What's on my plate:

I noticed this morning that one of my little felt mushrooms made it into a really cute treasury on etsy. I hope it makes it to the front page!
In other news, a very dear friend of mine has announced that she's preggers! You know what that means, don't you? I have a perfect excuse to sew a ton of adorable baby stuff! And she doesn't know whether it is a boy or a girl quite yet so I get to make both, just in case. She's been coming to the stitch group the past couple weeks and ever since Tuesday I have been sewing non-stop. Currently sitting on my craft table are:

A stack of bibs that just need ironing and their snaps hammered on, which I can't do because it's the middle of the night! I was going to use the lovely free pattern over at Chickpea Sewing Studio, but I knew I would want to sell some on my etsy store so I drafted my own instead. They come in sets of two, and as soon as my friend picks her favorites the rest will be for sale in the shop! I think it will be in about 2 1/2 weeks. I'm sure I will be sewing a bunch more, the pattern I made is really fun to do!

An actual quilt, completely cut out and already being sewn together (more on that one later for sure)!

Bunting! Well, it will be bunting soon. I have a lot of things in mind for by big stash of 1930's reproduction fabrics, and this is one of them. I will make a couple different versions for sure. A couple of quilts are planned for the rest of the stash.

All of these things I have in mind are simple patterns I made up, and I am toying with the idea of making more patterns and incorporating them into a book. But the thought of actually writing a craft book is a very daunting one, and I don't even know where to begin! But I feel like now is my chance, and I really seriously want to do this! So any advice you guys could give me would be very appreciated. I suppose I should e-mail a couple of the publishing companies who put out the craft books I swear by and request some information, yes? I will keep you posted, and thanks in advance for any advice!

*Also, I went to Whole Foods tonight and noticed that they were selling plain organic cotton jelly straining bags for $6. And while they're not as cute as mine, I need to keep prices competitive so I have lowered mine to $6 as well. Whoops! I made them $10 because Farmer Joe's (no, not Trader Joe's) was selling them for that. At least now I know! Lol.


Shop Update!

My etsy shop will be getting an update Saturday morning at about 9 a.m. Pacific time. Featured in this update will be a couple new assortments of items that I have been working on for the past two weeks. First of all, there will be four little eco-friendly plush mushrooms:

All hand sewn, made from eco felt (felt made from 100% recycled plastic bottles), and vintage notions, then stuffed with recycled paper. I have had quite the mushroom fixation lately and these have been so much fun to make, and I love that they are so earth friendly!

The other items that will go into the shop are seven organic cotton jelly straining bags. I made eight of these and kept one for myself since I have been making so much jelly lately (there's a new batch ready to go into the shop next wednesday). The organic cotton ensures that no nasty chemicals will spoil fine jellies, and the cute little fabrics that encase the draw strings make a ho-hum piece of kitchen wear a bit more fun. To wash them all you need to do is soak them in warm water and white vinegar and give them a good hand-washing! See you all tomorrow morning!

*Edited to add: The shop update went off without a hitch!


Let there be light!

Today was quite an inspiring one for me. I drove out to San Francisco thismorning to see how the commute was because I get to work in the new toy store my bosses are opening there! I'm very excited about it, though not quite so enthused by the drive - I think I will bart/bus it out there, which will take a while since it's off the bart line but at least I can crochet along the way. It's going to be on the corner of Lombard and Fillmore in a great little neighborhood that I am absolutely in love with. It's right down the street from a million great shops including Paper Source and Miette, which is my favorite bakery/candy shop.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about things I can do for my etsy shop to make it better. Business has been slow lately and I know it's getting harder and harder to stand out as etsy gets more and more sellers. So I want to do some special packaging for my items and I found everything I needed and more at the little shops I visited today. I got some Cath Kidston labels and stickers at the Japanese bookstore, and at paper source I got some lovely little stickers and velveteen flowers. The pink package is a surprise for a friend so I can't say what's inside, but it is my new standard packaging for soft items and paper goods (the jewelry already has new packaging). Everything I ship out from my etsy store will come wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a sticker and a flower. And at Miette I got myself some French rosewater and some tiny rose geranium flavored meringues. Lovely little treasures, they make me so happy.
What's that you say? That's a pretty picture? Much brighter and better than before? Why thank you, and also thanks to my brand new home made light box!

I found a tutorial for how to make it here, and for about twenty dollars it is a reasonable facsimile to the one hundred dollar pre-made version. So yay! Now when I really only have time at night to photograph new etsy stuff I will be able to take decent pictures! And I promise, new items are finished, they just need some ironing and photographing.


Blog gets a face lift!

For a long time now I have been putting off switching over from the classic blogger to the new version, mostly because I was being lazy and did not want to copy over all my billions of links. But I sure am glad I did it now, as I think ye olde blogge looks pretty good this way. Anyone else think it`s better? Worse? Beuller? Anyone?

Ah, also I did a bit of an overhaul on my shipping profiles in
my etsy shop . Everything will be shipped out exclusively via first class mail, so I lowered the pricing accordingly. It is so much cheaper than priority and really takes about the same amount of time for most of the things I sell. Also I have had a bit more time these days so I can ship things out Saturdays and Wednesdays, as opposed to just Saturdays. Anywho, I thought I would just stop by to say hello, I will be back shortly with some new creations for the shop to show off!


Recycled Fabric Box Tutorial

A long, long time ago I posted some pictures of cute fabric boxes. I've been wanting to make some ever since and I have no idea why I never got around to it until now. I had some upholstery samples lying around and I decided to use eco-felt (made from 100% recycled plastic bottles) for the lining, so they're not only cute but earth friendly as well! The thickness of the two combined makes the box nice and sturdy, no ironing or interfacing needed. My first attempt was an utter failure, but the second box is lovely and I am using it to keep some new fabric-covered embroidery thread bobbins I made, via The Small Object. 

They're just recycled cardboard with fabric glued on, then you sandwich them together. They're a little tough at first, but using YES Glue instead of fabric glue makes it much easier. Click on this link to go straight to the how-to. I think I will be making many, many more of these in the future. 

Anywho, I whipped up a little tutorial on how to make the boxes since it's a teensy bit trickier than it looks, and I think my way might be the easiest after some trial and error. Here it goes:

How to Make a Recycled Fabric Box

1. Since I used samples, the pieces still had paper glued to part of them, which needed to be cut off. Pin the remaining rectangle to a suitable size piece of felt and use pinking shears to trim the edges evenly. My rectangle came out to about 7x10 inches.

2. Mark a 1 1/2 inch square on each corner and cut them out. (If you want a box with more shallow sides, make the squares 1 inch. If you want it to be deeper, make them 2 inches.)

3. On your sewing machine, line the edge of the fabric up with the edge of your presser foot to get a small hem and stitch the top, bottom, and sides of the cross, but don't stitch into the corners you cut out. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of every section. (I found it was easiest to just leave the thread attached and sew it quickly, then I cut all the threads when it was all done. See picture. Quick and dirty, and effective.)

4. Fold the corners up and pin them together, and it will begin to resemble a box. At this point you can either have the felt or the fabric on the outside of the box. With this thicker fabric I like it on the outside.

5. Stitch up the corners on your sewing machine, and be sure to stitch all the way over the ends for a nice finish.

6. If you're like me, spend 5 full minutes picking fuzzy bits off the pinked edges and, voila! Your sweet little fabric box is finito!

One little interesting thing now that I've made a few of these is that I'm left with an increasing stack of little felt and fabric squares. I wonder what I could use these for, I rather like them!

If you have found this or any of my other free patterns useful and would like to help me keep creating them I accept PayPal donations!


Busy Busy!

Wow, I can't believe I let that much time go by between posts! I have been up to my ears lately, just running all over the place and doing lots of different things. I have so many things I want to post about, but for some reason I can't seem to get motivated to take pictures of all the stuff. I don't know why - I used to be so into taking pictures. Oh well. I swear I will get some pictures of the garden, it's doing very well. I also have some new steampunk stuff in the works that I will show off soon. And some special crafty collaborations. And some lemony goodness. And I'm gearing up to play in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign (yes, I have played it many times before), and I'm making it swiftly throught a stack of books lent to me from 5 different people. I'm also on a diet, and I'm using this great site called SparkPeople to track my progress. Oh, also, I've added a list of all the other social networking sites I'm on over there on the side bar, in case anyone would like to say hello. Oh, and I chopped all my hair off:
Anywho, I will be back soon with something more interesting to say!