Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rainbow Toddler Backpack and Saying Goodbye to the Backpacks...

For those of you who know me personally, you'll know that I loved making toddler backpacks for my little ones (and for yours too!).  It all started with this backpack for #1.

It was so fun to make and so I began selling custom backpacks online.  When I started my ETSY shop 5 years ago, I didn't know where it would take me.  Would I be doing this for the long haul, or just while the kids were young so I could stretch my mental muscle?   However, as time has gone on and life has gotten busier, my ability to juggle my time and deliver a reasonable eta on the backpacks has been a challenge.

Over the last couple of years, I only worked on custom commissions in the hope that I could continue to sew my one of a kind backpacks. However, the true reality is that I can't juggle so many things at once and need to choose the activities that bring me and my family the most happiness. So I've decided to officially stop taking custom orders and will no longer be restocking my ETSY shop.  Thank you to all of you who have stopped by the blog and supported my online business.

My last custom backpack was earlier this year for a little girl who loves rainbows.  I made backpacks for her little brothers (this superhero one and these ones) and so it was her turn.  Her mom and I worked on the design.

Which then became this

And then became this... I made the clouds a little puffy

Like the bags for her brothers, she also got an initial at the back.

When I made this, I had a feeling it would be my last one so I took my time and enjoyed the process.

A shot of the back

The sides

View from above

She provided me with the fabric for the lining.  It was so nice to work with!

Love the initial

It can hold all of your Shopkins (and more)!

But really I'd rather put chocolate in there...

It's definitely the end of an era for my shop (for now).  I've enjoyed every minute of it and am so thankful to my customers and to the new friends I have made along the way. 

Until next time,
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

DIY Coffee Cozies

Last week I shared with you that I went back to a traditional office environment. I thought my crafting days were over however, I soon discovered that even at work, I can find ways to make my day nicer.

My new company gives us free coffee and subsidizes our lunches (yay!).  I love free coffee but I really hated that my hands were getting burnt because the cardboard coffee sleeves kept falling off of my cup.  While I know I should be using a reusable cup, sometimes you just don't have time to wash the cup!

So I brought the paper cup home and made several until I felt that it was right.  This one is actually my second cozy.  I lost my first one at work.

Then I started making a bunch of cozies for my co-workers based on their favourite colours.  So far, I've made about 8 of these.

Cozies for everyone!

I think it makes the brown cup look better!

But truthfully, I was just happy to be able to get behind the machine and sew something quick and easy.

Somehow, these are all different sizes...

The back is just a simple linen from Ikea

These really are so easy to make and a lot of fun too!   There are a ton of tutorials and templates on the internet.  I ended up having to design my own because as it turns out, not all paper cups are the same.

Until next time,
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Friday, November 18, 2016

Knitting Club 2016-2017

Knitting Club is on again!

There was so much learning from last year that this year's club has already gotten off to a great start!
One of the first things we did was number the needles so that we could ensure a better sign in/sign out process.

Last spring, I sewed a pouch for my knitting partner and we both had the crazy idea to make sewing pouches for knitting club instead of using ziploc bags.   

This was my prototype.  Because my partner in crime and I are kinda like the same person, neither one of us realized how long this would take.

Hence, we had to revisit the idea of a box pouch and make flat pouches.  Both have advantages but either way, it's still better than a ziploc bag!

Fast forward to the start of school.  And a job opportunity fell into my lap.  Suddenly the idea of making all of the bags became overwhelming.  It wasn't really the bags, it was the whole thing... going back to a traditional work environment and not being the stay at home Mom who bakes and sews.  Time for an identity crisis!

Thankfully L pulled through and once I showed her how I made the bags, she pretty much took over, sewed them all, and even stenciled them!

And here's where I appreciate her even more... she designed the new blanket and came up with a much better way to sew together the squares.  (More on that when the blanket is done!)

While I am (at this point) finally used to being back at work, I do miss the girls from knitting club.  There was no way to be able to work from home and help run the club.  So I am taking a big step back this year and doing lots behind the scenes.  I gotta say, it's not as rewarding being behind the scenes.  I loved talking to the girls while we knitted.

There are parts of me that really miss being at home and running the house.  However, my brain is so happy to be challenged in a different way and turns out the whole family has survived my return to work.   

Going forward you may start seeing "different" types of projects as my brain shifts back to work-related things...

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