Friday, January 31, 2014

Arm Knit Cowl

On Wednesday I helped out at a class on arm knitting at a local library. I hadn't actual done arm knitting before, but it was easy and really fast to make a scarf or a cowl. All you need is bulky or chunky weight yarn, or 2 or more strands of a lighter weight yarn held together and your arms. Your arms act as the knitting needles, but you do need your hands for grabbing the yarn too. If you are interested, Lion Brand Yarn has a video on arm knitting and you can also do a search for U-Tube videos on arm knitting as there are several out there.

The yarn we all used in the class was the kind you normally would use for making those ruffle scarves that are all the rage. I'm not that into ruffles, so I think this yarn looks better as an arm knit cowl or scarf rather than a ruffly scarf.
I love this color and this yarn has tiny sequins on it too.
This is how the knitting actually looks.
When worn it is harder to see the actual knit stitches, but I love how it looks. It only took about 30 minutes to make this scarf  too! 
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Friday, January 24, 2014

The Uptown Girl Bag

I tested this bag for Christine (Chris W. Designs). Christine had a name-this-bag contest and just chose the name Uptown Girl. The instructions call for you to make it from pleather, real leather or other faux suedes or faux leather materials or you can make it out of regular cotton fabrics too.

Christine's instructions are always excellent! I chose to use a lightweight denim with a contrast print cotton for the exterior and a home decor print for the lining fabric. I went to a local store to see what kinds of faux leathers they had out of curiosity, but then I remembered that one of my new goals (or resolution) was to use fabric I already have in my stash this year and not to buy any new fabric! So I turned around and marched out of the store! Then I went shopping at home, lol!!!

I love the size of this bag because it's not too large and not too small. I would have named it the Goldilocks Bag, lol!!!! There are pockets inside on both sides that you can divide any way you choose, and the divided zipper pocket in the middle that is so cool. The recessed zipper on the bag is so slick to make. I really love those pocket on the gussets; it's a great place to put your keys or phone or pocket tissues. Since there is a pocket on both sides you can put those things that you really need to get at quickly there.

Okay enough blabber from me and now on with the bag photos~
I used a cotton print for the contrast fabric and the rest is a lightweight denim material.  I chose to make my straps with a D-ring and the denim fabric, instead of using grommets.
I like this patchwork print and the little blue in it matched so well with the denim fabric.
I like to make and use zipper pulls for my zippers. 
You can see the pockets on each side of the bag lining. I like making a pen pocket to hold my pen and a small pad of paper fits nicely in the pocket beside the pen. The zipper pocket divides the space between the other 2 pocket sections and of course you have room to put whatever you want to put in the zippered pocket too.
Another zipper pull I made with a blue and yellow bead to match the lining fabric. I had this yellow zipper with the metal teeth already on hand and since it was yellow and long enough, I used it. It's much easier to sew a nylon zipper on the zipper ends that is.
Pockets and my label on one side of the lining.
Pen pocket and pockets on either side of the pen pocket.
The recessed zipper. 
Pocket on the side gusset. There is another pocket on the other side too.

Looking down into the gusset pocket.

Check out the other testers and the lovely bags they made too. They all look a bit different because of the various fabrics they used.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

May I Pick Your Brain?

I love to create. I quilt, I knit, I make bags of all kinds, I embroider by hand, I dabble in other crafts too. I have a need to create and be creative. But tell me what do you do with all the things that you create? Sure I make gifts and give some of my creations to friends and relatives and I have donated things to charities as well. But when you live in a small house and cannot keep everything you make what do you do with it all?

I got excited about opening my Zibbet Store in December. Similar to Etsy, but for a basic membership Zibbet doesn't charge any fees; you only have the PayPal fees when something sells. I didn't want to start a full time business, but just wanted to have a place I could sell some things I make and try and recoup my expenses for making the item and in some cases perhaps make a bit of money if I need to buy some supplies in the future. I was stumped as to what to charge for postage on each item. I have no idea what things will cost to mail, so I went to the USPS site and typed in a few different weights for small size packages to see what a one-pound package up to a 6-pound package would cost to mail here in the states and internationally. OMG!!! I was shocked at how expensive postage is here and everywhere. It's cheaper to send a flat rate box in most cases if the weight is over a certain amount. But international rates sent from the states is outrageous!!! I didn't know if I should sell only to the states, so I put the postage for everywhere else as well. I doubt I will get any international sales though because of the postage rates. I don't know how anyone trying to sell their art or anything else can afford the shipping costs. Plus on top of the high shipping rates already, PayPal takes their fees on the total (the item plus shipping costs together). I understand they have to make money too for their service, but then I need to charge more for shipping to cover my cost to ship or I end up paying part of the shipping costs. So the postage rates really bummed me out and now my excitement for wanting to sell my things sort of fizzled altogether. I know it takes time and I need to be patient to see if I can sell anything, but as I wait for that first sale to happen, I continue to sew and knit and stuff piles up all around me. Plus there are millions of people trying to sell what they make online or at craft shows too, so the competition is very fierce. It's nearly impossible for anyone to find your blog let alone your Etsy or Zibbet or other store.

So what are my options?

  • I can donate it all to a thrift store
  • I can have a yard/garage sale and sell my creations for pennies (where I live we have an annual May garage sale in the neighborhood and cannot have individual garages sales any other time)
  • I can pay expensive table fees and sit all day and try to sell at craft shows (tried this years ago and barely made enough money to cover the table fee, and had to haul everything back home again)
  • I can have a virtual yard sale on Zibbet and charge for postage cost only
  • I can put things on consignment at stores and probably receive garage sale prices too
  • I can toss it all into the garbage can
Any suggestions? If you create, what do you do with your creations? Do you sell them with any success? Do you only make gifts? Please, pretty please share your thoughts by commenting in the comments. Or if you do not want the world to read your comments email me or use the contact form located toward the bottom of the right-hand sidebar of the blog.

I would like to know that my creations went to a good home and to someone who will use and enjoy them.

People say all the time oh you should sell your creations, you do such beautiful work. How many times have you heard that one? If I had a nickel for every time I got a compliment about my creations I would be wealthy right now. lol!!! It's so much easier to say it than to actually sell it.

If I gave away my creations, would you pay the postage to have it mailed to you?

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Knit Owls on a Quilt

I had knit some owls and strung them on a string awhile back. The knit owls I made from a free pattern and I provided the link to the pattern. One of my reader/followers really liked the owls and she received some knit owls for her birthday (I think from a friend of hers). Lou recently emailed me a couple of photos of what she did with those knit owls and the result is just precious. Take a look for yourself:
Isn't this quilt just darling with the knit owls perched on the branches? What a clever combination of knitting and quilting....and speaking of quilting I love the quilting on this quilt!
The colors are so bright and cheerful and look like spring weather.
Thanks Lou for sharing your beautiful quilt! Lou also has a blog here.
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tip of the Morning Tuesday~DIY Crafter's Tool Caddy

Welcome to another Tip of the Morning Tuesday. I wanted something to keep some of my sewing, quilting and knitting tools in while watching dvds and doing some handwork. Depending on what I was working on at the time, I thought using a dip/chip/veggie snack tray would be just perfect for holding my tools and such. I didn't have one so I stopped by a dollar store to take a peek and see what they had. I found this one and it was perfect for my needs. One of the pincushions I had made a while back fit just right in the center too, so I didn't need to make a new one.
Here's the chip/dip/veggie snack tray I bought at a dollar store.
My pincushion fit perfectly in the center and a few sewing and knitting tools fit in the sections.
This would also be great to hold beads, stamps and stamp pads, paints, or whatever your hobby is that requires you to have several items on hand while you work. It even looks like a gigantic paint palette, lol! I keep this on a TV tray by the sofa.
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

The La Luna Bag & Pattern

I created a bag pattern for a bag I recently made. I call it the La Luna Bag. You can now find the pattern available at Craftsy.
This was the first La Luna Bag with wooden handles I made.
I made this La Luna Bag in order to create the pattern that I am selling on Craftsy. These handles are plastic and a bit smaller, but since I had them already on hand I put them to use.
Maria of Mia's Creations happily agreed to test this bag pattern for me. Below is the bag that she made. Thanks Maria!
 Maria made her bag a little longer and that is one of the variations that you can do of course.
 Maria chose a beautiful print for her lining.
Maria made this wonderful flower from a zipper. Wow I love it! Please be sure and stop by Maria's blog and see all the beautiful things that she creates too.
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chinese Dragon Quilt

Some of you might remember the Chinese Dragon applique that I was helping my daughter to make over a year and a half ago. She wanted to make this for her boyfriend. The plan was that I help her choose the fabrics from my stash and then fuse the pieces on the background fabric for her. She was supposed to do all the hand blanket stitching around each applique shape. Then I would quilt and bind it. So she did manage to do all the blanket stitching on all the red pieces and about 3 or 4 inches of the orange. Then it just sat and sat and she never finished it. So Mom to the rescue. I finished all the blanket stitching, I quilted it and sewed on the binding and a hanging sleeve and added a few embellishments. It took me 3 days to get it all done! Finally her boyfriend now has this quilt and in time for Chinese New Year (which is at the end of this month).
This Chinese Dragon was adapted from a book by Eric Carle. All the fabrics are batiks, except for the background fabric and the black border. I even added tiny red rickrack all around the quilt.



I added some sequins as an afterthought.
The back of the quilt I used a Chinese Dragon fabric print. This fabric was the leftovers from the pajama bottoms that I made for my daughters boyfriend last year.
A couple of buttons I added and sequins too.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bye Bye Love Bag

I am taking part in the Bag of the Month club and the first bag pattern that was emailed to me is called the Bye Bye Love bag and was designed by Sara of Sew Sweetness. So I made my bag as you can see below.
The front of the Bye Bye Love bag.
On the 2 front pockets I used Velcro as the closures instead of the magnetic snaps that the pattern called for and then added a button on each pocket for a decorative look. I don't know why it photographed with that waffle look to the flowers? There is no texture there.
The back of the bag .
Zippered pocket on the back of the bag. 
I added a beaded zipper pull to make it easier to grab onto for zipping and unzipping.
Inside the bag are pockets. I always like to add a narrow pen/pencil pocket too.
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