Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Showing Off ...

Classic Stripe Denim Laptop Sleeve 2

Look, Ma! See what I can do?

I wanted to show how my laptop covers can be embroidered but didn't want to mess up a good one as a sample. I've been experimenting with Flickr's free options on Picnik. I started slow, but each time I step back in, I learn something new.

Classic Stripe Denim Laptop Sleeve

Above is the original photo. I rounded the corners (but you can't see that here with the blogger frame around it), added text, and then figured out how to manipulate text to add a monogram and also the little instructions to "personalize it!" I feel so smart and techy! What next?

Oh, I know what's next --- my new calicodaisy website reveal! Lori at Scrapless Creations has been working on my new look for a while now. We are just tweaking things, and then, I guess, she has to teach me how to load it up with my personal stuff. Aaahhh! It will be one location for my non-blogging friends to find me and all my stuff. One click, and then they can just follow the tabs to see what I want to share with them.

Okay, I'm off to work again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Totally Busy Working ....

No time for blogging!!! But so glad to have the work. My husband had cervical fusion last week and is home on recovery for a few weeks. I picked up more hours at the hospital for the next month, and I'm trying to steadily stay on target in the studio preparing for the fall craft show season and my shop.


I came across this new holiday fabric a couple of weeks ago. I had a very good coupon, so I purchased six yards to sell in the handmade fair shop -- you know, the shop I started to fund the college accounts! (Turns out, student loans are not easy to get at all anymore!) Look close: It's a lovely shade of BROWN with wonderful whimsical designs scattered about. The photo at the top of the post shows how well it mixes with other Christmas fabrics. You'll be so cool with something new in your swap block this year, so please consider stopping by and picking up a half yard or more.
Another diaper cover / bloomers with scattered palms is in the college shop. I sold some of these last week, too. I'm so excited young moms and gift givers like them.

Here is a very manly product. A classic denim striped laptop cover. The pattern I followed turned out very nice.

Okay. Off to work now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sun Your Buns -- And Your Noggin'

Sun Your Buns Diaper Cover

The baby items have been flying out of the studio these past couple of weeks. I fell in love with this sunshine fabric a couple of years ago and finally used it. These items are listed in my "shop around the corner" - the handmade fair.

newborn reversible sunhat

Above are some darling bloomers / diaper cover, and here is a reversible sun hat. Too cute!


I'm posting these items as my WIWOW product this week.

See the blinking button to the left? I have a spot in cafe handmade's virtual craft fair. Hoping to get more exposure, as she advertises and twitters.

I'm off to the hospital to put in some time there. I am working my first weekend shift this weekend, 3-11:30, alone. Radiology transcriptionist. It's such a nice department.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rainy Monday, Summer Colds

creative mess

Our home was shut down with big colds through the weekend. Our son must have brought back a new bug from Germany. He ended up with bronchitis and breathing treatments on Friday, then my daughter started with the tell-tale hacking cough, and then I felt like I was in a cloud on Saturday. I knew my husband was going to get crazy worrying about catching it, as he has neck surgery next week and is trying to stay clear of us!

It's a rainy Monday here, which is good because I have plans to disinfect the place, dust, change sheets, vacuum ... and I won't be too tempted to go outside.

creative mess 2

Emily invited me to be part of a Creative Clutter group on Flickr. Boy, do I have clutter! My sewing room has never shaped up, and my beautiful studio is quited bogged down in "stuff." I thought all that might scare folks, so I'm showing a bit of the mess I've made preparing for a swap Stephanie invited me to do a few months ago. This is the week to mail, and I have just a few finishing touches left. I love the colors in that Christmas fabric group above. I bought as much as I could afford last holiday season.

Ruffled Bloomers / Diaper Cover

So, it turns out, only I was in a frenzy about creating the calicodaisy facebook fan page. Michelle responded to my post but doesn't facebook, Barb warned me to be careful, and Kristie facebooks and became a fan of my page. So, Kristie wins the giveaway prize. I really prefer blogging. We can make the pages look like we want, and FB isn't really built for that -- well, I don't think it is. However, as I hope to make my studio services my full-time business, I'm trying to learn as much as I can about marketing across the social networks!

Have you tried the editing option on Flickr yet? It takes you to Picnic, and I have been cropping photos there this past week. I added text to the bloomers photo above. Oh, the possibilities! You should try it this week. I'm thinking about creating a new blog banner.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Big Finish

Custom Monogrammed Banner
This week was busy working on new ideas in the studio, getting out orders, and deciding which gifts to send to a friend's baby shower. A friend was given a shower by her co-workers, one of which called to order a gift. As I know the nursery decor, I suggested a custom banner and was happy that idea went over well. With a sailboat theme and a reupholstered chair with red gingham, I knew the direction to go.

Baby Shower Gifts

The shower was yesterday, and upon opening the banner, the new mom said, "And she knows what the nursery looks like!" Great compliment that she spotted the details. The rest of the items were wrapped up in my embellished tote bag -- just one of those canvas totes that come in a bundle at Hobby Lobby for a few dollars. It's really an affordable way to present a gift, and the bag keeps on giving. Here, it's monogrammed, but if one had a birthday cake and "Happy Birthday!" embroidered on, it could just get passed from recipient to recipient.


I want to participate in Cute2Carry's What I'm Working on Wednesday but had to wait until today before posting. Now I'm off to do that.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Great calicodaisy Facebook Fan Page Frenzy & Giveaway!

scrolly birdcage

Okay. I'm in. Waaaayyyyy in! I really didn't want to do it, but my SIL forced me. She actually did it for me. That would be creating a facebook page. Sheesh! I did not want to add that to my daily computer activities! But, the kids, lots of family, and obviously a bunch of my longtime friends have been facebooking and have found me. Actually, there was a waiting list for me when I signed up. I guess folks were only hoping I would join! Ha! Probably, they had just downloaded their e-mail list into their FB searches, and I was among them.

However, now that I'm in, well ..... One has to be responsible to this fantastic, nearly free (outside of the nauseating time and energy to understand it) way of advertising. Thus, I've created a calicodaisy fan page. I know this is a really great option for advertising to a whole new crowd, I just can't figure out how to use it. I think blogging is so much easier. Anyway, I'm trying to learn one new piece a day. I've become a fan of The Small Object, my One Yard Wonder book page, and some other friends' pages who aren't bloggers. I can use this tool to send out info on new calicodaisy designs, specials, giveaways, etc.

Scrolled Birdcage with Bird Embroidery

So, do you have a facebook page? A giveaway is in order to entice you to join the calicodaisy fan page. See the sweet onesie at the top of the post and 12 x 12-inch pillow cover above with the pretty vintage caged bird? One of these can be yours if you do one or all of the following -- but make sure your comment links back to your blog, or, you know, I'll have to draw again:

1. Go to your facebook page, become a fan of calicodaisy, and create a post there telling others about both my blog and fan page. Come back here and tell me that you did it. Grab this pretty picture from my flickr site to add to your post, so your friends recognize me.

2. On your blog, please post about my blog and fan page and come back here and tell me that you did that, too! Grab this pretty picture from my flickr site to add to your post, so your readers can recognize me.

3. If you know a friend of yours has became a fan, come back here and tell me who it is so I can verify. Tell your friend to stop by here, too, and leave a comment.

4. Finally, if you have any fan page set-up advice to offer me, please leave a comment for another chance.

I'll run this "special" through Sunday, 07-12-2009 and let you know next week whose name is drawn.

Thanks again for your support!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Look Who I Get Back Today

Michael 07/07/2009

My son is coming home from Germany today! He has been gone about 6-1/2 weeks. Right now, he is flying over Canada toward Newark. A bit of a layover and then we pick him up in Charlotte this evening. The past ten days, he has stayed with our friends who live an hour or so from Frankfurt. They sent photos of Michael at the airport this morning so we could see him on his way. Michael told us he has lost about 15 pounds in Germany. He had plenty of food, but, obviously, not so processed, not fast food everywhere, and he walked and biked a lot. I think the beer probably filled him up a bit, too, at meals. I've carefully reminded him -- and my husband -- that the legal age here is 21! He's got another year before going on with that in America!

MIchael in Frankfurt 07/2009

Here he is with our friends in a cafe overlooking Frankfurt. Well, I'm pretty much guessing that's the city in the photo, as it's so large. It's strange to see him somewhere so different than I can imagine! Rudiger (Viola's dad) said in his e-mail that they rarely spoke English while Michael was visiting because his German is so good. What a great compliment!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My June Sewing Montage

June Sewing Montage

Above are a number of items I have worked on in the past month. Wendy of Sewing in the Wendy City drew my name in that big May blog giveaway happening, and she sent me some great Amy Butler fabrics. I sewed those up into a piped pillow cover and a snazzy curvy wristlet. Thanks Wendy!

If you click on the photo above, you'll get to my flickr site to read the picture captions.

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

We are having a gorgeous few days here in South Carolina. Hot but dry with balmy breezes. I can't remember a more beautiful and comfortable Fourth of July time in recent years. It's nice when the Fourth falls on a weekend. We can have a few days of continuous fun and celebration without stopping and starting it in the middle of a workweek.
Circus Mouse on Linen
I kind of lost my blogging groove since May. Isn't it funny how it feels like you could never stop blogging, and then a few busy weeks away and one has nothing to say? Especially amazing in my case! I even missed my 2nd blogiversary date, which was June 22. I actually posted that day but didn't even notice that it went by until this week. A 200th post will be coming up relatively soon, I guess, so I'll think up a giveaway treat to celebrate that one when it comes by.
scrolly birdcage
I've found some really great embroidery files recently. I'm in love with these vintagey-whimsical designs. I'm really crazy for the bird, but that Circus Mouse on a Unicycle is just darling. I've got them sewn out on blue linen. Don't they look great? I put the birdcage on a pretty blue t-shirt for Camille earlier this week. We offset it on the left side of the shirt toward the bottom. I asked her to keep it nice for one night until the next day so I could grab a photo of her in it, but, I guess I should be glad, she put it on and wore it out right away. It's in the laundry now.
Scrolled Flourish
This week has found me working at home on the business of my studio work. I've been studying my embroidery digitizing software. This is software that allows me to scan a graphic or a real photo into my computer and then digitize it into an embroidery file. It's not so easy, though. My brains hurt! If you take a nice crisp simple graphic, then you can "express" into a digitize file. See my scrolled flourish above? I love it! However, anything more complex takes a lot more practice and understanding. A shout out to the very friendly Cindy and her husband at Cynthia Lee Designs. Cindy has the same machines and software I do and lots more practice. In desperation late the other night, I e-mailed her the file I was having trouble digitizing and begged for help and direction. She and her husband jumped right on it and have offered to help more if I need it. I was a bit ashamed the next morning that I hadn't waited another day and read the manual a bit further, but I am so thankful that they were willing to help me. Anyway, this software will allow me to sell my designs when I perfect them.
Sis Boom Sophia Bias Tape
Let's see. One more thing I want to tell you about. I'm leaving it to the end, as probably just my faithful blog friends will have read this far. I have something really important I must save for in the next 18 months. I'm not so great at putting aside funds that aren't taken from me and put into not easily attainable investment accounts. I started a new etsy shop - the handmade fair. It's sort of my "shop on the other side of town." Actually, I've been thinking about this for a while, as I'd like to list a ton of finished crafty items I have stock piled but that don't really fit the calicodaisy brand I'm trying to build at the calicodaisy etsy shop. Here I intend to list those quick and affordable items as well as supplies and kits. My grandmother left me with a huge inventory of beautiful scrapbooking supplies. I hope to break those down into little parcels and post them at the handmade fair. If you happen to see some of the same items in both shops, the price will be the same -- unless it's more embellished and at calicodaisy. So, there you go, and now you know!