Saturday, December 15, 2007

What's old is new

I went to hock my wears on S. Congress today in the Guerro's outdoor area, along with my friend Jody who also sells hand embroidered and appliqued children's clothes. Unfortunately, today was one of the only super cold and windy days in Austin this year. The winds were so strong that our entire tables and garment racks kept dumping over, so we packed up and decided to have a mamas' day out. Luckily for each of us we sold a couple of items in the short time we were there, covering the cost of the spot, and we scored a free make-up day next Saturday!

After a tasty lunch and couple of drinks we checked out the new old-fashioned candy store and ice cream fountain shop: Big Top. I've been watching them decorate the shop with giant circus posters for a while now, anticipating their grand opening:

There were wall to wall candies- the hard to find kind that you thought you would never see again!

The ones that immediately grabbed me were these chocolaty morsels, filled with liquid marshmellow:

Because the store just opened I knew that whatever I bought would be super fresh and I was not disappointed one bit. This Valomilk melted in my mouth, and the chocolate was surprisingly good quality. As soon as I saw these maple peanut balls in the bulk bins I knew I was a gonner:

What they lack in aesthetic value they more than make up for in taste and texture. Again, they were super fresh tasting. "Num num num" as Harlan would say (and as he did say when he got hold of the bag I left on the counter). Less appealing for taste value, but more appealing for ha ha value were these:

I also picked up some cinnamon toothpicks for my mom since we'll be seeing her up in NYC very soon:

Last week I received a surprise book from a secret friend of mine who works at Conde Nast and always hooks me up.
The new Son of Stitch 'N Bitch book by Debbie Stroller. The patterns were overwhelmingly cool and very clever. My favorites include the Lucha Libre ski masks:

The High Fidelity sweater (look- the pattern across the chest looks like 45 rpm records):

Joe wants me to make him this hat:

I guess I'll have to add it to my super long To Do list. Luckily I'll be able to get at that list soon. I've begun the Rose & Duke 2008 collection and have decided that once they're up and the site is launched (early Feb.) I'm going to relax and only fill web orders until the summer at which point I'll begin producing for next year's Christmas fair season. I seem to have spent all my "free" time over the past year working on embroideries and other business related stuff and suddenly I have no time to make anything for myself or my family. Suddenly it's no longer fun, and surprisingly unprofitable for the amount of effort involved. I may keep up with one retail store in Brooklyn and one here, but otherwise I would rather try to concentrate on the Christmas season when I can do what I've been doing on a more frequent level (I missed the deadlines to apply to a bunch of good craft fairs here this past season) and on web orders. This way I'll get all the profit myself and will also be able to make the whole thing more of a part time venture than it has been so far. I want to keep it fun! That said, here is a sneak peak of some of what I'm making for next year. A few of the designs are expanded and more detailed versions of the appliques I made at the beginning of last summer (see some old pears here.) These old applique designs were the first to sell at Stitch and the most fun (and least time consuming) to create. Bingo!
Happy Cherry Hoodie:

Happy Flan Onesie:

Happy peach face shirt:

A pair of pears:

I have a few more in the works as well, mostly inspired by Japanese sweets that show up in my craft books or on bento boxes or Decole goodies. I've seen a couple of crafters out there make really great stuffed versions of these sweets. Check out Cutseypoo and her egg tarts, Cocokoala's needle felted critters, She Like's Cute's softie pins. I can't get enough. What did old people do before the internets showed up? I feel like when Joe and I one day tell Harlan tales of how we grew up with telephones that were attached to walls and no internet, that he will think of these stories the same way we thought of the ones our parents told of growing up sitting around a radio on a Saturday night, and what they watched the first time they saw a television. Joe recently had such a conversation with one of his classes of high school seniors. A particularly funny student asked him if they had cars when he was a kid, or they had dirt. Perhaps I should call Bill Cosby and tell him this "kids are funny" anecdote. Perhaps he's already reading it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Holiday Secrets Revealed!

Warning: If you are involved in a holiday ornament swap with me- do not scroll down unless you want to ruin your surprise.

This week I completed my 9 ornaments for one swap and sent them out. Here they are posing for you before I wraped 'em up:

Some of you MSL readers may recognize the deer. Some of you Superbuzzy fans may recognize the background fabric. I bought it to make Harlan a Christmas pillow and duvet top with.

This next ornament is going out to Emily, my swap partner for the Holiday Traditions swap (see sidebar for more info). I got the embroidery pattern from Hilary and can't wait to make more of these for myself and others for next year. I promise not to mess up the mouse head again. The sides of the ornament are hand stitched with vintage silver thread. You can't tell in the photo, but it really pulls the whole thing together.

In other holiday surprise news, my good pal since high school Lindsay gave birth to her second daughter, Tatiana. I'm posting this photo of Tatiana and older sister Natalia mostly for friends and family of mine who have known Lindsay all these years, although who doesn't enjoy seeing snuggly baby photos?

In yet EVEN MORE holiday surprise news, I keep forgetting to tell everyone that I chopped all the old hair off the noggin a couple of months ago. I came across a recent photos of Katie Holmes whose new haircut is supposed to be a rip off of Posh Spice (it's not even close in my opinion) and said to myself, Now that I can live with. I'm going to be really pissed if they print a photo of me saying I am also trying to rip off Posh because anyone can see right here that it's actually Katie whom I'm biting. I brought the photo in to Stacie (my friend and resident hair cutter) and as usual she gave me exactly what I asked for. Here are photos of me and Harlan taken earlier today at the park: