Mini and Me

The ‘Egg Wrangler’ aprons I dreamed up a couple of months ago have been a wonderfully surprising success – YAY! When Peggy Sue from Benton, Arkansas, got hers, she put a little bug in my ear: “I just received this apron today. I LOVE IT!! I was wondering if there was any way you could make my Mini-Me a matching apron?” Well, you know I don’t normally do custom orders, but that sounded so sweet! And, you know I have a soft spot for junior chicken farmers!

Fortunately, I had enough of mom’s fabric left to create a matching apron for ‘Mini’. “I may not be able to fit many pockets on a small version,” I cautioned, but Peggy Sue said, “. . .sounds perfect. The only gets 2 eggs right now. One for each hand.”!

It seems Mini loved mom’s apron and loves to help with the gathering

Thanks to Peggy Sue and Mini, I have a great new idea that’s proving as popular as the Egg Wranglers: the Mini Egg Wranglers!

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Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Well, it’s that time again!  I’m stuffed with turkey and looking ahead to the next holiday already!  Yup, BLACK FRIDAY is tomorrow.  I realize there’s a contingent that says we should be with our families and shopping is not what it’s all about, blah, blah, blah.  But really?  Come on!  A.  My family’s not here.  B.  There’s a sale on!

I have my daughter working the marketing angle for the sweatshop, so I can mostly just sit and digest but, just in case anyone’s paying attention, here are the secret formulas for my ETSY shop!

I’ll give you a list of coupon codes, but you can only use one (darn!), so choose what works for you and saves the most $$

On Black Friday:

BLACK15 gives you 15% off orders of $30 or more

BLACK25 gives you 25% off orders of $50 or more

WORLD10 gives you 10% off any order, no matter where in the world you live!

FREESHIP gives you free shipping on orders $25 or more

On Cyber Monday, it’s pretty much the same, except BLACK turns to CYBER (i.e. CYBER15 and CYBER25).

 

Got it?  There’s lots of good stuff, so take a look:  www.etsy.com/shop/SusiesTieOneOnAprons

Recycling Efforts

In my last post, I mentioned some treasures found in our new guest cabin.  What I didn’t mention were the TONS of blue jeans left behind!  Why?  No clue.  But, my beady little eyes lit up and my tiny brain starting whirling with ideas about jean aprons.

After a busy summer and some Pinterest research about possibilities for using my treasures (plus running them all through the washer, of course) – I came up with a few variations that are kind of fun.  Putting my own little twist on some fun ideas I found, here’s what I came up with.

First is my “Egg Wrangler” apron, which combines the strength of a blue jean butt with no less that 12 pockets for gathering eggs!

Urban chicken farming seems to be the new favorite hipster hobby – and, of course, it’s always been a standard for farmers and country folk who value fresh eggs.  These aprons use the rear of the jeans, with the denim pockets removed and double strength cotton pleated pockets added.  A fabric tie run through the existing belt loops and that’s it!!!

Next, I tweaked one of my most popular aprons – the utility.  Teachers, vendors, gardeners, waitresses – they all LOVE this handy short style with plenty of pockets, so this one also uses the rear – plus part of the front as well.  I had room to add a third pocket in between the two existing denim pockets so, with the narrow side pockets (which used to be the front), the apron now has 5 pockets – all double stitched, all denim strong.  I found that binding the edges worked best.  Sewing through multiple layers of denim on my little sewing machine is a bit of a challenge.  Besides, it gives it a nice, finished look.  Again, I made a fabric tie, but then realized I needed 2 more belt loops so it didn’t sag.  I got out my trusty seam ripper (never far from my heart or my hands) and found a couple on a piece of jeans I wasn’t using.  So, that finished that one.

Last (at least for now), I used one of the jean fronts, which were building up in the scrap pile since I’d been using all backs.  By holding the front pocket linings out of the way, I was able to take 2 recycled back pockets and sew them on the front.  That way, both the existing front pockets AND the attached back pockets were usable – it even had the coin/key pocket!  I edged it in binding and this time added a little eyelet lace – who doesn’t like a little added femininity?

Again, I needed more loops and I was out, so I had to make my own.  I could’ve just sewed the belt to the waistband, I guess, but I like the idea of being able to remove or change out the belt if you want to.  #3 design finished!

*If you’d rather just buy one instead of trying this yourself, visit my shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SusiesTieOneOnAprons?

Trash and Treasures

The last couple of weeks have been spent cleaning out our new little guest cabin. Simply AMAZING how much stuff came out of that tiny 20′ x 20′ space!!!
Much of it was trash – 2 dumpsters full, one trip to the Thrift Shop (so far) and multiple dump runs, but there were a few treasures that turned up along the way – like a beautiful Bauer ringed bowl.


The shop on the property was equally full of STUFF – trash? treasures? Some of each and some trash that became a treasure – check out the bookcase I made from old wooden boxes:
When removing the boxes to clean the shop, I piled them to the side and got my inspiration!
treasure8
I wanted a reading area in the little A-frame cabin, but space was definitely at a premium and the bookcase I had was wider than I wanted. Many of the old boxes were about 6″ wide, which is perfect for paperbacks and VHS tapes that I wanted to keep in it, so I pulled some of those and did a practice run on how they might be assembled. Here’s the first draft:
bookshelf1
After checking the space to be sure it would work and not block the electrical plug, I set to screwing and gluing! I built it row by row, with a board on the bottom to be sure it was all straight. Then I glued the parts together, clamped them, let the glue dry and then went back and put screws in for a more permanent hold. This was repeated 3 times until the bookcase was complete.
bookshelf3
Then I lugged my new little treasure over and put it in place – and accessorized, of course!
The reading corner

The reading corner

Puppets via Pinterest

Pinterest is a blessing and a curse, isn’t it?! A blessing because you can find ideas for just about anything you may want to do – a curse for, well, DITTO!
For my granddaughter’s 4th birthday, I decided I’d try a doorway theater. Penny loves puppets and she loves performing and it would be EASY! Wouldn’t it?
After perusing the options endlessly for several months, the birthday loomed only a couple weeks off and the moment of truth had arrived. After looking over the tutorials and instructions for several of the simpler choices, I opted for one with banners of fabric flags decorating the front – well, I have all that fabric, after all! As usual, I sort of made up the pattern as I went along – I had an idea in my little pea brain of how it would go together and it mostly worked the way I planned . . . The good news is that 4 year olds are VERY forgiving when it comes to things like that!
puppet theater
Then I thought P should have some new puppets to go with her new theater, so back to the tutorials. I absolutely LOVED this set of ‘Old MacDonald’ puppets, and thought BRIEFLY about attempting to make them.


Here’s a link to that tutorial, if you’re braver than I! http://zitzmanfam.blogspot.com/2010/09/old-macdonald-puppet-tutorial-and.html
It was tempting – I could just picture Penelope belting out ‘EEI EEI O’ with her little farmer and his animals, but then I sobered up. I mean, REALLY? I’m going to sew about 100 teeny tiny parts together front AND back on these puppets??? In a week? Not.
Back to the tutorials, where I found this:
Disney Princess Puppets

Disney Princess Puppets


You can find the free patterns here: http://www.fynesdesigns.com/disney-princess-puppets-free-pattern/

No sew! Princesses! Brilliant! Okay, I haven’t gotten there yet, but I think I will – I think I will – I think I will.

Don’t Bug Me!

Normally, I say NO to custom orders – I learned that one the hard way! I really love it when someone says,

“I want one JUST LIKE THAT! Oh, except, could you make it pink cupcakes instead of aqua cupcakes and add some lace, but leave off the buttons and add another pocket. – And I need it by Saturday.”
lemon apron
A plus size lady recently inquired about an apron that was no longer available in a pretty lemon print. When she told me she had trouble finding aprons, because they were all made for ‘stick insects’ I nearly fell on the floor laughing.
Praying_mantis_india
With special Brownie points for making my day, I agreed to see if I could get more fabric and help her out!

Just DO It!

Writers have writers’ block. I wonder what it’s called when apron makers get stalled? I should find that out, because it happens a lot!

When sales are happening on the ETSY shop (www.etsy.com/shop/SusiesTieOneOnAprons), that’s a good motivator for me. When I find fabulous new fabric, that can generate some excitement. But sometimes, in the doldrums of winter or the lazy days of summer, I need a jump start. I’ve tried just about every theory . . .

Often if I just do SOMETHING – no matter what, just doing something gets things moving. I need a motivational poster for that. I like this one from WisePrints on ETSY (www.etsy.com/shop/WisePrints).
Just Do It

The advice about eating an elephant works, too – one bite at a time . . .
eat-elephant

Sometimes I talk to my fabrics: “So, what do YOU want to be?” Sometimes they tell me; sometimes they don’t! “Okay, then. Back in the closet for you!”

Occasionally, I try to bribe myself: “If you finish just ONE apron, you can take a nap – have a treat – buy more fabric!”

When all else fails, I make some easy aprons: “Why, look at you! You made 15 aprons today! You go, girl!”
boy apron banner