Sunday, December 21, 2008

How Disney does Christmas. . .

Last Tuesday was the Disney Family Holiday Party at Disneyland where (in lieu of a bonus) all the employees and their families come for free and get 40% off everything and receive a nice keepsake ornament. We now have 4 of those ornaments on our tree. For your holiday pleasure, here are some pictures from the evening:

Ironically, this is also the day we found out Erik was getting laid off. In fact, his entire department, The Academy at Feature Animation, was being eliminated. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

50% OFF! WooHoo!

It's that time of year again, when I start wanting to move out the old to make room for the new. That means good news for you - from now until midnight (Pacific time) Thursday night everything at is 50% off! All orders will be shipped Priority mail on Friday to hopefully get to you by Christmas. Simply type WooHoo! in the voucher area at checkout. I'll be adding new items throughout the week so keep checking back. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How to make happiness happen.

Sometimes all it takes is saying "yes" to an email and suddenly you find yourself volunteering to help pull off a major production. And when you're done, you're like, that was amazing.

A few weeks ago a woman from my L.A. Church of Craft forum posted that she was looking for volunteers to host a craft table at holiday party for several hundred kids and moms from various homeless shelters around the city. It was hosted by St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Studio City, a church I had been to once before for a Christmas Eve service and twice for Little Monster Market shows (blogged here and here) last year. Since it's close, I figured, why not? and volunteered to teach the recycled holiday ornament workshop I taught at last year's Felt Club and published as a tutorial in the Felt Club 2006 holiday program.

If you want to learn how to make these, there's a tutorial for it in the current issue #09 of Craft: magazine that my fellow Felt Clubber Cathy Calahan wrote. Why didn't I think of that? Silly me keeps showing people how to do it for free. Oh well, I didn't invent it. Years ago I saw a Christmas tree adorned with these in Savannah and came home and turned all our wedding cards into a mobile of geodesic balls. Ever since then it's been my go-to craft for the holiday season.

So this Saturday I got up bright and early and loaded with supplies I'd purchased that week, headed to the event. I also brought along the fixins for a candy cane reindeer craft, which I taught to another volunteer who later taught it to all the kids. (All those years of being a teacher has left me with projects to spare.)

The recycled holiday ornament craft is, I quickly realized, not for little ones. All the circle cutting, triangle folding, and gluing requires patience and a little skill.

Luckily, it was mostly tween and teenage girls and their moms and grandmas who were drawn to my table. A few of them joked with me that they didn't know what they were getting into when they sat down, but before too long, the pieces would merge into something beautiful and I could tell they were proud of what they had created. One mom remarked, "It's kind of like everything we do in life, isn't it? It's a labor of love." Indeed. Here's what some of them came up with:

Other craft tables had face painting, knitting, Santa letter writing (using up the envelopes left over from all our cards) and gingerbread house making.

There was even a hand massage table for the moms.

There were games outside, carolers inside, food and sweets galore, and the kids each got a gift bag full of brand new clothes. When the crafting wrapped up, I was sent to "Elf Training" and helped distribute these gifts to the kids.

from Santa.

I drove home exhausted, but uplifted in ways I didn't expect I would be. Before I got there, I worried that I wouldn't have much to talk about with the moms, but when I was there our conversations were like any I'd have with a group of crafters or moms at the playground. I thought, somewhat naiively, that I'd feel sorry for the kids. Instead, I was blown away by their enthusiasm and genuine gratitude when they were given something, or created something new and beautiful.

So that's what I realized the other day -- that you can make happiness happen by giving something, or creating something new and beautiful for someone else. Eventually, someone might even do it for you too.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

KB at the JCC

Saturday, I set up a kokoleo booth at the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center (SIJCC) for their holiday boutique.

A local customer of mine invited me to do it. Thanks Tracy! Here's my booth:

Note the tree growing in the middle. That's a first. I liked having my own little tree.

The event was awesome, not just the boutique part, but the whole kid-oriented affair. There were booths for craft-making, picture-taking, games, a bounce-house, a stage with kid-friendly music by The Hollow Trees (check out the downloadable coloring book on their site), Camp Susannah, and Tree Adams. I didn't get to see any of them, but I heard them from afar. The boutique was too busy to leave! I sold seven (seven!) toddler sundresses, my best ladies skirts (a Raggedy Anne wrap and a Cityscape skirt) and a bunch of other stuff. This lady bought my vintage Barbie eyeglass lens earrings that I recently made:

It was a fun group of vendors too. I saw my NoHo girls Susie and Heidi Bauer of Rock Scissor Paper. We keep running into each other at craft shows and yard sales. I wish I had a sister like they each do - twice the craftiness for your business!

I bought this book for Sage from Madallie.

It has lots of imaginative piratey activities and a flashlight:

and is totally his sense of humor.

It'll be perfect for our trip back east this Christmas.

I traded a with Doris Oswald-Burrell of I can fly one of my Raggedy Anne skirts (which she wore over her jeans for the rest of the day) for a Monkey on Bike dress for McKenna (the same Monkey on Bike print that was on a shirt I got Sage years ago).

With Teresa from Kumquat, I traded a Peanuts sundress for all this for McKenna:

She was having a liquidation sale and I scored!

Okay, no one needs to buy any clothes for McKenna for Christmas. She has plenty now.

I wish North Hollywood had a community center like the SIJCC. Seeing all the cool moms and their excited kids hanging out with all their friends made me realize that my kids and I don't have that. I'm making it my New Years resolution to find something like that in 2009. I long to feel a part of a community (like we did in Shepherdstown) and McKenna and I desperately need some playdate pals.

After the show was over I stopped by the Bust Holiday Craftacular at the Echoplex in Silverlake. I didn't even know about it until a week ago. I'm glad I did the JCC show instead because while there was lots of handmade awesomeness to see at the BUST show, I got the sense from my crafty friends and the vendors I talked to that it wasn't well organized. It was $250 for a tiny booth, there was little advertising, the event wasn't well marked (I passed it twice!), and I heard they opened a half-hour late. Maybe we're all just spoiled by Felt Club, but you'd think a big name like BUST would be a little more on the ball (the one in NYC is HUGE and I've only heard great reviews about it.) One highlight though was seeing my crafty pal Stacy McQueen there filming a video for the event. She's so fun. Next year they should have her be the host.

I hope I didn't just ruin my chance to be in a BUST show now. Don't get me wrong, I love the mag. It was just interesting to see a show from a customer's point of view, especially after having done a few.

Ahhh, the craft show circuit, it's a crazy one - you never know what you're going to get. I guess it's that way with any production. . . it all depends on who shows up.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Me and my stockpile.

I have fallen off the blogging wagon. For a while, I was doing really well, coming up with weekly themes and sticking to them, taking and uploading pictures, writing about the things I do and see and buy and make. It's a job in itself really, giving people something to read, and it's not a lucrative one. Still, I keep coming back and saying things. I wonder why I do that?

You'd think by looking at my blog and website that I haven't been making much. I feel though, like I've been making more than ever before. I just haven't been keeping up with photographing and uploading and talking about and trying to sell aspect. I was stockpiling. Suddenly, I had a TON of stuff.

Like sundresses:

Eyeglass lens jewelry:

Bottlecap magnets and pins:

As well as a bunch of new embellished stuff, a few pillows, and some more necktie accessories. All of which I had no idea whether or not people would even like, but I made them anyway. I wonder why I do that? Really, my life would be much less complicated if I didn't carry all this stuff around all the time. So far though, the response has been good. I have 3 shows down and 3 to go. A lot of those things I just showed have already been sold, but there's still plenty left. If I run out, I'll just make more.

Then, come January, I'm going to get back to taking care of my website. That's another thing I've been working on ALL YEAR - my website. Finally, after hours and hours and glitches and images and fonts and backgrounds and modified templates and curse words and tears, it's at a point where I like it again. Now all I have to do is update the different shops within it and I'll be good to go. There are a lot of shops in there though - Kids and Ladies and Guys and Accessories and Bags and Home Decor and Monsters and Personalized stuff. Too much stuff really, but that's apparently how I roll.

Anyway, please check it out and tell me what you think. I don't fancy myself a graphic designer by any means. I approached it more like I was piecing together patchwork. If you come across any page or link that needs mending, please let me know.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...