Saturday, 26 June 2010

Hot Summer Days

Walking the dogs is not easy in this weather, our black Labrdor is really suffering in the heat, amazingly the oldie who is around 10 is doing much better, she has finally learnt to pace herself, unlike the black 2 year old loony who hasnt so we have to be very careful he doesnt get sun stroke. We are lucky to be on the coast, although due to the state of the beach rarely go as far as the sea as normally its black and gooey, in the heat though its all dried up so we went early today so the dogs could have a decent walk and some fun.

Not blogged for a few days as 'I made this handbag' each day is not that interesting, but I am working away still. Done two new designs for my Folksy shop that will be there soon, re listed at least half my handbags with improved photographs and tomorrow going to do a stack more for re-listing sun cream at the ready and a wonderful garden of props with a willing model to help.

Today we had a trip to one of my outlets 'Manic Organic' as they had sold all my lavender sachets and asked for some more, so taken some more stock to them and bought the most wonderful organic strawberries EVER grown by them, yum. Also bought some more of the best organic cheese EVER too, my hubby has suggested they stop paying me cash for sales and just pay me in cheese. Next time I am going to sample their home grown new potatoes too, they look good, this is the most amazing shop I have never really eaten organic before due to the price in the supermarkets, but this shop is really reasonable and very high quality - so if you live in the Lancashire area and fancy some organic home grown food well worth a trip out, details are on my website.

Sorry folks but as for the weather, I have had enough now - the country needs rain so I have booked in my rain dance for later on.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Photo shoot and new handbag pictures

I think I mentioned yesterday I had a photography job for some doggie notelets today. Here are the dogs in question, please meet Mac the Flatcoated Retriever and Daisy working Retriever.
I was lucky enough to have the use of this lovely garden to take along a few handbags and redo some pictures for the Folksy shop, so I de-listed the happy frogs and re-listed them with new description and new photo's. I am quite proud of them to say I was awaiting the time of a photographer friend, I have done them all by myself and intend to re-list some of the handbags with some nice shiny new pictures during the week.

Meanwhile now, I better get on with my notelet set prototype for the client. Thats tonights job.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Elvis has left the building - well almost!

Here is Dad's father's day pressie. Yes, he is a big Elvis fan, been to Gracelands 3 times and does the UK conventions, and yes I do disown him.

My 3rd attempt only at a bit of quilting. So hope he likes it. I bought the fabric last year to make his friend in Vegas something as he was a bit down, and another Elvis fan - I made him a little wall hanging. Dont worry I dont sell anything with Elvis on, know the rules.

Almost finished the Lavender Farm bits, was about to start one of the Custom bags when I had the dog jacket order thrust upon me, need to make 8 dog vest things for show in July, did one for Alfie which was ok as a trial, the collies etc will be good but need to make one for a Jack Russel and one for a minature pincher which is going to be a real challenge.

Now off to order more bias binding, takes more than I thought to edge a dog vest.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Thank you to 'The Dog Shop'

No pictures today I'm afraid, been too busy to take any. But I have today been asked to photograph some dogs and print a set of notelets with them on, not done this line of work for a while, but about time I kept my hand in at some proper photography, also said person has the most amazing garden so I might just sneak a few bags in and take some improved photo's while I am there.

HUGE thanks today go to 'The Dog Shop' near Southport Town Centre, found here who have very kindly taken a selection of dog themed backpacks and handbags to sell in their shop, even going to display 'Bags of Swank by SimJaTa' bags in the shop window!

I am currently working on a selection of goodies for the Lavender Farm that I hope to have completed by weekend, all I have to do them is book an appointment with the boss lady there to see which they would like to try in their craft section. I have so far, one handbag, one tote bag, two backpacks, 2 lavender wheat bags, and a selection of novelty lavender sachets, which need some presentation work - thats tonights job, I have a nice basket ready - might even get the camera out for that one if I remember.

The best bit now is the feedback I am getting from the shops who seem to have no hesitation on taking the bags.

Still have 2 lots of stock to work on for another 2 outlets and 8 custom orders not to mention the cushion cover I am working on for Dad for fathers day.

Better get back to work really.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Visit to Manic Organic, and mucky dogs

As promised, here is the state my lurcher managed to get himself into yesterday, the others were not quite as bad as you see, but posed nicely for the camera for once.

Today I paid a visit to Manic Organic our local organic farm shop, they were already in possession of some of my backpacks taken along by my friend, but luckily I was asked for some more stock so went along myself today to meet these fabulous people who run this farm. As well as selling home grown organic produce, they also have award winning Lancashire cheese, which I have to admit is to die for as I purchased some and had it with my tea, cant get back soon enough for some more - remember how cheese 'used' to taste? this is it, yum!
Better still is the craft section, were local craftsfolk like myself can display their wares to the locals, they have some fabulous knitted hats, home made baskets, woodware, glassware, felt handbags, home made cards, jewellery - what an Aladin's cave, well worth a visit to anyone in the Lancashire area.

They have a web page, but are in the process of designing a great new website you may want to bookmark for future reference.

Details here:

Whoops nearly forgot, they also sell fabulous hand crafted handbags and rucksacks, made by me here at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Hello from Alfie

Alfie wanted to say hello to everyone out in blog land. Here he is after this morning's trip to the beach, yes my dogs have an aversion to clean. Hubby took the photo and I am happy to say those adoring eyes are looking at me. Alfie has been with us for 8 months now, he arrived at 18 months old having had no training or social skills. He is now doing very well, we have a fabulous trainer were we do obediance training each week, Alfie is to appear at a big show in July were we are competing against the dogs from Battersea. Alfie takes part in scent work training and also agility.

We do still have the odd 'wobble' with his behavoir, but the good days far outweigh the bad ones now.

If I get time tomorrow I might just show you the state the Lurcher got into!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Squirrel has landed

All my squirrel fabric arrived today, so although I am not yet ready to start on the one's for the Wildlife Shop, thought I would do one squirrel backpack for the Organic Farm shop "Manic Oganic" which is the last one in the stock off for their travels on Sunday. I still have 3 left to finish off, one handbag needs a pink webbing handle and that arrived recorded delivery whilst I was out, so need to collect that to finish tomorrow. I have finally learnt the art of the adjustable bag strap so hope that will help sales, also have a shoulder pad for it, if I remember to attatch it this time.

On the ever growing list, I now have another custom one to make for a friend to give a friend, and about 8 dog jackets to make, eeeeeeeeeek.

Latest Project here at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa is a dispay hanger for the bags, I ordered a couple of acrylic ones, but of course my sales rep is also a joiner, so she is on with a better idea for us to display in the shops, so that should be great when its finished, told her she could have a nice little side line in those for the handbag makers.

Hope you like my first run of squirrels, have some fabulous fabric for those - but not forgetting the back and the inside are repurposed fabrics from the local charity shop - Southport Lifeboat.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Dove Handbag Collection

Waaaaaaaaaay too long sewing last couple of days or so, just had to stop for day as making far too many mistakes spending more time unpicking than sewing. I did manage to achieve these two beauties anyway. Confused with stock now, so they are either for the farm shop or the Lavender Farm, make my mind up at the end of it all on Saturday night.

I think I may have some time off tomorrow, chores in the morning, and dog club at night the break might well do me good.

Hope you like my doves.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Buzzy Bee's

Short Blog tonight, running out of hours as per. Here is my Bee's Backpack which was requested by a customer, hope she likes it. Also the last in the stock for the local pet shop. My Sales rep has been on again, and very kindly found me another outlet, so the list is building up. Said Bee Bag certainly gave me some grief today, the wonderful fabric aquired from the charity shop is not so wonderful to work with, shame as it looks lovely but due to the weight it gave me an awful lot of problems today, so much so it actually took me 5.5 hours to create that one. Working on another for the Lavender Farm as I thought Bee's might be good there, but sadly not with the wonderful burgancy fabric.

I really need to speed up! Loosing more time tomorrow to as I have a rotten routine dentist appointment in the morning, could well do without that, and physio on Thursday, I could do with sending my teeth and my shoulder seperatly and keeping the rest of me here to work.

Almost done for the day now, as much as I would like to put in another couple of hours, my eyes and co-ordination do not, ho hum - tomorrow is another day!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Welcome New Blog Friends

Firstly I must welcome all the new blog people who have arrived to follow my meagre witterings from Folksy.

At the risk of boring the rest of you to death, here is another in the line up for the petshop outlet, hopefully next week, I quite like this the red is very striking. Getting much busier as the nice folks from the Organic Farm shop have emailed and asked for more stock which is fab, just wish this need to sleep lark didnt keep getting in the way as the work is now piling up around my ears! Not that I am complaining mind, its great.

I also sold a Vintage Fabric Handbag on Folksy today, which is also rather good - good day all round really, started off with dashing off to bank with a cheque for a print job I did, so Mrs Bank Manager should be a little less chilly with me now LOL.

Still wishing it was just a touch cooler though, or I could make just one wish and someone would install air conditioning in my house, and pay for me to use it, fans are not doing much but moving around warm air.

Have a good weekend bloggers, and those of you who do 'enjoy the sun'.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Too hot for anything but this!

Its a bit on the warm side in this neck of the woods. Not my favorite weather I'm afraid, I am one of the miseries who hates the heat. Not so easy to work in either, only managed about 5 hours today, too hot to work in craft room now.

Took dogs out earlier, this one is my Lurcher 'Jaja' who is not usually a water fan but hates the weather almost as much as I do, the Labrador's are not doing so well either, poor Tess is a bit old for this and even Alfie due to him being a black dog is suffering, never known him so quiet. Just hoping it doesnt get any hotter as its a 20 minute walk to our pond and the dogs are struggling already to get that far.

sorry to all you sun worshippers out there, but its just not for me.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Springer Spaniel Backpack - First for shop

I have been asked to do a selection of popular dog breeds for a pet shop. So here is the first one, I have 5 more bags cut out, all I have to do know is create the bags with the fabric. Bit short on time today, as had other chores this morning, but its so hot outside I had to cut the dog walking short so gained enough time to finish this one before dog club later.

Please welcome Backpack Number One, The Springer Spaniels.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Successful Day

Just for Mick at another positive post. Seen in photo today are two of my dogs Alfie and Tess, Alfie won second prize yesterday in Best Pedigree, and Tess won 4th in veteran class.

Our stall went well, and we made a few sales, and more contacts. Before we left I left a supply of leaflets with the bossman for his craft centre which he is going to display in the cafe. I arrived home to meet my sales rep, with money from my sale at the organic farm shop, and 7 more orders and another outlet, so I spent last night hunting down 'squirrel fabric' for the requested bags to be displayed at the local wildlife centre.

This week, I do the stock for the pet shop, next week for the lavender farm, week after for the wildlife, then the 7 bag order, inbetween the custom ones I already have slotted in when I can. So, about to become rather busy, at least my bank manager will be a little happier.

Blog enteries might not be as often for a while, and probably a bit shorter.

Positive vibes to everyone else, hope I can share them around.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa ~