About Me

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Former preschool and kindergarten school psychologist turned stay at home mom and felt food designer. Mr. Felt Food & I are total foodies and our daughter Grace is becoming one, too!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Who Buys This Stuff?

Lol, I think that's the question a lot of people think when they ask what I sew.  A lot of you do & I am very grateful for every one of my sales. 

Since I recently hit 100 sales, I decided to use zeemaps to plot them out.  My favorite sales are international ones because I love to travel and secretly wish I could hand deliver them.  Paris?  Australia?  Count me in!  Canada?  I loved the little bit of time I spent up north--why not travel up there again to deliver some felt food sushi?

I had fun making this map & had to share it with you.  Thanks for being fans!!!!

To see the map, click here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Etsy Shops, Taxes, and Bookkeeping: Oh My!

It's that time of year again.  Time to get ready for taxes.  We use an amazing accountant, so for our personal lives that usually means keeping a file folder handy to put tax forms into as soon as they come in the mail.  Our accountant is a personal family friend and she mocks me each year because I often don't even open the envelopes until I get to her office.  This year we'll have to mail everything to her so I'll be opening envelopes & trying to organize things as best as I can for her.

We get to file in 3 states this year.  I like to think we're keeping our accountant Shannon on her toes, lol.  We sold our house in MI finally, lived in WI for most of the year but then moved to WA so we have those to file, too. 

My business is pretty simple so far.  Since we moved this year & shut the shops down for nearly 6 months out of the year, I had a lot of investment but little profit.  Translation?  I won't be paying any taxes on the shops since I'm so far in the red. :)  I'm thankful the numbers don't matter too much to us since we don't rely on my etsy businesses at all.

Tax Categories Most Etsy Sellers Keep Track Of

1.  Car Mileage:  going to get supplies?  going to the post office?  Keep track of mileage!

2.  Legal/Professional Services/Rent:  Yep, this means the accountant for me!  Servicing my machines would count, too.  Did you know you can write off part of your mortgage or rent if you use a space ONLY for your business? 

3.  Office Expenses:  Paper, copying, printer cartridges, etc.

4.  Supplies:  For me?  Fabric, fabric, fabric.  Thread...more fabric.  Velcro.  Fabric.

5.  Travel Expenses:  I'm still looking for a need to go to Hawaii to purchase fabric or something, lol. 

6.  Meals & Entertainment:  If work related!  Please don't try to write off your Netflix subscription, even if it does ease the boredom of working late into the night. :)

7.  Postage:  Easy enough to understand that one as an online seller!

The best advice I got recently was from Ashley of LilBlueBoo's Business Posts is to set a date each month and catch up on paperwork.  It makes sense:  don't get behind!  I've set two dates a month because that way I can work on it in smaller batches.  Last year I tried a spreadsheet approach but I realize now I'm too old school for that.  It's a notebook for me, all the way! 

How do I store receipts?  A new shoebox/box each year. It's accountant approved!

I enter the receipts in my notebook so the data is already collected, I just need the receipts if I ever get audited. 

I started to enter my data but then I realized I could procrastinate needed a cute notebook and box to keep track of all these things!

First I grabbed some supplies.  I've had this paper stack for about 5 years & it's still handy!

Cutting the paper to fit my box, I ended up using packing tape
since I lack the patience to wait for glue to dry.

My helper was more than happy to use up my leftover paper
and extra letters I had cut.  She loves to glue letters onto paper!

The finished notebook pic is at the beginning of this post.  Here's the finished receipt collecting box.  I love it.  Now if I could only get the box & notebook to fill themselves..... :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Time for Bacon & Eggs!

     It's time for a giveaway!  Want to win this bacon & eggs set?  It's easy!  Just be a fan of Felt Food Kids on Facebook, comment below and you are entered.

For Additional Entries (leave separate comment for each):
-Share this giveaway with your friends on FB
-Become a fan of my new shop, Sweet Doll Boutique

-Winner will be randomly picked Friday at 5:00 Washington time.
-Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email/pm or new winner will be chosen.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Greetings From Spokane, WA!

     First, let me apologize for my very long absence.  We moved for the second time in a year for my husband's career and this move was 1700 miles from the first one.  What have I learned?  Moving twice in one year is very, very hard.  Moving 1700 miles?  Also very hard.

One of my favorite pictures from the move:
Grace's face as the plane took off--her first plane ride in over a year,
 she was a little surprised when we started flying!
     I got a beautiful large sewing studio out of the move, while our daughter scored a HUGE play room, just off from the sewing studio.  We are both very happy with those changes!

     A lot of my felt food inventory was damaged by the movers but I've been working to get that back in order.  I've also been sewing something else:

Doll Diapers

Doll Clothes
     I've opened a third and final shop (no more, I promise, although etsy shops are like kids...you keep wanting more once you have one!):  Sweet Doll Boutique.

     Sewing for dolly babies runs deep in my family.  I come from a long line of women sewing for dolls and barbies.  It was natural for me to start doing so.  My new shop, Sweet Doll Boutique, is now open on etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/SweetDollBoutique.  

     Another change?  My first shop was originally named Amazing Grace Creations Shop....a very long name.  Too long for me.  Etsy allowed shop owners to change their shop names recently & I changed the name to Necessary Cuteness (http://www.etsy.com/NecessaryCuteness).  It will continue to focus on adorable items for babies, I just really wanted to change the name!

     I am really looking forward to a year where I can focus on my shops as well as being mom to one of the cutest little girls on the planet.  No more moves.  No more shutting down the shops over and over waiting to move.  Hooray!

     Thank you for hanging in there with me and staying my fans.  My photographers have been busy taking pictures of new food, I've been busy making new foods & I can't wait to add them to my felt food shop.  I want to have more fun with things this year so next week:  A GIVEAWAY!



Thursday, December 1, 2011

The New Studio

Our recent move to Washington came with perks.  Sure, it was our second move in just under a year but it was great for my husband's career AND I was promised a studio.  Boy did my husband deliver!

The new studio is huge.  I love it.  The shelving on the far left contains shipping supplies & started projects.  The next unit is felt, felt, felt,  The third unit is cottons on top and fleece on the bottom and the far right (barely visible) holds my flannels.  That's a 6 foot table in the middle of the room!  The three bins underneath hold my scraps--felt in the left, then cottons/flannel, then fleece.

Yes that's another shelving unit to the very left of this photo.  It holds more projects.  You can see my inventory storage on the right.  The crates hold felt food, as do the shelves above.

Sorry for this terribly blurry photo.  This wall holds a cabinet for my various small supplies, some bins of projects/ fabric, and the dresser holds doll diapers for my other etsy shop, Sweet Doll Boutique.

See that door?  No, that doesn't lead out of the room....it leads into a walk-in closet WITH window.  Perfect for my photography.  Nothing like natural light to enhance my photos.  I'll have to post pictures of that room later.

Keep in mind that we've just moved--I still have bins of fabric to get out & we obviously need to get some cuter storage (with this beautiful room the garage style plastic shelving units aren't cutting it anymore!).  It's a work in progress but a great start.

Right outside of my studio is a 20 ft x 10 ft. room that is our daughter's play room.  Wonderful!  The person who designed this house used this space as an office.  I wonder what he'd think of it now?  :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

I still can't tell you my secret yet.  Two more weeks.  Until then, my shops are shut down in vacation mode & I am taking the time to finish projects I started a year or two ago!

The latest is this pirate baby gift.  I had the skull fabric I'd inherited from someone & just couldn't figure out what to do with it.  My eye caught the red & white stripe fabric also in my collection and inspiration struck.  I made a diaper bag with 4 pockets inside & a pirate applique on the outside.  I hand embroidered the words Pirate Booty Bag & it was ready to go.

The quilt is large enough that it'd make a great baby play mat or cover up for baby.  The three burp cloths & set of reversible bibs?  Well, let's just say I'd walk the plank for 'em they're so cute!  Now, I just need to find someone having a pirate baby.....hmmmm...... :)

Burp cloths--sorry pics are sideways!
Quilt--sorry sideways again!

Set of reversible baby bibs