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The Littlest Princess

Anyone that knows me, knows my heart belongs to a little girl who lives entirely too far away from me. I was there for her parents first date, I was there when her dad came up with his incredible proposal, I was devastatingly not there when they were married, as my command would not grant me leave because prototype sucks, but I was there the day this beautiful little girl was born. I remember her poor momma, she just would not go into labor. It was awful. She was miserable…and when she finally did, well, that isn’t my story to tell, but suffice to say that it was a very long, painful, scary night for everyone involved. But, there is no doubt in my mind that her mom is 150% positive that this little girl was worth every second of it.

I have mostly watched her grow up in photos. I was stationed in Japan when she was born and was there until she was 2. Now she is 4, and even though I am back in the US, they have moved in support of her dad’s ministry, and are further from me than I ever wanted. So, phone calls, photographs, facebook, and an annual visit is what keeps me going when it comes to this little lady. I sent her a book one year for Christmas, it was a recordable book and has me reading a Christmas story to her. She has always recognized my voice, and I am sure that is why.

There is nothing I wouldn’t do for this girl. So, when her super special 4th birthday was coming up, I knew I had to make her feel wonderful. So, I had a great idea, she was taking a ballet class and in love with it. So, I figured that what she needed, and would probably love, would be a cute new outfit for dance classes. So, her momma took some measurements for me, we talked about colors, and I made her a full tutu dress. A skirt was not nearly enough for me. 🙂

Her momma is always amazing enough to send me photos of her opening gifts, and wearing them or playing with them. And that thrills me so much. Not only do I love seeing pictures of my fantastic niece, but it is always really neat to see photos of people, especially kids, enjoying the stuff I make.

 

  

I have one dress listed, a few skirts ready to be listed, and I always am open for custom orders, in case you are interested in a dress yourself. 🙂

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CraftyMom75

I absolutely adore Etsy. I love to shop there. I love knowing that I am supporting small businesses. I love establishing relationships with other sellers and with my customers. I love knowing, and seeing, the difference that I can make in the life of a stay at home mom, a disable veteran, or a child learning about business.

When I really started focusing on the business, around August 2014, I joined a team on Etsy. I want to share a little bit about each member of that team, and the wonderful items they have. I have purchased from several members, and it is really exciting to be able to share our personal photos of the items we just had to have.

I decided last year to do as much Christmas shopping as I could on Etsy. I started ordering stuff months in advance, and everything turned out absolutely amazing. Angie, from CraftyMom75, just made our Christmas perfect though!

We started talking about skirts, and agreed that fleece was not the way to go. Instead, she was able to find some comfortable, lightweight material that included Sven and Kristoff!

 

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She creates these awesome fleece tie blankets, and when I saw she had some Olaf fabric, I knew my younger daughter would need this in her life.

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Out of the left over fabric from the blanket, she made a stocking for my younger daughter. And, she designed a stocking for my older daughter, using a Stitch patch. And this was after spending about 3 weeks looking for Stitch fabric for me!

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I bought this apron without even telling her, I surprised her with this order. This apron is a craft fair vendor’s dream. It has a ton of pockets, and it is super sturdy, and actually stays around your waist. It saved me at Funky Finds. However, I did not get a photograph of me wearing it.

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Angie is a stay at home mom to two boys. She started sewing when she was very young, about 4, and just like most kids, gave up for a long time. After her boys were no longer in the infant stage, she started to sew again. She started up this store to help supplement her income, to be able to provide all sorts of extras and fun times for her boys. Her family is also a bunch of avid Disney lovers, and try to make it to Disney World at least every other year. She is one of the kindest souls I have met on Etsy, always willing to give advice and help out wherever is necessary. And, best of all, she makes the cutest stuff!

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Getting Organized

So, if you haven’t realized by now…I have issues. A lot of them. I am borderline OCD (I say borderline because I have never been diagnosed, but I am quite sure I am fully OCD) about a lot of things when it comes to organization and planning. I will actually have full on panic attacks when plans fall through or things are not planned out. But, only when it involves work or money. I am pretty laid back when it comes to going out, vacations, food…but for my day to day work, or anything involving money – like paying bills, I am almost crazy when it comes to organization. Maybe one day I will show you my super crazy excel spreadsheet that covers all of my monthly income, expenses, when it was paid, balances…it is crazy.

Well, as I was sitting around my house yesterday, thinking about this upcoming craft fair on May 2nd, I realized that I do not have nearly as much made as I had thought. So many of my pre-made items are for adults, and adults will definitely not be my target audience at the children’s festival! And so much of my stuff is winter! I am all set and ready to kill some late fall / early winter craft shows…but May in Southern California? No one is going to buy a scarf or gloves! And adults will not be shopping for themselves when they are in an area dedicated to kids and playing! I need to focus on stuffed animals, kids clothes, dress up clothes, that sort of stuff. Which I have known all along, and I was set on the “I am doing okay there”…until I looked at the count. How I will ever be ready, I have absolutely no idea. So, after spending about 10 minutes freaking out and nearly convincing myself that I should cancel, Stacey’s voice popped into my head again…make a plan. Write it down. Get organized. Be realistic. She actually wrote an entire blog on how to do that exactly…and it is worth a read, if you are like me at all, and get easily spooked.

So, I made a plan…and it looks like this.

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My plan is actually quite flexible. My personal days are all days that I have stuff scheduled and probably would be limited on any work I could actually do. And of course, given that my shop isn’t exactly doing amazing with sales (which you could totally help fix!), all of those days that are dedicated to Etsy orders are available to help finish up work from the day before.

So, while this plan will not 100% put me where I wanted to be, there aren’t enough hours for that considering I work full time, and so much overtime, it will put me much closer. And, it quelled the panic attack some. So, now to just make sure I stick to the plan and kick out a whole bunch of really awesome stuff in the next 2 months!

Wish me luck!

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So Cute I Could Eat You Up! (Candy Corn!)

So, while the time for Halloween has passed, I felt like sharing a little bit about my best selling item. This infant candy corn Halloween costume is sort of what put my shop on the map. (And it is not due to the adorable babies in the pictures, since I didn’t get these photos until after Halloween from some really amazing costumers!)

My best friend in the entire world posted a picture of a really awful looking felt / sewn / hacked together baby wrap that was supposed to be a candy corn costume. I couldn’t even believe someone would try to sell something so awfully made (and yet, here I am, selling my super ugly cup cozies~!) So, I decided to make it for her. I headed off to the wonder that is Hobby Lobby and got some Crafter’s Secret and just sat down and pretended like I knew what I was doing. I was, fortunately, smart enough to keep track of what I did, so that I wouldn’t have to frog the entire thing when I messed it up.

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This was the result. I remember sitting there with my fiancée, Chris, thinking…wow…I cannot believe I made that. I cannot believe it is sort of actually cute! Stuffed animals are one thing, they are pretty much guaranteed to be adorable, no matter how bad you are at making them! But this…this was a costume…this was different…this was super cute and soft. (I just realized how much I toot my own horn in here…maybe I should start an Epic Crochet Fail section so that you can see just how awful I am at this!) Well, I sent this wonderful lady a photo of it, and she loved it…so, off it went to her wee little one (along with a bag that I will post about at another time) and this is what I got in return.

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Is that not the cutest thing you have ever seen? If you think otherwise, you must be a mom. 🙂 I was thrilled with it, and so I listed them…and they sold. People loved them. And I loved seeing photos, getting emails about it, and knowing that people loved it! So, I listed the pattern as well, and that also started to sell. Which is pretty cool, since no one has emailed me to tell me that it doesn’t work, I suck, and should give up writing patterns. 🙂

A day or so after Halloween, I was gifted this photo by a customer. And it makes me smile so much to this day. It is better than a 5 star review in my eyes. Look at that kid! He looks so happy and comfortable and incredible! If I ever have a baby, the poor thing is in for nothing but crochet clothes and photo shoots!

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