KEEP BUSY AND KEEP GOING
Posted on May 28 2018
As I've said before, I often struggle with how much of my personal life to share here on my business platform, but Mumble Tease and I have been pretty MIA lately, and I'm feeling like I ought to offer some form of explanation.
I made the decision last fall to cut back on markets and Mumble Tease in general to prioritize spending time with my Mom, whose dementia was progressing alarmingly quickly after my Dad passed away in May of last year.
It's a decision I'm very thankful I made, because my Mom passed away a few weeks ago, exactly a year and a day after my Dad.
She was an incredible lady. I'm sure many people think this, but she was the best mom ever. Probably the most optimistic person I've ever met, good-tempered, loving, supportive (she attended every concert my sister and I ever participated in, and there were a lot), and maybe Mumble Tease's biggest fan.
She had, hands down, the largest collection of custom Mumble Tease shirts. Often she would love a design, but wouldn't be crazy about the colours I had chosen, (her colours were purple, pinks, blue, and teal), so I would order shirts in her favourite colours and print the designs with custom colours just for her. (Here's a couple!)
I'm so grateful for everything she's done for me over the years, and along with the sadness, there's also come a sense of relief that she's not suffering through the dementia any longer.
After the funeral, one of my mom's good friends gave me the advice to "keep busy and keep going," and having had a few weeks to rest and process, that's just what I'm going to do. And getting everything ready for a summer of folk festivals doesn't seem like the worst way to do it.
UJAMAA GRANDMAS FABRIC SALE
Posted on April 18 2018
Well, one of my favourite weekends of the year is almost upon us.
This Friday and Saturday in SW Calgary, the greatest fabric sale ever will take over a large part of Woodcliff United Church, with a large selection of amazing donated fabrics, yarns, sewing patterns, and other fabric-y related things that I can't think of right now. All the fabric is donated and the proceeds from the sale, which is run by volunteers, goes to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. This is seriously the only place I buy fabric, and after going for eight or nine years now, I have amassed quite a collection. (At a dollar a meter for most of the fabrics, the deals are ridiculous).
I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with all this fabric, some of the pieces are so beautiful that I don't think I'll ever be able to bring myself to cut them. I do use them for a couple of Mumble Tease products, (Monkey Unicorn Sweatshirts, and creature cushions!) but at the rate I'm currently using the fabric, it'll take more than my lifetime to even get through a small part of it! I've got lots of ideas for different ways to use the fabrics, from art prints of my shirt designs, to bases for collaged painted pieces, to making myself clothing, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
Having so many colourful and patterned fabrics definitely brings me a lot of joy, even just to look at them every day, and if you want to start your own collection, or just want to see what all the hype is about, check out their poster below for the details of the sale, or head to Ujamaa Grandmas website.
There are lines on Friday afternoon (it's kind of hilarious to see a couple hundred crafty ladies waiting in a line to buy fabric), so expect a wait, or come on Saturday for a more relaxed shopping experience. There's always soooooo much fabric, even on Saturday, so you won't miss out if you can't make it to the beginning of the sale. Happy fabric hunting!
WHY 2017 WAS A TOUGH YEAR, AND WHY 2018 MIGHT BE EVEN TOUGHER
Posted on March 14 2018
I sometimes struggle with how much of my personal life I ought to share when talking about Mumble Tease (as a one lady company, it can feel like I am Mumble Tease, and I wonder how and to what degree to keep business and personal lives separate). I mostly try not to mention it too much, but it feels like I need to share a little bit more about my personal life in the past year.
2017, while being another great year for Mumble Tease, was a strange and challenging year for me personally.
My Dad passed away in the spring, kind of suddenly, the first day of the May Market Collective. Carrying on and going to the market anyway seemed easier than cancelling, so that's what I did, with lots of help from family. Weirdest market experience I've had... Really drove home how tough being a one-lady company can be, something like that happens and you can't just call in to work and take time off... At the ripe age of 87, it was his time, but it's still been hard.
(Here's my parents visiting me at the 2014 Christmas Market Collective!)
The more challenging thing though, has been watching my mom's dementia quickly and steadily progress. She turned 75 in December (yes, my parents waited til late in life to have children!) and it seems tooooo early for her to be where she is.
I made the decision this past fall to cut back on the number of markets I would attend to make spending time with my mom more of a priority, and it was pretty weird to watch many Christmas markets pass, and to not be participating in them.
I've also made the decision not to participate in any markets this coming spring. Again, trying to make time with my mom a priority.
(This is us during the holidays!)
So the next market I'll be setting up shop at will most likely be the Lilac Festival in Calgary, June 3rd. I'll still be applying for a number of folk festivals (Winnipeg Folk Fest is confirmed already!!), and hope to see you all in the summer.
And, of course, there's lots of goodies in the online shop, so you can always get your Mumble Tease fix for the spring that way.
Thanks so much for reading and for all the support. It's likely going to be another tough year, but I trust it'll also be another good one.
THE SUMMER 2017 COLLECTION
Posted on September 26 2017
After a whirlwind summer of five folk festival in two provinces and a territory, I finally have this past summer's designs photographed and online! Here's a look at the new designs and the new styles and colours.
I definitely went a bit more "out there" for this summer's collection, choosing some stranger doodles from my books. For the red one which I've titled "Folk Gnome," I wanted to do a design inspired by Folk Art, and this is what happened! I ended up piecing together bits of different drawings, starting with the gnome-ish guy as the main subject. It's been fun hearing other people's interpretations of this design, they've been rather varied!
The black one above was based on the doodle below, which I came across when flipping through my books on the hunt for new designs and really liked. I flipped it sideways because I thought it made a neat shape across the body, and then added in the figure on the left of the shirt, so that the general shape of the design is a big handprint. Hi-ya!
And then I came across this doodle in my old Sketchbook Project Sketchbook, (If you haven't heard of The Sketchbook Project, check it out here) with the theme "Strange Neighbours."
I had the idea to turn it into a double sided shirt with the weird organically shaped house (lots of people think it's an underwater rocket ship...) on the front (I decided a bunny would probably live at this kind of house), and then the more normal looking house on the back (of course, this is the kind of house a beaver would live in). Printing on both sides meant twice as much work for me, but as usual, the cool idea won out over practicality. A labour of love, truly.
And then these are the different styles and colours of older designs that I added for the season. Tanks and sweaters and v-necks oh my!
I almost forgot! There's a couple of beeeautiful new kids shirts too! Those colours!
ANOTHER INTRODUCTION, MEET BERT
Posted on September 29 2016
Three and a half years ago, I made a very special addition to the Mumble Tease family, when I purchased my first vehicle, a 1971 Volkswagen campervan (who I would later name Berthold, or Bert for short!).
Early in 2013, I was kind of panicking about how I was going to get myself, and all of my shirts and things, to my first Winnipeg Folk Festival. Up until that point, if I needed to drive to a market, I borrowed a vehicle. Kevin’s Jeep, or one of my parents’ vehicles, but it was finally looking like this awesome system of mine wasn’t going to work. I would be gone for at least a week (too long to borrow), and really, at the age of 27, it was probably time that I thought about purchasing a vehicle of my own.
At the suggestion of my boyfriend Kevin, I began searching for a vw campervan. They were cute and I would hopefully have enough room for all of my Mumble Tease things, and then I would have sweet camping accommodations at the festivals!
In February of 2013, (it was coincidentally Valentine’s Day), Kevin and I headed north to Delburne, Alberta, a small town east of Red Deer to check out a van listed on Kijiji. I didn’t know how to drive standard, so Kevin did a small test-drive, which included not being able to make it up an icy hill, and not being able to find reverse. I had been looking for a van for a while, and this one was running, and moving, and looked to be in pretty good condition (in the dark), and was available, and I bought it. And then Kevin had to drive the van back to Calgary for me (in February, not a fun thing in a vehicle that doesn’t have heat). Best Valentine's "gift" ever!
I was super excited to show off my new purchase to my sister and parents (the above photo is of me first introducing Bert to them). My Dad’s first comment upon seeing the van was “you’ve got rocks in your head." He worked as a mechanic for many years and was all too familiar with the care, knowledge, time, skill and money that needed to go into properly maintaining an older vehicle. He figured I’d get halfway to my first festival, which happened to be a long 1300km to Winnipeg, and then would find myself stranded, and end up spending loads of money on towing and repairs.
Well, I think Bert surprised everyone that first summer when he not only made it to Winnipeg and back, but also proceeded to make it to festivals in Vancouver, Calgary, Canmore, and Edmonton, all without incident. (Above is him in the parking lot at our first Winnipeg Folk Festival!)
I’ve been driving Bert every summer since and I have definitely had my share of problems since that first magical summer. (A few highlights include a spark plug blowing out of the engine, oh, three or four separate times, finally resulting in a new head; a hole blowing out in the muffler, which was more of a problem than you would think; smoke billowing out the back in the middle of Roger’s Pass on the way back from Vancouver because air wasn’t getting to the heat exchanger, which was less of a problem than you would think; and jumpstarting him because the starter wasn’t working, which I never actually did anything to fix, it just started working again a few days later…) But a tow truck has yet to be involved, and only once have I had to leave Bert while he was getting repaired and rent a u-haul to get to the next festival in time (because of the hole in the muffler!).
And he’s so much fun to drive! I like to say that Bert has amazing powers of happiness. If I’m not in the greatest mood, that doesn’t last for long once I hop in Bert and start driving around a bit. In Bert, everything happens slowly. My top speed on the highway is about 100km/hour, but decreases rapidly when any sort of hill is involved, because of his tiny, air-cooled engine. I know that I’m just about the slowest vehicle on the road, and I accept and embrace that fact and don’t worry about getting places quickly, or passing other vehicles on the highway. Because I can’t!
Driving an old vehicle definitely comes with it’s quirks, and isn’t for everyone. (My sister has demanded that before next summer, the handle that opens the passenger window needs to be functional, or she’s not coming with me to Winnipeg! Fair.) But all the quirks and “adventures” as I like to call them, are totally worth it. Going anywhere is just more fun when traveling with my pal Bert.
WELCOME! AND AN INTRODUCTION
Posted on March 24 2016
Hey everyone! I'm Heather from Mumble Tease, and welcome to the new website and blog! I'm really excited to have an online shop of my very own, and also to have a platform to share more in depth stories about all things Mumble Tease! I'm looking forward to sharing all the behind the scenes craziness that goes into having your own t-shirt company. Craziness I tell you!!!
Well, I guess that's all for now, thanks for having a look and I hope you love the new site as much as I do! Now, back to work Heather!!