"Shabby chic," "country," "primitive," "repurposed," "French" and "farmhouse" are all names used to call a popular decorating style. Yet there's just a single word that describes it: cool. And perhaps no other event in the Bay Area promotes this trend as well as the Goat Hill Fair happening May 18-19.
Another reason throngs attend this show is the idyllic setting -- a working goat farm tucked away in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The 50 participating vendors hail from up and down the West Coast, and they will be scattered about the property under great trees, in tents, or around the porch of a cheery, whitewashed cottage.
Inspect carefully the way dealers set out their goods. This is an artful extravaganza, where you'll see garden statuary juxtaposed next to a 1920s-era china cupboard painted chalk-white. Nearby, there might be a colorful globe once used in a classroom, jewelry created from a hodgepodge of mismatched pieces, even highball glasses and other funky vintage barware.
Besides the fabulous merchandise and food, you can hear guest speakers. Cathe Holden, a contributing editor at Country Living magazine, will give a talk and sign her latest book at 1 p.m. May 18. And at 1 p.m. May 19, garden guru Vicki Petulla, owner of the Creeping Fig, will present a demonstration.
I'll be onboard May 18 at 11 a.m. to visit with folks as I discuss "My Life With Antiques." This will be an excellent chance to catch up with my longtime readers from Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.
A few tips: Remember, this is a working farm with chickens, goats and other critters. Wear shoes with good support, because the ground can be uneven. Since it might be foggy early in the day, bring a jacket. Later, it turns warm. Don a hat to avoid getting sunburned.
The fair, organized by interior designer Cyndi Garofalo and antiques dealer/goat farmer Becky Yoder, is held at Yoder's Goat Farm, 24915 Soquel-Old San Jose Highway in Los Gatos. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 18 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 19. Admission: $5. No pets allowed.
Park in a lot in the lower meadow, or use the free shuttle bus from the Loma Prieta Elementary School on Summit Road. Details: 408-221-5054; www.goathillfair.com.
A golden show
It's worth the three-hour journey to picturesque Nevada County for the 14th annual Grass Valley Old West Antiques Show slated for May 10-11. Objects exhibited at this bash simply don't appear elsewhere.
You'll encounter Gold Rush-era artifacts, firearms, gambling and saloon items, country store and barbershop collectibles, early cowboy antiques, mining and railroad paraphernalia, plus Native American works of art.
I know people who head to this show for another reason -- the fine food. It's where to-die-for barbecue and homemade ice cream are dished up to crowds.
Join the fun at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 10 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 11. Admission: $7. A two-day pass runs $10. Parking is free. Details: 530-272-3243.
I'll unbutton my lip and tell you all about the California State Button Society's Button Bazaar taking place May 18-19.
Buttons have been fashioned out of material as varied as precious metals and stones, teeth, insects, shells and even tiger's toenails. At the show, attendees get to see thousands of examples used in quilting, sewing and crafting.
Scads of buttons will be on display in a competition that's part of the scheduled hoopla. And novices surely will gain a greater appreciation for the hobby when they view the assortment of educational exhibits.
The excitement happens at the San Mateo Marriott, 1770 S. Amphlett Blvd. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 18 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 19. Admission: $5. Details: 408-245-1630; www.cabutton.org.
Mother's Day (May 12) is just around the corner. And one of the best places to find Mom a nice present is Holy City Glass in Los Gatos.
For 37 years, noted glass artist Tom Stanton has made a variety of wondrous objects that are considered by many to be future heirlooms. And I think they're spot on. This time of year, Stanton turns out delicate spring blossoms -- some encased in paperweights -- tagged $45 and up.
You'll find Holy City just off Highway 17 about six miles beyond Los Gatos. Watch for the blue and white signs. If possible, plan a visit to the studio while the glass is being crafted. It's a sight to behold. Details: 408-353-4426.
Mr. TV memorabilia
The scripts, show biz memorabilia and even the trademark cigar of the legendary comedian Milton "Uncle Miltie" Berle (1908-2002) go under the gavel Sunday at Bonhams in Los Angeles.
Berle began his career in vaudeville at age 5. By the late 1940s, he became a household name when he hosted the "Texaco Star Theater." The entertainer -- credited with selling millions of television sets -- also became known as "Mr. Television."
Among the treasures going across the block is a photo inscribed to Berle by President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, estimated to garner $1,500 to $2,000. A sterling humidor by Tiffany & Co. may fetch from $5,000 to $7,000. Find an illustrated online catalog at www.bonhams.com.
Contact Steven Yvaska at firstname.lastname@example.org or 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190.