26 December 2007

back to reality

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Things were busy over here, as usual, but thankfully we had a great time. Just wanted to let you all know that I will be taking a little blogging break from sotosofties for a bit. I'll be back in mid-January, hopefully with a whole slew of new designs to share with you and maybe even a pattern or two. Right now, I need to focus on family and on working on a few crafty endeavors that are not softie-related. I want to actually finish a quilt or two and do some selfish crafting. I don't really celebrate Christmas with my family; we celebrate "El Dia de los Reyes," which is on January 6th. Hence, I luckily have two weeks to get cranking on gifts for my family, provided my right hand stops hurting. There are a few other familial obligations for January, so I won't really have time to work on stuff for the shop.

Besides, 'tis the season for change as far as this blog and the shop go. There are a few things that I need to work out as far as how I do business through the shop. I am not sure if I want to do commission work again. I had a couple of experiences this season that really left a bad taste in my mouth, and I am seriously wondering if it is worth my while to continue doing commissions. Also, as you can see, the poll for whether it is alright to reserve non-commissioned pieces for people through etsy has closed and the majority of you (3 to 1) say it is okay to do so. I think it's fine, too, but to be honest with you, I am not so sure about the waiting lists for specific items. After all, if you are on my mailing list, you are notified immediately when I post new stuff onto etsy. As it is, I don't think the system I am utilizing right now is the most efficient. I need to rethink all these things and then some. I'm sorry and hope I am not offending anyone by talking about it on here. I hope I am not being tacky as all get-out, but the truth is that I feel I need to be clearer about my policies. If I discuss them here and get feedback from an open forum, then it helps me make better decisions, I think. Anyway.... There are a few softie-related projects that I am extremely excited about which are still in the embryonic stage. Once I get those going and am free to discuss them without fear of jinxing anything (yes, I am superstitious that way), I will be sharing that on here with you at great length (because I am that excited about them). One more thing - this blog will be strictly softie-related going forward. That was my intention when I first started this blog, but I haven't been faithful to it. What can I say? Life is multi-faceted. It's hard for me to stay on-topic all the time. I'll be talking about my other crafty endeavors (knitting, quilting, whatever), life, books, pop culture and people I heart on inside the softie machine, and I will of course continue my obsessive relationship with Flickr, where you can see all sorts of photos I take. In the meanwhile, thank you all for reading this blog. Thank you for all of your comments and your support this last year. It has meant a lot to me. Wishing all of you all the best in the new year and lots and lots of love.

20 December 2007

over and out - happy holidays, folks!

Thank you so much, you guys! Thanks to everyone who has bought a soto softie this holiday season and to everyone who has left positive feedback for me on etsy. And thank you for reading this blog-boondoggle. I really have appreciated all of your kind words and encouragement. Thank you! The shop is closed until after the 25th, and I won't have any new stock until the second week of January at the earliest (lots of family obligations over the next couple of weeks). I am busy working on the last few presents for family over here. I am happy to say that I seem to be working at a pretty fast pace and have already ticked a few names off my list. My friend Beba may be coming over later, so we can get our craft on over some wine and "Freaks and Geeks" and finish the last few projects. I am not sure if this will be my last post here before the holidays so I will leave you all with a hearty "Happy Holidays!!!" Hope you all have a wonderful time full of love and cheer and family and friends. Wishing you all the best!

P.S. - For anyone who is interested, I may be posting over the next few days on my personal blog, inside the softie machine. It is not softie or crafting-related, just photos and blather. I just wanted a space where I could write about things that were not necessarily limited to making stuff. Anyway, hope you all have a great week.

P.P.S. - Yes, that is LG under the tree in the photo above. It is his new favorite spot to curl up in, and he won't let the other cats near the tree, which is kinda good, I guess.

17 December 2007

it's a very softie christmas charlie brown

It's like Santa's workshop around here these days. Now with all the madness of Bazaar Bizarre behind me and all the shop orders and commissions done and sent (minus the small batch that I am taking to the Post Office tomorrow morning), I can start checking things off on my personal holidays to-do list. (Thanks Hilary for reminding me!) I am finally getting around to whipping up presents for family and friends. Guess what everyone is getting? If you said a softie, then you my friend are hyper-perceptive. Yes, everyone's getting a softie, with the small exception of a couple of folks who are getting books or handknit socks. It's another hand-made holiday! That's how we roll in the 138, yo! I can now cross the raccoon off my list. Now on to the skunk, the bat, the aardvark, and a very special one that I dare not mention lest its recipient be reading this right now (nosy nosy). Hope you are all having a delightful holiday season thus far and that it only gets better!

14 December 2007

the last update

So today I posted my last etsy update for the year. These lambkin fingerpuppets were in that update, and they disappeared before I could even write this post. (Thanks, folks!) There are a bunch of penguins and a couple of critters still up there for anyone who is interested. The last day I am shipping will be Wednesday, December 19th. I will have plenty of new softies in the new year, so please do stay tuned for that. Happy Friday everyone!

12 December 2007

hey you!

Mischa is mine - yay!

I unofficially took the day off today. I started out with the best intentions, to finish a few finger puppets and some last-minute commissions that I took on before I made my firm announcement a week or so ago (maybe more - who knows - time is a blur), but I've been so tired since I haven't had a day's rest in two and a half weeks that I just crashed. Anyway, I just wanted to touch base and say hello to you all. All the mieces are on their ways to their new homes - hooray! Well, all except Mischa, who will be keeping me company as I sit at the computer every day. I normally don't get attached to my softies and have no problem sending them off because I know they will be loved. Every now and then, however, I make something that is so special to me that I don't want to part with it. I want to enjoy it every day because it is like something, some toy, that I always wanted as a child. Yeah, we could psychoanalyze that to death, about how I make toys to recapture my childhood or whatever, but why destroy the joy? I enjoy making things that make other people happy.

I am planning my last shop update of the year for this Friday at 2PM. As I mentioned before, I will have a few fingerpuppets up for grabs but probably not too much more. I will be posting the rest of the penguins and maybe a mini-mantis or two. For the rest of the season, I am going to concentrate on my family - making gifts for them, spending time with them, enjoying the holidays with them. The last day I will be shipping is December 19th. The shop will be closed from the 20th through the 25th. I think I may also be closed the first part of January, but I don't know yet. I do know that there are a lot of family commitments I have then, and I hope you all understand. I'll let you all know what's going on as I get a clearer idea myself. In the meanwhile, hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season so far.

10 December 2007

okey-dokey, they're up now

in today's update

This is what is now up in ye olde shoppe. I am probably going to add the rest of the penguins tomorrow as right now I am tired and need to step away from the computer (I've been hankering to curl up and read). I hope to add another couple of items once I finish them later in the week. These will be the things that I didn't finish in time for Bazaar Bizarre. Anyway, I hope you all like what you see for now. Happy Monday folks!

after these messages

Hey guys! Bazaar Bizzare was a lot of fun and an overall success yesterday. It was great to see so many people there; the turnout was fantastic! Thanks to everyone who made Bazaar Bizarre possible - all the organizers, vendors, and you, the public, who came and showed your support. A huge thanks to everyone who came out yesterday! It was wonderful to meet so many of you in person. Thanks to all of you who purchased one of my softies or cards. You guys rock! Also, I would like to give many thanks to Matt, who was a super-trooper, helping me out with everything, from doing all the hand-lettering on our sign and making the finger puppet displays and packaging card sets, to driving to the Cyclorama with me at 8:30 AM to set up, to watching the table when I grew restless and needed a walk and when I could barely keep my eyes open at the end of the day. His enthusiasm and encouragement have kept me going even when I have questioned what the heck I am doing.

Today's shop update is going to be a little late because the light has been crap here this overcast day and I had to do a bit of finagling to get good shots of the softies (not to mention the fact that I slept in late, which I haven't done in weeks and weeks). I will have everything up say before 5 PM. I'll post here as soon as the update is complete. Thanks again guys!

09 December 2007

it's all one big, colorful, jumbled mess

peek into the softie bin

Well, that's life, isn't it?

08 December 2007

tomorrow is the big day

b.b. mousey

If you are in the Boston area, please drop by and check out Boston's Bazaar Bizarre:

Sunday December 9, 2007
12:00 pm to 6:00 pm

at the Cyclorama (Boston Center for the Arts)
539 Tremont St in the South End of Boston

Admission fee $1.00

For more info, please check out the official site here.

I will be at table #31, which is on the inside of the ring but outside the middle cluster of tables, towards the men's room. Insert bad joke about "Gonna meet you the men's room," or women's room, as the song goes. Just a heads up to anyone who is interested in picking up their very own soto softie - I am not set up to take credit cards yet unfortunately so please bring cash. Sorry about that; hope it's not an inconvenience. I am really excited about tomorrow (albeit a little nervous - do I have enough stuff ? what if I don't sell a thing? did I pack the cards yet? ohmygod how exactly am I going to hang my banner?). I am looking forward to finally meeting some of you in person. Hope to see you tomorrow.

07 December 2007

delirium sets in

Sunday is the big day. It's my first actual craft fair, so I am ridiculously excited about this. I am hoping that I have enough stuff. I am going to try to bang out a couple of last minute items here. Happy Friday folks!

06 December 2007

hooray for fingerpuppet displays

And hooray for Matt for making the displays! I especially love this one:

Look at how cute the birdy looks on it:

finger puppet display - with puppet

05 December 2007

getting my ducks in a row and my penguins suited up

It's just a few days away now....

04 December 2007

these fingerpuppets in progress totally remind me of chupa-chups

Do you remember Chupa Chups - those little perfectly spherical lollipops that come in a wonderful variety of flavors? One year, when I went to Puerto Rico to see my family, Chupa Chups must have been all the rage because just about everywhere you went people were trying to shove one in your mouth. (Pervo please! It's not as dirty as it sounds.) I don't know if there were just trucks sprinkling them on the population, but they were everywhere. Seriously, I went to visit an 80 year old great aunt up way in Miraflores, and she handed me a Chupa Chup. "These are great! I can't eat sweets, but you take it." It kinda felt like an endless rave in the jungle with everyone handing you lollipops. By the end of my three weeks there, I thought my teeth were going to just start falling out of my head. I know there's a sugar-free variety of these, but I don't think these were the ones everyone was madly consuming. Anyway, these little guys remind me of Chupa Chups, only they won't give anyone cavities with their sweetness.

03 December 2007

being realistic / honest

I'm sorry folks, but there will be no shop update today. In fact, I think I won't be online for the rest of the week. This weekend, I made about 10 critters, all of which I am now detailing. I told Matt I was putting half in the shop, and he looked at me like I said I was going to eat a kitten for lunch. "Are you crazy? Bazaar Bizarre is less than a week away! You only have a about 10 pieces for that so far. You need to focus here." He's right. Because I mismanaged my time last month and went through that so-sick-of-making-critters slump, I have been playing catch-up big time the last couple of weeks. I can't quite say I am succeeding at it. So while I am sorry and hope I am not disappointing anyone, I need to step away from the computer and get cracking on these softies. I may touch base with you all later in the week. I hope to do so anyway. Also, just a reminder for those of you who are interested: I am doing my one big holiday shop update on December 10th, so please drop by for that (time of update will be approximately 2 PM, like always). Thanks for your understanding, folks!