Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.…

Summer Skirts with Simplicity 2606

  Over a year ago, a friend proposed a trade. Jayne would take photos of our family and newborn son and I’d make her a couple skirts. Over a year…

Sew Easy Burp Cloth Tutorial

The other evening, I was trying to pull double duty. I held the baby on one hip while tossing some vegetables in the skillet. My husband walked in the kitchen…

Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.…

Giveaway winners

Out of a whopping 602 comments, the four winners of Giveaway Day here at Craft Buds are:

Giveaway Day

Handmade Tote and Charm Pack

#479, LeAndrea
Handmade Tote Bag and Just Wing It Charm Pack! Thank you for the giveaway!

$25 Crafty Girl’s Workshop Gift Certificate

#216, Trisha Too
VERY nice!  I’d really like that awesome tote and charm pack, or the gift certificate to choose some other fabric!  Following you . . .

Rotary Cutter and fat quarters

#485, domestic diva
I’d like the tote or rotary cutter pack.

Girl’s World book

#73, Kelly
What beautiful choices!!  Do I really have to choose??  I think I’d like the gift certificate for fabric!

Winners have been contacted via e-mail.

In case you missed out on some fabric goodness, the wonderful Crafty Girl’s Workshop is offering 10 percent off with the coupon code CRAFTBUDS. There’s also a $25 sale happening on Jelly Rolls, and lots of last-chance deals starting at $5 a yard.

Jelly Rolls on sale
And as always, check out our giveaway roundup for fun handmade and craft supplies giveaways happening this week!

Craft Retail: Running a Business to Have More Family Time

We’ll announce the Giveaway Day winners later tonight! Until then, check out this great crafty business advice from Marla of Memory Miser.

Marla Gibson
In 2005, Marla Gibson decided to get out of her career as a special ed teacher and start her own craft retail business. Today, she runs Memory Miser, a store selling Provo Craft (Cricut) products and the AccuQuilt line. I got the chance to ask Marla a bit about her journey from full-time employee to business owner, and you’ll love what she has to say!

1) When and how did you get started with your Memory Miser business?

I  started when my youngest was a year old, in December of 2005. My husband had started a new job that required long hours and a lot of time away from home. I was teaching special education and had so many after school meetings. My babies were at daycare way too many hours. I told my mom that I wanted to stay home and needed to come up with a plan. She said, “Sell that machine you like so much.” Within 2 weeks, I had become a Provo Craft retailer, sold through my first order on eBay, and had the website running. We grew quickly thanks to some very kind customers who spread the word. Until this past spring, we didn’t advertise, so it has always been based on customers referrals. I am proud of that.

2) What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts with getting the girls ready for school, taking them, and then helping out there for an hour or two some days. Other days, I drop them off and go straight to work. My days are usually taken up with team meetings, email/phone calls, eBay/website promotions and book keeping. I usually work until 1pm, then go home for lunch and start “mom” duties. I then pick my girls up from school and hang out with them and whatever friends happen to come over. Once they are occupied, I pick up where I left off with work from home, cook dinner, and throw in more laundry. After we eat, I run to whatever practice they have. (I’m currently coaching Elise’s softball team and teaching Abigail to pitch, so its a little crazy right now.) We usually have about 30 minutes of quiet family time before they go to bed, then its time with hubby (often with my laptop, too.) Some days are a little nutty and I always work several hours on the weekend, but its really great to have the flexibility to work in chunks. I never miss an honor’s assembly or event at their school!

Memory Miser logo

3) What are the biggest challenges with owning and managing your business?

The stress! There is such a low profit margin on the majority of what we sell, every dollar has to be watched carefully which takes a lot of time. If I slack off, I always see it in the bottom line. The other big stressor occurs when something goes wrong. It doesn’t matter what plans or commitments I had, I’m the one who has to fix it.

4) What do you love most about your business?

Each day is different. I enjoy being in the office as much as in the warehouse. I actually had to unload a freight truck full of pallets this winter with a forklift- twice! I was scared to death, but it was also fun to learn. I’m doubtful that this will be a skill I’ll have cause to use again, but who knows! I love seeing all the new products and getting to play with them. I love when I get to answer the phones and talk to our customers. Each day is like hanging out with friends. There is so much joking and laughing throughout the building… I just think I am very lucky.

5) Do you have tips for others who are interested in getting into craft retail?

Don’t get overwhelmed. Take it in chunks and keep plowing through your to-do list. That line on your grade school report card, “Uses time wisely,” will never be more applicable than when you own your business.

Giveaway!

Memory Miser is generously giving away a Cricut Cartridge to one lucky reader! One winner will receive the Cricut Give a Hoot cartridge (one of Lindsay’s favorites), pictured below.

Cricut Give a Hoot cartridge

Giveaway now closed. The winner of the Give a Hoot cartridge is Niki!

To enter:

1) Follow Craft Buds (this blog) and leave a comment, or tell us if you already follow. (one entry)

2) Subscribe to the Memory Miser mailing list, and leave a comment here saying you did! (one entry)

3) Facebook or Tweet about this giveaway, and leave another comment. (one entry each) You may copy and paste the tweet below:

#Win a #Cricut Cartridge! #Giveaway now at @CraftBuds thanks to @MemoryMiser and @provocraft! http://tinyurl.com/3kkvgm6

Three chances to win! Giveaway open in the U.S. and Canada, and one winner will be chosen via Random.org on Wednesday, June 1 at 8pm (EST).

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Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 5.25.11

Wow! We’ve been pretty busy with Giveaway Day! (Entries open through Friday.) Between approving comments and entering giveaways ourselves, there’s been little time for leisurely blog reading. Amazingly, we’ve managed to scope out some inspiration for this week’s Fresh Picks!

Kids' Dress at Real Photography

Sweet Prints: Traci blogs about Kid’s Sewing at her blog Stolen Moments, with a pattern review and excellent photography!

Spool Toy @ A Little Gray

Upcylced Spools: What to do with old spools? Play with them, of course! Jessica shares her tutorial for a spool stacker toy at her blog, A Little Gray.

Butterfly Bookpage Wreath

Flutter By: We couldn’t help but notice this butterfly and book pages wreath at Mama Says Sew. Brilliant!

Plant Labels @ FW&MP

Let’s Ketchup: Katie at Food, Wine and Mod Podge shows off adhesive vinyl plant labels she made using the Silhouette. Check it out!

Vendor Applications

Host a Craft Show: We’ve found some more great tips at DFW Craft Shows! This time, it’s an explanation of how to promote your craft fair to vendors, and all about vendor applications!

 

If you’d like to be considered for a future spotlight here at Craft Buds, we invite you to submit your project, business tips or craft tutorials here.
Giveaways Roundup
Visit the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with more than 40 current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

Giveaway Day! Win fabric, a tote bag & more

Sew Mama Sew’s May Giveaway Day is here, and Craft Buds is so excited to offer some fun prizes to our readers! (Giveaway now closed, and winners announced.)

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

What’s up for grabs? All of this divided among FOUR winners!

1 winner
$25 Store Credit to buy fabric or sewing patterns online at Crafty Girls Workshop!

1 winner
Jennifer Paganelli’s new book, Girl’s World. Includes instructions for 21 projects and an envelope of patterns. See Lindsay’s review here.

1 winner
Handmade Tote Bag and Just Wing It Charm Pack (includes 42 five inch squares)

1 winner
Fiskars rotary cutter and fat quarter bundle

To enter:

1)  Follow our blog. Leave a comment telling us which of the four prizes you’d most love to win! (Required – you must be a follower of Craft Buds via Google Friend Connect, RSS or e-mail subscription to win.)

2) For an extra entry, head over to our sponsor’s Facebook page. “Like” Crafty Girls Workshop on Facebook and leave another comment on this post letting us know. Psst: She’s hosting another giveaway on her Facebook page, so head over!

* * *

That’s two possible entries. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada.

Comments will close on Friday, May 27 at 8pm (EST), and four winners will be chosen by Random.org. (Winners may or may not receive their top pick, but we’ll do our best to match up people with prizes.) Good luck everybody!

Book Review: Girl’s World by Jennifer Paganelli

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I’ve been pretty anxious to get my hands on this book. The reviews so far have been amazing, and although I don’t have any young girls in my life, the mere look and feel of Jennifer Paganelli‘s new book Girl’s World makes you want to put on a ruffled apron and host a garden party.

I’m in.

Girl’s World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make For Little Girls (Chronicle Books) is the first book by Paganelli, creator of Sis Boom fabrics (FreeSpirit). Fans of her fabrics will eat up the pages of this project book, which are beautifully printed in colorful patterned swirls and florals. Did I mention that the book covers are tied shut with pink ribbon, an invitation to unlock this pretty little world?

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Getting Started, the book’s intro, includes some sewing basics, including notes on dress sizes—for this book, girl’s x-small (2-3) to x-large (12-14). Filled with illustrations and diagrams for the visual sewist, the hardcover book has patterns tucked inside a pretty paper pocket.

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The next section, Dress-up includes seven dresses worn by sassy little girls who are having so much fun wearing them that you almost forget to look at the clothes. But then you catch a glance and don’t want to flip the page. Far from basic but simple enough not to intimidate the sewist, the dresses range from poufy to comfy. Little additions of a sash, pleat or pocket define each dress as its own. The Agnes Tunic Dress is a bit grown-up and sophisticated, while the Annabel Apron really pushes the envelope of cuteness, edged in tight ruffles and featuring a keyhole-and-tie ruffled pocket.

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In the Accessories section, the five patterns are one-size-fits-all, including a purse and a floral headband. Glue guns replace sewing machines in a couple accessories, a trend that continues toward the end of the book. The Chloe Paper Doll Overnight Bag is such a darling and clever design that moms will swoon for it more than their little girls, who will already be adorned in tulle-and-pearl Fiona Fabric Flowers.

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The book’s final 9 projects are group together in the Home section. The Gigi Ruffled Pillow and George the Puppy really caught my attention, and both would make great gifts. The Genevieve Patchwork Square Quilt is suited to beginners, with its large blocks and suggested hand-tied quilting. Two of the projects in this section are basically the same project with a slight twist, so they could have been grouped together.

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Whether you’re sewing for a girl, or teaching a girl to sew, the projects in Girl’s World really engage all levels of crafters. And the book really is beautiful! I recommend it and so appreciate Jennifer sending me a copy to review.

In fact, she was just as fun to interview, and now we have her next book Happy Home to look forward to next year! As well as new fabric lines, Crazy Love and Super Fly, due out this fall.

Would you like to win a copy of Girl’s World? Stay tuned, because there’s a giveaway coming up next week!

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