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new-year

Welcome 2009! What a year it has been! And don’t you just love the feeling of a brand-new start? I’m excited to tell you that 2009 has even more wonderful things in store at SWAK! A lot is happening behind the scenes to make it a place where you’ll want to come to time and time again.

I came across this quote the other day and it really made me think. It’s by A. D’Angelo and he said,

“Develop a passion for learning.
If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

Don’t you just love that? I know for myself, I have learned so many new things this past year with my embroidery. By continuing to learn, I know that the possibilities are endless and my passion for creativity will continue to grow. Sometimes I feel like I’m close to mastering a technique, and then I gleam some insight from a good friend, a co-worker, a fellow embroidery enthusiast, and I think, “YES! I’ve got more to learn! Let’s keep playing practicing!”

What have you learned this past year and what is something YOU want to become better at in this new year?

…that yes, indeed, when you got hooked onto machine embroidery, you would want to embroider on just about anything! And how true that is! I remember last summer, one of our SWAK customers, Charlene, sent in this darling picture of a s’more design stitched onto nothing other than a toilet paper roll! What a hoot! I thought, “How in the world did she do that?  How clever…the toilet paper roll resembles a marshmallow!”

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When Debbie of Too Cute Embroidery offered a step-by-step tutorial on how to make this one-of-a-kind, unique project, I jumped on the chance for her to show me how! And now I’m excited to let you know that you can find this free tutorial in the SWAK 101 section of our site! She is also graciously giving this fun Christmas design to you for free as well!

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I had so much fun with this, that I couldn’t help myself… I NEEDED to make a snowman out of toilet paper! What a great conversation starter, a super white-elephant gift, or even a unique way to make sure every room in your house is decorated this season! The design is yours for FREE and can be found in the free section of SWAK.

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What have you seen stitched on toilet paper before? Tell us what you’ve done!

Just got back from the Thanksgiving holiday and lucky me! I stopped by my machine dealer on the way home and…my machine is fixed! Hooray!

Driving home today, this is the picture that was right outside my front car window…

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Oh my! It really is only 26 days left until Christmas! Better get working on those projects! 😉

youcanmakethis_twirlsforgirls22Our 2nd annual “Twirls for Girls” campaign is finally here! I am so giddy because last year it was a huge success, and now this year I just can’t wait to see how many more little doll clothes are made for the Toys for Tots organization! You can find the FREE patterns over at our sister site, www.YouCanMakeThis.com.

And for all of our embroidery enthusiasts, how about add an extra touch of that favorite design of yours to the simple wrap skirt! Oh, I can just imagine how cute those are going to turn out!

It’s such a good feeling to be a part of this. Last year I was able to have my 10-year-old and 8-year-old daughters help me with the sewing of these little skirts. It was an amazing experience working along side of them and seeing their excitement as they knew they were making these for other little girls at Christmas time.

And even more, we’d love to have you help us spread the word about this great cause! You can watch our “Twirls for Girls” video on the product page  over at YCMT or on You-Tube! If you’d like to post the video on your blog, you can find the code on You Tube here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzcYMpsIIdE

My Machine is Down!

Has anyone out there ever experienced getting ready to stitch out that exciting new design you could hardly wait to try out… and then for some reason your machine has gone kerplunk? This happened to me this weekend! I had my fabric hooped and my mommy time-out was available! I turned the machine on, and the carriage would not move. The error on the screen read, “A malfunction occurred. Turn the machine off, then on again.” I did so, and still, no luck.

If you’re like me, you have a list of projects you’re trying to get ready for the holiday season, but this morning my little guy lost a tooth. Perfect time to stitch out a tooth fairy pillow, right? But today that project will have to wait, and my sweet, beloved little machine is going to have to leave my side for a short while!

Here are the fun, new designs I was going to stitch out. It’s our new, “Tooth Fairy Round-Up” and my lil’ cowboy would have loved it.

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Can anyone relate? 🙂

You’ve put hours and hours of time into your craft show. You hope that it will all be worth it.  But make sure you don’t judge your outcome solely on sales at the end of the day. In order to be successful at the show, you must also put some time into planning ways in which you can continue to reach the customers in front of you.  This is how your business will grow in the future.

Read the entire article found in SWAK 101 here.

We want to hear from YOU on the blog!
Blog Question: What ideas have you implemented in order to extend your business beyond the craft fair? What has worked? What has not? What is the best advice you can give someone when they are looking at selling their products?

Your items are all made. You’ve done your research on how to price these treasures you’ve been working on for so long. Now it’s time to get packed up and go! There are some essential and not-so-essential items that you should remember to take with you on the big day. We’ve compiled a checklist here to help you get ready!

You can read the entire article on suggestions of what to bring to the craft fair as well as making a great 1st impression with your customers! View article here.

 

Now we’d love to hear from YOU!

What items do you take with you when selling at a craft fair? Did we leave anything off the list that you would suggest? What other tips do you have for making a great first impression? What has been your experience implementing the suggestions mentioned in the article? Tell us on the blog so we can all learn from one another!