Category Archives: Sew Sew Sew

Tijeras Open Air Market LOVE , XO

I wasn't sure what to expect from the Tijeras Open Air Market. The list of artists looked impressive, but I wasn't sure if being so far away would be good for drawing a crowd. I was so wrong. We were there yesterday on a slow day (the weather was yucky in town) and the crowd was still phenomenal.
Shoppers seemed so happy to be there and were ready to shop. I felt like they did, I was in such a good mood just for being there. The landscape is stunning in Tijeras and it felt so good to get out of the city and into the fresh, clean air in the mountains.

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This was the awesome view from my booth. The booths are already set up, and if you do more than one day you can just put the canvas walls down and leave your tables on site. Makes set up so much easier!
Anna King is the owner of Just Imagine Gallery and the Tijeras Open Air Market. She was an absolute joy to work with — not like other gallery owners I have encountered in my time! In fact half the day went by without me even knowing she was the owner.  I guess I was looking for an uptight, upset, pushy person walking around and instead the owner was so easy going, doing the hula-hoop with another artist! This was a much needed breath of fresh air!  (Please excuse me if you are a gallery owner. I'm sure you aren't all nervous, pretentious people, but I have had some bad experiences with the gallery folk being down to earth)

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Here is my sis Paula working hard for Mimi Green.
The morning didn't start out so well, but Paula saved the day. First I got up an hour late, we arrived with 20 minutes to set up, and then all my ideas for how I was going to hang the photos fell apart. Finally Paula thought out of the box and made them all hang from the rope we were using as a clothes line (which was Kim's fantastic idea!) We only got to hang like half of the photos I framed and matted, but that was okay because if I had been there alone none of them would have been hung! Paula was awesome, a natural.
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Kim came over Friday and helped me figure out displays. She made this super cool one in the basket. Key fobs are hanging from the sides and there are collar and leash sets inside. Noah pained the frames for me– I thought he did such a good job! I love how he takes interest in my silly projects.
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I got to give treats to a super cute Chow named Chewbacca and a gorgeous standard poodle named Poodle;) And I sold lots of tags, collars, and 1 key fab and bought two perfumes from the Laughing Turtle Soap Co. –  They make fantastic body products that are all natural which means I can use them which makes me super happy!

All in all a fantastic day. I can't wait till next year so I can sign up early and do all the Tijeras Open Air Markets. They start in May and run till Oct.

Rowenta Auto Steam Iron

I really got spoiled this weekend. My $6 Wal-Green's iron bit the dust so my generous, loving, wonderful husband gave me his credit card and told me to go to Joann's and buy myself a fancy smancy iron. Yes that's right, I got a Rowenta.

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Now, you wouldn't know the impact this would have on your life unless you have ironed with a Rowenta. See, you can hold this iron vertically and it steams your clothes — it is just like being at a dry cleaners!  If I had to dress up for work everyday this would be a God send. No more looking like you slept in your suit!

Not only that, but it has a stainless steel plate that makes the iron glides right over the fabric like butter. I never even knew what a chore it was ironing with my cheepy until I ironed with this amazing appliance. You don't have to put any pressure down, you don't even really have to push it, it just glides. (Take note that I am not talking about ironing clothes, I think I have done that like once in my life, I am talking fabric here.)

As we all know you can save yourself lots of headaches by just ironing your fabric before you start sewing. In fact, I think I am probably incapable of sewing without ironing. And now, thanks to my Rowenta, I will be able to do it in half the time! 

It heats up super quick and has an auto shut off so that if it sits upright for more than 8 minutes or sits on it's plate for more than 30 seconds it shuts off. Then it has a motion sensor that turns it right back on when you pick it up. Genius. Now I never have to worry about burning the house down with my iron again!

It cost quite a bit more than my Wal-Greens iron, like $54 dollars more, but I am sure that it is worth more like $1 million dollars. 

If you want to experience this sort of ironing nirvana, Joann's  is offering $20 off on their website, plus here is a coupon for Free Shipping at Joann.com. I like to spread the love.

nother new one!

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Available here with your dog's name hand embroidered by me!
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Etta was so proud to finally have a collar named after her. And I love her in pink.

Etsy was acing strange again today, it's search function got stuck and I don't even know when our first limited edition collar appeared. Needless to say, we didn't sell it. But there is always tomorrow right?

Limited Edition Dog Collars!

Tomorrow at about 10MDT we are going to roll out the first of our
limited edition dog collars! Each one will be hand embroidered and in runs of only 25 of each design.
This is the first part of many exciting things we will be doing for the Christmas season.
Here is a sneak peak of design #1:
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We are selling these Mimi Green creations for $22.50 which is a bit more than are normal stock, but these limited editions are darn cool if I don't say so myself;)

I messed up on the first prototype and tried to remove the embroidery thread only to find out that even cut from both sides, this thread didn't want to come out! This totally annoyed me because I spent 20 minutes furiously pulling each strand out, but made me really happy since I am now assured that even a rough playing dog will not be able to destroy the embroidery.

I can't wait to show the photos of Etta modeling one, it looks way hip on!

Oh and this one is called the "Elenore" since it reminds me a lot of Lesilie's doggie. Here is a picture of her in case you forgot what she looks like:elenore the lab

Goofy lady!

Simple Finds Review for Mimi!

Check out Simple Finds today!! Christie did a spectacular review on Mimi Green and there is a giveaway going on — leave a comment on the Simple Finds post telling her what kind of dog you have and what your fav Mimi collar is to enter to win a collar for your pup! 

And check out the cool ad we made for the occasion :  (and P.S., it is no joke)

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Buying a Sewing Chair and Tracing an Image for Embroidery 101

You gotta love Craigslist. I have been looking for weeks for a chair that I can use in my studio to both sew and work on my computer. I want it to have wheels, or legs thick enough to add wheels, be made of wood and upholstery, and be a color that will brighten my life. 
As you can imagine, this hasn’t been an easy find. Then last weekend I see this gold chair on Criagslist that looks like it is screaming for someone to embroider in. Not necessarily the chair that I am in need of, but a cool chair non the less. And the price tag? $10. A total steal! 
I put it in my room near my two favorite windows in the house.  
It fits in perfectly like it was always meant to be there. 
Oh and what’s even better — when I got to the woman’s house to pay for it I only had a twenty dollar bill and she didn’t have change so she gave it to me for free!
She said that she just wanted it to have a good home, and a good home it now has. I totally love it. 
And… I’ve already been doing some sewing in it. Wanna see?

embroidered bug
This is just a peek, I am making an art quilt of sorts and will be posting bits and pieces of it here and there until I can reveal the finished piece.  
To get a real bug shape in motion I printed out a picture of a live bug from the Internet, taped it down to my light box, and traced it onto the fabric. Totally easy solution to putting an image onto fabric to embroider. I’ve also heard of using a window for the same technique. Just tape the image up to a sunny window and trace away! 
Oh and you can get the water soluble marker to do this at JoAnn’s– they are like $2 if you have the 40% off coupon. I don’t know what brand it is, but I love love love the blue one that is marked “Water Erasable Fabric Marking Pen”  All you have to do to erase it when you are done embroidering is take a damp paper towel and blot the area. Off it comes, simple as that! But thankfully it doesn’t come off very easily when you need it to stay put while sewing. 
Of course the bug I traced didn’t have a purple butt or hot pink eyes. That was all me;)

Amy Butler’s ‘Little Stitches for Little Ones’ : A Retrospect of ‘In Stitches’, The Original

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In celebration of Amy Butler’s new book, Little Stitches for Little Ones, I thought I’d take us back to 2006 and reminisce about her very fantastic book, In Stitches.

I could tell that I was getting old this year when all I really wanted for my birthday was Amy’s In Stitches and Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing. There were birthdays, pretty recent ones I am ashamed to admit, where all I wanted was a hookah to smoke really gross, sticky, Indian tabacco with my friends. Other recent ones I can’t really remember very well but I do remeber looking at the inside of a toilet a good part of the night.

Don’t get me wrong, getting old isn’t a bad thing for me– it was actually very exciting. I felt like a woman finally this past year and my hobbies were reflecting that. So anyway, here I am trying to explain to my husband what sewing books to buy me and he’s looking at me like I am telling him which tampons to get at the grocery store for me. “Jewelry, I want jewelry, ” I say and he can understand those requests, very well I am happy to say. I had to find someone else to buy me some Amy B. I email the links you see above to my sisters and mother. Unfortunately this threw them for a loop too. I ended up with a Amazon gift card from one sister telling me to order it for myself and a very irritated mother who told me that it is unlady like to tell people what to buy you if they aren’t asking.

Okay, fine. I think I would have had better luck asking for the hookah. So in a last ditch effort to get my hands on In Stitches, I have my infant son order the book for me. I gave him my credit card number of course and typed in Barnes and Noble’s web address for him, but that isn’t the point. I was sure that little Auggie wanted to get these books for me as a present, he’d been hearing me complain about wanting them for long enough
The day the two books arrived I was ecstatic!

AmybinstitchesI mean, look at these stunning photos, these  vibrant colors! I couldn’t put it down. Keep in mind that Mimi Green and Augustine had both just been born. I really didn’t have free time for Amy, but I was willing to loose sleep over it, for a few days anyway.

I did buy the vintage sheet Amy recommends for making her PJ pants. I bought Michael Miller fabric to make a quilt. I had super good intentions, I swear I did.

Although none of Amy’s patterns ever made it to my sewing machine I have no regrets. Amy’s book is nothing like the exercise equipment I bought that has now turned into another place to hang my clothes. Although not used for what it was intended for, I am in love with In Stitches.  This book is the book I’d want to be if I were a book. The gorgous colors, the stunning photography! Colin McGuire outdid himself with the photos, I so hope that he shoot Little Stitches for Little Ones.  The reason I don’t know for sure– Amy is only selling this on her website. It won’t be on booksellers shelves till early September.

That’s okay with me, I am still in my honeymoon with In Stitches anyway. There are truly few things that are better than an overcast day, a fine cup of espresso, and cuddling up on my big couch with this book. The pages are thick and matte. Bound by wire, you and your imagination can easily flip through and have the book lay flat (great for laying it on your sewing table — I’m told anyway. he he.) The lifestyle that this book portrays is one that I aspire to. It’s like everyday is a Sunday afternoon in a really hip, cool, stylish world. All you need are your comfy PJ’s, a big pillow to snuggle with and you are fabulous. As simple as that Ms. Butler is.

Today though i am making a promice to you and to myslef. I am going to pre-order Little Stitches for Little Ones and the day it gets here I am going to make something from it. Even if I have to rearrange the sun and the moon so I can have extra hours in my crazy day, I will do it. This time it won’t seem too selfish to me. Auggie really wants an Amy Butler kimono and new crib set, he told me so;)

Craft Show Goodness

I had so much fun at my first craft show. My grandpa made me a super cool display, my table looked pretty good for my first time, and the other artists were really sweet and nice to meet. Img_0370
It was Noah’s idea to bring his puppy;) She was wearing a Mimi Green collar of course. Img_0373

My mom and sister stayed with me all day and Dan brought the kids, including Cessie, down for a bit. But I have to say that it was exhausting. I did learn a few things that may help anyone who wants to do a show.

Craft Show Tip #1 — Dress in layers. I would have been doing a bit better in the morning if I had brought a jacket and a bit better in the afternoon if I had worn shorts. Yes, it is still cold here in NM in the morning time – can’t wait till we are over that!

Tip #2 Have a game plan about what you are going to say about your product. I didn’t think too much about that, and I am sure that even if I had it would have needed to be tweaked in practice, but at least I would have had somewhere to start. I may have sold more if I had "sold" my collars and leashes better.

Tip #3  Make sure to network with the other vendors. I met a lot of really cool women that I hope to work with again– plus now they have my info which is key. Sometimes it is about who you know.

Tip #4  Go in without expectations. Just like anything else in life, if you don’t expect things to happen you won’t get disappointed if they don’t. I wasn’t sure how it would go, which I was glad about later when I realized that I had a massive show/sewing  hangover of sorts.  I was so tired, I am still getting over it!

Tip #5  Have a colorful display. I looked at craft displays on Flickr before the show and got some great ideas. The more attention you can draw to you the better– this really means color and multi level views. If your display is flat you might find that your sales are too. And you can quote me on that one;)
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Sewing Hang Over

Yes, this is me avoiding getting ready for tomorrow’s show. And it’s not because I am lazy, it is because I am so TIRED! Yesterday i whipped up 8 leashes, 3 collars, mailed orders and took care of a teething baby who is really hurting bad. Poor Auggie. Today I need to go to the bank to get change, go to the post office to mail packages to Canada, and fax my letter of driver improvement school completion to Albuquerque  Metro Court (don’t ask;) That is all before I complete my goal of making 15 more collars today and painting my leash stand, green of course.

So I better run, but I will leave you with this:  This odd couple has finally bonded, look how cute they were this morning sunbathing together. As soon as this madness is over  the first project on hand is making Miss Etta a new bed 😉
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Mimi Green Turns a Month Old!

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It’s been a smashing month for Mimi Green!  There have been lots of developments since our birth on the interwebs.

Lori Marie at Pretty Little Things featured her French Bulldog Matilda wearing a Mimi Collar. It is adorned with one of Lori’s beautiful flower pins that she sells in her wonderful shop  Matilda2

An article that I wrote with two other Etsy sellers was featured on Etsy this week. It is about the Dog MafiaDogmafiastorque

The Dog Mafia is a team that I recently joined– all Etsy sellers who love dogs, donate to dog charities, and support one another in our efforts to make the world a more dog friendly place.   

Then Yesterday I got an email from Erin who featured Mimi dog collars on her blog.

It still makes me super excited to see my work on the web!

I have met so many nice people, sold lots of hip collars and leashes, and I get to do what I love.

Things are good on this front;)

Saturday is my first show at Cup O’ Joe in Albuquerque. It is a super cute coffee house and only about 10 of us will be selling our goods there. It is perfect for a first show– not so scary when it is a small event.

I will post lots of pictures from there, but try to come out if you can!

And thank you to everyone who made my first month full of sunshine.