So, I managed to l managed to look at the Fire Mountain Gems website in time to catch their Dutch Auction Sale last week, and picked up 30 strands of beads for less than $30. When they arrived, I was so thrilled with them, I immediately made up a couple of necklaces. The first one is the whole strand of dyed magnesite chips with silver plated accents, seed beads, and a few Picasso marble beads (the brown rounds). I like the tassel at the bottom, but I am not entirely sure it goes with the necklace, because the seed beads which look perfect in between the magnesite chips look far too green in the tassel. The second one has my favorite beads of the order: those huge ceramic focal beads. Love the shape and the color combo! I also used some of the Picasso marble beads on this one, as well as feldspar and more silver plated spacers. I love everything about this necklace.
Any thoughts on the first one? I have thought about changing out the seed beads for bluer ones, but keeping the design the same. Or removing the tassel and adding a large funky metal something or other. Or leaving it alone because it ain't that broke, so don't fix it.
After what feels like way, way, way too long, I am trying to get more beading into my life. I have lots of ideas and plans, I just haven't had the time to get anything finished. Well, I'm trying to change that now. This is the first piece that I have finished, a hair decoration inspired by the maple leaf (momiji) kanzashi that geisha wear in November. The beadwork was done first, then stitched to some stiff interfacing backed with a kimono silk scrap.
There are some obvious (to me, anyway) issues, which means that I have to keep it. Darn. If you don't know what kanzashi are, here's the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanzashi
Back in July, I posted a new purse I had sewn which I loved (still do!). A friend of mine saw it and thought it was fantastic, and asked me to make her one. Since she offered to buy the fabric and hardware, I said sure. Little did I know the little imp had mischief in mind. She thinks my color palette is boring, too neutral, and that I should shake things up more. Like her. So she bought 4 different red fabrics, silver hardware, and zippers in - get this - orange, turquoise, and lavender.
She wanted it to be a hideous mess.
She was shocked when I gave her something coordinated. She loves it, and shows it off constantly. I will probably be getting more orders for these through her.
Behold, the Challenge Triple purse:
the big one (orange):
the middle one (lavender):
the small one (turquoise), with the other two behind:
On the hip of the happy owner:
A new detail I added to this one, that I thought of after posting my first one, is a second strap. You can see it hanging in the last pic. It's a wristlet type strap, which can be used (obviously) as a wristlet strap, but also as a way to hang up whatever bags you aren't using at any given time.
I am loving making these bags, and I am hoping somewhere there are people who are going to be loving buying them, so I have started another:
I have always had a hard time finding the perfect purse. Generally, I don't like to carry a lot, and I like my hands free. But there are those days, you know when you have 30,000 errands to run, and you have to carry the mail and a shopping bag and a notebook and your phone and your camera etc. etc. etc. Well I think I finally found the perfect style for me:
It's 7" by 7" by 2" deep at the bottom. It's got a triangular profile which I am really digging right now. It was constructed using the Sha-Sha Dream Bag and Lined Zippered Pouch tutorials here on Craftster. It has what some of my friends would call a boring upholstery weight canvas exterior, and a lovely batik interior, with a pocket big enough for a phone, or as you can see in the pic - feminine needs.
But that's only part of the story. Here's part 2:
Constructed the same way as the larger one, but this one is 7" wide by 5.5" tall by 2" deep at the bottom. Same batik interior, but no pockets.
Story isn't finished yet! The conclusion:
Here's the last one, 7" by 4" by 2" at the bottom. It's not really much bigger than a large wallet. It has pockets for my essential cards (driver's license, credit card, movie card) and headphones, and is just big enough for my phone, keys, and sunglasses.
I love, love, love this idea (which I blatantly borrowed from Levenger, who did it in leather) because it is so modular. It means that I really only need one purse, but can have "big purse" days and "little purse" days. And no forgetting the essentials because they're in my other purse! I am also thinking about taking some of my leftover strap material and making a little wristlet style handle for my "just running out to get the kids" days. But for my normal days, I like having a LONG strap:
I had so much fun making this purse, and KNOW I will love using it. Thanks for looking, C&C appreciated.
Okay, so you know how every day your elementary school child brings home this folder full of STUFF and your husband gets the mail and hands you this big pile of STUFF and pretty soon this one area of you kitchen is filled with this HUGE pile of STUFF and you can't find that one piece of really important paper which says when your daughter's doctor appointment is and . . .
You get the picture.
Since my baby is going to preschool next year, I figured that would be one more pile of STUFF coming into the house every day, so I decided to tackle the problem head-on in a crafty, recycling type of way. I was inspired by this lovely Hanging Mail Holder, but made up my own paper based on materials I had and what I knew would be going into it.
I used the project as a chance to destash, too. The binding is leftover from a quilt I made a few weeks ago, the pretty showing parts are linen from my stash, and the backs/stiffener is denim from some of my Dad's cast-off jeans my Mom gave me weeks ago. I just used fusible web and denim, and it is nice and stiff. I am totally using this trick when I make more structured purses from now.
My mother and I tend to do a sort of delayed "collaboration" on many of my sewing projects. She weaves the fabric, then about a decade later (give or take) I take up sewing seriously and she gives me the pieces of fabric she hasn't touched in years to make something pretty with. I just finished this one, and it needs a little more attention to details, but overall I am so pleased with how it turned out. The birdy fabric coordinates with the handwoven so well, I was amazed since I didn't take the handwoven with me to the fabric store. The pattern is Simplicity 2617, view D, and I think I will be making more from this pattern.
I have lurked and learned so much from all of the posts and posters here for a long time. I figured it was about time I started posting some of my own projects, both from existing tutorials and otherwise. Here's the first, based on the tutorial here: Sha Sha Dream Bag
This bag is made from scraps of fabric leftover from cutting out a dress for DD's 7th birthday party this weekend, and lined with a fat quarter that I had in my stash. The button is a little off center, but I think DD will still love it. After all, it's pink! C&C appreciated!
So, among many other things Japanese, I have gotten enamored with furoshiki, wrapping cloths, over the past few years. I made some last year for gift giving, and made some more this year. This was one I made for a gift swap at a study group I belong to:
The furoshiki itself is simply a piece of linen I had (and was leftover from making the gifts inside), quickly hemmed on all sides. I used the four tie wrap (http://furoshiki.com/techniques.php), because I like how the ties at the top look like a bow. I also made the tag from paper and cardstock I had on hand. It was not difficult, but I think it turned out elegant, and am very happy with the outcome (so was the recipient!).
The gifts inside sitting on top of the furoshiki, opened: