Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New in my shop :) (and some soon to come!!)

I may have been kind of quiet lately in blog land, but I have been busy! Here are some of my latest additions to my Ruffle Purse family :D
In this batch of bags, I'm letting the fabric make a quiet statement. No loud patterns, just subtle, beautiful colors, accented by flirty, fun ruffles. If you see an orange one in Sheboygan, that's me! 
I made one for myself :)

This avocado green is my FAVORITE color for fall!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In my spare time...HMPH ...as if! (hair flip)

I found myself making Audrey a quilt at 9:00 last night. First of all, I turn into a pumpkin at 8, which means as soon as the comfy pants come on, I am DONE with anything involving thought for the day. But she asked so nicely (read:overly persistent!) She needed it, for "like, watching tv, or covering my baby dolls, and sleeping with"  How could I argue with that???  Finally me, the sucker I am, told her I'd do it when I got around to it. 9:00 on a Saturday night.   When I finished it,I was able to put it on her as she slept, giving her a nice surprise when she woke up. Worth every, tired, frustrating second. Oh, and did I mention I have NEVER made a quilt before. It was my maiden voyage, and I think it turned out a-ok :)

With this quilt that Audrey was dreaming up, we had to make a few trips to the store. I loaded the babes up on their bikes, and we rode to Joanns to pick out some fabrics. When she found her fabric, we needed batting. But batting is cheaper at Walmart, so yesterday morning, we loaded up on the bikes again to head out to Wally World.

As we were finding our quilt supplies,  projects I'd seen on blogs kept popping up in my mind. Here are a couple of things that I've pinned on Pinterest lately (if you've never heard of pinterest, you HAVE to check it out...it's a great place to "pin" all of the things you see online that you know you'll want to refer back to later. Genius!) Tutorial links are on the captions, giving credit where credit is due :)
My kids would LOVE these! This is one I actually am excited to do for them.  So simple,  yet something they would totally use!
I could use about 10 of these! Too cute!
I guess I have a thing with ruffles, what can I say?
I have a couple of baby showers coming up. Hmmmmmmm!
When my kids were babies, I learned really fast that the cute bibs you get as shower gifts are USELESS! Nothing stays on them, so guess what I'll be making for some mom's to be????

Another thing for my MUST DO list!
I fell in love with this shower curtain and knew it is EXACTLY what I need in my house. Hopefully this is project #1, but I know my stuff usually comes last :(

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Trust and Patience

Two things that apparently God is telling me I lack. In the last couple of weeks, the hubs and I are facing some major decisions, decisions that will affect our family in some major ways. And to make things worse, it's not just one big thing we're dealing with, but two major things that we are praying about and seeking God's guidance on. But the answers and clarity I'm praying for just aren't there. I'm learning to lean on God, to pray without ceasing, and most of all I'm learning to wait on God's plan. I'm learning that He knows what is best for my family, and no matter how much I stew and worry, He is ultimately in control. So while I wait, I continue to pray for Ryan, who I have left to carry the weight of making the decisions. I trust my husband with these decisions because I know he only has our family's best interests at heart. I am slowly learning to understand that God only has my family's best interest at heart,too. How do I know? Because He said so....
          Those who know your name trust in you, for you,
 LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. 
Psalm 9:10

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hold on...I'm still here!

(This is totally legal, they were flushing the hydrants!)

My girls have been playing a lot of house, and thankfully
Spencer is a good sport as he is usually the "baby"!

I've been quiet the last few days, but I am still here. My studio is quiet, my computer is quiet, but my life is anything BUT quiet! I am finding working from home to be more and more challenging. With two kids home as the summer slips away, I am constantly torn between work and time with my family. I have projects and orders that are piling up more than usual, but there is relief in sight.... In the meantime, I  have some great behind the scenes things in the works.
Watch this blog or my facebook page for details in the next week or two for a fun giveaway I am working on. It will be perfect for anyone who wants a fabulous new accessory to get back into the swing of things this fall!
If you are trying to enjoy your last few days of summer, I'd love to hear what you are doing. Or if your kids are back in school, I would love to hear how everyone is adjusting :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting the Vintage Smell out of Vintage Fabrics

I love nothing more than walking away from a yards sale or thrift shop with a beautiful piece of vintage fabric in my hands. As the saying goes "they just don't make 'em like they used to"!

And anyone who is familiar my work knows I really like to use as much vintage fabric as I can in my bags. It gives me the ability to create items that are a little more unique. A little harder for someone to go to the next hand made shop to find. I love creating combinations of modern and vintage to find that chic, fun look that is just begging for me to discover it!

But  vintage fabrics, can come with a price. A funny smell that comes from years and years of sitting on a shelf, waiting to be discovered :)

Since I have been dealing with this problem for quite a while, I've learned a few tricks to rid that smell as much as possible. After all, who wants someone to notice the smell of their bag before they are able to see how cute it is?!?!
Would you believe I found this fabric as a pair of vintage drapes?? LOVE IT!

First and foremost, when I get home, I wash the fabric with  my favorite home made laundry soap and softener.

 As tempting as this may be to save time and water, I don't recommend skipping the prewash step. The first time I tried this, I went straight to the sink and found my pretty fabrics soaking in a tub of their own filth. Blech.

Next, fill a large sink or tub with enough hot water to cover all of the fabrics you'll be treating.

Someone turned me on to this Febreeze Laundry Odor Eliminator. I found it at Walmart. It was slightly pricey, (I'm dutch, I can't help it!) around $9 a bottle. But it does go a long way. 

 I add one capful of the Fabreeze to my sink which is filled just enough to cover the fabric I'm going to put in it. I then use my hands to mix and squish the fabric around in the hot water, making sure all of the fabric gets fully saturated. This step is actually kinda fun :)
 I let the fabric soak for at least 30 minutes, then transfer it, soaking wet to my washing machine, where I rewash it with my usual laundry products.
 The vinegar as fabric softener is another odor eliminating step. I use it in all of my loads, but I really like to use it with my fabrics. Remember, vinegar smells kind of gross when it goes in, but the smell will be completely gone when the laundry is dry. I promise!
And here is a freshly deodorized load of vintage finds, on my previously deodorized thrift store table cloth :) I can't wait to see what I can make those napkins on the top into....gears turning.....

Another feature...happy dance!

I love to hear what other people would do with my bags, so I was thrilled to read this article :) While I was checking out Bonnie's blog, I was slowed down by her beautiful photography. She was doing a 365 day project of photographs, and they are truly remarkable! I picked one below to share. It reminded me to slow down and enjoy these last few, precious days of summer...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Someone liked what I had to say :) I feel so smart.

I'm an Organizing Junkie

Guess who was seen as being smart enough to be featured on an organizing blog???  Me! I can't wait to share this with the hubs. You see, he is the ultra organized, type A personality, so my lack of organization DRIVES HIM BONKERS! But I do try REALLY HARD to keep my work space serene and clutter free, so it makes me smile to be known in blog land as being in the elite "organized" group :)

Thanks in advance for checking out her post!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gathered & Sown has a professional photo shoot {I feel so grown up}

Last night, after I dropped my kids off for VBS, I was privileged enough to have my good friend Krissy Vanderlaan offer to take pictures of my bags. She has a super fancy camera, some mad photog' skills and photo shop. I would be a fool to say no! But when the time came to go, I had no model. As I called Krissy on my cell, I drove by my friend Laura's house. Lo and behold, there she stood, cleaning out her car, like a frantic answer to prayer! And don't gag, but as you look at the pictures, please know this is EXACTLY how she looked when I drove by. No foolin. I wish I looked that good when I was cleaning my car! Krissy was able to convince me that I looked presentable enough to be in a few shots, even though I was only planning on standing BEHIND the lens. Had I known, I would have tried to look at least a little more "laura-like!"
This picture was taken in the cutest little old fashioned soda and ice cream shop in the South Pier district.
If you are ever in Sheboygan, check out South Pier Parlor, owned by the sweetest little thing,
Michelle and her hubby Ryan.
{ I love to support awesome people and their small businesses, wink,wink! }

This was taken on South Pier in Sheboygan.
We are SO BLESSED to live right on the beautiful Lake Michigan.

Krissy thought Spencer felt left out. (he was waiting in the car the WHOLE time!)
SO we decided to get him in a few shots.
{Notice his body language. He was about to SPRINT after another dog.}

Laura and those L-E-G-S!
If I had legs like those, I'd be going around showing them to people, saying
"Hey, have you seen my legs? They rock!" :D

We had so much fun. The weather and natural lighting were perfect and I love what Krissy did with the pictures.

{Thank you Laura and Krissy for your time, talent and friendships!}

That's what I love about my job. I get to do what I love, with the people I enjoy being with and on top of that, get to see something I CREATED bring someone joy. Life is good :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I finally made my ruffle bag! (and I can't wait to make more)

So for about a year now, I've had this little picture of a ruffle tote bag hanging on my computer in my studio. I always thought it was cute, but never had a free minute to experiment with the design. Fast forward to about two weeks ago. I get an email from a friend that read something like this..."I love this (picture of cute bag) for it's straps. I love this (picture of another cute bag) for the fabric....and I love THIS BAG!" And what was it? Oh yes, the very same ruffly bag idea that I've been looking at for over a year! I took this as a sign. I needed to do it NOW! So I told her I was not only up for the challenge, but excited to give it a whirl. Here is what I came up with:
It makes me want to twirl around!

I kept the ruffles to one side...didn't want to get TOO crazy!

I put a magnetic snap on this bag. I wanted it to have a slouchy,hobo look.
But I do plan to design a double handle- tote style with a zipper for all of you zipper fans! 

Up close and personal with the ruffles :)

My 6 year old took these pictures to show the size of the bag on me.
She may not understand cropping and backgrounds but  you get a nice view of my garage.
Sparkly clean thanks to the hubs :)

I'll have to tell the hubs to get out and pressure wash the driveway. It doesn't look sparkly like the garage!
 But Spencer doesn't seem to mind. He'll sleep anywhere!