Thursday, May 31, 2007

Baubles Galore

If you haven’t been to The Bohemian Bauble on West Lakeside Street yet, you might want to check it out this weekend during their Two Year Anniversary sale on June 2nd. Owner Tami Beirne’s jewelry will be fifteen percent off, in addition to “a few other surprises,” according to Beirne. This funky little enclave of a shop is located next door to Lakeside Fibers and the Washington Hotel Coffee Room in a quaint neighborhood right on Monona Bay. Step inside and you’ll find jewelry, paintings, vintage clothing and accessories, crafts, and bath and body products, all made by local artists. It doesn’t hurt that Beirne and her staff is as friendly and warm as their sunny, yellow-painted walls. Two Year Anniversary Sale, June 2nd 10 a.m.–4 p.m. (Regular store hours: Thurs–Sat 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–3 p.m.)
The Bohemian Bauble, 404 W. Lakeside St. 333-2646.

Runway Rundown

I’m attending the HospiceCare Thrift Store’s Fashion Show on June 5th. It promises to be a fun and fashion-filled event—thirty-five different looks will be featured on the runway. Find sporty, weekend, business, date nights, and special occasion with brands like Talbots, Jones New York, St. John and more. “It really covers the gamut,” says Judy Purcell, retail manager of the Thrift Store. It’s mostly women’s gear but some men’s looks will be there, too. Proceeds from the show will go to HospiceCare, and Purcell says the show is meant to raise awareness of the store and encourage people to donate items. Outfits and accessories will be available for purchase at the show. I’ll write about what I saw at the show in next week’s blog.
HospiceCare Thrift Store Fashion Show, June 5th, 6:30–7:15 p.m. Social hour, drinks and hor d’oeuvres from 5:30–6:30 p.m. $25 per person. Tickets: Sara Goetz, 327-7139.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cheap Thrills

This week’s theme focuses on some bright buys I’ve spotted lately that are totally worth the $5, $10, $20—whatever amount you want to “splurge!”

Sassy Stationery

Take, for example, Sarah B Fine Stationery’s stellar collection of stationery, note cards, wrapping paper, photo albums and custom invites. While some note card sets and stationery are a bit more expensive (letterpress and engraved styles, for example), some of their items are just too good to pass up. I love Sarah B’s Mudlark note card and memento boxes. For the low, low price of $16.50, you get twenty-five(!) blank note cards and envelopes all tucked in a cute keepsake box. I’ve bought several for gifts and they sure do look nicer than that bargain-basement price. If you want to carry around Kate Spade but can’t afford a handbag right now, check out her note card sets that range from $20–$30 … you’ll still have money left over to save up for that cute clutch! Sarah B Fine Stationery, 702 N. Midvale Blvd. 233-5100.

Prepster Chic

Recently, I popped into Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear at West Towne Mall to see if they had a sports team T-shirt. I took a quick look around and realized that this mass retailer’s merchandise mix has changed drastically: what used to be the go-to place for collegiate athletic gear has shifted focus, from carrying less collegiate gear and more basics: tees, Bermuda shorts, polo shirts and hoodies. Some of my thrifty, nifty picks: long-sleeve polos for a mere $5.50 (on sale), a sequined tee for $6.98, and an adorable girl’s classic cable-knit cardigan—a steal at $4.98! I’m also eagerly awaiting the launch of Sex and the City maven Sarah Jessica Parker’s line Bitten on June 7th. The line will feature basics like khakis, tanks and tops all under $19.95.
Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear, 229 West Towne Mall. 829-1774.

Care for a Drive?

If you’re in the mood for a sale and a little drive (about thirty minutes), stop by the Johnson Creek Premium Outlets for their annual Memorial Day sale, May 25-28. Get extra discounts on top of their fabulous prices. My favorite stores are the Banana Republic Factory Store, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, and the Gap Outlet.
Johnson Creek Premium Outlets, 575 Linmar Ln. 920-699-4111.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pendant Pleasure

I was perusing one of my favorite guilty pleasures, Life & Style Weekly, over the weekend and spotted a trend page on pendant necklaces. It’s funny; these come in and out like clockwork. I recall in the ’80s these were popular, and they’ve come around again. They really add a punch to summer’s cute tops like tunics and tanks, and polish off an outfit. Anyway, one of my favorites on the page happened to be a pendant from our very own Twigs: a cute electroplated-gold four-leaf clover by Kenneth Jay Lane, $40.

Music Makes its Mark

On the Madison Area Music Awards, that is. Last Saturday’s award show at the Barrymore Theatre showcased some innovative looks on Madison’s musicians and attendees. One of the most popular styles for men was the fedora. Men of all ages topped their look with a chic chapeau—very Sinatra (actually these days it’s very Justin Timberlake). For the most part, the guys strutted their stuff in relatively tame outfits—pinstripe pants, black dress shirts and blazers. The blazer/funky T-shirt/jeans combo was also an extremely popular, more dressed-down ensemble. Women sparkled in well, sparkles—clingy dresses and tops in black. One woman stood out more than most in her corseted-bodice dress with a filmy tulle skirt in shades of orange and gold. Other looks I spotted: the ’80s tribute with leggings and a tunic; a sexy pencil skirt paired with a cute short-sleeved cropped jacket; lots of metallic handbags; a tux coat with tails. Two rather “creative” young men even showed up clad in a red cape and black cape; the man in the black cape completed his look with a mask. Hey, whatever works!
Click here to see the winners at the Madison Area Music Awards.

Just Bead It

I admit I was a bit skeptical when I received information on the Bead&Button Show taking place in Milwaukee, June 3–10. I was skeptical because beading just didn’t sound exciting to me, until I saw some of the glamorous creations in the show’s catalogue—vintage-inspired earrings, chunky cuff bracelets and extravagant bib necklaces. And yes, even the Chicago Tribune wrote, “Move over knitters, beads are the hot hobby.” So apparently, beading might be worth looking in to. This year’s show promises more than 370 vendors from around the world and 480 workshops and classes.
2007 Bead&Button Show. Workshops held June 3–10; marketplace open June 8–10. Midwest Airlines Center, 400 Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. 800-554-0197.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fun Fashion

Speaking of vintage, the Mazomanie area is hosting its own vintage fashion show. Forget Milan or Paris—this event will show off, er, the latest in vintage fashions from Halle’s Vintage and Joy’s Impressions in Mazomanie. As vintage continues to be a strong trend in the fashion world (right now flowy trapeze and mod shift dresses from the ’60s seem to be the ticket), this show sounds like it’ll be a fun retrospective of the way we were.
Halle’s Vintage Shoppe Fashion Show, Saturday May 19, 7 p.m. (hors d’oeuvres served at 6 p.m.) $20. Corner of Crescent and Brodhead in historic downtown Mazomanie. Call 608-795-0150 or stop in at Halle’s Vintage Shoppe to purchase tickets.

Vintage Revamped

Heidi Anderson, owner of unearthed gallery, has moved out of her old space in Hue Art Gallery on Monroe Street and into her own space on University Avenue near Lombardino’s. Anderson’s “architectural and vintage finds” consist of pieces she finds at antique malls, farms and through collectors. She then refashions old beakers, tin ceiling tiles and postal bins (just a few examples) into usable and artistic home décor items. She’s named her wallpaper roller lamps as one of her favorite items. The most interesting part about Anderson’s vintage finds is that many pieces will evoke childhood memories in adults—things like dental cabinets, slide rules, lab tables—even convent benches. “People don’t look at the things I look for necessarily. I think you really have to open your eyes,” Anderson has told me. Unearthed gallery, 2501 University Ave. 441-1993.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Eyes Have It

Girly-girls unite for PREP Cosmetic’s makeup event on May 12–13. Lynn Furge, a national makeup artist for BECCA Cosmetics (which are sold at PREP), will be available for one-on-one consultations and makeup applications. According to PREP’s owner Lauren Frank, Furge’s work includes New York Fashion Week, the MTV Video Music Awards and Marie Claire. Frank expects Furge’s appointment book to be filled since space is limited. PREP Cosmetics sells premium cosmetic lines that are found at Sephora, Neiman Marcus and other higher-end stores.
Appointments: $35 holding fee at time of scheduling (can be used toward product purchase). PREP Cosmetics, 553 State St. 442-3366.

Go West

Middleton is hosting their Gallery Night on May 10th in downtown Middleton. Area retailers are encouraging shoppers to have Mother’s Day in mind when shopping at Tickled Pink, Middleton Antiques Mall, Happy Pastime, ‘Tis the Season, Gary’s Art & Frame and La Bella Vita. Plus taste yummy gelato at one of Middleton’s newest eateries, Villa Dolce Café. Retailers will also offer snacks and refreshments, and customers can enter to win a gift basket (valued at $600) from Gallery Night hosts.
Gallery Night, Thursday, May 10, 5–9 p.m.
Call Yvette Kindschi at La Bella Vita for more information, 831-3303.