Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Public Service Announcement

Tumus officially closed for the season on Monday December 13th.
I worked up until Friday December 17th, 8:30pm finishing out orders.
I can now tend to this cold with some well deserved R&R. The prospect of sleep
and birthday presents makes me even happier.

Guinness would also like to remind you to not eat the "yellow" snow.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Back in May of this year (2010) Chris' dad and step-mom flew us out
to the middle of the desert...aka Arizona....
about 10 miles from Tombstone....
and give or take 25 miles from the Border....

(that little stretch glimmering there is Tombstone. Wave Howdy)

I didn't really like the desert. I'm not a "hot n' dry" kinda gal.
I like my moisture. I like grass. I'm not a fan of things that poke or
choking dust.

Tombstone was small. Very small. It's not hard to imagine cowboys and
gunslingers shuffling up to the bars there
and getting rowdy drunk. It IS the middle of nowhere.

But then there's the sad fact that it's entirely done up for the tourists.
So some of the magic is lost. SOME, but not all of it.
If you look really hard you can find some pretty great things where you
least expect it.

(Sheriff Armadillo as seen in a tourist shop in Tombstone)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The REAL crafters arsenal

Alot of times my "real" crafting arsenal has nothing to do
with scissors and thread.
It's not packed with colorful bits of felty bits or buttons.

It's a grittier reality.

It's IcyHot on a flexible fabric roll taped to my wrists and fingers.
A variety of heating pads for my back and to keep warm.
Scented candles to keep me perky.
A doughnut seat (yes it's true)
hand lotion
eye drops
wool lined slippers that are molded to my foot shape
ponytail holders and clips for those days when my head remains "down"
Tea for the morning
and beer for the evening

These are my constant companions in the days leading up to the final push before Christmas.

What's in your secret crafter's arsenal?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Crafting for Everyone? Eep!

Sometimes Christmas wouldn't be Christmas
without last minute projects to finish, er, start.

Mom is getting felt cat face versions of all
of the cats we've owned and loved.
Then it'll be framed.

A dog ornament for the mother-in-law
and another one for my youngest sis.

I don't know when I'll have time to do all this, but I think if I wish REALLY
hard it'll happen, right?

There there's the "other" list of things I want to do, not necessarily
before Christmas, but I'll worry about that AFTER the Holidays.

There is a Santa Claus isn't there Virginia?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

4 months is a heck of a long time

Alot has changed in 4 months.
I now work from home.
I had a really successful garage sale.
I threw my youngest sister a Baby Shower (I feel old).
I had an INCREDIBLE November on Tumus.
I planted 100 bulbs and still have leftovers :(
I baked 4 pies and 2 cobblers for Thanksgiving.
I was featured on HGTV the day after Thanksgiving for their Handmade Holiday special for my Doxie ornament.
I've grown in confidence about keeping my shop going and have faith that things will continue to happen when I need them too.

But some things will always stay the same.
I still make a heck of a lot of dogs and I'm okay with that.

Monday, August 23, 2010


It's the air I feel the most.
When Summer shrugs his woolen coat away
and linen hangs in a cooling breeze.
The sunlight softens and all around me Fall begins to stir.

Nevermind the fat squirrels....
Photo by Chris

Friday, August 13, 2010

OMG I Need to Clean

Like desperately clean. I feel chaotic but somehow out of the chaos things are coming together!

This isn't really crafting for myself, but it's for my mom so that kind of counts right? It's for her very large stuffed sheep (who I've named Henry). He has only one other blanket and she requested something more patriotic.

In the mean time there's errands to run and supper to figure out. But I can't start supper until I've cleaned the kitchen which was floured and egged during the morning baking experiment, pound cake. For the record I'll be attempting this again as soon as I've got more eggs and butter. I also have plans to start on cleaning the sewing room. It's a sneezing chaos back there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Of Things to Come

Sorry for the blogging hiatus. As my "9-5" ended there were several loose ends that needed tied up, sorted and gathered in. But things are settling in now and I'm getting used to a schedule that I haven't been on since, well college. I spent last week not only sorting thru personal matters but also finding joy in the little things again like cooking, hanging laundry out, picking copious amounts of cherry tomatoes and photography.
I'd kind of forgotten how fast everything had been going when I was working constantly. I know working from home won't always be easy, but I'm hoping it'll give me the chance to enjoy the things I'd put aside and neglected for so long.

Happy Guinness Cat

Friday, July 30, 2010

Done and Done

Today was my last official day of working at my "9-5".

I am SO relieved and beyond excited to be leaving finally. It felt like it would take forever to get here, but it did and now it's OVER! WHOO HOOO!!!

Only happy stuff for me today! The local Celtic Festival gets underway in 2 hours and you can bet I'll be there dancing and drinking the night away in celebration!!

Here's to new freedom, new possibilities and a new start!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I like it when I can take this:

And turn it into this:

Look for the Bulldog ornament listing to hit the shop around Thursday.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A day at the "9-5"

Dog sketching taken via cellphone

I've 4 official days left at the "9-5". Admittedly I'm nervous. Mostly because it'll be the first time I'll be without a real steady source of income. I'll be relying entirely on a few odd jobs and Chris to help pay the bills while I get Tumus advertising up and running/scheduled and new listings created.

In the meantime, I've been busy doodling. The ones in the picture are done in halves so I can take them home and copy them over to graph paper and make them symmetrical. At the request of a nice returning customer I've also sketched up a bulldog face pattern. I haven't snapped a shot of him yet, but you can use the picture above for clues on how it might look!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Reading

From The Ivory Bird

I recently bought two super neat vintage books on Etsy. I haven't gotten around to reading them just yet but they are next.

I love old books especially ones that reflect on the times they were penned in. But I also enjoy reading romances, fantasy, fiction and children's books. What's your summer reading list? I think it's always good to have a list of things to read otherwise you might forget and miss something really great.

To Read This Summer:

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (#4 of the Outlander series my most favorite series of ALL time, bar none)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The BFG / James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (I need to buy James and the Giant Peach great books, great to read aloud)

Re-read all the Harry Potter Books (why not?)

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Dealing with Dragons

A few of the old Nancy Drews (because they were fun and I miss them)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Christmas in July Sale

It's going on now thru July 25th!

Tumus is having a great Christmas in July sale thru July 25th! All personalized dog ornaments are marked down 10% and all personalized guitar ornaments are marked down 20%!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Theme and a New Ornament

You might have noticed a new ornament in the shop last night ^_~ I've been holding myself accountable to get things done on my shop. I need to make myself live up to my word. And last night even though I was dead tired and the photographs taking too long to upload, I did it.

It's even listed in my shop right now. This took a bit of trial and error and was more challenging than I thought. A bit more tweaking and it'll be spot on.

I've two more guitar ornaments lined up for this month. I'm pretty stoked about these.
And to keep things fresh I've changed to a new more vibrant theme. Very fitting for a new colorful career! Now it just needs a new banner ^_^

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tumus on Hiatus

Hi everyone :)

You might have noticed Tumus is temporarily closed for now until June 19th.

I did this so I could get inventory ready for my annual Christmas in July event and to get as much stock ready as I can for the up coming season. With my layoff barely 3.5 months away I'm pretty excited to be at this point already :) I'll be opening after June 19th with the new shop theme ready to go!

I've got a couple of other personalized ideas I want to try out in my shop alongside the doggies.

Have a great Earth Day everyone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Very Berry

Normally strawberries appear closer to the end of April or mid-May, but I saw these in our local grocery store (Trader Joes') and had to get them. It's not every day you see 4lbs of strawberries THIS RIPE at the beginning of April.
It's been unseasonably warm this week and looks to stay that way for a while yet. I have to resist the urge to plant flowers that might not be ready to handle a sudden cold snap. It is the midwest after all and our average last frost date isn't until the end of April. So for now I'm sticking with the violas, the pansy and a bucket load of pre-season strawberries.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In Every Corner

You can find incredibly interesting intrigues....
I was out taking pictures at a local wooded park when I happened across a nice patch of moss filled with little growing things, but what caught my eye was a half buried bottle stuck in the leaves. When I pulled it out I found that it housed a tiny grouping of green stems.
There were also lots of these little blue flowers dotting the hills.

In every corner there is room for even the smallest things to grow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bon Bon Bunnies

I really love my Bon Bon Bunnies ^_^

They are currently on sale in my Tumus shop. They will be hopping away come April 19th to make room for my shop makeover.

I think I might try and make mini Bon Bon's for my mom and aunt this Easter if I find time. These are super cute as they are so I can't imagine how sweet teeny tiny ones might be!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stepping Back For a Bit

I went ahead and closed up Pinpinn till August to help me deal with layoff-induced stress. I couldn't bring myself to keep the shop open without any new updates or products on the line :( It wasn't fair to my customers and certainly not fair to my product line.

So Pinpinn is on a break for now, but will be back after my layoff situates itself. And as another reminder Tumus will be going on break as well for a few months starting April 19th.

Tumus is going on break for some different reasons though, namely to get stock prepared for Christmas in July and to give myself a longer hiatus to sort thru other layoff requests and overtime madness at the "9-5". I'm hoping that opening Tumus up in July (which is my final month at my job) that I won't be too taxed and can come back swinging! I have my budget set up and ready to go, I'm set on supplies for the most part and just have a bit more to go with sorting out my craft room.

It'll get better! I know it will because in 4 months I'll be looking back at all this and laughing, maybe laughing a little bit too much.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Where's all the new stuff?

Since I've been coping with alot of stress in the last two months my shops have no doubt suffered a low blow.

It's hard to spin out creative ideas when you're mentally exhausted, but I have been attempting to keep myself immersed in some part of crafting....mainly cleaning. My room really needed some elbow grease.

This is just a small fraction of something I'd been meaning to do for a while, cut leftover felt bits into stuffing scraps.

The past few nights I've also been purging my fat quarter stash (for a yard sale in August)of stuff I've not used in over a year and it's freeing up space! Yay! What you can't see are the 4 other tubs of felt, fabric, and other organized chaos sitting about my tables and floors. I feel quite proud that other than buying new scissors at the beginning of the year I've not bought any supplies in 2 months. It feels refreshing and nice. I proved to myself that I really do have everything I need right now. I think May/June will be my breaking point and I'll need to order/buy some things by then, but I'll have gone near 6 months at that point ^_^

At some point I will show off a cleaned craft room, heck I might even have shelves on the wall by then :lol:

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Belated Valentine's Post

My grandma gave me a really cool present. Though it makes me feel a bit odd that she's starting to give more stuff away. It's a little reminder that each day is a little closer to an end. I know that's sad, but it's how I feel about it. In any case I'm glad that she's very thoughtful in what she's giving me.

I didn't notice this when I was last in her sewing room, but it used to be my great-great grandmother's sewing chest of sorts. The laquer is chipping badly, but I cleaned it up and used a good wood oil on it to restore it a little. I kind of like the used look on it.

I don't think it's an antique as I can't find any markings on it, however it's old enough. She didn't clean it out when she gave it to me either so it was like digging thru a mini treasure trove of memories which were good and sad at the same time. Good because it showed me how alike we are, but sad because there were things she'd made for my grandpa years ago when her arthritis wasn't so bad.

There were others too. I'm going to buy a few little frames for them and put them up on my walls.

They feel more special to me than the desk itself. It's a piece of grandma and grandpa that I can always have nearby.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tum & Gun

Tumus and Guinness that is.

It's time to get myself out of the "self-pity" gutter and move on so on that note, I hope you had a good day whatever you're doing :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


It's rough right now in Tumus-land. Not to keep posting the inner workings of my personal life but doing so kind of sheds alot of light on what's going on.

I got a memo on Monday at the "9-5" stating we'd be working 6-7 days a week now with close to 10 hours shifts. This statement struck me dumb, literally. I felt like I'd been slapped square across my cheek and then punched in the gut. After my stupor passed I got up and left my desk for a while to cool off. To say I was livid or "pissed off" would be an understatment. I swear to you I would've packed up my desk right then if I knew I could still somehow support myself and Chris sans unemployment.
The way our budget will work once I'm laid off will rely on that unemployment check until either Etsy or I find a steady source of income.
So I'm kind of stuck in a private hell of sorts. I mean there SHOULD be laws against this very thing. You can't just lay off 150 people and then tell them, oh by the way you'll now be working every single day from here until the time you leave. It's just...baffling.
I have words for it but they are not appropriate in ANY form.

This post took me all week to sort out because I'm still angry about it. There's no law stating company's are doing something illegal when they twist your arm to work 7 days a week at an insane pace. Even with all the OT pay I'll be pulling in I won't see much of that because of how it will be taxed. In other words I might not see that actual OT money until I file my taxes NEXT year. Alot of good that does me now.

Maybe all this chaos is preparing me for working hard on Tumus and Pinpinn once I have time again but that's about all the positive I can find in it. Frankly the most I've been able to do is clean back in my craft room. There is something somewhat therapeutic about organizing fabric and felt. I think it's the colors and the fact that it's quiet and peaceful. And probably the beer nearby.

Because I've been near dead, mentally and sometimes physically, when I arrive home each night the most I can do is read, sit blankly in front of the TV or clean for short periods. Even Chris says I'm too quiet most nights now.

It's funny how work can just sap your will to live. I truly and sincerely hate this company with all my heart.
How the hell am I supposed to make lemonade out of this?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

We're a crafty bunch

I was trying to think of something to post tonight and ran across some old pictures of Chris and I. I forgot we had this kite. Yep that's a kite. It's called a double star. Chris built most of it and I helped with ALOT of the cutting. Each of those colors is "hot cut" and there's close to 200 panels on it. There was also quite a bit of sewing involved. The pictures aren't the best as they were taken almost 3 years ago on my dad's old digital camera. (Well before we had our beloved SLRs lol) My hair cracks me up. It's long again since I grew it out for the wedding. I'm always amused by my various Hair Era's when I find older pictures.

Unfortunately we don't fly it too often any more. The spars in the center hub tend to break easily when it lands and they're expensive to replace. But still, it's fun to set up for people to look at. It boggles the mind ^_^ The kite itself packs down into about a 16in tall bag, but the spars are almost 5ft long each so they get packed separate.

He hasn't been making too many kites these days. I think he's getting out of it, plus it can be an expensive hobby to keep up. But it's nice to have a crafty husband around. I can't tell you how many times he's helped me decipher a sewing pattern or figured out the math on a scaled down quilt block. He's priceless.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Laid Off

July 30th, 2010 will be my last official day at the "9-5". I secretly wish it was sooner than later because motivating myself to do any kind of work in the next 6 months is going to be terrible.

But freedom at last.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I can't believe that I really found the classes I was looking for at my local community college. AND, they're online to boot.

I'm incredibly excited about this new development because it's been a long time goal since I started selling, to find and take a few business/craft business classes. I just am in awe that they really DO exist.
I thought I would have to enroll back at school again and take a set path thru the BIS courses till I found the few classes I really had a desire to be in. That could've amounted to some serious cash spending. Since I've paid off all my student loans from my past adventures I'm not eager to take out any more.

(That was also a steady goal of mine, to pay off all my student loans by the time I'm 30 I did!)

In any case, I'm going to do two of them (and I am hoping that since they are 6 week courses, 2 times a week) that I will be able to complete them before June :)

And I'm totally doing a Yoga class at my local rec center too. It's something I've always wanted to try, hehe.

This new year is really shaping up to be rather interesting. Layoffs and the possibility of school? I hope I can afford at least ONE of those classes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Well Ain't That a Blow?

The "9-5" just announced that they will be laying off 150 people tomorrow. What's really "great" about this piece of news is the fact that while most of us saw it coming the way it was announced was terrible. They sent us a generic email last week stating there would be some changes, but no one saw it as they would be laying off over half the company.

The place I work for has already suffered thru massive layoffs in the last 2 years they could have at least told us they were announcing it today, but nope they sent it to the press first. So the entire company found out about the layoffs at the same time from a source OTHER than my place of soon to be "non-employment".

Now I jest at quitting my job, but the relief that comes with actually loosing it is that I can still get unemployment which means food on my table and bills paid. If I quit, well I get nada.
But I don't think I'll be that "lucky". I think instead the rest of my teammates may get the axe while I stay put simply because I'm part of a super project that's only going to keep me around till the end of the year. And THEN I'll get cut.

So yeah.

All Creatures Great and Small

Almost 2 springs ago after we'd moved in to our house we were out back doing some yard work. The tiniest baby squirrel was sitting in our big maple tree just peering out at us. Then suddenly without fear, that little bugger hopped down and started following me around the yard! This went on for about 15 min till I stopped and squatted down and put my hands out. And without hesitation he hopped right on and I picked him up.

I know sometimes baby animals don't really know what to be afraid of in the beginning and if they've lost dear old mum there's no one to teach them the ins and out of staying safe and away from humans and other animals that might eat them. I kind of wonder if something happened to it's mom and here he was, a bit alone and curious.

He actually liked being held and petted and he sat still in my hand for a good 5 minutes. I don't think he was sickly or anything, he just seemed to not know who was good or bad. Maybe someone had been kind and fed him before? I hope he managed to grow up, even though the squirrels are pesky (as in one of them gnawed into our DSL line) around our neighborhood I still hope he found a way to survive and get on.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


After some thoughtful insight and a bit of heartache Tumus will be going to an all Christmas ornament shop starting April 19, 2010. That is Tumus' 2 year Esty-versary.

With the responsibility of having two shops and only one shop pulling it's weight at the moment (Pinpinn) it is in my best interest to keep Tumus closed during the Off Season.

As of now I plan to close up April 19, 2010 and reopen July 2010 for a Christmas sale and then again October 2010 for the Holiday season. The dates are subject to change depending on how well Pinpinn does in the next few months.

"But Tumus!" you cry. "What will happen to all the Birdies, Bunnies and Kitties you have?!"

Well the Bunnies will be taking up residence (if they do not find good homes before April) in my home where they can sit peacefully among all the fabric and felt I have in my sewing room. The Birdies will fly home to other roosts and the Kitties will wait patiently until the Holidays once more.

It makes me a bit sad, but as a business I must look ahead to the coming year and keep my goals centered.

Look for a shop announcement in March on Tumus detailing all of the above :)

I'm very excited about this change and hope it does well for everyone involved.

In the Middle

This idea has been weighing heavily on my mind for a while now.
I've talked about it for a couple of months. The idea about taking Tumusto just a seasonal store. I can't seem to make consistent enough sales any other time of the year and lets face it, I run a business and sometimes you just have to cut the deadwood.

Taking Tumus to a seasonal shop namely a Christmas Dog Ornament shop would mean more time to focus on Pinpinn which has been very well received in it's first year.
I know all the "hearting" that goes on on Etsy is a way of just marking shops sometimes, but Tumus has been in business for almost 2 years exactly and has only 670 hearts to show for it. Pinpinn has been here for nearly a year and has 435. Pinpinn is seriously banking in the way of exposure right now. I'm almost convinced that Pinpinn can far surpass Tumus in the "off season". I've found that sought after niche and I stand out, I know I do and I don't toot my own horn very often. Though the sales have been about equal for both in their first year I think Pinpinn could hold it's own.

I'm not sure what's holding me back. I think it's because I'm very much attached to what I create and since Tumus was my first shop ever, I feel obligate to keep it around. Pinpinn has alot to show from my lessons learned and has benefited well from that. I went with a gut feeling, figured it out, researched better felt, put together spreadsheets, and generally got things more in line with Pinpinn.

Decisions, decisions.
Tumus won't be going away for good and that I'm sure of. I'd be heartbroken if the Bon Bons and Birdies never found homes, but that's the way things go sometimes.
Has anyone ever had to cut the ties on something they love?

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Shop Update!

You thought I was faking that shop update didn't you, tsk tsk. Have you no faith? I had numerous things to ready to photograph, but like most of us who sell online, taking pictures is really the last thing you want to do. It's personally not my favorite thing either. Despite really really liking photography for some reason having to set things up, reposition, figure out lighting, props's a bit of a hot mess sometimes. I prefer that instantaneous capture of pictures. Not the processed bits.

BUT even though I drug my feet for a full 3 weeks I finally managed to pull out the light box and snap.

A teaser for Tumus Yes, paisley is back! This would look adorable in a mod nursery, but it's not a toy! Just a decoration ^_^

A peek at Pinpinn This actually has two sayings embroidered on it. It says Sew seeds of love / Sew seeds of hope. I really love this one. I want to make 2 more pincushions with this same theme to kind of make it a "series".

And to make it even better I had so much to take pictures of that I didn't have time to get thru half of it last night. Oh and I was dead tired too. I've been reading alot more lately. I blame the cold snap that all of the Northern Hemisphere is under right now. Though we are scheduled for a warm up above freezing by Wednesday, I think we'll manage to get the Christmas lights down finally!
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