Monday, October 29, 2007

Busy Bees

Have you heard about this missing bees? We watched the Nature episode last night that told the story about bees that are missing all over the world. Having grown up in cities, I honestly didn't know that huge colonies of bees are trucked all over the country to pollinate farms. Without these bees, we would have no orange juice, no apple pie, no blueberry muffins.

Bees have long been symbols of hard work, team effort, and accomplishment. They remind us of the best human qualities.

When I named the business Laura Bee Designs, I liked the initial 'B', but I thought it looked better spelled out. I wasn't thinking about the insect really. But watching the stories about the millions of bees that provide my favorite fruits and vegetables gives the name more meaning for me.

Recently a store customer also pointed out the sewing tradition of a Quilting Bee, which is fitting too. (I'd never thought about this reference; thanks customer!) A Bee can be any event where people come together to accomplish a task. What a perfect way to describe all of the work our team is doing to get ready for the holidays.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Button Thursday: Postponed for a Button Sale

Ashley and I went crazy at a button sale this morning. Here's a table full of our loot.
Around every cornerof a small brick building were baskets of beautifully sorted buttons. We found gorgeous buttons in all shapes, sizes and materials - wood, lucite, crystal, metal and glass.

These are two of my favorites - oversized clear buttons with lucite flowers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Nightmare

It's sleepy and rainy up here in Seattle; we are lucky. How can we help but feel so sad for the displaced families in California, suffering from the uncontrollable fires. Especially sad are the stories of folks who had to leave their animals behind - dogs, cats, horses, and others.

You can help the Humane Society aid the animals by donating money here.

Of course Red Cross shelters are essential at times like these. You can support them here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coming Soon: Goodies Boxes 2.0

We'll reintroduce our goodie box collection in about a week. We've been working on some new styles and we've added some great new goodies. The style names will be:

Red Delicious
Lucky Clover
Island Spice
Little Black Dress
Pink Lemonade
Periwinkle Sky

I'll keep you posted.

5 Years

To view the evite for our anniversary party, click here.

Back in 2002 I found our current retail location in a local newspaper ad. I had a tiny 100 square foot studio the second floor of a nondescript building, but I was hungry for a space that customers could visit. I was ready to stop doing the craft show circuit, and to start offering custom design options.

I still had a full-time job, and Otis wasn't yet born. When I found the space, 450 SF seemed really huge. Jeff did so much work getting the bedraggled walls and ceiling ready. Finally, early in November, I opened. I was there on my own on Saturdays and Sundays only, with very minimal inventory. I'm sure people who drove by the shop with the teeny sign wondered what I was thinking.

Well, here we are five years (and 600 SF) later and it's time to celebrate. Laura Bee Designs is no longer just me here on the weekends, but is now a full-time enterprise with a team of professionals, more than 60 handmade products, and a loyal customer base. We're still a shoestring operation, but I'm proud to say that we're thriving.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I still feel 26, but I don't mind getting older.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Overstock Shop

Announcing our new overstock supplies shop on Etsy. I've just launched the store with a few cool jewelry supplies that have been sitting in the studio for a while.

I'm trying to change my, "I'll use it someday so I'd better keep it," ways. My new mantra is, "If I'm not going to use this cool thing, someone else should (and it should stop taking up valuable space in the studio)."

So, crafty types, stop by to check out some great finds.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday on the Penninsula

Jeff, Otis and I headed over to our friends' cabin on Sunday night. Right on the beach, the place is so cozy and calming. Peg and Doug are fantastic, generous hosts and I loved seeing world through little Johnny's eyes.

I decided to do a little photo project while I was there. I wanted to capture some small moments without styling or moving any objects or posing any people. Here are the images I like the best.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wristlet Subscription #4

When I was packing up this round of subscription wristlets I noticed that they coordinated nicely with the packing envelopes. The color theme for fall was brown.

I paired chocolate microsuede with a high-end decorator fabric that has yellow tones. I topped off the wristlets with buttons that remind me of butterscotch candies. (I've noticed that I pretty much always use food words to name colors, but that's another story.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Last week dog cousins Otis and Tucker met for the first time. While Otis is a bit of a snob at the dog park (and ignores the other pooches), Tucker immediately joined the gang for some frisky play.

Once Otis realized that Ashley brought Tucker's squeaky toy, he got super excited. In fact, he hogged it. The only problem was, the red cuz didn't fit in his mouth. He tried and tried, but he couldn't pick it up. (Tucker was polite and didn't laugh at him though.)

Puggle and pug tail comparison: Otis's is more of a cinnamon bun tight curl, while Tucker's is a caramel colored loop.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Back in August photography student Laurie Pearman took some photographs of me working in the shop for a school project. This is one of my favorites because it shows the handbags for sale on the wall on the left. In the photo, I'm cutting pieces of interfacing that I'll use on a Helen Hobo.

Special Offer: Enter the coupon code AUTUMNPURSE when you order on our website and get a 15% discount on your entire order. This offer is good for web orders only, and will expire on October 15th. One use per customer please, but feel free to tell your friends about the coupon.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Exploring Grey

Fall in Seattle means looking up at grey skies and wearing lots of layers. But grey doesn't have to be gloomy. Here's a new shape, Evelyn, made of grey microsuede with a teal buckle and black accents.

Katie models a glossy grey wristlet in this photo. I like how soft the grey looks next to her black shirt and jeans.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Happy Hour

Seattle resident Erica sent us this picture a while back. She's toting an Eve bag and heading toward local hot spot the High Life. (I love her green coat!)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dogwood Seattle

The blurry man in the photo above is my husband Jeff. I took the photo a couple of weeks ago down in rural Oregon when we took a wood-buying road trip. He pretty much looks like that most of the time - on the go and getting things done.

I've told you about the gorgeous door he made for the shop a while back. Or you may have seen the coffee table and side table he's had for sale in our store if you've stopped by to visit.

Well now Jeff has a new blog of his own, where he is sharing his massive wood knowledge and work process. If you get the chance, check out his portfolio website too. If you leave a comment, tell him Laura Bee sent you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hello October: Popular with the Younger Set

Before Martha and Threads, there was Needlecraft Magazine. Here's the October issue from 1930. I found it at an antique shop in central NY a couple of years ago.

October is my favorite month. I love the crisp air and Halloween. I look forward to putting on hats and cozy scarves. Judging by these beret and purse projects, they must have felt the same way back in 1930.

Doesn't she look sharp in her terrier beret and matching clutch. (Wristlet!) I covet her tailored coat too.

In addition to the wonderful illustrations, I love the vintage language in this publication - it's both smart and practical.