Monday, May 16, 2011

I Bid You Adieu with some Crafty Book Giveaways!

Well friends, it's been over 2 months since I've written a blog post. There's been a lot of change going on in my little corner of the crafty world. My priorities have shifted quite a bit as of late, and it has taken me time to get used to it. Basically, I've decided to focus all my creative energy on Kuhmillion, my lingerie business, to really try to build it and make it into a full-time gig for my husband & I. In fact, we've been working our designing (mine) & programming (his) fingers to the bone lately giving our website a complete overhaul, which we hope to launch later this week. Kuhmillion 2.0 is going to be amazing, and we're really excited about it! We both have bigtime entrepreneurial dreams and schemes that we just can't give up. But there are only so many hours in the day, so much energy in our bodies, and so much stress we can handle healthily. Splitting my time between three small businesses just wasn't working out very well (imagine that!). Something had to give. Know the feeling?

So, in the past few months I've withdrawn my partnership in The WonderCraft and put Beth Hempton Art & Toys on the back burner (my Etsy shop will remain open, and I still have stuff at a few shops in town, but I won't be developing any new products or pursuing new consignment or wholesale accounts for the time being). There's been quite a bit of guilt involved over my many unfinished projects and unrealized ideas, and a lot of "what now?" confusion coupled with twinges of feeling like a failure... but I think I've come to peace with all of that.

Also, to save up money and pay down debt in preparation for the hubs & I both being gainfully self-employed someday, I went back to work. I'm a part-time hostess and shop girl at a lovely local cafe, which I'm enjoying, but it's been a big adjustment after working from home and being my own boss for over 2 years. And oh yeah, I also joined a recreational roller derby league (which is totally awesome!), so I'm skating 3 or 4 times a week now.

So, needless to say, all of these new developments have left me little time or energy for blogging. I'm bidding a fond farewell to Crafty Mishmash. I'll leave it online, but don't expect any new posts (for now, at least). But, before I go, I have something for all of you dear readers - fabulous craft books!

Several weeks (months?) ago, the great folks at Kodansha Publishing sent me copies of two of their fun & creative titles: Felt Friends from Japan and Crane Origami. I was too overwhelmed at the time to do this giveaway, so some of the timely impact has been lost, but I figured it was better late than never. These are both great books, and all you have to do is leave a comment telling me which book you would like and you'll be entered in a drawing to win it!

Felt Friends (pictured above) is a simply adorable book, with clear instructions for making tons of cute toys and accessories. The book has lots of useful diagrams and full-color photos of finished projects. I've got 2 copies for the taking, ya interested?

About the crane origami book, Laura from Kodansha says,
"There's a legend in Japan that says that if 1,000 origami paper cranes are folded, a person's wish will come true. Over the years, The Thousand Cranes ("Senbazuru") have become the symbol for peace, hope, and recovery from illness. Today, in the face of monumental hardship and loss following the earthquake and tsunami, people around the world are folding cranes as a sign of support for Japan's thousands of victims."
Isn't that a beautiful vision? Would you like to learn how to fold paper cranes to show your support for Japan? I've got 5 copies of this book to give away!

Remember, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me which book you would like and you'll be entered in a drawing to win it! Easy-peasy! Thanks so much for reading my blog.
UPDATED 5/18/11:

Congrats to the following winners; I'll be emailing you!
Felt Friends: Aimee & Deborah
Crane Origami: Meredith, Amelia, Jen C, Jen F, Beth A

Friday, March 11, 2011

Etsy in Austin for South by Southwest!

The folks from Etsy headquarters in Brooklyn have arrived here in Austin for the awesome SXSW event they've been planning! It starts tomorrow & continues through Sunday, at Venue 222 on Sixth Street. Two full days of craft demos, music & more! See the full schedule of events on the Etsy in Austin event page.

The EtsyAustin street team has partnered up with Etsy for this event & we'll have a fabulous display of our work ("The Wall of Wow") at the event. I'm on the committee for that & have seen the setup, so I can tell you first-hand that it will indeed wow you! More event info, plus our team members' guide to Austin, on the EtsyAustin blog.

We'll also have a Meet EtsyAustin booth and the coolest photo booth in town. Seriously, you do NOT want to miss getting your picture taken with Babsy the larger-than-life, mustache-sportin', tiny hat-wearin', cat. Saddle up!

I got to meet many of the Etsy folks last night at a meet n' greet they hosted for our team leaders at Polvo's Mexican restaurant. It was super fun to meet them & talk plans for this weekend. It's going to be craftacularly fun - hope you'll come out & see us!

Friday, January 14, 2011

MADE: Baby Jacket with Monkey Applique

I recently made this sweet little flannel jacket for the newborn of my friend & biz partner, Beth A. I just hope the tiny little guy grows into it before the weather warms up!

The jacket pattern is from an awesome book that I got for Christmas, One Yard Wonders. I highly recommend it - tons of great patterns! And the monkey applique is from a template of my own design.

Like to applique? Never tried it but want to? You can get your own PDF copy of my monkey template in my Etsy shop. Comes with detailed instructions to walk you through the process. It's fun & easy!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Favorite Crafty Christmas Decor at Anthro

Out and about this holiday season, I was struck by how much the handmade movement has affected mainstream decor. Crafty is the new black, it seems to me! For instance, Target had these adorable, yarn-covered bird ornaments as part of their "Craft Collection" line.

My favorite decorations were at Anthropologie, though, where the displays & decor never disappoint. How cute is the fabric-covered, faux-taxidermy deer above, with his sprawling wooden antlers strewn with felt garlands & lights?! Love.

I love the way Anthro often uses props that anyone could make at home, like these felt circle cone trees. I always leave the store feeling inspired.

Clever use of balls of yarn to create a mountain of "snowballs!"

Detail of cutesy-crafty snowballs. I heart you, Anthropologie!

What were your favorite holiday decorations this year? See anything crafty?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Handmade Gifts are Great... Most of the Time!

Seattle 082

Spotted this example of bad craft in a thrift store in Seattle last month. We should all keep this in mind when making handmade gifts this season. Perhaps this Bud-loving "artist" had one too many??? : )

HaPPy HoLiDAze!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Little Tweed Owls


So I've been working on something new & super-cute, if I may say so myself.


This little guy is waving hello - awww!

and I just love Mr. Green Wings on his mod background:

What do you think of my newest creations? I'm working on a couple of other animals, too, but the owls are all I have done so far. I'll have these little cuties for sale in our WonderCraft booth tonight at First Thursday on South Congress, tomorrow at The Bleet-Up & next week at Cherrywood Art Fair. Hope to see you at one of these craftabulous events!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pretty Pics: Mayfield Park, a Peacock Paradise

Patrick & I went to Mayfield Park on Sunday afternoon & I snapped tons of pics. Yes, I've blogged about this place before, but it's just so darn amazing!






More pics in my Mayfield Park Flickr set. Hope you're having a beautiful day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thrift Store Finds to Get You in the Halloween Mood!


Aren't mannequin parts fascinating? I like the way these look like severed hands, yet they are immaculately clean & shiny.

witchiepoo2Hee hee hee heeee! I'll get you, my pretty! (and your little dog, too!)

This little cutie-pie wouldn't scare anyone!

All of these pics were taken on a recent fun-filled afternoon thrifting with my WonderCraft pals. I posted the full story on The WonderCraft's blog, and you can also check out more pics from the trip in my Scenic Austin Flickr set.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bits & Pieces

a box of colorful ears...

stuffed & waiting by my machine to be spiral-stitched for that adorable quilted effect! This is perhaps my favorite step of elephant-making.

and a stack of embroidered faces on what will become the elephants' bodies.

I love seeing the pieces at different stages & watching a batch of toys come together from a stack of parts. These polka-dotty elephants will soon be getting some national attention! Can't wait until I can tell you all about it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Digging these Miniature Hats!

I'm knee-deep in fabric & thread, trying to get a lot of stuff made in preparation for the holiday show season, but just had to share these magnificent mini hats from Harriet Rosebud. They're so stylishly detailed, it kinda makes me want to start a mini-hat collection! I came across them in my research for the turtle hats I'm working on.

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