First Craft Fair

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Well it finally came and went, my very first craft show. I have spent so much time sewing and sewing and sewing and trying to build an inventory in 4 short weeks. And although I did not meet my goals as far as amount of inventory, I was pleased with what I was able to bring.

The pictures are not great, but you can get the idea. I thought the $1 and $2 bins would be a hit, but I was wrong….and if they weren’t going to pay $2 for handmade flowers with quality clips on the back, well that should tell you how willing they were to buy anything else from me ;). I couldn’t even manage to give away candy to very many people! It was a tough crowd.

But it wasn’t all bad. I really did enjoy the day. It was fun to see how everyone else decorates their booths, and takes that 6×6 space and OWNS it! (6×6 is even smaller than it sounds). I also got to spend the day with my booth-mate and friend, Minina. We had lots of fun talking and catching up. Her sweet husband brought us lunch AND dessert…thanks Adam! All in all, it was a fun time.

We also had the opportunity to meet new people…some that I have admired over the web, like the Owl and the Envelope, and some that had yummy wine and friendly conversations, like Lyndi Rouse ! I even had a guest stop by! Thank you Brandon (my husband’s college roomie and amazingly talented photog)  for coming to wish me luck and show off that darling little girl of yours.  I wish that I had mingled more and met more of the talented people there. I just felt like a bother walking around staring at their goodies because I didn’t intend to purchase…. well maybe if I had made some money I would have been inclined to spend some.

My display worked well. It showed off the goods so that everyone could see everything, no one had to sift through much. Everyone responded well to the clothes and even the purses. I actually had people checking stitches (which is something I secretly do, but pretend I don’t 🙂 ) and were pleasantly surprised that it looked neat on the inside and out.

I would like to think of a better way to display the knits. They don’t look nearly as adorable laying flat as they do on a cute little head, or whatever, round 3D object you have….maybe some styrofoam balls would do the trick. We decided that it would also be nice to have a stamp with my logo on it for last minute price tags and for stamping the bags that purchased goods go in.  If I were to do craft shows on a more regular basis I would also get a credit card swiper…I think people just enjoy the convenience. One little girl, maybe 7 or 8 yrs old, told her Dad, “hurry I want to go find the ATM noooooowwww”. I got a good laugh out of that one.

So, hopefully next time the sales will be better and the company will be just as enjoyable. I would definitely do it again….but I’m going to need some R and R first 😉

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Sorry…

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Not that I had any readers on the edge of their seats awaiting my return, but I really was hoping to keep up with this more regularly. My goal was originally to post once or twice a week as I found things that inspired me to create, so I could inspire you to create. However, ever since I signed up for this craft show (March 11th at Southlake Hilton, in case you were planning on coming to see me!) I haven’t had a free second. I have been taking orders and also trying to build an inventory at the same time. And, well, I’m not very good at it. I can’t seem to work on the same thing for more than a day 🙂 We’ll say it’s sewing ADD. It’s nice to have lots of different options to offer people, but I’m afraid I won’t have more than one or two of each thing in each size. Hopefully customers will be understanding and willing to order something if they don’t see it there!
Anyways, I do have lots of tutorials or craft inspirations to share…I want to write a post on what to do with all of those unused t-shirts clogging up the space in your drawers. I want to try my hand at some how-to’s….how to start sewing, how to start knitting, or crocheting. It would be helpful if my dear readers would comment and tell me what they would like to know.
So this post is just basically an apology to myself and to you for not keeping up with my blog. I will do better….after March 11th!!

Diaper Bag

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I’ve been tossing around ideas about what to enter in the Sew-vivor competition. I have been making lots of kids clothes lately, and that was my first thought. But I just felt that, while I love the clothes I make, I wasn’t sure if it showed much sewing skill. So I tried to think about which sewing projects have been my most challenging….and I have decided that it’s my Diaper Bag. So that is what I plan on entering.

I think the most challenging part of making my bags is adding lots of structure and details. Ironing in the interfacing for all the pieces of this bag takes me FOREVER….and ironing is definitely not my favorite thing to do. But the final product is worth it, so here it is:

I Need Your Help!…(Don’t freak out it’s not super urgent)

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I have never entered a sewing contest before, but I randomly came upon this one and I want in!! But….I can’t decide what to post. In the initial round there is no limit to what you can post, no guidelines (well except that it must be sewn by you), and I’m having a hard time deciding what to enter. My husband and a few friends vote for a purse. I am torn…I like my purses, but how creatively can you photograph a purse? I just made a new style of dress, which I LOVE, and I thought about entering that, but I’m not sure how much it shows off my sewing skills. But kids clothes do photograph nicely….. :/ The only other thing I have is an unfinished quilt…which I could finish since I have all of Feb to do so. I’ll post the pics, you help me decide!!!! Pretty please with sugar on top 🙂

You can click on the pics to get a better view….

Thanks for helping out! I look forward to hearing what you have to say 🙂

How To Cute-ify Your Kids Clothes.

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This is my first tutorial, so be patient with me, and if you have a question….please ask it! I would love some feedback from this.

So I recently discovered something called ‘Wonder Under’. (Wonder Under is just a brand name, and actually not even the brand that I bought, but I keep calling it Wonder Under the same way most Texans call all sodas ‘ Coke’, or people who don’t play video games call all game systems ‘Nintendo’.) I had heard of it, but thought it was just a tool to use when you couldn’t use a sewing machine to make a hem. And it does come in strips so you can avoid sewing hems, but it also comes in big sheets, and that is what we will use today.

For this little activity you will need a few things:

  • Wonder Under (or Steam a Seam, or any brand of double-sided iron on backing)
  • Kids T-shirt
  • small amount of fabric
  • stencil of whatever you want to put on the shirt
  • non-fusible featherweight interfacing
  • iron/ironing board
  • your choice of embellishments (I used embroidery needle, thread, and small hoop…you can bedazzle, sew on machine, the possibilities are endless)
  • sewing machine (unless you don’t mind raw edges, or are using a fabric that doesn’t fray)

First, you need to figure out what you want to put on the shirt. It could be a letter of the first name, a simple shape, anything really. I think for a first project though, maybe pick something easy like a simple shape: square, triangle, heart or circle.

Cut out shape

Either draw or print out your picture, then cut it out. Trace it onto your fabric (I would use a disappearing ink pen, or chalk), cut it out of your fabric, then cut one out of your interfacing. (note: if you want your picture to have raw edges and fray, don’t worry about the interfacing, just skip that part).

Trace on interfacing

Pin your interfacing to the right side of your fabric, then sew all the way around the edge. Try to get close to the edge. I line mine up with the inside of my presser foot.

  

Pin interfacing to right side of fabric

Now cut a small slit in the interfacing, and flip your shape inside out. Run your fingers along the inside of your shape, pushing out all of the edges and trying to get them to be as smooth as possible. Then iron it flat.

       

Nice clean edge!

Next, trace your shape on to your Wonder Under, cut that out. I’m not sure if all brands are like this, but mine is sticky on both sides, but you can easily pull it off the fabric. So after you cut it out you can stick it to the fabric and make sure they line up just right, and if they don’t, trim the edges a bit. Once you have the fabric lined up on the wonder under, peel the back paper off, and stick your design wherever you want it on the shirt. You can stick in one spot and test that out…if that doesn’t work for you pull it up and try another until you are happy with it. Once you have it in place, iron it on. Read your instructions! Mine says to iron it on cotton setting for 15-20 seconds. You can tell around the edges if it has worked or not, but in the middle it’s a little harder to tell. Just be sure to iron it at least as long as the instructions say, and then maybe a little longer just to be sure…just don’t burn your fabric!

Trace shape and cut it out of the wonder under  
Make sure they line up, then take off the paper backing 

Set it where you want it to go, then iron it down, following the instructions on your wonder under

Now look!! We have taken a plain shirt and made it something special 🙂 My daughter was thrilled with it like this, but I am not done yet.

I like the look of hand embroidery, and since it was one of my New Year resolutions to try, I am going to embellish my design by hand. You could also stitch around it on your sewing machine, or glue millions of little plastic crystals to it, or if you have a bedazzler…..then bedazzle that thing!!

A couple of tips for hand embroidery…1. Don’t sweat it if it’s not perfect, that’s the beauty of doing something by hand…it’s like a fingerprint or handwriting, it’s uniquely yours. 2. Use a thimble, it will save your fingers! Pushing a needle through layers of fabric is tough on fingertips. 3. Get a hoop. They are super cheap, and makes embroidering anything a million times easier. 4. If you have never hand embroidered, or sewn anything by hand take a second to google hand embroidery….I learned from my Grandmother years ago, but I used Youtube.com as a refresher.

Once you are done you can sit back and enjoy your handy work. If you don’t sew you can still do this…just omit the interfacing, or sew that by hand. I think it would be cute to have a frayed look around the edge. The wonder under stuff claims that it will stay put forever, wash after wash, but I never trust that and usually sew some kind of stitch around the outside.

Hope this was somewhat of a help, or at least a stepping stone to get you to try something new.

Let me know if it worked out for you and maybe you could share your creations with me! If you have any questions at all, just leave me a comment.

Happy crafting everyone 🙂

Distracted

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Last week was one of those weeks when I had lots to do, and I didn’t want to do any of it. I needed to figure out what to do for my son’s party, I had multiple purses on the list, a hat, a scarf, and some other errands that needed to be done. But each time I sat down to work on those things I just felt so bored, my mind was racing to a million other things I would have rather been doing. So I gave in, I set aside my ‘need to do’ list and pulled out my ‘want to do’ list!

First we went to the store to buy some organizational supplies and some homeschool supplies, and a couple of hoola hoops! We got home and I couldn’t wait to get started on our first project…a new rug! I had seen one on Pinterest, and now we were going to make it. My oldest wasn’t so excited about me using ‘her’ hoola hoop, but she had some fun making the rug with me. Despite my excitement and love for the rug, it did not turn out well. When they say ‘don’t pull the loops tight when you are weaving’….they mean it. I didn’t pull on purpose, it’s just that t-shirts tend to stretch easily, and well……

 

Before...

And after 😦

 

 

So, it didn’t go as planned, but that’s ok. We’ll give it another try sometime. Meanwhile, we’ll just work on our mad hoola hooping skills!

Next on my list was a fabric basket. We needed a little basket to store games and videos in for the kids room. I also so a how-to on pinterest about this as well. I had found a yard of material in the scrap bin at Hobby Lobby for a dollar, so it seemed like the perfect choice for this project. It took me an hour or so because I didn’t need the ID pocket or the handles…just wanted something really simple (and fast).  I love the way it turned out! The only thing I would change is I would buy heavier duty plastic mesh. I just didn’t want to spend a dollar a sheet, but I guess it would have been worth it 🙂

After that I decided I better get started on some ‘need to do’s ‘, so I went out to find my size 8 or 9 needles and couldn’t find them anywhere, but as I was looking, I noticed an old baby quilt that I had started 5 1/2 years ago (before my oldest was born). All it lacked was the binding. I had pieced it, hand quilted it, and then packed it up because I didn’t know how to bind it. I’m sure I had planned to dump it off on my grandmother so she could bind it…I probably just forgot. Anyways, it just so happened that I had recently seen a tutorial about binding….you guessed it…on Pinterest. So I pulled up the link, read over the instructions, was shocked at how simple she made it look, and then I was off to bind my quilt! It took about an hour to bind it by hand…an hour!! I had waited 5 1/2 years to finish it, both of my babies missed out on using it…and it would have only taken me an hour?! Sigh. But at least it’s done now! And I think they will get some use out of it, even if they aren’t really babies anymore.

So, once I got these projects completed and out of my head, I found that I could think a little clearer, I was a little happier, and even though they weren’t on my list of things that needed to be done, it felt good to complete those projects. Especially the quilt, my first sewing project on my machine. It brought back lots of happy memories to work on it, and I hope to finish more quilts soon.

After freeing up some thinking space I was able to have my son’s birthday. I made him a really cool robot shirt to wear on his special day (wonder under tutorial coming soon…). It was low-key, not a super party, but he had a great time. He had an adventure in the morning and a party with family that night…and I was able to make the only thing he asked me for, a robot cake.

Don't judge me on my cake making skills!! 🙂

***Sorry about the quality of the photos, I’m working on that. I am trying to use my camera without selecting the point and shoot options…I am determined to know how to use this thing!

And the winners are…….

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The winner of the spices from Horton’s Heats and Treats is Ang Alford!

The winner of the baby gift set from Sew in the Mood is Kelly Foss!

The winner of the dress from Babycakes is Ellen Tidwell!

The winner of the owl from Sew Much Love is Tiffany Wolf!

The winner of the valentine zippy pouch from Walla Bear Designs is Shiela Horton!!

And, the winner of the purse by Nomadic Needles is Stephanie Kalish!!

Congratulations to the winners and thank you all so much for participating!! Giveaways are always fun, and I am sure there will be more to come 🙂 A BIG thank you to all of the sponsors  who donated items for the giveaway, I really do appreciate it and you can count on me anytime you are hosting one.

Getting Spicy with Horton’s Heats and Treats

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Quick recap of the rules: You must like the facebook page of the person who contributed the prize, and you must like my new page, Nomadic Needles. Leave them a nice comment on their page (and you could even mention that I sent you!).  If your name is drawn and we find that you are not a fan of the page, then you will be disqualified and another name will be drawn. After ‘liking’ their page, you may leave a comment under the post about their prize and you will be entered. If you subscribe to my blog, fantastic! I should have no problems contacting you if you win. However, if you are not subscribed and post anonymously I will not be able to find a way to contact you, so please leave your email address in your comment!

Names will be drawn on January 14th at 9 pm central time, so you will have to tune in that day to see if you are a winner!

Next prize in the giveaway was donated by Horton’s Heats and Treats. Up for grabs is a 3 pack of custom blended spices (I know there are 5 in the picture…but you only get 3). These aren’t your ordinary spices, Horton’s makes sure you only get the highest quality! Get your entry in so you can add some flavor to your meal 😉

You know the rules, like Horton’s Heats and Treats facebook page and then leave them a comment on this post to be entered. You can check out their website for all the flavor varieties.

My Turn!

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Quick recap of the rules: You must like the facebook page of the person who contributed the prize, and you must like my new page, Nomadic Needles. Leave them a nice comment on their page (and you could even mention that I sent you!).  If your name is drawn and we find that you are not a fan of the page, then you will be disqualified and another name will be drawn. After ‘liking’ their page, you may leave a comment under the post about their prize and you will be entered. If you subscribed to my blog, fantastic! I should have no problems contacting you if you win. However, if you are not subscribed and post anonymously I will not be able to find a way to contact you, so please leave your email address in your comment!

Names will be drawn on January 14th at 9 pm central time, so you will have to tune in that day to see if you are a winner!

So today it’s my turn!! And up for grabs is this beautiful new messenger bag. I found this fabric and couldn’t wait to use it for the giveaway! I only wish the sun had been out for even a minute today so I could have gotten a better picture…this one just doesn’t do the colors justice. (If there is better weather tomorrow I will update the pic.) So, details: This messenger bag is made with cotton, and lined with heavy fleece stabilizer, you can machine wash it if you need to, but lay flat to dry, iron where needed. It has one zippered pocket inside and two pouch pockets. There is also a key clip inside to keep from losing them in the bottom of your bag. It’s about 13 in tall and 15 in wide. The strap is adjustable so you can wear it across the body or on one shoulder. $50 value and possibly yours free!!

 

You  know the drill, like my page Nomadic Needles, and then comment to this post to be entered in the drawing 🙂 Thanks and good luck!

Sew in the Mood!!!

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Quick recap of the rules: You must like the facebook page of the person who contributed the prize, and you must like my new page, Nomadic Needles. Leave them a nice comment on their page (and you could even mention that I sent you!).  If your name is drawn and we find that you are not a fan of the page, then you will be disqualified and another name will be drawn. After ‘liking’ their page, you may leave a comment under the post about their prize and you will be entered. If you subscribe to my blog, fantastic! I should have no problems contacting you if you win. However, if you are not subscribed and post anonymously I will not be able to find a way to contact you, so please leave your email address in your comment!

Names will be drawn on January 14th at 9 pm central time, so you will have to tune in that day to see if you are a winner!

Our next contributor is Sew in the Mood. This shop is new to facebook so really show her some love! On this page you will find all kinds of unique gifts for big or little kids.  One lucky winner will get to choose ONE of these two rag quilt sets, Girly Skulls or Zebra!!

Zebra quilt is made with fleece and is 32in x 23in and matching zebra is 16 in tall.

Girl skulls quilt is made of flannel and is 26in x 26in. The girly skulls also comes with a coordinating burp cloth that has a heart and crossbones. Each set is up to a $40 value.

So please go ‘like’ Sew in the Mood, and then leave a comment under this post so you can be entered to win.

If you have not subscribed to my blog and post under anonymous I will not be able to contact you if you win…so be sure if you post anonymously to leave an email address 🙂  Good luck everyone!