Monday, August 27, 2007

Occupational Hazard

Who would have known that handbag creation could be such a dangerous occupation! My poor right hand is a complete mess. I've been doing a lot of hand sewing to complete the flowers that I've been adding to some of my bags. Last Friday, I shoved a needle under my thumbnail. And, I'm not talking about the small sharp end. I mean the large dull eye of the needle. By the time I went to bed on Friday night, it was throbbing! I had to take a couple ibuprofen so I could fall asleep!

Yesterday I poked a hole in the tip of my thumb. I didn't even notice until I found a spot of blood on the button I was sewing on. Had to scrap the button, find a band-aid and make a new one. Today I found a sore spot on my middle finger, too.

Note to self: Buy a freakin' thimble!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Featured Seller: Sweet Bonny

I've been meaning to post about one of my favorite Etsy sellers for a few days now and haven't gotten it done. So, I scrolled through my past purchases and found Sweet Bonny. I bought these cards a while back and love, love, love them!Unfortunately, I only have one left! So, I've been stalking the Sweet Bonny shop for days trying to decide what I want next. Here are some of my favorites:
And, no matter what cards I get, I am definitely adding on a peacock bookmark!

I just love the artwork on all her things, and I'm all about the bright, bold colors. How am I going to decide?

Monday, August 20, 2007

I've been tagged!

I was tagged by JessiLynn for this fun little blurb. I'm going to play even though I hate to reveal my middle name!

Here are the rules:1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.3. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

Introverted - Now, people who know me really well would probably not say that I'm shy, however, I am truly an introvert. In fact, my personality test results prove it! I am horrible at small talk and am not one to initiate conversation with a stranger. I'm working to improve on that! But, once you get to know me -- watch out! You can't get me to shut up!

Loyal - When I make a friend, they are usually a friend for life. I still remember many of the good friends I had as a kid in elementary school and love to find out what they have been up to. I am also quick to defend people or companies or places that I feel a connection to.

Easily-amused - It doesn't take much to make me smile. That is probably why I love playing with my son's Webkinz. (Okay, I admit that I have one of my own, too!) It also explains why I bought this for my sister's new baby!

Nerdy - I am a total bookworm and all around nerd. I'm interested in some of the silliest things that other people just don't get.

Energetic - I truly cannot sit still. It is impossible for me to just sit and watch television. I have to keep my hands busy with sewing or reading or some other project.

So, there you have it! My middle name is "Ilene". I am going to tag:

Sweet Spice

Preparing for craft shows

I am planning to sell at three craft shows this fall - Berean Country Fair on October 13, Halstead Fine Arts & Crafts Festival on October 20 and See 'N Sell on November 17. My sister will be joining me at most if not all of the shows, and we are really looking forward to each of them.

Our goal for this year is to make our booth look more professional and eye-catching. All three shows are indoors, so, fortunately, we don't need to worry about a tent. We have been discussing and buying all sorts of display items.

One of the main things we wanted was table cloths that all matched! I searched and searched for heavy duty polyester knit fabric to use. I found a couple resources, but then on Saturday, my mom and I were shopping at Sam's. We found packs of three restaurant style table cloths for about $22! These were huge cloths, too, so they were a great deal. I also bought some dark pink knit fabric at JoAnn's to use for draping on our display.

I've been seeing the neatest pennant banners on people's booths and decided that I want to make my own. I bought about five different coordinating print fabrics and some bias tape at JoAnn's this weekend. I'm hoping to get to that project before October!

Hobby Lobby had floral stems on sale last week for 50% off, so I bought a handful of bright colored long-stemmed Gerbera daisies to use for additional decoration.

Probably the thing I am most excited about is that I have signed up for Propay so I can accept credit cards at the shows. I am very curious to see how much this will help our sales.

Hopefully, I am planning far enough ahead, for once! I'm sure I will still be scrambling at the last minute!

Friday, August 17, 2007

My new nephew!

Introducing nephew #5 for me! Layton Todd was born last night (8/16) at 10:21 pm. He weighed in at 8 lbs 6 oz and measured 19.5 inches long. He such a little angel!

Although his aunt told him he could call his new cousin L.T., my son insists that he is going to call him "Happy Feet".

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Book Review

Last weekend I finished The Crafts Business Answer Book by Barbara Brabec. I was really pleased with the information that I was able to gather from this book. It is set up as a reference book. Every topic is listed in alphabetical order, so it's quite easy to go through and find information on a particular topice. However, it is also a book that can be read from cover to cover, which is what I did. (I will admit to skipping over some topics that didn't pertain to my situation.)

Brabec's style is quite conversational, and she provides a lot of practical advice for anyone who is getting started in the craft business. The book covers topics ranging from marketing to accounting to legal issues to pricing and shipping. There is a lot of general advice, but she does provide many resources so that a reader can further investigate various topics on her own.

I had several "a-ha!" moments as I read this book, and it prompted me to take several actions to make my business more professional. I would recommend this book for someone who is getting started in the craft business. Many of the questions answered were questions I didn't even know I had!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Mail Day!

I am a complete mail junkie! There is nothing I love more than getting mail. I get excited about all kinds of mail - email, junk mail, voice mail (except work ones). My favorite though is definitely snail mail! I got four packages today. Including one I'd almost forgotten I ordered.These knitted baby booties arrived from Knit Style. They are absolutely so adorable and soft. My sister is scheduled to be induced on Thursday, so I'm expecting my new nephew soon. These are going to look so sweet on those teeny tiny feet!

These burpcloths also arrived today from jr designs. Also a gift for the little guy! My sister already has a little girl, but I know she needs some stuff that isn't pink. These will be perfect!

My other two packages contained three back issues of Adorn Magazine which I've already flipped through, Sew Easy Bags by Linda Lee and the newest Jasper Fforde book, First Among Sequels. So, I've definitely got some reading to do!

I'm still waiting on a couple more packages from Etsians that I ordered late last week. It should be a good mail week!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Purse Posies

Here's how I've been spending most of my lunch hours lately! Stitching and watching HGTV. These cute little flowers all have pins on the back so they can be used to embellish anything from purses to sweaters to denim jackets. There's a Purse Posy on each of my Villette Bags, but I thought it would be fun to make individual ones, as well.

I'm planning to have these available at the craft shows I'm doing this fall. I may also be contributing some to The Sampler in the future.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Introducing.... Cheeto!

I have a little tiny baby perched on my lap as I type. He was rescued off the interstate yesterday and is our newest family member. He spent the night at the animal hospital, but is doing great today, and I got to bring him home! My son has named him Cheeto, and I am totally in love. He is just so miniature!

Updates coming...

I haven't updated all week, and I'm feeling a bit guilty.

In an attempt to efficiently work a fulltime "regular" job and grow my purse business, I've been trying to work on "fun" business during my lunch hour. I've been sewing little "purse posies" while I sit in our break room at work and watch HGTV. I'm going to post some pictures, but I keep forgetting to take the photos! (I am adding this to my to-do list.)

My co-worker found a kitten on the interstate yesterday, and I agreed to keep him. He's been at the vet since 8:30 yesterday morning. We were a bit concerned that he wasn't going to live, but this morning, the vet said I could take him home today. (More pictures to take.)

I'm currently reading The Craft Business Answer Book by Barbara Brabec. It's been really helpful, and I'll be posting a review when I'm done.

My sister and I are planning to do two craft shows this fall. We've done shows in the past, but we are focusing on our booth presentation this year. My plan for my lunch hour today is go to the local second hand and antique stores and try to find some inspiring pieces to use for our display. (Will post pictures if I find something.)

So, there are lots of good things coming to purse-onality, I've just got to get them done!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Featured Seller: Sugar and Spice

Sugar and Spice is one of my favorite sellers on Etsy. Christine creates the most adorable vintage look ragdolls and the quality is absolutely top-notch! Each little beauty is handmade and just too sweet for words!

My first purchase from Sugar and Spice was a doll for my niece Reese's second birthday. I was completely impressed by the quality and the fast shipping! Reese's doll is going to be a very special keepsake.

I'm very tempted to add one of her Halloween dolls to my collection of Halloween decorations. I only have a son, so I get pretty excited about an excuse to buy dolls!

I also just saw this adorable sock monkey pillow on her site. I may need to get that for my nephew who will be arriving in the next couple of weeks!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Sampler

So, I recently found out about The Sampler, and I am soooo excited! What an incredible concept. Why can't I ever come up with one of those totally amazing ideas?

Anyhoo, despite (or perhaps in spite of) some skepticism from the hubby, I am jumping in with both feet and have commited to contribute at least 25 of my Itsy Bitsy Bags for the October Sampler and the same amount for the Holiday Sampler. Now, like I told Alison at The Sampler, if I get crazy industrious, I may send more.

So far, I'm not having any problem getting these little babies cranked out. I just hate to commit to more than I know I can do. Whenever I start getting behind on my deadlines, I have these horrible nightmares where I'm back in high school or college and have a major paper due in 15 minutes that I haven't started on. Anyone who knew me when I was in school will totally understand how horrifying that thought is to me.

Friday, August 3, 2007

In my mailbox

I love being a part of the Willow Fabric Co-op! Yesterday a priority mail box full of these very fabulous fabrics showed up on my front porch!

I'm already thinking about what kind of bag each one needs to be made into!

They are sitting in a very delicious pile on my table waiting to be matched with lining fabric and cut up into pieces! The hardest thing for me is that I get so much fabric, that I can't keep up with the influx! I really need to use up what I have before I buy more, but where is the fun in that?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My Studio

This is my "studio". It looks a lot like my dining room table covered with sewing stuff. I have to admit that I tidied it up a bit before I took the photo. It's usually a bit of a mess.

The oak table belonged to my grandma. It is nice and big, so I have plenty of room to work. I'm also an avid scrapbooker, so I would love to have my own room, but this is a nice alternative. I'm able to work on my projects, but still be in the same room with my family. My husband's not crazy about the racket that the sewing machine makes, but he can always turn up the volume on the T.V.

I have some very sophisticated tools that I use to create my purses! These canned foods act as weights to hold my patterns in place as I cut them out with my Olfa rotary cutters.

I use quilter's template plastic to make my patterns. They stand up much better than the tracing paper I used to use. Cutting the pieces out with a rotary cutter is the best change I ever made in my process! I can cut through so many layers at once, and it goes so much faster. Cutting used to be my least favorite part of sewing, but I don't mind it a bit anymore!

Since I found Etsy, I've started a small pincushion collection. Here are a couple of my favorites. The round one is made by Loose String. Her work is just beautiful and I'm so pleased with how big and useable this one is! The teacup pincushion is from Pincushion Alley. I collect Blue Willow china, so I sent Natalie one of my teacups, and she turned it into a pincushion! I love the bold fabric that she chose for the cushion. This one fits nicely into two of my collections!

Of course, the most important piece of equipment I own is my Singer 7466. I bought this machine back in May and have not looked back. It is so easy to use and does everything I need for it to do.

Welcome & an Introduction

My name is Becky, and I am the owner, designer, creator, seamstress, shipper and bookkeeper for BeckyKay Designs. My business is based out of my living room in a small town in south central Kansas. My goal is to create fun, functional handbags that won't cost you an arm and a leg. I work very hard to produce quality bags that anyone can afford.

I began sewing purses about two years ago. I bought a purse pattern so I could make a purse for a gift. Then I made another and another and another. I didn't want to stop making purses, but I couldn't keep giving my mother, sister, friends and in-laws purses for every major holiday. I knew that I could sell the purses I made, so I came up with my own designs and began to produce them. Last year, my sister and I had a booth at our local fine arts and crafts festival. I felt like it was a huge success for me, but figured I would have to wait until this fall before I would be able to sell them again at this and other craft shows.

The day I found Etsy, everything changed. I was amazed that this site would allow me to essentially have my own website for such a minimal fee! I started listing and promoting and selling. I have been on Etsy since the end of January and have sold over 50 items! Who would have the guessed? The other thing Etsy has done for me is give me the confidence and motivation to keep working on my craft.

So, I'm going to blog about my craft, my Etsy obsession and whatever else comes to my mind! I hope it will be entertaining and a little bit informative!