Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Remnants of the Past

I love using old scrolled fencing in the yard or home.  I have a white but very rusty section of fence in my bathroom (stand fashioned by my husband) to give some "privacy" to the commode.  This section of fence with a bucket of dried sunflower heads, greeted us as we entered the antique fair.

Well, I am off and running again, or should I say flying ...... flying the "friendly skies of United".  We'll see how friendly I'll be after this arduous flight.  My husband and I are flying to San Francisco.  To get there we have to fly from Maui to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Las Vegas to San Francisco.  The bonus, a $600 savings in our combined ticket price.  Go figure.  But, I am excited all the same, to be going to California to visit my family and a few old friends.  This was a thoughtfully planned out vacation time as we want to attend Remnants of the Past Vintage Show.  This and staying a few days in a quaint California seaside town (this year, Mendocino) has become our autumn ritual.  Remnants of the Past, creator and organizer Judy Watson, has moved her show from a sweet little farm in Nipomo to The Madonna Inn just off of Hwy 101 as you head north towards San Luis Obispo.  I imagine I will miss the country rustic charm of the Nipomo farm but Madonna Inn will certainly provide more elbow room.  Remnants of the Past is a popular event, lots of people, mostly women.  So, since I have a busy and short week at home, I am going to keep this week's blog simple and be back blogging in two.  Upon my return, I will also be putting much more merchandise up on the Etsy store.  There is now a link below the blog title that directly takes you to Ooh La La, Maui!  Go grab a cup of joe (I prefer Kona), tea, french style hot cocoa (recipe at the bottom of the blog), glass of wine - but not if you are reading this in the morning - and check out these photos from last years Remnants of the Past Vintage Show

To the left, my mother, Delores and my sister, Vicki.  My mother got the "antique bug"  when we were very young children.  Growing up, our house was like museum.  Cute shopping bags, yes?  I got us all burlap bags with the fair's logo.  We're family, we're girls, we wanted to match.

I love the ethereal beauty of vintage religious icons and statuary.  See that piece of Rosewood pottery on the left hand side of the photo?  I have one very similar but my design is a water lily.  Rosewood pottery is lovely but in my opinion, hard to decorate with.  There is so much detail in Rosewood, it needs to be show cased.  Hum, another future blog posting?

A few disclaimers ...... I didn't get permission from my family to share their beautiful faces in my blog photos but I am sure they won't mind.  Below are a few snapshots of my niece, Jenny with her sweet little .... and I mean teeny, weeny dog, Sophie.  So, on that note, I recently read on Judy Watkins blog, animals are not allowed at this year's Remnants of Past.  Maybe she should make an exception for Sophie. Sophie is so adorable, a bonafide "people magnet".

That little white mop at the end of the lease is Sophie and her proud owner, Jenny.  Also showing off her vintage show logo bag.

There were vendors on every inch of this Nipomo farm (excluding the huge parking lot).  Most of them  set up shop under those ubiquitous white shade tents, but some vendors had the use of the barn.  What a great backdrop to display your vintage merchandise.

Me, inside the barn.  I was drawn to the map with topography relief right behind me.  I am mesmerized with old maps and world globes.  It's fascinating to me how names of countries have changed over the years.

Check out those chandeliers made with wagon wheels and old mason jars.  

I thought this was a great ideal, using a vintage aquarium to display a collection.  Something this size would not work in my home but it got me thinking.  I can never keep a plant alive in a terrarium.  Why not fill it with large sea shells, star fish and glass floaters instead?  I need to work on that!

Jenny and Sophie


 Okay, lovers of vintage, shabby charm, antiques, rust and flaking white paint.....brace yourself.  One reason I love Remnants is the lure of a "special guest".  At October's 2010 show, my home designer icon, the queen and creator of "Shabby Chic", Rachel Ashwell, was there to sign her latest book!  When I saw her, I froze.  My sister, Vicki, had to take me by the arm and push me in the presence of Rachel Ashwell.  She was actually getting her "things" together so set up her book signing table.  I felt like an intruder but she was amazingly very warm and welcoming.  We look rather chummy in the photos, don't we?  She seemed interested that I was from Maui, why I moved there and why I was in this part of California.  She wished me a pleasant time with my family, signed my book and took some photos with me.  My sister and husband snapped away and finally, I set her free.

"Rachel, would you consider being my BFF"?

"Back off lady, she's mine"

"No, that's not the paparazzi following me .... that's my husband and sister".

"I am sorry, Rachel.  Am I squeezing you too tight"

"Are you sure we can't be BFF's"?

SOME INFO ABOUT THIS YEAR'S SPECIAL GUEST ~ Susan Branch!  If you are not familiar with Susan Branch, go check out her blog at  She is an artist and a writer of many fun cookbooks with delicious recipes and filled with her watercolors, family photos and small snippets of her life.  I am bringing my very first Susan Branch cook book and have her sign it.  I will try to contain myself in her presence.  Maybe she'll decide to be my new BFF.

Okay, so Rachel isn't my BFF but we got some great stuff.  Look at the green and rusty, darling bird cage in my right hand.   It's my mother's, she bought it.  It came with a equally darling stand but that, with some other items, went immediately to the car.  Thanks to my honey, Fletch and brother-in-law, Kenny for being our runners to the car.

We always make time to visit The Avila Barn.  What an autumn surprise, every time.  Lots of fall colors to behold and gorgeous pumpkins of various species and hues.  We buy fresh produce for snacks and dinner, homemade pastries and pies, eat roasted seasoned corn on the cob, salt water taffy that sticks to our teeth and thick squares of fudge.  There are two gift shops at The Avila Barn and those must be scoured for any little treasure, jar of jam or some packaged delight that needs a new home.
Lots of activity at the Avila Barn.  If you see the absence of kids in this photo, don't be fooled.  They are swarming everywhere.  Kids can enjoy a haystack maze (not for the claustrophobic), a tractor ride to the pumpkin fields and enough sugary sweets to keep them charged up, to at the very least, Halloween.

No exaggeration, tons of pumpkins!
A Kodak moment at every turn

"Autumn is a second spring where every flower is a leaf"  (unknown)

And as promised, a very delicious recipe for ......

French Style Hot Cocoa

from Food


    • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate pieces
    • 4 cups milk
    • 3/4 cup half-and-half
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped for topping


  1. Melt chocolate in 1 cup of milk, over low heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Gradually add remaining milk and half and half, followed by remaining ingredients, except vanilla and almond extract.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until completely heated.
  4. Stir in vanilla and almond extract.
  5. Serve with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg if desired.

    Be back in two weeks! Aloha ..........


  1. The Remnants of the Past Show looks amazing! I was just in San Luis Obispo last week and heard about it then. Really wish I could go! I also visited the Avila Barn! Have fun!

  2. Thanks Janet for following me. I was just tweaking my blog and discovered I wrote the word "actually" three times when discussing Rachel Ashwell. I was very thrilled to meet her :) I checked out your blog and it's lovely.

    The Remnants of the Past is a fun event, made even more special by having my family with me. Thank goodness we have different tastes or we could have a Remnant's Past battle on our hands.

    Blessings to you as well, Shelly