First, don’t forget to tell your friends to head over to the Sew Retro Facebook page and click “Like.” As I posted about earlier this week, if I reach 300 fans by end of August, I’ll pick a fan at random and send them a signed copy of Sew Retro. I have 65 more to go as of this post!

Anyway . . . I don’t know about you, but after a crazy busy summer (and, thankfully, a more relaxing August), I’m ready to start the fall off with a bang. I’m ready to sew and make school clothes for Max (I just ordered the Asher Shirt from Sew Sweet Patterns and it’s moved to the top of my list!), leggings for Georgia’s chubby baby legs, Halloween costumes, and holiday gifts! I’m ready to find the coolest, most interesting new clients who love what they do as much as I love what I do. I’m ready to turn off the air conditioning, fill the containers up with mums, and let the first frost kill all of the mosquitoes. I’m ready for whatever is next!

Part of figuring out what’s next is seeing what everyone else is doing. On that note, have you seen  A friend just told me about it last week and I checked it out. The concept is fantastic: creative-types propose projects in various areas, from fashion to film-making to baking (and a lot else) and people can pledge money to fund their projects.
I could spend all day looking at the projects. But of course, I went to the fashion ones first. One that caught my eye is a proposal for a sewing pattern line by Christine Haynes (she wrote Chic & Simple Sewing, which I don’t have yet, but is on my list for sure!) Very impressed with her designs & passion!

There are a lot more sewing ones, so check it out. (I plan to do some more browsing and make a pledge to some project by the end of the month!). There are so many great ideas! I absolutely love  these Jessica Swift patterned rain boots. 

Oh, and there’s a literary magazine about pies: PIECRUST Magazine. How great is that! It’s successfully funded, but still worth watching the video (check out the Amy Butler fabric apron).

I could list project after project. But here’s the bottom line: People are inspiring. They are so creative and ambitious, and that thread of creativity and ambition is always there, out there, ready for you to grab it. We think it has to "come" to us, to drop in from the sky because the planets are aligned. But in reality, you just have to grab it and go. And then just start.

 I hope you have been sufficiently inspired. Who’s ready for a great fall?
I'm the first to admit that I don't exactly know what to do with Sew Retro's Facebook page. I have my own Facebook page, where I share pictures and random musings with friends and family. But it's mostly for personal use.

I started the Sew Retro page to connect with readers and sewers and fans of all things retro. I haven't done that great of a job building it out, but I'm trying to add more content now, like more project ideas, polls, videos, and interesting links (suggestions welcome!).

Every week, a few "likes" trickle in. Then today, it reached 200! I mean, it's not Nike or anything, but it's 200 people who like something about Sew Retro. And that's pretty cool.

You know what would be even cooler? 300!

Here is the deal: if I can get another 100 people to "like" Sew Retro's Facebook page by the end of August, I'll do a random drawing from all the page's fans for a signed copy of Sew Retro. If you win and you already have a book, you can give it as a gift! (If this content is successful, then I will start thinking much bigger, but 100 in 9 days seems safer.)

So, if you haven't liked the page yet, head over there and click "Like." And tell all of your friends!
Thanks to all who have been singing up for my newsletter over at my new site! The first edition will be coming out very soon, and then it will be bi-weekly.

If you follow that link above, you’ll see that you have the option to just sign up for the newsletter, or sign up to receive the newsletter, plus the first two chapters of my eBook, “Put Your Passion Into Words: How to Overcome the 4 Biggest Obstacles Standing in the Way of Writing Your Web Site” 
I wrote this eBook for entrepreneurs (yes, selling on Etsy or trying to launch your own pattern line absolutely makes you an entrepreneur!) who are trying to get their web site finished, but are struggling because they just don’t know what to say. Believe me, if this sounds like you, you are not alone! I went to a networking event last night here in Cincinnati, and I talked to so many people who were struggling with getting their web sites up and running because they couldn’t get the copy written. So, take a look at the book and the first few chapters, and if you want more, it’s just one more click!

In other news, I’m making progress on Max’s penguin backpack (from Oliver + S Little Things to Sew). If I could get more than a 15-minute stretch to sew, I’m sure I could finish it!

I’ve got two super exciting announcements, on two totally different topics (or are they . . .?).

Anyway, first, my new website is finally live! I love it so much, and I adore the design my friend Claudia did! That color is now called Judi Aqua.
I’ll be sharing more about it in the coming weeks. I’ll still be blogging here for my crafty friends, but I’m also starting a newsletter (where craft-related stuff will certainly pop in from time to time). So, if you want to join my newsletter list and hear from me (either once a week, or once every other week—haven’t decided yet), then click through here, and use the signup box on the right. You can also download a few chapters of my eBook. No spam. No craziness. Just me, communicating with you.
So, from one website announcement to another. Did you know that TODAY—August 12—is the very day, 160 years ago, that Isaac Singer was issued the patent for his sewing machine? Singer is celebrating their 160th anniversary all year-long, and today, they launched a brand new site:! Look at these beautiful (rotating) images from the site! (Many will look familiar to my readers, because Singer graciously let me use many of these in the pages of Sew Retro.)

This site is so cool because not only can you share your own Singer memories (and read others’ stories), you can also search everything about your particular model, and find out information. Now, that part is not quite ready to go yet (should be ready next week), but there are stories there, and fun historical tidbits (some pulled from Sew Retro). The Singer folks also asked me to share my own story, which I’ve done.
I know that you all will LOVE this site, and love all of the fun stuff Singer is doing this year to celebrate. In fact, I’ll be talking more about that as well!

So, is it coincidence that I’m launching my new site the same day Singer is launching theirs? Well, okay, yes. But, I'm starting to believe that coincidence is just the universe nudging us to look deeper at something. And here it is: Singer’s site is all about sharing your story. Helping clients connect by sharing their story is the focus of my new brand: Words That Connect. In fact, the guiding principle of my business is simply this:

Your story is your best thing.

Singer knows it, I know it, and I can’t wait to tell you more about why stories matter so much, in your life and in your business.

Have a great weekend!
You know how in the beginning of a new relationship, you are so smitten, you can barely think about anything else than how into the new relationship you are? You imagine scenarios. You spend hours daydreaming, running through interactions, maybe even staring at pictures of the two of you together? It’s just passion, all day, all the time.

Well, my new iPhone and I are in that phase.
This isn't actually my iPhone. My pictures turned out bad, so I grabbed an image!
I’ve had it less than a week, but I think it’s fair to say that it’s true love. When I stare into its beautiful crystal-clear screen, I feel like giddy and tingly.

For the past few months, I’ve bee saying I’m going to get an iPhone. But I was worried that I wasn’t tech savvy enough. Everyone talked about how easily it synced, but even just the idea of syncing made my stomach hurt. The thought of setting up accounts, figuring out how everything worked, dealing with what was sure to be one headache after another—I just didn’t want to take it on. And changing cell phone plans (I had T-Mobile)—surely that was a huge pain, right? Plus, I’ve barely had time to do anything the past few months with the big project I was involved in.

But then on Tuesday, with all deadlines met, I finally found myself with a free afternoon. I went to Caribou Coffee to chill for a while, and saw that a Verizon store was right next-door. It must be fate, I decided. An hour and-a-half and like a million dollars later, I walked out the door with my iPhone! My number was transferred, just like that.

What really surprised me is that having never used a smart phone before (or even paid attention to them), I immediately understood how to use it. I started downloading apps, taking pictures, and (with my breath held), plugged it into my MacBook Pro. And, somehow, it just knew what to do! All of my music and email just synced, and I didn’t have to do anything.

So, in the past five days, here is what my new iPhone and I have done together:
  • Taken tons of pictures, like these:
  • Played tons of Words with Friends games with my husband (I’ll never be able to beat him because he plays Scrabble obsessively and knows more stupid words than I care to ever know)
  • Took a picture of the penguin backpack from Little Things to Sew, made a list of the supplies I needed with the notes function, downloaded the Jo-Ann’s app and coupons for my shopping trip, and headed with Max to Jo-Ann’s to get all of the supplies.
  • Downloaded a running log app to keep track of all my workouts (so I can stop using paper logs—I’ve got piles of them).
  • Texted with friends and colleagues, without it taking half an hour to compose a text message. (My previous phone was a 5-year-old flip phone and texting was a major headache.)
  • Downloaded an e-copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s  What the Dog Saw from my library’s e-pub collection. I’m reading now. I heart Malcolm Gladwell.
  • Kept up with friends and groups on Facebook, and posted pictures and videos that I had just taken with the phone.
  • Downloaded some free kids’ apps—one makes farm animal noises and one is a coloring book (Max already grasps how to use them).
  • Sent and received emails in random places, like while in the car (as a passenger, not a driver!) and at the playground.
  • Lots more (seriously, I'm a terrible example of being attached to your phone for my kids. But I'll chill, I promise).
I’d like to say that I posted this blog using it, but alas, I still prefer typing long-form on a real keyboard. But if I get my thumbs into shape, I could absolutely do it!

Anyway, an iPhone is an investment (I paid $200 at Verizon—maybe you can deals, but searching for deals isn’t my thing), and the monthly plan is slightly painful. But not awful. For the convenience and connecting power, it’s worth it. And even for tech novices like me, it’s unbelievably easy to use!

Next on the list: searching fabric and pattern apps!