Thursday, December 25, 2008

Four Days!

Okay... as soon as I get done blogging, I'm gonna work.
I swear!

And I am excited about this because I have four days to produce & work on stuff because of the XMas holiday. I'm off  from my "day job" today, tomorrow and my usual Saturday & Sunday.
Plus, my husband (who is sometimes a lovely distraction from my crafts) has to work today and tomorrow. So my #1 distraction is at work.
Now I know that Saturday & Sunday is gonna be tough because "the distraction" will be here, but I think I can work through the madness.

Now... the goals of these four days is to get at least three items from each of my website's categories to sell on Etsy next week! 
Woo hoo! That's right, I want to be up and running by next weekend! Yay!

This also means, that part of my work in the next four days is creating an inventory with prices. I feel it is important to stay organized during this process, especially if I want to be successful.

Oh! I do want to be successful!!

So, I'm gonna quit blogging now and go get to it. Woo, I'm pumped! Woo!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Skirt That Wasn't Anymore

So I have this cotton skirt that I bought in San Diego while honeymooning. It was at this great little shop and the skirt reminded me of a little fiesta in Tijuana. 
Now I don't wear skirts or dresses at all. I own them, but I just don't like them. And I should have known better, in that little San Diego shop, but I bought it anyhow.
And it has been three years and I still have never worn it. EVER! I've tried it on, I've attempted to walk out wearing it, but in the end it ends up back in my closet.
I would have given it away, but it is beautiful. These pictures here do it NO justice! The beading & embroidery is stunning. All of it's beauty is what inspired me to buy it in the first place. I just can't let go of it.
But I can't just let it sit in my closet for all of eternity.

So I decided to turn it into something else. After studying it for days and then weeks and then a few months... I just decided to turn it into a blouse.
It wasn't easy deciding the style. I wanted something I would actually wear (and not put back into my closet!) and something that utilized the beautiful embroidery as a focal point.
The final decision was a cross-front tunic with ties in the back and the embroidery along the front bottom. 
As I was cutting it out, I ran into some problems with the quantity of material. I had enough for the front bottom and the back, but not the top front. I decided on a similar color, but the material was more sheer and lightweight. I also cut out some sleeves for the top out of the same sheer material, but they ended up on the cutting room floor.
In the end, it works! And the proof was it's wearability. I've actually worn it out!
And it is still stunning in the form of a tunic. The placement of the embroidery is outstanding. I just can't stop patting myself on the back... not so much because I did an excellent job of cutting & sewing, but more for turning this closet dud into something amazing & wearable. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Etsy & Inventory


... I joined and I'm excited about it. I think I might actually be able to sell some of my things on there to the masses! I can go to flea markets & craft shows here, but with Etsy, I might be able to reach out to the many others in the world & USA. So it's exciting.


... there is absolutely nothing on my site as of now... I have a few ideas and what-not of what I'd like to put on there, but we're talking like maybe two or three things.


... I need to build an inventory. Things I can purposely sell on Etsy. And this is my new "project."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Embroidery is my bag...

Hey! Sorry I haven't been on lately. It just means that I have been SO busy!

But I have been crafting and I'm excited to share my new adventure... embroidery!

I've never embroidered before and it seemed interesting after discovering this website. I saw this and thought it was so freakin' cool. The site, Sublime Stitching, is a site full of embroidery products for the "modern girl". So it's projects are skulls and pin-up girls instead of flowers & bunnies.

So I went to one of my local craft stores and found that they were having a kick-ass sale on embroidery floss... 8 for $1. So I bought 16, a hoop and some needles and started teaching myself how to do this.

So... with the help of a page in a craft book I had, I started practicing my stitches and attempting this old craft from days gone by... here's the proof of how old this art is.
I also bought a book of patterns and have decided to get a group together to practice & learn together. 

It's incredibly fun and easy and so far I have made the very top item (which I sewed into a purse when I was done) and another bag and... well I guess another bag. I guess this means that embroidery is my bag, baby! 

Okay, okay that was lame. Yet fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Twin Needles

Sometimes people marvel over the things I produce. It's very flattering, but it took a long time to be able to do what I do, craftwise.

And I'm always learning from other crafters.

Today I learned something new about twin needles at What The Craft.

Read it yourself. It may not make any sense if you're not a sewer, but if you do and didn't know about these... you'll be amazed!

I'm excited. I've got to go find me some of these!

Check out the site... it's got some awesome tutorials even for the non-sewer-person.... -thingy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hey! What's that cookie doing there...

Hee, hee! See the above pic?
This little gingerbread cookie just popped up outta nowhere on my web page. Seriously!
I went to the page to look at something and I noticed him just sitting up there waving "hi" to all my visitors. Isn't he cute?
I have a pretty good idea how he got there, so I'm not worried that my page is being hacked into by an evil gingerbread man.
Life is funny. It's obvious he's meant to be.
... in other news...

I've been making my own little men lately. These little dudes are Fuzzy Friends. Their felt stuffed with polyfill and the dog version has a squeaker inside. So easy too!
So, really, here's my first mini-tutorial. It's meant for someone who has had some minor sewing experience.
  1. Get some fabric that doesn't fray... again, I used felt, but t-shirt material is another good option. If you're feeling really hip, use an old t-shirt. You only need two pieces that are about 8"x11".
  2. Fold one of the 8x11 pieces in half lengthwise. With a magic marker, draw HALF a man/woman shape on it. I've also made other shapes... If you choose to do something else you might want to just draw it on the unfolded piece of material.
  3. After you've drawn your shape, cut it out still folded (or not if you drew some other shape). Then unfold the man. Pin him to the other piece of fabric and cut the same shape out of that piece.
  4. Hide the magic marker by flipping the fabric piece with it on around so it's touching the other piece of fabric. Magic Markings should now be on the inside of the two pieces and can't be seen. You now have the front of the man/woman & a back.
  5. This is the step where you add fancy stuff. On one of the pieces you can add button eyes, a heart or an embroidered mouth. Whatever you decide. I don't add anything if it's for a dog or a child under the age of three. Trust me, they don't care if it doesn't have eyes.
  6. Now put the pieces back together (Magic Marker on the inside) and sew almost all the way around the edge of the man, either by hand or machine. Leave an inch gap between the start & finish stitch to help stuff it.
  7. Okay... now stuff it! I use polyfill. If it's for a dog, add the squeaker towards the end of stuffing (adding a little more after the addition of the squeaker).
  8. Now sew the one inch hole up.
  9. Ta-da! All done! Now give to dog, child or cuddle with it yourself!
Of course, if any of this is confusing, write me and I'll fix it here and send you some tips!
Have fun!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

FINISHED craft room! Yay!

Well it's done and it is much more organized. Above is the pic of the entire space. I rearranged the furniture a bit, but mainly I threw all my craft stuff in a pile and sorted it back out into boxes & bins. Then I labeled everything so I could find it easily.

The above pic here is where most of the stuff happens. It's my main table!! This is in the center and most of the stuff I use often are within my reach!

This is the sewing area (note the machine... just kidding). To the right are five bins where I store fabric. The little shelf on the left holds my scissors and my drink (I get thirsty hovered over the machine!).

This is my extra space. I don't use it very often, but it's good and flat for an ironing area, which is so, so, so important!

This is a good example of one of the three shelves I put up. This holds some of my books, envelopes, pens & more.

This other shelf has the ribbon bar along the bottom & tons of bins for notions, fixin's & miscellaneous.

This last area to the far left of everything holds magazines & yarn.

Well I hope you enjoyed! Sorry it took so long to post. I'm sure this will change the more & more I use it, especially when I find better ways to organize based on my usage.

I've got more & more stuff for ya' later.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I found an awesome site  yesterday when planning my craft room.
It's called Arrange-A-Room at Better Homes & Gardens.

Yes, yes, I know I should be working on it (which I am) but I thought I'd share it really quick!

It lets you plan out the arrangement in the room, using measurements that you give the computer. It's accurate, fun & free. Yay! FREE!

All you need is a measuring tape. Above is the image I created. 
Try it... it's fun even if you weren't planning on rearranging.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Craft Room OVERHAUL! Before pics...

Well here is the before pic of my craft corner/room. 

And today is the day I start on it's big "re-do". I plan on having it done by Tuesday evening when my husband gets back from Nebraska.

I have a basic idea on what I'd like to do, but honestly there isn't a set plan and I will just go with the flow on this. For instance, if my original plan to put up a ribbon bar (bar that holds all my ribbons... hee hee) doesn't fit the way I orignally thought then I'll restructure my plan. 
Simple as that!

I bought another shelf from Lowe's (to go with another I already have) and I am gonna use some of my current storage but in a new way... at least new in the sense that I re-organize where stuff currently resides.

Nonetheless, it is a mess! And I can't find a damn thing. Well I have a basic idea where it all is, but it's not handy by any means!

So... here we go. So exciting! Look for some after pics on Wednesday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Dangerous Store & Cooking Oilcloth

I just got home a little while ago from gas hunting (we're outta gas here in Western North Carolina) and while I was out (and done finding gas) I went to the Foam & Fabrics Outlet. 

Bad, bad idea.

That place is dangerous! It is filled to the brim with fabric, tools, foam, stuffing, fabric scraps & outlet linens. Some stuff is cheap. Others are too damn good to pass up. I can spend a lot of money in there. 

I can spend a lot of time in there too! I was there for an hour and walked out with some denim, oilcloth & whole new bedding set (didn't need that last one... oops!). Plus I got some thread and other notions. If I hadn't splurged on the bedding set (about $30 total for a king size set) I probably could have gotten some more craft stuff, but I was terribly tempted by the awesome selection. 

I actually miss it and want to go back. Now! Ah, another day I guess.

On the other hand, I did get the oilcloth I had been looking for. I have found some great stuff online, but I just needed a little to get started on a prototype for my website. So I found two yards worth for about two dollars a yard. The patterns are pretty good too.

I've never used oilcloth before, so this is new territory. I read online to leave it out in the sun to get the wrinkles out of it (which there is a lot of because it was stuffed at the bottom of a wooden bin in the store). Hopefully, the neighbors don't think I'm too crazy when they see the oilcloth cooking on my porch.

Of course, when I get this oilcloth thing figured out I will post my journey with the oilcloth.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Updated Site & New Stuff

I've been working hard lately trying to fill my website with stuff to sell & impress. 

This picture is of me & trusty "Singer" sewing up one of my Patchwork notecards. They're very fun & colorful. I've got many more to work on, but at least one set is up on the site now.

I've got so, so many things in the queue. I'm gonna get my hands on some oilcloth to make baby bibs & lunchbags (woo hoo) and there is a great tote I'm working on.

Slowly & surely I'll get a good stock of stuff to sell at Smilies. 

Oooh! I also got my Wearables tags in the mail today and they're awesome. I'm so excited.

So check out the site and see what I've been doing with my time!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Craft Room!

I have a vacation coming up and I'm not gonna be spending it the way I thought I was. 
Instead of spending it with my husband, I'll be spending it alone so he can go back to Nebraska to spend time with his mother.
I was really trying to think of what to do by myself for four days and I decided to re-do my craft room. Right now it's a mess! So I think I'll take some "before" pics, redecorate & reorganize it and then take some "after" pics. 
I'm kinda excited about it and I've put some thought into what I want. I'm even considering painting it. Who knows!
Nonetheless, that's the plan. I can't wait to post pics!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wearable Tags

See my newly created tags below.

These are for my wearable items... aprons, totes, etc. Basically their used to identify the item & tell buyers how to care for them.

I love them!

Something fun!

I ran across these earrings this morning. I just thought it'd be something fun to look at.
Check them out!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yay! The blog design is done!

I just put the finishing touches on the blog.

Doesn't it look great!

I created these in Photoshop and used some free graphics (I swear I didn't steal them!) and some purchased fonts. 

I love fonts! You can do so much with them, whether it's in graphics (like the blog) or whether its in cards, scrapbooking, etc.

Free graphics are great too! I recently used a bird silhouette on an apron design I did. Try out this website for some free graphics.

Well, I'm gonna do some more graphic stuff. 
I need to design some tags for my wearable designs. I'll post some pics later.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Beginning

I'd like to tell you my hopes & dreams for this blog.
I hope I can talk out my ideas for crafts & how the ideas come about AND eventually get some feedback on things.
I'm not a professional. I do this in my home, in my free time.
But I love it and wish is was my occupation (sorry to current occupation).
I dream that I can sell my crafts and get some sort of cult following!
I don't want to be rich. I just want to share and at the same time keep all my creations from piling up in my craft room (with no one to love them like I do).
My posts will consist of a before or after account of the things I do, as I do them.
So, enough wasting time here. 
Let's get creative... (that was cheesy I know).