Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{New} Aprons in the Shop!

Not long ago, I received a few new bolts of fabric, so I whipped up some aprons!

2012 01 Apron-6
Matching Kitchen Apron Set in Flower Shower, also sold separately

2012 01 Apron-4

Kitchen Apron in Red Paisley
2012 01 Apron-2

Kitchen Apron in Black & White Damask

Monday, January 23, 2012

Forshee Designs is 1000!!!

I am excited to share that today marks my 1000th day in business! Over the past three or so years, I have come a long way!

~701 Etsy Sales
~732 Etsy Admirers
~100% positive feedback
~2 Items on Etsy's front page
~2 Items featured in Etsy's emails (sent to ALL Etsy users)
~Featured in several blogs & other publications
~Stand alone website launched!

I could not have done any of these things without your encouragement and support! Even the smallest compliment goes a long way! So, thank YOU!

In celebration of this milestone, I am giving you FREE SHIPPING! Just use code FREESHIP in either of my shops (Main Website or Etsy) through midnight. Also, keep your eye on my clearance section and Facebook Fan page. I'll be adding things to that section at 30% off today! They may not stay, though, so get them while they last!

Friday, January 20, 2012

{Time Management} Are You Stealing Your Own Time?

If you had a job working for someone else and you got caught sleeping on the job, they would probably fire you. The reason cited would be theft of time. It sounds harsh, but it's true. You've stolen time from your company. They were paying you to work and you were sleeping!

Rarely will you hear the phrase "I don't have time" come out of my mouth. I have been given 24 hours in each and every day I am alive, and I choose to make the most out of them. There is always time!

The question I ask of myself is if I want to make time for this or that. If I really really want to do something, I will make time.

I get a lot of questions about how I run my business and homeschool. The answer is that I really want to do BOTH things, so I do them. I have never felt constrained by time at all. While my son is doing his seat work, I work. There is NEVER a point in time where I'm not doing SOMETHING. (Right now he's working on math, in case you're curious.)

While I don't get paid with money to homeschool, I do get paid to run my business. If your jobs (homemaker, mother, etc.) don't pay money, try to think about the benefits that you get "paid" from doing whatever it is you're trying to do. How can you use your time more wisely? What are you doing that's "stealing" your own time? (I have some guesses...Pinterest? Facebook, maybe?)

And just for the record, I DO least 8 hours a night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

{Sewing} Free Lanyard Tutorial

I really enjoyed writing my first sewing pattern, and I wanted to do another one! The only thing about this one is that it's FREE!

April over at Sewing Novice had an idea that we could work together on a tutorial/interview, which was just the spark I needed to actually sit down to write a tutorial for you. There's nothing like accountability to another person! Head over to April's blog, read my interview and follow her sewing journey!

I have been making these lanyards for a while and they are hot sellers at back to school time. Teachers love them! I also have kits available in my shop with enough materials to make two lanyards! They are $6.50 and that includes shipping! we go!

What you'll need:
4” of 44/45” wide quilter’s cotton
Metal clasp with a 3/4” opening
Coordinating thread

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-1

Step 1: Cut a 3” x 41” strip of fabric:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-2

Step 2: Fold strip in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press a crease down the center:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-42012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-3

Step 3: Open the strip and press the edges toward the center crease you just created:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-5

Step 4: Now fold the whole thing again like in the previous step to create something that looks like a strap:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-62012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-7

Step 5: Slip the fabric through the metal clasp:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-8
2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-9

Step 6: Unfold about 3” of each end and pin right sides together, being careful not to twist the strip of fabric. You don’t want a twisted lanyard!

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-10

Step 7: Stitch .5” seam, press seam open and trim seam allowance:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-112012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-12

Step 8: Refold strip of fabric to encase the seam you just made. This will make a loop and will look like a lanyard!

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-13

Step 9: Pin your lanyard every 6 inches or so:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-14

Step 10: Topstitch lengthways 1/8” from the edge of one side of the lanyard, repeating this step on the opposite edge:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-152012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-16

Step 11: Find the seam you created in step #7 and pull your metal clasp AWAY from that seam to the opposite side of the fabric loop. Zig zag stitch the two sides of the loop together to hold the clasp in place:

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-17

You’re done!

2012 01 15 Lanyard Tutorial-18

{Homeschool} Fighting Laziness

My impression of the homeschooling mother’s world (judged solely by what I read on blogs) is that everything is peaches & cream. Well, I am a realist and things are rarely peaches & cream. This is a “don’t ask me if I like homeschooling this week because I have the private school application halfway filled out” kind of a week.

Patience evades me when it comes to laziness. Why do something WRONG the first time when you’re just going to be sent back to do it correctly, thereby completing the assignment twice (or sometimes even three times)? This infuriates me because it is such a waste of time. I was not this type of student, and I cannot wrap my brain around why someone would do this. Now, I am not talking about getting a math problem or two wrong. I’m talking about the part where I read the instructions to the boy, the instructions that say WRITE IN COMPLETE SENTECNES, and he comes back with something not even close to ONE subject and ONE verb. He’s in 5th grade, folks, he knows how to write a complete sentence.

Don’t even get me started on the “I can’t find my book” nonsense.

Is there a patience pill somewhere or do I just need to start drinking wine at 9am? What do you do to conquer laziness?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coupon Clutch Redo

After designing and using one of my coupon clutches, I came to the conclusion that the closure MUST be changed. Originally, the clutch was held shut by a button/elastic closure that (upon using one for a few months) never stayed closed to my liking. So I put the one clutch I have left on clearance and proceeded to make more coupon clutches using my old standby closure: Velcro! I am much happier with this. It stays SHUT!

2012 01 02 Coupon Clutch-4
Click on the photo to see the new coupon cluthces!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sunrise on the Beach

There is something about being alone on the beach watching the sunrise. Every minute, the sky gets lighter and more saturated with the bright colors of a new day. Last year on my flight home from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, I had a window seat on our 6:30am flight and watched the sun creep up over the horizon from the plane. On Monday morning, I watched the real thing up close! It was a wonderful way to end the weekend getaway.

These photos (taken with my phone & unedited!) take place over about an hour, from 6:15am-7:15am:


God is good!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

{New Fabrics!}

I finally bit the bullet and opened wholesale accounts with several fabric manufacturers! This was a big step because fabrics have to be ordered by the bolt, which is 15-20 yards of fabric. That's a big commitment to one print, especially if it isn't popular.  I chose pretty popular prints for that reason alone.

I have already received a few bolts and made some camera strap covers with them! Over the next few months, more bolts will appear on my doorstep and my shop will be full of fresh new items made with fun prints!

Here's a sneak peek of what I've got on order:
2011 December Fabric

Friday, January 6, 2012

{Homeschool} Literature Kits

If you go to the section in the bookstore that houses the reading guide workbooks for kids, you will see that there are a TON of choices. Choosing the right guide for your child can be overwhelming.

I wanted to share one of my favorite lines of reading guides with you because I really like them. I don't flood this blog with product endorsements because I use great discernment when recommending something. I do not get paid to review or endorse anything!

Anyway, here they are:
Shiloh Literature Kit
Sign of the Beaver Literature Kit

The guides are called Literature Kits and come in all the standard gradeschool books that gradeschoolers are supposed to read. The worksheets for each chapter (or sets of chapters) include one "Before You Read" worksheet and 2-3 "After You Read" worksheets. I really like that the chapters are split into smaller chunks, usually no more than 3 at a time, so that the student doesn't feel overwhelmed with reading FOUR WHOLE CHAPTERS! Oh my!

Other types of work in the books are: Vocabulary, writing prompts, overhead transparencies, reading comprehension, etc.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kendall!

My baby boy turns 11 today! Yikes! Where did the time go?
2012 01 03 Kendall Birthday-1-3

We celebrated with his friends last Friday by going to Sugar Snack Shacks for treats, to the aquatic center for swimming and back to our house for pizza and trampoline jumping.  I think they were worn out after all of that!

I told the kids they could get whatever they wanted at the treats place, expecting them to go crazy. Nope. They all got just a dish of ice cream. No toppings. Nothing. What in the world? In good news, my total bill came to $15 and that included a Coke for another mom and a coffee for me.
Kendall Turns 11
Kendall Turns 11

2012 01 03 Kendall Birthday-1-2

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Website!

Happy 2012!!!

I am excited to announce that my shop has moved to its very own stand-alone website! My Etsy shop remains, and all of my items are currently in both shops. I think the most important thing about this change is that you will now be able to purchase items from my shop without signing up for an account! Checkout is much easier!

Check it out (Click on the photo to visit the full site!):
New Website

With the new website come more features that I am excited about. Items that can be personalized have the option to add personalization within the listing:
New Website Options

With this change also come new challenges! I think that topic deserves its own post, so I will write about that later. Soon, I promise!