Saturday, February 26, 2011

A new best friend

My sister & I made our annual ( soon-to-be semi-annual) trip to the L.A. textile dristrict today with a couple of her friends. We have had this trip planned since Christmas, and to say we were excited was an understatement. We've traded hundred's of e-mails over the past couple months with list after list of things we wanted to buy to make inventory for our Etsy shop.

Fast forward to Wednesday night. Forcasted weather for this weekend.....

Rain, Freezing temps, snow....yes, Southern California.

Determined not to let today's weather forcast dampen the spirit, we vowed to hit the mart come rain, sleet or snow. I went out and bought myself some wellies. I had plans to wear my wellies, and was actually excited about the outfit that I had put together to match them..For those of you that have never experienced the textile district, it's in the heart of downtown L.A. right next to SkidRow. Not exactly a clean neighborhood...last time I wore flip flops, and came home with the filthiest feet, ever.

[My wellies..prepared for the artic blast forcasted in Southern California]

So, imagine my surprise when I woke up to sunshine this morning. My wellies still made the trip, but they ended up sitting in my sister's truck just in know, a sudden snow storm hit LA or something...

We had a fantastic day. The four of us did a little pre-shopping breakfast at The Colony on Pico and then headed up the 10 towards downtown. Let me just tell you, everything in the textile district can be bargained. If one person tells you one thing, and you don't like their answer, just move ahead and ask someone else..You might just get your way..Lesson learned with parking.

We saw an advertised lot for $5 all day parking. Steph goes to pull in and the lot attendant told her no trucks or vans. We drove around the block and found another lot that advertised the same deal. Asked if we could park there, and were told yes. Drove in, parked, paid our money and then realized, we just parked in the VERY SAME lot we were told we weren't allowed into. We just entered from a second enterance..We all thought this was very funny. And hence, our first lesson that all things can be negotiated in the district was complete.

We went in a bunch of shops specializing in fleece ( for those adorably easy no-sew blankets that everyone seems to have) for an average of $2-$4 per yard..Just for comparison, our local fabric store, Joanns, sells printed fleece for at least $9-$12 per yard. Same stuff as the mart, just wayyy higher priced. The other ladies stocked up on fleece, but I had my eye out for cotton fabric, in yes, you guessed it, sweet girlie prints.

Our shopping trip eventually brought us to the mecca of all fabric stores in the area, Michael Levine's.

[Inside Michael Levines]
[photo from picasa web]
I'd venture to say that Michael Levine's is one of the only, if not the only shops in the district that is non-negotiable on prices. All prices are marked, and don't be fooled..These designer fabrics are full-price, just as they would be at your local Joanns. The difference that makes Levine's so great? Their bins.
They had $5 bins, and 40% off bins today. I found 3 prints that I've been drooling over online, and one of them was 40% off while the other two sold for $5/yd. Most of the fabric in Levine's, however, is at least $9/yd....but it is so stinkin cute, and so well organized, it's hard not to drool all over yourself in there.
If you live in LA, and you like to sew, you should seriously go there.
No really, seriously.
It's that awesome.

[my purchases]

I also love a store called Islands Fabric which carries a lot of polynesian themed fabric. Not all of it is cheap, but they do have $5/yd on many cute prints, and some are sold on a roll, rather than a bolt, so you end up getting a little more bang for your buck. I think I scored three prints there for under $20.

After a few hours shopping, we saw all we needed to see, so we hit the road home. When I got home, I saw the shiniest, most beautiful, sparkly...

...wait for it...
(a reference for all you How I Met Your Mother fans)




Carpenter's Square!!!!!

My ol man surprised me with a shiny new carpenter's square today. He has watched me struggle with a quilter's ruler and grid mat.. trying to cut perfect 90 degree angles for projects, only to have failure of epic proportions.

So, today my saga of uneven sides has ended. My carpenter's square is the best tool ever, and I have already put it to practice with my first "new fabric" project.

Today was a good day.

A very good day.

I hung out with good friends, and made a new best friend in my carpenter square.
Thank you, sunshine!

p.s. It never even rained on us. ( See, I told you it was a good day)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Giddy on up

I love my silhouette cutting machine... I've been working on cupcake picks for our two "tween" neighbor girls' Birthdays which are coming up and will be celebrated jointly. Last year, the girls held their party at the MB2 Speedway here in town, so I made Race Car themed cupcakes, but this year they're takin' it to the trails...and I am steering clear of all things marshmallow fondant since we're back to healthier eating and I tend to snitch a whole lot of that sugary goodness when I work with it, so, paper cupcake picks, it will be!

Here's a hint for what they might be doing to celebrate "tween-dom" this year...

I still need to sandwich a pick between the larger scallop cutout and another ( not shown). Shove them in a cupcake and you're done!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Best. Valentine. Ever.

NZ and I got this handmade Valentine in the mail this week from his cousin, TZ's daughter. So stinkin' cute! She made him cookies!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

All you need is a vacation

I recently ran across a blog called " Are you sure you're doing it right?" which had me laughing to myself ( okay, out loud, but no one was around to hear me and ask 'what's so funny?"). And maybe what I was laughing out wouldn't be funny to 95 % of the population, but to those who have struggled with getting pregnant, oh my would it ever resonate with you.

It's no secret that everyone loves to give advice.

And I am usually game for well intended advice...until I have heard it for 3 years straight..after that, I'm done. Just turn the record player off, thank you.

The ones I get the most are...

"Go on a vacation.. and it will happen"
-Really? It's that easy? Well blow me down! How could we miss that? Is it in one of the books I haven't read? We've been on vacations. We came back the way we went..not pregnant, and a few pounds heavier from boozin' (which is yet another suggestion.."just get drunk").

"Just don't think about it"
-As "Are you sure you're doing it right" blogger, Alli wrote..."Don't think about your tongue"...Okay, now what are you thinking about?".'s not that easy to stop thinking about something once it's on your mind.

" Stop stressing. Relax"
-Hard to do. I have tried. Believe me, I have. But arranging appointments, prescriptions and protocols is like a full-time job of it's own. I've already got a "real" job, but now I have one "real" job, and one "super-stressful-try-to-schedule-everything-around-my-real-job" job, so that I don't let my commitment to my real job fall by the wayside as I try to navigate the road to reaching our goal of bringing home a baby. So, yeah, that's stressful. No way around it, and impossible to relax.

"Apply for adoption, and you're sure to get and so knows so and so, and her sister tried for 4 years and finally signed on for adoption and wouldn't you know...she got pregnant"
-Adoption is a serious commitment. It shouldn't be a second-best or back-up plan. If you are going to adopt, it should be "the" plan. I find it offensive when people make adoption sound like a second rate plan. It's a serious decision to adopt, and going through the adoption process is definitely not an easy thing to do either. And seriously, how would adopting a kid have any effect on someone's ability to conceive on their own? It's not magic, it's not free, and it's just as heart wrenching and stressful as struggling to get pregnant.

"You've already been pregnant. You don't have a problem."
-That statement is actually somewhat true for my first pregnancy. However, there's such a thing as secondary infertility, and uhm," hay-ay-y, apparently that's me". It took a full 10 months to get pregnant with #2, and #3 had some pharmaceutical assistance. So, yeah--not that easy anymore. My body's on strike, even though I know what it used to be capable of, that damn clock kept moving forward even as my life after loss seemed to stand still ..I woke up and OMG, I'm 33 and still not pregnant. What up ovaries?

Don't get me wrong, I take these comments in stride, and even laugh a little most of the time...because if it were all that easy, I'd feel like quite the fool for not going on a year long vacation in which all my worries could be washed away with cute little umbrella drinks, a tan and a baby on the way...which would be far more enjoyable than the countless hours I have spent waiting in the reception lobby of my RE's office during my lunch break, for an appointment that's running 45 minutes late.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

As seen on Etsy

Here's a sample of the things I have been making for my sister and my Etsy store, Bucky and Boo. I can't wait to get off of work each night to come home and craft. My sewing machine has been living on our dining room table since last Saturday, and has been used every night since. With Valentine's day fast approaching, consider visiting our Etsy store for cute gifts for your kids and loved ones.

{Sweetheart Cape}
{Superhero Lightening Cape}

{Set of 8 fillable favors for a Construction themed party}

{A custom Welcome Baby Boy banner for my sis-in-law's baby shower}

{A customizable "sock monkey" banner for a shower or birthday party}
{ Happy Birthday Banner in Sweet Blossom print}
And my favorite.....little girls dresses. I absolutely LOVE making these. The sweet as a cupcake dress is still listed in our store, but the three pictured below were already purchased by my sister's friend.
{Sweet as A cupcake 2T dress}

{3 "Girlie as can be" dresses}
My sister also has a bunch of stuff posted, invitations, oven mitt and dish towel sets and cupcake adornments..some at a 50% discount until February 7th.

I think he loves me

I think my cat "Beaver" just *might* love me. All 18 lbs of his lovin' cuddled up on top of me a few nights ago as I dozed off on the couch watching "How I Met Your Mother" ( which, BTW--is a hilarious show if you were in your twenties during the earlier part of this decade). I think he was grateful to be in the house with us for the evening, since I have noticed that the cats in the neighborhood have been spraying our garage in an attempt to lay claim on his territory.
If there is one thing I can't stand, it's the smell of cat pee, yet, somehow, last Saturday, I found that cats had sprayed everything in our garage ( Thank God for airtight tupperware storage bins) including my sewing machine bin, my car, Nick's lathe machine and toolbox, my washing machine and his boots. D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G, or as my sister used to say "Grody to the maxxx".
I spent the betetr part of my morning mopping the floor with ammonia ( the smell was not much better than cat pee) and wiping down everything that had been tagged. Then came the lysol spray, and I think that the mix of ammonia and lysol has kept them out this week..But still, what the heck are those cats thinking, beating up on an old man cat ( Beaver turns 11 this year)?
I'm seriously debating getting one of those remote collars that has a sensor that allows only our cat in and out of the garage. Has anyone seen those doors? There is a sensor in the door, and one on your cat's the hoodlums ( raccoons included) can't enter. It's expensive, but good lord I am sick of those freeloaders cleaning out his food and squatting in our garage.