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Sarzana Antique Fair

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Every year in August I wait for it…in Sarzana there’s the most wonderful event, the Sarzana Antiques Fair. Sarzana is about a 40 minute drive from our house in the Lunigiana. Sarazana is a quaint medieval town 20 minutes inland from the sea, right before you get to Cararra where the marble is from. Complete with a citadel and duomo, it’s our region’s fun little secret hipster haven. It’s also virtually unknown by tourists. In fact I cringe a little bit letting you all in on my secret happy place. It’s chocked-full of artisan clothing boutiques and antique stores, yummy hip restaurants, and the most charming little bakery/tearoom, Melissa’s (Ill be writing about it in the next blog post, so you will want to come back, and read about it this Thursday). There’s even a hipster barber shop.

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This year I went twice. Once to scout it out. I found a charming hand painted terracotta urn that I have proudly displayed in our front entry. I headed back to find some pieces for the guest quarters and kitchen, and a trunk for the master bedroom.

The stalls under the brightly lit passageways always make me smile. Striped umbrellas and trillions of trinkets catch your eye. It always makes me a little dizzy with anticipation. Oh, and it’s held at night which is a stroke of genius since the August heat can bring upwards of 100 degrees in the shade. It’s the perfect time to have an aperitivo and people watching at the fair is an added plus.

All summer long there are wonderful antiques markets all around the region, but this once-a-year fair is the one I wait for. Now that I have let you in on my little secret, you should think about visiting our region inland from the Riviera. Thirty minutes from the very popular and incredibly over-crowed over-marketed Cinqueterra, there is a treasure trove of quaint towns and beautiful views, amazing hikes and unexpected local cuisine. Adventure awaits you off the beaten path. Start with Sarzana; you won’t be disappointed. You’re welcome. xx

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Announcing our First Italian Fall Workshop: All About Olives

The premiere olive-centric workshop includes elements of the classic workshop we have offered over the years, but with a unique twist: it’s all about olives!

I am super excited to tell you about our first ever fall workshop in Italy. As always, it will focus on food photography, styling and all things Italian.

We’ve had an amazing summer here at our new location in Northern Tuscany in a region called Lungiana. Our attendees have enjoyed an authentic Italian experience here in the Tuscan countryside all summer long.

I cannot wait to see what this fall has in store!

Here’s what you need to know:

This premiere olive-centric workshop includes elements of the classic workshop we have offered over the years, but with a unique twist: it’s all about olives! The workshop takes place during olive harvest season. The AJ style team photographer Emily Followill will be your photography instructor. Emily will teach you the basics of your camera and for more advanced photographers, you can dig into technical one-on-ones with Emily.

I will be teaching styling in the kitchen and in the studio, with special guest, acclaimed chef Alisa Barry of Bella Cucina who will be in the kitchen teaching cooking lessons. If you have a passion for all things Italian, including Italian food, this workshop is for you. We are a match made in olive oil heaven. If you’re obsessed with olives and olive oil, this is your time to make the commitment and come cook, style and photograph with them.

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Here’s what you’ll be doing for 4 days of olive oil fun: You will partake in foodie excursions. We will visit an organic olive grove and harvest olives. The group will observe and photograph while the olives are pressed and will have the opportunity to taste fresh press olive oil. You’ll enjoy a picnic in the olive groves. Alisa will be teaching cooking lessons with local olive oil including both savory and sweet recipes. Fall is a beautiful time of year to enjoy the seasonal bounty like olives, truffles, persimmons, and even wine tasting.

You’ll have a free day to explore even more of Italy which includes your choice of fall food festival excursions. Post-production lessons in work flow will be offered in the onsite photo studio for those interested.

$2850.00 for shared rooms, $3,275.00 for single rooms

Fee includes breakfast, all lunches (excluding your free day), some dinners, all instruction, and group excursions. Accommodations are also included. Airfare is not included and is the responsibility of the student.

We are selling out fast already, so book your trip now. We look forward to welcoming you to La Fortezza and sharing delicious food, adventures, and drinking the wine from our vineyard.

Reserve your spot!

xx Annette

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Ciao! Workshop Studio Space

I fell in love with the workshop studio space when I toured our house for the first time. When I first stepped in, I could feel the creative vibrations.

We are getting ready because in a little over 2 weeks our first workshop will be conducted in our amazing studio space.

Full disclosure: I fell in love with the workshop studio space when I toured our house for the first time. When I first stepped in, I could feel the creative vibrations. Even though it was filled to the ceiling with junk, I managed to glean the full expanse of this gorgeous forgotten space.

I can hardly wait to share this beautiful location with our attendees when they arrive June 14th. I truly have butterflies just thinking about it. We have now closed the workshop registration for the summer courses, but stay tuned for one workshop in November. If you want to sign-up, email me to get on the list. We have 3 spaces filled already, so we will only be releasing 3 spots end of July. You can reach me at annette@annettejosephstyle.

Stay tuned for BTS of the first ever workshop at La Fortezza with Christina Wedge and some surprise style gurus.

Ciao and see you here soon. xx

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IKEA’s Jassa Collection: A Colorful Bazaar

Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar. Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar.

As you all know, Ikea is one of my stylist’s secrets. It’s a great place to find funky, affordable, and chic items for your home and beyond. I’ve even been known to use Ikea items for photoshoots from time to time.

Ikea’s latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It’s colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar. It just screams outdoor entertaining and summer style.

Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar. Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar. Ikea's latest collection, the Jassa collection, is fantastic. It's colorful, earthy, and bohemian. With all of its punch, it reminds me of a bazaar.

The textiles are bold, and the furniture is so fun. It’s just a little bit vintage, but full of modernity. I just love it all.

Toss the oversized pillows on the floor for additional cozy seating, grab a large basket or two to hold blankets or beach towels around the pool, or plan an dinner party around the royal blue splattered serving wear. Most of all, plan some springtime fun!

xx Annette

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Roundtop TX, The Antique Show that is Texas B I G

props props props; I bought lots of great utensils for upcoming styling workshops.

props props props; I bought lots of great utensils for upcoming styling workshops.

Have you ever wanted to do something for many years, and then finally you are there, and it’s bigger and better than you imagined? Well that was my experience last weekend when I finally attended the Roundtop Antiques Show, in Roundtop TX. I am super lucky. My sweet designer friend, Kelly, who lives and works in Texas, was my amazing tour guide. In Roundtop, a tour guide is worth its weight in gold. It’s big; TEXAS B I G!!! So knowing where to start, and where to quit was extremely valuable.

We started at the Marburger Farm series of tents and buildings chocked full of antique dealers from all over the country. They were beautifully appointed booths filled to the brim with antiques from all over the globe.

Marburger Farm

Marburger Farm is a great first stop

hunting trophy collection

Amazing finds like this hunting trophy collection from Germany

Wear your cowboy boots; it's dusty and dirty.

Wear your cowboy boots; it’s dusty and dirty.

We spent about 3 hours walking from tent to tent. We hit the Uncommon Objects tent, and then went to Ex-Cess, where I found things from Marrakech and Hungary. Roundtop is something that should be on your bucket list if you’re like me and love beauty and interesting wares. I will say wear your cowboy boots as it’s dusty, drink plenty of water, and don’t over do it. Roundtop would take a few weeks to see everything, so curate your tour, and if you can, go with an expert. Thanks to Kelly for the fantastic day. I will never forget it, and I will be back. xx

One of my regrets is not buying one of these cleavers...

One of my regrets is not buying one of these cleavers…

One pro tip is to buy items as you see them because you most likely will not go back to buy them. I will say, I did not follow my own advice as these cleavers are something I should have picked up. But it’s a great reason to go back in the spring, right?  If you want to see my Roundtop day on Instagram, check me out here, to see what I bought.

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