What do you mean we’re 1/3 of the way through February?!?

I can not believe how quickly 2013 is going!  Seems like just yesterday, I was home with the kids for winter break, and the holidays, and now it’s another school holiday and we are 1/3 of the way through February!

January had its own challenges.  For starters 3 of the 4 of us were sick for several weeks in January.  The kids started their 4 week-long candy sale for Camp Fire, and while I was sewing when I felt up to it, it seemed like I wasn’t making the best of my spare time.

I did complete 2 special orders, which really opened my eyes to changing patterns up.  Both gals wanted their bags larger, and I absolutely LOVED the way they turned out.  I happened across the pictures I took of them last night, and it re-energized me to get going so I could have some new things for the 2 spring shows I have booked!

I have sewn through a couple more cuts of fabric and secured another custom order to be completed in February, so I will be busy again. 

While I sometimes have a hard time getting started, once I do, I absolutely love making new things! 

I’m looking forward to my shows in March, and am already starting to think ahead to the fall shows where I plan on having some different things for sale. 

Enjoy your week, and here’s to healthy and happy families and sewing time!

Stacey

 

 

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It’s Almost Here!

Christmas, that is! I’m almost ready! Just a few more gifts to wrap, grocery shopping list to make, a house to clean, and I’ll be ready for the big day of family, fun, and traditions!

No matter what you celebrate this time of year, here’s to a safe and happy holiday season!

Stacey

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Sleigh bells ring…..and I have a cold!

So frustrating to have my energy zapped by a cold! I have spent too much time lately on the couch, napping, trying to keep from coughing, and bonding with the puppy (she’s 50 pounds at 5 1/2 months, so it’s not like I’m holding a lap dog). She sits at my feet while I sit on the couch. She’s sweet, and makes me feel better.

I am moving along on my orders, but time is ticking away, and I really need to get going on making my Christmas gifts! I did feel better today, and one of my favorite fabric stores was having a sale, so I went shopping! Bought a bunch of new fabrics, and am eager to get started on them!

My goal by the end of tomorrow, is to have a list of what I need to make and a completion deadline. This will help me narrow down and prioritize my sewing projects, and be able to give a great gift to loved ones. 🙂

While I’ve been feeling down in the dumps with my cold, I have finalized my drawings for my new product (it’s still got to stay a secret) and have been working through the sewing/cutting steps in my head, and deciding on finishing touches for it as well.

I’m still pretty confident I’ll get back on track this weekend, and am looking forward to it! So let the sleigh bells ring, my cold is almost gone, and the Christmas crafting will begin!

Stacey

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The Turkey Coma is Wearing Off…

Now what? 

Such a great time of year!  All my fall shows are over, Thanksgiving has come and gone, the house is now decked out for Christmas, and now I can turn my attention to filling a couple orders. 

Then….Christmas crafting!  For me, this is the most exciting thing I will do all season!  Creating something for others to enjoy.

It’s the one time of the year I give myself permission to not worry too much about bag production (but I’ll do some of that too), and start looking for crafts that will make my kids, niece and nephew’s hearts sing!  PLUS, a couple of surprises for my sister, mom and any other family member I can craft for! 

One gift involves creating a new product that will be sold in my shop.  I’m so excited!  I’ve been sketching, researching, and thinking about exactly how I want the finished product to look, and I think I have a good handle on it!  I won’t be telling you too much about it here, as I’d hate for the recipient to read this post and figure it out! 

All I can say, is it’s something I’ve pondered for some time, and I get the occasional request for.  Would make a great gift for anyone, and would make an excellent gift for a bridesmaid! 

What I can tell you, is that after the first of the year, check back at my shop often, as I hope to have a few of this new mystery product made up, as well as, work on some new bag patterns, and clutches, increase my bridal/evening line, and maybe add a iPad carrying case too. 

So as we move from November into the busy month of December, find what really excites you about the season and go do it! 

Happy Holidays!

Stacey

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I’m Stuck! Now What?

With my first show behind me (and it was a great show, to boot!), I find that I am somewhat stuck in what to do now. 

I was actually able to sell a couple of bags that have been in my inventory for a while, so I was really excited to have them in happy homes.  Being so far from the holidays, I didn’t sell a lot of my “gifty” items.  My inventory should be enough for the next show a week from Friday, but it’s not exactly where I want it. 

I’m finding myself in a bit of a rut, unmotivated to sew, anything!  :/

So how do I re-inspire myself?  Well, it’s not really an easy question to answer.  I sometimes window shop fabrics, and clothing stores to see what’s new.  Sometimes I buy new fabrics, sometimes, I shop my “stash” and my pattern drawer for fresh inspiration, or browse Etsy for what others are doing, or patterns that are for sale. Sometimes, I just make myself sit down and sew!!!

This past week, I have shopped for new patterns.  A new bag pattern that I LOVE, and can’t wait to make up for me, and another pattern for something that you don’t often see at craft shows…iPad carrying cases! 

I am really excited to try both these patterns out!  But first, I have to prioritize. 

I have started working on a great cherry print, to add to my gift sets, clutches, wallets, wristlets, and I’m going to add eye-glass cases too!  Things that are lower priced items and will get snapped up for the holidays. 

Then I’m going to grab some plainer fabrics and get to work on some bag styles that are a “sure thing”, and work on matching accessories for them too.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to read my new pattern instructions, and gather my supplies so I can squeeze in these new patterns along with the others! 

It really doesn’t take much to clear out the cobwebs and get the creative juices flowing again.  Once I’m motivated, I can get quite a bit done.  It’s just making the best use of my time, and staying focused. 

Starting a week from Friday, I have a show every weekend for 4 weeks!  And then, I have 2 custom orders to fill!  Careful planning and setting small goals, will help me stay focused!

So now I’m off to make a quick list of what needs to be done, then hopefully, I’ll wake up tomorrow with tons of energy and have a very productive day!

Stacey

 

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Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda…

It’s the eve of my first craft show of the season, and, as always, I am doing the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” mantra in my head. 

I always have some nerves before a show.   “Will anyone like my wares? Will I sell enough to cover the booth fee?  Will I have enough inventory?  Do I have enough of what people will want to buy?  Should I have listened to my mother and had a lot more plain colored bags in neutrals and fewer patterns?  I wish I didn’t take that nap yesterday, I might have gotten another bag sewn!”  Oh, it goes on and on. 

You never really know from year to year what is going to catch someone’s attention, and make them want to buy from you at a craft fair.  Also, being so close, yet far enough away from the holidays, people are not often thinking of what they are going to buy to give as gifts this season. 

That’s what makes it so exciting!  I pick fabrics and patterns that make me happy.  Sometimes it’s a big hit and sometimes things sit around for a while.  Sometimes it’s a floral print, sometimes a novelty print, and sometimes a plain or classic pattern.  I do try to create a bit of everything so my things will appeal to everyone.

Did I do a good job for this first show?  I’ll let you know!  The good news is, I have three weeks to prepare for the next grouping of shows, and I’m already planning which fabrics to use for my next set of bags!

And this time, no napping when I need to be sewing! 😉

Stacey

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I dared to dream, and now I’m in print!

One of my dreams with my little hobby/business, is that I wanted to have one of my bags published in a magazine.  You know, the page where it lists the top “must haves” of the day/week/month/year?  

I have read about how to promote yourself to magazines, and was putting it on the list to get the courage to send out samples later in 2013.  After all, it is pretty scary to put yourself out there sometimes, and I am really not sure I would be ready for the possibility of rejection.

Then something wonderfully unexpected happened.  I was contacted by a magazine, wanting a sample of one of my clutches and they actually published it!! 

I am on page 20 of Time Out New York Magazine, and listed on-line here:  http://www.timeout.com/newyork/shopping-style/womens-fashion-fall-trends-how-to-wear-baroque-styles

I am so excited!  This was just a dream I had, I thought I’d never see it come through, and there it is, in black and white (and red)! 

Having gone through the motions once, maybe I can be bold and go through them again, with me doing the pursuing this time! 

As seen on page 20, in Time Out New York Magazine

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Thank you, more please!

Today is Labor Day, and I watched a few movies.  One of these movies had a little hidden gem of inspiration, and I just had to share.

This one character told a story about a cab driver telling her she was not happy, and that she should be grateful in her life.  All she had to do is say “thank you, more please” anytime something happened that was good, or really anytime she felt that she needed gratitude.  By saying “thank you, more please”, she was subconsciously allowing good things, happiness, and love to come to her, for the universe has an abundance of these to give.  She said she was happier, and she felt that more good things were coming her way. 

This of course got me thinking.  I know this was just a movie, but still, there is no reason not to say a quiet “thank you, more please” when you have a good day, or get that job offer you’ve been waiting for, or even at the end of any day.  If you are alive, you should be grateful.  

Have you said “thank you” lately?  I know I haven’t, and this seems like such an easy thing to do even if it just lifts our moods a bit, it seems worth it.  I wonder, what the world would be like if more people were grateful, and said “thank you” more often?

So with that food for thought, I truly hope you had a great, and relaxing Labor Day, and that you think about what you are grateful for.  Maybe it’s time to say your own “thank you”.

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Summer’s almost over!

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and the kids and I are taking every opportunity we have to go to the pool, hang out at the beach, visit cousins, and hit any amusement parks we haven’t gone to yet.

This doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for much of anything else, but in a couple of weeks, life will regain some form of scheduling, and I will be 100% back on track!

In the mean time, I keep plugging along, doing what I can, when I can, and enjoying these last few summer days and nights!

May you enjoy your last few days of summer and make the most of whatever time you have to do something fun!

Stacey

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Making Time!

I LOVE all kinds of crafts. I especially enjoy crafting for family members at the holidays, and I am literally YEARS behind in the kids scrapbooks. I often say there are not enough hours in the day, or days in the week to get done what I want to do. Then there’s the procrastination that sets in. Yes, I procrastinate too!

One of my “goals” for the summer (yes, I have summer goals….call me crazy!) was to spend one day a week working on scrapbooks. Yesterday was my scrapbook day. Once I got all the morning stuff out-of-the-way, I started pulling all of my scrapbook stuff up from my room in the garage (which is hot and uncomfortable in August), into the house where it is cooler. Took me forever! Then I noticed I was out of soccer paper, so off to the store to pick some up! So glad it is literally 2 minutes away. Then lunch, taking my son to the pool, it was almost 4pm before I was able to start!

I was concerned all that effort setting up, shopping, would be wasted and I would only get one page made. After all, I only had about an hour and a half before I had to put everything away to start dinner. But, I sat down, and I was able to work on 5-6 pages! They are not award-winning pages, but I got pictures matted, and stuck to the pages, with some journaling too! I was so excited and happy!

I was literally floating on air the rest of the evening because I accomplished what I set out to do! Now my son’s 4th grade school year is 1/3 done, and I feel like I’m keeping my promise to myself.

I love sewing, and making my bags, it truly is my passion. But sometimes when you’re doing something to make money, you can get wrapped up in it and can’t justify making time for anything else you love. In my case, my other crafts. I look at the craft show dates I have set up starting at the end of September, and think “I only have a few weeks, and I want to do so much!” But what good is sewing for these shows and to post on Etsy if I lose the other things that make my heart sing?

So today, I have another busy day planned until about 2:30 in the afternoon. After that, I’m home, and I will be sewing. Hopefully, I will carry out what I set out to do today, for another evening of floating on air!

Here’s to making time for the things you love. When was the last time you carved out a little time to do something YOU love?

Stacey

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