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Archive for the ‘Bags’ Category

My biggest show of the year, Art for Heaven’s Sake, starts one week from tonight. It’s a show I’m proud to take part in as 20% of all that I sell goes to the church, for local as well as farther afield use in doing good (hurricane relief, etc…). Any old who, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to leave a few things done on my to do list, but I’m happy that I’ve got some new art to show, as well as those freshly picked onesies I showed you the other day, which, on the recommendation of a couple of Moms in the know, are going to become outfits, the leggings for me to dye came in the mail today! (Both of these got a shout out from the lovely Linda of aLaMode Stuff, thanks so much! SHE’s the genius that suggested I hang them above a bed!)

I finished some Going Green Totes earlier this week, and I know if I didn’t grab some quick shots now, some of them would be sold before I got a picture of them:

On tap for this weekend – dyeing 50 more scarves and matching leggings for the freshly picked rompers, finishing up 3 messenger bags, then making some more going green scribblers. THIS I think I can do…wish me luck!

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Here’s another custom large tote and matching grab n’go, this time for the new Scoutie Girl, Tara Gentile! Her job is to scour the internet far and wide finding indie designers. I’m honored that she likes my work enough to want to lug it around!

Tara-Custom-Tote-GrabnGo--1I’ve said it before – I love making custom bags. Tara came up with the idea of a messenger style strap, but with the tote style bag. I LOVE IT! We also had a fun time picking out colors that I had in hand dyed canvas that were perfect for her!

She wanted a huge bag, that could hold all her stuff (and Lola’s too!). She also wanted a little bag that she could grab and escape with that holds only the essentials. Well this tote sure is big! Inside are 2 patch pockets divided into 1 large, 2 mediums and 3 penslips. There’s also a zipped pocket, a key leash and a cell phone pocket with Velcro flap, sized to hold her snazzy new iPhone (lucky gal – I’m SO jealous!)

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There’s also a D-ring to clip the Grab n’Go on:

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The Grab n’Go is just what it sounds like, a little bag to hold the essentials.

Tara-Custom-Tote-GrabnGo--4The  handle is also a key ring, and can clip off

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On the back is a loop so you can wear it on a belt.

Tara-Custom-Tote-GrabnGo--3    I’m totally loving that the strap can be worn on the shoulder like a tote:

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But it adjusts longer so it can be worn across the body, messenger style.Tara-Custom-Tote-GrabnGo--8

I’ve added this one to the list of bags I want to make for myself!

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I hope she likes it as much as I do!

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Here’s a hot off the ironing board new bag – it’s a rush job commission for someone who needs it so she can take it on a trip abroad – tomorrow! She came by Sunday morning to work out the details. I really like working this way – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, making these bags are a LOT of work…so it makes it much more satisfying to know that what I’m making is JUST what somebody wanted! In this case, she wanted little bits of Velcro on the inside to hold some of the pockets (like the cell phone one) closed. Easy – peasy!

Another reason I love working like this is that people choose the colors that they love…sometimes it isn’t something that I would have put together, but if I do say so myself – these colors are fabulous!

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It’s got a handle & magazine pocket on the back:

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And inside is a special sleeve for the laptop with a velcro strap to hold it in. This also happens to hold my regular Macbook too! Yes, the Macbook Air is thinner, but she’s got a strechy foam case that she’s going to use for even more padding (beyond the 2 layers of quilt batting and heavy interfacing I use in a laptop bag…this baby has STRUCTURE!

Macbook-Air-Messenger_0021   Unseen in this picture are 1 zipper pocket as well as a divided patch pocket as well as a D-ring for her to clip her keys on (she didn’t want a key leash).

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One side has a water bottle pocket,

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the other, a cell phone pocket.

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The front has two big pockets to hold a paperback and a scribbler or notelet:

Macbook-Air-Messenger_0012 The straps adjust so she can hold it on her shoulder:Macbook-Air-Messenger_0024

Or across her body:Macbook-Air-Messenger_0027

I hope she loves it, because I sure do!

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Well, the end of the summer is fast approaching, and for me, school is rearing it’s ugly head. I’m definitely going to be slowing down on the blogging front, because work is really starting to pile up!

Although I’ve thanked you all individually, I’ll do it again right here: thanks so much for your advice on my font choices (and if you’d still like to chime in, the more the merrier!). I’m really working in a vacuum here most of the time, I love getting feedback! So thank you!

I won’t fret over how much I have to do right now…instead, I want to show you a new style of tote bag:

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I LOVE my canvas bags – they’re pretty, tough as nails, and full of useful pockets. They’re also very labor intensive, which is why I’m going to a commission model on them, making them exactly for a particular user. One of the tough things about making bags is making sure no raw edges are exposed – and the more parts & pieces there are, the more seams to worry about.

What I’ve been thinking about is designing a very simple bag where the focus is on a spectacular piece of dyed fabric – my dyer’s weight fabric rather than the heavy canvas. The hope is I could create something beautiful and simple, with a pattern that easily adapts to differently sized pieces of fabric. Usually when I work on bags, I have a “pattern” that looks like this: Image1_0204 copy

This bag’s 1st & only draft pattern looked like this:

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And it’s all that I needed!

Inside a simple divided patch pocket and key leash (ALWAYS gotta have a key leash!)Simple-Tote7

The dimensions of this one were so one of my big notetakers would fit inside, along with LOTS of other books:

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I’m working on a commission tote with a special request for one long strap rather than the two handles, so here was a perfect opportunity to try this concept out:

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I LOVE it – and now know it’ll work great on the commission!

I also love the little triangle-fold detail here: Simple Tote_0030

The one thing I was NOT prepared for was how much structure I got from just a single layer of fleece and med. weight fusible interfacing – this tote bag is completely empty, and look, it’s holding up my ruler! WooHoo!

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So, my friends, I think this prototype works great, I’ll probably incorporate some sort of closure (magnetic snap I think) and I’m looking forward to whipping up a few more of these fun bags!

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Laptop Bag for Liz!

1st of all, Stirling and my chaise are getting more blog time – Design Hole featured my before & after chaise today – WooHoo! Thanks for the bloggy love!

And now – Liz’s laptop bag! Liz is a wonderful friend when is a tremendous help in all that I do. We do the local art/craft fairs together, take our boys to the movies, and she does the Lion’s Share of picking up my boys and watching after them on school half days (pickup time ALWAYS falls during my time in the classroom). ANYWAY, last CHRISTMAS for Heaven’s sake, she got a new, small-ish laptop, a nice red one at that, and I told her I wanted to make her the perfect laptop bag. Laptop-Backpack18

She wanted it to be tall, rather than wide. It’s got a handle on the back:Laptop-Backpack19

And inside is a special sleeve for the laptop with a velcro strap to hold it in. Unseen in this picture are 1 zipper pocket as well as a divided patch pocket. Of course it has a key leash and 2 d-rings inside!Laptop-Backpack43One side has a water bottle pocket,Laptop-Backpack29the other, a cell phone pocket.Laptop-Backpack24The front has 2 pen slips as well as a big pocket to hold a scribbler or a notelet:

Laptop-Backpack33The straps adjust so she can hold it on her shoulder:

Laptop-Backpack12Or across her body:Laptop-Backpack09But WAIT! If I add d-rings to the bottom corners and order that fancy lobster claw hardware from Hong Kong, it turns into a backpack! How cool is that (the webmaster Mary thought up this genius idea…and just as soon as the website is up and running, she gets one of her very own…)Laptop-Backpack05 Laptop-Backpack22Laptop-Backpack06         

I’m very happy with this one! WooHoo! Liz likes it too (sorry no picture of her smiling face…she was off to marching band practice, i kept her laptop to take these pictures…so she can’t even read this entry until she gets it back!)

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This one is for a conductor. She needs a huge tote to all her stuff, which includes a bunch of scores and a baton. But then there’s times when she needs to just grab her keys, cell phone & wallet, so she ordered a matching clutch, which can clip right into the tote:

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Look at all the pockets!

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I really enjoy making a bag that’s just what someone wants: they’ve picked the colors and the motif, and any requested modifications. I really enjoy working this way, because each bag takes so long to make. I’m working on my website so all the info is available to my online friends, but if you’d like to order one NOW, here’s some info: Commission Bags

I wanna make one of these for myself!

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Well, I’m just about back to normal. All the laundry is done, the house is (relatively) clean, and I finally got all my journals listed on Etsy! Even though I had taken nice shots of the front & back of each notebook with my fancy new lighting setup, I still had to take shots of the insides, as well as these cool (at least I think they’re cool) “still life” photos: Warm-Mini-Doodle-Tan-Spine5

Cool-Mini-Doodle-Chartreuse-Spine5 Warm-Scribbler-Brown-Spine-5 Cool-Scribbler-Chartreuse-Spine-5 Warm-Planner-Tan-Spine-5 Cool-Planner-Gray-Spine-5

I also listed the 5 convertible clutches I made awhile back:

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Now, with the bags, I’ve been listing them as a group, with a labeled photo to indicate the name of each item, and then when I sell one, I just change the text in the listing to indicate which are still for sale. Although I could have done that for the journals (all the warm color mini doodles in one listing, all the cool planners in another, etc…), I’m still not sure which way makes the one-of-a-kind, unique-and-not-to-be-repeated-ness of what I do more apparent. I know I’d love your opinion, dear blog reader!

Ultimately, I’m designing my own website so I can have more control over how things look when they’re for sale, and hopefully more closely illustrate my process to a prospective buyer, but I’ll probably always have an Etsy shop as well, populated with just some of what I do.

Anyway, speaking of the website, I’m going to work a little on that today, then take a look at my July list and see if I can get anything done on it!

Rest assured, you’ll be seeing Yellowstone pictures off & on for weeks!

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