Monday, October 26, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Happy Halloween!

The air is crisp, the pumpkins are ripe, and the smell of autumn is in the air. I love this time of year with caramel apples, hayrides, and spooky spider webs. Halloween is always a fun time for the kids, putting together great costumes to top the ones from the year before. Here it is all about the haunted hayride and annual weenie roast. Harvest tables are brought out into the yard. Spooky chandeliers hang over the table with drippy wax candles and spider webs. We pick only the best pumpkins for the carving and we all compete for the best one. Then they are lit up on the porch steps, while luminaries lead our guests up the drive. Hot dogs, buns, and all the fixin's line the table that is covered with burlap. Hay bales are the best seat around the fire. The centerpiece is an old rusted French urn filled with moss and pumpkins, while candles from the chandelier glow overhead.

The kids love to come and the favorite part is the ooey gooey marshmallow goodness. They have to be roasted just right. Of course, smores are the order of the night, and then it is time for the spooky stories. Then we head off for the haunted hayride.
Pictured here is Alex and one of her friend's and were the winners of best costume.

I want everyone to know, that I will have a big announcement toward the end of the week.
Hope all will check back and I will let you know the big surprise! We are very excited about things that are going on, and cannot wait to share with all of you!!!!
XOXO Carolyn
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Junk Palace Going out of Business!


For all of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing my friend Lillie's store
"Junk Palace" in Malakoff, Texas, then now is the time. We are sad to say that she is going out of business, which is so sad because it is a great store. I have enclosed photos of her Halloween motif.

It is a wonderful eclectic mix of quirky vignettes showing off the spooky effect of the crows, spiders, and such. Of course, all mixed in with her great conglomeration of furniture, antique frames, mirrors, patio furniture and wonderful finds.

Here is a great vignette featuring a great little crystal sconce, urns, Frenchy couches, all at great "Going out of Business" prices. Below is a great table setting complete with bugs, spiders, and a few eyeballs rolling around on the place setting. Cannot be without those for Halloween. Love it!

Here is the information:
Store: Junk Palace
Proprietor: Lillie Bussey
213 S. Terry St.
Malakoff, Texas
Phone: 903-288-6130

She will be closed Friday the 23rd, opening on Sat. the 24th at 10am.
Her hours will be irregular because she is "going out of biz" so make sure to give her a call before you make that drive.

P.S. Don't forget to stop by Curiosities, while you are in town and see Donna's FABULOUSO store too! Lillie can point you in the right direction.

Oh, just wanted to tell everyone, thank you for taking the time to let me hear from you about the Made In The USA post. It really meant alot to me. Luv you all!

XOXO Carolyn
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Made in the U.S.A.

Made in the U.S.A. seems that this is a thing of the past. Oh my gosh!!! I never seem to have time to sit down and watch an entire movie or program on T.V. but I was in the room when this HBO special came on something like, "Rags to Riches to Rags" a feature on the garment industry. I was mesmerized. It was talking about how the industry has changed so DRASTICALLY since even the mid 90's. Even I can see, when I got into manufacturing in 1994, there were plenty of fabric lines, reps. plenty of sewers and cutters, it was still a possibility to manufacture here locally in the U.S. Since that time, I myself have seen the decline in the garment industry. The fabric shows were HUGE and the fabric merchants had lots of ATTITUDE. Now, they are begging for business and the fabric shows have declined to pratically nothing. The fabric mills are on a rapid decline with hardly any actually left.
They showed on this feature this stunning realization.
1965- 95% of garments were manufactured here in the U.S.A.
1975- 80% of " " " " U.S.A.
1985- 70% of garments were manufactured here in the U.S.A.
1995- 50% of garments were manufactured here in the U.S.A.

Now for the most disturbing news...
2009- 5% of garments are manufactured here in the U.S.A.
and virtually all of the countries that are manufacturing are using child labor.

It is stunning. This comes at a time when I am in talks with a company about moving manufacturing to China. I really had no idea what the statistics were.
We really need to care about this because it not only effects the sewers, cutters, designers, but the accountants, the secretaries, the maintenance staff, and our entire economy. Hopefully it is not too late for us to care where are products are made, and what this means to the U.S.A.
The Fat Cat big name designers charge unbelievable prices for their garments, could they not afford to have them made here at home and still profit. Are they really that greedy?
Yes, I know we all like to get the great shirt or sweater for $12, but it seems that we will end up paying a much bigger price if this continues.

I for one, will not be moving operations out of the country. I am an advocate for children and could not sleep at night knowing that I was profiting from child labor.
If you get the opportunity to watch this, you really should. It is a real eye opener about what is happening to our country and how very sad it is to see these very talented people (designers, pattern makers, etc.) out of jobs because of our desire to buy cheaper, cheaper, cheaper and because of the greed of big corporate. Let's remember the pride that comes with MADE IN THE U.S.A.
XOXO Carolyn