Monday, 9 February 2009

When the going gets tough ...

... the tough hit their sewing machines. Meet me at Mikes is leading the Handmade Help campaign to make soft toys and handmade items for those affected. Now is the ideal time to try and make that quilt or use up those left over scraps on a handmade piece that people will truely love. For me ... (once I have finished my shop orders), I will be trying my hand at a soft toy or two ... why not!

Tips and Hints if you are donating clothes and goods

Make sure that you sort your clothes into Ladies, Gentlemen, Kids (sizes). Label your bags with the sizes you have (Ladies size 12, Kids size 3 etc). This will make it easier for the relief centers to sort your donations into their system when the call goes out to donate. At the moment charities are inundated with donated goods that they have to sort, so if you can help, donate a few hours to help sort through things.

Sort your kitchen items and everyday items into labeled boxes (eg. eating, cooking, cleaning). Again, this is so that the relief centres can sort your items quickly and easily.

Make sure that your clothes are washed and ready to go. I know that this is a no-brainer ... but sometimes we put clothes back into our closets that haven't been worn much. If in doubt, chuck them into the washer and makes sure they are nice and clean for the people getting them. The last thing the relief centres need is clothes that need to be washed ....

Look for donated goods that are going to make life a little more comfortable. Towels, sanitary products (sealed), deodorant (sealed) , perfume, razors, hair ties - anything to make life more comfortable for those who are doing it tough. It might be nice to sort these into groups for ladies (sanitary products and perfume) and gentlemen (razor, aftershave) etc. Of course, if your donated items are not sorted that is ok too ... just Margaret putting her crafty slant on things!

Here are some other ideas for helping out:
Lastly ... say a prayer in what ever faith you support for those who are in the burns unit at the Alfred. Their recovery will be long and painful.

Blogosphere Unite

There is a lot of support swelling from the blogs that I subscribe to. People donating clothes, toys, blood, money and handmade things.

I have just heard from a friend that one of the relief centers has asked for clean underwear and toiletries. So when you are collecting things to send to the red cross, remember those little luxuries that might make someone feel "normal" again. Perfume that someone bought you but you didn't use, clean *new* underwear that someone else can use, unused makeup or toiletries. Towels, blankets and sheets are needed as well.

For international (or local) people wanting to donate via electronic means, that's
"Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund" at National Australia Bank, 345 George St, Sydney.
BSB 082001
Account 860046797.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Shop Sui

Forgive me for not blogging as much as I should. I have returned to part-time work to help with bills and money for my business, so I have been quite busy lately! If you know me, you know that I would prefer to be busy than bored, it is just the way I am wired!

In addition to this, our 40 degree plus days have left me exhausted. I really need to get an air conditioner in my sewing room! Yesterday was also the most horrible day in Victoria with over 80 people killed in one of the worst bush fire days in Australia's history. If you have a few dollars to spare, head over to the Red Cross to donate OR donate blood, it is desperately needed.

Shop Sui

I don't think I have posted these pictures yet. I did a range of pouches for Shop Sui in Gertrude Street.

I hope that they sell well. The origami design on the fabric appears every 1/2 metre, so the pouches are quite unique!

Here are pictures of the stock in the actual store. I am so *proud*.

If you live in Melbourne, head down to Shop Sui and check out Sylvia's lovely shop with the most unique combination of gifts and clothes.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

New Bag for Margaret

I have been trundling around with the prototype for my tote/bag for months now. I made it with no interfacing or stitching reinforcements and it has survived quite well. I originally made as a bag to carry library books in from home to Northcote Library and back. I quickly claimed it as an alternative to my crumpler and general "chuck it in and run" bag.

Since then I have refined the design, added pockets, zips and magnetic closures and the newer bags also look a bit more refined than this one. They are a touch expensive on the etsy shop, but they are properly finished off with lining and interfacing.

A few weeks back I obtained a metre of this gorgeous orange fabric, so when the KK Tote was not meeting my needs anymore I knocked up a Tote using this fabric and my funky circle cotton for the interior. The inside of the zip pocket is orange and also the inside of the pockets. I have pockets of various sizes running both sides of the bag to hold all my junk!

I haven't put a magnetic closure on this bag yet, I might trundle around with it for a while before I do that! What do you think?

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

More Totes and stuff

In between finishing retail orders, I seem to be consumed by the prospect of making bags. I am looking intently at everyones bags, observing how they are being used ... are they well worn and loved or an occasional bag .... strange but true! I would love to do Nicole's bag course, but none of her dates fit into my schedule! So until then, I will plod along doing the best that I can ...

So here are a few more Totes that I knocked up over the weekend. I used the patchwork technique that I used on the last Tote and I had some skull love scraps that needed to be used up. I am quite focused on the waste coming out of my sewing room. I try to use every last scrap (especially as some of the fabric is very expensive).

I lined one of the bags in a bold red and the other in "bones" *giggles*
I have put the red one up on my etsy shop. I'll put the bones one up tomorrow.

And if you want to see any of my products in the flesh, Shop Sui have just taken delivery of some small pouches in various colours. Go and say hello to Sylvia!

I had to take a picture of what they look like ... Sylvia chose the fabrics from my swatch book and I made them up for her.
I love taking product photo's!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Classic Animals Tote

I went had a bit of the TOTE-a-thon the other night as I prepared for the local Merri Creek Market (aka Black Market) and I finally ended up working with this beautiful Kokka Dobby Fabric.

I managed to score a metre a while back and made some cute baby shoes which sold quite quickly at the Northcote Night Market. Then I finally purchased a few more from Duckcloth (love that online shop!) ... prompt delivery AND friendly!

I have fussy cut the panel on the front so that the skulls are featured. The outside is the black 310 gsm cotton drill I love working with. Inside I have done a black with white polka dot inside with zip pouch and pockets for mobile phones and date books. I also included a d-ring for keys and finished the bag with a magnetic closure.

I have put this onto my etsy shop, I am hoping that someone will like it as much as I do!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Pay it Forward

I have signed up for Fi's "Pay it Forward" event.

"Pay it Forward" got a lot of airplay after Oprah gave 300 audience guests a $1,000 debit card and also a camcorder to record their acts of kindness. It is quite a remarkable show with wonderful people doing wonderful things for people "because they can".

Since I have been chosen for a handmade gift from Fi, I have to pay her kindness forward by joining in!

I will make a handmade gift for the first 3 interested people who comment on this post. I have 365 days (ample time) to do it in...You must have a blog to join in and be willing to do the same for three other people...

Pin Cushion Winners

Blogging has taken a back seat over the last two weeks as I slowly adjust to life with teaching again. Before I had my gorgeous girl, I was in a leadership position and working far too many hours a week. Now I have returned to teaching in a part time capacity (0.4) with the hope that I can have a little life/work/crafty balance in my life.

I have thoroughly enjoyed living creatively over the past year and I don't want to give that up just yet. So forgive me if I take my time to update my blog and etsy shop over the next few weeks as I adjust to paid work once more.

But onto the Pin Cushion winners:
Out of the top hat the following lucky people will be contacted by me and I will make them and send to them a custom pin cushion (sounds exciting doesn't it!) ..... As I explained before, an entry into the hat went for every comment made on my blog.


I am hoping to have a give away of some description every month. Why? Because I can!