Friday, September 27, 2013

The Silhouette & Growing A (Small) Business

Good Morning!

We're having a slow morning... which is so amazing!  Lil' A is off from school today... the poor teachers have to go, but we've been laying in bed, Lil' A playing on the iPad, me working on the computer... now there's a space shuttle about to take off down by the foot of my bed... "5-4-3-2-5-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-0-BLASTOFF!!!"  Don't worry, I haven't forgotten how to count, but he's still learning how to count backwards so it's a little bit of a zig-zaging countdown!

I'm almost done getting ready for the Penelope Lane Boutique this weekend...

I have all of my pillow covers, table runners and clutches packaged and tagged... I still need to do the napkins, dish towels, camera straps and pumpkins but I'm feeling really really really good about where I'm at - hence the laying in bed morning.

If you've been following my blog at all, you know that I love my Silhouette Cameo!  I love using it for all the typical "crafty" adventures - card making, scrapbook layouts, holiday decor... but I've also been using it a ton for my small business - which is what I wanted to share today!

Of course I use it to help make products...
I used my Silhouette Cameo and the Silhouette Flocked Heat Transfer Material to create these Typography Pillow Covers -

But I've also used it to save money on my products...
Instead of going out and purchasing leaves to put on my pumpkins, I used scrap linen fabric, ironed on the Silhouette Clean Cut Interfacing and then cut out 20 leaves with my Cameo - I can't decide if the best part was using fabric scraps or getting to size my leafs to the exact size I needed for each of my pumpkins!

But the biggest way my Silhouette Cameo has helped my business is with packaging... it can get so expensive to "brand", I am constantly trying to figure out how to make Kutz.Paper.Scissors a recognizable brand without spending tons and tons of money... using my Silhouette I've been able to make product signs, belly bands, even tags with the KPS logo on them!

I designed the belly bands to limit confusion for customers at boutiques and to have a nicer presentation when I ship my products- I think this is going to be a huge help!  When the pillow covers and table runners are on display in my booth, it's hard to know what they are - some people have asked if I'm selling fabric instead of a finished product.  The belly bands have my business name, my shop website and the name of the item - BAM!  How did I make these with my silhouette?  Well, I designed them to be print and cut files instead of cut files - this saved me a huge amount of time because, instead of cutting different pieces from different paper and then layering/gluing them all together, I was able to create the look I wanted all in one piece and then print them out with my computer, cut them with my silhouette and all I had to do was add the band to the label with double sided tape!

The Product Name Plaques are done the same way - I turned a few cut files into print only files, filled the images with colors/pattern, added my product names and then printed them out - I bought inexpensive frames from Target and slipped in the product signs - these will be next to each of the product display - hopefully cutting down on any confusion again!  And they're pretty!  I love pretty!  And I printed them off from my printer, late at night while in my pajamas when it was convenient for me! 

I cannot recommend the Silhouette highly enough!  I am not affiliated with Silhouette, I don't work for them, I just love their products!  And I know that purchasing an electronic die cutting machine can be a huge investement - but I honestly think the Silhouette is worth the money paid!  There's just so much you can do, the only limits are knowing how to do them, and Silhouette has the best tutorials with full videos and everything!

I guess it's time to get our of bed now... time to start the day, finish getting ready for tomorrow and spend some time with Lil' A!  I hope to see you at PLB tomorrow!  Let me know if you read my blog - I'll give you a little something special!

Have a great one! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Penelope Lane Boutique Sneak Peeks!

Good Morning!

This week is going to be a little sketchy... not only am I still trying to get better (not counting on that...), and do all of the normal mommy/wife/house stuff, and Adam has a minimum day and a no-school day, BUT I"m also trying to finish up NEW products for the Penelope Lane Boutique this Saturday!  Excuses, excuses...

So, I thought I'd do a little sharing with you!  Why not see what's taking up so much of my attention and making it impossible for me to shower every day?  Yes, I admitted it.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably seen most of these - but since not everyone does, let's just share again!

Or you can always come visit me at the PLBoutique this Saturday... visit my friend, Crystal from the lil' cupcake too - she has the cutest bow paci-clips I've ever seen... makes me wish I had a baby to buy one for!  Or grab some manly attire/playgear for your little dude from Bubba's Basics...  Or get some little pretties for you and a friend from RonnieM, she makes the coolest baubles - I got one for my niece last Christmas and wish I would've bought one for myself as well!There's so many amazing vendors, I've had the awesome opportunity to hang with most of these women - it's just a fun day!  Anyways - back to sharing!

I'll have NEW Camera Strap Covers - these are like slipcovers for your camera strap instead of your couch!  Each one has a full ruffle, completely finished on both sides and are a mix of Chevron, floral, dots, stripes...

I've also been working on a ton of new, Fold Over Suede Clutches... I just received another shipment of fabric yesterday, which has already been cut and are waiting to be sewn!  Just in time for PLB!  The bottom of the clutches is a pieced (faux) suede to add durability and I just love the contrast!

All of the new cloth napkins and tea towels are done - here's a sampling of the Halloween ones but there's plenty more for every day, Christmas, Fall... you can mix and match as well to create a look all your own!

And last, pumpkins!  Sweater, Chevron, Velvet pumpkins sprouted up in my patch... they're all done, complete with curly-q, linen leaves and stems... I think I have 20 of these little cuties in all sizes... I don't plan on making more, so come and get them while the getting's good!

That's it... I have pieces cut for iPad covers still but I don't think those are getting done... I will also have a SALE basket where you can find some of the older Chevy Purses, Bow Clutches and Holiday items from LAST year!

And my last bit of enticement... Lil' A will be joining me at PLB and he's so ready to sell!  He's super excited, he's requested a new tie for the event and I'm going to do my best to make one before... he's a real salesman so just watch out - it's those long eyelashes of his that'll get you!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

AwesomeNess Tote... and Rambling

Good Morning!

How is everyone?  Hope your weekend was great... did you enjoy the break from the heat?  It actually kind of felt like fall... which was such a treat after this summer!  It really made me want to start decorating for Fall/Halloween, bring in some rust, gold and navy colors into our home...

I'm kind of at a crossroads.  I want to decorate for Fall but I also want to decorate for Halloween... I either go one way or the other.  Which one, which one?  Adam loves Halloween, as do I, so I'm sure I'll go in that direction, but I don't plan on switching to fall after Halloween and then Christmas after that - I'm a Halloween to Christmas kind of decorator just due to time! 

Anyway - I wanted to share this super easy, fun and awesome tote I made the other day!  But let me back track a little -

Most of my Best Friends (yes, I still use that term) I've had since I was a kid.  I've known their family, their spouses, their interests, hobbies, talents since I was in elementary school or junior high... I've loved them as sisters since then, we've been through weddings, babies, high school, college, careers, trips, horrible-wish-I-could-forget that moments, asked each other why/how we ever dated so-in-so, had the highs of holding each others babies in the hospital.  They're amazing women - amazing Mom's, Wives, Sisters, Daughters, Friends.  I wish I could express my love and admiration for them so you'd really understand but some times, there's just not enough words.

Anyways - the other day I saw a great graphic on Silhouette - it simply said "Awesomeness".  One of the BF's is Vanessa, whom we've called Ness or Vani since we were kids.  And she's pretty freak'n awesome.  It was perfect.  So, I made a tote to let everyone know what she is.

Let me start with the design.  I was able to create the entire image with my Silhouette Cameo software or Silhouette products.  Yep.  The entire image - from formatting to printing, it was due to my Silhouette.  I grabbed the "Awesome-ness" graphic and the floral wreath graphic and turned it from a cut image to a print and cut image.  Easy. 
I then printed the design on the Silhouette Printable Heat Transfer Material for Light Fabrics, cut out the image and ironed it onto my white fabric that I was using to create my tote.
Note:  Do NOT iron on the image after you'd removed the backing - it'll melt and remove the image from your fabric and it'll get all over your iron!  You can see that there's some, uh-hmm, distressed areas around the edge of the graphic - which was totally my plan the entire time and was not - I repeat - WAS NOT a mistake that I turned into a "I meant to do that" moment.

I used white, cotton duckcloth to make my tote.  I didn't worry about turning hems, I just serged around the handles and the top of the tote.  I did square off the bottom of the tote so that it would look a little nicer - you can find the tutorial on MADE - it's very simple!

I added a quick, double pocket on the back to hold her keys and phone.
This tote will be filled with magazines, yummy goodies and a special card from me.  I have another one in the works for our other BF, both of these will be left on their doors this week, giving them a little pick-me-up mid-week. 
That's it!  Time to go blow my nose, take some meds and more vitamins, still trying to beat this crazy infection!  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I'm Sick

I'll be back soon... but right now I'm laid out!  I've been fighting it and fighting it and I just couldn't do it any more after a doctors appointment and a prescription run I'm laying down.  I give up.  I'll be back on my feet in no time tho... ready to blog without a snot filled brain!

Have a good one!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Krusty and Krabby

Good Morning!

How are you?  Thanks for coming by!

My post title is a little misleading... we are neither crusty or crabby today.  Well, actually, we're sick so maybe we're crusty, but I don't feel crabby at all!

No-no, the Krusty and Krabby that I'm referring to is all about Krusty Krab from Sponge Bob.

A friend of mine asked if I could make a Krusty Krab Apron for his friend, who's daughter was having a Sponge Bob birthday party.  Of course I said "Sure!", expecting it to take a few hours because I'm such a master sewer.  A master sewer with no training.  A master sewer will little mastery.  A master sewer who forgot to take actual photos of my project.  Ugh.  Hello iPhone photos...

My original plan was to make an apron where the body of Krusty Krab was the main part of the apron and the eyes were the bib of the apron.  Due to Krusty's large eyes, this didn't actually turn out, so I had to sew it onto a pre-made apron due to time and frustration flexibilty.

But wait, I should go back to the beginning.  I had no idea who Krusty Krab was, so I had to find his image (thank you google!) and then I had to figure out how to turn his image into a apron... Hello projector!

Oh, you're Krusty Krab?  Okay, got it!
I pulled up Krusty's image on my computer and plugged the projector into it so that I could put the image onto a large piece of kraft paper I'd taped onto my wall. 

I then traced Krusty with a black marker, knowing that I was going to cut each piece of Krusty and piece the apron body together.

I then purchased 100% Cotton fabric in every color I needed.  I also ironed on fusible webbing on the back of my fabric before I cut out my pieces just to give the fabric some stability.  This made it way easier to draw my pattern pieces onto the fabric, cut them out and then sew them all together.  Each color you see is a different piece, from his legs, head, eyeballs to his uniform.  After I'd piece all of the cut pieces together, I sewed on the collar, belt, belt buckle... you get the idea.  I didn't give Krusty arms because my friend purchased crab shapped mitts to go with the apron so the apron wearer would be Kursty's arms/claws.

At this point I was still thinking this would be an actual apron, so I lined the back of the apron with plain, white cotton and sewed on black binding all the way around so it was nice and finished.  My original plan was to add the straps/ties now, but we all know that's not what happened... once I tried it on to see the placement, I knew I'd have to go a different route.  I was so bummed, you don't even know!  But, since I'm flexible, I just rolled with it and put it onto a white apron.  It still looked good, Mr. Krab was still in all of his Krusty glory and my friend was happy with the way it turned out.  I was just happy it was done!

Oh, and I drew his nose and smile on with a fabric marker.  After working on this "it'll take me a few hours, no biggie" project for 2 days, ALL day, a fabric marker was all I could muster.  Some projects just end up like that... due to my- ahem- sewing mastery.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Products!!!


Good Morning!

Today I wanted to show you some of my NEW goodies... I've been taking advantage of my 4 hours sans Lil' A every morning... I've been mapping out my time, making a list each day of what needs to happen work wise, dinner wise and cleaning wise, which has really been helpful.

I've been playing with some great new patterns...

These are all in the Kutz.Paper.Scissors shop... I'll be adding more soon (I hope!) ...
I'll see you tomorrow!
Have a great day!
(ps - did anyone else see the Big Block guys comment on Lil' A's Big Block Pencil Pouch?  Made my day and I cannot wait to pick up Lil' A from Kinder and tell him too!)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

QuicKutz Club Accordian Mini Album with Tutorial

Good Morning!

Thanks for joining me today! 

I had so much fun playing with August's die for Pages From the Hearts QuicKutz Club.  I had an Orchid Die from Scrapp'n Cottage and didn't want to go the normal route... I could have cut it from purple or cream... made a nice summery/springy project but I had the idea to make the die work for the upcoming season instead of the season deciding the die!  Heellllooo fall orchids!

And here's your Accordion Mini Album Tutorial!

And decorate I did! 
I used a QK Embossing Folder to mat my pages along with the QK Acorn, QK Feathers and QK Pine cone, QK Pumpkin and the Stamp'in Cottage's Orchid to make my album pretty!
Now all I need are some fun photos of Lil' A playing in the leaves!  Maybe picking some apples... in the pumpkin patch... and this mini-album would be done and in my purse, ready to grab and boast whenever possible!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Working With What You've Got!

Good Morning!

Today I wanted to share a simple mantle scape that I've had up in our home for the past month.  The best things about this is that I used items that we had on hand so there was no extra expense, I was able to show off my growing camera collection and added a little bit of color to our fairly neutral room!

Let's work our way from top to bottom, shall we?  I purchased the arrow prints from Olive and Birch, which has so many great prints for under $5!  I love the ombre color effect of the arrows and that I have the flexibility to change the prints direction and get a whole new look!  The White frames were $1.50 from Ikea - they're not heavy at all so I was able to use Command Wall Strips to hang them!  Yes!  No holes!

Our fireplace mantle is barely a mantle.  When we first bought our home I HATED (yes, I know that's not a nice word, but it's true) the brick.  I felt like it dated our home and I had a difficult time finding a paint color that worked with the wooden beam on our ceiling and the red bricks.  I would still love to "box" the entire fireplace in and give it more of a built in look, but that's for another time and another wallet!  I took my 3 Pottery Barn Mercury Glass Candle Pillars and placed them on the outside of the mantle, added my old cameras, a few Narnia hardcover books (for the color), one candle holder and the metal "J" for Jessup. 

I made sure that all of my pieces were at different heights to keep the eyes moving so the design didn't feel stagnant.

Last, if you look at the base of our fireplace, you'll see a woven basket (Home Goods - $16!) that holds our extra blankets/pillows, a large frame with a photo of Big and Lil' A and another mercury glass candle stick holder with candle - I love the way this looks - it keeps your eye moving all the way from the top to the bottom, and dresses up an otherwise boring fireplace.  Since it's way too hot to have fires right now, I decided the empty space should be filled in... and it's giving me that much more room to decorate!

That's it!  I love showing off my growing vintage camera collection instead of having them sitting on shelves where they get lost and no love!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Big Block SingSong Felt Pencil Pouch

Good Morning!

Happy Monday!  Here's to hoping everyone had a won-der-ful weekend!  Ours was pretty nice... Big A and I had a DATE NIGHT!!!  What?!  I know!  Super good sushi (yes, I had raw fish - it was a first... If I could get over the whole "food poisoning" thought, I would've enjoyed it more...) followed by a movie - Meet the Millers - now, I'm not a movie reporter, critic, advocate and I am not claiming to have good taste (umm - hello?  Old School is one of my favorites), but I laughed and laughed and laughed through this movie and even after, on the walk to the car, in the car, after we got home... well, you get the point.  There is some serious potty mouth going on, I don't think I'll ever get used to Rachel (Rachel Green aka Friends Rachel) dropping the F-Bomb like she's sneezing, but it was completely ridiculous and insane. 

Lil' A had his first Winter Tball game in which he did AWESOME!  He made some plays, got a few little people out (well, in theory, they don't actually do "outs") and was generally charming with his teammates.  It was a good weekend.

To make the weekend better, I got some NEW products done!  Yes!  And I'm having a pretty good reaction to them on FB!  Facebook - the true test of what is popular and what is not.  I'll share soon.

But this is all just chatter.  What I'm sure your all looking forward to is Big Block.

Big Block SingSong to be exact.  Anyone else familiar with these guys?  Lil' A and I first saw them on Disney Jr.  They're blocks, with faces, sometimes arms/legs/hair/etc, but mostly they're just blocks... and you guessed it - they sing songs.  Fun, catchy, playful songs that make Adam and I drop whatever we're doing (playing/cooking/baking/cleaning/working/showering) and run into the living room to dance while one of the awesome blocks sings.  Here, check it out for yourself - this one is one of my favorites...

So, when Lil' A was getting ready for school, he wanted a special pencil pouch.  He wanted a Big Block one.  Hmmm... I think Big Block is awesome, but I don't think they have a pencil pouch line.  But they should.

So, I asked Lil' A to draw his own Big Block.

Which he did.  And I made a felt Pencil Pouch to resemble it.

I used felt because it was easy and quick.  Double Score.  I used Lil' A's drawing as my pattern and set to work cutting out the features.  It didn't take much time... or accuracy - which was nice.  I made a very simple pouch from the yellow felt, I took a very long rectangle and folded it almost in half, leaving a few inches of over hang that I could then fold over to make my back flap.  I sewed up the sides and BAM!  Instant Pouch.

I thought about doing Velcro for the closure, but let's be honest, what 5 year old couldn't use a little more dexterity practice?  So, I sewed on a button and made a button hole.  BAM!!  Lil' A can now keep his pencils/erasers/army men safely ensconced in Big Block.

But let me backtrack for a moment, before I sewed the sides of Big Block to make him into a pouch, I pinned all of the facial features onto the front of the pouch and sewed them on.  You cannot sew them on by machine AFTER you assemble your pouch otherwise you won't have a pouch, you'll have a felt Big Block that just hangs out.  Which is okay, if that's your goal.  But it wasn't ours.  We wanted a Big Block Pencil Pouch.

There you have it, Lil' A's Big Block Pencil Pouch.  And don't worry, I didn't forget, Lil' A's Big Blocks smile... well, okay... I did forget to sew it on with thread so I used a black Sharpie marker and drew one on. 

Yay Big Block that is exactly what Lil' A wanted!

Yay for felt!

Yay for quick projects that bring your child's imagination to life while letting them know that you heard them. 

Okay, now play the Big Block SingSong video again... you know you want to.
Have a great day!

ps - this was my first time including a video in my post.  I'm pretty impressed with myself right now - feeling like a big girl with big girl panties on!