Friday, January 30, 2009


Ooo! Oooooooo! Yay! Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay!!!
I just found this out while sitting at a craft show I thought might be one of my last! It might not be one of my last! My monsters may not become endangered species after all!

"We are so excited to announce that the Commission has voted for a "Stay of Enforcement of Certain Testing and Certification Requirements of CPSIA" — which means that they are proposing a 1 year suspension of the burden of lead testing and certification while they take more time to review the rules and plan enforcement! " - via Etsy's "The Storque"

A year should be plenty for them to realize how ludicrous this law was, and to amend, rewrite, or repeal it!

The View From Here

Spot has wi-fi and I brought my laptop! all you loyal bloggie lurkers get play-by-play updates on all the action! Well...except for there's really not that much action...hence why I have time to blog about the lack of action.
It's a rather small show...about 6 artisans icluding myself. And it's been kind of slow...I've only made 2 sales so far...a One-Eyed Cat and one Luv Nubbin. But, it's only the first I'm told the art show they did last year with Second Storie (the one I have the postcard from) was slower on Friday, then Saturday it picked I'm also told things pick up later in the night.

The view from my table.

The other artisans talking about the CPSIA (as well as my uber-huggable Sweater Monster). A lot of them hadn't heard about it...but now they're just as up in arms about it as I am. A lot of people keep asking me "Can't you just label them as not being for children?" (because as adults, they love them too!). But I keep having to explain that the law is too broadly written to know for sure. I've heard some people suggest a disclaimer labeling items as collectables or "art dolls", but I've also heard that doing that won't work, since it is still seen as a toy (and everyone knows that toys are ONLY for children!)~extreme sarcasm~

And other than blogging, I'm passing the time with sewing Nubbins with my good friend The Doctor (ie: watching "Doctor Who" on the iPod).

Craft Show Tonight...

This is the unofficial flyer I designed for the craft show Ihave tonight at Spot Coffee. I'm not sure if they'll be calling it "Art Spot" or not (it's just a name I came up with to have something to design with). If you're in the Rochester, NY area tonight or tomorrow night, come on down and check us out!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Going Back to Painting?

I know I've been posting a lot about the stupid CPSIA lately (Mom thinks I'm obsessed). But with February 10th looming in the very near future, the whole thing has really been bumming me out. My business of selling plush monsters will have ended just as it was starting to really get going. I have the craft show at Spot tomorrow and Saturday (5pm - 10pm), as well as a Valentine sale at Moonflower next Thursday... and I have lost a lot of motivation for making more monsters. I'm afraid that if I make too many, I'll have a lot of inventory left over, even after my upcoming shows. I might just put it all up on Etsy after the shows and hope a bunch gets sold. Of course, it it doesn't, there's my $0.20 Etsy fee (per item) down the tubes for nothing.

Of course, in the midst of this, I just had a semi-positive thought...if I can't sell plush anymore, I can always try to focus on selling paintings. (The portraits shown below are the ones I did of my nieces for my sister-in-law's Christmas present).

This picture is of me working on a portrait of my parents...

But portraits take me a LOT longer to do, would have to be more expensive, and I don't think they would sell as often. More people are more likely to buy a quirky, lovable, handmade plush toy for their kid than an expensive canvas for their wall.

Of course, this bamboo painting didn't take me all that long...

Then there's the butterfly paintings, which don't really take that long either...

Do you think people would buy paintings like this from me?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA Realization...

I just realized...
If the CPSIA remains unamended when it goes into effect on February 10th...these three shows I have coming up in the next two weeks will be the last opportunity anyone will have to (legally) buy my monsters.

How sad.

I have the urge to make a lot of little crying monsters now. But of course...then what would I do with them? I think this law even would make it illegal for me to even GIVE them away. I am feeling rather bummed out about this.

I started writing this blog entry before I even knew about the Blog-In today.

Save Handmade!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Randomness of My Fridge

I'm going to be busy for the next two weekends!

And just for is some fun pics of my fridge!
A robot made of Gateway magnets (CJ used to work for Gateway and had a ton of these)

I love magnetic poetry. This little mash-up is from the Movie Quote set...
CJ and I like to change it on each other ever once in awhile. I don't know why, but we tend to keep the "frankly my dear..." and change the rest. I should post when it changes next.

I think the college student we used to rent one of our spare rooms out to did this next one. I kept it on because I think it's funny. (What's the heck is a Burble? least in a noun sense.)
And on an un-fridge-related is my fun Basket O' Unfinished Nubbins...

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Valentine's Day Edition Nubbins!

Just in time for Valentine's Day! It's a new sub-species of Nubbin! They're Luv Nubbins! With their heart-shaped bellies, Luv Nubbins are the perfect Valentine gift for the little monsters in your life! (or even for the big ones!)

I only have one up on Etsy right now. The others are for the craft show at Spot Coffee this weekend. MoonFlower is having a special Valentine sale soon too (Thurs Feb 5th 2009 from 5-9pm) I'll need to have some Luv Nubbins on hand for that too. I'll put some more up in the shop as soon as I sew up a new batch...or as soon as these shows are over.

Send me a comment/email/etsy convo if you are really just DYING to obtain one! I'll be more than happy to work something out!
Here's my little sign I designed for them for the show...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Eek! A Vampire Monster!

I made this monster out of a hat that came with the DVD for the movie "30 Days of Night". The hat was too small for my husband to wear, so I made him a monster out of it! I've never seen the movie (it looks a little scary for me!), but I do know it's about vampires. So he's a vampire monster (notice the little blood drop dripping from his teeth).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Spot Craft Show & Fellow Artists

I had a planning meeting at Spot Coffee last night for the Art/Craft show that's going to be there at the end of the month. The dates are Friday, January 30th - Sunday, February 1st and Friday, February 6th - Sunday February 8th. The show is on from 5:00pm-10:00pm. I will be there both weekends, on Friday and Saturday.

I was a few minutes late and missed most of the introductions, so I tried to make a point afterwards of asking the other artists their names and what they did. I ended up talking for a while with this nice, outgoing girl named Rachael about what kind of art she does and also telling her what I do. She does sketches, paintings, and these cool little jointed paper dolls. Go check out her Etsy shop.
I had brought a couple monsters with me to show if anyone wanted to see a physical representation of what I do. I showed her one of the Nubbins and she asked what I charge for each of them. I told her I sell them for $5 ...and she asked if she could buy the one I brought!
She said she's going to send it to her niece. Yay!...making children happy! I was asked by a couple people if I had kids and if I started making my monsters for them. I told them that I didn't have any kids of my own, but that every single kid at church has at least one monster!
Oh!...and the Toy Drop Nubbin that I never heard about anyone finding?...the people who work at Spot found it and I was told it resides in the office now! I knew that someone had to have found it! That makes me happy!

Denim Monster Dog Toy

Here is a denim monster toy for da puppy that I whipped up from an old pair of jeans yesterday. She loves playing with stuffed toys...chewing them, playing fetch with them, playing tug of war with them, whipping them around like it's a small animal whose neck she's trying to break...but they wear out very fast and/or have to be repaired often so she won't eat the stuffing. Because I'm sure polyfill isn't very good for puppy tummies...(although it probably won't seriously hurt her...I still don't think it'd be good for her little digestive system). I thought that a denim toy might last longer.

Luna loves it when we give her a new toy! And she's such a good girl...she only chews what she knows are her toys (except for the ocassional demolishing of tissue or napkins). Although I did catch her trying to snatch one of my Nubbins once. But usually, she's very good. No chewing shoes or eating socks or anything like that.
Unfortunately, despite my assurance that making this toy out of denim would make it more durable and would last longer against her little teeth...I was wrong...(although it was a thinner, I'll try again with another kind)

Yep...she chewed a hole in the arm already and I have to take it away from her until I get around to fixing it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

CPSIA Article on

Here's another article about the CPSIA. This one is from Forbes! Isn't that a popular fancy-schmancy business magazine?

"it passed the Senate 89 to three and the House by 424 to one, with Ron Paul the lone dissenter"
I think it's kind of funny that Ron Paul was the one dissenter when this law got approved. I know my husband liked him for a reason!

Oh, and for anyone who hasn't heard, (from the Handmade Toy Alliance)...

"'Save Small Business from the CPSIA' is now one of the top ten ideas for change in America on These ideas were presented to President-elect Obama's team at a press event in Washington DC this past Friday, January 16th. With 12,280 votes from supporters, our issue is now part of a campaign to increase national awareness of the lack of provisions for small business in HR4040, the CPSIA, and bring about positive changes to the law..."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On My Desk...

So...I'll read some blogs that occasionally have a "on my desk" post. Well, here's a glimpse into mine. This week I've been in the process of slightly overhauling my side of our craft room/office. I've been wanting to clean up/switch things up for a while...kind of my unofficial New Year's resolution for myself. But this week's overhaul was really sparked by this awesome old-school chest of drawers Rachel gave me.
She'd obtained it from Freecycle, thinking it was a trunk she could put blankets in, but when she picked it up, it wasn't what she'd expected, plus it ended up being bigger than she'd expected. She had no room for it, but thought it looked like something I'd like. Does my friend know me or what? :)

My favorite part is those little drawers in the middle. They're perfect for storing my rubber stamps!
I don't know if it's just the newly obtained drawers or what, but I'm finding that I'm leaning toward a vintage-y feel decor-wise in my craft room. It reminds me of a look that an early 1900's/late 1800's British researcher or scientist would have in their office. It makes me think of Arthur Spiderwick in Spiderwick Chronicles or Helen Magnus in Sanctuary, but with more of a an artsy flavor rather than science-y. I love using old things like mason jars and cigar boxes to store my supplies.

I also like things like this old Blue Willow tumbler that I keep my paintbrushes in.

A project I did in a graphic design class in college. The project was to use my first initial x4 arranged into a design. Do you see the "K"? I think the overall design looks either like an hourglass or a scarab/ladybug. Kind of a Rorshach test (ie: inkblot test).

The "I heart handmade" postcard from second storie that I found in the ladies room at JoAnne Fabrics (I was bummed that I found it a day too late to go to the event!). It's tucked in with some cardstock scraps in a wood cigar box a friend gave me back when I was in college.

A Crayola collecter's tin atop some pretty hardcover books.

I'll try to remember to post more pictures once I get things better situated and organized. Most of the room is still a mess. And not a delightfully quaint kind of mess either.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Children with Happy Monsters

There are a lot more children I have given my monsters to, but these are the ones I have pictures of with their monsters. (If anyone has any more pictures of kids with monsters I've made, please send them to me!) friend Karrie's daughter.

Holly...a girl at a church I was visiting.

Evan...Shana's brother. niece. other niece (Taylor's sister). soon-to-be niece. soon-to-be nephew (Rayne's brother).
Angela...the girl I used to be an aide for. friend Rachel's daughter. friend Amy's son.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Searching for Turkish Chai Recipe

ACK! I'm trying to do some research on Turkish Chai online and becoming slightly frazzled by it.
My dad lived in Turkey for a year while he was in the Air Force in the late 70's. He says he loved the Turks' chai tea, but he's never been able to find anything like it in the states.

A friend of mine gave me a recipe for homemade chai concentrate last night and I was wondering if my dad would like it if I made it for him. I remember him saying that the chai he had in Turkey was spicy, and I think having black pepper and ginger would make it taste pretty spicy. But researching online to try and find something about Turkish chai, I keep finding people saying different things. I found this thread on LiveJournal...the person asking the original question sounds exactly like my dillema, but all the comments she got in response are conflicting. Lots of people say that "chai" just means "tea" in the languages in Asia and the Middle East...and that Turkish chai is just a really strong tea. I hear "spiced" I hear "not spiced". I hear that "The whole notion of chai being a spice tea from Asia is a marketing ploy in North America." and that "Chai is just tea." then I hear the opposite, that "Chai is a stardard tea from India, meaning a spiced tea with milk, since India is in Asia, the notion is not simply a marketing tool." I guess I'll just make this recipe for Dad and let him decide if it tastes like what he remembers.

"Chai Concentrate Recipe:
Crush together:
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. fresh ginger root
6 pods of cardomon
10 inches of cinammon stick
3 tsp. cloves

Add to 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook on medium for 10 minutes. Add 8 tsp. of tea. I use Darjeeling (OP. Steep for 8 minutes or so. Stain out the spices and tea. Add 1 tsp. of vanilla and 3 tsp. of honey.) This can be refrigerated for weeks. Heat up as needed and add an equal amount of steamed milk. Top with cinnamon.

NOTE:For a mocha chai, use chocolate milk instead of white.For herbal chai, replace the Darjeeling with 1 tsp. each of chamomile, fennel seed and peppermint."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Art/Craft Show Op at Spot Coffee!

I just got an Etsy Convo with another offer to do an art/craft show! This one is at Spot Coffee!...and the guy said he's trying to set them up monthly! How awesome is that? Not only do I get the opportunity to sell my monsters (and maybe some of my other art too), I'll get to hang out at Spot while I'm doing it! Oddly enough, I don't even drink coffee, but they have other stufff there (I love their Spot Slush...with flavor shots of vanilla and mint, I'm also partial to Chai Lattes). Plus I just love the artsy coffee house atmosphere.

I'm very curious how their Music & Art Director found me on Etsy...if it was just doing the Shop Local search feature Etsy has, or if it has anything to do with the toy drop I did there last month. No one ever did contact The Toy Society about finding least not that I know of...but I know someone had to have found it! There's no way it's still hanging on that rocking chair in the ladies restroom!