Thursday, November 30, 2006

Noooooo! Not another bad show!

Yes, Crave was not what I had hoped it would be. The venue was super hip, the lighting was good (which I had not expected), I got a table with a nice black drape, the other vendors were nice, everything was in play for this to be a really great show. However...

Not a big crowd, for a start. Last year was a huge show and I did fairly well. This year, small crowd and only two sales, both of them clutches. I'm going to update my "bags" page at Kimono Momo and list the clutches I have left since they have been so popular. If you find one you like, let me know ASAP so I can get it to you (don't use the paypal shopping cart) and I'll give you free shipping to wherever you live in the US and $5 anywhere else. That's for Priority mail, so you should get it in a week or less!

Also, for the month of December I'll be running a special offer every week. Either free shipping or some other discount, so check it out. Hop on over to Kimono Momo and get some holiday shopping done!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Cyber Monday? Maybe not.

But I did just fine with some wholesale orders. Aside from the fact I won't be getting paid for them until December, at least I sold some of the new stuff. Specifically, these new obi clutch purses:

Not bad, eh? Thing is, now I'll be pulling all-nighters just to make more for the Crave show on Wednesday. Oh, joy. Want one? send me an email and let me know. They are $75 USD each and I'll ship for free in the US if you mention you saw it here (overseas shipping depends... if it's not too much, I'll ship free anywhere). I had never used a clutch before I made these, and honestly, I love them. I can fit my phone, plastic (drivers license, credit cards), cash, lip balm, business cards, whatever in one. There is a large inside pocket, too because I am hopelessly practical. They are about 5.5 inches high, 12 inches wide and very, very pretty.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day

Mmmmmmm... pie. Gotta love it.

There are so many new things I'm working on for the Crave show, it's amazing. The new scarves are gorgeous, I've got a bunch of new bags (including some tiny totes), and it seems like every night I get another new idea. Between 10 pm and 2 am I'm busy in my studio, trying to keep my eyes open and focused so I can finish my latest new idea. Lucky me it's a school holiday week and I can sleep in til 9 am or I wouldn't be able to function.

It's trying very hard to snow outside, little flurries and sunshine, all at once. My daughter is quite excited by this, as she has been waiting for snow a long time now. I'm not as excited because, unlike her, I have to drive in it, and that's a pain in the ass.

I talked to my dad on the phone today and he was sounding pretty good, which makes me happy. Talking to my mother always makes me happy, but dad isn't really the chatty type, so I don't have the opportunity to talk to him very much. This was a treat.

Here's to hoping your day is full of treats as well!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Random Access Blogging

I'm thinking of closing my ebay store. I just don't have the time for it right now, and although it has helped me pay the rent a few times (but not by much), I'm losing a ton of money on the fees. It's scandalous what they charge, although you can get good value for money if you put all your time into it. I can't anymore, that's the point. So as soon as my latest auctions end, I'm going to find a way to offer fabric on my website instead. I'll lose a lot of traffic, but I might save a bit of cash and stress into the bargain. Any thoughts from you lovely readers?

Bf & I made a gluten-free chocolate cake tonight. It's tasty, but the frosting he made is divine. The kids sat at the table and played cards after dinner, happily munching on Mom's special recipe cake and wisely not asking any questions. It's funny how they complain I don't feed them "normal" food like Doritos and other garbage, then turn around and tell me they actually prefer MY soy yogurt or wheat-free cookies to anything else I've already bought for them to eat.

My 3 Beautiful Things for today:

1. Bf's face when he's sleeping. Some men have to be awake to be charming. Not my man. He can do it in his sleep!
2. Watching my kids playing cards, eating homemade cake and laughing together.
3. Looking out the bay window of my warm studio at dark grey clouds across the desert plateau, and seeing this view through the branches of a tree decked out in red berries of some kind. Very wintery and snug.

I miss England. Sometimes it hits me like a ton of bricks, right out of the blue. I really do miss it in so many ways. I know that's a rather random thought, but it comes and goes like that. I never really miss California, but rainy, muddy, wistfully remembered England... yes, I miss it terribly.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Crave Portland is coming. I can feel it in my bones. I got an email from the crew today outlining set up and show stuff. How exciting! It's only a four hour show, but it's more like a party where I have to work very, very hard and meet a ton of people. And make money, too. Yeah, I like that part. If you're in Oregon, I suggest you buy your tickets NOW! And bring cash for drinks and shopping. Last year the ATM at the show ran out within the first two hours, and the place will be packed with oodles of interesting gift-type goodies, including my work!

Last year I got happily smashed on a vanilla martini after the show. Good thing I wasn't driving back over the mountains that night. Well, my friend Emden would have been the one driving anyway, and she was sober, but still... tragedy was averted. And yes, I can get smashed on a drink or two. I'm a cheap date. So what.

Here's my weekly request to the Universe at large: Send me some help! I need an extra pair of hands to get the manufacturing work done here. I need to be working on development of new ideas while someone else makes the established stuff. I can't pay much just yet, but the need is there. It would also help me stay focused if I had someone else telling me what needed to be done and offering suggestions on design improvements. And I'm still planning to head to NYC in the late spring or early summer, so I'll need help with that, too.

I know the Universe is listening because the last time I asked for someone to help with my business, I got it. :-) I'm a firm believer in focused intention.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Glory be! I'm in the news.

Remember that reporter I mentioned a while back? She just sent me pdf copies of the article she wrote. Yay! It looks great. Her writing has a good "bounce" to it and the pictures didn't turn out half bad (considering I was a total slacker mess that day). There were a few small things I would have changed, but they weren't very important to the overall content of the piece, so I won't mention it to her. She was a real sweet person to work with and I'm glad it turned out so nicely.

You can see a mini version of the article on my press page. Can't exactly read it, but you can see what my scarves and I look like, at least.

I'm actually making a tie today. It just feels so... weird. Don't know why. But it looks good so far! As long as I don't eat TOO many dark chocolate covered espresso beans, it should turn out fine.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


My marketing man and bf have both been ganging up on me to make ties. I will admit to wearing ties in high school--willingly, mind you, in an attempt to stick out of the crowd of preppy Californians in the 1980's--but I don't honestly know much about them. So far I've disassembled one and marked out a pattern, but now I'm trying to pick out silks to use to make one. Trickier than it sounds, to be honest.

And in doing all of this, I forgot to take my son to his medical appointment half an hour ago. Sheesh. (*head slap*)

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Bad news. The expo was a total flop. I didn't sell a thing and someone stole one of my scarves. So now I'm out several hundred dollars... and it started snowing on my way home. The bf is very ill, the kids are grumpy, tomorrow is Monday and we don't know what's going to happen. Will school be delayed? Closed? Bf is staying home from work (doctor's orders) and I have nowhere to go aside from the grocery store so I'll be here too. One of our windows has a leak and there is a constant "drip...drip..." from the kitchen. My left shoulder has locked up again (damaged in a car accident several years ago) and hurts like crazy.

I will never ever ever again do any show with the word "expo" in its title. grrrrrr.

You know what would make me happy? A trip to the local hot springs and a massage. Several massages, actually, spread out over a few days. Yeah, that's the ticket. Hot hot water and massages. Oh, boy. Fabulous. My coin jar is up to about $60, so that is getting closer to reality. Not close enough to help me now, but at least it's a goal in action, right?

I hope your weekend was better than mine.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Big box o' blues

My mother, she who instilled this ridiculous fabric obsession within me, sent me a box full of beautiful Japanese fabrics she'd been collecting for years. When I was 9 or 10 she asked me what sort of quilt I'd like her to make for me. I said "blue!" and that was that. It took almost 20 years, but I did get the blue quilt eventually. In the interim, she amassed quite the collection of special fabrics. In this box I find your basic floral yukata cottons, several really lovely dark shibori pieces, and a mix of Japanese-themed prints from US designers. All in all, quite the stash. Thank you, Mamasita!

Also arriving in the mail today (how fortuitous!) was a book on shibori that I had ordered from Japan. How cool is that?

I'm fighting off the rampant germs that are floating around my house today. Everyone else either IS sick or has recently BEEN sick, so I'm working diligently to remain most definitely NOT sick. Fingers crossed, knock wood, all that.

Tomorrow is the big day--the Women's Expo begins. (deep breath...)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Are we there yet?

Ohmigosh, there is so much to do and I am feeling distinctly unprepared. Have I mentioned this already? Oh yeah, I have. Eek.

Business cards simply aren't going to happen. I'll have to print some myself or something. Don't I have a spare box somewhere?!?!?

I've been neglecting the ebay store for 2 weeks. Sorry, I just can't get around to posting new items (and I do have them!) until I can focus on something other than marketing and sales for the retail stuff. And wholesale. And custom orders. Arg.

In the meantime, I'm baking another loaf of tasty bread and itching to get back to stitching... I finished my banner today (very pretty, made from a black kurotomesode kimono) and that made me feel better. More scarves and bags soon to come. You would not believe how much stuff I have and how little of it ends up online. Sheesh. Next year I'll be more prepared. Yeah!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This weekend is the Central Oregon Women's Expo... and I have no idea if I'm ready for this or not. Probably not. I need to make more clutches, finish the backdrop for my booth, make more stock, etc. I'm so out of practice when it comes to selling at shows, which doesn't make sense to me because it's all I did for six years. I remember being jealous of vendors who had pretty, organised looking booths, but I could have done better back then too.

I'm going to take a moment to thank some of the people who are helping me this time around... Jan, for building my website (and doing it on trade!!), James for doing my photos (and teaching me how to fix things in html), Chad for taking on my marketing (and being a great friend), and Steve, for putting together my press kit this weekend (and putting up with me every day). Without these people I'd be dead in the water, still struggling to do it all myself and failing miserably.

Now... I wonder if I can get new business cards ready by Friday? Yikes!!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday blues

I haven't posted any new ebay auctions in something like two weeks. Eek. Been busy. Had our second open studio last night. Sushi, wine and silk. Oh, and photographs! My photo guy came over and did a shoot and we had a good time. I'm glad he could squeeze us in to his busy schedule. As it was we sent him home late, but he didn't seem to mind too much. At least I hope not.

Feels like day three of a nasty migraine rumbling around in my brain. I blame the high pressure of trying to pay bills and the low pressure of changing weather patterns. Please make it go away. I want to think clearly again.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hey, it looks like autumn outside.

I woke this morning to overcast skies (boo) but no frost (yay) and a back lawn full of water (what?!). The house behind me had a problem with their sprinkler pipes freezing, cracking, then thawing and as I'm downhill from them, my lawn is now a puddle. At least the garden isn't washed out. Thank goodness for raised beds!

Publicity is going well. I'm doing several things locally that are getting me noticed, which is nice. We're working on changing the business so that all sales will be handled through someone else (NOT ME) and I can get back to working on MAKING the damn stuff instead of trying to market and sell it.

I'm tired. Need a nap. Must finish custom order first...