Thursday, August 27, 2009

Re-igniting an Old Passion (plus some Swap Update)

My daughter will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation very soon. On special occasions such as this, I usually give my kids a small token to forever remind them of the TRUE gift they received on the day.

Missy, whose baptismal name is Marie, has chosen Anne to be her confirmed name. What an appropriate name, I believe, St. Anne, being the mother of Mary. I initially thought of making her a rosary bracelet with a St. Anne medal and so I went on searching on eBay for one. What I found instead was this...a small vintage brooch with a lovely image of St. Anne and the child Mary. I bought it without second thoughts.

I still went ahead and made a matching rosary bracelet. I had all the materials on hand anyway.

I used turquoise semi-precious gemstones for the prayer beads and have included a Benedictine crucifix and a Miraculous medal. This is something I hope Missy will treasure as she matures in her Catholic faith. Please remember her in your prayers.

Speaking of rosary bracelets...many of you who are new readers of this blog probably don't know that long before I started sewing and selling on Etsy, I was actively making rosaries and selling them on eBay. I did that for a couple of years and was actually doing quite well. I found great fulfillment in being able to encourage people to pray the rosary, even in my own little way. Three reasons why I decided to stop making and selling rosaries: one, the increasing eBay fees was just too much for me; two, I could no longer keep up with the big sellers; and three, having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on both hands made it quite difficult for me to continually handcraft each rosary.

Anyway, making that bracelet for my daughter reminded me of how much I used to find joy in rosary-making. When I found out that, on Etsy, there is such a team as a Rosary Guild, I quickly requested to join in and am now slowly getting back to my rosary-making! If you click on my shop link on the sidebar, you will see what I have listed so far. Maybe Etsy's reach will not be as wide compared to eBay but I'm giving it a try... I'll just see how that goes...

NOW...on to some Swap news. It's been a week since I posted about the first Swap and apparently, no one is interested or has any use for the Kiddie Fat Quarters on offer. And so...sensing that a lot of you are waiting for a different swap, I've decided to scrap that first one and head on to the next.


Would you like to own this City Backpack instead?

This bag is exactly the one in the tutorial I posted here. Again, if you are new to this blog, I encourage you to also read this. I love this bag but have not used it ever. Just so you know what to expect, this was the first backpack I made and I had a crappy sewing matching then, so you might find some minor faults in my sewing. Sounds like I'm just making excuses for my unpolished sewing skills...seriously, though, I'm sure you will love it as well.

Let me just repeat the mechanics of the Heart of Mary Swap:

1. If you are interested, please leave a comment here plus your contact information. Tell me what you would trade for this backpack. Try me! If you can email me photos of your item, the better.

2. I am willing to ship to anywhere around the world so anyone can join.

3. I will choose the best offer and commence the swap. Next swap round will begin as soon as my swap partner and I receive our respective items.

Everything clear? The trading floor is now open!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Want to swap with me?

I've been thinking....

I've been doing this blog for a year and a half now and I am wanting to do something new and different. And then it occurred to me, why not do swaps? Over the couple of years that I've been keenly sewing, I have actually accumulated not only fabrics and other sewing supplies, but also loads of my handmade goods. I don't sell the bags I sew, so most of them are just kept in my wardrobe waiting to be used or given away...

Ok, so my big idea is this. Over the next weeks or months (depending on the response I get), I will be offering a lot of my precious stuff to swap. Whatever I will be swapping will be posted here and anybody interested can leave a comment and propose something to exchange. If you can email me photos, the better. I will choose one that catches my fancy the most. I am willing to ship to anywhere worldwide so anyone can join in!

As soon as both my swap partner and I receive our respective goodies, I will commence a new swap.

And so, for the first swap round....I am willing to trade 15 gorgeous Fat Quarters (as pictured below)! Most of these are prints for children. Please a take a look at the photos carefully. I have included close-up shots as well. You can also click on each photo to get an enlarged view.

Are you up for it? I will await your proposals, ok?

Oh yeah, before I go, have a look at another lucky find at the Op Shop...

King-sized goodness...Need I say more? Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2009

First of Many

Can't believe this is actually my third entry for the week. I can't help but get overexcited when I finish something. I just want to share it here right away.

The thrifted flowery bed linen has been cut up! And I've already made two Fold and Zip Shopping bags. So lovely how they turned out. And heaps better than the original ones I made.

Like sunshine in your eyes, isn't it? Makes me want to go shopping...but, nah, I think I would prefer to sew instead. Still have a huge, huge piece of this fabric left. What do you think I should do with it next? Your suggestions would be most appreciated!

Have a lovely weekend ahead!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Trash to Treasure

I went op shop (or as many of you might call it, thrift/charity shop) hopping today. I used to visit these shops regularly but haven't done so in a while. I am so glad I thought of doing it today. Now I know what I've been missing all this time. Here are my good finds...

A double bed-sized flat sheet with large, bright yellow and orange flowers, in like-new condition. Very sturdy material. Don't know if it's vintage though. I am thinking of using this to line new bags or might just sew up some fold and zip shopping bags.

A gorgeous and delicate (but heavy) mint green trinket box. Perfect case for my family's rosaries...

Two Japanese-made small platters, with no chips or cracks...

And lastly, the finds of the day! Two crochet Granny squares in excellent condition.

One huge square with approximately 1.3 m sides...the colours are even more vibrant in person!

And this one, 6x6 squares joined together to form 1 meter sides. Not the best of patterns but, who cares? It'll keep me warm just the same!

As of this writing, these have already been washed and they're already dry and ready to snuggle into!

I had a good day thrift shopping, didn't I? Truly, one man's trash is another man's treasure!

PS. Kerry, I am still waiting for you to contact me. You won my
wristlet giveaway. Time to claim your prize!

Monday, August 10, 2009

As picked by the Random Integer Generator...

The winner is...

Congratulations to you, Kerry! Please get in touch with me as soon as you can (view my complete profile on the side bar, then choose 'Email'). I need your full name and postal address. I do hope you'll be able to use the wristlet.

I've been trying to perfect that zipper thingy on this pattern. It's quite tricky...not as simple as it seems. I am even tempted to go back to my old method...

I stitched up a smaller version but lessened the recommended seam allowances so in the end, the new wristlet was still a bit big than what I wanted. That's what I get for not following instructions!

Tried a third time...this time I followed the pattern to the letter. That's how I made this wonderfully constructed, 'just the right size for me' wristlet.

Recognize the fabrics from a previous project?

Oh well, that's it for now. Thank you very much to all who participated in the giveaway. I appreciate your joining! And congratulations again to you, Kerry!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wristlet GIVEAWAY!

I made this Oh Fransson wristlet two days ago.

(click to view clearer image)

I was so excited to try out the pattern and was even more excited to use that adorable pink Minny Muu Japanese fabric. You may wonder why on earth did I have to purchase the pattern when in fact, I very well know how to sew up a wristlet. The answer is simply this...

I so wanted to know the secret to those neat zipper ends. Yes, I was willing to spend $10 just to find that out. Happily, I learned much more than just that. It is always good to acquire new techniques, isn't it? Having said that, the expense was well worth it.

The wristlet I made is a large one with round, darted corners (the opening being 9", height about 5" and the widest part about 10 1/2"). It turned out bigger than I had imagined. Sadly, because of its size, it is not something I would normally use....and so....

I thought of giving this wristlet away! It is not without sewing imperfections but yeah, it is kinda cute.

To be in the running to win, all you need to do is leave a comment in this post. Don't forget to include your name and email address so I can contact you in case you win. Competition ends on Friday, 7th of August, 11:59 pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time. Lucky winner to be determined by random number generator and announced on Saturday, the 8th. Competition extended till 11:59pm, Sunday, 9th of August, to allow more participants on the weekend. Winner to be announced the following day, Monday.

Please spread the word. The more entries, the better!