Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and a wonderful story!

Merry Christmas everyone!

It has been a very busy week- but now it's time to relax and enjoy some quiet time. All the presents are wrapped, cookies are baked (and delivered!), and packages are mailed. I think we will kick back, throw on some Christmas shows (maybe How the Grinch Stole Christmas- the classic one, of course) and drink some peppermint hot chocolate. Yum!

But first, I wanted to share this e-mail that Sol from Oslo, Norway sent me. It was my very first international order (placed about a month ago now). A few days ago, I got this wonderful e-mail, with approval for sharing. :)

"Hi Kristina,

Some words from Oslo, Norway and your first international shipment!

I ordered your gold scarf as a fun surprise for my mother at my parents' gold wedding (my father got a gold tie). :-)

Apart from being a fun present, we all loved the scarf -- soft and elegant, and my 71-year old mother is definitely going to use it again for parties.

(Why not produce scarves and ties for gold and silver weddings -- perhaps someone will search for it, like I did?)

My parents married in Trondheim, Norway on the 14th of December 1963 and they celebrated their gold wedding there with children and grandchildren. A lovely day!

Attached you will find a picture of the gold bride! :-)

Thank you for a very pleasant transaction and the nice card which followed it.

All the best for you and your shop,
and best wishes for a merry Xmas to you
from Sol  Emoji"

The story just made my week. I absolutely love the photo and the idea that my scarf was a part of something so wonderful.  I think she looks so beautiful and simply glows. :)

It is always exciting sending an order out in the mail. It's fun sending items across the country, but for some reason, it is extra special when I get to ship something internationally. It's like a part of me gets to travel all over the world. :) And, it's stories like this that remind me of that. 

Thank you, Sol!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays and a (very) delayed post

Hello all!

I'm so sorry for the extremely long delay in posts! It has been an insanely busy month- but in a good way. :)

As of yesterday, the shop hit 120 sales! I have been working like crazy making sure all orders go out the same or next day. Needless to say, there were a couple of hectic weeks in there.

Here's Monday's mail run. I'm sure the poor post office workers hate me. I have cleaned out their priority mail supplies numerous times in the last couple of weeks.

The last few days have slowed down significantly. But- any orders I receive by tomorrow late morning/early afternoon tomorrow should still make it in time for Christmas. How I love priority shipping. It is honestly a few cents cheaper than standard first class and it arrives within 3 days. I track all of my packages to make sure delivery times are on schedule and I have been so impressed. I print a label and see that a package is going to Florida, North Carolina, or Rhode Island (from the West Coast!) and it says "2-Day Priority Shipping" (it depends where the location is if it's 1, 2 or 3 days and I don't know until the shipping label downloads) and I think, "no way that is going to get there in 2 days." But, it hasn't failed me yet. It's incredible.

I have dropped packages off on Monday evening at 5:30pm and it will be across the country, delivered by Wednesday afternoon. It's crazy.

I have used the little bit of downtime to make a LOT of new listings. I still have a few more scarves to whip up with materials that are ready to go, but I have most of it up now.

Here's a couple I listed yesterday. :)

I can't believe I have over 70 listings now. It's just amazing to me. I never imagined it would go so quickly. I have sold out of several patterns and deactivated a couple to re-take better photos.

This next week, I am going to enjoy the holidays, take time to clean and reorganize the house and all of my stock (I find it relaxing), catch up on making Thank You cards, labels, and tags, and retake some listing photos that I'm not too thrilled with.  Maybe I'll even get some Christmas packages wrapped. :)

This last month has been so amazing. I never imagined that I could hit 120 sales by now and it has been humbling, exciting, and motivational. The Etsy community has been absolutely amazing- both customers and sellers alike. I am so glad that I stuck with it through those first couple of months with 0 sales although I was incredibly discouraged.

Thank you all and check back soon - more news is soon to come! :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Finally got moved!

Sorry for the long hiatus, but the last month has been so crazy!

The husband and I spent the first part of October packing, making several trips to Oregon, and (finally!) on November 1st we made the official journey.

We were incredibly lucky throughout the entire process. The week leading up to the big moving day was absolutely gorgeous outside. It was chilly, but for the end of October in Southern Idaho, we were just glad we didn't have snow. :)

It was a little weird saying goodbye to our Idaho house, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it sells soon and someone else it able to enjoy the character that a 100+ year old house brings. (It really is a neat house.)

The trip was incredibly long (about 14 hours) but so beautiful and went without any major bumps in the road (literally or figuratively)!

The wildlife, the natural trail systems, and greenery is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. It is like living in a fairly tale with all of the amenities of a big city (without insane levels of traffic!).

Deer are EVERYWHERE around here. This was taken off the side of the road approximately 1/2 mile away from our new Oregon house. (Just have to drive slow and be aware of wildlife at all times - but how is this not worth it?!?) I wish I would have gotten a picture of the wild turkeys that were literally across the street from our house.

You must be thinking - you live out in the middle of the forest. Nope! We are right on the southern outskirts of town. We have a bus stop less than 100 feet from our front door and are about 4 miles away from the center of downtown Eugene. And yet, the largest public trail in Eugene is a block away from our house. This picture was taken probably 1/4 mile away from my front door.

It is so peaceful and seemingly untainted by litter and pollution. I have never seen so many recycling bins in my life. Everyone seems to be so respectful of the land- it is rare that you ever see a piece of garbage on the ground and doggy poo bag stations are everywhere so no worries about where you step. (Oh, and the max fine for littering is like $6,250 so Oregon doesn't mess around ;).
One of the best parts of living in Eugene? Being an hour away from the beach!

(I love the panoramic setting on the camera :)

So now that we are officially (mostly) unpacked and settled in, I have my craft/sewing area all set up and am ready to roll out a bunch of new items in time for the holidays. Check back frequently for exciting new updates and some holiday sales! There are so many good things to come. :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

All that Glitters IS Gold

I have 2 new scarves in my Etsy shop, which I am very excited about. The materials are so much fun and unique.

#1 - Liquid Gold infinity scarf
I absolutely love the look of this fabric. It's so different and yet surprisingly smooth and fairly soft. It reminds me of a slightly stiff silk. The gold is very rich and slightly reflective, but it is incredibly lightweight. Personally, I'm not much of a Gold fan- all of my nicer jewelry is silver or white gold, but I think I like the gold version of this fabric moreso than the silver. It has a nice champagne-like tone that compliments almost every skin tone.

Like the silver version, it has a subtle, shiny/reflective property that looks like liquid when it's worn.

(Here's a close up of folded material to give you a better perspective.)

I am certainly tucking a couple of these into my own scarf stash for the holidays. Both the gold and silver will add an extra sparkle for upcoming the office Christmas party, family dinners and holiday events in general.

#2 - Gold Sequin Infinity Scarf

These sequin scarves have been so popular on the shop. The fabric is incredibly lightweight and the coloring is just beautiful. I have tried to build a small stash of this material- possibly enough for up to 10 more scarves, but I have not been able to find more. I was hoping to find a full bolt because of the reaction they have gotten, but no such luck. So, this will be a very limited edition. :)

My husband helped me take some photos last night and I think we have vastly improved our lighting and camera setting situation. The last photos looked good when they were on our screens, all blown up, but they seemed very dark at the smaller sizes. (Especially compared to other shops on Etsy.) Hopefully these will stand out a little more and be a better representation of the actual material.

Let me know what you think! I love comments and I am always looking for tips, suggestions and ideas. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New Projects in the Works - All About Yarn!

Today is my birthday! Mostly by chance, I happen to have the day off. It's just me and the hubby home today. So, I could really do most anything I wanted to - drag him shopping with me, go to the movies, maybe spend the afternoon at Barnes and Noble (I love bookstores) - but ever more than anything else, I wanted to be here, doing this!

I have so many projects that I have started and/or just gotten the supplies for.

My husband knows me too well and this is what I got from him today (in addition to a couple of movies) :

I am very excited about these pens! I have been wanting them since I first got the Silhouette Portrait. They are very nice quality and, best of all - they came with 10 (very nice) free sketch designs.

A much-needed dust cover for my Portrait. I love the red. It's also very good quality- a thick canvas material and solid stitching.

AND! A $25 Silhouette Online Gift Card. I can (almost) buy my entire wishlist now. :)

So, as you can see, I am going to be very busy today! I think I might design some new tags and packaging for my Etsy shop this afternoon.

I also have to tell you about the new yarn I have recently discovered. I know, I know - these have been out for awhile. I completely missed the original bandwagon. But, that doesn't make them any less awesome!

As probably most everybody already knows - Starbella is a type of variegated yarn. When it's all wound up, it looks almost like a flat 1/2" ribbon. But when you stretch it out, it looks like this:

(Thank you AC Moore Arts and Crafts for a series of really good tutorials and helpful videos!)

It's a gorgeous netting-like material that ruffles in a very unique and soft way. It is just lovely and very forgiving to work with! So check back here periodically because links, tutorials, and new projects are soon to come!

This week, I have on the agenda:

*Play with sketch pens and make new Whimsy Abode tags
*List all the items on my new scarf lineup on Etsy (Watch for a sneak peek here!)
*Develop new designs with specialty yarn (I'm experimenting with scarves, pillows, blankets, bags, rugs, and slippers!)

Also, I wanted to share this wonderful website I stumbled across:

Cutesy Crafts.com

She has a blog and shares gorgeous ideas, photos and tutorials. She also has an Etsy shop where she sells her patterns and PDF's. Most of her projects involve felt and she has given me SO many new ideas and inspiration to use up my stash of felt. (I love it, I just never know what to do with it.)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cotton Scarves!

While I love the dressed up and unique look of the lace, sequins and sparkle on the other scarves, there is nothing like a super-soft cotton scarf with a pair of jeans. It's like wearing your favorite t-shirt as a necklace.

I have listed a few on Etsy this last week and I have several more coming down the pipeline. :)

I have made a firm commitment to myself - I will only make & sell items that I will wear personally. I am not doing this project to simply sell things (although that is nice ;), I want to believe in my items and stand behind them 100%. Many times I have been walking through a fabric supply store and came across something nice that I thought "I would never wear that, but I bet it would sell." No.  I'm sticking to my guns on this one. I am the producer, model, seller and probably the most important - the tester of everything. Everything I make must hold up in the washing machine (or be worth hand washing) and take abuse like all of my other clothing. I want to make sure that my items will truly hold up use after use, wash after wash, and I like to take it to the extreme! Most people probably wouldn't wash a scarf after one use- but I do! Aside from being a great make-up and crumb collector throughout the day, I want to see what 10-20 washes will do to my product. (And so far, so good - I will do a post in the near future showing a brand new scarf and one(s) that I have worn to show how they hold up. :)

This one is probably my go-to for most outfits. Polka dots are just easy to work with in an outfit.

I am in LOVE with this fabric. It is a little more bold, but the small picture simply does not do it justice.

This is another fabric that I am in love with. It's a little softer on the eyes and it goes with just about everything. I love the pattern and the feel of the material - I have a few scraps tucked aside to add to  a quilt I am working on. :)

This fabric is just fun. It's a little brighter, but I think it is the perfect addition for a fall and/or spring outfit.

I use this a lot as another go-to item. It's simple and oh-so-comfy. :)

Last but not least, I think this one is fun! I work with kids quite a bit and it goes nicely in the work atmosphere. I think it would be a great addition to a teacher's wardrobe.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Drum roll please.... I finally opened my Etsy shop, featuring a fun line of Halloween scarves!

Ok, time to do some shameless self-promotion.


Introducing my Etsy shop! I am so excited to work on this project. It is something I have had in the works for several years now. I am featuring a fun line of infinity scarves for my grand opening. Infinity scarves are a soft spot for me and, worst case scenario, if I don't sell a single scarf, I know that I will be able to find someone to wear them. ;)

I couldn't resist experimenting with a wide variety of fabrics. Scarves are a wonderful way to add just something extra to an outfit. I know that I get stuck in a rut of combining the same shirts with the same bottoms over and over again. Scarves really help me mix up my existing wardrobe and add a bit of a safety blanket feel to the day. :)

I absolutely love 100% cotton for a scarf - they just lay so nicely and can be tossed in the washing machine with my normal clothes. But, I must admit my personal favorite is the liquid silver scarf that honestly looks like flowing water while it is worn. No joke. It is a very neat accessory for a basic outfit like jeans and a white t-shirt and/or a neutral blazer. (I wouldn't recommend wearing one with frilly blouses or other large, shiny accessories - it would probably be too much.)

Ok- that one might be a bit too much for me to wear on a regular basis to the office. So my go-to would have to be the silky lace overlay. It is SO soft and absolutely everyone who touches the fabric has a hard time handing it back to me. :) The lace print is feminine and delicate but doesn't require the extra care that actual lace does (does anyone else have a problem with fraying or ripping of lace??).

Anyway, thank you for checking out my blog and be sure to stop by my Etsy shop to take a look at my new lineup. Check back frequently - new items will be added every week!

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Blog!

Welcome to my new blog! I'm so glad that you have found me. I’m soooo excited about this new site! I think it will be a great forum for interacting and communicating with all who may be interested.

For years, I have been making custom accessories, decor, and designs. I love experimenting with all different types of materials and types of fabric. Because I have been in school for ... far too long, I have not had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time on projects. However, now that I have graduated with my Master's earlier this year (yay!) I am excited to have the time and energy to create new things again.

I have decided to embrace my creative outlet and expand my social network to include others who share the same passion. I have several exciting projects and announcements that are soon to come, but my primary interest is connecting with others that I can share, learn from, and exchange ideas.

During the day I am a therapist (an LMSW to be exact) and while I absolutely love my work, I have always had a passion for design. As much as I can, I try to incorporate both interests together through play and art therapy, and I find that the time I spend sewing, designing and creating in general is very therapeutic for me as well.

My home office/studio. (OK, we call it the craft room, but "studio" sounds so much fancier. ;)

My idea/project wall. (It is bare now, but I have a handful of items in the works. ;)

My fabric closet. It is starting to burst at the seams, I think I am going to have to do some major rearranging. 

I am excited to share all of my ideas, tips, tutorials, and whatever is on my mind. So visit often and leave comments!