April 24, 2014

Sellers to Buy From

I have been (gratefully and thankfully) getting inquiries recently from those wanting me to make them ready made princess dresses from my Joy2Sew patterns. Why would I dream of turning them down as the designer??? As much as I would love to, my available time right now needs to be applied to continuing to design for you and release NEW, and easy patterns for you to use! That excites me so much (as sewing for you would be)! But, great news....I have some talented seamstresses who are ready and willing to sew for you! Here they are, with their shop links and what they are selling. They are all amazing! I am so excited and honored that all of these ladies are licensed and selling their beautiful costumes from my patterns! Thank you all! 

Cute As A Button Etsy shop is now selling my Elsa Coronation Cape! Esther's sewing is so professional and the cape matches the movie EXACTLY!! Buy one today and let your little girl really reenact the "Let It Go" scene!! 

Look at the gorgeous Elsa Ice Dresses that Nicole at Once Upon a Princess is sewing up for sale!!! I love her fabric choices and customization with the beautiful trims and fabrics! 

Marci is ready to sew you a beautiful Princess Elsa Ice Gown with attached or detachable train! She is also working on a stunning PDF pattern for Anna's Coronation dress! So, make sure you favorite her shop to get the latest updates on that too! And you have to check out the tutorial Marci did for you readers on how to add glittered snowflakes to your train!

Amanda from Son Bel Etsy shop is taking orders for two of my princess patterns: Elsa Ice Dress, Anna's cape and more! She even has customized jewelry, little mermaid, and other great items in her shop. Check it out today!

You won't want to miss the chance to order your Anna cape from Audra at WonderfullyMade139 Etsy shop. They are so pretty and well made! They go fast, so ask for a special request, or snatch one up when she reposts them! 

 Lori at Lori's Playtime Pieces Etsy shop has beautiful, ready made dresses for sale from her own design. They are beautiful and well made! She also sells memory bears made from your own cherished heirloom clothing! 

Sarah from SarahJosie Etsy shop offers stunning Elsa Ice Dresses like this, ready to make for you today! She even shared a tutorial on a few of her amazing techniques on my blog

So, you have many AMAZING choices from many AMAZING women ready to sew for the special little girl in your life! Please support their shops and order from them today!

April 23, 2014

Open Your Own Etsy Shop + Get 40 FREE Listings!

Hi, I am Johanna Henderson, behind the scenes Digital Designer and Marketing Specialist for my wonderful friend Joy, at Joy2Sew. Because of Joy's inspiration, she encouraged me to start my own Etsy Shop HERE!  Before I start with Joy's interview, here is a great incentive in starting your own Etsy Shop for FREE + earn 40 FREE listings!
Each listing you create to sell an item is only 20 cents! 
Then, your first 40 items listed will be free!!

First: click on this link HERE http://etsy.me/1r5Psfm
Second: You receive 40 FREE Listings + Joy2Sew receives 40 FREE listings =
 A win for both parties! 

With all that Joy has accomplished with her patterns, I know she has inspired others to think about starting their own business from home too. So, I thought I would do some Q&A with Joy to find out why she started her shop and what she is up to @ Joy2Sew Etsy Shop.

Johanna: When did you start your Etsy Shop and why did you decide to start it?
Joy:Hello, Johanna (and all my readers)! I started my Etsy shop in 2010, because I wanted to try to sell some of my hand sewn items and artwork. I sold a few "Joy bags" I called them...basically purses. I also featured some hand painted zoo animal paintings. I had always crafted and sewed for years, but decided to try my hand at sewing to sell.  I also liked the Etsy platform because they allowed handmade items to be listed for just 20 cents each, had low fees, and was free to open a shop. Opening my Etsy store was easy for a beginner like me. 

Johanna: What did you primarily sell in your shop when you first began?
Joy: Just the Joy bags, and the few paintings. It didn't really start to take off though, until I started selling my first PDF pattern, Sofia the First, Debutant.

Johanna: When did you decide to start making patterns?
Joy: Well, it started with a request from my sisters friend, who lives in the Netherlands. In February 2013 she asked me to make a Sofia dress (I had never heard of Sofia before) for her daughter's upcoming birthday. I thought about it and prayed about it for a few weeks and almost even turned her down, but then decided to give it a go. At that time I had already self designed a few kid clothes items for myself, a bath robe for my mom, and a Dorothy Wizard of Oz costume for my friend's 7 year old. I wasn't really sure if I could do it, or not, but decided to try anyways. And you know what, it worked! When I made my second Sofia dress, I took about 200+ photos of the sewing process and wrote up the directions. My pattern pieces were all hand drawn before you (Johanna) came into my world of better design! I can't thank you enough! You brought the professional to the patterns and I love how perfect of a team we make! 

Johanna: Has there been anytime you felt you wanted to throw in the towel?
Joy: Absolutely. When the pattern doesn't quite seem to work, or my whole first draft directions aren't clear enough, or when I need to alter one pattern piece and that trickles down to changing 4 more pattern pieces to accommodate, it gets rough. And quite reasonably when my heart gets overwhelmed, I take on too much stress, and I'm not depending on the Lord to give me His strength for the task, I want to quit. I had a past regret of not finishing college, and that "not finishing" thing in my life really propels me to be a "finisher" now. 

Johanna: Why would you encourage someone to open up their own Etsy Shop?
Joy: Because having your own shop is a freedom of sorts. If you craft and create wonderful things "in secret", what good is that? When you post your items in a shop, you not only get to have the opportunity to sell what you make and earn income, but you are also making an online journal of sorts to record your work. So, my Etsy shop is just a natural extension of my blog, Joy2Sew.blogspot.com, where I share about ALL that I do (crafting, gardening, renovating, painting, ....not just sewing).

Johanna: What would a few pieces of advice be that you would give to newbies on Etsy like me or anyone else?
Joy: Be unique. Do NOT try to copy others blogs, or Etsy stores, or Pinterest. Your stuff will sell if your unique and special flare is on your products. Different sells in my opinion. Having a marketable product also helps (example: having awesome, thoroughly tested and easy to sew patterns for a high ranking movie right now helps!). If you don't know where to start, just begin by making what you have a passion for. And if you still don't know, then check out the pop culture listings in google and search out a needed product that you can create. And, if you still don't know, purchase my seller's licenses, and sew items from my patterns to sell in your shop! Hint.Hint.

Johanna: What is your favorite verse? And how does your faith help you doing what you do?
Joy: My favorite verse is John 10:27. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." I have always loved and visualized that relationship between me being the sheep and Jesus being the Shepherd (I even drew an art piece about it). Even though so often I feel that in my flesh I try to walk my own direction, it's His voice and His path that I need to take. His path is the way that works. His path is the only way that will lead you straight (Proverbs 3:6). The constant challenge is remaining quiet and still enough to listen to His voice alone. My faith in the Lord helps lead me in the right direction with my patterns. Having His heart to give helps me offer the best customer service to my customers. And knowing He has made me more than a conqueror helps me persevere through the trials (and there are trials!) of pattern making. 

Johanna: What is in the future for the Joy2Sew Shop?
Joy: Well, more patterns, of course! Looking forward to releasing a "summer version" of Elsa and Anna, a sewing pattern for Frozen themed costumes for Barbie, and possibly even Kristoff and Hans on the horizon for this fall! They are all on the drawing board at the same time! And somewhere in there, I am excited to post some free patterns for you from fabric bags to baby clothes... So much to come! I hope you stay along for the ride! All our customers are so wonderful and such a blessing in so many ways! Oh, and I always need new pattern testers!!! With each new pattern, I need faithful and talented sewers who are fresh and excited to sew what I come up with, willing to give me valuable (and frequent) feedback, and certainly tell me what I could do better on! If you have an interest in pattern testing for me, please drop me an email at jahoover316@yahoo.com and I'll add you to my list. Thank you! 

Thanks again Joy for sharing with us your ups and downs. It definitely gives a person hope that maybe the timing is what matters. Keep pushing forward and don't give up. It's okay to take a break, but don't give up! If God's called you to it, then He will get you through it!

~ Johanna
....And remember to check out all of the professional and adorable items that Johanna sells

April 20, 2014

Happy Post Easter!

Happy Easter 2014 from the Hoover family! Hope you had a blessed day with your family today, as we had. We celebrated at church this morning with a great celebratory service of Jesus' Resurrection,  and also had fun participating in a few Easter egg hunts this weekend too. 

We took our boys (mainly Nathan) to Ace Hardware for an egg hunt on Saturday:

And then came home and had our own own egg hunt in our back yard. (Thank you Daddy for hiding the eggs!) When we got done, Nathan wanted us to keep hiding the eggs! I guess it's the 
thrill of the hunt! Perhaps we'll do it again even tomorrow, but without all the candy  :)!

Today, after church, we went to my sister's house and had a delightful time with our extended family and so many cousins! Such a house full of love! We ate a delicious meal and all the cousins hunted eggs! Thankful to have snagged just a few photos with our kiddos on this gorgeous Ohio day! 

And what about that Easter sewing? Well, all my ambitions really fell apart. I chose sleep last week over sewing. I had wanted to make my boys bow ties, cord pants, and t-shirts (and myself a dress too), but, the only thing that actually got done was James' Easter basket- (below), which he really didn't even need this year. And you know what? It all turned out just fine anyways. My toddler ended up changing into shorts,  my baby ended up needing an outfit change too, and I had a new skirt to wear from Old Navy and a scarf given to me by a loving friend last year (thank you, Sarah!). So, sometimes my expectations are high, but I have learned to be "okay" with not getting it all done. With all the stuff that constantly runs through my head, it never all gets done or made anyways. 
And, it was a very happy Easter after all!
I hope and pray that you all had a wonderful time celebrating and remembering....

He came to pay a debt he didn't owe.
Because we owe a debt we cannot pay.

Happy Easter to you and your family! 

April 15, 2014

FREE Elsa CROWN!!! 2 days only!!!!!

Two Days Only: FREE Frozen Inspired 
Elsa Coronation Crown Stencil on Joy2Sew Craftsy!!!!
    April 16 and 17, 2014 ONLY. 

I just finished reading this post on Today.com about how some parents are paying thousands of dollars for an Elsa dress. Thankfully, anyone who purchases my patterns and makes their own will not have that issue. In my opinion, we have one of the best patterns out there! We have tried to keep the cost low for all of you, so that price does not become an issue in making your princess happy. After reading the article, it started me thinking how great it would be to give everyone who comes to my blog something for free! The Elsa crown is a stencil that has been featured on my blog before, and now we are giving it to you: Elsa Coronation Crown Stencil in my Craftsy Shop for two whole days for FREE (April 16th and 17th ONLY). Don't forget to check out my newly released pattern of the Frozen inspired Elsa Ice Dress and Elsa Coronation Dress + Cape that is now available HERE and HERE.

Make your own Elsa Crown, like the one above, for your next Frozen Party, or for the Princess in your life! I even have a step by step guide on how to make your very own Elsa Crown HERE.

This stencil is only for FREE in my Craftsy Shop, NOT my Etsy Shop.

To get your very own Elsa Crown stencil click HERE.

Thank you to all of my faithful readers and those of you who are enjoying my patterns! Seeing the beautiful items you create from my patterns and stencils is such a tremendous blessing! 

A room for my boy

My Nathan is just over 3 years old right now. We had the absolute joy of getting to move into a house of our own this past fall after James was born. That also meant that Nathan got to have his own room!
Yes, Mommy and Daddy braved sharing a bedroom with him until he was almost 3! Here is what his our/his room used to look like at our last house AT YEAR ONE, and then YEAR TWO

And today: (How awesome that the room was already yellow, so I didn't need to paint!)
 My sister made the awesome play pegboard for him! He loves it so much! Now if I could only get my 3 year old to leave those rubber bands in that pocket and not on my kitchen cabinet knobs! Ha!
The awesome wall art is by artist, Ben Riddlebarger. My fav is the penguin in the submarine! What  fun pictures to look at and create dreams with! He's very talented! 
And because Nathan was our firstborn, we had more family photos taken with him (at least so far), so I tried to make a collage for him on his wall. There's a picture of him on his tummy at 4 months, one of him and Daddy at 3 months before Daddy deployed to Afghanistan, and one of our family together at around the same time. I also adore the personalized ART that I have in the red frame! My best friend and design genius, Johanna, who puts together all of my digital patterns that you adore, now has her own ETSY STORE!!! Check out all of the custom wall art that she has in Pick Your Printables! It's so easy to download the design you want and have her customize it for you with your child's name! I just love it as I feel it adds the perfect touch to N's room! 

 And Johanna also made these adorable blocks for Nathan too! Her blocks are how I chose the color theme for his room! They are safe for baby to play with, but I prefer them on display. They are just so pretty! Personalized blocks are also for sale in her shop! See the ones she also made for James!

Over Nathan's toddler bed (twin bed in the works with Daddy's building skills), I hung his Memory Clothing Tree Picture, and then added the scrap fabric banner I made for his 2nd birthday and then had left hung over our fireplace for the next year after that. 
 I hung a simple wall shelf from Lowe's for beside his bed. I wanted him to have a close area to hold his "juice" (water actually), nightlight bunny, and whatever random toy he decides to bring to bed. And, well, the tree. Yes, half of a Christmas tree we let him keep there because he cried for over an hour after Christmas when we wanted to take it down. So.., not a deal breaker. Steven shortened it, and let him keep it. He loves it. Still.
The bookcase was an item made by my Dad. He had built a set of them after he got back from serving in Vietnam. My mom let me have one and she still has the other. In our last home, I placed it on it's side and used it for fabric storage. I think it works very well as both functions! 
 And on the wall behind the door is the growth chart that my grandma (Nathan's great grandma, of course) hand embroidered for him. I can't express how precious having handmade things from her means to me. And after I hung it, I saw that I need to mark off 37", for Nathan's current height. How wonderful! 
And.... I just finished painting my bedroom too! Need to decorate soon and then I'll show that one off too! 

Just thankful to now have a special place for my little guy! When Nathan walked into his newly decorated room for the first time, he said, "oh wow!" Thanks, son! I put it together.just.for.you.
I love you, son! 

April 11, 2014

Elsa Ice and Coronation Dress PDF Pattern Launch!

 Elsa PDF Pattern is HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohooo!!!!!
Now available in my Etsy store and my Craftsy store!!!

 Here's a quick sneak peak to see what's inside and what to expect....

PREPARING: The sizing chart and the materials purchase list in easy, quick to read charts!

 Here are my high quality, detailed directions, with full pictures and step by step guidance. If you are a beginner sewer, I want you to have confidence that you can easily execute either one of these dresses for your Princess! 
                ............ice dress.............
 ...............coronation dress...................

And instructions on how to stencil the Coronation dress and Cape are included. I demonstrate how to use both freezer paper and stencil film methods to achieve a high quality result. All the stencil templates you will need are included with the pattern! 

And you will love the upgrade in the pattern pieces that we made for this Elsa pattern! Every pattern piece lines up with dots that you match up, laying one on top of the other. It's so easy!!! And with a 1"x1" box printed near the pattern pieces, you will be sure to know you have printed them out correctly and at just the precise size! Here is the bodice lined up, and the skirt once it is pieced and taped together. 

**We have also made these same updates on all the pattern pieces to our Anna pattern, and will be sharing that update with you soon!!

So, are you ready to sew your Princess an Elsa costume? I promise you she will not 
want to take it off! 

To purchase your Elsa Pattern head on over here....
Joy2Sew Etsy or Craftsy 
If you want to sell ready made dresses in your shop, using my pattern, please be sure to place a Seller's License (per the dress you want to sell) in your cart, as well as the pattern, at checkout. 

Pin it, Facebook, Google+, Tweet it from the mountaintops!!!!

April 9, 2014

Elsa Ice Tutorial: Stenciling the Train with Glitter Paint ....using contact paper and your Silhouette Cameo, or an X-acto knife.

I'm pleased to bring you today an Elsa ICE DRESS tutorial from Marci, of Made by Marci! She was one of my AMAZING Elsa pattern testers! I was so impressed by her seamstress skills and train stenciling, that I asked her to share with everyone just how she did it! 
 Marci guide's you step by step  how to add perfect, glittered snowflakes to your organza dress train! She used her Silhouette Cameo machine to cut out the snowflake, but if you do not have one, you can easily use your x-acto knife to cut out the snowflake. 
Let me introduce you to her!!!.... 
Marci is a mother of two beautiful girls, ages 2 and 4. She works hard at her day job, but enjoys sewing for her girls and doing machine embroidery on the side. She opened her Etsy shop, Made by Marci, in 2011 and is now an authorized seller of Joy2Sew Patterns
And now she's working on an Anna Coronation dress of her own design...It's stunning!!!

Now that you've met her, on to the stenciling....

I first cut a snowflake design (I used Joy's Elsa snowflake) on Contact paper using my Silhouette Cameo. I removed the inner parts of the snowflake, leaving the negative of it on the contact paper.
I then gathered my supplies: Aluminum foil, dimensional glitter fabric paint, extra fine glitter, some Contact paper to transfer the snowflake stencil and toothpicks (not pictured).

 I started with a large snowflake in the middle of the cape. I folded the cape in half 
and put pins in to mark my center.
 I then peeled the back off of some scrap Contact paper and put it over top of the snowflake to transfer all of the detail. If you look closely, you can see the outline of the 
snowflake underneath.
 I then VERY CAREFULLY pulled the backing of the Contact paper off of the snowflake, making sure all small cut out pieces stuck to the Contact paper and not the backing.
I then flipped it over and lined it up with my pins and pushed it down onto my cape fabric.
 Now for the (not so) fun part. It is helpful to have a point tool such as the one pictured. The Contact paper of the snowflake sticks very well to the transfer Contact paper but not so well to organza. VERY CAREFULLY pull back the transfer Contact paper, using the point tool to make sure all pieces pull off and to help pull down while you pull it back.
WARNING: This part is a HUGE pain in the behind!
 When done, you will be left with this:
 On some foil, squirt a bunch of the dimensional glitter paint. I felt like the glitter paint alone didn't have enough glitter so I added some extra fine glitter and mixed it with a toothpick. You can also sprinkle extra glitter on at the end, but I did it this way to avoid 
having it fall off all over my house.
 Make sure you have foil under the area you are going to paint with the glitter. It will go through the organza and WILL STICK. I used foil so that it would be easier to peel off. With the toothpick, evenly spread the glitter paint over the snowflake. You want it to be a thin layer, but thick enough that there is enough coverage of the glitter.
 When you are done, you will have this pretty little thing:

 At this point you can go back and fill in any areas that look to need more. If you are happy with the coverage, then let it sit to dry. You can always add more later if you need to. I let mine dry overnight. It was still a little tacky in the morning, but was dry enough to remove the stencil. VERY CAREFULLY pull the stencil off. If you have the glitter paint a bit thick in some areas it will want to pull off of the organza too, so make sure to pull slowly and have an x-acto knife handy in case you need to cut anywhere. Also pull the foil off of the back.
And VOILA! You have a beautiful glitter snowflake!

Thank you for sharing your tutorial with us, Marci! 
Please stop by and visit her in her shop, Made by Marci