Monday, December 31, 2007

Great Wall of Parties

This New Year's, we are looking forward to something relaxing and low key. But it doesn't hurt to look back at some of last year's greatest bashes. Although the Fendi Great Wall of China show happened in October, I think it will always be remembered. Rumored to cost 10 million and with 500 exclusive guests shivering in the breathtaking locale, Karl Lagerfeld used the actual Great Wall of China to showcase his line during sunset.

Happy New Year everyone! We will resume posts Jan 2. Health and happiness to all!
Below: there was a model who wore a stunning dress that seemed to capture all of the penetrating colors of the Great Wall. This sketch is part of our Studio Series of notecards available at our boutique.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Friday

Happy Friday everyone! We will be leaving Michigan and heading back to SF soon. It was wonderful to see family and friends and I always forget how amazingly hospitable and warm everyone here is. Stay tuned for more posts from the shop next week!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

...and more sales...

day after sales at crate and the Armond couch!

laurel swivel chair on sale $599. blake dining room chairs $199.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

sales, sales, sales

greetings from the Somerset Collection in Michigan where we are spending our holiday with family and friends. growing up here, this uber mall was where we hibernated during the winter.

today I was very late to the day after christmas sales and was greeted with weeping pairs of boots...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Neato Windows

Are you rushing around trying to find last minute holiday gifts like us?! Owning a shop means getting out late...pretty much all of the time. By the time we're out and about, the likelihood of there being shops open other than Home Depot and the Marina Walgreen's are about zero to none. Here are some of the shops where we were met with dark doors...but hey, at least they had pretty windows displays for us to look at!
Above: Jonathan Adler, Marc Jacobs, Past Perfect, Cielo.

sole survivor: A Charlie Brown Christmas

We have an ipod list at the shop that plays holiday music...Jewel, Wham, Nat King Cole...pretty much every rendition from every artist. Needless to say, after hearing it about 70 times over in one day, we are no longer as enchanted as we first were. The only sole survivor to our ears is Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas. Love it. And in searching for the track, I recently came across some of his albums and fell for the covers, especially the San Fran based ones. They would make fun gifts for the "guy" and great artwork on the wall.
above: some of Vince Guaraldi's album covers. interiors from Pure Contemporary Home

Above: Other record album art inspired decor. "Groovy bungalow" designed by Scott Sanders.

Above: A more feminine approach. Designtalk brightens up a children's room. Blueprint does away with cumbersome framing and uses sleeves as backing for the artwork.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DIY at Style Me Pretty

I have been loving all of the amazing DIY bridal projects that my good friend Abby has been posting on her blog, Style Me Pretty this week. Go and see for yourself! I've said this before, but I don't know how she and her readers are able to create such beautiful boards and projects...I am such a cut-and-paste kind of gal so it's all very inspiring indeed. One of my favorite projects this week happens to be vintage silhouette placecard chic!

winter whites

saw a photo in this month's Domino issue with table decor for the "shortest, darkest days of the year" and had to sketch the winter whites.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Double Take

When I first saw samples for this, they were of wallets with a a few birds, and part of an apple peeking through. I thought it resembled such a clever flocked illustration that I brought them in for the shop . It must have been during our print week when things get a little hazy in the brain because I didn't get around to looking at the actual tote--in fact, it was a customer who pointed out the fact that they were Disney themed. Yes, "Disney Couture" to be precise! I haven't purchased Disney anything in quite some time, but I have to say, I love how these bags make Snow White all moddish!

above: tote ($55 sold out) wallet ($34.50)
email us at for info

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Objects to Wear: New Year's Eve

This always happens to me. I see a couple of beautiful things I covet, but instead of wanting to use them for their intended purposes, I want to wear them (and the reverse happens all of the time too)! And because of this bind I constantly find myself in, I thought I would do a series of posts called Objects to Wear. This post happened when I was doing some internet shopping and came across some objects I thought would be great for a new year's outfit.

Above: I was so drawn to this bath and body collection by MOR called Garden of Hespera ($17-78). The collection of lotions, salts, body butter smell like green figs, golden apples and Aegean cypress--what a great scent for the new year! The decoupaged glass plate ($55) of a tree is tranquil & pretty enough for hanging in the study or above an occasional table. And last but not least. These gray agate stones ($7.50) would make a lovely necklace. I go gaga over ombre fabric because it reminds me so much of smoky agate.

So I set out to find three things for a new year's outfit: green, gray and ombre...a festive but subdued color palette. And something of a requirement of me these days: an ensemble that I can take apart and wear to work or out. Above: DKNY offers this gorgeous ombre skirt ($248) and it can be paired with this velvety silk blouse by Richard Rodriguez.

I paired the ensemble together in the above sketch (this and other sketches will be available as special notecards at our shop as a part of our "Studio Series". Please email us at for info!).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Brrr! Tree Cozy's been cold lately, even for San Francisco. And it brings to mind artist Carol Hummel's series of "cozy" creations. Above, "Tree Cozy" is one of a series of works that were designed to exemplify contradictions like "comfort vs. confinement."

Friday, December 14, 2007

TGIF: Book of the Year

So switching over from the proper stationery design book post, we have another kind of reading material...
You've probably seen this already. Or maybe you claim that you haven't because you saw it on a shelf but didn't dare go near it. Ladies, it's not what you think! Porn for Women happens to be my newest, favorite book from Chronicle and it is DEFINITELY porn for women in the most hilarious way. I've ordered this by the truckload for the shop because it's one of those classic give-to-your-girlfriend books. It had us laughing so hard we were snorting. It's not only a great holiday gift, but an all-year gift. Happy Friday everyone!

caption: "I love to get to these things before I get asked."

caption: "I love a clean house."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Gift #3: hot off the press

I just received the most delightful package a few minutes ago! A book called "Today's Top Stationery Artists" by Tori Higa is out and available right now and if you love paper and stationery, you need to pick one up! 52 stationery designers are showcased in this book. I appreciated how it was divided into five categories ranging from graphic design to letterpress with about ten representative designers in each.

We were so honored to have Cat Seto featured in the illustration category! Especially when designers I love like Elum, Egg Press, Hello!Lucky, Katie Muth, Herman Yu, Tori Higa (and I could go on forever here until I've named them all) are featured. It's wonderful to be a part of this collective and it was fun to look through the full color images of everyone's work. Check it out!

The book is available online for $24.95 at Schiffer Books, Barnes and Noble, and also at our boutique. Both Schiffer and Barnes and Noble are running promotions until December 15th at 20% off.

Shop Friend: Paris Hotel Boutique

I met Lynn of Paris Hotel Boutique here in San Francisco when she came into our shop and bought a zebra trench dress from us (and she looked divine in it I must say!). And what is truly divine is her boutique which is available both at Past Perfect and also online. She has such an exquisite eye for vintage and antique pieces--I found myself compiling an endless wish list of items. Nor surprisingly, the bamboo table and mid century Dorothy Draper chest (both above) have been sold already!

Alas, some items still available include a glazed, ceramic pagoda lamp, vintage Four Seasons hotel teapot, vintage Gucci album, and a gorgeous Fairmont Hotel Crown Room chair. I just love her vintage hotel finds! Below are some other treasures on my wish list.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Retailer spotlight: Wedding Things

Throwing a holiday party or having a winter wedding? Our shop friend, Wedding Things, in Vancouver has a wonderful selection of party favors, gifts and invitations ( they also carry our custom invitations) that won't break the bank. I love those ice cube place card holders and at $1.75 each, why not add some interesting conversation pieces to your table?
pictured: ice cube place holders, bud vases, snowflake coasters all from Wedding Things, our custom holiday invitation from Cat Seto, Roger Millar "Nicola Benedetti" hot chocolate silver set.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Gift #2: To Get, to Give

2. For the dog that has everything: Hanukkah dog toys!

I couldn't resist putting this up for our holiday gift post. Our shop friend, Lisa (who owns the Australian Heeler that Bogey is in love with), came into the shop on her way to a Hanukkah party and showed me these. What a riot--we had such a laugh over these clever gifts!
Above, Matzo Ball Doggie Treats, Kosher chew toy, Moyel chew toy, all from Bow Wow Meow in San Francisco. And yes, the Moyel chew toy is really in the shape of a pair of scissors...ouch!

Red + White

Cadenza has created homage to her "all-time favorite" color combo, Red+White. A recent graduate from FIDM, it's natural to see how fashion plays into her creative day to day and design. We have recently been playing around with lots of fun geometrics which is something Cadenza enjoys and has a wonderful eye for(as seen above).
Cadenza on her favorite colors: something about its classic yet modernly crisp quality always pulls my attention, whether used in interior, fashion, or product design. The dawn of the holidays presents a perfect opportunity for a red and white post, although this timeless pairing can surely be enjoyed year-round.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Holiday: To Get, to Give

This week I'm interspersing a mini-series of holiday gifts between posts...some from the shop, and others from Shop Friends in the 'hood...

1. Holiday gift #1
For your work-at-home & tele-commuting friends:
luxury slipper boots. Trust me, for anyone who works from home and has cold floors, they will appreciate your thoughtful gesture! I've never had anything against UGG lovers but somehow had never thought to buy a pair until the other week. Now I wear them every chance I get. I think I always shied away from them because I kinda, almost, sorta knew that once I owned a pair I would see what all the fuss was about: that it's like wearing a pair of stuffed animals and there's something so wrong & awesome about that! But for many of my customers who are not UGG fans, they prefer these boots for their price ($38!), their faux suede, and the colorful patterns. These boots even in come in little tote bags which make them perfect for holiday giving.

Above: this one is my favorite..."berry" Appalachian.
Please email us for info and availability.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

cupcake fridays

As if norma's amazing crochet "calorie-free" creations weren't enough (see below)...I just had to do a quick post on some of the delicious cupcakes that jennifer brought in for our customers on friday. jennifer assists with our paper studio and all of the fun invitations and weddings that go along with it. and she has declared fridays to be "cupcake fridays" so stop by for a treat (the one pictured is her own walnut carrot cake family recipe). Mr. J and I polished off a few and now we're off to the gym...

Happy Weekend everyone! And stay tuned for this week for some fun (and funny) holiday gift recommendations...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Shop Friend: Norma Lynn Hood

Norma Lynn Hood's crochet cakes make the little hairs on my head dance every time I see one. These crocheted wonders are filled with lavender inside and this collection includes the most intricate sweets including miniature tortes, carrot cakes, name it, she's got it. I'm such a sucker for "miniature" anything and they make amazing shower and party favors...the kind that makes the guest swoon from cuteness! The current shipment that is coming this weekend will be ornaments and I cannot wait to see them.

A couple of months back, I received an email from Norma saying she created a cake she decided to name "Cat" (see below). She had somehow replicated a triple layer wedding cake from one of our occasional cards. What an absolute honor it is to be on her dessert menu!

Judging from the way I've witnessed my well-heeled customers take off their shoes and literally climb into the display window to nab the last of her cakes, you'd think she'd be sitting on a nice pile of cupcake goodness. But this perhaps is what's most special about Norma: she donates 100% of the proceeds to charities (the proceeds from ours go to Animal Place in Vacaville). Just when you think you've given enough, there is Norma to remind you that you can give more. In that, she is a very inspiring Shop Friend indeed.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Custom Invitations: Yellow Glam Peony

Yesterday, my amazingly talented friend, Abby (of Abby Jean Press), was kind enough to post our "Purple Eden" invitation from our wedding line on her blog, Style Me Pretty. If you don't know already, she is THE authority on weddings, style, and the inspiration board. It's an over the top gorgeous place to lose yourself in and I am always blown away by how she and her readers come up with such beautiful boards and ideas for planning the perfect wedding. What makes Abby stand out is her vision to help each bride find her personal vision and it is through her generous spirit and talent that makes this possible. Please go and have a look yourself!

Her inclusion of our invitation made me realize I haven't posted anything about our invitation design yet, and I thought I'd start today with the introduction of some of them. This first one is from our vintage chic line and we call it Yellow Glam Peony. I have always envisioned hybrid sophisticated/whimsical tea parties and garden parties with this invitation. We have paired this with everything from bridal showers at the Palace Hotel here in San Francisco to surprise birthday parties at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
Above: Yellow Glam Peony shown with dress and accessories from Anthropologie, votivo candle, Charbonnel lemon truffles.

Custom Invitations: Flutter

I must confess I am a magazine hoarder. Whenever we moved I would snip out all the magazine articles and pictures that I loved and file them into little bins, thinking I was being very organized...only to discover that by the end I kept practically everything! But those numerous articles and images from the past often inspired my illustrations and invitations. My Flutter invitation actually started out from certain details from a spread that Elle Decor did in their March '04 issue. The palette of the room and the string of butterflies dangling from the mirror absolutely mesmerized me. And I imagined the person who lived in that space to be grounded during the week but bohemian and whimsical on the weekends.
Above: Elle Decor, Diesel bag, Lotis Green Lizard Wallet

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

and the winner is...

We randomly drew a name from our newsletter list and if you are:

Christine Conti

Congratulations! You've won a free set of personalized stationery from our Cat Seto vintage chic line. And don't fret if you didn't see your name--to show our appreciation we'll continue our giveaways throughout the holiday season!

*if you would like to be included, please send us your name and email to

layering 101: grey jumper dress

We love layering clothes at the boutique. It's our way of expressing our personalities but it's also the best way to reinvent a basic and achieve maximum usage out of it. Mariko, Cadenza and I thought we'd do a fun experiment and each layer one of Icon National's cotton grey jumper dresses ($64.50). And because you never know what exactly is going on with the opposite sex, we thought we'd ask a few of them what their impression(s) would be of someone walking down the street wearing the outfit. The results are below!

Above, Cat's layering: persimmon turtleneck ($48), faux leather belt ($15)
What the dudes thought:
1. Eric. Age: 37 Profession: Marketing
Impression: fun and artsy, clever and sassy
2. Liam. Age: 32 Profession: Construction Management
Impression: youthful, casual and hip, relaxed
3. William. Age: 28 Profession: Business Operations
Impression: expressive, fashion-oriented, not conservative

Above, Mariko's layering: mushroom top ($87), blue wool jacket ($115)
What the dudes thought:
1. Eric: sophisticated, professional with a little bit of fun (mushroom top)
2. Liam: mature, conservative, refined and cultured
3. William: functional, fashionable, complex self-expression, unique

Above, Cadenza's layering: turquoise lace tunic ($59), bronze faux belt ($15)
What the dudes thought:
1. Eric: funky but conservative (lace), mellow, subdued
2. Liam: conservative, confident, mature, theatrical
3. William: happy in life, artistic, wants to challenge themselves

Well it was all fun to see what the guys had to say and there's always debate out there about do you dress for men or do you dress for women? But we believe bottom line:
Dress to express, and dress for YOURSELF first!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

windows on the world

Mariko worked as a visual display intern at Anthropologie before joining us at Cat Seto. I asked her to share with us some of her favorite window displays and this one is pretty amazing. It's a series of holiday window displays in Japan for a department store called Matsya. The windows display jewelry and are located at the Ginza Subway Station. Mariko says they always draw a crowd and it's not hard to see why!

Sabrina Ward Harrison

I first heard of artist Sabrina Ward Harrison from Christine Castro of Darling Design. I remember being swept away by her work...literally moved by her sense of color, and visual storytelling. Sabrina lives in San Francisco and professes that the "living world" inspires her work and you can see this in her emotional, soulful photographs.

Below is my favorite photo of Sabrina's work yet. I don't know about you, but I could spend the better part of my day sketching on the couch and what I wouldn't do for it to be surrounded by the outdoors!