Labels have arrived!

Earth Apple labels

The best part of this story is the part where I walked into my workroom after dinner a couple days ago to find Pumpkin standing at my work table. This usually prompts an all too automatic mama script about staying out of the workroom or not touching. When I looked, though, I saw on the work table, at about her eyebrow level, my empty label box. After seeing me open the package, she’d gone into the workroom to get out the box so we could fill it up again. Mama humbled (again) and happy.

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Perspective

Plasmolen walk

Last week we went to Plasmolen, a little spot in Limburg quite near our house, and went for a walk. Just 3 kilometers of sometimes muddy trails, a few walkers, a few dogs, a few bikers, a great little stream along the path on the last kilometer (great for kids who probably would have been starting to get bored), an ingenious fountain built into the crack of a fallen tree, and a whole lot of geese to honk at from a distance. Every month or so we remember to take a Sunday for a family walk in the woods. I spend half the walk talking about how great it is and the fact that we have to remember to do it every month. He laughs at me because we live in the furthest corner of our little city with forest across the street on both sides. But there’s something special about going to a different forest. And if you’re living in the Netherlands, something very very special about going anywhere with a hill. Seriously – hills are a huge deal for our family. Makes sense if you live in a mostly flat country. Hills give the landscape perspective, they get me thinking about change and challenges in the landscape and in my life.

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BMB Challenge: the money question

Reversible Bucket Bag

Shortly after embarking on my Bag Making Bible Challenge, I decided it would be interesting to look at the costs of bag-making at home. Sewing is often seen as a money-saving hobby. You sew your bags or clothes in order to save a bit of money and to have a personalized finished product. But it isn’t always the case. A lot of the bags in the book require hardware and interfacings I’ve never used before. I’ve always been wary of spending too much money on sewing doo-dads. By that, I pretty much mean anything beyond fabric and thread. If you sew at all, you quickly realize that cost of the notions (buttons, zippers, tools, interfacings) required to make something can be a bit shocking. The first two bags from the book were easy and frankly not too pricey, I used fabric from my stash and there was very little extra that went into them, so they won’t be included here. For a more careful look, let’s look at what it cost to make the Reversible Bucket Bag .

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Preview: The first bag

Bag in the wild

Exterior pleated pocket

interior zipper pocket

Exterior detail

The perfect bag for each purpose is different for every person. I started my bag challenge with the goal of learning more about bag making. The amount of inspiration that’s come with the experience has surprised me. It has me reflecting on some well known and wise words about creativity by Ira Glass and . Essentially, it takes a whole lot of work to get good at something and diving in and doing it is both the hardest and the most important part. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to make this year the year of diving in.

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Shop update: Covered Notebooks and Bibs

Bib

Covered Notebooks

Covered Notebooks

Covered Notebooks

Here are some recent additions to my Etsy shop. The bib is made with fabric from Lotta Jansdotter’s Glimma collection. I love the neutral taupe and the mustard yellow. This combination is really beautiful and a great cheerful neutral. The covered notebooks come in three different interior colors: green, red, and yellow. They come with a notebook and when that’s full, you can replace it with either a Moleskine Volant or a Clairefontaine 9×14 notebook. Both are great choices.

If you don’t get a chance to buy one on-line, I will also have these with me at the FeelGoodMarket on 16 March in Eindhoven!

WIP Report

Morning modeling

My first Cargo Pant pocket!

It’s that time again – an update on what I’ve been making. My littles were patient with me for another quick photo session before we got on the bikes for school, so you get to see his Oliver & S Field Trip Cargo Pants in action. I’m so super pleased with them. They took many hours to make, but the directions were outstanding and the result is fantastic. Last month I intended to make a few pieces of clothing for myself. That got all pushed aside to sew for littles and make more bags. Let’s see what happened…

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BMB Challenge: Reversible Bucket Bag

Reversible Bucket Bag

Reversible Bucket Bag

While my parents were visiting, there was a lot of time for sewing. It was a great time to do the next project in Lisa Lam’s Bag Making Bible – the Reversible Bucket Bag. Lisa describes this project as an opportunity for trying fabric combinations. It’s also an introduction to interfacings, or adding structure to your bag. I find fabric combinations challenging – mainly because I feel my choices are rather conservative. Putting together lots of great patterns (a la Maureen Cracknell, for example) isn’t something I do. This project pushed me to at least try.

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Send off…

Grandma & Grandpa visit

This morning we said good-bye to Grandma and Grandpa. They have been visiting for a couple weeks. The littles have had a grand time basking in all the attention and love and I’ve gotten to do a whole lot of sewing and got time to get my Etsy shop up and open. It seems that Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed themselves as well – they keep talking about coming back! We call that a win for everyone. And, you wonder, what have I been making?

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