Free Ad Space Offer!

Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm getting back on track with my free-ad pay-it-forward deal.

I've been very lucky to be featured on some really great blogs.  It has brought me a lot of exposure and helped me grow my business.  I want to be able to do the same, so I've been running month-long free ad spots to the first 5 people to comment on THIS post with a link to your Etsy shop, or sewing / DIY blog and your email address.  I'll be closing the post on Wednesday afternoon.

If you have a handmade/vintage/crafty shop or blog, comment here with your email address.  All I ask in return is a small mention of my free ad space giveaway on your blog, facebook page, or twitter. If you are one of the lucky 5, I will contact you with details on the ad (200x125, by June 1st).

Thanks everyone, and good luck!

Closed! Thanks everyone :)

Approaching 300 sales....

Friday, May 25, 2012

I am quickly approaching my 300th sale in my shop.  Pretty hard to believe!

Ohhh Lulu has been more popular than I ever had hoped when I first opened my little Etsy shop, and my blog, which I used to whine only got one or two views a day (likely from myself), is approaching 10,000 hits each month.  I'm pretty darn proud, it's been a lot of hard work, and I haven't always been perfect, but it's been a lot of fun.

Its funny... I always wanted to be a designer (a designer or an archaeologist).  When I visited the guidance counsellor in high school to help me decide what I wanted to do with my life, they would tell me, "oh no, you don't want to do that, you won't make much money and it will be very difficult.  You should become a teacher."

Hmm... Well, I figured Guidance Counsellors must know something teenage-me didn't know about the world.  My parents always told me to do what makes me happy, and always nurtured the weird, free-spirit in me.  But I listened to them.  I went off to university and wasted a whole whack load of money, that is still being paid off to this day.

So, I followed my heart and went to design school, where our teachers told us, "Don't think you're going to graduate and be a designer! Designers don't make much money and it's a lot of hard work."

I listened to them too and when I graduated I got a creative-ish, 9-5 type gig, a responsible, regular, run of the mill job.  I jumped around here and there... textile design, interior decorating, alterations... and I was miserable and I never lasted more than a year in a position. That is, until I started doing what I love to do.

Yeah, we don't have much money and I work a 30-hour a week job outside of Ohhh Lulu, and it is a lot of work, but I love it, but it's totally worth it, and I wish I hadn't listened to my teachers and guidance counsellors.  Every sale makes me so happy; I am so thrilled that people out there enjoy what I do as much as I do!

Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy.  If you love something, the benefits will outweigh the struggles. I love my life and where I am, but if I could change one little thing, I would have done this years ago.

Here's what I wish my guidance counsellors had told me, "You can be a designer, you can be anything you want to be!  You might have to work another job while you establish yourself - your "pay the bills job" won't define you - but if you work hard and are really passionate about craft, you will be successful."

Madmoizelle online 'Zine

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I was very excited to see Ohhh Lulu featured in the online magazine, Madmoizelle.  Ohhh Lulu was featured along side KnickeRocker and Naomi Lingerie - two of my favourite Etsy lingerie shops.

Me Made May - Cynthia Rowley Dress + Fabric HELP!

This is the second time I've used this pattern, and I really like it.  Its quick and easy to sew, and doesn't use a ton of fabric.  I was able to cut this remnant of blue and black jersey I've had for a while, trimmed with some black organic cotton jersey.

I'm really happy with the dress, and I've worn it twice BUT after washing it, the blue and black jersey is starting to "tear" along the stitching lines.  I used a ball point needle and serged my seams, so I'm not sure what's happening.  Maybe it was just a cheap fabric? Has this ever happened to you?  I really love this dress, and I'd like to be able to save it!

Wednesday Wish List: Doll House Edition

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I've been absolutely obsessed with doll house miniatures on Etsy, after finding L Delaney's shop. I can't get over the amazing detail in some of these pieces.  Here is a round up of some of my favourite finds.

1. Miniature Cloche Terrarium by Hammersheels
3. Miniature Butchers Block by Artisique
4. Miniature vintage Bed by Artisique
5. Miniature Union Jack Rug by Artisique


I never, in my life, thought this house could look so neat and tidy.  Dan and I used to drive past this house on our way to work every day and I never gave it a second glance.  Now with some paint, new gardens, GRASS, and a new apple tree, it's looking pretty darn good.

As a testament to how much Dan loves me, he dug through our very compacted gravel drive way so I could have a garden on the right side of our front stairs.  Previous to this, the gravel went right up to the stoop there.  Here's a reminder of what our house looked like about 2 months ago:

Welcome to bores-ville!

My mom and I went out flower shopping on Saturday morning.  We each got a rhododendron, and I got a hydrangea, some veggie plants, and a bunch of annuals. We broke up some hostas and lilies from my mom's  gardens and planted them here as well.  Dan and I also planted an apple tree at the front of our property! We have a crab apple tree in the back, so we just might get apples one of these days.

Busy week for Ohhh Lulu....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

 Well, Thanks everyone for making my Sale a huge success! I hope everyone was able to get in on the deal who had wanted to.

To help boost things a bit, I made Etsy's front page on Saturday. It made for a very busy weekend!

Also, my give away on Oh the Lovely Things came to a close on Sunday.  I was surprised to see almost 400 entries into the give away! Thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to the winner. And, if you didn't win, stay tuned... I've always got a new one up my sleeve!

Quietly Participating in Me Made May

I've been quietly participating in Me Made May... somewhat unintentionally.  I made a Lydia top at the end of March, and really loved the fit.... then I made two more Lydia  tops because the first one was making such frequent rotation in my daily wardrobe. I forgot how much I love to wear handmade clothing! Sounds funny, but I often get so busy sewing for other people (and I love to do it), that I wind up wearing the same old department store stuff I've had for years.

Yesterday I sewed these Built By Wendy Shorts.  I made absolutely no alterations to them and they fit perfectly.  The fit close under the seat, so no gaping, perfect around the hips and thighs, and I can never find pants that right properly around my thighs!  They are just perfect.  My absolute favourite pant pattern.

The pants have front pockets, back decorative flaps, belt loops and a fly front (I am embarrassed to say I looked at the fly pieces and couldn't for the life of me remember how to install a fly!).  The shorts still need a buttons on the front and back, but other than that they are done.

I used a metallic linen that I've had in my stash for a bout a year.  I bought this fabric on clearance for about $3 a meter.  I really love the pink, brown and gold tones, feels slightly safari-ish to me.

And of course I had to make a top to match.  I used up a remnant of rayon slub jersey and made a gathered camisole, which I am wearing today.

Friday Wish List... Bath Edition

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lately I've been enjoying more window shopping than real shopping.  I guess my bank account appreciates it, but I can't help drooling over these bath goodies... My birthday is just around the corner, afterall!

1. Sarong Noir Perfume Spray by Theme Fragrance
2. Lavender Lip Balm by Herbivore Botanicals
3. Peppermint Vanilla Soap by Prunella Soap
4. Tea Light Massage Candles (must also come with massage) by La Mia Casa Nel Vento
5. Lovely Jubblies Cream (my favourite smelling, but oh so expensive lotion) by Lush
6. Linen Bath Towel by Bath Style 
7. Acne Face Moisturiser by Wild Rose Herbs

Wednesday Wish List

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pre-Raphaelite Shirtwaist

1. Pre-Raphaelite Shirtwaist by Ranunculus Market  
2. Le Wolf Petite Necklace by Le Animale
3. Antique French Button Card by  Sadie Olive
4. Yellow Cat Ring by Every Bear Jewel
5. Double Gauze Fabric by Cottonholic
7. Vintage Victorian Yoke Camisole by Ruby Chic Originals
8. Linen Dress by Thread Beat

Around the house...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We had a pleasant surprise last week when we found that the gnarly old tree in our backyard started blooming.  It turns out we have an old crab apple tree! It's in full bloom now and looks so, so pretty

The weather has turned so nice in the last few days. I've spent most of my evenings outside with Oliver, playing ball and weeding our very sad backyard.  This weekend is Victoria Day Weekend, which means I have some extra time off.  I have lots of sewing to do, but am also going to make some time to start planting in the gardens we dug over the last few weeks.  This will be my first real foray in to gardening!

Time for a Ruffle Bloomer Give Away!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Oh the Lovely Things is one of my all time favourite blogs.  I just love her clean, fresh style.  I am so so so excited to be hosting a Give Away there this week.  Head on over for a chance to win these Ruffle Bloomers - which normally retail for $35! The give away is open to international readers, and the final winner will have the knickers made in their size.



Sunday, May 13, 2012

I've decided to run a Sale this week only (May 13 to May 19).  Use coupon code PrettyPanties in my Etsy Shop (excluding Patterns please) and receive 25% off.

Please do note that my turn around time is usually about 6-8 weeks.  Some of my new readers and followers may not know that outside of Ohhh Lulu, which keeps me pretty busy, I am also the office Manager for a small company which keeps be busy 4 days a week.  Each piece requires quite a bit of work, and I never rush through an order, so if you need an order by a specific date, just let me know ahead of time and I will do my best to schedule you in.

Also stay tuned tomorrow for news about a Give Away!

On the Mend...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Normally when I get sick, I'm out for a day or two.  I felt like crap all week and am finally starting to feel better. I spent a day and a half resting, and after that I couldn't take it any more, I went back to work, did my usual routine, and today, Dan and I painted the porch.  It was nice to be outside (until it rained) and the house looks awesome.

On the left, is the house as it appeared when we moved it.  Since then we have put on shutters, put up a new mail box and house number, added some furniture, outdoor cushions (that I made), dug a garden (which will get planted next weekend), cleaned up the drive way, and painted.

I used two shades of grey on the porch - light grey on the railing and spindles, and dark grey on the face of the porch, risers of the stairs, and the trim around the top of the porch.  We left the floor bare, not wanting to have to paint it every few years...

Next weekend we will be planting some flowers, and after that I hope to  do a small stone walk way up to the front steps.  Aside from that, I am pretty darn happy with how it has turned out.  It's a far cry from what we moved into.

Blogs & Etsy shops for May

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I love the internet (most of the time).  It's such a great way to connect with cool, talented people that you otherwise would have never had the opportunity to get to know! 

I had 5 great entries for my May Free Ad Space Give Away, some of them were already favourites, and some are new favourites!

What I Found is an amazing vintage pattern source.  I love the What I Found blog, which has scans and snippets from vintage magazines, ads, etc. Check out this cute 1960's Baby Doll Pyjama Pattern.  So cute!

Christine, from What's Up Cupcakes, bakes and sews.  A woman after my own heart! I have to admit, I couldn't spend too much time on her blog because it made me too hungry.  Look at this, Honey Almond Ice Cream.  She has all of her recipes neatly archived - I'm planning on spending my Friday night going through these!

Cherise Vintage Inspired couture is an Etsy Shop run by Leea from Finland - she makes beautiful vintage-style dresses, girdles, and accessories.  I have to say, this dress is my favourite.  I love the fabric and the detailing at the waist. I love her photographs.

I'm not sure how I haven't come across Wanett's amazing sewing blog, Sown Brooklyn.  Her blog is so beautifully designed, and so fun to read.  She sews.  And Knits. And writes. And raises a family.  Basically, she is a wonder woman! I love this outfit - this is totally something I would love to wear.

I also was introduced to Samantha from the Hot Mess Housewife (a blog name I adore).  Check out her blog, she's participating in Me Made May and has lots of cute stories to tell about mother hood.  Her blog has given me a few good chuckles.

Well, that's all for now.  It's been great getting to know these ladies! 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I am sick like no one's business! I keep thinking, "I'll feel better after a nap..." or "I'll feel better in the morning," and I just keep feeling worse! Luckily it comes at a time when my day job is kind of slow and I can easily take the time off without stressing about going back to a mountain of work.  But still, I hate being cooped up inside.  I've just laid around for the last day and a half... It's killing me!!!

This morning I made treasuries and looked at custom stamp designs (I want one for Ohhh Lulu). I paid a couple bills, sent some emails, and edited a few photos.  I sat outside and threw the ball to Oliver, who also is pretty upset about being cooped up in doors.  I have to admit, I sat at my sewing machine this afternoon and sewed a top... I couldn't take it any more!  I've been making these sweetheart tee's, out of an altered Burda Style Lydia Pattern. I really like this pattern - it's a great start for all sorts of knit tops.

Well, that's it.  It's 8:00 and I suppose sick ol' me should head off to bed.  Ho Hum... I really hope I feel better tomorrow!

Give Away on A Good Wardobe

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hi Everyone *Sniffle* I had to leave work early today because I am really under the weather! I've been home since 2, sleeping and resting... and going a little stir crazy! I hate having to stay still for too long.  But, I really need to rest and get better.

Elizabeth, from a Good Wardrobe, is hosting a Give Away starting today.  She will be drawing 2 winners - and you get to choose the pattern you want! Click here for the detail on how to enter.

I also wanted to take a quick moment to thank everyone for the input, moral support, and feedback on my patterns.  It's really been awesome.  I am learning so much as I go, and it makes me really happy to see people excited about my patterns.  I really feel very lucky.  Over the last couple of months I've had the opportunity to collaborate with other bloggers from all around the world; I've made lots of great connections and it's just been so awesome.  Our little online sewing community is such a great place, full of awesome, supportive people.  So, yes, Thank you! All of you!

Sniffle Sniffle...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

 Summer cold! I has one.  No Fair! Today was one of the loveliest days, warm and sunny.  I felt like I had been run over by a bulldozer... but it was good incentive to stay inside and sew.

 New Ruffle Bloomers and Chiffon panties got listed in the shop.  Yesterday we worked outside all  day, weeding the lawn, digging a new garden, and fixing up the drive way.  I can't believe how much better the house is looking every day.  And to think... I used to drive by this house every day and think to myself... "What an ugly house." I guess it goes to show what a little love and TLC can do.

What I've been up to...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What have I been up to this week?

 The super nice and talented Lizz asked me to guest blog on her blog A Good Wardrobe last week.  I've written a tutorial on how to add some feminine, Ohhh Lulu-style details to the Betty Pattern   Click here to read my post, I've got some tips on adding ruffles (of course), and a cute heart applique, using a card-stock template and  basting stitches to create perfectly pressed curved edges.

Hi!! I'm over here on A Good Wardrobe!

Last night I bought the Sewaholic Minoru Jacket Pattern, which I've been eyeing for sometime now.  I have been keeping my eyes peeled for a light, spring jacket and cannot find anything ready made that I like.  Every thing is a weird length, or too "fluffy" (I tried a trench coat style jacket on with frills that came up to my cheeks!), the wrong colour, or just a bad fit for my short yet curvy physique.  I'm really excited to get the pattern.  I'm planning on making two.  I know this is a popular pattern - anyone have any finished Minoru Jacket's to show me?

Monday night I kicked my own butt in yoga, and am still sore, but in a good way.  Tonight I'm off to sweat my brains out at Hot Yoga.

This morning I posted new banners on my side bar - I got some really amazing entries this time around, and found some new blogs to follow, but I'll be posting more about that later...

Lastly, I've been drooling over Maddie's blog, Madalynne.  Isn't it just lovely?

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