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Monday Motivation

Been hard at work cleaning up and organizing the crafty room in the basement

YES! I finally have a basement!

I have my desk set up for cutting material, I have my sewing table set up with my heavy duty machine and the serger is cleaned and oiled and working, my mannequin is at the side of the table ready to model my wares, and the steamer is anxiously waiting some work.

This is great! It’s been over 6 months since I’ve done any sewing, and just in the last week I’ve sat down to work on some bead work. Next up: doing something with all the metal I have and making some simple earrings.

SO ready.

cleaning · difficulties · gratitude · inspiriation · lessons · life · meditation · new start · ohio · philosophy · psychololgy · reorganizing · repurpose

Almost closing time

This has been a whirlwind week, with cleaning and purging and donating and updating and just plain throwing out, I get totally sidetracked and forget about other projects that I care about and have time invested in, like this writing. 

But these distractions in life are temporary and life returns to its new normal, whatever that is at the moment. 

I’ll tell you what, all this cleaning and purging and donating has been so awesome  for me. I’ve learned what I need and what I don’t, what I can live with and without, how to do with less, and how to say goodbye to those things that no longer serve me, even if there is a sentimental attachment

There are many, many things I will miss about Orlando; seeing a momma swan and her ducklings every spring will be one of them, and there really is so much more to Orlando than the theme parks.

It’s been a wild ride, and an interesting one, and one I will never forget. 

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.

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What’s up Saturday 

Thinking about all these beautiful things today and how lucky I am to have them in my life.
All is well here, keeping very busy, and some personal life changes happening. It’s all good stuff though.
I hope you are well.

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Wordless Wednesday 

material · photography · repurpose · sewing

Handbag/gift bag tutorial 

I’ve had this fancy pattern material lying around, looking all pitiful, wondering when it was going to find a new home, a new use, a wonderful new life…

So I found some matching remnants and decided to make some small handbags. I’m using these as part of holiday gifts this year. Check it out:

Find yourself some material you like – any size, doesn’t matter – some complementary fabric in the same size for the lining, and a complementary small swatch for the inside pocket. Also find some webbing or cording or something you can use for handles. For my bag, I used a 14″ W x 25″ L piece for the bag and lining, and a 6″ x 5″ for inside pocket. I cut two straps, each 20.5″ long.

Before you forget, the first thing you want to do is sew the inside pocket to the lining. Position it where ever you like, and stitch into place.

Next you’re going to sew the right sides together of both the bag and the lining, but not to each other, separately. (above)

I wanted my bags to have some depth to them, so at the bottom of the bag, I put together the side seam and bottom seam (or where there would be a bottom seam if you are using one whole piece), so now I have a corner (left photo). From that corner I measured 1.5″ and marked a line for sewing. Keep in mind that whatever you measure at this corner will make the depth of the bag twice what you measured. That’s just mathematics folks.

Sew across at the line you just measured and cut off the excess. This is the base of your bag. I like bags with some depth and base because it gives you some room to move around. Straight, flat sewn bags with no depth just aren’t my thing. I need to be able to reach my hand in there without having to fight with the material.

Also, if you notice in the photos, I use a complementary thread to the material, and my top thread and bobbin thread don’t always match. I really don’t care as 1.) I make sure my thread(s) always match the material I’m using, and 2.) I am using what is available to me so I’m not wasteful. In looking through all my thread and other notions, I’m finding that I have lots of nicely colored thread that I normally don’t use. So I’m using up that stuff. It still works and I don’t have to leave my house to get more (you know how introverts are about shopping in stores.)

Position the raw edges of your handles centered on your bag with the raw edges of your material. Put the right sides of the bag and lining together with the straps in between those 2 pieces of material.

Leave an opening so you can turn the bag inside out once you’re done sewing the bag and lining together.

Once you’ve sewn the bag and lining together, turn the bag right side out through the opening.

Once right side out, pin the lining and bag together around the top edge and sew together. You can use an iron to flatten out the material before pinning and sewing, that helps to keep it in place.

And VOILA! your finished bag!

Inside pocket view

What’s great about this pattern is you can use any piece of material, and make the bag any size that you want that fits your needs. This is an excellent way to use up pieces of material that you just don’t want to get rid of, but that you still want to find a use for; you know I’m all about the recycling and repurposing.

I think I’ll make one for myself. (It’s not like I don’t have enough bags, but I’m just saying…these turned out great! and I love the colors.)  Handy, cute little bags. and with a pocket! Who doesn’t love pockets?

Now your turn! Enjoy!

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Trash2Trends 2017- applications are open!

Hey everyone! Applications are open for the fashion event of the year – Trash2Trends 2017! Go to this link for more info and to sign up! I’ll see you there! Woot Woot!!!

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Wordless Wednesday 

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Monday motivation 

I learned a trick from my dog sitter about easy functional clothes for the dog park – hospital scrubs! They are comfortable, durable, easy to wear, easy to clean, lots of pockets (very important) and best of all, I don’t care if they get dirty. The one problem I had with this particular pair (pictured above) is that I didn’t have a pocket on the left side.

What genius came up with that idea? Only pockets on one side? Now when I put my keys and my phone in my pockets, I feel like my pants are falling down on my right side. What the hell? 

So I decided to fix that. Over the weekend I found a fabric remnant for the pocket (the striped one). 

I ironed the piece, folded over the one edge, and sewed the folded ends together to finish. I centered the new pocket over the side seams at the same height as the pockets on the right side and sewed in place.  

I thought that pocket was kind of boring and wanted something a bit more colorful. The thought of going through all my remnants was kind of a drudgery, when lo and behold – yes, people still say that – staring right at me were swatches from Spoonflower

Underneath this very colorful swatch is the one that I used:

It’s a very soft stretchy material I sewed in place using a zigzag stitch, overlapping the striped remnant pocket.

And now my pants don’t fall down!

So much…on the one side…

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Wordless Wednesday 

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Monday motivation 

So you may know that my big girl Anna only has three legs. She’s missing her front right leg due to an accident she incurred before we adopted her. If it were a back leg, it wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but being her front leg, she gets tired a lot faster since she puts so much pressure on that one front leg. When she’s tired she sits alot and she does this stumble and chest bump on the ground. Not always, but it’s a definite indicator that it’s time for us to sit for a bit.

Lola, on the other hand, is very much still a puppy and loves – and needs – to run and play and chase squirrel.

I can’t keep walking with one while the other is hurting, right? So I’ve devised a dog sling to carry Anna around the park when she’s tired.

You know those baby carry slings made out of a lot of material that you see some mom’s with? Like a papoose carrier but for a dog.

My original choice of material was too stretchy. It didn’t hold in place so Anna kept sagging out of the thing. So I went home and rummaged through my stash of material –

– don’t we all have a stash of material?

And found something that I think will work.  Now I’ll give it another try. I think this all cotton material will work  better. It’s pretty strong and doesn’t give as much.

And Duke, he doesn’t care if we’re walking or sitting, as long as he gets to be with the pack.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have some great inspiration this week.