Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Sum of the Parts...

that make the whole.

I know when I buy something I don't really think about all the parts that go into making the whole item.  But when I am on the other side - actually making the item - I think seriously about the parts that make up the whole. I scrutinize fabric; in fact, I've been known to get really unreasonably excited if I find just the right fabric for just the right project.  I am sure to keep my inventory of threads up to date; yes I do need four shades of pink and eight shades of blue.

In my particular business - making my Wee Ones, et al - I think the thing that really brings them to life are their eyes.  For my critters who will be adopted by kids over 3 years old, I use plastic safety eyes.  When I attach those eyes... well, that is when the Wee One comes to life.  The eyes are the window to the soul ~ even in a stuffed animal. When those eyes become part of a bear or a dog or any critter I'm working on, suddenly a personality appears.

And that is when I smile.  And that is when I know I've got a winner.

So, all that being said, eyes are a crucial part of my inventory.  And more often than not, I lose track of my inventory "count" and realize that - uh oh - I've only got 4 pairs of 12mm black eyes left!  The person I always turn to is my Etsy friend, Clara of 6060.  She always has what I need and am in dire need of.  Her response to my requests are immediate and her turn-around time is amazing!  Although we are many, many miles apart I usually have what I need in just a couple of days.

There are many times she has saved the day for me ~ especially during crunch times like the holiday season.  So I just wanted to tip my Santa hat to Clara and say thank you for your outstanding customer service!  I don't know what I would do without you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Very Own Bug-a-bootie Cuties

Cyberspace can be a wonderful place ~ both for friendships and finding unique items.

A few months ago I got acquainted with a fellow Etsian, Lauren.  Lauren makes the most adorable soft-soled shoes (aka house shoes) for babies, toddlers and adults.  Both being seamstresses we often share the trials and triumphs of sewing machines, fabric, patterns ~ you name it.  (No one appreciates the thrill of finding a fabric you absolutely love other than another fabric-obsessed seamstress!)

As cooler temperatures began to set in recently and I pulled out my raggedy old slippers, I began seeing some really awesome house shoes showing up on Lauren's Facebook Business Page.  So one chilly night while my toes were shivering, I logged onto Lauren's Etsy Shop Bug-a-booties and ordered some house shoes in my favorite color ~ green.

I've known Lauren as a fun and sweet friend; but getting to know Lauren the Business Woman was a real treat, too! Lauren's response to my order was immediate and thorough.  She followed up with questions to insure that my house shoes would be a perfect fit for my feet.  I realized as we went thru sizing process that making shoes for someone sight unseen could be tricky business.  But Lauren is a true pro; she definitely knows her stuff.

My beautiful house shoes arrived this morning and I couldn't be more pleased!  I just love them.  Not only are they adorable and super comfortable, the craftsmanship (or is that craftwomanship?) is outstanding.  Attention was paid to every detail.  And soft is right ~ flannel and velvet with fun, soft leather soles.  I wish Lauren had been around when my boys were little ~ not only are these great for grown-ups, but they are the perfect shoe for little ones!

So now I find myself thinking...  I want to give everyone I know a pair of Bug-a-bootie house shoes for Christmas!  Of course that's not possible, but I would encourage you to take a peek at her shop; I'll bet you'll find some Holiday gifts there yourself!

Thank you, Lauren, for making such a fun, unique and quality product!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bunnies. They're Not Just for Easter Anymore.

Bunny season is typically in the Spring and near Easter for me.   I've discovered something recently as bunnies - both BIG (about 13") and small like the guys above (about 6") - have been selling on a regular basis.  Go figure.

Then it was brought to my attention by a couple of customers that in some cases these bunnies are acting as "security blankets" -- or "security bunnies" if you will -- for little ones.   In fact some little guys become so attached to their bunny Mom is ordering a "back up" bunny, just in case the original goes missing.  Moms have told me they are just the right size to tuck into a diaper bag or a purse and they won't leave home without them.

I think that is the sweetest compliment I could receive!  You can be sure these and other "security bunnies" will be in stock at all times.

Friday, November 4, 2011


In my Dad's later years (he lived to be 87) one of his favorite pastimes was to watch television with my little niece.  The cartoon they enjoyed the most was Clifford the Big Red Dog.  That always made me chuckle because my Dad's name was Clifton (but he was better known as Clif).

As his health failed, he spent the last three weeks of his life in a beautiful hospice facility.  My Mother and I spent every day with him, with other family members coming and going.  He would drift in and out of sleep and later in and out of consciousness.  Once in awhile he would mutter things softly.  One day when I returned from running an errand my Mom said, "He keeps talking about a big red dog; he sees a big red dog.  I have no idea what he's talking about."  Taken out of context like that we were puzzled..  We thought for awhile; then I had a light bulb moment.

"Mom, he sees Clifford.  Clifford the Big Red Dog!"

He passed away shortly after that and I'm hoping that Clifford the Big Red Dog ~ or some semblance thereof ~ was there to greet him on the other side.

Yesterday I spent the day creating some new Wee Ones with subtle holiday/Christmas themes. Red is a big holiday color, so I noticed it was a recurring theme in the new "holiday collection of critters."  And without even thinking about it, I created a red dog.  Once I realized, omysweetgoodness, I have a red dog ~ it was obvious what his name would be.

Clifton. The Wee Red Dog.

Here's to you, Dad. :)