1st day in Madrid

When Greg and I want to go somewhere where we can really escape and relax, without doubt, Spain is the place for us. Always great friends, food and weather, Spain never disappoints us. To escape the many things of New York, especially the weather, we bought the tickets with the idea in mind to also celebrate my birthday there. My very good friend Miguel welcomed us in his flat in Madrid located in the city center.

The spring landed in Madrid much earlier than in NYC and we felt it in the air, trees, people and of course you could see it in our faces. People in the street talking and smiling at you…I had an ambiguous feeling while I was walking in street. It made me feel so strange and weird to be in Madrid as a tourist. For a moment I felt angry and jealous that I was not living in Spain anymore. The feeling went away when I let myself enjoy and embrace what I have now, the moments with Greg while there. I felt rejuvenated, relaxed and going with the wonderful breeze that took us in the coolest corners of Madrid.

So the first day we arrived in Madrid, we were alone. My best friend Graciela was away so we started walking toward Principe de Vergara towards Puerta de Alcala and stopped to this beautiful dessert store where we bought this delicious, and indescribable peace of art that melted as soon as it landed in our mouths.

madrid
madrid1
madrid2
madrid3

I am always touched and my heart beats irregularly when I start to talk in Spanish. I said to the girl behind the counter that I lived in Spain for so many years and I just love this city. She smiled and handed me another dessert, my favorite one during la Semana Santa (Easter) called, Torrijas.

madrid4

And then of course we headed to La Latina where we had our first stop and first Salmorejo in La Perejila. La Perejila is this coolest place in Cava Baja area of La Latina. It is very small place and it always full. They serve food until 1 am in the morning. Each time we go to Madrid our first stop is there.

For those that do not know what Salmorejo is, you don’t know what you are missing. Salmorejo is a very thick tomato, garlic and bread soup, garnished with Jamon Iberico and eggs. It is usually shared among friends but this time Greg and I decided to get two, one for each of us.

We stuffed ourselves with Salmorejo, pan con tomate with olive oil, Jamon  and Croquetas de Jamon. We washed it down with Vino tinto, Sangria and  licor de Jerez.

la latina madrid
la latina madrid
la latina madrid
la latina madrid
la latina madrid

We finished dinner the Spanish way with Tinto de Verano (it is simpler than sangria, normally made up of 1 part of red wine and 1 part gaseosa. Gaseosa is a general term for sodas and carbonated drinks, but the preferred mixer is a mild-flavored, low-sugar, carbonated lemonade, of which La Casera is the best known brand).

As all this was not enough we headed to El Mercado de San Miguel where we had our Vermouth and un chupito de Yogourt con fresa y mango.

el mercado de san miguel madrid
el mercado de san miguel madrid
el mercado de san miguel madrid

Barcelona was the next place we headed to immediately the next day. So stay tuned for some cool places in Barcelona, which I do hope will be the next city we plan to live in. Ole….

 

Abrazos

 

E.

Suite Pieces welcomes Ooh La La Candles

Candles

The first time I heard about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was from Greg. He was following many blogs that wrote about the paint, how easy it was to use it especially on old vintage furniture and how beautiful and clean the end product would come out. From old and beat up furniture to new shabby chic. It is amazing what this paint can do. Greg and I follow Annie Sloan and Miss Mustard Seeds blogs and learned a lot from Annie and Marianne about how to use the paint and what kind of brush and wax can be applied to give a certain look. We are just fascinated and are now creating our own style based on the look we want our furniture to have.

Initially we got the paint from England but then we found a store in NJ that started to carry Annie Sloan products. We were super excited that could buy it easily in the states and were able to avoid the extra shipping costs.

I try to connect with like-minded people on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) and so I contacted Annie Sloan asking her where I could find her paint in NYC. I was so happy to find out that I was able to find her paint in Greenpoint in a cute little store called Suite Pieces. Corina and Amanda, the owners of the store are so sweet and always happy to give you tips on how to use not only the Annie’s chalk paint but also on how to use other products to enhance your furniture. At Suite Pieces, Corina and Amanda carry a variety of products ready to be applied on any furniture, frames, and jars.

When I first met Corina, I went to buy Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint. We were talking to her about the store and how happy we were to find Suite Pieces so that we do not need to take the train to go to NJ just to get the paint.

suitepieces

She curiously asked what I was going to do with the paint and I told her that I needed my paint to for my mason jars candles. I gave her my card and she really loved my candles and she wanted to sell them in her store.

Another great thing about Suite Pieces is that Corina and Amanda offer classes on how to use the paint. I totally recommend to all of you who would love to get into a new hobby to take one of her classes. You would love the fact how productive you will feel when you see that you just gave life to an old and shabby furniture. Check out her classes schedule and the price list here.

Here are so of the pictures Greg and I took. 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors

Miss Mustard Seeds Paint

Miss Mustard Seeds Paint

oohlalapetiteboutique
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Brushes

Brushes

See you soon Corina and Amanda.

Xoxoxox

E.

Brooklyn Bazaar

Our booth at Brooklyn Bazaar

Our booth at Brooklyn Bazaar

Hey There,

Greg and I wanted to share with you our experience from the BK Bazaar, which I must say that it  was wonderful and of course exhausting. We would not have had been able to make it happen without the enormous help of our friend Toon who drove with us to Brooklyn with a car full of trunks, crates candles and other props. I felt I was driving to Morocco and instead of Brooklyn. 

For those that are not aware of the BK Bazaar, it is located in Greenpoint at 165 Banker St, and it is open Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm-1am. This is what the place looks like on the outside...

_1090922.jpg
_1090917.jpg
BkBazaar
BK Bazaar

The first day I was so anxious as I did not know what to expect. I hoped that people would like my booth the way it was designed, as well as my candles. With full confidence I must say that our booth was one of the best decorated booths there, people would approach it and say out loud that they never ever had seen such a thing before. The coordinator of the BK bazaar came to us and congratulated us, confirming once again, how cool our booth was.

Here are some of the photos

Me at the booth

Me at the booth

Many of our friends came to support us and I really thank them and appreciate the time they took to come and see us. A big thanks to all of them.

Toon printed our Ooh La La sign from his Uptown Fine Art printing studio. He did a stunning job.

People were impressed with our vintage teacup and trinkets. We used our vintage suitcases to display them and I also used some of the vintage gloves and hats of Aunt Agnes. We used lot of vintage props, old perfumes of Aunt Agnes, her gloves, a vintage makeup bag that Greg bought for me. This part of the booth truly represented the old and the vintage.

Vintage teacup candle
vintage teacup candle

On the other part of the table we had vintage mason jars or balls. They were placed at the crates our cousin Marie gave us, during our trip to Pennsylvania. Here we also used as a props some of Greg old cameras, a vintage lantern that we bought in Albania and some old spoons. Some of the mason jars I painted and some I left them as they were, with their original color. People loved them, loved the display and also the smell of the candles too.

Unique vintage mason jars and crocks candles

Unique vintage mason jars and crocks candles

Vintage mason jar candles
_1090941.jpg

We also brought some painted mason jars. People were surprised when I was telling them that I paint them and distress them by hand, one by one so no two come out to be the same. I remember one young guy came to me and said: I am so gay for candles. His girlfriend was laughing next to him. He bought one of the mason jars. The mason jars were placed on the top of the vintage toolbox and old army suitcase we bought from Greg’s friend Adam who owned a vintage store in Rhode Island. On top of the toolbox we also placed our water pitcher and bowl that was filled with lavender we bought it in Pennsylvania.

_1090892.jpg
Hand Painted mason jars candles
Hand painted mason jar candles

The Polaroid Transfers from Expired Film Studios added to the whole theme. The Polaroids are hand transferred to all different types of cool paper. Everything from watercolor paper to rice paper. Most of the images were from Paris. Here are some of his photos.

_1090931.jpg
expired film studios

As you can see we used lots of props to decorate our booth, and the outcome was just great. People were coming in our booth taking lots of pictures and buying our candles.

Some of the vintage candles and trinkets are marked as sold out on my site. I sold them at the bazaar. Soon I will upload new ones, so stay in touch. Here is a sneak peak at two of them.

The Perfect Sunday in NYC

A few weeks ago Greg and I went to see the AIPAD Photography show held at Park Avenue Armory located at 643 Park Avenue, New York. It was held from April 10th to the 13th. We loved the show. It included contemporary, modern and nineteenth-century photographs, as well as photo-based art, video, and new media. Greg was more interested in 19th century photography, especially tintype photos, which are created by placing the emulsion on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer. Tintypes were used mostly during the 1860’s and 1870’s.

While me I liked the style of Paulette Tavormina (http://www.paulettetavormina.com) Her photos are amazing and this is how I would love to take pictures of my candles. That’s my style. Greg does not always agree with my photos taken using this particular style, as the pictures are very dark. He suggests something lighter and more open.

After the show we headed to the flea market on Columbus Ave and 77th Street. On the way to the market, I took some shots of beautiful tulips, which always remind me Amsterdam and Madrid. You can buy the tulips bulb at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. I bought black ones once, and planted in my garden in Madrid. They were just so beautiful. They remind me of very much of Madrid. El Paseo de la Castellana is full of tulips with many different colors during Spring.

Beautiful tulips remind me of Amsterdam and Madrid

Beautiful tulips remind me of Amsterdam and Madrid

I love flea markets in NYC. There are not many but when I have some time, a chance to go and some money I really want to go there and try to find some teacups. I am also on the lookout for other vintage things that I will use either for my photo shoot or clothing to wear.

While searching for my teacups I could not resist taking some pictures of the market. Are you ready to go through them?

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

This bread reminded us our baguettes we had in Paris, we finished them before we got home. When we were there we saw everybody in the streets with two baguettes under their arm; one to eat on the way home and one for everyone else.

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

I just love the vivid colors of this photo.

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

I am not a big fan of the pickles but there was something  about these barrels. Love it.

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

....and of course, I can't miss taking pictures of the scarfs. There were some beautiful scarfs, different colors and designs in the market.

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

How cute these two dogs in the bag... I see them everywhere now in NYC.

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

It really struck me the way these dolls looked. I took a picture as these were not the typical ones you see in the stores...unique.

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

The eyes of this man really show that the day is almost ending. Tired as he was, he smiled at me while I took a picture of him. 

Flea Market in NYC

Flea Market in NYC

How is your perfect Sunday? If you have not had one in awhile what you would consider a Perfect Sunday? 

I'll be sharing more photos on Facebook and Instagram, so stop by and say Hi if you have not done it already!

A touch of spring with Jelly Jars

Candles in Hand painted Jelly Jars

Candles in Hand painted Jelly Jars

Here we come, with a brand new finished and ready to ship product,  just in time for Spring!

I have been working on these guys for a while now, choosing the right color, mixing them together and adding the right fragrance that will represent Spring. Greg made the popsicle stick wick holders, that really helped me with keeping the wicks straight while pouring the wax. Here are a few creative and beautiful snapshots of our work in progress.

Hand-painted Jelly Jars candles perfect for your wedding favors

Hand-painted Jelly Jars candles perfect for your wedding favors

Hand-painted Jelly Jars candles perfect for your wedding decorations

Hand-painted Jelly Jars candles perfect for your wedding decorations

I love the pattern of the jars when painted with chalk paint and waxed in either the dark or clear wax. It brings a wonderful depth and texture to the jar.  The tops are the same size as a regular mason jar, but these are more compact and just so cute.

Candles in Jelly Jar

After spending time making my own wedding favors, I thought they would be perfect for decorations at a bridal shower, a wedding or as wedding favors. The advantage of these Jelly Jars is that they do not take up too much space on a wedding table and can compliment the other wedding decorations without overwhelming it. 

Beautifully painted Jelly Jars candles come in different fragrances

Beautifully painted Jelly Jars candles come in different fragrances

Hand-painted Jelly Jars Candles

Hand-painted Jelly Jars Candles

During this past weekend, we also worked on the tags we would use for our candles. I would love to share them with you on how we made them, but this will be for another day. Here is a little preview of some of the tags.

Our Candles

Our Candles

Tags for the candles
Handmade tags

Handmade tags

The tags come in different colors and design

The tags come in different colors and design

Sometimes people think that taking product photos is just pointing the camera and shooting pictures of the candles. The process is actually much more difficult then that. It takes lots effort and planning. We wait for the right light to come through our windows, we like to use natural light versus an artificial light, and we spend many hours trying different set ups. Once the pictures taken I spend some time with organizing them to make sure I got the right ones for my site. I use a Panasonic GX7 camera with a 25mm 1.4 Leica lens. Recently, Greg bought a close up lens adapter that allows me to capture detail that would only be possible with a more expensive macro lens. It works wonderfully, especially to capture the details of my teacups.

We are offering a contest for the month of April ....we want to get more colors of Annie Sloan chalk paint....Pick out one of the colors below and tell us why that color reminds you of Spring. The best comment will get a free Jelly Jar candle in the new color.  Contest ends April 30th.

All of the Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan available colors

All of the Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan available colors