Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baby Girl Birth Annoucements

It has been a while since I've shared some of the new things that I'm working on for the shop. A cousin of mine recently had a little girl and asked me to design a birth announcement for her. I liked them all so much, that I am adding them to the shop.
Click on the image to buy
click on the image to buy

click on the image to buy
Feel free to contact me if you are looking for a custom birth announcement.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Winner Is...

Sorry for the delay in posting the winner of the bag by Baby Gee's.
I had a loooonnng weekend away.
I was here.

With these lovely folks.

Celebrating this.

Without further delay, the winner of the tote bag is commenter #3: Adornments By Karla

Thanks to all who left comments! Karla, contact me to claim your winnings :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interview with Baby Gee's

Around the corner from my house is a darling fabric shop called Sew To Speak that I frequent quite regularly. Whenever I'm there I admire the lovely prints, check out the classes that are being offered, and dream of being able to sew (better). Much to my delight, the interview that I have today is with Michelle of Baby Gee's...and she is a teacher of some of those classes at Sew To Speak. She has also been kind enough to giveaway a super cute tote stay tuned after the interview.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: I am a stay at home mom that started my own small business called Baby Gee's about 5 years ago. I have been sewing since I was about 12 or 13 and was taught by my grandmother and aunts. My mom doesn't sew, it must have skipped a generation! When I was younger, I made bags and curtains and home decor type items because that was my interest at the time. Over the years as my children came along, my inspirations changed. I love to make items that are useful and fun at the same time...hence the bibs, burp cloths, hooded towels and blankets that are staples of my business. My 3 kids keep me pretty busy but when I get the time, you can find me in the "basement boutique" as my friends like to call it, making new creations. I have a super supportive husband so I have ended up doing the craft show circuit a lot lately. I love the "selling high" you get when people buy something you have made. It's pretty cool.
WHAT KIND OF ITEMS DO YOU SELL IN YOUR ETSY SHOP: I mainly sell items for baby and kids. Blankets, bibs, burp cloths, t-shirts with fun appliques and hooded towels are my main items. I am branching out more now to include more clothing such as bubble skirts and pillowcase dresses for little girls. These are fun to make and I can't wait to get some more items for the holiday listed in my shop.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO ETSY: I actually heard about Etsy on TV one day while watching the Today show. I checked it out and was instantly hooked. It occupied many hours of my day at first because I so excited to find a site that catered to handmade. I bought lots of items and then decided to try my hand at selling. I think it's a good alternative to having a domain of your own. Although, I have to admit, I'm not great at maintaining my site as much as I should.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOUR SHOP: I have been blogging occasionally and I post things on Facebook. I teach classes at Sew To Speak so I have my business card there and I like to generally talk about business. I also do consignment in a few shops around town so hopefully my logo and name are seen out and about. So word gets around somehow.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR SHOP RIGHT NOW: The bubble skirts for sure. I met a fellow seamster through Sew To Speak and she has the most wonderful pattern under her Figgy line. She was kind enough to let me teach the class after she moved to the west coast. I love this little skirt. It is super versatile and REVERSIBLE. Two skirts in one!!

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SHOP GOAL IN THE NEXT SIX MONTHS: I think my biggest goal is to be able to add more items and keep it up more to date. I tend to focus more on the "making" and not the technical side of things like taking pictures and listing items on a regular basis. I wish someone would do that piece for me. I also plan on working on tutorial on making a tote bag. I teach Sewing 101 where we make a tote and students request "pictures" to go along with the instructions so I thought this might be a good thing to put together.

FAVORITES: I love all kinds of music but am particularly partial to some of the older rock. My kids now know the words to Steve Miller Band..."keep on rocking me baby". That is probably not something to brag about, but funny to hear a three year old sing. I am an avid reader and love fiction of all kinds. The last movie I saw in a theatre was Talladega Nights...sad but true. I usually wait to rent it...much easier and cheaper. I have a great family, friends and I love where I live (Clintonville), so I'm feeling pretty content with life right now. I just wish there were more hours in the day! Oh yeah...and I wish the baby would sleep through the night too! :)

Thanks Michelle for the great interview! Maybe I'll run into at the fabric store one of these days!
If you want to win this great tote bag from Baby Gee's (pictured above), leave a comment on this post. It has a $25 value and is super duper cute!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photography Class - Week 2

Pictures taken by me for my photography class this week. Working on shooting in aperature priority and using available light. I love, love, love the pictures from the fair (ferris wheel and cotton candy). I think I might get them printed on canvas and hang them in my office!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Free Halloween Stickers/Printables

My has been a long time since my last freebie! I'd say it's past here is a little Halloween goodness for you to enjoy. Use these stickers and labels to make your mail pretty or fancy up your spooky gift bags.
Click here or on the image for the download. Feel free to share with you friends around the web...but no selling!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Interview with Sew Darn Simple

Something that I'd like to be better at (in the crafting world) is sewing. I know how to work the machine and make a nice straight line when I have to, but actually making things - usable things - does not come easy. That is why I'm in love with this next shop. Susan knows how to make things that are fun, functional, and eco-friendly (hello cute baggies). She makes it all seem "Sew Darn Simple". Say hello to Susan!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: My name is Susan Sanford and I live with my husband Jamie and our cat Mimi. I have been sewing since I was a little girl - I grew up in farm country in Southern Ohio and all the women in my family sewed and crocheted and cooked. So I do all of these things, along with cross-stitch when I can find time. When I'm not sewing, I am a computer programmer - I find that sewing helps me solve some of the problems that I need to "think" about a solution for.
WHAT KIND OF ITEMS DO YOU SELL IN YOUR ETSY SHOP: I make purses, accessories, and home decor. I have all sizes of purses and even backpacks. Accessories include cell phone cases, wallets, zippered cases, glasses cases, etc. I recently started making some of the reusable baggies and those are going pretty well. I have a couple of fabric baskets and pillow covers on Etsy also.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO ETSY: I was actually doing a craft show and someone asked me if I sold on Etsy - so I looked into it. I had tried to sell from my own website for a while, but it's hard to sell stuff when no one can find you.

HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOUR SHOP: I do craft shows and hand out business cards - I link to my Etsy shop from both my .com and from my blog. I love twitter and I use facebook. I have a fan page on facebook but I can't seem to get to that 100 I need to get rid of the number. My husband puts an item on Stumbleupon most days too and that seems to get me views - not sure about sales from it yet.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR SHOP RIGHT NOW: Purple is my favorite color - but I really love this blue fabric and how this boxy pouch turned out.
I think my second favorite is this new striped purse. I have three more in process from that fabric.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SHOP GOAL IN THE NEXT SIX MONTHS: I am currently averaging 9-10 items sold each month and I would love to be able to get that to 9-10 each week. I don't have a specific plan to get to that, but I can say that the sales are more frequent since I've passed the 100 sales mark, so hopefully I can find a way to keep that moving.
I'm also planning to revamp some of my product lines - for instance, my cell phone cases are now a little small for some of the newer phones (iphone and blackberry) so I need to figure out what I'm going to do about that.

FAVORITES: I don't think I'm too picky when it comes to food - although I'm not too into ethnic foods. As bad as it may be in many ways, one of my favorite foods is cheese - all kinds - my husband actually got me a "cheese of the month" club once.
I'm a mainstream pop music person - I'm not into country at all (although I listened to some in my younger years.
I love to read but don't think I do enough of it. I like mystery, espionage, romance, historical fiction, some fantasy, time travel. Right now I'm reading the Harry Potter books that I missed (I think just the last 2). I get all sorts of sewing magazines, Country Living, and Better Homes and Gardens. I don't like to read anything that is "true story" - I don't like biographies for the most part (I read some in college).
I love to work the crossword and sudoku puzzles every day in the paper (yes we still get the paper daily)
I love my cat Mimi - she's the second one I've owned, and I love to purchase cat fabrics - although you may not know it from my shop right now. I actually have PILES of cat fabrics!
Susan, thank you for a wonderful interview! Best of luck with your shop!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Winner Is...

Congratulations to comment #22 - Camelfam, you are the winner of the organizer bucket from Hev-Vin Designs.
Contact me for information on how to collect your prize!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photography Class - Week 1

Just last week I started taking a photography class. I know a bit about my fancy pants camera, but my images were not always turning out how I wanted them to. I didn't know what to do...fix the ISO, tweak the f-stop, adjust the shutter speed???

Our first class focused on the wonders of white balance and ISO settings. Turns out, these are pretty important...who knew :)
Our assignment was to take some photographs outdoors with natural light and really paying attention to our white balance and ISO settings. I don't have kids...or access to I had nature to turn to.

Here are the 5 shots that I turned in as my "homework". I'm pretty happy with them.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Interview with Hev-Vin Designs

If there was a list of things I love, purses/bags/clutches would be on it. Ask my husband. We just moved into our house and had a lengthy discussion on where to keep them all. Much to my delight, my interview today makes all kinds of lovely items that I can drool over and dream about. Say hello to Jamie of Hev-Vin Designs. (stay tuned for a giveaway at the end)
I'm Jamie Hevener - designer and seamstress, mom of a 12 year old daughter, Sarah, and wife of husband, John. I balance taking care of them, my two dogs Woody (a chocolate lab/pig in a dog suit) and Tico ( a German shepherd - terrier rescue dog) with my business.
Hev-Vin Designs is where I design and make bags, custom and ready to sell, from mostly estate quality vintage fabrics and leathers, embellishing them with antique and vintage buttons and jewelry. I will also make custom orders from the fabrics that you can find here. Upon request, I will use other fabrics too. The ready to sell bags are in my Etsy shop.

To promote my shop, I will sell at local craft shows, handing out cards and brochures for custom ordering. I also use Facebook, Twitter, and have a blog.

My favorite item in my shop would have to be "Bad Girl", which is a cross body purse which is made from estate vintage cherry red satin, black floral vintage lace and soft black leather with a re-purposed dramatic graphics belt. It's sexy and humorous. I like to play with styles by mixing masculine and feminine fabrics together and blending textures. I'm a textile fanatic. You just don't get the quality from store bought or online fabrics like you do with vintage.

In the next months, I'm really going to keep pushing with the textiles, using more hardware, old imprinted photos and vintage jewelry. I keep feeling a pull to do some fiber and mixed media art. So who knows? I'm "following my bliss" with this whole process of growing my business.

Here are some other items that make me happy too: My favorite foods are macaroni and cheese casserole, Tex Mex dishes, anything with warm cheese really.
My favorite music is classic punk (Sex Pistols, Ramones, Clash), Classic Goth (Peter Murphy, Cure), and anything with Jack White (have a small crush on him)
My favorite books are Jane Eyre by Bronte, On The Road by Jack Keroack, and anything by Joseph Campbell.
Jamie has graciously offered this great bag as a giveaway. Keep your remotes in one place, store you crafting supplies, or many other options. Here are the details.
Item: Scarlet and Grey basket (shown in above picture), can also be exchange for a $30 credit.
How to enter: Leave a comment on this blog before Friday (the 9th) at noon (eastern time)
Good Luck!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Etsy Team Columbus Treasury

Yippee! I'm featured in a treasury! Thank you to MaryMoonDesigns for including these cute cards! Click here to buy!

Here is a fun tool if you want to see if your shop is currently listed in a treasury. Go to Craftopolis, type in your shop name and it will tell you if you are in a treasury, how many hearts you have, and if you are in any gift guides!