Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Snooze Out For Summer

So last night I watched "Smooth Talk," the movie based on the Joyce Carol Oates short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been." I'm showing it in class today. I'm gonna have to say the book was better, but there are some stunning acting moments (both stunningly good and stunningly bad) and family moments in the movie that are not in the story (and that the story does not miss). I'm hoping that we will have some vibrant discussion about it, if only for a few minutes.

This morning, after I'd carefully selected the "snooze" option on my phone's alarm clock more than a couple times, I fell back to sleep and had a dream that I was waking up in class. Like, with the whole class assembled. There I was, sound asleep, and nobody in the class bothered to give me a little nudge. I looked at the clock and it was already 1:05. I hurried over and tried to figure out how to work the DVD player of my dream.

This is all to say I did not get up early today.

But, yesterday was a good bagging day: I deleted a bunch of pictures on the lappy so new pictures will fit, I finished 3 zippies (I think?) and stitched the zippers (which involves lining up the outer fabric, the lining fabric, and the zipper, sewing, ironing, and top-stitching both sides--still working on a more concise verb for that process) for another 3. I have to say, when I ordered "lime" zippers, I was not expecting them to glow in the dark--as you can see, they don't photograph like construction vests--but they are working out in a cool and unexpected way.

I counted yesterday and I'm up to 30 zippies, including the 10 or 12 new ones from the last week or so. This is great: I have only 20 more to make to meet my goal for the July show. Maybe I have learned my lesson: staying up until midnight and then tossing around for another hour is not a good way to be sun-shiney at 6. Before The Pie was born, I would get up by 5 or 5:30 every day and hit the sewing machine. I'm not sure what it's going to take to get back to that kind of diligence! Maybe an air-horn...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where in the World have I Gone? know, vicariously, through the stuff I've made?

I have wanted to buy a map of the world and pin the cities where my bag creations (I nearly said "bag children" right then, and that is just not right) reside. It was a thrill when I got my first international order--Seat is definitely better traveled than I am!

So, here's my list of states and countries so far (and thank you for this little indulgence):

London, England
New Jersey
West Virginia
Lisboa, Portugal
Haifa, Israel
North Dakota
North Carolina
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Washington, DC
New Mexico
New York
Texas be continued!

In other news: 4 new pouches finished and photographed. Very cute birds on perches fabric, and one random, wonderful surprise combination.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A New Leaf in Seat of My Pants?

That sounds terribly uncomfortable, doesn't it?

So for the 3rd summer this year I am doing the Folger Home Summer Market show in Avon Lake. I have been planning projects and buying up supplies--fob hardware, zippers, purse frames, the most adorable birdie fabric (among several others). I decided that some sort of reporting on my SOMP productivity might help me rise before my children and get something accomplished. I'm hoping this will be a couple-times-a-week thing, at least while classes are still happening (just 3 weeks to go, and I will have survived my first year of teaching college!).

Among other things, I'm hoping to make 30 new zippies, 10 medium totes, a handful of frame purses, some thumb drive keychain thingees (a better name is in the works), about 100 fobs (these are super-easy and a big hit at shows!), and some calendar covers. And of course, the second I get that list in writing last week, I get the urge to figure out how to make zippered accordion wallets... I'll keep you posted on that front.

This week so far I have completed 4 zippies--Amy Butler Wallflower and Full Moon Dots in cherry (love these!), and I cut fabric and sewed zippers for 4 others. I'm hoping to get those other 4 finished today, maybe, and posted in the shop this week.

There. A goal, a report.

This is not just about me running a successful small home business. It's about me getting out of bed and getting something accomplished before my CEOs wake up, feeling like I've done something that fulfills the creative part of my soul before the mothering part of it takes over for the day.

Don't get me wrong though--if I did not have kids, I would not even know how to make bags. I didn't even figure out how to make a bag until our son was 6 months old. Our kids have freed up my creativity in ways I did not see coming (grad school, bag business), and I am really thankful for that. So now to do something on a regular basis about it...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's been a while, hasn't it.

The short story: Shortly after I finished up being an MFA student at Ashland University, they hired me to teach a little composition. I feel extremely fortunate to have a job in my field (sort of--we do discuss poetry sometimes), though my working part-time has been a huge transition for our family (and also for my sewing schedule... and blogging schedule... and life schedule, evidently).

Why am I popping in now? Because the other day I got a convo from a fellow Etsian, Sarah, who is organizing an auction for her friend Katie, and I want to get the word out. Says Sarah:

Katie was diagnosed with lymphoma a little over a year ago. She's not letting this thing kick her and she's doing everything she can to fight back with a strength and determination that is just inspiring. Unwilling to let it change her life, Katie still travels, sees friends, works, and lives the most normal life possible under the circumstances. Rather than let it get her down, she'll take a chemo treatment and then head off to a weekend with friends if she wants to. In October we went to a party together and despite the fact that she'd taken chemo that afternoon and was in incredible pain, she was the one pulling me out onto the dance
floor. She's just not going to let cancer stop her. It's really amazing to watch. Katie's husband is a musician, and Katie is a freelance artist. Medical bills are piling up and the cost of medicine alone is overwhelming. We don't want them to have to choose between medicine and food.

So, we're stepping in to help. The basic concept of our event is to hold a huge silent auction to benefit Katie. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to her medical bills. The auction will take place online, a few weeks from now. Right now we are trying to gather donations of items for the auction itself.

And here is the zippy I made for the auction. (Note the sunny day in the background. Spring is coming!)