Leather Mini Moo Card Holder Tutorial

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My mini moo cards arrived on Friday and I love them!

Not familiar? MOO is an online company that offers custom photographic business cards and a mini moo card is half the size of a regular business card with artwork on the front and the back, just like the full sized moo card.

On the front of mine, I have a photo of my Ultimate Diaper Bag and on the back, I list my contact info and a photo of the building which my studio is located. The cards I ordered will be used to promote my Etsy shop at the Aldie Harvest Festival; but, I think this size would make a darling mommy card, for scheduling play dates and what not.

This afternoon, I fashioned a leather case that attaches to my key fob and holds 5 mini cards. It is super easy to make!


7" x 1.5" Piece of Leather or Felt
Medium Eyelet and Eyelet Setter
Binder Ring or Key Ring


Step 1: attach eyelet at one end of leather
Step 2: fold the leather up just below the eyelet
Step 3: stitch the sides closed
Step 4: thread the ring through the eyelet
Step 5: insert cards



Nobody likes a copycat, my free unsolicited advice.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It is logical to emulate those amongst us who are successful. On Etsy, there are many talented artisans with unique product niches and that is a big part of what makes it such an exceptional community. And, there are also those who seek nothing more than to copy the designs of others.

Innovation is the key difference between the two groups. If you are original and true to your craft, you will strive to create a product that distinguishes itself from the masses. This process often takes time, money and an inordinate amount of passion. Many folks have time and money, but they lack passion and so they attempt to share the accomplishments of others.

This is not to say, if you can improve upon a product, that you shouldn’t. By all means, that is progress and synonymous with evolution. I certainly did not invent the diaper bag and I absolutely wasn’t the first person to offer customization. I do create all of my own patterns and as a mother of four, I take great pride in developing products which are stylish and functional.

Equally important, I also author my own product descriptions. Writing is not a skill that comes naturally to all. Working as a journalist for our local newspaper, I acquired years of experience and authored hundreds of business profiles and can assure you, writing is as much an art form as crafting. So, you can understand why I get peeved when someone copies my descriptions and/or shop policies verbatim. This folks is plagiarism and unless you give the author credit in your description, it is a form of stealing. Instead of paraphrasing someone’s descriptions, instead try and learn from them and use your own words to highlight the features of *ahem* your own product.

The bottom line, if you lack a passion for your product, you are not going to be successful. Entrepreneurship is neither free nor easy. You have to be willing to invest in your company and work hard --- really hard. At the end of the day, I am still energized and could happily work another 12 hours --- because I love what I do!

My advice to the burgeoning Etsy opportunist: make something you benefit from and use every day.

The glory of a morning riser

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In the words of Jeremy Linn, United States Gold Olympian (and my sons swim coach) “It is a beautiful day and it is great to be alive!”

Summer is coming to an end in Northern Virginia and my favorite flower flourishes. Unique, the morning glory produces a new set of blooms every day. True to its name, you must be an early riser if you would like to take in its splendor. Lucky for me, I wake before the sun and get to see our mailbox blanketed in perwinkle and white morning glories.

Today, I’ve got big plans in the studio and am looking forward to introducing two, maybe three, new styles to you this week. Yesterday, Megan (my daughter who shares my wicked creative streak) was so kind as to sort and fold my private stash of fabric remnants by color. Thanks, Meg! I can hardly wait to dig in and begin my patchwork design.

Off to the studio I shall go. I hope you enjoy the day too!


Focus people! We are here to see the elephants.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Last weekend, we took a daytrip to the National Zoo to celebrate Isabel's 2nd Birthday. Not long into our visit, I overheard a mother in a stern voice say to her children: “Focus people! We are here to see the elephants.”

It struck me as odd because they were a long ways from the elephants. Did she expect them not to take in any other sites prior to the elephants? I have been wondering about this all week long.

What do you think?

Watermelon Credo

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Whatever you believe creates your reality

Attitude is the magic word

Together everyone achieves more

Enthusiasm is the wellspring of life

Respect yourself, as well as others

Make commitments, not excuses

Every day can be a fun day

Love is the answer

One day at a time

Never give up or become a victim

The author of this poem is unknown. I clipped these words of wisdom from a magazine years ago and thought it would be nice to share them with you. Enjoy! Andrea

Rethinking the pantry

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Yesterday was the first day of school in our neighborhood. Before they left, my children inquisitively asked, “What are you going to do today, Mom?”

With glee I affirmed, “Reorganize the entire kitchen!”

They boarded the bus and I headed home (with Isabel in tow) to commence said task. Halfway through the job, I looked around at the piles and wondered if maybe I had bitten of more than I could chew. After all, we have lived in this house for nine years and I am pretty sure I have never rearranged the kitchen since it was first unpacked. Over the years, we’ve acquired several small appliances and dishes of all sorts; yet, we neglected to assign these purchases a designated space. The end result: utter chaos.

Determined to have the kitchen put back together before my eldest two returned from high school, I hunkered down and got the job done. Everyone, except maybe the baby, seemed to be quite impressed. That’s nice and I appreciate the recognition; but, I am even happier that nothing will be falling on my head when I open the cupboards!

Our kitchen is centrally located, and like most, is the heart of the home. It is the place where we spend the majority of our time and that is why I felt it was important to get this area back under control. Before I began this project, I set aside a little planning time to identify the specific problem areas and define their future purpose. Essentially, I had 5 issues:

Problem #1 – The Pantry

A large space with built in shelves and a door, this area contained paper products, medicine and first aid items; in addition to a medley of other small items haphazardly piled atop of one another.

Problem #2 – Pots and Pans

These items consumed four double cupboards and no one item ever went back in the same spot; so, when it was time to cook you needed to search through each cabinet to locate the right pot.

Problem #3 – Dry and Canned Goods

Also scattered throughout the kitchen, lacking any organization, foodstuff occupied 6 cabinets and a lazy Susan.

Problem #4 – Glassware (casserole dishes, bowls, etc)

All mixed in with the pots and pans…just not good!

Problem #5 – Plastic (sippy cups, storage containers)

Everyone has this problem, right? Miss matched lids and containers scattered all about.

The solution, I discovered, to all five of these kitchen oriented problems is really very simple:

Group like items together and place the largest items in the largest space.

Relocating the pots and pans to the pantry was fundamental in this process. The shelves are sized perfectly for this purpose and I am wondering if the pan---try wasn’t always intended to hold pans. Imagine that!

The second largest area in our kitchen is the space under the island. This area now contains all of our dry goods and canned products. This is ideal because I can place the groceries on the island counter top, quickly organize and then transfer them into the cabinets below. Hooray!

The larger upper cabinet is designated for plastic items and a smaller one for glass casserole dishes and bowls. The two upper cabinets by the dishwasher house the tableware and drinking glasses for ease in unloading. The lazy Susan is officially reserved for cook books and recipe binders. And, I have incorporated a space to hold spices and other goodies used to bake. Cleaning products are still located under the sink and a small thin cabinet now serves as the first aid center.

Ah, perfection!

A milestone for Watermelon Wishes

Friday, September 3, 2010

Amid the release of our diaper bag sewing tutorials, this week hereby marks a milestone for Watermelon Wishes.

Twofold, my intention with the tutorials is more than an aspiration to show others how to create a keepsake or gift. I would also like to be able to present people who hold a similar interest in sewing (and passion for bags) with the opportunity to manufacture and market a viable product.

Friday Factoid: There are more than 11,000 babies born in the U.S. every day.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of these mamas had a handmade diaper bag? I think so!

Like each of my creations, a great deal of thought has gone into the development of the tutorials. Geared especially for the visual learner, they contain oodles of color photographs and illustrations; in addition to a handy “Basics” guide which breaks the construction process into five simple steps.

The initial feedback has been quite favorable and I am looking forward to sharing more of my ideas with you in the near future.

Happy sewing!