Sunday, May 24, 2009

I got to meet Amy Butler!

Ok it is horrendous that I have not blogged since May 5th. I guess two in a row just wiped me out or something. Actually, this month has been a whirlwind of activity and practically none of it involved sewing. Business trips to Texas (8 planes in 5 days, whew!), so busy at work I barely check my work email, spring cleaning and planting, etc etc. I did make two bags so far, both new designs! I only have pictures of one of them. Currently still looking for a name though, I'm open to suggestions!

What do you think of this cute summer handbag? The straps are long enough to go over your shoulder, and it is so functional with a zipper pocket and slide pockets on the inside and a zipper pocket on the outside! This is a first for me, and it has been a highly requested feature so I think it will go over well! This Jessica Jones fabric is so amazing! Definitely one of my favorite prints, especially in these fun colors.

One of the other reasons I lost some sewing time is I got to attend Quilt Market! It was so great, I found a lot of supplies that I can get wholesale. Sewing machine needles, zippers, and even duck cloth! Since I'm so smalltime, I can't buy all of my duck cloth wholesale or else I'd end up with no money and a ton of fabric, but I did get a bolt of black. If more colors are as highly requested that perhaps I could order more!

And the best part about Quilt Market was...I got to meet Amy Butler!!! She's so nice, there were a lot of people coming up to her and she chatted with everyone. She even autographed my brochure! This summer she has another new line coming out called Love, and it includes quilting and home decor weight fabric. I didn't get to see any of the designs, but I'm very excited! This must be what people feel like when they meet celebrities.

That's my exciting news for now. The other bag I made is a travel bag and it turned out too small so there is still some work that needs to be done on that. Hopefully more new designs are coming soon! I have some orders to fill for the next week or so. But for now, I'm off to a barbecue. Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Crafting Food

Blogging two days in a row? Why, that's unheard of! However, I felt inspired after reading this article on today.

The article is about the cost effectiveness of making your own staple foods vs. buying them from the store. It has some really interesting results. I know one way to save money and eat healthier is to grow your own vegetables. It does take time and effort for sure, but it's so rewarding to pick a tomato from your garden and slice it up to put on a sandwich, or make your own salsa. There is some initial investment, maybe in some gardening equipment like a hoe and a trowel, good soil if yours is eh, and a little fertilizer. And of course seeds!

I've found that the amount of time per day isn't much. Maybe if it's dry set up the sprinkler for an hour or two, if your plants are growing slow hoe in some fertilizer, and of course it will take some time to pick all the delicious veggies you grow! Here are some tips if you're new to gardening.

However, if you grow enough, you might even have enough to last through fall and winter, or longer if you or someone you know has canning equipment. That equals months of not purchasing produce from the grocery store, all for minimal capital investment! Another benefit goes to the environment. Think of all the pesticides that are not being used, fossil fuel that isn't being wasted on transporting produce halfway across the world, and soil that isn't being depleted of its nutrients by growing the same crops year after year.

I grew up around homemade and homegrown foods, well somewhat anyways. Particularly from my paternal grandmother, who is the most frugal person I know, and so she grows most of her own food. Green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, corn, cabbage, and green and hot peppers all come from her garden every year and are either eaten fresh or canned. She used to have an apple tree too, and so homemade applesauce and apple pies were our favorite late summer treats. It died a few years ago (RIP apple tree), but last October we picked apples from a local orchard, and I made a pie! Not to brag, but it was the most delicious pie EVER. I highly encourage homemade pie making, and if anyone asks I could provide a recipe!

I have many fond memories of rolling out pie dough, stringing beans, and shucking corn fresh off the stalk for dinner that evening. I encourage everyone to start their own garden this summer, even if it's just a couple tomato plants, to help in these tough economic times and also promote the handmade lifestyle (which also applies to food!). If you have kids it will be great to use as a teaching tool and a fun activity to share with them, and maybe the older ones can even take a little responsibility for some of the plants.

All of this gardening is done in her backyard in the city too, so you don't have to live on a farm to enjoy homegrown food! Plant a garden and craft your own food with your family this summer!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm all a-Twitter!

I've officially joined Twitter! It seems like it is easy and fast to update, so I hope I will keep up with this more than I have my blog. *feels guilty* Check it out at!

In bag news, I just have one more custom order to make and then I'm onto new stuff! I've slowed down my production a little bit in order to spend some more time with family and keep my sanity. I think I had promised new bags by the end of last week and that didn't work out. I definitely promise them this week though!

I'm going to be out of town for work next Sun/Mon and Weds/Thurs and I need a new travel bag to double as a carry-on, so I will definitely be making the prototype by the end of the week! It will be a large zippered tote with a cool rounded bottom that I tried to do on a purse once (before I got good at making purses!) and I thought I'd give it another try. There are going to be some outside zippered pockets and cool stitching details. The prototype will be a bright turquoise canvas with Amy Butler's Ripple Stripe in Green as the lining. I haven't decided if I'm doing accents on the exterior with the lining fabric.The turquoise canvas is the fourth from the top. Isn't it great! These canvases are some of the new colors I'll be using for messenger bags and also for new summer styles. I love these bright colors, they make me think of the beach! Photos of the prototype will definitely be up by the weekend, keep an eye out!