Friday, October 28, 2011

Textile Friday: Pet's Wear

One of the big growing local unexpected trends is Luxury Pet's Wear. Some of you remember when the crazy dog costumes and anthropomorphizing trend that started almost a decade ago. This is mostly cheap Halloween costumes ten years later, not a lifestyle. The following photo comes from as an example of a fun season costume you can pick up for under $10.
These days pets are not seen so much as human as separate and equal with the ability to have reasoning powers of their own. As a result, the advertising has gone upscale in many way though anyone who has seen a LOL Cat knows cat owners ascribe all types of intelligence to their feline guests. Nash's favorite is the I CAN HAS CHEEZEBURGER? cat which has been reprinted in a million and one locations.
This shift in perception has also led to an interesting shift in product. One of the quiet growing trends has been people creating really great hand-tooled collars, leashes, and other fun creations at affordable prices. You're also seeing great quality dog beds, cat bowls, and simple practical presents. Franky, as a pet owner, I LOVE this. I don't know if it will go big, but a lovely elegant trend Chino, our dog, is loving.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Etsy October Recap

Just got the pictures from the Car Restoration meeting back. I am putting them up on flickr. Thanks everyone who came. It was so much fun to have you. And a big thanks for John and all his hard work. Everyone loved their starburst medallions.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day Six: Free Quilting Kit On Listia

This week I'm listing the first of a new series of kits for our 2012 Etsy Meetings. This one is for a free intermediate quilting kit on Listia. It will be available until Weds next week for our Jan 10th meeting. I'm not an expert quilter by any means, but there's some great tools on the market to save you weeks of time cutting and sewing.
It's wonderful to use on left-over clothing or old linens. And the added speed makes it possible to do some of the more complicated styles like Amish Quilts. I love making interesting projects like this that create one of a kind works of art.
If you've ever heard Alabama Chanin talking about heirloom creations, quilts in my mind are a personal private one of a kind work of art. I will post more details on the meeting as it gets closer, but for now enjoy bidding on a kit for you to learn this week.

Have a great day. Look forward to tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day Five: Under $100 Open-Source Arduino Moving Projection Instructions

Today, we're venturing into the world of open-sourced prototyping. While a lot of what we do at Li Sashay is commercial, a good bit of it is also whimsical and fun. This is one example.
Jeff dropped by one evening asking me what I knew about sewing. One of those down the rabbit hole questions that is always promising. A few days and I had his prototype in my studio. Jeff is busy designing an open-source Arduino driven moving projector screen.
This is a really brilliant design and incredibly simple. I won't speak to the electronics (You can check out his blog for exact details and open source code), but you create a basic projection screen from blackout-fabric ($30) at any Jo-Anns. Use a basic straight curtain rod curtain design. At the top you attach straps at 8-12 inch ($2 for a yard) intervals that wrap around a hollow pole, I've seen plastic hollow tubing used ($10 Lowes). You then attach a controller to the entire curtain and for under $100 depending on where you source your parts. If you scrounge the board and motor, you can do this for closer to $50.
Voila, a moving projection screen that rolls up and down at your command. Now all it needs to do is Tweet.

Well, that's all for today folks. Have a great day. Check in tomorrow for more free ideas.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Textile Friday: Listia

This week I'm having fun starting to raffle off the left-over art supplies from the Hello Etsy Event we had last month on Listia. Hopefully this will allow you to pick up items or craft ideas that appeal to you. The entire system is cashless and everything ships for free afterwards so I hope that everyone can pick up something they like without breaking the bank over the next few months. An early Christmas present from us to you. A new item or two will be listed every week. I will try to mail out the kits complete with enough fabric or supplies to actually correctly make them. Perhaps we'll see some cool photos in a few months from our fellow artists of their creations.

Raffle List:

This Week: Sock Monkey Kit
Next Week: 23 Skeins of Yarn, Scrapbooking inserts

First Week of November: Complete Quilting Kit
Second Week of November: Charcoal sticks and paper
Third Week of November: Skirt Pattern, Zippers, Fabric, Buttons, Thread, and Needle
Fourth Week of November: Beginner Jewelry Kit

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day Four: Engraved Leather Cards

I am so excited dear readers to announce that Nash and I got officially engaged this month. It's been a wonderful year and we're looking forward to the holiday season. One of the fun additions we've done for several friends is custom leather wedding invitations and we can't wait to mail our own out next year. An additional unexpected request has been people looking for custom 9th anniversary leather engraved cards. And then we got cards for special events. So now we're making them public for you to enjoy. We use light weight purse leather that melts in your fingers and puts you just under 1.5 oz to ship (very important when calculating shipping costs). The standard size is 4 by 6 inches for $20 or you can select any size smaller you may desire.

Custom Engraved Leather Card

Friday, October 14, 2011

Textile Friday:

This week celebrates 10 years. If you get a chance today, you can go check out their new video push which I am loving watching. Style is a great website for following fashion's icons and noted designers, you can check out the latest shows, looks, or upcoming trends. Tim Gunn is one of my favorite speakers anywhere. There's other sites that are more technical in nature, but for sheer fun, I love ice cream and

Etsy Holiday Craft Show

Where: Techshop RDU
5905 Triangle Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617
When: December 13th from 6-9:30 pm
Who: Lots of local artists in Techshop bringing their wares to show and display.
Fees: Free and open to the public, artist submissions by Nov. 15th to

December is the month of gift-giving. It's cold and we all need something to warm up our hearts and hands. For this Christmas season we are featuring a craft swap with local artists. If you have never been to a craft show or you've done the professional circuit for 10 years, you both are welcome. We will be setting up 1/2 tables for local artists to come for the evening and show their work while we feature traditional holiday merriment such as warm cider, baked cookies, homemade cards, and a number of Swedish seasonal crafts.

If you would like to try your hand, we have a number of demo tables. All the local artists have donated the supplies to allow some free events as follows in the Kitchen.

6-7 pm: Paint Your Own Pine Cone Ornaments: Learn how to brighten up your table with festive handpainted pine cones. Shannon Talton will be leading the demonstration. A big thanks to Katie Bashaw for picking up all the pine cones for us to use for this event. Location: Kitchen, Cost: Free
7-8 pm: Custom Wood and Leather Ornaments: Create turned and laser wood ornaments into works of art. Shannon Talton will be leading the demonstration. A big thanks to Mark Plaga for his wood donation for the laser. Location: Kitchen, Cost: $1 per ornament recommended.
8-9 pm: Sewing Custom Santa Stockings: Create fun custom Santa Stockings to hang up by the fireplace this year. Shannon Talton will be leading the demonstration. A big thanks to Etsy for the fabric donation. Location: Kitchen, Cost: Free

As always, free and open to the public.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

November Etsy Meeting: Regretsy White Sale

November is a time for a little crazy fun. We are paying tribute to one of my favorite sites out there: Regretsy. For those of you who have never spent an hour laughing milk through your nose, I invite you to click on this messed up site which features the worst, not the best of Etsy.

This coming month we're going to kick back, drink some ROTH beer, and have a $5 Regretsy White Sale. For those of you not familiar with White Sales/Swaps, it's an event where you bring the most hideous, messed up craft idea you've ever had and exchange it with others. We will have tables set-up to display goods and take photos. Votes will be given for best in show and prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

That's right, for $5 and up you can take home something that will terrify small children and horrify hated relatives without having to say anything. All gag gifts welcome.

The only qualification is that you must have made the actual piece you are submitting.

We will be streaming the best posts of regretsy, serving snacks, and generally goofing off. Can't wait to see what some of you come up with. :-)

Please note: This event is geared for 18+

November 8th from 7-10 pm

Located at:
Techshop RDU
5905 Triangle Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day Three: Custom Eyeglasses case

These leather sunglasses covers were originally designed for a friend who makes custom metal shades. Igaaks are wicked fun metal shades that wrap around the head. You may have seen them on the steam-punk scene in NY and Europe, however they do not fit in standard cases for obvious reasons.

While designing the covers for him, I also realized that the covers had another more practical use for me and perhaps the rest of us. I'm continually losing...well...more than I care to admit...sunglasses. Especially expensive or perscription glasses can be awful to lose. I often rely on Nash's photographic memory, but have misplaced more than a few pairs of sunglasses over the year to the beach, pool, friend's barbeques, etc. Now with our custom engraver, I can take our leather cases and engrave them individually for you. You can either engrave the entire face of the case or just put a logo or watermark in the corner. The case also includes a small medallion and thong to attach to the actual glasses if you prefer more security. This way a person who finds your misplaced (never lost) glasses has a way to return them to you.

You can pick one up online out of our etsy shop here:

Note: For simple check-out simply include your design and standard or specific sizing at check-out to purchase.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Textile Friday: China's Hidden Manufacturing Cost

Today I'm going to talk about a frequently discussed topic in design circles that often does not make it to consumers. This is not about the jobs being lost to China or the bleed of manufactured goods. It's about the 30 Percent Rule.

This rule states that goods that come from China have a 30% failure rate in 1 year of use. This compares to an average 1 or 1 1/2% for almost any other country on the market. In practical terms, this means that almost anything you buy out of China is designed to fail in 3 years. It is a consumable good..period. This contrasts with the rest of the world where goods are designed to last decades or in some cases a lifetime, well over a century. The average is 15-20 years under daily use. The outside is 50-60. Designers like Ralph Lauren brag about wearing the same pair of their jeans for 30 years.

Buying good clothing means you only need to buy one piece every 6 months vs. the current trend of a new piece every week. This saves you thousands of dollars a year directly, and indirectly more space in your closet and life.

In practical terms China has taken clothing and fabric from a durable good to a consumer good. The wedding dress that used to last generations, now is designed to last a day. Clothing is now designed to last 3 years or less. This frankly drives me nuts and I try to fight it because I see it as a money drain out of my customer's pockets. I also see it as a tax on stores, business, and customer service in general. When most stores have an 8-10% profit margin, a 30% return rate means that any initial profit created will be eaten in the long-run from poor customer service and returns. Not a pretty thought.

And none of us have extra money to throw around, especially in this economy. So how do we fight it as consumers?

There's a couple of good ways to do this, but before you get started on the details, you should stand back and look at the garment you are getting ready to buy. Is it clean? Do the sides/pattern match up? Run the cloth through your fingers. Overall, what is your impression of the garment? Good clothing makes often makes a person look 30 lbs. lighter.

Good designers don't have to pull tricks to make their look good. Simple clean lines, solid colors, and small prints (they make you look slimmer) are all trademarks of quality clothing. Dark clothes and vertical lines will all make you look taller and slimmer, but they go in and out of fashion. I was obsessed with wearing black for a while, but you get the nicknames like Johnny Cash.

When you put it on, clothing should be a visual hug to make you feel better about your day.

I will list specific things I look for as follows beyond overall impression:

1. Good Quality Thread/Seams - Look for reinforced stitching, especially European and to a lesser degree American clothing tends to have at least 3+ threads running through each seam. This can either be a multi-ply heavier duty industrial thread, use of a serger to bind multiple threads together in 3, 4, 5, or 6 threads, or the more traditional 3 thread seams such as French, Hong Kong, etc. Good quality thread is the huge difference in the life of a piece of clothing. If you are standing back from a piece look at it overall. Good quality thread should not be easy to break or have loose threads hanging from the work. If you see a loose thread and you can easily break it off, you probably don't have good quality thread. Besides making you look sloppy, the piece is likely to wear apart more quickly.

2. Good Fabric-

Good quality fabric is
normally 100%. Mixing different types of fabric or fiber content greatly reduces the life of your garment by 3 or 4 times. A good fabric manufacturer applies an extra qualities as washes at the end vs. part of the garment itself.

Natural fabrics tend to outlast synthetic ones. Leather shoes outlast composites by 3-4 times. Even Nike struggles with this. Invest in things like cotton, linen, and leather. You may pay slightly more up front, but your wallet will thank you in the long run.

3. Solid Metal Hardware/Bone,metal, or resin buttons- This last one is harder to qualify, but painted metal is cheap and tends to wear off. Look for any marks, checks, or imperfections in the clasps, zipper, or hooks. Cheap finishes will wear off in daily use and rust your clothing or bag. Ehhhh. Bone or resin buttons are also designed to resist a lot more wear and tear than cheap buttons. Good quality buttons are often cooler in your hands and feel dense.

4. Branding/Price- Yes, this seems shallow, but branding and prices are a sign of quality. A maker's mark has value as it gives the customer a way to find and track down a company/return product. Companies known for value normally get that reputation through a lot of time and hard work. And they deserve respect for that. The difference between a $2 and $25,000k pair of sunglasses may be unrealistic for most of us. But you can pick up a fairly good pair in the $30-200 range and be the better for it.

This then is the things I look for in my clothing. What do you look for in good clothing?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day Two: Leather Bracelets

Welcome back from a delightful few weeks of shows, we're catching up on a few days worth of posts before the awesome Beer Festival this weekend. Yeah! You can look for our stuff at the Roth Brewing booth this weekend. We are posting up leather this week for show. One of my favorite new styles is our wrist bands with sayings and logo on them.

You can purchase your custom family crest and motto or other creation in our shop on etsy here:

You can see Nash wearing the men's version and me wearing the smaller women's size for comparision. Have a great day. Can't wait to see you at the festival this weekend.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Please Vote For Li Sashay on Intuit!

We are asking everyone to please go to the intuit website and vote for our company over the next 3 months if you have not already done so.

Click here please to vote.

We are part of a contest to win $25K to hire a new employee the next 3 months. All you need is a name and e-mail address.

Thank you everyone who votes for us! We really appreciate it! If we win, it will go directly to hiring a new employee in Jan. :-) Yeah!

Hello Etsy DIY Summit Raleigh, NC 2011

I am so excited to say that Rye has finished editing our video from the Hello Etsy DIY Summit Meeting 2 weeks ago. If you got a chance to come out, it was awesome to have you. If you did not, feel free to check out the photos and watch this cool 2 min video. You are always welcome to come to a future meeting and hang out. This month we will be talking about muscle car restoration.