Swap Swap Swap Swap

I’m back in the swapping swing of things! Really I think I’m getting back into the swing of things in general but it might be too soon to say really. So we’ll just talk about swaps! I have quite a few swaps I’d like to send out soon. Maybe Friday. There’s a private group Valentine’s Day swap which I’m pretty much all shopped for– I just need a couple of odds and ends. Then there’s a one on one swap with tvstar1that’s a kawaii pink and red swap. I’ve only gotten a couple of things for her but I’m really doing the shopping for that tonight. There’s also the Sweetpea swap for which I’ve been paired with Em  whose package I received in the mail TODAY! EEK! (I took pictures and will post soon!) I’m finishing that one up this week. And then there’s all the little mail I have that will be going out. For instance, a valentine for Theresa’s little one from my little one. Plus, a slew of storebought Valentines I’m sending out. Yes storebought. But wait until you SEE them. SO CUTE! I also have a birthday card to send and some thank you cards and a note. And I’ve just caught a glance of my sheet of stamps. That will simply not do! I need more stamps! I have this odd feeling that I’ve forgotten something. But just because I haven’t made a note of it here doesn’t mean I haven’t shopped for it. I just have to get my head sorted out. I have missed signing up for Coloriffic for the second month in a row! Shame on me!

In other completely unrelated news, I think I might close Colorful Cute for a little bit while I revamp it. I have a LOT to do and I keep getting sidetracked on orders and stuff. Plus it’s not busy enough to warrant staying open while I sort things out. I’m not closing forever, just until I get set up on Zen Cart (inventory has been a MAJOR issue for me) and I also really need to focus on wholesale. But I’m still stocking up and am planning a major grand re-opening. I haven’t officially closed yet but I will do that this week. Ok the kids are gone and so am I! Catch you all later.

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Post of Pictures

I am never really really late for swaps. But for January's Coloriffic I am. And I feel awful about it. And it's mostly got to do with this:

Yes that tiny thing. It was my first time working with instarsia and I hope that my partner can forgive me for being late and for it being the work of a beginner. But I really gave it my all. And what's more, I even did it oh a million times until I was happy with it. Once I got it done, it went awesome and I have ideas for a ton more including one that says "kawaii" on it 🙂 By the way this is the wristband from Stitch n Bitch.

But now it's finally ready to go and I'll have it all set for the post to pick it up. Hooray. Thankfully it's a domestic package so it shouldn't take long to receive it.

Huh, I just realized I haven't gotten mine either so yay karma!

In other news, last month I purchased the pattern for Shobhana's Bejeweld scarf whose proceeds were going to charity. Lolly has organized a Bejeweled knit-a-long which she's quite adept at doing and so I've gone ahead and embarked on the Bejeweled journey.

What I really should be saying is that I have embarked on the journey oh I don't know five times? There are a multitude of reasons for this. First of all, it seems I am actually becoming insistent on doing my knitting right. So the first couple of tries were because I wasn't getting the pattern right and kept messing up on this that and the other. But the last two attempts were because I just wasn't happy with the way the scarf was looking. This is the part where I mention that I chose to knit up my skein of Manos del Uruguay yarn in the Wildflowers (113) colorway. I treated myself to this yarn and couldn't think of what to knit with it and finally I settled on Bejeweled because I want to be able to wear this and show off this amazing gorgeous yarn. I loved how open and lacy Bejeweled was. In Miami, open and lacy are pretty much necessary. The pattern calls for size 9ish needles and I tried that and it was too tight. So I went to 10.5's and wasn't happy either. So I grabbed the largest thing available, size 17 needles, and got to work. And finally I was happy with the look of it. The open and lacy side is finally coming through. I of course forgot to compensate and have been increasing happily along and have now realized that my scarf is about an inch thicker than the one in the pattern and I would still need to increase it by ten stitches so I'm not increasing anymore. I'm worried I won't have enough yarn so I'm keeping a close eye on the ball. Interesting note is this might very well be the first thing I knit for myself that I can wear. If you don't count the striped wristband I made before making the star wristband for Coloriffic.

We're leaving Saturday morning! Tomorrow night we have dinner. I have a thousand errands to run. I'm sleepy.

A Post In Pictures

I've been holding back some stuff lately as I've been distracted by the Kims' story. But I'm trying not to dwell on it too much so here is a post celebrating some really great things. Pictures are wonderful and there is no shortage of them in here. This is the package I am sending in the December edition of Coloriffic Swap O Rama. Can YOU guess the color scheme?  I made two handmade items for it as well.

A small handmade pillow. I used freezer paper. My friend, Sog, drew the robot. Actually his version is MUCH nicer and detailed but details don't work well with freezer paper. At least not when I do it. But he helped me out big time. Thanks Sog! He actually liked the way it came out too. Maybe I'll make him some for Christmas 😉 Also, I like sewing pillows as I don't screw them up too badly. Nevermind that little messed up top right corner….

A little felt monkey ornament. I figure if she doesn't celebrate Christmas (although I think she does), she can hang it from anything really. I had lots of fun with this one.

Now I actually had another swap going this month and that was Storme's Handmade Holiday Swap. You had to make a gift you've pretty much used exhaustively and send it. Your recipient then has a neat new gift to give to someone else or she can keep it for herself. I had Aimee in Austrailia. Aimee hasn't gotten her package yet so I'm not going to show what it actually is because she has my blog address. But of course it's something made with a freezer paper stencil. Shocking I know.

We were also asked to include some sort of Christmas project idea and a favorite Christmas recipe. I chose a beautiful Santa I found in a magazine that I would LOVE to make and a recipe for Surprise Package Cookies. I love those cookies. They disappear every time I make them. I also threw in the hot item this Christmas, some garland from Tord for Target.

Funny enough a package came in for ME today. My December Coloriffic swap actually. Very exciting. Gracie in Canada sent it to me. It's quite beautiful. Not to mention tasty. I can't wait to tear into that chocolate. These swaps are making me quite the chocolate connossieur. I've been discovering chocolate from all over and it's really quite fun! Keep it coming!

She also made a case for my knitting needles. She's learning to sew too and I have to say she did an excellent job. The case is so delicious and THICK. It's just really sturdy. I love it. I also think she made this scarf. I didn't see mention of it in her note. Isn't it funky? I hope we have a cold day here again so I can wear it. I was wearing it around the house and it got quite warm!!

Last night I really wanted to get off the computer. For one I couldn't stop googling for more information on the Kim family story and also because I just wanted to cherish my little family a little bit more than usual. So I decided it'd be a good time to sit in the living room while they watched TV and do some knitting for Christmas. I'd wanted to make my mother and sister in law some drop stitch scarves. But as my mother in law is in Chicago and my sister in law is in Boston I started doubting whether or not the scarf would be warm enough. So when I kept reading how authorities were concerned James didn't have a hat, it hit me. A hat! A hat would keep them much warmer than the drop stitch scarf. So I put the Suri Dream to work and did my mother in law's hat last night. I have to say I love it. It's my first adult sized hat! I'm going to start my sister in law's tonight I think. Although it IS J's night off so we'll see if I have much time for it. I've decided for her I'll make it a LITTLE bit longer so that it sits over her ears and pulls down close to the eyes. I think it looks nicer that way. This yarn by the way is amazing. It is so soft and so light but definitely warm!

Oh, one more thing!! And this I am very excited about. My mother loves the things I've bought from Elia and she loved the work she made for her mother. So I commissioned a piece from Elia for my mother's Christmas and Birthday present. Yes I know I'm committing the combine into one present crime and I hardly do it but in this case it's worth it! She sent me a sketch the other day and I'm SO excited. It's perfect. Just a little tidbit on the title. Eldest calls his grandmothers Abi, a short version of the Spanish Abuela. And my mom calls them her "niños lindos"- pretty children in Spanish. So I thought it'd be nice to title it that way. Eldest is wearing a guayabera, the traditional Cuban shirt for men. She is incredibly talented and I think she has some items (including some CUTE Christmas cards and even a few original art pieces) for sale in her shop that you should definitely check out and snag.

Unfortunately I'm tired today and Eldest is in a weird mood. Like anything can and will set him off. He cries over any little thing so it's really trying my patience. I am trying to finish packing up the slew of orders I've gotten this week so I can head to my parents' house for some help and go to the Post Office alone.

Have a wonderful day today and don't forget to count your blessings.

Good Tired

There is good tired and there is bad tired. Right now I'm feeling good tired. I've been working like crazy and am seeing lights at the end of tunnels. Hopefully I'm not just hallucinating. Somehow this turned into a long post with many photos. I didn't plan it that way but that's how it turned out. I apologize in advance.

I've done some major work on the wholesale side of the store. This has proven to be incredibly tedious and is turning into quite a labour of love. But it's coming along I swear. The first wholesale catalog to go live will be Decole. I'd love to give an ETA but the fact is I can't even begin to do that yet. I started toying with design aspects and then got mad at myself because I could seriously get lost in that sort of thing forever and ever and ever amen. So I've just been plugging away at the tedious stuff. Writing up product numbers, prices, minimums, measurements, etc.

The kids' christmas outfits came in today and that's when I realized I hadn't given any thought at all to Thanksgiving outfits or to what Mario and I will wear to Daughter's baptism Saturday. I'm not sure I've even mentioned the Baptism on here? Well if I haven't now you know. ^_^ Back to Christmas outfits. The adorable blazer I got Eldest is huge on him even though it's a 3T top. Generally 3T fits him fine on top, huge on the bottom. Well this blazer is WAY big. I have to exchange it. Hopefully they'll have a size 2 cause if not I'm gonna be cranky. Daughter's Christmas outfit came in and is fine and adorable and just so you know it's the mushroom hedgehog stuff I posted from Gymboree a while back. The overalls are red after all ^_^ I also got her a beautiful silk pink dress that I'm thinking would be nice for her 1 year portrait. Yes I think that far in advance. When you're shopping the sale section at Gymboree for gymbucks it's great to think ahead. Trust me!

Unfortunately I am a little behind in the shipping department of my store. I have packing slips printed and even the items set aside I just haven't been able to pack things up and print shipping labels yet. Don't hurt me nice customers please? I haven't shipped the Tord things yet but I still have some extras if anyone else wants. I'll ebay them next week I think.

I'm also way behind on Thanksgiving. I wanted to go to the supermarket today but Jay took the keys to both cars by accident. So I'm going tomorrow. Except I have only one dish planned. I have to go to two Thanksgiving dinners tomorrow (long story not worth it) and I don't want to take the same thing to both. So I'm making turtle cake for the dinner at my in-laws but am clueless about what to take to my parents' dinner– especially as my mother is superwoman when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner and has everything under control. She is making the turkey the stuffing soup sweet potatoes mashed potatoes and three desserts.

It occurred to me today I very much need to buy Daughter some Robeez. When Eldset was a baby Robeez had just come out. As a matter of fact you could only buy them from their online store. I bought some for gifts for friends too because they were so great and it's awesome seeing how they've done so well. They are WONDERFUL shoes. And yes they are definitely worth the price. I washed Mario's in the washing machine with the rest of his clothes and they would look brand new time after time. These are some of the ones I am looking at for the wee princess.

They make me happy just looking at them.

Also, I have recently gotten some wonderful stuff in the mail. I need to take pictures. I got a GREAT cherry necklace from KittyCat-Black that makes me uber happy. Isn't she an LJ user? I can hardly keep track anymore! I got a wonderful art piece from

 as part of the meme she did a while ago. Don't worry

 I haven't forgotten you. Just thinking 🙂 I also got another piece of art from Elia at Green Bean Baby. I'm a huge fan of her work and I can actually afford it which doesn't happen often. I'd been eyeing this piece for my best friend since she put it up on her Etsy shop. I couldn't decide though and then she put it on sale. I snagged it in a second. Now I can't decide if I really want to let her go. I cannot stress to you the amount of detail that goes into her work. Each stripe on her shirt is a strip of cut paper. Her hair is not a patterned paper. It's drawn and embossed (?) on. This by the way was taken by Elia. It is the image on Etsy. I've actually commissioned a piece from her for my mother's birthday and Christmas present this year as my mom loved what she did for her mom. You can (and should) visit her shop here. Also to arrive here was a package from a friend in Japan. Way back when I first fell in love with Cram Cream she did some shopping for me but couldn't get a package out to me. Well it arrived full of cuties including a FAN in the sweets design. A lot of the stuff she sent me was never available on Juice Planning so I'm stoked!

I'm excited about the swaps coming up. I've done some shopping for Coloriffic December: Yellow & Brown including a beautiful journal and some chocolates. Usually I don't shop for swaps little by little I do it all in one fell swoop. I get easily distracted so I have a hard time remembering to look out for the color combo when I'm shopping. This time though I've forced myself to remember as I actually know my partner. I won't say how but I do and I'm super geeked I got her. Let's see what else is there? There's a Cozy Christmas swap I'm doing that I shopped for days ago. I'm just waiting for the shipment to arrive. I got her a pair of slippers and a set of pajamas. I went over budget only $6. That's good trust me. I have self-control issues. LOL There's also the Secret Pal on LJ Part Tres. I'm in the sent package received by partner but no package received by me department. I don't tend to stress about packages though. Only when they're REAL late. At least it seems my partner liked her first package. Hooray! I have to figure out her next one ^_^ I just finished a scavenger hunt one. That was a blast and I got some beautiful goods. Actually I'm pretty sure I have photos of that one and since this has become so text-heavy, I'll throw em on. ^_^ Just so you understand what's going on. We have a $20 budget although the group is so old and small and we're all so close to each other I know we all blow it. This time I gave them a list of ten things that had to appear in the swap package. You could double up some of the items. This was the list.

1) Something boxed
2) Something round
3) Something in rainbow colors- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple
4) Something that makes noise when you shake it
5) Something you can open and close
6) Something with the first letter of your partner's name
7) Something in YOUR favorite color
8) Something with any sort of animal/insect on it
9) Something NSBR (non-scrapbook related- the group started as a scrapping group and has greatly evolved since then)
10) Something square

And this is what I received:

The whole shebang.

Scrapbooking goods and paper crafting goods. Also a pretty butterfly pin and funky alphabet beads.

Fun yarn!

My favorite part of the swap. A stationery set she altered.

The letter sets.

The envelopes.

These types of swaps are great fun. I like that they're challenging but not overly so. The list can be so flexible– either really specific or really general.  And because this group of girls knows each other so well, it's always a delight swapping with them. I didn't take a picture of what I sent but my partner did. Here it is. Leigh I hope you don't mind 🙂 Since I had a couple of items that were appropriate for more than one category I also threw in some stuff that I just thought she'd enjoy but didn't necessarily fit in. My partner did the same with me.

Also worth mentioning is that Eldest has some sort of cold and it's actually been QUITE cool here. Lovely! And that's a wrap. 🙂

List Form

Here is a really great little swap to join. Cost? A little crafting time plus shipping. Think you can handle that? JOIN!
I had major Tord victory today and I didn’t even go to the Target I got my garland at! I hit up two Targets today and picked up a few garlands. I’m going to spread the love to my fellow lovers of pretty paper things. If you want one, let me know. I also scored the window clings! These look SO neat. I’m fighting the urge to put them up right now. If you want one of those, I have extras too. See how thoughtful I am? Anything leftover that I don’t use I’ll just ebay. I also picked up four mugs, two mutil colored ones and two gold ones. So pretty.

I have decided that the mugs I own are very boring and dreary. I have begun a mission to create a collection of mugs I enjoy drinking from. I have a really cute red one from Starbucks that has a devil on it and says boo at the very bottom. Starbucks has ANOTHER one I haven’t bought yet for whatever idiot reason. It’s a deep purple that almost looks brown in some lights and has beautiful designs on it. I love it. It’s not on their website. I really need to buy it. I’m thrilled that the mugs I bought today will be added to my new collection. Because I don’t have enough collections…

The Office today was spectacular. Am I the only one out there who could care less about Pam and Jim? I love Karen!! And really who cares about that rivalry when there’s Dwight and Andy!?!?! I ate it up I really did.

I went to New York and all I took pictures of was the plane ride up there.

Speaking of New York I do believe I promised you pictures of the cuties I snagged at KidRobot didn’t I? Well here they are. I snagged the two Sonny Angels (Panda and Cock- according to the package I SWEAR) and the two Sket Bots! And for those of you clueless out there, they’re the four figurines up front. Doesn’t it look like the yellow Sket Bot is freaking out about standing next to an anatomically correct little naked boy?

I think I’m done here for tonight. 🙂

Mulling over

So I'm in the Kawaii ATC Swap at Swap-Bot. Damn I talk about swaps a lot huh? Back to the point. It's due October 16 and somehow I've already received my 9 cards from my 3 partners but that's also not really the point of this entry EITHER. I really haven't given much thought to this swap because I figure, it's kawaii HELLO I know kawaii. Today I started thinking about it though and leafed through my things and well my original idea of collages from deco tapes and memo sheets and stickers and such things went out the window. I'm sure someone can pull it off but not me. So I started thinking some more and figured what if I went the paper piecing route? I'm figuring it'd be neat to piece together some of my favorite kawaii characters as well as some classic ones from paper and put them on some origami paper background. I went online to look at some images I'd use and I settled on these nine characters. Am I crazy for doing this? Kawaii characters are simple in their nature and there's nothing overly crazy. I think they'd be really cute done in paper for ATC's. The other thing is I'm wondering just how many participants actually *know* what kawaii is. Out of the three sets of cards I got only one really portrayed kawaii culture. The other two, although completely gorgeous, weren't really reflective of kawaii culture. I'm not really complaining because of the three sets my favorite is a set of geisha that are most definitely not kawaii but still. I'm just afraid it'll go over some people's heads? Am I overanalyzing this? Anyways, here are the nine images I'm going to translate into paper collages. If they have backgrounds they won't be there, I'm just focusing on the characters themselves. Suggestions? Feedback? Hit me!





Coloriffic Swap O Rama October Part Two Theme: Purple & Orange

I’m having Livejournal issues. Hmmm. ANYWAYS. My October Swaporama is packed up and waiting to be shipped to… somewhere in the US. Thank god because apparently my September package was taken hostage by Portuguese customs officials or something. Assholes. I’ve decided to resend her something in a week or so cause she’s been SO damn nice to me and it just blows. Some other girl ranted at Swaporama today about how disappointed she was in the package she got this month. Hmmm that’s sad. I’ve abandoned swapping communities a million times– quietly. And I’ve always been gracious to those who’ve sent me things and yeah so some times you get things that don’t work for you but by far I get more good stuff than not. Lucky? I don’t think so. I think there are more good people out there than not and really I’m not a picky person so it’s a good combination you know? OK fine I’ll stop complaining about other people complaining and just show you pics of the goods I’m sending. Sounds like a plan? Sweet. All of this is going and the bracelet I posted yesterday.