Friday, August 26, 2011

Princess of Purses

I admit it.  Whenever I pass a purse department, I have to look.  Sometimes I just glance and more often than not, I have to go on in there and check out what's new.  Purses, totes, carryalls -- I like them all!  I'm pretty fussy about what features a purse should have, so I don't have a gigantic collection, but I do have a few.  Ahem, OK, more than a few.  One time I went over to my sister Sheila's house and my niece, Grace asked me, "Is that a new purse, Auntie Cathy?"  And I told her that indeed it was, because I'm the Princess of Purses.  The look she gave me was either awe or total disbelief.

So for a long time, I searched for the ideal tote bag pattern to sew.  Nothing appealed to my discriminating eye until I found an online tutorial on how to make a bag.  These were good, no-nonsense instructions that I had no problem following.  I made the first one out of a remnant of fabric and it turned out to be sort of a weird shape.  So I adjusted the measurements to my liking, added heavy interfacing and a bottom reinforcer for body, sturdier and longer handles, interior pockets and a button and loop closure.  And there you have it! Cute and totally usable tote bags!

Sheila uses hers (not pictured) for her cross-stitch stuff and Suzanne says that hers is perfect for her knitting.  I even made some smaller versions of these for Emily and Grace.  (Sorry, I had some trouble adding some photos.) 

I've been thinking about how to improve on these totes.  How about a zip top?  An inset where a cross-stitched piece could go?  A smaller version that could be truly called a purse? 

It will be back to the drawing board as I contemplate these changes.  One thing I know is that I'll always be able to find fabrics I like for these.  Mainly I just go to the quilting fabrics display.  Quilting fabrics work well for these bags and there are so many beautiful choices. 

I know that I'm not the only Princess of Purses, and I hope that the others will approve.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Incense & Peppermints

This has been a week of finishing, completing, and wrapping things up.  Last Saturday was another fun Saturday Stitch In at The Stitch Store and I finally finished "Joyful Summer".  I love the way it turned out and can't wait to give it to my nieces for their room.  Now to frame it.  What kind of frame?:  white?  light wood?  silver?  Opinions?  The little turtle is not part of this stitched piece.  He was just too cute to leave out.

We also got some no-so-much-fun things sorted out and wrapped up.  And hopefully we won't have to think about them for a while.

There was a pretty surprise in our yard when our gardenia bush decided to give us one more beautiful, perfect flower before resting for the rest of the year.  This shrub flowers in May and June, so it's kind of unusual to see one of these little blooms now.
Also, this week there was some sad news in the stitching/blogging community.  Gazette94 has decided to stop her blog.  This talented blogger and designer has been posting her lovely cross stitch designs for several years.  And what's more, she was generously offering these designs free for the downloading.  The blog is a treasure trove of hundreds of charts.  I had just started following her blog a couple of weeks ago, and had been looking forward to what we would be seeing in the future  So she will be missed.  As she said on her final post:  "Au revoir".

I'm continuing to work on my current project - Val's Stuff Kitty Kalendar.  I am so glad that I stitched all of the little boxes first.  Now that the measury-fussy part of it is done, I can just enjoy filling each one in.  It just makes me smile and I have the perfect place in the craft room to hang it.  Hopefully, this doesn't certify me as a crazy cat lady.  It doesn't, does it?  Because I'm not.

Wait!  This is the only project I'm actively working on right now!  My "serial starter" side says I must start a new one.

My blog now has 24 followers, and I am grateful for each one.  Give me a comment once in a while and let me know how I'm doing.  And for those of you who aren't followers yet, go ahead and follow!  There is no cost or obligation.

Oh, and the "Incense & Peppermints" thing?  That is just the song that has been stuck in my head for the past couple of days since I was on YouTube viewing 60's songs.  It's not a bad song, but it's stuck and won't leave.  And one word of warning:  if you decide to watch and listen to this on YouTube, and if you choose the one with the peace symbol, be careful looking at that crazy color-strobing peacock that appears.  It will make your eyes go wonky.  And you may get this song stuck in your head.

Monday, August 1, 2011

For The Cat Fashionista

I have a great appreciation for all kinds of things that people make by hand, whether it be cross-stitch, quilting, sewing, beading and jewelry making, woodworking or scrapbooking. The handmade items in this website, , are no exception. I want that to be clear. But "The Tailor of a Cat Catprin" is saved in my bookmarked favorites mainly for one reason: my entertainment. The cats, or models, are adorable and look like they're patiently putting up with their owners' silliness because they are such good animal companions. But you know they're thinking, "OK, you got the picture. Now TAKE THIS OFF OF ME!"

I try to imagine what would happen if I were to try to put, say, the Anne of Green Gables headpiece on Moxie, or the Hat of Leopard on Cosmo. If I was even successful at putting these on their squirming and twisting heads, they'd spend the rest of the day trying to slap, bite or chew them off. So no, I won't be sending any yen to Japan.

But you have to appreciate the workmanship and the entrepreneurship here! I hope that they're successful in their venture and that there are felines all over Japan sporting Young Lady Blouses and Hats of Rabbits. And what's more, there is apparently some luck to be gained if you dress your cat up in one of these and then take his picture. Just something you might want to think about.

This is the only time I've ever put any kind of clothing on any of my cats. I think.