Photoshopped new business cards

I’m almost out of business cards, but I’ve been procrastinating on ordering new ones. I don’t just want to reorder my old style of cards; I’ve had it since 2009 and I want something new. I always order minicards from Moo, because they are simply awesome. And when I got an email telling me everything is 25% off until Sunday, I finally got to work on designing some new business cards. 
This meant finally trying out the free Photoshop Elements that came with my new Bamboo Tablet. I know that software can be used to do the most amazing things, I’m not there yet, but I’m still pretty pleased with the design for the back of my cards:
I knew I wanted my black and white logo on the fron of my cards but I also wanted a splash of color. I love color (no surprise there, I’m sure) and it’s impossible to pick a favorite. Thankfully, Moo allows a different image for each of your cards, so I came up with twenty different versions. Which color is your favorite? I’m torn between light green, blue and eighteen others!
I like to use stickers on my packaging, so I also ordered a batch of matching stickers:
So, now I’m off to go sit next to mailbox and wait for the new goodies to arrive.
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Stocking up in Japantown

In Japan I did not use to worry much about felt, I knew if I needed more the little sewing store, across from the school I used to teach at, had quite a large variety of good felt. And if it wasn’t emergency I could easily wait for a weekend trip to an excellent Osaka craft supplies store, of which my favorite was the insanely huge ABC Craft.
But here I find myself worrying about my felt stash a lot. It’s not that I’m almost running out, it’s that I still haven’t found a good felt supplier. Of course, they do sell felt in American craft stores like Michaels, and sometimes even nicely embossed or printed felt, but it’s always eco-fi felt and it’s quality just does not measure up to Japanese felt. I like my felt to be soft, strong and not see-through.
So I conviced my hubbie to come to Japantown with me to check out the new and improved 100 yen store. Well, I’m happy to report that it was an excellent decision! Sure, Daiso Japan cannot to compare to ABC Craft, but it did sell more felt than Michaels, and it was all Japanese felt! Score!

Replaced

Sewing Machines
I bought the old machine on a whim at Target and it being a Singer made me think it would be a decent machine for just $70. But the Singer Quick Fix is a really bad sewing machine. It bunches up the threads, the tension is impossible ending in superloose threads on the bottom and it broke both needles that came with it. I don’t want to bore you with more frustrating details, but if you need more convincing on why not to buy this just read these reviews for the Pixie-Plus (which is the same machine just with purple colored knobs instead of green).
So the Singer is useless and my arm is useless… Hence, the new sewing machine. It was about $150 at Walmart and it’s not a Singer this time. The new Brother is a computerized sewing machine and so far, while playing with it, it has just amazed me with its abilities. It has 80 built-in sewing stitches and even easily threads the needle for me! 
I’ve promised myself to do no more sewing by hand, so I’m hoping to get a lot of practice time with my machine and come up with some new designs for awkward creatures made on a machine. And I hope creating on the Brother will be just as satisfying as sewing by hand has been for me.

Pinback buttons

One of our Indie Biz teachers introduced us to Button Arcade on Etsy and I just loved the custom pinback buttons. I knew I had to order some with the eleventh monkey logo on them… So I did:

Aren’t they awesome? They even have the urls to my blog and shop on the sides of the buttons. I think I’m going to use them as little thank you gifts for my customers.

Moo

I’m in love with Moo! I’ve ordered from them several times before and I’ve just received my new mini business cards, mini thank you cards and logo stickers! Moo never disappoints.
It’s going to be hard to use them on my packages because I love them too much and it may be hard for me to part with them!
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see who the winner of my giveaway is. You can still sign up!

Got me some buttons

My creatures eyes are made of buttons and I was starting to run out of buttons, so I checked Etsy. I like button mixes of vintage buttons, because new buttons are just too expensive, but all mixes for sale on Etsy have two-holed buttons in them and I have no use for them. So I contacted some button sellers about putting together a mix of about 500 four-holed buttons for me. I didn’t expect to get much response, because I tried this a couple months before and no one answered, but this time almost everyone responded! And they were all so nice… So I bought buttons from all of them:

And these are just the buttons from American sellers, I still have buttons coming from seller in the UK! It’s a good thing I love buttons and I love having a good selection to work with. Even though I love the buttons, the whole bunch smelled very strongly of dog, which is hard to take in a dog-free home and having a nose that works way too well (kind of like a dog’s nose!), so I needed to wash them. But of course, most of these buttons have been used before, so washing them was in order anyway, but the doggy smell made me do it sooner rather than later.

Washing (in a salad spinner, so the soap goes everywhere!), rinsing (in a colander), drying and sorting all the buttons by color took me about two days (in between regular life), but I love organizing and buttons so it was very enjoyable.

Now I’ve got them all sorted in the major color groups I’m going to sort them by kind and size and store them in plastic storage containers with dividers. Which should make button selection for future eyes a lot quicker!