Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday...Let the holidays begin!

Whew! I spent 4 hours in the car on both Monday and Tuesday, getting our girls home from their respective universities for Christmas break. I know they've been anxious to be done with the semester, but I'm not sure who is happier that they're home, them, or me!

On Monday, I was the rider, not the driver, so I had a chance to browse the web and thumb through magazines to get more inspiration for the projects I will create. It seems I have visions of fabrics and embellishments dancing in my head, rather than sugarplums!

One of the smaller items I plan to offer is a "travel tray". My sister has been bringing one on our trips together, and I love hers, so was inspired to do my own. This is such a simple concept, but so handy! It is simply a quilted square, trimmed however your inspiration guides you, with corners that fold together with a snap or button or hook and loop closure to form a tray. It weighs next to nothing to pop in your suitcase, but then gives you a little place in your hotel room to gather little things, like your key, your change, etc. Perhaps this is a tutorial you'd like to see? Such a simple project!

Today I will finish some bags, and I have a few more gifts to complete before I can devote time in earnest to stocking my Etsy shop! Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Upcycled Denim and Cookies!

Ten days until Christmas! Can't wait!

Today I'll be baking cookies before returning to sewing. I will make Candy Cane Thumbprints, which are tasty little butter cookies with crushed candy canes sprinkled into a little thumbprint. They are delicious. We are having a cookie exchange at work tomorrow; these are going to that.

Then I plan to finish a bag I started yesterday. It is made from upcycled denim from GAP jeans,  donated by Libbi. (that girl is hard on her jeans; these had a big hole in the knee!) It is really cute, with a bright red lining. I will embellish it with the original button from one of the pairs of jeans I used.

I still have a few gifts to finish up, then I will go full speed ahead on more things for the shop. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas break for me!

Today I begin my hiatus from work; I am not scheduled until after the 2nd of January! I love my job, but I love being home, especially this time of year. I have so many projects to accomplish. Today is a bonus, as I was originally scheduled to work, but I volunteered to be off. (no, really! Some days they look for volunteers. I was willing to take one for the team...)

I will sew today. I am in the middle of one project that I'd like to wrap up, and I want to work on items for my Etsy shop. My plan is to begin by offering some handbags, jewelry pouches, and some table toppers, (runners and placemats). I then would like to expand into other decor items. My head is exploding with ideas; I have to get those ideas translated into product! I might offer some knitted items as well.

Yesterday, I purchased a pair of pretty earrings from Maggie's Corner on Etsy. I can't wait for them to arrive. I will post pictures and a review when they do; I hope to make this a regular feature on the blog. I could lose myself on Etsy; there are so many wonderful and unique items offered by artists and crafters from all over the world. If you haven't visited the Etsy site, I encourage you to do so: Etsy. Take a look around, then let me know what you love. Add a comment here to share your favorite Etsy find with me!

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What would you like to read?

Ah, Monday!

Unlike many people, I love Mondays. I usually have the day off from my out-of-home job, and I relish the day full of "catching up". I try to get the work week ahead organized with a little cooking, shopping, and the other mundane details of life, and then I like to work on my projects.

Today I have a breakfast date, and then I will make a casserole for tonight's supper for the boys and me. And then, I am sewing!

I am working on finishing up various Christmas gifts, which must remain un-described right now. Then I will be working on getting my inventory beefed up for the grand opening of my Etsy store: The shop is currently empty, but please check back often, as I will be starting to add things a little at a time.

My focus for the shop will be handmade handbags, quilted items, and gifts. As I am new at the Etsy business, I would love to hear from you about what you'd like to see in my Etsy shop. What excites you when you are shopping for handmade items for yourself or for gifts? I personally love bags. I am a bit of a bagaholic. I love bright, clear colors; batiks are a personal favorite.

I also adore handmade jewelry. I love earrings, and I am drawn to the original. I love classic simplicity, but have been known to wear a funky, quirky pair of earrings. When we travel, I am always looking for the little artist's gallery with unique pieces of jewelry. Etsy is a treasure trove of these great finds- heaven!

One artist I love is StephieMc. Her Etsy shop is here:
I have purchased her necklaces (she will custom make one for you!), and I always receive compliments when I wear one. I like the earrings above; they may be a near future purchase.

I have not purchased (yet) from KahiliCreations, but look at this adorable set of hoops from Hawaii's big island. White Plumeria shell hoop earrings. One of my favorite scents on this earth is that of the plumeria blossom; wearing these would put me back in the island mood instantly!

So, Dear Readers, please let me know what you would love to see in an Etsy shop featuring homemade stitched items. What makes you happy? Leave me a comment, or post on my Facebook page:

You can also follow me on Twitter: I am GinnStitches.

Happy Monday, all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Big ideas...

   Welcome! My name is Ginnie, and I am a dabbler! All my life, I've dabbled in crafting. I started sewing (making actual usable/wearable things) in junior high, but was imitating my mom sewing long before that. I learned to knit from my grandmother, and taught myself to crochet. (ah, the summer of the multiple crocheted cloches....)
   When I look back from my middle-aged vantage point, I realize that besides spending time with my family, which consists of a fabulous husband,  four teriffic children, and five (yes, five) dogs, the thing that makes me happiest is creating stuff. I can remember that one of my favorite gifts one Christmas was the "Craft of the Month Kit Club." I loved discovering what the new kit would contain. I remember the Cheese Tray Turtle, with the little holes for toothpicks...but I digress.
   I was introduced to quilting about 11 years ago, when a good friend asked me to join her at a quilting class. I loved it right away, but life always seemed to get in the way of me finding time to pursue the craft. In these past years, I have experienced a number of life events, including the loss of my mother, followed by the health decline and death of my father. As my children grew up, I went back to work, first part-time, and then full time and then some!
   Last year, I decided to leave my job, though I loved it, to have more time for my family and myself. This was a difficult, but good decision, and I now have a part time job again, one I really enjoy, but which doesn't consume me! I also have more time and energy to pursue my love of sewing.
  I have decided to try my hand at sewing and quilting things to sell. As the fabric-aholics out there know, the selection of beautiful fabrics and watching a project come to completion at your own hand is amazing. There is nothing like the satisfaction that comes from a completed project. But... eventually, you may run out of excuses for a new project.
  The idea of starting my own hobby business appeals to me on a number of levels. I would have the reason (read: excuse!) to continue creating items and learning new techniques. I would be able to incorporate some of my other loves, photography and technology in the process. And I love the idea of keeping my mind and hands busy, while continually improving  my skills.
   I would love to hear from anyone with experience in the areas of sewing for profit, Etsy stores, home based business tax implications, and so on. And please stay tuned for updates on the progress of my plans!