Thursday, September 15, 2011 all amazes me..

there are moments in time when i want a clear message to drop from the sky.    sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

there are times when i feel alone and abandoned, so there is no reason to ask then, is there, for a message to be sent? 

i often remind God that i am both blonde and hearing impaired, so no soft quiet subtle hints for this girl.

say it plain and clear.  big and loud. 

i don't always get those messages i am asking for and looking for right away.  sometimes, as in the case when i wrote this mornings blog post, i did not ask for a message, and quite honestly was not even expecting one...and i got 2. 

funny how this all works....huh?

last night, more like the wee early morning hours this morning, i had all but given up on my etsy shop. 

when i woke up i found this message in my in box.......

Zoe Designs (ZoeDesignsVintage) sent you a conversation on September 15, 2011.


Beautiful items and great variety! I'll add a few to our favorites.

Happy Sales!

Ellen and Bob

this was just the umph i needed to carry on and keep going...a huge sale would have been great too...but how cool was this?!  right?!

i quickly sent bob and ellen a note back and told them they were heaven sent.  and thanked  them for the message, to which ellen replied.....

Zoe Designs (ZoeDesignsVintage) sent you a conversation on September 15, 2011.


Hello Christine,

Yes, I must be heaven sent :) I found you "accidentally", as they say, looked at your items and felt compelled to send a quick note! I do write to a few people a week - you caught my eye today :)

Synchronicity is something, isn't it?

Thanks for your note back. I'll add a few items from your shop tonight :)


so if this was not enough to wind me up, put the wind back in my sales,  a bit later a new facebook friend, and gallery owner  complimented this photo. 

i then private messaged her about her thought on pricing.  she was pretty much in line what we came up with here.

i think there are times when we think we are at the end of our rope, and we ask, and pray, and even beg for an answer.  but we are not at the end of our rope, and so we continue on waiting for it to get better, to change, for a big sign to drop out of the sky.  then there are times when we really are at the end of our rope and we get just the nudge we need, a message drops out of the sky....plain and clear, big and loud. 

so as i tuck myself in to bed i am so thankful to God for the messages and the people that were brought across my path today. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

oh...i don't know what the title should be

just checking in here.   yesterday was a photo taking marathon like no other.  the hubs and i had quite a rhythm and routine going.  it was wonderful!  without his help i could not have photographed half what i did. 

i was able to get all but about 10 scarves photographed before the sun pooped out on us.  i was pooped to say the least, it was 90 something degrees, the mosquitos sucked...quite literally.  today my back, shoulder and chest muscles are ayayay-achey.  who would think holding a camera would make you feel like a whiplash victim!  does not help that since the beast was beastly yesterday, i tensed up trying to keep from falling over.   nothing though that a couple of ibuprofen can't take care of.

 since it rained all day today the others will have to wait for their moment in front of the camera.  the backyard will be a muddy mess for a couple of days, especially since we are going from last weeks record high temps to record low temps this week!   one good hot steamy day would dry the yard out in no time. 

mike is loving jumping over the mud puddles, and then going back to run through them...such a boy he is! 

today i was all ready to start adding the scarves and i froze....pricing.  what am i going to price these at.  the process from beginning to end for each piece is lengthy, and for some pieces can be a bit labor intensive. 

i have researched till my fingers are worn to the bone and my eyeballs are ready to pop out of my head...ok maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration...but anyway.  i researched, a ton.

i found a shop, blurry, out of focus photos,  not much of a description, and prices i thought were out the roof and this girl is selling like hot cakes....ok they tell you the photos are a big, big, deal to selling on etsy, i obsess over my etsy photos.  and with that said i am even in the process of doing retakes on some items. 

i found another shop where the photos are gorgeous.  it looks like a catalogue spread.  the time this girl must spend on picnik editing her collaging her photos must be nuts.... does not hurt that she is cute, and tiny.  her scarves are 3 feet shorter than most of mine.   they have been wadded and put in a dye bath, then re-wadded, or lightly banded and dyed in another color.  i know this because i have experimented with this process for fabric to be used in other projects.  soooo....not a lot of work, blood, sweat and tears put in to her process.... she uses the same fabric i do....75 buckos for these scarves.  she is selling like crazy, and i think that is great, i am just without words, so to speak.  yikes, almighty. 

and yet another shop, awesome catalogue photos, cute cute tiny girl who is creator and model, and her back drops for her photo shoots....awesome.  she, too charges out the wah-zoo for her scarves and yet she is selling like crazy as well.   no way would i pay 90 - 100 for light weight muslin that has been wadded and put in a dye bucket, no matter what her photos looked like. 

i found yet another shop, who seems to have copied some of the previous shops techniques in layout and styling of the photos, but i would not call her photos catalogue-ish,  but they are good, and  she is a tiny girl, but, and please note here...i think everyone is beautiful, but if she is not what the general population would say is pretty.  her scarves are the same as the previous shops, and she is charging what is i think is a fair price for her scarves and over at her shop....crickets are a chirpin. 

from there i found shop after shop where the photos are mediocre,  there scarves were nice and dirt, dirt cheap these girls are way under pricing as far as i am concerned, and again...crickets chirping at their shop. 

some of them i get their lack of  sales....if you are going to model....put a schmere of make up on, chipped nail polish...really?...and girls tuck the tired, ugly, soccer mom bra in all the way in to your wife beater t-shirt....i get why their shops are quiet....if you can't take care of yourself...a little personal hygiene goes a long way girlies...then i sure would not think you put much in to your product. 

during the entire time steph and i were dyeing these scarves i thought i had figured out my pricing and then researched and found that we majorly seemed to be under charging last year...and would be this year. 

big sigh......... 

so today as i went to add my scarves, and froze, i  then researched again and again.   and i came to this conclusion....ok....i have not come to any conclusion.  

my hubby says i am too nice, i worry too much and have too much of a conscience.....if i were to charge for my scarves based on what the cute girl with the catalogue spread charged....i would be charging a couple hundred for my scarves....really....i think not.   i could not.  i will not.

my bead peeps tell me i am under charging for most of my jewelry pieces, yet i have not gone back to raise them up.....could be fear that the crickets chirping at my shop will keel over dead.

i have read where there is actually a psychological factor in pricing, if you under price people actually won't buy. 

so the big question here is...what is that thing, that thing that makes one shop crowded and another echo-y? 

right now, today, i am ready to close up shop, and every time i think about this, a little voice says just hold on a bit longer.  

who woulda  thought trying to decide on a price on a bunch of scarves could cause this arty girl to question her entire thought on what she was meant to do in life and drive her to tears.....sheesh.

i can't even blame this unruly little breakdown to hormones.

kind of thinking having a hubby, now going on month 4 of being  unemployed is getting to me a bit, just a smidge. 

thinking i will leave you all with a few unedited photos from yesterday and i am going to go curl up in the fetal position and find something funny to watch on tv, normally i love rainy days..but i am thinking a bit of sunshine on this girls face might help.  let's hope it will be shiny bright when i wake up. 

this was last nights be-u-te-ful moon.....

nighty-night....and big squishy hugs to you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

aren't they oh-so-pretty! squeeeee!

today i started the photo shoot for the first batch of scarves. 


i was covered, no lie, head to toe in mosquitos the entire time!  i have bites on top of bites and bites in places i did not know i had. 

i promised max i would not put this on facebook.  this is not facebook.   hehehehehe.....

he has always teased his brother and sister about their he gets 'em.  this masque is wonderful for zapping them. 

that is about all for now.  got a couple of busy days ahead...i will try to pop in before the week is out. 

nighty-night...sleep tight....smooches.

Friday, September 9, 2011

de-nubby-ing and de-gnarly-ing completed....check

when steph and i decided to start creating shibori/tie dye scarves last year we were so excited....we had no idea of just how much work there was, especially on a large scale.

i have to say though, that even though there is a ton of work, it is all worth it when you see how different methods of resist and color combinations work out and become beautiful creations...and every once in awhile....ewwww bad.

once our fabric is cut to size it must be washed to remove any of the sizing or chemicals so that the dye will take.  we then either dye the piece a base color and then begin to band, tie, stitch, or use resist to create a design, or just dive right in to banding and stitching.  this year we have been trying new things and finding out what is a no-no and what is a go.  

the piece may be dyed and then over dyed 2 or 3 times.  next it is set out on a table outdoors to spend a day , or two drying in the sun while it is still banded and stitched.  then the rinsing process begins.  we rinse each piece while still banded and stitched until the water runs clear.  depending on the color and the amount of time we let a piece soak it can take up to 30 minutes or more for the water to run clear.  by doing this it helps keep the piece from looking muddy. 

now let the un-banding and un-stitching begin......this takes longer than the banding and stitching  since you need to make sure you do not snip the fabric.   this can take an hour on average for each piece. 

another rinsing to remove any extra dye trapped in the layers of fabric while it was still banded and stitched. 

next the piece is washed in a solution to help set the dye, then it is washed in laundry soap and oxy clean and dried.

now we are at the de-nubby-ing and de-gnarly-ing.  all of that soaking, rinsing, and washing causes some of the threads to become a little unruly since we leave our edges unfinished.

this is just a tiny bit of the trimmed threads.   i could so easily be a hoarder.  the threads are so pretty it is hard to throw them away, but since i have no idea what i would do with the trash they go.   i so do not want to turn into the lady whose dead cat was found squished under a pile-o-crap.   and yes, i probably will find some really cool neato thing to do with threads such as these next week...but i have saved a cats life by not keeping the threads,  this time!

next, i removed the one selvage edge of the fabric....this treasure i kept as it is now a bunch of pretty ribbon that can be used in a multitude of projects. 

we love a bit of wrinkle and crinkle to our scarves, so just the most wrinkly-est and crinkly-est of the edges get a bit of ironing.  good thing i don't need to iron all 10 feet of each scarf, as i am allergic to ironing. 

the ironing will be saved until the night before i do the photo shoot, and since it is suppose to rain through saturday, possible sunday i will be banding and stitching about another 15 - 20 scarves for a second batch, and good thing that i get to sit down to do most of the banding and stitching as the change in weather and my ear infection are causing the beast to behave most badly. 

i do have to say, though, that the new found coolness in the temperatures we have experienced this week is so wonderful.  i love having air conditioning, but it begins to make me feel like i am caged in after awhile, so having the windows open and feeling the breeze and hearing all of the sounds has been heaven....and now, at this moment hearing the patter of rain and smelling the cool, wet, earth is soooo wonderful. 

i think that is about all for now.  i hope you enjoy your day, and weekend.  mwah!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

hoppin' in to say hi....

this arty girl is still feeling not-so-arty from her ear infection, but had to share this photo......

aren't they cute?!  momma and baby.

ok, this picture is blurry darnit and i am totally bummed, but i just love the look of determination on the face of jr. there.   he succeeded every time in jumping over max's hand. 

earlier today i was running between the outside and inside,  rinsing and wringing freshly dyed scarves and then washing them, while adding others to their dye baths and i noticed mike playing in the dripping water from the outdoor faucet.  mike does not like water so i walked over to see just what the little booger was up to and found him pawing and smacking at the mud.   i looked down and this lumpy blob in the mud and could not figure out why mike was messing with it.  he does have a facination with our backyard frogs, but this was not a frog....just a lumpy bumpy blob.....just then the blob moved and i realized that mike had accidentally covered and buried one of our little frogs in mud.  next thing i knew the poor thing was opening it mouth gasping for air and trying to wipe mud off it's eye with a back leg gooped up in mud.  

we rinsed the little guy off, and for a minute there i thought one of his eyeballs were hanging out of his head...ewwwwie....thankfully it was a little twig thingy...whew....,  and put him back under the house where he lives during the day so he could recouperate, later max found them both out and about and brought them in. 

so that is about all there is today.  got lots done even though between the beast and the ear infection i feel like crap on a cracker.  

i am hoping to play show-n-tell with the scarves here in a day or two.  with steph working i am on my own and running in eleventy different directions at once.

i will try to pop back in tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

be back in a few days....

this arty girl has ended up with an ear infection and is feeling pretty crummy....i will be gone for a few days.....

Monday, September 5, 2011

keeping my promise to myself....

i promised awhile back on my other blog that i was going to get myself back in the swing of posting daily. 

so....not much happened today....insert cricket chirping noise here......

the blushing pink scarf i was stitch-stitching away on, i decided to add even more stitches to it, so it took me a bit longer to finish it up.

after my last post  steph and i sat up and talked for a couple of hours and by the time i wound myself down it was 6ish.  as i was tucking myself in the hubby was having one of his boxing matches and fighting someone, something he has not done in awhile, up until the last few nights that is.  so this tired arty girl slipped outta bed and poked him then backed off and waited for him to fully wake up.

after that i attempted to tuck myself in to bed again and mia, our scaredy-cat guard dog began barking ferociously at what was probably a blowing leaf...but to be on the safe side i crawled out of bed to check and make sure there was not an evol villian standing at our back door....nope there wasn't. 

pretty soon though mia was joined in the barking by mike, who has discovered recently that he can bark even louder...he sounds like he is about 6 feet tall and weighs 600 pounds now when he barks....

and then there is mollie, too smart to bark at such silly things, but she did have to add her two cents worth
and bark once. 

so since the other two barked i crawled out of bed again to check one more time....nope still nada, nothin', zilch...i attempted to crawl back in to bed and moan-uh the cat decided now she wanted in the kitchen to back we went to the kitchen and i open the gate....our puppies are naughty.....and let her in to eat. 

 moan-uh, our geriatric kitty is still purr-fectly able to get in to the kitchen all by her self, but i feel bad still for her, and she will meow until you escort her to the kitchen....she gets out of the kitchen with not a peep.

so now i am climbing back in to bed and then.....i gotta pee.  so i climb back out of bed.

by this time it is after 7.  i crawled back in to bed, and since the tinnitus was at an all time glass shattering level i turned on a comedy show and don't even remember seeing the first seconds of it because i was out.  

steph and i opted not to try out resist technique with the gel glue and just to work on putting the finishing touches on the scarves we have done and getting them photographed and added to etsy....we will then start on a new batch with new tricks and techniques.  then we talked about all things girlie....i love spending time gabbing with her.  i am one lucky mom.

i can not wait to get this first batch of scarves done done....all the way done and listed.  i so want to get back downstairs and working on other projects again.....

i still need to add a few finishing touches to this one before i can list it on our nest feathers and twine etsy shop.  the hubby and i both loved it so much i am going to make one for us.  i am not sure where we will put it until we own our dream house though.

warning....below is a photo of a nakey polymer clay art doll, if nakedness is offensive please do not go any further....but if nakedness is offensive then telling you i had to pee earlier probably was as well and you may have already left.....but i am warning you anyway.

this is an art doll i need to finish.  before the hubs lost his job back in may, i entered an art doll exchange and since i signed up to make a polymer clay version to challenge myself, this is the first version of the doll.   i have not worked with polymer clay in quite some time and wanted to get back in to it so hey...lets stress ourselves out right?! 

i got a bit nervous about sending a stranger a nakey doll, so i made her something else.  i can not show you that doll yet because she has not received it yet.  i will play show-n-tell when she has received it. 

she is not really suppose to have full arms and legs.  thought about giving her some cellulite dimples and more of a saggy belly.  like the belly of a woman who has been stretched to the limits by having 3 nearly 10 pound babies.  i have never worked with this brand of polymer clay before and don't like it, so maybe i should not mess with her too awfully much.

so i am going to add a few more stitches to another scarf and try to get to bed a bit earlier since the boys have school again tomorrow and i have to get up before the sun, birds, and most other humans to wake them up.

nighty-night...big squishy hugs.

shibor-ing.......stitch-stitch-stiching away......

2:54am  and i am wide awake....and i am stitching and stitching a soon to be scarf.  10 feet of fabric.  when i started i liked the blushing shade i had dyed the fabric.  now i must sayeth the pinketh stinketh.  i am looking forward to working on a different shade.   

the stitch process is boring, and after the dyeing process is complete the unstitching of it all is quite the challenge, making sure that only the knotted string is cut and not the fabric.  in the end though....oh-so-neato it all looks.  yes it does. 

every row i stitch i change my mind as to what the secondary dye color will be.....aaaaaaaaarrrggggg.....

this is after the stitched threads have been pulled and tied off....

that is about all for today.  the beast has been extra naughty, earlier today when i walked i look like a drunk trying to walk across a waterbed.   but, within the last few hours i now just look like a drunk trying to hands and brain are working better together so i can type and stitch....although i feel like a pin cushion at the moment!  now if the tinnitus would knock it down a notch or two so i could hear myself think i would be a happy girl, not to mention that every time i turn my head it is like being at 6 flags on the spinny tea cup ride. 

the weather here was gorgeous today.  in the 70's, just the most perfect amount of breeze! 

this evening it smelled just like october!   it was a bit chilly and the sky was perfectly clear and you could see the stars.  i could have stayed out all evening looking up at them. 

um, well...i guess i am back to doing some more stitching.   i would so love to get this pinky piece done before i try to go to sleep. 

hoping tomorrow to try a gel glue resist method.  fingers crossed it works just like the tutorial says.  the thought of working with drippy hot wax with my coordination is not appealing, and it is more expensive.

can you tell i am one of those people that takes a long time to say good-bye....always thinking of 1 more thing.

ok, i am really going this time!   

big sloppy kisses to ya....


Saturday, September 3, 2011

and tomorrow is another day....

what was planned for today will have to wait until tomorrow......

we have 1 sick hubby, 25 or so years ago had his stomach stapled and every once in awhile he eats something the tummy does not like.

child number 2 has either allergies or a cold, and being of the male variety is feigning death....thank goodness that child will never have to experience childbirth....sheesh. 

the beast, and if you are new to either this 'new' blog or my old, is the Meneire's disease induced vertigo and benign positional vertigo, has been kicking this girls butt big time today. 

this morning the hubby and boys took a 4 hour trip to meet someone to deliver a hatch from our old, tired, pos suburban.  on the way back they stopped at a garage sale.  we have not been able to garage/estate/flea market sale for quite sometime, and i look forward to the day that we can again.  the people were having to sell what appeared to be the majority of their belongings, which breaks my heart.

  the hubby walked in the door with a box full of silverware.  he knew i was wanting to do some arty stuff with the silverware.  some of these pieces are too too beautiful to do anything with, and i have some more research to do on these pieces.....oh..oh..oh....are they beautiful.....eeeeeeee!

ohhhh....i forgot to take photos....hold on be right back, or brb as the daughter says.


i have been looking for these boxes, the brass and glass ones.  use to be you could find them at any dime store type store, dollar store.  i went looking for them a few months back and could not find a one.  this one has etching on the top, but i will find a way to fix that....somehow.

little old medicine can never have enough of them.

old crusty boxes....squeeeeee.....neato.  and one of them is marked with my least the age on my birth certificate.  i sure don't feel anywhere near that number...maybe half that. 

a couple of old brooches i can use in my jewelry making, and this adorable box of teaspoons...and tucked inside.....

this sweet little note......

and now the box of treasure......

just look at the patterns on some of these pieces!!!   i have more research to do to determine the actual age, the back is stamped Rogers 1847.  some pieces list the individual brothers names as well. 

some of these will be used in with art, some of them. 

so, that is all i've got for now.....oh...except for this......

 i worked on this one above....and below..... to introduce our scarves.  not sure if we will use one, or all of them or any of them.  since i was stuck in bed most of the day i played a bit.  the vertigo makes it hard to concentrated and focus....but i hate doing nothing. 

this is one steph did.  steph is more of a plain and simple, classic kinda girl.  she must get that from her grandmother.  i love both of our styles.  lots.  that is what makes it so hard. 

you would, however, think that we would have learned not to work on any collaborative project when we both have some monster pms.  eeeek.  we both are a wee bit over sensitive, and a teeny bit on edge. 

ok, so that is all i have for now.   i am off to schmere poison plant and critter cream on the hubby's face, which is starting to look like something out of a horror film,  and see if my quarter coffee has cooled off enough to drink. 

lots of love to ya....mwah.