Monday, March 31, 2008

An executive decision

I love making executive decisions...just ask Steve...and any of my good friends...or my mom. So, all it took was two comments on the below post and I've made my decision. At least on a trial basis. Really, Dr. Heather's comment is what sealed the deal for me. Since leaving the work force, I've missed out on far too many hormone infused cat fights so the thought of things getting ugly between stalkers is appealing to me. I won't share names, but there are already 2 or 3 customers who regularly email me wanting to know who bought a specific item, whether I know the buyer and how, etc.

So, for the month of April, I'm going to be listing on Thursday and Sunday evenings and see how we all like it. Ultimately, only my opinion matters since I'm the one around here who likes to make the executive decisions but I'll amuse you and let you share your feedback.

I'll share some sneak peeks on my blog throughout the week so you can decide whether it's worth rearranging your Thursday and Sunday night for.

Food for thought

Being in the car for 13 hours this weekend gave me plenty of time to think...and be annoyed by my family. Anyway, I'm considering changing the way I list items and thought I'd get feedback from all of you.

Currently, I list items as soon as I make them. Usually every afternoon and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday mornings. I'm thinking about switching to mass listing twice a week. Thinking it would just be more efficient for me and I could schedule it for the evenings so I wouldn't be wasting precious daytime/naptime/sewing time on listing. It would also free up tons of time for the stalkers because instead of sitting at your computer hitting "refresh" all day, you would know exactly when to look for new items. So, leave me a comment here and let me know your thoughts on the matter.

For now, I'm still listing as I complete items and just put this one in my shop.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Most Fabulous Outfit Evah!

I know I mention my friend Jona's name a lot here (and I should probably start saying it correctly in my head but I can't. Sorry, she'll always be Jone-ah to me. I just can't say John-ah. Don't feel bad though Jone-ah. In my head, I call my friend, Shanna, Shanna like rhymes with banana but I think it's really Shawna. Totally not my fault your parents misspelled your names).

Anyway, you must check out this amazing outfit she just listed on Ebay. I bid on it! I totally shouldn't have. I bid almost my weekly grocery budget. Frick! I so want to win it. I think it's absolutely gorgeous and totally Bella. But I'm afraid Steve would divorce me. If I win, I'll just tell him Jona sent it to me for free because I'm such a good customer for her fabric shop. That's totally believable, right? I've never been one of those wives who hides purchases or lies about money spent shopping but I may have to find a way to make this one sound less expensive if I do win. And the thing is, it's worth waaaaay more than I bid so if I do win, then I'll feel like crap because I'll feel like Jona got short changed. It's really a no win situation. Crap.

And like I mentioned below with Marie, don't go reading the rest of Jona's blog. She's what I would aspire to be if I wasn't too lazy. Not only does she have five kiddos, she home schools, has an Ebay/Etsy sewing gig, an online fabric shop and appears to have a really cute, always clean craft room. I think I'm starting to love to hate her.

So Long

We're leaving first thing tomorrow morning for a three day, 6-7 hour each way car trip. Matea doesn't travel well...and neither do I. The only place we ever really go is to visit our families and that's only 2 hours away. She spends the last half hour trying to get out of her car seat, open her door, and screaming "ooooouuuuuttttt!". I feel that way a half hour after leaving our house. Something about not being right next to a bathroom makes me have to pee. And listening to Bella's constant chatter for 6 hours straight will push me over the edge.

So, I'm trying this idea from a customer/blog commenter, Marie. If it doesn't work, I'm blaming her. Marie, be warned, you will no longer be eligible for any theoretical gold stars if I hear one peep from my kids on the way to the southern tip of California. And for the rest of you, please don't read her blog. You'll probably find her to be more crafty than I am and certainly nicer. I can't risk losing any readers.

I've spent all day preparing enough snacks that we can eat all the way to San Diego and back, unpackaging and wrapping little toys and trinkets for the above idea, packing 12 changes of clothes for each child for each day, and trying to focus on our stop at Ikea tomorrow afternoon rather than the being trapped in a car all day.

Before I go, I'm throwing an idea out there for feedback. I'm thinking about ordering these custom shirts for me and my girls. Thinking I/we could wear them to some more casual craft fairs or just during the week. You know, someone will see it and ask what Crafty Mama Creations is and I can say, "Well, since you asked...". Vote in the poll to the right. I already know Lena will vote no. Too cutesy for her. Maybe too cutesy for me too. Haven't decided.

Don't forget that tomorrow is the last day to get in on the repeat customer discount. One catch though, I'll be away from the computer from tomorrow morning through Sunday afternoon so you'll have to wait for your revised invoice and shipping. I believe this may be the longest I've gone without internet access and I'm afraid that it will make me mentally unstable. Dr. Shana, I'm going to need your home phone number for a crisis call this weekend. Or maybe Dr. Heather is available?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Attention All Addicts!

ETA: Not valid on gift certificates or custom orders.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Toughest Critic

Bella is without a doubt, my toughest critic. So, when I decided to make her Easter dress along with Matea's, I was really nervous about her reaction. She's very girlie and princess-y and the style of dress I'm capable of making is far too simple and not nearly twirly enough for her taste.

So, I was keeping my fingers crossed that she would actually wear it on Sunday and she did! And the funny part is, I don't like hers on her near as much as I like Matea's. I think Bella looks cute and all but I think her sleeves are too poofy and she insisted on bunching them up on her shoulders.

I finally got back to sewing today after three days off. Listed this patchwork bag this afternoon and whipped up a little messenger bag this evening along with a little boy's outfit I'll be posting tomorrow morning. I had planned to make one more bag tonight but the mess in my craft room has reached a new high and I'm almost unable to work in there. And trust me, I'm used to working in a messy room so it must be really bad if I'm putting off sewing to clean.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Last one for a few days

Just listed this one and it'll be my last listing until Monday. I got this fabric in the mail yesterday and have to say it's even prettier than I was expecting. I absolutely love the colors. I've gotten tons of new fabric recently so watch out next week for lots of fabulous new bags. I'd love it if you'd leave a comment letting me know what you'd like to see...purses, bigger tote bags, more with outer pockets, etc.?

I'll also be posting details next week about a promotion for repeat customers so make sure to check the blog for that info.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I can't believe it

I really thought sock monkey's girlfriend would sell right away so I can't believe she's still sitting in my shop. My mom was here yesterday morning when I was listing her and asked if I ever have a hard time with listing things instead of keeping them for myself. I told her that I would occasionally notify "the public" via my blog that an item would only be in my store for a week and then I would keep it. Without fail, items with this distinction have always sold within a few days. I'm only giving Ms. Monkey until Monday and then she's mine.

I really didn't feel like sewing this afternoon. Matea's junky cough has finally found it's way to me and I really just wanted to sit in the recliner and watch tv while drinking hot peach tea. But, that would also mean listening to Bella's constant chatter - and I really do mean constant, the other night she talked to me for 15 minutes straight and I didn't respond once, didn't phase her at all - so, I set her up with her huge box of makeup and "My Friends Tigger and Pooh" movie and headed into the craft room. As you can see, I can't seem to get away from the Ginger Blossom line. I have to say that I think it's the best fabric line I've seen in a few years. Easily better than the current stuff Amy Butler's putting out. Did I just say that? Yes, I did. I used to be a huge Amy Butler fan but lately, not so much.

Ok, just a few more quick things. I added some new "stuff" on the right. A poll, because if you know me, you know I like to ask random questions. And a calendar of my "events". Not everything on there will be an actual event but if for instance I'm going out of town, I'll list that so you don't have to sit by the computer all weekend like you usually do, waiting to see what I'll list next. You can see I have a Spring Sale listed for tomorrow so make sure to check out my shop in the morning. I've been on a huge fabric buying binge lately and have to make room for all of the fabulous new bags I'm going to be making. I think I got about 15 new yards in the mail in the last two days! I'm going out of town next weekend and will be in the area of several Ikea's so I'm going to pop in and see what fun fabrics I can find.

Ok, and now very last. First, had to tell you guys that the other night, Steve brought Bella into the craft room to say goodnight and she said, "Mommy, I just wanted to ask you how you're feeling about your new sewing machine." How sweet is that? In case you're wondering, I love it! And really last, Crafty Papa and I went out on our first date in YEARS. Yes, years! We went to his work Christmas part this year and last but I don't count that because to me, a date doesn't include 10 of his coworkers and their wives. Anyway, my mom was in town, stayed with the kids, and Bella took this pic of us before we left. She's pretty handy with the camera, don't ya think?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

She loves her boyfriend

I made this sock monkey inspired doll last night and reeeeaaaallllly want to keep her but I need to feed the family and all so I just listed her. That's her boyfriend on her bottlecap pin. She loves him so much, she likes to keep him close to her heart. Awwww, she's so sweet. For the record, I do realize she's not real. Just wanted to clarify that.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I can't think of a title

I have some random things to share tonight.

First, I really have become addicted to the decorative stitching on my new machine. I think it's some kind of weak moderation gene I inherited from my grandpa. When I find something I like, whether it's food or a new t-shirt, I go crazy over-stocking up on it or over using it. My grandpa was the same way. When he discovered he liked smoothies, he had to get a smoothie machine right away and then had smoothies every day for a month. The next month, it was on to something else. It worked out well for me though because since he died over three years ago, I've gotten his smoothie machine, bread maker, a lifetime supply of Swiffer refills and razor blades for Steve, and more.

Anyway, here's what I did with the stitching tonight. If I wouldn't have gotten so excited to jump into it, I would have used a vibrant thread. Next time.

Ok, next. Did you guys know I'm going to be featured in a new local magazine next month? I'm soooooooo excited and honored. It's amazing how many wonderful things are happening to me this year...minus the tree through the house. Live Artfully is a new magazine in San Luis Obispo that's all about local artists and crafters. The editor, Jenny, found out about me through Mari at the boutique and decided to include me in the April issue which is all about bags. Anyway, I got a sneak peek tonight and the article and pics and got all choked up. The pictures of my bags are gorgeous and I believe that she somehow stretched the picture of me because I look like 20 pounds thinner. Thanks Jenny!

Ok, lastly, I've decided to offer a volume discount to my loyal addicts. Here are the details:

Buy any 3 items from my Etsy shop and receive 10% off the total purchase price.
Buy 4 items from the shop and receive 15% off, five items or more and get a 20% discount.
Offer cannot be combined with any other offer or discount and does not apply to sale items.
Purchases must be made within a three day time period and paid for with one Paypal transaction. Please convo me if you're interested in using this discount so I can send you a revised invoice.

Easter, Easter Everywhere

I finished up these Easter cards this morning so I think I had Easter on the brain when it came time to decide what fabric to use for this afternoon's bag.

I'm really loving everything from the new Ginger Blossom line, including this pink and green lily pads print. You might notice this bag is priced a little higher in my shop. That's because it's a really generous size, perfect for use as a diaper bag for a mom of a newborn or those with more than one little one. It also has the extra deep pockets on the front perfect for holding all the stuff our kids need.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I whipped up a few new purses this afternoon and think they both turned out fabulous. First, isn't this the most beautiful fabric from the new Ginger Blossom line? I absolutely love all of the colors and detail in the flowers. And luckily, I ordered even more of these fabrics in different color schemes from my wonderful friend, Jona at Fabritopia, so hopefully I'll have a few more to share with you later this week.

Then, this one is fabulous for several reasons.

1. I tried out one of the decorative stitches on my new machine and LOVE how it looks on the straps.

2. I used a vintage pin from my grandma that I think is the perfect compliment to the fabric.

3. And most importantly, this fabric came from Heather Bailey herself! Yes, THE Heather Bailey, Queen of Beautiful Fabrics and Goddess of All Things Crafty. Jona lives just a few minutes away from her and has worked with her on several projects. When I bought fabric from Jona last month, she was nice enough to include a cut of this beautiful, earthy Freshcut fabric that Heather Bailey's hands touched!

Today's Lesson

Sometimes it pays to be a stalker. I drew the names this morning for the gift certificate give away and guess who won the $25 gc. That's right, Heather Stalker (that's not her real last name, I randomly selected that name to protect her privacy).

The $15 gc was won by my old high school friend, Natalie, who I recently reconnected with online. She has an adorable baby boutique you must check out at

And the $10 gift certificate goes to a new customer, Amy, who I'm guessing has a new baby girl or one on the way so hopefully she can find something sweet in my shop for her.

Thanks everyone for your purchases in the last month. I really do appreciate the business and all of the nice emails and feedback. I'm having so much fun with my little sewing gig and all of your support is really making my little work at home mom business venture a big success.

And Bella says thank you for the cinnamon rolls:) We had a special breakfast this morning to celebrate drawing the contest winners. Bella loves any reason to celebrate and even sang a little song about it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

See if you can follow me. I met my good friend Keeley in an online scrapbooking forum. Through her, I met her sister Shana. Shana's friend, Heather became one of my customers after Shana sent her my info. or a bag (can't remember which one). Heather's mom is my newest stalker/addict.

So, at the event I did today, this girl walks up and asks if I'm Crafty Mama and sort of looks at me weird like she knows me. I think I gave her a confused/snotty look in return. Then she turns to the side and has one of my bags I sold on Etsy on her shoulder. Turns out it's Heather from the six degrees of separation above. She lives about 2 1/2 hours from me, was in town on vacation, and decided to come visit me today. How nice is that?! And I think she officially took over the top addict title because she bought three bags, a set of burp cloths, and one of these new oil cloth pouches.

Anyway, I'm home from the event where I did very well (thanks Heather!) even though the attendance was very low and most other vendors didn't fare so well. I do have several new items I'm listing on Etsy right now and am also reactivating lots of older items. Just a few shopping hours left until my gift certificate give away ends at midnight so be sure to check out my shop tonight.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I lied

I know I said I would post at least one new item per day through the end of the contest tomorrow, but life got in the way of my productivity the last two days.

I will be posting several new items after the event I'm doing tomorrow so be sure to check my store Saturday night and Sunday morning.

For anyone reading this who's local, come visit me at the Daydream Spring Shopping event tomorrow. It's at the barn at the Pacific Home Do It Center on Santa Barbara Street in SLO from 10:00-4:30. And if you saw me at the trunk show and liked my bags but didn't find the perfect one for you, I'll have lots of new items tomorrow including some cute oilcloth pouches that are only $8.

Don't forget that all purchases made from my Etsy store before midnight on Saturday qualify for my gift certificate give away drawing. I'll announce the winners here on my blog first thing on Sunday morning. Ooooo, maybe I can use that as a good excuse for cinnamon rolls or donuts. You know, I'll have to celebrate in honor of the winners.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First bag ever...

with my new sewing machine! So, of course after thinking that I might be able to get the machine soon-ish, I wanted it now. My mom called and offered to work out a deal with me so I could buy it now, I said no, and then changed my mind and decided I would take advantage of her kindness. Thanks Mom! I had trouble falling asleep last night because I was so excited.

I had limited time to work with this afternoon and thought I should start with a simple bag design on my first run. I ended up really like the end product so I plan to make a few more like this tonight.

The machine has some really pretty decorative stitches that I think will look adorable on the hem of those peasant dresses I've been making. I want to do one of those tonight too. Hmmm, maybe I need to skip my workout and stay up all night.

Hey, she stole my dream!

My best repeat customer is a woman named Andrea who owns a little boutique in Chowchilla (just north of Fresno, CA) called j. nicolbees. I've been chatting via email with her this week and realized she totally stole my dream. Just look at these pics of her shop. Isn't it absolutely adorable?! She said about 80% of her items are handmade/one of a kind.

My dream for the last few years has been to open my own shop filled with only handmade, one of a kind items. Kind of like my own brick and mortar etsy. I think I would specialize in baby stuff but have a section for some random, mommy stuff too. If I lived anywhere else, I would probably think more seriously about making my dream a reality. But, since I live in a very high cost of living area and probably couldn't ever afford commercial rent, I'm going to live vicariously through Andrea, minus one kid. She has three boys, the older two are about the same age as my girls and then she also has a newborn. I really don't think I can handle a third child so while I live through her, I'll just pretend the newborn is a friend's baby.

If you're in the Fresno area, next weekend would be a great time to head over to her shop. She mentioned that her store, along with all of the surrounding businesses, is having a Spring Fling Sale the Saturday after Easter.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My big bargain

If you know me, you know I'm a HUGE bargain shopper. I'm addicted to coupons and I swear I get a bit of an adrenaline rush when I get a really good deal. Anyway, last night as I was walking out of Walmart (for the second time in one day), I saw a basket full of clearance curtains and came across one lonely package of these beautiful brown and tan curtains. You know I love brown so there was no way I could pass em' up. I wasn't really sure if/how they'd work with my fabrics but since this bag sold in just a few hours, I guess I came up with a good combo. I just made another bag with them tonight so now I'm tempted to go dig through the cart again and make sure I didn't miss anything.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Two Bunny Babies

I love how these Easter babies turned out with their cute little bunny ears! One will go on Etsy tomorrow and the other will go with me to the event this weekend and then onto Etsy if she doesn't sell there.

I thought "Pink Eye Smile" was such a cute name, I decided to let Bella name each doll before sale. Apparently she was a one hit wonder. So, now, Crafty Papa has been given naming duties with my approval, of course. If this goes how it usually does with us, he'll propose some stupid name that I'll have to veto and replace with something better.

Ok, so I just asked him about naming these as I was typing and here's what he has decided. He thinks I need to come up with some kind of theme. First he said Greek goddesses (um, no), then bodies of water (um, double no). Then he decided on celebrities since I'm a celebrity gossip junkie. So he said to think about what celebrity comes to mind when I think of "bunny". So, of course my mind jumps to playboy bunnies. Then, the first one I could think of was Jenny McCarthy. He thought of Brooke Burke. So, I present to you Brooke (on the left) and Jenny (on the right).

Don't Forget

My gift certificate giveaway contest is ending soon, this Saturday to be exact. I'll be listing lots of new items between now and then, including this bag I just added a few minutes ago.

I'll also be reactivating some previously listed items so if you had a favorite that disappeared, you may just find it in the shop again this week.

Two more dolls

These things are addicting! They're a fairly quick project, about an hour or an hour and a half, but I would still say they're kind of labor intensive. The whole face is hand stitched and turning and stuffing the freakin legs and arms takes forever. After finishing my third one last night, I decided that this may be a craft best suited for elves who have fingers little enough that they can shove em' down into the doll arms while stuffing.

I'm really happy with how these two turned out and will definitely make a few more this week. The first one is for me and the second one is for the Daydream Spring Shopping Event I'm doing this weekend.

Oh, and I did stitched eyes rather than buttons so someone could give the doll to a small child and not have to worry about the choking hazard. I definitely prefer the button eyes and will probably make most of the dolls that way. I'm thinking a lot of grown women purchase these for themselves for decoration in their craft room, desk, living room, no?

ETA: Is anyone else having problems with Blogger's picture upload? It's not letting me upload more than one pic at a time and then random pics are spontaneously disappearing from my post.