Tuesday, December 18, 2012

B is for Bookmarks

Hello Angel,

I hope you're feeling better! Things are so busy here, preparing for Christmas, shipping orders from my shop, etc, that I haven't had a chance to breathe deep and fully process the tragedy in Newtown, CT.

There are so many wonderful, eloquent, thoughtful essays and articles out there about it that I don't feel the need to add more to the mix. Let it be said though, that I have not cried so much and so uncontrollably in a long time, probably since I was severely depressed a decade ago. This horrible event seems to be affecting everyone more deeply than previous similar occurrences. Probably because of the shattered innocence. My personal processing mechanism is to focus on the productive and the positive (which is why you've seen "regular" posts around here) so I've been trucking along, trying to deal as best as I can.


Be The Good


My lovely friend Rachael told me about ABC's Of Love: 26 Ways To Pass It On, a blog project she is working on along with other crafty friends, to encourage all of us to find simple ways to share love within our families and communities. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to channel some of my sorrow for the victims and their loved ones into a productive and positive endeavor. I decided to contribute B for Bookmarks, and share a simple project I worked on with a class of kindergartners on Friday, weirdly enough, at the exact same time I found out about the Newtown massacre.

The curriculum in Ben's kindergarten class is project-based. Their current project is "Fabrics around the world". They've talked about different fabrics, their texture and purpose. Because of my "expertise", I was invited by the teacher to do a little presentation and a project. We focused on quilts, patchwork and the amazing possibilities of fabric scraps! I had prepped a little project the previous day, and we made fabric bookmarks with the kids. They could either keep their bookmark for themselves, or give it as a gift -- and they unanimously chose gift-giving. So sweet!

Here are the 2 bookmarks I made beforehand and brought as examples:


Jenny: Fabric bookmarks

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December Sponsors: Christmas Shopping!

Happy Sunday!

In this last stretch before Christmas, there is still time to get awesome gifts for the crafty person in your life (or spend that Christmas cash on some crafty goodness for yourself!). Please welcome back our lovely sponsors for December: Drygoods Design Online, Fat Quarter Shop, Felt on the Fly and Sew Well Maide, !

Here are some gift ideas from these wonderful businesses. We hope you'll check out what they have to offer and consider them for your holiday shopping!


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Drygoods Design Online


My gift selections at Drygoods Design would include a fat quarter bundle of Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry, a few yards of that amazing metallic gold linen, a couple of Orla Kiely plant pots, and a gift certificate for good measure!




For you Seattle locals, how about some classes at the brand new make*do*mend studio? I had the pleasure of touring the space last week and it is absolutely fabulous!


You can find Keli and Drygoods Design Online here:
Shop -- Blog -- Facebook -- Twitter -- Pinterest

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Craft Fair Tips From a First-Timer

Hi Angel,

I am sorry to hear you're sick. I hope it's a quick bug! We're staying in this weekend, for the most part. The kids both have a cold and it's sleeting outside, so we're painting ornaments, making a gingerbread house and will probably bake Christmas cookies tomorrow. After the horror of yesterday, I just want to snuggle my babies this weekend.

Let's focus on something positive, shall we? As you know, I participated in my first craft fair here in Seattle last weekend, the Holiday Arts + Crafts Open House, and thought I would share photos and tips from my experience! It went so well, I was super happy.


Jenny Bartoy booth at Holiday Arts + Crafts Open House


Do some research and prepare

First off, if it's your first time doing a craft fair, do some research and prepare! I am so thankful you reminded me of that, Angel. I looked up the tips you had mentioned on Lupin Handmade and from there, read more via this list of links on Handmadeology. Extremely helpful! I made lists, I made plans, and felt empowered.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Latest Burlap Art

Hi there!

I'm emerging from craft fair prep to say hello for a bit! I have been creating a lot of burlap art lately and realized I haven't shared any photos in a long time.

This is a bit of an easy post for me, but hopefully you will enjoy looking at photos of my latest creations! ;) I've branched out a little for some of them, it's been fun. (You can read more details about that on my other blog here.)

Here they are:


Jenny Bartoy: Custom Burlap Art

Jenny Bartoy: "Listening to Whispers" Burlap Art

Jenny Bartoy: Burlap Art

Jenny Bartoy: "Gratitude" Burlap Art

Jenny Bartoy: Burlap Art



These last two are in my shop on Etsy, just click on the photo to get to the listing.

I will be participating in the Holiday Arts + Crafts Open House at Red Square Yoga in Seattle, WA this coming Saturday afternoon (December 8, 12:30-6:30PM). I would LOVE to see you there if you're local (I'm so nervous, it's my first craft fair ever!!). There should be lots of beautiful handmade gifts for sale. Here's the flyer.


Holiday Arts + Crafts Open House: Dec 8 in Seattle!


For timely updates on my business-y projects, you can "like" the Jenny Bartoy ~ Handmade Designs page on Facebook here. It takes me a while to share recent projects on Stumbles & Stitches sometimes.


What are you working on these days? Ornaments, gifts, decorations? Do you have tips for success at craft fairs? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I've Been Knitting!

Hi Angel,

I'm thinking about you this week and I hope you can feel some big virtual hugs coming from Washington. I know you've had a lot on your plate emotionally and otherwise, and I wish I could be there in person to relieve you a bit and provide some concrete support. Sigh. I look forward to 2013, as we will hopefully see each other then!

November and December are always so busy with all the year-end preparations and festivities. Having a small handmade business has added to the stress. Sometimes I feel like just throwing it all away and focusing on my family and relaxing instead. And other times, I remember that you have to work hard to get somewhere with, well, anything, and I power through another stressful but hopefully productive creative day. I am trying to crank out a lot of stuff for that Holiday Arts + Crafts Open House in Seattle and honestly, it's kicking my butt.

Anyway... I recently was going through my pictures and realized I never shared all the projects I've been knitting in recent months! That's right. After the frustrating half-fiasco of the fingerless gloves, I took a break from knitting but started up again to make a blanket for a special baby in early summer.


Jenny: Knitting Projects

Jenny: Knitting Projects

Jenny: Knitting Projects

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Cyber Monday!

Hello friends!

Today is Cyber Monday, supposedly the biggest day of the year for online sales. To join the fun and inspire some holiday shopping, we're offering a little discount for our Etsy shops.


Take 20% OFF anything in our shops
Jenny Bartoy ~ Handmade Designs and Demeter Rising Designs
with the code CYBERMON20.


Happy shopping!

Here are a few things you will find in our shops:

In Angel's shop, she offers unique embroidered felt ornaments and needled-felted toys.










In my shop, I sell fabric art made from upcycled burlap sacks, along with accessories and housewares like table runners, coasters, tablet covers and more.












Don't forget: use the coupon code CYBERMON20 at check-out in either of our shops today to save 20%! Thank you so much for your support, and remember: shop small and local this holiday season!



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November Sponsors: Get Ready for Black Friday!!

Thanksgiving is upon us, and that means Black Friday is coming up next! For the biggest shopping day (and weekend) of the year, our awesome sponsors are getting ready to offer up some amazing deals!


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Drygoods Design Online


Early on Friday, Drygoods Design launches their biggest sale of the year, in honor of Small Business Saturday. Through December 1, you can save 40% on all fabric orders of $40 or more! Have you seen their latest arrivals? I can't wait to shop!

For you Seattle locals, the grand opening of make*do*mend (Keli's sewing studio space) is Saturday December 8th with featured artist Blair Stocker. You can sneak a peek of the space during studio night on December 6th with Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae visiting! Exciting stuff!





You can find Keli and Drygoods Design Online here:

Shop -- Blog -- Facebook -- Twitter -- Pinterest


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fat quarter shop


Fat Quarter Shop is offering a FABULOUS discount of 25% off everything on Black Friday with the code JINGLE. Make sure and go pay them a visit on Friday morning (I know I will!!).




You can find Fat Quarter Shop online here:

Shop -- Blog -- Facebook -- Twitter -- Pinterest


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felt on the fly

Janet over at Felt On The Fly is offering Stumbles & Stitches readers a very special discount: take 20% off any of the five-piece color stories in her shop. Simply mention the code "Wish Bone" in Notes to Seller upon checkout and she'll refund the difference (that's a $3.00 discount, bringing the price down to $12.00 per Color Story!).

If you don't subscribe to her newsletter, you should! I have it on good authority that she has some pretty sweet deals and offers planned for newsletter readers in the upcoming weeks!





You can find Janet and Felt on the Fly online here:

Etsy -- Blog -- Facebook -- Pinterest


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Our Australian friend Karen at Sew Well Maide has been keeping quite busy: look at this beautiful Christmas quilt she recently completed!




Her shop on Etsy is full of fabulous patterns for gifts and quilts, take a look... Karen is currently listing reproduction fabric scrap packs in various colors in her shop (all are approx 1 metre/1 1/8 yrd of fabric). Great for scrap quilts or projects, applique and Christmas decorations!


You can find Karen and Sew Well Maide online here:

Blog -- Etsy -- Craftsy -- Threadbias -- Facebook -- Flickr -- Pinterest


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Huge thanks to our wonderful sponsors for sharing these special deals with us. Happy Thanksgiving, and happy shopping!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ornaments!

Hello there! Who's ready for Thanksgiving (if you're in the U.S. and celebrating, of course)?!

The boys are out of school for the week and the hubby is off work starting tomorrow. With record rainfall around here, I'm looking forward to some cozy time at home with the family, and some opportunities to get my crafty on!

I have ornaments on the brain and thought I would do a little round-up of all the ornament tutorials and free downloads we have available here on Stumbles & Stitches.


Tutorial: Scrappy Stocking Christmas Ornament

Jenny: Scrappy Stocking Christmas Ornament



Tutorial: Felt Beehive Ornament




Tutorial: Knotty Christmas Tree Ornaments





Layer Play Ornament




Little Birds Ornament and Garland

birds



Felt Flora and Merry Little Ornament

Felt Flora

ornament


And if you want even more inspiration for Christmas projects, here are a couple of extra downloads courtesy of Lark Crafts:


Milk and Cookie Mats: Free Download





Read Between the Lines Pillow: Free Download



What are you guys working on over the Thanksgiving break? Please be sure and check back tomorrow for some aweesome deals from our sponsors! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

When in doubt, sew straight lines

Jenny, I am in love with the table runners! I bought a ton of Bella fabric on sale last week, and that warm grey dot was in my cart. I think I bought all they had left! I'm turning mine into curtains, but will hopefully have enough left for a table runner or a few pillows.

DSC_0078

Speaking of curtains: I have finished four so far! I was thrilled that Lee said "yes" when his sister asked if we could host Thanksgiving this year, not only does it give me something helpful and generous to focus my energy on, it gives me motivation to finish up some projects I've had on my mind for months.

DSC_0070


 DSC_0073


DSC_0068

This also reminds me of my new motto: "When in doubt, sew straight lines." Next time I'm feeling overwhelmed or frazzled or just need to clear my mind, I'm going to sit down with a pile of scraps and just start sewing straight lines and see what happens. Maybe I should have some quilt squares cut ahead of time, for piecing? Hmmm.

I think that may be why I am stuck on the project I mentioned last week, it's making my brain hurt! Since the whole thing was conceived starting at 4:30 am, I wasn't thinking that far ahead, and I am unsure how to finish these little drawings so that they are preserved.

DSC_0064

DSC_0067


Won't it make the cutest table runner for Thanksgiving? I have another batch of curtains to make for the living room (straight lines!) and maybe that will clear out the cobwebs long enough to come up with a brilliant idea.......

U.S. readers, what are you planning for Thanksgiving? And everyone: what should I do with Ian's drawings? Help!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Few Table Runners

Hello!!!

I'm coming up for air to check in. I can't believe it's been 10 days since my last post. November is always my crazy busy month, prepping for the holidays, and now that I have a little business, it is even nuttier.

I've been prepping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I also signed up for an art sale here in Seattle (December 8, 12:30-6:30PM at Red Square Yoga, come see me!) and getting ready for it is taking away every ounce of free time I might have had left. Fun stuff, though! I have so many things prepped and cut, and now need to SEW SEW SEW!!!


Jenny: Table Runners


I have started listing some things from my Fall-Winter collection in the shop, mostly table runners (see above). A couple of months ago, I came up with a design for my own home (see below) and liked it so much, I made this bunch to sell on Etsy. You can see photos here on my biz blog and of course, in the Table Runners section of my shop.

Below is what I made for my house. I love the Bella collection by Lotta Jansdotter so much, I wanted to make a center piece for our dining room table with it. Grey is currently my favorite color (and the color of our dining room chair cushions!), so I decided to showcase that simple dotted print and bind it in natural linen. I added a layer of batting and quilted the runner with a large zigzag and it turned out great!


Jenny: Table Runners

Jenny: Table Runners

Jenny: Table Runners


If you'd like one of these for yourself, there is one in my shop! It is slightly more rectangular to fit most tables.


Jenny Bartoy ~ Handmade Designs


While I was on a roll with table runners, I decided to make one for our window shelf / nature table. That spot drives me crazy. It hosts the kids' collections of shells, rocks, pinecones and acorns (depending on the season) along with small seasonal crafts and small plants. This shelf is a scratched up wood board, painted white, and I've wanted to cover it for ages.


Jenny: Table Runners


While my natural linen and the batting were out, I cut pieces to size and quilted the layers with wavy lines. I then bound the whole thing with a small print from Rashida Coleman-Hale's Washi collection.


Jenny: Table Runners Jenny: Table Runners

Jenny: Table Runners

Jenny: Table Runners


I love how simple and crisp it is. Perfect for showcasing the kids' treasures!

All right, on this note, I've got to get back to the sewing machine while Henry is still at preschool! I hope to check in soon with more updates.

What are you guys up to lately? How are you getting ready for the upcoming holidays? I'd love to hear from you in the comments, and if you'd like, please share links to your crafty projects!

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