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Friday, September 14, 2018

Canada Post Strike 2018

Because Canada Post is scheduled to go on strike, I've decided to put my Etsy shop, StitchingCA, on vacation beginning, Monday, Sept. 17th. This is the last day I can safely mail packages without worrying about severe delays or lost shipments. As soon as Canada Post comes to an agreement with their workers my shop will re-open for business with brand new products.  

While they're striking, I'll be working on Mini ID Wallets, Clutches, and Cross Body Bags. My product line and inventory will be growing. So, Canada Post better get their act together so I can bring all of my new goodies to you. 

If you're looking to make a purchase now, please do so before Sept. 17th!

I apologize for any inconvenience this brings, but believe this is the best option at this time. Other carriers are much more expensive than Canada Post and just aren't a realistic option.  I look forward to re-opening as soon as possible, and hope that Canada Post comes to a resolution quickly! 

Karen


Monday, September 03, 2018

All the Ever Afters

Time management is sometimes really hard to manage. I have all kinds of plans and ideas and never enough time to do everything. For those of you that don't know, my my main hobbies are sewing, stitching, and reading. Trying to find time for all three is a struggle!

Spending time reading is hard for me. I love reading, but to sit down and dedicate my time to an actual book is hard. I am always multi-tasking. 

A few months ago I signed up for a monthly audio book plan. I absolutely love it! I can sew, stitch, do dishes or whatever while listening to a book. It's wonderful for multi-tasking. I wish I signed up sooner! The down side for me is that I can go through an audio book in a couple of days and it can get expensive buying new books that frequently. 

So, I've also been trying to dedicate a bit of time here and there to actual books or e-books. I have a Kobo and love it, but you can't really pass an e-book on for someone else to read.  So, if I see a book that I think my daughter would love just as much as me, I will buy the book.  And such was the case with All the Ever Afters, by Danielle Teller.  


I was browsing the book store one day and saw that this was one of the bookstore clerks picks. They had it sitting out front and center. I am a sucker for buying a book by its cover, and the cover of this book drew me in.  Then I saw the caption "The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother." Well now, I love fairy tale twists and this was right up my alley and I knew my daughter would love it too. So, I bought it even though it was a bit pricey ($25 CDN after taxes). But hey, two people will probably read this book at the very least.   

Last night, I finished it. I won't throw any spoilers out there for those of you that haven't read it. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. In short, it is more or less a historical fiction novel that tells the story of a young peasant girl born into serfdom. She was lonely and trying to survive in a cruel world. If you like fairy tale twists or historical fiction, this might be a book for you. 

So, now that I've shared my reading adventure I really need to go and get a few things done. 

I hope you've enjoyed your Labour Day Weekend!

Karen


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wow! Have I Been Busy!

What a crazy couple of weeks. There's been a lot of learning with the start of my little Etsy Shop, StitchingCA and a lot of making.

Inventory is my number one priority right now. It seems new items must be added regularly if you want to stay in the Etsy searches. So, I'm working like a busy bee here. I'm almost half way to my goal of at least 100 items. But in reality, I'll probably need more than that.

I've added cosmetic pouch sets, cork fabric pencil cases, small pouches for your purse, mini ID wallets as well as some of my cross stitched and embroidered items. My shop objective is to make affordable products while maintaining quality. It's a challenge, that's for sure! But a challenge that I'm willing to take.

The main thing to keep in mind is that Etsy's average sale is $25. I keep this price in my head while I do a cost analysis of different items. My end price must be within a certain range for me to make the effort. If it's not, than that item is axed until I can figure out a less expensive way to make it without losing quality. This doesn't mean that I will never list more expensive items. It only means that I'm focused on a certain type of product at the moment, and will see how that goes before expanding into more pricey items.

Also, for as long as I can, I am offering free shipping in Canada. The challenge with free shipping is the 2cm mailbox slot. If the package doesn't fall freely through a slot template that the clerk tests it in, than it cannot be sent letter mail and the jump in price is drastic -- $2.07 after tax to $15+.  I think from this point forward I will always look at that slot as the "slot of doom!" I mean who wants to pay $15 to ship a $25 item!?!?  Not me, that's for sure. As a customer, I'd walk away. Anytime shipping costs that much, I want to be able to buy lots to make it worth my while.

I'll end with some pretty pictures of some things I've made in the last week or so.

Cork fabric Pencil Cases with neon zippers and bright fun linings.

Nautical themed ID wallet with vinyl window, change section and 2 card slots.

Bright and cheerful ID wallet.

Perfect pouches for your purse.

Perfect Purse Pouches

A whole pile of Grab & Go ID wallets.
Set of Double Zipped Pouches. Made with very pretty Rifle Paper Co. fabric.
Pattern by SOTAK Handmade. 

Double Zipped Pouch set made with Rifle Paper Co. fabric.

Double Zipped Pouch set with a timepiece theme.

Double Zipped Pouch set in a tiny floral Sevenberry fabric. 

I'm determined to keep at it and continue to make the things I love. And I will continue to share any stitchy news (although there hasn't been much stitching lately) and sewing news with all of you. If you want to check out my little shop, you can head over by clicking here or by clicking on the big orange Etsy button at the top of the page.

Wishing everyone an awesome week!

Karen








Friday, August 10, 2018

StitchingCA - My Etsy Store

I finally did it - I opened an Etsy store a few days ago.  My brand name is StitchingCA partially because I already own the stitching.ca domain.  Since it's short and can mean sewing or stitching I thought it would be a good brand name for my little store. I also created a logo with a dragonfly that you can see on my blog now.

Everything I've read about Etsy indicates that you need to have a minimum of 100 items and ideally 172.75 items. I'm slowly working my way toward that goal, but that's a pretty big number. Another little tidbit of knowledge about Etsy is that the average sale is $25 U.S. So, it's something else to keep in mind as I make and create my inventory.  This doesn't mean I won't get into more expensive items eventually, however, it's definitely something to consider as I choose which items to make.

I don't plan on selling embroidered items at the moment, but I don't want to cross it off my list either. The StitchingCA brand is sort of all encompassing and allows me the option to do so in the future.  For now, I'm offering some smaller items like pouches, pencil cases and ID wallets.  My goal is to keep the prices low and to offer free shipping in Canada for as long as possible.  

Some things I've made so far:

Cosmetic/Toiletry Pouch

ID Wallet with 2 Credit Card Slots and Zipper Section
Pattern by Uniquely Michelle

Earbud Case/Coin Purse Keychain with Lobster Clasp or Split Ring


So far, it's nothing major, but it's a start. Have any of you considered making an Etsy store or have a store already? I'd love to hear about your experience and check out your stores.

'Til next time,

Karen


Monday, January 15, 2018

Recap of 2017

As the year came to a close, like many of you, I took inventory on what I completed over the last year. I really was quite busy sewing totes, pouches, purses, grocery bags...etc....  But I still managed a bit of time to dedicate to stitching. Some of my stitching accomplishments include:

Country Cottage Needleworks - Just Cross Stitch 2010 Ornament Issue

Victoria Sampler - Woodland Garden

Homespun Elegance - Bee Happy

Jenny of Elefantz Designs

Cathy Jean Designs - Buttercup Sampler



Bloom - Just Cross Stitch March/April 2011 issue



Birdhouse - Just Cross Stitch October 2007 Issue

The Drawn Thread - Easter Egg Sampler Kit

JBW Designs - Christmas Tree
There are others that I made some progress on, but not worth sharing at this time.

Something new to me last year was trying my hand at toy making and I think I did quite well....



Both are patterns from the Funky Friends Factory.  I had a blast making them and hope to do more this year.

If you wish to see more pics of my progress in sewing and cross stitch, please check check me out on  Instagram - @karens_colourful_creations .

2018 has started with a ton of stitching, but that will wait for another post.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sewing update for March and April

I made a couple passport wallets that are lined with RFID protection fabric. The pattern is by Genycartes on Craftsy and is called the Rover Passport Wallet.  I still have a couple more of these to make.  Cork fabric was used as an accent fabric in the first one and on the outside of the second one.  I think it came together better when it was used on the outside.







 My daughter asked me to make her an RFID protected travel bag/pouch that she could carry her passport, credit cards, plane ticket, phone and iPod.  She wanted to be able to wrap it around her wrist (hence the wriststrap) as well as be able to carry it as a cross-body bag. A cross-body strap was made from black webbing, but it is not in the pics below.  The exterior is made from burgandy and charcoal cork fabric and the interior is quilting cotton.



This was a trial pattern for me.  Quilting cottons were used for the interior and exterior.  It is lined with foam which makes it stand up.  I added a silver "Handmade" tag to the front, magnetic clasp to close the bag, divided the interior and exterior pockets in half, and added purse feet to the bottom.  I love this pattern and the look of the bag is fabulous.  I can see more of these in my future.  :)  The pattern is The Ethel by Swoon.

Front

Back



This little pouch was a free pattern.  The pouch holds an iPhone perfectly.  The front zip pocket is perfect for holding coins/bills/cards.  This was made with Cork fabric as well.  If you can't tell... I LOVE cork fabric.  SOOOO easy to sew with using a domestic machine.


 These are bags that I'm using regularly.  The large is my everyday tote that I use to carry my stuff back and forth to work and the smaller I use as a purse when I'm not working.  Personally, I think it would look funny to carry them both at the same time lol.  The middle exterior panel pocket and bottoms are both made with cork fabric and the the exterior is cotton canvas with little sailboats. The interior lining is made from a cotton coat fabric.   It is the perfect fabric for a lining as it has body an doesn't need interfacing.  I added slip pockets on one side and a zippered pocket on the other.  This pattern is the Hapai Tote by SewDaKine



Lastly, is a practice run for a little fabric envelope that I made from quilting cottons.  I still need to add a snap closure. And yes, the spool fabric was cut upside down by accident.  I'll still use it as a small project pouch for myself. This pattern is the Secret Pocket Envelope Clutch by Michelle Patterns and can be found on Etsy.


And that's it for March and April.  Hoping for a productive May.  :)

Karen

Friday, April 28, 2017

Stitching update for March and April

Some things I've been working on through-out March and April:

First, is Bloom from Just Cross Stitch March/April 2011 edition. I used mostly Vikki Clayton silks from my stash because I didn't have the threads the pattern called for on hand.  The fabric is 32 count Willowgreen linen.



 The little bee is from an Easter Pattern by The Cricket Collection.  I couldn't get the fabric to show up correctly at all.  It is 28 count pale yellow Zweigart linen.


The bluebird is a transfer design that I transferred onto the cork using Prick and Pounce.  The little bird was stitched with DMC #8 Perle Cotton. The cat bookmark is part of the Cozy Cat pattern from the Cross Stitch & Needlework Fall 2015 magazine. Both were stitched and finished in March/April.



Finally, this is what I'm currently stitching and hope to have it finished soon.  Buttercup Alphabet by Cathy Jean fro The Victoria Sampler.  I'm using the thread pack which is a mix of Gentle Art Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works.  The fabric is 25 count Zweigart Raw linen.  I absolutely love the funky alphabet in this pattern.  :)



And sadly, that's all of the stitching I've completed in the last couple of months.  Hoping for a more productive May. :)

Karen

Friday, March 03, 2017

My finishing pile is dwindling!

Recently, I took out a few things that have been in my "to be finished" stack for literally years and finally finished them off.

First up is one of my very first pieces of hardanger. To finish it, I backed the hardanger with a piece of teal cotton that perfectly matched little flowers in the floral print that I used to cover a paper mache box.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and use the little box to store some bits and bobs.


Next are a couple of cross stitch pieces that I made into cute zipper pouches with bright red zippers.  I finished them off with metal zipper tags with the Canadian maple leaf. These pouches are being used as project bags.



So my finishing pile is down by three! Maybe not a lot but it's still something.  :)

Now, onto my sewing projects.... 

Since I really needed a new purse because mine was looking quite shabby I decided to make my own.  I found the Hippo Hobo pattern by Emkie Designs and made two - one for winter and one for summer. They're a little on the large side, but they're perfect for carrying my things to work and since they're quite light I don't mind using it as an every day bag either. 



I thought I'd practice making some wallets with cork and whipped up these two Slimline wallets.  The pattern is by Carla's Creations and can be found on Craftsy.  I especially love the Tula Pink fabric.  That fox is simply the cutest thing ever.




I've been on the lookout for a small wallet pattern for awhile and came across the Limelight wallet designed by RLR creations.  I love the ID window in this one, but managed to flub it up when I was ironing it towards the end.  If you look closely you can see the melted plastic. Aside from that, I consider it a success.  It's an adorable little wallet pattern.



That's all I have for now.  I've been working on some passport wallets and a pouch with RFID protection, which I'll talk about in another post.