Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bags: Works in progress

I'm experimenting with a new-to-me technique. It's really neat, and I suspect most of my bags for a while will be in this style!

These two messenger bags are for a swap, so whoever gets them in the swap will get the honour of choosing the names. The first one isn't quite done - the tension on my better sewing machine went a bit wonky, so I haven't put in the final seam on the first bag, nor have I finished the strap.

And in other news, the first of my labels arrived! These are just simple ones with the business name; I'm still waiting for the labels with the lizard on them. The graphic labels are significantly more expensive, so not every piece will get a lizard.

This is another work in progress, which will probably also be part of the swap:

And showing off the label!

I'll hopefully get stuff into the Etsy shop this week. I'm working on the listings, but the shipping thing is kind of paralyzing me - looking at other Etsy shops, I'm wondering if it's common practice to undercharge on shipping, since a lot of the other Canadian bag sellers I've found are using shipping prices that I'm pretty sure don't even cover the postage, much less packaging.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Garden update

The garden is progressing, slowly, as they tend to do this time of year.

Amazingly enough, stuff is growing! My approach to gardening is very Darwinian - toss the stuff in and other than watering, pretty much let it fend for itself. This approach has somewhat mixed success.This black plastic is a product from Lee Valley. It's a biodegradable weed barrier that will start to break down in a few months, once the plants are established. Neat stuff, and since it was pretty cheap, I figured it was worth a shot - with a 4 year old and a 6 month old, less time weeding is a decidedly good thing!

Above is one of the two tomatoes I have planted. They were free plants left at the garden and I just wanted to see how the plastic worked, so I tossed them in. I have a bunch more stuff to plant but I'm holding off until the town refills the water tanks, since I will want to water the transplants.

I picked up a couple of heirloom tomato plants at the Farmer's Market yesterday. I wish I'd gotten more; hopefully they'll still have some next week!

The peas, grown from seed, are coming along nicely. I need to build some sort of trellis contraption for them.

Some tiny little spinach plants.
Lettuce, lettuce, as far as the eye can see! Or at least a few feet.

The carrots were a total FAIL - I don't think any of the seeds sprouted, so I'm blaming a bum package of seeds for that. But I'm quite pleased with my little lettuces.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bag: Veronica

Fun! Not for someone who wants to avoid attention, that's for sure. Main fabric here is IKEA Frederika. Side pockets for water bottles, sippy cups, car keys, cell phones, random bits of paper, granola bars...OK, that's just what I would keep in there. You could put in whatever you wanted.

(I do sew with fabrics from places other than IKEA, I swear I do. I'll have a few pieces in the next week or two that don't involve IKEA at all. Really. No, really. I promise.)

A look at the zippered pocket on the back - great for your wallet!

Inside it's lined with orange - plenty of room for whatever you need to carry! It's an excellent size for a diaper bag. The colours in this photo are slightly off - the bag body is red, not pinkish as it appears here.

Why have I started hanging my bags from trees? The tree is right there, the backyard gets good light, it makes the photography somewhat easier. Why not hang bags from trees, I say!

This bag is for sale.

Bag: Sonya

Sonya is another version of my small messenger bag pattern, originally created to make Angela. I like the pattern so much I'm going to make it a permanent part of my collection (oh la la).

Fabric is a now discontinued IKEA print that I picked up on clearance. It's a nice heavy canvas that has a good weight to it.

Features a pen pocket behind the flap. Inside the bag is a key loop, a small zippered pocket, and (new!) a cell phone pocket. And I only broke 4 needles sewing this bag - the section where the back flap overlaps with the cell phone pocket flap = BIG SEWING TROUBLE. But I know for next time how to solve that little issue, and I'm quite pleased with the final bag.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hey, where's the crafting??

So I've been busy! I am waiting for my custom labels to arrive, and then I can start photographing and listing things in the store. And there are a number of projects in the works. And I really need to photograph how our garden plot is coming along.

Lots upcoming, but for now, we wait on the mail...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wedding hat

My baby brother is getting married on Saturday! Daughter #1 will be a flower girl, and my mom made her a beautiful dress out of fabric that matches the bridesmaid's dresses. Not wanting the baby to be left out of the fun, I asked for the leftover fabric and made up this hat. Now I just need a dress for her to wear, because as it stands, she's got the hat and a diaper and that's about it.
My mom made the flower; she did a bunch of them to decorate the cake. I probably should have made the hat one size bigger, but with the way the fabric scrap was cut, I might not have been able to cut out the brim pieces for a medium hat, so small it is.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Yes, I do digital scrapbooking too

The thing is, I've never met a craft I didn't want to at least try. So scrapbooking? Yeah. I do that.

Paper scrapbooking doesn't appeal to me (I already have one hobby that takes up the entire dining room table and makes a huge mess, I don't need another one!), but digital scrapbooking, oh boy. Something I can do on my laptop while lying on the couch? Sign me up! And recently I discovered that printing actual, honest to god hardcover books of layouts isn't that expensive. A whole new world of ideas and inspiration has opened up to me.

Discovering the book printing option got me totally obsessed with creating this ABC book for my older daughter.

Each page features at least one relevant and appropriate picture. Figuring out some of the letters was a bit tricky (Y took forever - I had to wrap the girl up in a yellow blanket and take a picture and label it 'yellow'!).

The printing is really good - nice thick paper, good colours.

It was a lot of fun finding the various images and designing the pages! I spent many hours going through the Microsoft clipart collection.

I'm debating whether this is something people might pay me to design for them. I'd have to get a subscription to a clipart collection that is licensed for commercial use (the clipart I used in this book is personal use only). It's something I'm considering, anyway. I'd also have to figure out the easiest way to move a lot of photo files around. Might be more trouble than it's worth, but on the other hand, once I have a template designed it wouldn't take that much time to do an individual book. On the other hand, it's so easy to do this yourself - just time consuming - would anyone really want to pay to get it done?