Monday, January 31, 2011

your questions...answered! ((PART TWO))

OOOOOOK...let's keep these answers going :) Did you miss part one? You can read that here.

Ruthanne asked: Are yellow & blue your favorite colors? 
How can you tell???? ;) Yellow and Robin's Egg Blue are certainly my happy colors. decorate with, yes ((studio & kitchen are both this color scheme). I hardly ever wear them favorite colors to wear are plum, coral, and beige. 

How long did you & your man date before you got married? 
Not long! I think it gave my parents a heart attack. We dated for around 8-9 months before he popped the question. We were engaged for 10 months. Baddabing. Got married on September 13, 2008. 


How does he feel about your handmade biz?//
Does he understand your love of blogging?
He supports me 100% & is a great encourager. I'm not kidding, when He tells me He's proud of me, it's like I won the lottery. He's great at showing excitement when I bring a new product into the living room to show him. I love him. :) 

As for understanding my love of blogging? Nope. But I'm not sure I would either if I was on the other side of it. I talk about "blog friends" just as often as my real friends. He's started to be able to recognize names & follow along when I mention the same ones over & over (gussy, lindsay, ruthanne, shey, tara, sandy, ilene, etc), which is odd...but awesome ;) He's supportive & thinks its weird at the same do I. 

Kel Asked: How did you become so successful?
First off, that term is relative ((haha)) but I'm flattered you asked that.  I feel like I market the JUNK outta my shop...and I think that's huge. I make products that are great quality, I don't skimp on materials, and use beautiful designer fabric...not cheapo stuff from Hobby Lobby. I have SUCH loyal customers that I adore & am so thankful for. 
Do what you love. Stay humble. Make products you believe in. Use social media wisely to market, but don't spam. Be genuine. Be kind & generous & helpful to others just getting started. Support other handmade artists. 

April asked: What do you do that is "green" as a company/person?

As a business:
My covered button earrings & fabric frame necklaces are made only from scraps so that nothing goes to waste. My coffee cuffs are reusable and are a great alternative to the cardboard ones you get at coffee shops. My owls/DIY owl kits are made from eco-felt, which is made from recycled plastic bottles, and larger fabric scraps left over from other projects. I use tissue paper, kraft paper & kraft boxes that are made from recycled paper for my packaging. No plastic, here. 
As a person/family:
We recycle. We don't buy water bottles unless we are absolutely desperate (nalgenes all the way!). We ride our bikes for transportation when the weather allows us to. We use reusable grocery bags. Small things...but we do what we can!


If you were to make a "just-to-make-you-smile" care package for a friend, what are some things you'd throw in there?
A pair of covered button earrings, a cute/funny card...maybe a starbucks gift card...& their favorite candy. :)

 Lindsey asked:  If you could live anywhere else in the U.S., where would it be?

Honestly, I stinking love it in Boulder & am really happy here. Maybe Austin, because it's so similar to Boulder, but way closer to family! We love the hill country. 
The only other place that I'm in love with is Seattle, but I think I need more sunshine than it has to offer. You didn't ask, but I'd love to live in New Zealand & plant a church there. Devonport/Auckland to be specific. :) ((mom, you can ignore that I said that))


Can anybody learn to sew? I just got a sewing machine, and I'm having doubts. :)

YES! I'm so impatient & get bored easily. If I can do it, you can do it. Just take your time, be patient & use books/google/blogs/youtube to help you figure new things out!


that's it! thanks for keeping me on my feet with such a great questions. 

p.s. Ari, I'll email you the recipe for hot chicken salad ;)


your questions...answered! ((PART ONE))

Y'all had some fun, challenging, & ridiculous questions ((umm hannah)). I chose as many as I could handle & here are the answers. Part Two will make its way this afternoon or tomorrow. Oh, & thanks for actually asking questions & not making me feel like a dumbo on my own blog. :)

Moriah asked: What's the first thing you made on a sewing machine?

See the Dr. Pepper dress in this picture? That was my first sewing project with my Memaw. We She sewed an A&M dress while I watched & then she let me try my hand at her machine when I wanted to make this one. It's still one of my favorite dresses...and it got me hooked. 

Kel asked: How did you come up with your business name?
I'm embarrassed to say that I just came up with it, spur of the moment.  There's no real story behind it other than I wanted something that reflected joy. That's one thing that I've tried to stay true to in my business...bringing people joy by products that are fun & functional. 


Tips that help with the creative process?
Find out what inspires you...what gets you motivated, and surround yourself with those things. For me, it's a husband & family that believes in me, oldies playing on pandora that makes me so stinking happy when I sew, and working with gorgeous designer fabric. Also, find your style. Don't make things just because you think they'll sell. Find out what products YOU would wear/use and be able to stand behind 100% and go from there.

Lindsay asked: Have you always been so strong in your faith? Since my son was born I feel a need to know God better. Any advice?
I would like to say yes...but it wasn't until college that I realized this whole "Christianity thing" wasn't (just) about going to church & reading my Bible every day. It's about a relationship with Him, craving His word, living in community with other believers, and soaking in His new mercies every morning. My advice to you would be to take a look at your life and see what is holding you back from knowing God more. If it's an idol that you need to displace, get rid of it. If it's laziness/hermit crab syndrome because you don't want to be a part of a community, get over it & let people into your life. Above all else, pray. Talk with God. Be honest with Him and lay your burdens down at His feet. He loves you & wants to love on you. 

Maiedae (Savannah) asked: I'm looking into purchasing a sewing machine for home projects. Do you have any recommendations for a good reliable (affordable) sewing machine?
I use a Janome 7330 (Magnolia) & a WHITE overlock machine & LOVE them. 
My only recommendations: 1. Don't buy a $100 machine from wal-mart. 2. Figure out your budget & go to a local dealer. They'll help you figure out what machine is best for you. I'd say spend around $200 & you'll get a machine that will last you a long time. I plan on keeping mine for a lonnnnnnnnng time, so I spent around $400. 


Have any good date night ideas/favorite dates with your husband?!
Chase & I make it a priority to have a date night each week. I feel like it's crucial in marriage ((especially before kids)) to build a solid foundation of continuing to "date" your spouse. We usually pick a nice restaurant ((we try not to eat out during the week)) & then come home & watch a movie or go get ice cream. 

However, I LOVE sleeping in on Saturdays, waking up & going to eat a fun breakfast somewhere...the more "hole-in-the-wall" the better. A bonus is when we are up for a matinee movie after that big breakfast ;) It makes almost the entire Saturday a date. Love it. 

Hannah asked: Where did Yellow Songbird come from? 
Once again, there's no major meaning behind it...but you can read here for brief further explanation.


When are you gonna have a baby? I bet it would be pretty since you and your hubs are both pretty. I  only ask because people keep asking me as if this is an appropriate question to ask a lady.
It's on our radar, but not in our immediate future. I'd say in the next year or two? :) 

Cat asked: What is your favorite quote?
"I love birds. I love that they bring glory to God just by being birds. I want to be more like that...bringing glory to God just by being who He has created me to be."  - Lauren Chandler, wife of Matt Chandler ((pastor of the Village church))


What inspires you most?
I actually just did a guest post here on what inspires me. Check it out! 

**p.s. whoever anonymous me & I'll give you a link to who I buy my colored snaps from ;)**

Stay tuned for ((a much shorter)) part two! 


Friday, January 28, 2011

ask me ((almost)) anything

I'm almost back in my groove where I will start doing Favorite Things Friday & Handmade Monday posts.  If you're lucky, a bi-monthly What to Eat Wednesday post with my favorite recipes will be thrown in the mix as well. 

Until then...I get lots of questions via email and sometimes in comments regarding where I live, where I buy my fabric, how I "grew" my blog, how I learned to sew, etc. 

I thought it would be fun if you guys ((ahem. y'all)) put any question you are wanting to know in the comment form.  Anything you want to know! Ask away...but keep it clean ;)

 I'll work on getting them answered and do a post next week!

readyyyyy go! don't leave me hanging. this could be awkward haha


Thursday, January 27, 2011

random thoughts in bullet form

*I want to make some of these. Anyone have a good mallow recipe?

 *I got a haircut yesterday & acquired bangs. I'm welcoming myself back into the 7th grade ((disclaimer: already used that joke on facebook)) & don't know how I feel about them yet. 

*I added some new necklaces into the shop today and also marked several necklaces "ON SALE." Did the one you were eyeing get marked down? Check them out here. 

*Chase & I also got our iphones yesterday. We may or may not already be addicted.

*Today was sunny & warm so I decided to test out my new running shoes. The run, quite honestly, kicked my butt.

*Yesterday, I also added some new carry-all totes to the shop. Check those out here. 

*An opportunity has come up from the surface & I may get to teach some sewing classes! I get to sit in on a sewing class today that I may get to take over & teach. Pumped!

*Don't forget about the awesome giveaway below! Who doesn't want some free fabric? :)


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

sponsor highlight + giveaway: my little sunshine fabric shop

Today I wanted to brag about one of my sweet sponsors, My Little Sunshine Fabric Shop...and a piece of sunshine it is. This online fabric shop has such an incredible selection of designer fabrics, including ones from Anna Maria Horner, Riley Blake, and Amy Butler. 

Ashley, the shop owner, has a great eye for textiles and hand picks  great fabrics to carry!

One thing I really like about this shop is the affordability. Eight bucks a yard for the newest fabrics out there? Boom. I'm in. 

Ashley is SO generously offering one of you wonderful readers a chance to win a $20 store credit to her fabric shop! I'm quite jealous of this winner already. 

Here's how you enter:
 Visit My Little Sunshine & let me know your favorite fabric ((if you can pick one!)).  

1. Follow Yellow Songbird via Google Friend Connect over there on the left ((one entry))
2. Follow Ashley AND myself on twitter. ((one entry))
3. Tweet, Facebook Status, or Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment telling me you did so. ((one entry each)) Feel free to use this:
"WANT FREE FABRIC? Enter to win a $20 store credit to @sunshinefabric on @OhSweetJoy's blog!"

leave a comment for each entry or else they won't count. have fun!

**USE CODE yellowsongbird for 10% off your order in Ashley's shop!**


**if you would like to be a February sponsor of Yellow Songbird, email me!**

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

patchwork fabric wall decor

Last week I decided that the guest bedroom needed some decor above the bed. I scored this huge rug hooking hoop at JoAnn for $6.99 ((I say scored as if I know how much they normally cost)) and knew I'd put fabric in it.  I've done lots & lots of embroidery hoop framed fabric. This time, though, I didn't want to just put a big chunk of pretty fabric in there. 

I decided to grab random fabrics from my stash, cut random pieces of said fabrics that somewhat matched the comforter on the bed ((the comforter is actually from my sophomore year of college & I still love it)) & piece them together in no particular rhyme or reason people. That's what fast projects are about. 

I love the way it turned out! 

((wouldn't this photo be a fun blog header?))
I felt like the font was appropriate for the project :)


p.s. stay tuned for a giveaway tomorrow from one of my wonderful sponsors! hint: fabric goodness. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

mustaches + surprise party

Here are a few shots from a surprise party we hosted on Sunday. 
Happy Birthday, Michelle! :)

The lighting in our house is awful ((we don't have any overhead lighting in the living room, just lamps. womp womp)) but we set up a photo booth anyways. I made some mustache sticks & hung up some bunting. You can blame give credit to my friend, crystal, for the wig. 

 michelle & her kiddos
 we love mustaches. 

 lookin' good, dady's

all the ladies


Saturday, January 22, 2011

((a *GUSSY* feature))

Today, I had the honor of waking up to lots of new twitter followers and blog followers. I was confused at tweeted about me & got people to follow?

Then I remembered...

Oh, that Gussy.

My favorite blog.

A huge inspiration. 

A sweet girl who has worked her butt off to quit her day job & has dominated the "handmade scene..."

and has made it look like a piece of cake. rainbow cake with sprinkles, to be exact. 

You see, she sent me some interview questions a few weeks ago for a "Quit Your Day Job" series. Today was my day...and I can't get over it. 

Can't get over the fact that I am trying this handmade thing full-time.

Can't get over the fact that I was featured on my favorite blog of all time. 

Can't get over my support system that never fails to encourage me at the right time.

Read here & be inspired. You can do this. You just have to try :)


Friday, January 21, 2011

what?! ANOTHER free printable?! :)

((just right click, save as a jpg or pdf & print away!))

enjoy & have a happy weekend!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

((new product)) POLKA DOT PARTY!

I made a pair of these for a friend back in December and she wore them to my house the other night for dinner. I couldn't stop staring at them because they were so darn cute! I was jealous of something that I made myself. HA. 

SO. I decided to make a line of polka dot covered button earrings and they're named very appropriately, in my opinion. POLKA DOT PARTY! 

Check 'em out here and go take a $10 shopping spree. Don't worry, your husband/boyfriend/parents/bank account told me it was OK. *wink*

I also ordered some more fabric to make more options of the Chelsea Carry-All Totes. Get excited!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

reunited & it feels so gooooood

Yesterday I needed to go to the post office, which is downtown right off of Pearl St. It was gorgeous & sunny outside. I decided I didn't want to drive so I loaded up my Patagonia Half-Mass and aired up the tires on my road bike. I talked Chase into showing me the bike paths to get there & so we were off!

We rode round-trip around 8 miles and it felt so great to be reunited with my vintage road bike ((although my legs hate me today)).  We got her some new grip tape & now she doesn't look so ragged ((the other grip tape was ripped & unraveling)).

I love love love riding my bike! Now I just need to get my townie back in my possession ((let a friend borrow it while we were gone)) so I can cruise to the grocery store for last minute trips instead of driving every time. 

So ready for the summer so I can cruise around town without my hands freezing! :) 


Monday, January 17, 2011

thanks & ahmelie giveaway winner!

First, let me say THANK YOU to everyone who supported my shop re-opening this past weekend. Everyone who tweeted, helped promote, commented, sent an encouraging email, or purchased some items just made my heart pitter patter. Last week was my first "go" at doing this handmade thing full time and I had a blast. Thanks for the support & love, y'all!

Now to the winner of the Ahmelie $25 Store Credit :)

Shandell, email me with your info & I will get you all hooked up with Ahmelie! 


I put a new product in the shop today! Click here to see more about this little beauty. 


p.s. check out my stellar sponsors over there on the right! i've got some new ones on the roster & i *heart* them. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains: the art of losing myself in bringing You praise.

Your light will shine when all else fades

Never ending,
Your glory goes beyond all fame

& the cry of my heart is to bring You praise from the inside out
Lord my heart cries out...