Previous month:
January 2009
Next month:
March 2009


It's like a popularity contest all over again.  As always, there are pluses and minuses about all this information that the internet provides.  I love to see that we are up to 21801 individual page views on our blog.  Unless I was standing by our door with a little clicker, it would be hard to measure the number of individual walking-by views that we get. 

I'm trying not to be obsessive about checking stats - why is today higher? where did that referral come from? what are they saying about us?  As always, my former boss' words ring in my ears: "It's nothing personal."  I know, I know, but sometimes it is hard not to take it personally.  Of course, this means that when the store gets a compliment, it is quite pleasant to take THAT personally.  It's quite fun to see viewers who are referred from another site - I can't resist, of course, I have to go back and read every little shout-out.  I love all this technology.

the happy book

In honor of our birthmonth, Anthology's birth month that is, we are getting ready to install our birthday celebration window in early March.  Can you believe it is almost a year since we opened?  Sachi and I were just talking about this yesterday; time flies it's true.  We're still debating exactly how to celebrate and what the window will look like, but Sachi thought we should share all our customer comments, to celebrate our customers and especially everyone who likes us, who really likes us.  Time to get out the happy book.  We keep it by the cash register and when someone is happy with the store, we write down what they said and when I am feeling grumpy, I can just open the book up and be reminded of people who I've had a positive effect on.   A few months after we opened, I posted some quotations from customers.  I thought there was another similar post somewhere,  but I can't seem to find it.  So, here's some more happy quotations.  You can stop reading whenever you feel like.  I'm entering the entire book so I have them all typed up for whatever form they will take in our window.  I feel so lucky that we've been so enthusiastically received.  We are still new enough that people are coming into the store for the first time, but more people know about us enough that I hear them as they walk by: "that's a really great shop/I like that shop/we should go in there."  To everyone, THANKS!  I love the people that appreciate our store, but I especially love it when someone says that we have inspired them to go home and work on an art project.  This happens weekly. How lucky are we?

"I could spend all day in here."
"This is the best store. Ever."
"Your store is awesome.  I'm like, where am I? Am I in New York?"
"Oh my gosh.  I want everything I see."
"We love this store.  Last time we were here my daughter said we should come back with pounds of money."
"Madison has needed a place like this."
"I love this store!"
"I'm so glad we came in here!"
"This is a sweet store; I've been anxious to come in."
Dad:"I'll bring my daughters here.  They'll go crazy.  This reminds me of a New York city store."
"This is like my own personal Faustian dilemma."
"Kudos!  What a great idea!  You've turned some great hobbies into a neat shop."
"They make things here.  Very cool things."
"This is a really cute store."
a minute later, someone else: "I agree, this IS a cute store!"
(guy)"this would be a fun place to bring a date."
"I LOVE this store.  We should have come here for Sally's present."
"What a wonderful way to spend your day.  I wish I worked here."
"This is a nice space!"
"Your store is lovely... it speaks of... tender loving care."
"The girls have been talking and talking about this place."
(lady pointing to young girl)"this is her dream shop.  Every day she draws the dress in the window."
"We will come here more often."
"Gasp!  I'm gone a week and you change everything around!"
"What a fun bunch of stuff!"
"Super fun store!"
"Oh, that place is super cute!"
"This is an AWE-SOME place!"
"I could spend a lot more time in here.  This is great."
"Oh my god! What a cute idea!"
"What a happy little store!"
“Isn’t it fun! Everything is just so fun!”
“Your store is adorable.”
(from a 5th Ave NY resident) “Your store is merchandized beautifully.”
“I love this store!”
“I love this store.  I feel so cultured.”
“If I’d known you were here, I’d have been here all day.”
“They shouldn’t send another woman in here to get you.  We’ll all be lost in the abyss.”
“We need one of these in Tampa!”
“I just loved your shop.  Congratulations!”
“This is so satisfying.  Everything is so gorgeous.”
“I will be back ‘cause I’m madly in love with this store.”
“Oh. My. God.  This is such a cute store!”
(6 year old girl) “Whoa.... it’s gorgeous.”
“This is way better than the candy store.”
“clever little shop”
"You are so clever.  It's like living your dream, isn't it?"
"This is gorgeous.  Just gorgeous.  This is oxygen!  Thank you for letting us come in."
"What an amazing store."
"Oh my god. This is like crack."
"The store of my dreams..."
"What a cute concept!"
"incredible entrepreneurship."
"I think about this shop All. The. Time.  You have no idea."
"I'm so glad I found you.  I practice art therapy.  There's something very similar here to what I do - encouraging people to be creative with anything and everything."
"You could make a lot of money with this in Chicago."
"You could make this work in Missoula.  I think you could franchise."
"Have a good day.  I don't know how you couldn't in this beautiful store."
(on the way out) "That is the greatest store ever."
"I really need to get back into crafts.  This store is really inspiring me."
"This is just what I needed.  With my new job I forgot."
"We could really use a place like this where I live."
"I heart arts and crafts! Seriously, you don't understand what arts n crafts does to my heart.  It, like, makes it explode."
"This is the coolest little store.  It just draws you in."
"This is an overwhelming store.  I didn't bring enough money to State Street."
"This is one of the coolest stores ever."
"Mom, I think I could live in this store."
"How long has this store been here? It's so exciting!"
"I love your shop. This is very very cool.  I can't stand it.  I just want to do art now."
"I just want, like, everything in this store."
"I love this place.  It's a very calm, welcoming energy."
"I'm so happy to be here."
"When you first opened, my mother in law sent me the newspaper article, with all the key points highlighted."
"This is the coolest store I've been in all day."
"Congratulations.  This is such a precious place.  It feels happy just being here."
"Great little store."
"This whole store is just darling."
"This store is a-DOR-able!"
"You have the coolest store that I've ever seen."
"I'm just feasting on all the things to look at."
"Thank you for a wonderful afternoon adventure."
"This store is FanTAStic"
"I feel like we're going to be here every day."
"This place is radical." (poetry slammer)
"I think I'm in love."
"This place has my number.  It looks like what my dreams looke like.  This is a hot proverb.  Listen, those who steal have guilty hearts.  That's hot."
"This store is HOT!"
"I think this is my new favorite store.  This will be the place I get all my gifts."
"I could just die from the cuteness in here."
"This shop is AMAZING!!"
"Oh. This place is adorable.  I think you will love it."
"This must be the best shop we've visited so far."
"Everything in this store is so cute."
"This is super creative."
"Oh my god. Look at how busy you guys are!  This is awesome!"
"too. cute."
"We do all the things you think you'll do but won't.  That's a great store concept."
"This store has all those things that make you say, 'I can do that,' But you never do so you might as well buy it now."
"super cute!"
"I'm in the button store."
"Wow. This is the best store ever."
"This store has such a great vibe."
"It's inspiring.  It makes you want to go home and do something."
"Oh! I love that store. It's so cute!"
"This is a really really fun place."
"What an amazing store!"
"This store just kills me. It's so cute!"
"I can't stop looking."
"Where do you find all your cool stuff?"
"This is dynamite!  It grabbed me right off the street!"
"Cute little shop! I love it!"

9 year old girls: "Dad's outside?  He's not so into this prettiness?"
"Mom! This is, like, awesome!"
"This is my favorite store."
"This might be a gift store for your birthday."
"I could spend all day in here!"
"What a fun store!" "I know! I love it here!"
"There's so much pretty stuff here."
"This is so magical. You are such an artist."
"A girl from the hotel said I should come here.  She said 'you just gotta check it out! you've never seen anything like it!"
"I love this place!"
"this is my new favorite store"
"They have such unique things here!"
"I love love love your shop. It's my new favorite."
"I feel like I could spend my whole paycheck here."
"This is where I'm going to buy all of my birthday presents from now on... forever."
"This place is so pretty. It's like a scrapbooking inspiration shop."
"Fun to see such a great shop!"
"This would be a cute little place to work."
"I'm so depressed!  I want to move in! I wish we'd discovered this place earlier."
"Everything is so beautiful in here!"
"What a fun little shop!"
"This is such a cool little store!"
"You run this with your sister?  That's so cool!"
"You have everything so icely placed. It's very cute. Very inviting."
"This is the cutest idea ever.  So clever."
"This is actually real tight." (in a complimentary tone of voice)
"I was gone three years.  This is a lovely surprise. I'm so happy."
"I don't come in here enough. It's so happy."
"This is an adorable little store."
"Your house must be fantastic."
"This must be the coolest store ever."
"I tell you, the creative juju in here.  It's something."
"I took a 5 minute break.  I gotta get back to work but I can't stop looking."
"This is an awesome store.  It's so inspiring.  It makes me want to go home and be artsy."
"I'm overwhelmed.  I have to come back."
"Your store is so gorgeous."
(the men are in a rush) "Oh sh**.  Well, you guys will just have to drop me off here tomorrow."
"I'm at that store.. .Anthology.  You know, where they have all that cute stuff that adds up real fast."
"You guys are so accomodating."
"I'm Kyle.  This is Brenna.  We're here every weekend so you might as well  know us by name."
"You guys are rock stars!"
(on phone) "I don't know what it's called, but it's cute."
"Oh my gosh.  I'm going to have a seizure from all this wonderful stuff."
"Super cute!"
"I could spend a lot of time in here.  Just let my imagination run."
"I love this.  The attention to detail.  It's good."
"Everything in here is just incredibly cute."
"I love this store. It's so overwhelming."
(on phone) "Hello?  Yeah.  We're in that cool shop you told me about. It's right up my alley."
"This is. really. incredibly different.  I'm so glad we braved the crowds.  You're amazing, Do you ever thing about opening other stores?  You could be Paper Source."
"My girlfriend has been bugging me to come here and craft and I keep saying no, no, no, but now I totally have to come back."
"This is the coolest store. Hello!!"
"Is this your place? You guys are awesome!"
"This is a really neat shop. It's so fun."
"You thought of this store all on your own?! I'm so proud of you!"
"Very clever. Very clever."
"This is the. best. store."
"Oh my god. This place is so cute."
"Look at this place!"
"hot diggety dog diggety!"
(on xmas shopping) "I honestly could buy something for every person here!"
"Yeah, I know. One-stop shopping."
"This is, like, the BEST birthday store!"
"People are so creative. I absolutely love it."
"This store is so much fun."
"Very. clever. place!"
"I've never seen someplace like this that's local. I'm telling everyone I know to come here and get me gift cards for Christmas."
(to passerby) "Greatest store ever in case you are wondering."
"This place is awesome."
"Ohmygosh.  She's gonna FLIP out."
"There's too much to look at. Sensory overload!"
"Too cute."
"This store is really charming and fantastic."
"We don't mind hanging out here. It's a lovely vibe."
"What a great store. Fun and creative."
(yelling outside while passing by)"That is such a cute store!"
"I'm feeling very inspired now."
"I've never seen a shop like this."
"Very cool! Very artistic!"
"Way fun! I'm sending people here!"
"Oh, what a lovely pair you are! This is a lovely store!"
"I have never been in a store like this. It's really neat."
"I love this place. It's adorable.  I need a bigger paycheck."
"This is like the coolest store I've ever seen."
"Everywhere you look there's something new. and pretty. and cool."
"This is a one-of-a-kind store."
"You can come here and make crafts. It's the cutest thing ever."
"This is so clever!"
"If you ever want to get me a Christmas present, pretty much anything in this store will work."
"I could have shopped here for two hours."
"It must be nice to get to do what you like for a living."
"Oh, let's go in here. I love this little shop."
"You are officially my new favorite store."
"How much fun did we just have?" "Lots and lots."
"It's such a quirky little place.  Thank you!"
"Ok! You seduced me!"
"This store is amazing. I love everything."
"Everything here is just so darn cute."
"Oh! COOL!"
"Is this the cutest store ever?"
"It's overwhelmingly sensory in here."
"You really could spend all day and not see everything."
"This is heaven."
"This is adorable."
"No wonder my husband hasn't told me about you guys."
"This is like a dream.  How happy are you to wake up every day and come to work?!"
"This is fun.  It's like eye candy - just not the fattening kind."
"You guys have a great shop. It gets me creative again."
"This is the best store I've been in in my life. Thank you! Thank you!"
"Oh my god. I'm home. I love it here."
"I'm totally enthralled."
"You guys just make stuff all day? That's pretty awesome."
"Wanna have a crafternoon?"
"Ok, this is my new favorite store."
"You've been open since March?! I could just kick myself. How many times have I walked by?"
"Everything in here is so cool.  I love it."
"This is the kind of place you have to spend a lot of time in or you'll miss a lot."
"May you have YEARS of success."
"You guys just get to play all day at work, don't you? No fair."
"This is the best little store!"
"So many cute things in here.  It's terrible."
"Congratulations on a wonderful store!"
"There's so much to look at.  I don't know where to begin."
"This is the best gift store in Madison. It's so reasonably priced and everything is so cute."
"I'm in love with this store!"
"Everywhere I look I'm in joy."
"Oh man, I've hit the jackpot. I'm overstimulated."
"This is the best store. Ever."
"Everything is so filled with love."
"Guys, are you ready? This is my all time favorite store."
"This is by far one of the most charming stores I've been to.  There should be some sort of prize."
"This is so freakin' adorable."
"Oh my! My art muse is just filling up."
"I'm so bringing you and Dad here for my birthday shopping."
"You just have the coolest eye.  Everything is so wild. I love it."
"You guys are the death of my paycheck."
"This place is wonderful! We are so lucky."
"My mom's gonna fall in love with this store."
"That's my favorite store in Madison."
"It's fun but it's also set up so cute too."
"I'm totally revved up.  I haven't been this creative since I was 6 years old.  The doily thoughts are flowing.  I've just discovered my calling to make really great handcrafted Valentines.  Here I wasted all those years wearing black and hating the 14th."
"It's so awesome. It make sme so happy."
Mom: "We should have come here first!"
Daughter: "I know. I told you so."
"This store is great. It's like my brain."
"I'm gonna be up all night."
"Now I want to go home immediately and do stuff."
"Your store, swear to God, it's making people want to MAKE stuff."
"Great creative energy in here. What a happy place."
"I'm gonna go home and TWINKLE!"
"Yeah, go in.  You'll like it."
"You can buy me anything from here anytime."

"what are we going to do? grow potatoes or keep on going?"

That's what I overheard someone saying out on the sidewalk the other day. I thought it was a perfect response. No doubt that life is challenging just about everywhere nowadays. In many ways, we feel really really lucky - despite the fact that everyone seems to be asking (with a sympathetic tone of voice): how ARE you? (how's business? how's the recession? is ANYONE buying anything? how's the store? are you making any money? - all those questions are there in the tone of voice). The best answer to that question takes a post that is probably several pages long when printed out. It's the one after this one, titled "happy book." Sachi came in a few days ago and said she was getting rather tired of the question. It's not that we don't appreciate people's concern, it's just that the majority of people who ask the question seem to have already formed their opinion. They ask the question, and then they don't listen to the answer (which is another of my many pet peeves - why ask the question if you aren't going to listen? why should I formulate an answer if you aren't going to listen?!). It's like they are asking partly because they can't believe a business like ours could possibly make it in times like these. Maybe they are just trying to show their concern and their care. I can appreciate that, honest I can, though words aren't the currency the bank deals in.. sorry to be blunt. The question seems more genuine when it comes from someone who purchases someone from us - not only are they concerned, but they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. It is as much in their self-interest to keep us in business because they like shopping here. I'm not demanding that everyone spend money at our store but, as with anything, there are actions that can be taken if the situation is really of personal concern and interest. The bottom line is that we are a new business; we don't even have a year of sales to compare our days to (yet -- very very soon we will though - the year birthday is coming up in less than a month!). Any new business is going to take time to get going even in the best of times. We were really lucky because we started the business just BEFORE the real catastrophe hit. The bank was willing to give us a loan, we all had money in the stock market that we could cash out and put into the business. We are selling enough to pay our rent. We have lots of great consignment artists who are willing to wait to be paid until we've actually sold their work. I've sold more of my own creations than I could ever imagine and can barely keep up. We've lasted longer than the 6 months that random passerby gave us. And I've almost filled a book with happy overheards from customers in the store. We are definitely not going to stop what we are doing, and especially not to grow potatoes! There are so many places we could be that we are happy not to be. I was ready to move on from my old job and there is no other place I would rather be. So as to the question of how we are doing, we are happy, we are satisfied, we are creating, thanks so much for asking.

we {heart} Vintaj brass

Necklace 001 All right, finally got all the pieces in.  We've made some fun charm bracelet kits for the store, but also a few sample pieces.  We've got the flat brass charms that you can pound your own text onto, as well as the individual Vintaj pieces for you to make your own jewelry.  The flat charms are going to be the craftivity for the beginning of May (make a sweet charm for Mom), but if you want to come in early, you can schedule an appointment.  Just give us a few days notice so we can gather all the pieces together.

If you are at all interested in jewelry making, I encourage you to visit their very inspiring website.  The artists do amazing work!  At the show in California, the Vintaj booth had some amazing necklaces, very chunky with tons of charms - more to show the range of options.  Naturally I had to make one for the store.  There's over $100 worth of metal on it, not to mention the beads and my time, and a few vintage clip earrings thrown on for sparkle.  It's rather heavy and not very practical but it was so much fun to make!  Even one of the little clusters of beads and charms would be a very sweet pendant.

Hmm.. let's try this again.  That first picture was really blurry, and before I could even model the necklace at the store, it SOLD!  A visiting artist from Philly promised she'd give it a good home.  So, here's version 2.0 of the vintage charm necklace.  Pretty similar.  I still haven't had a chance to alter any of the flat blank pieces but we did get in one more tool which adds to the overall effect.  It's a little tool that punches holes in the metal so now I can add another hole at the bottom of the flat metal pieces and dangle MORE charms.  It's nice because then the sweet little charms are a little more visible.  Anyway, here's the second necklace, though Pamela was right, it's longer and it doesn't seem as full compared to the picture of the first one.  Perhaps today I will scrunch the charms together a little bit.Necklace 004


This has nothing to do with the store or with creating, really, but I just learned about Pandora.  And I'm sorry if this is so yesterday's news to you, but it's great.  You just type in a song that you know & like, and it calls up all sorts of other songs you might like.  First, I love mixes so it is fun to listen to new mixes that I haven't made (and memorized the order of).  Second, I was really feeling like I needed to add some variety to my musical library.  Now I can find out about some new songs.. I can see a visit to iTunes coming soon.

Despite this (and some time on Facebook - got some new friends, if you can call people who threaten to post pictures of you in high school friends.  I'm really happy to have reconnected with some people that I thought were long lost.  There's still a few that I'm wondering about - I'll try to be patient), I did manage to get some work done today.  Two studios organized (well, worked on, not completed), Goo's fabric ironed, top of blue & purple quilt done and ready to be quilted.  Tomorrow, a few errands and a few hours of CD cataloging.  And then, back to the drawing board, or rather sewing machine... if I can tear myself away from Pandora.  I gotta work on a better set-up at home, like actually getting a computer, though then I would never get any housework done!

fun with embellishments

DSC04937 SO much fun with embellishments!  Here's our latest project, fresh from the show we went to in California.  Lots of people were making these chipboard "books."  The structure is really simple but the end results are fabulous.  Sachi and I consider it a nice melding of the scrapbooking world and the art world.  There's more freedom than the traditional album; the loosely bound and sturdier pages mean than you can paint, glue, and attach all sorts of trinkets on top of the pages.  The end result is a very chunky album.  In addition to chipboard, there are also books with clear acrylic pages which should be interesting to combine with transparencies and velums.  The books don't have too many pages so it is an easy way to create a little memento.  This one pictured is a sample of the mini bird book that we currently have as a craftivity, including some little photos from Sachi & Tom's wedding.  Techniques include gluing torn paper down, painting with twinkling watercolors (this is the first time that I've really layered colors - they are very interesting that way as the color kind of shows through from beneath), gluing photos & glitter & powdered velvet & paper flowers & fabric can see the possibilities. I have lots of samples in mind and even consider making some to sell in the store, if I can just find the time.  In the meantime, please consider stopping in to make your own. We've got lots of different shapes of blank books that you can take home and embellish, or work on a little bird book in the store.

DSC04938 DSC04939 DSC04940 DSC04941

am I obsessing too much about the list?

I had to revise it.  Here's the carryover list from 2008, substantially edited and still probably not realistic for the remainder of 2009. But I actually had to go back to a September post to find THE LIST so I really hope that I am not being to annoying to post it again.  Obviously there have been other posts about lists but those were all the short ones.  Almost a year into this business and it is clear that expectations need adjusting.  Certain projects aren't going to get done, can't get done at the store, and that's not even considering all the new things that are bound to come along.  The good news is that I DID get to cross things off the list so it's not like I'm sitting around doing nothing.

Things to make and do.  February 2009.

blue and purple quilt
Goo baby quilt
2x2 blurb book
get prints of CA photos
mom's blurb book
French blurb book
chunky album samples: Lily at beach
Vintaj necklaces and charms. copper etching
French travel journals
gather Valley Ridge observatory/aquarium book supplies
altered shirts
think of more craftivities
studio cleaning
altered Grimoire
make crowns for store
crayon & knitter's pockets
make scrap/envelope books
sew headbands
ruffled aprons
origami crane ornaments
terrace chair snippets
button bracelets
mica houses
travel photo and other cards
Madison photo snippet collages
photo charm necklaces
Custer cabin quilt & altered book
learn to make granny squares
assemble scrap packs, fabric eggs
sew batik tablerunners
black & white photo snippets
figure out kimono tunic pattern
make more laminated placemats
mini Madison wax collages


all things cupcake?!!

I had no idea... there was a blog for that!  I haven't looked, but I assume the Cupcakery (don't you just love that name?!) is there.  I'm still dreaming about our visit while we were in California.  Emily was featured on the blog so congrats to her!

Obviously I'm a little distracted from store business and creating.  I have been moderately productive today and got some things done, or at least started.  All of my meals have been off schedule so perhaps that is why I am distracted by cupcakes.

This morning I ran around to the East side of town.  I know it is not that far away but here's the deal - it seems like every time I make the nominal effort to go there, the place that I want is closed.  My usual schedule of being off on Mondays does not work at all well with the schedule over there.  Sigh.  So I thought that this morning would be a perfect opportunity.  But W Cupcake doesn't open 'til noon and I was crabby and in need of breakfast.  I peered in though and it looks cute.  I finally got to see Green Parasol - lovely little setting and cool paper curtain, and the kitchen store on Willy St with blue bowls that I covet.  And an inspiring stop at Absolutely Art.  They have such a great collection - their copper enameled jewelry by Alison is among my all-time favs.  A really sweet print of little bird figures sitting on spools of thread.  If I wasn't feeling sorry for myself and apprehensive about the upcoming tax season I would have totally indulged.  This is my first year completely self-employed and I have no idea what it will mean come April. 

The big thing from this week is that I managed to pull off a surprise birthday party for my mom.  It was a big deal and took a lot of energy and coordinating and not talking.  We had it at Cafe Montmartre which was delicious and my mom was totally surprised so that was fun.  I've had to be very careful for about a month, not to say anything, and it has been a challenge.  But totally worth it.  Now the next thing is my 40th birthday in a few years.  Hmm.. I once had a great party at Tripp Commons at the Union... but I'm also starting to dream about a trip to Bali for an art workshop.  Can I have both? 

February has been rather busy, with things to do and also with customers.  I'm feeling a little bit tired and overwhelmed, so I compensate by watching Grey's Anatomy at night and working on my Vintaj beaded necklace.  I feel like a sissy, but that show always makes me cry.  I miss the episodes because I'm at yoga so I'm watching through Netflix, starting from the beginning.  I'm just at season 3.  Even though I am feeling a little bit harried, this month has been pretty amazing.  Just today some customers bought my blurb book after spending a long time perusing the store.  Then they came back later and said they just realized it was MY book, and would I please sign it for them.  I still haven't figured out what to do.  Is it bragging or too effusive to say anything at the cash register?  I just ring it up quietly but inside I am thrilled when someone buys MY book.  Wow, that's rewarding.  And I can tell we are really building up our base of regular customers, even as we still have people in for the first time.  It's even fun to overhear people as they walk by and point us out, "that's my favorite store!"  Yesterday I had an altered books demo; tomorrow is a card-making party and photo snippet date.  Sunday there's a cub scout troop coming in to make books.

I just learned that there are some techniques for etching on those little brass charms from Vintaj (apparently you can use rubbber stamps or sharpie markers and get intricate designs -- ooh!  I can't wait to try that out! The necklace is getting rather heavy and is really meant to just give people ideas of what they can do with the charms.  I could stop anytime but it is my calm & happy creating for my nights).  I still can't bring myself to look at THE list of things to do.  I'm just dealing with the immediate needs, like terrace chair bracelets.  And dreaming of more shirts and skirts to alter with iron-patches of fabric.  I'm wearing my new shirt today and want to make lots more.  I was wondering if a new outfit from Anthropologie would make my high school reunion bearable but I see now I could perhaps just make an Anthropologie-like outfit of my own, and I'm still not sure that would make a high school reunion bearable.

Phew, and you thought I was just going to write about cupcakes!  Once I get started typing it is hard to stop.

Everyone has been enjoying the Valentine card-making so that is fun and almost constant.  I love the idea of all these cards being mailed out into the world.  One girl earlier this week was especially thrilled. She and her friends spent over 2 hours working on three cards each. Here's what she said, "I'm totally revved up.  I haven't been this creative since I was 6 years old.  The doily thoughts are flowing!"  Isn't that great?  Hope you are all enjoying red and pink and doily and sprinkles Valentine preparations.

like my new shirt?

DSC04895 Inspired by Amy M and Rebecca, I've had plans for a while to make some altered shirts.  I was going to cut out flowers from fabric but then saw some cute circles yesterday that made me try this.  I ironed on heat n' bond underneath so the circles are stuck down, and then just a little stitching on top.  I like it!  Now I have to make more...

and P.S. Can you tell from this picture what combination of key strokes the darling Lily hit to change the intensity of color on the computer?  I thought not.  All my pics, and the desktop, are a strange color intensity? brightness?  I don't know what, but I can't seem to fix it. It has to something that is set up as a shortcut so shouldn't be too hard to find, right?  Sigh.

back to the list

All right then, January is shot and February is well on its way.  Yesterday Pamela tended the store and Mom tended Lily so Sachi and I could go to Milwaukee and make the rounds of artful and inspiring stores - including Broadway Paper, Paper Boat, Artist & Display.  It was a nice day off.

Today is an assortment of errands and studio cleaning.  As for the list, seriously... is there a secret stash of time somewhere and how do I get to it?  It's about time to take a look at that list from last year, you know THE LIST, maybe just the things that might have a slim chance of getting done sometime in the next 10 months.  I did make progress on the list of 25 from last week -  phew! since I was feeling panicked.  It's interesting how my sister and I complement each other; when she is feeling panicked I tell her to be calm, and vice versa.  Who knows what it would be like if we were both in the same mood!  The sermon went well on Sunday so that is over.  Anyway, for now I'm going to stick with the list of 25 which has been subtracted and added to.

1. blue and purple quilt
2. take photos for 2x2 blurb book
3. get prints of CA photos
4. work on layout for blurb books
5. taxes
6. write text in French travel journals
7. clean kitchen. clean dining room.  deal with all that paper
8. make chunky album - maybe Sachi wedding pics
9. make Vintaj necklace, gather supplies, craftivity?
10. work on imaginary observatory book
11. wrap mom's birthday present
12. yoga
13. water plants
14. dust the shelves
15. prepare for Sunday craft party
16. get hinges at hardware store and convert wrapping paper racks
17. Genevieve's quilt - go to Stitcher's Crossing, wash, iron, cut fabric
18. altered shirts
19. studio cleaning
20. cold water wash
21. sew valentine hearts
22. plan next craftivity
23. make collage postcard for store
24. store orders and purchase orders. create items.
25. go to store for office supplies, cleaning supplies, photocopies