Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Waxed Canvas and Leather Weekender

YAY! I finally did it!
The Waxed Canvas Weekender is finally in the shop!
I just love those big weekend bags. They conjure up visions of stolen weekends in exotic places, adventures in faraway lands, spur-of-the-moment trips... I have been working on a pattern for several months now, maybe a year. There are a couple of prototypes sitting dejectedly on the floor of my sitting room. So sad...
This week, since I was on break, I decided to tackle the project -again- and bring it to fruition.
Introducing (drum roll please) the Zakken Waxed Canvas Weekender ...

It is a beautiful, large duffle bag with leather handles, an exterior pocket, and two interior slip pockets.
Check it out here.
I have a couple of new items in the shop that would make great stocking stuffers, like the mini leather pouches in brown, black, cream, apple green, electric blue and silver. They are large enough to hold your cell phone, small wallet, lip balm and keys, and small enough to fit in your purse to keep everything tidy.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sale at Bag du Jour on Etsy

I am offering 15% off on all ready-to-ship items- that would be all of them :)
Here is the link to the shop:
Enter coupon code givethanks15 at checkout.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Here are some of the bags- there are many more...

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Waxed Canvas and Leather Clutch

I have had a fairly busy weekend and I posted seven clutches and pouches in the shop yesterday.
You can see the Recycled Wool Clutches in the previous post (or here and here).
As you know I just love waxed canvas, the richness of the feel and the multitude of applications.
I designed a new waxed canvas clutch with an oiled leather bottom,elegant and very luxurious.
The Waxed Canvas and Leather Clutch

 The Waxed Canvas and Leather Clutch is large enough to fit an iPad. The leather pocket will hold small items.
Check it out here .

Recycled Wool Clutches

I just love the two new clutches I posted in the shop yesterday.
One is a foldover clutch, lined in pure linen,and  the other a regular zippered clutch with eco friendly canvas lining and an interior leather pocket.
They are both made from recycled Pendleton wool in browns and greens. They both feature a chocolate brown leather bottom.
The Recycled Wool and Leather Clutch
The Foldover Clutch

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Small Leather Pouches

I just love the new leather pouches I made for the shop. They will make great stocking stuffers.

They are available in the shop as of today.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A beautiful project...The Necessary Clutch

My dear, old clutch-wallet is about 17 years old. It has served me well, but it is starting to show its age.
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing on Etsy, looking for either a fabulous clutch or an equally fabulous pattern, when I came upon this pattern by Janelle at Emmaline Bags: the Necessary Clutch.
I thought about it for a few days, and then decided to go ahead and buy it. The price was reasonable and if I didn't like the final result, well, I could always keep looking...
This pattern is simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!
It was delivered via instant download to my email- LOVE that! I immediately printed the pattern, and started looking at fabrics. OK, I could have made about ten different wallets in twenty different fabrics, but I had to restrain myself. So I picked a lovely out-of-print Amy Butler fabric in green and chocolate for the exterior and pockets, with eco-friendly brown cotton duck for lining.
The tutorial is extremely well thought out and easy to understand, with pictures galore. Every step is well explained  and the pattern itself is pure genius.  The only thing I did  a bit differently was to mark the credit card pockets in pencil on the wrong side, and in tailor's chalk on the right side of the fabric. It really helped me make sharp and accurate folds- I am not used to working with small items, the bags I usually make  for my Etsy shop being much bigger than the wallet :)
I finished the clutch in about two hours- it took me MUCH longer than that to pick the fabrics.
I love this wallet: there is plenty of room for credit cards, cash, coins, receipts, and even a smart phone- OK, I don't have one yet, but I am getting one soon - I think the Smithsonian really, really wants my flip phone ASAP :)
I love the tailored  and overall polished look of the wallet. The twist lock gives it a really professional finish.

Now, I am already thinking about Christmas gifts, oh and how about a holiday themed clutch- for me of course- and I know the clutch would look great in this floral pattern that I love, and... OK Janelle, you have created a monster :)
Check out this pattern, you won't regret it. Janelle also has other bag patterns in her Etsy shop, I am sure as well thought out as the Necessary Clutch.
Take a look at the pictures below and let me know what you think of my first- and certainly not last- Necessary Clutch from Emmaline Bags.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's been so long...

Things have been really busy since my last entry. Between school and the shop, I haven't had much time to blog.
Here are a few new items in the shop:
A Linen and Leather bag

One of my favorites! The Leather Tote

A super soft, super elegant leather clutch

The Triangular Linen Tote

 A lovely leather pouch in gray

The Triangle Tote in Black Denim

Have a great week!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New in the shop: the Mini Pouch

After a very emotional month of June (see previous post) and close to a month out of the country, I was itching to get back into sewing. I created a couple of mini pouches, great for small items such as markers, embroidery supplies, or make-up essentials.

 This is my personal favorite in gray with a turquoise zipper.
 Small but mighty, the mini pouch in cream with a lemon yellow zipper
 The fire engine red zipper on this one really makes it pop!
The classic: in brown with a caramel zipper.

Check out  the Waxed Canvas Mini Pouches in the shop.
Take care~

Monday, June 17, 2013

What would you take with you?

Last week was a very emotional week for the residents in our area of Colorado Springs.
As you probably heard, a fire broke out in Black Forest on Tuesday, June 11, around 1:45. The fire devastated almost 500 homes, burned over 15,000 acres, and caused the death of two people.
This is what it looked like from my house on June 11 at 4:00 pm. The fire started about 3 miles - as the crow flies- from our neighborhood.

By Wednesday, our area was on pre-evacuation, which is a nice way to say: take a look around your house and decide on what you will take if the fire gets any closer, take pictures of your furniture for the insurance company, and be ready to go in 30 minutes or less.
Wednesday afternoon from the driveway

By Thursday midday, the mandatory evacuation boundary was moved to within 300 yards of our house. With the wind blowing like mad, all bets were off, and we knew that we might have to leave.
The neighbors started to go. One after the other, we watched them pack their Suburbans and drive away. The street was eerily quiet after a while. I thought I would stay until I was told to go by the sheriff's department.

While my husband was gathering important papers and passports, the first things I grabbed were pictures of my children. I also packed my jewelry box filled with not so much jewelry, but my kids' baby teeth and handmade mother's day cards. After that, I threw some clothes in a suitcase- just enough to last for a few days. I filled a box with each of my kids' favorite things (stuffed animals, yearbooks, school stuff). I put my laptops and iPad in a bag, along with my schoolbooks- hey, I might have some time to plan my lessons in the middle of all this...
I packed a silver sugar spoon that my grandmother had put aside for me - her last grandchild-, I filled a basket with fresh fruit and a couple bottles of wine that were on the counter- we might need a drink somewhere along the way, I watered my plants, just in case... I folded five baskets of laundry...

I was filled with a feeling of sadness at the thought of losing my stuff- my several hundred books, my sewing machines, my fabrics, my antiques- , while at the same time knowing that we were lucky to be able to prepare ourselves and exit safely with whatever was precious to us.

As it turned out we did not have to evacuate. The boundaries were moved back on Saturday. Most of the neighbors came back then. Many evacuees were allowed back into their homes yesterday. Some are still not allowed to go back.

It was a close call, and a wake-up call. We are still reeling from all the emotions- happiness the fire is under control, sadness at the devastation, fear, stress, relief it's over. 
We are making plans to cut down more scrub oak ( a very flammable tree) and to replace it with apple trees, maybe. We want to be better at organizing things, maybe donate a few things we don't need...Less clutter is good...

So, what would you take with you?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Tote- Red and Cream Waxed Canvas

This is the most recent tote in the shop.
The natural leather handles are long enough to be worn over the shoulder and the tote has two exterior pockets as well as one zippered pocket on the inside.
This tote will make a great beach bag or boat tote. Perfect for Dad! Check it out here

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Garden notes

After several days of cold and snow, the weather turned out absolutely gorgeous yesterday: sunny (not uncommon here) with a high of 77 degrees (definitely uncommon for April). The warm temperatures inspired me to start my seeds. I know it's late by most gardeners' standards, but since I can't safely set out my plants until early to mid-June, I think it will be OK.
Aside from the warmth, I was also inspired by a couple of gardening books by Gayla Trail: You grow girlGrow great grub, and Easy growing. There are plenty of pictures and amusing anecdotes, simple recipes, and great tips. My kind of gardening book!
Growing tomato seeds in toilet paper cardboard rolls set in repurposed salad container. 
My salsa pot: tomatoes and cilantro. The  lime tree is growing nearby.

I repurposed a sheet cake cover into a cloche for my seedlings
We are dealing with a mole or two digging tunnels in the vegetable raised bed. The little critters are actually aerating the soil, so we are not too concerned about it at this point. We did sprinkle some castor oil around the tunnels in hopes that the mole will have moved elsewhere by the time I have to plant.

My first wholesale order

This month I was contacted by a shop owner from Austin, Texas. She ordered ten waxed canvas Market Bags to sell in her new shop. So exciting!
Work in progress 
Ready to ship!
All finished!
Hopefully, they will sell well and I will get to make more.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Bags in the Shop

 Another repurposed denim and leather tote with a lovely aqua and red lining this time.

 A  Foldover Tote that turns into a fabulous clutch when you remove the strap.

 The Waxed Canvas Tote in graphite gray with black leather.

The Foldover Tote in Tan

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Camp cot

Another finished project! Yay!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to redo the cover. The first one was much too tight. This one fits perfectly.

The pillows do add some punch! The red ones are eco linen. Julie is very pleased...and so am I!

My Alabama Chanin Bag

I have had quite a bit of fun planning my Alabama Chanin projects... Since I have owned Natalie's books for a couple of months, I have been poring over them and making lists of projects to make.
I started with a napkin to take to school, in the spirit of reusing things and reducing the usage of paper napkins. I keep the napkin in my drawer and bring it home from time to time to toss in the laundry. It is light pink with a gray border. Sorry no pix :(
The next project I picked was the tote bag because I wanted to practice the reverse applique technique. Here are a couple of pictures of the work in progress:
 I traced the stencil with permanent marker and stitched around the shapes with dark gray embroidery floss. I cheated a bit by using my own pattern for the tote- a folded over piece of fabric with square corners. I also used my brand new serger for the project...worked like a charm...

A close-up of the design

The final product

I finished the top with a topstitch- by hand, if you please- in dark gray embroidery floss. I did not split the thread, so the stitch makes more of a statement, while providing added support for the handles.

So, what have you been making lately?