Thursday, February 25, 2010

When I design vinyl art pieces, I try to picture what they will look like once my customer applies them to the wall. My imagination is not nearly as beautiful as the finished products turn out. Thank you to my Etsy clients for sending photos of the applied vinyl!!! It is so fun for me to see the big picture!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mother / Daughter Crafting Duo

My mom & I started a T-Shirt Quilt business in June of 2008 after we made my own t-shirt quilt together.

We work side-by-side 40 hours a week in an insurance agency, but we still enjoyed having a creative outlet outside of the office. As we made my t-shirt quilt, we daydreamed about creating custom quilts for others, and eventually turning it into a business.

"Eventually" came along very quickly as people saw our first quilt, which was a patchwork of t-shirts from the past 15 years or so of my life. The quilt included middle school, high school, & college shirts. Even the smallest pieces of my t-shirt logos made it to the quilt, unlike many t-shirt quilts that we'd seen in the past.

Within a year, word of mouth spread quickly, and we made over 15 T-Shirt Quilts for friends, family, & friends of friends. We hired a graphic designer to design our logo after deciding upon a business name. Our business name, Fishtail Designs, comes from baton twirling lingo, as we wanted to market primarily toward baton twirlers (I am a former high school & collegiate majorette and currently coach baton). Our market has since expanded beyond baton twirling into a general market that continues to surprise us.

We joined Etsy in 2009 after so many friends encouraged us to check it out, and have since found a home where we feel so welcome as a creative duo. We have one Etsy shop together where we market the T-shirt Quilts, along with vinyl art & other crafts that we make.

Although we spend many hours a week together in a professional setting, we thoroughly enjoy a couple of evenings a week and some weekends sewing, creating, & spending quality mother/daughter time together. We have a great balance of skills in the business. We both contribute to the design of the quilts, the preparation of the materials, and the process of sewing the shirts together. My mom sews beautifully and has given me many tips so that I feel confident now to sew a straight line. I spend a lot of time marketing our T-shirt quilts on Facebook, Etsy, our Blog, and anywhere I can spread the word.
This business has also encouraged my husband & my dad to spend more one-on-one time together. They've become golfing buddies and can spend hours watch sports or hanging out with a cold drink by the grill!
It is such a joy to work with my mom, and our creativity together gives us hope for a future of full time T-Shirt quilting...

Surf's Up!

I had a fun order for vinyl art last week, and the buyer was kind enough to send a photo of the finished product.

The vinyl was ordered by a California mom who knew exactly what she wanted (my kind of customer!). She gave me color choices, font choices, sizes, and even a mock-up of how it should look.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dream Out Loud

I received a custom vinyl art order last night from someone who wants this quote over her bed: "...And you can dream so dream out loud..." I googled the quote out of curiousity. It's a line from the U2 song "Acrobat." I love U2, but don't recognize these lyrics, but I just love the feeling of desperation behind them...

Acrobat by U2
Don't believe what you hear - don't believe what you see
If you just close your eyes you can feel the enemy
When I first met you, girl, you had fire in your soul
What happened? your face of melting snow
Now it looks like this

And you can swallow, or you can spit
You can throw it up, or choke on it
And you can dream - so dream out loud
You know that your time is coming round
So don't let the bastards grind you down

No, nothing makes sense - nothing seems to fit
I know you'd hit out if you only knew who to hit
And I'd join the movement
If there was one I could believe in
Yeah, I'd break bread and wine
If there was a church I could receive in
'Cause I need it now

To take a cup - to fill it up
To drink it slow - can't let you go
I must be an acrobat
To talk like this and act like that
You can dream - so dream out loud
And don't let the bastards grind you down

Oh, it hurts, baby
What will we do now it's all been said?
No new ideas in the house and every book has been read

And I must be an acrobat
To talk like this and act like that
And you can dream - so dream out loud
And you can find your own way out
And you can build and I can will
And you can call - can't wait until
And you can stash, and you can sieze
In dreams begin responsibilities
And I could love, and I could learn
And I know that the tide is turning round
So don't let the bastards grind you down

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Finished Product

One of my fabulous Etsy customers emailed me a photo today of the vinyl that I sent to her. She created a twist on traditional vinyl art, and created a sign for her child's nursery with the vinyl. It looks beautiful!

If you're interested in vinyl art, please visit my listing for custom orders HERE, and we'll begin the process together!

Blog Giveaway

Australian Etsy Member, LisbonSky, is holding a fabulous giveaway on her blog:

For this giveaway, Sparrow Graphic has kindly offered one lucky winner ANY FOUR Digital Collage Sheets from their shop (winner gets to pick). Each sheet contains up to 36 different tile graphics, so you’ll be spoilt for choice here! The giveaway will run from Feb 16 – March 2, 2010 (till 11:59 pm Australian EST).

Check out LisbonSky's blog HERE to participate & to see the entry rules.

I'm entering this giveaway for sure! Thanks LisbonSky!

Bird Poo

I came home from work yesterday, and noticed that my house was all disheveled. It looked like Mr. French (our cat) had gone wild playing & tearing around the house. Except that Mr. French doesn't do that. He usually sleeps during the day & terrorizes us at night. So I straightened a few things & started to walk upstairs, when out of nowhere, a BIRD swoops around my head. I run screaming upstairs, not realizing that my cell phone is downstairs with the BIRD.

So, I run back downstairs to grab the phone, and run outside into the 2 inches of snow to call my husband. I urged him to come home quickly because a bird has been in our house all day. I hadn't even surveyed the rest of the house yet, but saw that our big leafy decor was dropped 6 feet off of our alcove, and the kitchen table was crapped on...

I took Mr. French into the office with me where I frantically wrote on Facebook about my situation (because that's what we do now, right??), and waited for the hubby to come save me. It then occurred to me that I should get a couple of photos in case no one believed me... So here is the 1st one I got:

But then, as I'm hiding in the office with my cat, I start hearing this familiar clinking noise out in the kitchen. It sounds just like Mr. French when he's eating his dry food for breakfast... Hmm... So I go peek, and sure enough, the bird is eating my cat's food!!

So here's a photo of that... (and yes, that's bird poop over to the left of the bird...)

Thankfully, this bird was kind enough to only poop on my wood & tile floors, counters, alcove, kitchen table, television, and heaven knows where else... He left the carpet & couches unscathed...
The best news is that the door to my craft room/office/etsy staging area was closed during the entire debacle!!
So here's to a whole night of cleaning bird crap in my house!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mondays, Husbands, & Cats

Monday is the perfect day to start a blog. Its the type of day that I resolve to go to the gym, to list multiple Etsy items, to eat healthy... It's January 1 all over again... So, here goes... I'm starting a blog for my t-shirt quilt & vinyl art business. Blogs make me nervous - insecure about my ramblings, & what the "cool" people think... Its like high school all over again!

I've been down & out with a cold, and the Lord blessed me with 7 new Etsy vinyl orders 2 weeks ago. But in the excitement over successful marketing, I panicked because I could barely get out of bed. Would you believe that my sweet, sweet husband jumped in & became my Vinyl Art partner??? I hadn't even thought to ask him for help, but once he offered, I realized how indispensible he is now. He is the master of preparing the completed vinyl for application & shipping. I am SO thankful! The best part is that I feel like he's involved in my creative ventures, and it is so fun to see him excited about something I've started. What great affirmation!

What's more is that Mr. French, our beloved tuxedo cat, has also taken part in our vinyl creations. I love this picture of him as he sits next to such apt scripture! How cute is this?!?!?

Sunday, February 14, 2010