Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
I'm having a quiet morning wrapping up some more orders from the shop, listening to Radio Lab, and listening to the rain that has been falling since yesterday. I've also been reading through a fun new e-course (Style Your Space from the Red Velvet shop) and watching a documentary about one of my favorite artists, Jenny Holzer (my Holy Trinity is Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, and Jenny Holzer!). The apartment is feeling really mellow and peaceful even though I'm in a little bit of a flurry working on orders for the shop.
Friday, November 25, 2011
After a peaceful Thanksgiving Day it's back to work making handmade lovelies for my shop - lots of embroidered notes and crocheted hearts to be finished! It's really nice to be a part of people's holidays... crafting special gifts for them to give to their family and friends. I've started listening to a little holiday music while a work to get in the spirit!
Monday, November 21, 2011
Thank you to all of my lovely customers for supporting my shop -
I reached 500 sales yesterday!
I feel so lucky to be building my own creative business, but I couldn't do it without you.
It's been crunch time around here the last week or so with holiday orders rolling into the shop and a bunch of custom items to be made! Lately one of my favorite recipes to make for a snack or with a quick meal is sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes are an awesome food because they have vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, and fiber - and they have all that great potato-y texture without being a member of the nightshade family (plus they are so easy to make for vegan or allergy diets!). Instead of making a sweet recipe loaded with sugar I like to play off the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes by baking them with flavorful spices and a bit of olive oil, then serving them with some sort of mustard for dipping.
For my favorite sweet potato fry recipe (serving 2) you'll need:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into pieces shaped like fries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
a drizzle of olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Placed the sliced sweet potato into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat all the pieces. Measure the spices into the bowl and mix well. Spread the fries onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the fries and bake for another 15-20 minutes until they are tender.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I have an awesome new tutorial to share today that involves thrifting, sewing, and a cute outfit! This autumn I've really enjoyed wearing tunic tops with leggings and boots because it's such a comfortable combination - but I could really use a few more tops in the rotation. I wanted something lightweight to pair with a cardigan or jacket and the soft cotton of a quality men's shirt seemed like the perfect fabric.
I took a detour to the thrift shop one afternoon while I was out running errands and picked up this awesome Land's End men's button down for $6:
This shirt is a size large, which ended up being just the right size for me to sew into a tunic dress with only a few quick alterations. When you pick out your shirt keep in mind that you want it to be long and wider than something in your size, probably about 2 sizes larger. (If you are tempted to choose a shirt that is more than 2 sizes too big you will end up with a lot of extra fabric around the arms and shoulders.)
And here is what my finished tunic top looks like (you won't believe how simple this project is!):
There are really only a few quick steps to turning an over sized men's shirt into something for your closet!
Try on the shirt and place a couple of pins under the bust to mark where you'd like to gather the top to create shaping a the waist (this line goes around the entire shirt). I was really glad I picked out a plaid shirt because I could follow the lines on the design for help in sewing straight!
Next you'll need a package of 3/8 inch elastic. There are a lot of elastics to choose from at your average sewing store, but I like to use lingerie elastic because it's softer. On the wrong side of your shirt, place the elastic along the bust line you marked out with your pins. Use a zigzag stich on your sewing machine to sew the elastic around the bust line of the entire shirt while stretching the elastic as you sew. As you release the elastic after sewing it will contract and gather the fabric, creating a more flattering silhouette for your tunic top!
Try on your shirt again and use a couple of pins to mark where you'd like the sleeves to fall on your arm. You can choose any length you'd like (full sleeve, three quarter, etc.) Add an inch to this measurement and then use your fabric scissors to cut off the extra fabric. Fold the sleeve under 1/2 inch and press, then another 1/2 inch and press again. Use a straight stitch on your sewing machine to complete the hem.
That's it! Style up your new tunic top and hit the town : )
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
I've written an article for Craftsy about buying patterns from indie designers - you can check it out here!
Posted by Rachel at 6:59 AM
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
One of the best things about having pets is that any time you enter a room you may be walking into a very cute situation. You never know when random cuteness may strike, but when it does it's always a nice surprise!
Remember this catghan? It's finished and I think they like it!
Here are a few things I like about my town:
1. Walking over to Crimson Cafe for a Celtic Latte (Irish Creme & Hazelnut)
2. Antebellum buildings
3. Bright red trees against a bright blue sky
4. Pine cones for free seasonal decorating
Also: Magnolia trees, long mild autumns, and listening to "Crooners" while I cook dinner on Sunday.
What do you like about your town?
I just finished a new piece for the shop and I like it so much I wish I could keep it for myself!
It's mostly mustard yellow with a couple of pops of aqua and white.
I really love the long rectangular shape of this one... it looks really contemporary even though the base is a re-used plaque from the 1970s.
And don't forget about my coupon code and blog reader bonus... you can use them until November 13th on this piece or any of the items in my shop...
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I'm writing a weekly guest post on the AAG blog about running a creative business! It's up every Tuesday and I give a few tips each week for those living the dream or thinking about getting started.
This weeks tips are about designing a craft booth
and I've also written about
Are there any topics that would be helpful to you as creative people? Let me know in the comments!
Posted by Rachel at 8:02 AM
Monday, November 7, 2011
I have a bunch of orders to package and ship this morning (yay!) so I'm getting my packaging ready in an assembly line.
I like all of my envelopes, business cards, and "extras" to have a handmade touch so I have started using a fun stamp that coordinates with the crafty diy packaging I use for each order... I think the end result is pretty cute!
Friday, November 4, 2011
I'm really into yellow for autumn this year! It just seems like the perfect color.
Here are a few lovely finds from Flickr in my new favorite palette...
1. knit honey cowl in mustard yellow, 2. 1940s mustard yellow folklore print blouse, a Gordon Peters Original, 3. ruffle necklace in mustard., 4. Mustard Yellow Tote Bag, 5. Mustard Bird, 6. Mustard Yellow Felt Flower Brooch, 7. Mustard Yellow Door, 8. Branching Out, 9. Charlene's Scarf in Mustard yellow Mohair_05, 10. Mustard Knit Chunky Scarf & Matching Beret, 11. vintage green & mustard yellow pompom trim, 12. mustard yellow crochet shawl, 13. Beaded necklace with Mustard yellow wood pulp flower
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Yesterday I took some time to re-photograph some time to rephotograph a few more items in the shop and I also listed the original sample I made for the Honeybee Scarflette knitting pattern! This is one of my favorite patterns (in one of my favorite colors!) and it's perfect for cold weather.
**Don't forget - you can save 15% off everything in my shop and get a free gift package with my blog discount codes!**