Friday, 29 July 2011

Aromatherapy ~ Folksy Friday

Oh dear, I dont seem to be finding so much time to keep up with the blogging these days, thats due to having far too much fun with the crafts I am working on. I did have a distraction this week though, my friend treated me to a tarte burner and a well known brand of tartes/melts to go with it. These magical frangrances have my house smelling delicious and have a very relaxed and happy SimJaTa busy working in such fabulous aroma's. BUT as we all know 'handmade is best' so I set toward the Folksy forum to see what was on offer, and got some fantastic recommendations, seems our talented Folksy crafters can quite easily out-do the well known candle company with the most amazing fragrances - I have mine on order from Folksy now and cannot wait to receive them.

Therefore, let me introduce you to what is on offer on Folksy, great fragrance, great prices and top class service.

Highly recommened to me was Pauline's Candles, I am currently a fan of the melts but this wonderful gift set is on my wish list an Aromatherapy set.

'Over the Rainbow' was also recommeneded, how cool are these? Essential Aromas wax melts

'One stop pamper shop' also on the list, and a great help to me in making my choices which I can hardly wait to arrive. Here are her fabulous Love Heart melts, which come in a variety of scents.

Our quest was joined by Lil-Piranha-Fish, who has the last of her melts on special offer

'Scratchycat Candles' has some wonderful choices in her shop, these sound very appealing "Rhubarb and Raspberry soy wax melts"

Dont forget the pictures take you straight to the shops for further information, and what else is on offer there.

For anyone who doesnt know (as I didnt till recently) you have a melt/tarte burner, a little tealight sits in the botton, and there is a place to sit your melt/tarte in the top, the tealight melts the candle and releases the most amazing scents accross your home and environment, making it all lovely.

So, what are you waiting for? go look at these shops - some of them have burners for sale too so you too can join in with a home of relaxing aroma's. Great treat for yourself.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Brooches, Keyrings and Bag Charms

Further to my last blog post, yes sorry it has been over a week! As usual just not enough hours in the day and many things outside of craft studio have been getting in the way.
Every available minute has been spent trying to conquer textile designs. The pictures above are 2 new ones ready to list in my "Special by SimJaTa" shop - link on the right. I am enjoying this challenge so much its all I want to be doing, I feel myself becoming quite frustrated when so many things get in the way. I am still working on bags alongside these designs, and these too are taking a new approach with some quilting, applique, patchwork designs and new ideas.

Here are the first 3 I added to my shop this week, the pictures take you to the Special by SimJaTa shop, I have found them great fun - hope you agree.

Here's to the start of a new week tomorrow - hoping it brings me more time.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Friday, 15 July 2011

Folksy Friday - The handmade brooch

If you read yesterday's blog you will know I have been trying to create my own textile brooches with my own theme, which I have decided will be handbags to fit in with my main craft.

I would today like to introduce you to my inspiration of the textile brooch, from the fabulous crafters on Folksy. Be sure to click on the pictures as they too create other superb items alongside their brooches.

"PantsandPaper" is one of the most popular and has her own fantastic individual style, I just love watching out for what she does next each day. Here is just one from her fabulous collection.

"Buttercup Boutique" is another talent I admire, so much so I purchased one of her lovely creations as a christmas gift for my Mum last year, here is one of her lovely little birds.

"Nofkantscurios" is one of our talented embroidery people, my own embroidery not yet in this league but maybe one day, here is her Magpie brooch

"Lynwoodcrafts" does not just embroidery but felting too to create this wonderful scenary, simply breathtaking, here is her meadow flower brooch

The next two sellers I discovered whilst looking at brooches, I thought this one a great individual talent so had to include "Nadine arborthot adornment" and one of her lovely beaded embroidery pieces

Lastly, but by no means least another new discovery by me, a great shop with other talents too "MarmaladeRose" and one of her lovely fabric brooches

I hope you have enjoyed this selection, I am off back to the sewing room to see what else I can come up with, one of my blog readers suggested I have a go at creating brooches to match the bags I have for sale, its a great idea - but can I master it? well I just cant wait to find out, so off I go!

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Whats new at SimJaTa?

OK, first of all bare with me, I have tried to put the photo's on the left - so you can look at what I am waffling on about as I go, but its all jumbled up as I write so cant tell what is where.

First of all should be my newest bag design, having decided I wanted to do some beaded quilting I discovered (the hard way) that you cannot rag quilt a beaded bag as all the beads loose their colour in the washing machine. So, had to go for patchwork quilting, with some embroidery and bead work - quite pleased with the result on my first attempt.

Then,I wanted to try textile brooches, so many lovely ones for sale on Folksy and had to be sure I constructed my own design, so here is the first one - in the shape of a handbag, rather appropriate to me being "Bags of Swank" I thought.

Landing in the wrong order is a close up of the little garden patch I created on the bag, I really enjoyed this and have been busy purchasing some more little beads and flowers to add to bags and maybe brooches in the future.

Whilst designing one of the squares I came across this lace, and thought together with some purple velvet and a few beads it might make a rather unusual glasses case, so this is what then appeared.

The last glasses case (I really hope this writing is somewhere near each picture) was my having another play with textile design and beadwork, using a variety of fabrics and lined with sari silks a new quilted design was created.

Lastly, the green patchwork number I showed you earlier in the blog was added to my shop today - you can find it by clicking on the photo which goes direct to my shop, I was thrilled to see earlier it had collected a couple of favourites, so hopefully at least 2 people out there like it so far

My new items should start to appear on Folksy from the weekend, as rather a busy schedule planned for tomorrow with no spare time for listing. I hope you like them, as I have had a lot of enjoyment designing them.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Life is for living

I was meant to be blogging today all about my new makes, still not listed but made none the less. But something changed that today....

See the photo of one of my dogs here Alfie, Alfie has hip dysplasia and Spikes Disease, but while he can he is still living life to the full and enjoying each day. Something we can all learn from Alfie.
My friend from outside the UK phoned me this morning, (some of you know her on my twitter account, which I joined so we can chat - so I will not name her here) She has been suffering from Cancer for some time and yesterday was told she now has weeks left. Not a huge surprise as we said our goodbyes earlier in the year when she was in the UK.
If I have been taught anything from my friend it is how important it is to live each day to the full, and not to let the silly (and I mean SILLY) daily niggles infringe on your day, on my walk with Alfie and the others this morning I noticed how important this lesson is.

I have missed my friend for years since she moved away, and above all I find it so unfair why such a fabulous person who would do anything she could for anyone and devoted her life to help animals can be taken from us so young. Perhaps her love and kindness is needed elsewhere, something none of us can know for sure.

If you have managed to read through this, dont be sad for her and certainly not for me......... but remember to live your life to the full, and make each day count.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Now here is one you can all follow, each day the talented Folksy Artists have a *ONE DAY SALE* which means they choose just one of their fabulous items and place this on sale for just that day, so you do have to be quick to find yourself a bargain. Easy to find, advertised on 'twitter' and you could even use the search box on Folksy, or look at the "PROMOTIONS" at the top of the Folksy Forum and find details there.
But for today, I am going to treat you to just a few of the items on offer today.

To begin is "Pink Chihuahua kisses" who has this lovely big n bold necklace in today's sale

This watercolour and pen art of a forgotten street is on offer from "Created by Kelly"

A treat from one of the jewelers "Maxine Veronica jewelery" is this lovely blue, turquoise and bronze necklace

How snug is this? and made from soft blue cotton, a baby blanket from "Uniquely Yours"

This is lovely, a fluffy Phone/IPod sock with charm from "Basset House Crafts"

From another of the popular jewellery artists "Shoogly Beads" is this great design with coral sea pearls

Lastly to remind us of those now forgotten Wimbledon days, from me here at Bags of Swank by SimJaTa, a tennis feature tote bag

All you need to do is to click each picture to be taken to today's special offer, or so you can favourite the shop and keep checking back each day - easy sale shopping on line with no queue's. Enjoy...........

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Sunday, 3 July 2011

New Design ~Work in progress

Here is a new one for me, some work in progress.. as it will take me some time to get this finished thought you might like to take a look at how things take shape. I am hoping this will be fabulous when its done, but remember my first attempt at the raggy bag? so who knows, lets see how it pans out during the week (or so)

I started off by selecting some fabric, decided to go for green's, with the zillion and one boxes in my craft room to go at this took some time.
So,fabric selected off to the iron to press the fronts and backs. Then (and here is were I really wish I actually did do any maths at school) cut all the batting to fit inside each fabric sandwich.
The first of the new bit, some fancy quilting done on each piece of fabric - must say this was a fun part too, hope you can see on the pictures once it was all laid out to be almost bag shaped.
Then all sewn together to actually 'be' bag shaped.

Still a very long way to go, most of the bits I need I am now at the mercy of the postman to fetch them so that could slow things down. I still have the handle to decide on, and made a decision on fastners which of course I didnt have any of so just ordered them too, again to begin that wait for the postman.

Tomorrow I am going to practice some embellishments for this bag, and for others in the future.

I just hope I can achieve the designs that are in my head, and that they will be loved as much as I enjoy creating them.

I will update my blog with the finished article when its ready, but I wouldnt hold your breath, may well be next weekend.

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~

Friday, 1 July 2011

Folksy Friday ~ Talented Quilters

As I have caught this quilting bug (although mine are the raggy variey not quite as smart as these) I thought this week I would share just some of the talent on Folksy from the quilters there. Be sure to click on these pictures for futher details and a good look around each shop of lovelies.
You may think some of these items are a bit pricey, but the quality of workmanship is amazing, and the hours it takes to create these original beauties you would not believe. Talent and heaps of patience goes into this art.

To begin is "Beccabugs" who has this wonderful and organic cot blanket, not just great to look at but perfect for soft sensitive skin.

An English Garden Cozy quilt from "Nostalgia Knits" is next, I can but dream of creating anything so special

I struggled with which to choose from "Friday Club" so do be sure to look at the rest of the shop, this one is a personalised patchwork baby quilt

"BooBoo Craft" has this great handbag, must have been hours of work with the quilting and sewing all those wonderful bright buttons on, its called 'handbag push my big buttons'

Here is a very smart handbag from "Not Just Handbags" again, time taken to create this wonderful effect, be sure to take a look at the rest of the smart bags here.

This one is just amazing, done in my style of raggy quilting, but a large design make a great throw for the sofa - needs to be shown off in full glory, by "Helen Jane's Designs"

Here are my first 2 raggy bags, one more finishing in the dryer with more detail on -wont be listed till Sunday though. Lastly, from Bags of Swank by SimJaTa

Hope you have enjoyed the above talent, these are just some of the quilters on Folksy there are others, worth a look if only to view such talent. But better still for a great attractive treat or gift.

Have a good weekend

~Bags of Swank by SimJaTa~