Monday, September 12, 2011

Boutique is Over and I Have a Life Again!

Sorry about my long absence - it is the longest period I have ever gone without blogging, and I have so much to share.  But don’t worry, I will spread it out over the next several posts so I don’t put you to sleep, LOL!!

Somebody tell me WHY I am doing boutiques (she said as she banged her head against the wall).  Seriously, I do know why, and it’s complicated.

I feel the need to create, and have my creations validated.  Does that make sense?  When we’ve made as many (insert anything here: quilts, dolls, purses, aprons, etc) that we could ever use ourselves and also given them away to countless friends and family members, what are we supposed to do? Stop creating? No, of course not!  We continue to do our thing, perhaps trying to sell a few to maybe make some pocket change to go out and buy more Stuff.

Big Boho; lace is 1/3 of tablecloth border. 
Well, I did make some pocket change.  And that’s about it.  I forgot the three important things you need to consider when getting back into boutiques (like buying a house):  location, location, location.  In this case (in the Salt Lake Valley) location = clientele.  My purses and aprons and crazy quilting are eclectic, traditional with a touch of bohemian/vintage.

Boho Tote.  No CQ, but some great lace. And a rose and some cool bling.

This boutique was held in Mormon Mommy Suburbia.  A new area, middle class and up. Mommies are all stay-at-home, well coiffed and manicured, skinny, in heels, with 2-3 kids along PLUS pushing a stroller. That sums up 90% of the show attendees. Honest.  They were buying petti-rompers and hair things for their little girls.  And headbands and slinky clothes and gaudy jewelry.   I had never heard of a petti-romper until the boutique.  They are hideous, slinky one-piece things of tricot and cheap nylon lace that are probably assembled in China by people who make 3c per hour and work 6 days per week.   

Honestly, I am not bitter; I just am trying to be humorous about the whole thing and have chalked it all  up to a learning experience.  I need to get into a Salt Lake City proper boutique/market where the people are of varied backgrounds, more individual, eclectic - more of my market. Not young mothers, but mature women who do their own thing.  :-)

I only got a couple pictures of the boutique, and since I was a newcomer, my area was with other newbies in the back, unlit corner.  I did install lights in my booth by the second day, so it wasn’t all that bad.  But the pictures were all dark.

So, here is how I did my Crazy by Design sign.  My blog header, Etsy banner and business cards (in other words, the colors of my brand) are tan and brown with maroon and dark rose. I searched high and low for a polka dot fabric that would work, and this one, described as tan with brown, was the closest I could get.  It looks more yellow than tan.

I covered a piece of foam core with a thin batting (glued down with Fabri-Tac).  Then I covered that with my cotton fabric and stapled it on the reverse side.  (See below)

Next, I printed out my business name, making the C R A Z Y quite large (one letter per page) in my chosen font (HarbaraHand, which I found online and have used on Etsy and my cards).  Then I cut out the letters.  I chose a brown suedecloth for the letters, and fused some Misty Fuse (or the equivalent) to the back.  Then I traced the letters backwards on the fused back.  I cut them out, then fused them to the fabric.  I printed the “by Design” on a piece of muslin, then fused that on in an oval.   

The finishing was just hot-glueing on some cording around the oval and hand stitching on some of my own dyed lace around the outside.    


I plan to add a rolled silk rose or two somewhere on it for the future, but this was a rush job.  :-)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

So now I am back to work this week at the Farm (well, M,W, F mornings). My tasks this week are to clean up my studio (it looks like someone set off a bomb in it) and get it organized.  My friend Diane Matheson arrives from Canada on Friday evening for a visit.  We will hang around, shop, visit the Farm and the Humanitarian Center (fabric hunt!) and stitch and pack for the Retreat.  We will leave on Wednesday and stay until Monday of the following week.   But I will fill you in on that more later in the week and early next week.

In the meantime, it is PEACH season here in Utah, and we bought a case of them at the Farmers Market this weekend.  They were ripe enough to work with today, so the first thing I did was bake a pie.  And it looks as nice as it tastes, even if I do say so myself!   I also put up a few quarts of peaches.  Tomorrow evening (after DGD London goes home) I will do a couple batches of jam.  The rest will be for eating.  Peaches are my favorite fruit, so I can’t get enough of them!  :-)

When I heated up the oven for the pie, it started smoking once the temperature got hot.  Bruce had cooked Breakfast For Dinner the other night and had left some pancakes on a tray in the oven (where we hold them to stay warm after they are cooked).  He had forgotten them after dinner and they had been there for days.  They were hard as rocks, and now burned.

So when I took a picture of my pie, he insisted take a picture of one of his pancakes to share with you (equal opportunity).  Gee, aren’t you glad? LOL

Do not try this at home!

Take care and I’ll be back tomorrow.

Cathy maroon


  1. Beautiful are your bag, you never have the courage to do crazy or a bag of something else, I think that is very difficult!
    Milo is up to you check out the blog, there's so much fun and different beautiful things, greet,

  2. Love your bags. I am going to make my version of a boho bag this winter. Gerry's instructions how to keep the seams not so bulky were a revelation ~lol~ long sigh here.

    I used to sell in the 80s when home craft shows were big here. I did SEVERAL from October to Christmas. $5000 in my pocket, but I think my labor was free. I lost interest when the fad passed.

    At least you learned the marketing part of sales. I am sure you will find your nitch.

    Glad you are back. We are all back now that summer is gone ~lol~
    xx, Carol

  3. Ohhh...Save a slice of peach pie for me please! Looks so good. See you on Friday!

  4. What a shame re your boutique location. It makes for a disappointing time. Lovely sign you made.

  5. LOL! That burnt offering reminds me of finding a cold mug of coffee or tea in the microwave...two days after Ken has complained that he can't find his coffee mug!
    I cringed in sympathy reading your descriptions of the yuppy mothers...we have them here too, in droves. "Handmade? Ugh no thank you, dahhhling"... Two bob snobs. (Aussie slang for people who think they are better than you and I).
    BTW, your packet arrived today - BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you so much; I have a lovely bell pull pattern in mind..

  6. I love love love your purses! Maybe I'm not the skinny-mommy-3-kids-high-heels type..but I LOVE LOVE LOVE your creations and your sign? Too cute!!

  7. Your purses are so lovely, wish I lived closer to see them!(and eat a slice of the pie, peach is my favorite also!)Have much fun this weekend together Cathy and Diane!

  8. I hear you on the Made in China cheap nasty stuff. I also sell at craft shows and even though the rules specifically state "handmade items only" there is always someone with cheap Chinese plastic junk and that seems to be where all the people flock and spend their money.

  9. I am in love with your bags! They are stunning! I especially love the bottom one, even though not crazy quilted it is just stunning! If I had the budget I would be buying it from you......hopefully you can find a better platform for you beautiful work......that peach pie looks so good! Glad you are back and will be posting again....missed you!

  10. Yay, you're back!!! I missed you too. We never did our summer get together. Maybe it will be a fall one. There are still lots of Saturdays left. I am getting my barn sewing room organized so you can come play!!!

    Hugs, Bev

  11. Yeah, you definitely need to find someplace a little more eclectic for your wares but I think your sign is awesome! Really well done, Cathy. It's good to have you back!

  12. Hello Cathy,

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I have never seen BoHo bag before. Yours are very creative and fantastic looking. The peach pie looked very yummy. Hugs Judy

  13. Wow, I love love love all you bags! I wish I could make such. Gorgeous!!


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