Saturday, May 24, 2008


I posted a pic of these little guys before I took them off to the Bazaar Bizarre earlier this month. They turned out to be a thorn in my side... painstakingly put together 30 of them and not one sold at the show. I never really talked about how the show went - I had very mixed feelings. Of course it's always great to be up in the Bay Area, but the success (simply in terms of profit) wasn't what I'd hoped it'd be. I don't like to look at these things as a success or a failure purely on the monetary profit I bring home with me. It's important to recognize that connections are made, business cards are picked up and people who otherwise wouldn't have ever visited me online may pop in after seeing me at a show. So I'm not going to say it was a total waste of time. I just didn't do as well as I hoped. On the first day (Saturday) I sat there for 4 straight hours before making one measly sale. After that it sort of picked up and then got busy for the last couple hours. The next day (Sunday) was much busier and definitely more prosperous for me - which is strange because everyone around me was saying that they made twice the sales on Saturday. This lead me to believe that Sunday was more of a family-type crowd. The gal behind me was selling bags and purses and the guy next to me was selling jewelery. So, Saturday very well could have been a younger, hipper crowd. The type of crowd present hasn't always been a determining factor for me, though. I'd often get the young, hip folks who were looking for creative baby shower gifts. That certainly wasn't the case this time. Which brings me to my second hypothesis (yes, I was a science major for a brief moment): maybe we're on the downside of a baby wave. Some moms and teachers at my son's school were talking about how next year's classes have fewer younger kids and most of the kids in my son's class have siblings that will be ready to start in a couple years, so they expect enrollment to increase again at that time. I wonder if there is something to be said about patterns in sales - one year baby centric, the next not so much. Sure there is, right? So, I think things are down now. Which makes me question - why am I doing all this? I'm not in it for the money... cause, well, there's not much there. I don't really have a big plan yet that I'm working toward. (who has time for a business plan with a 1 and a 4-year old?) I suppose the answer is simply that I like making things. I could keep making things and not sell them - but then the house would just get filled up with stuff and we're just about nearly busting at the seams as it is. I could work on making things for the house, sew my own clothes, bake more, garden more, build that shade structure I've been thinking about - but, what is it about things that come out of my sketchbook that make me want to continue to focus on baby booties, pillows, bibs and mobiles? It's an escape, for sure. It's a step back from the responsibilities of the house, the kids, the family. It's all mine. That's probably it right there. It's my little world that I can retreat to for a little crafty R+R before tackling that mountain of laundry.

That being said (boy, I'm chatty today), trying to figure out a new use for these little wooden guys. Thinking of making some mobiles out of them. There again - baby focussed - they may sit in the Etsy shop for a year. Ack. Maybe I should scrapbook today instead.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

the last minute

It's that time - end of the school year... teacher gifts!

I had the idea of these little herb gardens in my head,
but when I hit the store I wasn't exactly finding what I had in mind.
But I came across these metal tubs
and thought
this just might work.

Using the magnets to hold the labels was one of those
Was trying to make little plant stakes
when I realized I was running out of time.
(always leaving these things for the last minute)
Would have been nice to make that discovery earlier,
to decorate the magnets,
that would have required WAY to much planning.

The Technicalities: I filled the bottom with cocoa mulch before placing the potted plants inside. This way, there's something to hold any excess water since the metal tub itself does not have holes for drainage. Then I filled in the gaps and tops of the pots with green moss. Next, print up labels and attach to the tubs with magnets. I wish I had purchased the plants a lot sooner. Would have been nice to place them in the tubs and then let them fill in for a few weeks. So for those who know how to plan ahead, that's my suggestion.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Just stumbled across this quote from Stew about his production, Passing Strange. I love the way this guy thinks...

"We have GWBush to thank for this play. Seriously. When I found out that he had never been to Europe in his youth (or in his adulthood until he becme prez!!!) I immediately knew I wanted to write a play about a kid who wanted to go to europe. That fact about Bush said a lot to me about America's lack of interest in anything foreign except that which it can exploit (always to exploit – never to learn from). Can you imagine an uber-privileged billionaire's son from any other country that would not have been curious enough to travel to a foreign country or two or 3 or 20? Especially when you're talking the kind of money where you already OWN a few airplanes yourself? As someone whose experience abroad informed and shaped my very being and consciousness about everything from sexuality, politics, culture, language and human nature, I became obsessed with this factoid and decided this incuriosity was at the heart of the war. I realized that we are actually suffering the results of Bush's and his cronies' incuriousness… their dimwitted foreign policy time and again shows that beneath it all these f*!%ers don't even care about trying to understand the world they wish to dominate."


Maybe it's the heat,
but I just can't stop yawning.
Deep yawns - the ones that make your eyes tear up.
Big yawns.

That's all.

Friday, May 16, 2008

do flowers come from flowers?

[I sure hope I can bang this out before the kids wake up... it's always so enormously frustrating to start something in these priceless moments of quiet only to have to stop when someone screams, "MOMMY!"]

Before BazBiz I was really getting into patchwork and putting together different prints to make these wonderful color combos. I think this one here on the left comes off as a little Japanese. Piecing different prints together almost feels like painting. It's also a great way to work through my stash of fabric. It wasn't until I started reading blogs and finding people who posted pictures and pictures of their neatly stacked stashes that I decided it was okay to have massive stashes and began buying prints that I just couldn't resist every time I saw them. Mistake? Nah... just got to keep it organized. I hate it when one pile starts to topple and I take the time to re-stack it and find a lovely print that has gone unnoticed - a print that would have been great on a certain project. I'd LOVE to organize all the prints by color - like THIS or THIS or THIS.

[Kids are up. The littlest one slipped right out of our bed all by himself and quietly pitter-pattered in here like a quiet little leprechaun. The bigger one sauntered in with what is the start of a long day of questions..."Where is Daddy? Did the cat ever scratch me? Why do cats scratch? Do cats come from cats? Do flowers come from flowers? Do babies come from babies?" - I'm not making this up - "Do grown-ups come from babies? Do babies come from grown-ups? Why does Daddy have to work? Why do we need money? Why do we need a house?" Diaper is stinky... time to admit it's time to get changing. The one without a stinky diaper asks, "Do you remember one time I was trying to go stinky in my diaper and it came out on the floor? That was pretty stinky, was it?]

Thursday, May 15, 2008

call me crazy

As I said before, the listing of items to Etsy is taking more time than I would like. Honestly, though, the only time I can dedicate to listing items is when little one is napping (which is only for one precious time a day), at night after dinner (frankly, I'm usually just too tired) or in the wee hours of the morning (why don't I wake up as early as I used to?). The 1-year old's response to me sitting down at the computer in our workroom can best be described as simply freaking out. I suppose the solution to that would be to replace our laptop that died so I could work on computer stuff in the kitchen or out in the yard. But I think I must have laptop-phobia now. Lost so much precious work on that thing and now I think I just feel better working right here at the desktop where our handy dandy external hard drive backs everything up for me at the blink of an eye. I know, I know - I could probably rig up some kind of backup for a new laptop... but I just need time. Give me time. So, in the meantime, I'll just be continuing to plug along at it, listing a new item or two a day.

I'm working on getting this workroom organized. In a recent argument with the husband (nah, we NEVER fight... just a small argument) it came out that he longed for a workspace like the one I've created in this room for myself. And since I LOVE it when I can seek out a viable solution that I am quite capable of tackling when there is a problem, I jumped on it. What is it about me and new projects? This is my new project... making a space for Mr. Out of the Box. I've got his table situated and once I install new shelves over my workspace I'll be able to move all the yarn, beads, notions and craft books to make way for Beat Writers, the new Bob Dylan Album Cover journal I bought him at the Bazarre Bizarre, manuscripts from his bud in the movie biz, etc. I'm all over this. Thought I'd even make him an "In" box... leave him little notes throughout the day. Call me crazy... I know I am. But, again, it's hard to carve out time to actually work in this workroom. Child gate at the door holds back 1-year old hands that love to grab at my pins and needles, but it doesn't stop him from throwing himself at it in tears and hysteria. I think we need a lock on the door and surveillance cameras all over the house so I can hold up in here but still maintain my motherly duties of making sure the boys aren't getting themselves into any dangerous trouble. Or a nanny. Yeah, I guess a nanny would probably be easier. Anyone want to spring for a full time nanny so I can draw flying cats?

Friday, May 09, 2008


With Mother's Day this weekend and plans to host a lunch here, I had an excuse to go buy coordinating entertaining wares at Target. I'm loving the whole Cynthia Rowley Whim line. Maybe with each lunch or dinner party I can buy another piece for outdoor entertaining. Of course, this weekend's planned lunch may not even happen. Wouldn't you know it, both boys have ear infections. Two days in a row spent rushing a little one down to the doctor and swinging by the pharmacy for antibiotics. So it will be sad if I don't have a chance to use all the lime green and pink paper + plastic ware I bought. And I took it all out of the packaging to take this photo, so no taking back. If we don't do Mother's Day I'll just have to plan something else whereupon green and pink with fruity table cloth would be appropriate.

Happy Mother's Day Moms!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

not a thing

Slowly adding new things to Etsy. It takes time! When the lighting is just right, I photograph. Then it's time to sit down at the computer to crop photos. I write up the description and then list it. Doesn't sound like much when I write it out here, but somehow it's taking me quite a bit of time to get each item added.

Kids are going crazy so it's time for me to stop.

I've always wanted to have my Etsy shop stocked to the gills. If I can find the time to do it... I've finally got enough to fill her up. But, boys call, so for now I'll just be charging up the camera for photographing tomorrow. It's been kind of nice doing nothing the past couple days. And by nothing I mean nothing besides fixing breakfast and lunch, begging little boys to eat breakfast and lunch, cleaning dishes, making beds, folding laundry, scrubbing floors, picking up toys, scrounging up dinner and giving dirty little boys baths. Can't even remember a time when nothing was really not a thing.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

reality check

I'm back from the Bazaar Bizarre @ Maker Faire. Whew! Still trying to catch my breath. It was a long weekend behind my little table - but on top of that we were up there with the kids, so that made everything a bigger ordeal than simply just a craft show. Everything gets multiplied when kids are involved, right? More money, more time, more stuff to pack, more patience required. And on top of all that, we drove home right after the faire ended at 6pm Sunday evening. But since the kids slept we were able to plow right through and make the trip in about 6 hours. I tried SO hard to stay awake to keep the husband company while he drove. (Speaking of which... Husband of the Year award right here - he had a cold and the 1-year old had a cold, but he still managed to keep both little boys occupied and THEN drove the long haul home when he should have been in bed sipping cold medicine) I do believe I'm ready to accept that I just can't do shows like this until these kids are bigger. It's hard getting ready for these, it's hard dragging the whole family out to them and it's too much on the husband. I just end up feeling tired and guilty. But my ears were ringing listening to other crafters talking about upcoming shows. There's even a Renegade Craft Fair coming to San Francisco in July. How many times have I sat here enviously reading blog entries about Renegade in Chicago and New York? But it's time to accept the truth - focus on web sales and put shows on hold for the next few years. MAYBE check out some consignments... but can't overload myself here. By the end of last week I was starting to get a little crazy - mumbling things like, "I wish you were older!" to the little one who wouldn't let me finish my sewing. Oh the shame! I'm going to let him be little, and enjoy it, and just do what I can with the little spare time I have. Can we say Reality Check? Hopefully I'll find some time to start uploading all the things I brought home with me to the Etsy site. So if you stopped by the table and hoped to get something you saw - check out the Etsy shop and buy buy buy!