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August 2008
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October 2008


It's true, I'm addicted to stats.  I check, more often that I care to admit, the stats counter on the blog, the Facebook page...  Perhaps if I wasn't checking so often, I would get more work done.  But we all have our little addictions.  And I just decided that it is just as significant, if not more so, that people come back to this blog, than that they find it in the first place.  So I'm going to stop trying to figure out how the individual page views divvy up into individual people, and just appreciate that we reached 9534 individual page views today.  Thank you to everyone who takes the time to stop by!

Sunday, not exactly a day of rest...

I know, I probably say this too much, but oh my goodness, there is so much to do.  Sachi and I both had lots of button bracelet backstock which all of a sudden this week started running out so we have to get to work on those. 

Though the week was on the quiet side, we've started getting shipments from the Renegade Craft Fair artists.  So much so that I'm having trouble finding space for everything.  I spent a lot of time rearranging the store, but I'm going to have to do it again to fit more in.  The British flashcard onesies and kids' shirts are super cute- - and, I think, fit well with the more graphic-design side of things, which help make the store less... well, girly.  We also got great accessories made out of neckties from an artist in New Orleans.  I like that they are recycled and come from the Ninth Ward, not to mention that the necklaces look cool.  I don't know what it is -- I really like things made out of neckties.  I've seen skirts patched together from neckties and always wanted to try making one of those.  What else?  jewelry made from postage stamps, ceramic pins and necklaces with more simple graphic designs, wallets and cardholders made from newspapers.  It's so great that the indie artist scene also involves so much recycling.

We are starting to prepare for the various October events.  I've been bringing in an assortment of works in progress for the show and tell of the Madison Area Open Art Studios.  As always, I have grand ideas of maybe working on some project....  I'd really like to make some progress on the sewn journals.  I need to make covers.  If I say it enough, surely it will happen.  Dad is selecting photos and we'll be hanging his show for Photo Midwest next week.

I had a crazy idea this morning which I might regret.  I'm making a list of the quantity of my creations that have sold in the 6 months we've been open.  With an eye toward restocking them for xmas.  As I say, I might regret putting it all down on paper.  Already there are things that I've forgotten.  But I hope it will help me prioritize -- certainly, while there are a dozen aprons to hem, it would be better to focus on magnet picture frames.  I have to cut more paper.  I started making some washi paper bracelets and frames so that has been the big focus of this week.  I think I'll take a page from Andrea who made her list and actually crossed most things off.  Maybe just a list for the coming week instead of the larger list of what I hope to get done in three months (which is longer than can be accomplised in three years)?  Which reminds me that I really have to get that new soldering iron so I can finish up all those pendants that I started.

Anyway, Laura, focus.  Let's see, where to begin?  Maybe a top ten list...
butterfly, terrace, washi bracelets
knitter's pockets
magnet picture frames
envelope journals
blue sky snippets
altered book workshop prep
French photo snippets
Pamela's wall hanging

no problem. ha ha.

oh my aching head

So I arrived to the store today after a less-than-productive day "off" (filled with studio cleaning, computer work, fruitless errands, etc. etc.).  This means that my list of things to do is already pretty long and I'm feeling annoyed because I didn't get as much checked off as I was hoping to yesterday.  I did get to the copy shop so I can get to work on the washi bracelets and frames.  And my epoxy batch was successful so I have necklaces to make.  Plus bags and boxes to order for Christmas, gift tags to figure out, Sunday's mess to clean up from the party...  Step into the store and.... whoa! bombarded with an assortment of goodies.  It's another "eek!" in a good way.  Some of the orders from indie crafters have already arrived -- some great kids' shirts, sock monkey cards and kits, new jewelry for the store (and, let's be honest, for myself)Orangeco_008 -- as well as a catalog for someone else's creations.  AND Naomi dropped off a huge shipment last night apparently.  Orangeco_007 The table is covered with new button frames, coasters and more goodies.  AND Sachi got in her order of necklace bezels so she'll be working on another batch of epoxy necklaces.  AND Kelli brought in prints of her gorgeous paintings which I've always coveted and am so happy to have in the store.  Orangeco_009 AND our shipment of paper arrived so Sachi was already cutting circles last night to make buttons... AND I'm sure there's more but I'd better get to work on the list.

eek... but in a good way

It was a great fall Sunday here in Madison. The leaves are only just starting to turn but I'm starting to look forward to those few days of perfect stereotypical autumn.  If anything it is going to be a little warm this coming week, but I'm enjoying it since I heard that this winter is supposed to be even worse than last winter (which was 100+ inches of snow).  Mom is here in the store helping out -- so much for her retirement.  She has generously offered to work two days a month so Sachi and I can each have a full weekend.  We're still in training.  We also had a group of 8 girls come in for a birthday party.  They worked on the spiral bound mini notebook.  Each time, we tweak it a bit and make improvements, though there's still no getting around the wait in line for the hole-puncher.  Anyway, they seemed to enjoy themselves so that was good. 

We had a couple in the store who totally "got" it -- loved the paint colors, the attention to detail, the project ideas.  I could just see Mom bursting with pride ("these are my girls!") -- I'm sure it was nice for her to witness in person the effect that our store has on people.  I don't at all take it for granted, but to stand at the cash register for an entire day and receive compliments is certainly a treat.  It's funny to have Mom here in the store.  It's a little bit like being a kid: being embarrassed about your parents -- she'll go on and on to ANYONE about her girls and this store... it's contradictory of course because a part of you loves it and wouldn't have it any other way, totally happy and confident in the knowledge that your mommy loves you and is proud of you.  I know other people whose parents were less demonstrative, or not able to understand their interests or career choices -- I'd wish everyone to have parents who are so proud of whatever talents it is one has.

And the woman bought the blue sky snippets hanging by the door.  That's the fourth to sell since we've been open, and now I have no back stock at all.  I'm sure they were already on my list of things to do but now I REALLY have to get to work. 

Monday I have computer cataloging and studio cleaning, then a long list of errands to run.  But hopefully I'll get all the supplies for blue sky snippets and get to work on those.

new Japanese paper shipment

Dsc02828 Lots of new sheets of washi paper from Japan (via Texas, of all places).  So many gorgeous patterns and colors.... over thirty different styles in stock.  I really don't know much about paper or fabric printing, but my understanding is that printing is still pretty traditional and the colors are put down on the surface one at a time. Just keeping them all lined up seems like a big task to me.  People are using these to make washi-covered rocks (Mrs. Pils), gorgeous covers of books... and some are just buying a sheet to decorate the wall, framed or not.  In fact, we've sold a lot of sheets of paper to college students wanting to liven up their dorms or apartments.  Dsc02834Dsc02833Dsc02832Dsc02830Dsc02829

the week ahead

Even though it is Wednesday and the week is half done.  Lily is turning one!  I can hardly believe it.  I finished her birthday present in time, as well as a batch of epoxy necklaces, and magnet picture frames.  Last night I was going to make more, but I think I have a little cold coming on so I just watched a movie.  Sachi is installing the new window today: buttons, bottlecaps, and beads, featuring works by Emily, a huge batch of bottle cap bead necklaces by Sachi, button bracelets & more.  So I'll have to rearrange the store.  We are still waiting for our order of wrapping paper to arrive for more button-making... not that there aren't other things to do.  I'm sorting through my French photos to start my own French photo snippet and provide pieces for the craft table activity.  I made the switch to a moleskine weekly planner for next year.  Ordinarily I prefer a planner with a picture for every single week but then they are big and I end up not having them with me.  I have plans to use some old store catalogs to decorate the pages of my moleskine.  I found one last night that has the week on one side and notebook paper on the other side, which will probably be most useful.  Perhaps I'll finally put an end to these little scraps of paper with lists of things to do.  They just float around and get lost.  This weekend we have two parties -- one on Saturday for twinkling water color postcards and one on Sunday for mini comb-bound notebooks.  Sachi and I are gathering supplies.  Oooh! And the FedEx man just ran in with a box of washi papers.  He's always running wherever he goes!  And now I have to go open the box.

i (heart) paper

Dsc02759Dsc02767Dsc02768Dsc02762 Dsc02760 So many lovelies to choose from....  Despite a rainy day, we've had a good day, and, for some reason, are selling lots of sheets of paper.  They've been popular with the college girls decorating their dorms, and I can tell some art classes are getting underway as people gather supplies for bookmaking & more.  The most intriguing was a student buying an assortment of goodies for a Marie Antoinette shrine, including mini Re-Ment desserts and cupcake paper.  And since it just seems like my posts should have more pictures, here are just a few of my favorites.  I'd love a dress made out of the red floral print, wouldn't mind some from the lovely Italian papers for that matter.Dsc02761Dsc02765Dsc02763