Sunday, September 30, 2007

Flying South

These red bird bubble necklaces are California bound, along with bumblebees, kittens, and chubby birds. The lovely Seattle-based jewelry store Something Silver, which has several stores in California, has started carrying our bubble necklace line, and this is the first batch headed down to Cali.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Paint it Black

Ashley took this picture of several all black purses we made recently. They key to keeping a monochromatic design interesting is to play with texture and materials. We've juxtaposed matte against shiny, velvet against silk, microsuede against faux leather.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Making a Purse in 60 Seconds

Special thanks to Laurie Pearman, who took all of the fantastic photos (over 300 of them) in this film.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

This Button Has Found a Home

Remember when I told you about this white button? Well, here is the bridal bag on which it now resides. The whole collection, which included four pink and brown clutches, is headed off to Michigan for an upcoming wedding.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Introducing Tucker

Here he is, the newest member of the extended LBD family...! Ashley and her boyfriend Nate adopted Tucker through Seattle Pug Rescue, an organization near and dear to the heart of Laura Bee Designs. At only 11 months old, he's full of puppy energy and Ashley and Nate are having a great time trying to tire him out. In the photo above, he's taking a brief break from romping around Greenlake with his new dog mom. The adoption process is an extensive one, but every form and home visit was well worth the cuddly (and wiggly) end product!

Tucker has a condition called Megasophogus, which makes him eligible for the "Helping Hands" program through Seattle Pug Rescue. Helping Hands offers financial aid to the dogs' veterinary care who are deemed 'hard to adopt,' and part of the LBD fundraising effort goes toward the program. So on behalf of Tucker, thank you to all of you who have purchased a Happy Dog Zipper case!

Check out the true definition of Puggle (Pug and Beagle) in this video... woofs like a pug, howls like a beagle!
Video of Tucker.

Friday, September 21, 2007

We were dancing the night away

Five years ago today, Jeff and I got married. We had a small wedding - about 65 members of our family and close friends.

Just before our wedding we discovered the Earth, Wind, and Fire song that has the line, "Do you remember the 21st night of September..." (Actually, when they sing the lyric it sounds like "remembah.") It's a soulful, happy tune and we still love catching snippets of this song on the radio, in the grocery store, while shopping anywhere oldies are played.

I recently learned that the traditional 5 year anniversary gift is wood. How fitting! Just last month, Jeff built us a beautiful deck, which will last for years to come. (The hammock in the photo was a favorite wedding gift.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Tiniest Buttons

Four of these little buttons would fit on one nickel. I'm glad they were never used; they look lovely on their original packaging.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

October Wedding

This bride chose rich shades of red and orange for her bridesmaids, who will be wearing charcoal grey.

We made a different silk wristlet for each girl.

We used an embroidered overlay on the bride's wristlet.

Don't forget the flower's something bright and fun for a lucky 9 year old.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Caption Contest

Help us come up with a caption that suits this picture of Otis.

List your caption in the Comments by September 25th. (You'll also need to email us your caption so that we can reach you if you win the prize. info(at)laurabeedesigns(dot)com.) We'll award the author of our favorite caption with a $20 gift certificate to our new website.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Going Gold

Let's face it. For those of us who came of age during the 1980s, gold jewelry can remind us of gaudy socialites who piled on the designer brands, perfume, and tacky jewelry to ostentatiously display their wealth. From bathroom faucets to silverware, back then, everything was dipped in gold. This turned me off of the jewelry tone altogether. I suspect that I am not alone. Until this year, anything gold sold very slowly in our store.

Gold has been back for a few seasons now, but it's taken many of us a while to warm up. Right now, we have a gold-themed display table in our shop. Far from glaringly tacky, the items we have on display are paired with muted warm hues like olive green, cream, rust, and espresso. The sunny look of the gold jewelry lightens and brightens these shades.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cupcake is a Noun

I haven't visited Noun: A Person's Place for Things, but we've sold many bags, wristlets, and wallets to Stephanie the owner and she's reordered several times from us. Noun customers have visited our Seattle shop and told us how cool Noun is. Plus, it's in Portland, right next door to Saint Cupcake! Shopping and cupcakes; now that's a perfect combination.

Stephanie carefully blends new inventory with great vintage finds in her shop. We made these bags from incredible vintage barkcloth she sent us. We'll ship them off tomorrow to Noun, making them an exclusive collection for lucky Portland shoppers. By the way, that's Debbie (left) who cut all of these bags, and Ashley (right) who sewed them.

A New Leaf

Hello blog readers. I'm proud to announce that we have officially launched our new website, which is chock full of many terrific features and products. I'm especially excited about our new custom design options, wish list capability, and extra information about our process and store.

Everyone has been working so hard to make this new site a reality. Thanks to my husband Jeff for being a constant sounding board for all my ideas, worries, and excitement. Many thanks to Ashley and Ali for posing in most of the new photographs, and to Debbie for holding down the fort all of those mornings while we ran off to the playground up the street to take photos.

Kudos to Cherie and Joe from Red Lime Web Development for transforming tons of raw information and my layout ideas into a beautiful, functional, professional site. It's truly a team effort keep the business running during huge project like this website overhaul, so a big thanks to the whole staff for their dedication and enthusiasm.

When you have the chance, please stop by the website to have a look. I will be adding new items over the next few weeks, and I'll keep you posted here on the blog. If you'd like to be included on our mailing list, or to create a wish list of custom designs, you can register on the site. Be assured that all of your information will be securely stored, and never shared with any outside parties.

Thanks to you - blog readers, customers, and folks who appreciate handmade things. I feel so lucky that I get to play with fabric, ribbon and buttons at work each day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Inspired by Aubergine

I photographed this little group of buttons in response to an email from Jennifer in California. Her bridesmaids will be wearing lovely aubergine dresses.

Jennifer told me that she pictured toffee and chocolate brown as her accent colors, along with gold jewelry.

After she approved my button choices, I came up with a unique design for each girl.

I decided to use the toffee and chocolate as the base colors of each wristlet, and to emphasize the eggplant with embellishments. I love her color palette. It is so unique and rich looking.

These silk wristlets are based on this design.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Itty Bitty Shop Dogs

Aren't these cute? Artist Melissa of Itty Bitty Barkers made them for me! I ordered them from her Etsy store.

Each little sculpture is handpainted.

This one is based on Otis' smiler.

I couldn't resist taking a few pictures with my dollhouse sewing furniture.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Color Story Part II

Since part of my job is to help clients put together their own fabric choices and color options, I think about color quite a lot. I think about why it is that some people love orange, but hate purple; why some like every brown material to be exactly the same shade, while others prefer quirky color contrast. Watching how each person has their own relationship with color is one of the fun parts of my work. So, sitting on the stoop outside yesterday, I started looking around at all of the whispering signs of fall and asking myself what their colors say to me.

I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures of the detritus to capture the fleeting color combinations. Especially inspired by the fluffy dandelion seed puff and the Lily of the Valley fall berries, I think it will be fun to design a clutch inspired by each photo. I'll share those with you soon. Stay tuned.

A Color Story: Part I

Since today is Labor Day, in the spirit of the holiday, Jeff and I decided to do absolutely no labor. We swung in the hammock, played fetch with the dog, and indulged in a few guilty pleasures of cable TV watching. Later, I idly sat on the front stoop with a glass of lemonade when our hydrangea plant caught my eye. See how this bloom is resplendent on crispy leaves? That juxtaposition is a sure sign of autumn my friends.

Seeing this flower reminded me of this time last year, and of all of the exciting things that were happening just then. We expanded the store, won an award, and Jennifer, of my favorite podcast Craftsanity, interviewed me about LBD. Jennifer asks each guest if the would like to create a craft project that she then posts on her website. My project - Create Your Own Color Story - featured a hydrangea not unlike this one. You can view the project here.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Around the Corner

I took this picture way back in June when summer was just unfolding. That's Ashley balancing on a crazy swing apparatus that hangs in a neighborhood park up the street from the shop .

I think we did a pretty good job of simulating autumn in this photo, which is important because it's one of the front page images that will appear on our brand new website, launching in September. Which, amazingly, is now.

Stay tuned for the actual announcement, hopefully next week. The new site will have all sorts of great new features including a wish list, custom bag-building options, and a whole new look. We've been working hard; I can't wait to share the results with you.