Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Bees and some Frogs

So, I dashed out between downpours to photograph a few new tote bags ready to list in the folksy shop this week. Turned out to be a real challenge, as it may have stopped raining but photographing tote bags in the wind is rather interesting, that and the company of the bee's too made it a real fun time.
I am really enjoying my new range of tote bags with a few new fabrics and themes thrown in, and getting the hang of it now I think. As Mr Bee was buzzing around I thought I would try get some snaps of him too, I managed three then he buzzed off, obviously not keen on being the centre of attention.

Tonight I have started on LOUD bag number 2, see if I can please my original customer, the last one wasnt loud enough it seems, so I have tracked down some new fabrics for another attempt, surely this one MUST be loud enough? If not hopefully it will make someone else happy, has a bit of a hippy theme about it, and lots of very bright colours.

I finally finished the stock for the wildlife shop hopefully they will be off soon, this week will be working on more new pretty things for Folksy shop and some stock for a dog show in a couple of weeks, busy busy bee!

Bags of Swank by SimJaTa

Friday, 23 July 2010

My first Tote Bag

After a bit of research I noticed these tote bags are rather popular, so thought I would have a go. After a visit to my super talented friend and learning how to do correct bases I got the hang of it. So much for something quicker to create though, takes me as long to do this as it does to make a backpack, and as they dont need the 4 yards of cord they cost less to make, so for the customer less to buy.

I have listed this one in my Folksy shop, and have another to list tomorrow, one made for one of my outlets, and another cut out ready which I was going to make a start on tonight, but seem to have somehow put my back thats it for today, perhaps a bit too much bending over sewing machine.

I sold the lovely LOUD handbag seen in below post yesterday so that went off to the post this morning, and now on the look out for something LOUDER still to see if I can get it right for the original customer, I do say in my shop 'I love a challenge' and this is certainly that, but fun with it.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Patchwork Handbag of many colours

I just had to post this one. This is actually known as the Loud Liz Handbag, as it was a custom order, unfortunatly it seems it was not LOUD enough so has now gone for sale in the Folksy shop, for now. Having grown rather attatched to it, it may not be there long as I may well decide to keep it myself as of course I dont have enough handbags?? What girl does.

Today (and yesterday) I have been trying to learn the art of the 'Tote Bag' something I have not done before, but another request meant I had to learn fast. It was going well, and I had hoped to finish my first this evening... Unfortunatly I have this silly white lumpy thing on my lower eyelid that started off as just an itchy nuicance but has now got worse in the heat and is obstructing my vision, so had to give up the sewing for tonight and hope it gets better soon.

Having managed the whole week of dog walks in the dry, despite the heavy downpours at other times of the day, tomorrow will be the day I get wet. My friend Sian has the day off and is coming with me, that means I am in for a soaking - whenever Sian arrives on the dog walk she brings the rain with her, and as she has got soaked all week and I havent she has even threatened to do it on purpose, I have such great friends.

So, watch this space - or maybe the Folksy shop space, for new designs in Tote Bag form, SOON!!!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Another Hat and one of today's Duffle Bags

This hat is an improvement, isnt it? For one thing it is a perfect fit for me at 23", and no floppy bits - hurray. I really do have to get back to the bag making now, as I had to drop off a stock order today, here is my last bit of happy frog fabric made into a duffle bag, works quite well. I have finally photographed the fabrics for my custom order and sent those off for approval, so must get onto that tomorrow all being well, and some further stock, I really enjoyed working on the hats though and hope to find some more time maybe next weekend to have another go, all measurements and methods written down, so should be easier next time.

Still not enough hours in the day for all I would like to achieve, and its gone all hot and muggy here so thats not helping either. Next job must go list another doggie theme bag on the Folksy shop, been a bit quiet of late there.

Hope the weather is kinder to you all and a bit cooler.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Hat Making, harder than it looks

So, Bags of Hats by SimJaTa just might take a while longer than I anticipated. See picture of the first three failed attempts. The pixie like hat the fabric was too stiff, the tweed one has a cockeyed brim, the paw prints wasnt too bad just a tad oversized.
I then went onto a hopefully more forgiving fleece, still needs a wee bit of work - still made a change from the paper bag idea when I put one on my head and it covered my face!
I would dearly love to attend a course on Millinery, but no such thing available in my area. The first three I made (or make that tried to make) from a pattern, today I gave up on that idea and just went for it with far better results, though as I say a way to go yet.
Hubby reminds me that making handbags and backpacks began the same way and as for my first attempt at patchwork................
Its just really hard to try learn a new craft when work is piling up around my ears, might have another couple of hours at it tomorrow, but then really must get on with the bread and butter stuff.

Hopefully I will have made at least one person out there smile today with my feeble attempts.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Hello from Alfie and week update

Hello from Alfie, this is one of his portrait shots taken a few weeks back. Alfie is busy training for the big game fair, as our club are competing against Battersea Dogs. The boy is doing well, just a shame he cant master distance stays, Labradors just want to be with you so not so good at that one.

Apologies for lack of blogs, I am struggling with what on earth to witter on about and spent the week searching for new novelty fabric idea's, I finally have it - vintage fabrics on way for my features, and many a shop to charity place for majority, the farm shop have almost sold out and want more stock, I have a custom order to start, almost done the wildlife shop order, then onto the sheep bags (hopefully), also need to get some fresh items in the Folksy shop was doing well when I relisted each day, gone a bit quiet again now.

Of course most of all I need more hours in the day and the ability to cope on less sleep. It might be raining at long last but still warm, especially at night. Dogs are getting fed up of early walks and starting to wake up and be pests in the afternoon when I am trying to work.

Oh dear, after reading Alison's far more interesting post maybe I should just shut up till I have something far more interesting to witter on about. STill you can always look at Alfie's cute picture, or my Folksy Shop:)

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Thank you Phytobotanica

Thank you to the lovely people at Phytobotanica - the local Lavender Farm, which can be found here - After a lot of emails we finally got to meet up today and they have agreed to try some of my products in their craft area. So, you can find my handbags, backpacks, Lavender Wheat Bags and sachets at this beautiful oasis. I hope the Image worked from their website of the Lavender fields. My next task is to locate some lavender fabric to create some new bags.
Sales going very well, this week I have sold 4 bags from my Folksy shop which is rather good news.

I have nearly finished the dreaded dog vests, all made up now just 4 left to add the fasteners on. I then have to start on another lot of stock for next outlet, the 7 bags I have on order for Christmas presents, and some more stock for Manic Organic who are getting a bit depleted.

I have an enforced day off tomorrow as the in-laws are visiting and taking us out for lunch, they come quite a distance so will be with us most of the day. Not had a day off for some time so I suppose I should welcome one and enjoy the break ready to start the week on Monday. Just wish the heat would subside a bit, finding both dog walking and sewing tough going in all this heat.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Old Handbag, new Photo - Rough Collie

Thought I would list early in the day for me today, I rather like this photograph shows off this stunning handbag rather well for the Rough Collie fan.

Its one of the first handbags I created but the naff photo's really did not do it justice, hopefully this one and the others listed in the Folksy Shop will.

Been out on the dog walk today, not much fun dodging all the machinery for the up and coming ladies golf. Off out this afternoon too, so the sewing will be rather late today, really must get on with these dog vests still got 3 to go and all the fasteners to do, be rather relieved when they are all finished.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Thank you Hubby

Thank You Pictures, Images and Photos

Sorry for lack of blog posts. Catastrophe stuck last week and down went our mail server, good few hours off line altogether till hubby devised a way to get us back, however I had no access to all our documents and files stored on said server. It is now officially deceased and we need to try raise funds to replace it soon.
Meanwhile good old hubby painstaikingly copied everything from hard disc to an external drive (or something like that) so I could get all my business documents and photo's back. I must also thank Mick from shpangle jewellery for his kind offer of help after my irrate SOS at weekend.

I can now resume my daily listings with my shiny new photo's taken in below spectacular garden.

Today I have been trying to learn the art of hat making - yes, I know I should have been working on my orders and the dog vests but fancied a change and need to work on some winter stock. I have found out why not many people do this, if I ever master it this will be nothing short of a miracle. My current major problem is how on earth to construct and fix a peak to a hat, I have also found there is very little info on this out there, luckily a nice lady on the Craft Forum as come to my rescue and offered a little help, so next time I am fancing a day of hat making I am in with a chance of actually constructing something that resembles a hat.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

How does your garden grow?

Some of you may know I have been relisting all my handbags and backpacks with new and improved photographs. Thought you may like to see the lovely garden I used for this. Dont tell the owner of the garden, as this is not the garden at its best, all the dog photoshoots I did for her I had to redo the grass to hide the patches. Past pictures of the garden I did for her are known as "BM" which stands for "Before Mac" the young Flatcoated retriever came to live there, he has ruined the lawn and eaten most of the wonderful plants that were there.

The last handbag is not listed yet, one of the new items I have to list in my Folksy Store once I have done all the rest, its a daily job.
I am currently on with the handbags and backpacks for the nature shop, and the 9 dog vests I had to do, which are taking a long time as I have found bias binding not to be my most favored task, so having to try do one per day as the binding leaves me somewhat short tempered it takes so long to do and so fidly, I have no plans to EVER use it again at the end of all this. I was also lucky enough to receive a custom request yesterday so I am also busy designing that one.

Hope you get a chance to take a look at the new improved photographs in my Folksy Shop, I think it looks much brighter in there now.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~