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Filtering by Tag: "the vintage laundry"

Epic Facepalm: A Celebration of Fogetting and Frustration

LeAnn Stephenson



If you are unfamiliar with the word facepalm let me explain . . . . According to the Urban Dictionary, a facepalm is the act of dropping one's face or forehead into one's hand. Usually accompanied by a 
"thunk" or a cry of "Doh!"  As in:  Today I locked my keys in my car.  Again. *facepalm*

Well, unfortunately, I'm all too familiar with this experience as you will gather from the following story:

Things have been slipping my mind for years - at least since I was twenty-eight.  I know this because the year I celebrated my twentieth-eighth birthday was the year I was pregnant with my daughter, Olivia.  I can even prove it, because after her birth was when I started forgetting the names of people and words - they would just slip away without warning.  This marked the time when I had to begin scrolling through my mental dictionary, trying to guesstimate what letter the word or name I was frantically searching for began with.  Sometimes I even tried to figure out how many syllables were involved to speed the process.  When this first began, the lost name, word, or thought would drift back into my head, recovered, kind of quickly.

But here's the thing:  it's gotten worse in the past few years.  And now if my daughter, with her talent for remembering everyone's name or my son and husband with their ability to play charades with me aren't close by, I have to fake it.  Olivia can actually gather that I'm trying to remember Tina Fey's name when I gesture with my hand in a certain way and Noah and the Hubbs can tell me the name I'm looking for is Julie Andrews when I say, "You know . . .  she's  that chick that sings on 
the mountain in that movie and makes matching clothes for that guy's kids out of the family curtains . . . . and there's nuns . . .?"

I try to comfort myself by insisting I'm too young for dementia to be setting in and that it's not so much a "Senior moment" as it's a Freshman or Sophomore moment, instead.

But here's my point:  My forgetting has taken on a new slant.  Now I can't remember if I've shared important information or not.

So, just in case I forgot to mention it . . . . . .

THE SHOP IS OPEN!

We will be closed Sundays and Mondays and open from 11PM - 7 PM Tuesday through Saturday.  The address is 3406 Glenview, Austin Tx, 78703.  You can join The Vintage Laundry on Yelp, Foursquare and check in when you visit and receive a discount on any purchase or you can join us on our Facebook fan page or follow my tweets to get updates on new merchandise, deals, invitations to exclusive events, workshops and lots more.  Also in the works is The Vintage Laundry TV on our YouTube channel that I'm really excited about!!!  More on that later.  I can't wait to share more info and photos!  So, check the blog in the next couple of days to take advantage of all of the goodies that we have planned to celebrate our new store opening!

See you soon,
LeAnn

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So's Your Mom

LeAnn Stephenson



Something funky is going on in the world of women's underwear . . . .  Well, at least in THIS woman's world.  Don't freak out, I'm not about to over-share or anything, it's just you know how they say that you should always be sure to wear clean underwear just in case you're in a car accident and have to be taken to the hospital?  Well, I have a story to tell you and it's kinda like that . . . kinda.

Until Monday night, last week was shaping up to be marvelously productive.  All day long the kids and I had been zooming around from one task to another, like protons spinning out of control (I may have the science wrong there) when all of a sudden, I had a complete and total nuclear melt down.

For the past month the whole family has been working in the shop trying to prepare for its opening by painting walls, chairs, etc., hanging chandeliers and mirrors, polishing silver, and pricing merchandise.  Monday had been particularly great because it seemed that we were at "full steam" and getting all matter of things accomplished.

And if that wasn't magnificent enough, many, many Diet Dr. Peppers were involved.

So I was working on putting a couple of metal contraptions on the back of a rather large mirror that needed hanging, when it happened.  I was sitting on the floor power-drill in hand just about to make my first pilot hole in the template that came with it when my hand slipped, making a lovely pilot hole in my left thumb, instead.  I quickly reversed the drill and removed the bit from my thumb and then debated upon which to do first . . . vomit or spout a creative stream of obscenities.  Turns out there was a third option which was to burst into inconsolable sobbing - complete with lakes of tears and snot and lots of snubbing just for effect.  To be perfectly honest, I wasn't being a complete wussy for nothing, this puncture ranks as one of my more severe injuries. I mean, when I held it up to the light I could actually see all the way through to the other side.  And there was blood - lots of blood - like in that episode of SNL where Dan Akroyd, dressed as Julia Childs, has just cut his finger and is spurting blood everywhere.  My children quickly grabbed the roll of paper towels and crafted a mighty fine bandage consisting of about twenty-seven sheets of Brawny held together by 2-inch blue painter's tape while the Hubbs located his keys so that we could dash off to the emergency room.

As we ran into the emergency room I became immediately aware that something was wrong, I mean other than my perforated thumb.  I was getting some interesting looks from everyone in the waiting room, which prompted me to turn to the Hubbs and ask, while I tilted my head back and pulled my upper lip over my front teeth, "Do I have a bugger?" or, as I looked down at my pants, "Is my fly open?"  Turns out neither was the case so, I just smiled and stared back at my audience.  The second time I was aware that something was amiss was when the handsome young male nurse led me back to the examination room.

I need to interrupt the story here to share a couple of things about my appearance.  When I dress to go to the shop and paint and sweat and move furniture and sweat and sweat some more, I don't take a lot of care in my appearance - I typically choose a pair of Nike running shorts with one of my husband's "seen-better-days" t-shirts and a tragic looking pair of pink flip  flops.  My attire says, "When I'm not in prison, I enjoy a day of looking homeless."  So, just in case I have to go out in public, each morning I grab a change of clothes from the fresh from the dryer pile that is currently residing on my sofa, clothes that I quickly changed into before heading off to the emergency room.

Okay, so I'm there with the handsome nurse asking me all the usual questions, "How current is your tetanus? . . . . yadda, yadda, yadda.  when I notice that he keeps looking at my chest or rather right below and to the side of my chest.  So, the next time he turns to write on his clipboard I take a quick look at my shirt . . . . . and there "it" is  . . . . containing enough static cling to start a small electrical fire . . . . a pair of my underwear stuck to the side of my T-shirt.

As he turns from his clipboard I ask, "Why didn't you tell me I had underwear stuck to my shirt?"

"That's just how I roll.  It's nice underwear though - my mom has the same kind." he says. 

"Oh, your mom?" is what I said, but this is what I thought:

YOUR MOM!

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Girl Friday: Hammer Time

LeAnn Stephenson


Right after my fifteenth birthday, my dad strongly suggested I get a summer job.  And by "strongly suggested" I mean every morning, while we were at the kitchen table, he'd stare at me for several moments - kinda blankly, but in a "summing-me-up" kinda way, and then shout over his right shoulder, "This kid needs a job!"  I'm not completely sure who he was talking to because it was just the two of us in the kitchen, but he had a point.  I mean I hadn't taken any steps toward my dream of becoming a millionaire or a rock star, so it was obvious that I needed a little nudge in the career department.  My Mom was a vocational director at the high school where she worked and suggested that I enroll in the vocational program at my high school.  I did and was placed at a beautiful china shop called The Brownie Shoppe.  A lady named Boots (I have no idea what her real name was, this was her nickname) was my manager and I loved her to pieces.  She taught me a lot about the world of work and tutored me in the manner in which to conduct myself while at work.  Plus, she talked me through some occasional teenage angst and like to take soft-serve yogurt breaks!

So, I tell you all of that to tell you this - this summer I'm doing my best impersonation of Boots.  And by that I mean that I have hired my children to help me get the shop ready for opening day and then requested that they continue on as sales staff for the few weeks before they are off to camp at the end of July.  I'm not sure if I have given them any valuable information to take with them on to future jobs but I have learned a little something about myself - I have quite a healthy "micro-manager" streak developing - and I'm sure if you were to ask them, they would say that it's actually a fully developed "micro-manager" streak!




So my kids have become my full-time, on-location carpenters slash painters slash electricians slash plumbers slash landscape experts.  Needless to say neither one of them had previously done a lot of this kind of work, so there has been quite a bit of on the job training.  The other day I was perched on a ladder changing out the gawd-awful  florescent lights that came with the space to something a little more attractive when I had this interaction with my kids:

ME:  Okay, lets see . . .  Oh, it looks like I need a different screwdriver than the one that I brought up here with me . . . could one of you go fetch me a Phillips?  The tool box is in the bathroom . . .

NOAH:  Right . . . I'll go get it  . . .

OLIVIA:  . . . (smiles and let's out a sigh and kinda sways from her heels to her toes as she swings her arms out in front of her and then to the back of her)

ME:  . . . . . . wait, wait and wait some more . . . .

NOAH:  I don't see it anywhere. . . . . . . What IS a Phillips?

OLIVIA:  (with a facial expression I'll never forget, like she was amused and tickled and overwhelmed all at the same time said this)  You named your screwdriver? . . . . how sweet! . . . . What's the hammer's name?

And after that I got nothin' . . . . except to say that my children and the Hubbs have worked the booties off along side me and I love them to pieces and thank them more than words can say!!

So below are a few photos of my children becoming familiar with the tools of their mother's trade and a glimpse or two into the decor choices for the shop.








Color inspiration photo courtesy Boden

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BREAKING NEWS!!!

LeAnn Stephenson


I admit it.  I flunk blogging.  I'm inconsistent and I take loooooooong breaks in between posts.

But today, I have news . . . BIG news!

If my blog were one of those 24-hour news channels like CNN or MSNBC, it would be running an endless loop of white banners at the bottom of your computer screen with phrases like VINTAGE LAUNDRESS SIGNS LEASE and LAUNDRESS TO REOPEN BRICKS AND MORTAR SHOP.  And, under the white banners would be "the crawl," - you know the endless moving line of script that reports the steps that I have taken over the last several weeks to prepare for opening day, from the paint colors that I have chosen to cover the walls of the store, to the number of friends, family and even customers that have come out of the woodwork to help get this venture up and running, to how much paint I find in my hair, under my fingernails, and on every single t-shirt and pair of shorts that I own on a daily basis.  I might even resort to using one of the most oversold phrases on the planet and slap a bright red banner that reads "BREAKING NEWS" across my blog header just for funzies. 

All of which you might think a little excessive, but I'm really excited about reopening the shop and want to share the details.  I mean, you have to admit, it's not like my BREAKING NEWS is something obvious like;  BREAKING NEWS:  NUNS DON'T CUSS or BREAKING NEWS: IT'S GOOD TO HAVE EARS.

So, back to my point (and I've buried my lead as usual);
BREAKING NEWS:  I'M REOPENING THE SHOP!

Below are a few photos of the shop before I got my hands and paint on it.  Thursday and Friday I will share "after" photos and supply the "what", "when" and "where" details of the grand opening.












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Retro Redo: Master of My Domain

LeAnn Stephenson

Okay, have it your way, I'm a procrastinator.

You know how they say that procrastination is like masturbation because in the end you're just screwing yourself?  Well, the only thing I have to say to that, is at least I'm the master of something.

Now, to be fair and maybe a little less inappropriate, I did accomplish one or two things that I'd like to share with you.  So, in today's Retro Redo, I'd like to show the "before" and "afters" of a couple of vintage armchairs that our workroom has done.

I'll begin with this mid-century club chair that I had listed on my Etsy store.  This handsome mid-century piece has great scale with great pieced button tufts on the back that emphasize its tailored silhouette. Even in its original velvet fabric it made a marvelous statement.  But the fabric my client chose to re-upholster it in simply blew my mind.  The piece finished up beautifully and though I didn't think it was possible, it is more gorgeous than before!



Another piece that proves my theory that customization in the home is like couture in the closet, is this great vintage reproduction Louis XV Bergere chair from the 1940s that I had also listed on my Etsy.  It is a beautiful example of craftsmanship with its fantastic carving on the curvy french feet and arms. This client decided to guild the arms and feet and re-upholster in a lustrous chocolate pinstriped velvet.  I think the results are spectacular and it is a simply sensational piece!







See you tomorrow with a "Christmas-y-themed" Want It Wednesday.

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If Procrastination Were Dirt, I'd Be About an Acre

LeAnn Stephenson



I have been trying for weeks to write about my plans for The Vintage Laundry, but it hasn't been easy, and for one simple reason:  Redesigning the website and implementing new services and aspects to the business has taken up so much of life lately that I have had no time to sit down in front of the computer to post blogs.

I hate that I procrastinate.  I absolutely hate this about me!  If procrastination were dirt, I'd be about an acre - or maybe 40.  If you're one of those people who is all together and perfectly prepared for all that life presents to you on a daily basis, don't even bother reading this because there will be nothing for you here.  This is for people who put things off claiming that if you can't do tasks perfectly, why do them at all, those who are bad at multi-tasking, and those who feel that their disorganized houses, and their hopeless and chronic inability to finish their "to-do-list," somehow makes them less than.

There was, however, for exactly 10 minutes in 1993 right after the birth of my first child that I, LeAnn Stephenson, was thought to be the most on-top-of-things woman on the planet.  It's true, just ask my breast pump.  In any case, I would like to NOT procrastinate.  I would!  But every time I try to get all organized, something goes wrong and makes it impossible.  I want to make sure I make this clear:  Every time I try to get all organized, something goes wrong.

I have observed people who are overwhelmed by their "to-do-lists" (and are often procrastinators) - and I've also witnessed the parallel universe of folks who are freakishly efficient (but are often overwhelmed, as well.)  I myself swing between the two universes, spending larger portions of time in the land of the overwhelmed slash procrastinating.  I have periods of time being wildly committed to finishing my "to-do-lists" and being on top of my schedule; then some little glitch or fire ignites needing my attention, and then I spend time solving the problem and putting out the fire.  Then I slowly make my way back to completing tasks in a timely manner,  then something new and urgent comes up.  So far, in the "urgent-must-put-this-fire-out" department, the past month and a half has managed the following:  I have broken four metatarsal bones in my right foot, one right after the other which leads to visits to multiple doctors to see why this is happening and an oh-so-stylish boot cast to hobble around in;  my internet provider has been malfunctioning making it usable only 2 out of every 7 days for quite some time now, making designing the website, emailing clients, posting blogs, and listing new merchandise a little tricky;  My children, Olivia and Noah, both had birthdays and celebrations that had to be planned, invites designed, and parties to be had;  extra pockets of time to be alloted for my daughter who is now driving here and there and everywhere to accumulate hours she needs to get her license;  problems with damage and shipping on some of my reworked furniture pieces, causing loss of profit and general disappointment in certain people; and now I'm entirely destroyed by the imminent arrival of Christmas and all that that implies, not to mention that I can't perform the simple act of a hair flip to remove my bangs from my eyes without becoming a candidate for traction.

So, here's what I know now that I didn't know then:

•  Take calcium EVERY DAY and make sure you have some Vitamin D with it so it will absorb properly.

•  There are no brakes on the passenger side floorboard of my car.

•  Stop doing what does not work - get rid of the things that work against you.

•  Take more pictures and spend more time with family.

•  It's okay to say, No.

•  Keep your bangs trimmed.

•  There are people will take advantage of me.

. . . and finally . . . .

•  The Earth will not stop spinning because I didn't finish my "to-do-list."

Photo courtesy Blogging Innovation

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Casa Couture

LeAnn Stephenson

It is my own personal belief that customization in the home is like couture in the closet.  For example, you could take any of these chairs I just listed on my Etsy and have our studio reupholster it in a fabric of your choice.


One of the listings is this elegant reproduction French Louis XV carved armchair.  It has an arching crest above a cartouche-shaped upholstered back joining bowed padded arms above a down and duck feather cushion with a serpentine apron, raised on graceful cabriole legs.  I was thinking that you could take this beautiful vintage reproduction French Louis XV chair and have our studio reupholster it in a fabric of your choice. There is a tag on the bottom of the chair that states that it was made by the Charlotte Chair Company in Charlotte, Michigan. The Charlotte Chair Co was founded in Charlotte, MI in 1912. The company specialized in upholstered antique reproduction seating. At some point, I believe around 1973, the company changed its name to The Charlotte Co. Inc and is still in business making wooden upholstered seating and case goods for the institutional market in Belding, MI. It was formerly in an estate in Dallas, TX.



Also listed is this pair of reproduction French slipper chairs.  They has a classic frame and sleek silhouette - Just the thing to glam-up any room - think Mad Men decor! You could take this pair of beautiful vintage slipper chairs and have our studio reupholster it in a fabric of your choice, too. There is a label on the bottom of each chair that reads Kaufmann's in Pittsburgh, PA. Kaufmann's was a department store that originated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was owned in the early 20th century by Edgar J. Kaufmann. In the the post-war years, the store became a regional chain in the eastern United States and was last owned by Federated Department Stores. At the height of its existence, it had some 59 stores in 5 states. The former flagship Kaufmann's is in downtown Pittsburgh. Formerly part of May Department Stores prior to that company's acquisition by Federated on Aug. 30, 2005, Kaufmann's operated as part of the Filene's organization in Boston, Massachusetts.



And finally, is this pair of handsome sling club chairs with attached cushions. They have sleek chrome frames in the manner of  Milo Baughman.  You could take this pair of beautiful vintage mid-century chairs and have our studio reupholster it in a fabric of your choice, as well.  There is a tag on the seat cushion of the chair that states that it was made by Landes Mfg. Co.  The Los Angeles-based company was founded in 1953 and had a constant presence in the California Design exhibition from 1961 through to 1976, and I believe is still in operation today.

I've listed them on the site here, here and here - so, make sure and go check them out!

Silver City Wide Garage Sale

LeAnn Stephenson


I don't have frost bite or Raynaud's syndrome, though my finger tips are black, which blows that theory - I always thought I would have to be suffering from some awful disease that restricted my blood flow before my fingers turned gray, then black, and then fell off.  I figured there was some kind of circulatory protocol when it came to digits and their human owners.  Surely they don't, like bananas, just get black spots, then get all squishy and have to be thrown out, do they?  Don't doctors frown upon any extremities being any other color than your own personal flavor of flesh-tone?

I'm wondering all of this because da Hubbs and I are sporting sooty fingerprints like we have just gotten booked down at the police station or something.  Actually, there is a reasonable explanation and it has to do with some really tarnished silver, a Herculean exhibition of upper arm strength, and several hours of buffing. 

After Lynn Goldfinger-Abram's Thingy Thursday profiling her collections, I was hyper-aware of anything silver as I was out thrifting on a recent Sunday afternoon with the family.  We were at my favorite thrift store when I spied a silver creamer stashed on a lower shelf.  As I bent down, I discovered that it was not one creamer but several along with a footed compote, "eleven-ty-six" silver coffee pots, and a wicker basket full of silver-plated flatware.  I shrieked to da Hubbs, "Get a basket and hurry up about it!!!"


I was absolutely unprepared for the amount of work polishing these pieces would be, which is sadly on par with my preparation for all things in general, but, they look marvelous now and I'd love to show them off.  And (insert shameless plug) if you have a yearning to own one of these beauties, I will have them listed on my Etsy site next week and will have them displayed and for sale in my booth at City Wide Garage Sale this weekend.


I hope to see you tomorrow City Wide.  I've been preparing other goodies for this weekend's (June 19th and 20th) City Wide Garage Sale at Palmer Events Center here in Austin. My booth is #221 near the red skirted info desk. There is a $7 charge to park in the garage or there is a free parking lot at One Texas Center on the Southwest corner of So. First and Barton Springs, as well.

Saturday morning between 8:30am - 10am, City Wide offers early shopper passes for $10 each.  This allows those who so choose to have early access to the show and get first dibs on vendors' merchandise before the general admission customers enter at 10am.

I hope you get a chance to come and see me, cuz I have some really marvelous goodies this show!

Girl Friday: Carmen Natschke

LeAnn Stephenson


I'm all flush and the room is kinda spin-y because the marvelous Carmen Natschke has profiled The Vintage Laundry on her blog called The Decorating Diva.  The series is called Inspired by Home Decor Store Design and can be found here.

Natschke is an award winning designer and co-founder of Room In A Kit and The Decorating Diva online magazine. She has received many accolades for her outstanding retail design and merchandising skills and her design and trend forecasting expertise is sought by many industry giants, which makes this profile of The Vintage Laundry all the more flattering. 

Carmen thanks you so much for this lovely feature and a long over due thanks for an earlier listing of my Want It Wednesdays blog posts in your Best of the Web Series.



Logo courtesy Decorating Diva

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City Wide Garage Sale This Weekend!

LeAnn Stephenson


This week I've been painting, upholstering and washing myself into a full fledged frenzy preparing for this weekend's (March 13th and 14th) City Wide Garage Sale at Palmer Events Center here in Austin. My booth is #217 near the red skirted info desk. There is a $7 charge to park in the garage or there is a free parking lot at One Texas Center on the Southwest corner of So First and Barton Springs, as well.

Saturday morning between 8:30am -10am City Wide offers early shopper passes for $10 each.  This allows those who choose to have early access to the show and get first dibs on vendors merchandise before the general admission customers enter at 10am.

I hope you get a chance to come and see me, cuz I have some really marvelous goodies this show!



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"Sex and the City" Brunch

LeAnn Stephenson



I'm back and feeling like a lighter version of me only with a higher dosage of happy pills. I give credit not to my psycho-pharmacologist, but to my recent trip to New York. The alarmingly hectic, albeit wonderful, year of 2009 left me feeling a little spaz-tastic and weary, but my new year has begun with a renewed sense of excitement and lots of plans for the coming months.

In the next several posts I will be sharing photos and experiences from our trip as well as presenting plans I have for The Vintage Laundry, the blog, and other endeavors. But first, I'd like to share this:


2009 brought many opportunities, one of the most valuable being the chance to not only meet Stan Williams, but be given the gift of his friendship. The second day of 2010 was spent with Stan and Veli at their home in the NoHo neighborhood in Manhattan. Stan whipped up a very "Sex and the City" brunch - armed with relentless joie de vivre, his favorite vintage printed tablecloth, his 1970s mushroom tray from J.C. Penney, cheese, crackers, scones, muffins, coconut macaroons, and lots of tasty Prosecco champagne. Truly a master thesis on "effortless hospitality" - A "vintage glam" time was had by all!! Stan, you are one of the most clever, wickedly talented, dearest creatures on this planet - I'm so grateful that you are in my life and I hope 2010 has even more marvelous things headed your way!!



Photos courtesy Olivia Stephenson.
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Chair Redo Beats Hair Redo

LeAnn Stephenson



Since I'm not doing so well in the personal make over department - considering the purple Barney hair and all, I decided I would make over a couple of chairs with some great Mod Green Pod fabric. The fabric I chose was from their Jubilee collection called Wee Jubilee, Raspberry. Its a small-scale modern twist on Mod Green Pod's signature jubilee motif. I love working with all of their fabrics because they are 100% organic cotton canvas grown, woven and printed in the United States using non-toxic pigments, and they are a great price at $39.75 a yard.

I just primed the frames after removing the seat cushion and then sprayed on a couple of coats of Krylon's satin spray paint in an Ivory color, to complement the background color of the fabric. A staple gun, 1 yard of fabric, and a couple of hours later, I have a pair of lovely re-worked vintage chairs!

Don't forget that The Vintage Laundry workroom can re-work any existing piece that you have, just shoot us an email and I'll be glad to send you a quote. Check out our before and after shots here.


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"Stan-palooza" the sequel

LeAnn Stephenson

I subscribe to the thought that when it comes to fun, it's always better when you're not the only one having it! So, with that, I give you more "Stan-palooza" pics.


Some of my dearest friends and customers Lauren and Lady came to meet Stan, get a signed copy of The Find and offer their steadfast support of me and my doings. You guys are the best!


Stan and another talented woman and dear friend, Kate, of Kiss My Attitude.


Stan joins the Bryan-Valdez family for a little "photo-op."


My son, Noah, and his honey, Laura, hamming it up for his sister, Olivia, our talented photographer for the evening.


Stan greets his adoring fans.


The line forms for Stan to sign his book.


Me and another favorite girly, Lyndsey.

Stan-palooza

LeAnn Stephenson


Stan with our give away winner Claire.

"Stan-palooza" was a rousing success! Books were signed. Friends were made. Stories were told. Goodies were eaten (nobody gagged, had to be hospitalized from food poisoning or retched - so I'm off the hook!) Temperatures rose to 102. Sticky hugs were given. And most importantly, fun was had by all.

Stan was as delightful as I expected him to be - more so, even! Jean was and is the best-est for offering up her magnificent store, Uptown Modern, as our location! Thank you Stan for coming to Austin and being your amazing self! Thanks, also, to those of you who attended the event last night - you rock! So, no more rambling, and on with the "paparazzi" moments of the evening. I'll probably have to post photos all week long, so, stay tuned!


Stan with Lyndsey, Olivia, Noah and Laura


Stan is "holding court" here and highlighting sections of his book for guests.


Jean, Cody and Katherine


The Hubbs, Scott and Stan


Stan and my dear friend, Andrea, trading notes about the publishing world.


Stan and his dear friend, Debi


Stan signing a book for an adoring fan - that would be me!

All photos courtesy Olivia Stephenson

And the Winner is . . . .

LeAnn Stephenson

I've heard it said that luck "happens" when opportunity knocks and you answer. Well, today's lucky winner of Stan Williams' newly released book, The Find, apparently answered the door! Congratulations Claire, you've won an autographed copy of Stan's book! Thanks to all of you who participated in our give away. I'm firmly convinced that I have the dearest, most supportive readers in the blogosphere. You are all winners in my eyes!

I used my thrifted mason jars as vases for my happy, brightly hued Gerber Daisies and big, honkin', purple Freesia - I seriously think they have pituitary issues - but they are beautiful, all the same!
So, today's the big day! Stan is bleary-eyed in Houston and on his way to Austin as I write this. And, I'm kind of beside myself with excitement and anticipation for tonight's event. My aunt, NanNan, came to help me prepare for our soiree yesterday. We baked in the morning, went to the florist and arranged the goody table centerpieces in the afternoon, and gathered all the serving pieces and prepped the fruit last night. Frankly, I've never been this on top of things for anything in my entire life! My NanNan has that effect on me - she brings out my "inner Martha Stewart," I guess!

I've been cooking - and we know how traumatic that can be for me - smoke alarms, fire trucks, mild streams of profanity, etc!

So, I'll be off to do some more prepping and squirming with excitement and I'll return with tons of photos of Stan, Jean, and our little soiree to share with you tomorrow.

My darlin' girl baby did the drawing for me. She was excited to get the chance to be my "Vanna."
Again, congratulations to Claire over at Two C's in a Pod. And thanks, everyone, for participating!

My First Give Away

LeAnn Stephenson



I have this thing in my head that I read once - something about how all of us would like a reputation for generosity and we'd all like to buy it cheap. That pretty much sums up today's post and me, for that matter. Another thought by novelist Charles Dudley Warner has me pegged as well, when he said, "I am convinced that the majority of people would be generous from selfish motives, if they had the opportunity."

So, with that "you-can't-get-somethin'-for-nothin'" attitude firmly in place, I'd like to offer my first ever GIVEAWAY! For your chance to win a signed copy of Stan's book, The Find, simply perform these two tasks:

(1) Leave a comment on this post, and
(2) click the "follow" button at the top right of my blog

One of my lucky blog followers will be selected to win the autographed book. If you already follow my blog, then you're in the running and if you're not yet a follower, join the ranks and show me some love - cuz I'm needy like that!

Once again, I'll be selecting a reader and sending them a signed copy of Stan's book, The Find. The winner will be randomly selected on July 13th and the winner's name will be posted on the blog the day of the event, Tuesday, July 14th. Thanks for reading my blog and good luck!

I'm Off . . . and I'm Leaving, too!

LeAnn Stephenson


For years , I've fooled myself into believing that I could quit collecting vintage textiles whenever I wanted. I promote the myth that I am in control. Even as my burgeoning collection of linens colonizes on the lounge, the dining table, my desk, and every inch of space in both my linen closet and coat closet, I refuse to admit I have a problem - it's for my business, I keep rationalizing. I feel a little bit like Markie Post or Meredith Baxter Birney in one of those Lifetime movies about the perils of addiction - "Unraveled: The LeAnn Stephenson Story"- in which I rob from the kids chore money fund and pawn my pancreas to get one more shopping fix.

Well, to thin my personal and professional collection of vintage textiles and other vintage goodies, every 6 months I participate in "Antiques Week" in the Round Top/Warrenton area as a dealer/merchant - wink, wink, nudge, nudge. This is the equivalent to taking a compulsive gambler to Vegas or similar to 'make your own pipe night' at the crack house. As I have said before, this event is just an "antique freak's" Mecca. There are fields and fields and dealer after dealer, offering vintage treasures and it's my own little slice of Prozac!

This Spring I will return to Vickie Davis' wonderful venue at "The Texas Rose Antique Show," located across from Marburger Farms, 2075 South State Highway 237. Your can find directions here. The show begins Saturday, March 28th and runs through April 4, 2009.

Perhaps you, some friends, my family, and maybe my accountant could come out and threaten some sort of intervention and help me accept the sobering reality that . . . I actually am a very sick woman!

Re-do-skidoo!

LeAnn Stephenson


Fin! Complete! The End!

I believe the proper upholstering term for executing this much tufting is, "Yowza!" I’m simply awash in the heady buzz that comes from finishing a re-worked vintage piece of furniture. It's likely that this is as many tufts as we’ve ever done in one piece!

I cannot be sure, but my guess is that my customer Lisa will be pleased with her custom upholstered chair. Here’s hoping! She simply purchased the vintage chair from my online store and then shipped me the needed yardage of her fabric of choice. I suggested several different lines of fabric that I carry, like Mod Green Pod and Ink and Spindle, but she had her heart set on a solid material.

!!!BRACE YOURSELVES FOR A SHAMELESS PLUG!!!


I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned my workroom on my blog. My usual "spiel" goes something like this . . . “Customization in the home is like couture in the closet. Take this. . . (insert your vintage piece of furniture of choice that is in need of re-working).” So, if this sounds like something you desperately need, you can find more information about this service on my website.

Stay tuned for more show and tell from my workroom.