Sunday, January 22, 2012

What Begins with P? Pillow Covers, Pillowcase Dresses, and Purses Of Course!

Last night, I once again decided that it was a good idea for the ENTIRE family to take a trip to Joann Fabric.  My kids really love looking at fabric, patterns, thread, and generally being a part of the pillow process.  However, they also really love acting like the two and five year old kids that they are.  Meaning...Violet wants a snack the second she enters the store (request denied), Mimi wants to pick out lots and lots of sparkly fabric (request denied), both girls want me to make them ABBA outfits (request put on hold), both girls must visit the bathroom at least five time each regardless of need to actually "go" (request always granted because you just never know.)  Anyway, I had lots of coupons, we stocked up, and Kevin had a blast from the past from a mystery person who clearly new him (Kevin looked clearly confused regarding her identity and she did not seem to notice.)  It was a very annoying, productive, and entertaining trip to the fabric store!

Because I believe home decorator fabrics are some of the best fabrics to make pillows, I made a b-line for the back to of the store.  This time around, I am going to experiment with pillow covers.  Envelope pillows to be exact.  These don't require buttons or zippers.  Yeah!  They can still be washed in the sewing machine.  Yeah!  And the material is pretty darn stylish and funky.  Yeah!  Here's a sneak peak:

Flowers, birds, and zebra stripes.  Something for everyone!
This time around, I think all of these fabrics are really different from each other.  They are also a little different from what I normally pick.  I think the patterns are bolder and the colors are deeper.  I am really excited to get started working on these pillows.

Then, because I have received some requests from some moms, I am going to practice making pillowcase dresses for my own little girls.  Both girls picked out their own fabric.  Violet immediately picked out pink butterflies.  Mimi had a system of pulling out bolts of fabric, arranging them on empty shelves, and pondering over which one would make the best dress.  She ultimately chose a mermaid print.  Both are going to be pretty darn cute.  I also got deep pink ribbon for the the ties.

Mimi and Vi want me to get started on these ASAP!

While perusing patterns, I also decided I might try to make myself a purse.  I know, this has nothing to do with the whole pillow theme but it is good to try new things.  So, I purchased what looks like a pretty easy pattern and began my search for material.  Well, either this purse is going to actually turn out looking kind of retro and funky or will just look like I should be walking around advertising fiber supplements.  Get it...pears...full of fiber.  Bad joke?  Sorry!

The pears will be on the outside, the blue inside.  Fun?  We shall see...

With all the new fabric and patterns in my home, there will be no excuse for me writing a post titled, Boredom.  So that is it for now.  Really, I should get sewing but it is now getting close to my bedtime and I have a new book, Hemingway's Boat.  Sewing will have to wait for tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Got a Website!!!

It's all over Facebook!  It has gone viral!  That's right, I have a website.  Okay, maybe 715 Pillows has not gone viral, but, people are finding my new website.  Which means, more stats to monitor!!!!  So here it is  Pretty easy to remember.  Even I can remember it and you have no idea how long it took me to remember our new phone number and address when we moved!  So, go on, check it out!
This is the homepage!

Close up photo of my work!
Now, I cannot take any credit for this website.  None!  I am sure this is really shocking.  It is all the doing of my husband, Kevin.  We have been talking about creating a website for a while.  We thought it would be nice to have a central place where people who are interested in 715 Pillows can go to access the Etsy shop, craft show dates, the blog, Facebook, and contact me.  On Tuesday, Kevin sent me an e-mail and wrote, "I wonder if this is sumpin you should try for your pillows?"  That night, we put the kiddies to bed, I cut fabric, and Kevin got to work on the site.  Last night, the website was live.  The dude is fast, efficient, and he is reasonably priced.

The 715 Pillows team!
Kevin, as I have said before, is a pusher.  In this case it is a good thing.  He makes me work when I don't feel like working, he tells me the truth, and he is just really good at supporting me.  The fact is, I did make a little bit of money from the time I opened the store at the end of October through the end of the year.  No, I am not a one percenter.  Actually, the IRS would not even be interested in me.   However, for the two months I was open, I sold about thirty pillows.  So, that means with the launch of the website, I need to make things official.  Which means, doing all the horrible paperwork to make this an official company instead of treating this like an experiment.  This is my new real job.  So long working 9 to 5, hello 715 Pillows.
So, now I have Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, my blog, and a website.  You all have no excuse not to find me.  I am everywhere.  And if you buy a stylish pillow, I can be in your home, too!      

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Where the Magic Happens!

Our humble home, devoid of winter snow and
 all the colorful summer flowers!
In order to create anything, you need some kind of space.  For example, it is helpful for a baker or chef to have a nicely stocked kitchen.  Well, I sew pillows, in case you have forgotten.  So, I need a space.  Yes, I live in a 1948, post World War II bungalow outside of Detroit, Michigan.  So, you have probably guessed that my house is cozy.  But, that's okay, we like it a lot.  But, it does create space challenges and since I like to organize (but not necessarily stay organized) it is not a problem.  So, here is a post for all you voyeurs out there.  You can see pictures of where I sew my pillows, write about pillows, and store my pillows!

My Sewing Nook

Sew So, maybe it is not really a nook, it is just an indented wall/gable kind of area in our bedroom.  But, it is my area in our bedroom.  Yes, being married and living in a cozy, old house sometimes leaves me with few hiding spaces.  Do you remember this blog post?  Yes, my husband still follows me around and asks me where I am going, all the time!!!  Anyway, if we could paint the color of our bedroom, I would be perfectly happy with my area.  My sewing table was bought for my balcony when I lived in The Hot House.  It was an old 1919 apartment building in Royal Oak, complete with arches, tons of windows, butler's pantry, and radiators (hence the name, The Hot House.  I haggled at the big antique garage sale held annually in Royal Oak and got it for about $12.  However, the thing weighs a ton and we did not bring a car.  So, Kevin and I had to walk a three quarters of a mile to get it back to my apartment and then up the back steps to my balcony.  I have enjoyed many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on that table.  It used to be yellow, now red.  I am glad it has a new use and home in this house.  The trunk used to be a pea green color.  My dad and grandpa put the trunk together and chose the horrible color.  While living at The Hot House, I painted and distressed the trunk into a more soothing color.  It now holds fabric!  The wicker dresser thing, I bought for bathroom storage at another Royal Oak apartment.  Isn't great that I am so incredibly frugal that all the old crap from my apartments have found new life in my grown-up home?
My space!!!
My Writing Space

Well, I am not currently working on a novel, but I do write a blog.  Oh, yeah, you are reading this so I guess you have figured out I am the author!  My husband just finished painting the room and has hung most of the pictures.  I love the way it turned out and it now a much more enjoyable space now that all of my stuff and the girl's stuff now has a space!  Plus, I got a really cool green lamps from my kids for Christmas which creates some great lighting on my desk.  My desk which used to be my brother's dining room table.  Is anyone noticing a decorating/furnishing trend in my house?
The office went from beige to gray!  Love it!
The Warehouse

Every business needs a warehouse, or at least a corner someplace to store the goods.  Mine is in the corner of our finished basement.  What sort of contraption are these pillows on, you ask?  Why that is a drying rack that I bought this weekend at IKEA.  I am thinking it would be nice to use the drying rack for drying my sweaters.  Perhaps, my clothing would have better shape if they were dried correctly.  Ahhh, I digress!!!  The rack actually works out really well for storing pillows.  The pillows are comfortable, safe, and accessible.  However, I am thinking about having a bit of a sale on Etsy this month to make room for new creations.  So, stay tuned for my Warehouse/White Sale!  (I believe White Sales are usually pretty popular in January)

I have a lot of pillows!
Anyway, now you have a feel for where I do my work.  I gave myself a break over the holidays, and now I have to get back into sewing and blogging, again.  To be honest, sometimes I enjoy being a bit lazy and it is hard to transition from bum to productive member of society.  But, tonight I am shipping out four pillows to both coasts and somewhere in between.   This makes my heart happy and in turn, makes me want to work once again!