Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's Dog Trial time !

It is now time for the dog club I belong to to have their dog trial.  Part of the way that the club raises money, is to have a Raffle.  We solicit businesses and members for donations.  We receive tickets, dog food, dog pillows and many items that can be found at pet stores.  I donate a purse.  This year it is a tote.

I found the fabric on ebay.  It is easier to find a particular type of fabric on ebay than going to your local fabric store.  I like this fabric because it shows quite a few "pure bred" dogs.  There are pockets on the side for sunglasses and a velcro pocket that would hold a cell phone.  Then there is a large front pocket.  And for "bling" I put two harness hooks on the top.

The purse measures  14 H x 11 1/2 W x 3 D.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Rememberance

This is my nephew's beautiful family.  The photo family photo was taken my my Darling Niece about seven years ago.  The photo has aged enough to become a loved memory, so I included it on a clutch purse that I made for my nephew's wife.  She is a lovely person, who is a devoted mother.  

I felt that this could be fun to carry,  maybe a conversation starter and a way to not brag about one's children but allow the world to see them.

I do enjoy the transfer paper and I try to find ways to include in  my exploration of purses.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meet Missy

My beloved Shaw died six weeks ago, leaving Frida without a companion.  She likes lots of people and dogs around her.  Also, living alone, I like to have two dogs about the place.  They are outside dogs for the above reason of living alone.  

A random event occurred where I was offered a German Shepherd dog.  The owner died and her son having three Yorkies, offered this beauty to me. 

Missy is three years old but looks around one year.  Also acts like a one year old dog.  Her original home was in a city where fireworks are prohibited.  The poor thing comes to me in a city where anything goes.  The fireworks started going off about one week ago and Missy is now getting sedated every night.  It helps marginally.  I read about Thundershirts and I ordered two, one for Frida and one for Missy.  Hopefully, the shirts come today and hopefully they work.

I am counting the days until July 6.  That is about when people will run out of the M80's.

P.S.  This is not a photo of the lovely Missy, but when I saw it on Pinterest, I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Walk on the Wild Side.

This tapestry came from Japan.  My mother was given several but what happened to them I don't know.  I was given this lovely tapestry and I wanted to use it in a purse but for a while I had to "thin on it".  Then I started pulling out fabrics and when I put it next to the leopard weave, I said "Eureka"........   Sometimes the least amount of thinking allows the inner mind to operate and this time I was totally satisfied with the combination.

I lined it with black Satin and it has a leopard pocket.  I have a lot of sub structure that cannot be seen but it allows the purse to have a stand alone feeling and it won't collapse when it is left by itself.  Handy to rummage in the inside!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trying to Capture a Spirit

While strolling through the variety of fabrics on ebay, I was arrested by the beauty of the vintage Kimono offerings.  Living in Gardena, California, I have become familiar with its history.  We have a large population of Japanese people.  Many are first generation Americans.  They brought their culture with them and so I have come to admire their arts and food.  
I had never thought to mix my ideas with their arts.  But seeing all these luscious fabrics, my resistance was broken down.  One thing about buying the fabrics directly from Japan is that it took 3 - 4 weeks just to get to me.  Then it takes me a while to think and dream on how I want to construct the purse.  With this purse, I wanted to honor the Japanese Arts of the past.
The fabrics that I used here are vintage "everyday" Kimono fabrics.  This fabric would have made a Kimono that a person would put on after coming home from work and not a holiday Kimono.  I used six different pieces of fabric and I quilted them with an organic batting on the back.  The purse is quite structured to give it some shape, as the fabric is cotton, vintage and very floppy.  
Also found on ebay is the carved white Jade that I hung from the handle.
I enjoyed every step that I took to make this bag.  It has been a long journey, in that my life constantly intervened but now with a few days just for myself, I finished it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Little Tuff* Guy!
Don't you just love animals with hats on?  I think that I should make a file of animals "dressed up" and then when I feel down, I will open the file and wallow in how wonderful the human mind is to try to change our image of the domestic animal into human.

Look at this fellow's face.  He is so willing to amuse the person he loves.  Little tough guy!

*  When I was a teenager, this was how we spelled our favorite adjective (meaning bad, phat or simply wonderful).
**I saw this fellow on Catasters.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

For My Girls

Now this is the last dress (the Brown) that I made with re-purposed Tee Shirts.  I had about six Tee Shirts of different colors.  I wanted to re purpose these fabrics.  I had a great deal of fun and I think the girls will like them.
It is a lot of fun to make clothes for girls. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You Can't See Me

You won't find a dog doing something this peculiar.  This cat is saying, "You can't see me but I see everything".

Somehow my cats always make me laugh.  They are so serious in their approach to life.

I saw this on Catasters, a site I visit often.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The "Thrfted" Dress

I came into a few men's Tee Shirts and instead of giving the away or cutting them up for dust clothes.  I decided to see if I could re-use them.  I chose the Tee Shirt that had the least wear to use as the body of the dress.
There is enough room at the top of the shirt for a girl's dress.  It would be a very short dress but I wanted to add ruffles on the bottom.  I added two layers of ruffles to give a little flippy attitude and a little more length.
I used the sleeves of the Tee Shirt for the binding on the neck and sleeves.
To get the amount of gathering for the ruffles, I cut two pieces out of the orange and the ochre.  
I chose to do this while I wait for the handles for my Japanese purse.  Hopefully it will arrive soon. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This is my WIP

I have been working out ideas in my brain for an everyday kind of purse.  And since I live in Gardena, I have been very influenced by the Japanese that have been here for ages.  There are many stores and restaurants, so the culture is all around.  I love the fabrics.  I made a robe for my darling niece last year from quilted fabric from Japan.  But I wanted to use something more traditional.  I patrol the Japanese fabrics that are posted on ebay.  And a while back I bought a sample grouping of about 7 swatches.  The swatches measure approximately 13" x13".  These swatches were cut from vintage Kimonos.  I sorted everything out and put aside the orange and brown that I want to make a quilt from and these pieces are "remainders".

I have cut these into smaller pieces and it will be pieced and quilted.  I am working on it and as usual, I have come to a slow stop because I need a piece that must come from Australia.  But I am so excited about where I am now that I had to take a photo of it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bird on a Wire

This is Timothy.  I don't know his real name because he speaks so quietly that, for me, it is hard to understand what he tells me.  But still I listen and nod my head.
Every afternoon he is near my house.  Sometimes he sits on the telephone wire that I can see from my studio.  Sometimes he sits in the tree and yes, sometimes he sits on the Cyclone fence.  He sits for about five minutes.  I think that he is catching his breath.  Or maybe he is enjoying the end of the day.
I once had a discussion with someone about Hummingbirds.  I said that a Hummingbird came to visit me in the afternoons.  Of course, this is hard to prove.  But her response was that Hummingbirds did not rest.  They flew and flew around looking for delicate, red flowers to "sup" from.  This is why I took this picture.  I have immortalized the resting of a Hummingbird.
And I am rather glad that it is Timothy!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Preppy Pajamas for a Great Boy

 These are "cozy" pajamas for my grandson, Hollis.  They are made of fleece, which is really easy to sew.  But I wanted to use the elasticize ribbing for the cuffs and neckline.  Therein lies the problem.  I had no experience in using this ribbing and it was experiment the whole way.  I think that the colors are very preppy but since they have cats and cat hair, the camel color is a good choice.

This is why when I photograph my work, I should close the door and keep the cats out.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Revisiting the Silk Road

I have a stash of silk sales samples, given to my by my darling niece.  She has this lovely friend that sees very high echelon furniture designers and sells he very beautiful fabrics.  And sometimes she offers my niece "last year's" samples.  And then I am given some wonderful fabric.  How I love these offerings.

These silk samples have  embroidery and applique on them.  I chose these fabrics to compliment the dark "Oriental" handle.  I lined the purse with cream colored raw silk and put two pockets made from a few embroidery pieces.  Because I used different pieces and colors, the sides are different. 

Silk has such a soft, compelling feel.  It is a pleasure and honor to sew with silk.  I have a clear understanding why it has been so fascinating all these many, many years.

Do I Have To Much Time On My Hands?

My charming, stylish cats..........It does amuse me to decorate these beauties.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My "Used To Be" Garden

 This is the reason I used to garden.  Then, about four or five years ago life intervened.  The shop required all my time and psychic energy just to keep it going.  Then I was able to sell and it took two years to unwind.  Also, since I hadn't sewn in so long, all I wanted to do was sew.  I had this built up this desire to sit at my machine and sew.
Now, I still want to sew but I must recover my garden.  I looked at it about three weeks ago and I could not find any beauty and it was then I knew I had to reclaim it.  I tried to find someone to weed but a willing weeder is like hen's teeth.  I know, I don't like to weed and to hire is incredibly expensive and maybe a mutilation of the spirit of the garden.  I did receive a quote for $800.00 and I thought of all the lovely things I could do with $800.00 and decided I had to buckle under and do it myself.
 It really hasn't been so bad.  I do about two hours a day.  I don't pitch my self into doing more than I can clean up.  That, for me is a major deal.  Do and then clean up.  Then I can see what I uncover.  It is amazing what is there.  I know that I also have a statue of Buddha and a Magical Chinese Guard Dog.  I will find both when the time is right.
It really is calming setting the garden back to its former beauty.

This is what I have been doing.   And the final picture is what every garden needs...............
This is TomCat.  He is wild but is beginning to realize that free food is a good thing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Copy Cat Outfit

It has been one of those days when everything (and I mean everything) goes just a smidgen off.  I wanted to show the skirt and top that I had purchased at FIDM a couple of weeks ago.  But I couldn't rotate the photo for the top, so please just imagine the adult version. It was a tube top with allowances for the breast.

The Scholarship store had a rack outside and on the rack were items that were imperfect at two (2) for a dollar.  Being a person that  has a very hard time passing up a bargin I stopped.  There were about 15 skirts that looked just like the one above but much, much longer and the top was (I think) a cutoff dress.  The bottom of the green tube top was just whacked off with big scissors.  The top of the skirt was gathered with elastic.  Just like the tube top.  I really like the color combination, so I purchased it with the intention of making my granddaughter Lucy a Anthropologie look alike.  I thought that would only be an afternoon of work.

The top had to be completer dis-assembled.  I could not cut the fabric because I needed all the pieces to reassemble in the mode that provided her with capped sleeves.  I always enjoy climbing mountains and it took about three days to finish.

I hope that she will enjoy all the colors.

Oh, by the way I had help from Chester.  I couldn't persuade him to go away!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Homage to Georgia O'Keefe

My First Successful Amaryllis.   Happy Valentine's Day.

Doggies Everywhere

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My "Puff Chair"

I like the comfort of my "Puff Chair".  It is very comfortable.  But, after about two years I get tired of the fabric and the fabric gets tired of me (it shows wear).   Now here is the hard part, finding the right fabric to cover the original cushions.  I bought this fabric several years ago, I bought about two other fabrics for the same purpose also.  I bought fabric for my future "re-fabricing". Then I brought it home and spread it on the chair and leave it there for about a day.  Fortunately I get to purchase these choices at FIDM because each choice has to be 3 yards of 60" wide fabric.  It gets to be pricey if I purchased anywhere else.

This is the fabric that won the contest.  It is a cotton with a diagonal thread running through every 1/4".  It doesn't hold a wrinkle and is very comfortable.  The other fabrics will go to GoodWill.  It is hard to hold onto a large bulk of fabric.

I sewed the new fabric onto the original cushion cover.  I also put an additional piece of foam into to two parts of the chair.

I made the foot stool first.  I made it first to see if I liked the finished looks.  I did enjoy how it looked and then tackled the chair.

Making the cover is a small job compared to stuffing the cushion into the cover.  The last time I did this it took me about 1 hour to stuff the foam into the cushion.  I was sweating and calling to the sewing gods to help me.  I won a favor because when I made a workout cushion for a friend, the man at the shop told me of a trick.  I asked him for a tip and he told me to cover the foam in a plastic bag.  Well, I used the large garbage bag and the cushions went in so much faster.

P.S.  The cats took ownership of the chair before I could even try it out!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Challenge of an Apron

Who would have thought that an apron could be so hard to make?  I didn't when a friend said that she would like me to make her an apron.  I thought, hey, a couple of hours at the most.  This woman likes her kitchen decorated with fruit.  So, I asked her if she wanted the apron with fruit.  Of course, she said yes. I was not going out to look for fruit fabric.  What was the likelihood of finding this "fruit" fabric except by chance.  I went to my favorite store, ebay!  I found lots of fabric and this looked especially wonderful.  When I received the fabric I was very pleased, it was just what I wanted.  I was going to give it to her for Christmas.  But she is a "big bosomed" lady and I did not really know how to compensate for this.  The first time I tried it on her I found that it looked horrible.  It took me a while to get the idea for tucks in the front but now it looks lovely on her.  I was just going to take the bib off of it and give it to her with the waist band.  Now she is very happy with her "company" apron.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Positive Re-Inforcement

This is going to be used to hold treats for dog training.  I used a Blue Ribbon and took it completely apart and used the pieces.  I made it to go on belt. 
Positive reinforcement is a new way of dog training.  Training use to require that a strong forceful voice would reprimand the poor dog.  Now, when the dog just indicates that he is behaving correctly and he is given a treat.  The dog learns much faster and now every one is on better terms with each other.
The doggie bags that are available in the catalogs are very boring and since I like to improve on the "ugly", I did this.    But I did think that every one who might want me to make one for them will want Blue Ribbons.  And yet there are so many other beautiful colors, but with Dog Training, there is only BLUE.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Revue and Renew Viewpoints

When I made this purse I had the concept of wearing a fancy purse on one's waist.  That way dancing would be worry free.  There would be no clutching a purse in your hand or leaving at the table (if anyone would do that) or leaving your purse with a friend.  I spent a lot of time on the internet trying to find the right belt.  I was never pleased with the belts that I found.  By the time that I received the first acceptable belt, it was a cotton belt.  I had four other belts sitting on my desk.  Well,  after the purse was in another hands (I should say waist?), I became very dissatisfied with the purse and started the process of finding a belt that would please me.
Now, I am pleased.  The belt is a Lizard Skin belt and the light glancing off the belt picks up the light glancing off the Green Malachite and African Jade.
It is now a cohesive whole in my mind.
I just thought I would share this.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Afghan Lives On

I was completely charmed by the felted afghan that I found a  thrift store.  I was so charmed that I couldn't stop myself from using it again.  This is the second purse that I have made of it.  The body of the purse is a leather mini skirt that I found at FIDM about three years ago.  The mini skirt was made of pieces of leather. I find that the patched pattern of the leather gives a more dynamic feel to the purse.
I made this little change purse for the purse.  The ribbon on the leather is GrosGrain.  I haven't decide whether to attach the change purse to the inside of the main purse.  
When I was a child, I remember my grandmother had a purse with a chain holding a little change purse.  I  would watch her pull this little purse out and it seemed so perfect.
I lined the purse with the beautiful orange satin that I lined the other purse with and made the orange robe.  The orange satin seems like the cup that never empties.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lady Gaga of LA

Here is Lady Gaga of LA.  Lucy and I went to see my Darling Niece.  Annie and Lucy are good friends and they love to play.  They were playing Lady Gaga, each one switching off the blonde wig.  I was so amazed by Lucy.  She just fell into the "mode" of being Lady Gaga.  
My Darling Niece took the picture and I finally decided that the world needed to see the new talent.