Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bag Number 4 - Flower Power

Well, JoAnn Fabrics was having another pattern sale and I picked another Bag Pattern for only $0.99 (well, plus tax). I then wandered over to the discounted remnant fabric section and couldn't pass up this pretty flower design fabric. A quick stop to the Quilting Fabric section for the inside lining (which I used my 40% coupon) and I was out the door.

I decided to make Handbag D which is the green bag on the bottom left with a pair of round bamboo handles I recently purchased from MJTrim. I started cutting out the pattern and fabric today, so I am very excited.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lonely Shop No More - Updated Shop

I started updating my Bridal Shop, Haute Bridal this week after deciding to try the black river rock background. Still not the greatest photos, but the clearest so far. I have added hair pins for the Bride as well as the Bridal party and some other pretty things of bling.

Sparkling Swarovski Crystal Bracelet

Tiny Pearl Chain Cluster Earrings

Round Glass Pearl Daisy Hairpins

Crystal Weave Choker Necklace

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Forget Spring, I Am Ready for Summer

I know that it was snowing in NYC as the first day of Spring arrived, however the weather has been quite perfect (almost Spring like) here in South Florida. The crazy rains of last week finally stopped, the sun has been out and the humidity has been low. Ducky, (my pool thermometer) says that the pool's temperature is currently at 73 degrees and that means that in another 5-7 degrees this girl will be lounging pool side and that Summer will have arrived in South Florida.

Speaking of Summer, I finished bag number three: Flip Flop Beach Bag which will find it's way to my Etsy Shop.
Just a few more weeks until Pina Colada time...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wedding Trends 2009

So Weddings have been on my mind lately, one because I've been thinking about my lonely shop Haute Bridal and the second is that my cousin is getting married in July at a resort in Mexico and three because my sixth year wedding anniversary is approaching and I still haven't done my wedding photos (I know, I know).

As the economy is struggling, I started wondering about Brides-to-be and how does one plan a wedding in this economy. I received an email from IdoBrides, where I have a free listing on their site. Their advertising campaign highlighted that the trends in 2009 will relate to saving money as couples plan their weddings.
  • Smaller weddings with fewer guests

  • Destination weddings or destination type weddings closer to home

  • Accent colors on dresses and cakes with the most popular being greens and blues

  • Increased reliance on family and friends to help plan, pay, and provide some of the services

  • Increased use of green and echo friendly products and services

  • Simplified decorations, centerpieces and wedding invitations

  • Increased use of online RSVP's vs. traditional mail-in RSVPs

  • Off-peak weddings; Mornings, Afternoons, Fridays, Sundays, October becomes the new June

  • Buffet meals, Hors d'oeuvre, and cocktail receptions

  • Cheesecakes, cupcakes and miniature cakes

  • All-inclusive packages

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lonely Shop - Haute Bridal

My other Etsy Shop has been on my mind lately, what's that you say, yes, I have two Etsy Shops:

  • Hmmills - where I sell my everyday jewelry as well as my lamp work beads

  • Haute Bridal - which I created to market my Bridal Jewelry and Accessories for the Bride-to-Be and Attendants

I opened Haute Bridal last June, probably a little late in the wedding season, but only listed a few items. Once the items expired, I never updated my shop with new listings and therefore my lonely shops has stood empty since the end of last summer. One reason I stopped adding items was that my photos were terrible, I found it difficult to clearly capture the brilliance of the pearls and crystals. Last night I found a bag of Hair Pins, so I pulled out the camera to experiment with various backgrounds and camera settings. I tried white, blue, pink, orange and finally black with black river rocks...not bad...not great, but the best picture so far...

As this photo give me some hope, I am adding Photography to my list of items to complete this weekend, with any luck by next week, Haute Bridal will be lonely no more...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

It's was a day of being pinched since I wore no Green today. I saw this T-Shirt online and wondered if DH would mind if I purchased it and wore it next year..After all he is my Irish Boy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bag O' Buttons

I was rummaging through the an old Rubber Maid container that holds some of the sewing supplies that I had packed away a long time ago. I found this green tin can of Katharine Beecher - Butter Mints. (The tin has a copyright date of 1981, which dashed my thoughts that I was holding a tin from the 30s or 40s). Inside I found some old Hooks Eyes & Loops some leftover buttons from projects that I am guessing I had worked on during the 80s and a Ziploc bag of old buttons.

Back in the 80s when I was dating Husband #1, his grandmother had died and he kept everything that the rest of the family did not want, (all of the ugly furniture, kitchen items and sewing tools). Of all the furniture pieces that overcrowded our apartment, there was only one piece that I loved and that was her old Singer Sewing Machine and Cabinet. When we moved to Florida back in 1990, I departed first due to school which left Husband #1 and my Dad to pack up the U-Haul. When they ran out of room, my ass of a husband decided to leave sewing machine and cabinet there on the sidewalk of NYC. I digress...When Husband #1 and I parted our separate ways, he took all the ugly furniture, but left all of his grandmother's kitchen and sewing items. Fast forward to today, as I started examining the buttons, I noticed the pieces of old thread still attached to some... When his grandmother died, I believe she was in her 80s or 90s so I know she was a young adult during the Depression, so perhaps that is why some of these button appear to have been salvaged from old garments. I thought these were cool and wanted to share. I think the crystal and brass button (center of photo) may find their way onto something soon...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Things That Bug Me - Stat Counters

A silly post today.

The other day, I noticed that my visitor counter has malfunctioned again. I believe this is the 3rd or 4th counter that I will have to replace in the past few months. I also noticed that as I browsed through other blogs, they too had broken counters.

Well I am going to try again, below is a list of websites with free counters:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hobo Bag - Part 2

It is done. I have finally completed the Hobo Bag from Hell.

For the past few weekends, I struggled with the instructions, ripped out the majority of the stitches, thought about putting it away, doubted my abilities and because I am crazy, changed sewing machines mid stream. It is lined, has a zippered pocket, a snap closure and is finished with a cute tie off strap. If I had to do again, I would have used foam between the exterior and interior layers as called for, I would have used stronger Pellon interfacing and made the straps longer. In the end persistence was key and now I can finally begin Bag #3...

A Preview....

Monday, March 9, 2009

In Search of Purse Handle Supplies

In my last post, I shared my bordering on obsession with Handbag Patterns. While collecting all the pieces for my next bag, I noticed that some (the majority, maybe all) of the handbag handles are a bit on the cheap side. I started searching online and these are the ones I have added to my Favorites:


As it turns out, during my search MJTrim was having a Sale - 50% off all Handbag Handles. Well my order if I could just finished that HOBO Bag.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Handbag Pattern Madness

A few weeks ago I started perusing EBay and Etsy for handbag patterns after several unsuccessful visits to JoAnn Fabrics. I ended up winning/buying a few - some of the patterns are out of print; some are newer from this season, and some are from the new indie pattern makers. As each one has arrived, I have held the pattern in my hands and dreamt of different fabrics and trims. Last week I went to JoAnn's with one of the pattern envelops by my side, so now I have fabric and trim waiting in the wings...

This morning, I glanced at that Hobo Bag that has been tormenting me and remembered how last night I ripped out the zipper. I thought to myself, it's Saturday morning, the weekend is upon us and I didn't want to be brought down, so I decided to focus on my handbag patterns again. When I gathered them together, (I had a few in different rooms), I discovered I had 12 of them. This does not include the tutorials I previously downloaded from some of my favorite sewing blogs. Before you judge me I must add, that I purchased the majority of them for a price lower (price + shipping) than JoAnn's, but still, 12* may be pushing it. So now I am going to return to my Hobo Bag and dream of future handbags.

*Please note, later this month, JoAnn's is having another one of their Pattern Sales - McCall's Pattern will be $1.99/each and Vogue Patterns will be priced at $3.99/each, so there is a possibility of the pattern stash increasing...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's My Birthday

It's my Birthday...

I stopped by a Jo-Ann's Fabric yesterday during lunch to pick up a zipper for my Hobo Bag from Hell (the drama is another post) and noticed all the Vikings Sewing Machines sitting in the middle of the store. As my coworker and I looked at the very expensive machine was priced at $6,000 and that wasn't even the "Diamond" model that was also on display (we were afraid to ask the salesperson for its price). After I commented that all I needed was a simple heavy duty machine that could sew through several layers, the salesperson demonstrated on the Emerald 183, by sewing through denim fabric folded for a total of six layers. As I watched the foot climb and the needle puncture the mountain of fabric, the salesperson went on and on about the different features, I started thinking about my poor White sitting at home waiting for me with its 6 stitch capability. Suddenly I felt as if I had been sewing in a cave...using fish bones as needles and beating a zipper into place with a rock.

I left the store thinking that it may be time to buy a new machine as I remembered the funky sound my White made as I tried to sewing through the handle of my last bag. I sent a text to DH to pull some data and pricing for me but as I drove home last night, I decided that I wasn't going to purchase it. Once I got home, I rattled on and on about the machine and my DH guided me to my office and there was a box with a red bow sitting on my work bench...DH did some research and picked one up on the way home...Sweet