February 29, 2008

Kind of a Day Off

I guess things are starting to get back to normal. We're not traveling, no one's staying with us. Pretty nice. I've been missing my sewing machine terribly. I really want to make a handbag or something, but the monkeys are taking over my life...oh, and that wedding thing too. haha According to my new wedding ticker, the big day is 56 days away. omg So much to do!

On Wednesday, I decided to get myself out of the house and head into the city with Nick. It was a beautiful day and I just had to take a break. Turns out I got a bunch of wedding things done. I guess it's best to just go with the flow, eh? I hadn't really planned anything when I went into SF, but I was able to get some shopping done. I found my pink Crocs, got some makeup done at Macy's (I'm a no makeup kind of girl. I don't have any and I wouldn't know what to do with it if I did). I bought the ugliest bra ever at Victoria's Secret (which will be returned), then found the perfect set at Nordstrom (no photos girls, sorry...TMI). I even bought myself a little present at Bath & Body Works, this lotion smells so good. When I went out, I felt a tremendous sense of guilt, but in the end I made lots of progress! Hooray!

Now I'm off to fill some orders so I can visit the post office today. I must get those invitations in the mail.

February 25, 2008

Work in Progress

Slowly but surely I'm making progress on my wedding plans. I had hoped to get my invitations in the mail about two weeks ago, but well, not so much. This has been an incredibly busy month for us so I should just be glad I even got some invites made. This is how many are ready to go in the mail at this point. I still need to make the card that gives all the info about the weather, bringing kids, transportation etc., but I have everything else printed and/or ready to assemble. If you'd like to see what the whole invitation looks like, click here.

I have a very long list of sewing projects for my wedding and this weekend I got a chance to start on one of them. I'll be making these chair covers for about half of the chairs for the reception, that should be 35 or so. I've got them all cut and the side seams sewn. I'll be serging the bottom edge, then folding it up to hem. Maybe after the wedding I'll turn the fabric into placemats & zipper pouches. haha Maybe after the wedding I won't like sewing anymore.

I also found some new fabric for the neck ties. Not that I'm a last minute kind of person, really I'm not. I had chosen and purchased a reddy/brown print, but I like this better. Now that I know what the bridesmaids are wearing, I just think this will look better. It's an outdoor, country setting so the plaid will fit right in.

Between wedding projects, I'm still finding time to manage the Etsy shops. phew! I'll be adding Miss Mary to Monkey Travel Club later today.

February 21, 2008

Sharing the Monkey Love

Just had to show you the super cool little monkey bag I purchased at the airport in Seattle. How could I not get this? Seriously.

And when I got home I found my new Monkey Travel Club business cards waiting for me on the front porch. This is the second set of cards I ordered from Vista Print and I must say, for the price they do a fine job.

A little while ago I got this baker's twine to wrap up my little monkey friends when they leave the nest. I don't want to take any business away from my fellow Etsians, but you can get this 2lb. spool for about $9 + shipping from this shop (their website is horrid, but hey, it's cheap), or get about 60' for the same price on Etsy. You decide. Just sayin', be sure to do a little research before you buy things like this.

Don't you think it looks like a sock monkey? hehe

February 20, 2008


Well, I made it back from Seattle in one piece. We had a great time and the best part was finally meeting Jenn of Jenn Maruska Design, in person! I'd like to repeat everything she said. We hit it off right from the start, she's super nice and I'm so excited to have met her in real life. I'm so lucky to be one of the few people who actually knows what she looks like too, haha.

Jenn was nice enough to take me out to look for my wedding dress fabric. I don't think Nick & Josh enjoyed it as much as I did, but I found my fabric! It's exactly the color I was hoping for and I was able to get it on sale. Hooray!!! Now all I need is some shoes. I won't be able to cut or hem properly without them so I ordered these this morning, on sale. I may switch to these once the party is in full swing. Who looks at your feet anyway?

Nick & I really enjoyed Seattle. I think it's very likely that we'll be moving there in a year or so. It just seems to fit us. We were able to drive around a lot while we were there to see lots of different areas of the city. We took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island, which was beautiful. We were very lucky and had excellent weather the whole trip. I even found a little fabric store on the island, much to Nick's dismay. I tried to be quick and came out with a few treasures from Esther's Fabrics.

It's good to be home again and back to work. What? Did I say that?

February 15, 2008


Some beautiful flowers Nick's Mum bought at the Farmer's Market on Thursday.

For once, I'm so glad it's Friday. We're so busy this month with visits & travel and it's only half over! Tomorrow morning we're headed out for a little 4-day trip to Seattle. There's a distinct possibility that Nick & I will be moving that way in another year or so. He's never been so we have to get the scoop. I'm looking forward to visiting Pacific Fabrics and finally meeting Jenn, my first Etsy friend! I can't wait.
Hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day yesterday, I did. Nick will be taking me to the Marin Symphony in a couple weeks to see this concert. I'm looking forward to it. And hopefully this weekend we can catch this IMAX film while we're away. I finally got back to my sewing machine and finished this custom bag for a very good monkey customer.

She's waited ages for this thing, I hope she likes it! I don't think I've sewn anything in weeks, it's been all monkeys around here. I've decided to officially focus my time on Monkey Travel Club. I don't think iSew is going to make me a millionaire any time soon. There's way too much competition. I'm sad to say that my website will be changing too. Very sad. I never sell anything on it and the web hosting is expiring. We've decided to remove the storefront and simplify. I'll still have an iSew.biz, but it will link to my Etsy store. Sniff, sniff. As a matter of fact, I just went to the site and it's already gone. I had planned to at least print out some of the pages but I guess Nick already killed it. sigh. I feel like a bit of a failure, but I've done pretty well on Etsy with my iSew brand. Ah well. Monkeys it is. I'll let you know when there's a new iSew.biz to see.

I leave you with some chocolate for the weekend ahead. I'll be using these to stuff monkeys for the wedding. So far I think this is the only Valentine specific message inside the heart-shaped Dove chocolates. It's not too bad, is it? Kind of encouraging for someone who doesn't have a really cool website anymore. I need a tissue.

February 14, 2008

A Day of Love

Yes, Valentine's Day is my Blogiversary. I'm glad I actually remembered too. I've really enjoyed blogging this past year and it makes me feel so good that someone actually reads it. Thanks so much to all of you who stop by occasionally to see what I'm doing.

I was lucky enough to receive one of my favorite Peanuts TV Specials on dvd this morning from my wonderful Valentine. I'm so glad he works at home on Thursdays! I can't wait to watch it tonight, I don't think he's ever seen it... no kidding! If you love Snoopy too, check out his website & you can download some sweet wallpaper for your computer.
I hope everyone has a nice day with the ones they love. So far my day's been great. I must go hug my kitties now.

February 13, 2008

3 Cheers for JoAnn!

Hip Hip, Hooray! Hip Hip, Hooray! Hip Hip, Hooray!

Remember a couple weeks ago, when I said I might just go ahead and order that pretty lace from JoAnn Fabrics & see what happens? Well, I did. I ordered it on the 8th and it came yesterday. I'm really impressed with ol' JoAnn's. I was a little unsure as I couldn't see the whole design of the embroidery. But when I went in to get the fabric last night I was very happy indeed. Here it is photographed over a wrinkly old sheet.
I know, it's kind of a bad photo, but you get the idea, right? I'm so happy I decided to get this one. My next step will be to find a nice solid to go under this lace. Maybe this weekend on my trip to Seattle. Now that I've got this lace, I'm super excited about making my dress!
If you'd like to see a closeup of the pretty flowers on the edge, click here.

February 10, 2008

Monkey Madness

I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this, but I like monkeys. Yeah, I do.

They're funny. To honor this fact, I thought I'd tell you about my latest Etsy purchase. You may have seen BirdonaFernStudio, but you haven't lived until you own one of these wonderful creations. My little monkey pouch (he's the bigger one in the middle) is just about the cutest thing ever. His name is Sebastian (thank you Mrs. Lemon for the suggestion) and he's feeling very welcome in his new home.

I'm so glad I waited for the red fur lining to be available. He's ever so color coordinated and looks so smart in his hat too. I'm in love.

February 08, 2008

One down, three to go

This past weekend (+2 days) we took a trip to one of my least favorite cities, Las Vegas. My Mom, Grandma and Aunt live out that way now and Nick's parents were in town for a week so we thought it would be a great opportunity for them all to meet. We all had a delicious lunch at the Venetian and then headed off to do the usual Vegas stuff. We saw "O", the Cirque du Soleil show and that was amazing. I was very glad to get home on Tuesday night as I have a 10 mile long list of things to do before Nick's parents arrive here tomorrow. I have to say, this is the worst time to be going away and having people visit every weekend for 4 weeks! We have the parents here for about 4 days this weekend, we go to Seattle for 4 days next Saturday, then the parents return the following Saturday. I look forward to March! I do have a wedding to plan! Actually, what's left of the wedding plans is all me sewing and making.

We finally figured out what we want to do for our invitations. Now that I've finally sent out most of the "Save the Dates", it's time to do some inviting. I am lucky enough to live close to a Paper-Source store, so I spent lots of time over there trying to decide which colors and shapes to use. Naturally, there will be fabric involved, and buttons. I've done all of the necessary graphics, now I'm ready to print and cut and assemble. Hopefully I'll get some help on this leg of the journey.
Now I'm off to clean the house, reorganize the garage so I can put away the Christmas stuff and sew a custom quilt and handbag. I should list some things in my shops. Do some grocery shopping. Get the tire fixed on the car. Make some new monkeys. Mail orders. Rent a car for our trip to Seattle next weekend. Cancel another farmer's market..... Have a great weekend all.

February 01, 2008

You Make My Day

Thank you, Jannie aka Chickengirl (an amazing illustrator and fellow Etsian), for awarding me with the You Make My Day Award. What an honor! Now it's time for me to give it right back, here are the rules:

1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.

2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the “You Make my Day Award” logo

4. Tell t
he award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

Now I get to talk about how much I love reading blogs and what nice people are out in the world. When I first started blogging, last Valentine's Day actually, I did it because I heard it was good for business. Though I couldn't see how, I went ahead with it. Now that I'm a regular blogger and admittedly addicted to it, I think the real reason to blog is for the people. I've made so many nice friends in the Blogosphere and that's way better than sales. Here are 5 of the bloggers that "make my day":

1. Jenn - Not only is she a talented crafter, and a great blogger (her blog is always the first I check for new posts), s
he makes me laugh out loud pretty much every day. What a fantastic sense of humor, and Josh isn't bad either!

2. June - It's incredible how Junie can blog pretty much every day and come up with such excellent content. Each time I read her blog I'm amazed at the time and effort that goes into each post. Great work June! And yes, she's crafty too.

3. Nick - Yep, my other half. He spends pretty much all of his waking hours doing something on a computer. With only a tiny bit of help from me, he redesigned his blog this past year, and though I don't understand half of it, I'm very impressed with his programming talent. I wouldn't have a website so nice or be as happy as I am if it weren't for Nick.

4. Kelli - aka AfricanKelli - Is there anything she can't do? Great writer. Great cook. Fitness guru. Health nut. Decorator. Crafter. Need I say more? Kelli's always a source of inspiration for me.

5. Karen of Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage - How can I not be inspired by someone who so consistently chooses the same fabrics as me? haha She and I have the same taste in fabric but make completely different things, I love that. And it's great to hear about those kids too.

Thank you all for making my day over and over again. And on that note, I leave you with the yummy Cath Kidston goodies that Nick & his sister picked out for me while Nick was in England.