Monday, June 4, 2012

Monkeys vs Food.

I have two things on my mind tonight.
First off, MONKEYS.
Yes, they are almost ready.  In fact, by the end of the week, they will be looking for new homes.

As before, with the Hip to Be Square Loom, I have found that perfecting a product from beginning to end, is  not as easy as it seems.
There are always choices to anquish over,  decisions to be made.

I am almost ready to pick a name.  I may jump up the date from June 14th, which is when I said I would pick one.  This is for two reasons:  1.  I think most people comment in the first week, and 2.  I need to get tags made so I can put them on my web site.

But first:
I have to take a consensus, about my most recent concern.
Buttons for eyes, small, round buttons.

I am concerned that small children might get their hands on a monkey, and next thing you know the buttons will be up a nostril, or eaten like Sweet Tarts.

So I need your I make monkeys two ways????  With buttons?  And without buttons?
And let the customer choose???
Or do I forget about buttons, and go with these??  Eyes are felt, sewn on, no danger to anyone.

I think they make his face very expressive, don't you??

I don't think names will be an option, because they are all going to be one of a kind.   Pictures will have to suffice.

I really want...........and to weigh in on this one.
I have to decide, quickly. Buttons.  No buttons.  BOTH.
Production continues.

OK, I have to talk a bit about food.   I have been asked why I eat the way I do, and how I got to where I am.
So briefly, I will tell  you.
In April, 2009, I gave up eating meat for 30 days.
You can read about it HERE

After the 30 days were up, I tried to eat meat a couple of times, but I was really turned off.
It didn't take long before I realized that I was really done with it.
If you pressed me for WHY, I would have to say that the FEEL of eating FLESH is what really ended it for me, along with the THOUGHT/BELIEF that really we shouldn't/don't need to kill animals to sustain us.  It just sounds bizarre to me.
I haven't eaten meat now in three years, and I don't miss it.  If I smell chicken cooking, it smells like road kill to me, and it is pretty sickening.  Sometimes, a steak on the grill smells good, but I know that chewing into it would be unpleasant.
I have found that I can eat a veggie burger with onion and ketchup, lettuce, tomato, and not miss the beef one bit.
Same for a hot dog..........a veggie dog with enough toppings is plenty good for me.

SO...........  I eat a lot of vegetables, fruit.  I like quinoa, couscous, brown rice.  I am fond of making up dishes for myself starting with a lot of garlic.
I don't drink milk, but I do eat cheese.  I do eat eggs.
Can you tell this is a diet of my own making???
Yes, it really is.  It is one that makes sense to me, and one that makes me happy.

Breakfast is usually a high fiber cereal with almond milk, and maybe a banana.  Or oatmeal.
(unless DH takes me out to breakfast, then all bets are off)
Lunch is often salad, boiled eggs, sometimes a bagel with peanut butter.
Dinner is my biggest problem, as both DH and my mother eat meat.
So I either eat everything BUT the meat, or I cook myself something without meat.
I love Mexican, because there are so many things to eat that can be made without meat.
I drink a load of water, and tea.
I don't drink coffee, I don't drink soda.
I love dessert, and I try to be moderate, but I am not always successful.
I love ice cream, but try to limit it, because I don't really think it agrees with my stomach.
So there you have exciting food intake.
I wish I could go back 30 years, or more, and leave off the meat way back then.
But I didn't, for whatever reason.
I am doing it now, and happy with my choice.
And all the gastric distress I used to have..............gone, gone, gone.
Enough said.


joyceetta said...

I have to say I don't like the look of the monkeys with the felt eyes. I LOVE the buttons. I KNOW everyone is concerned about little ones choking on stuff....and, although I know it is a possibility....I think sometimes we go way too far to try to prevent every awful thing that can happen. But, I also know we live in a country where lawsuits abound and so many people want to blame someone else for their own poor decisions. So, I don't have an easy answer for you. All I can say is I really like the LOOKS of the button-eyed monkeys.

Oh...and I eat mostly the same way you do...although I try to have protein for breakfast rather than a grain.

Country Girl said...

I actually like the buttons but I agree with you that they could be trouble for a child, and perhaps for marketing as well, because of that issue. What you've done to compensate for their loss is very clever though, and it adds a little more personality to the sock monkey. So I guess it's no buttons for me!

Anonymous said...

My diet is of my own making as well. Nothing is set in stone, but I know what's good for me and what's not.

I like the buttons, but there is no way I could give this to my young grandaughters, nor would their mama let them have it. Today's mothers are very persnickety about their children's toys... just saying...

Karen said...

My diet is pretty close to yours, although I KNOW ice cream doesn't agree with me, so I now avoid it. The meat I still eat.. but you've gotten me thinking.. the flesh thing. *gack*

Karen said...

My diet is pretty close to yours, although I KNOW ice cream doesn't agree with me, so I now avoid it. The meat I still eat.. but you've gotten me thinking.. the flesh thing. *gack*

Marsel said...

As a button-lover, I was surprised to discover that I actually like the felt eyes better -- they seem to add real personality to the monkey! ...and they do avoid any liability in the child safety realm...sigh.

Diana said...

I vote for the felt eyes. I think they are more expressive.

NancyG said...

Some of the felties look a bit huge so a bit smaller and...what about stitching with an "x" instead of around the circle. Then it would have a center like the x-stitched buttons do.

Cindie said...

I love the buttons but the felt eyes are so fun, big ole googley felt eyes. I'd go with felt, they're fun and then you have no worries about children....and I think these would make great gifts for kids!

Mrs. M - The Book Lady said...

Love the regular buttons on the monkeys- not that fond of the round buttons. If it's not too difficult to offer both felt and buttons, I think that's what I would do.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I like the felt eyes. I think either way, moms might be concerned about kiddies chewing them off.

Kathy said...

I prefer the buttons, some of the felt eyes look scary, but I understand the dangers. Perhaps you could offer the buttons, with a different price point, and being sure to let folks know "small parts, not for children under....ect" If you go with felt, can the monkeys be washed? Can the felt? Some felt disintgrates or shrinks or even bleeds when wet. (even a consideration for a slobbering child...) If you do felt, I like the white eyes better.

LynneK said...

I like the felt eyes better - they are more fun and funky.

ktweaver said...

I love the buttons, but understand the concern. Those big felt eyes are kind of creepy to me. How about stitched eyes...four long stitches crossing over in the middle. I hope you can offer both styles. You have really outdone yourself with this great new idea, Hilary. Keep up the good work and the fun.

Sherrie said...

I like the felt eyes. There is a product that has a lock on the back that is used in making bears. It attaches and holds the eye in place so kids can't (one hopes) chew it off.

Hilary said...

Decisions.. decisions. :)

I think that button eyes are traditional .. but the black and white felt (not so fond of the other colours)look quite sweet. It gives them a certain charm. Buttons would certainly have to come with a warning about small parts and they would be disregarded by many who would want the monkey for a small child. I like both but felt would be more practical.. and darned cute.

Anonymous said...

I much prefer the button eyes. To me they suit the monkeys to perfection. However, the safety issue is valid . . . so why not offer both kinds and let your customers decide. Maybe you'd sell the most with both kinds. I'm surprised how many commentors like the felt eyes.


Mary said...

Thank you Hiliary. Your food ideas are most interesting.

Lorraine said...

I have always loved sock monkeys, so I'm rather a traditionalist when it comes to buttons. However, your monkeys are anything but traditional, so I'd go for the non-injurious felt eye, but with an "X" or a slightly curved line to indicate a closed eyelid(?). Maybe some lashes too? See what you do to us Hilary! Make it yours! We love 'em!

Anonymous said...

I like the felt eyes, black and white or maybe all brown, like real monkey eyes. the button eyes remind me of the pig's head in the Ukrainian butcher shop with it's eyes stitched shut with a big X, creepy.

Deb said...

I love the buttons but I think you would sell more with the felt. Our diets are very similar. I would have explained it just as you did when it comes to eating meat. Many moons ago, I was a very strict vegetarian. So was my partner. It lasted five years with the diet and about the same with him. I slowly went back to meat and realized that I was healthier while I followed the vegetarian diet. So, I am back at it now and I don't miss meat at all. There are too many other great things to eat without taking the life of an animal. I believe in my heart that we are not meant to eat meat but I can't convince anyone of that. My downfall...chips. I can't have them in the house.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary,

I prefer the buttons. I don't plan on giving my monkey to a mere child. Well, let's back up the child I'd give one to is 42 years old and wears Solmate Socks all the time (my daughter). But if you do felt I would go for the black and white.

Oh, I'm going to need two monkeys so I can have one for ME.


Anonymous said...

I'm not fond of sock monkeys at all and I think part of the reason is the button eyes. The one with the black and white felt eyes actually looked cute to me, so I'd vote for black and white felt. The button eyes have always looked creepy to me, starting when I was a child. I'm not fond of real monkeys, either, and never liked Curious George as well - so maybe I'm not one to be giving you advice! :) But there it is - my 2 cents worth. Love you rugs, however!

Joanie said...

I thought I'd say the flat buttons (I don't like the bead-like ones) but I really like the felt best.

sue j said...

First off... no buttons.. thus no worries. Although I think the buttons are adorable, they would be a worry.
Second in the way you eat how do you manage to keep your iron level up in the normal range. Do you use iron pills and b12? Would love to do vegeterian but I have trouble maintaining iron. And you spoke of gastric distress being gone, that would be such a blessing for me.

Mark said...

I know I'm late but I would say let the customer decide. Only they know if they have stupid kids or not who would put a button up their nose.

Kate said...

I like the felt eyes - especially the ones with the wild colors. I think they're very expressive. If you offer a choice, aren't you setting yourself up for issues? (typed headaches - but thought better of it :-) )

Daryl said...

No buttons much as I like them .. little ones like O could swallow them ... not a good thing.

Your diet is much like mine except I eat fish .. doctor said I was getting enough protein and to add chicken so now if there is no fish on the menu I opt for a simple grilled chicken breast .. I dont eat cheese, cheese is not our friend .. I dont eat much dairy .. occasionally I eat egg salad from Zabars which is so good ... fruit, veggies, salads without dressing and tons of water or tea .. only one cup of coffee a day .. as for ice cream and other desserts I am good til I see them.. then its all I can to do behave .. not that you asked .. :)

pwofford said...

I like the felt eyes. You can give the monkey more personality with them than with the buttons.

Shuttle, Hook and Needle said...

The dolls I make for kids I do not use buttons for eyes due to fear a child could be hurt. The comment about sewing an X on the felt eyes would help. They do sell child proof eyes for dolls but that would involve a lot more work.
Just keep it simple and make them both ways. Felt for kids and buttons for adults.

I have not eaten meat for over a year. I have the same feeling as you do about it. Can't stand the smell! I do eat fish and eggs. It is hard to be in a household where the other partner does eat meat.
But ice cream - YUM!

Anonymous said...

Button button oh where are the buttons. Understanding you concern about children and possible dangers to them I still like the button eyes best. The bead eyes are kind of ugly and the felt eyes are just plain scary. Strong opinions I know, but you asked for honesty and there it is. Interesting thoughts about diet, my thoughts are that we have canine teeth for a reason. Our digestive systems are set up for a variety of foods and mine functions best with lots of vegetables and a bit of meat. To each his own I say....

Mrs. Turkey said...

Love love the monkeys & understand your concern using buttons as eyes on account of small children etc.
I was wondering what they would look like without any embellishment for eyes...just sayin! Would solve your problem.

claudia said...

I like the look of both, but I am sure there are some who prefer one or the other. It's probably a little more work, but I think some of each is a good idea. Then the sales of one or the other will tell the whole tale.
My diet is following WeightWatchers. Lots of fruits and veges, small amounts of meat. Grains, little to no sugars. I've lost almost 14 pounds since the end of April. I have lots more energy!!!

Gayle said...

Giving buyers a choice is perfect, feels extremely personalized! I like the buttons best but think the felt is far safer for kidlets.

Gayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I like the buttons WAY better..... BUT, I also used to work for a law firm with attorneys who worked personal injury and product liability.

From that standpoint, if I were the one selling them, I would pick felt in a heartbeat. The absolute LAST thing you need is a kid choking on a button or a bead.

If you already carry liability insurance, you ought to talk with your carrier.

Those monkeys are stinkin' adorable.

Annie Coyne said...

Though I don't have kids and wouldn't gift such a work of art to a small child anyway, I like the felt better. Buttons seems so lifeless...

Anonymous said...

As to the diet....I live in Montana, do you think a vegetarian could survive here? LOL.

My family is in the cattle business. I raised sheep as a teenager. I like my chicken, beef, pork and lamb. However, my big deal is buying it locally. Pisses me off to buy Argentinian beef in the US. I'm a BIG supporter of country-of- origin labeling.

I prefer getting my eggs from the neighbor and my milk from another neighbor (**dog and cat milk,** mind you....because it's **ILLEGAL** to sell raw milk to the public, doncha know ;-) I buy my vegetables locally as much as possible or with Bountiful Baskets since at least their grown on the same continent. I'd love to have a large garden of my own, but I don't have the place for it.

Rick says he won't eat what the food eats (veggies). I'm working on him, though ;-) I do love me a good steak ANYTIME.

Vegetarianism is def not for me. Glad it works for you, though.

Anonymous said...

Oh...and we do hunt in the fall as well. A good deer or elk steak is delicious. Rick likes the ones from the mountains that have been eating pinecones and sagebrush all summer...bleah...I like them out here on the prairie, where they've been nice and grain fed all summer.

There's nothing more tender than a backstrap venison steak.

sandy said...

I like the felt eyes. It gives the monkeys more character!

Trish at Tangled Threads said...

I like the felt - but not too big. And I think the black and white ones have the most character and are not scarey.

Cait Throop said...

I'm going with NancyG...felt but not too big. Though buttons would be my first choice, I do think mamas wouldn't then give the monkeys to the child...and I have to have one for my granddaughter!

Johanna Whitney said...

I like the felt eyes better ... Gives them each their own personality and they are wicked cute!

Johanna Whitney said...

I like the felt eyes better ... Gives them each their own personality and they are wicked cute!

Bonnie said...

Felt eyes. Love them. No buttons.

fiberdance said...

you really need to check with your state's laws on toys and labeling-some can be very strict and would not allow them to be sold with the button eyes. I used to make bears and they had to have a disclaimer on the label saying they were collectibles and not child safe.

Anonymous said...

I love the monkeys!! They all have their own personality especially with the felt eyes.. Love the flat buttons, not so much the beads.. but for the sake of safety and your liability,, I vote for the felt eyes. They are so expressive and can be unique to each sock monkey!

deborah said...

sorry, i am not anonymous,,, lol
Deborah (cobleskill)

Bev said...

I say do some of both. I like both kinds, and if I were to buy one (which I would LOVE to do!), I'm not about to chew the buttons off. If you do the felt ones, maybe just a smidge smaller? Or maybe just bigger buttons! LOL

They are spectacular! And too good for children!

Anonymous said...

I like the button eyes, but LOVE the felt eyes, they are move expressive and would keep my monkey huggable! Steph in NH

Janice said...

I love the buttons and even with a disclaimer that the monkey would be unsafe for children, I would be terrified someone take issue with the buttons. So it is felt eyes for me. I think they are cute as can be either way. They are adorable.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I like the buttons better. Very very cute!!!

Unknown said...

Wow, lots of replies. I agree with the gaggy feeling eating meat. I still eat it, but if I think of what I'm eating, I have to stop. The amount I eat keeps getting to be less and less.
I LOVE the black and white felt eyes. I really like the flat button eyes ( I think parents should just "pay attention" to what their children are doing). The multi colored eyes are kind of strange looking.
Buttons vs. felt = CUTE!!!

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