It's Official - I'm in Love!

With Zakka, that is. (Y'all already knew I was in love with my boy toy.) I finished my first zakka purse last night and I absolutely love it. I put it up for sale in my shop, but I'm secretly hoping no one will buy it so I can keep it for myself because it's really cute. I crocheted the basket from jute twine, which was easier than I thought it would be. Then I made the top part out of cotton fabrics and lined it, and I printed a cupcake on a patch of the lining and sewed it to the front. The handles are leather and it's just like the one that inspired me and captured my imagination so long ago. If it does sell, I think I may have to make myself one. I'm going to start making some more purses now, got to go!


New Purses and a New Me!

I finished my first-ever all crocheted handbag and put it in the store thismorning. I call it the "Melting Snow" handbag because it reminds me of a mountain with snow melting off of it. It's made from a pattern in one of the Japanese craft books I bought in SF. I love it! It came out a bit smaller than the one in the book because they used a chunkier yarn, and I wasn't sure which hook to use exactly since all the text is in Japanese except for the numbers. I think I was supposed to use a size 5, but I used my 7 which is larger, so I don't think that had anything to do with the size change. It's so sweet and I'm starting to make another one with a light body and dark stripes from the same yarns. I sure hope someone loves it as much as I do and will give it a good home. I also finished making the crocheted jute basket for the bottom of my first zakka purse... Now I just have to search through my massive pile of zakka-worthy fabrics and choose a few for the top, figure out what I want to embroider on it, and then I'll list it too. I've been feeling pretty snazzy lately with my new haircut, and hopefully I can channel some of that fun energy into my purses and other projects. It's hard because the weather has been so gloomy for the past few days, raining almost non stop. Snuggling weather, I call it. Michael and I spent a lovely day yesterday going round the city with our best friend Ryan, eating dim sum in Chinatown and then catching up on the Heroes episodes we missed and staying up till the wee hours playing video games. It was a great time. And I still managed to get up by 10 thismorning to get that crocheted purse into my store. Got the new banner designed for the shop mom and I are doing together on etsy, I hope it goes as well as my first one has. But sales have been awfully slow lately, I need to get better about listing things in the morning. Another thing to put on my list of "must-do's". *Sigh*


Sense of Humor

This is my sewing machine: There's my backstitch lever, my thread tensioner, and my panic button. It's an old machine and not the best quality, so it has a lot of problems and I have to use that button quite often these days. Anywho, things are going kind of slow since it's midterm time. I need to get going on some new purses for the store but I can't seem to find the time. I've been working on a collage book for my bookmaking midterm and I got it done last night, hopefully I'll get a good grade, pics to come soon. I think I did a really good job on the Microeconomics test *crosses fingers*. Now that the work's winding down I should have more time to make stuff and get back to posting. Too much to do and too little time... Good thing I have a good sense of humor...


I'm Back!

I'm home from my parent's house and I'm ready and raring to go for spring. I got a new haircut and color, and I feel so hawt! lol. And I had so much fun visiting my parents. My sister was feeling out of the loop (forgive the pun) because I got mom addicted to crochet and we are always talking about it. She wanted to learn as well, so I taught her and she did a wonderful job. Picked it up so fast! She made a sweet little coin purse for her first project. Now she's working on a cute bright yellow cloche! I showed mom how to crochet in the round as well and she made her first hat while we were there. It's a tam made from the same yarn as my funky red wrist warmer, and it's cutest on sissy so she got dibbs. It was just so cool sitting there with my mom and sister crocheting away. I managed to crank out an amigurumi mushroom and a nearly complete super-long scarf. Mom and I are starting another etsy store together, called Quirky Bindi, and it's going to be all about ethnic and tribal styled stuff we make, since it just doesn't fit in in my shop. I can't wait to get started!


Japanese Goodies!

I recieved my order of Japanese fabric and trims, much earlier than expected and with Japanese candy to boot! I was tipped off by the Wee Wonderfuls blog about where to get these adorable fabrics, so go check it out! My little Japanese baking cups from Sweetkye also arrived today.I'm planning on turning them into cute little pincushions (they're not as big as American muffin cups). I'm so excited and I can't wait to get started on my zakka purses when the leather for the handles arrive. I'm going to be on vacation for about a week, so postings may be sporatic for a while. Also, all shop orders placed from thursday till sunday will not go out until monday or tuesday, sorry for the inconvenience! See y'all!


I finally finished the felt clutch purse I was working on and I think it came out pretty cute. I had trouble deciding what kind of little signature decoration I was going to put on it. I tried a red ribbon; that was a no-go. Then I tried a big felted red star, close but no cigar. Then I was looking through some images I have on my computer for inspiration and I came across a cute abstract flower pincushion from the Wee Wonderfuls website: I really liked the shape so I made a flat version out of felt and a vintage button, and added some grey leaves too. I really like the way it looks, I hope someone else out there does too. I'm planning to make a zebra patterned one with a red lining and I think I'll use the red star on the front. Etsy sales have been going slow, but I haven't been listing things every day. Just too much to do with sis coming tomorrow, I've been cleaning (and organizing) the house like mad and I'm tired. I've got a pile of stuff to do, but I'm going to be out of town and far away from my precious craft supplies. Oh well, maybe I need a vacation anyhow.


You would not believe how hard it is to find leather bands in stores. I need some if I want to make the purse I put in the last post. I remember when there was plenty of it in the trim section of the fabric store, heck, even Wal Mart carried it. I found some in black at Joann's but I needed brown. I tried a bunch of places and eventually broke down and bought some small yardages of vinyl, but I wish I could find real leather in 1/2 inch to 1 inch strips. If anyone out there has an idea of where I can buy some please let me know. Anywho, I've been a button making maniac lately because a friend gave me scraps of the most wonderful vintage fabric that was too small to make anything but covered buttons with. I've made a bunch of different sizes and put them on bobby pins and barrettes, and I'm selling some by themselves on cards too. Oh, and I sold Gertrude! She's going to a lovely new home, with a new owner. She has an etsy shop, http://reloveprojects.etsy.com. Her stuff is really cute, check it out!



I've decided to purchase a new banner for my etsy shop! I bought it from a very talented grapic artist who sells her art and services through there. Pop on over and check out my new banner, and if you like it then you have to check out her store. It's http://paperbirdie.etsy.com. She's very nice and knew what I wanted right away. I've also decided to buy a cupcake graphic on its own so I can use it for some cards I'm making to sell hairpins, barettes, and buttons in my shop. In other words, I've got a lot of new things to list very soon. And just for fun, I made the cute little flower on the fly with some leftover yarn that was too small for anything else.

So here's my pattern, original and fairly simple:
Remenent of worsted-weight handspun style yarn
Siza US I9 crochet hook
Felt that matches button
Metal barette or pinback

1. Begin with an adjustable ring. Crochet 10 single crochet (sc) into the ring, tighten, and join with a slip stitch (slst). (10 sc)
2. Work 2 sc in each sc around, join with a slst. (20 sc)
3. Now for the petals: *chain (ch) 1, skip one sc and crochet 5 double crochet (dc) into next sc. Ch 1, skip 1, and slst into the next sc*. Repeat from * around. (Should end up with 5 petals.)
4. Cut free and weave ends to the back of the flower's center, but leave them dangling.
5. Again, form an adjustable loop and crochet 5 sc into the ring. (5 sc)
6. Work 2 sc in each sc around. (10 sc)
7. Do the same thing as in step 3, but you should only end up with 3 petals.
8. Repeat step 4, then thread the smaller flower's dangling yarn through the center of the large one and tie the ends together. This will help them to stay in place while you sew on the button and give the finished flower extra strength.
9. Stitch a button in the center of the flower, a circle of felt on the back, and add a pinback or barette. Done!

If you have found this or any of my other free patterns useful and would like to help me keep creating them I accept PayPal donations!



(A close up of my boyfriend book, for sale in my etsy shop.)
Well, I found out how to get in on the next zombie walk. Go to www.eatbrains.com if you want to do it too. And, in my search for other zombies ot congregate with, I found out that there's going to be a flash mob pillow fight at the embarcadero in SF at 6:00 pm on Valentine's Day. But shhh... Don't tell Michael, it's a suprise. He never reads this thing anyhow, lol. I'm starting to slowly list some blank books I made on etsy, hopefully they'll sell. I've been selling a few pairs of earrings lately and I was wondering if anyone out there has tips for how to best package them for shipping. I worry that even if they are wrapped in bubble wrap in an envelope something terrible will happen to them, but I don't have boxes small enough to fit right. Any suggestions? I've been working my butt of on a whole new erray of things for the shop, and if I have any interesting ideas that I think someone else might want to make I'll get them on here.

On a final note, I have to give props to Christina's at etsy, because they're just so kind. I noticed thismorning that they listed a pouch they made (Super cute!) and they had the owl pincushion they bought from me in the picture, and they said in the description to visit my shop! Too sweet, I think I have a friend on etsy now, so I just have to repay the kindness. Their designs are beautiful and you have to check out all the wonderful things they have for sale!!! Thanks Hyein!!!


Zombies Attack San Francisco!!!

How do I get in on this for 2007?
It started with five people... Er, zombies... And eventually grew to a mob that went around San Francisco infecting passers by. People who wanted to participate would scream and be mobbed by zombies, get sprayed with fake blood and get their shirt torn a bit, and then they could march along. I say a ruined shirt is a fair price to pay to get in on the fun, and appearantly everyone else did too. The zombie hordes started on market, went to Union Square, and eventually ended up in the Apple store where the rally dispersed. I love it when people do awesome random things like this. I have to find out how to get in on the march this year. This has been done in cities around the world too. Go to www.youtube.com and search for "zombie walk San Francisco" to see some awesome videos!
Things like this remind me of how cool people can be, and of all the things that make life worth living. All the random little bits of coolness that surround me every day make me so happy. Things like the zombie walks. Things like a hairpin Hyein Oswald sent me with my purchase from her that she made out of a fabric she knows I adore, or the extra buttons from Auntie Di's. Or the owner of my favorite local restaurant giving me free pastries every time I come in for a Vietnamese sandwich. Or someone returning my lost checkbook instead of stealing from me. Or a man and his little girl buying lunch for the homeless man who's always outside of the post office, bringing it to him and sharing a kind word. I like to let people go ahead of me in traffic at places where I know how impossible it is to turn left. People are so cool *sniffle*.
Photos courtesy of www.laughingsquid.com and Scott Beale.


A Work In Progress

Remember the felt I fell in love with? Well, I did end up turning it into a little clutch purse. I got some white pearl snaps and used one for the closure. It's not finished yet, but it's still cool. All it takes to make one is two pieces of felt. Fold the outer one in half longways, right sides facing (if it has right sides like the alligator skin patterned one I used does), and stitch up the sides with a 1/8 inch seam allowance. Turn right side out and lay flat. Then fold the inner piece in half and place it on top of the outer one (this is so you can use it as a measuring guide). The lining piece should be cut to the same length as the space between the stitchings on the outer piece. See my rinki-dink diagram, lol: This is because it needs to be a little shorter than the outer piece so it will fit inside better. After you cut it to the right size, stitch the sides with a 1/8 inch seam allowance. Don't turn it right side out. Put it inside the outer shell and line up the corners: I didn't trim the top becuse I liked the way it looks with the little strip of red sticking up. Sew around the top, pretty close to the border of the outer fabric. Add a snap and you have an awesome little clutch. But it's still missing something... Maybe a strip of ribbon or a grouping of red buttons. Ooh, I have some little gingham scottie dog appliques... I dunno, it's not quite ready yet. But when it is I'm keeping this one and making a few more in this and other animal prints for my store, so if it seems like too much trouble to make one, you can have your very own made by me!