Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The gift tags have been listed! I just love how they turned out. The bakers twine adds the perfect finishing touch....I think!

Today we are heading back to Toys R Us (fingers crossed it's another great shopping experience!) so that we can pick up our middle little guys new bike (yup, new ride for the big guy!). Hopefully the rain will hold off until a little while after we get home so that he can take it for a test run once we get home.

Had to add pics of another new listing!


A Good One

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hey everyone!

Today is the first day of March break for us. The boys and I went to Toys R Us first thing this morning so that they could buy a few things with the Easter money that Grandma sent them (thanks Grandma!). They were so excited to buy things by themselves, to hand the money to the cashier, it was so exciting to them.

I have to admit that I wasn't exactly looking forward to this little outing since I was going to be taking them by myself. Usually a trip to Toys R Us results in at least one meltdown if not two. So I explained everything to the kids more than once about how they could only buy something that was $10 or less and that they had to behave, and gosh, it actually worked! They were little angels, it was such a great trip! I'm thankful!

So, did you see yesterday's post? It included a sneak peek at a new elliven stationery item? They will be listed in the next week or so!

Okay, time to get some housework done while the kids are content!

Cheers, hope you all enjoyed a lovely weekend!

New For Sunday!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I have completed those fabric accessories I was talking about yesterday. Here is a peek at them, they can all be found in the shop!

I'm also in the end stages of creating a new item.

I think it's time for a sneak peek:

These mini cards will be perfect for so many different uses! They measure 2.5" high by 4" wide. Use them as gift cards/gift tags or even calling cards or business cards! Simply stamp your info onto the front and voila! Some will be offered with a piece of co-ordinating twine so that you can easily attach them to your packages others will be listed just like the one above for you to stamp.

Look for them soon!


Saturday Listing And Work

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hello, hello!

Just a quick Saturday post to let you know that I've listed another stationery set. This one is definitely a favourite!

I just love the way that the Osnaburg Cotton looks with the waved edges and next to the kraft cardstock. It has such a lovely texture to it.

I'm almost finished two card wallets and a receipt holder. Would you believe while I was cleaning off my workspace, I found them hidden under some folded fabric 1/2 complete? Good thing for the spring cleaning!

And I have to tell you that I'm absolutely loving the book Craft Inc:

I just find it to be such a great read. Inspiring, reassuring and well written. Definitely worth checking out!


To Sort By Colour!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sorting by colour. That's how I will be sewing my items. I'm trying to come up with ways to be more efficient when it comes to the shop. To some, this might again seem very straight forward, and why I didn't do this/think of this sooner I don't know. Especially since I have all of my fabrics organized by colour.

Currently, I sew a bunch of the same item, not paying attention to the colours of fabrics I choose. I'm wondering if I sort by colour, that it might be quicker since I won't have to change thread at all. Seriously, why didn't I think of this my mother in law says "sometimes the simplest solution is the last one you think of" or something along those lines! This will simply cut out a few steps, and hopefully that will result in a faster production time.

We'll see!

In other shop news. I have more handmade paper ready to be decorated, so look for some new recycled stationery sets in the next little while as well as some made with pre-made craftstock!


Staying Connected

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hello, hello!

Did you all get a chance to check out the Lovely Blogger List? It's so much fun! I love discovering new bloggers!

So once again, I am currently taking a step back and trying to re-structure elliven. I love all of the items that I am currently selling, but I need to make a master list and stick to it, only adding variety by adding different embellishments or using different fabrics. I have such a bad habit of thinking up an idea, making it and then that's that. I have to figure out the foundation (products/items) and then stick to them and then figure out how often I want to add a new product/line.

The Stationery Line is proving to be a favourite of mine. I truly enjoy the mixture of fabric and paper. It's so fun. So that, I will continue to offer. But again, I have to stick to a few designs and only change the embellishments and fabrics. Gosh, this probably seems all so straight forward, doesn't it?! I had to do this a while back, shortly after opening up Always Inspire, and it really worked, not sure when I started to stray.

I want to learn all there is to learn about business, I am beginning to search more and learn more about that aspect of being your own boss. I am eager to learn and excited to get this information. I am continuing to do research on products, materials, supplies, etc. I started Always Inspire as a "fun" endeavour, and didn't think that it would become such a part of me as it has. I want this to work and I am going to do all that I can do to make it work....which is where the re-structuring comes in. Starting with a solid foundation to build my little shop on.

So yes, I'm in the process of re-structuring, and it's proving to be a very good thing and a good time to do so for elliven.

I'm trying hard to stay connected, but find that it can be tough to do. I don't always have time to catch up, and as much as I wish I could stay up later than 9pm to read how everyone is doing, I just can't, too tired and I need the sleep to be able to function the next day.


Lovely Clusters Blogger List!

Monday, March 22, 2010

This is so fun! Rachel over at Lovely Clusters is putting together a Blogger List! It's so easy to enter, so here I am, writing up my brief "about me" post. You can find out more by clicking here! Take a peek or even better, write your "about me" post so that we can all learn a little more about one another!

Hi there! My name is Julie, I'm a SAHM to three little guys ages 6, 4 and 8 months. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for almost seven years now (gosh how time flies!). We currently live in Winnipeg, Canada, but due to my husbands line of work (Canadian Air Force) we won't be here for long (which I don't mind, moving is part of the fun!).

I create fabric accessories (such as Receipt/Coupon Holders) as well as Stationery Sets which I adorn with fabric. The Stationery Sets are my newest line and I'm so excited about them. Several sets are made with handmade paper which I make here at home using 100% post consumer waste. I work on shop items in between taking care the family and kiddos, and it can sometimes be a challenge to get work done, but I still love every part of the process. From picking out fabrics to folding the stationery sets, it's all fun! I hope to sometime work on the shop full time, that would be a dream come true!

I can be inspired by so many different things! From nature, to fashion, to textiles, to other's amazing what can inspire you, and I absolutely love it when you're struck by something totally inspiring!


A Few New Ones

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just listed a few more stationery sets and wanted to share them with you here!

The last set includes a bonus card with the word "thanks" stamped onto the front of it!

I yet again have some thinking to do about the direction I want the shop to go. I'm loving this stationery line and have thought of new ways to expand it. We'll see!!!

Hope you are all enjoying a lovely weekend.


And Hello!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's been a while, hasn't it? Oh my, how time flies when you're having fun!

My husband returned home on Sunday after being away for more than four weeks. The time went by quickly while he was away, and the kids were great, but it sure is nice to have him home.

We have been busy running around getting things done. Bought a new exciting! And now we are on the hunt for a new bike for me (again, exciting) as well as one for our middle little guy. I really want to be able to go for bike rides with the kids on a comfortable bike....the kids absolutely love to ride their bikes, so it will be something fun for us to do this summer.

There haven't been many new listings for the shop, which is a tough for me to accept because I would absolutely love to have a constant flow of new items. I'm hoping that with my husband home for the next little while, I will be able to get back to work and have time to list some more fabric accessories. It's been quite a while since I last listed a fabric item. The stationery sets have been on the front burner, and I will continue to offer them, but I do need to add a few more fabric items as a few shop sections are running low.

I do have new designs sketched out for the stationery line and can't wait to get to making them. Hopefully you will see them soon!

Lastly, I will leave you with a song that I have been listening to over and over again, I simply love it.


Stationery - Premade Sets

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hello, hello! I hope you are all enjoying a lovely weekend! It's simply gorgeous here! Nothing like spring!

I spoke earlier of offering pre-made stationery sets, rather than just the handmade paper and envelopes sets. I worked on the pre-made sets and have listed a few!

Here they are:



A Little Bit Of Yellow!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just listed another stationery set! Love this one! The paper has yellow flecks throughout (yellow cardstock was torn up and added to the mixture). So I used Amy Butler's Martini in Mustard!


Take A Step Back....


Isn't it amazing what can happen to a project you are working on when you simply put it down, take a step back, analyze it from a different perspective and then jump back into creating? I can't get over how much this can affect the final look of an item.

I'm also taking a step back and taking a good look at my workspace. It definitely needs to be re-organized. It's just NOT working for me right now. I can't wait to get into my new own workspace, just lovely!

I've managed to list another fabric stationery set (seriously, they are soooo much fun to make!).

This set features a flat piece of fabric on the exterior of the envelope, therefore no extra shipping is required when mailing.

I've received a pack of Kraft cardstock and will start using that for envelopes (much sturdier). I've also purchased pre-made Kraft envelopes, so soon you will see different sets available.

I'm contemplating using pre-made card stock as well, but am not sure if I'm going to go that route or not. It takes time to make handmade paper from start to finish, so while I'm waiting for the handmade paper to dry, I could use pre-made cardstock to make other sets. We'll see. It's still all coming together.


A Slight Variation

Monday, March 8, 2010

Good morning to you!

Did you see that I managed to get the first set of elliven stationery listed? I posted shortly after listing them....I'm nervous, I just am. It's something new for me. And although I've done my research and tested the product out, I'm still nervous.

That being said, I've decided that I'm going to offer more varations for the envelopes. I am currently sewing them together and adding a fabric deco to the front as seen here:

Due to the height of the ruffle you may have to pay extra shipping to ensure that it gets to your destination. The envelope does fit through the small mail slot at the post office, but it could get stuck, so paying the extra postage allows for more wiggle room (it fits through with ease when the extra shipping is added). In Canada it costs $1.22 to ship. I mailed a few out to a few people, including myself. I have to admit that when I opened up the mailbox and first caught glance of the envelope I giggled, I just love how they look!

However, not everyone is going to want to pay extra shipping to send them out. So I'm going to also offer packages that include regular pre-made kraft envelopes, so that if you don't wish to pay the extra postage, you won't have to, as well as handmade envelopes (like the ones pictured above) with a straight/flat piece of fabric added to them. You will still receive the washi tape, which will add that extra special touch to the package.

More cards to be listed this week!

Okay, off to get some stuff done!

Enjoy your Monday!


A Fresh Start

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm trying to make elliven more of an eco friendly shop (part of the reason for creating the new stationery line). I am changing the way that I package my items. I currently ship items in poly envelopes, but since the ones I have are not biodegradable nor can they be recycled, I don't plan on purchasing more once they are all used up. Instead, I am going to use kraft envelopes (hoping to find some with a high recycled content already in them) and then cello bags that are biodegradable and compostable (if anyone has any great sources for these, please do share!).

I have also purchased a few new items to decorate the parcels with, and have come up with a perfect way to package the elliven stationery items. elliven is evolving in many ways, which is exciting. Things are coming along...slowly, but surely!

I am feeling soooooo much better (thanks for the well wishes!). It's just so tough being sick when my husband is away (only one more week of solo parenting left....woot woot!). We are VERY much looking forward to his return!

Cheers, hope you are all enjoying a lovely weekend!


I've managed to list the first set of elliven stationery......I have to admit, I'm about as nervous now listing this first item of the new line as I was when I listed my very first item on Etsy. Crazy isn't it?!

Feel Like Dancing?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I love going to Starbucks and especially love getting the free iTunes download each week!

I got this one last week, the kids and I love dancing to it, so I wanted to share.

Have fun dancing!



A big ol' "thanks" is all you want to say.

And for those occasions, I've created this:

A 1" piece of Amy Butler cotton has been adhered and then top stitched onto the paper. The simply stated black "thanks" has been transferred on into place.

We're getting there. The elliven stationery line is going to be available soon!


Thank You!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thank you for the lovely comments on the new line! I hope you truly like it, I can't wait to get it all listed and push the nerves aside (yes, I still get nervous when I list a new item, no idea why, but I do.....).

I'm excited about the direction that the shop is headed. It's been tough finding time to sew and create the past couple of weeks, and that will probably continue to be my biggest challenge for the next little while. It would be nice to be able to list items on a regular basis and not just here and there. Once the youngest little chunky monkey gets back to sleeping well, I'm sure I'll be able to sit down in front of the sewing machine much more. I just finished another Receipt Holder and have completed the first stationery line, just need to take the pics for listing. I'm still waiting for some more supplies to arrive so that I can expand the stationery products. I made a new batch of paper today, it's a fun project to do with the kids. They can help with a few of the steps and really enjoy doing so!

I'm thrilled that the sun is now waking up even earlier in the morning and that the temps are rising even higher. I plan to get out for a jog sometime this week when Mad is at school. I just need to pump up the tires to the jogging stroller and we'll be good to go! I love to jog, I love how it makes me feel. Both my body and mind are craving a good jog.....ahhhh, loveliness!


elliven Stationery!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Okay, so it's time! I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about revealing this new line that I've been working on for the past little while. It's an excited kind of nervous feeling, just like when I first opened up my shop on Etsy. I'm bursting at the seam over here and just have to show you. I have a little more tweaking to do to the final product before they are listed, which will hopefully be within the next week or so.

I mentioned a little while ago that this new line combined my two loves in regards to crafting, and it's so very true. I absolutely love fabric and I absolutely love paper. I've always loved working with paper, the texture, the sound of it being crumpled to the sound it makes when you're sorting through a stack, and so it only makes sense that I am combining the two to make a product for my little shop.

A little while ago I made the package pretty items and completely enjoyed putting those together. So I sat down trying to come up with a way to tie those items in to my shop. And this is what I've come up with.....

elliven stationery

The paper used to make the cards has been handmade by myself, using 100% post consumer waste such as computer paper. I can't tell you how excited I am to be doing my part for the environment! We always recycle, but to be able to reuse the paper in such a fabulous way is such an amazing feeling! Each card in this particular set has been adorned with a 1.5" thick piece of Joel Dewberry cotton which has been adhered to the paper and topstitched into place.

Kraft paper has been used to make the coordinating envelope, and it has been adorned with a 1 1/4" ruffle in the same Joel Dewberry cotton fabric. A small zig zag stitched seals the edges of the envelope and a piece of washi tape is included to close the flap (you could also use a bit of glue if you wish since there is no self-adhesive on the envelope flap...the washi tape will be longer than the one pictured on the envelope below, see the very first pic for actual length).

Sets will include a card, envelope and strip of washi tape. There are many more designs to come and many variations of each design to suit all tastes. Since each piece of paper is individually made by hand, there will be slight variation in thickness and texture making each one so very unique!

So that's the new line....I hope you love it!

Phew, that wasn't that hard!


And Good Morning!

Good morning to you all! Oh how lovely it is to see the sun rising before 7am! Spring is almost here (did I just jinx myself?!). I'm getting out today to buy some begonia bulbs, I love begonias, they are just so beautiful. Do you grow your own flowers? I don't grow everything, but quite a bit and it's fun to watch everything sprout right before your eyes. Also a fun little something to do with the kiddos. What kid doesn't like getting their hands dirty?!

The game last night was unreal! I was seriously sweating. Oh my goodness, what a show! Maddox and Ripken did "victory laps" around the house! It was awesome! I'm so sad that the games are over though. I enjoyed waking up and watching Olympic Morning on CTV. I love the Olympics! So inspiring and so much fun.

So really, can I talk anymore about the new line? I know, I've been talking about it FOREVER! I'm waiting for one last item to arrive to finish everything off. I'm so nervous to reveal this new line to you, and I really hope you love it. As I mentioned before, it combines my two loves (craft wise), and it's just so much fun to make. Hopefully they will be in the shop by Friday.

Enjoy your Monday!


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