Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yarn Wreaths

There are so many fun projects and tasty recipes to try out during the holidays, it's sometimes overwhelming and there's never enough time to try everything! I was determined to do a yarn wreath this year after seeing this post by Holly on decor8 last year. 

This past weekend was cold and snowy, the perfect weather to stay inside and be crafty :) Country Mouse and I pulled out our supplies and created a few wreaths for ourselves, 
take a look...

We really enjoyed making these together, which reminded us how important it is to stop and allow time to create something just for ourselves. Although, after making these I'm inspired to make a few as gifts! They really are easy to do and inexpensive, so if you still are undecided on a gift for someone why not give this a try? 
You can find the instructions here.

I'm not sure if I will have another post before Christmas arrives, so I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday from both myself and Country Mouse.
Take care and have a wonderful time with friends and family!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

No Coast Craft-o-Rama

Come support handmade at the No Coast Craft-Rama show Friday 3-8 and Sat 9-5 at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis! We will be in the same booth as last year (D-7). 
Country Mouse and I are busy sewing up a few more pin cushions and then we need to pack up the vehicle for the show! It's going to be fun! Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thank You Sale!

Hope you are enjoying wonderful food, furry friends, and loved ones this weekend. Would you would like to avoid the crowds and stay in your pjs and shop online this weekend? 
To thank you for supporting handmade, we are offering 15% off everything listed in our Etsy Shop through Monday Nov. 29 by using the coupon code THANKS2010
Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank You and Happy Friday!

Thank you everyone who commented and read our Crafty Holiday post this week! I heard from several of the shops we featured and they said they had increased shoppers from our blog post! Thank you again for supporting handmade, it is truly appreciated, now let's do the happy dance because it's FRIDAY! 

What are you up to this weekend? My husband and I are going to be cleaning and planning for Thanksgiving. We may have 15 guests at our house! It should be interesting to say the least :) But first my brother-in-law returns from the army next Thursday and will be staying with us for several weeks. We need to get the extra bedroom ready for him and my new sewing area will be right outside of his room so I'll have to put that project on hold until after he leaves. I don't think he would appreciate the hum of the sewing machine outside of his room when he is trying to sleep! I'll keep sewing in my current cramped quarters because No Coast Craft-o-Rama is only a few short weeks away! 

And just in case you didn't see on Facebook, we had two interviews posted this week. One with Melanie from Modern Organic Fabrics and the other with Polly Danger with a giveaway!

Anything exciting on your weekend agenda? Hope it's a great one! xoxo, Jamie

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Crafty Holiday

Hello friends, can you believe it's already November and time to start thinking about gifts?! I tend to get a little stressy searching for the "perfect" gift for each person (and doggie!) on my list. The perfect gift shows that you truly thought about the person and that you think they are pretty darn special, right? 

I started thinking about the gifts I've received or given in the past and I can't remember a lot of them! I feel awful admitting that, but here's the truth...I remember almost every handmade gift I received, even from when I was little. The stuffed animals Country Mouse made me (as well as a big unicorn she surprised me with from a craft show one Christmas), sweaters and mittens from my grandma, photo collages from my friends... 

This year instead of searching department stores, Country Mouse and I along with a group of bloggers are vowing to support handmade. By supporting handmade you are sure to find a unique and meaningful gift as well as support real people in our community. 

Our friend Angela from The Artists' House (we met at the Creative Connection Event this Fall) is hosting a Crafty Holiday blog hop. If you follow along, you are sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Would you like to see my list so far?

1. Dog Collar Flowers by Mimi Green
our pups love to be stylish!
2. Antler Dog Chew by Antler Pantry 
better to chew on one of these than my shoes!
3. Blue Wool Capelet by BugDuds
my little Cricket would look so cute in this!
4. Pet ID tags by Make Your Dog Smile 
just in case the pups get lost!

 1. Soapy Sewing Kit by Love Lee Soaps 
fun soaps for the kiddos!
2. Printable Paper Calendar by Little Paper Dog 
 personalize it by writing in special dates for each recipient!
3. Fingerless Gloves by Skylark Dawn 
these were a hit last year for Country Mouse!
4. Tall Ship Wood Block Print by Wayfaring Art
  for those with a fascination for ships and pirates!

I'm taking over what used to be the "man" room in our house, 
it will now be my sewing room and I'd love to see all of these in my new space...

1. Cloudy Hand Embroidered Wool Felt Pincushion by Sea Pinks
2. Crest Mod Cabin Wall Clock by Nice
3. Neck and Shoulder Wrap by Home Grown Pillows
4. Ruffled Camera Strap by Eclectic Whatnot

Everything on my list is found on Etsy which is a wealth of handmade goodness. You can find gifts from artist all over the world! If you prefer to shop local you can even search for shops in your area.

Rather than fight the crowds at the mall, check out your local craft fairs. If you are in the Twin Cities area here are a few upcoming events you should check out:
November 13th 9am - 2pm Nokomis Urban Craft Fair
November 20th 9am - 4pm North Branch Arts Fest
December 3 (3pm - 8pm) Dec 4 (9am - 5pm) No Coast Craft-o-Rama 
(we will have a booth here!)

Hope you're inspired to start your shopping! The next stop for A Crafty Holiday is Prim and Propah
Happy shopping!  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweater Pillow Tutorial

I came across some cozy sweater pillows while shopping the other weekend and wanted to bring them home with me. I like to change the covers on my pillows quite often so I don't like to spend a lot of money on them (especially when we have a sewing room full of fabrics available!). 

So the other weekend when Country Mouse and I got together we tried making our own and loved how they turned out.

We thought we'd share with you how we made our own sweater pillows. It's the perfect way to recycle some of those sweaters that have been taking up room in your closet since last season (you know you have some!). And a quick project - you can probably finish one in less than an hour.

Materials/Supplies (for an 18" x 18" pillow):
  • One old sweater (a cableknit makes a beautiful cover, but if you only have a plain one you can hand sew some kind of embellishment to it at the end like we did with the blue sweater)
  • 18” x 18” Muslin or any cotton fabric for backing your sweater piece
  • 25” x 18” fabric piece for your envelope backing
  • One 18” x 18”pillow form
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Walking Foot (helpful, but not absolutely necessary)

1.Determine what part of your sweater you wish to use for your pillow front. Be sure you are able to cut it the size of your pillow form! Cut out an 18” x 18” square.

2. Cut from the muslin one 18" x 18" square. From your fabric for the pillow back, cut two 12 1/2" x 18" rectangles.

3. Pin the sweater piece right side up onto the muslin and stitch ¼” seam around all four sides.

4. Take one of the rectangles you cut and fold over ½” along the long edge and press Fold over another ½”, press and pin in place. Stitch down the fold, sewing about 1/4" in from the folded edge. Repeat with the second rectangle. 

5. Lay the 18" square right-side up, then place the rectangles right-side down on top of the square with the folded and stitched edges overlapping in the middle. Pin around all edges.

6. Sew around all edges of the pillow with a 3/8" seam allowance.

7. Turn the pillow cover right side out, push out corners. Insert your pillow form and get cozy! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Shop Updates

We finished sewing new sets of aprons, towels, and oven mitts for the shop incorporating some of our finds from treasure hunting sales and fall colors. The photo above is a collage of some of the new fabrics and fall color inspiration. I'm trying to put together a little collage of fabrics and textures each time we create a new line of shop items (hoping to do this each season!)

We're also working on a monthly (or seasonal) newsletter - see the sign up on the right side of the blog - which will include news and special discounts for our etsy shop. We'd love for you to sign up!

This past weekend was unseasonably warm and sunny for us. I took full advantage of the sunshine and had a lot of fun playing stylist and photographing the new aprons, towels, and oven mitts. 

I did make time to reconnect with some college friends who I had not been in touch with for several years. We became close after spending nearly a month in Michigan together for a summer field course for our Fisheries and Wildlife degree. It was so much fun to catch up and find out what everyone is up to, it's quite funny that none of us are working in the field of our major! But that's ok, we agreed that we loved learning to identify birds by their songs and to recite scientific names (always a popular topic at a party, right?). I think that's why the little butterfly made it into the shop pictures, I was reminiscing of plant identification and life cycles. 
Funny how that happens, isn't it?

I hope your week is off to a great start! 
Thanks for stopping by, Jamie

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bayfield Apple Festival

This past weekend Country Mouse and I made it to Bayfield for the Apple Festival. Even though the forecast said it was going to be sunny by noontime, it was rainy most of the day. But there was still much to be enjoyed...

Fall Colors! We spotted an estate sale on the way to Bayfield and made sure to make a stop on the trip home, lots of good stuff came home with us including doilies, linens and a miniature dollhouse sewing room.

Lunch: curried chicken sandwich, apple squash soup (I'm going to try making this one
and honeybee lattes

Wine! Yes, we brought home apples too :)

And the beautiful Lake Superior

After the trip to Bayfield we spent the rest of the weekend in the sewing room with our fabric and goodies from the estate sale. I hope to get photos of all of our new creations this weekend and have a shop update next week. 
How about you, have you been enjoying Fall?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Hunting

I haven't been to an estate sale in fact the last one was at the very beginning of summer. Things have been too busy with our summer house/yard projects. So I was thrilled when I saw there was going to be a sale very close to my home. Yippee! It was only a ten minute drive! I can do this!

The pictures online showed some vintage fishing tackle so I thought just maybe my husband would like to tag along (he's big into hunting and fishing). He usually prefers I go to these sorts of things with Country Mouse. He doesn't enjoy this kind of hunting.

The morning of the sale he slept in and I didn't plan to disturb his sleep by waking him up to go to an estate sale. But he happened to get up before I left the house and decided to join me on the hunt.

As we passed the sale (there was no parking on the street in front of the house) my heart started beating faster. I asked him if he felt the same...the answer was No. We circled the block, parked and saw others walking towards the house. Now I was really getting excited, so I asked again how he felt...your heart still isn't beating any faster?? That's crazy. No you're crazy (he says).

We lined up and as soon as we entered the house I went straight to the room where I knew the table runners and doilies would be. The woman in front of me was on the same path and started picking up all of the lovely linens! Nooo!!! (I screamed in my head). She didn't look up at me or she would have seen the disappointment and terror in my face. I picked up the few remaining and went to the next room to see if perhaps there would be more. Strike, nothing! I was so upset that I had politely walked in the house. I should have been more aggressive! but that's not my style and I didn't want to embarrass my husband ~ I had to behave or he may never come with me again.

I stopped by the room with the doilies once more to see if anything else interested me. I couldn't believe my luck! The lady had left nearly everything she originally picked up! I got my table runners and doilies! Yesss!

In the end my husband did not find any treasures for himself. I think maybe it takes a few times of going to these sorts of sales to dig in and be comfortable sifting through everything to find your own special treasure, you know? But I really did appreciate the effort he made to try out my kind of hunting :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Creative Connection Friends

Country Mouse and I are still recovering from our time at The Creative Connection Event last week. It was an amazing experience and a wonderful place to connect with so many other creative minds. We had the opportunity to hear Mary Jane Butters and Amy Butler talk about their background and how their businesses evolved. 
We loved hearing their stories of how they got started and what they view as important creative business practices. So inspiring! I was ready to give my resignation notice at my day job when I returned on Monday...but my husband wasn't in agreement with this quite yet :) 

As part of the Handmade Market we got to meet lots of other vendor are a few of our sweet neighbors...

And we had celebrity shoppers! Heather Bailey stopped by, Vanessa and Danielle from Etsy, Mary Jane Butters and her daughter, and Kris and Kim from You Can Make This! It sounds like Nancy and Jo plan to do another one next year and we hope they decide to keep it in Minneapolis so we can be sure to join in the fun again.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Off to The Creative Connection Event!

We hope to see you at The Creative Connection Event in downtown Minneapolis! We will be a part of the Handmade Market along with over 100 other talented vendors. 
The market will be open during these times:

Wed Sept 15 6-9pm
Thurs Sept 16 11-5
Fri Sept 17 10-6
Sat Sept 18 10-5

Stop by and say hi!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Countdown to Creative Connection Event

Only a few more weeks until we are at the Creative Connection Event! We are thrilled this exciting event will be so close to home is just a fifteen minute drive away from downtown Minneapolis. Country Mouse will be staying with me and we'll be brainstorming new ideas for the shop and our sewing rooms. We both plan to give our spaces a makeover one of these days, hopefully before the end of the year. In the meantime I'm tearing out inspirations from magazines for our rooms and dreaming of the day we put our ideas into actions.

Did I tell you my new sewing machine arrived a few weeks ago? I've put her to work right away, no easing into things around here...She helped me finish 750 little envelopes with our business cards for the Creative Connection Event. And now we're starting on the stack of ironing board covers that is ready to topple over.  

We'll be sewing, sewing, sewing this last week of summer. Although I will take a break to attend a wedding and hopefully enjoy a bit of sunshine before Fall officially arrives. Hope you enjoy the remaining bit of summer!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vintage Thread

It seems I have acquired too many wooden spools of thread (according to my husband!). Every time I come across the sweet little spools full of color, I must have them! Just about every estate sale I've been to this summer with Country Mouse, there always seems to be some of these vintage spools calling my name.

I've sorted through my collection and determined what I can part with (for now)...These are wonderful for display in a glass jar or for use in photos. I'll miss them, but I am only allowed to keep what fits in my thread case! If you think you might like to add to your collection, visit our Etsy shop. Happy sewing (and thrifting!).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sewing Patterns!

I arrived home to this one day last week...


Any guesses on what these boxes contain?! Our sewing patterns! 
Now available in our Etsy shop.

A little background on the names...we decided to name our patterns after some of the hardworking women (mom, grandmas, great grandmas, aunts) who had a part in raising either myself or my mom (Country Mouse). It's difficult to put into words what each of these ladies did to prepare us for the world, but we know it sparked our creativity. We hope you have someone in your life that you can thank for a part of your creativity too! Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In the Summertime...

we make time to relax at the lake

 and play some serious ball games with our furry friends

Our summer project list was set aside due to an unexpected surgery for my mom (Country Mouse). Sometimes life has its way of telling you to pause and reflect, don't you think? And being at the lake is a wonderful place to stop and just be.

Even at the cabin we can't be without a little stash of fabric and a notebook full of lists and ideas for future projects. So although it may seem a bit quiet here in blog land, we are sewing and just might be interrupted by a weekend trip to the lake every now and then. 

And don't worry, Country Mouse is back at the sewing machine...which means she is well on the road to a full recovery. Hope you are stopping to take a dip in the lake and enjoy your summer!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cloud9 Organic Fabrics

During Spring Quilt Market, Country Mouse and I fell in love with Cloud9 Organic Fabrics. The thought of adding an eco-friendly line to our shop was always in the back of our mind. So when we came across Cloud9 it was love at first sight! Soon after market the fabric arrived and the past few weeks we have been busy creating new ironing board covers and sewing machine covers...

The shop is now updated! To learn more about how the fabric is produced and the two women who founded Cloud9 go to their website.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summertime Shop Update

Country Mouse and I designed new sets of aprons, oven mitts, and towels just in time for gardening and cooking with your new farmer's market goodies. We've been picking up little extras from estate sales and incorporating them into new items for the shop. Expect to see more lace, doilies and other vintage details coming soon.

I plan to have these listed in the shop early this week, but do have to make time to plant some new rose, raspberry, and blueberry bushes that made their way home with me this weekend!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer at the Lake

We felt we needed a little relaxation after the big Quilt Market so Country Mouse and I headed to the cabin with our doggies over the weekend.

The sun was shining most of the weekend and the lilacs smelled so sweet. It was the perfect way to welcome summer at the cabin! In between throwing the ball for all of our pooches (as you can see this took up the majority of our time!) we managed to get caught up on reading magazines and writing our to-do lists. 

We can't wait to show you the new fabrics that are on their way and all of the things we have planned for them! It's going to be a busy summer! Hope you enjoyed the long weekend!