Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yay summer!

Today was so beautiful, I hope this weather is here to stay! I have great ambitions for the landscaping/patio this summer. Last year we moved in to our house at the end of May, and we were so busy just trying to buy regular furniture that the outside of the house sort of got neglected. Well, I'm not much of a gardener anyways. Whatever the opposite of a green thumb is, that's what I've got! Must be a red thumb. I killed all of our flowers last year, including a beautiful hydrangea bush that I had high hopes for. We just bought a potted fern for the living room and I think it looks pretty nice, so let's cross our fingers it has better luck than the other plants!

The plan for the outside is:

-- buy two large flowers/bushes/trees for some big plastic pots we got 50% off at Jo-Ann's last weekend
-- plant more petunias on the path to the front door (last year's lot survived somehow, so I think I'll try it again!)
-- get a new hydrangea bush and get my green thumbed neighbor (with three large healthy hydrangeas) to help me plant it!
-- buy a dining set so we can actually enjoy our gorgeous covered patio
-- get some outdoor lights and torches so we can enjoy the patio at night as well
-- maybe get a hammock

If I could pick anything that I'd want on our patio, I'd pick this amazing Chesapeake Hanging Lounger from Pottery Barn.

How awesome is this? So much better than a hammock, it's like a big hanging couch! It looks so comfortable, but the price is definitely a deterrent. Like a true crafter, I've already been thinking about how to make one myself. (Or at least with the help of my dad!) Luckily our deck is built very sturdily, so I think it might actually be something that would work! We'd already have a hammock except the posts are at least 14 feet apart which seems awfully wide. Perhaps we can still look into it. I must have something to lounge on to read books and drink lemonade this summer! Even if it's just a hammock I'd be happy, but I can dream about having this wonderful lounger.

I hope to plant some more flowers around the house this summer too. I think I'll have to get my mom over to help! I love the idea of having a row of daisies in a mix of pretty colors. Does anyone have tips for low maintenance or perennial flowers we could plant? Something that's not easily killed perhaps? I'd love to hear suggestions and see pictures of your own gardens!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

End of the Weekend :(

Sunday evening is such a sad time. I always feel like I never got enough done over the weekend, and I know work is starting up in less than 12 hours and that my sewing time will seriously decrease. Looking back I did make quite a bit of progress on my custom orders, knocked out 11 bags last week and three more today!

We also visited the Shaker Square Farmer's Market on Saturday. I'm considering having a booth there and/or at the Crocker Park Market maybe once or twice a month. It was mostly produce, pastries, handmade soaps/candles, and I saw someone with accessories like jewelry, belts, headbands and a few bags. Still haven't decided if my items will fit anyone out there a regular attendee to either show?

We did buy some great food though! Organic eggs from free-range chickens and some homemade lime-cilantro hot sauce that is quite delicious. I was interested in some grass-fed beef but we got there towards the end of the show and they didn't have much of a selection left. Plus my grandpa has a cattle farm so we can get all the organic beef we want - for free! For some reason I always forget to ask though. There was a ton more great stuff though, even if I don't end up vending at this show, I'd love to go back and buy some more great food!

Well that's about it for news. So far my schedule has me finishing up custom orders by the end of the week. I've decided not to do any big shows in May so that I'm not scrambling to prepare. I have a couple business trips going on for work and there's no need to put myself into a stressful situation. I'm also going to limit the number of custom orders I take (just for May). This gives me the opportunity to build up an inventory of my summer line during the month, so that I can accept more custom orders later. Keep an eye out for my new designs beginning next week!

And because blog posts are boring without pictures:

Shopping carts committing suicide in the parking lot of my local Jo-Ann Fabrics. Perhaps they were tired of me overloading them with fabric.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Seems like I'm coming down with the flu so this will be short. I hope your holiday was relaxing and full of food, family and friends. I will leave you with some pictures of some delicious cupcakes I made and the baby enjoying her Easter basket treats!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is it summer yet?

As the snow on my front lawn melts, I'm already thinking about my summer line! I got some great fabrics in the other day that I plan on using for new prototypes. In the past I never really did seasonal lines, but I'm trying to be a bit more structured with color/pattern availability and introducing new styles. I will also phase out some of the less popular designs (although the names might be the same) and tweak some that I think could use a little adjusting.
The "themes" for this summer are function, florals, and fun colors! My plans include an all-purpose tote with simple color blocked style and a water resistant inner lining, which would make it perfect for a beach bag! I also would like to incorporate the new convertible cross-body style that seems to be sweeping the designer purse world. I'd like to update my large travel bag either by tweaking the Paddington or adding a whole new bag. promises...but I'm looking at some hardware options for rolling luggage! You'll never grab the wrong bag at the airport baggage claim again! As far as colors, I'd like to keep it to the bright canvases you may have seen appearing in my shop lately. This summer is all about big prints and bold colors so stand out with a london purple bag!

Some of the colors and prints I will be using this summer!

In general, my bags will be available in either print exterior with a plain lining or a fun solid exterior with a complimentary designer print lining. I think this will help to make my line look more cohesive, and also make it easier for me to create and post new bags more often. I still haven't decided if I will offer the same lining multiple times...any thoughts? I was thinking maybe if someone requested it, but otherwise I will try to switch it up so each bag retains some individuality.

I'm very excited about the prospect of creating new designs! I have been overcome by custom orders at the moment though so it will be at least late May before anything starts appearing in the shop. I hope to vend at Oddmall on May 9th, and start doing the Shaker Square and/or Crocker Park Farmer's Markets on weekends when I have some extra inventory and no Saturday plans! Keep an eye out for my craft fair plans and sneak peeks of new designs!