Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A little about me ....

Ok so it has almost been 4 months since my last post, seriously slacking here. It is hard enough to keep up with the custom orders, emails and convos let alone manage 2 blogs :) I need a twin or lets make that 2!

Some of you may or may not know how I got into the business of custom sewing and so I thought I would share a little bit about myself. I will keep it short and sweet ala Cliff Notes version.

After having our first daughter I had to leave my career in Marketing to care for the Little pip squeak because she had severe acid reflux and was monitored night and day. After she outgrew this and was all better I looked for a way to get creative and make a little bit of money at the same time. This is when Funky*Monkey was born which is the name/label I designed and created under on Ebay.
I used to make Euro and Vintage inspired designs. Certainly a great way for me to feed my passion of being creative! I remember the first set I did, a pair of denim overalls that had little flowers, ruffles on the hem and lots of trim! I have come a long way! Here is a photo of the famed first set of denim overalls, I should spare you the torture!

Last August I made the decision to leave Ebay and transition to Etsy and offer a collection of items rather than a one of a kind set. This is when Loves Me Not began. Ebay got too expensive to sell on and Etsy is very reasonable and I love the look of how artsy it is too!
I never would have dreamed that when I started this that I would have come this far. Of course without all of the love and support from my husband, family and all of you this would not be possible. Once I get the Summer collection finished and on its way to everyone I can focus on Fall and the big things I hope to bring so stay tuned!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A new year

Welcome to 2009! I have been a bit behind on the blogging scene lately as I have enjoyed my month off from the sewing scene. Still on the pc surfing and gossiping and driving my family nutty!

I made more handmade gifts this Christmas too! So proud of myself to make some aprons and oh were they fun!

Trying to make sense of this whole CPSIA law taking effect on Feb 10. I am going to go about my business and start my Spring line for Loves Me Not and sell up until then and after that date we will see what happens? I still need to decide on what fabrics we are going to use. Why is that always such a hard choice for me? I am a go getter but just a tad bit indecisive.

We made homemade ice cream last night. Steve bought the ice cream maker along with a few others as gifts and one migrated into my kitchen at my kid's request. I like a clean counter. I like to hide all of my gadgets and gizmos under the counter in the cabinets. I certainly did not need another appliance to figure out where to store other than the 2 times a year we use it...sorry honey. I will let you know later how it all turned out. Lets just say I think it was a lot more work than it is worth!

On the subject of new years resolutions, I resolve to not have any resolutions. I know what I need to do, just got to get on it. Spend more time with the family, read to my girls more, loose some lbs and get into shape and try not to obsess so much with my sewing!

And just in case anyone is counting (I'm not) I just turned 34. Steve made sure I had a great day and we all went out on the town. Had a blast! This is my long time friend Sarah, just look at her hair! That is "vacation worthy" hair as I call it.

I would have had a birthday sale in the Etsy shop had I had my act together and had some stuff to sell. I do have some skirts cut out that I am working on and hope to get them up in the shop soon! I thought I would ease my way back into sewing so my family would not be in shock.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let the counting begin!

And so it is that time of year again where I get asked more than a few times a day "How many more days until Santa comes?"....ah yes my impatient little ones.

My attempt at taking a photo of the girls for our Christmas cards was a bit challenging this year. Ms. S just loves the snow aka "Ice Cream" and did not want to sit for Mommy. She was way too intersted in eating the snow.

I have been enjoying my time off from making and filling customer orders but could not keep away from my pile of fabrics and my sewing machine. I decided to make something creative for the teachers this year. These steno pad covers where super easy to make and fun because I got to mix and match some of the brighter fabrics together.
The next half of the countdown will be mine of course....how many more days until school is back? That is after Christmas of course. The kiddos will get bored and tired of being stuck inside with this really cold weather and snow we have been having.

And then comes my birthday again....it creeps up on me every year. I have even lost count a couple of times and had to sit back and actually calculate in my head just how old I really was? I took off 1 or 2 years accidentally when I had answered how old I was. Is this what happens in your "ahem" early 30's? I am in trouble if that is the case I will be a basket case by the time I am 40!

We all get so busy and involved in Christmas, then New Years Eve, then the recovery of New Year's Day then BOOM....it is here again but who's counting anyway?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Please Read!

As of February 10, Loves Me Not and thousands of others in the children's industry will be deeply affected financially and or will be out of business.

Remember the outcry last holiday season over lead in imported toys? In order to combat such safety issues, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has passed legislation called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). The law sets stringent guidelines for children’s products containing lead and phthalates (a chemical used in some vinyl products).

It is supposed to go into effect February 10th, 2009, and after that date any product intended for children ages 12 and under must meet these guidelines, and have a certificate of compliance from a CPSC-accredited laboratory. This includes not just toys, but clothing, jewelry, blankets, sheets, books, bibs, strollers, carriers, and anything else that a child under 12 might come in contact with. Sounds great, right?

In theory, maybe. But in actuality the law is so far reaching that it may succeed in turning the economy upside down. For starters, the CPSIA requires end unit testing on every product intended for use by children under 12. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to do this testing, regardless of how small the business. That means that manufacturers (like myself ) will have to pay to get every different product they offer tested. These tests have to be done at a CSPC accredited lab, and cost tens of thousands of dollars. For example if you offer 3 different types of dresses. Each dress contains 2 different fabrics, as well as buttons, and thread, so that's potentially $600 to test one dress. But if you have 3 or more styles, that's $1800. And when you get a new bolt of fabric, you need to start all over again.

At present, there are no exemptions for small businesses and "micro" manufacturers and most handcraft artisans. There is no exception for quantities made, where the garments/products are made or anything else. Nor is there an exception for unadorned fabric components, unfinished wood components, materials which, by their nature, are free of lead and phthalates.

Also, the Act takes a "guilty until proven innocent" approach, which would treat a handmade, unfinished wooden toy that doesn't meet the certification deadline of 2/10/09 as a "banned hazardous substance" which would be illegal to distribute in this country. Each infraction carries a $100,000 felony charge. This legislation is also retroactive for any pre-existing inventory as of February 10th, 2009. This means that everything on the shelves in those big (or small) stores will also be "banned, hazardous substances" - contraband.

Larger corporations that can afford testing will incur thousands, maybe millions of dollars in fees, and this expense will be handed down to the consumer, probably making the prices for children's products go through the roof.

This also means that after that date, even selling your kids old things on eBay or Craigslist will be illegal. Charities will not be able to accept donations without a certificate of compliance either. February 10, 2009 is being dubbed “National Bankruptcy Day” by many people in the apparel and toy industry. If this legislation is not amended, it will affect everyone from port workers to parents looking for legal products. Billions of dollars worth of children's products will have to be destroyed because they can’t be legally sold, and this will cause major environmental problems.

While I am all for higher safety standards and keeping our kids safe, this law is so overreaching as to put thousands on manufacturers of children's products out of business -hurting our economy and causing even more loan defaults. Though this legislation was well-intentioned, it cannot be allowed to stand as is.Please help us defend the American dream and our entrepreneurial spirit! This law affects every stay at home mom trying to help put food on the table and every grandmother knitting blankets for the local craft fair. It makes the thousands of us who have found a niche in the burgeoning children's market have to make a tough decision - continue to produce items illegally and possible incur a $100,000 fine, pay the enormous fees and raise costs of goods sold, or close up shop!

Please help us!Contact your Congressperson using this link: http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/issues/alert/?alertid=12274476

It only takes 30 seconds!If you have an extra minute send a hard copy of the letter as well!To sign the online petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html

Read more about it here: http://nationalbankruptcyday.com/

Please copy and paste this on your blogs, we need all the help we can get!

I copied this article from Knuckleheads Clothing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Photo Moto

Two posts in one day...man am I on a role!

So you may or may not know I tinker in photography just for fun. I have been asked by a few friends to take some photos for them for their Christmas cards this year, and for my first official "shoots" I think I did pretty ok.

Just wanted to share a few of my favorites

Now for my family photos so I can get cards printed and in the mail :)

Exhale ....

Wow, it has been really long since I have wrote here on my blog. But since things with Loves Me Not are now slow and I am finally caught up, I can slow down a bit, exhale, and enjoy the Holiday rush right?

Lots has happened since I was on here last and I will sum it all up!

Miss. S turned 3! Can't believe my little baby is 3. We had a great time at the birthday party as usual.

I conquered my portion of the orders from our Etsy shop "the beast" as I called it has been wiped clean! Oh what to do with this free time?
Miss. S decided that turning 3 was just not enough and decided she needed to add 3 stitches to her forehead. She got into a tassle with the coffee table and the table won! Just got the stitches out today and she still jumps and climbs like it never happened.
Lesa and I are working on finalizing a photographer and choosing fabrics for the Spring line. We do not know exactly when we will be previewing that but we need to decide soon.

Spellcheck is not working on here and if anyone knows me I always have typos so please forgive my mis-spellings if I missed any!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Addiction?

Today we took our annual trip to the local pumpkin patch. The girls each got to pick out their own pumpkin They carefully prod and nudge each pumpkin and carefully choose their own special little orange treasure to call their own. It was quiet chilly and I certainly did not dress for the occasion ...48 degrees and a wind chill brrr! We had to talk them out of visiting the farm animals so our ears could defrost.

Things are moving along with Loves Me Not and seems like business is booming. I have a couple simple winter sets I am sending off to a great photographer I came across and she works wonders with the camera so I can't wait to see what she comes up with. I keep asking myself why in the world I decided to do something in between Fall and Spring....I am insane? I am such a busy body and had a couple ideas in my mind and and the only way to release them was to create something. I am hoping though to have some free time for the family, the house and the holidays in December as my organizational skills are severely lacking....ask my husband and he will laugh.

This week I have lots to conquer...

-lets see figure out how to keep myself off of Facebook so much - a new addiction thanks to my dear friend Sarah "thanks Sarah"..and if you are on Facebook find me! (see there I go again with the addiction!)

-figure out what the heck is wrong with my right hand. I woke up last Sunday and my ring and pinky finger were numb and half of the hand, and still are - pretty annoying, need to see the dr.

-sew 2.5 million pairs of pants....I am exaggerating just a little bit.

-finally accept the fact I need to jump on the wagon and get back to the gym and loose some lbs. I am gettin some muffin top and it ain't lookin so good.

Happy Sunday!