One of my best customers!

Today I received a text from the mother of one of my best customers!  I guess you’d actually say her mom is my best customer, but Sloane loves wearing the aprons and hair clips I’ve made her.  Last year I made her this short apron.

  

Last week I made her a full length apron – the first one I’ve made.  Here is a picture of her today wearing her apron to make cupcakes!  Isn’t she the best model?!

I love making aprons – they are so much fun and there are so many beautiful fabrics to choose from.  I have a bunch of them posted on my Etsy site, but if there are colors and patterns you like I can custom make one for you.  This week I will be making one for my friend Heather to wear in her new cake shop which you can read about here and here.

My Sewing/Craft Room

As a rule I hate clutter – I love things in their proper place (ask the people I work with full-time and they will tell you I notice right away if someone has taken a pen from my pen cup).  But…I can definitely tell when I’m in the middle of several projects at once.  And that epiphany came earlier when I took these pictures of my sewing/craft room (what a mess).

This is my sewing/craft table.

My reading chair that is a “fabric holder” right now.

Another view of the table, plus a storage drawer thingy.  On the floor in one bag is new fabric I just bought (needs to be washed) and Easter grass for baskets and such.

Hanging on one of the hooks of the 4 cute dresses on the wall is an “in process” mobile – I’ve been hand cutting butterflies because I do not yet have a Cricut.  Hanging on the chair is a doggy fleece I’ve been making for 2 months – the straps that go under the belly need to be adjusted and I just haven’t done it yet.

Below are Minnie Mouse heads made out of styrofoam that I made as a “sample” for a 1st birthday party.  They can be used as centerpieces or we can make them into “magic wands” for the bigger kids.

You will also notice my teddy bear that is not yet finished.  Oh this guy has given me a run for my money.  He is the 3rd pattern I’ve tried.  I really, really want to make some bears, but they are kicking my butt!  I don’t like the way his snout turned out and that’s his tail between his legs right now.  All the yellow on the table are birthday party gift bags I’m making (50 of them) for another 1st birthday party.

The flowered item on the table is a full apron I made for a co-worker’s daughter.  It has her name in sparkly glitter fabric paint on the upper pocket.  The mass of yellow goes with the gift bags for the birthday party.

Before this was my craft room it was my reading room (although I read in bed more than I read in here).  So, I still have some of my books on this bookshelf, but I’ve added lots of sewing related books and craft stuff that I need.  I have several finished products on the shelves too (waiting to find their forever home on Etsy).  On top of the bookshelves are my labeled plastic bins so I know quickly where things are.  And to the left you will see my handmade ribbon holder which has been great!  I can easily access what I need and I just use a small pin to keep them from being messy.

For the record, my room does not typically look like this except when I’m in the middle of projects.  Tonight before I go to bed it will be nice and neat.  It just so happens this was a 3 day weekend for me (thank you George Washington and those that came after you) so I was up to my eyeballs in stuff.  But throughout the week it’s nice and neat because, as my mother always said to my brother and me growing up – you never know who will stop by. (BTW…I’ll be 42 this year and I’m still trying to figure out why we had to make our bed before school because if anyone stopped by while we were at school and my mom was at work I think we might have had bigger problems than that.)

I have read that a cluttered work space is a sign of creativity – I agreea little.  I like things to be neat so that I can focus and have a clear head to finish the projects to the best of my ability.  It’s almost 10:00 pm so I need to go finish cleaning everything up so I can head to bed and read the great crafting blogs I love to follow.  I try to read at least 15 minutes a night.

Lots to do…one thing finished!

So glad to have a 3 day weekend (thank you George Washington)!  I have lots to do and only finished one thing!  I had covered a wreath with white grosgrain ribbon about a month or so ago and have been looking at it ever since to determine how I was going to decorate it.  I finally decided tonight to make it an Easter wreath.  I searched the web for inspiration and decided to cover it with pink Easter grass, small plastic Easter eggs, and a little pom-pom Easter Bunny head.  I think it turned out great if I do say so myself!  I will take a much better photo of it tomorrow so I can post it on my Etsy site.  But, at 9:00 pm at night I’m lacking the natural light that comes in through the windows during the day.  I will probably hang it on the front door to take it’s picture tomorrow.

I was going to make a trip to the store today to get some black latex paint to make a second attempt at painting some styrofoam balls to make Minnie Mouse heads, but I took my mother to see an awesome performance of Alvin Ailey’s Dance Company at the wonderful Fox Theatre in Atlanta today and it was way more important than black paint.  I will be making at least one Minnie Mouse head as a demo to show a friend for her daughter’s upcoming 1st birthday party.  I made Minnie Mouse head invitations for her based on links she sent me from the web.

I will also be cutting out lots of large triangles to sew together for another friend’s child’s birthday party.  They will be made into “penalty flag” goody bags.  I will make a handful tomorrow moring and send her a picture to see if we are on the right track.

The awesome thing about not having my own kids is I can help other people with birthday celebrations all year long and not just once with a child of my own.

And oh gosh…I have a kissing ball to finish – I’ve been putting pretty pink and green ribbons on my styrofoam ball.  A teddy bear to finish.  A teddy bear to rip seems out of and fix up.  Two full aprons to make (my first attempt at the full aprons) – one for mom and one for daughter.  I wonder what else is on my unfinished list – this surely can’t be all of it!

 

Well…*fingers crossed* I actually get stuff done!

Aprons runneth over…

If you don’t know already, I help my friend Heather (yes – even another Heather than the one I’ve mentioned in previous posts) at the local Marietta Square Farmers Market from April-September/October.  I. LOVE. IT! First, I love her products – Rinse Bath & Body. Second, I have met some of the most amazing people while working the booth.  Third, it gets me out of the house on a Saturday morning instead of sleeping too late. Oh…and this might be one of the best things – it’s located right next to Sugar Cakes Patisserie located in the center of Marietta Square and they offer up some yummy breakfast options when I am there early in the a.m.

Last year I decided I would like to have an apron I can wear to keep my money close by and just make it easy to keep up with the things I need to operate the booth.  So I made an apron.  Well…here’s what that ONE apron turned into.  ONE apron has turned into a pile o’ aprons!  I have them listed on my Etsy site (and if you remember – I give 10% of everything I sell to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation).

 

Here are 2 bright, fun aprons that are perfect for spring and maybe an afternoon tea party with friends!

 

I’ve sold a few to friends for their young daughters so they can feel grown up and help in the kitchen.  This weekend I will be working on 2 full-length aprons for a mother and daughter.  I have lots of fun colors to chose from.

Do you believe in small business?

Do you believe that small business and entrepreneurship is important to the future of the U.S.?  Do you believe that small business helps provide jobs and helps the economy?  I DO!

I told you about my friend Heather’s business recently (Extreme Cakes by Heather).  She just signed the lease on a store front for her cake business.  The rent is reasonable, but there is a lot of work to be done to get it ready and all the while she still has cakes to make.

If you are someone who supports small business and you click the “LIKE” button on Facebook anytime the American Express Small Business Saturday events come up – then I need your help (well, my friend needs your help).  She has set up a site on GoFundMe to raise working capital for her new business.  Heather and I are alike in that we are both hard-working girls who believe in going after your dream.  I worked for a year and a half to put together a plan to buy my salon and finally signed papers in the fall of 2006.  It wasn’t the success (I had to close it in 2008) I had hoped for – but I had a dream and I went after it and I hope to do it again one day.

When I closed my salon I made a personal vow to myself to help anyone I know who has a small business or the dream of having one.  Heather’s creativity when it comes to cake decorating is amazing!  Here is one of the recent ones she made which I love (I have a soft spot for Coach handbags).

 

If you’d like to support Heather – ever dollar counts – please use this link to do so.  Please consider giving just a few dollars to see someone’s dream come true and also to help stimulate the economy (she is helping by taking an empty building and making it generate income for the landlord and for her, she will be able to employ people as she grows her business, she will be buying supplies, paying utilities and the list goes on of ways she will be part of the growth of our economy).

Please know that I do not endorse people freely – you have to earn my trust and I have to know you are worth endorsing.  I’ve known Heather for well over (oh god – I can’t believe I’m admitting this) 20 years and she is one person I would stand behind over and over again!

Wickedly Wooden

Yesterday I highlighted my friend’s new cake business.  Today I’d like to tell you about my brother’s (Scott) wood carving business.  My brother and his girlfriend (Nicole) are so talented I cannot even contain myself when it comes to their work!

They have a Facebook page where they can tell all their friends and fans about new pieces of work and an Etsy shop.  They hand carve beautiful pieces of wood into magnificent works of art.  If only I was half as talented!

Scott has been what I consider a gifted artist for as long as I can remember.  He was always drawing and he made some amazing pieces in his high school art class – some were featured in our local library at the time.  I also remember a time that while bored in class he started drawing on his pants – his teacher ended up giving him an “A” for those pants!

Throughout the years my brother has created many beautiful pen and ink drawings, pencil drawings and an array of other things.  A few years ago he started to do some wood carving and it has now turned into a side business (he’d love for it to be full-time, but there are bills to pay so for now he will continue to work his full-time job).  Scott and Nicole now do some arts and craft festivals, weather permitting in Maine, to show off their talents and sell their beautiful work.

You can learn a little bit more about how they got started by checking out their website – Wickedly Wooden.

Here is a glimpse of some work they have done.

Angels:

 

Running Man necklace: 

 

 Double Wave:

    

Art work I love:

 

As a previous small business owner myself I strongly believe in and support small business and entrepreneurship.  I will be featuring some of my favorites from time to time and I hope you will help support them as well.  Small business is what keeps America going and without it we will not thrive!

Welcome to my Craft Corner!

Some of you may already be following me on my “regular” blog – http://geminired.wordpress.com/.  Over there I write about anything and everything, but I’ve been creating so many things lately and following so many wonderful craft blogs that I thought I should create a Craft Corner where I can keep you posted on what I’ve been up to.

First, I’d like to give a “plug” to all the blogs I’ve started following over the past several months, and of course if you have any you’d like to share with me feel free to leave me a comment.  I’m always looking for something good to read and fresh inspiration!

On my iPhone and iPad I use FeeddlerPro to follow blogs and it’s great to have them all in one place.  I can sort by unread and I can even “star” an item so I can find it later.

Here are the names of the blogs I am currently following:

Altered to Perfection

American Felt and Craft – The Blog

ArtMind

At Second Street

Bits of Everything

Carina Gardner

So Craftalicious

Craftiness is Not Optional

CraftStylish

Crafty Storage

Craftzine.com

Creative Juices

Do it Yourself Divas

Felt So Cute

Freckled Nest

Freebies for Crafters

Greedy for Colour

Greenbean’s Crafterole

House of Smith’s

How About Orange

I Heart Nap Time

iCandy Handmade

Lines Across My Face

Linsey’s Crafty Blog – FYI…I recently won a PRIZE by commenting on one of Linsey’s posts. Woohoo.  You can find my name here!

Lisa’s Craft Blog

Little Birdie Secrets

Little Things Bring Smiles

Make it Do

Markham Street Design

Moxie Fab World

Mummas Time to Create

My Creative Reality

Oh, How Pinteresting!

Our Seven Dwarfs

Paper Crafts Connection

Pin and Paper

Poppies at Play

Positively Splendid (Crafts, Sewing, Recipes and Home Decor)

Recycled Crafts

Screen Prints blog

See Kate Sew

Shelterness

Skip to my Lou

Studio Calico

Sugar and Charm

Sunshine Yellow

Sweet ‘n’ Sassy Girls

Sweetly Scrapped

Tatertots & Jello

That’s My Letter

The Crafts Dept.

The Embellished Nest

The Etsy Blog

The Green Dragonfly

The Ribbon Retreat blog

Thefrugalcrafter’s Weblog

Thelongthread.com

Thirty Handmade Days

Today’s Fabulous Finds

Tutorials Crafts Projects Kids Children Handmade

Two Girls Being Crafty

vixenMade

WeAllSew

WhimseyBox

I hope you are able to get as much inspiration from this blogs as I have been.

Let me give you a run-down of some of the things I have been working on lately.  I made a spring wreath out of cupcake papers, and upon seeing that on my Facebook page a friend requested a St. Patrick’s Day wreath out of green and white cupcake papers.  I’ve made X & O framed art out of scrapbook paper and marbles.  I’ve had a few attempts at making a teddy bear.  I’ve made several wall hangings and framed pieces from beautiful scrapbook paper.  I’ve made felt fortune cookies and felt heart “people” magnets.  A friend bought a package of 14 of the heart “people” magents for her daughter’s Valentine’s Day exchange at school.  And today I shipped off 18 Minnie Mouse invitations for my friend’s daughter’s 1st birthday.  Inspiration for those came from pictures she found on the web and on Pinterest.  It was a lot of fun making them.  I really enjoy being able to tap into my creative side after coming home from work.

Until I write individual posts on some of my creations, you can check out my Facebook page – GeminiRed Creations – where I have pictures posted of most of my things.

Lastly, I have a friend who is extremely creative and she is starting a new business venture.  Her name is also Heather (believe it or not I have 3 friends named Heather) and her new business is Extreme Cakes by Heather.  You can find her on Facebook as well.  She is located in CT and I remember the days when we used to make ice cream cakes together at a place called Big Daddy’s in Groton, CT.  She was the decorator – I was only qualified to fill up the cake pans and put them in the freezer.  Heather was talented then and she is even more talented today.  The cakes she has posted on Facebook blow me away.  I wish her well in her new endeavor and if you need a cake and are anywhere near CT you should look her up!!  Here is a picture of cake pops she has been making for Valentine’s Day deliveries.  I will be surprising my Grammy (mom’s mom) and my Grandma & Grandpa (dad’s parents) with these tasty treats on Tuesday.  Just wish I could be there to deliver them in person.