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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This and That...

OK... On SUNDAY (night, I think), I got on Etsy and found and ordered these enclosure cards (or gift cards). I got them in the mail TODAY (TUESDAY) and they are precious!! One set is for my B of course and the other is for my cousin who got married earlier this spring (and I'm just now sending her gift).
The place to find these is:
I love a cute blog! She is in Atlanta and was super nice and FAST!!
I think anything personalized makes a great wedding or baby gift!

Here are a couple of beach pictures. This was not where we stayed (Seaspray in Perdido Key, FL) but down the road at Turquoise, which is in Orange Beach I think. Behind our condo you could only see boats on the horizon - lots of them! One was even suspended in air on 3 very large pilons which were somehow stuck in to the Gulf. We saw NO OIL where we were! We did see worker people walking the beach sweeping and picking up ??, but we never saw oil! I will say the first night we got there, I was convinced there was oil in the water and that I could smell it, but I think that was a result of TOO MUCH MEDIA/NEWS!! The boys got in the water Fri and Sat and the only thing that got IN their swimsuits was tiny shells (which we found at bathtime)! We did see lots of boats, and the "boom/boon" - whatever it is called. And where the Gulf goes in to the Bay at Perdido Pass, they had constructed a wall and are supposedly trying to get any oil to go through there and then they suck it out! Jeff videoed a lot of it and hopefully it's something we'll never see/experience again!

You may or may not recall that in NOVEMBER, I had pics taken of my kids from a college friend in Dothan, AL. She did a fabulous job, and I FINALLY framed them all over the past month or so, and FINALLY hung them on the wall! We had this big wall in our kitchen and the pictures are PERFECT! I don't know why it took me 6 months to figure that out! I got these frames at Michael's! My friend's site is: She did my sister and her boys too and did a great job (if you are in the Dothan area!!).

I am missing sewing but also enjoying some time off! I get on blogs and Facebook pages and see other people's work (embroidery) and wish I was being creative and working. On the other hand, Browder & I spent 2 hours at the pool this morning while the little kids were at school, and it's nice to not have "work" to worry about! I will most likely take some orders in July ~ I'm not sure how many but it will be a limited amount so we can enjoy our 4th of July weekend and also a family trip to the beach for a week. In reality there will only be about 2 weeks where I will be here and can work! I'll update on the blog when I'm back!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Very Common Question...

I get these e-mails A LOT: "I'm thinking of starting a side embroidery business ~ any advice you can give?"

I usually say GO FOR IT! If you already have a machine and your supplies (stabilizer, thread, fabric, etc.) then it's really just a matter of getting your name out there! E-mail your friends and family first. I recommend starting a blog, of course, because it's FREE and a great place to showcase what you can do! Starting out you might "copy" pictures of the appliques you've purchased to show your customers what designs you have (meaning copy the website pictures). But, I always recommend that as soon as you sew the design, you put YOUR OWN picture on your blog! That way your customers can see YOUR work, not Applique Cafe's work, and they can also see what fabrics you have, not what fabrics such-and-such website person has!

Facebook - another great avenue to get your name out there! Start a PAGE and invite your friends to become a fan (or ask them to "like" your page)!! Again, FREE and a great advertising tool!

Pictures - your best advertising! Make sure your appliques are neat and crisp and IRONED!! The neater they look, the better they look! Iron that t-shirt before you take a picture!!

Pricing - I personally do not publish my prices! Not because I'm trying to gouge this person but not that person. I don't publish them (but will tell you if you ask me) because I like to be flexible! My monograms are typically $7+ and appliques are usually $10+. A standard applique WITH a name or initials is going to run you $12-14, but a simple applique (like a single letter or a simple 1 fabric applique) might only be $10. Likewise, a monogram will typically run $7, but I might charge $5 for a single letter or up to $10 if it's a huge 5x7 monogram using half a spool of thread! I get asked a lot about my pricing and basically that's how I charge! Flexibility is key! Use your best judgement!!

Another note on pricing ~ your price isn't really to cover your supplies, although it does take stabilizer, thread and fabric. Your price is to cover your time! There is a lot of preparation in monogramming and applique! Time spent ironing, hooping, designing, cutting, etc!!

Now... if you want to get in to the business and don't even own an embroidery machine, then you need to do your research on machines and consider start up supplies - stabilizers, thread, scissors, bobbins (I use prewound), FABRIC, Heat N Bond Lite, etc. Not to mention PROGRAMS! Believe me, the fonts that come on your machine are not that great! Consider Monogram Wizard Plus for monogramming and Sew What Pro for merging (so you can buy all those cheap bought fonts out there and put the letters together!). There are other programs and software out there ~ check them out and include them in your start up cost! OH.... and appliques designs aren't free! There is one thing I can attest to ~ FABRIC AND DESIGNS ARE ADDICTIVE!!!!

A note on fabric ~ I recommend ginghams and stripes and polka dots and solids! Appliques deal with small spaces ~ I have 3 X 3 drawer carts FULL OF FABRIC! I probably use 1/4 of it ~ MOSTLY ginghams, stripes, polka dots and solids! I will occasionally use floral prints, and boy fabrics are hard to find, so when you have a buggy full of fabric heading to get it cut, ask yourself WILL THIS PRINT SHOW UP ON AN APPLIQUE? I never pass up a cute polka dot!!

I believe you can make as little or as much money as you want to in this business, and I think it's a GREAT business for stay at home moms! You can chose to monogram/applique ONLY items people bring to you. You can chose to also offer some blanks (tees, bibs, burp cloths, etc.) to sell to your friends who need baby gifts. You can sell on Etsy or E-bay or your local craft fairs! The possibilities are endless!

I think to an extent you can treat embroidery as a hobby, and I believe most "services" aren't taxable. If you want to buy wholesale, then yes you'll need a business license and tax ID.

I use prewound white bobbins! If your tension is correct you don't need colored bobbins!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New AC Designs!

I've just listed these 5 new designs to! Christmas and July 4th are 50% off til July 4, so the ANGEL, JOY & GINGERBREAD GIRL were all listed at 50% off!
I have a couple of ideas for blog posts I will try to work on tomorrow! Just a question or two I get on a weekly basis!! Check back...

Saturday, June 19, 2010



I have 3 more Christmas designs to sample ASAP and they will be added at 50% off. I got my Fabric Worm fabric in today too ~ super cute! I also got a few fabrics in Enterprise - mostly restocking a couple of my ginghams, polka dots, 2 solids and one Michael Miller fabric which is brown with orange polka dots! I'll try to get a picture on here - I'm not sure what I'll do with it but it is cute!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fabric makes all the difference!

During my time off this week I had some fun redoing some of our AC samples! It's amazing what a change of fabric will do! Nothing changed about these designs ~ I was just unhappy with how the samples looked on the website. I have a few more I'd like to do maybe next week. I have at least 2 new Christmas designs to sample with 1 more soon. We're still waiting on our ART conversions to list the other ones I posted the other day.

TRIANGLE TREE ~ I used a layer of lime flannel underneath my polka dot fabric. I also put some buttons on it as a design idea.
Teddy Bear ~ LOVE this patchwork fabric! The heart is optional but I think it's cute. This would be a cute Build-A-Bear birthday party shirt!

Rocking Horse ~ my favorite Jane Street striped fabric!
Umbrellas ~
Browder is doing well! We took all the bandages off and now we're just keeping his toe "safe" and dry til Monday! I wish I would have taken a picture of the yummy dinner we just had ~ fried chicken from Publix, homemade mashed potatoes and lima beans (someone told me to put a chicken boullion cube in there and it worked! They tasted great - I always struggle with getting them salty enough). Oh and a slice of good tomato! Today for lunch I had a lettuce, ham & GOOD tomato sandwich! Last night we had yummy BLT's for dinner. I LOVE a good tomato! Summer in the south = good ole home grown tomatoes!!

Tomorrow I'm taking the kids to Enterprise to visit my parents for a night and can't wait to make a trip to their Singer Sewing Center! I need to take inventory of my ginghams and hopefully they'll have some cute fabric! We're leaving Jeff at home to work, play golf and work on his "to do" list Saturday before we get back. Have a great weekend! Will post new design pics when I get them done! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Christmas in June??

We have been busy working on Christmas designs! Yes, Christmas!!! It is 100 degrees PLUS where I live, but we must think ahead! Not to mention Fall and Back to School designs which need to be coming out SOON! These 5 are being converted to ART and will be listed at soon!

SANTA DOG (great for older boys):

GIFT TRUCK (for birthdays too):
PUMPKIN TRUCK (I LOVE these colors for FALL):
TREE TRUCK (shown with buttons):
This has been a great truck! If you'll remember we did it for Valentine's & St. Patty's Day and also Easter I think? Simple and cute for the boys! I have enjoyed breaking out the corduroy too - I LOVE appliqueing with cord!!

Last night I took a Digital SLR class to learn how to use my camera (that I've had forever). I took 4 pages of notes and HOPEFULLY it will all make sense when I try to take some pictures! We learned about Aperture and all kinds of technical stuff! It started at 6 and we left at like 9:30, but it was entertaining and fun!

Monday night our "family night by the pool" turned in to a nightmare! Somehow B caught his little toe on the bottom of the lifeguard stand, then we got stuck under the patio trying to eat with 50 other people as a huge thunderstorm rolled in out of nowhere! Said storm ripped some awning off of a restaurant probably a mile or two away! We made it home to change clothes so I could take B to Primed to see about his foot. He got a couple of stitches and they bandaged up his foot for a couple of days and stitches come out Monday (no pool this week!). While I was doing the Primed nurse mommy thing, Jeff was home bathing the kids when Mallory decided to poop in the tub not once, but twice!! Garrison was exhausted from swimming and swimming lessons so he freaked out! It was a CRAZY night!! Hopefully we won't repeat that one anytime soon! Our first stitches - B did GREAT!! No more will be fine with me!

Off to find something to do with the kids... this summer vacation is great, but it's kind of a drag not being able to take them all swimming!! It's too hot to do anything else!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Fabrics!!

I just ordered these new fabrics from! You can buy them by the 1/2 yard. I'm sampling some Christmas designs for AC, so I got the itch for some new fabric! You CANNOT go wrong with polka dots! The first 2 are Robert Kaufman Jingle Dots (LOVE them!!). Bigger dot is Caleb Gray Mod Dot and then Michael Miller Ta Dot in Tangerine (great for Halloween)!
I'm sampling a couple of Christmas designs today. We're headed to the pool in a bit for some family time and a swimming lesson for G! I'm really enjoying my summer!! Little ones start summer school tomorrow - 2 mornings a week for me & Browder to do stuff (and run errands - shhh don't tell him).

If you've seen any other cute Halloween/Fallish fabric or Christmas, let me know! I've gotten to where I use polka dots & ginghams for just about everything!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I can't think of a Title!?

One last 4th of July design - we added this one Friday I think? It's 50% off so $2.00! I have several Christmas designs to sample this week. 30% off ends today (most likely first thing in the morning when I can take it down).
A friend forwarded me this website today and I LOVE IT! ~ check it out! Great looking gingham basics (shorts for boys, ruffle shorts for girls, A-line dresses, pants, etc.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2 New Designs...

We've just listed 2 new designs at which are pictured below! Worm on a Hook and String of Fish! I love them both! Who doesn't love fishing?? I also put the 4th of July designs (Patriotic Peace Sign, Star Flip Flops, Fireworks AND the Grill) 50% off. The Grill is not necessarily a July 4th design but close enough. The rest of the designs are 30% off through Sunday.

Great fabric options with this one:
This week is VBS at my church ~ always a fun week and always tiring! I took a LONG nap today when we got home! 3 more days... Have I mentioned that I am REALLY REALLY REALLY enjoying my sewing vacation?? I sort of miss it and enjoyed sampling these designs today. I also did a few things yesterday for my sister in law. But, it's nice to not HAVE to do anything or constantly worry about work I'm supposed to be doing! I'm still planning to take the whole month of June off. We've got a trip or two planned for July so we'll see how it goes closer to July 1!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I listed the RAIN BOOTS Friday night and we're working on listing the LAWNMOWER! We had a size problem with the 6x10 (digitizer error) and just haven't had time to fix it and get it listed! I had good response on Facebook on both of these, and especially the rain boots because you could do so many things with cute fabric!
Jeff played in an annual member guest golf tournament this weekend and we sent our kids to my mom's on Wednesday afternoon, so we've had a wonderful carefree long weekend! It's amazing not having kids in the house - no laundry, no dishwasher running, not having to pick up the couch cushions or 500 crayons one single time! I spent a lot of time lounging at the pool and we had parties Fri & Sat nights. It was fabulous! They are back and we certainly missed them, but it's good to have a "staycation" once a year with no kids while staying at home! I highly recommend it! Tomorrow we start a crazy fun week of VBS at my church! I'll be in the craft room all week with 3 yr olds to Kindergartners and will be totally exhausted by Friday! It's always fun and I'm looking forward to it!

I am really enjoying my time off! I have 4 things to do for my sister in law this week, and 3 more for my neighbor for an event at Browder's school which won't be til mid July. I may have 1 other shirt to do for someone and other than anything I do for my kids, VACATION!! We are working on Applique Cafe designs and that's it! I NEEDED THIS!

So the oil spill is really a MESS! We spend a week each summer in Seagrove with my whole family, and we now have to make the decision whether or not to go or cancel! :( We're scheduled for a week in July and I'm sure the oil will have made it's way to there by then! I'm SO SAD!! I grew up 1hr 15 min from the beach and am devastated that it is going to be covered in oil! I'm having a hard time even imagining how bad it really is! I know TV doesn't do it justice. So so sad for those people who LIVE there and their livelihoods depend on it. Needless to say, I don't think you could pay me to buy gas at BP!

Have a great night!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Applique Cafe Designs...

We've had a couple of people ask about the caterpillar being offered in satin stitch, so we decided to offer it and it is now on the website (listed as "Satin Caterpillar") ~ It is offered totally separate than the original caterpillar with has the last 3 circles as "raggy". I did this on a shirt for Mallory to match the old Walmart shorts. We've gotten several pair as hand-me-downs!
We also finally finished an Octopus!! We've been working on this for like 3 months! I took pictures of it before I added the cheeks & bow (so plain) and also just with the cheeks! I think it turned out cute! This is one of those tough designs because there are so many out there already and it's hard to get the tentacles right! Please note: this is all 1 design - you can chose to leave stuff off if you'd like but they are all pics of the same design!
We are now working on FALL, BACK TO SCHOOL, HALLOWEEN, THANKSGIVING and CHRISTMAS designs! I can't even think that far ahead, but I know there are people out there who do clothing shows so they like to get their samples done early!

I'm actually still sewing! I came down with a bad sinus infection Friday and we went to the lake Sat-Mon (which I was sick the whole time) so I'm still wrapping up on work! I think I'm down to 13 or 14 shirts and will try to get them done this week! I started an antibiotic Monday but am still fighting the sinus bug!! :( Have a great week!