There’s just no way way around it. When Eddie Ross is in town and there is a gathering of bloggers, fun will be plentiful, and laughter will be abundant. I was one of about a dozen very fortunate bloggers invited to an invitation-only dinner at JCT Kitchen in Atlanta with Eddie and Jaithan and hosted by Steve McKenzie, CEO of Larson-Juhl . What a fun time it was! Steve is the consummate host and we were all so excited to be there.
I met SO many new bloggers and wish I had gotten a chance to sit down and talk in length with every single one of them. This is uber popular blogger, Jennifer, from The Peak of Chic. Jen is now a featured blogger in House Beautiful. I didn’t get a chance to speak with her in detail, but really enjoyed meeting her.
And this fun and sassy lady is none other than Mary Kay Andrews, famous Southern author, who has written many best selling books, including Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze and her latest, The Fixer Upper. She’s hilarious and fun and I would love to have spent more time with her too. Click on that link to her blog to read about her crush on Eddie. She’s one funny lady!
One of my very faithful readers and frequent commenter, Jennifer with Fiddle Dee Dee, was also invited to the soiree. It was so much fun meeting her and she drove over from North Alabama. She and her hubby also came back for the framing workshop on Saturday.
Also in attendance was Kerry Howard, from the Top Design show, where he and Eddie met. Kerry’s a fun Southern gentlemen with a great drawl and quick wit and I met him last year at the Scott’s shopping trip I attended and first met Eddie. Great seeing him again too. This was a new to me blogger, Tammi with Talking with Tammi and I didn’t get to visit with her too much, but again enjoyed meeting everyone.
We had a nice long table and took our time with dinner, savoring every moment and talking up a storm.
There were conversations aplenty around this table. The food was exceptional, as well as the company.
Me, Jaithan, and Jennifer all sat next to each other.
Eddie and me.
I didn’t take a lot of food pics, but did manage to snap this of the dessert, donuts and coffee ice cream that Steve ordered up for the whole table. I was stuffed when I left the place. I had salmon for my main dish. I got to meet another Birmingham girl, Jennifer with Newlywed Diaries and she and I had a lot of fun chatting and getting to meet for the first time. She’s the cute little thing on the front row right, in that group shot above. Also, a special hello to my new friend, Patti, with Anatomy of a Dinner Party. So fun to meet her too!
We were there for 3 whole hours and I completely lost track of time, chatting it up with several people. There was one little glitch going on outside that we were all aware of, but weren ‘t too worried about. The weather. It was starting to snow and the temps were dropping like a rock. I, of course was staying with my parents and had told my mom that I expected I’d be gone a couple of hours and would call her if I was going to be later. Well, of course it went much longer than 2 hours, we talked and talked and when I walked outside, it was already after 10:00 pm. She had left me a voicemail on my phone getting a little panicky that I wasn’t home yet. I haven’t had to call my mama for a very long time. 🙂 I called her in a hurry to tell her I was fine and was about to leave for home. I did have to brush the snow off my back window to get out of the parking lot. Luckily, the roads weren’t too bad yet and I made it to my parent’s house just fine. It got down to about 13 that night and the next morning was pretty much a disaster with some very bad ice on the roads. We heard there was a 29 car pile-up in Atlanta and there were well over 400 accidents those couple of days with the snow and ice. My sister and I did manage to make it down to the Atlanta Gift Market on Friday late morning and I’ll tell you all about that later. Meanwhile, we’ll move on to Eddie’s framing workshop on Saturday. Another fun event!
Luckily, the weather cooperated Saturday and we didn’t have any trouble getting out for the framing workshop. Me, my sister, Renee and my friend, Renae Moore all met up to go together.
It was really great to visit Larson-Juhl in person. I had met Steve, the CEO last year on the Eddie shopping trip to Scott’s and you might remember, I did a framing giveaway with them back in October and they were so gracious to frame my newspaper articles for the giveaway and what a fantastic job that was. I adore those framed pieces! It was fun to see a tour of Larson-Juhl and to see what all they do, especially the printing process for Artaissance, their online art reproduction gallery that allows you to custom size artwork to fit your home decor needs. Check out Artaissance for some great and unique art ideas for your home.Walking into the foyer, we were greeted by these beautiful floral displays (made by Eddie, of course!). Since this was a tea, there were tea sandwiches, scones, beautiful dessert goodies, and more, such a delectable spread.
Tea, wine, and water were served on a beautifully displayed table. Notice the use of burlap.
Fresh flowers on a table display.
Perfect place for a Saturday afternoon party. Eddie was posing for pics with everyone, so of course I had to get another one of the 2 of us. Eddie is such a great talent, so creative and funny too. Everyone loves Eddie.
Steve McKenzie really knows how to throw a party. Nothing was left undone and we all felt pampered and served. Thank you, Steve, for the fun afternoon!
Picture taking was the event of the day too, with many group and individual shots. As you can imagine, when there are bloggers around, there will be lots of photos.
Layla, me, Angela from The Painted Cottage (who is taller than me!) , and Renae.
Eddie and Layla. I’ve noticed, all the girls like to touch Eddie on the tummy when they pose for pics. 🙂
Eddie shot some beautiful photos of his French basket collection on burlap and Larson-Juhl framed them up especially for this event. Take note of the larger middle print, that one was going in a raffle for a giveaway. Eddie took me over and showed me his wall and I was oohing and ahhing over the giveaway prize, exclaiming “I WANT that!”.
After visiting and eating for the first hour, we then went into a nice room for Eddie’s framing presentation. He’s a wealth of knowledge and it was fun watching the slideshow and hearing Eddie’s thought processes on the subject of framed art.
This was one slide showing an easy way to group art first before you nail all the holes in the wall, just to be sure you have it right.
Eddie in action. The last thing of the day was the raffle drawing for the giveaway framed print. When the glass jar was brought in, Steve reached in and drew out a name. I was willing it to be MINE….and guess what? To my total shock, it WAS!!
Eddie presented me with the print and we were laughing it up. I promise, it wasn’t rigged!
I was never so shocked in all my life. You know how you wish for something to happen and when it actually does, you can hardly believe it?! That’s how it felt! I was SO excited to get this beautiful piece of artwork.
And it’s going in my dining room, the perfect spot, I think. I had Eddie sign and date the back of it.
You can see my prize there on the floor. Renae, me and my sister, Renee. She enjoyed it all too and kept telling everyone who asked. No, I’m not a blogger, only one per family. She did take lots of pics for us though.
Me and Layla had fun catching up again.
Kevin and Layla, they are one cute couple. I was so happy to finally meet Kevin. He’s just like I pictured him to be.
Renae, Me, Eddie, Mary Kay Andrews, Layla and Kevin.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, we were all sent home with a beautiful canvas print of a Biltmore Collection Shield Back Chair that I can’t wait to frame.
And Eddie had procured original botanical prints out of an old book from a vendor at Scott’s for all of us too. What a day!
After a very eventful and fun weekend, it was time for me to head back to Birmingham. I got out of there just as the sun was beginning to set on I-20 and while listening to old school R&B, I made my way back to my Sweet Home Alabama and to my dear hubby.
What more could a girl ask for?! Not much.