Sunday, December 25, 2011

Pinwheel Bag

Merry Christmas to you today!  I just wanted to post photos of the most recent creation I made, a bag for a colleague of mine, who was assigned to me as who I should give a gift to (we all drew one name) at our office party.  I was inspired by a trip to the quilt store (that is often all it takes).  I saw a Christmas quilt with this pinwheel design.  They actually pop up  and out of the seams, and you have to iron them flat.  Kelly (my colleague) noted on her slip that she liked purple, pink, and blue, and so here is what resulted from the direction I had.

It is never interesting enough to line a bag with black, and it is easier to find your things when it isn't so dark in there, so here is the inside fabric!  Both the purple and the pink plaid were garage sale finds, and the pinwheels were made of 16 of my most favorite fabrics.

I wish you a lovely Christmas today.  I'll be traveling for the next two weeks, but when I'm back in January, I'll post my Christmas cards and anything else that "pops" up  (that was a hint) between now and then.

Thank you for a most excellent 2011,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Toiletries/Wine Bag

10 years ago, I loved Pottery Barn stuff so much that I received their catalog regularly in the mail.  Of course, I could only afford about three things in their whole inventory, so one day I bought one of those three things.  Ladies and Gents, meet my toiletries bag!  As you can tell, I've taken it on every single trip since then.

It actually is meant to be a wine bag.  How it became a toiletries bag is a mystery to me.  Maybe I loved it so much (velveteen outside, silk lining) that I couldn't bring myself to gift it, so I thought of other uses?  Who knows.  Anyway, it is threadbare now and needs to become a fabric scrap.  So today, I made a new one!  Since it is meant to be a wine bag, I couldn't help but show the new one with a bottle of wine in it, but it will absolutely serve (hopefully for the next 10 years) as a toiletries bag.

The fabrics are both heavy duty IKEA fabrics.  I got the blue stuff on sale at $4 a yard, which seemed like a steal.  What's interesting about this is that I chose to make a bag exactly that size and shape again.  At some points over the last 10 years, I've thought that it is too narrow and deep for toiletries, and it is sometimes annoying for that reason (there is a limit to how much can fit in there).  However, I opted to go for the same design because the narrow-ness is actually helpful in keeping my toiletries from taking up too much space in my suitcase!  It is also without a zipper that could break, and it is easy to carry around when I'm in a space-not-my-own.  Plus, those annoying TSA regulations have made it so actually, all my stuff does actually fit in there.

My day today started off with a custom Etsy order for some bike bands with this new ribbon I got last weekend.  They will be a Christmas gift for a woman in Virginia who just got a new bike.  Her daughter says she has been frustrated that she hasn't been able to find these invaluable accessories anywhere, and of course, nothing as cute as this anyway.  (Ok, I threw that last bit in---the daughter didn't say that, or the word invaluable either.)

Today, my biggest task was finishing up making my Christmas cards.  You know I won't spoil the surprise here, but here is a little teaser of some of the parts.  I will of course post the final product after Christmas day.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

And The Best Selling Item Was...

Advent calendars!  Hooray!  Out of the 11 I made for the season, I have sold a total of 9 this year.  So cool.  A close second was the bike bands.  If you are reading this and you didn't get a chance to buy this weekend, but you would LIKE to, please visit my etsy shop here.  (If you're in the Fort, I am very happy to rendezvous with you in town to avoid shipping costs.)

Excellent things about this fair:

  1. I was in a good location for customer visibility and light!  
  2. I had a cozy corner to set up a little table in, where I was able to work on a couple things to pass the time.  Indeed, I designed my Christmas card for this year!
  3. My product fit in with the theme of the fair: fine & funky.  Customers were hip, the kind of people who would go out Christmas shopping in Old Town Fort Collins (local) despite the fact that it had snowed 3 inches the night before and the temps were in the 20s-30s for the whole day.  Other sellers were great too, selling lots of interesting and very original things. No knitted coat-hanger covers.
  4. I made a new friend in art!  Jennifer owns Quay & Co, and she and I clearly have similar tastes!  She made the cold and the slower moments bearable.  Check out her excellent etsy shop!  (I particularly heart her camera straps.)
Things that were tough:
  1. I was right next to the door, first booth, and please note the outside temperatures I mentioned above.
  2. For having stood in a cold location for 12 hours, I didn't profit quite as much as I would have liked.  But, exposure is a big reason I was there, and I think lots more people know about me now.  Nice!
Here's a photo of what was directly across from me (aka what I looked at all day), the art of William Pilch.  His stuff is really dimensional and vibrant, and he is a character too.

Both evenings, we were serenaded with carols from some costumed carolers.  Here they are in my booth, singing Noel.

This week: I plan to work on Christmas cards and a new toiletries bag... for MYSELF!  (Amazing, I know.)