Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pinky Pink Birthday Party - A new variety just for the girls!

This new assortment of Ultimate Party Favors is just what every little girl wants to give to her guests at an over-the-top birthday party. The parents will thank you, too.  Psst: Don't forget to give your princess a  crown!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Treasury Tuesday: for teachers and for spring

It looks like buyers are beginning to think about spring!  We've been thinking about spring here in the workshop for weeks, and we are ready!  Today as I post this, there are 13 turkeys outside my window scratching around in the leftover snow. I think they are ready for spring, too.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you to our loyal customers, new and returning, for making 2010 a fabulous year :)

This farmhouse is where we, Those Greathouse Women, create. The studio is on the left, with the little stairway leading up to it. This is the house where I grew up, where my mother has always created, and where my children can now be inspired to create. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sharing Awesome Collections just got a lot easier!

Etsy is cool. Yes, most of us know that, but really it cannot be said enough. One of those neat things that makes Etsy unique is a feature called the Treasuries. The creation and execution of a treasury has morphed over the years, but the anatomy remains the same: member-curated collections of awesomeness. Treasuries used to be hard to create, as there were only allowed to be a limited number at any given time. Back in those days, it was very exciting to learn that one of your items was featured - equaling free advertising and exposure. These days, there is an unlimited number of Treasuries (meaning your chances are improved of having an item chosen to share space in one), but I still get excited when it happens to me :)

A website called CraftCult has now made it easy for me to share with you every time I am featured in a treasury. They create a pretty little linkable widget that I can post in my blog to share with my readers! Thank you to CraftCult, an incredibly useful site for Etsy sellers.

CraftCult reports that Those Greathouse Women has an item featured in 81 treasuries at the moment. Enjoy the few I have shared with you here, and have a very Merry Christmas this weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So many ideas, so little time!

I come up with about 10 new ideas every day, but only a few make it all the way to the end of the production line... Here are a few of the lucky ones:

A beautiful butterfly! Inspired by the fabric and beginning to think about spring, my mom and I collaborated to create this stunning 3D insect! The wings are sewn, turned, quilted, and securely sewn to the base of the window. Don't worry (safety first!), the window is a separate sewing stage, so the integrity of the window is intact (no matter how hard your child pulls on the wings). I love this new design! Check out the butterfly listing on Etsy to see more photos.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed! This cute little grey squirrel has been in my mind for weeks. He has an extra large viewing window and is really soft. I made the pattern awhile ago, but I couldn't find the right fabric. I'm not sure the grey is perfect (a little boring?), but I knew he needed to be fully realized whether I had it all figured out or not. I'll keep my eye out for the right fabric next time. Squirrels are very often brown where I come from (southern Indiana), but in Michigan (where I lived for many years until recently) they were often black. I know that grey squirrels are pretty common elsewhere.... maybe I should make mine pink or something just to cover all my bases? You can see more pictures of my little grey squirrel here on Etsy.

Sly cuddly fox! Isn't he cute? The tail is an appliqued piece of ivory fleece, and I free-styled with my machine the embroidery for his head and face. Perhaps I will make his nose a bit smaller on the next version, but I'm pretty happy overall. I've had this particular fabric for years - it took awhile to speak to me (thanks, mom!).

Hoot owls! One in brights, the other in naturals (well, if you consider plaid natural). I've sold a couple of pink owls so far, and have it listed again on Etsy. The original plaid owl sold, and I haven't yet remade it because I think the pattern needs some tweaking. Don't you think he would be cuter a little fatter? Oh yes. Fat is naturally cuter than skinny. Did I just say that? Hoot!

Last but not least - this clever little lady bug inspired by a dear friend's request for her ladybug birthday girl. The wings completely open to reveal the viewing window underneath. She even has little legs sewn into the seams. I have yet to make another one, but I'm sure I'll get around to it before spring is in full swing. Until then, you can see more pictures of it by viewing the sold listing on Etsy.

What is in the works, you ask? Well, I'm working out the kinks on a turtle for spring, and of course my pink and chocolate bunnies will be reappearing as we near Easter in just a few short months...

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Mississippi Children's Museum - revisited

The past 8 weeks have been filled with red fleece.  My sewing machine is literally stained pink!  Why? The story begins several years ago when the Mississippi Children's Museum approached me about designing a custom I Spy Bag as a fundraising tool. I happily obliged by creating an incredible rocket ship modeled after the museum's logo.  The label was customized with their information and each trinket inside represented a different exhibit at the museum.  After several years of planning and development, the museum has become a reality and will be celebrating its grand opening this fall!  The museum ordered enough I Spy Bags to present one to every guest at their grand opening reception this week.  What an honor, and what a relief to have such a large order under my belt and out the door.

A very special thanks to the Mississippi Children's Museum!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And Miles To Go Before I Sleep.

I often think of this poem by Robert Frost as I sew into the late hours long after my children have snuggled into bed. This time of year is especially filled with large wholesale orders and custom requests, and I tire of sewing the same thing over and over and over again.  My machine catches and I realize that once again my thread has run out and I wonder how many miles my needle has traveled across the fabric.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp

I, Jaime of Those Greathouse Women, pledge to participate in the Etsy Success Holiday Boot Camp to the best of my abilities. I vow to check in every week, do my homework and support my fellow Holiday Boot Campers. I will read the weekly newsletters and blog posts, check in on the weekly forum thread, read the weekly blog post, check off the checklists and salute the mascot. I promise to share what I've learned with those who need it, support my fellow Etsy indiepreneurs and, most of all, have a positive and persistent attitude. I understand that together we can spread the word about our handmade and vintage goods, making this holiday season a more unique and meaningful one to gift givers and give-ees everywhere!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Waiting... and the blackbirds have arrived!

Agh!  I'm still waiting to receive a new cord for my camera so that I can download pictures to my computer.  I can't list anything new!  Since Halloween is upon us, I decided to use my iPhone to take photographs of my blackbird I Spy Bags so they could go ahead and make an appearance.  The photographs have been edited to an inch within their lives in Photoshop, but I think it gets the idea across.  As soon as my new cord arrives, I'll take new beautiful pictures, I promise!

In the meantime, check 'em out!  Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Now we're cookin'!

Those Greathouse Women's studio is in full swing!  Dedicated shipping area, check. Dedicated photographing area, check. Dedicated sewing table, check. Dedicated cutting table, check!  There is even a dedicated counter for sorting trinkets and a computer desk.  Wow!  It sounds bigger and better than it actually is, but my mom and I have made creative use of the space and left no area unused. We probably won't be featured in Where Women Create, but at least we will be able to get A LOT of work done and have some elbow room to dance around if we wish.  You never know when the fancy might strike.

Unfortunately, I am unable at the moment to find the cable that connects my camera to my computer, so we are out of luck on pictures.   Hmph.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Coming along slowly but still moving

I'm up to FIVE items posted now. The best news is they are actually out of the box and ready to ship to you. I had a sale yesterday. It blows my mind that I already had a sale literally hours after my shop re-opened, and I didn't even "relist" to get to the top of the pile! Today, I reactivated a few that were about to expire, so I went ahead and relisted them. POW! I've already had views and more hearts on those items. Etsy has better traffic than I remember... has something changed? Whatever it is, I am thrilled and it motivates me to keep moving and unpacking.

Three boxes made it to the unpacking floor today. It was mostly fabric that went straight into my refinished shelves, but I did find some more trinkets (I have more?) and some vintage flowers. I suspect the flowers will make their way to eBay shortly... Maybe a few on Etsy, but they seem to sell better on eBay. I also found my lightbox (yippee!), but my dedicated photographing space is filled up with boxes right now... Another day, another day...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Not exactly a grand entrance, but present none-the-less!

So. I have moved. Ah, life on the farm. The kids are enjoying it (as am I), but my studio is a crazy assortment of half-packed boxes, homeless design books and freshly painted shelving to house my yet-unpacked fabric. I am here... finding my way!

I officially re-opened the shop today. I have a whole TWO items listed right now. I know I have about 20 or so designs made, but not knowing what box they are in makes me nervous! Tonight my sewing machine will come out of its hiding place and land front and center on a cleared off sewing table. It is calling to me! Yesterday I found my thread, and my mom came over to help unpack trinkets. Finally, the new space is coming together and I can finally start production of my new fall line.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


My husband is being transferred to Indiana in June! Although we have been waiting for this transfer for many years, the news is still a bit bittersweet as we say goodbye to the friends we've made here in Metro Detroit.

This is especially exciting news for Those Greathouse Women since I will finally be able to share a studio space with my mother – be prepared for the creative juices to really start flowing!

I won't be listing anything new until we have settled after the move, but check out the shop for my last remaining stock!

Look for a fresh new line of fall products to appear near the end of summer!

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and support through this especially hectic time…

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Challenge

The end of last year had me drowning in business, and I lost a bit of the thrill of making things. Over Christmas, my mom had a great idea to challenge me each week with a surprise artifact/miniature/antique. I'm scaling back a bit to enjoy more time with my family, keep things interesting, and liven up my creative side. I sincerely appreciate all of my customers in 2009, but I need a break!

My mom (so clever) sent me a box filled with tiny wrapped and numbered packages. She enclosed this card: The Challenge: Open one box every Friday. Create a story animal by the next Thursday.

Item #1 is a tiny pencil. Tiny and red - the lead is only about 1 mm thick (the entire pencil is only about an inch long!). I've had bunnies on the brain with Easter coming up, so a rabbit is likely... Check back on Friday to see what I have made!