Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...

Here we are, only two more sleeps until Christmas. In my opinion, people who count down sleeps instead of days until something are usually slightly over excited and that is what I am. I hope that you are all ready to hang your stockings by the fire with care! This will be my last post prior to the big day, and I wanted to share some amazing Ronaldo original photos of some of my favourite ornaments for my puny Charlie Brown Christmas tree that I love so much.

This ornament is practically a relic. My best friend in grade two, Martha Cooley, gave this to me back in Claire: the early years. The art of laundry peg crafts has fallen by the wayside as of late, but this little Mary with her little felt Jesus (I believe Martha's mom made it) is still top of the pops on my tree.

This is appropriate in theme with the whole Sherlock Holmes movie hype. Who doesn't love Snoopy? If you look closely, that's a little Watson Woodstock leaning up on him.

Now that you've enjoyed some nice photography that may or may not have warmed your heart, I want to thank you SO MUCH for all of your support this year, and for reading my blog! I promise that 2010 holds many neato things for you to look forward to. I will be sure to fill you in on the events of Christmas next week, as I am off of work (yessssssssss.)


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Available at a store near you (as long as you're in Toronto)

WOW! It's a record! Two consecutive days of blogging! As promised, I have a few shots of my tea towel set up at the store Model Citizen in Kensington Market, Toronto. I took a little trip yesterday afternoon to see how they look, and just look! They set them up beautifully!

I was talking to the lovely sales lady and she mentioned that they are also going to be carrying the work of one of my old schoolmates! Her name is Gosia, and they couldn't have made a smarter decision- she's a super talent. Have a look at her work on her website here. Trust me- if you don't fall in love with it, I'll be a monkey's uncle!

Today I was visiting a good friend of mine who lives in Oakville, Ontario. She mentioned that she thought my alphabet prints would do well in some of the smaller boutique stores in the city, and took me to see one while I was there this afternoon. The place was called Rattle and Stroll (cute little name!) and filled with some amazing baby products that are quite coo-worthy. I am working on a bit of research on costing some printed canvas, but am happy even with the prospect of getting some prints in a store. I will be sure to keep you updated on the progress. In the meantime, I have lots of little projects to work on that I'll be sure to tell you about post Christmas as I don't know who may be reading this blog on any which day and I would hate to ruin a holiday surprise.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So, what now?

Happy Saturday! It's a balmy -7 degrees here in Toronto. At least it's sunny! It's been just over a week since introducing my tea towels to the world, and it's already time to get back to work and start making some more. Last Sunday I participated in the Leila Cools holiday craft sale. I didn't make any sales that day, which I suppose is just part of the business, I did get a chance to talk to some awesome vendors who have experience running an etsy shop. Now that my very short run of craft sales has come to an end it's time to start looking for new places to sell my wares and etsy is definitely at the top of the list of options for me. I have taken a trip to my local post office and figured out how much shipping around the world would be, and have picked up a stack of customs forms to save me time in the long run, so now all I have to do is actually post some items to sell. To tell you the truth, I'm a little scared. I'm scared of most things before I try them so this isn't shocking to me, but I need to just get over it and put something up. I promise that by the end of this weekend you will be able to buy something from my store. You can hold me accountable to this statement. In the mean time I have put the towels in a retail location in Kensington Market called Model Citizen. More about that in my next posting (hopefully immediately after uploading product on Etsy) tomorrow night.

On another topic, this past Thursday was my monthly book club meeting. We went out to this amazing Italian restaurant called Terroni. After busting my bum to make all my towels and greeting cards what did you think I would do after all the hulabaloo was over? Make more crafts, of course! I adore my book club an think the world of my fellow members. As it's coming up to Christmas and it was also the 1st anniversary of our first meeting, I thought I would make the girls some personalized bookmarks. I used my
special Japanese reversible fabric I bought way back in the summer. They were a big hit!

Lily made us all these delicious chocolatey-candy-caney shortbread cookies that barely made it through the front door when I came home that night. Ronaldo and I had polished half the bag before hitting the hay!

Mmmmmm... holiday baking!

I have to get my bum into Christmas shopping mode today. I was really aiming to buy most of my gifts on etsy, but time has slipped away from me and the shipping deadlines are too tight. Boo. I'm off to see what the streets of Toronto have to offer. Stay warm!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Speakeasy success!

My science experiment has now had it's official first round of testing, with some positive conclusions!
Thursday I debuted my towels at the annual Speakeasy holiday craft sale. Thanks so much for those of you who were able to come out- your support means the world to me! Ronaldo was absolutely amazing with helping me- all the lugging, these beautiful photos, and moral support! What a guy, eh?
I was in good company with the retailers I shared the evening with. Lots of cool stuff like leather goods, jewelery, and dirty soaps with little plastic humping animals in the middle of the bar. I was able to make 18 completed sets of towels, and even though I had time to spare, I opted to work until the eleventh hour creating some holiday themed print gocco greeting cards. Silly me- I was a little more than stressed when it came down to it, but once everything was set up it was smooth sailing. Look how great it all looked!

This is me calculating with my brand new dollar store calculator. Needless to say, it wasn't as necessary as I thought it would be.

The crowds came and went in waves and, happily, most people thought the towels were really cute, and could see the work that I put into the embroidery. Not as many science geeks came along as I had hoped, but it was fun playing "name that element" with the passers by. Most folks got calcium, not one person got tin, even with the help of the tin can visual. I had made one set of two printed towels, just as a test to see how it would sell, and it sold pretty much immediately. I sold a few more sets of just printed towels, so next time I will be sure to make extra sets of just screened for that crowd. It's something I will keep in mind for my next designs.

I get another opportunity to sell to the population of Toronto tomorrow, Sunday the 6th, at 1013 Queen St. West, on the second floor. It's with Leila Cools' workshop collective studio sale, and will feature
oil paintings, cards, fused glass, photography, natural skin care, natural baked goods, and polymer jewelery. I will have my towels, printed foodie alphabet posters, and brand new hand printed greeting cards. If you are in the hood please do stop by and check it out- it should be a fun Sunday!

I'm looking forward to the second round of the experiment. Next step after this is Etsy- this is a bit stressful for me but I suppose the best way to do it is just jump in with two feet.

Wish me luck tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!