Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Almost October

Read all about it: Our latest love seat covered in canvas, burlap and calligraphy.

Ahh, October. Is there a more favorite month of the year? Whatever city, state or country you might be in, October almost always brings perfect weather. The last traces of summer are behind us and the lovely spirit of the Holiday Season is just over the hill. This is when I start getting excited because I can dust off the boots, grab a scarf and run more errands without watching the temperature.

In the store we are still acquiring the goods to prepare your home for Halloween and beyond. Take a look at some of our latest entries:

Tea stained paper documents for crafts or framing.

Ceramic canisters.

Flat tray of flatware.

Vintage Watercolor Print

Hand painted Provencal style Hutch

Vintage Whole Cloth Quilt

New Iridescent Scarves and Beaded Jewelry

Newsboy Caps and more jewelry

Artisan-made Aged Brass Cross Necklaces

And more Halloween still arriving!

XL Black Paper Roses

Multi-strand Necklace, Glossy Candelabra (find it here)

Mercury Skeleton Trays, Skull Votive and Skeleton Matches

Restocked: Skull Card Holders

Vintage Street Sign

Chandelier Paper Garland (find it here)

Glitter Cat Silhouette, Paper Rose Bouquet

Player Piano Rolls. I love the little pull-down tab, imagine these as window blinds!

Wicker Wall Basket, Feather Ornaments, Owl Parchment,

Fork Topiary/Place Card Holder (find it here)

Vintage Rooster and Chicken sitting among our Fall wreath (find it here)
Sheep prints in the background (find them here)

Vintage Woven Wool Felt Rug

Rustic Basket (find it here) and Vintage Flour Can

Also added to the online store:

Set of Cast Iron Faucet Handles

Silver Candelabra

Vintage Doll Arms

Hope to see you in the store this week (or 24/7 online!). Lots of Fall goods, new and old, are arriving daily.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Atelier des Ours

If this is the wedding dress, can you imagine
what the rest of the event looked like?!

I nearly died yesterday as I stumbled upon Atelier des Ours, a tiny boutique in Uzes, France. Oh to visit this little jewel someday!- but for now, that is what the web is for. The style is not for everyone, but you have to admire such a straight-on vision this artist has to design clothes exactly as she sees. There is not an ounce of compromise in this woman's art. I don't know a thing about her so just scroll through and enjoy and let your own creative nature get ideas. I know mine are a flowin'.

Another,"Why didn't I think of that?" moment: rolled baby tulle
used as heads on the mannequins which made me think,
wouldn't it be cool to use giant bee's nests for Spring!

This entire site makes me want to run to the thrift store and start
stock-piling clothes. An easy enough to make wool hat.

Be still my heart for these textures and color palette. Detail, detail, detail.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Now I know why I have held on to a thick cotton under shirt I found
at the thrift store years ago. The button placket is just like this one.

Just once, I want to see someone run out
to get their newspaper in the morning dressed like this.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Big Bonanza Weekend

A chair for sale at Junk Bonanza. It stopped me because
it is a very close design to a project I have up my sleeve.

As I drove away last Wednesday to attend the Creative Connection Event in Minneapolis, I thought I would 'just stop by' the Junk Bonanza Antique Show also going on 20 minutes away in Shakopee, MN. What the heck, I'm there, I'm a junker, I need merchandise for the shop- after all this is what I do. And yes, I had certainly heard of the show, know all about Ki who started it, I knew it was well known to Minneapolis but... I was not prepared for what was ahead.

I thought this simple burlap bag, thrown over theses vinyl bar stools
was a perfect, quick and easy touch for the food court at the show.

I am not a morning person. This idiosyncrasy of mine does not go well with being a junker. Standing in line at 7 a.m. for the latest and greatest estate sale item is just not going to happen. Not even the thrill of getting an item before anyone else can lure me out of bed that early. But for some reason something told me I probably should be at Junk Bonanza when the doors opened. This requires days of training on my part because I must start going to bed before midnight to prepare for an important antique show like this.

Wednesday night, I arrived at the Hyatt, cleaned up and headed to the exhibit hall for the Handmade Market at the Creative Connection Event. What an amazing group of artists: jewelry, clothes, soap, candles, textiles, ephemera, antiques and booths and booths of original goods. I bought, I took notes and I went back for round two. At 10 p.m. I went to my room and went to bed, what a shock.

I was pretty darn proud of myself to be out the door at 7 a.m. with just a quick ATM stop in the lobby. I was already picturing myself one of the first in line, but then, due to a technical malfunction of my Starbucks app I arrive at 8:15. No worries, still better than my usual clock-in time.

I knew well enough to move fast, ponder quickly, grab and go. What I did not know was what kind of dealers did this show. I had to hunt and gather as fast as my dog stroller would take me (without Pearl, this was now for momma to cart the goods) and take it all in before buying- but that was IMPOSSIBLE! What I found was an amazing show, amazing dealers and even more amazing stuff. I wasn't there 10 minutes before I had to text my BJF (best junkin' friend) and say, "OMG. OMG!! BETTER THAN ROUND TOP!!!"

It just does my heart good to know a show was put together well. Large but not too large, good dealers but not too good with outrageous prices, a great assortment but not soup to real nuts. You could tell most were carefully handpicked, worked their booth and their look with care, had useful, decorating items and fluffed and twirled and added merchandise daily. I WAS SO HAPPY!! I apologize for not having more pictures but I was really busy buying things for you!!

Seeing this show just after attending the Old Summit show the prior weekend (which I didn't think could get any better) what more can a girl ask for? Oh, yea... Round Top NEXT WEEKEND!! (Don't worry Marburger, you're all still the queen.)

Now kicking myself I didn't buy that bait sign.

I loved how my friend and jewelry artist Sarah Smith displayed her
silver in these old bed springs.

At the Creative Connection Event guest speaker, the one and only Pioneer Woman,
Ree Drummond with Jo Packham, co-creator of the event.
The new Where Women Cook magazine coming soon.

And the 12:15 a.m. car accident I had driving home from Minneapolis!
Blinded on the highway by a hail storm/micro burst and flooded bridge.
(Good news: Driver and all antiques are fine!)

And as always, I leave you with a few new items
for sale on the website...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ten Big Ones

Ten Years Ago today, I opened a little shop called Curious Sofa at 329 Southwest Blvd. in Kansas City, MO. The very first item I sold was an ivory teapot with matching cup and saucer that said PARIS on it. The customer was a stranger who just happened to walk in, not knowing this was my first sale on my first day of owning a small business. Back then, thinking ahead to a possible ten years in business was not even on my mind, but here I am.

I have written about our anniversary every year on this blog and as always there are many to thank. Currently my amazing staff: Heather Fraser (with me 6 years!), Abby Campbell (over 5 1/2), Dana Rimmer and Jessi Ahren (each over two years). This is the longest complete team I have had and it shows. I am stopped occasionally by a customer who just wants to tell me what an amazing group I have and don't I know it. If you only knew what they do behind the scenes as well as take care of all of you. They are each and every one, amazing.

As I write this I am unfortunately away from the store but my team presented me with a wonderful cake and champagne before I left for Minnesota. My dream had always been to have a full-on 1o year anniversary party, complete with a French Quartet, catering and full-on street fair weekend festivities, but here I sit!

So here is a big hug and thank you to my staff and ALL OF YOU who read this blog, shop in the store, (and now shop online!); you visit us, bring us treats and gifts, send us emails of encouragement or thank yous. No store can prosper without a fan base and we have the best.

Thank you again. They went by fast.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Northern Exposure

I can't believe a year has come and gone since I first received an email from Jo Packham and Nancy Soriano to participate in their first Creative Connection Event. Tomorrow I leave for Minneapolis to meet up with hundreds of creative women as we spend the weekend learning, teaching, talking, shopping and inspiring each other. I am a honored to be a guest panelist on Saturday at 11:30 to discuss the future of retail. As I load my crystal ball, I hope I am able to forecast what is to come and help all of you sort out your next career move.

This will be quite the journey as hundreds of women (and men) flock to our Northern sister because the infamous Junk Bonanza is conveniently happening the same weekend. PLEASE TRY AND ATTEND either event as the line up of authors, teachers, artists, dealers and guest speakers is staggering. I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, the store will be rockin' as boxes of new Halloween have arrived. And check out the online store for new goods too. Here are just a few of the latest items just posted: