Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Treasure Trove of Pink Grapefruit

One of the fun features of etsy is the treasury, where you can look at collections of 12 items that people put together. Sometimes they choose groupmates' items, or base it around a color, or an object. Those are the collections that are rotated for feature on the front page. So pretty and fun to look at, and I know they help sellers get views and sales as well.

Anyone can make a treasury, but my computer at home is somehow incompatible witht he process; I've tried 2 previous times and get frozen up/locked out in the process.

I'm up in Virginia Beach for the holidays and was lucky enough to score my own treasury AND have a computer that I could assemble it on! So, without further ado, here is my treasury based on one of my favorite scents.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have you hear the one about the CPSIA?

So apparently there is some new legislation on the books that would drastically effect not only my business but literally hundereds of thousands of other small artisan businesses nationwide.

Imagine if every item that a local crafter makes for a child-- whether it be a hand-carved wooden puzzle, lovingly stitched quilt, or custom made children's clothing item-- suddenly became illegal to sell without being tested for lead and phlatlates.

It could be a reality based on this new law in the works.

I'm all for keeping my kids and everyone else's kid's safe, but some government safety regulations just drive me nutty (like the fact that my 7 year old still has to sit in a booster seat, but I digress...)

Usually I don't get involved in this type of letter-writing campaign stuff. I prefer to think that legislation this stupid can't pass, but, well, I've been wrong before. So just in case, here is a document that you can read to learn more about the proposed Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) legislation, as well as information about who to contact with your comments about it

CPSIA- Read How/What/When HERE

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Decked out for the holidays!

Well, in real life the Christmas decorating spirit has passed me by. I only decided last week to actually get a tree and decorate it, and lights on the outside of the house just aren't happening. It's an awful lot of work for such a short holiday season when we're already way too busy, right?

But when something cute and easy comes along, count me in!

Isn't my blog ADORABLE?!?!?!?!? A friend of mine pointed me to The Cutest Blog on the Block who offers up hundereds of free (that's right FREE!!!!) backgrounds for your blog. Go choose one today, and then another one tomorrow. They're all so cute, you'll have a hard time deciding which one to use.

Like I mentioned above, I have been busy finishing up work at Elon (I'm done until next summer), tutoring, shopping, attending parties and sewing. I got a fun request a few weeks ago for a Daisy Duck costume for a little girl's Christmas present, which I finished up and mailed yesterday. And now.... aaaaaaaahhhhhhh...... I will relax and turn off my machine for a week or so. My shopping is done (I think, but I always seem to keep buying things anyway), so now I will use all of my newly found free time to clean up my sewing room. Ugh. Not a fun job, but it always feels so good to get it done.

So in case I don't check in again before Christmas, I hope you have the merriest of times with friends and family this season!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The computer is here!

Greetings from my new computer, a big black Dell beast whom I've named Darth Vader, LOL! It's not really new; just new to me. A gracious friend pilfered it as a university outcast and sent it to me. In a giant 50 lb box. Which the UPS man left sitting in front of my front door (um, hello? How am I supposed to get out with a giant 50 lb box in the way?) Once I finally hauled it inside, the joy of packing peanut and bubble wrap removal began, thanks to my boys.

I got everything set up and connected, but the computer kept telling me cryptic technical messages which I did not even begin to understand (note to the world: hand me down computers do not come with manuals, start up disks, etc.!) Fortunately, I have a computer genius of a friend who texted me through my crisis and by the time DH got home, everything was up and running. Yippee!!!!

Now about those photos of things I've been working on: I did get a LOT of pictures loaded onto this computer last night but I have NO idea where my photo editing software is. I looked in a few obvious and not-so-obvious places, developed a huge compulsion to throw away all of the junk in my house, considered this a sign that I need to upgrade and buy a new version of Photoshop, and eventually gave up and went to bed. I have a feeling it's in a very obscure and random box that I would never think of looking in, so unless it is in the boxes of Christmas decor that I have been unpacking, I'm not likely to uncover it anytime soon. I think I took a little *too* much time off on my Thanksgiving vacation last week, and now the reality of cleaning the house, preparing for school, decorating for Christmas, etc. are beginning to settle in. Until them, I am editing a few in my photobucket account, of all places, so hopefully I'll have something to share tonight or tomorrow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Been a long time

Yes, I am still around, and still sewing! In the past month and half, I have been busy with Halloween costumes and custom orders, and have LOTS of pictures on my camera to prove it! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to upload them due to my computer problem.

But... my new computer should be arriving on Monday! It has been a long and at times very annoying wait, but hopefully it will all be worth it. In honor of my new computer and Cyber Monday, I will be having a special sale in my etsy shop

In a new, special category, you will find lots of Christmasy clothing, jewelry, and more! Most of it is ready-to-ship so you can wear it all December long! And if you like something you see but it's not the size or style you need, I'll be happy to talk to you about creating a special item just for you! Check back often; I plan to add new items as fast as I can get them sewn!

And to REALLY make things special, I am offering FREE shipping on all purchases (even custom orders!) during the month of December.

This sale is part of the Adagio Bleu Studios Designers' Street Team Promotion, Search ABSD in tags/titles for all of our team members sales!

Cyber Monday is coming...

After you've feasted with the family....

and after you've hit the malls...

thats when the REAL fun begins!!

Monday, November 30th, is "Cyber Monday"

Do your Christmas shopping online
with Adagio Bleu and save big!

Our Etsy street team members are having an
AWESOME Cyber Monday Sale in our shops!

Search ABSD on Etsy for all of our sales!

Click here to check out our BIG Cyber Monday Sale!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

a post without a name

Hello, bloggy friends! Have you missed me? I have missed you! It's been a sad two weeks, computer-wise, here in Monkey Doodle land. You see, my computer crashed and burned a few weeks ago. Well, only the fan did. Everything else could be salvaged, so DH dutifully took it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy to clean everything iside the box (I am oh-so-technical about all things computer, LOL!) and replace the fan. That was the plan, anyway.

The reality was, they called us a day later to say that while they were cleaning it some statich charge built up and fried the motherboard. Yikes! As you may have guessed, I really don't know much about what is inside that big computer box. And don't even consider telling me ram and gig numbers. My eyes will glaze over faster than a Krispy Kreme donut. Computer numbers are like a foreign language to me, and my semi-fluency only extends bits and pieces of Latin, Spanish, French, and Zulu (that's a story for another day, my friends).

A fried motherboard, to me, sounds like a REALLY bad thing, but I have been reassurred repeatedly that my pictures and files are all still "alive" and somewhere in there, but for all intents and purposes, the box is dead.

Luckily, my boys have a computer that is also connected to the internet.

Unluckily, it sucks, which is why it is theirs and not mine. It's very temperamental and freezes up at the most inopportune times, like when I'm in the middle of a long post (I've got my fingers crossed that this one is going to make it!) and I have to restart it seeminly 20 times an hour. Not a happy Monkey am I.

Nor a very rich Monkey, otherwise I would have impulsively bought that cool new touch-screen computer I saw at Best Buy last weekend. So here I sit, and wait, and type on the old crappy computer.

It has cut down on my internet usage significantly, which is a good thing because I have been doing a LOT of sewing. Halloween time is here, and I have been working on costumes out the wazoo. I'd show you, but, well, that would hurt the brain of this very sensitive computer. Someday soon (I hope!), there will be a post overflowing with pictures of the many lovelies I've created lately. But until then, just imagine a tuxedo cat for a 2 year old boy, and Animal from the Muppets for my 8 year old son (with Gonzo & Kermit joining him soon).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Butterfly Feliz

My soon-to-be seven year old is spying over my shoulder as I type the title of this post.

"No, honey, it's feliz like in the Christmas song, Feliz Navidad"
"So it's about Christmas?"
"No. Feliz means happy."
(looks disappointed) "Oh"

I guess looking at pictures of my Frosty Anna jumper in that last post got him in the Christmas spirit.

But alas, no Christmas just yet. I did, however, just list my first Feliz dress (fabulous pattern by Studio Tantrum/Fledge) on etsy. I picked up this gorgeous brown butterfly fabric from Michael Miller this summer, and layered it over top of the kiwi green Garden Tour print. This apron jumper is so carefree and fun... why wouldn't it be called "happy"? Especially with ruffles cascading down the back. Love those ruffles! You can find this one ready to ship in size 4/5 at my etsy store, and I'll be listing a custom size one later tonight.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Resells and a relist for Halloween and Christmas!

The holidays are upon us in boutique-land, which runs about 3 months ahead of the rest of the world's calendar! After taking a few months off from eBay, I am joining up with my friends at Avalon Boutique for their "A Caroling We Will Go" launch. This reversible Farbenmix Anna jumper with a snowman theme was part of my Holiday 2007 collection, but I liked it so much and it was such a prefect fit for the launch that I had to bring it back for one last hurrah. So, here is FROSTY, available in sizes 2-8, only on eBay this week!

We're cleaning out the Halloween bins here in Monkey Doodle land and have decided to list the costumes I made for the boys last year. All three are available: the leopard is size 7/8, the tiger is a 5/6, and the little lion is a 3T(all the details are in the listings). We only wore them for trick-or-treating last year, and they are in like-new condition. These are also great for everyday dress up and school plays! You can click here to see all of my eBay listings this week!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pixie hoodie

Last week I mentioned that I have been working on a pixie hoodie. I won an alchemy bid on etsy for a customer who wanted a hoodie made out of a Hanna Andersen dress she found at the Goodwill store. The dress had some minor flaws that made it unwearable, but the knit fabric was perfect to cut into for sleeves & a hood. It is such a bright & whimsical print, so we decided to go with a pixie applique on the front. I am thrilled with how it turned out, and this project has also given me new ideas about where to shop for fabrics!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cinderella and the Cat

Not a new fairy tale. The first of my Halloween costumes for the year.

Please excuse the icky pictures. I was in a hurry to get the package in the mail and didn't bother to play with the settings on my camera.

The cat is super soft & fuzzy, and my whole studio is now covered with faux fur crumbs!

This is the truest representation of the color. Shiny satin is hard to photograph!

Friday, September 12, 2008

mid-September update

I've had family in town for the past week and since my sewing room is also the guest bedroom, I had to stash all of my stuff in boxes and bins and now have the dreaded task of unpacking and reorganizing things. Remember this day? Let's just say that's a FAR cry from what things look like now.

In the midst of all the mess, I have been working on some etsy Alchemy orders which I should be able to post by the end of the weekend. I am reconstructing a dress into a hoodie for one customer, and the other project is costumes for twin girls- they are going to be Cinderella and a cat for their 6th birthday party and Halloween!

Speaking of birthdays, mine is next week so I've treated myself to an early present!

My old phone was SO old-- it was a replacement for one I lost 3 months into my new contract, so I had to buy a "cheap" one which is never very cheap when you're not buying a 2 year contract with it. It was one of those old "candy bar" phones without a camera, games, ringtone, texting... all the good stuff. Kinda like this one. I love my cute, cool new phone!!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Now arriving in California...

This trio of dresses, for the same customer who commissioned me to make these Lobster Luau dresses. This one has black and white variations on the front and back

And I love the idea for the dog bone straps on this one

She will be appliqueing a groovy guitar on the front of this one

Monday, September 1, 2008

And the randomly generated number is...

no, not 888,888,888. I don't have *that* many mailing list subscribers, LOL! Just plain 8. An esteemed position held by none other than Erin . Congratulations! I'll be contacting you soon to get details for your princess' lounge set. Thanks to everyone who signed up for my mailing list as a result of this contest. It was lots of fun; I'm sure I'll do another one soon!

In other news, I just popped over to my email for a minute while I was writing this post, and found out I had a sale on etsy! Woo hoo! I really like etsy; it's so much easier to list things over there (not to mention a LOT less expensive!) and you never know when something is going to sell. It's always a pleasant surprise :o)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where's the Ark?

We're on day 3 of rain here in Central NC. It's left over from Tropical Storm Fay which drenched Florida last week. Today, we had tornadoes added to the fun! We were under a watch for a while this afternoon, but fortunately had nothing happen here. Nothing except rain, that is!

We have a creek in our back yard, about 50 yards from the house and 5 feet down in a ravine. It usually moves along at a slow trickle. But when we get rain like this, it runs down our street (we're at the bottom of a hill) and overflows the banks of the creek. I would say at least 60% of our back yard was underwater... and that's pretty significant because we have an acre and a half of land back there! I let my two older boys put on their boots and walk out there with me, but the water was WAY over the top of their boots! Here are some of our funny pictures from tromping through the flood:




And this one was really insane... this is in front of our neighbors fence:
They really were standing on their feet- I promise!- in about 30 inches of water!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Boo! on etsy

I just listed this set (size 5/6) on etsy. I love the fun & vibrant colors :o) Find it here.

There's lots of sewing going on in my studio right now; it's a wonder I can keep it all straight. I am working on 3 Vida dresses for one customer, a new Studio Tantrum/Fledge Feliz dress just because I want to :o), a halloween dress inspired by this summer's Narnia movie, and I have an alchemy order waiting on construction! It's nice to have a different project to move on to if the current one isn't going so well! New pictures when (if!) I finish something :o)

Friday, August 15, 2008

What a cool surprise! I woke up this morning to find that I was one of the top ten designers this week on Designer Roundup. It was a great way to start my Friday... hope yours is awesome, too!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This is what I do in my other life

So about 2 months ago (wow, has it been that long?), I told you about my summer job. I have really had such a good time with it. Most of my work has been behind-the-scenes, in the office duties. Every now and then, I'll get to go out to the course and facilitate a low ropes group. But this Friday was the big day... the unveiling of our high ropes course!

I never asked exactly how high, because truth be told, I'd rather not know! But this picture might put things into perspective; I'm 5'3".

On a high ropes course, you wear a seat harness and are tied into safety cables at all times. The things you do 40 feet up in the air are the same type of things you'd do down on the ground on a low ropes course... except they are 40 feet in the air! Therein lies the challenge! At the end, you take a giant zipline down to the field where you can set your feet on solid ground again.

I have been facilitating high ropes courses for 14 years (whoa, that sounds like a LONG time; I am not that old. To be fair, I was only 18 when I started!), so even though heights terrify me, I feel 98% comfortable doing this type of thing because I know all the safety features of how it works. Friday was just a "playday" for our staff; several of them were new to this, and with the course being new, too, we had to give it a test run. Unfortunately, we got off to a late start and I didn't get to go up :o( Luckily, though, we have our first group coming out next Friday, so maybe I'll get my chance to play then!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mailing List CONTEST!

Starting on Sunday night, I will be listing a handful of Disney resells, and that will be my last hurrah on Ebay, I think. Things are going very well for me over on etsy, and I am happy in my new home over there.

In honor of my big move, I am sponsoring a mailing list contest! Go over there on the right and sign up if you haven't already, because one lucky winner will receive a FREE custom lounge set for a boy or a girl! The drawing will be September 1, so you have plenty of time! Tell all your friends, and cross your fingers... your kiddo could be sporting a FREE Monkey Doodle Designs lounge set as they head back to school this year!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

2 more for etsy

I've decided to make etsy my headquarters from now on. Life on eBay just ain't as grand as it used to be :o( I'm enjoying learning all the ins & outs of etsy, and am adding new things to my store on a daily basis. My new obsession is reading the alchemy page where people request to have items made for them. I've already put in 3 bids for projects... wish me luck!

So, newly listed in my etsy shop are these ready-to-ship Halloween cuties. The first one is a sample skirt that I made 2 years ago. It's size 24 months/2T and priced to MOVE! No bidding & waiting... just go over & buy it!

This one is a 3 piece set full of yummy appliques, size 5

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Halloween is coming to esty!

I have decided to list my Halloween items on etsy this year. No bidding, no waiting... you want it, you buy it! There is a link to my store over there on the right.

Here are my 2 newest additions:
Ready-to-ship spider guy set, size 3T. This one is so cool; the black fabric has glow-in-the dark spiders printed on it, and I have topstitched the pants and shirt with glow in the dark thread. Your little man will endlessly be rushing into dark closets to see himself glow!

Two years ago, my kids decided they wanted the whole family to dress up as Disney characters. Mickey was easy enough to find for my little guy, and I bought Goofy for my husband (how appropriate!)at the Disney store. I, the boys insisted, HAD to be Minnie Mouse (if you insist, boys...) so I made that costume for myself. My oldest wanted to be Pluto, but a Pluto costume was nowhere to be found, so I had to invent that pattern. My middle guy, always the one to choose a complicated costume) insisted on being Donald Duck. I found an out-of-print pattern, and this is what I accomplished!

It was intimidating at first, but I love how it turned out! This one is listed on etsy as a custom- you pick size 3-10, and I'll have it in the mail to you within 3 weeks! Daisy Duck listing and more Halloween clothing coming soon!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What all the well-dressed dogs are wearing...

Webkinz dogs, that is! My boys are crazy about their Webkinz... and dressing them up online is not always good enough for them, they want their REAL animals dressed up, too.

For a while, I got away with simple grosgrain ribbon collars with snap closures. Then the clothing requests came rolling in. "Can you make Shoeshine a pair of jeans and a black shirt?" I developed a prototype pants pattern a few months ago, which I have since lost in the chaos that is my sewing room. And the clothing rage was forgotten (hey, it's too hot right now for them to be wearing lots of clothes, anyway. They've got fur!)

Then yesterday, as I was cleaning the house, I suddenly felt the NEED to crochet a sweater for a Webkinz animal. Don't ask... it doesn't take much to distract me from housework! So I grabbed some yarn and the nearest available model and spent about an hour creating my own pattern. I think it turned out pretty well, don't you? This is Annie and Little Sunshine, modeling their new sweaters.

Now all the other dogs are jealous and want them, too!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back to school

Here's the thing about designing childrens clothes (or, I guess any clothes, really): you have to think 2-3 months ahead. It's the end of July now, and I'm already panicked that I've missed the boat on Halloween and need to move on to Christmas.

But that's not what this post is about.

Even though most kiddos aren't heading back to school for another month, you've gotta have the perfect outfit for day 1, right? And there's no sense in waiting until the last minute to get it. So here are 2 great ready to ship twirl skirt sets to send your little girl back to school in style. Click the names to visit the auctions on eBay

School Friends, size 4/5 (over there on the right)

Bookworm, size 5/6/6x

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Turning Japanese

Whew! I've been busy with work and little weekend vacations and haven't had much time for sewing! I did recently list this little set, ready to ship size 3/4, made from imported Japanese fabric. I have a few other kawaii (it means "cute" in Japanese) sets in the works, so keep your eyes open if you like this one. Wouldn't it be too cute for back to school? And versatile, too: it comes with jeans and a skirt! Click here for the auction.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lobster Luau

A few weeks ago, I had a fabulous customer ask me if I would make some Vida dresses for her daughters. She sent me a box full of fabrics and her ideas... and the result was this Lobster Luau! Here are a few quick pictures I snapped before I sent them on their way.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Excuse me, is there a monkey in the office?

It seems like it's been a long time since I wrote on my blog, but it's bene a really long & busy week for me.

On Friday, I went to work. Huh? Yep, work. For the first time in over 8 years! DH pointed me toward a position at our alma mater, Elon University, for a part time, summer-only job in the same department where I had worked as a student! I am coordinating the Challenge Course (also called a ropes course) and having a blast when I'm not feeling totally overwhelmed. I have to get ready for several groups coming in the next 2 weeks, and the people I need to talk to always seem to be out of the office! I've been working all week long, and learning how to juggle my schedule as a working mom so I'll have more time for my family and my sewing, too.

The big production of In His Steps was last weekend, and the costumes were just to die for. I'll put a few pictures up when I get them off my camera. Have you ever had that feeling of emptiness when something is over? I totally felt like that on Sunday. No last minute costume details to take care of, no running downtown to check on things at the theater...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sis Boom, part 1

I've been so busy with costumes and life in general this past week, that I'm running a little bit behind with my Sis Boom listings. Here are the first two:

Ready to ship, size 18/24m/2T

Ready to ship, size 5/6

As with all of my creations, I welcome custom orders in different sizes or fabric combinations!

a hard lesson to learn

The big production of In His Steps is this weekend, and I finally got my last costume finished up last week. It was the coat from this pattern, probably the most difficult construction I've ever done. To add to the stress, the costume was for the head costumer's son, and she's a professional seamstress. He's 6'4", and is one of the leads in the play. This coat was gonna be noticed! Yikes! I took it in to the studio last week and left it because she wasn't there. And I didn't hear from her. Uh oh. I got glowing reviews on my first two costumes, and then nothing. So I finally got up the nerve to ask, and the sentence began with a long, drawn-out Southern "weeeelllll..." Not a good start. Apparently in my concern for constructing such a huge garment, I forgot to pay attention to the nap of the black corduroy I was working with. Fortunately, the problem areas were limited to one cuff, and the tail section. But I was crushed. I felt so stupid for not noticing! And under the stage lights, it was apprently to obvious for him to wear it. She was very gracious about it, and told me not to worry, but it bummed me out for the rest of the day. The way she was initially talking about it, it sounded like the whole thing was a loss, and she would be scrambling for a new, very important costume piece at the last minute.

Today, the coat is back in my hands. Thankfully, they had extra fabric, and I am going to rip apart and redo the wrong parts (by tomorrow!) I'm chalking this up as a life lesson, and this experience has served to provide me with valuable instruction. It's a mistake I will hopefully never make again.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Patriotic Pride!

Here's what I've been working on in my little monkey studio this past week:

Ready to ship, size 2/3/4 (it's quite roomy on my barely size 2 model!) Bow & bracelet are included in the auction!

Ready to ship 4 piece set, size 3/4

Ready to ship, size 5/6

I loved this one so much that I decided to offer it as a custom for the boys! Sizes 2-8

The boys' sets are for Planet Boy's Patriotic Parade Launch (search PTBYRWB on eBay)

Now it's back to the costumes for the play... it's less than a month away now! As soon as I'm done with Jordan's coat, I can dig in to my gorgeous new Bell Bottoms fabric for Adagio Bleu's Sis Boom Celebration. Okay, I've had enough early morning fun with the linky button this morning. Off to find some caffiene!