Tuesday Guest Post: Be hip, CLIP!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yay we have 2 winner(s)!

Congratulations to frugalfriends and zakiebaby --- you are both winners! Simply relay your shipping information to me via email at orders@watermelonwishes.com and I will send out your complimentary Watermelon Wishes coupon files ASAP.

All the best and thank you for sharing! Andrea


My name is Heather and my hip partner, is Brooke. We love a deal. I remember as a mother of five young children living in the Oakton, Va area, anticipating Saturday mornings. If you are like me (or Brooke), you know what happens on Saturday mornings. As the sun begins to break the dawn, the dew sits softly on the grass, garage doors begin to open. Slowly treasures begin to make their way onto tables and blankets, awaiting for me to find them. I truly love other people's "junk." That "junk" clothed all my children in designer clothes, allowed us to have all of the expensive popular toys, and furnished my house in the latest styles. All for next to nothing.

And then, when craigslist came around, I was able to resale most of this "junk" to others. It was a beautiful cycle.

As my kid's grew up so did my grocery bill. This led to my love of coupon clipping. I always loved clipping but I didn't get "hip" until I met Brooke. She took the coupon clipping to the next level. Instead of my normal savings of about 50%, she introduced me to BIG time savings. Over the past few years, we have both searched and shared our latest savings. And we have been amazed at the amount of items we could purchase for absolutely FREE! Whether it was stock piling toothpaste when they were "giving" it away or buying enough cake mix for the next year, we were there.

We want people to get rid of (or lose) the idea that couponing is for "the poor and needy" and change their thinking along the lines of coupon clipping for the "hip and happening (not to mention, smart)" shopper. You have to eat right? You have to clean too. Why not get a deal purchasing the necessities of life.

So Brooke and I decided it was time to share our secrets. We know where to get the coupons. We know how to read a coupon and the trick of combining them. We know how to use the coupon to its fullest saving power and how to organize these coupons. We know how to find the best deals, and when those deals come...how to get them. We admit, we pretty much know EVERYTHING when it comes to a coupon! We know because we LOVE them.

We teach a "hip to clip" coupon class 2 or 3 times a month. It is there, you can learn the art of couponing. You will be armed (hopefully with a huge HIP binder full of coupons) with the confidence that YOU can find the deals and YOU will save money and YOU are hip to be clipping (those that aren't using coupons are just plain CRAZY!). You can save on everything, if you are just willing to save time to clip!

Our blog provides savings in our community. We find the deals and you go out and get them. We love the local library reading program where each week our children can pick up a few coupons for free meals, activities or treats at the surrounding businesses. We are also fans of rebates too. This is the time of the year where places like Staples and Office Depot are giving away products. All you have to do is to be willing to immediately get those rebates sent in. You can find these tips on our blog: http://www.hiptoclipcoupons.blogspot.com/.

I don't get out and garage sale as much as I used to, although I still get that excited feeling when I see the signs pointing the way to bargain bliss. I want to follow them, I really do. But I don't have the time, or the need as I once did. Now I find clipping a coupon makes me just as excited and my need of feeding 5 growing children (four boys!) filled.

So Be Hip, Clip!

Great advice, Heather! Thank you for sharing!
Have a favorite coupon tip? Post it in the comment field and you will be entered to win a fabric covered accordion file by Watermelon Wishes. The winner will be selected at random and announced Aug. 2, 2010.

Does this shirt look "homemade" or good enough to label "handmade"?

Monday, July 19, 2010

While clothing is not my forte, I was recently overcome with the urge to sew a blouse. Like my diaper bags, it is also an original creation---from the depths of my imagination.

Crafted from Amy Butler's Bali Gate in Grass, I love that it can be worn belted or not and that the straps are wide enough to cover my bra straps!

What do you think? Would you wear it? Does it look "handmade" or “homemade”?

Sewing Techniques and Tips ---How to sew a straight line

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New to the Watermelon Wishes blog, Thursdays will now be devoted to those topics which fall under the header “sewing techniques and tips”.

Today, I have three simple tips to help you achieve nice straight stitches.

1. Thread the bobbin correctly. There most certainly is a right and wrong way, so be sure to reference the machine manual. My Singer Confidence has a handy sticker that depicts the proper way to thread the bobbin.

2. Use the stitching guides etched into the needle plate and/or presser foot as a focal point to keep your stitching evenly spaced and straight or make your own guides with a fine point permanent marker.

3. When stopping, prior to the end of a row of stitching, utilize the needle down function or turn the wheel towards you until the needle stops in the down position. This will allow you to make minor adjustments to the fabric while maintaining the prior stitch position.

Have something to add? Feel free to comment below. FYI: The vintage inspired Japanese Kokka fabric featured in the photo can be found in Masonscottage's Etsy shop

All the best,


Meet the Maker --- Andrea Chapman of Watermelon Wishes

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Brand new to Watermelon Wishes, Wednesdays are now reserved for a column I have dubbed ‘Meet the Maker’. Since it’s my gig, I’ll go first; however, in the future you can look forward to reading profile excerpts from other artists in and around the Etsy community.

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

My name is Andrea Chapman and I am the founder of Watermelon Wishes. I was born in Spokane, Washington and migrated to the east coast in the early 1980’s. Nowadays, I reside in Haymarket, Virginia with my amazing husband of 15 years and our four fabulous children. Sewing is my craft of choice and I have established a niche designing custom diaper bags and accessories. My commercial studio is located in the quaint town of Middleburg, Virginia.

How did you learn to sew?

Largely self-taught, I have many fond memories watching my great-grandmother sew clothes for those she loved and my grandfather craft leather into beautiful holsters, chaps and bags (which I believe he also sold). For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for bags and an attraction to textiles. In 2006, when disaster and opportunity collided, I founded Watermelon Wishes. Initially, I planned to market other people’s handmade goods under one umbrella. As my inventory began to arrive, the perfectionist in me was quick to spot any flaws in craftsmanship that existed. It seemed so obvious to me how to avert these mistakes. Not one for following directions, I do not enjoy working with patterns and instead create all of my own designs.

Where do you get ideas for new diaper bag designs?

My youngest child is 22 months and serves as daily inspiration. All of my products are born of necessity and tried and true. The diaper bag which I carry doubles as my purse; so, I can appreciate the need to have a stylish bag that is large enough to accommodate baby’s things as well as my own.

What types of materials do you enjoy working with?

Amy Butler fabric is my all time favorite material for diaper bags because it is colorful and washes beautifully. I recently started working with canvas and I especially like the look of those two mediums combined.

Besides sewing, what other crafts and activities do you enjoy?

Crocheting, scrapbooking, drinking coffee and chauffeuring my children from one activity to the next (not!).

What one piece of advice would you offer others who aspire to sell their handmade goods?

Write a business plan. The Small Business Administration is an invaluable resource and offers many online tools: www.sba.gov