cameo silhouette cutting machine

| handmade

silhouette cutting machine (1)

i’m just bopping in to share my latest love with you: the silhouette cameo cutting machine. i purchased it several months ago and didn’t start using it until last month. i cannot believe i waited so long! all of the sudden, i feel like i’m not sure how i lived without the ability to cut all.the.things.

though i had about a day’s long learning curve to get through, the machine and program that comes along with it, called silhouette studio, are really easy to use. i upgraded to the ‘designer edition‘ so that i could import files in from illustrator. it works like a charm! the cameo will cut sticker paper, vinyl, temporary tattoo paper, stencil material, cardstock, chipboard, magnet sheets and even fabric!

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one of my favorite features of the silhouette studio is the nesting feature. once you have several motifs in the document, you can simply select ‘nest’ and the program will place as many motifs as possible on the sheet in order to maximize your space and reduce waist. it’s like magic.

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i got slightly carried away with the temporary tattoos. they’re just so fun! to make these, i printed the designs on temporary tattoo paper with my standard printer (along with a set of registration marks silhouette studio includes on the document), then ran it through the cameo. the cameo reads the registration marks and cuts everything out precisely. and, it actually works!

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it has been incredibly helpful as i’ve prepared for a craft fair and upcoming trade show. i’ve made custom hang tags and sticker price tags which you might be able to see in the top photo. i also made a gold vinyl decal of my logo, which you can see in the above photo hanging on the cart. this thing is amazing!

do you have a silhouette? if so, what are you favorite ways to use it?

handmade fashion – sewing patterns

| handmade

handmade fashion - sewing patterns (1)

clockwise: pleated knit skirt // out and about dress // tiny pocket tee // scout tee // alder shirt dress

i’ve been on the hunt for some sweet and simple sewing patterns lately, and i’m so excited about what i’ve found! since we now have 4 knits and 2 voiles offered in each of my fabric collections (perfect for garment making), i’ve gotten the itch to learn how to sew apparel. since my mom is such an amazing seamstress, i usually outsource any apparel projects to her, but i think i’m ready to finally take the plunge and start sewing some myself. i can do it, right?!

i’m planning to start with a few tops from grainline studio and i’ll be sure to share the process with you as well. i’m also in search of a pattern for pair of high waisted – wide leg pants. do you know of any?

your turn! what are your favorite sewing patterns or companies for apparel?

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foxglove // the riding peplum | sewn by sew caroline // beautiful dreamer cardigan | sewn by sew caroline // the dreamer top

clay opera

| handmade


oh my, clay opera’s unique platters, bowls and spoon rests are so darling! i love how they are both playful and sophisticated at the same time. the glossy cream glaze gives them an elegance, while the cute motifs and darling eyelashes just make you want to squeeze them. i am especially fond of this bear spoon rest (of course). and, wouldn’t you love to serve a fresh batch of biscuits in a cute little pig bowl?!

october gift guide

| handmade

october gift guide | going home to roost

product links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5* | 6* | 7 | 8  | 9 | 10 | 11* | 12

a handmade gift guide for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays… or for no reason at all!

* get 15% off using code ROOSTER on non-sale item purchases, valid until 30th november. thanks, sara!

* sign up for the Happy Mail Society and get 1 free month. thanks, melissa!

*get 20% off using code 2liduvina0. thanks, ludmi!

fun facts for october:

>> first week of october is children’s book week
>> october 4th is world animal day
>> october 20th is spirit day
>> october 21st is apple day
>> october 23rd is mole day
>> october 27th is navy day

share something everyday download

| free downloads | handmade

hi everyone! i’m pleased to welcome heidi ahmed to our space today. she’s a talented watercolor artist, illustrator and surface pattern designer. we recently got connected through my creativelive course, and i have been blown away by her work (see her pattern collection here!). today, she’s sharing with us some inspiration and a beautiful printable. thank you, heidi!


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Hello! My name is Heidi Ahmed.  I am from Columbus, Ohio and specialize in watercolor illustration & design. I have recently branched my watercolors into surface pattern design after taking Bonnie’s CreativeLive class on Designing Surface Patterns From Scratch. This class was life-changing for me because it exemplified a career path that provided more purpose and opportunities for my art.  In my current work, I had noticed that painting images has its limits.  While I enjoyed the process, I did not find as much fulfillment as I was expecting.  Surface design allows my work to touch people’s lives in a more tangible way.  In addition to the nature of the work, I found myself drawn to the community because they were generous, talented, and encouraging.  

In essence, surface design gave strength to my weaknesses.

During the class, I was inspired not only by Bonnie’s sincerity but also her willingness to teach. I was completely blown away by how genuine she was. One of the concepts from her class which really stuck out to me was the idea to “share something everyday” (inspired by austin kleon). It was clear that Bonnie believed in this idea and demonstrated it in her own life and work.

I was drawn to this concept because it is something I have struggled with since the beginning of my career.  I was afraid to share my work not for fear of people’s critiques but for fear of theft.  Seeing Bonnie’s generosity and confidence, however, inspired me to have courage and share my work. We have to be willing to let our work go and “find its place in the world,” much like a student going to school.

As a reminder to myself of its importance, I wrote out the words “Share Something Everyday” in calligraphic hand and posted it on my wall. I was determined to put this concept into practice for myself! I felt the first step in doing so would be to do just that:  share it!  So I’m sharing it as a free download here.

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to download: click here (or on the image above) to download the printable PDF. print on kraft paper and cut out along faint lines.

Lastly, I want to thank Bonnie for the opportunity to share my thoughts. I have grown not just professionally but also personally through her class.  If you are interested in taking her class, it is available on  If you have any thoughts you’d like to share… about sharing… please share them in the comments below!

Heidi Ahmed is an artist working in Columbus, Ohio. She specializes in watercolor illustration & design. You can see more of her work on Lost in Reverie and visit her shop here.

october desktop + tech backgrounds

| free downloads

october calendar backgrounds (4) october calendar backgrounds (5) 

goodbye september, hello october!  i love october. the beginning of fall is wrapped in fragrances of cider, pumpkins and crackling fires. this month i’ll be planning a fall dinner with friends and exhibiting at international quilt market. two things i’m very excited about! what will october bring for you? xox, bonnie

to download october’s backgrounds: click on the coordinating image above, then right click on the image and select ‘set as desktop background’ or save and download to your phone.

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to download the printable version: click on the image above to download the PDF calendar. print on heavy card stock (my favorite is premium presentation paper by epson). punch a whole at the top to hang or simply stack.

please note: all images, patterns and designs © bonnie christine | going home to roost. you may not reproduce, re-create or sell in any way, but please feel free to download for your own personal use. if you share on your own blog (i’d be delighted!) please direct your readers to this post to download the file. thank you!

How to Boost Your Business’ Reputation

| indie biz

Any business’ reputation is made up of feedback, trust and brand recognition earned. Your creative business is no different! Here’s why online reputation is important, how to earn it, and how to continue to build it over time.

A trustworthy online reputation = social proof 

Social proof helps the customer feel “at home” while shopping with you. On Etsy, it’s the combination of history and experience (as well as the site-familiarity that Etsy provides) that helps the customer trust the transaction. Social proof can also come from word-of-mouth, product reviews, and brand recognition (i.e. “Oh! I’ve heard of the Energy Shop before! My best friend LOVES her bracelet.”).

You can help your customer find social proof on your business by using phrases such as, “best-selling,” “back by popular demand,” and “previously sold out” on items that have a history of doing just that. Your customers are influenced by people with similar tastes, and when they’re shopping your brand and niche, they automatically find people with kindred styles in your sales history.

How to earn an online reputation

Isn’t it easy for me to say lots of sales and feedback equal a good online reputation? You might be saying to yourself: Okay! But, I’m reading because I need the sales and feedback! When you’re first opening shop or trying to make your first hundred sales or so, you need to build your reputation gradually. You want your shop to start off by giving a polished impression (great photography, professional listings, etc.), and, then you can build your price points as you go.

While you might see products similar to yours selling on Etsy or outside websites for a lot of money, the profit margin grows organically with your reputation and the size of your business. This always reminds me of Hollywood. Can an unknown actress expect to earn as much per film as say, Emma Stone? Of course not.

If you don’t make much money in the beginning, well, that’s to be expected. The typical new start-up does not see a profit for the first 3-5 years. In the handmade community (and with good marketing), we generally have a better turn-around … but not by much.

How to build your reputation

I recently wrote an article titled, How to Focus Your Time at Any Stage of Creative Business to help sellers get a handle on where to spend their precious hours. In it, I discussed the major pitfall of waiting for your “big break.”

One thing I know for sure after five years in business is that there’s no such thing. I’ve had my share of huge moments, such as when the actor Aldis Hodge wore my bracelet on the red carpet at the 2013 Golden Globes, or the day one of my bracelets was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. But, those moments are just that: one second of elation in long day of hard work. 

The fact of the matter is, those notable moments never brought much business. I smiled at my accomplishment, shared it with friends and customers, and then got right back to my to-do list.

We often dream of a big break, but in reality, a business succeeds because of a long history of small wins. In order to build your online reputation, you just keep putting yourself out there in ways both big and small. Be open and willing to go for new opportunities, and never stop creating. Every blog post you write, every sale you receive, every time you share on social media … it all adds up to a stronger online reputation. It’s a slow-growing, yet necessary part of the build. Keep at it, and your business will shine.

(Photo credit:

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Lisa Jacobs is creative biz wiz who teaches online sellers how to get more sales and professional recognition. She owns the Energy Shop on Etsy and writes the blog, Marketing Creativity.

this month’s roost tribe recap!

| roost tribe

september roost tribe recap (10)

hi everyone! i’m here to share this month’s recap of the roost tribe, which gives you a sneak peek of what roost tribe members received during the month of september. if you’re interested in receiving, it’s not too late to get it all! i’ll be sending out a recap on thursday, october 2nd,  to the roost tribe with all of the content in it from september so no one will have missed anything, regardless of when you might have joined during this month.

that means, that if you join before thursday, october 2nd you’ll still get all of september’s content + october’s content as well- that’s two months for the price of one!

whew. got it? :)

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adobe illustrator tutorial on how save and package illustrations as clip art sets.

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floriculture pattern collection. you can print patterns, frame them, make cards from them, use them on your blog, social media sites, use them as wrapping paper, etc! 

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printable psst. card 

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delicious recipe for creamy cauliflower alfredo (vegan + gluten free!).

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a set of scripted photo overlays.


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simple living article on how to keep a well stocked garden shed and take care of you tools. photo by: f2images

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inspirational tech backgrounds. some days i take very small steps, other days i take leaps and bounds. as long as i’ve moved in the right direction by the end of the day, i’m happy!

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for this month’s master series article, i’m so happy to welcome  jo klima to the roost tribe! she has written a brilliant article on mindfulness and creativity. thank you for sharing your insight, jo, it was truly inspiring!

a list of favorite & useful links and resources from around the web.

plus more! being a member is tons of fun and we would love to have you join the family!  want to learn more? head on over to read this post or check out the FAQs.

want to learn more? head on over to read this post or check out the FAQs.