Thursday, February 28, 2008

Give the gift of money

My friend and current #1 customer, Shanna, suggested that I offer gift certificates in my Etsy shop. And since I really want to keep her as a customer, eeeerrrrr, friend, I obeyed her orders. Just listed these this morning in $10, $25, and $50 denominations but feel free to email me if you want a different amount. Mother's Day isn't that far away;)

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed

Ok, they're not jumping on the bed but Bella's been singing that song a lot lately so that's the best title I could come up with.

I posted this sock monkey bag last night and woke up to hate mail this morning from Shanna. She seems to have an addiction to wanting to buy a monkey bag but never actually doing it.
There's help for that, you know. Maybe not. Anyway, she did buy another bag from me earlier in the week so she's officially back in the race to win my friendship.

And, here's my little monkey showing off a Crafty Mama bib. Here's what I like about these bibs.

They're BIG. You can see that it covers almost her entire shirt so it really catches most of the spills.

They're absorbent. We had been using plastic bibs and any liquid spills went all over the place.

They're easy to wash. Our plastic bibs got grungy pretty quickly. I wash towels every 2-3 days so I just throw the bibs in with those and the hot water takes care of any crusty food.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lets talk blogging

Yet another indicator that I'm becoming way to famous for you...I'm starting to get a lot of spam comments on my blog. Advertisers posting various links and fake virus messages. Anyway, if you see any deleted comments, it's just spam. I will never delete "real" comments, no matter how bad. In fact, if you know me, you'll probably agree that I'd appreciate a comment like, "Were you drunk? That's the ugliest bag I've ever seen!" more than, "Great bag! Keep up the good work."

Also, my family is starting to "give feedback" on my blog. I knew I should have limited their access to the family blog! First, my dad asked why I talk about things here other than my sewing/crafting. Then, my mom told me my picture was bad and "doesn't do me justice". What does that mean? Yeah, it's not the best pic, but I'm pretty sure that's how I look. Lena, can you confirm? And then, my step mom told me I shouldn't say "ass" in my blog. If you've been with me here for a while now, you'll know I write just like I talk and "ass" just flows freely from my mouth and fingertips. That sounds gross. But you know what I mean.

I've actually given some thought to my blog and the feel I wanted it to have. A lot of crafting related blogs are dripping with sweetness and it really bugs me. Instead of highlighting their work or sharing their thoughts, it sometimes feels like the authors are just trying to show how many sugar-coated adjectives they can use in one sentence. Not here folks. I type my thoughts as they're formed and don't try to "finesse" them in anyway. And although, I do reread once for typos before posting, I really try to avoid rewording or otherwise changing anything. I want you guys to feel like you know me. The real me. Not the me who is lazily gazing out of my window, framed by sunkissed vintage curtains, watching a mother bird in the gorgeous tree, wrap her delicate wings around her sweet little babies. See, can't do it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vomiting Easter

These new Dena Fishbein Sundrop fabrics are ultra sweet and pastel, perfect for Easter. I whipped up this little newborn outfit this afternoon along with some coordinating burp cloths and I think it all looks so cute in a little Easter basket.

But, the biggest excitement of the day for me was getting to use my new personalized ribbon. This stuff ain't cheap so I'll be rationing it. You can measure my affection for you by the number of "Crafty Mama Creations" you get on your ribbon with your purchase. Everyone today got 4. I suppose I should have given Shanna 5 since she has taken the lead in the competition to win my friendship by purchasing as many bag as possible. Oh well, next time.

Happy Birthday Jenni!

My good friend, Jenni's, birthday is this week so I put together a little sewing themed basket for her complete with some Amy Butler Nigella fabric and my first ever homemade pin cushion. I think it turned out really cute, I just hope it's functional and stays together:)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Buzz, buzz, busy bee

The girls have a little book that says "buzz, buzz, busy bee" over and over again and that's how I feel. I put in 8 hours of work in my sewing room this weekend and it totally paid off. I made 2 bags on Saturday that both sold immediately and three bags yesterday, only one of which is left.

I've been thinking about working with some vintage items. I made the last bag this afternoon and although the end result isn't at all what I was picturing when I started, I'm happy with it. I used some of the shimmery fabric flowers that my friend Keeley sent me last week and paired them with a vintage gold pin that belonged to my grandmother. I think the whole combination works nicely together.

Now I'm off to hit a few local thrift shops and see whether I can find any cool vintage fabrics to work with. Luckily, I have a fondness for bright, funky patterns so some of the scary 60's and 70's stuff in thrift shops is right up my alley.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mommy & Me Spring Craft Ideas

Both of my girls are very into doing crafts so I'm always looking for ideas in magazines or sometimes I just take stock of what we have sitting around the house and find a way to use it. Here are two crafts we did this week that are appropriate for preschoolers.

Kid-painted flower vases/pots

-recycled glass jars
-kid's washable craft paint
-acrylic sealer

Super easy craft that bought me about 30 minutes to clean the kitchen:) Just gave the girls their jars and paint and let them be creative. Once the paint dried, I sprayed them with a few coats of acrylic sealer (found at any craft store). We originally planned to fill them with soil and then plant a flower or seed, but the weather hasn't been great this week so we haven't been able to get outside. Instead, I filled them with water, cut some flowers from the yard, and put the vases on our dining room table. Both girls are so proud.

Easter Front Door Sign

-old frame
-white paint
-patterned paper
-sewing machine
-flowers (fabric or cut from paper)
-buttons and other embellishments
-ric rac

This idea came from this month's issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. As much as I love our end result, I'm much more proud of the fact that I actually followed through and made this! I see ideas all the time that go into my "to do with kids" folder and they just never happen. Bella and I worked on this together tonight and it only took about an hour. This one definitely requires more work from mom with the preschooler being the helper. Bella's tasks were painting the frame (I touched it up), selecting the flowers and centers, choosing the buttons for the outside of the frame, and keeping track of the eggs after they were cut:)

How you do this one will vary a lot depending on what kind of tools you have. I'm a big scrapbooker so I have access to my die cut machine but you could just as easily cut the eggs by hand.

First, we painted the frame white and tried not to make it look perfect. Then, cut our felt to the size of the frame. Sewed flower stems but those without access to a sewing machine could use a marker, stitch by hand, use wire, ribbon, etc. Then I used my Cricut to cut the eggs and glue dots to place them on the felt. Bella chose the flowers from my ginormous stash and centers from my embellishments and then we attached those to the felt with glue dots as well. We used a rubon I had on hand that says "Happy Easter" but you could just as easily print this from your computer. Last step was to put the felt into the frame (I chose to use the glass to help protect my flowers and eggs from the elements since I'm hanging it on my front door) and then attach ric rac and buttons to the outside. Tomorrow I'll use a staple gun to attach ribbon to the back of the frame and then hang it:)

First pic is the magazine inspiration, the second two are our frame.

New Job: Day 4

So, today was my fourth day on my "new job". I gave myself Thursdays and Fridays off since most people don't have to work 7 days a week and there just happens to be some good tv viewing on those nights;)

Now, you may be thinking, "I don't see these bags on Etsy." That's because a loyal repeat customer snatched them up within about an hour of me posting them this afternoon. Word on the street is that she owns a little boutique in/around Fresno. If that's not true, she has one serious bag addiction and should seek medical attention.

Thoughts on the dress? Of course, I love it because it's quite a funky combo and features some of my favorites...dots, that damn crochet trim I can't seem to get away from and my cute little monkey modeling it. When I finished it and was ready to take pics, I said, "Matea, are up for taking some pictures?" and she gave a firm "No!". I was hoping for a few more months before she developed an opinion.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A new bag, a new complaint

This afternoon's Etsy offering. Kind of classic+modern=funky. I know most people probably hate it but some pink and black lover out there will scoop it up. I also finished a baby capri/peasant top set but I need to get some pics of it on a real live baby before posting.

I think it's been several days since I've complained (the hostile work environment/sexual harassment from this morning doesn't count because I'm supposed to report those incidents). What the frick is up with Etsy's picture uploading? It's so inconsistent. It sometimes takes me almost 10 minutes to upload my five pics. Don't even think about asking whether I resized because I'll slap you. The system keeps kicking me out to a screen that says I can't connect to Etsy and then I have to reconnect, blah, blah, blah. Bugs the crap out of me. And it's not just me. Etsy knows about it and just doesn't seem to care. Apparently they don't realize that in the ten minutes I'm waiting on my pics, I could do some dishes, wipe a hiney, go to the bathroom, take out the trash, read a book or two to the kids, break up a fight, prepare a snack, and return an email.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sneak Peek at Tomorrow's Listings

Lovin' this new fabric. Not lovin' my new working conditions as much. I seem to have an underage-very underage-coworker who I believe is creating a hostile work environment. Last night, she used a magnetic fishing pole to pick up my pins and scissors, dangle them in my face while I was trying to sew, and then order me to remove them from her pole. Tonight, she stacked her belongings next to my machine while I was sewing and when I asked her to scoot over she said, "Well, you're in MY way!".

I thought about complaining to her supervisor but he sexually harassed me when I came out of my sewing room for water.

Bet I had a better mail day than you

What's better than getting a package in the mail? Getting three packages! I'm like a little kid when I get something fun in the mail and today is no exception.

First, I got this beautiful frame made by Jen for a frame swap on a small scrapbooking board we're part of. Definitely going to go in our livingroom.

Then, I opened a mystery package from my friend, Keel's. I don't have any idea why she sent me a gift but I got this huge stack of beautiful, shimmery fabric flowers and some super cute stamps.

And then, for the grand finale, I opened a huge box of fabric from my friend Jona at Fabritopia. And because she's the sweetest person I've never met, she threw in an extra piece for me (the green/gold floral on the top). Thanks Jona! I have three hours of work on my sewing schedule for tonight and you can bet you'll see a bag in my Etsy shop tomorrow morning made from some of these colorful spring fabrics.

Today's Bags

First, the "grandpa bag". My grandpa's last name was Green and he always wore green socks (at least up until he had to wear supportive socks for his bad knee). I saw this fabric in person a few weeks ago and thought it was the exact color of his famous socks so I had to have it. I was thinking about him on the way home from working out last night so it seemed fitting that I use the fabric.

This one's a very generous size and can definitely hold a lot of stuff. Would work great for a diaper bag or a travel/weekend bag.

The second bag is my new fave. It has every thing I love...Heather Bailey's Freshcut fabrics (I have a renewed addiction to this line), fun bamboo handles, the crochet trim I've recently fallen in love with, and chocolate velvety ribbon.

If my kids didn't require so much "stuff" when we leave the house or I ever considered going somewhere without them, I would totally be keeping this one for myself.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I have a new job...sorta

...kinda...ok, not really. Let me break it down for you. The Crafty Family has never really been able to afford for me to be a stay at home mom. But, it was really important to us so we've just done our best to make it work. Well, our best isn't good enough anymore and Crafty Mama was looking at getting a part time evening/weekend job. After much discussion, we decided that it would be better for me to continue putting my efforts in Crafty Mama Creations since I really do enjoy creating my items and there seems to be a market for one of a kind handmade items.

So, in order to help me think of this as more of a job than a hobby that brings in a few hundred bucks, we've come up with a work schedule for me. If all goes as planned, you'll be seeing lots of new items from me, possibly several per day; my friend Jona and her fabric shop, Fabritopia, will benefit from me needing to buy more fabric:); and I can bring in a little more income and avoid having to stock shelves at the local grocery store at night.

So, all that being said, I whipped up two new bags tonight that I'll be posting tomorrow morning. One is my "grandpa bag" featuring a vibrant green fabric. More on that tomorrow. The second is a handbag that is fantabulous! Heather Bailey, crochet trim, bamboo handles, and chocolate brown velvet ribbon. Let the stalking begin.

You typed, I listened....errrr, read

I've gotten lots of requests lately to list more small, purse size bags. As my friend and frequent blog commenter, Lena will tell you, I'm very much a people pleaser (ha....ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!) so I'm giving my public what they want. Either that or I only had a little bit of this fabric left so it had to be a smaller bag. I guess you'll never know.

This one's definitely for the lady who likes bold accessories, kinda like Carrie Bradshaw. In my opinion, this bag should be part of "an outfit" so the buyer will need to go buy a new dress and shoes that look fabulous with it. Oooooo, speaking of shoes, I'll be back later to post a pic of my new favorite shoes.

Also coming soon

Is this fabric not the cutest thing you've ever seen? Perfect for a casual Easter outfit or just a spring bbq. It's actually a size 12 month, Tater is a size 18 month, hence the wet t-shirt contest tightness effect:) I'm loving this crochet trim from my favorite website, If I hadn't taken myself on a clothing shopping spree this weekend (that I can't pay for), I'd totally be buying the rest of the trim she has available.

I swear I'm not holding these outfits hostage. Just have to find something to occupy the kiddos this morning so I can get them listed. And find someone to run my errands. Anyone want to run to Trader Joe's and the bank for me this morning?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Coming Soon

I know the pics are terrible, but I just finished this set and I love it so much, I had to share it right away. I know I sound like a broken record, but I'm all about comfort when it comes to kids clothing and what's more comfortable than capris and a t-shirt?

I'm definitely going to play with this style a little more, try something other than the birdie and maybe do some shorts for little boys. The more I look at this one, the more I wish it was in my size.

Come and get it!

Historically speaking (and by "historically", I mean in the last three years that I've had my sewing gig) my sock monkey items have gone super quickly so if you likes it, you needs to buys it. Be sure to check out the coordinating burp cloths. I love these things! I used to use cloth diapers for burp cloths but just found them to be too bulky, not to mention ugly. And at just $12 for the set, they make a really cute, affordable baby shower gift.