Monday, December 26, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: NYC Bergdof at Christmas

Hey Everyone! Hope you are enjoying the Season!! Here are more photos as promised from the Bergdof windows in NYC. First, is Alex excited to be posing in front of the windows. All I have to say, is it is a good thing that my friends, Gina, Heidi and Portia were not here with me, because we would have never been able to leave this location. Seriously, the next day, they would be scooping us up off of the sidewalk, as we would have stood out there all night trying to see everything, which is almost impossible. The detail is incredible. One window is all items made of wood, then another all white, and another is all mosaic jeweled items that looks like an underwater fairyland, and another is all black and white.

I hope that y'all enjoy these pictures, as it was really special. I am sort of numb today after too many sausage balls, turkey and dressing, and pecan pie...ughh! But it was a wonderful time for the entire family.
We have another member of the family now. The other day, after returning for New York, someone "dropped off" a little abandoned cocker spaniel. We named her Coco Chanel. She has found her a home and living in luxury, as she sleeps with me and follows me wherever I go. If I am not here, then you will find her curled up next to someone. She seems to have abandoment issues, as she will not go outside to potty unless someone goes and stands with her. I guess she is afraid that we will run off and leave her. Then, Victoria brought her Husky puppy "Coda" to live here for a while. Now we are back up to four dogs, 10 chickens, and Alex got an aquarium for now we have fish too, and an occasional cow.

Life is never boring. Believe it or not, there are even more pics to post....enjoy!

xo Carolyn

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: More from NYC

As are some more photos of the Christmas windows in New York. Hope everyone has all of their last minute shopping done...tick, tick, tick.

xoxo Carolyn

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Christmas in NYC...

It has always been a dream to be able to see Christmas in New York and this year, that dream came true. Alex's birthday is right after Christmas, and she always gets a bad deal, as everyone combines birthday and Christmas. So, this year is her 18th birthday, and I decided to make it special and surprised her and my son Nick, with a trip to NYC. It was AMAZING! Of course, we were all there for different reasons. Mine was all about the window displays, Alex was all about the shopping, and Nick wanted to see the Natural History Museum and a cool Broadway show.
We walked for miles and miles the first day. First, was the Macy's windows. I took so many pics, that I thought that I would break them down. The Macy's windows were all sort of industrial inspired with gears and gadgets, and rockets, and turning things, and they did not disappoint. You can see a bit of that here. Then the other side of the building, was all about the book, Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. They had these windows within the windows, and you can see here as you peek into the library, and they were incredible.
That night we were off to see "Chicago" and since Nick plays the trumpet, he really enjoyed it. In fact, I have seen it before, but it is my favorite. Times Square was really, really crowded, with hustle and bustle, and some dancing Salvation Army volunteers, right outside of the 3-story Toys R Us, which had lines for miles. Like I said, Bergdof's windows were fantastic and left me speechless. I will save those for the last. I wish you could have all been there with me to see them, as the pictures cannot possibly do them justice. I want to meet with the people that came up with the concepts of these windows, as they are genius. Detail, detail, detail...incredible. I hope that all of you and yours are enjoying the excitment of the holidays and will post more tomorrow!

xoxo Carolyn
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Life from the Plantation

Even the dogs are decorating. I ran across this photo of my beloved Princess, and wanted to share it. Made me laugh and remember how great she was. I have missed talking to y'all and there has been much going on around here. The past three weeks, we have been going through operation: renovation. We got the news that the big muckety-mucks from one of the biggest retailers had agreed to a meeting/luncheon at the plantation. It started out, that we would showcase two of the collections. Then, my manufacturer thought that we should showcase all four. Plus the photographers were flying in from NYC for the last shoot for the book. I had people come in to gut one of the downstairs rooms, and by gut I mean ripping up carpet and tack strip, and pulling nails from the hardwoods. Floors were refinished, walls were repainted to match the bedding, and it turned out amazing@! Then upstairs, I decided to touch up the trim in the 40 ft. long hallway. When I did that the other trim looked dingy. So, had to paint all the trim and then the walls looked HORRIBLE. Then, had to repaint the entire hallway upstairs, but the problem was there was no break down the stairway, so had to paint ourselves down the stairs and into the downstairs hall. Crazy...right?? Did an entire overhaul on Alex's room. Her room ended up looking like a mid-century NYC apartment. With only 3 days to go, I am off to the lot to find the perfect tree for the downstairs hallway. The ceilings are 14ft. so it had to be tall. It goes in an urn atop a table and thought that I normally do not get them tall enough. Got a tree, got home and as Joe, Nick and I hauled it atop the table and it is touching the ceiling, Alex comes down the stairs laughing, saying "Hey Clark Griswold, is that tree big enough??"

It was down to the wire. The photographers came in Monday and it has not stopped since. The big retail people came out and we served them a real plantation lunch, with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, homeade rolls and peach cobbler. I think that one of the gentlemen could be my brother...he loved all of the things that I do, Paris, New York, toile, ticking and we swapped our stories about being searched when we tried to bring back a chandlier in a duffle bag or was it a bird cage, as we came through customs. I would love the opportunity to work with him, as he has 14 tubs of Christmas decorations for one room in his house. He might have me beat?? So y'all keep your fingers crossed that this works out.

Next, we lost the Colonel and now another of our roosters to an owl. The only one left is Chik-Fil-A. We put him in the pen with the ladies, and he seems to be in heaven. No more late night roaming around...he is the first in the roost for some shut-eye. Think he could be wearing himself out. WE also did a complete renovation of the chicken house that is original and built in the 1800's. We added some shutters, and some FAB urns with topiaries and candlelit lanterns.
The publishers had said that they wanted more shots here at the planatation, so we worked ourselves to death to get the house redecorated, remodeled a few rooms, and had to do Christmas all at the same time. I need a rest!!!

The good news is now I can have a Christmas get-together and it is all done. Woo Hoo!

This morning I woke up with glitter on my face and paint on my fingers...must have been a wild time.
Hope that you are having fun getting ready for the favorite time of year!

xoxo Carolyn
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Party at the Plantation

(Alex and friends had to get a shot with the hot pink pony.)
Hey Y'all! Last night was a huge party here at the Plantation and it was one helluvabash! It was time to celebrate with my niece Carrington's 4th birthday and Victoria's 22nd birthday. It was a pink confection with Hello Kitty everywhere. We have been from NYC to Houston, and trying to get all of the orders out this week, no time for a rest, and knew this party was coming up. Not to mention another photo shoot in two weeks and having the NYC team coming pressure. But, it was all about the party yesterday and Alex decided she needed to go look at a new car yesterday, as we committed to getting something. We thought we saw the perfect Mustang convertible, so thought we could run to Dallas and have a look at the car, and then come back and get it all done in 2 hours. What was I thinking??
(Victoria and Carrington, the birthday queens of the night!)
I might have been a little over-confident as we were hustling to get it all done before the first guest. Christi and I were going crazy, and the Victoria's showed up to help. We called in all of the troops and everyone was busy doing something. I kept disappearing into the warehouse and coming out with good stuff, and then off to the barn and some of the warehouses to find tables, chairs, fabrics, drapes, etc. We strung lights, and had tables with tablecoths, it was all about the black, hot pink and princess. Chandeliers hung from the tree limbs over the tables and urns and statuary were the centerpieces. Cake stands were loaded with candied apples, and cupcakes and jars were full of hot pink taffy, and pink jelly beans.Even a pink glitter pony...wishing for one with "saddlebags full of money" after this party. We had a stage, music, karaoke, castle bounce house and loads of hot dogs, and fixins. We had all ages from 3-70 and everyone had a great time. At one point, EVERYONE was out on the floor doing the "Cupid Shuffle" dance. Totally fun for all. We roasted ooey-gooey marshmallows and had loads of hot dogs with chili.

(Left: Alex and Carrington pose for a pic)
THe kids were going crazy, partly from sugar and partly from the excitment. The best part was when one of the little boys was running around and shouted, this is the best party that I have ever been to, and Alex said...I think our parties just get better and better. That was a home run!

Now have to get busy with the makeover of 3 rooms for the next photo shoot and Christmas decorations, as we are shooting Christmas in mid-November. So crazy, but at least it will be done! and just before the New York team comes in to discuss the fall/winter bedding line for 2012 at the plantation. The good news is...I could not be working with better or more talented people. They are hip, fun, and experts in the business of bedding.

Can you believe that it is almost November, boy this year has flown!

XOXO Carolyn
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Live from Roundtop

Tomorrow is the last day for the best show held only twice a year. Come see us at Zapp Hall in Warrenton, Texas. We close ar 4pm, so
hurry on over or wait until spring. Hope to see y'all there!

xo Carolyn
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Calling all Shoppers!

ok...I the event that I talk about all year, is finally here. This is the not-to-be-missed bountiful, plethora of the finest junk, antiques, and home fashion that one can see anywhere. Inspiration is everywhere, so grab a friend and make the road trip to Roundtop Antiques Week in Warrenton Texas. We will be at Zapp Hall in Warrenton Texas, look for the sign pictured here. We open Friday September 23rd and close at 4pm on Oct. 1st.
I will be signing books throughout the show, and if you cannot make it here a special book signing is scheduled at Leftover Antiques in Brenham TX. Sept. 24th at 6 pm.

Hope to see everyone there!!

xo Carolyn

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Live from the Plantation...Big News!

Hey Everyone. I have some big news that I want to share with all of you...and want you to know without everyone's support, this would not be possible. The summer was spent with trips back and forth to New York, and yes we have an incredible announcement...after months and months of negotiations, we were just able to sign our big deal with one of the largest bedding, quilt and bath companies. Featuring the Carolyn Westbrook Home brand of bedding, for adult and kids, and bath, for rollout with major retailers in Spring 2012.

I have been busy, designing, creating, and merchandising the new line, and the showroom. It is an amazing and huge showroom, in NYC on Fifth Avenue. So, all of the fabrics that I have carried around in my mind for years, as well as the bits and pieces that we brought back from Paris, have all come together to create beautiful bedding and pillows. I go back this week to do a final walkthrough of the showroom and see the final display, before the stores come in next week. I wish that everyone could be there with me, as we see this for the first time. How great would that be?? It is truly unbelieveable.

Everyone keep their fingers crossed that the retailers will love the line. I will try and take some pics while I am there, so that you all will be able to see it for yourselves.

Want to tell all of you to keep living your dreams. Even and especially when that seems impossible.

This week...I am in NYC and then off to Roundtop Antiques Week. We open Sept. 23rd-October 1st at Zapp Hall in Warrenton Texas. The motto here is "Come for the shopping, stay for the Party!" Right outside my door is gourmet comfort food from Royers Cafe and it is always a good time for a glass of champagne from the "Bubble Lounge."

Also, I am doing a book signing with my friends from Leftovers Antiques in Brenham TX Sept. 24th at 6pm. They have an amazing store and should be a great party!

I hope to see each and every one of you there...cannot wait. xoxo Carolyn

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Photo shoot at the PLantation

I had to share this with yall. Thought it was so funny. Keith is busy checking the shot on his laptop and Old Jake was right by his side, gazing into the monitor alongside know he's saying in his old dog voice, that's lookin really good, Keith. I love it. I had several pictures of Jake for an entire hour following Keith and looking at the pictures with him. We were able to get some great shots, in spite of the 110 degree weather. Things seem to be rolling along with the new book and think that it is going to be the best yet.

The sunporch is all glamour with black and white dramatic look. Turned out amazing and photographed really well. So, we are now thinking about Roundtop Antiques Week that is just around the corner. WE will begin selling Sept. 23rd-Oct. 1st and hoping that it cools off for our big soiree. Know that all of my hard core treasure seekers will be there no matter what the weather, for we are all about the hunt.

Cannot wait to see you there!

xo Carolyn
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

CWH LIve from the Plantation...

ok, so this has been the craziest summer..ever! It has been a wild ride around here. We are getting ready for a photo shoot this week, for the new book, which now has a title...Carolyn Westbrook: A French Country House, which we decided over dinner last week, as the publishers flew in from London...and might I say, a good time was had by all. Life always seems to be feast or famine, so back to back important business meetings, and something drastic happens, as it always does around here. Last Saturday, I noticed one of the doors was open on one of the warehouses here, and don't tell anyone, but every time I walked into that warehouse lately, I noticed the floor was "soft." You guys know what I mean when I say, it is one of those things that you do not want to deal with or have time to deal with, so I just kinda pretended that it was fine...and I would take care of it when I had the time to deal with it. Well, I went out to the warehouse, which apparently someone had been creeping around in, and when I walked through the door, there was a huge hole in the floor, where some creeper had fallen through. Now, that has to make you chuckle just a little bit, because first of all, this creeper guy gets in the warehouse and there is not one thing that he would want to steal. Now... if it was a girl creeper, they would be in heaven, but a guy would just look around and go, "huh?"It is all pillows, and furniture, and fabric, he was probably so disappointed, and then he falls through the floor. Can you just imagine the look on his face??

Obviously, I cannot leave a hole in the floor, so I go back the house, pick up the phone, on a Saturday afternoon, and there is no one answering the phone to come fix this. I am freaking out because I had already started a major renovation on the sun porch (for the photo shoot) and everything that was in there, is now out in the middle of the yard. Oh yea...looking good. At this moment I have a mess in the yard, and a hole in the floor and a photo shoot and a meeting just days away, not to mention the yard is pretty much burnt up, because we are living with 110 degree heat everyday, and we forgot what rain looks like. Nicholas a.k.a Nick, my son who is 15, comes out of the house and says that he can take care of that floor. He proceeds into the garage, brings out a sledgehammer and tromps off toward the warehouse. My nephew Christian is staying with us, and Nick drags him off of the games to enlist his help. We drag all of the stuff out of the warehouse into the yard. Now as I write this, you cannot imagine how much "stuff" is in this warehouse. It would be like if I dragged everything you own, out of your house and closets and multiply that x 10.
So, you get the picture. We piled the mirrors up leaning against the warehouse, thinking nothing other than hoping they do not get broken.

ok, remember me telling you about Chik-fil-a and the other two crazy roosters? They spent the entire next three days, strutting past the rooster (in the mirror) and puffing up and crowing at the other rooster, that was in the mirror. It was like fall down on the ground laughing funny. These guys are so full of ego and testosterone. Sunday was spent with everyone out in this warehouse pulling nails, joists (what was left of them.) Seriously, when we pulled the floor, there was nothing left. The joists were like sawdust...termites. Did I mention that it was 110 degrees? Nick and Victoria and all of us, pitched in and we got the joists rebuilt. Seriously, was amazing as Nick did the majority of the work, leveling, and placing them just 15 years old. The termite guys came in Monday and did their work, to kill these pesky things and then a new floor was put in. While they were doing that, Christian and I and others, went to work on the sunporch to transform that space. I look out in the road and see a Range Rover, as someone was driving by, who had come to get a peek of the house. I'm thinking, what they must be thinking with "stuff" scattered all over the yard, and us wild looking people with sweat and dirt everywhere. You gotta laught, right? Just hope they are not taking pictures.

If you guys can remember from my first book, this space was all red, white and blue, which now had become a bit dated. We painted the floor glossy white and hung black and white stripe curtains. I hung black and white antlers and black glossy frames, it looked amazing, but it was still 110 degrees. Christian looks at me and asks me, "Aunt Carolyn, how much money do you make?" I asked him, why he was asking me this and he says, "Whatever it is...its not worth it." At this point, I might have agreed with him. It was absolutely crazy.

About that time, Christi pulls up in her brand new Yukon (SUV) that is black, all shiny and smelling brand new and you will never guess what happens next. Chik fil a decides to fly up on the hood of her car and when he starts sliding off, he starts clawing the hood, to get back up and claws the hood all the way to the ground. Christi is standing there in disbelief, as we all were. "I am gonna kill that chicken, she screams" while chasing Chik fil A across the yard. Luckily, we buffed it out, and were laughing later as she comes in saying, y'all were having fried chicken tonight! My mom said she could see Christi chasing Chik fil a across the yard with a hatchet.

Oh, and almost forgot the part about when Nick and I were bringing the rug and chest around from the sunporch to go in the other warehouse for storage, and I look across the yard and see a frog as he can. Around here, you rarely see frogs, mostly toads, but this was a real frog hopping as fast as he can with back legs outstretched flying across the air, like a cartoon. I pointed and told Nick, look at that frog and about that time, we both see the huge snake about 2 foot behind him, arched up in the air like a cobra flying across the ground, but his head and half his body upright. I have NEVER seen a snake do that and he is hot on the trail of the poor frog. We both at the same time yell, SNAKE! Nick runs to the house to get his gun and the snake stops dead cold, as I am hollering at him to get him to stay put. He is half upright turning his head to look at me, like a cobra would in the movies. Where in the heck is Nick, I am thinking. The darn thing lays down and starts slithering toward the garden, which is covered in flocks, and you cannot see anything here. Here comes Nick with the big shotgun, as he cannot find his other one, and he does not want to shoot, as this is an old gun with a huge kick that will bruise your shoulder. I run out to my pile of stuff in the yard, and grab a pillow, and run it back and say, put this on your shoulder. The snakes tail is barely hanging out of the garden, on the brick and Nick takes aim, with the pillow behind the gun and fires a very LOUD shot. The snake slithers off and we poked all around and the snake jumps out and slithers across Nick's boot and off into who-knows where. We did not find him, but the frog was saved.

Tuesday night, and it is still 110 degrees and we are shoving the last box back into the warehouse, sunporch almost final, and I have to go get ready for my big meeting the next morning. The people that I met with were disappointed that they flew in from New York and we did not get to meet at the house...if they only knew what had gone on up until that point. I decided to not have the meeting here, as only 8 hours earlier, I would have not had a clue that we could have pulled that one off. So, as I dropped one group off at the airport, I picked up the other group...photographers. Keith Scott Morton and I, feel like old friends now, so he did not mind the last minute clean up and preparation. In the end, the meetings went well, the photo shoot was great, and as I dropped Keith at the airport last night, and Joe and I drove home in the dark, I thought...I do not want to have to go outside all weekend. It is my birthday Monday, and I am going to stay in, under the air-conditioning, and lay across my bed and look at magazines and decorating books, and be lazy for once. Now, that will probably last about an hour and then I will be telling Joe, hey...I have an idea...and he will look at me with the one eyebrow up and say, uh-oh...not again.

Happy Summer!

xoxo Carolyn

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sorry Everyone, the show will not go on....

I want to apologize, but something has come up and we will have to cancel the Summer Vintage Market sale. I am sorry for any inconvience, but will try and re-schedule at a later date.

Happy Summer to Everyone!

xo Carolyn

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: The Big Show

So, this is for all that have asked, when I am going to do my summer show. This is it..the information is here. It will be held one day, Saturday July 23rd from 9am-4pm in Rice, TX. (which is right up the road) and easy to get to off of I-45). Exit FM 1126 off of I-45 and it is on the West side, off of the service rd, and next to the nursery. Did I mention that it is air-conditioned?? I know we usually have an open air environment, but it is just too hot. I have invited some of my favorites in the biz, so you can imagine it will be a great show and only 40 min. from downtown Dallas and a little over 2 hour drive from Houston. For those in Austin, it is just a hop, skip and a jump. Last show, I had someone fly in from Ohio...amazing.

It will be loaded with awesome antiques, lots of garden stuff, furniture, and more.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful 4th of July, but you better find a swimming pool, a water sprinkler or a hose, because it is supposed to be over a 100 degrees again today. So, get the grill fired up, the airconditioner humming, and get yourserlf a big 'ol glass of iced tea with fresh mint...settle in somewhere with your favorite magazines or grab your swim suit and dive in...whatever you do, Enjoy your weekend!

xoxo Carolyn
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Saturday, June 25, 2011


SO, this was our EAT PRAY LOVE moment in NYC. We were having a romance with our pizza and gelato. This was a place called Eately and was a fantastic marketplace.

This was one of the pastry counters.


I have a friend from New York, who told us to have a steak at Frankie and Johnny's. He said that he was buying if it was not the best steak we had ever had. It was amazing but big enough for 4 people to eat.

It was a great trip and wanted to share.
Hope that you are all able to have some summer fun whether in another city or in your back yard!

xo Carolyn
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Awesome NYC adventures

Had a wonderful trip to NYC and wanted to share some inspiration. We had a great adventure with beautiful scenery, good food, and lots of shopping. I wonder what the budget is for the flowers in NYC? It is amazing. There are so many parks...I will have to share more pics on a seperate post. Here are some pics from ABC Carpet and Home and it was great as usual. A new place we went to was Fishes and Eddy (hope that is right). They told me they started out selling all hotel dishes and silver. Now it is new, but merchandised really unique. There were many of the vintage painted portraits that we love to name and create a story for. My friend Heidi collects these for her fabulous stores, so I gave her one and we named him Eduardo and he traveled around the world and threw fabulous parties. Anyway, loved how they worked them into the dish decor. It was a total EAT PRAY LOVE trip, as we shopped around and had some pretty yummy pizza, which will be in the next post. ABC Carpet and Home as the most incredible collection of chandeliers that I have seen anywhere. LOVE! Cannot afford one, but worth the trip.

I like the bedding floor...and I make bedding. The beds, the chandeliers, and all of the artful displays and antiques...well done. We stayed in the oldest hotel in New York. The architecture here is reminiscent of Europe. If you have not been then you need to go, but like it much better in the fall or spring. It was so crowded, I have not ever seen it like this. Sort of like Disney in the summer. I stopped by my favorite photographers studio, Mr. Keith Scott Morton and he was in the middle of a studio shoot. He had just finished shooting Katie Couric and said that she was so nice. She even made them a sandwich. Yes, but did she serve you iced tea in a Mason jar with fresh mint?? He laughed, and said no and that he wanted to come back to our neck of the woods for iced tea and Bar B Que.
Windows of ABC
Dishes and a portrait that looks a bit like Eduardo.

Exterior of ABC Carpet and Home

Will post more for you to see!
xo Carolyn
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Great Junking!

I was able to get to Canton Flea Market for a few hours this month, and realized how much I enjoy treasure hunting! I always try and get there early, when it is not so hot, and try and beat everyone to the buried treasure (tee hee). Collections are such an important part of any roomscape, and you know that I believe it needs to old and treasured, not some trinket bought from a store shelf. ok, maybe a few really good trinkets, but you have to have some antique patina or it looks like everyone else's house. I love stacks of antique leather bound French books. Now that is a beautiful sight. This photograph is in the new book, The French Inspired Home and here it is featured in a magazine, but you get the is all about the collections. Tarnished silver, stacks of books, a piece of antler, and a lone German sheep, looks amazing.

Plus, the bonus is, it gives you something to hunt for. I had bought just a couple of items, and was becoming a bit discouraged when I came upon a huge French mirror, dripping in swags and garlands of roses and bows. Standing about 6 ft. tall, I breathlessly asked the man, how much? He looks at me and says, how 'bout $125? Dollars? I asked...then quickly said, can you do $100? I know, shameless, but you have to ask. He quickly agreed and I could not pay him fast enough. The adreneline was racing through my veins as I shoved the money at him. I'll be back to get it, I told him. When I returned, he had a posse of women standing around it. He said, I'm glad your back, these women were about to make off with it. Usually, it is me that is left drooling over the "sold" item, but this time, I was the finder of the treasure! How exciting I thought, as I carefully put the mirror in the back of the Suburban. It was a good haul and a good day, as we sat under the shade of a tree, eating pimento cheese sandwiches with my mom and looking affectionately at my mirror. So, get out there and find your own buried treasures this summer, you will be glad that you did!!

xo Carolyn
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Live from the plantation..Home Grown!

So, when we started this garden the last frost was just a few days before. Nick decided that he was going to have a garden and boy, did he! He tilled up a big patch and then we went and purchased plants and seeds for cucumbers, sugar snap peas, squash, onions, name it we have it. He put up trellises for the cucumbers and tomatoes and worked his heart out, and you know what they reap what you sow. Today, he came in with the prettiest and yummiest carrots that I have ever seen. Honestly. carrots have never really developed in Texas that I have seen. These are big, fat, juicy carrots, and do not taste like store-bought. Anyway, needless to say we had a feast of vegetables and I cannot wait until the red, ripe tomatoes start coming in. There is nothing better than a tomatoe sandwich, but only works with home-grown. The store bought ones taste like cardboard. We have more onions than we know what to do with.

This is the perfect time of year. We are all excited because it is warm enough to go barefoot, but not too hot. Time for working in the flower beds and gardens and decorating our out-of doors. After a long winter snooze, it is time to refesh and renew. Throw open the windows, break open the Pine-Sol and get busy. Washing down the house is a big job, but was sorely needed. A little touch up painting around doors and porches and all of the porches needed a good scrub. This is the time of year that I always like to evaluate the outside and see what needs freshening. Beautiful, bright, new cushions are brought out to grace all of the chairs, swing, and sofa on the front porch and same for the back. The porches are adorned with blue & white pottery of all sizes and filled with flowering plants. Any old rusted hardware, door knobs, door bell plates, should be addressed. This is the place that everyone sees, their first impression, so make it a good one. It is a great time to have beautiful patio or porch furniture, colorful umbrellas, rugs, even lamps, under a covered area. I like to try and find cheap vintage oil paintings and signs when out at the flea markets, to use on the porch. I was able to find a great "boat rental" sign that is one of my favorites for the back porch and an antique wire plant stand. It looks great covered in vintage pots, moss, and little flowering blooms look quite cheery when friends come in the back way.

Oh, and by the way...for those who read this regularly, you will remember that Nick brought home those baby chicks, even when I told him not to...they are ALL roosters. We may have to do some trading at Canton next week. Too many roosters in the hen house and they are all learning to crow at the same time. Old Jake is doing well and has gained 13 lbs, has a shiny coat and now acts as if he was here all along. Bob, who is my licensing agent was down yesterday, and he couldn't believe it was the same skinny, run-down dog from the shelter that he had seen 2 months before. Jake seems to like it here and has fit in very well.

I was busy getting ready for our first photo shoot for the new book, a couple of weeks ago. It was a whirlwind shoot schedule, but turned out just fantastic. I am really pleased with the direction of the new book and I hope to top the last book.
This weekend is supposed to be beautiful weather, so let's get out there and enjoy it. Refresh, Renew, and Enjoy!!! Happy Memorial Weekend everyone!!! xo Carolyn
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: From the Big Apple

Bryant Park

Ralph Lauren NYC

Ralph Lauren NYC

Just returned from New York City and wanted to share these photos with you. I love NYC and it was absolutely full of inspiration and beauty. Spring flowers were spilling out all over the streets with big pots of hyacinths, tulips and daffodils everywhere we went. The architecure is amazing too. This shot of the carousel at Bryant Park reminds me of Paris. If you cannot get to Paris, I would recommend New York. This trip was fast and furious and I made my licensing agent walk over 20 blocks in the sprinkling rain to see the Ralph Lauren store. There were no cabs available...they were all full because of the rain and we walked and we walked, but it was totally worth it. The windows were breathtaking. I wish you could see them better, as there are many details that do not show up in the shots. I have one word: AMAZING!
The entire trip was good and hopefully will have some good news to share with you on the book front.

xoxo Carolyn

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: A Sad Day in Warrenton and at the Plantation

What started out as just another beautiful day in Warrenton Texas, soon turned tragic with one phone call. All that know me, know my love for my big Schnauzer "Princess" ( pictured on the right.) She was my baby and in my first book, sitting on the couch. She is our baby and pretty much runs the house. One of the smartest girls that I have ever met. She has been battling Cushings Disease and was not well, but doing fairly well when I left for Antiques Week. She suddenly became extremely ill and lost her battle yesterday. I told her that I would see her when I got back, and now realize that she will not be at the door waiting for me when I return. One of the saddest days for the entire family and we have all shed alot of tears. It is truly heartbreaking. I could not have been in a better place, as we sat around the table last night with all of my good friends gathered round, crying with me and offering condolences. Victoria was devastated and we could not find anyone that sold a pet casket locally. I told Victoria that when I was in Minnesota, that I bought a fabulous alligator suitcase with red satin lining and that would be fitting for her. She had a very dignified burial, just wish I was there for it. Later, I told my friends, with the price of caskets, got me thinking...will someone please bury me in a Louis Vuitton trunk. I think that would be much more to my liking... and my Mother laughed for once that day and said, "Honey, we might have to fold you in half." I told her that was ok by me. Princess will be sorely missed and unreplaceable. We all know that she is in a better place and feeling no pain now. Love to all, who understand the great joy and unconditional love that our pets, or should I say family members, bring in our lifetime. Here's to Princess...may you always be in green pastures and I know that you know, how much you were loved. xoxo Carolyn