Monday, April 25, 2011

My First Craft Show

I had my very first craft show experience this weekend with the lovely, Sandy a la Mode.

The show didn't have the traffic we had hoped for so not a ton of sales, but it was a good learning experience & we had a great time with Sandy & her husband! 

Sandy & I shared a booth--a shot of our booth :)

a closeup of some of my headbands, clips & props--love the old pepsi crate that i used for hair clips

rosette barrettes in fun spring colors--soon to be added to the shop!

simple pleated totes--another new item i plan to add to the shop soon!  hanging them along the wall was an impromptu decision that thankfully worked out well! tip: always bring extra rope ;)

bringing back the hobo satchel in some fun spring designs! the satchel is displayed on a bamboo tripod that ben devised :)

more pleated totes, i looooooved the way they looked against the brick wall!

Sweet Shot Day

my most popular item:: windswept wristlets!  

another angle of the display, i used chalkboard signs to display my name & pricing :)

i love my husband!  he endured a day full of craft fair goodness all in support of me:) and helped me with some cool displays that i could not have done without him!
Overall it was a really good learning experience.

Things I took away:

1. Make sure you know your venue & what kind of crowd it will draw.  This was the biggest problem of this fair.  It seemed the persons in charge didn't advertise well or much & thus there wasn't much traffic.  Also, it wasn't a "handmade only" fair, so there was a lot of disparity between what Sandy & I were selling & what others were selling--I thinking having more cohesive vendors might draw a better crowd. I don't know, just a first timer's thoughts ;)

2. Know your space.  Set up a demo- I did a mini demo & this time it worked out pretty well, but I think I could do a better job in the future of doing a mock set-up before hand.  Specifically with my purses & totes...I felt there was too much distance between them & our vendor table.

3. Always bring business cards.  I was able to hand out business cards to a lot of the other vendors & also the people who came to the fair--I've already connected with a couple of other sellers through my biz cards, so I was happy about that!

4. Have fun & bring fun people with you.  My husband, Sandy & her husband made the fair for me.  Having fun people around helps to pass the slow times & keeps you encouraged even when you may not be bringin in the big bucks ;)

5.  I decided to try out a lot of new products for the fair.  Even though I didn't see a huge amount of sales, I did note what the people who stopped by were looking at & this helped give me a good idea of what might go over well in the shop!

All in all, I had a fun time.  I really didn't know if this fair would have a good turnout & I guess my suspicions were right, so I wasn't really all that disappointed.  Besides, like I said--I had FUN people with me to pass the time ;)  We also went to Oklahoma Joe's with Sandy & her husband after the fair, so all in all we left having had a lot of fun, met up with sweet people & with full bellies. 
 And that my friends, is success.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Not so DIY Wednesday...

You'll have to excuse me, I haven't had ANY time to put together a DIY for today.  But that doesn't mean my hands haven't been busy with lots of creating!

I am getting ready for my VERY FIRST Craft Show this weekend (yay!!) and have been drowning in fabric bits, strands of thread & lots of to-dos!

This baby has literally been on & running for the better part of most days.
the buffet is spilling over with clutches.  i may or may not have moved my craft room to the dining room for the week :)

lots of new totes & pretty fabrics

these little guys are soon to be display signs for the big show!  
And that's what I've been doing & will be doing until Saturday!  

I will probably be MIA on the blogosphere until then, so have a very Happy Easter & a wonderful weekend.  

I am thankful that HE IS RISEN!

Will post pics of the Craft Show next week!  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

bob {update}

Hey guys! It's me Bob, back for a little update. See these pictures? Thats not snow you see on the ground. Its getting a lot warmer over here & you know what that means--I'm losing my hair!  Mom says I shed A LOT.  She brushes me outside about every day.  Mom & dad can't believe the amount of hair they brush off me daily, so they took some pictures of me to prove it.  

Mom & I got to watch a little baby the other day.  I did a real good job babysitting, Mom said so.  I kept wanting to kiss him, but Mom didn't think that was a good idea.
So I just sat here and watched Mom hold him, while he made little noises & wiggled his little feet.
  It was so much fun.

Thats most of what I've been up to, other than the usual romping, eating & taking walks with Mom.
Life is good. ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Annoucements & a Winner!

A few exciting changes are coming to the shops & I am SO happy to tell you about them!  If you know me, you know that by nature I am not a business lady.  I don't have a "big picture" type of mind...I am ALL over the details, but often forget what the details are working toward, ect...all I can say is, good thing I have my hubby to keep me in line ;)  Somehow it always works out.  But anyway, not being the greatest "big idea" planner, I really didn't start my businesses out with any foresight or goals in mind besides just getting to do something I enjoy.  While, I think that's a VERY important goal to have in any job, there are some other goals & things to think out, well that I just didn't. haha! Live & Learn.  With that said, for a while now, I have really wanted my shops to come under one umbrella.  I feel that in design & name they have always been really separate, yet in my heart & in their purpose they are so alike.  That said, I enlisted this incredibly talented lady, Savannah of Maie Dae Designs to help me make the brands more unified & cohesive.  

And I think we have done just that!  Soooo are you ready for this?

Ashley Carter Designs & My Little Sunshine Fabric 

are now:  

my little sunshine handmade
my little sunshine : a fabric shop

"My Little Sunshine" is now the umbrella for both my shops & I couldn't be more pleased with the idea of coming under the same name, which is a dear one to me, inspired by my creative grandmother, Sunshine AND can you get over the ridiculously cute graphics for the shops?  no? me either!

Ready to go shopping?  



Now, with all that excitement out of the way-- Let's get to even more exciting things--our giveaway winner!

(sidenote: i was having trouble getting the generator to show the number it generated, so if for some reason it doesn't show the number, I PROMISE it was #47.  NO lie. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DIY Wednesday {Chalkboard Wall Art}

I am always ooing and ahhing over any DIYs involving chalkboard paint & finally found the perfect excuse to try one out myself!  We have a very barren wall in our dining area that has been needing a little TLC. I have been avoiding it for a while now, a big bare wall can be kind of intimidating, ya know?  But last week it hit me--the wall needed a chalkboard ;)

Seeing as I already had a large dry erase board from Ben's flying days that was just sitting around in our garage, I decided I would try to transform it into a chalkboard.  Much easier on the eyes than a dry erase board.

I googled if it would be possible to paint over a dry erase board & found out that all the prep it needed was a little sanding.  Awesome.

 I gave the board a good sanding, until it felt coarse to the touch.

Next I took a damp rag & wiped all the dust off of it, making a clean working surface.

I decided to paint the frame yellow to match our living/dining area, rather than leaving the light pine color it came with.

And now for the fun stuff :)  The chalkboard paint (which I got at Walmart, I think it was a little cheaper than Lowes).  And although it was $10 for the can, I used only very little on this project, so it can definitely be stretched to get your money's worth ;)

First coat complete!
I did a second coat (after 4 hours of drying) & then let it dry overnight before drawing any pretty chalk pictures on it.

And here it is after a little chalk-love.  I went with a Subway Art Spice theme, being as I L-O-V-E spices & well, it is in my dining area, so it fits.

And that's it. Sweet & Simple.

**Side note: Thanks to all for participating in the giveaway! I was SO thrilled with the number of entries!!  The WINNER will be chosen & revealed Thursday!  So.Get.Excited.   Also I have a BIG shop announcement to make tomorrow, so you won't want to miss it ;)  

not a lot to say...

Original Acrylic Painting on 6x6 "Cutie" Canvas--Sew Cute.
Our days are quiet around here at the moment.  The hum of the sewing machine & the breeze coming through in the window is the bulk of what I hear throughout the day, and it is good, but doesn't leave much to be said.

I thought I'd direct you to my friend, Heather's blog today where she writes about the experiences of she & her family in Haiti & the ministry they do with Heartline (a cause I absolutely love & get to support with my business).  She wrote a really moving post this morning, that you can read here.

Hope you have a lovely day!  Oh & don't forget, you still have one more day to enter to win 2 yards of fabric from My Little Sunshine!  Enter to win, here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

my little sunshine {fabric giveaway}

Sometime in the wee hours of the night, My Little Sunshine surpassed 100 fabric SALES!


And, you may or may not have known that I promised that once the shop hit 100 sales, I would host a fabric giveaway on the blog!  I have SO many fun fabrics from amazing designers in my shop right now, and the best part of this giveaway is that you can PICK whatever fabrics you want from the shop.

Yep. That's right.

My Little Sunshine is giving away 2 YARDS of your choice of any of our designer fabrics!  You can mix and match, however you please!  

Maybe you'll choose something like this:

Or this:

or even this: 

Here's how to enter:

1. Head over to the shop & leave a comment here on the blog telling me what fabric(s) you would choose if you won.

2.  Follow the blog on Google Friends Connect  ((located on the right hand side of the blog)) and leave a comment letting me know you've joined ;)

3. Follow my *tweets* via Twitter AND tweet about the giveaway.  You can tweet something like this "Yippee! I just entered to win TWO yards of designer fabric on @sunshinefabric's blog! ".  Leave a comment letting me know you've tweeted!

4. Facebook OR blog about the post for an additional entry and of course, leave a comment letting me know you've done so!

That's FOUR easy as pie ways to enter! Make sure you leave a separate comment for EACH entry.  
Let's get this party started! Have fun!! The giveaway will close, WEDNESDAY April 13th at noon!

((open to US residents only))

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

DIY Wednesday {Mod Podge Topiary}

Hey friends! I'm back with another DIY Wednesday.  This project is a really simple one involving just a few supplies that some of you may already have on hand!

I am calling them Mod Podge Topiaries, even though there is no foliage involved, I just don't know what else to call them.

Here's what you need:

 sheet music (the older & more worn the better), scissors, mod podge, paint brush & a few topiary cones

Once you have all your supplies, tear out a few pages of music and cut into strips as shown in the middle picture.  One at a time, wrap strips around cone while generously lathering the mod podge on top.  This takes having both hands free for wrapping & brushing the mod podge on, thus the lack of pictures for this step-- I'm  not THAT great at multi-tasking ;).  Continue wrapping & mod podging to the very top of the cone.  Fold the top pieces down on top of the cone's "peak" & cover generously with good ol' mod podge. Let dry.

And here's your finished product! We mounted ours on top of candle holders.  Easy as pie.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ode to Burlap

Wanting to re-decorate on a dime?  
That's what we were going for when we moved into our new home.  I've got three words for you my friend:  

Spray Paint

These two things have been our best friends during our re-decoration process. 

Why Burlap?  It's a beautiful natural fiber that adds great texture to a home ON THE CHEAP. At $2-3 per yard you can't beat it- especially when it comes to curtain making.  
Being as we move so often, it's really useless for us to buy nice, expensive drapes or for me to spend $17 a yard for upholstery fabric to make my own.  It NEVER works out that our window layout is ever the same as it was in the house before.  Never. So, I am always looking for cheap solutions for curtain making.

Here are the new drapes in our home made from burlap and some re-purposed fabric that Ben's grandmother gave me (Thanks, Idie!)

 We also tied the burlap into our second sofa (which is our old green one that is slipcovered) with burlap pillows.
Of course, I couldn't resist making a few pillows from the new Joel Dewberry fabric I have up in the shop..I'm slightly obsessed. 

Oh yes, and I almost forgot: why I love spray paint?  

I was able to re-use ALL of our home decor items for our new look.  Previously we had a Green:Black:Yellow theme going on.  It worked mainly because our couch was green & sometimes you just gotta go with whatcha got! ;)

But when we recovered our couch (not shown), I was able to turn it to a Grey: Yellow: Cream theme with just a few cans of spray paint! Pictured items that were spray painted: vase, flowers in vase, bird cage. 

how do you re-decorate on the cheap?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Snapshot

Hey friends, I am linking up to Yellow Songbird's Saturday Snapshot for the second week straight.

I choose this little snapshot, not because it was a great, artistic photo, but because of what it reminds me of.

When I look at this picture, I see God's faithfulness over our lives and marriage.  This was taken the day my husband graduated from his tech school after two and a half long, and hard years of being led (blindly, sometimes) into situations and to places we could have never imagined.  This is a reminder to me of God's faithfulness- that He never leaves or forsakes us & that His plan for our lives is Sovereign and Good.  Over the past two years we have had our fair share of mistakes & failures, trusting in ourselves and our plans more than God, but this picture reminds me how good it is to trust the Lord.  

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
   the LORD bestows favor and honor.
 No good thing does he withhold
   from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you!
Ps. 84:11-12

Friday, April 1, 2011

Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair

Guess who's the newest vendor for the Kansas City Indie Craft Fair?


I'm sooo excited about this fair, there are going to be SO many great vendors there, like this lady, who I had the pleasure of meeting in person last night!

Sandy a la Mode

Coming July 2011 to the Greater Kansas City Area.  If you're in the area-- SAVE THE DATE!  You gotta be there ;) For more info check them out at: