Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vacation Getaway

Big news, folks!  (Well, for me anyways!)
I'm sort of closing up shop through the middle of July to take some time with family, rework some of the items in my shop, and make some decisions about where I want to take the shop for the rest of the year and beyond.

The shop will remain "open" through July 10 so that those participating in the giveaway for a $25 gift certificate can still get in on the action, but all orders placed July 1-14 will ship out July 15 with custom orders taking a few extra days.

Brandon and I are getting ready to start submitting his resume to various churches in hopes of getting a job when he graduates, and I want to be sure that whatever I am doing I can keep on doing, and --maybe, just maybe-- make this my job when that time comes.

So in order to figure out what I need to do, I'm sending myself on a hiatus from the shop (not so much the blog, but things will be slower around here) to spend time with family, catch up on a few projects, and make those decisions that need to be made.

So if you've been eyeing anything, now is the time to get it and take advantage of free shipping and sale prices.  They may not be there when I get back!


Monday, June 28, 2010

A few new fabric sources

If you spend any amount of time browsing through the kids clothing on Etsy, you'll notice a common theme:  Most folks use the same fabric because most folks buy it from the same few sources.  Unless you live somewhere with a great fabric sales district and most of us don't!, you're going to be shopping online or in the box stores, where everyone else shops. 
As I consider ways to make my shop stand out against the hundreds thousands? of others, I'm always looking for new places to buy my fabric without raising my costs significantly.  I recently signed up for a co-op where I can shop for myself rather than buying what others have decided they want to sell, and I also have been finding alternative sources of fabric like good condition sheets from the thrift store as in this dress. {Spoiler Alert: I'm going to start a few new lines at the end of the summer with the fabrics from the co-op!}
As far as online shops go, I just found SaffronCraig via Fat Quarterly.  I like the use of both bold and soft color palettes by this Australian company...take a look at some of their goodies!
I also ran across also through Fat Quarterly! Hart Fabrics. They not only have all of the quilting weight cottons we all like to see, but they also have cotton voile and lawns, canvas, twill, organics, home decor, oil cloth, vinyl coated, and much more!  The best part is that most of the fabrics are still pretty modern.  I don't have a picture because Picnik is being funky you need to go see for yourself!
Where do you like to purchase supplies??

update: After scheduling this post, I saw that Meg from Sew Liberated posted a whole list of places to get knit fabrics!  


Sunday, June 27, 2010

A little more jewelry love

Speaking of earrings, I have a whole new appreciation for jewelry makers all the work that goes into making high quality jewelry!  Check out some of the from my Etsy Favorites.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

The new kind of jewelry party

My friend Rachel came up with an idea that you all are going to think is brilliant I think it is!  She started making jewelry last year, but with the overwhelming number of sellers on Etsy found that her sales weren't really coming from online.  She also found that there was a market for teaching people to make their own jewelry.

Rachel has got a whole system set up where she holds parties for people to learn how to make earrings.  She has all of the supplies so that each person gets a place setting with everything needed to make two pairs of earrings, including their own set of tools to use for the night, not to take home.

So, Tuesday night the guys from my community group went to see a baseball game, and the ladies stayed in and learned how to make earrings!  I have always been intimidated by making earrings, but Rachel made it so accessible.  She showed us all of the basic supplies and taught us a few techniques to make different kinds of earrings.

It was so rewarding to see this...

...be turned into a fancy set of dangles!

Rachel also brought some of her own jewelry to show us...I'm so impressed with her talent!

I think everyone really enjoyed making the earrings, and I can see a party like this becoming popular very soon!  hint hint, Louisville friends!  Thanks, Rachel!!

Oh, and Rachel left a few of her tools behind, so I bought some basics and made myself a couple more pairs of earrings :)

Not that I needed another hobby, but I may just be adding earring tools to my wish list very soon!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Drawing Lab Intro and Week One

I grew up with two sisters and was the middle child, so doing something on my own without them was always a big deal now of course I wish I could do much more with them than I can!  My parents were really kind to allow me to pursue many of my whims including gymnastics and dancing, guitar lessons, and playing in the mud for hours on end.  One year they even arranged for me to take one-on-one painting lessons from a professional painter, sans siblings I think my dad must have fixed her roof and let her pay him partially in painting :)  

Letty taught my third grade self all about brush care, the proper way to open a watercolor tube hold it at the top while you twist the cap so as not to risk tearing the tube and spoiling your paint.  I looked forward to our weekly meetings that would start off with a glass of milk and some cookies and then the good stuff.   Unfortunately after that school year ended, I didn't continue with the classes it probably had something to do with my lack of ability to focus on any one thing for longer than a few months.  Marriage and motherhood have both helped to remedy that!  I did however continue to paint, color, draw, and a whole host of other creative outlets, and that basis has not left me.  

I am convinced that had I continued longer than that year I might actually know something about painting and drawing and could even be famous. (OK, maybe not famous, but I can dream right?)  

Last week I decided it was high time to get back to drawing and possibly even painting; I needed some new challenge, and this would be just that!  I found the Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists (book) and decided it was just what I needed.  Thanks to Amazon Prime I had it here the next day, and a quick trip to the craft store (armed with a 50% off coupon) gave me a drawing notebook and a few other supplies. 

While this is no painting lesson with Letty, I'm slowly getting back into thinking in terms of how to creatively use my hands beyond the sewing machine or keyboard.  

Week One's assignment (there are 52!) has to do with drawing cats.  The first thing that came to my mind wasn't very nice (I'm not always a fan), but I did it anyways, and I enjoyed it.  I even enjoyed scouring the internet for cat photos that did not include enlarged cat faces or cats in tutus.  

Page One looked a little like this (please remember I haven't done this in a very long time!)

Some of my favorites from the week:

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy some creativity!  Hopefully I'll have more to show you next week for Drawing Lab Week Two (and maybe even a more interesting title!)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Treasury!

Etsy Treasuries are a great way for members to curate their own collection of goods from the website.  I am loving the combination of orange and pink these days, so I made a Sherbet and Lemonade Treasury!  I hope you all enjoy a little eye candy!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yellow Neckties and Bowties for your Man or Boy

We are are gearing up for Brandon's brother's wedding, and I'm on the search for one of our last pieces of apparel: A necktie for Brandon to wear while officiating the wedding super cool, I know!  The colors are Yellow and Gray, and Adeline and I are wearing blue.  I decided to see if I could find any on Etsy like I really needed to ask if!  I found lots and wanted to share some with you so you don't think I only see girl stuff.

Some Ties for the Boys

For the Men

Now I just need to get one approved by the man.  


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New summer dresses for babies and little girls

Adeline's drawers seem to be spilling over with clothes, but being a baby, she goes through them very quickly!  Now that it's hot out, I'm constantly grabbing for the dresses and one piece outfits that will keep her comfy and cool whether we are inside enjoying the AC or out and about.  Many of the dresses I have for her are not really condusive to her newly formed skill of crawling, so I needed something a little shorter and easier to wear. 

I thought about making more of the Milla Modern Pinafore dresses, but it is a fairly time consuming pattern, and I like the idea of not messing with hems.  I decided to get the Popover Pinafore pattern from Grain and Gusset (review forthcoming).

The red, white and blue dress is made with a solid Kona cotton and a bold red and white fabric from the quilt store sale.  The yellow dress is made with some sheets I picked up a while back at the thrift store.  They are in great condition, and I love being able to re-purpose the material for something other than a landfill!

The two dresses for Adeline--with plenty of fabric left over to offer custom orders in the shop--are perfect for exploring around the house and heading out on the town.  They aren't really long enough for an older girl to wear alone but would look adorable with some leggings or capris.


Monday, June 21, 2010

New Cloth Napkins

Somehow I forgot to mention that June was going to be a "No Spend" month for me when it comes to fabric.  That was all good and well until the local quilt shop had a major sale on all their fabric and then Beth told me she needed some fabric for a curtain and would I go with her? yes, I would. And I would also buy some fabric.

I picked up these two lovelies and quickly made some napkins which are now in the shop.  The one with the birds reminds of the book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.  Have you all read that one? It's hilarious--mostly because the illustrations are brilliant.  I used to work in a school office and let the kiddies read that one when they weren't feeling good or sometimes when they were waiting for the principle..shhh...don't tell on me!  I also picked up a great red and white which is now a pinafore--to be shown later--and a few fat quarters to use with baby gifts I'll be making soon.

So, now I'm telling you that "No Spend" month is resuming its regularly-scheduled programming. I need to use what I have! 

How do you keep yourself from buying too many supplies?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Handmade bridal shower gift

Travel bags make great gifts for a bride to be, and this fabric is perfect for a summer honeymoon!

A month (or two!) ago I made some cosmetic bags for my soon to be sister-in-law (also named Kelli!) who has a fantastic sense of style.  I was a little intimidated with the thought of making something for her, but when I found this fabric, I was pretty sure she would love it. 

I actually made a really cool roll up bag with some clear plastic to make it water-resistant, but my thread got caught in it as I was placing the final touches and I am now keeping that bag for myself.  I did manage to make a good sized bag for her hair products and a smaller one for some of her cosmetics.

The floral is a heavy weight fabric so it adds a little body to the bags, and the yellow one is a regular quilting weight cotton, which is perfect for pleating.  I used a tutorial from Anna at Noodlehead for the yellow one (minus the credit card slots) and love how it came out.  I think the next few pouches I make will be similar. 


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The dress vs. ME

Remember the dress I have been talking about making for the last few months?  The one that was supposed to save me $100+ dollars and give me the thrill of being able to say, "This dress?  Oh thanks.  I made it."?  
Or are you talking about the one that is all but in a heap in my trash bin after a lengthy Skype conversation with my younger sister--who has made a wedding dress for crying out loud--leaving both of us stumped as to how anyone had been able to accomplish the "easy" pattern?  Maybe you're thinking of the one that left my crying on the back steps telling my hubby that all I wanted to do was cuss and burn the dang thing I did neither.  at least not that I remember.
That's right.  The handmade dress with pockets is not happening.  I really haven't had the heart to fully accept my defeat and actually throw the thing away, but there really are no other options at this point.  My seamstress sister can't figure it out well, she can, but not in a way that will actually work without compromising the fabricI have read and re-read the instructions and cannot for the life of me figure out where I went wrong.
Can I tell you all how hard it was for me to accept that I actually failed at this?  It hurts!  Actually, I should really say, it hurts my pride.  I realize now that I had put too much into this dress.  There's nothing wrong with saying (perhaps even with a hint of pride) "yes, I did make this.", but if I am really honest, there was definitely a strong force driving me to make this dress so that I could show it off to all my hip southern California friends.  That's not so cool.
So yesterday I took my girl with me to the mall and we did a little shopping.  Well, I shopped.  Adeline amused herself wildly in the dressing room.  See?

I totally would have missed out on that had I made my dress!  haha!  She was such a trooper while I tried on lots of dresses--and even found one I really like.  I'll show it to you later when I have something better than my iPhone shot from the dressing room to my mother in law making sure she thought it was a good choice!  


Friday, June 11, 2010

handmad wedding attire: the beginning of the dress!

I finally started to work on the dress for Brandon's brother's wedding!  I have all of the pieces cut out and can't wait to start sewing! This dress is going to have pockets!

Any one else working on something fun this weekend?


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Urban Circus Pillows

So I finally picked up the fabrics for Adeline's pillows that I've been thinking about for a while now.  Laurie Wisbrun of Scarlet Fig is discontinuing one of her lines because the prints just got picked up by Robert Kaufman (congrats to Laurie!!) Read more about it and a special discount on her blog!

I think I'll make two pillows, one with each of the animal prints on the front, and then use the elephant dots on the back and as piping around the edges.  I love this color combination, and the animals will help break up the current theme of birds and pink & green with white polka dots.