Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Quilts!

New chenille quilts will be coming to the shop soon!!  Well, they are 'new' to us, but most are of vintage chenille.  Only the mint green and pastel blue is of new chenille.  What do you think? I love the bright blue and the purple vintages, but also the softness of the vintage pale blues.  Since there is snow all over up here in New York, the pictures are indoor shots - not our ideal, but when we can, outdoor pictures will replace.  What do you think?  Which is the favorite of the bunch?

Vintage Bright Blues:

 Vinatge Purples:
 Vintage Pale Blues:
 Pastel Blue & Mint Green - with different mint green inner borders:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In: January Results

Last night was the FNSI that two ladies run through their blogs.  Handmade by Heidi and Crafty Vegas Mom pick one Friday night a month and then recruit those who sew to sign-up.  It doesn't matter what the registrants do, but it is to get in front of the machine.  I'm usually very tired on Friday night by the time I've worked all day, commuted home, played with Little Olive, put her to bed, and ate dinner.  Last night was no exception.  While I didn't get a whole lot finished, I did make progress on my tote bags and a bridal party bag order.  I must have sewn 30 Olive Street Studio labels, pinned a stack of various bag parts (pictured on the right in one shot), cut the linings for the bridal party order (she wants navy in and out, but pale yellow lining for the bride), sewed 10 pockets, side seems for five tote bags, and then all the side seems for the bridal order.  More to come bc I think I'll be able to get the bridal linings completed and the outsides cut and side seems sewn by Sunday night.  We'll see! 

These are some other bridal bags I've made for past customers.  The back is a black quilted satin fabric and the front is regular satin with the diamond design woven into the fabric.  I haven't made these in a few years, so I had to measure and write down.  I need to get all my bag measurements in one place so I don't forget!

By the way - it is 19 degrees here in Long Beach.  Our high today is 20.  Brrrrrrr.  I so wish we had a fireplace bc I'd have a fire going already.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011: Resolutions!

I've never been a fan of New Year's Eve out-on-the-town, but I do love celebrating with close friends and family.  This year we went to my sister's house with my brother and his family.  Since all 7 children would not be awake to ring in 2011, it was a casual fun night.  We then had a Wii Bowling tournament - the 100-pin game.  Very fun!  I'd never played Wii before.  Unfortunate for Mr. Olive, I only made it until 11:45pm.  I intended to 'rest my eyes' for a few minutes and then, it was New Year's Day.

I love New Year's Day because I get to 'start fresh' each year.  Did I stick to my 2010 Resolutions?  Some more than others....but the best part of 1-1-11 is that I get to try again. :-)

1) Pare Down. A recycled resolution, but still applies.  While I did a 'fair' job of clearing out, I'm committed to keeping this up.  My new twist - If I buy something new (like a sweater), I have to donate or toss another.  With this is mind, I should at least not be adding to the problem.  And my question to self from last year, "Do I really need 8 white shirts?" the answer is YES - a white shirt goes with everything and a definite work-staple.   We did shop-in-our-own-pantry and medicine-chest so happy to report that this was successful.  Also successful to find mustard with an expiration date of 2003....

2) Monthly Mad Money. So while I'm not the best at keeping up with a budget, we started off 2010 allotting Mr. Olive and I $100 cash a month to be spent however we choose. How it works:  We put the cash into an envelope and at the end of the month, before we get our new $100, we see where we spent the former month's money. This worked through May, but then the summer came and I didn't keep up.  So we're trying again in 2011.  Last year I felt the money like a vice-grip in that envelope since I was used to buying what I wanted, when I wanted.  This year, I feel no such pressure.....I think it just took time to get used to waiting and really knowing if something was worth pulling out the cash. 
3) Promote the Sewing Business. 2010 was a great year for us - we had the most sales that we've ever had without doing more craft shows.  It was also the year we finally fulfilled the goal of hiring a graphics designer and had our website professionally done (she also did the blog design - Thanks Sunee!).  Here is the link to the new personal website if you'd like to check it out:  2011 will be about promoting the site, new goodies, and I'm hoping I can get us into a few little shops.

4) Read more books! Continuing with my resolution of three past years, and since I hit my goal of reading 7 books in 2010, I'm going to make a real jump and go to 10 for 2011.  Or maybe I should just go to 11 in honor of the year?  11 it is....

5) Exercise.  So I didn't reach the "Run a 5K" goal I set in 2010, but will try again this year.  I have a co-worker that runs, so I've asked him for the race schedule for the 2011 season.  As my parents have noted as they try to start regularly walking, 'sign up for a race and the deadline will be there'. So that's what I'm going to do.  I also have a gym membership at work so I'm hoping to use the treadmill and start Yoga classes.  My longer-term goal is still to run a 1/2 marathon by the time I'm 45...we'll see.

6) Enjoy life more!!  I'm someone who is always 'doing something' and trying to get items crossed off the list so I can 'relax', but the relaxing-part rarely seems to come.  This year I'm going to read the newspaper, do the Sodoku, read more to Little Olive...heck, life only comes around once.  :-)

What is in store for you this fine first day of a new decade??

This is Mr. Olive with the youngest niece, 6.5 month old Barbara.....