September 26, 2007

Fun Stuff in the Mail

Hooray! I had a good mail day today. I got a new Land of Nod catalog for ideas & inspiration, and some cool fabric from Z&S. I'm so excited!

I got these 3 from the Fall Back in Time collection by Moda. I love the colors in this line, but I had to limit myself. I think I'll make a few zipper bags & maybe a baby bib or two.
And these you've already seen. I ordered a few larger pieces of the fabrics I'm going to use for the wedding so I could be absolutely sure I like them. Who knows what I'll think 7 months from now, but I'm going to go for it. Besides, everything's 15% off at Z&S right now. If I'm quick I could save a bundle. That one on the right will make a gorgeous table runner. I'm going to photograph these and make some images for our wedding website now. :)

Guilty as Charged

So here I am, trying to get some work done, when I come across the above guilty party. What is it with cats anyway? Only moments after taking all these mooshy pictures of Jody on my bed,

I go downstairs to grab something and there's Maple in the middle of a lot of water, licking her guilty paws. At least Jody was smart enough to take off when he heard me coming for crying out loud. Poor old Maple. She's pretty but she's not smart. And why, if she enjoys sticking her fuzzy paws into the water dish so much, is she such a big baby when it comes to grooming? I ask you.

Oh yeah, I listed a new monkey today too. This was before I wiped up the water all over my kitchen. &%*$^#

September 25, 2007

Too Early for Halloween

I mentioned a while back that I'd like to add simple and affordable Trick or Treat bags to my shops. Well, I made a couple and put them out at my booth last week. I just had to say that a lady came by and made a somewhat rude comment about it being September, then I sold both of them a little later. All I can say is..."whatever"! I'm going to make some custom bags with kids' names too, so there! It's so funny what people feel the need to say when you're selling your handmade things. I didn't do Halloween in July, it's late September. hmpf

September 24, 2007

Away Again

For those of you who've been dieing to know what I look like, here's a picture of Nick & I in the spot where our wedding will take place. It's been a very dry year here in California, so it's really brown right now. When April rolls around, though, these hills will be covered in tall grass & flowers. It should be beautiful. (Side note: I'm on my tippy toes & Nick's standing in a hole! HaHa)We spent the weekend out there with our friends & had a great time. I reserved a cake and might have found a caterer too. I guess that means the date is set. Nick's mom has booked a cool pub/restaurant in Britain for reception #2 as well. The ball is rolling fast now. It's very exciting.
As for my crafty news, I finally got some crochet time this week. I have a customer who requested four key chains. I had sent her one as a gift for buying lots of monkeys. I haven't added these guys to the shop yet.
They're a lot smaller than a regular Gadget Monkey, but the detail makes them slightly difficult to work on. I finished all four at the Farmer's Market on Thursday. Good thing too, I had one sale that day. It was my worst market at the Civic Center so far. Must have been the rain, it was really slow for everyone. No worries though. I also made four new Gadget Monkeys this weekend and I have a new bag to list today.
I don't want to go on all day, but I also need to show you the cool stuff I got in the mail last week. I don't buy a lot online, it's a money thing, but sometimes I can't resist. These folks do great work, check out their shops on Etsy.... My cousin & his wife just had their first baby in August, and I've been gathering cool baby stuff for months. This is not the only onesie (thanks to Jennifer and Lemon Cadet) little Mark will be getting from his Auntie Ginny this weekend, but it might get the most laughs. The shop is WeROnesieful, and they are truly onesieful. I love it!

My second fantastic find is from DogboneArt. We all know I'm a monkey fan, but have you seen these monkey muffins? Oh my gosh! I've been coveting them for a long time, but when I saw the Dorky Candy Cane Brothers I just had to give in. Mine is called Buck Toothed Bob and he's for a friend of mine. (We have this "candy corn thing"). Anyway, I'm keeping the monkey muffin for myself. He's going to look cool on my new sewing room shelf.
If you're jealous, and I know you are, go check out these fine shops and have a great week.

September 19, 2007

The Quest for Cake...the Continuing Story

I have found what I've been searching for. I had to go to the local grocery store today so I thought I'd check out the bakery. Sure enough, they had cupcakes and slices of cake available. I'm very picky when it comes to frosting, I have to be sure it's not that sour whipped cream stuff. I must smell the sweetness through the plastic and with this beauty, I did.
Notice the large colored sprinkles on top. The layers of white cake goodness. Mmmmmm, caaaaake. Can't you just taste the granules of sugar in that frosting? I did. I ate about a 1/2" off one end. I plan to share this cake with Nick if he wants any. It might be too sweet for him. That would really break my heart.
The moral of the story: Don't pay $3 for a tiny yet unsatisfying cupcake from a posh bakery when you can pay $2.99 for a giant piece of cake at the supermarket.

Cupcakes & Bridal Registries

First off, let me say thanks for all the "Happy Birthday"s I got yesterday. I don't like getting older, but I do like the way you feel a little special for a day. Know what I mean? It's always a bit sad going to bed on your birthday because you know you'll just be a regular person again the next day, lol. Anyway, I had a great birthday yesterday.
I told you all that I was planning a trip into San Francisco. After a little ferry drama, I made it across the bay. It's a lovely ride when the fog is away. I did some research before I left to find a good cupcake source, and was lucky enough to find one in the ferry terminal building. The shop is called Miette. They've got a great website with really sweet graphics, so I was convinced. I did actually read some reviews before making my choice, it wasn't entirely based on graphics and location. I decided on a chocolate cupcake with vanilla butter cream. Now, I'm not a huge chocolate fan, but it was the only way to get the vanilla butter cream, and that's what I was really after. All the other cupcakes had some sort of fruit mixed in or something, and I'm a plain Jane. I carried that cupcake around for several hours before actually tasting it. The anticipation building, I finally decided to give it a go. In the end, the packaging was better than the cake. I know, sad. The cupcake itself was waaaaay to chocolatey & squishy, almost like it was undercooked. The butter cream had no flavor whatsoever. I was crushed. I kept taking more bites with lots of frosting to see if I was wrong, but I wasn't. It was a complete bust. Ah well.
I did have a great day, to spite the cupcake. I don't want to bore you with details, but I ended up registering for the wedding at Macy's & Williams Sonoma. I had a lot more fun at Williams Sonoma. I don't need all that stuff that a bride normally registers for, I'm old, I've already got it all. I enjoyed picking cookbooks and fun bakeware like this and this. We'll see how it goes. The Macy's registry may get forgotten. Sorry Martha Stewart.

September 18, 2007

Birthday Wishes

First I want to say thanks to all of you out there who wished me happy birthday in advance and entered my contest. I did have more than one person guess the correct date, which is today, so I had to draw a name. Crafty Ashabee is the lucky winner of the cool ladybug grocery tote. Congratulations. I'll contact you soon to get your address. The lucky runner-up is miss Lu Lu Sparkles, you'll get a surprise too.
So far I've had a lovely birthday. I got some great pressies this morning, thanks to Nick, Mom, Grandma and Aunt Marguerite for all the loot. I just want to point out that there's an X-Files dvd box set in there. For all the people out there that are barley hanging on because I've said I don't like Sci-Fi, here's the one exception. I loved the X-Files. I hope my having 5 seasons of it on dvd will win me back some friends. HeHe
I must run now as I've got to catch the ferry in less than an hour. I'm going to spend the day in the city shopping and eating whatever I want. First on my list is a cupcake with butter cream frosting. Next stop, lunch with Nick then off to Macy's for a little Martha Stewart.

Thanks again for all the Happy Birthday wishes!

September 17, 2007

Back to sewing

I know I haven't been talking much about sewing lately. It's been really busy for me since I got back from the UK. I had a Farmer's Market Thursday and Sunday, both were good. I am enjoying the time out of the house and the opportunity to interact with live humans. I added some new products at the markets and have finally found the time to deal with some images so I can get things online too.
First I want to show you my new ponytail holders. I've been planning these for a bit, just hadn't gotten around to it. I don't intend to sell these on Etsy, the competition is ridiculous, but I sold 4 sets at the market yesterday. I like the idea of having different price points, and these are now my most inexpensive (notice I didn't say cheap) item at $5 a set. I printed my own little cards to attach them too, but my printer has been a nightmare since I got my new desktop computer. Just this morning I've aligned the print heads 6 times. @$&#%@ Anyway, I digress. The cards looked nice and I found these little doodads a great and fun way to use up scraps. I knew there was a reason to keep 3" strips of fabric! Ha!
I've been selling lots of bibs at the market too, so I've been making those like crazy. I went out to the fabric shop in Petaluma on Thursday to get some more of that cool Monkey'n Around fabric. I ended up with a few gnomes in the bag too. I don't know how that happened. Strange.
And speaking of fabric...I'm trying not to bore you too much with my wedding plans, but I think I may have chosen something as a starting point for the wedding. Naturally the color scheme is the most important thing on my mind. I can pick out a cake any day, it's the decor that I want to work on. lol I knew I wanted to find something a bit aqua/blue with a taste of red and I came across Shangri-la from Moda. What luck! (Misses Kwitty, you were right about your guess for this, but Nick would never go for rick rack) It's got all the colors I want and I think it'll suit a wedding perfectly. Here's a taste of a few of my favorites from the collection. The more I see it, the more I like it.Please, tell me what you think. And whilst perusing the new fabrics on the Moda website, I saw this. I think I'm gonna need the fat quarter collection, it's available for reservation at the Fat Quarter Shop already.

September 14, 2007

Birthday Giveaway

No, it's not my birthday, yet. I wanted to give away this cool ladybug tote from the UK and I needed a reason. Soooo, I thought I'd make it a birthday thing. All you have to do is guess which date my birthday lands on. That's it. Some time between Sunday (the 16th) and the end of the month. And no playing if you're a friend or family member! Take a look at other comments so you don't guess a day that's been chosen.

As for the bag, I got it from Nick's mom while we were visiting the UK. Every store has reusable bags these days, but not too many are as cute as this one. Maddy was nice enough to give me some of hers so I didn't have to rush out and buy my own, thanks! When I saw these, I just had to get one to give away on my blog. I knew you guys would like it. It's really roomy and sturdy. I'm thinking about adding a red gingham lining. Wouldn't that be cute?
Post your birth date guess and I'll pick a winner when the actual day arrives. And don't think I'm gonna say when that is. Cheeky monkeys!

Good luck!

September 12, 2007

Day Off

After having two weeks off, I decided to join Nick & our visiting friends on a trip to the city yesterday. I'll get back to work today, I think. We've lived here for almost 5 months now and have spent very little time in San Francisco. Nick goes there every day to work, but promptly gets on the ferry and returns home. And what better attraction to experience than Alcatraz? That's right, we visited an old prison. Have any of you been there? I'm guessing you have if you've been to San Francisco. Alcatraz is right up there with the Golden Gate Bridge, Trolley cars (which we also did) and sourdough bread. I've been to Alcatraz before, but not for a long time, maybe over 15 years. Can you say creepy? The audio tour was good, but made it even more unsettling I think.

I'm pretty sure the highlight of my day was walking past Macy's in Union Square, the place is covered in Martha Stewart. Aqua rugs, aqua signs, logos, window displays. I might have to go back to SF next week for some bridal registry ideas. Gotta preview before I drag Nick along. sigh

September 09, 2007

No ideas

On the subject of weddings, I haven't got much in the way of ideas for color schemes or dresses. Maybe a little for my own dress, but not much for anything else. While visiting some blogs the other day, I came across this. I think it's an excellent idea. Someone based their wedding colors and decor on Heather Bailey's Freshcut line. What a brilliant idea. Now all I have to do is find and commit to a line of fabrics I like. I'm sure that'll be really easy. Uhh, yeah.

September 07, 2007

All Sorts

I'm glad to be back, it's funny how a vacation makes you tired. No complaints from me though. This summer was the wettest in history for England and we didn't see a drop of rain the whole trip. It was lovely every day and we got a chance to see lots of people and places. And hey, I got engaged! What could be better? I've got my wedding magazines and my planning book all ready to go now that I'm back home. I don't feel very stressed about planning the wedding(s) as I used to do events for a living. My biggest concern at the moment is setting a date. Nick & I will marry in California (at our friends' place) and later go to the UK for a second reception, maybe here. I plan on making my own dress and probably a lot of other elements too. I hope I can manage everything. lol We'll see.

While I was away I realized I haven't done a crafty post in a while. So here's a little crafty business for you. I finally bought some fabric at the Cath Kidston shop on this trip. I usually go in there and find too much choice then end up buying nothing. Not true on this trip. Here's the fabric remnant I got. Not sure yet what it will be, but probably a bunch of different things. I won't tell you what I paid for this. Let's just say in pounds, it's a good deal. US dollars? Not so much. Never mind.

I also picked up some great printed felt while we were down in Cornwall. There was a really nice fabric shop there that had lots of little things. I read about this felt on someone's blog a while back, but I'd forgotten about it. I'm so glad I came across it, it's so cute. I also picked up some other little bits & bobs. Snoopy buttons, a book, some trim. I didn't buy any fabric there, I was so good. It's really easy to turn things down when you consider the exchange rate, believe me.

All in all, it was a great trip. I had a great time
and it was good to take some time off before the holiday season ramps up. I am hoping to get lots of things made in the near future, but we've got company coming tomorrow. I don't think I'll be getting much sewing done. It's a shame, because I have a new diaper bag in the works and tons of ideas. I want to get some new things made for my next Farmer's Market on Thursday. And one last thing. I just had to show you the coolest birthday present ever. Nick's mom and I went out shopping the other day and she insisted I pick a birthday gift for myself (it's coming up this month). This is what I chose. I think she might be thinking I'm a bit nuts now.

It's the sheep, not the sewing machine by the way. I'm a huge Wallace & Gromit fan and I love Shaun the sheep from "A Close Shave". In the UK he has his own TV show for kids. My Shaun bleats and shivers. I'm in love.

September 03, 2007

Sunny Day in London

I must have walked about 5 miles today, but the sunshine was worth it! I think it was my first day in London with blue skies, no foolin'. I walked all over today, starting at Tower Bridge. Gromit wasn't able to make it, he had a previous engagement, but Chico still had a good time.

Nick was in the office all day so I was able to do all the shopping I wanted. I made a trip to one of my favorite stores over in Marylebone (I'll show you what I got later). I had a good time in there though, let me tell you, lol. I met Nick after work for some dinner and then we rode the London Eye.

This is another thing I never got to do while I lived in the UK. It's a long list and I'm working away at it. I'm not sure you can see how tall this thing's really high! I'm afraid of heights too. Yep, it was a little scary, but take a look at this view. Wow! I'm glad we planned it for sundown.

p.s. I just looked up how high the London Eye is . . . just over 442 feet. Yikes!