Save the Date!! Sandra Stillwell Presents... The Toast of Manhattan!

 
Hello friends!

I hope your holiday season has been filled with joy, love -- and some dolly fun, too!

It's been a very busy -- and productive -- few weeks for me...

I recently dropped into the Studio Commissary Christmas Party to share a bit of exciting news about my Sandra Stillwell Presents plans for 2014 -- and, though all details are not finalized, I'm excited to share a bit more about those plans with you now...

I've been hard at work on our 2014 convention, and I'm proud to announce that Sandra Stillwell Presents: "The Toast Of Manhattan" will take place August 7-10th at the Crowne Plaza in Edison, New Jersey!

Imagine "The Toast of Manhattan" in exclusive salons and department stores on the most fashionable avenues of 1940's and 50's New York City -- in a private box at the opera, or opening night at the latest Broadway play --  dining and dancing till dawn at THE "most happening" club in town! Imagine award winning American designers and fashion icons gracing the covers and pages of New York's Vogue and Harper's Bazaar -- the height of fashion, their creations in as much demand as the latest from Paris.... Imagine....

Exciting things are being planned for "The Toast of Manhattan" -- the cornerstone of which will be our group tour of the Metropolitan Museum's "Charles James Beyond Fashion", the inaugural exhibition in the museum's newly renovated Costume Institute! The landmark exhibit, which features over 100 of the legendary couturier's most notable designs, will also include sketches, pattern pieces, fabric swatches, and partially completed works from Mr James' last studio in New York City.

I first learned of the Costume Gallery renovations three years ago and have been waiting (though I'll admit, somewhat impatiently) for the galleries to be completed to bring our Sandra Stillwell Presents group to NYC!  The fact that Charles James is one of my favorite designers is a special bonus to me! I  hope you'll agree -- definitely something worth waiting for!!

Those of you in attendance for "Every Day's A Holiday" will remember that George Sarofeen presented a wonderful program on Charles James -- a coincidental but perfect introduction for our 2014 convention! Participants on the Sunday tour to Union Station had the rare opportunity to view one of Mr James' most magnificent masterpieces, the "Swan" dress, in close detail, too!

As in years past, we will once again be offering optional tours on Thursday and Sunday in 2014. Because there is so much to see in the NY area, we may very well add additional tour days  -- so please let me know if you would be interested in coming in earlier or staying later for these. I would strongly recommend that you extend your trip to explore on your own, as well. (The train station is very close to the hotel, and they offer a complimentary shuttle to the station).  

Though a little further away than usual (about 80 miles), one of the excursions we're strongly considering is a day trip to the historical Winterthur Museum in Delaware to view  "The Costumes of Downton Abbey", a major exhibition featuring over 40 exquisite fashions from the award winning television series. We're also considering a trip to the Museum of the City of New York for their "Gilded New York" exhibit, a Broadway show and fabric shopping excursions.  

Plans are in the early stages, so if there is something in particular you'd like to do or see in NYC-- or anything you are not interested in -- now is the time to let me know!

Please RSVP as soon as possible if you would like to join us, as having an idea of how many to plan on for convention and the tours is a big help.

This not to be missed event will be limited to only 50 attendees. Registration will begin in Spring. Those on the RSVP list will be notified before opening registration to the public.

You won't want to miss all the fun and fabulous fashions that we have planned, so mark your calendars and make your plans to attend now!

Our very special Sandra Stillwell Presents group rate of only $129 includes breakfast on the days we do not have a convention breakfast function. The hotel also offers complimentary parking, wifi, and a complimentary 3 mile shuttle (based on availability).

In order for you to experience everything that New York City has to offer, the rate has been extended 3 days before and after convention. If you need to book outside these dates -- or have any problems with your booking,  please contact me directly for assistance.

Hotel reservations may be made by calling 866-279-4813 and asking for the Sandra
Stillwell Presents group rate. Our group code is S08.


Our room block is extremely limited, so I highly recommend that hotel reservations be made as soon as possible. The cut off date for reservations is July 6th, or until our block is sold out -- which ever comes first.

If you plan to join us for "The Toast Of Manhattan"  but are not ready to make hotel reservations, it would help greatly to know what days you plan to book.

Please remember that, in order to keep costs down, it is VERY important to stay at the hotel and book within our group block. With our many planned activities, you'll find being on site not only more convenient, but much more fun, too!

With all the fabulous fashions planned for our "Toast Of Manhattan" souvenir package and convention collection, your doll will be the toast of the town!

To those demanding divas who are pushing for a head start on their wardrobe of Charles James inspired fashions, I extend an invitation to visit my Sandra Stillwell Presents blog sales pages, where you'll find "Under The Mistletoe" and "Yuletide Splendor" --   two designs to whet your appetite for the amazing fashions that await "The Toast Of Manhattan"!

And you'll find other must have holiday fashions, just in time for some last minute Christmas shopping and New Year's Eve parties, too...

Before closing, I want to extend my deepest appreciation to you all for your friendships, support and patronage in 2013! Thank you for helping to make it a very special year!

I look forward to more fun in 2014!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a FABULOUS New Year!!

Sincerely,
Sandra
502 3775153

Holiday Greetings!

Hello friends,
Happy Holidays! I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season so far!!

The days between Thanksgiving and New Year's have always been amongst my favorite times of the year -- I simply can't help but get that giddy "kid again" feeling at the first signs of Jolly Old St Nick! (A giddiness that becomes VERY difficult to contain in anticipation of a holiday surprise or two...)

This year I have a double dose of holiday spirit, after having kicked off the holiday festivities with many of you this summer in Kansas City! I'm still flying as high as Santa's sleigh, remembering the frivolity and fun we had at our "Everyday's A Holiday" convention!! Being surrounded by so many dear friends for my Sandra Stillwell Presents holiday celebration was truly a special blessing for me!

To further add to my year of "Every Day" holiday fun, I decided to give a gift of sorts to myself and take the opportunity to combine holidays in New York City with scheduled convention work!  

The magic of New York City -- from it's chicly dressed holiday shoppers and festively decorated department store windows, to the Rockettes kicking in crisp formation and the magnificently lit tree in Rockefeller Center twinkling in the snow -- can be a real inspiration (even when not working on a holiday themed event)! I'm pleased to say that I found inspiration at every turn...

And the fun didn't stop there!

From an elegant dinner in a picture-perfect setting with the Center City Doll Club of Philadelphia, to a delightful evening with the Capital City Fashion Doll Club in the DC area followed by a brief stint of "playing elf" with holiday preparations for a friend-- at every stop, my journey was blessed by the company of wonderful friends. 

Now settled in at home, my whirlwind travels all seem a bit like a beautiful Christmas dream! A big THANK YOU to everyone who played a part in my dream!

I would like to share a couple of wonderful holiday surprises and gifts that have come my way this season...

The first surprise was the exciting news that our Sandra Stillwell Presents "Every Day's A Holiday" convention coverage had been featured in the digital Holiday Edition of FDQ Magazine, in the form of beautiful article written by Terri Gold! If you're interested in hearing more about the background of convention or reading the candid interview,  you might want to visit the FDQ web site and order a copy. (I printed mine for a keepsake!)

My second holiday surprise -- the funtastic full sized version of Annie Sattler's "Every Day's A Holiday" mini calendar from convention -- was waiting for me when I arrived home! A Studio Commissary exclusive, it's the perfect remembrance of our 2013 event to carry you through to our 2014 convention -- and longer!

Another very meaningful gift for me this season has been seeing your posts and receiving emails with photos of your holiday displays!  The knowledge that our "Every Day's A Holiday" convention fashions are playing a special part in your holidays (and will be cherished for many holidays to come) continues to lift my spirits to new heights!

Speaking of convention fashions... I want to give you a brief update on the backordered "Every Day's A Holiday" fashions. I'm happy to report that most of the backorders are in, but we're still waiting for shoes and several accessories.  Also -- the "Flight Before Christmas" TWA inspired uniform has, unfortunately, been delayed and is expected to be rescheduled for arrival in time for a New Year's landing! I will be in touch with information as soon as I have definite confirmation.

Of course, if there are any remaining fashions that are on your wish list for Santa, there's still time for Christmas delivery! Just let me know as soon as possible!

Finally -- I want to close with a small reminder and note of thanks --

For even as much as our hearts may be filled with "holiday spirit", Christmas can still be one of the loneliest times of the year for those who have lost loved ones or may be experiencing hardships -- and yes, even for me.  

My personal "grown up" Christmas dreams have always included the romanticized vision of spending it surrounded by loved ones -- whether they be that "someone special" or loving friends. Though I always carry my dear Danny and beloved Mother close in my heart, the warm feeling there can never take the place of a big Christmas "hug" and a welcoming smile.

I want to thank you all for helping to fill the empty space in my heart this Christmas, and for your friendships, support, "cyberhugs" and welcoming smiles throughout the years. I feel fortunate and privileged to have made so many dear friends through our shared passion for dolls.

I hope that we will each remember to take a moment to open our hearts and extend a helping hand, warm smile, or maybe even a big hug to those in need-- not only during this holiday season, but always.

With Warmest Wishes for the Happiest of Holidays...

Sincerely,
Sandra

Holiday request....

Hello friends!
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!
I've enjoyed a wonderfully productive, whirlwind December -- including work, travel and friends -- and I'm excited to report that our 2014 Sandra Stillwell Presents convention announcement will be forthcoming VERY soon!!
But, today I'm reaching out to tell you about a true Christmas blessing bestowed on one of our doll friends, Kim Hayes (Kim in Ohio), who some of you may remember from the early Gene years and boards, or my "Radio Days" convention -- and how we might play a small part in this miracle for Kim...
After 4 years on the transplant list, Kim's young daughter, Tiffany Greer, got the long awaited call that lungs were available, and underwent a double lung transplant on December 10th.
But with blessings can also come challenges -- and though Tiffany is progressing well, there is a long road ahead for all involved.
Kim is having to take unpaid time off from work to be by her daughter's side now, at the hospital, and afterwards to care for her during the long healing process.
The hospital is in Cleveland -- over 200 miles from Kim's home in Dayton -- so the travel and lodging expenses are mounting.
After being discharged, there will be many hospital follow ups, and Tiffany must stay within 15-20 minutes away from the medical center for 6-8 weeks while her recovery continues.
And, meanwhile, Kim's rent and living expenses in Dayton continue.
In addition, there will be various uncovered medical expenses and other mounting needs...
So, though it's something I've never done before, I'm asking for your help -- I'm hoping our caring doll community can be of assistance to Kim and Tiffany.
No pressure -- I realize that money is tight for us all during the holidays, and it may not be possible for everyone to contribute. But donations of any amount -- no matter how big or small -- are greatly appreciated!!  
A Paypal account under the ID kimoh3@yahoo.com has been set up for donations to cover necessary expenses.
Or, if you would prefer to send donations through me, I'm happy to pass them along to Kim -- just please be sure to earmark them "For Kim Hayes".
For those of you who would like to follow Tiffany's progress, Kim posts updates on Facebook when she has the opportunity (Kim's facebook account in under Kim Stephens Hayes).
Though she's been lurking a bit more in recent years, Kim has touched a lot of lives and made many friends in the doll collecting community -- 
Just a little background on Kim, for those who might not be familiar...
Kim has been a long time doll collector --  as "Kim Kouture" in Gene's early years, she created exquisite doll fashions for our favorite star-- and, more recently, teamed with Jinky (Judy R) as one of the Studio Commissary "designer's of the month".
She has been active in many avenues of the doll collecting community, including Gene and other fashion dolls, Bleuette, French Fashion, and Wendy Lawton, among others.   
If you know of anyone else who might be interested in Kim and Tiffany's journey, please feel free to pass this information along...
I thank you all for your help!
Wishing you all a blessed holiday season....
Sincerely,
Sandra

Cyber Monday Special Offer!



Now through Tuesday, December 3rd, all purchases of $50 or more on items from sales page TWO or THREE only, get free US shipping! Email dls6643@aol.com to order!

Convention Wrap Up


Hello friends!
 
I hope everyone has enjoyed the weeks since convention playing with all your "holiday" treats!
 
I can't help but feel that time has passed too quickly -- one day I'm excitedly planning a holiday gala for friends, then before you know it, the holiday fun is over and I'm left missing everyone --happy with beautiful memories but longing to make more!

Aside from a few brief moments of post "holiday melancholy", I've been too busy still playing "Santa Sandra" -shipping absentee packages, filling orders and answering emails -- to feel lonesome for long!

Thinking back on the festivities it all seems a bit surreal, so it's great to be able to relive our wonderful weekend through your many emails, posts and photos!

My blessings come to mind often since convention and, before continuing, I would  like to take a moment to share my thoughts on some that added to the "Every Day's A Holiday" feeling for me this year...

I'm always thrilled when new friends attend and those who've missed convention are with us again. This year I was especially delighted, as not only did we have the opportunity to welcome several new friends but some that we've missed dearly joined us once more!

To add to my happiness about the event,  after 30 years (or longer), I very recently reconnected with one of my closest childhood friends, Carla, who drove to Kansas City to help out with all the pre convention work! (My "elves" have officially adopted Carla, and are hoping we can talk her into coming NEXT year for the whole convention!)

Though not normally considered a holiday, something that made this occasion even more meaningful to me is the fact it marked the 10th anniversary of meeting my dear friend and "right hand", Michael -- a blessing that has enriched my life in so many ways!

Thank you, Michael Basala, for  your immeasurable friendship, support, help and understanding these past 10 years! The "holidays" would not have been so wonderful without you by my side!

"Every Day's A Holiday" was a theme that I dreamed of for years, and I couldn't be more proud of how that dream unfolded into reality! I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to the many friends who were instrumental in making that happen...
 
An event such as "Every Day's A Holiday" takes a lot of "elves" working behind the scenes to make happen! It's impossible to give thanks enough to my volunteer staff of "elves" who worked tirelessly, cheerfully and selflessly to make my "holiday" dreams come true! Sherlyn Lovell, Sherry Wisdom, Barb Koffman, Linda Farnsworth, Michael Zepeda, Kate Watson, Cathy Roach, Gary Reeves --and Michael B, too -- Your support and dedication is what makes the "magic" happen!  I love and appreciate you guys more than you'll ever know -- and feel truly blessed to have each of you in my life! You are a joy to work with and I am so very thankful for your friendships!!
 
Besides my core staff, we were blessed to have several 'part time elves" pitch in at convention to make sure holiday goodies were ready for on time "holiday" delivery! Sue Connor, Rose Gillis, Terri Gold, Linda Kreigbaum, Judy Richardson, Kelly Ryan, Terri Sansoucy, Kathy Spoon and Cheryl Stillman -- thank you!  We couldn't have made it without your assistance! 
 
Our fabulous holiday table gifts this year were due, in large part, to the generosity, talent, hard work and donations of several friends I want to recognize, as their contributions were the "stars" on top of the Christmas tree...
 
Cathy Roach -- Many thanks for the amazing wrapping paper set, miniature cards and valentines, mini Halloween and shopping bags, record albums, lobby cards and 4th of July fan. I know how much work went into each piece -- your creativity and talent boggles my mind!
 
Annie Sattler -- A new friend and first timer to convention -- thanks SO much for your hours of work on my "Sandra Stillwell Presents" logo hatbox artwork, 4th of July sheet music, both the Modes Royal magazine and Kansas City poster photoshop work, and last, but certainly not least -- the wonderful miniature "Every Day's A Holiday" calendar! Thank you for jumping in to help without knowing exactly what you were getting into!
 
Kathy Spoon -- For the great TWA minis and much, much more  -- thank you for always being there for me.

Nikki Colbert --  For the Modes Royal magazine and mini lobby cards, not to mention your hard work putting together the power point programs -- I am so appreciative! 

And, for indulging me with the festive holiday purses, felt skirts and so much more --

Kim Hayes, Linda Kreigbaum and Judy Richardson -- Thanks to each of you ladies for the hours of work, great company and fun while putting those together!! 

Others whose important contributions I'd like to recognize are:

Jeff Lega -- For your invaluable work on the "Every Day's A Holiday" convention collection photos and  "Sandra Stillwell Presents" blog updates! You were an outstanding reporter, and our friends at home thank you as much as I do!

Terri Gold -- Thanks, too, for sharing your fabulous photography skills and for the convention coverage! Your multitude of photos help bring convention to life for those who can't be with us and enable those of us who were there to relive the fun over and over again!!

Gary Reeves -- Quite simply -- I can't thank you enough for being our "go to" guy -- ready to do whatever we need!  What a huge help you are!

George Sarofeen -- Thank you for presenting the fascinating Charles James program (and for being a great tablecloth steamer!) I am in awe of your knowledge and abilities!

Special thanks goes to "Santa" Michael Zepeda -- You were SUCH a great sport and SO much fun -- the holidays wouldn't have been the same without you!! You can be our Santa any time!

Much appreciation also goes to Joan Greene for her generosity in sending the lovely Greene Lam designs Cordelia doll for centerpieces! She couldn't have been more perfect!! Joan -- your support and kindness was much appreciated. You were with us in spirit!

Especially to Dorinda Balenecki and Ken Young from Horsman, Ltd --  Thank you very much for being a special part of convention again this year -- and for hosting our "Trick N Treat" Halloween dessert reception with the fabulous Vita centerpieces! Your invaluable support and participation is always greatly appreciated! It was an honor to have you with us again this year and we look forward to your joining us for years to come!  

In addition to our convention "elves", there were still others who couldn't be with us but created magic from home --  so I'd like to thank Alana Bennett for her help with petticoats, Kathy Johnson for the beautiful hairstyles , and Tommy Bennefield for his fabulous jewelry! Thanks, guys, for the perfect "finishing touches".

And to our manufacturers across the miles -- THANK YOU for working so hard to get everything to us in time for the "holiday openings" and so beautifully bringing my visions to life -- I couldn't be more proud of what we accomplished.

Most importantly -- to all of our "Every Day's  A Holiday " attendees:

For me, personally, nothing compares to the joy of spending holidays with friends. No  words can sufficiently express my thanks to those of you who made the trip to Kansas City to make that possible! Your being there truly made every day of convention a special "holiday" for me!

I know it takes sacrifices to attend an event -- and your participation meant the world to me! I am forever grateful for your support.

I'd also like to extend sincere thanks to the absentees and others who support convention through purchases, as well as to our generous "convention helper" donors and each of you who purchased tickets
- your support helps make convention possible each year!

And finally, much appreciation to everyone for your overwhelming enthusiasm for this years "Every Day's A Holiday" fashion collection. I put my heart --and a few childhood memories and fantasies -- into this collection, and the fact that you love it so much means more than I can express.

I have some exciting ideas to explore for our 2014 "Sandra Stillwell Presents" convention -- so please watch for news about this not to be missed event

I hope to see you all next year!

Sincerely,
Sandra

Hello friends!

I hope everyone who attended "Every Day's A Holiday" in Kansas City had a safe trip home and have been enjoying your holiday treats!

I'm finally home from Kansas City and now have the rental van unpacked and turned in!

The next task is to respond to the many requests that have come in for a "Every Day's A Holiday" convention collection purchases -- I can't begin to tell you how thrilled and thankful I am with your wonderful response to the fashions!

I've made a list of your requests and will fill orders according to date and time of receipt. I will be sending out confirmations as soon as I get through all the orders.

A few of the items sold out at convention, but I'm fairly certain we should be able to place a reorder as long as the fabric is available. However, it's important that you let me know asap if you would like to be placed on a wait list, as it's important to do the reorders at one time.

Payment for reorders will be due when the item is ready to ship, but please understand that your request to be on the wait list is a commitment to purchase.

I'm always happy to try to work out payments if possible.

For those of you who were waiting until the "Every Day's A Holiday" available fashions were added to my sales page, I'm happy to say that my "Sandra Stillwell Presents" blog has been updated!

A special pre-order collection of fashions that are still in development were debuted in Kansas City. Be sure to check these out and email me if you are interested in any. These will be produced based on the number of orders I receive so don't miss out. I do not have exact prices on these but they will be in close proximity to my listed estimated price.

Feel free to email me at dls6643@aol.com if you would like to update or place an order -- or if you have any questions.

Please look for a more proper "wrap up" post soon -- after the orders are taken care of and emails answered.....

Thanks again to you ALL for helping to make "Every Day's A Holiday" such a resounding success!

Sincerely,
Sandra

ANNOUNCING THE HOLIDAY COLLECTION

SANDRA STILLWELL PRESENTS...
 
Holiday Pre-order collection
This collection of gorgeous fashions is still in development! These are photographs of samples. Prices are estimated and exact cost will be announced closer to release date.
Expected delivery is late 2013.
Email dls6643@aol.com to add your name to the pre-order list now!

THE FLIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Inspired by the hostess uniform worn by flight attendants on the Howard Hughes owned airline known as the "airline of the stars", this smart slate blue uniform features a cut out on the shoulder and decorative stitching on the matching hat. Completing the ensemble is a navy blue blouse, shoulder bag, shoes, and white gloves.
This style uniform was worn from 1944 - 1954.
The original inspiration uniform, designed by film designer Howard Greer, can be seen on display at both Kansas City's TWA Museum and the Garment History Museum.
Pre-order price $150
 

 
*****
AMERICAN BEAUTY
Sophisticated cocktail dress with sculpturally pleated skirt in seven layers of graduating lengths. A sparkling rhinestone buckle is the perfect touch. Accessories include black opera length gloves, shoes, and jewelry.
Inspired by a Roberto Capucci design, circa 1956.
Estimated $165
 
 
*****
AULD LANG SYNE
Elegant evening gown of vintage metallic silk organza embroidered with a black floral motif features back detailing with a dramatic removable pleated bow and train of black silk taffeta. Accessories include black gloves, shoes, and jewelry.
Inspired by a Pierre Balmain design, circa 1953.
Estimated $165
 
Hairstyle by Kathy Johnson
 
 
******
JINXED
This hauntingly stylish cocktail dress features a structurally impressive pointed bodice with a body hugging skirt of Parisian orange and black tweed, accented by metallic threads. Accessories include feathered hair decoration, black gloves, shoes and jewelry.
Inspired by a Modes Royale fashion, circa 1952.
Estimated $130
 
 
*****
FIRECRACKER
Strapless dress of red and white mini striped cotton features a faux wrap front accented by bows. This firecracker of a fashion is set off perfectly by a navy blue cotton sateen jacket, large navy blue braided hat, shoes and jewelry.
Inspired by a Modes Royale design, circa 1950.
Estimated $135
Hairstyle by Kathy Johnson
 

*****
ON THE PLAZA
Gene is "Kansas City chic" in this stunning suit of black and silver tweed. Jacket features decorative tabs and Swarovski crystal buttons. Accessories include a scarlet red wool hat with velvet trim, matching red gloves, jewelry and shoes.
Inspired by a Betty Rose design, circa 1950's.
Estimated $150
Hairstyle by Kathy Johnson
 

*****
CANDLELIGHT
This companion gift set to Yuletide Splendor features a beautifully tailored jacket in winter white and silver silk shantung paired with a sweeping skirt of brilliant blue chiffon. A fur muff and large hat will keep your favorite doll warm in the brisk evening chill. Pair the matching silk cigarette pants with the jacket for a different look.
Inspired by a Maggy Rouff design, circa 1947.
Estimated $165

*****
SPRING IN HER STEP
This delightful spring ensemble pairs a flirty halter dress of blue and white mini plaid silk taffeta with a coordinating swing coat of an embroidered floral motif. Accessories include gloves, jewelry and shoes.
Circa 1950's.
Estimated $150

Picture coming soon