Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Published... again!!

I'm so excited! Two of my upcycled creations have been featured in the new Altered Couture magazine!
I also have a dress that will be in the Winter issue! Now if I can just convert this into some sales life would be perfect!

Altered Couture had a slip challenge. Here is my before:

I know... BORING!!!

Here is my after:

Big difference huh.

It was so much fun to make and  to have it in national magazine is an added bonus!

Here is a picture of the back.

Pretty funky if I say so myself.

Now the cool thing is this magazine is great at asking for submissions. Go outside your comfort zone and check out the submission challenges. Here is the link:  Altered Couture submission guidelines

Now go make something funky and cool! You can do it!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Make it Custom One of a Kind Just for You!

I have added a new listing to my Etsy store. So many of my clothes are Favorited but I know they are not purchased because the size is not right. So I decided to add custom listings with just labor charges. My customer purchases the clothes they want their outfit made from and I make it awesome!
Here is what my customer sent. I LOVE everything!

She added a pink and white stripped blouse in her size for the top. These 5 shirts are for the bottom skirting.
So this is what I came up with....

I had so much fun making this dress. Hopefully I will get more as time goes by.

I do 3 custom styles right now.

 Click link to check out my listing. Dresses. These are longer tunic dresses.
 Tunic Dresses These are great with leggings or even over jeans.
Tunic Tops These are best over pants or a skirt.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Learning some hard stuff here!

Ok, so my store on Etsy is hanging in there. But I knew I needed to learn how to get more traffic from outside of Etsy. So I joined this wonderful (albit very overwhelming for this lady) team to show me how to do it.
It is called the Helpful Relevancy Team - Etsy Based Artisan Group. Here is the link to find out more. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

My favorite creation so far!

I created this dress a little while ago and I have to say. It came out really cute! I took it to a craft show last weekend and if it was a larger size, I could have sold it ten times over.

You can see more pictures of it on my Etsy Store. I made it from some men's shirtsleeves and leftovers from another dress.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I have to brag a little... just this one time!

My youngest son Jesse graduated from Marine Basic Training in April. I was fortunate enough to be able to fly to San Diego to see him. He is the one in the middle yelling. Marines yell a lot!
Poor guys were hot and tired. The drill instructors had them running probably to keep them busy until it was time to visit. This was family day and we got to spend the whole day with him on base.

He is the tall one in the back...always. It was easy to find him.

        This was his first sight of family in 13 weeks. He was a very happy guy to say the least. I made sure his girlfriend was the first person he saw.
The next day he got to leave with us and first order of business was Pizza and Beer. So we found the best place we could.

An added bonus was this bus parked in front of our hotel room.

Yep, Willie was there! It was an outdoor concert so we got to hang at the pool and look between the plants at back stage.

So this is what my baby looks like now. Pretty handsome if I do say so myself.

   Here are both my boys together. Yeah, I'm a proud mom. I think they are pretty handsome guys.

Just needed a break from sewing and school work. Plus my poor blog was missing me big time.

Just a quick note, if anyone is actually checking my blog out. I will be at a fun little craft show this Saturday.
Here is the poster. If you are in the The Dalles Oregon area, come by!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

An Upcycled Repurposed Life

For those who don't know my story, late in 2010 I had to close my quilt shop and lost my beautiful log house. Another victim of the economy downturn and not enough future planning on my part. Yes, I do take part of the blame.

The emotional pain was stifling.. I still think... "I want to go home". I lived 25 miles from Yosemite National Park. I miss the trees, the forest, the little fox that would come by each night to raid whatever cat food I had forgotten to pick up.

Fast forward three years......

I'm in Oregon living with my mom. That in itself isn't progress but it allowed a time of healing and reinvention.

It took a while. I worked at a local quilt shop. Note to oneself. Do not go to work for another quilt shop owner.
I taught some kids sewing classes. It helped pay a few bills and introduced me to a new experience.

I went back to school... at 50 something. I discovered I'm a pretty decent student. Of course I drove my accounting teacher nuts.

I started looking for something I could do with my creative spirit and earn money at the same time. Enter Altered Couture Magazine and the local thrift stores in town.

It's like every day is an "Aha Moment". I'm amazed I am still at it 7 months later. Not only that, but the February issue of Altered Couture has two of my creations. One, the managing editor liked so much she bought it and modeled it in the article.

My sales are still slow. I'm learning to be patient. Steady and hand to the sewing machine. Don't stop now, I feel like I'm almost there.

I'm still in school. I got my Accounting AA. I'm working toward an AA in Administrative Assistant. Just a back up. But in my heart I know because of my age, it most likely won't turn into a job.

But it will make me a better businesswoman.

And so the story goes on in a positive note. Finally, thankfully, and gratefully I think I'm going to make it.

To God and the Universe. Keep on... and Thank you!

You can visit my Etsy shop here...... Curious Orange Cat

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's Official. I'm Getting Published!

I'm so excited! I have been working on my sewing creations for my Etsy store for some time now. My goal still is 100 items.
I'm working on it pretty steadily.
I'm having a blast creating. I get side tracked so easily. But it always comes out well.

This is one of my favorites. It fits me of course. But I won't make any money putting stuff in my closet.

So back to the getting noticed thing.
I got my courage up and submitted an upcycled red jacket and skirt outfit to Altered Couture Magazine.  Lo and behold within a day after I sent it off, I got an email from the assistant managing editor asking about another dress on my Etsy store.
They hadn't even gotten my package yet!

I guess it was meant to be. I got the "official" email letting me know two of my creations were chosen for a future issue. I'm thinking February. Plus, they still have the red outfit and I sent them another hoping for another submission the future. We will see. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and I get to write two 600 to 700 word articles for the submissions... yea!! (said in a weak voice). I didn't know there would be homework!

I feel like I have finally found my "thing".

Something I love to do everyday. I dream about sewing these outfits. Crazy huh?
I'm working on getting noticed by potential customers.

 Etsy has many areas to get great help. Forums for questions and groups to join for support and education.

I have been reading a bit of unhappiness with the new seller rules. Etsy now allows sellers to have other people make their products. I don't think it will take long for sellers who are actually manufacturers to show up. I have seen them already. It isn't too hard to find them.

However, I see Etsy as a simple avenue for selling to my customers and giving them a place to find me.

I realize I need to be proactive in attracting customers.
Opening a store, adding products and waiting for the sales to roll in just isn't going to happen.
 It takes work!
Sending submissions to magazines is pretty scary. But it is necessary to market myself. No one else is going to do it for me.

I learn new things everyday in both my sewing and marketing. But for now, I'm enjoying the process.

Until next time....