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?

Check out our totes and purses here.

Click here to view Karen's bookmarks and cards.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Can't Stop Believin'

Yes, I am a gleek. But I used their song to illustrate how I feel about our merchandise. We can't stop believing in ourselves because we know our creations are wonderful. Now we just need the world to know too. So we will continue our quest for the right venue and stay energized and positive! Good luck to all those fellow-artisans out there with the same issues we have. Do not lose faith!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Show Stopper

Okay, we aren't going to stop going to shows even though this one was a total bust. It seemed it was a total bust for everyone involved which was depressing. There were no people! So, Tina and I have just decided it was not the right venue for us and we are street people (of the fair variety!) Our display was lovely as you can see. Of course we changed it about 15 times. So I am not actually sure if what you are seeing is the final result or not......

Anyway, we will be doing another show next month at a park - much more our style. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


So the Simi Valley Street Fair was a positive experience for us. We have decided that that is probably the best fit for our items. And Tina was amazing - she accosted passersby like a pro! She handed out all of the postcards for the Red Rabbit Show this weekend. Hopefully some of those people will come! We are busily restocking our shelves (so to speak) and hope to do at least a show a month over the summer. Things are coming together!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Big News!

First let me state that I have my beloved Janome back in my arms again. And it only cost me $138.50! I could practically buy a new machine for the amount I have spent on old Jan. Oh well, it's worth it. But the biggest news is.....I sold a card! And it wasn't to Tina! It was actually to someone I don't know. Yes, truly amazing... I have pictured it here because it will not be on the website after today because it is mother's day related.

I am starting to get nervous about the Simi Valley Street Fair this weekend. It seems like there will be so many people and if even a tenth of them buy something, we won't have anything left for Red Rabbit on the 15th. But, selling out is a good thing and we could use the ego boost so I hope we do well! (That was probably the kiss of death...)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Death of Janome

I love my Janome sewing machine. We understand each other. There is friendship, shared tears and a bond that cannot be broken between us. We have gone through much together..... and now the damned thing CRAPPED OUT on me! Actually, I think I bent some inner mechanism so the needles keep hitting the metal and snapping. I have gone through 10 needles in the past few days. So I have finally given up and switched to a Singer that Tina graciously lent me as a back up singer (lol). There is a lack of trust with the new machine. I keep reaching for the wrong buttons and I have to look everything up. And as far as I can see there is no little button to sink the needle in and keep it there for when you need to turn the material. And it's computerized! EEEWWWW! But it was very sweet of Tina and I appreciate the fact that I am still able to create stuff even though my trusted sewing partner (not Tina, the Janome) is very, very sick. Perhaps even dying. May she rest in peace.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Less Geek, More Nerd

I think if you are labeled a geek you are supposed to know about computers. Obviously not applicable to me....I think maybe a nerd means the same thing but not as strongly. So I guess, I will have to aim for nerd. I would like to be more geek-like but Tina thinks we are too old. :) I think I am just too stupid! Plus, it just seems to me that the "geeks" spend way too much time on the planet Geektra* figuring out new places to list/talk about their wares. I would much rather make the wares. It all seems rather exhausting to me! But I am trying.

*When Mary Ann and I were younger geeks were just people who were a little odder than other people and we were proud to be from the planet Geektra.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sorry No Pix

Yes, I lied. Well, not exactly. I can't put the pix of the hat up because.......I SOLD IT! Yea!! I was at the hairdresser (getting my hair done, duh) and Joyce (my hairdresser) said she had a 1st birthday party she needed a gift for and could I make something to go with the hat. Well, it just so happened I already had a pair of bloomers to match the hat and a t-shirt too. It was perfect (and very cute if I do say so myself!) She was happy, I was happy and hopefully the recipient was happy. I put cards all over the outfit (a subtle reminder that there was more where that came from). Hopefully it will pay off!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's Next?

I am just finishing up another hat (have to add the rosette) then the big decision is "what's next?" My current thought is apron or boy pants. I actually only have one material that is boy material (how sad is that?) so I probably will go with that and then the apron. I'll put up a picture once I decide!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Just looking around the etsy shops in my (???) spare time (actually I was tired of cutting out the dress I am making) and I happened upon ScienceKitty. Extremely cool stuff. ScienceKitty works in a lab by day and by night she creates artistic jewelry using repurposed items. It always fascinates me how people can see the beauty in what is essentially someone else's trash. The pictured earrings are made from pipette tips that would have been thrown away. They are so beautiful and unique and eco-friendly. She even makes pins using old television dials! How cool is that! What a conversation starter that would be if you wore it to work on your jacket lapel. ScienceKitty's items are not only unique and beautiful, they are very reasonable. Check out her shop here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Scrapsational Hybrid

Wow that's a mouthful! This litte etsy shop has everything you need for birthdays or special occasions. They have gift boxes that are unique and beautiful and they have beautiful cards like this one to go with that special gift. They even have frames and brag books you can give as gifts! Check out their shop here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Other Job

I know I am probably not supposed to talk about what I do when I'm not sewing but I can't help it. My first love is art. Please don't be mad at me. I am not cheating on Tina with my paintbrush. I give equal time. One day I sew, the next day I paint. Sometimes I sew for two days in a row. And then I binge paint. Anyway, I have put up a couple of new cards that I really love. So I am using the blog to show them off. This one cracks me up.

These Look Way Better in Person

Okay, so my pictures still suck but I wanted to show this outfit off because it is so cute! I was going to make a onesie to go with it but i think it might be too much so i am just going with the hat and pants.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I am Still Alive!

Hi All!
I am a terrible partner for poor Karen as she has had to carry the brunt of the blogging and everything else for our wonderful little business. Work does take up a lot of my free time as well as my "adorable" daughter. Just a side note, Molly (the adorable daughter) does take ritalin, among other drugs for her insane hyperactivity. Well, her doctor ran out of the triplicate prescription pads that are required for prescribing ritalin. We are talking about 1 month here of Molly on no ritalin! I am ready to go undercover and try and buy some off some street corner! I'm sure that if she lived with the doctor, he would have filled that prescription long ago! Anyway, as usual, i have digressed. Although i had a sewing flop, (tried a new apron pattern that turned out horrible), i am still hopeful that our aprons will take off. They are super cute. We just have to find the right audience for them. We will continue to work away at our machines and just hope that someday somebody will discover us and the word will spread that our stuff is great! Maybe i need medication!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back on Earth

Yes, we took a little trip to HELL last weekend. The craft show did not go well again. But we are still glass is half full people because what other choice is there? It's not like we're going to stop making our fabulous creations - right? Someone, somewhere, is bound to buy them! I really think Crafty Ladies was just not the right place for us. We are going to try the Simi Valley Street Fair in May as well as the Red Rabbit Craft Boutique. Hopefully we'll have better luck! I did get a wonderful order from Bev. So that made me feel good. I really want to figure out how to publish images inside the blog text like other people do. Then I would do more tutorials. (Where did that come from you are wondering...my mind is always flitting from one topic to another. Plus I am very tired but I can't go to bed until my son finishes his math homework. I feel very old!) Anyway, I am just rambling now so I will sign off and write later.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog on the Run

I realized I have not been blogging very regularly. I know you have missed me :). Just kidding! But just wanted to keep you apprised of what is going on in the exciting lives of this and that by k and t. Tina is swamped with work and planning the demise of her father-in-law. Kidding!!! But she has been extremely busy at her actual job and then in her free time busily churning out items for our show this Saturday. We are really hoping to do well this time because we have not had the best of luck with craft shows so far (in our vast experience of 4 shows last year!) We have only been able to break even on two shows and the other two we made minimal (100or so each). But we are learning with each one what to expect. And we are continually expanding our inventory so we can see what people want. Mary Ann and I opened a card store together on etsy. check it out here. I decided I was taking too much space up with non apparel items in our this and that store. We haven't had any sales yet but I am hopeful. Mary Ann hooked me up with a lady in Solvang who owns a bookstore and I send her samples to see if she wanted to sell them. So again, I am waiting to see. I figure one of these days, something is going to work for all of us! I honestly don't know how some of the etsians find the time to work on their inventory and do all the social networking, marketing and blogging they get done. It is quite amazing to me (and far beyond my limited skills!) Wish us luck on Saturday.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Busy as a Bee

Tina and I are busy sewing our little hearts out. We are preparing for our first show of the year in two weeks. The pressure is on! We have changed our strategy to limit the number of each item we sell. And we have so much more to offer this time around! We are looking forward to seeing which items are the big sellers (keep your fingers crossed that we have big sellers! The only down side to this next show is that I cannot sell my cards and bookmarks. But my dear friend Mary Ann was kind enough to get me a contact at a bookstore in Solvang and I got the okay to send her samples of my cards and bookmarks. So hopefully that will be an avenue where I can sell a few. And the two shows we have in May are okay with the items. The March show already has enough cards. We also plan on expanding to include t-shirts that match our bloomers. And Tina got a sale Saturday! The first pair of bloomers! Yea! We love making them because they are soooooo cute and (at least for me) it brings back memories of when my boys were little. Don't worry, they didn't wear bloomers! They will need massive amounts of therapy because of me, BUT NOT BECAUSE I MADE THEM WEAR GIRL'S CLOTHING!! LOL!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to Make a Fabric Rosette

Okay, I am giving up our secrets. I have pictures but I have to admit I forgot to take them when it got to the end of the program. Sorry!

Step 1

Cut a strip of fabric (we use a rotary cutter - it's fast) 4 inches wide and the entire width of the fabric (usually 42 - 44 inches). See Figure 1.

Step 2

If there is a band of white on the salvages, turn them under so the fabric print is all that shows.

Step 3

Fold the fabric strip in half wrong sides together. Stitch using the gathering stitch on your machine (it's number 4 on mine). See Figure 2.

Step 4
Gently pull one of the strings and gather. You kind of have to play this one by ear. Just see how gathered you like to work with it. I usually tie the ends when I get it right, just so it won't lose the gather. See Figure 3.

Step 5
Start turning one of the ends in and sew it by hand to keep the curl. See Figure 4. Keep turning this until you're done with the fabric. See Figure 5 and 6.
Step 6
Cover the bottom (the raw edges of the sewn part) with a piece of felt using a glue gun. Sorry, this is where the pictures end. I will try to put some up tomorrow!
Step 7
To make it a pin, glue on a pin fixture (you can get them at fabric stores or stores like Michaels). Have fun using this on a purse, hat, blouse or jacket

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Using up the Old, Bringing in the New

I always love it when I buy new material because it is like Christmas in February. However, that said, it is an even better feeling when I can use up some old fabric because it makes room for me to buy more! Plus, let's face it, our "old" fabric is still pretty darn cute. These bloomers are the cutest thing, aren't they? Tina made them using some fabric we bought at the beginning of our venture into the etsy arena. The orange ruffle is old (well, relatively speaking) too. Kudos to Tina. The nice thing about going through your fabric stores is you find cute stuff you totally forgot you had! Yesterday I made a child's apron using two old fabrics and one new. Which made me very proud. And they looked so great together. I will post a picture soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I was so excited when a friend of mine had a baby girl! Perfect, i thought, i can make her some bloomers and get some young mom feedback! My children (and Karen's), are way past the stage when we could even possibly think of sewing them anything they would ever wear! So now we must pray upon the unsuspecting new generation of moms! we love making the bloomers because they are (a) fast! (b) fun to do and (c) something new we can add to our line. The recipient of the bloomers i made wrote back to me and said she especially liked the little ruffles at bottom of the pants. What girl doesn't love ruffles! Anyway, we got the pattern for these darling pants at sewmamasew.com, (one of my new favorite sites for patterns). Check this site out because they have tons of very cute and very different patterns than you see in the standard pattern books.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I really love these abstract paintings by Linda Monfort. The colors are truly amazing and the shapes are bold and beautiful. This one is a particular favorite of mine. She also paints florals and landscapes. She paints with acylics on canvas which gives them added texture and depth. I actually prefer acylics on stretched canvas to remain unframed because sometimes I think the frame can detract from the painting. Since you can request having the sides of her paintings finished, you do not even need a frame. Her pricing is very reasonable for original fine art of this size and quality. Check out her shop!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sourdough Waffles on President's Day

I made my famous sourdough waffles this morning for breakfast and against orders from my bathroom scale, I ate one. Topped with a stick (ok, maybe a slice) of butter, and 100% maple syrup. OMG it was GOOD! Once you have had a sourdough waffle, the regular ones just aren't up to snuff. You have to make the starter first. Okay, I am going to give you the recipe that your family will never let you forget! (Mine never has - my starter went bad a few years ago and I kept getting the whining and the puppy dog looks until I started a new starter). The starter recipe is as follows:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active-dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
I got this from this website http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/SourdoughStarter.htm
Just a note - you need to use bottled water. Mix the ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl (not metal) with a wooden spoon. Cover the container with a dish cloth and let it sit in a warm (70 to 80 degrees F.), draft-free place. NOTE: Temperatures hotter than 100 degrees F. or so will kill the yeast.

The dish cloth will let wild yeasts pass through into the batter. The mixture should bubble as it ferments (this will foam up quite a bit.

Let it sit out from 2 to 5 days, stirring it once a day. The starter is ready when it develops a pleasant sour smell and looks bubbly.

The night before you want your waffles (do this every time):
Add 1 cup flour and 1 cup warm water to the starter to activate the batter.

The next morning:
Before you add any of the following ingredients, take about a cup of batter out of the mix and store it in a glass container (I use an old, sterilized pasta sauce jar) and put it in the fridge. This will be your starter for next time.

Add to the remaining batter:
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 - 2 tablespoons sour cream (if you don't have this, you can add 1 T milk)
1 egg
1 T sugar
1 T melted butter

Mix this up with your wooden spoon and poor it into a waffle iron! If you prefer pancakes, you might want to thin the batter a little with milk or butter ;). Enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Tina

Tuesday was Tina's birthday. I took her out to dinner last night to celebrate but first I took her to our own private Disneyland - the fabric store. We went to Patches, which is a little fabric store that specializes in quilting fabrics and is run by a really nice woman named Jennie. Patches used to be quite close to us but Jennie moved the store to a new location that Tina had never visited. I went there to check it out and get her a gift certificate on Monday. I didn't tell Tina where I was taking her but she sort of guessed when we drove up. The only problem was NO PARKING! I hate that! There was a total of 4 (count 'em 4) parking spaces and they were all taken. In fact someone had parked across the back of three of the other cars - I guess they got frustrated with the lack of parking too. Anyway, we ended up parking across the aisle in the camera shop parking and slinking back to the fabric store. You would think we would get tired of looking at bolts and bolts of fabric but it never seems to get old! I think Tina had fun. We love Joanns because you can get decent fabric at good prices (when they have sales) but there is nothing quite like the quality of the fabric at Patches. Fun day! And we topped off the healthy salads we had at dinner with a flourless chocolate cake!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Heart Healthy Fried Chicken

What you say? Heart Healthy Fried Chicken??? Yes, I altered my favorite fried chicken recipe to make a heart healthy version. You will need Low Fat Bisquick, Pam (or some other cooking spray), a whole chicken, cut up and skinned, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.

2 cups low fat bisquick
1tsp (or more) paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 and spray cooking spray on the bottom and sides of a 13 X 9 inch pan. Mix the above ingredients in a large bowl. Rinse and (if you haven't already) skin the chicken. Dip the chicken in the bisquick mixture and place in the pan. Bake (it really does taste fried, trust me) for 35 minutes on one side then turn over and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Enjoy! I promise you won't miss the oil/butter or the skin on the chicken.

Featured Etsy Blogger

The featured etsy blogger this month is tiltcreations. She makes handmade bags and accessories. They are each beautiful creations. I especially love this clutch in red and black. Perfect for that Valentine's Day dinner with the significant other in your life. I also like the Mollie Clutch in Green Skulls. I have to admit, I didn't see the skulls at first until I looked more closely at the wonderful workmanship. I just loved the fabulous green color. And it is a bargain at $25.00 too!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tomato Pie

Okay, this recipe should really be made only with tomatoes from the tomato stand by the side of the road. You know, the one you pass because you can buy tomatoes at the grocery store. DO NOT PASS THE TOMATO STAND! Because, I am sorry to Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, Gelson's and even Trader Joes - your tomatoes do not compare! But, unfortunately for me, I have to wait until June for my stand to open up again. So I do make this recipe with tomatoes from "the other stores" during this time of the year. First off, you need about 6 - 8 tomatoes and you slice them thinly and put them on paper towels to get all the liquid out of them. Put the paper towels on top of as well as below the tomatoes and change them a couple of times to get all the liquid out. You will need frozen puff pastry, fresh (if you can get it at the stand, do) basil (you can use dried but fresh is better), powdered garlic, salt, white pepper, shredded jack cheese, grated parmesan cheese (the kind that is finely grated - you can get it at Trader Joes or you can use the Kraft kind) and olive oil. I am not giving you amounts because it is one of those things you have to do by looking at it. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED - you cannot fail at this recipe! Okay, so get a 10 inch pie plate (I know you have one, even if you never use it!) and spray it with cooking spray. Roll out the puff pastry as the package directs and put it in the pie plate, trimming the edges and making holes in the bottom so the crust doesn't shrink. Layer the tomatoes two layers thick, then sprinkle with a SMALL amount of salt, TONS of garlic, EVEN MORE basil and a little white pepper. Then repeat until the pie plate is full. In a bowl, mix about 8 ounces shredded jack cheese, and about the same amount of grated parmesan. Moisten it with olive oil until it sticks together in your hand when you close your fist. My original recipe called for mayonaise (and you can use it if you want to) but I changed it for a more heart healthy recipe (aren't you impressed?) Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the top bubbles and the bottom is brown. You can also use a frozen pie crust if you prefer but there is something so buttery and good about puff pastry! Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Disaster at Sea

Jon is really into fishing now. In fact, we took a trip to the Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucamonga (yes there really is a place named Rancho Cucamonga). Jon calls it Disneyland for rednecks. And it is, no lie. There are stuffed dead moose (mooses? moosi? meese? whatever the plural is), a river runs through it (wait, wasn't that a movie with Brad Pitt??), and there is a waterfall (seriously?). The place is totally awe inspiring. And it has every camping/fishing/hunting/outdoors item you would never know you need. And more important - fudge! Anyways, I bought him a new fishing rod for his birthday and he wanted to try it out at my dad's house in Laguna Beach. My dad (who used to fish alot) told him to go at high tide (mistake #1). Jon decided to wear shorts and not bring a jacket (mistake #2). Don't worry, it gets worse. They went to Fisherman's Cove which has a rock ledge on one side which, when hit by the waves makes this huge wall of water (can you see where this is going?). Anyway, poor Jon was fishing by himself (he is 14, and taller than my 19 year old) while I took my dad back to the house (the high tide was hard on his back because of the wave action) and I was just coming back down the steps when the tsunami hit him and swept away his new tackle box, shoes, chair, phone (yes he brought it - mistake #3), bucket, etc. Not to worry, we got back everything but one shoe. I think I saw it floating on the water off the island of Catalina :). Jon was drenched and we tried resusitating the phone (which was new at Christmas) but it was declared dead on arrival. The Titanic has nothing on the Arroyo family! Oh, and just to top things off, Jon has a cold now.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Picture Taking

As anyone who has viewed our Etsy Store can attest, Karen and I are not the best photographers. In fact, some might say that our abilities in photography suck, big time! It is not from lack of effort on our part. We earnestly try each and every time to take a fabulous picture only to find that the item is not clearly displayed, the colors are awful, the lighting is terrible and the background overpowers the item. I really think it is an age thing. People who were born after 1975 and upwards seem to have been born with this built-in tech-savvy ability that us oldie-olsters lack. It really is not fair. But, we are not going to let our inability get us down! We are going to continue to try and take sophisticated pictures that rival anything in Martha Stewart's magazine. But, in the meantime, those of you who do look at our shop, please use that imagination of yours to embellish each item displayed in our shop and know that it is way prettier in person than that little square photo displays!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Whimsical Art World of Renie Britenbucher

I was checking around in the original paintings aisle of etsy as I am apt to do on a lovely morning like todays and I happened to run across the Whimsical Art World of Renie Britenbucher. I am now in heaven. I love her paintings! They make me happy looking at them. She uses bright, vibrant colors in her Tuscan landscapes, which are my personal favorite. Never been there but she makes me want to go! Her prints and original paintings are a very reasonable price and make having a statement painting affordable. Her shop is located at http://www.etsy.com/shop/reniebritenbucher. Check it out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

30 Day Challenge

I am a procrastinator. In fact, I am supposed to be on day 4 of the 30 day challenge and I have only listened to day 1 and part of day 2. Actually, I haven't heard the video on procrastination yet - I've been putting it off! But, in my defense (whine, whine), it is very hard to sit in front of my computer and listen to Ed Dale talk (or whoever the day's dude is) when I would rather be creating something! Plus, most of it is directed at people who don't know what they want to do and need to find a niche for themselves. Since we already have one, this does not really apply. Also, alot of stuff about search engine optimization and all these extra add-ons you need to have to do that and I really feel that they don't apply to us. We are on google analytics, facebook, twitter and I will join delicious (nag, nag, nag). It seems like so much WORK just to get the information about who is looking at your site and it doesn't seem to help you get any more people TO look, so I don't see the point. Sorry Ed! But I will keep listening, just on the off chance I hear something that will help us. I do think their idea of keeping a notebook to write ideas in with you all the time is a good one. In fact, I located an old notebook and I plan to carry it around with me! (OK, all you cynics, I know you are thinking "We'll see how long that lasts!") I get no respect! I'll let you know when I have caught up on my challenges!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shoes to Die For

Okay, I have always been a little vain about my feet because they are small. I wear a size 5 (and believe me, that is the only thing that is small on my body besides another area above the waist that should not be small) but today I wish I had size 8 feet. These shoes are the reason. They are chartreuse green and if that is not reason enough to think they are awesome there is the circuit board pattern all over them. And I am not remotely nerd-like (at least not with regards to my computer expertise!) Crafttastrophe makes hand painted, one of a kind shoes and they are spectacular! I have to say that up until a few years ago, I did not feel the pull of fabulous shoes. Probably because no one makes them in my size! But I have since seen the light and now there is nothing more rewarding for me than finding a great pair of shoes in my size. I have even been known to buy a pair in a 5.5 if I like them enough! If you prefer your shoes to be easy on your legs, Crafttastrophe has some one of a kind flats and sneakers too. Check them out at

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Item!

We are branching out from our bags and Karen's beautiful art creations. We have started making tiered skirts for little girls! And, if the cards are in our favor, we will make them for ladies also! We also are making retro style aprons which we will be adding soon. We realize that we need to diversify in order to satisfy our audience and, hopefully, garner us some new followers! Hopefully, you will all like our new items!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How Cute is This?-

Is that the cutest baby ever? And the cutest baby hat too? I gotta say, TrickyKnits, Anne Geddes got nothin' on you! How did you get that baby to stay so beautifully posed? That picture shows off that cute hat to perfection. Check out TrickyKnits other items at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TrickyKnits. I wish these beautiful necessities had been around when my sons were babies. I especially love the Upsy Daisy Baby Hammock - it just looks so comfy and cozy. And the baby obviously enjoys it! These items are beautiful and functional. Amazing! There are so many talented people on Etsy.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What's New on Etsy

I love this coat! It is by MaionFashionDesign on Etsy. I saw it on the front page and I went to her store to check it out. She is Croatian and she doesn't just design coats, she designs dresses and jewelry too. Beautiful stuff, Maion! I love watching Project Runway and seeing all the innovative designs. I have to say, Maion's is better than anything I have seen on the show yet.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What I Remember About Last Year

As Tina knows, it was a banner year for me in 2009. And not in a good way! My husband of 20 years broke my heart by leaving me in June of 2009. However, I have since recovered and am looking forward to this year as a new beginning with our shop. Tina and I have started showing new items and my most favorite thing - the thing that gives me the most joy is that I am painting again and they are small wonders to me that make me happy. Because they are small (bookmarks and cards) they don't take much time and I am all about instant gratification! And (for those that are interested) all hope is not lost on the marriage front. I am allowing him slowly back into my life and we will see how it goes. Stay tuned!

NicoDesigns Rocks!

I absolutely love these shoes by NicoDesigns, the featured seller this month! I actually commented on them when they showed up on a Found Handmade treasury too! Not only do they look comfy and cozy but they are cute as a button with the little rose embellishment. You can find them here http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32259350. But that isn't all you can find at NicoDesigns. Not by a long shot. There are beautiful purses and totes and the most adorable pin cushions ever. Good luck with your shop Nico!

New Item! Aprons

Okay, well I am getting somewhat discouraged by our lack of sale on our bags despite the fact that i think they are adorable. Therefore, I am trying to branch out into the apron arena. Loaded with patterns (and heaven knows i have the fabric), i set out to make my first apron. While it looks very cute off; the pattern must have been cut for someone with either an extremely long neck, or an enormous bust-line, (neither of which i have). Therefore, i have to figure out what adjustment i need to make for the strap that goes around the neck so i can make one that will actually sell! Why do pattern people do that? It's like when someone gives you a recipe and leaves a key ingredient out! Oh well, i am determine to find out the answer so we can launch ourselves into "Apron World"!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Plumbing Nightmare

There are two things that strike fear in my heart; plumbing problems and car problems. In fact, a dear friend of mine and i agreed that the main reason to get married would be to have a husband to deal with these issues. Sadly, my husband is very good at relegating the problems back to me. The kitchen sink has reared its ugly head and backed up, thus causing the washing machine to overflow. I called the plumber who ran his little "snake machine" only to find that the plug was still there. Today he is running some other expensive machine through the pipes, but he has warned us that he thinks the pipe has deteriorated to the point of non-existence. We are now talking about jackhammers destroying whatever potion of my house that sits over the disgusting pipe. Dollar bill signs are dancing before my eyes. Also, with no washing machine, i am facing going to the laundry mat with tons of clothes to wash.. the picture doesn't get much grimmer as far as i am concerned. So are the joys of house ownership!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Closet From Hell

Yes, I decided I could not start the New Year with the closet from hell hanging over my head. So I tackled it today. However, the closet from hell beat me! I took everything out and reorganized it. I tossed stuff I was never going to use again and I even put my idea sketches/pictures in a binder so the papers wouldn't just be shoved anywhere. Pretty impressive, no? Not when you realize I did not even attempt to condense/organize the dresser from hell that is IN the closet from hell. This dresser has every craft project that I started and didn't finish. It has pipe cleaners, old Christmas cards, Counted Cross Stitch patterns and materials, trim of all kinds, pins, pens, pencils, and anything else you can possibly think of in it. It is a NIGHTMARE! So I guess that is what I will be working on tomorrow. The deal with myself was, no fun stuff (like making bookmarks, cards and purses) until the closet is done. I guess I could let myself off on a technicality but it kind of feels like one of those things that is going to be so rewarding when it is done. I think. But maybe not. We'll see what I decide tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year, New Goals

I am all about the marketing right now. My friend Judy turned me on to guerrilla marketing. I had never heard of it so (of course) I googled it using "gorilla marketing" cause that's what it sounded like over the phone! At least I can laugh at my own cluelessness! Anyways, kudos to Judy for that. So yesterday I printed up some cute bookmarks that had our website on them, snuck into the library and planted them in library books! I felt like a criminal! Especially when 3 library ladies appeared to be following me from aisle to aisle (I realized later it was not a subversive plot to remove my bookmarks - they were just shelving books...). I am planning on going again tomorrow. So many books, so little time.

My New Years resolution is to really work on expanding our business. My greatest accomplishment would be for Tina to make enough money at this side job for her to quit her day job. Hey, I dream BIG! Tina is the dearest person in the world and if she sometimes gets overwhelmed with the challenges in her life, she's entitled. Trust me.

So one of the gorilla, I mean, guerrilla sites said that you need to use your friends as advertisement because they come cheap. I called my friend Brenda (who is a teacher) and asked her to set some of the website bookmarks in the library of her school. She was happy to do it and she offered to set them out in the teacher's lounge too - something I hadn't thought of. Tina is usually the idea person, not me.

Anyway, I will blog about how it goes. If even 1% of the library bookmarks yield a visit, I am sure we will get some new customers, because our stuff is awesome!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Difficult Day

This has been a very difficult day. Too much together time with my daughter (24 mentally disabled). I have already broken my New Year's resolution to try and be kinder and more patient with her. I have had way too many fights with my husband over this "Season of Joy", and i feel so separated from my boys who i try to spare from "life with Molly" as best i can. My husband has had many fun days with the boys over the weekend doing boy stuff. They golf, i don't.. i can't foresake them time to be with dad golfing. Hey, i should be thrilled that they are doing something so very innocent. But i do resent that i am not even asked to be included. I am no saint. Life with a mentally challenged child is not what you see in the movies. It's very hard work and sometimes it can get to you. Sorry, i will be better tomorrow.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolution... try and write on blog more. I am going to make another new purse today, and then try and cut out a blouse to sew. I love sewing clothes because i feel it really is my own creation that nobody else has. Very satisfying! But before the fun, i must start de-Christmasing the house. Every year it is the same; i feel like i just got the stupid stuff up and now i have to put it away. And why is it that men don't contribute to the chore at all? They like the decorations all up, but think that a magic elf must come and put it all up and take it all down! This elf is sick of the job! Anyway, another New Year's resolution, remember life is short and try and enjoy everyday... live with less regrets. Also lose weight, exercise more and spend less.... the standing resolutions that make the top ten year in and year out!