Thursday, October 28, 2010

Funky Cosmetic Bags

Time is flying by as the most wonderful time of the year is approaching.. or is it already here?
Recently our church had their annual fall men's retreat, so my sister and I were both without our husbands for 3 days and 2 nights. Here in the big city, that can be kind of creepy! So we each had the girls of our class over for a sleepover. My sister wanted to give each of her teenage girls a cosmetic bag as a gift. She chose the fabrics, and here is what I came up with!
I had to make eight of them! Each of them had a shabby chic flower with a coordinating button as the center.

The interior was a fun stripe

A tab on the side makes carrying it easier

A lot of work, but the teenagers loved them! Their smiles were well worth the effort! Now I just have to find the time to make one for myself....

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Name That Style!

I am very excited about the new bag I just finished.. but I have a problem! I cannot seem to come up with a name or title for it that describes its style. The exterior is a soft suedecloth material with a pattern that's earthy and organic with leaves and vines. The colors are deep and rich reds, greens, and creams. The interior of the bag has the same color scheme, but the pattern is much more modern. I know there's a style with that casual, rural, country or vintage almost look, combined with the modern, but I can't seem to put a name to it! When you see this bag, what would you describe its style as?
I need a title!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Marketing Handmade Items this Holiday Season

Fall has arrived, and winter will soon be approaching. The promise of joyous holidays spent with family and friends awaits, and people everywhere are pulling out their warm clothes and mugs of hot apple cider. This time of the year is busy, and gift giving is one every one's mind. Everyone wants to find that perfect gift for each person; something unique, different, and screams "I put time into this gift." However, the reality of the economy this year has left every in a deal-seeking mood. This is both a perfect opportunity, and a tremendous challenge to every artist that creates handmade things. Whether you've been in a business for awhile, or toying with the idea of possibly marketing that item you make that everyone always says, "You should totally try to sell that!", pricing, marketing, and finding a balance between perceived and actual value can definitely be a challenge. Don't be overwhelmed! There's a bounty of advice available from people who have been there, done that, and succeeded as well as failed. Don't fear failure; failure is how you learn! At least that's what I tell myself every day!

I wanted to share a link with you. It has a wealth of information, tips, and instruction for marketing, pricing, and running your own handmade business. Because face it: we all want to design, create, and inspire others, but few want to market, price, promote, and manage the business aspect of things. I know I don't! But reality has reared it's ugly head, and we had better get on top of things now! This time of year brims with people wanting and willing to spend money; so get on top of your marketing strategy, develop product lines they will want to buy, and make some money this holiday season! It is possible.

I had a difficult time choosing specific topics, so here is the link for the marketing page; I recommend reading as much as you can!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Round-Up Sunday Project #1

This Sunday at our church we had our annual "Round-Up Sunday." This is a Western themed Sunday we have every fall to "round-up" all the people who may have strayed over the summer due to vacations, heat, etc. It's a fun day had by all with everyone dressed up, a big cowboy style dinner, and games for the kids. I especially love seeing all the little kids dressed up like cowboys and cowgirls!
One of my good friends had a little girl in January wanted a dress for her, but couldn't find one anywhere, so I offered to make one!

This little pillowcase dress is what I came up with in the short time I had! 

This cute navy blue western paisley patterned fabric made up the body of the dress, and I finished it off with an eyelet lace and red paisley ribbon.

Red ribbon with a white stitching design became the ties on the shoulders.

I couldn't stop there! I used some of the red ribbon to make a headband, and some fabric and ribbon scraps to make a matching flower.  Little Ellie looked adorable on Sunday! And I'm still kicking myself for forgetting my camera!