Note for my German- speaking visitors
Liebe deutschsprachige Besucher, herzlich willkommen auf meinem Blog. Ich schreibe hier für Euch auch auf Deutsch. Deutsch ist nicht meine Muttersprache. Da ich die Sprachschule nur 8 Wochen besucht habe werdet Ihr manchmal Schreibfehler, falsche Satzstellung etc. hier entdecken - macht nix, oder?

Schmunzeln und korrigieren erlaubt!

Vielen Dank für Euren Besuch!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

birthday Crown for Leni

Made this cute B-day crown for the little Leni who will be turning 2 in February. I used the pattern from Tina's crown. Here I used couple of techniques: free motion embroidery, fabric painting and heat transfer. The number is attached with a snap button. Also made additional numbers for the years to come. I actually think that this crown is even nicer than the one I made for Tina over 3 years ago.









Puzzle Dachshund Pillow

I seem to be on a pillow trip:) Made this cute puzzle pillow for Tina using up some of my bigger fabric scraps. I used the free motion embroidery technique to apply the pieces and to embroider some details. I am pretty happy with how it turned out and Tina also gave her approval.


some details of the birdies





Thursday, January 19, 2012

Free motion Embroidery Pillows

I tried free motion embroidery about a year ago and gave up, frustrated! Last week I tried again and WOW, it was working!!! I need lots more practice, but this opens the doors to so many new ideas!
I do have an embroidery machine, but the free motion has a totally different feeling and look to it and is for some projects more appropriate.

The pattern for the birdies is from the book Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart and the idea for the nest is from Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray.





The idea to use birds came from the existing fabric panels that we have in the living room. The tree fabric is from Ikea. The sleeping monstrum in the coconut chair, is our Lucy who owns her own cat pillow.




Emboidered Felt Cuff Bracelet

I saw this bracelet from Waterrose on Pinterest and thought two things: "wow, how beautiful!" and " hmm, it is pretty expensive". Then I tried making it and realized that the price is very appropriate. This brings me to a point to ask you guys how you price your beautiful hand-made products? If one looks on Etsy there are similar or same products that one can purchase for 5 dollars or for 20. Are the ones for 5 bucks of a lesser quality? I think the problem is that many people do not use any formula to calculate their prices and name the value from the perspective: "how much would I pay for it?" I suppose it also depends on the goals of the seller: do I want to sell as many pieces as possible?, or am I selling genuine, high value, high quality, unique work? One says that made in China was yesterday and that many people are ready to pay more for stuff that is hand made and unique. The problem is that if other people sell without a particular pricing formula, they are exploiting themselves by earning 20 cents per hour for their work. So the point would be, that made in China or India shifts to made in the US (in Germany in my case), cheap.

How do you guys calculate your prices?

I researched a bit and came up with the following formula:
- Material costs +
- hourly rate+
- 30% markup on the above costs for the time and shipping to buy the materials, wear and tear, maintenance of the machines and tools used, packaging, etc. and last but not least the yield or winnings +

This would mean that the price for the bracelet below would calculate as follows:

- Material costs - 4
- hourly rate of lets say 15 dollars- 4 hours of work is 60 dollars
- 30% markup - 19.20

So the final price would be 83.20

And I really think that if someone likes it and understands how much work goes into such a creation, they will pay for it. So if you like it, hurry and go to Waterrose and buy one or two! I am not selling mine - it is mine!:)


On the inside I made a little wallet to hide emergency money.

My point is that one should always stop to think twice about how much work went into something and what kind of added value the product carries. If one isn't still convinced that the cost/performance ratio is worth it, then the product is not made for one. One can buy made in china and made in CHINA if you know what I mean-  ironically.

Another thing is that I think sometimes we have to realize that a specific product cannot be sold for economical reasons. Someone asked me recently if I would sell / make to sell the door frame theatre. I told her that I would charge 120 euros for it and also sent her some links to commercially made ones that cost about 30. I think that she must have fallen off her chair as she read my mail:) And honestly, I do not blame her, because if you can get a theater for 30 that fulfills its purpose - if that were your intention, then why would you pay 120? OK, I could argue that no one has it, that is probably of a better quality, that the applique is more intricate and personal etc. And if I think about it and calculate the price according to the formula, 120 would have not even cut it. Conclusion: This product is not sell-able because of economical reasons.
Calculation for the theatre: Material - 50, hourly rate - 9 hours is 135, Markup - 55.50, final price - 240,50
I am shocked! But it is true. Please note that I used designer fabrics and that imported fabric is about 3 times as expensive here in Germany in comparison to the US.

Made a few more of the cute cuffs...


This one would be one of those not sell- able ones:) 11 hours of work!



this is a variation made with the embroidery machine


and this one made with heat transfer



Warm Pack Piggie

I almost forgot to show you this little guy... Kim from 733 asked me to make her a sock doll that she wanted to give someone as a present. Instead of charging money, we did a swap. I made her the doll and she was kind enough to make my button and the social media buttons. I could not send just the doll knowing that Kim has 3 children herself, so I packed some small things for her munchkins. One of the things was this warm pack pig filled with cherry pits. You can cuddle her, heat her up in the microwave or cool her in the freezer. As far as I understand, Olivia accepted her new friend right away.





Door signs

Here in Germany most people have cute wooden letters on the door of the child's room. For the market in November I made some fabric signs and a customer ordered 3 for her girls. Wow! I was so excited. My very first custom order from a "stranger". Until now I had orders from friends and so. As an addition I made some heat transfer shirts for the three munchkins.






T shirt Refashion

A deer friend asked me to make a T-shirt for her 9 year old niece in Switzerland. I got out my flock heat transfer and some other small supplies and came up with this:

The cutting file I bought from Silhouette. All of the decorations have a snap button sewn onto them so that one can change it. Also made a hair- snap where the flowers/ tree can also be attached. I think this would also work well with freezer paper and fabric paint.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Luscious Creams and Scrubs

I saw this at the CSI Project - a self made scrub! I never heard of people making their own cosmetics, but apparently there are tons of folks out there who make it all!
I tried the two scrubs Brown Sugar and Vanilla and the Lemon Mint Sugar Scrub. They were wonderful! So wonderful that I got inspired and made a lusciously whipped Coconut Body Butter. Let me tell you so much, the butter I made for myself is long gone and my mother in law and a friend already ordered more. My legs are so smooth! The butter absorbs quickly and melts on your skin so heavenly and no preservatives! - I recommend that you try yourself.
I also made a citrus body butter. It smells very nice, but is thicker in consistency, not so airy like the previous one.

These were the ones that I packed for my mother in law for X-mas. I mod podged the labels onto the glass.




Hobby Horse "Nikita" for Lion

A friend ordered a hobby horse for her son's birtday. I think he came out cute.






Horse Birthday Party

So my little button turned 5 in December... Wow the time went by soooo fast! Tina wished for a horse party.

This is the invitation made with a digi scrapbooking kit.



I took the same design for the goodie bags and straw labels...



We also made many horses from Ann Wood. All the children that came were also making one of those to take with.




Tina liked them so much that we had to make a mobile for her bed


We also made a huge number 3 in pink of course!


The obligatory b-day shirt and crown made with heat transfer foil and silhouette


Almost forgot, the most important: muffins with fondant horses and a funny looking horse cake. The fondant idea I found on Pinterest.






Someone did help with the muffins and cake:)


We gathered all the horses that we had and decorated the room with them


It was a cute party!


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