July 30, 2007

A Tiny Road Trip

On Saturday night, Nick & I set out to eat dinner and go for a walk on the coast in Sausalito. Heavy traffic urged us off the freeway, so we headed toward Muir Woods (only about 10 minutes from our house). We've been hearing about cool places to eat out that way so, why not? Well, we we ended up in a tiny town called Bolinas. We ate at a little cafe, Coast Cafe to be exact. It was a tiny place with lots of character and great food (and very strong coffee). There was even a quilt on the wall! We'll definitely be going out there again.
The drive out there goes over the hills and through the woods, literally, it was great. And on the way home we found the British pub that we've heard about. Can't wait to go back & check that out.
Sadly, I didn't get a ton of crafting done this weekend, but I had a great time with Nick. :)

July 27, 2007

What's Goin' On

I've got two custom orders in the works at the moment, not counting yet another monkey sale. My first actual quilt sale on Etsy from Cherie in Western Australia is what I'm working on first. She bought and chose the fabrics herself for her baby's crib quilt. The colors she chose are so sweet! Here's the fabric I received...Great color combo, eh? I've now cut the squares and have them laid out for sewing. I think it's going to be very cute when it's done. I should be able to make something cute from the leftovers too.

It's great fun to be quilting again, I haven't made a quilt in a few months. They don't sell much online so I've been busy doing other things.
That's it for me today, just a peek at one of my projects. Have a great Friday, speak to you soon. And if you ever need a quilt, don't hesitate to ask. ;)

July 26, 2007

Harry Potter Knits

Now that I'm mostly caught up with monkey orders, I thought I'd take a minute to tell you about this cool book I got last weekend while at my knitting class. "Charmed Knits", by Alison Hansel. It's full of Harry Potter inspired (it's not affiliated with J.K. Rowling or anything) knitting projects. This book is great! Nick & I had already decided to be Harry & Ginny for Halloween this year, so a pattern for a house sweater is just what I needed.

I've already started making our Gryffindor scarves. The yarn I'm using is really cheap stuff from Michael's, and it shows, but hey! I'm only wearing it one night. There are patterns in here for all kinds of house knits, some great hats, a robe and even Errol. I'm going to attempt a pair of socks next, just for practice. I think I can handle it, even though the pattern is for Ordinary Wizarding Level and I'm only a First Year. There's even a pattern to make a mini Weasley sweater for your Christmas tree. Not as cute as the ones Fluffy Flowers makes, but still worth checking out. So, if you're a knitter who loves Harry Potter, go check out this book of patterns. It's a good one.
And while I'm on the subject of Halloween (in July) I'll show you some cool prints I picked up yesterday on a scouting trip to Berkeley. There's a fabric store there that I had to go check out.
I got the Denyse Schmidt print on the bottom and the orange diamond print for 50% off! The others are from JoAnn Fabrics but just as cool and all on sale. Love that. I'm planning to make some inexpensive Trick or Treat Totes for Halloween this year. I was going for a Pottery Barn Kids Halloween look. I might applique "Trick or Treat" on the orange fabrics. What do you think? I think they'll be fun to make, and who can argue with a cute, washable and reusable bag? For now, I'll stick with monkeys though, it's too early to add Halloween to the shops.
Have a great day.

July 24, 2007

Etsy Front Page!

I finally made the front page! How cool to see my bright little monkeys on the home page of Etsy today. Thanks so much Jenn for telling me, hehehe. And thanks prisma for putting me in your Treasury, I sold 5 custom monkeys!

My First Swap

I've been holding off on this post to make sure my partner had her goodies, and now she does! So, here's all the neat stuff I got from Tamy in the Summer Bucket of Fun Swap.

I love it all, what a great theme. I wouldn't normally be drawn to this color scheme, but it's great, isn't it? I love the little tablecloth, it's on my kitchen table right now. And Nick had a nice tall drink adorned with a big flower cozy this weekend. lol Thanks so much Tamy for making my first swap such a great time. I hope everyone else had a good experience too. You can see more swap piccies on the swap group page on Flickr.

And just for kicks, here's my swap container that I made to send to Tamy. I did an unbleached cotton tote with a big sunshine on it. I've been wanting to do a sort of messy applique for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. I found 2 great orange and yellow pillowcases at the charity shop and was able to use one for the lining.

Can't wait for the next swap. what fun!

July 23, 2007

Etsy Love #7 - Sweet Paperie

Remember a few posts ago when I said I ordered some rubber stamps? Well, I got them on Friday and they're so cool. I got one with my logo and address & one with just the logo.

They came all wrapped up in chocolaty brown tissue with pretty green ribbons tied around their handles. Farrah even included a little surprise with my order, some sweet little thank you tags for me to use when sending out my orders.

As for my new rubber stamps, they're great. They both look fantastic and very clear. I'm so glad I was able to get exactly what I wanted. I'm a little picky when it comes to fonts & things, so this was a big plus for me.

If you're in the market for custom stamps, I highly recommend Sweet Papery over on Etsy. She's fairly new there, but she's already loaded with orders. Thanks Farrah & Good Luck!

July 20, 2007

Birds flying out of the shop

So here's a look at what I've made with my bedspread purchase from this weekend. A couple zipper pouches and a tote, actually I made two of the tote bag. Anyway, I'm excited to report that all of these items flew out of my shop in record time. Each one faster than the last. More coming soon, I promise.

I was over at Jenn's blog yesterday and was inspired by her post about her To Do List. I've been working hard on my list and especially on making it longer. I've had a new bag idea floating around in my head for a few weeks & last night I made the pattern and got two versions cut out (one using the birdie fabric). I'd been putting it off while trying to locate some off-white rickrack. Can you believe it's not a standard "buy it at JoAnn's" color? I don't get that. Anyway, I finally found "Cream" rickrack at eQuilter.com. I was so happy and I had to order some fabric for a special order anyway. Well, when I got it, the darn stuff turned out to be yellow. &#%@^@$ It's kind of cream, but more yellow. No matter what color it is, it simply won't work. Don't you hate it when you order something online & the color is totally not what you thought? ugh That's the trouble with computers I guess. It's so hard to make the colors look right.
I had a lady ask me today if a pair of my booties matched one of my bibs. She wants to have her son's photo taken wearing the items, how cute. Anyway, I was trying to send her a photo to show her, but the reds just don't ever look right. I think they look cute together anyway. See for yourself. If she buys these things, I hope she'll send me a picture of her little boy wearing them. How cute would that be on the customer appreciation page?
So, it's off to the post office for me. Have a great weekend, keep making things!

July 18, 2007

Zippy Zips

Seems like lately when I've posted pictures of my zippy pouches, I've been getting a lot of questions about how I attach the zippers. Well, here's what you've all been waiting for...the zippy zip mini tutorial! Wow! But seriously, this is an age old way of putting a zipper in a pouch, I just don't like the weird corners you get with a zipper going all the way to the edge. I didn't use a pattern, but this isn't rocket surgery folks.

Cut two small pieces of the fabric of your choice . This is a great way to use the little leftover bits. You need a piece big enough so that you can fold it in half and still reach the end of your pouch/bag. You'll end up with a tab at each end of the zipper. I like to make them too long and wide, then trim them later. Place the folded edge over the end of the zipper with just enough space so that you can stitch close to the fold without breaking your needle on the zipper stop/end. Then just top stitch through the fabric and zipper. If the tab is wider than the zipper, trim it to the width of the zipper tape. Once you've done this to both ends, trim the tabs so that the zipper & it's tabs are the same width as your pouch/bag.

Now, on the wrong side of the zipper, trim the ends of the zipper tape with pinking shears. I like to leave about 1/4". This way when you stitch the sides of your bag together, there's less bulk for turning. You'll never see this part once the bag's done because it gets tucked way up into the corner.

Now for the fun part. Place the zipper with it's tabs face down on one side panel of your pouch/bag. You have to stop and think at this point. Make sure you know what's what. Which side do you want the zipper pull to be on when the bag is closed? Is it the front or the back side? Anyway, line up the edge of the zipper and tabs with the top edge of your pouch, right sides together. Pin in place, trying not to make it too wobbly with pins. Take a lining piece and line it up with that same edge, right side together with the side panel. So, what you have now is the outside of the bag facing the zipper and the lining. Like a little sandwich with the zipper in between. Stitch through all three layers with about a 1/4" seam allowance. Press so the seam allowances are going away from the zipper and then do the same thing for the other side.

Now topstitch close to each edge and you have a very neatly placed zipper.

Here's what it looks like on the inside. A nice, neat and enclosed zipper. For a zippy pouch, I just fold in half at this point and stitch the open edges. Make sure the zipper is open for turning or you'll have a battle on your hands. Be sure to clip the corner to avoid bulk once it's turned.

Hope this all makes sense, happy zipping!

July 17, 2007


After all the preparation & waiting, I finally got the call yesterday that I've been accepted at the Marin County Farmer's Market. Hooray! I guess they let 1/3 of the applicants in. No idea how many that is, but I'm glad to be one of them. Now if I only knew when I could actually be in one, that would be the icing on the cake.
I'm now waiting for something to come in the mail that tells me what to do next. It's great to know that I will actually be selling at the Farmer's Market. I have a better idea what to do with my time. I'll be stocking up on monkeys and making some inexpensive veggie totes to start. Gotta find some more fabric for my tablecloths too. Phew, I'm gonna be a busy lady.
And if you're a Harry Potter fan, like me, go check out Fluffy Flowers. She's giving away Harry Potter prizes & mini Weasley sweaters all week. Cool!

July 16, 2007

A Lovely Weekend Indeed

I have to say it was a lovely weekend here. The weather was great, there were things to do, and a good time was had by all.
Friday night we went to see the new Harry Potter film, I'm giving it two thumbs up. I really liked it. I didn't enjoy the last two films as much as this one. I'm fairly certain there was a new director on this one and it shows. I highly recommend it. The music is great too.

Saturday, as usual, I went to my knitting class in the morning. I was the only one who showed up this week, so Amanda (the owner of the shop) and I just sat & chatted away while knitting our prospective projects. The San Anselmo Art & Design Festival was in full swing out in front of the store so I took a walk through when I was finished. I'd thought about applying to sell at the fair, but because of the very high entrance fee, I thought it might be best to check it out & wait till next year. The fair seemed well organized and laid out. The attendance was good and the vendors were all of good quality too. I can't say I've decide about next year, it's a lot of money to make back in a weekend. We'll see how it goes if i get into the Farmer's Market.

Yesterday we took a drive down to Santa Cruz to visit friends Mike, Laura, Henry & Jane. Mike was my boss at Disneyland about a hundred years ago. They're great fun to hang out with & we had a wonderful time. We met at the pier for breakfast then had a walk down the famous Boardwalk. I brought my basket of monkeys along so the kids could take their pick. Pirate Bill and Scout were snatched up after much deliberation. I left two more behind for Mike & Laura as well (thanks for the sale). It's nice to know they're such a big hit. We all went downtown to catch a movie too. The boys saw Transformers & the girls went to Ratatouille. As I said in my previous post, I don't do Sci-Fi and I feel the same way about action (sorry). I was happy for Nick to get a chance to see one of "his" movies. Incidentally, my review on Ratatouille is also two thumbs up. The animation is incredible and the story is great too. And if it's possible to fall in love with a rat, Remy is definitely the rat of choice. He's so cute!
So, after having such a great weekend, I'm feeling all motivated and excited about the week to come. I got a really great bedspread yesterday that I'll make into a ton of things. Keep your eyes peeled for some of that.
And for those of you who've decided to put my nasty quirks aside and keep reading my blog and being my friend, thank you. :)

July 13, 2007

Tagged Again

I've been tagged again, by Vanessa and Enchanting Knits, so here goes. And while I'm talking about myself, I thought I'd show you Nick & I as Simpsons. It was really hard, there isn't a perfect hair choice for either of us. sigh8 "Interesting" facts about me:

1. I like nuts but I don't like them in things. Is that weird? I obviously have a texture issue. Luckily, Nick's allergic, so no one's missing them around here.

2. I have ultra-sensitive senses (see #1) Hearing, taste, touch, you name it.

3. I take too many pictures of my cats. (see Nick for more info on this one)

4. (Apologies in advance) I don't get science fiction. Sorry, it just doesn't penetrate my brain. I can watch an entire film and have no idea what happened if it's set in space or something, even Star Wars (ducking).

It's okay, I'll give you a minute to leave after that last one, I understand.

5. I don't like chocolate very much, not in bar form anyway. How weird is that? I like chocolate cake & cheesecake etc, just not pure chocolate. yuck

6. I'm a college drop-out. I went to a ton of junior colleges, a state university and a private art college and never got a degree. The art college was so BAD, it ruined my interest in education forever. (I guess that's why I'm not feeling the ocean breeze in Nova Scotia right now)

7. I'm dying to have kids. I've always wanted to be someone's mom. I'm not trying to scare Nick, but I'm getting old and I don't want to get pregnant on my wedding day. Sometimes it worries me that I don't have any yet.

8. I love, love, love to eat anything made from starch & carbs. Bread, pasta, potatoes, rice...mmmmmmmm. I'm on a diet and I rarely get any of that stuff. It's tough, let me tell ya. #1 favorite food - french fries

Anyone still here? Wow, thanks for reading.

Oh, and I made some new stuff too. Check out my shops to see. :)

July 11, 2007

Vote for your favorite monkey

Who knew I'd end up posting twice today? lol
I've been searching feverishly for a monkey stamp to use on thank you cards, packages etc. and I came across these two guys. I can't decide which one I like best so I need your help. Post a comment and vote for your favorite monkey stamp.
And while I'm on the subject of stamps. I'd like to mention a new shop on Etsy called Sweet Paperie. She's based in Texas and is making custom rubber stamps for a totally great price. This is another thing I've been looking to buy and have had little luck until now. I bought one with my logo and one with my logo and address for about $25 (she's having a sale through the 20th - buy one get one half off). Now, I just ordered them and I don't know how great they are yet. I'm just sayin', for the price, I'm excited. And I want to thank Cozy Cottage Creations (another great shop) for pointing out Sweet Paperie to me. Thanks Lynne!

I'm a bit rubbish

Okay, so I've been reading blogs all morning. I have to apologize to everyone for not commenting lately. I've been so busy with, well, everything. I finally reorganized my blog links into something I can read. I think I've said it before, but I'm truly an organized person. I swear! I don't know what's wrong with me these days. I need a vacation.
And just so I'm sure to include a photo with every post, here is where I wish I was right now. (Note the lack of cute dotted border? That's how bad it is for me right now.)If only Canada wanted me. Sigh. It's the Blomidon Inn of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The town I wanted to move to. If you ask me, Nova Scotia is heaven. Oh well. Marin County's not so bad.

July 09, 2007

Monkeyin' Again

Now that I've got my application for the Farmer's Market taken care of, I can get back to making things. I haven't had much chance to list new items in the shops and I think it's catching up to me. So, today I picked a monkey out of the basket and decided he'd be the next little guy up for adoption.

His name is Alex and his hat is made from a new yarn I picked up in Santa Rosa. It's super soft and comes in lots of great colors. This one's a pretty pale blue, kind of Restoration Hardware/Martha Stewart if you ask me. I think he's pretty handsome anyway. I've got him listed now so he's anxiously awaiting his adoption. Check out iSew.biz or my Etsy shop to see more pictures of Alex.

Late last night I listed Rory, but he sold a couple hours later to a repeat customer in New Zealand. Rory's really excited about going to his new home, he's already on his way.

That's about all I've got to say for now. Thanks so much for all the nice comments about my booth and logo quilt. I promise to post a tutorial about the quilt as soon as I can. And Happy Belated Birthday to my friend Jenn in Seattle.

July 08, 2007


After all my talk about home sewn logo quilts and Farmer's Market applications, I finally set up my pretend craft show booth today. Hooray! What a load off my mind that was. I still need to actually make my table covers, and do some tweaking, but I'm happy with the results so far. And I must admit, I think my logo quilt turned out pretty nice. I definitely want to write up a tutorial on how I made it, but first things first. Tomorrow I walk my application into the Farmer's Market office for the jury selection on Thursday. I should know by the end of the week if I got in. I think selling my things in person will be a lot better than online.
And that's not all. I also received my package from Tamy yesterday for the Bucket of Sunshine Swap. This girl is on it. I haven't even finished my container yet and she's already mailed hers. I'm embarrassed. (Tamy, if you're reading this, I hope to mail your package tomorrow). I've tried to be good about not ripping into my pretty little package, but the temptation is getting the better of me. I think I will have it all unwrapped by tomorrow. Looks like there are some great goodies in there. :) Fun stuff.

Oh yeah, and check out Jenn's blog on Monday. A little bird told me she's having a contest of some sort. hmmmm

July 06, 2007

The Marin County Fair

This weekend we walked over to check out the Marin County Fair. I must say, I'm not a fan of "the fair" in general, but we couldn't not go with it so close by. It wasn't bad, but still not my cup of tea. I do enjoy the animals though. There were some lovely Jersey cows with big brown eyes, and these sweet piggies too. The artwork display was pretty big and mostly kids' stuff. I liked that. It's nice to see so many kids' things on display for a change.
Anyway, we sat by the lagoon and watched the fireworks & the hills were gorgeous as the sun went down. It was a nice evening out for sure. And while we're on the subject of farm animals, I thought I'd show you my second attempt at a Gadget Sheep. I think this one turned out really cute. I'm going to make up a pattern for him and perhaps sell it in the local knitting shop and probably in my Etsy store.
I've been super busy trying to get my booth together to apply for the Farmer's Market so I haven't been adding much to my shops. I hope to finish my logo quilt today and soon be able to post a tutorial so you can make one too. I spent ALL day yesterday just quilting the background, eugh. Maybe I should have just purchased a banner, hahaha.Tomorrow I get to start knitting my alpaca hooded scarf. Wish me luck! It's going to be a challenge.

July 03, 2007


Usually when I send out an order from one of my sites, I attach a pin-back button to my business card. If it's a monkey, I send a monkey. For everything else, I have some with images of fabrics. I'm running low on the monkey buttons so I just placed a new order for some of these from Kitty Crossbones on Etsy.

I kind of like packaging up my things to send out to buyers, though sometimes I think I spend a little too much time. It's nice to receive a little package all wrapped in tissue & ribbon, especially when there's a surprise inside. I've had two sellers send me little pin-back buttons, and I love it. Anyone else send little surprises with their packages? I'm always up for new ideas. Or tell me about some good ones you've received.

July 02, 2007


I had my final beginning knitting class at Atelier Marin this Saturday. This hat is the only thing I've ever made that isn't a long strip of stitches. I love how the top turned out, with the color in a ring. I've really been loving the knitting class and I've signed up for another round. Next I'll be making a hooded scarf from this gorgeous and super soft alpaca. I chose a pretty hard pattern, hope I can do it.
My other success story for the day is my first successful trip to the thrift store in a long time. I found some really great old pillow cases in the linen section, all were 50% off too. YAY!!! This is just a sample of my good fortune.

In other good news, I sold two monkey items to a repeat customer, have 2 custom orders to work on and found this fabric shop, thanks to my swap partner Tamy. Have a great week.