Thursday, March 31, 2011

Etsy Treasury - Asymmetry Pillow

A few days ago, I was happy to find that an etsy shopper (oladybugo) included my Asymmetry Pillow in her handpicked treasury, To Pretty for a Pillow Fight.



There really area some beautiful pillows out there...if only I had a giant house with lots of rooms to fit them all in...

Decorative Pillows
[dek-er-uh-tiv] [pil-ohs]:
The perfect outlet for boundless creativity. The ideal room accessory. The distinct way to bring interest, color, texture or just that little touch of something to a room.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Asymmetrical Pillow Design

Meet Texture Squared's distant cousin:



I told you I had fun sewing the square textured pillow design and that I might just do it again...and this time instead of straight laced and even lines, I opted for slightly askew.

I really love the look and feel of these fancy fleece pillows. They are so soft and snuggly.

And I have even more ideas up my sleeve.


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Selling homemade: craft fairs and consignment

Selling handmade items online (i.e. etsy.com) is a great and effective way reach customers, but you have to admit, there is something special about the human touch.

In the real world, you walk into a shop and see an item that catches your eye. You pick it up. You run your fingers across its soft texture. You connect with it. You can't keep your eyes off of it. You hold it and know it has to be yours.

While many of us don't have a physical shop where we can sell, there are ways it can be done. As the season shifts onward to summer, plans for street fairs, craft fairs, farmers markets (some run all year) and city celebrations begin. Find out what's in your area and how you can display and sell some of your handmade items.

For Washington State, I found a website Washington Fairs and Festivals that lists craft fairs and festivals going on right now, through the rest of the summer. Also check your city websites for upcoming events.

I, myself, am going to join a crafters showcase at a local Washington favorite, Remlinger Farms. Their Northwest Crafts Showcase allows local artisans and crafters, like me, to have a place to sell for the summer. A place where handmade meets human contact. Sigh. They do charge a $40 set up fee for the season and 30% of your sale goes to the farm (ouch), but for me, I'm looking forward to joining the real world, if just for a season (no pun intended, well maybe just a little).

What about consignment?
Find a local shop willing to place your items on consignment. I know the idea of approaching shop owners sounds intimidating (I still haven't gotten the guts up to ask a couple local shops myself), but it can't hurt to ask, right?! A portion of your sale will most likely go to the shop, but since they're proving the place, a reasonable fee seems only fair. Just make sure you're comfortable with the agreement.

Any other ideas?
Good luck with your sales!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mini doughnuts - too good not to be shared!


Are you drooling yet?


How about now?
*All photos courtesy of Frieda Loves Bread

A friend of mine, Frieda, from Frieda Loves Bread made the most mouthwatering little personal sized doughnuts...in three different flavors...seriously every time I look at these pictures I have to swallow. Hard. So I don't choke on my own drool.

For anyone who loves doughnuts as much as I do, you've got to try these recipes. They are scrumptious little pieces of heaven.

And, Frieda, if you're reading this, I hope you don't mind me borrowing these pictures from your website...these little gems were too good not to be shared!! :)

Click below for the recipes.
You now have permission to drool freely.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Texture Squared Fleece Pillow

I love texture. I love pillows. I love the softness of fleece. And I love the crisp purity of white.

So I decided to combine all four...

Introducing: Texture Squared




I can't help but want to run my fingers over its textured softness.

And I have to say, I kind of broke all the rules with this one by sewing it inside out (I'm kind of crazy that way)...
right sides together
,
flat seams
...but I have to admit, it was fun and I love the way it turned out. So fun, in fact, that I just might do it again.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

How to make a mirror image for your iron on labels

I found out today that I left someone hanging, mid-label making. I'm sorry!
It's like the joke without the punch line.
Or the combination without the last number.

I don't want to leave anyone in a quandary mid-label-making. So here's the rest of the story; the punch line; the last number...

Back in my post on how to create your own labels for your sewing or crafting creations, I mentioned that you can create your label in Word and then flip it as a mirror image, in order to use iron on transfer paper.

The question is, how do you get a mirror image?

If using a photo editing program you can usually find an option to flip or rotate your image and then once rotated, save your new mirror image. From there you can print it *or copy and paste it into a Word document. (*see using a Word document)

If using a Word document, there are a couple of options.
If you created your label in Word with or without adding an image:

Here is a screenshot of my labels in a Word document. I used a table to set up the formatting, inserted a small image on the left, and typed in the text on the right. This is saved as a Word document.

As far as I know, there is no way to flip a Word doc in Word. In order to get a mirror image, you set it as a print option. Every printer is a little different, but this is how mine works:

1. Go to File: Print
2. A print box pops up. Click Properties.
3. Another box pops up. Click Advanced tab.
4. Click the 4th box over with the A's flipped. This is a page setting option.
5. Click the box for Mirror print. You will see The A flip.
6. Once you see the image flip, click OK.
7. The second box closes and you click OK to print. Your images will come out flipped. (*Do a test print on paper before inserting your iron on transfer paper, just to be sure, but it did work correctly for me)


Word Document option 2:

If the label you created is an image (.jpg) and you have simply inserted the image into a Word document, you can flip your image this way:

1. Insert your image into the Word document [Insert: Picture: From file].
2. Select your image
3. Go to the drawing toolbar [if this toolbar is not in view, click view: toolbars: drawing]
4. Click Draw: Rotate or Flip: Flip Horizontal

5. Save your new mirror image
6. Print normally.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me. I hope this is clear and helpful! Happy Label Making!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan Disaster Relief

I have admired Shachiko's work, from Tea Rose Home, for a long time. She's lovely and very talented.

I recently read about her heartache concerning her family living in Japan and was so relieved to hear that her sister and family survived the earthquake. Her concerns now are, of course, about the new threat of radiation.

In honor of Shachiko, her family and homeland of Japan, here is a link back to her site about how you can help support those currently struggling in Japan. My prayers, with many, continue to go out for her family and all those affected by this tragedy.



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Post a link to your etsy shop at The Tattered Tag

I think this is so cool, so I have to share!

Christina, from The Tattered Tag, not only has a Sunday blog party, she also has a page link called The Homespun Slate, where all of us crafters can post links to our etsy shops.


How cool is she??
Join up!
Thanks Christina!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chic Pale Pink Ruffled Pillow

Ah, more luscious ruffles...I just can't help myself. And this time it's in pretty pale pink.


I love the look and texture. I used the same basic design as the shabby ruffled pillow, but this time I decided to try finishing the edges with a 2mm hemmer foot.

I love how the ruffles seem to dance across the front. And I love the whimsical look of hand ruffling.


Why do I crave cotton candy every time I look at it?
or is it pink frosting?


and I decided to dress up the envelope back just a touch, by adding an extra panel. I like how it lies nice and flat.
And as Audrey Hepburn so eloquently put it, "I believe in pink."
So do I.


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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fixing a low neckline

I found this cool t-shirt a while ago on one of Macy's sale racks. Unfortunately, the neckline is a little low for my comfort...and I always intended on fixing it...but as that goes, it's been in my closet for a while.


Since my husband had to work early this morning (and we were up with the roosters), I decided to make the most of my early morning and finally fix this low neckline.

Here are a few ideas to fill in those low necklines, and although all of them are cute ideas, I ended up liking the last one the best...after 6 previous attempts.

Design #1 - flat ruffles
I tried a flat ruffled look by cutting strips from a navy t-shirt and laying them systematically on the inside of the neckline (the t-shirt is inside out). This design would also be cute sewn right on the front of the neckline.


Although it is a cute look, after trying it on I decided the navy knit was a bit too heavy for this t-shirt design.

Design #2 - Flowing ruffles
I had a ruffled strip of black sheer polyester from something I had cut up, so I thought I'd try it underneath the neckline...but after trying it on (while still pinned on underneath - and ouch, watch those pins), it looked like I had black lettuce growing up from under my shirt. No thank you.

But it might be lovely on a different shirt...and maybe sewn directly onto the front.

Design #3 - Modern day dickie
I was going to cut it down to fit, of course, but I pinned it quickly to try on (the shirt is still inside out)...and it just wasn't the look I was going for. I really had wanted to keep the original shape of the neckline, but it would work well just to fill in the "v neck" (cut to size, of course).


Design #4 - flat strip
Next, I decided to go back to the strips and just lay one around the inside of the neckline. However, once again, after trying it on, I saw it just wasn't the right look. A bit too taylored or something.

So for design #5 I tried the same flat strip look on the outside of the neckline...but again, although it's kind of cute, after trying it on, it just wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

Design #6 - rows of flat strips
Remember how I said I had wanted to keep the original line of the neckline? Well at this point I was realizing I needed to get over it. This project was becoming much longer than I had anticipated (isn't that always the way?) and I wanted to get this t-shirt done already!

So, I decided to cut the strips a little shorter and go with a little different idea of "filling in the v-neck". This is from the inside...but again, after trying it on, it didn't look like I thought it would.



HOWEVER, as all designers know, sometimes it is your mistakes that lead you to your final destination. With that said, drum roll please...

Design #7 make-your-own-design-on-the-front (for a lack of better words)

With the strips in design #6, I designed a little something directly on the front of the shirt. And I actually liked it.

Now if only I had the energy to sew it on.
haha
Actually, I'm not kidding.
Seriously folks? By this point, all this trial and error at the early hours of the morning has made me really tired...so now that I've FINALLY settled on a design, I think I'll have to wait to sew it on later. I have to leave for work in a half an hour...if only I'd slept in when the rooster crowed.

(and in case you're wondering, we don't live on a farm. And we don't have a rooster. But if we did he would have been crowing. The End.)


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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Make your own labels / tags for your sewing creations

Have you ever thought you came up with a great idea all on your own, only to find after doing some internet searching, that you're actually like the 300th person who thought of it??

I had the *brilliant* idea of making labels for my etsy shop sewing creations by using iron on transfer paper.
And p.s., just so you know, I'm not the only one who thought of it. Surprise!

Anywho, I still wanted to share what I did in case it helps, and in case you haven't already read about the other 299 people who also had the same brilliant idea.

Okay, I started by creating a label design in a Word document.
I decided to design 3 different labels that would work for a variety items:

Next, you must flip your design to a mirror image so once it's transferred, it's readable: *for tips, see How to Make A Mirror Image post.

Using the table feature in Word, I created a document that had rows and rows of mirror image labels, which I printed onto transfer paper.

At this point you can either cut long strips to iron on several labels at a time, or cut them up. I cut mine into pieces because I wanted to iron them onto folded ribbon for my pillows.

So I laid out my ribbon
(fyi - there is a large piece of glass under the green pillowcase. You have to use a hard surface for the iron-ons and it can't have any give, so you can't use an ironing board)

Laid out the labels (image face down, of course - you don't want transfer paper on your iron!)
And ironed. It only took about 30 seconds because the image is so small.

This is the fun part. I love the excitement of peeling off the paper to reveal the label.
And here they are, ready to be cut
With ribbon, you need to fray check the ends. Some have used twill tape, among other things, but I liked the look and feel of satin ribbon for my pillow cases.
See how the ribbon folds over nicely?
And just so you know, the iron on transfer does create a stiff texture to the ribbon, on the side with the image.
And here it is pinned to the inside of the pillow case.


And sewn in
And there it is all tucked in to its new home.
For other ways to create your own labels and tags, you might want to search for make your own labels. I'm fairly certain you'll have several ideas to choose from.

Like I said, although I do come up with some good ideas from time to time, there are often 299 people who thought of it too!


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