Monday, December 27, 2010

My aching back...

and other reasons we are feeling old.  I've been to the chiropractor 2 times in the last 5 days.  I haven't  injured myself, that I can remember, that is.  I think I sustained this new back injury sleeping or watching the Today show from my bed.  Certainly it wasn't participating in high powered Olympic quality workouts, such as power cookie making and eating, collegiate level HBO watching, and strengthening your core through wrapping a few gifts at the craft table.  But gees oh wiz, if this is getting older I'll take a pass. 

The Muffin Man and I took the girls out to lunch today.  I couldn't possibly be expected to clean the house or put away holiday decorations in my delicate state.  The Muffin Man couldn't be expected to take on any of my normal housely activities, since he is the Muffin Man.  So, therefore avoidance and denial of domestic responsibilities is working for both of us.  And, we all wanted cheeseburgers.  At the dining table the Muffin Man looked at me forlornly.  "What?", I barked while our girls incessantly fought over who was winning at tic-tac-toe. He sort of sniffed and said, "Look around this room, see all the people with teenage and college aged kids?  They are our age!"  "OUR age?", I snorted.  Speak for yourself old man.  Then I had to turn gently to grab my coat to stuff under my butt so my hard chair would not aggravate my newly aligned and professionally  adjusted aching back. I would not give him the satisfaction of seeing US as old.  So, I tricked Ava into reading my menu options to me since I honestly need readers and am in denial about that as well.

Upon coming home, I entertained myself with animal fights, as an observer of course.  New animal hats are courtesy of my sister in law from LA. My kids LOVE them.  Even in my advanced stage of age, it was not lost on me that my children were playing bow and arrow while dressed as animals. That is my idea of entertainment. 

May I never get too old to think it is funny when the Polar Bear is shooting the Tiger who is wearing mismatched Pony pants.    I understand that some might think this is twisted.  But, then again don't old ladies get to have their eccentricities?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tour of Trees 2010

I've been winding down the transactions in the wee little business shop this past week.  All inventory is either down at Ceramic Dreams in Broad Ripple or on Etsy.  It is that time of year, time to sew not a thing.  Until next week, when I get an itch. 

This weekend I finished up a few personal gifts in the sewing room.  Well, except for the bag that I made for my mom, that I made in the wrong style.  Right colors wrong bag entirely, didn't even realize it until it was completely done.  So, I guess that counts for a personal handmade gift that was completed this weekend, it's just that it won't be given to my mom who specifically chose a hobo bag and not a messenger bag.  Good thing my mom's birthday is in January.  Because it might take me until her birthday to get it right. 

In other small increments of creative time around the house we have been working on the tour of trees here at our end of the cul-de-sac.  Let me start by saying I still consider our family a one big tree type of family.  I'm not that Martha that has 9 beautifully decorated trees in every room.  The whole multiple tree idea has been their idea.

Tree hugger #1 Ava at Tree Lighting Downtown 2010

Tree hugger #2 Olivia wishing world peace and power to the people at preschool performance 2010
 This is Ava's tree.  Fiber Optic of course, for the technologically advanced 8 year old.  

Next is Liv's tree.  You may or may not have noticed that the trees do have some ornaments but they are neither matching nor equally spaced.  This is because these trees have been 100% styled by their owners.  With no help from their mother.  Excellent work my dears.  I'm sure Neiman Marcus will be calling soon.

Now, the big tree.  This is a delightful mixture of vintage preschool art and these fabulous brightly colored shatterproof balls in every shade of pink, purple, blue and teal, red and green that I found at Target and simply HAD TO HAVE even though we already have about 6,000 Christmas ornaments.  That's the thing about drinking the Target kool-aid, they have this knack for making you covet crap you don't really need but buy anyway and then come home doing a happy dance because you are so flipping happy with your non-that-needed purchase.  Seriously, those big brightly colored balls have been making me happy everyday for the last 3 weeks.   I even saved the clear plastic package to see if I could pack them away, the same way they came to me they were that darn pretty.  

Finally, last stop on the tour.  This is what it looks like when you enter my house. 

Notice the good luck Chinese Christmas kitty?  Sitting under the Santa? And the Christmas Chinese dragon nutcracker.  What international prowess my children have brought with them to the cul-de-sac.  I fear there is an ancient Chinese biological great-grandmother rolling over in her grave, may she know we were only searching to coordinate reds and greens with gold.  It is no statement of intentional mixing of heritages here. 

One more thing.  I'm sharing this because it is one more tid bit I have discovered in my newly found state of domesticity.  I now completely understand why my new cranberry velvet pillows are always dirty.

Dog snot.

Merry Christmas from Our Tour of Trees To Yours.  Would it be tacky to consider this your Holiday Card? 

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

More Aprons

More aprons!  I've discovered that making aprons, designing the shapes, adding pockets, choosing colors is well, huge fun. Who knew?  I come from a rather long line of industrious and creative but not kitchen loving women.  My English/Scottish blood line of ladies sort of viewed the kitchen a necessity in life rather than a passion.  I'm ok with it, really I am. I have a memory of my mother telling me in grade school her mother's version of an after school snack was a raw potato.  Yikes.  Perhaps my next life will include a band of Italian mamas smelling of pizelle cookies and meatballs.  

Anyway, in the interest of living vicariously through other ladies with flour dusting their hair, this "Grandma and Me" set is going out today.  I really didn't know how many people out there really love aprons, and collect them and use them at family gatherings.  I've had so many requests for funky aprons as I met people at my fall shows.   I've had a ball listening to ladies talk about their vintage collections of aprons.  Where do they store them? 

This set is for a gal's mom and her daughter, in anticipation of grandma and granddaughter spending the holiday hours toiling away baking cookies and other holiday treats.  Yum.    I do hope grandma and granddaughter have some delicious bonding time in the kitchen while wearing their new aprons.  Save a lemon drop for me. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

All Of The Sudden It's Winter

When did this happen? This was the view in my backyard at about 8am this morning.  It's been snowy all day.

Liv slept until 8:30.  She said it was too cold to get up.  I rather agreed with her.  The dog was up with me at 6:30 and then promptly snuggled back in Liv's bed when she discovered a warm body not willing to move about the house.  Who said the dog wasn't that bright?

As I gently pulled Liv out of bed, and sniffed her adorable head just washed last night with berry scented shampoo, it occurred to me that in 8 short months she will be going off to school at 7:30am each morning with Ava.  No more preschooler, no more babies. All the little kids in the house will be going to grade school as early as next August.  I've been caring for babies, toddlers, puggles, and preschoolers for eight years solid now.  I'm not sure I remember what it is like to attempt a task without "help and distraction" from wee people.  Part of me wants to cry.  Part of me can't wait.  Part of me knows that seasons change.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hydrangeas - The Upcycle Big Pay Off

A few years ago I met a woman at my daughter's gymnastics class that said, "Oh, you sew?  Would you like an old bridesmaid dress?"  I replied, "Ugh, sure.  Free fabric, I can be ridiculously cheap."  That was three years ago.  And, up until this afternoon I've been storing this rather large (skirt yardage, not dress size) 1980's purple hydrangea garden bride's maid dress in hopes that I would someday find the perfect project.  Three long years, this dress has been sitting there folded at the bottom of a stack of rather unloved fabric castoffs. 

As I checked my inbox yesterday I read that I had a client who was looking for a hostess gift.  She wanted a set of tee towels in pink and purple hydrangeas, could I help her out?  I immediately thought of this old dress sitting in the bottom of a fabric stack.  Ahh, the ultimate payoff for me...storing something for years and then finally having an opportunity to use it.  In my world, that is Christmas. 

So here it is, upcycled bridemaid dress which has now become lovely little hostess gift towels to hang in a  kitchen.
  See the crocheted trim?  Also sitting in my sewing room for years.  I met a lady a few years ago who gave it to me hoping I could use it somehow, someday.  I could swear she told me her mother or aunt hand crocheted that trim.  Even though I could never get it to work on a bag, I simply couldn't toss it if someone took the time to crochet it.  I have personally tried and failed crochet 101 about 3 times now.  I have to appreciate someone who had the patience.

If by some chance the bridesmaid of that original wedding ever reads this, please know your garden party dress lives on, cleaning one cook's hands, but lives on nonetheless.  It's making me think about calling my bridesmaids and offering to make that horrid black taffeta number I made them wear in 1991 into tablecloths.  Karmic payback. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And Then There Were None

 Look at the side bar, notice anything missing?  Fall shows, where I attempt to sell hand sewn widgets and more, they're done.  Finitio, completo, all done and removed from said blog sidebar.  Yesterday's show was well...ummm...sadly the best kept secret in Hamilton County.  Great organizers, wonderful vendors, nice venue, awesome lunch delivered to the booth (I love that part) and yet apparently most of the good folks of Hamilton and surrounding counties were at Best Buy seeking out their $75.00 off coupon for the flat screen television big enough to eat San Francisco and perhaps not as interested in my new funky tee towels with ball fringe made from super cute over the top holiday fabrics.  Seriously? 
Before we get all teary eyed and righteously indignant about my rather slow show yesterday, I did sell the pair of tee towels with the leopard Santa Hats.  Clearly nothing else was needed to make my day.  Other than the 3rd chocolate chip cookie I ate while sitting calmly in my booth out of sheer boredom.  That made me happy yesterday and my pants tight today.

While I had some time to reflect on my rather chaotic existence the last few months while being a full time mother, full time small business owner, full time wife, part time school volunteer, and full time house cleaner (fine, part time...we all know the dust bunnies are now rhinos around here) I had this Oprah'esque light bulb moment.  And it went something like this.  Wow, tomorrow I'm done.  No matter what happens at this show, I've got the fam to go home to.  And, they want Christmas baby.  The decorations, the tree, some gifts, some home baked goods (although we are going to have to go next door for that one since I can't bake even boxed brownies)  They could really groove on the whole ball of wax this year. 
And so, it's suddenly the end of the year.  I've worked hard.  And loved the wee little business 2010.  I even have some some thoughts for next year's creative ideas.  But now, (after I list a bunch of inventory on Etsy this week...see how I slipped that one in?) I'm focusing on Rudolph's friend in the photo above. And the little kid standing in front of the preschool cubby below.  She wanted to have her picture taken at preschool.  See the pony fabric?  It was pink and brown day at preschool, so I made her a pink and brown outfit.  I know, that one was neurotic even for me.  wink. 
Bring on December festivities.  I'm ready.  Or will be as soon as I sweep up the 3 months of dust rhinos and shake them out the door.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Christmas and A School Play

Here are the Christmas dresses I mentioned yesterday.  It is sort of dress central around here right now.  They were ordered for a pair of sisters.  I hope they have a very Christmas'y event to attend next month.  Maybe Santa would like to see them in their dresses?  So, off they go to be delivered in one of the first neatly wrapped packages of the season tomorrow. 

In other news Snow White has taken over the house.  Yes, the Snow White.  Ava's school is performing Snow White this week. It has been 9 weeks of practicing everyday after school for the main cast.  There are no less than 136 kids performing in this play.  Ava landed a coveted role as a dwarf, as in Snow White and the 7. The kids all had to audition with a solo for this play, can you believe that?  We are one grade school only a 1/2 step from the Great White Way it seems. 
   Ava is on the left posing with two other delightfully adorable dwarfs.  She knows 2 hours worth of dialogue and a huge handful of songs by heart.  She told me in complete confidence that she thinks she should be Snow White's understudy.  I thought this was a rather Soprano'esque statement for a little dwarf third grader but apparently she's thinking big for next year. 
Can you imagine the massive amounts of kidly chaos with dress rehearsals full of 136 kids?  As complete gluttons, Olivia and I are headed back over to the school for the first full performance tonight.  Then tomorrow it is another round for the all school performance and then Friday night?  Yes, of course yet another full performance.  I will have one very tired purple dwarf on my hands at the end of the week. 

Next week, we will be shopping for a full time agent in NYC.  I mean shopping for a turkey at the local market and spending lots of time in front of the Wii. 

Oh yeah, I made Snow White's costume!  Really, I did.  No, seriously I did.  It almost made me toss a sewing machine through a window but I did it.  And, no I'm sure the local community players won't be seeking my costume making skills. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet Dress

This little dress is going out today for a custom order.  I wish it was staying here for Olivia.  It is so darn sweet.  The gal who purchased the dress for her daughter chose the fabric line, but then allowed me to enjoyment of pattern placement.  I do love it when someone will trust me enough to let me play around with the design. 

I took a few custom orders for little girl dresses at a show I did last week.  I thought I had too many to keep me busy and didn't want to over promise the delivery before Christmas issue, but I'm done with this one and am about 1/2 way through 2 more.  I'm thinking about opening up just a few more dress orders.  Thinking, hmmm.  I will post the photo of the two more Christmas themed dresses when I finish them.   

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Eleven Twelve.  The twelfth day of the eleventh month and there it was, Olivia as an honest to goodness five year old.  Five whole years.

She started the day by asking me several times if this day was her real birthday.  Yes I told her, it finally was her real birthday.  She's been waiting for quite some time to turn five.  And then she asked again, "Mama, is it my real birthday?"  I know she was excited, it was the finale to counting down the days over the last 2 weeks.  She was simply confirming that her day to be five was really upon her.  It was her day to wear the birthday crown at preschool, her day to eat anything she wanted for dinner, her day to open presents and receive well wishes. 

And yet an hour later I drove away from preschool wondering if that was what she was really asking.  Is today the day, I asked myself?  The real day of her birth. We have some paperwork to suggest that yes, indeed 11-12 might really be the day of her birth in Yangxi County, Guangdong, but we don't really know for sure.  We probably never will be quite 100% sure.  Was that newborn baby born before midnight?  A while after?  Was that baby born 2 days prior to her finding?   I thought to myself on that drive home from preschool would a birth family be more likely to remember her on a nice round anniversary like five years?  Where are they now?  I bet they would think its funny that she hates princesses and asked for Spider Man toys.  But she is also interested in lipstick.  My Spider Man loving, lipstick wearing five year old.  Our clever, sweet hearted girl.  

Over the years I've learned to have my private moment thinking about what may or may not have happened on the days we celebrate as birthdays for the girls.  I don't dwell on the unknowns like I did several years ago.  I have my thoughts, my wonderings about the truths, and then I focus on chocolate cake and paper crowns with paper candles on top.

Happy Birthday my Spiderman Loving Lipstick Wearing amazing Olivia Xi GeGe.  Happy 5th.  May you have many more.    

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Projects Galore

Ha! Binkie clips.  Wow, Ava (my eight year old) and I could have used these circa 2002 and 2003 when she had a serious addiction to her pacifier.  She called it her nuk, and simply would not leave home or sleep without it.  We are over the nuk, here at Pink Evita home but these darling little Binkie Clips are headed out in a wholesale order.  You simply must go see Basket Pizazz if you are in the central Indiana area.  Sherri, the owner will make any sort of gift basket you would like and ship it anywhere for you while you simply walk around her shop picking out items for your basket.  You can choose any dollar amount you would like, including the shipping costs and Sherri will make some sort of basket work for any THAT.  I've done it several times.  Hopefully these clips will make some mommy and baby addicted to the binkie very happy!

In other news the sewing room is smokin'.  Sew much use.  I have another big show coming up.  St. Luke's Holiday Bazaar.  It might be their 30th year?  Don't quote me on that but it is a big holiday handcrafted show here in town that's been around for decades.  It's my first year as a vendor there.  Come see me.  My mom is going to help me at the show.  Can't wait.  See my side bar for the address and grab a friend and come see all the goodies at the St. Luke's Holiday Bazaar 2010.  I'm ordering boxed lunches to be booth delivered as we speak.  :)  Oh, they are having a bake sale too.  Seriously, baked goods made by nice Methodist ladies...why would you miss out? 

Oh yes, and that little binkie addicted baby I mentioned?  Yes, she's all big and growing up.  Sniff.  She's in the school play.  She's a in Snow White and.... Snow White's mom was in a costume predicament and I offered to make the dress.  It's a gown really.  Why would I do that during my busiest time of the year?  Insanity.  And I just wanted to see if I could.  I really didn't know whether I could make a gown that would really fit a super adorable and talented 10 year old.  Here it is so far.  Fitting is tonight.  I have a few fingers crossed that it will fit.  The skirt has been sewed to the bodice 2 times and the zipper has been in and out too many times for me to admit.  Stretch velvet and chiffon skirt overlay that can't be ironed = one huge headache and a few swear words tossed in to keep it real.  But it does sort of look like a Snow White gown doesn't it? 
Gotta run and finish a bunch of bibs to match those binkie clips.  I need 5 more hours each day...just until the end of November when I settle down and start to think about my own family's holiday season. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Owlful Dress For Ava

My eight year old, Ava, found this ultra soft flannel fabric online this summer.  She absolutely fell in love with the little blue owls.  Admittedly, I tried to steer her towards something more contemporary and slightly less owl'ish.  She would have none of it and decided that the blue owls were a must have.  My kids seem to be developing this annoying little habit of having their own thoughts and ideas lately. 

I used this pattern.   I have several Little Lizard King patterns and absolutely love them.  No tissue paper, need I say more?  Only follow a grid and cut shapes to create your dress pieces. 

So, it's done.  And I loved making it for her.  But, it's not exactly my favorite dress I've ever made.  I'm not sure if I can get over the owls.  Not that I have anything personally against owls, they seem like a nice enough species, but I'm not feeling the love.

On a more positive little girl dress note, I do love making these little kid clothes.  What absolute ridiculous fun to design outfits for little girls.  Now I know where Hanna Andersson is coming from.  Matilda Jane, yea she's having a good time in life.

I'd like to be able to offer a few dresses at my fall shows coming up.  I'm hoping a sample or two in a few styles and some color choices might entice people to custom order for the little gal in their lives.   Perhaps the owls will look better on Ava with capri leggings and boots.  Here's to hoping.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some Black and White For Fall

Ahhh, it's Friday night and I've completed a custom order that I have been working on all week. I had been planning these two bags as far as scale and the geometry involved (which admittedly is not my strong suit) long before I sat down to cut fabric.    I was asked to use a bit more leather than I usually work with.  As in the entire backside of the bags would be leather and it would fold around the bottom.  This is all fine except I had forgotten you can't iron or pin leather.  Pinning and ironing are my life.  I pin and iron everything.  Except velvet... which I learned the hard way why not.  email me if you think you can iron velvet, I'll save you a disaster, I promise.  So, now I don't pin or iron leather either.  Add it to the big list.

I'm done.  And I love them.  Love them so much I almost hate to see them fly out the door.  But they are spoken for.  And they are going to very good homes.  Which makes me happy.  And, of course I need to move on to the next custom order, which by the way is an Olivia the Pig backpack.  This will be a diversion from these sophisticated black and whites.  I'm envisioning a little ruffle action on the Olivia The Pig backpack.  Right now I'm still reveling the fact that I'm done with the Black and Whites For Fall.  

  Oh and I'm doing some thinking about the model of the business.  Doesn't that sound official and complicated?  It's not.  Simply put I'm just thinking about how I really want to work and what is the best outlet for me as far as sales.  Internet?  Art Shows?  Retail?  Hmmm....positives to all.  Challenges to all as well, let's be honest.  So today I climbed a huge hurdle and went searching for another few retail stores that might be a fit for my items.  I strapped on my big girl panties and actually approached two retailers. Both said they would be interested in speaking with me.  This is not huge sales mind you but it wasn't "we aren't interested either".  So, It's up to me to follow through and develop a few samples to show shop owners.  Nerve wracking I know. 

So, between my black and white totes and my trip down Main Street.  It's been a fine week.  Now it is time for a glass of vino and spaghetti chicken.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Goodbye Ziploc

A few years ago I met a woman at a craft show who was selling these amazing little cloth and clear vinyl sandwich wraps held together with velcro.  They were so darn cute and she professed that I would need WAY less ziploc bags if my girls were packing their lunches in these re-usable wraps. 

She was right!  Ava and Olivia pack their lunches several times a week and for over 2 years we have been using the same two cloth wraps.  I just wipe the vinyl side down and even wash the whole thing in cold in the machine when needed.  Liv has a birthday party tomorrow and I thought, Hey, I've got to get on that lady's web site and order another sandwich wrap for her little preschool friend.  Guess what?  Eeko Wrap, the name of the business no longer exists on the web.  Sad.  You know there is a sewing challenge coming right?

Yes, Liv's friend Thomas MUST have a sandwich wrap.  When I get my mind set on something ugh...I can't stop. I will obsess until it is done.

Chloe thinks I'm part pit bull.   

I laid out Livi's old wrap as a pattern and after a few attempts...we have a new re-usable sandwich wrap to give to Thomas, who is turning 5 tomorrow.  As an added bonus I also made a re-usable dry snack pouch. No more ziploc baggies filled with goldfish crackers. 

I'm so happy with these re-usable lunch accessories I am headed back into the sewing room for more snack pouches for our family!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Messenger Style

Here's a messenger bag I've been working on for fall.  I'm trying to come up with the perfect combination of functionality and style.  The messenger style bag is so convenient especially when on a day trip or you need hands free, for perhaps when your kids are making better use of your hands?  But, I've seen a lot of messenger style bags that are really large and ummm, not so pretty.

I can't take the credit for the fringe, I have a friend who I'm slipping slave wages to in exchange for a bit of help in the production room over here at Pink Evita.  She likes to cut and iron.  But out of no where she came up with putting the fringe on the flap!  I was skeptical to say the least.  In my mind fringe was for the top of tote style bags.    However, I love it.  Just a small bit of fringe on an otherwise functional bag.  Thank you to the mighty Colleen, whom I've now promoted to Creative Director.  (Yea, big title crappy pay.)

While Colleen has been dreaming up new and exciting designs, I've been running key fobs.  Wrist AND finger sizes.  Lots of them.  Enough to fill baskets for fall shows.  Aren't the colors pretty?  Oh, how I do love a full basket of COLOR. 

Gotta buzz, Liv and I are helping the Snow White Dancers over at Ava's school in preparation for the school play in November.  Right on, Liv and I play choreographer for 3rd graders. Watch out Alvin Ailey dancers. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

8 Years

I don't remember it looking this dark.  Perhaps it was a bit lighter in the conference room from where this photo was taken.  What you see here is a very crowded elevator hallway way up high on some unremembered hotel floor.  It is September 16, 2002 in this photo, at the Dolton Hotel in Changsha, Hunan PRC.   The Muffin Man and I were about to become first time parents.  He was over come with joy and excitement.  I was simply overcome, naive, still healing from the wounds of cancer and infertility and seemingly prepared for the auspicious event armed with a copy of Jasper Becker's The Chinese.  Why it didn't occur to me to bring Your Baby, The First Year; I'll never know.  

The ten babies had to travel through this mass chaos to meet their new parents. After they sat on 2 hot buses all day to travel to Changsha.  Maybe this is why one minute after meeting us, 8 month old Jing Tang  broke out into what turned out to be hours and hours of inconsolable heaving fits of sobbing.   Or maybe the powerful grieving was because she had been placed into the eager arms of two very inexperienced Americans who had in essence arranged for her to be pulled from the arms of the only caretaker she could remember.  But grieve she did.  She screamed.  She shouted.  She fought sleep.  She thrashed and arched her back.  She made sure we moved constantly to keep her eyes and mind entertained as if movement and bright lights were the only thing that would temporarily distract her from the obvious horror of being placed with us. When she entered our hotel room she started to wail, when we took her outside in the Bjorn pack or in the stroller she quieted down.  We did a lot of moving that trip.    
The adorable and obviously verbal Ava Jing Tang started to scream again as soon as Brian finished clicking this photo.  Even though I'm sure she was grateful for those brightly colored stacking cups.  I plopped her adorable and  loud self into a stroller immediately after this photo was taken.  It had started to rain outside so she and I walked most of every floor in the hotel in attempt to make her happy.  I would have done anything to make her happy or at the very least to stop the crying.  It cut through me like a knife to realize this child that we loved with every fiber of our being, waited for, and traveled the world to meet quite frankly was less than impressed with us.  Our meeting was not the making for a Hallmark movie. I think it was during a 3 mile trek through the hotel that we discovered there was a floor devoted entirely to Chinese cigarettes and gambling where women were not permitted to enter.  Hmmm...we both snorted and backed up our stroller and headed off the the 2nd floor again for a French sugar roll. Our first bonding moment.   I then passed her crying little body off to the Muffin Man who took his shift of pacifying circus tricks while I passed out from complete exhaustion.  If I remember correctly she continued the reindeer games of intermittent screams for another several hours until she too succumbed to the the less than super hero need for sleep. Glorious sleep.  Heavenly sleep.  She never got the memo. It would be another 3 years before she would sleep regularly.  Clearly you can tell I didn't know this from the look on my face in the photo.  

Now it is 8 years later and she's decided she likes us a little bit more.  That too will probably fade as the next few years pass.  She is strong willed, quick as a whip, and still in need of constant lights and movement. Her heart, as it turns out is made of gold.  She has the voice of an angel with perfect pitch.   It's another September 16th where I find myself even more in love with her than that last one.       

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Lead Up To Fall

I've been working this week trying to come up with new items for fall to take to a few shows.  I think I have a nice mix of home and public shows lined up leading into the holiday season. Eeek gad, it is still a mighty toasty 85 degrees outside today and thinking fall is not coming easily.  

Have you seen all the ruffles on tee shirts?  After seeing ruffles on silk blouses in the early 1980's I was pretty sure I couldn't tolerate ruffles, unless they were on my four year old.  But, I'm a changed woman.  I love the new tee shirts with ruffles.  Coats with ruffles.  Bags with ruffles.   Here is a whimsical messenger bag with yes, ruffles.  For a not so huge bag you can really pop a lot of junk in there.  I think I will make up a few more to schlep along with me as I visit some of these shows. 

Other news around here demands I announce that I am now officially a stage mother.  Perhaps we will be jetting off to New York soon.  (Anyone who knows me in real life must be laughing their fanny off at that statement, after all you are reading the gal who simply doesn't get off the cul-de-sac very often.)  Ava, Miss 3rd grader extraordinaire has landed herself a pretty decent part in her school's play.  Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs.  She is a dwarf.  Nifty right?  A dwarf named Spritely.  Apparently the old Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy etc...they aren't flying anymore.  She had to audition and the whole bit.  It took me 6 tries to get the correct itunes download for Favorite Things in instrumental version for her to take the the audition.  Embarrassing,  not a stage mother move. At one point in the process I was sitting in her room giving her directions on how to hold her hands at the end of the song to look Liza Minnelli like.  How very theatrical of me.  I told her to be gracious and say thank you to the judges when she was done.  She asked why.  I told her she wanted to make the judges think she was direct'able.  She then broke out into song. "I am directa'ble."  Oh yes, stage mother, stage daughter.   Now I have to find several hours a week until the middle of November to volunteer with the play. I am the new volunteer on the "snow white dancers and their princes" team. 

Here are some new fall additions all lined up on the fence.  I personally am groovin' on the purple ones.  Do they look like they are sweating?  And in need of a pair of skinny jeans and long sweater?  Yeah, I thought so too. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Have A Deadline

Do you ever find yourself sort of flitting around not getting loads of work done until BAM, there is a deadline looming down like an anvil hanging from a thread above your head?  This is the definition of procrastination right?  Or attention deficit?  Or persistent refusal to plan accordingly and stick to that plan for fear it will stunt creative energy?  I resemble that one. 

The party is over, the pool is closed, the buzz rush that was summer has turned the leaves yellow.  Liv is back to school, and doing swimmingly I might add.  We all now know the entire song of 10 little dolphins, by heart. 

And me?  I must sit my fanny down and create some cool junk for fall.  I have committed to 6 shows this fall.  All before Nov. 30th.  Do I have fall inventory stocked and ready to go?  No.  Thus the persistent refusal comment. 

The last two custom pieces have been finished.  Now it is open sewing room season and I can create whatever the heck I'm inspired to sew together. 

I'll share, and then it is off to the sewing room to snuggle with a puggle and start designing something of substance.  
First up, fabric baskets for a professional organizer I met this summer.  If you are in need of some super professional organization around your neck of the woods contact Leslie.  Her client ordered some adorable polka dot baskets.  Did she order three in multiple sizes?  No, of course not the one on the right is the correct size and the ones on the left are trial prototypes.  That means I couldn't figure out the sizing until the third time.  Embarrassing, simple math and I don't always get along.  

Next up.  Another dress.  A Christmas dress at that.  It has a tulle crinoline to make it extra puffy.  Sweet.  Red taffeta with black velveteen polka dots.  I love making these dresses so much, no tissue patterns just fun geometric shapes that get serged together = sheer happiness in my sewing room. 

Everyone have a happy Friday and a delightful weekend.  Just as soon as I can create some fun fall items for the show tables, I'll share that too. 


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Emily's Dress

My daughter Olivia has been invited to her first birthday party.  A birthday party where you go and there are games, and cake, and ice cream and other children...but mom drops you off for two hours.  Oh, I hope she will do it.  Depending on the day she wavers on whether she will go to the party without me.  I want her to go, I want her to enjoy friends and cake.  And, then I think...she's not quite 5 yet...what's the harm if I stay just one more time?  Olivia is my home girl.  She loves her room her dog, and her sister.  She has a little piece of velcro that seems to stick to the cul-de-sac.  She shows no sign of wanderlust. 

I asked her yesterday if she would like a special dress to give to Emily, the birthday girl.  She seemed very excited.  So, I spent a couple of hours making this dress for the darling and ever so feminine Emily.  Only, Liv doesn't seem too impressed.  Now she wants to present Emily with a baseball bat.  (Which I don't think Emily would really appreciate...the ever so feminine Emily.)  I made the dress, and Liv will have to arrive with it in hand, full of birthday wishes. 

Oh, I hope she decides she can muster all that is brave to attend the party because you know...preschool starts in a few weeks.  And they don't let mom stay at preschool, even if she does arrive with party dresses.  

Friday, August 20, 2010

And Then There Were 2

Middle of August to the beginning of September is an odd time for us.  Ava has gone back to school and by the the copious amounts of homework she's bringing home I'd say they are officially in full swing over there across the street in 3rd grade. 

Liv's preschool doesn't start until labor day. Odd, when you have 2 kids and the puggle home running crazy, fighting, making up and generally causing havoc at all odd hours of the day and night for a few months and then are down one.  We miss her.  The house is 80 percent more quiet even though we are only missing one during school hours.  Go figure.  

Liv is of course my home girl so she is slowly settling into day time with out sister, learning to re-connect with all those toys in her room that have been ignored all summer.  Chloe, my pug faced pooch is off.  I can't move anywhere in the house where she doesn't immediately hop up and follow me.  It's as if she senses we are in routine transition and she wants to be a part of whatever it is we settle into, eventually, maybe.  Bizarre to have a 24lb dog sit in the chair with you everywhere you go. 
So, a routine is out there for us.  I know it is.  It has to be.  I'm committing to about seven art/craft shows coming up this fall.  Routine, yes please let there be one soon.