This is so exciting!!! On April 1st of this year, I started sewing face masks for a FB group I belong to. On April 6th, I was out of fabric and decided to sell some on Etsy and donate one for each sold to keep me in supplies. Well....I started sewing on my kitchen table next to the kitchen we are remodeling. So, that drove my husband nuts, because there was no place to "live" upstairs.
Next, I set up a table in a downstairs bedroom that we will be redoing walls and things to in the future. The bed in the room was lying against a wall, ect. Not the classiest working environment!
And then 7 weeks into this adventure - let me just backtrack story tell a little: I am not an online professional seller. I am also not a sewist and I wasn't looking for a job. HUGE learning curve! But, 258 sales and a few custom orders later, I was needing a decent work space to keep my busy little spirits up!
First was my cutting table. Whoa, there was an arguement lol! My sweet husband didn't want me to have cheap ol' particle board to cut on. He wanted me to have REALLY nice plywood. So that was what he bought. And I did one of those things where I said, "You don't listen to me!" and possibly, "I am not using that" Okay.... you can imagine the other stuff I said if you want, but please put your nicest spin on it :) And, I did get the perfect particle board that I wanted. - But now the edges are covered in pink :)
Then, against the back wall were cabinets (one of them was from a kitchen we redid in our old house - story for another time) that the daycare that was here before us used as a kitchen area (and we did, too, while we were redoing the kitchen upstairs that is still not done.). I have hated this wall for almost a year. Take a look at this picture and see if you can tell why.
Ugh!!! I HATE splatter painting. The only way to make splatter painting worse is to do it in primary colors. UGH!!!!!!! And that, my friends, is how I really feel.
The work benches are supper cool. They have two drawers and the "bench" part of it is on a crank that goes up and down. I could literally stand up and sew if I want and I am pretty tall. That is how much it cranks! I love them!! I think they are priced really well, too. $229 a piece at Home Depot.
I have a lot of things that I want to do to the area, but they will have to wait, because I have orders to get out!
I did want to show you a sneak peak at some new items coming out in my etsy shop next week. These are the prototypes. What do you think?
My sweetie, Wilson, came to visit for Mother's Day. He kept his mask on in the house. Except to eat, but he ate waaaaaay at the other end of the table. My selfy stick couldn't get a pic with us 6 feet apart, so I had to prop my camera and use my clicker. I just love that he is such a rule follower and I am so happy I got to see him, but I will be even happier when I get to hug him!
We only have counters to do and then my kitchen is DONE!!! Can't wait to show you! Then I'm sure we will be on to our next project.
Over 400 masks sewn! Ack! I need a new project! I will start on my unpaper towels this weekend. So excited! Got my first order from Louisiana this week! California is catching up with Indiana - what's up with that? Still have Alaska to go, but I've hit every other state!! :D Etsy buyers are the nicest people ever.
Here is my shop if you want to take a look! My Etsy Shop
Oh my gosh, you guys! I have been wanting to fly this chicken coop for a bit now. How about you?
I had no idea....
When I listed my first masks for sell on Etsy, I was just filling some time with one of the few ways I thought I might be able to help in this pandemic sitch. I had no idea the whirl wind of excitement, anxiety, and heartfelt feelings I would go through in a very short amount of time.
It has been such a huge learning curve and all consuming experience that I literally slept only 4 hours a night for 6 days in a row! Each night would be some type of delima and then it would magically work out.
One night, I was looking at the stats in my Etsy dashboard and it told me that I wasn't bringing in any people to look at my shop, so I decided to take a little leap and share the shop on Facebook. Holy Guacamole, Batman! You can't imagine my little heart tugs when I saw that a friend from high school, a beautiful soul we met on vacation a decade ago, an aunt I have never met in person, and many more all placed orders. Some let me know on Facebook, some were a little sneaky. Several shared my page and I just thought it was the nicest thing EVER!
Other fun things have happened, too. I try and write a little note to someone that orders each day. The other day, a woman ordered a mask that has flames on it. I wrote to her that every time I see that version of the face mask, I think to myself, "This girl is on fire!", not that lots of men were ordering it, too. She wrote back that it was for her son, she LOVES Montana and hopes to visit Bozeman this summer...And had 3 restaurant suggestions for me. Two I have never been to and all 3 within 7 blocks of our house.
Also.....I have reviews!!! They are 5 stars!! ....They said really nice things about the quality of my work and the speediness of my shipping :D And I swear!!! I don't know any of the reviewers (yet!)
All of this makes me excited to go sew another 40 masks - 20 for the Etsy shop and 20 for the Masks for Heros - Montana Medical Workers. If you want to see the masks - take a look! New ones coming soon!! My Etsy Shop
I hope all of you have a wonderful day, week, month, year. Someone comment a blessing they have found in this self isolation, stay at home time! I want to hear!!!
So....as I mentioned before....I'm making face masks for the Masks for Heros Organization. In the process of that, I started making masks for my Etsy page - MelissaIoneBoutique And in the process of that - Everyone everywhere ran out of elastic. I have orders for it at 4 different places. One sent me an email after I paid for it saying that they didn't have it, wouldn't have it for 2 - 3 weeks, and wouldn't be answering their phones or email. So fat chance getting your money back.
I tried using a little bit of cording that I had. It was too big for my ears and too small for my head, so I held it in place with my bun!
The Covid-19 will be over with and I will have 500 YARDS of elastic! My boys better start having babies so I can make a million of those tutu things!
In the meantime, I get so excited to see a UPS man, USPS man, or FedEx dude that I may forget about personal distance. The only time in my life I won't have my very own bubble space. Oh, Lord, I'm losing it!!
How exactly is it that other people just have to home school? I have to send contractors away and figure out how to install a bathroom and a kitchen. (Try this isolation business with no kitchen - I dare you, lol!) The bathroom and kitchen are turning out beautiful and the best part is that my husband has to work from home, so he has found plenty to help with it aka he's doing it lol!
Stay tuned, because we will have a kitchen soon!!! - Forgive me for only posting once a week during the quarantine. Not going to lie - my husband takes a lot of time :) What are you guys doing to stay occupied? I want to know if I'm doing all I should (even though I'm very behind on laundry all of a sudden (Like I said....I'm blaming the husband lol).
Take care you guys! I'm thinking about you!!
I don't know about you, but every time I let the news paint a picture on how bad this Covid 19 can get, I become a little stressed. Thinking about how to keep calm and occupied reminded me of a project that I did last fall. I am going to order more, but thought I would share what I did before with you.
I ordered two (because I got a discount on the second one plus free shipping). This is where I ordered from: Your Own Photo Paint by Number Kit
Everything you need comes in the kit when you order including paint, canvas, paint brushes, and even a paper version to refer to if you accidentally paint over a number. It took about a month to get. Painting about an hour a day, took about 20 days to complete. If you do one, I want to see!!
Has anything changed at your home? Especially if you have children, I am assuming it has! It has been amazing to me to see what my parent friends and my teacher friends are doing to keep my favorite population engaged, learning, healthy, and happy. Cheers to you!!!
I have been trying to think of things that will bring a smile and possibly be helpful to others during this time of Covid. My first idea was to make posters of a friendly greeting to have in the window as people walked by. (On a side note....I have really noticed who in my neighborhood has a gym membership, because all of a sudden, they are playing with their dogs outside.)
The weather turned cold at the same time and limited the number of people getting out, so I only got to isolation play with one person this way. I'm not a quitter, though, and I already did the work, so.... I texted it and messaged it to many friends, especially if I knew they were having some trouble with isolation or have a stressful job or even if I was just missing them extra.
Next, I am participating in the "Going on a Bear Hunt" walk. Have you heard of it? People put stuffed bears somewhere on their porch or in their window and then families go for a walk looking for them. My bear has a little homemade medical mask to keep the germs out. He also shares another important message. "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" haha, oh, yes, I have been isolated too long!
Today, I am going to pick up material that has been prewashed, cut, and ironed to make reusable medical masks for area heath care workers and community service heroes. I am really excited about this one (I would sew all the time if the material came prewashed, cut, and ironed). I think this kind of thing is happening all over the country. If you'd like to find something similar, the FB group I found was called Medical Masks for Bozeman. The video instructions are here: You Tube Medical Mask Tutorial
Note: I purchased a heater filter that had allergen, bacteria, and virus filtering properties to cut up and place inside the masks that I made for us. I believe that place that the masks are being donated to have their own filters.
I really want to know what you are doing to stay occupied!!! Leave a comment below!
We just celebrated our 9th anniversary!.....in self isolation....in the middle of a kitchen remodel (in other words - without a kitchen). That is really how our entire marriage has been - a big project, a big illness, or a big quandary that has made it just a bit harder to manage an easy celebration. That is okay, though, because we are tough and we love each other enough that these obstacles just make everything even more special.
So this year, Pinterest was my best friend. Everything needed to be cooked in a small kitchen appliance so I referred to all of the amazing posters for help with this task. My final menu was:
Next is my husbands all time favorite - baked potatoes. Actually, he LOVES any kind of potato far about noodles or rice, so we usually find some kind of potato on our dinner table. I chose an air fryer for the first time to bake the potatoes. I was a little scared that they wouldn't cook all the way, because the potatoes were huge! So - I started early, in case I had to do something different in time for dinner. My air fryer is small, so I could only cook two giant potatoes, and the timer only goes to 30 minutes, so I had to turn it on again when the timer rang.
The potatoes came out nice and crispy on the outside. I learned to throw the potato on the counter to get it all fluffy in the inside from Martha Stewart on tv last week. Must say, that worked great!
Because I had cooked the potatoes so early on the day, I need to keep them warm until dinner, so I wrapped them in foil and put them on warm in the crock pot. This word really well, except that the outer skin was no longer crispy at dinner time. I used this recipe: https://www.simplymaderecipes.com/air-fryer-baked-potatoes/
The final dinner dish is one of my favorites (I don't think so much one of Craig's but hey, this dinner is for my anniversary, too! I fried up 5 pieces of hickory smoked bacon and set aside to cool. Then steamed on 16 oz package frozen broccoli, also setting aside to cool. I chopped 5 green onions with the tops, and shredded one carrot. I put everything so far into one bowl, then added 1 snack box of raisins and 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, I whipped together one cup mayo and 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar and mixed into the broccoli mixture. I wrapped with saran wrap and put in the refrigerator until dinner to cool.
For dessert, I made a kitchen-less version of my husbands favorite pie - Apple, which was Apple Crisp in a Cup with this recipe here: https://www.aheadofthyme.com/individual-apple-crisp/
It tasted wonderful, if I do say so myself, although next time, I will not put in a mug, but use a ramekin so it doesn't look smaller that it is!
I'm not going to lie - the gifts are my favorite part! Craig got me some new photo equipment that I've been wanting and then out did himself with flowers and lotion and even Chokecherry Syrup!! I got him pottery for our 9th Anniversary gift. I got these mugs for $14 each at the best little store in Three Forks - https://www.threeforksfloral.com/ I had been looking for a long time and couldn't believe the bargain!
I really appreciate businesses doing what they can to make this time easier for us. When I found out that I could rent The Invisible Man on the night it was supposed to open in theaters, I was beyond grateful for having something besides dinner to make the evening special for our anniversary. I will say that I enjoyed seeing the movie the first day it was available, but (laughing), it wasn't very romantic lol!
I have been obsessed with coasters for a while now. Specifically, the agate stone look alike ones made of resin. I've spent months planning on exactly how I would make mine - from making the mold to whether I would paint or copper tape the edges. Then I realized that I could buy the agates less expensively than I could make fake ones and had to quickly come up with a new plan to keep my mind occupied. (until I buy some agates, lol).
I had everything I needed - except the tiles - so after a quick run to Home Depot, I was ready to start.
I propped my tiles on go cups so the paint could drip off.
I poured alcohol over a tile, then dripped alcohol ink randomly over the tile in what ever colors I was liking at the moment. Then I turned on the hair dryer and blew the ink around. Here are the results.
After they dried overnight, I sprayed them with clear gloss spay paint and let them dry overnight again. Then I put on these cute cork stickers so they wouldn't scratch furniture.
And then they were ready! I still am going to get some agates and turn into coasters, but I am really happy with these right now. I am looking forward to experimenting with different colors and giving as gifts, too. After all, I can't be the only person with a coaster obsession.
I am a recently retired small town librarian living the dream in Montana in my boujee yet redneck kind of way. Married to a mining engineer and mother to two wonderful young men.