Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sale! Sale! Sale! (Key West, FL)

Oh My Gosh!  I can't believe it is February and the last time I posted was back in December!  I have been so obsessed with getting old projects done and new projects started that time just got away from me.  Remember last time that I said I probably would not try selling from a table again anytime soon?  Famous last words.  Yep, I signed up again for January's Arts/Crafts Yard Sale except this time the sale did not go as planned.
U.S. Flag Garland
We had several cold fronts spread out over a three to four week time frame.  One right after the other bringing heavy gusts of winds that shook the motorhome and hours of downpours leaving roads looking like ponds throughout the base.  So, after spending every free moment finishing projects, it was announced the Sale Day had to be cancelled.  

A little disappointing, but a major relief since I could not figure out how I was going to keep my items from blowing away in the 25+ mph gusts or to protect them from getting wet during the downpours.
A few days after the cancellation, we received another notice for a new sale day.  Come Saturday morning, we could not have asked for better weather.  A little on the cool side in the morning, but by the afternoon the sun was warming up the ol' bones.
SOLD!
I'm happy to report that I sold four of my quilts between the two sale days.   I finally sold my Sweet Dreams quilt.  I have not had much luck selling them online.  I have tried different prices and I am beginning to think people do not want to buy them because they are afraid to use them.  Being able to touch and see how well they are made along with me explaining they have been pre-washed and were made to be USED helped sale the quilts including my teddy quilt showing below.
A second visit from a young lady (all of eight years of age, but acted more like adult than most adults) asked me how much for this quilt.  I quoted a price expected her to balk and walk away, but she pulled out her money and said she wanted it.  Her mom was watching from a nearby table.  I had a feeling they had already discussed her daughter's purchase.  I asked her if she wanted a bag to store it in..."oh no!".  She walked away with a big smile  and the quilt being hugged in her arms.  I am so happy they all found a new home and someone to love them.

So, here are some of the items I made in the last couple of months from mini wall hangings to more Happy Campers.
mini wall hanging or ornament
mini wall hanging or ornament


The Happy Camper dogs sold quickly.  I need to make more for my shop.  I still have the cat one.  I made so many Happy Campers that I will finish this up with collages.

I guess Hitch was feeling a little ignored one day when he jumped over my light box's wall and glared at me through the camera.
HEY!  Enough with the picture of mug rugs!
Pay attention to me!  Now Lady!
This is what I think of your mug rugs
Great!  Now she is taking my picture.  Boring!
I did take some breaks for walks, chores, and to sign-up for a chance to win a book.  Imagine how shocked I was when I recieved a Facebook PM from Anne Canadeo!  I won!  Yea!  
I received my signed copy in the mail in December.  I did not a lot of time to sit down to read it until this last week.  So far, I am enjoying the story.  Then again, I have always enjoyed this cozy mystery series.  Thank you Anne!  Keep on writing!
All right, back to reality.  My 'To Do' list is growing by the minute.  Until next time...
Happy Quilting!

Monday, December 21, 2015

'Tis The Season (Key West, FL)

....for rotation!  Since my last post, we have moved twice.  Once into dry camping with a great view on the water front and a week later back into full hook-ups.   We are allowed two weeks with full hook-ups and then back to dry camping until our next turn.  I don't mind the rotation into dry camping.  It gives us a change of view and the grass covered sites are large.  The cats love the larger sites with trees/bushes to explore and soft grass to lie in.  Or as one lady put it "we are out in the country".
Could see kite surfers zipping by our rig
While in our dry camping site, we were able to watch kite surfers zip by our motorhome.  I managed to get a few shots before they disappeared around the bend.
The campground is becoming very busy with 5 to 12 newcomers showing up daily.  Every day during our walks, we stop to view the waiting list that seems to be growing steadily.  There are over 300+ dry camping sites to the 84 full hook-ups.  Right now, there are 95 people on the waiting list for full hook-ups.  We talked to one woman about her experience here last year.  There were so many campers here that they had to wait six weeks in dry camping.  Well, if that is the price to pay to enjoy this great weather and location, I am all for it.
windy enough to be airborne
We move again on Saturday.  We are hoping for our next site to be away from the water since the winds have been picking up causing a salt spray to cover both of our vehicles.   Our next stay in dry camping will probably be for over a two weeks.  Fingers are crossed that the weather will stay cool so we can sleep at night.
who are you looking at, lady?
We have been watching the Osprey and his mate rebuild their nest on the tower.  At first, I was not sure what one Osprey was doing when it started to land on a dead branch that did not look like it could hold its weight.  It looked like the bird finally realized its mistake and took off again causing the branch to whiplash.  
A couple of days later the Osprey did it again.  This time, the Osprey grabbed the branch in flight making a sharp upward movement snapping the branch off.  A new branch for the nest was on its way!  We could hear the happy mate calling all the way back to the nest, "Honey! Wait until you see what I brought home!"

It should not be too much longer before the eggs hatch if they have not yet.  Soon, we will be hearing the little ones crying for food.

We visited the Casa Marina Resort again.  This time to see the SandArt.  Here a few photos of them. It was a small competition, but the art work was great.
I just can't imagine spending so much time on such a beautiful project only to have it disappear after a couple of days.  I know I often don't see my work again, but it is comforting to think someone out there is enjoying them.
On The Cutting Board
Okay, this is the main reason why I have not been posting on my blog.  I have been very busy since Shaun left in November.  I have never been so busy with requests!  What a wonderful feeling to be so busy making items for others and loving every minute of it.  Of course, I don't mind it slowing down again since I had to put aside my books.  I did manage to listen to a couple of books with my iPod while sewing at the same time.  Oh!  I found a great deal through Audible.  If you are a member, for just 1 credit, you can have 50+ hours of "The Mists of Avalon".  I have not read the book or watched the movie so this will be quite an adventure for me.  I did not realize just how much I would end up missing my reading time.  I can't wait to get back to my ever growing list of books......Okay!  I'm really off my subject.

And back to my sewing.....as soon as I finished the three Santa garlands, I had another large order for six Happy Campers.  Looking at the photo below, it doesn't look like that big of an order, but it is time consuming to hand embroider and quilt.  Plus, I like to be in a good frame of mind so the stitches look good and not hurried (extra big stitches).
Before I had finished the six Happy Campers, Dan showed me an announcement for an Arts and Crafts/Yard Sale to be held on 19 December.  I took the plunge and signed up for my very first showing.  I had one small problem.  My inventory was very low!  I had sold so many items that my shop was looking like the day after Black Friday.  That was a great feeling to see so many sold in one year, but at the same time, I wasn't going to have much to show for Arts and Crafts.  
I managed to make six more Happy Campers, two Uncle Sam mug rugs, and a few new items that I have not tried selling before in my shop.  I was so busy sewing early in the morning until late at night that I forgot to take photos!  I took a couple with my phone just so I could remember what I had made.  

The morning did not start out well due to winds with gusts up to 22 mph and scattered showers.  Even the chairs were sliding across the sidewalk!  My neighbor at the next table was a big sweet heart by offering to park her jeep behind me to block the wind after I tried to block the wind with our Honda Fit.  Yea, that did not work very well.
Thanks to Kim's jeep, my items no long flew across the parking lot.  I finally had a table filled with colorful mug rugs.  I just wish I would have come up with a better way to display my quilts but the only way to keep them from flying away was to clip them to the chairs.  I had to tie string across the table and used more clips to keep the mug rugs on the table.  Not the best display, but I wasn't losing them either.

Check out the cute 'Believe' Santa and Singing Cats' mini wall hangings. They are so adorable and fun to make! 
Well, this show was fun and I did make quite a few sales despite the overcast windy day and the lack of customers.  I'm just not sure it is something that I want to do very often.  I became quite stressed during the last week trying to build up my inventory.  In the end, I had to decide on which ones were more important for me to focus on finishing and put the others aside to be added to the shop.  I was smart enough to close the shop for a few weeks so I could concentrate on this show and keep what was left of my inventory for the show.  I plan to open up the shop after Christmas.  For now, I need to work on finishing some more items to restock my shop.  So, it is back to the cutting board!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Have You Seen? (Key West, FL)

I am beginning to think my time management skills flew out an open window while we were driving down the highway.  If you happen to see it, please let me know because I have had a hard time recently getting my 'act' together and getting things done.  I start out the morning with a plan.  Before I know it, evening is here and I'm trying to figure out where the day went.  Well, if I ever find those skills lurking around somewhere, I do plan to put them back to work.  

In the meantime, I am enjoying our stay on Sigsbee's campground.  Check out the site we had for 18 days.  Nice, eh?  We sat outside every chance we got with our cats.  The picnic tables across the road are for the dry campers.  For the first week, we had this view and then of course, our view slowly got blocked as more people started to show up and take the dry camping sites.  We rotated yesterday back to a second row with a view of the sea between rigs...oh well.  It is still one of the best views...ever!
Our son Shaun was visiting at the time.  He got to experience our rotation into a dry camping site and then into this nice one.  Between moves, we had a great visit with him and spent a lot of time showing him the sites we like to haunt in downtown Key West.
Shaun at the Beginning and End of  Mile 0
There were quite a few festivities going on while Shaun was visiting.  We watched the parade of "Zombie Bike Ride" on Duval Street one evening.
I read somewhere that they had over 7000 participants riding this year.
Lots of creative imagination went into some of the costumes along with bike decorations.
This is one of my favorites.  Yea, I had too many favorites to post them all.
Since I was standing right on the curb with no one near me to obscure my shots, I was attracting just a few of the Zombies.  This one got pretty close before he swerved away.  It helps to give off that 'air head' look so they won't attack me for what little brains I do have.
We also took Shaun to the Pet Masquerade at the Casa Marina Resort.  We were able to mingle around with the owners and their pets before they were called to the stage to stand before the viewing judges.
That was a lot of fun seeing different pets dressed up.  They seem to be enjoying all the special attention.
 Even this cat seemed to be taking it all in, but she wasn't so sure that she wanted all the attention.
Even the hedgehog had an outfit, but he kept slipping out of it.  I'm sure he wore it in time to go on stage.
 Our favorite surprise was seeing a sloth up close and in costume.  I kept thinking of the movie "The Croods".  There was a sloth in it called 'Belt' because he hung around his owner's waist.  This one must be 'Sling' because he never moved his arm the whole time, but he sure could twist his head around to watch the people.
Shaun's one request was to tour Ernest Hemingway's house.  Of course, he was more interested in seeing the six-toed cats than the house.  We did spend a little bit of time wandering around inside the house before heading outside to look for cats.
We were happy to find quite a few kittens and they didn't seem to mind all the visitors following them around.  This one is walking through the Cat's Memorial area.  A lot of the cats are named after movie stars, writers, and singers.  I looked for John Wayne, but I did not see his name.  So, either the cat is still alive or no one has thought to name a cat after him yet.
This little guy was having fun with Dan and a stick.  He showed us his big paws several times.  It is a good thing that I have too many cats now.  I would love to have a cat like this one.  I just love his or her face!  Adorable!
We stopped one day at Kermit's Key Lime Shoppe.  We tried several delicious samples of cookies, candies, and gosh, I don't remember now.  I was so sugared-out by the end of the day that I am surprised I remembered my own name.  But, it was all good. 
 We settled on a Key Lime Pie on-a-stick.  Dan and I picked out the frozen pie slice with a chocolate cover while Shaun had strawberry white chocolate.  The shoppe has a nice covered outdoor area with a waterfall and pond filled with big Koi for customers to sit down while eating.
The big guys kept following me back and forth while I tried to take their picture.  I'm sure I heard one of them say "come on! feed us!".

On The Cutting Board
I had two large orders come in within a week of each other.  Both customers want the orders done in time for Christmas.  The first one is for 3 Santa Garlands designed by Nancy Halvorsen.  I almost went into a panic.  I haven't made this garland before and there was a lot of detail to work on with each one.
Each garland had 6 Santas holding 5 wreaths.  I needed to make 18 Santas with 18 separate mustaches and 15 padded wreaths.
Once I got started and saw how well each Santa was starting to form, I started to enjoy the making of each one.  I tried to make each Santa a little different.  Different trims, beards, and different colored mittens.
The mustaches turned into more of a challenge.  I had to sew the mustache completely closed.  Slice a hole in one side......without! cutting the other side.  Then I had to turn them inside out through the tiny slit.  The fabric did not want to cooperate.  I would get one side almost inside out and it would flip back!  Arrrgh!  Well, I managed to finally flip all 18 and you can bet I had a pretty good system down for turning them inside out by the time I was done.
And....here they are!  All 3 garlands done and ready to ship.

I do love the mustaches now that they are done.
close-up of third garland
For the small bows, I used a DIY system through Pinterest.  This is a link to the website:  DIY Satin Ribbon Bow
DIY Satin Ribbon Bow with a Fork | iCreativeIdeas.com LIKE Us on Facebook ==> https://www.facebook.com/icreativeideas:
Great photos and easy to follow.  Don't my bows look great on the wreaths?
Well, I have another large order to fill before Christmas so I better get back to work!
Happy Quilting and a Happy Thanksgiving!

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