Friday, June 29, 2007

Etsy, New Bag, and GREAT Mail!!!!

Ok, my first of two Etsy showcases has come and gone. I had tons of traffic to my Etsy Shop, lots of people "hearted" me but I only had one sale. I shouldn't say only. I am amazed and grateful every time I sell something but the Showcase didn't generate any really big business. Late last night I took a peek through the shops that had a Showcase yesterday and one, two or zero sales was the norm.

I think something to keep in mind is that the summer is typically a very slow time for retail stores in general. I'm sure that a Showcase spot in the end of November would be much more profitable than one in late June. I have another Showcase slot next week and after that I'm not going to worry about them anymore. IF I happen to get one in late fall, that's fine, but I think that Etsy made more more money than the sellers did from yesterday's Showcase spots.

So, if you have an Etsy shop and you are thinking about purchasing a Showcase slot I think I'd recommend it simply for the exposure, but maybe at a different time of year.

Moving on.

I made another stash busting bag this morning to celebrate my FIRST official day of summer holidays. I've finally used up that Liz Claiborne alphabet fabric (thank goodness). I am pretty happy with the bag, the straps were easier to sew than I imagined they would be. The hardest and most time-consuming part was actually wrapping my head around how to do the straps.

Notice that we are back to the fence photos. That doesn't make me happy but neither did the photos against the white door. There just wasn't enough light and the pictures weren't very clear.

Finally, these came in the mail today. Lisa from Polka Dot Creations and I had arranged a swap. Let me say this, I certainly got the better end of the deal. Look at what came wrapped in a beautiful box!! THREE of her beautiful polymer clay posies!!!!!!! Two are brooches and she kindly rigged one up for me to use as a pendant, although I know that all three destined to be worn as pendants. I'm going out for dinner tonight with a friend and I KNOW I'll be wearing one of these!

Sunday is Canada Day. I'm sure we will spend it geocaching.

To all my Canadian friends, have a super and safe holiday weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Photography is hard and so are Etsy categories

I've purchased a Showcase spot on Etsy for tomorrow. I have no idea if it will generate any extra traffic to my store or not but I've been sewing like crazy and making mistakes like crazy for the past 48 hours.

I made a bunch of zippered change purses because they seem to be selling well. Well, out of a batch of 8, 3 ended up in the garbage. Don't ask. It was stupid.

I also made my first totes for little girls. Holy cow are they ever cute!!!! I made little matching change purses to go with them. Here's my first set.

I had SO MUCH TROUBLE photographing the set!!!!!!!!! I'm sick and tired of my standard fence pictures!!!!! BUT...our house is dark. There is very very little natural light and very few places that I can take pictures.

We were having lunch with a friend today who knows a whole lot about photography. I conned him into coming over before lunch to get his opinion. He looked at my photos and looked at my set up and basically said I'm getting the best pictures I can without getting a better camera. He did offer some suggestions (which I have yet to try) to try to get a better photo. The light is gone from that corner of the house so I'll have to continue to experiment another time.

So, armed with my new crappy photos (at least they aren't the fence photos), I went to list the set on Etsy. I had NO IDEA where to put them!! I originally used "purses and totes" as the heading but very quickly changed my mind and added them to the "children's accessories" section. I have no idea where it belongs.

I did make this for my mp3 player to go with my new tote.

I'm super frazzled right now. Photography is hard. So is Etsy. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Weekend

Did I mention I hate deciding on a title for EACH post??? Hate it!

Anyways, on Saturday we went geocaching with friends, camera in tow. I found these yummy looking berries at the side of the path.

We were at one cache and suddenly I couldn't see the dogs. Our dogs are seldom leashed when we go out (unless they have to be). There was a small stream that ran alongside the path. My dogs are NUTS for water and swimming. I looked over the 6 foot riverbank and saw this.

They were happily frolicking in the water. Not a care in the world. I was jealous.

The Use What You Have Challenge is in full swing, but it's NOT too late to join!!! So for those people (you know who you are Lera) who said they were "in" and have yet to sign up it's not too late to do so.

The challenge continues until the end of July so if you're nuts like Katie and I, then join in the fun. I should also mention that it's not limited to fabric. If you are a beader, scrapbooker, whatever and have a huge stash to be used feel free to sign up!

Speaking of stash are my latest totes.

This one is made from a thrifted sheet and a panel from a thrifted tablecloth.

This one is made again from thrifted fabric. It's not really as crooked as it looks in the photo.

My fabric pile STILL doesn't look any smaller than it did when the challenge started!!! Sad.

Friday, June 22, 2007

And another...

One more done. I have the recessed lining almost perfected.

I used my new tote today and I love it so much!! This one is for my Etsy shop.

Daisy tote number three is in the works.

Last night we heard a huge bang outside our front door. Joe went to investigate and someone had egged our door (twice). I'm sure it was a random egging. We live downtown and our front door is right at the sidewalk. As a result, we have our fair share of yahoos who stroll by (often drunk) late at night. Anyways, Joe insisted we leave it to clean up today. Let me say this....dried egg yolk is practically permanent!!!!!! Round one of the egg clean up is done. I need to bring out the big guns for round two but I don't know what the "big guns" are. If I have to scrape all that egg goo off I'm going to be less happy than I am already! Who thinks egging is funny anyways????? Apparently drunk young men do.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My new summer tote

Am I the only one that has their best ideas in the MIDDLE of the night??? I woke up in the middle of the night last night with not one, but TWO ideas. The first was a way that I could move some stuff around in my sewing room to make it more effient (I did it and it IS more efficient) and the second was the applique/ric rac idea for this tote.

I have a ton of denim that I bought dirt cheap not long ago so I used that for the bag and used the last bits of my Flea Market Fancy fabric for the appliques. I used some of the thrifted ric rac from VV to outline the flower petals. Again I recessed the lining. I love the look but I'm still trying to work out the best way to do it.

I may need to make some more of these.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Back to totes

Last night we decided to take the dogs to the beach for a swim. The sunset was breath taking although my photo doesn't do it justice. Note to the far left of the photo my two stupid dogs waiting for Joe to throw a stick.

Back to shash busting. So far the best way I can think of to make a dent in my stash is tote bags. I decided to try something a bit different and recess the lining a bit.

I was so thrilled with the outcome that I decided to try to recess the outer fabric, not quite a successful on my first try but I think I know what to do next time.

In this case having so much fabric laying around paid off. There is no way that I ever would have thought to line that tote with gingham but the gingham was laying on top of the Alexander Henry fabric and when I saw the two of them together it clicked. Lining.

I think I'm going to look through some books and magazines later to get some new ideas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm done (for now)

I finished the last of the change purses I had started. I have so much fun making them but they are not putting a dent into my stash so it's time to move on.

I ran into VV today and bought a bag of old thread. I don't sew with old thread I just think that old wooden spools of thread are soooo pretty. I played with my camera for a while trying to get some good photos of it. This is the best I could do.

I've had a couple of people ask me how the freezer paper stencilled t-shirts survived being laundered. To my absolute amazement they look as good now as they did when they went in. If you're thinking about trying it, I say go for it!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm on a roll....again.

I love making these change purses....obviously.

Here's the group photo.

And finally...

Looking at the photos the Denyse Schmidt fabrics look all wrinkled. I'll have to go fix that. After I fill a few special requests and decide on which purses I want to keep, the rest will be available in my Etsy Shop.

My garage sale report for yesterday is boring. NO fabric was purchased. I wasn't even tempted, in fact, I don't even thing I SAW any. Other than a bunch of CHEAP magazines (which I'll browse through and pass on to my Mother) the only thing I bought was a brand new, in the box, never used iron. It was 3 dollars. I like mine better, but mine is aging and I figure a back-up is a good idea.

I've had several people inform me that there seems to be a delay in receiving e-mails from me. I've contacted Hotmail and have heard nothing (of course). After a very brief search I discovered that there's an issue with Yahoo users receiving e-mails from Hotmail users. Apparently the issue is on the Yahoo side of things, who knows. They better fix this fast!! So, if you're a Yahoo e-mail user my e-mails are arriving about a day late. I hate that.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Note Cards of the Stashbusting Variety

I untangled most of the ric rac from the other day. While I was doing so I decided the first project I would use it for would be note cards.

I'm not just a fabric hoarder, I have quite a collection of pretty scrapbooking papers too. At one point I was kind of "into" scrapbooking but that interest didn't last long. I have several unfinished scrapbooks to prove it.

The past two evenings I've been working on note cards. I always forget just how time consuming they are! 18 cards took almost two entire evenings to complete, there are just so many steps involved and I tend to get sidetracked while working on them.

Again, another project that really barely touched the stash but every little bit counts!

The true test of my dedication to the Use What You Have Challenge will happen tomorrow morning. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go garage saling. I will TRY to be good. With my luck I'll find a ton of great fabric tomorrow and won't be able to buy it.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Little Bit of Stashbusting

A long time ago I had it in my head that I wanted to make wallets. I purchased some clear plastic stuff for the pockets and when my first attempt at a wallet was a TOTAL disaster I never thought about it again. When I was rifling through my stash looking for inspiration I decided to use some of the plastic on a change purse. I was also inspired by Martha Stewart's latest article about bias tape.

I actually made three of these change purses. Only two turned out.

I used fabric from my huge scrap pile and I used buttons for the zipper pulls. Admittedly it did NOT do much to reduce my stash but I think they are kind of cute.

I've also decided that for the challenge I am going to actually try to make some of the projects from the MILLION books and magazines I've purchased. I plan to start flipping through them (the books an magazines) and if there is nothing that I want to make in them they are going in the growing garage sale pile.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ric Rac Mania!!

I'm always jealous to see Katie's thrifted sewing notions. I had myself convinced that someone on the staff of my VV sews and is scooping all the "good stuff" before it hits the shelves.

I've been taking a really early lunch so that the computer lab is available to students at THEIR lunch time. Today, on my way home, I popped into VV and look what I found!!!!!

A great big bag of tangled up ric rac!!! How many people would be excited to see that??? Not many I'm imagining but I grabbed it. Admittedly, I did stroll through the linen section and nothing caught my eye. NOT that I would have bought it anyways (thanks stupid challenge).

I guess I'll be untangling ric rac for the next couple of evenings.

Tonight we're off to our Tuesday night "ice cream/geocaching" gathering with some of the local geocachers. Maybe I'll get to use some of the ric rac tomorrow evening.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Another geo-weekend

We wore out freezer paper stencilled shirts on Saturday and they were quite a hit! Actually, it was a great day at the Great Canadian Outdoors Expo. We did geocaching demonstrations for about 50 4-H teens. Some were keen, some not-so-much, but I think everyone had fun.

After we were all done, we walked around the show for a while. The smell of the funnel cakes was intoxicating, but we resisted.

We didn't resist at the fresh-cut fries!! Yes, Lera, I had french fries (peer pressure). They were pretty darned yummy!

I have to say that for the first time this weekend it really did feel like summer. It was so nice to be outside in the sunshine. It was hot but not humid. A perfect summer day.

Yesterday I got back to work on the challenge. I made this tote with the handles attached to the outside. I'm not really sure it was worth all the extra effort.

I've used up all but a little bit of the popsicle fabric and almost all of the pink polka dotted fabric on this tote.

I've been wanting to make a new camera case for a while now. I really had no idea how to do it so I made a long zippered pouch with a handle. I used heavy fleecy interfacing on the outer fabric AND the lining. It is super stiff and I know my camera will be safe. Honestly though, it might be overkill. I think if I ever make another I'll use the fleece on the outer fabric and regular interfacing on the lining.

Oh, that IS a picture of my camera. The batteries died mid photo shoot so I had to use the camera from school (which I have at home for the summer now for safe keeping).

Friday, June 08, 2007

Freezer Paper Stencils

Why is NOTHING I try easy??????

I got it in my mind that Joe and I needed matchy t-shirts to wear to the Great Canadian Outdoor Expo tomorrow. We are 2 of 10 volunteers demonstrating geocaching to 80 teenagers. Our geocaching team name is Logger & Trail, so that's what's on the t-shirts. FYI...that's where the name Trail Mix Designs comes from.

Anyways, 2 $2.99 t-shirts from Michael's and about $7.00 worth of fabric paint and about $100.00 worth of aggravation later, here are our t-shirts.

That was the first of THREE projects I wanted to attempt tonight. Needless to say it's the only one that's going to be completed.

Issue #1: Cutting the stencils.
I had NO idea how tricky it would be to cut out the stencils. I intentionally printed out a simple font and chose very simple images, just in case, but it was harder than I expected it to be.

Issue #2: What is that on Trail's t-shirt????
Ya, it's supposed to be a cute mushroom. It reminds me of a bowling ball. Not good.

Issue #3: Can we even wear these t-shirts tomorrow????
The instructions say to let the paint dry for 24 hours and wash after 72. I used my heat gun (why do I have a heat gun?? I have NO idea) to speed up the process, but I still don't know if we will even be able to wear the shirts tomorrow.

So there you have it. That is what I've been doing for the past three hours.

On a happier note, a couple clarifications regarding the Use What You Have, Stash Buster, I Will Not Buy Anymore Fabric No Matter How Dirt Cheap It Is challenge. International participants are welcome and if you do not sew but are obsessed with some other craft, scrapbooking, beading, whatever. Just pledge not to buy any new supplies (except the necessities) and show us how you are using up your stash!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Some shopping and a challenge!

Yesterday I stopped into Value Village to look at BOOKS. Believe me??? Me neither. I am ALMOST finished the first book in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and I have the third and fourth books from Value Village but I'm missing the second. No luck, they didn't have it, but they did have the cutest Irish linen tea towel EVER!!

I have no idea what I'm going to do with it (certainly not use it as a tea towel). I really love the images on it I may trace them for embroidery, who knows.

Now, in defence of my second purchase, I have had NO luck at all thrifting sheets/bedding lately. My eyes bugged out of my head when I saw this. I had to have it.

Thank you to my cat Jake who helped me with the photo shoot.

Now for the challenge.

After a flurry of e-mails between Katie and I, we have decided to pose a challenge to all our blogging friends. It's the "Use What You Have, Stash Buster, I Will Not Buy Anymore Fabric No Matter How Dirt Cheap It Is" Challenge.

Here are the "Rules."

1. You enter buy joining our group on flickr. You can post your projects there as you finish them. This will be the "official" sign up place.

2. The challenge will last until the end of July.

3. You should try not to buy any new fabric. Necessary sewing supplies, such as thread and interfacing are allowed.

4. All types of sewing projects are welcomed, so enter anything that you've created using your stash.

5. There will be a prize given at the end from things Katie and I have made. Each time you enter a project, your name will be added to the pot. So, if you show us 20 projects, that's 20 entries for you to win something fabulous from us!

6. Feel free to post about this challenge on your blog.

If someone is smart enough and willing to make an icon for us, please let Katie know. It would be greatly appreciated!

In advance I'd like to thank Katie for her help in organizing and making this happen. She has been the brains of the operation, that's for sure!!! Why do I feel like I'm making an Academy Award speech?? he he he

My only regret is that I didn't buy any Katie Jump Rope fabric before this stupid challenge started. Whose idea was this anyways????? :)

Good luck everyone!! I can't wait until the projects start appearing on Flickr!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm enjoying this...

Stash busting that is.

Wow. It feels good to use stuff that you already have!!

I used the denim I purchased the other day and I made this super sturdy tote. I was a tad on the lazy side and I just folded the sides of the funky retro fabric and used my good friend Heat'n'Bond to attach it to the denim fabric and then I sewed along the folded sides to secure it. It worked great!

I also sorted through my patterns. I purchased a TON of patterns for me not too long ago on sale. Some are keepers, some are not. I've listed a few in my Etsy shop and I have a few more to list.

We are having a gagage sale in July and I'm starting to put stuff aside for that. Hopefully, by the end of the summer I will feel much better about all the "stuff" I've been accumulating.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Sister's Etsy Shop

My little sister Lisa has opened an Etsy shop called Sink Daisy.

She has made the cutest felt pincushions. I really like the monkey one.

And I love this little pin!

Please feel free to stop by and visit her store.

I have a new tote cut out and ready to sew tonight after work using the denim I bought yesterday and some fabric from my stash. Yeah for stash busting!!!!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Puffy Eye and Cutter Quilt

I'm home today sick. I woke up with a very puffy and red eye. It had been a little irritated for a couple of days but this morning I couldn't ignore it any longer. I went to the walk-in clinic and discovered that I do indeed have an eye infection and got a prescription for eye drops.

Last week I had contacted a lady in town who as far as I can tell used to be a seamstress and used to have some sort of store and is now selling off her fabric. Every now and then she pops up on one of the free online classifieds advertising her fabric sale. I went a while ago and bought a really nice big (6 yards or so?) piece of denim. I'm slowly using it up and when I saw her ad appear again I called to see if she had any more. She said she did so we made arrangements to meet.

Denim does NOT count as cheating on my stash busting!!! My rules. I see the denim as a way to assist in using up smaller bits of fabric.

I met the fabric lady as planned. I picked out some more denim and she showed me a cutter quilt. Does she know me or what????? I saw it and in the back of my mind I'm thinking "NO NO NO NO". It is quite damaged but it would be easy to cut it into blocks and avoid the damage. I weakened, asked her the price and she said "two dollars". Sold.

I wanted to take a picture of the quilt, but since I got home I've changed into jammies and had a nap. I do NOT want to get dressed in real clothes so I looked down the street and didn't see anyone, ran outside with my quilt and camera and as soon as I got out there I see a man walking my way. I feel dumb carrying a ripped up quilt and camera in my polka dot jammie bottoms so I quickly pretend to be shaking it out (hiding my camera) and run back inside. I have no idea what he was thinking but it probably included the words "crazy lady". are a few pictures of the quilt. Not in it's entirety because I was not going back outside, but I think they give you an idea of what I'm dealing with.

I don't think there is any sewing in my future today. I feel pretty crappy still and my eye is still quite sore. Tomorrow night is what seems to quickly becoming our regular Tuesday night ice cream and geocaching night with some of our friends.

I will sew again someday, I hope!!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Spring Fling

We just got back from a huge geocaching event, Spring Fling.

We left early yesterday morning, spent the day geocaching with friends and then had a YUMMY bbq dinner back at the campground.

I got to try out the tent that I bought at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago for $25.00. It was perfect. Big enough for our queen-sized air mattress and all our junk AND the dogs.

At the end of they day yesterday, all the geocachers met up at the pavillion in the park for prize drawings.

The highlight of the whole weekend for me had to be that my BEST friend who I've known since elementary school was there with her husband and three BEAUTIFUL girls.
Laurie Anne's husband is very keen about geocaching and since the event was in their "neck of the woods" Andrew and daughter number 3 (Paige) arrived mid-afternoon. Laurie Anne and the other two girls arrived just in time for dinner. I managed to capture this cute picture of Andrew and Paige.

I'm sure everyone was sick of our stories around the dinner table, but I laughed so hard I wanted to cry!! It was GREAT to see her again!!!!!

I love the macro setting on my camera. While Joe was geocaching I often wandered off to take some pictures.

As we were leaving the park Joe said "was that a turtle??" and did made a big u-turn. Sure enough, in the middle of the parking lot, we found this little guy sunning himself.

Other than the crazy heat and humidity (and the fact that there were no showers in the park) it was a great weekend. Camping isn't that bad, especially when you have a queen-sized inflatable air mattress.

On the stash-busting front, I made a laundry bag for the weekend out of a thrifted pillowcase. It was a pillowcase I had picked up a while ago because it had cars and trees on it and it reminded me of geocaching. I ripped a few stitches in the seams around the opening, sewed a seam about 1 inch down from the top and inserted a drawstring. Voila! The perfect laundry bag. It is NOT photo worthy, just trust me, it was easy and I feel good about finally using that pillowcase.

I think I'm done now...laundry and bed are next on my list. I hope we have the camping stuff put away tonight so I can do some sewing this week!!!