Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Etsy in Fine Gardening

Just yesterday, I was at a Garden Club meeting and was offered a copy of Fine Gardening.  Pointing my nose in the air,  I declared the magazine to be intimidating and featuring not one plant cell that could grow in our area!  Well, that may be true, but one of the great blogs I follow is Garden Rant.  See their manifesto over to the right.
Back to the topic at hand.....Amy Stewart at Garden Rant posts the following: 

"As you can probably imagine, it's a big deal for a company to get its products in the front of the book like this.  Manufacturers put a lot of PR muscle behind getting magazine editors to rave about their stuff.  So it's been really nice to see Fine Gardening picking lovely handmade things from Etsy to feature in their pages.
I asked the editor, Steve Aitken, about it, and he said, "You know, there's just so much good stuff on Etsy.  It's a real treasure trove.  Frankly, a lot of the products we get are not that exciting--it's just more of the same.  Gardeners just want cool stuff, no matter where it comes from."
Lately they've featured these hand-forged trowels and these silverplate flower spoons
It's one of those things that makes me marvel all over again at the wonder of the interwebs. 
And, because I can't resist picking my own cool Etsy thing to plug:  Steel allium garden ornaments!  Wow! Love it. At $39, it's almost cheaper than buying real Globemasters."

Hey....Etsy, way to go!  And, Fine Gardening....I humbly apologize for not grabbing that mag and running.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Hermitage...the most charming fantasy world....

Go to Rima's blog/journal and she starts out by saying "Far away & long ago, there was a place that is also close by and right now. To get there you must step around the corner of everything that you hold to be real, and yield to an odd world which will take you in hand and tell you stories so strange and beautiful that you will be sorry to leave. Welcome to The Hermitage... A little cottage in the forest, a stopping place on your journey. Please come inside, stay awhile and wander through rooms of curiosities..."
Rima Staines is an illustrator who paints and draws the things she sees when exploring this fairytale realm ... where she spends most of her time. Although she was born a Londoner in the 20th century she has always had one foot in Early Medieval Europe. She doesn't really know what to do about this. Rima's curiosity leads her through the many worlds of words, languages and lettering, books and stories, puppetry, nature and interesting people, music, superstitions, folklore and fairytales, and most of all the otherness that can be found on the periphery of our lives, the strange and grotesque, the absurd and unnerving ... that topsy turvy in between place where things are not quite what they seem...

Rima paints and draws on wood and paper. She enjoys entwining script and image closely and loves to write rhyming stories to tell her characters' tales using forgotten words and other languages.

This is a magical place and the artistic talent and dreaminess of the art is soooooooo wonderful.  I am enranced.

Want more.???? your heels or click the link to her Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pure Green Living

Have you all seen Pure Green Living Magazine?  I am so all over this!!!
The opening line is "Pure Green Design...Good design doesn't have to come at such cost, environmentally speaking anyway. Pure Green Design brings you the latest, the unique and, most importantly, the green."  There are photos of product from various designers and sellers including a good number of Etsy shops included.   There is the emagazine, blog (go ahead and peek, I will wait here)  and the usual twitter....lots of connections to eco-style blogs, shopping and links galore.  There is the "Green Tip Of The Day"
Celine Mackay is the creator and curator... She says "Green design is what I do. Pure Green is where I share it. Sustain ( is where I make it accessible."

Now if that doesn't say's all good.  I have subscribed to the emagazine and have looked at the current and past issue. 
From there I went to  Best Green Blogs .....this is a huge blogroll all about who is doing what in our eco-world. 
I have put both sites on my ever growing blogroll over on the right.....There are links in the post also.  Let me know what you think.....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sew, wanna make a tote with me?

Simple tote anyone can put together....come on in:

I like to make a very geometric and easy tote..... no pattern....just wing it.  The fabric speaks for itself.  In this case the fabric is a heavy hemp canvass and organic cottton  from stash for the lining. The batting is organic bamboo. If you have a complicated bag made with fabric that really rocks, you have far too much going on.  My bags with gathers, pleats and all ... are made with simple linens, bamboo and organic cotton with easy prints.  Let the bag do the talking.

I wanted a shoulder tote to take to meetings with all my paperwork, to the library, etc.  So here is what I did:   cut two twelve inch squares (or whatever size you like)....out of outer fabric, quilters batting and lining fabric.

Notch the corners of each piece.

Sew around the outside of the outer fabric right sides together; sew the batting and lining the same way...(treat the batting and lining as one piece and sew them at the same time). Leave a section open for turning the bag.

Fold your notches together so that the side seam and the bottom seam are together.  Sew across the opening.  Do this for the lining and the outer shell.

For the strap:  take a strip of the outer fabric 4 times the finished width and whatever length you like, fold in half then open up and bring the raw edges to the center and press. Topstitch.  I like to make at least three lines of topstitching for strength and also for a tailored look. 

Sew ends of the strap to the outside seam of the bag....Put the outside bag inside the lining (right sides together) pin and sew around the top opening.

Now, I do not recommend sewing over pins.  It is a no-no with bags.  I did it anyway and you can see the results.  I have made enough quilts and bags to know better.....really, I do.  AND with this sturdy fabric and so many layers, I was living on the excuses. 

see the pin sticking out?

The pin was pushed into the workings of the machine and I spent more time undoing the mess that it would have taken to remove the pin. Shortcuts will get back at you every time!

Now, back to our bag.....reach in through the opening in the bottom and pull the outer bag through and stuff the lining inside the bag.

Last two steps....topstitch around the top of the bag and sew the opening in the lining closed.

Ta Da!!  Off to the library.

There is a great tutorial with lots of photos and more description at 0/6/8/tutorial-li...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quilting Arts

Quilting Arts is offering a free download of about 6 quilting projects. Click here to visit the site and get your download.