Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Free Stuff!

I had finalized my angel pattern today but instead of selling it, I have decided to share it for free. While it may seem generosity to you, to me, it is a great (and fun way) to learn and gain more crafting experience. I value comments and so hopefully, someone out there will be interested enough to try out this pattern, as well as the others I had previously posted here and be so helpful as to give me feedback.

This is my Little Angel...

One of my sons commented that she did not look like an angel...but a mum...because she had lipstick! To be honest, I wasn't too happy with the face. But I couldn't be bothered to repeat the pattern and the embroidery. Besides, you can always change the facial features if you want to.

For those interested, the PDF pattern and instructions can be downloaded here or via the 'Free Downloads' button in the sidebar. Enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

School Holiday Promise

The two-week school holiday officially started on the weekend. You all know what that means, of course. Just the thought of having the 4 kids around me the whole day for the next 14 days tires me already. Not that I don't like having them around the is, in reality, more work to do - more cleaning up, more cooking, and all those related stuff and I have less computer time (ha ha).

But I promised myself I won't let the eternal household chores get in the way of me working on things for my newly-opened Etsy shop. No pain, no gain, right? I asked my daughter to keep guard. She needs to motivate and encourage me when I begin to feel like slowing down.

I feel great today because after weeks of working on this, I finally managed to finish my Mousie Heart Bear eBook. The pattern and instructions are now available as a PDF on my shop, so if you want to make one yourself (instead of buying the ready-made doll), you can now go ahead and purchase it....please...pretty please...

Now I have to do some cleaning up for a while...I'll be back with some new stuff, that's my school holiday promise.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some Great News...New Tutorial and New Shop!

My husband returned from his vacation last Tuesday. So did the camera (hooray!). And so for the past couple of days, I've been busy taking photos and finalizing patterns and tutorials.

Good news number 1 is that the Journal Cover tutorial is finished! Here is the second one I did, "in-the-making" photos of which, you will find in the tutorial...

UPDATE: The free PDF download is no longer available. It has been modified to make it even more understandable and easier to follow and will be made available as an eBook for a small fee in my Etsy shop, Simple Things. Thank you!

Good news number 2 is that the Etsy shop "Simple Things" is now officially open. My first listings include 5 of my bear softies. I'll see how it goes from there. Please, please support my shop! You can click here or the link on the sidebar
to view the shop.

It's really getting pretty late and I'm very tired...I just wanted to finish all these before I retired to bed. Goodnight!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finally something I will actually use...

I take down notes all the time. Most of my crafting ideas come to me in the most unexpected time and places. I get those "light bulb flashes" a lot when I am in the car, parked outside my kids' school, while waiting for the sound of the school bell. Once, I found myself without a notebook, I had to jot my ideas down at the back of a supermarket docket. Many times, too, I must admit, I get those 'Aha' moments when my mind wanders off to the crafting world while I am at church (shame on me, I know).

So you see, a notebook and pen are my two very important companions. A couple of nights ago, I made this...finally, a thing I could actually use...

I am still using my mobile phone camera (crap!)

An inexpensive A5 journal dressed up in this neat fabric cover with pen loop and button loop closure! I love, love, love it! It's a great gift idea too.

I am definitely making more of this but would alter just some very minor things.

Do you feel a tutorial coming? I can...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Downloadable Goodness

Here are two more of my tutorials you can now download, save, print and use as you wish!

City Backpack - here

Zippered Wristlet - here

Happy bag making!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sewn and Stuffed

...and nearly ready to go. So anxious to see these little ones off to new homes.

Our house is slowly being inhabited by these bears. They're all over the place. Adorable as they are, I do have to let them go. Anyone interested?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Work in Progress

Yesterday, on my crafting desk (which also happens to be our dining table) were these...

Yes, I've been working on those bears over the weekend. And yes, these will be up for grabs soon on etsy. The eBook is coming along fine - I just need that digital camera to take the necessary step by step photos. Still another week to wait.

I'm pretty excited and wishful...hope you all will watch out for these softies!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Testing Pattern Number 2

I tried out my second pattern this morning. I had second thoughts on making a post about it today as I only had my mobile phone to take pictures with. My husband left earlier for a well deserved two-week holiday in the Philippines and naturally took our digital camera with him. I took pictures anyway and considering it was rainy, I was surprised the shots were quite decent.

This is my yet-to-be-named little praying angel...

(Not a very nice place to take a picture on, I know. But this was the best dry spot I could find outside, sorry about that.)

And here's the back view with the quilted wings.

Some things I would possibly do next time:
1) Make the doll a little bit larger/taller. This first one ended up 12" tall.
2) Put the legs a little closer to each other.
3) Raise the shoulders up a bit.
4) Improve the hands. My kids did not recognize the hands at first glance. Maybe use another fabric instead of felt?

We'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for all the help with the bear! I will be finalizing the ePattern and instructions for that as soon as I get the camera back.

Monday, September 1, 2008

To Sell or Not to Sell

People have been asking me if I sell or intend to sell the things I make. My answer has always been "yes, I do intend to" but not until I upgrade to a better sewing machine. I know that buying a new machine is not going to happen in the very near future so in the meantime, I am finding myself trying to learn and master whatever craft I am interested in at the moment. Sometimes I do feel though that I am wasting (or have in fact wasted) a lot of money, time and energy into all these and for what??? For instance, I have piles of handmade bags in my closet -- I don't use most of them and I certainly do not have the confidence to sell them or at least give them away for fear that they are not good enough.

To cut the long story short, I just realized I have got to do something or I may end up not having the opportunity to do this ever. That would be a great tragedy... I have got to take the risk NOW.

And so for the past few days, I have been drafting out simple softie patterns. I have made several bag tutorials before and have, in fact, received good reviews for them...
how hard can this one be? I figured, selling ePatterns would be a great start for me. My very first bear softie turned out like this and to be honest, I wasn't too happy about it...

(Click to view larger images)

The face looks rather scary, don't you think? Not really the cute type you would want to immediately hug...

I made a few changes to the face, gave it a heart-shaped tummy and the revised version turned out like this...

Better? I think so. So gentle and meek...

And here are the two together...

Can I please have some opinions/comments? Do you think this bear would even appeal to anyone? Would you personally purchase it?