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Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Bit of From Nancy's Heart History III

PART THREE: What was I Thinking?!

It was the year, 2000~the new millennium!
This year was to be a very big year for my family; my two nephews were getting married
and in February of that magic year, at the Market Square trade show, a sales rep
from The Cracker Barrel restaurants comes into my booth
asking questions regarding one particular item... A snowflake Christmas light cover.
(see photo above)

I've always heard, "be careful what you wish for,"
never really understanding the ramifications of the quote until the day I received the wholesale order of a lifetime.

I have to be honest, I can not remember, 10 years later, the actual amount that was ordered; but, you will be able to see from all the photos, it was thousands!
So after taking out a 2nd mortgage, ordering all that wood, paint, make up (yes!) I gather my team together... (above, left to right, Dad, Mom & myself)
My dad would do the top coat of all the snowflakes - with a sponge roller!
My mom, (above) was blushing the snowflakes and I am showing all the bandaids on my fingers as I would wire each and every ornament.

We finally realized that we needed more help... I can't begin to explain all the steps it takes to make one of these snowflakes and I never realized how many steps it took until I was neck deep in wooden snow!!
My dad is placing instructions (which also had to be folded!) into tiny zip bags. (left above)
(center) Snowflake faces drying.
Bringing in reinforcements, my Uncle Al, in charge of placing the barcode stickers onto the backs of the ornaments. (above right)

My beautiful Aunts, Fanny & Sara, who helped in any way they could.

My sweet & wonderful cousins! These ladies are my rocks ~ we are together working crying and laughing!!
As you can see, it's my family that kept me sane during these months in 2000, in my parent's basement-as it was switched over to a crazed workshop!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What You Learn From a Dream ~

~Con't of PART THREE~

So you can see (left) that we had many tables with a constant rotation of family and friends.
If you couldn't paint, you could cut material for his little bow tie.

Here, you see two beautiful ladies, who are dear friends and fortunately for me, decided to marry some male family members!

Both volunteered to help and it was getting really crazy by the time they started working! I wonder what was in that blue glass?

From left to right ~ Boxes of finished ornaments waiting to be tagged and packed... then go to our glitter and packing department! Believe it or not, after all the basement work... the finished product was glittered too!! So the garage became the next place to work!
Nothing stopped these 70 year olds!

After they were boxed up, the finished boxes were stored in my living/dining room ~ thank goodness I didn't have any furniture in the house at the time!

All these photos were taken in a course of 3 months ~ during the summer of 2000.
I made absolutely NO money off this order; and if I had to pay for help, I would have lost money.
We all refer to this as the summer of the snowflake ~ no need to say anything else.

What I learned from this summer was:
1. my family & friends love me
2. get a lawyer to look over a contract prior to signing
3. we all have the strength to get through anything

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Bit of From Nancy's Heart History II

PART TWO: the doll years

Hello again! So last time I left you with the promise of seeing some photos of the dolls
I made years ago.
A few of them were tucked away, poor babies, but this doll (seen below) is
sitting in my newly painted sitting room. You know, I forgot to check her out to see what year I made her, ( I would date them) but I know it was before 2000.
Well for a dolly that's over 10 years old, she's aging pretty well!

Her body is soft but the trick to give her some weight ~ split peas!
Yes! A part of her bum is filled with split peas.
Back in the 90's, my mom was in charge of making the bodies; she had a bag of dried split peas on hand and thought, "this may work"~ it did!
She, the dolly, not my mom, has a wooden head and a hand made wig that I finally figured out how to make after a year of gluing strands of hair piece by piece onto their heads!
I believe I was the one at the time who also had a wooden head. :D

Her dress is made of Calico and Corduroy; but what always caught a customer's eye ~ her shoes!
I ADORE shoes, so of course why wouldn't I put them on my dollies?!
I have to tell you about this great pair of red patent Mary Jane's I .... oh, I'm sorry, the dolls, yes. I had, just had, to put lacy socks on her too. It would be a sin not to have lacy socks with a nice pair of Mary Jane's

Below, are photos of dolls that were named: Halo Dolls.
And for the life of me, I can't remember now why I gave them that name!
At the time, especially when making dolls, I needed to have several different sizes and price points. Back then, they always had a problem standing.
I think they drank too much while I had them stored away... I know I would always hear music while in the workroom! ; D

I must say, thinking back to the times making these wonderful dolls, I did have fun and it gave me a bit of diversity; plus when I got bored painting... I just moved onto sewing!

The doll (above) is made of a combination of wood and of course her hand sewn dress.
So, there you have it in a quick nutshell ~ my dolls.
The dolls you see in this post were my samples and I've had offers to give them new homes; but I just can not bear to separate myself from them. That means something, right?
Well, I think 2011 may be the year of the dolly comeback!!
Are you happy to hear that Mom? I know that you are!

Tomorrow: My Greatest Dream Realized; but was it a Nightmare?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Etsy Twitter Team: Shop of the Week is ME!

Etsy Twitter Team Shop of the Week!

*For the week of October 18 ~ October 24th*
From Nancy's Heart

I must say, that I have been very blessed to be a part of a wonderful Etsy Team:
The Etsy Twitter Team; and this week, I will be SOTW (shop of the week).
This means that I was lucky enough to be interviewed by one of my lovely team members; this article can be seen on our Team Blog (just click on the link).
Along with previous Shops of the Week! (so check those out too).

But for this week, I am attempting to open myself up a bit online on my blog and let everyone see how, From Nancy's Heart, originated.
I'm going to share some treasured secrets, along with original ornaments; drawing & sketches; items that have been put to rest along with those designs coming for 2010.

So I hope you enjoy this trip into the history of From Nancy's Heart and please stop by my shoppe and drop a line to say, "HI"!

PART ONE: a new beginning

So it's 1992, I find myself laid off from a job I had for 5 years.
I had been doing crafts for some time prior to this, doing various craft shows.
Primarily, I made dolls. I love dolls, have I ever mentioned that? Possibly not.
Well, back to the dolls- I'll post a photo of them tomorrow; they (the dolls) were a major part of my "line" as it were. I was known as the girl who sold dolls.
All the dolls either had wooden heads or wooden legs & bodies... there even was a year that I only made spool dolls; but, no matter what I made ~ I would always make it out of wood!

Now, finding myself laid off ~ which is exactly the time you take chances ~ I decided to go into wholesale! I had NO idea how to go about it & how to display a booth, I think you have the picture... but I did it anyway.

Above is my very first business card! I was dating a fellow who is a natural artist and came up with this "Dolly" design. That Little Girl logo has been with me for over 17 years!
My sister even had a sign commissioned, believing that I would one day
open a brick n mortar shop! I'll show you all that tomorrow as well!

Oh, and my very first wholesale experience? Well, although I stuck out like a sore thumb with my booth design (there really wasn't one); but with my Mom at my side,
we wrote up enough orders to continue for another year.

By the way, that boyfriend, now my husband, designed my new business logo
(below) when I decided to open up my Etsy Shoppe!

Stop by tomorrow and see more from the workshop!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Velvet Makes It's Mark

Making Your Mark

Today's find came from a recent Twitter connection from CRAFTzine ~ to a lovely lady at
Oh So Crafty,
who recently posted a tutorial on these oh so romantic book marks!
I have to say, I just love the muted color palette ~ this comes from someone who uses the brightest of paint colors!

Velvet Bookmarks by Tricia...

Inspired by the cover of Somerset Studio (see photo above), Tricia came up with her own twist on this romantic way of marking a classic read or as shown above, a wonderful way of making a stack of vintage books just shine.

Above is Tricia's creation and it appears to look like a classic piece of jewelry ~ Jewelry for our library!
So stop by Oh So Crafty's blog and learn the simplest way of turning wonderful pieces of scraps and vintage jewelry into something spectacular!

Thanks so much to Tricia who allowed me to share with you her blog post!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kids Costume Kits ~ Trees & Fairies, Oh My!

Halloween Costume Kits:
From my Favorite Shoppe ~ Purl Soho

As a part of my thinking of Fall Fling ~ I was checking at my favorite blogs and found this wonderful feature from PurlBee. Everyone must see this wonderful blog filled with amazing colors and designs!

by Purl Bee

October is such an exciting time of year; the leaves are changing, school is really rolling and Halloween is right around the corner! Homemade Halloween costumes are so special to the little ones in our lives and they create great memories for everyone involved. So many of us remember going to the fabric store with our moms to pick out materials for what we were going to be that year, and most of us can even recall little details of certain costumes we wore, like a special pirate sword or pretty fairy wings

All four of these kits are made with our stunning 100% wool felt which is super easy to work with (and a huge time saver) because you don't need to hem the edges. Because they are made with such great materials these costumes will stand the test of time. They can be passed down to younger siblings or stashed in the dress up box for years of enjoyment.

The kits includes everything you will need to make the petaled skirt, the flower crown and the magic wand as well as a complete instru
ctions and full size templates for cutting out all of the different shapes.
These costumes include sizing instructions to fit most children from ages 3-8.

This is a great classic costume, it brings to mind lots of magical imagery, like the trees that throw the apples in The Wizard of Oz, and JRR Tolkein's tall, strong Ents.

The Tree King Costume Kits come in two versions, the verdant Spring Tree King, and the seasonally appropriate Fall Tree King. The kits include everything you will need to make the tree trunk, leaves, crown and wrist bands as well as a complete instructions and full size templates for cutting out all of the different shapes. These costumes will fit most children from ages 3-7.

If you're inspired by these kits but really just want to design something yourself, we have a complete spectrum of gorgeous, easy to use 100% wool felt by the yard.

We also have some free patterns for Halloween costumes from previous years, like last year's simple Daisy, and this cute Bunny Hat and Paws from 2 years ago.

Thanks Purlbee for inspiring us to bring color and handmade into our lives!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A New Start ~ Warming it up for Fall

Ten Minute Apple Crumble Recipe

Today, as I was poking around Twitter, I found this Recipe, the original posting from "CRAFT" website, by Andrew Lewis

I wanted to start the fall season off on a Yummy foot. It's been some time, I believe before summer, since my last post; so, I wanted to do it up right with food!

This quick apple crumble recipe can be a real lifesaver when unexpected guests arrive. Making the crumble takes about 10 minutes, which is roughly the same time it takes to percolate a good cup of coffee.


2 large apples (NOT cooking apples)
2 cups broken, plain biscuits (plain cookies)
3 tbsp brown or white sugar
2 tbsp margarine (or butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions for this scrumptious treat can be found at this link @ the CRAFT site and you can read more about the creator of this desert, Andrew Lewis.
Next, we'll have CUPCAKES, yummy, luscious, cupcakes!
Until then, everyone, go and enjoy!
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