Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I am the world's best prioritizer - at least, I used to be. Something about having a baby and now a toddler has spun my world out of control. I just cannot seem to keep up. Something is always dirty, messy, broken, missing, etc. I found all the animals to Aiden's Fisher Price Barn set up securely hidden in the hole of our stereo systems center speaker...along with the TV Remote and a harmonica.

I stayed up late last night to package orders to ship today, so at least that was done. It was so nice outside, I decided we'd walk to the post office. Don't be too impressed, we live in a small town so it's not that far. But then it started to sprinkle on us. Yes, I did see the clouds before I left, and went anyway. Thankfully, it never did rain. But because Aiden is on a first name basis with our local postal workers and crys every time we leave, I opted to use the mail shoot by the PO boxes and got the first package I put in stuck so I couldn't open the door for the rest. Nice.

The good news in my day is I've ordered tons of paper and it's all on it's way to me. When I first opened Tattered Tapestry, I also wanted to open an online fabric store. While my husband was game for the idea, we just couldn't make it work, logistically, in our 1100 sq ft house w/o renting space. And that sort of defeated the 'stay-at-home' part of mom. So I scrapped that idea. But once Owl Say started doing well, I thought about opening a paper store. Mainly because all the cute paper I liked was online - even though I live very close to a Metropolitan area, I could still get my favorite papers shipped to me cheaper than any local stores. So, after doing some research, I decided to do just that - open a paper store. Welcome to The Paper Hoarder.

Ok, if you just clicked the link, you are probably a little disappointed. I'm still working out the kinks. Basic stuff, like the banner, avatar, etc. And I don't actually have my paper to list yet. Which I guess, is the biggest kink since it's a paper store. I know, you're thinking I'm crazy. Three Etsy stores, is she out of her mind? Well, yes, maybe. But remember, I'm not really working Tattered right now. In fact, after the Oct 17th craft fair, I'm hoping the store will be void of all baby blankets, kitchen towels and purses. What I don't sell, I'll probably save as gifts. I've already deactivated the appliques. I'm only planning on selling key fobs. And if I sell out at the craft fair, then I'll basically be putting Tattered on vacation for a while. It's just a logistics thing. I don't have enough room to work 2 (let alone 3) businesses right now. Especially when I only have 1 table (the one we also eat at) to work. So, in my mind, it's my short term solution.

Plus, if I'm being honest, I had to put most of my fabric in big tupperware store containers to make room for all the paper. I need to be able to put the paper in the one cabinet I have and put a child lock on it so Aiden can't get to it. Especially now that he's been in to crafting and likes to cut (yes, w/safety scissors) and color.

Also, I think I made a critical mistake with Tattered that I've tried not to repeat in Owl Say...I had too many different product types. In my personal opinion, if someone can sew, then someone can sew. My mother-in-law can sew anything. I mean, anything. She has no limit. She's a better seamstress than I am. If she opened a store, (which she should) I'd know everything she made would be good quality. I think that way when I look at other sewing shops. But to someone, like my own mother, who doesn't sew, the cohesive appearance of a shop that only offers a few things or 'specializes' gives they buyer peace that what they are buying is well made. It's psychology, I guess. Perception is reality. All that to say, I will, eventually, reinvent Tattered Tapestry. How can I let go a name that catchy?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Owl Say

Ok, admittedly, I have neglected my blog. I have also neglected my Facebook fan page if it makes you feel any better. I haven't felt 100% (too long and boring to give details) and my father had a heart attack, so I have been understandably distracted. But, I'm feeling better, and so is my dad (thank you for asking), so it's time to get busy again!

I am sorry to say that I'm having to put Tattered Tapestry on the back burner for now. This is because my very strong-willed toddler has just about made it impossible to sit at a sewing machine! It's normal for a little boy to be fascinated with all things mechanical (right?). He's very intent on trying to help me guide the fabric, which does not make for very straight lines! And as his naps have gotten shorter and shorter, I just have to prioritize how to spend that time, and sewing keeps getting left off the list. I will still be offering new designs of wristlet key fobs, but all other items in my shop are on sale (if anyone is interested). I'm also destashing some of my fabric and unused patterns.

That being said, Owl Say Designs is doing quite well. I've had 255 sales since June, and it's just more than I could have possibly anticipated. It's been pretty slow this week, but I think I was getting a little spoiled. I'm happy with a sale a day, or every other day, or just whenever.... Any sale makes me happy. I'm also excited to announce that I'll be going to my first Craft Fair Oct 17th. So all recent sales have basically gone to fund this...which, as it turns out, can be very expensive when you've never done it before. But that's ok. My goal is to sell enough to pay for the booth - a mere $50. That's just 10 passport or checkbook covers. Surely I can sell 10...at least I hope. I keep telling myself I'll be ok if I don't. I'll be ok if it's a complete bust and I'm out all my recent sale money AND the booth fee. I haven't convinced myself of this yet! I think I'll just have to cross this bridge when I get there.

That's all for today. I promise more later as I do have more exciting news to share!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Reusable and Adjustable Book Covers

As I have mentioned before, I love to read. And I love to collect paper. Recently during one of my hunts for vinyl bookmarks to display some of my paper, I ran across these adjustable vinyl book covers. I had another AH-HA and thought they would be perfect to display an even larger section of paper than my checkbook/passport covers and the business card holders.

They come in tons of sizes, but after doing some research on the sizes of mass market books, I settled on two sizes 7"H and 8.5"H. Once I got my book covers and cut the paper to size, I discovered my idea wasn't so great. I had no way to secure the paper so every time you removed the book you'd have to deal with the paper inserts. "That's not cool", I thought. "No customer is going to want to have to deal with that."

So I toyed with brads and other embellishments. The brads were awesome looking on the outside. I have tons of brads for scrapbooking, so I could choose from hearts, stars, flowers, squares, etc. I liked that idea, but the more I moved the book in and out of the cover, I could tell the brads were not sturdy enough to permanently hold the paper inserts in place.

I finally settled on grommets (some people call them eyelets). I could use a tool to set the rivets and they would be permanent. I utilized my 'test' cover over and over again to see if they would hold. I wanted to make sure that the covers would really be reusable again and again with the paper insert.

SUCCESS!! I love these book covers. They just fit all the requirements I have for a project. They are super fun to make, beautiful and most of all practical and affordable. And I can pick a book cover to fit my mood.

Not too long ago, I had to travel regularly for my day job. I spent hours in an airport/airplane. I always hated nosy onlookers judging me by my Stephen King novel! I cannot tell you how many people would make snide comments or worse, want to talk about my book while sitting on a plane. People, I'm reading!!! On purpose - so I don't have to talk!!!! I so wish I'd had these book covers back then. Then, I could've just kept them guessing!

All that to say, now introducing Tattered Tapestry's vinyl book covers. Here are the specs:
  • Reusable
  • Adjustable to fit different book thicknesses
  • Affordable
  • Antimicrobial (that's right, unlike the paper of your paperback novel)
  • Practical
  • Have a built-in bookmark
  • Currently comes in 2 sizes for mass market paperback books 7" (most popular) and 8.5"
  • Decorative card stock or paper is backed with 65# card stock to take the usuage abuse. This helps keep the decorative outside staying pretty.
  • Vinyl exterior protects your paperback and keeps nosy onlookers guessing about what you're reading!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ah Fork!

Ok, I really debated on whether or not to tell this story. It's funny, but it's also a little embarrassing. But I decided that even before I had children, I always found stories with children in the center to be hilarious. Well, now it's my turn.

I love 'Busy'. I mean, I could just squeeze him I love him so much. 'Busy' is a genius...a child prodigy. I know, every mom thinks their child is smart, and I'm no different. But 'Busy' really IS smart. (I see you rolling your eyes.) Since he's nearing 2, he's been babbling away for months and he's really getting the hang of certain words and even short sentences. Before I go on with the story, here are some things you should know about 'Busy'. He weened himself off the bottle. After he got the hang of the sippy cup and finger food, he refused to take the bottle anymore. This was before his 1st birthday. I still fed him rice cereal and baby food at night (to keep him asleep) but by 14 mths he was refusing that too. No more baby food. Before 18mths, he was feeding himself with a fork and spoon (yes, it was terribly messy). We didn't make him, he insisted. The point I'm trying to make is he has his own idea of how things should go and that's that. I'm afraid to say, he comes by it naturally (both sides). I get a lot of looks in the store when he frowns and points and yells at people, but hey, what can I do?

So, a couple of weeks ago, the three of us were having a fun-filled Saturday running errands etc. We stop off for a late lunch in a small town we rarely visit to eat at a Hamburger Joint we've never been to (and will probably never be back to). I figure 'Busy' is hungry, but this is about the time he was going through this "I wouldn't eat an ice cream cone with sprinkles if you gave me the chance" phase. We order, sit in a booth and occupy 'Busy' while we wait for our food.

The waitress brings out our food and out of nowhere 'Busy', who is standing up in the booth bouncing and pointing, screams 'Ah, f**k', Ah f**k, AH F**K!!!"

My Love and I are looking at each other like 'What the heck is he saying?' 'Where did he hear that?'. We're getting ready to blame each other. The waitress is suppressing a snide smirk that says "That'll teach you to cuss around your kid". But we don't use this language. We don't watch shows with this language and if we were to watch a movie with this word it wouldn't be while 'Busy' was awake.

We're trying to calm him down, all the while he keeps screaming the same phrase and reaching across the table at what we do not know. My Love unrolls the napkin holding the silverware, hands 'Busy' a fork and immediately 'Busy' says "Thank you, daddy" sits down and spears a french fry.

Oh, you wanted a fork. Right, yes, of course you did. A FORK!!! So, of course, we start saying, 'Oh, Good  using your "FORK" 'Busy', very good." I know no one in that restaurant thought he was saying 'fork'. I mean, you HAD to hear it. It DID NOT sound at all like 'fork'. I am not at all easily embarrassed...but THAT was EMBARRASSING!

My mom tried to console me by saying, "Remember when you were about that age, you would say 'Spoo' instead of 'Spoon' so your dad kept stressing the 'N' until finally you just called it a 'spoona'." Um, yeah, not the same. Spoona:spoon = cute, F**k:Fork = embarrassing. And what do you do when Busy calls ALL utensils f**k, because he does.

It's ok. Really it is. And it's funny as heck, just not, you know, funny in public.

So I'm getting ready to wrap up this post when in saunters my blue-eyed wonder. Pajama bottoms on, teeth brushed, shirtless...but that's ok, because he opened up mom's underwear drawer and gotten out a pair of cotton Victoria Secrets undies and he's sportin' it headband style a la Olivia Newton John. While we have a short conversation, in which I think he's asking me why can't he watch Bob Bot (Spongebob) and something about cookies, he manages to pull the undies around his neck and put his arm through one leg hole sort of giving a Rambo impression....except navy blue v.s. cotton undies with pink writing on them is not very Rambo-ish, so he works them down to his waist where he decides he's happy with them as a belt and walks off waving and saying "Bye-bye", "See ya". The only reason I didn't take a picture is because I was laughing too hard.

So that's my boy. And I would take 5 more just like him.