Monthly Archives: April 2015

To Wash or not to Wash ? That is the question..

To Wash or not to Wash ? That is the question..

graphic sewing

“Do I need to pre-wash fabric before I sew with it ?”   This is a good question. There is no ONE answer for this. What is the project you are going to make with the fabric? Will the finished project EVER be washed? Let’s say you’re making a costume for your child. It’s for Halloween and will only be worn once; next year this size won’t fit him. Do you need to pre-wash the fabric? If it’s only for a single-use project, you don’t really need to. But consider this, what if a nephew or neighbor could wear it next year? What if junior eats too much candy and “urps” all over himself? Hmmm.. Maybe it’s a large banner for a church program or decorative flag. If it’s not going to be washed later, it’s okay to not pre-wash the fabric. What if it’s an item like a wallhanging or table topper and will be washed only by hand? Fine, don’t pre-wash. If the article will need an occasional freshening up only, you can wash it by hand. BUT, if this article is red fabric next to white fabric and it’s not pre-washed, you may still end up with a fun tie-dye motif that you weren’t expecting. If the item is a gift, be sure and let the receiver know how to clean it (toss in the washer, hand wash only, spot-clean only, etc.). Read the rest of this entry

You are what you eat ? Insulting lunch.

You are what you eat ? Insulting lunch.

My son and I are at a fast-food drive-thru, a bit of a wait at the ordering kiosk, but not too many cars in line. Paid at the first window, get to the next window…. the server hands me a soda and says, “Sorry about your weight”.
(OK, I realize she meant “wait” but the way she said it…)
(I wonder, does this car make my ____ look big ?)

I ate a traffic light.

I ate a traffic light.

Quilting is hard work. Hand-stitching is tough on the fingers. My eyes get tired. Organizing/weeding out stuff from my supply hoard collection is physically demanding. Today I did all those things and I worked up an appetite. Hungry enough to eat a horse traffic light ? Maybe.  Read the rest of this entry

*test*

*test*

This is just a test, right ? I mean, it’s April 22 already. Past Spring, yes ? 

So, snow ?? Today ? Reallllly ?? Wow.

I love snow. I love the way it decorates everything. I love that it starts out with the tiniest speck of white. Very calmly and quietly. Just barely there. A couple hours later, the ground is completely covered. Read the rest of this entry

Selling Crafts on Consignment Part 2

Selling Crafts on Consignment Part 2

Consignment Questions:

~Do you have to pay to be in a consignment shop?
Some shops do charge an ongoing monthly fee as well as a percentage of each sale. Some only charge a percentage of sales. Do the math; figure out how many items you have to sell to be able to pay your monthly fee if they charge one. If my net on a dinosaur bag is $15 and the shop is charging consignees $30 per month
, my first two dinosaur sales each month go toward paying the fee. Basically I gave away two bags for the privilege of selling there. Are there enough sales after that to support this venue?
~Do the items you bring in have to be bagged and tagged?
It varies. The earrings I sell are hanging on a cardstock
backing with tiny holes for earwires to slip in. The loaded card is then put in a small zip-top bag. Some stores require a “hang-hole” at the top of the product packaging. Other stores provided a metal jewelry rack and wanted the earrings hung there without the backing. I have found little items displayed in baggies have a bit more protection from theft due to the size and stiffness. Also, individual earrings don’t get lost as the packaging keeps pairs together. Tagging with prices was usually my job, not the store’s. Keep records of items you bring in to sell. How many, what date, the prices of each. If the store calls you to ask about pricing (maybe the price tag fell off), discounts (if they buy 3 pair…), can someone order the same item in another color? or do you have more of XX, this master inventory sheet will be necessary for your sanity :)
~How much percentage will they take from my item’s selling price?
I have experienced 20-50% consignment fees. If the store charges 20%, when I sell a $10 item, my “cut” is $8.00.
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Selling Crafts on Consignment Part 1

Selling Crafts on Consignment Part 1

floor

You make a really neat Widget for a friend’s birthday. When unwrapped at the party, several guests say, “Wow~ you made that? You should sell these somewhere!” And having heard this before, you’re thinking, “Yes, I’d love to but how and where?”
First, accept the compliment. Second, folks often have no idea how hard it is to ‘break in’ somewhere, but do want to encourage or support your endeavor. I have a bit of experience in this area. Everyone’s journey will be a little different of course, but I’ll share mine. Maybe you can learn from some of my mis-steps :)
Many downtown shops love having items from local artists and crafters selling in their shop. Some reasons are: This appeals to their idea of supporting the community. It helps fill shelves without paying shipping fees. Tourists and visitors love having a memento for going home, reminding them of their recent trip.
Shops generally acquire their merchandise in two different ways; consignment and buying wholesale. This post is about the consignment route.
Back up a couple decades: I used to make Dinosaur Diaper Bags. These were Stegasaurus-type dinosaurs with four feet, a long tail and jagged teeth. They were padded, fully lined with a zipper, rope straps and large button eyes…a fun look. We had two little boys at the time; I made my own diaper bag, he was a purple dinosaur and we all liked him. End of story.
~Not quite. You see, once we had the pattern figured out, I made up two ‘prototypes’ before the purple one (a green 
dinosaur  and a blue one). We liked the purple one so that’s what we used.
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Where do you go to shop for fabric ?

Where do you go to shop for fabric ?

One of the highlights of our home business is when we start to run low on the basic supplies. A wonderful and perfectly reasonable reason to go fabric shopping ! As you can imagine, ‘my guys’ (Hubby and adult Son) aren’t always terribly excited to go along. Oh, they will; go and be helpful and carry bolts of fabric as I tediously search for the right fabric. Especially if there’s a promise of eating out for lunch/dinner. They do look for fabrics and usually contribute some great finds.  And they are very patient for nearly an hour, which is about the time my eyes start getting tired of intensely inspecting 300 bolts of fabric. So we take our bags to the car and take a break from shopping, enjoying a sit-down meal that someone else cooked. If there is another fabric shop nearby, I’m off for ‘Round 2′ while the guys hang around outside watching grass grow or get another drink and listen to the ice melt. In any case, we all get to enjoy the day, sort of together :)

STACK

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Sewing and Crafting Blogs

Sewing and Crafting Blogs

typer

That’s me, busy filling blog pages…

Today as I was going through the weekend’s worth of emails, perusing what I like and deleting junk, I decided to make a list of some of the fun and informative blogs I enjoy so you can browse them and possibly find a new favorite ! Not all are strictly Sewing but they are creative blogs. I will give a very brief description with each so you know what to expect :)  Read on !

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Sewing Slump.

Sewing Slump.

scissors HR

Do you ever get stuck ? You’re working on a project and suddenly there is no motivation. The muse of creativity has “left the station” and you’re stumped. It happens to me sometimes. If I push forward anyway, I make a mess of things with uninspired bits and pieces. The ‘flow’ is gone and I can’t force it. What can you do ? How do you get in the mood to sew ? Read the rest of this entry

The Arrival of Spring in Northern Indiana…

The Arrival of Spring in Northern Indiana…

The arrival of Spring here has nothing at all to do with weather forecasts, satellite images or the Farmer’s Almanac. Spring is evident by local animal behavior. One simply needs to know the signs of common animals: Robins, Squirrels, Cows, Geese, Colts and Mustangs. And of course we all know it starts with the Groundhog. Each year on February 2nd, we humans attempt to determine if the groundhog sees its shadow or not. But think about this; the current ceremony involves a pet groundhog that does not Winter outdoors. Punxsutawney Phil lives with his wife, Phyllis at the town Library (http://mentalfloss.com/article/54821/11-punxsutawney-phil-facts-groundhog-day). He is the guest of honor at a man-made ritual/festival.

robin

An (almost) foolproof indication that Spring’s finally here is the presence of a Robin on our lawn. Not the snow-covered lawn, but the stubby grey-green ‘grass’ revealed when the snow melts. It doesn’t count if the Robin is seen in one of our trees, on the fence, porch steps or walkways. Not valid if seen on a neighbor’s lawn, it has to be ours. Don’t ask me why, that’s just how it works. When Mr. Robin is walking on our ‘lawn’, Spring is here.

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