Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Easy Halloween costume

Seriously, how cute would this be as a Halloween costume?!? Just add a brown sweater or sweatshirt and your little monster is ready to roll!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Brunch

I bought myself a gift. When I saw this new book at Williams Sonoma, I knew I had to have it. The photos are awesome, the recipes sound delicious and there's even a recipe from Tartine Bakery here in SF. I gave Junior some purple sticky tabs to mark what things she'd want me to make. Naturally she marked 80% of the book! But, I knew all along which recipe I'd want to try first and we invited the girls over for a Labor Day brunch.

The night before, we did some pre-brunch prep so we could sleep in longer on our day off.  When I can, I always like to set the table the night before. It's one less thing to worry about. I chose my sassy cowgirl tablecloth and got out grandma's silver coffee service. Did you know that silver is worth more if it's tarnished? Someone once told me not to polish my silver and that's all the excuse I need! 
And yes, mom, I ironed the cloth napkins.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Why, Giants? WHY???

Today the Three Fat Birdies hit AT&T Park to watch the San Francisco Giants play the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 Some of you may be confused.  Why, you might be asking, would Three Fat Birdies, who spend their days crafting and baking, be interested in baseball?  Well, for one thing, there are cute boys involved:

The Giants, suited up and ready to go

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mmmmm. Breakfast.

It's always nice to support local businesses, especially when those local businesses provide you with delicious, delicious food.  That's why I like to grab breakfast at Devil's Teeth Baking Company.

Now, we here at Three Fat Birdies enjoy making our own breakfasts.  I am definitely a fan of putting together a breakfast burrito or grabbing a muffin on my way out the door.  But every once in a while, a girl likes to treat herself to breakfast out, even if it's something relatively simple, like a breakfast sandwich.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summer in San Francisco

Two of the three birdies of Three Fat Birdies live in a neighborhood in San Francisco called the Sunset.  For those of you who have never been to the Sunset, you might assume that the Sunset is, well, sunny.  But you would be mistaken.  This is what summer looks like in San Francisco:

The Outer Sunset - no sun, only the marine layer 

Fog and telephone wires - the only view you get on most mornings

It's the end of AUGUST, people.  Even by San Francisco standards, this summer has been ridiculously gloomy.  Luckily, even when it's 50 degrees out, and you're bundled up in your thickest scarf and a pair of gloves and your favorite Three Fat Birdies beanie, there are still things you can do to make it  feel like summer.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Indie Mart 2011

We learned a lot from our first outdoor craft fair: bring something heavier to weigh down the tent, always check that your name is spelled correctly and REAPPLY sunscreen every hour (I am still peeling.)

Overall, it was a big success. We got there early and had plenty of time to set up...which is a good thing because Seri and Junior put up our sign in the wrong order and it read "Three Birdies Fat." Our neighbor vendors were super nice and even gave us a discount when we bought things from them. We sold enough items to make it worth our time and saw a big jump on our Etsy site afterwards.

It was HUGE that we accepted credit cards. At first, we were nervous because the internet in Potrero was spotty and it took a minute to load, but we used our Square card readers for our iPhones and definitely made more sales because of it. Customers were impressed by the technology too (we felt like the cool kids!)

One thing I didn't anticipate was all the dogs. We had our owl and kitty pillows displayed in an old dresser, which made some of the items "dog level." A couple of pooches thought we were selling dog toys and started to reach for them. I could hear the owls' and kitties' silent cries for help and intervened just in time. Wheew!

It was great that we brought a mirror too. Lots of people tried on hats and once they saw how cute they looked, it was a done deal. Hats are tricky because everyone has a different shaped head and/or have preconceived notions about hat styles/shapes. "That style never looks good on me" "I can't wear that." Sometimes, you can! Maybe no one ever showed them how to wear it right. I think fashion tastes can change like taste buds. I never used to be a hat person. Now my closet is filled with them. I used to think berets were silly (and this coming from a theatre person who's worn all kinds of hats.) Now, I know that with the right outfit, they're super chic.

When you make something in your studio, you never know who's going to buy it. But because you spend so much time designing and making the item, you feel like it has a bit of a soul. You hope it will go to a good home. Believe me, I'm a little haunted by the thought of a bratty, destructive kid (like the one from Toy Story) buying one of my owls and dragging it off by the ear, with the poor owl's big eyes staring back at me saying, "!" But people at craft fairs buy your things because they appreciate the work. It speaks to them somehow. And if they're like me, they take better care of it when they get it home. It was awesome to meet the people who took home our stuff. We can't wait to meet the next batch of customers!

For those who couldn't join us at the fair, here are some cute pictures Junior took.

Our Bird House

Junior and I have a three bedroom house in San Francisco (yes, I'm bragging.) When our roommate Olivia moved out to get married, we turned her room into a studio/office/guest room/sewing space/reading nook/crap catcher. In one weekend, we repainted the walls blue, touched up the wood trim, waxed the floor and put up new blinds. It's so satisfying to transform a space in two days!

My goal was to spend as little as possible (especially since we're now paying Olivia's share of the rent.) I rearranged some furniture in the house and brought in a few pieces that had been crammed into other rooms. When you live in SF with roommates, you get used to your bedroom being your "everything" room and space is a luxury. Now my desk could actually live in the office, you know, like normal desks do. I knew I'd need a work table (since the dining room table was now relegated to being used only for meals.) I work at a theatre and we have tons of furniture laying around, just waiting for the next show it can star in. Duh! Perfect! I scooped up a kitchen table with drop eaves, shoved it into my Jeep and carried it up to our third floor apartment. Once I'd covered it in oilcloth and added a tape measurer at the edge, I was as happy as a clam. When I went down into our storage unit in the garage, I found my old wicker chair and a discarded garment rack and dragged those upstairs too. Oh, yeah and that big old picture frame with no glass? Let's add cork and make it a bulletin board. Oh, and all those storage boxes of craft crap shoved under my bed? Let's move them into the office and actually get to use them. Where's that old trash can? Check! Baskets left by an old roommate? Perfect. Metal baker's rack I'd bought a long time ago for costume storage at the theatre? Yes, please! Wait, we need curtains. Oh, yeah. I'm a fabric whore. Let's just dig through my stash, and...yep, done. It was amazing. All these years, I'd been surrounded by the makings of a craft studio and now it was finally here in one place.

Now when I need to work on a project, instead of dreading getting everything out and taking up half the apartment with my supplies, I have an entire ROOM filled with everything I need to be inspired, wildly creative and productive. It's amazing.

The roll-top is my mom's old desk and I love it. I made the little jacket on the wall for my
niece about 10 years ago and forgot I had it. I don't think she'll fit into it any more, so now it
hangs as a reminder to make her a new one.

I used to have printing supplies in 4 different rooms and actually had to pull the printer out
of my closet when I needed to use it. Now it's all stored in an old nightstand.
Paper, cartridges, labels, cables, everything. It's a novel idea.

I know the fabric is gaudy, but it has birds on it and it was free.  
Have you seen how much curtains cost?!

I now have so much space, that I'm still trying to fill it. 

Did I mention we live in earthquake-prone San Francisco? Our house is shifting and this room
is at the front of the building, which apparently is sliding off. These bookcases should be
side by side. THAT'S how crooked the floor is. Thankfully, Junior and I have our rooms at the
back of the house and plan on riding it down through the "Big One."

My dream come true: fabric scraps sorted by color!

I was always scrambling for a tape measurer that'd been tucked away into
a junk drawer somewhere. Now I  keep one here all the time. 

And I TAPED one to the work table! That's my bright orange video camera bag. It's near
impossible to lose track of it because it's so bright. It's out now because I have to
 transfer our summer season of plays on to DVDs for parents. God, I use this room for a lot! 

IKEA. Swivel. Rolly. Sorta modern. Love.

BEST idea ever! I needed a way to keep my blankets wrinkle-free and this garment rack was
the perfect solution. I got a bunch of pant hangers from the thrift store. Now we display our
blankets on hangers at trade shows. I like it because it feels like I'm shopping for clothes when
I flip through the racks. And who doesn't love shopping for clothes?!

Bigger blankets get hung from the picture rail. I also can change them out depending on what
mood I'm in or what season is here. It's like having inter-changeable fabric wallpaper!

I just bought this at Sur la Table. I can't wait to wear it at our next trade show.
It even has pockets.

Sorry, folks. I didn't clean up. It's what's happening now. Coffee, new Halloween fabric
 to make owl wings out of,  owl hat to be photographed, and batteries to recharge. 

Olivia's closet had great hooks and now it stores some of our birdie garland
so it doesn't get tangled. I think Olivia would approve.

Sometimes I cheat and put up a cutting table in the hallway. Junior doesn't seem to mind.
Plus, it gets some of the best light in the apartment because of the skylight. 

Projects waiting to be finished

Old nightstand + new bird drawer pulls = birdtastic!

This sewing machine is my child. I have been up late with it, I have coaxed it through hard times,
it has made me bleed and scream, and I would be crushed if anything ever happened to it.
 Oh, and it has my name on it because sometimes I take it to the theatre, and I want to make sure
no one uses it or takes it away. Never get between a gal and her beloved sewing machine!

This is my aromatherapy. It makes the office smell nice and keeps me calm
when I sew the wrong sides together. 

If you don't have these two items, drop everything and go to Joann's right now.  The magnetic
pin pad is pure magic. I will NEVER accidentally drop a case of pins all over the floor again.
This thing's got my back. I've labeled all my fabric scissors so Junior doesn't use them to shred
documents or open plastic-encased items from Costco. I need my scissors sharp!