Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I did read on the Spoonflower blog that the price for a yard of your own custom fabric is $18.00. Do you think that is pricey? Personally, I don't think it is too high. I've looked at (but have yet to purchase) many designer fabrics that are at least that high. Maybe it would depend on what I planned to use the fabric for?
I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this!
Pssst -- check out their flickr pool, and be prepared to be inspired!
Monday, July 28, 2008
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbs margarine (melted)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup oats (uncooked -- any type)
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
- Add ingredients to bread machine, according to your bread machine's instructions.... usually liquid, then fats, then dry ingredients, with the yeast on the very top.
- Bake on regular light setting. Works great on the instant setting as well.
**Very important tip -- make sure you start out with a great dough ball. Otherwise, this bread will be dough-y in the center. During the first kneading stage (which is usually after the first minute or two, and within the first three to four minutes of beginning), look at your dough. It should look/feel slightly sticky, but stay in one ball. If it is in two or more separate dough balls -- add a little water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is sticky and in one ball. If it is batter-like -- add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it sticks together as described above. (This tip applies to all bread machine recipes, too.)
Simple, inexpensive. Delicious.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Now, through July 31st, they are hosting a Tote-ally Crafty Bag Challenge! I had to jump on this one, you know. After all, they are offering a free gift certificate to fabric.com, some crafty supplies (like a new rotary cutter!), and several awesome crafting books. (You knitters really need to peek at the prizes... here's a hint!) There are four different categories you can enter: best use of yarn, embellished/bling, eco chic, and omni-crafter. I entered one of my totes in the Eco Chic section....
I chose this tote because it is made 100% from reclaimed fabrics, and I don't think it really looks recycled. I'm crossing my fingers!
Friday, July 25, 2008
I have uploaded a free custom order form for anyone to use. You can go here to get it, or under the Tutorials and Patterns section on the left. It's a Word document, so I hope it's usable for most people. If not, drop me a comment, and I'll try a different format.
To make my clipboard, I used items I found around the house. First, I came across an old, handpainted tray that I had purchased at a church garage sale a few years ago. It was just gathering dust in my garage, so I decided to use this as my base.
Next, to keep my order forms together, I chose a cute embellished clothes pin I had received as a freebie from karaku's adorable Etsy shop. A regular office binder clip would also work well. I attached the pin to the tray with my favorite adhesive, E6000. (My brother swears by Gorilla Glue, so whatever works!)
Finally, embellishments! I chose some Scrabble tiles and an old thimble that had found its way into my crafty stash. Again, this was all glued down to the tray with E6000.
For now, I prop my clipboard against the wall, next to where I work. I think I would prefer that it was hanging on the wall, but I'll get to that another day. All I would have to do is install a picture hanger -- easy!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This is by far my brightest tote. Wow.
One more important announcement:
I (well, my Etsy shop) will be taking a vacation in a few days.... from July 27th through August 10th.
I may (or may not) be updating my blog during that time. My guess is that I will......
My Etsy shop will reopen on August 11th, with many new additions. I have several new designs in the works for totes, pouches and pincushions! Whew! I am also working on some new scents for my sachets. I'm not sure if they will function as dryer sachets or just nice-smelling sachets. I'll have to experiment with them and get back to you on that.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
A sweet lady in the swap had pity on me, and asked if she could make me a pincushion anyway. Like I said, very sweet lady. I agreed, as long as I could make her a pincushion as well. She asked for a pincushion with an Americana theme. What?! I did a quick search of Americana themed fabrics to get some ideas. This is what I came up with:
This was quite a challenge for me, as it was well out of my comfort zone! It measures about 3 inches in diameter, with a large jar cap as its base. It is about 2 inches tall. The dark blue is some recycled wool felt scraps, and the other felt is acrylic. The buttons are mostly wooden ones from my button jar. It is stuffed with polyfil. It turned out how I envisioned it, and she says she loves it!And now, for my awesome pincushion....
How cute is that! My two, no, three loves in one: sewing, coffee, and pincushions! I wish I had included some other item next to it, so you could see its scale. It's actually about the size of a real tea cup! Again, so cute! Thanks, Michelle.... I'd love to swap again any time!
Speaking of swaps....
I did sign up for the Go Green and Recycle Swap (of course) so you'll be hearing all about my recycled craftiness in the weeks to come.
Also, if anyone would like to make and swap baby onesies, please check out this thread. I think it would be fun!
A little side note....
Sorry, no tote to post tonight, either. Maybe two tomorrow? Baby Owen and Monkey 7 are each running a tiny fever, so that has delayed any tote-making for today (understandably!) They're both sleeping now (and so here I am) and I'd better go get sewing while I can. I wonder if they have something that's going around....? No other major symptoms; just a little tired, and slightly decreased appetites. Hmmmmm.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The technique I learned uses a sturdy pattern, such as cardstock or a manila office file and a sharpie. To make your own patterns, you'll need the following:
- your original pattern
- a file folder or cardstock
- sharpie marker
- scissors to cut out your pattern
- rotary cutter (you can use the scissors if you like, but the rotary cutter is super-easy)
- rotary cutting mat
- your pre-washed and pressed fabric
You will definitely need to press your fabric for this technique. No cheating or being lazy on this!
Next, trace your original pattern onto the cardstock or file folder. It's helpful to include any special instructions (like how many pieces to cut, fold lines, grain lines, etc.) onto the new pattern piece. Be sure to label it! Then, cut it out.
(Please notice my brand new, yet ornately decorated cutting mat. Thank you, Monkey 7.)Next, place your pattern piece on the fabric, following any special instructions required for that piece.
Now you are going to trace the pattern directly onto the fabric using a sharpie. You can either hold the pattern with your hand, which is fine for smaller pieces such as these, or you can use pattern weights (like these, which are little artworks themselves, and only $5!!) I'm sure it's fine to weight the pattern with anything, really, as long as it holds the pattern still. Trace quickly and lightly -- no slow, heavy, perfect tracing is necessary.
Next, carefully cut out your pattern with the rotary cutter. You can use scissors, but I would worry about the piece shifting, especially if you're cutting through more than one thickness of fabric. But then again, I haven't tried that, so it may work fine.
And there you have it! Super-easy, and very quick, too.
And now, for my new fabric....I recently discovered fabricsgalore's neat shop! She has lots of adorable japanese prints, which I am a total sucker for. And her fabric is very reasonably priced. And she's having a summer sale. And she's a very sweet person to work with. This is what I ordered:
From the white and blue car fabric, I can just see a little romper or some pajama pants for my little boy Monkeys, can't you? And I have some back-to-school pencil pouches planned for those adorable apples! The Home Sweet Home fabric is just so darn cute, but I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it yet.
As for freebies, fabricsgalore sent a ton! Here are just a few:
The little pink daschund fabric is a whole 1/4 yard!
I'm not going to have a tote to post today. I will be making one, just not during daylight (photo-taking) hours.... so I'll still technically have a tote done today! I am going to clean my house now. It has been a little neglected these last couple of days, and needs some major tidying. Tomorrow, I'll be posting a cool new item that I just received in a swap! See you then....
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
A little treat for me...
I have been spoiling myself lately with my own Etsy finds. I really must stop shopping. Really.
I found this tiny, adorable acorn baby necklace, made by Rosemary4Remembrance.
I came across one of her little needle-felted creations in the Etsy Gift Guides... a perfect, tiny pumpkin, and I had to take a peek in her shop. Ohhhh..... it is adorable. I had such a hard time deciding which little baby needed to come live with me. Should I choose the pea pod? The strawberry? In the end, I decided on the dark acorn baby. Which one will you bring home?
And finally, today's tote....I made this from a pair of denim cargo capris (hence the side pockets on the exterior -- neat!) and a really cute skirt.
Hopefully, I'll have another tote to share tomorrow. And I did get some super-cute japanese fabric in the mail today-- pictures tomorrow!
Monday, July 14, 2008
I think it turned out pretty cute, and notice in the top photo, there's even a cowboy with the name Owen!
This is an unusual bag, I think, but that's why I like it. My favorite part of the bag is the lining I used. It was a very cool shirt.... if only it had fit me (it was huge) I would have kept it for myself! But since I don't yet know how to alter and reconstruct clothing for myself, it became part of a neat bag.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I think it's fresh and pretty.
An interesting ratio....
I read an article in The Storque today about hearts-to-sales ratios. I am not sure how important or relevant this ratio is, but I can see that it could be a helpful tool to gauge your frequency of sales. One interpretation of the ratio, according to the article, could be, "Historically, for every ______ persons that hearts my shop, I will then get one sale." I was pleasantly surprised to see that my ratio is 3.64... I thought it was more in the 5 area. (Before being a featured seller, I think that 5-7 would have been accurate. Sales have been up since then.) It can also help you set goals to lower your ratio. Interesting.
You'll have to drop by my treasury to see and appreciate these amazing finds
I finished a pretty tote today, but didn't get a chance to photograph it. It will be posted tomorrow afternoon, so be sure to drop by my store to take a peek!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
So, naturally, I have been making a few sachets.
I also ordered a few other spices and dried goodies to see if I can come up with some more nice sachet scents. (I've had a few requests for those, so we'll see what I can concoct.)
I've also been making quite a few pincushions lately.
OH! Speaking of pincushions.... this one was mentioned in Paper Girl Production's adorable blog! (Thanks, Belle!) You guys should really check out her blog.... lots of nifty info on how to, well, write a decent blog. (Plus, it's just so darn cute.) I will definitely be dropping by there!
Another sweet lady mentioned me in her blog, A Mile a Minute, last week... and she just happened to purchase one of my wallets last September.
Drop by her blog, and check out her testimonial on this wallet... pretty amazing! (Thanks, Vickie!) She has some very lovely photography posted, as well, so be sure to pay her a visit!
I have also made a couple of totes over the last few days. I listed this one a couple of days ago.And I listed this one today.