Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Interview with Sunni of Love Affair with My Brother

When Sunni said 'yes' to being interviewed for Creating Success Around the World, I was super excited! She and I have similar senses of humor, so we get along just great. Plus, she's the coordinator of one of my bees, Stash Bee! Sunni has a great eye for modern which can be seen in her many projects and her color combos are to die for! So bright! I love it! Not only is she extremely talented, she's also a great source of sewing wisdom and is happy to share her knowledge with anyone! So sweet! I now introduce you to Sunni from Washington, USA!

1. Who are you?? Tell us about yourself, where you blog, what you like, about your hobbies, etc.

Hi! I'm Sunni from Love Affair with my Brother. No! I'm not immoral. I have a close relationship with my sewing machine. We work together on a daily basis! 
I have 2 adorable little girls that I stay home with and sew for and an amazingly supportive husband!

I also run a quilt bee called Stash Bee where members make requested blocks from their own stash. I love to do swaps and bees and I created one with all my favorite components, and left out anything that hasn't worked for me in the past! We are currently filling slots in Hive #3 to start in March.

2. What do you create? (this could be a website, stories, crafts – anything)

I love anything crafty and do all sorts. I love scrapbooking, painting, felt crafts, bow-making, crocheting, hand embroidery, woodworking and of course SEWING!! Most all of my spare time is spent at my sewing machine making clothes, crafts, and quilts. 

3. Why do you create? 

A lot of reasons. 

I love the smile on my daughter's face when I make something for her...

I love to see my little girls in clothes I've made for them...

I love the quiet time I get when working on a project...

I love honing and sharpening new skills...

I feel connected to my grandma when I sew. She taught me and it was "our thing" together...

I love creating something for 1/2 the store price...

There are, of course, more reasons, but I will say that creating is vital to my being. It defines me and makes me who I am.

4. Do you sell your creations? If so, how? Where? And is it profitable?

I used to, briefly. I attended several craft fairs last year. It is TOUGH! I have the utmost respect for anyone that does it every year. But it proved to be too difficult and not at all profitable for me. I spent so much time away from my girls and it wasn't worth it. I also had an Etsy shop set up, but I have closed that down now, too. I would love to reopen my shop someday when I have more time.

5. What mistakes have you made or lessons have you learned?

Ohhh that is a big question! In life? In crafting? In blogging?

Well, my life mistakes are too many to list here! ;-)

My crafting, and more importantly sewing mistakes are just opportunities. If I realize my mistake and learn from it, than I am all the better for it. I'm not one of those illusionist bloggers, who covers and glosses over mistakes and pretends that the project is whole and flawless. I frequently post about my mistakes and point them out for all to see. I want to show you my mistake, so you don't have to make it on your own.

I would rather be described as genuine than perfect!

6. What, to you, is success? Have you achieved it yet, or are you on your way towards success?

Success is definitely something that is always strived for. Anytime you reach your goal, you must create a new one. When you master a new quilt block, you move on to a harder one. When you grow your business sales to  $$$, you create new products, new marketing, and make next year's sales goal $$$$$. 

I accomplish a little success everyday and I am constantly working towards the next goal.

7. So what's next?

More creating. 

I plan on starting my first ever QAL later this year. 

Bigger reach.

I'm planning more ways to grow my blog and reach a bigger audience everyday.

More connections.

Don't you just love Sunni?! I feel so lucky to be able to count her as one of my bloggy friends. Be sure to go check out her blog and see her new series starting in March, Farmer's Wife in your Life.

To see who the other hosts are interviewing on their continent, click on the buttons below!

If you are interested in being interviewed for Creating Success Around the World, leave me a comment on this post. Feel free to link up your blog or a creation you are especially proud of and meet some other crafters from around the globe!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Tutorial: Burp Cloth Tutorial

So, as I mentioned, My friend Venetia's baby shower was this weekend and I made her some burp cloths for her new little man, Lennon. I mean, seriously. What mama doesn't need 10,00 burp cloths??? I know it's one of my favorites!

Burp Cloth Tutorial

I wanted to share with all of you how easy they are to make, so here's the tute:

Burp Cloth Tutorial


Cloth diapers (I bought mine at Target or Walmart... Not sure. They are a Gerber brand 12 pack.)
General tools --> rotary cutter, ruler, tape measure, machine

Burp Cloth Tutorial

Measure the center of your cloth diaper. Every diaper is different, unfortunately, so you will need to measure every batch you purchase. Measure the length (L) and width (W) of the area you want covered with fabric.

Burp Cloth Tutorial

Press your fabric to prep for cutting.

Burp Cloth Tutorial

Cut the fabric (L+1/2") x (W+1/2")

Burp Cloth TutorialBurp Cloth Tutorial

Fold the edges under 1/4" and pin to the diaper. You may find it easier to press the edges down 1/4" (like you would when hemming) before pinning.

Burp Cloth TutorialBurp Cloth Tutorial

Stitch down with a zig zag stitch. I made my stitch a little more narrow than standard because I liked the look better. Also, I like to use white thread when I make these. It kind of makes the burp cloth have a much cleaner appearance. In the past, I have added ric rac and ribbon to the side edges before stitching down, but these are just basic burp cloths. Feel free to add whatever you like to jazz them up!

Burp Cloth Tutorial

And that's it. You're finished!

Burp Cloth TutorialBurp Cloth Tutorial

Here are a couple close ups of the stitching. Doesn't it look nice?

Burp Cloth Tutorial

These are one of my favorite things, as I mentioned before. I've made lots of flannel burp cloths, but these are so much more absorbent. They hold up well in the washer and fold really easy! Plus, how stinking cute are they?! You can make them in any pattern so you can easily personalize them for each little person you are making them for!

Lennon's daddy is rocker, so I just HAD to make some with Michael Miller's Groovy Guitars. I picked up mine at Fabric.com. And who doesn't love mustaches? They're so "in" right now. I picked up that fabric at Poppy Seed Fabrics.

If you decide to make any of these (which I hope you do), please share your pictures on the Mommy For Reals Flickr page! I would love to see your creations!



Two posts. I know. I know.

I just really wanted to share with you that I have moved to using Bloglovin as my reader. Since Google Friend Connect is going to be disappearing for a lot of us starting March 1st, I thought it best to move things over now. I have posted a link at the very top of my sidebar that you can click to follow me in Bloglovin.

I am usually resistant to change, but I have to say, it was REALLY easy to import all my blogs from Google Reader into Bloglovin and I LOVE how the blog roll looks! It's so much bigger and brighter and once you've read a blog, it makes it lighter so you know you've already hit that post for the day! Super user friendly! I'm looking forward to using it.

So, for any of you who follow non-Blogger blogs, you will have to find a new way to keep on top of all their new posts before March 1st. If you choose to use Bloglovin, don't forget to click my link on the right to follow me too!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another crazy weekend

I told you. February is crazy busy!

Friday night was my friend Melody's bridal shower. I don't have any pictures from the shower, but I thought I would show you a picture of what I'm making for her wedding. This is the mystery project I've been talking about!

Mystery Project Revealed!

A queen sized butterfly quilt inspired by this one at Little Birdie Secrets! I still need to FMQ this baby but I'm not sure when I will since I don't trust Vera and her temperamental nature. She's been such a jerk lately.

Friday was also my sister's 19th birthday. I made her this infinity scarf using my favorite line, Little Folks.

Lindsey's Birthday Gift

Lindsey's Birthday Gift

Lindsey with her new scarf

Isn't she cute?! Linds just loves scarves, so even though it's been in the 80s here, I still think she'll wear it. I was a ding dong and didn't use a tutorial to make this scarf. I was bent on making it myself with no help and I ended up unpicking it about a billion times. I felt like such an idiot. I mean, who can't sew a simple scarf?! Um, that would be THIS GIRL. I took it to the wire, but it came out pretty. I liked it so much I almost kept it! Almost. :)

I made my inspiration board for Stitch Tease: An International Mystery Quilt Bee.

Stitch Tease Inspiration

We are teething in our house and Maze finally let me take a picture of her teefers!

Baby Teeth!

Maze being all hacker-ish

She's just too cute looking like a hacker in her Defcon shirt!

Sunday brought Venetia's baby shower. I was so happy she liked the stuff I made for Lennon! I will be sharing tutorials on some of the things I made her later this week.

Birthday Dinner at Olive Garden

And we had a nice family dinner to celebrate mine and my sister's birthdays.

Brent's CISSP certification test was Sunday which means he is finished with the late nights and classes!! Hallelujah! Thank you all for your support. I cannot wait to get my little family back to our regular schedule. Since Brent was busy all week, we are going to be spending Monday and Tuesday doing family stuff, like going to the Peach Blossom Festival! Don't worry. I'll save you a picture of my scrumptious peach pie!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Ah! It feels good to be back!

My time off has been refreshing.

I was able to get tons of stuff done, but I'll share more about that later this week.

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement! I am feeling like I need to get back into the swing of things. What do you think?? About time, right?!

But before I do, I just had to share this with you! One of my lovely friends, Nancy, sent me this card to cheer me up. She's such a riot!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interview with Jennie at Clover and Violet

Jennie is the daughter of a mother/daughter blogging/creating team! Their creations are so adorable and just PRETTY for lack of a better adjective. I use that word a lot to describe different things, but I really mean it when I look at their beautiful creations. I especially love how they incorporate embroidery to make their art even PRETTIER!!! Their blog is refreshing and along with great pictures of their creations, they share about their lives, meaning we get to see their sewing rooms!! Brave women! I now introduce you to Jennie, living in California, USA!

Embroidery 101: Close up of Washed BlockHello!  I'm Jennie and I blog with my mom over at Clover & Violet.  Thanks Danny for inviting us to be part of this series.

Q: Who are you?

A: As I already stated, we're a mother/daughter team living in Virginia and California respectivly {thank you army!}, and we blog our creative endeavors together at Clover & Violet.  We primarily quilt, sew, and embroider, creating fun things and selling the patterns online in our shop.

Even though we live far apart, our joint shop and blog {and love of fabric!} helps us to keep our relationship strong over the thousands of miles that separate us.  Just like many other quilters {and crafters of all kinds} we are enjoying the fact that the internet really does make this a small world!

DQS10 - Close UpQ: What do you create?

A: We create a wide variety of things, mostly with fabric and thread, but are probably most known for our quilted bag patterns and our embroidery stitch and quilt alongs.  We also dabble in knitting, crochet, web design, and are both learning photography.  So, I guess you could say we try a little bit of a lot of different things, but our hearts still belong to fabric!

Q: Why do you create?

A: Hmm, this is actually kind of a difficult question to answer.  I think most people who create things would tend to agree, it's something we have to do.  It's just part of who we are and what we do.

I'll also venture to say that, once one starts creating something, it is kind of contagious and one has to make more and more things!

Q: Do you sell your creations?  If so, how? Where? And is it profitable?

Stash Project: Sweetness QuiltA: Yes, we do!  You can visit our shop here for instant pdf downloads, or our Etsy shop here, if you prefer to work through Etsy {the patterns are still pdfs, but they're e-mailed as soon as we receive your purchase}.  Our patterns are also sold through select retailers, see the list here.  We've found that in this digital market, pdf patterns are the easiest way to go, since they can be received instantly, don't require shipping, and are never out of stock.

As far as profitable, I guess that depends on what one considers profit.  We're pleased with our sales, but they could always be better!  We initially started selling finished products, but it seems that in the age of Walmart and Target, people were expecting quality items at discount prices.  We still have the occasional customer that thinks they're buying a finished, handmade bag for the cost of the pattern, not realizing we cannot even buy the supplies for that price!

Q: What mistakes have you made or lessons have you learned?

the Ruby market tote: Stitch & Quilt AlongA: Well, first, see above!  :)  Also, I think we've learned to allow our shop and blog to evolve as we learn and grow as crafters and artists.  Don't allow yourself to get stuck in a rut of thinking just because you started in one place you have to keep on that path.

We started out making and selling baby blankets and crib sets.  However, I think if you took a peek around our blog and shop today, you'll find something totally different.  However, if we hadn't started with baby things, we wouldn't have realized that mom's want patterns for cute diaper bags...and we wouldn't have started down the amazing path we're on now!

Q: What {to you} is success?  Have you achieved it?

A: Well, success to us is just our continued growth, enjoyment of our projects, and our time spent together, so I'd venture to say we've acheived success.  Granted, there's always room for greater success, and I think we may be on our way to that too.  Every time we sell a pattern or see a project from one of our tutorials, we enjoy a little bit more success.

Q: What's next?

A:  Well, you'll just have to wait and see...no, really, we're working on some new patterns for the shop, a new embroidery quilt along to begin mid to late February, and, of course, more fun tutorials.  We plan to just continue to grow our shop and blog and share our love of quilting, sewing, and embroidery with whoever is interested!

How cute are Clara and Jennie?! Thank you again, ladies, for being interviewed for Creating Success Around the World.

To see who the other hosts are interviewing on their continent, click on the buttons below!

If you are interested in being interviewed for Creating Success Around the World, leave me a comment on this post. Feel free to link up your blog or a creation you are especially proud of and meet some other crafters from around the globe!

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