Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Brain Dump...

ok...there is too much flying around in my head.  I have started too many projects and my sewing room is just a mess.  That said...I did finish one bag today and promptly fell in love with it.  It is Laurel Burch "Felines" with Moda Marbles accent and lining.  

But (brilliant creative thought) I did all the topstitching with variegated thread thinking it would pick up all the great colors in the fabric.  It looks  rather weird to me today.  I need to take a fresh look tomorrow.

Here is the bag....I really want to keep it.  I had just enough fabric left over to do a thingie with it and found I had an old fabric covered button in my box and I got Garth to take it apart  so I could re-use, recycle and up-cycle it!

Moving I made hot dog and hamburger buns (thanks EJ).  I have been making bread for years, but it  never occurred to me to go beyond the gooshy-gummy ones from the store.  We don't eat beef, so our soy-mushroom burger will be very happy bedding down in a homemade bun.

I need to get my fall quilt bound and on the bed before long.  This is the most beautiful ufo I have. 

I made the blocks for this quilt a year ago at our annual retreat in Truckee.  Now, it is together, quilted and ready to for me to bind it.  Only took a year to pull it together!  

We are leaving on Monday morning for this year's retreat.  Kay cannot come, so there will be Elly, Irene, Susan, Carol and me....makes five post-menopausal women having a sleep over for four days!  That kind of fun will keep us young. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Heart Flikr

A friend sends me an email saying :  "That is a great picture of the Halloween Wristlet on your Blog.  Nothing new to read though." 

Well...I beg to differ.....There I was over on the my Flikr site and found a way to get things onto my blog from from there.  No dragging photos, no retyping, no cut 'n paste.  That was a very cool event for me!  

Speaking of my Flikr Site (see shameless link above), I have received two sales from people who were on flikr, saw my work, then tracked it down and now it is theirs.  

I heard from Renee....

"I want..I do i get this?! i don't see this on your esty site... i love dia de los muertos stuff and this is super awesome with the purple inside too! love these both!"

Then just now...the Beez Pleez bag sold.  I am awsome sorry to wrap it up and mail it off, but the buyer will love it just like I did.  I came 'this close' to claiming it for my own.  Then the email comes....

 "I totally just zipped to your etsy shop and snagged this!! I am soooo excited!! I make handbags but this is excellent and so worth the price! Job well done. :))"
And whaddya know, one gift for Renee and one sale to a cool lady in Georgia whose blog I am now following.  Until recently I never got the power of flikr.....It is easy to use and fun to belong to their groups.  Linda from Fabric Place found the same bag and sent a complimentary email (that bag was made with her fabric). 

I can upload pictures of my work and see other people's efforts. 
I have also listed some of my bags and wristlets on  ArtFire .  

eeek! we speak I just sold another Day of the Dead wristlet to a gal in Rochester, New York.  I wonder what the chances are of ladies in Los Angeles and Rochester ending up dancing in the same bar showing off their wristlets.   There is one more you hear me Alaska? 


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Halloween Wristlet!

Halloween Wristlet!
Halloween Wristlet!,
originally uploaded by SquareBag. I am .....over on my flickr site adding some pictures and found a thingie that says "blog this." I clicked it and whadda you know I can enter info on my blog from other places. Stand will never know where I am coming from next.

By the way, I am making a selection of Haloween and Day of the Dead wristlets for those parties you all will be atending.

I forgot what I was going to say....

Let me put it this way:  I just sat down to blog about the exciting event of the day when Garth stomps by on the way to basement for the second time.  Seems that the first time he went down, he got there and forgot why he was there.  Now he has to go back for whatever important item wasn't sticking in his brain.
Sooooo, I set off to type...and know what happened don't you?  Of course you do!  Swiss cheese brain!  I have no idea what I was going to say.  
I just remembered what it was......
My shop on etsy (this is a link...) is not getting the hits I want.  Four sales in about 30 days?  Ichhh!  Appparently that is not bad since I don't have a following yet and didn't know one end from the other about selling online. Since I just discovered there are 174,867 sellers each one with a shopfull of goodies...I surely do feel insignificant.  I have decided to open a second shop over at ArtFire and have listed a few items has same name The Square Bag Shoppe.
The key to success is making Google notice you.  There are complicated and techy xls to upload as txt with keywords and tags to get my shop to come up when someone searches for "handmade bags" "wristlets" "shoulder bags", etc.   There are 135,959 bags for sale!  My shop accounts for 14 of them. Good grief, I can't even find myself! So!  I am getting an education.  Etsy and various other friendly folk in the blogosphere,  have suggestions on how to get traffic to your online store.  There is a a fellow who has a tutorial on how to get your items listed on Google via rss feed (whatever that is).  That is today's project....get educated.  I may not be able to remember stuff, but I am not too old to learn.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quilting for Linus....

I missed my day to quilt with my Linus group, so I quilted for Linus at home instead.  I have been making quilts for the teenage boys, but today I looked at the seersucker and flannel and got the warm fuzzies to make a baby quilt.
We all want to make the girlie or newborn quilts, but I could not help myself.  So the flannel started flying and off I went...
These are very simple quilts to make, and are so adorable.  I want to run out and borrow someone's baby and wrap it up. 

After I was almost finished, I got the bright idea to try my hand at a tutorial (my first). 
Bearing in mind I decided to do a tutorial for this quilt after I had almost finished, the pics are a little strange, but here 'tis.
You will probably need:
1/2 yard of each fabric plus a little extra for the border, and 1 yard each of the backing flannel and the batting.  Scraps are great or you can get a charm pack of baby prints and make a bunch of quilts. 

1.  Cut squares (I used 5" squares of each fabric) to make a simple four patch using two fabrics.   I like to use soft cotton or, in this case, seersucker.  

2. Sew them together for the top to make whatever size you like, newborn, baby or floor.

3.  Add a border.

4.  Cut backing of some adorable baby flannel print a couple of inches larger than your quilt top and do the same with your batting.

5. At this point I like to sew the backing to the front of the quilt, right sides together with 1/4" inch seam all round the quilt leaving 6 or so inches open for turning.  Then layer as follows:  batting, backing up and quilt top down.  Sew around remembering to leave that open space.  

6.  Turn the whole thing inside out, pin the opening closed, press and whip stitch closed.  Sew around the outside with a scant 1/4".  

7.  Quilt or tie as you prefer, be sure to put a label on and give to that Mama-to-be.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Always a quilt...

Even in these near 100 degree summer days, there is always a quilt on our bed, every bed.
I have made every quilt and each one has a personality and a memory.  This quilt was made at our mini-group's retreat.  We made one for the Cancer Center's Quilt Auction and one for ourselves.  
We swap fabric.  I can look at this quilt and think "Elly shared this fabric" and "Irene showed me how to square this up" and "Kay helped me pick fabric".........and everyone helped me agonize over block placement!

Missy, gives this quilt (and any other she can curl up on) her approval.  There is something about cats and quilts that go together and bring out the 'ahhhhh' factor in me.

This quilt is "Maggie's" quilt.  It sits on our window seat where she likes to doze.  It doesn't belong anyplace else. 

Here is is unfolded
....all those great Moda fabrics.

The quilt on the left is one of the ones I will have for sale on etsy when I get my act together.  I have three that will be for sale, and I don't know whether to have a separate shop on etsy for them, or to include them with the purses and writstlets.

I have a soft spot for this quilt.  I saw a Feathered Star Quilt at a show in Folsom and fell in love with it.  I knew the only way I would have one would be to make it myself.  What a challenge, but I think it is my best work.

Someday, I will post more about my quilts.  To see more you can go to my Flickr Photostream.  Quilts in my home and some still in progress. The bags and wristlets I make have all been photographed to upload into my shop at etsy. So they are there too.  If you do go...take some time to look at the comments from others and look at their work especially Ann Stewart's page.  Follow the trail from one quilter to another and time just flys by.
See you when you get back!:)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Can't Fly

After deciding that I couldn't fly on the zip line with the grandkids, I decided to get some work done for the shop ...and make some more wristlets and list them on etsy.   I did pretty well and got three made and several others cut out. 


      I discovered this bag pattern over on Sew Spoiled.  Leah gives you permission to make and sell, so I went for it.    This summer.  I whipped one out and carried it on our two week vacation. Hands free shopping, sightseeing, etc.  Sometimes it holds as much as my keys,  camera, glasses, cash and id, the cell phone is pushing it.

Anyway...we sewed most of the afternoon ,feline co-worker, Missy, supervising.

She approved most everything, so it was a good day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


 Suzanne, George, Jito, Elio and Isabelle came up for the holiday weekend.   Grampa Garth had a great time with the kids....he has created and area across our road in the trees for the kids complete with treehouse, swing and hamock.  This weekend, he made a slide wire for them.  

He strung a wire between two trees and had a trapeze-like bar hanging from it.  They grab hold at the top, then fly down to the end.

It is a good thing we live in the country.....there was a lot of screaming and shreiking.
A fun time for everyone.
Elio's turn to fly.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's That Smell?

The other day, we noticed this awful smell in the house, since it kept getting worse, Garth cleaned out under the sink, emptied the garbage, ran the disposal, cleaned out the pantry really well.  I mean, our house was clean!  But still the smell.  

Looking out the window we say huge vultures circling the lower half of our property...

upon investigation, a dead deer was discovered. The vultures did their job, now the insects and small creatures will tidy up the carcass.

Isn't he cute?    These have to be the ugliest birds I have ever seen.  Turkey Vultures.

No, I did not drag the deer onto the property just to get the house cleaned, but that does give one pause.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Empty Threats..

The heat is still on up here!  Most of the garden looks pretty sad, but in a few weeks we can see what survived, cut it back and get ready for fall planting.  For years I have tried to grow phlox and peonies, and they never make it. This Helebore will come back....just don't look now.

But the phlox and peonies....I am throwing in the trowel for good on those guys.  Can't handle the disappointment.   I gave the backyard 'the word'...."if you don't like it here...out you go! " Oh, the power!  

Actually, you might want to check back here in February or March when it is cold and there is some snow.  I will be tearing through my box of plant and seed catalogs to find the newest and best.  Then there is the Garden Club's
annual plant sale.....we will come home laden with plants.   All the summer rants and raves about how it is the plant's fault for not thriving in 100 degree heat month after month will have been forgotten. sew.  Why I am wasting these perfectly good cool hours blogging is beyond me.  Check out Garden Rant blog.  It is down there on the right in my blog roll.  I wish I knew these gals!

Today, I am going to putter on the deck until it is too hot to breathe, then come in and sew.  Why I am wasting these perfectly good cool hours blogging is beyond me.