30 June, 2010

My Birthday Bash in Chic Maine!

Some birthdays will always be special and this was one of them. Olivia (my daughter) and I flew over to Maine, stopping in Phoenix, AZ to shop at the treasure trove Neiman Marcus Last Call store in the Arizona Mills outlet centre just a hop skip and jump from The Buttes Marriott Resort. (extra suitcase needed for all my purchases at BARGAIN prices – like the Manolo sandals with cherries on the toe and leaves on the laces which dramatically lace up the leg - $150 reduced from $750).

My week in Maine was a decadent mixture of summertime activities (like sunning in the hot Maine sun and long walks early in the morning – all I could hear was the gentle put-putting of the lobster boats heading out to sea), eating divine and luscious lobster, drinking fine California Pinot Noir, and shopping.

Found the most decadently sparkly 80s dress Alex in Dynasty would have fought me for, in a flea market in Brunswick. Should I mention it cost me $10! And then a pretty emerald green silk and white organdie 50s blouse from Encore (voted the best vintage shop in New England) in Portland. And... a few 70s treasures in one of the numerous recycled designer shops in town.

Of course, filling my days kept the anticipation for my birthday bash at bay. When the 24th of June arrived I was ready. My party dress was chosen – a slinky, beaded Italian number, vintage of course (80s) and my new line green silk and beaded Karen Millen stilettos. My hair extra blonde for the big day, I thought I was prepared for everything. Definitely not when my stepmother and sister are planning the event with secret backup support from Fiona from HarperCollins and Grant – illustrator extraordinaire! (You'll have to buy the book to hear how they got involved!)

After hours keeping out of the way in my room, the moment has come for the party to start I am ushered in to the main part of the house were frantic decorating has gone on all afternoon. I walk into a Dreaming of Chanel fantasy land! Pink tablecloths, beautiful pastel summer flowers in vases dotted everywhere, mini Eiffel towers and the cake.... A quilted cream Chanel handbag sitting atop a pink base. Now, this handbag is a masterpiece – created by the pastry chef from the nearby lobster restaurant. See the photo! Another surprise was my present – there it was on the cake – a beautiful gold double 'C' Chanel brooch. How lucky am I – and its real Chanel – to go with my beautiful dusty pink Chanel suit I recently acquired.

So, here is a sneak preview of one of the illustrations in book two – Dreaming of Chanel – due out in late October in Australia and New Zealand.

My birthday was a fabulous success. Lots of champagne (Mumm from California), beautiful hors d'oeuvres, fresh lobster delivered by Gary the local lobster man, and of course cake! I went to bed one year older and a very happy girl.

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