The Story of a Mom, a Wife a Small-Business-Owner-Hopeful (Happy Baby Designs) and a Craft Lover, trying to be present (not just exist) in my life with my children, my husband and myself. Follow along with me as I chronicle my crafting and business endeavors, my true life and some mommy moments along the way .

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Binky Bag Giveaway!


In the spirit of the Holiday Season, and because you all are so awesome, I am so excited to be offering a FREE Binky Bag to 2 of my followers! Before we get to the rules, blah, blah, blah, let me tell you about my awesome, original design, one-of-a-kind, lifesaving Binky Bag.

The idea for my Binky Bag was born almost 2 years ago at 2am when my daughter was crying and I was frantically searching her crib, the floor, under her for the lost pacifier. In Houdini-like fashion (she was swaddled at the time), her pacifier usually somehow managed to become wedged between the crib and the wall, or make it's way underneath her. No matter where it ended up, I could never get to it fast enough to avoid the complete meltdown phase. In my frustrated and sleep deprived state, I decided that there should be a way to keep extra pacifiers handy so that I could grab a spare one in the middle of the night when my daughter was crying. Thus the Binky Bag was born.

There is nothing on the market like it but it has been a crucial staple in our nursery (and my friends' nurseries!). My daughter is almost 2 now and we still use the Binky Bag every night. Thankfully, we don't have to use it in the middle of the night anymore, but it is a great way to keep extra pacifiers in one place (rather than scattered about all over the house).

You simply tie it to the outside of baby's crib and drop a few extra pacifiers inside. The MAGIC of my design is that the opening of the bag is sewn with a flexible yet rigid material that allows it to remain open; making it easy for mom and dad to get the spare pacifiers in and out (even at 2 in the morning!).

Each bag is approximately 5"x5" and holds up to 3 pacifiers. The finished product is fully lined and finished with coordinating ribbon (approximately 10" long) to tie to the outside of baby's crib.

So now that you are totally pumped about winning your very own Binky Bag, let's talk about the rules.

First of all, if you have a blog and you have a baby, I would love for you to do a product review on your blog if you win it. If you don't have a blog, you're still eligible to win so don't run out and start a blog just because you are so pumped about winning such a magnificent prize! I will pick one winner from each category (blogger vs. non-blogger). And please tell ALL of your friends with babies about this giveaway! The more the merrier!

Ok, here's what you need to know:

1) You must be a follower of this blog. Just click on "Follow" on the right sidebar where you see all of those other pretty faces.
2) Go to "Happy Baby Designs" on Facebook (I'd love it if you'd "Like" me while you're there) and check out my "Binky Bag" photo album.
3) Leave me a comment telling me:
a) you're already a follower or are a new follower
b) you're a blogger or a non-blogger
c) what Binky Bag you would choose if you won (this is important because I'm selling at a craft fair on Sunday and I want to make sure that I don't sell the bag that you want!).
4) Make sure that you include your email address if you don't have one attached to your Blogger profile. Otherwise I'll have no way to let you know that you won!

So your comment to me should read something like this: "Hi, Rebecca! I'm already a follower and I am a blogger. I would love to win that beautiful blue bird Binky Bag that I saw on your Facebook page. My email address is"

Ok ladies, the Giveaway is now officially open! Yay! I will announce the winners this Friday. Good luck!

Here's a picture of my daughter's Binky Bag on her crib.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Julia Child as Inspiration

I've been a bit unproductive this week. Not because it's the holidays; not because my husband was home all week; not because I've been out Christmas shopping. It's because we had FREE HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime ALL WEEK! Ever since we had children, movie-watching has become a thing of the past. But now with the miracle of DVR, we can actually catch up on some of the movies we've missed out on over the last 3 1/2 years.

Last night as I sat down to work on my Christmas cards (I guess I was a little productive...but only if I could do it in front of the TV), I decided to watch Julie & Julia. If you've been living under a pile of laundry (as I had) and have not seen this movie, it's about a young woman who blogs her way through Julia Child's cookbook. It was a cute movie and actually made me want to go out and get the cookbook. But more than that, it was quite inspiring. Did you know that Julia Child's first cookbook wasn't published until she was 49? She worked on that book and tried to get it published for 8 long years. But she never gave up because she knew she had something special and it just took the right person in the publishing world to agree with her.

As I've mentioned before, I've struggled to figure out the direction I want my business, Happy Baby Designs, to go. I've tried Etsy, I've approached children's boutiques, I've sold on Facebook, and I'm now trying my hand at selling at craft fairs. But I still feel like I haven't quite found my niche. You see, I have come up with my own one-of-a-kind design for a Binky Bag that you tie to baby's crib to hold spare pacifiers so you don't have to search high and low for them in the middle of the night when your baby is crying (screaming). I have dreams that one day my product will be in every nursery in America. I just need the right person in the baby-product-world to come along and agree with me (if you know that person, send them my way!).

So like Julia, I'm not going to give up! I remember hearing the success story of the woman who invented Jibbitz (you know, the little do-dads that go on Crocs). The CEO for Crocs saw her daughter wearing the Jibbitz at a local pool and now she's a millionaire! It just takes one (influential) person to discover the magic of my Binky Bag and I'll be telling my own success story!

So as a way to get my Binky Bag design to the masses, I'm going to be doing a Giveaway in exchange for a Product Review to one lucky blogger out there. And so as not to leave out all of non-blogger readers out there, I'll be doing a separate giveaway for you all as well. So stay tuned, I'll announce the rules/details later this week (or when my kids are both asleep and I've emptied my DVR of this week's movie marathon).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Craft Fair Selling 101

Now that I've officially sold at my first craft fair ever, I thought I'd share with you all what I learned from setting up my own booth, looking at the other vendors' booths, and feedback from shoppers and vendors. Several of you commented that you are either getting ready to sell at your first craft fair or would like to, but haven't had the courage yet. Hopefully my experience might help those of you who are embarking on your own journey...and those of you who are still thinking about it.

Here's a shot of my booth.

1) Know your audience. Don't expect to sell hairbows to a men's club or baby stuff to a bunch of baby boomers. This will also help you decide what craft fairs to participate in.

2) Make your display stand out. If your booth is appealing, people will come in to shop. Think outside the box for unique ways to display your items.

I used my fabric rack to display burp cloths. It showed them off nicely and added some height to the booth.

I clothes pinned my binky bags to a trellis that I put into a pot.

I used a plate rack to roll up and display baby blankies.

I used an enamel bucket to display more burp cloths.

3) Keep your booth organized. If people can't "see" your stuff or tell how much it costs, they'll move on.

This is an outdoor trellis that I spray painted and used to hang my items, keeping them better organized.

I used an old tool caddy to display binky bags and a spray painted Goodwill frame with all of my prices listed.

4) Make friends with the other vendors. Use this opportunity to network with the other vendors. It's a great time to share information about other craft shows and resources.

The booth next to mine was a children's clothing booth so we were able to share a lot of resources.

5) Smile and say "hello" to the shoppers. I read somewhere (I'm sorry but I don't remember where so I can't give proper credit) that if you smile, it makes it harder for people to keep walking past your booth.

6) Make sure to have business cards handy. A lot of people will take a card and check out your items at a later date.

My business card holder and price list.

7) Put items together to give people some gift ideas. You can always separate the items if someone doesn't want to buy the "set".

Here I've put matching binky bags and burp cloths together for a nice baby gift.

8) Wear an apron to keep money and other miscellaneous items in. If you're so inclined, you can make one using my craft vendor apron tutorial. I kept money in one side (make sure to have change for your shoppers) and my cell phone, pen and paper in the other pocket.

My craft vendor apron worked out perfectly, and my mom wore a regular
cooking apron with pockets.

Eventhough I didn't sell out, I had such a great time, met some great vendors and gained some experience for my next craft fair...which is in a week!

For those of you that have sold at craft fairs, antique markets, flea markets, please share any other advice that you've picked up along the way. We can always learn from each other!

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Craft Booth

My mom and I set up my booth tonight for the craft fair this weekend and I thought I'd give you a little peek at it. (We're up against the window in to the bookstore if you're having a hard time figuring out what you're looking at).

I'm really happy with the way it turned out and I hope the weekend is a success! If you're in the area, come by and see me at Unity Church of Fort Worth, Saturday and Sunday 9-3 (my mom will be working the booth on Saturday, but I'll be there on Sunday).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My "Shop"

As many of you know, I'm selling at my first ever craft fair this weekend. I figured this would be a good time to share my craft business journey with you all.

I started making baby items about a year ago and was excited to share my products with the world, so I promptly opened up an Etsy shop and waited for the orders to start pouring in. Much to my disappointment, they didn't. And for a variety of other reasons, I became disheartened and disillusioned with the world of Etsy. So I stopped listing new items and let all of my existing listings expire. And unfortunately I stopped sewing. But then a funny thing happened, I started making gifts for friends and family instead of making gifts to sell.

That led to my New Year's Resolution to make every gift I gave this year. I decided to start this blog to document all of the gifts I was making. I figured I would use the blog to promote my shop eventually...but (almost a year later) that piece of the puzzle never really fit in. Maybe because I never really knew what I wanted my "shop" to be. But as I have spent the year making gifts and seeing all of the amazing projects out there in blogland, I have rediscovered my love for crafting.

So I'm back to focusing on my "shop", Happy Baby Designs. I am selling at several craft fairs this holiday season. I don't know what direction my business will take me, but I am once again excited about it.

Here are some pictures of some of my "stuff". And if you're in the DFW area, come by and see me this weekend at Unity Church of Fort Worth. My mom will be working my booth for me on Saturday but I will be there on Sunday.

Burp Cloths

More Burp Cloths

Binky Bag (tie it to the outside of baby's crib to hold spare pacifiers so you don't have to search high and low for one in the middle of the night) with matching Burp Cloths.


Toddler Aprons

More Toddler Aprons

Just a few more Toddler Aprons

Car Playmats (complete with 3 car garage)

More Car Playmats (they roll up for easy transportability)

If you see anything you like, email me at!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Craft Vendor Apron Tutorial

As I have been preparing for my first craft fair this weekend (eek!) I realized I needed some kind of apron to hold my money and a few other important items (pen, paper, chapstick). I searched high and low for a tutorial on how to make one but I couldn't find one that I liked (and was within my skill level ☺ ). So I decided to come up with my own design. (Plus I was feeling confident after my successful fat quarter aprons).

Here's what I came up with...

Cute, huh? And it's super functional, too! It securely holds my money on one side (good thing since I'm planning to make lots of it at the craft shows ☺) and my notebook, pen, cell phone, etc...on the other side.

Here's what you'll need to make your very own Craft Vendor Apron:

2 Fat Quarters or similar size pieces of fabric (the liner piece is slightly heavier duty than the outside "decorative" fabric).
1.5" Piece of Velcro
2 pieces of 27" Quilt Binding Bias Tape (or other trim/bias tape for your ties).

Prewash and Iron your pieces of fabric.
I got this cute Fat Quarter for FREE on Mother's Day at a local quilt shop. Isn't it so sweet?
Take your liner fabric and lay it out about 3" from being folded in half.
Decide what side you want your velcro pocket on (I put mine on my right since I'm right-handed). Then pin your velcro in place making sure the 2 pieces line up together (I wanted the scratchy side against my body so my hand wouldn't get scratched every time I reached in and out of the money pocket...which hopefully will be a lot! So put the scratch part on the long half and the soft part on the short half).
Now stitch your velcro in place. I used a zig zag stitch to secure it well (since I'll be reaching in and out of it so much to put all that $$$ in there ☺).
Now you want to prepare your apron ties. Start by ironing your bias tape and cut 2 27" pieces. Unfold it slightly at one end and fold down the end about 1/2".
Now fold the bias tape back in half. This will finish off the ends of your ties nicely.
Now stitch along the entire length of your ties to "close" the bias tape. You should have 2 ties that look something like this when you're done.
Now place your 2 pieces of fabrics right sides together. Sandwich your ties between the 2 pieces and pin in place (make sure to pin the ties about 1" from the top to allow for the stitches and turning the fabric).
Now pin the 2 pieces of fabric all around to prepare to sew. (Your ties are between the 2 fabrics)
Sew all the way around your fabric, leaving an opening to turn your fabric. Clip the corners and turn your apron right side out. It will look something like this...
and this on the other side...
Iron your apron giving a nice crisp line to all of the edges. Before you fold your apron in to it's "apron shape" you want to stitch across the top of your pocket (the short side of your apron that doesn't have the ties). Now you can fold up your apron, matching the velcro pieces together and pin it in place. My "rectangle" wasn't exactly a perfect "rectangle" at this point, but it doesn't really matter. Just make sure you line up the edges perfectly.
Now you want to sew around all of the edges, reinforcing and securing the apron in place. It will also serve to close the hole where you turned your apron right side out. And finally, stitch down the center, forming your 2 pockets. I stopped my stitch about 1" from the top because I figured it'd be a little easier to get my hand in and out if there was little slack.

And there you have it! The perfect craft vendor apron (or so I hope it will be! I'll let you know after this weekend!). These would actually be great as an all-purpose craft apron, a garage sale apron, really anything where you want pockets. There are lots of details you could add to this simple apron. You could embellish them with appliques, round the corners, add some decorative trim. The possibilities are endless!

If you make one, I'd love to see it. Send me pictures to And as always, please only use this design for personal use (ie you or your friends, not your Etsy shop ☺).

And if you're in the DFW area, come see me at Unity Church of Fort Worth at 5051 Trail Lake Drive this Saturday and Sunday from 9-3. (My mom will actually be working the booth for me on Saturday because I have to work my "day job". But I'll be there on Sunday). I will have some fun baby and toddler gifts in my booth so come say hi and do a little shopping while you're at it!

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