59 minutes ago
Saturday, January 31
One week in hospital and already I'm lagging behind in everything...emails, paper work, school stuff, orders. Help! I finally tackled the most pressing emails this morning. Glad that's done. Meanwhile, I was approached by Stacy of Us Trendy, a new site dedicated to promote up-and-coming designers/artists, to register and upload my work, which will then be featured on their frontpage! Members get to vote on other member's portfolios, and the items with the most stars/votes are then available for sale in the Us Trendy Shop. Today's inspiration...Tomorrow's trend - that's their slogan. The team also provide help in funding for your production processes and connect designers and artists to buyers and retailers. If you're looking to promote your work, this site is worth checking out!
Thursday, January 29
Before you ask - no - I did not make this purse. I've had this purse for ages. I can't remember exactly who gave it to me, or where it's from (maybe Thailand, maybe Philippines), but I do know it's made from pineapple fiber!!! Would you have guessed? It is so delicate, and I just love the details, such as the mother-of-pearl button and the little woven loop at the side. Look at the amazing intricate embroidery! This was the purse I carried on my wedding day, and people would question me and comment on it, because it is so unique. At least I haven't seen anything like it here in Europe. I keep it stored in a soft cloth away from heat and humidity, in the hope that these all-natural fibers don't disintegrate!
Monday, January 26
Phew. I've been released from hospital and I'm finally back home. I honestly don't know what happened. One moment I was sitting in a café enjoying a piece of marble cake, the next my hubby had to rush me to hospital with severe dehydration. I admit I had a bit of a headcold since about X'mas, but I never realized I was heading for pneumonia! They put me on a drip for 72 hours and made a bunch of tests. After a couple of days they found a particularly vicious virus that was causing all this. Unfortunately, there's no prevention or a cure. I just have to battle it all on my own. I've lost a lot of weight in the process, which is not good. I look like a stick insect. The doctor said it will take a whole month for me to get well again. I'm not supposed to work...I wonder how I can not work? Meanwhile I've been going through your comments and I feel so overwhelmed and quite tearful reading them...to think that I'm actually missed! Thank you so much for wishing me well and your support and your prayers...gives me a warm feeling all over♥ And even in my absence I've been given awards. I will get round to posting them as soon as I can. Promise. Hubby's been such a brick while I was gone, taking care of everything, relaying your comments, and dropping EC's every now and then, despite his 12 hour shifts. I'd be lost without him. Hubby, I love you. Now for some eye-candy... to make up for having to stare at a grey wall juxtaposed to an ochre door for a whole week. I dedicate these 'hearty' bags to you, my blogging friends! Thanks for being there - it means a lot to me....and if anyone cares to know. The window was fixed in my absence! Yay!
Thursday, January 22
Thursday, January 15
There is a saying in German "Grün ist die Hoffnung", roughly translated as 'hope is green' (the colour green being associated with spring, growth, a new leaf etc). Hope is something that I definitely need right now. Since the beginning of this year I've been searching for an alternative solution to the German postal service who have gone beserk with their international shipping prices! They have increased the charge from Euro 8,- to Euro 12,- for the smallest parcel - the one that I frequently use to ship my make up bags. The Euro/US$ rate stands at 1 = 1.3 at the moment. Someone suggested I should flatten my bags like pancakes and stick them in padded envelopes...That's a definite no-no for me. All my bags are wrapped individually and packaged really nicely without loosing their shape, of which I'm particularly proud. Besides, an envelope thicker than 2 cm already costs Euro 12,-, so flattening the bags would defeat the purpose. I have contacted various courier services, however, since mine is a small business and I only ship sporadically I don't qualify to utilize their service. There is one courier who may work with me, but he only delivers to the EU countries. As more and more people from North America, Canada and Asia make inquiries about my bags I'm getting more and more desperate to find a suitable service. I haven't given up hope of finding one yet. Suggestions most welcome! Oh, and the new window will hopefully arrive next week...at least it has stopped raining.
Wednesday, January 14
Now, I wasn't going to write another post on the window situation - this is, after all, my creative blog - then again, I'm creatively trying to figure out how to stop the rain from splashing straight into our attic! I have read all of your dear comments, which I want to ♥ thank you ♥ all heartily for, but it is Day 3 now and still no repair man! Instead I received a letter from the company this morning letting me know that some time this week someone will call me to make an appointment! An appointment? This is an emergency! It's not about choosing wallpaper... On the bright side: apparently they are going to replace the window free of charge.
Sunday, January 11
My love/hate relationship with the moon. I took this picture yesterday, late afternoon, from my kitchen window. Mesmerizing, isn't it?As I mentioned in my previous post I had trouble getting some longed for rest last night again. This always happens when there is a full moon! I'm so tired that I'm typing this with my eyes half-closed. Apart from the moon, something else kept me awake....I was hearing these crackling noises, and at about 3:00 a.m. an earsplitting bang that really freaked me out! I jumped out of bed and checked the entire house immediately. I was on my own, since hubby was on nightshift. I thought that maybe a pipe had burst, but then I saw what had happened - one of the windows in the roof had shattered. How could this happen? It's a top-brand double-glazed window pane. They're supposed to last forever... So, in the wee hours of the morning I had to sweep up the shards and also vacuum the floor. There were an amazing amount of glass splinters everywhere. I hope I didn't wake the neighbours. When my hubby came home this morning he secured the window with a sheet of plastic and tape. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the snow doesn't melt or worse, it's going to rain. We will have to wait until Monday to call the repair service, hoping that there's a guarantee on the window. I'm going to put my feet up now and do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Hope everyone else has had a good night's sleep!
Saturday, January 10
According to my January statistics on Dawanda (my selling venue here in Germany), this Asian inspired make up bag has received the most views ever! It's been 'pinned' by eleven buyers, so I wonder who the lucky one will be that actually buys it! It's the only one I made. I made it specifically to match the large tote bag with bamboo handles I made in December. Yesterday I received a parcel containing the same type of trim I used on this make up bag, but in a different colour variation: instead of the turquoise blue, the new trim is dark grey with bright pink flowers. This afternoon I will go through my fabric stock to see which will work best with this new trim. I hope I won't fall asleep at my sewing machine, because I didn't sleep a wink last night....I never do when we have a full moon.
Friday, January 9
This handbag is very simple yet elegant. It is made from heather grey/muted moss coloured suede with a contrasting floral stripe down the middle. The suede is stabilized to make the bag stand upright on its own. It is fully lined in dark green on the inside with two suede pockets and closes with a zip. The handles are kept short, so you may carry the bag ladylike over your arm! Embellished with taupe buttons and my signature little gold heart. My hubby declared this bag to be his favourite! When handling/sewing suede keep in mind that you can only iron the reverse side, and only on a silk setting. While sewing, the suede fabric doesn't move smoothly, yet the reverse side is quite slippery, so sew s-l-o-w-l-y. The handles on this bag were particularly tricky to sew, and I had to hold down and gently push the fabric strips along. I was so glad when they were done! Sometimes I wish I had four hands!
Wednesday, January 7
In another blog post I mentioned that I basically live a frugal lifestyle. This doesn't mean that I don't treat myself to a little luxury once in a while, even in times of recession. While other women may go for facials, buy expensive perfume or eat out in classy restaurants, I treat myself by indulging in luxury fabrics! Yes, that's so me! I was lucky enough to have sourced these two gorgeous silky satins in burgundy and champagne for a fraction of the price...to be made into a shift dress and layered camisole respectively. That's what I call looking good and living well on less. Zipporah over at Champagne Living has a whole bunch of great tips and information on how to enhance your life and treat yourself (without breaking the bank). Don't we all just need a little treat once in a while? It makes living so much more fun!
Monday, January 5
Ladies, do you remember your first pyjama party? Oh, the joy of staying up late, watching movies, eating pizza, giggling a lot, and then finally falling asleep at one in the morning... Nowadays, the little girls have much more sophisticated parties; I'm not even sure if they do pyjama parties anymore?! But wouldn't these sleep masks make cute little party favors? Again, I've made them from left-over fabric, and there was just enough left to include a little drawstring pouch to store them in when not in use. I've embellished the pouch with a tiny gold heart for added cuteness! The sleep mask is padded with high-volume interfacing for softness, and I've made sure that the elastic is non-abrasive and fits comfortably, without being too tight. Great for in-flight use too! I wear mine at home when I feel one of my legendary migraine headaches coming on... As an aside, I wasn't able to open my windows this morning, because of the 20 cm layer of snow that had settled there overnight. This is so unusual for this area. Lucky for the kids, school only starts on the 7th - I've already seen them making snowmen!
Friday, January 2
I was so surprised when the doorbell went at 9:00 a.m. I wasn't expecting anyone, least of all the postal service! I was even more surprised when I saw this parcel on my doorstep that was taller than I was. It could only be the velvet fabric I had ordered two weeks earlier. Yippee. The velvet I ordered is a rich, dark chocolate brown...Cindy, the grass can be greener, you'll love this one! It was on sale, so I ordered quite a lot of it. The company I ordered it from did the right thing by rolling the fabric onto a cardboard tube with the right side facing in. This is really important for velvet, because if it had been folded up like cotton, you'd have a really difficult time getting the creases out. You cannot iron velvet. It has to be professionally steamed to remove the creases. So keep this in mind if you have some velvet fabric and need to store it over a longer time.Don't fold it!
Thursday, January 1
School starts here on 7th January, which means I will be occupied the next couple of days preparing and getting ready for my role as tutor/agony aunt. As every year I will be hearing a lot of amusing holiday stories; there will be happy faces from those whose parents have indulged their every whim, and long faces from the ones who didn't receive the latest cell phone model they had hoped for. I presume I'm going to be seeing more long faces, as even the more well-off parents will have undoubtedly tightened their spending budget! I will also be working on setting up my own website. I admit, I am not proficient in HTML, but I'm up for the challenge! Who knows? Some of my students can probably help me out here! The image shows a little coin purse I made from a bright red polka dot fabric. (Sorry, for those of you who are nursing hangovers today - this pattern not being easy on the eye! haha) The flap closes with a hand-painted wooden button. You can click to enlarge if you want to see a close up of that button! Have a great New Year's day!