Friday, July 17, 2009

Keeping up

Debra from Monnie Bean's Folk Art asked how I keep up with keeping ahead of the seasons.

It's not always easy and I work differently from a lot of designers and crafters. As many of you know, I advertise in Country Sampler magazine and the ads must be placed 6 months before the issue reaches the news stands. Because I have to make items to send in for the advertising, I always make at least one extra of each item. If I'm not tremendously busy filling orders at the time, I mentally stay in that season long enough to cut out and do the machine sewing on at least a dozen items for that same season. I might get a few finished but my goal is simply to start them. That way when it's closer to the right time to finish them....I have a huge head start and it seems almost easy!

During the last 10 days, I finished 2 witches and 4 pumpkin people and I still have several scarecrows, a wizard, and 3 more witches started BUT I have to wait to finish them because......

I have to have 3 items to finish for a Country Sampler ad so they're ready to mail by July 25th. These are for the Dec/Jan issue so I'm planning on an angel and 2 snowmen. I'll be working on them this weekend and as soon as they're done, I want to cut out clothing for some of the 11 Santa bodies I have finished and sitting naked in a box in my studio. I made some of these bodies back in January, 2 in February, and the rest when I was making the dolls for my Oct/Nov (which is the Christmas issue) Country Sampler ad. As soon as the clothing is made..I'll go right back to Halloween (because that's the next holiday), get the started items finished and 8 to 10 more cut out and the machine sewing done....then I'll switch gears again and get the Santas dressed. Why do I jump back and forth? It seems less like production sewing when I do that. I've also noticed I dress them more creatively when I don't do them all at one time.

How do I work on Christmas and Winter items when it's so hot outside? I have several tricks. My studio is air conditioned but before it was--I'd turn on 2 window fans on opposite sides of the room--both directed at me. I'd tuck an ice cube in my bra and I kept a bowl of cold water and a wash cloth handy to wipe my face...often. I was chilly enough to believe it was winter. Playing Christmas music and even having a Christmas tree nearby help a lot too.

The snowman and lady in the photo are made from a felted wool sweater (remember when your favorite wool sweater got tossed into the washing machine by mistake?). I've just listed them at Country Fried Primitives. Hope this answers some of those questions and feel free to ask more.......It helps when I don't know what to write about!


  1. Lucy, I can't help it, I'm still giggling about the ice cube!!!
    Thank you for all of this-my head was spinning with all the flurry of activity in your studio, but mine is starting to be like that too. I like the Christmas tree idea.
    Thanks so much-this was a lot of fun to read, and thank you for the link. You are a real sweetie.

  2. Just in case you don't have room for that Christmas tree........hang it by it's trunk from the ceiling. My mom did that in her business one year and sure is interesting. Lucy