June 29, 2007

Etsy Love #6 etc.

First off on this lovely Friday morning, I want to say thank you to OhGrrrs! for my fabulous new bracelet. It arrived very quickly, was even more affordable, and I love it! I'm not a jewelry person, at all, but every now & then I'll wear a bracelet. I especially like button bracelets, and this one is so cute. The colors are great & some of the buttons even look like they're vintage. She package it up with this cute tag & button too, I love that. Please, go check out her shop on Etsy & maybe you can get one too.

And yesterday I made my first attempt at pin cushions. Here's the result. I used some fabric I had, and some I bought. I'm not planning to sell this one, but I think it turned out pretty cute.

And check out this cool monkey fabric I got last week. How could I resist? I'm not going to say what it's for, but it'll end up in my shop eventually. ;)

I'm also working on a logo quilt for my Farmer's Market booth, so far it's looking pretty good. When I've finished it, I'll be posting a tutorial on how I made it.

Have a great Friday and weekend!

June 27, 2007

Happiness is a Warm Puppy

This past weekend Nick & I decided to take a break and go for a quick little road trip. After my morning knitting class, we took off in the new car and headed north. Only 35 miles from us is the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Being a HUGE fan of Snoopy and Peanuts, this is a must see for me. I've actually been to the site before, but not the musem. There's also an ice rink where Schulz put on a senior hockey tournament for many years, a friend of mine's father-in-law played in it! We visited the museum and had a latte in the ice rink coffee shop, appropriately called, "The Warm Puppy". I'm just dying to skate there. There are even stained glass windows featuring our beloved beagle friend on skates. How cute.

After a short stop at the local fabric & craft shop (I have to know where to get my supplies), we headed east toward Sonoma and wine country. Not too far from Santa Rosa is the town of Sonoma, it's a lovely drive along a vineyard lined road. All of the grapevines are covered in leaves and the hills in Sonoma are full of them. We stopped in the downtown area and had a little walk around town. By that time most of the shops were closed, but I was very intrigued. (Will have to go back one day on my own and browse) There's a nice little park in front of the City Hall building. I ran around trying to snap some photos before dinner. Poor Nick. Anyway, we had a lovely afternoon and evening out, not far from home, and a good dinner at the Irish Pub. mmmmm

June 25, 2007

Making your own labels

I've had a few people ask me about my new home made labels, so I thought I'd say a bit about it here. In the past I've used embroidered labels for my handbags and quilts. They work fine but are time consuming to make and I'm not thrilled with the way they look. I decided to try some of those printable fabric sheets. I've been wanting a small, folded label that I can use for bibs, booties and pouches.
After speaking with my friend Jenn , she uses Printed Treasures, I went ahead and picked up a pack of this printable fabric at JoAnn Fabrics. "Colorfast Sew-In Inkjet Fabric sheets by June Tailor". I've been a bit hesitant in the past to try something like this as I'm concerned about frayed edges. There are products out there to rinse your printed fabric in, but it seemed like a lot of work to me. My original plan was to make the labels big enough so that I could just turn the edges under, that's what I do with my embroidered labels. After running a sheet of these through my printer, and cutting a few, I've found that they don't fray. These are not like regular cotton fabric, they have a slight vinyl texture to them. I think this is what keeps them from fraying, and allows for a very bright and clear print. I even tried to tear them with no luck.

They're easy to use as you can see from the image, that's all the directions you get. And, as for how "Colorfast" they are, only time will tell. I haven't actually put them to the test yet. I'm going to sew one into a shirt or towel and wash it a few times to see what happens.

Hope this answers your questions about my new labels. Good luck with yours, and let me know what you use.

June 24, 2007

Have I ever told you about Mr. Alligator?

Just thought I'd take a moment to introduce a very cherished member of the family, Mr. Alligator. My friend Troy gave him to me when I moved away to England. He's just the best alligator ever. That's all. (It's a Cal-King sized bed btw...he's as tall as me!)

June 21, 2007

Does this make me famous?

Last night I decided to go take a look at my Google Analytics results just to see what kind of traffic my blog and website are getting. If you don't know about Analytics, I won't even try to explain it, just got to the site & check it out, lol. As usual, I found that the number one referring site to my blog is Jenn Maruska's Blog, hey, thanks Jenn. But I also found a couple blogs referring to my website that I didn't recognize. Both are located in Norway, totally written in Norwegian so I don't know what they say. It was pretty easy to see what they story was

If I could only read Norwegian. sigh

Even though they aren't exactly the same as mine, I'm pretty flattered. This is a nicer form of copying. Cool.

June 20, 2007


I'm just sayin', JoAnn Fabrics is having a big sale right now. BIG!

I only went to get some more of that pirate print I mentioned in a previous post. Sometimes I just can't help myself. This is probably my favorite thing that I got there yesterday. The snuggle flannel is only $2 a yard! Gosh sakes, that's so cheap. I had to get all I could of this car print. How cool is that? I washed the whole pile of fabrics last night and I have to say, this flannel is ultra soft. Sometimes it feels so cheap in the store, but this stuff is yummy. I can't wait to use it!

Go check out the sale if you too are a fabric addict.

June 19, 2007

I'm a swapper

Hey! I just got the name of my swap partner for the Sweet Goodness Summer Fun: Bucket Full of Sunshine Swap! I'm so excited, this is my first swap. Hooray! I just happen to be headed to JoAnn Fabrics today and a few other places. Perfect timing. There's a huge Goodwill I've been wanting to check out, great excuse. My partner is from Arizona and this is her blog, check it out. I think we'll be a great match.
In other news, I already sold my new pirate tote bag so now I have to list something else! I'm not complaining. I was able to list a new zipper pouch last night. I used some scraps from a handbag I made to sew up this little pouch, I really love the colors.And after speaking a bit with my friend Jenn over at Jenn Maruska Design about fabric labels, I decided to try making some myself. I think I like them. I did this version for my smaller items. I embroider the ones on my quilts and handbags, but this is so much easier. The colors printed out really well too. I also did a version that has my complete logo with the dotted border. Now I need to make some monkey labels.Well, it's off to the shops for me. It's nice to get out of the house sometimes. Cheers!

June 18, 2007

No, I'm not trying to make you jealous

I think I've made mention in a previous post that I'm taking a beginning knitting class. This is the shop I'm taking it in. Atelier Marin is owned by a very nice young lady, who's younger than me...ouch. That's her there behind the counter, Amanda teaches the class and she's great. So far I've been to 2 classes and I'm really liking it, and not just because I get to speak to real live people besides Nick (no offense Hunny).

I really look forward to my class each week and am going to sign up for the next one. This week I start making a hat with this yummy purpley yarn. I'm so excited, I've always wanted to learn to knit properly.I've just put a new kids' tote on my website and Etsy shop too and have another one to list later this week, please check it out and have a great week!

June 13, 2007

A Couple of Dorks

We picked up the new car yesterday, it's really nice. We decided to take a nice drive on the way home so we headed to the coast. Down in Half Moon Bay we came across a British Pub. I was so excited, we had to stop. Not bad, and not too cheesey either. Heading north on Highway 1 at sunset was pretty great too. Another great place to take visitors, if we have any...hint, hint.

There was a really big, ugly shadow in this picture. I took it out & now Nick looks like he's floating. oops

June 12, 2007

Life in the Monkey Factory

Okay, maybe I shouldn't say "factory", that sounds so mass production. lol I made a bunch of new monkeys over the last week or so. Getting ready for the Farmer's Market and trying to list often on Etsy and on my site keeps me pretty busy. I'm trying out some new monkey colors too. The one in the gold hat is a yummy caramel color, the lavender hat monkey is a sort of latte brown. Not sure how I feel about them yet. We'll see if I sell them. :)
I also just finished a new zipper pouch, I sold the last one. I'm planning to make a bunch more of those, but maybe not take quite so long to do it. I spent way too much time piecing this new one together. Naughty girl.
And while I was doing a little online shopping yesterday, I came across this Tupperware Design Contest. Check it out, sounds like fun. (Maybe a collaborative effort for you & Josh, Jenn) I think I'm off to San Francisco today for lunch with Nick. We might get our new car tonight, wish us luck. Have a great Tuesday!

June 09, 2007

My Kind of Place - Buttons & Bows

And this will shock you....

This is all I bought. Six adorable monkey buttons. Oh my gosh, how cute are these guys? Would it be weird to use monkey buttons on monkeys? hmmm

Believe it or not, this shop just has too much to choose from. There is a whole wall of buttons, heaven. And the back wall is all lined with spools of gorgeous ribbons. The shop is called Buttons & Bows and it's in downtown San Anselmo, the next town over from where we live in San Rafael. It's run by a very nice woman who didn't mind me photographing her store for my blog, very helpful indeed. I think I'll go back today after the knitting class. I didn't want to make the wrong choice, so I decided to go home & take a look at my stash to decide what I should get. Not sure Nick will like this shop as much as I do, but there's a hobby shop down the road.

June 08, 2007

Happy Friday!

Well, I've been busy trying to stock up for my application to the Farmer's Market. I sold that aqua bag I recently posted about, so I guess I'm gonna have to make another one. I just listed some new very girly baby booties. Last night I started working on another mini monkey purse, hope to finish and list it today.
I took a walk over to the Farmer's Market again yesterday. I picked up some great veggies and got this cute onesie for my cousin, due in September. Hope she's not reading my blog this week, haha. The girl selling these onesies was very helpful answering my questions about the Market. She's not an Etsy seller, but I talked it up anyway. She has a website, but it's only a description of what she does and her email.
Anyway, no big plans for the weekend. Nick's off to his first Major League Baseball game tonight and I'm starting a knitting class tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. I'm only a very novice knitter so I'm hoping to get more skilled soon. It's a 4 week class, so I should come out of it with something. I gotta go pick out my materials today. Wish me luck! Have a great weekend too.

June 07, 2007

Feelin' Groovy

Just thought I'd give you a little update on Jody. He's completely back to normal (minus a little hair around the posterior) and happy as a clam. I'm so glad he had his surgery, it really seems to have cured his problem. Thanks for all the well wishes when he was in the hospital! "meeeow miao meow mew" - That was Jody saying thanks.

June 06, 2007

Sweet Goodness

I'm so excited, I finally go to sign up for a swap. I've been reading about them for months now and have felt very left out. So I got an email from Sweet Goodness Swaps about their latest, and I signed right up. I can't wait to participate and find out who my partner is. Weeee!

And yesterday I got a set of pennants made for my website & Etsy Shop, and I cut out a load more. I've been planning some Happy Birthday pennants for ages and just haven't gotten around to it. That might be what's cooking for today. Anyone have a good name for these new pennants? I keep thinking summer fruits, but there's no fruit in the fabrics, lol.

I must get to work, I've been catching up on some of my favorite blogs (Jenn Maruska Design, Whatever Strikes Mrs. Kwitty's Fancy, See Katie Sew, Fluffy Flowers, Mint Basil, This Girl Beads, Jump Up and Down...I could go on all day) this morning and I may get carried away. I read about some great things today in my blog list. As a matter of fact, go check out Fluffy Flowers' latest post. She's working on organizing her craft room. There are some great tips there in the comments. She's giving away a book too, I hope I win. Jenn over at Jenn Maruska Design did a post about her favorite tools & books a while back, and it was great...it's here.

June 04, 2007

Not just unpacking

I just wanted to mention that I'm still sewing. I spent a good part of yesterday on emptying boxes & building shelves for my sewing room, but I got to do a bit of sewing too. I bought the fabric for this bag about a month ago, wanting to add another one of these bags to my shops. Here's the result.

Maybe tomorrow I can make some small stuff. I've got booties cut out and really want to make some new pennants. Gotta prep for my craft booth. I will need lots of things on display when I set it up and take pictures.

Now I'm off to chop up some of the yummy veg I got at the Farmer's Market yesterday. mmmmmm

Etsy Love #5 - Felt at Home

I stumbled upon Felt at Home while I was living in the UK, I think I found them through the forums on Etsy. At the time I thought it was so cool to see other Etsy shops that were UK based, haha. Anyway, they are a 2 sister team based in Birmingham. (I've actually been there for a quilt show believe it or not) They do all sorts of really neat and unique handbags & purses from hand felted English merino wool. Their bags are so different. I love this doll purse especially. She's called Alexandra Elizabeth and her head is actually the handbag. If you check out her page on Etsy, you'll see that she has a zipper hidden underneath her "mass of golden curls". If my niece wasn't getting too old for these things (she's at the "cool" stage now, no dolls) I'd sooo get it for her. I wish I could come up with ideas like this.

Felt at Home also makes bracelets & necklaces so go check out their shop. Their international shipping rates seem very reasonable to me, and I'm speaking from experience here.