Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New Territory

Thses are a few of the bags I've made from my trip last weekend. It's a whole new ook for the Studio. It's like my bags got grown up all of a sudden! I think I'll still keep the bright patchwork line, but this will be it's cool older sister. Let me tell you: these are some STURDY bags. I really love the way the heavier material stands up and feels like a real bag.

Yesterday I mentioned how I live in Nashville, yada yada. Well, Last night I went on a whim to a music industry party with a friend of mine. There we saw Clint Black, Mark Wills, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Little Big Town (who is just awesome--go look up their music on iTunes!!) and then at the last minute John Mellencamp walks up on stage--a mere 10 feet from us!! Only in Nashville. I realize you may not have heard of these folks, but they are all really talented and sounded great live. I just love to hear music. My hearing today, however, is not so good. A little ringing o' the ears. It was a school night and I stayed out til 3 !! Now I'm writing this post without my glassses while laying in bed cause I'm tired. I have to keep moving the computer closer to check spelling!!

Now back to studio to make more bags from my upholstry fabs!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:23 AM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

There's nothing like a small town

First, the town. Fayetteville, Tennessee. For those of you around the world, outside my little bubble---I thought it would be fun for you to see that I really do live in the country. Well, I live in Nashville, but a very short drive out of town, and it's COUNTRY. Nashville is an incredible city to live in or visit. We've got country music, angels, the mafia, and plenty of outdoors activities. What more could you ask for? A HUGE discount fabric store, that's what. And about an hour south of Nashville in a little hamlet is the creme-de-la-creme, or cheesiest of cheese-grits as the case may be.

Here it is. Sirs Fabrics. It's a discount store that is truly a discount store. None of this "outlet" crap where they things are only 25% off. I'm talking $1 per yard, $2 per yard, and yes! 49ยข PER YARD!! Fabric overruns from JoAnn and Waverly to name a few.

Now, it's not a fancy place. Wood paneling, maroon-smocked workers (who were slightly surly, although I was entranced by their Southern accents, and tricked into thinking they were sweet), and a slightly scary public restroom won't impress the prissy folks out there. And in truth, you must keep a wary eye on the selection. It changes frequently, and some of the pieces are--well, very 1980's to say the least. But there are some real beauties in there too.

I know it's hard to see because it's camoflaged, but this is an entire table of camo!!

These are just a few of my beauties. They're incredible upholstery material--very durable-great patterns, and have inspired a whole new look in purses. Sorry, but you'll have to wait another day for those. Tease!!!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:57 AM :: (2) comments

Monday, February 26, 2007

You can see more of me....

On March 11th! I'll be a vendor at a little street craft fair in East Nashville. I figure, I'll already have plenty of merchandise--unless, of course, I sell it all this saturday!! (Wouldn't that be a great problem to have?!)

Tomorrow, I'm going to post about a fabulous day trip I took and some AMAZING fabric bargains--just wait! I have embarked on a whole new era of bag-making.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 10:31 AM :: (2) comments

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tired yet?

Are you guys tired of seeing purses yet? Yeah, me too. I got sucked into tv tonight and the 2 to 3 purses a night routine went with me. Did anyone else bawl during Grey's Anatomy? It's shameless, really.

I have lots of items in the News category (if there were a "news" category, which there isn't)

1) Next week Thursday (March 1st) at 11am on channel5 here in Nashville, I'm going to be on the T-V!! for real! I'll be on Talk of the Town making a 5 minute purse. I'll try to sweet talk the web people into rolling on it so I can post it here later. I totally hate seeing myself on tv, but it would be great to have such interactivity on this lil ol blog.

2) I think I may have lost my mind because I just signed up for another craft show on March 11 in East Nashville. More details to follow. But for now you can check out their MySpace Page

3)my links function isn't working right now--I'll try again in the A.M.

4) My work table from Chelle is almost done. It's custom, and it's going to re inviorate my studio space.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:35 PM :: (3) comments

A change is gonna come

Hey guys! I'm in the middle of updating my look--any feedback is much appreciated. Does it take forever to load my headline banner? Let me know. Spring time is here, and I thought a new look would bring a fresh feeling!

Posted by Beth Howard @ 12:58 PM :: (1) comments

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lime, turquoise and fuschia

I used up some left over machine applique pieces on this denim bag. I took a class from Sue Nickels last summer at Tennessee Quilts. Tennessee Quilts, by the way, is an excellent place to get fabric online. Good prices and very nice people--and plenty of great prints! This year Jane Sassaman is teaching a class--and I'm going to be one of the first to sign up!! If you've never seen her stuff--go check it out. Amazing color and design. Not your average quilter.

I guess it's good to have a group of items that match. I just loved these color combinations, and I kept using scraps from other items to start out the next project.

I've been addicted to this new (ish) blog. Lisa has incredible tutorials--I learned how to make a pouch with lining. I had been making these already, but not in such a neat and efficient way. I also learned how to make one of those snappy interior zippers. (as seen above)

This pouch is a near exact replica of Lisa's, except I didn't include the loop to connect it to another bag. That may come in another incarnation.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:28 AM :: (2) comments

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Sling Bag

Believe it or not this bag is actually taking me up to 3 hours to make. i've decided that I need to be making the kind of purses that I would love to have. By that I mean, you can buy a basic bag in a pretty cool fabric at Target (not as cool as my fabrics, but still) So the bags that I make need to be special. And truth be told, when I'm not busting my self for a craft show deadline, I spend a lot of time fussing over things and adding time-consuming details. And since I have a pretty good stock of purses built up, I actually have the time to do that this time. I can't wait to show them to everyone!

Did you see my little orange leather flower? I love it! I discovered the scrap bin at the Tandy leather store here in Nashville. There are some pretty interesting things there--but if you're not in the market for an entire hide (and I'm not) they have a pretty good scrap bin that they sell by the pound. I went in because I want to make some quilted Mary Janes. I went so far as to trace my feet on freezer paper, was completely freaked about how big my feet were, and put the leather sole material away. I'll go back when the trauma has worn off.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:00 AM :: (4) comments

Monday, February 12, 2007

work and more work

UPDATE: I wrote this last night very late, and after I read it this morning, I realize I should stick to writing intelligible sentences pre-11pm. I'm just not a night person. I'll leave the post up, though just for archival purposes.

Call it a purging of sorts. I've been busy at work in my studio ever since the world started spinning wildly on its axis at work. I finally worked a semi-normal schedule last week--and get this: I got two whole days off!! Which I spent judging a high school film competition (so fun) and I even had an adult beverage without worries about whether I'd be called into work later. I found myself laughing just a little to loud at things that weren't all that funny--just to hear myself laugh because it had been too long. The scary thing about the past 6 weeks has been that now I realized how work eventually just swallows you up. You have a huge project that is really important to you and everyone else. So you bust your ass. Then you've bonded with everyone else who's a glutton for punishment, and you all agree on the fact that whatever you're doing is so much more important than getting fresh air and actually living your life. And you forget about your life before when you worked to live, not lived to work. I see now. It happens in little tiny pieces. I already feel dread about ever leaving m job because I've invested so much into learning the intricacies of putting graphics on little airwaves that fly into your television sets.

However, I have been trying to balance, and sew a little something every day. This last weekend I really got some serious head way made. Next thing is to lay out all my goods and take inventory to see what else I need to make. Actually, then next thing should probably be taking my Christmas tree down. Seriously. I just loved all of my ornaments so much! And then I was hit by a train, and now it's just sad. What to do. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow. Or not.

I'm so proud of this bag! It was loosely based on this bag. Here's where the Rip.Repeat comes in: I had to rip out this seam (and so many more)--I just use and xacto blade because I can never find my seam ripper, and it works really well. It's probably my favorite tool. If I were on survivor, I'd take watercolors and and xacto as my luxury items. Who needs razor, I ask you!

I'm so tired right now my eyes won't stay focused. I'll try to fill in the blanks up there with links manana.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:49 PM :: (2) comments

Sunday, February 11, 2007

excuse me please

I really need to be 13 years old for the next 5 minutes. I love John Mayer. I mean like the kind of school-girl, not-since-New Kids on the Block sort of crush. He's hilarious, quirky, brilliant (please, PLEASE go read his blog. it's so funny and creative--seriously. he's a genious) I can't get hold of myself!

If you haven't heard Continuum, go out and get it. #5, Slow dancing in a burning room? Oh yeah. There are no appropriate words. I couldn't possibly write them on this here world wide web, even if they would come to me. It's a deep connection I have with this man's music. I want to stop everything I'm doing and listen to it over & over again. And I've had this album for 5 months now! It's probably the best album I've had in 5 years.

I went to see him and the 2nd coolest person in the world, Sheryl Crow last october and it was my dream. We splurged on good seats because it's not worth it to see Sheryl and John from the lawn. All i can say is: you should see the provacative way this man can bounce his foot to keep time.

Enough! I'm tired from a flurry of actual craft and sewing related activity which I hope to photograph tomorrow and post tomorrow night.

see ya!

I can't even be very witty or articulate about it. I have a crush. Sue me.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:13 PM :: (1) comments

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I made it through the storm

Or at least, I thought I did. Last week I worked 83 hours in 7 days. We made the big switch over to HD, the new graphics, and a beautiful new set. But yesterday, 4 days in, everything seemed to be falling apart. I cried during the entire 6pm news. I have GOT to get a tougher skin. Blame it on being too sensitive, but I get tired and can no longer control outbursts of emotion. I hate crying at work!! It's so unprofessional. And I'm not crying because I'm sad, I'm crying because I'm MAD. Very, very MAD. But when the waterworks start, I just look like a wienie.

But I digress. Last night I did actually get home before 8pm for the first time in more than a month. So I celebrated by sewing. Now I have no excuse not to get crackin' on my stash of work for the upcoming show. I think I need to make a few fast and simple things just to build up my inventory.

Here are some very basic instructions for the tote. I actually deconstructed a bag that I had purchased, but it was pretty easy. Just use common sense where my instructions are lagging.

p.s. did you recognize that fabric? Yep, I decided to start actually using my stash of hand-prints. It's a good way to make my bags stand out in the crowd. you can't buy that print at Joann's!! Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 11:14 AM :: (2) comments

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Another little obsession

Here' something I should have written on my list of "6 weird things"from a couple of weeks ago: I Like Really Tiny Things. For those of you reading this who have had the pleasure of being in my physical presence, you know I am not a tiny or delicate person-- I always longed to be dainty, but ain't nuthin' dainty about a 6 foot tall girl. No way round it. So I guess maybe I love really tiny things because I myself long to be tiny. I loved miniatures when I was a kid. you know, like a 2 inch tall gum ball machine that had actual sprinkles in the globe. Oh! I wish I knew where that thing was.

I recently got the 3rd issue of Adorn Magazine and it featured a necklace with Shrinky-Dink beads. Of course, I have a packet of shrink-sheet in my collection of obscure craft supplies. So I whipped them out and drew my favorite designs--leaves, swirls, my logo, and of course farmlands. 2 minutes in the toaster oven (as a side note: I ditched my regular toaster for a toaster oven. Why does it take 13 minutes to toast toast? I don't really get it.) Anyway, I watched it curl up, and sure enough, it shrunk to about a quarter of it's original size right before my eyes! Amazing! I have my very own little tiny landscape. I'm thinking about maybe a small metal framed pendant---Oh Freshie....Maybe you could help out here?

Back to work. 2 days till the big switch over.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:05 AM :: (3) comments