Archive for July, 2007

A PEEK INTO THE LOOKING GLASS

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The gathering of women at Alice Lands was a diverse and interesting collection of distinct personalities, each special and wonderful.  Like the individual items in the treasure box above, the grouping becomes more beautiful as the collage becomes complete.

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Our hostess in Alice Lands greeted each of us with a smile.  Lauren made all of us feel welcome and special.  Let the tour begin!

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There was a feast for the eyes at every turn.  Lauren’s home was fun and lively, filled with great displays of artists’ creations and vintage collections.

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A place of repose and relaxation, but does she ever rest….I think NOT!

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So many treasures await Lauren’s thoughtful and talented hands in the Den of Inspiration.  How could anyone not be inspired in this room?  Just think of all of the artful designs waiting to be completed!

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Ulla and Donna…teacher…artists…friends

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Nicol and Mary…new friends

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Lauren and Sharon…kindred spirits. 

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Here we are the Eight Princesses of Alice Lands.  Our day was filled with laughter, endless chatter, sweet treats, special gifts, and one extraordinary lady from France.  Ooh la la Corey, thank you for making the journey to Alice Lands!

Back row, left to right…Corey, Mary, Lea, Donna, Ulla

Front row, left to right…Lauren, Nicol, Sharon

Thank you Lauren, for a fabulous day in your Wonderland!

LIFE’S A BANQUET…

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"Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death."  This is one of my favorite quotes.  It’s from the movie,  Auntie Mame.

Occasionally, a customer enters our store, looks right at me and asks, "Are you a new owner? This shop doesn’t look the same as the last time I was here."  First of all, since I have practically been working in the shop 24/7 for the past ten years and have long red hair, I can surmise that this is not a "regular" customer.  My second thought is "fabulous", we have such new, exciting merchandise that every time a customer walks through the door, they encounter a different atmosphere.  How boring life would be if we never experienced anything new.

In our family, we have a few quirky rules.  One of the rules is Mattern’s Don’t Do Lines (see Montmartre Walk post) and every time we go to Disneyland we have to do something we haven’t done before.  My youngest son and his wife live fifteen minutes from the "happiest place on earth" so we go quite often.  (O.K., I admit it, we are Disneyland junkies and we have season passes.  We are totally under Tinkerbell’s spell.)  Every time we enter the Magic Kingdom this rule becomes a bit more challenging.  On the other hand, anything counts…eating somewhere different, going on a new ride (even if it’s a kiddie ride or a scary ride we’ve avoided in the past), watching a live show, or entering a shop we’ve only walked by previously.  The point is, while repeating an adventure we love, we are adding a new memory to the vault.  If the new experience is less than fun or a complete disaster, you still might get a good story out of it.  Just ask Rodger about his ten dollar diet Pepsi he had in Paris—oops that’s a story for a future blog.  I just encourage you to add something new to your bank of memories this summer.  The investment is worth it.  You can’t get fat from the calories you consume at life’s banquet.  Enjoy!

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My new experience for Disneyland 2007, a picture with Sorcerer Mickey!

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Do you know where this mural is located in Disneyland?  Exact location, please be specific!

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Sharon and Rodger with sons, Jeremy and Noel, in a wild tea cup ride.  Fantasyland will never be the same!

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Can you guess what Beach Boys’ song was playing when I took this picture?

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The Hollywood Tower Hotel (a true Tower of Terror) is not for the faint of heart.  It is for hard-core Disney-addicts only!  We LOVE this ride.

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This picture was taken in California Adventure, do you the name of this rock formation?

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Roaring Rapids (wet and wild)… the person in our raft who gets the wettest is the winner.  We have been known to NOT get off the ride, because we did NOT get wet enough!

LEAVIN’ ON A JET PLANE…

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We’re off to hunt for a bounty of treasures!  We will be acquiring special curiosities to complete the finishing touches for our Haunted Mansion theme.  American Harvest will undergo this spellbinding transformation at the end of August. 

In addition to our adventure, we will spend time with our funny, talented son and his beautiful wife.  Precious time indeed, since we don’t get to see them very often.  To complete our getaway and celebrate our anniversary, we will pay a visit to Mickey at the big "D".  I’ve actually been going through Disneyland withdrawal.  We haven’t been there since December ’06!

Have a great week my dear ladies.  We’ll be back in a flash with a bag full of tricks and treats to delight you!

Sharon

P.S. Do you think they’ll let me take all the carry-ons pictured above?  They’re empty now, but on our return they will be filled to the brim!

A FAIRY TALE WORLD

Donna O’Brien just delivered an array of glimmering treasures to American Harvest.  Here’s a peek at her fabulous creations.

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Crown, Fairy Tale Dreams can be ordered $130.00

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Fairy Tale Mannequin with wings and a crown.  Please call American Harvest (925-485-1577) or email for availability, $236

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Glass Theater, Little Fairy Waltz, please call or email American Harvest for availability, $195

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Initial Crowns, shown above, in the bottom left side of photo, can be ordered.  $34, please specify letter and color of rosette.

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The Medallion Crown by Donna O’Brien is available at our website, $34

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Donna has taken her crown and added vintage millinery flowers, $48

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Pictured above are some of the "Stars" of Donna O’Brien’s production of "A Fairy Tale World" now playing on stage at American Harvest.

ON STAGE AT AMERICAN HARVEST

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Growing up, I always thought I would like to be "on stage".  Plays, musicals, dancer in the chorus…it all appealed to me.  I enjoyed performing skits for friends on our make believe stage in our backyard.  The first part I played was Mistress Winslow, a pilgrim, in a Thanksgiving play in the fifth grade.  The character was totally boring and a bit stuffy.  Oh well, this is just the beginning of my acting career.  "Better parts will come along", I thought. 

The first hint that I had no talent or stage presence was when I was a Junior in high school.  After "trying out" for a part in the school musical, I landed the roll of "spotlight girl".  I was part of the stage crew instead of "on stage".  My future husband, Rodger, on the other hand captured the lead role in the musical despite the fact that he can’t sing (he is a great dancer!).

The second indication of my lack of talent came when I was a Senior.  I was cast as First Dead Woman in the play "Our Town".  Not much acting or movement involved here.  Again, Rodger was given a great part in the play.  He didn’t even try out!  Seems that when the current cast member got suspended from school, they needed a quick replacement.  The director thought of Rodg first.  I guess the ability to memorize lines instantly and take on any character with ease had something to do with her decision.

After we were married, we participated in skits at church.  I couldn’t help but wonder why I was continually being cast as Mary Magdalene, the Woman at the Well, or whomever the local prostitute happened to be.  "It’s because of your long red hair", my husband assured me.  Hmmm…..  I wasn’t so sure.  One Sunday, I woke up to realize my stage fright had become paralyzing.  I was dreading going to church.  I’m sure that made God happy!

The curtain has closed on my acting days.  Now, I am completely at ease with my position as "director" at American Harvest.  I have the gift of organization (my husband says I have the gift of bossiness).  So grab your script and come on stage at American Harvest.  You will always be the "star" and you never have to "try out".  Be assured that we will always applaud and ask for an encore!

Here are some pictures of the "Stars" now performing at American Harvest.

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Vintage Italian chandelier

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Rabbit by Craig Yenke

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Ashley Carter faery, Birthday Queen crown by Barbara Schriber, gift box by Melissa Neufeld and Birthday Wishes crown by FG & Co.

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Hand carved birds and stone bird grouping

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Santos by Eric Cortina with a crown by Donna O’Brien made with vintage millinery , also shown is an angel with metal wings

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Mosaic cupcakes by Michelle Legler

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Window display of Summer Fun, including vintage croquet balls.

JOURNEY FROM ALICE LANDS

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The art of Lauren Mumford has made its journey from Alice Lands to the world of American Harvest.  We have a wonderful collection of talented artists and Lauren’s creations will be right at home.  Her soft, gentle style is a wonderful complement to our store.  Please enjoy the pictures of her first selections that are now available at American Harvest.  For pricing information, please visit our website.

 

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Cones and long pillow hanging on dress form

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Collage baby dress with cards sewn into hem.  Long pillow with vintage millinery.

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Lauren made the doll dress and adorned it with a vintage photo and papers.

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"Dream" Cone with vintage photo and crystals.

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Hanging collage with tag

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Dress form with crown

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Baby dress, collage, "mon pere, ma mere"…13 inches tall

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Pink Pillow, vintage photo, flower and lace

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Green Pillow, vintage photo, trim and lace 

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Banner of 7 different vintage photos (continued in next picture)

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Picture #2 of banner with 7 photos and vintage lace

If you would like to make a purchase, please go to our website or call Sharon at the store (925-485-1577).