October 29, 2007

We're Back

Nick & I just got back from our little weekend away. I made some progress on the wedding and got a new monkey made. This is what things are looking like right now where the wedding will take place. Julie & I went out for a walk this morning and I took this shot in front of the house. It's very brown, but you can still see a bit of Autumn in there. Just beautiful. It's been raining off & on, there's even water in the creek!

We checked out a few places as possibilities for our wedding night stay while we were in town. The Hounds Tooth Inn is only about a 10-15 minute drive from the house, and is just what we had in mind. There are 12 rooms and a summer house. I think Nick & I will get the summer house and have some of our family and friends in the main inn. It was a lovely place. They let us walk through and check out all the rooms. It was kinda fun. I'll be calling them this week to see what I can reserve.
I tend to spend a fair amount of my time crocheting when we're at Jim & Julie's, and this weekend was no exception. I'm thinking about opening a second Etsy shop just for my monkeys, so I've been trying to think of some more monkey things to make. Here's the little pin cushion monkey I made, I'd love to hear what you think. I know, he looks a little like a fire hydrant, but I wanted him to be flat on the bottom and have some dimension to his hat. If I make the hat go straight up, he'll look like a can of beans.

That's about all I have to report right now. I'm so tired from driving and I still have to unpack. Hope you all had a great weekend and are ready for Halloween.

October 27, 2007

Halloween Weekend

Nick & I are off to Oakhurst today for our friends' annual Halloween party. I think I've got our costumes sorted out enough, I hope so anyway. I'll be Ginny and Nick will be Harry Potter. Our neckties are being FedEx'd to the house this afternoon (fingers crossed). If I don't look too hideous in the wig, I'll post a picture next week, lol.
I've been so busy lately that I'm really looking forward to a few days off. We always have such a nice time at Jim & Julie's, it's the only time I fully relax. Of course, I'll work on monkeys while I'm away, I always do. Oh! And while I'm on the subject of monkeys, I'm reminded of an indieview I just did for The Indie Path. The girls over there were nice enough to feature me, and my monkeys, on their blog yesterday. Thanks ladies.
I also wanted to show you another corner of my sewing room. That's my handmade shelf I purchased at the Harvest Festival a couple years ago. I have an old dresser I keep under it with my shipping supplies and some fabric bits. My laptop sits on the dresser so I can check emails & post in the forums throughout the day. So far, that's working out really well. Don't you love that hangin' monkey? He holds tea lights in his tummy.
Right, so I need to pack and get on the road. Just couldn't leave without saying goodbye. Stop in at my Flickr account if you want to see something I made yesterday. Have a great weekend. And say hi to Jenn while you're there, she's Flickring now too.

October 25, 2007

Shout Out

Wanna see the coolest zipper pouch ever?

This "dork" pouch is my latest Etsy acquisition, and do I ever love it. The shop is FriedOkra and she makes the most unique pouches I've seen. Hand embroidered lettering, rick rack, monkeys...what more could you ask for? Please do yourself a favor and check her out. (The sock monkeys are great too.)

And, while I'm in a shout out kind of mood, I'll let you in on a surprising find. Actually, Nick spotted this at the grocery store. I'm a huge fan of all things pumpkin flavored so I was definitely intrigued. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of instant coffee, but this stuff is pretty good.

Sometimes I just don't feel like brewing coffee, but I want a tasty hot drink. It takes 4 teaspoons of powder to make this, but it's got a lovely smell and it really does taste good for instant fake coffee. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

October 24, 2007


Well, last night I made my 150th sale on Etsy, a monkey of course. I'm so excited about hitting this milestone. I feel very blessed to have come across Etsy and been able to sell my little creations there. I've made so many great friends and learned a lot. What a treat it is to do what I love every day as well. It's a lot more work than a "regular" job, but a lot more fulfilling. Thanks for all the support on my blog and in my shop too. Thank goodness I came up with those Gadget Monkeys, lol.

And to celebrate my good fortune, I want to tell you about Pledge Handmade. I can't really put it into words well enough, but basically, it's a pledge to buy handmade for the holidays. Etsy and 8 of their friends have started a consortium to encourage people to buy handmade this Christmas. I think it's a great idea! You can go to the website and make the pledge yourself, then get a cool badge for your blog to encourage others. Support your fellow crafter this holiday season and buy handmade.

October 23, 2007

Movin' Right Along

Happy Tuesday to you. It's one of those days when I can't think of anything to say. I'll just let you see what I was working on yesterday.

I had a custom order for one of these made from my Birdie fabric, so I decided to make two at once. I used fabric from my stash for this one, I think it's a great color for this time of year. You can see the custom Birdie version here. Now I really need to get some custom monkeys finished so I can go to the post office.
I'll be spending the rest of my day doing laundry and making some Hawaiian shirts for a market customer.

And while I'm at it, I might as well introduce you to my new friend Mathilda, she's from Target. How could I not take her home? She's already covered in cat hair, she fits right in.

October 20, 2007

Rare Saturday Night Post

Hello my internet friends. I'm spending a quiet evening at the computer, checking messages, replying to convos, etc., etc. and thought I'd drop in for a quick post. I'm usually sewing on Saturaday night until the wee hours trying to prep for the market, but I finished early tonight. It's only 9:13pm and I'm away from my sewing machine. I think that's a record. HaHa
Just wanted to give you a peek at the quilt I finished this morning....

I've had this fabric in a bag and ready to be made into a quilt for over a year now. I'm glad I finally made it. I love that blue print, wish I had more too. We'll see how my market customers like it in the morning. I also made another baby blankie gift set today in a very soft pink color scheme. I am planning to take your advice and price the sets at $45 to start with. I'll let you know what happens. I had hoped to make a few more of those sets today, but ran out of time. I knew it was too ambitious for tonight. I'm thinking it was very strong of me not to try to get too much done before bed. (pats self on back) I need my beauty sleep.
And yesterday I didn't get a chance to tell you all about my amazing new bib template I had made. I make a lot of bibs these days and usually use a cardboard template to cut them out. This, as you can imagine, doesn't work great with a rotary cutter. So I decided to call a local plastic place & see if I could get an acrylic template made from the cardboard one. Well, they said yes!
It works pretty well, especially around the outside. It's still a struggle around the neck opening, but I think a new super tiny rotary cutter might solve that. It's a lot faster for me to get these made now, and with Nick on snap duty, even better. I got a load of new bibs done today in a lot less time.
So that's it for me on a Saturday night. Gotta inactivate some things in my Etsy shop and get to bed. Night night. Have a great Sunday & say Happy Birthday to my cousin Nicole who's turning 30!

October 19, 2007


It's amazing how much I can get done by just taking one day off from the farmer's market. I've been super busy and I'm actually seeing some results now. I'll try not to get too wordy with you, I'll just show you what's new with me.
First off, I finally got my Look and Learn Fat Quarter Bundle. I've been awaiting the arrival of these fabrics for a while. I got a
quilt top done using these prints. I'm hoping I get the backing & binding fabrics in the mail today so I can get the quilt finished for the market on Sunday. Next I'll make a Catie Diaper Bag. I think this style looks best when I make it from the vintage kids prints. I'll make bibs from what's left. They sell pretty regularly at the market.

I also got a chance to use some Fall Back in Time prints. For now, this little bag will just be at the farmer's market.

For a long time I've been hoping to make some soft blocks to add to the shops. The other night, I took out some scraps & made up a prototype. I think the colors are great, but I'm not happy with the block at all. I much prefer the ones Amy makes (I love her shop), but I certainly can't copy them. I guess I just need to work on the edges. It's a little lumpy too. Makes a bright pin cushion anyway.
I've also been planning to add some baby gift sets. I've started offering deals on bibs & booties at the market, but half the time I don't have matching sets. That's not very good business, is it? Well, yesterday I made a new easier and quicker baby blanket that I can sell along with a bib & pair of booties. Here's the first set I made up with some fabrics I'd purchased to make a tote or two. The swirly print reminds me of The Muppet Movie (You know, the part when Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem paint Kermit & Fozzie's car?)

I've got enough flannel to make 3 more sets to test them out on Sunday. I'm thinking about $40 for the set. What do you think?
That's almost everything, this post is getting way too long. You can always see my stuff on Flickr too if you're ever interested.
And last but not least...I finally got around to making a little Christmas ornament monkey. His name is Kringle & he's not in the shops yet. Just thought you might like to say hello. He's about 4.5" tall.

October 16, 2007

What came home with me

It's not like I went to the fabric store today to not get something. I never said I was just looking, did I? I had a good time anyway. The top one is definitely my favorite. I'm thinking a taller version of that Freshcut bag I made last week (now called Ruthie). The one on the bottom is for my wedding, it replaces the large scale floral that Nick hated from my original choices.
Oh yeah, and I just want to give thanks for my sweet low energy daylight bulbs that are in my sewing room right now. It's all grey & dark outside but I can still take photos!! Yay!!!

One Down

Today I'm off to Santa Rosa for a fabric scouting trip. There's a big fabric store up there, about 35 miles from here. I need some pinks & beiges, some more fabric for my wedding and something blue for an adult bib. I'm looking forward to it. It's so pretty around here right now and most of the drive is just hills...gorgeous. It's kind of grey today, but it's still going to be nice.
I wanted to share the finished custom tote with you before I go. I think the tote works well with the zipper closure & pockets. Maybe I'll make some more for the market & see what happens. I've also got two custom monkeys moving out today. That leaves me with another custom purse and two Hawaiian shirts to make this week. I think I can manage that.

Also, yesterday I received two really great books from Amazon.com, I've been anxiously awaiting their arrival. I'll try to give you a complete review at some point, but at first glance, both are excellent!

Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts and Doodle-Stitching. I can just sit and leaf through both of these books all day. I'm a very visual person and am especially drawn to good, clean graphics. These books score an A+ in that area. I've just started reading, so I'll get back to you. Ohhh, they're just heaven!

October 15, 2007

Too much Estrogen

Yeah, if you're not a huge fan of being around thousands of women, I don't recommend a visit to the quilt show. I'm not saying it was bad, but the lady factor was a lot too much for me. I think I have more girlfriends online than I do in real life, know what I mean? Aside from being, by far, the youngest person in the building at the Pacific International Quilt Festival, it was just too crowded & loaded with ladies sporting fiber art. Ugh. I should have known, lol. It wasn't that bad, really, I just doubt I'll drive 62 miles (in the pouring rain) next year to go again. The whole reason I made the treck to Santa Clara on Friday (going Friday was my first mistake, 3.5 hours to get home!) was to possibly catch a glimpse of some new fabrics, and maybe even buy some. Thing is, there wasn't anything new there. Nope, nothing. I saw a few pretty quilts, but the most amazing thing was the ergo chair and machine titlting thingy especially designed for us sewers. And in the end, I couldn't spend the money to get it. I know, I'm cheap. I have major back problems too, but $500 is a lot of money for me. Anyway, I did get to see this line in person, and that was pretty exciting as I think that whole fat quarter bundle will be delivered to my door today. I'm a huge fan of vintage kids prints, and am becoming a fan of anything by Sandy Gervais too. I didn't see much in the way of her stuff at the show, but I'm loving her new Fall Back in Time collection and totally covet Celebrate Spring. The colors are gorgeous, the internet does not do these fabrics justice. Oh sorry, I'm getting really wordy now. I should get to the goods, eh? I did actually make a purchase in the end. I got this roll of extra wide fat quarters. Not sure what they'll be yet, but I've got a new bag in my head that might really suit these fabrics. And from these little fat quarters, maybe I'll just do something really crazy and make something for myself....what?!?!

To Do:

1. Print and mail "Save the Date" for the wedding

2. Make two custom bags

3. Make two Hawaiian shirts for a customer in Halloween fabric

4. Go to Santa Rosa to research fabric for a customer and get some for another.

5. Make quilts! I've now sold 6 at the market and am decidedly low.

6. Photograph and list lots more monkeys on Etsy.

Wish me luck!

October 11, 2007

Not Much

I don't have much to report today so I thought I'd just share a couple things with you. First is what I love about the farmer's market. The market starts at 8:00am so I've got to get there fairly early to claim a good spot. One great thing about an early start is that I get to watch the sun rise. What a beautiful time of year this is too. Lovely.

I also wanted to show you one of my new bags. The design is nothing special, there are 1,000's of bags out there like this one. I'm just really glad that I finally put my Freshcut fabrics to good use. They've been sitting in a drawer for way too long. I love these colors!

This style will not likely find it's way to my Etsy shop, there are way too many like it over there. I might offer it on my website, but first I need a good name. I've plum run out of girls' names for handbags. hmmm.

October 10, 2007

Just bits

So, I'm really busy right now trying to restock for the Thursday market (and Sunday too) but I had to stop at some of my favorite blogs to see what everyone else is up to. I'm feeling terrible lately because I haven't had time to read all the blogs I like and leave comments. Sorry. :(
Anyway, I came across a couple interesting tidbits today. First off
, there's a great interview with Amy Butler over on Quilter's Buzz. I know how people worship her, so I had to hip you to the article. And while I was scanning it, I found out about the Pacific International Quilt Festival. Umm, it's near where I live and it's this weekend! Hello? What rock am I living under? Sheesh. Now I really have to get cracking if I want to take a day off to go to a quilt Festival.
aking of things near my house...yesterday I went to check out a new yarn store I heard about. Turned out to be a great place and Christina the owner was as nice as I'd heard. She even asked if I'd like to teach a crochet class or sell my monkeys there. Cool! Even better, Christina told me about a quilt fabric store nearby that I hadn't heard of. Hooray! That means there's a decent sized one less than 25 miles away. I'm so happy. They didn't have much in the way of current lines, but I was able to get some great fabric on sale.
I picked up some pretty floral corduroy on sale at JoAnn's the other day too. I've already m
ade a slouchy hobo/tote out of it for the market. It has an adjustable strap so it can be worn across the body or just over the shoulder. I'll try to photograph the bag tomorrow so you can tell me what you think. Hey, maybe I'll sell it!! haha
And just so you know I have actually been busy, I'll show you the last zippy pouch I made. It's only available at the market right now, no time for images & descriptions. Have a great Wednesday!

October 08, 2007

Nearly British

I saw this link on my friend Jenn's Blog and had to do it...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Grand Duchess Ginny the Loquacious of Nether Wombleshire
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

How could I not do this? I'm marrying a British guy for cryin' out loud! Too funny.

And just so you know, my Brit is saying that a "womble" is a stop-motion animated creature who picks up rubbish on Wimbledon Common. Now what would I do if I didn't live with an Englishman?

(And, for the record, this is the Tower of London not Wimbledon Common. I just thought it was cool that I actually have some pictures of England I can use....hehe)

October 07, 2007


Just had to take a minute to say thanks to Jenn for the lovely birthday presents. Maple likes them too, especially the little bag. I'm feeling very lucky to have made such nice friends through my blog and Etsy. I still don't know many people here, so it's great to have my online friends. Thanks so much for the tiny monkey and his bag to sleep in, the candy and the little sketchbook. What a nice box to get from the mailman.
I think you can just see the corners of some more monkey fabric I ordered from Repro Depot too (it's still on sale and so is Katie Jump Rope, FYI). A friend of mine just had a baby & I've got to make her a matching monkey quilt and diaper bag...uh, in my spare time.
I must go sit still for an hour or so before bed, hope you all had a good weekend.

October 04, 2007

Actually Crafting

After spending a lot of time away from home the last month or so, it's nice to be back to work. I spent at least half the day in my sewing room yesterday. I got a custom order done for this bag using fabrics I had on hand. My original plans for these fabrics were to make something for myself, maybe a quilted backpack, but I haven't gotten to it. I suggested these prints to a repeat customer and she loved them. I hope she likes the bag when she gets it, I think it came out really nice. I enjoy making this style, but it is very time consuming. While I worked on this version, I made a second one for my farmer's market booth and shops. I also whipped up a matching zipper bag, but I sold it today before I even got to take a picture. No complaints here.
Actually, I had a great day at the market today. I sold a few of my more ancient items and some new ones too. I'll be back at the
sewing machine tomorrow, I've got several orders to fill. Just wanted to show off some of my new stuff. I've been working on a new monkey item as well. I was going to call them Monkey Keys, but they're not keys so, well, anyway. It's a mini Gadget Monkey Key Chain. I listed this one tonight, we'll see what happens.

I'll probably take my friend Jenn's advice and photograph them with something more gender neutral to show the size, maybe a key, I don't know. HeHe, excellent advice Jenn.

October 03, 2007

Babies, Buttons & Stuff

Nick & I went down to Orange County this weekend for a quick visit. The first time I've been home since moving back to the good ol' USA. First off, I had to see my cousin's adorable new baby boy. His name is Mark (after his grandpa) and I think he's a real cutie. He's got some issues with his heart that will hopefully be taken care of with surgery in November. Wish him luck. For now, he's at home with mommy & daddy and sleeping a ton.
I'll tell you more about our trip later, I don't want to bore you. But right now, I want to show you my latest shipment of 1" buttons. I always attach them to my business card when I ship an order or sell something at the Farmer's Market. Anyway, I've gotten a couple sets from one Etsy seller and thought I'd give someone else a shot. Kyle at Button Arcade was great to work with. Check out the packaging too! Each style of button came in its own little bag & I got a cool I heart sock monkeys button and a mirror with one of my images. Wow! I'm impressed. Aren't they great? So, if you need custom buttons, or even just some cool ones to stick on your denim jacket, check out Button Arcade. She's got great magnets and coasters too.

Since I'm showing you my cool buttons I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my sewing room. I finally got Nick to hang some pictures in there recently and I have to show off his work.

I got these Shag prints when I worked at Disneyland. They were done especially for the 50th Anniversary, and since I worked on it...a lot, I had to get them. I have a really great map of Disneyland to match, but it's in the next room. And here's my cool button jar.
I have a great shelf hanging in my sewing room, also just recently hung, and on the shelf is my glass jar where I keep those custom buttons. I love these jars so much I may use them for the centerpieces at my wedding. I think they look vintage, and I love that. They'd be great with a pretty hand bouquet and maybe some twigs in the base.