Weekend fox-making was in serious danger because I was out of cotton stuffing as of last night. But happily, my big box o' soft, fluffy organic cotton stuffing arrived while I was at work today. This guy will be pleased:
I just received these Japanese sewing books in the mail a couple of days ago. I have been wanting them both for some time, and finally tracked them down here. I had originally hesitated to get them because I am really trying to get out of my bad habit of doing what I call "theoretical sewing." This is where I do things like stockpiling really good fabric and lovely Japanese sewing books and then just look at them a lot and think about what I might make. And then, of course, I don't. So in an effort to kick the habit, so to speak, I also ordered some of this, hoping that it will get me motivated to trace patterns from the book and you know, use them. I'll let you know how it goes...
On the not-so-much-garment-sewing-but-more-toy-crafting front, things are going a bit better. Pieces are being cut and sewn for a new Mr. Fox for the swap, and our group of swappers is now up near 90. I'm still happy to take sign-ups if you are interested in joining. I'll leave it open through the weekend, I think. If you still want to participate and can make the February 10th deadline for mailing out, let me know- we'd love to have you!
The CPSIA news is looking a bit dire these days, honestly, and although I'm hoping for the best, I recommend to everyone that they contact their congresspeople and senators, if you haven't done so yet. I received a letter of response from my senator today (Diane Feinstein),the text of which was not super encouraging, really. The Handmade Toy Alliance is a good starting place if you are wondering what you can do to get your voice out there. J. Caroline has also had a number of good posts on what is happening with the CPSIA, including links to some other bloggers who have some very honest and thoughtful perspective on the whole mess. The point is, as much as things were looking up a month ago, they may not be now, so if you or anyone you know hasn't sent a letter or made a phone call, now is the time!
Just popping in for a moment, sans photo (gasp!), to say that if you have joined the swap and have not received the invite to join the Flickr group, please email me. There seems to be some problem with the emails getting sent some of the time... Oh! And if you want to visit the Flickr group and see some of the awesome stuff getting made, you can do it here: http://flickr.com/groups/handmadeswap/
One of the swap participants, Michelle, told me about the super cool project that is the Toy Society. Such. A. Fun. Idea. I love it. Now I just need to find some spare time to start making toys and dropping them off all over the place to find new homes... Hah!
Since there has been much talk of softies these days, I thought I would share with you all about this awesome magazine that I picked up this weekend. I was headed out of town with Mariam to visit my mom for the weekend (and ostensibly give Dan some time to prep for upcoming med school interviews), so I picked this up for some mini-vacation reading. Very, very cool. There aren't many patterns, per se, but there are a lot of pictures of really cute and clever things along with all kinds of helpful crafty tips given by their makers. Definitely worth checking out if you can track it down. I happened to find it at my local JoAnn, which is surprisingly well stocked with things that I actually like. I'm usually a total fabric store snob and insist on buying semi-pricey Japanese fabric from the likes of PurlSoho, but my local JoAnn measures up surprisingly well for things like books and notions. I digress. My point is that apparently this magazine is not carried by Amazon, the seller of all things a person could ever really want. So you'll have to look around.
In swap news, there are now 80 people signed up and since I am (I think) caught up on assigning swap partners at the moment, I will gladly accept sign ups for another few days, provided that everyone feels that they can meet the February 10th deadline. Check out the earlier swap post on how to get in touch with me. If you have already signed up and haven't received your swap partner information, it means that I have made a mistake, so send me another email so that I can fix it!
Here is my picture for today's color. I have to admit I cheated a bit- I actually didn't take this picture today, I took it awhile ago. Like long enough ago that I don't really remember taking it... It was either use an old photo for this post or none at all because I have been working to keep up with swap sign-ups during any and all free time today and by the time I remembered to take my pink pictures, it was already dark. And we have discussed the problem of taking pictures inside in the dark before. Many times.
Anyway, as of right now, there are 53 people signed up for the swap. That means that we need at least one more person so that we have an even number of swappers, so if you're on the fence about it, go ahead and send me an email.
Today's color choice for the week of color was yellow, so here is mine. For reasons unexplained, I have always liked this little wooden pear and it often floats around the house as a decoration, instead of a toy.
In swap news, thanks to both The Long Thread and Wee Wonderfuls for mentioning the swap. I really appreciate it! I have sent out the first round of emails with swap partner information- if you signed up for the swap anytime before today you should have gotten your partner's info. as well as an invitation to the Flickr group. Also, if you have a blog, you'll find a link to your site on the lower left side of this page. I'm really trying to be organized and keep on top of everyone's information so it is entirely possible that I have missed something. If I have, let me know!
If you signed up for the swap today, you'll be hearing from me and if you still want to sign up, please do! The more participants the more handmade that gets sent out into the world, and that is pretty much always a good thing.
If you are starting to begin the process of making your item, please get on over to Flickr and start posting pictures of everything you do. I'd really like to demystify handmade by showing people how things get made and that there are people who still do it!
We will be using the word "purple" a bit loosely here. It turns out that there is very little that is purple in my living environment and so I had to go with something that had a bit of what looks like purple when examined in the right lighting. I think that the lack of purple around here is probably due to Dan's weird anti-purple sentiments, voiced frequently but without proper explanation for their origins. We've just kind of gone with it, and over time purple seems to have been kind of phased out around here.
Leya at Curious Bird organized a "week of color" this week, with various bloggers taking a picture each day based on a color theme and posting it to share. Today's color is blue, and I should probably have posted my photo this morning, but alas, Monday mornings are a bit hectic around here and I was lucky to leave the house wearing both shoes and clean pants.
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