Monday, November 23, 2009

New batch of luggage tags

I had not made any of these since I first wrote the luggage tag pattern a few months ago, so I had to pull up the pattern and refer to it. It may seem funny to write a review of my own pattern, but I am going to do it anyway. It has been a very popular pattern, so I do think people are telling one another. They just haven't done so on a blog that I am aware of. This pattern is so easy to follow and every detail is well illustrated. It is a really fun project. I have to say I am proud of myself.

I also pulled up the Easy frame bag pattern to make one of those, and it came together quicker and easier than I remembered. Maybe I am braver about the glueing part now than I was a year ago. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at making a frame purse, I recommend you start with my fun and easy pattern. I wish the light had been better the other day, but I had to get this in the mail to Sandie right away. Here is the picture anyway.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fingerprint Friday

Originally uploaded by studiocherie
I have a print of this photo in my kitchen with this passage below it: Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
The Sphinx Moth is amazing. I watched a huge green worm, about the size of my finger, bury itself in the dirt. Over the course of a few days, it became mummified, glowing like lava inside a glossy, dark shell. It emerged a strange new creature, completely changed. I believe that, like that worm, we have no idea what we could be if we buried ourselves and let God do His work.
For more perspectives on the fingerprints of God, or to join in the group, visit PamperingBeki and check out the links.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Food Bank Challenge

I saw a news report recently that showed a couple at the food bank. A couple who used to give to the food bank were now in need of it themselves. The husband had been out of work for about 9 months. It made me think I should be doing more than giving when the boyscouts come by and ask, or when the school holds a food drive. Here is what I have started doing, and I want to challenge you to join in. When I do my grocery shopping now, and buy extras of some of the same things that we eat, I have the grocery clerk bag them separately and I ask them to give it to the food bank. I am doing this just a little bit with each grocery trip, and wanting to make it a habit. Do you think more about ways to help the needy this time of year? Chicken soup charm found at CharmedbyKaren

Monday, November 16, 2009

My to-do list is relatively small so far this week. Put out 3 patterns - I do have 3 new ones on the cusp of publishing. Make and send one brides bag. Make and send one frame purse. Seems kind of small, which makes me think I have some time leftover to blog.
If you are in the US and you like fabric, do check out Hawthorn Threads this week. They are having a giveaway you can enter here by signing up for their email newsletter. Charlie was sweet enough to address one of the comments that came out of my first post about their shop in an email to me, and I think it is useful for many of us. He said:
First off - thanks for your blog post on us! In response to the first commenter ... I agree with you, customer appreciation discounts work well with a supply shop that has repeat customers, but not for shops where a large majority are first-time buyers. What shops like this could do, is send along a coupon in their package for their next order.

A small idea, but a very good one! Thank you, Charlie.

On Friday, I plan to do a Fingerprint Friday blogpost. If you want to learn about it, and possibly participate in the project, check out one of my favorite bloggers and photographers' Fingerprint Friday post.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Book is Here!

The Book is Here!
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
We interrupt this slip cover to bring you 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse. I feel like Steve Martin in The Jerk. I am somebody! Look my name is in this book! This is a fantastic coffee table book. My kids are home from school and pouring over it right now. It is a real conversation piece. This will make a great Christmas gift for all of the creative people on your list. Thank you Garth Johnson, for including me in this amazing compilation. Back to my sewing now, I promise.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Engage in Creativity

A look into the machinations of my cluttered mind...One of my favorite things about Etsy is the gift guides. When they announced the rustic redux gift guide a couple months ago, I started wondering how I could use burlap in an attractive way. I love the visual texture of it, but not the feel, so pillows were out. Seating was not an option. With burlap in the back of my mind, rolling around like a couple of raccoons fighting in a sack, I thought maybe I'll get some of that Joel Dewberry wood grain fabric instead. I could do anything with that. With Joel Dewberry ordered and on the way, I bought a couple of storage ottomans to cover in the wood grain fabric. That will be my rustic contribution, and the burlap will have to wait for inspiration to strike. Then inspiration struck. I sketched and visualized putting together a cathedral-quilt-look table runner. The fact that I could also put it out as a pattern, which I would not do with an ottoman, was too compelling for me. The ottomen will have to wait. I did a wood grain version and a burlap version. I have a couple more in process along with the pattern. It really is a fun project.
I aspired to be in the rustic redux gift guide because I fell in love with the idea of it. The love of the idea pushed me to create something new. Creating something new made other things late, but I have to live with that. (I need a sweatshop staff! I would keep them busy too!)
I am not in that gift guide, but the wood grain table runner made it into this voter. If you like it, you can cast a vote for it by logging into your Etsy account, clicking the button below the picture, and clicking on the vote now button at the bottom. Placing high in the vote would get the runner into the members choice gift guide. That's a good one to watch too.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Community Engaging

I hope you think about giving to the needy this time of year. My daughter and I recently attended an event to kick off a great community project called Project Beauty Share. There are homeless women in our city (yours too I am betting) who need basics like tooth brushes and shampoo. I discovered that the shelters appreciate womens clothing donations of nice things they can wear to a job interview. I always gave away clothes to Goodwill and never thought about giving them to a place that can use them directly. Donating to the food bank is easy. You buy extra at the grocery store and put it in the donation bin. Do that at least. If you are ready to take another step, find the womens shelters in your area and donate what they need directly to them. Here is a link at the project beauty share site that shows the Spokane charities and some drop off sites.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Engaging descriptions

My fifteen year old and I stumbled upon ememem as we were using Etsy's Shop Local tool to shop Ireland - local in our hearts. She caught me with a photo of a cute kitten, and she sunk the hook deeper with each and every story she tells. This young woman has kissed the Blarney Stone. I love it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Word of the Week Engaging

Lindsay and Charlie had a great little fabric shop on Etsy. I bought from them a few times. I was happy to get an email from them announcing their new online fabric shop. Since I was already a customer, they even created an account for me to save me time. Their email and their site is an object lesson in effectively engaging the customer.
The email is packed full of action points - five different links to engage with their new site. All great reasons and incentives to do so. First, a general site link- okay, I'm curious. Then, an "activate your account" link- tempting, I probably will. It is my account after all. Third time's a charm, they clinched it for me with the "tiered pricing" link - I am definitely clicking on this one. "Shop by color" was the next link - oh, goody! A "share your handmade creations" link - Does it get any better than this? It's Friday night. I take this email of of my "to-do on Monday" list. I can't wait to click, I have to do it now! Lindsay and Charlie know their customers and created a shop that fully engages us. I shared some photos on their site, ordered 6 yards of fabric at great prices, and had a lot of fun exploring. I think you will love the shop too. Hawthorne Threads. Thank you Lindsay and Charlie - for the lesson and thanks for a great new shopping place.