Happy Me Made May! That time of year when your crafty friends flood your feed with selfies. Hopefully that pleases and inspires you. If not, you may want to find something else to do for the next 31 days.
If you'll recall, last year I participated for the first time and it was so successful in motivating me to sew more wearable garments that I doubled the size of my handmade wardrobe! I'm excited to join again this year and, although I still don't have enough pieces to wear handmade every day, I have some lofty goals.
I'm always been really intimidated by knits, even though I love to wear them, so I've decided to face that fear head-on and only sew with knits this month. I'm hoping to make a couple t-shirts, leggings and a maxi dress.
I'm also promising to kick-start the blog again and post all the makes I haven't written about since I fell out of the blogosphere last year. Better find that tripod.
Finally, I pledge to wear handmade as often as I can and to supplement with vintage or repurposed the rest of the time. Let's hope that the weather warms up soon, so I can break out my sundresses.
You can follow along with my progress on Instagram and all the other people participating by checking out the hashtag #mmmay16.
Let's do this!
I've been struggling to write this post for so long. But now I've started to tell people in person and it's stalling some other projects... so today is the day. Time to take a deep breath and rip off the band-aid.
I'm stepping away from my business.
There. I said it. No take-backs.
I came to this conclusion at some point last year, although I've been thinking about it for much longer. There are a lot of reasons. Six years of reasons. And, as as any business owner will tell you, those reasons are confusing and complicated. Why else do you think it's taken me so long to put into words.
What it all boils down to is this: I'm just not excited about what I'm making anymore.
You know what happens when you're not proud of what you're doing and you keep soldiering on? Bitterness and negativity with a side of guilt and shame. Don't talk to that lady at the craft show. Ha!
I wouldn't say I'm quitting. Quit is such a dirty word. I've always thought that a creative hiatus sounded like a dreamy concept. So let's call it that.
Basically, I'm taking a break to explore some projects and processes I've been wanting to pursue since I started down this crazy entrepreneurial path. And to give them the time and patience they deserve. I deserve. I feel the need to step up creatively -- study textile design, printmaking and pattern drafting and build my sewing skills. If something in there sparks another business, great. But if not, that's cool too. It's time I take the pressure off myself for a little while and just make things.
What does this all mean for Dear Edna as you know it?
My Etsy shop will remain open, at least for the time being, while I still have product on my shelves to sell. In fact, I just updated the shop with a bunch of new items! What I won't be doing is re-creating. So if there is something in my shop right now that you have had your eye on, don't hesitate to snap it up, because it is very likely that I will never make it again.
So that's the plan, Stan. I'm sure it will be a journey full of ups and downs, as with anything, but it should be interesting, at least. I hope you'll join me for the ride!
Guess what today is? Five weeks until Christmas!
Don't worry. It took me by surprise too. Good news is, the holiday section of my Etsy shop is back and full of all my favourite festive aprons, tea cosies and wine bags. Perfect hostess gifts... just sayin'.
Now, if you are thinking of gifting something from Dear Edna this year (and I hope you are), there are some things to keep in mind, like shipping deadlines — they're fast approaching. I've put together a handy list of FAQs below to help you out.
Will my order arrive in time for Christmas?Place your online order by the following dates and it should arrive by December 25th. But nothing is guaranteed when it comes to Canada Post.
To Canada... Dec. 10
To USA... Dec. 8
To International... Nov. 30th
For custom or made-to-order pieces, add another 5 business days.
Shoot! I've missed the deadline. What now?
Don't panic. Express shipping is available. Please contact me for a quote.
If you noticed the deadline had passed after you placed your order, you have 3 options: upgrade to express shipping, cross your fingers and hope the Canada Post elves are working overtime, or cancel your order. For options 1 and 3, let me know as soon as possible (within 24 hours) — if I've already shipped your order, you're out of luck.
I live in Hamilton. Can I pick up my order?
Local customers are welcome to pick up their orders right up until Dec. 23rd and I will refund the shipping cost. Please contact me for details.
Can I get this larger/smaller/embroidered?
Custom requests are always welcome, but keep in mind that Christmas is my busiest time of year, so it may not be possible. And note that you must add 5 business days to the shipping deadlines above.
Do you provide gift wrapping?
Every order is wrapped in snowflake tissue paper and secured with decorative washi tape. If your order is being shipped directly to the recipient, I'd be happy to include a hand-written note on a paper doily.
Yes! I will be participating in two craft shows in Hamilton this holiday season, The Beehive Craft Collective's Winter Craft Fair on November 28th and 29th at Mills Hardware and Handmade Hamilton on December 12th at the Staircase Theatre. I hope to meet you there!
Can I place an order and pick it up at the show?
Anything else on your mind? Just ask!
Now go grab a cup of peppermint cocoa and shop your little festive heart out!
This Saturday, 33 cities across Canada will be hosting Etsy: Made in Canada pop-up shows. This little business of mine never would have happened without Etsy, so I'm super excited to be a part of this event, celebrating Etsy and all the amazing local artists you can find there. I'll be at the Burlington location, which you can find out more about here. I hope to see you there!
Everyone talks about how much moving sucks. And it does. It really, really does. Especially when you have to do it in torrential rain. But what no one talks about is what it's like to move into a 100-year-old house for the first time. Well, that's exactly what I did this summer. And it was an adjustment, to say the least. There's a lot of getting to know each other happening in those first few months, and we seem to like to learn the hard way (ahem). But we're getting there, slowly but surely. Patience is the name of the homeowner game, I'm learning. Check back in another three months, OK?
Now before you start to think I'm a condo-spoiled, whinging brat, let me tell you that in between the unpacking, fixing, shopping, and bat chasing (eek), we managed to carve out some time to enjoy the summer as much as we could. There was the Panam Games, outdoor concerts, lots of entertaining, and plenty of reading in our lush backyard.
But it still felt like the new old house was hijacking our summer, so we decided to leave it behind and take off on a week-long roadtrip to Cleveland and Pittsburgh! It's a goal of ours to visit all the rust belt cities, so this gave us the opportunity to knock a couple more off our list.
It was also in a perfect location: in the same building as a great coffee shop, across the street from a tea shop and cool bar, and a brunch-themed flea market filled the street on the Sunday that we were there! Browsing vintage and handmade while sipping on mimosas and snacking on oysters... could you ask for anything more on vacation?
On to Pittsburgh. What a stunning city. I mean, look at that waterfront. Mike had already been once before, so we spent most of our time away from the downtown, walking the Shadyside and Lawrenceville neighbourhoods. Butler St. was the highlight for me, full of boutiques, restaurants and bars, but it's loooong. We tackled it in three exhausting trips, so make sure you wear your walking shoes or be prepared to get friendly with Uber.
Happy hour was alive and well in Cleveland, so aside from one amazing Thai meal, our diet consisted mainly of samples, saving our culinary splurges for Pittsburgh.
If you're planning a visit, I highly recommend Cure, Butcher and the Rye and Teppanyaki Kyoto for dinner; Coca Cafe for breakfast; and Tender and the Wigle distillery for the hard stuff.
Back on the home front, sewing has been a challenge this summer. Our new house has a fantastic attic space that was super excited to work in, but I soon discovered that, in the dead of summer, was a sauna. With half my stuff in the attic and half in the spare bedroom, I managed to crank out two big wedding quilts in August (more detailed posts on those to come).
I also started working on the Carolyn Friedlander Collection Quilt as part of Needlework's quilt along this summer. It's a more modern design than I usually go for, but I think it'll make a beautiful wall-hanging and I'm excited to experiment with colour and learn some new applique techniques. I'm on block 3 of 9 and loving it so far!
So that's pretty much my summer in a nutshell. Moving, road-tripping and quilting. Not too shabby. What did you get up to this summer?
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It's sure been a beautiful one here in Hamilton and the city has been buzzing with fun events. I've been super busy getting our new house in order ever since we moved, and my workroom is still in boxes, but when the cute boutique at the end of my street asked me to be part of their Summer Pop Up this Saturday, I couldn't say no. They're going to have vendors set up on both the street and in the shop, plus an espresso bar serving hot and cold drink, and live music. I hope you'll stop by and say hello!
205 King St. W.
I made a bunch of new zipper pouches and tea cosies for HandMade Market and I just updated my shop with the few that I brought home. I've experimented with some patchwork design and even vintage fabrics. Have a look and let me know what you think!