Bag, Bags and More Bags

I am always on the hunt for hand bags, purses, accessories that hold more accessories, by whatever name you call them, they are essentially bags.   Here are some of my favorite hand crafted bags made in America.  My criteria, you ask… well… Leather construction, bags must be lined, have a good shape and plenty of room.  (Each image is a link to where you can purchase the bag, if you are so inclined)

Double Zipper Bag in Sand

Madeline Chadwick Handbags Based in Los Angeles

Genuine leather. Silver hardware. Two open interior pockets and one zipper pocket. Custom lining.

 

SALE - Ready to ship - Larch leather bag in black

Handmade by ValhallaBrooklyn     Larch bag in buttery soft and sturdy black pebble grain premium grade cow hide

 

Everyday Bag

Handmade by ContraBandCouture      Butterscotch brown with, Two pockets on the faux gator inserts outside,  front and back along with three pockets on the inside paisley print lining.

 

 

Red Rose & Thorn Lasercut Lambskin Leather Ruffle Crossbody Bag

Handmade by DahlingAccessories

Red rose super soft lambskin lined with gray woven fabric. Ruffle flap at front with steel spike details.  Inside flap is grey Italian leather. Magnetic snap closure. Red leather reinforced crossbody strap that can be tied at end to adjust length. Inner pocket.   Fully lined. Dahling satin inside label on pocket.

 

Luella Bag Custom Color Option

Handmade by LolaFalkDesigns and made to order  Custom color bag

Exterior: Leather
Lining and Interior Pocket: Cotton
Closure: Metal Zipper
Adjustable Strap: Leather (can be lengthened/shortened to be worn cross-body or over shoulder)

Advertisements

Die Cut Fabric easy

Are you a scrapbooker that has invested in one of the die cutting systems like Sizzix or one of the others?   Are you looking to stretch how you use this equipment?   Wow, I am starting to sound like a company rep!

Ok, I have a couple of these die cut pieces of equipment and I love them.   I found out recently that the quilting world has one as well for cutting fabric.   This made me wonder if the one I have for paper would cut fabric.   It does.   It opened a whole new world for me, it made me think about how I could use fabric instead of paper for projects.

Now here is the disclaimer, that I do this at my own risk to damage to my dies.  If you choose to do this and it results in damage to your dies etc, I am not liable.  It is your choice to do so.

First iron a sewable fusible on the back of your fabric.   Cut the fabric into pieces the size of your die.   Run it through your machine.   VIOLA! you now have a pre-cut fusible that you can iron onto any other fabric.

I used sewable fusible because I wanted to be able to sew through the applique after it was applied, without gumming up my machine needle.

With some of the letter embroidery sewing machines out there, you could embroider the fabric, apply the fusible, then die cut out any shape you have on hand.

Too much fun!!!

Easy wrap bracelet for the holidays.

A wrapped or memory wire bracelet is one of the easiest pieces of jewelry to make for a beginner.   You will need one package of memory wire sized for bracelets.  You will also need beads of your choice with holes sized large enough to fit the diameter of the memory wire.   Many seed beads will not work for this unless they are the larger ones.   You will also need a pair of Chain nose pliers. (Click for memory wire source) (Click for source of Pliers)

To start locate one end of your memory wire, then using your pliers bend the end back onto itself. (you can also purchase memory wire bead caps. Click here for a source)  It will form a bit of a loop.  This will stop your beads from coming off the end.

Your typical package of memory wire will allow it to go around your wrist several times.  Take a look and decide how many time you want your to wrap around.   Once you know, cut the memory wire at that point (please don’t use your flush cutter for this, the memory wire will damage them)  I use a pair of cutters meant for memory wire. (Link to Memory wire cutters)

Now that you have your length of wire, start stringing beads onto it, use your imagination, if you don’t like a combination then slide them  off and re do.   You can make this total random or in a pattern with the same size and type of bead. (click for bead source)(Source for lovely Crystals)  It is all about what appeals to you.

Once you have them all strung, use your pliers and bend a loop into the end where you were stringing.  This will hold all the beads onto the wire.

Presto a bracelet!!!

What a great gift!  Or if you used those lovely crystals you have a lovely holiday sparkle bracelet….

 

Happy Holidays!

Sharon

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SharonOrella

 

P.S.  If you just would like to have a lovely Memory Wire Bracelet made for you, I know just the person.   Give her a call or visit her shop on Etsy.       Click here to visit  her shop and contact her via convo Jewelyett

Upcycle? Recycle? Reuse? Repurpose?

What does this all mean when you’re a creative person?  Well, for most it means instead of throwing something away, either find another way to use it or put it in the recycle bin.   That is if your community will recycle it.   In some areas of the country there are community reuse places that you can take your, still useful items in hopes that someone else will find your trash to be a treasure.

Near where I am we have a place called Scrap (School Community reuse action program) it is not all that near to me, but I will make a special trip to get there.   Most of the time though I am a shopper there, but thankfully, there are many that make donations to them.   For example they have lots of fabric, upholstery and wallpaper sample books, yarn, tiles, paper, envelopes etc.   All of which are very reusable to make useful and decorative items.   I have picked up many a large fabric sample to make pillow or handbags.   For the longest time they had a barrel full of corks.  I could never figure out what I could make from a cork, but others did because they dwindled down to nothing eventually.

Perhaps one of my favorite spots is the book and magazine corner, where you can find books and magazines for pennies.   Or the paper corner where you buy office paper for 25 cents an inch.   (measured by the height of your stack)  Sometimes you can find envelopes with no return address, those are great!   But they also have some with a return address which are easily upcycled by sticking your address sticker over theirs.   Scrap keeps so much stuff out of landfills each year just by redistributing it, that they deserve a recycle award!   Besides I have no idea where I would find a barrel of corks or belt blanks to be re-purposed. Would you?

Just recently I incorporated some glossy cardstock from Scrap into my gift tags.  The original sheets were 8 1/2 x 22, so required some cutting down before I could punch them.   It took longer to punch them as they are pretty sturdy, but it was worth it.  The paper is wonderful with my tags.   It embossed beautifully and I am very happy with it.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Ornament Gift tag

 

I encourage everyone to donate to their local reuse program and to shop there.   You just never know what you will find…

P.S. I found one in San Francisco too..  Scrap (Scrounger’s Center for Reusable Art Parts)  Love it!!

To see more please visit my shop on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SharonOrella

Have a great day!

Confessions of a Magazine addict….

Yes, it is hard to say, but I am a magazine addict.  I think I come by it honestly, genetically, from my mother’s side of the family.   I wasn’t always one, there was a time when I only bought the occasional holiday Magazine to make a cookie recipe or for a decorative technique to spruce  up the holidays.   Mostly, I think that was because there was no money for magazines and the choice was limited.   I remember visiting my aunts in my early twenties, one had magazines in every possible cupboard (even in the bathroom, yes no towels in the linen closet, just magazines).  My other Aunt had a special VERY  long cabinet (like 15 feet long) that the entire bottom had her collection of magazines.   I could not fathom, why they would have SO many, at the time.

I promised myself that I would never be that bad.  Then I met my husband, who read several different magazines, and convinced me to subscribe to a quilt magazine that I had been picking up at the drugstore.  Now this was before there were tons of these on the shelves like there are now.  It was difficult to find a quilt magazine with block patterns at the time.   So, I subscribed, and I saved every issue, they were like books to me.   It was all I subscribed to for about 4 years.   Then quilt magazines started coming out more and more and I subscribed at one time to about 6 of them.   I kept them all, think I would get to all the lovely patterns inside them.   I did actually sit down and go through them looking for patterns for several years and was greatly inspired by them.   That was my downfall, the inspiration factor.   It wasn’t that I would always make something from the patterns inside them, it was that I would be inspired to make something similar with my own twist, that was the addiction making itself evident.

I stuck with Quilt magazines for about 10 years as I practiced my craft.   It was then that I found the courage to finally toss the first 4 years of Quilt magazines.   I realized I had stopped referencing them and had no space for them, so off they went.  To the garage, where they languished for about a year, before I could let them fully go.   It was also around this time that I started expanding my artistic horizons and was inspired by painting and other hobbies.   I eventually stopped all my quilting subscriptions except for ones that came out only a couple of times a year so that I could keep a hand in the quilt world.

Now, I subscribe to beading and paper and Quilt magazines.   I save most of them, they are inspiring when I feel like creating.   But, I have to be careful, if I feel like working with paper and open a  beading magazine the two will collide and I will begin to try to merge the two.  Sometimes this is ok, and other times a complete disaster.   Like ironing fusible to wrapping paper and then trying to iron it onto paper.   Did you know paper warps badly when heated?  I do….

Have a great week and if you have time check out some of my new tags on etsy… Click here

Here are some pictures of some of my newer tags for the holidays. . .

Handmade: Is it worth it?

So you know that handmade is pretty trendy…

You can go on Etsy and find a million handmade items that you think are adorable.   But one of the great things about handmade are the connection you make with the Artist/Craftsperson.  For the Artist or craftsperson, that connection is important to them too.   So question is, how do you make that connection?   One way is to search Etsy for locally made items.  You can specify a default search that narrows to the closest town to you.   You will be pleasantly surprised to find out how many great items are made right down the street from you.

When I talk to people at shows, many are surprised to find out that I am a local artist.   They assume that if your doing a show you must be from out of state or pretty far away.

So lets say you found someone close, you can convo them and ask if they are doing any shows locally that you can attend or if their work is in any local shops as well.   This will also give you a feel for the person behind the art.    Did you get a quick response?   Where they friendly even if they weren’t doing any shows?  Best case you find you really like the person behind the art and worse case, you move on and continue shopping locally and globally…

So, have fun, keep shopping and support your local artist…

Creating, Creating, Creating…. with Paper

I have always loved paper, I love the feel of paper, I love the smell of paper and I truly love the versatility of paper.   Paper can become so many things and mean so much.  I always wonder who and how the first bits of paper were made.  I know that as far back as Egyptian times they were we writing on fibers and making papers.    I have dabbled in making paper several times and enjoyed doing it.   My favorite was when I decided that I was going to make use of all of the junk mail I kept getting.   I began shredding all of my junk mail, envelope and credit card applications and sales flyers etc.  It was not long before I had bags and bags of shredded paper.   I than began throwing it in a blender with some water and unflavored Gelatin.    I had read that the gelatin would hold everything together along with the fibers all interweaving together.   I wound up with some pretty amazing paper pulp (after a LOT of blending).     I made several batches of paper but my fave was the one I added a tiny bit of green food coloring to.   In that batch I threw in some dried flowers, some green food color, and some other twiggy like fibers I had lying around.    All of my  8 x 11 sheets came out a pale green with lots of texture.  I thought they were fabulous!   I little hard to write on, but they went through my inkjet printer rather nicely.   I will have to do that again, perhaps next summer would be good.  I found it best to do this outside, that way I did not worry about spillage or mess.   Memories of my handmade paper are good ones and fit right in with my latest endeavor of paper creations.   I discovered (drum roll puleeze)  embossing!   I have gone a bit overboard in collecting little embossing folders that I put paper in then crank through my little roller machine.   I never get tired of seeing the end product!   I have made tags, lots of tags, many experimental and some that have made it to my Etsy site.    Did I tell you I also love to package these up, and make then pretty so that when people get them I hope they will like them as much as I do.  I only wish I could give as many gifts as I make tags for because then I could gift wrap with paper too.   Ahhh…. so much paper and so little time!

Of course I must share some pictures of my paper creations!