Thursday, May 29, 2008

shop talk – Polux Fleuriste

Another amazing boutique we discovered while traipsing all over Soho was Polux Fleuriste.

This tiny floral shop packs a huge visual punch with little vignettes sprinkled throughout. I loved all the vintage elements and French touches. The photo above was taken right at the entry – isn't it just darling?

Sadly, I was only allowed to take one photo but Apartment Therapy has a great slide show that showcases some of their gorgeous and unique floral arrangements right here.

248 Mott Street • New York NY • 212.219.9646

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

shop talk – Femme Gems

After successfully setting up our booth for the National Stationery Show in NYC last week, we had a day to play and explore the Big Apple. So what did we shop-happy sisters do? Explore Soho!

We hailed a cabbie and first explored Broadway's more mainstream boutiques. Then we walked a couple blocks to Mulberry and stumbled upon a real gem of a store (pun intended): Femme Gems.

What a find! The left wall is filled with gorgeous jewelry all made by local designers.

The right wall, however, is all "raw materials" – an open invitation to find your inner artist and design your very own piece. You can sit at the big table in the center of the store and string your own or (gotta love this!) they'll do it for you practically while you wait!

I found some orange and brown gems that were the perfect colors to accent my trade show outfits – and I was able to pick up the finished bracelets after a quick lunch in Little Italy!

To find out more about custom and pre-made jewelry, just visit the Femme Gems website.

280 Mulberry Street • New York NY • 212.625.1611

Monday, May 26, 2008

Honoring my namesakes

People often call me Cecily instead of Alex. I rather like being called Cecily. It reminds me of the reason why I picked this name: my grandmother's name is Ceciel, which also happens to be my mother's middle name (along with Antoinette), one of my middle names (along with Hendrika), and one of my sister's (Marie-Cécile).

Being called Cecily makes me miss the Netherlands, where I spent a large part of my childhood. I don't go back very often but my mother flies out to visit my grandmother every Mother's Day.

This year was no exception, and I love these two photos that she just emailed me: on the left, my mother and grandmother, on the right my sister Claire in my grandmother's courtyard with four giant Mother's Day bouquets fresh from the farmers market just a few blocks down the street. I wish you all belated Happy Mother's Day – to my mom, my grandmother and moms everywhere!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The National Stationery Show 2008

Thursday over a week ago, my friend Amy from Goosey Press and I stepped off the plane at Newark to meet up with my sister Claire, who flew in all the way from Amsterdam just to help me at the show (now that's sisterly love!).

And wow, what a whirlwind week it's been! After exploring Times Square Thursday night, we spend most of Friday setting up our booth at the Javits Convention Center. Having done a few other trade shows in the past, everything came together quite smoothly – if you ignore our struggle to put together some simple Ikea tables that required not only a pair of pliers (which we did not bring) but also a union-paid carpenter's muscle power to screw in all the posts!

I must admit, the end result was very eye-catching (and no, I did not have to bribe the show officials to lay down matching orange carpet in the aisles).

I had splurged on a corner booth and the difference between a corner and a regular booth is really amazing. Because of two fabulous neighbors (Hello! Lucky on the left and Little Oranges of California on the right), our quadrant of intersecting aisles felt very open and airy.

Speaking of neighbors, I was thrilled to have Emily of Little Oranges right across the aisle. Not only was she as nice as could be, she was funny and entertaining to boot! Plus, she freely shared sweets from her candy jar (a nice little sugar boost at the end of a long day).

So, how did the show go? In one word: great! I met a lot of amazingly talented vendors (just love the folks at Ink & Paper and Night Owl Paper Goods), opened some fabulous new accounts (including Broadway Paper in Milwaukee and Bloomingdale's in NYC) and made some great press contacts (Grace from Design*Sponge stopped by; check out her five-part show review).

The Fresh Style Card File was definitely the best seller, but buyers (and press) also loved my new line of imprintables and paper table settings due out later this summer.

What a great initiation to the National Stationery Show – can't wait till next year's!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Start spreading the news....

(sing along now:)... I'm leaving today...

My apologies for the cheez factor here – I just have too much excitement running through my veins! Tomorrow morning bright and early I'll be stepping onto a plane to take me to New York!

While I'm gone, I will try my darndest to post about my adventures in the Big Apple and Cecily Ink's debut at the National Stationery Show (booth #1362, in case you're wondering), but please be patient as I'll be at the mercy of internet cafés, unfamiliar computers (what, I have to use a PC?!) and my feet (will they be able to carry me those extra blocks after a day of trade show trauma?).

Back soon!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

sneak peek – 2009 calendar

Okay, might as well give you a sneak peak at the 2009 calendar that will be available for sale starting August 1. I've had so much fun working on this calendar, I can't wait to see it all done!

The cover of the clear CD case packaging flips back to create a stand. At the end of the month, just lift out the page to reveal the next month's calendar. And yes, just like I currently do, I will be creating monthly desktop wallpaper calendars to match that you can download for free (hey, that's a pretty good deal – not much is free these days!)

sneak peek – paper table settings

Well, it's almost time to leave for New York to debut my line at the National Stationery Show. As I'm doing some last-minute prep work, I thought I'd share another sneak peak at a brand new product that will be released later this summer: Places, Everyone! Paper Table Settings.

These paper table settings are designed to coordinate with my line of imprintable invitations. Now you can send out your party announcement and decorate your table to match with coordinating place cards, coasters, napkin rings and wine glass rings (no more confusion as to whether you're sipping your neighbor's pinot noir!)

They'll be available as a 32-piece set (8 place cards, 8 coasters, 8 napkin rings and 8 wine glass rings) or packaged individually in sets of 10. Let the party begin!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

shop talk – modern

While our house tends to look more like an antique shop, I do really appreciate a clean, simple aesthetic, and over the years I have added a few modern touches here and there. There's one place in particular that gets my heart beating faster when it comes to finding some great modern additions to adorn my home and body: Modern in Eugene.

Located right across from the 5th Street Public Market, Modern's brightly lit interior draws you in like a moth to a flame. Not only do I love all the amazing products they offer, I am always impressed with how airy and open the store feels. It's like stepping into a wonderful modern art gallery, but one where you're allowed to touch things!

I love their large selection of Angela Adam floor coverings – her patterns are so fun and inspiring, I filled my design studio with no less than three of her amazing rugs!

Modern offers lots of choices for unique and fashionable home accessories, like vases, vessels, candelabras, decanters, and lighting – boy, do they have some amazing lighting!

As you can see, there are plenty of body accessories to choose from, too. My favorite is their great watch selection – LOVE the third from the right with the orange face!

Modern also sprinkles in some fine art, like the three-dimensional paper art above. And aren't these two canvas prints adorable? So cute in a baby's room.

But my overall favorite simply has to be Modern's amazing selection of miniature designer's chairs. These replicas are simply stunning! Displayed on a backlit shelf, the chairs just call out for closer inspection and it's fun to play "I know that designer" as you go through their collection. Hey, this would make a great Father's Day gift (my dad always wanted his very own Eames chair!)

207 East 5th Street • Eugene OR • 541.686.1935 •

Monday, May 5, 2008

sneak peek » imprintables

All my extra energy these days is focused on getting ready for the National Stationery Show - phew, quite a bit of work! For any of you who have organized a trade show exhibit, you know what I'm talking about!

While my to-do list is still a mile long, I have been able to cross off quite a bit, including doing mock-ups for some new products I plan to release this summer. Here's a sneak peak of my new line of imprintables: 5 x 7 flat cards that you can run through your laser or inkjet to create custom invitations, announcements, menus, whatever your heart desires. They're due for release this summer and yes, you'll be the first to know when they're available for sale!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

shop talk – Coco & Toulouse

The Sellwood area in Southeast Portland is mostly known for its many fabulous antique stores but connoisseurs know to stop by Coco & Toulouse Go Shopping. Tucked away in the corner of a more corporate-looking office building, this store is like stumbling upon an unexpected treasure trove full of fabulous finds and girly gifts.

Although there's a decidedly feminine flair (plenty of pink and shiny rhinestones), Coco & Toulouse definitely has something for everyone, including flea market finds from France, tons of Hobo purses, and an amazing selection of colorful ribbon and gift wrap.

I love their mix of old and new, fancy decadence and simple elegance, and I never fail to walk out of there with a little gift for a friend or a must-have book, candle or jewelry for myself.

And of course, being a total Francophile, I simply adore all the Eiffel Towers and French influences sprinkled throughout the store (my love for all things French multiplied by a million after my hubby proposed to me by the Eiffel Tower).

Have I mentioned yet that I'm a sucker for packaging? Look at these soaps – I want them all!

These wall plates are just gorgeous – I especially love the 9-piece labyrinth! I can just picture it in a gorgeous majestic home above the sofa or fire place on a brightly painted wall, just like this.

This little piggy went to market, and this little piggy wore a tiara... love these piggy banks – what an inspiring way to save up for a fun shopping spree!

7080 SE 16th Avenue • Portland OR503.236.5999