f3Oakland’s “Art & Taxes” event recap!

Blog, oh hey!  I’m just gonna lay it out there, I’m super addicted to my friend’s building events.  SO ecclectic and fun!!  I have previously posted a few recaps about f3 events at the Cotton Mill Studios, should you want to check them out:



This past event was themed “Art & Taxes”, I’m guessing mostly because it was so close to Tax Day.  I made a few sewn stationery items that looked like lined grade school paper and yellow legal pads.  I also brought some jewelry, scarves AND amazing treats since we usually kill it during the later hours of the event when folks are peckish.  What can we say, we know our audience!  Lexi had awesome dino hoodies on hand, lumberjack and narwhal totes, a cloud mobile that is adorbs and stuffed whales and narwhals.  The Meck brought amazing jewelry too!   Sold a little jewelry, sold some stationery – but killed on treats.  Like, $100 on just treats alone.  Word.

As usual, there was no shortage of deliciousness that was put out on the delectables table.  The food, oh, the food – there was such a spread.  I made Madelines, triple chocolate chunk chocolate chip cookies, and Black Magic chocolate cupcakes with Vanilla Bean buttercream icing.  My mom made (yes, my mom) made Lemon Tea Bread, the Meck made the America’s Test Kitchen peanut butter cookies, and Lexi made gingersnaps, a gingersnap sandwich cookie with lemon cream cheese filling, lemon mini cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and gluten free dark chocolate brownies with hazelnuts.  Yeah, you could say we all like to bake or something.

After the event got started, it was a little slow.  Then a band member from Mad Noise walked in and asked if they could do a 2 song set in the studio, and I said hell yes.  So if you scroll through, you will see a photo of them captivating the audience we had in the loft at that point.  They were literally amazing.  Such talent!

Can’t wait for the next event, and hope you can come too!

Open Studios Event @ F3!

Open Studios Event @ F3!

Blog, oh hey!  No, I didn’t forget about ya’ll.  It was the holidays, we had guests and family, and a good time was had by all.  Cut back to real life…

Just thought I would share my next event that is coming up fast, so mark your calendars for January 25th at Cotton Mill Studios!!!  Oh, and did I mention that the theme for the event is “Full Wolf Moon”?  That’s how you know it’ll be good… Here’s a preview of somethings in the works, just to wet your whistle and entice you to come out!

An F3 Event bib... "hungry like the wolf"

An F3 Event bib… “hungry like the wolf”

These are the “Event Special” kids items, bibs and onesies in super fun colorways.  And yes, I currently have “Her name is Rio, and she’s dancing in the saaaaaaaaaand…” running through my head on an endless loop.  You’re welcome.

Wolf Moon stationery in progress....

Wolf Moon stationery in progress….

And THIS will be the most awesome stationery to date.  The plan is to use the silver ink to sponge the background of the wolf silhouette, which is stitched onto the foldover card.  The cutout wolf will also get stitched onto a card, but I haven’t decided yet what size, OR if I want to use the silver ink to sponge a moon to put the wolf on.  Decisions, decisions… anyhow, the event is really fun and there’s a little bit of everything.  Including delicious baked goods and items like you see in this post AND in this previous post too.  On the 4th floor.  It’s where the players dwell.

The AMS Holiday Craft Fair Success

Blog, oh hey!  I didn’t forget about you guys, it’s been a weirdly busy week thus far.  This past Sunday was my aforementioned ‘other’ craft fair date.  We were approached at the infamous EBMMF event by a lovely woman, who said our items would fit in at her middle school’s fundraiser fair.  I took it as a sign, and gave her our contact info.  Didn’t remember too much about it, but she emailed me with an application form the following week.  It was an inexpensive table fee, so I figured why not.  I recruited my Mom and Aunt again, and we worked on some more items to bring.  Mainly arm warmers, my Mom and Aunt can knit like mad women, and that’s what did the BEST out of everything we brought to the other event.  35 pairs later (!), we packed up and headed to Albany Middle School for our event.

I decided we should maybe scale back a little from what we put out at the EBMMF event.  We put up our table, and started merchandising as best we could.  In my opinion, we can still do better with more levels to the table.  But, for a 3 hour stint, this was great.  This time around we put everything almost on top of itself, more like “piles”, that people would go through.  It seemed to work, at least with this crowd 🙂

See the pics below, we made some money this time!  All of our leftover product will be listed in the Etsy shop, if you’re so inclined to browse…


P.S.  If you are thinking about doing Fairs too, or anything like this – I highly recommend getting yourself a Square card reader.  I can’t tell you how many times I got a sale because the customer didn’t have to use all of their cash!!!  Of course, I have an iPhone, but I know there are other readers that will work with Droid, Blackberry, etc.  But that’s an unsolicited piece of advice from me, so take it for what’s it worth.


www.etsy.com/shop/lisaBbowman Cyber Monday Sale @ Odds & Ends

‎30% off everything you’ve had your eye on during the CYBER MONDAY SALE in the shop today only! Enter the code CYBER2012 at your checkout to receive the discount, and happy shopping!


Etsy shop sales & the “storybook ending”

Blog, oh hey!  I woke up this morning as usual, getting my oldest up for school and trying to not wake anyone else up.  After the initial ‘wake up call’, I grab my phone and check email and look at updates.  An Etsy Conversations email?  A potential sale??  Awesome.  Seriously awesome way to start the day.  A gal wanted to know if I had more quantity than what was listed of my Lined Paper Stationery, because she was going to send her boyfriend letters while he was deployed.  She also wanted to make sure the cards were “big enough” because he was going to be gone for 9 months, so she’d need room to write!  I emailed her back saying I absolutely could make more and reiterated that it was a fold over card, so there was plenty of space to write on.  Enter: the sale.  She wanted 20, and I happily obliged.

WAIT.  Hold the phone.  Did I read that right??  She is buying my stationery to write her boyfriend, who is about to be deployed??  As in, these are going overseas to be a small part of a long distance love?  At that moment I was instantly transported in my mind to my Grandmothers’ home, with my Father clearing out the house after her passing.  I was about 22.  This was many years ago, but I will never ever forget it.

Standing next to my Father in his Mother’s room, at her dresser in the corner.  It’s never an easy thing to deal with emotions that surround losing a loved one.  To the right was a large window, and we would take turns staring out of it and trying to keep it together while sorting and boxing belongings up.  I remember I was the one that rummaged through the drawer when we found them, the things placed there and probably not looked at since my Grandfather’s passing 8 years earlier.  An old school Gump’s Department Store box, the contents of which was awesome and also awe-inspiring.  My Grandmother had kept the letters she and my Grandfather sent each other while he was serving in the Army in WWII.  Most of them were from his deployment in North Africa, which was something I hadn’t been told.  I knew he served, but that was it.  So after the short history lesson about occupying North Africa as a tactical move, we continued through the box.  His dice, some photos of him and his Army buddies while stationed, two packs of 40’s topless pinup girl playing cards, his dog tags and his medals.  For me, it was a treasure trove of what kids don’t pay attention to when they’re young.  At the time, I was more moved that these letters still existed than anything else.  I didn’t open them, because I wasn’t sure this was the time and I didn’t know if my Dad would even be open to me reading them.  It just felt like I should ask his permission.  So I didn’t ask.

Today I kicked myself mentally because this day occurred about 12 years ago.  I saw the box my Dad had labeled for himself “to go through” of my Grandparents things, from that day, recently in the garage.  I’ll have to think of a way to ask to go through it… because I really want to see the letters again.

Back to the stationery sale today – I was just so thrilled to think back on finding old letters from war-time(s), that I took crazy care in putting her order together.  I mean, I usually put a ton of effort and care into every order I put out, but this was so much more personal for me.  After putting the cards and envelopes together, I included a small hand written note wishing her boyfriend a safe deployment and my best wishes.  If the letters she writes to him on the stationery I made keep them close to each other… Wouldn’t it be lovely to be a part of a storybook ending?  I think so.


Adventures in Faire-y Faires

In passing at my oldest daughter’s school one morning, a fellow mom mentioned a Maker Faire that is annually held in Oakland.  I inquired about it, and it turned out that it is a PTA driven school fundraiser of sorts.  That is attached to benefiting the StudioOne Art Center in Oakland.  I recruited my Mom and my Aunt, who had previously done boutiques and craft fair things when I was a kid.  Looooooong story short, I applied after the deadline and was denied.  I thought, well it didn’t hurt to see if they had any room, so maybe next time. The very next day, I got an email with a booth number and instructions on the Faire day’s events.  OK, so we’re in then. Great!

Cut to the week before the Faire.  We decided on a course of action and inventory, and what projects we wanted to finish before then.  It was an eclectic inventory mix, but mostly centered on hand sewn goods.  With some jewelry and stationery thrown in for good measure.  During the week before the Faire day, the folks running the show held an open house that we attended.  They showed us our location, which was inside the school’s art room.  NOT in the Art Studio.  This should have been an important distinction.  It was not, at the time.  My Mom and I decided on how to set up and how to make our section look cohesive, and then went back to finishing projects for the big day.

The day before the Faire, I was making tags for jewelry and applying them to everything, my mom was embroidering like a mad woman, and I even went to Kinko’s to spend $35 on two 16×20″ posters I made to highlight the fact that a scarf in our Etsy shop was featured on lilsugar.com .  It was an “as seen on” sign with screen shots from the site, which turned out great.  It turned out that our location though, was not so great in the grand scheme of things.

I mentioned we were in the school art room.  EVERY OTHER RETAIL SELLER was in a “Crafters Hall” on the opposite side of the same building.  So, it’s logical to say that if you attended the faire and walked that “hall” room, you thought that was it.  Because there was one sign, ONE, that was way above eye line and not even in the Crafter’s Hall to tell you there might be more stuff to see.  We shared this art room with another seller, a pair of girls; young, nice and one even worked at the school.  They also noticed the severe lack of traffic.  I saw a list of “locations”, but it wasn’t a listing of who was where; it was more of a list of buildings that were open.  Thank god I tweeted what building we were in, otherwise my 3 followers wouldn’t have found us at all!!

Ok.  I’ve mentioned I disliked the location.  I also mentioned I disliked the lack of traffic due to the location.  We managed to make back the cost of the booth, and a little extra.  This was NOT what I had planned, as I had broken it down to we only needed 10 people to spend $5 an hour, etc.  We’re there for 7 hours- you get the picture I’m trying to paint here.  Needless to say our experience was SEVERELY disappointing.  Especially after the folks running it had touted they get about 5,000 people on average at this event.  They may get that many people, but this wasn’t a Faire for retail makers in my opinion.  So why call it that?  It was literally all demonstration based!  There were a ton of demo stations, a ton of burning-man-types with really large metal toys that spat fire… which I really think is awesome.  Really, I do.  But this was not what I paid a $100 fee to be a part of that day.  I guess the fact that I asked to be inside was a detriment?  There were folks outside selling, I hope they had a way better day than I did.

The best part of the entire day, was that one nice woman approached us and said she liked our work.  She also said she was trying to find makers for an upcoming December event at Albany Middle School, which upon first thought was not something I was into.  But that was literally based on the time spent and wasted at StudioOne / Park Day School.  I’m a little more inclined to attend this December event, only because something good HAD to come out of that day 😉

See you again in December, when I blog about attending that event!!  Or before then.  I’ll blog about stuff before then, I’m sure.  Stay tuned, and stay crafty!!

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TheJoyofSew.blogspot post

Hi everyone!  I am super excited today, I was notified through Etsy that a blogger and shop owner from the UK blogged about one of my stationery items in my Etsy shop!  Not gonna lie, big day.  Smiling.  So hard.

The blog is called the Joy of Sew, and is pretty interesting to look through.  So if you have a moment, check out her post!

Stationery set of 5 Sewn notecards by lisaBbowman on Etsy.com!

Stationery set of 5 Sewn notecards by lisaBbowman on Etsy.com!

Handmade Paper Party Garlands, DIY

I really had no idea that I’d do so many DIY posts, but that’s the way it is sometimes!  So, if you have kept up with my last few posts you’d know that I’m getting ready to throw a bridal shower.  Those that haven’t, go ahead.  I’ll wait.  🙂

This shower will be nothing too fancy, and somewhat small and intimate.  I have most of the favors completed, as well as my gift wrapped and ready.  I’m starting to clean the house, plan the menu and design a seating area in my family room where we’ll be stationed for most of the party.  In doing all of these things, I thought I needed some ‘shtuff’ for the walls and ceiling, as it’s not super festive yet.  I found a few images on pinterest and pinned them to my bridal shower board to try.  The original image inspiration for this party garland is here.  Unfortunately I don’t have a graduated circle cutter or anything like that, but I do have some Creative Memories blades and templates, so I used those.  I chose a bridal themed paper sheet from Paper Source, regular Kraft paper (on hand from the tags I made for candle favors), and a pack of gorgeous shimmery Blush transparent rose printed paper also from Paper Source.  You’ll notice that I cut each image out of the bridal sheet – (insert sarcastic voice here) this was the plan all along and had nothing to do with keeping the costs low.  After cutting what felt like a bazillion circles and ovals in different sizes and in different papers, I sat down at my sewing machine to string them together.  I also had on hand a large scalloped heart punch that I bought for Valentine’s Day, so I punched a few things out with that as well.  I made one horizontal garland with the hearts, and plan to string the rest of the garlands vertically from that.  I promise to take a ton of pictures during set up so that you can all see what I have been working on really come together!

Wedding programs, sewn style!

In keeping true to my new hobby of sewing paper, you all might remember my post about sewing some save -the-dates for my brother in-laws’ upcoming wedding… I have volunteered my services for their programs as well!! Man, my machine performs like a champ so I feel like I can do A LOT. By that, I mean sew through six sheets of 80 weight paper. So we sat down last night, during intermissions for hockey, and did some experimenting with different stitches. We finally settled on a stitch pattern that she liked, and looked like a true book binding.  I think they will be amazing!! Again, I’ll post the final product once I have them finished at the middle of April. Until then!!


I loooooooooove sewing paper goods, it’s so fun!

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