Saturday, July 31, 2010

weekend update

I have been a busy little bee this weekend working on some key chains and zipper pouches. I'm pleased with the progress but feel like I have so much on my to-do list right now!  I've got every one of the next four weekends planned out according to what kind of sewing and crafting I need to do in order to get a decent inventory in the shops and prepare for my daughter's first birthday party in a few weeks!

Some of the finished pouches that I took to Revelry:

More details later, but there's so much going on with both local shops, my etsy store and a few other possibilities that I'm trying to finalize.

Remember that tomorrow is when I change the prices in my shop!

I hope you're all having a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I'm not sure if it's in reference to my childhood growing up in what was--before the vineyard craze--pear country, but there is something about pears that I love.  Pears are beautiful, delicate, and when treated right divinely delicious.  Pear season also heralds the end of a hot summer and beginning of milder almost-fall weather. 

I will admit I do not like the pear scent (which, like the cinnamon scent, causes my olfactory system great pain), and it's not even a desire to have lots of pear-themed items around me, but when I do see a good pear painting, or pears on a fabric, I have to fight the urge to spend my money and take the item home right then and there.  (I'm usually thankful for the restraint later on since I have no extra space in my home).

The funny thing is I don't even like to eat pears.  Not unless they are really ripe and picked fresh off the tree.  But it is almost pear season back home for the few pear trees that remain, and in honor of those pears that have endured, here's a little freshly-picked selection pears for you!





If and when pears become the new woodland creatures, please remember my former love of the fruit :)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brand new cloth napkins listed in the shop

OK Friends.  The napkins are up!  I was really hoping to get them up this weekend so you all would have a chance to get any if you want to before the prices go up (remember this post?).

I hope you're all having a fantastic weekend.  Mine has been a mixed bag so far but mainly the down parts have been due to my own bad attitude not to anything bad actually going on!  I think I'll blame the heat (because it's easier than blaming my own selfishness!)

I'm working on a big set of zipper pouches for the local shops and am hoping to have them finished up by Monday, but I don't think any sewing is happening tonight as I spent the last hour talking to a friend (well worth it!) and I don't know that I want to brave the heat that has gripped my air-conditioner-less sewing room.

Happy Saturday!


Friday, July 23, 2010

New Line Preview

As promised! This is a "late summer" collection with lots of bold colors, floral prints, and super soft fabrics!  I have redesigned my labels just for this occasion and can't wait to show you the entire line later this weekend!


Week End Round Up

Friends, It's Friday!  I hope you're ready to enjoy some time of rest this weekend (or all the chaos involved with the weekend)!  Here's a little handmade style round up for you!


I may or may not be drooling right now.  These are all such beautiful creations!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Getting down to business

The last few weeks have been a mix of wonderful and crazy all at once for my business, and I'm super excited to finally share some news with you!

First off, I am making the move to deeper waters of going from a hobby to a business.  No, I am not quitting my day job! But I am making some purposeful changes to actually make a profit with all of my time put into sewing, photographing, listing, etc.   I am making changes to how and where I sell.

Beginning in August I am going to be selling some of my goodies at not one but two local shops!  This is not only a new venture for me but also for both shops! Revelry Gallery will have a preview party July 31, and The Dandy Lion (and Revelry) will have its Grand Opening August 14!

This is a big step for me as I have really focused many of my efforts online, but I think it's time to get real and branch out.  Isn't there a commandment somewhere that says something like, "Thou shall not put all thine eggs in one bucket." ...errr something like that!

I've been lurking around various business and crafty blogs trying to gather as much info as possible.  I love the tips posted on Meylah and was just introduced to Crafting an MBA and CraftyPod. This podcast from the the last two really confirmed what I've been thinking for a while regarding some of my decisions of being a professional rather than a hobbyist.

One of the changes that will affect my customers is that in order to actually make money selling what I make, I need to have fair prices.  This is a tough one for me because I want to be "competitively" priced, and I want you to get a good deal, but I also need to factor into my prices things like supply costs, the amount of time I spend on making an item, shipping and packaging costs, etc.  I do my best to keep those costs down, but the fact is that I am not a factory; I am one woman working in a sewing room with no air conditioning and I absolutely love it.  Love doesn't pay the bills though!  So with that said, I have decided that beginning August 1, I will be raising the prices in the store.  I am letting you in on this now because I would rather you be able to take advantage of the current prices and do me a favor by not needing to re-label the items that are currently in stock.

It's funny because part of me thinks, "Who would pay that much money for a set of napkins or a baby dress?", but then I remember that I would because it isn't just about the napkins or the dress, it's about supporting the person making the item and knowing that I'm not sending my money to an unknown factory but to someone who chooses to work without air conditioning!

In other news, be on the lookout in the next few days for a sneak preview of a brand new line of cloth napkins complete with new labels!  I super excited about these fabrics and think you will be too!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Internet Safety 101

As a blogger, I go back and forth about how much of ME do I share on the internet.  I know some bloggers who use names like "Hubby" and "Kid 1 and Kid 2" and never share personal pictures. I also know some who use their family's real names, post pictures like crazy, and treat everyone like their BFF.  I fall somewhere in the middle.

I started my blog not only to show what I have been making but to reach out to the community of those who love handmade items just as much as I do!

I've used our real names and real pictures, but every time I do, there's always a little nagging voice that tells me to be careful.  Unfortunately I can't control my work once it gets published, in spite of my best intentions and even what the current laws are.

Let me be clear that nothing bad has happened, but I am a mom, and I do have to keep my family's safety a first priority.  So for those of you who have been reading the blog for a while I want to spare any confusion.  For the time being, I am going to use my daughter's nickname, Della.  Actually it's the nickname I wanted her to have before she was born, but we never really use it!  This is also part of my ploy to get it to stick before people start calling her Addie.  

As for the photos, we'll see where that goes because I know that the blogs I love to read are the ones where I feel like the author is a friend (usually because they post pictures--not just any pictures but their very own).

I totally appreciate all of my readers and consider you as friends of sorts, so let's keep this going and see what happens with my weirdo fear, mothering instincts, and nagging abilities!


Handmade Wedding Attire for Guests

OK, so I know the first California post was a total tease.  I've been talking about trying to find handmade items for my brother in law's wedding at the beginning of the month, and I found some real treasures!  I am finally going to show you the goods.

First off, we all know my dress did not turn out.   So, I bought my dress at Macy's.  It is what it is. My necklace, on the other hand, is from Brittany Chavers Studio.  I love her jewelry and have been looking for a reason to buy one for myself.  The wedding was the perfect reason. Though these are great every day pieces as well! I think I should have ordered the chain a little longer, but that was my bad, not Brittany's.

I considered making Della's dress, but honestly I knew it would be easier to buy one from another Etsy seller.  I ended up going with a custom order from Dress Baby Beautiful that also included some super cute blue bloomers with white ruffles. Can you imagine how cute that was?!

The wedding colors were yellow and gray/silver, so I bought Della a yellow feather headband.  Those flower and ribbon ones are pretty darn cute, but I love that the feather was a bit of a spin off from the hundreds I saw when looking. This one is from Beary Box on Etsy.

I'm bummed because I don't know that we got any pictures of the three of us dressed up.  Brandon was officiating the wedding, and he was the best man, so he was really busy before, during, and after the ceremony.

Everything was beautiful.  The bouquets and boutonnieres, which I don't have pictures of, were handmade from Etsy as well!  There was also a candy table and plenty of tissue pom poms hanging on the ceiling to make it feel like a first class 2010 wedding :)


Monday, July 19, 2010

What I do when my daughter doesn't get the vacation memo

We are back! Actually we got back in last Wednesday night, but I finally feel "back".  My bags are unpacked, laundry is clean and put away, and tonight I even made a real dinner!  On top of all that, I finally got to my sewing room last night and our pictures are on the computer from our trip.

One of the bum deals about traveling across three time zones with a baby is that they do not get the message that you should not wake up at 4am just because it is 7am back home.  Nope. My baby wakes up at 7am EASTERN time every morning, and vacation was no different.  At least not the first day.

So we made the most of it and snuggled until the sun came up then went for a walk to check out all of the beautiful flowers in Nana's Southern California neighborhood.

The weather was perfect while we were there: a cool 73 degrees for the highs.  I am wishing for that again now!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

The time I went to the fabric store that was bigger than any I ever imagined

At one point this week my 1G memory card on my camera was full so I had to go through and delete pictures. I didn't know it was possible to fill a 1G memory card. It is.

Between wedding preparation, wedding attending, family time, Independence Day celebrations, beach time, eating and sleep, we have had one busy and wonderful vacation.  I need to find my camera cord so I can actually upload the pictures and show you some especially of my daughter's handmade dress and accessories for both of us!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that at one point during the week my mother in law and I were sent off to shop at a fabric warehouse sans children and sans husbands can you hear the evil mischievous laugh?!  Oh. My. Word.  I don't want to say it was heaven because that is so materialistic pun intended, but I felt like a kid at Disneyland. Imagine this times about 20. 

Row after row after row of fabric.  And it was GOOD fabric.  And it was fabric that somehow found its way into my cart and then my suitcase.  And soon it will find its way into my shop and maybe a few other locations that you will know about sooner rather than later.  I'm getting all excited just thinking about it! 

In other news, yes I felt the earthquake yesterday, and yes I was in a condo on the beach, and yes I was scared, but only a little.