Wallet fun.

Whoop whoop! I am so proud of this new creation. When I saw this wallet on another blog, I just knew I was going to have to try it.IMG_3785 IMG_3789 The pattern is: Straight Stitch Society – Have It All Wallet. I’ve never made anything this compact or with this many small little pockets. I thought it would be difficult. While the first wallet was slow going, taking me almost three hours, I slowly began to understand the pattern. By the third wallet, I was making it without looking at the instructions and in about half the time.

IMG_3794 IMG_3800 IMG_3796

The key to success here is to press really well and to turn the fabric nice and tight. If you are a confident beginner or intermediate sewer, give it a try! (Or head over to the shop to buy one) Happy sewing.

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Purging and Purses

I FINALLY created a bag pattern that I can call my very own. Soon they’ll be available in my shop. I’ve got just a few things to change. I’m going to make the bag itself slightly deeper and possibly add a snap of some kind. I’ve been using this one to test it out and it gets a Homespun Haley stamp of approval!

IMG_3765 IMG_3769 IMG_3774I also deep cleaned my craft room this week. I had a whole dresser filled with old decor, frames, and old crafting items that I emptied. We’ve gone through every room in the house and have purged what we can. We’re having a yard sale on Saturday!

IMG_3764Any advice? This is the first yard sale that we’ve had…

Homespun Help.

Lately, I’ve been semi-obsessing over new ideas for the Homespun Haley shop. Admittedly, I’ve also been semi-proud of myself for thinking things through before diving into them. I’ve been drawing up ideas and sewing several prototypes until I reach the best design. photo (11) Even though I’ve got about a million ideas that flutter through my mind everyday, what actually gets created and sold depends on one thing…what you want. I may think I have a good idea of what those things are, but how could I possibly if I’ve never asked? Here are some ideas I’ve been kicking around.

imageSo please, please, please, take a moment and let me know…what would you LOVE to see in the Homespun shop? More jewelry?  More clutches? Something random that I’ve never thought of? Leave a comment here or head on over to the Homespun Facebook Page and comment there. You never know…there might just be a giveaway that comes out of all this. ;)

I’m Alive.

Breathing? Check. Pulse? Check. So…technically alive. Though if you’d seen me the past couple of weeks you’d have thought a really dull and stressed out alien had invaded my being, whilst using my body as a vessel to live out it’s evil plans. But not anymore, baby.

I had just enough time for little bits of fun the weeks leading to Christmas before I would be thrust back into my sewing room to…you got it…keep sewing. I just didn’t have the energy at 3am, when I’d be done with an order, to write a well-crafted post about my birthday or whatever. So after a few days of not writing and feeling terribly guilty, this magical thing happened: I forgave myself and moved on. I gave myself permission to focus on what needed most focusing.

I finished my last Christmas order on the 24th and 1:45 am. Probably the earliest finish time in at least a couple of weeks. This month has been the most affirming, challenging and down right surprising one I’ve had in a long time. I had NO idea that people with Etsy shops make 3/4 of their earrings during this time of year. I had NO idea that others were slowly building inventory in order to meet demand. But I can proudly say, I successfully survived my first Christmas season on Etsy, making every deadline and not turning away a single order, all the way up to the 20th.

You haven’t missed out on much these past days. I didn’t have time to do a single holiday DIY project or make any fun new recipes…let alone blog about them. Every post would have read, “Guess what I’m doing? STILL sewing”. You would have been terribly bored.

However between the sewing frenzies, I did do a few fun things. I turned 27, threw a surprise Settlers of Catan party for my husband who completed his graduate program, gathered with good friends to celebrate the holidays and each other, spent lots of time with family for Christmas, made my dog a Christmas bandanna, went to a Sherlock Holmes play and made some adorable presents for my nephews and niece for Christmas.

I’m taking a three-day hiatus from the sewing room, and tonight I plan on making butternut squash lasagna for dinner. This first new recipe I’ll be trying in what feels like forever. Sigh. Feels good to be back.

Matt Graduate Settler's Board Haley and Giana GidMaster Christmas Christmas Party Fireplace

Merry Christmas!

Hu-zz-ah.

I’ve reached a milestone in my little business. One that most would think is silly.

It’s called, buying in bulk.

Bulk Jewelry BoxThat’s right. It made so much more sense to start buying my packaging supplies in bulk, instead of taking constant runs to the office supply store. I feel pretty awesome about it.

Today is the last day to buy “made to order” items from my shop for the holidays. HOWEVER, I have several items that are “ready to ship”, meaning you can buy them all the way up to this Sunday and still get them in time for Christmas. Items like this:

010 016 008 032 050 056 083I can’t wait for you all to see the Christmas card Matt and I made this year. Coming soon…

Adoption Day

Gideon. You’re the best.

Always right by my side. Looking up at me with those big brown eyes, just waiting for a head pat or belly scratch.

That’s all you ask of me. It doesn’t matter what I say, or how often I’m stressed, late, messy or grumpy, you give me your best all the time. All you ask of me is a little attention. Some scratches, tug-a-war and a walk around the block.

So today, Gideon, I celebrate you. It’s your “adoption day” on Saturday. You were 4 months old when we brought you home with us 3 years ago. I’ve never regretted it for one moment.

So to celebrate, we bought a big bag full of doggy treats, food and bones to keep in the car, for when we notice homeless dogs who are looking for some kibble. Gideon also got to lick peanut butter off a spoon and he’s sporting a much needed new doggy tag.

 So happy we belong to each other, Gidster.

*p.s. If anyone is interested in this dog tag, I bought it from a fantastic shop on Etsy called,   J Hollywood Design. These would make great Christmas gifts, for the animal-lovers in your life. My phone number is actually on the front of Gideon’s tag. But ya know, I used my re-touch tool to remove it. I trust you…but there’s always that random person who shouldn’t have access to people’s phone numbers.

Giveaway, baby.

Five things you probably didn’t know about me, that I don’t advertise openly:

1. I love watching videos of dance crews. I do. I love it. Every once in a while I’ll go on a dance crew craze and spend a couple of hours you-tubing them. At the present moment I’m fascinated by Keone and Mari Madrid. Less dance “crew” and more dance “duo”. This couple choreograph stunning dances. I’m in awe. Here’s a great example of their hip-hop choreography. And here’s a great video of totally different style of choreography. In it you see them team up with a singer to create a live performance to one of her songs. If you want to skip the intro, jump to 7:30. For some reason, watching that dance always makes me teary-eyed. Watch it.

2. Once a week at least, usually as I’m driving somewhere, I think about a close friend, family member or myself passing away and just cry. Some how I let myself wander into a deep painful place. Imagining, in rich detail, life without someone. All the circumstances that follow. The long dark days and the things that would remind me of their presence. It usually takes me a few minute to snap out of it because it all feels so real. One time, I had to pull over, having to remind myself that I hadn’t actually lost Matt. He happened to call a moment later and I felt relief at the sound of his voice.

3. When my dog gets sick, which he has been quite a bit recently because of some food issues, I sit next to him and pet his back. I tell him it’s all okay and ask how he’s feeling. I’ll offer him fresh water and a few bits of bread. In fact, he’s learned now to come get me. He’ll actually find me wherever I am, nudge me with his nose and then walk out to our hallway, before he gets sick. Poor puppers. I’ll admit, Gideon has been the subject of my episodes from #2. Sigh. Did I just tell you that?

4. I play video games. Well, computer games. Really. Don’t make fun of me. My favorite are “point and click adventure” games. The best are the semi-creepy or murder mystery ones. Like where I get to play Sherlock Holmes and track down Moriarty. Ha! Here is a classic semi-creepy point and click game, that encompasses all I love about these things.

5. I “read” like a mad woman. Why the quotes? Well, cause I go to my library’s online catalog and order a mystery (75% of the time) in both book and audio-book. I listen to the audio book while I’m driving, cleaning, etc. Then before I go to bed, I grab the actual book, find my spot and read for a while. Is that cheating? I “read” at least 2 books a week this way. Right now I’m on “I” is for Innocent by Sue Grafton. Starting in the 80’s she wrote detective mysteries A thru Z. They are classic detective stories without all the blood and gore of some more modern thrillers.

Okay. That’s that. Now for the giveaway. Yesterday was my 200th post. I think that is cause to celebrate. If you win, you can choose any one pair of earrings from my shop. Here’s what is currently there:

There are even more pictures of each earring on Etsy, so check them out! Here’s how to enter: Leave a comment. Yup. That’s it. Say anything. I’d be most interested in hearing if you related to any of the things I wrote above, but that’s not a requirement. The Giveaway will be open until this Friday, October 26th at 5pm pst. Eeekk! Tell your friends!