THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES EVER

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a long time and with Valentine’s Day around the corner I thought it was a perfect time to spread the love. These are, quite simply the best sugar cookies you will ever eat. I used to have bad associations with sugar cookies… you know the buttery stale kind you get in a red plaid tin at Christmas or the ones that are passed out with apple juice in elementary school? The worst. I will almost always take a chocolate chip cookie over a sugar cookie, but…

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…when I friend of mine shared this family recipe with me I was a total convert. My daughter Daphne and I have made these at least half a dozen times and she is only four. Baking is one of our favorite mommy daughter activities, and even though these taste gourmet they are incredibly easy to make. You can also make the dough far in advance and freeze it and just pop it out when you are ready to make your next round of cookies.

ingredients

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For the dough:

SIFT: 3 cups of flour + 1 teaspoon of baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon of salt

CREAM: 1 cup of butter + 3/4 cup of sugar + 3 tablespoons of milk + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla + 1 egg

Refrigerate for an hour or freeze and thaw before ready to use. Roll out and cut, bake for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature before frosting.

For the frosting:

1 box of powdered sugar + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract + 1/4 cup of milk until desired consistency. Food coloring and decoration as needed.

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The best part… taste testing. We really have to make these in small batches, otherwise we just inhale them. And PS, my pink Charleston Rice Beads will be available for pre-order online next week!

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Happy Election Day!

It’s Election Day! I may have put my “I Voted” sticker on crooked but at least I voted! While it’s a day of mixed emotions, it is so important to get out and vote/ Wearing our Charleston Rice Beads (three necklaces wrapped as bracelets) in patriotic colors to celebrate today!

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Vintage At The Restoration Hotel

Last Thursday marked the launch of a collaboration I did along with Seeline Vintage with the The Restoration Hotel and their boutique, The Port Mercantile at 75 Wentworth Street in Downtown Charleston. The Port is located adjacent to the lobby of their beautiful hotel, but far from a typical hotel gift shop, it is a well curated trove of unique designer items including many Southern brands. They approached my friend MK Quinlan of Seeline to do a month-long pop-up shop but wanted to accent her great vintage clothing collection with some jewels and accessories – so that is where I came in. Not to mention, it is always fun to get to work with friends.

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MK is pregnant, and chicly managed to camouflage her growing bump in one of her gorgeous vintage gowns while I opted for one of her vintage cocktail dresses – a floral, Emanual Ungaro wrap dress I purchased from her while we were setting up our shop. Shopping while you are trying to make money is always one of the pitfalls of pop-up shops! We had a small launch party last Thursday but the curated vintage collection of clothing and jewelry will be up until the end of the month if you can get there fast enough! Even the first night, our one-of-a-kind pieces were flying out the door…

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We both tried to select vintage pieces that complimented the earthy, rich tones of the store as well as spoke to the season… think spring garden cocktails, summer evening dinner parties and weekend jaunts…

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A crown jewel of my collection for the port was the chunky, gold Egyptian Revival cuff pictured below. Designed by Elizabeth Taylor for AVON in the early 1990’s it looked like it had never been worn and was in it’s original packaging when it came into my possession. It lasted a mere 24 hours, but at least I have this photo to remember it by… (sniff, sniff…)

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I also worked with century old jewelry house CINER in New York to re-manufacture some one-of-a-kind vintage designs from their archives for this curated collection. All of their manufacturing is still done in house in the center of Manhattan and they were able to quickly turn around some incredible pieces pulled from their archives that emulate the season – from under-the-sea fantasy pieces like this dolphin cuff to the elegant rhinestone butterfly choker. If you are in Charleston are able to make it by The Port Mercantile at The Restoration Hotel this month, do not miss out on this special collection!

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We loved seeing all our friends join us at the opening for whisky sours and pimento cheese crackers. Lindsay Fleege (pictured below) did a fabulous job with her firm Gray & Co. promoting our event! Lindsay used to do PR for CHANEL in New York and her own jewelry collection is seriously incredible.

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The sweetest grandaughter/grandmother duo in town to celebrate my good friend Cator’s wedding…

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Interior Designer Sidney Wagner peruses the vintage racks

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Lindsay & Ellie of Gray & Co. PR

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Our most stylish customers…

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Helping Anne Elkins of The George Gallery find some statement earrings

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Vintage shopping is the prefect girls night out activity!

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HIGH_FIVE

Thanks to all who came out! It was so much fun. Be sure to visit before we pack up shop on May 31st!

Shaken Not Stirred: Our NEW Celebrate Collection

Our complete Fall/Winter 2015 Celebrate Collection is now online and available! A sweet variety of party ready jewelry to help you toast the upcoming holiday season. And great as gifts, too! We shot our lookbook last week with talented Amanda Greeley with our go to model Adrienne (who I just love because of how expressive she is) and Dannon Collard doing makeup.  I have lived in Charleston eight years now and I am constantly impressed with how accessible all the talented, creative people are here are and how easy it is to come together and collaborate. Loved working with all of these ladies!

The “Celebrate” Collection is based around the ingredients to my favorite cocktail – The French 75. In addition to The French 75 Cocktail Bracelet (a highlight of the collection) you can also buy all the charms separately as earrings and pendants. The French 75 Cocktail Bracelet is available now for pre-order and will ship in approximately ten days:

Also new is our convertible brooch pendant necklace that can be work two ways:

As well as our festive multi-strand Charleston Rice Bead Bib Necklace and Triple Strand Earrings:

So go ahead, get started early on your celebration!

Charleston Rice Beads: How To Wear It Series, Video 1

Since stumbling across my vintage Charleston Rice Beads several years ago, I realized the fun of such a long necklace (5′ exactly!) is that you can wear them so many different ways. They are easy to wrap and easy to layer and look great alone or in multiples.  I asked Charleston-based blogger Annie Reeves to share her favorite way to style hers to kick off a little video series we are starting.  She is wearing our long, shiny silver Charleston Rice Beads and long Shiny Gold Charleston Rice Beads.

Charleston Rice Beads: How to Wear it With Annie Reeves from Candy Shop Vintage on Vimeo.

Annie likes to wear them layered, close to her neck under a collared shirt. A little goes along way, this way two necklaces looks like several and keeps her pulled together, professional look consistent.

Blog Love

This week we were featured on Megan Runion’s blog, “For All Things Lovely“…and how lovely it was! Megan is a fellow South Carolinian with delicately feminine style. She styled the Shiny Gold Charleston Rice Bead Necklace by knotting it together with her own pearls, and we are really digging this look. The two long strands are the perfect match. Thanks for the share, Megan!

To see more of her style, check out forallthingslovely.com and her Instagram: @meganrunionmcr

Fashion Flashback in Charleston

Last night I attended the opening of Fashion Flashback, a brand new Exhibit at The Charleston Museum on meeting Street in Downtown Charleston. Full disclosure, I had actually never been to the museum before.  It has been on my cultural checklist for awhile, but while I’ve managed to do all the grand home and plantation tours, I haven’t gotten to this one yet.  So, the opening of this exhibit was the perfect opportunity to check it out, not to mention the dress code : )

I chose late 60’s as my “decade.” Which, aesthetically speaking is probably my favorite. Fashion still had some of the femininity of the 1950’s but the silhouettes became much more bold and streamlined and accessories (in particular jewelry) were bigger, more sculptural and less delicate.  I found my dress at the closing sale of an old costume shop in Charleston last year that used to supply vintage clothes to theater companies, it was a steal.  Late 60’s, silver and floor length, which I paired with a little faux fur jacket and some fun vintage jewelry including a bracelet that belonged to my grandmother and earrings from Lori Wyatt Vintage. (Sorry for the selfies but no one was at home to take a picture for me!)

I bumped into these lovely ladies, Jess and Susannah at the entrance.  Loved Susannah’s sequined 80’s dress had belonged to her mom and Jess’s entire 1930’s ensemble:

Also spotted was this detail on an original poodle skirt!

There were some stunning dresses in the exhibit, and I loved this color combination of these 1950’s party dresses as well as their flared, tulle skirts:

I was mainly taking in the women’s fashion, but this “Repeal 18th Amendment” men’s tie from the Prohibition Era was just too fun (image via @charlestonmuseum):

I was a little dissapointed there was almost no jewelry but the one piece they did have was this fabulous interlocking horseshoe bracelet set with rubies, diamonds and opals.  At first glance I thought it was the CHANEL logo before realizing it was horseshoes, and a gift from a European Royal to a Charleston grand dame in 1926.  I am thinking of redesigning all of my Candy Shop Vintage packaging to look like this : )

The exhibit runs through May 10th  and is really worth a visit.  I have some friends in town for a girl’s weekend next month and it’s the perfect pre-dinner or post brunch activity, easily walkable to or from the heart of downtown Charleston.

 

Blog Love

Candy Shop Vintage has been spotted adorning the ears, wrists, and necks of several of my favorite bloggers in the past few months. I love seeing the different ways that everyone styles their CSV pieces!

Mary Summers of So Then They Say has such effortless style. The Lucky Elephant Earrings pair so well with neutral layers and a bold, red lip (and have I mentioned how much I love her hair?!)

Adorable Grace of Stripes and Sequins has featured her Charleston Rice Bead bracelet on several occasions. She says she wears it everyday, it is a great go to piece.

And fellow Charleston dweller, Chassity from Look Linger Love has also featured her Rice Beads several times. This week, she wrapped her coral Charleston Rice Bead necklace around her wrist as a bracelet to which compliments her gorgeous Loeffler Randall perfectly…

Have you styled your Candy Shop Vintage pieces on social media lately? Tag @candyshopvintage and #candyshopvintage so we can spread the love!

2014 Round Up 2014

2014 has absolutely flown by for me.  Hard to believe that it was only earlier this year we launched our Charleston Rice Beads.  Since launch we have sold over 8,000 feet of necklaces and bracelets – more than half the length of the Ravenel Bridge! I feel so fortunate to have a growing business (one I started in the guest room of our house) and it is an exciting time as I continue to expand the Candy Shop Vintage line and to work with so many talented people to make it happen.  Here are some of the highlights of my year:

Debuting the Charleston Rice Bead collection to a fabulous group of ladies at a Charleston-themed lunch I hosted at The George Gallery in March:

Seeing the Candy Shop Vintage Space Age Bangle featured in the April 2014 issue of InStyle Magazine:

Hosting a trunk show and book signing with The Deans of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits Suzanne’s beautiful Downtown Charleston home.

Collaborating with some very talented ladies on our first wedding lookbook featuring both vintage jewelry and the Charleston Rice Beads. My friend Evelyn, of Evelyn’s Alterations and Design, designed and handmade the bride and bridesmaid dresses, Paige Winn did the photography, Bailey Bial styled hair, Flowershop provided the lovely blooms and hair and makeup was done by Amanda Rose and Bailey Bial:

In June, I went up north for a factory visit (and little vacation). We spent a lot of time in Rhode Island, one of my favorite states. Even though it is a small, it is fun to explore. Check out my mini-guide guide to Rhode Island for more.  This was Daphne’s third visit and she loved it!

In August, my husband John and I were featured on southernliving.com as part of a Southern Style feature. We hardly consider ourselves amongst most stylish in Charleston, but Gray Benko made us look our best:

In September, we all sadly said goodbye to style icon Joan Rivers. I recounted and remembered with gratitude swapping necklaces with her on her 80th birthday:

We also shot our A Charleston Afternoon lookbook featuring some of the hottest spots around town (Leon’s Oyster Shop, Sugar Bakeshop, mac & murphy, and The George Gallery), and the Charleston Rice Beads. I have been wanting to do this for awhile, sharing some of my favorite local spots with our clients inside and outside of Charleston and I loved how it turned out:

For the first time this year, I helped designed our first non-jewelry items. The Candy Shop Vintage x Lettermade collaboration – three unique sets of embroidered linen cocktail napkins. I loved working with the talented owner of Lettermade, Malia Dreyer on them.

Ending the year with the launch of my new Far East Collection was fantastic. These Asian-inspired pieces are based on a much loved 1970’s vintage runway necklace I own, and include the Breastplate Statement Necklace, the Crescent Necklace, and the Lu Tassel Earrings in a few different colors, as well as the delicate Lu Necklace which, like the earrings, features the Chinese symbol for prosperity. I debuted the Collection at a trunk show at HAMPDEN clothing, one of the Charleston Area Candy Shop Vintage retailers and best boutiques in Charleston.  Stacy, the owner (below) has a fabulous eye and curates a cutting edge collection of designers, keeping Charleston fashion forward.

Blogger and DJ, Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes, flew to Charleston especially for the event, and wowed us all with her DJ skills.  I gifted Jane some of her own Charleston Rice Beads as a thank you and later spotted them on her bog paired with this amazing vintage tweed top – they have never looked so glam!

I also took the Collection to Gwynn’s for a pre-Christmas Trunk Show – where select Far East inspired pieces are still available.

And on a personal note, we added to our family with the adoption of a furry friend, Birthday the poodle (named by my daughter).  Can you spot him in our Christmas card?

I was even gifted an ornament this Christmas by the lovely ladies of Croghan’s. She is what I imagine his future girlfriend will look like – ooh lala!

THANK YOU to everyone for your continued support of Candy Shop Vintage. It has been such a huge year and never would have happened without loyal friends and customers, old and new. So excited to see what 2015 has in store, Happy New Year!

– Deirdre Zahl (designer & owner, Candy Shop Vintage)