Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Would the Amy who posted a comment about her nieces in Papillion please send me a message through my etsy shop so I can contact you back?
There is no blogger link when I click on your name, and I don't know how to reach you~ THANKS!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

sewing marathon

ok, so yesterday I was super excited that I could spend most of the day sewing. I cut out tons of things, paired various fabrics together, and created a pattern for a purse that's been in my head for a few weeks. I'd love to keep this baby, but I have several more in other color combinations cut out and ready to be sewn, so maybe I'll keep one of those.

It took me about 8 hours to make, but that was due to designing and creating the pattern, writing instructions for myself as I was doing it, so I could have the future ones go smoothly. Like do this part before you do this part, to make life easier. I think I will make the sides shorter in the ones to follow, so the zipper has more room to lay when it's closed. I abhor installing zippers, but when I actually start doing it, it's really not that big of a deal. Jeez, you mean I have to change the foot on my sewing machine~ gah! So hopefully the next one I make will be more like 3 hours instead of 8 or 9. I haven't been carving out time for working out this week either, and even though I've been sick, and even lost my voice for 2 days, I still feel guilty.
I can't wait for spring break though, so I can have a few more sewing marathon days. This is just one of the fabric stacks I have set aside for the new shop:

I'm so in love with the black and white damask print that I used for the purse, but it was originally purchased for some of the couture children's clothing for the new shop. I'm probably going to have to invest in a serger within the next couple of weeks, because there are some designs that will have rows and rows of ruffles, and it's just not practical to have to turn the raw edges of each ruffle down twice, not to mention all of the other wondrous things that a serger can do that I don't even know about. It will be nice to not always have to do french seams on everything.

Friday, March 21, 2008

the countdown begins...

ok, it's March 21, and the official countdown to summer vacation has begun. I know it's a little early, but a girl's gotta have dreams. Basically, my countdown works in weeks. I have a sticky note pad with 8 pieces of paper, and I just pull one off after the week is over, and then it says '7' underneath. It's a great joy to rip off each page. I know, small things bring me much happiness. I just can't even begin to fathom that pretty soon I'll actually have the time and energy to make and do everything that I want to get done. And sleep in...
Yay for summer!
And the excitement is even more intense, because I know that this is the end of my teaching career. (With children at least). I'm really looking forward to teaching workshops with adults. Let's get crafty, ladies!!
I took a picture of my desk the other day, because it seems like every time I need to sit down and complete orders or make something new, I have a giant pile of crap on my desk. So I've gotten pretty good at picking out anything important and scooping all the tiny bits of paper, thread, wire and fabric (only the scraps that are smaller than an inch~) off into the garbage.

I also took a picture of my giant box of bubble envelopes I ordered, because it's so wonderful to have 100 or so sitting there waiting to be filled with orders, instead of always worrying if I have enough. Surprisingly, they take up less space than I thought. It saves a lot of money doing it that way too.

I'll post some pics of my other shop as soon as I have some.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

this is serious!

ok, so I got tired of schlepping around 12 x 12 scrapbook paper in different types of bags, baskets, and containers, (the paper always curls up on the edges and gets all messed up, because it's too big) to do projects on the go, so I decided to make the 'seriously big tote' in one of my favorite amy butler fabrics. This thing can hold a ton of scrapbook paper, my camera, laptop, scrabble tile tin, glue, magazines, lunch, hat, gloves, ink pads and stamps, and still feel kind of empty. In a word, it rocks!
I think I'm so happy with it and it's such a joy to use because I hardly ever make anything for myself. I'm always too busy making stuff for the shop. I actually get excited to leave the house because I get to have all of my stuff with me, and since it's basically devoted to crafty stuff, I don't have to keep packing and unpacking and re-packing it. I always have projects that I need to work on while I'm on the go, like for those times in the car waiting for my daughters soccer/basketball/softball practices to be over. I want to make another one (or two) to keep in the car for the grocery store, and I think it would be fun to add some embellishments to the outside before I put the lining in... like buttons (I know, I have a button obsession, but at least I can admit it), or fabric transfers of clip art faces. And of course some of my vintage inspired lace, and my adorable rickrack. I saw a tote at a little boutique that had a rafael-like face image on it, and it was very european looking. So now I just have to learn how to do fabric transfers and find some cool faces.

So I already made another for the shop, and I think I'll make a series of these, and I want to put contrasting fabric pockets on the outside too, (this style has two large pockets on the inside.) I put some canvas stiffening in the bottom for support, and it's just perfect. Maybe I should make more stuff for myself...

Monday, March 03, 2008


I've been dreaming and planning about a new venture, probably beginning this summer, since I just don't have the time right now. I decided (FINALLY) after much flip-flopping and flopping back again, since last August, that I am done teaching elementary art. I will finish out this school year, and take a leap of faith. If I was still a single mom, this would really not be possible. I've cried my heart out to my husband more than a few times, and analyzed and re-analyzed all of the pros and cons. Of course the only con is money. But I've been thinking a lot about really being happy in this life, and that feeling of being truly fulfilled, and I decided at age 37, if I just keep doing what is expected of me, or what everyone else around me is doing, then I'm not really being true to myself, and what's the point of living if you're not really living?
Yes, there were many times over the last 9 years that I felt creative and challenged, and like I was really making a difference in kids' lives, but more often than not, all the little nuisances of being a traveling teacher, and not a 'classroom' teacher, just made me feel...less than. The way the system is set up, I just felt un-valued by many of my coworkers. My administrators never really made me feel that way, but they aren't the people that you have to deal with day to day.

So, I'm brainstorming the name of my new shop, which will be couture clothing for children, and some for women as well. The main focus at first though, will be over the top designer girls garments. Kind of like why I love decorating kids' rooms - you can be as extravagant and as dreamy and as 'fantasy' as you want to, you can go beyond the limits of what is 'normal' or 'ready to wear clothing. I've always had a fascination with tulle, so that will be a huge part of many of the designs, as well as buttons, ruffles, and many other embellishments. For some strange reason, the womens' designs that I've been dreaming up are mostly off white, sheer, raw edged- shabby, etc. Very different contrasts... but it is what it is.
Of course, deciduous soul will always (as far as I can foresee) be a huge part of what I do. It will be amazing to actually have the time to devote to it.
Thanks to all of my faithful customers, who have made this dream even possible. Look for some very unusual and interesting ideas coming soon...