Hello Friends! I have had myself a very nice break from Etsy. I have a few takeaways from this much-needed breather that I would like to share here…If for nothing else, my own reference. If this encourages any of you out there who may also be Entrepreneurs or work from home Moms or even if you are in the workforce and have ever felt guilty for taking a break, then this might be for you too. Sometimes it is easy to convince myself that I haven’t quite worked hard enough to take that break yet. My problem was that I was forever moving the carrot a little further and further out from myself in an effort to trick myself into getting more and more done, but never could seem to actually take the break that I was striving so hard to “earn”…I am here to tell you TAKE THE BREAK! In the last 3-4 weeks that my Etsy shop has been on vacation, nothing has fallen apart. None of my Etsy followers contacted me to yell at me for my ill-timed vacation or to vow never to shop with me again because I failed to be there when they needed me. No one called me out for being lazy, no one blamed me for needing a break. My Etsy shop did not disappear into a nameless void and I didn’t lose all of my momentum and enthusiasm for work. QUITE THE OPPOSITE. If anything, I am actually enjoying this surge of creativity and passion for my work so much that I don’t really want to go back to my online business just yet. I have taken a step back in order to ask myself some hard questions, such as where am I now compared to where I want to be with my business? Do I enjoy making the things I offer to my customers? Is my aesthetic still current and modern in the face of all the copy cats out there in the retail world? How hard to I want to work and what do I hope to gain in the end with all of those late nights and swallowed tears? Let’s face it…Momming is hard! Working from home is hard! Entrepreneuring is HARD! Balancing it all while still staying connected and in love with what you do is not just hard, but like the Cat in the Hat juggling all of those things whilst atop a circus ball. If any one part gets out of balance, you can bet you are going down. There is even a Ted Talk called The Power of Time Off that I really love. It comes back to me out of the blue every now and then when I am really needing that break to center myself and my work. You can see that Ted Talk by clicking the link above. I have actually opened my Etsy shop Kari Goodwin Quilts with all of my quilts, pillows, and a few other random things, but am trying out the shop without the baby items in it at this time…Maybe I will write a short blog post about that decision soon as well. Folks Linen, The Tree House Kid, and Joshua Treeworks are also live and open for business. Together the four of us make up Goodwin’s Custom Crafts. We all thank you for reading and for all of your support!! Until Next Time!
Hello everyone! Kari here. Its been one heck of a week, to say the least. I was out-of-town for the testimony of Comey, and only heard bits and pieces of it on NPR while I was driving, so those are my hot Friday night plans…To watch the hearing on YouTube tonight and babysit my fermenting pickles…(Oooh, pickles would make a really cute fabric!…Saving that idea for later!) We have just wrapped up our first round of summer camp for the little ones and it was awesome and exhausting and the kids are currently dug in under covers in their jammies doing what they do when they chill, aka Netflix and Minecraft.
Anyway, back to my first point here. I would like to begin by giving a quick shout out to my sister, who is doing a great job of running The Tree House Kid and to my Mom who is running Folks Linen! If it weren’t for those talented and loyal ladies, I would not be able to do what I do. That is to say, that I wouldn’t be able to focus so much time and attention to what I truly love to do, which is to design, quilt, and be an entrepreneur. With them running those shops, it gives me the time and mental space to really focus all of my attention (what is left of it anyway), to my quilts. Please take a moment and visit their shops on Etsy, bookmark the site, and go back and share some love!! We offer really unique gifts for kids and adults alike, depending on who or what occasion you are shopping for. The links can be seen above in the text, on the opening page of my blog, or by following the link at the top of our blog that says “Find Us Elsewhere”. As I am not making those items myself anymore, it is rare that I have my hands on them to take pictures, share them on Facebook, Instagram, or blog about them, but they are still an important part of Goodwin’s Custom Crafts!!
Now, on to what I wanted to share with you! Today, I had a change of heart about my quilts. I know they are lovely and pretty and took a lot of time and money to make. I know they are worth more to me than I can reasonably sell them for. I know Etsy is not a fine art Gallery, although you can definitely find fine art there. I know that most of my quilts are small and will be used with messy kids, on the floor, or out in the yard for picnics…As such, I can NOT charge what I might like to for my quilts because folks who are buying them know that they will end up getting spilled on, pooped on, or curled up on by the family four leggeds. This is something that I just have to accept! I have tried to follow the advice of folks from the “charge what you think it’s worth, then double it because your time is valuable” school of thought, I have tried to charge what I would like for my quilts to sell for in a perfect world, where everyone has more than enough money to invest in the arts and pretty stuff, and I have tried at times to charge what they might be worth if they were on the level of fine art hanging in a gallery. The truth is that when I started this, I liked that my work was affordable and attainable to normal folks with normal cash flow. I have always offered payment plans for items that were a little more of an investment, and that won’t change, but I want to revisit a time in my life when the art of making quilts was not so much about how much money they could bring in, but in the simple act of making the thing itself. The process, the journey, the end result. It is a little harder for me to keep my prices low and competitive because I ONLY use organic cotton in everything I make, so I know my quilts will always be more than the next quilter who uses regular cottons. I mean, I wish it wasn’t true, but the simple fact is that organic cotton is more expensive than non organic choices…but the old saying of “You get what you pay for ” comes to mind here. Ok, why am I saying all of this?….
Oh yeah! I remember. The good news is that I went through my shop and marked ALL of the quilts down 15%. That is a starting point. I only want to make enough money to support my quilting and have a little extra spending money for stuff the family and I like to do. Nothing too extravagant, just the simple joys of an adventurous life. So I have marked them down, permanently. I hope to sell a few this month and clear out some space for some new up and coming projects that I have in the works. I love to sell my work…it is so exciting each time something sells! The Etsy app on my phone literally makes a “CA- CHING!” sound like an old cash register every time I make a sale and everyone in my house cheers and takes guesses as to what has just sold! (Kinda nerdy, I know, but that’s us!) I want to make it easier for you to own quilts yourself and to keep us playing our favorite guessing game! Please stop by my store on Etsy, Kari Goodwin Quilts, bookmark the site, check in with the shop at least once a week to see newly listed items, and mostly, check out those quilts! If you have had your eye on one lately, it might be a good time to snag it! My quilts usually don’t last for more than a year in my shop, which is a pretty good turnover in my opinion. If you missed the first announcement, you may also want to know that I am working on a new, stand alone website, called (surprise!) Kari Goodwin Quilts that you can check out as well. I am still tweaking the listings and making adjustments to the website, as it is only a few days old, but I will keep you posted. Until then, happy shopping friends!! Please subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already, and bookmark our site to make it easy to find us again! Enjoy your weekend!!
To all of those who gave their lives in service to this country, its values, its grand vision of liberty and justice for all, we thank you for your ultimate sacrifice. Today through Wednesday, I would like to extend a special Thank you to the servicemen and women of our country with a special 20% off at Kari Goodwin Quilts, today through Wednesday with the coupon code REMEMBER17. Enjoy the holiday in remembrance of the Fallen, and I hope peace is with you all today. <3
Also, just to keep my loyal followers “in the know”, I am working on a new website where you can shop directly from Me without having to go through Etsy. I would love it if you would go take a look at www.karigoodwinquilts.com and bookmark the site so you can keep up with my progress! I hope to soon link this site with that one, but I am still trying to work out the particulars. More details to come!
I wanted to do special compilation of a few items from my shop that all coordinate together in a forest or woodland themed room. All the items are made using only 100% organic cotton and use fabrics from my Spoonflower designs. The blankets and quilts can be made larger for customers who request it, and are already available in smallish sizes for smallish little people. The best way to contact me is through my Etsy shop here. So let’s take a look at some of these forest-themed items!
Yesterday, instead of doing a “Featured Item of the Week” post, I had this big idea about putting together a blog post that was a compilation of all of my favorite purchases from Etsy. It is a great idea, a fun story to tell, and a lot of love to share for fellow Etsy sellers!…So why, instead am I sharing my own newest quilt addition? Because I am not organized enough to put something like that together on the fly. Apparently, there is this big wide world called the “blogosphere” that I have yet to break into where people do things like that all the time, but for this old gal, it is still a new trick. The key word(s) being “on the fly”, meaning I will work on putting this post of mine together, but until then, I am going to have to stick to what I know. SO, on that note, take a look at my pretty new quilt! I have been working on this one for a while, meaning I spent time on it, got it ready to quilt, then let it sit there while I was distracted with what felt like an infinite number of other things while it sat patiently, calling my name ever so softly. Then one day, it got impatient with me and I could no longer put off the inevitable or ignore its beakoning call. I am glad it came together in its own time, though, and wasn’t one of those projects I was inclined to rush through. It feels like one of those special pieces that I will never really forget, and will always (to a small extent) regret selling. It is an improvisational plus sign design, made from old blue jeans that
were too ripped up to pass on, and some red vintage linen that I inherited from my Grandmother’s fabric stash. Other than the vintage and recycled fabric, it is 100% organic. The back is my Navy Constellation Map print on GOTS organic cotton sateen, which is also the binding. It is quilted in a free motion herringbone design with unbleached cotton thread. I had fun with this one. See the full listing on Etsy by clicking this link.
It’s Monday, so that means it’s time for sharing a new product for the week! This makes two weeks in a row that I have actually nailed this little goal of mine, which actually makes this THE most “pulled together” time of my entire life. No kidding. I thrive off order and chaos in equal measure, and see the balancing of entropies as the ultimate “LEVELING UP” of life. To have a little chaos, a little order, and a constant flowing dance between the two. Anyway, I distract myself. The featured item of the day is a simple product, but a brand new one for Kari Goodwin Quilts. These organic cotton knit blankets are great for a lot of reasons. Here are a few:
- Four different sizes available! From newborn baby to kid off to college with their first dorm room, there is a size for everyone. The material is fairly stretchy and lightweight, and would make a good swaddling blanket. In the larger sizes, the material is heavyweight enough to make a good throw style blanket.
- Made from the only material I use, GOTS certified organic cotton.
- These are printed in the USA with my own exclusive designs, made by me and my kids, which my favorite activity with my kids, so the purchase of this item actually encourages and supports art in my household! (not kidding.)
- With this product I strived to bring the best materials for the LEAST about of cost to you. As such, these blankets are simply serged around the edges, which is great for the stretchy material, and they go together very quickly. This allows me to pass on the savings to you, while still offering a great product, full of creativity and uniqueness.
That is all, back to work for me! Happy Monday Ya’ll! Here are links to my Etsy shop karigoodwinquilts.etsy.com and my website karigoodwinquilts.com . Be on the lookout for these new items to hit the shops soon!
Short, sweet, and to the point! This week’s special is an extra 25% off all Ready to Ship Clearance Items at Kari Goodwin Quilts, either on Etsy or the new stand alone website! Cut and paste this coupon code during checkout for 25% off! >>>>>>HPATSS25 <<<<<< If you’d like me to make it super easy for you, here is a link to the Clearance Section of the website! The Clearance Section has all of the banners, bunting, burpies, bandana bibs, and some minky quilts as well that are already marked down really super low! This deal will be available for the whole week, today through next Saturday. Now, I am off to sip my coffee and just wait for the sales to flow in! No, just kidding. I will be sipping coffee, but the rest is yet to be determined.
If you had come to Goodwin’s Custom Crafts in the last couple weeks, looking for some updates or galleries, looking to connect or get in touch, you would have been very disappointed to find that we were not here!! Between Bluehost miscommunication and the kids going back to school, renewing my web hosting was the last thing on my mind. For a few days I contemplated letting the website go, but as with most things, the decision to continue with it came down to commitment. Or as is sometimes the case, a lack thereof. This website…is it for blogging? Sharing galleries? Linking customers who come looking for one thing to the possibility of sharing new products with them? Is it simply an effort to validate my “brand” (whatever that really means I am not sure I have one!!) or what? The answer came eventually to me, in a sort of small sadness that a connection had been lost. Whoever you are and where ever you are, I have a desire to connect with you. Here…Instagram…real life…And this is one way that I feel comfortable doing that. An invisible audience that can be, at least in my imagination, as kind and receptive as any loving audience could be! And I missed you. Whoever you are and where ever you come from, I confess I did. I am going to offer a weekly COUPON special to all of my blog subscribers, starting with free shipping on ALL orders from Kari Goodwin Quilts (formerly the quilt and baby shop of Goodwin’s Custom Crafts…But that is a blog post for another day.) Enter the coupon code FREESHIPPING during checkout at Kari Goodwin Quilts or Folks Linen. No minimum or maximum purchase rules, just simple and free shipping. Check back next week to see what the new coupon code might be and until then, happy shopping! ALSO…IF YOU WANTED TO CHECK OUT MY BRAND SPANKING NEW WEBSITE CALLED www.karigoodwinquilts.com YOU CAN USE THE COUPON CODE THERE TOO! (Can you tell I’m excited?!) Thanks and love ya’ll!
I was a big fan of Judy Collins when I was a kid. I liked to sing along to her music because I could mimic her voice. My favorite of her songs (or was it really hers, I don’t know) was Everything Must Change…Nothing stays the same…everyone will change, nothing, no-one goes unchanged, or something like that. You get the idea. True words for sure. We’ve had some changes here as well, as Josh has moved on from the woodworking business and is now gainfully employed again. I have restructured by business to bring my Sister and Momma into the fold, and my Sister now runs The Tree House Kid, and my Mom runs Folks Linen, leaving me with one shop…Goodwin’s Custom Crafts.
I have changed the name of my shop to Kari Goodwin Quilts after MONTHS of mentally seeking the shelter of a new shop name. Goodwin’s Custom Crafts was, after all, Josh’s name that he picked for his business forever ago and I just wanted to evolved from that and start fresh. I wanted a name that was cool and funky and defined my shop, but nothing came, so I just chose the simple, straightforward approach, as that pretty much defines me as a person anyway. I am at least straightforward if not simple. So Kari Goodwin Quilts it is. I already like how seeing that name on the top of my Etsy shop makes me think about my work, if it is living up to the name, if I am in fact actually quilting. I just renewed my membership for the Modern Quilt Guild and have signed up as a Super Volunteer for the show in Savannah, so I am super excited to be attending my first ever QuiltCon in 2017. My point is, I’m changing. I am trying to shed old skin and wriggle out the kinks in this new skin. It’s a skin I’ve wanted to wear for a while now, focusing more on my true passion of quilting. I can say right now, at this moment,I have six quilts in some, WAIT, no SEVEN quilts in some stage of the process. I am a little rusty and my work is still smaller than I would like for it to be, but I am moving in the right direction at least. Here just a few pictures of my Works In Progress or #wip, just in case you are an old Judy Collins fan like I was and maybe didn’t know what #wip meant! 🙂
I came across this really cool idea from an artsy parent website. I am really sorry that I can’t find it again and share the original link. (I will have to get better about that.) For those of you who follow me on Instagram (www.instagram.com/goodwinscustomcrafts) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/goodwinscustomcrafts) you “may” have already seen some of these images. >insert heavy dose of sarcasm here<
Actually, you would have seen them over and over across the last couple of months as the project went from the initial phase to the complete one. I had so much fun with this project and the unlimited potential for creativity and was so pleased with the outcome that I was a little obnoxious about it. The kids each got a piece of fabric to do themselves, then my oldest and I worked on the large one together. I debated about keeping the final product for myself, but I put a nice asking price on it, and honestly, I struggled to find a place to hang it in my tiny house. I am reassured by the fact that there will be more of these in the future!!
I don’t really know how to do a tutorial other than list the steps and share pictures. ( I would love to do some development in this area of my life!!) So anyway, this was so easy! Here is how we did it:
squeeze bottles with small holes (I found some reusable ketchup and mustard bottles at the dollar store but you could also reuse actual mustard bottles…ketchup bottles have a little too large a hole); water and whole wheat flour in equal parts; organic sateen cotton fabric (works best because the weave is tight and it keeps the flour glue from soaking through as much); newspaper (to layer underneath to catch the moisture), 5 gallon buckets or large soup pot for dying, some sort of dye of your choice (I get mine at www.dharmatrading.com ), rubber gloves
Now, if you are asking yourself if whole wheat flour is really necessary, I have no idea. It is what I read about and what I used, so I don’t know how this changes if you use regular white flour or regular cotton, but I suspect the process is flexible and would accommodate those variations with little trouble. I get my organic cotton sateen from www.organiccottonplus.com .
- Mix the water and flour together until there are no clumps, as they will get stuck in the squeeze bottles. I suggest a kid who likes to whisk things! 🙂 You are basically making a flour glue or paste that is thin enough to squeeze out of bottles without running.
- Fill squeeze bottles, enough for everyone to have their own if you can, or you can share. We aren’t good at sharing when it’s something really fun like this!
- Lay your newspaper down on the floor, a table, or whatever surface you are using. The thicker the better. I think I also opened up some cardboard boxes to lay down. It gets VERY wet, so protect your surfaces!
- Spread out your fabric and GO. TO. TOWN. I suggest doing a little research first on the history of batik fabrics because it is AMAZING and will totally inspire you to get creative and give your kiddos an appreciation for this age-old process.
- Now for the hard part…Waiting for the flour glue to dry. The longer you can leave it to dry, the better your batik will be. The flour should be mostly solid to the touch, but still slightly flexible. If it gets TOO dry, it will crack and fall off in the dye bath.
- After fabric design has dried to the touch, fix your dye. I use five gallon buckets in the bath tub or kitchen floor, but you could do it outside too. You might want some rubber gloves for handling the fabric while it’s IN the dye bath. I gently dunked the fabric in the dye bath and didn’t agitate it too much, in order to keep the flour in place. Stir it, but don’t WHIP it, if you know what I mean…
- I am not going to go into how to dye fabric because that is way too complicated and you can learn it on your own from whatever dye company you dye from…So yeah, you are on your own from here. The take-away is that NOW you dye it.
- When the dye bath is finished, you will need to rinse out the remaining flour mixture.
- Open up your creation and ENJOY! It will be beautiful! Share you pictures in the comments, share on Instagram or Facebook and tag me because I would love to see it!!!
- Oh yeah…You have to wash it throughly, but that also has to do with the dye instructions, depending on the dye you used. Fabric should be washed a couple of times just to be sure the dye is all out. I wouldn’t recommend washing with other items. Wash alone, dry alone, at least the first time.
That’s it. I was very torn about what to do with my fabric pieces. I thought about making a prayer flag banner, scarves, placemats, but ultimately, I made a quilt because that is what I love. You could even frame them if you used small bits of fabric.
Thanks for reading and I really do hope you enjoy the process. I know I did and the kids too.