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.