We are the world's worst fabri - holics. We cannot resist buying fabric even though we already have enough to supply a fabric store for years. We are currently interviewing therapists to help us with this problem but we really need someone who understands and enables us. Want to apply for the job?
Well, we did Christmas a little differently this year. The boys and I went to the movies after we paid our dues at the grandparents' house. It was enlightening realizing how many people would rather go to the movies then go to Christmas dinner with their families! We went to three theatres before we found one with any seats left! I said to Rob "Don't these people have lives? What are they doing watching movies?" He of course said "Mom, you know that means you don't have a life either." Well thanks kiddo. We saw Sherlock Holmes. Excellent, my dear Watson....
Okay, here goes. I have alot of favorite recipes because I am a baker a Christmastime. Every year I have a Holiday party with my closest friends and their husbands and I bake for weeks and weeks (don't worry, I freeze everthing to keep the mold off!) and then everyone eats until they are as full as they can be. Probably the most asked for recipe is my brownie recipe. I have to say (she said modestly) that they are the best I have ever eaten. So you can try them and let me know if I am right! I must warn you, make the frosting. It is the key to their greatness. One of my friends calls me every month when mother nature visits and begs for these brownies. They are POWERFUL! Karen's Brownie Recipe Preheat oven to 350. 1 cup butter 2 cups sugar 1 cup flour 2/3 cup cocoa powder 1/2 tsp baking powder 2 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1 1/2 tsp vanilla 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips Stir ingredients together by hand until mixed. Grease a 13X9 pan. Cook for 30 minutes or until brownies pull away from side of the pan. DO NOT OVERBAKE! These are gooey brownies, not cakey brownies. Let cool and then frost. Frosting Sift one package powdered sugar (about 4 cups). Melt 1 stick butter in saucepan, add 4 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1/3 cup whole milk (no substitutes). Heat until mixture is free of lumps and extremely hot, almost to a boil. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and stir. Mixture will be liquid enough to pour over brownies and spread with a knife. Let cool until frosting hardens. Enjoy!
I think it is a good time to get back to the blog. I have neglected it for too long. And as my first blog in a long time, I am promoting my fellow etsians who are the etsy bloggers choice this month. CalKat are two friends that make beautiful jewelry together. I especially like this one http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18172832 because I love Santa Claus. It is a bookmark too! So it is extremely useful as well as lovely and cute. An all around winner! Check out their shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CalKat. They offer free shipping too!
I visited with my mother and my sister this weekend and they gave me an album my mother had made about me back in the 50's. It was her attempted at early scrapbook-making! Anyway, looking through the photos just reminded me of how drastically things have changed between when i grew up and my kids' childhoods! First of all, no car seats back then. How did mothers travel with wild children loose in the car back then? Amazing we all survived! I ate spam sandwiches on white bread covered with mayo everyday and lived to tell the tale. My mother was not much of a cook back then. Also, those spam sandwiches would sit in tin lunch boxes outside in the San Fernando Valley heat. Never got sick. Then there were the days when i would leave with my best friend on our bicycles early in the morning and be gone all day until dinner time. Nobody cared that we were gone all day (no cell phones).. they were just happy to have us out of their hair! In fact, I don't think we ever spent much time indoors unless we were sick! Now we can't let the kids out of our sight because of the fear some sicko will grab them.. and heaven forbid anyone see you feed your child white bread! You would be asking for a public lynching! My family definitely wasn't Leave it to Beaver.. but it did have a 50's kind of charm to it!
Tina is my hero. She is patient and kind and funny and caring. If you asked her, she would probably never admit to being any of those things, but believe me, she is an inspiration to us all. She is patient and kind to her daughter Molly who can be a trial most of the time. I think God gave Molly to Tina because He knew she is patient and kind. Tina cares about everyone she comes in contact with and I can tell you that she is loyal and thoughtful to her friends. She is even nice to people who aren't nice back. And she is one of the funniest people I have ever known. Thank you, Tina for being my pal and my partner.
Ok if anyone out there reads this, Karen and I have neglected this poor blog for numerous reasons... I am not going to bore anyone with the details. We have created a new purse for our little line of fabric purses which is adorable, even if i do say so myself. We have our first 2-days show coming up at the end of October (yes, on Halloween) and we are madly trying to get ready for it. I have started yet another diet because all of my pants are too tight. I really hate getting old! I never had much of a metabolism... and with menopause, i think the metabolism is sub-zero now. I have resorted to coming home from work and putting on my sweatpants. How attractive I must be! Anyway, life has continued on... my daughter, Molly is as crazy and difficult as always... no rest for the wicked.. but sometimes i do stop myself and try to remind myself that she is a little child in a grown body and all she wants is love. I wish i could remember that all of the time.
This past weekend was the gorgeous Labor Day weekend. I even took Friday off so I had a four-day weekend! It is amazing how fast the time flies when you are away from work! Friday, my husband (who also took Friday off) took me to Home Depot. What a romantic get away! Anyway, we got the paint for the kitchen and he got wood for his wall unit he is building. Then i sewed. I absolutely love sewing! It instantly puts me in a good mood to create something with beautiful fabric. Saturday I played. I went to see my dear friend, Pam, who lives in Orange County. I hadn't spent time with her since January! We went to the movies (Julie and Julia, which i loved), then we had pedicures. This was my first pedicure, that's right, I was a pedicure virgin! Now I am hooked! My feet look so much better! Sunday I began the horrible job of painting the kitchen. It is such a tedious job... taping off the ceiling, then cleaning the walls...this after the joy of filling in all the holes and sanding.. Yuck! I only got part of it painted because i was exhausted and hot! I figure I should get it all done by Christmas! Between the two, give me sewing any day!
And not in a good way! Today my 14 year old big teddy bear dude of a son had to scrimmage for football. Now, not only did it get to around 104 today, we had the horrible La Canada fire which has made the air quality extremely poor. The news said we should all stay inside. But the football coach didn't get the memo, I guess. What a nimrod! His elevator obviously stopped at the basement level. So poor Jon slept the day away, probably trying to remember how to breathe. Tina says I should report the coach to the school because the school announced over the loud speaker yesterday that the football team would meet today but only watch films. Needless to say, no films were watched. It was all a ruse to show how tough the team is. Well, Jon is not that tough! Anyway, I am off to make my first smaller version of the sling bag. I just made the pattern today - am looking forward to trying it out.
I am so lucky to have the most thoughtful friends. My birthday was last Saturday and I had the most fun-filled weekend ever! I went out to lunch with my husband and 2 kids. Rob was his usual low key self....his quote of the day was "Happy Birthday, Rob's home." It was his first weekend at college. Then my friend Brenda took me to the movies and to dinner (Greek food - delish). Then on Sunday, Tina picked Mary Ann and me up to take us to a surprise lunch at Border Grill in Santa Monica. It was the best! I was with two of my most favorite people in the world and then we went shopping! Only I have gained some weight since I could fit in a size 2 so it was not as successful as it might have been :( Oh well, I like food, what can I say? If I drank nothing but water (not watermelon lemonade, which is what I had at lunch) and ate nothing but lettuce, I might be able to stay skinny, but I don't think it is in the cards. Not after the dessert we had at Border Grill. It was a white meringue filled with cinnamon chocolate mousse and topped with dark chocolate curls. I took the rest home, needless to say. Which is maybe why I am no longer a size 2.....
Yesterday, Karen and her good friend, Mary Ann, joined me for a day at Santa Monica. We started off with brunch at this wonderful Mexican food place called Border Grill. It was yummy. Then we decided to stroll down the Third Street Promenade which is super fun because there are tons of people, street performers and great stores! These are the type of stores which are outside of my norm for shopping... Anthropology, Abercrombie and Fitch.. stores like that... really expensive, but full of neat stuff. The thing that got me was that they seem to cater to the anorexic. The normal size was 2, 4 and maybe some 6's. Heaven forbid someone of my great size even try and find something to try on! There were jeans there that looked like they would only fit thighs with a diameter of 8 inches! I don't think I could get my upper arm into some of them! Don't people in Santa Monica eat! Too bad because they have some great restaurants! I just don't want to live out the rest of my life eating carrots and drinking water! Well, we returned to the Valley where the sun was blazing hot, there's no sight of the ocean let alone any ocean breeze, but at least we can find clothes for normal people in the stores!
Karen and I have a slew (well, just 3, but seems like a lot to us)of shows coming up and I would like to add a new pattern to our collection. The only problem is doing something new always takes more time, and we don't have a lot of time! Oh well, i made the executive decision that I am not going to do the thankless job of addressing a million Christmas cards to send out from the office to our clients. Nobody ever helps me and it takes forever to do. I have my little business that Karen and i want to see succeed and it is not going to succeed if we don't put out the product! Frankly, half of the people I send the cards to probably don't even remember who we are, and the other half probably throw it out. Well, i am just not going to mention it and knowing this group, nobody will think about it until December and by then it will be too late. Senior will get mad probably, but like i have said before, it's not like they pay me or anything! Go ahead and fire me.. I would love it!
It was so wonderful this morning seeing the two journalists landing at Burbank Airport and reuniting with their families! What a nightmare those two ladies have been through! It just brought tears to my eyes. Probably because I am still getting little sleep due to my daughter's insomnia and my husband's inability to "hear her" when she gets up at night at all hours! Why is it that men can have such selective hearing and act so innocent and say with a straight face "Oh, I didn't hear her". PLEASE! the entire neighborhood could hear her! The other thing i like is when he claims he thinks she is getting better because he hasn't had to get up with her at all hours! Sorry, just a little crabby from lack of sleep! However, back to my original thought, it was a wonderful sight this morning and i am so happy for the journalists' families!
Well, Tina had a really tough day yesterday (filled with a screaming child, diarrhea, and no sleep - you get the idea) so we went out to dinner last night. It was really fun. I don't think we have ever done that - just the two of us. We usually meet to work or go over preparations for something or to shop, but we don't ever just go out and sit down to eat something someone else cooked for us. It was nice. Especially when neither one of us had to do the dishes! I finished another painting so I am putting that up as you can see. I am going to attempt to print the pictures at CVS today. Wish me luck.
So, after burning up the sewing machine preparing all that inventory for the show that bombed, Tina and I took our beloved Janomes to the old time sewing machine/vaccum cleaner fixer dude. Now, I have to say, I love patronizing people like sewing machine/vacuum dude because he is like a blast from the past. However, that said, HE STILL HAS MY MACHINE!! How rude! It has been a week. I mean, I am going nuts here! The only positive thing is that I was able (and motivated) to start painting again. I painted a picture that was inspired by a photo a friend of mine took for a card I bought from her. She takes really wonderful photographs of flowers, birds and bugs (my favorite!) using the name Karenb Photography. Hopefully you will be seeing her stuff on etsy soon. I am going to paint again today AFTER I pick up my machine. Tina and I plan on camping out in front of the dude's shop and picketing with signs that say "Give me my machine or give me death" or maybe "My name is Karen, you killed my machine, prepare to die!" (If you haven't seen the Princess Bride, you won't get that one - and btw it is a great movie). Anyway, we'll keep you posted.
Well, even though the craft show wasn't what we'd hoped for, now we have lots of stuff for etsy. So Tina put up a couple of bags and I put up a bag and two of my beloved fabric roses. I may be totally delusional, but I would like to think there are people out there that will love my fabric roses. I even tried to make my photos more artistic, although I usually fail miserably! :)Tina is much better at the photography end of things. I am going to start painting again. I actually started a painting but I am not sure I like it yet. It is a cat in a chair but he looks like he should be saying something like "Yeah....that's not going to happen...". He has one of those cat stares that looks bored and disgusted with human-kind. You know the ones if you have ever had a cat. Anyway, we will have to see how it ends up. So here is the "artistic" photo of my roses. :)
Well, the big show that Karen and I have been working our tails off for was yesterday. To describe it as a flop would not do it justice... it was below flop. Because of our tremendous run of luck, the temperature for the day had to be at least 106 degrees and humid! Hey! I would not have been there if i didn't have to be. To get to the hall where the show was being held, people had to walk through a portion of the Arboretum, and pay an entrance fee to do so. If the day had been nice, people could have made a day of the event by coming to the Arboretum, see the show and then walk through the lovely grounds. Nobody in their right mind would want to step out of their air conditioned homes or cars and stroll through gardens when their skin is being fried off of their bodies! Needless to say, we will not be doing another summer craft show in Southern California! Well, at least we have a lot of inventory to put up on Etsy now.
Okay, dating myself again. Actually, I never watched Ed Sullivan. He was before my time! (Hard to believe, I know). Anyway, the big craft shoe is tomorrow and Tina and I are geared up and psyched! Hopefully we will do well despite the hideously hot temperatures. I am busily working on one last fabric bouquet. It is actually a Christmas one (I know, I know) but I just want to see if there are any forward thinkers out there, that are shopping in July. You never know....
Well, this month for etsybloggers we are supposed to write about hot dogs. I love cooking hot dogs on the barbeque outside. There is something so summery about it. Personally, I prefer Hebrew National, with mustard and relish. And it must be on a bun. When I was a kid, my mother never bought hot dog (or hamburger) buns. She would wrap a piece of (yes, I am dating myself here) Wonder Bread (eeeeewwww) around the hot dog. The bread got all gooey and nasty. Put me right off, I can tell you. I still tease my dad about how I had to seek professional help with my hot dog bun deficiency later in life. Which is why my children always get a bun with their hot dogs. They may need therapy for other reasons but, no hot dog therapy for them! But my favorite hot dog is my wiener dog (that's what my boys call him) Toby! :)
Just wanted to tell you guys about a shop on etsy that is being showcased this month. Miesmama sells handmade pins, headbands, bags and other wonderful items. Miesmama was already a favorite shop of mine before she was showcased. I love how creative her pins are. You can attach them to a garment to dress it up or put it on a bag to make it extra special. Check out her shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5122298
So I finally got around to taking my dashchund (did I spell it right this time???) Toby to the groomer. He hates to get in the car because he is extremely intelligent and he knows he is: a) taking a trip to the vet or b) taking a trip to the groomer or c) taking a trip to grandmas where I will leave him for a short period of time (which is multiplied by 7 in dog days remember!). None of these trips makes him happy. Not that he doesn't like grandma, but he feels a pure and unconditional love for me. Anyway, he got in the car after much prodding, and I took him to the groomer who absolutely loves Toby. She always tells me how good he is when she bathes him, how sweet he is to her, etc. and I just want to say "Are you sure you haven't got him confused with someone else's dog?" because, as anyone who has not grown up in his household knows, Toby does not tolerate interlopers (i.e. anyone he doesn't know intimately) in his domain. But, I guess he becomes docile as a pussy-cat when he is not in his home territory. Hmm. I mean, this is a dog who still barks at my dad's wife, who, at one time, he saw a couple of times a week, and my dad has been married to her for 6 years! Get over it, already, dog! But, I have to say, it is the funniest thing when he gets home from the groomer, he knows he looks good and he prances all around making sure everyone tells him how handsome he looks before he can settle down and sleep off all the excitement.
The mirrors that Christine makes are absolutely gorgeous! My grandmother (the little lady from France) did mosaics, along with every other craft you can imagine. I was always in awe of all the beautiful pieces of colorful tile artfully placed to create a beautiful picture. She use to have a trailer parked at a beach that in Orange County called El Morro. This was long before the existence of the 405 freeway, so we had to travel on long roads through orange groves to get there. And, this was before air conditioning in cars! My grandfather, who refused to speak English to my sister and myself, would reluctantly stop the car and G.G., my grandmother, would get out and illegally pick oranges until he started shouting in Spanish for her to get into the car before we got shot... or something to that effect! G.G was fluent in French, Spanish and English.. a talent I did not inherit! Anyway, we would collect shells on the beach and G.G. would create gorgeous mosaics with them. What a cherished memory I will never forget!
Christine of Memoriesinmosaics on etsy, has a wonderful shop that sells, you guessed it, mosaics. She makes the most beautiful mirrors. Each one is incredibly unique. I think you would end up looking at the mirror more than your reflection! Here are a couple examples. Aren't they amazing?
I have to agree with my esteem friend that laundry sucks! I have spent the majority of the past two days doing tons of laundry. And, just to add to the "fun", it's about 100 degrees these past few days in the wonderful San Fernando Valley. I have been sewing like a fiend trying to have more inventory for the show. When the show is done, i am going to sit some Saturday and read a book. I adore reading. It is right up there on my list of therapeutic practices as sewing. I love losing myself in books. Imagining the characters and the landscape. And, I'm not a snotty reader. I read everything from classics to total chic lit. I love it all and i'm not ashamed to admit it! My mother-in-law insists that she will only read "Non-Fiction".. or as she frequently says, "I don't read fiction." My response to that, too bad.. she's missing some great fun! Anyway, i digress, as usual. I'm just saying, when this show is done, i plan on relaxing a bit and enjoying some summer time fun and some great books.. and no laundry!
First, let me say, that I really hate doing laundry. It's not "soothing" or "thought-provoking". It is mind-numbingly boring. I need a laundry fairy. And he/she (I am not sexist although I have to say men can't fold) must include folding and putting away in his/her resume. Why does laundry multiply exponentially when you don't have time to do it? And if you neglect to do laundry for even a day, the one outfit you really wanted to wear always seems to be in the pile of "disgustingly dirty" items. And heaven forbid my oldest son doesn't have the correct pair of jeans to wear. Don't get me started on that. What I really want to do all day is sew and paint. Would that it were so (or sew)! Ah well, that would involve a cleaning house fairy and a taxi service fairy too.....
Today we are going to Laguna Beach because it is the last year they are putting on a fireworks show. How very sad that this economy is taking away such a simple pleasure. Okay, now I will tell you how I really feel about fireworks. I am totally over the NOISE! Man, I must be getting old because I love seeing them in the sky but I totally hate how LOUD they are! And they start too late. They don't start them until 9:00 pm and by that time I am ready for bed. Okay, I am officially a loser. Well, at least I am still going to pretend that I love them, for the kids' sake. I do love going to the beach and walking around watching the people. People get very territorial with their beach space on the 4th. They stake out their territory at 6 am with their towels and blankets and there are always arguments on "you put your towel on my space" or "we were here first" and "you left so you lose" etc. It's all very exciting!
You can tell it's me (Karen) posting again. Tina is too nice to call people nuts (even when they are). Plus, we have already discussed my opinions on football people. Okay, so Jon hurt his neck at football on Monday. I wasn't sure if I should rush him to the xray machine and ruin his chances to reproduce. I mean, how do I know if he fractured his neck?? The coach told him to "run it out"! Ex---cuse me?? By the time I got him home he couldn't hold his head straight. He looked deformed. But I (being the calm collected type in an emergency) told him to get in the shower, gave him some motrin and promptly ran to the pharmacy and spent $400 on sore muscle products. Okay, maybe not $400. I exaggerated a tad. But not much. Anyway, he went to sleep and woke up looking worse. Tina told me about this magic pill that is now over the counter and used to be prescription. It is a muscle relaxant and sounded like just the ticket. I gave one to Jon before practice. I insisted he show up because "I don't want the coach to think you are a flake." Okay, I am officially a football person. Nuts. He looked at me and his eyes were completely dilated and he looked like he was falling asleep (which come to find out, he practically did all through practice). So now the coach doesn't think he's a flake, just a drug addict.
It's hot and i am sewing frantically trying to get ready for the show on July 19. I didn't have to go to work today because I had to take my daughter to see her doctor at UCLA. We have been going to this man for 15 years and I still feel like i have to explain everything to him that I have told him over and over again. Why not change doctors you may ask? Because my husband has some strange affinity for this man and basically hates change. It's too much work. Anyway, as the man (the doctor that is), was droning on and on, all i could think about was the sewing I could be doing! Oh well, we basically solved very little during the 2 hour ordeal and left us all feeling a tad exhausted. And, I'm trying to be better about not turning on the air conditioner, but at my age, hot and sweaty is not an attractive look! Well back to my machine!
My dog Toby is a daschund (I never know if I am spelling that correctly). Someone told me once that dashchunds (maybe if I spell it differently every time, I will get it right one of the times) were originally bred to hunt and kill gophers. It totally makes sense to me. He is my protector. Even when the rest of my family could care less what I am doing, Toby is following me around (to be fair, he could just be looking for me to drop food that he can snag).
Anyway, last night I let him out to pee one last time before bed and he didn't come in and I heard a racket of barking and snarling outside my bedroom door. I went out to take a look (and to make him be quiet before the police, FBI, CIA and neighborhood watch were called) and I saw he had a huge (okay, I exaggerate, a very, very large) possum in his jaws and he was throwing it around like a rag doll. I immediately thought of rabies. He gets his shots regularly for this very reason. So now, to add to the thunderous noise in my backyard, I started screaming at him "You're gonna get rabies from that thing!!! Drop it now!!!" He, of course, ignored me completely and tossed the thing some more. I know I should love all of God's creatures, but I find possums really repugnant. I apologize to anyone who thinks they are cute. And, by the way, you should seek professional help.
So there I am, wrestling with a dog who is wrestling with a possum. Someone should have gotten it on film. I finally got him away from it and shoved him inside. Now is when you should tell your children to stop reading. But I will say, no cute, fuzzy animals were harmed in this story. However, really, really ugly ones were. I went out to look (carefully) at the possum. It was toast. I could not bring myself to throw it in the garbage at 10 pm. So I went to bed.
This morning Toby could barely contain himself he wanted to go outside so bad. I was not fooled into thinking his bladder was that full. No dummy, moi. So I went outside and low and behold - the possum was gone! Either Harry Potter came to visit and transfigured it into an ivy leaf or, it really wasn't dead. I guess "playing possum" isn't just an old saying. So, all's well that ends well.
Ode to Opie
There once was a hideous creature Who, really needing to pee, sure That he was alone, He strayed far from home, And my dog rearranged his features.
Okay, first I have to have a disclaimer. I do not guarantee my typing will be typo free. I am typing with a handicap. Yesterday I was making a fabric rose and I have taken to using a pair of scissors to cut a way into the rose to ease the passage of the stem (sounds very technical, no?) Well, I wasn't paying attention (I was watching a very tense part of the movie "Taken") and the scissors sliced thru the fabric quicker and stronger than I had anticipated (because, let's face it, I wasn't paying attention) and sliced right thru my index finger too. It was such a sharp pair of scissors (a major anomaly in my house) that I didn't even feel the pain right away. But, THERE WILL BE BLOOD. All over the place. I think there may even have been arterial spray. Okay, maybe not...But, I take a blood thinner because I have the dreaded cholesterol. Can I hear everyone say "EEEWWW". So the wound wouldn't clot. I went thru about 50 paper towels and finally got it to a slow ooze. Then, once again, my friend and colleague Tina came to my rescue and got the bandaid on me. So, that is my explanation for a lousy typing job. Although, I would venture to say it was pretty good for Karen, the nine-fingered hobbit. With apologies to Tolkien.
Normally I would be in dreamland by now (it is 10 pm and counting) but my son looked at me sweetly (after seeing that I went to the vegetable stand) and said innocently "Why'd you get so many onions?" and then "Those onion rings you made us would be really good as snacks at Grandma's tomorrow." I said "Maybe tomorrow." He told me there wasn't enough time and that he would really appreciate it if I made them tonight. Which wouldn't have been so bad except that it is 1000 degrees in the kitchen and the stupid things have to soak in buttermilk for at least an hour. So think of me (if you are still awake) at 11 pm when I start to make homemade onion strings. I know Tina loves them so maybe I'll save her some (if Jon lets me). They are so good they even taste good cold. You have to slice the onions really thin so that they aren't big clunky things, they are really like shoelaces after you deep fry them (okay, that didn't come out right - I really don't deep fry shoelaces as a rule but you get the idea). Okay, I have officially hit the 1-hour-in-the-buttermilk mark so I gotta go fry. I'll probably wake up with zits for my trouble.
My mother is a very sweet woman if she likes you. Watch out if she doesn't. She has never been one to "suck it up" when it comes to pain. She is very melodramatic about everything in her life. She is definitely one who looks at the glass as half empty. However, she has a wicked sense of humor and she can gossip with the best of them! I love her dearly and I worry that I am so far away should something happen to her. I know it has been no picnic living with my dad all these years. She is in the hospital right now due to the tremendous arthritis that has crippled her so greatly. I live with many memories of my childhood that haunt me even to this day, but the memories of my mother are my most cherished. Although her gait is slow and the hair is gray, I will always think of her as that exotic Cuban lady with that splash of mystery. Tina
Have you ever noticed that people that love football are completely insane? I mean, come on. These people eat, sleep and breathe football. Jon is on the freshman team at his school and they have to practice as much as the pro teams do. And, OMG could they make it any more expensive? They have this "Fun Pack" that it is highly suggested that you buy. It includes pom-poms. What are we, 12? Can you picture me with pom-poms at my son's high school football game? I don't think so. And even if I would debase myself enough to wave pom-poms around, do you think my son could ever live down that image? Only through years of therapy. Poor Jon can't even walk he is so sore. But he seems to enjoy it. Great, another football person is born.
Yes, I have become official and started to name my blog posts. And I have decided to (ewww) punctuate officially. So much for the rebel in me. Okay, so now I am working diligently on fabric bouquets and I think I like them just as much as hats! I never thought that would happen. They make me smile to look at them. Even though my burnt pointer finger still has not recovered. And please explain to me why I seem to hit it anytime I do anything. I can't do the dishes anymore because it hurts so much when soap/hot water hits it. Of course I am joking. No one in my household knows how to do the dishes. They have finally learned to bring the dishes to the sink but I have to assume they think the dishes magically fly into the dishwasher. Or maybe it's the kitchen elves. Anyway, I hope the fabric roses are a hit. I love them!
i cannot stress enough that i am of the opinion the powers that be should make it a requirement to obtain a license to operate a glue gun. i have the scars and wounds to support this view. tonight i was making a fabric bouquet and i came away with 4 fingers that may never be the same. my pointer finger of my right hand was burnt on the knuckle side, so badly that i could see the blood pricks because the layers of skin were all removed. and of course, why is it you can never find the bloody neosporin when you have burnt the crap out of yourself? i ended up resorting to rumaging thru the first aid kit in the garage! anyway, i will live but i probably will have to resort to major drugs to sleep tonight.
well the good news about the sale the other day is that it did boost my spirits. I was beginning to feel like a huge loser. But, the other side is that I am panic striken about the amount (or lack thereof) of inventory that i have for the show. I am sewing like mad and am taking Friday off so I can sew a ton. I will make my boys take the puppy, Eloise, for her next set of shots and the nerdy dog, Rocco, for his thyroid panel. Yes, I have a dog who has to take thyroid pills because he has seizures if he doesn't. We are almost sure that he also has asthma and an anxiety disorder of some type. Poor little dog. Anyway, I am very proud of you Karen and am behind you all the way!
I am so very proud of Karen's son, Jon. He is the sweetest boy and takes after his mother in kindness. It is such a strange feeling when your child graduates. I think we mothers feel it more than our children because we remember all of the nerves of anticipation, happy moments, successes and bumps in the road. For the child, it is just the joy of moving forward. For us, it is the sadness that they are growing up, and moving closer to moving away. Anyway, well done Jon! You are a joy to this world! tina
well, an era has ended. and let me just brag about my son for a moment. my son jon is a big, sweet lump of a moy (man-boy). he got more awards than anyone last night, even tommy brown who is the smartest kid in the class. by the end of the night the tears were coming unbidden down my face. people looked at me every time he got an award. as if i had something to do with it. jon has been a treasure since he was a baby. every time he went down to accept an award, he looked like a giant "lurch". you would never believe someone that big came out of 5'2 me. and omg, would it kill you to smile, kid? the award i am most proud of is the christian witness award. now let me preface that by saying i go to church on an extremely irregular basis and jon never goes. i mean, he has chapel at school but on sundays he is asleep when everyone else is praying. he plans it that way. the christian witness award goes to the kid who is the best example of doing God's work. wow! the christian studies teacher came up to me afterward and told me that it was between two people so she asked all the other teachers and they all told her it was jon, hands down. she told me something that makes me tear up even now. she said that none of the teachers had ever heard him say a bad word about anyone. and that he always is kind to everyone. i really thought the award would go to a kid who goes to church every week and/or to one who is in the youth group. but it went to my big, sweet lump of a moy. karen ps oh, and he also made honor roll!
i read other people's blogs and not only do i feel inadequate, i feel old. i have decided to do an age verification before i read anyone's blog from now on. no one under 40 (does that make me ageist? is that even a word? am i insane? don't answer that last one!) anyway, today is going to be a lazy day for the boys because jon doesn't have to show up to school until 6:30 tonight for graduation. rob still hasn't gotten the call from costco-dude to know whether or not he is getting an interview. i am assuming he will at least get an interview because ginny was nice enough to recommend him. he needs a job. of course, he doesn't think so. but i have always been his safety net and now he needs to learn how to be on his own. plus, no one will hire him unless he's had a job. yes, i really did say that. i know it sounds stupid, but it is true. any type of position he gets after college will not be much if he's never worked before. so rob may graduate from csun with a degree in history and a job at mc donalds. heaven forbid! have a good one. karen
so today is the last official day of junior high for jon. they had a party that i drove to. i also sent cookies (that no one thanked me for, i might add). one girl had the nerve to ask if they were homemade. as if i would send anything else! how rude! :) i was talking to my friend angie while we were waiting and telling her that reading other people's blogs makes me feel inadequate (it really does) and then she told me about her blog (which i promptly went home to read) and now i feel even less adequate than previously! she writes poetry. and it's good poetry. i am going to go slit my wrists now. and you wonder where jon gets the drama from....
what a sweet thing to say tina. right back at ya. and hang in there, i got your back. today, jon has another half day due to finals. he graduates from middle school on thursday. i am so looking forward to summer! even tho there is summer school and football on the horizon. i just shipped our first fabric bouquet. it was really expensive. i ended up having to bend the roses in half. i feel bad but otherwise it would have been $15 shipping! plus, the wire bends really easily back into position so hopefully the dude won't be mad. i sent him a convo to notify him. so please, jdhemingway, don't ding our feedback! anyway, i am off to pick up jon and then i am bringing lunch to my dad and bev because she isn't feeling well. have a good one! karen
I am sure you all know by now, but Karen is the sweetest person. She is constantly giving of herself and thinking of others. I could not ask for a better friend! And that, my friends, is directly from my heart. Life with Molly has been very trying as of late. We are trying to get to a level of medication that can calm her. She is bipolar and she is either extremely intense, hyper-focused, loud, demanding and volatile, or depressed, scratching herself and hitting walls. Some days it does becoming overwhelming. I pray constantly when we adjust or change medications that this will be the magic cure. I know she will never be a "normal girl". But all i wish is that she would be a happy, calm girl. The rest I can handle. Anyway, sorry to be a downer this morning, but it has been a long time since Molly was happy and therefore, it has been a long time that i have felt any peace.
this month the etsybloggers picked birthdays as the topic for the blog carnival. so here goes - i was born august 22 and no, i won't tell you the year. let's just say it was (said in a booming announcer voice) "at the dawn of time...when dinosaurs walked the earth", and you will be close enough. and tina was born february 9 and she (hard to believe) is as old as i am. for tina's birthday this year, i told her i would like to take her to a movie and maybe to eat. she doesn't get away very often because her daughter is mentally handicapped and requires round the clock care. and tina is a great mom. i know sometimes it must be all she can do not to throw up her hands and walk away. she is the most compassionate, patient person i know. anyway, so i made my offer and she agreed and we arranged for her husband to be home to watch molly and then when it came close to the day, tina decided that she would much rather go to downtown los angeles and shop for fabric! which of course, i was horrified at the mere idea! :) we had a great time and it wasn't even my birthday. on my birthday tina and mary ann give me gifts but the only way my sons remember is if their father buys them a card and makes them sign it! but that is okay by me, i am glad to be alive for another year. my family has gone to disneyland every year to celebrate my son's birthdays (together) and that is always fun. we stay at the grand californian for two nights and three days and go to the parks and swim and just goof off. a good time is had by all.
hello fellow etsians! i visited the etsybloggers featured bloggers shop today. oh my goodness she has some beautiful things. i especially like the coral wrap fringed stole. it is a lovely color that would make anyone's skin glow! the blue skies and puffy clouds scarf is the exact color you imagine when you think of clouds and blue skies. and the workmanship is wonderful. i like that she embellished it with buttons so it will stay in place. very clever! check out her shop and give her a heart.
wouldn't you know it... the first day in a long time i have a good hair day and my eyes are swollen and my face is blotchy. i went to the eye doc yesterday and they put these drops in (which, i might add, have never bothered me before) that made me blind from tears. and today, i woke up with my eyes swollen practically shut (it was a very interesting drive to school this morning - jon was pointing out obstacles for me). maybe my hair only looks good because i can't see that well....something to think about.
good morning. jon's last day of school before finals. and they are all going to magic mountain on friday night. i used to work there (before the dawn of time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth). since i was not a long time employee, i got the really boring rides. i worked the dragon (a very slow way to get up the hill - basically only old people took it) and spin out (that horrible ride they have at carnivals where you go so fast round and round that the centrifugal force makes you stick to the walls......lots of stomach issues....'nuff said). everything is roller coasters , now. not my favorite thing. i like disneyland better - there's stuff to do that doesn't involve being thrown around like a rag doll and in all directions no human being should go in. anyway, i plan on finishing a hat today before i go to the eye doctor. i think i need new glasses. bummer! have a good day. karen
hi everybody! karen here. please, remind me never to use a glue gun at nite when i am tired, again. i may never regain the use of my left hand. which makes it really hard to type. i can now join the mafia because my fingertips don't have ridges anymore. of course, it IS only on one hand. so they probably wouldn't take me. oh well, i guess i will just keep making bags and hats. one handed. i did the orthodontist and dentist today and in the waiting room i made three rosettes, which i stupidly decided to finish tonight instead of cutting out another hat. i mean, how much damage could i do with a pair of scissors? even i couldn't cut off my whole hand...maybe a couple of fingers...anyway, i digress. tina and i are very excited about the next show. hopefully people will come with the idea of buying something. have a great evening.
It's Monday and i am at work, thus my mood. But I have been trying to twitter about our stuff a lot. Why won't somebody buy something for Pete sakes! It is really annoying that other people have way more expensive stuff on line and are selling things and our stuff is so cute and inexpensive! I guess we just have to be discovered, thus, the twitter factor. I did feel virtuous last night because i cute out 2 hats from ancient material that has been sitting in my stack forever. One hat will be for the show and the other will be for CHOC. I plan to work on them this evening when i get home after doing all of my chores. Have to get back to work now, it is billing day and i haven't even started.
so i cut out two hats yesterday but i have to totally redo one of them because it is upside down! what a moron! oh well. i am a little disheartened that our etsy shop is not showing any sales. the two new sling bags tina made are so adorable. and i hate to complain, but we still haven't seen any of our stuff on the front page. but when i go in and look around i see how many people are selling on etsy and i am amazed we have any sales. there is so much competition and everything is so cute. made it myself and artfire are not as popular, but they don't have as much competition. so we are really looking forward to the july craft show for some sales. keep your fingers crossed. karen
the plan for today: 1. sleep in (already did that until my husband called at 8:30 - i never sleep that long!) 2. exercise (check that off, thank goodness - even tho i do it 6 times a week only a masochist would enjoy it!) 3. twitter 4. finish the rosette i was working on last nite at 11 waiting for my children to get home 5. make another cat hat (i sold the last one, remember? right off my head) so my son rob graduated! there was a drama (there always is with this household!) because we couldn't find his dress shoes. he ended up wearing combat boots! seriously, hey, they were black. it will be a funny story to tell his kids, right? i am a bad mom. and i am going to hell, but at least my friends will all be there! have a great day! p.s. tina - your hats are adorable. stop being such a perfectionist! the little imperfections in life make it worth living and plus the hats are handmade, they aren't supposed to look like they are from a factory!
Karen is my dear friend and will always come to my defense. But to clarify things, we do not have a hamster. He died a while ago. The rest is true and she did leave out the 5,000 fish we have. Anyway, my mom and sister come here today to see Eloise, the new pup. Not really to see me. I did try and clean up, but gave up when i realized it was hopeless. I made another hat yesterday and still feel inadequate in my hat making skills. Karen's hats are adorable! Mine look like high school sewing projects. But i will keep trying because one day one is bound to turn out! Have to go do the dishes now.
i just want to be clear: tina's house is not a slum. she is a lovely, charming witty woman and her house is a beautiful as she is. that said, she is challenged by the fact that she has 89 cats (okay, maybe only 9, but still....), 3 dogs, one of whom is a not-potty-trained-yet-and-has-worms puppy, a tortoise (outside), a turtle (in an aquarium) and i think (although i am not sure that it didn't go to that big cage in the sky), a hamster (personally, i find them rat-like and would probably feed them to a snake, if i had one - just kidding, tina:)). no, she doesn't have any snakes (at least not as of last weekend, but i give no guarantees...). anyway, needless to say, her sister's house only has 1 small rat-like dog and all of her kids have left home. so, of course her house is immaculate. also, she probably has a housekeeper who comes a few times a week because she's got disposable income! so, tina, give yourself a break! gotta go make dinner. tacos, if anyone is interested. and then, i pick up jon.
Complete digression from my ususal chatter, but what in the world is Phil Spector going to do about his hair when he is in jail for 19 years! I mean REALLY.. have you seen some of his hair surprises during the trial?? Anyway, I will finish the sling bag tonight (I promise Karen). I have to take our new puppy (Eloise) to the vet for her shots and to be de-wormed. Poor puppy. And, my mom and sister are coming up to see her on Sunday, so i hope my son is washing down the back so it doesn't look as slummy as it does now. My sister's house is beautiful, so anything I can do to try and improve the look of mine is pretty much a waste of time.. but give me an A for Effort. I have to get back to work now. Adios! rina
okay, so today rob comes back from grad nite at disneyland. was i ever that young? and please tell me i was not so rude! he has got to get a job this summer and (hopefully) learn how to converse with people in ways that do not include "uhn" and "huh"! but i digress.... so yesterday i got my hair done (looks fabulous, btw) and i happened to take some hats with me jic. and i sold 3! i am really hoping that hats become the new clothing must have. plus yesterday on good morning america they had a fashion segment and all the women were wearing hats with their outfits. so the movement is on! must make more hats.....must make more hats.... one of the hats i sold was sold right off my head! and i really loved that hat. i made it expressly for myself. but hey, if someone is willing to buy it off my head, who am i to say "hands off!" have a good day. karen
so i found a new website that i absolutely love. www.thepioneerwoman.com . what a crack-up this woman is! and i have no idea how she has such a beautiful blog, raises 4 children (and home schools them) and cooks fabulous meals for her cowboy husband. she has got to be exhausted! just reading about her life made me want a nap. but the recipes.....i am thinking about trying her fried onion rings. they look yummy (she is a great photographer, too). i feel completely inadequate telling you all i got done today was to make rob a birthday cake (butter pound with chocolate chunks and milk chocolate icing - ymmm) and i finished a sling bag which turned out cute. but i only have 2 kids and one of them is gone for a week! have a great evening.
I can't believe we have a follower who is somebody we don't know! How exciting is that! Well, as I may have mentioned before, I work for both my husband and my father-in-law. I would not recommend this to anyone, but it works because they are flexible with emergencies which are frequent due to my disabled daughter. Molly is mentally handicapped and has some major pschiatric conditions going on beside the mental retardation. She is 23 years old, but processes like a 3 to 5 year old with major attitude. To say she is a handful would be a huge understatement. Anyway, because she frequently has some major drama at her program which requires me to either pick her up, call her doctor or beg forgiveness from all staff members at her program, i need to be able to stop what i am doing at a moments notice. Anyway, flexiblity is a must. So as one might imagine, my life requires some type of stress relief and sewing is my therapy. Well, sewing and buying fabric. Now it is just a matter of finding the time to do my therapy! I have to get back to my job now. Bye all, Tina
good evening. well, i finished a pocket tote today and started a sling bag which is going to be really cute. it has flip flops all over the outside material and men's ties on the inside. i guess that would be the informal and the formal sides! had to go to a football meeting for my soon-to-be high schooler. what a committment, and an expense, too! wow! i really hope he enjoys it, because it is costing a fortune! i am sure it is worth it though for the comraderie and getting to know people before school starts. i really like the school. well, i am fading fast so good night to all!
okay, no one may be reading our blog (probably not even our loyal jessica), but at least we have twitter followers! who knew we were so interesting! today, jon left for his outdoor education trip to yosemite with school. he was excited not to be doing homework for a week. i think that was the big draw. we did have a drama last night because his braces broke and everyone was out of town. but a family friend who is a dentist fixed them temporarily for us. thanks terry! today i am trying desperately to finish the hat that i am (yes) making for myself. i figure i am good advertisement. they even make me look good! then i am going to try to work on another sling bag. i think they may be the bag of the future. (our future, hopefully). back to work, no more slacking! have a good day.
I had the opportunity to check out the featured Etsyblogger shop this evening which is Create A Thought. The words I would use to described the shop are happy and joyful! Just looking at the cards and journals made me want to write to my dearest friend or sit down and finally start that journal that I have always wanted to do. The jewelry is whimsical and fun. I think just wearing it would put me in a better mood! Please do yourself a favor and check out createathought.etsy.com!
We are planning on a very busy summer. Karen and I have signed up to do our second craft show in July. It's the Red Rabbit Craft Market and it is going to be held at the L.A. Arboretum, which is a beautiful location here in Los Angeles. So we are very excited about it!
We are extremely excited about our next project which is to make our fabric hats with the rosettes for the children in the cancer ward at Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). We have always wanted to find a way to give back to our community. A dear friend of Karen's, Mary Ann, planted this idea in our heads and we loved it! Through a friend of my sister's, I was able to get us a link into the hospital for approval of our hats. I can't express how exciting this project is to us! We love making our hats and we love even more seeing people wear them with smiles. If these hats can bring just a moment of happiness to these kids who are suffering far more than they should have to, then we will be thrilled!
Well, as Karen mentioned, we are starting to make hats to donate to Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) for their cancer ward. I am so excited about this! I think I am more excited to do this than make inventory for our shop and shows. But, we have to make money in order to fund this project. So tell all your friends to visit our shop and buy something so we can keeping making the hats for CHOC! A dear friend of my sister's, Susie Almquist, is a huge volunteer at this hospital and she is going to be our line into the ward. This is a dream I have always had to be able to make things that make a difference to somebody. Karen and I really love making the hats and we love seeing people enjoy them. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to share and hopefully bring a smile to a child who is enduring far more than any child should have to endure. We also have to thank Karen's friend, Mary Ann, for planting this idea and encouraging us to go forward with it.
good morning - good news! my son will be done with his camera class after tomorrow so i can confiscate his camera and i don't have to buy one. score! hopefully he will have learned enough in the class to show me how to use it. i asked him if it had autofocus and he said "dunno." yes, my son will be attending college next year, where hopefully, he will be taught to speak in full sentences. one can only hope! tina and i are excited about starting our program to send hats to kids with cancer and she got the ball rolling so we will be sending our first batch in a couple of weeks. i wish we could see the faces of the kids. maybe sometime they will let us visit when they give them out. that would be wonderful. today i am finishing my big head hat. it is going to be very cute. then i am starting a hat to give away. have a great day!
so i didn't get a new camera today. too exhausted after doing my errands. i must be really lame because i tried to use the camera tina lent me and it kept shutting itself off before i could get the picture. i think it knows i am not tina and doesn't like me....hmm, a haunted camera...it could happen! i did finish two new brooches and got to michaels for the stuff i needed for other projects but other than that i have been resting. hard to do, tho. there seems to be some interest in the hats on the website so that is good. whatever it takes! tomorrow is cleaning day so i won't get too much done, work-wise. plus i have to take the dog to the groomer. ttyl, karen
hello everyone! it's sunday nite and i just uploaded a whole bunch of new photos to flickr, then i organized them all into sets, then i checked our google analytics (all to get out of starting a new project). i finished another sling bag which turned out cute but they are alot of work (and alot of fabric) and i have a giant headache because my sinuses are clogged (complain, whine, etc.). i saw the new hat tina made and it is way elegant. yes, we are going to have to tone down the screaming loud hats that we love so much so that we appeal to everyone. i guess people are aloud to like elegance rather than cuteness. i made a couple of new ones too but i haven't taken the pictures yet. too lazy. and i think i am going to break down and buy myself a new camera since the expensive one my husband lent me is toast. he is still making me feel bad about that. which i do....but he said i could buy a new one so that is on the docket for this week. i want something a little bigger than the one tina so generously lent me, but not as big as the one i trashed. i like looking thru the little eyehole, not at the finished picture. i have trouble seeing that very well (i know, how lame is that). anyway, stay tuned. oh and, btw, i now have the hideous illness that passed thru tina's family. we share everything!
Hi Folks! It is Saturday afternoon and very hot. The hot days of summer are coming and it seems that I only got to wear sweaters for about two weeks! Anyway, I finished another hat.. This one is more neutral than the others. Karen and I decided that not everyone likes loud hats.. Unbelievable! Anyway, I have to go to my son's band banquet tonight. He is in the high school marching band and this is the end of year shindig. It lasts for about 15 hours .. or so it seems. Oh well, it is one of those events you do for your kids... although he wasn't even that excited to go! Well, there is always the hope that we can leave early.. one can only hope! Tina
Well, I have been very lazy about writing on this... I have been actually working really hard at work and just don't feel like typing when i get home... I took pictures of me in the new hat I made.. However, after taking about a zillion photos.. I think there are only about 3 that won't scare people. Oh to be young again. Which reminds me.. my sister had a face lift and she looks so good in photos now. Damn! Anyway, I have no money for face lifts so I will just have to keep snapping the camera in hopes that by some miracle, one will actually look ok! I am also back seriously on weight watchers and i am dying of hunger right now.. I have had way too many carrot sticks. Thanks Jessica for being our first follower.. now go do something fun!!!
hello there! well tina and i went to the hair grove (where i get my hair done) and we sold 3 hats! not bad for 2 hours of "work". one of the hats was picked up sunday by a guy buying it for his wife. it was really cute - had cows and hearts on it. mother's day was uneventful. my mother-in-law came for a late lunch of pizza cookery. monday i did about 80 errands, one of which was to pick up the broken (sob, sob) camera. however, i did get to go to michaels and picked up some raffi covered wire to make some more fabric bouquets. i gave the two away that we had on etsy as thank yous to billie (hair grove owner) and joyce (my hair girl who arranged everything for us cuz i was too chicken to ask!) anyway, i made a fabric bouquet today of 3 different red fabrics (2 roses each) and i think it looks good. i actually like making them all the same color. they seem more cohesive or something. anyway, tomorrow i am back to hats. my friend ginny wants her aprons, though so i will have to do them soon. and tina has a new bag pattern to try. can't wait to see it! p.s. we have a follower! hi jessica and thanks for taking pity on us!
hello there - i finished a couple more hats and i am taking them all with me to the hairdresser today. hopefully everyone there will want one! they all seemed interested last time when i wore one. so i am optimistic. i would really like to sell a hat because we haven't sold one yet. and i am hoping the lapel pins start to sell too. they are really cute and versatile. i broke the camera (that's why nothing new has shown up on the website, from me at least). but thanks to tina, i have a new camera that (hopefully) is indestructible. i will try to put something on the madeitmyself website today after i come home looking truly fabulous (well, okay, i'll have good hair at least). have a good day!
I am finally getting over the mysterious bug that has infected my family for over 1 month. I hate being sick and i get extremely impatient when i can't do all that i want to do. I did make a new sling tote bag which i am going to list on Etsy this afternoon. I got to use my dog, Angus, as the model since the bag is made with dog fabric. He did such a good job! Nobody would know that he is actually "Destructo Dog"! I am in trouble again (no big surprise) with my in-laws because my father-in-law overheard me talking with Karen about how my mother-in-law screwed up the office computer. The man doesn't hear a word when i am talking to him, but he can overhear me whisper something on the phone! Well, it was all true.. she did screw up the computer and it did give me a massive migraine trying to fix it! Oh well, excited to list the new bag today... Have to get back to work now doing the April billing.. Yuck!
hello everyone - i have been neglecting the blog. we had a sale yesterday and our first special order! and the special order was of the rosettes so that was exciting too. hopefully the word will get out and our flowers will be everywhere! i wish tina did not have to work so much. she works very hard and then goes home and works some more. i would really like it if she could make enough money on etsy to do it full time, cuz i am having the time of my life. i feel like i am finally a contributing member of society. and i know she wishes she could devote more time to sewing for our shop. the items she contributes are fabulous! maybe when we are old and gray she can stop working at her "real" job. one can only hope. karen
Hello All! I have been sick (no, not swine flu), but my energy level is in the minus category and, i have been coughing my brains out. Finally went to the doctor yesterday to get some drugs! Feeling a tad better this morning, not great. But, we sold two more bags on Etsy which is wonderful news! So excited for Karen. She is actually making some real money now. I have to leave for work in a minute where I know i am facing cleaning up March's billing so i can send out April's billing on Friday! I need a clone. Have a wonderful day all! Tina
hello everyone - i feel like i haven't had contact for many a day. friday i got called in for jury duty and after missing the first lottery, i got called on the only other trial of the day. how rude! we started the jury selection but i had to go back today (monday) because it wasn't finished. but, there was new evidence and they had to continue the trial so the judge let us off! yeah! the whole weekend was spent slinging burgers, hot dogs, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, rice, beans, french fries, nachos, frito boats and anything you can make with chili. pretty extensive menu for a carnival, no? i was in the kitchen with "the crew" - the same key people we had last year at my son's carnival so we actually had fun but i am exhausted. i worked a total of almost 35 hours in 3 days. i ate waaaay too many brownies too. anyway, i am back to my "etsy" work now. i want to make one of the new bags to list after the mother's day sale. and of course, since we got a 2 hour lunch on friday, tina met me at patches and we got some new material! we are sick, sick, sick! karen
Well today Karen is slaving away at her son's school's carnival.. poor thing! Today is my youngest son's 16th birthday. I can't believe my baby is 16! how depressing! Anyway, we are going to celebrate the day by going to Universal Studios. We are really lucky that our sons still want to hang out with us. We have someone to watch Molly because there is no way we could take her there. She can't wait in lines, has to go to the bathroom constantly and has rather shocking ways of behaving in public. Needless to say, it would not be a fun experience for us or the public! Anyway, I have to get ready to go!
Hello All! I was off from work yesterday because my daughter was sick.. I was so glad! (not that she was sick, but because i didn't have to go to work). I need more time to work on the bags, hats, etc. I also need to sew some clothes for work. This is also therapy for me. I don't have to dress fancy for work, but somewhat work appropriate. I like wearing things i have made because they are unusual and different and more me than things you buy at TJ Maxx (my favorite store!). Anyway, I will probably cut out a blouse this evening just to get back into the swing of apparel sewing. Have to get back to work... Tina
no jury duty again today. yeah! i know this can't last. but i will enjoy it while it does. going to get water and chips for my son's school carnival today and then, finish the curtain hat (the bag is done) and starting the brown and pink hat and maybe the new sling bag that tina designed. she made me a pattern (thanks, girlfriend!). i think i will add the side pocket we talked about too. depending on the amount of fabric i have. haven't decided what fabric to use. hmmmm.....looking forward to choosing (my favorite part of the process). have a great day!
good morning! another day of projects to complete. since there is the possibility of an order for new york i guess i should complete a hat today. and i really need to finish the curtain bag and hat. this afternoon i am probably going to need to make brownies for the carnival at my son's school. i wish i could make them at home but because they are sold to the public, it has to be done in the school kitchen. drag.... keep your fingers crossed, i haven't been called for jury duty yet. 3 more days. karen
tina puts me to shame. she works, takes care of her mentally disabled daughter, writes in our blog twice and she has time to make me a pattern for the new tote. i am constantly amazed by her. i have been very lazy today. all i really did was go to joann's and get 20 yds of interfacing. enough to make hats for everyone in new york. :) oh and i paid the bills (always an uplifting experience). i guess i should go to work on another hat. i think i will finish the brown and pink one next. look for it tomorrow sometime!
I am exhausted tonight. It is way too hot here for this time of year (about 100 degrees!).. and i had to go to Costco after work. And I remind you that I work with my aging (not gracefully) father-in-law who is 81 years old and refuses to retire. I think his goal in life is to outlive me and then he can go feeling satisfied. Anyway, I have to re-cut the pattern for the sling bag so I can give it to Karen. As some of you might not know, she is an artist, so she can draw. I'm not, and I can't draw. Anyway, my daughter who is 23, but mentally challenged, is starting a cold. I wish I could stay home with her tomorrow and sew... we'll see.. just might have to.. we will see... hope, hope, hope! Tina
Hi All! I am sneaking this writing in while my boss is a the telephone. I say my boss, but it is really my husband. Yes, I am doing what probably every marriage counselor would discourage, I work with both my husband and .. get ready for this.. my father-in-law! Mortal sin and I would not recommend this to anybody unless you are looking for a reason to go insane! Anyway, I took the new sling tote to work today to show it off. People seemed to like it, or at least they said they did. I plan to hopefully make another to put up in our shop within the next week. Back to work. Tina
hi everyone (or no one as the case may be!) i am so happy that tina finished that new sling tote - we will have a new tote type (oooh i like the way that sounds) soon. since tina's was the "prototype" the new bag will not show up for a week or two. stay tuned! i am going to joann's today to get my scissors sharpened (that just sounds wrong) and get some more interfacing to make yet more hats. i absolutely love making hats and bags! i started the out of curtains bag yesterday and she wants a hat too so i need my interfacing. i found some fabric that i like to go with the curtains so again, stay tuned for updates.
Good Evening All! I made the new sling bag today. I was a little nervous because i had to draw my own pattern. But I am proud to say that it actually worked and looks cute! Now I am tired. Did tons (and I mean tons) of wash today. It never seems to stop! I wish I could have a weekend where I didn't have to pack so many chores into a small space of time! Actually sit down with a book and read for a while without falling asleep in two minutes! Anyway, another week begins and I must get ready for work tomorrow. Good night, Tina
i finally finished the cow hat. it is really cute. i almost wish i could sell it, but it is promised to my hairdresser. hopefully she will wear it in good health! tina and i are having a mother's day sale on etsy. check it out!
i saw the capelet tina is working on and it is simply gorgeous! she is very modest. she has many, many talents, not the least of which is she is a sewing magician! i am working on finishing my cow hat for the lady who cuts my hair. it is going to be very cute. and then i am going to start on a bag and hat combo made from old draperies! renew, reuse, recycle!!!
Good Morning All! Karen is an amazing person! She has turned into this wonder woman regarding all things technological! She has far surpassed my ability to understand any of it! I am trying to make a pattern for a new type of bag today. I love the bag i am taking it from, but i have to figure out how to draw the pattern. Should be interesting. I am also making this crocheted caplet in a luscious lavender super soft yarn. It is actually turning out ok so far. In other words, i haven't messed it up yet! It is going to be an extremely hot day here today and i am not too fond of the heat. It doesn't work well with my hot flashes! Must go feed all the animals
good morning. tina will be glad to know she is no longer writing in hindi. i must have done that by accident. sorry! check out the pioneer woman if you want a good laugh. she is a really good writer and she cooks and tells you her secret recipes. she lives on a ranch. her life sounds so fun! today i am planning on sewing all day. yesterday tina and i put up new pictures on etsy and it took all day. and i posted them on flickr too. i was exhausted! who knew taking pictures could make you lose your will to live! but the pictures are way better than our previous ones. we are learning from experience how to do this entrepreneurial (i have no idea if that is spelled correctly) thing. have a good day everyone.
hello my peeps! i made a new hat yesterday and will probably put it up today when tina comes over to take pictures. this is so fun! i am really enjoying having a partner in this business. i discovered google analytics (thank you fellow etsyers) and now i just want to see how we are doing all the time! must work though or we have no product to sell! today my friend joyce is bringing me some fabric to make her a bag/hat combo. i always love getting fabric! it is a sickness. give me your tired your poor, your huddled masses and give me your FABRIC!!!! :)
i know tina started a hat today. i hope it went well. i made the 6 fabric roses and i think they turned out well. check them out! i am also starting a new hat. it will be black and white on one side and sunflowers on a black background on the other. way cute! i think i will make the rosette green.....or maybe pink. gotta go work!
today was a frustrating day because i tried to figure out how to create a collage with our pictures but i needed the pictures to be really small so i could use them for our banner on etsy. (are you still with me or did you fall asleep....) anyway, i gave up. i am sure there is a way to do it, but it was beyond my brain power! so instead i am creating a new item for our shop. i am making rosette that you can use in a flower vase. interesting idea, no? they are very cute, i think but i need to go get some white pipe cleaners. you will have to keep checking to see what they turn out like.
so, today i had to make a trip to joann's. fabric withdrawal. what can i say. i have so much that i can match any color in the rainbow, but still..... sometimes you just know that the right fabric is going to make that bag or hat just that much better, you know? and since i was hoping we were going to get an order for 5 hats (which so far has not materialized, but i am still optimistic because i am a glass is half full girl), i figured i needed to go and get coordinating fabrics for the choices i already had. besides, you can never have too much fabric. so this afternoon i will be sewing my heart out.
I, like Karen, have a Janome machine. I do really like it. I bought it mainly because it makes great buttonholes! All other machines i have and in the past just don't make great buttonholes, and I like to make tops with cute buttons. Another one of my passions is to buy really cute buttons when they are on sale at Joann Fabrics. Yesterday they were having a 50% off sale on their buttons and the notion wall! It was like Christmas! Anyway, Janome makes a very smooth running machine and handles machine quilting pretty well.
My perfect day would be the house to myself with a good movie and my sewing machine and delicious fabric to work on! I, (Tina), have never taken a formal sewing class except for a quilting class i took with Karen. From there, we started making beautiful quilts to give to all our family and friends.. but when we ran out of giftee's, we had to figure out something else that would incorporate our overabundance of material! So the tote bag business was born. Karen is very artistic and is branching out creating her own patterns. I am still too unsure and need the crutch of a pattern. I have always looked at the main staples (McCalls, Butterick, Simplicity and Vogue). But i started looking at some independent pattern makers for tote and purse patterns. I just feel a bit safer knowing that someone of some authority has made the item before and tested it out! I may be a bit too old and settled in my ways to take an actual sewing class to learn the right way to do things. Maybe one day I will!
my sewing machine only came with a few bobbins. it is a janome and you can't just go to the local fabic store and get the correct bobbin (i know, i tried). so i went to a place that shipped them to me called sewingmachinesplus.com. it is so much better to have a bobbin for every thread color! it saves time and i can match the thread to the project rather than just get close.
i forgot to tell you that tina and i love to shop for fabric. but we really are very cautious now about going to sales to make sure we get the best value for our dollar. we went to downtown los angeles about a month ago to michael levine's and we really got some great stuff. we also shop at joann's alot because they have great sales on cotton fabrics we use in our hats and totes. when we quilt we go to patches which is a small mom and pop store we like alot. the only problem is that their fabric is really expensive and would make the hats/totes too expensive. but if you need fabric for a special quilt they are the best. they have gorgeous, high quality fabric and really unusual prints you won't find elsewhere. we have also shopped online at equilter.com and we like their stuff but it is getting expensive so we shop their sales too. hope that helps people with fabric options!
hi everybody - i am so into the sewing thing now that tina and i started our own business. i used to make quilts by hand quilting which i liked alot because i could transport it wherever i went (except when i tried taking it to the courthouse during jury duty - they don't allow scissors!) but now i am really into the sewing machine. i love making hats and totes! i love to mix the fabrics together. my most favorite part is when i choose two fabrics that have something that appeals to me about them and put them together to create something new. i really, really love to make hats. i have created my own pattern and i think it is really cute. i have to wear hats, so perhaps that is why i have such an affinity to them. i am going to go make a rosette for my step- niece's hat now. let you know how it goes!
Hi Everyone! I wanted to talk a little about my sewing background. My sister and I learned how to sew when we were very young from our grandmother who was born in France. She went to a school where the nuns taught the girls all types of needlecraft such as sewing, knitting, crochet, etc. I feel very fortunate that i learned so young. I absolutely adore sewing! I also adore fabric of all types! When my kids were little i made shorts and shirts for the boys, and dresses for my daughter. This lasted until the boys got to the age that mom-made clothes were not acceptable to wear! My daughter turned into a dress-hater (probably because i made her wear so many when she was young)! Anyway, I make the majority of my own clothes and now with our business, (thisandthatbykandt), I have found a new reason to buy fabric and sew! The best is that I met Karen and we both love to sew and buy fabric! I was a little sad when my kids were young that nobody seemed to know how to sew anymore. But i think that shows like "Project Runway" have inspired people, especially the young, to start sewing again. A Lot of my 20-year old son's friend now sew and are excited to create things! Now if we can get the manufacturer's to get real with their prices again so people can actually buy the fabric! I am so angry about how high the price of cotton has become. I am starting my very own boycott and I refuse to pay $9.75 for one yard of cotton! It is unbelievable! Anyway, I know Karen and I share with lots of sewers out there our love for making unique creations with our own hands! Please visit our shop on Etsy!
well, i put up the new bag. if i do say so myself, i think it is really cute. and it has a matching hat (of course) because i am totally a hat person. i have to wear them because i get skin cancer, so if you have to wear them anyway, at least they should be cute, right?
now i am going to make a hat to match the bag that my step-niece has to take to the market. she goes with her mom to the pacific palisades farmer's market and she is taking one of our bags tomorrow so i told her mom i would make her a hat to match. i hope she likes it.
Good Morning Folks! While Karen is being positive and creating beautiful items for the world, I am telling everyone out there not to work with you family members, especially your husband and in-laws. That is my life! Anyway, I am sure that Karen's creation will be beautiful! I am going to start a new crochet item tonight which I hope will turn out and will add just that special touch of style to your summer outfit! Back to work now! Tina
Good Morning Anyone! Well today I will be putting up a new style of tote on our etsy website. I am very excited by it. It is much larger than our usual ones and it is made from denim. But the really different thing is that it has inside pockets and really long handles and a fabric rosette. Check it out this afternoon. It should be posted by then. Have a good day!
Well, Karen has set out the background history. I don't know what I would do if she wasn't so technologically savy. I am the more "who cares what we have to say" member of the team. But we do make some beautiful creations and I would love for the world to see them! We sometimes get discouraged ,but I have to keep reminding myself that times are hard for everyone right now and things will improve. In the meantime, I have to stop myself from ordering more fabric because I do believe it is a bit of a sickness that I have. I am sure there are many others of you out there that can relate. Now I must get back to work. I have to make some bags for my family for Easter. This is partly out of the goodness of my heart, but mainly because they live in South Orange County (which for those of you outside of California is considered a very ritzy area), and I am hoping they will spread the word of our bags to their other rich friends!
So, lunch was fun and Jill is going to borrow one of my jackets for her luncheon. She and her daughter belong to a service organization and they have luncheons to raise money for things. We had lunch at this restaurant (I will have to look up the name of it) that was really good. And they sold different types of bread in their bakery. Of course, I bought some. It is tomato basil bread and I bought it unsliced so I can make thick sandwiches with it. Doesn't that sound good?
Okay, here is is everybody (or nobody as the case may be) our first blog. Tina works at her husband's law firm by day and is a designer by night/weekend. Karen doesn't work outside the home, her husband does that! Lucky girl! So I (Karen) am able to address you fine people and tell you what is going on in my world right now. At the moment I am getting ready to go out to lunch with my friend Jill who I haven't seen in al really long time. She asked me to look in my closet for a spring dress she could borrow to wear to a luncheon she's going to (we are the same size except she's taller and prettier!) This caused me to realize just how little I have to offer in the way of clothing to be borrowed! I need to go SHOPPING! Anyway, that's all for now.
We met each other when our boys were in elementary school and discovered that we both had an insane addiction to fabric! As years went by and the material mounted, we decided to put our sewing skills and abundance of material to work and we started making reversible market totes. This has now expanded to children's clothing, aprons and hats. Karen has also now expanded to creating greeting cards from her personal artwork, which is amazing.