Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mint

Last night I dreamt about creamy mint chip ice cream. But alas, when I awoke the freezer was bare.

Tonight, I found plenty of calorie-free treats on Etsy and gathered them together for a very minty treasury

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sweet Little Things

Last night I stayed up late making a sweet little toddler-sized smock for my daughter to wear when she helps me around the kitchen. 

I didn't have a pattern, so I made one up. Of course, I don't have any real pattern paper on hand, so I rummaged through my box of gift bags and recycled gift tissue paper to find some tissue paper to use. I discovered a sheet of Hanna Andersson tissue that came with a gift my little one received from a dear friend. I love finding creative uses for gift tissue paper – especially when it's this cute.

Around a 12:45 a.m. I finally finished it and couldn't wait till morning to see if she'd like it. Turns out, it was a perfect fit. She ran around the house in it all morning, looking so cute. Of course, she couldn't wait to test it out in her tower

I can already see the light dusting of flour on the front of her smock as she helps me make bread, grinning ear to ear.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Something Hidden, Something Revealing

Sometimes when I'm browsing on Etsy I'm not really shopping. 

I like to look at what else is in the photograph and for a moment ignore the item for sale. Look at the props in the background. The surrounding landscape. 

And I tell myself that I'm catching a tiny glimpse into someone else's life. Or the life they dream about.

A window in the background, a strategically placed tea cup, a model on a rooftop can say a lot about a person.

Today, I found myself using some props from around the house for one of the photos used in my latest agent jane listing: Joe's O's. Reduced fat Cheez-Its. TLC crackers. 

What do they reveal about me? Nothing deep, I suppose. 

The Joe's O's... well that's pretty obvious, I guess. My daughter loves them. Could live off of them if I let her. The Cheez-Its... hubby loves them and goes through a couple of boxes a week. And the TLC crackers... another failed attempt to add diversity to my daughter's diet. She still loves her cheese, fruit, beans and rice.

I wonder if other people will look for clues about me in this picture. I can't imagine I'm the only one who looks in the background for something hidden, something revealing.

Market Intelligence

There was a time when bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store meant two things:
  • The grocery clerk looked at you as though you just grew a second head when your response to the standard "Paper or plastic?" question was "No thanks, I brought my own."
  • You were forced to use ugly, mismatched tote bags your mom had been holding onto since the '80s.
Thankfully, those days (and hideous totes) are a distant memory. Most grocers now expect that many of their customers will bring their own bags. And reusable bags have undergone a style transformation, ranging from the practical canvas totes sold at your local grocery store to fun bags made out of old t-shirts. 

I was thinking about this other day when planning my next project for agent jane. Why not make a market tote that's both practical and chic? The result is this sunny – and very roomy – market tote.

Who wouldn't look smart with this bag on her shoulder? Grocery shopping (or a trip to the gym... or a day at the mall...) never looked so good!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tiny Trees

Every once in a while I stumble across a fabric that I simply can't live without. This little gem was hidden at the bottom of a rack at JoAnn's - I spotted it while searching for some fabrics to use on a custom order I was working on this weekend.

I can't get enough of the tiny trees on this fabric. It's adorable and a little bit retro, reminding me of something my mother might have used to sew a dress for me when I was a little girl.

All I have left is a small strip – enough to make something small like a Crayon Wallet. But I can't help imaging all of the possibilities – maybe I'll have to go back and pick up more to make a smock or skirt for my daughter.

I like to think that perhaps 30 years from now my daughter will spot something similar in a fabric store and, like me, it will remind her of the little handmade goodies her mama made just for her.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto

Last night I had a little time on my hands. I didn't really feel like working, and the Treasury was about to open up on Etsy so I thought I'd try to snag a spot. 

Turns out it was my lucky night.

Not only did I snag a spot in the Treasury, but I also had an excuse to browse a gazillion robot listings in my quest to pay homage to the sci-fi icon. As always, my fellow Etsians pulled through with some incredible finds.

My "Mr. Roboto" treasury will only last a couple of days... so I'm also posting a screenshot for posterity. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Modeling

I had my first modeling gig today. 

I thought modeling would be so glamorous. You know, someone to do my hair and makeup, tables adorned with strawberries and champagne, hip music playing in the background...

Instead, I did my own hair and makeup, the snack table held a plastic cup filled with Joe's O's (Trader Joe's answer to Cheerios) and I had Sesame Street's greatest hits playing in the background for my daughter.

A few photographs later and it's official: I've become the spokesmodel for agent jane

How glamorous!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Case File 012245: agent jane Opens for Business

Calling all undercover mamas - agent jane is open for business! 

My first purse, the Undercover Mama Bag, is designed with moms-on-the-go in mind. This compact diaper bag has room for everything you'll need for an afternoon of errands with your little one: four pockets to hold diapers, wipes, snack and a sippy cup or bottle. And once you've filled the pockets there's room left over for your wallet, keys and sunglasses.

There's something so liberating about ditching that bulky diaper bag in favor of something so stylish. When you carry a bag this chic, no will ever detect the baby gear concealed inside!

Looking for more? I'll be adding even more bags and totes in the weeks to come. I can't wait!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Little Peanut Launches Big Sale

I'm excited to announce that I've placed more than half of the items in my shop on sale. Discounts range from 25% to 50% off, with many items featuring deep discounts!

Why the big sale?

Just over a month ago, when I hit my shop's six-month anniversary, I starting thinking about streamlining my focus a bit. I love every single item I've made but it's time to narrow my focus a bit to the goodies that my customers seem to love most. 

In the meantime, there are lots of fun little goodies on sale right now just waiting for a good home! 

Stop on by and take peek inside my shop. I'd love to help you make your little one happy!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sanctuary

After a week of craft show prep, my craft room was begging for mercy. Papers were strewn everywhere, the carpet was covered with thread trimmings and fabric could be found draped over nearly every surface. 

It was time for a major clean-up. 

I tackled the biggest problem first: the Pack 'N Play had to go. My daughter always hated it so we never really used it for anything other than blocking her access to the DVDs (it also made a messy catch-all for my craft stuff). 

After that, hubby and I hauled in my favorite red chair and moss-green ottoman to create a little reading nook in the corner, while still keeping the DVDs out of reach. I cleaned out my craft baskets, put everything away, and took a step back to admire my handiwork.

There it was: my own private sanctuary. I can craft, read and write in my little space. And hubby can bring his laptop in and hang out when I'm busy working.

I feel brilliant. Content. Relaxed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ladybugs

Every afternoon my daughter and I wait outside for her daddy to come home from work. She loves to explore the front yard. Most days, she picks up rocks to put in the big bucket she carries around or walks a few doors down to give the fire hydrant a hug.

This week, we discovered that a tiny flock of ladybugs has taken up residence in our lawn. The first time I spotted one, I let it crawl on my finger to show my daughter. But instead of the delighted smile I was expecting, she backed away terrified saying, "No, no, no!" 

That night, though, she kept pointing to my hand until I said, "Yes, the ladybug was crawling on mommy's hand!" She smiled, saying, "Yeah!" I used my fingers to show her how the ladybug crawled on my hand and a new sign was born.

So, each day we've ventured out to the lawn to look for ladybugs. And each day she's lost a little bit of her fear, stepping a bit closer to look at them crawl around in the grass.

Today, she picked up a leaf that had a ladybug on it. Of course, the ladybug started to crawl up her arm. I was so proud of her for not getting upset! The ladybug got most of the way up her arm before she started to worry.

Every time we talk about the ladybugs now, she gets excited and does her ladybug sign. What a wonderful world she lives in. Every day something new and exciting is waiting right around the corner.

Monday, February 2, 2009

We're Getting There

Friday night we received word that the Consumer Product Safety Commission had granted a one-year stay on the third-party testing and certification portions of the law. Hooray!

We're not out of the woods yet.

Small businesses may have just received a short reprieve, but the law has not changed. Without amendments to the law, we'll be right back where we started one year from now. 

Tomorrow, Sen. Jim DeMint from South Carolina will be introducing a bill to reform the CPSIA. I urge you to take a few moments to today to make two phone calls: one to each of your senators urging them to support this important bill.

Your phone calls, emails and letters have already done so much good. Please join us again as we push for real change!