wines, pastries, lattes, and then some. Recently purchased by my friend Tammy DeMateo, who has done a terrific job expanding the cafe interior seating area to complement the outside patio area. The food is delicious, the ambiance is charming and Tammy has added some wonderful gift items to her Market. Look for Carla's Baubles!

We had a wonderful lunch, and I indulged in a refreshing glass of Pinot Gris. Tammy has an outstanding selection of wines (for purchase as well), and she was showcasing a prominent artist's work: Howard Lamar. Very large pieces of modern art with happy colors and lines.

We did go on shopping into Carpinteria. I will save the rest of the shops for my next post, as there are still several stops to go. Yes, Sis and I are troupers when it comes to a day of shopping!