Tuesday, December 8, 2009

As custom as custom gets

This CUSTOM order just went out this week to my niece and two nephews. I think it's so interesting to see their different personalities reflected here:

The older nephew is very studious and smart. He's only 7, but he wanted something "black and gray." I wanted to make his scarf more mature so I gave it the groovy ribs.

My niece is so sweet - she's into PINK and princesses, and asked for something "pink and sparkly." I had a little trouble finding sparkly pink yarn that wasn't furry too (which she wouldn't want) so I just mixed two yarns together... I made a looser weave and added the fringe to give it a more feminine look:

The younger nephew is only 2 years old, so he didn't have any specific requests. =)
His mom said she thought something maybe in a nautical blue.  I added a cable-knit to make it interesting, which turned out kinda neat, because he's really into helicopters right now. I thought it looked kinda like a whirlybird pattern, you know?

ANYHOO. Whew! My fingers are tired! I forgot how long it takes to create those inches! But well worth it to see the finished product. I really hope they like'em. =)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A merry lil Christmas

I've had a couple of requests for Christmas hats and was very excited to roll out two designs in early November. The first I call Santa's Little Helper, because it kinda looks elvish to me:

The colors are very subtle and folksy. I'm especially excited that I was able to use the Eco-Ways yarn for this one, so it's made of 30% recycled polyester. I'd like to find more recycled yarns in the future.

The second hat is the Candy Cane hat:

Seven stripes of crimson and off-white - this hat is a bit bolder and more dressy than the Helper Hat. It's made with a satin acrylic that I love to use for baby stuff because it's so soft and smooth.

Well, off I go to KNIT more! I've been barely able to keep up with orders, which is good. But I'd like to try to get my inventory up for Christmas!

Next week, I plan on making some sock monkeys, and then some new iPod cozies
(i think they would make great stocking stuffers!).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I know its been awhile. Please forgive.

Shortly after my last blog I successfully designed my Lil Pumpkin hat, and thought it would be the perfect item to promo for the Etsy weekend sale on October 2nd.

HOLY SMOKES. I had no idea it would be so popular. I sold 12 pumpkin hats that weekend, along with 8 other items. I was back-ordered for 2 weeks! And I am just started to get caught up from all that now. Thus the absence.

Sooooo... I think this experience taught a few things about how I want to run the shop from now on. Namely, I think I will try to avoid made-to-order as much as possible. It's too stressful trying to make and get orders out by promised dates. Custom orders would be the exception to this rule, of course. But in general, I think I will only list what I have in stock. I've seen shops do it both ways, and I think either is fine. But for me (with the baby, and limited free time to work) I need to be able to knit and sew at my leasure and not pile stuff on myself.

You should be glad you didn't have to witness the Chaos that was October. I had piles of yarn and shipping supplies to the ceiling. Frazzled hair. Unkept clothes. The baby would go back and forth between yelling at me for attention or watching too much PBS.  I rarely left the apartment. I forgot what the sun felt like. I was pumping out two knit hats a day, sometimes more. I was embroidering eyes onto monkeys that had to be wrapped and shipped within the hour. I was overwhelmed...

By contrast, today, over the course of an afternoon and evening, I knit one knot hat in blue . And now, being quite relaxed, I will proceed to list it in my shop. And should it sell, I will gracefully bubble-wrap it and whistle a happy tune all the way down Mangrove Ave, where my son and I will dance it through the doors and rest it in the trusted hands of the United States Postal Service. La belle vie!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Branching out

Well, we've been busy busy busy lately! Just as I was coming down from the First Birthday high and recovering from the car accident downer, I've also been busy trying to get my inventory bulked up a bit for the holidays! I've been knitting and sewing like a mad woman. New burpies, new monkeys, new other stufff... haha. I've had a couple of custom orders this week, which I am VERY stoked about. I've made a lot of newborn hats, but came out with a new design this week with a cute little knit knot on the top. It sold in less than a day!

I think it will be pretty popular. I want to get some pumpkin hats up this week for October... Heheehe.

ALSO. Big News: We have just added Origami Mobiles to our shop of treasures... My husband Joel's creation - they are so pretty and so peaceful to watch them floating around... Good job, honey!

Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but I gotta get back to work! =)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Effect of Butterflies

I was planning on staying home that day. But I decided to get out of the house. If only I had stayed home.

I went to the consignment shop to drop off some clothes. I was gonna stay and shop for some new clothes with my store credit, but the baby started fussing, so I decided to shop later. If only I had stayed a few minutes more to look around.

Because the baby was tired, I thought about going straight home. But instead, I headed to the Women's Center to drop off the clothes the consignment shop didn't want (for their clothes closet).

If only I had stayed at the apartment. Or stayed to shop. Or took my son home right away.

If only I had even sat at one more red light than I did. If I had let one more car go by before I turned.

If any of those things had happened, I wouldn't have been exactly in the wrong spot at the wrong time, driving down East 1st Ave. approaching Oleander, just the same moment that a woman in an SUV, sitting at a stop sign on Oleander, who happened to have alot on her mind and wasn't paying attention, pulled out right in front of me. I saw a golden streak of car headed straight for me. "Jesus!" I slammed on my breaks and swerved right to avoid her. And then there was that moment - I realized it was just too late. For a split second, I thought "Oh my gosh, I'm gonna hit her. This is really happening to me." But it was still somehow surreal.

BOOM. My body rocked with the jolting vehicle. I couldn't believe it was happening. The baby, in the back seat, started screaming. Oh man.

I was able to pull over out of the way of traffic. I got out of the car and rushed around to check on my son. He had huge tears in his eyes. His mouth was bleeding a little bit. Did he bite his lip? His finger was in his mouth. Did he bite that? Was it his tongue? He seemed OK though.

A man ran up to me. He handed me his card and said "I saw the whole thing. She ran into you. I'll be a witness if you need one." I took his card and thanked him much, then he quickly disappeared.

The lady who hit me approached and we made sure everyone was alright. We both called 911, to see if the police wanted to do a report. But since no one was seriously injured, they didn't come out.

The woman said something to the effect of "Boy, you sure hit me hard!" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "You had a stop sign. I didn't have a stop sign, so I had the right of way." She looked at the intersection again and realized I was correct about this. All of the sudden, it was Penitent City. Oh I'm so sorry. Don't worry, honey, I have good insurance, they'll take care of you, they can fix this. I'm in the middle of a lawsuit. I must've had my head up my a*?# thinking about the lawsuit and just not paying attention.

Yeeeah. I guess so. We exchanged information.We waited for our husbands to come. Joel took some photos. Her car got towed. I took the baby home to nurse him - he fell straight asleep.

The next day we find out she's contesting the claim and I'll have to give a statement. She obviously doesn't know what she's doing. She doesn't have a chance. Every insurance person we've talked to in the last two days says this is a "slam dunk." I am superfluously thankful for that. And that no one got hurt.

But what a drag.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Artists and Lawyers

I've just spent two nights studying about the new CPSIA laws. Precious hours of my life that I will never get back, basically sifting through mountains of cyber info. You can almost see all the Etsians wandering around with bewildered looks, trying to figure out what strange land they have stumbled into, where everyone seems to speak "legal" and nobody knows what EXACTLY they have to change about their products to make them "compliant." Well, they do, but it takes awhile to figure out. In fact, just as I was realizing that my yarn and textile products are exempt from this law (since they have no possible traces of lead), I was also realizing that I will be needed a different label called a tracking label. A completely differnent law passed at the same time is responsible for this. It's actually not that bad. I think my labels just have to have my Company name (which I was gonna do anyway), Location (which is good too) and a date of production. That last one is a bit tricky, since sometimes it takes me a few days to finish one thing =) But I'll wing it. Apparently, I'm supposed to also keep track of what materials I use and the dates/items I use them on. All this is to tie into the date of production on the label, just in case there is a recall.

At least I think I have that right. That's what I've gathered from days of staring into glaring white computer screens. UGH. I'm all for safety and everything but this is really kind of a drag. For me and the other thousands of Etsy folk trying to make some spare change out of yard sale finds and a little creativity. Maybe I exaggerate, but you get my point.

... I wonder, in the event of a recall, if They really expect me to be able to trace my xyz yarn I bought 5 years ago on a road trip, find the doohicky I made with it way back in Last Year, and call up the one gal who bought a beanie or something? And anyway, even if I did, how much do you wanna bet she'll just say "Oh, sweetheart. Don't worry about it. I'll take my chances against killer Fun Fur anyday over a trip to the post office..."

"One years old"

My baby will be turning One Year Old on Thursday. I have a son. Have I told you? He's pretty great. Funny. Really smart. Cute as a button. I am excited about this milestone, but more profound is the feeling I can't believe it's been a whole year already. He was a very "wakeful" baby, and quite possibly "colicky," so the first few months were pretty rough. Being a new parent, I had NO idea what I was getting into, so I had also failed to enlist reinforcements. My husband was very supportive, but there was only so much he could do since he was working full-time. I was basically alone, and I can't remember a time I was more overwhelmed and frustrated. Prayer, deep breathing, and lots of treats =) were the only things that got me through.

But time carries on. And carries us with it, right? By the time my baby was 6 months old, he was able to sit up and occupy himself a little better. Mommy slowly started getting some normalcy back and life was much better. By about 8 months, he was crawling around, exploring the apartment, and he and I had finally reached the "buddy" stage, where we could just hang out and enjoy each others' company without holding anything against each other... Haha. It's been a blur since then. It's just interesting to me how the hard months seem to drag by so slowly, but once it got easier, suddenly time flies by...

Nowadays, his favorite things to do are chucking toys across the room, talking to himself, going for walks in the park or a drive though the city, snatching anything that lights up and pressing its buttons (ipod, cell phone, remote?), and eating. I am so thankful we are past the stage where he was eating 14 times a day. But it seems to me that when he does sit down to eat now, he eats alot! And  he is always up for a snack. Boy after my own heart...

Anyway. Thursday. We plan on having a small something here and then the Big Party will be on Saturday. The whole family is coming to that one. *stress* But, I'm looking forward to honoring my baby's first year. Looking forward to his First Ice Cream. Looking forward to seeing his family members celebrate his life.

Mommy loves you, Baby! =*

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

:the process:

How do I go about finding fun things to sew and create? A lot of my inspiration comes from the people in my life, the people in my family.

For instance, the first burpies I ever made were for my niece, Alexis. I took the idea behind some burp cloths I received as a new mom just 6 months earlier, tweaked it a little, and added my own style. She loved them so much she called me up to order more! I was so flattered, I didn't mind obliging. And she was the one who told me that she was getting compliments on them all the time and that I should sell them. The rest is history...

The first sock monkey I ever made was for my niece Vanessa. She was in Junior High at the time, I think. The perfect age for a little funky monkey.

The first baby quilt I attempted was for my nephew, Dominic. I started it when he was still in his mommy's tummy, but being a self-taught quilter, it took me a little longer than I planned to finish it. I learned a lot on that quilt! I think he finally got it on his 1st or 2nd birthday. =) Since then, I have made at least 6 other baby quilts for some little people I know. I'm working on my son's right now. I think it's my best one yet. I'll post pics when it's done...

The first thing I knitted was a baby blanket. It was very simple and (being only about 13 at the time) I tucked it away in my hope chest. I wonder whatever happened to that one... I used to love knitting scarves for my friends at Christmas time. A few years ago I started venturing into more "shaped" objects, like hats and mittens. Usually for whatever pregnant lady I happened to know at the time. ;)

Since having a child of my own, I think I have a better grasp of what really works. Being a mom helps me sort through some of the frivolities and use or create more practical patterns - hats that fit, booties that stay on a little better than others.

Right now, on this Burpie Kick, the process has changed a bit. Starting my shop on Etsy is much different than sewing for a friend. I'm not sure what my customer's favorite color is, if she likes daisies or wild animals, if her kid's room is done in monkeys, or cars, or turtles or teddy bears... So usually I walk around JoAnn's, scanning the fabrics for something I like. I usually end up with "a little bit of everything." Haha. Then I match it with some yummy chenille, take it all home and work it.

I look forward to sewing in the future - for old friends and new!

Monday, August 24, 2009

When I was little...

My mother taught me almost everyhting I needed to know to be a good homemaker. She taught me how to make a pizza from scratch, how to tease hair, how to clean a bathroom til it was spic and span. Sewing, however was one area in which she had no skill. So, in order to perfect my instruction, she brought in the Big Guns. A phonecall was made to grandma and, at the tender age of... about 12, my mother started taking me to my grandma's house once a week for "Home Ec" class. Grandma taught me to knit, patiently looking over my shoulder as I dropped stitch after stitch. Then she taught me to sew. We made one dress together - from the cutting to the hemming, and I was so proud of myself when we were done with it. We were in the middle of a second sewing project when Grandma passed away. I finished that dress by myself a couple of years later. I had to relearn a few things from books, and I have learned all new things along the way. I wonder what grandma would think of the projects I'm doing now.

Everytime I sew or knit, I think of her...

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Lots to do. I try to work during my baby's naptimes and bedtimes. Sometimes I work while he's awake too. Today, I got a little engrossed in my projects (I have a tendency to do this) and almost forgot to make second breakfast. He didn't seem to mind too much.

Been doing some research on Etsy. I'm learning its ins and outs, the feel of it. It is quite a web of networking! There is so much to learn.

I think I will redo my banner. I like it, but I've never been thrilled with it. It's my "front door," my window display, so to speak. It greets people when they visit and I really want it to reflect my style and the spirit of my shop a little more than it does.

I'm also tring to diversify my inventory. Now that I have a few burpies listed, I want to start putting up some other things, just to mix it up. I'm already getting lots of visitors, and I'd hate for them to think burpies are all I do...

Posted this guy last night. I made him from reclaimed Rockford socks I found...

Trying to knit a few things, too. But not sure I can make them fast enough to list for the weekend. I forgot how slooooow knitting goes...

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Welcome to the Blue Spot! I just opened my Etsy store front today, and this blog is meant to coincide with that. Ah...new beginnings! The excitement is palpable. I feel like the potential to get my work out there is so great, and so easy to do on Etsy. Etsy makes it so easy to set up a site and list things, and they ask hardly anything in return. I am a confirmed fan. I think I will try to look to Etsy from now on for all my gift shopping.
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