Friday, November 28, 2008

Family portrait

A very nice picture taken of the three of us at the end of our Thanksgiving feast last night.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here are just a few of the things I'm deeply grateful for this year:



Clockwise from top left: attending my sister's wedding, visiting family in Florida, five years of a great marriage, Sofie and some of her best buddies, and great friends!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Etsy Seller Showcase - Tiny Violet

My newly discovered shop for this week is TinyViolet, a brand new shop (just opened on November 1st) that offers gorgeous and intricate little dolls, each one a one-of-a-kind handmade creation.

What strikes me about her shop is the attention to detail and the lush and beautiful fabrics she incorporates. For example, look at Sweet Virginia:
The hand-painted face, the gorgeous brown and cream dress, the wool felt hairdo... She's just perfect! I'm sorely tempted to buy her myself, were it not for the fact that my daughter refuses to play with all dolls so far. If that ever changes, I'm coming back for Virginia and fast.

Little Sister Janine is another of my favorites - this is one of a two related dolls in her shop, the middle sister and the little sister:

What's great about Janine -- her bright colors, the fact that her body is made from upcycled baby clothes, and again -- I love these wool felt hairdos! So much cooler than the typical yarn you see on these types of dolls, and I love all the detail in how the wisps are each sewn individually. Janine also has a pocket in her dress for secret messages.

TinyViolet's proprietor, Amy, has this to say about her work.

I have a special affinity for any type of doll or plush toy and was fortunate enough to have a grandmother who made them. As a child, some of my most beloved friends were her creations.

I inherited my dear grandmother's sewing machine almost 9 years ago when she passed away and have continued her tradition of crafting these tiny friends. My 3 year old daughter loves to help mommy in the sewing room. She is the official snuggle-tester of every doll I make, and she sometimes even names them! :)



Visit TinyViolet at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6406222, or click on any of the links above. Happy handmade holiday shopping!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Phoenix and Sofie update


Just some miscellanea today.

First off, for those of you who have been hearing about this for the last month, Phoenix (at right) does NOT have cancer. Woo hoo! He's been losing a ton of weight in the last six months and the doctor got concerned enough to do a whole battery of tests and xrays and, most recently, an abdomenal ultrasound that left him with a shaved white belly. But the good news is? Nothing. Nothing nothing nothing turned up on any of the tests, except for early kidney disease which we already knew about.

Next guess? Maybe it's a tooth issue combined with his minor thyroid issues. So he's getting scheduled to get his cavity taken care of. The doctor had been waiting on removing it because she thought he might have more serious health issues, so the poor guy has been wandering around with a really painful cavity for over a month now while they explored.

But anyways, my 16 year old best buddy is doing ok for now.

***

Sofie's been sick this weekend - just another stomach virus, and not so bad this time. She came down with it really suddenly yesterday, threw up once and laid around comatose for the rest of the day, and woke up today almost better.

Last night while we were all lying on the couch watching Curious George, I asked her what she wanted for Christmas, not really expecting an answer since I'm not entirely sure she has any concept of Christmas yet.

But this poor, wobbly, pathetic sick girl voice piped right up and said, "A Chrithmath tree. And prethents."

Both Brett's and my hearts right then? Completely melted. Such a sweet, sweet little girl, she is.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shop Update - New Items at Bellflower Textiles

Things are going really well on Etsy right now. My shop, Bellflower Textiles, has 57 sales (almost to my goal for the month!) and I've managed to keep 100 items in stock for the whole month. I've been averaging out to about a sale a day this month, sometimes a little more, which is really exciting!

Here are a couple of the more recent listings I've put up.

Since Louise the dragon sold, I've been wanting to put up more of my Dragons For Girls shirts. Here's the first of a set I'm working on -- this is Elsa, size 4T. She's ready to help your little girl be fierce:


I've also made a couple of bellflower tees that I think are just adorable -- these were leftover flowers from my craft show banner and they just seemed to cry out to be put on a pretty, stripey shirt:

Size 18-24m:


and size 3T:


Several new tooth pillows posted, in lots of girl-appropriate prints, since I was making a lot of boy ones for a while there:


And finally one of several new dragon shirts for boys that I'll be posting over the next week - I love the print on this shirt:



You can visit my shop at http://bellflowertextiles.etsy.com . Please stop by soon!

Sofie's first joke

Sofie seems to have found her first joke, the telling of which she assails us with all day long. It goes like this:

Sofie: (laugh loudly and pointedly, while looking at us and begging
for a response)

Us: Sofie, what's so funny?

Sofie: A TROUT!!!

And the truth is, it is kinda funny. Cuz, why a trout?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Etsy Seller Showcase - Red Arrow

I took a break from the new seller showcases last week because I was crazy busy, but we're back this week with the very cool shop Red Arrow. I love this shop's look and feel and her fun and funky products.

Take, for example, this laptop cover - and you better look soon because I'm inches from buying it for my new laptop!


Love the birds, love the color, and the construction looks great. Hrm. Maybe I should pass this along to the husband for Christmas shopping? *hint*

I also totally love her bottle cap coasters - such a cool idea:



...and her polaroid coasters, which is something I've never seen before. Very hip:


Emily has this to say about her work:

Hello! My name is Emily, and I live in Seattle, where it rains 9 months out of the year. In an effort to stave off drizzle induced depression, I like to make things (honestly, I like to make things even when it's sunny, but the rain gives me a good excuse not to leave the house for days on end). Most of the things I make are functional - clothes, bags, coasters, books - but I also love to take photographs, make linoleum block prints, and paint.

I am especially drawn to graphic images, bold colors, and repetition. I find inspiration in the mundane details of my urban surroundings - old buildings, bicycles, bridges, street signs, abandoned shopping carts, telephone wires, and railroad tracks, to name a few. Some common themes that show up in my work include: circles, arrows, maps, numbers and letters, and the color green.

Visit her at http://redarrow.etsy.com today -- her items would make amazing Christmas gifts! Thank you and happy handmade holiday shopping!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Murdering neighborhood pets

For those of you who follow our repeated and often astonishing tales of the numbers and types of wildlife (and neighborhood pets) who have crept into our house through the cat door or made a nuisance of themselves in the backyard, here's another one for the collection.

But this one is much more twilight zone.

Over each of the last few nights, we have found a single goldfish in our house. I think we're up to three goldfish on three different nights now.

None of the cats are claiming credit for this, but someone is carefully bringing them in and laying them out in plain sight for our enjoyment. I suspect Max.

That said, the bigger mystery is this: WHERE THE HECK ARE THEY GETTING GOLDFISH?

These are not koi from someone's ornamental pond. (Which I'm pretty sure no one around here has anyways.) They're small, aquarium-sized goldfish, like you see at any pet store. Your standard, ordinary, run-of-the-mill goldfish.

Except dead. And left for our enjoyment.

I'd almost be ok with it if I knew they were coming from someone's pond. But my real fear is that the cats are sneaking into someone else's house under cover of darkness, finding their way to a poorly-guarded fishtank, and torturing, kidnapping, and murdering some child's pet.

Fishnapping, I guess I should say.

I'm not sure how to go about addressing this. Knock door to door to see who has some pets missing? Pretend to know nothing? Buy some replacements and train one of the cats to go put them back? That could work. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A toddler's idea of a great time

I spent several twenty minute periods today playing Sofie's newest and most favoritest game, which she describes as "Uh oh! There's a pig on my booby!"

I bet you can guess how this game is played.

Mostly this involves me lying on the couch while she drops a small stuffed pig from various heights onto my chest, at which point I'm supposed to bellow out -- that's right, say it with me -- "uh OH! There's a PIG on my booby!!" And then she cracks up in that full body way that only little kids do.

And then we do it again, twenty or thirty more times.

I'm not entirely sure I should be encouraging this but she sure does love it. :) And I love that I get to lay there and do nothing while causing her endless giggles. I guess it's worth it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bellflower Textiles featured today on ABlogOfGoodies

Bellflower Textiles is featured today over on the great blog A Blog Of Goodies. In addition to a wonderful writeup of the store, Karen is hosting a giveaway of this navy blue sea monster shirt from my store, size 4T. Go on over and enter for your chance to win!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Craft Show Banner, and a giveaway winner

My first craft show is in six days. Good lord am I ever NOT READY. I did, however, finally get my booth banner made. What do you think?



It's made of a burlap backing (one yard, $2.99), and felt. I printed off a font I liked at 400 pt, and traced that onto fusible interfacing and used that to cut out the letters and fuse them to the sack. Then I stitched everything down and added flowers and buttons. Just need to finish the sides and I'm good to go!

I'm pretty happy with it -- very bright and cheerful and I think it matches my shop.

On other fronts, finally, the winner of my 1000th post giveaway is... drumroll... MINIATUREQUILTER! See, it pays to enter multiple times. :) I'll get those snowflake clips sent out to you in the next day or two!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Eavesdropping

Interesting things heard on the baby monitor in the middle of a two year old's otherwise deep sleep:

1. "I have a vacuum cleaner." (said with intense satisfaction, almost glee)

2. "No, no beavers!" (distressed)

3. "There a fish up there." (rather pleased about this, from the sound of it)

4. And last night, this very long exposition: "Goodbye sun. Goodbye moon. Goodbye stars. (thoughtful pause) What THAT mean?? (pause) Goodbye shiny thing. Goodbye tractor."

And then back to sleep.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Snowflake clips giveaway

I'm really really REALLY behind on picking and announcing a winner for the snowflake hairclip giveaway I posted last week. So I'm going to pretend I meant THIS Saturday and wrap the whole thing up then. Okay? Okay. Good. :)

So that means you can still enter: http://growingnotes.blogspot.com/2008/10/1000th-post-giveaway-snowflake.html

Out of the mouths of babes

Sofie had a tough evening tonight, one tantrum after another, brought on by such seemingly minor things -- dropping a toy, for example. Not dropping it somewhere she couldn't retrieve it from, just dropping it at her feet. Much high decibel angst, followed by droopy exhaustion in between sessions.

At one point, in the middle of tantrum three out of four, I was alternating between trying to not pay a lot of attention to the hue and cry and trying to comfort her and she reared back and yelled at me at the top of her lungs, "I DON'T NEED A HUG!!!!"

And yknow, I just had to admire her for that. Here is a kid who knows her own mind and is beginning to be able to stick up for her own needs. You go, little girl.

Featured New Etsy Seller Showcase: Christina Colwell

This week's second featured new Etsy seller is Folk Art by Christina Colwell. Christina is a self taught, mixed media folk artist who produces bright and colorful pieces like this one:



And I'm enamored of this lovely little card:


Christina has this to say about her work and inspiration:
I was born and raised in Podunk Utah or Podunk Nevada, I had four younger siblings. My mom was a homemaker and my dad was a school teacher. We all grew up safe and loved and had lots of imagination. Some of that imagination shows up in my art work.


Both of this week's shop opened very recently -- Christina just opened on October 23rd. Please stop by and wish her well at http://www.christinacolwell.etsy.com !

Thanks, and happy shopping!

New Etsy Seller Showcase: Shelby Lynn Designs

This week's featured new Etsy seller is a fabulous jewelry maker who just opened up shop a week ago - Shelby Lynn Designs. Her jewelry is gorgeous and her photography is so unusual -- look at this beautiful shot of a pair of her dangle earrings:



This sparkly necklace is called the Tree of Life, and I think it's amazing:


Shelby Lynn has this to say about her work:
I make jewelry. Earrings are probably my favorite, because I make so many of them! I love bending wire, I don't know why, there is just something about the way it feels. I enjoy making jewelry with a romantic and vintage quality- but with a twist. I also like to use jewelry making elements in my pieces in an unexpected way. It is so gratifying to make something so beautiful out of wire, glass, crystal.... and then to wear it. Or even better- to have somebody else wear it!

I enjoy drawing and painting. If there is a blank bit of paper nearby I never have any qualms about adding a mermaid to it... or a tree or a girl or a house. I also love to decoupage.



Shelby opened up on October 21st and is still waiting on her first sale. Please go take a look at http://shelbylynndesigns.etsy.com . Thank you and happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Just sold!

Sales have really been picking up in the last week -- I've sold three or four items a day for the last few days, which is exciting! Here's some of what has sold today and yesterday.

Penguin Best Buddies shirt:

I love this shirt. It's one of a line I do that have patches on both sides. Two penguins on the front, and then a third penguin has your back:


And yay! So excited to see Louise the purple dragon finally going off to a good home!


Another couple oldies but goodies -- both my lion and my giraffe found homes this week. These were two of the first shirts I made when I was starting up in August:



It's apparently my week to find good homes for all of the animals. :) Anyone want a sea monster? He's very polite and well behaved and doesn't eat much.


I've also sold SIX mini crayon rolls in the last week -- these babies are popular! Here's a couple that are still available. Click on the pictures if you want to go see the listing. More of these coming soon!

Postscript on yesterday's accident

So Sofie is doing a lot better today -- not as swollen as we thought she'd be, and in some pain but not too bad. She can eat, mostly, although trying to eat a pickle was a disaster (it must've stung her cut something fierce!), and is in really good spirits.

Yesterday at the dentist, they gave her a pinwheel and some bubbles to try to cheer her crying, sobbing, clinging, bleeding self up. On the drive home she was trying to figure out what this pinwheel thing was.

Me: Sofie, that's a pinwheel! Isn't that neat?
Sofie: {long pause} That. A. Wheelpin.
Me: Well, almost. It's a pinwheel.
Sofie: {long pause, then confidently} Oh! That. A. Wheel. Pin.

So freaking cute. I love how she grapples with language.

Monday, November 03, 2008

you are the mom

And then there are days when it feels like parenting just might kill you. Like the day when you're in your office sewing during naptime and hear the biggest crash you've ever heard followed by horrendous screams and race through the house to see what happened and it takes a hundred years to cover the distance and you just know she finally fell out of the crib and sure enough, she's on the floor, but standing so that's good, legs aren't broken, but you pick her up and in a minute your shirt is all covered in blood and you can't quite figure out where it's coming from and for a second your heart about stops until you figure out all her limbs are fine and her head is in one piece and it's her mouth, stop to try to see whether all her teeth are still there but there's too much blood in the way too see and you just hold her for a minute or two letting her bleed and cry all over you while you try to figure out what to do next and you want to cry too but you don't because

you. are. the. mom.

And worse things than this are going to happen and you can't lose it when they do. Because you're the mom now and not the kid and your job is to be the grownup and help and get the washcloth and wipe the blood and the snot away and count teeth (all there) and try to see what's injured and call the doctor and the dentist and bundle her into her carseat and tell her how sorry you are that she hurted herself and hold her while she screams while the dentist looks at her and pronounces her all in one piece but those front two teeth might or might not fall out because of this, we'll just have to wait and see, and then you go to the grocery store to buy soft foods and ice cream (because she's not supposed to chew) and a big balloon (because she's sad) and take her home and feed her pudding and applesauce and read her every single one of her favorite books and give her lots of kisses and ignore how your stomach feels still feels from that second at the sewing machine when you thought there might be broken bones and concussions (but there weren't, this time, thank god), and somehow get through the remaining hours of the day until bedtime and she's safely in bed and then -- then, THEN, only then you can go take a bath and cry about how freaked out you secretly are and what the heck you're going to do when or if anything seriously bad ever happens. Because you just love her so much and you can't imagine how you'd survive if she were ever really hurt.

Parenting.

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