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Sunday – Another Day With Connie

On Sunday, we road MARTA in to AmericasMart Atlanta. It was a tad bit chilly outside waiting for the train but it was a lot better than trying to deal with icy roads and trying to find parking. Benita stayed back with our hosts Mark & Margaret Feit to help prepare for the annual Celebrate365 reception that would be held in their beautiful home later that evening.

Our first stop was in the West Wing Gourmet temporaries. Connie looked for a cup of coffee and I found sipping chocolate. Wow, is that stuff rich! Next stop was the High Design temporaries, Connie was gathering ideas and also stopped off at Glory B Hats. She found out that they were doing another give away, so we headed off to get our free hats.

With hats on head, we were off to JingleNog – Connie had work to do there.

Connie had to finish up at Thomas Glenn, so off we went. I left her to finish up her work there to grab a cup of coffee. While waiting in line for my coffee I was inundated with questions about the hat I was wearing. Since I had become a walking display for Glory B Hats, I figured I should at least be able to give people a bit more info about them, so I headed off to their display to see if I could grab a few business cards to hand out.

After we finished up at Thomas Glenn, we grabbed a bite to eat in the Press Room, then headed off to the Eric Cortina showroom. I could not take my eyes off the Christmas Candy ornament – a clear glass apothecary jar filled with blown glass candy – amazing!

Next stop – Klassics By Kurtis where we got a peek at the tribute piece to the “Gloved One” – a glove covered in silver sequins and a “Big Boy” ornament that sparked a conversation into the history of the “Big Boy” restaurants.

Off to Inge-Glas, where we got the complete tour of the showroom. Look at those chocolates – good enough to eat! Continuing on to see the amazing artisanship and detail, but I don’t want to spoil anything that Connie will be writing about her visit to their showroom.

It was time for us to gather up our belonging and head to the MARTA station because their was still a party to throw that evening.

This has been the second of three guest posts by Leslie Kirk.

A Day With Connie

While driving over to Atlanta Saturday morning to meet up with Connie and her sister Benita of Willow Springs … a family farm at AmerciasMart Atlanta an idea came to me. We all enjoy the beautiful publication Celebrate365 that Connie creates for us, so I thought a behind the scenes look at what goes on would be fun to share.

The day started off with me arriving in Atlanta around 10am, trying to find a “reasonably” priced place to park near the AmericasMart -Atlanta $25 a day to park in the garage was a bit too steep in my book. I did find a place a few blocks away. Walking in the bitter cold back to the Gift Mart had me rethinking the value of the parking deck. After meeting up with Connie & Benita, Connie took me to get my badge “that must be displayed at all times”.

Elaine Roesle graciously let us store our coats and excess “baggage” in her showroom closet. When Elaine was not busy talking with buyers, you could watch the great care that is taken with each individual piece in action. I was also introduced to Luca Terruzzi of Soffieria De Carlini Italian Ornaments.

Benita and I wandered off to attend the keynote address by Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. The session was a very informative reminder as to why we need to be using blogs, Facebook and Twitter. After that we met back up with Connie on the 20th Floor. Then we headed to the Press Room for credentialed media types like ourselves and had a nice lunch.

We stopped off for a few minutes to chat with Debbee Thibault and she showed off some of her beautiful work to us. We then headed over to see the JingleNog and Thomas Glenn displays. Connie had quite a bit of work to do at the Thomas Glenn booth. Since  photographing and measuring every ornament would be time consuming, I wandered off to see other parts of the Gift Mart.

More treats were in store for us this evening as we made our way back to the 20th Floor to attend Halloween Carnevil – a whimsical little Halloween party that included a meet & greet with the artists along with a signing event.


What a wonderful surprise it was for me to see old friends again – Glenn Lewis and Debi Thomas of Traditions. This year I had the pleasure of meeting Debi’s mother. The last time I saw Glenn or Debi was in 2001.

We left the Gift Mart around 8pm, wrapping up glitter jam packed day. This is only one of eight days that Connie will spend gathering information for all of us to ahhhh and ohhhh over.

This has been the first of three guest posts by Leslie Kirk.

2008 Soffieria De Carlini Exclusive Ornaments

News just in from Italy … Celebrate the Holidays with De Carlini Ladies

Each holiday season, the De Carlini Workshop creates a set of very special ornaments to celebrate the holiday season.  This year’s exclusives are six free blown Italian “ladies” costumed for holidays throughout the year.

Miss Valentine’s Day
Miss Mardi Gras
Miss St. Patrick’s Day
Miss Independence Day
Miss Halloween
Miss Christmas

Each style is limited to 200 pieces and each is signed and numbered.

$51 + Shipping from Italy

Available only from Soffieria De Carlini

Free Blown Italian Ornaments … the Magic of Soffieria De Carlini

Flamboyant, whimsical, abstract and timeless; these are the words that describe the mouth-blown character glass ornaments of Soffieria De Carlini. Treasured around the world, the De Carlini workshop near Milan has been producing unique and fanciful creations since 1947.

Indicators of the De Carlini commitment to excellence abound, such as their 10-year dominance as the principal manufacturer of Italian glass ornaments over the huge American market. The talented family was “discovered” in the early 1980s by Wally Bronner, of Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan. One of America’s largest Christmas retailers, Bronner was captivated by the intricate hand painting of De Carlini’s unique pear shaped ornaments, and he shrewdly decided to import them. An immediate success, the De Carlini reputation was about to grow quickly.

Always a family affair, the De Carlini business has maintained a strong artistic presence since the beginning. Using feathers, lace, ribbons, maribou and glitter to elaborately decorate their mouth-blown characters, they became famous for a unique look in a crowded ornament industry.

Doesn't this finial capture the true spirit of Christmas?
Italian Finial

Today, Rosa De Carlini, her husband Guilio Terruzzi and son Luca run the family workshop.  The trio, as well as staff artisans, creates the fanciful figurals using traditional manufacturing techniques while also embracing 21st century technology. One of the best examples of this is their charming web site, designed to showcase their talents and offer exclusive styles directly to collectors.  Each design is limited to 200 pieces, is hand numbered and personally signed by Rosa De Carlini.

Highly collectible, the De Carlini ornaments produced over 55 years ago are as timeless as today’s styles. The infamous Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”  I think collectors everywhere would agree the De Carlini designs fit this to a tee!

— Susan McCann

The Celebrate365 online store offers a wide selection of free blown Italian ornaments from the De Carlini workshop.  Add at bit of whimsy to your Christmas tree!

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