Monday, April 30, 2007

Hello Another Way

This is a really sweet blog. It's personal and beautiful. Eireann, our protaganist, is incredibly talented: she writes poetry (Her book, Music For Landing Planes just came out in February), she draws and silkscreens and sews clothes and makes all kinds of sweet things. She's seems to be from Minnesota, but was living and teaching in a smallish town in France up until recently. I wish all kinds of good things for her now that she's back in the states.

New Work

I got busy last week with all kinds of things, notably designing some new pieces for Summer. Here are some pieces I haven't put on the site yet but I will.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Earth Year

Frightening news about the disappearance of honey bees. What can we do? Buy organic, garden organic and man, I don't on your cell phone less maybe?
Check this out for info addressing getting your *ss in gear if it isn't already:

It was hot yesterday and we got our little patio garden "summerized". We hosed everything down and got all the planters and windowboxes ready to go. I'll slowly fill them with flowers and herbs, lettuce arugula, tomatoes and salsa peppers. Today, I bought a few light purple and white violas and some columbine for one of the boxes today at the Greenmarket in Union Square. I don't usually go on Monday, but I liked the selection of woodsy looking plants I found, the look I think I'm going for this summer. I usually go on Wednesdays in the Spring, when Trina from Silver Heights Farms (read this article on Apartment Therapy to see how cool she is) is there. She has amazing varieties of organic heirloom herbs and vegetables and she has taught me a lot about gardening. For example, 5 years ago, the first year I had my own garden, I tried growing tomatoes. She taught me not to pick off the little yellow flowers because that was the tomato flower from whence the tomato comes. That was the reason my yield was so...low. I was pretty dumb back then.
I also found a lovely blog tonight while I was looking for articles about this bee situation called Blooms and Bees. It has some great links to organic suppliers.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Earth Days (and Nights)

Terrariums (and pictures) by Paula Hayes

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about terrariums. I was obsessed with them for a while as a kid because I think it was one of my father's hobbies for a short time in the 70's. So I did a google image search for "terrarium" and through a cool public blog called Artocracy,
found these amazing blown glass terrariums by artist and gardener Paula Hayes.
Make your own. Go to Inhabit for directions. I like Mighty Girl's tips as well on which plants worked for her and which didn't (and her terrarium came out so nice didn't it?). Smith and Hawken has a few very pretty containers too, but it might be more fun to just find your own. OK. Going back to bed now.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Packing it in

paper suitcases $8-12.50, Paper Source

Yesterday when I wrote about Paper Source, I forgot to mention the best things I ever got from them: these little french school kid paper suitcases. I have one in just about every size and color. I use them for everything all over the studio and I carry my jewelry around in them to presentations. They're just so damn full of life.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Top Selling Necklace of All Time

Une Petite Branche,
Bonbon Oiseau Spring 20

Or should be. It creates a nice round circle around the neck, so I'd wear it with this pretty dress (and environmentally friendly) by Loyale.

Pasadena Dress by Loyale

Thank You

Two important lessons I've learned:
1. NEVER quit your job in an email.
2. Handwritten thank you cards make a strong impact on people and are a nice thing to do.
I made these thank you bundles to send to buyers after the Paris show. I took a pretty strip of paper (I cut it from a larger sheet) and wrapped it around thank you's written on letterpressed cards--the ones my necklaces come on that double as notecards (designed and done by Sesame Letterpress)--along with mini versions of the Spring and Fall lookbooks and a business card.

I picked up the chocolate brown envelopes and the printed paper from Kate's Paperie in Manhattan, but you can also get beautiful craftastic stuff from Paper Source. Right after I made them (I swear!), I got the Paper Source catalog, which was all about wedding invitations. They looked just like mine and mine looked just like theirs. I bet all those buyers thought they were getting invited to a wedding.

A Pretty Good Package

This morning we got a great package from Jim's friend Michael. He lives in Los Alamos New Mexico. We hope it's not radioactive.

1 Kip bobblehead doll (clearly a re-gift, taped shut with red plastic tape)
1 t-shirt from the "Atomic City"
1 mini tv with pictures of naked ladies
1 10 Swiss Francs bill
3 antique German First Aid things
1 Dick Francis book
My personal favorites were the stickers on the inside flaps of the box:
- Sticker for a tapped phone
- Picture of Michael's dog apologizing to Jim (he pooped all over the backseat of Jim's rental car on a visit last summer).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

The K-Town does the PFARD

Garden Variety ©, print by Kaelea Sim, 2007

Kaelea Sim, graphic designer, artist, anglophile and great pal o' mine did the interview project. Check out her blog, The Royal Me to see her work, her Good and Bad Sh*t Picks and the fabulously warped way her mind works ( back story for that here):

BBO: What were you like as a kid?

KS: I cut my own bangs and cut up my dresses. I wore pants, early women's libber, think Katherine Hepburn. I wanted my mother to drive over my chest with a car so i would not get boobs. I loved the phrase "Welllllll, i didn't know" in response to everything. I broke a lot of bones with my outdoor antics such as tree swings, trampolines and mountain bikes, oh and lost my front teeth in tap dancing class. You might want to call my mother, I blacked out a lot.
BBO: What did you love to do?
KS: I loved building cities for all the frogs in the backyard only to wake up to their blue bloated bodies in the morning. I also built mazes for Giggles & Wiggles, my hamsters, with legos, tinker toys, Castle of Greyskull and papertowel tubes. My mother also let me put shaving cream all over the kitchen table along with my food coloring of choice to draw pictures with my fingers. I took calligraphy classes in 3rd grade, spelunked the neighborhood dumpsters and made a lot of mixed tapes (Think The Cure, Black Flag, MInistry, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Book of Love, Pixies, Sonic Youth) My father taught me how to blow up fire ant hills with black cat firecrackers and my grandmother was a science teacher, so we had a lot of explosives. I learned a lot about fire that year.
BBO: does who you were then come into your work now?
KS: I think the mixed tapes have a lot to do with my organized organizational skills. Early exposure to art and typography especially, have a lot to do with my current job and what I excelled in art school. (I also paid my way through Europe with my callligraphy skills and southern upbringing.)
BBO: How do you keep the spirit of that enthusiasm working for you now?
KS: NYC, Coffee, Taschen, Hundertwasser, NPR, documentaries, books, a very clean apt., trying not to take myself too seriously, lots of humor and sarcasm, restaurants. Oh and the friends I made in NYC.
BBO: What were your top kooky projects you tried as a wee one?
KS: I took art classes starting at age 5 so i did a lot of oil pastel drawings of Lina Tina the Chimp and various others. Ballet class for one, I got kicked out of that for defying authority. Papier mache, Papier mache, Papier mache. Legos and Ewoks. I built a lot of cities, people, a lot. I also built a pair of lungs made entirely out of cigarette butts for art class. BBO: Did you love craft and art books as a kid as much as I did? Which ones?
KS:I can't think of any books, but I remember all my learning records. "1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato 4..."And the recipe for stone soup, where you were supposed to cook some soup with a stone at the bottom, only my mom tricked me and didn't actually use the dirty stone I picked up. Bless her.


Still raining. Need to send in my tax extension and prep for an "AB"
(all business) week.
Turbolent (2006), Iiro A. Ahokas

Unikko (1964), Maija Isola and Kristina Isola

Ro (2007), Björn Dahlström

Fokus (2001), Anna Danielsson
Ankita dress , Spring/Summer 2007 Designer: Samu-Jussi KoskiMarimekko in the 50's

Sunday, April 15, 2007

In Which I do my Own Project

Here's mine:
Q: What were you like as a kid?

A: Very goofy and I often preferred hanging out with adults to kids.
Q: What did you love to do?
A: Listening to my brother's Steve Martin records, blowing bubbles inside the house, playing kickball, drawing and making collages and puppets and paper dolls. In the summer I made a lot of sand castles at Jones Beach and when it snowed in the winter I made a lot of snowmen and went sleigh riding .
Q: How does who you were then, enter into your work now?
A: I still like to take everything I want to work with out and then put it all together how ever I feel like. And then not clean it up. I also don't care too much for following normal procedure . I'm kind of impatient and I just like to learn things my own way. Also, when I'm really immersed in a project, I don't listen if you're talking to me and I'm in it for the long haul.
Q: How do you keep that spirit of enthusiasm working for you now?
A: When I get too uptight and I'm not having fun I just stop until I'm having a good time again. I think about Picasso or Dubuffet and keepin' it real and childlike.
Q: What were your top kooky projects you tried as a wee one?
A. I spent hours making houses of cards and stacks of rocks and lots of temporal type things that didn't last. I liked making paper chains I made a thick ongoing book of "splatter butterflies" in my basement. I'd lay out tons of white paper, and splatter watercolor paint all over them and then fold them in half and they'd turn into butterflies. I got in trouble too because the walls got totally splattered with paint.
I did a lot of papier machê projects using balloons. The messier the better I think.
Q. Did you love arts and craft books?
A. Uh, totally..I collected them--and science experiment books! My father ordered hobby books from Time-Life books that I LOVED. They were for adults and had lots of 70's style projects in them. I still look at those when I go to their house. I got books out of the library in which the projects were too hard and I couldn't read the words. My mom would help me then. She'd indulge me and take me to this craft supply store and get me felt and pompoms and whatever materials I needed to turn old plastic bottles into boats or shells into mobiles and make clocks out of cups. (That was a hard one). I still like to buy kids craft books for myself and for little kids when I need to buy them presents.

Katie James Rocks the Interview Project

Katie Helmuth, the designer behind Katie-James accessories and her ever popular blog FashionMista, did the "Interview Project for a Rainy Day". I truly adore her jewelry pouches and the pretty misty colors she uses to make them. Katie, we need to collaborate! Bonbons for Katie James jewelry pouches and Katie James jewelry pouches for bonbons!

BBO: What were you like as a kid?
KH: I was climbing trees and watching TV, until 6th grade when I bet my dad $1000 that I wouldn't watch it for a year, and then I discovered books. So then I was reading in trees.
BBO: What did you love to do?
KH: Read, climb trees. I did go into our art supply closet from time to time, but mainly the glue was always stuck in the nozzle and I lost interest. I also loved cutting plastic placemats, hidden in the bathroom of course so that no one would know it was me.
BBO: does who you were then come into your work now?
KH: Because I didn't use the glue very much, and still don't really, I have a repressed desire to make things. So now I make glitter inspired Debt-O-Meters, glitter mats made from plastic covered lace that I found in a fabric shop, and I'm free to cut all of the fabric and plastic that I like because I live in my own house.
BBO: How do you keep the spirit of that enthusiasm working for you now?
KH: I just do. Or I put a dash of glitter on my trash picked wooden bookshelf, thinking it a good idea for a light glittery purple spread to cover a part of the shelf, revealing mysterious purple sparkles that don't get all over everything.
BBO: What were your top kooky projects you tried as a wee one?
KH: It wasn't that kooky, but it's the first one that comes to mind. Making an earring board with markers and cardboard and holes. The earrings could stick in the holes and be visible at all times. Since then, I've developed the Katie James jewelry bag with high visibility inside. Otherwise, I didn't really think I was that creative.
BBO: Did you love craft and art books as a kid as much as I did? Which ones?
KH: Because I didn't consider myself an 'artist' like the other girls in my class who doodled Teddy Bear Land and things like that (made up world), the only craft books I remember reading were the ones on how to draw elephants, turtles, horses and other animals.

Kathy Malone is Numero Uno

OOOOoooo! The first response! It's from Kathy Malone--she's the amazing and sweet designer behind Fofolle and she also heads up the Brooklyn Indie Market and Collective. She's super busy organizing the May 5th kick-off of the Summer long weekend Brooklyn Indie Market on Smith Street at Union in Brooklyn. (Just in time for Mother's Day! Bonbon will be there along with 20 other amazing local designers and cool crafters! For directions or more info on how to join , here!) She took time out to get interviewed:

BBO: What were you like as a kid?
KM: Scared of my own shadow, and yours too!
BBO: What did you love to do?
KM: Catch salamanders, "build" forts, go the whole summer without
shoes, sweat, walk thru the bamboo patch, go over to my friends homes who were allowed to
have barbies! ha ha thanks for asking!
BBO: How does who you were then come into your work now?
KM: I like to work and wander (and play with barbies, I did just last week)
BBO: How do you keep the spirit of that enthusiasm working for you now?
KM: Keep it! I cant stop it! didnt you notice?
BBO: What were your top kooky projects you tried as a wee one?
KM: ah! I made shoes out of newspaper, painted them red, was
frustrated with the paint for not going over the tape, and wore them until they fell off, about
half an hour, no, we weren't poor... I made troll mansions, no barbies, pooh!
BBO: Did you love craft and art books as a kid as much as I did? Which ones?
KM: Mom had an anatomy for artists book I copied all the time, she
taught us how to use the "wrong" colors in our coloring books! she let us use sharp objects
at a very young age for etching projects and linoleum. we survived!

Visit her at Fofolle, Brooklyn Indie Market or on Smith Street at Union in Brooklyn every weekend starting May 5th!
I sound like an ad, huh?

Interview Project for A Very Wet Sunday

'Lil Bonbon, age 2, itching to make some fake glasses like Dad's (his are real).

So, as I was finishing the post below and re-watching the clip of Handmade Nation, it made me feel great to have been a crafty kid. I started thinking about my background as an artist/designer/craftgirl. I know that who I was, what I loved and how I was influenced as a kid, enters into my work and has shaped what inspires me now. I 'm lucky that I can continue that spirit of exploration everyday.

Then I thought it would be cool to interview some of my favorite designers and creative people to see what they were like as kids.

C'mon! LET'S DO IT!
1. What were you like as a kid?
2. What did you love to do?
3. How does who you were then come into your work now?
4. How do you keep the spirit of that enthusiasm working for you now?
5. What were your top kooky projects you tried as a wee one?
6. Did you love craft and art books as a kid as much as I did? Which ones?

Try it. For real. Then forward this post to your favorite designer/artist/ crafty friends and email the results to Send pictures!
I'll post them with linkls to your work/site/blog now of course.
Or you could do your taxes.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Craft and Design on a Blustery Day

Props to Miss Malaprop's cool blog for showing this clip of Handmade Nation, a documentary by Faythe Levine and Micaela O’Herlihy. You can watch the YouTube clip right over there in my sidebar or click the pic above. It seems to perfectly capture the spirit of why we do what we do in a really thoughtful and lovely way. The dialogue a film like this creates, will open up vast new worlds for people. It makes me feel excited like a little kid and of course there's that added extra oomph of a greater sense of community and acceptance. It reminded I should pay homage to the website for D.I.Y., which I found on graphic designer/artist Margo Pearson's. It's the companion to the great book, edited by Ellen Lupton and which I keep on my desk. I love the modern step-by-steppiness of it and has inspired some new packaging and marketing ideas for me. I'm really interested in the article about logos by Mike Weikert. Check it out here.

Ode to English Designers

Egg cosy anyone? I love my eggs to be cosy.

English knitwear designer Ruth Cross makes the most wonderful things. She uses soft local lambswool and sometimes horn accents. Love the shapes of her clothing, especially the Pleat Vest above. I've always wanted a teapot cosy and now I want these egg cosies. I'd wear that vest and at my tea party for sure. Who's in for and eggs at my place?
Also check out some of the new accessories, particularly the carved horn neckpiece. Incredible. And I have the good fortune to say she's my friend.

I love these rings by English designer Alex Monroe. The blade of grass ring, below, is so delicate and pretty. It remind me of sitting on the lawn in the summertime. I'd while hours away, wrapping grass around my finger to make rings, and picking clover to make necklace chains.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I love this hanging paper sculpture I found on Margo Pearson's fabulous flikr stream. Her blog is filled with beautiful photos as well and she's also a University of Iowa Alum.
Check out her B.I.Y. project--Brand it Yourself. I've been trying to think of a new i.d. for a while and she has some great advice and ideas.Kaelea of The Royal Me, also an artist and graphic designer, suggested I create an inspiration board which I do for making jewelry but haven't yet for redoing the website and for my I.D.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Pictures from Alexa

More pictures of last Saturday's party from Alexa, my favorite photographer (that's her and me in the second one). I like the top one, Sophie, Gracie and Namiko are meditating. For little kids, they really know how to party. Also, that's the birthday cake "head topper" from Jen .