Grand Opening GIVEAWAY

Well, friends.  The plan is still to open the Sewing by Moonlight Etsy store on my birthday.  That’s ONE WEEK from today!  I do only have a few items to stock at this point, but I figure the point is to start, even if I start small.  Right?

My products will be primarily bags and baby items.  I will begin with two bags.

1. Luna: The Essential Tote.

I originally designed this tote as a library bag for my daughter. The straps are short enough that a small child can carry it (if it’s not too full of books) without the bag dragging on the ground.  The straps are attached to a heavyweight lining to support the weight of several books.  I also added a small zippered exterior pocket to store a library card or other essentials.

I then realized that this bag also fits me perfectly as a short strapped tote that tucks under my arm.  It would be great for a project bag or a day bag or a place to stash your research materials for class.  The possibilities are endless, and it’s very versatile in both function and user.

2.  Callisto: The Gathered Clutch.

This is the clutch I use every day.  It is 12 inches long by 6 inches high with a zippered top and an interior zippered pocket.  The idea for the gathered clutch was derived from a tutorial on Noodlehead.  I purchased her pattern so that I would have rights to sell that clutch, but I have never actually opened the pattern file.   I just thought that since the original idea was hers, purchasing the rights was the right thing to do.  The Callisto is larger in size and the interior design is different.  I include a detachable wrist strap, but, by request, I have also made Callisto with a longer strap so the bag can be worn over the shoulder or cross body like a purse.

THE GIVEAWAY

This Callisto is up for grabs:

To Enter the Giveaway:

1.  Leave me a comment.  Tell me what sorts of bags you would like to see or would be likely to purchase in the Sewing by Moonlight Etsy store.  Some possibilities: totes (large or small, zippered or not), snack bags, small zippered pouches, diaper bags, messenger bags (for children or adults), clutches (perhaps a smaller size or different style).  Are there other types of handmade products that you buy or that you would be likely to buy if they were offered?

For additional entries: 

2.  Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook and share that page to help me get the word out.  Leave a comment telling me who you are on Facebook and that you shared my page.

3.  Write a blog post about this giveaway.  Leave a comment with the link to your post.

The giveaway will close at 11:59PM EDT Wednesday, October 17th.  I will pick a winner with random.org and post the result to this blog.

 

Today’s Big News

Good morning!  Today is October 3rd, which means two things.

1.  Exactly 2 weeks from today is my 33rd birthday.  I promised myself that I would open the Sewing by Moonlight Etsy shop as a birthday present for myself.  I don’t very many items to stock in the store right now, but I keep waiting for the “right time,” so I’m just going to make it happen!

I would love it if you would come over and Like the Sewing by Moonlight Facebook page and stay updated!  I think I’ll have to have a Grand Opening Giveaway, so stay tuned for that!

2.  Today is my guest post on KludyMom.  It’s not sewing related, but I talk about one of my biggest personal challenges as a stay at home mom: understanding that being “mom” is more than enough contribution to my family.  It’s one of the best gifts I can give my children, but I still struggle with the fact that I am educated and ambitious and “just” a mom.  You can click over to KludyMom to read about it, if you’re interested.

Labels

Labels aren’t normally necessarily a good thing.  I mean, really, who wants to be pigeonholed into one category?  No one that I can think of.

But there is a time when labels ARE a good things.  It’s when they are the fabric kind that arrived on your doorstep in a little box and they have your very own name woven in to them!!!  Wheee!  I’m so excited!!

On the 17th of October, I will celebrate the anniversary of my birth.  If all goes as planned, I will also celebrate the Grand Opening of the Sewing by Moonlight Etsy store.  It has been a long standing dream of mine to offer the fruits of my creative labors for sale, and my birthday is as a good a time as any.  So, even if I have just one thing to offer, it will go on sale on October 17th.

So, go on and like the Sewing by Moonlight Facebook page, and stay tuned for the opening of my online store!  Yay!

In other news, if you rode along with the Road Trip Quilt Along, don’t forget to enter the giveaway by tomorrow night.

So excited to share: my business cards!

Last week, a small heavy box arrived in the mail.  I didn’t immediately recognize the return address and I couldn’t remember what I had ordered that would come in such a package.

I opened it up before I even got home and was so excited to discover my business cards!  I know it seems like a small thing, and a business card is, literally, a small thing, but I feel like these tiny rectangles of card stock are just one step further down the path to becoming a “real” business.  We’re getting there.

There they are.  My logo.  My company.  My name on the card.

At the suggestion of my friend, Maddie, one side features my logo owl all on her own.  (Isn’t she cute?)
 The other side is the lovely shade of blue that the owl sports, along with all the pertinent information for an online business.   Want one?

FONTastic: font audition call-backs

Since my husband now audibly groans when I ask his opinion of my font auditions, I’m counting on you, Internet, to help me with the final selection.  I’ve narrowed down the field to my personal favorites in several categories, and you were all so helpful with the first couple rounds, I know you can give me some great things to think about here as well!  I know I’m obsessing over this; I do.  But I’m rationalizing that if I pick “the perfect font,” I will love it every time I look at it and I won’t have to go through this whole process again.

Here they are all together:

Serif Category:
1. serif 72 beta
2. serif 72 beta italic
(yes, they are 2 different versions of the very same font.  I love this one best of the bazillion serif fonts I looked at.)

San Serif Category:
3. legendum
4. linux biolinium italic

Handwriting Category:
5. bearer fond
6. jenna sue

Script Category
7. dancing script
(I considered a second in this category for the sake of uniformity, but this one is the best.)

Here’s what I’ve learned with all this font looking and trying and playing:  there is no right answer.  There are many, many opinions about the “right” way to pair fonts.  Some feel that similar fonts should be matched together and others feel that “opposites attract.”  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, right?  Ultimately, I just need to find something that *I* love, but I’m also of the opinion “knowledge is power” and thus, I am soaking in all the information that I can from you and considering all opinions before I finalize this logo of mine.  The end result will be just right and totally worth the wait and the hassle!

Do you know how many fonts I auditioned?  Thirty-two!  32!  And that’s just counting those that I actually bothered to save a copy of my logo with that font.  There were many others that I liked and downloaded and tried and didn’t even bother saving.  Sheesh.  I will be so thrilled when I make my final decision and order some damn business cards already!!

So … GO!  Click on that photo above and tell me which one jumps out at you.  Which is your favorite pairing?  Why?

{If you’d like to see all the fonts individually auditioned with my header tagline, “fabric and thread when the kids are in bed,” and my business card/product tagline, “handcrafted at nightfall, unique and delightful,” you can check out this Flickr set.}

Font Snob call to action

I think I have a serious problem.  Sometimes, I can’t just let it be.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, right?  Confession: right now, I’m totally sweating the small stuff.  I have been obsessing over font choice all day.  Seriously.  And it’s been in my mind longer than that.  Admittedly, I am beginning to annoy MYSELF.  Not good, people, not good.

When I admitted just that on Facebook, my friend Liz offered her opinion.  As an easy way for her to see, I’m just going to throw all my fonts up here, and let anyone chime in.  And I hope many do.  Knowledge is power, right?

Here’s the issue: the woman who designed my header, Nicole, did a fantastic job.  While I loved the nice bold Gotham she chose for the main font, I wasn’t content with the secondary font, the one used for the tagline.  I changed it, but my friend Maddie, who has been helping with some web design, suggested that there is a disconnect, stylistically, between that font and the nice, clean style of the Gotham font.  I trust her opinion, and thus, I’ve been font searching and auditioning, looking for something better/more appropriate.  Here are the contenders (I won’t tell you which I’m leaning toward; don’t want to influence your opinion).

EDIT: My cry for help on Facebook elicited some good responses.  

Here is one from my friend, Katie:
I think that Gabrielle is probably my top choice because it is still modern like your logo but not so modern that it feels like it’s trying too hard on the ‘d’s like with Tangerine. I also like that it is italicized and does not take the attention away from your main logo, allowing it to be the focus. My eyes are able to easily move from one thing to the next without being distracted by text that is too bold and it’s easy to decipher. Take this with a grain of salt.

And my cousin Amy had the best “none of the above” response:
Em, Gabrielle is good, but I don’t think the serif font goes with the san-serif headline. Tangerine is the right weight but too many flourishes steal from the thread image. The bolder fonts (like lobster) steal from your bold ‘moonlight’. The serif fonts or ones with embellishments are not stylistically comparable with the Gotham. To juxtaposition your bold modern typeface with something softer in the tagline, find a modern sans serif font either script or italicized. 

Currently in the header: Chantelli Antiqua
Auditioning {in alphabetical order}:

EDIT: All auditioned fonts from the first round can be found in this set on Flickr.  They included Amperzand, Better Heather, Gabrielle, Kingthings Exeter, Lobster, Sail, and Tangerine.  Based on Amy’s suggestion above, here is the next round.  

Aubrey:

Dream Orphans:

Legendum:
 Linux biolinium:

Overlock:

Raspoutine:

Rosario:

After these two rounds and then a little more searching, check out the fonts that made the final call back audition.

 

WIP Wednesday: the list goes on

I’m super late with this post, but I wanted to mail one last pile ‘o things before I wrote it.  But I missed the post office being open by literally 90 seconds.  So I went to another post office: mission accomplished.  By the time I got home, it was time for dinner, then I went to yoga, then this here computer was monopolized by one passionate hockey fan.

So, here we go!

I want to review my list from last week, because I feel like I actually checked a few things off it: hooray!

1. finish last bee block for 4×5 Bee: DONE!

2. Get all 5 4×5 Bee blocks in the mail: this is what I was doing before I could write this post.  So, DONE!

3. Mail other projects to their destinations.  Done, done, and done!  Also, I seriously don’t know why I have such a problem with this last step of “get it in the mail.”

4.  Five mei tais.  Progress has been made.  I started out the week with just one cut out. Now, I have all the pieces for 4/5 cut out.  I went to a sewing/play date Monday with Kim, Amy and Katie, and while I didn’t do any sewing, I did get those all cut out.  (more on that later.)  I also now have straps cut out and sewn up for three of them.

5.  Be Free Bees April quilt.  No progress.  Though, I have thought about it and I’m pretty sure I know what I want to do with it.

6.  Jenn’s (slightly really, really late) Christmas gift.  Done and mailed.

7.  Jenn’s birthday gift.  Done and mailed.  

8.  Curtain tie backs.  No progress. 

9.  Winter HST table runner.  Some progress.  This table runner has four snowflake appliqués.  Last week, only one was finished.  Now, all four are finished.  Still has to be backed, quilted and bound.

10.  Tote bags.  No progress.  

11.  Gathered clutches.  No progress.  

Additionally, my friend Maddie came over for some late night sewing this week, and we got a skirt for her cut out and started putting it together.

So, here’s the works in progress for this week:

1.  Five mei tais.
2.  Be Free Bees April quilt.
3.  Curtain tie backs.  This should actually be a relatively easy project.  I just need to make it a priority in order to get it done.
4.  Winter HST table runner.  I need to decide on and piece the back, then do the quilting. I actually got some good advice on the quilting during the sewing/play date I mentioned earlier so I would love to get this done because I’m so excited to see it finished!!
5.  Tote bags.  I would love to get the top borders on these and the inside linings cut out.
6.  Gathered clutches.  I must finish one.  I must!  I also want to cut out the pieces for a few more.
7.  I pulled the fabric for one more of the “double staircase” blocks I did for the 4×5 Bee.  I’d love to do another tutorial.
8.  While only peripherally related, I am almost finished designing my business cards for my blog/not-yet-in-existence-business.  I need to finish that up and get them ordered.
9.  In a similar vein, I would like to start the process of ordering woven labels for my products.

 

WIP Wednesday: The List is Long

Lee at Freshly Piece hold a works in progress (WIP) link up party most Wednesday.  I don’t usually play.  But this week, I really wanted to get all these projects out there for the world to see.  I’m hoping it will inspire me to get cracking and finish them up.

1.  I have one more block to finish up for the 1st Quarter of the 4×5 Bee.  This is due to be mailed by April 15th, and I’m nearly there, so I’m not worried about finishing this in time.

2.  I need to mail that finished block and the other 4, which I should have mailed as I finished them, but now I will just wait and mail them all together.  I also need to write a post about these blocks since they are done.

3.  Mailing things counts as a work in progress, right?  In my house, yes, yes, it does.  Because I can be totally finished and then not mail the damn thing.  Seriously, I really need to work on my follow through.

In fact, Alisha, I am so, so sorry that your mei tai is still in Virginia and NOT in Japan, where it should be.  I went to package it up and found that I had forgotten some securing stitches.  While not essential, they will ensure that the carrier lasts longer, and then I just didn’t finish them.  That carrier just sat and sat on my pile.  Do you know how long it took me to finish it up?  Twelve minutes.  I suck.  Anyway, it is now, finished, packaged, and ready to go!

4.  Mei tais!  Five of them!   I spent March trying to clear a few things from my “to do” list so that I could tackle this list of mei tais.  Indira is first up, followed by Hilary, then 3 others, and maybe two more that have been mentioned to me but I don’t have confirmation or fabric for those.  Phew!

5.  This is my quilt for April in the Be Free Bees free form quilt bee.  I just received it the day before yesterday and I have until the end of April to complete and mail to the next person.  I must admit, this is one is giving me a bit of trouble out of the gate.  The other two I worked on, I had an idea of what I wanted to do as soon as I saw them.  This one is going to require a little more thought.

6.  This is my sister Jenn’s Christmas present.  No, not this coming Christmas.  Last Christmas.  The one that was three and a half month ago.  I don’t feel that badly because we didn’t really exchange gifts, but I still want to give this to her.

7.  Jenn’s birthday is coming up this week, so now it will be a Christmas/birthday present. And since I’m so late with the Christmas giving, I did something extra hard for the birthday portion.  The little squares in this patchwork (soon to be) pouch are just 1 inch on each side.

8.  This should be a quick project that I’m doing for a friend.  Curtain tie backs for new curtains using the old tie back as a template.

9.  This is my winter table runner.  I planned to finish it last fall so I could use it, you know, in the winter.  Clearly, that did not happy.  However, it is composed of half square triangles (HSTs).  And there is a Festival of HSTs going around the quilting/blogging community right now, so I’m inspired to pull it out.  I can finish it up and then it will be done ahead of schedule for next winter!  (maybe)

10.  Remember when I started this blog to go along with that little sewing business I’m hoping to get off the ground?  Yeah.  Well, I’ve had other projects and haven’t really done any sewing for the business.  However, these fabrics are destined to be 6 Luna Bags (that’s what I”m calling them): the essential tote.

11.  Another project for the business: a gathered clutch, like the one I carry.  One to sell, and one for my friend Lorae, which I promised her back in January.  They’ve both been cut out since then and it’s time they stop languishing in my “to do” list.

I’ll be back next week to tell you what kind of progress I made.  Speaking of progress, the progress I publicly declared I would make for Amy’s One Thing One Week Challenge was to finish that last 4×5 Bee Block and finish 1 mei tai.  If those things happen, this week will be a success!

Zzzzziiiiipp

My original plan with getting this business up and running was to buy a few supplies, make a few items, use what I hope will be a little profit to buy a few more supplies and then go from there.  As I make preparations to make this happen, however, I came to realize that, in the long run, I will actually save some money by buying some things in bulk, up front.  That also gives me the added bonus of actually having supplies on hand rather than having to run out and by them.

Just think of what I can make with these goodies!

That’s a roll of 1-inch webbing on the bottom, with two sizes of velcro stacked on top it (the hook side and the loop side are on different rolls).  You can see just a bit of white elastic peeking out of the zippers.  Oh, how I love those happy, multi-colored zippers.

Change (will do you good?)

I changed the header on this blog again.  For the 7th time.

Last night I asked my dear husband if he liked this one better than the last one.  I think I may have exasperated him a tad.  “Em!” he said, “You are being completely neurotic.  Stop changing it!  I like them all.”  Well.  I’m glad he liked them all.  And maybe I am being just teensy bit neurotic.  But I do like this one better than the last one (and I liked that one better than the previous one.  And I will change it again.  And I will like that one better than this one.).

Let’s see how far we’ve come in the past four short weeks.

We started here.

I didn’t like that weird brightness at the top.  And the tagline “custom and handmade bags,” is good for the store I will soon have, but not so much for general writing about sewing and crafting stuff.

So, now the tagline is gone, and the brightness is reduced a bit.

I decided that I didn’t like how the texture in the background looked.  Too cluttered.  I took it out.

I was pretty happy with that last one, but then I thought of the perfect tagline for the blogging portion of this business: “Fabric and thread when the kids are in bed,” because that is just exactly what I do.

[At this point, there was another one with all the elements reduced and a tiny tagline.  I didn’t save it.]

I enlarged both the title of the site and the tagline.

After this point, my friend Suzanne connected me with a graphic designer friend of hers, with whom I am now working.  My initial correspondences with Nicole were insightful, and I realized that while I do love the purple, it didn’t give the vibe I wanted on my website.  While my company is “Sewing by Moonlight,” I still want my website to be bright and happy.  I also came to the realization that I really do love the more open look of a white back ground.  So, silver moon changed to harvest moon and I bumped up the color a bit.

We’re getting there, right?  I didn’t like that my little owl was kind of see-through against the moon.  My friend Maddie does web design and she has been helping me get this site functional.  She advised I lose the stars, and she also introduced me to this site for color inspiration, which I used when I recreated the header for the following result.

So, that’s where I am now.  Nicole is going to be helping refine the look of my logo and brand so I can have a cohesive internet presence and things like website, Etsy store, business cards and fabric labels will all tie together.  Maddie has offered her experience to make the actual design of the site look how I envision it will.  I’m excited.  Good things are coming.

So, am I being neurotic, as my darling husband claims, or is this actually getting better?