April 28, 2007

There's a new kid in town

It's Ruthie! She's the latest Gadget Monkey I put on my website. She's not on Etsy yet, but I suppose she will be soon. I've found that I get very few sales on the weekend so I'd rather wait until Monday to list a new item.
This not being able to sew thing is really hard. I took my old PFAFF in for a tune up and the guy won't even be in for another three days. Aargh! I guess Nick & I have been really busy this week buying stuff for the house & everything so it hasn't been so bad. He starts his new job Monday and I'll be stuck here alone. That's not gonna be fun without a sewing machine. I guess I'll be stocking up on monkeys again. I haen't sold much over the past 2 weeks so it seems like such a waste. Ever get discouraged because your sales are low? That's me right now. I've been trying to relist and post on the Etsy forums a lot, but still not much happening. I guess it'll pick up.
What I really want to do is get a second website going for my little monkey friends and spend some time promoting iSew.biz. I have a great book about online marketing, but it's on a ship with my sewing room! I'm afraid I don't even know where to start. I've done a lot already, but I still need to do way more. Maybe it's time to put an ad in a magazine. Any ideas which one? Me either.
Well, I'll worry about all that later. My Aunt is in town this week so she's stopping by tomorrow to see the house. That'll be a nice distraction on a Sunday.

April 27, 2007

Etsy Love #3 - Popshop by cocopopsicle

I can't resist being the first purchaser in an Etsy shop, here's one I bought a cute little keychain from whilst I was still in the UK. Cocopopsicle's shop, Popshop is filled with lots of sweet knit items, vintage jewelry and more. Please go check it out...she's new to Etsy & she needs your love. How cute is that keychain?
I want to say thanks to Mrs. Kwitty too. I recently won a little pink polka dotted tissue holder from her and I love it. No pictures as yet, but it came in very handy yesterday in San Francisco. Poor Nick is experiencing terrible hayfever these days. I'm glad I had my tissue! Thank you Mrs. Kwitty!
If you haven't seen these shops, please go check them out!

April 26, 2007

Where are they now?

With me!

Nick & I are now officially living in San Rafael with my kitties, Jody and Maple. I was pretty nervous about the car ride but it went very well. They went to the vet last week to get checked out for tranquilizers for the car trip, that all went well. Poor old Jody had to stay over night and have his teeth cleaned & some shots, but otherwise it went smooth.

They each had a tiny pill with a light breakfast before we got on the road. Neither of them went fully to sleep, but it definitely relaxed them. They were so good in the car we couldn't believe it. I only gave them the one pill each, and they were fine. Here's what they looked like about 5 or 6 hours into the trip. Gooood kitties.

We've now been in our new house for about 5 days. We're all adjusting well to our new surroundings. Nick & I have spent most of this week shopping. It's been fun, but tiring. We were able to buy a new bed on Tuesday which made life a lot better. I don't recommend air mattresses. eugh

Yesterday we took a drive to the coast on a long road that goes through some redwoods and some really beautiful hills. It took a while to get there, but it was worth it. It's very pretty around here, and that coastline was no exception.

I'm pretty sure this was the longest beach I've ever seen in California with no houses on it, very refreshing. It was really windy out on this point, I think it's Point Reyes. We passed a bunch of very old farms & lucky cows to find this lighthouse. It was so windy there that the stairway was closed, it made for some big waves too. We drove home via the north and passed even more beautiful rolling hills and some very expensive homes including Skywalker Ranch (super secret compound of Star Wars creator, George Lucas). Not too shabby, I must say.
Anyway, that's it for today. It's good to be landed. Now I just need my sewing room to get delivered. I think it's somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean at the moment. :O

April 20, 2007

All Quiet on the Western Front

I don't like being homeless. It stinks! I haven't been able to post anything on my blog, make anything new...nothing. I don't like it at all.
For those of you keeping track of my move, I'm in California now. Good to be back in some ways. It's been 4 days since I landed and I've been running around the whole time. I think I've got nearly everything done that needs to be. Utilities turned on, cats have been to the vet, I've got my car back, all of my website products (well almost all) are in my posession, truck is partially loaded...what else can there be?
Nick is flying in, as we speak, so we can drive to the Bay Area tomorrow. I can't wait to see him. I think it must be a good sign when you miss someone so much. It's only been 4 or 5 days, what a sap. Anyway, I get to pick him up at LAX at 3pm today. Hooray! I know it's hard for him to leave home but I think we're in for a great adventure. (I'm not referring to the 7 hour drive with 2 cats either) I'm looking forward to getting settled in & making things again. It will be fun to be in a new place. I hope so anyway.
As for the crafty bits...I haven't really made anything all week. I got some new monkey yarn and lots of REALLY GREAT fabrics. Some I got in person, some from the mail man. I'll have plenty to do when we get moved in. I did make a new monkey on the flight home. The girl sitting next to me seemed very intrigued. He's called Charlie, but he's not for sale. I'm giving him to my friend David who's been looking after my 2 kitties for the past year. What a friend, eh? Actually, I think if he & his wife had a choice, they'd get to keep Jody & Maple. No dice! They're coming with me. Can't wait to get them tomorrow morning. Jody completely knows something's up, bless him. He's really smart that way, always knows what happening. Maple on the other hand, well, she's very pretty if you know what I mean. Ha Ha It'll be fun.
How's business? I sold a diaper bag and a pair of booties this week. Gave my niece the monkey you see here, Bruce, and sold 2 to my sister. Not bad for being so out of touch. I haven't been able to get online with my own computer so it's been difficult. Nick & I will have internet powers as of Tuesday morning at which point I'll be somewhat back in action. Anyway, so far, so good. Wish me luck...again. Oh yeah, I'll be doing the drawing for the monkey giveaway tonight, maybe I'll let Nick do it. :) Thanks for all the well wishes, it's nice to have friends.

April 15, 2007

Last night in the UK

Wel, the house is empty, the truck is empty & we're ready to go. Nick & I are leaving for London in a few minutes to stay near the airport. My flight leaves at noon tomorrow. It feels weird that in one week we'll be in our new house in San Rafael. Crazy how your life changes so quickly.

For the last time, CHEERS!

April 13, 2007


It's Friday the 13th & I'm sitting here waiting for a bunch of strange men to come & take our stuff away. Weird. I think, for the most part, the house is ready to go. I'm more concerned with what I have to fit into my suitcases that I'll need for the next 6 weeks. I guess I can just run to Target & get whatever I need. (It will be great to be able to do that) I hope it all goes smoothly and quickly.

More later.

April 11, 2007

The Monkey Bunch CONTEST!

So I had this idea to take a bunch of images of my little gadget monkeys & put them into a Brady Bunch type background. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be moving in a few days, but a girl needs a break every now & then. The thing is, I made 7 new monkeys over the last few days & I wanted to find a cool way to show them off. Besides, Nick doesn't like to see himself on my desktop. This will definitely make him smile when he sees my computer & these smiling faces are staring back at him. lol
I've actually been making good progress in the packing department. I don't have to pack much myself anyway, the moving guys will do most of it. I spent most of today sorting through the wardrobe in my sewing room to consolidate all the small stuff. I've got a diaper bag & 3 handbags cut out & bagged up so I can do some sewing in the new house before our shipment arrives. I get to use my old PFAFF again, that'll be fun!

I'd also like to announce my first Contest!
I currently have 3 monkeys for sale on iSew.biz and in my Etsy shop. Only 2 of them are seen in this picture. Send me a message through Etsy or my Blog with what their names are and the name of the 3rd monkey that's not shown here. If you answer correctly, your name will go into a drawing for a custom gadget monkey. Don't put your answer in a comment or you'll give it away! I'll choose the name on Friday, April 20th. Good luck!

April 07, 2007

I heart mail

When you live in a foreign country, you know one person and your friends are flakey...mail is an exciting thing. Today I received my cute little sewing kit from Jenn Maruska Design and I..LOVE..IT! I'm a big fan of polka dots anyway, but this kit is tooo cute. I can't wait to add it to my monkey making bag to hold my needles. Thanks Jenn & good luck at the show this weekend, I hope you sell everything!

And take a look at what else the postie brought me this week...part of the new Peas & Carrots collection from American Jane for Moda. Another one I've been anxiously awaiting. I really love these colors, the daisies especially. I got about 6 prints from the collection from Fat Quarter Shop and I'm expecting more from another shop. It's a little slow in arriving so far, sigh. That just means I'll get something next week too....I hope.
These fabrics will become a new Catie Diaper Bag for my shops. It might be after the move though. Not sure how much sewing I'll be doing this week. :(

April 06, 2007

Etsy Love #2 - Marmee Craft

This week's featured artist is Marmee Craft. Her Victorian inspired goodies are soooo cute. I'm in love with Mr. Hedgehog, he's needle felted and loves raspberry jam. How can you resist?

Marmee's shop is just full of sweet little bits of whimsy. Prints, dolls, original art and adorable little softies. Please stop by & check out Marmee Craft on Etsy.com! She's got a great Blog too.

April 04, 2007

Here's the latest

I sold my one Jenny bag last week, a miracle since I was out of town, so I decided to make another one. My original plan for this bag was to make a zipper version, and one with a flap closure. Here's the result... I think it turned out really pretty. (Naturally it's on iSew.biz and Etsy)

Things are getting a bit stressful now. The movers should be here a week from tomorrow to pack up the house. That will include 99% of my sewing room. This means I'll be unable to make new things for up to 6 weeks! (omg) Lucky for me, I have a sewing machine sitting in my cousin's closet in California right now. The problem is deciding what fabric & supplies to carry with me. I'm running out of time here. sigh

The good and the bad news - I have sold 2 monkeys, a diaper bag and a backpack since I got back on Monday. I just got some REALLY cute fabric to use for another Catie Diaper Bag too, it's going to be so sweet. The bad news - (not bad really) I have a backpack & monkey to make. I need to make a baby quilt for some friends & the fabric hasn't arrived yet. When it rains it poors, right?

More good news, Nick's work visa was approved yesterday so we will actually be moving in a week or two, haha. Just wish me luck getting the house we picked out. The owner wasn't planning to allow more than one pet, I have two. Wish me luck. The property manager man thinks it won't be a problem. (crosses fingers)

Back to the old sewing table now. Tomorrow's a holiday in the UK, I gotta get this backpack done so I can ship today! Cheers! And big hugs to my poor cousin Ryan in the hospital right now after having surgery on his jaw. Poor guy is in a ton of pain, send him your good karma please...and a milkshake.

April 01, 2007


Well, the trip's over & we're on our way home now. Nick & I have been sitting in San Francisco airport for about 2 hours now, one more to go. How cool is it that I can sit in an airport & check my email, add products to my shops and blog? I love that.
The trip was a success. We found a great place for us to live in San Rafael, north of San Francisco in Marin county. I'm really glad that's taken care of. It will make packing up the house in the UK a lot easier. I just hope we get the place, it doesn't sound like we'll have any problems. The house is a newish, 3 bedroom in a nice little neighborhood. I'll have a sewing room with a big closet and inside laundry. Hooray! I can't wait to be able to do laundry with a working washer & dryer. I can't wait!
Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting home & back to the sewing machine for a bit before we pack up. I guess I'll have to take a short break while we're in between countries, but it will be worth it! Off for the plane now.