Thursday, December 27, 2007

Room to Read Challenge

I was watching Oprah this afternoon, while assembling some lentil beads. And was moved by the story of John Wood, who gave up a million dollar job at Microsoft, to build libraries in developing countries.

Books have always been a large part of my life, of my whole household in fact. I always encouraged my girls to read. In fact it didn't take them long to realize that if they were reading, I was not as likely to interrupt them to do chores, as I was if they were watching television!

SO I challenge everyone who reads this blog, to give up the cost of a meal at McDonald's ($5) and donate. $1 equals 1 book to a library where the children might never see a book other wise. I have already made my donation of $50, I certainly can afford that!

Here is the link:

Jenny P

Monday, December 10, 2007

Just a normal day

Today was just a normal day. The new Log Cabin made it to the web site.
These colors are brighter than my normal colors, but you have to leave the box sometimes.
I filled orders that came in over the weekend. Of course I was out of some of the things. Someday I will get that part right, so I can just ship without having to make! LOL

I also did a little bit of paperwork, my contract for the Minnesota show came in. YES! The Minnesota show is one I have to apply for each year. And since they get a LOT of applications, I never know from year to year if I will be one selected. This will be my 10th year at the Minnesota quilt show. Which was my very first venture into the larger quit shows. Up until that time I had only sold my product at small local art and craft shows. I must say it was a memorable experience! I really didn't know what I was getting it too. I was unaware that up until this point there was very little jewelry based on quilts.

My first day at this show, I almost sold out, And I had 2 more days to go! In fact I had already sold more product at this show, in one day, than I had sold TOTAL at my best craft show. I ended up calling home, my oldest daughter then drove the 4 hours to where the show was at. She brought me all my tools, my canes, my oven etc. I spent that night, until the wee hours of the morning.(4am I think) Making things, packaged them and brought them to the show.

The next day my daughter helped customers, I hid my toaster oven under my table, and demonstrated. The demonstration also allowed me to to create custom things for my customers. Which I then baked in the oven under the table. LOL I was literally selling "Hot out of the oven!"

At the end of the show, I went home with 2 small shoe boxes of inventory.

I still have customers who come to me and tell me they remember that first show! And how I was overwhelmed with the response. I decided that I had found my niche, and am still in it.

PS I can't forget to mention, my DH and I are celebrating 31 years of marriage today! Boy that went fast!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Creagers

I have been a fan of Jodi and Richard Creager for many years now. I love that they now do smaller more affordable pieces and sell them on Ebay. Today I came across the new Christmas doll!
Wish I could sculpt like that!
I finished up my second Kato cane yesterday, spent the evening making mobius beads from it. I have found over the years, if I want to make mobius beads, I need to do it right away. If I wait, I have problems with distortion, cracking and such. SO I made 8 dozen of them in one sitting!
I will get a picture up on the web site soon.
It warmed up over night, today it's only -2! LOL
Jenny P

Saturday, December 8, 2007

What to do?

It seems like I ask myself that every day. What do I do today? And there is always more on the list that there is time for! I spent the last couple of days filling more orders. Running to town to do some errands, and more paperwork! (Never ends!) BUT I can now actually see the top of my desk!

Today I have a number of choices, I have a cane I want to finish up, I have some more organizing I want to do, and I need to finish sewing my shirt. I think I am going to start with the organizing part.

And it's COLD outside! -24 this morning when the DH got up, it has warmed up to -11 now, but I think I will stay inside today. Although it sure looks pretty out there.

Jenny P

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kato test

It's a challenge these days to make canes, with all the changes the clay manufacturers are making. Fimo Classic, which the clay I have used 98% of the time, over the last almost 16 years. Is coming to me sooo soft! It's hard to believe I can make canes with it. So far it's worked, but I have been adding old firm clay from my stash into the new soft stuff. And I think so far there is some evidence that the new formula does firm up with age, but not as much as it used to.

SO it was time to investigate Kato clay, I have avoided it to this point for various reasons.

1. Time it precious, I know how Fimo Classic works, and learning a new clay takes time.

2. I make large canes, some of which I will put into my inventory and keep for more than 2 or 3 years. I didn't think Kato had the storage history. I wasn't sure if I could put a Kato cane into my inventory, and come back to it in a couple years. And have it still be workable. I recently had a conversation with Jana B (can't think of her last name) and while in Houston FimoBob brought me some examples of old Kato canes. Both of these sources convinced me it was time to test Kato clay.

I have to say I am pleased! I did 2 canes, This one is done.
The other is still waiting to be finished. I am purposely letting it sit. I want to see how it handles after a couple of weeks.

I will get this picture cleaned up and add it to the web site soon.

It will be a while before I make a total switch to Kato clay, as I have over 100 pounds of Fimo Classic in my stash. But I do think I will start the process, slowly.

Jenny P

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Taking a break

I have taken a break from both business and clay in the last couple of days. I decided it was time to use up some of my fabric stash. SO I am making myself a new shirt! I am using a pattern from Lorraine Torrence called "Closet Classic Shirt"

It's been going pretty well, I only have a couple of hours left to finish it. Then I need to make buttons to match!
I am using some beautiful over dyed fabrics I collected from Wendy Richardson "Quilt Tapestry Studio" It's hard to see the beautiful colors in the picture, but there are a number of different colors. I am going to have a hard time choosing which ones to use for the buttons!

Jenny P