Ok, so with the party over lets get to business. And to call our meeting a "business" meeting would be taking nomenclature abuse to an all new low. After countless delays and scheduling mishaps on our part we finally set up to meet with our client/friend Cookie. We had all this custom stuff that we wanted to hand deliver to her because we'd only talked on the phone and through email and wanted so badly to meet in person. We'd done some work for her in the past and we'll be doing some decorative wall painting in her home. We talked so many times leading up to this meeting just trying to set up a time that worked for everyone that ultimately we felt like we all knew each other for years before we even met. Plus, we've seen her in action on television! She's a big time event planner...puts together outrageously huge parties and micro manages every detail...from the color of the napkin rings to getting one of the New York Yankees to show up at a little boy's baseball theme birthday party. She's totally kinetic...a whirlwind of positive energy, and it was really fun to talk shop with her in her fab home. The stuff we did was for her daughter's room which has a bakery/tearoom theme and is outrageously fabulous. We did a custom wastepaper basket, a tissue box cover, a whole bunch of labels for jars and a really cute picture frame with cupcakes and recipe book clippings. In the pic you can see Cookie in mid celebration for finally getting her hands on the stuff she'd been waiting for! Her daughter Chloe's room is just pink pink pink and the only thing prettier than the room is Chloeherself. Wowie zowie, is she a gorgeous tiny littlegirl. She wasn't there that day though... her and her little brother were at Grandma's, but we were checking out her pictures...soooo pretty! And Cookie was just too awesome. I really felt like we've always been friends. We stayed for hours and checked out all the nooks and crannies of her super old and fantastically unique home. The exterior and all the interior woodwork is black ... but old black, like classic turn of the century black. I'm totally a pastel girl, but I flip for black. There's so much character and depth in it when used correctly. Anyway, The visit to Cookie's was so fun and expect to see more pics from her home in future blog posts. We're not sure in what capacity we're going to work together but we know we're going to collaborate a bunch.
So now, the third and final part: The Shopping!!
The pictures you are currently drooling over are of an amazing shop I've mentioned before but I'll continue to bring it up because it's one of those places that we're all simply blessed to have in our lives! The name is Parcel, and it just so happens to be right here in Jersey. I guess it's like 45 minutes from where we live...I didn't time it. Well, this time we didn't drive straight there from our house. Here's the funny part...we went directly from our meeting with Cookie, right over to Parcel. Cookie lives about 15 minutes from Parcel and is also a HUGE fan of the place. We were summing up our get-together with Cookie and the clock was nearing 6. We were terrified that we were gonna miss out on going to Parcel. Despite her dinner plans Cookie offered to get in her car and lead us there along the quickest route she knows. As we sped there on a series of backstreets I called Nancy, the proprietress, and like the sweetheart that she is, she told me that she'd stay open a bit later for us! Well we made it there at about 6:00, which is the actual closing time, but by time we left Aaron checked the clock and it was after 7:00. So so nice of her to stay that late. Me and Aar were in retail, we had a store that we practically lived at 7 days a week...we were the owners and the only two employees. We know how precious it can feel to finally turn that sign in the window from OPEN to CLOSED. So for Nancy to stay an hour late was a big deal and we totally appreciate the gesture!
Here's another funny part. On the day we went to Parcel we weren't the only representatives from blogland to go. Earlier, that same day, guess who was there??? A super duper dynamic duo...The one and only Hope Wallace from Paper Relics and the incomparable Andrea Singarella from One Hundred Wishes!! How crazy is that!? They are so totally not from anywhere near Jersey! The whole 'small world' thing never ceases to amaze me. They were both in our neck of the woods for the Gift Show up in NYC and decided to swing down to Jersey for a visit to, I'd confidently say, one of the best stores in the nation for the "stuff we all love"! Just take a glance at the pics...I don't think you'd argue that point. Hope and Andrea hung out at Parcel for 4 hours!! Of course, I had to know what they looked at, what they bought. I walked around the shop asking Nancy "what did Hope think of that?...did Andrea buy one of these?" Me and Aar got to shop for an hour which isn't nearly enough time but it's actually impossible to spend enough time there. Your eyes fail to take it all in. It's not a large shop but as you walk round and round you'll pick out something you didn't catch a minute ago. I guess ideally you'd like to live right around the corner so you could pop in Parcel whenever you get a creative urge. Because that's what the shop caters to. All of the little findings and papers and whatnots are all the PERFECT things you need for that thing you're working on...or hope to be working on. Well that's the way I see it...because in fact, it's way more gifty than I'm letting on. You can also totally just buy beautiful stuff there...and cards galore! But I guess my eyes were finding all the things I'd just love to use to make even more beautiful stuff. When I create I feel like I'm never quite prepared enough. I'm always missing that certain something that will just magically finish off my creation. I yearn for the day when I finally achieve mise en place. I know all of us do...we're all in search of it. But you know, it's one of those things that are better to crave than to actually have. The crave will keep you going from day to day. It'll be your silent muse. Anyway, in a perfect world, you'd like to just buy the entire contents of Parcel and lock yourself away with all your treasures for eternity. Really, the place is that good. Nancy has a million dollar eye for good stuff.
This time I got to meet Lucy, who is Nancy's too adorable for words daughter and she was just the most hilarious little thing ever. As I started to snap photos of the place Lucy had all sorts of suggestions for which particular items to capture in my lens. She also offered to pose so that the photos would have a bit of added interest. I think she might've actually used those words! She was saying some doosies! Each comment beat out the last. She was acting like a full grown shopkeep. And she loves the camera. She knows how to instantly turn on that heart melting smile. She told me she plans on being a famous chef when she grows up! We loved her!!
I took some pics of some of the items we bought that day, but I really did want to come home with so much more. Aaron got a sheet of awesome paper that's a vintage Paris map...the colors are gorgeous. He loves old Paris maps and I think he'd like to time travel so he could stalk Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce, and all those other guys from the 20's and 30's. We're totally going back soon. Not back in time...back to Parcel! If any of you readers are ever in Jersey you gotta try to make the trip. We're all urging Nancy to become a part time blogger...as if she's not busy enough already! But I told her that she can blog sporadically...that she doesn't have to let it run her life. I know anything she does will be awesome!
Ok, That's all. I once again typed waaaaay too much! We're still working on mad orders and getting the apartment organized. Oh yeah, the Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake painting has been a smashing success!! Thanks so much to all of you who picked one up. We're thrilled to have struck a cord with you and we love the idea of them hanging in homes all over the map. I hope everyone hears the message loud and clear!