Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Sunday

and I don't have to work:) My boss has been nice enough to give me some weekend time off here and there and it's so nice. It think working every weekend for several months has given me a new appreciation for how nice a Sunday at home can feel.

I've been doing some sewing and am off to make a back yard picnic lunch for the fam. I have a girls night out tonight (if my friend doesn't have to ditch me because of some dead baby chicks - sad story, I won't go into it) and am hoping to nap and sew some more this afternoon. I heart Sundays.

A new Kristi Bag, hot off the sewing machine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Big Reveal...Listed in the Shop on Friday

"The Mama Bag" - $50, with coordinating zippered pouch, named after Crafty Mama herself:)

"The Kristi Bag" - $26, named after my friend Texas Kristi. I'm convinced she lives in the wrong state and is supposed to live just down the street from me in California. Our husbands would get along and her boys would learn to love playing princesses with my girls. We'd get together every weekend for margarita and bbq night and spend hours crafting. At least, that's how I've always pictured it.

"The Bella Bag" - $32, named after my big girl who had lots of input on the style and materials used for this first listing.

"The Shanna Bag" - $30, named after my sweet southern friend who has given me hundreds of hours of online chat time to save my sanity. Her very first Crafty Mama bag was this style.

"The Matea Bag" - $36, named after my little monkey. She chose the fabrics and apparently thought she was going to keep the bag. Got thirty-six bucks Tatey? Anyway, she's pretty pissed off it's being sold so if you buy it, watch your back.

"The Stephanie Bag" - $36, named for Nie Nie. A constant source of inspiration.

"The Bailey Bag" - $32, named after my friend Alissa who first convinced me to start making bags almost 4 1/2 years ago!

The unnamed bag - $38, will be named after the first person who purchases it!

Be sure to check my shop tomorrow morning (or maybe late tonight:) ).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

As Promised

A mini sneak peek at some of the fabrics and combos you'll see in the shop on Friday. That's the "(Texas) Kristi Bag" front and center:)

Everything is on track for the big reveal except for one minor detail. None of the bags have snaps! As usual, I waited until the last minute to reorder and now I'm freaking out that they won't be here in the next two days. Keep your fingers and toes crossed that they get here on time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rejected

I've been busy working on the 8 new bags for this Friday's launch and as expected, I've had some changes and rejections along the way. I just listed this bag in my shop made with Alexander Henry's new Camden Fair fabric. The red is bright and colorful in person and I think the zipper is a definite bonus for this bag. It also features a lovely fuzzy flower pin that Jona sent me (don't you think it goes perfectly with this fabric?).

I think this is a great bag, it just didn't make the cut for Friday. I've replaced it with a mini messenger bag that has an outer zippered pocket. I think this feature will be quite popular.

I'm really happy with my line up of bags thus far and will try to post a sneak peek tomorrow. I just bought another huge stack of fabrics today so that I can stay motivated to finish the launch and then consistently make a few bags per week.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes



My big girl started kindergarten today.

I unsuccessfully fought back tears all the way into school. Then there was so much activity around us, I kind of forgot about the churning in my stomach. Until I looked at Bella and she was suddenly in tears crying to have her mommy stay with her. It was hard. I was totally prepared for my own breakdown but not Bella's. She's normally very social and excited but I think all of the activity was just too intimidating this morning.

So, I'm going to sew to keep my mind off of my girl. Matea's in mourning too and just wants to lay around and watch "The Little Mermaid". We made banana muffins as an afternoon snack surprise for Bella. I'm off to work on my new group of bags, 3 1/2 down, 3 1/2 to go.

I still haven't figured out exactly how this new school schedule will work with my sewing schedule but I definitely plan to be listing more often.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Line Launch

Next Friday, August 28th, I will launch a new line of bags in my Etsy shop. I'm starting with 8 styles and may add more later. 7 of the styles already have names and the 8th style will be named after the first person to buy it.

If you're signed up for my mailing list, you'll get to see a sneak peek of the bags a day or two early and find out where the names came from. There's a good mix of small and large bags, purses and totes. Lots of fall colors for the prototypes.

So, no new listings until next Friday. All bags currently listed in my shop are 25% off, including sale bags. Just make your purchase and I'll refund the discount via Etsy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Question (I'm saying that like Dwight Schrute)

I've noticed a lot of Etsy bag sellers have a set number of bag styles they make. Period. They give the bags names and then just make them in different fabrics (or I'm noticing, the same fabric over and over again). While I've always started from scratch with each bag, I'm considering making my own patterns, giving each a name and then listing only bags in those styles.

Seems like it could simplify custom orders a little ("hey, I want the bella bag in pink and brown floral") and make listing easier to do because I wouldn't have to measure every single bag. Unlike a lot of sellers, I still would aim to not make the same exact bag twice so while I'd be repeating styles, I wouldn't be repeating the same style and fabric together. Having my customers receive a one of a kind handmade bag is very important to me. I kind of feel like that's the whole purpose in buying a handmade bag, you know?

So, what do you think? Yes? No? Maybe so? I might even hold a contest or two to win the awesome prize of having a bag named after you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Shop Makeover!

Do things look little different?

On a whim, I decided to do a whole shop makeover tonight. New Etsy banner and avatar, new blog header, new business cards, hang tags, and labels!

I really wanted something custom but my sad Photoshop skillz were getting me no where. I was chatting online with my graphically talented friend, Alissa, and told her I was doing a tree themed makeover. Within minutes, she surprised me with several tree options to use when designing my various marketing tools. Thanks Alissa!

Below you'll see my new business card, hang tag, and labels. I just ordered these tonight so they won't be shipping out with new bags for another week or so. But I loved my new banner so much, I had to get the ball rolling tonight. If you're looking for any kind of design work, I would definitely suggest contacting Alissa about freelance rates. In addition to graphic design, she's very crafty and is a long-time quilter so I think she has an added advantage in working with other crafty ladies.

Feeling Fall-ish

Bella starts kindergarten next week. I've purchased new socks and undies to go with the brand new back to school wardrobe from grandma. I'm battling a cold virus lovingly passed on from my baby to her mommy. I changed my Scentsy warmer to pumpkin spice. I would say I'm definitely feeling fall-ish, wouldn't you?

I've been feeling much more motivated to sew lately and feel like my creativity is finally coming back. Unfortunately, I'm not able to sew as much as I'd like to but I caved in and moved my sewing machine on to the kitchen counter this morning which seems to help.

Using some chocolate brown canvas (definitely fall-ish), Anna Maria Horner's gorgeous Good Folks floral, and some beautiful pink lace sent by Jona, I was able to create this before even getting dressed or brushing hair and teeth today!

I really like that the lace adds a more personal and one of a kind touch and definitely need to look into getting some more. Quite a while ago, I bought some fabulous crochet trim from J Caroline but unfortunately, I think it was a closeout item. I hadn't purchased fabric in a really long time but decided yesterday that I definitely needed some more fall colors in my stash so I got these from this Etsyer.

I need your help!

You should read that title in Dora's annoying perky voice.

I've been having secret conversations with Matea about her surprise Christmas quilt. Luckily, this is pretty easy to do with a three year old. I had set aside a bunch of red scraps for her quilt but as I suspected, she has firmly declared that she's a "puh-pullllll' girl. I don't want to give her a quilt I know she hate and I don't really have enough red scraps anyway.

So, here's the bigger problem. I'm not a huge fan of purple. I thought about trying find purple clearance fabrcis here and there but since I don't love purple to begin, I think I'll have a hard time talking myself into some of the scary prints I see on clearance. I'm thinking I'll just buy a set of fat quarters or some yardage from a collection but I'm having a really hard time finding a mostly purple collection. Any ideas?

ETA: I love, love, love this set...but Tatey only likes the dot! What?! This is also a possibility.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Swap Meet

Crafty Papa and I are getting really anxious to get our house sold and move on to the "not broke all the freakin time" stage of our lives. I know, our house has only been listed for 3 weeks in a crappy economy and we have been getting showings, so we need to remain realistic.

But being realistic is not one of my characteristics. For some reason, I'm obsessing (really obsessing) over a specific rental house I've found. I haven't even seen the inside other than my little peek through the windows but the backyard is huge and it has a garage so who cares what the house is like?!

We know that when we move, we'll have to purge lots of stuff. This excites Crafty Papa. He's very anti clutter (unless we're talking car parts) and seems to have pretty much zero emotional attachment to anything. I'm excited too about getting rid of some of the decor we've had in this house for five years and starting fresh with lots of color and funkiness.

So, while lying in bed last night not sleeping, I was walking myself through each room in my house, noting what I wanted to get rid of. I thought I would pile it all into boxes, call my friend Kristi, tell her to take what she wanted and then donate the rest. But this whole swap meet idea sounds like so much more fun! I know there aren't a lot of local people who read the blog, but if you are local-ish and think a swap meet might be something you're interested in, email me or leave a comment so when the time comes, maybe we can organize something.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I listed new things

You should go look :) Right now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This Week I Will...

1. Finally clean up the decorations from Matea's birthday party 2 1/2 weeks ago.

2. Wear a skirt instead of jeans at least once.

3. Make something from my new Hungry Girl cook books other than the fluffy cinnamon-cream cheese dip and sweet cinnamon pita chips I've been making every day (literally).

4. Whoop Crafty Papa's ass on our new Wii Outdoor Challenge game.

5. Call Michael's about their Wilton cake decorating class and talk to my boss about getting time off for the class.

6. Cook a vegetable in a way that involves a step other than steam and serve.

7. Attempt not to obsess over Bella starting kindergarten next week and how it's going to be a huge adjustment for all of us.

8. Continue to obsess over the rental house on Saratoga and probably drive by it a few more times even though we clearly cannot afford a rental until we sell our house.

9. Put away laundry the same day it's washed.

10. Figure out how to use my new micro fiber kitchen mop in a way that actually cleans my floor.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

One Christmas Gift Down, Many To Go





I ignored all housework and dressing of children this morning to finish Bella's quilt.

Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out. I wish the camera could pick up how soft and crinkly it is in person. Bella saw me working on the quilt but didn't get to see the finished product and has no idea that it's for her. I'll be packing it away so she won't see it again until Christmas morning. We were talking about the quilt and I made the grave mistake of asking for her opinion. She said she really loved the pink but didn't like the quilt very much because there were some fabrics in it she really didn't like. Well, joke's on her. Merry Christmas to you, little turd.

I don't know what I was thinking making a twin size quilt. I really wish I would have stuck with my original plan to make them throw quilts. I pictured the three of us all cuddled up on the couch, each with our own quilts. But theirs will be far too big for them to drag around. I guess I didn't realize just how big a twin size quilt would be.

So, now I don't really know what to do. Go ahead and make Tatey a twin size so she gets the same size as Bella even though I think it's too big? Try to sell Bella's and start fresh with a smaller quilt? Give it to Crafty Papa and tell him I think pink is his color?