Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The shop is open!

What crazy thing have I gone and done now ?

Set up shop. Yes, I have. I am making a commitment to
be a regular patron of the post office. I am so excited that
I have typed and retyped this sentence about 11 times.

I have three small children, one of whom can climb anything
in the house if we so much as take our eyes off her to blink.
So my main job is still Mother. And initially I thought I'd
wait another year or so to do this, but quite a few
people have asked about buying stuff. So I thought I'd
just start small and simple and beg everyone for their
patience as the shop grows up. The plan is to have
lots of stuff there in
time for Christmas. Which is
like tomorrow!
Must keep calm. Must breathe.

Anyway, after thinking long and hard about what
exactly to sell,
I've come to several conclusions:

One, I like Making and Creating.
Two, I don't have as much time as I would like to actually Make.
Three, I like teaching.
Four, I would love for other people to Make too.
Five, But people are busy.

Sad picture of our times.

Decided I'd stock the shop with kits.

I've spent many happy (and somewhat manic) hours and
days and weeks buying and measuring and cutting and
color-matching and packaging and writing and drawing
and printing (i.e. all the icky busy work) to make little
goodie bags of materials,
patterns and instructions
so you
can get on with your Making.

Lots of experimenting and refining behind the scenes

for the first kit - Ribbon Balls!

Nothing earth-shatteringly clever, but they are about the
simplest thing in the world to make. I wanted to start with
something that anyone of any sewing ability could tackle -
beginning sewers could literally follow the instructions and
more experienced sewers could pooh-pooh the diagrams
and just use the materials and go crazy. I've included an
extra panel of fleece to give you some room to play around
with color combinations - and you'll end up with one panel
leftover for a pattern to make more of your own ribbon
balls in the future. Customize your colors to match a layette
for a shower gift or give the kit to a busy but oh-so-creative
mom-to-be so she can make the most of that nesting
phase before the baby comes.

Like this:

A friend said that she hoped I'd never give up the the whole
hand-written, hand-drawn pattern thing and make it all
computerized. You know, to preserve some of the old zaniness.
Sort of like if you unfolded the instruction sheet and I was
standing there beside you bossing you around like I do here
the blog working along with you, nutella IV firmly in both
arms while house-elves (thank you, Mary for this idea!)
did our dishes,
laundry and meals. So I've kept all that:

Here's even better news: I've also cleaned up my act a bit
and gotten rid of all the 'thingys' and 'thingummybobs' and
'whatsits'. Real language at last! So people can actually
understand the instructions. The blog might continue to be
as verbose and silly as ever, but the instructions won't.

And just so you all know I still dabble in the Making,
I'm stocking a few ready-mades too:

Plans for two new kits - fancier stuff - hopefully in
time for Christmas. Also pdf patterns. I hope you find
something there that you'll like.

And now - welcome to
the shop!


  1. Good Luck! You create some lovely things and your tutorials are always really good so I'm sure you'll do really well.

  2. Congrats on opening your new store! I love this- I'm one of those crafty mom's who sees all these cool things & wants to make them, but never finds the time. The kits will be perfect! I hope (and suspect) you will have great success with this new venture!

  3. I think that's awesome!!!!! Good luck on etsy!

  4. Hurray! Congratulations! Am sending you virtual 'grand opening' standing flower wreath and lion dancers :)

    (by 'virtual' I mean 'imaginary')

    The shop looks great, by the way!

  5. Congrats L ! So excited for you too !

  6. oh wow! this is sew (hahahaha) exciting!

    Good luck! i've bookmarked quite a few of your ideas for gifts for my girls this year. Can't wait to see what else you'll be offering!

  7. hi L
    wow congrats on the shop!
    am eyeing the wallet as mine is getting rather smelly
    making any new fabric designs soon?

    can i just add (for your prospective customers) that the wallet and bag that L made some 15 years ago (? early 1990s) is still in good shape and the workmanship is excellent!!

    xoxo rach

  8. Hi LiEr!
    Blogged, plugged and linked!
    I'm thrilled for you and wishing you enormous success
    Now WHY on earth hasn't Random House been hassling you for a book deal?
    (because they should!)

  9. Ooh congratulations! I'm so excited for you and for us! I know it's going to be a huge success. I love to gift craft kits at Christmas so big, huge yay!

  10. Congrats on the shop! (How you find the time to do all this creating with three small children I don't know). I'm sure you'll sell lots - the kits are a great idea and look nice and easy to complete. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with for Christmas!

  11. Good luck to you - though you won't need it - your items sell themselves!
    Check out click n Ship - if 1 item in the bunch is Priority mail, the mailman will come to your house and PICK UP YOUR PACKAGES... I have 2 little boys and this is a lifesaver! You have to purchase your postage online - it's worth it!
    Thanks for all you share -

    Erin McMilon

  12. Yippee! How exciting! The kits are beautiful!!! LOve all your color choices!

  13. Woohoo!!! Congrats on the opening of your shop!!! What fun. This is so super suepr cool. Can't wait to see the Christmas stuff too!

  14. Congrats on starting your shop and good luck with sales! Kits are an awesome idea.

  15. Congratulations! I think your ball kits are genius, so cute and the perfect simple sewing project.

  16. This is just wonderful! I am really excited for you! Off on a trip now but I'll have to take note of your ball kit for our new baby - right now, kits are really helpful for me because I love to sew but have no time to cut!

  17. Oh, congratulations!!! I am sure it will work out fine! And I think the idea with the kits is really clever. I wish you all the best for it!


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