My New Assistant

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I like to see purses on a person, to get a better feel for size. So I'm grateful to my new "family member", Amanda Quin, for modeling my bags. She's not the brightest girl in the world (she can be rather hardheaded and well...a bit plastic), but she is perfectly proportioned.

She was rescued from the fields of Sonoma, where Bonnie was planning to use her as a scarecrow. Poor Amanda, she's much too pretty for that kind of job.

Watch for more photos of Amanda on, where she has an exclusive contract to model all my bags.


2nd Event a Success!

I had my second booth at the Gilead House Flights & Bites wine tasting/fundraiser. The Gilead House is an awesome non-profit organization, founded by my wonderful husband, and provides transitional housing for single moms and their kids. The event was at the lovely West Wind Winery in Nicasio, CA. I got great feedback, a lot of interest, and a pretty good amount of sales. I am really grateful to the Gilead House for allowing me to join their event.


Fashion Show Opening

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hooray! The fashion show was a couple days ago, where I debuted my Sheekoo bags. The 300 bags were used as party favors/table decorations, and I had a booth to sell my wares. Everything went very well, and the responses from people were encouraging and super favorable. Although I didn't sell out (I had high hopes), I did sell a fair number of bags.

Now I have plenty of inventory left for my next event in mid-November. I will still make more bags, but at a leisurely pace, rather than feeling like I have to crank them out. is up and running! Thanks to my wonderful webmaster (and husband). It looks great and works great (as far as we can tell so far).

Today, I am busy moving all my sewing stuff OUT of the living room and into my tiny workroom in the garage. I need to pack away all my scrapbooking stuff, and hopefully, the sewing stuff will fit. But I've got to reclaim the living room as a living room. I can't live with the mess forever.


Mean Pea Green Machine

Friday, October 12, 2007

Two blogs in one day! I'm on a roll, and I've been wanting to blog this for over a month. So since I'm sitting here, I'll just do it!

About 150 bags into my 300-bag project, my beautiful Bernina sewing machine got all x*3$%@z?-ed up. You know how that happens? My Bernina is THE most expensive thing I own--other than our house and cars. It's a great machine, but it wasn't really meant to sew through 6 layers of heavy upholstery-weight material. Yes, I was abusing it.

So, I took it to my trusty sewing machine repair shop (Parkside Sewing Center in Santa Rosa, CA--I highly recommend it!), and Jim told me that it would take SIX WEEKS for him to get to it. Yikes. By then, the fashion show would be upon me! But I couldn't trust anybody else to fix my beautiful Bernina, so I left it there with him, realizing I had to go to PLAN B (whatever that was).

I started looking online for industrial strength sewing machines because I obviously needed something that could sew through these thick layers I would be subjecting it to. I happened upon an Ebay seller who lived within 30 minutes from me, a fantastic woman named Kate, who repairs old Singer machines! I called her on a Saturday morning, told her my predicament, and she graciously allowed me to come to her house that same day. She told me to bring some of my fabrics and said we would try all the machines in her house to see which one could sew through all those layers.

And voila! This adorable, 50-year-old Singer was the mightiest of all!

It is a Singer 185K from 1959. It goes through all those layers like a knife through room-temperature butter. And best of all, it's so darned CUTE! I love the pea green retro color and styling. It even has its own matching pea green case!

I was able to breeze through the other 150 bags with this dandy machine. Now, I have my Bernina back from the shop (a couple weeks early even!), and I'm back in business.


Sheekoo is Family

Okay, so I haven't blogged anything for a LONGGGGGGG time. I've been busy and productive. I finished my 300 bags, plus I have made about 50-60 more so far to sell at the Fashion Show in the Vineyards, happening at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, on October 25.

I have to say that my feet are sooooo cold (figuratively)--I mean I've got cold feet. About having a business. About putting myself out there. About thinking that I could be successful at selling my handicrafts.

But to catch y'all up (all -1 of you that are probably reading this blog), I have named my little biz "Sheekoo", which means "family" in Korean. Or as my mother says, "this group right here," as she gestures toward all the people who may be sitting at the dining room table. I like that definition. It means that it's whoever is there, sharing their lives together at the moment, not necessarily a blood tie. Isn't that how relationships should be??

Here's my little logo. Carry on!


Travel Kit

Monday, August 6, 2007

We went to Nashville last week to visit my in-laws, and I wanted to have a little project to do on the plane. Thankfully, we are once again allowed to bring scissors and needles on airplanes! I made a little felt travel kit while traveling, so the next time I travel, I'll be ready! It's a little oxymoron-ish, but it was fun.

It's a little embellished needle and pin holder, with a teeny pouch inside to hold things like snaps or beads or whatever.


85 Down, 215 To GO!!!!

So, you know I have an order to make 300 bags for the Boys & Girls Club fundraiser in October, right? It is turning out to be quite a challenge. I keep telling myself, this is what I want to be doing! Maybe not quite so many bags, but I remember reading other peoples' blogs and being so jealous when someone would say they had a big order to fill. Now, it's my reality, and I need to savor it!! It's a good problem to have after all.

With my friend Lorraine helping me this weekend, I was able to make 29 bags!! Yippee! That brings me to about 85 complete. I have goals written on my calendar, so I can stay on track. I hope to have all 300 complete by mid- to late-September. That will give me all of October to make bags to sell at the fundraiser, which will be a much more fun and creative process than this assembly-line rote task I'm doing at the moment.


My New Favorite Tote Bag

Friday, July 13, 2007

I don't know why, but I just LOVE this bag! Thankfully, I made 3 of them--one for my sister-in-law, one to sell, and one to KEEP! You'd think I'd have a million of my own bags, but I don't usually keep any of them. This time, I gotta make an exception. It will be great to use at the farmer's market or a quick trip to the G&G Market. Made with Tracy Porter fabric. It's available at!

Oh, maybe I forgot to say that Sheekoo is my bag company name. It means "family" in Korean. Or as my mother says is the more accurate translation, "this group of us right here". I kinda like that!


Too Busy to Post!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A lot has been happening in my world of crafts, but I've been too busy to blog it. My friend and boss Bonnie has gotten me the gig of a lifetime, making 300 (yes, 300) bags for a fundraiser giveaway. So, yes, I'm a little bit busy and a lot crazy. The bags need to be finished by October 25.

In the meantime, I've also been making and listing bags on ebay and etsy in order to make acquire the funds to purchase all the materials I'll be needing to making 300 bags! Here's some of the ones I've been making.


Wine Gift Bag

Saturday, June 9, 2007

So, the other day was our friend Jorge's 50th birthday. Happy birthday, Jorge!!! We gave him a very delicious bottle of Castle Pinot Noir. To dress up the gift, I thought I'd make a nice wine bag/tote to give it in. Then, he could re-use it by giving it to someone else someday. (I'm into regifting myself...shhh, don't tell anyone.)

I thought the bag turned out nicely, and I liked the gender neutrality of this one. But I think I'm going to make it in a bunch of different fabrics to sell on etsy--if this one sells. My sales have been non-existent for quite some time

BUT--I am so happy that I have been doing better in other venues! I sold a couple of totes on eBay, and I also sold some cards and buttons to a local card store. AND I took a bunch of my pillows to a consignment store, and the owner said she thought people would SNAP them up. I may need to give up on Etsy. It's a good concept--but I think only other crafty people know about Etsy. And then they just steal your ideas, rather than purchase anything.


WHERE are all my posts?????

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The truth is, I haven't been posting much--but I do have a good excuse. Both my daughters got confirmed at church last week. And then, they both graduated this week, one from elementary school, another from junior high. So, I've been moderately busy (more than a slight understatement). Now, if I can just get through our church's 50th anniversary this weekend, I will be free to get back to blogging, crafting, designing, and mess making.


Big Orange Bags Sold!

Woo hoo! I sold 2 of my big orange tote bags. One left! I didn't have much luck selling them on Etsy, so I listed one on Ebay. It got bid up to $51, can you believe that!! Then, I sold another one, not for as much money as the first, but still a good sale. Now I have money to buy MORE fabric and supplies for MORE bags! It's a never-ending vicious cycle...but what I can I do? I'm compelled by forces outside myself.


BIG BIG Tote Bags so you can Fit-It-In!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I hate carrying 5 different bags when I go on an excursion to the beach or pool or wherever. I need my big beach towel, change of clothes, snacks, water bottle, camera, MP3 player, books and magazines, and at least 2 or 3 craft projects (you never know what you'll feel like working on at the time, and I always tend to overestimate what I'm capable of completing in a given amount of time).

So, I made these HuMonGouS tote bags for others who are like me. I have them for sale at my etsy shop, I'm calling them Fit-It-In tote bags, and I hope to make more in other fabrics. They are really fun to make and are my "obsession du jour".


70 Corsages for Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

When I was growing up, at my church, the youth always made corsages for all the mothers at church. But we made them out of Kleenex tissue. You know, you fold a tissue in half, make an accordion, tie the middle with a wire, and fluff up the layers. Strange, but true. Sometimes, we'd even take lipstick and rouge the edges, so they looked more like a carnation.

Now that I'm a mother myself, although I appreciate the efforts that went into those tissue paper carnation corsages, real flowers hold a little more appeal to me. Call me funny that way.

So, last year, I took it upon myself to make real flower corsages for all the mothers at my church. I had a $100 budget, and of course, all the women loved them. What makes you feel more special than having a lovely corsage to wear?

This year, we made it a youth group project, so 5 youth (including my own two girls) helped me make 70 corsages. The youth were fairly helpful--but even a group of 5 adults would be hard pressed to make a decent corsage. It takes an eye for design, plus manual dexterity to hold the flowers in place while you wind them with florist tape. Even making a nice bow is a challenge for most people, not to mention kids.

Still, I was happy to celebrate Mothers Day with this yearly ritual. Being surrounded by lots of flowers is enjoyable, whatever the reason.


Birdy Obsessed

Friday, May 4, 2007

I can't stop making these little felt bags. They're such a calming, gratifying project. Here's my latest, listed at Etsy.


Items on Etsy

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Here's a few other things I've been making and selling on Etsy.


It's Already MAY!!!!!

I cannot believe that April is already done and gone, and now it's already the second day of May. A whole month has transpired since I posted to my blog. But that doesn't mean I haven't been making things. I've made plenty! I have had lots of opportunities to be creative, both tactilely (?) and computer-generated. Here are some tote bags that I made to give as Mothers' Day presents. I used Timtex, a very thick interfacing which is what makes the bags so firm and stable. I love that stuff! I bought more fabric to make more totes, which I hope to sell on Etsy.

April was a good month for me Etsy-wise. After weeks and weeks of no sales, I actually sold about 7 items! Whoo hoo! I won't be quitting my day job, but it's definitely exciting.


April Floo (as opposed to fool)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

I have had the flu all weekend, so I sat on my couch, watched a lot of movies, and made these little felt bags. I use felt with a high wool content, which results in clean lines and a sturdier bag. I am going to post them on Etsy, and they will sit there, and never sell, just like everything else I have posted on Etsy. Is that site a bit lame, or is it just my stuff???? It seems like everyone else has a measure of success, so maybe I am the April Fool.


We Need Stinkin' Badges!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I have been DESPERATE for a button/badge making machine for the past couple months! I have been saving my pennies, hoping to make the big purchase on eBay, but I just couldn't bring myself to spend the $100 plus. But over the weekend, I went to an art supply sale in Oakland...and guess what? NOT only did they have a button making machine, they had THREE!!! So I bought all 3 of them. I got all 3 for less than $50, along with 4 HUGE bags of button making supplies! The guy obviously didn't know what he was doing, selling all that for so cheap. I bought all 3 of them because they were all different, and because I figured I could sell the ones I didn't like as well on eBay and make my money back, plus some! So all day today, I have been going button-making crazy. Haaa cha! I know, I get excited about silly things.


Wooden Sushi Board

Here's a wooden sushi board that Adrienne made in her woodshop class at school. Very cute! She says the teacher gave her a B because she burned the ends a bit when she was using the sander. But we give her an A+ because the burned ends just give it patina and character, something the woodshop teacher doesn't seem to get!


My First Try at Silkscreening

Monday, March 19, 2007

I have been dying to try silkscreening, so I bought a little kit from a teenage boy on Craigs List a couple weeks ago. I think I picked too intricate a design to start with--but I was still pretty pleased with the result.


Pillows on Etsy

Monday, March 12, 2007

I'm trying to sell a few things on Etsy. It's only been a couple of days, but I have my doubts. It seems like everyone and their brother and their pet goldfish are all listing things, but I just wonder if anybody is BUYING on Etsy. Time will tell if anyone buys my stuff. Here are some pillows I made. My Etsy store is The store name is because I'm also selling cards.


Shirt Design for a Band

Wow, I thought I would be blogging a lot more than this! I hadn't made anything for a while, but now I'm on a roll! Here's a t-shirt I designed for my boss' son's band. It came out pretty well, I think. The band is called A La Mode--see 3 dripping ice cream cones under the curve of the guitar? Heh heh, get it? Ice cream? A la mode?


Felt Bird Bag

Friday, February 23, 2007

I can't figure out how to get my banner to go across the top of my blog page. That's why it looks a little funny today.

But in the meantime, this summer, I fell in love with felt applique. It is such an easy, manageable medium to work with. This is a little bag that I use as a camera case. I definitely recommend using felt with a HIGH wool content--don't buy the cheap 20 cent squares. It just isn't worth the effort. I have made lots of these little bird bags as gifts. Such a great portable project, and perfect for doing while watching TV. This one I use as my camera bag, with a strap that's long enough to go over my shoulder.


My Daughters' Creations

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Last summer, my daughters spent long afternoons, making these little Japanese-inspired felt creatures. They made them into backpack adornments and gave some away to friends. The felt makes it a fairly easy project, requiring only a handful of stuffing and supplies. You just need felt (I like felt with high wool content much better than the cheapy stuff), stuffing, beads for eyeballs, some embroidery floss, a red or pink marker for cheek blush, and optional ribbons, bows or other accessories.


A Bunch of Photographs

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I went around my house this morning and took pictures of some of my handmade items. The photos are posted on Flickr, but let me see if I can also post them here. I'm new at this--wow, I feel like a kindergardener!

These are a few cards I made for loved ones. I have often thought of having my own card making company because I enjoy card making so much. The first card on the left is made with little quilled hearts. The second is paper strips layed across a folded piece of paper, then hand trimmed into the heart shape. The third card is scraplifted from the Basic Grey web site and uses their papers. I added a few of my own little touches and revisions.

I bought this chair for $1 at a garage sale several years ago and reupholstered it in blue toile fabric. Even the fabric was recycled because it used to be a curtain in our old house. When we moved, I didn't want to use the same curtains anymore--but I was pleased to be able to find a new use for the fabric.

I have reupholstered just about every piece of furniture in our home. Partially because we can't afford to buy brand new furniture--but also because I love the hunt of finding a ratty piece of furniture with good bones, either for free or dirt cheap, and then transforming it into an altogether serviceable home furnishing. The sectional was purchased for $75. I definitely wanted a sectional in this room, so we would all have a comfortable spot to watch Lost and American Idol. And I didn't want unattached back cushions, which tend to flop over and need readjusting all the time. So, I was SO pleased to find this sectional, which was a faded dirty beige when I got it. I got the fabric on sale, spending about $120. Not too shabby for a sectional!

The big overstuffed chair in the foreground of the photo was a freebie on Craigs List. I covered it in a soft napped fabric, in between velour and terry cloth--about $25 total for that piece of furniture. Ahhh, it's heavenly, and the chair can fit a newlywed couple in a pinch (you have to not mind sitting REALLY close to one another, hence the newlywed).

More of my reupholstered furniture! I bought this chair and a matching loveseat for $50 on Craigs List. It had been covered in a faded and dirty green and white striped fabric. I have to say that I don't think this chair turned out as well as I had hoped (see the puckering on the back cushion?). But it will do for now--until I find something else to replace it with. I also made the pillows and the window treatments. I like neutral colors--can you tell?


  © Blogger template The Beach by 2009

Back to TOP