A lot like life

Saturday, July 30, 2011


If you have ever read or seen an I Spy, or Can You See What I See? book, you will know how extraordinary the photographs and scenes are. The genius behind the book and the lens is Walter Wick. 

On this particular day Mr Wick's creative work, Balancing Act, seems a lot like life.  Maybe there is a lesson here on finding joy in the process, having fun, and every now and again, just letting it all go? To see what I mean, watch the "gravity defying" video of the experiment click here.

For more on Walter Wick and his latest creative endeavors click here or visit his Facebook page.

What does this have to do with Bon Fortune? Maybe nothing. We just love to celebrate a good thing we when we see it.

Lost my marbles

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jack's new (old) marble collection

Last weekend my neighbor came over with an old tackle box with a name in black marker on the front. The box belonged to her daughter, the school marble champion. This was the prize collection. The daughter now all grown-up, married with a serious occupation at the CDC, no longer had room in her life for marbles. There was no longer room in her Mom's (my neighbor) garage to store them. The garage was about to get a makeover and my 6 year old son, Jack, was the chosen recipient of yesterday's treasured collection. 

Inside the box there were lots of different kinds of marbles. There were aggies, catseyes, peeries, steelys and boulders. I can just imagine the glee at winning one of these marbles during recess on the playground. I can also imagine the misery of the loss of a favorite shooter. If you played marbles when you were a kid, you know what I am talking about. If you didn't play, you missed out. 

Even though I had not given much thought to marbles since I was a kid  I could immediately appreciate how hard earned this collection was. I was an okay marble player. I once had a collection myself. Sadly, I lost my marbles long ago. No pun intended. 

I am positive that I was way more excited about this gift than my 6 year old.  Right away I put the marbles in a big glass candy jar so that I could admire them. Then, I put them on a dresser way up high and I went online to refresh my memory on marble games. I thought I should teach Jack how to play and get him to appreciate how fun they are before he could get to them and transform them into slingshot ammo. 

Here are a couple great things that I found. The first a segment from Made in America about marbles and 
the Ohio factory that still makes them. Did you know that factory marbles are created from 90% post consumer recycled glass?  Click the marbles below to watch the process.

To appreciate the artistry involved in the creation of a handmade glass marble take a look at this video below.

A note to my neighbor: If your daughter is ever feeling sentimental about the loss of her marbles, let her know that Jack did not take them for keepsies. Your daughter can always have the marbles back. After all, getting a collection like this, all at once, is sorta fudging. She earned them fair and square and they are still hers if she decides one day she wants them. Pinky promise. 

How to play marbles... 

Bon Fortune will carry marbles for the kids. We will also carry some really amazing handmade collector marbles for the kid in you (and me). 

old is new...again

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Source: ABC/ PAN AM

In fashion, art, and media, everything old is new... again. Turn on the TV and notice the ads for fall programming.  PAN AM for example is a heavy bet on the ABC fall line up.

Now, I hate to be trendy but from a business perspective this trend towards nostalgia puts Bon Fortune squarely in the zeitgeist. From a personal perspective, I wonder why are we all looking back?

If PAN AM ends up a hit, does this mean we get to dress up again when we board an airplane? Does this mean we return to an era of grace and good service? Will ladies regularly begin to wear lipstick and gloves? Will we all start to mind our manners once again? Probably not, but if so, count me in.

When things around us seem to be tarnishing, instead of employing elbow grease we tend to look about  for what is shiny. What can possibly be more golden than childhood? Remember when you could meet the pilot in the cockpit and get a special pin with wings? So simple yet so endearing.

I do not for a minute recommend that you abandon your tasks and the hard work before you. I simply believe it is perfectly excusable to escape for a tiny shining moment into the vault of your childhood memories to remember. If you can remember something good then hold onto it. If your memories hold unfulfilled expectations, indulge them now.

You may no longer be able to visit the cockpit of an airplane (without serious repercussions) but you can
opt to eat ice cream first, buy the most expensive toy in the toy shop, and have the birthday party of your dreams. If you cannot justify doing this for yourself, do it for your children, at least once. Enjoy the indulgence, the extravagance or just the sweetness of thoughtful simplicity with the knowledge that, one day, your children will remember too.

A word about balloons

Friday, July 22, 2011

Source: Two More Seconds

Since the 30's toy balloons have brightened the day for many children.  I haven't met a kid that did not like balloons (except when popped). I have met a parent or two with an adverse opinion of them based on concerns for the environment. Disclaimer, I am not an environmental expert, and perhaps I have a bias in my affinity for balloons, but here is what I know. Latex balloons are 100% organic. They are a natural product made of the sap from rubber trees. The method for removing the sap is completely harmless, like removing maple sap for syrup from a maple tree. The decomposition time for a balloon is about the same as the rate of an oak leaf. So, if you prefer not to release balloons that is fine, but at least release the guilt of buying them.

You don't have to be drab to be green. Enjoy those birthday balloons! Oh, and take a peek at Two More Seconds for a cute celebration balloon wreath tutorial.

To view a Discovery video on how balloons are made click here.

For a few more bits on balloon biodegradability, rain forests, flight, sea mammals, and litter click here
or visit the balloon council for facts on balloon safety and the environment.

I'll make this for me

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photo courtesy of CAKEWALK BAKING

Make mine a chocolate

Monday, July 18, 2011

Strawberry Milkshakes

Who is Gustaf Tenggren?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What do Snow White and The Poky Little Puppy have in common? Gustaf Tenggren

Who is Gustaf Tenggren? Probably the greatest artist you did not know you knew. Born in Sweden, Tenggren came to the US in the 20s and in 1935 went to work for Disney as the Art Director of Snow White. In addition to Snow White his influence and artistry can be admired in the late 30s Disney productions including Pinocchio, Bambi, and Fantasia.

Tenggren left the Disney studio to take on a commission as a children's book illustrator under his own trademark name and at the same time, worked with the Golden Press to produce what we know and love as some of the most charming illustrations in the collection of Little Golden Books, including the The Poky Little Puppy, the world's most published picture book.

Thanks to Lars Emmanuelsson you can learn about Gustaf Tenggren as I did, by visiting the amazing website he created Gustaf Tenggren's World.

Check out these links to Random House for adorable (and free) printables of The
Poky Little Puppy and The Saggy Baggy Elephant .

Photo Source: Gustaf Tenggren's World
Gustaf Tenngren (American, 1896-1970)
Original PromotionalArt 1937


A Garden Fairy Party

Designed especially for Ruby

Welcome, please make a birthday wish for Ruby
Floral by Ruby+Romeo

Cotton candy treats

Flower pot favors for girls contained miniature tea sets.

A gift from the hostess to every guest.

 Custom Favor Tag from Digital Chu for Bon Fortune
And a little pixie dust...

Last month in Santa Barbara California, a sweet little girl named Ruby turned three. To mark the occasion her parents hosted a lovely celebration. Bon Fortune had the pleasure of creating the garden party favors which included tiny tea sets nestled in moss in a flower pot and wrapped in ribbon, tulle and a joyful bloom. If you would like to order custom party favors visit my original vintage supply and party favor shop.

Have you hosted a memorable children's party? I would love to hear about it. Send an email to bonfortunefavors@gmail.com with your pictures and ideas and I'll post them here.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Here is where I deposit my inspirations for my little shop. I just purchased this wonderful vintage book published in the 20's. The illustrations by Florence Liley Young are now among my favorites. A caption from a plate on page 19 reads:

"All day long and every day, people came to buy the toys."

Bon Fortune will open soon and I hope you will find it packed with charm and whimsy. Everything you might need for a classic children's celebration in one place. No licensed characters, no plastic favor bags, no toxic toys. Just the kind of stuff you remember, or wish you could remember. Of course, it may take a little time to offer you my full vision; But, I hope at first a hint is there of fanciful things to come.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Source:Diesel in Bloom

Welcome to the Bon Fortune blog!