Saturday, August 30, 2008

Internet Adventure Goes to the Dogs

Photo by David Houge.

This Labor Day weekend, I thought you might enjoy visiting one of my favorite blogs, Tour De Dog. Seattle resident David Sylvester and his rescue dog Chiva are touring the country via bike.

Together they're visiting animal shelters, climbing mountains, and making new friends in the lower 48 states. David is giving money donated to his cause via Paypal to the shelters he visits.

His blog, Tour De Dog, is inspiring, fun, and fascinating to read regularly. It's a terrific example of the beauty of the internet, where one man's adventure can be shared by many, and one dog's cause can be supported by strangers.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Button Thursday: Nautical Brass

Brass Anchor Button, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We're in the Book

Last night I went to a party to celebrate the launch of the new Crave guide to Seattle.

I'm proud to say that Laura Bee Designs is one of the 100 women-owned businesses profiled in the book. At the party we ate Fran's Chocolates, sipped on Dry Soda, and talked shop.

I left with a couple of boxes of the Crave guide to sell here at the shop. The guide came out beautifully with lots of pictures and really interesting tidbits about local entrepreneurs.

Last night was also a special night because I met the graphic designer who did much of the layout on the book. Her name - Amanda Buzard - is amazing because it's quite rare.

In fact, Buzard my last name too but I've never met another woman with my name who is not a relative. Amanda and I bonded over childhood teasing, correct pronunciation, and pride in being different.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kimonos Transformed

Handmade in Japan, this new jewelry line features real bits of vintage kimonos embedded in resin.

Each piece is unique because each portion of the print is cropped differently. This necklace can be worn sparkle side up, as shown here, or matte side up for a more subtle look.

I've been wearing one of these barrettes in my hair for the last few days and it is both fun and secure in my fine hair.

(Top to bottom: Ring $16, Necklace $16, Barrette $10. All available in our brick and mortar store. Necklaces available on our website here.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Button Thursday: Clear Plastic on Blue

Clear Plastic Button, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Otis Has Muffin Top

Excellent Pug Jowels, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Now a certified adult pug, Otis' jowels are fully formed. Sometimes when he hasn't looked in the mirror in a while, he accidentally lets his collar go a little too low-rise and a muffin top forms at his neckline.

Here he is sunbathing in the store. Notice that his head is lifted as though he's alert when he's actually one nod away from full sleepitude.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crafty Kids

Photos by Beth Russo

When I was a little kid I was truly lucky to have several wonderful crafters in my life who taught me the joy of making things by hand. From creative babysitters (thanks Heidi!), to weaving teachers at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY I was taught by some wonderful people.

My grandmother and family friend Christine first sat me down in front of a sewing machine, and for that gift I am eternally grateful. I don't know who I'd be today without these formative experience in crafts.

My mother is a fine artist and I'm certain that she emphasized the creative arts in my life because she always found satisfaction and peace when holding a paint brush. Because of these influences, I'm always happy to see others teaching kids to explore making things.

Photos by Beth Russo

A couple of weeks ago Sarah Damianick (above in purple) emailed information about a free beading workshop she led in Ballard on August 9th. The picture above is from the event and I swear, you can see the excitement on those kids faces. The children were from First Place School, and Space to Create donated their studio for the class.

Thanks Sarah for giving these kids the chance to make something beautiful from scratch! Who knows where this experience will take them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wristlets are Perfect for Dancing

I took this picture of Ashley a while back and, to me, it looks like she's dancing in the shot. The cotton print on the wristlet is a vintage cloth with many shades of blue with olive green accents. We've been making wristlets for over three years now and they continue to be a popular, practical item.

Many people travel to fascinating places carrying their wristlets. In fact, yesterday someone told me that a friend had taken her wristlet and mini wallet set all of the way to Israel on vacation. Hearing stories like this one really make my day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Recognize this Skirt?

I forgot to mention the source of the blue floral print that I used on these clutches. I found this wild skirt when thrift shopping a little while back. It was in great condition, almost like it hadn't been used.

As I mentioned before, the blue in the skirt was a perfect match for to the bridesmaid dress swatch the Wisconsin bride sent my way.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blue Wedding in Wisconsin

These aqua blue-themed clutches went out to Wisconsin last week. They'll make their debut at an outdoor August wedding there.

The bride learned about us through her sister who lives here in Seattle and shops regularly at our store.

She commissioned five coordinated yet one-of-a-kind bags for her bridesmaids. I based the designs on short descriptions of each woman's style that she sent my way. I emphasized the lime green that will repeat in the flowers.

I had the floral fabric in my stash and the color miraculously matched the dress swatch the bride sent me. There are infinite shades of blue, so finding a perfect textile match can be quite tricky.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lime for All Seasons

Even though we put up our green-themed fall transition window display today, we aren't ready for autumn. In fact, it's extra hot in Seattle right now.

Ashley, Kim, and I took a quick break from production to enjoy these yummy lime creamsicles.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Button Thursday: Crystal and Faux Pearl

Vintage Crystal Button, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

I stitched this button to a sage green Ruched Clutch. A Portland bride will carry this purse on her wedding day this weekend. Her gown is ivory with a sage sash.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And She's Off

Otis is in love with his Auntie Susannah, my sister. Each morning she stayed with us he'd sniff outside her door until she came out to play with him.

While she was in town, Susannah modeled some bags for our first professional fashion shoot. That's Sandi Heinrich on the right taking pictures at all of the Ballard hot spots. We had quite an adventure faking autumn on a hot August day.

Sandi sent me a quick peek at several of the shots from the photo session. Check out how great this looks! Susannah brought the yellow jacket with her from Boston. Both my sister and the coat are quite photogenic.

Here's another fun image taken by Sandi. Good-bye Susannah. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Planning Ahead

Since August is upon us, it's time to plan for fall. We're working hard on some new designs and adding some cozy fabrics to our collection. Our lead time is 3-4 weeks right now, so bags ordered now will be ready just in time for September temperature changes.

Since autumn is my favorite season, I enjoy fantasizing about comfy scarves, soft sweaters and cups of hot chocolate enjoyed on lazy afternoons.

The bag shown is a Harriet in glossy espresso with a rust flap and green multi ribbon embellishment. It's perfect for toting around a great read plus the essentials.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Button Thursday: Deep Red with Cutout

Red Button with Cutout, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

SuzyBuzz is in the House

My sister is in town from Boston and we're having fun taking pictures and playing with Photoshop.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Odysseus Returns Home

Yesterday I told you about finding this little turtle and taking him to P.A.W.S. The naturalist told us he was a healthy turtle, and asked us if we would be willing to set him free in a small lake a couple of miles from where I found him.

Jeff, Otis, Odysseus and I hiked into a beautiful woodland park, headed downhill, and found this peaceful lake. I didn't bring my still camera, but I did have my Flip in my bag so I made this short video of setting him free.

There were a few young kids playing on the beach so we showed them the turtle and told them his story. (The heavy breathing you may hear is Otis' panting from the hike.)

The music is from Aimee Mann's most recent album, which is lovely.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Meet Odysseus

Painted Turtle, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

I spotted him last night in the middle of a very busy road on my drive home from work. He resembled an oval lump and wasn't moving. Still, something told me the lump wasn't a rock, shoe, or toy. Otis looked at me strangely as I screeched to a halt and turned my car around to take a closer look. Could that really be a turtle in the road?

Painted Turtle Belly, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

I must have been quite a spectacle as I, wearing a black skirt and red wedge sandals, stopped traffic to chase at turtle out of the street. Since there aren't any bodies of water nearby, I couldn't just put him back in his natural habitat. I emptied a plastic bin I had in my trunk, and put little Odysseus inside and brought him to our house nearby.

Jeff grew up in Florida, where reptiles like turtles aren't exotic as they are here in the Northwest. At ease with the wild critters, my husband set up the little guy with a shallow dish of water and a dry towel to keep him comfortable.

Then we called P.A.W.S. A wonderful woman there talked us through identifying the turtle as a Western Painted Turtle, which is a Washington native. She told us to bring him up for the staff naturalist to examine in the morning.

Tomorrow: Little Odysseus Goes Home