opening night

Back in January I decided to join the Square Show at Bear and Bird Boutique, which runs from January 18 to March 2. The only requirement was that the artwork had to be perfectly square in shape and no larger than 14x14. I used Lorenzo because he is the face of my business, plus I love screen printing him. This time I used  a wood canvas and hand painted the red lines. You can see all the other artist and their pieces here.

big bang lessons

Ever since I started vending at craft shows, I used brown paper bags for buyers to take their purchases home with them. I normally stamp them with my Life In Progress stamp, to keep the handmade and eco friendly theme going. Last week I came across this tutorial. My mind was jumping with ideas and I was thinking, What! I can use my home ink jet printer to print my logo and contact information. Why didn't I think of this? Well, my attempts failed miserably. After ten tries I only had four printed bags. The brown paper bags kept jamming my printer. At that point I gave up. I believe I have an extremely sensitive printer. I even adjusted the printer settings. As great as I think the above photo looks with my design printed on my ink jet printer, I'll have to keep thinking of ways to make it fancier within a timely matter and keep the look I'm going for. Does anyone have any suggestions? Until then I'll keep brainstorming. 

The photo above is from last weekend at the Big Bang Bazaar. It was fun to do an out of town fair. The anticipation was a great thrill. Right before the fair my anxiety level was high because I was worrying about small details. How would people react to my display and my items? 

This fair was well organized.  I'm glad Life In Progress was a part of it. It's nice to know I was part of something that was promoted at a local newspaper and on groupon. Every fair has been such a different experience, I'm learning it can't always be valued in dollar signs. Which would make it very shallow if it was. However, making money is the big picture goal. This particular fair reminded me that I'm doing this for the passion. I keep telling myself as long as I'm learning something it becomes worth it. And right now, I'm still learning and growing. I learned that I forget to let people know I've also made boxes which I've screen printed on as shipping boxes. I'm learning that most of my towels and screen printed items are given to people as gifts. It would only make sense to promote the boxes as gift boxes too. Practice makes prefect, whatever that means. 

salt and pepper

I added a new tote bag to the shop. Not as playful and bright as the life is sweet tote bags or muslin bags. But unique for sure. We go together like the winter and a sweater, screen printed along with a salt and pepper design. This design is a unique tote bag, one of kind really. What inspired me was keeping in mind how couples sometimes feel like such a match (we go together like the winter and a sweater) and the outside world sees them as different than salt and pepper. In the end I wanted to make something that makes people think twice. Not everyone is going to get the saying on the bag.

gearing up

Where has the summer gone? Around here, I've been gearing up for the Big Bang Bazaar, my first out-of-town fair. It happens this Saturday, for one day only. There is a little more pressure than usually because the cost is higher (driving to the fair, paying for the hotel and the booth space).

Regardless of the extra pressure, I'm extremely excited. I've prepared and planned as much as possible. At this point I just have to let things play out. I'm hopeful that it will be a successful fair and people will like my items and want to make a home for them. I've taken most of the summer off to regroup from my "fair adventures". Slowly but surely I've been getting things done. The photos above show a few of the things I've been keeping myself busy with. Here are descriptions of the photos, from left to right:
Business cards:  I added more color to the look of my business cards. The last ones were good but I wanted more “pop”. I still stamp the back of them with my life in progress stamp.
Tags: I used an old typewriter I found at a thrift shop to write the name of the items with the prices. I also stamped them with a stamp I found at a craft store. I used manila tags that I got at a local art store.
Cotton Muslin Drawstring bags: I used the same screen print that I use for the Canvas Tote - Life Is Sweet bags. I love these bags because they become useful when traveling. I've also made some Lady Bags.
Notepads: These little tiny notepads are new, I screen printed them with the word “WRITE” and stamped them. It's really a reminder for me to remember to write more blog posts. I'm also willing to do custom orders for anyone who is interested.
Pouch's with Zippers and Vintage Wood Pepsi Crate: This is the first time my pouches with zippers will be available at a fair. I needed a place to store/ place them and I found this great shop on etsy and purchased the vintage wood pepsi crate.
Paypal: I've made the switch to Paypal from Squareup. I know I said this. But I like the fact that my money sits in one place, Paypal. My shops are linked with Paypal and it only makes sense to keep the money all in one place.
My bags are packed and the car is loaded. I'm ready for this great event opportunity. Unfortunately, my Esty shop will be closed this weekend. However, it will be back on Monday.
Have a great weekend!

bar cart

For a while I've wanted a bar cart, maybe because of the Madman craze or my obsession with retro items. I kept my eyes open on craigslist and finally found a white metal, retro looking bar cart. The lady who sold it to us said she bought it in a storage auction and if she had a pool she would have kept it. For fifty dollars, I was satisfied that I got a pretty good deal. I thought it would be a great fit to our home after some restoration. And so we went to work.

I picked lime green spray paint to match most of our kitchen and dining room decor. I love how that color pops.  

The bar cart looked to have all original parts. Most of the screws were rusted, especially the ones holding the trays and the ones holding the wheels together. The rusted screws made it a pain to get the wheels off (the wheels didn't really work so we needed to replace them). We didn't have the powerful drill needed to drill out the rusted screws, which added to our difficulty. Luckily, a very handy friend brought his drill over to help remove the rusted screws and we were able to replace the wheels with new ones. 

I bought the fabric on a shopping trip in Philly with Mikes's Mom. It worked perfectly for this project as the colors match well with the lime. I pre-cut the fabric to make sure it covered the trays. Then I sprayed the trays with adhesive spray to glue the fabric on. After the glue dried I added scotch-guard to protect the fabric from any future spills. 

Done! We gave it a home next to the dining room table and stocked it with our favorite liquors.


There is joy in receiving a tag with the word "vendor" on it. And I wear the "vendor" tag proudly.

This is from the fair I did with Art Rock a few weeks ago. My re-purposed jewelry was more popular than my screen-printed towels at Art Rock, which was unusual for me, as generally my costumers prefer the towels to the jewelry. The Art Rock fair made me realize that I also have a niche with jewelry. Therefore, I'm going to continue making jewelry. I've been brainstorming some new ideas to move the line forward. Stay tuned, folks. 

Hop over to Craftbaby where you'll find images of Life In Progress by jesslope at the Art Rock event, as wells as pictures of all the other fabulous vendors that were a part of it. It's pleasant being in a room full of creative minds.

out on the town

Last weekend we attended a black tie wedding, which gave Mike and I a chance to play dress-up. I rented my dress from the site Rent The Runway that my sister-in-law suggested to me a while back. I didn't want to buy a dress that would end up renting space in my closet. However, I was nervous to order a dress online as I wouldn’t have a chance to try it on. I usually have trouble finding items that fit me “off the rack”.

Rent The Runway’s site includes reviews from previous renters, which was very helpful for me. I picked a dress color that normally isn't my first choice but in the end I was happy to step out of my comfort zone.

One slight problem: the dress ended being an inch or two too long (even with my four inch heels). After a quick trip to the store for some double-sided tape I was able to fix the problem.