Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Making Reversible Tote Bags...

 Making reversible tote bags is something I have done for decades.  I love the utilitarian aspect of a good tote bag.  It can hold so many supplies, groceries, books, electronic gadgets, return items back to the store and the list goes on and on.
Pink toile is just dreamy.  The scenes of daily life and the stories that can be told just looking at this wonderful fabric.  A couple of removable fabric and lace pins.
 Fun Parisian themed fabric on one side of the tote.  Good sturdy webbing handles covered in gathered coordinated fabric to add style and strength for carrying those heavy loads.
This one has a generous pocket either inside or outside depending on which fabric you turn over.  This pocket on the Parisian side is embellished with a lace doily and a lace and fabric removable flower pin.  Spending time sewing.  Making gifts.  Making items to sell in my etsy shoppe.  This is my favorite way to spend my waning summer days. 
Christmas in August has been a very good way for me to get a head start on the busy holidays that always get too stressed and hectic to enjoy.  I feel this year will be much calmer and much more enjoyable.
I have my list and I am checking it twice. 

Now for dinner...I let the crockpot do the work today.  Country Ribs slow cooking all day and Bushes Baked Beans with embellishments (oh yeah...embellishments aren't just for crafting!) and homemade cole slaw will complete this last of August Summer dinners. 
I am thankful Irene was calmer than expected and I pray for anyone still suffering the effects. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August Christmas Continues...

 Every year I stockpile gifts for Christmas as the year progresses.  I keep a cupboard and a dresser just for these gifts so I know where they are come time to wrap and give.  However each year I find myself wanting to do more handmade gifts and every year I run out of time.  So this year I decided August would be my month to make some things ahead and have them ready.  I picked August because I missed July.  ;o)
 Here I am making very simple fabric postcards.  I love to mail things that surprise people when they get them and these postcards just might be the surprise. 
I bought this fabric and knew it would make great postcards.  The sizes are just slightly under the required 4" x 6" postal requirements but I knew how to work that.  I already had a stash of these very sturdy Strathmore watercolor postcard blanks so they became my base.  Then I cut Warm and Natural batting to fit the blanks.  I sewed the three pieces together and it looked too plain.  So I took a green stamp pad and rubbed the edges with the ink.  Now I like the look and consider these done.  Of course I am making more than the three I show in the photo. 
I hope this gives some of you inspiration and some easy ideas for your holiday gift giving. 
Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes.  I have had a wonderful month of celebrating.
Happy week to all and I do pray the weather is kind to each of you...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Generous Blogger Friend...

 I have said that August is my birthday month.  Well this must be proof.  When I opened the brown shipping box Mr. C told me these are my gifts he got me.  Hmmm...I don't think so! 
I happened to know this box came from the uber generous Celestina Marie.  Please visit her site if you aren't familiar with her blog or her beautiful designs. 
Needless to say Mr. C was simply hoping I would give him credit as he is not good about celebrating birthdays or holidays.  I am totally fine with this as he is very thoughtful and generous throughout the year when least expected.
As for the goodies inside this box!  Look at the dreamy pink French inspired paper, the pink silk petals, the soft pink tulle ribbon and the details on the boxes.  I was giddy like a little princess on her birthday getting ready to open these beautiful presents.

 This feminine gorgeous bottle complete with pink glittered roses and stopper.  Swoon...
 This adorable little birdhouse ornament handpainted by Celestina Marie herself both back and front. 
More swooning...
 Now my photos are out of order however this was an unexpected item she included.  A small very heavy handpainted paperweight book.  The tole painted roses are exquisite.
 And completely over the moon swooning on this piece.  My very own pink with rhinestone bling Eiffel Tower.  It is also a bank and I can put my money in it to take a trip to Paris...Do they make $1000 bills as this bank is tiny and I will need a lot of money?   :o)
 Oh photos are so out of order however I am very comfortable using blogger as my excuse since I am not familiar with the new version.    I think I am lucky any of my photos actually got onto this post. 
This is the trio of lovelies that Celestina Marie actually offered as a give to celebrate her 38th wedding anniversary.  Go figure...our good fortune due to her good fortune.  I am still convinced that bloggers are the truly most generous giving souls on this planet. 

This spoon is probably my very favorite of her pieces.  I had been coveting these on her etsy shoppe waiting for just the right moment to acquire one.  I am truly blessed as now I do have my very own spoon and it is even more exquisite in person.    I do have some gifts in mind that I shall need to purchase for and these are perfect.  I hope you take a very close look at her shoppe to see what you might fall in love with. 
Thank you so very much Celestina Marie.  I feel so fortunate to be able to share you as my blogger friend.  When I went back to your profile and read your credentials I completely understand how you would be chosen to visit the White House and create ornaments for one of the annual Christmas trees.  Your work is truly special and I am so proud to be the lucky recipient of your generosity. 
I will be thanking you properly very soon my dear.
Happy weekend to all and may you enjoy this end of summer to its fullest...Labor Day is just ahead...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Squeezing Summer Sunshine Cards...

 I recently went into the studio with nothing in mind and this is what was created.  I took some fabric given to me by Sherry of and some card and envelope stock and began cutting, gluing, stamping and adding buttons and lace.
Our weather this summer has been so perfect that I just wanted to "squeeze every drop of summer sunshine" possible. 
I made seven sets and then mailed them out to some of my followers as a surprise.  I put the card and envelope into a larger envelope so they were receiving an unused card that they can either send along to someone else or put in their handmade stash of goodies.
I had fun and love spending time in my studio.  It is always extra nice when I have no preset notion and then the end result makes me very happy.  I smile each time I see these photos.  Of course I didn't keep one for myself.  You know how it is...make for everyone else and send them along.   At least I thought to take a photo. 
Very simple, very quick and very Summer!
Hope everyone is enjoying the remaining days of sunshine...For those of you with extreme heat I wish you cooler weather to enjoy.
In true Summer style I made potato salad for dinner tonight along with cold roasted chicken in pure picnic mode.  And of course watermelon for dessert!  What's for dinner at your house?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Charms Received...Amazing...

I was thinking of doing a swap as I follow quite a few blogs that participate in swaps and it always looks so fun to see what everyone makes and receives.  Well...I did participate in my very first swap that was for charms.  It was hosted and organized and completed by the very talented Roni of I cannot express enough how thrilled I am with this swap.Thank you to Roni and everyone who participated.  Here is a group photo of the box I received.  I was like a child filled with wonder and excitement on Christmas morning when I opened this box of charms.  Each and every charm is lovingly handmade and so clever and precious.  Thank you to each artist I was lucky enough to get one of your charms.
 This is one of the three sets of charms I made and submitted.  I used black O-rings, copper wire and beads.  I attached a lobster clasp to each one for easy use.
 This charm is larger and I wanted it to represent the beautiful pine trees I live amongst.  I added beads, fancy yarns, some copper wire and a lobster clasp. 
Each set of charms (I made three sets) were five per set.  This set is double sided with truffle pictures and small beads for some bling.  So far I think this charm was very popular because who doesn't like chocolate...even if it is a photo of chocolate!
I will definitely be participating again early next year when Roni hosts this swap once more.  It truly was a delightful experience. 
Now I must get busy and thank each of my charm makers.  We did include our info and I have already received some emails thanking me for my charms. 
I spent my morning at my local Chamber helping visitors.  Our weather is just perfect.  Then Mr. C came along and took me to lunch at my favorite Beach Hut Deli for my California sandwich.  Life is good.
May your week progress with all the wonderful things that make you happy...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wizard of Oz ATC...

It really is all about the shoes!
I am linking to Two Crazy Crafters for this post.
Thank you Twyla and Lindsey for this fun Friday hop.
I have used Graphic 45 chipboard tag, yellow cardstock I penciled with the yellow brick road and my favorite adorable mary jane shoes charm which I red glittered.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Halloween Origami Pouches...

With less weeds to be pulled I am finding more time to be in my sewing room where I love to sew. There is something quite calming and relaxing about sewing...provided I am not attempting a new pattern or technique unfamiliar to me.
So here are a couple of Origami Pouches in Halloween fabrics.

This is very vintage fabric that I have owned forever. I added a cute charm to each side flap. The lining is the same bright yellow as the cording. These are so simple to make that I actually made two at the same time.

This is some new fabric I bought this year and I adore it. This photo does not do justice to the fabric but that is for another and I do not see eye to eye. It has such a graphic flair to the standard spider web look. "Hallowgraphix" by Jason Yenter for "In the Beginning" fabrics. I only wish I had bought more than one yard. Each little pouch takes an 18.5" square of fabric and lining.

On this one I sewed buttons to the flaps and like the look.

I am already planning a few more of these little fun pieces for gifts this year. With fabric choices and flap embellishments the options are endless.

Do you sew? Do you prefer fabric or paper or ???

Happy mid week to all...

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Earrings...

I have been busy in my studio playing with some of my beads and making earrings.
Now my task this week is to get them listed in my etsy shoppe. This always seems to be such a chore for me. First the photography which I really do not enjoy keeps holding me back. Then the actual writing of the description is always tricky...say enough but not too much.
So by posting here I am forcing myself to be accountable to follow through and get them listed.
This first pair is charming with the little bee "tasting" the honey hued Swarovski crystal beneath the Czech flower bead.

I had purchased some new antique copper findings and wanted to put them together with some interesting beads. French pierced earwires with black Obsidian hearts and Czech Vitrail Glass Flower cone beads, Swarovski crystals and antique copper spacers are stunning in person.

These are very simply done using silver-plate earwires, blue-green glass beads, Swarovski crystals and Turquoise nuggets. I kept the drop length on each of these pairs to just about one inch.

This is probably the most interesting pair using the antique copper findings. I paired Fancy Jasper hearts with true Sedona Red Rock barrel beads purchased while in Sedona earlier this year. Of course now I am wondering why I didn't buy lots more of these unique Red Rock beads. It is said that Sedona Red Rock beauty awakens spirit and the energy that is created gives rise to a heightened awareness and enhanced appreciation for life. Wow! If you have ever visited Sedonna and been in the presence of the Red Rocks you would definitely agree that the entire area is aweinspiring.

Wonderful week to all...many of you are busy packing for those fall trips...many preparing the little ones for back to school...and some of you very busy in your studios making fabulous art.

Me? I will be enjoying each day of our perfect summer we have been having here in Northern California. I spent Saturday at the local Farmers Market and then volunteering at our Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. It was a day filled with meeting lots of interesting folks from all over. I always enjoy my day.

Now I must get on task and work my list of to do items...Hugs to all...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August Snowmen...

More Christmas in August. These are snowmen ornaments for the elementary school holiday sale in December. I find being prepared can never be too soon as time slips by so quickly.

Made of foam and fabric. They will look so cute hanging on our faux Christmas tree displaying all the ornaments for sale to the first, second and third graders. Parents and public are also welcome to shop after the kids have lots of shopping time to get presents for friends and family.

This is a short quick post as I am headed to our local very small Farmer's Market before I spend my day volunteering at the local Chamber of Commerce hostessing the Visitor Center. I love meeting people from far and near. I also learn something new every time I am there.

May your weekend be full of bliss...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Charmed I'm Sure...

My little studio has been a very busy place of late and for that I am grateful. It is where I like to spend time and it makes me happy to create things.
I decided several weeks ago to participate in a charm swap that Roni is hosting. I am certain you all follow her escapades with ink and such. If not please visit her.
I actually made three sets of charms and sent them in for swapping. I am not showing them here as the swap is in the process stage and soon to be sent out to all participants and I certainly don't want to spoil any surprises.
This photo is of a single charm I did for Roni herself. Super simple using a chipboard letter (lower case r with glitter), jump rings with beads attached and a lobster clasp for attaching to anything desired.
I must say I am getting excited to see which charms I receive. Roni has been giving hints of the charms she is receiving and they all sound amazing.
What swaps have you participated in? Any favorites you have enjoyed?
I am thinking of some I might join in the future. I know time must be set aside just for each swap so that the items are the best possible. I think this would be a great way to expand my art and sharing is something I love to do. Hmmm...
Summer is marching along. Our local county fair is happening this week. I think I shall avoid all the traffic and crowds this year. If only I could attend just to see all the handmade items that people show. No, I will spend my precious time in my studio and sewing room making my very own handmade items.
Enjoy your days doing something that makes you happy...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Butterfly Bag Sewn...

Do you sew? Are you passionate about fabrics? Do you adore bags to put things in?
Oh Yeah! I do love to sew and I am passionate about fabrics and yes, I love bags to put things in. This is a fabric called Fairy Frost and has a silvery shimmer to it.

This is one of my favorite butterfly fabrics. I have owned this fabric for a long time.

Being part of this amazing blogging community is one of my greatest joys. So many talented and generous people all sharing like-minded hobbies.

While reading one of my daily blogs I check I found this little bag Diane had sewn. Instantly I knew I just had to make one. Luckily Diane gave the link to a tutorial.

Thank you so much to these kind and generous people who love to create wonderful things.

Here is my sewn pouch with a beaded charm detail. I love butterflies and use them whenever I am able to. Butterflies represent 10,000 happinesses.

This little bag is also referred to as origami pouch as it has a wonderful way of sewing and folding to create it. This photo shows the inside lining fabric and the outside pocket. Both sides of the bag are this way.

Here is the completed bag with the flaps down over the outside pockets. Drawstring cords pull the top tight and close in the contents.

I am so thrilled to have sewn this little bag. Now I am planning on sewing many more as I can think of lots of gifts I can give.

Fabric choices are endless. Embellishing is endless. Diane used buttons on her flaps and that is very cute. I already have a lot of fabrics which will be excellent choices for these wonderful little bags.

Thank you once again to the generous sharing of knowledge and information and talents that blogging affords all of us.

May you have a wonderful week of creativity and enjoy these waning days of summer...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Christmas in August...

Christmas in August. Not so far fetched an idea since the days, weeks and months are flying past so fast. I felt I would work on Christmas in August and this past week that is exactly what I did. My girlfriend came over and we spent an entire day preparing Christmas ornaments to donate and sell at the local elementary school annual holiday sale. It is so fun to watch the kids do their Christmas shopping and we donate 50% of our sales money to the school funds.

We aren't looking to get rich, merely pay for our supplies. These are some purchased snowflakes that we embellished with torn strips of fabric tied in a bow. I know it is hard to see them here but you can imagine how simple these are. We are trying to keep the price at 50 cents each for any of the ornaments we are decorating on a 5 foot tree.

Here are simple ornament balls, plastic so no breakage, embellished with more fabrics and then tied with a loop.

All of this takes a lot of time but we always think of the little first, second and third grade students looking to shop for just the right gifts they can afford. We usually make lots of various items which we plan on family members just loving what they get when they open their gifts. Bookmarks, towels, charms, note cards and tags, ornaments, and whatever else strikes our fancy. We try to cover all genders and ages which can be really challenging.

I also completed another gift item this week so I will share that soon.

The great outdoors is still requiring lots of my time and efforts as the weeding and plantings and yard re-do is taking lots more than I thought. I am grateful our weather has been very pleasant. We have not had any extreme heat unlike so much of the country. I think our elevation and all the pine and cedar trees are helping to keep it cool. We also are benefitting from what is called the "delta breeze".

Now I am off to get productive. I was found at the local Ben Franklin yesterday purchasing more fabrics and jewelry findings.

Wonderful Weekend to each of you...May you be enjoying your days relaxing and being creative...

P.S. Are you working on any Christmas projects? Can you share what they are?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This is typical of me.

August is my very favorite month of the year and always has been since I was a little girl. I understand it isn't polite to chose favorites however I cannot help myself. You see I am an August born child/woman. When I was growing up my birthday was never special because there was no school in August so no classroom party for me with cupcakes like the other kids. I did get to celebrate my birthday in the mountains at our family cabin. That was my very favorite place to be. We sisters got to go for walks and play all day in the meadow and the stream. We climbed a "giant" boulder and slid down until our shorts had no fabric covering our bottoms. We walked to the little store and bought nickel candy and ate it whenever we wanted. We spent hours in the local library reading and loving books. I used to practice the fancy "symbols" in the Japanese alphabet...of which I know nothing about. I merely loved copying those beautiful strokes. We played Scrabble in the evenings with our mom. She always won so at night I would sneak the dictionary from the bookshelves and read it in my feather bed with a flashlight so I could play better. We went for nature hikes and walked everywhere. Back in those days there was very little fear of letting kids be kids and free to play outdoors with no supervision. Life was simpler back then.
Another reason August is my favorite month is that my one and only daughter was born just 20 days before my birthday. So we celebrate our month together. She is a Leo and I am a Virgo but that doesn't keep us apart. :o)
August is also my favorite because it is Summer and I love Summer! The heat doesn't bother me and it helps that I live in the foothills where it is at least 10 degrees cooler than other places. Of course don't ask me about winter and snow which I detest. When I was younger August also meant going to the fair which I used to love doing. Our family was big on fairs and traveled to many up and down the state. My mother would make all of us matching gingham dresses and a shirt for dad. She said that way if one of us girls got lost people would at least know to match us up with the rest of the family wearing gingham. Too funny!
August was also the last freedom before going back to school for another year. Not my favorite thing growing up. I did always like getting new crayons and to this day I treat myself to a new box of Crayola crayons each year. Something about the smell and feel of a brand new crayon. I also just bought new yellow pencils and some new glue sticks. Some habits are hard to break and why should I when I use these supplies every day.
If you have a favorite month which one is it and why?
I think it is time for me to go and eat some ice cream for you see it is still my favorite food even at this point in my life.
Awesome August Summer Smiles to all...