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. 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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