Thursday, March 26, 2009

8 Years Ago Today....

In Our Hearts

We thought of you with love today, 
But that is nothing new. 
We thought about you yesterday. 
And days before that too. 
We think of you in silence. 
We often speak your name. 
Now all we have is memories. 
And your picture in a frame. 
Your memory is our keepsake. 
With which we’ll never part. 

God has you in his keeping.....We have you in our heart.  

Eight years ago today, it seems like yesterday.  He was here one minute, we were having a conversation, and the next minute he was gone....Hugh William MacLeod, my Father, died 8 years ago today in my arms.

I remember telling my Mother that night that "life has come full circle for me", Daddy was there and held me the night I was born and I was there and held him the night he died....full circle.  You never really know how much you miss someone until they are no longer there.  You still pick up the phone when you need someone to talk to, you still look at Father's Day cards even though you don't buy one.  Full circle...

The great grandchildren he never met, the grandchildren that married and he wasn't never forget them, you never stop missing them...hug your loved ones today, be thankful they are still right there with you.

Eight years ago today.....

Friday, March 20, 2009

A NEW Market Venue!

1000 Markets

New to the handmade scene is  As a merchant there, I have to tell you that the "look" of 1,000 Markets (or lovingly nicknamed 1KM) is something you've never seen before on any other online venue.  Clean, crisp and classy...

The home page lets you browse through all the different markets available to shop from.  You can choose a specific market or just take a stroll through all the marketplaces to your hearts content.  Fine Art, foods, children's items, beautiful jewelry etc.  You'll not run out of markets to window shop through!

I'm a merchant member of a very special market called "Child's Play".  It is a market where you'll find all sorts of things for babies, toddlers and children from clothing to toys.  All beautifully created with loving hands and care.  The quality is one thing you'll recognize along with the variety of things made.  Each merchant was chosen carefully by the other merchants in the market itself.  We are a self-juried group of merchants, we run our own marketplace inside 1KM itself.

A prospective merchant must first pass through the jury process to be accepted into 1KM and then they have to apply for membership into whatever market they are interested in joining. Almost every one of the current markets at 1KM are individually run by their own voluntary "staff" as it were.

Child's Play is a fabulous market to window shop through.  If your looking for a gift for a new baby, a first birthday gift, an heirloom you can pass from generation to generation, stunning one of a kind clothing, beautiful mobiles, creative and fun toys Child's Play is the place to look!

Join all the merchants at Child's Play, come and take a look at all we have to offer.

Monday, March 9, 2009

How do you "see" your final product?

I had a customer ask me the other day "how do you see what a child would like"? I thought it a rather odd question and then I started to really think about it. I went into my sewing room and just sat there for a while looking at all I use that helps me create the toys I make. What did I "see"?

Machines first, an embroidery machine, a "regular" straight stitching machine, a serger and then fabric, thread, stuffing, scissors.....and pictures. Pictures that parents had sent me with their babies or toddlers playing with the toys I made. When I looked at those pictures I saw several things; a happy baby, maybe a smile or that darling drop of drool while they chewed on a toy. Then I really focused on the toy, here is where the "how do you see what a child would like" part came into play.

I looked at it first as a Mother, then a Grandmother (or Nana as my 9 grandkids call me). I saw something that was safe, no removable parts, nothing to small to choke on, something that can be washed (every Mothers dream), something that can't bang up little heads or hurt them when they fell on it as they learned to toddle and walk and nothing that could dent or scratch the furniture! Then I looked at it from a child's point of view, it was bright, colorful, chewable, small enough for tiny hands to hold on to, interesting enough to create my own "fun" with.

As I sat there a bit longer I realized that the very last thing on that list of what I "saw" was "will it sell". All of the other things were more important to me. I firmly believe that when you turn your thinking and your creating from something you love to do, something you want to share with others to something you just want to make a "living" off of, you've missed the boat. You have just taken the "Artisan or Crafter" out of the picture and put the "retailer" in!

You've gotta have heart I guess I'm trying to say...put your heart into your work and the rest will follow...I see the babies and the toddlers, and I see the Mothers and Fathers and Grandparents that feel good about giving their little ones something created by hand, that is safe, and something that is fun, something that will last for years and years to come. THAT is how I "see" my final product...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

So Much Fabric....So Little Time...

It's amazing how much fabric one can collect for no apparent reason! When I start calling for the need for more shelving in my sewing room my other half tells me to "get rid of 1/2 that stuff your never gonna use it all". Then I take a walk out to his tool shop and start touching and counting ALL the hammers....JUST the hammers.

Here's how this conversation usually goes...

"How many hammers do you have Dear"? "I have just exactly as many hammers that I need that's how many"! "Well, Dear, I've counted 21, what on earth are you going to do with 21 hammers, can't you get rid of 1/2 of these cause your never gonna use them all"..."I have a hammer for every job, they are all important and each of one them is different" (kinda like the shelves full of fabric I have, I have just what I need for every order I could ever wish for and each of them is different). "Honey, it seems to me that you really don't need ALL these hammers do you, look at how much room they are taking up on your tool bench"....."All right DEAR, I get your point, where do you want the new shelves".

I rest my case.... and my favorite fabric store is having a sale this weekend, how nice!!