Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pinterest is taking over my free time!



Since I've found Pinterest, my weekends have been full of fun projects. Most of which include thrifting and repurposing things! I made this dress long before I found THIS tutorial on Pinterest, but my dress looked unfinished. I hadn't added the sash/belt yet. So, though the tutorial is great, I didn't actually use it. I used a much simpler version (just measured, gathered and attached the fabric to an old tee that had a stain on it). However, I'm glad I found the tutorial because it gave me the idea to add the belt which really finished off the look. I wish I had a picture of the back (and excuse my crappy iPhone pic). The belt IS actually attached at the sides to the dress so it doesn't move around and get all out of whack.





I had SO many compliments on this dress today. I liked it but didn't think it was THAT special until the compliments just kept coming from everyone from the Winn Dixie check out girl, to customers at Grandmother's Joy, to the jeweler that works next door. Anyway, needless to say I'll be making more. By the end of the day I felt like a million bucks!

Book Shelf Project for Charlie's Play Room

Here's a little project I did for Charlie's playroom! It matches the curtains of course. I have lots more projects up my sleeve for this room as he gets a little bigger. Next on my list is turning the childsize table and chairs that were mine into an updated version with chalkboard paint on the top and seat cushions that match his book shelf and curtains! (The table project was inspired by Pinterest of course!)


I don't really have any good "how to" advice on how to make this. All I did was spray paint the base and use the swag shelving that came with the shelf to make a pattern. Basically it is a 44" wide bolt of fabric sewn right sides together, turned right side out and pressed. The ends were stitched closed. Then using the measurements from the original swag shelving I folded, pressed and stitched 4 sections so that the poles would slide through. It was VERY easy and I love the way it turned out! Even my husband saw it and said "WOW, that looks so good!" And, if you know him, you know this is a big deal! :-)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Charlie's Sock Monkey Birthday Pictures *Part 1*

I'm pretty anxious to get these pictures up, so I'm going to post the pictures now and the story later! Enjoy!

In this heat? You're gonna need some ice water!

Cake pops were a hit!







Charlie's month by month photo display turned out so cute! I'll have to take a picture of the whole display so you can see all of the pictures together...





Our three sock monkeys....two got left at home...oops! Hey, we were lucky to have food at the party. My brain went missing in the chaos and LOTS of things got left behind! I think I'm the only one that noticed though!








I love these plates that I found at Hobby Lobby at the last minute! They fit my tiered stand perfectly and went with the polka dot and red theme. My banana pops were a disaster (should have relied on Diana's Bananas in the frozen food section, but I wanted to do it myself....) At least they tasted good!



The "Charlie Fans" were the hit of the party and they were my ONE completely original idea. Not that I copied the whole party, but it was definitely inspired by other great parties I've seen! The fans are the thing I was proudest of though....and they definitely got used!





"Charlie's 1st Birthday"....In hindsight I probably should have done a banner made from card stock because this one took me almost three weeks off and on to complete! Let's hope I can use it again next year and just change out the number! It did look pretty though.





It only took three helpers and staying up till 3 am to get everything done and without my dear friend Emily, who decorated all of the cupcakes, I'm not sure we would have had any! They turned out perfectly!






But, let's not forget the cake! Jeanette stayed up ALL night finishing it. No exaggeration....she did not sleep until Saturday at 5pm after all of the family guests left!





The birthday boy looks pretty pleased with it!








He didn't mind sharing a little with Niki either!






We only opened a few gifts and a few of our guests even thanked us for that! ha! I debated on whether or not to open any, but since we had a photographer there I wanted to document a few gifts being opened. It was just so hot and a one year old opening gifts is usually like watching paint dry. Let's be honest....






Here's Charlie giving out kisses to Niki...I can't believe we actually got this picture! (This is why you hire a photographer....ok...just ONE of the reasons!)






This is one of my favorite things from the party. This was also a "borrowed" idea (I'll post all of my sources in a separate post). Everyone at the party posed with a blank poster and I went back and filled in their names so Charlie would know who was at his first birthday party!









And, last but not least....our cookie favors. You wouldn't believe how long it took to make, shape, glaze and decorate 60 cookies. It was definitely a labor of love. But in the end, each person got to bring home their own monkey cookie and we were left with plenty to enjoy after the party!



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Creeping up on one year!

Charlie had his one year pictures today with Carmen of CBM Photo. It was looking like rain, but ended up being the perfect weather for a photo shoot! We met around 8am, it was 77 degrees with a cool breeze in the air. This is NOT normal for Alabama summers, so we were beyond thankful and so glad the rain held off! It is especially helpful to have that cool breeze when you are chasing an almost-one-year-old around trying to get him to get in the right spot for his picture! Here is my very first preview of the shoot today!

As you can see here, he's on the move! I loved the set up for this shot. We used a quilt made by my great grandmother and Carmen brought oranges (how creative!) and the old wooden ladder and wooden crates. We did a variety of set ups using family heirloom type props which hopefully I'll get to share in a few days!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I've been working on....

When I haven't been working on new things for Christmas Village or planning Charlie's birthday party, I've been just sewing up whatever I felt like at the moment! It's a nice change from the deadlines and stress of planning a line and all that goes with it.

Today, I finished up this little set in sizes 4 - 7. My plan (for now) is not to buy any new fabric until I use up what I already have on hand! It's kind of a challenge - especially since I LOVE buying new fabric so much - but it has made me use some different fabric pairings that I probably wouldn't have thought of before. If you like this set, I have enough fabric to make one or two more if the sizes I have ready won't work for you. Here is the link to order: http://sweet-dreams-designs.net/catalog.php?item=470&catid=10&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D10

This adorable little set has been finished for a while, but since we are still in the dead heat of Alabama summer, I decided to wait a little while before bringing it out! When I did put it out on the floor at the store and post it on Facebook, I sold three sets in about 3 minutes! I still have sizes 3, 4 & 6 ready to ship, but it can be made in sizes 12m - 10 years. I have plenty of this fabric to go around, so if your size isn't listed I can make it for ya! Here is the link to purchase the Peace Pumpkin Set : http://sweet-dreams-designs.net/catalog.php?item=470&catid=10&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D10


Hopefully lots more to come! I'm working on a new idea for the Christmas Village booth this year. It will be all boys again and I'm trying out something I've never done before! I hope it's as big a hit as the Cottontails booth was! I'll be bringing back mix and match tees/pants again so my machine is about to get really busy stitching out some appliqued tees! I've ordered bulk supply of red and green thread...gotta get past this birthday party first! :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Birthday Party Prep

I tried my first round with the Babycakes Cake Pop Maker last night in preparation for Charlie's upcoming birthday party and it was a success! I used random sprinkle colors here and chocolate I already had on hand to coat them in since I didn't want to use up what I had bought for the party. So even though they are not "designer" cake pops, I got the technique down AND they tasted good! Oh, and everyone keeps asking where I got this....Kohl's has them for $26.99 and if you buy it in the store like I did, then no shipping! My advice: FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS and read the tips. They really did help! (And I'm a terrible direction follower!)





I have also been working on his birthday hat (not finished yet, but I'll post pictures when it is!) as well as a variation of this idea from Life Sweet Life blog.







Hint: Think about how HOT it is going to be outside at the end of July in Alabama!



Truth be told, this blog has been a constant resource for my party planning. It's also where I found out about the cake pop maker! Score!



I'm also really excited about having Carmen with CBM Photo photographing the party AND Charlie's one year portraits! I wanted to have every minute of the party documented and I'm so glad that Carmen was free that day and willing to photograph it all for me so I can enjoy the party and **try** not to stress out about it!



I'm going to wait just a bit longer to post the party invites (which are PERFECT!) but here is the picture that went on the invitations....







My invitations were designed by MemoriesToo.com/Southern Summer Party Designs and they were printed (real quick and in a hurry!) by my friend Susan who designs adorable stationery for children and adults!



Now, what am I going to do when all this party planning is done?





Thursday, June 9, 2011

Free shipping on our discounted designer fabrics!



FREE SHIPPING on all remaining designer fabrics!

For a limited time Sweet Dreams Designs is offering FREE SHIPPING on the beautiful designer fabrics used to create our designs! Fabrics are from Spring 2011 and prior. We are also offering some new Fall fabrics that we used to create the Fall 2011 line which hasn't been released yet!

All of our fabrics are priced to sell at or below wholesale cost! Nothing over $5.50 per yard!

USE COUPON CODE FREESHIP TO RECEIVE FREE SHIPPING ON ALL FABRIC ORDERS!


Copy & paste this link into your browers to view our fabrics!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Charlie's Sock Monkey Birthday Party - The beginning stages!

We are in full swing planning for Charlie's birthday party! If I haven't mentioned it already, we are having a SOCK MONKEY PARTY!! I've been researching all things sock monkey looking for just the right additions to his shin dig!

Today, I started working on his "Charlie's 1st Birthday" banner. Here is a sneak peek at the first two letters. I'm super pleased with the results!


While I was at work, Jeanette started practicing the sock monkey cookies. I love them! She is so super talented. These are just the first round so I'm sure the final product will be amazing!










Here is a sneak of his outfit. I've been trying my best to take his picture in it for his invitations with no luck. Been trying for 3 days!


So far I'm so happy with everything! Lots of details remain...I'm so excited!

- Posted from my iPhone

Location:Hwy 335,,United States

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seeing the light

This is the longest I've ever gone without posting to this blog. There's good reason of course - trunk shows, fulfilling orders and getting ready for Cottontails Village again with very little notice. Tonight I finally just had to sit down and do a little writing after doing a lot of thinking.

In the 5 years that I've been in this business, I've changed directions a few times. My end goal was the same each time, but my method of sales has changed quite a bit. I've gone from online, to trunk shows, to wholesale, back to trunk shows to craft shows, back to trunk shows, then to buying a store and selling there while doing trunk shows and craft shows. Whoa.

After taking a break for fall 2010, I was ready to go with a fabulous spring line in January 2011. This was going to be the biggest yet! I was going to really blow it out of the water by hiring sales reps and pushing the line more than ever. Well, here we are three months in and I honestly can't sugar coat this anymore....I'm miserable.

I'm up to my eyeballs in orders which is fabulous! I'm so thankful for my wonderful customers - especially the loyal ones that have continued to order from me season after season. The part that makes me miserable is this:
"Pre-Charlie" I would have been as happy as a lark, sewing all night every night until my little heart was content. But now, when I come home from the store at the end of the day, I can't (and don't want to) go upstairs and sew all night long. I've already missed so much of the first 7 months of his life sewing up orders, preparing for shows and working my fingers to the bone. Simply put - I can't do it anymore. So, now I have an end goal in sight to finish all of my current orders and put this Spring 2011 season to rest as my final season.

There. I said it.

I hope this doesn't come across as ungrateful, because that is not the case at all. This has been a very successful season and for that I am very thankful. But, my priorities at this point in my life are my marriage and my child and I can't put them first with so many other things on my plate. (Please don't forget I have a brick and mortar store to run also.)

So, here are my plans for Sweet Dreams Designs.

We had a FABULOUS turnout at Cottontails Village this year. You may remember from my 2009 post, I had really decided that doing that type of thing was what I really loved and wanted to do. However, I didn't get back in for 2010 for their Christmas show or Easter. Well, this year they accepted me again only 5 weeks before the show. And while it was very stressful getting ready for it, we had a very successful show and were invited back for their Christmas Show (Christmas Village www.christmasvillagefestival.com) as well as Cottontails Village for 2012! I'm absolutely thrilled!

So, while I won't be doing trunk shows anymore, I will continue to design and make clothing for the store which I will occasionally put online and I will definitely be back with a TON of fabulous BOY clothing for Christmas Village (November 2-6) and Cottontails Village (March 2012). I also plan to continue making custom items as well as pageant clothing for my dear pageant girls! (You know who you are! (-:)

It feels good to get all of this out in the open. I sincerely do thank all of you who have attended and hosted trunk shows each season. I appreciate you more than you know and I hope you understand my decision to take things a little slower and focus on my family - the most important thing in my life.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Minnie Mouse T-Shirt


I had a custom order recently for a local Minnie Mouse fan...a personalized tshirt for her Minnie Mouse birthday party! I just loved the way it turned out. These are not listed on the site, but if you are interested in ordering one, they are $25 and you may email me at anna@sweet-dreams-designs.net to place your custom order. This would be great for an upcoming Disney vacation too! Colors can be changed to match your party and matching pants or shorts can also be made. Thanks for the inspiration Ava Rose!