Friday, 27 May 2011

Florida - Day 8 - Final bargains!

Aha! You thought I'd finished my holiday posts didn't you? Well, technically Day 8 was a get up and drive to the airport and go home day, but as we were awake so early we had the morning free to do some last minute thrift shopping! (I'm never one to waste an opportunity!). I'm so glad that we stopped off at the HUGE City Thrift in Daytona as they had a 'Red ticket' sale - where everything with a red ticket was half off, yay!
City Thrift, Daytona. And my bargains;
Embroidered Cherry cropped trousers $1.50 (about 95p!)
And a close up on the embroidery
Black and white gingham capris - $1.50 (95p)
80s hawaiian sarong dress - $3 (£1.90)
And a close up on the pattern. Its funny as I bought the exact same style and make of dress in a different hawaiian fabric off Etsy just before I went on my hols!!;
80's sarong dress - Etsy - $12 (£7.50) Still a bargain, not as good as 3 bucks though!
And a close up...told you I've gone a bit Hawaiian mad recently!
80s deadstock plastic spot earrings, still on original card - 50c (32p!)
And fave find of the day....
This super vintage walnut veneer General Electric radio at just $3 (£1.90). We plugged it in to make sure it worked in the shop, and it was perfect. So back home it came...(with a US to UK adapter plug purchased at the airport of course!)
And here it is in situ on top of my 60s bread bin, and next to its US neighbour, my $1 butter dish! The radio of course plays oldies stations the best......like Christine! he he ;)
And that is my holiday posts done! I hope you enjoyed them! 
This week I have been mainly jet lagged, and getting my large backlog of orders done as well as getting back on twitter (follow me @dollycool), getting some new designs done for my new collection and booking some shows for the upcoming months....phew! 

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Florida - Day 7 - Melbourne & Daytona Beach & an awesome Bakelite find!

Morning started off again at the crack of dawn, where we enjoyed our all you can eat inclusive hotel breakfast ( I made some waffles in the very cool waffle machine, yum). We then packed up and hit the road and headed to our first destination of the day, which was Melbourne. A small, historic town on the Space coast that according to the guide book was full of quaint shops, antique and thrift stores. And it was!
Melbourne High St.
We trawled all the stores, and thankfully they were a lot more reasonably priced than the upmarket ones on West Palm Beach ( see yesterday's post). I was actually rather giddy when we went into the lovely, (and best on the street in my opinion!), Betty's Antiques and managed to find what I had been hoping to find on my trip to the States.....
Betty's Antiques....where I found some Bakelite! And not just any old Bakelite....
Oh yes...I got some polka dot Bakelite! Yes, its the genuine inlaid spot kind - normally sell for £100's (And I mean hundreds of £'s - see these on Ebay if you want to compare!).....Betty had two, priced at $90 each.......eeekkk!!! You NEVER see polka Bakelite for that price.
She also had some carved pieces at $45 each. I really wanted both, so I asked if she could do me a deal, and you know what, I got both for $100! Whoopeeeeee!
And here they are, my new treasured possessions! ♥♥♥ I'm just kicking myself that I didn't buy the other polka dot one (which was black with yellow spots). I could have sold it and paid for most of our holiday spends with the profit! ha ha! (I didn't actually get it as I knew that I would want to keep it, and I couldn't afford both!!)
After calming myself down (!), it was time to get back in the car and off to Daytona Beach for our last afternoon of the holiday. I thought we needed a bit of chill out time after our super hectic week!
View from the hotel pool over Daytona Beach
Me in the pool!
Michael walking along the beach
Just in case I forgot where we were!
And the amazing soft white sand..... 
Daytona was actually far nicer than I thought it would be. I was expecting it to be packed full of bronzed youths with tons of tacky seaside shops, but it actually wasn't. It was actually very quiet and very peaceful! The perfect end to an amazing holiday :))

**Blogger logging in and/or comment problems**

I have interrupted my holiday posts to just do a quick post on the problems that a lot of people seem to be having with logging in, and posting comments on Blogger.
My Blogger was doing the exact same thing about 3 weeks ago. It was not letting me leave comments on anyone's posts, and I kept on having to log in repeatedly just to do a blog post, and some days I couldn't even log in as myself! I looked into what could be the problem, did what it suggested by clearing my cache, browsing history etc. etc. and still no joy, until I read somewhere that older browsers are having trouble with the constantly  updating websites (including Blogger) and to try downloading a new, fast browser such as Google Chrome.
Its free to download, and takes about 5 mins to install. (Its also super easy and safe by the way, no boffins required!) Quite simply the best thing I ever did - my computer is working MILES faster, all the pages open super fast and blogger works perfectly again.
Hope this helps a few of you out! :))

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Florida - Day 6 - West Palm Beach (Thrifting & Antiques!)

Day 6 started (again!) at 6.30am....after a hearty breakfast at a nearby Denny's, we were on our way to West Palm Beach. On the way, I had mapped out a stop to a huge fabric store to pick up some supplies. The US fabric stores are 100 times better than the ones in the UK! I buy printed 100% cotton to make my hairties with, and I ship it all from the US, so it was nice to actually browse the huge selection myself (and not have to pay any shipping!)Its also no surprise too that its way cheaper than UK fabric stores too.
I got 2 yards each of these 2 Hawaiians. Not for hair ties, for me! :)) 
(You can't really get Hawaiian fabric in the UK) I fancy making some high waist skirts with these....i'll keep you posted....
And a selection of some of the cool patterned stuff I got.....
which is now turned into these Dolly Cool hairties
I also picked up this super cute re-usable tote at the tills for $2
After spending ages fabric shopping, we arrived in West Palm Beach and stopped at an Animal Shelter thrift store we spotted. I'm so glad we stopped as we picked up this absolute gem;
Vintage lucite butter dish - $1 (62p!). I tried to get a good pic, but it does not do it justice as it is actually really sparkly and catches the light in person. We both really love it, what a bargain.
And I also got this Hawaiian shirt for just $1.50 :))
We then arrived at our intended destination, Antique Row, a whole street dedicated to antique stores....
We soon realised that 99% of the stuff in these exclusive shops was waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy out of our price range! These shops are for the seriously wealthy. However, we had an amazing afternoon viewing the best collection of Mid Century furniture and artifacts that I have ever seen! There were genuine Le Corbusier chairs, Eames and Jacobsen furniture and lighting alongside original Lichtenstein, Haring and Warhols! Much of the contents of the shops was from the estates of Architects. For someone interested in Design and Architecture such as myself, this was a dream come true! 
(US Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright is one of my heroes, I'll bore you all on him some other time!) 
This was one of the best stores, Objects in the Loft. Seriously droolworthy early to mid century pieces. If I ever get rich, I'm going here to furnish my mansion!
On a more affordable level, there were some vintage clothing/consignment shops in and amongst the antique shops where I managed to pick up the following from Glam Vintage;
60s gingham wrap dress - $30. Not bargainus thrift, but still not a bad price and considering I don't normally buy much vintage clothing for myself, and I really love this. 
The only thing I didn't love was the large, rounded collar..... 
Which I altered this morning into a much smaller one! It was a bit tricky, but I think I did quite a good job!
(Forgot to take a 'before' pic, oops)
I also got these 50s cats eye sunglasses, which I'm going to get my prescription put into;
The frames are a white and clear stripy lucite...really unusual. Not bad at $28
After hours of looking round these mini design museums, we headed a few miles north to The Norton Museum of Art, where we had lunch by the fountains before going in and spending a few hours looking at the collections.
Me outside the Norton. I'm wearing my lovely lake print dress that I got from Primark...and no I didn't see anyone else in it, and I actually got lots of compliments on it from the Antique store owners and Gallery staff!
We were really tired after such a busy day so stopped off overnight at another bargainous La Qunita hotel close to Melbourne, which was our destination for the next day.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Florida - Day 5 - Miami Beach (Art Deco Heaven!)

Here it is...the one you have been waiting for...my Miami Beach post!
Our day started early (again!) at 6.30am, but this wasn't a bad thing as we wanted to get to Miami Beach early to make sure we had a full day there. Its only a 50 minute drive from Key Largo, so we were there in no time, and the hotel let us check in early :)
On our way.....
View of Miami as we head over the bridge to Miami Beach

Collins Avenue - and our hotel, The Tropics (The pink one on the right). Considering this is an original Deco hotel, right in the heart of the Deco district, our room was a complete bargain at $59 for the night!
A good place to start our sightseeing - on Ocean Drive at the Art Deco Welcome Center. This was tourist info/a huge shop filled with great books, posters and original antique pieces. Bakelite drool ahoy! 
And so we began our walk and taking tons of photos! The historic Deco district runs 10 blocks long from 15th to 5th street and 3 streets wide (Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue). We walked all of it! 
Two hotels on Ocean Drive

Avalon, Ocean Drive. I was waiting for the folks to move for ages, but they were drooling over the car, so I gave up and they got snapped in the end!
Breakwater, Ocean Drive
Park Central Hotel, Ocean Drive. Note fake person sat in old car!
This was one of my faves - Kent on Collins Avenue
Original 50s diner. This was originally in Pennsylvania, but was moved in its complete state and put on the corner of Washington and 11th some years ago!
Me outside the Marlin, Collins Avenue. I'm wearing my new 50s style seashell/coral print dress and my wicker box bag (£6, Primark) embellished by me with cherries & a black orchid.
After snapping tons of photos, we went to The Wolfsonian Design Museum (On the corner of Washington and 10th) to view the collections. I used this photo from the Wolfsonian website as it was covered in ugly scaffolding when we went! As well as having tons of amazing Early and Mid Century furniture and accessories, there was a touring exhibition on of British Transport Poster Art, which was amazing!
This was one of my faves
And another one.
We then went back to the hotel to relax (sore feet from walking about all day!) and get ready for our evening out.
Ocean Drive by night - all the neons come out highlighting the curves on the buildings. My photos didn't turn out so well, it was a lot more pretty in person.
Giorgio Armarni's former house, Ocean Drive - location of his shooting in 1997. Now a private members spa/hotel.
The Crescent, loved the neons on this one.
And back to our hotel for a much needed sleep! 
We really enjoyed our day/night in Miami beach, but to be honest, that was plenty of time for us here. A lot of   MB is full of flashy, rich, plastic people and the shops are full of Ed Hardy fake clothing bling and "Im a Miami Bitch" T-shirts. I purposefully took my photos to avoid the ground floor - which was more often than not a tacky gift shop or fast food joint. Its a shame it has to be like this, but I know that without one, the other would not exist. Its the tacky toursit tat that funds the buildings to keep preserved after all! 
We knew it was like this before we went, so it didn't bother us and after all, the buildings are stunning and well worth a visit if anyone is thinking about it. Just keep looking up! :)