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Thursday, September 29, 2011

"...explore, reclaim, or recharge your creative potential"

Product Description

Craft, Inc. is the hipster business primer for entrepreneurial crafters to turn what they do for fun into what they do for money. Pro crafter Meg Mateo Ilasco offers a step-by-step guide to everything from developing products and namingthe company to writing a business plan, applying for licenses, and paying taxes. Chapters on sales, marketing, trade shows, and publicity round out the mix. Plus, in-depth interviews with such craft luminaries as Jonathan Adler, Lotta Jansdotter, Denyse Schmidt, and Jill Bliss provide inspiration and practical advice. Accessible, informative, and more than a little spunky, Craft, Inc. paves the way for today's creative minds to become tomorrow's trendsetters.

About the Author

Meg Mateo Ilasco is a designer, writer, and illustrator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was in grad school when she started designing wedding invitations for extra money, but the demand for her distinctive designs was so great that she eventually made the business full-time. Her company then expanded into stationery and accessories, and was featured on NBC's Today and in publications such as The Knot and Islands: Weddings and Honeymoons. She has since sold that business and is launching an eponymous housewares and gift company, Mateo Ilasco ( Meg is the author of You Can Wear It Again and The Space Planner, both published by Chronicle Books.
The above text was copied from, in the product description and about the author of the book I am going to blog about today.
I found this book one day while working the "real" job I had ~ we were on our lunch break and went into Borders and it was like the book just jumped off the shelf into my hands. I opened the book to a random spot and read "...explore, reclaim or recharge you creative potential." I started to continue flipping through the pages and reading a sentence or two here and there and decided I had to buy it.
I am halfway through it as of right now, but it is amazing ~ very down-to-earth tons of real-life experiences and stories and practical advice. The section I am about to start reading concerns pricing and guideline in sales. This has been something I have always struggled with and I cannot wait to get some extra help with it. I have already received advice in several business related areas (business plans, deciding whether or not to actually pursue this as a business, etc), and the information while a little vague is extremely informational.
I wanted to take business management classes to help me better manage the business aspects and it just isn't affordable for us to do so right now, so this has been the next best thing for me. It is wrote so that anyone of any basic education can read and understand and it can be applied to any craft related business.
I highly recommend this book to anyone currently in a WAH business, thinking about starting a WAH business or just want to turn your hobby into a way to make a little money. There is even a section on patterns and fabrics and copyrights.
Craft, Inc. is a great resource and a book that I will keep handy in my studio's library. I can't wait to see what other information I will learn as I finish reading the book.
The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Rewind ~ Highlights from Our Weekend

Since we missed last week ~ we are going to combine a little from both weekends here, as there was this cutie of a applique ribbon lovie I just had to share. I remember the day they posted The Hungry Caterpillar fabric on ~ I about DIED...I loved that book as a child, and even now as a adult. It is just a classic and I just had to make some of my remaining fabric from our tote bag lining into this ribbon lovie. My search was on to find a cute caterpillar applique that I could use and I found this one at Planet Applique.

We LOVE making the animal lovies ~ it is so much fun to take these beanie babies and make them into a cuddly blanket for any child to enjoy. We haven't made any in a while with everything else we are trying to accomplish before our fall craft shows, but it was nice to create this monkey pluffie animal lovie. Not only is the blanket super soft, but so is the little monkey!!

Another wonderful time in the world of applique ~ we are gearing up for the holidays and I just had to try out this snowflake applique with some cute snowflake fabric one of the ladies in my church gave me. I decided it needed some embroidery below the snowflake and wanted to make it as gender neutral as possibly so "Snow Baby" it was. My oldest LOVES the snow and asks for it all year long. This will be the first year my son will like it (or if he likes it that is), and the baby's first real winter she can go play in the snow.

FINALLY ~ we have completed our Tooth Fairy Pillow. I've been working on these for a while now trying to get them introduced and make some use with out embroidery machine ~ this was the first thing I had embroidered and then set aside to finish for later...well now later has come. We can now make custom tooth fairy pillows, as well as, offer them in our regular inventory. I was so excited to get these out so everyone can see them. We look forward to making many more and in a wide varitey of fabrics, even though I am still having trouble finding "tooth" fabric. Thining I may just need to buy some dentist scrub tops and cut them apart.

I hope everyone has an exciting week and stays safe. Enjoy the change in seasons and take every moment for what it is worth. You never know when your world may drastically change.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Just for Us Ladies ~ Making the Monthly Cycle A Little Better

About a month ago we opened a tester program ~ our first "large scale" product testing for a new item. The items is our mama cloths or cloth menstrual pads. It is something I learned about a year ago now and after much debate finally decided I would take a try at making some and developing a good pattern and product.

I have made and still make reusable nursing pads and cannot tell you the emense amount of money we saved with those (I had over active let down and leaked terribly sometimes), so why not continue the "green" process with reusable pads.

Our pads are a 100% organic bamboo flannel top and backing (which is OH SO SOFT), had a bamboo batting core and a layer of PUL. Fabrics were prewashed in Tide (the free and clear ~ no dyes or perfumes detergent). And then sewn together with 100% polyester thread. The core is sewn to the top layer of flannel around the outside edge of the core and then down the center of the core. This is to prevent bunching. They are finished with a snap to secure them around the underwear. The snaps are placed roughly the center of each wing.

The tester pads are recommended (in my opinion) for light-regular flow days. I would not recommend the tester mama cloths for overnight use, but they may work just fine for heavy flow days. I would love it if there is one of our testers out there willing to try them on heavy flow days and overnight.

They should be machine wash cold and then air or line dry. They can be machine dried on a very low setting though. With each order is a sample of Ruby Moon's Moonlight Pomengrante Mama Cloth Detergent. We look forward to working with Lyndsay at Ruby Moon to provide our mama cloth orders with a sample of her detergent and maybe even one day wholesale her detergent with our mama cloths ~ should the testers be a success.

We will look at selling them in sets ~ should the testers be a success (keeping that in mind here). The sets would be a 3, 5 and 7 pad set with a wet bag and sample of Ruby Moon's mama cloth detergent.

To all our testers ~ please remember to leave us feedback here on our blog. We would love to know what you think (both good and bad) in a respectful manner ofcourse. We would also love your suggestions for improvement should you feel they need some in one area or another.

Thank you so much once again to all those who signed-up to test our mama cloths and for patiently waiting for their arrival.

For all those interested ~ keep your eyes posted for the reviews on our items. We will accept orders once we start receiving some feedback to know if and where we need to make changes/adjustments. As I did make this pattern myself.

Have a wonderful day,
The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Off to the Market ~ 2011 Season

 This year, I had the amazing opportunity to not only shop at, but being a vendor at the Mineral Farmer's Market. The market itself is open May through October every year. I was there about once a month (minus this October, as we are booked with craft shows already), and while there were always the regular vendors, there was always someone new each time I was there. Below is a picture of a mural painted on the building where the market is located (in the field). There is also a church next to it as well, that has a bell tower which plays some of the most beautiful music I have heard!

 I purchased some WONDERFUL homemade salsa and tortilla chips ~ I can't stand to even eat store bought ones now, except out of desperation. I also met some terrific people and made new friendships. I got to meet a lot of people from my community as well ~ that was the best part!

 One of my favorite and most unique vendors I met at the market was Mundy Spoon Works. They make (by hand, I may add) a variety of wooden cooking untensils. They also accept custom orders. The quality of work is spectacular and the prices are great as well! Here is one of their items ~ the cookie spatula!

Another wonderful food item I was able to experience this year (never heard of it until this summer either) is wine jelly! Okay I don't drink a lot, but if I had my choice to drink anything, I would drink wine over anything else. So when I saw these jellies, I said "Oh, I have to get me one of these!" All the alcohol is cooked out in the process, so you are left with nothing but the flavor of the wine and a little sugar. My pick was White Zifandel Wine Jelly ~ and I LOVE IT. It is my breakfast treat to help me start the morning right sometimes. Not too sweet, but all the flavor of a great White Zifandel!

It was a very exciting time for us at the market ~ not forgetting all the wonderful veggies and breads we've bought so far too!

I look forward to being a vendor again at the Mineral Famer's Market in the 2012 season ~ it is always great to shop local and met those in your own community. I hope everyone looks and shops from their local farmer's market ~ if there isn't one in your area, look for one in a town near you, you'd be amazed at what you will find there.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Few Loose Ends

Going to tie up a few loose ends on here, that were posted earlier today and a little while ago on FB and some people prefer their terms and conditions to be posted on a blog as well, so there is always a record (FB sometimes moves things around or they go missing too).

Here is our shipping policy and information:

Where will you ship to?
Continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, United Kingdom and APO Addresses.

Do you offer local pick-up?
Yes, there is always the option of picking up from our home, a craft show we will be at, the Farmer's Market, or meeting in our surrounding area (within reason and scheduling ~ our oldest is in school).

What shipping services do you offer?
We normally use United States Postal Service since we use paypal to receive payment we can print our shipping labels through there as well and there is an e-mail sent automatically with the tracking number to the recipient. We can use UPS as well, just depends on the weight of the package.

What are your shipping costs?
Our shipping will vary based on item and location. However, we only charge actual shipping (within a dollar at most). Most of our items will ship for $5.00 or less by themselves. We do combine shipping for multiple items.

Next issue to discuss is our money order acceptance policy which is listed below:


Due to the number of money order scams out there we now have this policy in place for accepting your money order.

We will only accept WalMart and United States Postal Service money orders ~ we would also appreciate them being sent certified mail or something kind of confirmation of delivery. This is to protect your money and its arrival to us so we may complete your order.
We will not purchase any materials or complete any orders paid by money order until they have cleared successfully. This is to protect us.

I hope this doesn't create too many issues for our customers, but we want everyone's money protected and well we'd love to ship anywhere you'd like us too, but sometimes that shipping expense can cause a problem.

May everyone have a wonderful day!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weekend Rewind ~ Highlights from Our Weekend

Yesterday was a little hectic here, as we were dealing with a family crisis of a sort. And Monday was also my little girl's first day at "the new school." She had been out of school for 3 weeks due to the earthquakes and needless to say we were all a little nervous about her being back in school. She was 100% ready and excited, so I am guessing the anxiety was all on us.

Anyway, here is a little recap on some of the items we made with love over this past weekend. First I am going to start with the shopping cart cover we made. I think it is just the neatest and cutest idea out there and this is for a little one that we made a car seat cover (same top material) and a quilt (coordinating panel) for. I redesigned our car seat covers about a month or two ago so that they could not only be reversible, but receive more use. They are now able to fit over restaurant high chairs too!

Another item we completed, which has really opened our market up to the adult arena has been our tote bags. Now yes, some of them also make really cute and wonderful diaper bags, but the one in particular I am going to highlight is a tote bag designed for direct sales consultants. This tote bag was created to represent Wildtree products, which are healthy and natural cooking and meal related products. I haven't tried any yet, but as I was looking through the catalog, there are many things I am looking forward to experiencing and using to help create healthier meals for my family.

The last item I am going to show is one of my newer and favorite little "green" items. We had the blog posting about our trash bag testers and the name that product contest and we got such a wonderful review of the one, so we decided it would be a great thing to make more. So this is our first "boy" one, as it seems I always start with the girly patterns (I have two girls, what can I say?).

I hope you enjoy this little recap ~ and please feel free to share any comments (As always), we love hearing from our readers and fans! I am off to the shower and then adding some more photos in our LCPS Disaster Relief Auction on our FB Fan Page, if you'd like to help sponsor please let us know (

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

"As they had lived and died" ~ 10th Anniversary of 9-11 Attacks

I can hear you say now "Jessica, you are like 3 days late on this posting," but truth is I started this actually a week before the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. I didn't want to rehash the events of that day, as I know nearly everyone old enough to remember, can remember the images and feelings of that day, just like it was 5 minutes ago.

I will say to this day, I still feel the same way concerning them as I did then. I still hold the same feeling of shock, saddness and the overwhelming power to do something. Now my doing something then was being a part of a Seach and Rescue team that assisted at the Pentagon, it was also enlisting in the US Army once I graduated high school and now it is supporting other firefighters and EMS providers that experienced the tragedy first hand and being there for them on each anniversary and any day that they need the emotional support.

So what I want to focus on is the 9-11 memorial that is in place, and opened to the public yesterday. I have been reading and watching and learning about this memorial and think that it is just an amazing way to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives on that day, but also celebrate their lives too.

Here is a quote from the 9-11 memorial webpage about how the names were arranged on the memorial.

"Memorial designer Michael Arad explains that the design concept “allows us to place the names of those who died that day next to each other in a meaningful way, marking the names of family and friends together, as they had lived and died." The names on the Memorial are arranged in a way that reflects the lives of the individuals they represent: their relationships with other victims, the companies they worked for, and where they were on 9/11."

How unqiue of a way to do such a memorial?! This next quote from the website had me in tears ~ families can find their loved ones so easily and meet other families who were impacted with the lost of a loved one who was directly associated with their family member. I think this will help create a tighter unity an support system for all the survivors and families across the country and world.

"Within those groupings are affiliations, many that correspond to companies. While affiliation names will not be inscribed on the Memorial, the names of victims from the same affiliations (for example, the names of employees and visitors to a company, or the members of each flight crew) will be together.

In the first responders section, names are arranged according to agency (for example, the New York City Fire Department) and unit (for example, Engine 10), as confirmed by the agencies. Both agencies and units have raised letter headings on the Memorial.

As part of the 9/11 Memorial’s official names verification process completed in 2009, victims’ next-of-kin made specific requests for names to appear adjacent to their loved one’s name (“adjacency requests”). Some of these requests were for relatives, friends, and colleagues; others were for loved ones to be listed with people they may have barely known or just met, but with whom intense bonds were quickly formed as a result of shared response. Over 1,200 of these requests were made and all are reflected on the Memorial. In fact, these requests drive the ordering the groupings on around the Memorial pools, the affiliations within them, and in many places, the placement of the names themselves."

Isn't that amazing?! I was very fortunate that I did not lose anyone directly related or very close to me in these events. My father was actually suppose to be at the WTCs that day and because of other family issues those plans were cancelled. All I can say is God works in such a way we will never fully understand (and sometimes, I don't think I want to either).

Every time I think about the terrorist attacks or the events their after I always hear the song "God Bless America" in my head and sometimes even sing it out loud. I cope through music ~ always have and probably always will. It is my life (yes, there is more to it than sewing believe it or not) and helps me get through the darkest of days out there.

I hope that this posting brings a new aspect on the events of September 11th, 2001 than just the images and phone recordings and the trauma that the media promotes each year.

If your family did something special to commemorate the anniversary, I would love to hear about it. We were at church, and our church was actually celebrating their 198th anniversary on Sunday, so we were doing that, but Saturday at my local Farmer's Market we had a special prayer from a speaker that belongs to the church across the street from the market and a moment of silence.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekend Rewind ~ Highlights from Our Weekend

We are going to be starting something new ~ on Mondays we will do a littler overcap of some projects and orders completed over the weekend. Just in case you missed it, but also to highlight some of the new things we work on.

This weekend, we completed a few car seat covers ~ this safari animals one being my absolute favorite! It is a baby gift and I can't wait to see how much she loves it!

Also we worked on some new applique shirts and onesies ~ this one is also my favorite applique onesie to date! I LOVE frogs (ever since I was little) and it is just too cute not to share with all of you. This is for a little baby on the way (due anyday).

Another wonderful and going green item we made is our popular reusable snack bags. These are my daughter's favorite item we make and well one of the best creations I think we have towards saving our conserving our planet.

Ofcourse, we worked on several more things besides these ~ but it is just a littler highlight of some of the orders we completed and new items available for purchase. Hoep everyone has enjoyed their labor day weekend (that had it off) and we appreciate all of those who have to work 365 days out of the year. Having worked in healthcare for many years, I understand how it feels to never have a day off.

Wishing everyone a terrific day!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique