Saturday, April 17, 2010

Drumroll Please...

Thanks SO much to all of you who decided to play along with my giveaway this past week. It made my Tax-Time just a little bit more fun. And, I needed that.

Most guessers were pretty much in the ballpark of reality. Some of the numbers that were thrown out, however, kinda cracked me up. I've been quite busy this year but couldn't imagine being busy enough to crank out 1999, 762 or 817 handmade plushies in a year's time. Maybe if I were able to sew and build full time I could hit those sorts of stats, but not on top of my full time day job. It is food for thought, though. Your confidence in me is much appreciated - and I hope that I haven't let you down.

Here's how some of the 2009 numbers shook out:

Etsy.Com (195)

Donations and Gifts (29)

Bizarre Bazaar/Maker Faire (25)

Renegade San Francisco (89)

That's a lot of this:

A lot of this:

A BUNCH of this:

And a little bit of this:

There were some other numbers including stock left at the end of the year and things sent to brick and mortar shops. The final-final number is probably slightly under reported but my best guesstimate based upon the numbers that I had.

So my big number is: 368

Which means that the Big Winner is: Alyssa of AlliesAdornments - the maker of absolutely beautiful jewelry that she creates from upcycled and repurposed to-die-for vintage buttons. (She guessed 367).

Thanks again to EVERYONE for playing along with this little contest and most importantly for supporting me with such heart as I pursued this creative endeavor over the past couple of years.

Its been real. And, it has been fun.

Now? Now it is time to clear off that baby changing table and make room for the next great adventure!

Not to fear, the shop does not have a closing date - but things are slowing down. We are hoping for news of our adoption hopes and dreams becoming a reality by the end of the summer this year. So, we'll see what happens between then and now. Probably a lot more gardening, maybe some quilt making and definitely some projects around the house!!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Don't Forget!!

My contest ends tomorrow - at midnight.

Click here for the Full-On Deets about the contest!!!

I still have not added up the numbers, so even I couldn't guess accurately.

If you guess well, this wee guy could be yours!

Thanks for playing along! xoxo

Saturday, April 10, 2010

my buttercup garden

Jzboy built me a raised garden bed a good 5 or so years ago.

I love it. Actually, maybe I should say that I loved it.

The past two gardening seasons have been a bit difficult for me. I lost my motivation & the garden suffered. California summers, although incredibly sunny & beautiful - are very, very, very dry. Most times I couldn't even go out there to look, let alone attempt to harvest anything - it was too depressing. Everything seemed so leggy, dry and unloved. And I blamed myself.

Thank goodness for Fall and Winter because those seasons manage to provide just enough time to dull my sad memories of the previous years woebegon veggie patch. Spring arrives along with my renewed energy and hope for the garden. And, Spring Break always ends up being the week when it all goes down. Here's a pic of the clean, pitchfork tilled and fresh compost amended bed.

In the weeks leading up to this endeavor, I did a lot of thinking about what was going to go in the dirt. Typically I choose a theme for the garden bed. One year it was a French garden - that year I planted tarragon and haricots verts, another year it was a Rainbow garden - with yellow, orange and green tomatoes and then there was the "International" garden year - cilantro, japanese eggplant, bok choy and Thai basil.

This year I decided to plant a Hope Garden patch. Unsure what would grow within a Hope Garden, I ventured to my favorite spot for inspiration - Berkeley Hort. I knew I would find what I needed to make the veggie patch exactly what it was meant to be for 2010. Here it is all planted up:

Jzboy and I agreed that this years garden would provide some of our favorites such as green beans, lettuces, pattypan squash, maybe some carrots and definitely cucumbers. The tomato factor was an issue, though. Conventional wisdom advises against planting tomatoes in the same place over successive years. The dirt, apparently, must recover.

((insert gardeners confession))

We pretty much plant tomatoes in the same place each and every year. Multiple plants. Year after year after year. We simply can not help ourselves. I thought that if I simply amended the soil generously, it would be fine. The gardener guy disagrees and suggests that our persistent tomato planting may very well be the root of the garden bed problem. Reluctantly, Jzboy & I agreed to either go tomato-free in 2010 or mayyyybe one wee tomato. Maybe.

Berkeley Hort did not disappoint. Although I kick myself for leaving without the dinosaur kale that I meant to grab (I'll be back!), I left with a good few prospects including this singular tomato plant:

Its a cherry tomato. Prolific and sweet. Hearty and lush. Bountiful. "Scrumptious", even. And when I read the name of this little seedling, the Sweet Baby Girl I knew that it belonged in our little optimistic veggie patch.

Plus it needed its own, special buttercup-yellow tomato cage. For support.

Here's hoping for a very fruitful Summer.

Monday, April 05, 2010


Ok. So I'm about to sit down to do my taxes.

I know.

I always-always-always put it off. Always. This year the task is all the more daunting because of my little plushie-making business. It got bigger in 2009, you see, a lot bigger than I ever thought it would. As fun as it is, there's the tax thing that I wish I could stay in denial about. I am just not into the numbers.

You see, I am so not into the numbers that I've never counted how many items I've made over the past year. Its a lot, too. A LOT. Not only was my Etsy Shop busy, but I did two really big shows last year - the Maker Faire and Renegade San Francisco. I also was fortunate enough to have my items in three "Brick and Mortar" shops last year - Modern Mouse, Doe-SF and Cafe Gratitude!

Its time, though. Its time to let the tax man know the deets so its time for me to tally up the numbers.

It will then become all the more clear exactly what I've spent my free time doing in 2009. The truth will be out that I have spent far more time with needle and thread than gardening, exercising or entertaining. That the Jan the Janome sewing machine has been more of a companion to me than most of the humans in my life. That poly fiber fill and felt have occupied my closets, drawers and dreams more than anything having to do with international adoption - a surprising, yet quite welcome distraction. Time to face the music..

Here's the fun part...for you.

Just for shits & giggles, I would like to host a little contest. Anyone can play! Whomever comes closest to the number wins this little guy:

For a Hint - Click Here!

Just leave a comment for me with your numerical guess of how many plushies (includes Hoot Owls, Mice, Bunnies - all of em') you think that I made from January through December 2009. The number and the winner will be revealed on Tax Day - April 15, 2010!

Off to count....(and, thanks for playing along)! xoxo

beautiful "tally mark" necklace (above) by NinaGibsonDesigns @