Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve 2009

I'm not one for big New Year's Eve parties - in fact, ever since I completed my last chemo session on December 31, 1999 - I have preferred sitting around with friends and sharing a good bottle (or two) of cava and enjoying some fine food. This year, friends are gathering at our house for roasted chicken, french fries, arugula salad and truffled macaroni and cheese - my favorite side dish of all time. Here's the recipe for white truffle mac and cheese I found on-line at - it's really dreamy - especially since Sofia and I decided we should add an additional 1/4 cup of truffle oil! Lucy's bringing the flourless chocolate cake and Ryan is making hoop-la's - here's to ten year's!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lumiere de Noel

It's Christmas Eve and I just received another beautiful box of fabrics from Moda - our Holiday 2010 line - Lumiere de Noel. Filled with lots of red and white (big surprise), tea stain and a dash of green - this is one of my favorite fabric lines so far (I know - I said that last time too!) With this group - I am finally beginning to feel as if the old French reds look as if they are right off of an old boutis quilt. Actually this large floral print is right off of an old quilt we bought in France this summer at the flea market in Toulouse from Antonia. An old textile dealer, Antonia speaks French and Spanish - but no English - so all of our bargaining is done in a flurry using all of the languages and plenty of charades. One summer, we traveled a couple of hours south of Toulouse to have lunch with Antonia in her home. She proceeded to fill us with her cassoulet and plenty of home made wine - so that when we finally went downstairs to her cellar to dig through her collection of textiles - we cleaned her out...every last scrap we could find!
Although this line won't be available till summer - I am already starting to design some beautiful holiday patchwork stockings and quilts. I guess the inspiration funk has passed for now - and I can get back to work in the new year!
Happy Holidays to all and thank you - again and again - for reading, supporting and encouraging me to continue doing what I love to do. Merci!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Sometimes - I am totally uninspired - empty, negative, nada. It feels strange, uninvited and foreign - I don't like it. It creeps up on me out of nowhere and sometimes sticks around for a long time - even longer than the time before. When this happens, I think of a couple of people that I have known (and a few that I haven't) and I wonder if they ever feel this way. I'm not sure - but I am hoping that every once in a while Johnny Cash had those days when he couldn't produce anything - couldn't write, sing or even communicate his message. How does one find the inspiration to be creative when it just doesn't come naturally? And what is an acceptable amount of time before we should worry about our lack of inspiration - does it always come back? Anyway - not the sort of thing we should be worrying about in the middle of the holiday season - but sometimes the funk comes out of nowhere and I know if I just put a little Johnny will be alright. The circle won't be broken.....

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Spending a Week in France

Someone called the shop the other day and asked me what it's like spending a week in France at Chateau Dumas. Inspiring, energizing and relaxing were the first words that came to mind. Inspiration surrounds you in France - the history is deep and rich; energy abounds when you spend a week with a dozen creative women, and finally, relaxation comes easy in the elegant Chateau Dumas when you are sipping a local wine on the terrace at sunset.
Last summer was our first Chateau Getaway - everything was new and a learning experience for all. This summer, we're heading back for more adventures and comraderie. We'll be exploring medieval villages like Cordes sur Ciel, collecting old treasures at the brocante in Caussade, tasting fois gras at the farmer's market in St. Antonin, and dying our old white linen beauties in the woad bath at the chateau. We still have a handful of spots left and would love to have you join us and a chateau-full of creative women who come to craft, relax and soak up the culture of the rural French life. If you are interested, please e-mail me, we would like to have the trip fully booked by the beginning of the year so we can start our travel plans. Au revoir!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Winner...Thankfully!'s taken me quite a while to chose just one winner for our Charming Giveaway - an almost impossible task! When I asked people to let me know who in their life they are thankful for - I had no idea the overwhelming response would be our grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters - which is so wonderful - so many people want to thank the women in their lives. This was a tough giveaway - at one point Sofia got ready to throw everyone's name into the hat and randomly choose a couple of names. Gathering around our kitchen table this past weekend, we all read and re-read many of the comments and after much debate and discussion, I think we were all able to agree on a few thank you's that seemed much needed and would make someone feel appreciated for what they have done to help others. Megan's appreciation of her step-mom who cooked, cleaned and crafted while running a household of ten; Kathy G's note about her mother-in-law who took her to chemo when her own mom couldn't; and Cindy's thank you to her mother-in-law - who fills in for her mother who has passed away - all seemed like thank you's that you don't hear very often. I hope you agree with us. If you are one of our winners, please e-mail me your name and address and we will send off a bracelet kit. Merci!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Charming Giveaway

I've finally unpacked the boxes shipped back from Silver Bella and lo and behold I found a handful of our bracelet kits from our Charming Bracelet Workshop. This was a great first class for learning jewelry techniques - charms to glue, plenty of jump ring work and some of the girls even got fancy and linked a strand of cranberry glass beads for an extra bit of color. Since it's a special week of thanks, leave me a post about who you would like to thank - maybe you would even make the bracelet for her - and we'll pick a lucky winner (or two) on Thanksgiving. Merci!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Career Switch

For years, all I ever wanted Sofia to be was a botanist. I dreamed we would move to Paris and she would study at some old Royal Jardin Academy. She would discover new types of fiberous plants and develop an undiscovered weave - something as light as linen but as hearty as a hemp. We would discuss colors of leaves and learn the Latin names for the roses - it all sounded right up my alley - and living in Paris suited me just fine.
Last Tuesday, I changed my mind - I have a new ambition for Sofia. Classical Pianist. That's right - I bought a piano and Sofia bought a dress and together I think they make the perfect pairing. Somebody told me I could set my mac on top of the little upright piano and youtube would actually teach Sofia to play - voila! I also asked Sofia if she would consider being a personal assistant since she was able to order a dress online and it fit perfectly. She told me she would have a personal assistant but she would not be one. Oh - maybe she is capable of choosing her own path....after she practices her scales!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Workshops

As if things aren't busy enough....I thought I'd add in a few holiday workshops for the month of December. If you happen to have some extra time on your hands over the next few weeks, sign up for one of our workshops being offered at French General every Saturday. Just for the fun of it, we've added in a girl's day on Sunday, December 6th, where we'll be making up pretty jewels and then decorating sugar cookies. Since I don't love spending my weekends away from Sofia - I am trying to figure out how to incorporate workshops and Sofia - so a holiday cookie party seemed to be in order! We've also got an angel ornament class, a millinery flower class and a sugarplum necklace class. Our classes run from 11-1 on Saturdays and the shop will be open till 4 (or 5) for a little holiday cheer. Sign up for a class at and come enjoy a day of crafting at French General!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Post Script

About a year and a half ago, I posted this story about my favorite painting:


Provenance, from the French word provenir, "to come from". Literally meaning - the origin of something - where something originated, was made, the history of something or someone. I love that word - provenance - it just sounds important.
I own this signed Fiore painting - I bought it from an art dealer in New York City, almost ten years ago. Joel, the dealer, bought it out of an upper east side brownstone. I know that this was painted by an artist named Joseph Fiore, who attended Black Mountain College under Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky and Willem de Kooning, from 1946-1948. He then studied at the California School of Fine Art from 1948-49 and taught at Black Mountain College from 1949-1956. Besides all of this, I know very little about Joseph Fiore - other than I believe he is still alive. I wonder if he misses this painting.
About a year ago, Sofia and I came home after school and from the outside window, we saw that the painting had fallen off the dining room wall. The canvas was laying atop one of our dining room chairs and had been pierced by the two wooden finials that frame the back of the chair. Pierced! I ran in and let out a huge litany of my favorite curse words. The painting was slashed in two different places, 2-3" each slash. I thought my love affair with the painting was over - I mourned. And then one day, my brother John, who is a painter and general master crafter, repaired my painting! He lined the back of the two slashes with linen tape and then ever so gently, painted over the ripped canvas until the slashes disappeared. I can't even remember where the canvas was pierced - it's invisible to the naked eye. I hope Joseph would feel the same way.

Last week, I received this comment on the posting:

Anonymous said...
This painting was painted by my Uncle Joseph Fiore who died quietly in his home on Sept. 18, 2008. He was a wonderful artist and would have been delighted to know how much you loved his painting.

I was happy and sad at the same moment. I always wondered about Joseph Fiore - how amazing that someone followed a thread and then passed along a message. Provenance complete - at least for now. Very cool - thanks Anonymous.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Omaha hold'em

When I signed up - almost a year ago - to teach at Silver Bella, I had no idea of the level of craft that is going on across the country. I spent the last 5 days with women from all over the states - women who gather to share their talent and be with others who have a passion for the old and unusual. I always thought I was one of the few who loved the bizarre, odd bits that were found in someone's address book - or the flowers that were pressed into an old autograph album. Who knew. I taught four jewelry classes to some of the most creative women I have ever met, many who had never made jewelry before - but every one of them finished the projects.
Before the madness began, we traveled down to Freemont - just 45 minutes west of Omaha - where we spent some time doing some serious digging in the antique shops. I found an 1840's catalogue of home necessities, upholstery needles and a collection of old ledgers. I loved the antiques we saw - old, old farm equipment, heirloom quilts, early craft books, tons of ironstone and lot's and lot's of old, slightly creepy, medicinal supplies. Everything seemed too big or too heavy to actually ship back - but a driving tour through the midwest to pick up some good old American antiques is surely in order!
This past week was played and worked as hard as a good game of poker - and we would do it again in a heartbeat! Thanks Teresa!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pam Garrison

This card was sent to me by Pam Garrison. I somehow found her on etsy and ordered some of her cards for my sister Molly Meng. Thanking ME for ordering from her - she sent me this card - which sits on my mantel at home - I love the sentiment. I got to meet Pam in person about a year ago - or so - when she came into the shop with Charlotte Lyons and introduced herself. When I asked her what she did she went out to her car and brought in the most amazing scrapbook I have ever seen. "I kind of doodle and draw" she said. Doodle and draw she does! Pam creates beautiful artwork with a balance of color that is beyond comforting. Just a little shout out to you Pam for all of your help and support - especially these past couple of weeks - see you in Omaha! Read Pam's adventures here.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Under Pressure

Lately, this song seems to be contstantly running through my head - good thing it's one of my favorites (and doesn't Freddy look fine!). It's that time of the year when everything just starts to happen a bit faster - things I thought I had a week to do are suddenly due today. I'm already thinking about workshop plans for next Spring - and our Moda Fall line, Maison de Garance, is already at the mill. Next week, Dawn and I hit the road and head to Omaha, Nebraska where we will be teaching four classes at Silver Bella. Silver Bella is the annual craft getaway that offers fun, fellowship and craft workshops. Besides offering our jewelry workshops, we will be participating in the vendor night on Friday evening - offering up all sorts of vintage craft kits and signing a book or two.
Like Peter Pan says on the Disneyland ride - here we goooo!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Sunday was a great day at French General - lot's of new and old friends stopping by to toast the new space. Everyone seemed to agree that they loved the flow and spirit of the workshop on Riverside Drive. After my friend, Alice Roth, came and presented us with a certificate of welcoming from the mayor, someone came up to me and said "You have such a great support system - no wonder you can do this and make it feel so simple" - and I thought - "That's right - I do have a great support system - my whole family plus some great friends!" Thanks to Dad, Mom, Molly, Ryan, JZ, Sofia, Dawn, Christine and Jenna - all who helped throw a wonderful Sunday afternoon soiree!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sunday Soiree

If you happen to be in Los Angeles on Sunday - come on over to French General for our (grand) opening and an afternoon of celebrating our new book, Handmade Soirees, published by Chroinicle Books this past month.
Come for a glass of Lillet and try your hand at Petanque - JZ is setting up a court in the alley behind the shop - to make us all feel we are in the South of France for the afternoon. Sunday, November 1st, from 11-4.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Convent Nighties

One of my favorite things to find in France are the old linen and hemp convent night shirts. Sewn throughout the 18th, 19th and early 20th century, these fine linen nighties are sewn with an impeccable hand. All of the stitches are tiny and all of the details are precise - the scalloped edge along the necklines, the elegant monogram either in the center or over the heart, the simple cotton tie that gathers the sleeves - nothing was left untouched by the needle and thread. Usually I find these gowns at a flea market, in a heap on the ground, covered with years of age and neglect. I usually scoop them all up, because I know underneath the grime is a simple dress waiting to shine again. Many times the dresses will have a small repair where the fabric has been hand-stitched back together, over and over again - I am sure that once you were given a gown, you were expected to take care of it forever - not just for a year or two until it wore out. These gowns, usually sewn by and for the nuns in a convent, are cool to the touch and feel like silk - the result of years of well worn linen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Long Lost Glass Shells

My favorite American Indian bead dealer called me the other day and told me he had found a box of old Japanese glass pearls in the shape of a scallop shell - with a small loop attached at the top. Years ago, he had sent me a small bag of the same glass shells and (almost) every time I have talked to him since, I ask if he has anymore of the glass shells. None, nada, nothing, zippo - is always the answer. And then, out of nowhere - this box turns up with hundreds of these same glass shells. I wanted to call him and say "These are the shells I have been asking you about for years - where did you find them??" But every time I ask him where he found something he says "G-d dammit Kaari - you know I can't tell you that" - and I laugh - because, as always, I don't really care exactly where he found them - I just want to know the story of how, after all these many years, a box of one of my very favorite beads (ever!) just turns up. Who cleaned out their basement or their warehouse and how did this box of shells end up with me again? In fact when he called to say he had found shells - I don't think he even knew they were the same one's I had been waiting for all these years.
So - it got me thinking - what else is still out there? How many boxes of old glass pearls are hidden in the basement of the Providence buildings? I think it's time I take a trip back east and explore my old stomping grounds - the old bead warehouses that have been overlooked for years. The boxes and boxes of glass cabachons, beads and charms that were manufactured in the twenties, thirties and forties - gross after gross after gross - packed away protected from dust and dampness. I wonder if it's all still there? I wonder if I got to Providence, rented a car and drove out to the treasure troves - would it all still be there - or has someone beat me to it?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Master Quilters

Lately I have been meeting some master quilters who are using the new Rouenneries fabric line to design some beautiful quilts and projects.
Desperate Journey, designed and sewn by Keiko Clark, was one of the first quilts I saw using our collection - and I was blown away by the details and spirit of the piece. Keiko is a Japanese quilter who has been teaching quilt making for the past seven years - you can take a class with her at the Prairie Queens Quilt Shop in San Jose, California.

Anne Sutton, of Bunny Hill Designs, designed Le Jardin, a block of the month applique quilt - using nothing but the Rouenneries line. It is a wonderful quilt filled with whimsy and charm. Anne told me that she had never designed a whole quilt using just one collection - but she found everything she needed in Rouenneries - which made me think that there was probably a good balance of lights and darks as well as small and larger prints.

I met Lynette Anderson, from Australia, in Houston - and fell in love with her work - I loved her design sense and small attention to details.

As a newcomer to the quilting business, I feel really lucky to have some of the master quilters designing with our fabric - thank you to everyone who has welcomed us into the quilt world!

An Old Friend.....

Last week was my birthday - and I was sick - such a bummer to be sick on your birthday! Walking into the shop on my birthday I was greeted with a box from the post office. An old friend that Molly and I had met years ago in New York had sent me a collection of hand-made clay plates stamped with the French General name. We had carried these plates in our New York shop for years - and always loved them. Rae Dunn, a wonderful master of clay - had sent me the leftover plates from almost ten years ago. Sometimes you just need a little shout out from someone who is thinking about you to make it all feel better. Thanks Rae!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

American Pride

It's a rainy day in Los Angeles, I just returned from the Houston Quilt Show, we were open yesterday (a rarity around here) and today I spent the day with two wonderful sisters, Rinne and Lucy. who shot the shop for Selvedge Magazine.
So - finally - it's time to pick a winner of our textiles - Rural Jardin - from Moda. Drumroll's so hard to pick just one...there were so many good ideas of sewing projects! So out of all the wonderful ideas, and here are just a few...

Austin - summer hat
Cathy - kimono
Richelle - little boy bermudas
Holly - fabric canopy
K. Cotton - mailman style shoulder bag
Wanda - British bunting
Jamie - cushions for a deck at her lake house
Lulie Stout - umbrella cover
Lisa - drawstring bag for the beach
Mrs. Darnell - Christmas banner
Cynthia - vintage patchwork skirt for her daughter
Crystal Burns - laundry basket cover
Rose Brier Studio - beach chair covers favorite has to be Lynda G's idea of a wedding quilt for her son, using the red, white and blue in a nine patch pattern, as a gentle reminder of his army connection. There were so many great ideas of household textiles and quilts - but Lynda's tugged at my heart - because I think of how lucky I am to be doing what I want to do everyday while young kids are out fighting for this country. It is something I think about often, and although I am torn over the cause, I and am grateful for the men and woman oversees. Lynda send me your address and I will send out a box of Rural Jardin - merci!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Rural Jardin

Just received the samples from our new line, Rural Jardin, with Moda. Filled with shades of woad, chanvre and rouge this collection has some of the prettiest stripes and checks - many reproduced from 19th century French textiles. We named it Rural Jardin because many of the floral prints reminded me of the old French gardens I see throughout the South of France - the vines and fantasy flowers.
I've got all sorts of yardage in the shop now - so if you just can't wait till Spring 2010, pop by on a Monday and you can see the full line. I am getting ready to head to Houston for the Quilt Market this week where Moda will be showing all of their new Spring fabric collections. Most people go to market to sell their designs or show their product - I go just to see old and new friends - and for the Moda party! Moda puts on a grand soiree during market where they invite all of their designers and buyers - a good time is had by all. To celebrate our new collection, I'll send out a box or two of fabric samples - let me know what kind of striped summer project you might be sewing - and hopefully you'll get a head start! Merci!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chateau Getaway Deux

We're heading back to France! Join us on our next planned getaway to the South of France - we'll be returning to the wonderful Chateau Dumas for two different weeks during the Summer of 2010. Our weeks are planned with the textile lover in mind - whether it's learning about old millinery flowers or discovering the difference between hemp, nettle and linen.
Along with mastering the art of woad dying and learning the process of textile block printing - we will be enjoying the simple rural life at a splendid country chateau. Fresh market food prepared by a local chef, yoga and the optional massage will be on the menu to create a week that not only nurtures one's well being, but allows time to soak in the pace of la maison de Dumas. Lizzie, chatelaine of Chateau Dumas, and I have created a week of relaxation, exploring and creative fun. We will take a couple of day trips to local villages to visit old factories and brocantes, learn about truffles, wine and cheese, as well as spend peaceful time at the chateau for casual crafting. We have two weeks planned for next summer - hope you can join us on one of them!

Click here for a look at our first Chateau Getaway, and more information on pricing and dates.  And click here for Cathy Mogull's wonderful photographs and day by day diary of our days spent in France - scroll down to France-Day One and read all seven days.
Hope to see you in France next summer!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Red Velvet Winner

It took me some time draw a winner out of the hat - a whole lot of names to include - thanks! The lucky winner of our sewing accoutrements is Cupcake Studio - which made me think of my velvet with cream cheese frosting. Please send me your address and I'll send a box of small sewing accessories off to you - as soon as we get through tomorrow, our first day of being open.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Opening Day

After a much needed, long, summer break, French General will finally be open again - starting Monday, September 21st from 11-4. To celebrate our new neighborhood and workshop, please come join us for an afternoon of vintage crafts. Jody will be teaching a Rouenneries flower class and I will be teaching a Button jewelry class - workshops are free for the day - you just have to reserve your spot at the table. Come learn something new - see an old friend or two and have a glass of cava to celebrate our new location: 
2009 Riverside Drive
Los Angeles, California 90039
If you are planning on crafting at the tables, please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail and we'll save you a seat.
(How about that new sign? We're hoping to out smart the person who "borrowed" our last one - this time it's painted on the wall so there's no messing around!)
See you Monday!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Molly, the Grand Finale

My sister, Molly, has tagged me. Nothing could be more horrible or unthinkable for me - since I don't even like to admit to myself that I write a blog! Instead, I tend to think of this space as a journal or newsletter where I can write about ideas and crafts that are floating around my head. Being tagged means that you have to write about yourself - yikes - not about the business??
So - here goes - 10 things you may or may not know about me - because Molly Meng asked!
1. I love what I do and am thankful everyday
2. I procrastinate as if I were still in college preparing for a test
3. I would rather have dinner with family
4. I have a weakness for good, old red wine
5. and old French ribbon, and beads, and textiles
6. I would move to the South of France tomorrow if my mom and dad would
7. I am moved by color
8. I rescue kitties and puppies when they turn up
9. I sleep better under linen sheets
10. Sofia is my favorite person - ever!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Accoutrement Give Away

Our new line of sewing accoutrements has just come out - thanks to Moda. We designed some of the small essentials needed to keep one organized when sewing. Most of these accessories are easy enough to make on your own out of small scraps of fabric - but just in case you haven't found any extra time lately....I thought we would give away a set. Included are two cloth tape measures - both in small drawstring bags to make them easy for traveling - and, the larger tape has grommets on either end which will let you attach it to your crafting table easily. A fabric roll with pockets for scissors and rotary cutters is made out of our polka dot material and finished with a coral grosgrain ribbon. The small housewife, or sewing kit, is the perfect small book to keep needles, buttons and spare floss. The pin cushion, marked made in 1892, was inspired by an old pin cushion I found years ago in France. Filled with sand, you'll never have to wonder where this pin cushion is- it sits solidly on your work table and holds every pin in the house.
All of our sewing accoutrements are up on our website now and will be available in the new shop - but just for fun, if you are feeling lucky, throw your name into the hat and we will pull out a name at the end of the week. Sew On!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Keeper of Scraps

I have hired a woman to come and help me sort through the layers of French General - funny how I have actually accumulated so many scraps of just the right shade of coral, stacks of old photographs, imitation flies, spools of old trim, pressed and dried edelweiss leaves (should I keep going?) - and miraculously I am shedding the layers away. I think the lightbulb went off when Deva made piles - inspiration, document scraps, won't let go of, old paper, Sofia's art, etc. What a concept - organizing piles of stuff. Actually, when Molly and I worked together, she was great at this - the in and out box, the hardware peg board - it was all there. Molly always said "I'm just setting up systems - you have to implement them". I guess that's my problem - I'm not very good at keeping up with the systems!
Anyway - I'm getting there. We open in a week - the countdown has begun.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Are You Feeling Crafty?

Be sure to sign up for the fabulous Home Companion Workshops - being held Thursday, April 29th through Sunday, May 2, 2010 at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis Missouri! On-line registration begins today and each workshop is limited to 30 or so people.  So, put yourself out there and think about joining a bunch of very creative folks this Spring for a few fun-filled days of creativity and inspiration. Picture from Linda Solovic's workshop, Pretty Posies.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bundles of Love

Now that I am rooting myself in the textile world - thanks Moda! - I have heard about a wonderful project started by a man on a mission.  Iraqi Bundles of Love is an idea that helps out women in Iraq who have little or no access to quilting and sewing materials.  Major Art La Flamme has a simple way that we can all give a little back to a country in need.
After writing to the Major, inquiring about his project and where to send some scrap bundles - he immediately wrote back with this information:

I added some more to the site recently, on ideas of stuff to send - like knitting stuff.  But really, anything and everything gets put to use here -- this, after Iraq was under sanctions for so long.  Bigger is definitely better -- bigger pieces of fabric, bigger spools of yarn (send the whole bolt; don't send the whole sheep).  Green, by the way, is a favorite color in this culture.
Spread the word.  This is a pretty rapid-fire project, running about 6 weeks from start to finish (8 if you count delivery).  Which isn't much.  I am trying my best, with the website and the emails and all that, but it's a bunch.  I can sure use the help with the word of mouth stuff!

The deadline is September 7th,  so that Art has plenty of time to distribute material before he leaves.  Read here for more information on how to build a bundle and to contact the Major for his APO address.  If you love the idea and would like to support it but don't have a stash sitting around, Sew Mama Sew, will make up a bundle for you for a mere $15.00. Meanwhile, I've got all sorts of Rouenneries scraps to pack up and send off to some creative sewers in Iraq!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Opening Soon!

"I was all set to visit your store after the spot on Eye on L.A.  Unfortunately, you don't give any information about your location on your website.  Crossing you off my list of "must visits"."
Ouch - this was an e-mail I received yesterday.  I thought about deleting it and pretending I never saw it , and then I realized...the time has come.  I need to re-open French General.  Last May we packed up the little pink bungalow in Hollywood and moved our workshop about 15 minutes east to Riverside Drive.  Thanks to my family and friends, we've taken downs walls, installed a wall, painted, planted and primped....I think we are almost ready.  As of September 21st, we will officially be open on Mondays from 11-4 and every other Saturday for workshops, including jewelry, needle, textile and paper crafts.  A list of our workshop days and times will be posted on our website in September.
The new address is 2009 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles, California 90039 - so please put us back on your list of "must visits"! 

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Merci Mom!

A little shout out goes out to my mom who arrived to French General (yes we really do have a new place!) with armloads of fresh laundry this past week!
Every year I bring back loads of old dirty, patched, frayed (did I say stained??) household linens.  And every year, my mom picks them all up from me, takes them home to her laundry room and scrubs, soaks, washes, dries and presses every one -- and then delivers it.  Many times I don't even recognize the piece because of the beauty mom has found underneath the grime.  
Right now she is working on a pair of old linen French flags (the kind of flags the French fly in front of the Marie)
and... because we can't determine the year (they are really old but not really delicate) mom doesn't know if she should soak them or not - lest the color runs.  So we are stuck - to wash or not to wash.  They are really dirty. Good luck mom!