Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's Saturday Night...

...and I'm sitting at home updating the software on my phone and watching stupid movies on t.v. If 16-year-old Suzanne could see me now...

We've had a crazy last few weeks. Jeremy has started a new job (which he loves), Eric has started a new school (which he tolerates), and I've been recovering. Eric brought home the first cold/plague of the new school year and shared. He was down for one day, Jeremy and I were sick for a week, let's hear it for being 30+. I got over my cold just in time to really injure myself and earn a shiny new tetanus shot. It was amazing, you know you wish you were me.

Craftstravaganza was a great success and we'd been planning to do it all over again for September, but we've had to put those plans on hold for the time being. It was great to see what other local crafters have been up to and to see all the folks who came out to support us. Another very sincere thanks to Crystal and Stash for their hospitality, we couldn't have done it with out you guys!

We've only got two weeks until Horseshoe Craft & Flea Market, so we've been really swamped with preparations. We've participated in and now hosted a number of craft shows over the years, but this is by far the largest to date and I'm so excited! We've also got a number of new pieces just for the occasion.

Jeremy has decided to contribute to my knitting obsession by building me a yarn swift. It is really spiffy, and sits on the table rather than opening like an umbrella. That is an important distinction because this model is less likely to come apart and hit me in the face/neck during operation....(I know you are still laughing at me Heather.) Thanks to Jeremy's handy carpentry skills, the recent acquisition of a spinning wheel, my compulsion to knit, and the suggestion of a Stash customer Jeremy and I are now considering expanding Siouxsiequeue's. We're thinking about offering handmade knitting accessories, like the swift, and knitted items like socks and hats. It is still in the works, but stay tuned and we'll keep you posted.

Speaking of knitting (which I do a lot lately), I've been invited by Stash to host a Fall Knit-A-Long. We'll be doing the "Who Me?" cardigan featured in the Fall 2010 issue of Knitscene magazine. There are no fees for participating in the Knit-A-Long and more information is available on the Stash website. We're starting on Wednesday, September 29th so come on down and join the knitting fun!

Normally here is where I would share a really cool Etsy shop that I'd found during the week, but this time I'd like to hear what shops you find interesting and inspiring. Don't be shy, leave a comment, we love to hear from you.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Now Featuring Siouxsiequeue's....

We've had a few features lately, and we're so grateful to our friends for all of their support!

First, our sterling silver Dragonscale bracelet has been featured in The Magic is in the Metal Treasury over at Etsy and we're so excited to have been included with such amazing artists!

Second, we're a Featured Vendor with the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market. Siouxsiequeue's has a feature on their website and I'm really looking forward to the show. We won't be at Horseshoe alone though, we'll be there with good friends Ashley from Hot Butter and Brice from Duende Forge.

There are just a few more days until Craftstravaganza! I'm really nervous because this is the first time I've hosted a craft show, but we have so many talented vendors and so many many great friends I know it will be a great success.

On Wednesdays I've been over at Stash holding down the fort. It's been a really fantastic opportunity to meet the amazing folks who are part of the crafting community here. They have a number of great classes on the schedule, including learning to knit/crochet/sew, and beginning in September I'll be heading up two really great groups. We'll be working on the Amy Butler Gum Drop Pillow and a super fun knit-along cardigan! All the details on on the Stash website and I'm really looking forward to this opportunity and I hope to see you there!

The rest of this week is going to be devoted to getting some photos edited, new listings up and buttoning up the last details for Craftstravaganza! Busy busy busy! We're also planning a field trip to see my friend Renee's shop, Airship Printing. I've been really inspired in my own work by seeing how and where my friends work. I'm thinking about making a regular feature out of my field trips so we can explore the creative process and celebrate the creativity of these amazing folks. Good stuff. :)

The voting has closed for the t-shirt Indecisive Device was promoting at, (we're so proud of you guys!) but there is still time to vote for Stash for A-List

Let's talk about this week's featured Etsy shop and how much we love it! SandyGrafik offers a variety of amazing and cute art prints, bookmarks, cards, pins...all kinds of stuff.  This is one of the best shops I've seen and I hope you guys like it too.

Have a great week and we'll see you all at Craftstravaganza on Saturday!!!!


Monday, August 16, 2010

This Week at Siouxsiequeue's

We've been so busy around here lately. Craftstravaganza is less than two weeks away and we've been putting the final touches on the preparations.

Craftstravaganza was started to showcase and promote local artists and crafters and to celebrate all things handmade. We're so lucky to have amazing friends at Stash, (where we're hosting Craftstravaganza), who have been so supportive of the show, and we're really looking forward to seeing everyone. Come by and see us on Saturday, August 28th from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. A list of vendors and a map of the location can be found on the Siouxsiequeue's website

In other craft fair news, if you are free on August 21st you should stop in and see the folks at Jonsey's Art Bazaar at Jonsey's Eat Bar from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm. We've done the show at Jonsey's a couple of times but won't be there this time because we'll be celebrating Eric's birthday. We are already starting to think about doing Craftstravaganza in September and we've booked a space for the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market (Saturday, October 2). We've also put in applications for two more shows, one for the end of October and one during the holiday season, I'll update information about those shows once the application process is complete.

Around the shop we've been working on some new earring designs (the "Tonnie" upper left, "Felina" lower right) as well as new bracelet weaves that you haven't seen at Siouxsiequeue's before. I'll be working on photos and new listings this week, so make sure to check out our Etsy shop for new items.
We've also finished up some new stitch markers for our knitting friends, we've got several different fabrics for the new zippered pouches, and we've got a few new totes in the works. See, I told you we'd been busy around here. ;)

Here at Siouxsiequeue's we're lucky enough to be friends with some truly amazing people. Case in point, Stash has been nominated for Best Arts and Crafts in the 2010 Denver 7 A-List Awards and our friends at Indecisive Device are competing on to have artwork turned into a (really awesome) t-shirt. You will have to log in at both places to cast your votes, they both really deserve these awards.

Finally, (but certainly not least) our Etsy shop of the week! I am a huge fan of both Star Wars and Hello Kitty...okay, huge isn't quite the right would be more accurate to say that you would be hard pressed to find a space in our home or shop that doesn't contain some type of Star Wars and/or Hello Kitty merchandise. Et voilá, Hello Wars, super super cute stickers and jewelry that combine Star Wars *AND* Hello Kitty. Love!

Happy Elvis Day! Have a peanut butter and banana sandwich and put on your favorite Elvis movie.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We're Baaaaack...

I know it has been a while, months actually...anyway, the good news is that I'm back, and I've got so much to talk about!

Where to plugs? Siouxsiequeue's merchandise can now be found all over the Denver Metro area as well as online. You can find Siouxsiequeue's accessories and jewelry at the Crowfoot Coffee stand at the Philip S. Miller Library, Dream Pastries, and Stash all in Castle Rock, CO; and at The Mac Spa in LoDo. It is very exciting to have such good friends, thanks for all of your support!

In addition to our retail and Internet presence we've decided to host a craft show in Castle Rock at the end of August. Siouxsiequeue & Friends Present: Craftstravaganza is a project we designed to showcase some amazing local artists and crafters and to celebrate all things handmade. Our good friends at Stash are lending us their place for the show and we've got some really amazing folks on board. Check our website for more details.

And last, but certainly not least we've been invited to join the folks at Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market in October. I'm *really* looking forward to this one. We're one of their featured vendors and it looks like it is going to be a really fun show.

Don't let all the all around town stuff fool you though, I've been hard at work in the studio working on new projects. New coffee sleeves, zippered pouches, and earrings, among other things in our Etsy shop.

So that's going to cover it for our welcome back post. Check in again soon where you might just find another updated post!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

You Know What I Need...

...I need someone to call, email, and text me every single day and ask if I have written my blog for that day. "Hi Suzanne, did you write your blog today? You haven't? Why not? Why don't you write your blog right now, you apparently have time to answer the phone, read email, check your text messages."

I think that I should mention that I have an *AMAZING* support system. This is imperative if you have made the mad decision to work at home and/or for yourself. You must have people in your life who will support and contribute to your insanity. Jeremy & Eric are amazing, they area always willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in, even if Jeremy's had a long day at work & when Eric would rather be outside riding his bike. They are wonderful and I absolutely could not do this without them.

I also have unbelievable friends who listen to me stress out about going to shows, wear and talk about my products (sometimes of their own volition), and rant about photography. They are always there with a smile, a drink, or a great suggestion on how to make those damned photos better.

Thanks to all of the special folks in my life who make this lunacy possible with their love and their support. I say it time and time again, but it is 100% true when I say that I couldn't do this without you.

Now moving on...let's talk about Pluto. You may or may not know that Pluto has been downgraded in status and the scientific community worldwide (excepting those in Illinois and New Mexico) no longer acknowledges it as a planet. I am, of course, outraged and wish that they would let Pluto be a planet again. I'm not the only dissident though, apparently Dr. Neil de Grasse Tyson has been getting hate mail from 3rd Graders on the subject. He's received enough mail to fill a book. Some of the letters are real tearjerkers and it won't be long until you've joined me and a group of angry 8-year-olds in the quest to reinstate Pluto's planetary status.

Keeping with the geek theme...if you have a moment, an interest in computer programming, or a desire to know more about Jeremy and what his actual job is (yeah, I bet you all thought that he worked for me all the time, but alas, he's got this notion that one of us should have a real job and pay the mortgage...I don't know where that comes from) then you should visit his new blog. You can see what he's working on and get to know him a little better because he is awesome!

From the studio...We've got new props and the photos are shaping up nicely and I've had several inquiries about the chainmaille tie (which is also awesome!) This week is vacation (w00t!) and I'll be in and out all week, but we will not be far from home, so email and order away!

Today's featured seller is Dirty Story Jewelry, made to order cuff bracelets with *AMAZING* designs. Check them out, for they are another check in the awesome box. Good stuff!

I think that's about it for tonight, lest I call one more thing "awesome". ;)
Happy Monday everyone!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Where in in the world is Siouxsiequeue, Again....

I haven't been hiding, I haven't been seeking...
I have been working and showing and taking photos and planning and reading.
And now I'm back!

Let's start with "showing". We decided to make our first show of the season Jonesy's Art Bazaar which was on the 20th. It was a fantastic show at a great venue! We were so happy to be there and to meet all the other outstanding artists and crafters. I always look forward to the opportunity to show my work, but this was a particularly lovely show. I'm sad that we're not going to join them again for the April shin-dig (it's the weekend Jeremy and I are away), but we'll be back in May and are hoping to finish the season with them as well. Check back here or on our Facebook page for more info and details.

The "working" and the "planning" portions of my absence are tied together. First we were frantically preparing for the show, but once that was finished it was time to take on new projects. Right now Jeremy and I are looking at expanding the Siouxsiequeue's brand to include accessories for men. We've done tons of bracelets, earrings, and sewing projects covered in florals, but now it is time to widen the range. We're thinking about different things, and this week especially, I have been working on samples...I promise photos as soon as I've got something to take photos of. So excited!

And then there were photos...
I don't come from a place where ownership of a camera equals photographic ability. I have always been a casual picture taker at the best of times, but since we've started doing SQ's full-time I find that most of my day is consumed with pictures, and they aren't even that good. I have been fortunate to have a friend who is willing to help me out from time to time, but even with his assistance I still find myself hunched over a camera more than once a day. I wish I enjoyed it more, I know that many people are very passionate for photography, I'm just not one of them. Still I press on, hoping to find some secret, hoping that the photos aren't completely terrible, and enjoying Odin Cat's supervision as I re-size and touch-up my shots in Photoshop. Before I leave the subject of photos, I'd like to give a special shout out to my friends from King Collab for the great ideas, support, and encouragement regarding pics. There has been a marked improvement in the situation since I have been taking your advice!

This list of awesome shops and products has grown since I've been away, which is great news for all of us. It is important to me to help support my friends and other crafters in their endeavors. Arts, crafts, and music add substance and joy to our lives in ways that we wouldn't normally. Support handmade, local music, arts AND sciences, and your local school's music programs. That's it, lecture over, I'm down from my soap box. Having said that, (and I hope that the ladies don't mind following my speech) here are two amazing shops, run by two amazing women. First we've got Rockabettie's Bazaar. Rockabettie features handmade clothing and accessories that showcase her love of vintage '50s and Rockabilly styles. Next we've got The Peacock Shop. They offer a great assortment of ready made pieces along with beading supplies and findings. They have also just opened a brick and mortar shop by the same name, so if you're in the Denver area you should stop by and say hello.

And then there was the reading. I generally read anything that is put in front of me, but lately (and mostly due to our new book club) I have been reading books from the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres. Our book for April is "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman, and while I have already know that story by heart I'll be reading it again before the meeting. Love! I have also been reading "The Color of Magic" by Terry Pratchett, the Spring/Summer edition of Vogue Knitting, and tons and tons of pattern books. I've also started the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series because that is what Eric is reading and he likes to talk about books.

So that's what I've been up to lately. What are you working on/reading/up to? We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Alexander would be proud

One of my very favorite books from my childhood is "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst. In a nutshell poor Alexander has a pretty crappy day, and of course when it rains it pours. I tend to go back to that book when I feel I've had a bad day, and I do this for two reasons. First, at the end of the book Alexander realizes that his day wasn't really so bad and he can start fresh again tomorrow. Second, and keep in mind that I'm only human, it is always comforting to know you aren't the only person having a bad day, even if the other person is fictitious. So by now I guess you've figured out that I had a bad day today. Now I just need to get to the point where I realize that my day wasn't really so bad and I can start fresh again tomorrow. Maybe breaking into the stash of Guinness in the garage will help me come to that conclusion a little sooner.

I took some of the yoga mat totes over to one of the local yoga studios this morning to see if they would be interested in carrying them. Keep your fingers crossed for me! In jewelry news, I'm working on a range inspired by Tim Burton's new telling of "Alice in Wonderland". We'll have a Dream style bracelet for Alice, a Parallel style for the Queen of Hearts, a Wandering Path style for the Mad Hatter, a pair of Byzantine for Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and possible pieces for the Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar. I'll get some photos up tomorrow.

Today's shop find, FabricNoodle! I love textiles, LOVE textiles. No, love is not the right word. There is no word in any language that describes my affection for textiles. My heart skips a beat every time I walk into a fabric shop, I made my 8-year-old (at the time) son, Grandmother, and Uncle visit a museum featuring a history of textiles, fabric types, dyes, weaving procedures...I think they might be starting to forgive me for that, maybe...Anyway, I love fabric, and I love supporting my local economy, so if you are looking for some fun, contemporary fabrics and want to support Denver's local economy then you should check out FabricNoodle. Their shop is super cute and full of things I can't wait to buy.

I have some silk brocade fabric that is calling out to me to become tote bags or yoga mat totes, I will also get some photos of those projects listed as soon as I have something to show. Don't forget that St. Patrick's Day is coming up, if you don't want to be pinched then stop by the shop and check out all the ready made green accessories, or send us an alchemy request, most of our items can be customized!

To sum up: bad day, beer, yoga totes, Alice in Wonderland themed jewelry, new fabric outlet, I'm a terror to my family, green goodies, and support handmade!

Have a happy Tuesday

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And then I ran out of gas...

The weather was fantastic here today. It was so nice we almost forgot that March is the snowiest month in Colorado. I thought it would be lovely to ride the scooter to my guitar lesson this afternoon, so I got it out and started her up only to discover (as I was nearing the being late for my lesson mark) that the gas tank was empty. I hate when that happens. Fortunately for me Jeremy went to the gas station and filled the gas can for me, so I can try again tomorrow. I also made it to my guitar lesson on time, even after the scooter snafu.

You might not have heard, but we recently got new furniture for the living room. :)
We're really enjoying the new sofa and coffee table by the way, and everyone who has seen it has been very complimentary (thanks!), but as a result of my month-long furniture obsession I discovered some wonderful pieces that would make a wonderful addition if only we had the room. Wright@Home Vintage has some really wonderful mid-century chairs that I totally fell in love with. You should check out their shop and the chairs, they have some great stuff.

So I'm good on furniture for a while, but we're starting to really get our home improving into gear. We have a bit of painting to do and some new fixtures to install, I think we probably need to have the electrical in the house checked as well. We bought our house from a woman and her teen-aged daughter whose idea of communication was having a security system installed so it was obvious when the daughter was sneaking in and out. We've dubbed them "The Destructo Girls" because all of the "improvements" they made the house caused structural damage and are total safety hazards. The first few months here were an adventure and I honestly don't know how the home passed inspection during the buying process. Each spring we take on another actual improvement and hope someday soon to be up to current building code.

I also managed to get some work done today, in between music lessons and an empty gas tank. I've got another set of knitting stitch markers finished and started a new custom order. I've been working on a pretty large piece for my friend Liz, well, I've been planning a pretty large piece for my friend Liz. I'm supposed to be working on a pattern drawing, but I keep getting stuck on the drawing. I am not much of an artist in respect to drawing and even though I know where I'm going with the actual piece I can't seem to translate it to paper. I think tomorrow I'll work up a swatch so I have it the next time I see Liz. I hope she doesn't think that I've forgotten about her.

I was thinking about our upcoming show today. Thankfully I don't have too much to do to get ready. I have been adding a few new pieces to my inventory each week, I have all of my displays and cases ready to go, I've got an email sign up sheet, so really all I have left is to make sure everything has a price and I have a couple of signs to make. I also need to make sure everything has a closure. I know that sounds crazy, but I offer a choice of closures on most pieces, so I often add a clasp or toggle right before shipping. I don't know if Jeremy is excited about the show, but I sure am. Eric will probably want to visit his grandparents that day.

Speaking of grandparents, I'm finishing up a little surprise for my Grandma. I'd initially planned to take it to her, but now I think I will send it instead and visit on a different day. I started thinking of how much fun it is to get parcels, and I thought she might like to have something to open that isn't bills or junk mail. I think I'll finish that first tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a happy Wednesday and that Thursday goes well for you too. Oh, and if you haven't already done so, you can sign up for our email newsletter here. I do actually write that regularly and you'll have the inside scoop on specials and surprises.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Delinquit Blogger Part 2

So, it isn't that I don't want to blog, sometimes I just don't feel that I have enough to say. But if we're totally honest about this situation it isn't really that either. The true truth about my blogging delinquency is that I really just forget sometimes. :)

And I know I always say that the time between entries has been really busy, but it really has! Last week I helped eradicate viruses from a friend's computer, celebrated a milestone birthday with my friend Andy (I'll not advertise which one), created new items for the shop, practiced my guitar, took Nicole to collect Amber from the train, scheduled another show, started a project for my Grandma and went with TLC to a photo shoot. See, it really was a busy week.

One of our new items is a super cute tote for your yoga mat (pictured above). I made one for Jeremy and myself as well. I have the print from the picture, but I also have some lovely brocades and silks that I need to photograph. I also finished another sterling silver bracelet. Jeremy and I were in Target the other day when I saw a bracelet very similar to the one I've made. I put it on, looked it over, turned it round and round and came to the conclusion that not only could I make that, but I could make it better and out of nice material, so I did. At least I think I did. I don't want to make it sound like I am the best metal smith in the world or anything, I think that I just did this piece a little better than the one I encountered at the discount chain store (and Nordstrom's). I hope that doesn't make me sound like a jerk...

In other shop news, we now have a lovely drapery panel separating the studio from the rest of the house. This is very helpful because it separates the work space from the living space, now if I could manage to actually define working hours I might be able to stop working 22 hours a day.

I have to tell you guys about this shop I found on Etsy. It is called Sterling Glassworks. Joe is running things over there and does some of the most amazing and beautiful glass work I have ever seen. We've had a few conversations back and forth and besides being a brilliant artist, he is a super nice guy too. So check out his shop or just drop him a line to say hi.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Delinquit Blogger

What can I say, I haven't been good about keeping up with the blog lately. It seems like there has been a lot going on, but when I sit down to write it all sounds kind of stupid.

We (finally) got the new sofa home, so I can't use that as an excuse for distraction anymore. We got the new coffee table put together and have found a homes for most of the rest of the furniture. Furniture obsession aside, it doesn't seem like I have spent much time in the studio working lately. I've been on the go for supplies or networking, today I was fixing a friend's computer. I have two custom orders to start, sewing to work on, and photos to take. I'm really looking forward to a good solid day of work. It is amazing how caught up in minutia one can become if one is not careful.

It hasn't all be furniture arguments and electric guitars this last week. We're preparing to participate in a local art show in March. We'll be joining the gang at Jonesy's Art Bazaar on March 20. It will be the first time we're participating in this event, but I'm really looking forward to it. I enjoy doing shows because it gives us an opportunity to meet our customers face to face. We've started an event on our Facebook page, so if you are local and free come on over and say hi! Click here if you would like more information on Jonesy's Art Bazaar.

I have the most amazing artist to share with you today, Illustrations by Kecky. I saw her print called "The Spaces in Between" on the front page of Etsy the other day and was completely floored. She does absolutely beautiful work and I'm looking forward to ordering from her.

I've been working on a necklace in sterling silver that has been pretty resource intensive, and it is coming out beautifully. You can find a very blurry iPhone photo of it here. This particular project is becoming a labor of love, I hope that someone else falls in love with it too. In it's current state it is 3 ounces of sterling silver and there is still work to be done. It is a variation of the Japanese 2-in-12 weave, similar to our Tranquility style bracelet, but instead of having three rows of same sized rings the rows graduate in size, it is awesome and I need to finish it so I can get some good pics. I tried to convince myself to finish it last night, but that was after two and a half hours of guitar practice and my fingers were swollen and so painful I could barely hold the pliers, let alone pick up the rings. Jeremy encouraged me to practice a little less today to give me a chance to recover.

This weekend we're looking forward to a visit from Amber, Andy's birthday (Happy Birthday Andy!), and the completion (finally) of the topside of the L'Amour quilt. We may also check into the local Curling club, but that is another entry all on its own.

I hope you all have a happy Friday, and a fun weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I don't have a title for this one...

...Again, I really stress out about the "Title" box on the blog page and the subject line on emails. I'm hoping to overcome this little quirk, someday.

Anyway, here we are, rounding the corner into Spring and we're buried in snow. I love the weather here, so unpredictable.

So much happened this week, my guitar came, the new coffee table came, the sofa is (finally) going to arrive on Sunday. For those of you who follow us on Facebook you might have seen that I initially said it would be delivered tomorrow, but alas, that plan changed. I will not say why in this public forum, but if you send me an email I'll tell you all about it. Needless to say, I'm not happy about the sofa situation. Oh, and if you would like to become the proud new owner of our previous sofa drop a line or check out my ad on Craig's List. The only reason we bought a new sofa is to mach our decorating scheme, the old sofa is in good shape save a few pet hairs and a few jump rings.

Wednesday was my first guitar lesson. I have been practicing all week and besides having sore fingers it seems to be going pretty well. In the event that I actually learn a song I might just post it here for everyone to listen to...maybe.

Today's new shop listing is the Half-Persian style bracelet in a matte black finish. We've got one more piece from this current collection to post, and I'll get that listed tomorrow. I really love the simplicity of the all black color palette, the pieces look great by themselves or accent pieces they are layered with. They are sleek, elegant, and a lot of fun. Next week we're going to start getting St. Patrick's Day themed items in the shop. I don't think I'm going to make as may variations as I did for Valentine's Day, but I haven't decided yet. I will be listing a fun piece that will be great either as a pendant or as a keyring, you guys will love it!

In other Etsy related news, I wanted to tell you about today's find: Crowley Manor Bath & Body. Soaps, lip balm, body butter all handmade right here in Colorado. Nigerian Dwarf Goats provide the milk that they use for these amazing products, and the goats are the cutest critters I've seen. Even cuter than Moose I think. I bought the Orange Truffle Kahlua Cream Soap and Soap Cake Duo, AKA the OMG soap and it truly lives up to its name! It is so good I want to roll around it in, and that is high praise indeed. Another reason I'm so excited about Crowley Manor is that at the end of March Jeremy, Eric, and I get to drive up and see the new baby goats! Crowley has amazing products and super customer service, check them out!

In other news, the gones are playing tomorrow night at the Lion's Lair in Denver, check them out if you can. Jeremy and I start yoga classes in the morning and more guitar practice. What are you doing this weekend? You should let us know.

Monday, February 15, 2010

But the Legend of the Sofa Was Way Hardcore

I am impatient. No, really, I am impatient. There is no nice way around it, no sugar coating, it is blind impatience. It is good to know these things about oneself for it makes it easier to get through trying times; but it doesn't make it any easier for the people around me.

I am consumed with the impatience I am suffering while waiting for deliveries to be made. The first thing I think of (well, really the second, no the third...but five is right out) when I wake up is "I hope the sofa arrives today" knowing full well that it isn't even expected in the store's warehouse before this week. As I brush my teeth, shoot photos, and post comments on Facebook all I can think of "It would be fantastic if the sofa/coffee table/jewelry supplies (that I just ordered btw) arrived today, again knowing full well that they won't.

My impatience is starting to affect my work, as I am prone to wandering into daydreams of furniture deliveries and projects that cannot be started until deliveries are made. When Ein hears (and starts barking) at the UPS delivery truck my heart starts to race and I run to the front door in anticipation of the parcels that will delivered today.

Two things need to happen now. Thing the first, I need to learn to be more patient. Thing the second, I need to stop ordering things online.

In shop related news, all of our Valentine's Day themed items have been removed, so I'm sorry to say that boat has sailed. Also, today and tomorrow will be the last days for the Mardi Gras themed items. Tonight we listed an awesome version of our Tranquility Bracelet. I've done the original in matte black with a matte black toggle, sleek and sophisticated, you know you want one! Also, you guys can expect to see a lot more green items being listed toward the end of the week.

Additionally I'm glad to report we've had a ton of really amazing feedback and support from the other Etsy shop owners I mention here, visitors to our shop, friends, family, and the craft community as a whole. I'm touched guys, we absolutely cannot do it with out you, thank you so much!

By now I'll bet you're wondering who our seller of the day is, well that is easy it's Beta Boutique! Fun and unique handmade clothing and accessories and if you want to know why I picked Beta, I have two words for you tulle skirt!

Somewhere in the house I can hear Eric washing up for bed, kitty cats purring and the gentle hum of Jeremy blowing stuff up in video games, that dear friends is the sound of home. As we part from tonight's chat I'd like to remind you all to support things like crafters, local artisans, independent bookstores, library, and the bands your friends are in!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where in the world is Siouxsiequeue?

To answer that question, I have been right here, buried under projects and minor illness, and new jewelry cases!

On Wednesday Jeremy, Eric, & I went to book club, where I lead a wonderful discussion on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit". I love that story, it is part of who I am, so I was so excited to be able to really talk about it with 15 other people! We have three librarians in our book club, so that also helps to make our meetings interesting. The three ladies are so well read and always have interesting tidbits about the story or the author, it is fantastic.

On Thursday the plan had been to join Greg & Co. for King Collab. Several people get together to help each other with their projects, discuss the creative process and fill the need we all have to sit around in a diner drinking coffee and eating pancakes all night. I have been having a lot of fun at Collab, but this week I had a touch of something and a fever so I didn't think the others would like to have me and my germs around. Greg and I are starting to put together a story of, well us, from high school, and tried to work via unreliable Internet connections and text messages, but it didn't work out quite as we had planned. This is a fantastic project, though I don't know exactly what medium it will ultimately take. It is freeing and healing to talk about it, to tell those stories again, and to look at the old photos. We carried so much baggage about that time, it feels like it is finally moving into the past, for me anyway.

On Friday I was expecting parcels full of beads and a new carrying case for my jewelry inventory; needless to say the day passed at a dead crawl and the UPS drive took his sweet time coming to the house. When Jeremy got home from work he helped me get everything organized in the case and it looks wonderful! We spent the rest of the evening watching t.v. and I worked on a few new pieces.

Yesterday we got the brilliant idea to go out shopping, but there were so many people in all the shops we became frustrated very quickly. We started at the Game Stop, where I picked up a copy of Beatles Rock Band only to find out later there are NO Rock Band band kits for the Wii available ANYWHERE in the whole world. I'm going to have to take the game back because we can't play it. From the Game Stop we went to Target where we bought Jeremy a new yoga mat and lamented the absence of Rock Band controllers for the Wii. Then we were off and running to the garden center where we purchased a new solar powered Japanese lantern and some herbs that I will grow in a box on the kitchen counter. Lastly we went by the supermarket and then home again. We're still waiting for more deliveries, furniture and jewelry supplies. I hope that the rash of snow storms doesn't delay these deliveries too much. I think the furniture will (finally) arrive toward the end of this week.

Okay, so enough of my weekend play by play let's get down to business. I have five, yes five, new bracelets to list this week, one of which is pictured at the beginning of this post. (If you click here or on the photo you can see all the items available in the shop.) I've also started planning a few pieces for St. Patrick's Day, we all know how I love a theme! I've also got a couple of sewing projects playing out in my head: I'm going to finish a project tote for a friend who knits and I would like to make totes for our yoga mats. If they turn out well we might be seeing them in my Etsy shop in the next few weeks.

And last but certainly not least, the all important shout outs and awesome links portion of this post. There are a lot of them, so please check them out, pass along the links and any information you may glean. First up, our Etsy shop of the week. Melfitz Handmade Accessories, beautiful knitted gloves & scarves! Love, love, love! I wish my knitting was this good. Next we've got Oscar's band, the gones, who are playing in Denver this weekend at the Lion's Lair. You can click here for details on the show and to check out some of their songs. "Killin' Me" is my favorite of their songs. Also playing in Denver this week is Tim's band, Pluyd. They are at Herman's Hideaway and you can click here for information about that show or here to buy their album.

As if all of that wasn't enough, I also have two little gems from the world of celebrity tweeting. Neil Gaiman (my favorite author) wrote a fun poem in honor of Valentine's day. You can find that here along with his whole blog. And finally, but certainly not least we have a fun and geeky link to a Jean-Luc Picard video that came to us via Chris Hardwick of Web Soup. Okay, I think that was everyone!

I do believe that gets everyone caught up! I hope that you are warm, wherever you are, and that you have a lovely evening.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Who is this guy, and why are we following him anyway?

This morning started out by wrangling cats so they could go to the vet. Yeah, that was super fun. :) The pets all came home with clean bills of health and I anticipate that the cats will stop hissing at us sometime next week.

Today I hit pause on the jewelry making to work on my presentation for book club. I'm leading the discussion on "The Hobbit" tomorrow night so I thought I'd probably better have my questions ready. I'm excited to give the presentation because I'm such a fan of Tolkien. I hope it goes well.

There are lost of fun new pieces in out Etsy shop this week, we've seen so many great shops from other Etsy sellers, there has been craziness from snow, vet visits, preparations for a presentation, and it's only Tuesday!

How's your week going?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

...and it did, all day. The snow was ankle deep when I went out to get the mail this morning. I didn't enjoy that walk. The most frustrating thing about the snow is that Ein doesn't like cold weather in the slightest and he always gives us a bad time about going out. He just looks up at you with his big brown doggie eyes as if to say "I hope you don't think I'm going out in that weather." Cymru on the other hand loves the snow, we usually have to go outside and bring her back inside.
Besides the doggies wanting either in or out all day they both took turns napping under the work bench in the studio this afternoon, breaking only to chew on toys or to get a drink of water. Ah, the life of spoiled puppies.

I finished three new bracelets over the weekend, all in copper. I'm very exited to get them listed on my Etsy shop. I love copper jewelry, the color is so warm, it almost makes you forget that you're working with metal. It is fantastic!

Today's find of the day, ArtisanTea! I love tea. I love that you can't just have tea, you have to boil water and steep the tea leaves before you can have tea. It is a little bit ritualistic and a little bit meditative, you get a few minutes every morning to just pause and think. Good stuff.

Bundle up and stay warm friends!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Home Improving

Jeremy and I have been watching a lot of HGTV lately, and I do mean A LOT! As a result of our recent television viewing we've been bitten by the home improvement bug. I guess I shouldn't blame it all on tv, it really started with the new sofa, which has yet to be delivered. We started looking for a sofa, then we needed a coffee table, then we needed a new lamp, then we needed to paint the bathroom, then we needed to replace the mirror...and on and on until we ended up at a new patio door.
I love making these changes to our home, especially since it is a very long way from being our dream home. I've enjoyed seeing the evolution of this house from suburban beige mortgage to our home and there is something very satisfying about doing the work as well.
Next weekend we're hoping for some warmer weather so we can pain the upstairs bathroom and get the new patio door installed. We are very lucky that Jeremy's Dad is very handy and has agreed to help us install the door.

In studio related news, I have started some projects in copper this weekend. I'm looking forward to being able to share them with everyone. I should be able to wrap things up tonight and work on photos in the morning. I'm also expecting an order of silver rings and Swarovski beads, so we're going to have a bunch of new stuff in the next few weeks.

If you don't already have something for your Valentine you should stop by the Siouxsiequeue's Etsy shop and check out our range of Valentine's themed bracelets. The last day to order in time for Valentine's (US orders only) is Wednesday, February 10th, so don't wait until the last minute!

One last thing before I go, today's find are these super cute, handmade hats for your beeb! Coverall Hats has an assortment of sweet hats that are worth checking out.

I hope that your team won the big football game and that you managed to stay warm in all the snow that happened all over the country this weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Next week is too far away...

I've got a wonderful new project I'm dying to work on and I don't have enough sterling silver to complete it. So now I'm pacing around waiting on the new sofa AND supplies to arrive. I need to learn to be more patient I think.

Today's find is my friend Jessica, if you are planning a wedding and are looking for some truly amazing accessories hers is the shop to see. Her work is beautiful, I know you will be happy.

It was a pretty quiet day around here today. Jeremy went back to his real job, Eric was at school, even the pets napped most of the day. On an unrelated note, I did get some work done today, and we got a shot out on Oscar's blog! I hope that doesn't start a weird cycle...I mentioned the gones, he mentioned me, I mentioned that he mentioned me....anyway, Oscar is awesome, blogs are awesome, there you go.

I've been thinking about companion pieces, like a necklace and or earrings, to go with the Black Ribbons bracelet. I like the looks of those necklaces that have multiple chains of various sizes and finishes, but I'm not really getting any inspiration when it comes to matching earrings. Oh, speaking of earrings, all of our earrings are 15% off during the month of February.

I also need to finish some drawings for a custom order I've been asked to work on. We're going to do a corset and I have to say that I'm really excited about this project. I've been kind of wading through the logistics of it since the weekend and I think I'm ready to put pen to paper, get measurements, and put together my final estimates. Because of the materials I would like to use in this project I am considering making this a composite piece. I won't be able to solder or weld the maille, so if it stands alone we run the risk of pulling rings apart when she's lacing the corset, and we don't want that. I think having the maille over a traditionally constructed corset would lend shape and structure. Wish me luck and when I get the go ahead I'll start taking and posting photos of the project as I go along. Do you have a special project you'd like us to work on? We love custom orders, don't be shy, I love a challenge.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why is there a baby in the stupid cake in the first place?

I was raised Catholic. I know, what a strange way to start a post, but follow me here for a moment...I was raised Catholic, so about this time of year I become very aware of two things, Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. I've never been to Mardi Gras myself, but I have lived vicariously through friends who have gone and brought me back bags and bags of plastic beads. Beads, which according to are manufactured in China by people who believe it is actual jewelry, but I digress. I have never participated in the festival or madness of Mardi Gras, but I have observed one of its dearest traditions, the King Cake.

I worked in an office, one of those swanky high rise kind of offices, with a New Orleans native who on the occasion of Mardi Gras ordered a King Cake to share with the office. As we were enjoying the imported confection one of the young ladies who worked with us (and who fancied herself superior to nearly everyone in nearly every way) began screaming and threw her cake across the room. "OH MY GOD! THERE IS A BABY IN THIS CAKE! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE, WHY IS THERE A BABY IN THIS CAKE!" Most of our co-workers just stared as the man who purchased the cake and I burst into hysterical laughter. The poor young lady was neither familiar with King Cake, nor the fact that finding the baby in her piece of cake was supposed to bring her good luck. Once it was explained everyone had a good laugh, but I am always taken by surprise by the knowledge we take for granted and or project on to others. Maybe this was a story that you had to be part of to really appreciate, maybe it's called pie...

In other, non-holiday related news, it looks like my friend Oscar's band, the gones, are in the studio! I think it would be really spiffy if you went over to their myspace page and downloaded their songs and check out their blog. Jef, Oscar, & Van are amazing musicians and really cool guys, I know you'll love them just as much as I do.

Today's find: handmade artisan mineral make-up (say that three times fast). Good for you, good for the environment, makes you pretty, it is kind of hard to go wrong there.

Um...let's see...random Mardi Gras story, the gones, the find of the day...I guess that's about it for today...I would like to hear from you though. Do you have a baby in the cake story, want to plug your friend's band, or have a find of the day?

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Furniture is Distracting

We ordered a new sofa for the living room this weekend, and for some reason this is preventing me from working. Whenever I sit down to work I starting thinking about the new sofa and I start taking measurements in the living room or trying to find things that are the same color as the sofa to compare it with the paint. I'm not usually this distracted, I just can't wait for the new furniture to arrive.

I decided to take a break from being distracted and I did do some work this afternoon. I accepted delivery of some new supplies (yay!), got some photos from Shawn and started planning some new projects. I've been really inspired the past few days, even if I have been distracted, and I've learned a few new (to me) weaves and projects. I'm also getting some new beads in the next week or so and I can't wait to get the new pieces out in the shop. In the mean time you can check out today's listing from my shop and our other favorite seller of the week, The Green Daisy, she makes super cute magnets.

The February newsletter went out this morning as well, if you're not getting our newsletter you can sign up here and get the skinny on our monthly specials, sales, and all that good stuff.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where Did the Weekend Go?

I can't believe it is Sunday night already, this weekend just flew by for me! On Friday night Jeremy and I caught up on then said goodbye to a show we really really liked (Dollhouse). We are great fans of Joss Whedon and were sad to see that show end. Jeremy is taking a few days off from his real job so I think maybe we'll have a Whedon-thon tomorrow in the studio, perhaps starting with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog...

Besides watching t.v., we got some new items listed over at the Etsy shop, packaged and posted a few orders, and cleaned the house like crazy people.

Last night the knitting group, Nerds Who Knit, met at our house. We had some snacks, worked on our projects, and watched "Gattaca". Nicole put in a valiant effort toward learning to knit, but I don't think she enjoyed it very much, perhaps instead of being a knitter she will consent to be our official cat girl mascot...I'll have to ask her.

Speaking of the knitting group, one of our other esteemed members has recently fired up her own Etsy shop, KraftsbyKatie. She makes really sweet embellished flip-flops that you should check out.

In other weekend news, Nicole, Eric, and I made it over to Fancy Tiger for their yarn sale on Saturday afternoon. I picked up some pink cashmere yarn that is so soft...I think I'm going to try to knit a lacy scarf that I saw on t.v. the other day. I have 10,000 knitting projects in progress, I can't seem to help myself. I start new projects well before I have finished others. I think I have project ADD. Come to think of it, I have tons of projects in various stages of completion. I think this week I will make a better effort to wrap up some of the projects that turned long term, or I could start the new table runner for my Mom and the checkbook cover for my Grandma...

I'm such a space cadet sometimes, I completely forgot to tell you guys about my awesome friend Tim. I'm lucky enough to be friends with a drummer in one of Denver's most interesting bands, Pluyd. If you are around the Denver area you should check out one of their shows! You can also become their fan on Facebook here. Support your local artists!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Whenever One Door Closes...

...Another one slams shut on your fingers. :)
No that's not really true, titles and email subject lines are difficult for me. I feel a lot of pressure to be clever and funny in that tiny little box that most people probably don't ready anyway.

Today was kind of a big day for us here at Siouxsiequeue's. Our merchandise has been featured in a local shop since August, but due to different opinions on the direction of the business we are parting ways with the shop. The only thing that really means is that we won't be in the shop anymore, but it is a bit sad, and now I cannot point potential customers to the shop. Not to worry though, we're still on Etsy and after a short break I plan to take my work back the to the local market place.

We're also having a busy weekend around here as well. I've recently formed a knitting group with some of the ladies I'm friends with and we're hosting a knitting/movie night in our home on Saturday night. I'm having a bit of stress about this only because the studio space is visible from the rest of the house and I'm going to have to work on cleaning up instead of new projects tomorrow. :)

More good news, Nicole has consented to learning to knit (maybe), my favorite craft shop, Fancy Tiger, is having a yarn sale, Jeremy said we can get a new sofa, and we're thinking about a road trip in order to obtain said new sofa!

On the business front, I've finally posted the listings for all the new Valentine's Day jewelry items and am about to start work on some fun pieces for Mardi Gras. I'm also going to do a whole series of pieces in various shades of blue and silver. I'm hoping to finish the quilt I've been working on, a fun twin sized quilt using L'Amour by Sandy Gervais for Moda Fabrics. I've posted a few photos on our Facebook fanpage and I'll work on getting a few more together.

Looks like this entry turned into a blog of 1,000 links, and I guess I'll leave you with one more. During your exploration of Etsy don't forget to check out our frien
d Elisatta's page. She's done some amazing and cute watercolor paintings and cards.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This is why cats don't have jobs...

We are allowed to live and work in the same house as two cats, Odin and Moose. I, in a stupid and careless move, dared to put my super-duper fancy photo studio light box (read: cardboard box with tissue paper taped to three sides) on my work surface when one of the cats wanted to walk through that area. In retribution, the cat (I don't know which one but suspect Moose) slashed through one of the layers of tissue, so this morning instead of taking photographs I was repairing my photography equipment (read: cardboard box). Luckily I had all the supplies to make the necessary repair, and was back on the road to shooting photos in no time. Well, until Moose decided I wanted to take photos of him instead of the jewelry I'm trying to sell...

This is one of the pitfalls of working at home, it didn't take long for me to abandon my photography project in favor of playing with the cat and watching "Mamma Mia!", again. I did get the pliers and work on a handful of new pieces and wrote a thank you note to one of my customers for a recent order.

I wouldn't say that I've been avoiding my work this week, but I will admit to being easily distracted. I'm going to blame the cats and the weather for that, it was in the low 70's earlier this week and that causes premature Spring Fever. Now that the weather has returned to being properly cold for this time of year I shouldn't have any issues the rest of the week.

P.S. From the photo: Moose is the orange tabby and Odin is the black cat.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Brand New Blog

Where to start...

...It seemed like a good idea to start a blog about our shop, my family, and the general nonsense that goes on around here; so I did!
Last summer, with the encouragement of my family (Jeremy & Eric), I gave up the 9-to-5 to embark on a new adventure: a home based crafting business. Yes, that's right, in an absurd economy I walked away from a perfectly good paying job to make jewelry and accessories in my basement. No, I am not actually insane.

I'd just reached a point in my life where I realized that I couldn't actually stand to work with or for anyone else, and I didn't really like anything I was doing anyway, so, it did actually seem like a good idea at the time.

I'd been making chainmaille jewelry, mostly for my friends and family, for several years before I made this enormous decision, and I'd had periods of success with it, so away I went, making my 2009.

Okay, so writing it all down does make me sound a little insane, but believe it or not, I do a fair bit of business. I've got a little Etsy shop, there is a local shop that carries my merchandise, and about 7 months later it turns out to be a viable business. Who knew?

Being my own boss does have a few minor setbacks, for example I tend to be a workaholic and I haven't seen most of my friends since this has become a serious venture, but the upside is that I get to wear my jeans to work everyday and I never have to explain my t-shirts to anyone.

By the way, I'm not actually an anti-social hermit, even though I've started painting that picture for you. I was just frustrated with the politics and red tape that go hand in hand with corporate life, and the truth is, I was tired of working as hard as I was with no tangible output at the end of the day. There wasn't ever anything to hold up and say "Look what I did today."

So, look at what I did today, and thanks for joining me. I'm looking forward to talking about what's going on around here, sharing my projects, and hearing back from you!