Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

A creative break from making clutches.

Sometimes you just need a break from making clutches.  As wonderful and exciting as finding new fabrics and the creative process, once you do it for a living, just like all things, you need a break some times.  One of my customers reminded me of that when she commented on a blog post that she was getting back into making clutches after taking a much-needed break.

Speaking of finding new fabrics, look what I just got.  I’m working on some new patterns right now.  It’s a lot of refinement, but I’ll get there.

blue, white, green fabric

Beautiful fabrics in blues, greens, and whites.

Oh, do you guys remember me mentioning about this amazing fabric below?  This is a skirt.  For a 20-year-old.  I’m not 20.

blue sequins skirt

NO way am I getting into this! Maybe – maybe – 20 years ago. That’s a big maybe.

Well, I had envisioned this on me, but as a cross-body clutch.  Here’s a preview below.  I’ll post about this soon to come.

blue sequins clutch

Much better!

This clutch is a hit with all my friends especially with summer coming up.  I still have some more of this fabric and will be working with it to make an 8-inch clutch.  Oh what was my point?

With fabric strewn about the house while designing and pieces of thread hanging from my *ss, I just needed a break.  Obviously my mind is quite loud and disorganized — unorganized (?) – so I needed a break.

I really encourage that – taking a break.  When I take a break, it usually involves any or all of my 3 kids.  Can’t just leave them at home to fend for themselves… not for another 8 years!  🙂  A lot of my breaks from work involve traveling.  And you know that while we spend our money on having experiences (through travel) and not through accumulating things, vacations are spendy.  So a cheap mental break for me that I also have found to ramp up my creative juices is painting figurines with my daughter.  It costs me a dollar — one dollar — per figurine for some creative bliss.  In the moments that I paint, I cannot focus on anything else but the painting itself.  All the other noises seem to fade.  It takes me many hours to finish one figurine, so I get to stretch my dollar even farther — further (?)!  (Grammar Police can feel free to comment below.)  I usually paint for a 45-minute stretch.  That’s all I have time for, but it’s still 45 minutes, so I’ll take it!

This is what the figurines look like before they are painted.

paint figurine bear camera

For $1!  The “before” look. Kinda boring …

paint figurine bear camera

This is the “after”…. after hours of painting and layering the paints.

Most of the time, I do what I call “rescues”.  Rescues are the figurines that my daughter painted but no longer wants.  She just turned seven, and is improving her skills, so let’s just say her figurines need a lot of rescuing!  Instead of throwing them out and spending another dollar (OMG, I am tight with money), I use her painted ones and try to fix them up.

Here’s another “before” of the original.

paint figurine bunny rabit water can

Cute bunny watering into an empty basket?  And it has no discernible mouth.  Poor bunny rabbit.

Well, Hayley decided to paint it bright pink, because now that she’s out of the tomboy phase, she loves all things pink, princesses and tiaras.  Of course!

paint figurine bunny rabit water can

I did the best that I could. This bunny is really pink! Incidentally, I had made a little mistake with the black paintbrush and it made a mark by the eyes. I went ahead and did that to the other eye, and it makes the eyes look more alive.  The use of brown to soften the pink and to provide depth really made a difference.

So why I am blogging about painting figurines?  Well, it’s just my cheap mental escape from work that also fuels my creative fire.  When you are in business for yourself, you can get lost in just work, and you can work untold hours.  I’ve done it.  I know you’ve done it as well.  Whatever way you can find to get a break, do it.  You’ll feel better and more refreshed.  Enjoy this creative break.  🙂

Winnie the Pooh figurine

This was another rescue.

That “heart” was a chip in the figurine. I decided to highlight it by painting it red like a heart. Doesn’t it look like it’s either a tattoo on Winnie the Pooh, or like he’s puckered up like a geisha or Betty Boop?

geisha

One way to get that puckered up look …

Betty Boop

I think Winnie the Pooh’s reminds me more of Betty Boop’s pucker!

bears figurine balcony

Awww, love these cute bears!  I don’t love my color combination so much…

Santorini house

This could have gone a completely different direction. It could’ve been a pink castle as the hearts and flowers indicate, but I saw Santorini instead.

santorini

What do you think?  Santorini is on my bucket list just so I can see the blue!

Red labrador and puppy

And my favorite figurine is this one. Look at these two guys! I made them to be reb-brown Labs. If this figurine comes back in again, I think I’ll try a lighter look on the dogs and house. How cute are the eyes of the top dog?

Now go and enjoy a break!

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May 15, 2013 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mother’s Day gift of clutch handbags!

It’s a big bouquet of flowers clutches!  🙂

Check out this selection of clutches for Mother’s Day, May 12th.  Each clutch has been lovingly and expertly handcrafted by women for moms in mind.  Be sure to go to the shop to see other clutches also available and ready to ship in time for Mother’s Day.

The whole album can be found on the WhileBabyNaps Facebook fan page.

The whole album can be found on the WhileBabyNaps Facebook fan page.

Mother_s Day Blooms! 1

Mother_s Day Blooms! 2

 

In every color and style imaginable, these clutch sellers will have a clutch for that special woman in your life.  If you want a custom-made clutch, there’s still time!  Go get yours!

April 23, 2013 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our 10,000th Etsy cart winner is ….

… a university student!   Who here doesn’t have starving college days that they can recall?  Man, I used to make it work for the weekend when my cheap meal plan didn’t cover it.  I’d get a rotisserie chicken for $3.99, a lime, and a cucumber and make it last for all my meals for the weekend!  That’s $5 for food for the whole weekend.  I just remember being hungry during all my university years.

I couldn’t be happier for her because she was timely and also “played it” well.  Knowing that the shop was within sight of hitting 10,000 Doryn went ahead and bought many different frames to try out along with the PDF, thereby securing her spot!  Her cart totaled $145 so she got the 10,000th item – the PDF! – free as well as $100 off her cart.

And wouldn’t you know it, but Doryn is from New Jersey!  What a coincidence.  I had asked some questions about Doryn, so read our Q&A.

Q:  Can you tell me a bit about you?

A:  I am studying environmental law and policy.  The curriculum prepares me for law school if I decide to become an environmental lawyer.  I can also become an environmental consultant for a company and then my job would be to ensure the company is functioning within current federal and state environmental regulations.  I’ve loved Star Trek for as long as I can remember and I’m also a Patrick Stewart fangirl 🙂 I’m naturally more of a ‘thinker’ than a ‘doer’; I’d rather ponder over ideas and theories than test them. I’ve also been told that I’m highly analytical, though I don’t think that’s true (I’m just good at pretending I am, ha!)

Q:  Do you have a shop?

A:  Not yet, but I do plan on launching one within next few months.

Q:  Do you like to craft?

A:  Love it, it’s nice to let creativity flow. In addition to sewing, I knit, crochet and draw/sketch.  I’m relatively new to sewing, I’ve only been sewing for a year and a half. I find it to be therapeutic and I use it as a way to de-stress and focus when my mind is jumbled. I also love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I’ve finished a project that is unique and completely me. I will be using these frames to make bridesmaid’s clutches for my cousin’s wedding and prom clutches for my younger friends.

A wristlet by Doryn.

A wristlet by Doryn.

Doryn made this pen roll.

Doryn made this pen roll.

Q:  How did you hear about WhileBabyNaps?

A:  I was searching for frames that I could use to make the bridesmaid’s clutches for my cousin’s wedding. I came across your shop on Etsy and I saw how much pride you take in your items and the amount of work you’ve put into making these frames top-grade. When I realized you supported those businesses who use your frames, that you were a jeweler, AND from New Jersey, I knew I had to have them!

Q:  How did you hear about the 10,000th item promotion?  

A:  I’ll admit I’m one of those people who puts tons of items in their cart, and leaves them there so I can mull over the possible purchase. I was finally preparing to checkout when I decided to look over your shop again and I saw the 10,000th item banner! It was an opportunity too good to pass up! Thank you, Winn!

I like her spunk!

I like her spunk!

Congrats, Doryn.  I hope you enjoy making your clutches for your cousins and friends.  We all look forward to seeing your shop of sewn good and crafts.  My thanks to each and every customer on Etsy (and from the webstore)!

~Winn

April 10, 2013 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We did it! 10,000th item on Etsy sold!!!

It’s been 12 years since I started my LLC and my businesses, and it’s been a little over 3 years since I’ve been on Etsy, but I just hit the 10,000th item sold!!!  We’ve got a winner ladies and gents.  I could not be any happier to celebrate this huge milestone with you all.  Details will come soon on the winner.  🙂

Thank you, thank you, to all.

Thank you, thank you, to all.

April 7, 2013 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Get some swag – $200!

As mentioned before in a previous post, when I get asked to be a sponsor, I really have to weigh the value of what I give to what I get in return.  I’d go broke if I said yes to everything.  But as my company’s motto is “Putting Women in Business”, I always find a way to make it work when it comes to workshops that teach women a new skill.  I was asked to be a sponsor for an inaugural sewing event that took place a couple of weeks ago in North Carolina.  Though it was a small group, Sew South made a big impact for all attendees.  The enthusiasm from these ladies is amazing and you can see the skills they learned, the friends they met, and the good times they had at this sewing retreat.  Check out all photos at this Flickr group.   Here’s a snapshot of some of the photos:

Flickr_ The Sew South Retreat Pool

Take a look at the new clutches made from the attendees, most of whom were new to making clutches.

The demographics of the group that attended:
  • women of all ages  (25-65)
  • women of all skill levels (some sewing for 6 months, some for 20 years)
  • women from around the country (from California to North Carolina, Wisconsin to Florida – even someone from San Juan Puerto Rico!)
  • over half of the attendees are bloggers

sew south DSCN7836

Even though this retreat was limited to 50 participants, Jennifer, the founder, has opened up a free swag drawing for everyone — including you, my customers and blog readers.  Enter here at Sew South Retreat website to win this loot worth $200.  There will be 3 lucky winners.

sew south swag DSCN7876

Good luck and I hope one of you get it!!!  If you do, let me know.

Winn 🙂

April 5, 2013 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who will be the winner of the 10,000th item on Etsy?

We are getting close!  A couple weeks ago, I wrote about our huge milestone coming up, and now we are on the cusp of having a winner.  Currently, at 9942 items sold, we should have a winner within the next week, unless my crystal ball is not working.  🙂

Can I start the countdown?

Can I start the countdown?

Whoever’s (whomever’s?)cart contains the 10,000th item sold, will get that item and the entire cart free, up to $100.00!  I’m curious to see if it will be a brand new customer, a woman who is trying out a new skill for the first time who will make a clutch for her friends, or if it will be a woman who runs her own business and needs to get some more frames to make clutches getting ready for Mother’s Day sales.  Not to slight my few but wonderful male customers, it could be one of them needing some more Gutermann glue to their clutches, too.  We will have to wait and see!

April 4, 2013 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Antique Brass purse chain!

Well, I’m officially back at work and my deck is full of to-do’s.  Love it!  🙂

I wanted to alert you all about the new 45″ antique brass purse chain.  We designed a bigger lobster claw and we think you are going to like it.  It looks good, ladies.  Check these out.

c2013#compare18mmclaw

c2013#lobsterclaws

She's a beauty!

She’s a beauty!

They are up for sale at the shop!   I hope you like them!

Winn  🙂

April 1, 2013 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New purse frame coming out!

Hi everyone!  My family and I just got back from our spectacular trip to China.  We got home at 2 a.m. last night, so we are all just lolly-gagging about today.  School is back tomorrow and we will slowly, but surely, be back to the grind!  I will be sure to post some photos soon.  But before that happens, I just wanted to share a quick update to all my dear blog readers and customers:  there is a new antique brass coming out this week in 4.5×3!  Take a look.

New 4.5x3 antique brass coming this week!

New 4.5×3 antique brass coming this week!

These will be listed this week.  We had a lot of demand for this, but due to the difficult antique brass finish, it took some time to make sure this was a permanent addition we wanted to add.  Thank you to all who asked for it and have been so patient.  As you can see above, this is made in the same design as my nickel-free 4.5×3 size.  There’s something to be said for consistency!  I can see this frames used with all kinds of fabrics.  This is just another option in your product line.

March 31, 2013 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Striving for the best Customer Service

Recently, Etsy came out with a new feature for sellers.  If you are an Etsy seller, you can see some key Customer Service Stats about your shop.  What I really like about this is that it allows you to see where you can improve on or where you can keep striving to maintain.  After all, people buy from people, and that is clear on a marketplace like Etsy where the focus is often on OOAK handmade goods.

I am beyond thrilled to see that from day 1 on Etsy (November 11, 2009), I (and Thy) have striven to be the best in Customer Service.  The following takes into consideration our entire history on Etsy.

This demonstrates our strive to give you the best customer service so you keep coming back!

This demonstrates our strive to give you the best customer service so you keep coming back!

That is not to say we don’t make mistakes!  We make plenty of mistakes.  We fall down and get scraped sometimes.  But we also get up and try harder to be better.  Thank you for working with us and letting us make it right for you in the instances where we do mess up.  Obviously, you know that it’s never intentional when we do get it wrong.  It’s this reservoir of good-will that we never take for granted.  🙂

So for you Etsy sellers out there, check out your Customer Service Stats to see the areas where you can maintain or areas where you can improve on.  This is a great tool and is worth your time!

~Winn

March 15, 2013 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helping Women – getting inspiration back ten-fold

I am honored to get asked to sponsor different kinds of seminars, sewing circles, blog hops, and sewing retreats.  I have found that I often get inspired by the wonderful work that the women come up with.  Recently, Elaine of Dashasel Sews and Emily of Mommy’s Nap Time (LOVE the name!  Why didn’t I think of that?) hosted their first pouch hop called the Happy Little Pouch Hop.  I’ve been very impressed by the creativity and variety of pouches that the participants have come up with.  Here’s a sample of a few.  Click on it to get to the Flickr blog hop photos.

Look at the variety and the fabrics!  Love that little fish pouch!!!

Look at the variety and the fabrics! Love that little fish pouch!!!

And here are some clutches made by some crafty and artistic women.

This clutch is made by Elaine.  A little bee brooch would be brillant!

This clutch is made by Elaine. A little bee brooch would be brillant!

This coin clutch is made by Darci Bee

This coin clutch is made by Darci Bee

I absolutely LOVE this little coin clutch.  Diane did a superb design!

I absolutely LOVE this little coin clutch. Diane did a superb design!

Diane's second creation - a colorful mosaic!

Diane’s second creation – a colorful mosaic!

This is one of Diane's newer clutch designs.

This is one of Diane’s newer clutch designs.

Elaine's colorful clutch!  Would be great with color-block a-line dress!

Elaine’s colorful clutch! Would be great with color-block A-line dress!

Elaine's Oh Deer Pouch #1.

Elaine’s Oh Deer Pouch #1.

I absolutely love Elaine's Oh Deer pouch #2.  How darling is this??

I absolutely love Elaine’s Oh Deer pouch #2. How darling is this??

So hop over to Elaine’s blog and check out her amazing work.  You can also see Emily’s finished quilts at her blog, too.  Both amazing women.  I hope you get inspired by all these fabrics and designs!

~Winn

February 1, 2013 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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