Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

Kids back to school got you down?

August 20, 2008

Thinking about all the upcoming schoolwork, gives me hives. All those projects where it’s more about how well the MOM does than the fifth grader?

I wrote an article over on B!F!— See if it doesn’t help out those back to school blues…

Design Disaster and a Do Over

April 25, 2008

More bag talk here (tune out if it gets boring).

I had this great plan to make a pink and brown medium sized tote bag. I have some great pink/brown stripey fabric. But then I had a devil of a time finding a matching brown. I found something, but it’s not great…

I went ahead anyway. Going for a two tone look. And a third fabric for the lining. I am astounded at just how awful it came out.

Talk about Blah.
Time for a redesign.

I liked the daisy-dot fabric better than the plain brown at the bottom by a stretch. And it needed more of the contrasting bottom showing, don’t you think? And how about pink webbing as handles, running partially down the bag? I went through a better design process this time. Like putting a puzzle together…but how do you stitch down the handles to the Outside, and still keep it clear of the upper lining/outside seam? It’s hard, that’s how.

I liked the feel of this one MUCH better. And the daisies are playful, even whimsical (I only put that adjective in because my husband HATES that word).

Here it is finished, I’m happy now.

Sorry about the blur, it’s late and the Jazz lost.

But I liked it so well, I made another one.

How’s that for some whimsy?

‘Toting’ my own horn

April 17, 2008

I have sold 4 of my little bags so far! None of them through Etsy, which is about what I figured? Word of mouth is worth more than pretty much anything else, eh?

I’ve worked up a couple new bag prototypes, what do you think?

I call this design, ‘Emilie’.

And I call this one ‘MiMi’.

I am digging the Asian print. I have been drooling over some Japanese fabrics. And I am still trying to get up the courage to buy this fabric–it seems sort of above me?

I’ve priced the new purses on Etsy for $15. Does that seem too high? I swear I’m only paying myself $5 an hour. But still I have no idea how to price these?

And here are some new headbands! I am so totally loving these. I kinda figure the wide ones are for adults (I love to wear them). But I have my girls modeling both the wide ones (3 3/4 inch) and the 2 1/4 inch ones. I’d like to sell these as well…we’ll see? I am pricing the smaller ones at $3, and the wider ones at $5. But I would happily take $1 off of two (2 small ones for $5).

I’ve been busy!

April 5, 2008

I am working on opening an Etsy shop. I can’t tell if it’s worth it though. I keep reading about folks who aren’t able to sell anything, and that Etsy isn’t very helpful with marketing?

This is my first item for Etsy. The outer fabric is silk, and lined with a light cotton. It has a light interfacing which helps it keep its shape but doesn’t make it too stiff. There is an inside pocket, but I didn’t think it lent itself to an outside pocket? This is my first attempt at using these bamboo handles. I liked it so much I made a second one right up! I also used a nylon strap and I like how it’s kind of Barbie gone industrial.

Here’s a look at the inside.

This next bag isn’t for sale yet… My sis-in-law is doing some sort of ’boutique’ in a week and she’s going to try to sell this (and the rest) for me. We’ll see. The biggest problem is pricing? I look at bags and things like this and think, oh, I could make it for less than that! So I don’t know what’s a ‘selling’ price. If I want to pay myself minimum wage (that’s what my fancy degree is for right?), I have to charge at least between $15 and $25, depending on supplies. Is that too high? Too low? Would you pay $25? Again, this bag has silk with a cotton contrasting white fabric. And it’s totally reversible. It’s also deeper than the other three bags so far.

And my new favorite. I don’t know if I can part with this one? It’s a different type, maybe a slouchy hobo bag? I need some names for these…

PS. The same sis-in-law as above is allowing me to use her sewing machine while mine is in the shop. In case you were wondering whether I was making these by the sweat of my fingers…

Other bags I’ve made so far. Bag 1. Bag 2.

System Failure

April 3, 2008

I’ve had this sewing machine for over 10 years. It was the cheapest I could find at the time and was still A LOT of money for us. Living on student loans back then, we always figured a pizza cost us $40 after all the interest we would owe for heaven knew how long. The machine isn’t comopletely broken, just needs a tune up. (Right in the middle of several projects of course). And the $80 it will cost to have the work done on it is more than half of the original price!
The worst of it is THIS is the wonderful fabric I was getting ready to work on next! While I was delivering my machine to get worked on…I happily browsed and dreamed about buying a new sewing machine. Nothing fancy, just not the cheapest one on the block (and not 10 years old).

I’m now dreaming of this one.

I couldn’t find a price online? In the store it was over $300. I’d have to sell a bucket of totes to pay for that, eh? Maybe I could offer my left pinky? I don’t use it much.
But do you want to know what that new machine could do? It could sew through nine (9!) layers of denim, lickety spit. I drooled as I watched the nice man demo the nice machine. He got sexier with each new piece of fabric.

Random Weekend Doings

March 29, 2008
For my sister’s birthday:
She picked out these two fabrics and I made her a little tote! I wasn’t sure how much fabric to buy, because I wasn’t sure how big the tote wanted to be. After sketching it out, I have enough to make two more! It measures about 12″wide by 9″high.

It is completely reversible. And (a bonus) the little pocket holds a cell phone perfectly!

Well, my new internet friends? What do you think? Would you buy one of these? For now I’m just making them as gifts (don’t have enough gutz yet to try sales…) Watch out Etsy, I’m dreaming. I want to make a bag out of This fabric from Jessica Jones next…

And to complete the randomness. I’ve named this ‘Snowy’ my little daffodil.

Flat Stanley-ette

March 24, 2008
7yrold has a Flat Stanley project…

She did the paper-doll dress-up all herself, I was seriously impressed (I drew the basics of the facial features) but otherwise it was all her. It’s off to Sunny San Diego for this Stanley-ette.

What is a loop turner?

March 12, 2008

Only after attempting to make several of these headbands (Thanks to HowAboutOrange for noticing them on did I finally head back on down to the local fabric and craft store to get a stinkin’ LOOP turner. Am I the only clueless, loopless (not topless) chic? There were three types to choose from and I got this one:
This project was taking 20 minutes (most of that grumping at the small tube for the elastic), now it takes 10 seconds!
This first one took a few tries to get the hang of the doo-hickey, but then…

And this step is now 2 seconds. From this..

To this.
And the last step before…
7yrold bliss.

I promise actual pictures of heads IN the headbands tomorrow. They went to bed hours ago, and I just don’t think they would appreciate a flashbulb in their sleepy bedhead eyes. I hope you can wait.

Tween Girl Presents

March 6, 2008

When a gift is needed for a friend, our new rule is to make a gift if at all possible. (For Christmas– 5th grader made homemade bubble bath for a few of her friends.)

Today we are going to make headbands. I found the idea at Thanks to Jessica Jones (, for suggesting it!

The girls picked these two very quiet prints.

And I chose these three. They are all fat quarters and I’m hoping to make two headbands/piece of fabric.

And what to do for 4 year old boy gifts? Ninja paper folding anyone? Scooby Doo snacks maybe?


March 4, 2008

I won’t have my laptop for the rest of the week, and lately it has been attached at the hip, so I’ve been transferring vital stuff from the laptop (the good one) to the old computer (old slowpoke).

Here’s the websites I plan to peruse and use and scrutinize till the wee hours of the morning.

You might ask why? Because I am working on a new look for the blog. I want a customizable layout where I can change out the background (either tiles or a picture), change the font colors and the main wrapper with my own stuff–without altering the whole layout. Not everything in the above list makes sense for blog design, some are just for inspiration… And if I ever make anything from one of those craftier sites, I’ll post a picture of course!