Thursday, December 18, 2008

CPSIA-Save Handmade Toys

For those of you that haven't heard about the CPSIA(consumer product safety improvement act), it is very flawed law intended to help protect our children. It increases regulation and testing requirements for basically all items manufactured for children. However, there are unintended consequences...such as the cost of testing (which is required on every batch and each component, so if you applique a fabric initial on a onesie, you have to test the fabric and the snaps) is going to put many, many small business owners, crafters and thrift shops (the law is retroactive) out of business. It is also going to increase the cost of goods coming from manufacturers that can afford the testing but who won't eat the cost of it. Not to mention all the adaptive equipment and toys for children with special needs which is already very expensive since most of it is custom made for each child.
I believe the intentions of this law were good; as a parent I was appalled at the lack of regulation that was made evident with all the import recalls last year. But, I also think it was written and passed by lawmakers without any consideration or knowledge of what it says or how it will affect things. Please support our economy and our kids by voicing your opinion and making it clear that many amendments need to be made to make this law effective and not detrimental. The following link is a starting point. You can sign on and "vote" for this topic to get addressed by members of the new administration's transition team. You can also write your congressmen & women and ask them to take a look at the situation.
Here is a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as to the CPSIA.
If nothing is done, handmade children's items will disappear, commercial children's items will skyrocket in price and organizations like Good Will will no longer be able to sell children's items to help those in need.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Busy, Busy











































It's that time of year.  Running, running, running.  It seem's like it never will end and in a storm of ripping paper it's over and done.  Well, this week has been about the running.  I completed an apron that I started a while ago, I made a blanket for a friend's son, I made part of my nephew's Christmas gift (the cute little Bear's pants and hat, I have some fabric left I think I will try some matching mittens), what else......I have a custom order coming up for a shopping cart cover.  I will post that as soon as it is done.  Still waiting on the fabric for mounting that 90 year old dress, but I will post pictures as soon as it is completed.  
I'm trying to get in the Holiday spirit...I lit the tree, although, it remains free of ornaments because I am anxious about what my one year old will do to them and there is no gating him out of that room.  We will have my daughter's preschool Christmas program next week.  I can't wait she has been working so hard and is looking forward to her roll as one of the "dancing ladies".  A wedding this weekend will keep us fully occupied and then on to another week!  Happy December everyone!

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm having a sale!!!  The EtsyMom team is having a team wide Christmas Shopping Season Opening Sale.  I am offering 10% off every purchase, including custom orders!!!  You can also click here for a complete list of participating shops.






I had a very productive week.  I made a cellphone case for a returning customer to match the shopping cart cover and plush ball that I made her earlier.






I made two pillow covers for an Etsy client with a custom order that turned out fabulous!







I also made three custom art rolls:  a crayon roll for "Stella", a colored pencil roll for "Summer" and a marker roll for "Logan".  I LOVE making these;  it is sooo much fun to play with the different fabric combinations and to come up with ways of personalizing each one to the child receiving it!  Stella is getting a colorful crayon roll using the Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric with an applique
 heart.  Summer is getting a custom crayon roll featuring a Michael Miller print with monkeys doing yoga and her brother, Logan, is getting a marker roll featuring pirate sculls with an appliqued jolly roger symbol.





























Coming up, I will be finishing a retro-style full apron in blue and gray.  I will also be framing a dress...my husband's 97 year old grandmother was going through some things the other day and came across a handmade dress that she wore when she was about 5 years old.  This dress is absolutely beautiful!!! I am waiting for fabric to be delivered that I will use for the background and the dress will be mounted on that.  I will post pictures as soon as it is complete.  
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and you were all able to look around you at the abundance of things to be thankful for;  sometimes it takes a holiday to truly examine our lives and see all that we "have".

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This 'n That

This post is a little of this and a little of that.  
I made a gift set featuring pink and brown.  
I used Pink Paisley-Embossed Minky and backed it with a brown and pink paisley satin charmeuse and then bound it with pink satin.  I then made a matching bib and two burpers from the left over fabric.


For the boys, I made a super cute blanket using Michael Miller's Bobby Plays Pretend fabric which I backed with a denim-blue flannel and bound with red satin binding.  I appliqued a cut-out of Bobby pretending to be a baseball player.

Yesterday, I made another bag using Joel Dewberry's Ginseng fabric.  This one features the Orchid and Wildflower prints in Raspberry and Mulberry (which is really a very Cranberry color).



And...my EMCA prize arrived!!!  Yay!!! I won the first EtsyMom Curator Award for curating the most Etsy treasuries featuring EtsyMoms.  For those of you who don't know, a treasury is something you put together on the Etsy site.  It is a grouping or "exhibit" that you "curate".  You can feature sellers that you like or chose a theme or feature colors;  the possibilities are limitless.  It is a fun way to highlight fellow artists and it is also a great way to find new shops.  Anyway, as the recipient of the award I was to chose a prize from one of three sponsors and I chose this super cute frame made by Gifts From the Heart by CraftGirlAlli.
And in the prize winning vein, I also won one of the SuperGiveaways.  I won a beautiful print from FoodChic who takes spectacular artistic photographs featuring food.  Here is the link to the print that I won, it is a 7x5 vertical print of a guava.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wow...I am totally neglecting this poor blog!

To be fair, though, I have been really busy.  Life in general has kept me pretty occupied, running kids and doing chores, etc. etc.  But, I have also found a little spare time in which I have been sewing (instead of blogging).  So I am bringing this poor, neglected blog up-to-date with the recent projects I have completed.  I also WON!!! a prize in the month-long EtsyMom Street Team SUPER GIVEAWAY!  You really should visit the EtsyMom blog;  you can enter two giveaways everyday. 

So, here we go...

The first project I completed was a set of pillows for my new sectional (which came in the day before my son's first birthday party to which we had invited 40 people!).  I used Joel Dewberry's Ginseng fabric, which I have been dying to use since it came out.  I bought pillow forms and made envelope style pillow cases (that way if I change my mind later, or some designer comes out with something I like better, I just have to make another set of cases).

When I showed my aunt the super awesome fabric I would be using for pillows, she instantly declared she wanted a bag made from that fabric.  






Then I tackled the two dresses I wanted to make my niece 
for Christmas.  For the first dress, I used a Robert Kaufman print...I love damask and my sister's favorite color combination (which she used in her wedding) is pink and black.  I used a Butterick pattern that I adapted to fit her size and also added the banding at the bottom and made it sleeveless.
For the second dress, I used a fun Alexander Henry print and just patterned a very basic jumper.  I am hoping that she can use them as dresses with tights and/or leggings and long sleeve shirts this winter and then as dresses in the summer and I think I left enough room that in the fall they can be long, oversized shirts she can pair with leggings.  I am having a fellow EtsyMom team member (and seamstress) make matching headbands.  You can check out WeezaWear's Etsy shop for some great items!

So, hopefully, that will bring us up-to-date.  I have several projects awaiting my attention:  I am assembling a blanket for friend for Christmas, I have 2 no-sew fleece blankets to make for gifts, and several blankets to be made for my Etsy shop.  I also have some lovely fabric that wants to be an apron. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's Been A While...

Well.....it has been a while!  My computer crashed and I have been trying to replace it (changing over files, setting up a new system, switching to a wireless network...all of which is pretty new to me).  Then my kids have been sick........again.  In the midst of all that, we threw a 1st birthday party and celebrated Halloween.  Baby Boy did not want to get his hands dirty and snubbed the mess cake in a brutal fashion.  He did enjoy opening his presents;  chewing on the boxes is the BEST!  And while we didn't have a single duplicate 1st birthday card....he go 4, count 'em 4, Fisher Price Tool sets (daddy's a big time carpenter, big sis got her first hammer on her first birthday).  
Halloween was way too cute!  The baby tolerated the Mickey ears for waaay longer than I expected and a meek-looking (the fever disappeared right before we went out) big sister enjoyed trick or treating.
Hopefully, next week will be back to normal and I can get back down into the sewing cave (a.k.a. the basement) and possibly get something done!  In the meantime, enjoy:

Oh...don't forget to stop by the EtsyMom Street Team blog and enter the SUPER GIVEAWAY!!! We are giving away 2 prizes every day the whole month of November!!!!!  Don't miss out!









Monday, October 20, 2008

Feeling Good...





I won!!! I won the EMCA (Etsy Mom Curator Award) for curating Treasuries featuring Etsymoms. I won the October award and it is such an honor to be recognized for promoting the team...especially because it was sooo much fun! You can check out the new EMCA blog for screenshots of all the participating entries and to view some the items created by talented teammates. I won the choice of a prize from one of the three sponsors; I chose a painted frame from CraftGirlAlli and I can't wait to see it in person!!
I would also like give a big thanks to Kimberly, from CinnamonSpice for featuring me on her blog!!!! She also has an Etsy shop: Cinnamon & Spice Crafts. She makes beautiful photo albums, scrapbooks, keepsakes and much more!

On a separate note, I had a productive week. I was able to complete two blankets, a set of burpers, and a tote bag!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

EtsyMom SUPER GIVEAWAY!!!!



Etsymom SUPERGIVEAWAY is coming!
The Etsymom Street Team is prepping for the holidays by taking the time-honored tradition of gift-giving to another level! Riding the wave of unity, harmony and excitement inspired by the Etsymom Trunk Show in September, our team tossed around a few ideas about our next team event. A little idea of having a giveway, where Moms would donate an item to be given away each day of November on our blog has morphed into a SUPER GIVEAWAY!! When the call for volunteers went out we had an overwhelming response of over 60 shops willing to donate a $10.00 in value item to this cause. Two winners will be randomly chosen everday to receive one of over 50 prizes. Donations will range from an assortment of hand embroidery, vintage finds, hair clippies, baby accessories, papercrafts, earthenware pottery and more. Perfect for gift-giving! There is a little bit of everything, so whether you like trendy, shabby chic, traditional or retro styles, you're sure to find something! Don't miss this ONLINE EXTRAVAGANZA. Visit us here beginning November 1st for giveaway rules and deadlines!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Feels Like I'm Falling For Fall...."

For those of you with pre-schoolers, you may recognize the title as the lyrics from Moose A. Moose's fall song on Noggin (It runs through my head all day!)  But it is so befitting of the lovely weekend we had this past weekend which we capped off on Sunday with a family trip to a local state park for a picnic and a hike.  Most leaves were just barely starting to turn, but some were in full color and falling down, down, down.  We made a game of who could find the most colors and we collected leaves for a scrapbook.  We even found a fuzzy caterpillar!  And my kids, my city kids who don't always know the difference between a horse and cow, got to see horses on the trails! (I grew up on a farm and we now live in town and I am constantly amazed at how much of a city kid my daughter is.)   video

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Trick or Treat Tote Bag Tutorial




This year, my daughter chose to be Minnie Mouse for Halloween (I am not making it, Disney store had it on sale so my son is going to be Mickey...too cute!).  So, since I bought the costume, I wanted to make her a trick or treat bag because the pink Princess pumpkin from last year just seems to clash with the red & white Minnie polka dots.  It turned out so cute that I thought I would share this project.
  It worked great for Minnie with the red and white polka dots with black trim, but you could coordinate it to just about anything for your little girl with the right fabric.  

This project is really pretty easy, so give it a try!  It is inexpensive (I found fabric on sale and made this for under $5) and doesn't take too long (probably between and hour and a half and two hours).  This is my first attempt at creating a tutorial...I would love your comments on how it went, if I explained things clearly enough, anything you think should be done differently!

Material List
1/2 yard of main fabric
1/2 yard of contrast /lining fabric
1 yard of 7/8"-1" ribbon
Interfacing (optional)
Coordinating thread

Tools
Straight edge ruler
Fabric marking pen/pencil
Pins
Scissors
Iron/Ironing Board
Sewing Machine


1.  Start by folding your main fabric to create two layers.  Then, cut 
your fabric 16.25" wide by 8.75" high.  Starting at the left edge of the fabric, mark 2-5/8" in at the top and at the bottom.  Then make a mark 6-3/4" down from the top mark (this should be 2" up from the bottom mark) and connect that to the mark on the bottom edge.  Then make a mark 2" back to the left and connect;  then, using a straight edge, connect it back to the upper left hand
 corner.  

2.  Fold the fabric in half and cut along your lines.  

3.  To cut the lining fabric, start by creating two layers and cutting a 16.25" by 10.75" section.  Starting at the left edge of the fabric, make a mark 2-1/2" down from the top on the left edge and then marks 2-5/8" in at the top and bottom edges.  Then make a mark 8-3/4" down from the top (this should be 2" up from the bottom mark) and connect it to the bottom mark;  measure 2" back to the left and connect.  Using a straight edge, connect that point to the mark on the left edge of the fabric.  

4.  Fold the fabric in half and cut along your lines.

5.  Cut the exterior contrast piece by layering your contrast fabric and cutting a section 16-1/4" by 3".

6.  You will need to cut two straps from the main fabric, 3" by 19".

7.  Cut 2 lengths of ribbon 16-1/4" long.

8.  (optional)For the bow, cut 1 main fabric and 1 lining fabric 4" by 6" each.

9.  (optional)  Use the lining fabric as a template to cut your interfacing for the body of the bag and then cut interfacing for each of the straps and the bow. (Interfacing just beefs it up and adds structure for use beyond Halloween;  it can be used without.)

You should now have all your pieces (2 main exterior-front and back, two contrast exterior-front and back, two lining-front and back, 2 straps, 2 trim, one main bow, one contrast bow)

10.  With satin/smooth side facing down, place one piece of ribbon on one main fabric piece;  with right side facing down, place one lining piece on top of main fabric and ribbon, pin and stitch together using a 1/2" seam.  Press seam open with ribbon/trim up.  Repeat for back panel.  Set aside.

11.  (optional)  Apply interfacing to front and back main panels, straps and bow.

12.  Fold strap piece in half length-wise, open and press in edges to center.  Fold back in length wise (enclosing raw edges) and stitch close to edge to finish.

13.  With right sides together, stitch bow pieces together using a 1/2" seam allowance and leaving a  2-3" opening to turn.  Turn right sides out, press and edge stitch all the way
 around, closing opening.

14.  Orient bow piece lengthwise (like a note card), fold and crease to mark center line.  Form 2 pleats (one above center line and one below) press and then fold up the top and
 bottom edges, pin in place and stitch vertically down the middle.

15.  Attach bow to exterior front, reinforcing the stitch down the center.

16.  With right sides together, pin the exterior front and back pieces together at the sides (matching trim seams) and bottom only(do not stitch corners).  Stitch together using a 1/2" seam allowance;  press seams open.  

17.  With bag open and wrong side out, bring side seam and bottom seam together(matching up) and stitch corner with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Repeat for other corner.  Trim corners and turn right side out.  

18.  Repeat steps 16 and 17 to make interior/lining.


19.  Pin straps to exterior of bag on the outside.

20.  With lining wrong side out and exterior right side out, slip exterior into lining and pin.  Stitch all the way around leaving a 3"-5" opening for turning.  Turn bag right sides out and slip lining inside bag.  

21.  Edge stitch all the way around the top closing opening and finishing the bag!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Week in Review






Well...I have had yet again, another busy week.  I completed a custom order for an Etsy customer; I made a shopping cart cover with Heather Ross' Fish in Bags fabric with a contrasting brown.  I sold a tote bag a made ages ago.  I finished a really cute apron using Robert Kaufman's Sweet Tooth fabric.  I made two flannel baby blankets for that friend that apparently is keeping me in business!   I also made the invitation for my son's first birthday party.  I can't believe a whole year has gone by already!  It's like somebody hit fast forward....I just wish I could find the slow motion button because it is going waaaayyy to fast.  Today, I am planning on making a Trick or Treat bag for my daughter;  she is going to be Minnie Mouse (the baby is going to  be Mickey) so I bought some black fabric and some red with large white polka dots to make her a bag.  I haven't quite worked out the pattern for that yet, but I've got all day (waiting for the cable guy to install new (faster!!!) Internet service).
I'm really excited for the EtsyMom Team-wide Month long Giveaway coming up in November.  We have had a HUGE response and it should be a lot of fun.  We are giving away two prizes everyday the whole month of November!  So, check back often for more details.  In the team vein, I also got another treasury;  this week I featured cupcakes....yummy!!!  My next one should be tutu cute!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Another Busy Week...





This week was another busy week!  I completed a custom sewing project for an Etsy customer, a baby blanket for a friend, and a dress I listed in my shop.  Oh, and a blanket and onesie set to list in my shop also.  I am going to start work on designing a website with the goal of being up and running by the end of the month, just in time for Christmas shopping!!!  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tag You're It

So I have been tagged by J.LeighDesignz.  
The game is 6 Random Things.  
Here are the rules:
  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Write 6 random things about yourself.
  4. Tag more or less 6 people a the end of your post.
  5. Let each person know he/she has been tagged.
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
So, here goes...
  1. I am over thirty and grossly overweight, but much to my husband's surprise, I can still do a cartwheel (my four-year-old, however, was unimpressed when she saw me do it).
  2. I can install vinyl siding on a house (actually cut it and put it up), as well as plywood sheathing(on the exterior walls, I DON'T go on the roof), and drywall.
  3. I used to be a natural blond, but then I had kids who turned it dark, and now I am a slightly unnatural blond.
  4. I am pathologically honest.  (Literally!)
  5. After much resistance, I relented to friends several years ago and read a little children's book called "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"  and fell hopelessly in love(with the series, not Harry).
  6. Extreme Makeover Home Edition is my favorite show, with Grey's Anatomy running a close second...Desperate Housewives is my guilty pleasure.
So that's me in a very small nutshell.  I am tagging CinnamonSpice, Rebeccas Rags, Tote-N-Tots, Two Zany Zebras,  Wyles Style, and  Rosies Cozies.

I have had another busy week and will post on the fruits of my  labors as soon as I finish a few ongoing projects.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Busy, Busy, Bee

Fall is here...(and with it come those little bees, you know the ones).  Well, I took a page from  their book and I have been busy, busy, busy.  I made a small daycare/toddler tote for a friend to give as a gift, a custom diaper bag (LOVE the fabric) for an Etsy customer and 2 custom crayon rolls for an Etsy customer.  I also managed to snag a treasury, you can check it out on the EtsyMom blog.  I have loads of fabric waiting to become something and I can't wait to get to it.  I have one more custom blanket to make for that same friend to give as a gift and then I can go to town on all the things running through my head!