Monday, December 20, 2010

With Gratitude

Yep, 'tis the season when the presidents of companies inundate the unwilling with their tedious traditional end-of-year letter that sums up the past 365 days.

I'll try to make mine short and sweet.

2010 was a vast improvement over the challenges of 2009. Cooper's Cottage Lace added great new patterns, appeared in what will be one of the leading films of the holiday season (True Grit, if you've missed my incessant plugging) and surpassed our competition to become the preeminent resource for historically-inspired lace curtains.

Not bad for a lil' ole start-up that crept onto the scene in early 2007.

But most importantly, we've built up a fanatical clientele that continually writes to inform us how much they love our product and amazing customer service. Folks, I'm humbled and flattered by your approval. I had no idea we would be this popular. Of the hundreds of comments we've received , the one that comes to mind was from a woman in the Mid-west who said: "I've been looking online forever; everyone else's lace is so boring!"

So, in closing (cue sigh of relief from readers), Thank You, to all of you for making this such a great year! May the next be even better, and a safe and peaceful holiday season to all.

Yours warmly,

Dan Cooper
, President
Cooper's Cottage Lace, LLC

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rod Pockets and Headers

One of the most frequent questions we receive is "how are your curtains finished at the top?"

When our lace panels leave the mill, they are cut from the top to the appropriate length and finished with a rod pocket and header combination. The pocket is about 1 1/2" high, while the header above it is about 1 1/8". You can use either for a curtain rod, as it allows some adjustment. We will custom-cut a curtain to length for you for only $7.50 a panel, and when we do this, we will give you a choice of replicating the original rod pocket/header combination, just a rod pocket, or a simple hem that you can use to attach clip-rings. We can also add a rod pocket at the bottom for door panels, and this is a frequent request as well. Please call or email if you have any questions about measuring or what size is best for your door or window!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Morris & Us.

The obvious question is: why hasn’t someone made a lace curtain inspired by the works of William Morris until now? I’m supremely proud to announce the introduction of Cherwell, an 1887 design from the archives of William Morris’ Morris & Company to Cooper’s Cottage Lace’s collection. For the first time, a true, English Arts and Crafts Lace Curtain designed for Aesthetic Movement interiors is available! And for the first time, we are offering a matching Arts and Crafts lace tablecloth as well! Cherwell gives you the opportunity to bring the timeless genius of William Morris into your home in an exquisite manner, whether it’s furnished in the Late Victorian, Craftsman or a Contemporary style. This stunning all-over pattern features chrysanthemums, thistles and other flora along with the graceful leaves that make the work of Morris and Company so distinctive.

Cherwell doesn’t hint vaguely at English Arts and Crafts like some other company’s patterns; it boldly proclaims its origins! Our Scottish designer, Sherry, spent hours converting the colors of the original wallpaper pattern into different shades by varying the stitches on the loom. In fact, this is our most intricate pattern yet. Cherwell will be available on the first of the year as lace curtain panels in three widths: 20”, 33” and 47” and lengths from 54” to 90”. There will also be tablecloths that are 68” wide by 84” and 108” long. Like all of our other lace panels, Cherwell is 100% cotton and finished in Natural White, also known as Ivory. Please email me or call 413-549-1063 with any questions, and watch our website for a special introductory offer!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Patience, please!

Yes, you've all been waiting breathlessly to see our newest lace pattern. I promise you, it will be worth it! We are photographing it now, and it will available for viewing by next weekend. And another tidbit; there will be matching tablecloths; a first for Arts and Crafts lace!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back in Massachusetts, and a Teaser

The Pasadena Craftsman Show was great for Cottage Lace; they moved us into the Pasadena Convention Center, which gave all of the vendors an equal opportunity to meet attendees, and the show's organizers doubled the number of vendors. This show is now the West Coast Arts and Crafts Show, and has truly risen in prominence. I met a lot of great folks, and spent time with my favorite colleagues.

And now, The Teaser. I displayed our newest pattern at the show as plain fabric, straight off of the Scottish looms. The response was fantastic; possibly the best I've ever received for a pattern introduction. Here's a hint: It's English Arts & Crafts, executed by the finest designer of the time, and its rendering into lace is a first for this person, as far as I can tell. Watch this space for an announcement!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Go West

For those of you in the Greater Los Angeles area, this weekend marks the 19th Annual Pasadena Heritage Craftsman Weekend. Cooper's Cottage Lace will be at the exhibition, which will be held in the Pasadena Convention Center on Oct. 16 and 17.

If all goes well, we will be exhibiting a sneak preview of our newest lace pattern, which I assure you will be one of our most impressive.
Exhibitors at the show will include favorites from the contemporary Arts and Crafts Movement, including our artisans: Dard Hunter, Yoshiko Yamamoto, Laura Wilder and Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpaper. Pasadena itself is an amazing place, a must-see destination for Arts and Crafts aficionados. Please stop by; we'll be in the very center of the hall!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

True Grit, Part 2

As I posted a while back, my favorite directors, The Coen Brothers, are remaking the film True Grit. The 2010 version stars Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin. The film has been eagerly awaited, not only for its cast and script, but for the stunning images of Cooper's Cottage Lace as well! Look for over 80 of our Eastlake and Grecian panels, which were designed by Steve Bauer of Bradbury & Bradbury Wallpapers. Incidentally, we'll be exhibiting near Bradbury at the Pasadena Heritage Weekend Show on Oct 15-17, but I'll post more on that next week!

Here, direct from Youtube, is a clip showing the set and our curtains in situ:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eastlake at The Osborne

We were extremely flattered when recently, a client and dear friend selected our Eastlake Panel, designed by Steve Bauer of Bradbury & Bradbury Wallpapers, to be installed in his Aesthetic Movement apartment at The Osborne in Manhattan. After an intense search, he felt that this pattern was the only one robust enough to accompany his stellar collection of 19th century furnishings.

For those of you unfamiliar with the structure, The Osborne is a fantastic brownstone apartment building situated on the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and West 57th street in Manhattan. Built between 1883 and 1885, in the American Renaissance style, its lobby is renowned as one of New York City's architectural gems. Located diagonally across from Carnegie Hall, it is a favorite of those enchanted with the city's Victorian past.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Showtime(s)!

Autumn marks the beginning of the Contemporary Arts & Crafts Movement's U.S. Tour, and next weekend, September 25th and 26th, Cooper's Cottage Lace will be exhibiting at both the Seattle Bungalow Fair and the Twin Cities Arts and Crafts Show.

And just how can a micro-business like us do such a thing? We're partnering with Archive Edition Textiles. My dear friend Paul Freeman will man a double booth in Seattle with both of our wares, and I will do the same in Minneapolis. Please stop by and take advantage of Cottage Lace's special show promotion!
Next step on the tour: Pasadena Heritage Weekend October 16th and 17th!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Side by Sidelight

Often overlooked when selecting window treatments, sidelights are those narrow, vertical windows located on one or both sides of an entry door. They allow light in, and permit the occupants to see just who is knocking at 8am on a Saturday.

But sometimes, we don't want those folks looking in and seeing us standing there in our bathrobes.

Hence, Cottage Lace has directed a great amount of attention to creating sidelights in just about every pattern we offer. Depicted here is our Grecian Panel sidelight, designed by Steve Bauer of Bradbury & Bradbury wallpapers. It's a Neo-Grec pattern that works in all Classically-styled houses, from Georgian and Federal, to Greek Revival, Second Empire and of course, Colonial Revival homes.

Our seamstress will gladly custom cut them to whichever length works best for your home.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Perfect Placement

This photograph is from a client's vacation home on Cape Cod; they've selected our Old Colony pattern for their 1890s retreat and it's one of the most delightful placements I've seen. This delicately undulating Colonial Revival lace curtain pattern compliments the informality of the house and conveys a sense of relaxation, all the while adhering to a nostalgia for the past.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

True Grit

The Coen Brothers are remaking the film True Grit; you may recall the original version from 1969 that starred John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby. It was Wayne's last film and he won an Oscar for his role. The 2010 version, which stars Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin is currently filming in Texas, but for me, the biggest star will be Cooper's Cottage Lace; the set decorators bought a whole mess of our Eastlake and Grecian panels for the boarding house set. As a huge Coen Brothers fan, and an aficionado of historic interiors, I'm very excited...

The release date is next Christmas.

See you at the movies!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Are You Going to Asheville?

The Arts and Crafts Conference in Asheville,
North Carolina, February 19-21, 2010

Cottage Lace exhibits at roughly half a dozen trade shows a year. Most of them are regional, meaning that their intended audience is from Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis and perhaps Pasadena, although the latter does draw folks from all over.

And then there's Asheville: this show is the grand dame of all of them, and folks travel from around the world to attend the antique show, the lectures and to visit the contemporary craftsfirms, amongst which is your favorite lace company.

This is our second year exhibiting at the 22 year old show, although I've attended in years past when I was working for another company. For that firm, and my own, I found that having a presence was invaluable; everyone is's like your entire address book is waiting in the bar for you. There's wheeler-dealers, scholars and enthusiastic homeowners all mingling for three days.

The event is held at the legendary Grove Park Inn, a magnificent stone edifice with a breathtaking lobby. Most folks try and stay there, and if you're informed that it's sold out, keep checking; rooms often become available as the show nears. The hotel also has an amazing spa, where I've often wound up meeting clients and verbally closing a deal.

Asheville, NC itself is a great college town, there are many lovely restaurants, including my favorite, The Laughing Seed. There are also good clubs for dancing or listening to music as well. For those of us who live in the North, the temperature seems balmy, even though it's the dead of winter. All in all, it's the perfect break for those of you passionate about the Arts and Crafts Movement, and it's always worth the trip.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Lace By Any Other Name... still a Madras Lace Curtain.

Not to belabor, but to educate, that's my goal. As a writer and a lecturer, my mission has always been to share as much information as possible with the public, so that they make informed decisions and we then can all preserve history together. Got a question about historic houses, interiors or antiques? Just write.

So, with that in mind, here goes: Cooper's Cottage Lace, LLC, known to many, and doing business as Cottage Lace, sells Madras Lace Curtains. They are woven in Scotland, on the outskirts of Glasgow, by really wonderful folks. They've been working diligently to keep the industry alive in the United Kingdom, and they're doing a great job. They help with the technical, production and shipping aspects of my business with breathtakingly fast speed, and they are a joy to work with. They've been helping me with a new line that should appear sometime this year (it's a secret, it's really cool, and I promise that you'll be the first to know).

The Mill has been in business for over 100 years, and they call our curtains and panels Madras Lace (or, sometimes Lace Madras, when they feel like it).

In addition, there's a very well-known company in downtown Boston, MA, who started importing reproduction lace curtains, well before other companies, and they call their curtains Madras Lace. In fact, another company that sells lace curtains refers to this particular weave as "Madras Lace" on their website.

I started this entry by paraphrasing Shakespeare, and I'll close by quoting him directly, from The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene III: "The devil can cite scripture for his purpose".