Thursday, February 14, 2008

a reminder

Just a reminder, and in case you didn't catch it at the bottom of my last post, I've changed to a Typepad blog. You can now find me at I'm sorry this causes you a little bit of work, but be sure to change your subscriptions, your links, your bookmarks, etc. There's a new post over there today, so come say hi! and Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

an accomplishment and an announcement

So, I did it - I finally finished the second, larger version of this bag that I have had cut out for at least two weeks! Nothing like a funk and a cold to slow you down. Today the sun was bright and shiny and it was making me feel bright and shiny, so I hope the funk is gone and I know the cold is gone because I can breath with my mouth closed for the first time in four days.

So, the's quite large - perfect for packing all sorts of fun stuff. I was thinking diaper bag when I made this, so I lined the entire bottom with pockets and added a cell phone and small pocket to the top half. I think I'll leave the small pocket out on the final version - it was just a little too much pocket and didn't really fit.

I also quilted the top part of this, but it took forever and it was really hard to make it all straight (maybe I was just trying to go too fast), and I'm not sure it really added that much to the bag (except for a lot more thread!), so I think that won't be part of the final version either.

I did decide that this one was good enough for giving away and now it's all packed with fun baby goods and ready to give to Peter's speech therapist who is having her first at the end of the month. Today is Peter's last session with her until May - I hope he transitions well to the substitute.

And my announcement (oh, wait, I just realized what you all must be thinking - no, no it's not that) - it's a new blog!! I've moved over to Typepad. So, take a minute, stop by, and change your reader subscription to! I will probably just post one more announcement here in a day or two (for those who didn't make it to the end of this post) and other than that, I'll be completely on Typepad now. Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 11, 2008

checking in...

Hello everyone! I just wanted to check in today and let you know that I'm still here. The boys and I all got hit pretty hard with a cold/cough around Wednesday of last week and we're starting to feel better now. Ryan and his super human immune system were just fine. Once when I had strep throat I was accidentally brushing my teeth with his toothbrush and he didn't get strep! I can't even remember the last time he stayed home sick - he is amazingly healthy!

I know I'm committing a major faux paux for a craft blog by not posting any pics, but we're really just getting back on our feet here and I thought a blog post would be enough of an accomplishment for today! I was just starting to fight the funk last week and then the sickness brought it all back. But, the sun is shining today and my spirits are up, so I'm looking forward to a productive week! Tomorrow, I'll reveal my big change that I've hinted at and I did finally finish that second purse that I've been talking about forever!

Hope you are all having a great Monday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

fighting the funk...

Thanks for all of your encouragement on my last post. I've decided I'm not going down without a fight. The mid-winter and post-birthday blues (I'm always OK with winter until my birthday is over and then I think it's just time for it to be spring - so at least I get one extra month of relative satisfaction with winter.) will not get me! And here is my plan of attack:

1) Drive north to visit Missy for the afternoon.
status: Accomplished yesterday - the sun was shining on the way up and the kids laughed and played and then cried when it was time to go home. Fun for all! Thanks for having us Missy!

2) Start an all new project - one that I've been thinking about and had supplies for for months.
status: Getting there. I've left it out on my sewing room floor and it makes me smile every time I walk by. Any guesses about what it is?

3) Finish some sunshine-y yellow vintage banners for the shop.
status: Banners are finished, the sun came out today so pictures are taken, will list in the next day or two.
4) Just work through whatever is holding me back on the second trial of this bag and do it.
status: I got a great start last night. I actually almost finished the bag. This will no longer be the bane of my existence!Link

5) New mystery project in the works.
status: to be revealed later this week or early next week. Go to my shop for a preview.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Ned woke up with this crazy hair yesterday and I thought it was a good representation of how I've been feeling for the last two weeks or so - funky. And not funky crazy, but funky like in a funk funky. I've hardly done any crafting or sewing at all in the past two weeks. I've had that bag cut out for a week and a half that I keep promising to show, but I haven't sewn a stitch on it. I have done lots of cleaning (notice the sewing room floor in the picture above is vacuumed.) and sorting and organizing. But, I'm still feeling a little off and it doesn't seem to be just a passing feeling. I've got a lot of ideas about why I'm feeling this way - being 31 (I know it's not that old, but it sure is feeling like it lately), it's the middle of winter and way too cold (Peter keeps saying, "I too cold, I too cold," when we are outside.), and I'm feeling the need for a little more direction and focus in my life, but I'm not sure where I want to go. Oh, I know this is all very vague and I'm probably being confusing more than anything, but I just needed to get this off my chest. Maybe if I just admit it, I'll be able to work through it and move on. Hmmm...I feel a new crafting project coming on - something to help me get out of this funk!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Verdict on Etsy Showcases

Warning: Technical Etsy stuff ahead- feel free to skip this post if you aren't interested. But some of you requested an update on this topic, so here it is.

Remember this post a couple of weeks ago where I asked if any of you had purchased an Etsy showcase? Well, no one had, so I decided to purchase one as an experiment. So, I went to the Showcase section on the My Etsy page (this is the one you can only get to after you have logged in and you are looking at a list of what you have for sale and there is a left sidebar with different options - showcase is one of them) and purchased a showcase spot for Monday January 28 in the Gift Guides section. I chose the Gift Guides section because this section is consistently sold out, so I figured it was a more desirable location. This cost me $7 and got me a picture of my choosing in the right sidebar section of the Gift Guides page for that entire day. I chose to show the purse pictured above because it has been one that has consistently received the most views.

So, at midnight on January 28th, this purse had 366 views and 13 hearts. This morning at 8 am it had 400 views and 13 hearts. This was the only way that people could have linked to my shop from the Gift Guides showcase, so at most 34 people looked at my shop because of this showcase. I did have three people heart my shop on January 28th, but I also added this banner to the shop yesterday, so I'm not sure if they even came from the Gift Guide.

So, for $7, I got 34 to look at my purse and I'm not even sure how many of them went on to look at my shop. That's a little more than 20 cents per view. I usually get at least 20 views in the first day on a new item and that listing only costs 20 cents. I think I would have been better off spending my money on 35 listings, which would have resulted in at least 700 views of my items.

So, there you have it - my take on Etsy showcases. I probably won't ever purchase one again. Maybe a main showcase or holiday showcase would do more good, but those cost $15. I'm not sure I'd risk it. I'd still be interested to hear from anyone who has had a positive experience with a showcase - maybe I did something wrong. My shop wasn't nearly as stocked as I wanted it to be, mainly because I have been lazy and in a funk the last week or two, but also because I sold four purses on the 27th. But, I'm not sure it would have helped as I only had 34 views on that purse that day anyway...who knows? I just know it would take a lot of convincing for me to purchase a showcase again.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

they say it's your birthday

What a great birthday weekend I've had, thanks to friends and family who have made it so! Friday's massage was fabulous and then Friday night my friends here threw me a such great party with laughing, great food, and games! Thank you, Thank you! We forgot the group shot, but here I am blowing out the candles on the cake (chocolate with chocolate frosting - perfect!).

I borrowed an idea from my friend Phoebe and made a mix CD (is this what we call mix tapes now?) of songs that I love and have meaning to my years. I shared a copy with all of my gal pals at the party and we listened to it too - fun! And now that I've got you all intrigued, here are the songs, starting with the song that I was named after.

Jessica - The Allman Brothers Band
It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go - Nanci Griffith
Clocks - Coldplay
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan
Galileo - Indigo Girls
Jerusalem - Peter Breinholt & the Big Parade
Ciega, Sordomuda - Shakira

Vivir Si Aire - ManĂ¡

Maybe I'm Amazed - Loma Mar Quartet

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - The Beatles

Pinch Me - Barenaked Ladies

Sweetly Sleeps - Peter Breinholt & the Big Parade

Landslide (w/Nancy Hanson) - Peter Breinholt & the Big Parade

I Feel It All -
Once In a Very Blue Moon - Nanci Griffith

In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel

Birthday - The Beatles

Last night was babysitting co-op night, so we dropped off the boys and went out for Greek food. Mmmm....delicious gyros, hummus and pita, spanakopita, dolmas, etc. It was our first time going there and I think we'll definitely be going back. I love finding a new restaurant.

And then today, I woke up and it really hit me that I am into my thirties (31 this year). It was a little depressing, but I got over it tonight with a nice banana split and seeing Peter and Ned's excitement to eat ice cream. Peter even told me, "Happy Birthday!" and of course, had to help me blow out the candles.Please excuse my piles of clutter - I've been a little too good to myself this previous week in preparation for my birthday.

Thank you Ryan, Mandy, Kelli, and everyone who has sent their birthday wishes in person and by phone and mail! It was a lovely birthday!