Sunday, August 31, 2008

All in a day's work

My weekends are pretty much devoted to one thing - sewing. The kids and I don't do anything on the weekends, because we would rather do all of our errands and go places during the week when everything is less crowded. As a result, we are always home on the weekends and i sew, sew, sew. The kids are treated to being able to pull out all the craft stuff they want, play on the computer and watch their movies whenever they want to on the weekends, and are also treated to dinner out on Sundays usually because by then the last thing i want to do is go in the kitchen and cook.

So here is yesterday's work.

This is a custom order for a trade (for my kiddos' main Christmas pressent - shh!!!). 9 diapers in total - 4 DreamScapes (Celestial, Celtic Sun, Celtic Moon, and Bees), 2 Tri-Tones (light pink/gray/orange and hot pink/light pink/lavender), 1 solid fitted (green) and 1 LWI fitted (Northern Lights) and 1 AI2 (goth baby pink skulls).

These are most, but not quite all, of the Round 12 BedBugs from the No Stalk BedBug database. We have Jennifer's, Ellen's and Jaime's completed orders, Sarah's BedBugs (fitteds I am working on today), and one of Nanette's BedBugs and one of Dawn's BedBugs (I am working on the rest of those orders today as well).

Phew! Thankfully it was only just the sewing yesterday - all the diaper cuts were already dyed and snapped and all the embroidery was done. But 16 completed diapers in one day may be my new record!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Have you taken the handmade pledge?

Why do I buy handmade? I love knowing where the things I use come from. I love knowing what goes into the things I use. I love knowing that the items I buy were handcrafted with care rather than mass produced in a factory - they have a history and a story that you simply cannot get from factory produced items. Last holiday season I took the handmade pledge and we had our 3rd handmade holiday, where almost everything we gave as holiday gifts was handmade. I have started shopping for this holiday season already and am seeking more artisans to support, more handmade items to buy as gifts. This year, I have also posted my reasons for buying handmade at Inspire Handmade,
a site with some heartfelt sentiments and thoughts on why handmade is superior. Post your own story and tell the world why you buy handmade :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Favorite

It was so hard to choose a favorite this week! I have to go with Artistic Detour, who was or guest on K&F last Friday for our Nautical theme. I ordered the Neptune's Heart Sea Glass necklace and it is absolutely gorgeous. I adore it. I have always loved the beach, and have spent countless hours as both a child and an adult collecting shells, rocks and sea glass, so this piece is very special to me. I hope to order some more jewelry from artistic Detour in the near future, and I already have at least one person in mind to shop for Christmas here!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Favorite

The amount of amazingly talented artisans out there is staggering. I try to buy most everything I can from other at home businesses and artisans. I am going to devote some time every Friday to my favorites from the week :)

This week, I had the pleasure of doing a trade with Janine from Z to A Baby. Holden has decided the only clothing worth wearing is boxer shorts, so she made him up 4 pairs of adorable boxers with matching raglan tees to go with them. Let me tell you, you have never seen a kid so happy and excited to get underwear n the mail. Just don't try to tell him that this is underwear - this is now his uniform. he wears these boxers and tees as stand alone clothes - to the grocery store, park, visiting friends, dinner at my parent' house ... Janine's sewing is flawless, and the fit is perfect. Not only on 4 1/2 year old Holden, but also on almost 8 year old (in just over a week!!) McKenna as well (yes, all the sets are the same size, my children simply do no grow). McKenna is modeling the penguins set; Holden is sporting the pumpkins set. We also received an "Ahoy" set and a dinosaur set. We almost had World War 3 when Kenna put these on to go to bed tonight. I neglected to get a picture of that though, I waited until they settled into my bed to read some books.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A day in the life ...

Here is a glimpse into daily life here at the Vontz household/Holden's Landing :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

9:30 - noon. We got a late start today, not getting up until almost 9:30 (I love that my kids are late sleepers!). Kids had breakfast and played. I topstitched 3 BedBugs, made a serged BedBug, sewed the 8 soakers for the 4 BedBugs and an additional 4 soakers, snapped the 4 BedBugs. Packaged up the 4 BedBugs, printed out shipping, cleaned up my sewing room/bedroom and answered a ton of emails while Holden cut Webkinz trading cards into "bookmarks" and McKenna watched some of 101 Dalmations.

Chore time - Noon to 1. Kenna is cleaning out the bunny cage and Holden is cleaning the bathroom (which means basically that he is spraying me with green cleaner in an attempt to actually hit the surfaces of the bathroom that need cleaning, lol). Cleaned the kitchen, bleached out the sink after my last dyeing session (didn't get around to it the other day and it was looking pretty bad), did a load of dishes, swept and mopped the floor (Kenna mopped the bathroom floor - she is a really great helper!), cleaned the living room and the closet. Kids ate plums. We are really random about meals lately. They get up so late and don't eat breakfast until sometime between 9:30 - 11, so they don't usually want to eat lunch, so instead they snack on fruit in the mid afternoon and we have dinner early, by 5 usually, then another snack before bed.

1:15 - 4:15. Thursday is our CSA pick up day, so we trek half an hour to the farm a few towns away to get our produce for the week. On the way the kids noticed the first few leaves changing colors already! It's too early for that - it's only mid-August! Kids played around at the farm while I got our all-organic and delicious veggies - this week's haul included corn on the cob, potatoes, garlic, hot peppers and bell peppers, yellow bans, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, basil, etc. I share our share with another family so we stopped there afterwards to drop off her half, and the kids played together for a while. Had a long discussion in the car with Kenna about picking up food from the CSA vs buying it at the store. She was upset that we didn't get any kale this week, and I mentioned we had some at home still form last week. She said "Yuck! That kale is a week old!", so we discussed how if it grew in southern California (basically as far away from us in Connecticut as you can get an still be in the US) how long it would take to actually get to the store here. of course, now I don't think she will ever want me to buy produce from the grocery store again, lol. We also had to stop to buy some milk on the way home.

4:15 - 5:30. I checked emails. Kids played and cleaned up while I made dinner and took care of all the veggies form the CSA. Had a great dinner - shepard's pie with organic mashed potatoes and organic corn and ground turkey, salad with all of our CSA greens and veggies, yellow beans (raw), corn on the cob from our CSA and roasted kale. If you have never had roasted kale, you have to try it. Use the leafy, "frilly" (for lack of a better word) kale, massage some olive oil onto the leaves and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 425 degrees for a few minutes until it starts to brown, then turn over and do the same. Serve as soon as it is cool. My kids will eat tons of this!

5:30 - 7:30. Cleaned kitchen and did another load of dishes (there are only 3 of us - who would think we would go through so many dishes???). Baths for kids. Kenna played on her computer for a while, and Holden and i played Sweetopia on mine. He was really good at this game through the first 30 levels or so. Now we are up in the 50s (we have been playing this for weeks) and he can't shoot the candies into the lines quickly enough, so "playing with Holden" means he plays a level for 15.6 seconds, loses, gets frustrated and gives it to me to finish. Then he starts a new level and we repeat the same cycle again, lol. Afterwards, we all climbed in my bed and read books, then Kenna went to her bedroom and wrote me letters and i started the 2 hours of putting Holden to bed. so there is a black hole for the next 2 hours ;)

9:30 - 11. Yay! Both kids are asleep! i curled up in front of the computer with a bowl of cereal (I don't eat breakfast or lunch most days, only dinner and then something after th kids go to bed. I have too much going on all day most days that I never remember to eat. Thankfully I do remember to feed the kids!) and reflected on the things we never got around to doing today that we wanted to do - Holden wanted to plant a chestnut from his vast chestnut collection (found every Thursday morning last fall while Kenna was in art class, he has hundreds of them), we were going to do an experiment to see if there is any measurable difference in absorbency between bamboo velour and organic cotton fleece... we will have to do those things tomorrow.

I am working on another co-op, so I spent most of the 9:30-11 time frame sorting that all out, posting totals and confirming/asking questions about embroidery choices. I won't start work on this co-op until 9/1, but I am anal and like to have all my details in place before hand so I can plan. I like to plan :) I am a big geek ;) No, it is 11, and since i am still sitting at my compute, I am sending out the invoices for Round 11 BedBugs. i usually do that after midnight, right before bed, but i want to get some sewing in still tonight and don't want to have to come back to the computer to do the invoices later on. I am off to invoice!

11 - 1:15. Sewing! I finished Jenny's BedBug, and Devin's and Katy's BedBugs only need topstitching and snaps in the AM. Debs' BedBug is ready to serge up in the AM as well now, so those 4 will be out of here tomorrow afternoon.

now I am off to bed!

More as the day goes on ...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A little diaper break

Since I am waiting on about a million yards of fabric (ok, well, not a *million*, but 2 rolls and an additional 10 yards), I took a little diaper break yesterday and finished up 4 outfits for 2 trades that I had in the works. I forgot to photograph 2 before I packaged them up, but I did remember the second 2.

The woodland one features two of my favorite embroideries - I have yet to use then on anything for my kids yet, but I think Holden may have to have an outfit that matches this one!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I love collaborating!

I love creating things to go with other people's items. I love getting their items in the mail and putting then together with mine. It makes me happy :)

Shannon at Woolybottoms makes the most adorable footies EVER. Makes me wish Holden was still in diapers. Actually, he can very well wear a pair of wool footies in the winter to bed. now my wheels are turning, I may need to get him his own pair! I sent Shannon a piece of this new owls knit that I have. She used it for the footies (so CUTE!) and I used it as the outer for a BedBug (rare, since I almost never use print outers for them). I wasn't so sure on the shirt color at first, but after 5 stores and not finding what I was looking for (black or taupe/tan), I decided to try the appliqué on it and see how I felt when it was done. I ended up being quite happy that I could no find another shirt. The set has the perfect colors for fall - I love it!

Carm from Clear Hills Honey Company and I also decided to do a collaboration. Being this one was with CHHC, what else could the theme be but bees and honey? PlayScape (our new version of the DreamScape, minus the microfiber, for day time use) features bees and a hive. Carm supplied adorable little silk baby shoes embroidered with honeybees, bee balm, honey sticks, lip balm (these lip balms are my favorite - if you haven't tried them, you have to!) and vanilla honey cream.

Sneak Peek

Ok, I can't resist, I have to post a sneak peek at our newest product. Introducing the LoveScape, bamboo velour lovey with our famous DreamScape themes and designs!

This particular set will be on sale this Friday night, 8/8 at 8 pm est, on K&F Shops, along with a Fairy Night set, a custom set, and 2 day time themed LoveScapes. I am so excited about this product! each one is approximately 12"x12", bamboo organic velour, decoratively topstitched, with "feelings" (which is what I called satin blanket binding as a kid - my queen sized security blanket had "feelings"; these are far easier to carry around!) and lots of embroidery/appliqué work. These will be made to match our DreamScapes, but will also be offered separately.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

So what did I do with this like new machine?

Well, I have gone through 5 bobbins in 24 hours! I have been sewing like mad. I was afraid that I would end up running late on the Round 8 Bedbugs because of the machine being serviced (and the fact that it was not working right before i brought it in, so I lost more than just he one day it was in the shop), but I managed 11 BedBugs (they were all cut and snapped and ready to sew up) between 10:30-midnight Friday night and 10:30 - 1:30 Saturday.

Here are the Round 8 BedBugs that went out today:

I also managed 3 instock diapers for my green stocking tomorrow on my hyena cart and one instock BedBug for the Dusk to Dawn stocking on K&F on 8/8. Tomorrow will be devoted to more Dusk to Dawn items for that - including a brand new product for Holden's Landing -- but I am not telling what it is!! You will have to see for yourself on 8/8 at 8! You *might* get a sneak peek here early in the week ;)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways ...

My sewing machine repair man, that is. I finally broke down and brought my sewing machine in for much needed service on Thursday. He took a look at it and told me that in the 35 years he has been fixing machines he has never seen one look quite like this and what the heck was I sewing?? now, I do clean out my sewing machine, and frequently too, but this was so packed with bamboo fibers that it had pushed gears out of line and caused the timing to go off which caused the feed dogs to not work. He said he had to pull the entire thing apart and use the air compressor on it to clean it out. Makes me wonder what the inner workings of my serger look like, since that is the one actually cutting the bamboo as it goes! But he had it fixed and ready for me in less than 24 hours. Gotta love that! AND he even cleaned the case, so there is no more spray adhesive residue on it from embroidering/appliquéing. It is like a brand new machine. I am a happy camper!