Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Selling Our House

We are hoping to put our house on the market in late winter / early spring to try and be in a new home before our son starts Kindergarten next fall. Which made me realize that we needed to get any outdoor projects done now, or else it might be covered in snow when it does come time to sell!!! 

Outside home selling prep work is sort of boring!!! I spent a good ten hours outside this past weekend and you really can't tell I did anything at all. 

Here is my before - well my mid project picture. I did remove our old and broke storm door!!!! 

 Here is the after! Besides the kid chair, pillow and flowers you can't really tell what took me so long!! And that's because I painted the columns and the trim around the door. I also painted the trim around the garage door. Don't get me wrong, this was necessary for selling our house and it looks 10000% times better in person, but its not really that noticeable!

Next weekend I have to stain the deck and I would really like to paint the front door. After that we should be ok on our outdoor projects! About that door - I am having the hardest time picking out a color to paint it!!! I am not painting our red shutters so that sort of limits the colors. While at Home Depot I grabbed every swatch I could find in red.... but I am thinking navy, black, white, or yellow.... who knows, I can't decide!!!

This is the second home we have sold. Our first home we sold by ourselves in 2008 in 5 days. So of course I am hoping this will sell as quickly!! It won't be as easy as when it was just my husband and I and we always had a clean house.... some how these two fabulous kids have WAY WAY too many toys and always have a mess going!!!

Seriously, what color should I paint my door?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Geranium Dress

Look at me!! Two posts back to back!! And two sewing projects back to back! That's because last weeks class on the 241 Tote Bag motivated me to start something else. So as soon as I finished my tote bag I immediately started on a Geranium Dress by Made by Rae.

This is at least the third dress I have made with this pattern and it is by far my favorite little girl dress! It is so simple but so cute! 

I used a great Chambray fabric I bought at the Sewcial Lounge.  

For some reason I had such a hard time getting the buttons holes to work on this dress. I did a few test runs and all of my test runs worked perfectly, but when it came to the actual dress every time I tried my machine would jam. SOOOO I decided I wanted to finish the dress so instead I sewed in snaps (REALLY MESSILY) and then sewed the cute orange buttons I intended on using on the back instead. It works. I might go back and make actual button holes, but we will see!

 My little model! I love this dress! I can't wait to start on another one (and hopefully have better lick with my buttons!)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

241 Tote Bag

I have spent months and months trying to organize my craft room that I haven't really had the chance to do any projects, but last weekend I took a class at the Sewcial Lounge taught by Anna from Noodlehead and was able to complete a tote bag!  I had such a great time and learned a lot. This is the 241 Tote from Noodlehead and its such a cute tote. I love the different pockets.

I was not 100% sure about my choice in fabric as I was cutting out my pieces, but I am so happy with how it turned out! Its a very fun and colorful tote!

The inside is equally as fun! And my first time using a magnetic snap!

And because of the fabric I used, the back side of the tote looks completely different from the front!

Completing a project has motivated me to try and finally organize the mess that is my craft room so I can work on more projects. After my class I even came home and almost finished a new dress for my daughter. (I can't get the button holes to work and I just decided to give up!!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pink and Gold Winter Wonderland First Birthday Party

Back in February we celebrated our daughter's first birthday with a Pink and Gold Winter Wonder Land Party.

Since her birthday was early February a Winter Wonderland Party seemed appropriate, and being obsessed with gold and pink it was an obvious choice. I decided very early in January this was going to be our theme, so I was able to find a few after Christmas deals that completed the theme.

What's a long winter without a hot chocolate bar!!?? The hot chocolate bar was such a hit!

I decorated with a large gold "A" surrounded by several pictures of Ava's first year. We used our Keurig to warm up the water and displayed powdered hot chocolate mix in a glass jar with directions for those who might have needed them.

Our toppings of course included marshmallows, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, peppermint chips, and caramel pieces. I made marshmallow pops covered with pink and white chocolate and white chocolate covered spoons for mixing up this yummy treat. See how I made these in the past.

I had a lot of fun with the sweet table! 

I borrowed several gold and white Christmas trees from family members and made a couple pink feather trees by using a pink feather boa and wrapping it around a Styrofoam cone. I had a lot of fun making pom pom garland. I used various shapes of glass jars and modge podged gold glitter to the bottom half. I made a "Happy Birthday" sign with my Silhouette Cameo. 

Pink, gold and white sweets consisted of TONS of gold Rolos, white M&Ms, pink Hersey Kisses (a plus of a February party - Valentines Day candy!!!), pink marshmallows and white rock candy.

I also hand dipped Oreos in white chocolate and drizzled pink chocolate and gold sprinkles on top.

And then of course we have the pink smash cake!! It was not so obvious in person, but you can sort of see in the pictures I was going for an ombre effect in my frosting of the cake.

I spent so much time trying to brain storm a party favor for this party and I also procrastinated making party hats. The day before the party I had the brilliant idea of using a winter hat to cover both! Some how, I have no clue how I got so lucky, Target had the perfect winter hat on Clearance! Problem solved!

Most importantly, the Birthday Girl had a fabulous birthday!! She loved her cake! And loved all of the attention she got at her party! It also didn't hurt that she got like 5 baby dolls as gifts, her absolute favorite!!

I can't believe my baby girl is almost a year and a half!!! Where does the time go???

Thanks to the fabulous Danielle at First Moment's Photography for the fabulous photos from her first birthday party!!! Danielle does a fabulous job and it was so nice not to have to worry about taking pictures. I could just sit back and enjoy!!! If you are in Wisconsin, you should check her out! First Moment's Photography

Monday, May 12, 2014

How to sell on Instagram

A few months back I was overwhelmed by my daughter and son's outgrown clothes! That's when I started noticing there are a ton of Mama's selling their new and used children's clothing on Instagram. I tried to do some research about selling on Instagram, but couldn't find much information about it.

After thinking about it for a while I decided to give it a shot, and open my own Instagram shop. I mean if thing's didn't sell I wouldn't be out anything except for my time!!

Keep in mind, these are my observations and opinions of having an Instagram shop for the past four months or so. They may not be accurate for everyone.

How to open an Instagram Shop!

1. Create an Instagram account for your shop. My shop is called @adasfancyclothes
2. To get started, introduce yourself on your page. Post a picture of yourself and your kids, whatever you are comfortable with.
3. Then take a preview picture of the first items you intend to sell and post it to your account.
4. To get followers, you need to start following other shops. As you follow people, people will follow you back if they like your preview post.
5. Share for Shares are another way to get started. Some people don't like sharing people with only a few followers, but many shops realize that they too started with nothing and like to help out the new shops!
6. Set a goal for how many followers you want before you will make your first post and work at getting that many followers. I posted my first post at 200 followers.
7. Meanwhile get your supplies / items ready to sell:
     * Set up a paypal account if you do not already have one
     * Purchase a scale for weighing your packages you are going to ship. This is the one I use and it works for me.
Smart Weigh Professional Digital Kitchen and Postal Scale with Tempered Glass Platform

     * Purchase some Poly Mailer Bags.  I use these:
8. Start taking pictures of the individual items you want to sell.

GOOD PHOTOS HELP SELL ITEMS!!!!! I have posted a few things with dark photos and had them on my store for weeks and then gone back and taken a better brighter picture and they sold right away. So take your pictures in the daytime, with good natural light!!! I just use my iPhone and it works out great!

You should determine the way you will take all of your photos so they all look the same. I always take my pictures on a pink background so when I post pictures they are consistent.

9. Once you have your set goal of followers, it's time to start posting. It's nice to post a heads up on when you are planning on posting your items. And you may get people who want a tag when you post. Determining the price is important. Look around at how other people are pricing items. You don't want to price something too high but you can always lower the price.

When you price an item, if you include shipping, which I think you should, then you will loose about $2 per item to ship and about $0.60 some cents on Paypal fees.(Paypal takes 2.9% +  $0.30 per transaction, so on a $10 transaction, you lose exactly $0.59.)  When I price an item, in my mind I usually plan on losing about $3 for the item on shipping and fees. So if you price an item for $10 you will only make about $7 on it. Some shops charge extra for shipping, but I think its easier to just include it.

When you post your items, PLEASE be honest about the condition and look it over several times for spots and stains and disclose them!!

10. Yeah then you are done and wait for the sales to roll in!!!! HA ha, well I quickly learned to be patient for sales. Mine didn't happen right away, it took a few days. Don't immediately lower your prices, be patient!!

11. Accept Paypal only! You will request money from your buyer and they hopefully will pay for the item with in a few hours! You will get some people who leave their email addresses but never actually pay for their item, it's disappointing but it happens.

12. SHIPPING!!!!! This is the fun part! You can ship through Paypal and its so easy! Weigh your item on your scale. Then in Paypal you can select ship item. I ship with the First Class Parcel.

13. Create a Feedback image for your shop so people can leave feedback and hopefully you get many, many more sales!

* My kids have a lot of Baby Gap clothes, which seem to sell well. So this has been my experience.

* I haven't had a lot of luck selling boy clothes.

* I use the apps Pic Stitch for creating collages and InstaQuote for writing on images.

* Use hashtags. Look at what others are using, and use them as well. Example, use #babygap if you are selling lots of Baby Gap items.

* Include your shop name when you ship out your items, so buyers know where to leave feedback!

* If you buy from other shops, do not purchase "Gifted", you are not protected from Paypal if something happens with shipping.

* Please be honest about the condition. I have purchased two items that arrived with spots and it's ANNOYING!!!!! I am always very honest about the condition of my items and look them over several times!

* Pay attention to the best time to post your items. Mornings don't seem to be the best time. Evenings after kids are in bed seem to be the best.

* In my experience if you ignore your page, others will too. You have to work on keeping your page up and active to get people to visit and get activity. But be careful people also don't like you completely taking over their feed.

* I have tried several "sales" and have not had a lot of luck. For example I did a Buy Two Get One Free, 10% off all purchases and haven't had any luck.

Terms often used on Instagram selling: 
EUC: Excellent Used Condition
GUC: Good Used Condition
NWT: New With Tags
WW: Wash Wear

These are my tips and suggestions. What has worked for you and what hasn't?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Mantel

Better late than never, but here is my pink, white and gold Valentine's Day mantel. I am obsessed with gold at the moment! I am also obsessed with making pom poms!!! So of course my mantel has lots of gold and pom pom garland!! 

The best part of this mantel was that it was so easy and free! I used letters I had previously used in other projects! It also didn't hurt that we just had my daughter's first birthday party and the colors where pink and gold!

Does anyone else love pom poms as much as I do?

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Quilts from Baby Clothes

After I finished my first quilt in the fall, the wheels were turning for my next quilt.  When my daughter was born my sister-in-law gave me a bunch of special outfits her girls wore when they were babies and instead of handing these special outfits to someone else I knew I needed to do something with them for my sister-in-law. That's when I decided to be an over-achiever and sew TWO baby clothes quilts for my nieces for Christmas.

Since I only had about ten outfits, coming up with my design took me a while. I eventually decided to use the babies outfits and create a bunch of hearts! Once my design was determined, I then procrastinated about cutting up adorable, perfectly fine baby clothes!!! Once I started I was very happy I did. I love how it turned out and more importantly my nieces and sister-in-law loved them!

How I created them:
After getting over cutting up baby clothes, I cut the clothes so I could add fusible interfacing to the back of the clothes. Then I traced various sizes of hearts onto the interfacing and cut out my hearts.

I than laid out my washed purple piece of flannel and determined my design with the hearts and pinned them in place. Next I carefully zig-zag stitched around each heart with a darker purple thread.

Then I pinned together my batting and another piece of flannel for the back and quilted with long lines with the same dark purple thread - avoiding the hearts. Lastly I binded it and I had two fabulous quilts for my nieces for Christmas!

I did a few test runs of appliqueing the hearts onto flannel first to figure out what worked best. I did a couple without the fusible interfacing and it works SO much better with it! This is my 2nd and 3rd ever quilt, so this was pretty simple!

When adding my hearts I also added an initial for each of the girls, so they could tell their quilts apart!

I can't wait to some day make these for my kids with their baby clothes, but we all know that won't happen until my kids are at least 20!