Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today is busy preparing for a day at the Farmer's Market tomorrow, but come Thursday I will be posting a tutorial on making Potato bags!

If you are unfamiliar with these little wonders, I suggest you look them up online and then come back here on Thursday to follow along with this incredibly simple tutorial :) Cooking potatoes (not to mention other veggies) will never be so easy again!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A recap

Kitten being ever so helpful
So much has been going on in my life recently that I admit I have completely neglected to update my blog! I'm a little better at the facebook page, but I hate being at the computer all the time so they tend to fall by the wayside when life gets interesting lol.
So here is a brief summary of what has been happening craftwise lately.

My wonderful husband built me some shelves in my sewing room so I could store all (most) of my fabric in a neat and organized way. We all know how long things stay organized in a craft room LOL, but every little thing helps.
Selling lovely cosmetic bags at our local farmer's market :)
I've been very busy in my sewing room lately...trying desperately to rebuild my Etsy store stock to 100 items, the way they were before I left on my extended vacation to Germany. Did I tell you about that? I have family there, and try to return once a year to visit. It was wonderful to have a break from hectic life, but it did mean closing my store down for a whole month, and then with Christmas around the corner, my brother getting married, and me working at the local Farmer's market selling my things, the shop got a little depleated. 50 items later the stock is up to 110 items, and instead of being tired of sewing, it seemed to give me a much needed shot in the arm and I can't wait to get on to the next project :)

I found some wonderful superhero, star treck, and micky mouse fabric lately and have been thinking up the best ways to use them....I think I will be making lots of wet bags and pencil cases...but we'll see. I've also been making tons of Baby Bunting sleep sacks! They are such fun, so soft, and yet another functional way to feature fun fabric!

Every kitchen needs pot holders. I see no reason that they should have to be of plain and boring fabric, and used the new Amy Butler fabric instead. I love the new microwave sized pot holders, and it seems my customers agree with me!

Boxy cosmetic bags are the staple items in my shop, so I am constantly replenishing and adding new fabrics. I'm thinking of adding some taller, curved bags to my inventory, but have yet to find a pattern I truly like, so it may be another month before you start seeing any of them up for sale.

 I don't like to get political on this blog, but I can't ignore all the gun control stuff going on. It saddens and maddens me that the government is trying to infringe on our essential right to self defense , so I thought I'd take a moment to let you know that I will be adding conceal carry pouches to my store soon. Every woman ought to have the option to defend herself if needed, and, as with all my things, I love using fun fabric to do it! They're also great for holding keys, knives or passports and money :)

 While home for Christmas I found myself at loose ends one afternoon. Alone in the house, waiting on laundry to finish, dinner cooking on the stove without need for my attention and no book to read. I found some needles and yarn that my mum had stashed in her craft room and decided to see if my bored brain remembered how to knit...it had been about fifteen years since I had last tried, and I was never much good at it. But boredom makes brave.
I found that I remembered it quite well, and before I knew it, I was hooked!

 I hate the metal needles though, so we visited a local yarn shop a few days later, and I got some wood needles. I LOVE THEM! Knitter's pride is the name of the colored ones, and they are lovely for narrower projects like scarves and such.  I also have a few (the long brown ones) Rosewood needles, and I love the smooth texture and how warm they are in the hand.

 Next on my list is a set of the interchangeable needles for knitting larger projects, as well as a set of Ebony needles. My sis-in-law let me knit a little with hers and I fell in love.....maybe a birthday gift?
 I always thought of knitted things as boring and bulky and never flattering to a less than skinny figure, but I am finding all sorts of books and magazines, websites and blogs that are full of gorgeous, flowing, lacy items that I can't wait to get started on :)

my first lace work. It's so simple, and yet so intricate looking! It'll look even better once it's blocked properly.

Kitten has decided that right behind my sewing machine is the perfect place to nap :)

Along other notes....we also finally got around to re-felting the pool table that my father in law built in high school :) It's been sitting in our garage for almost two years now, even though we've had the felt for a year! It  wasn't as much as a nightmare as I was thinking it would be, and it turned out gorgeously! Hubby is making a wooden top for it so we can also use it as our main table when it's not in use as a pool table. I love my crafty man!

 My baby brother got married just after Christmas this year!!! I was in charge of the flowers, and after a bit of a nightmare (flowers were supposed to be delivered to me the day before the wedding, and instead arrived the morning OF), and frantic trips to the local craft store, the bouquets and boutonnieres finally got finished. I was literally making up the bridesmaids bouquets in the truck on the drive up to the wedding!

 But at the end of the day, the flowers turned out just as the bride imagined, I actually had time to change in time for the ceremony, and no one died....I don't think one could ask for more....except maybe a little more time so I could actually do my hair in time for photos....oh well. The wedding was gorgeous, the bride and groom glowed with happiness, my papa officiated, the food was yummy, and I had the chance to see my hubby in a nice suit :) I love my man in a suit.

 I've also been making lots of key fobs! I volunteer with a local non-profit that supports the military wives in our town, and proceeds from selling the key fobs go toward that. They are all made of recycled military uniforms, and fun and bright fabrics, and I wish I needed more than one! lol

 The Navy ones are my favorite, but being Marine wife myself I don't think I can bring myself to wear one :D
So that is a very brief recap of the last few (six?) months. I will be posting a tutorial on making poatato bags soon, as well as Key fobs, so stay tuned! I promise to get it done before the end of the month :D

What kind of craft projects have you been working on in this new year? I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Give away!!!

Ok, so last month I was contacted by a momma who writes an awesome blog, and asked if I would like to participate in a give away....I thought a little, and then decided that I really had nothing to lose, and sent off my items. She let me know that she would be reviewing them on her blog, as well as sending them to the lucky winner of the give away. Now, I am totally new to all this, but I was so excited!

Today the post went live, and I was so humbled, blessed, and touched by her review! I've always known that the things I sew to sell are pretty, and I like them of course, but since I don't have any children of my own I really wasn't 100% sure how they would hold up to the rigorous testing of daily use.
Well, I was totally blown away by her generous review of my wet bag design! I put a lot of thought and effort into making them pretty, so it's just wonderful to know that beyond the prettiness they are functionally sound as well! Copper is also a photographer, and I was so tickled to see pictures of my products online that someone else had taken lol.

I hope you hop on over to her blog and take a good browse around and leave lots of comments, and sign up for the give away while you're at it!!! You have the chance to win one large wet bag, and matching changing pad in Amy Butler's lotus prints in gray and yellow...one of my favorites!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Functional art....homemade heating pad

 My sister made me a flannel heating pad, filled with rice, several years ago and I loved it! However, over the course of a few moves it got lost, and I really could have used it last week, when I had a pinched something in my neck/shoulder area. Conventional hot or cold pads are square or rectangular, and never seem to fit where you really need them.

So I decided it was time to make another one. I had some old t-shirts laying around that were too soft and wonderful to throw away and just waiting for a new life, as well as some lovely Anna Maria Horner little folks flannel. Gray and yellow is one of my favorite colour combinations, and I decided to wing it.

I forgot to take pictures until after I had cut out the fabric, since it belatedly occurred to me that it would be a useful tutorial to share. The process was fairly straightforward however, and very easy. I simply cut out hat looked like a very large eye mask. I wanted it to dip in the middle, so that it could comfortably sit around my neck and still cover a fair amount of my shoulders without slipping all over the place. Once the t-shirt was cut out, I ironed the fabric, and backed it with a lightweight interfacing to stabilize it and keep it from stretching out too much when filled.

 Once that was done, I cut out the flannel and played around with the placing until I liked it, then pinned it in place. You could of course also apply iron on adhesive to the back to keep it in place while you sew over it. I just didn't want the sewing needle to get too gummed up.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas is here!!!!

I loved having some time off this Christmas so I could stock up my shop again, as well as do some decorating around the house and sew some personal projects. For the first time since we moved to Yuma, I actually took the time to decorate our front entrance for Christmas! I've also been meaning to make some new pillow cases for our living room pillows. Amazing how a pop of colour can change a room :)

 I had such fun making the grape vine wreath for our front door. Well, not the wreath itself, but decorating the one I bought :) I decided to go non-traditional and match the colour of our front door. I love how it turned out! I also painted the trellis in the planter the same colour, and had fun decorating it with lights and baubles.
 Feathers, silk flowers, plastic vining and some pretty ornaments made for a quick and fun wreath. I love the touches of copper and lime in the decor and wish I could just leave it up all year round. Guess it just means I'll have to come up with something else that I like just as much :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back after a long hiatus

I will of course be posting catch-up posts here soon, but I figured first things first. I GOT A NEW SEWING MACHINE!!!!!! Well, new to me anyway :)
While in Colorado for a visit to family over Christmas, we got talking about my little sewing business, and my in-laws suggested it would be great if I could make things with leather. Unfortunately, as much as I love and adore my Bernina (30 years old), I don't want to ruin it with lots of heavy duty sewing. On a whim I went on Craigslist and typed in 'sewing machine'. And up popped this lovely Pfaff!  I was just musing really, but both my in-laws and my hubby practically demanded that I jump on the deal. So, twenty minutes later we were on the road to pick up the lovely machine.
It's about 25 years old, but had hardly been used and works great!

I've never worked on a Pfaff before, but I'm pretty impressed so far. It's very user friendly and sews through anything! I love using the decorative embroidery stitches on borders for baby blankets and such, and can't wait to see what all this compact little machine can do. Do any of you have a Pfaff? I'd love to hear your stories!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yay for functional sewing projects!

I try to make it into my sewing room at least once or twice a week, but sometimes a whole week will pass without a stitch being made. This has not been one of those weeks lol.
It started with some custom orders, and then some regular ones, and then things just got busy after that!

So, starting with the most recent.... I decided that I needed yet another little zipper pouch. I know,  I know,  a ziplock bag would have sufficed, but come on, they are hardly pretty...or that durable come to think of it. And besides, I have this brand new stack of gorgeous fabric from Anna Maria Horner's new line Lou Lou Thi just begging to be made into something pretty. So I bit my lip, crossed my fingers, and made the first cut into that rich, luscious fabric (always my least favorite thing to do...after all, what if I mess up and waste all that prettiness? 

 I didn't want anything too big, just big enough to hold some purse essentials (nail clippers, chapstick, blush, some hair ties and a few pens. I decided that I wanted the lining to be oilcloth or vinyl, but really wanted to use the new fabric, so I just used iron-on vinyl instead and it worked like a charm!

I really didn't want hidden seams on this one, since I hate the way the lining just floats around in the bag if you do that, so I just used pinking shears to clean up the seams and I love how nice and sturdy this bag feels.

It'll also be perfect for holding jewelry for trips!

Next up: an extra large wet bag!

On my last trip out of town I grabbed one of my wet bags to keep dirty laundry in while on the road. I knew I wouldnt' have access to laundry facilities and really didnt' want to keep my dirty and clean clothes in the same duffle bag without some sort o separation going on. Plastic bags work just fine...but come on, this is me.

As it turns out, wet bags make the perfect laundry hampers! The only problem was that it was a bit on the small side, so I decided to make a larger one for trips. It measures about 14x17 and will hold a ton of clothes, despite it's apparently small size.

I finally broke down and got some of Amy Butler's Lotus fabrics and just love them! I might have to make a whole set of things in these fabrics and put them up in the store :)
Just for relative size comparison....an iphone and a leather arm chair :).

 Next I made another wet bag...also with Amy Butler fabrics, but in a smaller size (11x14). I got so frustrated by how pale the colours turned out in the pictures compared to their true shade, but finally gave up and decided that people would just have to take my word for it that it's much brighter in person lol :)

Ok, this one is a bit different than my usual stuff...
My hubby received his order of a concealed carry holster in the mail the other day (yes, we are gun owners....he's a Marine lol). He ordered it from SmartCarry and just loved it. it's basically a white canvas, flat fanny pack with a few pockets to hold the gun and keys etc. with an elastic strap and some velcro...quite ingenious really. He had gotten me a pretty leather holster for my little Sig last year, and while very nice, the female form is hardly made for carrying concealed guns and holsters (imo) No matter where I wore it or what I wore over it, you could tell that I had a strange bulge at my hip or back and it just wasn't very comfortable...so it got put into my purse and I just had to keep my fingers crossed that if I should ever need to defend  myself I would have my purse handy!

Needless to say I was intrigued by this new fabric holster, and after trying it on and seeing how comfy it was...and how well concealed, I decided to make my own (lets face it, white  canvas, while very sturdy, is hardly pretty).

So I made a template, and a few modifications, and got to work.

Here's what I came up with :) I still used canvas as the base fabric, but covered it both sides with some lovely cotton print, and added a very thin layer of batting in between to give it some structure. Bind the outside edges up with some nice homemade bias tape, sew on some elastic and velcro....and voila!

 It holds my little sig, and two extra magazines no problem, and even has room for some keys or chapstick or something lol.

And the best part ..... you can't tell I've got a gun on me! Sure, it makes you look a few pounds heavier around the middle, but that's a small price to pay for comfort and safety. Besides, with the right shirt one could easily negate the effect :)
It sits just below the waistline of whatever jeans you're wearing and with the slight modifications I made, it doesn't interfere with movement or get uncomfortable when you sit down. I used three inch elastic for optimum stay-put-ness (so not a word, but oh well) and comfort and am just tickled pink by the results :)


On to other things...Yet another little purse :) This one was made for my mum and features some lovely Kaffe Fassett fabric on the outside (different on each side) and some blue vinyl lining for easy clean up.
I just love how striking and cheerful this bag turned out!

Last month I ordered some custom stamps online at www.rubberstamps.net , and was thrilled by what they sent me. I wanted my logo in rubber stamp form, so I could stamp my own labels for my projects, and have been delighted by the result.

It took some playing around before I found some ink that would work (most fabric paints are just too thick for intricate stamps, but waterproof, permanent ink seems to work just fine)
I've printed on satin and twill ribbon, and both turn out just lovely! 

Not sure what's going on with my camera here, since the ink I used on these burp cloth tags was turquoise lol, but you get the idea
A friend of mine requested a diaper/wipes pouch that she could keep in her purse...just big enough to hold a few diapers, wipes, and maybe a few other items. This is what I came up with. It's a regular diaper clutch, but with a vinyl pocket on one side and three snap closures as well as a wrist strap. I love how it turned out, and the fabrics she chose are just lovely.

 And last but not least....
We decided to move our chest freezer out of the Sahara temps of our garage and into the dining room, but I hated seeing that white block of ugliness against our pretty blue wall, but wasn't sure how to hide it and still be able to use it on a daily basis (our coffee lives there :)

My husband had the brilliant idea to sew a cover for it, consisting of a top and a skirt, held to the freezer by stick on velcro. Well, what can I say, he's a genious, and after finding the perfect fabric to match our house decor I got to work.
A few hours later we had a beautiful freezer cover and it is no longer the eyesore in the room!

So, that has been this month in recap :) I'm planning on doing lots more sewing in the next few weeks and will keep this blog updated accordingly. What lovely craft projects have you all been working on lately? I'd love to see pictures and hear stories :)