Several weeks ago I was contacted by a new boutique owner who had seen my state love ruffled tea towels in my Etsy shop. The ones I had listed were specifically a Mr. and Mrs. set that was made as a custom gift for a bridal shower. She was interested in buying some to sell in her new shop but with just the state of Virginia on the towel. I decided that instead of hand painting the state I would make it in the same fabric as the ruffle. The towels are extra large and are double layered. Since the towels were going to be sold as singles (rather than sets) I used different fabrics for all of them. The only criteria I had was to make them vintage-y looking. I knew exactly which fabrics I had in mind, and it turns out I am quite fond of Heather Bailey fabrics more than I realized! Nearly half of the sets I made were from her fabric lines! I threw in some Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt and a few other whimsical prints as well!
This weekend I was able to deliver the towels in person! I could've easily shipped the towels, but I wanted to meet the owner in person and see the boutique so that I could personally tell others about it! The shop is called Gathered and is about an hour drive from where we live. It's in the historic downtown part of Front Royal, VA. I can't even remember the last time I'd been close to that area- probably well over a decade! It's close to a ton of wineries and also Luray Caverns and the Shennandoah's! It turns out we went during the Wine and Craft Festival, so after visiting the shop we were able to walk around and check out a few vendors, grab some lunch and B got to run around and play on the old caboose!
The shop was super cute! Cadyn, the owner is really sweet. We had exchanged several emails throughout the process, and she is just as nice in person! The boutique was cozy, and filled with lots of handmade and local items. There were some great quilts displayed in the front of the store, along with some really cool beaded accessories! The back of the shop was filled with some vintage ceramics and printed artwork and cards. There was a section of handmade bags and children's gifts- some handmade bunnies that were super cute! One of my favorite items there were these leather billfolds and journals that had some animals printed on them! If you are close to the Front Royal area, I would definitely check out this shop if you are on the hunt for some unique gifts!
I meant to post this last month, but for those of you who discovered Crafty Natalie and other amazing local crafters through your purchases at EarthWorks just wanted to remind you that they have moved! They are now in Lovettsville, located at 2 E Pennsylvania Avenue. The shop is no longer in a busy shopping center, but in a stand alone, two level house! Such a cute set-up! There is also going to be a studio upstairs for classes and such! I hope you all will continue to support local and check them out if you haven't already!!
This is totally not craft related, but last weekend I did something I never thought I'd do! Run a 5k!! I am definitely NOT a runner, nor have I ever played sports! I don't have a single athletic bone in my body! So when my brother-in-law said he was running a 5k two months ago and asked if anyone wanted to join him, my obviously answer was, hellllll no!! My husband said he'd join him on the race, and the next thing you know my other sister and her husband did too! My husband tried HARD to convince me to join them and that I had plenty of time to train for the race! Surprisingly I agreed and for about 8 weeks (give or take a week of B not feeling well, and rainy weather) I jogged 3-4 times a week, pushing B in the BOB stroller- I figured if I could train pushing some extra weight, I definitely could run a race on my own! Mind you, when I started I could barely run 2 minutes straight before feeling absolutely winded! I did a cross between the Couch-to-5k training program and also the RunKeeper program on my phone. By the end of the two months I was able to run nearly 7 min straight before needing to take a walking break! I was pretty happy with my progress and by race day I decided I wasn't going to wear a watch/strap my phone on and just run at my own pace and just finish the race without pushing myself to the point that I'd regret it the next day and completely be discouraged about running another race! My husband had promised me we'd do the race together, meaning, he'd stay by my side regardless of how much I held him back! He could've finished the race a good ten minutes or so before I did, but ran and walked next to me the entire time and even let me cross over the finish line before him! We finished the race in under 38 minutes! My original goal was to try and do it in 35 minutes, and being a bit over two minutes over my goal, I certainly won't complain! I think if I did have a timer on me I could've pushed myself harder, but I didn't want to be sore or completely exhausted at the end of it- my calf was already knotting up towards the middle of the race (a problem that would occasionally happen as I was training) and I didn't want to risk hurting myself more! Instead, I ended the race happy, and confident that I could do it again! My husband and I have been looking at more races and hope to do a Santa run in December! Hoping to reach my goal this next time around!
Last night I had my first ever Featured Artist Night at EarthWorks! I expected a few shoppers to come in here and there, and ended up being completely surprised when a ton of friends and family showed up! It was a humbling experience to say the least! And the most humbling moment of all? When I walked in before the event started and noticed the counter filled with cupcakes! One of the local authors whose books sell at the shop could not make it into the event that night. She apparently is a fan of my work and decided to drop the treats off since she couldn't attend! This gesture just completely BLEW MY MIND!! And the funniest part of all, the cupcakes were from one of my favorite local bakeries!
Honestly, when I started Crafty Natalie I really thought it was just going to be a way for me to continue sewing and crafting and making a few extra bucks here and there to help feed my fabric addiction, and of course treat my family to something every once in a while! Never in a million years would I have expected people to actually enjoy my stuff as much as they do! To get orders every once in a while from out of the country, to have repeat customers on Etsy, and to hear of customers going into EarthWorks specifically looking for Crafty Natalie stuff, is something that I never would have expected to happen!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR LOVE AND CONTINUED SUPPORT!!!
We spent Memorial Day weekend in North Carolina visiting some good friends and also attending my little cousin's wedding. Aside from all that fun I was looking forward to going to Mary Jo's again! Mary Jo's is a crafter's dream! 32,000 square feet of fabrics, notions- SO MUCH GOOD STUFF!! This time, I allowed myself to splurge (to an extent!) and came home with a ton of cute stuff!
I was able to find some really great plush material in a variety of colors. I found this beautiful turquoise rosette type fabric that I thought would go well with either boy or girl fabrics that I had on hand. (I've bought the rose colored version at Joann Fabrics before, but have never seen other colors aside from pink and white! So I definitely had to snag some of the blue while I had a chance!) The boy truck fabric is also very plush and soft- it's definitely not fleece, but I'm not sure what the name of this type of material is called!
A trip also isn't a success unless I can get my hands on some of my favorite designers! I was able to score some of Amy Butler's Lark print, and some older prints from Heather Bailey's collection! Totally L-O-V-E-ing these something major!
I also found a handful of children's character fabrics that I thought would be a good addition to my collection. I generally don't buy a lot of themed prints unless I get specific orders for them, but sometimes they just call out to me! I love the comic book one, and was actually planning on making B a super hero cape out of it! The last time I purchased this Dr. Seuss print in green, those baby sets flew off the shelves- they make such great unisex gifts! And the Hello Kitty print was one that I hadn't seen before that I thought would be super cute!
Mary Jo's also offers a huge variety of notions! I was able to find fold-over elastic in a ton of different colors! NONE of the local craft shops here carry them (at least not the kind to make hairbands out of!) I've always had to order the colored ones online! So I'm happy to announce I'll be able to make and list some new girls headbands pretty soon!
To cap off my stay in North Carolina, my friend also took me to Hobby Lobby. We don't have any here in the Northern Virginia area, so I had never been to one before! I figured it would be pretty much like a Michaels, or AC Moore, but I was wrong! It was HUGE!! They even had a decent sized fabric section! (I of course didn't buy any more fabric but ONLY because I spent more than I intended to at Mary Jo's!) They also had a ton of home furnishings, which kind of surprised me! I probably could've spent more time there had I actually needed to buy stuff, but just walking around and taking it all in was pretty fun too! I did manage to buy a stainless steel block for metal handstamping! (Hubby was expecting me to come back with a much bigger bag! I think he was quite surprised when I pulled my purchase out of my purse! I'm sure he let out a sigh of relief under his breath, that's for sure!)
Back in September I was given a Birchbox subscription for my birthday from one of my best friends. It was probably one of the funnest gifts I've ever received because for the next six months I'd get a box filled with small beauty samples! When my subscription ran out a few months ago I decided to renew. It's a great membership, especially if you are like me and love to sample new products-I'm such a sucker for new face washes and creams, and makeup- forget about it! In several of my boxes I've received perfume samples, which have been great because I NEVER buy perfume! I can never pick a scent, and when I do decide to buy something, I always get sick of it before I'm even halfway through the bottle! (I've loved my sample of Kate Spade's Twirl!) I've also received several different makeup samples, which is AWESOME! As a stay at home mom, my make-up routine is nearly non-existent! I'm hoping to get out of that rut! My favorites so far have been the Stila Smudge Stick Eyeliner and also the Dior Diorshow Extase Mascara- I cannot get enough of this mascara- seriously, if you are looking for a good mascara, check this out!!
Recently Birchbox added a men's subscription. For my husbands birthday last month I decided to gift him 3 month's worth (since they're still in beta that's all they have available, otherwise I would've done at least 6 month's worth!) The men's boxes are twice the cost of the women's boxes, but they include what they consider "lifestyle" items, so even though there are less things in the box, they are of more value. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the men's box but so far my husband is enjoying it! My husband is definitely a man of routine- he has used the same face wash for as long as I've known him- 7 years! And the only reason why his hair products change is because I'M the one going out and buying it for him! He's gotten two boxes so far and from the first box he LOVED the Billy Jealousy Liquid Sandpaper. I'm always trying to get him to try one of my exfoliators and he's always indifferent about them- but this came and he's used it several times a week! His latest box was a HUGE hit! Nearly everything that came in it he LOVED! The Keratase Anti-Oil Shampoo was a big winner that's for sure- even I loved it! The lifestyle item that came in this box was actually a watch too! I had never heard of these RumbaTime watches before, but it's a pretty neat concept. You can link your ID, credit card info, and health info into your watch so you'll never have to carry your wallet around. (I'm not sure that's something I would do- I'm too paranoid that I'd lose the watch or something!)
Hubby and I couldn't be the only ones getting monthly boxes either! My husband had heard about Citrus Lane, and when he showed it to me, I knew we had to get it for B so he could get his own box of goodies every month! I love how every month there is a different theme, and they'll pick between 4-5 items that are "best of" that are age appropriate. Since we had so many hand-me-downs it's been fun to get brand new things for him every month that he'll enjoy opening without breaking our bank account! The first box we got, I forgot to take a picture, but it was so fun to see B dig into all his new stuff! The theme was Bed and Bathtime Fun, and the box came loaded with a book, stacking bath duck toys, toothpaste, a $15 Ecomom giftcard, and also some Juice Antioxidant Serum for me (love how they throw in a little something for the Moms!)
Anyways, I just wanted to share these boxes because I know a lot of my friends have seen or asked about things they have seen me use and every time I bring up one of these boxes they seem to really intrigued and interested in subscribing! Quite honestly I love that there are so many options out there now with these subscriptions boxes (have you seen Foodzie?! I so want to join this one as well!) I used to look forward to every month when my Food Network Magazine would come in the mail! Now these subscription boxes have taken over our mailbox! I know that when we started our family most of my splurges always went to my son- I'm sure that's typical for most people. I know my husband will always tell me to treat myself to something but I tend to overlook that and end up forgoing a pedicure or haircut. These boxes have been so fun and certainly a treat so when I'm a few weeks behind on a haircut, all I need to do is whip out one of my new fun products and spoil myself at home!
We just got back from Disney last weekend. It was our first trip to Disney- even as kids, neither my husband nor I had ever gone! B's only 13 months, so he wasn't quite sure about all the characters or what was even going on, but it was obvious he had a great time!! We threw all routine (naps, etc) out the window and went with the flow, and he surprisingly did great, and didn't have any meltdowns or anything! It was also his first time on a plane, and he pretty much slept the entire time! (PHEW!! That was our biggest fear, that we would be THAT family, with the crying baby!) We ended up going with my sister and her family, and it was soooo cute watching my niece meet all her favorite princesses!
Just thought I'd share a few pics from our trip! I know it sounds cliche, but it was truly a magical place! We can't wait for B to get a little bit older to go back and for him to truly enjoy the trip!
I heard this for the first time over the weekend, and it's been on repeat since!
When we first moved into our house nearly five years ago, the first thing we wanted to do over was the kitchen! Even though the previous owners had put in granite counters the builder appliances and backsplash was definitely nothing to be desired! In fact, the backsplash was like a thorn in your side! Hubby and I HATED it!! I don't think we would've minded so much if the ENTIRE backsplash was plain old porcelain- but, nooooo, there were some tiles strewn about that had herbs on them!! Since new homeownership can be quite an adjustment, upgrades to the kitchen haven't been as quick as we'd like! A few Christmases ago, we swapped out all the appliances for stainless steel, and for Christmas this year, hubby decided he was going to redo the backsplash HIMSELF! After years and years of watching HGTV and DIY network, he was confident he could do it! In fact, so much so that we didn't even go to just regular old Home Depot or Lowes, but went to a real tile store and picked out everything and upgraded a few things into our design as well! (haha, is that when you know you're an adult, when you don't just settle for what's the most practical, but actually splurge on stuff?!) It took a weekend, but the outcome was PERFECT!! We've been enjoying the look of our new kitchen, and hopefully we'll be able to paint the cabinets this spring so that it'll look more updated too!
i had high hopes for getting lots of new projects started in the upcoming year and adding a lot of new items into the shop! unfortunately since Oct. 2011, i've developed such severe tendonitis-in BOTH my wrists-that a lot of these projects have gone on hold, and sewing has slowed down significantly on my part! i'm able to get about an hour of work done everyday, and that's about as much as i can do without triggering too much pain in my wrists where i won't be paying for it the rest of the day!
for the time being, i am not going to be taking custom orders! (however, you can always shoot me an email and i will give you a timeline on when i could have it done. in the past i've always tried my best to have orders completed within a week to ten days, however i cannot guarantee that right now). right now i'm trying my best to get some accessories and smaller items into the shop, and have a few other smaller items planned that i've been making using my new Silhouette machine! (thanks hubby for my awesome Christmas present!)
and...since i haven't posted any projects lately, thought i'd share some of the items i made for the holidays, either as orders or gifts!