Dirty Dozen

In an effort to begin mass production of my craftiness – I thought 12 would be a good number to work with. Well, I just finished the first card collection for 2016, and 12 was too many. I did finish them – but it took over 2.5 hours I would say. Yesterday, I sat down for 1.5 hours and hashed out a good amount, and then today I only timed part of it, and that was about 35 minutes. So, in my way of doing math, I’d say it took over 2.5 hours easy to create the 12 individual cards.

Now that I type it, I guess it really isn’t that long, but doing the math, it runs about 12.5 minutes a card. Okay, that’s not bad either. less than 15 for a handcrafted, cute I might add, card – that’s doable.

Some of my next 2016 collection I’m trying for the first time, so I might try 6 to start since it felt very tedious to do 12 of a card I have done multiple times before.

Okay, so maybe I was overdramatic and just not use to working 🙂 I’ll continue to stay on track and make between 60 and 84 cards for this season.


Apparently straight lines are a thing

Making a purse today I realized that I do need to work on sewing straight lines. That and I need to figure out the tension on my top thread as each time I start it gets jacked up.

Back to straight lines. So, I was making straps. Every inch or so there was a shift as I tried to keep a straight line. My efforts were useless. And then, I realized that I was going have to double stitch. So, not just one straight line, but a total of 16 of them, they didn’t work out very well.

The bag turned out decent, would need some adjustments in the future. But for sure, I have to continue practicing making a straight line. That and understanding the tension on my starting stitch.

Come with a plan, or leave in defeat

So, in 2016 I will sell my sh*t. I will make a minimum of a dozen of whatever I create. I will try to get Dustin involved (which, by the way, is where the header came from…boom beach).\

January/February is mother’s day gifts and birthday cards

March/April is father’s day gifts and birthday cards.

May is open to interpretation.

April, same as May.

May/June/July will most likely consist of December creations

August need to work on Victor’s super awesome gift, please see Fantasy Toys book – one for him, one for the other.

September – Halloween? We know I like Halloween for no real reason.

October – December – finalize gifts and of course, can’t forget those that I live with 🙂

I think that is a plan I can stick with…let’s see what happens 🙂

A partnership in the works?

So, Dustin can make some pretty cool stuff with wood. Last December he made snowmen from pallets. This December he was given the task by his friend to make a christmas tree from reclaimed wood. So, it turns out the wood was more water damaged than reclaimed looking, but the final product was still pretty darn good.

After seeing his final product, I started talking to him about us pairing up to sell our creative outputs. In his case, it comes easy, he has efficiency, and we know we have a market. We can reach out to some past coworkers who would be able to take his creations and put their touches on it and make it look fantastic and even more sell-able (is that a word?).

If we start in January – make at least a dozen a month – then by October/November we will be set for holiday sales and not have to work during the holidays. Well, we wouldn’t have to craft during the holiday season, we’d still have to work our regular life paying jobs. (Crafting is our vacation paying jobs – we are looking forward to some pretty nice vacations).

Let’s see what happens in the new year, and what we actually accomplish.

Rice Stuffed Items

Today I made a neck and lap warmer for my friend’s birthday. This was my first time making these rice filled warmers. This is the website I was using as a pattern Microwaveable Rice Heating Pads. I had found another pattern awhile back, but I wasn’t able to find it again (lesson learned, Pinterest).

Originally it was supposed to be just a neck warmer at her request, but after finding this site, I figured I’d go all out and build a lap warmer as well. She is my friend, right?!?

Constructing the “large pocket” wasn’t an issue. That is standard work. However, once rice got introduced to the project, all hell broke lose. Filling the rice, easy. Getting the rice to stay in its section, not easy. Sewing a straight line to close the section, complete opposite of easy. My first result was not gift worthy.

Good news is the site listed 1/2 yard of fabric for the lap piece, which, as it turns out, can make three lap pieces. So, realizing I had enough extra to create another one without having to buy more fabric, I ditched the website and created something on my own.

I decided I was tired of turning fabric, so I top stitched 3 of the 4 sides “shut”. Then, I sewed some ric rac down the short length to create four sections prior to filling with rice. Once those were created, I filled with rice. Now, since I ditched the website instructions, I put about 2.5 – 3 cups of rice per section. **Note to self: that is too much rice and creates a very heavy lap pad.** As I filled each section I top stitched the section closed to contain the rice. When I was done, there was a top stitched line at each side creating an enclosed, pocketed, rice lap warmer. I used pinking shears on the exposed edges to help prevent fraying (don’t think it will be that handy if this actually gets used).

This method of creating the sections prior to filling with rice is a much easier, and cleaner, method for creating rice filled pouches.

For the neck warmer, I had already created the “pocket” as instructed by the website, but I knew that is where following the instructions stopped. I didn’t have any ric rac on hand to create the sections, so I just topstitched lines to create the sections. Also, since 3 of the 4 sides were “finished” I had to figure out what to do with the open side. It turns out I had bought some bias tape (on a whim) and realized I could use that to “finish” the final edge that was open to fill.

It worked pretty well!

I also realize that I keep to my colors that I like, and so the random notions and fabrics can be used between projects since they match unintentionally. Not too shabby.

Let’s Do This

Hi there, and salutations! Earlier in 2015 I left my job of 7 years and company of 11 years. This action caused stress and health issues that were not anticipated.

After overcoming the unexpected  expected repercussions, I found my craftyness. It started with paper crafts, building cards, and then turned into needle craft, embroidery and cross stitch, later building to sew craft, using the sewing machine downstairs that has absolutely no bells or whistles (and/or I may have broken at some point).

With my initial projects I was figuring it out. Now I am sharing what I do and people are giving me good responses.

So, I figure I’ll share my paper/needle/sew crafts with everyone else and check out their thoughts before any thing else continues.

Thanks for your input and looking forward to sharing more of my creations with everyone!