Sunday, February 28

The 'lady in red' fashion bag

You may have noticed that I try to keep my product photos light and bright on my blog, but try as I might this new bag just wouldn't look good with a white background - which is strange, because it worked for the red clutch I made a while ago. Hm.
In the end I just threw a piece of black cloth over a chair and took this photo. The colour of the main fabric is now much more true to what it looks like rather than the orange-y it came out before. Apart from the background and lighting, I find it is quite difficult to photograph bigger bags. I'd prefer to do it outside, but it's been raining for days!

Friday, February 26

Featured twice!

I spotted two of my items in the new Dawanda Hot Trends and Themes.

My sleep mask (the last one actually) is featured in New Romantics...

...and my zippered pouch in the top row, second from left is featured in Beautiful Birdies (frankly, I can't believe it hasn't sold yet!)

Happy Friday, the weekend is near :)

Tuesday, February 23

Beautiful handmade textile and fiber art

There are two enormously successful European designer-artists that I really admire. Today I'd like to share their work with you. Perhaps you have not come across them before.
Danish self-taught handbag designer Hanne Sund creates whimsical, richly embroidered bags with lots of fun little details that catch the eye. Crystals and semi-precious gemstones are often incorporated in the bag handles. Her bags have a magical quality that I haven't seen elsewhere before. Here's an example:

The other woman I admire is German fiber artist Ulrike Ay. Also self-taught, she creates incredibly life-like felted flowers, decoration and accessories from high-grade wool and silks. Her work speaks for itself.

It's really nice to see people in the handmade business make it to the top and stay there.  I find this inspiring and it keeps me motivated!

Saturday, February 20


The snow's gone but that doesn't mean the weather has improved! More rain is forecast for this weekend, so this is the best shot I could get in the sliver of light that was available to me this morning.

This blue leafy print is simply gorgeous. I had to have it. The  fabric had been lying around for a couple of months, until I decided to use it for this satchel type shoulder bag I designed. I love the abstract placement of the leaves and the soft hues of blue and beige offset with black on a cream background. The whole bag is made from decorator weight fabric. There are two fully lined pockets underneath the flap and one mobile phone pocket at the side, which closes with velcro. It's fully lined with one interior zip pocket. The bag closes with a snap bolt. It's very roomy and perfect as an everyday bag!

This is a one-off, but I will be making similar bags for my website including a range for men. Obviously these will be larger and made from solids in black, khaki and dark grey with contrasting linings featuring block stripes, checks and manly motifs ;-) and lots of clever interior pockets, pen holders etc. I have recruited my husband to be my trusty advisor and bag model :)

I have two new bag styles in the works and hope I'll finish them by next week. Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend! Stay warm if you're in a cold region, and send me some sunshine if you're in the tropics :)

Wednesday, February 17

Pricing a handmade bag

I was going to post a photo of a new shoulder bag, but due to the lack of sunlight I couldn't get a  good enough shot. I'm sick of the white stuff, aren't you?
Meanwhile I've been dealing with a sensitive issue -- how to price a handmade bag. My new line of fashion bags are all one-offs. There are a lot of clever details on these bags inside and out and this should obviously be reflected in the price. It's difficult for me to estimate my hourly rate, since I couldn't possibly compare it to the work I used to do out in the corporate world. My husband thinks I'm undervalueing my own efforts, and I do agree that my profit margin for Dunibagz items is pretty small. Well, I've put that down as a learning experience, and I confess that I was a little overwhelmed with the masses of similar items that I was competing against (and which cost less too). I think having my own website is a step in the right direction. Yeah, it's coming along :) There's a certain giddy excitement that comes with creating a whole new collection. I also don't feel so much pressure to churn out one bag after the other in order to remain visible (on the new items page) day after day. Where's the joy in that? Not that I actually did churn them out.
I have also been studying the bag categories on both Etsy and Dawanda and to my great disappointment I've come across quite a number of shops that sell perfect, cookie-cutter handmade bags. Sure, handmade by an assembly line in Bulgaria or Vietnam! Enormous genuine leather bags, each one identical, that sell for less than 100 Euro? Come on. A real handmade bag exudes the artisan's touch. It has personality and each handmade bag - although of impeccable craftsmanship -  is never exactly the same. That is what makes a handmade product personal, charming and unique. And what I hope my future customers will fully appreciate.

Sunday, February 14

Clutch in carmine red

This elegant clutch is made from decorator-weight cotton damask in carmine red. It closes with a zipper, and in addition there is a magnetic snap button underneath the flap. The finishing touch: a beaded ball charm dangling from the zipper-pull.

*This is my entry to Little Andalucia's link party theme RED


Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10

Easy-peasy Valentine's project

Why not showcase that special Valentine's card by mounting it on a frame? White canvas stretcher frames can be easily found in a variety of sizes in craft stores. All you need to do is cover it with an approriate amount of fabric and use a staple-gun to attach it to the back of the frame. You might need a second pair of hands for this, so that the fabric is nice and taut. Using a zig-zag stitch sew a trim around the card, then stick it down with some fabric glue. Finished!

Saturday, February 6

Special Feature ~ DenimDarling

Today I'd like to introduce a very dear friend of mine, Yvi, who is one of the most creative people I know! Yvi already started crafting as a little girl making clothes for her Barbie dolls. These days she knits, crochets, does cross-stitch, sews, beads and very much enjoys working with felt. Last time we spoke she told me that one of the most relaxing activities was spinning yarn!
Since she lives in Cologne we don't get to see each other that often, but when we do there's always a fun project she's working on. She knits adorable baby hats delighting many a young mother, and currently she's working on sewing baby-name-mobiles.
Check out the cute beaded koala bear she's given me and the beautiful beaded bracelet below:

Recently I've coerced gently persuaded Yvi to open her own online shop on Dawanda. It's called DenimDarling. and is brand new! As the name suggests she will be selling a variety of denim skirts, which she fashions from pairs of jeans trousers, decorative jeans-flower brooches and other denim accessories. I asked her who came up with the catchy shop name. She said it was a collaboration between her and her boyfriend who also designed and created the shop-banner. She's only just started and is currently stocking her new shop. Do stop by and say hello if you can spare a minute. For my part I wish her much success, as I know Yvi is one very talented woman!

Happy weekend!