Monday, January 30, 2012

Back from me Break

After a restful time in Norcal where I probably got more done than I would have done normally given the lack of distractions and chores. There's an awful lot of sewing to be done. I managed to overfelt a particularly nice Pringle sweater that came out of the washer toddler sized. It's so thick that it will make perfect pot holders or coasters, maybe embroidered if the needle can make it's way through the denseness without too much effort.

The catalog is coming along nicely, here's a peek of some of the photos that I took whilst away. It was actually a blessing that it was overcast as all the colors are dense and not sun drained.

Lil hoodie Bear

Napping Owl

Misfit Owl
Lil Penguin hanging by a thread literally

Behind the Scenes

Surf cycled Notebook
This is an early attempt at notebook making, still learning the machine. Praise be for Youtube, manuals just don't cut it for me, too much information. I soon realized that my wires were too big for the projects so ordered a huge box of littler ones. Tomorrow I plan on perfecting my technique, will report back on progress.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Design Dilemmas

Well after the frantic dog episodes, I am happy to report that all are well. Farley's nose is healing although it's still quite pink. So you made all these resolutions, what gives I hear you ask ? Hmmm well I started designing a catalog, and the thing is these are not quick projects. I put my ideas on paper after fumbling about in Illustrator for an hour, clicking aimlessly. So it will be a part drawn, part print type of catalog. On my to do list : Product photography, scanning of lots of cards/drawings/fabric, measuring all my products and writing descriptions. This for me is work and while I will admire and feel satisfied at reaching the finish line it's going to take a while till I get to that point. Mid February should do it and then all I have to do is actually make some product as Christmas pretty much wiped me out, not complaining it's great that people liked my stuff enough to buy it. I'm looking forward to a trip to the In-laws who have a very lovely washer and dryer inside the house and obviously to see the family and miniature donkeys.
Miniature donkeys aren't that small the word miniature is misleading
No going down a set of steps and OUTSIDE to our oh so delightful communal washer and dryer where the landlord started to make a concrete path ( which took about 8 months entire cities were built in less time) and then abruptly stopped 2 meters short of the little shanty hut housing the machines. So there's a little muddy path to negotiate. Not the Sudan I know but still.  I miss my Bosch washing machine in London, I didn't have a dryer so my apartment would have been constantly draped in wet wool jumpers, not a good look.

Not complaining when I get to see this view every week
So there you have it in order to progress I have to take a break from the crafting and focus on the marketing. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today was not the best or yesterday for that matter

Newport Beach

Ocean view

Let's begin with the good, which is I got to go surfing this am and took some pictures. The sun was shining and despite the scarcity of surfable waves it was a pretty nice experience. So far so good but then I took the dogs for a walk. Oh my, so the day before I almost lost Sanford, it was partly my fault I took a shortcut after the dogs ran off which is their usual mo as they go romping around in the tall grass. Instead of finding all three dogs, there were none I had confused them and after a bit of name calling I found the two big ones but no sign of the small one. To be fair Sanford is always lagging, there's always a bush that he needs to pee on or something he needs to stick his nose in but there was no sign of him. I should explain that this is a natural habitat, unmaintained use at your own peril kind of thing.
The valley of lost dog
Sanford spreading his love.
We've been there many many times so I started to panic, more so when I remembered he had on one of his non tag on collars. (Rest assured he is micro chipped) The other two were no help looking for him I might add and as time ticked on, my yell's became even louder. At this point we stumble across a man and his two golden retrievers. "Are they friendly ?" he asks referring to the black dogs. "Yes" I reply while simultaneously yelling Sanford's name like a woman possessed. "Are you looking for a little black dog?" he asks. "Yes" I say. " ( Although I would never describe Sanford as black, clearly he's grey but these are details in high stress situations.) "Well I would stop yelling because he won't hear you he's over by that dead tree." Funnily enough I knew exactly where he meant and started sprinting in that direction while also realising that the sweatshirt had been excessive given the heat. i get to the dead tree... and still No bloody sign of Sanford. Excuse my french. I am now wailing and then I spot him standing in the distance looking like the naughty dog he is. I calm down and call him in a normal encouraging way and he sprints towards me and like a good Hollywood movie we embrace and hug. I would like to think that he was just making his way back to the car to wait for us, I can't be sure of course but he's a smart one.
Trouble 1 and 2

Anyway that was earlier in the week and not what I had planned on writing. If you're still with me there's more. So today I take the dogs out, same place. Sanford's on a leash just in case the other two are running free and everybody is enjoying the day until the big dogs go bounding off to the tall grass in search of adventure. I don't take the shortcut and instead call them. One of them has a grey ground squirrel in his MOUTH!!!! I scream he drops it. The other one picks it up. I scream again he drops it. This cannot be happening. Big black dog has blood all over its face. I yank off some big leaves and try and get as much off him as possible tossing them to the ground. At this point I'm thinking it's a squirrel, but on closer inspection when I had stopped hyperventilating I realize he has a cut on his nose which is the source of the flow. I get home and turn on the hose and spray both dogs in the face to clean their mouths. They don't enjoy it. I then call the vet and take bloody nose dog to get him checked out. I must admit I didn't want to tell the vet the whole story about the squirrel but I have to know whether he's at risk of catching anything. Fortunately I get this response. " Squirrel in the day time ok, raccoon or skunk at night not good." She's a very nice vet and glues the cut and sends us back with a week's worth of antibiotics. So, not so Hollywood second story. Talking of unfortunate events while calling the dog Sanford I hit myself in the face and managed to draw blood. Don't even ask, how because I'm still wondering myself. If you think any projects were completed you would be sorely mistaken I've aged a couple of years these last two days.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 is here

So the process of change begins. Today I deleted 635 images from my camera so that it doesn't take an age to download the three recent ones. I don't know how it gets to that point where you just keep them on the camera even after you downloaded them but there you go, I don't think I'm alone. In the final week of 2011 I made inroads into making multiples of items. It is clear that I can't continue the making 1-3 at a time method of making. It's not time efficient, it doesn't mean that I'll be churning out carbon copies of the same thing it just means I will have an enormous pile of previously cut fabric to draw from. One of the minor setbacks of eco cycling is that if you take a jacket and use the fabric from it, you have to take it apart first which takes time as does selecting the jacket in the first place. I'm very picky ! It's taken some time to build up my stash. These are some newest additions, I'm very fortunate that heavyweight wool jackets are not in high demand in these parts. It's more of a sweats or beachwear community to which I am also a victim. I blame it on the dogs all that walking, you have to wear trainers and with wool trousers that would not be a good look.
This skirt has gorgeous green specks and a lovely texture.
This jacket is a mint green and brown tweed or herringbone I always confuse the two.
Another lucky find of browns, blues and yellow.
In the pipeline are some wristlet purses once I figure out how to get the wristbit onto the purse, some upcycled surf notebooks again, once I learn how to use my bookbinding machine and a bunch of other stuff. Let's see how long it is before they surface on the blog. Feel free to prod me with a reminder if it seems to be taking a while.