Tag: etsy

2017 Year in Review

If I think back over some goals I had set for myself years ago, this year would have been the banner year for meeting those. From published articles to Etsy orders to Instagram and even reading – there were so many goals I set for myself and I have to admit I’m a little proud (and amazed and humbled) at this year.

Etsy

I sold almost 50 pdf patterns this year. And for someone whose been longing to develop that part of her shop for a while, it was a huge boost. I’ve been working to redraft all my patterns over the past couple of years and I think I’ve updated almost all of them; including restitching the ones I hadn’t made for a while. By far my most popular patterns are my Christmas ones.
I didn’t do as much custom embroidery has I have in years past. I stitched about half a dozen custom family portraits and did just a few custom typography type orders. Here’s a few of my top favs from this year:

Custom Wedding Vows
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This was the first full year I officially hung up my shoe embroidery business and I honestly I wasn’t sad to see it go. I had a great run for a few years and it’s crazy how many shoes I had my hands in!

One huge goal I have for next year is to start making dolls. I’m not sure where this is headed, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. This first little pocket doll (prompted by my little pocket mermaid) made me super proud and I’m excited to develop this even more.

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Published!

This year I had the joy of having two magazine articles – one for the December/January issue of Sew News and one for the August issue of One Thimble. Both were a great experience and projects I really am proud of and enjoyed making.

Sew News Dec/Jan 2017

One Thimble August 2017

I also worked with the DMC Designer Program for most of the year and was a part of the Buttons Galore and More Team for the last half of the year. Both of those experiences were definitely stretching and good in many ways. The Buttons Galore team is finished and I’m hoping to be able to do more with DMC, but we shall see where that goes as they had a change in leadership of the program about half way through the year.

Books Read:

A lot! I read nearly 50 that I recorded on Goodreads and that probably doesn’t count the ones I forget to record that I’m prereading or reading along with for homeschooling. 2018 will be a little different in regards to books, because I’m holding myself to joining a book club that reads a new book for every month. I also have a HUGE stack of books that I want to read this year and I know that the only way that will happen is by spending less time online. Check back for a bookish post in the next week or so.

Getting Social:

I closed up my daisyeyes facebook page. I honestly didn’t use it and I’ve come to rely on facebook pretty much for getting info from the groups I’m part of. Instagram on the other hand got a little out of hand. I love it (although the way it’s all curated now is totally annoying – as in when they dropped the chronological feed it really destroyed the beauty of the app) and I can get lost looking at it all day long. I love posting pictures and I garnered more followers than I could imagine (although I’m sure most of them are bots). I decided to take a break over Advent and through Epiphany and it’s been such a great idea. It has been nice to just enjoy life and making without always having or feeling like I need to post something. I’m toying with the idea of doing a better job of taking photos and just playing around with having more of a focused feed rather than just random snippets of life. We will see.

In my Sewing World:

I am officially hanging up my “sewing teacher” badge in 2018. I am trying to sell my class machines and hoping to clear out some supplies etc in the studio. I realized that it was a season and I’m kind of relieved that it’s over. I did 3 camps this past summer and I think that they are great camps to go out on. I finally did a fashion camp, and it was actually successful! And my beginner camps were overfilled and super fun.
I’m slowly becoming more of a quilter and I can definitely see how it can be super addicting. I took a break from garment sewing, but I’m hoping to sew up a few in the coming year. I need to slow down and take my time on it and just work on re-honing my skills.

Other Goals:

I survived my first semester of homeschooling both children and honestly I really enjoyed it. I’ve really loved having both of them home and while the pace of life didn’t slow down as much as I had hoped, it definitely slowed some. I’m really wanting to start writing again and I’m trying to figure out how to work that into my life. I’m doing better, but it has still been hard. It’s like the part of me that has been buried and asleep and I’m still trying to wake it up.

That was pretty much my 2017.

Journal: Cultivating a presence

I started this blog as a way to journal, write and share what I was making when my nearly 10 year old daughter was an infant.
I wasn’t writing for comments.
I wasn’t writing because I wanted to link up.
I wasn’t posting because I wanted to get shared all over social media (social media wasn’t even a thing back then).
I just wrote because I needed to and I wanted to.

But then I started selling on Etsy and I started getting hits and the world of blogging exploded. It became a way to frame my day in order to be noticed. And I’ve got a thing with being noticed. That drive to be discovered soon overrode any other drive I had. I realized that I needed to start using my blog platform to help sell the things I was making. And eventually all I was doing was advertising. I upgraded my website, changed my logo a million times and tried to figure out how to use this space less as a journal and a space for me to frame my words and more as a space for me to show off my wares.
The words stopped flowing and as my space here sort of fell apart so did my life.

The last eighteen months has a story that isn’t quite ready to be shared, but these months have totally reframed my life and the idea of presence.

I have spent so much time grieving the past and trying to control the future so much that I have become exhausted with today.

And many of my today’s have worn me down.
But they have worn me down because I’ve been trying to cultivate something that isn’t me. I’ve been neglecting the margins in my life and I’ve been putting aside and ignoring all those things that used to give me space. I’ve jumped from one course to another thinking that it was going to be the thing that would make sense of everything and honestly nothing makes sense right now.

So I am doing the one thing that has always made sense – I’m picking up the scrambled words in my head and trying to lay them down.

To begin with bringing margin into my life, my Etsy shop is changing a little bit for the time being. I’m taking an extended break from any custom embroideries and embroidered shoe orders. It’s a pretty scary move for a lot of reasons, but I feel like it’s the right move. The shop will stay open, but for now it will only have downloadable embroidery patterns and finished hoop art that is ready to ship. I’m also taking a break from teaching sewing classes beyond a couple of adult Saturday classes (one in the Fall and one in the Spring).

I don’t know what this space will look like, but I am hoping to use it as a way to bring my focus back on today and life at hand.

Learning to Sew: celebrating with sewing

Learning to Sew: celebrating with sewing

The other night I had the joy of celebrating one little girl’s birthday with a little sewing.

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Eleven sweet girls gathered around tables with hoops, needles and a mix of felt flowers and buttons and created these cute little flower hoops. sewing party 2015

It’s always so much fun to watch someone pick up a needle and thread for the first time and then see their joy when they master the rhythm of up and down.

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I love the creativity and how different everyone’s hoops turned out. Some of the girls went crazy with the flowers, some were slow and meticulous and some went for simplicity. It was great!

Interested in throwing a party like this? I offer these sets individually in the shop and I’m contemplating offering party sets in 2016. But you can put your own set together too. Here’s my suggestions:

Putting together a flower hoop party set:
brown kraft paper (to wrap the tables with)
six inch wooden embroidery hoops
size 22 chenille needles
size 5 cotton pearl embroidery floss (you can find these with all the typical embroidery floss – usually hanging on the wall)
felt flower cut outs in a mix of colors
felt initials (about 3″ in size)
Ribbon for hanging
a mix of flower buttons and regular round buttons
and white felt circles (about an inch larger than your hoops)

Before the party, set all your white felt circles in the hoops and thread all your needles.
I highly recommend having a needle threader (this one is the bomb) handy for those times with needles to come unthreaded)
Lay out your flowers and initials on the table.
Sew on your initials first using a running stitch and then sew on the flowers and buttons. Remind your little party goers to always start from the bottom and bring your needle up and down.
Tie a ribbon through the screw hole and enjoy.

Embroidery: Over here today….

Embroidery: Over here today….

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I’m over at the &Stitches blog today sharing how to add beaded thread to your embroidery designs. Check it out! I even threw in a free pattern for you to stitch up yourself!

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And if you love the pattern, but don’t want to stitch it – you can buy the trio yourself in the shop!

Organizing: Calendars

Organizing: Calendars

This Fall is going to be full of some big changes in our house. The boy is headed to 6th grade (middle school here we come) and the chick is staying home and doing 3rd grade with me. That’s right. We have entered the wild world of homeschooling. Because I’m going to have to balance my work time at home with school time with her, I had to come up with a better system for planning.

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¬†Enter the doctored up planner. I have a planner from Plum Paper which I do really like. I can’t say I’m 100 percent sure I’ll reorder another one from them for 2016 (I’ve kind of got my eyes on this one), but if I do I know some of the changes I’ll make (such as ordering a family style layout instead of breaking the day into morning-afternoon-evening). I knew I didn’t want another planner or anything else to carry around with me for school planning. I really wanted it to fit into this book too. But the spiral rings were throwing me for a loop with trying to figure out something to fit in there. I did a bunch of searching online for how to attach page protectors and discovered these little gems.

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They are called sticke clips and I found them on etsy. I actually had these smaller sized photo pages from another project (score!) so once my clips came I was ready to go.

my insert pages for planner

My planner is set up with one month page at the beginning of the section and then a group of weekly pages. Into each week, I will stick that weeks homeschool plan. I drafted up this planning page (which I’m sure I’ll have to adapt more once I’m actually using it) and I have one printed for the next week slipped in on the other side. Untitled

I also made this little bookmark with my goals for the week. I know I could write these on the side (and I might do that) but for some reason having this little extra bookmark in there makes me more likely to actually focus on those things (I’m beginning to understand where my child gets her ADD from). I actually made this by just cutting on of those photo pages off. The bookmark just slides in there and I haven’t had any issue with it falling out yet.

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One other thing I need to work on in the next year is blogging. Come August I have an awesome blogging related announcement, but I also wanted to get back into a better rhythm of just writing and posting in general. I found this gem of a planner here and I shrunk it down to fit into one of my photo pages and I’m planning on keeping it at the beginning of each month’s section.

Here’s a copy of my weekly planning page if you are interested.

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