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 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. 
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