Sunday, December 29, 2013

Downton Abbey Fabric

Yes, I have been under a rock of sorts. I just learned that Andover Fabrics has a line of Downton Abbey inspired fabric. I just ordered a bunch to work on a project for myself. It started with a tote bag included with a Downton Abbey gift set that I got for Christmas. I can't leave well enough alone to just use a boring screen print canvas tote bag. So I am going to cut it up and turn it into a really cool patchwork tote bag. Below are some of the fabrics from Andover. It shall be a project for the "weekend".

Friday, December 20, 2013

Snow day

It snowed last night. The first nit of snow around the Puget Sound area since will last winter. It wasn't a huge amount of snow overnight barely an inch where I live. It reminded me of when I was a kid. It was always exciting to hear about possible now predictions because living on the west side of WA state snow is not a yearly thing. Sometimes there would be a single snow storm or more in a year but other years there would be none. Every kid waited in rapt attention as the school announcements were read on the tv or radio news. I'd wait excitedly as they got closer and closer to my district and.... 2 hours behind. Late start not a closure *sigh*
Today has reminded me of that as I look out at the melting inch of snow and struggle to get my day started.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Holidays and the Year Ahead

Every year I say to myself "you should be a better blogger. Make it a priority and find something interesting to write about." Each year this last for a few posts and then fizzles . This year I am making no such grand statements of making blogging a priority. Honestly, I never know what to write about and I'd hate to make this nothing but one long stream of spam. So here we are though a few days shy of Christmas and I am looking forward to 2014.
I've got fancy plans and pants to match! Umm...well I have some good plans for my business. The first one is kind of big news. I will no longer have any made to order listings in my shop. These were a good seller for me in 2012 but not so much in 2013. I really don't like having to look at the same fabric for yard after yard and because of that I have been at a disadvantage from those sellers on etsy that have several times the made to order listings. So as of Dec. 16th or so all items in my etsy shop and website will be ready to ship. I will still take custom requests but I really would rather focus on ready to ship items.
The next big change is many new items will be listed on my website first and then they will be listed on etsy a few weeks later. I really want to spend more time building up my own website presence.
Then finally I am working on some completely new items that I will be introducing in 2014. I am really super excited for them.
So there it is. I hope every has a safe and warm Christmas. I shall see you all next year.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's the start of new fabric season

Yep, that's right I have started my annual late winter fabric buying spree. It all started today at the fabric and sewing expo. This is an event where you really should have some sort of a game plan as far as budget and also which vendors you wish to see. Not having a plan means hours of walking and standing in the crowds of people. The best part is fabric.

Cotton prints

Mustache: black, brown and blue

chevrons in coral, beige, and blue

Lime green and white chevron
 Japanese Import fabrics
patchwork design, birds and flowers, alarm clocks

penguins and rotary dial phones
 Hand dyed Yukata fabric
mixed assortment
 Decorator weight fabrics: great for messenger bags

geometric designs
 Wool Fabrics
Spring Plaid: this is going to become a handbag for sure

Jacquard weave in red and black
No of course starts the even more exciting and fun process of using it all. There is more to come in March when I do my big wholesale shopping trip. That's just a snippet of what's to come.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The passing of a dear friend

Spanky the greyhound March 2003 - February 2, 2013
Born in a racing kennel, Spanky was the 2nd puppy in his litter to get his ears tattooed. yep, that's right my dog was tougher than me because he had a tattoo. I adopted him when he was just over a year old. He had broken a leg as a puppy there by ending any future racing career and landing him in the life of a sofa guard. A job he took very seriously as living room sofas may take off at any moment. He defined 45mph couch potato.
I had been wanting to adopt a greyhound for a couple of years but wanting to provide a forever home for a dog I wanted to make sure it was the right breed for me. I took more than enough time researching the breed. I adopted him from a small local group that I had more or less been stalking for 2 years. They had a meet and greet booth at my local farmers market. I liked stopping by to visit with the dogs but I never really had any questions; after all I was "reasearching". when I finally filled out the paperwork and had my home visit; They thought it would be funny to match me with a black dog. I had black hair at the time and wore black clothes so I NEEDED a black dog of course. It was a perfect match. never could I have had a better greyhound...a better friend.
 I had 9 wonderful years with him. He was accident prone though and pulled out toe nails like it was a hobby. He dislocated a toe and once had a 6 inch gash on his leg. Did he ever cry? Nope, I rarely knew that there as an issue until I noticed blood on the floor or saw his foot swollen to twice it's size. Aside from his accident prone nature he was quirky. He always thought the ringing telephone was for him and he'd run and dance around it. He had a weird fear of snowmen and he wouldn't walk by one at all. It was his worst nightmare once when after a heavy snow fall we went to a local park and all the kids in the area had made snowmen. He could be as stubborn as a goat when he wanted to. If he got tired on a walk he would lie down and refuse to move until he was ready or if he saw a squirrel, deer, or rabbit on his walk he'd dig his heels in and refuse to move until the other creature was out of sight. His toys always had to be indoors and he'd get terribly upset when a foster or visiting greyhound friend would take them outside.
Spanky (left) and foster Paula (right) maybe 2006 or 2007
He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma Jan. 30, 2013. The only symptom I noticed at first was some stiffness in a back leg. I put it off as possibly an injury from slipping on some ice as it has been icy that week. It never improved and lameness with his back legs got worse. We went to vet for x-rays. In the back of my mind I wondered if this wasn't osteosarcoma even though the symptoms weren't a 100% match. I cried buckets of tears and made up my mind and changed it a million times. I opted for pain management only. Knowing that the cancer can be cruelly fast I opted to say goodbye to my sweet friend earlier than I would have liked. I couldn't stand the thought of seeing him sicker, weaker, and even more in pain. Let's face it any time would have been sooner than I'd have liked. I was with him right up to the end. I held his head and whispered to him.
"A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter's drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way." - Mary Carolyn Davies 

"Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

"There is no death. Only a change of worlds." - Chief Seattle 

"If it should be....
If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
and pain should keep me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done,
for we know this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad, I understand,
but don't let grief then stay your hand,
for this day, more than the rest,
your love and friendship must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years,
what is to come can hold no fears.
Would you want me to suffer? So,
when the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend,
only stay with me until the end,
and hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.

It is a kindness that you do to me,
although my tail it's last has waved,
from pain and suffering I have been saved.

Do not grieve, it should be you,
who must decide this thing to do.
We've been so close, we two these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears." - Author unknown 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The first post of 2013

So 2013 has started. What have we learned from 2012? We learned not to believe that Mayan Prophecy. That was porbably a incorrect translation and what it really meant was the end of Hostess and the Twinkie. Honestly, you'd have thought the world ended because a snack cake along with many others wasn't going to be made anymore. I can't think of the last time I had one of those hostess cupcakes or those "fruit" pies. But here we are in 2013. This year I have so many great plans. I've really gotten back into making handbags and messenger bags so far this year. Due to the encouragement of another etsy seller, I am now venturing into working with leather. So far I am only using it as an accent but I am hoping to feel confident enough to make a few completely leather handbags. Not only do I have all these great ideas for sewn item I also want to increase my blog postings and publish more newsletters. I really think I have grossly under utilized these tools. I say that every year about the blog....only I really mean it this time!