Thursday, April 10, 2014

Linen 'n Denim 'n Leather

I'm always on the lookout for new bag styles to try and I've had this one in the back of my mind for ages. Comparatively quick and easy to make.

It's slightly larger than A4 size and made from linen and black denim, with a medium weight interfacing. So quite practical and rather stylish I think. The bag is lined with cream cotton printed with the same design (fan palm) in red and closes with a magnetic clasp.
Next I'm going to have a go at making one from linen and black leather.
I've done a little bit of sewing with leather to date as I have been making these little guys for ages - screenprinted fronts and leather backs (great for specs)
And recently I tried something a little bit bigger, with this wristlet purse, so I'm looking forward to tackling a larger leather project.

And here it is!

Monday, March 17, 2014

My 200th Etsy sale

I have just passed this milestone and decided I needed to tart up my Etsy shop presentation and blog banner. There are lots of tutorials to help, thanks to all those wonderful people who take the time to document their experiences for others. I use Picasa so concentrated on the tutorials which used this software - this one for the Etsy banner and this one for the blog banner.  Both use collages easily produced via Picasa. I also updated my Etsy and blog avatar to match my label logo. Trial and error here rather than following instructions. Oh - and I also designed a business card and had them produced - at long last.

Next task will be to update the layout of my blog (and perhaps post a bit more frequently). I have ventured down the Pinterest track but don't find it as addictive as many seem to, and I'm still weighing up the value (effort versus return) in having a PalumaPrint Facebook presence.

Google Analytics provides some fascinating statistical information on visitors to my Etsy and MadeIt shops and also my blog. I have just started to look at these even though I set it up ages ago. Certainly a great way to while away the hours. There has been a huge decrease in visitor numbers to my MadeIt shop in the last 6 months (and hardly any sales this year). I wonder why? Have handmade buyers just decided to go global because of the greater choice at their fingertips? My Etsy visitor numbers and sales have certainly increased rapidly in the last year.

And finally what's a blog post without a picture or two

A recent morning rainbow

Sunset from the deck

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Most Gorgeous Tree - The Swamp Bloodwood

The native swamp bloodwood in my front yard (Corymbia ptychocarpa - previously Eucalyptus ptychocarpa) is just starting to flower.
No other words do justice to this - simply stunning.

How could it not result in influencing one of my new designs 

now in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Next Stop - Cushion Covers

I'm trying to perfect my cushion sewing techniques - eventually I hope to stock some in my online shops. So first - the prototypes in heavy calico. I have used invisible zips to close the covers following the tutorial by Lara Cameron here and some overlocking stitches on my Elna sewing machine that I haven't tried before. Not quite perfect yet.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lamp Wrap

I'm really into lampshades now! I used a plain linen shade ($20 from K-Mart - including the base!) and decorated it with a wrap made from pieces of my design - the lemon scented tea tree - screenprinted in red and yellow on linen (well the pieces were left over scraps actually, from other projects). I got the idea from a handout I picked up at the Cloth shop in Sydney when I visited there about two years ago. The instructions don't appear to be on the website but you can see the idea - pieces of varying lengths sewn together with a contrasting thread, which is also used around the edges. The fabric is then frayed and the wrap held together with two self covered buttons. V. pretty!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Another Door Thing

This time a door stop. The house I am living in has many doors and a lot of them have no catch to hold them open and prevent slamming. I have used all manner of items to date - pot plants, wooden wedges, rocks....but I finally made a fabric "bag" door stop today, using some screen printed calico (my grass tree in red) with a red fabric lining, and basing the pattern on this tutorial found at Shabby Art Boutique. A bit different to the usual pyramid doorstop.

The door stop is filled with sand placed in a couple of resealable plastic sandwich bags (each about 1/2 full) - easy to remove when the door stop needs a wash (I also used this method to fill the door snake).

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Door Snake and Aprons

I needed a draft excluder for my front door - not so much to exclude drafts, but more to stop the noise. Even a gentle breeze sounded like a gale force wind coming under the door. Plenty of simple instructions on the web so I printed up some heavy calico using my umbrella tree design in green, sewed a few seams, inserted velcro around the top and filled with dry sand. No noise now.

 Yellow and orange have not been popular colours for my screen prints - at least not in tea towels. So I recycled a couple of non sellers into aprons. I think they look stunning with black linen fronts.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

That's Better!

New lampshade now with a more attractive base

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lampshade No. 2

While I still had the instructions relatively fresh in my mind I thought I had better utilise the larger lampshade fittings which I had purchased at the Ministry of Handmade workshop I recently attended. I quickly printed up fabric (a light linen) using my grass tree design in mid red. The process went very smoothly and I have ended up with quite a professional result I think. Just need to find a larger and more substantial lamp base. This one is destined for my lounge room.

Wearable Art

Well - maybe not art but I am very pleased with this. I haven't attempted to sew an article of clothing (apart from bags and purses) for er 20+ years so I had a bit relearning to do. But I had the excellent Nicole Mallalieu A line skirt pattern to guide me. I adapted the pattern to include a panel of my gumnut screen print and then tried it on Molly who is a bit more shapely than me. Voila! Next time I make it I'll go one size down - I'm not as large as I thought I was ;-)

And in the tree this week - kookaburras are regular visitors but no more koala sightings yet.