Thursday, December 21, 2006


Check out our wristlets (and Ashley's lovely arm) in the Seattle Post Intelligencer's gift box section today. It's in the actual paper, as well as online here.

Shop dog Otis' 15 minutes of fame continue with his appearance, via photo bag, on Komo TVs early newscast between 4 and 4:30 today (Seattle channel 4). Brandie from Modern Dog magazine will be on the show in a feature on holiday gifts for dog lovers. She'll have a few of our dog-friendly custom photo products.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wallets, wallets, everywhere...

We just can't make enough wallets to keep the store stocked these days. Here's a recent batch, fresh out of the oven.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Lydia took this great picture at the studio a while back. I love how it shows two wristlets upclose, but also offers a glimpse of the rest of the space, paper lanterns and all.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stocking Stuffers & Hostess Gifts Under $10

Pocket mirrors with vintage images - $4

Pin sets - $5

Bath salts - $5.50

We have over twenty five terrific products for sale for under $10!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're feeling quite thankful around here. The new store has proven to be an enjoyable work environment with more natural light, open space, and better feng shui. Otis has been thrilled to play fetch along the expansive floor, something we couldn't do in the old space.

Tomorrow Otis, Jeff and I will head down to our friend Julie and Jean-Pierre's place to celebrate the holiday, and to watch the dogs play. I'm quite thankful to have such caring, warm friends who've tolerated my insanity over the last four years of owning the store. I have neglected some friendships due to work, and I appreciate the loyalty and patience both my friends and family members.

We hope to see all of you Friday or in the days following. Right now, we're taking custom orders through November 28th. We also have lots of great readymade items, including dozens of goodies under $10.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Remember Fruit of the Month Club?

My sweet mother found a lovely jar of these buttons in a little antique shop in Rochester, NY. They are all red vintage plastic, but no two are exactly alike. I've decided to use them as the vintage embellishment on the debut wristlet in my new subscription program.

I've been mulling over this idea for a little while. The concept is simple: subscribe, and receive a new, extra special wristlet in the mail four times per year. I'll base each wristlet around a vintage material or embellishment, making the design exclusively for subscribers.

I think this would be a fun gift to give for the holidays. I know I would love to receive a gift every few months throughout the year. Let me know what you think if this idea. I'm thinking of adding an earring and belt subscription too.

Check out the Wristlet Subscription product page.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dreams can come true: The Gunn Show

Bubble skirts and pinstripes suits: Angela and Tim of Project Runway grace the stage at Seattle Macy's. Tim did not disappoint. He was witty, suave and genuine.

Aside from meeting Tim, the highlight of the evening was seeing the winning garments from each challenge. Ashley and I had a terrific time looking closely at the construction, stitching and design details.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happiness is a Warm Gunn

From left: Angela Keslar, Laura Buzard, Tim Gunn, Ashley MacWilliam

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

To do list

Remodel space. Check.
Tear down wall. Check.
Gasp at vast square footage. Check.
Vacuum dry wall dust. Check.
Install new lighting. Check.
Do a little jig. Check.
Reconfigure workstations. Check.
Reassure Otis that all will be OK. Check.

Charge battery and take photos of above. OOPS!

Next on the list...reopen on Thursday 11-9-06! Please stop by to visit our new digs!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Four is the Magic Number

Today is the four year anniversary of the opening of our store. We're not taking time to celebrate; we're hard at work getting the expanded space ready. Still, I want to offer you, dear customer, a Thank You special.

Save 15% on any purchase by mentioning the Four Year Anniversary discount. Valid for in-store and phone orders only. Custom orders must be paid in full at the time the order is placed to receive the discount. Offer is good from November 2-4.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Craftsanity Interview

Do you know about the CraftSanity Podcast? Journalist Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood records fantastic interviews with a different crafter, author, or crafty-preneur each week. I'm addicted to his inspiring show.

This week's interview is with yours truly! I had a great chat with Jennifer recently about Laura Bee Designs, and I hope that you will find it interesting too.

Jennifer also asks her interviewees to post a craft project on her website. I did a little write-up on building your own color palette. (See the photo above for a sneak peak.) You can download the PDF on the CraftSanity website.

Visit the CraftSanity website.

(If you're a podcast newbie, note that you don't need an ipod to listen to the show. I just listen to podcasts on my computer.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Goodnight P-Run

We were really happy for all of the contestants last night. I'll miss my weekly Project Runway fix. (Until the next season.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Making it Work

You may have noticed that we're behind on our Project Runway analysis. We've been having our own make it work time around here getting the new space ready and gearing up for Christmas. Our wholesale business is going gangbusters, with stores carrying our line in Portland, New Zealand, Michigan, Wyoming and Colorado (among others). We've found some terrific small boutiques who understand what we do, and who have customers who buy our stuff. (Thanks!)

Those of you who have been to the shop will recognize the pink paint above. It's been our ceiling color for the last four years, and we've painted the new space with the same color scheme - vanilla walls and pink ceiling. The actual paint color is called "Taffy Lips" which brings to mind all sorts of X-rated associations. I've had to go back to the paint store a couple of times to restock, and I can tell that the gruff guys at the counter think I'm a wacko. (For the record I would have named it cherry pink.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

All about Eve

The crisp air we've experienced lately tells us that fall is here. Our best-selling bag for fall is the Eve, which is a new shape. Eve is compact yet roomy, measuring 11" tall, by 11" wide, by 4" deep. Many customers have taken to ordering cute little coordinating sets. This picture shows Eve with a little teal wristlet. I love sets that aren't too "matchy matchy" but work together just the same.

Friday, September 29, 2006

View the Video

Check out the little video about our store at this link. You can catch it on the Seattle Channel, or you can watch it right on your computer (see the link at the right of the screen).

It's a three minute vignette that was filmed as a part of our prize for winning the Seattle Mayor's Small Business Awards 2006, along with nine other great companies. Don't miss Otis the pug's TV debut!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Project Runway: Episode 10 Flashback

We’ve all be going through withdrawals as PR is taking a little inexplicable hiatus. Check out the next new episode ton ight, September 27th!

We usually re-cap at the beginning of each blog entry, but really, you’re probably watching by this point! There are just to many things to discuss for this episode, so straight to the Q&A we go.

Bringing back Angela and Vincent: Thoughts and feelings?
Ashley: Never have I been closer to heaving the remote through the television screen. It was both Angela and Vincent’s time to go even before they were each actually Auf’d, so to give them a second shot was absolutely ridiculous to me. And why bring back the two most obnoxious people? Why not some of the more well-liked, perhaps kicked-off-before-their-time folks? All in all, I am just really glad neither Angela or Vincent made it through to safety as that would have been the height of unfairness.

All I have to say is this: It was great TV. I love all of the shots of Jeffrey’s grumpy face as Angela arrived.

Who’s design was best this week? Worst?

Laura: I thought that Uli’s was terribly under-rated. He sort of ‘60s mod look was perfect for a black and white challenge. They were too hard on her. I thought that Michael’s and Laura’s were both lovely. Laura’s lace overlay dress definitely looked high-end, which was impressive.

My vote for best is Michael. He not only designed a beautiful dress, but designed it with the end-user (in this case his model) in mind. He continues to impress me every week with his proficiency in designing for a woman’s body. The worst was by far Angela’s countrified Dracula ensemble. As Tim Gunn so eloquently referred to in his podcast, “a fleurchon, Jubilee Jumbles extravaganza”. Scary.

Was Kayne the right choice to be Auf’d?

Ashley: As much as I love the guy, yep, it was his time to go. He’s definitely improved over the course of the season thus far, but it seems that his improvement increments have been smaller than those of the other designers. He’s such a talented designer in his field, and I think being on Project Runway forced him to stretch in ways that will really help him better serve his clients once he’s back home.

Laura: I’ll miss Kayne’s silliness, but I agree with Ashley. He should have gone. I was surprised that he bombed this open-ended challenge. He could have done something really cool and more “Kayne” and been great. I thought the purse he made was really cute though.

Prediction time! Who’s in for Fashion Week?
Laura: I am tired of Jeffrey’s Rave version of Rock ‘n’ Roll clothing. I hope he’s out, and Uli, Michael, and Laura are in. I’m still sad that old-timers Alison and Milan were kicked off. They had lots of potential and I would have liked to see an entire collection from both of them. They all get to show at fashion week to keep the final three a secret, so they’ve all won in a sense.

Ashley: My prediction for the top three is Michael, Laura, and Uli. However, I am pretty tired of Uli - it seems like she makes the same thing every week! So my dream top three at this point would omit Uli and add Jeffrey. Yes, he does have to insert his ‘rock and roll vibe’ into everything, but I like it. Also, if my fantasy top three were to be reality, it would mean three very different runway shows as opposed to the similar styles of last seasons final three. The judges really seem to love Uli though, so I’m hanging on the edge of my seat!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thank You

Last night we enjoyed a special treat. We are honored to be chosen as one of ten winners of the 2006 Mayor's Small Business Awards here in Seattle. All of the honorees attended a swank party at Town Hall, were given a lovely crystal trophy (see above), and schmoozed with Mayor Nickels and various business owners at a reception. For me, the highlight of the evening was watching the short videos about each business. I was truly inspired by the passion and drive displayed by each owner.

Thank you to the City of Seattle for recognizing the hard work and perseverance that it takes to start and run a small business. Thanks to the judges who chose Laura Bee Designs from a terrific pool of nominees, and to our customer Jill who nominated us. And thanks to you, dear customers, for shopping at our store, telling your friends about us, and for supporting our work! I feel so blessed to be among such creative stars - customers, employees, and vendors!

Please visit the check out the other nine talented winners. What a great bunch of folks!

BiXchange - Bob and Chris, owners

Gracewinds Perinatal Services - Christine, owner
Great Dog - Leslie and Judith, owners
Marjorie - Donna, owner
Montessori Garden - Kathleen, owner
SAI Real Estate - Deloris, owner
Second Use Building Materials - Michael, Patrick, & Dirk, owners
Soundview Medical Supply - Laura, owner
Parsons Public Relations - Joanie, owner

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Camera Hog

Earlier this week Otis stole the show once again. The human in this picture is Tom from the Seattle Channel. He came to the shop to film a video vignette that will air on the cable channel in the coming weeks. Tom wasted no time in relaxing on the floor giving Otis full romping access.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Project Runway: Episode 9 Faites-lui le travail! (Make it work!)

Ah, Paris. This episode finds the designers all settled in to their new digs and getting comfortable with the Parsons Paris workroom. After an evening stroll of the city and a Parisian dinner after the Auf-ing of Angela, the designers meet the next morning to hear their new challenge: Couture. As Tim described on the show, designers in Paris must be ushered into the world of couture by way of a vote by the French government. These designers have innumerable years of training and are incredibly skilled in the arts of hand embellishment and patience, so to be told to create a couture evening gown from scratch in two days? The PR contestants were floored. Most of them managed to… well… make it work, and the results were quite an amalgamation of each designer’s unique tastes.

Jeffrey - Two wins too many?
Ashley: I do struggle with whether I like Jeffrey as a person or not, but he’s really beginning to prove what an excellent designer he really is. I absolutely loved his couture creation this week – very much of the voluminous plaid and menswear trend of the season now. As Catherine Malandrino mentioned on the show, it was not only a daring color choice but to use a cotton fabric to make an evening gown was also a gutsy choice. Cotton doesn’t move in the same way as the silks and chiffons that are usually chosen do.

What was the deal with the egg toss?

Ashley: L’enfant terrible! I’m sure it was some kid in the nearby apartment building trying to entertain himself. I was so annoyed by Richard Tyler’s comment during judging that Michael “should have been watching [his dress] every second. Um, he had linked arms with his model. Could he be any closer than that? Grr.

Au revior Vincent!! Thoughts?

Ashley: It’s about time. And, might I add, we called it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Under Construction

I'm excited to announce that our store is expanding! We're going to stay in our current Ballard location, but we'll double in size by adding the corner unit. My husband Jeff is already hard at work on construction.

Ultimately, we'll have more than twice the space for retail, for production, and for custom design. It's going to be a long process to get the new space ready, but I couldn't wait to share the good news!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Our Little Corner of the World

Ashley Poses with Coffee

We had a little photo shoot at the shop today. Here's a picture of Ashley pretending to read as part of our "action shot" experimentation. I'm going to put several new bags on the website in the next few days. Our fall collection includes ruched wristlets, some new medium bags, and a bunch of mini wallets and jewelry. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Project Runway: Episode 8

Ooh la la! This episode’s challenge brought all manner of surprises, including a famous guest appearance (amazing New York-based French designer Catherine Malandrino) and even an international flight. The designers were told they would be creating a look for an international jet setter.

It was then revealed that said jet setters would be the designers themselves! There were a variety of reactions, and needless to say, an incredible variety of designs. On the runway, another surprise: The designers would not be judged until it was determined how each garment travels. They are then packed off to the airport where they find out they are bound for Paris. Once everyone has recovered from Angela’s ear-shattering shrieks, they board first class for Paris where the judging ensues…

In which outfit would you choose to jet set?
Ashley: I’d like a toned-down version of Uli’s dress. I always pick a halter neckline over anything, and then could combine it with my nearly surgically attached flip-flops and a denim jacket for an extra layer. It really was the perfect travel outfit: Chic, non-binding, and easily layered.

Laura: I prefer to wear pants when I travel, so I would have had a difficult time with any of the outfits. I guess I would say I’d wear Michael’s, but modified for a female. The seersucker pants would be comfy and airy. That’s a pretty huge stretch though. I would also like Laura’s dress in a jewel tone, rather than the pale flesh tone.

Did the right designer win? Lose?
Laura: I like Michael’s outfit. It was less predictable than Jeffrey’s ‘rock star’ garb. Jeffrey looked like Bono circa 1993 to me. His outfit was well-made and fit him closely (a little too closely in the pants if you ask me). However, it just seemed a little bit obvious that he would make that exact outfit since that has been his style all along. Michael took a preppy fabric – seersucker – and created a totally unique, yet wearable garment. I agree with the decision to Auf Angela. She was the obvious loser here.

Ashley: A whole-hearted yes to both. As soon as Jeffrey started picking fabrics I knew he was going to be at least in the top two, and a reversal of the same for Angela. Jeffrey’s garment was so unquestionably him, and he took it perfectly over the top – not too much, but just enough to look like a legitimate rock star. Angela: a silk-linen blend for a travel garment?! Seriously. Even without adding rosettes on each… er… cheek, and piling on a crazy bag and blowsy tank top, she was done for with her fabric choice. As a side note, I thought Michael in second place was a great decision. His garment was immaculate and yet still held fast to his hip-hop roots. Kayne in second-to-last was also the right choice. He really did look like a butterfly masquerading as Elvis, but at least the fit was perfect.

Was Catherine Malandrino too harsh in her judging?

Ashley: She definitely had more of a bite than the American judges, but I thought her critiques were right on. It was kind of refreshing to hear an unbridled opinion.

In his podcast, Tim Gunn said that they had to film Malandrino’s comments four times because she was so incredibly harsh. We actually saw the “toned down” version! I thought she was hilarious.

Who do you think will be Aufed next?

Ashley: My prediction is Vincent. Even though he won two weeks ago and was comfortably in the middle of the pack this week, he’s too much of a loose cannon, and he’s held on for too long. I’m also really hoping Kayne pulls out of his recent semi-slump. He could be on the chopping block very soon if he continues the way he’s going now.

Laura: I agree with Ashley. I think it will be Vincent, and I hope that Kayne will step up his game with some classic designs.

Learn more about the edgy-yet-feminine fashions of Catherine Malandrino (one of Ashley’s long time faves!) here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Project Runway Episode 7: Every Day Woman

Subtitle: Uli was robbed!

Episode seven brought us some truly shocking events. The show kicked off with the standard meeting of the designers to choose their models. However, when the models are brought out onto the runway, it’s revealed that they are actually the mothers or sisters of each designer. After much excitement and many tears shed, Heidi drops the bomb: No one can use their own family member as their client for the challenge. The drama ensued…

Should Vincent have won this challenge?

Ashley: No way. Like the subtitle says, Uli was totally robbed! Her tailoring of the chiffon poncho was immaculate, and once again she blew me away with her eye for pattern juxtaposition. I thought the look she created for Kayne’s mom was a chic and sexy way to dress a middle-age woman. I thought Vincent’s must have looked different to the judges, because from my couch it looked rather ill-fitting and had what I thought were extremely odd proportions.

This dress was Vincent’s best garment to date, but it was mediocre. The huge collar in front only, with the scoop in back was strange. He should have been safe, but he shouldn’t have won.

Was Jeffrey too mean to Angela’s mother?

Laura: When I listened to Tim’s podcast and found out that the mothers did not know in advance that they would be runway models in front of millions, I felt sorry for Angela’s mom. It can’t be easy to get up on the runway to be judged, especially when it’s a surprise. Jeffrey could have made her feel comforable and confident. Isn't that the job of the designer? In the real world, designers need to work to get along with their clients. Clients can be sensitive, need, fickle, or picky. They can have a hard time communicating their ideas to their designers. Jeffrey’s people skills are clearly lacking, and he failed seriously at this challenge.

Ashley: Yes, he was too mean, but Angela’s mother irritated me too. When the question came up on the commercial break to vote on who was more in the wrong, I couldn’t decide. Although he went about saying it in completely the wrong way, I agree in his thinking she was extremely insecure and somewhat unwilling to go out on any sort of limb with the design. And then again, maybe I’m still holding onto my dislike of Angela and projecting it on the Jeffrey situation…

Should Robert have been the one to be “Auf’d” this week?

Ashley: He’s really been consistently blah these last few weeks. I mean, c’mon, the guy was a designer for Barbie before this! You know he can make some interesting outfits. What he created for Vincent’s sister was something you could find in any plus division of a large department store, but then again, that means it’s an extremely marketable ensemble. My vote was for Jeffrey. The dress he created was hideous: Matronly, poorly constructed, and just all ‘round odd.

I’ll miss Robert as a character on the show. His conversations with Kayne were hilarious. However, I think that he was the right person to Auf. He must have been paralyzed by the competition on the show. What else can explain his uninteresting choices in both fabric and design.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I *heart* Jay McCarroll

The winner of Project Runway Season One, Jay McCarroll is outspoken and hilarious. I'm so psyched to see that he's joined up with the ASPCA to speak out against the use of fur in the fashion industry. In the last few years, animal fur has sadly become popular again, after several years out of vogue.

Visit this website to learn more and to sign Jay's petition.

Visit Jay's Website.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Project Runway: Recycling Challenge

We took a brief hiatus from our analysis this week to attend the Seattle Gift Show. We bought lots of great stuff to stock up the store for Christmas.

Check out this hilarious and fancy recap instead: FourFour Blog

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Day at the Beach

This is a little peak at our current window and central table display. Where's Waldo: find the top of my head.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Project Runway: Foxy Brown Rules

After the earlier Keith fiasco, we were happy to see the good guy get ahead this week. Michael has been quietly racking up points as this season’s sleeper favorite, and the Icon Challenge finally put him out front where he belongs.

Pam Grier is the perfect muse for our friend Michael. He rocked the challenge with bold color, sublime sewing, and sexy style. You know how it went; you watched it!

Do you know Pam Grier? Have you seen the classics Coffy or Foxy Brown? In the 1970s she was the black equivalent of Wonder Woman, without the invisible jet or golden lasso. She was tough and sexy, and ever so cool. More recently, she was smart and lovely in Jackie Brown. Read her filmography here. Props to Michael Knight capturing Grier’s essence in his fuchsia garment.

This week, we’re not going to lament Vincent’s odd rendition of Twiggy, or Bradley’s space age mylar Cher outfit. Instead, it’s time to place our bets on who is going to land in the final three, and why.

Laura’s predictions:

1.) Michael will be in. He’s serious about his work, avoids the drama, and is brilliant at fit and design. I love his excitement about fashion, and his sense of humor.

2.) Laura will be in. She has transcended my original suspicion that she was a rich dilettante. Her construction is strong, and her Katherine Hepburn outfit was underrated on the runway. She'll stay consistent and classic.

3.) Alison will be in. I find her sweet persona a little cloying at times, but I think her mix of avant garde silhouettes and high fashion styles to be unlike anything else that has been on PR. I think she’ll stay in by presenting strong clothes that have her edgy point of view.

Laura's wish list:

1.) Uli could be in. I’m hedging my bets a little here because I think she may get into trouble for making halter dresses for each challenge. She’ll need to show more diversity in her garments to stay in the running. I do, however, love that she uses prints in her garments with flourish and daring. Aside from Season Two’s Barbie challenge, we haven’t seen prints on Project Runway.

2.) Kayne could be in. He’s been a fun surprise this season. I had expected him to create tacky, poofy garments. Instead, he’s responded to each challenge by brilliantly fine-tuning his designs. He still loves color and bold looks, but he’s delivered high fashion instead of high pageant.

Ashley’s predictions:
Go Michael go! I’ve been loving him since the beginning for all the above mentioned reasons, as well as being interested to see how he would transform his hip-hop niche into the sleek requirements of Project Runway. He’s in my ‘Fantasy Top 3’, but I think I’m going to go ahead and say he’s going to be in the actual top 3 as well.

My second again in each category is Uli. Her masterful fabric juxtaposition skills floor me episode after episode – she has the vision! She and Michael both have fairly calm demeanors, which I think also puts them ahead in the crazy world of fashion. The PR winner will have to have good business skills on top of their creative abilities in order to really ‘make it work’.

My third person to fill out the Fantasy Top 3 would be Alison. I’m not sure she’ll make it into the actual top 3 for the exact reason I would want her there: She’s young. Her style is such a breath of fresh air and she has the ability to make a super-girly garment with a little bit of street-wise edge.

I know, there isn’t a number 4 in the top 3, but how I do love Kayne. He would be in my fantasy top group, and I think he has a great shot at being included in the real deal if he keeps up the work he’s doing. He’s gotten lucky with a few gown challenges. I’m excited to see what he’ll do next when the end product isn’t geared towards a black-tie event. So there they are, my hopes, dreams, and predictions for this third season.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fall Preview

Working title: Winter Floral Collection

We're hard at work on our fall collection. These new products will debut at the Seattle Gift Show later this month. Of course, they'll be available on our website and in our shop as well.

Above: Each microsuede wristlet features a crystal riveted flower embellishment. Colors will include red, royal (shown), lime, and black.

Working title: Mod Chocolate

Taking a rich shade of chocolate brown as our inspiration, we've created this new collection. The bubble necklace features a star pattern, while the wallets have a round dot strip. Colors will include green (shown), red, glossy brown, and teal.

Friday, August 04, 2006

So Long, Farewell…

…Auf Weidersein Keith! And from where we stand, good riddance. Sure, he’s a decent designer, but apparently only because he cheats. (He stashed contraband pattern-making books under his bed, sneaked out to find design info on the internet, and, according to this week’s Tim Gunn podcast, “showers” for hours on end and emerges with said pattern books concealed in his robe. So all-in-all, we at Laura Bee are not to heartbroken that he got what was coming to him.

On to the others! The designers had to work in teams for the second time this season, which of course stirred up some extra (extra good, that is) drama.

Did Keith deserve to get kicked off?
Ashley: Absolutely. He’s a good designer, but such a slimy character. Having a pattern book is a ridiculous advantage, plus if he’s looking at books for inspiration, who knows what his actual ideas would even look like. He could be ripping off ideas from other designers, passing them off as his own, and fooling the judges by being so charismatic. And he was having Alison and Jeffery do all of his construction work for him in the challenge! Project Runway has no use for an idea man with no skills. Good riddance. Yuck.

Laura: I did not understand Keith’s design, which was completed by Alison and Jeffrey. (See the photo above.) Maybe the straps were part of a stirrup pant outfit that he didn’t use for his designer dog last week. He’s a faker. Great TV though.

Are you happy with Bonnie’s dismissal?
Laura: They never developed Bonnie’s personality on the show, so I can see why the judges gave her the heave-ho. There wasn’t anything to make her, or this outfit, stand out. However, I think it’s unfair that the team leader always gets the axe. I think Bradley should have been Aufed, so that he could.go back to his gig as lead singer for the Spindoctors.

Ashley: Nope. I love Robert, but his design was hideous with a capital H. The top was so short and cheap looking – what was up with the flashes of midriff when she walked? I know the slit in the skirt wasn’t supposed to be that high either, but not okay for the target I.N.C. audience. And that “coat” situation… if you’re making a model look fat, you know something’s gone horribly awry. Bonnie’s design, although slightly dated by a season or two, was pretty classic. And wearing a belt at the natural waist is such a super-trend right now! I thought she should have stayed for a little longer.

Do you think Angela’s turn-around is a fluke?
Laura: She proved that choosing a good team is a big part of success. She was wise to choose Michael and Laura, and humble enough to take their suggestions seriously.

Ashley: She’ll still have to prove herself in my book. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I actually really liked her use of rosettes on the jacket and pants! I’m a total detail girl, and I think having Michael and Laura on her team really helped her tone it down and make her lines look a little more clean and classic. It’s interesting to me that Nina Garcia attacked Bonnie’s design for being dated, but let the fact that Angela used a version of a bolero jacket which were in style over a year ago just slide by.

What do you think about this week’s drama? Post us a comment and let us know your take! You can post anonymously, so go ahead and be as snarky as you want – we love it all.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We miss you SuzyBuzz

My sister, Susannah Buzard, flew back to Boston on Monday after a whirlwind visit to Seattle. Here she is modeling one of our bags. Thanks for visiting kiddo!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Project Runway Has Gone to the Dogs

Last week was extra busy here at Laura Bee: Visitors in town, the fall line to prepare. And of course our favorite activity, working with lovely clients on custom orders. So with that said, we are posting an abbreviated version of our usual Project Runway blog installment. Episode 4 airs tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

We were thrilled to see that the mysterious “fashion accessory” alluded to last week was the pocket pooch. Each designer chose a small dog from a cute assortment that included a pug, a Boston terrier, and two toy poodles, among others. (In a matter of shameless self-promotion, I – Ashley – do have to say that I called it!) We were entertained watching the designers choose their doggie clients.

Of course we were fond of the charming winner: Einstein the pug! (And his designer Uli, of course.) Both Laura and I were excited to see Uli finally get some recognition. The juxtaposition of fabrics she used on her dress was inspired and tricky to pull off.

My personal favorite canine was Stanley, who was paired with rumpled designer Bradley. They had an uncanny resemblance. Listen to Tim Gunn’s Episode 3 podcast and hear him repeatedly saying “my precious Stanley” in his signature lock jaw – hilarious! Laura was of course partial to Einstein the pug, but had a soft spot for ‘precious Stanley’ as well.

On to the garments for the humans! Once again Michael received no recognition for a beautiful design! Also, Bradley’s skirt and bubble top was somewhat of a repeat of Daniel V.’s orchid-inspired dress from Season Two. And Angela… ohhhh Angela. A Parisian art camp for 6 year olds taught by a woman from England who totes her dog wherever she goes and wears belly-baring sleeveless tops and a skimpy, crazy bubble skirts? The back story alone should have been enough to get her canned. Ah well, at least she continues to make some good TV drama.

Tune in tomorrow night to see which designer breaks the rules and is ushered off the show! We’ve been dying to find out since the first previews for the season came out back in June.

- Ashley

(Note from Laura: Check out this blog, written by a Project Runway producer, who details the inside scoop on actually making this reality phenom. He's funny too.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Small Notes

This weekend I made these little three inch by three inch notecards using scraps of cotton. I stitched along the top of each fabric square, so that it flutters like a tiny flag.

We'll use these cards for gift messages in the packages we ship. Many customers who order through the website have us mail their orders directly to their friends for birthdays, holidays, or other special events. We hand write each gift message for a personal touch.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pattern Maker

My husband Jeff is a woodworker who generously uses his various tools to make acrylic patterns for us. In this photo he's transferring my original 8-gore skirt pattern (made of interfacing) onto an acrylic sheet.

Next stop, the table saw to cut the angled sides of the pattern.

Finally, he trims the bottom curve on his bandsaw. The patterns are so fantastic. Because they are clear, we can see exactly what we are doing as we slide the rotary cutter along each edge.