Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me!

I noticed something these past few weeks while I have been trying to get my orders out.  I have been fighting with my Husqvarna and I didn't realize how much it has been struggling to sew through multiple layers of canvas.  She is only a year and half and I have been concerned that I was going to break it, so I decided to accelerate a purchase I was planning for later this year or next.

I have been looking at him for the past year and a half, and then on 12/24 I had the day off and went to my local Sew&Vac store to ask some general questions and look around at machine accessories.  I walked in and there he was, I don't know when they received him because last time I was there, they had other types of machines.  Of course I got to try him out, it scared me , he's very powerful...but the temptation was too much.

And today, DH brought him home, here it is, my Juki 1541s....

Not only can this bad boy sew through multiple layers, but also leather, therefore look for some changes in my designs in 2011... 

 I was able to squeeze it into my studio, but it is tight in there now.
Of course I have no industrial thread to play with, so now I wait for my thread order.  Perhaps I will clean my studio and do some reorganizing.     

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Have You Tried the New Taste Test Tool?

Hooray, another Etsy Treasury!

Have You Tried the New Taste Test Tool? by CreationsbyEileen, features my Mini Gray Messenger Bag.  

It's made with a dark gray micro suede fabric and lined with a heavy weight black cotton canvas that has a subtle pebbled texture.

 Don't let it's little size fool you...

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Should be Sewing but...

Okay, things have been a little swapped here at HMMills. I sold a few more messenger bags and my poor Husqvarna is struggling to keep up with the layers of canvas. However, I decided to take a day off, (yes I know, I hope my buyers aren't reading this), but only because I had too.  Last year three of my friends and I got together for an afternoon to make some Christmas cookies and this year I decided to host it at my house.  Therefore, I needed to decorate the house, get a tree, etc. etc. So about 23 dozen cookies and 8lbs of fudge later....

Okay, now back to work...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide For The Super Savvy Buyer

One of my iPad Covers has been included in another Etsy Treasury, this one called, Holiday Gift Guide For The Super Savvy Buyer by AllisonTMorgan.  Hooray!

 iPad Cover - Tiny Dots Brown & Tan

The cover is made from a cotton print, with a color palette includes brown and tan dots and lined with a matching brown twill cotton.

I used a recycled button for the flap closure.




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Recycled Buttons

When I was in the midst of indecision regarding a closure for my iPad covers, the one thing that I was sure of was that I was going to finally utilize the stash of buttons sitting on a shelf in my studio.  The buttons are a mix of buttons that I have collected over the last 20 years as well as buttons that were found in the sewing room of my ex's grandmother when she passed away in the late 80s. I had written a post about them long ago and I always had great intentions to do something with these old buttons.

My husband commented as I was sewing this last batch of iPad covers that he was amazed how I was able to find just the perfect button for each cover.  As he was digging through the stash, he guessed the age of some of them...not quite vintage, but some do appear to be from the 1970s and 1980s.  I call them recycled, because many of them still had the thread that originally held them to whatever garment they were salvaged from and as a survivor of the The Great Depression it appears that she saved everything. 

I guess her thriftiness is my windfall.

I've been featured...

The kind folks at Know the Art Scene have featured me in there blog.  Please take a moment to visit Kathleen McGiveon's Blog, as she interviews aspiring creators as myself.  Kathleen is a visual artist who is compelled to produce large works. She enjoys working with clay because the material allows her to form any shape that plays in her mind...

Below is the interview conducted by Kathleen McGiveon. 

December Christmas Special...know hmmills

1. Tell us about yourself?
Oh where to start, by day I have a semi-stressful career in Corporate America, however at night I am the workhorse behind HMMills. My father has always told me that my true calling was to be an artist or designer, so HMMills is my creative outlet. While I am at work I am always thinking about I can work on once I get home. I have little notebooks filled with jewelry and handbag bag doodles. I am constantly drawing out bag shapes or earrings and necklaces. I do a little of everything, I make glass beads to incorporate into my jewelry designs and love to work with sheets of metal and wire and recently I have reactivated my addiction to fabric. 

2. Where did you train/learn your practice?
Sewing: I started sewing as a young girl (before the age of 10), making dresses for my Barbie dolls with just a few lessons from my mom. In my twenties my roommate, who was a true seamstress, expanded my sewing skills by making me sew tailored clothes for myself. About a year and a half ago I pulled my sewing machine and serger out of the closet (after ignoring them for years) and made a handbag. Now I can’t stop sewing. (I do hope that Santa upgrades me to an industrial sewing machine this year, although the Viking Husqvarna I received for my birthday last year is very much loved.) 
Jewelry: I took basic wire class years ago, but I am mainly self-taught. A few years ago I worked in a bead shop a couple Sundays a month just so that I could hang out with other beaders and taught several wire technique classes. That experience led me to attended classes at an art school for metal-smithing and lampworking to expand my skill set. 

3. What are some of your goals as an Etsy Seller?
Sometimes I want to be one of those Etsy Sellers that gets reviewed in the Etsy “Quit Your Day Job” feature. However with that said, I thought I would start small this year:
• I would love to receive 100% positive feedback from all my customers, (so far so good). I want my customers to truly love the item once they receive it. I have been disappointed from some of my online purchases through the years and I never want that for my customers. 
• Another goal was to have 50 items available in my shop by June (missed that, because customers kept buying things, LOL) and 100 items in my shop by mid November so that my customers have stuff to look at!

4. What do you think differs your Etsy store from others?
I believe that I am similar to many other Etsy sellers in that we all put in a lot of thought and time into our creations. Therefore, what would make me different, (well, when I do have items in my store,) I think would be the diversity of my items. I love accessories (you don’t want to know how much jewelry, handbags, scarves and shoes I own); I guess what girl doesn’t love them. 

5. Are you making any thing special for Christmas?
That’s a good question, one that I have considered in the past, but each time I always decide no. Each season there are trends, which I try to maneuver around, but as for holiday items, I don’t want to limit my items to a specific holiday. (However my mother-in-law would love it if I would make her some Christmas pillows for her sofa.) One trend I couldn’t resist this season is Plaid (which could be consider holiday-ish). I recently purchased a ton of Plaid and tweed fabrics that I intend to use for some of my bags. Last weekend I was experimenting with my Messenger Bag and made a Mini, so I can’t wait to use some of the new Plaid for that design as well. 

6. Will you be having any store sales or specials for the holidays?
I am debating between a discount on a second item, a shipping freebie or shipping discount. 

7. Will you be packaging any differently for Christmas?
I typically wrap my items in white tissue and teal ribbon. Packing can be tricky during the holidays because of all the different faiths, so I may continue to wrap in white but can see a gold or silver ribbon making an appearance. 

8. Do you sell anywhere other than Etsy?
Yes, I sell on 1000 Markets and Zibbet. I also sell at various Street Shows (in NYC) during the summer months. 

9. Give your shop a Christmas Jingle!
LOL...I have nothing...

10. What else would you like to say to KathleenMcGiveron.com’s viewers?
Just that this is a great site and that I hope that your readers continue to support it, as well as thank you for the opportunity to talk about me.