Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Life is good

Things have been going so well lately. What is in the cosmos that has me so lucky? Is it turning 40 that is bringing a change of outlook and general good karma to me? Idk, but things are going great. My business is doing incredible and my luck is getting better everyday. I've also been crazy busier than ever and its all good because Im focused right now on getting this business slammin busy! So maybe thats all it is-focus. In any case, I love sharing with you all my thrifty finds and the past two weeks have been outrageous! Yesterday at the tues swap meet, I found some beautiful fabrics for only $2 each and they were each over 2 yards or more. Cant beat that. Two of them are an african style print which is not like me to buy that type of print but they are both beautiful.

This large and bold print is made by Sotiba and actually is an african fabric. I love the gold colors, its actually got a metallic shine! Im not sure if I'll keep it or sell but it would make a beautiful dress!

This print is going to become a jumpsuit. I really like it and I think theres about 4 yds so maybe I will have enough for two so I can have one for myself!

These are the other two prints, I'm lovint that hot pink and purple floral! And Im thinking of a jumpsuit again for this VIP print below:

I also found a basket of elastic lace with two hats that i think are mohair. They are super soft! I got it all for $4:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hard at work

I spent a lot of time this weekend revamping my etsy shop, taking new pictures and I also decided to open a new shop for just vintage clothing. All of this is no easy task its really more work than one can imagine. Its even more challenging when you have a house with no good spots for photographing and no good light to top it off.

But creative as i am I came up with a solution. The only bare wall in my house which is near the front door became my backdrop. I had these netted curtains from ikea that i bought ages ago and planned to use them on a poster bed that i never did buy. So I put them up on rods on the wall and it provided a soft backdrop for my photos. Heres the before and after:

I still have a lot to list, but I am really happy with how my shop is looking now. And I noticed a big spike in traffic from all the relisting I did last night. And it must have made a difference because I had a sale! I also had one the day before. So far march has been my best month ever on etsy. It shows that I have been working hard to get my shop up to speed and im really excited!

Please take a minute to stop by and see my new shop I've also set up a facebook shop though I dont want to pur too much into that. I will probably just put handbags there that I can recreate easily. Ok well thats it for today!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Treasure Hunter

There are so many new shows popping up on cable now revolving around buying and selling other peoples "junk". Its almost becoming a "trend". Well its nothing new to me at all. I was practically born at the flea market! Look at this photo of me pushing my little brother in the stroller it was taken at the good old Hayward flea market!

Its funny how you see those hippies in the background, they make the picture seem so 70s but its really mid 80's! Yes i got a lot of things from my parents- my love of "junk" collecting (got this from both of them), my love for photography (thanks mom!) and my creativity I have to say is from both my parents. My mom of course took that photo. :

So lately the thrift stores and flea markets near me have been full of treasures. Must be spring cleaning or something. I have been going to goodwill two or three times a week which is more than normal but they had a half off sale for a few weeks and I found more great vintage clothing there in that time than I have the entire time since I moved here! Heres a few beautiful pieces I picked up:

So Lots of people dream about finding some elusive treasure thats worth millions that they can sell and be rich off of, and sure I think about that too. But nothing is more like winning the lottery to me than when you find a $300+ dollar Dooney & Bourke Leather Bag for only $3.50. And it even had the charm and shoulder strap still!Oh but its even better than that because I found not one, but 2! You can see the other on the floorboard in the pic. lol So that one went on ebay and the leather one I consider my birthday gift to myself!

And just two weeks ago at the flea market I hit the sewers lottery! I found this Pfaff Creative sewing machine for a mere $30!! I haggled her down from $40. It didnt have a foot pedal and I had to shell out $90 for that on ebay but it was so worth it! I found out that this is a top of the line machine for the time (late 90's maybe?) and would have been about $4k new. It does like 365 stitches including programmable cross stitch! This has to be hands down the best thing I have ever found! Oh and yes it works incredibly! Stay tuned for more on that ;)

Lets get the party started!

Ok so its Friday and I have officially kicked off follow friday! Now if your a tweeter you may already know what #FF is. If not let me elaborate for you. FF is short for follow friday in case you didnt get that part already ;) and it is used to tweet a list of tweeters that you think are worthy of being followed by others. I decided to take that concept over here and use it to gain exposure for my blog. I was also inspired by a fellow blogger but Im sure this linky party is no new idea.

Now why are people hosting these newbie linky parties and just what is all this stuff about? Well for some bloggers it may be just to gain followers but followers alone doesnt really get you anything except well, more followers. The real reason to have someone post a link on thier blog about you is so that google will find it and decide whether its relevant or not to make you more "popular". So thats my short version, but read here if you want the whole skinny. Its worth the read. So thus the linky party was born, most likely from this idea of building backlinks.

My original thought on this FF was to try and somehow incorporate a way to get links to your blog, twitter and maybe facebook fan page all in the one entry but Im not sure yet how to do that. Im just always trying to find more ways of shameless self promotion and also help others in the process. So a few other ways that I will be trying to gain exposure is by hosting a monthly giveaway. I have also started a giveaways page with links to fellow bloggers contests. I also promised to have a tutorial up by the end of the week and I will likely get that up tomorrow.

So head over to the Follow Friday tab at the top, and join the party! Consider having your own party as well. Please comment me if you have ideas or suggestions :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New things are on the horizon

I have been very hard at work this week. I am a night owl but lately I have been up later than usual. As I write this its past 2 am. {yawn} Well I just cant let you all down anymore. I need to stay on top of things and that includes regular posts to this shamble I call a blog! ;) So heres a sneak peak at what I have in store for you.

You may already have noticed I have added a tutorials and a contests page. YEAH!! I know I've been promising tutes for eons and heres the honest truth. I just get myself so involved in so much stuff that i can barely find time. Plus Im not good at explaining so someone normal can understand what I'm talking about. ahahaha But I have tutorials on the way for sure this week!

I have already posted linkys to a few contests that are really super! I plan to have my own giveaway up this week as well. Im also working on a newbie linky party, an idea I got from debbie doos, but only with a twist. I just have to see if I can get it to work right. Im excited about all these changes! Oh and lets not forget I have been working on some cool new designs, filling custom orders and listing all my vintage on Etsy as I decide to leave ebay for good. But now Im wondering if I need a seperate etsy for my vintage???

Monday, March 21, 2011

One link leads to another, to another....

So it all started with joining a FQ swap over on Our partners were assigned and I got the lovely fabricfriend. So I went browsing her blog and found a link to this lovely blog, by debbiedoos. She hosts a newbie link party every monday. What a grand idea!! If you read up at all on blogging or just general SEO tactics, you may know that having quality inbound as well as outbound links is a good way to drive traffic and increase ranking. Hey google it cause Im no expert. Or just check out this blog post. I also blogged about that topic here.

All us Etsy sellers are just trying to make a living and get free advertising or links anywhere we can to build our presence online so I really love this idea so much that I am going to start my own Newbie Link party!! I Think I will host mine on fridays to go in line with #FF over at twitter. Because I always like to make things even better than they are :) I was thinking it could not only be a newbie link party, but also a way to promote yourself on twitter too. I mean why not right?

So Im going to go off and set everything up on preparation for fridays party. You be sure to check back in then will ya??

The Scrappy Owl Series

I love all the kitchy plushies that are invading Etsy these days. I keep meaning to make a few for myself or as gifts. I did make some two christmases ago but they were really poor attempts. I find that you either can sew clothing really well or make stuffed toys and dolls but not likely both. I dont know why it seems odd to say I have no patience for making plushies. They "seem" easier than say designing a prom dress. I think its the joy that you must get from the type of creation you are making, that makes one choose toys or crafty bits over fashion design.

In any case I do like to attempt these once in a blue moon when my brain needs a break :) So I had a vintage pattern tat really is simply a pillow with appliques to make it look more like an animal. So maybe thats why I got so much joy from making these! :) No little arms or legs or heads to turn inside out and have to stuff and hand sew into a complete body! AHAHA And to think I wanted to be a nurse. LOL

So I made this owl from the pattern and it is more of a folksy style I supppose. The fabrics I used lend to that country kitch feel. I did really like the sleepy eye. I changed the tummy from an oval to a heart.
But after seeing more of a cute style owl on etsy I decided to ergo the pattern and make a whole new owl pattern from scratch. Its loosly based off the original though. I made it a bit pudgier and I changed the eyes which I think are really cool. No one else on etsy has an Owl like mine!! And thats the point right? Oh I think I know where I got the idea for the eyes from. Subconciously I must have been thinking of those old 70s clocks where the eyes go side to side!!!

I really like the end result so I have made a few more and decided to create a series of them.They are all stuffed with shredded fabric scraps, so they are 100 % recycled. Which is why I named them scrappy! They measure 8 x 8 so you could easily make the main body from a FQ.They have cute names and stories to go with them too. You can read about them on my etsy. Just click the picture to go to the store listing. Be sure to let me know what you think!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


So if your a crafter in any way then u realize how sometimes you can be on the border of being considered a hoarder right? Well I have been realizing for about the past year or so how much "stuff" I have and even when I try to get rid of some of it, somehow I keep amassing more. But especially recently I have had a new awareness, as I dont have quite as much money to throw around as I have in the past so when I am out thrift shopping I have caught myself limiting my purchases so I have to say Im proud of myself. if only I can keep it up! :) I just always want to buy any kind of vintage fabrics I find and especially if they are nautical themed, and I actually passed on some sailboat knit the other day at the goodwill!! :0

I think it comes from the overwheming feeling I keep getting (and I had it again tonight) that when I want to make a garment I have to constantly go through all these tubs of fabrics to look for what I want to use. And I even have mostly see through bins now, and they are all labeled and sorted according to fabric type and even color. So organization is the least of my worries. I think maybe I need more space? But who knows. I have so much wonderful fabric and so many great things I want to make and I wonder if I will ever get through it all? Hmmm probably not.

But I really do want to get this little business of mine running smoother and of course profiting better and the last two weeks I have had 7 sales on etsy which is the most sales I have had in that time period ever! And I have had lots of activity as well so I want to keep that going. I have decided to destash a lot of my "stuff". In an effort to make some extra money to buy some new much needed supplies and also because Im just kidding myself that I will get around to ever using that "stuff" anyway. I think I've had most of it well over a year (or three or four lol)

In addition to all that I have dug into my bin of never finished items, most of which require some form of hand sewing which I just loath. Here is one of those items which I changed up a bit and I am most happy with the result!