Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Etsy site is live!

My custom handbags are now for sale on Etsy.

Shop name is BlueDahliaStudio

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Been sewing an awful lot, kind of got carried away with the handbags and now its become very clear this muse is powerful (cue angelic chorus here). Will be selling them shortly on Etsy. Need proof  I've been spending some quality time at the it is.

Finally had to buy a proper rack, as I was starting to trip over them laying all over the studio. Thus far I do not have as many handbags as pairs of shoes but it gives me something to shoot for.

Three favorites...

First two very roomy, last one smaller but plenty of space for all of my crap important stuff. All of the bags I make have a concealed zip pocket and at least two other panel pockets on the inside, one of which is made specifically to hold a cell/smartphone. Fabric on the red and black is home dec (red) and vinyl, band is cotton. Blue/brown bag is ultrasuede. Yellow/Black is home dec velvet and vinyl.

To date I have not sewn my fingers together, but I have cut a gash into my finger with my super sharp fabric shears, stabbed myself in another finger with an awl and narrowly missed a slice from the rotary cutter, who knew sewing was such a dangerous activity?

In the garden news I have the Corn Report, planted some for the first time this year, so far so good,  there are ears on the plants, Indian Corn on the far corners and a Joe's Gardens variety in the middle.

I tried to get the cat to pose in the corn with a sign that said "I See Aliens" but he would not cooperate.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Corduroy & Brocade Handbag

The latest handbag is done, purple wide rib corduroy for the outside panels with green brocade as the accent, bead trim on the flap, there are front and back pockets with magnetic snaps on the outside and I put 4 pockets of various sizes on the interior.

 I happen to like corduroy, my husband refuses to wear it, apparently there was some childhood fashion trauma that lingers to this day. I love the feel of the fabric, and its very durable. Philomena the Pfaff (yeah, I named by sewing machine) went through several layers of the corduroy, a layer of interfacing and a layer of thermolam like a dream.

Spent the morning disassembling 4 men's 100% wool suit jackets I found at a thrift store, wool is spendy in the fabric store and I only need enough for handbags so I spent about $15.00 and got decent size pieces of 4 different patterns, including a yummy ivory.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fabric Collage

Another project from the STITCHED workshops, this one was Branches, Buds and Blossoms with Deborah Boschert. I have always done paper collage for journals, handmade books and other paper projects so it was very fun to do the same with my ever growing fabric stash. Deborah's videos were concise and she did a great job in showing how to work out your design.

Collage is about 12" x 15", got to use some of the decorative stitches on my new Pfaff, it handles specialty thread like a dream. The original idea in my head was much simpler but as always once I get going and there are SHINY THINGS involved it gets busier. You can't just have a couple of sequins you know, they need to be in the company of many friends.

Things I learned on the project were...

1. Freezer paper stenciling, no more messy flow of paint under the stenciling.

2. French knots are cool.

3. Beading needles will spontaneously go into hiding the second you avert your eyes after placing them on your craft table.

4. The spousal question of  "Why are there sequins all over the floor?" does not dignify an answer.

Next project in the queue, another handbag....hint: Purple wide rib corduroy, green satin brocade and SHINY THINGS. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spring Handbag collection!

The sewing little fashionista self loves handbags so guess what I've been working on....handbags!

My wonderful husband saw the writing on the wall with this whole sewing thing and bought me a Pfaff Ambition 1.5 machine, 196 stitches, computerized, automatic tie-off, and so much more, I am totally in love with it. My faithful Kenmore with its 9 stitches will now be the official mixed media sewer for paper, painted canvas and other stuff I really don't want to sew with my new baby.

Signed up for the STITCHED workshops, several awesome online workshops all together on one site. First one I did was the Fylerion Bag with Sara Lawson, I found this awesome plaid Ultrasuede at Joann's that was perfect for this project.

The decoration for the flap was a pin I also found at Joann's, it completed the whole Scottish vibe.

Next up was a bag of my own design with a mixture of home decor fabric and red brocade, the flap is another Ultrasuede.

Latest project is a clutch inspired by a tutorial on the THREADS magazine site. My stash includes a lot of yarn/fiber so that along with a couching foot for my machine and some fabric applique produces this fun little number.

Here is the back showing more couching and applique....

That concludes the craft portion of this blog, now on to the (much anticipated) Crazy Cat Lady portion.

Apollo is the Studio Cat, Dana could care less, that 10 feet from the house to the studio is just a tad bit too far from the cat food and her cushy binkie.




Needless to say my studio comes equipped with a lint roller to get the hair off the fabric, paper, bills and CD's.

Moving onto the GARDEN portion....

Kind of a crappy spring so far here in Bellingham, lots of rain, SNOW (boo...hiss), more rain and wind. However things are coming up, the snowdrops are always the first.

Rhubarb is making a good showing.....foreshadowing of pies and crisps.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Catching up!

I did not actually quit just kind of got in the way. I did do some projects during the interim so at least now I will have plenty of pictures to pick from. Re-organized the studio for the supplies for my latest addiction....sewing. Never had any formal sewing classes and you can't count Home Economics in junior high, the most complex thing I did there was embroider Garfield on a pillow case. Found a really good basic "teach yourself to sew" book and between that and lots of seam ripping I think I am getting into the groove. Love to sew paper and fabric, I took a online class from Mary Ann Moss called Remains of the Day, using all those bits and pieces from your paper and fabric stash to make a journal.

Emboldened by my quality time with the sewing machine and an inordinate amount of fabric fondling at Joanne's fabrics I then made this super cute hobo bag from a pattern. Good learning experience since I was working with ultrasuede and it can be a bit of a bear.

Both side are covered in the fringe, very Roaring 20's, all I need now is sparkly headband and I'm set.

The holidays were good this year, my Mom came down from northern BC and Gerry's folks were here also, we had a nice rousing game of Mexican Train dominoes on Christmas day, although I may have to take the 5th on whether on not Mom tried to cheat. Got a Nook tablet from Santa and I love it! The problem of finding a place to keep new paperbacks is now solved....the're in the Cloud, not cluttering up my bookcases and headboard. Of course the fact that I can now play Angry Birds on a screen much bigger than my smartphone is a bonus too....and by the way if you want to drive your spouse to the edge of sanity just turn up the volume of Angry Birds, the chirping, bird cheers and pig snorting is guaranteed to get you the hairy eyeball.

Happy New Year to everyone!