Wednesday, November 28, 2007

puppy patchwork


I bought this happy hounds fabric many months ago knowing I wanted to recover Kobe's bed. I have been on this grey kick for a while now, and I love it paired with a little purple/periwinkle. The fabrics in our bedroom are a greyish purple, so now his bed will match the decor instead of matching him, something I'm not quite sure about. Matching things to your animal is highly underrated. We used to have a car with a black interior that would get covered in white dog hair, even when he hadn't ridden in the car! Our beige sofa (where he rubs to slick his hair after walks) couldn't camouflage the fur better.

And because I love reading bloggers' 'random things' memes--they're so revealing and endearing--I thought I'd share a bit.
  • I miss Japan so much that I try to think of trips we can take to places with large Japanese populations. So far: Brazil, Pacific NW, Chicago again.
  • Speaking of traveling, I love planning and researching before a trip, but it also stresses me out unbelievably. In fact, one of our best trips--to Costa Rica--was totally unplanned. Hmm.
  • I'm speaking Spanish at work these days. Not when I'm teaching English of course, but with the office staff. I'm really concerned about my grammar, even though I know this inhibition doesn't help my progress.

And the shop update was a little too ambitious--cloudy weather + dead camera battery = no photos. Let's shoot for Monday, OK?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

carefree + a deadline

Thanksgiving Day 2007

What a restful weekend. Or double weekend really, now that I've been off for 4 days straight. I'm trying not to be too lazy--breaking up the napping with sewing and taking walks:)

It's been nice lately to be able to walk away from sewing when I'm ready to take a break. I got so much done for the craft fair, but now it's nice to work at a more relaxed pace. A new dog bed is in progress, and may be in progress for a while at this speed! I wanted to make it for Kobe's birthday last week, but that didn't happen. But dogs are pretty forgiving.

So with the lack of a deadline, the whole etsy update just isn't happening. I've worked on it, but maybe I'm being too much of a perfectionist. I want to re-take some of the photos. I'm enjoying my new camera, but also finding out that it won't make me a better photographer instantly. There's a lot of learning to do. So, since I need some motivation to get the shop going, I'm officially announcing a [tentative] shop opening, with many more items, on Weds, Nov 28. I'm planning some freebies to make it fun, so come take a look!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

pocket bag and some links


Thank you all for your supportive comments on what I'm selling. I do have plenty of 'inventory' left, so I'm slowly-but-surely stocking my etsy shop. It's a bit tedious, isn't it?


One of the items that I've been working on, and that will be in the shop, is my pocket shopping bag. These cotton sacks fold into their own interior pocket so they can be stashed in your purse. I always get into Target and realize my cloth bags are in the car, so I made a small one that will permanently stay with me. I'll do my best to add more items to the shop over the long weekend, so stop by!


As I mentioned in my last post, the best part of the fair was talking to other crafters, and buying from them, too! Since it was in Savannah, quite a few of the crafters seemed to be students or graduates of SCAD. Being alongside these creative people made me feel like I'd found my place again in the world of art. Art was my life in high school, but for some reason (a rush to finish college?), I pretty much abandoned it after that. I've done a bit of painting here and there over the years, but always run into frustration with not having the skill I used to. I guess I'm just out of practice. And although sometimes I find myself confronted by the distinction of 'artist' vs. 'crafter', I know that my sewing and other dabbling is the right outlet for my creativity right now.

Anyway, I wanted to share a little about the creative people whose things I bought. Some of these items will be gifts, so I won't be too specific.

Leslie Geer, the planter of greenware design, creates lovely plantings in her partner's ceramic bowls. Succulents and some whimsical touches make these little gardens so special.

Karin Soderholm is a quilter with great taste in fabric (lots of linen) and unbelievably perfect stitching. She makes needlebooks and laptop covers, too.

Kathryn Riechert is a jewelry artist who creates unique pieces with text, bird motifs, and other elements. My favorite piece was a bird that hung from a cloud outline. She takes custom orders, too.

And thanks, Rashida, for the you-make-me-smile award. Her blog, and so many others, bring me many smiles!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

savannah


Well, I'd say yesterday was a success. E and I got up super early to drop off the pup and make our way to Savannah, GA for Mutation Craft Fair. I had a half table and was lucky to share it with a friendly knitter from Savannah. She makes chain-link scarves from the softest wool. There was heavy foot traffic early in the day, and a lot of people stopped by my table. I was so relieved after I made my first sale! My tissue holders and fold-up cotton bags (more on those soon) were the best sellers. I even saw some fellow Jacksonville girls (I hope you like your bags!). And then the end of the day came. It was slow, so all the sellers did some shopping, which was probably my favorite part. I met some great crafters, enjoyed a little shop talk, and made several purchases. In the end, I made more than I sold, so that got E's approval, even though he knows it's not about the money. It was a fun experience.


After the show, we spent a few hours in Savannah. We even passed Paula Deen's restaurant by chance. Of course, it was booked, but I guess that just means we'll have to go back!




Friday, November 16, 2007

mutation







Done:
bags/ornaments/tissue holders sewn
stockings/pillows quilted
business cards printed
buttons covered

To do:
print stickers
final hand sewing
make sign

I think it's under control. I'm headed to Savannah for this weekend's mutation craft fair. If you're in the area, you should check it out. I know I'm probably going to spend way too much on all kinds of goodies (have you seen the vendor list?!), but I hope I can sell a few things to make up for it! See you there!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

mess in progress


Yikes--this photo looks pretty bad. Can't wait until my room is back to a tolerable level of mess. My creativity needs more order than this, but until Saturday, I'll keep on pushin'.

Monday, November 12, 2007

coming soon...

Considering this is my last full day to sew for next weekend's craft fair, I should be sitting in front of a different machine right now--not messing around with the design of a certain new etsy shop. Yep, I've jumped in--I know I want to sell my goods, and an online shop seems just my speed. So far, I've just set it up, but I'll be listing some items in the next few days. Exciting!

Selling is such a hard thing to explain to someone who doesn't craft. There are always questions about whether it's worth it, or how much the supplies cost. Some try to equate the value of a handmade item to something mass-produced. Others question the amount of time involved. But here's how I make sense of it: I love to create. And I love to make things for myself, but there are only so many paintings/pillows/tissue holders I can make for myself/tolerate in one house. So, I continue making, with the intention of sharing what I make. How can I find someone who will appreciate the care that has gone into something handmade? Yes, I can give it to certain friends and family who either like my style or love me (hi mom!). Or I can find someone who values a one-of-a-kind creation just like I do. This is the reason I love to shop on etsy!

I've been away from the blog lately only because I've been fully enjoying creating lots and lots of stuff. Photos of this stuff, though, have been hard to come by. With limited daylight hours and a camera on the fritz, I haven't been able to get the shots I want. But hopefully soon...After asking and researching and testing and pondering, I finally just turned my head and hit the 'submit order' button. And a new camera is on its way. I'd better get to work on more items to stock the shop!

Monday, November 5, 2007

the art of [almost] doing nothing


Finally--a restful weekend. And I actually got more 'work' done this weekend than I have in a long time. If I do too much of nothing on the weekend, I get stressed at the beginning of the week, which proves what I've been reading in eat, pray, love--that Americans don't know how to just do nothing. So some yard work, lots of sewing, a movie and an afternoon at the beach proved to be a perfect combination. We watched the yearly air show from my parents' house and then delivered this ball to our friends' one-year-old birthday boy at his party on the beach. I found the tutorial here. Super quick and fun to make.


And next weekend I get 3 days to do almost nothing!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

music for makin'


These are some little pockets for a new 'product' I've got up my sleeve. This weekend I'll be back to work on craft fair inventory. And for that, I think I'll need some good music. Some poppy stuff I've been enjoying lately: Chromeo, Of Montreal, and Silversun Pickups. I finally popped over to the myspace page of a local band, the Black Kids, who have been getting lots of coverage on a local blog, and recently some national coverage. It turns out that the lead singer and the drummer are guys I knew at church growing up. I love their sound--check 'em out!