Friday, December 30, 2011

Thread and scrap catcher

I can't believe I waited so long to make this!  It is one of the most useful things I've ever made.  It's a small bag for loose threads and scraps that hangs off the table, right beside your sewing machine.  Much better than having to turn to the trashcan constantly.  It's attached to a pincushion too, so less clutter on your workspace! 

I made mine with scraps of fabric I already had laying around.  The original tutorial I followed can be found at Merriment Design.  I did, however, make a few adjustments to her thread catcher. 

-I made mine shorter: 18 x 9 instead of 17.5 x 11. 

-I also made the pincushion part smaller (5 x 4) and filled it with emery sand to sharpen the pins.  The emery is also hefty enough to sit without any other weights.  TIP: put the emery in a small bag and then put it into the pincushion.  Keeps any of the grains from leaking out.  I bought my emery sand from LoveLaurie on Etsy.

-Because the pincushion was smaller, I chose to only use one strap.  Saved me a bit of time, I like the look better, and it hasn't been any inconvenience.  If I made another, I might consider trying two skinnier straps.  It looks like hers is held more upright by the two straps. 

-I used lightweight boning from Jo-Ann Fabric instead of plastic clothesline.  Not sure which is cheaper, but the boning looks good and is easy to work with. She says the clothesline is optional, but I say it is needed to keep the bag open.

All in all, I am very happy with this project.  It took under an hour to complete, and the instructions were super easy to follow.  Please share if you decide to do this too!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Decoupaging a wig head

So I'm planning to do my first indie wedding show in early 2012, and I've already been making plans for it.  I don't do craft shows with my YesterEra designs because they're so wedding specific, plus my husband and I already do the circuit with our jellykoe stuff. 
I have done a traditional wedding show before, and quickly found that they are not for small businesses.  The booth fees are outrageous, and you're competing with David's Bridal and all the other boutiques.  Plus, the one I did was a huge event, and all the brides were rushing from one booth to the next just taking info.  I sold one veil, and got about 3-4 later sales from it, but overall it was nothing like the craft shows we usually do. 

The sad thing is that indie bridal shows are scarce.  The one I plan to do is hosted by Homespun Parties+Events, based in Chattanooga, TN. 

Anyway, I 've been giving a lot of thought to the way I want my table laid out.  At the last show, I had veils hanging from a hat rack, and accessories laid out on a table.  Boring! 
One of my plans was to bring a few wig heads for showcasing veils or fascinators.  I have two that I've painted faces on and one plain.  I didn't like my first painting attempt, so I used that head as a base. 

We had found an old Dick and Jane primer in a thrift store recently, and I thought it would be fun to use the pages to decoupage.  Add a little Mod Podge and here is the result:

Cute, cheap, and hopefully it will add visual interest to my table!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Feature Friday #6- Little White Chapel

This week I'm featuring Paige from Little White Chapel on Etsy.  She makes absolutely gorgeous wedding jewelry with a charming vintage feel.  

How long have you been doing your craft?
I learned how to make jewelry when I was 12, but I've had my shop open for a little over a year

How and why did you start designing?
A couple of reasons. One, I wasn't happy with my degree or day job, and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Two, I love weddings. Always have, always will. I got married in 2009 and planning my day just made it "worse." I wanted to keep the fun going, so I opened the shop.

What inspires you to create?
As dorky as it sounds, I get REALLY excited when I shop for beads. A lot of special occasion supplies are pretty all by themselves, so they get the wheels turning right away.

How would you describe your style?
Vintage-inspired beauty without a lot of fuss.

Why did you decide to delve into the wedding business?
Like I said above, I'm a wedding junkie.

Do you have any new items you plan on adding to your shop?
A larger selection of hair combs and bobby pins are coming up within the month, and I just ordered vintage rhinestones to turn into earrings.

Which items are your favorite to make and why?
Earrings! Strangely, I don't wear a lot of jewelry everyday, but I always wear earrings. I like to make them because I like to wear them.

Do you have a facebook, twitter, or blog?

I'm on Twitter:
A blog for my shop:
And a fashion/shopping blog:

Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?
Not online, but I do various craft shows in the Chicago area.

If you're in the area, try to check her out in person, or you can always visit her Etsy shop,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When your concepts take a life of their own

I always have this problem:  I go into something with one idea in mind, and by the time I'm done, it's morphed into something different. 
I guess it can't be helped.  Evolution of ideas is inevitable, and a positive thing.  But let's look at this from a business standpoint.
F--- yeah scarves!

Let's say you're a knitter.  You have your own shop online, maybe your own website, you've got facebook, twitter, a blog, the works.  Normally you're knitting awesome fingerless gloves, chunky cowls and scarves, some hats occasionally.  Then your friend asks if you can knit some baby booties for her daughter, and all of a sudden, they take off.  Everyone wants baby stuff now, and some of your other work falls by the wayside. 
You never intended to get into children's clothing and accessories, heck, maybe you never really wanted to do it, but now here it is, making you fistfuls of cash. 

Now you have to make some sort of decision.  Do you continue to try to do both children's and adult, knowing that one makes you more money, even though you like the other better?  Or do you switch over and throw yourself full force into the children's world so that you can concentrate all your efforts where you know it will pay off?

This is where I am.  When I decided to start my own Etsy shop, I had something definite in mind.  I wanted to design and sell clothes first and foremost, and I wanted to add in some vintage styled accessories to fill out the shop and complement the clothes. 
But selling clothes online is tough.  Not only are handmade clothes very expensive, but many people do not buy clothes without being able to try them on.  So slowly the accessories started to outweigh clothing, and now I have wedding veils as well as vintage items. 
The veils are now selling more than anything else, and I've been pondering making the switch to a full wedding shop, even though I never planned or particularly wanted to get into the wedding business. 

booties...not as exciting
If this was the only shop I had, I wouldn't think twice about splitting the wedding and non wedding stuff up.  But since I already run a shop with my husband as well as a destash shop, I would feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything. 

The real problem would be rebranding.  If I switched to all wedding, I would want to change the name of my shop.  That means losing all my feedback on Etsy, starting a new facebook, twitter, etc.  It just seems like too much work when I've already gotten this far. 

Comments and thoughts would be appreciated, as this is something I feel I need to give a lot of thought to. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Feature Friday #5- LJL Designs

Hi everyone!  These weeks just fly by!  This week I'm featuring Laurie Louis from LJLDESIGNSSTATIONARY on Etsy.  She creates digitally designed cards that can be customized.  Her specialties are Wedding Save-The-Date cards and Bridal Shower and Party Invitations.

 How long have you been doing your craft? 
I have been doing my craft for 5 years.

How and why did you start designing?
I enjoy designing on my MAC and have done things for friends for years. It helps me relax after a busy day at work. It lets the creative side of me come out.

What inspires you to create?

When I see things in stores or in magazines, my first thought is - I would change that just a little - my next thought is - I can't wait to go home and work on it. I love trying out new ideas and putting together different items to create cards for people.

How would you describe your style?
Clean and contemporary with classically inspired themes. I like to take a traditional concept and modernize it.

Why did you decide to delve into the wedding business? 
A friend of mine was getting married and couldn't find what she wanted at a decent price. She liked my creativity and asked if I could design an invitation for her. I had so much fun creating the invitations that I decided I would work a line for my website. From there, my wedding business continued to grow. The longer I worked on the invitations, the more ideas I had. A year later my ideas continue to grow and hopefully so will my wedding business.

Do you have any new items you plan on adding to your shop?
I just completed a Pool Blue Set of Invitations, Save-The-Date Card, Rehearsal Dinner Invitation and Thank You note. Along with matching Wine Boxes that can be used for gifts for wedding party. Currently, I am working on a set of Invitations and Thank You notes to go with my beach Save-The-Date cards. I also am working on some fun Summer Save-The-Date invitations, Bridal Shower Invitations and Thank You notes.

Which items are your favorite to make and why?
Save-The-Date cards are my favorite to create. You can be fun and creative with them. Wedding invitations tend to be more traditional.

Do you have a facebook, twitter, or blog?
I have a facebook page:!/LJLDESIGNS
My Twitter page is: @LJLDESIGNS
I do not have a blog yet but my goal for the summer is to create a blog.

Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?
I also sell off my website -

Be sure to check out her shop on Etsy at

Friday, March 4, 2011

Feature Friday #4- Enchanted Bouquets

Welcome to another Feature Friday!  This week I'm talking to the wonderful Amber with Enchanted Bouquets.  She does wonders with paper.  Her shop can be found at

Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Amber Pitts. Beach dweller, loving wife, owner of classic cars and mother to a spoiled cat. I run 2 vintage clothing shops, thevintagevortex, Islanddollvintage and a paper flower wedding bouquet shop, enchantedbouquets, all on Etsy.

How long have you been doing your craft?
I've been making paper flowers since the summer of 2010.

How and why did you start designing?

I started paper crafting as a hobby. I was a workaholic with my vintage shops and was starting to get burn-out. I looked toward papercrafting as something fun and relaxing that I could do to balance part of my life and I fell in love with it. Especially making flowers.

What inspires you to create?
My biggest inspiration to create is creativity itself. I'm always thinking of different designs, color combinations and themes that I can make come to life through my bouquets. My brides are also a huge inspiration to me. They always have such amazing ideas and I get so excited to see the finished result of their visions.

How would you describe your style?
My working style is a mish-mash just like my personal style. I like a little bit of everything. I find great inspiration in the past, though and I love bringing that glamour and romance into my designs. This is why you will find a lot of vintage materials brought into my bouquets.

Why did you decide to delve into the wedding business?
When I got married I settled for a beautiful white rose bouquet. Although it was what I thought that I wanted at the time, looking back it was just so not me. Even that day as I looked at it, I wished that there was something else, other than fresh flowers, that I could carry down the aisle; something that would represent my quirky, creative nature. This is the very reason I went into the wedding business. So that brides like me could walk down the aisle with a creative expression of themselves in their hands.

Do you have any new items you plan on adding to your shop?
I'm always working on new things. About every month and a half I have new designs making their appearance in my shop as inspirations for my brides. I just finished a pink and black burlesque theme bouquet which I'll be listing this Saturday.

Which items are your favorite to make and why?
My favorite items to make are those for my brides. I get so excited to see their visions realized!

                                                          Do you have a facebook, twitter, or blog?
Here is the link to my facebook:

Here is the link to my twitter:

Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?
At this time my designs are only available on Etsy. My direct link is

Amber does amazing work!  I encourage you to check out her Etsy shop and "like" her on facebook!  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog winner announced!

The winner is #41, Chrystal!  I will be contacting you shortly with information to receive your prize! 

Thanks so much to everyone who followed, commented, and tweeted!  I hope to hold another giveaway soon.  ♥

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My first giveaway!

Well, guess what?  I just hit 50 sales in my shop, so I thought, what the heck?  Let's start this giveaway!

You can win this flower in your choice of color
or this flower set (also in your choice of color)
It's so easy to win!


1. Contest ends February 21.  The winner will be chosen by and announced that night.

3. Seven maximum entries per person (one for each criteria).

4. Use separate comments for each entry.

How to Enter:
All entries must be made as a comment on this blog post.  Please make sure to write a separate comment for each entry.

1. Follow this blog (on the right sidebar of this page) and comment that you now follow or already follow it.

2. Post a link of your favorite item from my Etsy shop to a comment.

3. 'Like' my Facebook fanpage and comment that you are now a fan or were already a fan.

4. Post a link of your favorite item from my Etsy shop to YOUR facebook, twitter, and/or blog...and comment that you have done so. (post a comment for each one that you do and leave a link to your blog/facebook/twitter)

5. Retweet the following message and comment that you have done so.  RT @YesterEra blog giveaway has begun!  Enter for your chance to win a cute hair clip

WOW that's a lot of ways to enter!  The more you enter, the more likely you are to win!

Good luck! ♥

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feature Friday #3- Julie Hanan Design

 Hi guys, it's time for another great Feature Friday.  This time, I'm featuring Julie Hanan with Julie Hanan Design.  She owns a custom invitation + graphic design studio and specializes in unique and fresh designs for special events,  as well as providing smart solutions for businesses. You can see her work at Julie Hanan Design on Etsy.

How long have you been doing your craft? 
I started my business in March, 2010; however, I have been doing graphic design work for the last 15 years. I previously worked as an interior designer, and received my BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.

How would you describe your style?
My style is extremely contemporary and modern, and I try to create unique, cutting edge designs.

What inspires you to create?
I love to travel in my spare time, and I am really influenced by all the different cultures and color schemes.

Why did you decide to delve into the wedding business?
I created my first wedding invitation for a few friends who were getting married. Soon my name spread to a lot of local friends and since I had always wanted to own my own business, I decided I wanted to start my own design business.

Have you ever had a frustrating experience working with a client?
Yes, I have had a few frustrating experiences with some clients thus far. Even though some clients have been more difficult, each experience has been valuable to me as it's allowed me to grow as a professional.

Do you have any new items you plan on adding to your shop?
I currently have about 10-15 new items that I plan to add to my shop in the next few weeks. Currently, my newest items are pictured on my website,, or on my facebook fan page.

Which items are your favorite to make and why?
I really enjoy designing custom invitations as well as custom business cards. I feel that having a unique business card is really important for businesses to stand out from the crowd.

Do you have a facebook, twitter, or blog?
I have a facebook and a twitter. I am currently in the process of creating a blog, however it is not complete yet.

Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?
I do sell outside of Etsy mostly. Many people contact me from my website or Facebook. I also plan to attend some bridal shows and sell in some local stores in the future.

Make sure you visit her shop,, and go over and "like" her on Facebook!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Made to order vs. ready to ship

This is something that worried me for days when I started my online store.  Should I have clothes in several different sizes, ready to ship?  Or should I only make a sample and offer the rest as made to order?
In the end, it came down to a matter of cost.  I simply couldn't afford to keep making clothes in different sizes, not knowing when or if they would sell.  Not to mention it would take up so much time, I wouldn't be able to offer as many designs.

Some designers believe that everything should be ready to ship.  The argument is that buyers don't want to wait, they want immediate gratification. There are other good things about making clothes ready to ship, such as being able to take them to craft shows or stores, and not having to worry as much about tailoring to specific measurements.

I see the benefits to both sides, and in the future I would love to be able to offer a design in several sizes, but as for right now, I'm just not convinced it would be worthwhile.

When should you offer ready to ship designs?  
-If the product is something that has been selling well, or recently featured somewhere high profile, go ahead and make multiples.
-If you plan to sell at craft shows, trunk shows, or in stores, you'd better have multiple sizes and variations available.
-If you have the time and resources, it's probably best to have items already made.

When should you offer made to order items?
-If your product is highly customizable
-If your product is labor or cost intensive
-If you're unsure how well your products will sell. 

I still sometimes worry that my clothes aren't selling as well as my other items because I don't have them ready to ship, or whether other variables come into play as well (such as the fear people have of buying clothes online-- more on this at a later date.)

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the matter.  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feature Friday #2- Nic's Button Buds

Wow, I can't believe it's Friday again already!  Where does the week go?  I'm bringing another talented artist, Nicole Answer, to Feature Friday.  Nicole works as a customer service rep for Alcoa Fastening Systems during the day, but her hobby job is making button bouquets for weddings.  In addition to that, she also makes hair accessories and other odds and ends from buttons. Check out her shop on Etsy, NicAnswer

  How long have you been doing your craft?

Actually not that long, a little less than a year.  I started it when I decided to attempt making my own bouquets for my wedding.
Your button bouquets are really unique.  What gave you the idea to use buttons?

Well. I am getting married myself in May this year (2011) and was trying to work out what I would do in the way of flowers.  I am getting married in the small town of Marysville and there is only really a florist in Alexandra (who works out the side of a video shop and I don’t think does weddings flowers).  Anyway, we thought about buying wholesale flowers, but while working out what I might do I stumbled across alternative bouquets.  I fell in love with the buttons right away.
It suited our DIY wedding as it was something I could try to make myself and keep within our budget.  It actually proved to be more expensive than I thought BUT I was so pleased with the results.  I enjoyed making them so much I thought it would make a great hobby.
What inspires you to create?
I come from a crafty family.  My sister and I spent lots of time with Gran growing up and were always helping her make various arts and crafts.  My mum is a sewer and an absolutely magnificent quilter.  I have scrapbooked for a long time too and this just seemed to fit in with my need to create.  I love my day job and can't imagine giving it up, but I have always felt a need to express my artistic side through various means. I can't pinpoint a specific thing that inspires me, but I do know I really enjoy it.
Why did you decide to delve into the wedding business?

I think when I finished my own bouquets and was approached by someone to see if I could make something for them.  I LOVED working with them and hearing the excitement leading up to their wedding.  I actually get heaps of enjoyment hearing about different brides' wedding plans, seeing their inspiration photos, etc. It's nice to be a small part of such a special day in someone’s life.

Do you have any new items you plan on adding to your shop? 

At this stage I am quite busy with custom orders.  At some point I would like to make up some ready to ship pieces.  I may also sell off some excess buttons.  In reality though, I think it will be just more versions of button bouquets.

Which items are your favorite to make and why?

Well I enjoy the bouquets the most of course, but if I need to be really specific it would be making the bride's bouquet.  I always spend a little extra time on these than other pieces of work.  I love looking for that special button to set it off, etc.  

Do you have a facebook, twitter, or blog?  

I have a twitter – @nicsbuttonbuds (to be honest I don’t use this much)
My facebook can be found under nicsbuttonbuds and I communicate a lot through here.  I often have pictures of works in progress as well for people to view.
Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?

I do advertise on ebay at times, and of course I have brides contact me directly through facebook or my website,

Aren't they stunning?  Be sure to check Nicole out at

Friday, January 28, 2011

Feature Friday #1- ArtsyButterfly

For a while I've been wanting to feature other designers on here, and have decided to start doing an interview once a week.  My first interview was with the lovely ArtsyButterfly on Etsy.  


1. Who are you and what do you do?

First off, I am a little bit of a cornball. Case in point--at first glance of this question the first thing that came to mind was Kindergarden Cop and the voice of Arnold asking "Who is your daddy and what does he do?". But, in all serious with that little tangent aside, I am your average 26 year old woman trying to find her place in this "real-life" world. By day, I'm the lab monkey for a cell and molecular bio lab, but by night I'm a wife, a mom to two furbabies, and a craftoholic. I love to spend my free time goofing around with my husband, playing with our pups, crafting and volunteering for local organizations.

2. How long have you been doing your craft?

I began my trials with handcrafted-florals while I was planning my wedding from June 2009-September 2010. But, I've been crafting for many years now. I've always had a love for all medias of art and have enjoyed everything from knitting, to sculpting, as well as photography.

3. How and why did you start designing?

It all began with a flash of inspiration after seeing the trend in fabric hair flowers; I couldn't help but think that a mix of them would make a beautiful bouquet. With my wedding on the horizon and as a lifetime DIYer it was a given that I would be creating as many things possible for my own wedding. Once all was said and done and the wedding came to pass I learned that many other brides loved my creations (through my wedding recap posts as a blogger on Weddingbee) and decided to listen to their suggestions and get back into Etsy.

4. What inspires you to create?

Ummm, well....I wouldn't be lying if I told you that nearly everything inspires me.

I have always had an eye for looking at things with a different scope. I love going to thrift stores and yard sales and finding items that look like junk or trash to one person ( husband) and then buying them and turning them into something new. I'm also very much inspired by the brides I work with. I love taking their ideas and adding my own twist to them to create something that we both can awe over.

5. I notice you use a lot of vintage doilies and lace in your work. Do you think this is becoming a “trend”? Why did you decide to do it?

I do believe there has been a trend in bringing life to old items and that is what I love about using vintage lace and doilies. I appreciate that something beautiful and modern doesn't have to be pre-fabricated and straight out of the box. But, I am slightly biased, I have always had an adoration for all things lace and for items from years past. I think a lot of it goes back to childhood recollections of growing up in an old Victorian style house that was adorned and furnished with antiques. I was always fascinated by all the delicate details and intricate work that went into each piece.

6. Why did you decide to delve into the wedding business?

Planning and creating for my own wedding was the biggest pusher. In the process of it all I learned a lot about my abilities and what I actually enjoyed doing. I also loved the idea of being able to contribute to a bride's wedding day vision and am rewarded by the fact that my product will hold a special place in their heart.

7. Do you have any new items you plan on adding to your shop?

I have so many new item ideas for my shop and truly wish I had a clone to keep up with my brain. I've just added the budget friendly mini-bouquet to my shop and plan on creating a few more that are ready made. I've also had plans to add large single flower bloom bouquets that are reminiscent of glamelias. Eventually, I will also plan on adding vintage-inspired garters featuring miniature versions of my flowers.

8. Which items are your favorite to make and why?

I get the most pleasure out of my custom orders and love when clients challenge me to create a new variety of flower. I love this because it keeps me on my toes and at the same time adds to my repertoire.

9. Do you have a facebook, twitter, or blog?

I am proud to say, that yes, I finally have all three. I finally caved with twitter and am slowly learning the ins and outs of it.




10. Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?

No, currently Etsy is my only true venue. I've had discussions with a bridal salon owner in Georgia, but have yet to finalize the details.

Check out more of ArtsyButterfly's beautiful work on Etsy:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Upcoming giveaway

I've been wanting to hold a giveaway for a while, but I've been waiting to get a few more followers.  I've decided to hold my first giveaway when I get to 25 followers (not a lot, but a nice goal). 

I figured I would give the winner a choice between 2 prizes.  So, if you win, you can get either this one (in your choice of color)
Or this one (also in your choice of color)
Remember, only 15 more followers until the giveaway starts! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

A new frontier

So I got this bright idea about 2 weeks ago, during my scramble to have enough diversity for the bridal show, to make crystal and pearl hair combs in addition to the flower ones I was already making.  Well, after failing hard at wire wrapping and looking around at a lot of different bridal combs, I decided that I could use antique and vintage brooches and attach them to hair combs.  (btw, no I definitely did not manage to have them in time for the bridal show).

I already incorporate vintage linens and antique lace into some of my pieces, so why not incorporate some more authentic vintage and antique pieces?  When I went out in search of some, I was greeted with a vast array.  Walk into any antique store and you know what I mean. They're on top of every counter, in every dish, and in tons of glass displays.  I originally was looking only for clear rhinestone and pearl brooches, but my husband was the one who said "your shop isn't just bridal...why don't you do everyday ones too?"  And thus-- here we are.  I like them a lot and think they look very nice.  The only downside is that there's more of an investment involved.  Nice antique brooches, unless you're very lucky, don't come all that cheap.  So I just started with a handful and we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fabric flower tutorial part 1

Finally I got around to doing this.  Well, actually got around to taking all the pictures for it, which was the hard part.  So let's jump right in.  This is the tutorial for my tattered flowers; the lace flowers will be part two.

You will need:
*varying sized circles
*chalk or other tracing pen
*fabric- I use lace, organza, and satin
*lighter or candle
*needle and thread
*bead or button for the center

Step 1
Trace 1 of each of your circles on the satin and organza.  For the lace, I usually cut 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large piece.  Cut out all the circles.

Step 2
Cut "petals" into your organza and satin circles.  I usually make 5 petals, but sometimes I vary the petals from 4-6.  Don't cut the lace circles.

Step 3
Lightly singe the edges of all your petals.  This will make them curl up and look more like flowers.  A lot of people use a tea light, which works fine for bigger pieces, but I find that I can get more control with a kitchen lighter.  Be especially careful with the organza, it shrivels very quickly.  Do the same around the edge of the lace, giving it a tattered look.
You'll probably ruin a piece or two on your first try, I know I did.  

Step 4
Start stacking up your pieces, alternating fabrics.  I start with lace on the bottom, but otherwise have no set pattern.  It's just whatever looks best. 

Step 5
Once you have it stacked, sew through the center and sew on your bead or button. 

That's it!  Now you can attach it to whatever you want!  Tip:  if using it on a hair clip, cut out a small circle of matching felt and hot glue it to the bottom.  This will give it a more solid backing.