May 31, 2007

A Grand Day Out

I got to go on a little fabric odyssey today and it was a pretty good time. Nick had a seminar or some such thing over at Google in San Jose, so I drove him down there this morning & spent the rest of the day finding fabric stores. I went to 3 quilt fabric shops and 1 very large JoAnn store that I've already been to 3 times. Can I help it if Sisters n Stitches is off the same exit as the big JoAnn? Nope.
Here's some of what I got today...

I finally got a call back from the Marin County Farmer's Market today too. Their next jury selection will be July12th. That gives me a little less than 6 weeks to get some things made and get my booth in order. They require photos or drawings of my booth, and I've never done a show. I figure I'll just set it all up in the driveway and take some pictures. That'll give me some practice too. I want to get a tent and hang a quilt in the back with my logo on it. I got the fabric for that today too, so I hope to get it made pretty quickly. I got some fabrics to make more of my pennants (the fat quarters upper left corner, there's some boyish ones too) so I can hang them in the tent as well.

Those tags you see there were only $1.00 for a pack of 88 and I liked that they were so colorful. I plan to make my price tags out of them. Not sure yet what I'll do with the red floral print, but it was on sale for $5.99 a yard and it's sooo pretty. I got that at the first shop, Prairie Queen Quilts, in San Jose. It was a pretty big store, and had lots of great stuff on sale. Nick would be proud of how little I actually got at these places.

Tomorrow maybe I can work on situating my sewing room. What a mess of boxes everywhere. eugh

May 29, 2007

Tomorrow's a Big Day

Guess what's gonna be here tomorrow?

That's right. Our shipment from the UK, completely and exactly on schedule, is being delivered tomorrow. Nick is really glad that he'll have his stuff around him again, and I am too. The only downside is the unpacking I'll be doing...again. Because of the lack of bookcases etc., a good portion of what I had in storage here in California is still in boxes in the garage. Nevertheless, we're looking forward to seeing all of our things in one place. (A HUGE thank you to Sterling Relocation, they were amazing. Unless all my stuff is broken)

It will be fun to get my sewing room sorted out. At the moment, it's still just a 6' table and a bookcase. I've really been missing some things (see photo), especially supplies. I've had to go out and buy so many things that I know I have a million of. I have enough fabric these days to open my own shop. I'm seriously thinking of stealing Missses Kwitty's idea and making some inspiration kits or something. Though I only have fabric and not all that other cool stuff she uses. There are probably a lot of books I can get rid of too. Maybe I'll add some de-stashing items to my Etsy shop. As if I needed more things to do. Aaargh!

And on another note, we had a great time this weekend at Ji
m & Julie's. Her very nice son was there and her sister too. I'd never met Julie's sister, so it was a treat. She recently moved back to California after a brief stay in New Brunswick. She had been very helpful to me while I was in the Canadian Residence process. Too bad it didn't work out for me. Don't get me started on that subject.

Anyway, the weather was nice, a bit hot at times, but not bad. The drive was shorter than I expected, and I got lots of monkeys made. Nick w
as happy to be able to do nothing for a few days too. All in all, we're really glad we went.

Here's just one photo of Jim & Julie's property. I took this out in front of their house, you can just see the fence through the trees. Nice.Happy Tuesday!

May 27, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

Hello from beautiful Ahwahnee California. Nick & I decided to take advantage of the holiday weekend and get away. It's great to be back in California so we can visit my friends Jim & Julie who live 20 minutes from Yosemite National Park. It was only a 3 hour drive, and I was expecting 4. I guess we'll be visiting a lot, haha. Jim, Julie & I met back when I used to play roller hockey, about 7 or 8 years ago. They're the nicest people and they love having company, lucky us. They even put up Nick's parents on their trip through California in March.

We won't make it to Yosemite this time, but no one wants to go there on a holiday weekend anyway. Here's a picture of my first gadget monkey on our last trip up here in February. Jim & Julie are the proud owners of Randy and have taken loads of great pictures of him. While we're here I've been hoping to get lots of new monkeys made. I've got a couple new ideas in the works, I hope you like them. So far I've made about 4 and a second one of these...he's a gadget monkey keychain! I recently made my 50th Etsy sale to a repeat customer in Maine, so I made this keychain as a gift for her. He turned out pretty cute, so I'm going to make some more. If I can get into the Marin County Farmer's Market it'll be good to have some lower priced items.
That's it for me right now, hope everyone has a great weekend and gets lots of free time to do what they want. I'm off to make a custom monkey for a buyer in Austria. How cool is that?

May 25, 2007

A Good Sign

Yesterday I finally got to get a haircut. It's only been a few months (pretty good for me) but I was desperate. I got a tip from a lady at my Weight Watchers meeting (yeah, I'm just trying to shed a few. I hate being over 30) and the guy was great. He had all sorts of local tips about parks to visit, places to go etc. Anyway, we got to talking about my business(es) and he said he had some great contacts and would definitely be making some calls. He also asked me if I'd been to the Farmer's Market yet. I think I may have mentioned it in a previous post. I had high hopes & it turned out to be rubbish. The sort of thing where you expect to see little children selling Chicklets. He said, "Nooooo, the one at the Civic Center...on Sundays & Thursdays." "Oh, that one. Umm, no, but I've seen the signs for it on our street." The ding-dang thing is across the freeway from where we live.

So, Rick proceeded to tell me how huge the San Rafael Market is, especially the one on Sunday. Being a person who needs more exercise, I decided I'd go for a walk. It just so happened that yesterday was a Farmer's Market day. Poor little me had to go past that Frank Lloyd Wright Marin County Civic Center to find the market, but it was a nice walk (I found a Post Office on the way too, yeah). The market was really nice, packed with people, and had at least 10 crafty booths. It wasn't huge, but it was good. I spoke to a ceramics dealer & he said the one on Sundays was at least 3 times the size of the Thursday. Sounds good to me.

I was very encouraged at this point so I made my way over to the Market organizer booth. There were 3 ladies there, all very nice. I asked them what I need to do to sell at their lovely market.

The first question to me was, "What do you sell?.

I reply, "Diaper Bags, handbags, booties, bibs, quilts.....and these." (whips out gadget monkey with neck strap, conveniently located on body at that moment)

"Gasp!" "Oh my God!" "He's so cute!" "That's adorable!" From the ladies.

I took this as a good sign. They told me that the market is juried, by your peers, on a quarterly basis and were certain I would be accepted with those wonderful monkeys. Also, one of the ladies bought the monkey right off me. That's definitely a good sign. So when I got home, I left a message for the man in charge. I'm a bit worried that the jury process will not happen again for a while, but I can't be sure until I hear back. Most likely on Tuesday. The point is, I'm really excited about this Farmer's Market. For one, it's walking distance from my house. #2 - It's every weekend & Thursday - year round. #3 - $42 for a 10x10' space. In proper Napoleon Dynamite voice, "Yessssssss".

Wish me luck. Also, this is what I came home with. Hope I don't spend all my money if I start selling at this thing. Hey, they were only $8.00!And no, the kitties haven't even knocked it over yet. :) Wait a minute, nope, still good.

p.p.s Jody had his stitches out this morning and is very happy to be collar-free. He's sooo much better these days and completely back to his sweet self.

May 23, 2007

Don't Laugh

Because my gadget monkeys have been my top seller, I have been thinking about other versions of them to sell. This is one of the first ideas that came to mind, it's just taken a while to make one. Just what you've all been waiting for, a monkey purse! He's not a big purse, just the right size for some cash, a phone & some lip balm. I named him Stanley, after one of my favorite ex-coworkers. I think he's quite a handsome fellow. He'll be available soon on and in my Etsy shop for about $20.

What's on your sewing table?

Last night I was feeling really motivated so I cut out a bunch of stuff to sew today. I'm hoping to get myself into some craft fairs this summer so it can't hurt to stock up, right? I cut out 4 pairs of booties & 3 tote bags. If I'm really good, and get drag myself off the computer, I can get some of it made today before I have to go to the bank. I have stacks of fabric hanging on the stair rail, waiting to be ironed & cut too. Lots to do.

I've been searching online for some shows and I think I may have made some head-way. I found this site yesterday, there seemed to be a lot listed for the Bay Area. I need to get myself a calendar and start mapping out which ones I should apply for. There were a lot of them that make the seller pay 10%, I don't think I'm into that. I'm looking forward to selling at a craft show, I think my items will do well in person. I'm a bit nervous too, though I know I shouldn't be. I used to set up events for a living, I shouldn't have a hard time coming up with a nice display. Too bad I don't know anyone around here yet to come along & keep me company. Poor Nick won't enjoy it much. He loved the Maker Faire this past weekend. (sorry I didn't mention it sooner...hey, I went to the Maker Faire this weekend) It was a lot more fun for Nick than for me really. The CRAFT portion was a lot smaller and unimpressive if you ask me. I'm a total event snob, but it really lacked signs & continuity. We both found it really hard to understand what things were. Still, it was a great time. The life-sized Mousetrap was my favorite. You remember that game, from when we were kids (those of us in our 30's)? That was pretty cool. I didn't take any pictures, so you'll have to look on Flickr. Anyway, we had a good time & Nick may have found himself a geeky activity to do in his spare time (, yeah). Guess I should make one of those I heart nerds t-shirts next, haha. Just kidding Nick.

I was pretty busy yesterday with this too:

It was a sort of custom order for a friend. I mailed it to her sister-in-law for her birthday, I hope she likes it. (Happy Birthday Chris)

And this is Diana. She's a custom Gadget Monkey for Sheri in Arizona. Diana loves to play outside and pick flowers. She kind of looks like a flower basket, doesn't she? Have a good time in Arizona Diana. I hope you like desert flowers too.

May 19, 2007

I just can't get over it

Chico is my boyfriend infinity!

Words cannot describe...

My new friend Chico. OH MY GOSH! Thank you , thank you, thank YOU Jenn Maruska Design. Chico is the best thing since sliced with sprinkles, yeah pretty much the best thing ever. I received my pretty pink tasket today along with Chico the monkey and his little blankie. I'm the luckiest girl ever. You have made my week, month. You're the best Jenn!
Chico has met his new roomies and is making himself comfortable. I'll keep an eye on him, there was a close call when he met Maple. Maple's naughty.

And congratulations on your 100th sale Jenn! Your shop is great and everything you make too (especially monkeys).

May 18, 2007

Hooray! I made something

Yeah, I know, I made those new shopper totes last week (I sold both of them on Etsy, by the way). But seriously, I've had this diaper bag planned for a while. I cut it all out while I was still living in England. And here it is at last. I even remembered to take a couple pictures along the way to show my "process". HaHa

These are just a few shots of what happens along the way. I don't want to get into a long description, that would bore you. Thanks for looking anyway.

May 16, 2007

Time Management

Nope. I really need to set myself up with a schedule. I'm all over the place these days. With a cat in the hospital, things to mail, presents to sew, I'm hopeless. I haven't blogged in days, oh whoa is me. haha Anyway, I thought I'd do a quick little post about my sewing room. It's not much at the moment, but there's lots of potential.
Plenty of windows for good, natural light. A big closet for hiding supplies (I don't like clutter). I think it will shape up nicely. You can see my cool folding table there now. I got that to use for craft shows. If only I could find one to participate in. It's working out well as a sewing table while I wait for the shipment.

I still haven't figured out what pictures to hang in here. I've got a ton in boxes down in the garage, but I can't decide which ones to use for my room. It's a dilemma. I just ordered a cute little tasket from Jenn Maruska that will look great in this room, I guess I'll start from there. Any suggestions?

May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Finally, some good news about Jody...he's home & happy. Well, he's not happy about his fancy new collar, but he's definitely happy to be home. Back to eating & drinking & visiting the litter box...hooray! This is definitely a Happy Mother's Day for me. I got a card from my two kitties and everything. How'd Jody sign a card from the hospital anyway? Clever boy.

May 10, 2007

Etsy Love #4

For those of you who love monkeys like I do, check out BreezeB's shop on Etsy. Her sock monkey art is fantastic, I love her shop. There are onesies, and artwork featuring these cute little monkeys. Please, go take a look. And don't worry, if monkeys aren't your thing, she's got a kitty and a bunny too.

May 09, 2007

My Lovely Boy

Nope, this picture wasn't taken today. My little Jody-Jo is still at the hospital. Yep. He's had every kind of test, and passed them all. He's just not healing right. His latest catheter was in place for over 36 hours, up until about 6:30pm tonight. I spoke to the doctor just now & he says poor little Jody is still struggling to have a wee. If he doesn't produce for the doctors tonight, he'll probably need surgery. I only wish he could have had it a few days and few $1,000 ago. He's had to suffer all this time & now may have surgery. My poor little baby.
Thanks for all the well wishes & kind words from everyone, by the way. I told Jody that he has lots of friends out there thinking about him. I'm sure he appreciates all the love.

May 06, 2007

A Little Under the Weather

Just wanted to do a little post about my baby, Jody. He's in the hospital with a blocked up bladder. Poor little guy just wasn't himself on Friday so I took him in. He's still there and is very uncomfortable. They had to catheterize him 3 times now. Isn't is terrible when there's nothing you can do? I'll get to visit him in the morning, hope he's feeling better. He's ultra-sensitive, I think it was the stress of moving. Anyway, the doctor says he just needs some time to heal. Send him your good karma please. :(

May 05, 2007

I've been tagged...again

I've been tagged again, by Secret Boyfriend this time. It's a different game though, here are the rules:

-Write 7 random facts/habits about yourself on your blog
-Choose another 7 people to get tagged and list their names (then make sure you go to those people's blogs to let them know they're "it").

So here goes:
1. I'm a huge hockey fan. I love it, I even used to play. No kidding, a seamstress hockey player.

2. I worked at Disneyland for over 14 years and I still can't wait to go there again. I miss it terribly (not the job, and no, I wasn't Mickey Mouse).

3. I am overly neat. I think I've vacuumed the upstairs about 4 times in the last week.

4. I have a rotten self image & sometimes think that Nick will tire of it and leave me. I'm working on that.

5. I applied for Permanent Residence in Canada and got turned down. I waited more than 2 years to find this out. No Nova Scotia for me.

6. I'm completely crazy for cheesey old Disney movies. Freaky Friday with Jody Foster is my favorite, The Parent Trap, anything with a monkey or Kurt Russell. Love them all.

7. I'm a bit of a font geek. I often know the names of them and have been known to love and hate certain fonts.

Now, for the reciprocal tagging.....(sorry if you've been tagged already, I don't know many bloggers)

Jenn, right back at you
Mint Basil
See Katie Sew
Sticks & Stones
This Girl Beads

Oh, and by the way, I was tagged again, but I'm gonna wait a bit to post the next list of uninteresting factoids about me.

May 04, 2007

Shameless Plug for the film "Civic Duty"

Please oh please go see this movie if it's in your area. My friend Andrew wrote and produced it. Oh my god! It comes out Friday, May If it gets seen, it will be seen in a lot more theaters and my friend will become successful and famous. It's not that much to ask, is it? Have I ever asked you for anything?

Please. Check out the trailer here...
I'd tell you more about it, but I read it a long time ago, it's changed since then but I'm sure it's gonna be cool. There's a great cast. If you go see it, please post a comment here & tell me what you thought (unless it's bad...haha).

Out the Window

I just have to say how cool it is that I can see a Frank Lloyd Wright building from my house! I'm a huge fan of architecture, and this is a big deal to me. From my sewing room window!! Wow.

The Marin County Civic Center

May 03, 2007

A New Bag!

I just wanted to do a quick little post about the new bag I made today. I've been wanting to add a little shopping tote to my shop for a while, and here it is. I'm calling it Charlotte after a friend of mine. I haven't put it in any of my shops yet, I ran out of time today. Just wanted to get your opinions and ideas on how much I should charge for it. There are shopping totes on Etsy anywhere from $8 to $50. This one is made from good quality quilter's cotton, is lined and has a pocket inside. Measures about 15" wide x 14.5" tall with 18.5" handles. It's washable too! Please, tell me what you think.

p.s. Mrs. Kwitty, i thought of you when I bought this fabric!

May 02, 2007

I've been Tagged

Okay, so my friend Jenn has tagged me. Does this mean I have to tag someone else?? Anyway, I have to type my first name into Google along with the word "needs". Here are the top 10 funny things that came up....

1. Island Cat Resources & Adoption - Adoption Gallery GINNY - Ummm, I think this one's really appropriate. A listing for a cat that's up for adoption...purrrfect.

2. -- Humble Awakenings Humble Awakenings. Sunday, March 20, 2005 Ginny Needs Our Help ... No, really, I'm fine

3. Orlando Sentinel - Ginny R needs help reading Dixie Chicks reviews ... Never!

4. CBBC Newsround GALLERIES Chamber of Secrets, part 2 Ginny needs rescuing! 9/11 Ginny needs rescuing! And Harry's the boy to do it! This was bound to happen, the secret's out, I'm the character in Harry Potter. Please don't tell too many people.

5. Ginny Potter - A Harry Potter Fanfiction Archive and Community This might be my favorite. It's a site for Harry Potter fans who are hoping for a connection between Harry Potter & Ginny Weasley. What did people do before the internet?

6. The "Different Truth" for Women. . .
Curiously, doing what Ginny needs for herself and living with the life she's made causes problems for her daughter Ellery. For the record, Nick, I have no children. (Except the four legged variety)

7. eBay: GINNY DOLL - 1984 Alright, how many people do you know named Ginny? There's a doll?

8. Luna,Neville and Ginny: A new Trio? Yep, another Hrry Potter site. Sigh, I'm so famous.

9. ActBlue — Kos Dozen Ginny needs the money to get the message out. Wow! How'd they know?

10. Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite Enough said

Haha That was fun, thanks Jenn. Now, who do I tag? How about Nick, everyone else I know that blogs has already been tagged. Sad isn't it?

May 01, 2007

The Last Piece of the Puzzle

Raise your hand of you're sick of hearing about my move back to California. (extended pause) I thought so, sorry. Maybe this will be the last thing for a bit, haha.
Nick & I have spent the better part of the past week shopping. We got a bed, a bed frame, a kitchen rug, groceries, a new computer, a Dyson vaccum (more on that later), and a bunch more. While we were out & about, discovering our new area, we pretty much found everything we need. Ice cream shop. JoAnn Fabrics. The Container Store. Target. Costco. You know, the basic necessities. There was just one thing missing. . . a quilt fabric store. So yesterday I set out to find one, it was Nick's first day at work, and my first day alone. I can be a little old fashioned, so I started with the phone book. (It's that big yellow one they throw in front of your house every year or so) Not much luck there, but I happened upon a listing online for a shop in Petaluma, about 20 miles north of where we live in San Rafael. Close enough for me!

Well, Petaluma turned out to be a pretty cute little town. Nick & I are definitely going to have to go there some weekend & have a walk around. The Quilted Angel turned out to be my savior. It's big, for one thing. As soon as I walked in the door, I knew I'd found what I was looking for. There was vintage reproduction, April Cornell's Sunshine collection, Chocolat, Asian, flannel, Peas & Carrots! Need I say more? This store is great.. I was pleased as punch walking around just seeing all the beautiful, neatly organized bolts. I was in heaven. Sad, isn't it? But seriously, there was one store that kind of came close to this in where we lived in the UK (a 45 minute drive), and the prices, forget about it. I'm so glad to have found this place. I can now honestly say that I'm happy here. I have everything I need.
And here's what I got...You didn't think I'd walk away empty handed, did you?