Saturday, December 17, 2011

Closing up shop for the holidays

I've been back and forth about my Etsy shop. It's been 3 1/2 years and I've sold 8 items. That's averages out to a little over 2 items per year. I've racked my brain trying to figure what the problem is. My stuff is good quality, it's cute, and it's not expensive. So, my analysis is that my stuff isn't unique enough to stand out and my photography is pretty crappy. My stuff really looks much better in person, but I haven't had sold much of it locally since I am not willing to drop a lot of money to sell the few things I have at a venue where I'll find people looking for doll clothes.
So, I'm closing up the shop until February 1st, 2012.
My goals for when I open back up:

  • Have at least 20 items in stock at all times
  • Take better pictures (I'm getting a new camera for Christmas, so I hope that helps)
  • Take more pictures of each outfit (front, side, side, back, and detail)
  • Produce and list a new item every other week
  • Advertise more. Here, Facebook, locally, etc.
  • Revamp my website (it's currently down right now since we are in the process of moving it from a third party server to our own server and my husband is still putting the final touches on my site. Being a full time student while working a full time job keeps him busy.)

So, Happy Holidays to you all and I will see you after the new year!

Until February 1st...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paper Gingerbread houses!

For Halloween last year, I made each of the boys' teachers a Halloween treat house.
(Images were precut for the class I took for the second house from the left, some others were cut from the extra paper, and some are stickers)
And one for my husband's desk at work:

I've also used the same pattern to make little gift boxes for a baby boy and a baby girl:
(Outfit is stamped and cut out. Clothesline outfits are stamped with a Stampin' Up roller then colored in with colored pencils)

For Christmas last year I attempted a Christmas house, but it was so bad that I stopped before I even finished the first house.
So, this year I decided I would do the houses again, but something more neutral: A gingerbread house!
Paper on the outside is Bo Bunny Holiday Cheer. The pieces inside the windows and door is Simple Stores 25 Days of Christmas (same paper I used for my December ATCs)and white vellum. Dots are covered with Glossy Accents. Gingerbread men and candies are cut from different Cricut cartridges. The "icing" is Art Glitter's Dries White glue. The trims are (left to right): pearl bead trim from Jo-Ann's, sparkly ribbon trim from Hobby Lobby (x's 2), and mini pom pom trim from AC Moore (also carried in some fabric stores). The house on the left had a glue mishap on the roof, so I just covered the whole thing in glue. Well, it was almost done drying when 2 out of my 3 boys touched it, so once it dried I covered it with a thin layer of glue and used some of Art Glitter's Faux Snow to cover up the mishap. As The Mom would say, it was an "embellishment opportunity". :)

The sewing machine is still sitting. Untouched and started to collect dust. I'm hoping Christmas Break brings out some creativity.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Almost a month

So it's been 3 weeks since I lost blogged. Now, I'm really good about checking on the blogs that I follow (even if I don't comment on your blog, I'm still reading it), and I've looked at my Blogger Dashboard and thought "I really need to blog", but for some reason, I just haven't had the motivation to do it.
The truth is, I haven't had the motivation to do much of anything, especially something creative or crafty. I suffer from anxiety and depression. Some days I don't feel like doing anything at all, especially crafting. Some of those days I force myself to sit down at my craft table and try to work on something, even if it is just sewing up a hole on one of the boys' stuffed animals.
So, since my last post, I finished quilting the stocking I was working on, but I have not pieced it together. I have to sew the topper on, then sew the front to the back and then it will be done. Yeah, just that easy.
So, I have been papercrafting since I last posted.





Supplies Before ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)

Version 1

Version 2

Tonight is Friday Night Crop at my LSS (local scrapbook store) and I'm hoping to complete 4 paper gingerbread houses from the same pattern I used for Halloween houses last year as gifts for the boys' teaches (one kid has 2 teaches).

Now, off to grab my slippers since the craft room/dining room floor is cold and I need to get off the computer and get some crafting done.

Until next time.... (and hopefully sooner than 3 weeks)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Stockings, round 2

So today I tried to be crafty. I really really did, and I succeeded a little bit.

This morning I threw a load of pre-stitched fabric in the washer for it's prewash, as well as my kids' coats they covered in sidewalk chalk, and my favorite jeans. All came out out well, but I really should have done this yesterday since I had to putz around (i.e. get my sewing bag packed) until the washer was done so I could swap things over to the dryer and run upstairs to get my shower. Yes, again, things I should have done yesterday.
So, me and my Stitchin' Bitches (a name my mother actually came up with) got together today for part 2 of out monthly sewing date to continue working on Christmas stockings. Well, they got there at 9am (we met at Amber's House), and I was there at 9:15. I had enough time to drop my stuff off, give hugs, and then right back out the door I went and back tracked my way past my house and the the boys' school to pick up one of my boys for his dental check-up. I was later than I wanted to be so he was already in Fine Arts, so the lady in the front office had to call around to a few classrooms to find him. Once she found him it took what seems like forever for him to get to the front office. We back track past our house and Amber's house to go to the dentist office. He had a great check-up (was more well-behaved than many adults) and ending up only having a tiny cavity on his already loose baby tooth, so no big deal. So, back to school he goes (passing Amber's house and my house on the way). Drop him off and then I get the task of swinging by Mom's house to get the snacks she wanted to bring to our sewing date at Amber's. Good thing Mom lives right around the corner from me. So, I swing by and pick those up and get back to Amber's house. Whew! Finally!

Got set up, got something cut out, and Amber's machine starts jacking things up.
Re-thread. Try on test fabric. Good.
**skippy stitches*** on project.
Change thread from cotton/poly hand quilting to polyester. Try on test fabric. Good.
**skippy stitches*** on project.
Bring out the screwdrivers and sewing machine oil. Do a quick once over. Good.
Try on test fabric. Good.
**skippy stitches*** on project
ARGH! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Vile machine!
"Try changing the needle, it may be too big," suggests Mom.
Change needle from 14 to 10. Size 14 needle was facing the wrong direction (flat was not to the back).
**head desk**
Try on test fabric. Good.
**sews nicely on project**

So, yep, I should have made myself a super hero cape. Well, maybe.

So, the Christmas stocking I was working on today was a white vintage Christmas fabric quilted onto white felt. I'm not even halfway done yet, but I'm pretty impressed with the results. If I would have used batting too it would have been much cuter.

We took a break for lunch after 1pm, and the next thing I know it's 2:10pm and I have to pack up and head home since the boys' get home from school between 2:35pm and 2:45pm. As promised, I checked over their folders and agendas, saw all was in order and they brought home everything they needed, so it was out for ice cream we went before we started homework.

Now, here it is 9pm. I'm sitting here on my couch listening to my husband's video game and trying to muster the motivation to go iron and fold the fabrics I pulled out of the dryer this morning. I'm babysitting again tomorrow (and the boys' have a half day), so we'll see if my machine even gets unpacked let along plugged in before I'm off on Thursday.

Until next time...

Monday, November 14, 2011

New fabrics and finishing projects

So yesterday, I finally got around to plugging in my sewing machine after taking it to my LSS to sew stocking last week. What helps get me motivated? Loud music. When I have the house to myself, I crank up Slacker Radio ( on my husband's computer (it's in the center of the house and has a nice sound system) so I can hear throughout the whole house and get to work. If the kids and hubby are home, I turn on the Slacker Radio app on my phone and use my headphones.

After plugging in my sewing machine I finished putting the Velcro on the orange dog jacket I made (I'm still unsure if I want to add the number 20 on the back), fixed a zipper seam for one of my neighbors, and pre-stitched a bunch of fabric (two trips to the fabric store worth) so I can pre-wash it. I also finished crocheting a granny square blanket for the little girl I babysit. It's going to be an early Christmas present.

I have yet to start sewing any doll clothes since the outfits I made for the three costume swaps. I'm just not motivated right now. I set aside a few outfits that have been sitting in my Etsy shop, and they are headed to some charity gift baskets for little girls all over the country thanks to two American Girl collector message boards I frequent. The gift baskets we do are near and dear to my heart since my mother and I were recipients of a Secret Santa once year when I was a kid.

Well, it's off to wash the new fabric. I wonder if they'll inspire me....

Until next time...

With online shopping in full swing for the holiday season, how about a coupon code for my Etsy shop! Use 
coupon code 1STSALE25OFF to get 25% off your order from now until November 30th!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three days in a row! Say it ain't so!

I'm hoping that this isn't post overload since I have been such a slacker lately.

So, I spend most of my Friday nights attended a weekly scrapbooking crop at one of my local scrapbooking stores. I may not get a lot done there, but I do get more done there than I do at home, and cropping with other folks is so much more fun.
So, this is what I made this past Friday night:

These are name banners for one of my neighbors two kids. They are 3 and 1. Each tag is 7 1/2 inches tall. are they not too stinkin' cute?

The first one I made was back in June. I made the above one as a replacement since this one was torn up by another little girl:

The first one I made, also back in June, for the little girl that I babysit:

So, yep, that's what I've been up to lately.

I'm hoping that tomorrow brings some creativity since today didn't I would like to at least plus my sewing machine back in since I haven't even plugged it back in after my sew-a-long this past Tuesday.

Until next time...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

I am a veteran. My husband is a veteran. My husband and I both come from families of veterans.
My husband and I were both in the Air Force, which is how we met. We didn't work together, so there was no conflict of interest. The way we met was through a mutual friend since he and I were in different squadrons. We've been together for 8 years as of December 1st.

My mom was in the Navy. So I was a Navy Brat for a few years. My step-dad was in the Air Force for 23 years, and retired January 1st this year.

My mom's parents were both in the Air Force, which is how they met. My grandfather had fallen down a flight of stairs (he worked in Air Traffic Control) and my grandmother was one of the nurses that took care of him. They married shortly after.

My husband's mom was in the Army. My husband's dad was in the Marine Corps.

I have an aunt and 2 uncles (both on Mom's side) that were also in the Navy. My uncles both retired after 20+ years.

My husband has uncles that were in the Marine Corp too, and his grandfather (his mom's dad) was also in the military (I think the Army).

So, as a veteran and a member of family of veterans, I say to you: Happy Veterans Day!

My kids know about Veteran's Day and they know about the veterans in their family. When they popped out of their beds this morning there were shouts of "It's Friday!" "Happy Veteran's Day!". So, I asked the boys, "Do you know what to do when you meet a veteran?". "No ma'am," is the response I got. I said, "You shake their hand and you say 'Thank you for your service to our country'." So thinking they would do that at school today, I was surprised when my 8 year old said "Hey Mom!" and stuck his hand out for a handshake. I shook his hand and he proudly said "Thank you for your service Mommy!". Things that make you go "Awwwww".

Here's some picture of me and my vet when we were in Basic Training. He went in January 2001 and I went in November 2001.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, have a good laugh at those BCGs (Birth Control Glasses)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Catching up my blog and my sewing (pic heavy)

Here's the truth: I haven't been blogging because I have barely been sewing.
September and October were filled with sewing for three Costume Swaps (AG over 18, AG Playthings, and The AG Dollhouse). Here's what I made:

For my assignment on AG Over 18, this is Kaylee the mechanic from the series Firefly and movie Serenity. 
Here's the inspiration:

For AG Playthings I made Mulan's training ao and I also made her guardian Mushu:


My clay skills are more geared towards doll scaled food, but I don't think I did too terribly bad on Mushu:
He broke during the baking process, so I have to glue his legs, tail, and butt back on. His head is where I think my best work. I could not get his arms to work for me, and once he was done baking I got the wonderful idea that I should have used toothpicks as armature for him. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

For The AG Dollhouse, it was pretty easy. Well, the idea was easy. The fabric, well, it was knit, so it presented a challenge. I overcame the challenge brought on by the knits fabrics, and cranked out not one, but three Star Trek uniforms.

(Please excuse the organized chaos that is my sewing bookshelf.) 
We have Security in red (you never want to wear a red shirt when being beamed down to a planet), Science and Medical in blue, and Command in yellow/gold (funky shade of green funky fabric in The Original Series). Oh, and the badges are accurate to the show:

Inspiration came from The Original Series (that I haven't watched) and the Star Trek movie that was released in 2009 (they have an unnamed sequel coming out next year according to
The Original Series (with Shatner and Nemoy)

Star Trek 2009 (I love Simon Pegg! Great casting decision!)

In other sewing news, I've made a dog coat (last month):

to match this car (race simulator now):

And my most current project (as in the day before yesterday):

I made it with my Cricut. Well, I cut the Christmas tree out of the fabric with my Cricut, ironed the fabric to the felt stocking I made, and then applique stitched around the Christmas tree negative. The Christmas tree that was cut out is on another stocking that is in the process:

Oh, and in non-sewing related crafty news, I took a painting class at a local shop called Bottles N Brushes, and I made this:

It's acrylic on canvas. I plan on making the dress out of silk (I have the perfect polka dot silk in mind) and tulle; doll scale of course.

In Scrapbooking, I scraplifted (ever so slightly) a layout to make this: 

And then I made Turkey themed Artist Trading Cards (ATCs):
(Yes, that's real machine stitching you see there)

And this ATC, from one Tim Holtz stamp:

This 8x8 layout was part of a challenge one crop night (the week before Halloween). Pick a Teresa Collins Halloween paper, a random Halloween paper, a random embellishment, and a Halloween sticker and make a layout with it all.
I'm still not happy with mine, but everybody else loved it.

Oh, and the theme for October's ATCs was breast cancer awareness. My boss and I worked on the idea of this one together, and it is pretty dang awesome:
The ta-tas are part of a small pom-pom trim. The background is camo fabric adhered to plain white cardstock and then spritzed with Glimmer Mist.

This was a quick personal challenge with the new Fall seasonal Tim Holtz Distress Inks and some $1 Halloween stamps:
The witch and the trim at the bottom are from the same wide ribbon that was in my boss's ribbon stash.

This is the last real and completed layout I made (August):
My ultrasound from when I was pregnant with Noah, my youngest, who is now 6. I think it needs a little ink on the yellow letters to help them "pop" a little bit.

Okay, that's it, I'm all caught up now. If you've made it this far in my post, I appreciate it. :)
Now, to attack my sewing table since it is covered with so much stuff that I can't see the top of the table. Eeek!

Until next time....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teaser post

I've been here, just haven't had time to sit down and post. I guess you can say that September is the beginning of  chaos and the end of the year. LOL! It's not really "downhill from there" but more like starting the wind up to Christmas.
I have a few costumes in the works, and participated in 3 costume swaps this year, so pictures soon, I promise. Well, I'm not sure how "soon" it will be, but I'll get them up here eventually. It's been hard to get pictures (or at least decent pictures) since it seems to be raining all the dang time. I'll take rain over 100* F.
See you hopefully sooner, rather than later.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Halloween is right around the corner (and so is my birthday)

Oh September, I've missed you! As I said last September, this is my favorite month of the year. This year has 3 added bonuses. 
1. My Seester is coming into town for a week (she's the one I road-tripped with/moved to Denver in November).
2. Me, Momma, and said Seester have a spa day planned at the Sanctuary Spa on Kiawah Island.
3. One of my cousins is getting married (albeit on my grandma's birthday which is the day after mine, thus fore it kind of throws a small wrench in my birthday weekend plans, but hey, I'll make it to the wedding and every where else I plan to go that weekend.

I'm participating in two costume swaps this season, and I already have one of my assignments, so I am currently working on that one. I started it yesterday and will be finished with it tonight. It's brocade, so I want to finish it as soon as possible since it frays like crazy. My saying today has been "Oh brocades, why must we have such a love/hate relationship? I love the way you look but I hate the way you fray."

Cheesy, I know, but it explains my feelings about that type of fabric.

I'm still working on curtains for everybody else, and will eventually get back to the curtains for my room and the boys' room. 

So yep, that's what I'm up to in the sewing room.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Being unproductive sucks!

So, apparently I have to be sick to be productive. Since my last post the only sewing I've done is repairs and alterations on human clothes. Popped seam here, add button and button hole there, and make straight leg pants into skinny jeans. I even fixed the pocket on an Aeropostale hoodie. I'm working on turning a sheet in a curtain this week. Yep, my neighbors are enjoying bringing me out of my comfort zone. One day soon I'm going to have a couple of the girls over to raid my fabric stash and teach them how to make some PJ pants for themselves. I also want to teach them how to sew buttons, since I think every body should know how to do that.
In doll clothes news, I sent out my Summer Sewing Swap outfits, and received mine too. Here's what I sent out on AG Playthings:
My take on Molly's Polka Dot outfit (Seen here). More pics: Click here!

and on AG Dollhouse
Pucker blue satin and burnt orange satin dress with cropped jacket. More pics: Click here!

And here's what I got in return:
From AG Playthings: Molly's camp outfit and Capture the Flag gear.
More pics: Click here!

From AG Dollhouse: an outfit for Josefina.
More pics: Click Here!

So, the kids went back to school on the 15th. I should have gotten some sewing between then and now, but I haven't. I have no idea why I've been so unmotivated with all of this free time. I've gone from working 4 days a week back to working 3 days a week. I've been really tired lately, and I don't know why.
I hope this sewing funk ends soon. Halloween sewing season is upon us, and I need to get busy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Productive while being sick? Yep

I can't believe I haven't updated my blog since my weekend trip to GA.
Here's a brief rundown for that weekend;
Friday: have lunch with hubby at his work and swap cars. Drive. Stop right outside of Columbia to help with a car accident for 2 hours. Drive. Hang out with Grandma.
Saturday: Attend services for the Colonel in Atlanta. Lunch with friend from school and his family in Athens. Stop by High School Reunion in Madison for an hour. Pick up my little man from his grandparents between Madison and Greensboro. Stop for dinner at Waffle House in Greensboro. Hang out with Grandma.
Sunday: Hang out with Grandma and leave after lunch. Drive. Arrive home in time for dinner. Sleep.

I literally went non-stop that weekend.

Since then, I've been pretty creative. I have made an outfit for the Sewing Swap on AG Playthings. I am participating in a Sewing Swap on AG Dollhouse too, but once I read my assignment, I knew I had the perfect outfit in stock, so that is what I'll be sending. It's still something that I made, and it is perfect for what they asked for, so I'm pretty happy. I hope the recipient is too.

I woke up sick on Thursday. I went to the doctor, thinking it was Strep Throat, and after a swab test and a CBC, they said it wasn't and that it was probably just a virus. I spent the rest of the day feeling like crap, and Friday was only slightly better. Over the weekend I've been slowly getting better. And somehow, even though I felt like total crap, I was able to sit down at my sewing desk and complete two dresses that I had cut out weeks ago and that have been sitting in my In Progress Box since then. I took pictures of them today and listed them on Etsy already.

I've made this pattern before:

I have another one cut out and will try to get to it next. It's a purple print with pink hems, bodice, and pockets.

Oh, there's just 1 more week until the kids go back to school! I must make myself get more sewing done this school year than I did last school year.

Until next time....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm leaving on a jet plane...

Well, not a jet plane, but I am taking a weekend vacation. I'm heading to my home state of Georgia for a three day weekend. Now, as with every trip I take anywhere, I do my best to plan it out and try to cram as much stuff into as little time as possible. While gone this weekend I'm going to spend time with my grandmother (who had a a meeting with a surgeon today to schedule a lumpectomy on her breast today), attend my 10 year high school reunion, attend the funeral of one of my high school teachers who was a big influence in my life, and pick up my son from his grandparents house. I'm going to try and get together with some friends and have a night on the town, but we'll see how my schedule is looking at that time,
I've been able to get some sewing done this week. I participating in the Summer Sewing Swap on AG Playthings, and then today I signed up for a Sewing & Craft Swap on AG Dollhouse. My assignment for AG Playthings is perfect for me. As soon as I read it I had the perfect fabric in mind and I mentally started mixing and matching patterns. The cutting is done, and 3 out of 5 pieces are done. I should receive my AG Dollhouse assignment when I get back into town Sunday night.
With each Sewing Swap I participate in, I like to make something that shows off the techniques I am good at, but I also like to throw in a "never tried this before" technique in there too. So far, for the AG Playthings assignment, I've upcycled a tee shirt into undies, and I've used my new ruffle foot to make pleats. The verdicts: I still don't like knits, and I am going to need a lot of practice with my ruffle foot.

Well, off to finish packing my bag!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Sewing Swap begins!

The other day I received my assignment for the Summer Sewing Swap on AG Playthings. I can't give too much detail, but I am super stoked about it. What I found really funny (in a good way) is that I asked for a 1940's outfit, and so did the person that was assigned to me.
So, the fabrics have been picked out, the patterns to mix and match have been picked out, and then the cutting began today.
Cutting out fabric is the hardest part of sewing. My hands and wrists have been hurting me a lot lately. Naproxen and Ibuprofen have been my best friends over the last few weeks. I have some padded braces I wear on my wrists/hands at night, and that helps since it keep me from curling my hands and wrists up while I sleep. I also use my paraffin wax to help ease the pain my hands.
 Now reading that last paragraph, you would think I was an old lady, right? Well, sorry to disappoint, but I'll be only be 28 in 2 months. So, it looks like I have about 60-70 more years of this. Really? Well, that just sucks.
My grandmother is almost 83 (she'll be 83 the day after I turn 28), and she still sews, crochets, and knits. About 10 years ago she was forced to retire from over 50 years of being an RN due to her back giving her problems. So now, she crafts during the week, and sells her wares and creations at a flea market on the weekends. She has arthritis too, and I know her hands give her trouble too, so I'm going to quit my bitching and just suck it up. Besides, the more you use it, the less it should hurt, right?
So, at the moment I'm taking a break from leaning over my table cutting out my fabric, but my back is feeling better already, so I'm headed back to the desk.
Maybe I can get my sweet hubby to do some of the cutting for me today. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Now available in Canada!

So, over the weekend I got an Etsy message from another member asking if I would be willing to ship to Canada. I didn't have it available on my listings since I wasn't sure how to calculate it. Well, I got it all figured out, and I now ship to Canada! I ship USPS First Class to Canada since shipping via USPS Priority is at least $20. For the United States I still prefer to ship via USPS Priority Mail.
So, the member who contacted me had good reason for it, she wanted 4 of my outfits. So on Monday afternoon I dropped off the Nutcracker Fritz costume, the Medieval inspired princess dress, the Polo shirt and pleated skirt set, and the 1824 Southwestern set.

I've been working on a new Popover Dress pattern from Oliver+S. My first attempt came out too snug since I didn't adjust the scale when printing. That error resulted in a Pop Her Head Off to Pop it Over Her Torso Dress instead of a Popover Dress. The end result is still cute, but I'm going to offer it for slim 18" dolls like Magic Attic and such.
Here it is on my "skinny" AG Elizabeth (the newer ones are slimmer than the older ones):

I think I may just cut the back open and insert some Velcro so it's much easier to get it off and on.

Going to try to get the opposite fabric version done this week, and will post it if I do. During one of our storms over the weekend I was able to get several items cut out, so it will be much easier to get things done this week since all I have to do it reach into my In Progress box and pick something.

Until next time...