My Babykid told me she'd like to plant some flowers. A couple of years ago, we had to have a big old ash tree removed, and so in its former spot there's some super fertile soil, what with all of the stump decay and whatnot. One day after school this spring we went out and planted a package of zinnias and fluffy looking sunflowers (not knowing what a striking resemblance the sunflowers would bear to Bune, the pooch we would add to our family before the flowers bloomed!). What a delight it has been to observe their blooming and her fascination with them. "Did you see my flowers?" she'll ask me. I love that!
The cool thing about that sunflower is that after a couple days of significant rain this summer, it toppled over. I thought it was going to be eaten by a squirrel or something, but it made a right angle turn UP! and here you have it. "I like that picture!" she says. I think it looks like it's trying really hard to be humble but can't help itself.
Ever since I was a kid myself, I have tried to take photos of flowers like this--hover over them and take a bright, crisp picture that actually captures the beauty of the plant. Until very recently, I did not own a camera that could do that consistently. I have taken a hundred pictures like these, easily, in the last couple of weeks. The practical side of me believes these pictures would be the most redundant photo album in the history of the world, but the artist side of me believes there's something lovely particular to each flower and by extension each picture of a flower. I can't get over this guy's wings!
I was sprucing up my classroom today when I found something I'd never seen before--as in, I didn't know it was in my room this whole time, and also, I had never seen a box of thumbtacks quite like this one! This box is a very nearly perfect cube. I wish I knew the exact year it was made.
The main reason I was at school today was to drop off a few items--folders, a pillow, a new-to-my-classroom desk chair, a few dry erase boards for homework assignments, some decorations--and put up new fabric on my bulletin board.
Know how I do fabric? Know how I have perfected the art of measuring things carefully and consistently? I have. I totally have. I sew things. I sew really cool things. You have to measure carefully to pull that off!
Guess who didn't measure her bulletin board before buying bulletin board fabric today. Go ahead and guess.
Colorful! Spicy! Bold! Inviting! Fun!
...and at least 10 inches too short.
I'll keep you posted on how this works itself out. In the meantime, we can all meditate on the merits of measuring twice (OR AT ALL) and cutting once.
Sometimes when it is 94 degrees out and your 83 year old house does not have air conditioning, you gotta do what you gotta do. So it was a week and a half ago. I had no choice. We went to the duck pond.
Did you know that when it's 94 degrees out, the only breeze in town is at the duck pond in Smithville? Stepping out of the car was like stepping into another much more wonderful climate that day. The kids and I headed out to the gazebo where they both spent some quarters on handfuls of duck food. A breeze--the only one in town--galloped through the fountain mist, and I decided I would just not think about the vast quantities of duck manure at the bottom of the pond--and by association, in the refreshing fountain mist. It felt wonderful.
You should know that I am a pathologically messy ice cream eater. One time the Husb and I went out for soft serve with friends--all of us grown up people who have eaten before--and before we were done, I had ice cream on every article of clothing I was wearing, including my shoes, as well as in my hair. This all just makes the fact that this time at the duck pond there were no drips at all anywhere and it was hot enough to cook stuff on the ground even more amazing. Well, I was amazed. It was delicious. Two chocolates and a mint chocolate chip.
The shop with the ice cream also happens to have a produce booth, where I took the peach photo above.
I hesitated making the Tablet Sleeve. I did. I hesitated because I do not own a tablet, and it was daunting to consider the most exact measurements blindly!
Well. I hemmed and hawed about it for months--no fears, not constantly--and then, naturally about 4 days before the Summer Market, I decided to go for it. I did a little reading on the dimensions of the iPad, and I sliced up some fabric.
My friend Michelle offered her iPad as a model, and it fit. My mom offered her iPad as a model, and it fit, too! Success!
These little puppies are $20. They will fit the iPad with a cover or a keyboard attachment just beautifully.
It would seem that the SOMP Key Fobs are a huge hit! Observe, Before the Summer Market...
SOMP Fobs have really evolved over the years. Most recently, I had been making them more as handles than as wearable wristlets. On the advice of more than one friend and customer, I decided to make them full sized wristlets, and as you can see, Market customers grabbed them up!
People keep asking about SOMP Lanyards. It's in the works! I'm going to test one out when school starts. I shall keep you posted.
The last weekend of July has meant only one thing to me for the last 6 years, and that thing takes place on Lake Erie's shore with dozens of talented vendors and thousands of visitors. It is the one and only Summer Market. And let me tell you, it was incredible as always.
In the spring of 2008, Erin contacted me via Etsy and wanted to know if I'd like to set up shop at the Market that summer. It was my first big show for sure, and maybe my first show ever. (I was also 7 months pregnant at the time, but that is another story.) It is cool to reflect on how my designs have evolved over the years, and empowering to see that indeed, I have learned some things. For instance, my first display hardware was a laundry rack with shower curtain hooks. Yes, you read that right. I regret to inform you that I have no photos of that gem.
It's a process. Even this spring--7 years into this venture!--I figured out a new way to construct my totes. The Summer Market is cool because of so many things--Erin and Kristen, the event's amazing hostesses, the never-dull venue at Veteran's Memorial Park, the Market Chicks and Market Dudes and their helpful ways, the awesome live bands, the food--my gosh, the food--the good will and the sheer talent that all comes together during this event make it an outstanding art show. The Summer Market keeps me on my toes, too, which is important: How can I improve my bags and my booth this year? I am so thankful for that.
I am also thankful for the fact that the Summer Market is a two-day date for the Husb and me every year so far. This year, the newest member of our family came along. It was a great show. Thank you, Erin and Kristen, thank you Market Chicks and Dudes, thank you visitors and friends who continue to support this endeavor.
by the Seat Of My Pants...
the stories behind the bags and beyond.