The Homemade Fig - Best of Etsy 2015

Well the last day & post of this years #write31days challenge & Best of Etsy 2015 series is finally here!  I'm a bit sad & overjoyed all at once - let's just say it was a long workday, the baby girl has croup, and no one is sleeping.  So yes, I'll be beyond happy not to have to write all weekend!  I have loved virtually shopping with you, but I'm boiling over with other things I want to share & write about that didn't fit this series - so bring on November!  Something about getting back into a regular writing routine & attending Allume again has me inspired......& that's an all around good thing!

Today I'm sharing a little side project I've been dreaming about and working on bit by bit behind the scenes for a while.  Yep, The Homemade Fig now has an Etsy shop.   If I can't promote myself on my own blog, then what kind of writer would I be? So be sure you check it out by clicking here.

I love to create.  I love to cross-stitch.  But I've come to realize more and more how much all forms of embroidery are slowly becoming dying arts.  I grew up watching my grandma embroider & my mom taught me to cross-stitch.  So many people of our generation weren't exposed like me  which means the chances of two generations from now knowing how to do these things are slim to none.  And slim left town (thanks Dad for the joke....but you're probably not reading this...Mom you should tell him he's famous now). 

I have a passion to provide an easy & beautiful pattern in kit form to allow kiddos (or really any beginner) to learn how to cross-stitch.  No samplers.  No colonial era patterns.  No kitsch.  Just cute, fun, attractive patterns.  P.S. Moms...cross-stitching is a built-in math lesson....counting for days!

In the meantime while I am perfecting my patterns & my dream kits (let's be honest the packaging is half of what attracts us to products, am I right??), I've posted on my Etsy store some of the most recent patterns I've created - and why wouldn't the first one be of a fig?

Next up in the shop is in honor of my little sister's love of Disney's tsum tsum toys (aka this generations Beanie Babies).  We have begun quite the collection with baby girl & I love this tribute to the Fab 5 (well, 6 since poor Daisy usually gets the shaft).

I literally finished up a wall hanging tonight of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs.  I decided to go with a chalkboardish style on this one.  I'll be honest, I don't love stitching on black Aida cloth - it makes even my young eyes strain.  The saving grace for that is my portable Ott light!  The best part is that this could be stitched in any color combination you could imagine.  

I made this beauty for my favorite internet age 'pen-pal' - it's her blog header.  A perfectly unique gift for any blogger or writer!  I'll be adding custom listing for blog graphics shortly.

I'd love to know if there's something you would like to see - I'm testing out patterns for custom house portraits, and have a few other secret things up my sleeves!

All of the patterns are instant downloads so you can get started right away, because I know what's it's like to have the creative bug hit - you've gotta start when the feelings right!  

I am so thankful beyond any words for each of you that found the blog during this series - thanks for joining! Stick around for tutorials and DIYs coming down the pipeline before the holidays.  And for my old faithful friends....I love you for continually coming back & reading!  

In case you missed any of the shops in the series, you can go to the series m ain page here and find links to every post.  If that wasn't enough, you can check out the featured shops from the 2014 Etsy series here.

Happy Halloween friends - eat a Reese's cup for me!

Camellia McQueen - Best of Etsy 2015

In an effort to reward my husband who has become Chief Editor for this series, I figured shouldn't he have a say in a shop that should make the list?  All of the items featured today were picked out by a 100% manly man who loves to dress nice & can rock a bow tie......so maybe it will help with picking something out for your special someone.  

So today we feature Camellia McQueen - a UK based shop that handcrafts bow ties and pocket squares in very unique fabrics.  Look how classy these patterns are!

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

There are a few other color options with this gingham pattern that you can pick up in either a tie or pocket square. 

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

All of her bow ties are pre-tied with an adjustable strap and you can get them in sizes from a 1 year old through adult sizes.  I see father-son combinations of this one.....just in time for a family Christmas picture!

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

I was surprised that my better half picked out this last pocket square - the pattern isn't something at all that I think he would be interested in.  But selfishly I love it.  It reminds me of fine china and takes me back to when we had afternoon tea at Kensington Palace during our trip to London a few years ago.  To me the perfect gift is one that carries with it reminders of sweet memories.  This fits that standard for me, so this certainly would make me a happy gift giver.  

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

Photo used with permission from Camellia McQueen

Head over to Camellia McQueen's Etsy shop and see all of the other fabric options they have to choose from - there's got to be something to match the perfect outfit or special occasion!

Bear Creek Designs - Best of Etsy 2015

I have this bad habit of de-stressing with a spontaneous trip to the craft store every now and again.  It usually results in "discovering" some new craft or project I just HAVE to try.  Which is code for I don't really have time to learn something new, but am desperate for some shopping therapy.  And craft supplies are my love language. 

So while researching shops for this years Best of Etsy series I came upon the DIY felting kits from Bear Creek Designs.  And I bought two.  So not only am I sharing a fun new shop I discovered, but I've tested the kits out myself and you are lucky enough to see my first attempt at felting.  In the car.  On a road trip....because what better time to try something new?! 

Photo used with permission from Bear Creek Designs

Photo used with permission from Bear Creek Designs

I'll be honest.  I have no clue what the technical process is that somehow ends up turning a ball of wool into felt - but I did think I could try my hand with a "all supplies included DIY kit" to make a semi-kid friendly set of Fall decorations. Because why not. 

I bought the kit for this turkey, but haven't started it yet - that will be for the roadtrip home.  I knew enough to know I was a beginner so for sure I had no business starting with any kit that had "advanced" anything in its name so instead I started with ....

Photo used with permission from Bear Creek Designs

Photo used with permission from Bear Creek Designs

.....pumpkins! Again, I had no idea how on earth I was actually going to accomplish this but lookie here folks.... 

Photo used with permission from Bear Creek Designs

Photo used with permission from Bear Creek Designs

I totally made this in an hour while riding down I-81. And if I can do that, so can you! 

Yes this is my honest to goodness self made pumpkin! 

Yes this is my honest to goodness self made pumpkin! 

I have to be honest....felting is nothing like I imagined it would be, and yet it really was easy.  Basically, stab a ball of wool with special needles that have grooves in them for an extended period of time until it shrinks up the the desired shape/size.  What I'm telling you is this could be the greatest way to deal with aggression ever.  Until you get comfortable with it, look away, and stab your finger.  Not that I learned that myself or anything.   

Each kit comes with all the supplies you need to create the final product with easy to follow instructions.  I love that the wool she includes in her kits comes from sheep she has raised on her farm.  

Head over to The Bear Creek Designs shop and check out all the different kits she has as well as some of her own creations.  I'd love to know if you decide to expand your crafting borizons with felting too!