I get really, really fussy about trying my hardest to use only vintage jewelry pieces in my handbag line. I make exceptions on belt buckles because the older ones tend to break and, only if I'm absolutely beyond a doubt stuck, on brooches. I think that when it comes to my house my decorating should be authentic. I want old pieces not just pieces that look old, right?
But the truth is that it is not practical in my life most of the time. I can't seem to make it work. I look for the authentic thing. I've bought a few little pieces that needed some fixing up, but I hate refinishing furniture. I mean I really hate it. It's messy. It's hard work. And my husband is sick of it too because it ends up his problem. I drag things home from the Alameda Point Antique Market, take it out of the car, and give up as soon as it hits the driveway.
Recently though, I have found a solution. I'm not sure why I hate to admit it, but I've become addicted to Ballard Designs. They have great things really. They have old world flair, get delivered pretty quickly and it's easy, easy easy to order.
This is my latest purchase. It's cute, huh? I was REALLY excited to get it. The space that it is in is a 90" wide nook that the builder put in. It was designed to have a built-in something, something. But of course, we declined to get that because we thought we'd find some fabulous, big old piece to put in there. But low and behold three years go by and we haven't found anything... at least not anything that reasonably fit in our budget. So when I found this oldish looking piece at 72" from Ballard, I had to get it.
I really like how it looks in my house. Is it cookie-cutter? Maybe. But there's no painting to be done, the drawers don't stink, there's no hunting and it's decently priced for what you get. Is it a crime to take the easy road sometimes? And why do I have guilt over this? I still want a big authentic old piece. I've been telling myself that this is a temporary solution. I say, "I'll move this into the dining room when I find it.".
When, do you think, am I going to admit to myself that I live in a track home in the suburbs?
This beautiful clasp is from another new favorite of mine... Junk2Jewels. Tracy's work is beautiful and super-original too. You'll have to check out her website and her blog to get the full picture. Each piece is made to order special for you! I'm coveting this charm bracelet.
Good grief, I forgot to post new fabrics that came in like two weeks ago. They both come in canvas backed cotton, or wipeable, coated (and canvas backed) cotton. I'll get right on adding them to your handbag choices on the website, you can expect them to be there in the next 24. Thanks for taking a peek!
I recently came across the most wonderful jewelry designer. Check out these incredible designs from Abigail A. Percy! Abigail is in Scottland, but you can get her pieces on etsy. Don't forget to check out her photostream on Flickr and her beautiful blog.
Oh my gosh! I am so excited! I've been missing this magazine so much!
Did you know that Victoria Magazine will be back with their first issue out in November? I may be the last to know, but in case I'm not, click here to get yourself a subscription! Hurray!
Pardon the pun... I just had to. I've been having far too much fun on several places on the web. One of them is Flickr. The other is eBay. They are both a couple of time-sucker-uppers! Here's what came today from eBay. I must stop because I have no need for these things. They are just going to sit here taking up space and looking pretty. Also here are my favorites from Flickr... a very dangerous, time-draining toy.
Elizabeth: If you don't want a preview... turn back!
I've packed up a little headstart on the work that I am doing for Daphne's Cottage. I was really inspired by Somerset Life which I wrote about earlier. I had a great deal of fun packing this up! Not to mention creating the brooches. At the last minute I took everything out of the box and sewed Bari J. labels on all of the cards. Can't make anything easy, can I? Husband says, "for crying out loud, just send it out!"
I think the coolest of the cool has to be Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching fame. Her patterns have redefined embroidery forever. Jenny is an Artist/Illustrator Extraordinarre, practically the inventor of the DIY revolution, founding member of the Austin Craft Mafia and author of two titles for Chronicle Books. I'm in love with this Dachshunds Pattern... Reminds me of Ratfink... Yes, I said "Ratfink". He was our first dog when I was a little girl. I'm still not sure why my parents named him Ratfink. Apparently something to do with his penchant for garbage. The best dog in the world, I tell you! I think I'm going to get on Jenny's website and order this one now. Plus, I've got to have a signed copy of her book. So off I go. Have a nice day. More tomorrow! Or later if the mood strikes~
Just thinking how lucky we are with this weblogin' thing. We get to connect with so many fabulous women out there. I know you all know each other by now, but I'm just wondering who you all love? Do comment and let me know, K.O?
Wow! Where to begin with my "who do you love?" list. I'll just have to make an attempt, huh?
To start, I'll just mention a few that I've recently happened across and quite adore (quite adore? Is that British speak? Tee hee, my husband has been working for a British company and I think it's rubbed off on us both.).
Number one: I recently came across Ann Roth Shoes... Espadrilles... in my one of my favorite fabric combinations. Yummy. Check these babies out. Hello Emelda! Bring it on! Oh, and by the by, you can design your own shoes at Ann Roth! So cool. Ann, an actress, says she woke up one day with a vision of "a toile pair of espadrilles with red rick-rack trim and silver sequins" and just had to create them. I know where she's coming from there!
Number Two: For baby gifts I found liliputians-nyc. I sent these jeans and a top to a friend who recently adopted an adorable baby girl. Again, YUMMY! I've actually ordered some of the fabric that their made with. It's Amy Butler, and mine will be coated to be wipeable. But I digress... The designer and owner at Liliputians is Heather Flottmann. And by the way, when I ordered the jeans I got a personal message from her. She sends one to every customer which I think is really nice.
I had to cut myself off from the bead and bauble addiction when I aquired the fabric addiction. No 12-steps for me. I just replaced one addiction for the other & make it a rule to only have one obsession at a time... Sound good? But...(whining) I've been working on these ribbon brooches, and getting more and more carried away. I started hunting around for findings and others goodies when I remembered a stash I had buried deep in our guest room closet. Zoinks! The addiction has resurfaced. I thought I had that one licked. (Don't worry Elizabeth, the best goodies made their way onto your brooches).
These lovlies are going to be great as earrings or something. Wow, I had the best filigree bead caps! What were they just sitting there collecting dust for? Can you see the chippy little pink flower looking ones on the second photo? Oooh! I love that one. I've already started layering these up to make charms. The two bottom photos are a compilation of several half finished projects from years ago. I do need to mention that the idea of using the watches came from Connie... she's brilliant isn't she? Also, the little clam shell the jewels are in was a birthday gift from her too. See the dolly shoe... classic Connie Govea Stuart. Love it!
Well, that was fun! Don't know what I'm doing with any of these jewels (except wear them) because it's not really part of the grand plans for Bari J. as a business, but oooh I love those shiny things!
Last October I mentioned that Connie had brought by Pam Garrison, Amy Hanna and Jenny Doh when they were in town (not to name drop, just as a preamble to this little tale). You may remember??? Anyways, I had just seen a post on Pam's blog about how she had painted her daughter's room based on some Pottery Barn sheets. In admiration, I mentioned it to Pam, and sweet thing that she is, she offered to to a little doodle on my daughter's wall that I could fill in later.
What we failed to think about was that I hadn't painted the base color on the wall yet. So, when I did finally paint the doodle was going to be gone. So, being who I am, I procrastinated. Partly because there was a little disagreement about color between my 11 year old and I, and partly because I didn't know how I was going to paint the flowers back in. Finally, I decided to just take the bull by the horns and get it done. Anna and I came to an agreement by some miracle of God, and I decided that the doodle was going to have to go to the wayside in order to finish this room up.
So, off I went... Oh, but I failed to mention that in the months that the doodle sat on the wall begging for paint, I gave it a little touch of light pink ... daughter hated it. But that paint was my saving grace. For some reason, the light pink did not want to give up. It held on and showed through our beautiful hot pink. So, Pam's flowers remained, and I was able to fill them in with the green and yes, my dear daughter, some light pink. You'll see it's quite different from Pam's mural... but fun just the same!
A mess! That's what's behind that curtain!
My studio has no door... which creates a very serious "Yikes!" factor. But my friend Connie found a cure on HGTV last week, and I had to execute it pronto. On the show she watched they used a king size sheet as a curtain for a doorway because it's long enough to go from ceiling to floor and a simple fix w/o going to the trouble of sewing one up... I have other things to sew up, so this was not a project I wanted to get involved in. This "curtain" is a King Size duvet (Simply Shabby Chic from Target). I hung it from a curtain rod using clip-on rings, so I didn't even have to sew a pocket for the rod. This was even better than using a sheet because a duvet is two sided (ie: it looks good inside the studio as well). And there was an added bonus. The Duvet cover came with two shams... I put them to good use on the head chairs in my dining room by slipping the pillow into the top half of the sham (yes, I know they need to be ironed... but it took over an hour to iron the duvet cover, so I'd had it with that iron).
I know I said my Mom doesn't read blogs, or at least I thought she didn't, but it seems she does because last weekend she apparently had a sneak preview of her gift which I posted here. At any rate, since she's reading, this is for her! Love you, mom!
Some of the many things I didn't know until I was a mom...
That the clothing of two small children adds up to several loads of laundry a day.
That homework is really exhausting even when it's not your own.
That seeing your nine year old chewing her hair can be so annoying.
That my room really was a huge mess, not just my creative personality (If you ever show that picture to my kids you are in big trouble!)
That getting two children off to school in the morning can be the most daunting task of the day... let alone four children, like you did w/o the help of a husband to boot.
That seeing two little girls (whatever their mood) after school can be the most joyous part of the day.
That day camp was so expensive.
That some of the outfits I put together really didn't look as fabulous as I thought they did when I was 10. OK, and even when I was sixteen.
That you were probably exhausted most of the time.
How lucky I was to have grandparents nearby.
That getting children to eat vegetables and fruit daily would be such a struggle.
That I would know beyond a shadow of a doubt what my kids were thinking and that you knew every time I fibbed.
That fevers can be so darned scary, and that you were up all night if I was coughing... even if I was sleeping through it myself.
That when the phone rings after the kids have gone to school, my first thought would be "Oh no, someone broke a bone!".
That you knew when I came downstairs for the eighth time after being put to bed that I was not really thirsty.
That I would say "because I said so", "for crying out loud", and "don't touch that" about 10 times daily.
That my sisters and brother really are my best friends, and therefore I know that sibling rivalry doesn't last forever (Thank goodness! Because honestly, I can't take another minute of it around here.)
AND... last but only because I could probably go on all night...
That you weren't the "meanest mother in all the world"... I am. It has been confirmed that I am "EVEN MEANER THAN THE MARTIAN MOMMIES!" So there! Love you!
Well, my girlie bailed on me for lunch so I'm CRAVING sushi now. Of course you want what you can't have. I guess I could have gone by myself, but that's no fun. So I worked like I should have anyways... And good news... a really fun strap for the Isabelle Messenger was born. Ahhh... what you can do when you don't have a lunch date!
Really, we're just going out for sushi (and trust me, the atmosphere is nothing like this), but I'd love to have a lunch on a "pretty, pretty" patio like this... must pretend for now. Note to self: give husband this picture with a honey-do list. I'll show you a picture of our very unpretty yard another day.
I've been getting email for some time from a really cool business called, 3 Girls and a Truck. They offer wholesale pricing on some big name designers at their sales... The Marin Sale is a benefit for the Kentfield schools, 20% goes to the school. So, they're philantropic as well as great business women! If you are in the San Francisco Bay area, I hope you'll attend one of their events!
Here's the info:
|What:||Designer names - 50-80% below retail! |
Shop for: Margaret O'Leary - Sigrid Olsen - William Rast - Notice - People's Liberation - Red Engine - Weston Wear - John Carlisle - Verivaine - And more!
|Kentfield:||Kentfield Schools Benefit, 20% of our sales go to the schools. |
Friday, May 11: 8:15am to 6:00pm
Saturday, May 12: 10:00 am to 2:00pm
Bacich Community Center
699 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Kentfield, CA 94904
|San Francisco:||Our Big Summer Sale! |
Tuesday, May 15th: 4pm to 7pm
Wednesday, May 16th to Friday, May 18th: 11am to 7pm
1810 Union St.
San Francisco, CA
|Contact:||Ann Lefkovits |
And remember, shop 3 Girls for the best buys at the start of each season...before you hit your favorite retail haunts!
It's not a shape that's on our website as I have only done a few in odds and ends fabrics, not anything I could consistently offer. But since we've had so many requests for Messenger bags and we've had even more requests for more patchwork, I reworked the pattern to accomodate... we aim to please here at Bari J. This is a glimpse of what is to come very soon.
Below are the two Isabelles that I did about a year ago...
I guess this one is a patchwork of sorts... The dots are vintage fabric scraps that I had come across already cut in circles at an antique shop.
The second is made from a vintage chenille blanket...
I can't resist paper... Of course, I think every gorgeous inch of it should be fabric, but that's besides the point. These are from more fabulous Woman-Owned Businesses...
From Cecily Ink : the Fresh Style Card File. Organized and beautiful! Cecily Ink is owned by Alex Wijnen ... And again, where do you all find the energy? This is not Alex's full time gig. She also owns a successful graphic design business.
It's 90 degrees out today, and we've barely begun to enjoy the weather, so it's hard to imagine that we're already almost ready to show our Winter line. Samples will be ready in early July. This heavy cut chenille brocade is just a taste of what's to come. I have been adoring this fabric since it arrived!
Not so long ago, I was looking for a great gift for a friend who had recently become a mom... a friend who has everything. I found it by going to the Daily Stroll. If you are a mom, you are pregnant, if you are looking for great gifts, the daily stroll is a place that you've got to stop by.
It's woman-owned (reason enough) and it is an incredible resource. The daily stroll focuses on bringing parents together with some of the hottest up and coming designers for baby+toddler+maternity.You'll find great unknown designers and bonus... Coupons!
Owner of the Daily Stroll, Lizabeth Landon-Cole Sorensen (currently pregnant with her second child) must be one busy chickie. Not only does she run thedailystroll.com, she also owns 32 Flavors PR, is currently writing a great pregnacy blog and is also a designer.
It's May and I no longer have an excuse to not exercise. (It's really, really nice outside, and I had been stalling on account of rain). That's why I ordered this basket for my pink electra bike. I was figuring that it would put the motivation in me... I also got white fenders which I have yet to install. I'll show you those when I figure out how that all works. Let's see if I ride more than a couple of blocks... I may... just to show off this basket. It's screaming for a bouquet of flowers, isn't it???
(Watch her read this one today.)
I was actually inspired to MAKE cards for mother's day. Below is the card from Connie that got me going . It's made from Amy Butler's new line of paper from K and Company which I think is a must have... Just get that little pad of paper if nothing else... there's a million uses.
The photos below are there because after I took the photo of the bike, I got carried away and started snapping everything. These made me happy, so I thought I'd share. They're from in front of my house.
Oh, it's a pretty, pretty world! I should just show you a pile of dirty laundry because that's what I should be doing today that I'm not.
In search of beautiful card stock to display our new brooches, I stopped by My Daughter's Wish (owned by Sherri Ashton, another fabulous woman in business) in Walnut Creek, CA this afternoon.
I did find some incredible paper. And I also picked up the newest Somerset publication, Somerset Life. It is not an understatement to say that it is beyond, beyond beautiful!
About to open in Ocala, FL (and carrying the Bari J. line) is Daphne's Cottage. The owner, Elizabeth, is a wild southern lady who I've come to know a bit. Elizabeth is creating her business from the ground up and growing her girl power with it!
When it comes to projects for myself, I am not a finisher. I am a starter, a collector of unfinished projects. One of the projects I hadn't finished was a skirt that I started no less than two years ago.
My friend Michelle bought fabric for the same skirt two years ago, and she didn't even start it. So, I know I'm not alone in the Land of Unfinished Projects.
But today, we created some time and we nearly got it done. I'll probably procrastinate the rest for another couple years... Actually, I plan to put the waistband on today and be done with it.
Welcome to my new blog. This one is much easier to use & much prettier, I think.
You can Click here if you'd like to visit some of the goodies I did post there.
This is what you will find here:
A little bit about me and Bari J., the business: I'm 38, I live in Northern California outside of San Francisco. I have two great kids and a wonderful husband who takes far too much guff from me. I was a theatre studen in college, but gave up when I realized I didn't want to eat tuna fish for dinner every night, and I couldn't take the constant rejection. I love to putter ...that's what started Bari J.. I've always wanted a business of my own... probably because I don't take direction very well and have an authority issue. Like so many of you, I love all things old, I love color, texture and pattern. I'd love to live a life like I see in magazines like Country Living, Mary Engelbreit, Romantic Homes and so on, but I need more hours in the day.
I've worked really hard in creating Bari J., handbags & accessories. I try to be true to my style. I want everything we (we is mostly me) create to be wonderful and feel like it could be from a more delicate era, but I want you to be able to use it, drag it around, and get it dirty. Bari J. handbags and accessories are designed from my home studio and sewn and constructed in the Bay Area.
Here's a look into my little space... it is often quite cluttered, I have to admit, but I've photographed the good parts.
View my line of licensed fabric designs at
Art Gallery Fabrics
In stores now...
In stores now...
In stores now...
In stores now...