Thursday, December 14, 2006

wtb one oil can

Newest stuffie. One thing I've learned, the smaller the robot, the less stuffed the arms and legs need to be. I had to rip apart seams and resew before it was finished.

But I like the smaller size.

Happy holidays to all.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

work in progress

Hard at work on some cards for a client.

Then, it'll be on to making xmas cards to send to my friends and family. In the meanwhile, I also have calendar pages to make for a group swap... and the ever present stuff to make for the Etsy shop.

Good thing I'm getting up at 6 A.M. I might need to push back the alarm to 5:45 A.M. because my brain doesn't seem to kick into gear until about 6:20 A.M., so getting those few extra minutes really helps.

This will also require me to reprogramme the coffeemaker so I have coffee ready. It takes about five minutes for the cycle to complete, so if I set alarm clock to 5:45, hit the snooze and sleep for 5 minutes, set coffee to start brewing at 5:50, I should be good to go at 6 A.M. on the dot. Of course, I also should go to sleep at a reasonable hour instead of sitting up watching weather reports. We did not get snow. :(

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

trial and error

An experiment with making a more "doll" like stuffie formed organically as I sewed. I had an idea to add snaps or velcro to the robot's arms after I finished sewing, and since I didn't want to rip seams, I just left them long. This was difficult to sew because both the arms and legs created too much bulk in the body--the one arm shifted too low and the other needed to be a little higher.

I like the head attached to the body, but that was actually backwards--the right-side of the fabric is actually on the inside, now.

So, I will try another robot, but I'm going to experiment with the pattern a bit. Afterall, this robot won't be leaving the house any time soon--it has become N's favorite stuffie. (And he does have preferences for my stuffies; some he's very attached to--like the Halloween experiment he's tucked away somewhere--and some he just doesn't care about.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

growing pains

The new version of Etsy has been going through some intense bug fixes. Lots of things came out as much needed fixes, and the etsy team seem to be doing all they can to make it right.

I'm still sitting here waiting for an image to upload to their system, which hasn't changed since their beta. But for $0.20 listing fee, I'm not that upset to be made to wait. I'm unconvinced the bugs are preventing customers from buying my stuffies and cards despite some of the voices of doom.

I finally tacked up some business cards at the local Whole Foods community board, which is tucked away by the restrooms. I think I should make up some larger postcards with images of the stuffies in a holiday scene and use those for attention getting promos. I printed and cut the business cards myself, so the stock isn't the highest quality and the images could probably use some more photoshopping, but I haven't yet decided whether or not to order actual REAL offset printed cards from the 'net.

I procrastinate about these sorts of things, but the deal on is about $10 for 100 cards plus shipping (which I couldn't determine without going through the whole process up till checkout). A couple of people on etsy have used them and report nice things, so I might check them out.

Meet a Snugglie, my newest line for the very young or the just the young at heart. Once etsy lets me in, you'll be able to see the others. These are fun to make and I might just make one in every color I own.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

new stuffies!

Meet Cutie Pie, also known as CP. She's just one of three new stuffies up at the shop.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

new card

I'm trying out some new recycled cardstock in this kraft paper color. I kind-of like it, but not sure the robot in red works on this paper. I am very much tickled by the idea of a holiday card in non-holiday colors, but I will bend to tradition and eventually make something with green and red, or white and blue.

And I just now realized I have about two days to make and send all my Halloween cards. *sigh* I'm so behind schedule.

Friday, October 06, 2006

here's Snoogle

I just listed him in the shop. He loves his footie pjs. :)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

meet Shep!

Ghost stuffie--whooooooo! Hee, he's not spooky at all. He's about 8" tall and wide, and up in the shop now. :)

Friday, September 29, 2006

i vant to drink...

your bluhd! Mwhahahaha!

Ok, this looked better in my head and in the sketch. I think the bottom looks like it's wearing some oddly shaped pants, and the widow's peak is too skinny.

And it's not even remotely vampiric looking. Oddly quirky, but not vampire-like. Although I am rather happy with the rouge colored fangs. Hee.

So, back to the drawing board. Of course, if anyone wants to give my poor Vlad prototype a home, I would not be adverse. He's all felt and about 10" tall (25.4 cm).

Monday, September 25, 2006

kitties and ghosts, oh my

Look! Pocket stuffies with clasps!

Look! You can attach to a bag!

I also finally figured out how to balance the contrast... I changed the camera setting from Auto to Indoor, which instantly made the white background go from a warm to a cool, so that helped. And then I got some black posterboard and added a third light to the left side for more depth. But then, after awhile, I stopped using the second light on the right, which seemed to wash it all out, so *shrug*, it's all good now. I'm happy with the way the photos came out, but I still think I might have to return the one lamp to Home Despot and get the smaller one. Or just use a less wide shade. Or maybe diffuse the light altogether.

Gosh, who knew this thing would take so many other skills besides cutting and sewing material?

Friday, September 22, 2006

new card

New 5 card set.


A little preview of the ghost and kitty pocket stuffies. (I'm still trying to clean up the background color which is supposed to be white, not beige.)

photo box

I've heard this called a light box, which isn't the same as the thing you put transparencies over to trace (box on worktop with light shining up through whatever it is you're looking at), but Jim and I made it with foam core, duck tape, duct tape, and lights from Home Depot.

It's huge. I will either add in another "shelf" or put a crate inside and a piece of foam core on top to bring the items up closer to the top light. Or, we could cut off about 10" from the top and bring the light down. It's foam core, so not really a huge loss if I muck it up.

This will help me tremendously when I'm eyeball deep into the PacNW gray winter. (PS, that's the small pumpkin stuffie I haven't yet put up in the shop. She's very anxious for her closeup!)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

favorite Etsy shops

TV Tray Art makes all kinds of really neat things. She also packages her necklaces in a really wonderful package. And look, a knitting bird!

Taina's Warm & Fuzzies makes really nice knitted kidlet things. I lurve this monster hat!

Rosebud Factory makes really cool felted critters in little seedling pots! So cute!

Squidglass makes really cool art glass pendants. This one is sold, but he makes a bunch of other robots. And squids. And people. There's a cool coffee line, too.

Attic Creations seems to make things with wood, makes jewelry, and sells other vintage items. I just love all the little drawers--glad someone bought it... wish it had been me. :-)

Meet Peck, the stemless wonder

I just added this pumpkin stuffie to the shop.

Things are a little slow here in the studio. Spent a wonderful weekend with a great friend in the SF Bay area; no crafty goodness, but lots of really neat eyecandy. I'm guessing I'd better finish my Halloween cards, and then it'll be on to the holiday designs.

If you'd like me to make you a boxed set of blank holiday cards, now's the time to let me know, and we can work out details. I might make one or two original designs featuring the wee people and/or a robot. My fabulous in-house techie (aka my awesome husband) just upgraded me to a new iMac and a new all-in-one scanner/printer/copier. I am now dual monitor-ing my way through Photoshop and Etsy, and OMG it's the most awesome!

We also celebrated our fourth anniversary on Thursday. Life is good.

Monday, August 28, 2006

pumpkin stuffies

New pumpkin stuffies! I put one up in the shop today. I will put the others up soon.

And I am officially on the wagon for spending any more money until I start to sell. I have enough supplies to last me for whatever I need to make... although I was eyeing some recycled paper cardstock at Paper Zone the last time I was there. Not as nice as the two color Memory Box cards I always get, but probably easier on the wallet.

Still, unless things start to sell, I really can't afford to buy any more supplies.

Friday, August 25, 2006

not kate spade

I'm on the hunt for the perfect handbag. Has to have enough room to dump my stuff, but not too big that everything gets lost in the void. Has to have some pockets for the Frequently Used Items like lip balm, keys, pens, and phone. The list of FUI changes from time to time, but I always need quick access to keys and phone, so that's a must.

I made a couple of bags, but I'm really bad with following patterns and get measurements all messed up. Did a rounded bottom bag based on a pattern I eyeballed off (which is an awesome site). The "pattern" did not have any measurements, so I literally just made it up as I went along.

The result was a nicely shaped bag, but too shallow (this is the purple striped bag). It doesn't close over my stuff. I carry around little notebooks, my fat wallet, phone, and a myriad of smallish objects that collect in the bottom (moms with kids who don't carry their own toys/food/stuff know what I mean). The cream colored bag is a basic square bottomed bag I wish I had used a magnetic clasp instead of a button closure. It's a bit too deep, but otherwise a nice bag.

I think I really just need to start experimenting with zippers and learn to put them in the tops. And maybe start measuring.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


In my walk around Borders last night, I also saw some small stuffed plushy things attached to small lobster claw clips. I could do that with the pocket stuffies, but I'd have to make a new batch and make sure I sewed a loop at their heads with a split ring as the attachment for the lobsterclaw clip. Or some other kind of clip.

Borders was selling these things for about $6, I think.

new cards

I put two new sets of cards in the shop. They look rather simple, but I'm still trying to figure out a balance between cost of materials for me, price a customer is willing to pay for something they can't touch, labor, and time. I really don't want to spend hours and materials on a card, price the card at $8.95 (I saw a few mass-produced cards at Borders Books yesterday with this price that looked no differently, design-wise, than all the other DiY stuff) and then never sell any.

It's a little difficult to know what to do--I've seen lots of successful cardmakers out there who print their unique designs (not illustrated, but layout/graphic design) and price them around $15.00 for a set of 6-8. There are more expensive letterpress and screenprinted cardmakers out there, but that labor is just worth the money. A true letterpress is done individually, so my goodness, I can see how a letterpress set can cost around $25.

Thoughts? (*taptap* Is this thing on?)

Friday, August 18, 2006


My three-year-old son and I made pretzels. They were pretty good, but not exactly like either the mall pretzels (as the recipe claimed) or the NYC cart pretzels I really love. Makes me want to experiment with different doughs. And make my own bagels.

I miss bagels and lox.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

pocket stuffies

The mini versions of the stuffies are multiplying. I seem to go through an evening flurry of pocket-stuffy-making, and then my son squirrels them away. Of course, I also hand them to him and we have them go off on adventures in the shoe-car or the pumpkin ride... or we use them to torture daddy.

I'm wondering if anyone would want to pay money for them--would they be nice as pins? I guess I could always make a few with less stuffing and throw them up in the shop. I think they'd make super cute gift toppers or attached to zipper pulls on book bags.

They seem to like to travel around in pockets and have their own little adventures.

Cool Mom Picks

As Seen at Cool Mom Picks

Cool Mom Picks is a site that collects information about really neat things for moms, tots, and the kid in all of us. They showcase some really cool stuff, so I'm happy to be included. Click on the Cool Mom Picks icon to see the article.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

new stuffies

I got a custom order for three stuffies, and here's the result.

I also made a really deep slice to the inside of my left thumb knuckle on my very new and very sharp Olfa rotary cutter. It's not horrible, but I'm a weenie when it comes to anything more than a little cut or scrape. I thought I'd done enough damage to warrant an emergency room visit, but it doesn't look that bad. At least I don't think it's that bad.

Either way, learning to do things without the thumb is really amusing in a geez-no-wonder-thumbs-are-so-special way.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Stuffie in the making.
I usually begin with matching front and back shapes, but this was made from two pieces of material that were cut for something that didn't quite work out. I then make the arms and legs. Sometimes they are squarish and sometimes they are longish. It all depends on the material and how late at night it is.

Thai is the one on the right, made awhile ago, but only now in the shop. Willow, the blue with leaf print arms and legs, is new. I should have waited to sew the button eyes on after she was stuffed, like I usually do, but I wanted to see how it would look. Still, I'm pretty happy with the leaf applique, but I think I'll make the next one smaller.

Monday, August 07, 2006

So cute!

Go see this super cute little site called Orisinal. Prepare to spend a little bit of time there.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

adventures with fabric

Joann's Fabrics is having a sale this weekend, so I decided to pick up a rotary cutter for fabric since I'm challenged... I can't cut straight without a ruler or exacto knife to guide me. Even if I chalk a line on the fabric, I still somehow manage to goof up.

I wandered back to the quilting section and found some really neat quarter flats! And yeah, they remind me of paper patterns, too. Joann's isn't the best place to purchase fabrics, but for the minimal sewing I do, it works out okay for me.

I tried making something for someone's birthday tomorrow, but I didn't allow enough extra fabric and so the stitches missed and it unraveled at the base of a pocket. The second try with more forgiving fabric isn't perfect, so I might try once again and make another one just to perfect it.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Welcome to the SLC Studio blog where I'll talk about the silly little creations I make. I'm not sure how often I'll post, but we'll take it day by day. Thanks for stopping by.