Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh, Those Colors

They arrived today. See them? Opening the package and seeing these amazing colors made me swoon. It was like a fix, I tell you.

They were ordered from Quilt Home
and arrived very quickly. Wonderful customer service if you are looking for some quilt weight fabrics for your stash. I have to smack my fast clicking ordering finger every week when the online newsletter arrives. Must-Not-Order-Too-Much-Fabric.

They are sadly not for my own personal stash, they were ordered for a custom set of bags I'll be working on this week.

The tote will look something like this one, but in the colors you see above. I'll toil away here for a while and post the bags when they are done.

On the home front, as if talk of fabrics are not the home front...but you get my drift. My gals are seriously looking forward to seeing grandparents and extended family for Easter and spring break.
Olivia wants the Easter bunny to bring dress up pumps. Ava wants to Easter bunny to bring her a bike helmet that doesn't have Power Rangers on it. Plain pink or purple or blue...something not embarrassing would be much appreciated thank you very much Easter bunny....bok bok. I'm not exactly sure when the Easter bunny took some steroids and beefed up to look a bit like Santa Claus, but it's been made clear that 1 hollow chocolate bunny and a few stale jelly beans will not cut the mustard this year.

I'm off to buy these. And, I'm not sharing.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Off to Market

It's been a whirl wind of a week. I spent the beginning of the week taking some custom orders, custom orders, and love spending time with the ladies as we work to come up with something one of a kind. I'll get to work on them next week.

I've also been down to my favorite place in all of Indianapolis, Broad Ripple's...54th and Monon Shops. This is where the delightful Tanya of Ceramic Dreams features some of my bags in her shop. I took several new spring bags down and she called to tell me that I had already sold several pieces this week! Since I've been experimenting with some really bright colors mixed up, really mixed up, (ok, so mixed up that I'm not sure people will "get" what I'm trying to do since I'm often not sure what I'm trying to do) I'm thrilled that so far so good at Tanya's Ceramic Dreams for the new spring goodies.

See this new tote? It's going to market with me tomorrow. We are headed downtown to the Eiteljorg museum for Women In Art Market day. I'm quite frankly thrilled I was allowed in. I'm looking forward to see what the other artists are showing. And, we all know the Muffin Man is big man on the cul-de-sac tomorrow with the girls, so I will be eating my lunch all alone. Or rather, hopefully amongst lots of people walking the market, perusing the goodies and writing big checks.

Getting ready for this show has been at times wonderfully invigorating and at times a ridiculous amount of self imposed stress and pressure. Oh, the table will need 10 more heat therapy rice bags...must whip those up tonight...oooh ran out of white rice..must run to Costco for white rice in bulk. Wouldn't it be adorable if they were two colors rather than one? Must figure out dimensions for cutting. Oooh, that adds another step for sewing them together. But, they are so cute so it's worth it.

Loving the new colorful totes, must have at least 5 on the table. Gah, running out of time and have only 3 designed. Where is that oldest child to be used for cheap child labor? Would it be bad to insist 4 year old uses iron to interface 75 pairs of bag handles? Would that be awkward explaining to ER doc why 4 year old has iron burn on her finger? Bad idea, let them play Wii. Forget the child labor help, for now.

Last minute idea for creating a few Easter baskets for the table? Oooh found adorable fabric which appears to have eggs on it. Lady at store insists they aren't eggs. But seriously, they are eggs and with a pink bow? This could be made into some rocking awesome Easter baskets...but we are sort of at the 11th hour and is it wise to take on a new project for the booth? Clearly no, will I do it anyway...maybe.

So, if you are in the market for a fun activity downtown Indianapolis tomorrow anytime 10am to 5pm, stop by the Women in Art Market at the Eiteljorg Museum and tell me to breath in and then breathe out. Then repeat and get a sandwich.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

All Lined Up

I've been in production mode this week. Good golly, wouldn't you know it the weather has suddenly changed to 65 degrees and I'd rather be on the swing set.

No worries though, they are done all lucky thirteen of them. I've been working on a custom order for a week and a half and here they all are lined up like little pink soldiers ready to go to their new homes.

See all those glorious bright colors? This was a fun project getting to work with all these sunny spring colors. Goodbye brown and maroon chenille, until fall when I am suddenly in love with you again.

Pink tissue. It makes me happy. I can be having a dreadful day and then go look at a bag all packaged up in her cellophane bag with pink tissue poking up, presto good mood restored. Perhaps I should some with me at all times.

I went to a small show this weekend. Not too terribly well attended. Sad, especially since the venue was fabulous and that show could be SO MUCH MORE. You know me, I expressed my constructive ideas with the organizer and she asked me to send an email with some ideas for making it more local artisan'y for next year. All in all it did kick my butt in gear for the other spring shows I have planned. Got me going with making sure the table would be well stocked and every item has a tag with a price.

Of course, as always it was amazing fun to meet the other vendors. Check Wendy out here..yes, my girls are the proud new owners of some Eeko Wraps for their lunch boxes. I am living ziploc baggie guilt free at this very moment, thank you very much. Since the Muffin Man was on kid duty I got to eat my Subway sandwich without having to share my pickles, which is always a treat.

And that my friends, is why I have a small business. Eating my sandwich with pickles in peace.

Friday, March 12, 2010

They Were Green and Fuzzy

See the little kid on the left? She woke up this morning fresh from rolling out of bed complete with morning breath. She insisted with straight face and absolutely no snicker or remorse that she had already brushed her teeth when I inquired about those fuzzy green things that should have appeared pearly white.

I asked her again, please go brush those teeth before school. Again, she insisted that she had indeed brushed them before coming to see me. When I told her that I hadn't heard any water running, she told me that I couldn't possibly hear every water trickle in the house every single time. Little does she know, yes I do. I also have eyes in the back of my head and can read minds.

I pulled her little sweet, yet deviant head towards mine and told her I would not hesitate to sniff that breath and if it wasn't minty fresh, there would be swift and severe consequences for anyone lying to her mother. She stomped off loudly saying FINE, she would go brush those teeth. Then she paused for a moment to run her hand slowly over the table that was missing the sewing machine since we ALL know in this family is missing since it is in shop after my latest user owner mistake. She paused ever so gracefully and looked my way to say "So, where did you say the sewing machine is again?" The kid is the black widow.

Holy mother of all things evil...if I was going to make her brush those teeth, well then she would take that opportunity to remind me what a dork I am to break my new machine.

Oh dear God in heaven, please keep her out of federal court. Please let her run into some teacher sometime in the next ten years who can convince her that Sing Sing is a horrible place and she'd be much better off using her powers for good.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Uncle dammit, I cry uncle

Remember the Beast? I hate it. And I love it for it's potential and sheer brute strength. But, mostly I hate it. Seriously, this damn thing better be making some kick ass bags in about another week or I might have to go back to struggling on a machine that isn't built to do what I need it to do or I could simply run the thing through my index finger and call the whole thing off.

I am so #$% frustrated with myself for making some seriously stupid mistakes. Which as of right now is driving me to lug the 65 lbs. of sewing machine head all the way across town again for the second time this week to sheepishly admit I made a complete beginners error and tried to wind the bobbin without unthreading the machine. If I had waited to receive the replacement owner's manual that I ordered over 10 days ago, perhaps I could have read in that owner's manual that you MUST UNTHREAD THE MACHINE BEFORE YOU WIND BOBBIN. Somebody, pass the "Doesn't follow directions well" tee shirt please. Yes, on these commercial machines the needle pops up and down WHILE you are winding the bobbin. This is completely different than home machines. Who knew? Well, perhaps the 16 times trying unsuccessfully to wind the bobbin while watching that needle go up and down might have been a clue for Poirot over here. But no, this gal has to learn everything the hard way. Because if I wasn't constantly learning the hard way...well what fun would there be in my life?

So now I have a newly refurbished machine that has been professionally oiled and fixed and was until yesterday when I picked it up, in fine working order. It took me all of 10 minutes to jam the bobbin case after I got home. Nice.

The question of day is can I get dressed and out of my pajamas to drive across town to take the humiliation at the repair shop? Or should I save that bit of deliciousness until tomorrow?

Oh, and I have a show this weekend, bags are not getting made with all of this foolishness centered around the Beast.

I'm going to have a cup of chamomile.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Marching Towards Spring

March 1st. I want spring. Bad. I'm tired of being cooped up. I just want to take the pooch and walk a few miles without being bundled up and slipping on the ice covered streets. The kids, well they could use a romp around the backyard as well.

Look what they received in the mail last week! Canadian Maple Leaf Mittens! From Canada, whoot! Aren't they the best? My aunt, who is a real living and breathing Canadian sent them. I'm jealous. I'm guarding them so the girls do not lose them. I'm just that way about red maple leaf mittens.

I've been toiling away in the sewing room. We even have a new addition to the family.

It's a beast I tell you. A beast. I rescued it from a auto repair warehouse on the south side of town via Craig's list. Do you use Craig's list? It's my new best friend. It was under about 2" of dust and automotive grease. I can't exactly figure out how to properly set the stitch length wheel. But, I'm sure that is a minor technicality. Once once I get my hands on a copy of the user's manual, yeah they lost that, I'm sure happy days will be here again and I will be cutting through 12 layers of decorator fabrics with fringe in no time at all.

See that needle? Yea, there's even a yellow warning sticker on the thing with a simple picture of a hand with a finger flying off the hand. Scary! I've been circling the thing in my sewing room like a 14 year old boy eyeing up a college co-ed in a swimsuit. I'm here wanting to strike up a conversation and all, but seriously afraid it might bite. I'm proceeding with caution, driving this thing is sort of like hooking up a sulky to a huge bucking colt. I'm all over the place. But when I can get it to calm down a bit and slow everything to a minor crashing halt the stitches are absolutely gorgeous and it cuts through my handles and fringes like a hot knife through buttah.

Did you see Ava in that picture at the top? She was sick with a icky virusy thing and we didn't even know it yesterday. She's in a ball on my bed soaking up sponge bob reruns spreading germs to my pillow as we speak. Poor thing. The Muffin Man asked how she could possibly get sick now that winter is almost over and none of us are sick here on the cul-de-sac. Hmmm...honey, do you think she might have contracted the galloping green stickies from that petrie dish of an elementary school she attends 8 hours each and every day? Gosh, all that hanging out with notorious nose pickers and chronic sneezers...who would have thought? I love men, being the stronger sex and all. Gees.