Monday, November 16, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new!

Last week I was reminiscing about old things; old designs, old orders. This week is all about NEW things. I had a wonderfully domesticated weekend (I'm not sure that came out right), I mean to say I got to try some new domestic-type tasks that I haven't done before. They came out well for the most part, and I'm really having a blast with some of me new found abilities.
1) Wood Working:
Of course I'm still in carpentry school, and while I felt like we weren't progressing at all for's finally starting to come together. Thursday night we made a picnic table. It was the most beautiful picnic table ever. (Not really, but in the same sense that a marathoner drinks water at the end of the race and thinks it's the best water they've ever had) I wish I had brought a camera...but I guess you've seen one picnic table you've seen them just close your eyes and imagine. It was fun being expected to jump right in and just use tools I've never used before. For this project it was a circular saw, electric drill, electric screw driver and of course the requisite hand tools. (I have my own bag of tools bought lovingly by my own saw, my own hammer, my own toolbelt...) It was fun being able to jump into a project and accomplish it.
2) Quilting:
I have never made a real quilt before. I've done smaller quilt like projects, but this weekend I designed and made a baby quilt. When it's finished (and given to it's recipient) I'll post the pictures. I'm so excited with how it came out! I like the colors, the design, and I like the fact that I could do it! It opens up the world of new projects I can do!
3) Bread Making:
We've had the grain and grain mill for a little less then a year, and while I use it a lot I've not gotten into a regular pattern of bread making. And when I do, I typically make the dough in the breadmaker first and then shape it and bake it. (I hate the shape of the bread-maker loaf with the big hole in the bottom from the kneading-paddle) Yesterday I decided I was going to try my hand (ha ha) at hand kneading the dough. So the bread started with fresh milled hard white wheat, I mixed, kneaded, rose, kneaded, rose, shaped, rose and baked. Jon and I stayed up watching last week's Community on the lap top and waited to try one of the first loaves. From the outset I didn't know what to expect...but after the first rise I felt more confident. It was HUGE! I didn't expect that much of a rise with a coarse-grind whole wheat bread. We ate some right out of the oven last night with butter dripping off...then again this morning sliced and toasted. Good tast, texture, etc. It was a success...and really not nearly as hard or tricky as I thought it would be. I downloaded the NY Times well known No-Knead recipe thinking I might need it in case I couldn't knead well...and while I still may try it...I can knead. It's actually very easy. Besides a little elbow grease, it helps to have an excited little girl. Laurel helped me with my projects all weekend.
The projects started because she wanted to make an apple pie, which we did on Saturday morning. We've been having so much fun making our homemade pies with our homemade crust (typically a mixture of soft white wheat and oat groat flours) that we made a sweet potato pie yesterday. This recipe included apple sauce (of which we really don't eat or keep on hand) so I actually stopped and made some with some apples we had on hand. I'm not joking...this was an all out Little House on the Prairie kind of weekend. We stopped just short of churning our own butter. I'm loving it. But next time I'll remember to take some pictures...I've been neglecting the camera lately. I forgot to take pictures of the purse I made for my sister's birthday, the pies, the bread, the table, etc. It seems I can't only remember so many things at one time before my brain fries. Ah well...2 loaves of bread, 2 pies and one quilt is good enough for me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

I just realized that this past weekend was the first anniversary of my business. It was the weekend of my first craft fair, and last week would have been one year since my first ETSY sale. I wouldn't trade any of it, despite the long exhausting hours. And this is why...below is a sketch done on the night I started designing my product ideas. This was something I sketched that I felt I couldn't make without a lot of fact I think I even blogged about it back then. Today I can honestly say I could make that without a problem, and I could probably do it in less than an hour with fabric I have on hand. Pretty awesome considering I thought I'd have to take hours and hours of classes to be able to do something like that, and in the end it just took trial and error.

In honor of a year of designs I thought I'd post some of my favorites. The design at the top of the blog was my first original design, and very first finished Maggie Blue product. It sold at my very first show. I'm proud to say that all designs were my own, I didn't use patterns for anything. Of course that made for a lot of mistakes, but also a lot of fun.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Mermaid Costume

This was a fun one to make. My daughter wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween, and thankfully, being only 4 years old she didn't have a huge opinion on how it needed to look. I hate the standard 2-piece Disney mermaid fare...and the idea of a 4 year old wearing a seashell bikini just seems tacky to me. So I knew I wanted something that covered, and secondly I wanted her to be able to walk around easily. I decided early on to make a simple pillowcase style top, and then have the dress come to a point where I would put the fins coming down to the ground. I had to play around with it a little to get the fins to look like fins. In the end I got close...I think it could potentially use some more tweaking, but I actually liked the simple home-made quality of it. Plus I love the Amy Butler green polka dot fabric, I'm making my way through the last yard or so I have since it's been discontinued. I didn't want to buy more fabric, since I have plenty. So I opted for some subtle flannels I had lying about. I didn't have enough of any one color to make the front and the back the I call it "reversible." If she wants to be blue, she can...if she feels like being green, just flip it around!
The pillowcase top is pretty basic, once it was made I tried it on her and eyeballed where I wanted the point to be...then I cut it. From there I measured the sides of dress to the point to figure out the dimensions of the fins, and measured how long the fins needed to be so that they weren't dragging on the floor. (In reality I laid it out on the floor on top of a roll of paper and traced what I wanted the fin to look like)
The other thing I wanted to make sure of was that the fin retained a fin-like shape. In order to do this I put a piece of fleece in between the layers of cotton. This way once the fins were sewn the fleece would pop out and keep the shape, this seemed to work well. Plus the detailing on the fin really popped because of the added dimension from the fleece.
I did have to go back and tack the front and back fins together a little bit, without it the dress opened up too much and didn't look like fins anymore.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Class has Finally Started!!

Class finally started Tuesday night. For those of you who don't already know, I've enrolled in an 18 month residential carpentry (construction) program. We get to jump into tools and safety tonight and I'm hoping by next week we'll be producing some saw dust!! As expected the class was mostly men. But there was one other woman...and this was the craziest part...she's a chemist too! Seriously. When does that happen? Out of the professional setting I have never met another chemist, let alone a female one...and we're both in the same construction program?!?!

I made a yoga bag for my sister this week, for her birthday. This is the first non-ETSY project I've done in a while. It felt good to get back into sewing after a little break. Here are some pictures of the drawstring style yoga bag. Once again I stand on the basic bag design that I use for everything. It's fully lined which gives it more strength and it has no unfinished edges, which is nice. I made the drawstring by ironing a strip of fabric into a double-fold bias tape. The strap needs to be about 6 inches longer then the drawstring tunnel. That way when it's pulled shut it's long enough to fit over your shoulder, when the bag is opened the strap pretty much disappears.

I love this simplicity of this bag, and plan to use it as a gift bag for the holidays. A smaller version can be a wine-bottle gift bag, a larger version can hang on the back of a seat as a junk bag for kids toys, etc in the car. Especially when you have stores of fabric with no direct purpose...these make great stuff bags, gift bags, tote bags, etc etc etc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Insulated Personlized Lunch Sack

I haven't had a chance to make anything in a while. Between buying this house, planning for the renovation, kids going back to school, myself going back to's been hectic. But today was the first day my daughter got to bring a lunch to school. Now that she's in the preschool class they stay an extra hour on Wendesdays, and therefore they bring a lunch. This was the first lunch-bringing-day. So I set out to make her a little lunch sack to call her own. I didn't use a pattern, just estimated the size, cut it out and went to town. All in all the project takes about 30 minutes if you have everything ready to go.

She was so proud of her little bag with her name in bright colors. I just wish I could be there to see her open it and eat her very first school lunch!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sprouting Grains

So my very first project with this new "becoming Maggie" sort of theme was to sprout some wheat grains. It's something I've looked into before and was ready to buy the sprouting tray, the sprouting seeds, etc etc...until I realized I didn't need any of that. Some wheat from my my bins, a mason jar and some cheesecloth were all that were needed for this project. It was that easy.
So, here were very first jar of sprouted wheat grains.
I used a wide mouth mason jar (because getting enough air into the jar is important to the sprouts), with the lid removed. You will need the rim to hold on the cheesecloth (or a rubber band) but a rim holds tighter, so it makes rinsing and draining (of which there is a fair amount) easier. This project actually couldn't be easier, so it's fun to do with your kids. They love to see something come from much more amazing could a sprout be? I know I was excited to pull the jar out of the cabinet and see all the wormy little fingers growing out of what used to just be grain.

I will digress a little to explain why I have wheat lying I'm sure most people do not. For years I'd toyed with the idea of grinding my own wheat and making my own bread. And for years I thought about it and planned it, and then one day I convinced my husband it was time. So we headed out to the little shop and bought a grain mill and huge buckets of grains. My kids spent days playing with the grain...they still get excited when I open the big bucket. They love to dig their hands in and feel the grains...ok...I do too. (It makes me feel like a pioneer...any one every watch pioneer house on PBS? Loved it.) So this is why I have so many grains. And before you I don't make a lot of bread...yet. But I will. I do however grind my wheat for any recipe we's shockingly simple and fast. So everything we make from brownies to pie has some combination of fresh ground flour. (We've ground everything from oats to kidney beans) The kids have a blast grinding flour too...I swear why people ever waste their money on video games when flour grinders are just as appealing!! Ok, my kids are under 4...I realize this will change, but for now I revel in the fact that they think the amish lifestyle is the coolest.
So here we to sprout grains...I already mentioned the mason jar and the lid.
1) I used a about 3/4 cups of grains to start with, but frankly it doesn't matter. I wouldn't fill the jar more than 1/4 full with grains. You can see from the sprouted pictures that they really fill out the jar. (So don't overfill)
2) Cut the cheesecloth to size and place over the lid, then secure the metal band around it to hold it in place. From here I never took the lid off until I was ready to "harvest" them.
3) Rinse and drain them in the jar, then cover them with tepid water and leave them to sit for about 18 hours. (I keep the jar in a cabinet out of the way and nice and dark)
4) After 18 hrs drain the water and rinse a couple of times. Drain the water again and then put it back in the dark cabinet. Make sure lots of air can get in. You will need to rinse and drain them 2-3 times a day. This isn't an exact science, but it's to keep the mold at this is a step you won't want to skip. (Besides, this is where the magic begins and you don't want to miss it!)

5) After about 24hrs you will see germination begin with the little root tails busting through the grain. Every day that goes by you will see more and more growth. Around 36-48hrs you will see the actual sprout appear. Now, this is where you have to decide when to stop the growth. Every stage of the process brings about different chemical and physical differences, so if you want to eat them raw, use them in salads, throw them in a stir fry...or use them to make a sprouted bread. (My first attempt was an utter I won't be writing that one up yet)
I have read that you will want to let the sprouts sit in the sunlight for up to 2 hours to let the chlorophyl do it's that's what we did. Laurel found a nice sunny spot...we let it soak up the sun and then we sat down and ate our bounty. Laurel said they taste like water beans. I would say they were crunchy with a slightly sweet, almost watermelon-y aftertaste. I would be happy to use them instead of rice or couscous in a cold grain type salad. Of course they are a suitible way to include grains into a RAW-vegan lifestyle.
All in all it was an easy project, and fun to do with kids. Plus, if it gets my little ones eating new and healthy stuff...awesome. This week we'll try our hand at sprouting some other grains...maybe millet. And once I have success with a homemade sprouted bread I'll post it.

JUST A NOTE- I tried millet, which has become my new favorite grain for other things...and it didn't work. Just didn't sprout. This could be for a couple of reasons...
1) I didn't take care of it the way I did the first time with the wheat (and so millet is getting a bad rap)
2) It could be that millet goes through an extra processing step (like pearled or hulled barley) making it unable to sprout...this is a guess
3) Millet is so small that in my jar method it might not be getting enough oxygen since it really packs itself together (also a guess)

Rather than try and figure it out, I'm going to do some beans next, and then I might try millet again sometime in the future. But my warning is to start with a larger grain like wheat.

Holy Moly Life is a-changing

So it's been a million years since I wrote. It's been a heck of a year, what can I say? It was almost a year ago that I began selling products under Maggie Blue Designs. I learned a lot this year, had a lot of fun...and had a lot of frustration. It really revived in me a spirit of design and fun and I am so glad I did it. On that note however, I will not be reopening the store for any custom work. One of the things I learned this year is that it took too much time away from my family, and didn't make me much money. I don't regret it, it was great fun...but I just can't take time away from my family anymore. Granted some of it wasn't fun. I dealt with some real pills...the kind I wouldn't have allowed to bother me in my normal life, but since they were customers I couldn't just tell them what I should have. Some people are just obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious...and thankfully I'm done with that part. Now to be fair the majority of my clients were awesome, and I really think ETSY has created this amazing place where amazing people create and cool people can buy their stuff. And on the whole I'd say only 3-4 of my clients were difficult to deal with...but they really overshadowed the awesome ones...of which I had many.
Since my life is going in a different direction I just don't have time for it right now. I will likely still sell things here and there...but because I feel like stretching my creative muscle...not because I have to. I still have a million sketched ideas that I plan to see come to life...but it will have to work into my schedule. What is this new direction you ask? Well, besides my two kids (2&4 yrs old) and my full time day-job (chemist), I will be going back to school two nights a week to learn construction. Technically it's a residential carpentry program, but it touches on everything in building a house. It's very hands on and I can't wait. In the longterm I have no idea what this will do for me...but in the short time we finally got our offer accepted on a short sale that we put in 4 months ago. We have 3 weeks to close...then the hard work begins. It's an almost complete tear-down. It needs a large addition and the current house will have to be completely stripped, rewired and redone. We are hoping to do as much of it ourselves as we can. Thankfully we have some freedom to do that. While we aren't rich we are very good with our the house we live in now is paid off. Since that's the case we plan to live in it for the next year while we slowly renovate the other property. We are so's 2.5 acres with a creek on the back, tons of mature hardwoods (including magnolia's and pecan trees). We really can't wait to get started on the project...but that means even less time to do other things. But, here's the thing...I don't want to give up on Maggie Blue. I want to change it. I've loved using my creativity this year, and I've loved talking to you guys about your creativity. So, I plan to continue to post things I've made...still have give-a-ways...and I'd like to share some of the how-to's of my projects with you guys. I've learned so much this year, and people have written wonderful things about how they wish they could sew like me. I couldn't "sew like me" this time last year...but I just jumped in head first and learned so much. So I'd like to share a few of my more popular projects with you guys. Like my personalized purse and the monster tote. They are so incredibly easy I swear.
Besides just the design stuff, I want to share the other parts of my life that make up what I consider to fall under the realm of Maggie Blue (not my's more like a at my best). Maggie Blue can do anything, she is fearless. She builds houses and mosaics floors, she designs kids clothing and makes jam. She grinds wheat and makes homemade bread from hand. She can garden, run a marathon and build a tree house. (I can't do all these things of course...but every time I learn a new skill I come closer to being Maggie Blue) And that's my be as much like what I picture her to be.
This week's project was to sprout some wheat grains. My daughter and I started the project on Friday night...and now we have a huge mason jar filled with sprouted wheat grains. In fact, we're sharing a plate of sprouts right now. She says they taste like water beans. I have no idea what that means...but they do have sort of a watermelon-y after taste. They're a little chewy and a little sweet, pretty tasty. I'm surprised. I spent part of my morning reading up on making a loaf of sprouted wheat I will try my hand at that this afternoon. So my first post in this new world of "becoming Maggie" will be about how to sprout grains and then how to make sprouted wheat bread. The first recipe calls for no flour, yeast, salt or sugar. Just sprouted wheat...can you imagine? It's straight out of Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book (the bible of whole grain bread recipes) we'll see how it goes.
In the meantime, wish me luck on this new direction...and send me your ideas, thoughts, projects, etc. I'd love to see them! I want this to be fully interactive...that's how Maggie would like it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back in the groove...the turtle groove

So after finishing an order yesterday I just decided I had to make something new. I just had to. I didn't want to sketch it, I didn't want to measure it...I just wanted to make something. Thankfully I've been doing this long enough that something completely freeform like that usually works out well enough to be used. I remember when that wasn't the case...I made some doosies. But it's all part of the trial and error process.
I had this nice sage green canvas left over from other orders and I decided I wanted to make a turtle. So I started with the turtle itself, and when it was done it made me realize something...I don't like to do things the normal way. As I'm looking at this non-symmetrical turtle I'm picturing a throw rug, a crayon caddy, a placemat, etc etc. And I reaffirmed that I like doing things MY way. I could make a million plain crayon caddy roll-up thing-a-ma-jigs...OR I could make one in the shape of a turtle. One that looked like a rocket. One that looked like a bug. IT IS SO MUCH MORE FUN!! And in the end, it's what makes me stand out. Of course the problem becomes pricing. I'm sure you could find someone selling those crayon rolls for $5...but making a plain fabric item like that doesn't take much time. But when you're planning, designing, doing something new, cutting out custom parts, piecing it together, making it takes time. But they're all my designs, everything is unique, it's what Maggie Blue Designs is known for. Something original, something unique...something just for you. So I hope people realize that. I know some people do, and for them I say thank you. It's people like you that allow me to do business with the motto "originality over quanitity". I just made that's not really my motto. Seriously...that would be a boring motto.
So here we are, the Hipster Turtle Purse. (Hipster because I made the strap long to fit over my daughters chest and fall to her hip like a messenger bag...just like mommy's)

Monday, June 22, 2009

A couple of new designs

I love customers that challenge me and go with the flow at the same time. This lady has ordered from me a couple of times, several different items and she's just really awesome about everything...if every customer was like this I would do this full time!

I especially had fun with the personalized apron. One of these days I'll post a tutorial because it's so easy to turn your kids into an applique. (SO EASY, I swear) And it makes anything cute...I've been wanting to make a family memory quilt using this technique. Maybe one day when life slows down...(right, slows down...yeah, I laughed too)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Make Your Kid into a Cartoon

I'm doing a giveaway starting Monday on The Shopping Mama's blog ( This will be the first time I've given away any of the Candid Memory Cards. For this one I'll be giving away a set of 12 cards and envelopes of the Candid Memory Illustrations. Since I really liked the way this one came out in particular, I thought I'd show the process of turning your kids into illustrations using the adorable Jack as my model.
Every illustration starts with a photo, pen and a piece of paper. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to capture the spirit of the subject. In Jack's case, the hair was everything. For the overall card I also wanted to show the matching clothes, because little things like that not only look cute, but also mean something to the parents. Of course not every detail will make it into the illustration, which is why I rely on written details as well. If the hairband, or shirt, or dog is important...I need to know so it will be a focus in the illustration. In the end I want you to look at your cards and smile because it's not only a cute illustration of your child, but also because it captures their spirit just a little bit. So in the end you aren't just smiling about a picture, but actually at a memory. (Hence the name Candid Memory Cards) That's why I like to have the photo on the back with a short narration so that every one you send the cards to can not only see that it's cute...but also share in a particular memory with you. Run of the mill cards at the store just don't do that much for me...which I guess is why I came up with these.
Enough out of me...the giveaway starts Sunday night, go check it out!

Friday, April 24, 2009

New take on an old friend

As is common here in the south, we ended up with big thunderstorms last night. For us that means 2 things 1)Dish Network goes out 2) Little girl gets up. Since I couldn't watch The Office, and Laurel couldn't sleep...I figured we'd head out to the studio and sew. (This means I sew and she cuddles up with a blanket and a movie) Last night's movie-of-choice was Mulan. Thank goodness...I actually think I was turning into Pocohontas. You are what you watch...or something like that.
So, I was up sewing monster teeth...and lots of them. Each one takes 4-5 depending on the when you're making several bags at a time it adds up. It took me nearly the whole movie and all I managed to do was sew monster teeth. That's a lot of teeth, thank goodness you don't have to pay for dental on these puppies.

I decided somewhere along the way I'd try a new monster design, one large eye with an eye lid instead of two eyes. I think it came out well. I don't think he'll replace the original...but we're all about diversity here at Maggie Blue I think our mono-occular fellow will fit in just fine.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Poop in Soup

Someone told me that today in relation to the kind of week I've been having...poop in soup. It's funny because he's not the kind of guy that would normally say something so...benign. (ie the 4 letter word of choice wouldn't normally be poop) So the fact that he said it made it even funnier. I need funny right now. The other funny thing I heard this morning was my brother telling me he went out with a Puerto Greekan. (He was Puerto Rican and Greek...get clever bro) So I got two chuckles this morning, despite it being a low-on-chuckles kind of week. Some weeks in life we just have to endure I will. Honestly, I can't complain. Or at least I shouldn't. Life could be SO MUCH WORSE!! It just seems hard right now. I'm tired, that doesn't help anything. We're trying to buy a house...AND I took my youngest for a strep test yesterday (since big sis had it last week) since he was running a fever and the day ended with having to ride with him via ambulance to the Children's Hospital in Atlanta. In short, he's fine. Honestly I think the pedetrician over reacted. I think the ER doc at Children's thought so too. But, when a doctor says your 15 month old needs to go to the ER and must be taken via ambulance don't fight. You say ok and pray pray pray that your tiny little man will be ok. I had to call my mom to come pick up big sis at the doctor's office so that I could ride over with the baby. It's funny, he's just graduated to toddler, but lying in my arms with an oxygen mask on he became my baby again. (A VERY strong little baby who fought me tooth and nail about the darn mask!)

And even though I knew the ambulance was coming for us, it didn't prepare me for the six fireman who filed into the tiny little doctors office to get us. I felt like I was in the middle of some reality show. Brian and Travis of the Gwinnett County Fire Department were great. And I got a brief reprieve from the seriousness when one of the guys on the firetruck accidentally let our paperwork fly away in the breeze and had to run all over the place to pick it up.

In short, we're all fine. Everybody is fine. Everybody is home. No worries. But for that brief moment in time all the fears in the world crept into my head and I just stared at my baby with disbelief that he could be so healthy one day and not the next. Of course he's right back to looking healthy today...fickle fickle kids. (Of course now daddy is sick) So far I'm holding strong, though I feel emotionally like a could break into a million pieces. I feel like a had a big swig of that poop soup. (Don't visualize that...)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Giveaway Winner and Artisans Challenge

To be fair I printed out the names of the people that signed up for the challenge and put them in a bowl and pulled out the winner. I didn't see another fair way of doing it. I wish I could give everyone a free bag. Ok, no more stalling...

The winner of the giveaway is Cari. She has been contacted. If by chance I never hear from her I will select again. Also, there is a giveaway starting this Friday for the brand new Elephant Tote. (details on the previous posting)

Also, my Piggy Basket was submitted for an Artisans Challenge. If you get a chance click on the link and vote for me!!

Panda vs Elephant

Ok, so this isn't exactly a death match or anything...just a little crafty rumble between two animal totes. In an attempt to grow my business I've decided to start doing some promotions. One such promotion is a giveaway I'm doing later this week on I decided to come up with a new design for the giveaway, and since I've been wanting to do some tote bags based on the designs of my Easter baskets, I thought it would be good timing. So, in the wee hours of Saturday morning I took out my sketchpad and picked out the cutest sketch. On paper the cutest sketch (according to me) was the panda bear. So I set out to make it. I could tell from the get-go it wouldn't be my best design ever. It's the little things...the eyes weren't quite right for one. In any case, when it was done it just wasn't up to par. I really didn't feel comfortable about using it in the giveaway. This opinion was backed up my my husband and 3-year old daughter. My husband thought it looked like a cow or a ghost. My daughter just snubbed it and said she didn't like it. I was a little discouraged because I didn't have a lot of time to make up a new design. So I went out to the studio and looked through the canvas colors I had on hand. I had a sort of faded light blue that I bought with no intention of making into anything in particular. It looked like an elephant, and it just so happened I had already sketched out an elephant design. So I started freehand cutting out the ears, trunk and eyes and put it all together. I could tell as it was coming together that it would be good. When a good design comes together I get this silly-giddy-childlike mood about me. (Like a kid on Christmas morning) It's embarrassing really...but I can't help it. I want everyone to see it...I want to show it off. I want people to tell me it's as cute as I think it is. Adults shouldn't need this kind of affirmation...and typically I don't, but I admit...I like to hear that people like my stuff! Some of the comments you guys left about my monster bag were so sweet they brought tears to my eyes. (which isn't good because it totally destroys this tough-guy facade of mine that I like to keep up at work!) Because these designs are straight from my imagination (the good the bad and the ugly) and they represent what I hope will be my future if the business keeps growing the way it is...I can't help but get emotionally involved with each and every new design. When people say it's business, it isn't personal...I don't know what they're talking about, it's all personal to me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

After getting all the Easter orders shipped I was happy to just relax a little and spend some quality time with my kids. I hope you guys all got to do the same. Easter was involved egg wars (raw and boiled...eww) , easter egg dying, egg hunting, cake eating, etc etc. The day before Easter I woke up at 3AM and couldn't go back to sleep. So, I figured I'd head into the studio and get some work done. I had to do a prototype bag for a giveaway later this week (which didn't turn out the way I wanted, but I'll write more on that later). After that I decided to make the kids Easter outfits which I sort of forgot about.

Of course I didn't use a pattern, and the kids were sleeping so I could do any sizing until they woke up. Despite that, I was pleased with the outcome. While not particular "Eastery" their outfits were unique. Laurel's outfit included the skirt, blouse and coordinating headband. While Luke's was just the tie. Boys are harder to sew for. The funny part was Luke's tie was the prototype for a new line I've been planning on doing of letter & name ties....while I thought my font-choice was adorable, everyone else thought it was a number 1, instead of a lower case L. Live and learn

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baskets Baskets Everywhere

Because I've shipped all of my Easter orders, it feels like Easter is over. I haven't done the first Easter-ish thing yet, but it feels like it's all over. (Does a photo shoot of my kids holding Easter Baskets counts as doing something Easter-ish?) Probably not.
There was a slight last minute rush on Easter stuff...good for business...bad for sleep. Did I mention I'm tired? Yep...yep, I think I did. And, in case you didn't know we hit 100 SALES!!! Which means the give-a-way contest is officially closed. If you missed out, not to worry. My plan is start doing giveaways of the new items. I'm hoping to be able to do them once a month. Plus, I'm starting to do giveaways on some popular mommy-blogs, so I'll let you know about them as they come up so you can sign up for those giveaways too. I will announce the giveaway winner in one week.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

100th Sale Giveaway

Who knew there would be so may decisions to be made to give away something free. What do I give? Who do I give it to? How do I choose someone? You've commented, you've sent ETSY convos...and the answers are in.

In celebration of the 100th sale on ETSY I will giving away A MONSTER ATE MY tote bag. It can be personalized with a name and made in whatever color you like (within the confines of possible canvas colors) So this can be a pink girl monster, or a bright green or red monster.

I will be giving it away based on comments left on my blog. You need to leave a comment with your email address. If you prefer not leave your email address you can email me directly at Just put GIVEAWAY in the subject line (but you still need to leave a comment on the blog!).

Just a note of warning...the bag will not be done until after Easter. I have many orders to fill before then, and it just won't happen. But, we're getting close to the 100th mark, so start leaving comments guys!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Woodland Fairy

My tutus were always big sellers at the craft fairs, but never on ETSY. Maybe that's because of the large amount of competition on ETSY. It's ok with me, I actually don't like mindless manufacturing. I love doing new things. I love coming up with a new design and watching it become a real product. I also love turning a picture of someone's loved one into something new, like the Candid Memory Paintings, or the portrait tote. I like the personal nature and the creative aspect. Unfortunately that leaves me with a bunch of tutus that have no purpose. For some reason Laurel decided to put on the Woodland Fairy tutu before we went on a walk last night. She ran outside with her long hair flowing, her tutu rustling...and went straight for the dandelions. She began to blow the seeds all over the place. They danced through the air and came to rest in her hair and all over the tutu. It was enchanting. She is enchanting, my wild wild girl.

I also redid my pig basket design slightly. It's not a permanent change or anything, just another option. I think a like it better, though I'm not sure. The earlier design is more subtle and folksy whereas this one makes more of a statement. It was a request for a boy's basket, and I wanted to make sure it looked more gender neutral. It's a's gender neutral by nature. But the previous one had pink polka dots on the lining material. So I changed it to bright apple green with white polka dots instead. Anyway...I like it...what do you guys think?
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