Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guest Etiquette

It used to be (or at least in my family it was) that if you went to someones home for dinner, lunch or just a cup of coffee, it was good manners to bring a cake, either homemade or bakery shop made. Times changed a bit and a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates had become equally acceptable.
These days, it's not so easy to decide what to bring or not bring. What if they have allergies to nuts or gluten? What if they're diabetic? What if they are recovering alcoholics? Maybe I should just stay home.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Feeling invisible again

24 hours ago, I posted on FaceBook "If I un-friended you would you notice?" So far I have had no replies.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Disney Memorable Moments

I'm sure you've all seen the picture and read the articles about my granddaughter Alli signing an autograph for the Security guard at the Magic Kingdom.

With all the attention there was about this photo it was inevitable that we would connect with the Freddie and his family. So, on our recent annual trip to Disneyworld, we planned on a luncheon date with the famous security guard.
Freddie and his wife were both charming and friendly. They unexpectedly brought gifts for Alli, and had a new autograph book for Alli and her brother Nick. The first autograph in the book, of course had to be Freddies.

 
How cute is that?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I Phone

I used to have an Android phone and I hated it. So when I became eligable for a new phone last April, I got an I phone and I am so happy I did. The Android made no sense to me. I could not figure out how to do anything and sending a text message was torture. I ended up giving the phone to my 12 year old grandson and he loves it.
Everything on my new I phone is easy to use. I have even set it up to make different sounds depending on whether it's a text message, Twitter notification or a phone call. But the best part is my new Etsy App. When I make a sale, the phone makes a cash register sound alerting me to the sale, ca-ching. I don't have to check my computer for sales every hour or so. I got a sale the other night at 2AM and even though my phone was out in the living room, the ca-ching woke me up, I love it. I also think my customizing is quite appropriate.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Holy mackerel, who ever thought something like this could happen. I joined Pinterest a few months ago, in order to do a little more self promotion of my Etsy shop. The article I read said that you should not only make pin boards of what you are selling but also board of things that are of interest to you. I created a few different board with some interesting photos one of which is of some fun memories of Disney vacations. Some how, one pin went viral over the weekend. A zillion people saw it, many commented on it and was eventually noticed by someone as the Huffington Post.

The writer of the article told me it was all over the Internet but I didn't realize how much until I followed some of the links she provided. There are of course those with the crude and negative comments, but the overwhelming majority of people who commented really like the photo and adjoining story.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Memories

When we were children, we all wanted to go to Disneyland. But it was so far away and only kids who lived in California got to go. By the time I was 19 (a million years ago) I was working for American Airlines. For my very first paid vacation, I took my parents, first class to Disneyland. Mom and Dad really were not the amusement park types so we breezed through the park in just a few short hours. The only attraction we did stop at was It's A Small World and the music annoyed my Mom to death.
As we were getting near the end of our visit I realized that Dad had not taken any pictures, so I stopped one of the characters and asked him if he would pose with me.
Here is the photo my Dad snapped.

So why am I laughing? As anyone who has been to Disneyland or Disneyworld knows, the characters are not allowed to speak. This one, however, wasn't going to follow the rules. He said " I get off at 5, lose the old folks and meet me at the front gate".  After all these years, I still have to laugh when I see this picture.
BTW, can you imagine a Disney park with almost no crowds?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Who did I piss off this time?

I joined Facebook a few years back, because I was going to use it to promote my Etsy shop. I started to find friends I haven't seen since high school and then I found friends from grammar school. It was fun catching up on all those missing years. Following instructions on how to advertise your shop, I then started a Zizzybob's Shop page. I didn't do much with it and it didn't seem to get much notice.
Then I discovered Twitter and quickly got the hang of it. I tweeted often about items in my shop and watched as the views increase whenever I did. I made a few friends, followed some famous people, got re-tweeted often, learned about hashtags, and in short it has been quite helpful.
So mid June I get the big idea to have a Christmas in July sale. I have been promoting the heck out of it but so far all I got was one discounted sale (Thank you Winota).
This past weekend I blitzed the heck out of Twitter, tweeted constantly throughout Saturday and Sunday. Twitter got me a ton of new views but then there's Facebook. I created several Zizzybob's shop entries and posted them. I shared them on my own page and where did it get me? Despite my urging, begging and pleading with family and friends, I only got 3 likes, 1 from Winota, 1 from a stranger and one from my sister who I don't even speak to anymore (we'll talk about that some other time). I watch and wonder at the "likes" and "shares" of cute kitty pictures, the "click in 3 seconds to see what happens" posts and all the other stupid crap people seem to like. I saw a post by an old friend that said her husband was watching a ball game so she wasn't going to cook dinner and somehow that started a long conversation with several people. I get far more interaction from total strangers on Twitter than I do with friends and family on Facebook. I don't get it, just who did I piss off at Facebook? Someone please explain this to me?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scissors

My Dad always said "The right tools for the right job". He was a brick mason but that phrase seems to be appropriate for any job. Here in my studio I have many pairs of scissors. This is only as small selection. I have others, mostly small ones, that I use when traveling with hand sewing.


Don't you dare cut that piece of paper with any of those. Move on to the kitchen where some older pairs are ready for paper, cardboard or even a chicken bone.


Out on my desk is another set of scissors. I think there was a sale at the now defunct RagShop when I got carried away buying these.


I'm not even going to tell you how many pairs of scissors my husband has. How many pairs of scissors are in your house?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Christmas in July

I went to the store where I usually purchase clothesline to make my coiled fabric bowls only to discover they no longer sell it. I used to buy a 100 foot package for $4. I have searched around and the best I could find is 50 foot package for $7. Quite a big difference.
With that in mind, I decided to have a Christmas in July sale to clear out my current Christmas stock and make way for the (probably more expensive) newer stock. For the month of July if you use the coupon code CIJ2012 I will give a 10% discount on any item in my shop.
Here is a few Christmas bowls I've made with the last of my $4 a package clothesline.


And don't forget some matching coiled coasters.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Texting Jargon

Some time ago, I made and listed this fabric postcard in my Etsy shop.


What really surprised me was a complaint I got, that this was offensive, as I was using the Lord's name in vain. (I guess it could be argued that no name was used in the making of this card).

So I wonder if I'll hear from her when she sees this new card in my shop.


I have asked on several occasions if anyone thought it would be over the top or not. A very small number of replies encouraged me to go for it, so if you're offended, don't blame me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I just don't Get It

I told myself along time ago that I wasn't going to do this anymore. I wasn't going to criticize someone else's craft, but I just can't help it, I just don't get it.
I've been in several treasury's lately and this same item keeps showing up.
The description starts out by saying it's a beautiful headpiece for frolicking in the meadows. Oh yeah, we all do that don't we? And when we do, we need a headpiece. I'm not sure if it's the sheer absurdity of this piece or the picture itself. The model looks like she's in serious pain, maybe it's the headpiece, maybe it's the nose ring. Or maybe she's ticked off that they didn't let her wax her eyebrows before the photography. Either way, this piece can be yours for only $39 plus shipping.


Now you are probably thinking I'm going to get in trouble with the seller and copyright rules. I'm not that worried. I only get about 7 people ever viewing my blog anyway.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Practice doesnt always make perfest

I have been making those coiled fabric bowls for a couple of years now. You would think I would be a master by now. Most of my bowls are made with one color of batik. It is a stronger, more tightly woven fabric and the bowls usually come out great. I found this adorable little bowl online here and just thought it was the cutest bowl ever.


The colors are so cheerful, I just had to copy it. I got out a fun assortment of polka dotted fabrics and made this....


Not as cheerful, kind of lopsided, I think I need to keep practising or maybe add some orange.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beyond the Barricade

Have I ever mentioned before that I am a theater nut? More specifically musicals and Les Miserables is my most favorite. I saw it last year for the first time at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and I was charmed by it. So much so that I started following a few of the US touring company's performers on Twitter. I am especially enamored by Andrew Varela who plays the bad guy Inspector Javert. He has replied to some of my tweets over the past year but merely to answer a question or two.
Several months ago I found out that the show was coming to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. As that's only an hour drive north, I got a ticket. On Tuesday I tweeted Andrew and said that I was coming to the Wednesday matinee and hoping for autographs and photos. When he replied "Totally" I was blown away.
The Kravis Center is a fabulous theater with a crowd of people who know how to behave in the theater. I had a great seat with no obstructions, pretty close to the stage. Here's the view from my seat.


I always loved visiting the pit while they are tuning up.


The performance was every bit as wonderful as the first time I saw it and there were lots of sniffles and tissues rustling.
After the show, I hustled around to the stage door. To my surprise, Andrew Varela called me by name (OK so it's Zizzybob, my twitter name) and he stopped to chat with me. If that wasn't enough, a few of the boys on the barricade also stopped to chat and sign autographs. Joe Tokarz, Jason Ostrowski, Joe Spieldenner, Richard Todd Adams and Jason Forbach were all so charming that I really wished I was 20 years old again. It got a bit confusing, talking to 3 at a time,  but Andrew was kind enough to take a photo with me. I was so overwhelmed that he grabbed my cell phone and took the photo for me (he said it was because his arms were longer.)

I have to say that he was extremely gracious and charming and I am glad I finally had the nerve to stand at the stage door. (something I've wanted to do since I was 13).
If LesMis comes to your town, please go see it, I'm sure you'll love it. As for me, I can't wait until next year when it comes around to Miami.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gift Basket Part 2

My friends condo closing is getting pretty close. I have completed the coiled fabric coasters, and have purchased a few coffee related items to complete the gift.


Now add the cellophane and a matching bow (made from the same batik fabric that the coasters are made out of) and Viola, you have a one of a kind housewarming gift.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are a great idea and are easy to make. My big problem is that I never have a reason to make one. As it happens, I friend from high school is just about to close on a vacation condo here in Ft Lauderdale. Guess what I'm making? (that's rhetorical of course). Here's the beginnings of it.....


I've started out with some dollar store finds, 2 mugs, a basket and some raffia filler. I purchased this piece of batik from our new Joann's, conveniently located just next door to the dollar store. I'll be making 2 coiled fabric coasters. Then all I need is some fancy coffee and cookies from the supermarket. It's going to turn out great.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Barbados Batik

We took a few tours while on our cruise. The Barbados tour took us to a few interesting places one of which was a batik factory.


There was a lovely demonstration on how they make the batik. My husband took a short video, but I'll be darned if I can figure out how to show it to you.


Of course, I couldn't leave without buying a few fat quarters....hey....I was on vacation... that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
















Friday, April 27, 2012

Baltimore Album Quilt Blocks

I have researched appliqued quilt blocks, both on Etsy and Artfire. It seems that everyone selling these blocks simply fuse the fabric to the background and leave you to do the finishing work. I think I might be the only one either of these sites to sell completely finished blocks, ready to use.
I have just started a new collection of blocks, my favorite, Baltimore Album blocks. Here's what I have so far.


If all this isn't enough, I go through great lengths to make a great block. Check out the work on the back. I draw all the tail threads to the back and thread them through the stitching. These stitches will never come out.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sad News

You may remember a while back when I was posting a block exchange I called The ZizzyDot block swap. Sometimes it was called ZizzyDot + 1 but I never did tell you who the plus one was. It was my dear friend Ann who lived in Pennsylvania.
Ann and I never met face to face but were Internet pals since we met on Alex Anderson's message board back in 2000. She was known online as AuntAnn. What many people didn't know was how kind and generous she was. She always stayed anonymous and in the background. She, like me, was accused of many nasty things she did not do.
One of the things we both had in common was our love of quilts and our desire to not make crap as so many people were posting back then. Ann and I exchanged blocks on and off for several years. Here is an example of her fine work, with perfect matching points and no twisted seams. Keep in mind that these blocks are only 6 1/2" square.

It is sad for me to say, but my dear friend has passed away. I received an email from her brother that she had gone in March but no additional information.
Rest in Peace my friend, I will miss you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thimbles

There was a time when I collected thimbles, not so much the ones that you can sew with, but more the ones that say where you've been. I haven't seen any anywhere in a long time until this cruise. We went on a 10 night cruise to the Caribbean and I could sure get used to that lifestyle. We stopped at 5 different islands, the first being St. Thomas.
Every island has you going through souvenier shops to board your ship, and that's where I found my first thimble. I made it a point to look for a thimble each island we visited. St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, Domenica and St. Maartens are the stops we made and thimbles I got.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Now What?

Have you signed up for the Etsypreneur daily tips? I have because I am trying to increase my Etsy sales. Sometimes I wonder however if the advice is right for me. Todays' tip is about having a blog and sticking with it. The email ends with
Actually, there is one more thing. Persistent Patience. Keep going. Keep writing. No comments, no problem. No readers, no worries. Keep going. Keep writing. You'll find the voice inside you. If you don't give up first...
...well I wonder.  I started this blog back in September 2007. In all this time this blog has not grown past the small handful that visit regularly (Hi Lin, Dotti, Anne and you all know who you are). I am fairly certain that this blog has brought me zero sales, of course it was started way before my Etsy shop but I'm just saying. I'm still looking for my "voice" and I am wondering what's the point? I still can't really say what I would like, for fear I would piss off way too many people. Should I stay or should I go? Should I close it down for visitors and leave it so only I could read it?
I am leaving tomorrow for a much needed 10 day cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. Perhaps I'll just think about it some more.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Basically, It's like Ya know?

When and how did Basically and Like overtake the English language? It really irritates me. Ask someone what the weather is like outside and you're likely to get the answer "Basically, it's like raining, ya know?"
1.  If I knew I would not have asked
2.  Is it raining or is it "like" raining?
3. Why does every sentence have to begin with the word Basically?
Do you think I'm wrong? Try watching an unscripted TV show such as The Peoples Court or a newsman interviewing a witness to an accident. Have a short conversation with your husband or best friend and see how many times they say "like" in 5 minutes.
 I may not use proper English all the time, but seriously, does every other sentence have to have these words in them?
Which brings me to Seriously....how did that creep into every conversation?

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Block Lotto

It's been a while since I joined in the fun, but this month's block is too cool to pass up. You can get more info on how to make the block and how to enter the block lotto contest here http://www.blocklotto.com/.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pinterest

Have you heard about Pinterest? It's the hottest new thing on the internet and crafters, quilters and Etsians are rushing to join. I've got to keep up with the times so I have joined the crowd and have created a 3 boards so far. Come and visit me (and sign up if you want) here at
http://pinterest.com/zizzybob/

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Are you Serious?

I recently signed up at Spacefem's Big Etsy contest. She pairs up items each day, and the public is to vote on which item they like best. There is nothing to win, but a good way to get a little free advertising for your Etsy shop. (After two weeks I still haven't had any of my items listed, but I'm hoping I will eventually.)
So every day, I go and vote for which items I like, giving a little support to my fellow etsians but lately, well, I just don't know what some folks are thinking. While mostly ever item is lovely, well made, unique and a whole bunch of other positive adjectives, there is some crap....um....stuff I just have to ask what where they thinking. Once upon a time, I used to post criticism of some of the ugliest quilts I ever saw and it got me in a whole lot of trouble. I would really love to start a blog of ugly Etsy stuff but I know that would be a foolish thing to do. So I'll let you all go decide for yourself.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Button Bracelets

I've really been wanting a few button bracelets to go with some of the new clothes I bought. I searced them out on Etsy and the ones that I like are $120 or more......are you kidding me? So I made my own.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Button Bracelet

Oh Yeah, I need a new hobby like I need a new hole in my head. But I keep seeing these online and I just had to have one. Some of the prices, though, are just plain crazy, so I made my own.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New rubber stamp

I often go looking on Etsy to see what my competition is up to. I have noticed many fabric postcards that have the makers name or web address. Mostly they write that information along with the USPS required word "Postcard" by hand. Although I always thought that the advertising was a good idea, that writing it by hand looks like crap.
I finally got around to having a rubber stamp made and I think my cards look a whole lot better if I do say so myself.


Where's George Followup

I got notification the other day that my Where's George dollar bill has be spotted again in Millersberg, Ohio. I can't wait to see where it will turn up again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fabric Postcards Part 2

It was only two hours after my last post about my fabric postcards, that I got a custom order to make 40 (holy cow) 40 dinosaur postcards. I advised the customer about how much it would cost and that I could not guarantee that they would all be the same color as in the photo. She said she wanted them and even paid, in full,  upfront (yeah). She wanted to use them as invitations to her son's 1st birthday party and needed them as quick as possible. I worked feverishly for 2 1/2 days to get them to her in good time.


The cards arrived today and the customer said she loves them BUT 10 are a pink color and she would like to send them back and get something a little more boyish looking. I am speechless.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fabric Postcards

When I first opened my shop, I was told (by a now famous blogger) that it was not such a good idea to sell fabric postcards online. After all, she said, only quilters would want them, but they can make their own.
To date, I have sold 162 fabric postcards online, and many more to local quilters offline. So much for smarty pants know it all bloggers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

I am always looking for some new design that I can make and sell in my Etsy shop. This is an old design that I thought I could knock out without any problem.

NOT. After 3 hours of fussing over it, I've decided to abandon the idea.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas is over and New Year's Eve has come and gone. It's time to move into Valentines Day and St Patricks Day.