The best laid plans...

Well, just to keep you all updated, the festival that I had been working long and hard for was a complete wash...literally. Saturday was nothing short of a downpour for most of the day. Sunday didn't rain on us but there was rain all around us and that I believe drastically affected the crowds. Add that to the fact that we are in a recession and what you end up with is a whole lot of not much. On the up side I met some great new vendors, learned a lot about tents and their ability to keep you dry ( or not dry in my case), and even met a blog reader! I even got a couple custom orders. So I guess not a complete wash, and I have plenty of stuff for the upcoming Christmas season.
Right now I am concentrating on spending some quality time with my kids who I have been pretty much ignoring for the last 2 weeks before the show, and spending some quality time with my broom and duster who I have also ignored for much longer than 2 weeks. Ta Ta for now! :)

Me and my Pfaff

Have I told you about my sewing machine? No? You are one of the few. It's a running joke in my family about how much I love my machine. My kids will often say ( with help from the hubby) "Daddy loves Mommy, Ella loves Daddy, Jack loves Thomas ( the Train) and Mommy loves Pfaff!"
I do love my machine. It is a Pfaff 260 and has been passed down to me from my mother who got it from her mother who got it as a gift from my grandfather on Nov. 11, 1961. Actually, I have 2 of them. My Mom bought her own sometime ago, but lucky me ended up with both of them. You really don't get more vintage than this machine. It was the top of the line in home sewing when it came out and I can totally understand why. It is a cast iron casing with all metal gears. I think it is actually classed as a semi-industrial machine and has been used for many years in garment factories.Really, the only thing that has ever been done to it is a belt change ( the first of which came just a couple years ago) and a motor cleaning ( done only last year). You could say this machine is one hell of a workhorse. My grandmother sewed nearly all of my mother's and aunt's clothes on this thing and even made herself a beautiful leather coat.
I do have a few fancy stitches. They are totally reminiscent of the 60's style and I love them. It can also do monogramming and embroidery just don't ask me how. The one thing this machine doesn't come with is a computer program to do all the work for you and I really appreciate that.I once took a beginning sewing class and was totally offended when the lady teaching the class audibly scoffed and snickered when I told her that "my machine doesn't have a automatic buttonhole setting, it's a 1961 Pfaff " I did however fell redeemed when I went to a quilting class ( at a different establishment) and a couple of the ladies in there had their vintage portable Singer machines with them.

It was during these classes that I realized that not having all of those fancy buttons and settings has really taught me how a sewing machine works and has made me a better sewer in the end. So for any of you out there who are looking for your first machine or a workhorse to really knock out some sewing, look around for a good old-fashioned Pfaff. After a good oil and clean, she'll run forever.

Shakerag Festival this Weekend

4 shoulder Bags
5 large totes
5 quilted purses
4 handbags
3 pleated bags
8 wine bags
7 lunch totes
6 pillows
10 cuffs
12 zip pouches
6 kids' backpacks
15 Halloween and Christmas Gift bags...
I feel like I'm missing something....oh yeah!

Hope to see you out at the craft fair this weekend!!! Booth 136!

P.S. Thanks to Jess, my partner in crime, for the great pics of our booth at the Hatch Market a few months ago! ;)

One week to go....

One week from today is the start of The Shakerag Festival in Peachtree City, only my second craft show. Really, my first busy craft show. The Shakerag Festival is in it's 34th year and always draws a good crowd, so I am really excited.
Therefore, I have really been trying my best to build up some extra inventory and of course everything in the world has happened in the past 3 weeks so now I am really feeling the crunch. So, my poor sewing room has bore the brunt of my creative chaos and I actually had to take an evening and tidy up because anything and everything was getting lost the second I walked through the door.
Some really great perks of that though is that I discovered that the self-induced fabric diet I have been on lately has been paying off since I am pretty much left with only solids and small print fabric ( this means I get to do some major shopping soon! )
I also found all the zippers I have purchased in the past just in time to make pouches and lunch totes.
On the downside, my scrap pile has really gotten out of control. See that trunk under all the fabric? It's full of scraps too. I'm not sure what to do with all of this. And don't say "make a quilt" because I also have 3 quilts in various stages of completion that I haven't been able to work on in months. I'm thinking the big pieces will get organized and all the little stuff will make great beds for the kitties. Maybe they will quit sleeping on my fabric if I make them a bed.
Oh. I also made my own new business cards because I didn't realize I was out until it was too late. I think they aren't too bad for some do-it-yourself cards, but ordering some better ones is definitely in the near future.

So, that's it for now. Maybe my sewing machine has cooled off enough for me to get back to work. I hope to see some of you out at the festival!

I'm all professional and stuff

SO I made my own tags for my bags today. Don't they look good!? They were really easy to do. I thought they would be great for labeling Christmas and birthday gifts or for using to label all of your kids' stuff for school without using a Sharpie.
All I did was get a roll of cotton twill tape ( which I had laying around and I'm not sure where it came from exactly) and some printable Iron-on transfer sheets. ( Go to an office supply place they are much cheaper than JoAnns or Hobby Lobby). Then I designed my tags on Photoshop ( but Word would do fine). I made them to fit onto my labels. Then I copied my logo many times to make rows on the 8 1/2 x 11 sheet. Make sure you space them far enough apart to cut. Flip the image so it is backwards. Print out the sheet on the transfer paper , cut into rows, then iron onto your twill tape. Voila! Tags! I got about 30 out of a sheet.

A Brand New Me!

When I first started my Etsy shop in March of last year I started with a whole different line of products, a whole different mindset, and a whole different time schedule. The kids had just turned 2 and they also were still on 2 naps a day and my husband was still working for a company that liked to work him 80 hours a week. I was merely a mom of twins who had just emerged from the fog of early motherhood and found herself in a town with no friends or family, a husband who was never home, and a desire to find something to do besides change diapers and talk to babies all day.
A year and a half ago my grand plan was to make quilts to sell. Beautiful quilts with lots of machine quilting and intricate piecing. I would do little things too to fill in the gaps; coasters, pincushions, placemats, etc. The problem was that I was running out of spare time. The kids had dropped their second nap, my husband had quit his job and was now job-hunting, and I had taken a very part-time job with my neighbor and now friend Jessica who does beautiful wedding photography. I was suddenly busy! Then one day I came across a pattern in a quilting magazine for these cute little grab bags where the handles looped through each other. An hour and a half later I had my first one and by the end of the day I had made 2 more. I had found the perfect craft for me. I could still be intricate and beautiful but on a much smaller scale. I soon swapped my focus from quilts to bags and started watching the sales trickle in. Slowly at first and then more and more. I added my bags to the gift shop of my parents winery ( Thanks Mom!) and just recently participated in my first craft show. Now I find that spare time is again very hard to come by, but not because of my kids, it's because of you! I am busier than I have ever been and it is a wonderful feeling.
So because of all this and because very soon I will be adding some very professional tags to my products and maybe even an actual ".com" address, I am changing the name of my little side business to JodieMo Bags ( thanks for the suggestion Jess!). I think it fits much better with who I am now and I hope you don't mind. Thanks for all the support!

A Beautiful Day!

Today is one of those rare days when the weather is really nice, the temperature is perfect, and the breeze is softly blowing. It's the kind of day to nap in a hammock. Unless of course you are a kid, the its the perfect day to got to the park. Which we did even though me and the kids aren't exactly healthy right now.
Here are some pics from this morning. I hope your day is as good as mine so far!

Shakerag Festival coming up!

Right now I am working like a crazed woman getting ready for an upcoming craft fair here in town. The Shakerag Craft Fair in Peachtree City. If you are in the area please come by! The dates are September 19th and 20th! If you need me before then, you can find me in my sewing room.
See you soon!