ID Pouch Prototype

I’ve had a lot of people ask me this year if I offer a clip pouch that will fit their license / ID / credit card. And while I have a pouch with a clip, and a separate pouch that will fit those things, I didn’t have a bag that fit the bill.

UNTIL NOW!

Whoa, look at that thing!

I usually place the zippers so that the metal stopped will be included on the bag. But for these, to make them as small as possible, I chose to forgot the metal stopper for precious extra millimeters of zipper.

They’re just officially launching TODAY and I’ve already had requests for the clip to be centered, instead of at the top of the bag. But I’m working out a second style with a window on the front, and might save the centered clip for those.

Look at that credit card slide right in! Licenses and IDs also fit! And business cards! As well as money, coins, chap stick, a spare key, and on and on and on :)

You can check them out here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale?section_id=26935130

Please let me know what you think, and keep a lookout for updates on the window pouches!

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Garden Update- August

Whoa! Where has the summer gone?! I skipped a July update because there wasn’t a ton going on in the garden. We still haven’t gotten our shed (coming in September!), we haven’t added any more beds or barrels, we don’t have the path done (waiting on that shed), and the beg situation was the same as in June. But August has been a food and flower explosion!

The Dahlias completely filled out their barrel, and I think I’m going to split them up early next year. I wanted the barrels to be full and happy but not overcrowded, and they’ll probably be happier as neighbors instead of housemates.

One single black-eyed-susan bloomed! I crowded these guys too, along with nasturtiums and some other things in a pot. Hopefully this guy will survive the winter and move into it’s own barrel next year- or landscaped ground area!

I planted marigolds in little boxes next to a couple of the big beds and they JUST started blooming in early August. They’re in full force now but I will definitely have to start them in the basement next year and get them out and blooming sooner. They’re lovely!

All of the asparagus plants are doing their thing: sprouting more and more tiny asparagus ferns!

The bean, tomato, and purple pepper bed is going strong. Looks a little thirsty here but I’ll take care of that tonight when the sun isn’t out in full force.

I didn’t check the beans for 3 days and went out to find monster beans waiting to be plucked. For the first time ever, we have enough to go with a meal without needing to buy some extra at the store!

So many little tomatoes!

I left the oregano alone and it flowered! I don’t know if it still tastes ok (I have a bolted lettuce that tastes horrible but looks fascinating) but I’m excited to try collecting seeds.

I added some more lettuce plants, an arugula, and some spinach to the lettuce bed, and removed the kale. Something keeps coming and eating the tops off the new baby lettuce so I think I’m done with that for the season. The spinach and arugula seem untouched though so I still have hope for them. And the cucumbers are doing amazing!

They’re pickling cukes and there are a million of them.

The carrot / broccoli/ green onion bed looks half happy and half sad because we picked most of the carrots already and the onions aren’t doing great.

And there’s a few broccoli heads ready for picking!

I honestly cannot believe how full my veg basket is. Might have to look up a sauce recipe to take full advantage of this tomato crop!

In other news, our grass has NEVER looked nicer. Of course, the year we decide to start eliminating and covering it has to look better than ever. Norm keeps saying it’s mostly weeds, but they’re green!

Next month will include the shed (YAY) and maybe the start of planning for next year!

By special request…

Historically, The Tragic Whale has been my creative outlet. And while I’ve entertained suggestions and occasionally taken on special orders, I’m mostly in this for me. I make what I want, when I want. I develop new items that I think are a good idea and at my own pace. And it’s worked out overall. But if I’m going to continue to grow as a business as well as a person, I need to be open to more of a push than just what I can give myself.

I started with a baby step earlier this year when I introduced PUL-lined bags to the shop. People have been asking for them for AGES, and in true-Kerry fashion, I waited until I was fully ready to explore this new and wild material. Why did I wait so long? I have no idea. It hadn’t previously worked into my “bigger picture plans” and didn’t seem like a good way to spend my time. That was 100% WRONG! The snack-size bags I’m making are selling excellent at events, and multiple people have asked to special order a print they loved in person but with the easy-to-clean PUL as a lining instead of cotton.

Another baby step is to buy fabric with the customer in mind. Why? Because they are the people buying things from me! This is a “Duh, Kerry!” moment, I know. A lot of people are asking about bee fabric, so I started scooping up every one I come across. They don’t last long in the shop and sell even faster in person, so instead of buying more bees after I sell out of all my bee bags, I’m actively seeking it out and consciously picking designs that I haven’t see elsewhere. The idea is that 1) I won’t run out and 2) I’ll have especially fun bees to offer.

My last baby step is to make more in prints I already have / self designed. My shark print is pretty popular and people ask for more size options. And I’m over here like, “Well I *had* that in a small and I sold it. So I don’t anymore.” But it’s MY fabric and the whole idea is to buy more when I need it. Why am I waiting to sell out before thinking about the next bag? I made some shark bags last week, and some sheep bags (which is another frequent request)! And I’m currently working on a restocking list for the designs I’m running low on.

What’s next? Well, these baby steps all come together to form a shift in focus for me. I’m planning to add a Made to Order section to the shop within the next year (probably sooner) where people will be able to select bag size, outside fabric, zipper color, and lining. I’ll only offer them in my own prints, because I can restock on fabric when I run low. I still have to work out some details, such as turnaround time and pricing, but it feels like a natural next step and I’m excited about it!

Have any suggestions? Noticed a change in focus in your life recently? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Aftermath of Pink Flamingo Day

I was invited back to Leominster’s Pink Flamingo Day this year and I went hard on bulking up my supply of flamingo-print bags. Plastic lawn flamingos are a pretty big deal around here because they were invented in Leominster, and just recently their production moved next door to Fitchburg.

Last year, I brought 15 bags with me. This year, I had 54! And because I didn’t sell 54 bags, most of them are now in my Etsy shop.

So if you’re in the market for a pink flamingo bag, I have a few different prints available in 7 sizes! Find them all here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale

Garden Update: June

Things are really starting to grow over here and I couldn’t be more excited!

View from above:

Do we still have a lot of work to do? Yes. Are we happy with what we’ve done so far? Yes! It won’t be long before all the grass is covered or gone mwahahahaha

Let’s start wit the aparagus bed, the square one at the top of the big picture. They look like tiny trees! There’s a lot of tiny weeds moving in, which is only weird because it’s the highest of all the raised beds. I also think a colony of tiny ants may have moved in, but they don’t seem to be bothering the asparagus so I’m not too worried about it.


The first bed I planted is still doing well (left rectangle in the horse shoe), with purple bean plants, a purple tomato plant, and a purple pepper plant. Last year, my peppers didn’t produce anything so I’m hoping to at least get a tiny little pep. This is also my first time with tomato since middle school.

We have a groundhog that lives in our back rock wall, and he rolled out one day and ate almost my entire kale plant! I started spraying it with a mix of water and mashed up hot peppers (thanks, internet!) and he hasn’t been back for more. The kale made a full recovery, and it’s lettuce neighbor is growing like a weed! I was worried that all the lettuce would be ready to pick at the same time but they’re coming along at different speeds.

I just added a couple of cucumber plants in with the lettuce, and a couple of little pepper plants. The cucumbers are just poking up now.

The back bed in the horse shoe has carrots, broccoli, green onions, and a couple other small pepper plants. My first broccoli plants didn’t make it, so I got these in the ground right when they started poking out of their peat pots and they’re looking good and healthy and not wilty and sad.

Around the raised beds (and what will eventually be the other side of a path) we have barrels of flowers. I got a couple of Dahlia plants:

These things:

I don’t know what they are or if they’ll come back next year but they were pretty. I mixed in some nasturtiums with some of the pots and in some of the veggie beds because I read that they can help keep beetles and other pests away. Also, I can’t pronounce their name and I keep calling them “the nast-things.” And then I have a couple of small, long beds with marigolds in them. They’re just fluffing out now, I’ll start them earlier next year, but they’re also supposed to help with pests. And they’re pretty (when they bloom):


What’s next? Well, a shed! In the far back corner, near the compost barrel, we’re going to put the shed. We’re ordering one so that some strangers can assemble it in a few hours for us instead of having to spend a weekend + who knows how long putting one together. And we’ve mapped out a path with sticks and string. It’s going to lead from our front steps to the shed, and we still have to dig up the grass for it.

And once the path is in place, I’ll start planning more flower beds, bird feeders, and a second bird bath.

The Breakfast Nook

We had a dining table and corner bar that we mostly used to hold cookbooks, junk, mail, and occasionally actual trash. It was a wasted area that we didn’t enjoy, and Fluff was nice enough to scratch the back of one of the dining chairs to shreds. I love me a good restaurant booth and always opt for one when we go out, so Norm and I talked about how amazing it would be to have a restaurant booth at home. Then we set about crafting something long those lines.

The table and benches came as a set from Wayfair, and we purposely stuck everything in the corner to 1) open up the space and 2)make the wall seat more booth-like! That’s my side (in the not-winter. In the winter, the wall makes it VERY cold and I will not sit there).

We got the hanging lamp from Ikea, and ordered a push button switch for it from Amazon.

I ordered what I THOUGHT was green fabric from JoAnn’s to make the curtains, but the blue turned out to complement the green lamp. We had floor to ceiling sheers but we wanted something a little more “window-at-a-pizza-place.” And the hanging planters have basil and a jade plant, just out of Fluff’s reach because she is a plant snacker.

We set the table with a napkin holder we had and Mrs. Salt and Mr. Pepper shakers that we got for our wedding! We try to keep the water pitcher full so we never have to get up for more water during a meal.

 

The space was complete when we added the Norm & Kerry Lego painting- also a wedding gift, from Norm’s high school friend, Joe! His work is incredible and I’m so happy to have a piece for our home.

And of course, since everything in our house is a cat toy, Fluff has a lot of fun with the napkins!

Little Gert Collection

It’s here! It’s here! The Little Gert collection is here!

Little Gert is my Gram, Gertrude and she actually hates being called, “Gert” (Gertie is ok). But when I saw singing about her breaking her hip one day, Gertrude was not rhyming with “hurt” so here we are.

Anyway, more on this gem of a woman. Born in 1926, she is older than packaged sliced bread. And she was born on the kitchen table because 1926 / hospital in town didn’t exist yet. She worked for the telephone company during WWII and was sent to California to help with the war effort. She has so many amazing war stories and she loves sharing them! JUST KIDDING. She has one single story and this is it:

“One time, we went out on the ferry and it was, oh! Just wonderful!”

In the early 90s when the telephone company was revamping their computer system, they asked if she wanted to take one of the old computers home. And she said (this is not a joke), “No thanks, those will never catch on!”

One time, she was on the phone with my dad and said, “Oh my goodness, you will not believe- the biggest bird I have ever seen has just flown into my yard. I, I can’t believe this. I have to go.” And then she called back to say that it was a trash bag.

In all seriousness, my Gram is fierce AF. Even though she broke both of her hips in the last year and had to move into a nursing home, she is still smiling, still happy, and still “accidentally” forgetting to use her walker (hence the second broken hip). She sits at the popular table at dinner, and stops to talk to every.single.person. when she’s walking the halls.

These pouches are based off of the birthday card I made her this year. I made a couple of different sizes, with a couple of different zipper/inside fabric combinations, and I have plans to add 3 more sizes in the near future.

And just until Friday, they are 10% in the shop! Find them here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale?section_id=26337858


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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