Wednesday, May 7, 2014

An Affair at Downton

I just returned from attending An Affair at Downton hosted by Kim Caldwell of Artistic Bliss Designs at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles. After several months of anticipation, I found it to be as spectacular as I had hoped it would be. Here are some pretty things that were on our table when we arrived to our first class on Friday morning.

But let me back up a bit. It all began on Thursday afternoon when Kaari of the French General had us over for lunch, shopping, and creating. I made this little calling cards box with the help of a Sizzix representative while there.

The French General, located on Riverside Drive in Los Angeles, is a fabulous store that carries all kinds of embellishments, fabric, ribbon, etc. I could have taken millions of pictures but I was too caught up in the excitement that I forgot most of the time. This was the sign-in table as you entered.

There were so many neat things there. I found the containers to be as wonderful as the embellishments.

This was a sample from a French General class that I would love to have taken.

After we left the French General, a couple of other ladies and I took a taxi to the Los Angeles Fashion (Garment) District. That was my first time there and what an experience it was for me! I had never seen so much lace, ribbon, trim, fabric, etc. Then we took a taxi to the Millenium Biltmore Hotel so we could get ready for An Affair at Downton to begin.

Three of the Downton ladies hosted a little gathering before the kick off of the event in their hotel room. Then at 6:30 PM we all headed down to the Emerald Room for the Downton Royal Tea & Market Soiree. As we entered the Emerald Room, we were given one of these precious bags that held a pretty mirror.

At the market soiree, a dozen round tables were set up and filled with gorgeous products for us to purchase. Here are some things that were on Pamela Huntington's table. She taught one of the classes on Saturday.

And notice how cleverly vendor Andrea Singarella displayed these buttons.

After I returned to my hotel room, I spread everything out on the floor and played with it as if I were a child on Christmas morning.

I purchased frozen charlottes from Karla Nathan of Karla's Cottage and Robin Dudley Howes of Dudley Howes Designs

and several things from Lori Oles of Vintage Flair. I was immediately drawn to Lori's packaging. She sold an assortment of lovely things in clear plastic bags and sewed pictures at the top to close them. She also designs and creates jewelry.

I bought an assortment of vintage wallpaper from Karla Nathan and interesting packages of ephemera from Hope Wallace Karney of Besottment. The picture below came from one of Hope's packages. The background is one of the vintage wallpapers.

This is a look into the Emerald Room all set up for us. (I have another post planned to show you the Millenium Biltmore Hotel.)

Karla Nathan painted a backdrop that we used to have our photos taken.

On Friday, Charlotte Lyons provided Lady Violet's Quip & Quote Sampler for us to embroider and Andrea Singarella taught us how to make Her Ladyship's Heirloom Necklace.

We participated in swaps that were arranged before the event. I chose to do one swap of a Vintage Embroidery Sampler. We didn't know who our swap partner would be so we had to keep quiet until the day of the swap. The one on the left was made for me by Carrie and I made the one on the right for Michelle.

Here are a couple of things I especially liked from the swaps. On the left is a picture from the That's My Cup of Tea swap. You can see the upside down teacup with a giant charlotte head on top. I am thinking that I may use one of my new charlotte heads to make one for myself. On the right is a photo from the Ephemera Souvenir Journal swap. All the ladies who signed up sent an envelope filled with ephemera to the hostess of the swap who made them into a book to cherish.

I didn't get to participate much on Saturday because we had to leave for our grandson's first birthday party so I will complete my projects now that I am home. On the left is a picture of Karen Valentine's Days Gone By Keepsake Journal and on the right is a picture of the package for me to make a Downton Souvenir Dress Garland by Pamela Huntington. 

This is the sample for the dresses garland that was hanging in the Emerald Room.

This is how the projects were given to us. Wasn't the packaging divine?

We also made this little journal on Friday evening, a class taught by Hope Wallace. She showed us some interesting techniques for placing our bits and scraps we collected during the event.

Throughout the event we exchanged gifts. I gave everyone a package of these cut out these shapes I made with my Silhouette Cameo.

Images are from The Graphics Fairy blog.

I put little gifts for Kim and her assistant, Terri, inside these boxes I cut out with my Silhouette.

I sewed this drawstring pouch before I left for California to hold the gifts I would be handing out. (I will write more about this in another post.)

I cannot believe the event is already over but I still have projects to complete that will keep the memory alive. I feel so inspired after spending time with such creative women. It was an affair that I will remember for a long time!


  1. Patty, Every thing you make is wonderful. That was goodie over load for me. I just can't believe all the talent and things to make stuff with. Amazing !! I know you had fun. Blessings,xoxo,Susie

  2. Oh my were in my neck of the woods! I would have loved to meet up with you. DARN!!!! Next time.....looks like you have a wonderful time!
    XO Kris

  3. That would be a dream come true to go to something like this! You must close your eyes and still see all of the beauty. Can't wait to see MORE photos! I love the projects you had to work on and I know you are loving those. I'm so glad you got to go and share it with us! Sweet hugs, Diane

  4. Patty, that looks like it was a fantastic event! I doubt that Lady Cora and the Dowager Countess attended anything as fun as that! I can see that your 'stash' seemed like Christmas morning!

  5. I would love to go to something like this. Thank you for sharing. I would be just as excited. :-)

  6. Oh My! Looks and sounds like you had a great time, and went home with a ton of pretties to create with. Thanks for sharing your adventures there. I suspect you and all the others had a lot more fun than going to an event Lady Cora or the Countess would be attending. :-D

  7. Just fabulous! I've been living vicariously through my friend, Sally Annie Magundy blog, as she has been posting about the event. Now I can also live vicariously through you. What an amazing event, love the goodies you gave and the goodies they gave to the participants. The garment district must have been a fab bonus too! Unfortunately I live on the east coast, sigh.

    Awaiting your next post. :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hello from Spain: I like the decorations and accessories. Nice buttons. I read was a great experience. Nice purchases and fabulous creations. Keep in touch

  9. Hi Patty! It was such fun to get to meet you for this lovely weekend! You took such great photos, I took practically none and they're all so sad. :( Thanks so much for all your kind comments on my blog, so sweet of you. Oh! I found a photo of the sampler group swap on Kim's FB page and somehow you're not in it - I hope you're in the ones Tiffany took? Can't believe it's been a week already ...
    Hope your grandsons first birthday was lots of fun!
    P.S. I'm sure you're absolutely fine with the vendor photos - I'm so glad to see the lovely things again and am kicking myself hither and yon for not getting something from everybody. Next time! :)

  10. You got some great pictures. I felt like I was back in the Emerald Room again!

  11. You get to have such amazing adventures!!! Did you all dress up from that era? Love the pictures and I am so glad you had a good time.

  12. Loved this post Patty! You really captured the event and all its detail and beauty! It was so nice to see you and spend time together again! Hugs, Andrea

  13. I read backwards (when do you find time to write blog posts?) because you asked if I had seen your Downton post and I was sure I had commented because I knew I read it. So, one of my comments earlier makes no sense. As a child, my family would go to downtown LA t see plays and we always ate at the Biltomore.

    I am so envious of the wonderful time I know you had. I kick myself for not trying to sign up for the event and just finding the money to pay for it


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