Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I'm Back...I think

Wow, where has the time gone!  I blinked and I'm now back to work and deep into the Christmas craft season.  Since coming back to work it has been a challenge to work out a new schedule for myself, hence why I have not written in so long.  I'm sure eventually I will work out some kind of schedule (maybe in 20 years!)  Fear not, I have been very busy over the past few months.  I also have several orders to get out the door before the new year.

Everything seems to take a little longer for me now, but I think I am slowly getting the hang of things.  Since it's been so long and I have many projects coming up, let me give you a quick run down of the projects I have been working on since I fell off the face of the earth.

Baby Blanket completed!  The blanket I was working on for my son was completed just in time for him to come home from the NICU, so perfect timing on his part.  I've gotten several compliments on the blanket including a mom starting at the boys daycare in a few weeks.  Who knows, maybe that will give me some new customers. 

Halloween Costume Completed!  My oldest was Max from Where the Wild Things are this year.  And when I say he was Max, I mean that in the loosest term possible.  I put a lot of thought into the construction of his costume and in typical 2 year old fashion refused to wear it!  I did photograph the process and as soon as I am able to sit down in front of my photo editing computer I will write a post about it.  Maybe just in time for next Halloween.

Pink Baby Blanket Completed!  I had been working on and off on this blanket for several months and finally completed it.  The only bummer about it, my plan was to make it on the larger side, but once I finished it, it was much smaller than I had planned.  Total bummer!  I hate when great plans don't turn out as expected.  It's still a beautiful blanket, just not the complete vision I had in mind. 

Christmas Present Started! For Christmas this year, I am making a chenille blanket for my son with a Cars theme of course.  He is going to be super excited once it's done.  Fingers crossed I will get it completed in time for Christmas (Only 20 more days...eek!)  If not it will be his birthday present. 

And finally...I have 2 nap blankets on order that will be completed as soon as the fabric arrives, which will hopefully be this week.

Wow...writing all hat down makes it all seem so real.  That's quite a list to do on top of all the other things that require my attention on a daily basis.  It might take longer than I had planned, but in due time it will all get done. 

What are your current projects?  Bring me up to date since I've been out of touch for so long!

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Apologies For My Absence

I apologize for my sudden absence.  I promise you it was not planned!  As some of you may have read between the lines in the last several months, I was expecting again.  Well this little guy decided he wanted to enter the world 2 months earlier than planned.  It has truly been a whirl wind here.  Both mommy and baby are doing great.  I am pretty much recovered from the very fast delivery and baby boy is doing fabulous in the NICU.  We are hopeful he will come home soon, the only think holding him back right now is getting all of his nutrition from either mommy or bottle.  He's about 60%- 70% of the way there, just more time to practice. 

Needless to say, I have not been working very hard on any projects of late, other than the beautiful blanket for baby boy.  It should be finally done this weekend so he'll be able to enjoy it at the hospital for a few days before he comes home to us with it.  Once he is home I hope to take advantage of some of the time I have at home to do a little bit of sewing.  We'll see what projects come to me when the time comes.  While I'm focusing on bringing home baby boy, I would love to hear what some of your current inspirations are.  What kinds of products are you looking for to help you get through your day? 

I will be checking back and posting again soon.  Hopefully I won't take as long as a hiatus this time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Being Greedy

T-shirt rug found through Pinterest
Now that fall is approaching, I'm starting to get in the mind set of preparing for Christmas this year.  Yes, you read that right, here we are at the end of August and I'm already talking about Christmas!  Such an improvement from last year when every holiday seemed sneak up on me.  But this year I have a different twist on things.  Right now I'm being a bit greedy and working on some projects for our house instead of making new products to sell. 

I've been fighting the urge to sew and knit for myself for a while and I finally broke down and said, nope right now is going to be me time. There are several sewing projects I would like to do for the family and for myself.  I still plan to chronicle them here, but they just won't be available for sale unless someone makes a custom request.  In the mean time I may sneak a quick project in here or there, but now that we've been in our new house for about a year, there are a few things that I really want to tackle.  One of them being this rug.  I'm debating making it with t-shirts or old sheets.  Feel free to check out this crochet patterns over at Coffee and Vanilla one of my latest Pinterest finds.

Now that I'm taking some time to focus on my house, what are some projects that you've done for yourself or to improve your home of late?  Give me some ideas!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Project Failed...

Max Costume from here
Well not really, but sort of.  I had high hopes of getting to the fabric store this past weekend.  Those were quickly dashed when the weekend ended up getting filled with multiple furniture pick ups for the nursery and more outside playing time than I thought was possible.  I guess family fun time can trump making another nap blanket.  We will just have to delay the creation a little longer.  I really want him to be part of the selection process so it may not be until Labor Day weekend. 

I did do some research on some great Halloween costumes and I think this year my son is going to be Max from Where the Wild Things Are.  So while we are there I may start looking at some fabric for that as well.  I found the instructions on Education.com.  They seem surprisingly easy.  I was worried about his costume this year because I didn't want something hard to get in and out of in case he has go potty while in costume.  This one is pretty nice as I'll make it two pieces so he can slip it on and off as necessary. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Looking Forward to My Lastest Project

Nap Blanket Available for Sale
So this one won't be going into the shop, but I'm excited about it all the same.  My son has not one, not two, but three of his four 2 year molars working their way in right now!  This is reeking havoc on his normal demeanor.  As a result, we are currently having lots of potty accidents, especially at nap time at school.  I feel so bad for him and like any mom I just want to take the pain away from him, but alas it is just part of the growing process that he needs to get through.  That being said, my husband and I are getting tired of the nightly laundry we have to do because he is wetting his only nap daily at the moment.  I don't think our hampers have been this empty continuously, well, ever.  So this weekend, I'm taking my son to the local fabric store (he loves to go shopping with me) and letting him pick out the fabric for a new nap blanket.  My guess if there is a Disney Cars fabric there that will be the choice.  It might be a little more expensive than what I normally would pay for fabric especially since I can find some manufactured nap blankets for what seems like pennies.  I don't know about you, but there is something to be said about a blanket made for you by mommy.  Not to mention some of those manufactured blankets end up looking pretty ragged pretty quickly, at least in my opinion.

My nap blanket design has changed since I first made my son's almost 2 years ago now.  I've sold many of the blankets to his fellow classmates, most of them personalized to the particular child.  The ones the school sells are just solid colors whereas I've made fairy princesses, flowers, all sorts of fun prints.  Much more fun, if you ask me! 

Maybe while we are there we will start thinking about Halloween costumes.  Is it really that time of year already?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Latest Pinterest Finds

Photo courtesy of Baking Bites found on Pinterest
I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I'm pretty sure Pinterest is going to be the death of my family and me.  Every time I'm on it, I find some great recipe I want to try.  Some are more healthy than others, but let's be honest, those desserts are really the priority when it comes to food!  Seriously, who can resist a DIY Girl Scout Cookie like this? 

I have managed to find some other great finds that I'm going to try to incorporate sometime soon like this great pancake mix from the Heart, Hands, Home blog. 

This morning I found this great recipe for a crock pot lasagna that I'm just going to have to try!  When it looks this good, how can you not give it a gander.  Stop over and check it out. 

On a non-food side of things, I've actually located a few great ideas I plan to give a try with my son in the near future.  This weekend, we will be doing this recipe for GAK.  I can't wait to give it a try.  I'm sure my son will just LOVE sticking his fingers all through this "mess."  Best of all I can't wait to share this experience with him.  I'll try not to enjoy it too much so I can take a few pictures of the fun. 

If this project goes well, I think the next one we are going to give making some sidewalk chalk a try.  What good finds have you found on Pinterest of late?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Shop Changes

Mod Pod Pillow Case Currently Available from Stitch Silly
As many of you Etsy fanatics have noticed, several months ago they changed how shop owners are charged for multiple listings.  For a while I did not intended on making any changes to reflect the new options available.  I liked the idea of creating pre-made bundles.  Besides, I didn't think anyone would want to buy just one burp cloth.   You need about 500 million burp cloths with a new baby! (A slight exaggeration, but not much!)

After some reflection, I decided that maybe people would want to build their own bundle.  Maybe they want two of one kind and two of another to make a bundle, or something completely different that I hadn't thought about.  Therefore I decided to leave the creativity up to you, my customers!  That being said, if someone decides to purchase multiple products from us, I highly recommend them contacting us before purchasing.  Depending on the product, quantity, and numerous other factors, we may be able to offer a discount.  Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask right!  That's my theory at least when I'm bargain hunting, you never know until you ask. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What a Vacation

I'm back!  Did you miss me?  We spent a week at the beach with my extended family and it was wonderful.  It's always nice to get away for a while, but boy is digging out taking it's toll on me!  It's good to be back at work, but that alarm clock keeps ringing too early!  I took my knitting with my on vacation, anticipating finishing one blanket and getting a good way through another.  Boy was I wrong! I didn't even finish one blanket!  I'm glad I was able to get a few new products up before vacation. 

Now that we are back to reality, I'm hoping to get my butt in gear and knit like a mad woman! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

What a Surprise

Since I'm in the process of going on vacation, I had a few blog posts teed up to auto-post while I was away.  Well I went and messed with that one yesterday!  I was planning on writing about my current and upcoming projects, to include these great burp cloths. 

No no no, I couldn't just sit around and let that go, I had to finish, photograph, edit (I even remembered how to add a watermark!), and post them for sale yesterday.  Oopsies?  My bad?  Silly me for being productive when I am sans child!  Don't forget to stop over to the shop to check it out. 

I suppose I will have to think of something else to post while I am away, or you may have to just wait for me to get back.  Only time will tell! 

Since I am in brainstorming mode, are there any products or blog posts you are interested in seeing?  What are you anxiously awaiting from me?  Bring it on people!  Do you want more mommy tips and tricks?  Money saving ideas? Product ideas?  You name it, I want to hear about it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Feeling Productive

As I mentioned earlier this week, my son is currently spending the week with his grandparents.  He's having a complete blast.  He's been sailing, swimming, and to museums.  And that's just since Monday!  Today he starts his drive to meet us at the beach on Saturday with a stop to visit some family friends on the way.  God bless my parents for the time they are able to spend with him. 

This is literally the first time that I've been away from my son for this long of time.  Last summer I was still nursing, albeit occasionally, so it was hard to be away for long periods of time.  My husband and I are trying to take advantage of all the extra time on our hands.  I've been getting into work earlier so I can leave earlier, reading, relaxing, and trying to spend some quality time with my husband.
Farm Animal Burp Cloths

Yesterday I took advantage of the free time to spend some extra time sewing while my husband went to the gym.  While he was there I was able to do the first step of sewing five burp cloths.  These burp cloths are very similar to these that I currently have for sale in my shop.  Instead of farm animals they are zoo animals, and are light yellow with a pale yellow terry cloth backing to soak up those spills.  Super cute in my humble opinion.  Tonight I plan to finish the top stitching.  I might even go a little crazy and post them for sale soon, who knows!

I know this extra productive time is going to be short lived, but I'm going to try to enjoy it while it lasts.  Up next maybe some extra progress on the knitting I was referring to this week as well. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Have you Seen It?

I'm happy to report and show off my latest product!  Late last week I was able to post my newest boppy cover.  I'm super happy with it.  I think it one of my favorite patterns.  Fingers crossed it will keep me moving on posting new products more regularly. 

In that regard, I'm happy to report that I was able to make significant progress on my next product this past weekend.  I was in a training session for my "real job" that I knew was going to be a death by power point, so I took my knitting along for the ride.  Wahoo for 6 hours of knitting!  Not to mention I was able to get another few solid hours in after spending the weekend visiting my parents and leaving my son to visit with them for the week.  If I play my cards right I will have it done on my vacation drive this coming weekend. 

What new products have you seen or created recently?   I want to see links.  Help me feed my Pinterest addiction!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

I have some exciting news today.  While it took me longer than I expected, I finished my latest product just this morning.  I have it all set up and ready to be photographed this evening.  It is a new boppy cover, which I am currently lacking in the store front.  I am super excited about this pattern.  It is super cute, unfortunately, it will be the only product with this pattern as the fabric is completely sold out from my supplier.  In that case it will make this boppy super special for the person who buys it.  They'll be the only one with the design! 

Hopefully while I have my camera out tonight I will be able to snap some shots of other works in progress.  The blanket that I am knitting for my son is making great progress.  I'm trying to focus my time on that right now since I have just over 3 more months until it needs to be complete.  I'm trying to stick to my schedule of knitting at least 1.5 rows per day to get it done in time, but unfortunately the time gobblins and the exhaustion fairies have been visiting our house recently.  They are tricky little fellows I tell you! 

Once this sewing project is complete and posted on my Etsy store front, I am going to have to look into what other projects are in my fabric drawer for the creating.  I think I have some burp cloths that are in the works, but I'm not sure.  I love shopping in my own house, it's like Christmas!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vacation Planning

Mini Crochet Baskets
By celebrating the 4th this week, I finally kicked myself into high gear towards preparing for our annual family vacation in a few weeks.  I'm the family planner so I have started the grocery list (divided out by department - for the most part), our packing list, our eating list, toy list, well any kind of list you can imagine, I've probably thought it through.  There are going to be 16 of us this year, which is fewer than last, but still should be a blast. 

As a result of my list making, I have been spending far to much time on Pinterest of late.  But in my research I came across some really good items I thought I would share.  Who knows some of them may even be product inspiration one of these days!

These Mini Crochet Baskets from Design Sponge are so adorable.  They are perfect for keeping your little things organized.  I could almost see using a larger crochet needle and maybe some plarn to make larger ones. 
New Sew Doggie Bed





Don't forget about Fido with this McCall's pattern for a no sew doggie bed.  I've used this concept on so many other projects, I had never thought to use it to make a dog bed.  Our dog has a bed that's about 4 or 5 years old.  She might be ready for a DIY upgrade soon! 











Car Seat Pillows
Finally, these caught my eye especially with the impending 7 - 9 hour car ride we are about to endure.  SuperJen talks about these wonderful car seat pillows for your kids so they don't look as painful when the finally fall fast asleep on the car ride.  Maybe with these it won't look like my son's head is disconnected from his body.  I suppose I should sew one up to see!

Those are some of my great craft related Pinterest finds recently.  I have found so many more interesting things to try.  Such as recipes for countless cleaning products, which I intend to try soon.  I'll give you a bit of secret, most homemade cleaning products use some combination of borax, vinegar, baking soda, or water.  Depending one what you are cleaning, other ingredients are required, but if you have a supply of these in your house, you are a step in the right direction.  Especially if you plan to make some home made Gak!

Monday, July 2, 2012

What a weekend!

We had quite the weekend here.  Friday night started out with a bang, literally.  Many parts of the country, including the DC area were rocked with severe thunder storms and high winds.  There were gusts in Dayton, OH that measured 82 mph.  By the time the storm reached us, it had calmed down to a mere 76mph!  Our entire house shook during one wind gust.
This is a photo taken on Massachusetts Ave near the Vice Presidents home.

With the terrible weather, it put a huge damper on most weekend activities.  Even today, three days later, some people are still without power.  There are some predictions that people won't have power until this coming weekend.  We were lucky, out lights flickered long enough to cycle power on the cable boxes, but not our clocks.  We did loose cell phone service for most of the morning on Saturday, but that was it.
There were several deaths due to the storm.  Due to trees falling on homes. 

Were any of you effected by the weekend storms or are you shocked to hear my weekend festivities?

Photo credits

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ask the Readers

Wow!  I don't know what I've been doing lately, but all of a sudden my daily pages views have been significantly higher.  Thanks to everyone who's been stopping by!  While the readership seems to be up, I'm not getting to many comments.  As a result, I wanted to take this opportunity to really focus on you the readers. 

What are you looking for when you come to visit?  Are you interested in my tips, the shout outs to other great blogs, my latest creations?  What draws you in?  What do you miss?  Bring on the good, the bad, and the ugly today!  I want to hear from you!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Works in Progress

I feel like I'm really getting back into a consistent sewing routine and it's been far too long since I've had that.  Who would have thought that chasing after a 2 year old and working full time would take up so much of time time! Truth be told, I wouldn't change it for the world.  It just makes me respect stay at home moms all the more.  How do they get any thing other than playing/entertaining their little ones done?

I have several projects that I am actively working on these days.  Surprisingly I feel like I'm making progress on all of them.  Of course because I'm splitting my time between many of them, none of them are done yet.  I probably should rethink that multitasking idea, but I claim that my multitasking is for a different purpose.  I can't very well sit and sew while my son runs around in the living room, but I can sit and knit!  Then I do have to choose which knitting project I want to work on. 

I'm the first to admit, I tend to sit and work on my son's blanket more than I will on the one I intend to sell.  There are many reasons I claim this, first and for most, it's for my baby!  Second, I'm on a timeline for this one, it must be completed by October!  Third, it's not a very portable pattern.  I am currently using 5 skeins of yarn at a time.  Then tend to get all twisted together and if I traveled with them I feel like it would only be worse, so alas the project sits on my couch to be worked on in each spare minute my son gives me.  He's pretty excited for his brother's blanket to be finished so encourages me to work on it.  For those of you who may forget or are new, this is the blanket I'm referring to.

When I am out and about from the house and know I will have some down time, I always have my pink blanket with me to work on.  It's easy to take with me and doesn't take much thought in remembering where I am in the pattern.  I thought I was further a long on it than I thought, but then I remembered for this one I decided to use smaller needles to stitch count is different than what I'm used to.  So now I have to decide how many additional rows I want to do to make it the size I want.  Figuring this out will take some thought and a bit of a wait and see attitude, but I'm OK with that.  I'm enjoying it all the same!

I see many people showing off their works in progress on Wednesdays, so share your links!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Falling apart at the Seams

Well  not really, but I've had my moments recently.  I feel like every time I sit down to sew, I feel like I find a new mistake from my last time I had a spare few minutes to sew.  This morning I saw down to finish pinning part of my boppy cover only to notice that I can't pin at the moment and had to rip out part of it what I had just sewed.  It was a bit of a bummer, but I was able to quickly fix it and start pinning again.  With a little luck I will have a very productive weekend, not to mention I will be keeping out of the heat from our most recent heat wave that we are in. 

What are you wonderful weekend plans?  Sewing? Knitting? Swimming?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fun Filled Weekend

We had an action packed weekend and I am just now starting to recover from it.  We had a full house of visitors that was wonderful.  I even knocked off a few fun things I've been wanting to do while they were in town visiting doing the tourist stuff. 

After visiting with our friends, she has motivated me to try just a bit harder to maximize our couponing a little more.  So today I thought I would share a few websites I have found that I use regularly, instead of my normal sharing of crafty blogs.  Enjoy!

cozi.com - My husband and I use this to create our grocery list (or any list for that matter, including my fabric shopping list!).  We both have the app on our phone and can use it on the computer so no matter where we are we typically have access to our grocery list.

foodonthetable.com - I use this site to look at the weekly sales for all my local grocery stores so I don't have to go to 5 different websites just to look for the best sale prices

livingafrugallife.com -Is a website I recently found through one of my other crafty blogs.  She keeps up to date on local deals as well as some wonderful crafty kid friendly activities. 

I'm sure there are more that I will begin using soon, but these are my favorites at the moment.  What are some of your favorites?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Photo Tip of the Day

Photo credit
I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately.  It's addictive, I know.  It's been really helpful for me in the designing of various parts of our house, creating great ideas for gifts, trying new recipes, and well let's be honest wasting time. 

Today's tip comes from a great blog I found through Pinterest.  The blog Young House Love photographed her daughter once a week for a whole year.  The pictures turned out great, but with the process she's showed some great ideas for a back drop for your product photos.  Why not use some wrapping paper or fabric as your background for your images?  This can open the door to so many new options, especially adding the use of wrapping paper.  I think I'm going into a whole new world now. 

What create back drops do you use when taking posed photographs?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Surprises

Boopy Cover - sorry SOLD OUT! Check current listings for other offerings.
I had to take some things into our office/my studio the other day.  Of course my shadow, a.k.a my almost 2.5 year old had to come with mommy, generally not a big deal.  Well he proceeded to plot himself on the floor, grab the crayons out of the drawer and ask to color.  Who am I to stop him from such a great past time?  So I went to the printer and grabbed him some plain paper for him to go to town. 

Suddenly I realized I had a perfect opportunity to start cutting out my latest sewing project, a boppy cover, that was sitting on my desk laid out nicely waiting for a nice sharp pair of sheers to attack it.  Not only was he entertained long enough for me to cut, but to also start actual construction.  When it was time to sew the first seam he was very interested in the process and watched over me very closely I described the "gas pedal," the seam allowance, and switching to the correct stitch for each part of the cover.  It was so exciting to see him so interested in he construction of something.  Not something was really expecting since he really is all boy, but I was pretty excited to share my passion with him all the same.  The great bonus part of it is that I am not about 25% done with the project! 

This morning, I pinned in the zipper and at the next available opportunity that will be zipping it into the fabric.  Then we'll be on the home stretch!  Looking forward to the finished product.  It's been far to long since I've looked at a finish product. 

What kind of happy surprises have you had recently?  New fabric?  Great deal on something you really needed?  Share your great news!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Vacation Car Survival Guide

Photo Credit
With summer basically here and summer vacations starting to sprout up soon.  I've pulled together a list of some great things to pack to entertain your kids in the car with the goal of minimizing screaming/crying, "Are we there yet?" questions, fighting, and general restlessness. These are just the tips and tricks that I've found and used in my childhood therefore is not exhaustive by any means.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen a few lists like this floating around Pinterst, who knows maybe mine with by next!  Hopefully it will keep us from arriving like this: 

Use a cooler! I always pack lots of fresh fruit, cheese, milk, and water for trips.  I fill up the cooler with these healthy snacks for the whole family so we aren't tempted to buy snacks at the gas station.

Have a food bag!  In addition for the chilled food and drink we always have I also pack a bunch of non-perishable snacks for us to munch on.  I usually just throw the whole bag of something in our food bag, but I recently saw someone mention that they divide up the snacks into individual serving sizes.  I think I'm going to give that one a try on our next trip.

Don't forget the entertainment!  We were lucky when we bought our SUV it came with a built in DVD, not particularly a feature we were looking for, but when you buy used you don't always get options.  This is great because we always hit up the library for a few DVDs before a long car ride so when my son starts to get fussy or antsy we can distract him with an Elmo or Thomas the Tank video.

In addition we always pack some cars and other toys he can easily play with while sitting in his car seat.  Being a mother of a boy, a few toys with wheels can do a LONG way in a car ride.  And of course we also have plenty of books handy.  I just learned that they make some children's books on CD with the book to go with it.  I'd never seen these before, but apparently my library has them so this is on my list to try this summer.

Blankets and Pillows and Animals, Oh My! Don't forget a favorite blanket/pillow/stuff animal for nap time in the car.  We try to keep at least the blanket hidden in the car somewhere until it's time to go to sleep, that way when our son sees it he knows it's time to settle down and get some sleep. 

Speaking of rest!  Don't forget to stop and rest often.  We have a potty trained toddler so these rest stops are very regimented, but if you have older children or ones still in diapers, it's always nice to get out and stretch your legs every once in a while.  Speaking of the rest stop, why not throw in a few items to help burn off some energy at the rest stop?  Bubbles anyone? 

Once you arrive!  Let them out and run around for a while, after all, they deserve it especially after been cooped up for several hours in the card.  If your little ones are anything like mine, without fail.  It doesn't matter how long the trip is 2 hours or 20 hours, that last hour is the worst! 

With these tips, hopefully we'll arrive like this:
Photo Credit


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Featured Sellers - Dream Art

I haven't done a feature in a while.  I thought I would spice things up a bit and throw one in for a change of pace today.  Today I am featuring a great group of people from Dream Papercut.  They have a very unique talent.  Dmytro and Iuliia, the artist behind Dream Papercut create art from cutting paper.

Stitch Silly: Tell me a little about yourself.

Dream Papercut:  Our names are Dmytro and Iuliia and we live in Ukraine. We love creativity and handmade things because looking at them you can feel the inner world of the person who made them. We are creating paper cuts from a single sheet of paper and all of pieces are interconnected. All our works are made with love and soul.

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?

DP: From our childhood we are fond of creativity. Once, we created a greeting card with hand-cut elements for our friend’s birthday. After that, we took interest in paper cutting art and started creating paper cut silhouettes. Then we decided to create our DreamPapercut shop on Etsy and share our art with other people.

SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

DP: This opportunity gives us a chance to be independent artists and do what we like the most. Having flexible schedule you can create whenever you want: at day, at night or the whole day, when you feel inspiration and use this emotional state immediately.  For example you can create whenever you want: at day, at night or the whole day, when you have inspiration.

SS: What are your 2 favorite products in your shop?

DP: All paper cuts in our shop are unique, intricate and the most favorite for us.

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?

DA: Our greatest success we have achieved was creating the shop that can stand out from the huge amount of beautiful, unique, creative shops that are on Etsy.

SS: What do you most want to improve?

DP: Our plan for future is growth. We want to create more beautiful and intricate paper cuts and get more customers and followers of our art.

SS: What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

DP: The main our goal is to make more and more people happier through our works and pass a little part of our love and soul.

SS: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

DP: Until you feel the center :)

Interested in seeing more about Dream Papercut.  Check them out at these locations. 

www.etsy.com/shop/DreamPapercut
www.zibbet.com/DreamPapercut
shoply.com/shop/dreampapercut/
www.craftisart.com/DreamPapercut
en.dawanda.com/shop/DreamPapercut
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/DreamPapercut

Monday, June 4, 2012

Digging Out

Man, I have spent most of today digging out of my internet swamp.  I spent most of Thursday and Friday with my sick son.  He wasn't exactly too sick to go to school, but he was definitely in a mommy I want to sit and cuddle with you all day mood.  He misses such little school I couldn't resist.  Plus I took the time and was able to get some unexpected knitting done!  Now of course he has been so wonderful and given me his cold, but I am trudging through work today so I can save up my leave for fun stuff later in the summer and fall.

Unfortunately, with colds going through the house this weekend that meant no pool time for this household.  Speaking of which, I've been using the great plarn bag it and it's work great for the pool this summer so far. 

In case I forget, I also wanted to share with you that I will be featuring a great Etsy shop on Thursday for you all to check out.  This shop really does some interesting stuff.  Don't forget to stop by and check it out!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Multiple Projects

Little Johnny's Patchwork Blankie by Trudy Evans
I officially have multiple projects going on, and multiple knitting projects at that!  The sewing project I have been working on is frustrating me at the moment so I've decided to put in aside for a while and work on other sewing adventures.  Perhaps a blanket or boppy cover is in my future! 

While I'm deciding on my next sewing project, I'm just about to the half way point of my pink blanket I've been making such slow progress on until recently.  The pattern called for a 36in. square blanket, but I think I want to make it a little bigger than 36in., but I haven't decided how much bigger yet.  Since the blanket is knit on the bias I get to pick!  I am planning on doing about 10 or 20 extra rows so it should measure about 37 or 38in. square when completed.   My favorite part about this pattern is that once you pass the half way point, you feel like you are progressing incredibly fast because with each row you have one less stitch to knit.  So fingers crossed I will be able to get a new pink blanket posted soon!  That is if I'm not distracted by my new knitting project!

I normally won't do two knitting projects at a time, but this is an exception to the rule.  I admit, my second knitting project is a greedy one, it's for me.  I'm in need of a boy baby blanket for my house so I am knitting one just like the picture here that I found on Ravelry.  I'm super excited about this pattern.  It allows you do knit all sorts of different patterns, but without having to do each square separately.  I literally just started this last night so I have a feeling it is going to take me a while to get through it, but I will try to photograph the progression of it. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Product Branding

Since we moved our mail box is filled with catalogs.  It's slightly crazy how many catalogs we get.  Half of which I have no interest in.  Somehow I managed to get a subscription to Better Homes and Garden.  I have no idea how this happened, I sure didn't pay for the subscription.  I won't turn it down.  I've already found some really useful stuff in it.  (psst...I'm telling you about it in this post!)

I'm always looking for creative ways I can help develop my brand without spending a fortune on branding.  Let's be honest, this is a business, but it's not Facebook and I'm not Mark Zuckerburg, yet!  Well I ran across some really great labels while reading through my Better Homes and Garden.  Avery makes oval and circular labels that you can print your own design on.  I don't know if these are new or if they have been around for a while, but I definitely plan on picking some of these up to add to the way I market Stitch Silly. 

Interested in picking up your own?  Check them on with the link to the right. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Monday, Again...

Is it me or are weekend way to short these days?  At least this coming week will be a nice long weekend!  I was pretty bummed my open house got canceled this weekend so I didn't have my pre-set aside knitting time.  Hopefully I'll get one for this coming weekend.  In the mean time, I am still working on my knitting.  It's been hard, I'm currently reading the book series that the show True Blood is based on and must admit, I'm slightly addicted.  On a regular basis I have an internal fight with myself between knitting and reading. Honestly, it's not a bad argument to have with oneself, but I've noticed that the Sookie Stackhouse books have been winning a lot recently.  Perhaps today that will change all that?  I'll let you know how that goes this evening after work! 

Until then, happy knitting, sewing, AND reading!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Plarn Recap

As some of you may remember, last summer I got really excited over plarn and decided to make a plarn bag for the beach.  Well...it's finally done.  My mom had been trying to figure out how to do the handles on it for a while now, but it's finally finished.  She gave it to me last night.  I just have to weave the ends in.  I'm so exited to show it to you!

Happy Friday to you!  I don't know about you but I'm ready for the weekend.  I do know that Sunday will be some fun filled knitting time while I sit for an open house so fingers crossed I'll make some good progress on my baby blanket I'm hoping to post soon.                                                                    

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Events

Easy Quilted Baby Blanket
I had a wonderful mother's day weekend; however, my highlight was yesterday when I went to my son's school for lunch with him.  The look on his face when he walked out of his classroom thinking he wasn't going to get his lunch, then his excitement when he saw mommy was priceless.  I told him we were going to have lunch together with some of his friends and their mommies.  He loved every minute of it.  To top it off, I was able to take the afternoon off work and have some quality mommy time at home.  I was able to get some progress towards my latest sewing project and some knitting in. 

No Seam Patchwork Blanket
This current sewing project is pretty different than any project I've done previously.  I'm using interfacing to stiffen up my fabric.  I've never used it before and while I get the concept, just iron on, I find it a little intimidating for some reason. Yesterday I was supposed to start ironing it on and for some reason I couldn't bring myself to do it.  Too nervous I guess, who knows.  Maybe I'll get the guts to do that soon!

On the up side, I was able to get a few more rows in my blanket done.  I think I have extra motivation to get more progress on this blanket in the next two weeks.  After that I will be taking a small product hiatus while I create at least one blanket for myself.  I have a few options that I am contemplating, but haven't made any final decisions yet. 

I'd like to make two different blankets for myself in the next 5 months, one sewn and one knit.  I have been eying both of these, but just need to pick out the right colors for the patterns, but that decision won't be made for another 2 weeks.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Fun Activities

Earlier this week I shared some of my favorite summer destinations for families.  Today I want to share with you some fun activities that the whole family can participate at home or local to your neighborhood.  You may notice a small theme in activities, mostly due to the fact that my son takes after me and is a complete fish out of water.

Water Play:
There is always your local swimming hole, the pool.  I'm pretty sure we could spend several hours there this summer every day just splashing and swimming around.  I've already been asked to go to the outdoor pool for at least a month now, thankfully only 3 more weeks until the pool opens.  We don't have a back yard otherwise I would add sprinklers, baby pools, and slip and slides to the list. 

Bubbles:
I'm not sure why but bubbles seem to provide hours of fun to kids.  I'm not complaining they are pretty fun to even a mom!

Finger Painting:
Ok so I'm a daring mother who encourages exploration why let them experiment with finger painting on a rainy day.  To top it off, you can then frame the art work and hang it in their room or around the house!

Bug Safari:
Take your little ones out to search for "exotic" bugs, like worms, potato bugs, lady bugs, and caterpillars.  If you're feeling really crazy why not put a few of those lightning bugs in a mason jar with holes in the top like when you were a kid. 

My list can go on and on, but these are definitely on my top list for the summer!  What about you?  What fun family activities do you recommend? 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Summer Fun Destinations

I realize that it's just the beginning of May but it truly feels like my summer has already started.  The fun activities are in full swing.  Since my mind seems to already slipped into summer mode, I thought I would share some fun filled family activities that you can do in the summer.  Some are great destinations, some are just play in the backyard type fun, but all will result in a great family bonding experience.  Today I am just going to focus on some family destinations.  Later I will share some thoughts on my at home family activities.
Who could forget, Mr. Rogers


Coaster Lovers: I recommend only one park.  That is Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.  I have never been to another park that has as many great coasters as Cedar Point.  Every line is well worth the wait.  I have fond memories of watching 4th of July fireworks in the front seat on the Raptor with my brother one year. 

History Buffs: Williamsburg, VA is the place to be.  Where else can you learn about how our first settlers lived and survived.  I am heading down there next month and am looking forward to checking out the history from a toddler's perspective.  It should be an exciting time.

Beach Get Aways: For the East coast I'm partial to Ocean Isle Beach, NC.  My family has been going there for years at this point.  We had a few year hiatus, but we now back in full swing and love the beaches location and surprising non-commercialization of the island.  Everyone hears about the Outer Banks which are beautiful, but I'll take Ocean Isle because of it's location to just about everything.  An hour from both Wilmington, NC and Mrytle Beach, SC, what more could you ask for?

For the Gulf Coast, hands down is Destin, FL.  Who couldn't love the beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear water and relatively no waves?   I spent many of vacation just sitting and reading on this beach and am counting the days until I can get back there.

Kid in All of Us: That would be hands down Idlewild Park in Ligonier, PA.  I don't remember a lot about this park.  Apparently there is quite an amusement park there, but I do remember Storybook Forrest and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.  Storybook Forrest was just like you would imagine life would be like when you read all of the wonderful stories as a child.  And Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, well, for those of us of a certain age there was no one else to who could introduce us to the Land of Make Believe other than Mr. Rogers.  I'm sure the kids now won't truly appreciate Mr. Rogers, but we can at least pass on our memories of the show and of our childhood. 

What are some of your favorite family destinations for the summer?  Later this week, I will share my list of in-home family activities, so leave your favorite destination and stop back for my next list.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tip of the Week: Photograph Photograph Photograph!

Growing up my math teacher mother always told me a picture is worth a 1000 words so anytime I had a problem with a concept we would draw it out and talk it over.  That concept has stuck with me even to my adult life.  Whenever I am misunderstanding something I always draw a picture.  I'm no artist in that regard, but I'm good enough to get the point across or at least for my son to understand that I'm drawing Thomas the tank when I'm intentionally drawing Thomas the tank.  That's all that matters in my book!

That being said, I'm not sure if you've seen how much photo-based marketing and sharing has taken a strong hold in how we communicate and plan things in the past year or so.  Pinterest is the fastest growing social network right now.  It has come on so strong and basically out of no where.  Google+ came out several months ago with a great big bang only to fizzle shortly after the initial release.  Yes I have a google plus account, but I couldn't tell you how often I'm on it, but I can tell you I'm on my Pinterest page multiple times a day.

In recent months, Instagram has taken off liken off like a storm, so much so that Facebook has acquired it continuing to skyrocket it's growth.  Personally, I haven't pulled the trigger on this application yet, so I don't have personal experience with it.  I can tell you that my Facebook news feed starting to have many more instagram photos.

What does all this mean to you and I?  It just means we need to start thinking about how we photograph our items and memories all the more important.  That means we just need to practice, practice, practice taking all sorts of different type of pictures so we have more to choose from when it comes posting our latest pictures.
What are your feelings on the development of how social media is guiding our lives now?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

To my fellow bloggers

Photo from here
Have you ever noticed that it doesn't matter how often you blog whether it's 5 times a day or 5 times a week you always seem to have a hard time coming up with things to write about?  I'm starting to notice this myself and I'm not sure what to make of it.  I try to plan and research my articles, but then there are days like today when I just sit down in front of the computer and start typing and this is what comes out. 

I can't decide if this is a good or a bad thing.  What are your thoughts?  The funny part about it is that I have these great ideas then I go to research them and there is literally nothing out there to get educated on the topic to speak to it more concretely.  So clearly it is something that people would probably want to know, but I am not the resident expert for the topic.  Maybe someday!  Therefore in the mean time I will continue with my meanderings and work to write some great and interesting articles for you all to read!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

Happy May Day!  I can't believe it's May already!  I'm happy to report that I was quite successful this weekend in my knitting adventures.  Of course I was shocked to realize that I had a lot further to go.  For some reason I thought I was further a long with my blanket than I was originally so while I was hoping to turn the corner of being halfway completed, I was unable to do so.  Oh well, that just means more fun knitting time!  I keep meaning to take a picture of my progress, but I've been slacking on pulling the images from my camera of late.  I did just discover that I can directly pull images from my phone so I may take a picture tonight with my phone. 

I have another fun filled trip planned this weekend, but unfortunately I won't be able to knit.  That's OK there is plenty of time for that!  How was your weekend?  Was is spend on fun or work or both?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

One Year Anniversary Celebration

Wow, has it been a year already?  I have learned so much in the year and honestly can't believe the success I've had already.  I'm looking forward to what the following year will have to bring.  I'm still shaping Stitch Silly and continuing to look for new creative products and ways to get our name out, but for now I just feel blessed with everything I've accomplished so far.

Since I don't have a huge inventory I am not having a large blowout sale to celebrate making it a year, so instead I wanted to share a list of some of my favorite blogs that I read.  Some of them are fellow crafty blogs, some are general DIY blogs, some are about frugal living, and some are just out there place fun.  I hope you enjoy reading through them.  Many of them I have found over the course of this past year as I learned and grew my business others I have been reading for years. 

Do It Yourself Divas is a great site for DIY moms.  They are incredibly fun and energetic it makes me want to DIY 24/7 sometimes. 

Living a Frugal Life is a great site that I use to help me find fantastic deals to help keep our expenses to a minimum.  They've actually convinced me to give coupons.com a try again.  Now I just need to install in on my home machine to start printing them out.

Ambassador Crochet is always motivating me to not completely write off crocheting with her beautiful work. 

The Mogul Mom is all things mom and business.  It's a great motivation to read all their advise all the time. 

And finally, Flotsam of the Mind.  This is my cousin's blog which is always a great inspiration when it comes to parenting. 

What are some of your favorite blogs that you read regularly?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Serious Knitting Time

I'm really looking forward to this coming weekend.  The family and I are going to visit some family for the weekend which means a long car ride ahead of us.  Fingers crossed, I will have several hours to sit and knit and really make some great progress on my wonderful pink baby blanket that I am anxious to show you.  I had a few other orders come through recently so I haven't been able to work on it in a while so it will be nice to get back to it this weekend if not before.

My to sew and to knit ideas are really starting to stack up in my head I need to really start to clear them out.  I have several sewing projects in varying levels of doneness (yes that's a word in my world!) on my sewing table as well as several ideas I'm considering for new products for Stitch Silly.  So much to do so little time!

Picture from Wine Enthusiast Article
Before I go for the day, I wanted to do a little cross promotion today.  My husband and I are active in a local winery in our region.  Virginia wines are becoming known for their great quality in recent years.  Some have argued that this region is the next Napa Valley, others will argue that Virginia wine is crap.  It's all in the eyes of the wine enthusiast.   That being said, since Barrel Oak Winery (BOW) opened its doors in 2008 they have been breaking the mold.  With so much hard work put into it, it was wonderful to see this article in Wine Enthusiast showing what a wonderful family and dog friendly winery we are.  They named us the top family friendly winery in the WORLD.  It's pretty exciting to be a part of so I just wanted to share the great news with you all. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Wussed Out

Well sort of.  I started to try the mitered corners that I wrote about last week, but it just wasn't working out like I had planned.  So I called an audible and decided not to pursue it for this project.  Instead of destroying the fabric for this project which I bought just enough for, I'm going to practice the corners on some scrape fabric first until I'm happy with it.  We have a lot of this going on over the next several weeks, but I'm hoping to fit some sewing time in. 

The upside is I designed a new type of nap blanket with this order.  It's done, the paypal invoice has been sent.  I'm awaiting payment and delivery hopefully today or tomorrow.  This new design combines many of the features that I enjoyed in the previous versions as well as some new ones.  This is my favorite part of the creative process.  I can create, change, and then change again my products until they are just right and no one can argue with me otherwise.  It's amazing how the designing and creating process is never exactly the same with each new product item.  When you move to a mass produced item all the fun is gone.  There is no more tweaking here and there.

Now if only I can finish the storage bin and pink knit blanket that I am working on.  The knit blanket almost made me cry yesterday.  I put it down to hurriedly once and several stitches fell of the needle and even slipped down a row or two.  It took some time but I was able to put them back on the needle but  my goodness was it nerve wracking while I did it.  We're now making some forward progress again instead of feeling like I ripped out my last hours worth of work. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wahoo for Shopping

Photo Courtesy: The Distracted Domestic
As I said earlier this week, I had to go shopping for some new fabric for a custom order I received.  By the way, I am truly realizing that sales do come in complete waves.  When it rains it pours and when it doesn't there's a drought.  That's been part of the fun in owning your own business.  But I digress.

I was so wonderfully pleasantly surprised when I walked into my local fabric store this week to find that they had completed redecorated and reorganized the store.  It was so bright and fresh.  Of course it drove me batty at the same time because I couldn't find anything.  It took me more time to find the products I needed than actually picking them out.  And of course I forgot to grab some purple thread so I'm going opting for a contrasting color instead of a matching color.  Sometimes I think using contracting thread is more interesting than matching everything perfectly anyways.  You just have to be extra careful to keep your hand steady!

I'm super excited about making this nap blanket because I'm going to get to practice the mitered corner I showed you a last week.  I just hope mine looks as nice as the one she sampled on  your blog post.  I'm currently in the pinning process.  Some days I call it the painful process because it is very tedious to lay out your fabric measure it 500 times check for square, measure again, cut, measure again. pin and repin!  Then it take 5 minutes to run it through the sewing machine.  Well, not really just 5 minutes, but you get the idea!  Just like painting, you set up your prep work well and you get a good product out, you rush the prep and the result is well less than stellar.  I'll let you know how my corners turn out. 

What is your current project?  What challenges are you facing with it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fabric Shopping

I was hoping to get to the store this weekend for some fabric for my order that I got last Friday, but with all the Easter festivities Saturday simply got away from me.  Sunday of course pretty much out of the question given it was Easter Sunday and many stores were closed.  Alas, I will have to make the trip this week, perhaps today!

It's been a while since I've been tot he fabric store so it should be fun, I might even pick up some fabric to make myself a skirt or a dress I've been keeping my eye one, but don't want to pay the price for, so the fun solution.  Make it myself!  We'll see how that project goes, I seem to have a lot of in progress projects going on these days.  Perhaps I should finish one soon...

Overall our Easter was wonderful and it was great to spend the time with some family.  Now it's back to reality with sewing, knitting, and working the real job.  If only life could be all fun and games!  How was everyone's Easter?  For those of you who celebrate passover, Happy Passover as well.  I never know which night of Passover is the "important" one since it's another one of those eight night celebrations.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Surprises

As many of you know I've been laying low for a few months slowing working away on a few projects, but not pushing myself to rush any of my projects.  Well it appears that even in my slow push of late I'm still making progress.  I just received a custom order for a nap blanket and am working to set up a private knitting lesson.  Looks like April is going to be an active month here around Stitch Silly and we're looking forward to it.  I will be sure to keep you posted on the great progress.

I'm really looking forward to both of these projects.  The both should be a lot of fun.  I've done my fair share of nap blankets as many of you have already seen.  This one will be no different.  As for the teaching well, it's always great to educate someone in what sometimes seems like a lost art.  It's always fun to see someone learn and then prosper in what you taught them.  
 
This is an exciting time as we prepare for our first anniversary in May!  Can you believe it's been a year already! 

Are there any requests for our up coming one year celebrations?


Monday, April 2, 2012

Looking forward to Easter

Lots of things have been happening recently.  Yesterday I have planned on spending a few hours knitting, but some plans changed last minute so that didn't end up happening.  I was sad, but that's ok. I got more time with my son, which is far more important!

We have family coming in this weekend so we are currently in preparations for the visitors so that typically means little sewing or knitting time.  I'm hoping to at least start laying out and pinning my current sewing project.  We'll see if there is progress in that realm this week.  We're taking a big trip this month so I plan to do quite a bit of knitting then.  As I've said a lot recently, I have slowed down production so I can make sure I can be super woman, just at a slower speed!

In the mean time I wanted to share a great tutorial I ran across in my blog reading.  It's from The Distracted Domestic.  She shows us how to make the perfect mitered corner in this tutorial.  This is something I always struggle with, in my opinion.  I never think my miters are very good so I'm going to give this a try on my next blanket to see if it's as easy as it looks. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Do you ever...

Feel intimidated by some people who post new blog posts at the rate of several a day?  I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes when I look at my blog roll and those bloggers are the only ones I see are people who post more like it's Facebook or Twitter than a blog.  I'm not complaining, everyone has a different model for their own blog and had the choice to post at the frequency that works best for them.  It just prompts me to ask myself what prevents me from posting more.  Then I realize that I have multiple full time jobs on top of Stitch Silly.  Such is life!  Regardless, I'm enjoying sharing my story with you and look forward to many more stories.  Until then, happy stitching!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Project Wonderful Update

I've been using project wonderful for a few months now.  To be honest, I'm still not sure about it.  For a while I had a lot of interest, but it seems to have slowed down.  I've tried different ad types and different price points, but they haven't seemed to work long term.  I'm not sure what the magic sauce it to make it a continuous money maker.  I'm going to keep trying to figure it out, maybe switch it up a little more. 

Until I successfully figure it out, I may try to explore other opportunities of accepting sponsorships.  There are so many possibilities out there it's hard to decide which direction to choose.  To those of you who have done both, what has your experience been?  Share your war stories here, we want to hear them!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Has it been that long?

My humblest apologies to you my readers to for the apparent disappearance!  I have been quite busy over the last couples weeks that required me to put on hold my blogging temporarily.  But it's Wednesday and that's as good as any to reset in my book.  What am I working on these days you ask?  Well a couple things actually!  One is a diaper tote which I think will be super fun to make, I'm currently in the process of cutting the fabric out on this one.  It's currently sitting on my test taunting me every time I walk by it for me to finish cutting it out.  I'll get there!

SOLD 30x30in. Yellow Baby Blanket ($42.00)
 The other great project I'm working on these days is a great baby blanket similar to the one below.  The one I'm making is going to be pink instead of yellow.  It will also be slightly bigger than this one.  I love this pattern, but the little ones grow out of them too fast when they are only 30x30 in. so I've decided to make a version that is bigger so the new little bundle of joys can enjoy me creations longer!



It's a knitting project so it takes time to create, as many of you knitters know.  I think I'm about a quarter of the way through it, so keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks.  It will be my first product in a while. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Photography Lessons

Let me start this post by saying I do not consider myself a photography expert, nor do I consider myself an expert in Gimp, but over the last year I have learned a great deal in terms of what makes a great picture for the internet and what doesn't.  I am still learning a lot myself, but let me give you a bit of a photo history of my photography learning curve. 

One of my earlier photo. 

The above photo isn't bad per see, but it isn't good either.  It's just well...blah.  When I posted this product to Etsy I posted what I got off the camera.  No photo editing, just point, shoot, upload, and pray for the best.  Then I decided I need to re-shoot this product in natural light.   That's what all the experts say at least, so I did.  And this was the result:
Natural Light Burp Cloth Set
Much better, right! But again not great and I uploaded straight from the camera.  Well maybe I went crazy and did a little photo editing.  Hold your horses here, I think I cropped the image!  In terms of product imaging this is much better, at least in my personal opinion.  I know, I know, I still need to work on the overall package, but I have a long way to go on that one.  If anyone wants to offer up some advice I'll gladly take it here!

Moving on...

Then we moved and I got a great new desk to photograph my products on. 
Car Seat Cover on Plain White Background
 But I still wasn't editing my photos and because of some of the lighting I was using I kept getting this yellowish hue to my photos.  Occasionally I got lucky like here:
Natural Light no Touchups Required
But this kind of photo doesn't come a long very often.  I also don't often have the luxury of photographing in natural light very often.  So most of my pictures were looking like the Car Seat Covers and I was anxious to post new products (remember my inventory push that wasn't very successful?) so up they went onto my Etsy Shop without much thought and editing beyond taking the pictures.

Now I have some time on my hands and I am getting a little better at Gimp.  For those of you unfamiliar, Gimp is a free software that while is similar to Photoshop has many additional capabilities.  I typically only use it for photo editing right now (someday maybe I'll use it for other things).  After playing with my product images a bit, I have discovered a few things.
  1. NEVER AGAIN will I post something without first editing it!
  2. It's easier than it looks.
  3. It does take some practice, but it's worth it in the end.
 Here is a before and after image to show you what I mean.
Before
After

Before

After
I didn't do a lot of editing, but I at least cleaned up the dark hint associated with the image, which brightened everything up quite a bit.  The second set I cropped some.  And more importantly, I figured out how to add a watermark to my images to if someone decides they want to use my images somewhere, Stitch Silly is plastered on my image. 

I still have a lot of improvement on the actual composition ahead of me, but I think this is a great start for editing once I've taken the picture. 

Look for a few tutorials walking you some of these techniques.  Hopefully, I will demystify Gimp and photo editing for you just a bit.  Who knows we maybe able to help each other out just a bit




Monday, March 5, 2012

Clever Inventory System

Thanks to Crafty Staci for writing this tutorial
As I was doing some light reading this weekend I ran across this great tutorial.  As many of my long time readers know when Stitch Silly first opened its doors, I worked very hard to develop an effective accounting system.  Those posts to this day are my number one viewed items.  I just hope people are finding it as beneficial as I did creating it.  But that's another story all together. 

What I'm here to talk to you about today is another system I ran across while reading Totally Tutorials.  She referenced a great tutorial made by Staci at Crafty Staci.  This tutorial just amazed me and made me think, why didn't I think of that!  But alas, we can't always be rock stars.  Today Staci wins that prize!  Thank you so much for putting this together for us!

Just as a brief summary before I send you over to Crafty Staci.  She uses 3x5 cards to track the fabric she purchases, recording the price, yardage purchased, if it was on sale (and sale price), date purchased, whom she purchased from, and finally any additional notes for that particular fabric.  More creatively, she also includes a swatch of the fabric on each card.  Personally I think this is the best piece of advice she offers in her tutorial.  As many of you know, I do track my fabric in my inventory on my spreadsheet, but sometimes I don't always remember what the description I write down refers to in my actual fabric inventory. 

Do any of you others have a similar system?  I'd love to hear your versions!  I think this system or something similar would be great for both fabric and yarn.  Looks like I have some work ahead of me on this.  Happy organizing!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hiatus

I've been on a sewing hiatus recently.  There really isn't a reason for it.  I have projects to start.  As a matter of fact, I have a pattern cut laying on my sewing table as I type.  I just haven't sat down to do it yet.  It's a new pattern, and therefore a new product for us here as Stitch Silly.  I'm not sure I'm just nervous about doing it or if there is something else in the works.  I do know that there is something keeping my from sewing and I need to get out of my rut.  Perhaps it's my renewed urge to knit baby blankets for ALL my wonderful friends that are expecting.  Maybe I should go to the store and get some yarn instead and start a new knitting project.  Hmmm, now those creative juices are flowing again...
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