Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Look! Look! It's me!


How cool is this! I get to to be on someone else's blog!

Ok, I know, I know. I should not look to other people for my own vlaue, but this is neat!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ssssshhhhh... It's a secret

It looks like I am going to be joining a new fat focused web portal for online shopping as a seller. I will post way more information once their site is closer to being up and running, but in the meantime, um,

COOL! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wowsers! DIY formalwear

Raise your hand if you are above a size 10 and have ever had trouble finding the perfect formal dress. Do I see every single reader raising their hand emphatically and jumping up and down screaming "Me! Me! Me!"

Well have found an awesome solution.

Coco Myles Formal Wear is a DIY formalwear site for the non sewers amongst us. They have a selection of tops and bottoms in a number of styles, add-ons including everything bows to shawls to beading, a selection of fabrics, and best of all everything comes in every size from 2 to 32! The price difference in the larger sizes is so minimal (roughly $20) that you know it is just the cost of extra fabric.

They also include this caveat in their FAQ

"If you need a dress larger than size 32, or smaller than a size 2, then we can create it for you."

Yes ladies, they are willing to work with you to create a dress that will make you feel like a princess! They can do everything from a little black dress to celebrity look-a-likes straight from the red carpet.

I just sat and played with their dress maker thingy for half an hour in awe.

Their size chart and "how to measure" page are well laid out and easy to use. They even provide a printable measuring tape in case you do not have one.

They are also willing to shorten/lengthen their dresses for $10... less than I would pay my local seamstress.

Plus sized dresses ran around the $150 mark, but the most expensive one that I could put together was still under $220 (including assumed shortening as I am short). Well within one I would expect to pay for a custom dress... heck, within what I would expect to pay for a formal off the rack dress!

So shipping is what it really comes down to. I have to say that this is where the plan falls apart a little. $40 for shipping is a little steep. On the other hand, when you work it in to the price of the dress it is still not entirely unreasonable. They also have shipping deals if you are buying more than one item (say dresses for a bridal party, all available from one site, in matching fabrics, in every size).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A little of my own recent work. Plus sized rings

I don't know about everyone else, but finding fin and fashionable rings in larger sizes seems to be next to impossible! Rings are actually one of the first pieces of jewelery I made because I pretty much gave up on ever finding anything reasonable priced.

Please do not misunderstand me. I know that I can always have a ring resized to a larger size (and in fact do it frequently for my customers), but they always look like "regular" rings sized up, and not like they were designed to look right at their current size.

My rings are available custom made to a size 15. I actually use larger size stone, and create my patterns with graduated sized cutwork so my pieces never look like "little rings made bigger" and instead look balanced and harmonious.

Top right is sterling silver and amethyst. The centre stone is 10mm across and a gorgeous dark purple colour with no visible flaws. Bottom left is a hammered sterling silver band with a 5mm dark green emerald and no additional embellishments. It has a very rustic, almost viking-like look to it and never fails to get noticed. These items are no longer available in my etsy store, but can be remade to order in any size imaginable.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A couple of shows

Ok, so The Fuller Woman's Expo and I are talking about a more reasonable price point for their show. I want to do it. I really want to do it both for the good of my business and to help grow the market segment that is basically being ignored up here north of the 49th parallel. It is really just a matter of if it will work out to the greater good of both sides.

I think (and hope) that it will work out.

In other news I am also trying to put together a group for Jewish Artisans here in the city and am looking at putting together a show where we can show our work without needing to compete against the cheap, machine-made stuff that fills so many craft shows lately. There are so many shows in which many of us not able to participate (be it that they are Saturday, holidays, or for causes we can not bring ourselves to support), that it will be nice to have one show that is catered around our own needs.

As of today it looks like we *might* even have a location down in Kensington for the show. Now there are a million other things to deal with, but if we can get enough artists, we may host a wine and cheese reception with 10% of all proceeds going to a charity still to be decided as a group. I would like to get a variety of people including perhaps a classical musician to really "glam it up" a little.

Please note, I will NOT turn away not Jewish artists, I just want to give the option first to those of us for whom many of the other shows are unaccessible.

I think I am in way over my head, but if it works it could be wonderful.

Anyone have any thoughts on the ideas? Anyone want to get involved?

Monday, January 7, 2008

So who is actually reading? CONTEST!!!

I know people are reading this blog because I see the numbers going up daily, but I am sooooo curious as to who is making those numbers take flight! I am not sure how to get people commenting here so that I can see who y'all are. Do you think a contest would work? Why not take a go.

Ok, so all you have to do is leave a comment, any comment. On Sunday I will take all the names, stick them into a random generator (also called a hat) and see which one comes up. The person whose name is the jumpiest and sticks to my fingers will receive an amethyst and sterling silver pendant (seen to the right) on a sterling silver chain (not shown).

Yes ladies (and gentlemen?) all you have to do is stroke my ego with one little comment and this lovely piece could be winging it's way to you via Canada Post so the two of you can begin long and happy lives together.

(Feel free to comment anonymously so long as it is nothing rude or inappropriate, but do be aware that if I do not know who you are I can not enter your name into the hat).

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Fuller Woman Expo

When I opened my email last night I was pleasantly surprised to have received an email from a woman who was connected with a group running a new show called "The Fuller Woman Expo". She claimed to have come across this blog and seen some of my work and that I was exactly what they were looking for.

I went to check out their website and it does seem that they are genuinely trying to get something that sounds like it is a great idea off the ground. They want to try to change the way plus sized women are seen from "a problem that needs fixing" to "a market segment niche that should be filled". Subtle difference really I guess when it comes to semantics, world of difference when it comes to how people are treated in the marketplace.

I have no idea how much entrance will be as a visitor/shopper, but I do have to say that as a vendor, as much as I like the idea, there is no way I am willing or able to participate. They are charging over 5x per day what the one of a kind show does, and over double what I would spend to participate in the Toronto Clothing Show. I don't know any sellers on the home based market who would pay that much per day for a long running established show, let alone for a brand-spanken-new upstart.

I support fat friendly shows and sites 100%, but that does not mean that I can let myself, as a small business owner, get gouged in order to do so.

On the other hand, if admission as a shopper is not an arm and a leg you can but I am going to be there with plus sized bells on! A whole show of shopping catering to me where there is a prayer I can actually "shop" rather than "browse" excites the heck out of me!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Thank God for my health (and health are provider)

I want to take one sec here to thank the lord for health care providers who see beyond the fat and through to the real problem. I came home from our vacation (Capital S) SICK.

My joints were killing me, especially my hips, kneed and ankles. I could barely breathe and when I tried to suck in air it felt like my ribs were fighting by cramping and trying to suffocate me. When I coughed (which I did often as this lovely little nuisance also came with "cold-like symptoms") my head felt like it was being split in two across my forehead and behind my eyes with a hot vice.

My family doctor, who I loved, recently quit her practice, and even though she was part of a team with walk in accepted, now none of the team will see any of her patience... Left me stranded with no notice, and finding a new doctor here right now is next to impossible. Fortunately I had an in with someone who is great for day to day, but as he is the spouse of a friend I am not sure how comfortable I would be with anything big. Don't for one minute though think I am concerned about any impropriety or breech of confidentiality- merely awkwardness after. I would 100000% recommend him to anyone else, and do know some of my other friends use him as well.

I fell asleep watching the hockey game at a friend's house on the floor and when I woke up I was tempted to rip off my own head. Ok, so I called him New Years eve, at home. Yes, I was that miserable.

Not a single "loose weight and you will feel better" in site. I gave him 2 symptoms, he asked me about all the rest of them (as he hit the nail on the head on all of them I am pretty sure he was right). He told me what to do, how do deal with it, and what to look out for. The whole exchange took maybe 10 minutes.

All I can say is that I was thrilled not to have to worry about obnoxious comments when I felt like death. It is such a pleasure to have found a doctor that actually deals with the problem you bring to him rather than once the choose to take issue with that are not quite as pressing.