Saturday, December 16, 2006

Adios, J.M.!

J.M. took the train to California this morning. He was thinking about riding the Greyhound but decided against it. He's too excited to get to his new home. J.M. is looking forward to hanging out with Miss Mittens and his new friends. He has learned that his new friends own sheep! He's hoping that he'll get to pet their fur and give them kisses. It's been cold here so he can't wait to bask in the warm sun that reminds him of his Calahari heritage.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Farewell friends!

It's time to bid some friends farewell and bon voyage. Little Jamie has gone to live with Clare and her new family in Boston (yes, he brought a sweater). Francine roller skated off to Colorado and is very excited to meet her new friend, Marlea. Miss Mittens will be flying on a shiny airplane to California in the morning.

My friend Peggy suggested that I send stories about my little guys when they get shipped out. This is a great idea so I'm working on a few tall tales.

In other news, my website is up and running. You can now visit and it will take you directly to my etsy shop. Soon I will have a gallery, a link to the shop, and a link to this blog. Do remember that "soon" is a relative term.

Monday, December 11, 2006

An infestation of ladybugs

I've been working on custom designs for my Etsy shop, Lemon Cadet. My mom asked me to make something with a ladybug on it for my cutie cutie niece, Keaton Mackenzie. We went out to the stores because I didn't have anything in stock in her size. Mom didn't want a onesie because it's winter and she didn't want my designs to get covered up. How nice is that?

We were so lucky to find these super soft 100% cotton cardigans on sale. I happened upon a pair of little jeans in the right size and the inspiration was there. I stitched an open ladybug on the cardigan (almost like a monogram) then added a sweet walking ladybug on the jeans near the cuff. It's adorable, if I do say so myself.

The ladybugs will be added to the shop later this week and will soon be available for custom orders. My sister-in-law loved the set so much she ordered one for her friend's little girl. Bunnies on the way!

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Showcase is here!

I was lucky to be one of the first to get a spot on the new Etsy showcase. Here is a screenshot of the page with me there (that's the Charlie Ann sweatshirt) up on the left. I got the one spot for December and one spot for February. I'm hoping it goes well.

I think the Etsy guys have done a great job with this. The flash is amazing. You can toss the items around. It's fun.

There are also ads on a website called BoingBoing that look really sophisticated.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Look at how beautiful this is...

I love my labels. This is just so pretty all sewn into the little onesie.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Lemon Cadet is the featured seller on Indie Finds

I am so excited to be the featured Etsy seller on the Indie Finds blog. Dottyral does a great blog and is an Etsy seller herself.

It's amazing to be getting some interest in my little shop.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Farewell, young Fran!

Yesterday I sent out my first onesie. A fellow Etsy seller had emailed me earlier in the week to see if I could custom-make a Francine on a onesie for a new baby (work in progress). I had a yellow 3 - 6 month onesie on hand so I quickly got on task and created Young Fran.

It was really exciting. I've had orders from friends and family but this was an order from someone I didn't know, someone all the way in Texas. So now it's really official.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Gift Certificates in my Etsy shop

I thought I'd try something new for the shop. I added a couple of gift certificates in different increments to give customers another option.

This will let people give a gift certificate to someone who they know will like my little guys but wants to let that person decide which one to order.

I'd love feedback on this idea.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tu hablas Espanol?

While Aaron and I were in Chicago, we had yet another run-in with Spanish. We were walking down the street around the corner from the hotel when someone passing asked Aaron a question. He mumbled some answer and we kept walking. I asked Aaron what happened. He said that it didn't register at the time but that the guy had asked him what time it was -- in Spanish. Even though we have learned the time in our Spanish class, and he knew the answer, he was just surprised and unprepared so he said he didn't know. Granted, Chicago has a large Hispanic population and Aaron fits in anywhere. It's just sad that we didn't make use of our new vocabulary...

We are better with beans. Here we are reflected in the shiny side of the millenium bean.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The labels are finally here!

While we were in Chicago, my fabric labels came in the mail. I'm so excited that they finally showed up. I'm happy with the font and the color. I thought for some reason that my logo would be woven, not printed. Oh well. It was only a test. I'll keep researching companies. I'm not a big enough business yet to be able to afford a bulk order with my custom logo so this is a great start. I deliberately chose a common font so it would be inexpensive for me to reproduce.

So now it's official! I'm going to work on a pillow this week since I'm taking vacation days from work. I was waiting on the labels to show so that I could sew one into the seam.

I've been very busy at work and have ended up so tired by the evening that I haven't been able to get any Lemon Cadet stuff done. I have a lot to catch up with for the Etsy shop. Maybe I'll be able to get back on my feet. My goal with the shop was to post 3 - 5 new items per week. I have a couple ready to go and should get them up before Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of time to shoot the pics and color correct them in photoshop.

It's really important for me to keep this fun and to keep it real. I don't want to get stressed out. I need each of these pieces to be infused with good vibes -- not stress. If that means I upload fewer products, then I'm okay with that.

Etsy has turned off the counters so I can't tell who is looking at my stuff. I hope they get that fixed soon. Such a blow to the ego, even if you know the reason...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A new ETSY...

The ETSY site is back up and looking good. The layout is clean and easy to navigate. I'm really happy with all the new features. A couple of my images aren't coming up so I'll have to upload them again this evening.

This is a picture of Franciso the Yeti. I'll be making some of these shirts for my nephews before Thanksgiving. They are calling him the Abominable Snowman. Gotta love the Bumble!

It's good to be back...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Will there be ETSY withdrawal symptoms?

ETSY will be down for upgrades all weekend. In some ways, I'm looking forward to it; perhaps I'll be able to get something done! I spend a lot of time searching for Christmas gifts and fun things for myself. It's such an amazing group of supportive and creative people.

This is Francis. I'm putting him here because he tends to get a bit of separation anxiety. I didn't want to leave him alone on ETSY all weekend. He needs a lot of attention.

Good luck to the tech guys at ETSY. Hope the upgrade goes smoothly.

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's so easy being green...

My friend Beth asked me to make a special onesie for her friends who are having a baby. They love frogs so I made a cute little guy with this great corduroy number print fabric. It's a really fine wale, so incredibly soft. This is one of my favorite items up on the shop. I just wanted to post a pic here too.

My Studio and The Omelette King's Couch

This is a photo of my friend Sara, author of Crackpots and the soon-to-be-released Lately, lounging on the Omelette King's Couch when it used to live in her studio across town. I am now the proud owner of this fabulous couch (even though I have to warn visitors of the sink potential just before they sit down). The springs need a bit of work.

I planned the color scheme of my studio around this couch. When we bought our house in 2004, the upstairs room was designated my studio, strange stain on the wall near the ceiling and all. After almost 3 years and several "guesses" by contractors, roofers, friends, psychics, my dad, and the previous owners ("We thought it was just a shadow."), my husband tore out the wall with a sledgehammer to find no known cause of the problem. Aaron insulated around the area, built a new wall in front of it, and called it a day (or, better yet, a year or two). After that we put up a beadboard ceiling and painted the walls. The back wall color is called Greek Tapenade, the side walls are Apple Green 2, and there is one wall painted white to feature my 2-D work and which serves as the backdrop for my gallery shots. The floor, originally covered by nasty carpet over linoleum tile over masonite nailed every two inches, is heart of pine painted a nice rich burgundy-brown similar to the couch (because there was no way to refinish this room like the rest, it was trashed).

I am almost finished moving in. After I get everything organized, I'll post some photos. My shelves (painted Mustard Seed) are up and my small globe collection is in place.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Montar a Caballo

This past summer, my husband and I went to Mexico for 12 days. It was one of the best experiences of my entire life. I am very lucky that we travel so well together and that we both love doing the same things away from home. We each take one small backpack (I prefer my old red Kelty Redwing and he uses one from Underground Products, UGP) so that we can go anywhere at just about anytime without taking up a lot of space. We don't have a schedule, just a guidebook and a list of places we'd like to see. I am an obsessive planner so even though we don't travel with a stone agenda, I like to have information ready for all the possibilities.

We started in Mexico City. This photo is from the monument Hemiciclo a Benito Juarez at Alameda Central, a short walk from the Palacio de Bellas Artes. We were across the street looking at these amazing outdoor sculptures by Juan Soriano when we spotted this police officer on horseback! My husband had never ridden a horse before and he was fascinated by this guy. We crossed several lanes of traffic to go talk to him and luckily he spoke English really well. After we were talking to him for a while, he got off the horse and told us to get on. I wasn't about to, but Aaron didn't hesitate. It was his first time on a horse. It was great.

One of the reasons I love my husband is that every time we're in a Spanish speaking country, people will just start talking to him really fast in Spanish because he has very dark skin and looks like he could be of Mayan ancestry. The confused looks on their faces when he doesn't understand a word are priceless. No one believes it. But, we're about to change all that.

I've been taking advantage of my one-free-class-a-semester faculty benefit with Spanish 101. Every day after my class, I go home and repeat the lesson and give La Tarea. We just learned the words for activities like esquiar, comer, beber, patinar, and correr -- and the only thing I could think of when we got to montar a caballo was this image, burned into my brain forever.

I'll be posting more pictures and stories of the trip in the upcoming months. I also owe the Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Forum a long trip report. I have to admit that we made the huge mistake of buying the Let's Go Guide because it had a more recent publication date than The Lonely Planet guide, which came out right after we got home. I used Let's Go for a trip to Europe about 10 years ago and it was perfect. But now that I'm older, my standards for where I sleep have changed and I prefer the recommendations of people who understand that the floor of a frat house is nasty and a hotel with similar levels of cleanliness could not possibly be considered "sparkling" (as was our experience with a hotel recommended by the writers of Let's Go). We won't make such a mistake again.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pillows, pillows, pillows!

I have been stitching my little creatures for weeks now and it has been a blast. I love watching the new friends come to life. I didn't think it could get any better...

...And then I started my pillow fronts. The squares I'm working on are just over 8" so it's a bigger canvas than the onesies and the sweatshirts. It's really satisfying to pick the background fabrics then work on the little guy who'll be featured. One of my favorite parts of the process is choosing the patterns. When I work on the pillows, I get to combine and juxtapose patterns a lot more than on the clothes. I don't have any finished yet because I'm waiting on my labels but you'll get a sneak peak this weekend.

I'm super excited about the labels. I can't wait until they get here!

The image above is my newest onesie. I'm calling it a meerkat and it'll be up on my etsy shop by the end of the week.

When I get some more time, I'll move my old posts from typepad over here to blogsopt where it's so much easier (and free).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Great Day Trip

Last weekend we took a trip from Morgantown up to the Northern Panhandle. It's a route we try to take at least once a year. This year, we took 79 up to Little Washington and headed up 18N. Then we stopped for some great pumpkins at a little Farmer's market just past the sharp left you need to take to stay on 18 to head W. We usually have a big Nearly Annual Birthday Party Pumpkin Carving Vegan Potluck BYOB Extravaganza just before my birthday so we needed to stock up. I bought four little pumpkins to carve out and serve soup in. The Morgantown Farmers' Market sends out a weekly email with updates and recipes and I'm hoping to make the delicious sounding apple pumpkin soup recipe.

18N leads up to Burgettstown where we headed W on 22 and over the bridge to Ohio. From there we took 7 up to East Liverpool, a once booming pottery city. It's pretty dead like a lot of towns in Appalachia where the industry has gone overseas. Luckily, there's an amazing flea market with a huge selection of local antique pottery, cool furniture, and about a million other interesting finds. After spending some time roaming the floors, we headed back over the river and into WV again. We stopped for a photo shoot at the World's Largest Teapot and some gingerale at the Sunoco across the street.

The best part of our day on this trip is always the Homer Laughlin China Co. factory outlet. I call it Fiestaland. In addition to this outlet shop where everything is very well priced compared to retail, they have a room full of seconds. We picked up some great stuff for our retro-look kitchen. The outlet is just past the beautiful singing Newhall bridge that's on the right. The sign pointing down into Fiestaland can't be missed.

After shopping ourselves into a low blood sugar euphoria, we headed the rest of the way down Route 2 into Weirton where we got back on 22 and went east over to Pittsburgh. There's a Moe's burritos just off 60 so we got some dinner there before taking 79S back home.