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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Love lace

My mini shawl.

I always loved lace work. I love the intricacies of the fine work. It's a refine way to create holes to form a complex pattern. Usually lace work is very feminine. Not entirely my style. But, I found a pattern with a little border of lace. With the choice of color I could even wear it casually with jeans. I used a 10 US circular Addi Turbo needle with a super fine weight #1 yarn. I enjoyed doing it and found it easier than I thought. As I was knitting this lace work I came across, from my favorite library, a book on lace.

This extraordinary book, 'Victorian Lace Today' by Jane Sowerby sparks me to do more with lace. This book has so much to offer that I'm going to add it to my library. Sowerby starts from the history of lace, reworking old patterns to make it easier for us. Back then, needles used were often as small as 0000 US. Can you imagine that? And I'm using the 00 US to knit my socks. I thought that was small.

The photography is beautiful and very professional with the UK as the elegant backdrop. Placing the old Victorian landscapes as a romantic background. Instructions and layout is easier to follow for the beginner. But enough to keep the experienced knitter interest level high. You can also learn how to design your own pattern. This is 'the' book on lace to have. I'm putting in my order!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fun Fridays

One may believe that working from home is fun. Working at home, I find, is a whole new concept of time, space & work. I'm lucky and privilege to work from home. It's an personal achievement to work for myself while being appreciated by my customers. I've never had so much recognition for my work. I barely had any before with a 9 to 5 job. In my experience, when I worked for someone, because the employer pays your salary they didn't give me the much needed appreciation.

Now, when I sell to someone, I feel appreciated with every sale. Someone, somewhere likes my products and wants it. It blows my mind.

Working from home I discovered unlimited freedom but I also had to organize myself so I don't burn out.  I work seven days a week but I also take time for myself. As long as the work gets done within a set time and your work is making you happy is hugely important.

When I work at home, with my partner, we work better following an informal schedule. Basically, it allows room for both of us to work more efficiently. And to make sure we include activities to have fun and to enjoy ourselves. That's why Fridays for now on are so important. Traditionally, Friday sparks the end to the work week. It's a point to finally let your hair down and celebrate. I know that we'll be working on the weekends.

It's easy to have Richard's fond love for beer aka the podcasts. He suggested it first. So, I declare officially, Friday afternoons as Beer Break. We slow the production and make room for a tasty beer. Whatever you do in life, try to find joy in it. Because if it doesn't make you happy...  please do something else!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The new La Piccola Wallet!

The new La Piccola Wallet...
Fun, practical, & handy!

You know, after producing this new product, my excitement has grown more intense. I'm talking about Galstudio's new La Piccola Wallet!

This is our first run and we made 20 of these cute little guys and I kept the first one. We first made three prototypes to fine tune them. Working with rubber seems to have it's own mind. I really have to work with it within the constraint of this material. Rubber is not easy to work with but I find it rewarding when I can make something I truly love. Simple details happy fun fabric wrapped in inner tubes is the perfect handy wallet to hold 8 cards and a few bills. It can probably take a few more cards but that's to the owner's discretion.

I had left over pieces of fabric and I used it in the wallets. So much fun just choosing from the funky bright fabric designs. I'm having a lot of fun creating new designs with inner tubes and I hope people will enjoy them as much as I love making them!

Sushi anyone?

Both images by Galstudio.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let There be Dots!

Galstudio's new Polka Dots Cycling Cap!

I was determined to find red polka dots. Richard and I were exhausted visiting all the fabric shops in the Lower Mainland. Yet, we kept going and our determination paid off!

Yesterday, we came back with our beloved polka dots. The fabric is a nice & thick 100% cotton. After washing it even looks better. I actually love it better than the first series. The size of the dots make a statement. Three times larger than the first dots. If you are going to wear red polka dots this is it. Go big and bold. I'm producing these caps just in time for July's Tour de France. Now on sale on my Etsy site. Be forewarn, wearing this beautiful cycling cap may make you want to climb a mountain!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More corset's for a good fit!

My messy table is crowded, in a good way, with additional Inner Tube Corset's. I have only one left on my Etsy shop and I realize my friend Jean ask me to keep him one. So I spent the better part of Sunday afternoon producing more of them. The weather's been lousy and with the help from Richard we finish them today.

I just sent one to the States and the feedback was wonderful! The feedback is so important it's the the pat on the back that makes a home business hum. It makes it all worthwhile. I'll post them probably tomorrow. So I'm working on a new design for a new product. And, I must say since Richard's been on board with me I don't seem to have enough time designing new products. It's a good thing because we have to generate more work between the two of us. Production has gone up. If all things go well, I'll have a prototype ready by the end of this week. Cross my fingers!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Quest for Polka-dots

The polka-dots in action, 1978 Tour.
From: Richard's archives.

I'm in the quest for something special. Even the climbers of the Tour de France are in search for it.

Last year, I can't believe I had at least a full roll of the perfect size red polka-dots. It is so brilliant to choose a bold design for the race leader of the climbs. I can thank Richard for the idea of the polka-dot cycling cap. It sold out last year and it's time for it again. The problem is it's not so easy to find. So I'm still looking for it. And the Tour is coming up in 3 1/2 weeks.

It will return...
Galstudio's Polka Dot Cycling Cap.

My quest started after Christmas. My suppliers seem not to have it. I've waited for an order I placed and nothing. The effort's there, what I found online was too expensive and not cost effective. So I'm planning once again to go see my suppliers.

Here's an historical background to the Tour de France polka-dots that I so love. The King of the Mountains was awarded to the best climber first in 1933. The beautiful polka-dot jersey was introduced later in 1975. Those good looking red polka-dots were decided by chocolate maker Poulain to match one of their products.

The first French sponsor of the polka-dot jersey.