Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas! We have around here! If you comment and wrote a Christmas blog as well, link me to your blog, I'm in the mood for Christmas stories! :)

For Christmas, part of my gift was kielbasa. Yup, my Mommers gave me meat for Christmas. It's just so delicious, I can't wait to cook it! I was ready to cancel the Christmas ham I want it that bad. This stuff smells so good, and I always sniff it through the butcher paper.

Mom: I got you kielbasa!
Me: MMMMMM thanks Mom! *sniff sniff OMG yum*
Mom: What are you doing?
Me: Huffing my sausage.
My Husband: I've got a sausage you can huff.

That was only the first of the awkward penis jokes on Christmas Eve.

Ahhh Christmas. I'm so blessed to be a part of 2 (ok, more like 5) wonderful (and hilarious) families!

Saw my Dad's side last Sunday. Lots of laughs and instead of the annual ham, we had BBQ Pork sandwiches! I love ham. But BBQ is even better! I hope this becomes tradition!

Today my Mom made us breakfast. Unfortunately my step-dad had to work so we didn't see him. :( We had french toast, pineapple, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, oj, chocolate milk, coffee, AND coffee cake! It was a smorgasbord of yum. And unlike my childhood, my Mom was all about breakfast closer to 11am than the wee hours of the morning like she used to do. Proving the older we get, the better we are. (I have never been a morning person, Mom always was when I lived there. I thought she was crazy to be that awake and happy in the morning! 11am breakfast rules.)

David added 4 garbage trucks to his collection, officially forming a fleet of garbage trucks over here. Those 3 matching ones are possessed. All 3 make noise all day long and there is no off switch and you need a screwdriver to get to the batteries. So thank you for that Aunt Colie, Mom, and Doug's Mom, what'd we ever do to you guys? :) Come to think of it, this doesn't include the garbage truck ornament he scored, or the one his Dad bought for him. Or the recycling game my Mom got him that has a herbie-curbie. My kid really likes trash. He's made no secret of this obviously, since everyone knows and got him trash related toys! He sent my Dad on a different random mission this year. His request:

Me: Grandpa John wants to know what you want for Christmas.
D: I want that Transformers guy with the fire extinguisher on his back.
Me: A fire extinguisher? What color is he?
D: I don't know Mom. He has a fire extinguisher.
Me: Do you know his name?
D: Yeah, it's Fire Extinguisher Guy From Transformers.

And that's all the info. I sent along to Grandpa John as well. hehehe. I hear they got a kick out of it. Still don't know if he found that Transformer. I'd have been more helpful if I'd ever seen the cartoon or movie I'm sure.

We also got a really fantastic recycling game called "What's Rubbish?". Along with really liking garbage trucks and dumpsters, my son LOVES to recycle. He will sort everything into bins for paper, plastic, and 'liluminum', it's too cute! The game is a lot of sorting and it's great quality. I definitely encourage you to find this game for your preschoolers!

We had lunch/dinner at my inlaws. I love my inlaws, again, I'm a lucky gal. We had chili dogs. Chili dogs. On Christmas! Have I entered some sort of parallel universe where everything is awesome? Love it. Lost terribly at Simpsons Scene It and after my husband drew a very phallic gun in Pictionary and I proved my pervness to the family ("It's a penis! What's coming out of it? Ejaculation? That can't possibly be in Pictionary! Penis gun?") that game came to an end as well.

Guess what else?! My Mom got me a serger!! I can't wait to mess with it! I don't even know what to make! I was messing with it today and managed to knot the 3 threads together way up at the top. So what do I do? Snip them and prepare to rethread the serger. Exactly what my Mom said to not do. Ha! Nevermind that the only decent (or so I hear) directions are on a VHS tape. I spent 2 hours trying to rethread it using the pictures in the manual with little success. It's threaded, all the threads pull nicely through the machine, they just don't sew right. The rightmost 2 threads are turning out all loose and loopy. If anyone has experience with these things, let me know if you know how to fix that! I haven't given up yet.

I received the Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts today also! Pretty amazing book. I love Martha Stewart, she's so fabulous. I used to watch Martha everyday back when I had 2 babies that were easily pleased with using me as a jungle-gym while I watched Martha. I never see it anymore. I now need barstools. So I can cover the seats with rope. Doesn't sound terribly comfortable but it looks cool. I also want to try the rope rug. And the sailor knot bookends. I feel a nautical theme coming on!

Mom, I really am turning into you!

I think I will skip the bathroom painted so it feels like you're crapping in an aquarium.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Work In Progress....

My latest work in progress! I just loooooooove my new fabrics I picked up the other night. I went shopping with my boy and he was so so so good. Which is quite the change from the last time I took him fabric shopping. That time he had to be dragged out of the store against his will, kicking and screaming "I don't want to leave the green fabric store!! I love it here!!" which I totally feel, but have the self control to not cry when I leave. I get ya kid. I feel your pain.

Anyway, these are my new fabrics and they are beyond awesome and already almost gone. I'd love to share my new projects but they are all Christmas gifts. So ya gotta wait a week, and if I'm lucky, I'll remember to get pics before I give them away!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

And The Good Goes Bad...

Just to update those of you that have asked today... our offer didn't get accepted on the house. The owners decided they don't want to counter offer either. Who does that? House hunting shouldn't be so depressing. If owners aren't selling houses out from under us, they are refusing to sell their house that's been on the market over a year. I don't understand it. I'm just so done. I don't want to look at anymore houses. I was so excited to finally be done after seeing every single house we could afford that we'd even consider living in that's on the market right now. Here in Michigan, that's a lot of houses. I apologize for my premature excitement. :-/

I'm convinced this is a sign that we shouldn't commit to living here forever. We should go somewhere warm and beautiful that doesn't get snow.

Where the sun always shines, money grows on trees, work is a place you never want to leave, and kids always behave and smother you with love....

I need a reality check.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On With The Good...

We are having quite a go of it over here. Some good, some bad, some ugly. I wrote up a really long post venting about all the bullshit in my life right now. I don't think that my negativity is getting me anywhere, so I deleted it. Taking a little break from the blog lately as it feels like my sounding board, and it's meant to share the beautiful things I make and find on Etsy and the good things about my family. Not a constant rant-fest as its been.

Blah. It's hard to be positive when the week goes this way. Could be worse. I'm the most positive cynic I know. Not dwelling on the bad--

On with the good--

We found a house!! After seeing dozens and dozens of them, it's finally happened! My husband and I agree 100% on it too. That never happens. Ok, not 100%, but at least 99.9%. This is how it went when we walked in:

Envision a 70s mint green with gold flake countertop in the kitchen....

Him: Wow, that's the first thing we're taking out of here!

Me: Wow! That's the only thing I want to keep in this kitchen!

Other than that, we're right on par with this house. We agreed we'd hire someone to take the counter out and reinstall it whereever my workroom ends up being, instead of smashing it out of its ugly misery as he'd like to do. There's no possible way I'm parting with that fantastic countertop. I love all things 70s. It's miiiiiiiiiine. Even if I have to hide it in the basement. I'm already picturing it paired with my bubble mirror that I shamelessly begged a former landlord for when I moved out.

I love the location, even though I swore I wouldn't be a Kalamazoo lifer. It's in Portage so not really Kzoo, right? Walking distance from a gas station (that has slushies!!), a Kohl's and an Old Navy (goodbye $!), and D's future High School. I'm also content in knowing I'll be in a city full of amazing local music and local beer. I know someone everywhere I go, and there's good potential for my business. It's also tucked back in a little subdivision on a dead end. There's already plans to set up a hockey goal and I will actually get my rollerblades on again. Prepare yourselves for a gory broken bone post in the future! I promise pictures!

We are so excited to finally have a place to call home, and have a yard!

We made an offer on Monday and are expecting a counter-offer by noon on Thursday!

*Cross your fingers!*

And because I've been too busy to really even think about Christmas cards this year, here's the picture we were going to use. Because yes, my family is crazy funny and I love them. :)

Also, I've added a new item to my Etsy shop now that I've finally perfected them! Pocket Mirrors! Only $4! Here's a little sample:

2.25" and backed with fabric (some with a layer of mylar, some without), all with a crystal clear real glass mirror! Come check them out!

Monday, December 7, 2009

3,000 Squares, Oh My!

First off, I'd like to remind anyone that's interested, my magnet sets are marked down to $5 for all of December! They make a great stocking stuffer!
Now moving on... :)

I am officially insane. This has been confirmed by many of my close personal friends over the years, and again today by a few members of the Twitter community. I spent a good 5 hours of my day today cutting, cutting, cutting. 3,000 squares -- without a rotary cutter! I cherish my razor-edged titanium scissors my step-dad bought for me. Without them this wouldn't be possible and I'd have to go out and spend the $12 on a rotary cutter. I know, I should anyway.

I used up the last bits of many of my fabrics, and broke into a few I've been avoiding cutting. I'm weird like that with fabric. A lot of people have asked me if I will have quilts available in my shop. The answer is finally YES! I would've earlier, but I've loved them all so much that I kept them all for myself. I even have quilts set aside for babies I haven't even had yet. And babies I will never have, since I'm only enduring the madness of pregnancy once more. I've gifted quilts to lots of the new soon-to-come babies in my life, and now it's time for me to share with the Etsy community. So keep your eyes peeled, they're coming soon!

I blogged earlier about the Fashion Show at The Strutt. A few people have asked me how it went. Long story short - there's a reason I work alone. The girls I was working with on it are great people, so sweet! However, the details were fuzzy on tons of things and come last Tuesday I realized that in order to show a cohesive group of clothing, I was out. My stuff is wild and colorful. The group was pretty, but mild. Simple shapes, common colors, very mellow in comparison. So I backed out. I still set up a table at the show and hoped for the best.

Once I arrived I realized what a giant clusterfuck I was involved in. One group was the mild and mellow. The other collection being shown was out-there. Not my style of crazy, but gorgeous! Neither were handmade. These 2 collections mish-mashed together was NOT cohesive. If someone would've informed me of what the hell was going on (and believe me, I asked numerous times), I would've just found my own models, put my own clothes on them, and actually been in the show! I was also told that no one under 21 was allowed in the bar it was at. Then saw 15 year old models. I have a huge group of 13 year olds that would have absolutely LOVED to spend their Friday night modelling for my show. And every one of their tiny butts would've fit in the Ninja Pants I had already made. For a fleeting moment I thought of calling their moms and begging to borrow their children. It could have been done. If things were more organized and I had had some sort of clue what was happening, it really could've paid off big time. It's unfortunate things turned out the way they did.

Important Lesson Learned -- Don't say Yes so quickly. Get more info.

In the end, it was a riot though. We all had a good time, and I met some other amazing artists. I had fun and keep trying not to remind myself how much more fun it would've been had I had my things on a runway. I was just so excited for it. Won't do it again under the same circumstances.

I was all set for the Bizarre Bazaar on Sunday at my favorite bar, Bell's Brewery too. I was supposed to share a table with someone. I asked her how much space we had and was told "oh there's lots of room!" and spent Saturday night making new signage, organizing, and collecting all my show goodies that I haven't pulled out in a while. Got my car all loaded up, got my Mom to babysit, and I was on my way! Fast forward to Bell's. My "table" was more like a nightstand. 3'x4'.... seriously?! That's it? Really? For a 7 hour show you want me to put out 5% of my product? Uh no. Quick call to Mom to catch her before she zooms out of town and I'm out of that show too. Why do I bother? *sigh*

I did take something from all of this. I learned not to mix wine, tequila, and bloody marys if you don't want to have a horrendous Saturday morning. And I also decided to set back from the shows and get to work on my wholesale terms. I've had tons of people ask me for wholesale in the past, and I didn't have my terms together. So nows the time. I need to get more of my items into stores. That is my mission, so stay tuned, hopefully I have much success!

Friday, December 4, 2009

First Snow...

Trying not to have a negative morning, but man do I ever hate this state! Michigan is so beautiful in the summer. We get that beautiful summer because THIS is what we have to deal with for the rest of the year. Winter is here with a vengence. The plow trucks seem to not be out yet. The entire sole of my boot fell off today leaving me with a very cold, wet foot. I bought new boots yesterday, they better show up soon! Blah. I have nothing nice to say about today's weather. I'm only here to share this pic for those crazy snow lovers that follow this blog. I know who you are, and I know you only like it because you don't get snow where you live. Get your heads checked. I love you.

Tonight is my first fashion show! Or would have been anyway. The Fashion Show at The Strutt in downtown Kalamazoo! (Formerly known as Boogie's/Ali Baba's Hookah Lounge/10,000 other names.) Cocktail hour starts at 5! Show starts at 8! If you're in the area, you should come on down and see the show! I will not be in the show anymore, as my funky loud style doesn't mesh well with the other clothes being shown and in an effort to show a cohesive collection I backed out. I will still be there helping my ladies out with the show, and I will have a table set-up with all my goodies.

I'm feeling generous today, so I've marked down a lot of items for today only!* Slapdash Wallets, Itty Bitty Snap Pouches, and Patchworky Bibs are ONLY $10! Magnet sets are $5! They make great stocking stuffers, so get your booties down there, have a beer with me, and get some Christmas shopping done!!

If you can't make it tonight, I will be showing at the Bizzare Bazaar at Bell's Brewery on Sunday 2-9pm as well! I plan to keep the same crazy low prices throughout that show only, so come take advantage of my generosity and get a fantastic deal! I won't be offering this deal again!

I hope to see some of you tonight!

*Local sale only- sorry Etsy!