1 hour ago
Monday, December 29
Being frugal in meagre times is not a problem for me, since by nature I'm not a wasteful person. I don't usually throw out any food, unless it is really, really off, but then I take a close look at the produce I buy in the first place. My mother has taught me to go for quality rather than quantity, and now I'm really glad I followed this piece of valuable advice! Indeed, some of my clothes are 15 years and older and still in perfect condition. Take these boots, for example. Believe it or not, but I've had them since I was eighteen (I'm on the wrong side of thirty now)! Same goes for that filofax (yes, in matching burgundy leather) - okay, it may be a little scuffed round the edges, but it's still in perfect working order and I wouldn't trade it for one of those electronic devices ever! Besides...I like flipping through the pages and looking at the myriad of notes that I have jotted down over the years.
Saturday, December 27
I know I wrote I wouldn't be posting until next year, but I just couldn't help taking a quick peek at my blog...and it really was worth it, because I have received another Lemonade Award from Ambrosia at Chronicles of Caelan. What a lovely surprise! Feels like it's Christmas all over again. Thank you so much, Ambrosia. Please visit her delightful blog for an interesting read...
Monday, December 22
This will be my last post of the year... To my friends across the globe, all my wonderful blogging friends, old and new, and last but not least to my family (also across the globe) who will not be receiving any cards this Christmas because I'm donating the money to a children's fund, and saving a couple of trees...☺ I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas, which you will hopefully spend with your near and dear ones, and a very happy New Year!
Sunday, December 21
I am so honoured to have received an award from my blogging friend Abby over at Simply Charming in SC! What a wonderful surprise, and I am so thrilled!!! You have to visit Abby's amazing blog and take a look at her beautiful jewelry creations!
Now as the rules go it's my turn to select 7 blogs to pass this award on to. I happily give this award to the following blogs (in alphabetical order): Beaded Tail Enjoy work as leisure Health Nut Wannabe Mom rkdsign88 Skitto, Peanut and Chyanne The grass can be greener TNT2008 Hurray!! All of the above blogs are well worth a visit, so please go check them out! The lucky awardees may now follow these rules: 1. add the logo to your blog 2. link to the person from whom you've received the award 3. nominate seven blogs of your choice 4. leave a message on the nominees blogs I wish everyone a HAPPY SUNDAY
Thursday, December 18
Wednesday, December 17
... is more time! A fleeting visitor to my blog may think "Oh, another bag lady" ☺, when in fact I have many more pressing obligations than sewing bags. I really wish I could, though. My head is always full of ideas, and I get a little panicky if I don't realize at least one of them. I have a whole notebook full of sketches on my bedside table - yes, the best ideas usually come at night - and my fingers are just itching to get at my sewing machine...but lately I've been inundated with frantic calls from students hoping to squeeze in just one more lesson before Christmas. And if I can help them get better marks on their exams, then that's my first priority! Meanwhile my pile of fabrics will have to wait. I also feel if I put pressure on myself, the joy out of sewing bags diminishes somewhat. After all, it's my hobby, and I want to look forward to it after a days work. I do admire all those power-crafters I come across in blogs here and there. I wish I had that kind of energy! Hubby's got a few days off for the holidays, which is nice, and he helped me with EC dropping, for which I'm eternally grateful. He did however forget to switch to my crafting blog, which is why many of you will have my other widget in your dashboard! A BIG thanks, hubby, anyway, for all your help and support in many other areas of my life too ♥ Also, THANK YOU to everyone who cared to read my blog over the last couple of months, dropping their card, leaving kind comments and making me start my day with a smile.
Monday, December 15
This bag is a tribute to Asia, where I have lived, worked and made wonderful friends! I was inspired to make this bag by that cute little ribbon you see in the close up. I've had that ribbon stored in a box and recently re-discovered it when I was looking for something else! This tote is pretty large at approx. 14 x 13 inches (not including the handles). I made it a rounded shape to reflect the round floral pattern of the blue fabric, which coincidentally matches the blue of my ribbon exactly. The top part is a whimsical red fabric with an all-over pattern, also inspired by the red fan in the ribbon. The bamboo handles are store-bought. For the interfacing I have used canvas, which makes this bag pretty sturdy. The inside is a creamy cotton featuring two pockets made from the same red fabric as on the top front. Just looking at it takes me back to those fun times I had in Asia...watching the sunset on the beach, taking a stroll in the Japanese Garden, shopping at the market on Saturdays...sigh.
Saturday, December 13
What do you do if a 15 year old asks you (no, begs you), to make her a COOL tote bag? The first thing you do is go to the kiosk around the corner and buy a teen-magazine. The next thing is to sit in a café and surreptitiously eye the outfits of passing teenage girls. Take note of the colours and patterns of their pants, the buttons on their bags, their hair accessories. Then quickly go home and sketch the first ideas that spring to mind. This is what I came up with: I don't normally design bags with teenagers in mind, so this was definitely a challenge. The pink peace sign is appliquéd on the front. Hubby sent me an image of the peace sign via email which I then printed out for reference. I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't exactly sure which way up it was! I've added two pockets inside for the ubiquitous cell phone and other stuff a teenage girl can't leave home without! The straps are extra wide and padded, as is the entire bag. The inside lining is a sturdy canvas. I hope I got it right?!
Friday, December 12
One of my all time favourite non-fiction books is 'Where women create'. Have you read it?
Thursday, December 11
Wednesday, December 10
Just when I thought to go ahead with a purse using pinks and violets I sold this:
Monday, December 8
Well, I'm glad to say I've finished all of my Christmas Shopping, which is no surprise, because I buy gifts throughout the year. I've written about this in a post on my personal blog, which you may want to read here. But what about unexpected visitors knocking on your door at Christmas time? Or maybe you exchange gifts with your neighbours? You would want to have a little gift ready, just in case! I made up a few zipper pouches in red and tan tartan. I wanted something that had a wintery feel to it, so I chose fine italian wool. I didn't need to buy much of the fabric, since these pouches only measure about 15 x 13 cm or approx. 6 x 5 inches. They are lightly padded and lined with either green or orange checks. For that special touch I appliquéd each one with a different motif, i.e. gingerbread man, heart, angels etc., using scraps of fabric. In the picture below you can see two examples. The red tartan one has a little teddy bear with heart; the tan tartan one has a little birdy.
The colour poll of last week was pretty exciting to follow! Right at the beginning it looked like the blues and greens were everyone's favorite colour. Then by the middle of the week blues and greens stood neck and neck with the pinks and violets. Finally - surprise, surprise - a couple of votes were squeezed in at the eleventh hour and guess what? Most of you prefer: PINKS AND VIOLETS If you're interested in exact percentages per colour group just scroll down to the poll box at the bottom right. I assume most of you live in the States...so since I live in Germany, and in order for this result to 'work' for me, I will have to take into account that most women in Germany prefer toned down colours (isn't that a shame?) This means I will probably use a paler version of the above fabrics or use these together with a neutral fabric, like natural linen. Anyway, I thought this poll was great fun! Thanks for participating!
Sunday, December 7
Of course you do! How can anyone not notice my wonderful new blog template designed by Sheila of designsbysheila. Why don't you cruise by her site and check out the awesome designs! Meanwhile, my colour poll has closed. I thank all 46 of you who voted. I will elaborate on this in my next post. Keep tuned. Have a peaceful Sunday (2. Advent)
Friday, December 5
Dear Sammy, You are absolutely right where EC is concerned. Be assured from now on I will restrict my EC dropping to one hour a day - and only when you're asleep. I'm sorry about the time I stroked your fur after I had cooked a meal containing garlic. I'll never do this faux-pas again. Let's compromise...how about we share that big seat by the window? Please? Oh, when you come back inside from the terrace - please don't jump all over the bedspread with your dirty paws. And talking about paws...remember all those loose threads at the bottom of my curtains? The ones you pulled out with your claws? Well, do you mind pulling the threads back through to the other side? Thanks. So, you're tired of your premium quality, vitamin-rich, highly nutritious cat food? You want the junk from the supermarket? Well, that may result in a spontaneous overnight stay at the local veterinary hosp...er hotel. Speaking of food - please don't trample all over my stomach after I've eaten a full lunch. Love, Duni
Wednesday, December 3
On Saturday, December 6th , we celebrate 'Nikolaus Tag' (St. Nicholas Day), in honour of Saint Nicholas of Myra - also known as St. Nicholas the wonderworker, since many deeds and miracles were attributed to him. He was also known as 'the gift-giver' - leaving coins in the shoes of those that left them out for him. Nowadays it's mostly a festival for children. Kids across Europe leave their shoes outside their bedroom door the night before St. Nicholas Day, and the next day they are 'miraculously' filled with colourful wrapped sweets and chocolate. (Thanks, mom☺) More health-conscious parents buy their children a small gift instead (book, pencil case, something useful for school) - sort of like an appetizer before the main course: Christmas! It's also not uncommon for spouses to buy little gifts for each other and we do this among close friends too. At the workplace it's custom for the boss to put a small gift of appreciation on each employees desk. Since this year it's on Saturday, most will receive their present on the following Monday. When I was still part of the 9-5 workforce I was given everything from a huge chocolate Santa to a box of candles to a gift certificate! Boy, did we love those gift certificates! By the way, that little 'Nikolaus' pouch you see in the photo is what my niece and a few of my younger pupils (aged 8 - 10) are going to receive from me...
Sunday, November 30
Dear fellow blogger, crafter and visitor to my blog. May I steal one second of your time? Okay, three seconds - you need to move your mouse pointer over to the poll box on the upper right corner of this blog and click on your choice ☺ I would really appreciate your vote. The results will help me make wiser fabric choices for my bags and other creations, which in turn will result in happier customers! Thanks!!!
Friday, November 28
Wednesday, November 26
Whenever I talk to acquiantances about my handmade bags (a little promotion on the side always helps ☺) I mostly get one of two reactions: 1. either they are pleasantly surprised/impressed/amazed, and immediately ask a lot of questions and want to see more of my bags... 2. or they pull a face and say 'oh'. The kind of 'oh' that lets me know they think handmade products are crap. (excuse the expression). The latter lets me know that theirs is an uneducated reaction. Most probably they have absolutely no idea how much time, effort and planning goes into a handmade product. So used to the mass-produced products that are churned out cookie-cutter style in huge factories, they do not see the dedication behind a handmade product. And its value. I have lived and worked in the Far East and I have seen the textile factories in China where thousands of look- alike bags are manufactured, packaged and ready to be shipped to Europe and the States. I'm not saying these bags are lousy, but they are sold here so cheap, that buyers will have no qualms chucking them into the garbage once they become tired of it. There is no appreciation of the product at all. The attitude is: who cares? I can get 10 more for 5 Euros from the many discount stores that have opened up all over the country! How sad is that? And as we collectively move deeper into a 'disposable society' I feel that I need to educate those people in particular in order to counter-balance this attitude. It's an uphill struggle, but I do believe that ignorance is the main factor getting in the way. I believe in handmade products and I will continue to spread the word about its value and virtue!
Sunday, November 23
I was really happy when Damask Rose the big one sold within a week of listing! The lucky recipient will love this bag. I have since made another one in a different colour way. This is one of my favourite bag styles, because it's roomy enough (but not bulky) to keep more than just your make up - you can fit in all those face and handcreams, too!
Saturday, November 22
As every year, the weeks running up to Christmas are always stressful, as most parents run around in a frenzied panic buying food for Christmas dinner and gifts for the family, especially the children. Please pause for a moment and think about what you could do for the less fortunate kids who have little joy in their lives. Here in Germany (and also in Switzerland and Austria) there is a so called 'shoebox' campaign. Participants donate gifts (stuffed animals, toys, drawing equipment, skipping ropes etc.) and pack them up in a shoebox, which is then wrapped up nicely and tied with a bow. The shoeboxes are collected in various cities and then sent on to the organizer who distributes the gifts to countries, such as Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Kasachstan, Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia, Mongolia and others. The organizers of the respective countries ensure that these shoeboxes do indeed reach the (mostly orphaned) children. Over 470.000 shoeboxes were delivered to less fortunate kids all over the world last Christmas. What an amazing success! Although subsidized by the Christian Mission, the gifts are distributed to children regardless of their religious, social or cultural background. Instead of sending Christmas cards this year or eating a humongous Christmas meal, I will donate to the Mission and other charities, if it helps to make one or more children smile and feel a little joy in their lives this Christmas.
Friday, November 21
A gorgeous black on white Damask pattern graces this make up bag. Perfect for the glam girl in you! Open up the bag and a stunning lime green fabric in decorator weight cotton surprises you! The bag is the perfect size to carry in your tote or handbag. The front pocket is a convenient place to keep a comb, nail file or hair pins! Embellished with a tiny gold heart charm for that added pizzazz! Measures approx. 15 x 13 x 7 cm or 6 x 5.1 x 2.7 inches
Thursday, November 20
On DaWanda there's this monthly colour theme going on...the chosen colour for November is grey. How fitting. Not only has the weather been grey for days, so are people's moods and faces! (not to mention the two strands of hair at each side of my temple) Since there's not enough daylight (maybe a window of one hour between 11:30 - 12:30) I really have a hard time taking nice images of my bags. This upsets me somewhat, because I want to convey the colours as they actually are - not dark and tinged with grey. And it's not only me. Go to DaWanda's frontpage and look at some of the images. TOO DARK. Nobody's going to glance at pics like these twice. I do adjust my images with the help of photoshop, but they tend to look slightly unnatural and it's not always easy getting that fake sunlight just the right shade of yellow. I have a few bags lined up ready to be listed in my shop. I'm just waiting for some sunlight already! It's frustrating, it really is. I really envy people in the States living on the west coast. How lovely to wake up to blue skies each morning. Send some sunshine over here, would you?
Tuesday, November 18
Are you going on a trip? Line up your bottles, tubes and jars of face and hand cream in this smart washbag! And they won't topple over, because I've made the bottom of this bag slightly narrower than my Damask Rose make up bag. Plus it won't take up much space in your suitcase either!
Meas. approx. 23 x 18 x 5 cm or 9 x 7.1 x 2 inches *dry cleaning recommended / spot clean only Available in my shop now!
Monday, November 17
I feel somewhat better today, although I'm not a 100% fit...sort of a 'weak at the knees' kind of a feeling, so this post will be short and w/o pics (sorry). For any reader interested, my popular padded eye glass case is featured on Feel Chic Boutique - go check out this cool blog! have a good week, all, and I hope to be back to full-time blogging soon.
Saturday, November 15
I know I shouldn't be sitting here at my computer, not in my condition anyway...and I can already hear my mum's voice in my ear telling me I'm being very silly indeed. Not to mention my hubby, who firmly believes the best place for me to be is under three layers of blankets! But I just had to share these fabulous fabrics with you (the box arrived yesterday). And as you well know, and I'm free to admit: I'm a fabric junkie! I'm also addicted to blogging. Anyway, take a look at these gorgeous blues and greens and tell me you're not immediately despatched to a tropical island somewhere...
Wednesday, November 12
I have been feeling a little under the weather lately and now I know why. I've come down with influenza. I probably caught it from one of my students...sigh. This means no crafting - and I had so hoped to finish my 'the big one' (more on that later) this week. Oh well. It's back to bed for me with a cup of tea!
Tuesday, November 11
my shop listing! You'll love the fabric - large, cream peonies interspersed with tan and red leaves on a suger pink background. The lining is a medium-weight cotton in matching pink. Remember, all my bags are unique in that I don't make the same twice! If I use the same fabric, I alter the shape of the bag. And I go for quality rather than quantity! The bag measures approx. 15 x 14 x 7 cm or 6 x 5.5 x 2.7 inches. It is lightly padded for stability and embellished with a tiny gold heart ♥
Monday, November 10
Whenever I'm invited to a party where most people don't yet know me I make sure to take one of my bags and a couple of business cards too. Yesterday was such an occasion. As is typical of this region we've been having horrendous weather lately: wet, cold and windy. I noticed almost everyone was dressed in drab black or brown, so...my bright pink tote bag really stood out! As expected a couple women came up to me to admire my bag and inquire where I bought it (hehehe). When I told them I made it there were quite a few (pleasantly) surprised faces. I handed out business cards immediately - do this before everyone hits the drinks bar. I also use this opportunity to gauge the colour trend. This information is useful to me when selecting fabric. It seems women still prefer bright pinks! I guess if you live in a part of the world where it's raining 70% of the time, it's nice to possess a bag in bright colours.
Sunday, November 9
Friday, November 7
my shop now!
Thursday, November 6
Tuesday, November 4
Did I mention I just love circles, dots...polka dots... mini dots...in fact dots in all sizes! Of course, I just had to buy this funky circles fabric - red, pink, brown circles in various sizes on a pale blue background. If you look really closely, the background has an overlay of almost transparent white polka dots. I teamed it up with a solid chocolate brown, medium-weight cotton, and I matched the lining in brown with irregular shaped, all-over dots. You can see it peeking out at the top edge. Simply dotty! The inside features two pockets for keeping your mobile phone and/or wallet and/or mp3 player. Two sturdy, faux-leather handles in brown complete this bag (which is padded for softness and stability). Measurement approx. 29.5 x 23 x 8 cm or 11.5 x 9 x 3.5 inches. I made this bag for an acquiantance who happens to be crazy about dots too!
Sunday, November 2
I've reduced the price of these three cute bags! If you buy them via my shop I'll adjust the price for you. Anyway, take a look what's on offer: Punky Aqua NOW ONLY Euro 11.10 (US$ 15.00) Sorry, Punky Pink SOLD already Orange Dots Mini Bag NOW ONLY Euro 9.50 (US$ 12.10) Make up Bag with Appliqué NOW ONLY Euro 7.00 (US$ 8.90)
Saturday, November 1
I received a bunch of fabrics I ordered yesterday. I was waiting especially for 'Damask Rose', which I had used before to make a make up bag and which is very popular. The fabrics by Amy Butler are just gorgeous! Can't wait to get sewing... Here are two of the fabrics I ordered. All in the 'pink' family. I also received a toning, solid pink medium-weight cotton and a playful pink/green fabric. Plus some cute ribbons and a tiny porcelain button shaped like a rose. Delightful! Happy Weekend!
Wednesday, October 29
If you're a romantic gal (like I am)...then this little make up bag is perfect for you! Made from light green decorator weight fabric appliquéd with a beautiful 'English rose motif' - cut from my personal collection of vintage fabrics! I have embellished the motif with iridescent flower-shaped paillettes and genuine SWAROVSKI crystal beads. It's lined with a medium-weight cotton in creamy ivory. Lightly padded for softness. Size approx. 16 x 14 x 7 cm or 6.5 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches. This unique one-of-a-kine bag is available in my shop here.
Tuesday, October 28
I was thinking back to when my love of fabric took hold, and it must have been when I was about 4 or 5 years old. The fabric I fell in love with was actually this dress my mom bought. I remember it was a 70's style knee-length, V-neck dress in teal blue, tied at the waist with a fabric belt. The most amazing thing about this dress was that it was printed all over with tiny motorcycles !! You had to really look closely to recognize the motorcycle print - viewed from afar the dress just looked like it had a random black/blue/red pattern. It was really funny, and I adored that dress. Too bad my mom didn't keep it. With a couple alterations it would have made a wonderful vintage dress for me! I have never seen this fabric anywhere since. I wish I could find a photo somewhere... Anyway, that's when it all started. I kept a big box under my bed where I put all my fabric swatches - cut from old cushions, scarves, curtains, tablecloths, aprons, handkerchiefs - anything that had an interesting print, especially roses. Later, when I was about 8, I sewed my first project - by hand. We didn't have a sewing machine in those days. I didn't have a pattern, it was just something I thought up - I made a tiny quilt for my doll's wicker pram! I even sewed on a bit of lace I found in a tin (actually an old Danish Butter Cookies tin), where my mom kept odds and ends and I made tiny roses out of pink satin ribbon. I was really satisfied when it was done. After high-school I wanted to become a fashion designer, and I started a few semesters, but due to circumstances at the time I had to quit and went to business college instead. I did end up working in the textile business though, travelling all over the world! And then, when I moved to the country with my hubby a couple of years ago, I decided to start all over. So I set up a small translating/tutoring business and in my spare time I sew as much as possible. I like designing new bag shapes - some of them work, some don't - but that's okay, because it's the creative process that I enjoy. And yes, I still have a box of fabric...several, in fact ☺
Saturday, October 25
Slightly larger make up bag to show off this gorgeous fabric! Bright pink peonies on an ivory background with pale green dots. This fabric really makes a statement. The lining has a scallop pattern in matching pale green on ivory. Front pocket handy for keeping combs, nail files or hairclips! Measures approx. 16 x 14 x 7.5 cm or 6.5 x 5.5 x 3 inches. This unique bag is available in my online shop. Check it out here.
My mom ordered a new pair of eye glasses recently, and when she went to pick them up she received this tacky plastic eye glass case. So I decided to design one for my mom. This fabric eye glass case is made with my popular mini dots fabric - in aqua - with a contrasting fabric inside. It is padded with high-volume interfacing to make it nice and soft and squishy! I sewed on a little vintage button in iridescent rose.
Thursday, October 23
Minibag with tiny blue strawberries and hearts. This print is cute and playful! I lined the bag with a fun matching blue polka dot. A tiny heart embellishes the front. As always this bag is softly padded. Measures approx. 19.5 x 10 cm or 8 x 4 inches.