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Going all in

The most exciting workplace in America.

A glamour shot of the most exciting workplace in America.

Four years ago, this week, I opened my Etsy shop. I just wanted a new hobby. Something to fill a few weekend hours.

This August, I filled my 3,000th order.

It turns out that I love making silly bags that make people smile.

I get a kick out of emailing back and forth with people who want me to make them something special for a husband’s birthday, a gaggle of bridesmaids or a child’s first day at school.

I delight in writing little thank you notes on cards that I happily stamp myself.

I relish trips to the post office, my arms full of packages headed all over the world.

And so, last week, after 15 years of being a writer, editor, social media manager and website strategist, I gave my notice to the wonderful folks at Hollister Creative.

That’s right. I’m leaving my day job to do MarfDaze full time!

I’m excited and scared and full of joy. It’s hard to find words for what I feel right now. So I’ll make some up. I’m territhrilled by this new journey. Exhilarfrightened, even. But I know from experience that those jumpy-jumblies in my belly mean that something amazing is about to happen. And I can’t wait.

So, starting September 22, I’ll be cutting fabric and sewing and emailing and stamping notecards and tying ribbons and heading to the post office with my arms full of packages. Please envision a full 1980s movie montage of hard work here. What do you think, Pat Benatar or Tina Turner? I’m thinking “Love is a Battlefield.”

There will be new products, new fabrics, and I’ll be exploring new craft fairs and arts festivals.

In the coming months be on the lookout for:

  • New fabrics
  • A new line of tablet/reader sleeves
  • A new line of wristlets
  • A new line of wallets
  • Easy-to-order wedding party gifts/wedding favors for themed weddings

I also look forward to sharing my adventures as a entrepreneur craftsperson with you.

Stay tuned!

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A Walk from Dusk to Dawn

I’m busy training for an 18-mile overnight walk to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and I’m excited for two reasons:

  1. It’s a great cause that means a lot to me. The AFSP does research, education, outreach and helps people in crisis and people who are grieving.
  2. The walk will be a big mental and physical challenge. The poetry of an endurance walk with a goal of reaching sunrise should not be lost on any one who has struggled with depression, anxiety, substance abuse or other mental illness, or watched a loved one struggle.

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And the winners are…

Earlier this week, I posted a sewn scarf tutorial. I also promised to give away the two scarves I made to two lucky winners chosen at random. Without further ado, the winners are…

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Janell and Jennifer!!! I’ll be contacting you to see where to send them.

And a big thank you to everyone who commented on the post and shared it with others! If you use the tutorial, I’d love to get pictures of your masterpieces!

Tutorial: Easy, sewed scarf with a fringe

By Martha Michaela Hutchman Brown
aka Marf

This long scarf is super easy to make. It could be your second-ever machine sewing project. No pattern. Very little measuring. And, because of the wrapping and scrunching nature of scarves, if you make a boo-boo or two, no one will notice.

Finished Scarf

You can do it. In fact, with only 2 yards of fabric, you can make two (TWO!) 10 inch x 68 inch scarves (one for you and one for a grateful buddy) in an afternoon. And a chunk of that afternoon won’t even involve any heavy lifting on your part because your washing machine will be making the fringe for you. Continue reading

MarfDaze’s Black Friday Etsy Shopping Suggestions

By Martha Michaela Hutchman Brown
aka Marf

Whimsy. It’s what I love.

Many times I’ll buy fabric simply because I:

a.)  Can’t believe somebody drew that goofy, goofy thing.

and

b.) Can’t believe that they committed that goofy thing to quilt-weight cotton posterity.

Like this:

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Because cats watching a scary movie!

What I superlove is the knitting cat. Because a movie audience isn’t complete without a random knitter. (An aside: A few weeks ago I saw a lady knitting while powerwalking past the Haverford Township Free Library. Is knittercise a thing now?) Continue reading