Friday, 28 September 2012

Shop Local - Crafted by Lindy

Crafted by Lindy was one of the first shops that I gave a heart to on Etsy. Her cards and paper products have such a clean, crisp look and have a cute factor of 10/10. If you like clean, modern art with plenty of colour, this is the place to find it.
Don't Peek
1.  Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about how you started creating.
My name is Lindy and I come from a very creative family. Both of my parents are artists and my dad worked in the Art Gallery at the University of Lethbridge. I grew up in a very creative atmosphere and ended up getting a fine arts degree in technical theatre from U of L. I then got married and moved to Calgary where I went through a couple of jobs and had three kids. I stayed creative by making cards. Paper was the one media I kept going back too. I started to play around with designing images on the computer and went from a more scrapbook like card to a digital version which is what you see in my Etsy shop.
    2. What inspired you to move from creating as a hobby to creating as a business?
    While I enjoyed making cards I always felt like I needed a purpose. It was hard for me to just sit down and make a card just for the fun of it. I had to have a reason for doing it. I found Etsy shortly after having my first son. I missed working and thought selling cards on Etsy might fill that need. I worked on some digital images and opened my shop in February of 2009.

    3. Show us a few of your favourite pieces and why they are your favourites.
    Oh this is hard! I like everything! I think it’s important to really like what you sell. I think customers can feel that through your shop. But with that said there are a few that stand out.
    Blue owl print
    I love my Owls. They came together very naturally and I just love how they turned out!
    Twelve Days of Christmas Greeting Card
    I love this 12 Days of Christmas Card. Again it came together very naturally one day and it’s been really well received. It’s very fun to have make something that you love and then find out that other people love it too!
    Rainbow Note Cards with Bunting
    I really like all of the bunting listings in my shop. I love how simple of a design it is but it creates a great visual.
    Giraffe Art Print
    I really like my animal wall art prints. They were some of the first images I designed in order to open my shop.

    4. What does shop local mean to you and why is it important (or not important)? 
     I think it’s important as it creates a sense of community and supports the area that you yourself live in but I also think it’s fascinating how a community can for formed from hundreds of sellers all over the world. That’s one of the reasons why I like Etsy so much.

    5. Is there any one moment or experience in developing your art or your business that stands out in your mind? Why? Hitting 700 sales probably. I have no idea why. You’d think hitting 1000 would be more thrilling and it was but for some reason I went crazy when I saw the number go past 700. Go figure! I’m just thrilled that I’m able to do something I love and that my cards and prints are finding new homes all over the world.

    6. Do you have any of your pieces in a local shop or in an artisan market? Tell us where and when.
    No I don’t.

    You can find Lindy here:

    Thank you, Lindy, for sharing some of your story with us!


    Wednesday, 26 September 2012

    WIP Wednesday - September 26

    My friends came over to my house to play sew today and we all fit in my newly outfitted sewing space. Except the ironing board - it took up too much space, so it was set up in the kitchen. I didn't plan much sewing for today as I took most of Monday to clean and organize and sort so I would have some idea of what to pack for my fall quilt retreat on the weekend.
    Pile of PIGS
     Our Dalemead Quilters Guild is doing a PIGS (Projects In Grocery Sacks) challenge for the second year. A PIGS project is basically any project that is not finished, it could be as little done as a pile of fabrics with a pattern, to a quilt that's waiting for a binding. Last year I counted 16 of these partially completed projects, this year the total so far is 21. Two were off to be quilted when I took this picture, but one of those is back and waiting for me to add the binding. Some of these have been here for a long time - like that fisherman on the bottom right - he's been waiting for my machine quilting skills to improve enough for some creative threadwork on the quilting.

    Buttons and coffee translates to knapp and kaffe
    Koala and kitties
    And, although I haven't been as active on the online swaps this year, the mini quilt challenge on Flickr for this round was all about initials. My swap partner was Karen from Norway and to make a quilt featuring the letter K was a challenge. My first step was to go online and search for K words that I might be able to find on fabric. Not finding much, I then went searching through Norwegian words and found a few there. I can't show you the finished quilt until I get it in the mail and Karen gets it at her end, but I've given you a sneak peek here!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Linking up to:
    Quiltsy WIP Wednesday #29
    Needle and Thread Network WIP Wednesday #58

    Monday, 24 September 2012

    Faux Piped Binding

    I tried a Faux Piped Binding tutorial from Thread Tales from a Scrappy Quilter and although the tutorial didn't specify any instructions for the corners, it turned out pretty great. I've been looking for ways to completely do my bindings with machine stitching and this is a great technique to do that.

     From the piping fabric, you need to cut and piece 1 5/8" strips the length you would normally cut your bindings (perimeter of quilt plus about 6-8"). From the binding fabric, you will need to cut 1 3/8" strips the same length as your piping fabric. Join strips with a diagonal seam to reduce bulk and when you have the correct lengths, sew together along the long edge to make a 2-color strip.
    Joining strips for piping
    2 colours for piped binding
     I pressed the seams open and then pressed it in half. That meant the seam ends up on one side of the strip with a little bit of the blue showing on that side.
    Pressed and ready to put on the quilt
     Then, I sewed the pressed binding on the BACK of the quilt same as I would normally do for a single color binding. And turned it to the FRONT and set up your machine with thread matching the piping in the top needle and thread matching the backing/binding in the bobbin. Pin carefully so the seam from the piping is directly over the stitching line you just made when stitching your binding on. Top stitch in the ditch of the seam that joins the piping fabric to the binding fabric.

    You can sew a few inches and see what the seam looks like on the back - it should be just off the binding, but don't worry if it's not perfect the first time - it will get better with practice!
    Click picture to see detail
    Christmas Star - FOR SALE
     And this little table runner is finished! This took a little longer than I thought, but I was worried about how the stitch would look on the back-side. I caught the binding a bit more than I wanted, but it is a technique I will be trying again.

    What new techniques have you tried lately?


    Friday, 21 September 2012

    Shop Local - Stufd from Innisfail

    Shopping for the holidays happens for me the whole year round. When we travel, I'm always on the look out for locally made items that I can gift for birthdays or Christmas. Through my online shop on Etsy, I've discovered all kinds of local Alberta talent and over the next few months, I will introduce you to some of my favourites.


    Today, I'd like to introduce you to Bonnie and her shop, Stufd.

    Monsters! from Stufd Blog



    1.     Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about how you started creating.

    My name is Bonnie & I am a full time office administrator whom in my spare time, raises 4 kids, 2 cats, and sock monsters, with my awesome hubby :)
    I have ALWAYS been a crafty lady, love painting, crocheting, scrapbooking, sewing, any crafts! In January of 2009 I started out making a few little sock buddies, just as a hobby,  and I haven't quit since.
    Their interesting characteristics, names, and stories have taken over, and leave me daydreaming about them morning, noon, and night!


    2.     What inspired you to move from creating as a hobby to creating as a business?

    I love the reaction and smiles I get from people when they squeeze a little monster :)They are truly unique and fun. I decided to try out a market in Innisfail, my home town, and then moved on to a few bigger markets from there. I never personally thought of selling them, but I had the odd request after posted a few pics on facebook, which then lead to the odd market, Christmas markets, and Etsy!


    3.     Show us a few of your favourite pieces and why they are your favourite.

    My current monster count is around 1800 or so, and I have had ALOT of favorites. Sometimes faceless incomplete monsters win me over, and I think... I need to keep this. But my darling hubby reminds me that I cannot have a hoard of sock monsters, so currently I have 2 main monster men. Dinnon, was my original.. I cannot let go of this monster. And to this day, I am so sad to say that I lost him  I took him to Invermere with me a couple of New Years ago, and I think at a pit stop in Canmore at Tim Hortons, he jumped out of the car. Must have seen a mountain sheep or something, and I haven’t seen him since.
    Din, Klip in Black and Domo - photo courtesy Stufd

            Above is a pic of Din, and his buddy Klip in Black, and some of you may know Domo, not a creation of mine

    Sherman - read his adventures on the Stufd Blog
           Sherman is now my main monster man, and travels with me most places  You can read about his adventures on my blog.


    4.     What does shop local mean to you and why is it important?

    Buying handmade and supporting local talent is extremely important, and I try to do it as much as I can! They are unique items that you will not find at a local chain store. Alot of artisans, myself included, cannot compete with big stores such as walmart, but our products are by far more superior for quality,  with great attention to detail. Buying local, handmade items supports your community, it’s more environmentally friendly, and not to mention you are getting unique personalized gifts.
    Bruins Hockey Fan - (Sorry, SOLD)


    5.    Is there any one moment or experience in developing your art or your business that stands out in your mind? Why?

    The first market I attended in Red Deer, I sold 6 monsters, and it was awesome! It’s a great feeling when you find that people love your work as much as you do. I was NERVOUS, but my sister came with me. Everything about the day was awesome!

    My favorite market story... is when a dad and his 2 kids were at my table browsing at monsters, when the dad picked up a little red striped guy and said, we will get this one for your baby (brother) I believe. As I was putting the monster in the bag, I introduced his monster to him and said... your monsters name is Stan. And he looked at me funny and said.. my name is Stan. ha Guess they were meant to be! Every market I do, is an awesome experience. I get great feedback, and I have met sooooo many awesome people! It is way more fun than my day job! My hubby also does markets and sales with me, so it’s awesome to spend that extra time together, and he enjoys it just as much as I do.
    Shoobin - FOR SALE


    6.     Do you have any of your pieces in a local shop or in an artisan market? Tell us where and when.

    Currently I do not have any monsters outside of etsy. I have done the odd Red Deer Market this summer, but it’s been a busy time, and nothing has been consistent. I have had them in a local Innifail shop, as well as Rocky Mountain House, and Drayton Valley . Currently I am stock piling for my first Christmas Sale of the year, Our Best To You, in Red Deer at the Westerner (October 26-28, 2012). I am hoping to have 250 monsters up for adoption that weekend
    FOR SALE here
     NOTE: Bonnie has a second shop, SNOTTUB, where she sells cute little buttons (or magnets) with incredibly cute & funny statements.

    Thanks, Bonnie for sharing a little about your story with us!


    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    WIP Wednesday - September 19

    Another week gone by and I'm spending more time in the sewing room as the garden is slowly cleaned up and put to bed for winter.

    We are expecting another grandchild in October and in anticipation of this wonderful event, big sister Penny has moved in with her even bigger sister, Isabelle and is in need of a quilt for her new bed. Earlier this summer, I picked up this assortment of pink, purple and orange fabrics that I thought would suit this sweet little girl's bubbly personality.

    This week, I cut each of those fat quarters of fabric into 5" charm squares and played with a few arrangements on the quilt design wall. Right now, they are arranged "Sudoko" style in groups of 9.

    I'm not sure this is the final layout, but I'm sure whatever the final arrangement is, it will be bright and very girly! (I wonder if this is my subconscious making up for the fact that I only had boys to sew for!)

    Have a great rest of the week!

    Linking up with
    Quiltsy WIP #28
    Needle and Thread Network WIP #57

    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    WIP Wednesday - September 12

    Aaahhh! It feels so good to have a bit of a schedule back again. Today was sewing day with two of my best quilting buddies. After a whole summer of not being able to get together, it was great to catch up on the latest and see what everyone was working on.
    All the colours of the rainbow
     My friend Marie was working on a quilt top that she started on a trip to Seattle last year and the colours and precision piecing on this quilt were absolutely amazing! She is one very talented quilter and I am so glad I get to peek at what she's creating.
    Pillow Shams
    Louise was busy with half-square triangles (she's been doing a lot of them lately!) and had a great start on a pair of pillow shams for in her bedroom. I love her bright colour choices and can't wait to see the bed runner she wants to make next.
    Just keep sewing, sewing, sewing
    I thought I would complete this quilt top in the morning and have time for starting another quilt this afternoon, but today was not the day that everything fit together easily and I spent a great deal of time ripping out stitches and redoing seams to make everything line up properly. The fabric is an awesome line called Etchings, by 3Sisters from Moda.
    Triple Irish Chain - FOR SALE
    How about you? What are you working on this week?


    Linking up with:
    Quiltsy WIP Wednesday #27
    The Needle and Thread Network WIP #56

    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Guest Room Make Over

    Out of the way and private in the basement, this room was claimed by our oldest son when we moved here. He change the lighting from fluorescent fixtures in the drop-down ceiling to recessed potlights, added a dimmer switch and painted the trim a beautiful royal blue. When he left for college, the next oldest promptly moved out all his brother's belongings, painted the walls chocolate brown, and moved his stuff in. And life was good and these two found awesome women, got married moved out and are living their happily ever after.
    Chocolate brown walls
    Wall graffiti
    The youngest son was happily living in an upstairs bedroom, but when his messy bedroom became too much to look at on a daily basis, he was moved downstairs into the vacant room while he was away one summer. Because he's a musician in the military reserves, his curtains were made from camo fabric. But this summer he moved out, and, well, some of his stuff went with him, and I took the opportunity to re-do this room into a more permanent guest room space.
    Bright and light
    Still need to add wall art here (and curtains)
    Desk and closet
    I still need to work on curtains for the window and for the closet door, but it's a brighter space and we've already had guests here to test it out. It was fun to re-do a space, spending a little on paint, but most of the other decor items were re purposed from other areas of the house. You'll probably see more photos of this space in the future as I plan on using it to photograph my quilts.

    How about you? Have you re-done a room in your house? Used what you have in new ways to refresh a space?