Friday, April 29, 2011

Fill in the blanks...

1. I am looking forward to the end of next month. My mother and her husband are visiting us in San Francisco and we're going to show them around and we're going on a roadtrip through Northern California and probably more! I love road trips, especially in the States, and I also love seeing my mother again after almost a year. It's going to be so great to show them how we've been living our American lives.

2. Something kind of embarassing that I still love anyway is any movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He's my all time favorite actor and I think I used to have a crush on him. Everytime a new DiCaprio movie comes out my husband knows we (I drag him with me) have to go see it, because I love Leonardo DiCaprio so much. No worries, my hubbie isn't jealous, he knows I love him way more.

3. My favorite car is made by Volkswagen. I love the Beetle, the Golf, the Lupo (so cute), the Fox, the Touareg, but if I were allowed to pick one to use right now I'd probably choose the Tiguan. But if they start producing Golfs in the Bon Jovi version again, I might change have to my mind.

4. If I could pick one type of weather to live with for the rest of my life it would be the weather here in San Francisco. Never too hot and humid, most of the time it's pretty and sunny, it makes me want to go outside a lot.

5. My favorite thing to do after a bad/stressful day is get cuddles and kisses from my sweet hubbie, he has this magical power to always make me feel better.

6. This weekend we are celebrating our 7 year anniversary. Not our wedding anniversary but our first kiss anniversary. Which happened in the international student dorm at Emory University and lasted for 6 hours... Yeah, not quite sure how we did that, I guess we really liked it! And on Sunday we're celebrating a friend's birthday with a beach barbecue.

7. If I were a color, I'd be orange because I'm a Dutchie and that's the color of the Netherlands, but I'd also be a fuchsia because that's my favorite color, and that combo would probably make me look like Dunkin' Donuts logo. But I wouldn't mind :).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fill in the blanks... Continued.

1. Fridays are Fries Days in the Netherlands. Friday is the day many Dutchies go to the local snack bar or turn on their own deep fryer to have Dutch fries with mayonnaise(!)frikandellen and kroketten for dinner. Oh how I wish I could just be back in the Netherlands for dinner on Fridays.

2. The things my husband says to me and does for me make me terribly happy.

3. Something that inspires me is my drawer of supplies. It's so full of good felt and buttons I can already visualize all the softies that will be created from them.

4. If I had the day off today I would rent a car and go on a mini road trip around California.

5. If I had to put a label on my home decor style, I would say my style is utilitarian. When we arrived in the States we had nothing so I went to Ikea and bought the necessary furniture to be comfortable in our studio apartment.

6. Concerning politics I would say I'm indifferent.

7. I'd like to go to Vancouver so I could check out if that would be a nice place to live next.

This is really fun! If you want to read more answers from other blank fillers, check here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fill in the blanks...

Every week on the Curious Pug Alicia fills in the blanks to prompts she gets from Lauren at the Little Things We Do. I've been enjoying those a lot and I've decided to join in on the fun. And because this is the first time, I'm going to two week's worth of prompts, one now and one later today.

1. My favorite daily responsibility is making my husband feel special, loved and appreciated.

2. My least favorite daily responsibility is cleaning. I love organizing and general tidying but I hate cleaning, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, wiping, all of it.

3. My favorite cuisine to eat when going out is Japanese. I miss Japanese food, especially the side dishes, like miso soup, properly cooked white rice, Japanese pickles and cabbage salad. And fish baked in soy sauce... I love to eat in Japantown, which is not the same as in Japan, but it's close enough.

4. My favorite cuisine to prepare at home is anything from the oven. I didn't have an oven in Japan nor as a student in the Netherlands, but now in the States I do, and it's like a magic machine! I love that thing and almost anything that is prepared in it.

5. Andy Warhol said that everyone is famous for 15 minutes. My claim to fame is that time a famous Dutch TV show kidnapped me in a private jet and flew me to Russia to reunite me with my Japanese boyfriend for the Christmas holidays. After that show aired, strangers on the street and in the shop where I worked kept recognizing me and asking me if I was the girl from the TV show.

6. If I could have 3 wishes I would wish for the ability to teleport with a snap of my fingers, to never have to worry about money, and for a healthy and happy life for me and my loved ones.

7. My biggest pet peeve is people playing loud music on their cell phones in public. Just because you like that kind of noise doesn't mean I want to listen to it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pinback buttons

One of our Indie Biz teachers introduced us to Button Arcade on Etsy and I just loved the custom pinback buttons. I knew I had to order some with the eleventh monkey logo on them... So I did:

Aren't they awesome? They even have the urls to my blog and shop on the sides of the buttons. I think I'm going to use them as little thank you gifts for my customers.

Friday, April 22, 2011

And the winner is...

Thank you everybody for all the suggestions for my next pdf pattern. The penguin was the most popular nomination, and I think I will honor that by creating a penguin pattern next! It was also really interesting to find out that people were nominating the skulls for a pdf pattern. I would have never thought to make a pattern of those, but now they're definitely added to the list of pdf-patterns-to-be!

But you're really here to find out who won the already finished pdf pattern of the moose...

Congratulations Dimi!! I really hope you put the pattern to good use and make a moose! And if you do, I really want to see it!

I like doing giveaways, it's interesting to read the answers to my giveaway question, and of course it's fun to make someone happy with a nice gift. I'm going to have to do some more soon. Thanks to all who entered!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'm in love with Moo! I've ordered from them several times before and I've just received my new mini business cards, mini thank you cards and logo stickers! Moo never disappoints.

It's going to be hard to use them on my packages because I love them too much and it may be hard for me to part with them!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see who the winner of my giveaway is. You can still sign up!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Launch Day - Giveaway

I only ever did two giveaways and both of them were when I still lived in Japan... This Launch Day Celebration is the perfect occasion for a new giveaway! I need to do more giveaways in the future because they're just so much fun.

I'm giving away a completely new kind of product, which I happened to finish developing during the Indie Biz course: my very first pdf pattern.

Creating this pattern seemed like a never-ending project, but now that I've finished my first, I'm sure the next will be easier and quicker, and the next, and the next... That's right, I'm planning on creating many more pdf patterns of my awkward creatures, but I'm not sure who's up next, to be turned into a pattern...

Which one of my creatures would you nominate for my next pdf pattern?

Answer that question in the comments and you've entered yourself into my giveaway! The giveaway will run for eleven (of course!) days and I will randomly draw a winner after that!

Want to try to win some more awesome stuff? Then visit these blogs: 

All the amazing ladies behind these blogs are giving away something they made! That's 23 extra chances to win something one of a kind and marvelous! Good luck! But don't forget to answer my question before you take off to win all that gorgeous handmade stuff!

Launch Day - Indie B. the Butterfly

Launch Day is here!!! And as promised in honor of this day I've added a new felt plushie to my store. A little spring butterfly, named Indie B. the Butterfly, to celebrate how my classmates and I, after finishing our Indie Business 3.0 course, are all coming out of our cocoons as beautiful butterflies.

You can buy Indie B. or one of her friends in my Etsy shop with a 22% discount if you use the code "LaunchDay". This coupon code will be valid for eleven days. And I'll be doing a giveaway later today, so don't forget to check back later! 

And of course, I'm not the only Indie Biz graduate launching a new product today, many classmates are doing the same and even more are launching completely new shops and blogs! Check out this impressive list.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Launch Day Happenings

Launch Day is almost here and loads of ladies will be participating in the event. You want to know where to go? Here's the full list of participants! On Launch Day (which is tomorrow!), just click the links and you'll be taken to newly launched shops, blogs, products, places where you can win things and other blogs celebrating Launch Day. I really hope you come party with us all tomorrow!

Tag...You're It | Wish You Were There Then | Zora Belle

Friday, April 08, 2011

Indie Biz

I'm a bit sad because today is the last day of our Indie Business classes and it has been absolutely wonderful. It refreshed a lot of the things I already learned last year and also taught me some new things. But the best part for me was really all the other classmates and getting to know them and networking with them. I've learned how to use and love Twitter and Pinterest, although I wish I had more time for those and I really, really love interviewing one of my crafty classmates every Wednesday! I also enjoy being interviewed by them on their blogs, for example about my Etsy or even about Osaka!
And come back on Monday to read about our huge Launch Day Event. I'll be introducing many of my classmates' new shops, new products and new blogs. And many of us are doing giveaways, even me!!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Got me some buttons

My creatures eyes are made of buttons and I was starting to run out of buttons, so I checked Etsy. I like button mixes of vintage buttons, because new buttons are just too expensive, but all mixes for sale on Etsy have two-holed buttons in them and I have no use for them. So I contacted some button sellers about putting together a mix of about 500 four-holed buttons for me. I didn't expect to get much response, because I tried this a couple months before and no one answered, but this time almost everyone responded! And they were all so nice... So I bought buttons from all of them:

And these are just the buttons from American sellers, I still have buttons coming from seller in the UK! It's a good thing I love buttons and I love having a good selection to work with. Even though I love the buttons, the whole bunch smelled very strongly of dog, which is hard to take in a dog-free home and having a nose that works way too well (kind of like a dog's nose!), so I needed to wash them. But of course, most of these buttons have been used before, so washing them was in order anyway, but the doggy smell made me do it sooner rather than later.

Washing (in a salad spinner, so the soap goes everywhere!), rinsing (in a colander), drying and sorting all the buttons by color took me about two days (in between regular life), but I love organizing and buttons so it was very enjoyable.

Now I've got them all sorted in the major color groups I'm going to sort them by kind and size and store them in plastic storage containers with dividers. Which should make button selection for future eyes a lot quicker!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Starting my unicorns

I've started working on unicorns for a customer. I've already selected colors and cut out felt for the horse part of the unicorns:
But I haven't figured out the horn part of the unicorns, still deciding on the design of them... I'm really excited to work on these though! I have to be careful with my fragile elbow and wrist, but I have good hopes I will get to finish these without a lot of pain!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Borders' loot

I love Borders. I mean who doesn't love a huge store with thousands of books and magazines? Yasu and I can easily spend hours there, collecting books, sitting down somewhere on the floor and picking/reading our favorites.

But Borders isn't doing well and recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. To make a complicated story easy, they're broke and closing stores, not all of them, but many, and the one we frequent in San Francisco is included. 

It's really sad, but it does mean a liquidation sale. Everything is on sale, even the fixtures, and this is my loot from today, everything was 50% off!
Loot from Borders
Three Jefferey Deaver (my favorite author) novels, four maps (I love maps, can't stop looking at them), three books about sewing softies (for inspiration, maybe some new sewing techniques and pattern tutorial tips) and most excitingly two web design/html books! 

I've been getting more and more interested in this kind of stuff ever since I started blogging and have been trying to tweak my blogs. I really want to learn how to do more than tweak and build stuff from scratch, well I've got to begin somewhere! The Dummies version is quite old, from 2000, but has a lot of the basics, easily referenced, the Web Design Demystified is very new, from this year, looks interesting and also covers CSS.

I wish I had had more time today to also check out the cooking section, because I'd also like to learn more about cooking. But we're going to another Borders that's closing soon tomorrow, so I hope they haven't sold out of the cooking books yet.

Steep streets

I know everyone knows San Francisco is hilly, I've known ever since I watched Full House as a child. Still it still impresses me when I'm walking down, literally down, a street.
San Francisco street
It doesn't picture as spectacular as it looks in real life, you'll just have to visit me to see it for yourself! What also doesn't show well on a picture is how arduously steep these streets can be when you're walking uphill.
San Francisco street
The best way to see how steep a street is to look at the front of a house and compare how much lower on side of the house goes than the other.
San Francisco street
The first floor on the left turns into a basement on the right and the second floor on the left turns into the first floor on the right.
San Francisco street
There are countless pretty street and house views in this city!