Saturday, August 29

Cafetière Cozy

One of the things my husband and I enjoy very much is reading - preferably on our comfy sofa, with a nice hot beverage, and some soft music playing in the background. Pure bliss. We can spend hours like this, in comfortable silence, totally absorbed in our respective books...

It's not unusual that our tea or coffee turns cold in the meantime! I decided to make a cozy to fit around the cafetière - a small, single one, since only hubs drinks coffee - in a cheerful kitty print. I simply measured the height required and the circumference and added seam allowances. It is very easy to make and closes with velcro at each tab end.

Wishing everyone a relaxing weekend!


Monday, August 24

Handy little zip pouch

Here's a variation on my standard zip pouch. These are fun to make, and the square shape is perfect for embellishments. I like the mint/pink/black colour-combination. The main fabric features tiny stars and dots, and I appliquéd a felt flower badge on the front. It measures approx. 18 cm (7 inches) square, with the bottom corners boxed in to make it stand upright on it's own.

Saturday, August 22

Hello, my name is Sumi

May I introduce myself? I'm called Sumi, and the humans say I'm a small, but elegant cat with very good manners. Plus I'm smart. I overheard the humans talking about me recently. Something about me moving all the way from one end of Germany to the other end! I don't mind so much, because I know Duni will be there waiting for me. I know she loves me just as much as my mommy does! And there's a nice terrace to sunbathe on, lots of room to play, and a nice garden too! So, what's the hitch? Well, looks like I'm going to have to share my new home with another cat! I asked Duni to send my some photos, so that I could see what my future roomie looks like. His name is Sammy. He's a mancat. Personally, I prefer active, sporty types... Sammy, lazing about... Sammy, drinking water straight from the tap So, what do you think? Are we going to be friends? Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 21

This is weird...

Er...I just published a new post, which I had in my draft list, but instead of showing up on top it's now two posts below. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Wednesday, August 19

Hi, I'm back!

Oh my goodness! I can't believe I've been away from my blog this long?! Time to catch up :) Now that all my house guests and friends have gone I'm rather exhausted. We've been out and about the last couple days, and my feet are killing me. It was nice having one of my dearest girlfriends stay over and talk 'shop'. She's an accomplished seamstress, and we had a nice day out choosing fabrics for our respective next project. Last week I managed to slip away from my guests and into the doctor's office. I finally got a result, which somehow is a relief, although the result is not good. Nevertheless, at least I know I haven't got anything life-threatening. They have put me on cortisone 'therapy', and I will need to go for regular check-ups and blood tests every six weeks from now on. So far I can report that the pain in my arms and legs is much less. Yay! We spent my birthday in a nice restaurant and later had delicious Swedish apple cake. Yum. I got such nice gifts too. My brother knows I'm a huge Crate & Barrel fan, and he sent me this huge box containing wonderful things from that store. Hey - what are brothers for, right? I got the medium sized walnut frame This beautiful leaf-shaped soap dish, plus two white-tea scented vegetable soaps and this platter made from organic wood From my mom I received essential oils (I need these constantly, and very convenient for me - my mom used to be an aromatherapist). From my husband I got a very special and personal gift, which was sooooo sweet ♥ So...I'm a year older. Any wiser you might ask? Nope. Just a few more grey hairs and for some reason I keep having to pluck my eyebrows more often these days! I look forward to getting back into my usual routine, and I'll be visiting all of my bloggy friends shortly. Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, August 15

Country Western Theme at Dawanda

Every other month or so, Dawanda, my online selling venue, comes up with a new 'hot trend and theme'. The newest theme revolves around all things country/western. I was browsing idly, and to my surprise my star-spangled denim wristlet was chosen to be featured! That's my wristlet in the middle row, far right. I'm always stunned when the Dawanda team chooses an item from my shop, because there are thousands of shops specializing in bags out there...! I'm currently working on a new product for my shop. It's got nothing to do with make-up bags and purses as such, but then again, the subtitle of my shop does say .....and more! I'm also working on an envelope clutch. I always seem to be doing two things at once! I think I must train myself to concentrate on one thing at a time - I sliced my finger with the rotary cutter. Ouch! It's only a tiny cut, but my...does it bleed. Until next time,

Monday, August 10

Rose & Lavender Garden

I'm sure I mentioned this somewhere before - I live very close to the Dutch border. It only takes 20 minutes by car and we're in the nearest Dutch town called Winterswijk. A little further on is the quaint book town Bredevoort It always seems there's a lot more going on in the towns in The Netherlands than where I live...although some would say living smack in the middle of a Nature Reserve is exciting enough. Well, for bird-watchers anyway :) But the place I most love to visit, especially in summertime is the Rose and Lavender Garden. They are open April through October, and since last year there is a beautiful little gift shop selling rose-patterned china, soaps, candles, liqeurs and homemade jams. The owner also does gorgeous floral arrangements upon request. And there are all sorts of roses available for purchase. Here you see a few images taken from their website.

During the summer, there is a lovely terrace to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a delicious selection of homemade cakes. We're not going to miss the special event on Sunday 16th "Art, Kitsch & Cooking". There will be a variety of art to admire, and local sculptors show and demonstrate their work, plus lots of food to sample...can't imagine a better way to enjoy a Sunday! We're so lucky that the sun has been out for the last three days - perfect for sight-seeing! Have a great weekend,

Busy weeks ahead!

The next two weeks are going to be very busy at our house with friends and family visiting from near and far. It's been quite some time since I've seen them all, and I'm really excited! Whenever guests stay over I like to make their visit as pleasant and comfortable as possible, especially if they have come a long way: My welcome pack is a special touch that is always well received and appreciated. There's a sweet dreams mini pillow filled with dried lavender, a sleep mask (if they don't already own one), a mini guide and street map, and a card with emergency numbers on. And if they are really, really good they might even get a tissue pouch :)
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good weather, because some sight-seeing trips are, forgive me, but I won't be blogging much, and only checking in with you sporadically. Plus I have a custom order bag to finish; my birthday's coming up, and somewhere in between all that I'll have to fit in a visit to my doctor! We're expecting a furry visitor too :) So, as you can see, busy all around! Hope to be back to regular posting soon! Take care everybody!

Sunday, August 9

My Market Bag

Hello there! Well here it finished market bag from the Sandi Henderson Bag pattern, except mine is altered slightly. Also, I noticed the straps are a little long for me (at 5 foot 2). I should have shortened the straps by about 3 inches. I guess I will stick to my own designs :) My husband had to snap this picture really quickly, so that I could get back inside and put my cardigan on. It's a cool and rainy Sunday today... take care, everybody till next time!

Friday, August 7

Don't miss - Nfall2rt Design Studio Giveaway!

My friend Nancy over at Nfall2rt * design studio is having a fabulous giveaway starting today! I'm a regular over at her design blog, and let me tell you, Nancy is one talented lady - she knits, draws, writes, and creates these gorgeous cards and envelopes! Here's a sample of the goodies you can win: Isn't that birdie card adorable? Don't miss this giveaway! Head on over to Nancy's blog and while you're there check out her shop, The Paper House!

Sandi Henderson Market Bag

Would you believe this is the first bag pattern I have ever bought? Reason being that I design/construct all of my bags, because I truly enjoy this part the most! The sewing bit is just an afterthought... But in this case I just couldn't resist, especially since I wanted to use up the vintage cherry fabric (Henderson) I bought too much of :) This is a new pattern. There are actually two bag styles to choose from. The 'Straight Market Bag', suitable for beginners, and the 'Gathered Market Bag'. I adjusted the pattern to make a pleated market bag for a more tailored look, because to my eye the gathers were looking a bit wonky. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but there seems to be one step missing in the instructions. So, if you've bought this pattern and you're wondering what to do with those two left-over pieces of canvas - attach them to your bag lining pieces before sewing them together! The bag I'm working on is coming along nicely. Pictures of the finished bag to follow shortly...

Wednesday, August 5

Material Wealth

I buy a lot of books. Amazon ought to give me a special rebate :) The most expensive book I remember buying (in a bookshop - no such thing as online buying at that time) was a so-called 'coffee table' book. I scrimped and saved for months before I was able to afford it. Material Wealth is a 200 page illustrated tome of innovative fabric design compiled by renowned textile designer, author, scholar and former weaver Jack Lenor Larsen. I treasure this book. Mine is so well-thumbed it isn't fit for the coffee table anymore :) This book has taught me all about contemporary textile design and the various fabric applications. Fabric design from all corners of the world are examined and explained. The colour photographs really come alive in this book. This book has helped me understand design developments of the last few decades, as well as 'training' my eye for my own creations! By the way, it's still expensive, retailing at approx. US$125,- /100,- Euro.

Monday, August 3

More changes at Dawanda

The team at Dawanda have been busy restructuring the site, and commencing August 5th (this Wednesday) will be introducing a new selling category: Vintage

I have quite a number of vintage clothes, so this is definitely something I'll be looking into. I'm going to wait and see how buyers respond first. In Germany, the term 'vintage' is not that well-known, and many buyers don't speak English. It's difficult to convey the meaning, without potential buyers thinking you just want to get rid of 'old' junk! I also own some vintage jewelry; obviously I won't be selling any of that. It's just too precious and I'm too sentimental about it. This brooch is one of my favourites. In addition there will also be a new function that lets me specify the shipping costs for each country individually. And about time too! I always thought it was a bit silly to lump all countries together as 'international', because the pricing varies greatly! The downside is that shipping still remains quite high, especially to USA/Canada and Asia. Other good news is that Dawanda is finally taking action against sellers who continue to list obviously mass-produced items - and selling them successfully I might add, because unfortunately there are plenty of buyers who don't care as long as it's cheap!