Mar 31, 2008

Tomorrow is the Day

My FAVORITE Day!! Is tomorrow.
Every other day of the year we have obligations and dates and meeting and work and commitments. Even on holidays we're more likely to be running around trying to complete dinner and cleaning up than relaxing.
Well not tomorrow.
I learned a long time ago to reserve my birthday with no plans. Nowhere I have to go, nothing I have to do. That way it leaves the whole day open for what I want to do. If I want to sleep in until noon - fine. If I want to wake up and jog around the neighborhood with Bach - fine. If I choose to go into work - great! If it's a nice day for the beach - superfab. So basically it's the only day of the year where I can pretend it's all about me and do exactly what I want to when I want to.
This morning I kicked the early celebration off with some early-morning painting. (See my teeny-tiny painting?) My sister had given me an itty-bitty art kit for Easter so today I broke it out and whipped up some some coffee for my new favorite mug. Unfortunately, that's about all the celebrating I'll get to do since I have a dentist appointment this afternoon and then I get the pleasure of working at my night job until very late tonight.

But enough about me, let's get back to my favorites (that you can buy for me):
I have found some amazing card shops lately. And as silly as it is for me to buy cards (I love making hand made cards) I just get blown away by some of these designs!
Take ChristopherandTia, for instance:

These neon recipe cards and boxes are what any kitchen needs! Crickets!!
There's also a new discovery: VagrantPoodle!

These cute fish cards would be perfect for my sea-worthy family! And they have more! Owls and kitties and octopuses (octopi?)
My final card choice is a collection from YeeHaw:
These Spring Tree mini prints are eye-catching and fun! 8 little cards with 8 little envelopes!
I'm card-crazy.

Mar 30, 2008


My stupid dreams.
Last night I was thrown into a group of people visiting a vacation house. Once we arrived we realized that strange occurrences had forced the previous tenants out. A big clue was blood dripping from the ceiling. But for some reason we decided to stay the night (like a bad horror movie where you're wondering why the main characters say things like "let's split up") and go downstairs to find jackets and blankets to keep warm. In the morning we left.
Very odd.

AND once again it's time to talk about things I want for my birthday.....
How about an awesome lucite bracelet from KolosStudio? Complete with real bugs! These are BEAUTIFUL! The colors and styles are almost endless. I need me some of these...
I think I like the yellow and green best. They even have cufflinks! and rings!
If you'd like to see more you can visit

Mar 29, 2008

It's Saturday? My goodness!

Where did the time go? Between working and sleeping I seem to have lost a week. In a bit I'll be going in to the shop to start/work on/finish several pairs of sandals. I was really wanting to start a bag for Allen's sister but it will have to wait. At least I still have Sunday and I'll probably go in Tuesday as well.
And speaking of Tuesday - here's some more things you can buy me for my birthday:
This super-fab shop Kinchimama has a skirt I want. Actually, there were more but some other lucky people bought them already! My eye was caught by this green one a while back:
She also has her main shop Kinchi, which features seriously cool vintage stuff for kids and moms. I have no rugrats, so I'm glad she started her adult shop! Check out this kitten skirt!

Mar 28, 2008

New Things to Like and Love

I have a new Buddy Bag! Manatee! How cool is that? It's a deep wedgewood blue with a deep blue leather inside and magnetic snap closure. Wicked fun.
I don't know if I'll be able to get into the shop today, so I may have a big day ahead of me tomorrow. Loads of sandals and cuffs and two bags await my presence still...Back to my birthday desires! Another of my favorite sellers is CircaCeramics!
Being a coffee lover I could have a zillion mugs. I won't, and I probably have too many as it is, but a beautiful cup will still make me drool with desire. CircaCeramics also sells magnets, bowls, vases, tea cups and more! I mean, c'mon. You know you need one of these awesome cylinders! (I know I do!)

Mar 27, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho

It's back to work I go.
I need to get some more leather work done before going into my night job later. I have a new Buddy Bag in the works! It's a deep wedgewood blue leather with a manatee image sewn into the back. There's no pictures right now, but rest assured, when I complete the little guy, you'll see him. Lately I've been caught up in between sandals and making that Monty Tote for my sister.Despite all the busy work I managed to make myself a great new pair of sandals! Maybe if I manage my time wisely, I'll be able to complete the Buddy and start a new tote!! Wait, what am I thinking. I can't manage my time properly....
And since this is my birthday week, I've decided to promote some more of my favorite things on Etsy! In hopes that you will buy them for me.
These beautiful images are from DSBrennan!
These beautiful photographic prints are mesmerizing! The colors and depth of each picture transform the seemingly mundane into exquisite pieces of art!
I love them.
Buy them for me. You do it.

Mar 26, 2008

Completely Uncomplete

Always the busy bee.... I'm really trying to get a lot done since I haven't been at my night job in a while. It never seems like enough is really getting accomplished, though. So many things are running through my head, so many projects to begin, that it seems impossible to tackle them all.
For once I am going to try to make an early day of it, so here's a little something that makes me smile:Lilly The Cat Notecard Set by Etsy Shop GenObata

Mar 25, 2008

Sharks and Totes

Yesterday my dad went early morning fishing (just as he does everyday) and was surprised by a surplus of migrating sharks. Yes, all those spots in the picture above are sharks! Thousands of them. This is actually not a rare occurrence. Several times a year we get the coastline dotted with spinner sharks chasing smaller fish for food along the shore. What baffles me is the fact that no one tells you. Unless you catch the news that morning, you might think you're headed to a lovely outing at the beach. "Let's go swimming, everybody!"
My dad has some great footage on his digital camera of them turning on one shark and eating him, causing a frenzy a mere couple of feet from shore.
Word of the wise to tourists - ask the fishermen on the beach if the water is safe for swimming, don't rely on the forecasters.In other news - I've finished my sister's Monty Tote! Well, almost. She informed me she wants a small pocket so I need to add a small lining and zipper. And 4 more rivets for the handles. The colors are ones she picked out - except the brown. There was no brown dark enough for her so I had to hand-dye a lighter brown to make her happy. The small circles contain some snake-print lambskin pieces.
Now I just to make some more.....

Mar 24, 2008

Featured Etsy Find

Every once in a while I find an Etsy store that literally makes my jaw drop.
I found a store called sacaclaques the other day. They have the coolest handbags! Really, I should just use tons of pictures to illustrate the coolness, since the photos speak volumes.Aren't they amazing! They're constructed out of wood slats and leather for lining and handles. I'm totally in love with this olive one. Tara Appreciation Day is coming soon, people! Pay attention!!
Scrolling through Etsy listings is becoming a potentially expensive habit to have....
Check out Sacaclaques today! I get the feeling these bags are going to be flying off the shelves (so to speak). And they're just so cool....

Mar 23, 2008

Easter Candy Time

I'm all hopped up on sugar and caffeine.
I woke up fairly early to pick Allen up from the train station as he got back from Miami. They all had fun and nudie pins (thanks to tom and chris!) were given out to all the checkpoint volunteers. Allen said it was a bit grueling but he made it to every checkpoint and then the after party.
So I've actually been having a fab morning. My mother gave us each a lotto scratch off in our goodie baskets and I won $40 so today is starting out pretty well. Candy, Allenface, and free money is a good way to start the day!And I'll be eating too many of these bad boys today. I wait all year for the Cadbury creams eggs to come around....

Mar 22, 2008

Bicyle Race in South Beach

Allen's getting ready to go on a trip to Miami for an AlleyCat Race on south beach! If I weren't such a bicycle chicken it would sound like a lot of fun. Maybe we need a rickshaw so I can participate. I can't do the tandem bike thing, because I'll eventually stop peddling and just let the other person do all the work. And we could all use fancy bicycle caps like this one from Bicycleocean!
I really do miss Miami. The city is so beautiful, so raw, and so full of life. Here's a picture from our last trip, which was ages ago. Late night concerts and early morning sunbathing on the beach. We need to get back down to the keys, too.
On April 5th I'll be participating in the West Palm AlleyCat Race. Not riding, but manning one of the checkpoints. If what Naomi says is true, I'll be the happiest girl slapping everyone in the face with red paint. I can't imagine anything more fun to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Mar 21, 2008

Beer Holsters in Storque!!

I had the most exciting news from my friend Naomi at Bicycleocean yesterday! We had our Beer Holsters featured in the Etsy Storque!! The article is very awesome and you can read it HERE!

I'm so happy to see them appreciated. Allen has worked very very hard to make this completely unique design for our holsters. Yes, there are other beer holsters, but they're hardly the same and you sure can't pretend you're a gun-slinger with them. It really brings a huge smile to my face to see the pattern Allen labored over for months come to fruition and be a big hit! Now we just need our new veg tan leather so we can make more! Excitement Excitement!!
In another bit of exciting news, I sold my latest Monty Tote yesterday! I'm going to have to make a new one. And finish the one for my sister. And start the one I had in mind for Allen's sister and his niece.... Hmmm... I've got a lot of work to do.

Mar 20, 2008

New New New

Oh, today is full of new things.
I've been dabbling with a new design for a messenger-type bag for a little while now, sketching out the way it'll look in my doodle book. After a week of re-working it, I'm hoping today will be the day I can finally begin. That's my doodle book, resting on my decoupaged bookshelf in the bathroom.
Also, we have a new computer! Well, new to us. Hospice threw it out on Wednesday and Allen salvaged it, added some hardware, and made it work. So now we can both surf the internet, within mere inches of each other, at the same time! I think that's ridiculously cool.
And I have a new pair of sandals! My second pair of Marina sandals are up on Etsy!
The Marina sandals are all one of a kind, since the uppers are made from fish skin. They're super comfortable, too. I'm going to have to make myself a pair. (These ones are in my size but they're for sale *sigh*)

Mar 19, 2008

The Value of Goodies

I need to get on Amazon and just buy the book Primal Branding. (I had it checked out from the library some months ago but I shouldn't be allowed to have a library card because I don't return things, especially not in a timely manner.) I did enjoy the book and it was extremely informative and full of helpful tips and how-to's on building a following for your product/company/religion. But since they probably have a wanted poster of me up at the library I'll just have to wait for it in the mail.

The real purpose of this post is to help me judge the value of my work. It seems to me that people think I'm under-pricing. Really, I don't think I am. We base our prices on, of course, materials used, time spent, and over all quality. Yet, it seems a lot of people don't think it's quality unless I'm charging some ridiculous price.

I don't want to gouge. Maybe it sounds silly, but I grew up poor. I enjoy making things that I can keep affordable enough for everyone. Sure I could charge $300 for a pair of sandals or a tote bag. But why? Plus I feel like that I'd be alienating a huge group of people if I raised my prices. (After all, there ARE more poor and middle class than rich). But then again, I watch loads of people save and scrimp so they can buy that brand name piece of garbage bag for $600, so maybe I'm wrong.
I guess my main issue is I want people to KNOW that our work is quality, without me having to take an arm or a leg as payment. I just don't want to charge an amount I feel is obscene.
But I want to sell more. Season is ending here in Florida and things that sell really well in our B&M (buddy bags, sandals) don't translate very well online.
So here's a question: Would you pay $56 for this Buddy Bag? (You can click on the image to take you to the detailed listing with more photos)
Do you think that's too low? Too high? If you think my price should be higher, would you still be as quick about making a buying decision? I welcome any suggestions and comments at this point.

Mar 18, 2008

The Day After

Oh, freaking hell, it feels like someone punched me in the face. I'll never understand why every dentist I've come in contact with seems to think extractions have the worst follow-up pain. No, no, it's root canals and everything involving them. The gums are burning and itching from where I'm pretty sure they used a screwdriver to fit my temporary crowns and it's incredibly hard to focus on anything else. And nothing for the pain. I had to ask my sister for one of the pills they gave her for her extraction (which, by the way, isn't hurting her anymore). And why do I, a person with a great fear of dentistry, get the pleasure of the new doctor, the new nurse? The last thing I want is someone working on my teeth who's unsure of themselves. Actually, I take that back. The last thing I would want would be an unsure gynecologist (which totally happened to me at the free clinic once. It was terrifying).

But enough ranting and raving about things that are over and done with.
St. Patrick's Day was yesterday and I had barely a chance to think about it. After the tooth abuse I had to spend the evening at my night job, where we were very slow for most of the evening until the drunk stragglers wandered over from wherever they were getting sloshed at beforehand. I finally got out around 10:50 or so, leaving me enough time to race to the gas station to buy some beer and then making it home with an hour left to celebrate. Celebrate is probably a pretty strong word, considering it was just Allen and I each drinking a beer while watching Futurama episodes.

Tonight promises to be far more amazing. Not only do I have hours to spend with my leather but it's Tuesday which mean it's Movie Night! I have no idea what we'll be watching but I guarantee it'll be great. Hooray for Tuesdays!! (Can I get a hoo-hah?)

Mar 17, 2008

Fun With The Dentist

In about an hour I go to the dentist to get fitted for my crowns. I'm frightened. It seems irrational, (and it probably is) but I'm just scared to death of everything related to dentistry. *Shudder*
SO, in order to keep my mind off of of my fears, I'm trying to list some of my new and amazing basket weave cuffs.I'm really impressed with the way these have turned out. The simple basket weave embossment seems to be the perfect backdrop for the colorful exotic fish skins. I have a few in brown up in my shop right now, but yesterday I picked up the black and made three new ones. Hopefully everyone else likes them as much as I do. And hopefully I can forget about the dentist for a little bit.

Mar 16, 2008

Things to Do

Every Saturday that I work at my 2nd job it's always a beautiful day. The kind of day that makes you want to run screaming from work and go to the beach or to the park or anywhere but inside a building. And I'll convince myself that it's alright, and the day will be just as beautiful tomorrow. But, no, it's a little too cloudy, a little too windy...

Maybe that's for the best, as I DO have leather work to finish. And start. Many things to be accomplished today. I'll still be thinking about the beach, though.

Mar 14, 2008

More Jimmys and Marinas

So I've almost finished my new Jimmys. I still wanted to add a 1/4" heel and then the edges need to be finished, but all in all, they're looking good! I told you they were a little girly - Allen doesn't like the floral stripe. But I need to use the florals for something.
The only thing I don't like about this style is that it uses SO much leather due to the span of the pattern. Ah, well, they turn out nicely, though, don't they?I've also started a new pair of Marina sandals. They're made from fish skin I dyed silver and I'm pairing them with a dark blue leather. My pictures didn't turn out so great, but I really like the color combination. I have another pair I'm working on also, that's a white fish skin I dyed over yellow and gold. I'm still deciding on a mid sole color for that pair.

Mar 13, 2008

New sandals

Well, I'm off to work in a bit to delve into a new pair of sandals. I have a pattern that's proved to be extremely comfortable and stylish, but immediately after designing one pair I veered away from being a cobbler and dove headfirst into my buddy bags.
Even though I'm not a "slide" person (I like my flip-flops) this style really appeals to me. I call them Jimmy Slides.

It took me forever to choose the perfect materials. I didn't want something too stiff or too thick or too thin.... When I finally picked out the leathers I wanted they even ended up too girly for me! And for someone like me, who usually centers the things I make around what appeals to me (unless it's a custom order), it's an odd choice. But they're going to turn out so well! The new pair will be a deep purple with a floral stripe. They'll me similar to the pair pictured above, except where the red gator strip is, it will be extended across the entire sandal.
I still haven't decided if they need a heel or not. Maybe I should do a poll.
Alright, the cobbler in me is calling. Have a great day everyone!

Mar 12, 2008

scarves and things

If I were to pick up a new thing to collect it may be scarves.
Which is odd, because I don't wear scarves. Or use them in any way.
Even though it's seemingly unnatural, there's this attraction that stirs inside me whenever I pick up some brightly colored silk creation.
Usually I only come in contact with them because I sell them on eBay. Tossed aside by thrift shops, I rescue these delightful vintage goodies and clean them up. Most of the time they're still in minty condition and vibrant. But it's getting harder and harder to part with the things.
My favorites have got to be the Veras. I come across these quite a bit and they're extremely popular amongst fans of the brand. The colors and designs of Vera Neumann are bold and interesting, no matter the colors or pattern. Each one stands out on it's own as a unique piece of art. They all have the distinct Vera logo and the older ones have her distinctive ladybug beside it. Sometime in the 1980's the company that sold her designs dropped the logo.Ah, well, enough of drooling over these beautiful treasures. It's time to list them!

Mar 11, 2008

More Squids You Need To Know

Everyday when I log into Etsy I have to check Bicycleocean's shop to see what new amazing thing she's come up with. The past few days have been a laugh riot with her new circus freak edition squids!Meet Moe the Dirty Carnie. He likes beer and ladies. And his gold chains add just the right amount of class. Next up is Moesha the Tranny Midget. In my imaginiation she's just a little bit more of a lady than Luella. She doesn't like cheap cigars and prefers fine-dining and three star resorts.Last but not least, we have the amazing Kuthulu, the Cannibal Headhunter! I find this especially funny because I just watched (for the 100th time) the Beetlejuice movie and one of my favorite scenes is the very end where Micheal Keaton switches numbers with the headhunter and gets his head shrunk.

Mar 10, 2008

Back To Work

I got a little bit accomplished. Finally. It actually feels good to be back at work again. (Weird, huh?)
But I guess that's one of the reasons I like what I do so much. I'm always excited about that new great thing I want to create. My newest listing is this awesome basketweave cuff with some smokey white fish skin poking through. The combination of the two textures really has me smitten! I think I'll be doing a few more in this style.And the kitties have been extra-needy since we've all been too sick for too long. I've been giving Buddy newspaper to keep him busy, but last night Newt discovered the wonder of torn paper.