Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's Going To Be A Big One!

Well. 2015 is done and dusted and I'm starting to remember to write the correct date on cheques so we must be well and truly into 2016 now.

I spent a good part of the Holiday Season working on a wholesale order for an awesome client. It was a big order (100 dolls!) so I had to really push myself to get it finished on time. But I did and even when I was working all hours of the day and night to get it finished I was happy. How could I not be?! It's always fun to sew and always wonderful when people are paying me for my work.

The order is shipped and I've tidied my not-very-messy-really-studio. It's time to make plans. This gorgeous felt is going to feature heavily in some new decor items I have planned. I can't wait to get started on this project...

I have a lot of new products on the way in 2016. There will be new sewing kits, my first doll pattern should be released and there will be a lot of new and fun decor items for you and your kiddos. The store will also slowly morph from ready-to-ship to custom order items. There will still be the occasional buy-now piece but they will be rare as I focus in on making personalised goodies for individual clients.

I aim to attend a few select craft shows throughout the year and will also be teaching PA Day camps and summer camp classes for the kids. Look out for some adult classes, they should finally emerge in 2016 too!

I am starting the ball rolling with a custom doll. Elvis in his white jumpsuit! So exciting. I really love these challenges. I am so looking forward to making up this hunka-hunka-burning-love!

If you would like to place a custom order simply email me jen@pikeletworkshop.com and we can have a chat about it. By Spring I should have a working model in my store so you can order a doll and add-ons to make the ordering process smoother.

Are you ready for 2016? I am. I look forward to another year of stitching and teaching and surrounding myself with crafty people - big and small.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Last Show of 2015!

Well, it's almost time for Christmas.

And if you're currently living in Toronto you would be mistaken for believing it is still October. The weather is crazy warm and there is no sign of snow. My Poppet actually teared up this morning when I told her Santa wasn't bringing any snow this year. I may have gotten a little misty-eyed myself...

This Saturday I have my last show of the year. It is run by the Toronto Etsy Street Team (I've recently been made a captain, yay!) and we are very excited to be putting on an intimate show. We even have Santa visiting for an hour. Santa!! Full details about the show can be found here on the blog.

I have made up some very special One-of-a-Kind ornaments just for the show. There is a very limited quantity available so come early if you want to nab one (or two). And the first 50 customers receive and awesome bag of swag as well!!

The Team and I are meeting up tonight to stuff those swag bags full of goodness. I plan on taking some Fairy Bread and Honey Joys to introduce them to Australian sugary treats. Exciting!

Any excuse to eat that stuff really. Nom nom nom...

I have just finished another beautiful custom doll. She has a full outfit like the other Sweetheart Dolls and my customer plans to order another outfit for her in the spring. Did you know you could do that? you can order anything, I am fully embracing the custom order whirlwind after Christmas. I even had an Elvis doll on order, white jumpsuit and all!! So if you would like a special doll or character just pop me an email. Let's chat!

My last pieces of news are the ones I'm most excited about at the moment.

I've been featured in the Canadian Family Gift Guide for this Christmas here AND the Babiekins Magazine Editor's Picks here.  Both publications are ones I've been following as a parent so I feel very blessed to be included in their guides.

As you know I released my sewing kits and they are doing very well (thank you muchly!). The next step was to release a sewing pattern and I've finally done it. If you would like to purchase a PDF e-pattern of ALL THREE of my Christmas Holiday Pals you can do so here or here. (Oh yes, that is a Craftsy link. I am finally getting on that bandwagon as well!)

Back to work. I have a multitude of kits to prep for the show this weekend and my sewing machine is calling. Have an awesome week!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Overcoming Hurdles and Making New Things...


Many customers have been asking if I will be attending the One of A Kind Show next week to hawk my wares. The answer is no, so if you're planning on visiting me there to purchase something you might want to send me an email or pm instead.

The major reason for hitting pause on big craft shows is that I needed to schedule time to launch a new product. When I'm making and making and making I find that I end up dreaming far too much and I don't move forward with those dreams. There's nothing worse than stagnation for a creative small business person and I was starting to feel a lack of drive in the Fall.

So, decision made - no big shows, I got down to the business of designing my new product at last.

Sewing kits! Double yay and a very big happy dance...

For at least five years I have wanted to make sewing and DIY kits. I love using them, I love looking at them and I love seeing them spark something creative in other people. New skills, new crafty goodness. Why on earth am I not making them myself?

Fear. Plain and simple. Fear of trying something new. Fear of learning new computer skills to create the instructions and packaging. Fear fear fear.

Computers are a major stumbling block in my life. I am not a naturally techie person. I don't find apple products intuitive and the thought of learning coding makes me want to run screaming for the hills. I knew I would need illustrator to really make a go of these sewing instructions. So I put it off.
For FIVE years!!

It finally occurred to me that I could launch the product without it being perfect. I could ask for help (who knew?!) with illustrator and I should really just get over it and start. So I did. I enlisted the help of an incredible friend with more graphic design know-how in her pinky finger than I have ever had and we got to work.

But my goodness, even with her skills and my newfound determination there is an enormous amount of work involved in creating a sewing kit. I already had the pattern drafted as I'd been selling these decorations myself in the past. But then I had to write the instructions. They had to MAKE SENSE!
My brain felt like it was inwardly collapsing, I kid you not. I again put off drawing up the instructions and got started sourcing materials instead. The easy part, the fun part. I found the embroidery floss and the needles, and the beautiful craft felt locally. You can find my felt supplier here.

Packaging was trickier, it felt so risky ordering hundreds of boxes and stickers. What if I hate them?? What if nobody buys them??

Happily they turned out just fine and I'm really pleased with the results.

I could put it off no longer. I had to finally sit down and draft the instructions and draw the illustrations to go with them. I can't tell you how many issues I have with my own drawings.
Big thanks to my Year 9 art teacher who told me I couldn't draw. Ugh.

In a few short hours it was all done, naturally. Nowhere near the nightmare I thought it would be. Then I passed it over to my wonderful pal who started loading everything into illustrator and putting a template together. She really is brilliant, and there were an insane amount of hours involved in reaching the final product. I still don't umderstand how she did it all, and I do intend to learn how to use the program myself eventually but thank goodness she was able to take over at this point. I was done. I would most certainly have stopped and put sewing kits off for another five years. And wouldn't that be ridiculous? I mean, look how darn adorable they are!!

So, without further ado. You may now purchase my sweet little sewing kits and make some crafty goodness of your own this Holiday season. Please follow the link here to my Etsy store to purchase.
International buyers, your cutoff date for shipping is December 1 so there's still time!

And please please please send me photos of your finished decorations, or tag me on Instagram @pikeletworkshop as I really love seeing them brought to life with other hands.

I am also interested in feedback regarding the instructions as this is something I will be making more of in the coming months. Expect to see Valentine's kits and Easter goodies. Yay!!!

Cheers to jumping over those hurdles at last and realising they aren't as big as we think they are...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Introducing the Sweetheart Dolls.

Hello everyone!

I would like to introduce my newest line of dolls. They are very special and I've taken a lot of time with the design process to get them just right.

I like to call them Sweethearts because they have a felt heart stitched onto their chests which they wear with pride.

My own Poppet and I were chatting one day about feelings and how awful it is to bottle them up, which led me to thinking about how nice it would be if your child's special keepsake doll could remind them to stay true to their heart. I'm hopeful that these little felt hearts will lead to all sorts of lovely conversations with your children about embracing their own feelings and being proud of their hearts too.

And so, without further ado, here are the first two dolls.

First off, we have Esther.

She is a handmade ballerina doll. You can purchase her here.

Ever the optimist, she loves to dance and watch old Astaire and Garland movies (who doesn't?!)

When she isn't daydreaming about being a prima ballerina Esther might be found sneaking marshmallows from the pantry. She likes the pink ones best!

She is trying to learn to crochet but prefers starting projects to finishing them.
Esther will cherish your secrets and happily share her dreams with you.

And I haven't forgotten the boys. Here is Jake.

He is a handmade Sailor doll. You can purchase him here.

Jake is a jolly fellow who always sees the glass half full. As a sailor-in-training his glass is half full of apple cider rather than rum. But he has a sweet tooth so that's just fine with him.

Jake loves to explore and sail the seven seas. He has an adventurous spirit and a tendency to get into mischief. This includes running off to get yet another tattoo. The latest one is for his "Mom", which makes it awfully hard to stay cross with him for long.

Jake's hobbies include munching on beef jerky and learning to tie all those tricky knots a sailor needs to know.

Both dolls are One of a Kind and have removable clothes for imaginative play. I'm sure they will share many fun adventures with their new owners once adopted!

I hope you love these new dolls as much as I do. I am moving my business into new territories and will soon be offering sewing kits and patterns, as well as lovely bespoke custom dolls. The new year is looking very exciting.

Though, truth be told, I am also feeling very nervous about it all. I hope you will embrace my Poppets and products as you have always done in the past.

I wouldn't be here without you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Christmas Countdown. Order up!

Not to disturb you, but there's only 71 days until Christmas. Here is the clock to prove it!

So, whilst that may not be an issue per se, it does mean you'll need to get your skates on if you want to give the gift of handmade for Christmas.
Remember that us handmakers do not have a little troop of elves to help us prepare your orders. If only!
Poppet is able to help me with stickers and wrap and the like but I'm still not ready to pass the scissors over just yet. So, for now, it's just little old me.

I have some adorable Christmas decorations up in the shop which are available to order.

Now is the perfect time to put in an order for your tree. You can even select the colours to suit your Christmas decor. So click on the link and order up.

Christmas is coming...

I would also be delighted to work on a custom order for you and yours this Holiday season. Just send me an email or a convo or whatever. Let's chat!

Enjoy the rest of your week...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...