A little re-designing.

In my two gloriously snow-bound days off, I did a little redesign of the ol’ blog and etsy shop banners that you might have noticed. There was nothing wrong with the old ones, I just got bored. I also wanted to change the look a little in preparation for my new gocco items (which should be out + about in a few days).

I ran with the image and also ordered some new business cards, since I’m almost out of the old ones.

New Etsy business card design.

Oh, and a postcard to add as a freebie to all my orders.

New Etsy postcard design.

[I also wanted to say to anyone who might be jealous of my snow days that the inevitable bad news came trickling down this morning. It turns out that the snow days are mandatory annual leave, i.e. vacation time. Thanks, WSU. I always knew you had it in you.]

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Business misc.

It’s great to have a real online shop and all, but I have to admit that the moment that I really felt like I was in business came when I opened my box from Overnight Prints.

Business cards.

Yay, I have business cards! These do have a very light blue background on top (remember that discussion?), but you can hardly see it. I’m still figuring out the whole what-you-send-to-the-printer vs. what-you-get thing. Everything I send to my on-campus printer comes back darker than expected, while this was quite a bit lighter. Hmm.

Etsy thank you tags.

I also got a batch of gift tags that I’m going to use when buyers request gift wrap (it’s free!). I’ve got some pretty red and white striped paper to go with these…seems like red, white and blue are becoming a bit of a theme. Not exactly my top color combo, but if I keep the blue light then hopefully it won’t seem too 4th of July-ish.

Speaking of packaging, a seminar speaker visiting from Japan gave me the most beautifully-wrapped box this morning. It’s full of little sculptures that I think are candies (with my luck, I’ll take a bite and find out that it’s soap or something). This is how to wrap packages, people.

Japanese candies.

[Edit: I took a bite and they are candy.]

In other news, since I am wearing a merino sweater, skirt, and mildly uncomfortable boots today, I naturally ended up running for the bus. You know, it seems to me like a smart bus driver should occasionally glance in the rear-view mirror in case there’s an oncoming vehicle, police car, or girl across the street who is jumping up and down and waving her arms. I ended up running to the next stop and providing entertainment for an awful lot of people along the way, but it’s still not my idea of the best way to start the day.

A printing success story (finally!).

I’ve been tagged by Ali from domesticali with a longish meme that includes some fun + random facts. Unfortunately, it’s getting (temporarily) pushed to the back burner by the exciting news that Overnight Prints did a great job printing my new notecards!

New sparrow notecards.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that finding a good printer has caused all manner of stress in the past. I heard about Overnight Prints via another crafty blog and was pleased to find out that they’ll do greeting cards in very small runs (as small as 10), versus the 250 or so that seems to be industry standard. 250 cards is a lot of capital for me, especially since I like to sell sets with multiple designs. So, despite reading some negative customer feedback online, I gave OP a chance and they came through with flying colors.

New quail notecards.

I decided to redesign my notecards a bit for this project and added a wrap-around piece of 4 of my favorite vintage fabric finds.

New card backs (from my vintage fabric stash).

I also printed the birds on white, since printing on fabric led to some problems getting the bird to stand out from the pattern (if you follow the link, you can see four of my old notecard designs at the bottom).

Printing detail.

The colors are lovely, the finish is nice, and they look a lot more professional than my Kinko’s/Stinko’s versions. I’ll be selling some sets of 4 at the Farmer’s Market this Saturday – Liz and I are going to set up a table for two, since the other Sing ‘n’ Shout girls are out of town. Come say hi and check the new cards out. :)

Late is better than never, right?

Sorry I didn’t follow through on Friday’s promised post: I had a long, full, and frustratingly internet-less weekend. I’m trying not to say anything I’ll regret about Macs in general, so I’ll only comment that mine is having a bad year month week. Sigh.

Okay, the subject of Friday’s post was going to be..a little give-away. In belated honor of my 100th post (or, I Didn’t Know That I Had That Much To Say But Thanks For Reading It), I’m giving away an extra cd set from the swap organized by Shash from Mecozy. This was the took-a-lot-longer-than-I-expected project that I alluded to, as I vastly underestimated the challenges of  making my own cd cases and getting my printer to line up the inside and outside properly. (The inside design was eventually scratched, amidst a storm of wasted ink and paper and maybe a few bad words.)

print test sheet

The project was to design a two CD set. How fun, eh? Like the kind of thing you always wanted to be assigned in school but never were?

homemade cd cases

After some deliberation, I decided to do a night/day set.

yellow side

There had to be birds, of course, and it looked most natural for those birds to sit in a tree.

blue side

Some fiddling in Illustrator and Photoshop later and, voila! Blue and yellow.

I nabbed some printable labels at the Dollar Store (note: Kinko’s was selling them right next door for $18.99) and ended up pretty happy with the sets. Except that now that I’m looking at the photos, I see that one of them got a water mark. Aargh. Sorry if you’re in the exchange and you got that one. :(

no track listing..yet

Anyhoo, I also made up an extra set so that you, lovely reader, have the opportunity to get one if you didn’t sign up for the swap. I’m not going to show the track listing yet, but it’s a lot of fun – if you like husband‘s taste in music, you’ll probably like this since a lot of it is from his collection (I have always been an unashamed music borrower rather than a purchaser). All you have to do is to leave a comment below sometime before I leave work this Thursday afternoon (June 14). I’ll cut the comments out and put them in a bowl so husband can draw one with all fairness and no peeking. And yes, I will ship internationally, so certains friends + relatives living abroad are welcome to enter.

So why not put your name below and let me know who you are? ‘Cause everyone likes new music, right?

The bus and the curtains.

For some reason, I consistently almost miss the bus on Monday mornings. Since moving to Moscow, I have happily adapted to taking the ol’ Wheatland Express to Pullman every morning. However, if I happen to miss the 7:45 am route, I have to sit around for an hour until the next one shows up. This is bad form and bad for the work schedule.

Back to the Mondays, though. Last Monday, I was running late and asked Josh to drop me off on his way to Montrose. The bus pulled away before we reached my usual stop, so we decided to try and catch it on the other side of its little UI-campus loop. We pulled up alongside the SUB just as the bus was pulling away, but Josh flagged the driver down and he stopped long enough for me to hop on (only in small towns…).

This morning, I was on foot and a little late out the door. This, combined with the fact that the driver has been early the past week, led me to break into a jog as I cut through Friendship Square. Thus, I had a perfect view through the parking lot as the bus majestically pulled away from the stop next to Otto’s produce market. My jog became a run and I decided to try to catch up with it by the SUB (again). So there I was, dressed in corduroys + tweed jacket + chuck taylors + large purse, dodging engineering students and pounding down the sidewalk. The bus had already pulled away from the stop when I got to the corner, but (thank you, Jesus) the light was red and the driver let me on.

All that to say, if you witnessed the spectacle of my-very-out-of-shape-self dashing through the streets of Moscow, ID, this morning, this is why. Stressful way to start the day, I tell ya.

One of my major goals last weekend was to sew the living room curtains and wall-hanging, and I am happy to say my sewing machine has returned and I managed to finish both. Sewing machine repair is expensive, but my Singer has been (mostly) purring like a kitten ever since. It’s practically a new machine.

The curtains have three three pieces: a flat piece of unbleached muslin that covers the glass and two decorative panels made from printed cotton + an off-white linen blend.

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Curtains seem like the easiest project in the world, until you stretch three yards of fabric across your living room floor and try to cut or rip it in a straight line. I don’t know about everyone else, but I have a really hard time making sure that my panels are perfect rectangles with even seams. So it was with some trepidation that I carefully ironed the final product and carried it to the window, crossing my fingers that my math was right and they wouldn’t be too short, long, wide, or narrow.

They were just right.

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The fabric at the top is part of my effort to get maximum usage out of the printed bedspread I ordered from Urban Outfitters. After looking at all manner of sheets and shower curtains online, Urban Outfitters won the design + affordability contest hands down. Sure, I would have preferred to chop up some Dwell sheets, but that’s a little out of budget.

Unfortunately, you do get what you pay for and I lost some sq. feet of fabric because the print wasn’t cut straight. And then it was a long and agonizing task to balance the repeat properly on the wallhanging and curtains (you can’t tell, but the print on both curtain panels is exactly lined up). In the end, however, I ended up with enough fabric for the wallhanging, two curtains, and (hopefully) an accent for some new couch pillows.

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I also potted a bunch of plants last weekend, but this one lovely pansy (in a $1 thrifted pot!) looks the best. We plan to have a little herb garden growing on the sill, but I don’t think the muslin lets quite enough light in.  I plan to to add some curtain loops so I can hook the bottom half up.

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So here’s the up-to-date living room, which (you can tell) has got something of a black + white theme going on. I hope to whip up two couch cushion covers this week, and I’m still searching for the perfect lamp base. I wouldn’t mind adding some spots of color somewhere (turquoise or ochre/yellow would fit the best), but I haven’t decided where. Am open to suggestions…

Lunchbreak blogging.

As I had suspected, it turns out that the best/only time for me to blog is during my lunchbreak.  Which means that if my lunchbreak is absent, short, or otherwise occupied, I don’t write very much.  This is both a humble apology for days when I don’t write anything and an explanation of why today’s post probably won’t be very long – gotta keep working on those pins for Saturday.

Last night my mother, brother-in-law and I went to hear my father‘s physics colloqium.  The title of his talk was “Capillary bridge dynamics and stability in reduced gravity”, which meant that I didn’t expect to understand anything except – possibly – the introduction.  To my pleasant surprise, he didn’t totally lose me until about 30 minutes in.  I don’t mean to sound skeptical about my dad’s public speaking ability…it’s just that when most of us use English, he uses Calculus.  He probably dreams in Greek symbols.  But last night’s seminar was a nice mix of super-hard equations (didn’t understand), historical notes about people who contributed to the development of the equations (did understand),  video clips of liquid bridges in zero- or low-gravity environments (did understand), and amusing stories about a family friend/coworker trying to do these experiments on the KC-135 “vomit comet” (understood and laughed).  Throughout the entire talk, my father’s knowledge of and appreciation for history was clearly evident, and I wish that there had been another person in the room who could have understood all of his historical references as well as all of the phyics.  The scope of my dad’s knowledge is really unique, and I hope that there’s someone out there who can fully recognize and appreciate that. 

Since I don’t have any nice new photos, I’m going to leave you with a few pages from the finally-finished doll brochure.  Getting that baby sent away yesterday turned out to be really stressful (and took up my whole lunchbreak), so I’ll be really glad when I get it in the mail and the whole thing is DONE. 

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