Monday, December 20, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
The latest in my line of products for kids are "Wee Pillows." Some little ones like to drag a security blanket everywhere; others prefer to carry a security pillow with them ~ kind of like a stuffed animal. So I have started designing Wee Pillows (8" x 8") with a variety of appliquéd designs. (You can see examples of my Wee Pillows in my Etsy shop.)
My dilemma? I have so many ideas I don't know which one to choose next! So I decided to run a Wee Contest. ;-)
You can leave your suggestion in the comment section of my blog here or log onto my Facebook Page and give me your suggestion as to what you would like to see on a Wee Pillow. The contest ends at midnight, November 30. All entries will be thrown in a Santa hat (literally!) and a winner drawn Wednesday morning, December 1.
The prize? Oh yes, the prize... the winner will receive his/her choice of a Wee One or Wee Pillow from my Etsy shop. :) And I will [do my best to] make the winning design on a Wee Pillow! Now get busy suggesting. :)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Check out my Holiday Shop on Indie Handmade ~ open from today, November 14 thru December 11. New items will be added on a regular basis!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
And proof positive of that ~ I have sold three BC Buddies in the last two days. I am thinking they will make dandy Hanukkah and Christmas pressies...
Thursday, November 4, 2010
So pop by my Etsy shop often and wander the aisles. Hot chocolate and sugar cookies on the table in front. *wink*
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
If you've followed my blog you know my affection for my 92 year young Mom ~ and how much I have learned from her. One thing that has become more apparent to me as I age (ahem... not that I'm old or anything) is that I enjoy being productive. Productive almost every waking hour. Omg. I am my Mom. ;-)
So sitting in front of the television at night has always seemed like a waste of time if all I'm doing is looking at the television. I have many hobbies that have kept me busy over the years whilst TV watching; but about a year ago I discovered knitting looms. And oh boy, a faux knitter was born!
I am in awe of people who really knit - you know, with needles and patterns and such. I think the looms are not quite "knitting." But they are fun and fairly easy and produce a consistently nice product! There are ways, too, to make many, more complicated projects using them.
So something I really enjoy in the evenings (particularly those long winter evenings where the sun sets at 4:30 pm!) or on a long car trip ~ is knitting on my knitting looms.
And 'tis the season ~ soon. Time to get ready for those snowy mornings walking the dog or hitting the ski slope and the need to bundle up! I have a few beanies/toques/hats in my Etsy shop with more appearing as the snowflakes begin to fall!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Who says working for yourself is easy? *wink* Those of you who do, know it is not. But it is a labor of love.
Mind you, I am not complaining. I love what I do. The freedom to let my wild imagination take me wherever I want to go each day is a gift! I tell everyone being this busy is a good problem to have! I’m tired; but it is a hard-earned, feel-good, happy tired.
1. Sketch an original idea (this requires dreaming one up)
2. Translate the sketch into a pattern
3. Choose fabric
4. Lay the pattern on fabric and cut out the pattern
5. Sew the pattern together to create the Wee One
6. Name the Whee One and write a story about it
7. Photograph the Whee One
8. Edit images to get at least five good ones for posting
9. Post story and images to Etsy
10. Contact my consignment shops (three of them) and see if they would like the Whee One in their shop
11. Design the “hang tag” containing the story of the animal and my contact information
12. Print and cut the “hang tag”
13. Tie the “hang tag” on the Whee One with a coordinating ribbon
14. If shipping to a store, create and print an inventory sheet
15. If shipping directly to a customer, hand-write a thank you note on stationery I have designed and printed; make a fleece stuffed “thank you heart”; add business card and put all in a plastic Ziploc
16. If shipping directly to a customer, wrap Whee One in tissue paper and package in either a padded envelope or box; print a label for envelope/box
17. If shipping to a shop, inventory all and gently wrap in a plastic bag and pack in box; print label
18. Drive to the Post Office or FedEx to ship; secure delivery confirmation/tracking number
19. Send a follow up email to the customer or shop to notify of shipment and provide the tracking number to track package so they know when to expect it
20. Start all over again. :)
So if a handmade item seems expensive ~ well, chances are it is not. Chances are it is a bargain.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Breast Cancer Awareness started early with cmh design this year ~ we expanded our campaign to include both the months of September and October. You can purchase BC Buddies here thru October, with 10% of each purchase going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
It is that time of year again when seasons change and everything turns... PINK!
September and October bring Breast Cancer Awareness to cmh design! Once again we are donating 10% of the sale of any BC Buddy to Susan G. Koman for the Cure! Check my Etsy shop often because new buddies are added daily! You can also find my BC Buddies at Stoopher & Boots in New York City and [soon] Caboodle in Denver!
And thank you for your support! :)
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
- There are 66 days until Halloween
- There are 91 days until Thanksgiving
- There are 98 days until Hanukkah
- There are 121 days until Christmas
My intent for the next two days is to seriously clean and organize my studio and storage spaces ~ start with a clean slate before jumping into holiday production. Which means, of course, I will be chatting on Facebook a lot; returning emails from two weeks ago; taking an extra long walk with my dog; cuddling with my cat; going thru my photo archives and phoning my Mom.
You see how the "pressure" part plays into this. :)
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This year I am featuring a family of Wee Ones ~ The BC Comfort Friends. A cat, a dog, a bear and a bunny (and probably more!) can be found in my Etsy shop in just a couple of days. If you would like to purchase one ~ or order several, 10% of all sales will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure!
So this is just a little preview of what is to come in the Fall! Can Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah be far behind??
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Walk past again; thinking, "But is it too edgy?"
Walk past again; thinking, "But I like it. It's my quirky personality. If I like it, surely someone else will like it, too."
Walk back, pick up the bolt of fabric and think, "Oh, go for it."
So I did. And I'm glad I did because it taught me something ~ to trust my instincts. If I like it I'm going to have fun creating it. And if I like it, chances are someone else will like it as well. It is a philosophy I adopted with my photography a few years ago ~ to be a little daring and different and not worry about what other people think ~ and now I am carrying that philosophy into my new world of creating things for kids. Design things that make me smile and I will bet you a dollar someone else will smile as well.
So my Monday morning advice? Don't hide your personality ~ let it show in your work! Don't worry about pleasing everyone because you never will! Dare to be a little "out there" because there are friends "out there," too! And it's a helluva' lot more fun. :)
I was reminded of this with my friend, Kathleen's recent blog post about photography. If you create things you like that's really all that matters. Because that will reflect in your work; you're happy; you will probably touch or inspire someone ~~ and it is a win-win!
So I had so much fun creating this little bib yesterday. And guess who bought it early this morning?
Kathleen. Point made. :)
Friday, July 30, 2010
Three things are certain. Death (sorry to tell ya'); taxes (again, my sympathies); and kids will lose their baby teeth.
In Ireland and Great Britain, children used to bury baby teeth. In some Asian countries, children throw their lost tooth off the roof or into the space below the floor (depending on where the tooth was located in the mouth). In Japan, children throw the tooth straight down or straight up in the air (again depending on where the tooth was located in the mouth). *
And in America, of course, children leave their woebegone tooth under their pillows or in a "safer" (for the Tooth Fairy) place such as a Tooth Fairy pillow in hopes they will receive a reward (usually monetary). In my day it was a nickel; I am scared to think what it is today... But that's neither here nor there ~ the need still exists!
So the new addition in my Etsy shop cmh design are Tooth Fairy pillows.
Of course. ;-)
*Source - Wikipedia
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I eluded to changes on the horizon here and with the help of my IT guys (translation - husband and son, IT consultants by day; bribed family members by night) we have taken steps to make everything consistent. (I'm big on branding and consistency...) Over the last couple of weeks much designing and coding and all sorts of crazy things ensued.
Monday, July 12, 2010
"You sure know how to make work for yourself."
While visiting one summer he watched from his chair in front of the TV as I ran up and down stairs many times. He said, "Cindi. I get tired just watching you."
Obviously I take after my Mom. ;-)
So deciding to add a line of applique pillows to freckles & friends has created a lot of work for me. But soooooo much fun as well! An incredibly delicious amount of fun! I'm having a blast and just two days in have started receiving special orders. I am planning to specialize in simple, whimsical designs for nurseries and children's rooms. (But I'm not adverse to designing for adults as well!) I am thrilled that all of the beautiful gift shops I partner with have requested supplies. A few pillows will be making their debut at On A Lark's 2nd Sidewalk Fair this Saturday, July 17 from 10am - 2 pm. If you're in the area, stop by and check them out for yourself.
If you're not in the area, stay tuned because they will soon be appearing in Stoopher & Boots in New York City and Modern Mouse in the San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda), as well as in my Etsy shop . :)
Friday, July 9, 2010
I've made a few over the years, but have never really been too attached to them. For months now I've been thinking about mixing up my sewing a bit. I do love my stuffies, but it's fun to create different things.
Today ~ as is my wont ~ I switched out my duvet cover (I'm easily bored) and with it, of course, needed to switch out the throw pillows. Craving color I chose the red duvet cover; then remembered I didn't have much that would coordinate throw pillow-wise.
So I decided to make a pillow. (Eventually three, but this is the first) I adore applique. Simple, clean applique; not that gaudy stuff. The photo above is my first one. I have plans for two smaller ones with simple birds.
So you ask - what the heck does this have to do with freckles & friends ??? Well, I'm thinking of making appliqued pillows for sweet little babies and their nurseries ~ little kiddles' rooms when they move up to "big boy" and "big girl" beds. Of course I have a ton of ideas for kid-adorable, kid-likable images.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Fun stuff on the way. I'm not even sure where the road will lead, but I'm jumping in with both feet. Sapphire blue painted toenails and all!
And I'm bringing lots of friends with me ~ including some of you! Stay tuned!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Arabella, the happy owner of 5 Wee Ones, may just remember the conversation about how I come up with names for them all. Hunter, although only a wee one himself (about a year old) won't remember me, but he may carry his Wee monkey thruout his childhood.
It got me thinking about my first (and favorite) stuffed animal ~ a dog named Floppy. He's around here somewhere... and over 50 years old.
Reading this assured me I'm not the only one with fond memories. And just a bit of sentimentality.
It's why I do what I do. And why I love what I do.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
In addition to Stoopher & Boots in New York City and Modern Mouse in the San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda) carrying my Wee Ones and Flat Baby Travel Pillows, On A Lark right here in my beloved Denver has joined the bunch! I'm thrilled to work with Ivy (the owner) ~ what fun it is to know her and her sweet shop!
My new line of Flat Baby Travel Pillows (featured above) double as a toy and a practical travel aide. A plushie-stuffie, which also serves as a dandy pillow! That little curve where my neck is? Well, that's the perfect nook for a weary neck ~ great to rest a little one’s head in a car seat or on an airplane ride. And a secret? Adults can use them, too!
They are the perfect size to fit in a diaper bag or a back pack. Each one is fairly flat so easily packable. They are all about 10.5 inches tall and skinny, so they don't take up much room at all. They have no removable parts, so they are pretty safe - but parental supervision is always advised when it comes to little ones and toys.
If you aren't in Manhattan, Alameda or Denver, pop into my Etsy shop ~ freckles & friends and see what's new!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Mimi is the latest in my Wee Ones collection. Thank goodness Esmeralda is on her way to New York City. I think there might be a bit of scurry if she was around.
Monday, April 19, 2010
The timing of my latest nod couldn't have been more perfect. In the last month I (as "freckles") have decided to develop a line of my own original "friends." The Wee Ones are now original concepts and designs ~ and let me tell ya' ~ the ideas never stop. (Especially when my friends start chiming in! ha!) The six developed so far you see here ~ Esmeralda the Cat, Randy Dawg, Honey Bear, Georgette the Monkey, Simon Owl and Pipin the Bunny.
At about the same time these guys were being created, I came to know wonderful Stephanie of Stoopher & Boots. Stephanie is opening a gift shop in New York City on May 1 and has invited a few of my Wee Ones (as well as some photographs but that is a story for another blog *wink*) to join her shop! I'm so excited and extremely grateful for the opportunity!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Simon Owl, E (Esmeralda) and Randy Dawg! Along with a couple of their friends.
That's all I'm sayin'. :) Stay tuned because this is pretty exciting!
Monday, April 12, 2010
are off for an adventure of a lifetime!
Thank you Preethu ~ I know they will love India!
Preethu has been making my sew in labels from Day #1 and I so appreciate the class she adds to my little guys!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Because by some miracle - whether it be luck or hard word - my friends and I are beginning to gain more exposure out there in the real world (you know, beyond the four walls of my studio and the pages of Etsy). A couple of my bunnies auditioned for a television commercial in Hollywood a few weeks ago. Now I'm working on a consignment contract for a shop opening on the Upper West side of Manhattan in a few weeks.
The message I am getting is to be original. When my friends venture out into that big wide world, I want them to be truly of my creation ~ not a tweaked version of someone else's. So I have begun to design my own patterns and make my own very original Wee Ones.
I am specializing in Wee Ones for a couple of reasons:
- Smaller seems more manageable and easier to work with for now. I'll work up to larger guys later. Maybe. Or not.
- I can make good use of the endless supply of remnant fabric I have ~ thus saving the environment (by not tossing out these small pieces of fabric to end up forever in a landfill); and saving myself some cash (by using every bit of the fabric I buy); and saving my customers money (because if I save money, I can keep my prices reasonable). Win-win!
- Wee Ones can find a home anywhere ~ from babies who can hold them in their tiny hands to an office worker who can keep one on their desk and make them smile thru a boring day in cubicle-land. (I've been there and I know whereof I speak.)
- I just think they're cuter! :)
Now that I'm paying atention, I find inspiration at every turn - movies, cartoons, books, magazines, online, catalogs (for some reason I really dig catalogs...). It is so rewarding to sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and start sketching. I look around my studio for things to help me trace perfect circles and ovals and squares. It is a challenge, but oh when I see it start coming together ~ it's just too much fun.
Simon Owl came to life yesterday. He started as a pencil drawing and 2.5 hours later became what you see pictured here. Be looking for his compadres in all sorts of variations ~ I see dogs and cats and mice and bunnies and all sorts of Wee round ones appearing soon. Keep an eye on the shop and see who's new in town! :)
Saturday, April 10, 2010
It was the beginning of a journey I never expected to find myself on. As I said in my previous post, I started my shop with an eclectic collection and quickly narrowed it down to what I really loved to do ~ create these little critters.
Thank you to all my customers for their ongoing support and the wonderful reception my whimsical world enjoys daily. My little guys have opened up doors I never even knew existed.
And it just keeps getting better... :)
Monday, April 5, 2010
When I originally opened my Etsy shop a year ago I tried offering an eclectic mix of things I love to do - photography, knitting, stuffies. Eclectic - yes; but more so, I had begun to feel, confusing. During a trip to Berkeley/San Francisco in June of last year I spent one very early cool morning walking along the East Bay thinking about what direction I should take. I made a decision. I returned home, reorganized my shop and dedicated it to stuffies exclusively.
I know I'm having fun and I've been fortunate to receive encouraging feedback; I've made good sales and am more excited than ever about what I am doing. I am now migrating into my own original designs ~ finding that challenging, but oh so fun.
So thank you Joo and Lena for being there at the beginning ~ and to all of my wonderful, beautiful, generous friends and customers on Etsy who have followed. You make me smile every day.
Monday, March 29, 2010
If you follow my blog you know that I'm pretty fond of my Mom. She is kind and generous and smart; humble and hard-working and talented. I credit much of any creative spirit I have to my Mom. It's in the genes. My aunts were very creative; so was Grandma and my sister is practically Martha Stewart.
Over the years my Mom has acquired a collection of angels in various forms - given by many who think of her in that respect. So it was obvious to me that when I created this first angel (and there will be more) her name needed to be Esther - my Mom's name.
So think about the angels you know - or someone who needs an angel. And over the next few weeks my shop and I will help you out! The angels will be about. :)
Sunday, March 28, 2010
The countdown is on to Easter - if you don't have your basket full yet, get busy! :) Stop by and pick up a bunny or two. Or five. *wink*
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I'm featured in a Showcase in the Toy category today and I've got many more lovable critters in my shop - both big and small (or "Wee Ones" as I call them) - in all price ranges! I'll be working in my studio all day, so new ones will be popping into the shop all day long. Be sure to stop by my shop often today to see what's new!
(Did you know Mother's Day is only 6 weeks away?! Stay tuned to my blog and my shop as items for Mom are added! Here is a sneak peek of what is to come! :)
Happy Weekend, everyone!