Saturday, October 31, 2009

Are You Scared?

This is Brody.
He's a year old.
He weighs 18 lbs.
He likes to steal his Mom's food after he's eaten all his.
He doesn't care.

Mom is pregnant with his baby brother.
She's hungry.
He doesn't care.

Mom asks for a bite of HER sandwich.
Brody's baby brother is hungry.
He doesn't care.

This is the face Brody makes if she tries to take back her sandwich
Are you scared yet?

Monday, October 26, 2009

And the Winner Is....

The winner of the tote giveaway is Christian!! Congrats!! I'll just need an address so I can send you the tote! Thanks for entering!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Art Case

Last year I had made my little great nieces and nephews coloring totes for Christmas. They were tote bags that were the perfect size for holding a couple of coloring books and a box of crayons. They absolutely loved them! Being the person I am, I always look for ways to improve some of the things I make (either I'm a perfectionist or just plain anal--you be the judge).

While getting a cross stitch project all ready to work on, I took a look at my project case. Inspiration! Why couldn't I take this same idea and make an art case for kids? Maybe instead of just holding a couple of coloring books and box of crayons, it could hold a bit more. I have had this idea brewing for some time now, but of course as usually happens, it got put on the back burner while I worked on other projects.

A couple of nights ago, I thought to myself: Christmas is coming. I have a few baby items in my shops now, so I should work on something for older children. What about that art case idea?! Sure! Why not? So the other day, I made a sketch of my idea. Then I proceeded to figure out measurements, etc (all the "fun" stuff!). And walla! I have made my first art case! I must say, it turned out quite well--the first time! I know, right? When does anything ever turn out right the first time lol.

So here is the finished product! It will hold 12 crayons and markers (each in it's own pocket), coloring book(s), activity books, or whatever books you choose to put in it. It also has a pouch so your budding artisan can store scissors, stickers, glue, etc. I had planned to put a sketch pad in it, but not quite wide enough. It will hold coloring books and other books though so I'm debating whether I should make it wider for a sketch pad.

So, let me know what you think! I would love to get these listed in the shop ASAP so any suggestions or ideas for improvement will be very much welcome! Also, should I include the supplies (crayons, markers, coloring books) or no? Or should I make that up to the buyer? And most importantly, how much would you be willing to pay for something like this (with or without supplies)?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tote Giveaway

Are you looking for a new tote but don't want to pay a lot of money? How about a free one? I am having a giveaway for this cute little tote. It would be perfect to carry to the beach (for those of you who aren't freezing this time of year), shopping, or you can use it for your every day bag!

It's made of brightly colored cotton fabrics and contains plenty of pockets to keep your essentials well organized.

Top and lining of bag feature bright blue striped fabric while bottom and handles of bag are black with brightly colored stars. Front and back pockets have brightly colored stripes on a white background.

There are seven various sized pockets inside. Bag closes with a magnetic snap that is located on the tab and body of bag. Batting is used inside of bag for durability and stiffness.

To enter giveaway, just visit either (or both) of my shops and let me know which item(s)you like best.

For extra entries, tweet about it, post it on Facebook, blog about it, or follow my blog. Just post separate comments with links.

Giveaway ends Oct. 25th. I will post winner's name on the 26th. Be sure to post a contact link (email, blog, twitter, FB, etc.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Interesting Facts

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury. --Well that might've been true LAST year.

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)

The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $16,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair..

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987, 654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died because of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession

Q.. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common?
A. All were invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day

Did you try to lick your elbow?

How Did that Phrase Come About?

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have, 'Rule of thumb'

Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden'.. .and thus, the word GOLF entered into the English language.

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase...'Goodnight , sleep tight'

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.' It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'

Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wrist Rattles

I am so excited about my latest project! I have made quite a few of these and they are so fun! Introducing wrist rattles for babies. They feature cute prints that babies will love. Each of them are stuffed lightly with polyfil and contain bells for a soft jingling sound when baby shakes his/her arm. Velcro on the bands make these fit even the smallest wrist. These are listed in all my shops and would make a great addition to your gift basket--or stocking stuffer! Christmas will be here before long!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why I Love Charm Packs

I love charm squares. What are charm squares? They are precut coordinating squares of fabric (usually 3-5” squares) that come in 20-80 piece packs. Why do I love them? There are several reasons. For one, they are convenient. They are the perfect size for smaller projects. Being precut also means that some of the prep work has already been done—mainly the measuring and cutting of fabric. They’re also all the exact same size. Which means better uniformity in projects.

I also like the fact that they come in such wonderful prints, from babies to florals. You can also find them in cottons, flannels, or even home décor fabrics. You can make anything from quilts to totes with them. I have used them for sachets, coasters, totes, purses, and baby toys (I’m not a quilter). I’m sure in the future I will find even more projects in which to use them.

I also like the value factor. They usually cost $5 per pack and up (my quilt shop usually sells them from $6-$8). It all depends how many charms are in the pack and the designer. Let’s say for example, you purchased a pack of 40 charms for $8 and you wanted to make coasters with them. You could make 20 coasters (since they are usually coordinating fabrics, you have a front and back piece). You have spent 40 cents per coaster (not counting your interfacing). Now is that a bargain or what!

So the next time you visit your local quilt shop, take a gander at what charm packs they may have. You may be surprised at the variety and what you can make with them. You don’t even have to be a quilter to love them!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Taggy Toys

So what do you think? This is my newest project: taggy pillows! Aren't they cute? I was inspired to make these because my great nephew has a tag fettish. He has to have his blanket when he goes to sleep but not for the blanket itself, it's the tag he wants. That left me wondering what I could make for him that he would like as much as his blanket? Maybe some kind of toy with silky ribbon on it? And that's why I decided to make these taggy pillows.

They're soft and squishy and the ribbons are silky and soft. They are 4 1/2" square so they're perfect for little hands to hold and squeeze. I've been making them out of bright fabrics that babies like. They also have two plastic rings attached to give teething babies something to chew on. These can be removed for washing. You can find these and others in my etsy or artfire stores. They would make a great gift basket item!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The History of Sayings

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500's:

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low. In Britain, in the 19 th century,the government imposed a tax on windows.The really poor bricked up their windows,to avoid paying the tax. Hence,they.."Did n`t have a pot to piss in, nor a window to throw it out of "..

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . .. . brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip an d fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs.."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus,someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer....

And that's the truth...Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cat Blankie Giveaway

Isn't this cat blankie adorable? These are so great for babies, toddlers, or younger children. They are made with soft, cuddly flannel and measure 19" wide x 22" high. They're small enough that a toddler can carry them around quite easily without dragging them on the floor. The face is made from fleece that has been hand embroidered and appliqued onto the head. Safety eyes will not come off.

These have been toddler tested and approved. How, do you ask? It just so happened that my friend had her two grandsons yesterday and when I showed them to the youngest (who is just under two years old), he loved them! These would make great gifts.

Now, that all that is finished, would you like to win one? Here's how: just tell me a funny children's story or something hysterical that they've said. You can also earn extra entries by posting this on your blog or tweeting about it (leave links for me and extra comment(s) that you've blogged and/or tweeted). That's all there is to it! Also make sure I have a way of contacting you if you are the winner. I will pick the winner on August 1st.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

No one can make you serve customers well. That's because great service is a choice. Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey

He handed me a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.' Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment. This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.' I said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.'
Wally smiled and said, 'No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.' Almost stuttering, Harvey said, 'I'll take a Diet Coke.' Handing him his drink, Wally said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal,Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.'

As they were pulling away, Wally handed me another laminated card. 'These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'
And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

'Tell me, Wally,' Harvey asked the driver, 'have you always served customers like this?' Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. 'No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining!

Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'' 'That hit me right between the eyes,' said Wally. 'Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers weren't friendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'

'I take it that has paid off for you,' Harvey said.'It sure has,' Wally replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.'

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles. How about us? Smile, and the whole world smiles with you.....The ball is in our hands!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Animal Blankies

After deciding I wanted to focus more on making baby/children items, I came up with these animal blankies. I had a pattern of the monkey, but after I made it, I thought I should come up with more animals. So, I made a teddy bear, cat, lamb, frog, and robots. I daresay they came out cute! Since these little blankies woke up my creative side, I have a list of other animals I'd like to try to make also. So I may be working on these for quite some time!

These are made from flannel fabric so they are nice and soft. The faces are made with fleece that are appliqued onto the heads. Face features are hand embroidered. They do have safety eyes but I guarantee these cannot be pulled off! These are the same type of eyes they use on stuffed animals. They measure 19" wide x 22" high so are small enough that a toddler can carry it around without tripping over it.

These are listed in my etsy shop as well as my Artfire shop. So, if you have a baby shower or b-day coming up, these would make great gifts!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Letter from Iraq

I know I normally blog about my business, but I felt the need to blog this letter from a soldier. I couldn't agree more with what he has to say and wanted to pass it on. Maybe people will stop and think about it and change the way they feel about certain things.


Okay, I need to rant.

I was just watching the news, and I caught part of a report on Michael Jackson . As we all know, Jackson died the other day. He was an entertainer who performed for decades. He made millions, he spent millions, and he did a lot of things that make him a villain to many people. I understand that his death would affect a lot of people, and I respect those people who mourn his death, but that isn't the point
of my rant.

Why is it that when ONE man dies, the whole of America loses their minds with grief. When a man dies whose only contribution to the country was to ENTERTAIN people, the American people find the need to flock to a memorial in Hollywood , and even Congress sees the need to hold a "moment of silence" for his passing?

Am I missing something here? ONE man dies, and all of a sudden he's a freaking martyr because he entertained us for a few decades? What about all those SOLDIERS who have died to give us freedom? All those Soldiers who, knowing that they would be asked to fight in a war, still raised their hands and swore to defend the constitution and the United States of America . Where is their moment of silence? Where are the people flocking to their graves or memorials and mourning over
them because they made the ultimate sacrifice? Why is it when a Soldier dies, there are more people saying "good riddance," and "thank God for IEDs?" When did this country become so calloused to the sacrifice of GOOD MEN and WOMEN, that they can arbitrarily blow off their deaths, and instead, throw themselves into mourning for a "Pop Icon?"

I think that if they are going to hold a moment of silence IN CONGRESS for Michael Jackson, they need to hold a moment of silence for every service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan . They need to PUBLICLY recognize every life that has been lost so that the American people can live their callous little lives in the luxury and freedom that WE, those that are living and those that have gone on, have provided for them. But, wait, that would take too much time, because there have been so many willing to make that sacrifice. After all, we will never make millions of dollars. We will never star in movies, or write hit songs that the world will listen too. We only shed our blood, sweat and tears so that people can enjoy what they have.

Sorry if I have offended, but I needed to say it. Feel free to pass this along if you want...

Remember these five words the next time you think of someone who is serving in the military; "So that others may live..."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Losing Confidence

It hit me today: I'm totally losing confidence in my creative ability. Just when I think I've come up with something original that would be a best seller, it doesn't seem to happen. I may sell four or five of my great ideas, but that's all. I'm not sure what the problem may be. Is it the fabrics I'm using? My workmanship? Pricing? The economy? What? I receive a lot of compliments on my new creations, but no sales.

And sometimes, I see another seller with a similar item that may or may not be up to par with mine, but they seem to be doing quite well at selling. I'll also admit that it irritates me a bit when I see they're selling them at a higher price. I've tried raising my prices, lowering my prices...nothing I do seems to matter. I'm just not sure what I will have to do to boost my sales. Is there something about my products that needs changing? Do my prices need adjusted? Please, if any other sellers, or buyers, out there have any tips or ideas, I would really love to hear them and would greatly appreciate any feedback you may have. Of course, if anyone even reads this blog and decides to respond to it that is. I seem to have a problem with getting responses also, so I'll just wait and see.

Ho hum.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Curtains

This past week I decided to take a bit of a break from work sewing to do some home sewing. I was badly in need of some new kitchen and dining room curtains. Ours were old, falling apart, and didn't really match either room. Given that our house is an old schoolhouse and has a bit of a rustic interior, I decided to go with fabrics with a country feel to them.

For the kitchen, I chose a patchwork fabric in burgundy, green, and blues. I think it's adorable and though dark, these curtains go with the room so much better!

For the dining room, I wanted to go with a more neutral tone since I change my tablecloth and linens by the seasons. So I chose a fabric with a cream background and blue watering cans. I absolutely love these! I'm not quite sure how I feel about the tie backs though. I may decide to remake them from the same fabric as the curtains.

Now my next project is to make chair cushions for the dining room chairs. I'm not sure what fabric to use for those. Should I go seasonal, or should I just go neutral like I did with the curtains? Decisions, decisions!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Creative Day

I finally finished making all the travel wallets that I had cut out today. To reward myself, I decided to do something new and completely different from my usual type of crafting. I had purchased some adorable sea creature applique patterns from Precious Patterns (you can find them on etsy) and thought "how cute would those look on onesies"! So, I thought I would give it a try.

I decided to do some research and see how what other etsians were selling their appliqued onesies for. There are so many sellers making them! Well, what could I do differently with a onesie to make mine unique? I was in a creative mood, so I came upon an idea: what if I made a dress out of a onesie? How cute would that be? And this is what I made! Isn't it adorable? I just LOVE it! I will definitely be making more of these in the future. And yes, I do plan on selling them. Maybe in several sizes and of course, different themes and fabrics.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Being Creative

I'm so sorry I haven't posted in so long! I've been quite busy the past two weeks! I've been making more travel wallets for my online shops. I have decided to go through my fabrics by theme (which is how they're organized) and choose which ones would make (in my opinion) cute travel wallets. I've already finished novelty prints and I am now currently working on animal prints.

I have eight animal print wallets cut out and ready to put together but I'm on hold. You see, my local quilt/vacuum shop was running a special $10 off a maintenance and repair check on your sewing machine. Since I hadn't taken mine in in quite awhile, I decided to take advantage of the special. They say it may be a week before I get it back. EEEEK!!! But at least it'll be all clean! As soon as I get My Precious home, I plan on finishing those travel wallets.

I have been working on some paper items while my machine is MIA. I'm making envelope and corner bookmark sets. These are GREAT promotional items for your business! I use them myself! I usually give a bookmark as a free gift with purchases made in my shops. I use the mini envelopes to put my business cards in also.

Recently, I ran across a blog that posted online handmade markets, so I decided to see what was available besides Artfire and Etsy. I found two that I decided to give a whirl. One is called Blujay. There are no listing fees and only a 2.5% selling fee. The other I decided to try out is Winkelf. This one is absolutely free if you get the basic setup. So you may want to check those out for yourself if you're thinking of expanding your online store(s). You can find the links to my shops there on the left side of my blog page.

So, that's about all I've been up to! What have you been busy doing?

Monday, May 25, 2009

What is Memorial Day?

I have just found out that someone had to do a Google search to find out what Memorial Day was all about. I cannot tell you how much that saddens--and worries--me. Is Memorial Day about a day off work and cookouts? No, it is not. It's about honoring those that served and died for our country so we could be free. It is not a "happy" holiday, it is a somber one. So, please don't wish anyone a "Happy" Memorial Day. And maybe, if you have time between grilling and playing games, remember those that gave their lives for this country. And if you happen to shed a tear or two for them, don't be ashamed of it. It shows you truly remember and appreciate what those brave men and women did for us. For our families. So we can have a day off work and cookout with friends and family. And if you do have a minute or two in your busy day today, maybe you could say a quick prayer for those that are still fighting for our freedom. Amen.

And PLEASE tell your children what this day is all about. Don't let them have to Google it to find out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Organizing Time

I have a little dilemma that maybe my fellow crafters out there can help me with. I would like to know how you organize your crafting time--especially if you sell things. Do you devote so many hours per day/week/month to your craft or do you just craft when you find the time in your busy schedule? Do you write a schedule for the day/week/month? Do you make a list of goals that you want to accomplish for any given day?

The reason I ask these questions is because I read an article a fellow Twitterer posted that said if you treat your hobby like a hobby instead of like a business, it will never become a business. It said to set reasonable goals and to put yourself on a schedule where you can devote specific time/hours to your craft. I'd like to try this so I can see if it really makes a difference in my sales, but I'm wondering how best to do this. Should I set myself up to work a certain number of hours every week or play it day by day? Should I devote so much time to making certain items every week, or should I just make whatever I feel like at the time?

So, my question to you is: how do you schedule your crafting time and decide what to work on (if you make more than one type of item)? Do you have a set schedule? Let me know!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Smell of Spring

My favorite spring scent is lilacs. Oh, how I love lilacs! Such a pretty flower with a not-to-overpowering smell! They are one of my favorite spring flowers (I also enjoy tulips and daffodils). We happen to have a lilac bush in our backyard and a lilac tree in the front yard. For the past couple of years, they either haven't bloomed or they get hit with a frost before they can even blossom. Very disappointing.

Well, this was a good year for our lilacs. They were in full bloom when I got home from vacation this past weekend. I was SO happy to see them! So, today, I couldn't resist temptation and I cut a few blooms (don't worry, still plenty left on the tree!) and brought them inside. I arranged them in cups and put them in the bathroom, dining room, my computer room, and fabric room. They smell SO wonderful!!

I even cut some to try to dry out. I thought I might use them in sachets and eye pillows. Just imagine how wonderful your clothes would smell if you put a lilac sachet in your drawers (ok, that didn't sound quite right). Or how lovely it would be if you could lay down for a few minutes with a warm eye pillow over tired eyes and just breathe in the lilac scent. Oh, life would be wonderful indeed!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Home at Last!

I've made it back to PA safe and sound! Although the "safe" part of it was a bit sketchy when we flew into Erie. The winds were extremely gusty and they threw that little jet all over the place when we were landing. Talk about white knuckles! The humorous part was the fact that half the people on the plane headed straight for the bathrooms when we deboarded lol.

Although I miss my family, I'm glad to be home. I missed Mike and all my critters. My poor kitties were made to stay outside the whole time I was gone. But, Mama's home now so they can come in the house lol. I really missed my Scooter--she's my little lovey dovey. Although she's not little anymore! Mike had the audacity to let her grow up while I was gone. Now she's the size of Jinx (who weighs 13 lbs). Not quite as heavy, but just as tall and a bit longer.

Except for Saturday (the day I came home), the weather has been pretty nice. A bit cool compared to TN, but sunny. Today and tomorrow will be very nice days. Supposed to get to 65º today and 70º tomorrow. I've heard that it hasn't really warmed up here yet. I believe we'll probably go from winter to summer--no spring weather at all except for rain.

It was nice to see that the trees have gotten their leaves back and flowers are blooming while I was gone. When I left everything was still brown and ugly. The grass is even thick and green. PA is a pretty state when everything is green.

So now that I'm finally home, I'll have to get back to work. I plan to make some new items for my stores: wallet purses, tea pouches, and maybe even some dolls and stuffed animals. I do have two custom orders to work on first, but after that, I plan to get creative!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Christmas Day

Yesterday afternoon we had a Christmas get together. It was pretty fun and everyone came. Of course, I was basically the only one handing out Christmas presents, but that was ok. It was great to see everyone opening them and they all really liked what I made.

The kids loved their coloring totes and monster dolls. The women really liked their notepad holders, and the guys liked their things as well. I did have to tell them what the litter bags were, but that's ok. I figured I would lol.

I even gave my Dad a gag gift without meaning to. I made him a book weight and when he took it out of the box and held it up it looked like, well, man parts lol. I had to tell him what it really was lol. From then on he called them testes lol. So funny.

I also went to my great nephew Boogie's soccer game yesterday morning. I probably shouldn't have because I paid for it later. It was pretty hot out and we were sitting right in the sun. I got a migraine last night and I think that was the reason. I went to bed around 9:00 last night. I feel better this morning, but I think I should stay out of the sun for a couple of days. Just not used to that--or the heat.

All in all, I'm having a great time. Friday, I'm going to the zoo with two of my nieces and their little ones. It'll be fun. I haven't been to a zoo in years--I love the zoo. I plan to get lots of pictures.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Great Giveaway!

I usually don't post giveaways on my blog, but I couldn't resist posting this one! You'll find this particular giveaway at and there will be 20 winners! The giveaways include jewelry, fabric, patterns, bookmark, beauty products and more! Be sure to check it out and post a comment for your chance to win!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vacation Update

So far I've had a good time here. Saturday I went to my great nephew's seventh b-day party. Sunday, I visited with my niece and new great nephew. Monday I went back over to my niece's because she wanted me to show her how to make beer butt chicken (made it with chicken broth instead). Yesterday me and my Mom went to JoAnn's. Bought more than I should, but well, you know how that goes lol. And today I'll be hanging out with one of my brothers.

It has rained here a bit, but yesterday was pretty nice and the rest of the week looks dry and warm. I'm not sure I'm quite ready for 80º yet, but it sure beats 40º! I think I can adjust!

Friday, April 17, 2009

All Ready!

I am VERY excited about my vacation! Tomorrow afternoon, I will be down south! I started my packing last night. Have almost everything packed and ready to go (except for last minute items). I'm trying to use just one big suitcase because they charge for each bag. What doesn't fit, I'll be sending down via UPS. Believe it or not, it will probably be cheaper than just taking an extra bag with me. Crazy! So right now I'm in the process of deciding what to carry with me and what to send.

I'm not taking many clothes, but I am taking Christmas presents so therein is my dilemma with trying to fit everything in one bag. If it weren't for those, I could get away with a medium sized bag instead of my large one.

Tomorrow night, I'll be going to my great nephew's (who I call Boogie Face) b-day party. He'll be seven. I don't know if he knows I'm coming or not, but wouldn't it be fun if he didn't and I just showed up at his party??

I only have a couple of projects to make (which won't take me long at all) before I go, so I'm good to go! I decided not to take any fabric or anything with me and I don't have time to cut out any projects beforehand. I'll be going to JoAnn's while I'm down there, so if I get the sewing bug before I get home, I can always buy what fabric and supplies I'll need.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I am very quickly whittling down my sewing list! These little monster dolls were one (or three) of the items I needed to make before I left on my trip. Two of them are belated b-day presents and one is a Christmas present. The pink and green go to a brother and sister (the b-day presents) and the little blue one goes to my 16 month old great nephew.

I think they're too adorable! They are another pattern from Bit of Whimsy Prims. Just love them!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yearly Trip

It's that time of year...time for my yearly trip down south to see my family. It's been a bit longer than I intended since my last trip at Christmas in 2007. But, unfortunately, we had a very long winter this year and I wanted to wait until the weather was "safe".

I'm VERY excited because I'll be staying for three weeks instead of two like I normally do!! Since I don't really have a job per se to worry about, I can stay a little longer. I'll be leaving on the 18th (just a couple of weeks away!) and staying until the 4th of May. I will have to put my etsy and Artfire shops on vacation mode during the time I'll be gone. No problem!

I have a few sewing projects I need to finish before I leave: three monsters (whose limbs are all sewn & stuffed. Just waiting for chenille to go on sale for bodies), a new purse for myself (which is all cut out and ready to go. Probably work on that today), a camera case (have to figure that one out), and a wallet for my niece (going blind on that one too). But it shouldn't be a problem. Most of them are either a couple hour or one day projects.

Since I'll be going for three weeks this time, I plan to take some sewing projects with me just in case I get bored lol. Might even get my mom or niece to help me sew some things! I've burned a lot of patterns onto a CD to take with me too. I plan to have everyone look through everything so I can get a list together for gifts. This will help me tremendously come Christmas time.

So, all in all, I'm very excited now that I know exactly when I'll be going! Can't wait to see my new great nephew, whom I've never met--he's 16 months old now. My niece will be picking me up at the airport so he'll be there right when I arrive!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wallet Purse

Since I plan to make my yearly trip down south next month, I thought that instead of carrying a big, bulky purse, I would make myself a small purse that would just hold my necessities: cell phone, sunglasses, cards, and money. So, this is what I made and I absolutely love it! It was rather easy to put together and I added more pockets than what the pattern called for (one can never have too many pockets).

Inside is a zippered pocket for money (including change), another pocket for receipts and misc items, and eight card wallets (which I won't be using all of those since I only have three cards I take with me).

On the outside back of the purse, I added another pocket that will hold my sunglasses and cell phone. The purse has a front flap and closes with velcro. I may have to make some of these to put in my etsy and artfire shops!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I finished making 11 bookmarks last night. They are very pretty if I do say so myself lol. I made them from paper and card stock and then I laminated them this morning. They are listed in both my etsy store and my Artfire shop. Please ignore the etsy pictures--they look terrible. I think they changed their sizing or something.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Project Basket Finished

So, here's what I do. I cut up several projects, put them in ziplocs, and throw them in a basket I have sitting on my cutting table. That way, I can just grab and go. Well, recently (ok a month or more ago) I had decided to use up all my scraps for whatever projects I could. So, I cut a TON of small items (notepad holders, tissue cozies, glasses cases, checkbook covers, cup cozies, coasters, and card wallets) and put them all in ziplocs according to what they were.

At any rate, I finally finished them all!! Yay me! So now I can finish up the rest of my Christmas gifts I hadn't gotten to yet lol. I know that sounds funny, but rather then sending gifts last year, I decided to wait until I went down south for my yearly visit and take them with me. I usually don't go down for Christmas (weather) so I never get to see anyone open their presents from me.

So, the other night, I finished up my SIL's present. I had already made her a purse but I needed to make a matching checkbook cover, cell phone case, and notepad holder. Well, the notepad holder is Tigger because she collects Tigger things (which I understand because I collect Mickey) and I always try to make her something with Tigger.

Today I hope to make a purse for my niece. This is the first time I'll be making this particular purse so I hope it turns out well. The fabric she picked is SO pretty too! I'm rather excited to see how it will turn out.

So there are lots of new things to look at in both my Artfire and Etsy stores!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Shop

Well, I haven't posted lately because there hasn't really been much to post about! As far as projects go, I've still been working on my project basket. I hope to finish it off by the end of this weekend if all goes right. Then I will have to make a purse for a niece. Then I have a new idea for kids I want to work on: an activity tote!

Meanwhile, I did open another online shop. It's on Artfire-another fantastic place to sell and buy handmade goods! They were having a GREAT deal for the first 5,000 sellers to sign up and I couldn't pass it! I do have a few things listed: java jackets, bookmarks, tissue cozies, checkbook covers, glasses cases. I'll be working on the inventory in that asap.

And those are my updates!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wonderful Comment

I recently had a repeat customer convo me to leave a very nice comment. It's these types of comments that really make a person feel good about themselves. I for one, truly appreciate them also. I was just so touched by it, that I decided to post it so everyone can see what she had to say:

"I must tell you that you are the type of seller that makes buying and selling on Etsy a pleasure. It's such a comfort to know that I'm dealing with someone who is honest and also a good friend.
My best to you,

Isn't that sweet?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crafting Ideas

I was straightening up my computer room upstairs when I came across some old craft ideas I had cut out of some old Workbasket magazines. There were some neat ideas that could still be used today, so I thought I would type them up and just save them onto my computer. So that's what I did and I thought I would share w/the rest of the world, so here they are. I hope you enjoy them!

Thimble Pin Cushion
Stuff thimble w/polyfill.
Cut a piece of velvet ½” larger than diameter of thimble.
Tuck securely around polyfill.

Sewing Boxes
Cigar box
Glue two thicknesses of batting on outside top of lid.
Glue fabric to entire box.

Potpourri Heart
Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter
Glue lace around cookie cutter
Fill with potpourri
Glue ribbon around edges
Make a loop w/ribbon and glue to top for hanging

Note Holder
Rat Trap
Remove bait holder, trigger, and staple from trap
Spray paint
Paint or glue picture of mouse
Write “Notes” across top &
“Not for mice
Not for cheese
Leave a note
If you please” on bottom
Glue magnet or hanging bracket on back

Water Bracelets
Aquarium tubing
Food Coloring
Measure tubing around wrist. Add 1”
Heat and seal one end of tube using lighter
Heat other end and insert pencil ½”
Fill tube w/colored water
Add sparkles
Insert sealed end into open end.
Heat and seal.

Doll House Sofa Set
Fabric scraps
Cut four pieces of sponge for sofa back, seat, and arms
Glue fabric onto pieces
Assemble and glue couch together
Cover small piece of sponge for ottoman

Greeting Card Bookmarks
Hole punch
Crochet thread
Cut picture from card
Punch hole ¼” from bottom
Using 15- 8” lengths of crochet thread, make a tassel
Attach tassel to punched hole.

Greeting Cards
Heavy Interfacing
Iron on transfer
Paints or chalk
Cut interfacing to fit envelopes
Apply transfer to interfacing
Color background w/paints or chalks
Christmas Tags
Colored paper
White paper
Cut pictures from cards w/decorative scissors
Cut piece of colored paper slightly larger than picture
Cut a slightly larger piece from white
Glue together.

Storage Cubes
Cardboard Boxes
Fabric, Wallpaper, or contact paper
Select boxes for size and durability
Remove top flaps and trim edges straight
Cover outside with choice of covering
Arrange as needed

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Projects

I have been working on some new projects for the past two days. For some odd reason, I
felt like working with paper. I have tons and tons of scrapbook paper (haven't scrapbooked in five yrs), so decided I should do something with it. So I started making mini envelopes. They're so cute!! They're just big enough to hold a gift card, money, or a business card.
Or you could punch a hole in them and use them as gift tags! I'm making them in an assortment of colors and styles.

I also tried my hand at making corner bookmarks. They came out pretty nicely with not too much muss or fuss lol. They just slip onto your book's page corner so your place is marked nicely.

I will be selling both of these items in my etsy store so be sure to check them out! I also posted pics of both in my Misc album here. I can make either of these items in colors or styles of your choosing (i.e. animal, colors, elegant, fun, etc.).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fat Quarters

For me, fat quarters are hard to resist--especially when they go on sale--because they come in the most wonderful and fun designs! Most of the time you can't buy that particular fabric off the bolt either. Plus, they're great for making smaller projects.

So, after much debating whether or not I should upload all my fat quarters onto my fabric albums site, I decided to go ahead and do it. I have a total of 92 lol. Wow. I guess I've been "collecting" them. Maybe someone out there will see a fat quarter they like and will HAVE to have something made with it :)

You can see all my fat quarters, along with all my other fabrics here:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Little Early Spring Cleaning

Yesterday I decided to take a break from sewing and do a little spring cleaning. Since Mike wasn't coming home for lunch, I took advantage. I cleaned out and rearranged my kitchen cabinets.

I started with the two small cabinets that we keep glasses and cups in. Way too many!! We don't get many visitors, so I thought I would weed all the glasses and cups we didn't use out. I packed them in newspaper and put them in two (good sized) boxes and put them in the attic. That left me with two empty shelves once I got the glasses and cups I decided to keep back in the cabinet. So, I put my potatoes, onions , and chips (which were on the baker's rack in the dining room) on one shelf, and some smaller appliances (coffee grinder, coffee press, tea brewer) on the bottom shelf.

After that, I rearranged my baker's rack and put my Cuisinart processor attachments on it, my crockpot, and the toaster. So now I had some extra counterspace! Which I happened to be complaining about the other night while trying to fix dinner and no room to work! Now the trick will be to keep Mike from filling in that extra space! He's like his mother and thinks there should be something in every corner and nook and cranny--no empty spaces! It's annoying because I don't like clutter.

Then I went on to rearrange my cabinets a bit. I got all of my saucepans and pots in one cabinet! I also put all my baking pans on one shelf. So now everything is basically together and I don't have to open three different cabinets just to cook dinner. I still have two more cabinets to straighten out, but those won't take very long.

But I feel so much better now that my kitchen is a little more user friendly--not to mention a bit cleaner lol. Now if I could just get that bookcase out of the hallway......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feeling Accomplished

I've been feeling very accomplished this week! On Sunday, I decided to start cutting out my interfacing for all those scrap projects so all I would have to do would be to grab a project and make it. It really cuts back on time if your prep work is done ahead of time. It didn't take as long as I thought it would either--so that was a bonus!

By cutting out all my interfacing, I've been able to get more projects made this week! So far, I've made two coaster sets (plus an extra for a free gift), eight Java Jackets, four tissue packs, three checkbook covers, two notepad holder, two glasses cases, two card wallets, and one pouch. Whew! Not too bad for a week's work!

Most of these are being listed in my Sassy store, but some are going to be free gifts and others I may keep to either list in another online store or hold onto in case I decided to do any craft fairs this year.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Java Jackets

Here are my Java Jackets! I'm so excited by these. I did a little research to see the different varieties that people make and came up with my own unique idea: there is a tab on the back with velcro that attaches to the cup. I also added a pocket on the front of the jacket for money or gift cards! I will be making several more of these so look for them in my shop!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Card Wallets

I have just listed some cute little card wallets in my store today. These are great for cash, credit cards, coins, or receipts. They are small enough to fit in a jacket pocket or even the back pocket of your jeans.

These are one of the items that I'm considering giving away as promotional items when a purchase is made from my pattern store. I'm hoping it will encourage folks to stop and take a look at what handmade items I have to offer.

Using Up Scraps

Yesterday afternoon I decided that I would use up my smaller pieces of scrap fabrics. I had a drawer full of them. So, I brought out a few at a time and started cutting them into some smaller projects. I'll try to cut the rest today. I have quite a few things to work on now.

Needless to say, there will be some new items in my etsy store very soon! Glasses cases, checkbook covers, tissue packs, cup cozies, card wallets, and coasters just to name a few. They will all be unique because I had quite a few interesting fabrics lol.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sample Box

I am thinking of selling sample boxes in my etsy store. The box would have three to five samples of smaller items in it. These may or may not be items in my store . I came upon this idea because I had participated in The Spotted Box ( I didn't seem to get any orders from that, so I decided what if I made my own sample box with my own items instead? Customers could see a sampling of my handiwork before they actually purchased an item.

Also, I'm thinking of giving away a free sample of my work to those that purchase from my Lots O' Patterns shop. Maybe draw them to my Sassy store that way. I just need to find some way of promoting my Sassy store a bit more so I can draw some business there.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Moved Fabric Albums

After having difficulties with Photobucket, I have decided to move my fabric albums to another site. So, I chose Shutterfly. I really love it! Very easy to use and it has a couple of features that I really needed. I can make folders and then have categories in each folder. For example, I have my main folder "Fabrics" and in that folder there are my subcategories: animal, floral, novelty, babies & children, and misc.

I also like the website feature. After you download your pictures, you can then get your own website on which to feature them. It's so easy to use too because you can either download a picture at a time, or your whole album! Then you can rearrange them however you want.

It's really great for my fabric albums. Hopefully this site will make it a lot easier for my customers to browse through. If you're wondering why I have albums of all my fabrics--it's for custom orders. Sometimes a customer will see a product they like but would like it in a certain fabric. With pictures of all the fabrics I have in stock, they can see what I have and choose what they'd like. It's just a bit more convenient for the customers as well as myself.

If you'd like to check out my new album site, here is the link: Fabric Albums

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What a Month!

It's been quite a month! I had gallbladder surgery on the 14th and it has just stopped me dead in my tracks! People were telling me that I would be feeling great either a couple of days after--or the next day. What lies!!! I was down for about a week. I'm just now feeling better. Well, ok that's a fib. I was feeling better on Thursday but I messed up and did way too much (vacuumed, laundry, changed the sheets on the bed, took out trash, cleaned the bathroom) and put myself down for another day.

To top it off, I feel really bad because I forgot about my parents' b-days (they were on the 18th & 20th) and two nieces whose b-days are the 29th and 30th. Ugh! Not like I knew what to get/make them, but that's not the point--I forgot them completely.

Plus the surgery has really put me behind in my sewing. I'm the type of person who HATES to get behind because I feel as if I can never catch up! Thank goodness I didn't have any custom orders waiting to be finished. Now I will drive myself crazy (and trust me, that's not really a far drive) trying to get things made. And of course at this point, I don't even know what I want to make so I don't know why I'm so wound up about it lol.

But hopefully in a week or two, there will be some new projects to post on my blog and in my etsy store.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Well, I believe I have finally finished all my Valentine crafting. Still debating whether to make some sachets or not. It's getting pretty close to Valentine's Day so I may skip those. I meant to get more things made, but surgery held me up for a bit. I didn't really want to have a lot of leftover holiday items either, so there you have it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Valentine Coasters

I managed to list the coasters I made for Valentine's in my etsy shop today. Two different sets of wine coasters--both made from organic felt--and three sets of "regular" coasters made from V-day fabrics. Very cute all.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ideas Needed

My niece has asked me to send some Valentine's items to sell in her massage shop. I'm not sure what to make. So far, I've only gotten as far as coasters. If anyone has any ideas, I'd be happy to hear them! If you give me an idea I decide to use--I'll even send you something as a Thank You!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I have decided to make iron-on appliques out of some fabrics that I have. Most of the fabrics I am using have bigger prints on them like dogs, Disney, kids' things, etc. It's a great way for me to downsize some of my fabric stash, while making something useful for crafters. You can use these for any number of crafting projects: totes, purses, clothing, jackets, etc. These will be for sale in my etsy store.