Monday, December 16, 2013

Woohoo!! We won the 2013 "People's Choice" Deck The Tables Award!!

The Houston Design Center just made the announcement! 
We are so excited...

Thanks to all of you...
VINTAGE SILVER AND GOLD won the 2013 "People's Choice" Deck The Tables Award!
What an experience the entire process was for us... planning, designing and executing this project taught us great respect for all of the designers out there!  It totally consumed us for a couple of months... would we do it again?  You bet!!  We already have our theme picked out for next year... look out... it will be vibrant and original!

Bragging rights are highly underrated... we are tickled to say we are the "People's Choice" winners... thanks again! 

God bless all who took the time out of their busy schedule to vote for our VINTAGE SILVER AND GOLD table design! :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

buy handmade this Christmas... because you're worth it

<a href="">mendlbarr - ArtFire Seller Shop</a>
Unique, one-of-a-kind and made with love...
a mendlbarr creation is sure to please!
because you're worth it
Sit back, grab a cup of tea and...
take a peek at our earrings, bracelets and necklaces...
<a href="">mendlbarr - ArtFire Seller Shop</a>

Friday, December 6, 2013

VINTAGE SILVER & GOLD... 2013 “People’s Choice” Deck the Tables Awards... vote thru the weekend! :)



We designed our "VINTAGE SILVER AND GOLD" table with many of the loved objects found during our 14 yrs in NYC... magical, elegant and inspired by the Bergdorf windows we admired each Christmas season :)
The Houston Design Center opened the online voting for "Peoples Choice 2013"... we are excited and would so appreciate it if you took a minute and placed your vote...  voting ends Monday (12/09) at 5pm!

We are the fourth listing... it reads...

"VINTAGE SILVER AND GOLD" by Melanie Brown, Jill Winterhalter and David Barrera at Dauphin Sales in Suite 273

This whole process has been such a learning experience... the feedback and compliments have been wonderful!  Just participating and seeing our design become a reality made us winners... having you vote for us would be icing on the cake! 

You can still pop in at the Houston Design Center and see it in person... say "hi" to my husband, David, and make our day :)

Click on any of the highlighted areas OR if you are reading this on your phone... just CLICK HERE TO VOTE... 

Thanks again!!!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The 6th Annual Deck the Tables & Holiday Tabletop Tour

Excited to be in the thick of preparing our Christmas table for Dauphin Sales, Inc... "The 6th Annual Deck the Tables & Holiday Tabletop Tour" at the Houston Design Center is a festive occasion for designers to create... this year we will be there :)

We've been planning this for several months already... shopping is almost complete... the antique Italian tole chandelier is getting wired... it's been Christmas in our home for a few weeks with all of the decorations and ideas!

Here are some of the pictures that made publication in the past... all gorgeous!

We will be installing on December 1st... pictures to follow...

Our jewelry making is also taking shape... we've settled in and are ready to do business... remember to buy "handmade"... because you're worth it...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

inspiration everywhere!!!

Once you allow your creative side to blossom... it opens up a whole new world you never thought existed!

We started with "Renaissance Rags" over 20 years ago... giving new life to vintage jewelry, laces and handbags... today, I look around our home and it seems we've expanded to just about everything :)

Thought I'd share two separate projects where an idea was found on the web and tugged at the heart strings until it materialized into our own "mendlbarr" version... take a peek...

Fell in love with these little pebble feet...


reminded me of the "hang ten" surf shop wear from the 80s...

Since my husband loves going to gem/ mineral shows, it wasn't hard to go off on my own adventure and explore the numerous vendors to find the perfect twelve labradorite stones... what fun!!

mendlbarr version :)

The possibilities are endless... how about making them in pink quartz?  or your favorite stone/mineral?

The other project I wanted to share with you was this red truck with tree idea I found on one of my favorite blogs... Pink Postcard!


It took almost a year but I finally got around to it and this is my first version... an old cast iron farm truck!  Love the idea so much, I have a bright red 1/18 scale 1951 Ford pickup on it's way for my second version...

mendlbarr version :)

told you... creativity is addicting :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Houston, TX... our new adventure :)

Hello from Houston, TX... our new home!

Thanks for your business and we hope that you are enjoying your purchases!


Now that we've arrived on Texas soil, there's so much to get used to... like having a car :)
We never needed to own a vehicle in NYC... subways, trains, buses and if we needed a vehicle, we had access to HertzOnDemand and could walk up to any type of car we wanted to rent!   Another large change is the climate... we left cold, snowy NYC and arrived to swimsuit and flip-flop weather!

Many opportunities have presented themselves in the short time we've been here... exciting new venues to show at... stay tuned...

Our upcycled furniture creations will be so much easier to do in Texas... more room for sanding, painting and waxing the pieces... dedicated space for our shipping department and for mendlbarr jewelry, too! 

 As always, you'll find everything we've created in our Etsy, Artfire and eBay shops.   Take a peek... we are creating new items just for you!

Handmade... because you're worth it!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"apple cider vinegar" health drink :)

Wow!  We've been so busy lately that I haven't posted in a while.

About to write out this wonderful recipe for a friend and then thought it best to share here... it's so much easier to reference in cyberspace... LOL! :)

We moved into this old building four years ago and I suddenly developed asthma???  Yes, I suspect it's the old heating mechanisms that are host to 60 yr old grime and dust... also this 16 story building has air vents that were recently cleaned (so I'm sure they also hosted unhealthy stuff).

We have two large air purifiers and I still needed Advair and Singulair to cope with my breathing problems.  Not sure how I stumbled across "apple cider vinegar" but we started drinking it and I no longer need my asthma meds... woohoo!

The PH balance of our bodies can affect how we feel and how we deal with many diseases.  Just look up the many startling benefits of "apple cider vinegar"... really impressive!

click here for "An Apple Cider Vinegar a Day" by Patricia Bragg

So, since I am a Dasani water addict... my recipe includes this type of bottled water... you can use whatever water you choose... just remember the better the ingredients, the better the drink :)

A neighbor in our building sells her sister's fresh honey... again, use the best you can find... raw, natural honey is best!

click here for the Champlain Valley Apiaries website

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is the original manufacturer of "with the mother" raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar... this is the only type we've used :)

click here for the Bragg website
Mix equal parts honey and apple cider vinegar... if you want it weaker or stronger, just adjust the amount of water.

2/3 cup Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
2/3 raw natural honey
5 bottles Dasani water (16.9 oz)
****Mix together in a large pitcher and enjoy! 

Since we both try to drink this twice a day, I like to make several pitchers at a time...

You can see that our fridge is also filled with prepared bottles... makes it easy to grab and go!

Enjoy!  May you also experience the benefits of this healthy drink :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013


handcrafted and handpainted

romantic details

gorgeous profile 

"Unlike most dolls from the mid 20th century, which were made for children, boudoir dolls were made to grace the beds of grown ladies. The dolls today are sought after because of their classic artistic styling and, often, their art deco look." 
As we unpacked boxes of treasures from days gone by... we came across our wonderful two French Boudoir Art Dolls that were handmade by an elderly French gentleman in the early 1980s.  One-of-a-kind and definitely art pieces for the collector. 

Our 34" cloth boudoir dolls were extremely expensive 30 years ago and have seemed to become more valuable since this type of craftmanship is hard to find. 
"These are generally large dolls, made to sit on their owner's bed. You can find dolls as small as 20 to 24 inches, although the vast majority of the dolls are over 26 inches in size. Boudoir dolls in the larger sizes seem to be in favor with collectors."
Here are some pictures of our second doll, with her "school marm" look... she appears bolder and more confident than her elegant counterpart.

hand sculpted features
soft cloth construction
period clothing with petticoat

This particular doll designer lived in France and started his career as a tailor before finding his true calling as a boudoir art doll maker.  We eagerly seek more information and welcome any tidbits you may have...

These dolls are available for purchase.  If you're interested, please click on any of the photos for more information :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

steampunk key necklace/ lariat...

Our first creative endeavor was Renaissance Rags... about twenty years ago... where we would bring new life to vintage/antique items that had lost their way! 

Purses, skirts, vests and jewelry were repurposed into "one-of-a-kind creations" using found treasures at wonderful shops throughout Texas... and now we've made full circle with our "steampunk collection"...

it started with two antique keys...

discovering vintage chains and treasures...

jewelry box full of history... hand selected and crafted...

 it's handmade...
 because you're worth it...