Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crafter's A.D.D. or Mixed Media Artist? You be the judge

Yes, it's true, not only is Crafter's A.D.D. a totally awesome blog with TONS of great project ideas (not to mention about 74 awesome Thanksgiving projects and recipes!) but I just feel like I'm totally in tune with the idea behind the name. It wasn't until I actually found this blog that I realized I HAD Crafter's A.D.D. I mean I knew I would go between projects like a butterfly between sweet flowers, constantly changing my mind and adding new projects here and there, but it never dawned on me what that was. I blame it on my Midwestern Crafty Iowa roots. It all started when I was really in to scrapbooking, and yes, I mean the uber cutesy, frilly, have-to-have-every-tool around sort of scrapbooking which was while I was in college. I was going to be an elementary school teacher and scrapbooking seemed to be a great creative outlet for me (even though I had no kids my life wasn't all that exciting). It was like creating bulletin boards, but in a book format. So I was reading a scrapbook magazine one time and I saw a full page ad for Stampin' Up! which was a direct selling company (i.e. home parties) for rubber stamps. Well, I needed a job and i didn't realize this would actually require WORK so I called the toll free number and the next thing I knew I was signing up and paying $400 out of pocket to buy some starter kit of stamps (and WOW did I get a lot of stamps). Oh and I didn't mention that I was still in college at the time and trying to sell ANYTHING to a ton of poor college students, let alone something that requires thinking was rather difficult. So I let that cool off awhile and sold off most of my stamps, except the letters and some of the staple ones for various occasions.
By this time I was really getting in to my teaching job and was super duper busy. Oh and I bought a house and by that time I had figured out that hosting home parties was a GREAT way to get FREE stuff as the hostess! So I signed up for a stamp party, a scrapbook party, a Southern Living party, (my poor, poor friends) and it was super fun. In fact, I enjoy the scrapbook party so much I signed up to be a Creative Memories consultant about a week after my party. It was a natural extension of my day job, teaching, plus gave me a little creative outlet, plus that was sort of the reason I signed up to do the stamp thing in the first place, because it could be used for scrapbooks (until you realize you'll never have the right stamp set when you need it). Well, I did that for a year or so, never really turned it into the business it could have been I mean, when would I have had time to do that anyway? And by that time, I was about to get married. Let's recap here so far I've :

- Sold rubber stamps to make cards and scrapbooks
- Sold scrapbook supplies to make scrapbooks

(My dad always says I have this strong entreprenureal spirit and that I get it from my Grandmother who was always trying to figure out how to fix up antiques and sell them or to make ceramics and sell them or something. I find that whenever I want to do something crafty my brain makes me wonder how I can do it an make money at it.)

Well when I got married my new mother in law introduced me to the amazing world of SEWING and FABRIC! We went to Creations in Kerrville which is like the Mecca of fabric for the San Antonio and Texas hill country area. It didn't take too long to turn me to the dark side! I was hooked (oh yeah, she let me sew on her BERNINA too) She guided me to make some pillowcases and some curtains and somehow in 2005 I decided to take a beginning quilting class with my mom.

Long story a little shorter, of course I turned my love of fabric and sewing into a business! I mean, why not start an online shop to sell fabric? I could carry fun and bright fabrics that not many shops in our area carry and you know what? It worked, it is fairly successful. But it's a TON of work, and now I've added on to that A.D.D. by renting a studio space to open up to the public to TEACH CLASSES! Oh and this is on top of my full time job. Yeah, I'm not a teacher anymore and I don't even have a mother in law anymore either.

And the A.D.D. strikes again because when I went to Quilt Market in Houston this October, I was a little overwhelmed but also inspired by all the ways fabric can be used besides just in quilting or as part of quilting but to make quilts into art. One of the wonderful women I met at Quilt Market works for a distributor that is sort of the MECCA for those of us with Crafter's Attention Deficit Disorder, I mean they sell EVERYTHING. Yeah, everything you see at JoAnn's? They probably got it from Notions Marketing. (Sorry I digress) but this nice woman mentioned that she had a long arm quilting machine and she told me she believed that quilting is really an art. And then she showed me one of their new products, FABRIC PAINT. Now I can get plain white fabric and paint it and stencil and MAKE IT MY OWN! WOW! Oh and there are SOO many books available about this. (see below for suggestions) And now that I have a studio space I have some ROOM to play with this sort of thing. Plus, there's another wonderful woman in my building that is an Art Quilter and SHE dyes her own fabric before she quilts it.

Now the funniest part was that this long arm quilter/sales rep for Notions Marketing said that she was cleaing out her studio/creative space and realized that she had supplies for all sorts of different creative projects (i.e. stamps, scrapbook supplies, fabric, paint, dye, etc) and the she said it "I'm a mixed media artist" OMG did that strike home! Because it's possible to take all these different media for crafting and put them together to create mixed media!! And that totally justified my crazy Crafter's A.D.D. existence. And I realized, I'm not alone! In fact, I think the Quilt Market is possibly actually just a fancy way of getting all these crazy mixed media artists all in one place at a time and there might be a support group meeting for it somewhere. So would you like to see a list of the other mixed media/crafter's A.D.D. projects I've got in the works?

- While at Michael's today bought some cool chunky blue yarn and some GIANT knitting needles and YES my sister taught me to KNIT!!! never thought I'd do that, EVER
- Just ordered some blanks for creating stamped metal jewlery (off Etsy of course)
- Inspired by a magazine called Handcrafted Jewelry to make my own now
- Ordered some glass dome pieces and some of the backings to make more jewelry
- Tons of new fabrics on order
- Planning to order some of that awesome fabric paint
- Bought the supplies to make soldered glass pendant jewlery (hmm, notice a trend here at all?)
- Plus card making supplies and these awesome new clear stamps I've found that are inexpensive, pretty and easy to store because they are flat (you have to stick them to a plastic block for the stamping part)

Not to mention all the fabrics and patterns I've ordered for the shop and the quilt projects I have in the works (i.e. in my head). So even just reading back over this VERY LONG blog post, I'm realizing that when I  write I have a little A.D.D. too. I need to focus more. Well, maybe that will be a post for another day, or a goal for the new year. We'll see.

Hmm, what do you think? Can you relate to this?

Happy Stitches,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey and Football Day plus ePattern SALE!!!

In celebration of Turkey and Football day (a.k.a. Thanksgiving) I wanted to offer something that is almost instant gratification. Maybe some of you are just itching to get out there and get shopping for your Christmas gifs, OR maybe you want to make some Christmas gifts this year. Well, guess what? You can hop over to the shop and order an ePattern and you'll probably get it within 12 hours! Probably faster! That means that you'll probably get it in enough time to start working on it TODAY! Yes, I know you have a lot of prep to do for Turkey day, but once the Turkey's in the oven or all the food is eaten and everyone else is watching football, you might be able to slip away long enough to start on some of these CUTE outfits for your little ones.

OR maybe you'd like to whip up a quilt, since the pattern is electronic, it will get to you before the stores even open at Midnight and you can get started and still have time to shop tomorrow!

Also here's a bonus!! If you purchase an epattern you can use the coupon code PDF to get 15% off your purchase of FABRIC to go along with it! But you have to put the code in the box at check out in order to get the discount.

I don't know about you, but I'm actually planning to avoid the stores tomorrow, in fact, I'm supposed to go in to WORK! What a thought! Although I might just take a half day and go work in the studio on some fun outfits for my niece and nephews.Oh and I think i forgot to mention the BEST part!!

ALL ePatterns are $1.00 OFF the regular price until MIDNIGHT tonight!! 
 Sale has been extended through Cyber Monday November 29

That's like BUY 8 Get one FREE!! At midnight I'm putting them back to their original prices. SO YOU BETTER STOCK UP!

And don't forget about the Hoot n Nanny tote pattern Giveaway going on AND all the fab projects over on the 12 Days of Craftyness post.

Happy Stitches and Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

12 Days of Craftyness UPDATED

I don't know any other good way to do this so here it is.

I've updated the list, I'm up to probably 8 links (some are links of lists of other projects) so go check it out and if you have anything to add, please do!

12 Days of Craftyness

Oh and if you make anything from these project links I'd love to see it! Send pictures or post them in the Sew and Show Flickr group.

Happy Stitches,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hoot-n-Nanny Tote Pattern AND Fabric Giveaway!

Trish over at Two Peas in a Pod, is a fabulous pattern designer and I actually got to meet and chat with her at Quilt Market a few weeks ago. We talked about doing a pattern and fabric giveaway together (since I have fabric and she has patterns) and so this is the week for it! Here is the A-DORABLE pattern we're giving away (One over here AND one over on Trish's blog). It's called Hoot-n-Nanny and it's SOOOO cute!

The bestest best part about this adorable tote is that it can use SCRAPS or a charm pack! Plus some cute linen or coordinating fabric. SOOOO My half of the giveaway is a charm pack (your choice from the shop) PLUS 1/2 yard of fabric (your choice from the shop).

You might want one of these:

PLUS a little bit of yardage of your choice for the lining!

I have MORE yardage of Sugar Pop coming in during December. The precuts ALWAYS ship before the bolts. But they should be here soon!

You can comment on THIS blog post for a chance AND over at Trish's blog for another chance to win!!

I think Trish put it perfect when she said "Just leave a comment. Cause we're cool like that and know that you are busy stuffing turkeys and cleaning house, etc. Any old, preferably something nice and cheery comment will do."

Winners will be drawn on November 27th at midnight.

Happy Stitches!!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cute and Quick Projects for the Holidays aka 12 Days of Craftiness

Ready for a trip around Blog Land? I have found some cute projects and wanted to share them. I won't be posting them all at once though. Hopefully I will be able to update this post with a new link every day for the next week or so.

1) Melissa from The Polka Dot Chair posted a tutorial for an AWESOME tote bag ornament!!

2) Lots and Lots and Lots of REALLY cool projects over at Whip Up's list of tutorials!
Knitting, crochet, sewing, and lots of other crafty goodness.

3) Cute SCRAPPY flower at Pink Suede Shoes! This would be cute done in red and green fabrics or maybe all white for a Christmasy theme.

4) For a new baby, why not make some of these cute baby blocks featured over at Moda Bake Shop? They use a couple of charm packs, so you could use some fun bright fabrics like Sugar Pop from the shop.

5) DuoFiberworks eBook Handwork for the Holidays - I'm in LOVE with the go fish game handmade!! Also, love the bean bag animals. OK, it's not a free pattern, but this could totally be worth it because you could probably make most of these items from your stash and only have spent the price of the eBook!

6) Here are some free patterns and tutorials from Duo Fiberworks too.

7) A couple of FREE patterns to make some cute mini quilts from Kathreen Ricketson's book Mini Quilts (also a great gift idea for a fellow quilter) plus another FREE quilt pattern from the book.

8) Projects for gifts for guys? I always think guys are the HARDEST people to make gifts for but I found a great list of different ways to make iPad and Kindle covers and most are from UPCYCLED sweaters and stuff. COOL! You know, I bought a wool sweater vest thing from Goodwill not too long ago and had no idea what do to with it, except I knew I was going to felt it for something. Now I have some great project ideas.

By the way, Tipnut is one of THE best resources for TONS and TONS of ideas for EVERYTHING under the sun! I mean, I get the daily e-mail with TONS of ideas, including 25 recipes for Turkey leftovers and 45 different pumpkin spice bread recipes (I swear they are reading my mind) but also TONS of different sewing and crafting projects. I mean, TONS (did I mention they have TONS?) And usually it's all in an e-mail I get every day. I think EVERYONE should sign up for that e-mail because if you hate it, you can just delete or unsubscribe but they do all the work for you to find so many different projects and tutorials around the web and then compile them on a webpage and then send you the link in one e-mail! (And NO I am not getting any sort of compensation for this, I just LOVE Tipnut!)

More to come...

And if YOU find any cute tutorials around blogland, please feel free to share them in the comments!

Happy Sitches

Fabulous Announcement: Crafty Girls Workshop has a HOME!

Miz Crafty Girls Workshop (me) has been busy lately because of a very special Work in Progress (NO it's not a baby!) I have a STUDIO space! Yes, I've done it, I signed a lease and it's official, Crafty Girls Workshop has a HOME! If I wasn't so tired and if I could find my camera, I'd post pictures of it, maybe tomorrow. But I've been going to my studio EVERY day after work and putting in many hours to move all the inventory over there and set it up JUST SO so that it's perfect when anyone wants to stop by to take a class or a private lesson or have some studio time. In the meanwhile, the online shop is still OPEN FOR BUSINESS and I've also managed to list somewhere around 20 bolts of fabric in the last few days. Stop by the webstore to see the new cute fabrics that have just arrived! If you are local to San Antonio, TX, send me an e-mail to say hi and I can give you some more details about the studio. I'm sew excited!!

Happy Stitches,

Here are some books I'm going to be reviewing while I plan out my crafty Studio.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Innocent Crush, Parisville and Wild Word: New Fabrics Just Listed

Psst... I just listed some fabulous new fabrics in the shop.
Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner

Parisville by Tula Pink

Wild World by Jenean Morrison

All produced by Free Spirit fabrics and all are premium 100% cotton

I've also added some great new magazines and more than 20 fab patterns!

While you're visiting my shop, click on the bunny to join in the fab shop hop and enter to win gift certificates from every shop you visit!

More is arriving this week and will be added to the shop soon. Don't forget MODA is on sale this month!

Happy Stitches,

P.S. BIG news coming very soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coming Soon...Fabric, Patterns and Kits OH MY!

Stay tuned for fabulous pictures of fabrics, patterns and kits that are soon to arrive (if they haven't already). New items are being added almost daily to the site. We're anxiously awaiting the NEW fabrics I ordered at quilt market but until then, stop by the shop and grab some GREAT deals on MODA! Oh, and if you would like to get coupons in your e-mail, sign up for the newsletter OR if you want to get my beautiful bloggy posts in your e-mail sign up for the blog feed! I just added that today and I'm SEW proud of myself! Also, a special announcement coming soon... (might involve a giveaway or two, or three)

Happy Stitches,

P.S. If you're out there and want to say HI! Please feel free, I LOVE reader comments! Why not tell me what's going on in YOUR quilty life right now? It's nice to know I'm not just talking to an Internet wall.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Denyse Schmidt Improvisational Patchwork Workshop

My favorite improv block

I spent Monday learning how to let go and have fun with improvisational patchwork. The block pictured was the second block I made. After that it got wild and crazy as we were given about 30 minutes to piece blocks and make a total of 6 blocks for the day.

Some of the blocks were square and some ended up sort of a rectangle. But they were all beautiful in their own special way. Here are some other pictures of the day.

Our first group of blocks

The Awesome Denyse Schmidt

It was so fun to see the variety in the colors and the sizes of the blocks. We had so much fun with this technique that we're already having a "reunion" Improv party on Friday! This workshop was completely worth the money and I can't wait to Improv some more soon. Since Jodi from Pleasant Home was using her scraps in a Sew Scraps Along this month, I wanted to show how I learned to use some scraps up on Monday. I don't want to give away the "secret" of this technique, I'm sure Denyse Schmidt talks about it in her book(s). It was fun though! What do you think? Would you try this improv style?

Happy Stitches,

P.S. I will be adding my pictures to a flickr group specifically created for our DS Workshop for San Antonio so other participants can add their pictures as well.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

{Recovering From} Quilt Market

This was my second year to attend the Fall Quilt Market in Houston. It's a trade show for fabric shop owners. It was a blast! Not only did I get to meet and talk to some of the absolute celebrities of the sewing and quilting world (Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Tula Pink, Tina Givens, and BariJ, to name a few) but I also got to SEE Ty Pennington, in real life!! Totally didn't expect that!!
Isn't BariJ adorable? I'll have those tote patterns listed soon!

Yes, I know it's blurry, sorry! But it's Ty Pennington!

Yes, Ty Pennington actually designed fabric! Do any of you remember him from his Trading Spaces days? He had much crazier hair back then (before Extreme Makeover Home Edition). Well, he apparently has always loved design and has a degree in some sort of graphic design or something and he even cut the wood blocks out to create stamps for his fabric design. Cool, huh? Oh yeah, and he's easy on the eyes too.

Other than the awesome picture of BariJ and Ty Pennington, I took pitifully few pictures. I think I was a little overwhelmed with it all. But don't worry, I made up for the few pictures during quilt market by taking TONS of pictures during the Denyse Schmidt Improvisational Patchwork workshop on Monday!

I've been going to bed super early these last few days because spending one evening driving 4 hours to Houston, then two full days walking around surrounded by amazingly talented artists, designers, fabrics and quilts, then ordering fabric like crazy, buying patterns like crazy, and driving back 4 hours to San Antonio and then going to a full day workshop with Denyse Schmidt has just worn me out! Plus, I have a full time job too! So, new patterns and fabrics will be appearing in the shop very soon. And remember that if you are on my e-mail list, you will be included in the group that receives a special coupon code and first notice of the fab patterns and fabrics when they arrive. 

Happy Stitches,