Saturday, June 8, 2013

Buying A Used Sewing Machine in the South Bay

Buying A Used Sewing Machine in the South Bay

Recently I bought a used sewing machine, was searching every used-sewing machine source I could locate in the South Bay. I looked on craigslist, ebay, called several sewing machine repair places and had varying results.

Eventually I was able to find one in my price range at Ray's Sewing Center in San Jose. I decided on a basic model - Janome 3010 (similar to their Janome Jem model) for $100.00 The basic machine I purchased
  • does everything I needed it to do
  • the same accessories fit from the old machine
  • it sews great
  • it is lighter weight compared to the old Kenmore.
Other places I considered were Eddie's Quilting Bee in Sunnyvale $125.00 and SewViking in Willow Glen - they quoted the highest price $200.00 for the machine I was originally seeking (a Kenmore Ultrastictch 12 circa 1980 mfr)

After I had bought the Janome from Ray's, another vendor who only refurbishes old sewing machines (not selling new ones) in Los Gatos via website at also sent back a price quote.

The trading phone calls with folks on craigslist was sort of tedious - most people selling machines in my price range that I spoke with, had no details and couldn't be sure the machines actually worked - so that was why I chose to look at repair places.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Online Jewelry Making Classes

 I usually run the opposite way when I see a blog heading that has FREE something in it. Like you, I have a limited amount of time I can spend on the web - and wading thru spam "free offers"  is not how I want to spend that time.   Speaking of SPAM...  Karen over at Sew Many Ways posted a great article about reducing spam posts in the comment sections of your Blog this last week. Her post had solid, useful information... check it out while you are still thinking about it or bookmark it for later so you don't forget!

Free Classes Online at CraftArtEdu
This one is for real though - they really are FREE and the classes at Craft Art Edu change from time to time in each of the media types for which they are offering instruction.  Check out their class list by clicking on their logo. They also offer paid/fee-based classes, with quality group on Instructors.

I have been finishing the notes for our workshop next week on Crafting Your Web - we'll be hosting at our local Meetup group in Santa Clara.  We'll cover basic things to consider when starting your own website, Blog or Social Media feeds to promote and sell your own handmade crafts. Some basic do's and don'ts, etc. The changing nature of the web is so fluid that there are always new considerations to add to the content of this brief overview workshop.  Next week's session filled up fairly quickly, so we may be offering a repeat session soon if there are enough folks expressing interest. 

In case you missed it - FABMO's new event calendar is posted for March and so is the SEWING CAMP Calendar for CampFashionista for this summer's sessions in San Jose.  More on these later... but I thought you might enjoy browsing through their online calendars for ideas.  We recently posted our Handmade Guilders Calendar  as well. As we get spare time, we are listing events and classes, shows and marts local to the SF Bay Area.  If you would like to submit your event for listing, send us an email and be sure to include your contact info so we can reach you if we have questions or need more information.  Happy Crafting!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Springtime is almost here

Spring is so close! 

See the Bird Nest pendant collection here

A Penny For Your Thoughts....

The Table of Pennies!

It's all Jen Yates' fault 

 Jen is curator of the EPBOT blog   and  and on Twitter as  @cakewrecks

<----This is her lovely table and she is the one that planted the idea (of making one of my own)  in my head a few years ago!   

This is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen, so I am re-posting the link to it here so you can enjoy it as well.

Speaking of  Pennies and Thoughts...

April's Etsy store PennyAnnDesigns 
is another lovely find!

She creates original card designs in sets for children's birthdays, weddings, thank-you cards... and more. Extremely unique and well done handcraft! Browse at her shop here

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writing Habits

Debra Johnson of  as featured as guest blogger on Jeff Bullas's blog at with her 8 Essential Habits for Effective Writing today and for the most part, I agree with her perspective.

A lot of crafters are trying to work out a livable balance between the time they devote to working on whatever they are creating, and taking a decent amount of time to "promote" their craft activities. It's hard to do both. While you are surfing the net or reading others' blogs, take notes when you see something that sparks your creative interest.

G-tasks Image
Develop a routine to save your notes in some sensible order. I use an Android App named
G-Tasks that just creates a "post-it" type note with all the pertinent info using the "share" button on many sites and pastes into your phone or tablet memory for later reference.  If you have a wireless printer at home, you can print your notes straight from your Android device, or  you can download them to a USB stick and print them via your computer. I also take photos wherever I go and save them in a file folder on the computer named "writing."  When I want to use a photo to illustrate something on my blog or website, this is where I look first as I know I own the original photo and I can use it wherever or however I need to when I want to post something to the web.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Do's and Don'ts: Social Media

Here's a pretty good list from Jess Brown's blog  on her list of  Social Media "Do's and Don'ts"

While she lists what not to do, I would add a few ideas of my own:

Using Social Media can really benefit you if you pay attention to your account on a regular basis - but keep it brief and stay to the "point" of whatever Crafting Topic (brand) you are working to develop a following about. 

In your Tweets, your Blog, or your website - try not to be "all over the map." 
It is better to focus on one or two things well rather than several things with a half-baked effort.  
You don't need to be "plugged-in" to Social Media all the time, or even daily, if you make sure to do it on some regular basis and if the quality of your posts or projects or how-to's are well done. As you browse through your favorite sources of info about jewelry making, stamping,  paper-crafts, handwork, and other creative areas of interest - start keeping track of which blogs, twitter feeds and websites that you read and spend more time on than others. Track it for a week or two and then ask yourself - why these places attract you to return week after week.  
Think about: Design. Content. Clarity. Ease of Use. Who is your target audience?
Carefully review which ones are good sources of info and inspiration, and start skipping the ones with a lot of visual clutter or rambling text. Use some of your browsing time with a targeted focus, it amazing how much time you can blow through on sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook.  If you use these sites to promote your own creations, make sure you spend some time there working on your own posts instead of just looking at others. Learn how to link your pins and posts back to your own blog or website.  Ask friends of yours to use their pins and posts to link to your blog or website as well.  The more sources of link-backs to your own material, the better your rankings become over time.