Go Back Jack & Do It Again


Meet Oreo, shop dog and quality control manager.  He’s inspecting my work and judging my progress on the great blanket redo that I’ve undertaken.  The blanket on the right is the original, inexplicably crocheted 12 ft long by me many years ago for my then preschool age son.  I accidentally made him a shroud instead of a blanket.  Or maybe I thought he was going to be 10 ft tall?  Go ahead and laugh, its totally ridiculous.  Actually, wait for the real punchline.  Ready?  I have two sons and not wanting anyone to feel less loved, I made a second blanket the exact same size.  My only defense is that I was really sleep deprived back then.

The blanket on the left is the redo, a little more than 6ft long, for the same son to take to college this fall.  If you hang around for a year with me on this blog, you’ll get to see progress reports on the second rip out and redo for my younger son’s blanket.  The moral of the story is, I am always learning as a maker and I am not afraid to rip it all out and try again, even if it takes a few years.

Lately, the twists and turns in my life as a maker who sells her work have been catching me a little off guard.  Sometimes I find it hard to fathom the way things can shift into or out of place in just a few days.  At times I’m just left wondering, should I or shouldn’t I?  Is this an opportunity or a trap?  I’ve got quite a collection of possibilities before me this week, which is awesome,  and a truckload of decisions to make, which is stressful.

I listened to episode 54 of the Have Company Podcast, which I always find inspiring, but this time I felt like Marlee and her guest, Sarah Schulweis, were speaking directly to me.  It was such a well timed episode for me.  The conversation about different ways to organize, carving out time chunks to get things done, managing distractions, the need for self care… Go listen to the episode rather than listening to me rhapsodize about it.


Another source of inspiration this past week has come from the book, The Handmade Marketplace, How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally and Online by Kari Chapin.  This has become my morning reading.  I like the way it sets the tone of my day.



On the agenda for this weekend is the Twin Tiers Mini Maker Faire.  I am delighted to say that I am actually prepared for this.  I even remembered to find something to hold my business cards.  There will be no last minute panic attack Friday evening as I try to pull everything together.  Maybe I am learning something?

Now I’m off to make some of those decisions.  Wish me luck!




Twin Tiers Mini Maker Faire, Join Me!


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I didn’t expect to have two days in a row of my day job being cancelled due to the blizzard but Ithaca, NY continues to be largely shut down as we dig out from under Stella.   Its a nice respite that is allowing me to get some things done that I kept putting on the back burner, like this blog.

I started 2017 with a lot of ambition.  I registered my business, got my sales tax certificate, tweaked my Etsy listings and started on a new line of bucket bags.  I was feeling pretty stoked and then I applied for a craft fair that I really wanted to be a part of… and got turned down.

I know it isn’t personal but it sure feels like a kick in the gut when you get a thanks but no thanks email.  It makes me think about just going to my day job and saying the hell with this whole crafting thing.  Do I need to dedicate my off hours to this?  Am I accomplishing anything?  What am I trying to accomplish anyway?

A day or two later I got an email, reminding me about an upcoming maker faire that the organizers really wanted me to be a part of.  They wanted me and had noticed that I hadn’t returned my application!  The world is funny place and I’m embracing the unexpected opportunity.  (I’ve had a few of these recently that I’ll share in future posts.)

If you’re local, join me for the Twin Tiers Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, March 25th 10 – 3 at the Arnot Mall.  To quote directly from their website: A Mini Maker Faire is an event that “celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the DIY mindset”.  This is a free event.

If you stop by my booth, you’ll get to see my love of upcycling in action.  I’ll have samples of some of my bags for you to see and touch.  You’ll also have the opportunity to make an Upcycled, Drawstring, Treasure bag out of an upcycled t-shirt sleeve.  This is activity is great for kids and is absolutely free.

I’m off to prep more t-shirt sleeves for next weekend.  (Yes it’s still snowing here.)  Hope to see you there!







Snow Days & Fresh Starts





Welcome to Saved by Kate, a blog to accompany and tell the tale of my Etsy shop of the same name.  My name is Katie.  I live in Ithaca, NY and I’m the maker behind the shop.

I’m on a mission to make upcycling not just practical but beautiful as well.  I use upcycled jeans, t-shirts and upholstery fabric samples to creates one of a kind, functional, beautiful tote bags and project bags to help you organize your on-the-go crafting and your world.  My project bags all feature an upcycled jeans pocket on the front, the perfect combination of quirkiness and function.  My affordable zipper pouches come in both lined and unlined versions and are perfect for organizing notions, change, make up or anything else that needs corralling. I also have a large selection of handmade t-shirt yarn in my shop.

I’ll be using this space to share my thoughts, my process, my successes and my frustrations.

I’m using this snow day to jump start some things that I really need to get done, like starting this blog.  Celebrate the snow and new beginnings with me.  Use coupon code STELLA2017 for free shipping on your order of $15 or more now through Friday March 17th.