Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bits of the Holiday Week

This morning as I shuffle around in my orange aeropastale tee, green sweats and merrill clogs (the shoes have to be comfortable, don't they?) I think, "gosh, we clean up good" Perhaps a shower later...And what kind of mother lets her daughter go out in this blizzard? Now I must go collect her.
Actually, our dear friends invited us to a turkey dinner, so I'm going out in the blizzard, either way.
And my cottage has made progress. Now it has windows and shingles, as of today. I love construction! Smell that fresh cut plywood!
My best surprise gift ever! Husband flew my mother in for a week! Of cooking! Tamales! Gumbo! Pancakes! Enchiladas! Lots of TLC for everyone. We love us some Patsy!

I learned how to make triangle
squares from the block party quilting tut and made lots of them! I thought about doing a zigzag pattern for my husband's quilt, but in the end, I made patches of the girls artwork and poems and scattered them in. Nope. No picture of the finished quilt. Now it's gone off to work, of course.

My teen uploaded (downloaded?) her ipod stuff into my iphoto cache and I got a sneak peek into her quirky humor...And remember those rolls I made for art and whatnot? I made LoAdS of them. Loads.
And A fabric cube from Anna Marie Horner's Seams to Me book, for teacher.
I participated in a giveaway from Imagingermonkey. She named a lucky winner recipient of a gift certificate to my shop. That was fun. Wish I could just give people things all the time!
Today we will have more snow, so I'm contemplating some lovely indoor crafty projects. And since I mentioned all that yummy goodness, I 'm thinking I'll waddle over and reacquaint myself with the treadmill.

Hope your holidays are wonderful!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Parthenons, punch and such

It's a cliche, you know: "Rome wasn't built in a day."
My daughter had a three part homework assignment due today (!), one part of it was to build a parthenon model structure. That ancient Doric temple made for Athena around 432 BC, with the 9:4 ratio, friezes and west pediment depicting the competition between Poseidon and Athena for patron of the city, remember? Go ahead, ask me infinitesimal details about ...parthenons and such. I'm your go to girl. Well, it will stick around thru the rest of the day, probably. And it will slowly be replaced by more practical information, like the ratio of butter to flour in my earl grey cookie recipe.
But that little cliche got me to thinking. We are all having the same week, aren't we?
Sunday, band recital, volunteer for reception and serving punch, Monday, an abundance of rehearsals, gymnastics, a sick kid, Tuesday a whirlwind of baking and punch making for that night's orchestra concert, did I mention I was punch lady again for the reception? (sometimes I joke I carry a hair net and plastic gloves in my purse, just in case) and of course we get back at 9:30 and tackle the Acropolis, a time line, a bit of algebra and a chapter of the Penderwyck's.

But I'm not complaining...I'm just catching my breath. That was just the last 72 hours! We are at the half way point of the last week before kids are out for the holidays and it's always such a hectic mad dash.

Did I mention I've gotten Little Folks voiles in? They are gorgeous! And Love just arrived! And a shipment of Timeless Treasures with alphabets and music sheets and owls and trees! You can find them in my shop.
I am aching to sew. But, first things first.

And first I've got to clean up this ancient Grecian mess of plaster, paint, nails, and bits of dried glue.

Maybe just one cup of tea before I start. Rome wasn't built in a day, they say.
How's your week going?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On a Roll

Oh cute! I found a pattern I could follow without cussing! This is the traveling art show roll by Mr. Monkeysuit, tute on the right--->. I made the compartments and then went online to Oriental Trading Co. and bought crayons, activity books, cards shaped like penguins (!) and those papers with the gummy ends for making chains. So it all doesn't fit perfectly, but, it is super easy and really cute. I put these together, four in all, in about an hour, with a good bit of help from my daughter. And we have four more ready to go for the boys.
Oh! And then, at Target, I saw these really cute make up brushes and glosses and nail polish kits for $1.00 to $3.00 by Elf and I grabbed some for the older girls' friends.

How sassy would that be, to grab your little roll of cosmetics out of your purse for a touch up, or to make a little hand sewing to go kit for your hexies, or how about a mini toolset, or an emergency bottle opener or tea caddy?

Oh, and my friends who make jewelry! little scissors and filament and pliers...

Oh! and embroider the recipients name on it!

And the fabric can be themed with the use!

So if you were wondering what I'm getting you for Christmas, um, I think I'm on a roll.

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Thanksgiving on the Bayou

I took my quilt to grandma mc's to finish the binding...I came by to work on it and I found my quilt busy taking a nap with her. Well, first things first. I can wait.
Yes, they really live on bayous in Louisiana. ... and they fight alligators in their overalls. (that's for you, K.)
Oldest and dearest came to see Dad for his birthday. Oldest friends, of course.
Yes we really roast pigs, cochon de lait style. It's under there, isn't it Zach and Kyle?
and we sing on the back porch.
and make bread pudding. I'm very animated aren't I?

And a good time was had by all. Y'all come back now, you here?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Louisiana Thanksgiving

Snippets from our family holiday...

Chloe is in charge of sweet potato pies...

Ro chases mama's chickens, Pawpy gets two quilts for his birthday, one for pretty, one for warm (we'll call it "quaint")...

Uncles play nephews in football...one uncle cabe strains his "serratus" muscles (ouch), and is renamed Festus.....Chloe pokes the chickies for better egg production. I have another child, by the way. She is somewhere texting some one, telling them all about her Louisiana adventures.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mail Call

Clever Clever Etsy Sellers!
I got two packages in the mail today! Two!
First the big box: A "Mail Bag" Design tote for my flat rate envelope bundles to the post! Done up in Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks Forest Hills laminated cotton and some of her home dec to match. And it's reversible! This was done by Amy of Amy M Designs on Etsy. Lurvvving It!
Now the tiny box: open it up, lovely tissue paper, off it goes, now--must pause to admire the wrapping. How Darling is That! Who wouldn't want to get that in the mail? Well now I don't want to open it...But of course I do. Inside is some vintage selvedge ribbon I will use to wrap my
pretty packages in aqua and a spring green. I like the olive green she used so much I must have some of that as well. This is from the Good Luck Shop. So go visit Etsy and be very impressed with customer service and lovely attention to detail you just don't get at the big boys' stores.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hopscotch Quilt

And this would be my second quilt ever, made in one day...well, most blocks were waiting for me on the day, with a deadline imposed by self so that it would be a part of my new online store header. Pictures have been safely uploaded to the web genius lady, so now I can sit and blog with the little quilty over my knees. And notice that the binding needs a bit of work...

But since I give myself some beginner's grace, I can enjoy the quilt for the colors and fabrics and even the stitches. I had thought in the planning of it that it lacked a little spontaneity so I added the rusty bouquet of Garden Party (Anna Maria Horner) and the wine from Amy Butler's Love.

My free motion technique is still quite lacking, so I plugged on the walking foot and did wavy, curvy lines across it. I quite liked the kinesthetics of that, the quilt rolled up on each side and steering it this way and that, my mind meandering like the stitching.

oh, new online store plug, speaking of plugs, www.thistlehillfabrics.com is coming soon, another wonderful little experiment into the webby world of quilters and lovely fabric and maybe some Munki Munki pjs, that I cannot sell on Etsy, unless I cut them in bits to offer as "supplies". And, listen, I am an upcycler, recycler, get another use out of it, but, first things first...and firstly, you wear the apparel, then you make your quilt. Ok, I hear you, it's Heather Ross, she gives us no alternative, licensed exclusively with them. And I understand. I do. Just buy the whole classic set and you cut it up. And I don't need to know. Now how did we get into this whole argument? I didn't mean to argue. I was just telling you about my quilt. And it's meandering stitches....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

My very second quilt in progress.

I called it a HopScotch pattern after TreeFall's quilt she talks about here

I took this pic from the top of my stairs looking down on the foyer floor and I am seeing it anew from that perspective. I do see more of the values than the prints now. Blues and greens, always my soothing go-to colors. Some Anna Maria, some Amy Butler, and Jen Paganelli and a splash of pineapple brocade from H. Bailey.
Excited to sew it up. Must look up how to sew it up. No, not following a tutorial, or pattern, per se. Are you not surprised? No, you shouldn't be anymore. Here's my rationale: I search free motion quilting, I see three different feet used, twenty different threads recommended and debates about to hoop or not to hoop (using embroidery machine). On Ohfrannson's tutorials, she spends a page defending her method of ironing her seams (flat and center, if you must know) and she must be quite the expert. Amazing quilts.
So since I am confused, have the attention span of my pup, Ru--are we going for a walk? Do I smell sausages? Is that the UPS truck?
Actually that's a lot like my stream of consciousness.
Where was I? I don't remember...but, as long as grandma mc can't see my work up close, and I can just buzz thru some sewing, everybody's happy, right? No one got hurt, right?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ta Da!

My first quilt ever. A little smallish and the quilting is wonky, but I'm pleased as punch.
I want to do more. More quilting classes, more patchwork piecing. Must sign up for classes.

So this is Arcadia, in a jelly roll and moda's prairie cloth which has a lovely interesting rustic texture after it is washed. I think it gives the quilt a bit more masculine weight to it, but we should probably ask a man. Flannel on the back and A Butler's olive stripe for the binding.
Friend, Katy--aka ImaGingerMonkey (check blogs I follow) recommended ohfrannson's tutorial on binding


And, no I didn't have the patience to do it by hand, but I wish I had now. (typical, you're muttering)
Oh my there are some beautiful quilts out there. I do think crafty bloggers are so smart. And now I am loving me some precuts. But first, I have picked up some fat quarters of Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks and want to do a HopScotch quilt in the plums and the blues.
No, first, I want to have a little tea and sit on my porch with my (brother's) lap quilt keeping the chill away. I need to visit with it a little before I send it to its new home...and make sure it's working properly.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MMMmmmm, jambalaya!

My brother makes the best brisket, jambalaya and fried catfish for any doctor I know of. Now, not many of the doctors I know cook for me, so that's not saying enough.

He makes the best brisket, jambalaya and fried catfish for any brother that I know of. No, not quite fair to David, now is it? And is it really better than mama's? Can't say that definitively either....

It's really tasty brisket, jambalaya and fried catfish, though.

Actually it is the best (stepping on toes, now, I know..ever the diplomat, I am so sorry).

And speaking of falling short of the best--no, mama, I don't mean you. I meant David's cooking, of course.--anyway, I am very inspired this morning to try a little quilt for him (although grandma mc has done it soooo much better than I might hope) with an Arcadia jelly roll, a little moda prairie cloth in a rich charcoal color and a robin's egg blue flannel background. There, I've committed to it, so I will follow up with the lovely completed quilted in a mere few hours.

Just want to take a moment to wish big brother, Darien, a happy birthday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's been a wet fall, Y'all...

My hay bale has a jaunty little green crew cut. This is a bale we put out for "eco-friendly" (read cheap and handy) seating for a party we had last week. Er, nobody actually got to sit on it, as we hurriedly moved the party inside and on porches when the rain set in. And it rained, and drizzled and sprinkled...sometimes, there was just a moist fog clinging to the air, wrapping it's tendrils around my tendrils, causing them to become a voluminous halo around my head...a frizzy halo.
A virtual rain forest in North Texas. For a good two to four weeks, off and on.
So I've never seen a hay bale sprout new growth. It's kind of cute. Does remind me of hair.
But really nice well-behaved straight hair. Maybe I'll ask it what products it recommends.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Good Day

Today I...
1. secured a ravely hem in my daughter's pants with packaging tape.
2. realized I missed out on Amy Butler's new Love collection's early release.
3. saw that Jennifer Paganelli posted that she loved my skirt on my Flickr site,


It was a good day.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another Bo Peep Skirt

Yes, it's another Bo Peep Skirt for a full-grown girl! I have started, hic cupped, halted, suspended several works in project--a prairie top resized for me (it's ginormous and I don't know which way to start tailoring it) a bulb applique pattern from the Amy Butler inspiration page, a pinwheel style patchwork for a round foam form ( I did put in an actual zipper, very proud). And they all call to me from tHe bottom of my project basket buried under shipping supplies and handfuls of ready-to-embellish tea towels--won't that be darling! I can't wait to try Anna Maria Horner's kitchen towel project....but there I went off subject again.
So it's Friday, company coming in from out of town, big bash planned for my hubby's 40th for the following Saturday night, lots of orders to fill, children to cart round. I think the weather must have done it, that slight chill, the October sunshine and a little breeze with the promise that 90 degree days are banished for a while. I thought I needed something kicky and ruffly and fun to pair with my favorite black cherry Lucheses boots. A little shorter than my first skirt, just to celebrate the last bits of warmth before winter reminds us she is no friend to bare legs.

I whipped this up fairly quickly. I think by the time I adjusted the length for the waistband allowance and a rolled hem it was--er--a little too flirty, so I threw in another length of the okra seeds cut on the bias to lengthen it out. I really stretched myself on the color and pattern mix, pulling from Anna Maria's book, Seams to Me, and the Flickr groups who stun me with their creations. If I were smart and techy I'd link to them right here....but I am not, so go look at Flickr groups regarding Seams to Me, and designer quilting fabric groups. You can google, right?
Anyway, I think this pattern would be adorable in some understated prints as well but I seldom buy muted prints, I don't think that's my wheelhouse right now. I'm looking forward to washing it to add to the softness.
My skeptical teen aged nephew voiced his opinion,"Aunt D, what exactly is that supposed to be?"
"It's just me." I said with a wink.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

FOUND: the cutest pupper ever

Last week as we were driving home from a Sunday outing, we saw a small yellow furball run across the road and into the woods. "It's a puppy!" And, knowing all the doggies in the neighborhood and their roaming habits, was suspicious that this little guy didn't have a home.
So, long story short, we took puppy home with us and became quite attached, as he had the coolest little personality, not to mention uncommonly beautifully eyes. Realizing I couldn't keep one more animal, I sent one of my best galpal's a quick email (and this picture). "Blond haired, blue eyed, what is Pupper Williams doing in the road? You need to come get your pupper!"
Now, this friend, the Mrs. Williams of the family, has not owned a dog since I've known her these some years, so I didn't think it would go very far.
Her response: Serious to God, you have that dog?
hmmmm, more interest than I thought...
But she is traveling. It may take a while to talk to her hubby and really consider this.
Next day: Is that guy at your house? Hubby is in!
two hours later: I'm rethinking this. I don't know about owning a dog.
thirty minutes later: I have got to have that damn dog! U still got him?
Yes, and I'm just rolling up to your house!
She is still not back from Boston, so I deliver Pupper Williams to Hubby who point at me and says "This one pulled a fast one with that email!"
Awww. How cute is this puppy? They named him Kirby and he's actually quite a dork, throwing himself headlong into unsuspecting bushes and refusing to walk on a leash.
Oh, and he has a brother....If you just really need a cutie pie.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Moda Day! It's Moda Day!
This is the day I get to go to Moda's warehouse in Dallas and meet with a customer rep and push a buggy down the warehouse aisles!!! I dreamed about it last night: Wandering down aisle after aisle of fabulous fabrics. "I'll take this and this...oh, this print is so much bigger and more vibrant in person!..." Filling my cart with Tula Pink's HushaBye and Mill House Inn and Monkey fabrics just because they are there....

And, you know what? It was a LOT like that! And I saw future fabrics to come that I just stood there, tormented like I was choosing between my children. "I have GOT to have all the bird patterns! The mint, the green, the pink!" Oh, my gut aches thinking what I didn't choose even right now.
I kept telling the customer rep (the best rep ever, btw), "I'm just small potatoes. I can't buy every bit of this." But she made me feel like a princess. Like I was indeed a fabric mogul. We went through almost every aisle and , gosh, those people make pom pom dangles!
giant ric rac! zippers and threads and storage plastic things and rotary cutters and batting and they have lines of velvet home dec (who knew?). So I explain to her again that I'm just really small potatoes and my brand new company credit card is going to self destruct in my pocket as we walk around...do you know, they offer 60 day terms? They do!
So I gotta go, me and my new best friend, the customer rep have some shopping to finish up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anna Maria Horner's Bo Peep Skirt

So I must admit, I have been sewing for a long time...and not very well, for a long time. I have sewn curtains and doll clothes and purses upcycled out of coats and hardware from belts and I recovered a couch! Well, I didn't know how to put in a proper zipper so I stitched up the cushions, then I ripped them out to wash them....then I never stitched them up again. But with the right amount of "merchandising" (you know where you fold the fabric to the back, place a pillow to hide a gap...) I get by fine.

I always thought it was my most practical nature that spurred me on to sew: to save the couch from the dumpster, to save money on curtains, to avoid throwing away those great clothes--yes, I even feel a pang when I give them up to Goodwill. It was probably also this trait that caused most of my frustration. Trying to buy too little fabric, not a proper trim, and really, there are a lot of bulky seams in old coats...

Now that I am surrounded by a plethora of fabric from my little fabric shop, www.ThistleHillFabrics.etsy.com , I have been spurred on to sew. Really ambitious things like Amy Butler's Lounge Pants from her book, In Stitches, patchwork pillows on a round pillow form from her inspiration page on her website, Anna Maria Horner's garment bag from her latest book, Seams to Me, and her Bo Peep skirt from the same. Okay, not really advanced sewing here, but, folks, it takes a little more planning than I am used to doing.

So I will post here about my progress or frustration or whatever the task brings up in me because I would like to see some improvement over the year in my skill level. I am afraid that if I don't proclaim this publicly, I might whittle away my entire shop of bolts with nothing to show for it save scraps. Then I'll only have a scrap business. And lots of lint and thread bits....

My first project I want to share is the Anna Maria Horner Bo Peep skirt. It wasn't my first project, but one of my more successful and I'm feeling good about that. So here it goes.

First of all, I intended to read all of the first five chapters which covers tools, spaces, notions, pattern terminology, bias tape making, and choosing different types of fabrics. It's a really pretty book, sort of vintage-y feel of antique yardsticks and patchwork quilts, yummy feast for the eyes. And lots of good, in depth information. I did thumb through all of it.

Now, on to the pattern: I had just gotten in a bolt of Joel Dewberry's Antler Damask in Celadon. It had been backordered for months so I was thrilled to have it and wanted to make something to showcase it. I started making a tote. A rectangular tote. But I wanted to cry with boredom and I had just cut the pieces out. So I look thru the book and come across the bo peep skirt for little girls. Now earlier that day, I had been junktique-ing at one of my favorite haunts and came across these great victorian bloomers or nickers --- long ruffley white pants with lace insets and pleating and beautiful details. Should have taken a picture. Anyway, these reminded of the skirt. And I thought(rationalized) that while the nickers probably shouldn't happen in public on a grown women, somehow, the skirt with ruffles was a compromise.

First, cut rectangles based on your waist size and the length you want. Ruffles and trim cut out. Easy, done. Roll hem on ruffles, done. Gather the ruffles, got it. Now you figure out where you want the ruffles and baste them on the side panel. Hmmm. I thought you might do the ruffle trim first. As a matter of fact, I did that already. I have attached the ruffle trim to the ruffle and then I want to attach it to the side panels. Oh well. It works. And now I am so excited with the ruffle detail that I am deflated to see and try to make sense of "with the wrong
sides together" and "with the Italicright sides together..." Breathing in, breathing out, I try to picture why I would sew wrong sides together. At this point, still so stoked about the ruffle detail, I abandon the book and finish the skirt as I can make sense of it. I had to take up a bit of fabric in the waist (yes, now I see that she was trying to teach me French seams). And since I loved the longer length, I added a waist band piece to save the below knee length.

Pretty easy. Love the skirt. A little disappointed I didn't calm down enough to trudge thru all of the seams twice over. That is the point of these lessons after all. But here it is, and my favorite middle daughter modeling it for me. Deep Bo Peep curtsy to you all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thistle Hill Fabrics Update

O my, Lots of news! What came this week for Thistle Hill Fabric shop:Jennifer Paganelli's Zebra print in brown! Heather Bailey's Pop Garden Pop Daisy in Red! I didn't think I was getting these! Yes, yes, released earlier in the year, but new to me! And I don't think the world's had quite enough Pop Garden and Zebra.
And....Heather Ross' Far Far Away by Kokka: Unicorns, frog princes, princesses and peas....so cute! In double gauze which was new to me, too and I had to learn about how it is especially soft and light weight and this was a big factor to Heather Ross when she decided to design something for Kokka, a Japanese fabric line. No, the US manufacturers aren't making this type of fabric...yet. Here's a link with more info about double gauze:
Oh such a busy week for a fabric junky!
And...I got an email from my rep that Amy Butler is releasing her new line....LOVE!Actually it will be ready in December, but I got a peek! Really fun with a new color palette for her. I guess you'll just have to wait... a little while longer.
So more stuff to come shortly. More inventory means less room in my studio, thus, I'm destashing with a $5.00/yd section in my store. Be sure to check it out. Beautiful premium designer quilting weight fabric!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Letter to Amy Butler

So summer is coming to an end. It is truly a bit cooler (here in the south, 93 degrees smells like fall). And while I'm so anticipating my new fabric lines coming in soon (Heather Ross, Far Far Away, and oil cloths! and Girly Girl), I don't think I'm ready to leave behind all the great lines that were released earlier this year. I think I came to the party late and, although my sewing room is full ( okay overflowing) (okay drowning in) bolts of designer fabrics. I finally came to grips with the fact that I truly needed to own some of those fabric lines I had missed out on. You know, before I became a fabric mogul.

Let me back track here. When I placed my first order for fabric, I knew exactly what I wanted:
Amy Butler, Belle. Amy Butler, Lotus. This was early in the summer and I didn't understand that to have a full compliment of fabrics, you must get in at the beginning. Otherwise you end up with two or three or four great fabrics and some companions, but not necessarily companions to the great centerpiece fabrics you had drooled over. Not really sloppy seconds, but not the powerhouse line you had thought you were strategizing with the precision of a five star general prepping his arsenal for one hellacious battle. Yes, folks, I wanted to blow you away with my matching Amy Butler prints.

So imagine my surprise, when I called to place my order and was told by the very helpful customer rep, "You know Belle and Lotus are closing out, right? We're not going to be producing them anymore. Don't have that...don't have that, no,no, no, "
Quite shaken I said, in my modulated business owner voice, "I see. Okay, let me, er, think this over and get back to you with a-- hmmm, revised order."
"Great. We close in 25 minutes. Remember, it's a holiday weekend, so we will be back in the office Tuesday." I brightly reply, "Great! No Problem!" OH Pooh.

So I gathered my very business-y manilla folder, my shiny new credit card, my laptop and spread everything out on the kitchen table. Ok, let's think about this: This is available, what goes with? What if they're out of that? Maybe a third choice for good measure?
I don't know why I was determined to gather all of my very first bit of inventory on such a time constraint. By sugar, I was determined to place that order by 5 o'clock EST on That Friday!

Anyway, that was my first order, and since then, I wrote to Amy about the ending of those two lines. Side note: I haven't sat down to write a letter of complaint to anybody since my now 13 year old was loaded on the wrong bus the first day of school she was 6) and driven all over God's creation. But I needed Amy to know how I felt about Belle and Lotus going away. Almost as bad as the first incident, right? Her somebody (assistant) did personally respond. She said they were very disappointed as well. But Amy was working on a new line (YaY) soon to be released! Something about "Love".

So to bring closure to myself, for all the lines I missed out on before I was a fabric mogul (BFM). Heather Ross's Mendocino, some hard to find Pop Garden, would love some more pink coriander from you-know-who, cherry wallflower. Oh, sigh. I haunt clearance sales, I pay little, I pay dearly, I buy from people like me. Yes, I buy more fabric. Because I need to own it.

And I welcome Fall--and Love.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Letter to Relatives

Hey check out my bag!
picked it up today!
I took it into JoAnn's Fabric just to be cheeky and this one lady's eyes bugged out and she did a double take, and I said, Like My Bag? I just got it!
and she's like, No! I love the fabric!
and I said (because I have 45 bolts of fabric, 6 of them the flowered material on the bag)
I said," but the bag is Awesome! I love the bag!
love, your fabric mogul relative
P.S. 22 sales as of today
Props!! to www.cottoncandyboutique.etsy.com for an Amazing FabricSnob Briefcase!!!
very sassy about town!
And buy my fabric at www.thistlehillfabrics.etsy.com

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pillows!  I've made pillows and put together a diy travel pillow kit in my etsy store:  www.thistlehillfabrics.etsy.com
Cute!  I have to put my hands in my pocket or I'll make more!  then I'll have none to sell!  and that was, after all, the point.  So with the kit, you get three fat quarters, a monogrammed applique, a pillow form...and all the inspiration to make it yours!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Alternative Sunday

This weekend, got a call from one of my best galpals and fellow etsian, BeadNRocks owner, Sus. She hatched a plan to go down to Dallas' Deep Ellum for lunch to a spot she had seen on Diners, Dives and Drive Thrus (Food Network) or some such show with those words in perhaps a different order.  Now, here I should state (disclaimer) that Sus is very hip and trendy, staying up with, if not ahead of her 14 year old daughter on all the screamo progressive metal bands in the area.  I am not.  But I do have an alternative uniform for such occasions:  a graphic t-shirt sporting something ironic, cutoff jeans and mary jane sneakers claiming to be made from recycled tires.  So that I do not scream suburban-housewife-

who-hasn’t-seen-Deep Ellum-in-the-dark-since-the-senior-bush-was-in-office at all.  

At this point, I’m thinking--I Am Embracing Urban.  This is expanding our horizons and I need to tell my children about all things urban and anti-Gap and why people don’t straighten their hair here.  In case they ever run into it again, they can process it. 

So we arrive at the “dive” a little later than friends, and we know it is the chosen dive because there is a line out the front door half a block long...full of suburban housewives with graphic t-shirts, recycled stuff...tourists like me.  Friends have been waiting an hour and haven’t ordered or been encouraged in any way that they may, in fact, be offered food at some point.  Now I am sad that our  great little foray into alternative neighborhood on a Sunday has become another Disney debacle.  Hardly alternative at all when you’re elbow to elbow with the same yahoos you see at Salt Grass.

So I vote that we go to the taco lounge across the street (no line).  We are seated immediately (YAY) and are offered chips (we are so far ahead of the tourists! We’re Winning!)Anyway, good lunch, good times and the waitress was so truly alternative I studied her so I could get it right next time.

Friday, July 31, 2009

So I just joined Etsy last week with a little fabric shop I like to call Thistle Hill Fabrics, www.thistlehillfabrics.etsy.com , and it's been really really great!  and a little stressful, like the time I accidentally hit a charge button twice (!!)  and I thought "ruination of my little fabric shop!!"
But the customers are very nice and understanding and fabric shop survived to see another day.

I'm learning tons about internet shops,  credit card fees, shipping stuff...I shipped to Canada yesterday!  Yay me.  Took my package to a small, tiny local post office so that I might get one on one help, rather than the click-n-ship usps.  I did start there but after an ominous question about "EEL" numbers, exporter licenses, auditors, law enforcement, proof of filing...and bears!  O My!
I thought it best to confer with an expert usps official.  Long story short, the idea of a priority mail flat rate envelope was a new one for my kind mailman.  He liked the idea a LOT, though!
And his customs form was issued in 2006 and all filled in by hand.  No printer, no bar code, "there's a computer in the corner, but we don't use it much."

"so let's say I haven't done everything up to...code?  Will my customer get her package or will it be exiled into Canadian Customs Neverland?"  my knees are knocking at this point.  He's telling me how to calibrate his scale with a paperclip.

"oh, we'll just get a nast-i-gram from them up there telling us to update our forms...this'll be fine."

Fingers crossed!