Sunday, June 29, 2008

Home Again

Oh, we are finally home from our relaxing week by the lake. We planned the trip with Parker in mind. We decided on the lake front cabin down a gravel road so she could choose between bike riding, swimming or relaxing in the hammock while we took care of all the work we had to do. It turned out that the gravel road was actually a potholed, rock strewn steep incline and the lake scared the bejeebees out of her. I have never seen such a look of terror cross her face as when she first (after an hour of convincing) jumped in the lake. You would have thought a deep sea giant squid had grabbed hold of her feet and chomped them off with how fast her body hit the water then scrambled back up on the dock screaming, "get me out, get me out!" So, she would only get in if I was in the water first and her entire body was on top of a huge yellow raft and no water could touch her, even at that she only stayed in for 5 best.

When we were arranging the rental of the cabin, the one thing we needed (on top of a lake and bike riding terrain) was an internet connection. It was the only way we could have the vacation serve the purpose of Parker relaxing/playing and us acting as though we were relaxing while getting some much needed work done (like doing our taxes). So, when the owner said, "Yes, there's an internet connection." I believed him. Silly me, because I think he meant to say,
"Yes, there's a cell phone signal but no, no, there is no internet connection. No, there's not even a neighbor's signal you could pick up from here. You must be crazy thinking there would be an internet connection here. In fact, I'm not even sure what the internet is. Is that a series of wires and tubes?"
So, I do apologize if I was a bit slow to took me a while to find the right tube and the right wire to get email.

Regardless, we were able to make the launch of the new website happen, thanks to a patient and wonderful team of people over at Supercorp. They are great, I tell ya! They did an awesome job of building the website for us. And, we've already had a fantastic response! Thanks for all of the suggestions, encouragement and support...woo hoo!

So, even though Parker spent more time chatting up anyone who came within 5 feet of the fire place (we'll call her motor mouth) and we didn't really have internet (we just had our iPhones and a cellular card on our computer), I did swim across the lake almost every day and we did ride our bikes to what turned out to be a camel, peacock, horse, vulture and everything in between farm (yeah, I'm still wondering what it was doing in upstate New York). So, some good vacationing did happen.

And, it was needed.

p.s. I'll put some photos from the trip on flickr later this evening.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The rumors are true! We have been working away with a team of fantastic designers, thinkers and makers to build the website.  It is now live!  Take a look and let us know what you think.  

You'll find all of your favorite bags, such as the Fraulein Tote, which will now be available in Sand and Rosewood.  You will also find a few new colors in the ever versatile and useful Tote as well as The Porter.  We will be adding new designs, colors and fabrics on a regular basis, so set your bookmarks and keep checking back to see what's new.   

Friday, June 20, 2008

Almost there...

In the mail....

and on the road. ! woo!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rosewood Fraulein's

They're coming! Along with the new Messenger and two new colors in the Tote. But, first, Moop is taking a vacation!

Yes, you read that correctly.

Contrary to popular belief, I am not a robot (although I do have a Roomba, and it is quite funny). I need vacations, too! While it's not completely a vacation vacation, it's as close to one as we will get. There is much computer based work to be done, photographing, image editing, preparations for wholesale arrangements, a new website and....taxes. Yes, we are taking a vacation to beautiful Lake Ontario, in a lovely cabin on the water, to do some work. We decided the only way to get it all done, was to leave the work space entirely, otherwise, I'm always in production mode and so tired by the end of everyday I fall asleep while editing images or answering emails (so, if i've ever said anything crazy in an email you received from me...check the time it came through...i might have been sleepy).

The lake will be so nice! I love the water. Parker will get to swim all day and recover from Third Grade and we'll be relaxed because we're not at home thinking of all the things we need to do at home. Oh, it is going to be so nice. Really, so so nice.

Now, will I be a crazy sewing mess for the next three days as we prepare to leave? Yes. I'm aiming to have all orders placed up through this Wednesday in the mail by Thursday. So, if you've been dying to get a market bag but didn't want to is your time. Because starting Thursday, there will be a 2 week turnaround again.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today's edition: You've GOT to be kidding!

Upon sitting down with my bagel and coffee this fine Saturday morning, where the weather is a bit heavy and slightly overcast (as weather sometimes is), I opened my newly arrived July/August issue of Dwell (one of my most fav. mags), flipped through the pages and stopped on page 56. Olympic Climatology. I searched for the article online, but have not found a link (they haven't posted their new issue to the website yet), so here are a few excerpts:
"Though the Olympics are supposed to be all about the athletes, this year everyone's eyes are on the sky as the Chinese government experiments with urban weather control. For the 2008 Games, the Beijing Meteorological Bureau is using repurposed military equipment, including rockets and anti-aircraft guns, together with an IBM supercomputer and dedicated satellite imaging to stop bad weather before it forms. At least that's what they hope to do: Whether it will work remains to be seen."
"Government meteorologists and their assistant climate scientists claim that they can now change the size and shape of falling raindrops for any clouds overhead - and, through the use of special cloud additives, lock the water vapor in place. Clouds, if they aren't prevented entirely, will simply drift over the roofs of Beijing, holding their rain in check. And this is no pacifist effort. Figures released by the China Meteorological Administration indicate that an incredible 7,113 anti-aircraft guns; 4,991 retrofitted rocket launchers; and no fewer than 32,000 employees have been pressed into service on this atmospheric battlefront."
If you visit: "Regulations on Administration of Weather Modification" you'll find the 2002 law where the Chinese government gives the Chinese Government permission to do this. It's scary if you ask me. I guess The Simpson's weren't so far off with Mr. Burns diabolical sun blocking contraption.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I love to see where makers make what they make. I think it gives a really nice insight to how someone works. One of my favorite things about being part of an art program (in both undergrad and grad school) was going to see the spaces people worked in. It's always interesting to see how things are set up and what sorts of devices have been built to make a studio easier to work in and how it reflects the person who works there. So, I was of course excited to see this site called WhereWeDoWhatWeDo (found via the fabulous SwissMiss). I uploaded a photo of my work space. The photo is old and the studio has evolved so much since this was taken last summer, but I love the light that's coming in through the windows. It is one of my favorite things about working here all day.

The site needs some filling out, though. I'm curious to see where all of you make what you make or do what you do. Go and upload a photo, create a little page. It's super easy. Then, leave a comment here with a link back to it, so we can all see what you do. Click here for a link to my posting.

Also, here's an updated photo of my work space that I took this morning.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pots and Pens

So, the hip pouches are slowly returning to the shops. The Sage is there and waiting for you and the Gunmetal Gray will arrive over the weekend (it still needs to be photographed). You can find them:

and here

Today, though, I am most excited to tell you about a new Etsy shop. It's called Pots and Pens. Marlene, who also happens to be my mother-in-law (a much too formal term for our relationship, she's become a good good friend, I really love her!) is the maker of some fine pots. Her process is not your typical thrown pottery (which I do love). Everything she makes is pinched. Pinched! She is a long time calligrapher, formally trained and highly experienced and has developed a honed passion for pinched pots. If you ever visit her house, you'll see she is in fact a pinched pot and political junkie. Her living room is littered (in the best way) with pots of various sizes in various stages of life. It's a nice site to see. She sits and listens to the news and laughs at the Daily Show while making these amazing pots. If you read her profile (find it here) you'll see (and feel) how dedicated she is to what she does.

I am lucky enough to have one of her wedding pots as well as a few other of these tiny beauties.

So, on this lovely Friday, as a start to your lovely weekend, treat yourself to a lovely little pot. I'm particularly enamored with the one pictured below. You can find it in her shop:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

hip pouches

the hip pouch is coming back! i'm in the middle of sewing up about 30 of should see them in the shop by the end of the weekend (maybe even sooner!). woo!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Re-Design

I was working on an order for a lovely brown messenger last Saturday and realized, upon finishing, that I had veered off track and re-designed the Messenger Bag. This has been on my list of things to do for quite some time so I'm glad this order's production happened on a weekend. Had it been during the week, I surely would have sped through, made the same bag (which is a great bag) and not have allowed my self the space to wander. The results are good. Really good, actually! I worked out several changes, all of which will make for a much more functional (and better looking) bag.

I won't say a lot about it because I think the design speaks for itself. Small changes to the proportions and a bit of added hardware (all with a purpose) make for a well designed and functional bag. I'm hoping to have them available in the shops by early next week. I would love to hear what you think!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Studio Updates

I posted some photos a few weeks ago about my new fabric racks. They have been the most useful addition to the studio work space. We live in an open loft space that shares my work space and part of Jeremy's work space as well as our house. Organization makes living much easier when you have a 10 year old, two adults, a cat, an electronics workshop and the Moop workshop all in one place. Once the fabric racks were hung it became apparent how much organization we really needed to do. So, last weekend Jeremy designed and built an amazing new work table for the Moop studio. !!!!

If you look behind the two sewing machines and below all of the hanging bags you'll see the table. It has a large 3' x 6' butcher block top and four wide pull out drawers of the same size. He used this beautiful aluminum tubing to make the infrastructure which worked perfectly in line with sliding tracks so the drawers could be pull out drawers.

We usually spend a few days every week just cutting all of the parts for the bags and until last weekend they would sit in piles on any open surface until they were sewn up into bags. Now, they can be neatly stored away and lie completely flat until they are ready to be used. It also means we can cut more pieces at a time because there is a place to put everything. woo hoo! I love things that make my work flow more efficient. If I'm more efficient during the week then I can take more time off on the weekends. Efficiency and organization are very satisfying.