Saturday, December 20, 2008

The doll is finished

Pinning the body together and sewing it.
body is all sewn up now deciding where to put the eyes and mouth
All done........More photos soon of her in her new dress, pants and bracelet. She came out great and I hope that my daughter loves her as much as I loved making her. I am so glad that I decided to do this instead of just buying one. Now maybe I will have to make some more to sell. It was so much fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Machine....some doll progress

pattern for body and arms traced on to fabric

Sewing was started but this is where my old machine went kaput !!!!

My brand new Viking Emerald 116....bottom of the line, but sews like a champ. I can't believe I was using the old machine for so long. This one goes through several layers of fabric with ease. And was so easy to use I had it up and threaded without even having to peek at the manual. I go a really good deal off a floor model sale. They showed me several amazing (but way more expensive) machines that MAYBE I can move up to some day but for now this machine will be perfect.

Maybe now I can finish up the doll !!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Abrupt Halt

The doll progress came to an abrupt halt yesterday .... while sewing the body on my machine it stopped working. I will be out looking for a new sewing machine on Thursday as I have orders to make as well as the doll (which I could hand sew).
Any suggestions on a good machine under $300. I need a work horse as I sew and sew and sew. Don't need many bells and whistles though since I mostly straight stitch with the occasional zig zag.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Birth of a Waldorf Doll

Beginning to stuff the wool into the stockinette fabric. It says to use half of the stuffing for the head.

The head is now stuff and the neck is tied off.

Adding the eye line with dental floss.
This shows all the floss tied around the various parts of the head....side view.Pinning the people colored fabric over the finished head. I chose a darker skin tone so it would be closer to my daughters actual skin tone.l
I decided to go with a nose...this view is from the front of the doll after the fabric is pinned on.
View after the fabric is stitched on.
Back view showing the stitching. A lot of this will be covered by hair in the final doll but you will always be able to see part of the sewing "scar"

As you can see above I finally had a chance to spend a couple of hours today working on the Waldorf doll I am making my daughter for Christmas. I had a chance I to make the head and cover with the fabric. Next up will be the body. I am hoping I have time to also make a couple of outfits , a sleeping bag, pillow and a little teddy for the doll but no guarantees...I will feel lucky if I can get the doll made and get her dressed.

I will post more pictures as I progress.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What Was I Thinking ??!!!

Why did I think it would be a good idea to try and make a doll for my daughter for Christmas and not even get started until Thanksgiving ??? I have not had any luck getting started on the doll. Luckily I have an excuse for that and it would be an influx of orders this week including one wholesale order for I Spy Bags (the store owner says they are flying off the shelves) so with trying to fulfill that order and keep my inventory up in the shop (an for various bazaars coming up) I did not crack open the doll stuff yet. The wholesale order ships out Friday so hopefully this weekend I can get a bit done. Plus I will have two days next week (Thanksgiving and Friday) when dad will be home so I can sew, sew, sew !!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Doll Begins

I now have all of my doll parts. I have a pattern, stockinette, skin fabric, skin colored thread, ball point needles for my sewing machine, doll making needles, dental floss, stuffing and yarn for hair and so very stinky wool batting. It is cleaned but there is no way to get out all that stink from the sheep. I opened the plastic to air it out a bit. Now comes the hard part....actually making the doll. I have some projects I am finishing up to keep the store and bazaars stocked and then I am cleaning the shop. This weekend I am starting on the doll. I will keep photos of the steps and post as I work. I am so excited to see how this goes. All the products are from Weir dolls.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not so Great Showcase Blues

Tried a showcase new sales, did get about 7 new hearts but not sure if that is from regular traffic or from showcase traffic. Hopefully the hearts will eventually become actual customers.
Tomorrow I will post doll supply photos as the stuff has come in and I plan to start doll making this weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trying Showcase Again

Tomorrow I will be in the kids and toys showcase which has a link from the front page of etsy...we will see if I have any more views and or sales. I am crossing my fingers the extra exposure will increase sales a little. Now if I could just get some sun so I can take some more pictures of new stuff to post for sale.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Halloween....a Little Late

My daughter decided on a witch costume this year and I am trying my best to make all of her costumes. I found a super simple pattern and she chose the candy corn fabric. I also made a cape with a spider web but it was not worn much....over all I think it came out really good and the dress was large enough that she could wear a shirt underneath for warmth. It fit my main criteria for a costume which is comfortableness. I try to make things that are easy to run and play and go potty in which is esp important at this age. What is your main criteria in a costume ?

A Cuteness Farm

Did you know you could have a farm and grow cuteness like this ? This just makes me want to run out and buy a farm with some land and a whole bunch of alpacas and start knitting and spinning..........They were so cute and so sweet. I can't believe some people get to do this for a living....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Doll is Born

The first item on my 5 y/o daughter's Christmas list (started sometime in July) is a doll. Since I did not know what type of doll she was referring to we sat down at the computer and looked at several different types like the baby doll (the ones that pee and poop and cry a lot), the American Girl Type doll (with that look that always reminds me of the horror movie Chucky) and some soft Waldorf type dolls so I could gage what she was really hoping for. In the back of my mind I was pulling for the Waldorf doll since as a crafter they are my personal favorite. Well Waldorf it was as she insists a soft doll is what she wants. I started looking around for dolls and suddenly realized a larger 16-18 inch doll is around $100. In my head I understand the cost because of the handwork that goes into making one but I also could not bring my self to pay that much for a doll for a 5 year old whose toy choices change from minute to minute. So what is my solution ???? Well it is to make one myself of course.
I know that the time and effort put into this is probably worth the $100 to buy one but the more I thought about it the more I felt that making the doll for her is the right thing to do.....I am hoping she will love it even more since it was made with her mommy's own hands (and most likely blood, sweat and tears). That being said I went to the Weir Doll website and ordered my supplies. So I am going to blog the process over the next few weeks as I make the doll in the midst of all of my other crafting for my shop and holiday bazaars.....Wish me luck.
The supplies I ordered were a pattern, stockingette (sp?) for the head, tan knit for the skin, brunette mohair and a brunette mohair/wool blend for the hair (couldn't make up my mind and I might use both), doll making needles, ball needles for my sewing machine, wool stuffing and tan cotton thread. I am going to use some of my fabric stash for the clothing and I have lots of embroidery thread for the eyes and mouth.
I am going with tan skin as my daughter is a little darker because of her Filipino father and she wanted a doll with long dark hair just like hers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New in the shop.....Princess Capes

I frequently go to estate sales and thrift stores looking for "stuff" and I frequently run across pillowcases( vintage embroidered ones, flowery ones etc ) and I also find lots of trim (lace, ribbon, etc) so in an effort to up cycle some of these things in a fresh new way I talked to my 5 year old and we came up with princess capes without all the commercialism. When using the embroidered ones I just cut them up and sew, using the decorated side for the cape and the other side for the ties. On the other ones I have bee adding some of the vintage lace and trim I find. I think they are a really cool way to up cycle something that is often not used. I know personally I don't want to sleep on someone elses pillowcase but once washed and cleaned it is a fun thing for my daughter and her friends to dress up in. They can also be folded down a couple of times and worn as an apron. You get two for one and I am sure that little girls could find many more uses for these than those two.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

$10 Food Challenge at CITYMAMA

I read alot of blogs on a regular basis and one of those is City Mama. I love her food posts. She recently put up a challenge to make a dinner for 4 four under $10 and her is my contribution.

We don't eat much meat so this is a typical meal for our family. We have only 3 in the family but there was enough left over to feed another kid if one happened to live with us. I got the pasta recipe from Martha Stewart Everyday Food and made up the other stuff.
Menu-- Lemon Broccoli Pasta
Feta Tomato Pizza Bread

1/2 package of Penne Pasta .50
Bunch of Fresh Broccoli 2.00
1 Lemon .50
3 cloves garlic .25
2 tablespoons of olive oil .20
3 6 in Greek bread rounds 1.00
1 small tomato .75
1/4 cup Parmesan grated 1.00
2 tbspns feta crumbled 1.00
salt and pepper free

cook pasta till almost al dente add broccoli cook 5 minutes drain and return to pot. Add juice and zest of 1 lemon, 1 tbspn olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic crushed, 1/4 cup of Parmesan and stir to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately

For bread brush with 1 tbspn olive oil, top with thinly sliced tomato, 1 clove crush garlic, sprinkle with feta, add salt and pepper. Broil until cheese starts to melt and heated through. Serve cut into wedges .

Total cost.. $ 7.20

Mama got a new Bag

You would think as someone who sews many things I would just make a new bag but I had to have this one. I love Japanese cutesy kawaii type stuff and this angry girl bag was just shouting my name and the handles are long enough to go over my shoulder (a definite plus). Plus at only 20 bucks who could resist............Angry Little Girls.

Paper Mache

After begging me for weeks I finally took on the task of making a paper mache bowl with my daughter. IT was much messier than I anticipated yet also turned out much cooler than I anticipated so I guess that was the payoff. We decided to go the glue route so I watered down a couple of bottles of Elmer's, covered a large bowl with saran wrap and put down some newspaper. We did about 5 layers of different colored tissue paper. The bowl took about three days in the hot sun to completely dry. After the first day I was able to take it off the mold though so the inside would dry. Pretty cool don't you think.

Friday, September 5, 2008

And Just Who are Ainsley and Oswald

Lots of people ask who Ainsley and Oswald are.

Ainsley is my beautiful daughter who inspired me to start making some of the creations I sell.

And this is Oswald. My adorable little French Bulldog.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Did It and So Did She

I did it. I am now the proud parent of a Kindergartener. My daughter started cute and in her words "I LOVED IT" and "the bus wasn't even scary at all". I am so proud of her and of me and my husband for getting her to this point in life.

I am working on lots of new stuff for the shop so keep watching out for updates. I have a couple of things in the pipeline as they say.

I also decided that I am going to try my hand at making my daughter a waldorf doll for Christmas this year. I think I will buy a kit and just see how it goes. At least at this age she will not see any of the imperfections that might be there. I will try and take pictures and blog about the process over the next couple of months.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Camping....the Short version

All in all the camping was OK, but I have told my husband no more than 1 night next time. I just don't think I can handle more than one night of 2 hours of sleep. I just cannot seem to get any sleep in a tent even on a mattress.
And the bugs I can really do without the bugs.
Even though I might (I said MIGHT) go camping again to take one for the team since my husband and daughter love it so much I just don't get it. I saw all these people who were at the campsite and I just don't get how people can see this as a vacation. Vacation is supposed to be done in places that are better than your own home......not a step down and sleeping in a tent is way down.
On a more positive note my daughter thoroughly enjoyed spending so much time with her cousins and cried for at least the first 30 minutes of the drive home claiming she missed all the things from camping that are not in "our world" (as she calls our home and city) sweet and sad all at the same time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And we are out the door

We are about ready to leave and I am a little anxious about leaving the store unmanned for two days but I am hoping to get lots of stuff done while in the woods and will hopefully be ahead of the game when I return. Getting ready to go into the woods requires alot more packing and planning than just packing a few clothes and heading to a hotel.

Oh Well....Woods here we come !!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just Like Her Mama

My little one just discovered sewing and has caught the sewing bug. Be still my heart !!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Camping with I Spy Bags

This weekend (Friday - Sunday) my family is going camping. Now keep in mind I am not a camper...I like cabins and beds and kitchens and bathrooms. The last time I "camped" was about 18 years ago and involved lots of alcohol and I still ended up sleeping in the car after a raccoon invaded our camp.
I also do not do well when I am not hooked up to the computer at a moments notice and if I can't have my computer I want my sewing machine. I also feel an urgency to get to work on lots and lots of products for the upcoming Christmas season so I am going to pack up all my little treasures and haul them out to the woods so I can pack them up in sets of 40-45 to go in individual I Spy Bags. If I have to feel uncomfortable out in the woods I may as well feel useful. I am also going to bring my ongoing crochet project where I will continue to try and make a dish cloth (I keep doing the same two rows, it does not look right so I then pull it out and start again, maybe the 10th time will be the charm).
I will report back about how it all went on Monday....Just hoping I don't get eaten by a bear or have a tree limb fall on my head.
By the way my husband and daughter love the outdoors and would spend weeks on end camping so I am the odd man out who has avoided all the other camping trips the last 2 years.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Stuff

So here is my new stuff.
A kit for doing a frozen treasure hunt

and a beading kit for little girls

Both of these kits are really cool for the younger set and can keep them busy for hours.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer is fading fast

Today we met one of my daughter's friends for a swimming playdate. I cannot believe what fish they are in the pool. I also cannot believe that my daughter will start Kindergarten in a few weeks. We went school shopping yesterday and picked up her school supplies.
On the business front I received a package in the mail to make my newest product so I will be posting about it real soon. I also have some beading kits that are appropriate for 3 and up. Lots of colorful beads, easy to string, no needles needed. I have to get labels for the bags and when I get them done I will post more about that too.
After tomorrow I should be able to be so productive. My daughter and husband are going camping for the weekend leaving me at home alone and them my daughter is going to Grace Art Camp next week from 9 to 3 pm each day....woo hoo lots of time for mommy to work on her shop and start getting stocked up for Christmas. I am hoping my Christmas sales will be better this year esp. since my sales overall have increased the last couple of months.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Waterpark Adventure

We left on Sunday to go to Boise Idaho...about 6 hours away to go to a waterpark Lots of people thought we were crazy to go so far for just one day at a waterpark but I was itching to show my daughter that warm days and water are so much fun. I grew up in Florida and have been missing swimming outdoors in warm weather (you just don't get that here in Washington State).
It was great. We had 98 degrees outside and 7 hours of water fun. We loved the slides (although my daughter was not too thrilled with the dark ones), the lazy river and the wave pool. Most pools etc were around 3 feet deep so my daughter could show off her newly learned swimming skills while being in water that was not over her 5 y/o head. She loved the waves and kept saying she was surfboarding (so cute).
I am looking forward to going to a waterpark again next summer either in Boise or somewhere else.
And yes it was worth the 12 hours of driving for one day at the park.........

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bad Blogger

I am a bad blogger.....I noticed it has been months since I blogged and I guess I need to step it up. My daughter is starting Kindergarten in a few weeks and I cannot wait to get her off to school even though it makes me a little sad that she is growing up so fast.
I have been working on some new stuff for my shop...will post about it when I get photos taken. Some cool puppets and some cool craft kits.
We are also go to Boise, ID this weekend and early next week to go have some warm fun at a water park. Here in my neck of the woods it hardly ever gets warm enough for real outside swimming. Everyone swims in indoor pools or heated outdoor pools, but in Boise it should be sunny and in the 90's. I can't wait to see my daughters face when she get to go on her first big water slide. After growing up in FL I am a water lover and just don't get to enjoy it enough her in Washington.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Going Traveling

Yesterday we set out on our vacation. We are going to Florida which is a world away from Portland OR/Vancouver, Wa where I live. In my neck of the woods the weather is dreary and cold and we are so so so excited to be going somewhere where 80 degrees will be the norm, cloudy or sunny we don't care we are just wanting warmth. We left in the afternoon after a loving mother's day tea at my daughter's preschool and drove to Seattle to drop off two of our dogs at my FIL vet clinic to stay while on vacation (the other dog is with friends along with the fish, and the cats are at home being fed by neighbors). We then took a flight out of Seattle to go to Atlanta GA then drive to Pensacola FL. A little stressful as I am not a "good" flyer and have not flown in the last couple of years since my father passed away. We are now sitting in a very nice hotel near the Atlanta airport trying to entertain our child and relax a little before making the 5 hour drive to Fl tomorrow. The weather is warm and I have been sitting out on our balcony watching the planes take off and land. What Fun !!! I will try and keep this updated with daily tidbits from our vacation.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Today we went to a party for one of my daughters preschool classmates....she had a baking themed party. What Fun. My daughter loved putting on a apron and helping with baking. I guess I need to get out the sewing machine and make her a cute apron. I have loads of apron patterns. I like to bake but have been reluctant to have her help because it always seems like I am in a hurry and it takes so much longer with her but now that she is almost 5 she can do so many things better than she used to. I also bought a couple of new Japanese craft books. I will post some pictures of projects I am loving right now.
I gave the birthday girl one of my tutu skirts and a little box with a clothespin doll kit in it. All the kids (and moms) loved it. Maybe I will make up a couple of kits to sell in my store. I wish I had taken a picture before giving it away. I need to get more in the blogger mode and take more photos as I do things so I can post them. I have a hard time getting around to taking pictures of things I want to sell so just taking pictures to post here is going to take some training of the old brain.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Yahoo !!

Today I sold one of my car organizers......I have been hoping to do that since I listed them a couple of months ago. I love ours. My daughter loves having access to crayons, snacks, paper, books etc while in her car seat and I like not having to clean up the mess. It is perfect for her to reach forward and take stuff out. She loves to write me little notes while in the car and to draw pictures of things. It has been something we have liked since I made them and I hope the person who bought one from me likes it just as much. !!! This is step one in moving away from the I Spy business and into the other products !!! Hurray Yahoo ETC ETC.

Friday, April 4, 2008

New Stuff

I have some new stuff in my shop. A plush robot with and I Spy Belly. I have a smaller one I need to put up. Some new lunch bags and I am working on some new I Spy party favors. I am thinking that I would like to work on other favor choices and kind of do a birthday party shower favor kind of thing.
I am also hoping that lunch bags will take off. They are so cute and there are not a lot of washable cloth lunch bags out there for kids. My daughter loves hers and all the ones I have sold have been positively received. Lots of good feedback !!!
I am going to make I spy bags through this year but then I am going to cut back and start some other stuff. Working more on the Lunch bags and Clothing plus some other ideas I have floating around.
Sometimes it is like I have so many ideas in my head I just can't figure out what I want to do and stick to it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lazy Blogger

I have gotten lazy and have not been doing much blogging lately.....but I have also not been doing much creating either. I am in cleanup oranization mode. About 2 times a year I get the crazy itch to go through stuff, throw stuff out and just generally get it all back in its respective places so I have been cleaning out closets, going through old clothes and wiping down the cabinets. I keep telling myself if I get it all clean then I will have not excuse but to create.
We will see..........

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back and Busy

Back from the beach a few days ago. Had a good time but never can really get into the Oregon Coast. I know I know it is beautiful and all but it is COLD and being from Florida I just can't seem to get past that. Beaches should be warm...they are a place you go because they have water so you can COOL off, but my husband and daughter like it so I guess I will have to tolerate.
I have a couple of new things on the burner that I will post about in the next few days as I get them up in my shop.....
Right now I am working on my daughter's school carnival and that is taking up all my time.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Off to the Beach

We are off for a night at the beach in Oregon. It is supposed to be cold and rainy but maybe we can get some good photos. My daughter is mostly excited about "the pool".
I just got a new laptop but have not figured it out and am going to leave it at Internet access for more than 24 hours what will I do with my self.
When I get home I have a custom order to get out and a couple of new designs in the pipeline.
I also need to get to work on my other etsy shop Vintage Novelties, it is a supply shop and I have been seriously neglecting it for the last few week. Yesterday I took lots of photos of new listings and need to get them up this weekend sometime. I just don't know how these suppliers keep up with all the time it takes for posting. It is hard to justify on $2 items. But I have had a few sales even with my neglectful behavior.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Showcase a Pretty good deal

Over all I think the etsy main showcase was worth the $15 I paid for it. It gave me some good exposure and I finally hit the 100 hearts mark, even went over to 101 today. I also noticed my views increased a lot. I made one sale and one trade but the extra exposure for those who might come back later was worth it. And it did not take a lot of my time. I just went in and changed the item being showcased 4 or 5 times during the day to keep it fresh.
This is just the beginning of my "getting down to business " plan for 2008.
So far I have
- started this blog
-Updated photos to make shop more cohesive
-Got a new banner and avatar designed for my shop and put it up
-Been in a showcase ( I think I will do another one in a couple of months)
-Started posting in the forums
-Started making some new items
-Increased my store inventory
-donated items to my daughters school auction for exposure and advertising

I still want to
-approach some local stores about selling my products
-look into doing some craft fairs this spring and the Vancouver Farmers Market this Summer.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Showcase....worth it or not

I have a showcase for my etsy shop today.....I was wondering if it would help sales. So far no sales but it has increased my hearts....I am only 3 hearts away from 100. I am hoping I hit the big 100 today.
What a milestone.
Now if I could just increase the sales.
Today is a busy day. I have a couple of custom orders to work on and more clothing ideas to get out there.
Will post some photos once I get them done.

Monday, March 3, 2008

New Stuff

I finally got around to making a skirt to sell in my etsy store. It is gorgeous. A linen skirt with raw hem and some vintage tidbits added for interest. It should fit size 5/6. I prewashed the fabric but I guess since it is linen it will need to be listed as hand wash, line dry, light iron. But I love the Japanese feel it has. It really reminds me of some of the things I see in the Japanese craft books which so inspire me.
I have a custom order for mini I spy bags that I will be working on also this week and and am hoping to get a couple of more skirts done today so I can post them before my showcase tomorrow. I want to make the most of it.
I am still unsure of how to show off clothing but I will try my best. I saw a really cute shop with clothing displayed on a clothesline. I think I will try that for starters.
I will try and post some photos in the next couple of days of my new stuff if I can figure out how.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I have been working on some new ideas for my shop.....I want to try and make some different things along the lines of my I Spy Bag. I notice some of the other sellers are making some great shapes, i.e. birds, hearts, stars. They use fleece as a fabric which makes this a little easier. I am using cotton ( which I like because I have an unlimited amount of fabric choices) but am not sure what I can do to change it up a little bit.
And I am really wanting to start some clothing. All along I had planned for clothing and then the I Spy Bag became the focus. I would like to find another my lunch bags or clothing to add to my site and make a main focus. It has been difficult for me to find the "one" thing that works the best and then put most of my focus there. This year my plan is to get to that point.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Starting Up

Today is the day of beginnings. After having this blog for several months I am finally at a place where I think I can regularly commit to posting.
Today I worked on my shop finally getting up the new avatar and banner I had created especially for me. I think that it is so appropriate for my shop.
My shop is named after my daughter Ainsley and my French Bulldog puppy Oswald and the banner is a great representation of the both of them.
I also updated some of my photos....photographing my work is one of the most frustrating parts of having a shop....(that and marketing) I love the creation but can never really bring that across in my I guess I will have to keep on working on that.
I am hoping to get the rest of my new listings up for lunch bags and maybe work on some new designs for I spy and also some clothing for the shop. We will see what happens.