Archive of ‘art’ category

Not about Money. Other Reasons to Sell at a Craft Fair

Other Reasons to Sell at a Craft Market! Connections and Creative Fire __a happy stitch

{peg fairies by Sophi Karkeek}

Ack! It has been over a month since I wrote here! I always find it a little embarrassing when I neglect the blog. I do this funny thing where I talk in my head to you guys but don’t match it all up with pretty pictures and non-imaginary words and then lose track of just how long it has been. Silly brain parts.  I just finished up a holiday art fair and had a great time mixed with the usual bit of stress and mental wrestling.  I thought a lot about the financial benefits of a craft fair versus the other reasons I think you should sell at a craft fair and I thought I’d write it all out in case anyone else is pondering these same questions.

The past month has been so busy.  I know everyone can relate to that.  This time of year is intense, man.  For makers it’s even more intense because it’s often the most lucrative time of the year.  Imagine adding to the steep increase in holiday parties, family obligations, school events and gift shopping by having to create ten times as much as normal then promote and attend a craft fair.  It’s kind of insane. I’ve been having heart  palpitations for the last month and I only do one holiday sale! I’m sure other artisans have it much worse.

In the midst of my crazy, stressed-out, not-stopping-to-shower efforts I asked myself, “Is this really worth it?” (more…)

Indigo Dyed Tote Bag

Indigo Tote Bag with Leather handles | a happy stitchI am a natural skeptic, so I must admit I was slow to embrace the indigo dying trend.  It seemed like everyone was doing it and I pshawed. Of course, sometimes you have to (embarassingly) admit that what you first dismissed as a ‘trend’ is a hundreds of hundreds years old technique born out of pure awesome and you were being kind of a heel. Or, maybe that only happens to me. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that indigo dying is awesome! It’s a living plant, guys, and the whole process of dying with indigo is really unexpected and fun.  It’s like tie-dye (on steroids) for (artist-oriented) grown ups. If you are at all interested, don’t overthink it…definitely try it out.  I am so glad that my husband bought me a class in indigo dying at the Brooklyn Craft Company so I could get over my self and dive into it already.  I brought along a bunch of plain fabric including some canvas and basically had the time of my life.  Two of the pieces I dyed I turned into this Indigo Dyed Tote bag. (more…)

Backyard Art Camp :: Child-Led Art with Recycled Materials

Nurturing Creativity with Child-Led Art Projects

I am positively thrilled to announce the return of Backyard Art Camp!  Remember Backyard Art Camp from two years ago? The inimitable Jane from Buzzmills and I gathered together a group of bloggers who each created art projects for kids centering around famous artists.  It was SO MUCH FUN! And, we’ve been meaning to do it again.  As the dog days of summer approached we talked about it a little here and a little there. Finally Jane’s brilliant daughter came up with the idea of a Re-useum…that is an art gallery with art made of recycled materials! Genius!  So, in a kind of last minute, thrown-together way….I am happy to present Backyard Art Camp 2015, the Re-useum.  Along with Tara from Girl Like The Sea, Jane and I are spending this week showing off our projects, philosophies and all things recycled art projects for kids.  Be sure to check out Jane’s post from yesterday so you can bask in pure delight…she invited the whole neighborhood over and created a full-on recycled art gallery (a real RE-useum!)

Today, I’m talking about nurturing creativity with child-led art projects.  I feel a little bit silly discussing this, to be honest. I mean, it’s not like I am some expert on this stuff. (more…)

this baby of mine :: baby cloud mobile, dreamy swaddle blanket & artist rolls

new baby shower gift! A little over a year ago I was invited to join a community of bloggers, The Creative Mamas. We commune on Facebook; gathering as bakers, writers, designers of small imaginary worlds, sewists, hand-printers, and everything in between. It’s grown to be a group providing great support and inspiration for me.  I rely on those ladies for so much.  Heck, I am not afraid to say it…I love them!  The creative mojo and entrepreneurial smarts they possess is unparalleled!   Today is a special day for this group because we are celebrating a whole new life added to the collective.  Yay! (more…)

stamped thank you cards

Thank you for helping me grow! | hand-stamped thank you cards

At the beginning of this year, I put aside the sewing machine for a little while and picked up ink, paper and a rubber carving block.  I’d been thinking about how to say thank you in a meaningful way to some of the amazing people in the blogging world that I was feeling honored to have worked with.  Thank you for helping me grow! | hand-stamped thank you cards

I wasn’t sure what direction the whole project was going to go in but I wanted to make something handmade and heart-full.   (more…)

Color Story Workshop & Creative Vulnerability

My Unique Color Story Workshop with Amy Butler | a story of creative replenishment from A Happy Stitch

At a certain point on my journey down the road as a creative freelancer, I realized that my creative spark kind of fizzles out if I’m not purposeful about replenishing it.   Don’t get me wrong, I get so much out of teaching and sewing new patterns.  It’s a constant flow of good ideas, good energy and new ways of doing things. And that is revitalizing, it really is.  I love it.  But, if I don’t stop and stretch myself in new directions every once in a while, in a manner that is restorative, well, I kinda lose my mojo. (more…)

kid’s clothes week :: matching pj’s for the boys

Kids Clothes Week : Super soft match pajamas for boys | made by a happy stitch

Look! I made pj’s for the boys!  Thanks to kids’ clothes week I’m back making stuff for these two monkeys.  And, I even hung a sheet in the bedroom and got some proper pictures of them wearing the whole getup.

Matchy match pi's for boys | part of Kid's Clothes Week made by Melissa Q. at a happy stitch

The best part is they love them!  We had so much fun taking pictures, they were being hilarious and I remember how much easier it is to get picture of kids wearing handmade than to get around to the awkward process of taking pictures of myself.  Of course, I did my usual; bribed the boys with M&M’s (not even the fake health food store ones, real M&M’s).  But, they love the pj’s and loved taking pictures especially when I suggested they get their favorite teddys in the shot.

matching pj's for boys | part of Kid's Clothes Week made by  a happy stitch

The details: Fabric is a super-soft think jersey knit from Wanderlust. I love the colors but the fabric has a bit of polyester content that might just pill over time. We will see.  Other than that, it is perfect for summer pajamas because of its softness and lightweight-ness (think I just invented a new fabric term with that one).

silly faced boys in super soft matching pj's | made by a happy stitch

The pattern for the bottoms is a complete mystery.  I am pretty good about labeling patterns but I have this one pattern labelled “short sweats size 4/5”.  Maybe I drafted it way back when? Anyway, it looked humongous for a 4/5T size and just right otherwise. Sure enough, it fits C perfectly who is a 7T and it’s pretty roomy on J who is a 5T.  Go figure?  I used it because I felt too lazy to search for another shorts pattern.  I’m glad it worked because it could have been a disaster and I would have had my laziness to blame.  For the tops I modified the ‘crossover top’ from Growing Up Sew Liberated (affiliate link) for J’s shirt and drafted a top for C based on his measurements because the crossover top only goes up to size 5T.  Both of the tees fit well, which is great because I can use them again.

Matchy match pi's for boys | part of Kid's Clothes Week made by Melissa Q. at a happy stitch Now, kid’s clothes week has a theme this time around and that theme is kid art.  These pj’s don’t have anything to do with kid art, the boys just needed summer jams.  But, I did ask the boys if they had any ideas for things they might draw that I could sew and they both drew elaborate soccer outfits complete with detailed soccer badges from their respective imaginary worlds! I couldn’t say no.  It looks like the rest of my kid’s clothes week hours are spoken for.  Those t-shirt patterns will be quite useful and I will probably be tweaking the shorts. I’ve already traveled to our local Goodwill and found huge t-shirts in just the right colors that I can deconstruct.  I’m not yet sure how to make the elaborate team badges, though?  I was thinking maybe use a t-shirt transfer? Or freezer paper stencil? I have the sinking feeling I’ll be trying a couple techniques. Yes, it’s thursday.  This operation could leak into next week but I don’t think these guys will mind.

Matchy match pi's for boys | part of Kid's Clothes Week made by Melissa Q. at a happy stitch

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