It's A Crafty Advent - Day 22: Moo Cards

 I've needed new business cards for a while.  I've printed my own, done the basics from Staples, and ordered a pre-designed one from an Etsy seller, but hadn't found anything I loved.

I started thinking about a unique logo and had a friend come up with a couple ideas.  But then I hmmd and hawed and lost momentum.

I'd heard about Moo Cards here and there on blogs and in Readymade Magazine but didn't have a collection of photos I was prepared to put on the back.

Then I was almost out of the hodge podge I had left.  And saw someone else's Moo Cards in person at an art fair.  The feel, the quality...  I took the plunge.


And I am so happy with how they turned out!  On top of the customer service, super fast shipping, and fabulous quality of the paper, printing, and packaging, their variety of available artwork has something for everyone.  And, you don't have to pick just one!

As you can see, I picked a variety.  Some of them I really like.  Some of them I love.  I'd love to mix some of the premade designs with some of my own photography next time.

Because, for sure, there will be a next time.

It's A Crafty Advent - Day 20: The Christmas Eve Bags

Things have gotten a little too crafty around here lately.  I had a couple last minute custom orders on top of everything else and have been spending what little free time I've had lately in the studio.  So while I haven't been writing about what I've been making, I've actually been making a lot!

And yet there's so much that could me done!  I told The Dad this morning what else I wanted to make/do and his response was "I think you and I have different meanings for "A Simple Christmas".

But really, we are trying (and I think succeeding) at keeping things pretty low key this year.

One of the things I had on my list to do (and one of the things The Dad scoffed at) was some Christmas gift bags to take the place of all the wrapping paper.  While more work right now (though really not that much more), I hope that they will be reused for years to come.  Especially these first bigger ones.

We have a tradition, brought to our family by my family of origin, of giving pajamas and books on Christmas Eve.  Open one Christmas Eve Present, put on the new PJs, and curl up in bed with some good books.  These bags in the picture each contain new jammies and about half a dozen new books.  I kind of want to fill a bag for myself, too!

Oh how I could shop for books forever.  My Christmas shopping has been done for weeks (really, we are keeping it simple this year) but I just can't stop finding books.  They're important, though.  And I'm so particular about which ones I buy.  But I love finding great ones that just grab me.  Like the Sound of Music Pop Up book I didn't even know existed!  Oh my.

It's A Crafty Advent - Day 8 : Noel Gnomes

Besides the tree and the advent pockets, we don't do a whole lot of Christmas decorating around here.  One thing I added this year, though, is these little Noel Gnomes I fell in love with at the Waldorf Holiday Fair a couple weeks ago.

Every once in a while they get pulled down and played with  - especially the "O" one.  For the most part, though, the kids have been good with my explanation that these are mine.  They're not always happy about it, but they're learning...

"The Felt Lady", as I call her, was talking about all the ways these could be modified - including birthday ones that spell out a child's name.  I look forward to seeing what else she comes up with!

It's A Crafty Advent - Day 6

For about 15 minutes yesterday, the beginnings of our little Christmas Village looked like this.  That's a little felt squirrel, if you can't tell.  I found the two little woodland creatures at Wonderment when we were in Minneapolis.  And in the background - my first attempt at a felt tree (which I love, but which won't stand up on its own) and, of course, our impromptu cardboard-box-manger.

More to be added every day.  Stay Tuned!

It's A Crafty Advent - Day 5: The Auction Dress That Wasn't

So I got the studio picked up.  And spend the rest of the morning making a dress for our nursery school's Winter Auction.  I actually finished the dress in one sitting and photographed it in hopes of listing it as a custom item in my shop.  I took pictures of the front.  I flipped it over to take pictures of the back...  And found a couple spots/fabric flaws I had missed when I ironed the fabric before I started!

So, no longer a viable donation, I switched gears and finished this up for the auction instead - one of those moments where it is good to have a couple projects sitting around half-done.

But really, while it was frustrating at the time, I'm more excited and motivated that I managed to finish two pieces today!  On top of a little straightening up/de-cluttering of my workspace.  I call that a success...

It's A Crafty Advent - Day 4: In the Studio

When the kids started school in September, I really thought I had my chance to get sewing and get my little business off the ground.  O would be in school 3 mornings - giving me one to co-op (he goes to a cooperative nursery school where I co-op 3 mornings per month), one to volunteer at E's school for a little bit and get work done around the house, and one to sew.  Even 3 hours for studio time would be better than what I had.

I was wrong.  The three mornings a week somehow only gave me an hour every once in a while in the studio.

So, today O is starting a fourth day at school and staying all day.  Which means 9-3.  And I am looking at/hoping for 5 solid hours in the studio.

Unfortunately those 5 hours begin with digging my work table out from under this.

I'll see you on the other side!

It's A Crafty Advent - Day 1

 We hung our Advent Garlands last week and filled them last night.  My mom made these for the kids last year and I love them.  Last year they were filled with trinkets and a little candy.  While I loved a lot of the little things, some were really just filler - little pieces of plastic that ended up floating around our house until they made their way into the trash.  And really?  Who wants to feed their child a hershey kiss before they've had breakfast?

This year I wanted to do things a little differently.  I was inspired by Mary Beth over here last year and decided that we would follow suit and do some kind of "Christmas Village" with a mix of things that are new and things that we already had.

I actually bought a Playmobil advent calendar last summer and have had it stashed away to make up the bulk of the pockets.  Mixed in are some new play silks, a new ornament for each kid, a little necklace kit for each, and the pieces of a great hand carved nativity set that my parents bought for me in Holland(?) way back before I had kids.  I'm really excited to see what the kids think.


 Today, in their first pockets, they each received a new ornament.  I especially love the one for O - a great wool felted snowman I bought from Melissa Frueh (of Sqrl & Bee) at the local Waldorf School Holiday Fair before Thanksgiving.  I've known of her for a while and was super excited to be able to see her things in person.  Check out her husband's cool video Wellington Dreams - an amazingly creative couple!


So, I'm excited to watch the little Christmas Village unfold over the next 23 days.  We'll see what the kids decide to do with it all.  I have a feeling it is going to end up looking nothing like I imagine...