Sunday, May 25, 2008

Progress Report

I've been working on a bag for Rhonda, the River Hill Pack's mom. She wanted one of the really cool wintry wolf fabs I have made into a Ram-a-Lamb. She also liked how I recycled a "leash" into straps for the RAL I did for the MaPaw auction and asked me if I would incorporate that feature into her bag. Happy to!

The first decision was what color of leash! I was leaning toward blue - because of the background of the wolf fab - but Rhonda mentioned frequently pairing black tops up with her jeans ... so I went for black. What about the accent fab, though? My Guide Dog for the Color Blind really wanted black. I really wanted blue or tan. I auditioned about 20 fab choices with the denim, wolf fab and black leash ... and of course, Dave was right.

Really! How could you doubt me?

We found a black with sort of tan circle-swirls all over it. It's a cool fit!

Sigh. Snow. Sigh.

Not wanting to wear out my welcome and because he was sound asleep, instead of asking my GDFTCB about the quilting thread, I turned to his brother. I mean, Zim showed such interest in the BDUs Mary sent, maybe he's ready to help out in the Studio!

I presented him with some options and he keyed strongly on this one.

Oooh, yeah. This one. I like this one.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that his Siberian girl friend Sitka's mom sent it. Because it really does look cool with everything else! Right, Dave?

Oh, wooooooooo!

Well, really. It does go nicely! :) I hope to have the bag ready within a week!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Z Bag

What could be better than getting a fabric order in? Or a box of jeans? If you're Zim, it's getting a box of BDUs. :)

Ooooh, BDUs!

My sister-in-law sent a stack of my brother's BDUs (thank you, Mary!!!) and Zim just could NOT keep his snooter out of them.

Snuffle, snuffle, snuffle!

They were freshly laundered, so I'm not sure what was at the heart of the infatuation. Dave (Guide Dog for the Color Blind) was a bit concerned that Zim was after his job...

...but the boys sorted it out.


As a "thank you" to Mary, I wanted to make her a bag. Of course! I encouraged her to let me know what style and colors she liked - she chose the Z Bag and asked if I'd ever done one in denim. Ooooh... what a cool idea! I hadn't and it seemed like a great challenge! She also asked for "pink and green". I really hope she meant a BOLD pink and green. :)
Here's what I came up with:

I needed a lighter-weight, larger chunk of denim than what I am used to using, so I made quick work of a denim dress in the stack-o-denim. Of course, it needed some body, so I used a heavy interfacing ... which made it heavy again. Yeah... well ...
I quilted half of it in a green variegated thread and the other half in pink. Even so, the outside was a tad bland, hence the cool front pocket. Also, since I didn't piece the straps, the pocket was a good place for the tag. Here's a close up of that, the closure and the PINK button:

and the Hold the Phone! Bag:
You can also get an idea of the quilting from those shots. Here's the other side of the HTP! Bag:
It was my first attempt at doing some curved appliqué; it came out pretty cool! That curved piece and the straps for the HTP! Bag are the pink camo I used on Shelly's Ram-a-Lamb! Here's a peek inside the HTP! Bag:

That's the fab my GDFTCB paired up with Shelli's fab for Sitka's Good Neighbor Bag Bag and Shelli's Storm Bag. Isn't it cute with the denim?
The denim really screamed for bold colors, so I lined the entire bag with that green print. I did two large interior pockets out of the pink camo - here's one:

Last, but not least, as a strap detail, a splash of the pink camo and a pink button up top.

Mary - you know Green Tabbers. I'm making you a Pink Tabber. Hahahahaha!
I hope you enjoy the bag. I'll get it in the mail to you once I touch base about whether to send now or after you move!
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Special Delivery!

This is probably the most excited I've been about a project, due to all the special touches, people, and effort involved! It all started when I met "the Mala Moms", Jan from Nebraska and Shelly from Iowa. I was already convinced they were both mighty special women, and after meeting them, I was even more certain! I knew I had to do something for each of them.

Jan was relatively easy. I combined her love of my Dave (and hence, the bag named after him) with another of her loves, wolves. She was (is) the first recipient of a Deeve Bag. You can see it at the end of that post. But what to do for Shelly? It's been in the back of my mind for so long! Then ... I posted a picture of Amber with some new fabric to the Siber Mal Society - a very friendly on-line group of Siberian Husky and Malamute owners. Shelly commented that she really liked it - and it's one of those fabs you either love or totally don't love. :) I knew right then I would begin making her a bag.

I asked a not-too-sneaky question about what style of bag she liked best, and a certain someone told me she likes the Ram-a-Lamb. I thought the pink camo would be PERFECT paired with denim! PERFECT! I slowly started working on the bag ... then got a call from Jan!

Jan had been talking to Phyll (in Pennsylvania) and they were wondering if they could hire me to make Shelly a Ram-a-Lamb out of the pink camo. LOL! Great minds think alike, as the saying goes. The concept for the bag was to make it a belated birthday present, a celebration of Shelly's 8th year of surviving Breast Cancer (YEA!), and to express our love for her and Summit, her Malamute. Summi was recently diagnosed with cataracts; while always special, Summi now has some special needs due to his sight limitations.

Phyll wondered if I could come up with a way to spell out Summit's name in Braille - and gave me a link to a Braille website. What a great, unique idea! Here's how that came out, after several misadventures down that road.

Trust me when I say you don't want to see the first couple ideas I came up with. REALLY. :)

I asked Shelli in Georgia if she would be willing do some machine embroidery for the bag; she is incredibly talented and I knew one of her designs would be the perfect touch. Shelli was more than willing! Thanks, Shelli! I sent her a square of the denim (which, oh, by the way, is from a stack of jeans Phyll sent!) and she got right to it! Here is her Sitka, doing a quality control inspection.

Ooooh, it's Summi! Yep, this is good to go!

I worked on the Hold the Phone! Bag while the denim went to GA and back. I remembered some CUTE fabric Valerie (in Washington state) had sent me and just "had" to include it! Check out the wild pink leopard print in the HTP! Bag!

Is that the coolest? Yes, yes, it is. :)

I wanted to add some cool, celebratory reminders of Shelly being a Breast Cancer survivor. I found a lovely silver and cloisonne charm to add to the side of the HTP! Bag, and made a little "ribbon loop" out of some of the pink camo fab.

Shelly's Ram-a-Lamb is being delivered personally by Jan! If I time the publishing of this post correctly, the two should coincide. She is presenting the RAL to Shelly on behalf of the whole Siber Mal Society. Jan, I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate you making this special delivery! I can't wait to hear all about Shelly's reaction and see the photos!

And now ... the Ram-a-Lamb! Here's the front:

And a close-up of the special blocks:

I did the straps like the ones I did for Kathie's Ram-a-Lamb, only the knots are on the inside of the bag. I originally wanted them outside, for more interest, but they sort of blocked the Braille and embroidery blocks, so I reversed them!

I thought it was important to put the Braille block next to Shelli's beautiful embroidered block. It just made sense. The pocket blocks are on the bottom; the bag doesn't sit well if they're on that top tier. Here's a close-up of a pocket:

Here's a peek inside!

How fun is that? Here's the reverse side of the bag, shown with the HTP! Bag:

...and the reverse side of the HTP! Bag:

Shelly and Summi........ on behalf of all of us in the Siber Mal Society ... we love you!!!

Thanks for reading,


PS: Ironic that it's also our "Ammyversary" - the anniversary of the day we adopted she who the bag was named for - Amber, AKA our little Ram-a-Lamb! :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Winged Their Way to PA

I put a package in the mail Saturday that actually made it to PA yesterday! I was amazed at how quickly it made it; let's all cross our fingers for the one leaving today for points north!

Anyway, here's what headed to Khyra's house! First up is a Hold the Phone! Bag for Khyra's doggy nanny. It's to coordinate with a bag she had; my Guide Dog for the Color Blind chose the fabs - they go much better than the ones I was going to use. Of course.

Here's the reverse:
Here's a close-up of the stitching. I used a variegated purple thread by Sulky. It's heavy and can be tricky to work with. I LOVE the effect I got here!

And here's a look at the glass beads and charm I attached!

She also bought the pastels/gold metallics HTP! Bag at this link. I thought that one came out so pretty; I'm glad it's found a good home!

Last, but not least, I made Phyll (Khyra's mom) a Z Bag. I've been wanting to do something special for her for a long time and couldn't decide on style, color, etc.! She's always so sweet and does special things for other people - I wanted this to be just right! Based on some not-so-sneaky questions, I learned her fav colors are amethyst and peridot (as in the birthstones), so my GDFTCB and I came up with this bag:

The colors are a bit off in that shot, but it shows the shape off nicely. Here's a look at it outside:

This is really one of the boldest bags I've made and really was a bit tentative about how it would be received. :) My concerns were put to rest by Phyll's kind words (and encouragement from another friend!) - I am SO glad she likes it!

I found some fun, funky buttons to use for the closure and up on the strap. Check these out!

Groovy, aren't they?

On the photo of the "closure", you can see some of the quilting on the bag. I used a YLI variegated called "Jewel". I love their threads!!!!!!!!!

Here's the HTP! Bag:

And a close-up of the charm and glass beads:

I thought they were a great accent!

The lining of the bag is one of my FAV Laurel Burch fabs; the 2 inside pockets are from the accent fab I used on the closure and on the strap and outside of the HTP! Bag. Here's a peek inside!

Can you see how cool the decorative stitching (stars) came out? Here's a better view:

I love what it does with the variegated thread!

Many thanks to Phyll - and thank you for reading!