Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Etsy Shop

I've been away from blog world for awhile. Not only have I been silent, but I haven't even been checking my favorite blogs except Sumpn Sassy -- can't miss my sassy sister even if the rest of blogland fades away.
Recently I opened a new etsy shop (LittleSassyMini) and moved all my miniature rugs to that shop. And I've been cranking out some mini rugs. I've got some other products I'm working on. I'll let you know when I've mastered that. Busy - busy!

I participated in my first etsy TX one-on-one swap. It gives you a chance to make friends with other Texas etsy-ites. For my gift, I made a tissue cozy and matching cosmetic bag for Judy at

And I received a beautiful necklace and earrings from Cheri at Aren't they gorgeous?! This swap thing is FUN!

Then I made an apron for sweet Susan - to celebrate her birthday and to commemorate her winning a baking contest with her pineapple upside down cupcakes. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out and will be making one for my Little Sassy etsy shop.

Now I'm working on another etsy TX project. It's a promo and sample swap. Everyone makes an item for each of the participants. Then when you sell something in your shop, you add one of the sample items in your shipping package. It's a nice little freebie for your customer and it's great advertising for other etsy Texans.

I was trying to decide what to make. I could just have done the gussied-up matchbooks I usually do for my customers, but I'd like these to be a small sample of my work. It's a lot harder than it might sound to decide on a good - small -- example. My first thought was to make a bookmark with a summer image (flip-flops, glass of lemonade, sunglasses, beach ball) plus some text, but I found that (1) you have to make the text really teensy and that's difficult and (2) I don't want the back side of the embroidery showing and (3) how do I finish the edges?? ... even if you use ribbon, you have the ribbon ends to contend with. Oh, bother!

Keep in mind, I'm not charging for these samples and I have to make at least 26 of them. Soooo, after two days of messing with this ... that ... and the other, bookmarks are definately out. One of my best attempts was on felt (easy to make crisp edges, but two layers of felt is really FAT). When DH saw it, he suggested I turn the felt thingy into a little nail file holder by leaving one end open. Good idea! So off I go to the 99 cent store. After I got there, I saw these little clippey things that are so popular and decided I would fancy them up instead. I embroidered a flower on unbleached duck and put that on top of 2 layers cut from a lavender bandanna and sewed the whole thing to a lavender clip. I sprayed it pretty heavily with starch and blew it dry to make the edges curl up to look more like a flower. It's the first time I've done something in the "shabby" style - I'm usually more tailored -- but I thought I'd give it a try. FEEDBACK PLEASE?! I'm really feeling insecure about this and need some honest --even brutal -- feedback.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Welcome, Sophie!

Yesterday after my hair appointment I was feeling all gorgeous and perky, so I decided to stop in at Ruth's Room - a thrift store that benefits Habitat for Humanity. For awhile now I've been looking for a new side table for the living room and I took a chance to see if they had what I want. No luck on the table, but I hit the jackpot with a lacy metal dress form. Tightwad that I am, I hesitated to pay $38.00 for something that's not a necessity, but after a very short hesitation, I plunked down my money and loaded the thing into the back of my VW. The form doesn't fold down or come apart, so getting it into the bug was easier said than done, but with some finagling (lowering the back seat and moving the passenger seat all the way up) I got it in there and brought the dazzler home. Isn't she lovely?

I'm gonna call her Sophie. I don't know why, but the name popped into my head first and I can't get it out of there even by insistently repeating the names Audrey (love me some Hepburn) or Coco (love me some Chanel) or Chloe (love me some Lagerfeld). Soooo, Sophie it is!

I called DH and told him of the purchase because I felt a little guilty about the (seemingly) foolish splurge. As always (he's such an angel) he helped me find reasons it was a good purchase - aprons, totes and purses can all be displayed beautifully on it and since I'm going to re-vamp my etsy shop and will be including aprons, totes and purses, this will be a great tool. I checked prices on comparable dress forms and they start at 119.00! It was a steal at $38.00!! And I must say, now that I've got it home and draped it with an apron, it feels somehow that my business is more substantial. More than just a hobby or a sideline, it's a BUSINESS. Know what I mean?

While I was still in town I stopped by Walmart for some necessities and I hit the mother load in the close-out section. I bought 8 bottles of the Sugar-free Vanilla syrup we use in our morning coffee for a total savings of $28.64. And 3 bags of 8 O'clock Coffee beans for a total savings of $8.04. Then in the dairy case, butter was on sale so I bought 4 pounds for a savings of $4.00. That exceeds the $38.00 I spent on the Dress Form, so it feels like Sophie was MEANT TO BE in our home.

So, please welcome Sophie to our family!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gettin' a little ADD here!

After I finished the post yesterday -- and before I wore my patootie out running errands -- I checked to see if I could find some soap recipe's. The best I found (that would work with the Little House in the Suburbs soap re-milling technique) were from Craftbits.

Don't these sound good?

Citrus Burst
Lavender & Honey
Coconut Cream
Vanilla Rosemary
Honey Rose
Goats Milk

So, now I'm REALLY wanting to make some soaps!

However, yesterday I bought 2 books with apron patterns. I had such fun making the Debby apron (and the 50's ripply apron recently) that I can't wait to start working on some of these. They are sooooooo CAYUUTE!!!

And I also bought a reusable shopping bag when I was at the health food store. Billie has been suggesting I make some -- Arlington, Texas is going to go disposable bagless soon -- and I've already bought some great fabric, but haven't put it very high on my LIST-O-THINGS TO DO.

What to start on first!?!?! Soap, Aprons, Green bags?!

And then reality steps in and says " Mow the three acres close to the house because spring has definitely arrived and the grass is only gonna get taller." Oh, well. Later gator on the fun stuff!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good Ol' Soap

Recently I bought soap samples from Lippencott Soap Co. on etsy. They have some VERY interesting soaps!

Here's the list I got:
Lavender Oatmeal
Irish Mocha
Box of Chocolates
Bottle of Wine
Ginger Lime
Brown Sugar & Fig
Orange Mocha
Oatmeal Shea (naturally unscented)
Caprio Olive
A Dozen Roses

I thought I could use them as interesting additions to a gift -- perhaps a cosmetic bag or something similar.

I ran across a couple of posts on Little House in the Suburbs (thank you Nancy for sending this blog my way!) regarding re-packaging soaps to make them snazzier for gifting. I thought it was a great idea, so I tried that out this morning. I used 2 different scrapbooking papers - one for wrapping the bar, one for the label - and a gray satin ribbon. In the picture below, I show how the sample looked when I got it and how I wrapped it. Also, you can see the "Dozen Roses" soap. Isn't it pretty? I love that it has leetle teensy roses embedded in the soap. Oh, yeah. In my label, I included the info from the original label so the lucky gal who gets this can order more if she wants.

And this is a closeup of the label. It looks sort of blue here, but it's actually gray.

The other soap post I wanted to share from Little House in the Suburbs is about creating your own interesting soaps. She starts with ivory soap, re-mills it and adds fragrance and stuff (bits of oatmeal, lavender, etc). It sounds like a messy and lengthy process, but I think I may put it on my agenda for the summer! Her directions for this project are here.
Well, gotta get moving now, because I've got a LOT to accomplish today. Have a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Donna Reed lives!

When I "retired" just over a year ago, everyone kept asking me what I was going to do. It was assumed I would take a position with a different company and continue working outside the home for years to come.

In my professional life, I had work-a-holic tendencies. I was the one who always learned the new procedures, studied the new products closely and made cheat sheets to pass around for the others. I was the go-to gal in our office even though I had less time on the job than others I worked with. My answer to the "whatcha gonna do?" question was always "I'm gonna be Donna Reed!" I've wanted to be a homemaker for a long time -- painting walls, gardening, re-upholstering, sewing, crafting, shopping. Ahhhh -- the good life!

Well, tomorrow is my BFF's birthday. Her name is Debby, she's a full-time professional with my old employer (another go-to-gal!), the mother of 3 great kids and wife to a wonderful manly man. She doesn't have the opportunity to be a Donna Reed right now, so I try to share some of my "wealth" with her.

For her B-day, I've made her a couple of things. The first gift is a sassy decoupage initial she admired at Southern Hospitality

I think it turned out pretty good!

The second I made is an apron similar to the one I posted about a few days ago - she loved the apron and emailed me about it.

I couldn't replicate the halter top. My first attempt looked like a bustier! When you've got teenaged sons like Debby, I think a bustier is probably not the way to go. The second attempt was also a little too suggestive, so I went with a plain-ish top.

I chose cheerful fabrics and made it reversible and the waist ties are nice and long so she can wrap them around and tie in front.

And I put a small pleated ruffle on the bib that echoes the skirt trim.

All in all, I'm pleased and I think she'll like my Donna Reed attempt.
Whatcha think?