Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pretty in Pink

Oh my goodness. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this apron. I wish it were a skirt, actually. Maybe I'll make one like this, but it will cover my butt, you know?

Right before I made this apron, I had fears that the pattern was too short, meaning that it wouldn't cover the rear end well. Not that it needs to, because you should be wearing something underneath. Unless you're being naughty, in which case it still doesn't need to cover the butt. But on another pattern (the peach and brown one a few posts down) my mom said it would look better if it extended around more. So I added several inches to this pattern before making it. Alas, it ended up being a bigger-sized apron. If your waist is smaller than 33 inches, then it won't tie shut because the sides will meet together first.

That's OK! I'm sure there are some larger ladies out there who would look great in this! It's really well-made -- there are no visible hemmed edges anywhere. Both sides are equally finished -- the inside waist is sewn carefully by hand.

It's for sale at Babycakes Aprons.

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I can also make this in a smaller size, so contact me!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hey, Babycakes!

Here are a few aprons I've made for my Babycakes label with my mom. I may have posted some other pictures a while back, but the lavender one is new.

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Knock this one off the to-do list, too

A while ago, I published a big list of things I needed to sew. One was this top. I had designed and made this beautiful brocade skirt a year ago, but nothing matched it. I bought this fabric for the top this summer, but just got around to making it. It looks pretty good, here, but I definitely botched a lot of things on it. For instance, the zipper down the back has little puckers, but I have so much trouble with zippers, it looked pretty good overall. I thought that I better not take my chances with ripping the stitches and then doing a worse job next try. I just tried to steam out the puckers the best I could. I also have some bunchy areas in the armhole, underneath on one. This fabric was a pain in the ass to work with, so I'm just glad it's wearable and I can now wear this skirt!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Missions accomplished

I'm tired of living in a dirty house. When I had an apartment, I cleaned it top to bottom every week. In a larger house, it's just too overwhelming.

Recently, my coworker said that she had a friend with 7 rooms in his house, so he cleaned one per day. It was easy to do, because they were cleaned so regularly. I started to wonder if I could accomplish and stick with this. I'm giving it a try:

Sunday: downstairs bath
Monday: spare room, sewing room
Tuesday: sweep and mop all hard floors
Wednesday: den and living room
Thursday: master bedroom
Friday: master bath
Saturday: upstairs guest bath

So far, it's working well. It's maybe 1/2 an hour of work a day, and the house is so much more pleasant. Mark doesn't think I'll keep it up, but we'll see. I'm afraid I'm jinxing myself by mentioning it here. Also, I realize nobody cares, but thanks for reading anyway.

Today I accomplished:
Tuesday cleaning, cleaned the kitchen, walked/ran for half an hour, worked on a top I'm making, updated the Duke City Renegades Web site, uploaded some items for consignment at, which may take a while to actually be posted. All this before work! Granted, I go to work at 3 p.m. ...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My craft show

I set up yesterday at a holiday arts and crafts show. It was held at an office building and had pretty steady browsers. I seemed to be the only dummy who didn't request two tables instead of one, even though it cost the same $15 to participate either way. But it worked out in my favor because I got a spot right by the door where everyone walked in and out. It was a spot too small for two tables.
Here's my setup:

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The event was held 8-5, which meant I had to get up when it was, gasp, DARK! What an awful, awful feeling. The first 5 hours I sold nothing. I got nice compliments, including someone telling me my stuff should be in a gallery, not at a craft sale. A very butch, crew-cutted lesbian said, "Hey, I'd buy a purse, but ... well, you know," as she pointed to herself. I laughed pretty hard at that.

Finally, a lady who had wandered by quite a bit earlier in the day and said she'd be back actually did come back and bought a $50 bag. Then another person bought a handbag as a gift and my friend bought a bag, too. I also ran into a woman selling in another room who I'd met before. She had said months ago that she'd order a diaper bag from me for her daughter. When she saw me, she went ahead and placed the order, so that's in the works. In the end, the long day was worth while.

I felt a bit discouraged as I saw people eating up the cheap holiday crafts. You know, they'll fork over dough for a silly pumpkin craft or santa stuffed with candy, but not for a well-made bag they can use over and over and that is actually practical. But I guess that's what holiday craft shows are about, and that's why I will not do many more live shows, but stick more to the Internet.

It's fall. Don't you have stuff to haul around?

Please don't tell me you're using your bright pink bag in the fall. You need something in earth tones. How about this -- available now at Burst of Happiness:

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Ding dong the tray is dead!

My husband prefers to eat in front of the TV on the floor. So he uses a tray. For years I have wanted to throw away this hideous, stained, cracked tray. It reminds me of a hospital. I hate it. FINALLY, I got to put it in the dumpster. I declare victory.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Catching up

I've finished some items on my to-do list.

Remember this dress I wanted to make?

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Well, many hours of work later, here we go:

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In the end, I'm not so sure I love the fabric, but it was a lot of work, so I will wear it. OK, I realize it actually looks really ugly in this picture, but when worn, it's cute.
It was not all fun and games, either. Anytime I think I might be a good sewer, a new project comes along to teach me otherwise. One mistake came with serging. This is a serger:

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A serger has a blade that cuts as it binds. I would recommend making sure your garment hasn't snuck under the fabric, or you'll cut a nice little slice right into the center of your, say, skirt.

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And, you see, that means you'll have to cut a whole new piece out, unstitch the torn piece and resew the new one. And that's annoying.

OH, NO I DI--IN'T (how do you spell that?)
I tend to not know when to quit. I get very tired and then I keep going another couple of hours. Just one more step. OK, one more. I try to remind myself that I'm going to make a stupid error if I'm tired. Like sewing the wrong sides together:

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I hemmed a pair of jeans so that I'm not forced to wear heels every day of my Goddamn aching life.

I made this little car trash bag, which is really cute. Normally, the side pocket on my car door is overflowing with dirty tissues. Now I have a place to stuff them. I probably will never empty it, so it will still be overflowing:

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It hangs around your shifter.

Live and in person: Burst of Happiness!

Tomorrow I'll be selling at the Sun Healthcare annual holiday craft show. I'm trying to have a positive attitude about this one. My few in-person sales events have been poor. They've apparently been like that all year for most people doing this stuff. Out of three previous ones, I've sold one item that wasn't to someone I know. The Internet is definitely better to me!

This one I feel better about because it's held at an office building on a payday. The clientele will be people who earn money and the holidays are approaching, so maybe they'll be looking for gifts.

It will be easy set-up because they provide the tables for us, so I just have to take my items. The bad news is that it starts at 8, so to get ready, drive in rush hour traffic and set up on time, I think I will need to get up at 6 a.m. I think it's dark then. I am going to have a really hard time with this. I usually go to bed around 1-2 a.m. and wake up at 10:30 or so.

If you live in the Albuquerque area, stop by! Or tell your friends. It's in the Journal Center area, bordered by Jefferson/I-25, Paseo del Norte/San Antonio. Here is more info:

Please join us for the
2nd Annual Sun Healthcare Holiday Craft Show
Friday, Oct. 19th 8 am – 5 pm
101 C Sun Ave (Glaesner Training Building)
(Located at San Francisco & Sun Ave. Across the street from the Marriott Pyramid). San Francisco is off of Jefferson and/or I - 25 South Frontage Road.

Vendor fee to be donated to Road Runner Food Bank

Over 30 vendors will be in attendance with the following items:
Christmas and fall decorations, wreaths, swags, gift bouquets, tin art, beaded jewelry, handcrafted soaps and candles, nature and travel photography, doggie treats, diaper cakes, pottery, paintings, ceramics, murals, custom artwork, purses, diaper bags, handmade cards, knitted crafts, birdhouses, homemade candy and baked goods and much more!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Smarty pants

I'm filling in on the wires today at work (that would be at a newspaper). The phone rang. It was a double ring, which means an outside call. Uh-oh. It was an old man. He wants the nation/world desk, which is me. He calls me Robby because he misunderstands my name.

He says "Listen, I know that (some country I forgot the name of) and Burma both changed their names a while back. (Country that I forgot the name of) changed it to (XXX), but what did Burma become?"

That's it? That's all he wants to know!?! Because I KNOW that! I only know about a dozen facts, and that's ONE of them!

"Myanmar!" I tell him proudly. And then I help him spell it.

"You're a very smart young lady," he tells me. (But how does he know if I'm young?) Here's the thing you know if you work for a newspaper: when a reader calls, the chances are good that you're just going to be informed about how stupid you are. So when a reader calls and is nice to you and tells you you're smart, it's great!

I'm not criticizing our readers. We love our readers. They are the reason we have jobs. It's just that there are SOME who are kind of mean. Like the person who saved up several months worth of papers and circled every mistake he/she could find and scribbled across them angrily to prove how dumb we all are.
Only, the thing is that the person was wrong. It's OK to start a sentence with "and" or "but." The grammar experts agree on this. This was 99% of what the person was angry about, but there was no way to contact the person and let him/her know.

So, I'm here to say thank you, Mr. Caller, for letting me be smart for a minute and telling me that! It makes my work day.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Feeling hostessy?

Here's what's been keeping me so busy: aprons.

My mom has been suggesting for a year that I add them to my shop. I didn't feel I had time. She recently was inspired when she saw some really fancy hostess aprons at a boutique that were selling like hotcakes at quite a hefty price. She started pushing the aprons again, but this time she wanted to go into business together.

Although it will be part of Burst of Happiness, the aprons will be under the label Babycakes Aprons. Babycakes was going to be the name of her bakery, but life got into the way.
Here's the logo. It's very basic:
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The difference will be that while I make all my handbags myself, the aprons will be manufactured for us. This is very scary to me, but we have already started looking into it. There's a place here in Albuquerque called Southwest Creations Collaborative that seems great. It's mission is "to create jobs with dignity for low-income women" and it offers them benefits such as on-site child care.

Getting started on this is going to be pricey, so we may start with just hiring home sewers and working on a smaller scale for a while. Right now, my mom and I are making samples and playing around with ideas. Here are a few of our first ones:

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When the business gets going, which could take a while, the items will be available at Burst of Happiness. Before things are manufactured, we may have a few "limited edition" versions for sale on there, too. We have ideas for great gift sets and more!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A few things I've been up to

Taken off of my to-do list below is this bag. It's a lightly padded laptop tote:

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and this handbag, which wasn't on my to-do list but I made it anyway:

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I was making it for me, but then decided I wanted a bigger version, which I had made earlier, so I put the smaller one up for sale.

Both are available at Burst of Happiness.

Damn Spam

I have long enjoyed a personal email without spam. Now I seem to be on some list and it makes me so angry, yet I don't think there's anything I can do about it.

It seems to have started when I requested a RN from the government. An RN is a registered identification number for textile manufacturers. It's unrequired by law, but it helps to track down a business. For instance, say you find a really amazing garment in a boutique somewhere and you want to find out more about the maker. You Google the name on the tag, but you get nothing. Well, not everyone has a Web presence. A RN (which is included in many garments) allows you to do an easy search. Well, I applied and received one, and ever since then I've been spammed.

This is like the time I got my business license and put my cell phone number on the application, not realizing the vultures that would hang around going through the new business apps. They are open records. Then they sold my personal cell number to a bunch of credit card companies who harassed me day after day. One person even started screaming at me when I said I wasn't interested. I also got a few calls like this after applying for the RN, even though I've added my cell phone to the "Do Not Call" list. Did you know you can do that? You can. And you should. Go here. I wish they had one for e-mail.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This one's for me

Sorry, but this post is more of a note to self. I need to keep track of some fabric lines I like and might look into wholesale purchases with. If you love textiles, enjoy!

Amy Butler

Michael Miller

Anna Griffin

Barefoot Roses

Chocolate Lollipop

Places to buy cool stuff, but not wholesale
eBay seller with lots of cute stuff: ZeetZeet (I love how she pairs match suggestions with each fabric)

Flapper Girl Fabrics

Cheap Threads

Warehouse Fabrics Inc.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

One mission: complete

I did a bunch of scrolls on my to-do list. As I mentioned below, these scrolls are for my friend Ren Adams to apply her paintings to. There's a picture of finished products in the posting below.