Friday, December 26, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
There really are some of the coolest sites out there on the internet. I was having a lot of fun today at THIS site. I remember seeing this site on Matilda Jane's blog a while back and I bookmarked it after playing around on it. Am I easily amused? Maybe, but give it a whirl, show your kids and kill some time over the holidays with this activity. It's fun! In this particular instance, it's fun for me to dream right? Dream that one day, a clothing design of my own would be on lifesize billboards in a store window. For now, I find enjoyment just thinking about the dream!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Well, I know most people are in that anxious mode as we get closer and closer to Christmas. I'm trying to split my time between the holiday chaos, the family.......... hey wait, I've already mentioned them, they're the chaos part!!!......and then some quality time with my sewing machine and all the lovely new fabrics I've gotten in. I am excited to have a few new girls who are going to model some pieces for me and this new sneak peek of a Spring Dress is the "Audrey" To keep these pieces seperate in my mind, they're all getting a name, their models name! Very original I know but it's fun. This one is delicate and girly and would be perfect for Easter, a tea party or for those folks who live in Texas, the customary pictures done in the bluebonnets. Can't wait to see what this looks like on as I love how it turned out and am planning a sister coordinate for it. As my girls have gotten older, they love skirts so we're going to mix it up a tad.
After these pieces, up next we'll have Brookelyn!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
As of February 10, 2009 ABC (fill in the blanks with all the other small business names) Clothing Co. and thousands of others in the children's industry will be deeply affected financially and or will be out of business.
Remember the outcry last holiday season over lead in imported toys? In order to combat such safety issues, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has passed legislation called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The law sets stringent guidelines for children’s products containing lead and phthalates (a chemical used in some vinyl products).
It is supposed to go into effect February 10th, 2009, and after that date any product intended for children ages 12 and under must meet these guidelines, and have a certificate of compliance from a CPSC-accredited laboratory. This includes not just toys, but clothing, jewelry, blankets, sheets, books, bibs, strollers, carriers, and anything else that a child under 12 might come in contact with. Sounds great, right?
In theory, maybe. But in actuality the law is so far reaching that it may succeed in turning the economy upside down. For starters, the CPSIA requires end unit testing on every product intended for use by children under 12. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to do this testing, regardless of how small the business. That means that manufacturers (like myself ) will have to pay to get every different product they offer tested. These tests have to be done at a CSPC accredited lab, and cost tens of thousands of dollars. For example if you offer 3 different types of dresses. Each dress contains 2 different fabrics, as well as buttons, and thread, so that's potentially $600 to test one dress. But if you have 3 or more styles, that's $1800. And when you get a new bolt of fabric, you need to start all over again.
At present, there are no exemptions for small businesses and "micro" manufacturers and most handcraft artisans. There is no exception for quantities made, where the garments/products are made or anything else. Nor is there an exception for unadorned fabric components, unfinished wood components, materials which, by their nature, are free of lead and phthalates.
Also, the Act takes a "guilty until proven innocent" approach, which would treat a handmade, unfinished wooden toy that doesn't meet the certification deadline of 2/10/09 as a "banned hazardous substance" which would be illegal to distribute in this country. Each infraction carries a $100,000 felony charge. This legislation is also retroactive for any pre-existing inventory as of February 10th, 2009. This means that everything on the shelves in those big (or small) stores will also be "banned, hazardous substances" - contraband.
Larger corporations that can afford testing will incur thousands, maybe millions of dollars in fees, and this expense will be handed down to the consumer, probably making the prices for children's products go through the roof.
This also means that after that date, even selling your kids old things on eBay or Craigslist will be illegal. Charities will not be able to accept donations without a certificate of compliance either. February 10, 2009 is being dubbed “National Bankruptcy Day” by many people in the apparel and toy industry. If this legislation is not amended, it will affect everyone from port workers to parents looking for legal products. Billions of dollars worth of children's products will have to be destroyed because they can’t be legally sold, and this will cause major environmental problems.
While we all for higher safety standards and keeping our kids safe, this law is so overreaching as to put thousands on manufacturers of children's products out of business -hurting our economy and causing even more loan defaults. Though this legislation was well-intentioned, it cannot be allowed to stand as is.
Please help us defend the American dream and our entrepreneurial spirit! This law affects every stay at home mom trying to help put food on the table and every grandmother knitting blankets for the local craft fair. It makes the thousands of us who have found a niche in the burgeoning children's market have to make a tough decision - continue to produce items illegally and possible incur a $100,000 fine, pay the enormous fees and raise costs of goods sold, or close up shop!
Please help us!Contact your Congressperson using this link: http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476
It only takes 30 seconds!If you have an extra minute send a hard copy of the letter as well!To sign the online petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html
Read more about it here: http://nationalbankruptcyday.com/
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I started on a new piece and when I look at it in it's entirety, I think of my friend's daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth has a personality that is all her own. She's full of spunk, endless energy and is always on the move. What better style to dress her in than an easy to move around in peasant style top. I see her eating ice cream for breakfast on many Mondays. Is this her mom's choice? Heaven's no, but we start each week by meeting for a cup of coffee and breakfast tacos at our local coffee shop, Cups & Cones along with some beginning of the week chitter chatter. It's the begging and pleading that any mom of a 3 year old is all too familiar with that gets her her cup of ice cream! When I think of my favorite ice cream as a kid, it was always the bubble gum flavor. I'd get a cup and put them all in there eagerly counting my final tally of gumballs. For some reason, when I saw this fabric, it took me back to my bubble gum ice cream days as a kid. These days, I'm not ordering a whole lot of gumball ice cream, but I do enjoy sitting back and watching Elizabeth.
I'm really excited for the holidays but I'm equally excited to get some photos in my new Spring pieces. If we get some cooperative and unseasonally warm weather, I'll post soon.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I just finished one of the new apron skirts I'll be listing come the new year. This one might be the boldest combination of color but also one of my favorites I've made. I wanted to clarify from a few questions that I've received that YES, this is a skirt, not an apron. I guess some of you have been wondering if aprons are making a comeback in the kid world and wondering why the heck I make so many of them. Well, to shed light on the topic, it's really just what this style of skirt is called. Layering is a big trend these days in clothing and this is just another spot to add a layer in the form of an apron on the skirt. Gives us a chance to introduce some more color and add some depth to the piece. It really made me smile to think a few folks thought that one of my specialties was kitchen wear. Very soon, we'll get some modeled photos of the full piece to share.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I've got a friend who just moved here who's daughter just brightens my day when I see her. You know the kind, the child that skips instead of walking and they're just a little ray of sunshine. She's a delicate, feminine little girl who loves her cowgirl boots. I always get a kick out of seeing her with her boots on. My first dress for the new year that I'll list was an inspiration from her. The girly girl meets the cowgirl of the South. Here's just a teaser pic of "The Olivia" dress named just for her. The instructions are easy, just add boots and a cute kid! When she models it for me, we'll give you the full snapshot! Lots more on the horizon and more reveals as the days cruise on. I know everyone is shopping for X-mas but just throwing out a few pics of things to come once the holidays come to a close and the new year begins.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
When it comes to fabric selection for new clothing pieces, I'm always drawn to the floral patterns and welcome the colors associated with Spring. I really enjoy when I start seeing all the new prints that are debuting. Decisions, decisions as there are so many fantastic ones to choose from and I've got them trickling in from all over the place. I'm fairly certain I'm on a first name basis with my UPS man at this point as he brings me these fun packages. Like many moms across the globe, I'm drowning in a to do list now that the holidays are in full swing, but every now and then, I just need to stop, to breathe and feed that creative side of me. Why am I rambling????
Well..... I recently crossed paths and had a conversation with an amazing photographer, Scott, from appropriately named, Scott Stater Photography here in the Austin area. Here are a few adorable girls he's photo'd and his site is filled with portfolios of his work. I'm thrilled that he and I are going to carve out a little bit of time and work on a small project together. I'm going to try and sew in fast forward mode and complete some new Spring designs (great time of year to try and do this for this mom of 3!) He's going to photograph them for me and see how we might be able to help each other out. I'm excited to see what photographs he'll capture. Take a peek at his site, he's got mad skills behind the lens so this should be fun!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I've got new fabrics coming in and hoping to piece together new ideas in the coming weeks!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We are so blessed that we now live in Texas where it's possible to celebrate Thanksgiving with both sides of our family all at one time. Tomorrow, all of the hungry mouths will be coming to our house to give thanks. We are thrilled we can open up our home, have all of our family here with us, and I'm knee deep in preparation for tomorrow. I'm no floral designer but I wanted to try my hand at a centerpiece for the dining room. I played around with this for a while, shifting things around til I found something I was happy with and Voila! The table is set, we've pulled out the china and are looking forward to filling our bellies! I wish everyone a Wonderful Thanksgiving this year.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Yep, I've started putting away my Fall/Winter fabrics and replacing those fabric bins with the ones that hold the bright and fresh colored fabric for Spring. I'm not really ready for it but we're heading into the cold weather and sewing is a great activity to do during those indoor days. My 2 best assistants are home from school so why not tap into their brains and see what combinations catch their eye. Here's just a quick glimpse of what my all-purpose sewing room even looks like. Isn't the creative process grand? I have no real method to my madness except dumping it all out, seeing what I still have that I've forgotten about and trying to pull some ideas together with the new fabrics I've got coming in. Anyone feel like playing U Design it? Peek through my photo which is just a small display of possible fabrics! Matt thought he'd join me in my room and try to put together an apron skirt for me and quickly learned that it's not as easy as it looks. If you go the matchy route, it follows a pretty simple formula, if you decide to take the "pair random fabric collections and patterns together" it's not as random as you might think but very thought out. He rearranged things and piled different patterns on top of each other in a variety of ways and I still don't know if he settled on what will go where. We'll debut his first piece soon :) I think that's the start of it in the lower right corner of this photo.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
A friend of mine is wonderfully inventive at keeping her kids entertained by scouring the Family Fun magazine and the local stores for activities that register high on the fun factor scale. She tasked all of the girls in our troop to make swaps for our recent camping trip and we did SHRINKY DINKS! Oh did this take me back to being a kid and the magic of this activity hasn't lessened. My kids had so much fun and T had equal amounts of fun at the tender age of the 3 as the girls did. We are often in Hobby Lobby so bought a package of the Shrinky Dink paper and went to town. I honestly didn't know this stuff still existed! We cut a variety of shapes out, decorated them with phrases and pictures and the real fun is had watching them while in the oven shrink, curl up at the edges, then flatten back out to their final size and shape. I forgot how much fun this was and after a few more ideas thrown at us by our troop leader Mrs J, we're going to make some charms for necklaces, ornaments for the tree and whatever else they dream up. So if you find yourself heading into the holidays wondering what list of activities to do with the kids while they're home from school, we can offer unanimous feedback from our house. Shrinkydinks are BIG fun! Biggest hurdle is fighting for a good spot at the oven window. Get a pack of paper and then some fine tip sharpies and you're on your way. If you want to make ornaments, make sure to get a hole punch and punch a hole in them before you shrink them so that little wire will have a spot to be fed through.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
or I suppose it should say we went! I've been out of pocket since I went with my oldest daughters girl scout troop camping. It was a nice change of pace even though I freely admit, I enjoy bathtubs, my Sealy mattress along with central air and heat. As far as camping is concerned, this is my dream, log cabins not tents!!! They were great accomodations with lots of memories and fun had by everyone. We're all home, back to the daily routine of life and I'm really thinking about the holidays now. I'm taking just a quick short break from "sewing for hire" so that my kids might have a few things themselves. They often wonder why the kids of a mom who sews don't have of the clothes she makes! That's a hard one to argue so we're going to get some things done for them this next week or so.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
added on Etsy. Cheeky Santa is back one more time. He is just adorable! I know I'm biased, sort of like a mom about her own kids :) You know you want it for your trip to Santa! My brain is shifting to some new fabrics this week since this week is a bit more normal paced so hopefully I'll be able to post some new sneak peeks. Looking forward to the monotony of routine. I'm like a toddler, I crave a bit of routine paired with a little one on one time with my Bernina machine.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I'm a member of a sewing design group, The Girlfriends Manor, and we're giving one of these away!
If you've never had one, they are ridiculously fun for photo shoots! We had them last year for our X-mas photos and just loved them. If you've ever wanted to take some photos you'll cherish for a lifetime that have a special punch of fun, these are perfect to wear. I've seen so many gorgeous photos of girls on the beach in the white ones, the red ones during the holidays or at Valentines or just any fun occasion! You can check out some of the professional photos at Oopsy Daisy's site. All you need to do is go to The Girlfriends Manor Blog to leave a comment and you also need to be an active subscriber to the mailing list! Once that's done, you're entered to win, good luck!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My post office is a long enough trek to get that it's annoying to have to make a special trip. Apparently I had something that needed a signature on it and since I wasn't home the first time they attempted to deliver, they sent it back to the Post Office who was ready to send it back to my friends in Hong Kong. Yep, I took the plunge, I got labels!! I feel a little more official. I know, small thrills in life but that was about it for tonight. Pretty soon my customs will be going out tagged and labeled. These aren't your grandmothers homemade clothes :)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
and I think I'm starting to see spots! We're in the South, so it takes a while for our cool weather to finally hit where we then officially retire the shorts and tees. We're getting some blasts of chilly Fall here and there so we're putting the warmer clothing into the closets, trying things on, and seeing what we've got that needs a mate! This tee from Mini Boden this year asked for something other than jeans so here we are! We just added this new one to Etsy today and relisted the brown one. I'm all caught up on the orders from that style and offering it one more time :) These are custom orders to get a perfect fit for your little one! M wanted to put her pink lo-top Converse with this but since I'm talking cold weather (even though it's 80 here as I type) we photo'd with some fun, furry boots.
Friday, October 24, 2008
...isn't he sweet? Ever since I gained my married last name, I've heard the phrase, "Dr Livingston I presume" and my kids do too. T decided he was going to be a doctor this Halloween and I think he makes a fine physician. After watching Grey's Anatomy last night, I've decided the real McDreamy is under my own roof. We're allowed to be smitten with our own kids right? Well watch out if you see us Halloween night, he's giving everyone flu shots and has a very large syringe :) We had delusions of all these cool costumes made by mom but when we visited the store, the kids had too much fun picking out their own. I guess it's the American way, why wait for something when you can have it right now and my kids are no different. More pics to follow as we finish off Batgirl's costume and our very own Hannah Montana.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Yes, I just never tire of them and M let me snap a few photos today. This is a new twirl skirt and has been added to my Etsy store as of today and it matches to everything. Brown is for kids like black is for adults! Available in custom size 2-8 yrs. We paired it for photos with a few of our Mini Boden tees that we had on hand and really liked these combos. My 2 young assistants both gave it the thumbs up so I know it's passed the most critical test in my house :) Happy Hump Day!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Here's the tiered twirly skirt that matches to so much you probably already have in her closet! So simple, yet so versatile. I saw the new Gymboree Line, Sweeter than Chocolate come out, and I knew I wanted to make something to match. This skirt matches to so many of the tee's from this line as well as some of the Mini Boden tees from the Fall/Winter lines this year. I can't wait to get a few modeled photos but for now, since it's late night and my model is getting some shuteye, these will suffice. The horse tee is from Mini Boden this year. They've also got a large flower tee as well that this would look fabulous. Add some fun tall boots and she's set for Winter! This will be sent to Etsy soon!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I had some fabric gone missing which required me to dump out every bin of fabric I owned in search of it. It never turned up but the outcome of this was me getting reacquainted with some old loves. I found the remains of some chocolate brown cord with pink polka dots and had enough to make a single pair of ruffles. They are on Etsy as we speak and this will be the only pair offered as this project saw the end of this fabric. Perfect to wear with a simple brown top like we picked, or layered underneath a knot or tunic top. Of course in our house, we make most things work as an everyday item and dress it casual with a little denim thrown in. Thank you M for obliging and taking a photo for me! Elastic waist for easy on comfort!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Have a little something for the younger girls. I've been forbidden in my house to try things on my son to check fit anymore so I'm gonna have to wait til I can find a warm little body to try this on! T, you've officially been released of any modeling responsibilities!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
the girl scout troop that is! L is so excited for her entire troops weekend camping adventure in early November. Cabins by the lake and a massive group of giggling girls! We thought it'd be fun for each of the girls to have a special pillowcase for the weekend trip so I let L at it this weekend with her own test project. I'd seen these cute little word pillows once in Garnet Hill I figured, easy enough to make and we'd do no sew lettering. I instructed and watched but SHE did it! Oh the taste of sweet victory, she was so tickled to share with her girl scout buddies what she finished. She sewed the edges together, has grasped the concept of right sides together, knows how to lock a stitch and make iron ons of her own. T was there as spectator, for moral support and desperately pleading to have a go at the iron only to be disappointed to hear the words no. This is a project that we hope to get cracking on real soon for all the girls to complete. We chose 2 fabrics and decided to mix it up on each side.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Yes, this game is a special one to us, very near and dear to our hearts as it marks the annual inter-family/cousin college rivalry coming head to head. Anyone who is a Longhorn, or an OU Sooner fan for that matter, knows this is a HUGE party weekend in Dallas and a fantastic game to go to and watch. Here's a shout out to my alma mater, the Texas Longhorns. We have little Longhorns in our house who are already bleeding burnt orange. From a very young age, after the careful coaching from my older brother, I believed there was only one college to attend and that was Univ. of Texas. It's only fitting to carry on this family tradition! This is how we dress 'em in Longhorn Country...........
Ummmmm.........this is how they dress them in Sooner Country. We still love you guys though. Okay, we'll play nice, may the best team win!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
He's up on ebay tonight along with some other fantastic holiday custom pieces from the ladies in my design group. You can find my listing HERE This custom set will be made in a size range from 3 to 8 years and would be so cute at school for the holiday party or a trip to see Santa. To see all of the listings from The Girlfriends Manor, you can simply click TGFM
Monday, October 6, 2008
Just got a few photos back from my friend with her beautiful daughter wearing my Holiday Set! Here's one of my faves of her in the Santa set that launches tomorrow night. I just love the face on this girl and will show lots of others on ebay tomorrow :) I've seen some of the previews from all of the gals on The Girlfriends Manor and they are all so aDoRAbLe!!!! Between us, we know we can have your little ladies look so cute for their visit to Santa.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I just adore Fall and both girls are playing soccer this season. M, who is the girliest thing around, suddenly has emerged as this little athlete who now agrees it's okay to break a sweat and we don't need to limit our activities to ones in the air conditioning! I promise I take pictures of more things than just clothing so wanted to share a bit of our Saturday. T is as patient as they come and likes to share with anyone who is listening that he is going to play soccer and football when he gets big. For now, I enjoy the weekends where he doesn't have to wear his uniform and pull out my favorite Mini Boden stuff for him, ain't he cute! Needs a major haircut, but cute :) Next Fall season my little man then it's soccer for you too, it'll get here! L has emerged as the defensive weapon on her team playing goalie and she carries a lot pride with her role! Later today, I'll be shifting over to my other baby! Yes, I feel like I'm full-time mom, part-time sewer and part-time writer! Check out The Girlfriends Manor Blog We're doing another giveaway, everyone's favorite so check there for our question of the day! We periodically give things away, you can peek at our stuff if you surf through old posts. Just join the TGFM mailing list and you can follow along. Also peek at what I just bought that I have on it's way to me. If you are a lady or just have a lady in your life and you've got kids, I guarantee this would be a gift she might even get teary eyed to get. I'm so excited to get mine in the mail and I opted for the big circle! Happy Sunday!
Friday, October 3, 2008
If you click on the photo, it will take you directly to the listing on etsy.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The funky blend of fabrics I've been doing on the apron skirts isn't for everyone so I'm also working on some pieces that appeal to those who like the "bit more coordinated look" I just loved this lil Santa when I saw the fabric and knew he'd be coming home with me. I'm turning it into something special for a little girl who is surely making her long list to share with Santa and the elves! He's not done but this set is well on it's way!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
It was a super day for Miss M's party. We had swimming along with some fun and games in the backyard celebrating her 7th birthday. Here's a few pics highlighting the games. We did the best canonball contest. This was a tight race as M has darn near perfected doing canon balls and can openers. Thank you Daddy for making it a point to turn my girlies into rough and tumble tomboys. We did some trampoline jumping, played musical chairs, played a fun game called Stack 'em up that had the girls laughing and then the highlight was the water balloon fight. I think many of the girls had never thrown water balloons before but quickly figured out how fun it can be. For some reason, it was more fun to throw them at the adults so we were quickly reigned into this game and I ended up soaked! It was worth it, a super fun day!