It's TOO HOT in San Diego!!!
Well, we survived a scorching weekend in Pacific Beach at an outdoor show, but the temperatures in Southern California just keep going up and up and up. This is TOUGH when you're SUPPOSED to be working on Fuzzy Faux Fur hats for the upcoming show AND Halloween month!
But we're trying to figure it out and slog through until San Diego decides it time to be "FALL".
So here's how "Mom Monster" is handling it:
"My personal routine: Wake up while it's still dark (ugh) but at least cool enough to do some work. Grumble like crazy, have some COLD coffee or tea to wake up, sew like a madwoman and do computer stuff. Once it's too hot to function and the sweat starts trickling down your nose, find an excuse to hop in the car with the air-conditioner blasting...like the fabric store, grocery store, heck, even just drive around if you have gas! (There's a room AC in our bedroom, but hubby works nights sleeps days, so there's no way to do ANYTHING in there during the day.) When you are bored out of your mind and can't think of anyplace else to go, head back home and let the hot air hit you in the face as you open the door. Sit and complain it's too hot and there are a million things to do, try to do them, but give up and melt on the couch, where even the CATS are melting. Once the sun goes down, see if you can figure out something to eat that does NOT involve cooking, and look longinglt at the projects you WISH you could work on, know you SHOULD be working on, but proscrastinate because it's still too hot. Around 9 or 10:00 PM, decide to give up and go to bed. After sitting in the bedroom (which has a room conditioner), get up, grab some hand-sewing, and fall asleep with a needle in your hand. Get up next day and do it ALL OVER AGAIN."
In the meantime, enjoy some photos from the PB show...
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...we hear that all the time, but sometimes you have to think out of the box to repurpose items!
In the crafting world, there's a lot of repurposing going on, but we're taking it in a different direction...not just in using repurpose materials, but in our DISPLAYS!
In 2013, we stumbled upon a couple of random fiberglass mannequin heads, desperately in need of a makeover. So we recycled them by decopaging them with pages of some book pages (leftover from a personal "Altered Art" project), and the response was AMAZING! Everyone seemed to love the way the showcased our crazy hats! So over the last few months, we've rescued a few more bashed and beat up "heads", learned to do some Fiberglass resin repair, and been on the hunt for the perfect pages to glaze them over. Yeah, we know some of them our cutesy, and some of them are creepy, but ALL of them are perfect for displaying SOMETHING!
So let us share the results, and tell us what you think!
Did you know that not only do the "Mostly Monsters" girls (Sabrina & Taylor) sew, paint, design, and create all the handmade goods in our shop, but we are MUSICIANS & supporters of the arts of all types?
Every summer, we donate our time and... efforts with "Patio Playhouse" in Escondido, California. This group provides arts education and opportunities to YOUTH interested in performing arts. To help "Patio Playhouse" provide more chances for young people to be involved in theater, music, and dance.
"Mostly Monsters" has begun a tradition of creating special items EXCLUSIVE to the show, and each night of the projection, 1 or more items is raffled off in an "Opportunity Drawing" to help raise funds for the program. (Some of you might remember our goodies from "Young Frankenstein" in 2013?) This year, we are sooo pleased to be a part of an amazing production of "Fiddler on the Roof". During the show, you'll spot us both in the orchestra pit, wailing away on the Klezmer Clarinet
(Hooray for the bottle dance!!!)
On this blog, we're sharing a sneak preview of the goodies that will be available to WIN at this year's show, and each night of the show, we'll give you a glimpse of what you could win, so keep following!!!
And if you're in the Southern California area, why not stop by PATIO PLAYHOUSE to purchase a ticket and see the show!
Tickets available at:
Cutest Customer EVER!!!
"Princess" has got to be the cutest little spokesmodel EVER!
We meet "Princess" at the 2014 sdFringe Festival, while she was hanging out in the Visual Fringe & Visitor's Center, meeting and greeting all the new folks who stopped by! She was just such an adorable little lady, that we couldn't resist creating her a special hat, which she was kind enough to model for us! She also inspired us to create our "pet-friendly" Fringee Bean toys. What a lovebug!
We just had to share her with all of you, and to thank Kevin Patterson for sharing such a completely AWESOME Customer Appreciation Photo!
If anyone is interested in ordering their OWN custom mini-hat appropriate to fit small dogs, cats, and even American Girl Dolls, just let us know...send us a quick message and we'd love to work with you!
ON THE FRINGES...
July 3 began a super-exciting NEW event for us, and something new to all of San Diego as well! THE SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL!!!
Thanks to the gentle nagging...oops...I mean nudging...of our friend Lilli Feingold, we opted to participate in the first VISUAL FRINGE in San Diego!
While Fringe Festivals have been happening all over the world for many, many years, last year's FRINGE in San Diego was a first, but at the time, it focused only on PERFORMING Arts. This year included VISUAL arts too, and we were part of the inaugural year for Visual Fringe. It's kind of hard to explain what FRINGE is, so we're directing you to their official website: sdfringe.org for more details. But in a nutshell, it's a festival all over Downtown San Diego and some outlying areas that serves as a mecca for all kinds of AMAZING and unusual art on a budget...the kinds of things that you might consider on the FRINGE of normal! So yeah, we fit right in!
Like any first attempt, things went through changes, had some hiccups, but everyone pretty much rolled with the punches. For us, "VISUAL FRINGE" was set-up in a defunct (but very nice!) hair salon on 1st Ave., which was also the VISITOR CENTER and Fringe Tag/ticket pick-up spot. Which for us, meant some great foot traffic about a half-hour before each play. We got the chance to meet and chat with 2/3 of the visitors of the event, and had a WONDERFUL TIME doing it!
Set-up was a little rocky as we had to navigate the issue that is parking downtown, but what event downtown DOESN'T have parking issues? But we figured it out, and made it through! Having never seen the space before we got there, we had no idea what to bring, and brought pretty much everything except the kitchen sink, which was fine, because it turned out that our booth space actually HAD a SINK...right in the middle! No really, a hair-washing sink, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the booth! Which we filled immediately with monsters. And we were thrilled to find that we were surrounded by mirrored walls (note to self- we don't need to bring mirrors to a salon!), tiny built-in shelves previously used to display product by in our case used to display monsters. Lesson for next time: CURATE WISELY!
While the festival is 11 full days of eyeball busting shows, we were only able to commit to the first 4, sharing our space with a number of talented artists, some of whom were already our friends!
So some shout-outs to our faves:
Bjorkman Creations- Eric & Rhianna make the most AMAZING Leather cuffs and wearable pieces...you can find them at http://bjorkmancreations.com/
Alice Gerschler- Alice is amazing photographer who specializes in some fantastic and surreal ocean pieces! Many of her intertidal photographs have been seen on local morning TV! She was also kind enough to take shots of some of our goods for us, allowing us to share them with you! You can find her work at: http://www.alicegerschler.com/ and http://www.intertidalphotography.com/
Philip M Soucy- Philip makes the most incredibly detailed and surreal art that almost seems to MOVE as you look at it.! He was one of Taylor's FAVORITE artists at the event. We understand his bicycle was stolen while at the event (GASP!!! THAT'S HORRIBLE!), so we want to encourage everyone to go check out his stuff and maybe BUY SOMETHING! http://www.philipmsoucy.com/
Deron Cohen- His art is AMAZING! So gorgeous, so surreal, and so layered it took everything in me NOT to reach out and touch them! We love his work, and encouraged him to come up front at the venue and take our primo spot when we left, so that all the guests would get to see his work! ohttp://deroncohen.com/
HASTE Theatre Company- These ladies are AMAZING!!! Got to see their play "The Hideout", and they are GENIUS!!! Everyone needs to go see them...so creative, so talented, and so entertaining! http://hastetheatre.com/
We didn't get a chance to see our friend Sean Doughty in his play "Heartquakes", but hope that some of you get a chance to see him!
And last but certainly not least RON LOGAN ( http://www.ronlogandesign.com/)... long story, but Ron is a friend of my brother's who also went to High School with me (although we didn't know each other then!) and he DESIGNED THE AWESOME LOGO for the festival! Isn't he talented?
And based on Ron's Eyeball Busted FRINGE-GOER, we created some keepsakes for guests! More on that in a later blog!
And one more shout-out to Executive Producer & Director KEVIN PATTERSON and his sweet little dog PRINCESS! We love you both! (Princess was the inspiration and model for our new DOGGIE HAT and Pet-friendly Fringee Bean!)
So here are a few photos to give you a taste of what SDFF 2014 was like for us.............
We don't like to "toot our own horn", but we wanted to share on behalf of a local group that is near and dear to our heart:
"The Quin Murphy Scholarship Foundation"
Andrew "Quin" Murphy was part of a dear family we've know for quite some time, through our Girl Scout connections. (You can read more about Quin's story on their website and facebook page.)
So when they approached us and asked if we would donate a little something for their upcoming Silent Auction, of course we said YES! Money from the auction goes directly to local students, and we wanted to help. Our first question was "What's the theme?". We were told that Quin liked things with a "Dia De Los Muertos" vibe, so we ran with it. We didn't just make a single simple item...we wanted to make something SPECIAL that the guests at this shindig would FIGHT over, outbidding each other over and over to help get more money for those well-deserved scholarships!
So here's what we came up with:
A LARGE Gift basket, filled with handmade "Loteria" & Sugar Skull themed items, including a backpack, Zombie Baby, Krayon Keeper, Kleenex Kreature, Sewing Kit, Hairbows, Brooches, and MORE!
AND....a Cuddle Monster & Aviator Hat set in the craziest, softest blue checked fur, lined with "FIESTA" print and more!
Here's hoping that these items help the foundation help even MORE kids around the South Bay! We can't wait to see how these items go over!
Let us know what you think!
Please consider visiting their site and making a donation!
Chasing away the Nightmares...
Just over a week ago, "Mostly Monsters" got an emergency message...a real "S.O.S." from a desperate Mom in New York.
According to her message, her son (the older of two) is suffering through terrifying nightmares and is afraid to sleep. She's tried everything...dream catchers, stories, everything she could think of!
And somehow, she stumbled onto our Etsy Shop. Was there any way we could create special Cuddle Monsters for her boys, something to eat those nightmares? Of COURSE we said YES! How could we turn down little boys in distress?
She peeked through all our current goods, and told us some of the "parts" and colors the boys liked, and we started to brainstorm...
Favorite colors: Red & Blue...but it had to be FUZZY!
Lining: Superheroes? Monsters? Stripes? Stars? Plain? Nope...FOOD! Turns out big brother LOVES popcorn, so we picked coordinating prints that could feature POPCORN when the mouth is unzipped.
Feet: Usually, we make the footpads to match the mouth, but the idea of a GLOW-IN-THE-DARk print seemed perfect for helping to light the night and scare away the dreams!
Horns & Hair: Well...here was the challenge! Picked the perfect combo for baby brother's monster, but when Big Brother saw our AVATAR, it was love at first sight! So, time to design a NEW Cuddle Monster! This one has no horns or hair, but three eyestalks seemed perfect for peeking around corners to spy those nasty nightmares!
Now that the supplies were ready, time to step into high gear! All through the day and night, the sewing machine whirred away, until fingers were tired and eyes were bleary. But finally, very late one night, the monsters were done! And by their side, some very special monster SNACKS too...
A crazy backstory was created to help the "Magic" of the monsters, and as described on Etsy, their white felt teeth "are pointy enough to eat even the toughest bad dreams, yet soft enough so that they NEVER hurt little boys! Unzip their mouths, and their tummies are filled with popcorn or animal crackers so that the nightmares will taste better as they go down! Their feet are covered with GLOW-IN-THE-DARK stars to help him see better at night to catch those nasty bad dreams, and can help out with a little "nightlight"-style action as you fall asleep."
The boys were also taken with the idea of FEEDING the monsters, so we decided to create special MONSTER snacks, so that when the monsters were all done eating up the bad dreams, they wouldn't go hungry, so we also created special toddler-safe felt DONUTS and a peanut butter & jelly felt sandwich to share!
The monsters were sent off to their new home, including a couple of special "Seek & Find" games for the brothers, ready to do their magic!
Within 48 hours, Mom sent us a flurry of messages, regaling us with stories of cuddling, playing, "feeding", and even sitting on the "potty"! The older brother had never been one for stuffed toys, but he was in LOVE with his new monster!!!! WOOHOO!
We are so happy to have been part of helping a little guy learn to conquer his fears, and we hope these monsters will keep up the good work!
THIS is why we are dedicated to making loveable, handmade monsters! :)
And to top it off, Mom posted the most AWESOME 5-star Etsy Review:
"One of the best transactions I've had on Etsy, out of hundreds of transactions! WONDERFUL quality, WONDERFUL communication, WONDERFUL collaboration... my sons love their monsters, which will be eating up any bad dreams before they get inside my sons' heads! Plus, the doughnuts and sandwich are absolutely adorable, and they love "feeding" their monsters! All in all, A MILLION PERCENT recommended. Will definitely be buying from Mostly Monsters in the future (and will highly recommend to all of my mommy friends)! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!"
Back to the Old Neighborhood!
It's been a while since we blogged, so we wanted to share a bit about our most recent show...at Benchley-Weinberger Elementary!
Waaaaaayyyy back when Dinosaurs roamed the earth, well, ACTUALLY, it was 1972 to 1976..."Mama Monster" went to school here (and her little brother did too.) So when we saw the announcement that they were having a craft show to raise money for their PTA, OF COURSE we had to do it!
And wanting to give back, we also designed a "pretty" flier for them to use to help their show "POP"!
The day was blazing hot, but it was so nice to be back in the old neighborhood, running into old friends and close family, not to mention LOTS of our crafter buddies too! Sylvia Lewis (Designs by Sylvia), Em from "Miss Emy's Attic & Bill's Bird Feeders", Hayley & Ed from "Kit's Designs", "Grunty Baby", and a wonderful chat with Lili Feingold from "Sunken Treasure Jewels" and "San Diego FRINGE Festival"
Favorite moment of the day was the little boy who fell in LOVE with one of our Cuddle Monsters (with immediate adoption!) and ran around ALL DAY LONG carrying this new fuzzy friend who was nearly as tall as he was! We think we even spotted that blue monster riding down the playground slide a couple of times! Naturally, we forgot to get pictures of the duo in action!
So- as hot as it may have been, we'd call the show a success, and we are so happy to have been a part of it!
Sharing a few photos from our booth that day...
No time to talk...
Cuz we're in the middle of the ConDor Convention!
But we wanted to share pics of our booth as we set it up...this great SciFi Convention runs through Sunday, March 23rd! Find out more at
(You'll see our name on the "Dealer" page!) If you have a chance to come to the convention, you'll find us in the North East corner, near the doors!
Well, we survived our first Con with flying colors! Met lots of new fans, saw lots of old friends, and of course the sales were nothing to sneeze at! What a great time! Even Ryon...Sabrina's son/Taylor's brother...went along for the ride and had an AMAZING time and can't wait to go back next year! It would have been nice to just load the goods into the T.A.R.D.I.S. nearby and send them home instead of lugging them all to the car, but...it's a show, so what can you do! Anytime you can see Predator, Effie Trinket, Jedis, Paduans, Witches, Wizards, and umpteen Steampunk gentlefolk peacefully shopping together, it's a GOOD THING!
We also met the folks from LosCon, and donated a very large bag of Mostly Monsters goodies for THEIR Con this year, so we hope to reach out to a new crowd!
Now....on to the NEXT show!
Spring Fling & Things...
SPRING IS HERE! And it's SHOW TIME!
After a few short weeks to build up our inventory and create new critters for adoption, we've officially started the SPRING Show Season!
It's funny that most people don't realize what goes into a craft show, but let's break it down into a few bite-sized pieces so you can get the gist (leaving out all the gory business-y details like permits, accounting, and finding the "perfect" venues for selling):
1. Come up with a mega-super-awesome idea and pray that nobody else on the planet (or at least in your neighborhood or crafting community) is doing this same thing.
2. Buy waaaayyy too many supplies, and figure out how to justify purchasing 20 yards of super-cool fabric that MAY take you 20 years to use. Be sure to visit at least 20 stores, and dig up 20 coupons to try to get the best deal. But when you get home, be sure to hide your buyer's remorse, and then facepalm because you realize you forgot the thread, glue, or buttons you actually WENT to the store for.
3. Make stuff. Then make more stuff. Then stress out and get no sleep the night before the show because you forgot other stuff, and aren't sure you are bringing the RIGHT stuff. And other stuff. Oh, and don't forget you WILL need lots of caffeine in the A.M. to deal with all this stuff.
4. Pack your vehicle as tightly as you can. Then realize you can't fit it all, and unpack some of it, rearrange it, and squish as much as you can into bags instead of boxes so you can squish it all in. Forget about seeing out of the car...that's what side mirrors are for, right? Then remember that you didn't fit the DOLLY in the car, and start again.
5. Drive to the venue, praying you didn't forget anything, and wonder to yourself what that weird rattling in the back of the car could be. Did you stop for coffee yet?
6. If you didn't hire teamsters or a small mob of teenagers to do the heavy lifting, it's time to unload your vehicle into the venue. And guaranteed, no matter how carefully you may have measured and planned out your booth or "space", know it is NOT going to work out that way! Did you remember your table, tablecloths, crates, shelves, baskets, display pieces, chair, etc? Here's where the greatest creativity comes in...how to make do with what you brought, when they thing you MOST NEEDED is sitting at home.
7. Wave your magic wand to have your goods fly into a perfectly arranged booth to display your goods to their best advantage, remembering to have multiple levels, clear focus, and places for the eye to "rest". Wait...you don't HAVE a Magic Wand? Guess you'll have to do that the hard way!
8. Now sell! And pray. And cross your fingers, do a little dance, and make a wish. (I won't mention the process of tear-down, clean-up, go home, unpack, inventory, and then do it all again next weekend!) And hopefully, you will make 3 times the amount you paid for your space, or at the very least, enough money to pay for the supplies you still have to buy for NEXT WEEK'S shows!
Okay, so if you're NOT a crafter, you probably think this is an exaggeration. You probably think it's a matter of "Make, then Sell". Nope.
I hope this simple little set of instructions will help you greater appreciate the true MAGIC that goes into setting up one of the many AMAZING Arts & Craft Shows that happen around the World EVERY WEEKEND!
Bless you, all of my lovely and dedicated Craft Friends, who do this on a regular basis! You are not only ARTISTS, you are SAINTS!
Thoughts from the Monsters...
Sabrina & Taylor are the sole employees at "Mostly Monsters", so we :