a little back history

daisyeyesheader

More than 7 years ago I opened an etsy store and had to come up with a name. I had started selling some embroidered items locally and etsy was new on the scene so I took a risk and opened a shop. I bought a clip art image that I loved and went from there.

Daisyeyes Logo

Fast forward and I actually started selling some things. I knew I needed a better logo design so I had a dear friend do some graphic design for me. My logo has gone through a million different changes since then and the growing a business learning curve has thrown me for so many loops.

 

Etsy Shop Banner

 

It’s truly only been in the last year or so that I’ve really stepped back, slowed down a little bit and given some good thought to the direction I wanted to go with daisyeyes. 2015 has been the first year that I’ve really been doing what I wanted to do all along – custom hand embroidery. It’s been a bit of a challenge and a change, but it’s been a welcome change.

The other thing that has been happening was my desire to start teaching sewing lessons and what I thought was a really strong desire to have a brick and mortar shop. I talked about nothing else for at least 2 years. Again, it was a steep learning curve and probably one of the greatest things that happened during that year was my relationship with our local parks and rec department. If you would have told me 2 years ago that I would love doing pop up/mobile sewing classes I would have laughed at you. But I love it.

crookedstitch logos

I realized about 3-4 months ago and that the dream of a brick and mortar shop was not something I wanted to delve into at this point in my life. I also realized that trying to build two separate businesses and brands at the same time was making me crazy. So after a lot of thought I’ve decided to “close up” the crooked stitch. In all honesty all it means is that I’m building my sewing lessons off of the brand that I need to focus on : daisyeyes handmade. I’m taking out the idea that my embroidery business needs to be totally separate from my sewing education business and combining the two. It seems like such a small thing, but it has released so much pressure off of me. It has given me space in my mind to work on being a better blogger, to start that newsletter that I’ve been wanting to start and to work on more tutorials and online lessons in this space that I’ve been wanting to do. It’s probably one of the best business decisions I’ve made in this whole journey.

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tip-sy tuesday {trick for threading a needle}

Introducing a new goal for myself: tip-sy tuesday! On Tuesdays, I hope to offer a quick little tip that I’ve learned or use with sewing or maybe just in general life.

Today I’m going to show you a neat little trick for threading a needle; especially good to use with new little seamstresses. Last spring I was introduced to the Loran needle threaders. They are pretty neat and do a great job threading needles. I bought them for all my 7-14 year old sewing school students and it opened up a whole new world for them (and me…not having to chase back and forth re-threading needles).

loran needle threader

These little threaders are pretty inexpensive, at roughly $2 each, but having to buy a whole class set got pretty pricey. When I went to do my introductory class for using my new serger, my teacher there introduced me to floss threaders. While the Loran needle threaders are roughly $2 each, I can buy a pack of 50 of these floss threaders for less than that!

 

So here’s what you need:

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~ A pack of floss threaders (I found mine at Walmart for less than $1.50 for the pack of 50 and it came with a case!)
~ a needle (we use chenille size 22 needles in my sewing classes)
~ some thread (in class we use crochet thread…which is a little bit thicker but holds up better for stitching with and it’s way cheaper than buying embroidery floss)

And here’s how to do it!

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the crooked stitch {spring sewing classes}

Kids sewing classes spring 2014

While I’ve been pretty sparse around the blog lately, if you’ve followed along at all you know I have a second little venture I’m working on called The Crooked Stitch. While my ultimate goal is to open a brick and mortar sewing lounge of sorts, I’ve started small by offering classes through our amazing Parks and Rec department.

This last week I did a stand alone adult sewing class where we made totebags.

Sewing Class Spring 2014 Totebags

It was a great group of women and it really makes me realize why quilting bees etc used to be so popular. There is really nothing like getting a group of women together and working on a craft. The laughter, conversation and more is so fulfilling and good for the heart.

Adult Sewing Class Spring 2014 Totebags

I let the women pick out their own dimensions for their bags and also the lengths of their handles. Every bag was totally different and each of them did such an amazing job. I had a blast.

 

For the last almost six weeks I’ve also been teaching a series of sewing to a group of younger girls. They range in age from 6 to 12 and it’s been such fun to see them grow in their skills and confidence.

Kids sewing classes spring 2014

Over the last six weeks, we’ve made little bags, some hoop art, a stuffed bear, some Easter themed projects and more.

Kids sewing classes spring 2014

Kids sewing classes spring 2014

Kids sewing classes spring 2014

This past week I introduced the sewing machines and for our final class we will stitch up a little pillow. I’ve learned so much from these girls and it has been a blast to stretch out my teaching muscles again. I’m super excited for my next round of classes this Fall and for where my journey with The Crooked Stitch will lead.

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what I’m into {december 2013}

If November felt like a blur, December seemed to go slowly and yet quickly. We had so many different events to get through that I really was living week to week. Our chick has a birthday in December so the first half of the month is always leading up to that and then it’s time to think Christmas.

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I have to say that this was probably the busiest holiday season leading up, but by far one of the most relaxing when Christmas Day rolled around. This past year was really a year where my husband and I realized what a different stage of parenting we are in. Our family look so different with a 7 year old and 10 year old and I think Christmas morning was so evident of that. It was slow and calm and we spent the morning building legos and enjoying each other and we ended the night watching Star Wars. Slow and easy.

And here’s the monthly recap…

books
I am still reading Practice Perfect by Doug Lemov. It’s a very thought provoking book, maybe more so because of my background in education. While the book isn’t geared towards teachers, he tends to write from that perspective because that is who he is as a researcher. It is truly a book that will make you rethink what success and failure looks like and how to get there.

I threw a non-thinking book in there by Beverly Lewis. She writes a whole host of Amish books and they are easy to read, if not a little smarmy. This one was The Secret Keeper and is about an “english” girl wanting to convert to the Amish life and how she integrates herself into the community. Like I said, an easy book to read.

After that I tore threw another Ann Patchett book called The Patron Saint of Liars and then promptly threw it when I got to the end. I absolutely loved this book and the characters but the last chapter was so annoying and the end was so crazy frustrating. It’s about a home for unwed mothers and ultimately the story of Rose. I identified so much with her because she is a runner and I have a history of running..and I don’t mean for exercise. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is so much of her character that I feel like I’ve worked through and thankfully overcome. The wondering who I am and where I fit in and reconciling what my life looks like and what I feel like it should look like. But the end screwed the whole thing up. Boo.

I started out the month reading another Ann Patchett book called State of Wonder. It was about Dr. Marina Singh and her journey to the Amazon Rainforest. I did love this book and it was a book that truly showed how gifted Ms. Patchett is in character development. What she might lack for in summing up the end of her stories, she truly makes up for in her ability to allow the reader to really get to know a character like they were sitting next to you.

movies
We started out the month watching Love Actually. Oh my. This is an older movie and when we saw the cast and plot line we thought it would be a light and funny romantic movie. It was pretty good, but had quite a bit of eye opening scenes that we weren’t really prepared for. There was this whole story line in there with the dude that plays Bilbo in the Hobbit movies that was a little wacko.

We took our LOTR loving son to see the latest Hobbit movie. I finally read the book a few weeks before we went, so I enjoyed this installation more than the first just because I knew the whole story. But that also made where they stopped the movie oh so crazy frustrating. I think the whole theater yelled “come on!” We also enjoyed Despicable Me 2 (oh those Minions), Star Wars and The Little Mermaid as a family.

And the last adult movie we enjoyed together was Zero Dark Thirty. Which was a great movie, but when we realized how ignorant we were of all the key players in the hunt for OBL we were a little bummed. It was harder to follow what was going on when we didn’t know who was talking or what they were talking about. Still a very well done movie though. Although the funniest part of it was seeing the guy from Parks and Rec play a “serious” soldier. It was so hard to get his P&R character out of my head and see him as someone who isn’t so darn silly.

cooking…
So much cooking this month. Birthday cakes, holiday baking and more. We always make Gingerbread cookies leading up to Christmas Eve and this year was no different. We had fun delivering them to the local post office workers who are always so good to me. We made sugar cookies one Saturday and delivered some to the neighbors. Lots of joy in baking and giving!

things I love…

  • instagram. I finally learned how to connect and use instagram a few months ago and I’ve had so much fun with it. Way more fun that facebook will ever be. I’ve connected with some great fellow embroiderers and of all that’s been the most fun.
  • sherlock is coming back! I’m so stoked. Not to mention that Downton Abbey is too andย  Call the Midwife.
  • filofax. Via an instagram friend I was introduced to the world of filofaxes. Oh my. It’s like a planner and scrapbookers paradise. If I would have known about these planners back long before I had children I would have been in serious trouble. I thought about buying one just to get into it all, but alas I have a moleskin calendar that I love so I’m trying to pimp it up filofax style minus the cost ๐Ÿ™‚
  • a new computer!! waahoo! We’ve had this awesome mac for 7 years and while it was still functioning, the realization that it would be such a help for me business-wise that we took the plunge and bought a new mac. I love it. It’s crazy how technology can really make your life easier…sometimes!
  • 2014. There is something about this upcoming year that I haven’t felt in a long time. 2013 was such an unbelievable year for me business wise and for once I am walking into a new year knowing with confidence where God is leading me as a business woman and our family too. It’s like we are waking up to amazing hope.

on the blog and in the shop and starting up another venture

I don’t really know about the blog for 2014. I love doing these monthly recaps, but I miss writing. I would love to figure out a way to add some writing time back into my life and figure out how to incorporate it back on this blog. I separated my writing and crafting blogs last year, but then also closed up the writing one because of weird stalkers. So to begin with I hope to start writing more this year.

On the etsy front, I am hanging up my cape business. For the last 2 years I have been a felt cape maker and while I learned so much and it was an amazing financial support for us, I am hoping that my newest venture will take the place of that financial support. This year my goal is to develop my hand embroidery skills, bring in more embroidered items and hopefully learn to weave and add that to the shop. It’s the first January I’ve had a good idea of what I want daisyeyes handmade to be.

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Currently I’ve got two big custom embroidery orders to get done in the next couple of weeks. The first is a giant one…stitching up wedding vows for a client. I love how they are turning out.

And the new venture is called The Crooked Stitch. After talking a little with our fabulous parks and recreation department for our city/county I am super excited with the prospect of being able to teach classes for youth and adults at local recreation centers. It’s a huge step in my hope of finally opening up a retail shop at some point.

That’s about it for December. Check back in the next week or so for a photo recap of some of my favorite embroideries and projects from 2013 and hopefully a 2014 goals post of some sort.

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weekend blur

This past weekend was an absolute blur. On Friday I started to complain about all the responsibilities I had for the weekend…even to the point of whining on facebook (I know, I became one of those people). But not long after I did my whining status it hit me like a brick: I can either face this weekend’s obligations with dread and worry and leaded feet OR I can take each event as it comes and look for all the graces. And wow! What a difference it made in the end.

One of the biggest things I had this weekend was a craft market. There were many things about this market that were causing me to worry, the biggest one being that it was indoors. I’ve never set up for an indoor market and I really was just overwhelmed with how to make it all work in this smaller space versus a 10×10 tent.

Craft market dec 2013

But every moment of this market was full of so many graces. After hours and hours of rain and more to come, the moment we had to unload it stopped. My booth space gave me plenty of extra room for me to breathe and spread out with good “neighbors”. And it doesn’t fail that every market I’ve done I have absolutely hated the first hour…there are aspects of what I’ve done this year with daisyeyes that have been such a blessing to me, but have pushed me WAAAAAY far out of my comfort zone…I came away surpassing my goal by a landslide. It was a huge blessing in the end. So, so many graces piled upon.

We enjoyed an amazing company party with my husband’s job. I will never be able to reconcile the blessings and generosity of the people that my husband works for. It truly is a gift to be part of their working family.

And yesterday we enjoyed celebrating my daughter’s early 7th birthday.

woodlandbirthday

woodlandbirthday

woodlandbirthday

woodlandbirthday

woodlandbirthday

It was so fun to decorate the house a little and watch some little girls use a needle and thread for the first time! Absolute joy (and a little craziness too!)

We finished out our weekend enjoying some time with the leaders of our church family. It has been amazing to my husband and I how quickly these people have become like family to us.

In the end, this entire weekend filled with parties and responsibilities was a huge reminder to me in how my perspective makes all the difference. I can look at each day as a gift and search for His graces or I can put my head down and get through it. But there are so many things I miss when I don’t keep my eyes open and head up!

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