blank'/> MODKIDBOUTIQUE: July 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

best surprise ever!!

I was just about to jump off the computer and make dinner tonight as I had heard Jon come through the door, when an email popped up from the beautiful, talented and always fabulous Daria of Boutique Cafe and it was titled, SURPRISE Patty!! XOXO. Well, how could I not open and email like that?! Especially when it comes with hugs AND kisses right on the subject line. To my utter surprise and amazement, Daria had featured my ModGreetings website on her weekly podcast today! WOOOHOOO! How sweet is that?! I love you, Daria!

Pop on over to Boutique Cafe when you get a chance and listen to the podcast and leave a comment in the show notes to be entered to win a Variety 10-Pack from my store.



On another note, thank you all for all the encouraging comments and weight loss suggestions. It's so funny to see how everyone's got a different method that works for them. Many of you suggested Atkins or South Beach, but I gotta tell you right now that it ain't gonna happen. Anyone or anything that makes me not eat bread for longer than a few hours is not a friend of Patty. I am Hispanic... bread is in my blood. I know it's not the best for me but I just cannot cut something like that out of my diet. I would be be a major "crabby patty." ;)

I am happy to report though that I've taken up walking on the treadmill and I don't totally hate it. I walked for 30 minutes last night while watching Project Runway on my DVR. I burned 162 calories and felt great afterwards. I plan to increase my time & speed on the treadmill every day until I can do 1 hr. without dying. I've also been forcing myself to drink more water. You may remember the i hate water post from a few weeks back. Well, lots of lemon & lime slices (and occasionally cucumbers too) are making water drinkable for me right now -- still not up to the 8-glasses-a-day level... that would be a Patty Record for sure, but I'm probably guzzling down about 3 or 4. Baby steps, right?

Also, I did not forget about the favor boxes template/tutorial. I am working on it. I took a ton of pictures of the step-by-step process so I need to cut them down to a manageable amount and edit them and put together the whole tutorial thingy. It'll be up in a couple of days. Thanks to all who commented on it. :)

Now, go, go, go listen to that podcast.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

baby got back

My sister gets married in less than 4 weeks (August 23rd) and I am the maid of honor. I tried on the bridesmaid dress at David's Bridal and ordered it way back before I went to Quilt Market (sometime in May) and it fit perfectly (well, it was a little tight but I figured if I lost a couple of pounds before the wedding, it would look HOT!) The dress came in the day before we went to on our FL vay-cay. I just picked it up in a huge hurry, didn't try it on and just stuck it in the closet.

Well, you probably know where this is going... Two nights ago, when my mom & sister were here, I put on the dress... or should I say, tried to put on the dress... for my mom to see how cute (NOT!) I looked in it. I couldn't even zip it up!!! (sob). I looked at the tag to see if they had mistakenly given me the wrong size but nope, it was the size I ordered. So I pulled out the scale (I haven't stepped on this thing in weeks!) and I was a good 8-10 lbs. heavier than when I went to Market. (SOB!) What do I do??? I needed to lose 2 lbs. but instead I gained about 10! It is waaaay to late to get the thing exchanged (since they were special-order) and there is no way to alter it (I could take it in but there's no way to let it out!) WAAAAAAA!

On another note, I totally missed my 200th post. It was 2 posts ago, but I guess I was a bit pre-occupied. Oh well! Today is the first day of "back to normalcy" here in the MODKID household. The girls returned from FL last week and my mom stayed with us until yesterday, and in between then & now we've had a flurry of activities, including (but not limited to) a birthday party, a weekend trip to St. Louis, a bridal shower and a visit to the local water park. Oh, and of course, the modgreetings launch, which by the way, thanks so much for all the wonderful comments and your purchases. I have a couple of wholesale inquiries already, plus one more local store that wants to carry them, so that's great news! :)

My mom, my sister and my niece all left yesterday and now it's just the 4 of us... for the first time since, well, June! WOW! Sophie actually asked me last night "So, is it just gonna be us from now on?" heeeheee... KIDS! Gotta love them! :)

So, speaking of the bridal shower, I made these super cute personalized favor boxes for the attendees using one of my Andalucia designs, "Jester" in the Aqua colorway (which just happens to be her wedding color!)

3-boxes

I searched & searched the internet for a good favor box template (and I did download a couple) but they were all too small or just not shaped right, and I wanted to fill these to the brim with chocolates. So I made up my own template. It worked out perfectly. I even made a little sleeve for the Hershey mini's (hmmmm... in hindsight, I probably should have stayed off the Hershey minis and maybe I could still fit into my bridesmaid dress... sigh!)

candy-wrappers

So, anyway, I will be putting together a sweet little tutorial (with plenty of step-by-step pictures, of course) on how to make these. It will include a PDF download template for the box with or without the Jester pattern. Hope you guys are into that kind of stuff... we had the best time assembling these last week!

So, I will leave you now. If anyone has a great crash diet tip, please leave a comment. Hey, all you Cook It. Blog It! members... please send me links to any low-fat recipes you may have, or some sort of lose-12-pounds-in-4-weeks diet plan or something. I am allergic to exercise but I guess I can make an exception and maybe take some Claritin for this occasion. ;) I promised my sis I would run on the treadmill 1 hr. every night but I already broke my promise once. :(

HELP! I don't wanna be a naked bridesmaid!

Monday, July 28, 2008

modgreetings

Greetings, my mod friends! Remember my "little side project" I've been hinting about for a couple of weeks? Well, this is it! It's not so little after all and it was a lot more time-consuming than I anticipated, but I am so excited to finally unveil my new division of MODKID, LLC... MODGREETINGS.

love-1

Andalucia is now available as a set of 10 beautiful greeting cards. Enjoy the rich palettes and deep textures of this collection inspired by the beauty and splendor of the South of Spain. Greeting cards are printed on 30% post-consumer recycled paper and are blank inside. Matching color envelopes with stylish European inspired pointed flaps are included with each card. Cards can be purchased individually or in sets of 3 or 10 and they come inside resealable cellophane sleeves for their protection.

pick3-1

I created MODGREETINGS to showcase my designs in a different medium that everyone can enjoy even if they don't sew or partake in crafty projects. ;)

I have a new website that showcases the designs, and my goal is to be able to sell these straight off the site eventually, but if you'd like to purchase these right now, head on over to my new Etsy shop where all 10 designs are available for immediate purchase in limited quantities. And just a few minutes after I set up my shop, I received a convo from a fellow Etsy member letting me know that my "Happy Birthday" card had been chosen for her Treasury... WOW! That was fast! I'm so flattered. Check out this awesome Treasury featuring items from the "undiscovered" section on Etsy.

10-pack-3

And if you live in the Central Illinois area and would like to check these out in person, my entire greeting cards collection is available for purchase at:

bug-a-boo baby, inc.
112 Boeykens Place
Suite 1B
Normal, IL 61761
309-862-BUGS
www.bugaboobaby.com

And, of course I have not forgotten about my little contest & giveaway. Thank you all for participating. You guys have given me tons of new ideas for future projects and even though that was not the original intent for this contest I am so glad I did it! ;) I've perused your guesses from the comments on this post and this post and even though no one actually guessed "greeting cards," two people came pretty darn close to the real thing.

First of all, Kristen guessed "notecards" and a little later on ArtsieGirl said "stationery" so since I am feeling pretty happy and generous on this beautiful Monday morning I will reward the two of you for coming pretty darn close on your guesses. Ladies, email me at sales@modkidboutique.com to claim your prize! Congrats!!!

So, that's it! I love it when a big project comes to fruition... such a great sense of accomplishment. I'd love to hear what you think of modgreetings and if you are encountering any problems with the website or the etsy store (even something as minor as a typo) please let me know! I was working on these in the wee hours of the morning. :)

MODGREETINGS-LOGO

Oh, and I will have these cards with me at Fall Quilt Market available for wholesale purchase, in case any of you store owners want to offer these to your customers. I only printed a small amount this time just to see if there was any interest in them, but if they do well, I'll be doing a much larger print run next time... keeping my fingers & toes crossed! ;)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

bliss

The girls are back from Florida, safe and sound in my arms. Two weeks was too long but oddly necessary for me to accomplish all that I accomplished. I was able to proof my strike-offs without any interruptions, work on Etsy orders, send & receive care packages, work on my little side project (which will be unveiled next week!) and even have some much needed grown-up fun in between. All of those things would have been virtually impossible with the kids around, but nevertheless, as the days passed I started longing for the smell of their hair, and the sound of their pitter-patter and the feel of their soft bellies.

But alas, they're here and we had such fun today getting silly with the camera.

girls1

girls2

girls3

We surprised them with a new desk from IKEA for each of their bedrooms. Sophie's desk displays her collection of Disney snowglobes and a few other favorite knick-knacks. And of course, some books, sketch pads and a new journal for her to jot down all those big thoughts in that silly head of hers.

sophie-desk

Sydney's desk holds her favorite stuffies, small toys and books. These will also serve as homework and reading stations this coming year. Not to mention adding some much needed storage space and a pop of color to their rooms. :)

sydney-desk

Then we got even sillier...

silly

silly2

Such fun.

I've also had such a great time today reading through all your sweet comments regarding my Andalucia debut. I am thrilled that you all like it as much as I do! I just cannot wait to see what you guys make with it. As soon as the fabric is out in stores, I will open a Flickr group so you guys can share your Andalucia goodies. :)

And while I am in the topic of blogging, I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to a few bloggers who have taken time out of their busy schedules to blog about Andalucia. You all have touched me deeply and I cannot thank you enough. Please take a moment to visit these wonderful blogs:

Bug A Boo Baby
By Dana

Fabric Hound
by Myrinda

The Domestic Diva
by Lisa

(adding to the list...)

J. Caroline Creative Blog
by Caroline

True Up
by Kim

Vintage Chic
by Chelsea

Thanks again, girls!! And if I've missed anyone, please post a link here in the comments. I'd love to take a peek and mention you here. I've been looking around blogland a bit, but now that the kids are here I will have a lot less free time. ;)

I will leave you now with a few pictures I took of the house before the kids came back. It will probably never look this clean again, LOL! But I don't care... my babies are back! :)

clean-house1

clean-house2

clean-house3

clean-house4

Monday, July 21, 2008

Introducing... ANDALUCIA

ANDALUCIA-logo-colorA

Taste the spicy ceviche
found in Sevilla’s bustling sidewalk cafés.

Take in the colors of Granada’s Alhambra palace,
a spectacular remnant of its Moorish past.

Splash in the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea.... and...

Lounge in Cordoba’s famous “patios”
where the whitewashed walls proudly display endless pots
of geraniums, bougainvillea and carnations.


Several months of research, daydreaming, doodling and finally putting designs on paper produced this collection of 40 prints (10 designs in 4 colorways) that is sure to tantalize your senses and make you dream of exotic lands and lush landscapes.

I've just received my first round of strike offs, which in the fabric design world it just pretty much means a proof of each design on fabric that you get to either approve or make changes to before it goes to production. So, I received 40 half-yard cuts that I have gone through over the past couple of days with a fine-toothed comb to make sure all colors, graphics, scale and positioning are perfect. A few changes were made (not as many as I anticipated) and they will shortly be on their way back to the mill for the second round of strike-offs.

If all goes as planned, I will have actual yardage to play with in the next couple of months. But since patience is not my virtue and I was DYING to see how some of the projects in my head would look with actual fabric, I have decided to make Photoshop my friend (well, Photoshop has always been my friend, but right now it's my BFF!) and play around with some of these ideas. What do you think???

Concept chair design for Andalucia using Moorish Tile in Fire colorway and Mod Dots in Fire colorway:

chair

Same chair but using Moorish Tile in Aqua colorway and Mod Dots in Aqua colorway:

chair-agua

Concept stripwork pillow design for Andalucia using (from left to right): Tiny Dots, Birdie Damask, Flowery Stripe, Flora and Tiny Dots in the Earth colorway:

stripwork-pillow

Concept lamp designs for Andalucia using (clockwise front to back) Mod Blooms, Jester (look familiar?!?!) and Tiny Flower:

lamps

Concept children's nursery decor for Andalucia using Mod Dots in Aqua colorway:

frames

And, of course, you'd better believe I will be doing tons of children clothing designs with my own fabric, LOL! All in due time. As a matter of fact, since (again) patience is not my virtue, I might actually make a little Sydney-sized patchwork dress with the little pieces of fabric I will have left from the strike-off process. We'll see if time permits. :)

OH, and in case you were wondering, none of these projects I've shown you up here are the special side project that I've been teasing you guys about. That one is actually already produced and will be available for purchase soon. I just have to make some tweaks to the website and get things more "in order" before I can reveal it... soon! :)

OK, I am anxious to hear what you guys think of Andalucia now that it's been presented in full splendor.

Andalucia will make it's debut at the International Quilt Market/Fall in Houston, Texas on October 25-27, 2008. Fabric will be available to purchase in stores a few weeks later.

Friday, July 18, 2008

my name on selvedge

OMG OMG OMG! i've just experienced every possible human and inhuman emotion imaginable...


i laughed (like a nervous kind of excited giggle)


i cried (from happiness... like when you give birth or watch a best friend get married)


and i peed (not on the fabric... LOL... i just think all those emotions got to me)


and i almost vomited (not because there was anything bad or gross but, again, all those emotions got to me ... i'm an emotional kind of girl)

we are off to chicago right now for the weekend, but when I return on sunday i will give ANDALUCIA a proper introduction. as for now enjoy these sneaks.


there is a ton more where these came from... 40 total prints! WHOA!
(color are way off here (blown out)... no time to edit pictures but will share more soon)
CIAO!
Pacing

My strike offs arrive today. I'm freaking out. Literally. I can't get anything done cause I keep looking out the window for the truck. I've refreshed the stupid UPS tracking screen like a bazillion times and it still says "out for delivery." ARGH!

But in other news, no one has guessed yet what my Andalucia-related side project is yet. One person came very close, though, in the vicinity but not quite there. LOL! So there is still a chance to own you very own... somethin'. And don't worry, you don't need to know how to sew or make anything at all to appreciate this somethin'-somethin' (oooh, I just gave you guys a big clue!) so go ahead leave a comment here and place your guess. At least it will keep me entertained until my strike offs arrive. eeeeek!

Everything is ready to go here in my studio. I've been shooting pictures and designing website pages non-stop for 3 days in anticipation of the big reveal. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fabric Love

I know, I know, such a clichée title, but very appropriate I promise. The day Jon and I arrived home from our FL vacation we had a ton of mail to go through, but I instantly focused on a smallish manila envelope from none other than my friend Geeta. Every possible scenario as to what it might be started going through my head, but I couldn't wait and quickly ripped open the package to find utter beauty spilling out.

geeta1

The handwritten note said, Enjoy this piece of vintage silk sari. I thought the colours would appeal to 'your Puerto Rican heart'!

geeta2

It was a color explosion that gave me chills. I literally had never seen anything this beautiful up close. My Puerto Rican heart was dancing! I immediately called Geeta to thank her (but part of me just wanted to hear her sweet English accent again... heeeheee... oh, how I adore it!).

geeta3

I still don't know what I will make with it. Geeta made me promise to make something with it but I just can't bare to put a pair of scissors anywhere near this gorgeous thing, so I think I might just try to find a way to turn it into a wall hanging of sorts for my studio... any ideas, anyone?

And speaking of color explosion, if you guys haven't seen Geeta's blog in the past couple of days, you must make a pitstop to gaze upon the most breathtakingly beautiful photos of an Indian wedding she recently attended. My mouth was agape the entire time. Thanks so much for sharing those with us and for your sweet generosity, my friend.

So, on to a different type of fabric love... I finally got around to working on the prizes for the winners of my 2nd Anniversary Contest from a month ago or so. Jess chose a sewing/crafting care package and I was delighted to put this together for her. Hope you like it, Jess. It has 4 half-yard cuts of some of my all-time favorite cotton prints and it's topped off with sewing notions galore: Euro-style ric-rac, crochetted fruits & flowers, appliques, and even a spool of Gütermann thread in one of my favorite colors.

bundle1

Jess, if you make something with this, I'd love to see! And, again, congratulations on winning the contest and thanks for visiting my blog!

bundle3

bundle2

I am happy to report that everything that needed to go out in the mail is finally out... all of my etsy orders, and the contest winners' prizes (Annie, yours is in the mail too!), and even a couple of wedding RSVPs. PHEW! What a relief! And just as I though I could finally sit down and relax, something came in the mail today that made me squeal with joy (no, not the Andalucia strike-offs, I wish! But they should be here very soon, I'm told! Still keeping my fingers & toes crossed.) It was something for that little side project that I told you guys about on this post. It is something that I am going to be offering soon to compliment Andalucia, but I can't show you anything until I make my fabric reveal because these use some of the same designs and it would be kind of premature. In other words, I don't want to spoil the surprise... I don't want to show you these now and then when I can finally make my fabric debut you guys would be all like "seen it!" Get it? Hope so. ;)

Although, if any of you would care to take a guess as to what these are, I will send a little freebie in the mail to the first person who guesses right. :)

Let's see how good you are...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Mumblings

Here I am again, mumbling on Monday morning (well, I guess it's technically Monday afternoon as of 6 minutes ago, but who's counting, right?) This past weekend was quite eventful for me. We decided to have an impromptu party at our house to celebrate our child-free status. It started out as a small dinner party... only 7 of us, very quaint, but it ended up lasting ALL NIGHT... and I mean... we finally went to bed as the sun was rising... eeek! It was awesome, though. We hadn't partied like that since, well, 1999... LOL!!! Seriously, that was the year before we got married and started having kids and became... old. ;)

Showing off our "Travel Toes" (Clockwise from top: Briana, Danielle, Patty & Caty)

As an appetizer, I made ceviche (which was a HUGE hit!), guacamole and shrimp cocktail and served them with some awesome lime-flavored tortilla chips from Whole Foods Market. We also planned to grill chicken breasts and serve them with rice, salad & French bread, but the chicks all got so full from pigging out on the appetizers that we decided not to partake in dinner... so the guys decided to grill beef franks for themselves instead. Fine with us.

The party was also a way to debut Jon's newest beer brew... a Belgian-style Witte. It was awesome! His best batch yet, IMO. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that I made my Key Lime Pie for dessert but this time I poured the mixture into individual size graham cracker crusts... so cute! A great time was had by all!

I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from this and cleaning and by the time I got back to my email I had an inbox full of Cook It. Blog It! requests... which, by the way, if you guys are reading this, all new requests have been added. I don't even know how many members we have now... over 40, I'm sure. I'm too lazy to count right now, but I am thrilled nonetheless that you guys all love it so much. Most of the newer members are avid cooks, judging by the looks of your blogs, so I am so excited to have ya.

I was also thrilled to find out -- through your hilarious comments -- that there are lots of you out there who also have a "water-drinking-issue", as I like to call it. Read my last blog entry to know what I mean by this. Not that I wish this on anyone out there, but you know what I mean, it's always comforting to know that you are not the only weirdo out there. ;)

I also had a couple of new sales on my Etsy store over the weekend... WOOHOO! It's always great to come back to unexpected money in your Paypal account. This motivated me to get my butt in gear and list the 2 travel items I made for my mom (which she LOVED, by the way) on my Etsy store this morning.

I listed this super-cute sleep eye mask that reverses out to a solid navy blue in case the man in your life wants to use it too and he's to embarrased to sport Marimekko flowers on his face. ;)
Find it here.


I also listed my travel pillow design. I used it on the way down to Florida last week (shhhh... don't tell my mom!) and it was HEAVEN! Get yourself one here.


And finally, since this was such an awesome gift for my mom, I decided that some of you may want to give these as gifts too, so I listed it as a COMBO Pack with a discount... check it out here.


And as I was listing all these goodies, I remembered that I had forgotten to tell you guys about my mom's newest awesome purses! OMG, these are soooo cute. I already have my favorite in sight, but I will let you guys decide before I taint your decision.
She has created a new version of my favorite Amy Butler purse in a different colorway (which. by the way, I still get tons of compliments on every time I wear it out)... I'm not sure which I like better.


Plus added a couple of new designs to her collection. These are ready-made & ready to ship, so get yours here!

I think that is it for my Monday "Morning" Mumblings. This week I will be sewing a couple of orders from my Etsy sales, getting my packages ready for the two winners of my Anniversary Contest (sorry for the delay, girls! they will be on their way to you very soon, I promise!!!) and hopefully, hopefully (fingers & toes crossed) proofing my first round of Andalucia strike-offs. Yup, they are not here yet, but Kathy assures me they will arrive before Sophie & Sydney get back... let's hope so. I am dying to share with the world!

Happy Monday, Everyone!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's new on Cook It. Blog It!

First and foremost, we have a sponsor!! WOOHOOO! The fabulous Nikki from The Gourmet Mama Blog emailed me last week right before I went on vacation to pitch this idea to me and I thought it was fantastic. I would have jumped on it right away if I wasn't jumping on a plane instead, but alas, here we are. Better late than never, eh?



Click on the banner above to be taken to The Gourmet Mama's blog where you can find many, many healthy recipes and lots of inspiration even for us novice cooks. What I love about Nikki's blog is that she not only gives you clear instructions about how to prepare these meals but she also gives you the nutritional information for each meal. AWESOME! And check out her sidebar for loads of useful information including Cooking Measurements Conversions and even how to calculate your Weight Watcher points... doubly AWESOME!

Thank you, Nikki, for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us and as if that wasn't enough she has offered to add you to her blogroll if you use one of her recipes and blog about it. YAY!

So, what's going on in Cook It. Blog It! land? Well, we have 30 participants as of now and that is so amazing to me considering I just started this a couple of weeks ago. You guys have been busy cooking while I've been away, so I spent a little time this morning perusing your blogs and found a few favorites.

Today I am featuring SWEETS because I am missing my girls big time and I know how much they love their sweets.

First of all, my friend Eva makes a triumphant return to blogland with none other than a Blueberry Muffin recipe that is to die for. I just want to lick the screen because her pictures are always so amazing. I am dying to make this but I will have to wait until the girls get home or else I will triple my weight in no time! LOL! Thanks for joining us, Eva!

Next, I want to share this wonderful Berry Gallette recipe posted by fellow blogger, Amii. This dessert looks incredibly complicated to make but I don't feel intimidated because she has given us step-by-step photos (LOVE YA FOR THAT!)... and I mean, there are like 200 photos on this blog post... see for yourself! LOL! I need that many photos, though. Like I've mentioned before, I am a visual person, so this is the only way you are gonna get me to try something. ;) I like visiting Amii's blog because she has amazing photography and awesome music. Thanks so much for making me salivate all over my keyboard, Amii.

I can't talk about sweets without throwing some libations in the mix. I luuuurve me some sweet refreshing fruity drinks in the hot Summer months!

My friend Ash, from in.full.bloom, has posted a yummynumptuous Strawberry Margarita recipe, as part of yet another triumphant blogland return. heee heee... I just love how this club is bringing people out of lurkdom! ;) She calls it Love Potion No. 9 ... oooooh, kinky. And it uses one of my favorite flavors... lime. :)

Also, check out Amii's tropical concoction using L&A's Pineapple Coconut juice. YUMMMM! Add a little spiced rum to that mixture and I'm all set. ;) I think I might just walk around with a cup of that stuff for the next couple of weeks. LOL!!!

So, what's my contribution to Cook It. Blog It! ??? Hmmm... not much right now. I haven't been cooking up much since the girls have been gone. I've mostly been trying to find ways to make water appetizing. Yep, you read right. I don't like to drink water. And yes, my mother, and my doctor and my doctor's mother and my mother's doctor have told me all my life how important it is to drink water, but that is not the issue. I know I need to drink water... I just don't like it.

So, Eva told me to try the "cucumbers in water" idea. I think they call it Spa Water ??? It was pretty good... for water. And, yes, I know there's a ton of cucumbers in there, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

I did drink a couple of glasses of that stuff and it made it taste a little better but I think I enjoyed the Cucumber Sandwich I made even more. LOL! I just took the peel off the cucumbers, sliced them pretty thin, then put them on a couple slices of sourdough bread with some low-fat cream cheese. YUM!


I also tried putting some citrus in my water. I sliced some fresh lemons and limes and dumped them in. But I think I put so many in there, that it was almost a lemon-limeade. Oh well... I'm drinking water and that's what's important, right?!?!

Oh and as I was searching for some links on the internet, I found this recipe for Cucumber-Lemon Water...why didn't I think of that? ARGH! Oh well, tomorrow's another day. ;)

Am I the only weird one around here or do any of you have a water-drinking-problem?