Local & Oh So Fashionable.

Local & Oh So Fashionable.

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  • | 7:13 p.m. October 19, 2012
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Okay, maybe it’s partly because of a GREAT Project Runway finale last night, but I’m in a FASHIONy mood, a desire for observing ladies with an attitude, guys who are in the mood, general Vogue-ing overload. I could OD.

Might I ask . . . whose idea was it to schedule the Park Avenue Fashion Show just after said fashion juices are primed and ready? Geen-yos! At least on my account. I stopped by la tent of fashionistas and glam gurus today and was so blown away by the setting, the tidbits I was told . . . . I thought I could just crawl up in a corner and wait, like someone waiting for the latest release of an Apple product.

On that note, I have to say, I think it really dawned upon my thick noggin’ for the first time today: this is an AMAZING event, on an AMAZING scale for a community of this size. It truly is. This isn’t some thrown together thing, but an extraordinarily well planned and surely well executed event of which everything is truly first class. Maybe even less event, and more experience. Yep, I’m ‘cited!

Before I go on more about that, just a few tidbits . . . .

The events this week have been fun, cool, awesome. From the kick off Swag Bag event at Tuni last Tuesday night to the Loot Jewelry event I attended last night at Blue Door Denim Shoppe, they’ve been fun and there’s been a terrific variety.

In between, there was also a WONDERFUL Winter Park Autumn Arts Festival. As one who is prone to don THICK mascot outfit to greet passersby, I’m fairly familiar with the benefits of a seasonal shift in weather, differences between wet and dry. Last year I began that experience under at best duck-conducive conditions in and around Peterbrooke Chocolatier. The Owl inside of me was not happy. But, potentially, (likely) happier than the artists in the park. This year? SMILES all around!

Such a wonderful event with such beautiful conditions. A bountiful sidewalk sale to boot, there was no question this year’s arts festival was a big success.

Last Saturday evening was the kick off cocktail party for Winter Park Fashion Week at McRae Art Studios. I will say here what I have said to so many others: What an AWESOME idea! McRae Art Studios may still be a community secret to many, but it’s also the BEST Local spot to check out truly wonderful Local art AND artists! This event exceeded across the board, from the overall eclectic setting to the food, the energy, the opportunity to see Local art I LUV!

Not all studios were open, but there were even more McRae artists in the crowd who were stylin’ . . . . Lynn Whipple! If you’ve not visited McRae, you, I promise, are missing out. So many talented, unique Local artists: Cindy Anderson, Krista Berman, Matthew Cornell, Don Sondag, John Whipple & the aforementioned Lynn Whipple AND MORE. Next time you see the opportunity to check it out . . . don’t miss it!

Now that I’m covering so many passed days, I feel like I should explain why. . . . quickly. I so wanted to blog my finger tips off this week, had planned to. Monday was shot finishing my column and with miscellaneous stuff, but I’d intended to hit the ground at rapid speed Tuesday morning. Then I was derailed.

My life partner and I have three female Boxers who mean more to use than nearly anything in the world. All dogs are wonderful to me, but Boxers, well, each one is as much an individual as any person you know. They can be crazy and fun, moody and sulky, controlling or needy, and often times a mix. We ADORE them.

Well, among my various IDs on facebook – yeah, you’ve heard some people have a few? Yep, that’s me – is one I just call my ‘Doggie ID’. I’ve friended and been friended by so many other animal LUVers, especially Boxer LUVers. It’s been wonderful. I feel confident & happy in saying I know I’ve helped hook up destitute animals with people ready to LUV them. It’s usually a shelter or foster pet posted with various details, hoping for a caring soul to move in for a short term save, or a furever home. Those are usually the photos I see and I share: This dog with these specifics in this location needs this . . . in some cases you can simply contribute. Some of the stories are so very sad from the outset.

But on Tuesday I saw a photo of a female Boxer unlike any other. I’ve seen some horrible ones . . . . fresh from a puppy mill, their poor used bodies in a condition you can barely view. But I’d never actually seen one which said the dog – a female Boxer named Sheila – was now gone, put to sleep, crossed over ‘Rainbow Bridge’. I cannot claim to always make sense of the world, would not try to, but when defenseless creatures are abandoned, abused, it shakes me. I believe this country, I believe it’s PEOPLE, are better than that. And while I know it happens more than I would ever care to admit, this week, I’ve been grieving a lot for Sheila. And I’ve been spending a lot of time hugging on my girls and thinking of her.

OKAY . . . . . I hated to go there . . . but I do not regret it. Sheila and others deserved the space!

I have not done a 'Give A Dog A Home' in a few days as I haven't written anything new, so tonight I'm simply going to say here . . . . look HERE . . . there are so many animals right now in cold cages who just want, deserve another chance . . . consider:

Pet Rescue by Judy: www.prbj.com

Florida Boxer Rescue: www.flbr.org

Lovey Loaves: www.loveyloaves.com

Florida Poodle & Pooch Rescue: www.poodleandpoochrescue.org

Central Florida Pug Rescue: www.centralfloridapugrescue.org

SPCA of Central Florida: http://OrlandoPets.org

One more tidbit from last weekend . . . . my mascot, Parker . . . aka me in an Owl suit . . . . came out to play and oh was it fun! Others have asked me why I don't get some kid to put the suit on for such an activity and the answer is this: I ENJOY the interaction and I ensure it will happen . . . from the youngest kid in a stroller to an older citizen on a bench, I want Parker to be a friendly face -- okay, enormous head -- with furry wings which will bring a smile to their face. I've gotten a whole new appreciation for what putting on such a costume can mean and it is, to me, a treat. Sometimes a warm one, but still a treat!

Now . . . . tomorrow night. Do you have your tickets?

I cannot say for sure as I type, but earlier today there were still some Gold & Silver level tickets available. Not sure if you might want to be there while I and so many others are having so much fun? Well, if you’re even asking yourself that question, yep, you know you do. Think about it this way . . . . how many events are there like this in Winter Park . . . . in Central Florida? NOT ONE OTHER. THIS, you see, is IT.

And, as I’ve pointed out before, this is not some thrown together soiree you won’t mention on Monday when others asked what you did this weekend. Nope, when you attend this and are asked such a question on Monday, you’re going to enthusiastically respond with all the details you can remember.

I checked out the preparations earlier today and I have to say my initial impression was THIS tent is more like a huge building with cathedral ceiling they just erected on the west meadow. I came in the doors – yes, this tent has DOORS – and immediately saw others I knew . . . . works by McRae artists Lynn Whipple, Don Sondag, Cindy Anderson and others.

I stood and sat and walked about as models who will show jewels from Bay Hill Jewelers practiced hitting just the right note for a “mean girl” . . . as apparently most are supposed to be bad girls . . . the last an angel, as owner Stacey Papp, explained. It is called a SHOW, after all.

I spoke with show Producer, Dan Leaphart, and asked him what to expect. “It’s going to be chic – if I can take a page from the girls inside – it’s going to be fabulous. It’s an awesome party,” he said with a smile, as if he knew of some surprises I might be surprised by.

“Everything is VIP this year,” he said. “Everyone this year gets free food and drinks.” Yeah, okay, he was a good salesman, knew who he was talking to.

But seriously, there is no other event in Winter Park this year which will come close. It’s BIG in scope and presentation, it offers an opportunity to see your friends and neighbors like you’ve never seen them before, THIS is a fashionable coming together of Locals to celebrate so many strata of Local . . . from small businesses to artists to personalities.

I will be there. And if you’re not . . . . when I tell you about it here on Monday, you are going to be FULL of regret you were not there.

See you tomorrow night!


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