Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We are Owls scarf

Hey, are you in the market for a cashmere skeleton/shawl? I bet you are now! Well, before you run out and buy it you should run over to Refinery 29 to see if you can win it. Because that would totally make your day, don't you think?

Cookie Swap

I was just reading about Cup Of Jo's cookie swap that she hosted..now that is what I call a party..

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sticker Wallpaper

This girl gets a round of applause. See that lovely wallpaper she is standing in front of? She made it. Out of stickers! I wonder how long it took her. And how long it will take if she ever has to undo it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Video Friday!

Alright, so we have a good one today for your Video Friday viewing pleasure. This was especially requested by e, and I have to say that it is a joy to watch. It's got funny cameos, lots of neon, movie clips, funny walks and of course ghostbusters. It also has a poor girl being haunted by Ray Parker Jr. I hope I'm never in that particular situation..

Thursday, August 26, 2010

National Sewing Month September!

Speaking of sewing..(which we seem to do a lot here) did you know that September is National Sewing Month? (cue trumpets) Yes sir, thanks to Ronald Reagan we can flaunt our sewing skills all through September...which of course we totally plan on doing. I wanted to give you guys a quick overview of what we have planned for Sept, in case you want to join in!

bon bon National Sewing Month Activities!

Stitch'A'Day September. I hereby announce that I will sew every day in September. I will document (so you know I'm not lying) and post updates here and on the Ning site. If you want to join me (and I hope you do) join the Ning site and post your own updates!

Shirtdress Sew Along. I am going to make the shirtdress in Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book. Anyone want to sew along with me? Then at the end we can all share how it turned out! If you want to sew along and don't have the book, I might be induced into giving you a little discount if you want to get it from us. Maybe..if you are good!

Sewing Circle Party! September 8th is our night for sewing circle and we are going to make it into a National Sewing Month kick off party. I'm not promising anything, but there just might be some crafts and deals.

9.15 Basic Sewing Class. Which you can now register for online..because J is a computer genius.

9.17 Pillowcase Class..which you can also sign up for online

And Last but not least, a Show and Tell Picnic on September 25th

I know that a lot of it doesn't help our out-of-towners...but you could do the sew along with us, or the stitch a day..it will be fun, I promise!

Sleeping Bags

You know what I think would be fun? Making a sleeping bag. I don't camp, but I really like sleeping bags (so cozy!) I think I could totally make a cute one. I bet you could to. I still have my She-Ra Princess of Power sleeping bag, but it is a little short to lay in all the way. (although, considering I got it in Elementary school it should be a whole lot shorter, but when you are height-challenged you can keep and use things a looong time!)

Hmm..time to work out a pattern..

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the sewist's toolbox: bias tape maker

This may be one of the most satisfying tools ever! If you have ever sewn with me before, then you know how I love to make sure that everything is nicely pressed at every step. You also know how I hate to turn tubes for straps. Come into play the bias tape maker, or as I like to call it, the binder maker (most of what I put through it is NOT bias cut). This combines my love of pressing and saves me from turning tubes.

binder tool

So what do they do, you ask? Well, they take strips and fold two sides to the center in one swoop. Then you follow behind with the iron and presto...bias tape. This is great for bindings of any kind. But I like to use it as a strap maker. The tool comes in a variety of sizes. So find a size that works, run your strips through, then you fold in half and topstitch. That's a strap! This is so much faster and far less frustrating than turning long tubes.

binder tool

We used them to make the straps for the nighties in Friday's class.

nighty night
bias tape maker tool experienced professionals

Thanks ladies for a fun class!

Swiss design for life

This image gives my eyes a run for their money, but I really like it. It was shown at the Switzerland design for life show last month. I bet that was an amazing show to see...

Pink Couch

When I was in London for school (a million years ago) my parents came to visit and my mom and I went off on a jaunt to Harrods. While we were there we wandered through the furniture section and what did I see? A mid-century style hot pink sectional couch. Oh how I loved it. Something about it made it not girly, just awesome. Since that day I have always had a pink couch goal in my head. I think any of the following couches would satiate my pink couch lust!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Holiday Ric Rac Roundup

We are open to applications to our Holiday Ric Rac Roundup! Email us if you want one!

Vogue September 2010

I'm starting to get the itch for fall..this Vogue shoot makes me yearn for plaids and coats...

However, I don't think I'll be yearning for a tiny backpack anytime soon. Not for me. What about you?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bloom Magazine

Not interested in working this morning? Well, let me recommend you spend your time looking through the photo library at Bloom...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Video Friday!

Today's Video Friday is the Cine' Liberty movie of Liberty of London's Flower Power event earlier this summer. Maybe you all have seen this already, it is quite possible. But it's so pretty and summery that I thought it was nice to revisit as summer is coming to a close. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

KC Talent: Deb Dusenberry

You may have noticed that our Thursday afternoons have been recently spent gazing into the homes and studios of a few of KC's talented designers. This will be a regular Thursday feature, because there is a lot of talent in KC to celebrate! Today we are lucky to have an interview with Deb Dusenberry owner of the Curious Sofa, and the queen of retail in Kansas City..

For those of you who don't know, the Curious Sofa is a store in Prairie Village, KS. But it's not just a store, if you know what I mean. Yes, you can buy jewelry and stationary and sofas and even bedding..but what makes it special, (and what gets it featured in magazines like Country Living) is it's style. A little rustic, a little vintage, a little un-nameable but totally gorgeous.
And it has that style because Deb Dusenberry knows what she likes. She isn't distracted by trends as they come and go..she knows her style and sticks with it. And that's what I think really makes the Curious Sofa such a strong statement..although the store is constantly updated and re-merchandised(with incredibly witty and whimsical displays) the original feeling always remains.

So Deb, tell us about your background..
I was born and raised in Kansas City. I was a theatre major, but found my way into commercial art, which then introduced me to photography and then everything changed from there. I shot fashion, worked in the advertising department at Macys which lead to photo assisting, photo styling, makeup artist, fashion stylist. Went freelance in 1981 and worked for 20 years as a photo stylist: TV, movies, print, catalogs, advertising, commercials, etc....
What was your vision for Curious Sofa when you first opened the store?
To bring to KC the shops I had seen in New York, San Fran: a locally own ed, boutique feel with a mix of new and old. But also with a professional twist. I did not want it to be "Grandmas Dusty Attic."

How has the store and your vision evolved?
It really evolved when I moved to Prairie Village. (for those who don't know, the original Curious Sofa was opened in downtown KC in the Crossroads district. It is the arts mecca of KC and home to a lot of design-oriented people.) Customers were different, more families, less singles; more traditional style and they wanted more small gifts and seasonal items. With a big store you have to offer many items you may not want to carry to survive. The funkier, artistic customer I had on the Blvd may not always travel far from their comfort zone to continually support a store like mine.
What do you see in the future for the store?
I am always trying to be better at the business side of retail. Spending wisely, buying the right mix, designing the right seasonal event . What''s next is our 10 year anniversary and with it we are finally launching a new website to sell online. We have been so fortunate with national press that it was time to offer our products to our out of town fans .
You have a very strong sense of style. What designers do you get inspiration from?
Ralph Lauren. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Focused, timeless but always expanding into every venue imaginable. I just read in the new Bazaar he has a new restaurant in Paris with a 10 week waiting list. I can only imagine the interior. His brand never disappoints me. But I love any good designer or design from LaCroix to Michael Kors. I actually roomed with Alexander McQueen for a week in 1990 when we both got off the train at the same time in Milan to try and get famous in fashion!
What are your favorite design blogs/magazines/websites?
I am not a reader, I have to have pictures to hold my interest because I think in Cliff Notes. My mind spins 24/7 so I really do not read or regularly view blogs. I do love World of Interiors magazine though. I am currently into clean, white, fresh anything. I am tired of all the bells and whistles right now so I am currently attracted to:

My retail friends in Kentucky manage to condense the best of all magazines here:

More retailers across the pond:

I miss my magazines but this is great:

I just discovered this graphic designer:

and the inspiration for my new website came from:

How do you think the choice of fabrics can effect the look of a room?
It is as important as anything! Pattern, color and texture can all effect the mood your interior takes on. This is why I have chosen white and neutrals for my store. Its not that I don't like color per se, I don't usually like the color most manufacturers make things with! I love color but dusty, greyer versions of them. Its the antiquer in me and it blends so nicely and doesn't scream at you.

What are your favorite textiles to use? Linens, cottons, patterns, solids etc?
Well as much as I loved the burlap craze, its over. Customers just don't know what to do with it. They do not see it as utilitarian, they see it as cheap and uncomfortable. I will always love linen and cotton. Washed, white, bleached, soft and even a little threadbare. But the European hand towels, soft grainsacks and linen sheets- they always speak to me. I can just have piles on a shelf to look at. I want to sleep in them, wash with it, wear it and use it for everything. But I am also very much into the kalamakari and ikat prints that are timeless too. (as long as they're muted colors!).
Any favorite textile designers?
Les Indiennes, John Robshaw and Ralph.
What item in your home could you not live without?
My dog Pearl! I am not attached to anything that much. I am a comfort girl. I want a good down-filled sofa, fast internet, a great cup of coffee, TV, air conditioning and good water pressure. All the items come and go.

Any tried and true decorating tips?
1. Always start with color. Pick 3 colors that go well together and use varying shades of them throughout your house to get a polished look. Keep them in mind when you buy anything for your home: Towels, kitchen soap, candles, furniture, picture frames, etc. It will pull your house together faster than anything.
2. Avoid trendy. It always ends up in next years garage sale.
3. Keep replacing items for better quality when you can afford it.
4. Learn how to rearrange furniture and hang pictures properly. These are true signs of good decorating skills.
5. Edit, edit, edit.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Deb! And for all of you who haven't been there check out curioussofa.com and Deb's great blog, curioussofa.blogspot.com.

Scratch Off Map

The fun of penny scratching combined with the fun of travel? Yes, as a matter of fact I think this scratch-off your vacations map would be a perfect Christmas present for me. It will be here sooner than you think...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions

We also just received a bevy of new books and patterns..including the brand-spankin new Amy Butler handbag book, which is drool-worthy of course.
Also hot off the press is Vintage Notions, a book by Kansas City's local pattern guru Amy Barickman. In this book, Amy gives us tips for sewing, cooking, needlework and life, all inspired by pamphlets from The Woman's Institute of the Domestic Arts and Sciences, and published between 1916 and 1934. Not only are the illustrations to die for, but the tips and tricks from the early part of the century are still valid today..this book is a must see!

We also got in some cool patterns from Amy's pattern company Indygo Junction. I've been looking for a coat pattern for this fall..this might be the one!

New Alexander Henry Fabrics!

The new Alexander Henry fabrics have arrived, I'm totally in love with those crazy mid-century inspired plaids. They are now in the store for you KC'rs and online for the rest of the world!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Crocheted Crab

Crocheted crab by Joana Vasconcelos. I like it.

Urban Outfitter's ironic storefront

As an independent store owner I find Urban Outfitters (and to some extent Anthropologie's) faux boutique-ness annoying. Just so you know.

Is Urban’s ‘Ironic’ New Storefront Mocking Mom-and-Pop Shops?

    Is Urban’s ‘Ironic’ New Storefront Mocking Mom-and-Pop Shops?

Photo: Courtesy of MyUpperWest.com.

On Thursday, a new Upper West Side Urban Outfitters will open, featuring an "ironic" façade that references old New York storefronts. "The whole idea was to do this kind of ironic statement of lining the building with storefronts that would be reminiscent of independent businesses," the creative director of the companytold The Wall Street Journal in June. "It's the story about the streets of New York as they once were." Well, the only actual irony here is that, with all due respect to UO and its (admittedly awesome) selection of affordable clothing and accessories, chains like Urban Outfitters are a big part of the reason thatauthentic, old New York storefronts are a dying breed in the first place.

Racked and My Upper West Side have snapped the first photos of the Urban façade, and it's clean and corporate in its own way; there will be no mistaking it for a mom-and-pop shop. In any case, Urban's idea to reference the New York style that much of their clothing draws from is at least more interesting than other big-dog storefronts. Alas, just this week, Cardeology, a card store with an authentically old storefront, closed, in the same 'hood as the new Urban Outfitters.

Monday, August 16, 2010


It class week at bon bon! Have you signed up yet? If not you better give us a call!

Tonight is E's beginner knitting class!

On Friday you can make a nightgown with Jaime
And on Thursday you can join me for a Basic Sewing class, where you will make this great tote bag!