Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday Notes - Au Bonheur, Where Art Thou!

Edited to Add: It's Official

I love you guys!

I woke up this morning and really enjoyed reading your comments on last night's post and on the post before. You really know how to make me smile. Thanks soooo much for your insights on your experiences with your own sewing rooms!!

Several of you asked about the independent pattern company Au Bonheur des Petites Mains. Actually, I was planning to bring that up, but hadn't gotten around to it yet.

I think the news is not good.

  • The last time they put up patterns for sale (which was last spring - in early April), they immediately took some of them down again. A few people who ordered quickly, managed to get them, but most (like me) were out of luck, as those patterns never reappeared.
  • Over the last six months or so, they have closed two of their stores in France.
  • Their website has consistently been down for some time now. I've been checking and checking.
  • They have not answered any email I have sent to the address that, in the past, they used for correspondence. But my emails have not been returned as invalid, either. So, either it's unmonitored, or it's unmonitored by anyone that speaks English.
  • I was on their mailing list. The last bulk email they sent out was on 6/21/2011. I dumped the text into Google translate. It says is that they are having a big sale, which is possibly right before they dissolved (if, in fact, they have dissolved). Here is the original French, for those of you who can shed more light on this mystery.
    Mesdames, Messieurs, Chers Clients
    Votre magasin « Au Bonheur des Petites Mains » de CERNAY
    vous propose ses
    Des centaines d'articles soldes entre 50 et 80%
       Apartir du mercredi 22 juin 9h00 et pendant toute la duree legale des soldes
    aux heures habituelles d'ouverture du magasin.
    (9h-12h et 14h-18h jeudi et vendredi
    samedi 9h-12h et 14h-17h)
      Rappel: nous ne prenons toujours pas la Carte Bleue,
    donc paiement en especes ou par cheque
    A tres bientot
    dans votre magasin de CERNAY
    8A rue de La Sauge
    68 700 CERNAY
    03 89 37 44 60
    Vous recevez ce message en tant qu'ancien client de 
    Si vous ne desirez plus recevoir nos messages, cliquez ici
    Conformement a la loi informatique et libertes du 6 janvier 1978 (art. 27), vous disposez d'un droit d'acces et de rectification des donnees vous concernant.   
    Copyright ©  - Tous droits reserves

I think they are gone which, if true, is a real shame. I am so glad I bought as many patterns as I did.

In fact, Dorothy just posted an Au Bonheur's t-shirt review on Pattern Review that is so amazing, I am sure that many have been trying to buy the pattern and are wondering what the heck is up. I've included the picture here so you can drool some more.


Don't you just want to climb into this picture and have some tea and scones with Dorothy and talk sewing?

Both of these t-shirts are from pattern 60005, T-shirt Effet Asymmetric. I never bought this pattern, thinking it would not work on my bust but, after seeing Dorothy's, I am rethinking that idea. Lucky for me, Dorothy is in my sewing group and may let me borrow the pattern.

Pure gorgeousness, Dorothy! Though, to be honest, if you were wearing the proverbial gunny sac, you would still be pure gorgeousness! (And if I had better Photoshop skillz, I just might prove that point. ;) )

If you have any further information on the status of this company, please post it here. I am sad if a source of such creativity has dried up forever!

Here are some related links you might find useful:

Edited to Add: It's Official!

Thanks to Véro, who commented on this post, we have confirmation that Au Bonheurs liquidated their business on August 7th. Thanks so much for investigating this, Véro! I wish the designers all the best. If anyone hears that any of these designers have resurfaced and are designing for another pattern line, please let me know!!!

Friday Ramblings - incl. Vogue Website Anomaly

Table of Contents:

Where is Shams? (and Sewing Room news)

Just a quick update. When I've been quiet people start to email me and ask me what's up. ;)

  • Work is keeping me pretty busy. The usual. Next week is some team-building bocce ball. That should be fun. ;)
  • DD1 has moved out! Yes, she is embarking on the next phase of her life. She is attending a local university part time (she's not sure what she wants to ultimately study, but is considering fashion merchandising) and she has secured a retail job at the gigantic Westfield Mall in downtown SF. That place has been her mother ship for many a year, so she's enjoying her new, deeper, mall relationship. Along with these developments, she decided she wanted her own place and she has moved into a tiny studio apartment. She and I now schedule lunches and time to see each other. It's all new.
  • DD2, a high school junior, is primarily living with her dad, who is closer to her school. We also schedule time to get together, such as the movie night we have planned for next weekend - this kid has a special love for old movies and we are seeing some movie her British grandmother loved as a girl - I've never heard of it.
  • That means I have my house to myself! Just me and the unsociable, but demanding, cat. After much cogitating, I decided to reclaim DD1's bedroom (the former master bedroom) as my sewing room! WOOT! And every closet in the house is now MINE! WOOT! WOOT! (Twenty years ago, before having kids, I used DD2's smaller room as my sewing room.)
  • When DD1 phoned to say she was on her way, a week ago, to come get her mattress and her most needed items to start sleeping in the new place, it wasn't 10 minutes before I was moving my sewing machine and ironing board into her room. When she showed up an hour or so later, she just stood, staring and blinking. I don't think she expected me to move so fast.
  • Building a sewing room will take time. I plan to do this in phases.
    • Phase 1 is to get DirecTv in the room. I have an appointment for next week.
    • Phase 2 is to get rid of the bed frame.
    • Phase 3 is to get a cutting table.
    • Phase 4 is to replace her crystal chandelier with some cool tract lighting. (Wow, I was a nice mom to get her a crystal chandelier - and how weird is it for an 11-year-old to desperately want a crystal chandelier?)
    • Phase 5 is to get some sort of seating that converts to a bed. The research has begun.
    • Later phases include getting new work tables so I can have all my machines up and to get more storage. This will take time.
So, what to do this weekend? There are a lot of sewing activities this weekend, such as PenWAG, and I may participate in one or two, but mostly I plan to work at home. Do I sew? Or do I dismantle a bed and get rid of it?

You see my dilemma.

Also, I've been walking. I am so inspired by my walking friends, like Margy and Peggy. I've always loved to walk but haven't done much lately. Then, on Monday evening, I walked 4.5 miles, towards the ocean, returning in the dark, with blisters on my feet. Today (Friday) I had an appointment in downtown SF, and I decided, very impromptu, to save the $2 bus fare and walk home. Six uphill miles later, I returned home with blisters under my blisters.

I need some better shoes. :)

Vogue Winter Patterns

Did you hear about (or notice) the weirdness on the Vogue website on Thursday? They were having a 4-day BMV sale that ended Thursday night, central time. On Thursday, they released their new winter patterns. After a short while (during which many people blogged and talked about the new patterns on various forums) they were yanked from the website. Evidently, they didn't intend to post the new patterns until after the sale.

Then, at 9:15pm Pacific time, they re-appeared. (Thanks to Marlene who alerted me!) There was a 45-minute window that they were on the site and the sale was active. I swooped in and bought a dozen patterns, half of them new. I love the new Koos coat, the Tilton patterns, the Mizono top. There is some good stuff in the winter offerings! Then, at 10pm Pacific time, the sale was over. Phew! I got in just under the wire and my 12 patterns were less than $40 (plus shipping).

And Sewing!

I am very close to finishing a coat. In fact, I accidentally published the post before the coat, or the post, were finished. I took it down immediately, but the partially completed post (I write my blog entries as I sew), still appeared on Google Reader. Several eagle-eyed people asked to me about that.

Progress has been slow because I have been too tired, or too hot, to sew most evenings. (We had a little heat spell, which is not conducive to sewing a wool coat.) But it's coming!

Artistry in Fashion 2012

Oh, by the way, did you notice that Ronda Chaney commented on my Artistry in Fashion review post? The date for next year's AIF is Sept 29th. Just so you know!

Happy weekend!