Sunday, October 31, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Neely as Foofa

After much indecision with regard to Neely's Halloween costume, we finally decided she would be Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba. I added the inspiration pic on the right. For some reason, I thought the ruffle around her neck was purple. Oh, well. It works. Stay tuned for pics of Neely and I both in our costumes on Sunday...


We had a major power outage here yesterday. At 4am, Aidan woke me, crying and begging for his owl light (nightlight) to be turned back on. I figured out that the power was out when I tried to switch on a light in the next room in search of another nightlight. We had no electricity all day. Thank goodness the weather had finally decided not to be 90 degrees.

We took the kids out for dinner, since most of our food was spoiling and we still weren't able to cook, and picked up donuts for dessert on the way home. So that's not a seance, that's donuts by candlelight. Make fun of me all you want. I light up every candle I can find when the power goes out. The only downside is that the mixture of smells can be a little...pungent.

And look! I finally lit up the spooky jars that Annie B. and I made last year!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Preview

Today is Aidan's costume party at preschool. You can't tell from the photo, but he was super excited to get to wear his Halloween costume to school today. He was out of bed and ready to go early early this morning. Neely will get to wear hers on Friday. :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My First Show

Some are asking and some are wondering, so I thought I’d give a breakdown of how things went over the weekend. The craft fair was a good experience for me, and I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, simply because I’ve finally followed through on something I wanted to do for the first time in a long time.

At the beginning of the year, I used my Christmas money to buy a few clothing patterns – a couple for skirts, one for a dress, and one for some pants. When they arrived in the mail, I eagerly opened and read them all, and was overwhelmed with doubt and insecurity. “I’ll never be able the make this one!…or this one…or this one…” The patterns were put away for a couple of months.

As spring approached, I got them out and looked again, and I decided to try the easiest one. I’d buy some fabric, make a few different variations, take them to a local consignment shop, and see how they do. The stripwork skirts weren’t an instant hit in the consignment shop, but I sold several to friends just by posting photographs on my Facebook.

That response gave me the courage to try out the dress and the pants, and by mid-summer, I’d decided I might try and have a booth in the craft fair this fall. I went through the piles of fabric I’d gradually accumulated and came up with several things to make out of material I already had. Slowly and steadily, I began to build up inventory to save for the fall.

In August, I chose a date and paid for my 10 by 10 foot booth in October’s craft fair. (eek!) I bought a whole lot more fabric and a pile of t-shirts and got to work.

I apparently didn’t work fast enough, because by the time the middle of September hit, I had maybe half of a small cardboard box filled with things that were finished. Maybe. Panic hit.

Luckily, this was about the same time the kids started going back to preschool and Mom’s Day Out. I’d drop them off on the mornings they had school, come home, and work on as much as possible until I had to pick them up. Afternoon nap time was the only other time I had to work with.

I pulled it off. I had plenty of t-shirts, outfits, dresses, onesies, burp cloths, bibs, and mugs to fill my booth. Sales were slow on Saturday. Most of what I sold that day were smaller, lower-priced items. There were lots of people milling around, but not too many of them were buying anything. Things turned around on Sunday. I sold more of my outfits than bibs and burp cloths. The reindeer t-shirts were my most popular item.

What have I learned from this experience? I’ve learned that the numbers do not sell. I probably have 60 number tees leftover. Ones and twos sell, but not much beyond that. Aidan loves his four, but he must be an anomaly. Either that, or people don’t realize that their child would love a t-shirt with their age on it, because they’re not shopping with their children. I will have to try and sell the ones I’ve already made, but I won’t be keeping a stockpile of them any longer. The numbers will have to be a special order item only. I’ll focus more of my energy elsewhere.

What else? When winter is approaching, make more pants. I think people are less apt to put their child in a skirt when they think it will be cold soon. I sold a couple of skirts to people once I pointed out that their child could wear tights underneath to keep their legs warm, but I guess most weren’t thinking this way. They want pants. I may need to make some cute pants to go underneath the dresses I’ve made in order to sell them.

I also need a better display situation. What a lot of people saw when looking into may booth was a rack of clothes sandwiched together that they didn’t want to dig through to find something they liked. When I do this again, I’ll need to invest in some wire grids and make it easier for people to see what I have to offer. My table holding smaller items was fine, but the clothes could have been displayed better.

Phew! I’m sure there’s more I could babble about, but I won’t bore you any more. I apologize for the stark lack of pictures. We weren’t supposed to take any inside the craft fair. I saw lots of people doing so anyway, but I am perpetually afraid of getting in trouble for breaking rules. I don’t have a decent camera to work with, anyway. I need to rectify that soon. I am definitely missing my camera.

I have several things listed in my new Etsy shop,, if you’d like to check it out. I have lots of summer items marked down super cheap to clear them out. Thanks for reading to the bitter end!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thank goodness...

...for good friends who love you enough to let you borrow their camera in times of desperate need. I am halfway through re-shooting all those lost photos. Thanks, Lynley!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

D70 Obit

It is time to say good-bye to a faithful old friend. When I celebrated my first anniversary, you were there. When my children were born, you were there. You have been my companion on many vacations, and you have documented too many holidays, milestones, and unexpected moments to count. Sadly, nothing lasts forever - you included. Your 6.1 megapixels are no longer cutting-edge, and I have long been envious of others' sharper photos. And now, I can no longer trust you. You corrupted one memory card full of photos from an important family event, and yesterday, you destroyed an hour and a half of hard work. (Don't worry, it was only pictures of EVERYTHING I have made for the craft fair and need to list on Etsy. The subjects will still be cooperative, but I am resentful of the time lost.) I will soon be replacing you. Hopefully.

Does anybody know where to send cameras when they die? Can they be recycled?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I took over the dining room table this morning and practiced my setup for the craft fair that is in one week! One week! I can hardly believe it. I'm excited and terrified at the same time. Our table is two feet shorter than the one I'll be using, so I didn't get everything on there. I'll have some acrylic mugs displayed somewhere on there come next Saturday. Those boxes will be covered with another tablecloth, and hopefully before the show, I'll get around to painting the frame of that bulletin board lime green to match my sign. I'll also have two garment racks opposite the table to hang all of my outfits and t-shirts on.

I've got most of my merchandise finished, so this week, I'll be focusing on tagging and photographing everything to list on my new Etsy page, Don't go there yet, though. It's totally empty.

Oh! One more exciting thing that I almost forgot! I've got someone making bows to match several of my outfits now, so those will be available, too. Okay, that's it for now. Maybe once this first show is over, I'll stop being obsessed with it and find something else to blog about again. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010


My first shipment of BabyLegs came in today! We are all excited. :)

Do you see Hank checking the box? Silly dog.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cowboy Cookies

Today, I took a break from working and hung out with my kids. This afternoon, we I made cookies. If you're looking for a healthy recipe, this is not it. If you're looking for a really yummy recipe that makes a ton of cookies, keep on reading.


3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. Baking powder
1 tbsp. Baking soda
1 tbsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
3 c. old fashioned rolled oats
2 c. sweetened flake coconut
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Add sugars gradually, beating until well combined. Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and beat it some more! Stir in flour mixture until just combined. By hand, mix in oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and M&M's. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing each about three inches apart. Bake 17-20 minutes until edges are lightly browned, rotating sheets halfway through. Remove cookies to a rack to cool.

 This recipe yields about three dozen giant cookies. I don't know about you, but I definitely do not need three dozen giant cookies lying around the house. They will get eaten. I used about half the dough, then I packed the rest into this bowl to freeze. So the next time I'm feeling guilty about not spending time with my kids and want to make it up to them, at least I won't be spending as much of the day alone in the kitchen! I can just scoop out some cookies and go.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Craft Fair Progress Report

As promised, here's the update on craft fair prep. But right up front, for anybody interested or located nearby, it's going to be at the Bossier Civic Center on October 23-24. Admission is just $3. Come and see me!

Okay, shameless self-promotion is over. Moving on.

Back in August, I laid my money down and reserved a booth for this craft fair, and at about the same time, I started working really hard to build up my inventory. When mid-September hit and I realized that this was really going to be happening soon, it was like somebody lit a fire under me. For the last few weeks, at the end of the week, I have been amazed at how much I've managed to get done, especially considering that I've still been taking orders in the meantime.

I promise this jumble of mess makes sense to me...most of the time. I've been focusing mainly on Halloween and Christmas outfits, applique bibs, handmade burp cloths, and lots and lots of numbered tees. I've managed not to get any pics of those, though. Here are some of the goods...

Whew! That's where I am in the process. I'm still working hard to finish a lot of things up. I hope I end up with enough! I also hope there are enough people that want to buy these things. Otherwise, I'm in trouble. 

Oh, yes. Thank you for reminding me. My new shop name is Neely Bug Boutique. I'll be transitioning my Etsy page in the next few weeks. My longtime friend Amanda designed it for me. I love it! I hope you do, too. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Where am I?

I know it seems as though I'm on hiatus lately. It's all because my preparations for Shop Till You Drop, my first craft fair, are taking priority. It's in three more weeks, and I have so much to finish! Since I know a messy sewing room and a jillion half-finished projects aren't really that interesting, I haven't been blogging much. I may share some pictures of new items this week, though, and my exciting new shop name and logo!

Until then,  I'll share something interesting from another corner of the internet. Want to learn how to take a better photo? Please visit Darcy over at Life With My 3 Boybarians. She's doing a series this month called 31 Days to a Better Photo. She's three days in, and I'm loving it!