Sunday, May 31, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
On the upholstery and drapery remnant table at the fabric store, I found this vintagey barkcloth-like fabric last week. It was way discounted, so I bought it all, of course.
I made another slouch bag with it, and it's so pretty.
Camille nabbed the first one, which does make me feel good, and I sewed up another along with a matching zip top pouch.
I've got this little canvas bag in the shop, too. Perfect for a little one to carry around or to use as storage for books or toys in a child's room.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
But great to have! Since beginning this contract working outside my home, a really quick two weeks have passed. Everything is new and I'm working with real people as opposed to e-mail and website clients and I have to think about what to wear each day. Trite, I know, as millions of people do this everyday, but a new habit is hard to form after ten years of working at home.
Blessings of all, though, is that the German student, Viola, who stayed with us this spring lives about 100 miles from the area where my son will be. When Michael's program is finished, Viola's dad is going to drive and pick him up, and Michael will spend the next week or so with Viola's family running around the Frankfurt area and seeing all the sites. We are so pleased that he has these opportunities, and he is beside himself with excitement. This weekend, we are getting his things packed up and gifts ready to give to those he meets and is involved with at the school. It hasn't really sunk in yet that he is leaving the country (me!) next week. In this case, I'm glad I am busy with work.
Camille won a countywide photography award last week. The subject was substance abuse and consequences. We are so proud of her.
Her dad helped with the set and supervised the alcohol and drug shoot done out in the garage on the pool table. Frightening that we had all the stuff for a winning photo on this subject! It was pretty amazing to see the different views of substance abuse consequences the kids captured in film -- scary and awesome.
I've been in the sewing room, too. I bought a pattern for this hobo slouch bag. The pattern designer gives license to sell the items, and she sells her finished bags for $34.00, lots of them, so I know gals like them. The pattern calls for sturdy interfacing. For this one, I put in my usual batting. I like batting in bags, but with the 21" strap, I think it sort of sits bulky against the body. So, I'm selling it in my calicodaisy shop for $18.00. It's completely well made, topstitched, etc., but not a perfect hang for me or Camille, so I thought I'd just discount the price.
You know what this is; I won't mention it, but do you see those pretty little elephants!
I bought spots on a few showcases on etsy. I was in the ultimate wedding shower showcase on Thursday. The listing for the monogrammed pillows above was the one that was pictured on the showcase. I had more than 100 hits into my shop, and today I've been in contact by phone with a potential customer that is interested in a personalized throw that I have listed in the shop.
I found a number of great shades of throws recently (just couldn't photograph the shades very well) and listed them in time for the showcase. Today, I'm in the etsy housewares showcase. The way it works is that if your item listed sells, your next item in that category of your shop pops in, so you can set them up in the order you would like them shown. I bought a spot in a baby shower showcase next month. The ultimate wedding spot was $15.00, and the others are only $7.00. For that little bit of advertising cost, the potential is pretty big. I had more than 100 hits, a number of folks adding me as a favorite, and a call from a potential customer for a personalized throw. Pretty good and affordable, I think.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Well, it's for a boy anyway! I can't help myself. I keep making bonnets, and now these little ones with brims make a darling cap. Look at the tiny brim and the beach critters on the fabric:
I think I've enjoyed making these because babies-to-be are all around me among friends and family right now. A lot of them might be able to guess what kind of layette gifts I might bring to the showers or send their way. I thought I could applique a little design to a onesie and add a little play/nap/changing mat, and they will be all set for a little stroll and playtime outdoors.
Here are some sweet little birds! Okay, enough already! Maybe I'll stop posting the bonnets now, but I had to show off these darling little fabrics.
So, I received a new contract for a medium-term project work last week. It was sort of all of a sudden but a very nice opportunity. Should all work out as planned, for the next 18 months I'm working with a law firm helping to prepare for a huge event in Charleston in 2010. The plan is I'll work 20+ hours a week in the office and hopefully a bunch of that time at home after a while. I'm hoping to teach the attorney to dictate to me digitally and get used to using me remotely, but, we'll see. He's an older gentleman and used to a large staff at his beck and call in the past, so I have to do a little retraining if I can!
I'm very grateful for the opportunity, but after ten years of working at home in front of my computer in my PJ's and sweats and just running after the kids and napping when I'm tired, the most arduous part of this new "job" is actually showering and dressing to look professional by 8:00 AM! The work is no problem; it's the looking as pretty as I can that's exhausting!
I have to rearrange my schedule for working on my other accounts and in the studio. My plan is to wake up early, shower, work in the studio while the hair dries. Then finish up, go to the law office. Home for lunch and a rest. Work on other accounts in the afternoon and/or run errands, housework, family duties. Dinner. Then work in the studio in the evening and line up the next projects to pick up in the morning and carry on. When one works for oneself, it is really 24/7. However, the autonomy over my schedule is worth every minute of the hard work and running around. No one to answer to but myself. I have to do a GREAT job or I don't get more work. That is quite the incentive when working for yourself. Especially in my business. If my work is done well, I continue to get work. If I blow it or miss a turnaround promise, my client may go shopping elsewhere. It keeps me on my toes but lets me move my schedule around as necessary or as I desire.
So, I've really been too strung out to read all my blog roll! I am going to do something I don't want to do. I'm going to hit the "Mark As Read" button and miss out on a week's worth of my favorite bloggers' words! I hope I don't miss any really important crafting information! I'll just have to catch up later -- Maybe Memorial Day Weekend!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
It's been ALL about babies in the studio lately. I'm very into bonnets at the moment. The one up top is so sweet. While trying to get good bonnet photos but failing as they wobbled down unsupported, it occurred to me to use this candlestick as a prop. Nice!
I like having a stash of burp cloths on hand in my studio and calicodaisy shop, but it makes me crazy to get wonky corners on items I hope to sell. This contoured pattern came my way, and these cloths went together quickly. I either use a very nice toweling for the reverse side of the cloths or line the inside with a diaper or other padding for good coverage and absorption.
My little niece, Savannah, will be one this week. I'm sending a birthday bib and initial shirts. Not sure what size she is, so, as usual, more is more in my book and I sent two shirts in two sizes. She'll be covered for sure!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
First thing first: Recently, an "anonymous" reader left a message for me regarding basket liners. I am unable to answer because there is no link to get back to you. If you are still interested, please e-mail me at calicodaisy (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!
I've got my zipper pouch skills going on after the last couple of weeks. I finally mastered - I think - the trick of having both ends of the zip look nice and finished on the little pouches. Actually, I nearly put my eye out last week. The needle hit the metal fixing on the bottom end of a zip, and, can you believe?, the broken part of the needle actually hit my eye! I may need to wear work goggles now. Pretty....
A personalized pouch like the one above went out today. I adore the "Frenchy Frame" monogram, as I have named it. I have also figured out the settings on my "good" digital camera, which I've been afraid to use for over a year, and am finally able to take nice, clear, close-ups again. Aaaahhh! It feels so good not to see a blurred or yellowed photo.
Here is a new embroidery design I picked up recently. Fight Like A Girl! What a great slogan for cancer awareness.
At the fabric store last week, a woman held up a t-shirt with the slogan, which I had not seen yet. I googled it and found that it's pretty popular. Then, this great design crossed my path, and I used the smaller version on these pouches. The larger design would be perfect on a t-shirt or totebag.
A May bride contacted me through etsy's Alchemy section a few months ago requesting personalized wristlets for all her bridesmaids and a little bag for the flower girl. I was so suprised and pleased to be asked. I ended up ordering the designer's fabric through our local bridal shop so that the bags would be an exact match, Lavender and Victorian Lilac. The little butterfly on the flower girl bag is whimsical but so lacy and delicate, too. I'll be anxious to see the wedding photos.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I'm loving this darling wire dress form design. It can be sewn out in two sizes, 2" x 6.5" and 1.25" x 3.85". I sewed a couple out on this terrific "shot cotton," and made hanging decorative pillows or pin cushions. I like to hang a cushion on the wall near my sewing machine just for threaded needles. That way, the needles don't get lost among the pins on my "working" pincushion where they generally get smushed down so far into the fabric never to appear again.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
This little pilot cap/bonnet pattern was calling to me, so I cut a couple out in different sizes this week. I finished and embellished this one, took some modeling shots on a friend's baby boy (he grimaced but endured!), listed it in the shop yesterday afternoon, and woke up to a sold! e-mail. (05/03/09 edit: Another one is listed in the shop now.)
This is one of the quickest items that has ever left me, except for my first listing of bias tape. The shape of the cap seems sort of medieval, doesn't it? I think made up in silvers or grays, it might pass for a baby knight's cap. Also, the bonnet is actually fully reversible, but I had to sew on the flower, as suggested in the pattern. It's so fun to mix all the calicoes up, isn't it? I wish I had a baby girl right now so I could sew a wardrobe of all the darling ideas I see around the internet. So, I'll pretend, I guess, and sew for my shop.