Sunday, December 13, 2009

Win a Custom Plushie!

Yes, you read that right! I'm giving away a custom (i.e., you pick the colors and details!) owl or wee imp plushie. Head over to the Handmade MN blog for details on how to win a little post-holiday gift for yourself! You have until December 26 to enter.

Here's just a few owl and wee imp examples to whet your appetite.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Quickie Recap: No Coast Day 1

The first day of No Coast
was a huge success! It seemed a lot more crowded than Friday night last year. Business at the booth was really steady. I'm so glad I made ornaments this year, because it seems that you guys really love your ornaments! All yeti
ornaments sold out in under an hour, and almost all of the owl ornaments
sold too. I whipped up a scant few more of each tonight.

Zombie critters were
also very popular; there's only one left (zombie yeti)!

I was so busy tonight that I didn't get a chance to look around at any of the other vendors' wares, but I have some helpers for the booth tomorrow, so will be able to do some shopping of my own.

See you there!


Today's the Big Day!

Ack! Yeti looks about how I feel right now; a little worried. Somehow it's the first day of No Coast already. How did this happen? November, why did you hurry off so soon? I sure could have used another week or two of your calm before the storm.

Though I'm afraid there must be something crucial I neglected to do (I'm sure it's just nerves; I made lists and checked them all twice), I'm also super excited. No Coast is always a blast; there are so many awesome vendors and it's so great to chat with all of the wonderful shoppers.

Also, I have one more special treat to reveal to you that I saved especially for today. I made ornaments this year!




I super shrunk my frog, owl, yeti, and giraffe to make these little guys. I think they're pretty cute! Huge, huge shout out to Amy, Tiffany, and Jason, who helped me cut out all of these guys the day before Thanksgiving. I owe them each something very special!

Can't wait to see everyone today! I'll have a complete recap of the show for everyone as soon as I can catch my breath!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In Which You Clamor for Yetis

The results of my little poll are in, and yetis beat out the competition by a small margin:

Picture 3

You asked for it, you got it! Introducing Cotton Candy Yetis!

IMG_4092 These guys will be available at No Coast, but there's only six of 'em, so get to the booth early!

And for those of you who were really hoping for more frogs and owls, no worries. I have plenty of both of those as well.

See you at No Coast! I'm booth D-2 this year, in the main hallway near the security desk.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

November Goal Recap and December Goals

I don't know about you, but November flew by for me! My month kind of got derailed by my acceptance into the No Coast Craft-o-Rama; this will be my fourth year at this awesome event! So let's see how I did on last month's goals:

  1. Finish and ship my pieces for the Go Ask Alice show. Status: Complete.
    I wasn't entirely happy with my Queen of Hearts piece, but I loved my Tweedles. I'd never made anything remotely human before, and I'm kind of excited to try it again!

  2. Send out at least 2 more inquiry emails to retail stores/art
    gallery boutiques. (If any of you know of an awesome store/gallery in
    your city that I should contact, please let me know!) Status: Complete.
    No response from either yet, but at least I'm getting my contact info out there. I identified a few more boutiques I can send inquiries to after the holidays as well.

  3. Finish organizing my fabric shelves, take pictures of the craft room, and blog about the process. Status: incomplete.
    In fact, I'll likely have to start all over again later this month as I've been sewing like a madwoman and have made my craft room pretty messy again. Ah well. At least I'm creating!

    Total Accomplished: 2 / 3. Not bad! 

Last month I also managed to make 26 plushies (that's got to be a record for me!), create price tags for my No Coast items, create other signage for my booth, buy a new booth display, and open a merchant account that will enable me to accept credit cards at my booth. 

I'm feeling really overwhelmed about December at the moment because No Coast is only 2 days away and I still have so much to do, so I'm once again keeping my goals simple.

  1. Kick butt at No Coast. Specifically, I hope to sell at least half of my inventory, and make some new connections with sponsors/vendors I haven't chatted up in past years.

  2. Complete all my custom Christmas orders. I received 6 custom order requests before November was even over, so I don't think I'll be accepting any more Christmas customs at No Coast this year.

  3. Clean up my craft room again, organize shelves, take pictures, and blog it.

  4. Send out at least 2 more inquiry emails to retail stores/art
    gallery boutiques. (If any of you know of an awesome store/gallery in
    your city that I should contact, please let me know!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Go Ask Alice

GoAskAlicePoster I'm finally ready to reveal the pieces I made for this awesome show! I decided to make the Queen of Hearts, Alice, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. I envisioned the Queen of Hearts as a nasty sea monster who captured Alice:

The Queen herself is vaguely heart-shaped, and she has heart-shaped pupils and suckers, as well as heart-shaped jewels on her crown.

I based my Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum on the John Tenniel illustrations from Through the Looking Glass.

I actually used my owl pattern, enlarged, for their general shape (Alice also uses my owl pattern, but much smaller), and then I just added arms and legs. I was really nervous about embroidering the faces since I've never made anything remotely human-looking before, but I am rather pleased with how they came out.

I decided to also make sailor hats for Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, to more closely tie them to the Queen of Hearts piece.

IMG_4032 And here's the whole gang together:

I've long been a fan of Alice in Wonderland (I even wrote my undergrad thesis paper on the tale, because I'm that nerdy), so I'm more excited than usual to be participating in this show. Many, many thanks to Cimmi for curating! If you're in the Santa Barbara area, please go check it out (and take lots of pictures!). Visit the Paul Cumes Fine Art Gallery website for more info.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Introducing Owlets and Froglets!

Two of the items debuting at No Coast this year are owlets and froglets. I shrunk my usual owl and frog patterns by 30 percent for the new critters. Not only because shrinking my imps and yetis by 30 percent last year was so successful, but because tiny things are endlessly adorable, no? Also, given the still less than stellar economy, I figured the more items I have at a lower price point, the better.

Well, enough rambling, on with the pictures!



So, how much smaller is 30 percent, exactly? For comparison:



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Busy Bee

There are only 16 days until No Coast (ack!). Which means it's officially the time of year when I put most of my life on hold to sew pretty much every spare moment. My sleep, house, and social calendar all suffer. This year is a little extra stressful since my pieces for the Go Ask Alice show are due close to the same time as well. Yikes!

I've been carving out windows of time wherever I can to get some sewing done. I sew in my craft room

Photo 17

at friend's housesIMG_3950

even during my lunch break at work!IMG_3987

It's amazing what just an hour here or there can do for both my sanity and my productivity. Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of what I've been cranking out. For now, here's a sneak peek:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Coast, Here I Come!

So last week I was happily (and very thankfully!) un-wait listed for No Coast. Which means my typical month of manic stitching sessions begins. I will make as many plushies as I possibly can before the big event. Which brings me to the real reason I'm posting today. Given that I have limited sewing time (22 days! Ack!), where should I focus my energy? Which critters do you like best? If you were coming to the show to buy a critter (and I sure hope you are!), what would you most hope to see on my table? I've installed a handy little poll below, so you can anonymously let me know what you think. If you choose "other," please do leave a comment on the post explaining what the "other" should be.

Thanks so much for your participation!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Etsy Wish List

As much as I hate to admit that the Christmas shopping season is pretty much upon us, I can't escape it. My Etsy wish list is about three miles long, but here are a few things that not only would make a lovely gift for yours truly, but just might satisfy someone on your shopping list as well.

Etsy finds 11-7-09
From left to right, top to bottom:

  1. Mini Christmas Tree Adhesive Fabric Wall Stickers / Decals from Love Mae. I've struggled to find a nice place to put up the Christmas tree ever since I moved in with Jon, not to mention I think our menagerie might wreak havoc on any tree. But this wall decal set is such a lovely and creative alternative!

  2. Poppy Pins from Modest Maven. I have a slight obsession with hair accessories, and I especially love any accessory that has a vintage pin-up girl feel to it. These pins are so delicate and pretty, and would look great whether worn at the office or out on the town.

  3. Soft Collection of Snow print from Wool and Water. I don't really need nor have any room for more wall art, but this print is irresistible. The colors and the mood of the print are fantastic. Plus, I really wish I had that girl's coat!

  4. Silver Oval Framed Branch Earrings from Sweet Fairy Boutique. Love the simple branch motif. I'd pair these with simple jeans and a tee for an understated look.

  5. Partners in Slime Dragon Snail polymer sculpture from Eirewolf Creations. I'm such a fantasy and fairy tale geek, and these adorable sculptures are so different from anything else in my little collection. It's amazing how expressive they are, and yet they're only about 2 1/4 inches tall!

  6. Blue Snow Cashmere Jacket from Idea2Lifestyle. I've been on the lookout for the perfect new winter coat for about a year now. This one probably isn't warm enough for harsh Minnesota winters, nor would it fit over my bulky sweaters, but it's so cute that I've been on the verge of ordering it anyway for the past six months. . . .

  7. Feltscape from Hibou Cards. All of the feltscapes in this shop are absolutely adorable.

  8. Fawn Pin from Decoy Lab. I've had a special weakness lately for fawns, foxes, and squirrels. This little pin is so adorable, and I love that it's made from bamboo. This shop has some pretty fantastic woodland-themed clocks as well. The one I had been coveting sold, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed they'll make more.

  9. The Guardian from Naughty & Nice. I know, I know! I should really stop looking at wall art. But there's something about this mixed media painting that really captivates me. If I could afford the price tag, this would already be hanging in my house.

  10. Pewter toned Antler Stag Hair Pins from The Sparrow's Nest. Honestly, the only thing that's kept me from purchasing from this shop is that I can't decide which hair pins I like best! These, the lovely birch ones, or the moss-covered twigs? Maybe Santa will be nice and bring me all three pairs (nudge, nudge).

  11. The Cat and the Moon Skirt by Zoe Chen. Isn't it darling? I love most of the clothing in this shop. Unfortunately, I think it's sized for slightly more petite ladies than myself.

  12. Lose Lose original painting by Melissa Moss. So melancholy and sweet all at the same time, this woman's artwork is fantastic.

What about you? What are you putting on your holiday wish list?

Monday, November 2, 2009

October Goal Recap and November Goals

(image: Modish Biz Tips)

Happy November, everyone! I had an awesome October. I apologize upfront that this post is not only rather lengthy, but rather boastful as well. But hopefully not in a bad way; I just want to really celebrate my successes this month after a summer spent feeling kind of down about my business.

So, here's how I fared on my October goals:

  1. Organize my fabric shelves. Status: Almost complete.
    I have only one shelf to go. Sadly, I saved the worst for last. But: one shelf! I can do it!
    1B. When done, photograph my room in pristine condition and share online. Status: Incomplete.
    For obvious reasons.

  2. Make at least 6 plushies. Status: Doubly complete!
    I made 12 plushies this month. 12 (and 3 more are cut out)! That's probably a record for a month in which I wasn't preparing for No Coast (still sad/angry. Deep breaths, move on). Two of these plushies have landed in my Etsy shop, two more will be added this weekend. Where did the rest go? Read on. . . .

  3. Approach 2 new shops about carrying my work. Status: Doubly complete!
    I sent 4 inquiry emails. Within 24 hours, one of the shops replied with a definite yes! (Still waiting to hear from the others.) That pretty much made my month. Wholly Craft in Columbus, Ohio, is now carrying some of my frogs, owls, wee imps, and unicorns. I actually just sent the package today (pic below). So, many of the new plushies I made went to Wholly Craft, while the rest (aside from the 4 that will be in my shop) went to I Like You here in Minneapolis to freshen up the inventory I already had there.

  4. Complete at least half of my pieces for the Go Ask Alice show (due November 20). Status: Incomplete.
    But, the deadline was extended. Not that that should be an excuse, but I still have a little over three weeks before I need to ship my pieces, so I'm not sweating. Yet.

    Total Accomplished: 2.75 / 4.5. (Though I'm tempted to count my double completes as 2 each. . . .)

(We're on our way to Wholly Craft! Yippee!)

"But Jessica," you say, "you only really completed half of your goals. How can you say October was so awesome?" Well first, Plushroom Soup received AMAZING blog love in October, which further made my month. I am so thankful to all the lovely bloggers who took the time to write about my critters—even if it was just one sentence—or post a few pictures and a link. You guys are awesome!

Second, I received my first international sale! I sent my zombie giraffe to a really sweet woman in the UK, who gave me this feedback:

Just got this and it is FANTASTIC! The arm
magnet is really strong and the detailing and
finishing are wonderful. Real value for
money. I am SO pleased with it. You should
be making a fortune with these. My daughter
loves geekery (her Twitter name is Zombie
Giraffes) and says there is nothing to match
this in UK stores like Forbidden Planet.

And third, on the nitty-gritty side of things, I also finally accomplished some really basic things that should've been done (eep!) a year ago.

  1. I registered my assumed name with the state (I did things backward and got my tax ID when I first started selling) and tomorrow will place the legal notice in a local paper that makes that certificate super official. I'm proud (and relieved!) that I finally accomplished that. Now I'll be able to open a business account at my bank, which will make Plushroom Soup super uber official.

  2. I created an account on I don't know if that will drive much traffic my way or open up any opportunities, but at least I've finally declared myself an artist in Minnesota and put my name out there as part of that community.

And, on top of everything I did for Plushroom Soup, I also made a million bajillion baby gifts for expectant friends. My sewing machine could probably use a tune-up after everything I put it through in October!

Though, as mentioned, I'm still sad/angry about being wait-listed for No Coast, it appears it was rather a blessing in disguise, being the kick in the pants that spurred me to finally contact other stores, put my name out there more, and treat my business like an actual business. And those activities in turn spurred a major productive streak for me, one I hope to continue in November. So, on to November goals, shall we?

  1. Finish and ship my pieces for the Go Ask Alice show.

  2. Send out at least 2 more inquiry emails to retail stores/art gallery boutiques. (If any of you know of an awesome store/gallery in your city that I should contact, please let me know!)

  3. Finish organizing my fabric shelves, take pictures of the craft room, and blog about the process.

I'm going to leave it at that for the month, because the most important thing is completing my Go Ask Alice pieces. I'd like to think that I can still make some plushies for the Etsy shop this month too, but I don't want to commit to that given the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of the month that will eat more days (no pun intended) than I usually realize.

Hope you all had an amazing October as well, and here's to an amazing November!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Am It

No, no, it's not existentialist musings or even a proclamation about how cool I am (though, let's face it, I'm pretty rad). Instead, it refers to me being tagged by the lovely Claire of Chickenpants and Absolutely Small fame for one of those blog meme games. I think it fits in with my effort to share a little more about myself and not be all plushies all the time, plus it's a nice excuse to blog a bit. First, the rules by which I am bound:

  • answer the questions

  • replace a question that you don't like, with one by your choice

  • add one more question

  • tag 8 people to continue the game of tagging

And now, random tidbits about me!

What is the thing that makes you happy?
Friends and family. Sewing, knitting, and spinning. Wine. My dogs. The moon. Autumn. Pumpkin-flavored anything. Oceans and mountains. Moss.

Coffee or tea?
Both, but usually tea. Pumpkin chai is sweet, sweet ambrosia.

What’s for dinner?
Spaghetti. Pasta is our staple; I'd say we have some variation of sauce with noodles at least three times a week. Because neither of us particularly enjoy cooking. But mainly because we're ridiculously lazy.

What was the last thing you bought?

A really cute hair clip made from a vintage button and ostrich feathers at I Like You, a super cool store here in Minneapolis that carries only local, handmade goods (including mine!). All Minneapolitans should shop there.

What are you listening to right now?
At this very moment, the new Tegan & Sara album, Sainthood. I feel kind of meh about it so far. This month, though, I've had the Fun. (period included in name) album pretty much on repeat.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?

Um, I guess I'll go with two corduroy skirts I bought at Anthropologie last season. I pretty much live in them. One is brown and the other is a lovely steel blue.

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
Mint with brownie chunks. It's very hard to find, which I guess is just as well because I don't need to eat any more sweets than I already do.

What do you think of the person(s) who tagged you?
She's very creative! Her Chickenpants always crack me up, as does her blog. I only know her through the Internet, but she seems like someone I'd totally be friends with in real life (is that creepy/weird to say?).

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
I love Claire's answer to this: "Could you just drop me off in Tokyo with a few fresh credit cards? Shibuya station please. Thaaanks." and pretty much second that. I've been dying to see Romania too, and I'd love to go back to Iceland someday.

Which language do you want to learn?
As someone who learned only useless languages in college (Latin and ancient Greek), I'd love to learn German (my ancestry) and Japanese.

What is your favourite colour?
Bright green and bright blue.

If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?
A new winter coat. Bright blue, with a classic yet somewhat mod feel, please.

What is your favorite animal?
Alpaca. And sheep and goats and dogs.

Describe your personal style?
Eclectic. I like to play around with many styles. Most of the time, I'm a turtleneck and skirt with knee-high boots kind of gal. And I wear knee-highs with almost everything.

What are you going to do after this?
Sew! Well, that's what I should do, anyway. But I'll probably watch TV instead. I know, I'm a slacker!

What are your favourite movies?
Run Lola Run, Princess Mononoke (really, any Studio Ghibli movie, but this one is the best. My husky is named after the main character), Perfect Blue, Garden State, Metropolis (the Osamu Tezuka one), High Fidelity, Rear Window, Little Otik.

What inspires you?
I'm blessed to have highly creative friends, and their ideas and input on my work are constantly inspiring. Aside from that, fairy tales, mythology, pop culture. I know, the last one is just a prettier way of saying "anything and everything," but it's true.

What is your favourite fruit?

Do you collect something?
Books, hobbies, tiny cute things, song lyrics, fabric (somebody stop me!), dog hair (unintentional).

How many hours do you sleep a day?
About 7. I don't really like sleeping, though. I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to; there's so much I'd rather do with that time! I'm not a workaholic, just a girl with too many hobbies who refuses to give any of them up.

How many times do you press the snooze button before you get up?
I'm replacing this question with:
Share a childhood memory.
One night when I was about 5 and my brother Matthew was about 1, our parents left us at the dinner table before we were finished eating (it only just occurred to me to wonder why, though I probably don't want to know). My brother was still in a high chair. I have no idea why I did this, but I suddenly reached over and jabbed his cheek with my fork, hard enough to leave tine imprints but not hard enough to make him bleed. He, of course, starts screaming bloody murder and my parents rush into the room. Before they can even ask what's going on, though, I look up at them and in my most serious, innocent voice proclaim, "I didn't poke him with a fork." They burst out laughing so hard, they hardly thought to punish me. And we all still laugh about it to this day.

What is your favourite smell?
Wood smoke. Freshly-baked brownies. Cinnamon. My dogs' heads (I swear it's not gross!).

What is your biggest regret?
Not going to the fine arts college that accepted me because I was too shy to move to a big city in another state all by myself, and because I didn't want to leave my then-boyfriend behind. On the other hand, I wouldn't trade my current life for anything, and who can say if I would've ended up here had I taken that other path.

What are you most proud of?
This is really tough. I guess starting this business, putting myself out there. Though I've always been creative, I used to be painfully shy and the thought of putting my creations out in the world to be critiqued is something I never thought I would do. I'm proud that so far I continue to persevere despite hardships and setbacks.

Cats or dogs?
Definitely dogs.

What’s your biggest fashion mistake?
Everything I wore in the late 80s, early 90s.

What is your guilty TV pleasure?
I totally watched all of the Rock of Love seasons, and loved every trashy minute.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Mostly a veterinarian (I still sometimes toy with this thought), but other times I wanted to be a writer for National Geographic or an artist. I went to school for English and Archaeology, though. Go figure.

If you could meet any person dead or alive who would it be?
Uh . . . I'm completely and utterly stumped on this one.

What is your biggest dream?
live in the country and own a small fiber farm where I hand-dye and spin all the fiber from my own animals into yarn that I sell from a small shop on my own property. (I would also sell Plushroom Soup critters there, of course!) To live simply and well, and always be surrounded by those whom I love.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
No one title stands out. I've always been a voracious reader, and have always liked stories with fantasy and fairy-tale elements. I also remember enjoying the Happy Hollister books. They were kind of like The Hardy Boys, but with two sisters as well as two brothers. The books had been my Dad's when he was a boy, and they had that wonderful slightly musty smell that old books have and were worn just enough to feel like old familiar friends. . . .

If today was your last day on earth what would you be doing?
Pleading with fate to give me more time. Hugging my friends and family. Probably drunk.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
The ability to not sleep! That, or teleportation so I could travel on a whim. Who needs planes—I'll just send myself! Who needs to board the dogs or pay for expensive hotels—I'll just pop back home to take care of the animals and to sleep real quick!

And here is the question I'm adding:
If you joined the circus, what act would you perform?

I am tagging the following people (and many apologies if you hate these! I won't feel bad if you don't participate. Promise.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday - Oh, Baby

First, I am not pregnant. I repeat (mom): I am NOT pregnant.

However, four of my friends have given birth so far this year, and four more friends are due by the end of February (not to mention the handful of friends that gave birth last year. Oi!). So as you can imagine, I have spent a large portion of my free time crafting baby gifts.

I know this kind of post is very atypical of me (and I promise it will remain this way). But I know many of you are in the same boat as me: lots of preggers friends, needing creative handmade gift ideas, but having no idea where to start. So for those of us less baby-minded, I thought I'd put together a little round-up of all the lovely tutorials and patterns I've found this past year.

My favorite stand-by quickie gift is the Cozy Quick Blankie from the Purl Bee. It's perfect because it sews up in under an hour, uses just two yards of fabric, and the end result is really cute and, well, cozy.


My other standard go-to gift is embellished baby burp cloths. All moms I know tell me you can never have enough of these around, yet the store-bought variety are dreadfully boring. So I like to dress up 3 to 6 of these and include with most baby gifts. Chickpea Sewing and Paper Dolly Girl both have excellent tutorials for how to do this. And though the latter tutorial calls for flannel scraps to be used as the absorbent interior, I like to used the standard Gerber cloth diaper you can buy in packs of 6 at Target or any baby store. It's more absorbent than flannel, is already pre-cut, and serves as an excellent template for cutting your fabric pieces. You can also sew both of these up in well under an hour.

This free skirt pattern from Oliver + S is super easy, and sews up in
just about an hour. The pattern calls for a yard, but a baby skirt
really only needs a fat quarter (or two 18 x 11-inch pieces). And how adorable is that squirrel fabric?! I kind of want a skirt from it for myself. . . . For a slightly fancier skirt, Two Little Banshees has a nice tutorial.

More time consuming but sure to be a hit with babes and adults alike (I gifted a set of these at a recent office baby shower, and the whole room got super excited and tossed the balls around for the remainder of the shower) are the Fabric Beach Balls, again from the fine folks at Purl Bee (and no, I'm not a paid endorser!).

Not free but super adorable is the Baby Binky Bunny pattern from mmmcrafts. The pattern is so easy to follow and is great fun to make.

Finally, if you're a knitter, I highly recommend the Offset Wraplan pattern by fyberduck. Simple, quick to knit, yet easily and endlessly customizable.

So, there you have it. My take on awesome handmade baby gifts. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Buy Zombie!

Ah, the power of Twitter. This afternoon, someone I follow reposted a Tweet (retweeted) from a user named BuyZombie. Since I craft zombie critters and generally like most things zombie, I was intrigued and clicked over to their profile. is an awesome Website that is "an ever-growing database of everything Zombie related you can buy or do
on the Internet" and has "grown to be a hub for zombie news, media,
reviews, and announcements!" Naturally, I had to follow someone who runs such a cool site and I swear, not even an hour later, I saw this Tweet from them:

Picture 3

How cool is that?! Thanks to Stuart for such a nice write-up of my zombie critters!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday - Autumn's Arrival


Anyone who knows me for any short time at all knows that fall is by far my favorite season. I love fall so much, I wish it was the only season (though I know I would then probably enjoy it less). I love the colors, the smell, the temperature and light changes. I love Halloween, and pumpkin-flavored everything. I love the crunch of leaves underfoot. And even though it's been years and years since I've been in school, I still get that great anticipatory feeling each fall like I did while in school. To me, autumn is like the new year--full of possibilities. A time for rebirth. I know, I know; in autumn, vegetation is dying. Birds are flying south. Other critters are readying their dens for a winter's sleep. But I choose to look at it the way Albert Camus did:

Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower.

Isn't that pretty?


I also like to think of autumn the way our ancestors might have: autumn is a time of great celebration. After the great harvest that will sustain a family and village through the winter comes a time of respite from the hardest farming work. In the fall and through the winter, a family gathers around the hearth. It's a time to enjoy the fruits of all your spring and summer labor. It's a good book in front of a warm fire. Cider from your own apples, pie from your own pumpkins. A leisurely walk down a country lane.


Everything about fall evokes in me strong, happy emotions. Autumn smells, looks, tastes, and feels good. I think if Goldilocks had been able to test out the seasons, she would've declared fall just right. Not too hot, not too cold. Not too bright, not too dark. Autumn is comfort.

I wish all of you a warm fuzzy fall.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Goals and September Goal Status

(image: Modish Biz Tips)

September was a good month! I accomplished darn near everything on my list for the first time ever. Let's recap:

  1. Make a "Y" for the Plush You sign Status: Complete.
    See picture on my Flickr. I will miss going to Seattle this year to hang out with all the awesome plush people, but I hope to go again next year.

  2. Make at least 6 plushies, 2 of which (minimum) will be Halloween-related for the Etsy shop. Status: Half done.
    I managed 3 out of 6, but all 3 were Halloween related. I have a 4th half-done. . . .

  3. Start researching new booth designs for No Coast. Status: complete.
    I have a good idea about what I want to do. The bad news? I was wait-listed this year. I do understand the space limitations, the need to keep things fresh and give new vendors a chance to shine, so I'm trying to stay upbeat. But I can't help but fell more than a little bummed about this. I've done
    this show for the past three years in a row, and it is so much fun. I
    love networking with the other vendors, hobnobbing with customers, and
    being part of the best yearly event in our local community. I'm keeping my fingers and my toes crossed that I can still participate!

  4. Clean my craft room. Status: complete.
    This is a huge weight lifted off my back! I pulled every last thing out of the closet and reevaluated. I was a bit shocked by how much I had been holding onto that just didn't matter. But it felt so good to purge! I sent two large boxes to Goodwill, recycled four large (no, seriously large; like, two year's worth of back issues on four different magazines plus other miscellany large) boxes full of paper goods, and hauled three large garbage bags to the dump. Whew! Felt sooooo good. I want to share pictures with everyone soon, but before I do, there's one last thing I want to check off my to-do list.

Which brings me to October's goals:

  1. Organize my fabric shelves. Refold all pieces, and arrange by color. Recycle or toss what can't or won't be used.
    1B. When done, photograph my room in pristine condition and share online.

  2. Make more plushies! Even though I'm not guaranteed a No Coast slot, even though Etsy sales have slumped, now is not the time to sit on my laurels! Specifically, make at least 6 plushies.

  3. Approach two new shops about carrying my work. Since I most likely don't need to save my inventory for a big show this year, I feel comfortable selling some of it to retail stores.

  4. Complete at least half of my pieces for the Go Ask Alice show (due November 20).

And that's it!

Thoughtful Thursday - On Halloween and the Zombie Scourge


Yep, it must be October all right—zombies have shuffled their way into my Etsy shop! There should be a zombie critter to satisfy most souls, and I plan to add one or two more in the next week.




If zombies aren't quite you're thing (is that even possible?!), there are a few other "dark" critters as well, like this undead dragon:

Red dragon flying

Aside from Christmas, I think Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love playing dress up and seeing all the creative costumes others make. I also love the typical Halloween themes—skeletons, zombies, ghosts, wizards, witches, and so forth. It's the one time of year you're not considered a super nerd for enjoying or displaying items with these themes. So, here's to a fun and festive holiday this year, and no matter what others may say, zombies are always in fashion!