Thursday, October 20, 2011

Supplies per customer request

At the Apple and Pork festival in September, I had more than one customer ask me if I could make "binky clips"...pacifier clips. Sure. I can make them. They are easy enough. Stupid easy actually. But if you don't have a machine, a snap press, and the clips/adapters, no they are not easy. So this morning I received my shipping confirmation that the clips and adapters were mailed to me! Sweet. I'll have a few clips sewn in time for my next show - the Bloomington Band Aides Craft Show. This is at a high school sponsored by their band. I'm excited about it!

I have also had some customers with very large and strong dogs express concern about my dog collars. Keep in mind, my dog collars are sewn the exact same way every other seamstress sews her collars. So, to try and satisfy these customers, I have also found a supplier for metal fasteners and adjusters for the large and x-large dog collars.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Busy mama!

I really must get better at posting, not that anyone reads these posts. But writing, I think, much like music, is therapeutic for me. So here's what's been going on lately:

  1. Shows are going strong for the rest of the year. I am going to be participating in 3rd Saturday shows in Arthur, IL for the rest of the year, as well as a Homestead Show in Arthur. This is a local town with a high Amish population and I love it. I will also be doing two shows in Mt. Zion, IL. In addition to those, I'll be showing in Bloomington, IL and a Band craft show and here in Decatur at an elementary school bazaar.
  2. Sewing - oh lordy brother. This is hard to find time for. But I am starting to find time in the afternoon to sew and so I've just finished a stack of Anastasia pouches, the small size for make-up. I am going to work on a larger size too. I also cut and have started sewing 81 flash drive cozies. 
  3. Networking - this has been a huge dedication of time for me lately, and one I've enjoyed. I now have a friend to accompany me to my shows and have also found a wonderful group of mamas online who have their own businesses too. It's really great to find these people to network with and to discuss new ideas and help spread the word about our creations! 
  4. Oh and my babies. They are SO cute! Liam has been crawling for a full month and Kristoffer just started crawling today. Niklas is reaping the benefits of his twin baby brothers getting older and settling into a better routine by getting more mommy time. The babies are finally starting to sleep and wake together which allows me to give Niklas that much-needed mommy time. And, it helps with his behavior because he still feels special. Can't beat that! :)
And here is my proudest moment of late, with regard to the business anyway:

"I got my key fob today and it is GORGEOUS! The quality is amazing- not that I expected anything less! Thanks again. I love it! It will get a ton of use, I'm sure."

That was a comment from the winner of my giveaway on my FB page.  Don't forget to "like" my FB page because that is where you are sure to find out about giveaways and discount codes.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I have been super busy crafting of late! In addition to sewing dog collars in breast cancer awareness and Halloween fabrics, I have been playing around with Pinterest. I LOVE this website for organizing all of your neat ideas. Check out this link: Styroform Art

I had loads of fun creating this! I used fabric instead of scrapbooking paper an mod-podged an assortment of my favorite music and Paris themed fabrics to Styrofoam. Here is the end result:

Now I am working on mod-podging photos to artist stretched canvas for this project. Fun fun fun!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sewing Room

The way to attract followers is certainly to blog more often than once every six weeks! I hope it is well understood that I do not have a lot of time right now to keep up with blogging but I hope to get better. Now that I will have a sewing area, I hope I can find a few moments to sew a couple days a week and thus have something about which I can blog. I do have projects I need to work on but time really doesn't allow for it between the needs of my three little ones and household responsibilities.

Nonetheless, an idea popped in my head recently on a sleepless night to create a sewing room in an end of my master bedroom. This would simultaneously clear out furniture and organizing carts, etc., from our living room, thereby giving our three growing sons more room to play. Once the furniture was cleared from the living room, my plan was to move around the remaining furniture in that room and open it up more. It's amazing how simply moving things around brightens up a room.

In addition to my moving the sewing things upstairs to the master bedroom from the living room, I'll be getting a sewing table for cutting built by a close friend and a sewing table for my two machines found by that same friend at a local yard sale! I don't have these pieces yet so I cannot use the area I have created but when it is finished, it will be simply divine! So here are the first three photos of my area in progress:

The empty furniture with bags and stacks of fabric and supplies

More fabric and supplies - the empty space you see will be home to the tables - the cutting table will go in front of the window and radiator because it will be taller and it won't interfere with the radiator. We have an old-style boiler heating system so the hot-water powered heat simply comes out of the wall through that radiator.

Finished in 2 hours. And, true to my family's fashion, pictures everywhere. The only part not organized is a couple of bags of scraps and other items to be "upcycled." I'll be creating bins for these and placing the bins underneath the cutting table. My shipping supplies will not be under this table you see either. They will be on a shelf on my cutting table for a "shipping center of sorts."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chilling a Bottle of Wine

I realize not everyone is a wine drinker, my mom for example. But she appreciates the art of a good bottle of wine, once it's empty. We traditionally save the really stunning bottles for her "art" in her house. It's actually not a bad idea. But, for those who actually drink it, you need a good way to keep your white wines cold. Okay. No I haven't lost my senses. Yes refrigerators still exist. However, we all know that sometimes we want that bottle close to the table. Or, what if you are having a romantic picnic and have brought along a chilled bottle of wine.

For this reason, I designed wine cozies. I really cannot spend the money needed for the traditional and beautiful wine chillers (more on this later). So, I simply measured a traditional bottle and scaled the pattern to fit - I just enlarged my soda cozy pattern. It really wasn't that difficult. I made the bottom a little larger as well. Here is the result:

I do so love this fabric for all things wine-related. (I also made gift bags.) Here are all of my cozies and gift bags for sale.

For those of you more inclined to the traditional method of chilling your wine, I took the time to briefly search Etsy (my personal favorite place for all things handmade). Here are three that caught my eye especially:

Ice or Wine Bucket designed with glass gems and silver wire - $38 (a great price really)

Utensil holder ice bucket or chiller for chardonnay - $65 (for handmade pottery, this is a wonderful price. I have seen buckets such as this for more in department stores that I highly doubt were handmade)

Hand Painted Waterford Crystal Champagne Wine Chiller Bucket - Classic White and Silver Roses - $148.95 - the priciest of the three but exceptionally beautiful work and come on, it's Waterford Crystal!

I personally will stick with my own cozies but if I ever wanted to buy something more traditional, as a gift per se, these are the one's I'd consider.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grocery Bag Dispensers

I am not a complete tree hugger and I actually dislike that term as I believe saving the environment is a truly worthwhile cause. I try to find many ways to recycle and reuse. We make full use of our local recycling programs and reuse things in the house or repurpose them where we can. So one my earlier sewing projects this winter when I was still pregnant with Liam and Kristoffer was a grocery bag dispenser. I don't line mine - what is the purpose, unless you want a reversible one and you want to turn it out for a different look. That's easy too and you can do it the same way you do anything else lined. It just wasn't what I wanted or needed. For the elastic at the bottom, I use probably 1/3 the elastic as the case is around, to ensure of course the tight bottom hole. You don't want your bags falling out! Yet, you do want to be able to pull them through relatively easily.

Here is the link to my Grocery Bag Dispensers online. I will not be listing them on Etsy. I had them there for four months and while I received a number of "hearts", no sales resulted. I notice for many crafters who sell them on Etsy, they don't move from inventory quickly. They were hugely popular at my craft shows, especially my most recent one the 4th of July. I had one mom of a college male student who had just that weekend been told by her son that he wanted one and couldn't find one! She was absolutely thrilled that I made them. I was pleased to make her day. Other customers commented similarly and wondered why stores such as Target and Wal-Mart no longer carry them. I am quite fine to be one of the few who offer them!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Soda Cozy Pattern

Some of my crafty friends have inquired about my soda cozy pattern. I listed my Soda Cozy Pattern on Etsy and at my website here. I prefer you use my own website but if you prefer Etsy, that's fine to! The truly hardest part of the pattern is maneuvering the bottom. You can sew a cozy without the bottom but then the can could sweat on your furniture and the cold can escape through bottom just as easily. This is why the rubber cozies made by large manufacturers have bottoms. Of course this bottom does not cover the complete bottom of the can for ease of sewing but it still functions quite well! Will the cozy keep your soda cold for four hours? No. But will the rubber ones? No. Trust me I tried it. Besides, who takes four hours to drink a soda?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New website new blog

Now that my new website is up and running and my designer has coordinated all of my social networking sites with my web design, I feel like the business is really taking off. I have lacked the time lately to sew much though. Between my craft show this past weekend and the drive to TN to visit my family and the twins and my 2-year old, time really doesn't allow for much. Right now all of the babies are napping so I can do some computer work. My mom's friend, Robert, is fixing her sewing machine table/cabinet so that I can sew while here. It was damaged in her move from WA state back home here in TN. I certainly will find time to sew while here as I'll be staying for the entire month of July.

Here is my list that I'd like to work on for the month:
  • 15 soda cozies in Chief Illiniwek fabric (out of print and impossible to find because the Chief was banned a few years ago)
  • 10 more make up pouches that I call my "Anastasia pouch". These are cut out already - I just need to cut out the decor bond and iron those pieces do the pouch fabric pieces. That is the only time consuming part. Sewing those actually doesn't take too much time. 
  • A drawstring golf ball bag in each of the three golf ball fabrics I have along with matching reusable baggies that are large enough to fit both a sandwich and a snack/fruit. My mother in law graciously ordered 10 of each of these for a golf tournament in Europe and she believes I should make samples for our local golf clubs here. This means that I really need three of each as we have multiple golf clubs in our area. I hope that goes well. I have a friend who knows the person in charge of them all so hopefully that "in" will give me a leg up. 
  • My own purse - I want a purse that I can use everywhere. I have three kids. I need a big purse but I truly RARELY use my diaper bag unless taking the babies to my sitter for the day or going for a full day outing, which really doesn't happen since the twins are still so small and we don't have a double or triple stroller. I am debating how I want it to look, the pockets on the inside and outside, etc. Do I want a magnetic snap or a zipper? Any ideas? What do you like about your purse and what would you change?