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R.Kay Design: October 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tired of Reading Boring Blogs? Help Me Give You What You Want

It's so exciting to watch people sign-up to win the Uptown Molly Handbag! A big thank you to everyone who is taking the time to enter. It will be cool to see who wins! If you haven't signed up yet, click on the following link and enter by Sunday:  Uptown Molly Handbag Give-Away
In fact, if you if you complete the survey at the end of this post, I will give you extra entries in the give-away - so go to the give-away and click the link that you did it after completing the survey!

I decided to do a survey after I joined a membership site called A-List Blogger Club this week. I'm really impressed with this site. That's not an affiliate link, I'm not making money to talk about the club, I haven't been there long enough to form an opinion on whether or not I would promote it, but I do like it, a lot. I'm learning so much...right now I'm going through a writing boot camp where I'm learning about topics like sharing my story, finding my voice, writing a compelling headline, writing a great introduction, and so much more. My head is starting to swim with new info and I'm loving it!

The people who run this site, Leo Babauta of and Mary Jaksch of and really know their stuff. Somewhere on the site I read or heard that a blogger really needs to listen to his or her readers and be sure to write about what they want to read. One suggestion was to take surveys and I thought that was a great idea.

So, I went to Survey Monkey and made a survey. I'm going to leave it open for about a week and would absolutely LOVE for you to give me your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions. It will be anonymous so you don't have to worry about what I will think of what you say - say anything because everything you tell me will make this blog better and allow me to tailor it to what you want to read.

So, here's the survey. Be patient, if it's as slow to load as the Rafflecopter give-away, you need to wait a minute for it to come up on the page. Thanks in advance for your time and I'll recap the info I get in a week or so. Thanks again!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Uptown Molly Give-Away!

Remember Uptown Molly? She was the handbag I made during our Molly Handbag Sew-Along.'s time to give her away!

Yes, this is my first give-away, so this is all new to me. However, I saw a great feature over at where they used Rafflecopter to handle a give-away and reported that it worked really well for them. So, I thought I'd use it too, anything to make the process easy on me and fair to those who jump through the hoops to get entries.

I really want people to join my Facebook page, I only have 49 or so followers and really want to build up that portion of my site, so I'm going to make giving me a Facebook "Like" mandatory. The other things I have listed are optional, but if you do them you get more entries and a better chance of winning.

I especially want to hear from anyone who has made the Molly Handbag using my pattern, feedback in the way of a comment is worth two entries. And even if you haven't made the pattern, if you only reviewed it, as long as you comment on the pattern, it will be worth two entries.

You can enter starting at 12:01 tonight until Sunday at midnight - at 12:01 on October 31st, the contest ends. I will post the winner sometime that night after all the Trick or Treaters have stopped coming to my door. I'll post the winner here on the blog.

So if I've left out anything, please let me know, this is the first give-away I've ever done and I'm sure I forgot something. So, here goes!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Featured On Petite Hermine and Pinterest

To my surprise today, my Uptown Molly Sew-Along was featured at Petite Hermine! Jen at Petite Hermine has a nice site where she runs a linky party and features other artists. It was really nice to see Molly front and center ~ thank you Jen!

Follow Me on PinterestI also joined Pinterest today and OMG! A person can really get addicted. I couldn't believe it when I connected my Twitter account and all of a sudden I was following over 600 people! I don't quite have that many following me back yet but all day the emails flooded my inbox with people following back. Wow, I'm really going to find some cool stuff on there and will definitely write about it here. If you want to follow my pins, just click the logo over there on the right.

So anyway, I still don't have my computer back from the repair guy. He should bring it back tomorrow but then I'll have a ton of work reloading my programs and restoring my data. I'll get back on the and post as soon as I have everything done.

Until later ~


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Friday, October 14, 2011

Thank Goodness for Carbonite

Carbonite. Back up. Move on.

And that's what I did a few months ago. I signed up for Carbonite, it backed up my computer and continued to do so everyday since.

Thank goodness.

Yesterday when I got up, my computer froze while I was posting a comment on Facebook and when I went to reboot, it never booted. I must have tried restarting it 20 times yesterday, last night, today. Finally, I had the computer repair guy come out. He ran a diagnostic program and told me I needed a new hard drive.

Over the last 6 months I've been working on R.Kay Design. I have a lot of pictures and patterns I've been working on.  Believe me, if it hadn't been for the fact that Carbonite automatically backed up everything and I didn't have to remember to to do it, I would have lost everything. I know myself, I would not have taken the time to do the backup myself, I know, it happened to me before and I lost everything.

Right now I'm typing this post on my hubby's laptop while my computer is incapacitated until the repair guy and I can get back together tomorrow. I logged on to Carbonite earlier to see if my 'stuff' was there - it's there! Whew!

How much work, pictures, downloads, ebooks, programs, and God only knows what else, would you lose if you woke up tomorrow and your hard drive was gone? That might be something you need to think about. I recommend Carbonite, back up, move on.

Until later ~


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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sneak Peak - Ella Handbag

Ella is super cute and perfect if you want to carry your IPad
in your purse with all your other stuff.
Wow, did I make a ton of mistakes today. I guess my mind wasn't on my sewing, I spent over an hour taking out seams! I really had problems getting this purse together, but it's finally starting to shape up.

Let me introduce Ella. She is a satchel style bag made with a wonky weave to show her fun side. An IPad or tablet will easily fit inside but she's really more than an IPad sleeve. So cute!

The handles were SUPPOSED to be sewn into the seam
between the main panel and the top panel. Notice, I forgot
to add them.

You would think when making a pattern, if you first make it in muslin you would find all your problems...not the case with this cutie. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, I'm not sure, but the first thing I did wrong was to leave off the pockets on the sides. Come to find out, after ripping it apart and sewing in a pocket on one side, it just didn't look good. Low and behold by the time I figured that out, I realized I had sewn in the top panel and left out the handles! Now I HAD to rip out the top panel and that was a good opportunity for me to remove the side pocket.

While ripping out the seams that went around three sides of the purse, I noticed that the weave fabric I had created was starting to pull apart in more than one place. I couldn't believe it, was this pattern doomed or what?

I decided that while I had it apart I would resew the area that was fraying. It made the piece imperfect but it's not really noticeable. I doubt I would sell this piece because of the corrections I needed to make but it was a great failure and it taught me to (1) widen the stitch, (2) note this in the instructions as a possibility if the seam is not centered properly on the stitching, the seamstress needs to be sure to stay centered, and lastly, (3) if it needs to be corrected, it doesn't look bad and is hardly noticeable.

To correct, all I did was start on the stitching a little ways up from where it was fraying, centering on the existing stitching. Then as I got close to the fraying, I veered toward the fray so the stitching caught it. Continuing to sew past the frayed part as I headed back toward the original stitching until I was centered on it again. Then I stopped at an intersection where the original stitching crossed.

Double click on the picture for close-up of the correction.
An alternative to the method just described would be to double stitch all the lines again catching the frayed edges. But I don't really think that's necessary, as you can see in the photo below, it looks just fine.

In the photo at the top of this post, only the outside shell is finished. I still need to make and insert the lining. After writing this post, I think I will see about adding an optional divider for an IPod or tablet to help keep it from getting scratched.

I'm going to have to make this pattern one more time so I can get the instructions clear in my head before I start the write-up.

Do you have any suggestions while I'm still in the development phase? What colors would you like me to use on the next one I sew? Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.

Until later ~


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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Do You Have Just One True Calling - Or Many?

Interesting article posted at Illuminated Mind today. It discusses how some people have many "true callings," not just one. Here's a link to the article, "Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling (and Why We’re Better Off that Way)".

The article is interesting to me because it's true, we don't have just one true calling, in fact, I seriously doubt that many people at all have just one calling in life. For example, a person may be called to work with animals and become a vet, but they are also a friend, sister, mother, wife. They may love to sew and craft but also be really good at and love hosting fundraisers and volunteering at the children's hospital. How can you say that person's one true calling is to be a doctor for animals when it's only one aspect of that person's life?

Even though the article is well written, interesting, and makes you think, I don't agree with one point brought up by the author. She insinuates that a simple remark like, "what do you want  to be when you grow up?"  makes people think that they are not normal because they don't want to be or do just one thing. She says it's the beginning of a pattern that can cause a lot of pain and anxiety. I guess I don't understand her position because I think the desire to do many things, and different things at the various stages of our lives, is perfectly normal. In fact, there are way fewer people who only pursue one interest over their lifetime than those who pursue many.

God would not have created us to be such wonderful multifaceted brilliant creatures if he wanted us to be one-dimensional. The fact that we are able to have many interests at the same time, move from one project to another, or have several careers in our lifetimes, is amazing and people do it all the time. I feel so blessed to live in a country that allows, even encourages me, to pursue many interests and have never felt that I was abnormal or invisible because I'm interested in so much.

Later in the article there's some good and useful information about how to bring your multiple interests together in your business pursuit. And she closes with some great words about how having multiple interests makes you original and wonderful. But don't let that make you think that because you have multiple interests you are some how different, you're not, we all have multiple interests. What makes you original and wonderful are your multiple interests, everyone's are different, and THAT'S what makes you an original.

What makes YOU an original wonderful person? What are your multiple passions? 

I'll write about mine in a future post, I'd love to hear about yours in the comments below.

Until later ~


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