Category Archives: Handmade Goods

Updates

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A few weeks ago I decided that I would try and get a lot of the “business side” of the business set up before I open my Etsy Shop.  I figured this would help me stay organized and get all the pesky things done, so that I can focus on the “creative side” of the business.  Of course I will still have to do bookkeeping, inventory, and the like once up and running, but the big stuff will be taken care of.

It sounds nerdy and lame, but I am pretty pumped that I got my EIN, I registered under a fictitious name, I opened a business bank account to keep the finances in order, and I received my Sales Tax License.  I have a few other things to do like set up my bookkeeping system, start a facebook page, order shipping supplies, print Business Cards, photograph finished products, and create listings.  Phew that sounds like a lot, but totally doable.

In the meantime, I also worked on a few bags.  I most definitely want to have more ready to list by the time I open, but if not I can always list them later.  I have a big goal.  Sometimes I try to trick myself with my goals.  For instance, my intended date for the Grand Opening is June 1st.  I am going to try with all my might to make that happen.  I pretty much gave myself a month, which to some may seem like a lot of time, but I know what I want to accomplish and what I have to do, and a month isn’t really that much time.  But I knew that if I set the date further on down the road it would give me an excuse to procrastinate and I have procrastinated long enough.  If I don’t make it June 1st, and I sure am going to try, I won’t beat myself.  I’ll just open June 2nd;)

All my self trickery makes me think of that cheesy quote that goes something like this “Reach for the moon, because even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”.  Although when I think about it, stars are farther away than the moon, so you would actually be landing in the clouds, and if clouds are how I imagine them to be(unfortunately they aren’t) that would be a cushy landing.  Not so bad.  I’m rambling.  The point is to dream BIG!

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Deconstruct to Reconstruct

Sounds like a slogan!  Here are some progress shots.

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Hand dyed and deconstructed jeans to repurpose into bags.  I even salvaged the zippers to use for pockets.

This week is going to be super busy, so I really have to put my nose to the grindstone.  Wish me loads of energy!

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To Mom, With Love

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If you recall, my sister purchased a cross-body satchel(I get a kick out of that word) that I admired.  I couldn’t get enough of all the pockets.  So with an old pair of men’s short shorts I created my own.

Well it just so happened that our Mom loved the bag as well.  She searched high and low, but nary a purse was found.  To be honest I don’t know how hard she looked, but she couldn’t find one.  This is were I came in.  I figured I would make one for her, using salvaged material.

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The leather is from an old jacket I found at Goodwill and the lining is from a thrifted skirt.  When I gave it to my Mom she exclaimed “Oh I have been looking for a bag like this!  Thank you.  You did a really good job.”  So I think it’s safe to say she likes it, and not just because her daughter made it.

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Motivation

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I think a bug bit me or this little gnome lit a fire under my haunches, because I have been feeling super motivated and inspired lately.  Not that I am a lazy slob otherwise.  I work hard, but I’m the type of person when I start to feel too overwhelmed with work and things I have to get done, I just shut down.  Which then leads to me mentally berating myself for not working harder, because it seems everyone else works, works, works!  But I know my limits after a hard lesson learned.  Plus I don’t want to live to work. Where is the fun in that?  Unless you love your work, than cheers to you.  I, however, do not at the moment.

What I am loving is this new vim and vigor I have got going.  I’ve got a plan and it is time to execute it.  I’m not sure if it is the refreshing weather(It’s the first year in a while that we have actual spring temperatures during spring and not summer temps.  It’s PA for Pete’s sake!) or the information I have read on selling handmade goods and starting my own business, but I am ready to go.  I just hope this lasts and keeps me going, because I know how I can get.

This is what I plan and I am posting it here because some have said that when you tell others about your plans it makes you more accountable.  I can already attest to this because R is on my case.  In a very good and supportive way.

Here it goes:

-Have my Etsy store up and running by the end of May.  This means I really need to step up production.

-Look into and sign up for craft shows.

-Continue to learn and grow my business.

-Post more on this blog, about my progess, my products, side projects(A girls gotsta stay sane), any handmade news, and other diddies I wish to share.

So there you have it.  Let’s do it!  Well, I’ll do it rather.

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Another Diddie

A couple weeks ago I posted a necklace I made for my oldest friend.  In this post I mentioned also making her another diddy.  Well, I finally finished it and sent off the package.  I decided I would make her a small cross-body satchel.

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I want to open an Etsy store(I have been saying this for a while, but once I figure out what I want to call my brand, it’s totally happening) with the different bags/purses I have been making.  I wanted to get her opinion and I figured what better way than to give her a bag I made.  I insisted that she be honest, I am all for constructive criticism.  She was and it was all good.

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I dyed an old pair of R’s jeans, hand painted the gold stripes(although I came up with a more time saving technique if I decide to do something like that in the future)  and used part of a second hand leather jack for added detail.  Even though I bought the lining at Joann Fabrics, it was from the remnant pile so I feel like it still sort of remains true to my idea of recycling the materials.  The chain and zipper’s are new.

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I thought it turned well. Maybe not every ones taste, but structurally I feel it is pretty sound.

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Tell me what you think.

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Productivity

A couple of weekends ago, my productivity saw no bounds.  Well perhaps some because there is only so much you can do in 48 hours.  I crafted until my back formed a dowagers hump and my eye sockets ached.  It was the best!

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First up, a slouchy hat.  I crocheted a couple for my sisters for christmas and decided I wanted to try making my own pattern.  It took a few attempts.  But I ended up with something I am pretty pleased with.

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Mind the eye.

I already have ideas of how I can make it better next time.  I think it might involve even more clusters.  Perhaps I shall name it the General Cluster.  Yes? No?

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I totally feel like Mary Tyler Moore except without the pom pom and the flawless coiffure.

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Finit!

Enough said.

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Handmade Goods

My sister asked me to make her a couple of things after I showed her some of the work I have been doing.  I happily agreed.  She wanted a coin purse size of the love birds I posted a little while back.  I switched up the colors and changed the color of the zipper to give it a little more color.

She also asked me to make her a sunglass case to fit her large and eccentric shades.  So I came up with this little ditty.  I liked how it turned out and I am thinking about expanding and including these into my product line.  Whenever that happens.

I am excited to give them to her, and get her feedback.  Have a lovely day.

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Goals Update

I have begun working on my 4 goals before 2013.  I finished a couple bags this weekend.  Two of which my sister A ordered.  I will have photos later.  It sounds silly, but I really love making these bags.  Sometimes it can be stressful, but for the most part when I get in the zone it calms me and even gives me energy.  I am so excited for what is yet to come in this regard.

I also began research into turning my crafts into a small handmade business.  I bought and started reading this book today.

I am almost done.  I appreciate the writing.  It’s quick and witty, making for an enjoyable and informative read.  It provides a lot of useful information for turning your handmade wares into a business.  Plus it doesn’t sugar coat things.  I will continue to refer to it as I embark on my own business journey.

I hope your weekend was rad.  Later.

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Project update: Messenger Bag

If you remember I gave you a few snap shots in a previous post hinting at what I was working on.  Over the weekend I finished the project and I have the final images for you today.  May I present to you the Khaki Messenger Bag.

 The outer shell was made from R’s discarded khaki’s.  The lining is from a pair of teal colored Thai Fisherman’s pants that my sister E gave to me.  It’s the same material as the straps.  For the pocket’s I used the scraps from a sweater I repurposed a while back.

I used some metal loops to create the adjustable strap.  Although I am never truly satisfied with what I make, I am fairly pleased with how this turned out.

 I have to say, that I just love crafting.  The one evening I came home from work in a funk and I started to work on this bag.  Nearly instantly I was in a better mood.  It was as if my care’s were lifted off of me.  Who else feels this way when they work on their craft?  It is a wonderful feeling.

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