Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Charm of French General, and Meeting Terry

Honestly, I can't say enough about the lovliness and charm of French General. Kaari Meng, along with her sister Molly, her mom and dad, Dawn and others made us feel spoiled the entire weekend of their third annual Art of Craft Event January 27-29.
I have four of Kaari's books and have long been entranced by the style and just the idea of French General. Both Kaari and the shop more than met my expectations. There was something fabulous everywhere your eye could rest.
There were cabinets and shelves brimming with fabric, lace, beads, ribbon, and vintage papers - everything you'd imagine and more.  We were provided with all the supplies necessary for our projects, and were offered a selection of items from French General's stock to accent each project.  We also got to work with some of French General's new paper and other products that will be coming out in May from Jolee's Boutique.  You're going to love them! You can see the products and project ideas on their website.
Our classes were button bracelets with Kaari, an embellished heart with Pam Garrison and Charlotte Lyons, a truffle box with Michelle Jorgensen, a pocket journal with Molly Meng, and a beeswax journal with Anna Corba.  I enjoyed every class and love each piece.

If you've never been to French General and you have the opportunity, please go!  You won't regret it.

Of course, another huge highlight of my trip was meeting my permanent swap partner, Terry Frias!  If you've been reading my blog all along, you'll know that we "met" when we were paired for Kari Ramstrom's Sweet and Sinister Halloween swap in 2010.  We each loved what we received so much we decided to do our own one-on-one swap for most holidays. When I decided to sign up for the Art of Craft Weekend, Terry immediately shuffled her schedule and signed up for most of the classes. 
She's sweet and funny, and it was so much fun to spend time together.  Here she is with her beeswax journal and with Michelle from Paper Tales in San Diego (would love to make it there sometime!)

Here are Chris and I with Kaari.  Something apparently was going on just to the side of us as Wanda snapped the photo.
Chris Mack and I traveled together and met Wanda Clark in the Las Vegas airport.  We all stayed at the Glendale Hilton which was only about six miles from French General and about ten miles from the Burbank airport.  Here's Wanda with her beeswax journal project.  She gave Chris and me each an amazing packet of buttons and lace. We used some of the buttons on our bracelets Friday evening.

We didn't have a lot of free time, but did manage to explore a bit in Glendale.  We saw this whimsical fountain the first evening and an adorable little girl was having the best time there.
We initally thought the Americana in downtown Glendale was a hotel, but it's condominiums or apartments.

We were looking for a bookstore on Sunday and discovered this upscale shopping area behind the Americana.  It was lovely, and there was a Barnes and Noble.  Perfect!

With the exception of choking on a potato chip fragment on Sunday (literally choking - I can't thank Chris enough for saving me with the Heimlich maneuver), it was a wonderful trip!  


  1. Oh I am drooling over French General! Just to have been there must have been such a thrill! It looks like you had so much fun with so many wonderful friends (and new ones, I'm sure!) I am grateful to Chris for knowing the Heimlich Maneuver! Oh, I love all your projects and I want a closer look at the heart and the bracelet's construction -- was it so wonderful to see Charlotte? Le sigh.