Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holidays Equals Vacation

Hmmm...actually, looking at my recent posts, I'd have to say I already hit vacation made. With my blogs at least. They have been neglected while I gave my attention to the sewing machine. There have been 2 hand painted messenger bags, 3 custom backpacks, one altered backpack, 2 zip pouches, a pillow and a 6 bag set (pictures will be coming later for these 6 & the most recent backpack). So vacation...not really. But it is now, because for the next week there will be no sewing or blogging...well, not much anyway :)

These are the completed messenger bags. I think I may start making more of these...some in a half size. I was thinking about the smaller size for a while...ever since the summer zoo trips. I think it would be a perfect hands free was to carry my wallet, keys, camera & small snacks.

This pink bag was a bit challenging. The customer will be using it as a ballet bag. There needed to be 2 mesh pockets for the shoes and a box pocket on the outside for keys & small wallet. Not having the actual shoes in front of me made it tough to get the pocket size correct. I did have the basic measurements, which helped, but it would be nice to have the actual shoe for testing. She sent me a pic of the bag with the shoes in the pockets - it looked like a great fit. woo hoo!

Have a Happy Holiday! See you in a week or so.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Trading Fun... Fa La La

I have had a slew of custom orders this month. Well, to me it is a slew. And amidst it all, I have a couple trades as well. These are always fun, especially when going to online buds :)

The first one was a zip pouch with a front zipper & a pillow. Pink zebra soft! I may make another pillow like this for me.

And I made another purple zip pouch. This one is in flames with a standard top zipper. I just hope her crochet hooks fit (they are hooks right? or is it needles?).

Thanks ladies! Now I need to decide my end of the trade :P I was in no rush, so I told them I'll shop later...let the Xmas buyers go first.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Custom Black Backpack

Nice & simple solid with a little surprise inside....silky leopard print.

I think I may need to make a variety of solid color backpacks...after the holidays though. I am, almost, overwhelmed with custom orders. It is not that I can't get them done...I am merely surprised at the sudden influx of requests. Feels nice :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hand Painted Custom Order

I was so excited recently when I was asked if I could make another Serenity & Grr Arrgh bag...only painted instead of embroidered. It is always fun to make something in a different medium. The woman had seen my Serenity pillow that was hand painted, so she knew I knew how.

The bags are done, but I still need to click some pics. I do have pics of the painted portion I am going to show off though....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New Purse Version 2

Okay - I got the 2nd version done...and with only 2 "flubs". Let's just call them "areas to work the kinks out".

The first is the zipper ends - they need to taper to avoid getting bunched where the strap attaches. The second is where the strap connects to the purse. This part is less of a kink and more of an "oops, need to leave a longer & thinner tab so my needle can go through it & I do not have to sew it sloppy and put a tie around it to cover the seam up" flub. I kind of like the tie thingy I used to cover it up though. And I do know how to correct the flub for next time. Both flubs actually.

The pictures may be the best part...I had a wonderful helper, as you can see...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Purse

I know I said I was not going to make any new purses for the rest of the year, but....I am making some custom purses for Xmas gifts and need to make the pattern. I played around with one this past weekend. Overall it'll work. The "problems" are pretty much just the parts where I winged it. But since I use the prototypes myself, it's no biggie.

I do love the fabric though. I had a remnant that was the perfect size...all that is left is a 6 inch long 3 inch wide strip. I do, however, hate working with the material. Upholstery material like this looks great on bags, but it is so bulky to work with, well, let's just say if my sons were in the room they would have learned a few new words.

I had some fun with the lining too...nice and bright. Next go around will make sure to have a facing for the gusset too though. That was one of the places I winged it. The top sides were supposed to be longer & narrower, but the fabric disagreed. I did come up with an alternate if I kept it the same size...grommets on the front & back to hold two straps.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blue Quilt is Done

I have finished the blue quilt. And I don't like the pink patches too much, but I am still pleased with the fact that I did it patternless. Plus, it keeps my tootsies warm at night.

I had a frustrating time with the binding. I went cheap & just used pre-made stuff. So i suppose that part went well. But I ran out part way through - always a bummer. Once I made my way to the store & brought back some more, I got frustrated again. It was a little off and left me with a ripply binding. Which is not exactly the end of the world.

There were some puckers and "squish" points here & there in the quilting as well. This can be a hazard even with a pattern, so I didn't let it bother me. Besides, isn't that part of the charm of a handmade item? The little flubs that make it unique & special. I read once that women used to make small mistakes" on purpose with quilts. Something to do with the only perfection being a creation from god. Heck - who wants perfect? That'd be boring.

I have about 5 or so quilt patterns to scan & share soon too. I have a box full of the fabrics I plan on using for each too. I think that will keep me busy for quite some time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday - Cyber Monday SALE

I think the banner says it time in both my Etsy and Artfire shop :)
In addition to the free shipping this weekend, a special "Deal of the Day" will post on my sidebar.
The special will be for that day only - so come back to check on which bag it will be...
Happy Cyber shopping everyone!

Plus - check out the huge Etsyblogger's sale this weekend too!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Falling Roses and Leaf Runner

I have almost completed my blue quilt. I have about 18 inches of binding more to go...kinda ran out midway...oops. I was using pre-made binding since it was a "trial" quilt. I'll get a pic up as soon as I finish it off.

My second "all me" quilt front is done. I am trying to decide how I want to quilt it. I love the meandering look, but I am not sure. Maybe a mix since the top is blocked and the bottom is freeform. I am open to suggestions *hint hint*.
I am happy with the way it turned out too. I was going for a visual of the blocks crumbling and spilling out the flowers inside. Can you tell that's what it is?

My mom's -WARNING TO MOM>>>STOP READING - table runner is turning out great too. I have the pieces all cut & ready to sew. I was so relieved when I laid it out & everything fit. I have not patterned out something with so many triangles. I was not sure my math was correct until I saw it. *phew*

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quilt Update 2

This is a quickie update. If it weren't for the fabric gift bags I goofed up & had to redo...which made me feel silly because it is such a simple thing...I would have had this quilt sandwich made sooner. But it is sandwiched, taped & ready to, well, quilt. I went with irregularly spaced lines (well, cross hatch lines) for the quilting to match the irregular rectangles. Now I just need to choose a blue thread. I may go with the eeny-meeny-miney-moe method. Anyway - the next update may be of a completed quilt :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Changes to Come

I missed last week. It totally got hijacked. And it ended with a flop of a craft show. I get positive feedback on the bags themselves. And have had many customers (online and off) come back to me to say how much they like what they made...but I can't make a table display to look pleasing to save my life...or makes sales :P I really need to work on that...and photos. I am this close to throwing in the towel...but I just can't.

So I decided not to make any new bags except backpacks & clutches to replace sold ones. Instead I am going to start making different things. What things? Well, I enjoy making so many different things, but I will still center around fabric. Need to use the fabric for something, LOL! Heck, just look at all this fabricy goodness...

Most likely candidates are quilts, table runners, placemats, coasters, pillows, fabric baskets, fabric gift bags...home stuff. With some felt stuffies & art thrown in when I need to change things up for my own sanity...I mean creativity.
So my shop will become a smorgasbord with the new year...assuming I can get creating enough. Time is still a concern. I would like 4-5 of each "item" before I put them up. *sigh* We'll see. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quilt Update 1

I got a pretty darn good start on the quilts this week. I am not sure how I feel about the pink squares fabric in the first quilt...but since it is a "trial run" and just for's fine. I do need to get more of the marbled blue that is for the border and back. The batting I will use is an older hand-me-down from a friend. I don't want to get the good stuff when it is just for me & I'm not sure how it'll turn out. Batting can be pricey, especially the kind I prefer.

This second quilt is fun. Visually it is (hopefully) going to appear as if the framed boxes are falling apart, leaving blossoms falling & along the bottom. Lots of applique & fusing for this one. It also needs some more fabric. I ran out of the pale green for the bottom where the petals will be appliqued. I hope this one comes out looking at least somewhat like it does in my head. LOL!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quilts to Come

I think most crafters suffer from CADD (craft attention deficit disorder)..I know I do. All those WIPs I spoke of...and the things I want to make (not including the usual bags)...well, quilts have begun too. I sketched out 4 quilts. They will be the first I have done from scratch. I have spent so many hours...too many... browsing quilt patterns & finished quilts, just oohing and aahhing. I decided to just go for it & make my own.

It seems strange to call them "your own" since there are standard blocks/patterns used. But it is the way you put it together & the fabrics you use that make them yours. You could probably give 10 people the same pattern, and even the same fabrics, and the result will be 10 completely different quilts. I love that about handmade creations. They are always one-of-a-kind. Okay, so if you give the same person these supplies & have them make 10, they could come out similar, but never exactly the same. Heck, most crafters would change up the fabric patterns at least which makes for a whole new look.

Anyway, enough ramble. I will try to keep updates on the quilts as I go. This past Sunday I chose the fabrics for 2 quilts (one is the 2nd sketch below). Yesterday I cut & began to sew. And with quilts, the cutting is not yet done. My index cards I use to track time is practically just "cut - sew- iron - repeat over and over". Tomorrow I will have some pics of the fabrics being worked on.

Almost forgot, those other projects I want to get to...table runners, placemats, pillow, tree skirts, stocking, fabric baskets & fabric gift bags. Hmmm...this will take a while :P
I hope to take the fabric from the quilts & just keep cutting out these projects. This should "dwindle" my fabric stash which will let me buy fabrics with more of a "purpose" ...I tend to buy what looks fun & not necessarily have a project in mind...which I won't totally stop doing of course :) It should also keep me from getting in a rut by making the same things over & over & over & over. Reminds me...add winter coat to the list. I already have the fabric.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Zip Pouches Galore

My personal goal/project for November was to tame my WIPs (works in progress). I started off only so-so. I finished those 4 purses I showed you last week. I did them in a quick burst & slacked the rest of that first week. But then I had another burst. So I moved up from so-so to pretty good. I just finished a smattering of miscellaneous zip pouches.

A few months ago I told myself I would make a matching zip pouch for all my bags. And I did cut out the makings for most of them. But I never got around to actually constructing them. Until last week. They are all different sizes & slightly different styles. Some have loops, some have tabs, some are flat fronts (where the zipper is in the front, not at the top)...but they are all finished. Woo Hoo!!! I even managed to take pics for listings. And I took this pic for the blog...all of them grouped together at the sewing machine. Too bad some of their matching bags have already sold.
So am I done with my WIPs? Not even close. it may be more of a November/December/January project. Although I really hope to have them completed by the end of the year. But I have so many other ideas buzzing around in my brain that it may soon melt. Let's just cross our fingers that meltage won't happen until after the holidays.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

my son's 1st self portrait
..scratch son informed me that this is his 2nd..the first was a pastel drawing...
still the first pencil drawing though :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Table Runner Split in Two

...but not in a bad way. I had made a runner at the end of the summer but was not thrilled with the result. So i took off the blooms & made another "base" for them. Then I replaced the printed blooms with solid colors. These are what I ended up with...

The color isn't so great since I took them last night at my sewing table. The light is only good there during the day - color wise. The pink based one is not as "tight" as I would like so I may add some quilting to keep it tamed. But overall, I do prefer these over the single piece. Now onto more, this time with an Autumn or Thanksgiving feel.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Last Purse and Custom Clutch

In my last post I showed you 3 of the 4 mid sized purses I have been working's the 4th:

I have made another zip pouch, I guess you could call it "detachable". I think I may make matching ones for as many of my bags as I can, well, those where there is still enough fabric left.

I have also completed a custom clutch. The print of this fabric is so great. The pictures don't show off the red as well as I would like, but they were just quickie pics I took tonight.

The fabric itself, well, not so much fun to work with. It reminds me of barkcloth, only stretchier & with a lower cotton content. But a little interfacing & viola! The fabric holds up much nicer now - not droopy. The fabric was supplied by the customer & I am so tickled because she is letting me keep the remainder! Now... what to make with it....

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Purses and a Happy Customer

I am actually going to start with the second half of that title. The other week I had someone buy my new Sushi clutch. It traveled all the way to Singapore. How cool. The other day I received an email from her. I was blown away with what she had to say. I decided to share some of it with you.

"I got your package today! It was a lovely surprise (I'd thought shipping would take longer).
I love the way you wrap each bag and I love the way you send out the package. It's so personalised, clearly done with lots of love and care... I know that I have bought something very special! Thank you for the handmade card, too, and for remembering my sister! Your sincerity and personalised touches make it a dream to shop with you. Thank you!
I decided to look for you on facebook and became a fan of your page. :) I am also writing to let you know that you have inspired me...
...Your package made me happy in so many ways. First, just getting anything in the mail -- even if it's a present from myself -- always makes me happy; second, new things are exciting; third, your bags are so gorgeous they really surpassed my expectations (and I had high expectations as I did not want to underestimate you!); fourth, like I said, the personalised touches made it so heartfelt and warm. And then, besides just receiving the parcel, reading your facebook page and your blog made me think that there is hope for me yet. "
I just love hearing that :)

Now onto my new purses. They are a hybrid, size wise, of my Rachelle and Theresa bags. They have one strap and a zippered closure under the flap. The flaps get decorated to mimic the exterior fabric. And I of course have a little fun with the fabric lining. After the first bag I made I changed up one thing though...the interior zippered pocket. They are a pain and I am not always so sure I prefer them. So I decided to make a pouch out of the pocket instead. They have a small loop so you can attach them to the clip inside or just use freestyle, leaving the clip open for keys & such. These pics show 3 of the 4 in this batch.

Now I just need to name this style. I usually name the bags after the first person I make it for or buys it. But this one has not been bought yet. I suppose I could just refer to it as Mid Size Purse until one sells....

Friday, October 23, 2009

What I Have Been Up To...

...vacation, photos, listings & sewing. The usual. Except for the lack of blogging....and the vacation. I rarely vacation...I went down to Nashville area to visit my brother & his family. It was the 1st time I have been there since they moved a year ago. The place is gorgeous. But that 9 hour drive is a killer.

And I usually blog more - lots more. It seems like most of my time at the computer has been for editing photos and listing. If only cameras snapped square shots *sigh*. The first round of pics had 313...the second had only 180. And all for 25 new bags and a couple re-shoots.

I made some collages on Picnik of some newer bags. I will add links as I list them...
clicking on some of the collages will bring you to that section of my shop at either Etsy or Artfire.

clockwise from top left: cherry red & pink floral, fuchsia & black,orange vintage & blue, Nicoise Spice & burgundy Venus handbags

Raisin berries & sprigs, Pink Kelso Paisley, Jelly Bean Fireworks, Burgundy corduroy floral