February 11, 2013

GIVEAWAY The Rustic Ewe

Want to a chance to WIN this Beautiful Honey Colored Neck Cuff?
There are SIX ways to enter - SEVEN possible entries.
Winner announced February 18th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

January 8, 2013

Taking A Break

I have crochet baby hat burn out. As with any home business you pour your heart and soul into it and pray that it will be successful. In May 2013 Cotton Blossoms will be 4 years old and I am proud to say I've crocheted thousands of hats. That is a success in my book. With any success comes the not so fun side of the business. I am a one women show (with the exception of some help during peak times) so that makes me designer, marketer, customer service operator, packager, shipper, sales manager, photographer, web designer and any other title that goes along with running a home business. Over the past several months instead of being excited when I receive orders it has become more of a burden. I have lost my passion. All the late nights, long wait times, missing out on my kids growing up and time away from the family has taken its toll on me. I have decided to take what I am calling a winter break. I am hoping that taking a few weeks off and stepping back I will find my passion for making hats and all the fun newborn props that are ever so popular right now. What if I don't get my passion back? Well, I don't know. Maybe I'll take a few more weeks off or maybe it will be time to say goodbye to Cotton Blossoms. Only time will tell.

I don't want to leave you feeling sad, because even when good things come to an end a new opportunity presents itself. With me I think it will be my new shop, The Rustic Ewe, specializing in Neck Warmers and Accessories for Women. My approach to this shop will be a bit different than Cotton Blossoms. I plan on offering mainly Ready To Ship items rather than made to order or custom made products. This will allow me to be more in control of my business and allow me to be more creative. My hopes are to create new stuff during the week and then do weekly or bi-monthly uploads. If you see something you like, grab and it will be shipped out ASAP. No more wait times!

For now, my new shop is open and I am taking on orders. BUT starting February 1st I will be offering Ready To Ship items only. Of course I will still take on custom requests as time permits.

Looking forward to 2013 and all it has to offer!

January 4, 2013

Meet Betty: Our New Model

Meet Betty! Betty is an older model who was well loved and taken care of and I imagine was a beauty in her time.

With the winter weather upon us it's hard to set up photo shoots so I needed an alternative for my product photos for The Rustic Ewe. I've been on the hunt for a mannequin form for quite some time, but the ones I like are priced well out of my price range. So what's a crafty gal like me to do? Why turn to Craigslist of course! I found Betty right here in my home town for the bargain price of $25. SCORE! My Mama agreed to pick her up and even paid for her. DOUBLE SCORE! I've seen some vintage models just like Betty selling for $75 on Etsy!

In a just a few simple steps I was able to transform Betty from an adjustable sewing form into a simple and chic neck warmer model. While Betty might not be runway material she is perfect for my needs. Total cost: $12.

Betty before her transformation
Wrapped in cotton batting and pinned in the back.
I used pins so that I can always restore Betty to her former self.
Wrapped in a linen cotton fabric.
This was the tough part trying to get the fabric to lay as smooth as possible.
I spray painted the plastic topper and added a decorative finial (from a curtain rod).

December 11, 2012

WIN a Handspun Neckwarmer

We Have a WINNER! Rachel Brock please contact me to claim your PRIZE!

Want to a chance to WIN this Lovely Handspun Neckwarmer?
There are FIVE ways to enter. Each option counts as ONE vote!
Winner announced December 18th!a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 4, 2012

New Year's Resolution

It's been 18 months since my last blog post. YIKES! That is all about to change. My New Year's resolution is to become an active blogger. Now exactly what does active mean? Once a week? Once a month? My goal is to blog at least once a week. After I get into the groove of things I would like to blog 2-3 times a week. But baby steps - I'll start with once a week. Does this post count? (I think so)

What will my blog be about you ask? There will be lots of fibery posts since my passion revolves around my yarn, my crochet hooks, and my knitting needles. I've also been a small business owner for the past 10 years with various adventures so I'd like to offer some biz advice and tips I've learned over the years. Maybe work in some DIY projects and craft projects along the way.

So join me in my new adventure of Blogging. It will be a wild ride! OK...probably not that wild as I am almost 40 and we are talking crafts here. BUT I will try to at least bring a little bit of humor to your day ;)

May 25, 2011

Hand Stamped Jewelry

Hand stamped jewelry is so popular right now. I've been ogling over these necklaces for well over a year now, but I have never ordered before because I am way to indecisive. What style - what stamp - what font - the choices are endless. I always planned on ordering one with the names of my four babes until this little number caught my eye. I have this thing for cute little birds lately (there is even one in my logo). The light bulb went off: I'll order one with my biz name. I contacted Kelly over at My Charmed Life and she was more than willing to create this custom piece for me. I am so thrilled with the end result. The quality and craftsmanship are outstanding. I was also pleasantly surprised that the necklace is not thick and bulky, but rather very feminine.

If your in the market for some hand stamped jewelry, check out My Charmed Life.

May 13, 2011

New Site Design

WOW! It's been way too long time since I blogged! So much has changed - for the good.

First, we have a new site design. I am proud to say that I did it all by myself. I've been dabbling in HTML since 2003 so with a little effort I was able to create a template that really reflects Cotton Blossoms. I think it has a fresh and clean look with a touch of class and sass - just like our hats!

Second, I've opened up a Newborn Photography Prop site called Bebe Hats. This shop is exclusively newborn sizes and is geared towards photographers in mind. It is still a work in progress, but I will be adding more designs slowly but surely.

Third, I plan on giving this blog some TLC. My goal is to blog at least once a week. It won't always be focused on Cotton Blossoms and new hat styles, but rather my overall love of the fiber arts. I plan learning to spin and dye my own yarn, learn to knit, new yarns and notions and anything else related to the fiber world that I can share with you.

As some of  you may know or not know I closed my shop for the month of April. This allowed me to not only get caught up with orders but to reorganize and implement some big changes with how orders are processed. Cotton Blossoms has officially been in business for 2 years! There were lots of growing pains along the way, but I am so happy and fortunate to be doing what I love. A big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me along the way!