Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Pics for the New Stockings! Also, How to Make a Mantle for Under $20!

So Cheryl has been rather disappointed in her pictures as of late, so she decided that we will fix this problem or go broke doing it! Normally she wants a picture of just the stocking and nothing else. It's rather like a plate of food with no garnish, dinner roll, or fancy China to dress up the meal. However, after combing through numerous Martha Stewart Magazines, she decided that we needed some background. Since we do not have a fireplace in our tiny little apartment, we were forced to either invite ourselves over to our neighbors, or make one ourselves. So Cheryl set out to make one. First she painted a small shelf, then set out setting up a large piece of paper for the background. Hiro Was there to oversee the whole process. I must say, I think it succeeds in jazzing up the stockings. Even though we cut out much of the background, the essential stuff remains and looks good. Also the snow no longer blends into the background like it did previously. As for me, I played an important role in the lighting department. Very, VERY important! I'm a little bummed that Cheryl says I can no longer be the "face" of Allenbrite Studio. At first I thought it was because I needed a haircut or I was wearing my glasses. But she says that I am too "Chatty" with my conversations. Perhaps she is right, I never thought I was a particularly outgoing person, but I do see how I might give out too much information to people asking a simple question. I guess I will have to work on those problems if I want to retain my "assistant to the President of the Company" title. ( It's slightly below vice president....even though there are only two of us I still have not achieved that status yet) Next we will have to work on those Wreaths. Our outside door it rather dirty, so I'm sure she will have to work on that as well.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Summer in Iowa

Cheryl and I took a day off yesterday so I really don't have much to blog about the business. However, Summer is coming to an end, and I wanted to post a few things that I have been holding off on. One is the cicadas are out in full force again. Remember last year with all the husks? Well, the tree is covered again this year. I wanted to capture this one as he emerged, but I got there too late. Also, on one of our walks in the country, Cheryl and I saw a family of four raccoons running across the field. Usually the only wildlife I see are the horses and cows that beg me to feed them the tender grasses on the other side of the fence ( the grass IS really greener on the other side) They now call out to me as I walk or run by. Even Cheryl is impressed! There are also some kittens that like to come out sometimes and let me pet them. It's quite fun. Anyway, We have a new request for the names on the stockings.....I'm very excited and I think I'm winning Cheryl over to my side of the thinking.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Preparing for Battle!

Did the title catch you? I was trying to think of something catchy to describe what we have been up to this week. I believe I have discovered a major breakthrough in the stocking department that has been bugging me for the last couple of years. NAMES! Well, first things first..Chery land I have been relaxing a bit this week, working on our designs and other small details that make our shop what it is. I have been cutting, folding and stamping 'thank you' cards for each order, while Cheryl has been working on some new items and designs. In addition to the tree skirt, she has been creating some wreaths that match her stockings. they look pretty good in my opinion, and it is not really an unknown factor. You see: She made these before and sold them all, but got bored of them and stopped ( similar to the stockings) This year, she has decided to revisit previous successes and work on those instead of creating something from scratch. Additionally, I have been working on the 'thank you's' that Cheryl wants to give out instead of the origami this year. Last year I folded over 400 paper cranes. This year I have over 400 cards with stamped birds on them. I'm hoping they won't last so I can make more. That should mean we have exceeded our sales from last year. And then there are the names. I sample stamped Cheryl's name on some scraps of felt to see how they might look on a stocking. I have been experimenting with placement as well. I personally like them on the toe where they hang level when the stocking is hung on the wall or fireplace. Cheryl wanted me to put the name on a cuff, but it looks TERRIBLE! So I have been put in charge of the names this year. I hope people find them as exciting as I do. At least they are simple enough to do so we won't have to halt production and we have something to offer people who request them. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to the Business

I know! It's the middle of the week and I'm able to BLOG! WOOHOO! I must say, I miss the midweek Panera visits where I can check things out online and enjoy a bagel and coffee. I wasn't really planning on posting anything today, but thought I would at least check in to give a heads up on the doings of Allenbritestudio. Stockings! And some other experimental items that have to deal with felt. I have put Origami on hold for the moment and, hopefully, I'll focus more on the things that will make us money. Money makes life happy! As for Cheryl, She has been working on tree skirts, key fobs, and new stocking designs. I have had an advent calendar on my mind as well, but Cheryl thinks it will take too much time to make. I still want to see. Cheryl has also informed me that she might be getting a new sewing machine this year....which means that I might inherit her old one. It's kind of exciting because I wanted to take a crack at sewing on the buttons for the stockings. There are a few other things we want to tackle before Christmas this year. I still have to figure out how to put names on stockings. IF we can solve that hurdle, I think we can gain even more market share! Other than that, I'll have to post the new items when they get posted...or you could look over on the right at the shop. Cheryl is next to me posting new items as I write this. Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Paper Thank you Cards, Origami Mobiles, and Cats.

ACT is finally over and now we face the daunting task of working on our business. Actually, we are looking forward to it. And ACT was fun and we would welcome another project if they had one. In the mean time, Cheryl and I will be working on the little things and getting ready for the upcoming season. In the mean time, I have been given the task (by Cheryl!) to cut out and stamp the thank you cards that will accompany each of our orders. I must say, that this is easier than all those Origami Cranes I folded the last two years! And it is FUN! So It's fairly easy, we just cut the card stock, fold and stanp a pretty bird on branch scene on each one. Cheryl will hand write the thank you's later and perhaps add color. I'm very excited about finally getting started on the shop. Cheryl says that I might have to resign as the "FACE of Allenbritestudio" though because I chat too much and basically instill fear and doubt into our clients and customers. Really? I think I'm very personable....But maybe I'm like a slobbery dog that wants to jump on strangers....not everyone likes that. Anyway, I have also been working on the latest tip for the Icecream girls at Coldstone Creamery. They like my Origami and I love the what can I say. My latest is a Dragonfly. I like the way it turned out. And lastly, My origami Mobiles....Cheryl says they look pretty good, but I'm not really 100% on them. But...I thought I would post the picture anyway.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Continuing the Origami Pond

Cheryl has finally given me permission to start work on the origami wall pond. That means that I will have to get busy and make more koi! It's a bit of a challenge making all the koi uniform because their folding pattern is a bit "eyeball" meaning that some of the folds are not easily made in the same place. So I will have to feel them out and see how it goes. Last week I worked on the Lilly pads a bit and perhaps I'll add a lotus flower in there as well. These pics make it look pretty good so far. Can't wait to see how it all comes together. Oh! And one last thing...a REAL tree frog outside our window. He was driving the cat crazy!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Origami Pond....

I have been messing around with a little origami here and there. I have been fascinated with fish as of late. I'm not sure what captured me, but I thought that a few gold fish and Koi swimming around would look cool. Unfortunately, I have been rather lazy getting them folded and displayed. I believe you can't rush an artist when the river of inspiration and creativity is flowing slowly. However, I do have a few pics to show off. Perhaps I will trigger another spring of inspiration to gush forth. In the mean time, ACT is proving a tranquil experience. There is nothing like getting into the mind of a high school student to make your hair fall out a little faster. I should look at it with nostalgia, when everything was black and white and the whole world was filled with sunshine and rainbows. Now, My adult brain has a set of dark colors and a healthy dose of cynicism. Not that that is all bad! I still see lots of colors out there, they are just made much brighter when they shine through the darkness. Anyway, enough poetry for one blog entry....Enjoy the Origami Fish!


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