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Make Baby Stuff Newsletter, Issue #008-- Baby Quilt Contest
September 03, 2008

This monthly newsletter is brought to you from the Make Baby Stuff website. Each issue brings you up to date with new crafty happenings, contests, instructions, reader questions, more tips and our featured crafty artist of the month! It is your kick in the pants to get crafty!

Handmade Baby Quilt Contest!

superbuzzyWe're having a handmade baby quilt contest! Enter your handmade baby quilt for your chance to win $100, $50 or $25 gift certificates to! Check out their amazing imported Japanese fabric selection, as well as other cool crafty stuff that you could buy with your winnings. We are thrilled to have this independent, woman-owned business as our sponsor! Thanks superbuzzy!

You can enter and get more info on the Handmade Baby Quilt Contest page.

Meet the Judges:

aliciaAlicia Paulsen from Posie Gets Cozy has just released her book, Stitched in Time that shares creative keepsake projects that have special meaning...such as a quilt stitched from outgrown baby clothes or a stuffed animal made from a child's drawing! Book is available for pre-order and arrives November 11th, 2008.

helen squire Helen Squire is nothing less than a quilting guru. She teaches, gives lectures around the world and has just finished her 9th quilting book. Helen has been in the quilting business for over 30 years and is known and loved by many for her "Dear Helen" series. She was also a writer for American Quilter magazine for six years and has many other quilting successes under her belt. Did I mention she is a quilting guru? (Don't worry folks, Helen is not allowed to enter the contest!)

bloesemIrene from Bloesem Kids and Bloesem is someone who knows design. Her super popular design blogs focus on amazing interior design and home products and the pages are just pure eye candy. Irene is a curating artist and her blogs are absolutely inspirational. Her kids blog is on my "must subscribe" to list for anyone who loves art, design or decor and has children.

longthreadEllen from the long thread is a crafty mama who loves handmade items and shares many great tutorials as well as her handmade item finds. In addition to her embroidery business, she is soon launching a pattern get on over there and tell her what patterns you are looking for!

twostraightlinesCourtney from two straight lines has a delightful blog where she shares her crafting, sweet family related tidbits and more. It is a lovely peek into her very creative world and she strives to create something every day...and it seems she is successful! Her charming blog is inspirational to so many readers.

Contest Ends November 1st, 2008!

Enter Here!

New Tutorials

Handprint Crafts: - We've added a Baby Handprint Crafts Section is an all new section with several projects featuring baby handprints! Lots of fun projects here for you to get your little one involved.

Fairy Wings: - Just in time for Halloween, but also fun all year 'round is this new fairy wings tutorial which shows how to turn just $3 into a pair of toddler sized wings using wire hangers and stockings.

Playdough: - A tried and true Playdough Recipe and some tips on making and storing. If you haven't made playdough yet, this is a really easy project that your child will love!

Banners: - Here is another unique way to chart how your child changes over time, create a Photo Banner each year on his/her birthday and you'll have a beautiful decoration and a keepsake. Includes free downloadable printable pattern!

Check our Newest Tutorials Page for More New Articles! Our newest tutorials page lists all the newest projects as soon as they go live on the site! Never miss a new tutorial by simply checking this page.

Meet the Crafty Mama

finny Who: Carrie McG of Finny's Funny Fleece, lives in Seattle with her son, husband, a black dog named Darby and 2 city chickens (Mary Poppins and Nugget). She can't sit still for more than 10 minutes without working on something. In fact, her friends think she is crazy when she brings her latest projects to BBQs, although they soon change their tune and ask her to make them stuff.

She likes to bake bread, her eyes are different colors and she thinks Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a horrible movie, while her son, Finnegan is obsessed with it.

We picked Carrie as our featured mama this month (besides the obvious fact that her hats are awesome) because Halloween is Coming! and while her hats are great for Halloween, they are also great all winter long, which makes us love them even more. My own son has a bear hat of hers that he wore all last winter and its cuteness slays me every time I put it on him. Any of her hats could be paired up with a same color outfit and you'd have an instant costume. Of course hand the baby a banana (for the monkey costume) or tack on a bushy tail (for the fox) and it would be even better.

What lead up to starting Finny's Funny Fleece? 

halloween bug hatI had a baby, became a  stay at home mom, and being one of those crafty type people, I couldn't waste all that time that a new baby sleeps doing nothing.  I skipped from project to project until the next winter when that little baby with an enormous head needed some hats to keep him warm.  The husband suggested I make him some, as he does with everything we need around the house, and then a friend told me about Etsy, and Finny's Funny Fleece began!

bear hat baby How has your line evolved from the beginning?

I started making just animal hats.  I make all my own patterns so it's pretty easy to adjust designs to make new ideas come alive.  I concentrate with Anti-Pill Fleece, which is a wonderful material to work with... you can make anything with it!   Since the beginning, I've made myself a product line that consists of not only the animal hats, but Helmets, Silly Swaddlers, and Monkey Baby Dolls.  Plus I've got a few more ideas up my sleeve!  I love introducing new items to my shop to see how they'll be received.

How to you measure success and have you reached it?

I feel successful.  I'm able to stay at home with my kiddo.  I have the freedom and support to create and sew things here on my own time, instead of having a job I don't like.  I have control of my life right now, and I think that's what makes me successful.

finny foxWhat is your favorite part of your creative process from idea to sale?

I love designing things and then bringing them to life.  But what I really like about Etsy, is that a lot of customers have sent me appreciation photos.  It's wonderful to see that my hats are actually going somewhere, since I have to say goodbye to them all at the post office.

What is your least favorite part?

Falling behind on time.  It takes a lot of self-discipline to work from home, and when you have a family to take care of, you've got to find the balance.  I haven't perfected that balance yet, and the family usually comes first.

When do you find the time to create?

finny giraffeNormally when Finn's asleep.  Luckily he's a pretty independent kiddo, so he helps me with house work and things during the day when he's awake.  I also work in the evenings during "Daddy and me" time.  My husband, Brandon, loves to come home and spend time with Finn, so it's usually a great outlet.

What are your tips to balance business and family?

I don't know if I'm the best to give tips on it, since balance is the thing I kind of stink at.   I'd say, if your children want to go to the park or read a story, do it!   Take the time you spent with them and later when they're sleeping or at a different activity, do your work.  I also need to work on valuing my "alone time" better.  Spend less time on the computer, in front of the tv, doing projects that take second to your work.  Don't procrastinate, because it's definitely a business and you've gotta keep that mindset.

finny monkeyAny other creative pursuits you enjoy?

Ha!  What don't I enjoy.  My poor husband is so patient with all my crafty stuff.  I have 2 quilt projects that I'm working on, I crochet, I sew, I love to paint but never find the time, paper projects with Finn, drawing, photography, and anything else that I can experiment with.  I love trying new crafty things.  I really want to refine my knitting skills.

What are your future plans for your business?

I've already started selling wholesale in the US and Canada.  I'd like to expand on that.   To keep up with it, I want to hire other moms to sew from home.  I have a lot of great ideas... I just need to get moving and start putting them into action.

If you had to wear one of your hats everyday, which one would it be and why?

The monkey helmet.  That way I'd fit in with the other two monkeys running around this house (Brandon and Finn! ).

Thanks Carrie! Visit her shop at Finny's Funny Fleece and buy handmade!

If you like this newsletter, please "email it forward" to someone you know who might appreciate it. If a friend did forward this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe now!

As our site and community grows, I hope that you drop me a line and tell me what crafty baby stuff you are up to! Did you make something that was inspired by something on our site? Pretty please play "show and tell" with the rest of us! Often, having an audience for your crafting is just a kick in the pants that you need to get working.

Feel free to send in tips or questions too! We love mail!

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