Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Enjoy Your Holiday!

The cookies are baked...

(and mostly eaten!)...

Ornaments are sparkling...

And the gifts are wrapped...


We're looking forward to relaxing a bit during Christmas and reflecting on the past year. We might even try to sew up a few goodies for ourselves (and our furbabies!) that we keep putting off because time has been short. Our doggies have been begging us for new pillows to lay on!

We hope you get to slow down a bit and enjoy this time of year with the people (and pets) that mean the most to you.

We are really looking forward to 2010 and all that it may bring. We can't wait to share some of our new creations and plans we have in store for the new year! Thank you for all of your kind comments and support this past year, we wish you all the best through the holidays and into 2010!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Cards with Buttons, Tape, and Twine

Here's an easy little project with a few of my favorite crafty supplies: buttons, baker's twine, japanese masking tape, and pretty paper.

  • Select your paper and fold to your preferred card size.
  • Wrap the baker's twine around the card and then cut to the desired length. String a few festive buttons onto the twine.
  • Cut out some mini triangle flags from the tape and tape one end of the baker's twine to the card and wind around the card, securing the other end with another flag. Place your remaining flags on the outside and inside of the card.

You probably didn't even need me to spell that out, it's so easy! If you don't happen to have these crafty supplies around, I'll share my favorite sources with you. I took pictures of these ones before I received the most fabulous baker's twine in the mail - Divine Twine! And yes, it really IS divine! I ordered the turquoise one and you get yours right here. And a fun selection of tape can be found at Happy Tape.

I think the best part of these cards is that the recipient can take them apart and then reuse the supplies. Atleast that's what I would do :)

I just can't let go of a pretty card, but I certainly do not need boxes of old holiday cards lying around.
Of course I do have a special box that contains my sentimental ones, like those lovey dovey ones from me and my husband's first holidays together...hehe, but I don't think he would want others to know that he really can be a poet :)

So after the holidays, I'll go through the cards I received and keep my favorites, planning to do something crafty with them eventually. How about you, what do you usually end up doing with your cards? Have you received your first Christmas card yet?!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blur of a Weekend...

When I say this weekend was a blur, I truly do mean it was a blur! Just check out a few of our pictures from the No Coast Craft-o-Rama show...

~Setting up our displays~

Crowds of people!

We were so excited-nervous-panicky about our first big craft show. But everything went surprisingly smooth. We continue to be amazed at how wonderful and supportive the whole crafty community is - both customers and shop owners, it's such an honor to be a part of it all!

Both Country Mouse and I were able to sneak away from our booth and do a little shopping. If you did not make it to the big event, you can check out a list of all of the fantastic vendors here. Thank you to everyone who came out to the show!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shopping Style

It's going to be a traditional Up-North sort of Thanksgiving. My family will be gathering at my uncle's house on the farm. My responsibility is to bring the wine and pies, I'm thankful for that. We are so stinking busy prepping for the No Coast show next weekend, I would be a mess if we were hosting a dinner!

I don't have a long list of people to get gifts for. I've already ordered a few items as well as supplies to make some of them. I put a lot of effort into figuring out just what I want to get for my special people and pets. Although gift cards are nice (this is my husband's preferred gift method) I try to get something that I put a bit more thought into.

I tend to do most of my shopping online. Actually I'm in love with shopping online. It's slightly addicting. I can sit in my pjs with a cup of coffee and browse thousands of potential gift items. I have no patience to fight the crowds or stand in line for a Black Friday deal. Who wants to get up at 3am after Thanksgiving?

And it has a little bit to do with my husband working in retail. It's always hard for him to travel for Thanksgiving because he has to be at the store so early on Friday. And it seems like every year it gets earlier and earlier, pretty soon we'll skip the meal and be eating in the store parking lot! Well, maybe not that crazy but you can understand where I'm coming from right?

So this holiday season, I will think about the people I exchange gifts with and the type of retailers I support. What about you, what's your shopping style? Do you rush out and get some of those crazy deals on Friday? Do you make some of your gifts?

Oh and the pic above is a little Christmas card project I'm starting. More on that later...Hope you have a nice long weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cleaning with Cocktails

Hi, this is Country Mouse! I know, I know, you never hear from me, right? Well, I’m a bit shy and also very busy getting ready for our first appearance at No Coast Craft-o-rama which is coming up December 4th & 5th in Minneapolis.

I just had to peek out of my little mouse nest to let you know about a fantastic cleaning product that I came across recently at the DIY Network, check out the video here. You’re not going to believe it, but it’s Vodka! Yes, it’s true. Vodka for cleaning! Cheap Vodka. Not Grey Goose Vodka, but the cheap stuff. Well, you could use your Grey Goose, but that would get spendy.

I also recently saw Kirstie Alley talking about using vodka for cleaning last week on Oprah! It’s amazing, eco-friendly, and cheaper than buying all of those cleaning products that are so hazardous to the environment. Plus, you can take a sip while you’re cleaning and cleaning will be FUN! Well, gotta run…..happy cleaning and have a fun-filled weekend!

(image Pottery Barn)

Monday, November 16, 2009

We have a Winner!

At the One Yard Wonders Book Release Party with Rebecca Yaker and Trish Hoskins

Thank you so much for entering our first giveaway for a copy of the fabulous One Yard Wonders book! We had so much fun reading your comments about your least favorite household chores. From dishes to laundry to bathroom cleaning, there sure is a lot to do around the house that isn't a whole lot of fun!

We used random.org to pick the lucky winner - AmyV123 - who has a dislike for vacuuming the stairs but is able to convince her husband to do the chore! Congrats Amy! Send us an email with your address so we can send your copy of One Yard Wonders!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Amy Butler Love in the Shop

Have you checked out Amy Butler's newest collection - Love? It's absolutely stunning! I love both the floral and architectural prints as well as the colorways of Amy's new line.

We were lucky to pick up a few of these new prints while we wait for our large order to arrive - we were told it could be early January! So while we wait, let's enjoy the beauties we have available now. New ironing board covers will be added to the shop early this week.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Coast Craft-o-rama

You'll have to forgive me if it's a little quiet around here. All I hear lately is the hum of the sewing machine and the scissors slicing through fabric. We are in full production mode (working like mad women every waking minute!) preparing for No Coast Craft-o-rama!

If you are local (or maybe you need an excuse for a trip?) you must mark your calendar to attend the spectacular No Coast Craft-o-rama on December 4th (3pm-8pm) and 5th (9pm-5pm) at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. You will find the most amazing gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Check out all of the details here.

AND don't forget to enter our giveaway for your very own copy of One Yard Wonders before midnight CST this Friday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Giveaway!

We have been feeling the need to celebrate for quite some time now and decided the time is finally here! Why celebrate? Oh where do I even start....How about a brief recap?

A little over a year ago myself (City Chic) and my mom (Country Mouse) opened our Etsy shop. We never dreamt that a year later we would have so many sales, developed friendships with amazingly talented people, and have a blog with the most wonderful readers!

And finally we have our copies of One Yard Wonders (we contributed our tabletop ironing board cover pattern)! The book is fantastic! It is spiral-bound so it lays open nicely while you read instructions for 101 amazing projects! So how about we celebrate by giving one lucky reader their very own copy?

How to enter:

We try to create things to make your household chores a bit more fun (like ironing!). So leave us a comment with your least favorite household chore.

  • One entry per person, open to US residents only (darn shipping costs!)
  • Giveaway will be open through midnight CST - Friday November 13.
  • We will randomly pick a winner and reveal the lucky one Monday November 16.
  • Lucky winner will be responsible for emailing us with their mailing address.
If you can't wait for us to announce the winner of the giveaway, you can order your very own copy here. It's the perfect gift for a fabric lover (remember the holidays are fast approaching!) Good luck and happy sewing!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tick Tock

Is it just me or is Fall the fastest season of all? It's really flown by these last few weeks, don't you think? But stick around because next week I plan to share some of the things that have kept me (& Country Mouse) busy lately and you won't want to miss it. Until then here are some fun things that have been a distraction to me (in a good way):
  • Dreaming about what color to paint my office/sewing room, I think I'm set on Creamy Mocha and Cappuccino White.
  • Accepted the fact that it is going to get cold and snowy again, so I bought this to keep me warm.
  • Also accepted that it is going to be 2010 next year! So I'm considering a new calendar.
  • Trying to get to the theater to see Michael Jackson's - This Is It
That's all for now. Hope you have a wonderful Halloween weekend! See you back here next week!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bake it Pretty - Owl Friends

Today I created a bunch of hooters. (Owls!) They are so adorable. And tasty.


I used a candy mold from Bake it Pretty along with candy wafers for melting and cello bags for packaging. You just melt the candy wafers, fill the mold and tap it a little to get the bubbles out, and stick it in the freezer until it sets.

The shapes pop out very easily and I'm sure you can think of a number of cute ways to package them. I was in a bit of a hurry and just used tiny cello bags and cut out cardstock paper with a smaller Amy Butler scrap paper and stapled them all together. Sweet and simple. For more sweet candy inspiration, head on over to the Bake it Pretty blog. Your sweet tooth will thank you!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Interview with Glorious Hats

Just a quick note to let you know Jane from Glorious Hats interviewed us on her blog today! We are part of her fun series titled "Etysians who Drive a Sewing Machine." Jane creates wonderful one-of-a-kind items in her shop just check out this Mustache:

AND she is a fellow Minnesotan, so of course she is warm and friendly :) You can read the interview here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Items

I promised to let you know when we would be ready to reveal our new items for the shop. I've been trying all weekend to get some decent pictures of the new items, but the weather is not cooperating. It's been cloudy and we even woke up to a little bit of snow on Saturday! And now they say we may get 2-4 inches tomorrow! I'm not done with Fall yet and Winter is already knocking at the door. Well, I'm not answering. Go away.

Here is a quick peek at the new items...

Measuring Tape ~ perfect in your purse and for your handmade projects

Scissor Holder ~ to hold that special pair of scissors ~ you know, the ones you don't want your husband to steal and never return ;)

We will be adding these in a variety of fabrics. Let us know if you have any special requests. I'll start adding them to the shop early this week. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't wake up to snow tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Feature on Young House Love

Remember our table and chair makeover we posted awhile back? Sherry and John from Young House Love featured it on their Reader Redesign series! We were thrilled to see it up on their blog where we always find so much inspiration. Check it out over here.

In the comments, there were some questions about oilcloth, like what is it, where to get your hands on it, and what else can you do with it? So we'll do our best to answer:

  1. What the heck is oilcloth? It's similar to a vinyl tablecloth that you can buy at the store. Here is wikipedia's version of oilcloth.
  2. Where can I get it? You can sometimes get it at your local fabric store and of course online. We just came across this shop on Etsy that is dedicated to selling oilcloth, check out Oilcloth Addict.
  3. And for what to do with it, let's just say the possibilities are only limited by your imagination! But if you need some helpful ideas, one reader found an awesome site that is all about oilcloth - Oilcloth International and they have a blog featuring fun projects made with it.
Hopefully you enjoyed our short course on oilcloth :) Do you have any ideas on what you would make with it? Please share!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Distractions = New Items?

So how was your weekend? Did you get to do everything you set out to do? We didn't make it to the Apple Festival like I'd planned. Partly because of the weather (cold, rainy, windy, blah)...I snapped this picture during the brief moment when I saw a single patch of blue sky...

and partly because of this little guy I introduced you to a few weeks ago...

He's just so stinkin' cute. I mean a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e. And oh so snuggly! He's at that stage where you just want to squeeze him, he's so cute.

But he's a total distraction too. All weekend it's "where's Junior" and "what's he doing" and "look at him, he's so cute!" and of course a few "no Junior, NOooo!s".

With all of that we did manage to come up with not just one, but TWO new items for the shop! Maybe distractions actually help us focus :)

So as soon as this weather clears up and I can take some decent pictures I will show-and-tell here so you are the first to know just what Junior somehow helped us create.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Welcome Fall!

Well, hello Fall! I've said my goodbyes to Summer and trying my best to welcome Fall. Don't get me wrong, I love what Fall has to offer:

I'm just not so sure that I'm going to be welcoming the season that follows Fall (you know, the one that starts with "W"). I'm hoping to do the three things listed above this weekend. What about you, how are you welcoming Fall? Doing anything crafty? Trying any new recipes? Please do share :)

image: cattales on etsy

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Parasol Craft Magazine

I came across a fabulous find by Holly at decor8 the other week: Parasol Craft Magazine. I just purchased the first issue - a steal of a deal for $2.50! There are 111 pages packed with inspiration and creativity. This is my first time purchasing an online magazine and I am thoroughly enjoying it! It was extremely easy to download the file and start flipping through (I mean clicking through) right away. If you haven't heard of the amazingly talented Yasmine Surovec from her blog A Print A Day, you must click on over and check her out.

image: Parasol Craft Magazine

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big Patches-Big Love Quilt

Isn't it fun to see this...

turn into this...

Country Mouse and I used the Big Patches-Big Love pattern from Amy Butler's software for this quilt. It was part of a wedding gift for one of my dear friends, so the name is very fitting don't you think? Fabric is from Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley collection.

We've been extremely lucky with our weather lately, nice and warm! Each nice day we have, I can't help but think is this going to be the last one before it turns cold? Soon it will be time to cozy up under a warm quilt like this one and hibernate! But until then, I'm going to spend as much time outside as possible. Wishing you a Sunday full of sunshine!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Puppy Love

Puppy love...ahhh...need I say more?? This little guy stole my heart and I haven't even met him yet. I told you how heartbroken we were when we lost our Lady over a week ago. My mom (Country Mouse) wasn't sure she was ready to have a new puppy quite so soon, but after several days of silence in her house it was clear that the pitter-patter of paws was needed.

Say hello to Junior!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our First Pattern!

I mentioned a while back that we would have some exciting news to share. And we've been oh-so-busy working on this project :)

It all started when we had a request from a sweet customer (Lori), wondering if we would ever offer a pattern for our oven mitt. Country Mouse and I had talked about several ideas for a pattern but it just simply had not made it to the top of our priority list. That is until we heard from Lori.
We sprung into action putting our instructions and photos together.

We just needed the skills of a graphic designer to help us with the finishing touches. Our dear etsy friend Whitney of Whisker Graphics created a dreamy layout while we struggled with a name. Just when we were about to settle on one, Whitney emailed us with a suggestion from her daughter and it was perfect...drumroll...Please welcome the very first City Chic Country Mouse PDF sewing pattern: Sew Hot Oven Mitt!

Just in time for you to start sewing your holiday gifts (yes, it's that time already!) This is a fun pattern for a beginning-sewer as well as advanced. There are a few options for extra creativity (like adding an applique or yo-yo). 6 color pages filled with step-by-step instructions and color photos to guide you through making your oven mitt.

It will be emailed to you within 24 hours and you can start sewing immediately! No waiting for the mail. And the other thing we really like about this pattern is that it takes a small amount of fabric - just two fat quarters! If you are like us, you probably have tons of fat quarters lying around just waiting to be made into something beautiful.

You can find the Sew Hot Oven Mitt pattern for sale in our shop now. Happy Sewing!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Chevron Fabric

I'm slowly getting back in the swing of things this week. Thank you for your kind words while we remember our little doggie that we lost almost a week ago. I am happy that the sun is shining and it feels like summer (where was this weather back in July??). Mother nature is confusing me with the seasons, especially when I am deciding what to wear in the mornings.

I spent part of today photographing some new covers for the shop. What do you think of the chevron pattern? I've seen it used for
rugs and cards, so why not ironing board covers? I really like how they turned out.

They will be available in the shop very soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Little Break

We have been working on some new things that we can't wait to share with you. But we lost one of sweet doggies this weekend and need to take a break to let our hearts start to heal.

My mom's dog Lady has been with us from the start of our sewing business, always in her little bed in the sewing room when we are working. Sadly, we lost her to complications with congestive heart failure today. So I hope you understand if we are little quiet here. Hug your special ones extra tight tonight.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lovely Clusters - An Online Gallery

I was introduced to a lovely new gallery the other day by Vicki of Simply Hue. The new gallery is appropriately named "Lovely Clusters" and features artists and designers with dreamy type products. It truly is lovely!!

The gallery is designed by Rachel of
Design Lovely and her assistant Vicki who did an amazing job of putting together a wonderful collection of beautiful items (ours included!) . The fun part is you can shop by color cluster (genius!) or by product.

Here is an example when you click on Pink:

If you are interested in having your shop showcased in the gallery, contact information is here.

And a huge thank you to Vicki for introducing us to this gallery as well as featuring our shop as part of her Spotlight on Designers this week! Click on over and see all of the talented artists and designers on Simply Hue as part of the series (and for specials and a giveaway opportunity!). Thank you so much for supporting the artists and designers of small shops!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend Shopping

I must confess. I did a little shopping over the weekend. My plan was to stop by Home Depot to pick up one more round of paint colors for the bathroom. I have the shower curtain, towels and rugs already. But I have the hardest time committing to a color in that room for some reason.

Anyway, since Home Depot is very close to one of my favorite shops, it only made sense that I stop by to see what's new. And there I fell in love with him...

Isn't he perfect? He's actually a pitcher, but I figured he wouldn't mind holding some flowers as well. I found some other friends that I would like to bring home as well:

  • I would be all smiles drinking coffee from this
  • This guy is perfect for greeting me when I arrive home

So how was your weekend, did it take you off the beaten path? Did you do anything unusual?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We Love to Hear from You!

Really. It puts a big smile on my face when I open an email from a customer and they tell me how excited they are to do laundry and iron now that they have a fresh new ironing board cover from our shop. And I especially love it when someone sends me a picture their new ironing board cover proudly displayed in their newly redecorated laundry area. Here are a few shots from a recent customer...

So bright and cheery, isn't it? I on the other hand, do not have a glamorous laundry room. It's where the cat's little box is. Enough said. So I get giddy when I see some nice color, vinyl stickers, and of course organization in a laundry room. Don't you think those retro style vinyl stickers are just perfect? Get yours here from Tweet Heart Wall Art.