Thursday, July 14, 2016

Editorial comments

Anticipation is building.  No it's not.
So, not sewing or craft or even me (personally) related, but I saw this on the street in Philly last week and it made me smile.  Mario and I were in town on Monday night to see a friend perform in a one-woman show, The Yellow Wallpaper, and we ended up walking the 40 blocks home.  Not intentionally - at first, we just wanted to stretch our legs after sitting for a while.  Then we ran into one bit of street work after another, all of them disrupting the route of the two buses that could take us to West Philadelphia.  By the time the streets cleared and traffic was running smoothly again, we were almost at the Schuylkill River, and I have a rule that I won't take the bus if I can make it across the river first, I'm too close to home by then to waste the money.

See yourself here.  Don't have 5 million dollars, so I can't.
So we walked and talked, rehashed the play we had seen and our mutual work days (not having had time to do that before we went out), and looking at the changes in the city.  I may be working in town right now, but I have a small grid that I see every day, 15th to 17th Streets, JFK Boulevard to Chestnut, and I've missed out on a lot of new construction and shops and general rearrangement.

The photos here are of signs, huge ones, in ornate gold-printed frames, hung in a long row of chain link construction fence on the 1900 block of Walnut Street.  Yet another luxury condo building going up, with prices well out of the fantasy reach of most of us.  (Formerly it was a really great movie theater that burned down years ago, and an empty lot for at least a decade).

The signs are annoying.  "Anticipation is building."  "Comfort is emerging."  "See yourself here."

Comfort is emerging.  Whose? Bankers?
And then I realized that some wonderful Philadelphian took the snarky, sarcastic responses right out of my head and added them to each sign.

Now I know there are people out there who can afford luxury condos.  And who aren't awful people.  But the signs for this place were just so obnoxiously tone-deaf that I have to applaud whoever applied those judicious editorial comments.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Christmas in July

Cue the Jaws music.  It's that time of year again, the annual reminder by the traditional (and not-so-traditional) retail world that Christmas is coming.   

And it is, whether we like it or not, whether we're ready or not. 

Shop-wise, I'm getting ready.  I leave this offer here for you all, to take or leave as you please.  

My sticky summer discount code is CHRISTMASINJULY, and it works in both the handmade and vintage shops.  In the handmade shop, it's a 10% discount, and in the vintage, it's 15%.

**  This would have been posted sooner but Etsy suffered a glitch going into the holiday weekend that hung up credit card and some PayPal payments.  After 5 days, I finally have sales clearing again.  I didn't want to add to the headache - yours or mine - by offering this earlier. 

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dolls of all nations

I'm temping again for part of the summer, same place as the last few years.  Right now, I'm only doing 3 days a week, and using the other two to continue working on building inventory, so that I don't go into the fall show season depleted, the way I did last year.

So far it's working, except inventory has been getting depleted by my co-workers.

Which is not a bad thing.

One of the women in the office saw my cloth dolls, and asked if I could make a custom one for her granddaughter.  She gave me the colors her granddaughter liked, and asked if I could put her name on it.

I did, and within a few days, she was back.  "I've got a neighbor," she said.  "She's Liberian.  My granddaughter loves her.  Can you do a doll that looks like her?"

So this was her most recent purchase - a doll costumed in my version of an African wax print (it's not; it was just a really cool thrift shop dress reminiscent of African prints).

There's been a new request: another neighbor is from Laos, and could I make one in something resembling her traditional costume?

Her theory is that by the time her granddaughter gets to nursery school, she'll have a collection of multi-colored, multi-cultural dolls and a firm understanding that friends come in all colors and costumes.

There are worse ways to raise a kid, right?

The most difficult part of this doll wasn't the costuming, it was the skin color.  I have a light brown that I use for African American dolls, but she asked for a darker color, something closer to her Liberian neighbor's skin tone.

I had a darker brown in stash, but when I tried using it for a doll face previously, it was so dark that the embroidered features just didn't show up well.  I was biding my time until the right color appeared, and not long after she made her request, I was in the thrift store and this brown scrubs top appeared.

Turns out it was the perfect shade, and a large enough size that I can get another half dozen dolls cut before I run out of fabric - with the exception of a scrap I can carry with me, so that I can color match when I next visit a fabric or thrift store.

Coming soon, Ms. Laos.  Just as soon as I find a sparkly fabric for her dress.