Friday, November 30, 2007

Some marketing, some pics of things I've made recently








Here are the purses I made. I'm finally home to post pics. I realized that I didn't take pictures of anything else I sewed while away. :( Gotta hate that!

I tried today to get MonsterBug Blankets listed on google and yahoo. My mother-in-law just did it for the business she works for--why on earth didn't I have her help me while I was there??? She said it was free. I did list on google's business locater, and added some tags onto my domain (hosted by yahoo). Google even had a coupon I could post. So I did. :) We'll see--I'm not holding my breath that this will help generate any business. :) But if it does--someone will get 10% off!

I received my car stickers from http://www.monsterpromos.etsy.com/!!! Now I need to figure out where I want them, and stick them on! I also updated this blog with an etsy mini--a sample of my shop! I like it--don't you think it's cute??

That's it so far today. Oh, and unpacking! Boy is it nice to be home!!!

MonsterBug Blankets
http://www.monsterbugblankets.com/
http://www.monsterbugblankets.shutterfly.com/
Blankets for babies to drool on and toddlers to cuddle under!

Meant to post these earlier:
My new wallet, from a map of Tauberbischofsheim--near where we lived for four years.






Monster's new diaper/wipes pouch-love that train fabric!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Soon we'll be home!

Tomorrow we leave for home! While I don't look forward to all the packing, or the 11+ hour drive--I can't wait to be there! No more nights away from my husband, no more living out of a suitcase, no more crazy schedules! No more driving without being able to see out the back window cause I'm loaded down with Christmas presents and boxes from my Grandparents' estate.

I have done well with sewing during this trip. It's not as much as I would have liked to sew--but I am surprised at how much I did get done. On top of the Christmas presents I finished, I sewed a Thanksgiving table runner for my mom, and a beautiful black shawl for my mother-in-law (with enough fabric left over for Bug to get one, too!). The snaps for the purses ended up being more trouble than I thought. I bought a "handy" tool to help me press them on--so I didn't ruin the purses when I bashed the snaps with a hammer. But the tool wasn't as handy as I thought--they should really think about making the ends magnetic--cause it was hard to get the two pieces lined up through the fabric... Anyway, even with it taking longer than I thought it should--the snaps are on, the purses look beautiful, and I didn't mash any prongs in the process!
I visited a craft fair in Greensboro, NC the day after Thanksgiving. I enjoyed walking around, seeing how people displayed their items, and getting ideas for when it is MY turn. I bought only one thing--a beautiful HUGE mug from Bay Pottery. It has several layers of glaze on it--in greens, blues, and a little bit of brown. The handle is wonderful--large enough to put my whole hand in! I just had an awful thought--what if it gets broken? Thankfully, with the internet, I could order a second.

There were only three baby vendors--and only one carried blankets. So it was hard to gauge what will/won't sell. But I loved seeing what they created! And with the views and hearts I've received on http://www.etsy.com/, I'm getting a better picture of what people seem to like of my blankets, and what I need to look at creating in the future. I can't wait to get home and list more on etsy.

At the craft fair, my eye was drawn to all the beautiful pottery. And I kept thinking--I would LOVE to learn how to do that. As though I have ALL the time in the world! Another thing I'd like to learn is to make soap. All the smells and shapes and colors! Oh, too many ideas, too much I want to do all at once!!! I am busy enough as it is!

I'll probably take off the rest of this week from sewing, so I can rest and be a zombie! But starting on Monday. I need to work more on Christmas presents. I also need to think about what we're going to give friends for Christmas this year. Last year Husband made up some of his salsa--YUM! We'll talk when I get home.

Home--that sounds sooo lovely. Wish I could just snap my fingers and be there!

MonsterBug Blankets
http://www.monsterbugblankets.com/
http://www.monsterbugblankets.shutterfly.com/
Blankets for babies to drool on, and toddlers to cuddle under!

In loving memory of Grampa Scott, 19 December 1930--22 November 2007.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Weariness while waiting

I'm tired tonight--real tired. I keep thinking I should be sewing, I should be sewing.....but even surfing online is wearing me down. Too much emotion, too little sleep for mommy, too little sleep for Bug and Monster. It's just past ten, and they are finally asleep. At home, they are in bed by 730, and asleep within 30-40 minutes. Here Monster wails and Bug bosses, or they both giggle and play. And then it's after ten and I just want to get into bed--but they are still awake..... Little stinkers!!! Of course, I can't blame them that I stayed up till 2am last night--can I!?

I wish I could post pics of the Christmas presents I'm making. This is not my computer, though. I sewed a set of Christmas pillowcases last night. The fabric is a pretty light blue with green trees decorated with red balls. It's simple and I like it. I added a band (?) on the edge of green gingham. I suppose I'll end up making some for me, too--if I get around to it. I think I want red gingham, though.

I sewed a quick table runner for my Mom's table today. She showed me some napkins and dish towels sis#2 gave her last year--and wished aloud for a table runner to match a plaid in the dish towels. While surfing through the walmart fabric today--they had all their autumn fabrics for $1 a yard--one of the plaids was similar in colors to the dish towel. So I bought three yards, cut it down the middle, squared it off, turned the edges under twice, and sewed her a table runner for our Thanksgiving feast! I was so excited to make it for her--I hope it looks pretty on her table.

Speaking of Walmart--I forgot I had left the land of Alabama vs. Auburn--and was pleasantly surprised to find I'd entered my husband's favorite place--UNC-land!!! :) Oh the pretty pink fleece to make Bug a blanket with--and the Carolina blue to sew for Monster! I bought some of the cotton fabrics, too, and am debating on how to use them (and if I should go buy more!). Bug would be adorable in a simple lined jumper--made just in time for March Madness! Her Daddy would be sooooo proud! :) Anyway--I don't know when/if I was ever so excited in Walmart before!

The purses I started last week just need snaps--Walmart had the handy tool to help me connect the snaps--so I don't have to worry if I'll damage the snap by banging it with a hammer! :) Yes, I DID do that with my purse, and lucked out! But not for gifts! Mine was just the prototype!

Lets see, what else??? I framed one of my photos, and some other pretties that I can't mention where certain people might read! Can't spoil Christmas--and these people would know by my description that the present was for them! But they are all framed, and the kids woke from nap before I could wrap everything.

I have a few wallets I'd like to start on tomorrow--I finally figured out one that was troubling me--so now I am excited. Oops--tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I doubt I'll get anything done--I'll be at mom and dad's all day.

That's about the end of my brain working. Good night, and have a lovely Thanksgiving!

www.monsterbugblankets.com
www.monsterbugblankets.shutterfly.com
Blankets for babies to drool on, and toddlers to cuddle under!

PS--the title is a description of life right now--while we wait for my Grampa to pass away. It is heartbreaking and exhausting--wondering, worrying, wishing.... I wasn't sure how to address it, as it is hard to even put my thoughts into words. He's been taken off his ventilator, off the meds for pneumonia, off his feeding tube. The morphine has been dialed up, and the end is near. Sleeping is hard.

On the up side, he gave me kiss after kiss on Tuesday when I went to see him. :) It is a wonderful memory to hold close to. His time in this pain-filled life is nearly over--and his new life, his eternal life, is going to be so much better!

I told Bug that Jesus wants Grampa to be with Him. She then chattered something about how she saw Jesus with the goat yesterday. :) WHAT??? "I DID, Monny!"--trying to convince me! Got to love the active imagination of a nearly three year old!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Traveling

Well, I sit here writing this from my sister's kitchen. My Grampa is not doing well, so Monster, Bug, and I packed up the car and headed north to be with family. It's the second year in a row for us--my other Grandpa passed away last year November. I struggle with not wanting to feel this pain and whether I am stuffing too much of it (cause THAT always goes well!). It's hard to let go of the people we love. I hate it. Always have hated goodbyes.

Husband helped me pack up the car--and all my sewing supplies (no, not ALL--that would be insane!--just what I needed for Christmas gifts). Naps and after the kids are in bed are my times to sew--and being out of my routine while here--the sewing will help me feel a touch normal. Plus, Christmas presents do not make themselves! And this was the week I was to begin sewing for others.

I worked on three purses yesterday. Didn't get to finish them, but all that's left is the top stitching and the snaps. I was scared to pin at sis's table--mines an old, old one with a rough, used finish--a few pin marks won't hurt it! But hers is sleek and beautiful! I ended up pinning on top of her ironing board--worked well.

The kids are up and going strong. They do not sleep well when we travel. Good news, though, is that my Monster is actually sleeping! That's a new one! He likes his bed and his bed only. They are playing in the bedroom--I can hear them giggling and jabbering and making a ruckus. :) I was glad to see a pack of earplugs on my sis's table this am--I feel better that MAYBE she's able to sleep in a bit! She's not used to all this commotion--or the before 7am wake up giggling! :)

Pray for my Grampa and our family, please. Thanks.

http://www.monsterbugblankets.com/
http://www.monsterbugblankets.shutterfly.com/
Blankets for baby to drool on and toddlers to cuddle under!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Can't believe it's November

I'm having a REAL hard time realizing that it is November. I'm not sure why, but it has plagued me for 13 days now. As my husband and I sat talking this morning, he mentioned that Thanksgiving is next week. NEXT WEEK???!!!!! What? Then we're discussing our schedules for the next 6+ weeks, and I mention Bug's birthday party (#3!) is the Sat after Thanksgiving. He said, "You know, that's next week, too." WHAT??? (He's a smart one--he figured if I couldn't recall that Thanksgiving is next week, I may not realize the party is then, too!) :)

Soooo I have some tutus to begin making.

Bug started dance class this fall--tap and ballet--and LOVES it. A few weeks after she began, I saw some lovely apple green tulle at Walmart, and planned to make a tutu out of it for her birthday. I placed the tulle on my worktable, not thinking about it. When Bug came down the stairs from her nap, she hollered soooo excitedly, "Monny (yes, MoNNy, not MoMMy!--don't know why)--"Monny, you make me a dance skirt?!!?" Well, how could I NOT make it for her the next day???

About the tutus. Bug is in LOVE with Cinderella. She wakes up one day and says, "I want to go to a ball, Monny. I want to go up, up, up to the castle." So for her third birthday, we're inviting a friend over for a ball. And I'm going to make them fancy little tutus in shades of blue, with a gorgeous silver, blue, and purple ribbon waistband. And we'll read Cinderella, and dance to pretty music, and eat. I picked up some tiaras after Halloween for 39 cents, and we have some plastic Cinderella cups I picked up along the way. Just enough to be fancy and prancy! :)

I also picked up a wooden baby bed at a local kids market. I'm going to sew covers for the mattress and pillow, and a baby blanket. Bug uses everything for baby beds. I'm forever thinking I'll break my neck coming down the stairs--cause each one is covered with some animal or baby doll--and I'm told, "shhhhh--the babies are asleep." I'm not allowed to breathe even. So the bed should be a hit. Now to find a wooden highchair, so Monster can stop getting angry with Bug about using HIS for her babies! :)

Husband also asked me this am how I was doing on the Christmas presents. Ummm. Yeah. Uh. Well, you see..... I made the two pillowcases for Monster and Bug this weekend as prototypes for the ones I'm making as presents.... :) So now I'm banned from doing any business stuff till after the Christmas presents are done. Where would I be without my dear one??? He keeps me on track (or tries his best!). He KNOWS I'll fritter my time away with this and that, and not get anything important done. I need this man! But BOOHOO--what about my etsy???? What about building up my store???

I couldn't sleep last night. My Grampa is in the hospital--he had a stroke and possibly a heart attack yesterday, but I didn't know that last night. I just was worried and scared. So I got up for a bit to fret and pray and to be busy a bit. And during that time, I mapped out the next year of creating. I figured out what shows I want to try to do and how much of what I'd like to bring to each. And when I need to begin and finish creating for each. I basically have the month of April "off"--though I want to try my hand at making a quilt for my Grandma out of old clothes and ties from my late Grandpa. I was going to do this for my siblings, dad, and Grandma this year, but 1. I often put things off that I've not tried before due to fear, and 2. I got busy researching all this business stuff! I NEVER guessed sooooo much time and thought would go into this. It drives me crazy sometimes!

So that's my day. Did I get to make anything--not really. Though when Bug was eating lunch, I mapped out an idea for Monster's Christmas present. I worked on it some, but then he woke up from his nap, she was done with lunch, and chaos began to reign!

It's November---it's November---it's November.......

http://www.monsterbugblankets.com/
http://www.monsterbugblankets.shutterfly.com/
Blankets for babies to drool on, and toddlers to cuddle under!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Manic Creativity


Welcome to MonsterBug Blankets!

I've been in a manic creative phase lately--and am just coming out of it. I made this adorable little purse a few weeks back, and it is soooo perfect for what I wanted! It's made out from a set of curtains I bought at Ikea several years back--that I loved, but never went in my house! I made a wallet out of my husband's old sectional maps from Germany, several prototypes of a diaper and wipes holder similar to the diapees and wipees brand (where have I been that I never knew about diapees and wipees?? For three years I've needed exactly this perfect little holder!), two adorable Charlie Brown Christmas pillowcases for my kiddos, a pillowcase dress for my Bug made out of bandannas, a couple of Dive Flag blankets (patterned after the scuba diving flag--made out of fleece--check it out on http://www.monsterbugblankets.shutterfly.com/), several dive flag ornaments, filled a few orders of tag blankets and baby blankets for friends and family, and a couple other things I've completely forgotten about. AND I filled about 40 pages in my creative journal. AND I found http://www.etsy.com/, a lovely and creative site that I find myself addicted to!

It's been fun to think and create and to have a plethora of ideas storming my brain, but now I'm ready to just work, just sew, to make things. Good timing, I suppose, cause all the Christmas gifts won't make themselves--but I'm REALLY wanting to sew for my business--to build up inventory and to make all those ideas into reality. Somehow I don't have 4,000 hours in each day--and this bothers me! I want to be mommy and wife full time and still have all the time I want and need to create and sew and research and sell! :)

Jen

http://www.monsterbugblankets.com/
Blankets for babies to drool on and toddlers to cuddle under!