Archive of ‘craft community’ 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…)

Wrap Up :: Thoughts on a Handmade Summer Wardrobe

Thoughts on a Handmade Summer Wardrobe || a happy stitch

I have a tendency to move quickly from one thing to the next but I really wanted to be sure and do a wrap up on my handmade summer wardrobe even though it is late October.  Originally, I wanted to jot down reflections so I could have a record of the progress I made toward my goal.  But, as I started writing I realized that I am also sorting through some conflicted feelings. I started the handmade summer wardrobe idea with a deliberate plan that involved assessing my fabric stash and finding the gaps in my summer wardrobe so I could make wearable items from what I have. I set out to make three dresses, three tops, two tunics, one romper, two pairs of shorts and a cardigan.  I ended up making two rompers, three pairs of shorts, three tops, one tunic, one skirt and a cardigan. Overall, I’m thrilled I could tick off accomplishments and am proud of some strong additions to my handmade wardrobe. Most are things I will wear (the tunic and ikat top being the possible exceptions).  It’s so neat and tidy as a little plan, isn’t it?

But, sometimes we create boxes to organize things and then we resent that we are sat in a box, you know?  I guess it is the push and pull of creative limits? As it turns out, I hated my self-created limitations and often found I was reluctantly dragging myself back to stick to the plan. (more…)

Ice Painted Tee Shirts

Tee Shirts for Boys _Ice Painted | a project by a happy stitch

A few weeks ago the boys and I tried out ice painting and made some really fantastic ice painted tee shirts.  At first glance, they look a bit like tie-dyed tees but they are so much more painter-ly (that a word?) when you look closer.  Awesomer, too.  Way awesomer.  Making t-shirts has become something of a summer tradition around here.  Last year we tried tie-dying and sun printing dyes and loved it. There seem to be these unplanned, looser, low-key moments in summer that allow for messy projects. It’s one of my favorite things about summer with the boys at this age.  I got the idea to try ice painting from a Sweet Paul Magazine video on Facebook, which I unfortunately can’t find anymore. Sorry.

The good news is that I took lots of pictures of what we did and remember it all so I can share our tee shirt making with you. (more…)

Sundressing :: Olive Dress and Book Review + A Giveaway

Sundressing-the Olive Dress | a happy stitch

Happy July everybody! After two weeks at home, the boys are enjoying summer camp run by the town PE teachers and staffed with local teens, half of which play on the football team.  They came home from their first day, yesterday, with skinned knees and dried sweat defining the tips of their hair as well as important updates on which friends are in their group and stories about the cool camp counselors. Remember when nothing was cooler than knowing cool teenagers? Ah, summer.  I can already see it taking shape.  I didn’t plan to slow down on blogging while they were home with me but the pull to sleep in, read with them, play cards (we are loving War and the game Twisted Fish right now) and swim at the town pool was so strong. I have to assume that I needed a break, too.  I did manage to share my boxer shorts but, things were slow around here. Two weeks was long enough, though, and now I am itching to jump back in to sewing, blogging, teaching, sharing and re-immersing myself into this crazy world I made for myself.  And, I’m excited to jump back in with a review of the Sundressing book, a giveaway and a lovely, bug-filled, Olive dress. (more…)

Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts

Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts in four colors_ a happy stitch

There is something new hanging on the clothesline and it’s for dudes….boxers!  It has been a long time since I stitched something for my husband, K.  In fact, his handmade pajama pants are so well-worn they are nearly thread-bare at the waistband.  I just don’t sew for him very much and to be honest, I find it hard to sew for dudes.  What would I make? He wears t-shirts and neutral colored shorts for the most part. Not that exciting. If I could knit, I think I would have more options but as it is, I am limited.  So, when Betz White asked me if I wanted to play with her new fabric line, Dutch Treat, I decided it was time to make something for K.  Thankfully, I took one look at her charcoal and yellow print and saw boxer shorts written all over them.  Hence, the cheeky name Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts!  I made it my Project Sew It challenge for June to create a boxer shorts pattern that fits him. (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…)

Sorbetto Sundress :: 30 Days of Sundresses

Sundress_Sorbetto Top into a Dress | a happy stitch

It’s around this time of year that I lose all tolerance for annoying things like jeans or tight-fitting dresses. I want to either be wearing grub-wear in the garden or a dress I can throw on over a swimsuit. I also have pretty nit-picky criteria for sundresses…they should be so easy and comfortable you can wear them all day in the sun and also feel free to stop in at the ice cream shop or indulge in a boardwalk funnel cake without shame/discomfort.  You should be able to sweat freely, no pools of sweat that collect at a tight waistband.  They should allow enough length for sitting but not so much that the breeze can’t dry any sweat behind the knees. They should never, ever involve anything that even stands a chance of scraping or itching such as a zipper.  Save all that other stuff for the fancy dresses!   I’m a delicate flower in the hot sun of summer and my tolerance for irritation plummets to all time lows.  I really don’t think I’m the only one.  Let’s be honest, summer days meander with uncertainty and a sundress should be ready for all of it. (more…)

Boredom Busters Kit :: Making Summer Rad

Boredom Buster Kit_color the rainbow_a happy stitch

Every summer I make the same mistake.  I think to myself, “I don’t need any help or planned activities for the kids this summer! School is so structured and scripted, they need summertime freedom! They need a chance to get bored and make something up!” And then the boys spend the first few weeks of summer begging me to watch TV or play games on the computer.  Eventually I cave and they end up watchings screens way more than I would like. Or I spend my evenings scrolling Pinterest and then scrambling to find random supplies so they have an activity to draw them away from those magnetic and brain-draining screens.

Well, I’m not repeating that mistake this summer! I teamed up with Andrea from Andrea’s Notebook and nearly a dozen other talented bloggers to create a Boredom Busters Kit. The kit includes 10 different projects and bonus printables like a calendar and coloring page.  Each project just needs to be printed out and it’s ready to go. (more…)

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