Friday, 31 December 2010

Wow, I've been a bad, bad blogger!

I hope everyone had peaceful holidays and a couple of days to relax - I have been insanely busy since we came back - I'm soooo sorry, I know I promised pictures...

here's one for you :-)

Friday, 19 November 2010

Hello everyone,
We will be leaving for our vacation on monday - almost three weeks in florida! I will continue my usual schedule after I'm back - if I get the chance, I'll post about our vacation from our hotel room :-)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Feature Friday - Jessica Van Den and *bespoke*

Featured Artisan today:

Until September 2008, Jessica Van Den wasn't crafty at all. That changed when she was given a novel about a woman who owned a yarn store in New York. It inspired her to start knitting - and it all went from there! She now works at her jewellery business  and her blogs full-time, as well as launching *bespoke*

Please tell me more about *bespoke*
*bespoke* - a lovely little zine all about handmade, vintage, photography, art, micro-business, eco-friendly goodness and much more – all in a sweet little A5 sized package that you can take anywhere!
Issue 1 of *bespoke* features gorgeous photos and artwork; interviews with a number of successful full-time crafters - including a feature on those who use upcycled/recycled materials in their work; an interview with Liss Winnel from the blog Daydream Lily; a Summer Lovin' feature of handmade products; cherish - stories and photographs of cherished handmade and vintage items; vintage crafts - this issue it's macrame, and much more!
*bespoke* is for those who live and love a creative, crafty life - and especially for those who sell their craft as a hobby or business!

That sounds great! Where can I find it?
can I read your blog, follow you on twitter or like you on facebook?

How did you get the idea for your zine?
I love blogging, but I really wanted to create something tangible - and hence *bespoke* was born! A lot of folk are doing e-zines recently, but I wanted to make a print magazine that would last. When I put the idea out there, I was happily amazed by the positive response, and I ran with it!

What does your day look like?
 Well, currently I work all day, every day, with the occasional ½ day off here and there. I’m a night-owl, so I tend to wake up around 9, and hop straight onto my computer – usually I’ll do this in bed, with my laptop, and my husband Nick will bring me a cup of tea. During this time, I’ll respond to any urgent e-mails; re-list items that have sold and send thank-you’s to my customers; check my blogs for stats and comments, catch up with my online friends on twitter and forums; and write down any orders that have come in.
f I have jewellery orders to make, I’ll then start work around 10:30 or so, and work through until all the orders are complete. I generally hop on the laptop briefly every hour or so to keep on top of e-mails, and give my fingers a rest from filing, sanding, polishing, bending and engraving!
I’ll pack my orders and drive to the post-office by about 4pm, and then come home, have dinner, and get back on the computer until bedtime. I usually try to have at least an hour or so off in the evening to just hang out with Nick, watch some DVD’s or read a bit of my latest SF novel (I’ve always been a sucker for a good science fiction story!). I head to bed around 12 or so.  I also usually try to devote most of one day on the weekend to working on and scheduling blog posts, when my inbox is a little quieter!
Do you have any tips for other artisans/crafters?
Just do it! Don't dither around trying to get everything perfect before you start – you won't. Just launch yourself out there, keep working hard on making more awesome work, and keep sharing it. 
Selling online, the absolute key is your photography. Learn how to take clear, captivating and enticing product shots. Never, ever use a flash! Have a consistent background and look to your photography – and stick to it.
Join twitter, and use it. This is, hands down, the best thing I've ever done for my business – let alone my sanity! I have made so many friends (and sales) through twitter, and there is no way I could have launched *bespoke* so successfully if it wasn't for the power of twitter and the connections I've made. It even landed me a radio interview (!
Mostly – have fun and keep creating! And take time off – this is something I'm terrible at, but I always feel refreshed for taking a break. It can be really hard to do when you are busy, but you have to realise that no-one is going to tell you it's your 'day off' – you have to make it happen. I got really sick for a day a while back (Nick said he knew I was really ill because I didn't even get on my laptop) and it made me realise that the world will not implode if I'm away from the computer for a day.

Thank you so much for the great interview! Be sure to head over to right away!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Feature Friday - Duo Fiberworks

Hello there,
Its time for another friday feature! And this time, there's a nice reward waiting for you at the end!

Featured Artisan today:

What is it you're making and how did you get into it?
I left my job  at a educational nonprofit when my second son was born. I had been knitting for a while, but was inspired to make toys for my older son as well as figures for the nature table we did together.
I could not find patterns for the things I wanted to make so I started designing toys. I like the smooth, even look of knitting that has been felted and the sturdy, non-holey characteristics of felted knitting seemed to work well for toys. I put together a collection of knitted and felted toy patterns in 2008 and am still working to design toys and little things for our home.
It is extremely satisfying to figure out a new design and it constantly challenges and rewards me to work with yarn and needles to make new things. 
In 2007 my twin sister Laura and I began our blog, Duo Fiberworks to chronicle our creative projects. We were/are both stay-at-home moms and sometimes our creative side got lost or pushed aside. We wanted to record our inspirations and projects, remember what was important to our creative selves and participate in the online craft community. We haven't always blogged frequently, but our blog is something we always come back to and it's really great to share such a project. 

Where can I find your creations?

Can I be your fan on facebook, read your blog or follow you on twitter?

What does your day look like?
Laura and I each have two young boys and we homeschool them.  During the week, I get up early to get some work done before the kiddos are up. We do our homeschool lessons right after breakfast. Some days, we do something fun with other homeschool families but either way, we try to spend time outside after lunch, whether it's looking for minnows at a local creek, an excursion to our local farmer's market or just working in our family's garden. We are fortunate to live in Berea, Kentucky, an artsy, progressive community with a strong community of artists and craftspeople. It's good for us and good for our kids to be around creative folks on a regular basis.

Any tips for other artisans/crafters?
When beginning a crafting business, I think it's hard to get started and to identify your own aesthetic. But as you make projects that please you, you will develop it. When I look at my knitting patterns now, I see that I generally like bright colors, simple shapes and things that are not aggressively cutesy. 

Also, I am a very thrifty person, but I buy the best materials I can afford, it's not a place to scrimp. 

Find friends to share in your creative pursuits. My weekly stitching and knitting group is a great way to stay connected and inspired. It also provides accountability for finishing projects! 

We explore all kinds of creative things that are interesting to us, I don't define myself solely as a knitter. In addition to being a skilled fiber artist, Laura is an experienced natural dyer and I am learning to carve Swedish-style wooden spoons. We still thrill at learning new things! 

Do you want to give away something to the blog readers? 
I am currently putting up a free knitting pattern for a toy or gift every Wednesday for the next month. I have already up two, Little Birds, chubby knitted songbirds, and the S.S. Guppy, a knitted and felted sailboat.

Thank you so much for the great interview and for the free patterns, too! 


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Stress free Holiday preparation - a dream come true!

You haven't missed last weeks installment, I have! I'm really sorry - I promise to get back on track NOW :-)
This weeks post will focus on Kids and teens, who are fairly easy to shop for. Last week has all about the guys - you can go back and read it here: Stressless Holidays, part II

Hello there,
things have been crazy busy here with making my husbands present, preparing for our vacation and organizing a Halloween party for some preschoolers. Now that Halloween is over, I hope I'll manage to get back on track with creating for my etsy store (some window stars - its the perfect season!) and especially with blogging.
This week focuses on something fairly easy - shopping for kids!

Chocolate Frosted Donut

Step Three: Do this  NOW!

wrapping supplies
Go and take a look at the wrapping paper, gift tags and bows you have. Do you need any more? No need to get out and buy some now, but take a look at your supplies and make a note of what you can pick up on your next shopping trip.

Mark the kids on your list

If the kids on your list are your own, you probably already have a very good idea of what they want. My advice for Kids presents - decide on one (or two - depends on your budget, too, of course!) bigger thing(s) that they'll get.

If you need more packages under the tree, use small and inexpensive things to add to the count. Here are my favourites:

crocheted Brown Bear

  • age appropriate craft supplies: Crayons and large paper, stickers, acrylic paint, stretched canvas (fairly cheap and makes a BIG Present) fabric paint...
  • Cute socks (with separated toes, maybe), T-shirts
  • Gift certificates for you TIME: Dinner and a movie with your teenager, shopping trip, Vouchers for favourite meals, I'm sure you can think of more things :-)
  • Books are always good! Picture books for toddlers, chewable books for babies, novels for young readers
  • Accessories for Dolls! Bed, clothing,a mini quilt - there is so much awesome stuff out there!

If the kids are NOT your own, please talk to the parents! I know there are some things I do not want people to give my kids and it helps to avoid needlessly spent money :-)

Extra credit:
Are you crafting anything for the holidays?
If you want to give handmade (by yourself) this year, you have probably started already. If it is at all possible, finish something this week and wrap it - even if it is something very small, just so you can see some progress

On the Go Crayon Roll
by ItsMyFavorite

What if...
there are no kids on your list?
take a look at your list again and write down what you want to get the person if you already know. Is there stuff you can finish this week? Do it! Wrap it up, put a name tag on it and put it in a place where you can find it again.

I know this is the hardest part for some people - it helps to realize that less presents mean less stuff to put away for your kids and that they appreciate their gifts more if there are less of them. That said - I tend to go overboard, too ;-)

Whats next?
Custom Waldorf style doll
next week we will do the (in my opinion) easiest group - girls on your list! Fun to shop for, easy to create for and you probably already have a decent idea what you could get them.

Did you know?
Waldorf Dolls make great gifts! There are so many makers of Waldorf dolls out there that make so many different dolls - I'm sure you'll find one to suit you and your kids! If you want a custom doll, NOW is the  time to order! It takes time to make a doll, but it can still be done!

Keep creating,

Friday, 29 October 2010

Feature Friday - bigyellowchair

It's friday - and I'm happy to present a family of artisans next. Featured Artisan of the day:

The Big Yellow Chair team is made up of Carl Connett (me), my wife Amber, and our children. We’ve always had some sort of creative projects going, but Big Yellow Chair became our official creative outlet in 2008. Our first Big Yellow Chair products have been art mobiles. For my day job, I run a database programming business called Extra Mile Data.

Where can I find your products?

Can I look you up on facebook?
Yes please -

What is it you're making and how did you get into it?

I saw my first large-scale kinetic sculpture soon after engineering school and was captured by the movement and how it interacted with the environment. A decade later, I discovered Alexander Calder and mobiles. It wasn’t until I had a family, though, that I tried making something kinetic myself.

We have a picture of Amber and me painting a large-scale wooden sculpture in the front yard, with our first son at 18 months old, “helping” us paint. When he was 5 years old, he drew an airport scene with crayon that became the pictures for the pieces of my first mobile. At age 8, he provided some drawings that were the inspiration for the pieces of the Space Mobile (our first Big Yellow Chair product), while Amber provided the whimsical design of the wires. I did the production work and everybody in the family helped with assembly. We’ve had other children along the way, and they also take part in discussions about what we make and how it should look.

What does your day look like?
Currently, we’re a home-schooling family with young children and I run my programming business from my home office, so we’re all together much of the time. That allows us to have a lot of creative discussions during the week, but it is still difficult to find time to produce. During peak periods of working on the mobiles, I set aside parts of specific days during the week that I can devote to production.

Any tips for other artisans/crafters?
We had an unexpected opportunity pop up in August. An artist friend suggested that we submit one of our mobiles (an exploded view of a mobile phone) for the “Art from Found Objects” exhibition at the Monmouth Museum in New Jersey. The mobile was accepted and we made our way to the opening reception in September. We received a lot of encouragement by the other artists at the opening, and the exhibition will give us a month to share our art with the public outside the Etsy shop. So my suggestion is to look for, and invest in, other kinds of opportunities beyond Etsy.

Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Feature Friday - FlimsyKitten

Featured Artist today:

I am Rachael Smith! I'm 25, live in Leicester, UK and I've been
working as a freelance illustrator for just under two years now, it's
taken a long time to get where I am but things are finally starting to
take off!
I work weekends in a bar, but mainly because I enjoy it; it's a nice
social place to be when you have a job that means you're locked up in
your studio for most of the week! Monday to Friday, and usually a
couple of hours Saturday and Sunday, you'll find me in my studio.

What is it you're making and how did you get into it?
I mainly draw, although I do make craft items - as you've seen in my
shop! But drawing, and drawing for children especially, is where most
of my passion lies.
At the moment my biggest project for a client is illustrating a
chidren's novel - so I'll be doing the front cover and inside, black
and white illustrations, which so far has been tremendous fun. I have
lots of personal projects on the go too - I'm always dreaming up ideas
for children's picture books in the hopes that I'll catch a publishers
eye someday. Actually, at the time of writing I have a meeting with a
children's literary agent next week who is interested in my work - so
who knows!!

Great - where can I buy your stuff?
My Etsy shop is here:
At the moment it's mostly plushies and original sketches in there but
I try to put different things in all the time.
I also have a Mysoti shop with all my super-cute t shirt designs in:

Can I follow you on Facebook/Twitter? Do you have a blog?

My website:
My illustration blog:
My Flimsy the Kitten blog (updated daily):
My facebook page:!/group.php?gid=119879204731563&ref=ts
My Twitter: @rachael_

What does your day look like?
Well, I wake up at around 8 and feed my hamster :) Then I'll head to
the studio and upload a new Flimsy to the Flimsy blog. Then I'll look
at my (usually horrendously long) list of things to do and choose what
to prioritise. I try to balance doing work with marketing, so I might
work a few hours on a project and then work on a new editorial
postcard to send in a mailout - for example. If I've sold anything on
the shops then I'll package that up to take down to the post office
when I have a minute. I usually try to spend a little time on personal
projects such as my new children's book idea, or thinking about what
my portfolio needs. I'll come home between 5 and 6, spend a little
time with the boyfriend and maybe do a little bit of sewing if we
watch a film or whatever. The work never stops, hehe!

Do you have any advice for other artist/Crafters?
If you want to make a living from your art/craft then my advice would
be to do it as a hobby first. Also make sure it's what you REALLY want
to do before you start making sacrifices, because unless you're
extremely lucky - you'll have to be very patient waiting for people to
catch on to what you do. You might also have to spend a little money
on getting yourself a website, sending out promo material - that's on
top of the money you'll need for art materials, a space to work etc
etc. So it's best to plan these things. Having said that there is
NOTHING like the feeling of setting up on your own and getting
clients. Getting paid for what you love doing is just brilliant, and I
know I wouldn't be happier doing anything else.

Any other questions you want to answer?
Um, my hamster's name is Genevieve - in case anyone was wondering.

Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Now You Too Can Have a stressless holiday!

Are you always putting off getting your holiday preparations done until the last moment? This year, you can just work along with me to get things done early! This is the second installment of my "get ready for the holidays" series here on my blog. You can still go and read last weeks installment right here. This week: The Dudes on your list.

Mens Foaming Shower Scrub
by opheliasapothecary

Hello there,
I'm sitting here all cuddled up in my blanket and I feel halfway human again after taking some cough medicine and a paracetamol, so I'll tell you what I've been up to :-)
My husband is currently in germany, visiting THE largest european games fair and I get to stay home sick with two sick little kids. Yay! Luckily, he didn't get sick - one of us has to go and buy all those fantastic new games that come out there...
So, I'm using the time alone (or at least, without him) to get started on my husbands Christmas present. I'm not telling you  what it is - sorry hun, no peeking!
I don't know about you, but presents for guys are the hardest ones every year, especially for my husband. So I decided that this week, we'll focus on the guys.  I found yome nice things on etsy, but I'm sure you can come up with more! But lets keep this organized:

Step two (do this NOW):
Add to your list
You probably remembered some more people that need to go on there during the last week. Add them.

split your list

The Dude Scarf, by iWunder

now, go over your list again and split it into people that will get actual presents and those that will just get a little something.

Mark your list
Mark all the Guys on the "Presents" list. How many guys do you have on there? How many of those will get something you have to make? In my casee, that is only my husband. We still have time to make something biggish, especially if there are only one or two guys on there. Here are some things you could make or buy for a dude:
  • Food gifts: Spicy chilli oil, BBQ spice mixes, a mountain of cupcakes, spiced rum
  • Crafted gifts: Scarves, hats, gloves, cuddly socks, Quilted blanket (maybe sports themed?)
  • Bought gifts: Adventure vouchers - rafting, bungee jump - Board games,

I stay away from books and DVDs - we end up giving those to eachother ALL THE TIME. If you see no danger of that happening, here are my top three books to give to a guy at the moment: Anything written by Terry Pratchett, A Game of Thrones by GRR Martin and Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss They are all fantasy books, but all three authors stand out as especially awesome :-D start crafting something that your husband/dad/best friend will get. Don't start baking yet, that might be a bit too soon ;-)

Custom Cufflinks by jubilantwares

Extra credit
Are your christmas cards designed yet? If you had fun with this, why don't you make a calendar? The girls over at Weeds and  Wildflowers are having a fun calendar design challenge where you design one page and get everyone elses page, too!

What if...
you and your partner decided not to give eachother anything for the holidays?  Make something anyway. Don't spend a lot of money on it, but maybe make a bunch of his favourite cookies and wrap them up nicely.

I'm not going to tell you how much you can spend on presents and materials, but you should definately take a look at your finances to see how much you can afford to spend. If money is tight, go over your crafting supplies to see what you could make that will not cost you anything that might still make a nice gift. I will give you ideas for your "little something" list in one of the next installments that will not cost you much.

So, what's next?
Next week, we will focus on presents for kids and teens - fun to shop for! You're doing great! Keep up - we'll get it right this time!

Keep creating,

And did you know...
that my dolls are now available with wool stuffing? I use 100% clean carded sheeps wool from germany

Friday, 15 October 2010

Feature Friday - hacafracek

Time for another feature! Featured Artisan today:


When I was quite young I would make my own doll clothes as my family didn't have a lot of money. my mother taught me to sew as her mother taught her. that was where it started, eventually I figured, if I can design doll clothes, why couldn't I design real live people clothes. The first thing I made from scratch (no store bought pattern) was a pair of aprons for my sister and her husband... i believe I was 13 or 14. Then I expanded into making crazy and bizarre punk rocker style skirts for myself as a teen (I was a bit of a wild child). It progressed from there into pants, tops (none that I've made to sell just yet), hoodies (also none for sale... yet), bags and now tutus as well. I have fun simply and purely creating with no pressures of making everything uniform, or making a dozen of the exact same thing.

Where can I find your creations?
I have an etsy shop here:

Can I follow you on Facebook/Twitter?
I have a group on facebook that I will sometimes give sneak peaks of items to come and updates. Anyone can join, just type into the search bar on facebook: hacafracek and you will see: "HACAFRÁČEK (hatz-ah-frah-check): a clothing thingy" come up as a group.
I also have a twitter account:

What is it you're making and how did you get into it?

I am actually a paramedic (EMT) in British Columbia and am also studying full time to get into Medical School (I'm still two years away, it's a bit of a haul). I've been in the medical field for over five years now and I love helping and supporting people in their true hour of need. I feel privileged as a paramedic to have that opportunity to represent hope for that 10% of the population that find themselves in a medical/trauma emergency. So where does Hacafracek and all my sewing come into this? Studying sciences full time, living out of a bag most of the time and off of student loans, and then spending "days off" in an ambulance or in a hospital... well the lifestyle begs for a cheery artistic outlet. Having several generations of seamstresses and sewers behind me, the passion and knack for design is in my genes. I've been sewing for a very long time, longer then my medical career for certain, and in hopes of helping with school and helping with nerves I've decided to make a little side business of it.

What does your day look like?
depends on the day. day type 1: school, study, school, study, maybe find time to eat, volunteer, school, study, pass out, do it all again next day.

day type 2: study, pager goes off, take off in ambulance, do that thing that paramedics do, paperwork, study, maybe sleep.

Day type 3: just sew and sew and sew... and maybe hang out in a fabric store daydreaming for a couple hours; and possibly have my wonderfully talented man lovingly take photos of my creations.

Any tips for other artisans/crafters?
Ignore the traditional "rules", make your own and just create.

Thank you for sharing your story with us!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

How to make delicious Plum cake in 5 Easy Steps

We all love good cake, right? I have a really easy recipe for plum cake that I have perfected over the last plum season that I would like to share with all of you - and if I can bake it, so can you!

Hello there,
are you all enjoying the wonderful fruits and vegetables this season brings? I love shopping locally and therefore have bought quite a big amount of plums, peaches and grapes in the last couple of weeks. Also, a friend of mine has a plum tree in her garden and so we ended up creating this cake to make our husbands and kids eat some of them, too!

What you need:
for the dough:
60g of (soft) butter
120g of sugar
2 eggs
250ml milk
180g of flour
2 table spoons of baking powder

for the fruit layer:
1.5 kg (about 3 pounds) of plums - you can use more or less depending on your taste buds and the size of your cookie sheet
brown sugar

Before you start...
That's what I usually forget to do - you can still get the cake done if you forget about these steps, but it's easier if you do them...

take the butter out of the fridge
preheat the oven to 180°C
Prepare the plums (you can do this later,  if you want)

Step one:  the dough
You do not have to use this recipe - if you have your own recipe for a basic yellow cake or want to use a baking mix, please do so - this is supposed to be easy, remember? Also, a side note to my recipe - it usually calls for separated eggs and beating egg whites - you can do all this if you want, but it's not necessary for this cake :-)

mix butter, sugar and eggs until you get an even, somewhat runny dough
add the baking powder and about half of the milk, stir
mix in about half the flour
add the rest of the milk
add the rest of the flour
mix until smooth

Now, that wasn't so hard, was it? And the hardest part is done :-)

Step two: Spread the love dough
You can of course spray your cookie sheet or grease it or whatever you prefer to do - I just like baking parchment because it's so much less mess to clean up.

Put a sheet of baking parchment on your cookie sheet and spread the dough on top of it. make sure it covers the whole sheet

Follow me so far?

Step three: fruit layer
you can do part of  this step at some earlier time if you want - you can wash and cut the plums whenever you have the time.

Wash the plums
slice them in half and remove the stone
Quarter them if desired
Place them on the dough

Step four: finishing touches
In my opinion, there's really no such thing as too much cinnamon - or at least there was no such thing until I overdosed it on this cake at one point. Don't overdo it - the plums should still be visible :-)

sprinkle the cake with brown sugar
dust with cinnamon

Step five: bake
check the cake once in a while - if you push in a knitting needle (or any other long, pointy appliance) into the cake, it should come out without any dough sticking to it. Don't worry about the cake getting too dry - the plums provide plenty of moisture

Bake the cake for 45 minutes

Now, do you agree that this was really, really easy? You can add a frosting, if you like (not all over, just a drizzle), but I think it's great the way it is. Enjoy!

Take a deep breath and relax…
While the cake is baking, you can go ahead and get some of the holiday preparation stuff done that I talked about on Tuesday - believe me, TODAY is the day to start, if you haven't already. You can also still get your own Veelana Doll custom made for the holidays, if you want!

Keep creating,

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

And the Winner is...

Remember my window star give away?
I know, it has been a while, but I have been crazy busy creating more beautiful dolls and some new window stars for you.

And now, without further ado, I present to you the winner of  my window star:

Jen from SewnNatural!

I used *pokes picture*  The other window star remains with me - sadly, there are NO entries for the competition...

Keep creating,

Who Else Wants to get started on their holiday list TODAY?

"I'm going to be done early this year with my holiday shopping/crafting" - Is that something you can hear yourself say? But somehow it never works... Then this post is for you! Join me in my quest to get my holiday stuff done early this year.

Hello again - I know I have been a bit lazy with posting lately, but here you go - new week, new post :-)
I have (Again) decided to get my Holiday stuff done soonish this year and not wait for the last minute. And this time I have made a plan! I will post my progress on my blog - just not the individual presents :-)

Waiting for Santa Christmas
Collection Jester Hat
by ohbabydotcom

Step one (do this NOW):
set a deadline.
I will be done with most of my holiday crafting by november  22nd - thats when we leave for our vacation.
Not everything will be done, but most things should be ready. No last minute sock knitting this year, I hope! What will your deadline be? Feel free to share!

make a list of people who will get presents/cards:
I have a paper list here - I will mark everyone who gets something bought, something handmade by me, something small or just a card/letter

Pick the most important people from that list
You know... Mom, Dad, spouse, kids, grandparents, grandkids - just the core group - the people whose presents should take up most of your efford :-) Just put them on top of your list

check your half finished projects
I know you have them, almost everyone does :-) Take a look to see if there is anything that is almost finished and that will make a good gift for someone on your list. How much time do you think it will take to finish this? Do you have the supplies?

Snowflake Mittens Crochet PATTERN
by BellaMcBride

Extra Credit (Do this whenever you have the time)
start adressing your holiday cards/letters
This may seem really early, but I did it this way two years ago, just adressing one or two envelopes whenever I had the time and doing the holiday cards was a breeze that year

Finish one of your "almost finished" Projects from last year (two years ago?)
...or get started, or decide that you're not going to use any of them (that might be a good opportunity to throw them away...)

Design your christmas card!
If you want to make your own christmas cards (and I think you should because it's really easy), start by picking the picture(s) you want to use.

Gingerbread Cottage Playset Printable
Paper Craft by FantasticToys

So what’s next?
next week, we will talk about some more preparations you can get started on as well as some exciting craft ideas for this winter. There's still some time, so this is the time to get started on those slightly bigger projects.
And since that's what I usually struggle with most: Gift ideas for the husband!

If you found this article helpful, follow this blog or "like" Veelana's Design on facebook so you will not miss next weeks installment!

Keep creating,

If you want to get one of my custom dolls early for the holidays, order one now! Tell me you read this Blog post and I will add an extra outfit. They are available with wool stuffing, too!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Feature Friday - MoonworksApothecary

Time for another feature!
Featured Artisan today:

My name is Rhonda and I'm the proud owner of Moonworks Apothecary. I'm a modern-day eclectic witch & a second degree Reiki practioner.

I started Moonworks Apothecary because I have a passion to create and help others. Creating products for magickal workings, rituals or body products to empower and bring out the God or Goddess in you brings great joy to me.

I charge each product with the purest intent for the highest good of all, I infuse products with crystal energies & charge them by the moon. YOU are my main focus while creating each product.

Where can I find your products? 

Are you on any etsy teams? 
Yes, I'm on the pagan team.

Can I follow you on facebook? Do you have a blog?

When and why did you start selling your products?
After spending 16 yrs in the IT field and 5 yrs in the medical field I decided to quit my day job to pursue my passion. I've been hand crafting soaps, candles and magickal workings for about 10 yrs for the general public but have been making these items for myself, family and friends for many years before that.

I have several wholesale accounts that I attend to and haven't had a chance to completely stock my website or etsy store with everything that I make. My goal before the end of this year is to update these stores with my complete product line. If you're looking for a special product that you don't see, let me know!

What would you tell artisans who are just starting out?
If I had any tip to give other crafters I'd say, do what makes you happy. Take the leap of faith and go after your dream of owning your own business. If you stop enjoying it then it's time to quit.

Do you have a freebie for our readers?
Blog readers will receive a free herbal beeswax mini taper with every order, just let me know you're a blog reader!

hank you for sharing your story with us!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Its here! Its here! My wool stuffing has arrived!

After some Brainstorming on Facebook I found out that a lot of people find my fiber fill stuffing a big turn off. So I ordered 2 kilos of wool stuffing at an extremely nice german place - I will order there again just to talk to the nice girl on the other end. If you've ever been to germany, you know that friendly service isn't really a given :-(
So, I ordered some wool and I got it very quickly and its sooo beautiful! I now get it why you all want your dolls stuffed with wool!
I still think that fiber fill has its good points and I will continue to stuff some dolls with it, but its hard to get passionate about it. I'm totally in love with the wooly stuff now <3
I have already started making some dolls with it and it feels so much nicer! And then there's the smell of the thing - clean and nice and a little bit wooly. It came in a giant box and rolled up...
I could go on raving about it, but that would probably be unnecessary - you know how great the stuff is, and now I do, too.
The wool stuffing is not the only thing that is new. I also ordered new fabric recently and I have gotten very good at cutting it. The quality is nicer and there are more colors to choose from - and I can now get two dolls from a 25cm piece (although  the 25cm I ordered are probably closer to 30cm...)
My daughter loves the stuff, too. She takes a piece and blows it all through our apartment - very good practice for speech developement, I'm told :-)

Keep crafting,