Saturday, December 19, 2009

Carolyn WEstbrook: Happy Holidays

Dear Friends,

I just wanted to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Holiday Season.
Here's to hoping that we remember the important things in life come from
the heart and not from the department store.

Remember my friends, it is our ability to get creative and give heart felt gifts
that have true meaning, and these do not have to be expensive. A photo album,
a handmade scrap book, a handwritten letter telling those we love, how much
we care, perhaps some homeade cookies or other sweet treats that we have baked
ourselves. These are the real treats in life.
Let's remember, most importantly the Reason for the Season: A Celebration of the
Birth of Jesus, and to share that love this Holiday Season.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Holiday Season to remember!

XOXO Carolyn
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Tis the Season

Can you believe it my friends??? Christmas has snuck up on me this year. I am so far behind and running to catch up. It is Christmas here at The Oaks, and trying hard to get everything ready for the Season. It is a tradition around here that before the turkey is even taken from the table that we all have to gather outside and wrap the massive columns on the porch with garlands. Good thing that I have brothers, and one that is still agile enough to scurry up the 40 ft. ladder. It makes me worried just to look at the ladder, it is so incredibly tall. Of course, when my smarty pants brother starts cutting up, I have to give the ladder a gentle shake and tell him that I hope he doesn't fall. Truly, he is a sweetheart. All brothers, Mom, Dad, Papa, Nana, cousins, sons and daughters have to pitch in, as it is a HUGE undertaking. There are five trees all with vintage ornaments and this year trees are wrapped with lights, as my son Nicholas is feeling even more festive and he is the king of Christmas decorating. He has been busy after school wrapping trees with lights and garlands around the long fence across the front of the property.

This is a great time of year and I cannot believe, SNOW???? This is a shot from last year as it snowed and Victoria and Alex were trailing off into the woods. I love this photo. Meanwhile, perhaps a chance of snow tomorrow, in Texas...seems that Jack Frost is here early
Just an update about the book. We did some shooting already and looks like it will be a fantastic book. I am so fortunate to be working with reknowned photographer, Keith Scott Morton, and he has done a magnificent job with the photography and is a joy to work with.

I wanted to let you know also, that I have two matching twin sized red velvet spreads that were made specifially for the book shoot. I now will offer them for sale and they are stunning. They are made to layer over a white dust ruffle and there are pillows to match in the white box pillow and red velvet Euro and some smaller pillows. It is absolutley stunning and thinking that it would be even more so with a white Jr. Box in the front monogrammed in red. Contact us, if you are interested in matching twin and they will be discounted below wholesale.
Meanwhile, hoping that all of you are decorating for the Season and in the Spirit of the Holiday! Hoping that all of your dreams come true for the Holiday Season!
XOXO Carolyn

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving Day! This is one of my favorite holidays because it makes us really look and see how richly we are blessed. Gathering with family and friends is what it is all about and to be thankful for all of the blessings that we have.

For us, it means getting together and cooking up some delicious Southern food. We will have family, and with my little Victoria around, all of her friends that have no family to go to, who will now become part of our family for the holiday.
To me, that is the real blessing. The house is full, as I write with wonderful smells wafting up the stairs. It really is the things that money cannot buy that makes for the spirit of the holiday season. It will not be long until we all sit down and feast on turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, layered salad, mac n cheese, fresh cranberry relish, and all of the yummy desserts. I love this cranberry relish. I will leave a recipe in case anyone wants to make is delicious.

I would like to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season. Hopefully, we will all be reminded to slow down long enough to enjoy the real riches in life...our family, our home and our friends that fill it. Love to all and bon appetite!

Cranberry Relish:

Put this in the food processor:
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 small orange peeled and sliced (slice all of the white part off of the orange)
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Chop and serve

Refrigerate and it is better the longer it sits.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Thank You

Dear Decorating Friends,

Thanks for all of your support and well wishes about the new book. I have been so enthralled with trying to put together the most fabulous French inspired that one has ever seen that I have forgotten to write. What a great assignment! I love anything French, so loving it. From the crusty French shell art boxes to the crystal chandeliers, hoping that everyone out there will gain inspiration from the new release. My goal is to make it very diverse. That way we will have a little something for everyone. This is going to keep me busy for a while and I am frazzled as I write this on decorating overload, but what better place to be.
I have met a new friend and inspiration along my travels, that I am sure most of you have already heard of...Charyl Coleman. She has been in many magazines, but most memorable for me was the Victoria issue where she did the decor for the revamp of the Havana in San Antonio. When she said that, the memories of that issue came flooding back, not to mention Joe and I went there for our anniversary several years response was, "You had me at Havana." Charyl does incredible work and just love her ease of style.

Love meeting a fellow sister that loves great design as much as I.

I have to run now and looks like an entire week of 24/7 decorating. Hope everyone is well and let me hear from you! Love reading your comments, it keeps me going!

XOXO Carolyn

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Big Annoucement

Dear Friends,

This is to all who have been asking for some time now, when is the next book coming out. I am very, very excited to announce that I have an answer for that question. That's right friends, the ink is barely dry on the contract, the new book contract that is. I am fortunate enough to be working with Cico/Ryland, Peters & Small on the next book entitled, Carolyn Westbrook: The French Inspired Home, due to release Sept. 2010. We will be doing various signings and hope that all of you will get a copy. I cannot wait to sign a copy for each and every one of you and know that I will work very hard to make sure it is a book that you will cherish as much as the first. Love to all of you and thanks so much for your support. I love hearing from you, so keep those comments coming.
XOXO Carolyn

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

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Glad to see me go!

Well, it is that time of year again, where we take advantage of all of the labor that we can find to load a 26 ft. truck, and 16 ft. trailer for our bi-annual trek to the biggest show of the YEAR! My kids go running for the HILLS!

As you can see here, I wore everyone out and they shouted thanks to the heavens as the big truck was finally loaded and ready to head on down the road.
Even Jack (our big black lab) was exhausted. He has to run around and pretend to chase squirrels the entire time we are outside, just to prove to us how worthy he really is.

Alex passed out in the road a couple of times, and when we were done, the drama queen passed out in the middle of the road. Good thing that road is not very busy, right Alex. You see, the harder that you make this job out to be, the bigger the shopping spree at the mall. Alex thinks that she is worth an entire day of shopping at Northpark.

Victoria on the other hand, my little minister in the family, was singing her praises that the job was done, and she could be done with me for two weeks and
have plenty of cash for gas and "hanging out" after her college work was done.

It's funny, my kids make out like this is the worst thing ever, but the teens from around here, come out of the woodwork when it is time to load, and they are willing and able, and much cheaper I might add. So, you kids of mine better watch out or your shopping days are over.

You hear that she still outside in the road???? It's getting mighty late, perhaps I should go check.

Nicholas is not pictured here because he has already taken off on his 4-wheeler. He high-tailed it out of here, as soon as we said the word, DONE! Was that Done or Dad....I think he got to leave early. Him and his posse of boys are a big help to us, and they are getting to those teenage years, where they can lift more than anyone else...and that my friends is a good thing. The only down side is you have to feed them.

So, as we head off down the road, we will miss everyone (for two weeks)those three teens of ours, Nick, Victoria, and Alex, Our dogs, Jack, Bella, Princess Teddy, and Mom, Dad, and even the long for now, but HELLO ZAPP HALL!

XOXO Carolyn
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Countdown to Warrenton

So, not only do you get the best shopping trip of your life, you get the best party too! We are less than a week away until the excitement begins. Make sure to hang on to all of the tips that I have provided when you get here, they will come in handy.

Thursday night Oct.1st is the best party this side of the Mississippi. It is late night shopping at Zapp Hall. This is the place to be! At 6pm they begin FREE, that's right FREE Belinee's and a FREE load of snacks, and we are open until 8pm for late night shopping. You can shop, have a beverage and some tasty snacks, all at the same time. It is truly a majical and later, wild night.

It is then time for the famous, JUNK GYPSY PROM. I promise that you have never seen anything like it. So, be sure to pack that vintage prom dress, a feather boa and as much bling and as many petticoats as you can possibly fit. Oh, and don't forget the boots they are crucial to the Junk Gypsy Prom look. Forgot yours...don't worry, my friends, Amie, Janie, and Jolie will have plenty of petticoats, t-shirts, and bling for sale. The official site is the Junk Gypsy tent and they furnish a live band. Then over in my neck of the woods is another band
playing. and hundreds of happy party goers.

Pictured here is Cash, Jolie's son with the singer of the band.

Below that is the entire JG crew with my daughter, Victoria. Gotta love the funky and fun outfits. Love it!

Pictured last is the most incredible get-ups the "One night Stands." Get it? They have nightstands around their waists and lampshades crowning their heads...this was hysterical.

Food Tip: If you are hungry for dinner, no need to go any further than Royers at Zapp Hall. They have wonderful gourmet comfort food, with everything from quail to Beef Tenderloin to Texas Cavier. It is always a great meal, and very fun environment.

If this does not convince you that this is where you need to be, then nothing will. I hope to see everyone there soon.
XOXO Carolyn
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Warrenton Countdown

Y'all getting excited yet? Let's hear it. Not long now, so thought that we should touch on the fact, that everyone is loading up and puttin on the dog...getting ready for the good times at Zapp Hall.

Make sure that when you come in on hwy 237( From Brenham), the first stop to the right is the La Bahia show. Make sure that you pull the car over for this one. It is worth the stop. This needs to be put on the list as a must see. In fact, you could see this field, then jump in the car and head on down 237, there are fields on both sides for you to explore. If you have the time, you can head back to Marburger Farms for a second look. Your wristband is good for the entire show, so be sure not to throw it away!

Once you make it back into Warrenton, across the street from us is the Campbell Building. You will see the red trim on this building. They have a party...I believe Tues. night, but check in with them to verify. My friend Haley Johnson of Cottage Gatherings is here.

Food Tip: Last show they had a wonderful eatery at the back of the Campbell bldg. with tasty, healthy treats like spinach salad with strawberries and pistachios...YUM. All kinds of yummy different types of salads with delicious goat cheese, sandwiches and such.

O.K. here is our dinner tip for the day...if you are up for a little drive (20 minutes from the show) in Giddings, Texas (Off of 290), there is a FABULOUS mexican restaraunt there called Jalisco's. In the strip mall with Wal-mart, which seems a bit unusual, but we laugh because two of the best restaraunts that we have eaten at are in this same strip. One is Jalisco's, which has an all-you-can-eat buffet on Friday and I think, Sat. Includes fajitas, shrimp, all kinds of stuff, and is well attended. I am not much on buffets, but everyone raves about this one.

We always get the same thing, which is the Guadalajara ( not spelled correctly, but I tried). We are definitely a good judge of Tex-Mex and this is REALLY good. This plate is huge and you will have some left for later. If you like Chile Relleno(ask for poblano pepper) then this is the place for you. They make a good margarita too.

If you like the scenic trip then come back the next night to the Hunan Chinese, right down from Jalisco's. They have some of the freshest ingredients around, and the vegetables have a good crunch, which I love. Everything that we have had here is very good. If you can make it, it is definitely worth the trip.

Tip: bring along a good bottle of wine or you can buy some at the Wine Shop in Roundtop, and have a little end of the day "Show N Tell" party. We all gathered in a hotel room, and had a challenge, a contest if you will, where we all looked for the best purchase of the day, but the spending limit was $5. Yea! I won the last one.. I found a beautiful antique silver plate monogrammed napkin ring for $5. We figured out a little prize for the winner. Just a fun little get-together for all of us and would be great for you and your girlfriends.
See you soon! XOXO Carolyn
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Warrenton Countdown

Friends...I just checked and there were some rooms available. If you have been wanting to come to the show, now is a good time to see if there have been cancellations and you could find a room. WHOO HOO! This could be your lucky day. I am telling you, this show is not just great for merchandise, but a favorite vacation spot with the girls. Last year, we had a group of women show up that came for one of the girl's b-day. Her husband had a huge rental truck sent in for them to load up, but in the back of the truck, prior to their load, had it decorated with tables, chairs, streamers, a complete birthday party with cake, in the back of a rental truck. What a great husband!!!!

Tuesday, Sept. 29th is the opening of Marburger Farms. There is a $25 fee for early shopping. There are numerous huge tents and buildings at the venue. Some of the best vendors do this show, including my good friend Janet Wiebe. SHe is in a tent in the back of the field, next to Marie and Simone, who you have seen on my blog from New Orleans. I have always said that some of the best pieces in my home come from Janet and Marie's is FABULOUS as well. You cannot miss them. Also, along the fence row at the front of the show in the long row of tents, you will find French Vanilla, Peg and Jon Vandyne. Need I say more??? Most everyone knows them and try not to get trampled in the herd that is headed for their booth. There is so much to see here you could certainly spend a whole day. In another tent look for my friends, Austin Woodhenge. They have handcrafted reproduction book plates, framed with handpainted frames, along with handmade wooden stools and all kinds of interesting finds. They are quite the talented couple, Kathy and Donny Gross.

If you wait until later, the price for entry does go down, but there is something about rushing off to your favorite booth.

Food tip: Back down in Warrenton TX. right off of Hwy 237 you will find the Legal Tender Saloon. They have incredible pimento cheese that is made with 5 cheeses on homeade bread, and incredible bar-b-que. We like the beef stew, but sells out quickly. There is indoor seating for this eatery, and it is a great place for lunch.

If you do decide to head out to Marburger Farms, make sure to tell all my friends, that Carolyn sent ya! Hope to see you there!
XOXO Carolyn
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: The computer crashed and so did I

Friends, Sorry that my countdown to Warrenton, came to a hault. It has been a tough time around here. My computer decided to crash at the same time, I did. I woke feeling like death on Sunday and was scavenging the house for the kid's leftover antibiotics. Those of you that are Moms know exactly what I am talking about. I found some and took that along with everything else that I could think of. Felt better than death a few hours later, but still horrible. Now those who know me know that I would rather have my arm chopped off than go to the doctor, but this time I had to go. I took my computer to the Dr. first and then headed to the local convient care clinic. Got there at 8:30 am and they said that I would have to wait until 3:00 pm perhaps later, to be seen. (Are you kidding me???)I made an appointment for my regular Doctor in Frisco (1.5 hrs from here) and dragged myself up there. Turns out that I was really sick. Got lots of medicine and trying to get over this. I HATE BEING SICK and this is not the time. I have things that have to get done, as we start loading the 26 ft. truck this weekend.

Moving on. Let's move on to the countdown. Next, if you are in for inspiration, you have to go see Mark Dooley's field, which sits on the East side of clutter on the corner of 237. You will see the metal buildings and this is the designer district. Lots of high end Fabulous European finds to be found here. (Picture left)

If you and your friends are looking for a cup of coffee and a great breakfast one morning, then head to Roundtop square to Klumps. It is a down home little building with simple breakfast fare. You will be greeted with mismatched tables, chairs, and old-timey hardwood floors... these folks know how to cook a good breakfast. My only warning, and I hope that they do not take offense, is make sure you have plenty of time. This is not a fast paced city restaraunt. It is worth the wait!

While tooling down the road back toward Warrenton from Klumps, make sure to stop at the "Texas Rose" show. It is worth stopping for. They have several tents and buildings, and many of my friends are here. They know how to put on a show. I think one of the best shows here. So, be sure to check it out and tell Lily and Margaret that Carolyn sent you!

XOXO Carolyn
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Countdown to Warrenton

Day 3

Here are some more fall photos of the CWH booth at Zapp Hall. I think that Zapp Hall hosts some of the best talent in the biz, and looking at these photos think that you will agree.
(Left) This is a shot of my good friend's Debbie (talkin trash) and Danny York. There's is not to be missed. Here the good junk is plentiful and the prices are right, so make sure that you make it here. Also, if you go around the corner, in front of Zapp Hall, you will find Theresa's booth, and it is a perfect place to stop by. Also, very inspiring and great prices.
The next shot down is also Debbie and Cat Daddy's booth. Behind my building be sure not to miss my good friend, Gina from Country Garden Antiques. She is the QUEEN of Christmas. If it is vintage Christmas ornaments that you crave, then be sure to see her booth.
Make sure to plan plenty of time to spend here at this field. There is so much to see here, including my friends at the Junk Gypsies. This is the spot for funky furnishings and clothing with the Junk Gypsy brand.

For those who want a great nightime dining experience there is no place else like Royers Cafe. Make sure to make your reservations in advance. If you are a steak lover, then they have a treat for you. It is simply the best steak that I have ever had and we travel all over the world. It is called the OMG steak and it is. Their homeade rolls are wonderful and they come with a sweet spread. In fact, everything that i have ever had here is good. Now, you will have to wait a while, even with reservations. But not to worry...the wait is half the fun. They have an "honors" cooler (except if you happen to be an attorney, then it is cash first HAHA!) tha't what is says on the cooler. It is filled with beer and wine, and you can have a seat and visit with all of the other fellow antiquers. You are bound to meet some new friends. Oh, and don't forget the pie. Royer's is famous for their pie, and they have a bazillion different kinds, and they do ship. Make sure to tell Bud that Carolyn Westbrook sent ya!
Bon Appetite! XOXO Carolyn
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Update on my last post

I just found out that the last tip, regarding Curious Goods is incorrect. She will be at Marburger Farms this show, which I will post more on later. So, disregard my information on where to find her. You will still want to peruse the "Bar W" field. You never know what you will find, and there are deals to be found.
Happy Junkin!

Carolyn Westbrook: Countdown to Warrenton


Once you have been to Clutter, then in the field to the west of Clutter (backs up to Clutter) on the West side...I think that this is Bar "W" field. You can park at the back here. Look for my friend Donna at Curious Goods. She was in with Renee last year and Renee has FABULOUS stuff too, but thinking she is not going to be there this time, setting up, just here to shop. She is right along the fence row, if you go down the trail next to the fence, she is down toward the end of the tents facing West. You will see the wonderful collections as you near the tent. Her merchandise is wonderfully odd and she has very inspiring display on how to use things in a different way, which I love.

In fact, this whole field is great to peruse for great junk.

Forgot to mention yesterday...Clutter also has a little eatery at the show. They have really yummy healthy fare, and a variety of coffees and teas. There is a shaded dining area and is a great resting spot to have a little bite and something to drink.

TIP: Make sure that you have a purse or tote bag with a bottled water. This is Texas and it can get mighty hot in Sept. It is VERY important to stay hydrated. Also, bring a bite stick and put in your purse. Texas also has fire ants and if you happen to get bit while out in the fields, it is good to have a bite stick to kill the sting.

For nightime dining; If you are planning on eating at the original Royers Cafe in Roundtop, you will need to make reservations, and they will ask for a credit card, and it is nonrefundable. F.Y.I.

See you there!
XOXO Carolyn
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Step Right Up...Fall Warrenton 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up for the most fabulous show on earth. Do not be afraid and let's not get overwhelmed, we are here to help. Of course, we are talking about the upcoming Warrenton/Roundtop Antiques Extravaganza. It is simply not to be missed and we can help you out with the top attractions, where you will find the best food, antiques, parties, etc. We are here to give you all of our years of experience and information and it won't cost you a cent.
Our show will be opening just two weeks from tomorrow! Can you believe it???
I will be doing the 10 days of Warrenton...which will be a special countdown, until the week that we leave with some great tips and information every single day, starting today.

Tip of the day: (Day 1)
Friday, September 25th is the day we open at Carolyn Westbrook Home. We will be selling at the show at WHOLESALE PRICES, so if you have been itching to re-do that stale bedroom of yours, now is your chance. We will also have our FABULOUS one-of-a-kind finds.

I have to tell y'all a funny story. One of my customers came in on Friday (opening) , I was tagging a statue for her that she wanted, and I asked what name she wanted on the SOLD tag...she says to "mark it Zitch." I am like, that is an unusual last name, she says, that's not my name, but everytime I get here, these zitches have already been in here and bought up all of the great stuff, so this time, I am the zitch! I loved it...fell out over that one. So, now everytime we see her, that is her name...Ms. Zitch.

After you have finished here, do not miss the opening party for "CLUTTER." It is amazing. Located in an old house right off of HWY 237 you cannot miss it with the big sign that says "Clutter." It is in Warrenton, but East of Zapp Hall and before Marburger on the right (if you are headed East.) They have wonderful horsdeurves, wine, beer, soda, for their guests, but the best part is the heaping headful of inspiration that you will get here. The dislay is wonderful along with the merchandise. You are sure to find some treasure or trinket and for you ladies (or guys) that love transferware as much as I do, you will not leave empty handed. It is super crowded for this event, so get there early. I think the party starts at 5:00, but may be 4: 3opm. Would not hurt to get there early as there is a line.
Same goes for us, the early bird, gets the worm.

Here is the food tip of the day. If you find yourself at Zapp Hall (before Royers opens) and need a quick bite then look no further than the Diamond Shamrock gas station. They have the best sandwiches, and Doris will make it herself. They are made on homeade bread and are HUMONGEOUS!!! no kidding, the meat is piled 3" had better split it with a friend. They have wonderful red rind cheese, turkey, ham, whatever you like, and check the cooler for all kinds of bottles of sweet tea, diet sweet tea with mint, all kinds of YUMMY flavors. I'm from the south, so love the iced tea selection! At the counter, they have homeade sweet treats, that are made by the local ladies. So, stop in, grab a sack lunch and head out for a picnic lunch under a big tree, with your favorite shopping buddies. Believe me, with so much to see, you'll need the recharge.

Hope you guys enjoy the daily countdown and the tips and info, and better be seeing you down the road, at ZAPP HALL!
XOXO Carolyn
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Field Trip

Ladies...and gentleman too, it is time to confirm those hotel reservations for the upcoming Warrenton/Roundtop Antique Extravaganzzza! Get ready to get that car packed up and hit the road, because in three weeks, it is time for the biggest ANTIQUE show on earth! I will be posting important info, like the dates, which is 9/25/2009-10/3/2009, so important to know when to come. This show goes for miles and includes several towns, and different shows, open different days. I always recommend getting there early, especially at our shop, the early bird gets the best stuff to choose from. We open on Friday, 9/25/2009.
When you come in on 237 just keep on coming til you get into Warrenton, and look for the ZAPP HALL sign. You will see a Diamond Shamrock station...I recommend pulling in there and you can park in the parking lot in the back. This is a pretty central location.

I have enclosed a shot of Gina and I shopping at Warrenton. I love Warrenton because there are deals to be had, out in the fields. You never know what you will find. I think that Zapp Hall is the best field, and that is why, that is where you will find me. We have a little cottage there and a Big Tent, that is filled to the brim with all of our Carolyn Westbrook Home bedding, pillows, lamps, lampshades, slipcovers, and home accessories. THESE ARE AT WHOLESALE PRICES (DURING THE SHOW ONLY)Not to mention our fabulous one-of-a-kind antique treasures that we find along the way. We are known for creating an entire environment with slipcovered sofas, cabinets filled with ironstone, wonderful paintings and antique prints, so that our customers really can have a one-stop shop to decorate the rooms in their homes. We have done all the work and put it all together from antique iron beds, bedding, night stands, mirrors, wall art, cabinets, whatever you need. We have antique cabinets, harvest tables, all sizes and kinds of tables this trip, along with a primitive workbench, French bistro set (black and white), metal patio furniture, some pink, some cream with our signature Carolyn Westbrook Home cushions in coordinating pink, cream or green florals and stripes to match. It appears as a room setting when we are finished, with all of the work already done. Of course, we have Ironstone platters, dishes, and such, along with trophy cups, antique books, and anything that we think makes for the perfect combination.

I have included a list (Above)of things that you will want to bring on your junkin adventure in the gorgeous Texas Hill Country! So, get a sitter for the kids, the dog, the cat, the husband ( or bring him along) anything that is holding you back, cause you gotta come.

Not to be missed, this trip...we will feature some special pieces of our new CWH line of linen clothing. These will be a must have... in colors like chocolate brown, oatmeal, white, midnight, and moss, you are gonna love these and they are special! After the shopping...

Zapp Hall features Royers Cafe, where you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine, beer, or good 'ol southern tea in the beer garden, while you listen to live music! Let's not forget a glass of bubbly at the champagne lounge. The food at Royer's is to die for, especially the pie! They have the best shrimp BLT that you have ever had, if you've ever had one. I think it is a Royer's creation. It is the ultimate in gourmet comfort food, all enjoyed in the ambience, while gathering with your buds, showing off your finds! Hello...does it get any better?
We stay up til whenever, having show and tell and last year Gina even furnished a craft project for our late night get-together.

Check out local hotels in Brenham TX. to find accomodations.
Hope we will see you there!
XOXO Carolyn
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Cannot Wait....

I cannot wait any longer. I have done my best to hold it in as long as I could...does any of this look familiar? It is coming up on the time for the most fabulous show on earth...REALLY! September 25th will be the start date at Warrenton/Roundtop Antiques week, and we will be getting ready for the show at Zapp Hall. For those of you who have not been, then all I can say is, why not? I don't care how you have to get here, just get here. Once you go, you will be hooked. This show consists of miles and miles of the most great junkin that you have ever seen. You never know what you are going to find. Add to that, live music, the fabulous Royers Gourmet Comfort Food, and throw in your best friends, and you will know why they say, Come for the Shopping, but Stay for the Party. Let's not forget the "Bubble Lounge" at Zapp Hall or the Famous, "Junk Gypsy Prom." Hope to see you there!
XOXO Carolyn
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Lazy Days of Summer

This is a shot from my Summer Sale in July. This is my friend Wendy's Baby, Sophia. She is truly a little doll baby. Thank you Wendy, for letting me share this beautiful picture.

I thought that I would also share this with you, as a late summer project. This swing was the hit of my Summer Sale, and I was proud to not only be able to think of it, but to implement it, as well. You know, when you visualize something, and it does not turn out as good as you think or you simply cannot get it to work. Well, this was easy and worked perfectly. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to lay on this, under the trees, and gently rock back and forth. It is HEAVEN! You gotta have one!

Here's How To Do It:
I took a sheet of 1/2" plywood and put the twin mattress on it and drew off around it. Then I cut the pattern on the plywood out with a jigsaw. Don't be afraid, jigsaws are very easy to use and remember, GIRL POWER! I bought some heavy duty rope at Home Depot (was in with the swingset supplies) and you will need quite a bit, if it is a tall tree. I bought a 50 ft. piece. I drilled holes in each corner of the plywood ( being careful to put them all in the same spot, so it would hang level. Then I threw the rope over the tree limb and doubled it with a loop, then pulled the rope through the loop, and tightened it up around the limb. I then ran the rope down to either side and put several knots in, to make one big knot, which held great. Now for the fun part. I bought some pretty floral sheets ( using the flat sheet to cover the box springs)and then we hoisted the box springs and mattress on to the platform, and Voila!

Can't you just imagine yourself, lying about, gazing up through the trees, and even on the hottest days, under the trees it is nice (with a breeze blowing). Everyone had to try it out for themselves at the sale, and it is surprising how sturdy it is. Hope that everyone gets a chance to savor these late summer days in your very own swing bed!
XOXO Carolyn
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Let Them Eat Cake

Today, is my Mother's Birthday! For her birthday she wanted me to go see Julie and Julia, since she has not seen it yet. I was kinda hesitant since I usually hate seeing a movie more than once. No was just as good the second time around. You gotta go! It makes you want to go home and cook something delicious and while your at it, to remember to follow your dreams. Even when doing that comes with obvious obstacles. Hey, that's just the way it is. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. Victoria thinks that she now wants to go to culinary school, she was so inspired. Actually, we have talked about that, before this movie. Talk about putting in your dues. That is a tough job being a starter cook.

So, when we get home, I decide to make my grandmother's chocolate cake recipe, for her birthday. This is the best cake that you ever put in your mouth. I think that there are many versions of this, but to me, hers is the best, because it comes with a hunk of family tradition and lots of memories. The recipe card is covered with chocolate thumbprints and smudges from so much wear. For those of you, who have my Carolyn Westbrook Home book, the photo of this cake can be found on pages 132-133. And yes, it is even better that it looks. Talk about revealing a family secret, I am going to share that recipe with you, my closest friends, so grab your pen and paper and take this down, and try not to drool on the paper...

Grandmothers Fudge Cake

2 Cups sifted All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 stick Oleo aka margarine (I use butter, cause ya know, butta makes it betta!)
1 Cup Water
1/2 cup of Crisco ( Again, used butter. O.K. I didn't say it was lowfat)
1/4 Cup of Cocoa
1/2 Cup of Buttermilk
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder (make sure it is fresh)
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Sift together flour and sugar. In a saucepan begin melting butter, add water, cocoa and shortening, and bring to a rapid boil, while stirring. Pour over flour and sugar mixture and stir. Combine remaining ingredients into the bowl and stir. Pour into rectangle cake pan, that has been oiled. I spray mine with cooking spray. Put in the oven to bake until a tooth pick comes out clean in the center.

1 stick butter
3 1/2 TBSP. of Cocoa
1/3 cup of milk (I used cream)
1 lb. sifted powdered sugar.
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup of chopped pecans (optional)

Melt butter in saucepan. Add in cocoa then milk. keep stirring. I add powdered sugar, while stirring until it thickens to frosting consistency.
Ice the cake while hot and it will pratically ice itself. Recommend adding some Homeade Vanilla Blue Bell to go with.
Now sit back with a glass of ice cold milk and let this melt in your mouth. You will be thinking you died and gone to Heaven!
Bon Appetite, My friends!
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Carolyn Westbtrook in Romantic Country magazine

So, here I am perusing the isles of Barnes and Noble. Actually, I was standing at the magazine isle, then I was sitting, I was there for quite some time, as this is my mothership. You cannot get this in Corsicana, TX. I love Barnes and Noble. Every kind of magazine in the world, from around the world, and I had not even hit the decorating book section, yet. This is my idea of heaven. Anyway, looking through the Romantic Country, and there is one of my good customers, Candy Moger, and there is our signature bedding and pillows in the shot of her bedroom. LOVE IT! There was more...she loves our lampshades, and sure enough they were there in the living room shot, along with more pillows. Looking great, Candy! You know, I saw Jo Packham a few months ago, she is the author for the "Where Women Create" book that I was in. Now she is heading up the "Where Women Create" magazine. She showed me a copy, and I was very impressed. I was flipping through and saw Candy in that magazine, and I was surprised. Turns out Jo knows her well. I have spoken with Candy many times, and always fun to see a face to put with the voice.
Then, kept looking and saw our friends, Robin and John, from Magnolia Pearl. A feature on their wedding was in this issue.
Just when you think it cannot get any better, then I see an article on one of our California customers, Lucy Torres from the Paris Flea Market.
Happy to see that this magazine was filled with some top talent and of course, I bought it.
I could not find Jo's new issue of Where Women Create. I was disappointed about that because it is really good. We are going to try and work on something together for the magazine, hopefully we will be able to put something together.
I continued on with my hunt for more fabulous magazines. The other issue I liked, was House and Garden. Completely different from this style, but I do love diversity.
I am sitting there tearing through these magazines, one after another, I am in my element. People come and go, and here I am, still there, having the time of my life. Does not take much for us, does it girls. Just
give us a fabulous selection of inspirational magazines, and we are in Heaven.
I did eventually make it up to the book section. I like the book, Blue and White. I know it has been out a while, but the photography in that book is excellent and I am a fool for blue and white. It is so crisp and clean.
There are many books here, including the "Where Women Create" book, which we are fortunate enough to grace the cover is really weird to go into a book store and see your own stuff. Also, the, "Vintage Vavoom" book was front and center, which I was lucky enough to be a part of, which made me feel really special.
So, all in all, a great day at the Barnes and Noble. You gotta love Barnes and Noble. There is just something about that store, that you do not find anywhere else. It is so peaceful and calming, and the smell of coffee wafting through the air is devine. Makes you want to go have some, even in the middle of August, even if youre not a coffee drinker. Finally, had to go before my family sent out a search party.
Thinking about books on the way home and wanted to share a secret...
There is a new book coming out called William Yeoward: Entertaining...I was able to get a sneak peek from the publisher and it is a wonderful book. More about how I got a sneak peek, when I have more to tell, but keeping my fingers crossed. In the mean time, get out to your Barnes and Noble, and Enjoy...I did!
XOXO Carolyn
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Carolyn Westbrook: Summer FIreworks

Ahhh. Smell that morning air. Hope everyone is having a good Thursday morning. I had to share this with you. Actually, I meant to do this last week and didn't make time. The crepe myrtles are in a majestic glory, in the middle of August, can you believe it??? Usually, this time of year everything is dead and dry. I walked out this morning, to a gorgeous sunrise and this huge burst of color that reminds me of fireworks. They are absolutely gorgeous. I began to think about how when we first moved here (15 years ago) that I would have coffee outside in the morning, and really appreciate the birds, the trees and all of the beauty that life has to offer. Now, I get so busy and stressed, that I forget to appreciate life and all of the beauty that surrounds each and every one of us. Whether it is in our yard, our house, our loved ones or in whatever form, let's remember to appreciate the good things in life. Especially, the things we love like junkin, decorating, and just a good project in general... nothin wrong with that! Here's to the GOOD STUFF!
XOXO Carolyn
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