Next step achieved – New Business Cards!

I’ve had the same type of business cards since I launched my design career back in 2007. When I started this new venture, adding in professional services, I needed a new business card. I also needed new cards since my phone number was on my old cards and that has changed (and I no longer wanted to list that), as well as having a new website. Granted, if you go to fibersbytracie.com, you’ll come here (thanks to my fabulous webmaster).

Anyway, it was time. I’m not handing out many cards these days, so I knew I didn’t need to get a lot. Gone are the days of needing 500 cards at a time (not that I ever ran out). I’d heard good things about Moo Cards, so I decided to check them out. I started with a sample pack, using one of their premade backgrounds, just to see what the cards were like.

I was blown away. These cards are slick, beautiful, heavy, and packaged in such a way it made me and everyone who saw them smile. So I decided to go ahead and order a set. The neat thing about their cards is I could upload as many photos as I wanted for the back of my cards without being charged extra for them. I chose a few of my favorite patterns and one from a class promo photo. Then I was able to put my logo (which I will be working on updating next) and all my info on the back for no extra charge.

The interface to do all this is so simple, so intuitive, and really slick. I received emails when the order printed and when it was mailed to me. They came yesterday. They were packed in a bubble mailer and the little box they were in had a bright “Yay!” sticker on it. 🙂 I was so excited I opened them right there in the post office. Here, let me show you…

Moo Cards

The six photos I chose and the back side of the card.

Aren’t they awesome? I love them so much.

And now the best part. If you want some Moo cards of your own, you can get them with a 10% discount if you go here. Trust me, they’re awesome and you’ll love them.

Simply Crochet Blog Tour: Blooming Beauty Purse

Yay! I can finally tell you about this! Simply Crochet is now available in print (or you can get a downloadable e-book here).

Simply Crochet

Photo copyright Interweave

This book is jam packed with great patterns from great designers that I am honored to be in a book with. The best part of this book? It’s all about what to do with five balls or less of yarn. Great yarn. Yummy yarn. And, all of us have shared our tips and tricks on how to get the best bang for your buck.

My contribution? The Blooming Beauty Purse. This cute little purse uses only three balls of scrumptious Filatura Di Crosa’s Zara yarn. This yarn was wonderful to work with. Super soft, great color, and crisp stitch definition. I had a hard time packaging it up to send.

Blooming Beauty Purse

Because the motifs are open and lacy, you need to make a lining, but that’s super easy. And it gives you an opportunity to play with pops of color in fun fabric. I used two “fat quarters” that I picked up at my local fabric store. There are instructions on how to do the lining in the pattern. I’ll tell you a behind the scenes secret. Shh, don’t tell anyone else, this is just between you and me. I had my sister sew my lining for me. She has a better eye for this and I was close to my shipping deadline. And then the fabulous tech editor at Interweave worked with my faltering ability to explain what my sister did (and I had a hard time “showing” her what I did with just words in an email…lol) and wrote the directions for the sewing bit so anyone can follow it.

Here, I want to show off how pretty the inside is. I love the fabric. I actually bought four different fabrics (fat quarters are pretty inexpensive so it’s fun to play with) and put each one inside the finished purse to see which I liked best. The red won out.

Lining shot

You know what’s a fun idea? Put a nice neutral fabric on the outside of the lining (the part that will peek through your motifs to the world) and put a bright fun fabric for the inside. Because the lining uses two layers, you can fully customize it. Imagine the possibilities!

The purse is a great take along project. You make the first two rounds out of two of the colors and then later put the third round in the third color and join them all together. So the first bit can be taken with you and then you can sit at a table or in your favorite comfy chair and join them together following the diagram. I’ll tell you another little secret. I didn’t know it would be that shape when I was joining it together. I had in my mind something else and it wasn’t until I joined the last two motifs and stepped back that I saw it was in this great shape. Sometimes happy accidents are awesome.

There are 21 other designs in this book that are all awesome. I’m so honored to be a part of this book. Some of my favorite designers have designs next to mine. This is something that always makes me do the happy dance. This book is chock full of great designs, great tips, and is wonderful for stash busting.

 

Now the fun part! I get to give away a copy of the e-book. This will not be a hard copy. It’s a PDF file that you can take anywhere (I highly suggest Dropbox, especially if you have a smart phone…there’s an app for that and you can carry the book with you!).

Here’s the details for the giveaway! Comment below telling me your favorite tip for saving on yarn. You need to enter by Monday, December 12 at 8am Eastern time. I’ll pick a random commenter from all the comments and you’ll win! Easy peasy. 🙂

 

Did you miss a post on the tour? Here’s the whole list of the tour. It’s like flipping through the book in order!

1 Ball or Less
Dec 1 Iced Ascot by Rebecca Velasquez, http://rebeccavelasquezdesigns.blogspot.com/
Dec 2 Flapper Hat by Margaret Hubert, http://margaretshooksandneedles.blogspot.com/
Dec 3 Billows of Baubles Scarf by Sheryl Means, http://sherylmeanscrochet.com/
Dec 4 Twist Cowl Wrap by Linda Permann, http://www.lindamade.com/wordpress/
Dec 5 Mystic Cuff by Robyn Chachula, http://crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com
Dec 6 Emma Lace Scarf by Simona Merchant-Dest, http://stylishknits.blogspot.com/
Dec 7 Diamonds and Lace Hat by Linda Permann, http://www.lindamade.com/wordpress/
Dec 8 Neck Lattice by Vashti Braha, http://designingvashti.blogspot.com/

3 Balls or Fewer
Dec 9 Botan Placemats by Marlaina Bird, http://knitthing.blogspot.com/
Dec 10 Tapestry Basket by Carol Ventura, http://www.tapestrycrochet.com/blog/
Dec 11 Blooming Beauty Purse by Tracie Barrett, http://traciebarrett.com/blog/
Dec 12 Nedburt Puppet by Robyn Chachula, http://crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com
Dec 13 Natalie Shrug by Megan Granholm, http://loopdedoo.blogspot.com/
Dec 14 Giselle Vest by Simona Merchant-Dest, http://stylishknits.blogspot.com/
Dec 15 Sidney Cardigan by Robyn Chachula, http://crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com
Dec 16 Annabel Shawl by Kristin Omdahl, http://www.styledbykristin.com/

5 Balls or Fewer
Dec 17 Tallula Baby Top by Marlaina Bird, http://knitthing.blogspot.com/
Dec 18 Amelia Cardigan by Julia Vaconsin, http://www.juliavaconsin.com/
Dec 19 Float Vest, Float Cardigan by Robyn Chachula, http://crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com
Dec 20 Linked Jacket by Robyn Chachula, http://crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com
Dec 21 Dots and Dashes Blanket by Ellen Gormley, http://gocrochet.com
Dec 22 Spa Shawl Top by Doris Chan, Spa Shawl Tunic by Doris Chan, http://dorischancrochet.com/

Book Review: Inside the Creative Studio

Last week I was lucky to be able to get a review copy of Inside the Creative Studio from Interweave. Let me tell you, this is a book you want.

I dropped EVERYTHING once I cracked it open. This book is so full of inspirational eye candy it’s amazing. So many different artists opened up their studios for photos and floor plans and interviews. I read about everything from tiny closet studios to whole barn studios. And yes, I did mention floor plans. Every studio featured showed the floor plan as well. To this former interior design student, it made my heart sing. Photos of the space are one thing, but to see how the arrangement actually works is another.

The book is also chock full of tips and information. Storage tips (including thinking outside the box on what you can use to hold the bits and baubles of a crafting life), lighting tips, color scheme tips, etc. I read this book in two sittings, and will likely read it over a few more times.

This is a great book, whether you’re a full time crafter or just looking for a space for your creative hobbies. Any type of crafter can find inspiration in this book. Even for non-crafting things. I’m already getting ideas to help with redesigning an office space. I’m getting other ideas, too, for when I ultimately move out of this space. This book is good for that, to sit and plan and dream of what is possible.

As many of my long time readers know, I’ve had a lot of incarnations on studio space. I started out with a whole bedroom to myself for my studio and now I’m squeezing studio space into a 225 square foot room (with my bedroom and living area). And even that space has changed since I moved here over a year ago.

Remember this chaos?

And how it then moved to this, slightly less chaotic spot?

Added to that since has been the addition of my bulletin board for inspiration space to the left of the table/desk on the wall.

And yes, that’s the bulk of my stash (save for sock yarn which lives in its own container) under the table.

Speaking of stash, Interweave is having a huge contest. Here’s the details!

Join the Stash Bash Flickr Group! http://www.flickr.com/groups/stashbash/

We want to see crafters’ stash photos! Anyone who joins the Stash Bash Flickr Group and uploads a photo of his/her stash will automatically be entered into a drawing to win some great prizes. One winner selected at random from all the uploaded entries to this Flickr pool will win his/her choice of 5 NEW BOOKS from Interweave Books’ 2011 collections – choose from among 35+ new books published this year! Five additional winners selected at random will win copies of either INSIDE THE CREATIVE STUDIO: Inspiration and Ideas for Your Art and Craft Space by Cate Coulacos Prato (available in October) or THE CRAFTER’S GUIDE TO TAKING GREAT PHOTOS by Heidi Adnum (available in November). Winners will be selected on September 17, the day after our September Stash Busters Sale.

We’re encouraging crafters to join the Stash Bash and upload photos of their craft collections. All stashes apply: books, magazines, yarn, fabric, fiber, paper, beads, dyeing and paint supplies, brushes, glitter, stamps, you name it! We’d love to see some pretty close-ups, or interesting photos of how our readers organize your space.

Not on Flickr.com? You can also tweet photos of your stash using hashtag #stashbash to be entered to win the giveaway.

Throughout Stash Bash, over at InterweaveStore.com, people will find store-wide discounts and exclusive savings on 3000+ products now through 9/16, plus free shipping in the U.S. on orders over $100 (and 50% off shipping internationally). http://www.stashbustersale.com

Put this book on your wish list! You’ll be happy you did!

Still alive and a review

Hi everyone!

I want to start by first saying a heartfelt thank you to all of you. Really. The outpouring of support and encouragement that I’ve received over the last few weeks has been amazing. I was so very worried when I hit “publish post” on that last post that I would alienate myself from everyone. So, imagine my surprise when the comments (both here and on Facebook), tweets, and emails started pouring in. Y’all are amazing. And you made me cry, but in a good way. 🙂

Since I last spoke (typed?) with you, I’ve gone on a much needed vacation, finished up my last publication project, rearranged my entire room, and spent a lot of time thinking. That last one is often the hardest. Mostly ’cause I’m a hard core planner and I’m not sure where I’m going yet.

My vacation was awesome, but I won’t go into details here. As many of you know, I try very hard to keep this blog focused on the business end of things. I will say, though, that if you can get to St. Augustine, Florida, do it. We stayed for four days there and totally did the touristy thing. I bought a Colonial Loom while there and have been playing around with weaving. I will share a couple of fiber related pictures with you, though!

This is a cool huge floor loom that was in the government house. I’m sure it still works. I will tell you, after doing a bit of weaving on a frame loom, I can totally see how someone came up with the idea of automating as much of the process as possible. 🙂

We found this spinning wheel in one of the Dow Historic Homes. So neat!

Ok, so when I got home from vacation I finished up my publication project. This is where I want to share a bit of a review. Back when I was at TNNA, I received in my goody bag at the Designer Dinner a pair of the Crochet Dude Curved Blade Snips.

These snips? In one word? AWESOME.

They’re super sharp. They fit so well in the palm of your hand. And because the blades are curved, they can snug up against your project to snip your ends. These things are so cool and so simple and so awesome. They have honestly replaced my scissors in my work basket.

This year, if you have a crafter of any kind on your gift list (including seamstresses), buy them a pair of these. Honestly, they’re so cool. Drew really did a great thing coming up with these.

And finally, the rearranging. I’ve shared pics before of how my room was set up. It was mostly set up for what I call production style crochet. Which is what I’m trying to get out of for my own sanity. So, the room had to be changed. Tuesday was what I called Operation Room Flip on Twitter. I went from my studio space taking up 40% of my room to my room finally being a bedroom and living space. My worktable became my desk and is sitting in the corner of my room. It’s now maybe 10% of my room. I downsized my yarn and donated a lot of it to the charity crafting group at my church. I only kept the yarn that really spoke to me. Yarn I wanted to feature in my design line (or yarn that I had already tapped for my personal projects). And by the end of Tuesday? I was able to breathe again.

Last night an amazing thing happened. I was doing some final tweaks to my room and setting things up. And while doing that I thought, “You know, I need to make something to go right there. I think I even have those colors in my stash and can totally do it this way.” Nope, not going into details on what it was until I get it hashed out. But, it’s a great sign. The creativity is still flowing a bit. I just need to get the fingers to want to do it.

So, please continue the good thoughts. They’re working and I greatly appreciate it. Much love to all of you!

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