Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Charity Craft Show: Abysmal

The alarm went off this morning at 6 a.m.  It was dark and chilly outside.  I felt like I was going to barf.  I rolled over and Kevin says, "You excited?"  No, I wasn't excited.  I was apprehensive.  But, sometimes nerves can give one a healthy advantage, right?  Well, the morning went off without a hitch and I arrived at Troy High School at 7:45 a.m. on the dot for crafter check in.  Kevin was at home trying to convince Violet to wear clothes, any clothes, while I was at the high school wrestling with bins and bins of pillows.  We both had our own challenges.

Ready to go!!!
Set-up went smoothly as expected.  My neighbors, with the exception of one, were all very friendly.  There were forty crafters in attendance selling everything from housewares and jewelry to snacks.  I was feeling pretty good because I was the only one selling pillows.  I was also no longer feeling like I was going to barf.  At 10:00 a.m. the show started with lackluster fan fair.  People started trickling in.  The first tricklers bought two tooth fairy pillows for $12.  Yeah!!!  I was happy.  Very happy.  I thought this was a good sign.  But, shoppers were trickling in very, very slowly.  At 11:30, Kevin sent me a text inquiring about my sales.  Nada! Zero! Nothing since 10:05 a.m.  I was however getting quite a bit of reading done.  I am glad that at the last minute I ran upstairs to get Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.  The most popular crafter in the entire room was a nice old guy, who was selling foam visors that he hand decorated with Sharpie markers.  His overhead was low and people loved him.  And while maybe foam visors are corny, the guy does know how to draw.  

The girls arrived!

Violet is ready to sell.
My display
At about 1:00 in the afternoon, I noticed several familiar faces enter the show; Kevin, Mimi, Vi, my mom, and my dad arrived.  Yeah!!!!  I had company!!!  Still no sales.  At about 2:00 ish, I started watching other crafters taking down their displays and leaving.  I decided to do the same.  The consensus among the crafters was that this show was a dud - no one was making any money.  

The parents are always fun to have around.

Selling is fun!

Goofing around!
Good Points
  • I don't have to make any pillows for my Chippewa Valley Show.  
  • Most people were pretty darn friendly.
  • I got to do a lot of people watching. (Watching husbands and wives, mothers and daughters shop is hilarious.) 
  • I got more experience setting up shop.
  • I sold two tooth fairy pillows.
  • Most shoppers told me my pillows were pretty and soft.
Bad Points
  • I lost money.  $60 for the booth, $10 for the table.
  • Because I committed to the show, I had to miss out on a Mimi/Mommy day at the Shirley Temple Double Feature this afternoon.  It really kills me that I missed this event.
  • I did not go to the Easter Bunny Breakfast with Kevin and the girls because I was busy selling two tooth fairy pillows.
  • I am feeling depressed.  
My sad drive home - I am in the red car.  
So far, craft shows are not going my way.  Both have had very low turnouts.  I have one more in the works: Chippewa Valley High School on May 5th.  It will be interesting to see how it goes.  Am I picking the wrong shows?  Is it my product?  So many questions to consider.  As I was taking my last load out to my car, foam visor guy came over and said, "Hey guys.  I just want you to know you have a really classy product.  Your pillows are really nice.  I am seasoned at this and I barely broke even today.  I am a craft show carnie and still had a hard time bringing people in.  You need to take these pillows up north to Petosky and Charlevoix to those little shops.  People would love them up there.  These are really nice."  Thank you foam visor guy, you really made my day!  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Charity Craft Show: Goal Setting and a Sneak Peak!

March 31, 2012 is almost here.  Time has a way of really sneaking up on a girl.  I told myself that the next time I did a craft show, I would be prepared much more in advance.  Well, I signed up for this one kind of late.  In between, we went on a week long vacation, Kevin traveled a bit for work, Ron Swanson entered my life, then there is dance and t-ball classes for the girls, my book club (yes, reading a big priority), and life in general getting in the way of my productivity.  Trust me, living the life of a stay-at-home mom with a two year old and five year old is not a life of leisure.  Theoretically, I thought when I moved my sewing area downstairs, I would have more time to work.  No!!! But, I do have more time to referee two little girls arguing over who is going to play with what toy.  Therefore, most sewing is done at night after the little ones have been put to bed and I am already a tired.  But, I can't complain too much since it is the life I have chosen.  But, I am almost done preparing for my craft show.  I have five more tooth fairy pillows that need to be sewed shut.  Only one more hour of work waiting for me.  Therefore, I thought I would take a little break and break down what it is I am hoping to accomplish.

The Important Stuff
First, if I want to sell pillows, I need to do my part in letting people know where the craft show will be taking place.  If you want to know more about the group that is benefiting from the craft show, click here!

My Goals
This is my second craft show.  The first was the Candy Cane Lane Craft Show back in December.  Here is a quiz...Do you remember my goals?  Don't worry, I don't really remember them either.  For a look back, click here.  Well, my goal for that show was to sell 30 pillows.  Little did I know going into the show, they have an historically low turnout.  Maybe a couple hundred people including children showed up.  I sold four 16 x 16 pillows and 8 tooth fairy pillows.  While I more than recouped the cost of my table, it was a fun but slow day.  My impression is that the Spring Charity Craft Show is much larger.  Therefore, I am going to keep the goal at 30 pillows, the same goal I had for pillow sales back in December.  I am going to have fun.  I am going to smile a lot.  Maybe I will pick up a few more Facebook Likes.

Sneak Peak
This time around, I still have some complete pillows that I am selling.  They are sewn up and stuffed with a poly-fil batting.  They look pretty darn good.  Here is what they look like:

This is an old picture.   Some of these pillows are no longer available.
I will also be selling pillow covers.  These are convenient if you are the type of person who likes to change your throw pillows as the seasons or your mood changes.  Here is a sampling of unstuffed pillow covers:
Pretty colors and prints!

Do you see the 715 Pillows tag?

A stuffed pillow cover.
I also have a wide variety of tooth fairy pillows.  Ladybugs, sports, fairies, MSU and U of M football, cupcakes, karate, and peace signs.  I believe I am offering a wide variety of interests for children who are entering their "toothless years."

Anyone lose a tooth lately?
 Last, but not least, I purchased two bags to Tootsie Rolls.  Please come by and say "hi" because I do not need to be eating all the yummy treats.  Especially since I have an appointment to get a physical next week.  I need a normal BMI, people!!!  Help me out.  At least come by and eat a Tootsie Roll.  They are free, you know.  
Yummy Goodness!!!!
To recap:  I am selling pillow in Troy at the Spring Charity Craft Show on March 31st.  I will be selling pillows, pillow covers, and tooth fairy pillows.  I will be giving away free Tootsie Rolls.  Again, I will be giving away free Tootsie Rolls.  If you don't have plans, come on out and see me.  If you do have plans, cancel them and come out and see me.  Tootsie Rolls.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My (Un?)Healthy Obsession With Ron Swanson!

I am not very up to date when if comes to television shows.  I tend to discover "cool" stuff after it has been around a couple years.  I have faithfully watched Modern Family from the beginning - that is the only current show I watch.  However, I very recently discovered Parks and Recreation at the urging of my husband.  I dedicate this post to my absent husband, Kevin.  

I am a former government employee.  I have held jobs in Federal, State, and local arms of government.  I have had dealing with politicians, I know a few inside stories, and I have dealt with the public.  When the show, Parks and Recreation, first came out, I just wasn't interested.  About a month ago, Kevin and I were looking for something to watch on Netflix and decided to give Parks and Rec a try.  I am so glad we did.

I love the use of profanity.  Yes, I think swearing is fun.  (No, I am not always a lady.)  I like all of the characters.  Perhaps because I knew them when I was a government employee.  Perhaps because I see myself in some of these characters.  But mostly, I love I am obsessed with this show because of Ron Swanson.  Is it his mustache?  Does he have me in some sort of trance?  Is it is coiffed hair-do?  Is it his love of bacon and dark haired women?  Really, it doesn't matter because I am hooked.     

Ron Swanson
Ron Swanson is a libertarian.  While I agree with very little the man says, I laugh at pretty much everything the man says.  Because writing some of my favorite quotes will do nothing for this blog post, let us watch a couple clips courtesy of You Tube, shall we:

I really, really, really like it when he yells at women and says, "Damn it woman!"  I find it all hilarious.  I find myself sitting on the couch with a smile that just won't go away.  Kevin and I are catching up on Parks and Rec.  We have five more episodes of Season 3 on Netflix.  We will need to start watching it on regular tv.  Kevin is currently travelling for work and I promised I would not watch the last five episodes without him.  I would wait for his return.  I am allowed to watch previous episodes if I need to get my Ron Swanson fix.  You Tube is also working out nicely because I can look for specific quotes.  

But, Ron Swanson is now everywhere!  On the back of the Honey Nut Cheerios box there is an illustrated character:  Looks to me like Ron Swanson.  Royal Oak is having a bacon fest:  my first thought was Ron Swanson.  Last night I was reading Newsweek and saw that Portland, Maine is having a mustache festival.  What do I think?  I bet there will be a few Ron Swanson's there.  Healthy vs. unhealthy obsession?  I am starting to think I am a weirdo because I am really not that into television shows.
Kevin, I just want to let you know, that so far I have not cheated in your absence.  I have not watched Parks and Recreation.  Instead, I finished Season 1 of Downton Abby knowing you would not be as delighted with this show as I am.  I do want to remind you that my birthday is coming up and this is what I want:

You can purchase this t-shirt by clicking on this link
Darling, I am eagerly awaiting your return from Dallas.  I am quite sure Friday night will be a night to remember:  our cozy living room, a bowl of popcorn, and Ron F**king Swanson.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Spring Charity Craft Show" Supports I've Got Your Backs Foundation

March 31st is rapidly approaching!  What is going on March 31st, you ask?  Well, that is the day of the Troy Business 4H Group's "Spring Charity Craft Show" at Troy High School.  Troy High School is located at 4777 Northfield Parkway, Troy, Michigan 48098.  Proceeds from this show support local crafters, like myself, but more importantly an organization called I've Got Your Backs Foundation.  I've Got Your Backs Foundation is an organization that before now, I have never even heard of to be completely honest with all of you.  But, upon investigation, it sound like a pretty cool group.  From their website, it sounds like they help kids and their families with pretty much everything from scholarships, clothing, furniture, sports equipment, medical bills, and everything in between.  They even have a Facebook Page should you wish to "like" them.

Follow the link and check them out!
After doing one craft show, I am learning that craft shows are fun for lots of reasons.  Mostly, I really like meeting and chatting with people.  I am kind of chatty.  But, wow!  This craft show is going to help a really great organization.  It is nice to know that this craft show is for the benefit of a charity, for a group whose mission is to "educate, impact, and inspire hope to youth in need."  Kids are pretty cool, so it is nice to know there are good people and good organizations out there who want to help kids out.

Oh, and what I really like, is they have a school program called the "Kindness Challenge".  The goal of the program is to encourage children to think before they act.  Kindness is better than violence or harm.  Children log their acts of kindness and at the end of the program, rewards are handed out to those who have completed the most kind acts.  While earning a prize may be a short term motivator, I am quite sure the lesson learned will inspire these students for a lifetime.  I can still remember many acts of kindness bestowed upon myself and my children from perfect strangers.  What a great lesson!

I am proud to be a part of this craft show.  Not only because as a rookie crafter this is a personal achievement for me, but also because I can simultaneously support a great group!  So, friends, family, and perfect strangers; come on out on March 31st to the "Spring Charity Craft Show" and support the I've Got Your Backs Foundation.  And by the way, Mimi already reminded me that I need to buy some candy to put out at my table.  Support a charity, visit 715 Pillows, and you get a free snack on March 31st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Troy High School!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect: A Love Affair With Tags

For quite some time, I have been wanting to buy little tags to sew into the seams of my pillows, pillow covers, and tooth fairy pillows.  I thought it might be nice for customers to have a way to remember who made their pillow.  Now that I have a central website, it made sense to get some tags that simple said,  But where to buy...

There are many online companies that sell tags.  It is actually a little overwhelming because there are so many options when it comes to sizes, styles, and fabric.  In the end, I went with an Etsy store named, gutenTAGs.  I love the name of the store and the seller was offering everything I needed in a tag.  I would highly recommend gutenTAGs for tags.  The service was fast and friendly, and the tags were affordable.  (gutenTAGs did not ask me to say anything nice, I just am.)

gutenTags!  All I do is fold in half and sew into the pillow.
Easy as pie!
I was so excited about my tags, I started sewing a pillow with a tag.  First, the tag fell out and was not sewn in.  Oops.  Second, half the tag was sewn in.  Oops.  Third, the tag was completely sewn into the pillow cover in a completely unacceptable way.  Oops.  I decided to take a break from my gutenTAGs.

Grr...the tag slid and I sewed it into the corner. 

Doesn't look horrible, yet it doesn't look good.

However, today I decided to give my tags another shot.  Or shall I say I decided to give myself another shot at sewing the tags in correctly.  This time, I pinned the tag LENGTHWISE between the front and back of the pillow.  Therefore, I knew exactly where my seam needed to be AND the little bugger could not slip out.  I sewed my pillow, turned it right-side-out with great anticipation to find out that...I did it the right way.  I am hoping that each time I sew a pillow, the tag is flawlessly sewn in.

Oooohhhh!!!!  Nifty tags
It is my hope, that all my customers are happy customers, and hearing from happy people makes me happy.  Therefore, it would be nice for happy people to know where to find me.  And unhappy customers, well, you now know where to find me so I can make you happy, too.  715 Pillows, making the world happier, one pillow at a time.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Upstairs and Downstairs Was Getting Me Nowheres: I Moved!

In order to sew, one needs a little bit of space.  Now, I am not saying one needs one's own room to sew, just some space to spread out.  I like to sew but if I did ever get my own room again, it would not be for sewing.  I have this dream, a dream of a lovely house in Royal Oak that had everything I could ever want from a house.  I saw this house during an open house about five years ago and I can't get it out of my mind.  This house was a very old Tudor with a most coveted sun room that could be used all year round.  The room was small with tiled floors.  It had french doors and lots of windows.  If I owned that house, that room would be mine.  It would be filled with flowering plants, book shelves, and a comfy love seat.  No one would be allowed in that room but me.  It would be my escape.  It would be my luxury.  It is my dream.  I can't be greedy and want my own reading room and sewing room.  And remember, I live with three other people, in a tiny bungalow, where privacy is at a premium.

Back to my space, not my coveted space...  Back in January I wrote a post on my creative space which was basically a corner in our upstairs bedroom.  I love sewing up here in the fall.  I have two big windows and the breeze would flow through the room, the curtains would blow, and the evening sun would cast a golden hue on the walls.  Well, that problem is that this space was in our bedroom and golden hue or not, I was reminded nightly of work.  Sewing, blogging, marketing - even though this is a pretty fun job, I don't want to think about it all the time.  Plus, sometimes I cut fabric on the floor.  Not so good for my arthritic back, not so good for super straight lines.  To cut, it is best to use the large table in the basement.  When I needed to iron, I would then need to run to the kitchen.  I guess this situation would be good for a blog post, "Slim Down the Sewing Way" but to be honest I was getting annoyed rather than skinny.  One day while sewing upstairs with my mom, she told me I should get a mini-ironing board that I could just keep upstairs.  Then, a few days later I thought, "Duh, move to the basement."

That Sunday afternoon, I put my husband to work and made him move all the heavy stuff from our upstairs bedroom, down to the main floor, and then down to the basement.  Thank you, Kevin.  While he may annoy me every single time I try to read a book, he is a very helpful husband.  I set up my space, organized my stuff, and started to test the space out.  It is a bit chilly downstairs but I am sure I will appreciate the cooler climate in the summer.  Right now, I just crank up the heat a degree or two and bring a down a mug of hot tea.  I like cutting, ironing, and sewing in the same room of the house.  I like that I am more productive.  I cut out eleven pillow covers on Saturday and completed two!  Woo Hoo!  Also, don't worry, our basement is not a dungeon and it is finished so I do have a pleasant spot.  

Here is the before shot - my sewing space in our bedroom.

Corner of the basement - doesn't really look that much different.

Cutting and ironing area.

Overall, not so bad.
There you have it, reorganization and a bit of rejuvenation.  But, don't get too jealous, folks since the other half of the room is a playroom for a five year old and two year old.  I don't really think I need to say anything else at all.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Who Wants Something for Free? You Do!!!!

Whenever I have been practicing a lot and I have finally perfected a project, I get a little high.  Instead of a runner's high, I get a sewing high.  I feel motivated.  I want to keep stitching away.  Is it because of the fibers in the material?  Could it be that smell of a warm iron?  Perhaps the thread is actually silly string and is making me giddy?  Nope, it is just the satisfaction of learning how to do something and being able to do it right!  Sewing does not come naturally for me.  There is a lot of trial and error, and more errors, and more errors, and then success.  So, let me share my success with you, my readers.

To enter the contest, you must do the following:

1.  You need to click on this link to connect to 715 Pillows Facebook Page.  Like this page if you have not already.  You will see a status update announcing the contest and explaining the directions.
2.  Like the status update.
3.  Describe my pillows using the first letter of your last name.
4.  Winner will be chosen at random at 3:00 pm on Saturday.
5.  Winner will receive a pillow cover (no insert) in the mail.

This could be yours....

It is an envelope pillow....

Five more of these lovely covers will be for sale on Etsy by this weekend!
Pretty easy way to win a decorative pillow for you house, office, or for a friend.  Good luck!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Stole Three Pillows!

I had only stolen one thing in my entire life, up until this week.  Actually, I only half stole this particular item.  That does not make sense, but it will.  Let's take a walk down memory lane shall we?  I was eleven years old and in 6th grade, it was 1985.  I was living through the worst year of my entire life.  Trust me, that statement is NOT and exaggeration.  Anyway, under pressure and duress, plus influence from an accomplice I took something that did not belong to me!

It was like all days in 6th grade, a horrible one.  I went to school hating my life.  Hating that I was a teacher's kid.  Hating that I had curly hair.  Hating that I was a dork.  Yet, feeling fortunate that I had about three friends.  As usual, I brought my lunch from home.  At lunch time, I retrieved my lunch from my locker and stood my dorky self in the milk line.  With my chocolate milk in hand, I reached into my pocket for my quarter and realized I forgot my milk money.  Of course none of my friends had an extra quarter.  What to do?  Then, the person in front of me (Yes, I remember his name but I will not disclose for the sake of his privacy) says, "Just take a milk."  Shocked, I said, "No way!"  He says, "Put your hand in the box like you are putting you money in, jiggle the coins a bit, and take the milk."  Palms sweaty, heart racing, pressure building, not to mention that my mouth was parched; I caved.  I committed one of the worst crimes Sugarbush Elementary School has ever seen.  I stole a carton of chocolate milk.  I sat at my table and drank my milk feeling like a thirst quenched monster.  I got away with my crime and felt like even more of a loser than I already was.
For a couple days I could not sleep.  I felt guilty.  I was so worried about being caught and expelled.  So, I did what any guilt ridden, geeky 6th grader would do:  I wrote a confession and placed it under my parent's pillow before I went to bed.  I figured they would read the note while I was sleeping and figure out what the heck to do me with my while I was pretending to sleep.  So, do you think I was grounded?  Was I forced to write an apology to the school?  Nope, my parents said, "Don't worry about.  When you go to school today just put two quarters in the milk box."  I went to school, got in the milk line, took one milk, and put two quarters in the box.  My life of thieving had come to end, until the other day.  

18 x 18 Pillow that became a raffle prize.
I have a warehouse of pillow in my house.  Thanks to consistent sales, the supply is going down.  But, there are still quite a few pillows in the warehouse.  I also have a lot of fabric left over from pillows I have made, gifts of fabric, and new fabric waiting to be made into something wonderful.  Well, this fall I decided to play around and make a few 18 x 18 pillows.  While I really liked the size and fabric, I realized that these pillows would be a pain to ship.  I stuffed one, donated it as a raffle prize when I did the Candy Cane Lane Craft Show, and stored the unstuffed pillows in my fabric trunk.  On Monday, I made a pillow cover with the left over red, blue, and gold fabric and was inspecting the cover while sitting on my couch.  My husband and I realized that fabric coordinated with our living room.  Notice I said coordinated because nothing in our house actually matches.  The next morning, the girls and I stuffed the three empty pillows, sewed them up, deactivated the Etsy listing, and placed them on my couch.  Voila!  I have new throw pillows.  But, I shoplifted them from myself.  Is this morally wrong?  It is not like I got any sort of tax break for this pillow.  I made them before I created my company.  So, I guess I just stole from my future sales.  But, while I may have stole from 715 Pillows, I also did my aging couch a huge favor!

As a mother of  four sticky hands and two sticky faces,  a two year old and five year old, my children are constantly depositing unwanted messes around my house.  Therefore, while a couch is on my short list of big purchases, I am going to attempt to hold off for about two more years.  In the meantime, my couch is twelve years old.  Go Macy's!!!  Which means the throw pillows that came with the couch are twelve years old.  

Can you guess which is the new pillow?
My living room!
I made the big colorful pillow.  The small red pillow was purchased from Target.
I put two pillows on the couch and one on the chair.  I think it ties the room together nicely.  I am happy and I don't feel guilty for stealing from my own company.  It is not like I did not pay for the fabric and make the pillows, right?  Right!  To make amends for my crime, I am going to hold a contest on Friday to give away one of my new pillow covers.  So, in the meantime, click on this link and "like" 715 Pillows Facebook page.  You will have to like the page to enter the contest and get a free pillow cover.  Like me, like me, like me.  You don't want me to feel like that insecure sixth grader you just read about, right?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Workers Compensation: The Dangers of Sewing!

This post contains images of an actual incident that resulted in a wound.  Images may be disturbing to those who have a fear of sewing needles.  

Quite often, domestic arts are me.  I am well educated and live in a time when women can have it all.  So why can't I?  It was 100% my choice to stay home when Mimi was born.  I knew I could not have it all.  I knew I would be a stressed out, cranky mess.  And, I knew I wanted to play with my kids full time for a couple years.  But on some levels I struggle because I really don't want to be a homemaker or housewife.  Ugh!  Horrible!  I want to be modern, not old fashioned.  But am I modern?  I stay home with my kids, I bake, and I sew and sound old fashioned.  Okay, here is where I am modern:  I drive a sub compact car and get excellent gas millage.  So, being the modern mom that I am, it always rankles me when I have made a plate of cookies and someone says to me, "Well, aren't you Susie Homemaker today!"  While I know that this is not a put down, I hate it.  I am not trying to be Susie Homemaker, I just thought my guests might want a snack.  And guess what, I like to have a fresh baked snack, too.  But, let me end my diatribe because I want to let you in on a little secret, domestic work is challenging.  Domestic work and parenting are physically and mentally challenging jobs.  No to mention, domestic arts, such as sewing are also dangerous.  Yes, dangerous!!!

I stay-at-home but am a Rosie on the inside!

I NEVER look like this when cleaning the house! 
First, I am sure everyone who is reading this blog has cleaned their house or cooked.  Maybe you haven't done a lot of sewing, but you have done plenty of other things.  A few years ago, while making lunch, I fell on a toy that was laying in the middle of the kitchen and busted my finger.  I tried to catch myself with the wall, finger first.  Dumb instinct.  The sucker swelled up and hurt for months.  Then, while making dinner for my mom whom was recovering from bunion surgery, I, um, there is no delicate way to put this, I singed my bosom.  Ugh, that was scary!  So, if I can get hurt cooking, you bet I can get hurt sewing.

I have completed all the necessary paperwork to be an official company.  The last thing I want is to be busted for income tax evasion.  But, I am still worried I have missed a couple steps and I am doing something wrong.   I own the name 715 Pillows for the next five years, according to Oakland County.  I have a federal tax id number and my Michigan sales tax license.  Pretty darn official.  So, when I hurt myself on the job, can I get Worker's Comp.  Nope!  I am a sole proprietor and I don't think I can could get a needle injury covered anyway.

Since I have started this little venture, I have poked myself a few times in the finger with needles and pins.  Once I stuck a pin under my finger nail.  OUCH!!!!!  But the worst injury incurred while sewing was caught on camera by husband.  I was sitting on my floor cutting and pinning a pillow when I inadvertently placed my foot on top of the pinned fabric and stuck a very long pin into my heal.  OMG!!!! PAIN!!!!  I think the pin actually hit bone.  But believe it or not, for such a serious wound, blood was not drawn.  So strange - does this mean I need a pedicure?  While I was pulling the pin out (very strange sight) and crying out in pain, Kevin grabbed the camera and recorded the following images for posterity.

Just after pin extraction.  
Massaging the wound.
Why am I sitting like that?  
I am happy to report that no lasting injuries were incurred.  While it is true that time wounds all heals, it is equally true that time heals all wounds.  So, here is to all the women out there who have wounded themselves in the home, you have my respect and sympathy.  And remember, 715 Pillows products are for sale on Etsy.  Have a safe day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Apple and Pears: Not Just For Eating!

I enjoy fruit.  Fruit is pretty.  Fruit is healthy.  Fruit is tasty.  I eat a lot of fruit.

Here are some fun facts about apples (I found these facts on this website and this website.)

1.  Apples are a member of the rose family.
2.  It takes energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
3.  Apples are Michigan's largest and most valuable fruit crop.
4.  Michigan is the 3rd largest apple producing state.
5.  Apple pies are delicious.  (Okay, this is my own opinion.)

Here are some fun fact about pears ( I found these facts on this website.)

1.  Pear are a member of the rose family.
2.  Pear trees can live for 100 years.
3.  It is believed pears were used as food during the Stone Age.
4.  There are more than 3,000 varieties of pears.
5.  A pear pie sounds disgusting to me, but a nice crunchy pear snack sounds delicious.  (Once again this is the opinion of the writer.)

So, I like fruit and the benefits of fruit.  But can fruit be fashionable?  Carmen Miranda thought so.  And if fruit was fashionable for Carmen Miranda, then by golly it is fashionable enough for me!

Click here for information on Carmen Miranda

I am not going to wear fruit on my head.  I don't wear Fruit of the Loom undies.  But as you know, I did purchase fruity fabric to make a little bag.  Well, I finished the fruit inspired bag and I think it is somewhat retro looking and is going to be a fun little accessory for summer.

Getting started:  I spread out all my material and cut out all my pieces.  I used the fruit for the actual bag and sort of a teal color for a contrast lining.  While I attempted to do this alone, Mimi the Pin Master and Violet the Snuggler came up to help and observe.  Therefore the process took a bit longer than I initially planned.

So pretty...

Mimi handed me the pins.

I cut!
We all worked together!

Who says you can't sew and still be close.

After I cut out all my fabric, I made my way over to my mom's house.  She got me started and assigned some homework.  While most of the project was done with my mom's supervision, I did so the majority of the work.  She helped my some tricky parts but I think I could make another bag on my own.

Mom's machine.

Mom ironing a seam - Kevin stalking us with the camera.
Once I really got going on this project, I did not take too many pictures.  It was fun and addicting to watch my bag turn into a bag.  When I put the lining in and pulled the bag right side out, I swear it was like magic.  I was really distrustful of the directions and my mom because the process is so strange.  But, it worked.  I have a finished product that I want to use and will use.  Unlike my pajama pants which ended up in the garbage after about month because I felt way too frumpy wearing them.

Vi needed to be in the picture!  

I think it is lovely and can't wait to use this functional, yet very cute bag!
After completed this bag, I got lots of ideas for doing it again.  I could use contrast fabric on the side, bottom, strap, pocket.  Okay, that is sound a little too patchworky.  But my point is that I can play around a experiment with fabrics.  I could put a pocket inside the bag.  I could make it smaller or larger.  I can make tote bags.  Kind of fun.  So, what do you think?  Should I try sell to sell them at my May craft show?