September 25, 2008

Wedding Reception v2.0

Wedding reception #2 took place this past Sunday and it was lovely. People came from all over the world to see us . Considering the weather they've had this summer in the UK , we were very lucky to have a nice sunny afternoon.

Here's the River Stour where the party took place.

There was a big tent beside the river where we had dinner.

This is what it looked like inside. Recognize those table runners? It was mostly dark by the time we were in the tent. I'm glad I took a photo earlier in the day.

And here's the cake. What a great evening it was. Don't ask me to recall the names of all the guests! We'll be flying back on Monday after a visit with Nick's sister & a few more days with family. It will be nice to have a break after our break, haha.

September 20, 2008

UK Visitors

Greetings from England! Nick and I are finally in the UK for our second wedding reception. The party's tomorrow then we're off for a short little train trip.

My coffee monkey, Fisher, on a boat cruise up the Thames.
We arrived on Wednesday afternoon, very tired and happy to find our hotel. We spent Thursday, my birthday, seeing the sites in London with my friend Jenny who's come over for the big event.

Green Park
We walked all over the city and met Nick's parents for dinner and a show. It was a great day!

The fabric department at Liberty of London
I got a chance to stop in at one of my favorite London shops too. Liberty is gorgeous and has the most beautiful fabrics.

Here's a little taste of what I'm bringing home from Liberty.

The Rovers Tye in Colchester
We got a chance to see the location for the reception this morning & afterward had lunch at a pub we used to frequent when we lived over here. It was nice to be back in our old neighborhood.
Couldn't blog without mentioning my latest monkey. This one was a birthday present from Nick's mum. He's a pencil case and is sooo cute!

Bye for now. I'll post some reception photos in a few days. Have a great weekend.

September 09, 2008

Food Fetish

Inspired by ChickenGirl's post about Re-Ment, I had to tell you about my strange fascination with fake food and food that looks like something. I know, I'm kind of weird. But when I'm browsing Etsy and I come across stuff like this or this, I can barely keep myself from buying it all. Do you think Nick would notice if these were in his lunch, rather than the real thing. Yeah, maybe.

Anyway, on to the new book I got this weekend. I think many of you know what a fan I am of the cupcake. I love 'em. This book is just too cool for words. It's filled with pictures of the greatest cupcakes that you can make with ordinary candy & everyday stuff.

Check out the TV Dinner cupcakes. Oh my gosh. These are first on my list. I love the mash & gravy cupcake, and the peas & carrots. Isn't that hilarious?

Take a look at this cupcake vegetable garden. haha Whenever I see a patch of veg I can't help but think of my favorite gardener, Gromit. Which reminds me of another excellent book I already have on the shelf.

I got this one when we lived in the UK. Naturally, I haven't used it yet, but I really do enjoy the lovely photos.

See? There's the Were-rabbit surrounded by veg. Can you believe that's a cake?

Next week's my birthday. If I was going to be home, maybe I'd try to make this one for Nick & I. Look at little Gromit with his knitting. So cute.

Oh if I only had the time to bake all day and run around in my bare feet and an apron. Some day.

September 04, 2008


Every now & then I need to update my custom monkey yarn colors. I don't want my monkeys to get boring so I add new ones, stop using certain colors & so on. I've rephotographed my yarns & here's what I came up with...

These yarns make pretty photos, don't they? Perhaps I should print them and hang them in my sewing room for inspiration.

I've added lots of new colors and only discontinued a few. I now have 29 color choices in the shop (the monkey shop, that is)! Oh my gosh. Now I need to come up with a good way to keep them organized.

September 03, 2008

Packing and Shipping

While taking the photo for this week's On My Desk, I thought it might be a good time to show you how I pack my orders and try to stay organized.

Here's a look at some monkeys getting ready to move to their new homes. I generally try to ship several orders at once. I like to lay out all the bits & pieces I'll need before I get started.

I got a set of drawer organizers at Target to hold my labels, tags, business cards & such. This is much easier than grabbing things one at a time from my shipping supply drawer. Now I just pull out the tray and everything's right there. For each order I need a business card with a pinback button, a little tag with a handwritten thank you note, a return address label and a shipping label (I keep those ina drawer near my computer). It's quite a lot of work to send those packages out the door looking nice.

I use kraft tissue from ULINE to wrap my monkeys and baker's twine to tie them up. I also get my padded envelopes from ULINE, they ship really fast.

I print all of my own labels and tags myself. This is easy for me because I design my own graphics. I use 8.5x11" sheets of sticker paper from Avery to make my address and shipping labels & recycling stickers too. Check out the Avery website, you can design and print your own stuff online. The only thing I don't print or make myself is my business cards and pinback buttons (I let the professionals handle those items). I keep all this stuff in a small dresser in my sewing room. I got some inexpensive sleeves to help me separate everything. One for iSew, one for Monkey Travel Club and one for my fun colored papers.

My punches & tools live in a plastic shoebox that's stored in a cabinet under my cutting table. (How do you like my girly pliers? haha) I have my own set of tools, that ensures they stay clean (and where they belong!).

I've started to make some little gift tags to include with my Etsy orders. I try to buy paper that's fairly generic (although I couldn't resist those Chrismas trees). I've got some for every day orders too. I find the paper punch works better on heavier papers.

So now you know all of my secrets. Enjoy!