Adventures in Curtsyland!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


A new shipment of Charm It goodies arrived this morning. I just love this line. All little girls want jewelry and we love to indulge them, but the reality is, sometimes they times lose their jewels, so spending a lot is out of the question. Enter the Charm It Line of charms and bracelets. One of our most popular gifts for young fashionistas, we have a great selection of charms and the bracelets to attach them to. Grandmas and Grandpas especially love them as they can give a new charm for each special occasion. I had a mother and her young daughter in last week buying a bracelet and charm. Their plan was as the child completed certain agreed upon tasks and projects, that she would be able to pick out a new addition to her bracelet to celebrate her accomplishment.

Cupcakes are all the rage right now. How cute is this new Cupcake Bracelet? It has the spacers, so that the charms can be added in between each sweet treat.

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10th and the Curtsy Girls have gifts in all price ranges. Danielle gave me these Matchstick Gardens several years ago and I've been hooked on them ever since. Simple to grow, even for an apartment dweller like me. Tear out a matchstick, plant it tip first in soil and you will soon have a flower or herb garden growing. On the tip of each match are seeds already mixed to grow.

Reminder: Our next Shop For A Cause is Saturday, May 9th. On that day we will be donating 10% of our total sales to Northwest's Child. Northwest's Child was founded and established in 1990 for the specific purpose of serving the out of school care needs of school aged children, youth, and young adults with special needs and disabilities. Shop for Mother's Day and help us support an awesome local charity.


Curtsy Mama

Mary Jo

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fun in a Box

You remember road trips with the family when you were little. Long and boring, fighting with your sibling in the back seat, irritating the crap out of your parents. I know that times have changed and many vehicles have DVD players in them to keep the wee ones quite. If you would rather have something a little more stimulating that can engage the entire car, the Family Road Trip Box of Questions is just the ticket. Included in this one little box are hours of fun in the form of games, quizzes, activities and conversation starters. Who knows, you and your kids might learn something new about each other while exploring the box and the country.

The Environment 101 Box of Answers is a crash course in saving the planet. Included are 70 easy tips on how you can do your part to be kind to Mother Earth. Great tips on what teens can do to go green at home, school, while shopping, with friends, with technology and in their community. Everything from making Christmas a more green holiday, going on a green date, carpooling, shopping for local produce, figuring out your carbon footprint, recycling and many more tips.

One last note - I have just finished the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I'm a pretty avid reader and I have to say, this book is going to the top of my favorites list. If you haven't yet read it, I can promise you, it's a classic!


Curtsy Mama

Mary Jo

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stylish pads

A shipment from the divine Bonnie Marcus Style Press arrived! I have been a fan of the line for a while now...all very fashionable invites, notecards, notepads, etc. Bonnie Marcus started the company while in her last trimester of pregnancy!! She was a wedding planner & event coordinator living in New York. She found herself custom designing invitations to all her events as she could only find traditional designs. So she launched the Bonnie Marcus Collection...where fashion meets paper. Having also worked in the fashion industry for a number of years, she teamed up with a number of fashion illustrators to make her paper dreams a reality.

In our first shipment, we received a selection of adorable mini notebooks for brides-to-be and their loyal bridesmaids. These bon bons of notepads have 80 sheets and are a perfect size to keep in your handbag...ready to jot down all the wedding-to-dos.

We also received a great selection of large, magnetic notepads. One sure to be a favorite with our customers is the Date Night - Notes for the Babysitter pad. It is fill-in style making it easy to leave all the important details. Another mom-fav will be the Note to School....I sure never got sent off with such a stylish note to give to the teacher ;) It has space to list why the little one is either late to school, will be leaving early, going home with, or absent.

My favorite design is for the chic hostess who has everything under control. It has an image of a dessert tray full of yummy cupcakes, and reads "Stressed is just desserts spelled backward." I also love the "Friends don't let friends go shopping alone" true!


Monday, April 27, 2009

I took yesterday off and spent the day walking. As I'm not a native Seattlite, there is a lot of the city that I've never seen. This past week, I was able to do 2 long walks, one beginning on Aurora and 75th and walking to Discovery Park and back and yesterday beginning at my apartment downtown and walking through the Arboreum to the store and them home via Eastlake. This city is so diverse and beautiful and I feel so lucky to live and work here.

Things were a little crazy at the store on Saturday! It was the Shop for a Cause for the Academy of Precision Learning. It was a great success and we were able to give the school a larger donation than we would normally be able to afford. If your organization is interested in participated, I am beginning to take reservations for next year, just send me an e-mail.

Two new items came in for the bridal section last week. Patent leather cases - one says Mother of the Bride and the other says Mother of the Groom. Wonderful little gifts for a bride to give to two of the most important women in her life. A nice keepsake for each to remind them of a special day.

Teeny tiny little princess feet deserve something really sweet to cover them. These Pearl Covered Baby Socks are just the thing. Embellished with a little bow at the heel, they'll make a great little gift.

Curtsy Mama
Mary Jo

Friday, April 24, 2009


I had a fabulous time in Arizona & already miss my best friend & her dog Jack oodles, but I am always happy to return to Curtsyland. Lots of goodies for the men's section arrived while I was away. Lots of love from Sailor Jerry & a shipment from a new company for us...Retro-a-go-go....which I am adoring...

They make frames, belt buckles, card cases, cigarette cases, flasks, etc with fantastic artwork. My favorite piece that arrived is the Sideshow Frame. I have always had a thing for old circus sideshow inspired things....normal is just too boring for this freaky world we live in - right?!! ;) Their frames all hold 4"x6" photos, and are made of pine wood coated with a black enamel finish. Then the colorful retro designs are coated in hand-poured, crystal-clear resin for a shiny and glass-like finish. Other frames we received include a vintage tattoo art style, and a Burlesque frame covered with authentic 1940's ad clippings.

The flasks we received fit right in with the vintage tattoo art frame & Sailor Jerry goods. I adore the Bottoms Up mermaid design....I've always wanted to be a mermaid. Other styles include a Destination Unknown with a pirate beer wench, and Hard Times, Hard Luck, Hard Liquor with a skull & roses.

We received a collection of card cases & belt buckles....all black & white with icons that look spray painted on. Designs include a grenade, brass knuckles, a gas mask, a spark plug, and a Mexican wrestler. All the cases are prefinished steel, the belt buckles are pewter, with the designs coated with hand-poured clear resin.

Will catch you up next week on all the Sailor Jerry fantastic-ness that arrived!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day...A Little Late

I know, I know, yesterday was earth day and I was thinking about our beautiful planet all day long, truly I was, just not when it came time to blog. Better late than never - right? We found Planet Saver Sacks when we were at the LA gift show. The totes are reminiscent of the famed Lichtenstein prints that we love. These fun and functional canvas totes are silkscreened with water based inks in beautiful downtown Los Angeles. The one pictured at right cracks me up , it says "I'm sorry Fred, I can't marry you and have your don't recycle." You go girl!!

I have always taught my kids that they are responsible for their own happiness. It's a personal choice and you can choose to embrace it, celebrate it and share it. Life is way too short to be miserable and each and every day offers endless opportunities to live, laugh, love & learn. Be Happy is a great little book of inspirational quotes that will inspire the recipient to live every day to the fullest.

This Saturday is our monthly Shop For A Cause event. This month's charity is the Academy for Precision Learning. The Academy for Precision Learning (APL) is an independent, inclusion-based school serving children in kindergarten through 5th grade. They offer instruction to children of all abilities, from gifted to special needs, with a primary focus on instructing children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Curtsy Bella will donate 10% of our total sales on Saturday to this worthy institution. Please come out and help us support them.

Curtsy Mama
Mary Jo

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Viva La France!

I think I've mentioned a time or two that I'm a Francophile. I love the country, the people and the culture. I studied French for many years when I was in school and used to be able to get around fairly well. I'm in the process of dusting off my very rusty French language skills for an upcoming trip this summer to Paris. I haven't taken a real vacation in about 10 years. Any free time I had, I used to go see my mom, knowing that her health was failing. As you know, I lost her last fall, so it's time for a bit of travel. I'm pretty excited to be heading overseas for some new adventures. Even more exciting is the fact that I'm taking both of my kids with me. I love the fact that they both live in Seattle and are my best friends. They're both so busy with their lives that it's a real treat for me to get the 2 of them solo for a little while.

New items in the store have me longing to pack my bags this minutes and hop on a plane. The Eiffel Tower Napkin Set will look so pretty on a spring table set for a Sunday brunch. A quiche, some fresh fruit, a bit of Brie.....manifique!

Of course you'll need some cool Paris matches to light the candles for brunch - Oui?

Un petit cadeau - a little gift. This sachet would make a cute little table decoration/take home gift for your brunch guests.

Curtsy Mama
Mary Jo

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Project Runway

It's been a mite busy around Curtsyland today. As Danielle mentioned yesterday, she flew to Arizona this morning, so I'm manning (or should I say curtsygirling) the store on my own. First job was to pack up the un-sold Tarina goodies to ship back to the Sparkle Factory in LA. Between waiting on customers, it took most of the day. I was able to get my son Josh to cover the store for a few minutes while I ran all the boxes to UPS. I had just gotten back when a customer bought oodles of wedding shower gifts. I ended up shipping them all for her and she was just so thrilled to find out that we do that! We're always happy to ship gifts for our customers, and we charge you just what UPS charges us, no packing fees ever.

New activity kits from Project Runway have landed in the kids section at the store. The Design a Shoe Collection includes a sketch book that teaches the user the history of the shoe and allows them to design their own fun, fashionable shoe collection. Inspiration comes from different styles, heels and embellishments that are included in the kit. Any good shoe fanatic knows that beautiful footwear are works of art! The Fashion Design & Illustration Studio Set lets the user sketch and embellish fashion, handbag and shoe designs. It even includes the tools to create a set of swatch cards to use on future fashion creations.

Curtsy Mama
Mary Jo

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tarina Love

I should be being a good, supportive girlfriend watching a Footy (Aussie rules football) match right now...sorry baby ;( I unfortunately didn't plan ahead with my packing...I am leaving for Arizona in the morning for a belated birthday celebration with my best friend!!! Big birthday shout-out to Curtsy Girl Heather as well...she will be celebrating come Earth Day!!

The Tarina Tarantino trunk show was a fantastic success!!! Curtsyland was a vision of pink...we had boys in pink polos serving mini pink cupcakes & pink champagne, pearly pink balloons sprinkled around, Curtsy Mama, myself and all our helpers wearing pink...and even Snickers was a sport letting me tie a big pink bow with a Tarina tag around his neck. Oodles of kisses & thanks to our fantastic helpers - Greg, Josh, Haley & Rachelle...xoxoxoxox!!! And a million thanks to the divine Trophy Cupcakes for providing the sweets!!! The mini cupcakes were absolutely beautiful and perfectly complemented the sparkling jewels. We absolutely can't wait for their University Village location to open!

Our new shipment of Tarina jewels arrived along with all of the trunk show goodies. Her new Spring collection is titled Electric Koolade and is to die for. (Although we only have a few pieces left as most of it got snatched up this weekend!! We can always add anything onto our next shipment though.) Electric Koolade is full of the most amazing, bright colors. We received flower pendant post earrings that are made of painted coconut shells embellished with crystals. The same pendant comes in a larger size on a necklace.

My absolute favorite new pieces that arrived are the large vintage resin flower rings...they are absolutely stunning. I snagged the pink one and believe me it hasn't left my finger since. I have had it less that a week and have lost count of the compliments I have received over it. We received it in pink, light orange, and light topaz. We also have the most gorgeous lace & crystal flower anywhere clips that perfectly complement the finger candy.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Tarina Tarantino Trunk Show



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bridal Finds

Ooooh I am very excited for all our Brides-to-be! We received the most beautiful Save the Date cards in today. By the divine Anna Griffin, they are imprintable so you can either take them to a printer or do them yourself at home if you are fancy. Once printed, the paper fan with glittered edge embellishment slides into pre-cut slits on the card, and the pre-tied bow attaches with a self-adhesive tab. We also received the same invitation for non-specific shindigs....they are pink and the fan reads Party!. And the most perfect invitation for the Bachelorette Party...or any girl's night out...the Leopard High Heel Shoe Invites. They also are imprintable, and the die-cut shoe attaches to the card through a pre-drilled hole with black ribbon once printed.

For a stylish way to send off the new Mr. & Mrs....the Anna Griffin Farewell Flag Set. It is a set of twelve ivory flags printed in silver ink, edged in a damask pattern. The flags are double sided - one side reads Best Wishes, the other Happy Honeymoon. Each flag is attached to a sturdy 16" wooden dowel, and the set comes with a coordinating damask print stand to be displayed in until the send off begins.

Also from Anna Griffin - Bridal Party Seating Signs! The set includes 8 beautifully shaped, heavy weight signs. Each measures 8" x 4 1/2" and are light ivory printed in silver ink and pre-tied with 1" ivory satin ribbons. One for the Bride, Groom, Maid of Honor, Best Man, Mother of the Bride, Father of the Bride, Mother of the Groom and Father of the Groom. Lovely!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Sun's Out!!!

When I first moved to Seattle, it was after spending many years in Arizona and 2 years in Florida. I didn't care if I ever saw the sun again. After 4 years in Seattle, I have learned, once again, to love old sol. I took Snickers out for his noon time stroll and neither of us wanted to come back inside. The new Voluspa Soleil Candle is like a bit of sunshine for your house or office. These candles are formulated using the highest quality ingredients which insures a clean burn and delicious scent all the way to the end. I use them all through my apartment - to combat the odor of old dog (don't tell Snicks I said that).

From the Tiny Dancer Collection by Mudpie, this adorable romper is sure to be a hit with any new mom. Edged with ruffly pink chiffon, it will make any little girl into a little ballerina. For those of you who love giving the unique tutus we carry, we just received a new shipment, so there's a great selection to choose from right now.


Our Tarina Tarantino Trunk Show will be happening this Saturday and Sunday, April 18th & 19th. The girls at the Sparkle Factory in LA have shipped us loads of Tarina that we've never carried before for this special event. They have even made us a special gift for purchases over $100 (while supplies last). We'll be serving pink sparkling libations and Trophy Cupcakes (soon to be opening a new location in University Village) will be supplying mini cupcakes (YUMMY!). Oh, I almost forgot the most important part, all regularly priced Tarina Tarantino jewelry will be 10% off for this event as well.


Curtsy Mama

Mary Jo

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Faux Real

Happy Tuesday lovers! I must expand on the Steven Shein jewelry Curtsy Mama mentioned the other night...I have been rocking it everyday since it came in and it gets oodles of attention! I have been a huge fan of his designs for years now and am so happy to add them to the mix at Curtsyland. His mini-stacked rings have so much detail...many are two sided with different colors. I snagged one of the Faux Real makes me so happy to look at my finger. Other ring styles we received include a mini castle, a big diamond, a heart lock, and vampire fangs (which I also adore as I have a thing for vampires). The stacked word necklaces we received are so favorite reads "Gimme the Fucking Money." Other styles include Shit is Wack, Can't Touch This, and I think I love you. We also received some fantastic big bangles in from Steven Shein...I can't find a picture of them online as they are so new and I am at home but will post one asap!

We are all stocked up again in the hilarious removable wine labels from the folks at Cerebral we added oodles of new styles. My favorite reads "Fuck the Pretense - Let's get hammered"....snaps for bluntness, huh?! ;) We also received a bunch of new cards in from them. A great birthday card that I wish I would have had in time to give the Captain for his thirtieth....front: "happy" birthday my ass, inside: you’re older, I’m older and we’re perfectly within our right to be disproportionately bitter about the whole goddamn thing.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Oodles of Newness!!

Friday was a busy day at Curtsyland. Our picture was in the Seattle Times in an article about the Cupcake Wrappers we are carrying from the new local company Bella Cupcake Couture. If you missed the article, here is the link.
We were thrilled to be the first store in Seattle to order from proprietor Carrie Middlemiss, an 18 year employee with WAMU, who's being laid off.

Even though Curtsyland was closed yesterday, Danielle spent part of the afternoon tearing apart displays in the store. We have received so much new merchandise lately that she just wanted to change everything (now there's a surprise!). These new Bamboo Floor Matts are just so cool. I love that they have a non-skid backing attached and think the antique looking designs will add interest to any floor or wall for that matter! I'm definitely thinking of taking one of these to hang on my living room wall.

Wedding season is upon us. We've already had lots of people in shopping for shower supplies and fun bridal gifts. Wedding Party Cups come in 2 different styles. One has a space for the guest to write her advice for the bride on the cup and the other says "Last Fling Before the Ring. The Bachelorette Must ________________". Hmmm. both could end up adding a bit of spice to the party!


Our Tarina Tarantino Trunk Show will be happening this Saturday and Sunday, April 18th & 19th. The girls at the Sparkle Factory in LA have shipped us loads of Tarina that we've never carried before for this special event. They have even made us a special gift for purchases over $100 (while supplies last). We'll be serving pink sparkling libations and Trophy Cupcakes (soon to be opening a new location in University Village) will be supplying mini cupcakes (YUMMY!). Oh, I almost forgot the most important part, all regularly priced Tarina Tarantino jewelry will be 10% off for this event as well.


Curtsy Mama

Mary Jo

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Warning: If you have young children reading this blog with you, you might want to choose a different day as there is a picture with some adult language a little farther down the page :)

I'm so very glad that Danielle is back to work this week! The back room was getting so full of all the new merchandise that I was having trouble getting to my desk and Snick dog was barely able to find his crate.

The whole store smells even yummier than usual right now as she has just put out the new soaps from Tokyo Milk. The triple milled, gently scented bath bar is packaged in a very cool hand glittered wrapper. I have to admit that I didn't know what the term "triple milled" meant, so I looked it up. Triple-milled refers to the production process that pushes the glycerin byproduct back into the soap to make it gentle and mild. The three passes through the milling process also press fragrance in while squeezing water and air out. The result is a dense, long-lasting bar with fragrance that lasts to the final sliver. Wow - now we know!

Steven Shein is an LA based artist & designer. He produces innovative jewelry using products such as plastics and wood, but he uses them in amazingly creative ways! Danielle has long been a fan of his designs and when we came upon his booth at the Magic Accessories Show in Vegas, she was all over it. By the time we finished writing the order I was a fan of the line, and Steven, as well. He's a funny quirky guy and he made me laugh! I'm showing one of my favorite necklaces in tonight's blog, but we have rings, bracelets and other necklace designs as well.


Curtsy Mama

Mary Jo

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Curtsylicious Crafts

Curtsy Mama did a fabulous job covering for me last week while I was playing party planner extraordinaire and seriously neglecting poor Curtsyland. Just getting back in the swing of things today as yesterday was the Captain's actual birthday and we've been celebrating since Sunday! And...we have one more birthday boy celebration this weekend...however this one he knows about so it is much less stress ;) I had way to much fun planning the surprise party...give me a themed party to plan and I go insane! Anyways, I thought I would share some of the favors, decorations, activities, etc. that I did for the party in hopes you might find some inspiration for your next special event...

This birthday was the big 3-0 for the Captain. I gave it a Royal theme, as in he is officially Royally Old. So as he was of course The King for the night, he needed the proper attire. I made him a red velvet cape trimmed in faux dalmatian fur. It had a glittered 3-0 on the back, fleur de lis, and a banner that read Royally Old. Before he arrived, I had all the guests write the Birthday Boy a message on the inside of the cape. I also made him a jeweled scepter, a crown & a chalice.

As much as I would have adored having everyone in period costume...budget didn't allow & I'm pretty sure I would have been the only one into it ;) Instead, I made custom sashes for the King's Court to wear. However...I took the traditional titles and made them work into the party. Members of the Court in attendance were the Duke of Drinks, the Prince of Pinatas, the Earl of Entertainment, the Queen Mum, the Marquess of Music, the Prince of Portraits, and the Maitresse en titre (his official mistress...that's the one I wore...any other Tudors fans?!!)

I thought the party needed pinatas....but we needed to fill them with things that grown men would gonna dive for! I had a 3 & a 0 pinata...we filled them with scratch lottery tickets, mini bottles of alcohol (plastic only!), gift cards, beads & leas, parachute men, and some chocolate. We took baby pictures of the Captain, inserted funny quotes about being king, and covered all the labels on the chocolates & mini bottles of alcohol. I also didn't like the colors of the I ripped off the original covering and made them Curtsylicious with leopard & gold tissue.

I had different activities scattered around the tables. I kept trying to come up with my own version of jousting...but had to remind myself how silly grown boys can get if you give them a stick and a competition while drinking. I was holding this party at the Kangaroo & Kiwi pub which I very much wanted to be able to patron after said party. So luckily I found some remote control jousting knights, which kept the boys entertained and didn't cause too much damage. Other tables had plastic swords & glittered shields, a chess game with pictures of the captain glued on to the King pieces, Knightly bowling (with little knight toys & a marble), and Tic-Tac-Old (which I made laminating pics of the king with magnets on the back and a magnetic board.)

Then, getting everyone involved, we did a twist on the classic party game Mad Libs...ours was titled Mad-King Libs. Curtsy Mama came up with two great stories as my creativity & energy were MIA come Saturday.

Hope you can take some of these ideas & make them your own for your next shindig! Many thanks to all who helped me pull this off!