Saturday, May 28, 2011

Destash Weekend

Really, I'm finally doing it and doing it the way I didn't want to do it!  What I WANT to happen is to create the dreamed-of studio space without packing up and then having to unpack.  You know, the packing up is easy; the unpacking ... well, things can get lost in a time warp when out of sight, out of mind.  However, we've lived here eight years, so I'm off to pick up boxes now. 

My biggest problem has been HOW to arrange the place.  I'm a dreamer, not an organizer.  At Barnes and Noble last week, I saw the new issue of Studios magazine and was so glad to see layouts of the ladies' work spaces.  That will be in hand in a few hours as I begin to pack up the place.  I have already warned the husband that a couple of new fabric shelving units need to be built.  Have you seen Anna Maria Horner's new addition studio?  I'm waiting for her to show photos of the furnished place. 
Meanwhile, I must destash fabric as well, even my favorites.  Not entire lengths of fabrics but portions of like items.  The listings are at The Handmade Fair shop; sort of a crafter's garage sale.  Postings are slow, as I waste time coordinating the "perfect sets" and then must photograph and edit.  What would be faster is if I could just take a picture of a shelf, post it, and say, "Which one do you want and how much?"  Surprisingly, several All Boy Charm Sets have been ordered recently.  Nice, too, I think, that all my fabrics are washed, dried, and ironed as soon as I bring them home, so that little job is passed on in these sets. 

Thanks for your nice and helpful comments on my last post and, as always, your good advice, Jean!  You go before me in growing your children and enjoying new little grandkids, and I love your memories.  We march forward to commencement this week!  Very excited now. 

Happy Weekend. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Now?

Today I drove my baby girl to her last day of high school.  As I walked out of Brueggers with her rosemary olive oil bagel, toasted with butter, (and my fizzy Diet Coke), I had a flash of her in 1st grade all dressed up in a sweet little sundress I made for her with hand-embroidered flowers and ivy across the bodice, anklet socks, and Mary Janes.  The sudden surprise of hot tears blinded me for a moment. 

What now?  This is a little reminiscent of that most difficult day a few years ago, but not the same grief.  I'm very excited for her and am looking forward to watching her grow into what she is to become.  However, I just want to hold my baby again and remember for a while. 

I heard a song the other day with the phrase, "Just five more minutes."  That's what I'd like right now.  Just five more minutes of the hot, sleepy, 2-year-old napping on my chest.  Or the 3-year-old who loved getting all muddy while dressed up in fancy dresses.  After watching "Hello, Dolly!" one evening and adoring the costumes and swirling hems, she stood naked in the bathtub YELLING at me, "You don't dress me right!"  Or the 5-year-old who wanted a wedding cake for her birthday party. 

Meanwhile, I have brownies in the oven, fudge frosting at the ready, and cold Diet Coke in which to drown my tears in for a few hours before I pick her up from school one last time. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fresh Ideas

So, I had to come out to Brueggers to post on my blog today.  I still can't stay signed into blogger from my main home computer.  I tried to read about the issues but to no avail.  Any advice?  Secondly, I've been thinking about switching over to wordpress or typepad, but, again, the effort seems huge.  I'd like to attach my blog to my dot com address, as that's what folks come to from my business cards, but making the decision alone is just too much for me.  What do you think? 

In an effort to have a product I can reproduce without actually spending hours creating, I've come up with a new idea for my "The Handmade Fair" intended-college-savings shop that I hope will pump up the college fund.  Printable (print yourself) fabric labels.  My first, The No Fuss Stitch Border Label, a very simple idea is shown above.  To keep it simple, the only customizable option on the design is the customer's wording.  I have created several designs, some with color, but this is the first.  The great thing is the sewist can print off one page as needed onto transfer paper and then iron onto her chosen fabric.  It's so easy and quick.  I ironed my set out on different colors of twill and a tone-on-tone, light colored cotton.  Works great.  You just have to decide how you want to control any fraying, if you do.  Pinking shear cuts, tight zig-zag to sew on, fray check, etc.  There are more details in the listing description

Please consider ordering PDF for yourself or as a gift or ask about the other designs I'm developing. 

If you don't sew, another great and probably obvious use is just ironing directly onto clothing items for kids going to camp or the elderly who need to stay in nursing or residential homes.  I have found great resources for digital art; it's just a step-by-step learning process that has to be fit into my sewing and embroidery schedule.  One very good thing about working with digital art, though, is, as I become more comfortable with the concept, I also have the ability to turn digital art into embroidery designs.  However, I can't even allow myself to go there yet! 

Anyway, I am on a mission to seriously PUMP up the college savings account and try to do that with the the proceeds from THF; I am trying to help the kids not start out life already in tuition debt.  My girl graduates in a few weeks, and art school is looming in the future!  

My Diet Coke is running out, the Brueggers clerks keep walking by checking out my (clean) stocking feet up on the opposite booth, the dog needs to be picked up from the groomers, and I have initial pillow cover orders to fill -- all before heading back to the hospital to work this evening.  AND I need to find a new dress to wear to a wedding on Saturday and to my daughter's graduation.  Ugh, taking care of myself ... that might be the hardest job there is to take on yet! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Banner Day!

Just a pun to show off my new banner made in Picnik.  Every four months or so, I learn one more thing.  My first attempt was using this pretty red and cream chevron; however, I thought it was too holiday-ish, so I moved on to my most favorite floral design for my final choice.  So excited to know how to layer now -- without having to learn Photoshop. 

Thanks to the lovely digital creations of Ink Obsession Designs, I have loads of "papers" and clip art to play with.  Thanks, too, to everyone who shares Picnik knowledge on the blogs and makes fun videos that demonstrate exactly what to do. 

I tried to make a personalized FB calicodaisy fanpage button (see sidebar).  It's a bit kooky, but it works.  Will have to tweak in another four months!   

Next up, a fabric label design ...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes …

This ball keeps turning faster and faster. I barely catch my breath, and it's back to work or onto whatever it is that needs doing next. 

However, it looks like everything changes again in a month. Seasons of life and the changing of the daily pattern. 
My girl graduates from high school in early June and prepares for her next adventures in life. Happily, that will still be close to home right now and she will stay with us for at least the next year. As she is our second and last and her brother is in Europe, I need her here for just awhile longer. 
My work life is busy, pretty much 24/7 right now. When I'm not working at home on the computer or in the studio, I'm getting ready to hit the road for the office at the hospital. In a few weeks, though, if all goes according to plan, a new software platform goes into effect, and I'll be working at home 100% once again, which I'm really looking forward to. Just in time, because my girl will be driving my car to college and work – if we don't get another car, and I just don't see us having another payment! So, for a little while anyway, I plan to just relish puttering away at home with no worries about being work-presentable and getting there on time and using all those freed up driving hours for much missed activities around here. 
Have you been following Pink Chalk Studios and Kathy's One Yard Wonders Sew Along? Well, this week, they are up to my project in the book, the Beach Time Towel Tote. I'm anxious to hear the reviews on my pattern writing skills. I sent Kathy a link to my towel tote set, so she and the person who sew it up know that it's much more than just a terry towel transformed into a tote bag. 
Well, that really sums me up right now. Lots of finished items have been mailed out the last couple of months. I love the big appliqué monogram (see above) for a little one's nursery, and my favorite project has been the "mr. and mrs." pillow cover set created just in time for the wedding season. 

Speaking of weddings ....  Loved it!  I would also love to have a backside view as nice as these girls do.  That's another (not so) little project I can work on when I'm spending more time at home!  Oh, to be young and lithe again!