Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I've lost my mind

Example One: I've been obsessing about some buttons for over a month now. I saw them at the Cotton Ball when I was buying my new sewing machine but Tater was spinning out of control and I didn't have time to browse and buy them. I've talked myself out of going back specifically for the buttons on several occasions because it's over 50 miles round trip and gas is just too expensive. I've literally spent hours on the internet trying to find these ginormous wood, stained buttons. I filled up on gas today at a record high of $4.09/gallon and thought, what better time to drive to Morro Bay for buttons? I'm usually so practical and thrifty, I don't know what happened.

Example Two: Here are the buttons...

Yeah, they're not wood. Nor are they stained. Furthermore, they don't look anything like I remembered. I still like them and bought a few but am wondering how my mind just created my own line of buttons. And really, I think the bigger question is, will being trapped in this hotel have long term effect on my sanity?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

I'm lucky to have a small group of friends who regularly give out RAOK's. Just last week I got an adorable card from my friend, Shanna, along with some scrapbooking goodies. There was no special occasion, Shanna just randomly decided to do something nice for me. Keeley and Shana have been known to do the same thing. And even though she might not admit it, Lena has definitely given me some much needed RAOK's like when she showed up at my house the night after the tree fell through with an "I hate trees" cake and some beer:) I always hear people say that they get a RAOK at a time when they really needed a pick me up.

I was telling Crafty Papa last night that we've been so negative and grumpy lately because of construction, we both should do something positive to make us and someone else feel better. So our mission this week is to practice random acts of kindness. I'm sending out a few items from my Etsy shop, some scrapbooking goodies, and more with the hope that receiving a little package might brighten someone's day.

If happen to get something from me and it isn't your taste, feel free to pass it on to someone else who will enjoy it. And look for an opportunity this week to do a RAOK for someone else. I promise it will make the recipient feel good but you'll feel even better.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Last Grandpa Bag:(

If you read my blog faithfully, you may remember that I bought this fabric because it reminded me of my absolutely wonderful grandpa who died 3 1/2 years ago. His last name was Green and he always wore green socks that were almost the exact color of this fabric so I had to have it. I used my last piece of this beautiful green fabric on this bag so the person who buys it will also be getting some of my emotional baggage. I thought about keeping it but it's just too small to haul around all of the crap my kids require. I could use it and just clean out my purse much more often but I prefer to keep this task to once every three months.

I'm hoping to have another bag to list in the morning but I'm not making any promises. It's too freakin hot today to be in my craft room with the iron on so I'll have to wait until this evening. We move back into the hotel tomorrow so by the time this evening rolls around, I may choose to enjoy a stress relieving cocktail rather than sew.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Best. Bag. Ever.

Too bad my pics are crappy.

I also listed a really cute baby boy's frog onesie/burp cloth set. And, as an added bonus, I reduced the price on all of my baby gift sets to $15.

Stalkers Beware

In roughly an hour, I will be listing what I believe to be my best bag ever. Seriously, it's fabulous and I'm not afraid to admit it. Messenger. Ginger Blossom. Big. Spectacular. And a little more expensive. That's all I'm sayin'.

Saturday Stuff

Hoping to have more to list later today. Really, I could be much more productive on the sewing front if I had a housekeeper. Just a thought for the stalkers (cough, cough Connie), if you hired someone to come clean my house, I could double the time I spend making new items for you. Think about.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Summer Strawberries

There are strawberry fields everywhere you look on the coast. I love driving to Santa Maria in the afternoon and smelling the strawberries from the field just outside Nipomo on a warm day. But without a doubt, the best strawberries are at Okui's strawberry stand on 13th street in Grover Beach. I get so excited when they announce what their opening day will be every year in March.

So, when I saw this fabric, I had to have it. I love how it incorporates the strawberries without being too country. Anyway, I'm off to list it now.

Breaking News

This just in...the Crafty Family will be returning home today! Don't get too excited yet though. We'll only be home through the weekend and then it's back to hotel life...with no end in sight. I will definitely be listing a new bag or maybe two this afternoon and am planning to set up shop in the kitchen over the next few days to make up for lost time. If you've been working with me on a custom order, thanks for your patience! I'm hoping to wrap up all of the loose ends on the custom order front this weekend.

If you're the type to think good thoughts (I'm not, I'm definitely a glass is half empty kind of girl), please think some happy thoughts for our family. I know I sound like a big whiner (probably because I am), but this whole ordeal has been really trying for all of us, especially myself and Bella. Even though I'm happy to have a little break from hotel life, the house is a mess with construction debris and it just feels weird to be in my house knowing that strangers have been in here all week. I keep looking around finding new spots on the carpet, random dirt and scratches on my walls and wondering whether that will all be tended to or we'll be left with a big mess at the end of this. New issues keep popping up that have to be reviewed and approved by the insurance company which delays everything by a few days.

Last night at dinner, I confessed to Crafty Papa that I really don't want to live here anymore. I just have a bad feeling about the house now and it doesn't feel like home. All of the nice memories are overshadowed by the freakin tree incident. So, I was thinking I'll start playing the lottery and all of you can do power ball or whatever your state offers with the understanding that you'll send me $100,000 to move out of this house if you win. Don't worry, I would be happy to trade you a bag for the $100,000. Let me know when you need my address for the check.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just finished reading my first book in two years!

Seriously, the last time I read an "adult" book (not that kind of adult book, I just mean one that isn't all pictures and one sentence per page) was two years ago. A camping trip on Mother's Day weekend 2006 when I was still pregnant. Man, have I missed reading.

Anyway, I bought "The Friday Night Knitting Club" at Costco about two weeks ago and thanks to my "vacation", I was able to finish it tonight. Great book, lots of emotion, totally the kind of read that could be turned into a chick flick. Anyhoo, I'll send the book to the first person to email me at with your address. Crafty Papa thinks I should try and start some kind of paper back swap through the blog. Any interest? Do other mothers have time to read? I'm up for any ideas if anyone out there is interested. But I'm not into any inspirational crap or books that require thought. Just not my personality. I just want to be entertained with a little bit of love, some fighting, and a few surprises.

I was hoping to move on to "Certain Girls" from Jennifer Weiner next but I requested it from the library and it isn't in yet. I believe I have $8 in store credit at Borders from approximately four years ago. Lucky for me, store credit/gift cards don't ever expire in California and a trip to the Borders in the neighboring town would kill 1-2 hours of hotel hell time.

I'm on vacation

at an Oxford Suites hotel about 10 miles from my own home. Ok, so not really a vacation when you're just trying to escape the construction dust, noise, and fumes in your house. Anyway, you've probably noticed I haven't posted in the last few days. I have no idea when we'll be back home but I can guarantee it won't be soon enough.

I'm in the midst of a pity party so I thought I'd share a list of all the things I miss.

1. My sewing machine and fabric. I got some new fabric in the mail yesterday and it's killing me that I can't use my sewing machine and whip up something cute.

2. My Trader Joe's Hazelnut Creme coffee and Coffeemate French Vanilla creamer. The hotel coffee is disgusting, as expected.

3. My tv. I'm not a huge tv watcher anymore but I miss knowing my channels.

4. My sense of control. I might have a slight tendency toward being bossy and in charge. Doesn't really work well with hotel life and construction workers who seem to be lacking a concept of time.

5. My clothes. I do not find living out of a suitcase to be enjoyable. I like options. I almost went to Walmart this morning to buy a gray hooded, zip up sweatshirt as a sign that I had given up.

6. My mailbox. Mail delivery if often the highlight of my day. It's just not the same driving up there at night to get my mail.

Let the sympathy comments begin. Seriously, I'm deep in the throws of pity.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Super Sunday (and Monday) Sale

I'm pretending like I'm Kohl's today:)

Today and tomorrow only, I'm offering an additional 15% off all sale items in my shop. Don't forget that Mother's Day is just around the corner as well as Teacher Appreciation Day. There's nothing better than picking a gift on sale. You'll need to convo me prior to payment so I can send you a revised invoice. And if you let me know that it's a gift, I'll wrap the bag up for you in a cute little Crafty Mama Creations bag.

There are some really cute items in the sale section. I'm not sure what's wrong with you guys that you haven't already snatched them up.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Listing Now

I guess I was wrong about not liking Amy Butler's new Midwest Modern line. I still don't think it compares to her earlier lines but it's growing on me. The colors are so much prettier in person and I almost didn't order any fabric from this line because it looked so drab online. Anyhow, both bags will be in my shop in the next few minutes.

I need your help!

Did you read that in Dora the Explorer's voice? If not, go back and reread it.

My friend, Lena sent me a link to some adorable crochet patterns the other day. I can crochet but my ability is around the level of an 8 year old. I can do scarves, slippers, hats, but can't read a pattern at all. Anyway, I must have a set of these gnomes and mushrooms but the lady who sells the pattern doesn't sell completed items. So, I'm on a quest to find someone to make them for me. I'll purchase the patterns and make a trade from my Etsy shop. Email me at if you can crochet, read a pattern, and are interested.

Also, I'm thinking about subscribing to a new crafty type of magazine and would love to get some feedback from you guys. I already subscribe to Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion and am looking for another magazine that focuses a little more on sewing/fabric related projects.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's official

I'm definitely too famous now to be friends with you. I mean, I'm virtually a celebrity my neighborhood. All joking aside, I'm really excited and proud of the following happenings in my Crafty Mama Creations career.

First, a bag I made is featured in this month's Romantic Homes Magazine! The article is about Mari and her adorable boutique and has some beautiful pictures of her shop and items she both carries and makes. Her latest venture (one of many projects she has going on) is designing her own fabric and line of high end diaper bags and accessories. I got the opportunity to make her prototype which is featured in the magazine. No, it's not my design or fabric, but my blood, sweat, and tears (literally, tears...that bag was a bitch to make:) Took me about 8 hours because I kept encountering problem after problem and I was sick so I was easily pushed over the edge) went into it so I'm still very proud to see it in a magazine. Big congratulations to Mari! The article is wonderful and I imagine it's a huge milestone for her and her shop.

Next, I'm in Live Artfully Magazine! It's a brand new magazine offered on the Central Coast and it's absolutely beautiful! Jenny, the founder of the magazine, is an amazing photographer and I got all choked up seeing pics of my bags. And I do believe she vertically stretched the picture of me because I don't think I look that skinny in real life.

"An evening of great conversation with creative and interesting people, the kind
of night you want to reminisce over and over. This was the fourth Trunk Show I had
hosted featuring a local artist, since opening my boutique a little over a year ago.
Little did I know back then how amazing a journey this would be and how many
talented women designers I would have the privilege to get to know.
For several years, I had been blessed to work as an Interior and Product Designer
out of my home, but I knew, as my daughters were getting a little older, that I could
take the next step in following my bliss. I had always wanted a little boutique where I
could gather and share the treasures I have found as well as a place where I could expand
my design business. Some people I spoke with told me I was absolutely crazy to open
a retail business when the economy seemed so bleak. It was my husband and my older
brother who told me the opposite. I believe everything happens as it should and when
one door opened after another, I knew I had made the right decision.
I also knew that I wanted to carry beautiful, quality merchandise. I searched high
and low for custom and unique items. One year later I think I have accomplished
that—but there’s more. Opening the boutique led me into yet another business venture.
When designing for my clients I had noticed a missing niche in the market place…
especially in children’s rooms. There always seemed to be a missing piece of fabric that
we couldn’t find, or that we’d find which had been discontinued. I was working with my
clients to put together existing fabrics to create one-of-a-kind bedding and crib sets,
as well as coordinating all the accessories that pull a room together. At that time, the
bedding options for crib sets were very hard to find. Now there are many beautiful lines
out there and I carry quite a few of them. But still, there are times when I search high
and low and can’t find the perfect fabric. I started thinking, if I can’t find it, then I should
just make it! As an illustrator I began to create my own fabric designs and through
extensive research I found a way produce those fabrics. This way my clients now have all
options of customization available to them.
My bigger vision is to one day have my own bedding and accessory line with fabrics
of my own design. The advice of my mentors was clear (every entrepreneur should have
several mentors). Start small and build from there. Heeding their advice, I decided to
start with some smaller items like tote bags and diaper bags. One thing I knew for sure,
I was going to have to find someone who could help me sew my prototypes. I’ll be the
first to admit, sewing is not one of my talents.
Which leads me to how I met Kelci Gonzalez, of Crafty Mama Creations. While
looking through one of my favorite web sites for inspiration,, I found the
most adorable tote bags. Upon reading the designer’s profile, I couldn’t believe that of
all the places in the world this particular designer literally lived right down the street
from me! I contacted her immediately and she brought in some samples of her work.
Immediately, I knew, not only did I want her to help me create my prototypes, I wanted
to feature her in my next Trunk Show!
What is a trunk show? Actually, it started over a hundred years ago, when female
entrepreneurs would put their hand made goods into a trunk and show them in the
homes of their friends. I knew upon opening the boutique that I wanted to create a
venue for local artists to display their work and trunk shows seemed the obvious answer.
The entire concept is a win-win for all involved. The artist gets a chance to launch her
business and the customers get to purchase one-of-a-kind, handmade items that they
may never have come across otherwise. Featured artisans pay me a small commission to cover my expenses for providing food and advertising, but most of the
money goes straight to them.
Over the past year eight local artists have been showcased in my
boutique. Their stories are all so inspiring. Every one of them had
nine to five jobs of one kind or another which they left in order to
follow their bliss. As a former Human Resource Manager for a large
corporation, Kelci left her job “security” to raise her two beautiful
daughters. In her spare time she started making bags and children’s
apparel and listing them on ETSY. Now, with one Trunk Show
behind her and more similar opportunities in the future, I have no
doubt she will be very successful doing what she loves while being
with her children. You just can’t beat that.
I’ve seen it several times now, a woman leaves her corporate job to
stay at home and raise her children. While at home, in between naps
and preschool, she starts to do something she loves. Before you know
it, she’s grown a business and she’s happier than ever. The publisher of
this magazine will tell you this herself or you wouldn’t be reading this
article. Lucky for you and me, she was one of those women!
As was I. Even though owning my own business has had its
challenges, I couldn’t see going through life any other way. I get to
wake up every morning doing what I love and it’s so fantastic when I
meet other people doing the same. If you keep your mind open there
are opportunities all around you. Don’t let fear
stop you from following your dreams.
You make life happen!"

Ever wonder what a sock monkey looks like in a bathing suit?

Here's your answer...

And, yes, I purchased both of them. There's a whole new line of beach bum monkeys out but these were the only two prints I could get my hands on so far. I'm doing a baby event in a few weeks. I live at the beach. Really, I couldn't not buy them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I hope you're happy now

This just in...


You win. I'll go back to listing items as I make them. Hmmmm, shall I give hints about the four bags, onesie/burp cloth set, and doll I have sitting in my craft room right now, waiting to be listed? Nope. I guess you'll have to go back to sitting at the computer all day to see what I list and when.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We're still alive

The construction here is really wearing on my nerves but we're still alive. So far, I've been able to keep up with my regular sewing schedule but it looks like we'll be staying in a hotel at the end of the week. I'll take a break from sewing for a few days then and plow through the new book I'm reading, "Friday Night Knitting Club".

I finished this custom order last night for my friend Kristi. I believe it's her birthday gift to herself for her 30th birthday that she celebrated a few weeks ago. I think it's such a great idea - totally hers, I'm not that clever - to do a black and white bag with interchangeable sash ties. Hope she likes it.

I got more fabric in the mail yesterday with a little surprise from my friend, Jona. A few months ago, she had posted an adorable outfit on her blog with the cutest little birdie fabric ever. We were all dying to know where she got it and she told us it was a sheet (or curtain, I can't remember) from Pottery Barn. Anyway, she included a nice size cut of it in my package! I was so excited and feel like I've won some kind of award. The last time she sent me a surprise, I got chewed out for improper usage so I'm feeling kind of nervous about sharing what I did with it.

Nothing too special, but I love it! Just appliqued a circle of birdies on this plain $5 tshirt from Walmart. Now I want to put appliques on all of my tshirts (which I wear pretty much every day) and am resisting the urge to go to Walmart right now and buy a shirt in every color.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Could I be any more lucky?

First, I made some items today that I was really proud of. I mean, I usually like my work but am always picking away at what I would change or do better. But today, I loved the bags I made. Listed my 5 items and a few hours later, only 2 are left. That feels good.

On top of that, I had a wonderful night at the beach with my family. I was never a big beach person but I guess after living here for over 10 years and seeing the beach every day, I've finally learned to appreciate it. I really do feel like I live in a paradise and love watching my girls play with new excitement every time we go down to the beach. And how lucky am I that I can see the ocean just a few steps from my door and have my toes in the sand after just a five minute drive? You all really should move here and join me. It's pretty damn near perfect.

Sunday Stuff

These fabulous items will be going in my shop within minutes of this post. And I really do think they're fabulous. I'm really loving the first two. Remember that girls' night out I did a few weeks ago at a local winery? Well, there were these two girls who walked up, one held up a bag to the other and said she thought she'd like it. The other girl said something like, "Uh, no! Way too crazy and loud for me." So, I got to thinking, some customers may like my fabric choices but feel like the bag is a little too "hey, look at me!" for them. I've been trying to find a way to incorporate smaller portions of some of the more crazy and bold fabrics for those of you who are more...boring.

Anyway, I wanted something with some texture, to keep the bag interesting. But since I shop online mostly, I was having trouble finding something that I knew would work until I ran across this natural colored linen this morning. Very happy with the end result and even more happy with how great my new machine is with doing appliques.