March 28, 2008

The Ring Bear

This was my inspiration. I've been carrying it around for ages.

I think I was most attracted to the buttons, and probably the simplicity. I didn't end up using buttons, but I'm still very happy with the result. Also very happy to have another item crossed of the wedding to do list! Only 4 weeks to go and UK visitors arriving in 2 weeks.

I used some wool I got at JoAnn's & a little scrap from one of my chosen fabrics. I'm glad I decided to put that little ivory square in the center too, the rings would be lost on that floral, no? The ribbon is from Paper Source, bought along with invitation making bits. Who knows, maybe I will add buttons to the corners. What do you think?

Last night I finished the 3 day project of cutting out my dress. Yes, I'm so glad I decided on such a simple dress. It's the lace overlay that's putting me in a tizzy. It's taken me weeks to decide on how to do the skirt without too many seam lines. In the end, I've gone with the maximum number of seam lines. Ha! I spent a lot of time placing the lace just right on the pattern pieces and lining things up and cutting around motifs that will have to be hand sewn. Today I'll be hand sewing silk to interlining. Thank goodness I have so many dvd's.

Have a great weekend!

p.s. I receive a newsletter from Lion Brand Yarn & today they've posted a cool podcast mostly devoted to Etsy. I think it's the best story I've heard so far about how Etsy go started. Check it out here. (And if you're not an iPod/iTunes person, it's okay. You can just listen online in your browser)

March 27, 2008

Bailey's & Coffee Please

One of the things Nick & I are planning for the wedding is Bailey's. I love to add a little Bailey's to my coffee. Doing something like this is so much easier when you're having a wedding at someone's house. I can't imagine the caterer at a hotel letting me throw Bailey's on the table for less than $10 each. Know what I mean?
Anyway, the idea was settled, but we couldn't decide what to put it in so people would know it's not creamer, hehe. Uh oh, Grandma's drunk! I've been searching high & low for some individual creamer containers that might be a little different. Then one day I was emptying my dishwasher and took a look at the little frappuccino bottle I'd just washed to use as a mini vase.

(photo tip, never take pictures next to a bright pink carton of grapefruit juice, baaad color)

Behold the perfect, yet affordable bottle. It's just the right shape, no? It looks like a mini milk bottle, which is just what I wanted. And, I get to reuse a bunch of old frappuccino bottles. Reduce, recycle, reuse! So now I just need to figure out the best way to label it. I had thought about a tag tied to the neck with ribbon, but that could get messy. Then I thought I could get some vinyl cut by an old friend and just stick on the word "Bailey's". Seems easy enough, but I can't make up my mind.
Here's where you come in. I've mocked up some rickety versions of 4 different ideas I have. #'s 1-3 would be labels, stuck right to the bottle. Version #4 is adhesive vinyl cut lettering. Please, vote for your favorite by leaving a comment!

(That fabric they're sitting on is what my table runners will be made of)

March 25, 2008

Irresistible Gifts to Knit

This weekend Nick & I went to Borders so he could pick out something for his birthday (which was last Thursday). While Nick was in his usual section (computers), I took a quick look at the crafty magazines. I found this incredible treasure there, just calling my name.

It's a whole book of adorable little knitting patterns from the UK. It's from the makers of Simply Knitting magazine. Why didn't I find this when I lived there? All of these patterns are just to die for and were written by a man! Yes ladies, a man! His name is Alan Dart and I think I have a new hero.

Here's the first thing that caught my eye. How cute is that?

My friend Julie loves cows, I might start with this pattern.

A bunny in a bikini!?! Stop it!

Haha, I'm going to keep this book nearby so I can look forward to trying it out after the wedding. I'm a very beginning knitter, but this is really irresistible. I'm thinking gifts for myself. It might be the perfect thing for when I join the Stitch & Bitch group in Mill Valley. At least then I could get some help if I need it.

March 24, 2008

Anything New?

Hey, how's everyone doing? I feel so cut off from the world these days. The wedding is now just under 5 weeks away...gulp. I'm actually not feeling too stressed about it all coming together at this point. I've been getting a lot done lately. It really helped when I decided not to worry so much about my Etsy shops until the wedding's over. What's the point in having your own business if you can't give yourself a break sometimes?

I hate to bore everyone with all this wedding talk, so I'm going to start with our new cookie jar, Clyde. Nick & I saw him at Target this weekend and we liked the monkey cups & napkin holder so much we felt like we'd better bring home the cookie jar too. (I think Nick is starting to "get" monkeys a little) It's a good thing they didn't have these, I'm not sure I could have resisted. Doesn't Clyde just make you want to eat cookies? I actually got a chance to do a tiny bit of non-wedding sewing this weekend too. I sold this pretty bag to a pseudo-relative in England so I decided to whip up a matching zipper pouch. That red fabric was such a great find. Other than that, I've really only been doing wedding related crafting.

If you must know what wedding projects I'm finishing, I made all 6 neck ties this weekend. I even altered my old printed labels to reflect my upcoming name change (something I've been waiting for my whole life - no foolin'). Pretty good, eh?

I'm also well immersed into the construction of my dress. I made a muslin and have found that the pattern I chose fits me with almost no alteration. Great news! Now I have to cut into the pretty silk and lace. I'm a little nervous about that. I got a great book from Amazon that is giving me lots of tips on how to deal with lace. If you ever decide to make your own wedding dress, I highly recommend the book. Thank goodness I chose a really easy pattern. I'm not going to show any pictures of the dress, sorry, I want some things to be a secret.
And lastly, I came home today to find a very exciting box waiting for me. My friend Sue has finished carving my personalized cake topper. That's right. Nick, myself, Jody and Maple. So great to have something so personal. Hehe

Have a lovely week everyone. I hope it's as springy where you are as it is here in Marin. xo

March 18, 2008

7 Things...Thing

I was recently tagged by Shannon of Hugs and Kisses Baby Boutique, so I have to give you 7 factoids about me. Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

And here are my factoids:

1. We have waaaay too many stuffed animals in our house. This one's definitely a "we" and not an "I" thing. Nick likes to blame it on me, but he has as many as I do. I don't know what our problem is, they're just so cute. We can't resist sometimes.

2. I have chronic bad hair. Yes, every day of my life pretty much. The only time my hair is presentable is the day I get it cut. I was born without the hair & makeup genes. It always looks bad no matter what I do. It didn't help that I had the Dorky Hammel cut for about 5 years as a kid. Thanks for that Mom.

3. We have too many DVD's too. This is definitely my fault. Well, not totally my fault, but mostly my DVD's. I always have a movie going while I'm sewing so they can come in handy. I blame the quantity on some guys I used to work with at Disney that I lovingly called "the Little Brothers". Accompanying them to Best Buy every Tuesday for new releases probably had an effect on the collection. I still can't find anything to watch. hmpf

4. I wear Crocs even though they're hideous. My feet are a mess and I have a hard time with shoes. I know, they're ugly as sin these Crocs, but I love them. I try not to wear them out too much, I treat them as slippers most of the time. So sue me.

5. I used to be the "Geyser Girl" for the Angels baseball team in Anaheim. I got to sit in the press box for every game and push the buttons to make those silly fountains go off for home runs & stuff. I did that job for 5 years. It was kind of fun because a lot of people thought it was such a cool job (more like boring - I'm a hockey girl). I felt like a celebrity sometimes, haha. I did make some great friends at that job, that's the best thing about it. It'll make a great story when I'm old & grey(er).

6. I ate about 10 of these cookies the other night. This is not my usual habit. I LOVE cookies, but I generally have 1 or two tiny ones. I guess all this wedding planning stuff is getting to me. I'm a sucker for the Ginger Thins from IKEA. They taste like the ginger snaps of my youth...yummy. Still, as of today, I've maintained my weight loss at 25 pounds. Bring on the cookies!

7. I don't do "fun" things. I don't ride roller coasters, I don't dance, play pool, ski...the list goes on & on. I'm no fun. I get this from my mom. Sorry.

SO now I have to bestow the honor of personal factoid research on 7 friends. Sorry folks, gotta follow the rules. Save it for a rainy day...


Good luck ladies.

March 17, 2008

One Big Project

I just popped in to tell you guys I've finished my flower girl's dress for the wedding. Nick's niece Evie will wear it, I hope she likes it.

The pink fabrics are taffeta so they have some weight and make a nice swishy sound. The cranberry color around the waist is organza. I think I'll do a little adjustment to it in front, but it's mostly there. Just need a couple buttons on the pinafore and I've got another big thing crossed off the list. Yay!

A Sure Sign

I was all ready to show you how productive Nick & I were this weekend when I realized it's St. Patrick's Day! Haha, that proves how distracted I am at the moment. I'm not wearing green but I doubt I'll see any humans today anyway. Happy St. Paddy's Day, hope no one gets pinched!

Because the sun still isn't up, & I can't take any pictures, I'll have to start with what my friendly neighborhood mailman brought me last week. It was like my birthday! The first treasure was a huge surprise from my Aunt Kathy. I opened the front door to get the mail and was greeted by a box with cute monkeys printed around my name. I was very excited. Inside I found 8 monkey tumblers and a cool monkey napkin holder. Don't you love knowing that someone was thinking of you? This little package made my day for sure! Thanks so much Kathy.
Another wonderful package arrived on the same day. Elizabeth Williams was the featured seller on Etsy recently and I couldn't help but make a purchase from her pretty shop. I've been searching for some jewelry for my matron of honor for weeks now & I finally found want. I think this set will look lovely with Catherine's chocolate brown dress. I love the way EliWill does her earring cards, don't you?

I also got a new set of buttons to give away with monkey orders from marajane creations. This was the 3rd order I've placed with Mary. She's super fast and her quality is excellent. I tried out a new design this time...what do you think? I like the concept, but next time I think a colored background, or a colored coffee cup. Still, these will be great when I sell my monkey cup cozies. Gotta love the mailman.

I also received this bracelet kit for the flower girl to put together at the rehearsal dinner. I think she'll enjoy that. Very pink! And this cool soap for Nick's nephew. Sweet!

I mentioned productivity, didn't I? I guess it'll have to wait until tomorrow, the sun still isn't up enough for my camera. Have a great Monday.

March 14, 2008

The New Pink

First off, I want to apologize for not reading your blogs as much as usual. I feel really bad, I'm just a little busy. Sorry! I'd really like to be blogging more too, but the sewing machine is calling me.
Anyway, I thought I'd show you a new color I got for the monkeys. It's pink! I seem to be drawn to pink lately so I couldn't resist this yarn.

Isn't it a lovely, soft color? I'm in love. I made this pencil cup the other night and thought it would be a good time to try the new pink. I love it! This monkey's called Stacey and she was already adopted.

Now I'm going to list Miss Jennifer, she's a Nano Monkey. I got a chance to use a fancy button on her hat, she's a cutie, eh? I got some pretty new yellow too and lots of beige for monkey mouths. I do have 80 or so to make for the wedding. Don't worry, they're in the works, hehe.

Oh! And I finally started to destash. So far I've listed one pattern and some really cute monkey flannel in my iSew shop. More to come.

Now I'm off to make a pink flower girl dress. Wish me luck, I think it can be done today, uh, maybe by Monday. Have a great weekend!

March 11, 2008

Gettin' Busy

What do ya mean it's Tuesday? Time flies, eh? Nick & I went away this weekend to do some more wedding "stuff". We met with the florist, found someone to marry us (that's a biggie) and I got my hair done (let's just say that's a decision that hasn't been made yet). Things seem to be coming together. If I could only find the time to work on all of these wedding crafts I need to do.

I got a chance last week to test an idea I have for the table numbers. I want to get some more appropriate buttons, but I like the concept. I haven't stuck anything down, these were just a test. I'd love to find some darker buttons for this project, maybe these. I'll get back to that later.

My larger issue, until today, was my shoes. I told you a while ago how I'd ordered some shoes online. Well, they were too small and too high, but really cute. The second pair I ordered were just, well, no good. I've been really struggling with this shoe thing. I'm not a "shoe person". I'm not into them at all. So I did a little searching on the good old internet and came across a place nearby where I could actually look at them in person. Wow! So old-fashioned. Anyway, I went down there and got these. I know, they're kinda boring, but at this point I'm happy to have something. I paid way too much for them, but it's another task off the list. Tonight we go check out some velvet for Nick's snazzy jacket. Bet you can't wait to see that.

I'll leave you with a quick shot of Maple being as helpful as ever. She loves to sleep on top of the dresser. When I opened the drawer to put my socks away, she didn't hesitate to jump in. Feel free to disregard the Snoopy socks & Mickey Mouse towels (I think I've just blown my cover, I'm a total dork!).

March 06, 2008

Budding Artist

(Click the picture to see a larger version)

I've got a very good customer in PA who's bought about a gazillion monkeys. I'm not exactly sure what she's doing with them all, but she could easily open her own shop by now...I hope she doesn't.

Anyway, Wendy sent me this picture of a poster her 5 year old son made recently. They were taking a look at all the monkeys on my Flickr account and he thought it would be fun to print them. He then spent almost 3 hours arranging the monkeys in a cool rainbow pattern with colored paper. I think he had some help from a younger sibling, but he did most of this himself! Wow! I'm impressed. Perhaps I've got a future assistant out there in Pennsylvania. Keep up the good work!

To honor Wendy, and her son, I've added a new monkey to the shop today. His name is Skippy and he's a cute little purse. I've made purses before, but Skippy's an all new size. Very handy for a quick trip to the market. He's already making himself comfortable at the Monkey Travel Club shop. Stop by and say hi to Skippy, but be quick...Wendy's a fanatic and I think she stalks the shop for new stuff. lol Just teasing. And remember, if you have one of my monkeys, remember to send me some photos. I'd love to add them to the Flickr Group.

March 05, 2008


I'm happy to report that I was not chosen as a juror yesterday. YAY! Although it was very interesting listening to the jury get selected, I was on the edge of my seat every time a name was called. Thank you jury duty gods! Now, back to work.
Yesterday was actually an exciting day in the end. When I got home from the Civic Center I found that my friendly neighborhood mailman had delivered a wonderful box from Canada. Isn't it great when you forget that you're expecting something and then it shows up? Yesssss.

Before you gasp and exclaim what an ugly dish I've purchased, let me give you the back story. When I was growing up, we lived about 15 miles from Disneyland. Needless to say, I was lucky enough to go there quite a lot as a kid and I loved it. I mean L-O-V-E-d it. Still do. My mom used to have this dish on her knick knack table in our living room (there was even a bowl of fake grapes on that table - lol). I can remember dusting it at about the age of 8, so it really stuck in my mind. Later on in life I ended up working at Disneyland, from 1992-2006. It's sort of a huge part of my identity. So when I saw this dish in a Storque article on Etsy about a week ago, I instantly bought it. Gasp! I was so happy to find it. I know, I know, it's hideous, but the memories are so worth it. And a quick thanks to greenhearts for sending it so quickly from beautiful British Columbia!

March 04, 2008

Perfect Timing

Because I'm not feeling stressed out enough, Marin County has given me what my friend David likes to call a "curve ball" (he's from Taiwan so it sounds pretty funny). I have jury duty! Yes, how convenient, eh? I had planned on starting my wedding dress today but I'm going to go sit still for 8 hours instead. And just so you understand, I don't do "sit still". It will be torture. I had thought of it as a good time to work on monkeys, but when I called to see if I need to go in, they actually said, "no knitting needles" on the recorded message. ugh I wish I was in the middle of a great book right now.

Thankfully, I have made some progress lately so I can just look at it like a day off. I bought a ton of crystals & pearls this weekend to make my own jewelry and headband (yes, I'm insane). I don't like jewelry so I couldn't spend another minute searching Etsy for it - I'll do it myself. All I need is some wire and I'm set.
The shoes I ordered were too small and high, so I've ordered a second choice. Let's hope they fit because I like shoes even less than jewelry, sorry girls. As simple as these shoes are, I think they'll go well with my dress. I also made some headway on the chair covers. They're all ready to be hemmed now, they should be done by the end of the week. That's a large project off the To Do List. I'm definitely starting to feel the pressure. For the last two days I've had an uncontrollable urge to eat and eat just about anything. I'm sure it's stress. I even broke out the Hob Nobs yesterday. Mmmmm, look at that oaty goodness.

Let's hope I can get things under control. I don't want to have to take out my dress before I even make it! ha Have a great Tuesday, wish me luck and hope that I'll get sent home early.

p.s. Check out Jenn's new totes, omg. I want that monkey!