Empty Nester – Extraordinaire

creating, living, loving – all in a long black skirt

Archive for the ‘New Items’ Category

In the Shop – Hooking


February 6th, 2013 Posted 6:10 am

I’m hoping to stay busy enough that “In the Shop” can be a regular blog feature. I’m also hoping the regular blog feature will keep me motivated to stay busy.

What a clever girl I am.

Since the beginning of the year, Ravynn and I have been hooking and stitching up a storm. Really. I’ve heard thunder!  Since we’re still working on backing the quilt tops we put together, this post will show off the crochet projects we’ve completed.

Remember that most of what we show off here can be made in almost any color combination.















Some of these photos will be retaken for the website or for Etsy, but I think they give a good view of where we’ve been focusing our creativity.


Pink? Really?


March 3rd, 2010 Posted 12:29 pm

Getting back into the habit of blogging is HARD.

Initially, I was away with several sick kids.  We spent the 18th celebrating the Pip’s birthday at a local Mexican place.  It was a great time. Despite Jordan having been home sick that day with a bad stomach ache, he was feeling better and in a party mood.  The other kids were chipper and didn’t even fight over who got to sit next to Mama.  We laughed and sang together as the servers helped the birthday girl enjoy her special dessert.

Unfortunately, about an hour after we got home, three of the kids were complaining of the same stomach ache Jordan had earlier.  No other symptoms – just a pain that on more than one occasion had them laying on the floor yelling out in pain.  It was heartbreaking. Throughout the next week, we had kids home from school; one on the first day; two on the second; one on the third; I even got called to school several days to bring meds or to bring home sick children. It was a mess.  But, we’re done.  Whisper, the lucky birthday girl, never did catch whatever it was.  YEAH!!

Even after the recovery, it was easy to just stay away and not look for witty and interesting topics to talk about.  Naughty.

Although, I’ve not had much time for sewing, I have taken steps toward a new sachet design. I’m researching a design to embroider on the front of the sachet and then need to work on the smelly mix for inside.  Quite a change from what I normally favor, I’m looking toward a more ‘girly’ pink and green palette for this new item.  Mostly because of the color significances to go along with the aromatherapy, but the girls suggested it was about time. I’m looking forward to cutting and stitching.

And I need need need to spend time formatting the new shopping cart we’re using for the website.  I have a HARD deadline of March 25 [and yes, I know how soon that is!] so the site is ready for showing off and [ahem!] pimping by April 2.  We have plans in the works that have great potential for more traffic.  And our customers must be happy.


When I Grow Up, I Want to be an Artist


February 15th, 2010 Posted 10:48 am

I had hoped by this point to have new product to show off.  Unfortunately, even with a basic template for the art that I want to drop onto this new item, I am failing mightily.  I trace and edit and it’s still not working.  I think I’m close, but I need a couple more pair of eyes to check it over to figure out what exactly I’m doing wrong.  It may actually be nothing, but…  I’m too close to it.

When the kids get home from school, I’ll have the boys check it over.  Also, Eric is on his way home from work, so maybe he’ll look it over. After confirming the office wasn’t closed for President’s day and also after answering work email [that came in this morning] from home, he drove in.  Only to find the office closed.  He’s supposed to get a phone notification when the office is closed, but no call came.  He’s cranky 🙁

We may head out for lunch, but at the same time get some work done on this new product.

I’m crossing my fingers.


I just talked to a friend who owns a design company out of Pittsburgh and he’s willing to help out with the dog ‘problems’.  I know good people and I’m happy for the support we give each other.


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Posted in New Items

time well used


February 9th, 2010 Posted 10:05 pm

Although we started this morning with news that EVERY school in the area was not just on a 2-hour delay [those are so common we don’t even celebrate them], but was closed, my four monsters were loaded into the van for a trip across town to the dentist.  At 8am.  I suspect I’m a bad mother, wasting a perfectly good snow day in that manner.  I issued reminders for them to bring any homework they hadn’t finished the night before OR a book OR some game device.  They complied and we were early.

I also was a good little student and grabbed a stack of books I picked up at the library last night.  Just a few on different ideas for kid’s clothing – sewing, knitting, crocheting.  I found some great ideas for hats and dresses – even some dolls 🙂

The most exciting information in any of the three books I had time to browse through during the cleanings was found in an appendix, included like an afterthought, was a brief tutorial on freezer paper stencils.

There is a project that’s been bouncing around my brain for several years that I couldn’t quite figure out how to make work.  But this new information brings me so much closer.  Also found today is this photo from iStock that should help as well.

I’ll need to make some changes, but it’s great inspiration.

Now, if only I can make this work.  I feel good about it.  More to come.



Dollies, dresses, and blankies… oh my!


February 6th, 2010 Posted 12:25 am

I have great plans for new items for Bats! meow… I also have great hope that the time I need to draft the patterns and sew some samples will just appear in my life.

First up are a couple of new dresses or, maybe skirt and top sets.  The way this usually works is I determine what my girls want and then sew for them.  If the design is a success [as determined by the ooos and aaahs of the 6- and 7-years old girls  in the house and in the neighborhood], we’ll photograph, do the price workups [cost versus profit], create the web listing, and work on alternate size options – not necessarily in that order.

Next up are a set of rag dolls.  Or something of that nature.  I’m super excited about this.  When I was a little girl, all of my baby dolls [and I had a LOT of baby dolls with ALL the accessories] were little blonde things with bobbed hair.  They didn’t look anything like their mama.  Even the baby dolls in our house are 90% blondes. I do believe it’s time to expand the market to include more of the ‘looks like me’ variety.  Of course, there is more in the plans than just brown hair and grey eyes.  I’ll share more as soon as something has been sewn and stuffed. I’m really looking forward to this!

Finally, I want to incorporate my love of quilting into our designs.  More housewares, some quilts for babies, even some pillows for bigger kids and adults.  But not just any design will do – we’ll need something special, so more designing on real life graph paper.

So much to do.  Such great plans.  But time, again, is the enemy.