Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back home!

After three weeks away on the East Coast with no computer access and occasional cell service (I love Vermont!), I'm back home and sewing my butt off! A three week hiatus from Orange Fishy, although refreshing, wasn't fiscally wise. Ah well, back to work...

The weather is still sunny and warm but I've begun to pull out the fleece, flannel and wool from my storage bins. I had forgotten how fabulous fleece can be! I experimented with needle-felting wool onto fleece and flannel. Not only does it work, it's machine washable if felted well and looks great. Go ahead, crafty kids, give it a try!

I've also made a new baby and toddler winter hat pattern and the sample is super cute - if I do say so my self. ;) I'm so pleased with the hat that I might have to make it in kid and adult sizes. I know, I know...I need to find the time to snap a pic of that baby so you can see what I'm talking about. It'll happen. At some point. :)

So, all three of you reading this, what should Orange Fishy dive into next? I'll be fleshing out the line with full length capes for the younger gals and I'd like to resurrect spa shoes (mighty cute, super soft slippers asian inspired slippers). Mittens are on the docket as well. What else?

Well, I'm off to get a good night's sleep so I can dive into market preparations tomorrow. Some summer stuff going on sale to make room for fall and winter items. Only so much room in storage. Until next time...

-Mama Fishy

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back again!

It's been quite a while, I know. I've been fairly busy with an arts camp, the farmers' market and preparing to head out of town for three weeks. Yikes! That's a lot of planning and packing. Some Fishy clothes will be traveling with me in the hopes they will stay behind in New England as friends and family fall in love with them. I rarely pass up an opportunity to let people see my clothes. The pieces sell much better when people can touch them.

We leave tomorrow. I may not have computer access for much of my time away, so it may be another dry spell. I know, I know. Some of you live for my blog and I am very sorry. But life must go on. Take up a hobby while I'm gone - it'll help to pass the time. Perhaps we can discuss the start of a support group...

I thought I'd post another couple of pics. I'm not the best photographer, but I had to show off this little blue number. I might need it in a larger size! It's a version of the "Rebecca". Every style I make is named after someone I know. Rebecca was my college roommate and is a dear friend of mine. The green skirt is a "Natasha" - named for another dear friend who resides in California and is funny, sincere and simply wonderful - all things I aspire to be. The purple and green skirt is a "Catherine" - for my niece and Godchild, Mary Catherine, 14 and delightful. And the pink, fluffy number is a "Jakki". Jakki is my co-teacher and an artsy, sassy, fantastic woman. She actually owns the very first "Jakki" skirt. And rocks it out!

Happy Summer!

-Fishy Mama





Saturday, July 10, 2010

Market Day

The farmers' market was fun today if not terribly lucrative. Location, or more importantly the direction one's booth faces, determines the success of the day. I got to the market when I normally do, but was given a spot on the "dark side". Bummer for me. Good for a couple of the vendors who keep getting the short end of the stick and have been considering giving up on trying to sell their art. Hopefully they did well. I enjoyed the day, despite the lack of revenue. A few repeat Fishy customers stopped by to chat (and purchase!). Friends stopped by as well and the weather was great. Marla's marvelous market crepes always make me happy as well!

Here are some pictures for all six of you that read this. Info about them: The little grey dress is reclaimed silk. The little guys in the crate are the aliens my intern, Nathan, and I put together this Spring. As for the skirt I'm wearing - I threw it together yesterday as I experimented with different wrap skirt silhouettes. I liked this one the best. It's basically a circle skirt in wrap style. I'll be doing a tutorial in a couple of weeks for those who wish to check back in.

- Fishy Mama



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Those darn kids!

I had planned to work in the sewing cave all morning and well into the afternoon. I have several monster pant orders to fill (hooray!) and I wanted to fill the holes in the ol' inventory. But did I get to do all of that? Oh no. I did not. And why, you might ask? Well, if you're at all observant, the title of this entry might clue you in. No? Well, I'll wait while you catch up...

Yes! That's right! The kids! I think the public schools need to address summer brain leak. It is a huge problem in this household. And I think the older they get, the larger the leak. We need to invest in corks or something. I need resources, people.

One would think the instructions "clean up the kitchen after breakfast" might include doing something about the entire box of Raisin Bran that somehow made its way to the kitchen floor. Jumped out of the box? Hmm... However, "clean up the kitchen after breakfast" appears to mean "just leave your bowl there on the table while you wander around the house, making sure to step on the pile of Raisin Bran while yelling bossy things at your brother." See, brain leak. The words went in and then they oozed out, leaving behind the default message built into most teenage boys - I'M INVINCIBLE! I SHOULD DO WHATEVER I WANT. I had to leave the sewing cave about three gazillion times due to the DO WHATEVER I WANT piece of all of that. Unfortunately, my youngest was wanting to assert his power over his brother by creating all sorts of trouble. And not the I-can-ignore-it-if-I-can't-see-it kind. Nope. The I-hope-the-house-isn't-on-fire-by -the-time-I-get-upstairs kind.

I escaped to the library by 10:30 and not much got done after that. Sigh... There are people out there who work in a studio outside their home. On days like this I have to stop to remind myself of the benefits of my in-home studio. And believe it or not, being home with my boys is on the top of the list. I must be insane.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Circus Day

I'm sitting in the loft at Xelias Aerial Arts Studio pretending to work but secretly watching my children struggle on the hoop. Program Administrator for this fabulous little circus arts organization is one of my many gigs. I brought Fishy work with me - need more Pony Puffs - but here I am on the computer. Two days in one week! A miracle, people, I'm telling you.

My foot is lovely shade of blue and I'm still hobbling, but I can now put weight on it and have been fairly mobile these last two days. This is a good thing not only because I can now operate my sewing machine (got a poop load of accessories ready for the farmers' market) but also because I will now be capable of wearing a real shoe for our family outing to see Cirque du Soleil this evening. I'd like to look cute, but there is something to be said for the orthopedic boot. Might be able to get better seating. Thing is, I always wear one of my own designs when we go out and black velcro doesn't compliment the skirt I have in mind.

Tomorrow is my prep day for the market. I iron everything prior to re-packing it each time I go out. I like things to look freshly pressed. Possibly overkill for this venue, but I feel like the product is more appealing that way. It takes me hours so, no computer except to print up more business cards and hang tags. You'll have to press on without me.

-Fishy Mama

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Best foot forward







Just for the record, I'm never on the computer. So the idea of my writing a blog is truly absurd, yet here we are...

I have time to fritter away on the computer because sewing is fairly difficult now that I have broken my right foot. I tried using my left to operate the ol' Bernina, but alas, it was not to be. I spent too much time with the seam ripper and my language bent toward colorful. Perhaps I will try again tomorrow. I broke my foot two days ago running through a church without shoes on. Sensible shoes are a beautiful thing and I shall ever embrace them. Let this be a lesson to all. Or at least to those foolish enough to run barefoot where one shouldn't be running barefoot.

Orange Fishy has been swimming long (aren't I a card?) as the summer unfolds. I attended my first art fair of the season the first weekend in June. It rained, but I did fairly well despite the weather. Minnesotans are a hearty bunch and it usually takes more than rain to deter them from a warm weather outing. Summer doesn't last long enough out here to go throwing away perfectly good Saturdays simply because it decided to rain.

The Midtown Farmers' Market is in full swing and I was there for my first Saturday just this past weekend. Decent weather, fabulously friendly people, out-of-this-world rhubarb/caramel crepes...mmm, what could be better, I ask you? The MFM is my best venue and I truly love the whole experience of the market. For those of you in the area who might actually read this, I'll be there -bum foot and all - this coming Saturday, June 26th.


We now have crowns! I'll get pics up soon of those, too.

-The Fishy Mama

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ancient industrial serger + broken threads = grrrrr

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In the beginning...

Orange Fishy Design was an accident. I had not planned to design, build and sell one-of-a-kind children's and women's clothing. It just sort of happened and I'm so very glad it did.

It goes like this:

My mom needed "something crafty" for a craft bazaar she was heading up. I had, in previous years, sent along painted flower pots and other not-so-fabulous contributions. But for some reason, I thought baby and toddler dresses were the way to go that particular year. I made them, sent them and she sold only a few. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the three she sent back, since I had no children of my own. I ended up donating them to a silent auction held by a child care center I was working for at the time. Well, heavens to Betsy! The response to those dresses was overwhelming and my ego was hooked! I've been Orange Fishy since.

My name is Mary and I work about a million jobs at any one given time. Currently, I am a pre-school teacher and clown coach (not at the same time), I do bits of office work for an aerial arts studio, sing with a close-harmony trio, and am planning my summer arts day camp. I also do the family thing with my very understanding husband and my two teen boys who moved into our home three and a half years ago. Orange Fishy usually comes last. And it shows. Combine the time I don't have with the marketing skills I also don't have, throw in the fact that I don't like to play by the rules and you'll find it creates a bit of a struggle. But that's OK with me. I inch forward bit by bit and am happy to admit my mistakes and share my triumphs. I suppose that's why a blog. Well, that and I will have a venue in which to shamelessly plug my wares.


-The Fishy Mama