My latest go-to gift item has been bags – I find a fun and unique pattern, or come up with my own, and then put a bunch of awesome stuff inside! For a few bridal showers I made bags and then purchased small items from the registry to put in it. Saves on wrapping, looks really pretty and makes a great keepsake gift!
Here are some of the bags I’ve made recently…
And here are some of the many, many bags that I have accumulated over the years…
Uh oh, I think I might be hoarding bags, maybe I should donate a few of these, hehe. Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, most were gifts!
That being said, I definitely enjoy finding unique and interesting bags when I shop. Modcloth actually has an amazing collection of super cute bags. Here are some of my faves…
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
ModCloth may be your go-to for cute dresses and clothing, but did you know they have a flourishing decor department? Think fun and unique adornments for your home, kitchen, bedroom, office space, and more. If that’s not incentive enough to check it out, they just so happen to be having a 20% Off Decor Sale that’ll give your place a pop of personality. No code needed, so just shop ’till your heart is content and there really will be no place like your home! Hurry while it lasts!
If you like bags as much as I do, I hope you found something you like here! See you next post!
Here’s a peek at some of the things I’ve made this Spring…
I wanted a beachy but rustic welcome sign for our front door so I painted the word on a piece of old driftwood, attached it to an old, weathered basket and embellished it with scallop shells and vintage mother-of-pearl buttons.
For Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted to make gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I had acquired a huge bag of vintage fabrics, including tablecloths, dish towels and doilies, many, many doilies! So, when a doily bag post from Sew Mama Sew came up in my blog feed, I was beyond excited. I came up with this bag for my mom. I altered the pattern a little by using the trimmed outer edge of my green doily as an accent for the top edge of the bag.
I was able to use a combination of some fun fat quarters that I had in this adorable little tote, pattern courtesy Oliver + S blog. I gave this to my husband’s Mom along with the Family wall hanging inside.
I decided to make something for my Mom to hang as well. She now works from home, using my sister’s old bedroom as an office, so I thought an office sign would be neat. I attempted to make it look old-fashioned, and even painted a vintage rotary telephone on it.
The wall hangings / signs were relatively easy and fun to make, so you may see some in my Etsy shop in the near future!
Yesterday I posted about a jacket makeover that I began. I finished it this morning and thought I’d update you.
As I mentioned yesterday, I followed a tutorial for adding pockets to a garment without them. The elbow patches were hand-stitched.
I also added the same floral fabric to the lapel for some color. This fabric was from some old curtains, so there were some finished edges which came in handy. I just lined the fabric up to the existing lapels, pinned it and trimmed accordingly. I then used a zig-zag stitch to attach them.
I scrapped the large white doily I had in yesterday’s image and decided instead to go with two square pink ones, lined up vertically on the back. Since these are crocheted and pretty loose, I decided to treat them more as appliques. Using the overcasting foot, I sewed an overcasting stitch carefully around much of the doily, leaving spaces for the belt to loop under.
Of course I never know when enough is enough, so I added some bling to the front in the form of some vintage jewelry. I also added an antique metal eagle to the back to contrast the slightly girly pink doilies!
I most likely won’t be wearing this until the Spring, but I think it will be great to wear antiquing!
Perhaps more fun than making my jewelry and other crafts is photographing it for my Etsy shop. I love taking photos of things, especially macros, or closeup images of small objects. Since the photos are the only way buyers can see the item, it is very important to have clear, bright images that show all angles of the item. It is equally as important to have a beautiful, well-framed image that can be used in treasuries and other promotional efforts.
For the majority of my photos, I use my Sony Cyber-shot HD 10.2 mega pixel digital camera.
My husband gave it to me for my birthday almost three years ago and it continues to produce high quality images that meet my needs.
The camera on my iPhone also works very well, that’s what I used to take the picture of my Cyber-shot above!
A few years back I purchased a photography “studio in a bag” that came with photo tents, lights on tripods and various fabric backgrounds. The goal I was hoping to reach with those was the stark white background with no shadows that seemed to make the front page on Etsy all the time. While I am able to achieve that using the white tents and ridiculously bright lights, the set takes up too much space for me to leave it set up and is too cumbersome to set up and break down as needed. For now, I only use the small photo tent as needed and have one light that stays out.
The rest is packed up for when I have a dedicated studio space.
In all honesty, I only use the set above when I need to shoot at night. The best images, as Etsy suggests, really are those using natural light. Fortunately, my space is right next to our sliding door to the deck and there is light all day there. I have a beautiful, bright white cotton lace table runner on top of my cabinet that provides a beautiful and clean background.
Occasionally I like to include props in my photos. I prefer natural things such as shells, rocks, even birds’ nests!
Today I shot images of my newest items, necklaces featuring handmade clay fossil shells as well as vintage buttons and other pretty embellishments.
On Etsy you are allowed 5 images for each post and I always use all 5! The more the better for sure! I tried to show as much of the necklace as possible. Here I have a closeup of each piece hanging from the necklace as well as the necklace displayed on a rock made of shells!
I finished making these necklaces this morning and am so happy with how they turned out. The photos definitely do them justice and the closeups really show off the intricate details that went into making the clay fossil shell pieces.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my photographic process. If you like these necklaces, they can be found in my Etsy shop here:
My husband and I love the beach cottage we call home, but living in such a small place has its drawbacks. I find it difficult to keep clutter to a minimum while still being able to express myself creatively. I know I briefly described my studio space in my first post, but I think I made some real progress with it this weekend, so here’s more!
Our downstairs is open concept – the kitchen, living and dining rooms have no walls between them. Upstairs is one big bedroom, no separate office or anything. My first thought was to take over part of the bedroom – there’s a perfect corner for it. Unfortunately, I do a lot of my creating at night and my husband works the early shift. I couldn’t be up there with lights on and potentially making noise while he’s asleep.
I ended up taking over the dining table, which was awesome while I was in the middle of a project because I could have all my supplies out at once on the table and had a huge workspace. But it was a major eyesore if it wasn’t all cleaned up. About a month ago, we realized that we really didn’t need a dining table. We hadn’t hosted anyone for dinner, that is, inside… we have a beautiful deck and it is great for summer entertaining which is when this place is really awesome! And, I hate to admit it, we always end up eating in the living room while watching tv, a product of how we were both raised, I guess! So we sold our dining table to my sister, who didn’t have one and has a ton more space for it.
I ended up buying a walnut-colored trestle desk and matching bookcase on Amazon. I also ordered a matching stool, that was recommended to go with it, but it was way too high for the desk. Having already assembled the stool, it would have been more of a hassle to try to return it. Instead I am selling it to a coworker. For the past few weeks I’ve been using the desk chair from our desk upstairs. While it functioned well enough for the time being, I found the rolling feature to be very annoying. I end up sitting cross legged and would roll away all of a sudden! I also hated looking at the giant, black, high back monstrosity of a chair, it was definitely designed for men! Finally, yesterday I found a gorgeous yet very comfortable occasional chair at Marshalls of all places. It looks great with the rest of the decor and fits the desk and my sitting styles perfectly!
So here’s what my new space looks like!
I mentioned the desk and bookcase ($125, $93, Amazon.com), the beautiful chair ($99, Marshalls) and the cabinet on the right was inherited from my Nana.
I found the task lamp at a local thrift shop for $4 and painted it neutral beige.
If you couldn’t tell from the photos, I love using decorative baskets and boxes to stay organized. Michaels Craft store has an awesome collection of home decor paper storage boxes ($8 – $14). I picked up a few on my last visit there and they make a huge difference in minimizing clutter. They are shown above on the bookcase and the one on the bottom shelf looks like an old fashioned suitcase, so adorable!
Finally, the desktop carousel and storage cube provide a ton of storage space for many of my tools and supplies. I got them a while ago from Michaels and sadly they have to live on the floor for now!
So that’s my OCD craft studio resolution – I am very happy with it, finally, and wanted to share some of my ideas with others struggling with space issues!
Before I go, I want to tell you about an awesome Etsy seller promotion I took advantage of. It was an offer from Moo, a printing company who I hadn’t heard of before. The offer was for 100 free mini business cards, I only had to pay $5 shipping. Well, they came this week and I absolutely love them! They are worth so much more than that! I chose to have images of my items printed on the front, so there are all different ones, almost like trading cards! I will definitely look to Moo for future printing needs!