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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quiltsy Team Batik Block Exchange

I showed you in an earlier post the string block exchange my quiltsy team had – I haven’t quite finished my quilt from that one but I’ll be sure to post final pictures.  Anyway,  now we’re doing another one…this time we’re playing with Batik’s!

 

Here were the rules:

"For this swap, we will be exchanging 100 batik 5" squares, and will receive 100 batik 5" squares in return from the other participating team members. The 2nd part of the swap is to make a quilt top using all 100 charms we receive, plus 2 other fabrics from our stashes. We will also be posting pictures on the Quiltsy Flickr site of our quilt tops.
The batiks can be from your stash, or you can buy yardage (estimated 2 yards of 44" fabric for 100 5" squares) The charms do not have to be all different, but you can use as many different fabrics as you wish. The fabric does have to be prewashed, 100% cotton batiks, and accurately cut. We would ask that you do send good quality fabric because that is what we would all like to receive!


Your charm squares should be mailed to me by July 13th. I will be divide them among the other swappers, and 100 will be mailed back out to you. Please include return postage in your package for your returned blocks. After you convo the Quiltsy Team to join the swap, I will send you the address to mail your charm squares.


The deadline for posting pictures of your completed quilt top using the charms will be in September, date to be announced.
Oh, and the swap will be for Quiltsy members only, just in case you are just visiting us here.

 

The other day I went to work and cut my 5” charms.  This turned out to be harder than I imagined.  I think batik’s are just amazing, beautiful fabric that usually make my stomach hurt.  I have a very difficult time choosing batik fabric because I want them ALL!  Batik fabric is not cheap.  My rule is that I have to absolutely, 100%, COMPLETELY be in love with a batik to purchase it.  If I’m not, it stays on the shelf…otherwise I would be broke!  So, to cut up the batik’s I have to be sending to other’s was quite a difficult task.  I tried to save at least bits of some it so it wasn’t completely gone from my stash.  Here’s what I came up with:

001 I sent fabric from about 8 different pieces that I had…all quite different.  I can’t wait to see what I get sent!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Project Linus Blocks

Friends-of

When I became a member of the CABTeam of Etsy I saw that a Project Linus effort had been started.  This is something I’ve always wanted to do but hadn’t taken the time to do it.  Now was my chance! 

 

All we had to do was:   Make four 12" quilt blocks (Blocks should measure 12.5" to allow for 1/4" quilting seams) in any kid-friendly color or pattern. We are making two boy quilts and two girl quilts, but you can make gender neutral blocks if you like. 

 

Well, I sat down the other day and finished my blocks…they are all pretty different but I had fun making them!003007  A signature block.

004 This was going to be a 16 patch but I calculated incorrectly so I added some random sashing to get it to measure 12.5” square.  I think it looks even cooler now!005 006 Do you see the zebra?

They were mailed, received and ready to be put into a quilt!  I hope whoever gets the quilts LOVES them :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Tutorial on ‘How to’ Create a HyperLink on your Blog

I’m going to start out this post with a disclaimer that I AM NOT A BLOGGER expert.  I have been blogging now for about a year and have had to figure a lot out to make it more efficient, attract more viewers and make it at least look semi-nice.  If anyone has any tips or advice or think that I’m doing things a really long way I would LOVE to hear a better way.  I am always trying to learn new and better things and ways!

 

I received a convo from a fellow etsian with a few questions about blogging and thought it would be a great opportunity for a tutorial on my blog.   Here’s her first question:

1. How do I make a link like you do, where all they have to do is click on one of the text words & it links? Hope that makes sense! I've messed around with the "link" icon on the post page, but can't figure it out.

Step 1:  Write your blog post in blogger

 written blog post Step 2:  Highlight the text you want to be linked to another spot.highlight what you want to linkStep 3:  Click on the link icon (shown in green)click on the link buttonStep 4:  A hyperlink box pops up on your screen.  hyperlink box should pop upStep 5:    Type in the web address in the line that says URL and click on ‘OK’.  typeinaddressclickokayStep 6:  You’re DONE!  Your text should now be a hyperlink!  Either create more or publish your post!now a hyperlink

A few other questions that I’m going to answer to the best of my ability:
2. Is there some tricks I need to know about placement of pictures in a post? Its always so hard to get them where I would like them. Do I add all pictures first, then text?

If I am creating a post in blogger I always try to insert my pictures first.  I’ve found that it works easier that way…otherwise I get really large spacing between things and it’s a pain to try to reformat without accidently deleting things…  I have also find that using the center or left alignment option for photo’s works the easiest.


3. The other thing is spaces between paragraphs or lines....If I add spaces, it seems they aren’t there when I publish....or sometimes it adds spaces when I don't want to....and its never fixable if I try to edit.

My answer to this is patience.  I’ve had the same problems and it seems that it can take three to four times of editing to get the spacing the way I want.  Sometimes it helps to just leave it alone and come back later.  Not really sure…maybe someone else can help us out with this one.

After all that being said I would recommend looking into downloading the program ‘Window's Live Writer.’  It’s free and is really handy and user-friendly for posting to blogs.  If you decide to do this, I’ll give you some time to play around a little while but please feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll do my best to help you out.  (Again…I am NO expert :))

 

I hope this helps at least a few people!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Treasury Saturday – June 27th, 2009

Happy Saturday once again everyone!  WOW!  It felt like this week went by really fast!  I spent a lot of time in the pool with my kiddo’s because of the ridiculous heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing.  Hopefully I’ll get some sewing done and jewelry made on Monday. ..

 

Well, I won’t keep you waiting any longer…treasuries I was honored to be featured in and treasuries I enjoyed curating coming your way NOW!

 

awesomecolors-quiltville-062209Quiltville put together this lovely Quiltsy treasury called ‘Awesome Colors’.  She featured my ‘Where’s the Point – Firework’s’ Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

crazyaboutquilts-debidesigns-062409

 

DebiDesigns was kind enough to feature my Mother-in-law’s beautiful Round Robin Quilt in her treasury ‘Crazy About Quilts’.

 

 

 

 

 

PG-062209-creativedetailsCreativeDetails made this gorgeous treasury called ‘PG’ (Pink and Green) and she featured the Bird on a Wire Earrings from theApple

 

 

 

 

 

thequilterlovespatchwork-tracyDesigns-062409

 

TracyDesigns put together this fabulous treasury full of fabulous bags (make sure to check out her shop for even more great bags!).  She used my Patchwork Poppies Quilted Bag in this beautiful treasury…thanks!

 

 

 

JamesBrownGetontheGoodFoot-localcolorist-062409LocalColorist put this super hot treasury together called “James Brown Get on the Good Foot”.  It’s been near the top of page one for almost its entire life span!  My Tennis Shoe Kansas Windmill Quilt was featured among some other great ‘feet’ related items!

 

 

 

I managed to capture quite a few treasuries this week.  I had fun creating some around the themes of the books I was reading…one was easier to figure out than the other…oh well :)  I enjoyed it!

feelingsincolor-theapple-062209

‘Feelings In Color’ guessmyclues-062109   ‘Guess My Clues’

Answer:  ‘Water for Elephants’theblankblankofblank-062109-kims ‘The Blank Blank of Blank’

Answer:  The Secret Life of Bees 

 

And once again, that conclude’s treasury Saturday!  If you’re reading this and your in the Madison area enjoy Rhythm and Booms tonight!  If not, have a great weekend doing whatever it is you’re planning on doing!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Themed Thursday - Happy Anniversary!

To my hubby and me! I can't believe we were married four years ago today! I still remember that day perfectly...definately one of the best days of my life. I had such an amazing time at our wedding...

All my bridesmaid's slept over the night before and we got up real early to get to the salon for our hair. No one else was at the salon while we were so we basically took it over. One side was for getting hair done...the other for getting our make-up done (thank's Carla!)

After hair was complete it was off to the church. We had a one o'clock ceremony (that's the latest they would do). Right before I walked down the aisle I heard this ripping noise...it was my good friend and usher, Jesse, pulling some tape off to tape the aisle runner down since it wasn't staying very well. It was the best thing to happen...took all my nerves away and made me realize that this was finally 'my' wedding (it couldn't have been exactly perfect if it was mine!). My husband was not nervous AT ALL which amazed me because he is not a fan of crowds or being the center of attention.

Once the ceremony was over (and it was HOT!) we all piled into a wagon that was drawn by some horses and we took a ride through town to my in-laws farm. There we had lots of food and beer for all our wedding guests since we had a few hours to spare. We spent about an hour getting our pictures taken all over the orchard. Then we were able to mingle with all the friends and family that made it for our special day!

Around 4:30 or 5:00 we loaded back onto the wagon...this time taking Grandpa with us...he was so proud! Our driver stopped by a local bar and bought us a round before taking us to the reception.

We had our reception at a golf course and they closed the whole place down for our wedding...super fun! Our meal was wonderful, the cake was delicious, and I danced so much that you could literally see bruises on the bottoms of my feet the next day! I don't know how the day could have been more perfect! I managed to snag a treasury last night in honor of our anniversary. I don't usually post the screen shots until Saturday but I'm a little strapped for time today so I'm going to direct you do these fabulous finds for great anniversary gift ideas!

Hope you all have a wonderful June 25th!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Etsy in the NEWS! (and me!)

I took this article directly from the DeForest Time’s Website. I’m so excited!

Businesses turn to the Internet
Scott De Laruelle
Assistant Editor
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Scott De Laruelle photo

Kim Lapacek works on project at her home outside of Poynette. Lapacek is one of several area residents who are selling items on etsy.com, a website dedicated to hand-made crafts.

Kim Lapacek likes to keep things pretty laid back at her "store," Kim's Crafty Apple.


In fact, you can "show up" to browse the selection in your pajamas and no one will even bat an eye. That's because Lapacek is one of several area retailers who are using the Internet to sell handmade crafts and clothing to try to beat the recession.


Last February, she started selling quilts, bags, clothing and jewelry on her site on Etsy.com. So far, she has 38 sales, to places as far away as the U.K., with more than 30,000 views.


Etsy.com is one of several Web sites that have sprung up in recent years to connect consumers with independent creators and designers; focusing on handmade goods. Etsy was launched in 2005 and has about 2.1 million members and more than 200,000 sellers listing more than 3.4 million items.


Retailers moved $87.5 million worth of merchandise last year and $32 million already through the first quarter of 2009. According to the site, "We created Etsy to reconnect producer and consumer, and swing the pendulum back to a time when we bought our bread from the baker, food from the farmer and shoes from the cobbler."


Making the leap
Many people in the area are familiar with the Lapacek name because of family orchard, something she helps out with in the fall. But she was not trained as an apple salesperson or produce-grower; she earned a degree in civil engineering from UW-Madison in 2005.


After having her second child, though, Lapacek decided to make the leap to stay at home full-time and try to sell her crafts on the Internet.


"It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to bring in a little income doing something I loved while being able to watch my kids grow," she said. "I had a really good job and a great boss, but I'm so much happier doing this."


Before long Lapacek found a groove and is now plugging away and using the Internet to its full potential to help raise awareness about her business.


"I didn't realize how involved you have to be to get your name out there, so now I have a blog, I go on the forums, I 'Twitter,' I have a Facebook page, you have to comment on other people's blogs," she said. "It is time-consuming."


Lapacek was trained as an engineer, designing residential developments, but in recent months she has become an adept photographer in the past year or so; something she said is critical to running a successful sales site on the Internet.


"You have to take good pictures, which is unbelievably difficult, especially jewelry," she said. "I've learned a lot. You're basically creating a storefront."


While Lapacek selling over the Internet isn't "recession-proof," she said the lack of overhead (monthly bills around $10) has kept her burgeoning business from running deep into the red during the past few months.

Etsy charges 20 cents to list an item for four months, and they take 3.5 percent of all sales. Lapacek also uses a Pay Pal account, which takes another 2 percent.


"Overall you're losing around 5 percent, but if you sell through a gallery, it can be 30-35 percent, plus you're just not getting the exposure," she said.


Being able to sell to a wide variety of people has also helped ease the pain of the recent economic downturn, she said. "It's a worldwide thing, so you're out there for people overseas, or people in different parts of the country that aren't having as many problems as other parts," she said. "Sales are a little slower, but my shop is getting full, and I'm getting ready for when the recession is over."


Local artists


Judy Percy of Waunakee was laid off work and looking for ways to earn some income at home. She has always sewed - everything from kids' clothes to Civil War uniforms - but when the recession hit, she wanted to make items people needed on an everyday basis.


"I came up with diaper bags - people are still having babies - and purses and reusable totes," she said.
She found out about Etsy while doing some Web searches and decided to take the plunge. "It felt really comfortable," she said.


Joni Doyle-Sims of DeForest was looking for an economical way to create a Web site to sell her jewelry online, and found Etsy.com. She creates nature-inspired jewelry with precious metal clay, and had sold her work at art fairs throughout the state, but was looking to expand her market, which she has - her first sale was to Scotland.


"I've had amazing experiences selling my jewelry and buying from other artists as well," she said. "I truly believe in supporting handmade art and Etsy is one of the best resources online."

Jill Long of Waunakee said the great thing about Etsy is she doesn't have to concentrate on just one area.


"I love pottery, jewelry, painting, sewing; I'm kind of an "ADHD artist," she said. "I can sell an assortment of art because Etsy reaches a large audience. Anyone across the country, or across the world, can shop in my store."


Kristin Graves of Waunakee joined Etsy.com after her cellular business was hit by the economic downturn and she wanted to be more productive with her spare time. She now has around 200 finished pieces and is starting to list them on the site as she has time.


"I found that I had a lot of downtime at my office so I picked up my jewelry tools again just to pass the time," she said. My friend would stop in to visit about once a week to keep me company and when she saw what I was making, she had to have some pieces. If she was willing to pay me to make things for her I thought, what the heck, maybe someone else would too."



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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What’s New at TheApple?

If you have been keeping an eye on my jewelry shop on etsy, theApple you may have noticed that I’ve been adding some new items. If you haven’t…no worries…I’m about to show them to you now!

One thing that I’ve added a few of is new colors for the chunky bracelets. I have LOTS of new colors to add so keep an eye on my shop!

Patina Chunky Bracelet057

Pretty in Pink Sunset065

Patriotic033The Patriotic chunky bracelet is not the only item in my shop perfect for the fourth of July. If you want some great patriotic earrings check out the Sparkling Patriotic Earrings, the Refreshingly Patriotic Earrings, and the Deep Patriotic Earrings.

Another new items you may have noticed in theApple are my Charm Earrings. 001Martini and Olive Charm Earrings 013 Spool of Thread Charm Earrings

019

Sewing Machine Charm Earrings

I made both the sewing machine and spool of thread earrings as a sort of ‘shout out’ to my fellow Quiltsy Team members. I saw the charms in the store and I just had to.057Apple Charm Earrings…I had to do apples049Cork Screw Charm Earrings – perfect for the wine connoisseur in your life!044High Heeled Charm Earrings – I am a shoe LOVER…could not resist these fun earrings! 038 And of course Tractor Charm earrings. I live on a farm…tractor’s were a must.

The last new items you will see in my shop are these fabulous resin earrings! I sold two of these within hours of listing (luckily I can make more than one of each….but not too many so don’t wait to get yours!)

013 Black Bird Earrings 003 Bird on a Wire Earrings007 Golden Bird Earrings

I’ll be adding more new things in the next few weeks so make sure to check back often!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pictures from the 2009 Dyeing Workshop!

 001 Diane is explaining what is going to happen at the day…

002Everyone being good students and listening carefully…some are even taking notes!  004Getting to work! 005006 Diane had to teach the toughest lessons…here she taught how to dye pastels…my nemesis… 007These are the results of my first students’ work of the day!  Didn’t they do a great job!

008 009

Here are some of the things that I dyed while showing the folding and tying techniques…010Cheyli using my ‘graffiti’ technique to get rid of some of her white areas and add even more fun to her clothes!  012 013

People have there projects laid out on the grass to dry out!  I just love dying outside!  Aren’t these amazing?!014 015 016 Brittany dyed some great clothing!

017

018I dyed these dresses for my girls…I wanted them to match but not quite, so I dyed them the same way, just rotated them in the bin so they’ll be at opposite ends…

  020

These fabrics are just STUNNING!023 024 025

I just LOVE this pink and brown combination  that Kathy created!  So beautiful and will look adorable on the little girls!026 Brittany is rinsing out one of her dyes to see what she came up with!

027  029 031  033  Overall I would say the dyeing workshop was a success…some fabulous fabric and stunning clothing was made.  I hope everyone had fun and we couldn’t have asked for better weather!   I know I had fun!

Hopefully some of the participants will send me some pictures of their work once they complete the washout and I’ll be posting even more fabulous pictures!

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