Christmas gifts are almost always fun to pick out, wrap and give for me. I love it. The only time its even a little bit not fun is when I am trying to find something for that person that seemingly has everything. For me those people are my mom and step dad. I can, and do buy them random stuff that I think they might like but for the most part its really hard to find a good gift. This year I decided to do something way different. I’m putting together a Christmas newsletter as a gift to them (and to share with everyone else). I think more than anything this will be something they can enjoy without cluttering up their house with crap they don’t need. Who doesn’t love cute family pictures?? And cute family anecdotes? I feel like Clark Griswald.
My idea is to include a map with all the places we’ve been as a group, my sister, step-sister, mother, step dad, brother and brothers wife, and Carl. I also want to include anecdotes from the year, updates on everyone, hopes for next year, quotes and verses that were significant to everyone, and any significant moments. I plan to do this in Microsoft publisher because its the program we use for our church newsletter and I know how to manipulate it better than anything else. Plus I can use the ready made template of that newsletter for this one just add some holiday flair. I think I might try to divide it by season but that plan is very tentative. Either way I am pretty flipping excited about seeing how this goes (and pretty nervous about the amount of work involved to make it awesome) .
I’m still chugging along making quiet book pages for baby Carl. I finally managed to join two pages! Go me! These two pages and the rocket ship from a couple of weeks ago are going in a 10-12 page Space themed quiet book. I’m really excited to be actually working toward and making progress on one that might actually be finished before he gets here. I completely came up with this particular pattern on my own using fabric I picked up as scraps for a quarter a piece at the thrift store. I haven’t decided exactly how to bind the pages but that will come soon enough!
The planets are back with black felt and cut out from space printed fabric. They have sticky velcro on the back and there is sticky velcro on the pages. The sun has been machine embroidered onto one end.
What are you all working on right now?
First let me just gush a little! Today is baby shower number 2! Hosted by the amazing ladies at my home Parish. I am so incredibly excited. I can’t believe it is finally here!
I’m still chugging along making quiet book pages for baby Carl. I haven’t joined any of them yet, though today will probably be that day since I finally finished two related pages. I have two universe pages with velcro planets to show you all in the next few weeks. Those pages and this rocket ship are going in a 10-12 page Space themed quiet book. I’m really excited to be actually working toward and making progress on one that might actually be finished before he gets here. For now though I will say that the pattern for this page comes from the same place as the baseball page.
There are still a ton of baby things I want to make and do, but for now I am just chugging along one project at a time.
What are you all working on right now?
This month I had a lot of things to finish and I actually managed to finish quite a few! First the bibs!
I hand embroidered the raindrops on and cut the clouds out of some prequilted material I saved.
I finished a complete page from the space themed quiet book! One side is half of my universe system and half is a rocket ship and moon.
And finally these lovely clocks! The first one was commissioned and the second one I made because I loved the first one so well but wanted to incorporate some different themes.
This is my second clock and thus far its my favorite! I really love the way it turned out, though I have decided to probably not purchase the same type of mechanism again. Live and learn I suppose.
There are more clock adventures to come! Meanwhile this clock is available in my Etsy shop.
I really enjoy a good post series and My Thrifty Thursday posts have thus far been rather awesome and I have plans to continue that at least through March. In that spirit I want to start a new series. Baby Steps will be full of posts about things that I making for Carl or things that have been handmade for him or things I think would be neat to make for him in the future. I think that creating things for my new little human is a great way to inspire him to maybe be a creative and thoughtful human being. I want him to know that we all were very excited for his arrival and in that excitement we worked with our hands and with our gifts and talents to make special things for him. His Great grandmother has already made caps and a blanket for him (which I will feature later), I’ve made several little things that will pop up, and a friend made a lovely knitted blanket and gave it to me for Christmas.
One of the many things I have been working on lately are small projects for baby Carl. This weeks project was a dinosaur book page. This pattern I came up with mostly on my own. I only have a few other pages completed so right now it looks a little barren. Hopefully more will come soon.
Here are my pieces:
This neat little page has tabby pieces of ribbon on the dinosour and soft flexible tree leaves. I can’t wait to add more dinosaur pages!
The past few weeks have been hectic to an extreme degree but I’ve still found a few minutes to make some new things. I’ve had fun experimenting with new bib ideas and coffee cozies and changing up an old hoop art design.
The oxytocin bib, cloud bib, and creeper face bib are all available in my Etsy shop. The Jack Skellington bib I made from a pair of Steven’s old Pajama pants so that is especially for Carl. 🙂
I really love the way this turned out. I’ve been wanting to do one for little boys for a while and I finally did. This is also available in my Etsy shop.
And finally these rather nerdy cup cozies. The one on the left is Seratonin and the one of the right is a Caffeine molecule. I have had a lot of fun actually doing something with all the ideas floating around in my noggin.
I also made this rather spur of the moment for the sister for Valentines day. 🙂 Eventually it should be available in the shop as well.
What have you been working on?
I can’t believe it has been a little over a month since my last craft fair. For a while there it felt like I was doing one every week…and for a little while there I was. That will soon kick up again as March comes rolling around but I am not pushing too hard to make a lot happen before then. I need this recovery time to reevaluate what I am making, what works and what doesn’t, and to reflect on why I do this in the first place. Plus it is really hard to try out new designs when you are constantly selling your wares. In case you missed the first few posts on Selling Your Wares here is a link to the first and second posts I did on the subject. All of this brings me to my next Selling Your Wares tip; Evolve! What does that mean exactly?
1. What are you selling? or trying to sell?
If what you are trying to sell isn’t selling then that in and of itself is a problem. There could be a dozen reasons for this, but you really need to dig deep to figure out what your specific reason might be. Are you selling to the right audience? Are you selling an overly saturated product? For instance, I don’t sell hair bows, of any variety. I can make them. I think they are cute. I have made several and tried to sell them at least in the very beginning, but as I got out into the crafting world a little more I realized that the market is grossly over saturated with bows and hair accessories. I’m not that attached to the product. I don’t have a little girl. It isn’t the best use of my talents. Therefor I don’t sell them. I used to make tablet cases, and while I am dipping my toe back into that market, I am doing it from a completely different perspective because again, the market is over saturated online and locally they simply don’t sell. No one here in my area wants one that isn’t highly customized. So I customize, but I don’t take the shot gun approach like I do with some of my other products.
2. Say what you are selling is actually selling very successfully, Is it actually profitable?
This is sort of hard for me to answer sometimes. Unless I am on a special project all my fabric is discounted or thrifted. I don’t really believe in buying new fabric at outrageous prices when there is so much at discount markets and that can be thrifted and given a new life. I am a recycler at heart. Still I have to put some thought into pricing. I’m not a charity. How much an item costs in supplies is often only a small percentage of the price. When you are making something please remember how much time it takes to make and figure that into your overall costs. Otherwise you are just throwing time and money away.
3. Are you enjoying making it?
This is probably the easiest question to answer in some ways. If you aren’t enjoying what you are making you are never going to be successful or enjoy the success when you make it there. I sold pajama pants for a year or so but I hated making them. Therefor I finally stopped making them because there just wasn’t enough actual profit in it to get past my dislike of that making process. You are a maker. Make what you love!
If you can answer all those hard questions then you can take the steps to use the information you have painstakingly gather about yourself and your craft to evolve into something better and more profitable and more fun for you as a maker.
How do you self evaluate your creative venture?
It is rare that I make the mistake of not saving as I go or not saving a post properly, but I am afraid with this post that is exactly what happened. In spite of that I just rewrote it and here we are! I don’t normally decorate for Valentines Day, but this first item on the round up caught my eye and inspired me to see what other neat Valentines decor I could find. Happy decorating!
1. This neat wreath from I’m Feelin Crafty comes with an easy to follow tutorial!
2. This neat yard banner could be hung anywhere and you could sew it or even glue it together. Check out the tutorial here!
3. This neat heart door decor could be sewn or glued just like the banner above and would come together in a snap. Get the tutorial from Junque 2 Jewels.
4. I think these ombre sugar cubes were originally meant for a wedding but it would be quite awesome to have around when making tea or coffee this February.
5. This decor piece takes a little more work but look how awesome it is. You can find the tutorial on Three Scoops of Love.
6. These candles could do double duty as decor or gift and while there is no tutorial they are fairly self explanatory!
7. I can’t wait for baby Carl’s first Valentines day just so we can make this sign! The tutorial is here at 517 Creations.
8. The tutorial is all in the picture in this neat heart garland!
9. There is not tutorial for this neat book page banner, but it would be easy enough to make. I love using vintage book pages for neat crafts like this!
10. Of all the Valentines decor I found this is my favorite thing. I plan on making this today! It’s cute and cheap. Just click on the picture for a tutorial from Money Hip Mamas.
I hope you enjoyed all of those neat decor ideas! Do you have any Valentines decor planned?
First! If you haven’t already enter the Winter 2015 giveaway click on the picture below to enter!
I have realized in the last few weeks that the Nesting frenzy that supposedly happens to pregnant women is not a myth. It is one of the few things I can really say they speak the truth about before you get pregnant. I have a lot of ideas and I am gathering supplies and making little things and getting just generally very excited. Our theme for Carl’s Nursery is Adventure! We are incorporating maps and travel themes and general means of transportation. Its sort of a part UP!, part antique map room, part library. I think it is going to be the neatest Nursery any baby ever has. I’m really rather excited. This weeks round up is just a few of the ideas and projects and I am working on.
1. I really like this Nursery from Project Nursery!
2. I already have the wood for an awesome Growth Ruler.
This would be neat for a little girl. Click on the picture for the tutorial.
3. This Alpha Phonetics chart may be the neatest thing I have ever seen. The link is no longer valid but I am on the lookout for a similar one.
4. Cafe Press have several neat rugs and these are the two I have my eye on to choose between.
5. I love vintage suitcases. I have my eye on several. And this bear is so darn cute.
6. I have several Baby Mobile ideas, here are a few.
7. I have a dresser with mirror that I hope to do something like this with. The color and decor are just beautiful.
8. Globes! I want to have a ton of globes! I have a couple but I am still searching for several more.
I love these painted ones as well as this
9. I have ordered some wooden letters already to decoupage with map paper like these.
10. And finally, I love the idea of this neat heart art. One heart is where Dad was born, one where Mom was born and one where baby was born.