Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Farewell 2010 from SimJaTa

So, that was 2010 - now its almost over. What a year! It began for me with looming redundancy and the choice of either doing nothing or trying to sort myself out into a 'little business' whilst looking for work. Ended with my 'little business' doing better than I thought, and forget looking for other work. Ok, its tough at times more hours than I thought a day actually had, but no boss to answer too and the rest of the problems that came with it.
These days I start my day with a clean slate of "what shall I create today" and I am loving it.
Take today for instance... first time out in my car for weeks, so a lovely dog walk (see photo of OH with dogs) back home and did some new fabric ordering that was fun, then visit to parents, afternoon doing little else but watching Dr Zhivago and searching for a new washing machine on-line. Yes, I know must do some actual work tomorrow.
Not being able to wait for the new year I have launched my new line of Messenger Bags by "Bags of Swank by SimJaTa", which are a sturdy black canvas with fun fabrics - and more on their way.
As the years go 2010 has certainly been one of the better ones, and I am looking forward to 2011 being better still.

So, that just leaves me to wish everyone a very happy and successful New year and see you in 2011.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa ~

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

All this snow in Southport? Unheard of!

Well, I went out on Friday evening for my annual Christmas visit to my friend, and had to walk home with arctic survival gear and snow chains. Not in my lifetime has there been this much snow here in Southport. I'm told by the neighbours and parents not since 1963, and even then it wasnt as cold as it is now, Crosby registered the temperature at -17 last night!!!
The snow you see in the pictures was from Saturday's walkies, aside from the picture of the park I took this morning when I went out early to view the eclipse, as you can see there was only cloud.
It is now Tuesday evening and we still have the same snow, only difference is some of it is packed down now, but due to the temperatures its just not shifting. We even have icicles hanging from the roof over a foot long!
My car is but a frozen cube, now surrounded in 2 foot of frozen ice - so doing an awful lot of walking with the dogs needing to go out and various other chores.

Even work has come to a bit of a standstill as my craft room has no heating and its been far too cold to spend over a couple of hours in there. Bags of Swank by SimJaTa has been trying to design some new bags for after Christmas, but not much going on really as its simply too cold in there.
Happy to report all my parcels got to their destination before Christmas, even the bags I sent off to Germany arrived at weekend, so thats good news.
So, thats it now till next week as last post went today, although I had already stated in my shops from last Friday no guarenteed post after that due to the weather.

Now left hoping there is no more snow, as my parents are getting very upset they wont be able to make the family meal on the day, its very important to them, and Dad wont drive in this weather. Providing there is no more snow and the OH makes work and back for the next 3 days we can collect them.

Hope everyone is warm and safe, and has a super Christmas.

Look forward to 2011 with lots of new ideas, and new venue's planned for Bags of Swank by SimJaTa.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Alfie's Christmas Party

The highlight of the Christmas Calender is, the Dog Club Christmas Party. Here you see our Alfie, with his girlfriend Skye having both dressed up for the occasion.
Fun night with party games and spot prizes, all for the dogs of course.

Seen also, is some daft woman trying to balance a large ball on a tiny spoon whilst walking the dog - yes, that was me. I did drop it a few times but Alfie retrieved it and gave it back, totally bemused by the whole thing.

Such a social animal that I am (NOT) tonight is my Christmas visit to my friend for a catch up and a few drinkies. We have no snow here as yet, but if it does I will be walking there and back, complete with snow chains so no chance of falling.

Its great to have a bit of a rest, seems the on-line sales are slowing down due to the weather, my last one was yesterday. My shops are still open and I will post out on the same day, but of course Royal Mail cannot now guarentee deliveries for Christmas, such a shame with all the wonderful goodies on sale at Folksy, and every chance the goods will get through, maybe I should have invented the pdf I.O.U in a pretty design? with "Your SimJaTa gift is on its way to you", perhaps look into that next year LOL.
Kept busy today finishing off my daughters Tote Bag in Goth design, then tomorrow one more Elephant bag to do for my Auntie and thats my gifts all finished. Then time to start on some new designs for Bags of Swank by SimJaTa for the new year, though really I should catch up on my paperwork first, been saying for months I will do it during the Christmas break, but far too excited to work on new designs, might have to get OH to lock the craft room door till I have done the paperwork.

Hope everyone out there has a super pre-Christmas weekend, and stays safe in the snowy conditions.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Merry Christmas from SimJaTa

Good Evening Blogland - sorry to disturb your peace, but I have been composing again, I think all these festivities are starting to get to me. I'm even thinking of putting up some decorations at weekend (not done that for a while).
Here is my Christmas Verse for you, and a little encouragement and help of were to do your last minute shopping...

A very Merry Christmas to everyone out there,
From SimJaTa, I hope you are aware,
There is still time for goodies galore,
Go shop at Folksy, I guarantee it wont bore,
Lots of choice and prices are fair,
The Crafters at Folksy work hard and they care.

Exclusive Jewellery can be found that is unique,
Winter Woolies and Scarves for a treat,
Not massed produced like on the high street you seek,
With crowds and queues, cold weather that’s bleak,
So stay in the warmth, have a brew or a toddie’
Go shop at Folksy, go on “Go Potty”.

You’ll find everything you imagine and more,
There are presents for children and mother in law,
To find this wonderful centre of choice,
Click on the links on my page to rejoice,
To carry your gifts to your family and friends
Remember SimJaTa, to Folksy she sends,
So check out the designs at Bags of Swank,
Scarves at SimJaTa, wont break the bank.


Worse than the last one? LOL, probably - think I better get back to the sewing machine, and I havent even had a drink yet!
Hope you are all nearing the end of your shopping and stress, soon be time for us all to put our feet up for a while to come back refreshed for the year ahead.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Is your Mother in Law a Dragon?

One of my readers requested a viewing of the bag I made for the Mother in Law, so here it is. Sadly not for sale at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, but just a gift. Inspired by Linda at Uniquely Yours, I have something different for today, and have tried my hand at a verse - just for my Mother in Law.

Hate the Mother in Law?

My Mother in Law is a Dragon,
She tells me so each day,
My Mother in Law is a Dragon,
It is simply just her way,
My Mother in Law is a Dragon,
Its just the way life is,
My Mother in Law is a Dragon,
She does not speak just hiss.

Is my Mother in law really a Dragon?
I bet you wonder as you read,
This verse I write is just for her, I wonder were it will lead,
Her real name is Nora, that is what she is called,
She’s not really a dragon, though the last one made me bald,
This is Mother in Law mark II, a vast improvement she is,
The last one I inherited was a dragon and worse,
So bad was the last one, she made me scream and curse.

No, Nora is fantastic a wonderful Mother indeed
I’m hanging on to this one, of this I shall succeed
Although in life she has had some woes
Of this you would never know
My Mother in Law is everything a daughter in law could wish,
With the added bonus of her son, who turned out quite a dish.

Ok, so I better stick to making bags and scarves then:)

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Bailey Calender and Christmas Shoppers

Meet Bailey, Bailey is the rather large golden retriever I walk for his Dad. Bailey belonged to a lady I used to dog walk with, she sadly passed over a couple of years back leaving Bailey with her son who is unable to walk him. Last year we made up a calender of all the dogs on our walk to raise funds in memory of Bailey's Mum for the local hospice, we raised £500! This year for one reason and another I have not done the walkers calender, Bailey's Dad was most disappointed so I have got together a collection of Bailey photo's and I am making him his very own calender with just Bailey. Its calender central here, as this year we are also making calenders to raise funds for Woof Beginnings, the lady at the post office is my new very best friend!
You may also notice a picture here of one of the Bags of Swank collection of Christmas Shopping bags, these are fun bags for the festive season - I have one myself and they do generate a lot of interest locally.
One of my tasks today is my Mother in laws present, I am making her a 'dragon' bag LOL, bet there is not many of you would get away with that? No she is not a dragon really, she is lovely but she likes Dragons so she should love this one. I have a few Christmas gifts to make still, but trying to slot them in with other orders and stock for the shops.

Dont forget, as well as great bags at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, and superb scarves at Special by SimJaTa, there are also lots of fabulous gifts available on Folksy from the very hard working crafters out there - so do go take a look at for your last minute shopping, almost everything is sent out within 24hrs so superb service along with great choices.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Let it snow, Let it snow....

Well, actually please DONT let it snow. We have been very lucky here so far, I cheated and the photo's are actually from January this year. Tess and Alfie adore it, but Jaja is not so keen.
Its so cold I have managed two scarves today in the craft room and had to call it a day, just too cold in there, so doors now shut. Car put to bed under duvet, as I cannot cope with the defrosting each day, worked a treat last night, under the single duvet cover. I have unearthed the electric blanket, and the warmest duvet cover ready for the forcast -7 tonight. Its like a military operation to prepare for the freeze, do you have extra's to perform to keep out the chills?

Bags of Swank by SimJaTa is doing well with orders and on-line sales, and the post here is coping so far, I'm lucky if all else fails its on with the snow chains and I can walk to the post office.

I have bought 2 fabulous winter hats from Folksy to keep me warm and looking fantastic at the same time, and having done nothing last week I now even have most of my presents bought (from Folksy of course) wrapping paper has arrived and cards too, so I really must write and post that card to the USA quickly, and keep the boy scouts busy with local deliveries.

Hope you are all managing to stay warm and safe, and lets hope next week brings us a thaw.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Meeting Rudolph

Hello all
Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, and Special by SimJaTa were lucky enough to meet Rudolph and his friends at yesterday's Victorian Fayre. Apologies for the yellow tinge on the photo, but being so close Rudolph was a little nervous so I had to turn off the flash so as not to frighten him, he was busy conserving his energies ready to do all that work in less than a months time.
His friends the Donkies had to have a photo shoot too, as this one in particular loved his cuddles, whilst my Aunt was watching my stall I was enjoying my chat with the animals.
I have never been so close to a reindeer before, and found the whole thing a magical experience, they are fantastic regal looking souls arent they?

Must dash, Bags of Swank and Special by SimJaTa are going to be very busy making up some new orders in time for Christmas. Dont forget, we still have some fabulous scarves left to keep you and your loved ones warm in these awful chilly conditions, and lots of great bags for your shopping and gifts.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Victorian Christmas Weekend and Craft Fair

Bags of Swank by SimJaTa will be attending a Craft Fair this Saturday. Almost ready, just finished ordering some nice gift bags, and collecting some table decorations today. I have taken this from the advertising to tell you all about it..

SAT 27 & SUN 28 November 2010, 9am - sundown at Inglenook Lavender Farm
Step back in time! Come along and enjoy the genteel air of a traditional Christmas at this beautiful Lancashire Farmhouse and grounds. Take the stress out of shopping at the Craft Fayre; indulge in some old fashioned fun and merriment on the outdoor Skating Rink and Children’s Fairground and by popular demand we’ll have the real life Rudolph and Blitzen flying in from the North Pole along with the man himself, Father Christmas!

The Elves are taking souvenir photos! Bring all the family and your friends for a great day out! Also on site is the Farmhouse cafe and tea rooms serving homemade cakes and scones with tea and coffee served on bone china with old fashioned finesse, plus Family Teatime meal deals.

Location : Inglenook Lavender Farm
Moss Nook Lane, Rainford WA11 8AE
Website :

Start time 9am till sundown

Sounds a great day out, so hope some of you in the North West area, or even perhaps further afield might fancy a great day out, and come and say 'hi' to the weary bod with the purple hair on the Bags of Swank at SimJaTa Stall.

I am hoping to sell up:) so if you have anything favorited in my Folksy shop this week is the time to buy, before its all gone!

See you there.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Christmas Auction at Woof Beginnings

Today is the first day of our Auction at "Woof Beginnings" only opened at 9am today and already going very well, lots of lovely gifts to choose from for your dogs and for the humans too. There is of course a chance to bid on one of my custom tote bags which as I type already has one bid, so hurry. The proceeds of this auction will be donated to some of our registered charities to help the many needy dogs who find themselves in rescue, in order to care for them until the best loving home can be found the rescue's need funds to pay for vetinary treatment, food and shelter for the dogs.

So please do pop along and take a look, you might find some ideal gifts for your friends and family and at the same time be assured your payment will be helping dogs who need it. Just copy and paste this link into your browser and this will take you straight to the auction page.

Thank you for reading.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa ~

Thursday, 4 November 2010

New Christmas Tote Bag Collection by Bags of Swank

Coming soon, is a new collection of Tote Bags/Shopping Bags from Bags of Swank at SimJaTa. The CHRISTMAS collection, hopefully you will find new and exciting fabrics, as I have searched high and low for original fabrics, and tried to avoid the more common ones. If/ when Mr Postie ever arrives the collection will grow. I have also spent some hours searching for further new fabrics for bags and scarves, ready for Christmas treats and gifts.
I am finally up to date with all the custom orders and currently making some gifts for my own family and friends along side the new collection. I have a couple of birthdays coming up, and need to create something special for my friend who is visiting from Ireland at the moment, then I might get onto the Christmas gifts.

Not even started the rest of my shopping as yet, but then I am awaiting the arrival of some extra finance from 2 insurances, so I can search through my favorites list on Folksy and make a start, the ladies are easily taken care of its the men I struggle with, as usual totally stuck on my Dad and even struggling with idea's for the OH, might be a trip to Amazon for him. Probably end up like every year and I will have a day of shopping at the beginning of December.

Must add my fabrics are imported, as I have found to my cost the sellers I have dealt with in the UK have not been very reliable, I was let down this week by a UK seller which has put my collection behind schedule.

Also big news this week, OH created a super slide show on my website the wonderful people on Folksy helped me out last weekend by letting me know it was not showing on Firefox browser, well it is now! All fixed and showing off some of my collection and sales nicely.

Hope you enjoy viewing the new Christmas collection by Bags of Swank at SimJaTa.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Greyhound Gap On-line Dog Show

Greyhound Gap are running an on-line dog show until 13th November, to raise funds for their rescue Greyhounds.

I have a stall there with 20% of any custom orders from the site, or from a GAP member in my shop will go to Greyhound Gap. Seen in today's pictures are the tote bag I have shown with one of my late Greyhounds on, and one of the pictures I have submitted to the Photo Competition of my late Greyhounds.

It was back in 2001 on the loss of my soul companion dog Vicky I discovered that Retired Greyhounds were actually available as pets, I could not believe my eyes when I saw the amount of adverts for Greyhounds needing homes, sadly some 9 years later the problem is no better. Are you aware that Greyhounds are retired from racing at the age of 3 or 4 years old? The lucky ones are handed into rescue, this is not the time or place to discuss what happens to the ones who are not that lucky.

Greyhounds are a fantastic pets, they are very loyal, very lazy and require less exercise than you may think, often more than happy with as much or little as you give them, 20 minute walk around the block makes them happy, couple of hours in the country makes them happy, but dont expect them to run for long, the stamina is small. One thing they will require is a comfy sofa, when we adopted our second we had to get another sofa. Then, if you are really lucky they will reward you with another ten years of their super smiles and companionship.

Do take a look at the lovely dogs needing homes at Greyhound Gap, all the dogs rescued by Gap are assessed before looking for homes, so by chance if you require a dog that can live happily with your own dog(s) or indeed your cat or house rabbit (oh yes they can!) that dog can be found. Do be aware though, special care has to be taken for children in the house, and it is preferable that you dont work all day, all dogs like companionship and all rescue's do like to be sure you do have the time available to care for a dog. After 3 or 4 years in a kennel environment and only contact with people on training and race days, a Greyhound deserves plenty of love and attention in a new home.

My own Greyhounds lived happily with two Labradors and a Lurcher, they were very child friendly they adored children, but neither could live with cats, being a cat free household that was my choice to take them that way. For many years my old Mum could walk one of mine, the majority are excellent lead walkers.

Convinced? Well, ok maybe you are not in a position to offer a Greyhound a home, but perhaps you could take a look at the show, and the website to learn a bit more, next time you see a Greyhound out on the lead, say hello, and ask about the dogs background, you may be surprised.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Lets hear it for the Rottweiler

I'm sure many of you find the mere mention of this dogs name scary. But after many (too many) years working in dog rescue never have we met an aggressive one. The dog on this custom tote bag is my friends daughter's dog, please meet Shakespeare the Rottweiler, how cute is that face? He is one of the most soppiest cuddle monster's ever.
The first time I met Shakespeare he was staying at my friends house with her many dogs, the boss of the pack was the tiniest poodle cross who at the time was 18 years old. Shakespeare sadly did not take 'go away' from this little dog too well, convinced he was that really she did infact want to play with him, the result was the little dog hanging from his jowls and him running around in terror with her attatched - viscious dog eh? Still recovering from this terrible ordeal on our arrival he greeted the OH and I with major hugs and cuddles spending about an hour on my knee. He only moved when their St. Bernard decided he wanted his turn at the cuddles.

A wise man in dog rescue once told me to tell those afraid of them to think of a Rottweiler as a Labrador with orange eyeshadow, that is generally the case.

Like any dog though, always best to ask first before approach - you may be interested to know the only bites we have received whilst collecting dogs to rehome and from a pound situation were the most popular family dogs, and not those suspected of viscious tendencies.

Hope you enjoyed viewing the last of the current custom tote bag orders for Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, sure there will be more along soon. I am currently working on some more scarves to try top up the stocks on my shop, and a holiday tote bag.. Whilst also shopping for special fabrics for my families presents this year.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Not Just Dogs

Although here at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa I do seem to find myself knee deep in custom tote bags for dog people, I do on occasion receive other photo's too, like this recent cat one (if I manage to get the photo to load), customer asked for black and tan fabric, so hoping she likes this batik fabric.

I also just added this lovely squirrel scarf to the Special by SimJaTa shop, last of the fabric and seems there is no more out there, I had used this fabric for the bags in the Mere Sands shop, was the first Squirrel fabric I found - as usual I did not purchase enough at the time and now its nowhere to be found, what a shame.

The weather seems to have brightened up today and much warmer, so nice bright sunny aspect to work in today, better get back to it. Productive day to all..

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Custom Tote Bag Design by SimJaTa

Christmas has certainly arrived early at SimJaTa, I have 5 custom tote bags to be getting on with for starters. This is my first one finished, my friend in Ireland has ordered this for her friend and sent me this photograph, I wasnt fond of the background so had a bit of a play, cut the dogs out to a plain background then put in a lilac one with a few stars and reeds to cheer it up. I hope she likes it this way.
Both Folksy shops are taking off very well, and friends are looking to me for their Christmas gifts, so certainly keeping very busy, that and further new idea's and fabric finds to keep the shop in the forefront.
I also have one prize of a custom tote bag listed on Woof Beginnings ready for our Christmas auction, and a stall at Greyhound Gap's on-line dog show, I will talk more about that nearer the time, as want to give them some good publicity to raise funds for the dogs, so will post on that one with full details in time for their virtual show, along with a few facts some of you may not know about Greyhounds. A cause very close to my heart as we shared our lives for 7 years with 2 rescue Greyhounds, although we do not own one right now we still support the work the rescue people do.

We do still have a Lurcher, who up until recently was the perfect hound, as he was raised by my Labrador he seemed to think he was one. Now at the age of 7.5 years he suddenly has found a chase instinct, which really is NOT funny. How he missed that poor bunny on the reserve today we dont know, but rest assured the rest of his walk he was on the lead, worse than that he took the young Labrador with Hip Displasia with him, which has done him no good either. Luckily the older Labrador and the Retriever we were walking were far better behaved, though we did get told off by the fungi people who were having a talk on the reserve and non too pleased at the arrival of our friendly bunch all wanting to say hello.

Hope you all had a good weekend, and it was a bit more relaxing than ours.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Monday, 18 October 2010

SimJaTa and Vintage Nature

I came across this wonderful vintage fabric last week, and it had my name on it. Well, actually it had my friends name on it who has a birthday next week, but being my usual useless self I didnt check the measurements and luck was on my side there was more fabric than I thought. So, this meant I could make an extra scarf and perhaps a couple of tote bags. Shown is the only scarf in this fabric for sale, I was rather happy with the results so I then went on to create the tote bag too.

Just to totally confuse things I have the tote bag on sale in Bags of Swank by SimJaTa (or at least it will be tomorrow) and the scarf is on sale at Special by SimJaTa.

Next I must crack on with some custom orders I have, my friend in Ireland has ordered 4 tote bags, and I have a music bag to create I am half way through for a lady at my dog training class, its to put her music in so she can put it with her instument without scratches. So I have made it from notes fabric, felt sides and a velvet lining, hoping to have that finished by Wednesday though slow going just now with yet another eye infection which is slowing me down somewhat.

Took some time out yesterday and visited Mere Sands to see how the goods were going there, more requests to be getting on with and sales going well. Of course all this took around 3 hours to achieve as we just had to walk around and visit the birds and search for red squirrels while we were there. Alas no squirrels, though it was rather busy so probably hiding, we intend to take some time off during the week at some point to visit when its a bit quieter. The Kingfisher decided not to make another appearance whilst we were there either.

Weather is turning a bit now, been out tracking with Alfie tonight and that wind is getting rather bitter, good job I have a nice collection of scarves to keep me warm.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa#
~Special by SimJaTa~

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

SimJaTa and the bright and bold

Just a short entry to show the latest of bold and bright scarves by SimJaTa listed in my Folksy shop. Well, one is listed the other is for tomorrow.
Not sure if even I might have gone too bright this time, but I like them, infact my next task is to make one for me, one for my friend and one for my Mum.

Been having a play with backgrounds on my photo's, so got some work to do in my shops to clear up some backgrounds and improve some photo's.

I think the colder and duller it gets the brighter I become, and the bold jumpers are starting to make an appearance.

Hope some of you like the new scarves, and you are all tucked up nice and warm.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~
~Special by SimJaTa~

Monday, 11 October 2010

SimJaTa goes Psychedelic

The "Special by SimJaTa" shop just keeps on getting brighter! Not quite sure what came over me on Saturday, but my latest fabric didnt arrive as it should, so I was a bit stuck on what to create. As the nights draw in I think I just seem to get brighter with the creations. So, as you see I decided on a matching scarf and handbag set, though the handbag will be going on sale in the "Bags of Swank by SimJaTa" shop. Sure will be interesting to see if this time I went too bright. Fortunatly my next lot of fabric arrived today so I can get on with my plans, though this too seems to be brighter than I anticipated, but hopefully there are plenty of people out there like me, who enjoy the bright and cheerful, though I suspect they dont have the sweater collection I have! Probably one of the few people looking forward to cooler days. Some years ago I got talking to a local lady on the town forum, turned out she walked her dogs the same place as I do, I was trying to identify myself to her when she announced " I know who you are, the lady with the purple hair and the crazy jumpers" mmmh, is that good? seems I am quite distinctive, when it gets really cold the crazy wooly hats can come out too.

Wont be long when the chill is upon us, so be sure to visit my folksy shop "Special by SimJaTa" to cheer yourself up and stay bright during the duller days ahead.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Improving Photographs

Hopefully, the photographs at my new shop "Special by SimJaTa" are a vast improvement on when I began my venture into 'on line sales'. Way back in February I started my "Bags of Swank by SimJaTa" with what I thought were ok pictures, after joining the forum and looking around they quite clearly were anything but OK. So, I found a great garden courtesy of a friend and started again, soon after I got my first sale. So, I learnt from this how important photo's were. Now I find, although they are better there is a lot of room for improvement, along with some more tips on how to get them noticed I am soon to be embarking on new photo's throughout.
Sadly by the end of a day sewing and the rest of the days chores my eyes are not up to much, so this is going to be a rather long task at one picture per night, still will keep me out of mischief.

As my shop sales are good in the outside world, must be plenty of room for improvement on line, not that I am complaining I am starting to get noticed in the big www. world and my new shop is attracting far more attention in its first week than my first shop did in its first three months.

I have even had a small (and I mean very small) venture into the world of Twitter.

Soon be time for a well deserved sit down and a nice glass of the red stuff, so dont work too hard blog crafters, give yourself a break - before having a closer look at those sales pictures.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Friday, 1 October 2010

Nature Reserve? But for how much longer?

This beautiful setting as modelled by my friends Collies, is were I walk my dogs most days. As a relative newbie to the walk I have only been going there for the last 12 years. Many of the dog walkers, and ramblers have been walking in this exquisite setting for over 40 years.

Since April this year, many of us have been fighting to try keep it this way. As home to sand lizards, natterjack toads and rare flora and fauna you would think it would be safe from any intrustion yes?... Well no! Apparently not.

Sefton Council have accepted the funds from Cycling England to turn our beautiful walk into a plastic highway. The path is to be 10' in width, therefore hacking down all in its way, aside from the possible 10 metre parts for the construction work vehicles, again removing anything and everything living there since time began.

Now, here is the strange part. Despite the overwhelming majority against, who have attended each consultation meeting, raised petitions, contacted every conservation group they can... today's report ahead of the final council meeting shows a majority vote in favour of this monstrosity? How can this be? Well, of course that is not for me to comment.

Apologies for my serious ramblings today, but as you can imagine I am totally devastated by what looks like is going to happen here. Each day this week I have observed all the nature on my daily walked path with total dismay, that in a few months time it may all be gone, and replaced with a plastic eyesore.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Introducing Special by SimJaTa

Well I have started it!! The new shop is now on Folksy, and has a total of one item currently listed, but the intention is to list one per day at least for the first week and see how it goes. You can find the new shop on my link at the side or here

Still of course got a way to go, a great deal of promoting needed as yet - but I'm afraid as a result of yesterday's vet visit things are going a bit slower. Thank you to those who asked and sent well wishes for Alfie, the diagosis is not good it seems our poor young boy has hip displaysia so will have to take things a tiny bit easier. Although after a very long chat with my wonderful vet last night, we have decided that Alfie will still enjoy to live life to the full while he can with careful supervison, good diet, a few meds, and a bit less weight.

The slowness is due to Alfie still getting over his GA so being very clingy and very noisy, he still hasnt stopped whining, and I have the worlds worst headache as a result of both the stress and the lack of sleep due to said whining dog.

Hopefully though in a day or so things will return to relative normality and I can start some promotion for both shops and get some Christmas shoppers in. (sorry for C word, but it is that time for all us sellers).

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

New Shop on hold?

Day started full of creativity and excitement for new Folksy Shop. Foolishly on the same day Alfie was going to the vet for xrays, just as a precaution mind as he has had a few lame incidents after exessive exercise. So first 5 hours of day spent waiting to collect him, too worried to do anything else. We collected him, along with a big bag of meds, and dont know what is wrong yet - been a very long day waiting for the vet to call, who was not available at the time. Also have a very distressed Alfie recovering from GA, very noisily so concentraton shot.

Good news at weekend, both cars passed their MOT!!! Hurray. Inlaw visit went well, with bags of fabric in tow, so that was even better.

I have managed to register my new shop on Folksy today, its called "Special by SimJaTa" but thats as far as its got, so no links anywhere and no big announcements as yet.

Please keep your fingers crossed for the verdict on Alfie, he is only 2 years old and not been with us a year as yet.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Artwork by Nutty, Goat Tote Bag

Yes, another blog post... it really is all or nothing with me. Here is the promised Goat tote bag, with the wonderful artwork by Nutty, Now on sale in the Folksy shop from Bags of Swank by SimJaTa.

Been busy today with items for the new shop, some of my ordered supplies finally turned up - so still hoping for launch day next week, and getting very nervous. Just put out a few pics to friends so see what they think. I seem to have fallen foul of yet another ebayer, with a non delivery and no replies to emails - hope its not another dispute by next week, really could do with the items, but a refund would suffice so I can re order, having said that a reply would be good too, why are people not curtious these days?

Day off tomorrow, not had one of those for a very long time. Both our cars are in for MOT in the morning, so rather nerve wracking, OH has taken the week of to fix them when they fail (going to be a long week). Then got my dogs to walk, and one other, which has to be local park with the footballers due to no car, that will be fun. Then, oh lord... I can barely say it... the inlaws are coming for the day, so already spent a couple of hours reminding myself what that horrid word 'housework' was, will be finding out again tomorrow morning before garage opens when I have the entire downstairs to blitz, floors to clean etc. The evening will be spent recovering with the odd bottle of wine, so tomorrow is well written off.

Have a nice weekend all, and dont forget to dig out those woollies think we might be needing them.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Molly Diva star's on Tote Bag

Here is Molly, transformed into a very pink tote bag, just listed today in my Folksy shop. I am hoping Molly will illustrate my custom tote bags.
I have also conquered the billy goat one, which I hope to list tomorrow.

Still busy at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa HQ, preparing for new project, keeping up with shop orders and trying to promote too. Very excited about new shop, which will 'hopefully' open next week all being well.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

New Custom Designs to come?

Whoops, long time no blog. Here at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, I have been a busy bee. Working on a new shop hoping to launch in October, if I can get it all together by then, every time I move forward I think of something else - must remember Rome was not built in a day, neither is a new shop with new products, at this rate it might even be November.
Meanwhile, my dear friend and artist Nutty has donated a couple of pictures to me, one as you see is her Staffie Molly, this picture made me smile, so Nutty suggested I use it on a tote bag - great idea, but the image prints are fighting back. Today I printed out the one of Molly, the adorable Goat and one other, printed out great but failed the wash test big time, so back to drawing board. I have Molly printed out and ready for another wash test, then onto a bag design (hopefully).

Nutty Art, is a fabulous artist who does the most amazing pet art - you can find her here I have 2 of her works of my dogs, one of my Labrador Tess who you can see on her website, and the other of my late Greyhound Zola, who is proudly displayed above the TV watching over us.

Thats all for today, dont forget shopping season is upon us - and Bags of Swank by SimJaTa is still open with lots of choice for original gifts.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Custom Messenger Bag with Schnauzers

Good Morning Bloggers.
For today I thought I would show off my latest Custom Handbag. The customer wanted a handbag like my 'Pug' one in darker colours with her dogs doing agility. As you see her dogs are Schnauzers, and I was lucky enough to find some extra cartoon style fabric schnauzers too, which was a bit of a gamble I just hoped she liked them too.

This lovely lady shares her home with many of these dogs, is also a top breeder and successfully shows her dogs. She can be found on her website here

Luckily for me upon collection last night Jo is a happy customer, and is more than happy for me to show off her Custom Made Messenger Bag in public.

So, here it is - latest Custom made handbag featuring schnauzers by Bags of Swank by SimJaTa.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Lavender Farm Order for Phytobotanica

I thought you might like to see some of the next lot of stock for the Lavender Farm. Cant believe its well over a month since our last visit! I took some tote bags, wheat bags and sachets and the boss lady requested something with actual Lavender on. So, I sought out some fabric and got to work. Sad thing is I cannot locate anymore of this lovely fabric, so this is the first and last lot, but during my search I did find some other wonderful lavender fabric which I am currently awaiting Mr Postman to bring me.
Just waiting for a convenient appointment now to meet up and take the order over, or at least send my driver (long suffering OH)as I am still flat out with other orders, I picked up a few custom ones at the country fair, so really must make a start on them, whilst keeping up the stock levels on the Folksy shop.
Also the new tote bags will be off to Mere Sands this weekend, so might have a few more of those to make up if they approve.

Bags of Swank by SimJaTa is being kept nice and busy, though its tough going as the weather has gone a bit warmer, lovely outdoors but getting a bit on the warm side for working at the machine with enough rather warm lighting.

Have a good weekend Blog people, dont work too hard.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Town and Country Fair

Only day one and I must confess I am totally exhausted. I say day one, more like day two really. Yesterday morning at 8am I was all ready for 3 days at the local town and country fair, with our Woof Beginnings stall and my Bags of Swank by SimJaTa handbags. By 8.30am we had been asked to fill a gap from Husky Welfare who had to drop out last minute, so hubby had agreed to do an extra Woof Beginnings slot by dashing off to wholesalers after work at lunchtime to purchase some stock, before getting to showground at 3pm to set up gazebo and tables. BUT by 9am, my friend who was meant to be doing the stall had asked me if I could carry some of her stock to try raise the funds in her absence. So, before we knew it we had managed to agree to four stalls with only two of us manning them.
So yesterday, after the dog walking and the shopping I dashed off to pick up some stock and fill the van with Husky Welfare stock and display, that was after I pranged the van at The Dog Shop visiting an outlet, seems I lost the fight with the concrete post.
At 5pm (a bit later than planned) we were fighting the gazebo and a rather strong coastal wind...But still, we were home by about 8.30pm for tea.
Up at 6am today to take all the stock and set up, then return for dogs who were also running in the agility team.
Weather was not brilliant, so a rather chilly and slow day. Photo's show the stall not quite finished, but by the time we had the public had arrived so I didnt get a chance to nip out and photograph it finished.
Also seen is one of the funniest things, hubby has a better shot I will post next week, but this little Yorkie is the boss of a rather large pack of Huskies, who entertain for the day with 'hug a husky' to raise funds for the welfare of abandoned huskies.

Good news also, I made some sales and have 3 custom orders for Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, we raised some funds for Husky Welfare, and some for Woof Beginnings with 2 more days to go to improve the lot.

Now I am off to bed, zzz, zzz, zzz.