Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So many unfinished projects in the shop right now...I feel bad for those 10 half sewn bags. They just get pushed aside when new ideas and custom orders come in. Please hang on just a few days longer, you will be completed soon I promise!

What was preventing me from working on those bags? Two awesome but intense messenger bags I shipped out yesterday, a Chelsea tote (which will be wrapped up tonight) and a new design, the Sunbury Messenger! I am VERY excited for the Sunbury, I posted it in the shop last night and I think it's already had quite a few views! I can't wait to create more in different colors/fabrics. Doesn't it remind you of spring?

And this lining makes me think of leaves beginning to fill out the bare branches of winter for some reason, even though it's not trees or leaves. Must be the color.

The design is very functional as well, which is the purpose of a bag right? Messengers are great for all seasons really, but in the winter the strap often gets caught up in your hood so spring is a better time to carry one I think. I love having a flap to close my bag because there's less to fumble with when you're in a hurry but it still keeps your stuff inside, and I put a little swivel hook/D-ring combo on there as a latch too. The strap also shortens enough for it to be worn as a purse too, which is very convenient. And of course, I included a zipper pocket inside.

I can't wait to make more of these. The green fabric I used is a very nice woven upholstery fabric in dark green, and I also have some of the same fabric in a deep red. I think I will pair it with either light grey duck cloth or golden yellow canvas...what do you think? Sophisticated red/grey or Gryffindor support with red/gold?

Once the messenger bags have arrived at their destinations, I will post pics! They are actually both diaper bags. One has a matching laptop sleeve and padded strap cover (I will now be offering both of those as optional accessories, I loved them so much!) and the other I called the Bloomsbury Diaper Bag X-treme because it's several inches bigger on all sides and has tons of additional pockets, a swivel hook inside for your keys, and purse feet! I willl also be upgrading the standard diaper bag to include some of those options as well. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fun Friday Links

I've decided to start doing some sort of link round-up on Fridays. Hopefully I can keep up and post every week! The links I choose might be news that I found interesting, crafty projects from around the interwebs, random humor or anything else I decide to put on here!

1. Why monkeys freak me out.

2. Beautiful pendant jewelry from RoughEdges on Etsy. I love pendants! They can come in such different styles that you'll always have one to match your outfit or mood. She has a buy 3 get 1 free sale going on right now too! But can I pick just four?

3. So this is why I can't get to work on time!

4. Craftster user Urban Threads posted this beautiful embroidered pillow! I love the birdcage deisgn and am extremely jealous of her embroidery skills. I didn't even notice at first but one of the birds is singing!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ok let's recap

So now we are (over) a month and a half into 2009. Where do I stand with my goals? Where do you stand with yours? I'll go first.

1. Be healthier. Well I have to say I have exercised more frequently than in '08 but it's still not where I want to be. I think I've actually gained weight. This is mostly due to a batch of fudge that I made and finished off in record time. We work out together now, which makes it more fun too. We did succeed in abstaining from fast food during all of January so we celebrated Feb 1st by eating McDonald's. It wasn't very good actually, I think the habit has been broken!

2. Quit biting my nails. No progress on this yet, although I haven't been trying. In fact I think I've been doing worse lately. Maybe I should try some of that horrible tasting polish you can buy?

3. Using my day planner. Yay a goal I can say I've actually been working towards! I use it both to track the things I accomplish at work and things for londonpurple like purse parties, etc. Sometimes I do get behind and have to go back and fill in, which it can be tough to remember, but overall I'm doing pretty well!

4. Guest room --> Office. Unfortunately both areas are even worse than before. My method of transforming the guest room so far has just involved dumping everything on the chair or desk. There's boxes, shipping labels and tissue paper piled high on every available surface. I'd love to get this one done soon though.

5. >30 bag inventory. Currently there are 20 bags in my shop, I think the highest I've gotten so far is 23 or 24. I do have 5 bags in progress that got pushed aside when custom orders came in, and a couple prototypes in the works. Hopefully I can finish up the custom ones this week and get back to work. I'm also trying to stock for 2 purse parties and a craft fair in March (more to come on this...).

6. Shortening TAT for custom orders. I think I've gotten better on this but I've still got quite a bit of room for improvement! My BazBiz orders took a loooong time. Currently I've got 2 diaper bags and 1 Chelsea to work on. The first diaper bag really should have been done already but with Valentine's I didn't get much done over the weekend and I am a bit short on supplies, which halted progress last night. Still waiting on fabrics for the other 2 bags actually, hopefully they'll be waiting when I get home tonight! A quick trip to J0-Ann's is in order for this evening (is that even possible?) and then I can get to work.

Overall not a good place to be. Perhaps I should turn these into S.M.A.R.T. goals to help me get motivated?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chelsea Handbag Revamped

Another new design! For some reason I can't stop creating, even though I should finish the bags I have already started sewing for my shop. On Saturday the boyfriend and I were shopping at the mall and I just had to duck into the Coach store. Not that I would ever buy a Coach purse (since I have my own designer handbags!) but I like to keep up on current trends.

This visit encouraged me to make the decision to move into the realm of zippered handbags. It's not really that they're any harder since I do zippers on all my bags, but they take more time and it's easier to have 50 snap sets on hand than 50 zippers in different sizes and colors. But, it's a coveted feature that has been requested many times so I thought it was time to offer something where the zipper comes standard.

Now that you know the background, onto the new bag! This is just a prototype, so this particular bag is not for sale. Once I perfect it, it will definitely be going into production though! I am reincarnating the Chelsea Handbag with this new look. Although the old version sold, I wasn't very happy with it. I like the new one much better! The general structure is based on this bag that I fell in love with at the store.

I really enjoyed the seaming detail on the front and also the shape. It has a deep square bottom that flattens out at the top because of the zipper. And doesn't this Jessica Jones fabric look great on a bag this shape? I also like the idea of framing my logo in a plain complimentary fabric, it really stands out now. It totally came about accidentally too because I had made a center mark in pen (oops!) and needed to cover it up!
The lining is Purple Stars by Prints Charming, from their Two Young Street collection. It is the softest fabric I have ever touched in my entire life! They must use very high quality cotton. I actually found myself running my hand over it while digging for my keys yesterday (even with a pocket especially for them I still just toss them in!) before I realized what I was doing.

I can't decide if it's a small or large handbag. I think Goldilocks would say it's just right. My stuff fills it up nicely but there's not a lot of extra room. The measurements are:

15.5" wide at the top, 12" wide at the bottom.
10" tall
4" deep
16" straps

The straps are actually too short to put over my shoulder, so it's just a handbag. The Prototype II that is currently under construction has longer straps. Pictures of the new one will be posted soon! It's made out of the best imitation leather I've ever seen. Hopefully this item will appear in my shop soon!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Ok so I really can no longer justify buying new clothes and accessories, especially frivolous ones. Why? I work in a chemical plant. I wear jeans and a t-shirt to work then change into a uniform. Or, I just wear my casual clothes to work and pray they don't get dirty. So I own a pair of black dress pants, grey dress pants, short black heels and high black heels just in case I have to go on a business trip and it's worked just fine for almost 2 years.

Well then I went to Target and I saw these shoes:

Photo courtesy of

They're pink! And sooo pretty. I agonized over them for several minutes while the boyfriend gave me impatient looks and remarked about how I would never wear them because I never wear heels. Finally I put them back and went over to a different shoe aisle (by the way we did not go to the store to buy shoes). I picked out a sensible yet sexy pair of pointy black heels because my high ones are no longer in style and they are scuffed (which is true) and my short ones are too short for all of my dress pants. These are real justifications! :)

So then I put both pairs in the cart, just in case I wanted the pink ones after all, and of course I did so I left Target with two new pairs of heels! Since it was so warm on Sunday, I decided to wear them for the rest of the day. They hurt my feet and looked a little strange with my Columbia ski jacket, but I'm still happy that I bought them!

Although it's February I'm adding a new resolution to the list: wear my new pink heels so the boyfriend has no reason to gloat.