Fall fabrics

I think this may have been the shortest summer ever. We've had TERRIBLE weather here in the Northeast and while fall is definitely my favorite season, I'm not quite ready for it to arrive yet. I still have a closet full of cute sundresses that have barely been worn?

I will always think of fall as symbolizing beginnings. Things have been slow in my shop so I'm going to put a lot of the summer stuff on sale and am currently hard at work on the fall stuff. Here are some of the fabrics that I plan on using for fall bags!


First sale!

I had my first sale in Little Olive Branch! Woohoo! A friend from high school bought my favorite bag in the shop, which she said she'll be giving to her maid of honor as a thank you present. What a great idea!

In other news, a fellow Etsian contacted me about selling my bags in a new boutique she'll be opening that features handmade goods. I'm so honored. :)

I recently bought some new patterns (on Etsy, of course) and am gearing up to make some cute new fall bags. I also purchased some new, fall-themed fabric (darker colors) and am really excited to get sewing. Unfortunately, our dryer is broken at the moment so I'll have to wait... All the fabric needs to be washed and dried first. Fortunately, the repair man is coming today so hopefully I'll be able to start tonight! I'm also working on some cute headbands, wall hangings, and small pouches.


Art in all forms

On a totally un-sewing-related note, I got another tattoo yesterday (only had one before) and I love it! Tattoos fascinate me as an art form. The guy who did mine was the same one who did my first one and he's VERY detail oriented and careful (and clean, for all the germ-phobes). I've been thinking about it for a while and chose to get "Aya" from the Adinkra alphabet as it symbolizes wisdom, resourcefullness, and strength in times of difficulty. It's a fern, and the means really is interpreted from the fact that ferns are capable of growing in even the darkest, dreariest conditions. I'm really happy with how it turned out. What do you think?



Just got a note from Robin at Lollipops and Polka Dots that she loves my stuff and is featuring me on the Etsy Love section her website: http://www.lolidots.com/etsy-love.php. Thanks so much Robin! :-)

I can dream

Before I really start the day, I've been fantasizing about decorating my new apartment (which is yet to exist, mind you). I love these for the bedroom, all from Garnet Hill and Anthropologie (my favorite store EVER):

What's coming...

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on new stuff for fall. I've been really progressing with my quilting (I've finished one completely, as you saw, and have now finished 2 tops and am all set to start cutting a 4th!) and have decided to make wall hangings for my shop. I say wall hangings because I have TONS of beautiful scraps and they'd be perfect for smaller quilts. I like to think I have good taste in color and design (the quilts will be simple but nice) so I'm going to give it a go. My mom, one of the most creative people I know (and the person who turned me on to many of my favorite craft hobbies - she taught me to knit over 10 years ago) is really almost ready to start making stuff for her own shop. She has GREAT taste in design and if she wasn't injured (long-term back injury) and didn't have to work (she's a social worker) I know she'd already have a shop full of beautiful items. She already established her shop name and asthetic - all she has to do is make stuff! Right now we have more fabric in this house than anyone can even imagine.

Speaking of crafting, a woman from my community found my shops on Etsy and emailed me information about a local craft show happening in October. I'm so excited to participate! While I hope to have moved on to NYC by then, I still plan on coming back here just for the show. I need to really make a LOT more in order to have a fully stocked booth (the show is a full Saturday long in a community that's definitely allows people to buy stuff). I'm really excited! I'm going to have a "booth" that's about 4.5 x 8 feet so I'm thinking I need to make a banner for the table. Any suggestions?


Getting out there

One of the toughest things in the online world is making sure people know you exist. Since I've started my shop(s), I've begun using so many different mediums of networking/advertsing to get my name out there, in the hopes that it will "pop" but one never really knows how long that will take. So far I've used Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, developed my own website through Soopsee (and bought the domain name), and obviously through Showcases on Etsy. I also just bought a "spot" on Craft Cult and am thinking about doing the same on Craftopolis since they both report having a lot of traffic. Any other suggestions?

Oh, and for print stuff, I love Moo - I made great MiniCards with images from my time in South Africa. I like to handstamp/make my own hang tags and thank yous but will probably use Moo for that too in the future.


Thanks all!

I've gotten many positive responses to my website - thank you so much for all the feedback! You guys are what drives my creativity. Keep it comin'. :)

I'm starting to think ahead for fall/early winter designs. In my last post, I talked about developing new knitting projects but I didn't mention that I'll be continuing to make sewing projects as well. Here are a few fabrics that I'm thinking of using for new items. Thoughts? Suggestions? All are welcome!

(All fabrics - as you can see - are samples from QuiltHome's website.)


A new hobby begins...

So now that I have finished my first quilt, I think I'm hooked! I also finished the top of another quilt (I know, I know) using Tina Givens fabric (her Zazu line). I'm partial to her stuff, not only because it's awesome but because she's from Southern Africa, a place that holds a special spot in my own heart. (To see more about my time in South Africa last year, please visit my other blog!) Anyway, my Mom bought this pattern from another Etsian and it has GREAT instructions. I finished the top (pictures to come) but think that I'll pay someone to do long-arm quilting on it. The craziness of the prints just scream for something other than quilting around the edges (which is all I'm up to doing).
Anyway, I have 2 more quilts in the works! One is a kit from
Hancocks-Paducah by Timeless Treasures that's called "Central Park" so I'm going to make it for our apartment in anticipation of the big move to NYC. Here's what it's going to look like:

The pattern is free and you can download it at Hancocks-Paducah (which if you're a fabric lover and haven't been to you MUST go to!)

The other quilt will be made using a free pattern by Valori Wells but with Kaffe Fassett/Westminster fabrics. It's mostly blues and greens and is going to be a small lap quilt (about 50" x 50"). That fabric was purchased from Glorious Color and I can't wait for it to get here. All the Westminster artists are just that - amazing fabric that looks like painted art!

My Etsy store desperately needs attention and I plan
on adding the new pics today or tomorrow. I need to also advertise it more - any suggestions?

In other crafty news, fall knitting patterns are starting to emerge and I'm getting so excited! I'm a serious knitter (have been knitting for about 10 years) and it's my true textile love. I'm repacking all my boxes from my move, many of which contain my wool not very carefully packed (they're packed tightly and with cedar blocks but it's SO disorganized!). Time to sort through and get ready for knitting season to begin! (I'm not really a cotton/lightweight yarn knitter so I pretty much knit from September to April and am always itching to get back to it by the end of August). Interweave Knits has the cutest fall patterns. I think I'll make this one first:

Technology update: after reading about it on Etsy, I joined Soopsee AND bought my own domain. You can now visit my store and blog at http://littleolivebranch.com! Woohoo!