Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hey Fabric Addicts!

I got yer justification right here :) Along with a picture of my sewing room closet (yes, I DID clean it prior to taking the picture!) so you don't feel so bad about your stash. I didn't get it all, my camera doesn't have a panoramic setting :P

Now back to the justification bit -- this list was posted on the Irish Dance forum of Dance.net by the lovely Jess Knight, one of the world's most talented Irish dance dressmakers, in my humble opinion! She tells me she got it from a ballroom dress-making auntie, which just goes to show you the longevity (and obvious usefulness) of such a list:

Ten Good Reasons to Buy Fabric
  • It insulates the cupboard where it is kept.
  • It keeps the economy moving. It is my duty to support cotton farmers, textile mills and fabric shops.
  • It is less expensive and more fun than psychiatric care.
  • I'm participating in a contest - she who dies with the most fabric wins.
  • It keeps without refrigeration, you don't have to cook it to enjoy it, and you'll never have to feed it, change it, wipe it's nose or walk it.
  • Because I'm worth it
  • Like dust, it's good for protecting previously empty spaces in the house. Like the ironing board, the laundry basket.. the dining room table.
  • It is not immoral, illegal or fattening. It calms the nerves, gratifies the soul and makes me feel good.
  • Because it's on sale!
  • Buy it now. Before your husband retires and accompanies you on all your shopping expeditions!
That last one's my fave :) The only reason I don't have to hide all of my purchases from my husband is because he thinks all fabric is $2/m. I don't like to think about what might happen when he learns otherwise ;).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Every Life Needs a Little Celebration :)

And IHTD has a big one this week :D This past Friday we snagged our first ever Etsy Front Page spot with our Dress Green Gilles open-top tote! We're easy to find on the page -- I'll take any money that that's the first time a pair of ghillies and a highland jacket has ever made the Etsy Front Page either!

So what do we do when we want to celebrate? Throw a party? (not often -- too lazy) Eat chocolate? (US??? never, we're all about the clean living :P) Typically, we go shopping, and this time was no exception. FABRIC shopping, that is! In addition to a bunch of fabrics I bought to make Christmas presents, and therefor can't show here, I got some great bag-making stuff -- first, some twills in funky colours (pumpkin and teal, my faves!)

And some gorgeous rich silk brocades --- the green especially had me salivating. And since they were on sale, I can use them for bag linings at regular price! I have enough for three bags a piece and experience shows they will go FAST!

Any other fabric addicts out there??

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pajama Pants and Ulterior Motives

So, PJ pants are something we've had on the to-do list for a while, but I think what finally moved it up the priority chain was realizing that EVERYONE gets to wear their Pjs to dance competitions except us when we're selling. So the only legit way for us to wear our PJs while we're vending is to sell them! AHA! Then we're not just being lazy, we're showcasing the product.

I know, I know, pure genius. Yes, we're very proud of ourselves :) Anyway, the finished product is shown above, modelled by the lovely Kirsten who was nice enough to make dance-y looking poses in the parking lot outside our Highland studio in between classes. These are WAY too big for her (I made them for me) so they aren't this baggy. Just big enough to be comfy :)

The other thing that prompted the PJ venture was this awesome flannelette -- lightweight, warm, super soft and hello, ARGYLE! This stuff comes in a bunch of matching patterns and colours -- you can see in the picture below that the back of these pants are actually a dots print which matches the argyle on the front.

And it wouldn't be an IHTD product without some applique -- I went with a trinity knot heart here in Dress Royal McKellar tartan and white cotton eyelet, but I could do it in just about any colour and pattern (initials? stars? flowers? shamrocks?) Limited only by your desire to keep them machine washable (which these are on cold and tumble dry low)!

I've got this flannelette in pink, lavender, sky blue and kelly green and the pants will be $25 plus shipping (and tax, if you're in Ontario). Stay tuned to the website, and thanks for looking! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some More Ready-Made Products Available!

Well, we've been working hard coming up with new products, and have a bunch of great things to showcase over the next few days. For today I'd just like to show off some of the ready made products we've got in stock right now and ready to be shipped!

Pillows! Of course these can be personalized with your own initial in either our signature heart font (hearts can be replaced with shamrocks, flowers, stars, whatever you like!) or the block script. We've got some super soft minky fleece in stock to make the bases in a bunch of colours so just let us know what you're looking for.

Two more messenger bags -- that means we've got four in stock in total!

iPod/cell phone/camera cozies! Lots of great colours available.

For the latest in ready-made products you can always keep an eye on our Etsy shop as they usually get listed there first!


Happy shopping :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Many Caffeinated Beverages Were Harmed In The Making Of This Feis Table

People's exhibit #1: Taken at Newmarket Feis, far too early in the day for that much Diet Pepsi to have been consumed.

But it turned out all purty! The lovely organizers gave us all the table space we desired, which was awesome because we had so many new products to premier.

Yes, the rumours are true -- the girls at IHTD are selling MAKEUP! Mineral makeup to be exact, handmade for us by a lovely seller in Wisconsin with a great track record for her fabulous concoctions. Can you say 140+ shades of eyeshadow?!? For you IDers who've been trying in vain to match your solo we've got your back :) We'll be adding the full price list and colour charts to our catalog and website shortly, but for now if you want to try it out we are offering 3 deluxe samples for $10 or $3.50 each -- a very inexpensive way to try out the latest and greatest trend in the world of makeup.

Also brand new for Newmarket were some gorgeous handmade cards made especially for us by a former Irish dancer -- everything from Thank You cards for your favourite teacher or dance parent, I'm Reel-y Proud of You cards to tell your number one dancer just how you feel and yes, Christmas cards! We still have a few left -- $3.50 each or 4 for $12, and if you want a bunch we can do even better on the price.

All of this should be appearing on the website soon but in the meantime if you want it right away just send us an email!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ready Made Products Available!

Looking for something for right now? We've got some ready made products in stock, left over from the table at the Kathleen Fearon Feis -- two messenger bags, pictured above, and two pairs of ghillie slippers in Medium and Extra Small (an example pair is shown below).

More pictures of the bags and their linings can be seen on our Flickr! If you're interested, just send us an email -- bags are $40 each plus tax and shipping, slippers are $30 a pair (plus tax and shipping).

Thanks so much for looking!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Testing, Testing!

Hey Dancers -- would you like some free stuff? Of course you would :)

We are currently recruiting Irish and Highland dancers for a testing panel -- if you're chosen we send you three or four packages about every month starting in July. You try out the product, let us know what you like and dislike and that's that! It's totally free (even the shipping) -- there's no catch (just homework! -- we send out a detailed questionnaire with every package that you fill out once you try it).

How to apply?
Just send us an email at thegirls@iheartthatdance.com or visiting the website. We'll send you a list of questions that must be answered and returned to us by June 24th (two weeks from today). The chosen panelists will be notified June 27th and the first packages will go out later the next week.

Who gets chosen?
Out of all the dancers who entered we'll choose 10-12 from across different countries, age groups and competition levels. So this is NOT first-come, first-served! As long as you get your answers to the questionnaire in by June 24th you're eligible to be considered!

Any rules?
Well, just a few :) You knew that was going to happen right? LOL

1) Anyone under the age of 18 must obtain permission from your parents. There are more details on how we'll be verifying this permission in our application.
2) You must be a dancer. If you are younger, you can have your Mom or Dad help out answering the questions though! We'd really like our projects to be dancer-entourage friendly too :)
3) You must be prepared to return answers to our questions on your packages within the week (this will all be done by email). So if you're off on summer vacation for all of July and August this probably isn't right for you -- but don't worry! We'll be recruiting a new panel early next year!

Thanks for reading through all that! Again, just send us an email by clicking on the name link above and visit our website to learn more about our current product (or check out the posts here!)


or our Facebook fan page:


Can't wait to hear from you!

Nic and Ally

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NEW Sword Carry Case!

Introducing a brand-new much-requested product for our fabulous Highland customers -- a durable carry case for your practice swords embroidered in any one of our signature designs.

The one shown here was made for the lovely Miss Rachel of North Carolina in her Dress MacBeth tartan (she has good taste obviously, that's my tartan too! LOL). She chose the Sword Dance design, but any one of our designs could be used, as well as the applique monograms we use on the pillows.

The base of the bag is very fine wale heavy-weight black corduroy (other colours and textures available). The end is reinforced with black vinyl and the top opens with a heavy duty zipper. The bag is gusseted so there's PLENTY of room for even obnoxiously big hilts :) The carrying strap is adjustable.

Here's a close-up of the embroidery design!

If you'd like one of these bags just send us an email! Total cost is $35 + shipping (and PST for Ontario residents).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kathleen Fearon Memorial Feis Fun!

Well, here we are! Our very first feis table, held at the Kathleen Fearon Memorial Feis (that's Brampton feis to you ECR dancers :) )

We had a great time! -- a little busier than the two tables we had done at Highland competitions, LOTS of dancers came by to see our shiny stuff and we had a bunch of great vendors as "neighbours". It was hard not to go shopping ourselves! On one side we had the lovely family from Faery Reel and on the other the fabulous ladies from the Canadian division of Camellia Rose -- both of them super nice to the newbies, thanks you guys!

Thought you all might also get a kick out of seeing some works-in-progress -- here's a couple of pictures of what Nicole's kitchen table looked like the week before the feis, and the final result:

In case anyone's interested, we have two pairs of the ghillie slippers left over (in Medium and Extra Small) and loads of hair ties -- email us if you'd like to order!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

NEW! IHTD *hearts* Essential Goodies!

The girls at I Heart That! Dance are very happy to announce a fabulous new partnership! The lovely Sonia of Essential Goodies makes luxurious bath and body products, and has blended 3 signature scents just for us! We've got yummy orange Creamsicle, delectable Caramel Apple, and refreshing chocolatey Peppermint Patty ---- mmmmmmm!

These delicious scents are available right now in vegan Sugar Scrubs and Whipped Body Frostings -- and we're offering them in a special Foot Care package! Get one travel sized jar each of the scrub and frosting in your choice of scent, plus a reusable heart-shaped zipper pouch (great for hairpins, earrings, lipstick and all the rest of the stuff that gets lost in the bottom of your dance bag)

We love our Essential Goodies products, so please go and check out Sonia's website www.essentialgoodies.com for even more great stuff! All of the Essential Goodies products are made in small batches and use only the best essential or fragrance oils and the freshest ingredients. There are no harsh ingredients, a minimum amount of preservatives, and of course nothing has been tested on animals.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Moms R Us!


I just want to say, it's been really nice knowing all of you! I won't be around much anymore, because Nic will be killing me dead immediately after she sees this:

Honestly, the risks I take to keep you people entertained. I found this on her Facebook while I was looking for pictures of her Mom to feature in today's blog post -- this was taken at her wedding (duh) and Ivan is making that face because apparently the organist started to play the wedding march AT THIS EXACT SECOND. Oh yes. Hence the face. And who can blame him, really? Nic's Mom, on the other hand, is cool as a cucumber! And laughing a little, from the looks of things. Way to go, Mrs. S! Gotta hold it together for the kids, right? I had to put this picture in too, so you can all get a better look at the mother-of-the-bride's fabulous purple dress:

Also in the hopes that a picture of Nic looking radiant will stop her from opening that can of whoop-ass on me ;) And of course here's my Mom (otherwise known as The Only Reader Of This Blog)-- this is actually one of the few pictures I have of her on her own!

Most of the time there's another wee person in the frame -- The Peanut, or my nephew and niece (who are really not so wee any more :) ). She's sitting on the quilt I promised her for Mother's Day 2002 -- I'm a little hesitant to tell you all that this picture was taken immediately after she received it, on, ummmm, well, Christmas Day 2003.

Hey, you can't rush art. :P

I'm not going to try and explain fully here what motherhood means to me. Either as a daughter or as a mom myself. I think it's one of those things that is profoundly in the present tense, if that doesn't sound too crazy. I know I tend to concentrate on the future (and I know I'm not the only one who does). Motherhood and my own relationship with my mother tends to ground me in the present -- it's a foundation when you're feeling shaky, a platform when you're feeling brave and when you're ready for some life renovation motherhood helps you with both the demolition and the rebuilding. It's a stairway where the top is always in the clouds, so every single step has to be taken on faith.

So, thanks Mom. Both official IHTD Moms :) For showing us how to climb the stairs.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Put Your Sunglasses On

So, as it turns out, I've been thinking a bit about my middle school/junior high days, which for me was the mid to late 80s -- anyway, here's an iconic image so we can all share in the nostalgic fun:
You know what else was fun about the 80s? Actually pretty much the only thing that was fun? The COLOURS! After the first Highland Games of the season at Loch Norman a week or so ago, plus with the first feis of the season round these part coming up next weekend, we've been surrounded by the colours we love most. Tartans in all sets and colours, and sparkley solo dresses in every shade of the rainbow. So fun :) And I bought new glittery makeup to match my new solo, wheeee! Even The Peanut is rocking the colour these days, here she is showing off her latest creations, all decked out for the beach:

Naturally all of this is coming out in our crafting --- here's a couple of our newest products, premiered at Loch Norman: First an iPod cozy made of felted knitting and embellished with a felt and tartan flower (Dress Teal McRae), complete with crystals.

And these are the three remaining hair ties, also with felt flowers (the tartan one is Dress Royal McKellar) -- the rest of them flew off the table. One wee lass bought three, and insisted on wearing one in her hair and one on each wrist as bracelets :D

Now that I've finally taken pictures, all of this should be up in the Etsy shop soon. Plus stay tuned for some VERY exciting news about more of our new products!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Adventures in BlogLand! Or BlogVille? Or Blogania?

Well, it's Ally here and I am waiting for about five different things to finish up so I have a couple minutes to come by and post some bloggy things that have come up over the last few days.

First, I'd like to say thanks to all of you who commented on the St. Patrick's Day post yesterday! My Mom, who up until now I thought was our sole reader (I think she is hoping for pictures of The Peanut, actually ;) ) and Dad read them all and were just tickled pink. Mom is going to read the post and the comments to Nana the next time she goes in, so thank you again for all the lovely responses!

The second little blog-esque event is terribly exciting -- we were featured on another blog! Fellow Etsy seller Bluepebble, who makes all sorts of astonishingly beautiful jewellery in her Etsy shop, did a feature this past Saturday of Irish Etsy finds in honour of St. Pat's! And guess who was right at the top of the list? Us! With our blue and green Royal McGregor tote bag (pictured above)! Here is the link to the whole post:


There were many amazing finds and we were all over happy that we were included! Thank you Bluepebble!

And finally, we got tagged by Tiffani at RicRacSally in one of these Meme thingies -- we have to say 6 bits of randomness about ourselves. I'm going to try and do three for me and three for Nic (so forgive me for talking about myself in the third person :P ):

1) Ally has a 44" stuffed muskie (that's a fish) hanging over her fireplace. His name is Carl Thomas and she decorates him for holidays and birthday parties.

2) Nic can play the theme from "Riverdance" on her flute.

3) Ally had 52 My Little Ponies as a child, and her favourite was the green one with the clovers on its bum.

4) Nic has a neighbour whose dog barks LITERALLY all day long. It's so pervasive, we think maybe its a recording. No living animal could make that much noise everyday and not strain something.

5) Ally will only eat eggs if they are baked into a cake.

6) Nic used to have a cabinet door in her upstairs bathroom. No cabinet, just the door, mounted on the wall -- an odd aesthetic decision made by the previous owners. That has since been renovated :)

And now who to tag? Hmmmmm......

Lynn at The Rose Cottage
Lori at Faerie Window
Yippee Vintage
Nicole at DesignedbyRJ
Susan at SimplySusan
Hyla at My Fairy Babies

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Well, it's that time of year again, folks! It's Ally writing today, and Nic and I are wishing you a very happy St. Patrick's Day! What's everyone up to?

It's an interesting sort of holiday, and has meant a lot of different things to me over the years. Fun green crafts in elementary school, Shamrock Shakes (which I still maintain taste like toothpaste, ugh :P) in high school and a night of partying so prodigious it required about as much advance planning as New Year's Eve during university. Most recently, as an Irish dancer it usually means shows (hooooooley!) and therefore new choreography it takes me forever to learn :)

But there's a couple of things that are kind of special to my family that have remained pretty consistent over time. One, my Dad's birthday is March 18th and ever since I turned 19 I have been giving him the exact same thing: a night out with steak dinner, a movie and as many pints of Kilkenny as he can handle. Here's the man himself, with the Peanut at the beach:

Last year, timing and busy lives being what they are, this put us having our wee night o' birthday hijinks on St. Patty's Day itself. And although we chose a pretty nice restaurant, it was a pretty nice restaurant with a bar, and so it was packed with people wearing both green, and in some cases, their green beer. Fine by Dad and I -- we sat on a corner of one of the booths and had our drinks and did some people watching. Or rather, person watching. This guy across from us was totally, 100% asleep. His friends thought it was hilarious, and were taking pictures of him, so the rest of us decided to get in on it. Somewhere this guy has about a million group shots of random strangers with him drooling on the table front and centre. And I'm sure you can just imagine what these students thought when they found out what Dad did... "Dude, you're a PROF! That's like, awesome!"

The second is that my Nana left England, and her Irish-born mother, on St. Patrick's Day 1946 to come to Canada and marry my grandfather Carl Gorlick. Here she is, holding up the first quilt I ever made, which was for her, and laughing because Phil is telling her to "work it" :)

A few years ago Nana wrote her story down and this is what she said:

I wanted to go but then, I did not. Why would I leave my mother, my friends, my home town and my country to go to an unknown place. Ah! But then Carl was waiting for me in that unknown place. The taxi arrived to take me to Windsor train station. I turned to Mother to say goodbye. Mother got up, came over to me, put her arms lovingly around me and said "Go with my love, it will always be with you, now go and do not look back!"

Nana never saw her mother again, as she passed away a couple of years later. So St. Patrick's Day has always been a day of remembrance for my family as well as a day of celebration. I remember when I took up Irish dancing (a little later in life than the average), Nana was overwhelmingly supportive right from the beginning. She'd watch my steps, telling me stories about learning the heavy jig from her Mum as a girl. I carry a picture of her, and her mother with me when I compete for good luck. When I'm nervous I imagine them telling me to get on with it :) It really helps!

Nana had a stroke in December 2006 and is now in long-term care. Things aren't the same as they were, of course, but the sassy bright spark that took a leap of hope to come to Canada in 1946 is still in there. She still claps with her good hand when I show her new steps, tells me I wear too much brown and laughs when I tell her stories about the Peanut.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Nana.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tiptoe-ing through the tulips with the CSST!

Yesterday was the big day! With Spring right around the corner (as hard as that is to believe sometimes) the Cottage Style Street Team on Etsy held our first ever team promotion, TulipMania!

The idea was put forward by our very own RicRacSally -- since we all craft in such different media (from textiles, to jewellery, to mixed media collage and more!) we all made an item in our craft of choice with the central theme of tulips. I'm pretty sure you can guess what WE chose to do here at I Heart That! Dance :) Oh you guessed it, a bag! We've got a whole bunch of this very unique pink and purple tartan around, and a bouquet of spring tulips on this slightly smaller version of our zip-top tote was the PERFECT solution!

The applique' also uses gold holographic lame' and green tissue lame' with rayon and metallic threads for a little bit of pop. It's lined in a cute green, pink and purple print, with one interior zip pocket lined in a shocking pink jersey with a wee bit of sparkle. OK that last part is a lie -- there's a LOT of sparkle!

The best part to me is the interior zip off pouch -- made of 100% cotton purple velvet and the lining print, this zip-top pouch actually zips right into the bag when you are on the go and then zips right out when you need it. So you can keep your craft projects, camera, or whatever else you might think needs protecting from your gum wrappers, lip balm, fabric store receipts that you are hiding from your husband... oh, is that just me?

So as you can see, crafting for this challenge was a blast! And hanging out with the CSST ladies on the Big Day? Awesome :) Want to check out the phenomenal tulip items put together by this brand new team (and who wouldn't?) Just click here and prepare to feel like spring has sprung :) For some amazing examples check out this treasury by CatnipStudio:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Most Fun We've EVER Had In A Blizzard!

For those of you who live in the Greater Toronto area, you'll know that this past Saturday, the day of the HDA Indoor competition, was also smack in the middle of a 36-hour blizzard. But it turns out the IHTD Girls and Highland dancers are like the post office -- neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow shall stop them..... or however that's supposed to go. :)

So we and a bunch of brave dancers, teachers and dance parents arrived at Maple High School bright and early in the morning. OK, bright-ish. And we're very happy to report that our first ever vendor table experience was a blast. We got so much positive feedback from people coming by our table, and actually managed to sell a bunch of stuff! Yes, really! The small size shrugs sold out in a matter of minutes with orders for more, and we took a lot of custom bags orders as well. Even sold two bags right off the table -- one in a Purple McRae to a teeny weeny Primary hardly bigger than the bag (she liked the purple kitty print inside :) )

The best part? Seeing the smiles on girl's faces when they placed their custom order, and actually seeing people wearing and using our stuff! I don't think either of us were prepared for how good that was going to feel -- we're dancers too, so we know how hard it is to find things that are unique and just your style. And we are just so happy we can be a part of getting you something you love :)

So here we are at the end of the day, tired and contemplating a tough drive home but still so ecstatic we're practically giggling. A BIG thank you to everyone who came to visit our table, we loved chatting with all of you. We're definitely planning to do this again, at Highland and Irish competitions and we look forward to meeting more of you there.

And now we'd better get on with filling orders! Yay!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Price List Available!

Our price list is now available! If you'd like to download a copy you can do it here, or by using the link in the sidebar under "Where To See and Buy". Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good Stuff From Florida!

Hi there! It's Ally here, and I'm baaaaaaaack :) Florida was great -- the weather was really nice, if a little chilly at times (hang on, don't throw things at me, I'm not complaining!). The Peanut LOVED Disney, and we went for the Princess Thing hook, line and sinker. It all started with a "private" meeting with Cinderella:

And ended with Mom and I purchasing the whole outfit (including glass slippers and tiara) in a 2T size, giggling the whole time at the cash register. Pictures of that to follow. All The Peanut wanted to do all day after that was meet Princesses -- I'll put a few shots up on Flickr once Dad Photoshops them to his high specifications. Other than the Royalty Tour, all she wanted was this balloon:

As it turns out, Florida isn't just the home of Disney and my parent's part-time condo, it's also the home of an extremely talented mosaicist: Eve from Kraken Mosaics. Kraken Mosaics is a member store of the Irish Rogue Artisans on Etsy, and after seeing her amazing work, I contacted her about doing a custom frame to match my new solo dress. THIS is what she came up with:

Yup, that's me looking delighted in the background :) Isn't it just amazing? When I first asked her about it I had been thinking of just the colours, but she added part of the applique design in copper beads -- it's really so much shinier than it looks in this picture, and I have to say I think it looks pretty good in this picture!

Anyway, I think this would be a great present to commemorate that special dance picture -- she is so great to work with, and very interested in doing further custom work for dancers, so please visit her website and get in touch with her if you are keen on having one of these lovely frames for yourself.