13 posts categorized "Friends"

They Survived

Housefire 2 Park Ave Westerly RI July 26 2012 (13)
(more photos)

My sister and 4 1/2 year old nephew were in a terrible housefire early yesterday morning and lost everything. The house will most likely be condemned and will be torn down next week. Their beloved cat died in the fire. It is a living nightmare and the feeling of helplessness is just overwhelming.  The community and The Red Cross has already come to her aid along with family, her co-workers & friends, and many have been asking how they can help, thus this post.  Thank you to everyone who has come forward to render help: moral support, hugs, lodging, food & drink, toys, babysitting, gift cards, monetary donations, and for just plain being there~~you will never know how much you have done to make this horrible nightmare somewhat tolerable.  

(Post update 1 August 2012):

There will be a Fund Raiser/Benefit held for all the victims of the fire on Sunday, 5 August, 2012 at Sandy's Lighthouse Bar at Misquamicut Beach in Westerly, RI  from 3:00 pm until close.  Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased now at Sandy's, or the day of at the door. 


Your Donations are Greatly Appreciated


Thank You for Your Generosity & Human Kindness*

      Mr. & Mrs. Robert & Geraldine Ducharme

      Ms. Sheena Matthews

      Mrs. Joanne Horlbogen

      Mrs. Pat Hanzel

      Ms. Nicole Caron

      Mr. David Preble/Xtra Mart

      Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Doreen Euloth

      Mr. Jeffrey Boudreau

      Ms. Michelle Vangel

      Mr. & Mrs. Andrew & Stacy Wight

      Mr. & Mrs. Paul & Christine Hudon

      Ms. Anna Amaral

      Mr. & Mrs. Andrew & Cindy Tiplady

      Mr. & Mrs. William & Constance Smith

      Mrs. Christine Francis Barta

      Ms. Moe Tanner

      Ms. Deborah Gannon

      Mr. & Mrs. Robert & Diane La Charite

      Mr. & Mrs. Augusto & Margaret Chaves

      Mr. & Mrs. Andrew & Chelsea Berndt

      Mr. & Mrs. Douglas & Rhonda Wight

      Mr. & Mrs. John & Linda Brayton

      Mrs. Connie Medeiros

      Mrs. Brooke Bender

      Mr. Alan Horlbogen

      Mr. & Mrs. Carlos & Chantel Geneiro

      Mr. & Mrs. Jason & Heather Erler

      Ms. Jaclyn Farrar

      Mr. & Mrs. Billy & Heather Soares

      Mr. & Mrs. Thomas & Renee Rafferty

      Ms. Julie Karas

      Ms. Kelly Koslowski

      Ms. Katie Wilson

      Mr. & Mrs. Patrick & Tracy Riley

      Mr. & Mrs. Don & Sandra Daggett

      Ms. Racquel Johnson

      Mrs. Melissa Vicente

      Mrs. Beverly Spurrier

      The Westerly Fire Department

      The American Red Cross

      Applebee's of Westerly, RI

      Sandy's Lighthouse Bar & Grill

    *The names found here are those who either donated via this post, personally handed me donations & contributions in various forms, as well those who I have met/known that have sacrificed time, work, vacation time, personal belongings and far more on behalf of my sister and nephew.  It is, by no means, a true accounting of all who reached out to help.  We are truly grateful to EVERYONE who has shown support...you know who you are, as we do.  Thank You.

xx ~ Michelle

Serendipity: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

18th Century Farmhouse, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard

So what do you do when the telephone rings 4 days before leaving for a vacation that's been planned for a year only to learn that the house you had rented was flooded and will not be available?  Generally, you call your travel agent/realtor and they find you a place to stay.  Generally.  When said house is located on Martha's Vineyard and the week you booked is not only "Fair Week" but "The 150th Anniversary Fair Week", there are 14 in your party and the President is coming, that simple feat becomes a bit like the Bermuda Triangle of vacation planning.   Packing (everything but the kitchen sink) came to a screeching halt, and that special bottle of cognac that was saved for "The Vineyard" was unpacked to keep us company as we sat anxiously by the phone and computer, our week of sun, sand & sea hanging in the balance.  Tick Tock.  Tick Tock.  Two days went by, two long, frustrating days.  But sometimes, when things go very, very wrong, as they did, they turn out very, very right. 

This is the lovely house we had the privilege of calling "home" for a week.  A restored 18th century farmhouse on 8 acres of lush island land.  Owned by a young, very talented family man who calls himself a carpenter, but I would call a craftsman.  I cannot begin to imagine the hours of painstaking work that went into restoring and creating this beautiful estate, but I am quite certain it was a labor of love.  I actually got goosebumps when my friend, who had arrived at the property first, escorted me through the door.  I still have them a week later.  As the days passed I kept pinching myself, half expecting to see Jane Austen walk through a doorway at any moment.

While days passed and we sat at the shore, survived the wild surf of South Beach with bruises to show for it, saw the fireworks at Oak Bluffs, spent an afternoon at The Fair, took in the spectacular views from Gay Head, played 18 holes at Farm Neck (in spite of getting bumped from the original tee time because Mr. President wanted to play), bumped into David Letterman at Morning Glory Farm, consumed insane amounts of seafood and libations and even jumped off "The Jaws Bridge" at sunset, the best part of this vacation was that we spent it in this beautiful home.


My daughter on the far left with friends jumping off "The Jaws Bridge" on Martha's Vineyard 

xx ~ Michelle

American Beauty


Meet Alyssa.  A California gal for most of her life until her New England genes kicked in and she headed East.  The iconic American Beauty.  And just as, if not more, beautiful on the inside.

I had this Henry Rosenfeld dress in my inventory for years.  As usual, a night of entertaining landed us downstairs in my "atelier/studio/workshop" and when she stepped out from behind the dressing room in this dress, I knew it had found a new home.  I don't know who was more excited~her for finding her dream vintage dress or me for helping them find each other. 

Just call me the "Emma" of vintage.


xx ~ Michelle

The Duck & Bunny ~ A Snuggery...

The Duck & Bunny Providence RI (2) 

The Duck & Bunny Providence RI (3) 

The Duck & Bunny Providence RI

The Duck & Bunny Providence, RI

The Duck & Bunny Providence RI (4) 
The Duck & Bunny Providence, RI 6 

 The Duck & Bunny A Snuggery
(photo courtesy of the Duck & Bunny website)

  • What: Girls Night Out
  • When: Last Night
  • Where: The Duck & Bunny ~ Providence, RI
  • Menu Sample: Bacon Wrapped Dates ~ Artisanal Cheese Plate ~ The Ultimate New York System Crêpe ~ Homemade Gourmet Cupcakes ~ 
  • Brewhaha:  Guinness on draught ~ Narragansett in the can ~ Maipe Malbec ~
  • Atmosphere:  Absolutely charming!


blue vintage hat 
My blue vintage hat and I had a fabulous time out on the town...and The Duck & Bunny is the perfect venue for catching up with the gals or a romantic dinner for two.  If you're wanting to enjoy the latter, you may want to request a quiet table away from large parties of females who managed to sneak out for a night sans husbands & offspring...


xx ~ Michelle



The day dawned bright, hot and early... and not nearly long enough after I finally crawled into bed @ 2:15 am.  My sister's arrival at 9:00 pm the night before with a chilled bottle of Prosecco were just what I needed to get my second wind.   With the truck packed to it's gills, we called it a night, desperate for sleep & yet eager for the sun to rise, to get on the road to Boston.

Sunday the 2nd of May just happened to be one of those crazy New England days when the temperature was already 80 degrees by 10:00 am, and would continue to rise to 90 degrees by some reports I heard.   My mantra all the way to Boston? 
"Please let this VFW hall have air conditioning...Please let this VFW hall have air conditioning..."

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 Boston or Bust!

We arrive at 11:00 on the dot, and for a moment it looks like a mini~version of the New York Garment District back in it's hey~day.

NY Garment District 
(photo courtesy of Absolute Astronomy)

Racks of fabulous vintage clothing being wheeled across the parking lot by men in suits with bow ties and ladies dressed to the nines . . . my heart begins to pound.  The clock ticks away, and before we knew it, the crowd had pushed through the door well before high noon and the pandemonium began.  My heart begins to pound again~~we were nowhere even close to ready for the torrential crowd of vintage~treasure~hunters streaming in.

(Photo courtesy of N'East Style)

The crowd was, I believe, far above and beyond what any of us expected.  The fabulous Christine of Carmen & Ginger is a seasoned Flea~Market queen and said she had never experienced anything like it.  So you can only imagine what the experience was like for this Flea~Market virgin.  

(photo courtesy of Carmen & Ginger)

In actuality, these photos were snapped much later in the day, when we finally had a moment to step out from behind our booths.  

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (7) 

I met this adorable vintage~loving gal who gladly obliged my request to snap her photo in these fabulous "SULTRY" sunglasses handmade in England (I'm quite sure she told me her name and I apoligize for forgetting). 

 Taylor shopping at The Red Velvet Shoe
(photo courtesy of Red Bird Vintage.)  

The lovely Taylor spent quite a bit of time at The Red Velvet Shoe, and she was a pleasure to behold.  A vision of vintage fashion and was one of three awarded the
 "Top Shelf Flea Market 2010 Best Dressed Award" by Red Bird Vintage.  I would have to agree.  She bought one of my favorite dresses and I am hoping she will manage to share a photo of her wearing it someday!

It was such a pleasure to meet some "fans", if you will, of The Red Velvet Shoe.  "Julie", the winner of my Springtime Vintage Give~Away, was one of the first through the door and was just thrilled that the vintage swimsuit she had her eye on was on the rack~a pleasure meeting you, Julie!  I also met the adorable "Sarah" who found "The Shoe" via a friend on Facebook and made her way down to Somerville to come say hello & show her support.  I hope those of you who found something make good on your word to send photos & keep in touch! 

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (15)

 My friend Brooke checking out the goods.

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (12) 
(Jay & David)

The boys were fine, there was beer.

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (13) 
(Brooke, Kelsi & Brandi~Lynn)

And lots of pretty girls...

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (11) 

Fellow comrades of vintage Amy of Artifaktori & Christine of Carmen & Ginger looking fabulous in their vintage ensembles (Amy was freezing, thus the bizarre color combo & hangtag hanging off her sleeve.)   I can't really explain the hat, you'll have to ask her.

Joe of An Affordable Wardrobe 

Our fearless leader & mastermind behind the day: Joe (aka Giuseppe) of An Affordable Wardrobe
donning a real madras sports coat & his namesake "Giuseppe" bow tie from Ellie LaVeer Stager.

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (8) 

My amazing sister & assistant for the day Brandi~Lynn, with friends & supporters Merrie & Michelle.


Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (21)

You know you have great friends when they drive over an hour on the hottest day of the year to show their support.   Not to mention sticking around to help pack up & making it fun despite the sensation you could possibly tip over from exhaustion at any moment.  My sister Brandi~Lynn was above and beyond the best assistant I could have ever had and it is quite clear I could not have done it without her.  Of course I have to mention my DH & my adorable daughter for all their help & support for making this day possible for The Red Velvet Shoe.  Suffice it to say that my domestic duties have seriously fallen by the wayside & they did a great job trying to keep things together while I prepared for this fabulous vintage extravaganza. 

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (14)
I dressed Coco my dressform in one of my favorite ensembles that belonged to my grandmother.  Apparently, my grandmother had great taste, I think over 50 shoppers asked to purchase this dress, which I had to disappoint them with those heart~breaking words: "It's not for sale."  They found other treasures, though, and shop they did! 

My grandparents c1950s

I also brought this great photo of my grandparents & displayed it on an easel.  As you may know, my grandmother played a major part in nurturing my adoration for vintage clothing & finery, so I had to have her there, if only in a photograph.  One of the highlights of my day was when this lovely girl came up to me with it in her hand and said "How much is this?  I love it!"  (Note to self: mark things that aren't for sale as NOT FOR SALE next time)  I took it as the ultimate compliment.

There were so many vendors with fabulous vintage treasures I didn't even have a chance to properly meet or photograph.  Here are some links to a few other great reviews about The Top Shelf Flea Market which I will add to as I come accross them.

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."  Arnold Toynbee


Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 (24)

Let's just call it a BLUR OF A DAY!!





xx ~ Michelle


A few weeks ago I helped a couple of friends get ready to go to a "Decades" party, which basically meant you could pick whatever "era" you wanted and go for it.  Here's what we came up with:Audrey hepburn visits (9)

She's a perfect "Audrey", isn't she?

Audrey hepburn visits (4)

How fabulous does she look????

Audrey hepburn visits

We took these photos in my boutique / studio the night she came over to "shop".  She's head to toe in vintage from The Red Velvet Shoe!

Decades (2) 

 Here she is on her way to the party, looking fabulous!







xx ~ Michelle


I have been spending quite a bit of time updating my type-lists & links~~you will see some new ones that are well worth a visit~~you will also see a bit of a "Francophile" theme going on rather than much new in a vintage clothing kind~of way. . . I figure I should only add a bit of beauty at a time.  Do not fear, the vintage list is in the works! 

I have also finally created a Flickr account & designed a link to My Vintage Fashion Show . . . proper dress required.

As for what's new around here, first, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Karina of the World Famous Karina's Bags.  A few months ago, she purchased this vintage bag from my boutique:


and turned it into this:


The bag itself had seen better days, but she took the Vintage Bakelite frame and created this couture purse from it. . .talk about talent!  Check out the amazing bags she has~~I especially love the clutches which she accents with vintage scarves. . .she's all over England with her Haute~Spun designs, and British Vogue even did a feature on her last month!

Onto more excitement from talented designers, my good friend Lisa of Pink Lemonade Boutique was invited to participate in The Foundry Artists Association Show in Providence, RI, USA which will be held over the next two weeks.  Take a peek at these photos of Lisa's work and you will see why she was invited to this exclusive artists venue:

Newpinklemonadeboutiquepurses  100_0915_edited  Pinklemonadepurses 


  Here she is, hard at work selling her wares!  Congratulations, Lisa, I know it will be a wonderful success story for you!


I've also been surfing a few on~line magazine sites and have found these beautiful images to share; they are enough to melt one's Vintage~Lovin'~Heart. . .


This is, of course, a Chanel ensemble. . .

(the hat is similar to this one, don't you think?)


Another Chanel ensemble from the Spring collection, and yet a true classic,
timeless . . .







xx ~ Michelle


We came back ashore to attend a great 25th Anniversary Party for some good friends, here are a few pictures from it. . .just try to ignore the barefoot beach bum kid who snuck over from next door!!



Now you see why we had to be here!!  There is nothing like dinner at dusk by the water with candles, wine, great food and great friends. . .well worth the trip!!

xx ~ Michelle