manderly|rose on etsy

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What's New at ManderlyRose?

I have been on a voyage of self-discovery. Where should I be focusing my energy? What am I good at? What do I enjoy?

I tell people that I'm searching for my bliss. That usually gets a few eyebrow raises. None-the-less, I've continued on my path, with hills and plataues.

Have I found my way? I have found an interesting path for now, and I'm good with that.

A week or so back I was in my comfort zone, doing the same ole same ole. Then I had an experience that shook things up. I decided the lemons needed to be lemonade, and took the opportunity to find a positive in the chaos. I decided it was the kick in the pants I needed to move om to the next step.

I am developing more sewing patterns. I am working on things like branding, identity, prototypes, writing, the list goes on. It's fun for me to see the idea in my head, figure out how to make it, then write it in a way that others can create. So rewarding!

Once I have things buttoned up, I will work on distribution options. I have had great feedback from my limited marketplace on both my patterns and designs. I have been encouraged to sell my designs outright as well. So there is a lot around distribution that I need to figure out.

The internet opens distribution doors that reach so much further than your favorite fabric shop. Places like Etsy and Artfire make it easy. Using vehicles like Twitter and Facebook for marketing intrigues me, even though I've not joined the FaceBook revolution as of yet. I need to figure that out too.

So keep an eye out. I will be posting more frequently. Some posts may still be about my crazy kitties, I just can't help myself! I can not create without them. Even now, Cleo is lying next to me on the sofa, my favorite blanket clutched in her paws, snoring...Max is chasing an invisible fly...Sophia Loren is hiding under the bench. Yes, I may still be meandering life's path searching for my bliss, but some things never change.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What's new? Patterns!!!

I'm pleased to report that I have self-published my first sewing pattern! Actually, an "instructional", as there are no pattern pieces. I've developed an easy to read format, diagrams, special notes, terms and definitions, and skill levels.

The first one which I've named on-the-Go Clutch was included in a kit with all the components to make it, and sold out of the shop I work at. First though they debuted for one day at the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Tampa in our booth. Sold 10 of 18! The rest sold out in the store in two days.

More kits are in process and I'll be teaching it as a class in a month or two. I already have ladies asking for them. Aaahh!

It was really gratifying the day a customer came in with one completed. WOW! From my pages to her hands! It was so cool to see that the pattern worked for someone not too familiar with it, like I was!

The on-the-Go Clutch happened by accident. A pal of mine designed a messenger bag kit that she taught at Expo, and there was leftover fabric. Why not come up with a bag that could go in the bag? Four weeks later it was for sale! It was a whirlwind, and very satisfying.

I have another clutch pattern in the works as well as some home dec projects. Hoping to get them allfinished by the first part of May. I also need to post pictures here and add them to my Etsy and Artfire sites.

What to do when those are done? Then I'm off to work on some holiday things, another bag, and more home dec. So many ideas, so little time!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kitty Update!

What have the kitties been up to? Well...

Sophia Loren has moved out of the bedroom closet! She now lives behind a stack of books under a table in the living room. It appears to be her way of being close by me. She is standing up to Max and Cleo a little more each day. She still hates them.

Last night she came out and meowed until I petted her. She stood on the floor in front of the couch for an hour like this. Max and Cleo went nuts, but she would not move. So funny!

Max ignores SL's existence, unless she gets within a foot of him. Then he growls like a bobcat. Siamese have the most interesting voices. She in turn growls and hisses back.

Max likes to lay blocking the food and water from Cleo and SL. He's such a moody little guy! Little, ya right, all 20 pounds of him. Every day he demands to lay on me, "clean" my face, and nap. So sweet!

Cleo continues to be the happiest cat in the world. Not a lot phases her. Except of course Sophia Loren. She chases and pounces her every chance she gets. A few times a week I catch them swinging from the rattan blinds in the bedroom, one on each side, trying to attack the other. The blinds are shot, but hey, keeps them busy.

Right now they are all asleep, looking like perfect angels. Like that will last...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shrimp and Scallops Grand Marnier

I had the most amazing dinner tonight! The main course was the Shrimp and Scallops Grand Marnier. Now, I totally savored this and thought about what I was tasting so I can try to recreate it one day. I brought home a huge doggy bag because the portion was huge!

My interpretation - butter/lemon/garlic/Grand Marnier sauce. Light, not over done, buttery in texture.

Scallops and shrimp tasted like they were prepared in the sauce, or at least spent some time there. Tomatoes and mushrooms were added toward the end, as they we're not over done at all. All this topped linguini, and was topped with spinach. The spinach was not wilted, it looked fresh. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

I paired it with Belini Pinot Grigio and a salad with creamy peppercorn dressing. Mmmmmmmmmm

Now if I can figure out the recipe...

If you are in Tampa/St Petersburg area, I went to Antonio's on Ulmerton. Mmmmmmmmmm

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Where Have I Been?

I disapeared for a few weeks. I do that sometimes when I get really focussed. So what's new?

I developed a pattern. Well, I call it an "instructional" because there are no pattern pieces, just the instructions regarding how to cut what.

It is for a clutch I designed to work with a larger bag that a friend of mine developed. Kind of a companion piece. I've got a first update that needs to be done, and hopefully will have it for sale soon.

That took a lot of time, making the sample, re-making the sample, re-working the sample, writing, get the idea.

It is not an easy process, and it can become all-consuming. Thus my absence. Even friends and family have wondered where I've disapeared to. No where, really! Just been buried at work and at home.

What about the kitties? Right now, we have fleas. ICK! Fighting the slow battle, and on the look out for natural alternatives for prevention. Any thoughts? Feel free to comment!

How is Sophia Loren doing? Well, she graduated from living under the bed to living in the closet. Has a couple shelves she's moved into, kind of like a walk-up. She pops out more for food and luvins. Spends a lot of time in the window too.

This past weekend she found a little place behind books on the lower shelf of my coffee table. She began hanging out in there to be close to me when I'm home. She can hide there and not be seen by the others.

She really doesn't like Max and Cleo. Who can blame her? They are still mean to her, but she now fights back.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The Adventures of Cleo, the Happiest Cat In the World

Cleo has a definite morning routine. Most days it goes like this:

Start Time, between 7 and 8am... Wake up, come bounding out to find me, hop across me (on sofa) to get to the window, look outside a while. Hop back across, eat, drink, cover the food dish so no one else can eat. Jump up and lay next to me for petting and chin scratches. Jump down, dash to bedroom to see if Sophia Loren, the new little kitty, is still there. Terrorize her a little, get bored, begin running room to room, preferably in figure 8's. If Max happens to be in the path, she just plows him down. She jumps and attaches herself to side of long bench, and runs across it (on the side!) as a means of entering/exiting the living room. This goes on a while... When she gets bores, she follows me to the bathroom, plays in tub, steals toilet paper, rolls on my shoes, and finally collapses with exhaustion on the bathroom floor until I get in the shower.

One morning I had left the bathroom, missing the whole playing with shoes and passing out part. Apparently she chose to take her morning nap in the bathtub. I walked back into the bathroom and hear loud, echoing purring. I pulled back the shower curtain and there she was...

She was on her back, completely stretched out with her back legs straight out behind her, her front legs, curled, up in the air. Her eyes were closed, and well, if not for the purring, I'd have thought she was dead!

I spoke her name, she opened her eyes, turned her head slightly, meowed, and went right back into death position.

She is by far the happiest cat I've ever met.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Birthday Party, 40ish Style

A friend of mine turned 40 this week. To celebrate, she lined up a limo to pick a few of her friends up and transport us to another friend's house for a party. What a great idea! No driving, no going out to a bar or restaraunt, just a relaxing evening.

The limo did the pick ups and we had some champaigne on the way to the party. It was Jordon, and if you've never tried it, do so! A really yummy sensation! Really a sparkling wine, but quite tasty.

We arrived at party central. The birthday girl's family and the hostess put on quite the spread. I hadn't been there in a while, and a new addition to their phenominal house is a room they converted into a bar.

The bar overlooks the pool, and is so tastefully done. We hung out, ate, had some beverages, listened to music, and had a great night.

I want to say that the birthday girl made amazing dirty martinis. I've never really liked them, but hers were really good! I have to remember that. I tried a number of tasty concoctions, then switched to water and soda at dinner (I had to be able to function today).

Dinner was served, the birthday girl requested Carrabas so that no one would have to cook. Mmmmm so good. Chicken Marsala, Chicken Parmasan, Caesar Salad, pasta, bread... More music, sat by the pool because it's February in Florida and you can do that. It was a great night.

At one point, there was police activity. Seems someone tried to break into the house next door. Six sherriff gentlemen and a really big police dog! We were impressed with the response. When asked, our hostess told them that we were all too old to have done something stupid like that, LOL! Happy to report the neighbors were safe and all ended well.

Limo picked us up about 1am and we went back to our homes. The birthday girl was walked to her door with all her gifts, and we thanked her for a great night.

Not a bad way to attend a birthday party! I guess I'm a responsible adult, but I loved it!