Saturday, November 19, 2011

B's 2nd Birthday Party!

So the last weekend of October we had B's 2nd birthday party.  The party almost got cancelled since we had to take B to the ER the Wednesday before his party because he had a febrile seizure because of a fever.  He turned out fine, just had a little cold (with a big fever jump) and luckily was fever free for 48 hours before his party.  It did put me back a few days with getting the house and things ready for the party.

Regardless the party was a hit! B had a great time and so did his friends.  Since B is a HUGE fan of The Biscuit Brothers, of course had to have a Biscuit Brother birthday party!  Their show is about music education so the child activity, goodie bags, cake, etc were all music based.  I would like to thank my awesome sister for getting good quality images to use for the party stuff from youtube videos.  Since the Biscuit Brothers are small, there isn't any merchandise out there to purchase so I had to make it all.

The goodie bags contained 3 noise makers (got a bunch for cheap at Oriental Trading), a Biscuit Brothers coloring page (found here) and 2 cowboy crayons that I made using an old candy mold.   I put everything in a simple brown paper bag and sealed with some Go Make Music labels.

My sister made a replica of their Big Book of Music and the Mail Quartet Wagon for decorations.  We put the birthday cards in the mail wagon and will use that as decoration in B's cowboy bedroom. 

I decided to do cupcakes instead of a cake because they are easier to serve and easier for 2 year olds to eat than regular cake.  One of the Biscuit Brothers - Buford, plays the banjo and I thought a banjo cupcake cake would be cute.  I could find banjo cakes online but no banjo cupcakes so I had to figure it out myself.  Around the banjo cupcake I made blue and red cupcakes and printed out pictures of the Biscuit Brothers on circle stickers, put them on lollipop sticks and put those in the cupcakes.  Every time B saw the cupcakes he yelled - my show, my show!

For the activity - we made music shakers.  I did this activity with B a few months ago and he loved it and plays with his music shakers almost every day.  I thought this would be a good activity for the 2 year olds and some of the older kids as well.  With the 2 year old parties I have been to, most of the time the kids don't care about whatever activity you have. I figured with this we would have left over colored macaroni and plastic bottles to recycle if no one was interested.  I was surprised that the music shakers were a big hit and almost all the kids made one and several of them played with them later on.  The only cost for me was the macaroni and some plain white labels so it was a cheap activity as well!

We also had a music station set up for kids to "Go Make Music" and well as tons of toys outside for them to play with. 

I also made B two shirts to wear for his birthday party.  I used iron on transfer paper to make a "Go Make Music" shirt and a Tiny Scarecrow shirt (the puppet from the TV show) for his party.  He wore the Tiny Scarecrow shirt first and then after cake we switched him to the Go Make Music shirt.  The best part is that he can wear the shirts again and again! 

Lastly, I made B some birthday confetti cake batter pancakes on his birthday.  I even put a candle in them for him but didn't care at all and just wanted to watch The Biscuit Brothers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

If your name is Heather...where did Heidi come from?

Now that I am "officially" launched my business with friends and family, I get asked all the time - where did the name Heidi's Nest come from?  Well, here is my story.

It all started about 4 years ago on a long drive to Amarillo, TX.  My husband and I were driving up to Amarillo from Austin to visit some friends for New Year's Eve. That year, I had made tons, tons of scarves for everyone for Christmas gifts.  It was a big hit, something personal for everyone (we have a lot of aunts/uncles/cousins) that didn't cost me a fortune.  While on our 8 hour drive as I was making another scarf, I talked with my husband about opening an online store to sell scarves, quilts and other such things.  My husband is a computer person and he would create a website for me to sell things.  At the time, I believe Etsy was around but I had never heard of of it before and it wasn't as big as it is today.

As we continue our long drive, we decided that my new store would need a name of course.  I didn't really want to use my name in the store at all but couldn't come up with something generic that wasn't corny also.  A few months early that year on our honeymoon in Germany, we went to a botantical garden in Frankfurt.  They had a place there called "Heidegarten" and on the sign they translated it as "Heathers Garden."  Since then, I started using the name Heidi online.  We both thought Heidi would be a good name for the store and then went down the list of shoppe, shop, boutique, store, place, etc until we settled on nest.  A few google searches didn't pop up anything and the name Heidi's Nest was born.  So after all I really did the name the store after myself, but kind of translated it sort of, but not really into German.

My husband started working slowly on a website and I started to do some research on products and got my mom aboard to sell some of her things.  She would make what she wanted and I would charge a small fee for the business end of selling things.  The business never really got going as I was finishing grad school, then got pregnant, then had a child and didn't have much time for me or to or course make anything.

In August 2010, I decided to start selling Thirty-One.  At the time, it was a newer direct selling company that nobody had heard of so I thought it would be a good opportunity to get out of the house, interact with other women and make some money while staying at home.  Little did I know I would join Thirty-One and then it would take off - they had something like 500% growth last year.  I felt this new thing I was doing became way to saturated way to quickly it was hard to really push the stuff.  In December 2010, I did a little craft show selling Thirty-One but the whole time I was seeing other people sell what they made and I decided while sitting their bored out of my mind for 4 hours that it was finally time to launch Heidi's Nest.

Of course you can't launch a business overnight with no inventory or plan, so in January 2011, my mom and I met and hatched at a business plan.  She would make quilts and I would make some quilts, scarves, hats, blankets and other gift things like crayon rolls, car rolls, blocks, etc.  We would create a facebook page and etsy shop to sell our good and occasionally do craft fairs too.  from January-September 2011, we both worked on creating some inventory to launch with and my little sister who does graphic design created a logo and banner for our shop.  We officially launched on Facebook in September and I launched the Etsy shop in October 2011.  We have sold a few things at a craft fair and I had done a few custom orders and now will be waiting for the first Etsy sell.  We have about 30 items ready to go but I am slowly retaking photos and posting them on Etsy and working on making more things too.

Facebook page -
Etsy store -

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bento Box Halloween Quilt

I finally finished my Bento Box Halloween Quilt.  It some ways it felt like I was working on it forever, but then I thought back and it really only took me 3 weeks which considering I have other quilts that take a year or so to finally finished, this was pretty fast.

  (Note to self - don't try and take pictures if there is wind outside)

To make this quilt, I googled some Bento Box quilts to get a general idea of how they were made.  I didn't really want to pay for a pattern and it seemed like something I could figure out myself.
The basic pattern started out as a 4 inch square, surrounded by a 1.5 inch border and a 2.5 inch border.  I had a total of 12 different fabrics and sorted them into 4 color groups - blacks, purples, yellows/oranges and greens.  I cut out enough to make two blocks of each color.

Next, I made 2 charts to plan out the quilt.  For the first part, I labeled each fabric 1, 2, or 3 for each fabric group (G1, G2, G3, O1, O2, etc) and grouped the fabric together to allow a variety but also so that no colors would be in the pattern twice or left out.
I arranged the fabrics so that the blacks and purples would never touch and the the oranges and greens wouldn't touch.  This was able to give a light and dark effect. I sewed the initial blocks together following their grouping (G1, P1, O1).  The first color listed was the square, followed the the 2 borders.  After I sewed all the initial blocks together I had 10 inch blocks and renamed them using letters.
A- G1, P1, O1
B- G2, P2, O2
C- G3, P3, O3
D- O1, B1, G1
E- O2, B2, G2
F- O3, B3, G3
G- P1, G1, B1
H- P2, G2, B2
I- P3, G3, B3
J- B1, O1, P1
K- B2, O2, P2
L- B3, O3, P3

I then drew a chart to arrange the letters.  The letters are in groups based on color (A/B/C, D/E/F, G/H/I, J/K/L).  The same colors would be caddy corner to each other in the same square.  The squares that were more green and orange (A-F) were always the bottom left and upper right pieces while the black and purple squares (G-L) were the upper left and bottom right pieces. 

After I made my chart, I cut my squares into fourths and arranged them according the color alphabet chart.  I laid them out, sewing the squares together, the squares to each other and then the rows together until the top was finished.

I found some cute black fabric with green, purple and yellow stars, pumpkins, and grayish bats that I thought coordinated well with the front.  I got some silver thread and quilted the quilt in the spider web design.  I first did the long straight lines across the quilt and then quilted the web part around the quilt.  I binded the quilted using a simple black binding to frame everything nicely.

Can you see the spider web quiltling?  It stands out more in person but was hard to photograph the quilting.

Overall, I am pretty happy with how the quilt came out but I wish I did a better job with the quilting.  I had a lot of tension issues and if I had time, this is something I would have probably hand quilted but I wanted to get it done by Halloween, oh well.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What a Week!

I had plans to have several projects done by this weekend and I probably would have gotten most things done but on Wednesday night we had a little bump in the road.  B had a fever that jumped and he had a febrile seizure.  He is ok now but we had a long night in the ER on Wednesday and I lost a lot of time being up all night and not having free time when he normally goes to preschool on Thursday.  My grand plans of getting things done were squashed.  Even if I did have some free time, I was dead tired from getting up every 3 hours for medicine during the middle of the night.

By the time B was feeling better, I had to get everything ready for his 2nd birthday party.  I will post later about his birthday but I did manage to finally get my Halloween quilt done on November 1st.  At least it will be ready for next year!

I now have to finish the custom curtains ASAP and would love to work on some other stuff but really need to finish cleaning the house from the party this past weekend.

Here is the latest project list update.  After the curtains I really should start working on my Christmas quilt so I can at least get that done and displayed for a holiday.

Rank Project Status How Many
1 Bento Box Halloween Quilt COMPLETED 1
2 Brown Angel Hair Crochet Scarf COMPLETED 1
3 Custom Curtain Order 25% Complete 1
4 Christmas Quilt 65% Complete 1
5 Trains Fabric Bin
6 Music Fabric Bin
7 White Crochet Baby Blanket 25% Complete 1
8 Pink Eyelash Knit Scarf Started 1
9 Kitchen Oven Mitts - Wedding Gift
10 Car Mat Quilt
11 White Newborn Hat and Booties
12 Animal Cloth Blocks
13 Floor Cushions
14 Swiffer Wet Jet Reusable Pads
15 Hooty Hoot Owl Quilt
16 Medium Rice Therapy Hot/Cold Bags
17 Numbers Bean Bags
18 Pink Knit Baby Blanket
19 Girl Animal Print Rag Quilt
20 Baseball Knit Hat and Booties
21 Football Knit Hat and Booties
22 T-Shirt Bag
23 Kitchen Aid Cover
24 Sewing Machine Cover
25 Lovey Tag Blankets
26 Mini Apron and Oven Mitts Set
27 Small Rice Therapy Hot/Cold Bags
28 T-shirt Yoga Pants
29 Alphabet Bean Bags
30 Red Knit Prayer Shawl
31 1600 Quilt