Thursday, May 29, 2008

Surprise Thursday!!!

I've just sent the kids off to school, telling them it's Surprise Thursday. They didn't ask what the surprise was, because I was being vague, and they jumped in with their own idea that there was surpriseS already happening, and started counting every unexpected thing that occurred this morning.

I've actually managed to keep a secret - a HUGE secret since Sunday. It was very hard to keep.
I'm going to spill to you, but first let's look at my fantasy thought bubble. I have photos to illustrate. Keep in mind this is not MY puppy but looks just like him, and we don't have any kittens, but two older cats....REady? here goes the fantasy............





Isn't that great???? First they play all cute, then they snuggle up and sleep together on the couch. Ok ok, it's a scary colored couch. Don't worry, ours is purple! But you see the fantasy story. Now here's the surprise. After school, we are picking up Mackie and going on "an errand". We'll end up at the Dog and Cat rescue location inside PetSmart and be taking two kittens home! The grown ups have already chosen one amazing kitten and our fantasy was to have a fuzzy orange buddy for him. Low and behold, they have a litter of fuzzie oranges ready on Thursday, so we waited. Didn't tell the kids. Sooooo exciting!!!!

I realized how long it's been since I've had a kitten! I was 19, early in college,
when my Zoey came along. I was at Saturday Market playing with the last member of a litter of "free kittens" when the woman literally snuck away! I took it as a sign for me and the kitty to be together. Zoey was actually too small to leave on her own, so I carried her inside my jacket to my college classes for the first two weeks. She didn't pee on me even once. It was very sweet and bonding. I could tell she'd had a rough start, and that regrounded her. She and I had an amazing 18 years together. She died two years + ago, and I still miss her. Now I'm ready for kittens again.

The concerns: we have two older cats who are 13. And we have our chocolate lab puppy aged 1.3. I HOPE he loves the kittens and they all play together. He wants to play with the older cats but they aren't so happy about that. We''ve had a year of hissing and scared kitties. They are finally starting to ignore him and not run away!

If anyone has great tips about introducing puppies and kitties, please comment!!!

***********

I'm off to the studio now. I always sew in the mornings. I'm making tiny zippy bags, I'm calling Bitty Ditties. They are so handy inside one's purse for organizing: change purse, moon time supplies, keeping all punch cards out of your wallet, etc, AND they are very nicely padded, thus a great place to keep your tiny camera, pad your phone, or roll up your iPod Shuffle and headphone cords. Cute tiny 5" pouches. The challenge is that my cute fuzzy padding has been lumpy and hard to control. Very imperfect. The first three have gone as children's presents. :-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday - Garden Day


I've decided that Wednesday will be the day to share some garden photos or tell a story. But today, today is weather BLAH in Oregon. We Oregonians have a lot of tolerance for grey skies, but this is seriously damp, chilly, and blahhhhhhh......... So what I have are photos we'll pretend are today- overcast, but not so blah.

This is a feature in the front path garden, next to the Moomintroll Garden. See the mound in the back? That's Singing Rock Mountain. I collect rocks that appear to have open mouths. They gather there, on the mountain to sing. Baby rocks next to mama rock too.



Inspector 86 doing his job in the herb garden. He pronouces the new dirt and "hen proof" fencing satisfactory.


Two weeks later..... herbs getting established, tiny celantros making secondary leaves, alyssums purpling around the place, and pinapple mint getting bushy enough to make a batch of sun tea.




Yesterday, I spent the day with THESE devine creatures. My own Mudslide, and his two delightful classmates. We took a long field trip to the awesome children's museum in Salem. We stayed together and had such a nice time. Hours flew by!

We loved the bubble room, where you can make a bubble form around your whole body! And we liked climbing inside a model stomach. We all agreed that we didn't have enough playground time. Pah!


Finally, one last photo of the day's events. Mudslide and his knightly friend poised for action.

A delightful day to be sure, and I raced home to a hot cup of coffee, and afternoon spent in the studio, making new TEA themed cozies! Oooo, la la!

For Children of the World

Try saying this to a child this week:
You are a marvel.

You are unique.
In all the years that have passed,
there has never been another child like you.

Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers,
the way you move.
You may become a Shakespeare,
a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven.

You have the capacity for anything.
- Cellist, and poet, Pablo Casals

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Weekend Update with Aly

Greetings on Memorial Day, everyone!
This is the weekend update with Aly.

News from Bliss Monkey Studio:
I'm happy to report I've sold my first Bliss Bag. It's the Squirrel Tree purse from vintage slack weight wool. I'm busily making more with their custom appliques. I like giving the world unique bags for unique people.

On the left is the Coffee Cozy: "Caffeinated Kitties Do Yoga". Laughter is good for your health, remember.....



The Grrlz Update: Poor Star hen is very lonely this week. Lacey has taken to the nest for the second time this spring. She's busily sitting on Stars eggs, trying to hatch them. Urban Chicken lesson #7: Hens do not need a rooster in order to lay eggs, but they do need a rooster if we are going to have fertilized eggs that can hatch into chicks....... So Lacey sits in vain on Star's eggs, and doesn't lay any of her own. Star spends her days alone and missing the companionship of her best friend. We let Star out, urge Lacey off the nest, and out to catch some bugs, and we take the egg inside each day. Lacey will walk around the yard for a brief time, and she's all puffed up, looking more like a turkey than a hen, then her inner egg timer goes off and she rushes back to the nest. She'll be back to normal in a few weeks.

Tip of the Week: Do not do yard work in Crocks. I happen to have a dark red pair - very silly looking - very comfortable. I usually wear them a house slippers, but being so comfortable, I forget to put "real" shoes on when I go out sometimes. I was engaged in some yard work along the fence line and put a thorn stick through my shoe, right into my heel bone. Ouch! That was two days ago, and my heel is still swollen up like 1/2 a walnut, and I'm talking on my toes. I don't recommend yard work in Crocks.



I really appreciate being in the treasuries, thanks so much!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bananas!


Why is felt food so cute and irresistable??!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moomin Gardening

Yesterday, our package from Finnland arrived at the door! (I did a fabric and Moomintroll goods trade with a friend). We love the Finn Family Moomintroll book series, and were more than thrilled to receive some little moomintroll figures to go in the Moomin garden we have out front. I've been plotting for a YEAR how to make figures for the garden, and it turns out you can just buy them! The kids were so excited.

The Moomintrolls live in a big blue circular house in the story, and I'll have to figure out how to make that. Perhaps cast in cement! For now, the teapot represents their house.


You can just see MamaMoomin in her striped apron, and the Hemulin who is face down in his dress, doing a nematode study for one of his collections....

Holding the little blue Moomintroll carefully, Mudslide creates a walking trail, and stream represented by stones.


Moomintroll gardening .......


A sneek peek at my new applique bags. They are fully lined with fun fabrics, interior pockets, and a zipper closure. I must find a way to photograph them nicely so I can post them in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We Love Sock Monkeys

I'm considering going to my own drawings silk screened onto fabric for "Monster Boogers" and the sock monkey in "Hey Banana Breath!" coffee cozies. More unique for the sock monkey, tho this printed one is very cute. And the embroidered monsters are very lovely but labor intensive.

What planet are you from?

Is it narcy to post treasuries on my blog? I hope not! They are so pretty and I'm thrilled to find my work in them. I just recently started checking treasuries, and saving the screen shots when I find my work there. Isn't this pretty, this collection? I'm in love with the little silver Orbit Girl necklace! Oh and guess what? It's a new ETSY policy: it's now OK to write and tell people they are in a treasury. Previously it was considered spam. :-)

Today I'm getting caught up on some sweet custom orders, planning a shipment of goodies for Mosey's new brick and mortar shop in Belfast Maine, and enjoying the rain! As crazy as it sounds, we Oregonians don't do well with freakish 85-92 degree heat waves after all the cool spring weather.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Won!?!!

A package arrived at my door one day. Don't we all love mail? Especially etsy mail?! It was from AdoptACritter, saying I'd won her sweet give-away, and Brobe was now mine to care for.

He hopped right out of the box and after a brief stretch, he introduced himself and was such a friendly guy! He's so smart and scientific and stuff.... I hate to admit it, but I guess I just expected he'd have fewer..... social skills. He really is fun and playful and so witty! Here he is sharing a bit of my homemade fruit smoothie.


Mudslide Sydney, Brobe and our beloved Oogly. They spent much of the afternoon is the top of the plum tree together. He even spent a day at Kindergarden, and got to be the subject of Show-N-Tell.

Thanks for our new friend, AdoptACritter!






This lovely treasury hit home page! Oooooo, la la!
Thanks for including me Syko!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What is Blooming

The sweetly blooming rhododendron out front. When we first bought the house in the fall, we didn't know what plants, bulbs and such would come up till that following spring. We all took bets on what color the rhody would be. "Please not pink, please not pink...." was in my head. Finally, after all the other rhodies were in full bloom up and down the block, ours put out two pathetic little purple blooms. Well she's not pink, but she's not happy either, we said.

I went about learning what I could, given all the other things that needed doing, about how to care for rhodies. I pruned her at the right time, added fresh healthy soil, and this spring, she's making small, but plentiful blooms all over. So pretty, it's like magic. Maybe next year, she'll be looking like that hot red rhody across the street with blooms bigger than my head.




These are the Charmed Coffee Cozies I designed for the upcoming Lark book, "Pretty Little Cozies". The project is about making coffee cozies (of course) but using favorite charms (you know the cute little prints in your stash, that are too cute to cut up? So they just sit and sit. Let's use em folks!), along with some of the pretty stitches your machine can make (but you rarely use?).

Side view

I'm warming to the idea of making more, special, one of a kind cozies.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happiness Is........

Happiness is:
-- Inspector No. 89's break time. You can tell he's done a very good job inspecting coffee cozies all morning, by the amount of thread still left on his nose.


Happiness is:

-- A simple Spring walk after nursing everyone in the family through a nasty virus for the past three weeks. Ah, to be healthy and breath and play!!!



Happiness is:

-- A brand new hose. It's so beautiful laying there, perfectly coiled, ready to water the flowers out front.




But now I wonder...... what does the hose see? This is her view across the street.
I'm sure watering the pansies will bring her happiness.

If you like, please comment with three things that bring you happiness at this moment.
With fondness,
Aly
The
Red

Monday, May 12, 2008

ANd the Coffe Cozy Club Membership Give-Away Goes To.....

In celebration of my 200th sale on ETSY, I wanted to give away something special. Thank you to everyone who came to play, thank you to the sweet customers, and thanks for visiting my shop!

Here is my five year old, drawing names out of the bag of fabulous customers, and blog friends for the winner..... and when I uploaded it, the sound wouldn't work! How rude! We are chatting away about it and it was rather cute....

video


The winner is.........Tulips Talking Blog.... please go to my Etsy store to claim your prize membership to my Coffee Cozy Secret Club! Fill out the questionaire about your favorite things, and the secret coffee cozies will start arriving at your doorstep (one right away, then one a month for the following three months). Oooo, la, la. Congratulations!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Eugene Etsy Street Team Does Street FAIRE

Eugene Etsy Street Team's group booth for the University Spring Faire. For those in town: it's Wed-Friday, 10-5pm. We are three from the end, near the EMU.

We set it up like a boutique, so it's very full of lovely and interesting things from magnetic moustaches to purses made of recycled records.



Photos taken just after early morning set up. It's still cloudy and rather cold, but we are having a GREAT time talking shop (finally someone to talk to other than our families who may be 'sick' of hearing "ETSY this...." and "ETSY that...." !!).

We made a pretty nice banner with white pasely fabric and spray stencils. Clear from a distance and artsty/textural up close. I hope people can understand the difference between handmade and import shops. I'm glad to see other etsy sellers at this faire as well! Hi all!


Here's my mini coffee shop. The suitcase with the cups is full of fresh roasted coffee beans. Aromatherapy shopping! I feel so sad when I see the students walking along with their cups in cardboard sleeves, when they could be enjoying the tactile goodness of my fabric coffee cozies. Wish I could just give out samples. Coffee/tea drinking is such a lovely ritual. I'm willing to celebrate well and often.

Thursday update: day two: we got the set up down pat. It's nice to see everyone in the morning, as we work together to set the booth up. We were thrilled to sit in the sweet sunshine for several hours! Got my wish. The weather turned overcast and a bit blowy after I left and I hope our displays stand up to it. Weather is tricky in an open-sided booth!

Shoppers were fun, but sales were sluggish, this morning, but that's what we expect till the lunch crowd. I remember being a student. Waking up before 8am was "such a nightmare". :-) The magnetic moustaches are still the hottest ticket item-go Ashley! And folks seem to be shopping for a cute mother's day gift.

xo
Aly

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sweet Treasury I'm In

There's something about these colors that make me drool. I mean seriously, that's my reaction, as if those were all edible. I'm in love with the wee goblin!!! Wonderfully weird. Isn't it lovely when somone puts your work in their treasury then tells you about it? That is supposed to be spam? I think ETSY 'aught to add a feature that AUTOMATICALLY emails all treasury entrants. Yes?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Wee coffee stand

I'm having a practice set up for the University street faire next week. Since I'll be sharing a booth with a group of Etsy fun folks, we'll be setting up a boutique of sorts, and my goods have to be fairly compact. I am going for a mini coffee bar look with coffee beans poured into that open suitcase, and in the model cups. The "coffee shop's" wipe board there, may say, "Cozy up to your coffee". I will have biz cards there. On the step below is a colorful tea tray with the cozies, informational sign, and a few keychain cozies. I'd like to have room for my display french press too.

Set up #2 is the same only much wilder colored table cloth. I think that's fun, but may want to let the coffee cozies be the colors. What's your vote?

Can you think of anything else to add?