Oh how sweet is that title! Doesn’t that read like a romantic day in
Paradise? Well more accurately, this Pier is just another venue for the Int’l Gift Show, which is held in a huge and somewhat run- down ship terminal on the banks of the Hudson River.
The views are of New Jersey, and not the pretty part. We were nearly killed as we emerged from our Taxi this morning, as we exited the door literally onto the Hudson Parkway (should be re-named the Hudson River Motor Speedway). We recovered quickly and decided using the cross walk after the light changed would be a prudent choice.
It’s day two, and Caroline ditched her Cole Haans for tennis shoes, though her tennies were orange and grey, in just the right shades to match her Hermes scarf. It was a look, but a comfortable one. I ditched my sport coat and sported the dorky “conventioneer’s” name tag, laced around my neck with elastic strings. We were a pair!
Michael and Leisa, the Managers/Proprietors of our Cabana Home Mill Valley store were dressed comfy as well, with Michael adding a pair of Dr. Scholl’s gel shoe pads to his shoes. Could the AARP be far behind for the four of us?
Anyway, today’s venue was quite different from the day before and more in line with what we came here to see. Though we found some great things yesterday at the Javitz Center, the venue tended to be more for those in the gift shop business (i.e., remember the gift shop at Stuckey’s on those swell family car trips?).
Today’s venue was focused more for the home furnishings or art and accessories retailers and interior designers. To say the least, we were in our element for ten straight hours. We took one fifteen minute break for lunch, woofing down a delicious pre-packaged (and God only knows when they were packaged) turkey sandwich. After paying a king’s ransom for our delicious entrees, we were directed to the “cafe area” that was modestly furnished with stand-up bar tables and no chairs. How thoughtful of the event management.
On the very first aisle it quickly became apparent that today would be the day to name the “Worst of Show“. You knew it was coming! I have to tell you, we spotted the winner within the first five minutes at a booth that was furnished with Roberta Shilling “antiques” (not so sure just how “antique” her things are). All day long we kept a wary eye out for an item that would top that. What made this selection so interesting was how it was displayed. Now let’s think about this for a minute. Someone actually displayed this item in a way that they thought would attract Buyers, right? Okay, then just who were they trying to attract? I mean, what the hell is this item? It started out as a clay-type covered pot that was less than less than skillfully painted black. Then, it was topped with a hardly recognizable Crab-like figure, made of what looked like paper mache. It was available in two sizes, oh goody! And, please take a look at the snazzy back ground. Is it supposed to be the sand for a crab boil? A hay stack for…good God!? Regardless, it worked because it sure got our attention!
Next, we rounded the corner to find the importer of the embroidered Dowry cloth, featured in the photograph on the left. Traditionally made by the bride and the bride’s mother prior to her wedding. These works, from the nation of Uzbekistan (no silly, Borat was from Kazakhstan), which is bordered to the south by the beauteous nation of Afghanistan.
It is readily apparent that these cloths are a work of love, as evidenced by the care with which these are made. However, this love stands in stark contrast to the fact that these marriages are most often arranged marriages. Incongruous, don’t you think?
It is the hope of this textile purveyor that these works of art will be appreciated, and saved from their almost certain demise in this war torn region of the world. The cloth pictured is approximately 60″ x 60″, and would sell in stores for about $1,495, including shipping within the USA.
We thought they were impressive in smaller sizes as well, so we bought the throw pillows, which were made in non-uniform sizes, depending on how much cloth could be salvaged from a larger damaged cloth. These pillows range in size from approx 24″ long x 18″ tall, and will sell for $525 at Cabana Home stores. Expect to see them in early September.
Well, we had an inkling by the end of the day yesterday that there was possibly an it color in the making. It wasn’t blatant or obvious to any of us, and it wasn’t one that was dolloped onto every dern thing in the marketplace. There was just a hint. However, pretty early on this day, we began seeing this color again, a combination of dark green/turquoise/blue color. Not bright, not too dull, but rich and full. More serene than a jewel tone, but not a watery silvery/blue. From today’s photos, we think the color of this Asian jar best exemplifies it.
Interesting though, we also noticed this color again, just a few moments later on an “ancient” (meaning a most excellent reproduction) tapestry (shown below left). Most of the colors were made to look like they had faded from years of exposure to sunlight and other elements, but the hue of the
“greenuoiseblu” (slang for green/turquoise/blue) woven into the tapestry was the same hue as the color in the Asian jar pictured above, left.
If the intent of this tapestry’s weaver was to recreate this work of art with authentic period colors, could one surmise that the new it color is just a rehash of an it color that is centuries old? Are there any new colors? Stay posted with the Design Guy and we’ll find out together. I’ve attached a couple of pictures of throw pillows that also had the color, below center and below right.

From left: Tapestry; Ankasa pillows, center and right.
Now, for some very exciting news: Da…Ta…Ta…Ta…Da! Cabana Home is pleased to announce that we will carry in stock in the Santa Barbara store, the beautiful Jan Barboglio Collection. We are so pleased, and it is terrific for Caroline, Leisa, Michael and myself to be working with Jan. Twenty five years ago (oh, where does all of the time go…) the four of us were employed by that bastion of fashion, Neiman Marcus, in the NM headquarters in Dallas TX. Jan Barboglio debuted her first clothing collection at Neiman’s, which featured her signature white cotton dresses with ruffled necklines and skirts, she became known for making casual and loose fitting clothes that go from day into evening.
A few years later, we had all moved on from Neimans, and had pursued our fortunes elsewhere. I became a real estate mogul (particularly in my own mind), Caroline a full-time professional volunteer, Leisa an executive with Gap Inc, and Michael an exec with DFS (Duty Free Shops).
We ended up neighbors, living just across the Grenway from Jan, with our children car pooling together for school. Jan moved on from clothing, and began importing Mexican glassware and iron home furnishings products, and ultimately designing her line as we know it today, a major home furnishings and furniture importer and manufacturer. Today the Jan Barboglio line features forged iron accessories, serving pieces, candlesticks and candelabra, fireplace equipment and screens, iron canopy and poster beds, bar stools, benches, tables, chandeliers and, isn’t that enough!? Anyway, it’s fabulous and we are so pleased to bring this line to our stores. Look for it in the Cabana Home stores in late September.

From left: Forged iron fire screen and andirons; Center table with polished steel and turned base; Tall vases of concrete, steel and glass.
ITS EARLY 3:30 A.M.!
Okay, we’re getting close to the end, but I wanted to tell y0u about a couple of other discoveries:
Run Run is a line of forged iron furniture very different from the rusticated Barboglio line above. Designed and made by a Maine craftsman, the furniture is clean and sleek, devoid of unnecessary decoration or detailing, letting the lines and planes stand alone.
Of particular interest were the “X” benches, beautifully tailored and upholstered in taupe leather, and the wonderfully proportioned and versatile dining table/desk/console. The slate topped cocktail tables were a nice take on a similar set of tables by
the venerable Belgian designer, Axel Vervoort.
The collection includes a bench, a narrow demilune console, leather upholstered occasional chairs with exposed steel arms, dining chairs, and small cocktail tables in both round and square , and a smattering of lamps.
The look is fresh and sophisticated, while taking raw elements into a new dimension. In both Cabana Home stores in mid-November.
and then…
there is the pillow and linen line designed by another husband and wife duo, Sachin (him) and Babi (her) Ahluwalia. Under the label of Ankasa, launched 22 months ago, this chic couple has opened their first flagship store at 135 E. 65th Street, in New York City
We were included in a very chic cocktail party there last evening, and enjoyed talking with fellow West Coast designers Jaimie Young and Barclay Butera. It was definitely a New York party with lots of the beautiful people.
Oh yeah, the pillow collection is offered in a beautiful color palette, and is rich in embroidered designs. We selected warm grays and silvers on one grouping, and navy and white on another.
We finally succumbed to some really tasty greens and yellows! As you come to know us better, you will see that we are not big into lots of bold colors, as we are usually interested in texture and softer more natural colors, but these just couldn’t be resisted!
Other colors that are more often our choices include taupes, cremes and whites, black, and pinks, lilac and pale silvery/green.
The line includes beautiful outdoor pillows in Sunbrella fabrics. These pillows are embroidered with equal style and detail, and the threads are solution-dyed acrylic which are color fast, mold and mildew resistant.
Look for the Ankasa Collection in Cabana Home Stores in Mill Valley and Santa Barbara in mid-October.

Okay, I’m absolutely exhausted, again! So, are you ready for the Worst of Show! ?
Scroll on down and I think you’ll quite agree.
Okay, here goes! The photo on the left is an actual, untouched photograph of a display in a booth that had its entrance covered in a tarp. I wasn’t sure if the poor people had just given up for the day, or if perhaps they had been kicked out and shuttered closed by management. Our curiosity got the best of us, so we had to stand on our tippy-toes to look over the large blue, plastic tarp. We hadn’t really expected to feast our eyes on a contender for Worst of Show, but there it was, in all of its dazzling, rhinestone splendor. At first our eyes had to adjust from the searing, sparkling light that this lamp (I think it’s a lamp) generated.
It looks like the base of this thing may have originally been a stag horn from a very unsuspecting deer. Eek…if Bambi’s mother could see this. Every centimeter of the base was covered in rhinestones, or as every Vendor of rhinestone covered home accessories claimed, their items were covered in Swarovkski crystals (yeah, yeah). It was then topped off with an electric blue laminated lamp shade. Ohhhh, pretty.

Is there more? Oh, but yes. To the left is the other side of this same booth. The wall paper is bright magenta flocked velvet on silver wallpaper. The Rococo mirror is painted silver, and the detailed carvings are encrusted with rhinestones. The shelves that flank the mirror are completely covered in rhinestones, as are the two very happy fish.
There’s a saying that sums it up best when one is stunned, OH MY GOD!
Enough said.
We’ll report on tomorrow’s findings. Until then…
Good Night Moon.

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