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.