Category Archives: General

The Modern Lady Blog has Moved!

The Modern Lady has found a new home at www.TheModernLadyBlog.com. Visit the new site now and make sure to sign up for the new feeds!

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The Modern Lady is One Month Old

Hooray for the one month anniversary of my blog! As The Modern Lady, I have posted 18 entries in the last 31 days and opened The Modern Lady store on Etsy (currently filled with aprons – oh how I love aprons). I’m so excited to see the interest grow more and more everyday and I truly appreciate all the comments to date! This blog pushes me to keep up the creativity and challenge myself at new domestic endeavors … and I only see greater things to come :)

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I wanted to highlight some posts from other bloggers that have fueled my inspiration over the last month. Here are some of my favorites:

Thank you all for sharing your talents with the world!!!

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Setting Up The Modern Lady Etsy Store

This weekend was a long one, but short on time. Where did it go so fast?! I didn’t get as much accomplished as I wanted. However, there were some major milestones in my crafting ventures. The biggest of these being the setup of my Etsy Store – The Modern Lady.

Setting up an Etsy store is more work than I anticipated. Quite frankly, the whole Paypal thing threw me off a bit. I HATE reading boring stuff like Terms & Conditions, bla bla bla. I skipped past most of it, signed up for a Premier account and called it a day. Hopefully people can pay for items they purchase … that’s if someone buys something :) (In retrospect, perhaps I should have paid more attention to that part.)

What I did focus on was my Shop Policies. If you’re used to selling your handmade items on eBay this is probably a snap. However, Etsy is my first foray into the land of selling handmade items. So, I had to take some time to think about what my payment options would be, how I would ship items, if I would take returns/exchanges, etc. My tip for others here is to look at other successful Etsy shops to see how those before you have done it. I looked up Etsy‘s featured sellers for this and it was extremely helpful.

Another very important thing to do is check out your competition. There are a lot of different elements that come together for a listing but the items that appear in the search results are key. Make sure you have an awesome first picture that truly represents your product. Also, the price is right is not just a game show. You have to ensure you have priced your items appropriately for your competition. Lastly, make sure your title is representative of your item as well as an attention grabber.

Etsy has a Seller Handbook; I’m looking forward to dissecting it as I have time to see if there are any golden nuggets of information. I have a LOT to learn here… but I’m excited to be trying something new. We’ll see how it goes :) Hope you had a restful Martin Luther King, Jr. day!

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Trippin' on A is for Apron – Psychedelic Squares Pattern

Last night I was able to squeeze in another A is for Apron sewing fiesta before American Idol :) Here are my thoughts on the A is for Apron Psychedelic Squares pattern.

  • It was easy to make – a total of 2 hours for everything and I know I’m not efficient.
  • It looks super cute on. The ties wrap around in the front and the pocket is perfectly positioned – it has a vintage feel to it but it’s still very modern in its shape.
  • If I was Nathalie Mornu, I probably would have placed this one towards the front of the patterns in the book. The A is for Apron book does not seem to organize its patterns by skill level. I think in a How To book, you should really focus on building your skills apron by apron so the hardest ones are last. It’s sort of a crap shoot in this one, you just have to visually gauge which ones are going to be painful and which ones you can finish in no time.
  • This pattern is all about the fabric because the cut is super simple. If you picked solid colors, this would be very boring. I wanted to stay true to the “Psychedelic Squares” theme so I picked these funky little gems to make it a bit bolder without being too loud. In honor of my brother, I’m going to call it “Hippy Lib.” (It’s too bad this wasn’t a bib apron, Hippy Bib would have been better! I may need to rethink this in the future if there’s another that applies lol.)

I won two vintage apron patterns on eBay this week and I can’t wait to get them in the mail. I’d like to vary my designs away from A is for Apron, so I’m looking forward to having some new patterns to play with. I’m also going to start making some pieces of my own – I’ve modified everything in Mornu’s book so far so I might as well do my own thing. Can’t wait to share :)

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Dress for a Dream – Donate Your Formal Dresses Now!

I stumbled upon this event through my Facebook feed and I thought it was definitely worth sharing. Dress for a Dream collects prom dresses, cocktail dresses, mother-of-the-bride dresses, wedding dresses and other formal wear accessories as donations. The dresses are then sold for $10 dollars per dress, $20 per wedding dress, and up to $5 for accessories at the annual Dress for a Dream sale. The goal is to help provide a cost effective manner for girls and women to have access to formal wear and raise money for the Silver Lining cancer fund. ALL (yes 100%) of the proceeds from the event will be given to the Silver Lining, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to Youngstown/Warren area cancer patients. Last year the Dress for a Dream initiative raised over $1500.

If you’re like me, you probably have at least a few dresses in your closet that you can donate. For more information on how to donate to Dress for a Dream, please visit the 2nd Annual Dress for a Dream Sale event page on Facebook. The organization will be collecting dresses now through March 27, 2010. What a GREAT IDEA! If you are located in Northeast Ohio, please consider making a donation.

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Craft room Cluster

My husband and I bought our first home in May 2009 and it’s  been a work in progress ever since. Things are coming along and we’re almost done but one outstanding item on my list of to dos was my craft room – or lack thereof.  Still riding high on the optimism the new year brings I spent my Sunday creating my perfect craft room setup.

Here are some images of the process.

We had extra space in the guest bedroom I have since claimed. I brought up all the miscellaneous bags and boxes I had haphazardly thrown in our basement and began to organize. What were the best tools in my arsenal for this straightening session? Here’s a list of what I couldn’t have done without:

  1. A folding craft table. My husband bought me this gem from Lowe’s as a Christmas present this year.  When guests come, I’ll be able to fold it up and hide it under the bed for more room. Genius!
  2. Plastic storage containers and drawers. I organized the bins by the types of materials as well as the hobby they applied to. I ended up with containers for sewing, scrapbooking and misc crafting. I bought all my containers at Walmart. They sell the bins perfect for 12 x 12 sheets of paper at a fraction of the price that craft stores do.
  3. A Dymo Personal Label Maker. For many reasons, this is one item I cannot live without!!! I highly suggest purchasing one of these for all your organizational needs. I labeled what each bin contains so I don’t have to search for things when I’m crafting.

I’m happy with the setup I created… but I can’t say I’m not a bit sad I don’t have a sweet spot like these craft rooms featured on HGTV’s site. Oh well, when I make my first million I’ll indulge myself.

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Lessons in the Domestic Arts

As a digital marketing consultant by day and a DIY craft enthusiast by night, it was just a matter of time before I got around to starting this blog. However, being the anal retentive person that I am, I needed a clean start date for my new endeavor. Bless you 2010! So, here we are … one day into the New Year and one entry down for The Modern Lady.

Why The Modern Lady? My whole life I’ve always loved the lost arts of the happy homemaker. I sew, I scrapbook, I decorate cakes, I can cook a mean pot roast and so on. But what’s amazing to me now as a 25 year old is these skills make me somewhat of an anomaly.

I got married in July ’09 along with a heap of others in our social circle and not one other wife is quite like me. A lot of them don’t do scratch cooking, almost none of them know how to bake and surprisingly enough picking out decorative elements for their home is a like a trip to the dentist’s office.  I don’t even mention that I sew or scrapbook around them for fear I’ll be treated like a leper. The worst part is that somehow knowing how to do these things makes me appear like I’m an anti-feminist with a fluff job that has nothing better to do with her time than make stupid Christmas pillows by hand.

Well, I’m putting my foot down. Cooking, baking, scrapbooking, sewing, decorating and painting, etc is not the stuff of weirdos people. Any one of the above can be learned in time and I stand by the fact that it’s therapeutic to have hobbies like these. Not to mention, you can save a TON of money by making things on your own or even sell the gems that you create! There is a reason why Etsy.com is the shit (In late December, Rob Kalin (CEO of Etsy) reported the site helped sell roughly $200 million worth of goods in 2009!).

If you aspire to be the next Martha Stewart (goddess of all things crafty) like me, keep stopping back. I can’t wait to hear from other modern ladies like me :)

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