Off To Chi-Town

That's what we Illinoians affectionately call the windy city. I planned a "girls only weekend" with a friend of mine months ago and it's finally here!

She will come to my house at 9 am today (so, in like 10 minutes) and we will drive to Chicago together (about 2 hrs) and stay at the Sheraton (right near Michigan Avenue... the Magnificent Mile) and shop and eat and drink and talk to our little hearts' content without being worried about kids or husbands! Ahhhhhhhhh! Can't wait!

Neither one of us is taking computers with us... just our cell phones and iPods and cameras, so I'll probably have eBay withdrawal while I'm gone, but I think it'll be good for me. I promise that when I get back I will share some awesome pictures of Chicago, plus I haven't forgotten about the cool pictures of the City Museum in St. Louis that I promised to share a few days ago. Boy, I've just been a traveling fool lately! ;)

Just wanted to let you know that I will be MIA for a couple of days in case anyone was trying to reach me. I will check back in on Sunday evening. Have a great weekend, everyone! I know, I WILL! :)
So I whined (freaked) a little today

First of all, I want to thank everyone who so kindly emailed (and called) today to tell me about my eBay listings. For those of you who don't know, I scheduled two listings for this afternoon on eBay. They were supposed to start at 1:30 p.m. PST (right in the middle of my 3-hr. long drive to St. Louis to pick up my kids). The first phone call I received was from my good friend (and new fellow blogger) Kristen, of gocksfrocks. "I hate to tell you this, but your descriptions aren't showing up at all on your listings." What? I ran to my sister's home office, bumped my brother-in-law off his computer and SCREAMED as I stared in disbelief at 2 empty eBay listings. There was NOTHING there. The listing was live but there was no content at all... no pictures, no text. NOTHING!

I checked my email real quick and there were half a dozen emails there from fellow eBayers telling me what I unfortunately already knew. I proceeded to engage in a 20 minute retarded conversation with a "Chris" from eBay LiveHelp. "Sorry, m'am, we cannot assist with html problems." "But it's NOT an html problem, it's an eBay problem" is what I was about to write when my sister who had quickly jumped on her laptop to check out the problem, announced to me that it was indeed NOT an eBay problem because the listing was showing up fine in Firefox, just not in Internet Explorer. CLICK! (goodbye, LiveHelp)

I checked out the code and for the life of me could not figure out what the heck I had done to it so that it would read fine in one browser and not on the other. "Jon!!!! Help me, please!!!" I turned to the only person I could think would be nerdy, er, tech-savvy enough to figure out my problem. I know some of you like to give your husbands cute little pet names in your blogs, and maybe someday I will too, but for the time being he will remain just "Jon" (you know, like "Just Jack" from Will & Grace, but way less gay). But I digress. Unfortunately we were in 2 different states (he in Illinois and me in Missouri) so we had to troubleshoot this mess through crappy cellular connections, but nevertheless, he saved my butt!

See, the issue was that I had accidentally deleted a little < right at the top of the code and the absence of that little < made IE freak out. As Jon explained, "Firefox is a lot more forgiving. It fixed the problem on its own and that's why the few people who use Firefox were able to view your listing but everyone else couldn't." Unfortunately, the vast majority of you all use IE... why, why, when there's a better, more advanced browser out there that will do nice things like fix my little screw ups?

See, it's like this. Firefox will invite you into her house. It is tidy, modern and highly organized... but still has a sweet welcoming aroma. She will say "Oh, I see you tracked a bit of mud into my newly polished floors, but that's OK, I can clean it up for you. Make yourself comfortable. Can I get you a cup of tea?" Internet Explorer is the old, snooty lady that lives across the street and if you speak to her with the slightest trace of an accent she will reply rudely, "I - don't - understand - the - words - that - are - coming - out - of - your - mouth!"

Hey, I've been hanging out over here at Firefox's house and let me tell ya... she is the "hostess with the mostest." And there's room for a few more... so come on over!

So, without much further ado, let me present to you my two latest creations. I just listed these two gorgeous sets for the LimeVine "SEAGLASS" themed launch that starts today. And now that my technical difficulties have been averted, you should all be able to see them... even those hanging out with the old lady.

Oh, and if any of you have been wondering how my second day of the Complaint-Free Challenge is going... let's just say that I'm gonna have to start over again.
A Complaint-Free Day for Patty? Bwa-ha-ha

Ever since I posted about the complaint-free challenge, (what, like 12 hours ago?) I've been trying to see if I can even go 21 minutes without an involuntary whine (forget 21 days, I need to start with baby steps, LOL!). Well, I guess I'm just a natural born whiner, because, this is the way my afternoon & evening went:

  1. I was top-stitching some denim with my double needle and it was looking oh, so beautiful, when, all of a sudden, SNAP! The needle broke right into the fabric and pieces went flying everywhere! Of course, I don't keep a supply of those handy, so I had to put the project down until my next trip to the fabric store. First big whine from me... ok, I must start over!

  2. Then, I was waiting impatiently for my postman to come because I knew my beloved FreshCut that I ordered 5 days ago would finally be here today (since it wasn't here yesterday or the day before). Well, the man came and no fabric for me, again. And AGAIN, I whined! UGH! Must start over!

  3. Then, I got all dolled up for a night out with some friends. It was my last chance to have some real grown-up fun since I have to go pick up the kids tomorrow. Well, my friends canceled at the last minute... HUGE whine from me! Ok, I'm starting to think I just can't control it.

  4. Jon felt sorry for me and decided to take me out for sushi. Awww, what a sweetie! He's a keeper. The food was great. The conversation was great. Just a perfect date night with my hubby. As we were leaving the restaurant I discovered it was POURING outside and I had not brought an umbrella. We got soaked and again, I WHINED!

  5. So I am in the car explaining to Jon why I am so disappointed at my whining. I explain the challenge... and how I got tagged today and how I just cannot go 5 minutes without whining and he starts laughing at me because I am whining about how much I whine! LOL!

So, needless to say, I don't think I will be successful at this challenge. I will keep trying but... no promises! ;)
Who's Complaining?

I guess I am, because I have been tagged to stop complaining for 21 days straight! Anyone who knows me is probably thinking "Good Luck with that!" but I actually think I could do it! It's amazing what I can accomplish if I set my mind to it. Daria from Boutique Cafe has tagged me, and I thought this was just a funny little thing among us crazy boutique chicks, but it turns out it's a nationwide movement started by Oprah herself! WHOA! Ok, then!

There's a movement right now to help create a Complaint Free World. Can YOU do it? Can you go without complaining for 21 days? Scientists say it takes 21 days to break a habit and create a new one. So can you? Here's what you need to do.
1. Click on Beki's blog to order a free purple Complaint Free bracelet.

2. Tag at least 3 people and spread the word. Challenge them to participate.

3. Sign the Mr. Linky On Beki's Blog so we can see how far this goes!

4. The final step, and most important. STOP COMPLAINING! You put your bracelet on and any time you catch yourself complaining you must switch it to the opposite wrist. The goal is to go 21 days without switching it. If you switch it, your 21 days starts all over again.

Alright now to the fun part of this...tagging three other people! I'm tagging Sandi, Sarah and Becky. Stop complaining, girls! ;)
Hello Dolly!

Don't these dollies look so adorable all decked out in their Heather Baileys and Amy Butlers?

I haven't posted in a while because I have been a crazy sewing mama for the past few days. I completed all my custom orders, so if you've ordered from me in the past 2 - 3 weeks... they are coming!!! I've also completed 2 new designs that will be listed tomorrow on eBay for my first launch with my new design group LimeVine. And in between all that craziness, I also squeezed in a road trip to St. Louis to go to my niece's 7th B-day Party. It was at the City Museum and I don't know if any of you have ever been there, but the place is spectacular... sensory overload for sure! I will post pictures very shortly, as soon as I get them all organized. I must have taken about 150 pictures there and I didn't even see half of the place. WHOA! Loved it! Can't wait to go back!! :)

I left the kids in St. Louis at my sister's house so they could all play together for a couple of days (since they are all on Spring Break) and although I've missed them terribly, I have been able to get so much done in just 2 days of peace. I was woken up yesterday at the crack of dawn (well, more like 9 am... hee hee) by the DHL guy who was delivering a box of my new clothing hang tags. Aren't these gorgeous?! They have inspired me to get more sewn just so I can slap a hangtag on them... funny how things work!

By the way, my new hangtag is hanging on a new top that I designed for a sweet new customer of mine. She won an auction last week for a ready-made two-piece set and after winning she emailed me requesting a 3rd piece for her set, so I created this for her and it'll go out today... that was the last custom on my to-do list. Now I get to play and make new stuff for the rest of the day! :)

I am soooo excited to be a part of the Beatlemania launch! I have just listed these 2 custom sets:

The first one is a tribute to YOKO ONO.

And the second one is a 2-piece set inspired by the song, "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite":

Search TheFab4 on eBay to check out all the fabulous Beatles-inspired listings!
Two Birds with One Stone

This will be a multi-purpose posting. I wanted to share a few more pictures from our FL vacation. But these also just happen to be sneak peeks of two custom sets that I will be listing next week on eBay (March 22nd, to be exact, for the Beatlemania launch).

We had a blast at Animal Kingdom last week and of course the girls were the center of attention in their MODKID. I had never had that many people come up to me in one single day to ask "where I buy my kids' clothes at"... "well, let me tell ya!" LOL! Thank goodness I came loaded with business cards. Since we've returned, I have had a dozen or so new subscriptions to my mailing list, so I'd like to think it was my Disney fans. :)

The set Sydney is wearing (above, below and to the right) has got to be the most playful set I've ever designed. The skirt is a "poof" style (or is it a "puff"?). It has a drop waist (it doesn't show in any of these pictures, but it's there) and it is slightly gathered at the bottom to create that fun "poofy" look. It is made with this cool European circus fabric that features a parade of hand drawn whimsical characters (wizards, clowns, circus animals. etc.)... very unique. The shirred top is light, airy and fun... the black fabric you see is a Robert Kaufman crepe gauze so it is not too heavy and can be worn comfortably all through the Summer. And as you may have noticed already, I am just wild about dots this season... they just look so adorable on the girls! :)

Now, let me talk for a bit about Sophia's set (to the left). About a week or so before our vacation, she came to me and out of the blue asked me if I would make her a pretty dress to wear to Disney. THUNK! (that was the sound my butt made as I fell off my sewing chair). Of course, I immediately grabbed her hand and we ran together to my fabric stash (I think I was actually skipping!). She had already eyed what she wanted... she didn't hesitate one bit. "I want the one that looks like Sailor Moon, mommy." It was this gorgeous Alexander Henry "japanimation" fabric that I had received in the mail a few days prior. Now, let's pick a coordinating fabric. Of course, she went for the Pink Ta Dots, being that red and pink are her "favorite colors in the whole wide world". And, guess what? I just found out that Michael Miller has finally retired the Pink Ta Dot, so now it will be in high demand (the girl has expensive taste, I tell ya!) Next, we sat down together at my cutting table and I sketched out a few rough ideas until she pointed and smiled at one. A Sophia Creation was born! (she loved it so much that she wore it to both Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom... ahhhh, makes a mommy proud!)

Now, how do these relate to Beatlemania, you ask? Yes, I know you've been wondering. Well, Sydney's Euro circus set represents the song "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite", which happens to be one of my all time favorite Beatles' songs. Sophia's japanimation set is a tribute to Yoko Ono. Look for these next Thursday, March 22nd, on eBay. The search term will be "theFab4".
I Told You There'd Be Pictures

How much can you pack into a 7-day vacation? If you are the Young family, you can go to 2 Disney parks, several ethnic restaurants, the bars, the beach, sailing and still have enough time left over for some good ol' R&R.

I promise I won't post all 583 pictures shot during this trip, but here are a few highlights. Here is my family (grandparents included) in front of Cinderella's castle at the Magic Kingdom:

Here is Sophia meeting a few of her favorite princesses (and getting their autographs):

Here are a couple of shots on my dad's sailboat. We took it out on Sunday around Port Canaveral...
Sydney had a blast at the Beach on Monday morning (a little boutique sneak peek too!):

Jon and I even had a chance to escape and meet up with a few friends (a.k.a. my "Design Team") for some awesome German beer and food. Here are the highlights of that evening:

I'll leave you now with a nice and wholesome German "beer-drinking song"... we sang it so many times that night that I can't get it out of my head!

Ein Prosit! Ein Prosit! Der Gem├╝tlichkeit! Ein Prosit! Ein Prosit! Der Gem├╝tlichkeit! Eins! Zwei! Drei! G'Suffa! Zicke Zacke Zicke Zacke Hoi! Hoi! Hoi! The Willow Tree Ist Wunderbar!

Modkidboutique meets FleurL'Enfant

It was my first "boutique encounter" so I'm pretty psyched about it, and it couldn't have been more fun! I met the fabulous Andrea of fleur*lenfant (a fellow LimeVine designer and super-sweet chick) at the Magic Kingdom on Friday. We chatted for a while, took pictures in front of Cinderella's castle and even got chosen to participate in the Main Street Family Fun Parade. All in all, it was an awesome experience!

Here we are with all of our kiddos in front of the castle:
And here we are at the parade:
Boutique Invasion at Disney!
Seems like March is the month to travel to Disney (World or Land) and the fabulous designers of the eBay boutique community are sure taking advantage of the gorgeous weather down here! We are here already... staying at my parents' house in Cocoa and looking forward to a couple of Disney-filled days. But are you curious as to who else is, has been, will be here? Well, as far as I know: Ronda of sundarose (a fellow LimeViner) just got back and her family even got to ride in a Disney limo! How cool is that?!? Andrea of fleurl'enfant (another fellow Viner) has been down here for a couple of days... they've visited Magic Kigdom & Animal Kingdom already. Sandi, of portabellopixie was headed to DisneyLand in CA today... how fun! She even made her daughter a darling Cinderella dress for her dinner with the princess. Sarah of marvellousmouse is coming down at the end of the month and she is very excited to meet up with her family! I'm sure there's a few more I'm not aware of... so if you re coming down or have just been here, please feel free to leave a comment and make the others jealous! hee hee
We arrived here yesterday evening and immediately headed to our favorite Cuban eatery in downtown Orlando, Numero Uno. We feasted on lots of garlic-infused yummy food and delicious desserts. Today we took it easy and hung around my parents' house in Cocoa all day. The girls played for hours in the little purple playhouse in the backyard. Temperatures hovered around the mid 70's with low humidity! AHHHHHHHH! :)
Tomorrow we are headed to Animal Kindgom and Friday, it's Magic Kingdom until the late evening (gotta catch the awesome fireworks display, of course!). Saturday, we'll be taking my dad's sailboat out and we cannot wait. He has been refurbishing it for the past 3 months and it looks absolutely gorgeous! We took a little tour of it today as he put in the finishing touches.
Saturday night, Jon & I are taking off to Orlando to meet some old friends for lotsa beer drinking at our favosite Irish pub, The Emerald Hen, and delicious German food at our favorite "schnitzel haus", The Willow Tree Cafe . My mouth is watering already!
Not sure what we have planned for Sunday or Monday but I'm sure it'll involve good eatin', gorgeous temperatures and lots of picture takin'. ;)
When I get back get ready for picture overload!!! LOL!
BGG Winter '07 Catalog is out!!!

As some of you know, Sydney is my little Baby Gassy Gooma model. This is the second season she has modeled for them and we still have a few to come, since we signed a 2-year exclusive contract with the company. We shot their Winter 2007 collection last week and I've been dying to share because the pieces were so gorgeous. We just had a blast shooting these! Now that the collection has finally been unveiled on their site, I can share here too... hee hee. Sydney modeled for the "Shades of Winter" collection and also for the "Autumn Carnivale" collection. Here are a couple of my favorite shots from those 2 lines, but to see the entire catalog, you can click on the links above.
Swinging on the Vine

Well, after much deliberation, I have finally found a new home on eBay. The fabulous designers of LimeVine have welcomed me with open arms and what an awesome Vine it is! I have had the best time the past few hours chatting with the ladies and getting to know them a bit better, and I am even jumping on their upcoming group launch...shhh... the theme is a secret for now but I promise it will not disappoint. To check out the LimeVine listings on eBay, click here. Unfortunately, I could not change the titles on my existing listings because they already had bids by the time I joined the group, so they will not show up on this search. To check out my listings, click here.
Night at the Cirque

Tonight Jon and I went to see Cirque Du Soleil's new traveling show, DELIRIUM. If you haven't heard about it, it differs from their previous shows in that it is more musically-oriented (so, not as much circus-y stuff). So I was a bit skeptical at first, because I like the circus-y stuff. But the show was amazing! I totally surpassed my expectations and it rivaled every other Cirque show I have ever seen. They still had some acrobatics mixed in with the dancers, singers and musicians, so it was like sensory overload! Of course, the minute we got there they told us that the use of cameras was strictly prohibited, so I couldn't get any pictures of the show itself... just the stage before (the blue one) & after (the orange one). And of course that goofy picture of Jon and I waiting for the show to begin... doesn't he look enthused? LOL!

The whole show was done like a dream sequence and we (the audience) were all part of this wacky dream. There was this guy (the dreamer) who floated above the stage suspended from an oversized blue balloon (that sometimes changed colors according to the scenery on the stage). The music was entrancing ... at times it sounded like something right out of Carnival in Brazil, and at times it sounded more like a cross between Dead Can Dance and Massive Attack. Drums, drums, drums. There was everything from tribal chants to Gregorian chants. The singers had amazing voices and they sang in many different languages. The costumes were gorgeous and of course I was drooling and trying to take a mental picture (since I couldn't take an actual picture) so that I could maybe try to incorporate some of those elements in my designs. Check out this gorgeous willowy mermaid-like dress that was like 50-feet long (this is not my picture... I swiped it from their site, but I just had to include it here because it was breathtaking!)

But my favorite part, and you guys are gonna think this is totally weird, was this guy that walked around on stilts through the whole concert. Now, I have to interject here and inform you all that for as long as I can remember I have had a strange fascination with stilts. Could it be because I am only 5-foot-tall? Probably! But, nevertheless, it's always been a fantasy of mine to walk around on stilts and I become totally entranced when I see stilt walkers. So of course, as soon as that guy made an appearance, my eyes followed him everywhere he went. He wore these super flowy pants that had layers and layers of colorful gauze in different lengths and he babbled incoherently but in a very comical way. He was also mighty talented with a hula-hoop.

All in all, a very pleasurable experience and a wonderful Valentines/Anniversary gift that I will never forget!

Just Listed.

I can't believe the Designers' Notion SPRING FASHION EVENT 2007 is finally here! WHEW! Two months in the making... but the listings are looking great. We have some amazing talent on our board, so I am not surprised. We have 52 designers signed up to participate and just in the first 20 minutes of the launch being up, 12 listings popped up. These girls are on the ball! LOL!

Anyway, I wanted to share with you all my contributions to this launch. I set them up as 10-day auctions so that they will end right around the time when I get ready to return from vacation. I figured, by the time I get payment, measurements and all that good stuff I will be back home & ready to work.

The first one is a pretty litte Asian-inspired halter dress that uses my favorite print from Amy Butler's new LOTUS line. It is also adorned with 4 fabric yoyos that are attached on pinbacks so they can be removed or placed wherever you prefer... you could even use them to adorn your favorite purse! This dress will be recreated in sizes 2T - 6X. This is my favorite picture of Sydney from this set because it really shows her newly found diva personality... that little stinker! LOL!

Secondly, I listed some gorgeous hair flowers made with authentic vintage buttons that I found in my stash of vintage sewing stuff from my MIL. The buttons are so cool, but sadly I only found 2 of them, so these hair flowers are one-of-a-kind. I haven't put any clips on the back of these yet, because I know everyone has a different preference for those, but I do have alligator clips and French clips that I can attach them to. AND, if you prefer, I could even attach them to pins so they can be used a brooches for clothing or purses! :) Hey, I just thought of that!!! COOL!

To find these 2 ebay auctions, click here.
I won, I won! OMG!

Daria, from Boutique Cafe, emailed me last night to tell me the good news that I was selected as the winner for the Svan Scooter. I almost fell out of my chair reading that! I never win anything. And this was one of those things that, when I first saw it, I though, "That is soooo cool, but so unnattainable!" And now it's mine!!! WOOHOO! I still can't believe it. This morning, I got the email from the company asking for my mailing address... so it's true, I didn't dream it! LOL!

How did I win it? Well, I logged on to Boutique Cafe as I normally do, and they were having one of those "Clicking Spree" contests. This day, if you left a comment on the thread that presented the Svan Scooter, you would be entered in a contest to win one. So I did, and I said something about how much I love Scandinavian design and how my home is filled with Scan Design and IKEA furnishings (if you've read the rest of my blog, you will have known that already). And VOILA! I won!

These are just some stock photos, but when I get that baby here, I will be taking my own pictures of Sydney on her brand new free Svan Scooter... I already promised Daria some cool photos! :) Thank you, Boutique Cafe! You guys are the coolest!!!
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