Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Yesterday, amidst a few inevitable glitches, my new website was finally launched. (Only two years in the making!!) There is not enough blog space to discuss the process of creating a website! Oy vey, the lessons I have learned. Now before you take a peek, know that it is not full of bells and whistles and little airplanes flying across the screen with a sale banner attached. In fact, I purposely hunted and designed this new format to be similar to the old one because I did not want it to be drastically different for my customer, just better.

- Most importantly the new website is MOBILE FRIENDLY! Yea! I have learned (just from sitting at any coffee shop) most of you have tossed the lap top aside and are now searching and shopping via a tablet or phone. This is a little painful for me as I wish you could see the website in its full, desktop glory- but I care more about selling something too. So all the pics, graphics and navigation adjust to your device.
- Now you can easily Pin, Tweet, Facebook or G+ any product you see (shameless self promotion).

- The check out process is so much easier. No need to "LOG IN" (although its faster in the future).
- Shipping fees are better and yes we ship overseas!
- Paypal checkout is just as easy as ever (Visa, MC, Discover and American Express too!).
- SOFAS! Yes, Curious Sofa still sells sofas! Slipcovered, squashy, TV watching, book reading sofas. Now take a look at the 8 styles offered with fabric swatches shown. And as always, an important purchase so email me with any questions.
 - Customer reviews. Now you can read what customers say about products.
- Password retrieval. The old website had major problems with sending password reminders, hopefully this problem is all gone. You will have to re-register now though.
- Cart reminder. Add items to your cart and 24 hours later you will receive a reminder in case you forgot!
- Gift wrap options are available.
- The footer on the website has all the info you may want: FAQ, Terms, Shipping, Press pages and I just added a new STYLE FOR HIRE section that tells you more about what I can do besides sell stuff.
- Security. has always complied to all online and e-commerce rules of security, but I think it looks a little better now and may make you more confident that your info is safe.

Although nothing would thrill me more than to have a large photo studio decorated with lovely vignettes allowing me to show you all my products used in their full glory, I am still happy with the photos of my products. Clean, simple images of the item as-found. A photo studio is the next item on my bucket list.

Many of you have written to me about starting e-commerce. I have shared some advice now and then but everyone has a different mission when it comes to wanting to sell online. Some just want a an online presence, some need to get rid of something and a few want a full-on money making machine. Some quick advice:

What are you selling?
(My answer: I am selling new and old items, small enough to ship easily. Some multiples, many one of a kind).
How much are you selling?
(I have always wanted to offer at least 500 items but I still can barely get to 200).
Can you design, shoot pictures and manage it yourself?
(Four years ago my first e-commerce website cost me $6,000 to build from scratch. A stupid move but I did what I thought was right after much research. Now there are so many online templates that you can do yourself. From GoDaddy to Big Cartel, Word Press, Volusion, and Shopify... I researched them all looking for the right template and online support).
How much time can you give it daily?
(I spend at least 8 hours a day on the computer- yes 8! From emails, to networking, to retouching or rearranging the website, it is a full time job for me).
What do you need from an online store?
(I need to make a living. This is why I am working all day. On the other hand, if I sold all new items, I could easily shoot once and then just replenish and my work might be cut 30%).
Who's shipping this stuff?
Be warned, the shipping is the #1 issue that will close you down before anything else because it is a pain. I don't do it. I hired a company to store, ship and follow up on all my orders. Yes it costs me but it takes 50% of the headache away too.
Design your website to sell what you can handle.
(Many times I think I will rethink my e-commerce and just sell junky jewelry! Same camera set up, small items I can store in my home, and toss every item in a padded envelope and mail myself- done).
Start somewhere.
Etsy and Ebay are the best ways to get your feet wet in e-commerce, and smart! They already have a world-wide customer base and endless tutorials on anything you need to learn everything.
Good luck!

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Items have arrived!

I am excited about this round of merchandise that has just been posted online. Especially the killer silver punch bowl set I found!! Oh to keep this lovely!! And nothing warms up a home more than a few linens tossed here and there. Think outside the box as they are great in many other places besides the standard table. Hang over the back or a wind back chair, drape as a valance or toss a soft linen runner over your two bed pillows.

Take a look around: Click on an image to start shopping.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Latest Obsession

I've got a new obsession and its a strange one because there is not a name for it that I can find. I have surfed the internet for what fashionistas might be calling it but I have yet to find the answer. Is it Steampunk style? Not really. Victorian grunge? Sort of. Lumberjack chic? Maybe. So why the search continues, let me show you some images that have my heart spinning.

The look is derived from the vintage man circa 1853-1940. Style that comes from the Gold Rush, coal miners, railroad workers, depression era textiles, industrial uniforms, trade gear and factory fashion with a lot of country farmer mixed in.

First and foremost it begins with the textile. Long before denim was cotton canvas. Used for tents and wagon covers then a guy named Levi Strauss made it into a pair or pants. 

My favorite are the subtle shirt prints: dusty, muted patterns in blacks, grays and brown with the tiniest pinstripe or check. Add a vest, work apron, handkerchief and newsboy cap and now you got fashion!


The Barn Jacket. My all-time favorite piece of clothing. For the flea market, everyday errands or walking to dog. Perfect 9 months of the year!
The pinstripe vest.

The small print shirt.

Utility style: sturdy fabric, multiple pockets, double seams.

Denim with snaps and pinstripes.    

My obsession with this assortment of clothing is currently out of control as I am gathering a collection to share with you soon!! (yes, they will be for sale!)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Great New Items Just In

Happy to offer 30 new items just added today! Click on any image to start shopping.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Let's Display Something!

Yesterday I sent out an email out announcing some new additions to the website. Our studio category of the online store is one of my favorites. Many of you, like me, are always looking for display items to make your studio, office, craft booth or shop more interseting. Here are some of my favo

Shop for these items HERE.
Don't miss out! Sign the email list HERE to know of new items just in.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

This Week's Obsession, RAW WOOD

Some may think it's crazy, others will totally get it, but I love raw, untouched, never varnished, dried in the elements... raw wood. Something about the natural distressing, the open grain and of course the bleached color that grabs at my heart. To know that the natural wood is showing without anything man has done to it is a beautiful thing. 

Of course it's about texture and color too. It's also about informal design. The kick your feet up, sit the glass down without the coaster type of living. I simply love it and today it can go from high end design (precious French antiques that have lost their finish over time) to pull it out of the river, rural, as-found, furniture from the side of the road. (quite a stretch I know) but take a look around... and see what I mean.

Ornate architectural element used as a table.

Are you like me? When you see a tree being cut down you check the stumps in the yard and drive by wondering if you could ask for a few??! This one is especially great with wheels attached!

Be still my heart; these dried, old, bleached out, sunburn chairs for the deck. ah......

I am sure there is a technical name for this lovely piece; something from the farm no doubt but how outstanding as a flower box in the home.

Whether you add the granite top or not still an outstanding design. Another industrial element reused in a high-end home.

Old work bench now used in the kitchen.

No varnish, no paint, no laminate.... fabulous!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Wallpaper Love

I grew up surrounded by wallpaper. This was my mother's feeble attempt at interior decorating. When I was old enough to voice an opinion on the direction of my own room, I begged for wallpaper every time, but it was never the soft, gold and green stripe my mother used, it was bold and graphic and in my mind it screamed, "style!"

Although my mother and father nearly divorced over hanging wallpaper in the bathroom (literally, it was the only time I ever heard them fight!) my passion for wall coverings is still strong today.

Nowadays, wallpaper is considered a fine art. Some illustrators and interior designers have given up their small canvases to go for full-on 21" repeats. If you are lucky enough to have a good wallpaper store in your area, grab a venti latte and spend an afternoon flipping through pages and pages of glorious textures and colors and let your imagination wander...

I have a board on Pinterest that shows some of my favorites (see it here) and below are some new images I recently discovered.

This damask rose print is brought into the 21st century by pairing it with the deep charcoal color above.
Get bold by using an exaggerated print. But be warned, keep the furnishings minimal which is why this is especially good for hallways.
If you're afraid of choosing the right wallpaper, pattern picking a tone on tone color will always help you get your feet wet. I am not a fan of the color purple but who can deny the loveliness of this room? The brown (maybe velvet) headboard grounds the decor and keeps it from being overly feminine.

 We are so programmed to decorate our kitchens for function, we forget the beauty they could take on. Point above: the shiny stainless appliances coordinate perfectly with the gold wallpaper; a look that might help us keep the kitchen cleaner than usual.
Be still my heart, yes, this is concrete wallpaper. If you long for an industrial look, need a touch of urban to make you feel younger, this may be for you. Try in a kitchen or bath or wrap aroung a column.

This lovely pattern can go feminine of masculine. Imagine using with black furniture or cast iron tables. Good for most any room.
 A little bit of gaudy can be a good thing! This large copper tub might seem out of place or over scale if it weren't for the metallic raspberry print wallpaper (and the over-the-top mirror). 

If wallpaper still scares you try one wall like this above. I disagree with the shelf used here. One simple oval mirror would be better. The print is too busy to have so much stuff on the shelves as well as the other prints on the wall.