Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bouquet of Christmas

I hope that this post finds you all well and healthy and headed into the new year with a renewed sense of self.

The week between Christmas and New Year's has always been a favorite. It is a hiatus or lame duck of sorts. The Christmas rush of lists and 'I wish I had more time for...''s are over and I am not at the beginning of another 365 days.


Our Christmas was lovely, once I got to it. The boys are at an excellent age of excitement for the season and presents...little O couldn't get enough of them. And no ear infections this year, which is 100% better than last year, or should I say 200%, since it was a double ear infection...


We had a major snow storm as most of the country did the weekend before Christmas that dropped almost two feet at our door, and window. At our home, we know it is cold when the dishwasher water line freezes. And we know it is even colder when the downstairs bathroom sink looses the hot water line to Mr. Frost. Fortunately, it was only the dishwasher this time. And today, about 46 degrees and a sump pump working double overtime.


I have already begun a new purse, this is a new color, bit larger version of one you never saw. I thought I would enjoy a break from the hook, but the prospect of no deadlines has put a tremendous joy back into my crochet basket.


Off to play with stickers. For real.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Where Have I Been?

In true Chelsea Handler fashion..."What...a whirlwind!"


Have I beaten you over the head enough about the Buffalo Indie Market? Well, here is the recap of the events that surround that show.

Last you found me and my gals naming purses, making up soap and towel sets, stamping bags and 'sleeving' this little cuties:



Gift certificates available in my shop...click to the right on the etsy link

By Friday, I had succumbed to the notion that I wasn't going to get everything done. I still had blank purses and purses with no zippers and made the decision to stop thinking that I could still get it done. I packed a very small bag of projects that could be done between Friday night and Sunday morning, or even at the show if I was unfortunate enough to have the time. Then Friday and Saturday morning was cleaning and prepping for our Annual Thanksmas Party. Yes, totally crazy. In fact, so crazy that I cook for everyone and do not allow guests to bring food, mostly to ensure that I can eat every gluten free item safely and a little bit as a challenge. Women used to cook full meals all the time. I'm not a fan of the 'bring a dish to pass'. You are a guest in my house and I have invited you to dinner. Come, enjoy, let me sweat.

This was an unprecedented event. I was ready. The dishes were all cleaned, dishwasher empty, dips were in the oven, ice was ready, and the biggest amazement - I showered.

That sounds all well and good, but I did have a couple 'episodes' of complete desperation earlier in the day. I couldn't do it all, I still had all this other stuff to do for the show tomorrow and here I am picking up papers and toys cars and cutting potatoes. Crying, a bit of hyperventilating, then I shook myself out of it with "I don't have time to think" and was back to my warp speed of working.

It was a lovely evening, our 9th annual.

After folks left, I had a pile of wash towels to tie off and knot and hide the ends. Then I brought up most of my boxes and wrote a list. I don't remember what time I went to bed, but I do recall seeing a 2.

Early morning shower, a little food (chip dip, I think, oh, and cake) and my mom was here with the van. We loaded the van and were shocked to see that it was only 9:10 am. The venue didn't open until 10:00 am so we sat. And thought how bizarre it was that me, Carrie, was again ready. Just waiting. Unprecedented.

To the show: Our table was in a great location with a giant window behind us, loom to the right with my back to the customers so they could watch with a good view. Some folks watched at a distance since the loom bites. Some tried it out, little girls, big girls - no men. The men watched in awe though, I think they secretly wanted to try. After all it is a simple complex machine with gears and levers and wood and metal...guy stuff. Well, until you add the pretty yarn. One girl firmly thought she would break it. Then told me that she was six years old when I bought my loom. Cool, thanks.

It was a great event. I sold many purses and felt like an artist. I had some wash towels, some purses, some weavings and scarves. For the most part, the other artists were welcoming and kind and all a little bit silly crazy.

(are you still reading...this is long)

There was one vendor that sold some similar items and had visited my table prior to the show opening. She said I had nice things and walked away. I then thought I should check out my 'pseudo' competition. Her items were okay, I wasn't wow'd. But what did wow me was her blatant slamming of me.
'I can do everything, but I only brought my purses so as not to confuse the customers'
and
'Knitting is so much better than crochet, crochet is too loose and doesn't look good'
and that is the competition part of shows that I hate and tried to get away from. Luckily, I had other artists around that were community, not competition.


This is 'Blagojevich' and the price...$28 plus on Senate Seat....still available in the shop
Getting out, was a whole other story. One elevator, over 50 vendors and a couple musicians. We were third in line for the elevator with the loom. It was insane. After about 10 minutes with one person ahead, we decided to take the loom down the stairs. The loom collapses, so it is narrow, but still bulky and heavy. People followed our lead and instead of waiting for the elevator to carry down one plastic storage bin, they used the stairs. By the time we got the loom back in the van and made our way back to the stairs, there was a major traffic jam. Stairs were backed up, crazy. My arms were jello by the end of the packing up and moving out. Cherry jello.


This former name of Googly Eyed, now became Two Horned, One Eyed and Gorgeous...available in the shop
I made real on my dream of being an artist again. And to think, it all started with this little blog, about a year ago!

Many many thanks to those that came to support me, those that sent emails and convos and twitters and wrote on my Facebook Wall.

***Special thanks to Lisa G, Tom, Gretchen (next purse will don your name), Mom and Dad, Judy and Liz***

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shrinky Dinks and Rubber Stamps


Last night my girlfriends came over. All three of them. Yes, I actually have three friends that want to come to my house and help me stamp, cut, fold, thread, name and tag a whole mess of items for the show on Sunday.

I have yet to share with you the Artist interview I did for the Buffalo Indie Market, please check it out here. A special thanks to Rhona for the artist portrait. I am very excited about Sunday and proud of myself and my diligence in getting product ready. My only regret is that I didn't have enough time in the day to create. If I wasn't working or making dinner or playing with the kids, I was crocheting. We spent quite a bit of time in the basement, I at my loom, the boys at the play dough. It has been fun, but I am ready for the deadline to come and say "it is what it is, and I got what I got".

But back to yesterday. We had a swell time. Judy did all the bag stamping by the time I had the boys in bed. This photo was the virgin stamp, practice makes perfect, and by number two, Judy was off to a stellar start. The bags came out really cool. They are free, with purchase ;-) And if anyone would like me to use my new custom stamp on ANYTHING...I will stamp for you. (I'll stamp it for you, I'll stamp it for you, I'll stamp it FOR YOU!)

While Judy was stamping bags and labeling hang tags, Gretchen the Great was cutting, folding and measuring the gift certificates. A less than glamorous job in which I didn't get a photo of the process. I'll show them off when they become available at washmycloth.etsy.com. They will also be available at the Buffalo Indie Market and are redeemable for anything in my shop, even a custom order.

As far as my note of Shrinky Dinks, half the table had no clue what they were and for that I am saddened. I definitely see a Shrinky Dink Date for my gals.
.
My only question...who's bringing the Easy Bake Oven?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Answer To: Can You Guess What I Am Now?

This has nothing to do with the movie from which my title came from, Animal House, but it took me a bit to figure it out AND it was on my kitchen table just like this.

Any guesses? One clue: a character in Blue's Clues.

I'll post the answer tomorrow.

Here is the answer...
Our little O at two and a half loves pepper. In the case above, he ate all but one peppered raisin.
I had no idea he was seasoning his raisins. It all started with a plate of French Toast Sticks, Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper. He loaded those sticks up and Tom felt it important to teach the "don't play with your food or else" lesson and made him eat the sticks.

And he LOVED them.

We are trying to relocate Mr. Salt, but for now, Mrs. Pepper and O are having a good time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Show and Tell: Das Eyeball



Doesn't everyone wish they had an eyeball pouch?
A take on my Das Polka series...slightly merging with my Manster Series. Perhaps, just perhaps we have something here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Show and Tell: or Proof that I am Creating


These are from my Cadet/Navy blue 100% cotton warp and weft. Two manly man (metrosexual) scarves and a little diddy leftover. The scarves are each 60 inches and the other piece is about 20 inches. Take 140 inches of weaving, plus 27 inches for spacing the fringe, plus 5 inches to get started for a total of 172 inches of weaving. Each inch taking approximately 6.2 minutes, yields 17.77 hours of weaving time. And that doesn't include the winding, the threading, and the rolling or the washing and tying off.
.
Now we know why weaving is so slow...
.
These will be available at the Buffalo Indie Market on Sunday, December 14th from 12-5pm at the Pearl Street Brewery in downtown Buffalo.
.
If they don't go to a good neck on that day, I'll list them in my shop on Monday, December 15th.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stocking Straight Jacket

My camera hasn't been clicked in a while, so I was browsing through old photos for another project, and thought this one captures how I am feeling these days.

This is Sam in 2004 at a year and a half old. Boy, was that funny. I was trying to get a Christmas photo and Tom was 'assisting'.

I have been feeling a little guilty from not blogging as much as I like to. It really does help my mental file folder. As I said a while back, it was time for lists and manila folders. I am ashamed to say, I haven't gotten that far.

What I have been doing is making purses, lots of them. I can't show you, because none are done. They need zippers and beads and buttons and fun stuff. There is one that I am especially excited about. This week is wash towel week and weaving. I finished the second scarf of two and have a little warp left. I am going to weave it off and maybe come up with a little dresser scarf or table something...maybe a purse? I just can't bear to throw away that yardage.

As you all probably know, I am doing a weaving workshop and selling at the Buffalo Indie Market on Sunday, December 14th from 12-5. I am so excited and as equally nervous.

Needing to focus, I may not post as often as I like, but know that I am thinking of you and appreciate your reading. Get ready for December 15th when I get back to regular blogging and getting ready for Christmas.

Maybe, just maybe....a free giveaway when I return? This may be a good time to become a follower of this blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Little Cowpoke



Love this fabric from Michael Miller.

This is a little baby blanket I stitched up last weekend for a very special boy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The April Waggle Scene


Meet Waggle and April. I hesitated to show them off to the general public due to this family's goldfish death rate. Instead of spending twelve dollars trying to have a 5 yr old toss a dented ping pong ball into bacteria infested bowls at the overpriced mob-like carnival, we opted for the 'free fish for 12 yrs and under' at the local pet store. The boys picked out their fish in the tank and with a free Starbucks coffee with real cream and a couple black and white cookie parts for the boys, we were off. Oscar demanded to hold the fish in the car. Out of the water. Fish on hand. Poor guy.

As you can see Waggle and April are doing well, enjoying their Chicago sized dwelling. Hey, we are all downsizing these days, why shouldn't the fish?

Sam thought they needed company, so grabbed every frame within his grasp an made a bit of a gallery of people for the fish. They never get lonely. And yes, Lisa, that is you and me at our high school graduation a mere 19.6 yrs ago.


And this here is Pinky Dinky Doo What?

This is a take on all the $70 fabric purses on Etsy these days, which I believe to be a knock off of an Amy Butler pattern. Cute, but does it need more? I am thinking a little something at the top center where the pleat is...any thoughts?

I got the yarn wound and on the loom. I started the pattern last night after a couple transcribing issues and really like it. The warp (up and down yarn) is cadet blueish and the weft (yarn that makes the pattern horizontally) is chocolate brown softball cotton. It looks warm and yummy. I chose the colors in hopes of having some type of man-type scarf.

I was telling Tom this morning that it is "a man's scarf" and he looked at me as if I had a nose behind my ear (Hi Twitter friends).

"Well, maybe a "metro-sexual" man."

Tom looked at me as if I now had an ear on my nose.

"You mean a man that has sex while driving?"

~~~~~~

Blogger's Note: I have rearranged the specifics of this story, Tom didn't really ask the question that way, but that is what he thought after I told him the definition. Don't be mad, honey!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Das Polka Series


Is it possible to have too many polka dots?

I am loving this unintended outcome of the long leaf green purse in the background. I was hoping to have a flat circle of color embedded into the purse. Fortunately, I didn't think it through all the way and this is what I found at the bottom of my washing machine.

Doing the happy dance in my basement, while holding a wet purse. Mama said there'd be days like this!

So now...I might keep going on the dots, bumps, balls, you can call them whatever you want, but I call them fun!

My pal over at hooRAy gave me a blog award. My first award in almost a year, which I'll do when I get the yarn out of my brain. You can read about it on her blog, which is very honest and real. She is doing the 30 posts in 30 days this month, so keep her honest and check in daily.

Working on:
~Two scarves for loom, wound the warp, now need to thread the reed and the harnesses (all to be on and woven no later than December 9th).
~Two little custom orders for trades that I am doing...I LOVE trades.
~Winter white purse to be dotted and felted and enough wool to make at least 4 more purses.
~Winding a warp for the coasters that will be part of my weaving workshop at the Buffalo Indie Market
~My interview and pics for the Featured Artist Profile on the Buffalo Indie Market Web page.

Okay, off to hyperventilate.

Do you think it is rude to take my crochet to a candle party at a neighbors tomorrow??? I'm going to do it. Bad? pa-char

A special welcome to Magnus Victor Carlson, a little viking in NYC with some totally awesome parents and aunts and uncles! Welcome to the Spinning World, Magnus.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When He Gets Older


I probably shouldn't show this to his friends, but for now, it is making my day!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's Call Him Joey

I moved out of my parents' house somewhere between 1995 and 1996 (I have a feeling someone will correct me on that, my memory isn't so tight lately).

I stopped playing with dolls somewhere before that, lets just say 1984.

My mom just opened a box for my boys of my old stuffed animals, and this little guy, Joey. I have no idea what or if he had a name. What I do know is that I made him. I am going to guess that I was in middle school. We don't really recall.

This little fella is all hand sewn. What you can't see is the hat is alternating fabric of the stripe and solid red. The brim was made with a piece of corrugated box. The body and hands are made from pantyhose, suntan color, I presume.

What impressed me was the hand stitching, although not the cleanest, it has lasted and was fairly even. I also believe I made this without a pattern (you'll see as you scroll down). I was talking with my mom about it and thought for an instant that I could have seen a pattern on the web...no. At this time I was excited to make a formula on the computer to repeat my boyfriend's name on the first Apple computer ever made.

This is where the lack of pattern was confirmed. The cavity for the head/neck...toilet paper roll. Did I tell you this was a puppet?

This was about the time we started laughing, the knotted neck, the toilet paper. But what really got us giggling like we were crying...the body.


Although I don't think I will keep Joey, he sure was fun for a laugh and to see that I had been inspired long ago and that urge to create and not follow patterns is still strong.



Coming up...new purses. The Polka Series.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Excuses

I have tried.

It's almost like we are living in two different worlds.

When I'm ready, other things aren't.

When one is ready, I'm too lazy. Maybe lazy isn't quite the right word.

I just need a push. Once I get going, I remember how much fun I can have.

My camera and my things and me are having a hard time meeting, hence, no picture today. I have lots of things I could photograph. New items, new business card design by this amazingly talented gal, an old found doll that I made when I was in middle school (I think) that my mom had saved. Plenty of things to have a pretty photo of. But, no.

We just didn't get together.

Maybe tomorrow. I'll freshen him up with new batteries and a really pretty subject.

Meet me back here tomorrow...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ideas from a Five Year Old

Blogtoberfest really wore me out! Sorry about that.

Really ready to focus on my craft these days and preparing for my show in just over a month. Nervous and excited. Time for lists and manila folders and gathering of product.

I am debating on whether or not to add two new purses to Etsy, or to hang on to them until my show. After the show, I will put them in Etsy, but that leaves only three days for purchasing until I would have to get them in the mail in time for Christmas. Not sure what to do. Thoughts from my sellers crowd?

Anyway, I have one pink purse that has a strap that fits comfortably on the shoulder and a cadet blue long envelope like purse (minus the flap/add a zipper). I think I have come up with a little beading for the pink, but the blue is eluding me. It is almost too 'blank canvas'. I could really do anything and am considering embroidery, needle felting and beading.

Sam had an idea, though. A lightning bolt. All the way across the purse. In orange.

Oh, with a little thunder in the corner with three more little bolts.

Do I have any buyers?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This is HUGE (not Fuccilo)

GIVEAWAYS from Indie Fixx!

I love the custom made handbags from Becky OH! She makes all one of a kinds...just like us all - one of a kind'ers!
This is open until November 14th and open to International entrants (big yay!)
Why not? Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat, please put more than a feather in my hat!
***Please note: You must follow the link (above) through to the Indie Fixx website and leave a comment there***

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Deep Breath

Ahhh.

The stock market is shifting upwards (spoke too soon?), gas prices are shifting down, the elections are over, and a Black man is to be our 44th President.

All amazing things.

But what astounds me most, is the celebrations we see of other countries celebrating with us.

Brazil, Australia, France, Japan, Kenya, India, Germany.

I understand what our country had become in the past eight years, but I did not realize the joy that Barack Obama would bring to the world over.

p.s. We missed you last night, Mr. Russert.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Fourth

The previously "Naked Bag" is complete and ready to make it's way to Etsy tonight, I hope. This bag makes me smile, I have a couple naming options I am still playing around with, you know how I love my names. Just a simple bag in an odd shape, fits in the hand so naturally.

I hope, because business is slow (what else is new, right?). I made a sort of deal with my husband, Tom. It was that all Etsy revenue would go to Christmas presents and it is my intention that all gifts this year, come from fellow Etsians (aside from the much requested race cars and Lego spaceships). Feel free to help me out with this!

I hope because I might be to engrossed in the Presidential counts to tear myself away from that cute fox, Anderson Cooper. Fingers crossed for some good leadership to come. CNN just had a hologram lady on...Star Trek Meets Wolf Blitzer. Or Wolf in Space.............

I hope because Tom has to print out renal slides on this computer. Renal slides. Hmmph.

Earlier this afternoon I was Instant Messaging with my pal, Meredith. I wrote something witty and she commented on my humor. I am really hoping my humor comes back, soon. I was reading my past posts and I almost fell asleep. So boring! And you are still here...reading this one! Either you are my relative or just keep hoping my writing will get better. Thanks.

On my manila folder to do list:
1. Finish 'rose' felted bag. It's bigger than my usual purses, and much stiffer. New yarn, different hook, not sure I am digging it, but it is still wet, so hard to tell.
2. Make more wash towels in smaller sizes with lower prices to be competitive with my arch nemeses on Etsy...coffee anyone?
3. Get yarn on the loom. Just over one month until the Buffalo Indie Market and I need stock!
4. Have a Woodchuck Cider.

(and not in this order, necessarily)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Picture is Not Always Worth...

I had a great dinner last night, followed by an even better breakfast...Chicken Wing Dip.

Not sure where this recipe originated, but my sister in law gave it to me and I have since passed it on to many.

It originally called for additional blue cheese dressing, but since I am Celiac, the blue cheese is not always gluten free, so I leave it out, as do most people. It isn't a missed ingredient at all.

2 bars cream cheese
4 celery stalks (I go about 3 stalks)
4-6 oz. Frank's Hot Sauce (go all 6, it will clean out your sinuses)
1-2 cups shredded chicken (I use 3 breasts - yes, that leaves one chicken running around with only one breast)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Microwave cream cheese on high in large bowl for one minute. Stir. Add celery and hot sauce. Microwave 3 minutes. Add chicken and cheese, stir. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Couple things: I sprinkle a little extra cheddar on top. After I add the chicken and cheese, I put it in a baking dish. I like lots of brown on top...which also means, I cook it more than 20 minutes - and I raise the temp a bit to achieve the brown. Excellent for parties, you can make it the day ahead and stick it in the fridge. We serve with (gluten free) Tositos Yellow Corn tortilla chips.

Get a spoon, you'll enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blogtoberfest Finale

Couple of Batty Bats checking out the loot. And eating as much as they possibly can before mom says to stop.

Little O says, "just a little bit more, mama?"

Well, okay, since you called me mama and not mommy. Sure bud, anything.

(later, I realized that O can't quite balance sugar like his big brother - he was uncontrollable for a good hour after this photo. Lesson learned.)

Boo!



Everybody getting ready for spooking tonight?

Have a safe and happy night.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hear the Rustle?


Kindergarten Projects


Most every day.
Drawings.
Penmanship.
Pasted, cut, markered, and crayoned.
I love to see what Sam brings home from Kindergarten, but have a hard time sorting it into a keep pile and 'I don't know what happened to that (trash)' pile.
But yesterday, this little hat was adorning Sam's head as he got off the bus. And as he walks, the ears flap up. So cute.
So Clifford.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Naked Bag for Brainstorming

I have been thinking about how to adorn this purse for a week now. I need help. The flap at the top (thing that all of the sudden resembles a tongue) is intended to be the snap. It is going to attach at an angle, closer to the right side. It was too boring down the middle. Problem is...if I use a magnetic snap, then I need to cover it with beads or embroidery. I don't care for sew on snaps. They never come apart and you end up pulling out the stitching before too long.
Problems:
1. Snap with decoration, if so, what? OR Frog closure??? think Asian inspired.
2. Bead work. I have some shiny black swarvoski/checz glass beads that I wanted to attach. What kind of pattern, placement on the purse? None at all?
Love to hear your thoughts...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fuzzy Funk

Wow.

I am just feeling better today, after a week of common cold, which then turned into a sinus infection.

I knew I didn't feel well and when Friday came, I had officially checked out. The pain was immense and I could barely stand up. Did a couple rows on a new purse (it's gonna be my biggest one yet!) but that was about it. The Halloween costumes are still occupying 80% of the dining room table and all the little fuzz balls have drifted to the floor and look like tiny bugs.

But, now that I am out of the fuzz, I realized life passed me by. My favorite blogs were updated, there were milestones I missed, and a general feeling of 'oh crap, I missed that'. And I think that is why I got really sick. I just needed to stop. I can't do everything (I'm still going to try).

So, as little O says above, one more day and I'll be back to my less fuzzy self and hopefully much more interesting and funny posts.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Night Fluff

1. My friend from college posted this video in Facebook and I thought it was pretty funny.

2. This morning, Sam asked if he could open the front door and let 'Lego' the Webkinz out to go to the bathroom.

We decided that just this once, Lego could use Oscar's training potty.

3. My all time 'Have a Laugh, Feel Better' video. This is my oldest email saved on my work account. It is a favorite at the office. Head for the mountains, get outta here!


Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Picnic Dinner



I missed yesterday for Blogtoberfest...sorry folks. Just couldn't do it. Although I am feeling better, I am wiped out. Now I have sinus pressure. I have heard people say, "oh, my sinuses hurt" and didn't think much of it. They are just complaining about a little congestion. Today, right after lunch, it hit me. I first thought I had some beef stew stuck in a tooth and it was giving me pain. I did, but that wasn't the problem. My entire right side of my face from gums to eyeball felt like I was punched in the face by a mad kangaroo.

Last night, with my state of being, we had a picnic dinner. Taquitos, tomatoes and green beans. And a raisins.

Each boy had their 'fabric' (aka blanket), and we hung out. It was nice.

Oh, and the raisins. We eat them with a spoon.

So as not to get sticky fingers.

I'll be back to my old self soon, I promise. Thanks for hanging in there! Oh, I am deactivating some items in the shop for the craft show this weekend, so if you are eyeing something today, catch it before it is gone tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

$150,000.00

For Clothes.

Two Months and five days of clothes.

66 days of cloths.

Let's do the math...$150,000 minus the $4902 for men's clothing and the $92 romper (did anyone notice what little Trig was wearing that night? Or were you like me, playing along in the 'who's got the baby now' game?)

That brings the total to $145,006.
Let's just say there was $20,006 on other items (that may have not fit and they will be returned or were for her daughters, someone, check for Peas in a Pod receipts.)

Now we are left with $125,000.

For 66 days.

For the sake of the Republican Party, lets assume that she has a new outfit every single day.

The Republican Party gives clothing and styling budgets of $1,893.94 PER DAY.

PER DAY!

And even if she has a change of clothes (two outfits for 50% of the days): $1,262.63 PER DAY.

but...

it's for charity.

Now that is Maverick.

'The expenses include $75,062 spent at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis and $41,850 in St. Louis in early September. The committee also reported spending $4,100 for makeup and hair consulting. The expenses were first reported by Politico.com.
The RNC also spent $4,902 at Atelier, a stylish men's clothing store in New York. Other purchases included a $92 romper and matching hat with ears for Palin's baby, Trig, at Pacifier, a baby store in Minneapolis.' - Associated Press, Oct. 22, 2008


Project Updates: WashMyCloth has had a successful week and is on to more purses. I just finished felting a new 'Fortune Cookie' purse. Still haven't gotten the name, but it is red and black and sits in your hand like it was meant to be there.

Momma Wash has a craft show this weekend, if you are in the area, drop me a comment, I'll tell you where it is. Soaps, floral wreaths, and some yet to be decided items (the Meyer just may be rubbing off on her).

I HAVE to get some yarn on the loom. Once this week is over, and I finish (read, start) the Halloween costumes, I am all over that yarn!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coughing In or Checking In

Good Evening!

I am popping in quickly to let you know that I have absolutely no desire to sit at a computer right now. Feeling under the weather (what really does that mean? under the weather - how can you be on top of the weather?). Either way. I am coughing and clearing my throat and sneezing and blowing. These are the days I am grateful I don't work in an office where I would have to get dressed and move my body to another building. Not to mention all the co-workers I would annoy.

So, here is a little project I have had in mind. Thinking purse.

But I am going to go think about it on the couch, in my monkey pjs.

Night All! (or good morning)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mixing Paint

We bought red.
We bought lime green.
We bought turquoise.

All beautiful.
All vibrant.

Until they are mixed together.

Why can't I just let boys be boys and not get upset with the mucky gray brown purple slop that adorns every "craft project". I actually yelled at them yesterday. It drives me nuts.

I am going to challenge myself to allow them to be free, and walk away if I need to.

Well, even though I walked away yesterday, it technically made it worse. You see a two year old painting with red paint may, by chance, get a tad bit of red paint on his arms and a smidgen on his wrist and a touch on his fingers and that said 2yr old may want his Binky that perhaps is on the brown suede couch.

Red paint. On my brown couch.

I only wish he would have mixed all the colors, at least then, it would have matched.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Studio Space

Blogtoberfest is challenging and although I could recap my day, or more specifically a 23 minute period, with the boys, I asked my Twitter friends for an idea. 1337Art asked if I had ever written about my studio space. Small chuckle.

Why not, the space was tidy, as is most days. The glorious autumn sun was casting a magnificent glow. I am usually a little embarrassed of my meager space. The wall color is off just a tad, but I guess I can live with it.

The stools could be a little softer, perhaps a nice vintage cushioned stool with a back. I love the way the carpet massages my tender just pedicured feet as I walk around from this view to the other side with my four sewing machines.

When I was pregnant with our first son, my husband and I attended a parenting class at the hospital. One night's lesson was about breathing and focusing through the pain. Our instructor asked for the women to close their eyes and find their "peaceful, relaxing space". Mine looked like my studio above, with three sewing machines and one Serger, all perfectly threaded with what ever the color I needed. Stacks of fabric more scrumptious than the largest fabric store. The sharpest scissors that made the most glorious sound when cutting. A notions wall with thread and ribbon and all the tools I would need to do my current project.

It was only until after we all opened our eyes and the instructor was suggesting the places we were...beach, mountains, private island. Nope, I was in my studio. Am I a freak? I mean, who wants to be pregnant on an island where I can even have a cocktail? And the sand? I can't imagine getting that out of places I can't even reach when pregnant.

Screeech.

Okay, so maybe the above picture is just that peaceful, relaxing space in my dreams and not my REAL studio. But why would you want to see the real space? Truth is, I really don't have one space. My stuff is ALL over. I am trying to get it all down in my 'real' studio, but it isn't quite fitting. And the lighting..."terrible" just doesn't even come close.

My other Twitter pal, Macaroniandglue works in a pantry. Maybe it makes us stronger? Working in unfortunate spaces only encourages the creative spirit? Maybe? I usually sit there thinking, man, I am working in a hole.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cystic Fibrosis Boo Bash


Can you guess the boy? First pick is Oscar, second is Sam. This was Sam's costume when he was one and a half, and Oscar's when he was one and a half. It had to be shortened for Oscar, but he was fortunately able to wear it last night to the Cystic Fibrosis Boo Bash. The best part of this costume, is the tail. Just long enough where it hits the ground and bounces as the child runs or moves.

Twice, O was chasing his tail, so funny. And one girl guessed Sam's costume correctly. Again, he wore last year's costume. I can't be expected to make two costumes two weeks prior to Halloween! I am more of the 29th kind of girl. I was hoping to start the base this weekend. They both want to be the same thing, so that is kind of exciting. I don't allow commercial heroes or anything that is plastic yet intended to look like fabric. I want to let their imaginations work and come up with something they think is neat, hence Sam's costume last year. His idea. Completely. Have you guessed yet?

Growing up, my parent's made our costumes. We always had great costumes. It was one time in life where I felt like I was in with the in-crowd. Being someone else, in an impeccable, well crafted way beat that plastic super hero every time. My parent's also liked making us a set...mouse and cheese or Princess Leia, Darth Vader and a Jawa. I was also once a baby bottle. And don't imagine anything easy...this was foam core and pantyhose wonder. I have no idea how I even got to school with that thing.

Oh, and after three years of the Monkey Costume...we finally got first place in the costume contest last night. It was pretty fun. Oscar was crying and tired, so it was a quick acceptance, but nice. We gave the ribbon to Sam, since it really was his costume first. But, shouldn't it have been for me???

And Sam last year...
Was a Slug.

This year...you will have to wait and see.

What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.


If you would like to donate to Cystic Fibrosis, you may do so here .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pink October Garden: An Oxymoron




What is happening to our climate? Above are my Hardy Pink Cyclamen that didn't have leaves the first two years. But, this year, we have leaves and they are shooting up everywhere! I purchased the bulbs on line and after they didn't leaf or bloom, I got a full refund of another 6 bulbs. I, of course, can't remember where I planted them, but it is like an Easter egg hunt or an I Spy game every day. Very exciting.

Most of you will recognize the simplistic beauty of the Cosmo. I had five or six little plants and this one just doesn't want to quit. I do remember clipping all the dead blooms off as soon as I saw them, wonder if that was the difference.

Have yourself a pink October, it is quite a sight mixed with the browns and golds and reds we usually take the most pleasure in this time of year.

(Half way through Blogtoberfest...only half way?)

Sports Illustrated Kids 2008: Derek Andrews !!!



Congratulations, Derek. Job well done. Thanks for everyone that voted for him. Well deserved.
Go get 'em!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

To Face or Not to Face


If you have been on Etsy, you probably have seen Etsy's number one seller, The Black Apple. She has also been on Martha Stewart making her dolls. From this link, you can get the pattern for her doll and watch the segment. As far as pattern's go, this is pretty simple. I wanted to try it to get an idea of how she constructs her dolls. Gretchen and I (Carmen watched from the lounger in the family room and asked when dessert was going to be served) each made two dolls. The arms were tough to turn inside out, but the rest was fairly easy. The directions calls for painting the face on AFTER the doll is fully constructed. Yikes.

Now I have these two cuties and am afraid to paint on a face. They already have some issues with unmatched neck and holes in their armpits. Now a face. What if I totally screw up? What if brown hair doll turns out looking like she just got hit by a car? And what if dirty blonde gets made fun of by Gretchen's brown haired cherry wearing doll because her face looks like a Mr. Potato head that was created by a two year old? This is serious. I could potentially waste an entire evening. (It wasn't a total waste, we had this amazing peanut butter cup frozen yogurt. Craving now. Thanks for finally serving us, Carmen.)

I don't want two dolls that can't look at each other, though, do I?
So, do I try it? Or just name them Anna and Lucy and send them off to their new home?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Banner Part Two


A new dress. (I don't wear dresses)

A new hair color. (Then I would have to keep coloring)

Rearrange the furniture. (My kids do that for me daily)

Some people do those things...I get a new Etsy banner. It was time for a change and my very talented sister in law, Lisa, whipped this up for me. You can see it much bigger and better in my shop . This is my photo of the Weaver Bird- A Blanquilt all folded up.

Lisa has an Etsy shop with a cool selection of black and white jewelry and buttons and is also a with graphic designer and many designs are available through her Image Factory. This multi-talented full time working mom of one uber cute little guy also has a blog, (maybe this will entice her to update it winkwink).

She is super cool and extremely talented. Thanks, Lisa...for all you do for me!
Pretty Posie Buttons from gWhizStudio, available right here...tell her Carrie sent you!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kay Update...

She is under her beacon, in her chair, needling away...

Niche


My dad and I had a conversation yesterday in his backyard (ohhh, I should show you photos, it is lovely) about what my niche was. He asked if I was talking about my product niche or my target market niche. Originally, I thought just my product, but before he finished his sentence (which actually was some time, my Dad LOVES to talk) I changed my answer to 'both'.

I joined Twitter a couple days ago and installed SiteMeter on this blog. I thought, since I haven't had a sale in 28 days, what the heck. Nothing to lose, Twitter is free and is the fastest, easiest site to set up. I now have 148 people following me. That means, 148 people are able to see what I post - limit of 140 characters. I post updates on my blog, I post new items I list on Etsy, but try not to overwhelm folks with constant "buy from me" posts, as I am noticing on Twitter. And since joining Twitter, I believe my blog hits have multiplied immensely. (Join me @washmycloth on Twitter - Twitter is fun to say, isn't it? Close second to crotch-eting).
I need to focus, let's call the above paragraph my 'Ode to Dan', my Dad. It is nice to have a little background and out loud brainstorming, right?

So, onto my product niche. I have no idea what it is. I can do a bunch of things, but not sure what I do the best, or what I like to do the best. I love making the felted purses, but they take a lot of time. Love weaving, but that takes much much longer than any little purse. I love the blanquilts and embroidering on them, but piecing the top together doesn't bring out the best 'Carrie'. I get a little frustrated. Could it be that I am working on the floor on a pink rug with only a pair of scissors, swatting tiny cars away and my arm or hand or torso as my measuring tool and it is 11 pm when I get the urge to work on something other than watching tv?

I digress, Ode to Dan. When considering a niche, I am also thinking "what can I make and sell low to get high volume of sales?" There are folks on Etsy that list new items daily. Product that you set yourself up to make multiples at one project time. I just can't do that. Some would say (not me, for sure) that makes my work more unique or valuable - but the sales aren't supporting that theory.

I spoke a couple posts about my orders from Yummy Goods, if you haven't seen this blog where Melissa shows photos of her shop, you should. Anyway, the colors I am working with now, are great. Lime green, bright sea blue, hot pink, happy colors. But now, I have little hanks* of cotton yarn that aren't big enough for much...except for little flowers.

Niche? Probably not, but they make me happy for now.
* I am laughing out loud because prior to the letter H, I had SK...I knew something wasn't quite right. Maybe my niche is renaming things and changing their pronunciations.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Appling in October

"Fall Recess".

It is a little break for three days, including tomorrow's Columbus Day, that successfully makes the new student never want to go back to school. He has been in classes for a month, and he gets five straight days off. Today, Sam said he "never want to go back. They make me listen and follow directions."

Oh, if he only knew.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.



With such a great weekend, it is hard not to think back to this day two years ago...oh the pain. Seven days with out electric, a three and a half month old, and a sump pump without any power.
Devastated our mature tree population, the damaged trees are still struggling to beat the odds and thrive once again.