Rebuilding the zoo

I got an invitation to a small craft fair here in town in August 15th which I could not say no to, even though it came on a very short notice. So I have made myself busy cutting pieces for animal portrait pouches. They are my bestsellers whenever I sell at craft shows so I am trying to build a little zoo for Autumn and Christmas fairs. I try to be efficient and make A LOT to be able to make those quilts I'm dreaming of soon. However I AM very happy to be going out to meet some customers in person again! I thought I'd make some key fobs with birds like these, I need something to hang on this ikea tree I got at the thrift store.I have done some shopping, just to make my mailbox happy :) It must want some exceptions from the white envelopes with complete boredom inside, don't you think? But the first happy envelope that came was a very welcome surprise from Moogsmum, who decided I needed some of this gorgeous cloud fabric after I had left an enthusiastic comment on her blog. She made this gorgeous quilt with it, you see. I love it so much, thank you!The lovely ribbons above I got from a German web shop called farbenmix.
I also found HEATnBOND in a Finnish web shop, I want to try out if it is any better than the Vliesofix (at least I think it is that) I buy from a local store. The glue keeps coming off the paper of it, which makes me go crazy. This stuff is what I use for my appliqués :) Are you all familiar with it, or would you be interested in a photo tutorial on how to use it (/how I make my appliqués)?


As time goes by

Days just seem to go by while I am waiting for everything to get back to normal (school starts in two weeks). I am making very slow progress on my craft projects at the moment, some days I just choose to give up after 136 interruptions by needing kids. But hey, I wanted to have them so what am I complaining about! So then I just talk to my flowers on the patio instead and try to zoom in the nice spots in our cluttered home. And I go on to do all those things mums usually do while my head is boiling with new ideas (yes, it's been HOT here!).
I am very proud to tell you that Holly from decor8 has picked my shop for her Etsy Take Five Tuesday today! She talks so nicely about my work, thank you! Thanks so much Malka for letting me know about it! Malka makes the most amazing quilts from a mix of her own hand dyed and batiked fabrics and commercial fabrics. If you haven't seen Malka's quilts already you should move on to her flickr or her shop now! Just look at this Great Aunt Irma Patchwork Mini Quilt, I love the faded colours, but I also adore the lime green wall that she uses as background for her shop photos!


New shop

While rearranging I once again realised what an awful lot of fabrics I own. And what a small part of them I actually use. I have a great supplier of English quality cotton fabrics (Liberty, Designer's guild, William Morris, Laura Ashely...) here in town so I keep buying fabrics. Some of them are seconds, many just sample pieces to bargain prices. Sometimes I just cannot leave them behind, I know you fabric addicts know what I mean! So I decided to open up the SykoFabScrap shop, an idea I've been pondering for a long time, to ease the burden on my shelves and maybe get room for those new fabrics I need to buy.... And share the joy of course, the main purpose of my business! I will be adding new stuff regularly during the following weeks.

Thank you all for the input on the pattern question, I might end up making a Christmas pattern booklet with several designs in the end.

*edit* I forgot to add the breaking news that the first two poppies on our patio showed their pretty faces this morning, how we have been waiting! I am about as crazy about flowers that I am about fabrics, but there is more magic into poppies. Isn't it amazing how a tiny poppy seed can grow up to something like this?



Thank you all for your encouraging comments on my last post! I am not throwing in the towel! I just felt I had to ease the pressure a little by writing down my frustration. As you see from the picture I am trying to enjoy Summer as well, I was very fortunate to pick up this Elizabeth George novel at the thrift store, exactly what I need to get my brains concentrated on something else.

I am planning to make a pattern booklet to sell in time for Christmas and I was wondering if you would like to help me choose which design to write down and send to the printers? The alternatives are the fairy-angel (or maybe this) or the tomte/gnome. The houses have proved to be very easy to copy without a pattern so I'll skip them, I think...? As soon as I get myself a scanner I plan to offer a free embroidery pattern for you here on the blog, I don't dare to say how long it will take, but stay tuned!


Business talk

At the end of June I had an appointment with my business adviser, a man employed by the city/state to help new business owners. I left my application for a few months extension of the "starting money" I got when I started off in February (it is like a social benefit you can get for a few months the first time you start a business). I thought the first five months had gone fairly ok, but he did not agree, my result was well under the numbers in my business plan... I need to change my strategy, he said and went on in the same spirit for quite a while. However I did get the extension for four months, no idea why (I did talk a lot about my visions + I suggested that I could donate the kids to someone with more time), but I am happy and relieved to know I will survive through the Summer.

The "change of strategy"-part made me paralysed for some time. What the heck am I supposed to do? Become a combined multi task, mum, factory, marketing wonder genius in one day? Then I came to my senses and sat down to think and count (what should my products cost, for real a.s.o.) and then I started my production line. When I have filled this room* with stuff I will try to become the marketing wonder. One task at a time. I have started to fill the shop with house scarves, it will be autumn soon anyway and it seems I will be wearing a scarf the whole Summer this year...
*we have been rearranging. I got a room of my own , yes! I'll show it as soon as everything is on its place, it can take awhile, but here's my balcony, I can see the flowers where I sit right now by the window!



The kids will be home in a few, so I have time for a quick post to show off one of the projects I've managed to finish while they've been away. It's been nice with some freedom, but it will be good to have them back, the house has been so quiet! I got the idea for the seagull cushion when I was making sea related stuff for the exhibition. I love to use writing in my work, but I always struggle with what language to use when my mother tongue is Swedish, but I also use Finnish and English daily and sell my products internationally. This very simple way of incorporating all of "my languages" feels very good, like a way of representing me (like I would have written while I was still trying to write my PhD thesis...). So this might just be the beginning of a word (swe: ord fin: sana) series.

I will try hard to up-date the shop on a regular basis so please check back for new additions. My next project will be to make some art quilts.

I have no idea why blogger makes my text look like this in every second post...