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.