Friday, August 20, 2010

Crafty Stuff

I wanted to share a more recent picture of our little baby, Jessie. With lots of love (and don't forget spending quite a bit at the Vet!) she has grown tremendously the last few weeks. I remember weighing her at the Vet a month ago and we were so pleased that she had gained 200g, weighing 2kg then! Last night we weighed her on the bathroom scale and she is a whopping 8kg!I could not resist taking this picture! This is a first, Jessie sleeping on my cane chair in my sewing room. She was very affectionate last night, just wanting to cuddle up to me, so I put her on my chair for a snooze. Adorable. She looks like a rabbit at the moment when she runs - she is all long legs and ears!

This lovely surprize arrived in my post box yesterday! Thank you so much Karol-Ann! My lovely blog friend from the UK sent me a whole bunch of knitted and crocheted bag patterns from her old magazines. This top picture is my favorite. It uses the Rowan Biggy Print yarn and as you know, I am into the super-chunky yarn phase now.

I know, I know, I have enough stash to open my own shop, but I saw this lovely bag pattern on This drawstring bag is made from paper raffia and I happened to see some at The Crazy Store yesterday at a very good price and decided to try it. I started on the bag last night, but changed the pattern. Raffia is not easy to crochet! Maybe it's the type I bought, not sure. It looks really nice though.

I first went to Fiona's Fabrics in Randburg looking for Raffia and saw this new stock. They have just put out some lovely 100% cotton (from India) fat quarters. They call it Flat Fats and there are rolls as well, normally called jelly rolls I think. You can choose between green, pink or blue and there are some odd ones, like the yellow polka dots. They sell for R20 each where all the quilt shops charge R35 a fat quarter. I see lovely FQ bags or some smaller projects like pin cushions.

Earlier this week I was on my way to see a customer when I saw this African Artist selling wire and beads animals next to the road. What caught my attention was the sheep! I immediately wanted the smaller one and then forgot to stop on my way back. Yesterday I took the same route to another customer and on my way back stopped. Isn't this cute?

These Artists are just amazing. Look at the cute hoofs and tail! Its based on a wire frame and they add seed beads. This is the smallest sheep he had and it stands about 30cm high.

Just look at the detail in the face and ears. This is the literal translation of "beady eyes"! They have even re-created the "wooly" look with the way they attached the beads.

I don't think I have mentioned yet that my sewing room is going to be completely revamped? This will be happening very soon. In fact, I am starting to clear out the room this weekend, painting will happen next week during the evenings, then the carpenter will be coming in to install a built-in closet and shelves. I have been spending a lot of time on planning my new room, including a decent cutting table. Imagine how nice this sheep will look in my new room! I will take some before, during and after pics of my room to share with you. If you know of any great sites where I can get more inspiration ideas for my new room, please drop me a note.

Hope you all have a great, crafty weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reversible Bag

It has been very quiet here because I have been very lazy the last two weeks. I am in my sewing room a lot, planning to start projects or finish some of the WIP's lying around, but no action as yet. I did make two bags last weekend.

This is the Reversible Bag from a very crafty lady's blog. Visit to get the free pattern to make this cute bag and see this lady's fantastic sewing projects at the same time. I hate sloppy bags, so I ironed on some interfacing to the outer fabric. This was a mistake. Not only did it make the bag more bulky for sewing the curves, it is a bit stiff as well. I already used some home dec type fabric that is rather thick for the outer fabric, so it did not need interfacing.

This is another view of the bag showing the darts in the bottom. This fabric was a cut-off piece I got for a very good price at Jo-Ann's in Chicago last year. The photo does not do this fabric any justice. The pink flowers are gorgeous. A quick and easy bag to make. I plan to make another bag like this, but without interfacing.

Then I also tried my hand at making a leather bag. I have always wanted to try this. I was great fun to design my own bag and make it. I drafted the basic pattern and then cut it into three parts, including seem allowances. After attaching the three parts, I did topstitching on both sides of the seams. Love the way it came out. I do hate the handles though. I saw a bag where the handles were sewn on and tried it, but it does not look good. Maybe the handles are also too small for this bag? Looks that way to me. I am planning to remove them and make other handles. Maybe handles attached with O-rings.

I adore the inside of the bag. I used a fat quarter that I bought at Hobby Lobby earlier this year with the cutest pink flowers and birds on it. I also tried my hand at sewing in a divider with a zip. Yeah! Love how it came out.

I did however forget to add lining! When do I discover this? Of course it was after the whole bag was sewn. I am so not re-doing it.

I have also cut out another bag I plan to make, but not sure when! Hope my sewing mojo comes back soon! Hope you all have a great week.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Weekend buys and new stash (again!)

I had a great time shopping at the International Fashion Sale on Saturday with my sister and niece. We are all shopaholics in this family! The show was a bit smaller than previous years and there were less REAL bargains, but it still offered some great stuff. This is what I came home with, a few "investment" pieces for my wardrobe.

Of course, I had to buy some handbags. A lovely grey structured bag in a fake snakeskin pattern and a fab peacock blue leather drawstring bag. This blue bag has so many pockets inside as well as a zipped divider, which I think I need to try adding to my next fabric bag. Of course I had to buy TWO pairs of boots in the same color! Don't ask me why. This light grey top is a soft mohair organic jersey from Japan and wears wonderfully. So well, that I went back on Sunday to buy two more! At R100 (about $14) each, it really was a bargain.

This also arrived in the post on Saturday! As you know, I am on a mission to get my hands on some bulky yarn right now. Sirdar's Big Softie yarn is fabulous! As the name suggest, very soft to the touch and very thick. I have been drooling over it the whole weekend and now I am not keen to use it. I ordered three colors - Blancmange, Foam and Cupcake. I got these from this shop on sale at GBP1,70 each! Great service too!

I ordered these book two weeks ago from, a local online shop similar to, after I saw some of Leigh Radford's fabulous books and patterns on her website. Her felted bags and scarf patterns are awesome. You can see pictures of projects in her books on her website here

I love this bag from Alterknits Felt! On the other side this bag has a striped section and another section with big dots. It has lots of extra pockets and interesting design detail. You know my love of anything with polka dots! I am so going to make this bag!

And look at this interesting bag. It has a long zipper that covers a large part of the handle. Great designs! Hope you are all having a great week.

Our old lady, Maxine, went in for her big operation yesterday at the Vet. She was so high on drugs when we fetched her late afternoon and could hardly walk. We had to carry her around and she is no lightweight. Can you believe the Vet called her "fat"! My dog is not fat, ok, maybe a little...We set her up on the couch on the patio last night with lots of blankies and nice food and water, but apart from forcing her to swallow her pills, she was not interested in moving around or eating. I was delighted to see her moving around this morning and eating a bit. We forced some more pills down her throat and I hope to see her strong again soon! I will post a pic of her soon, when she looks more healthy.