Cake

Sometimes, all you need is chocolate and a scalloped pan.

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Research 1: The Handmade Marketplace

Golly, a new book is out that looks relevant to my research! The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line byKari Chapin. I’m ordering it this weekend!

Persistence Pays Off

When I was in the Eighth grade (1988), my aunt sent me a cross stitch pattern of an alphabet bear baby quilt. At the time, I was an avid cross stitcher…albeit not a very good one! I started on “K”, since that was my name and the little bears were kissing. So cute. I completed four or five letters, and then neglected it for a few years.

My interest would be piqued again when babies were being born by friends or relatives. I’d get a burst of initiative to finish the quilt and give it away. But, my goodness! Those squares take so long to complete!

I remember my first year in college, I spent a lot of time stitching. I left a high-school boyfriend and was immersed in a weird world of Christian fundamentalism.  I have pictures of me sitting on my bunk, threads akimbo, studying the pattern and counting crosses. I completed quite a few letters that year! I think there was another baby on the horizon that I wanted to give it to as well.

When I got pregnant in 2003, I knew it was time to get the thing done. I had ten or so squares to finish, and then quilting. I had to re-do a few letters since in my lazy youthfulness, I had stitched on mismatched Aida fabric. The progress of my technique was evident on the back-side…the first completed letters were a jumble of knots and loose threads. Somewhere along the way, I spotted my sister’s cross stitch work, which was as pretty on the back as the front, and I learned to tuck in the ends.

Every time my daughter drags her quilt around and hugs on it, I am so proud I stuck with it and finally completed a project 16 years in the making!

Thoughts 1

I decided to chronicle my journey into the on-line crafting business. Why. Mostly, I’m curious. Lastly, I want to make money. That may be backwards to be successful, we’ll see. In this stage, I am mulling over the time and money commitments.

Back to why:

I have been asked numerous times if I sell the things I make. I usually answer with something like this: “I am a creator, not a factory line. That means I like to make things once. I can’t see myself doing the same thing over and over.” And that is true. But, I am curious about the idea of making a lot of one thing. There are a number of pros:

  • Perfecting technique
  • Creating  design enhancements without struggling with technique
  • inventory for store.

Why chronicle it?

I hope to generate more traffic to this blog. I think others may be interested in the ups and downs of going “money.” And, it will help me process and track my ideas, plans, failures and successes.

PERSISTENCE

Advice from Mindy:
Persistence is key. It took me over 3 months before I sold one item on Etsy. Keep doing what you love and do what makes you happy.

Amy Butler Sweet Harmony Bag

For Christmas, one of the items of my list was Amy Butler’s Sweet Harmony Pattern.  I just finished. It was a bugger to sew. I think I used too heavy of fabric (similar to lightweight denim), and my sewing machine just doesn’t have the power to drive the needle through all the layers. Stitches are showing at a few of my seams. grr.

The thing I like best about this pattern is the cell phone pocket hidden in one of the exterior pockets. Handy. I’m not crazy about the handle design, but its sturdy. The pattern calls for two magnetic closures, but I skimped and used one. I always seem to get my closures too close to the seam line, and end up having to hand-sew the over stitching near the snap, since my sewing foot isn’t able to do it…Oh! I just had a brain storm! A zipper foot. Next time I’ll use a zipper foot around it. That should do it!

I also had a hard time with the lining. Getting it to lay flat. It wanted to bunch where the interior pockets met the side panel seam lines. I ironed it to death, but I’m not completely happy with it.

I love the happy fabric and lining! The pattern called for fusible fleece. This was my first time using it. Not crazy about it. I think I’m partial to floppy bags, and the fleece gives it a firm shape.

The pattern also included a larger size for a tote bag. I may give it a shot as a baby bag for an upcoming baby shower (of which my church keep me busy attending).  I’m curious how a lighter cotton fabric will feel with the fusible fleece.

Kindergarten Valentines

“Imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery.” So true, so true.  I got this idea from Dana Made It : Heartbreaker Valentines. Eleanor made these for her class-mates. She did it all, except stapling, because we have a 20 year old stapler from hell. Great job!