Doily pouches

 I found pretty doilies at our local Joann store for about $1 each, so I sewed it on to the face of my handmade pouches using sewing machine.   As you can see above, the shapes of these doilies are a bit different from one another.  I like the contrasting colors of the deep purple fabric (linen blend) and the pure white color of the doilies on these pouches.

Close up of the doily

Inside view (purple floral fabric)

Can you see the tiny key shaped charm on the zipper opening?  I love "keys"!

By the way... our 10 year old daughter had her nails done at a local nail salon (!) while attending her friend's birthday party over the weekend.  She's been fascinated by her own nails (lol) and just keeps on staring at them and bragging  to her younger sis all the time...  

And these are her nails...  Girl, your nails look pretty, but I think you should go back to studying for your Social Studies test tomorrow!!

Antique finds

Over the weekend, I went to the local antique fair while my husband watched our girls (thanks, hubby!)  It was nice to go to the fair childfree, because otherwise, I'd end up dealing with the constant demands from our girls (e.g., their drinks, snacks, search for bathrooms, etc.) and the need to intervene with the on-going quarrels between them ... : (

Anyways,  above are the antique finds that I got today.    Several antique ribbons, laces, and a flower hanky... all this for $18!!  I think it was a good bargain.

The yellow (woven) ribbon below measures about 2 yards, and the white one was about a yard in length. 

And this antique lace was only $4... I just measured it and it was much longer than 20 yards.  I got tired of measuring it after 20 yards : P

Below are more pics from the antique fair...

Some sewing notions...

Old quilts and linens...

Many many buttons...

More lace and linens...

And I was greeted by the Easter bunny, too.  He even gave me a candy.

I'm no expert in antiques, but it was sure fun spending time at the fair searching for my sewing supplies and treasures :)

Strawberry & green dots pencil case

Yesterday, our 10 year old daughter came back from school with an invitation card to her friend's birthday party.  She was so excited about the party, which also made me happy, until I figured out that the party was scheduled the next day (which is, oh boy, today!) 

So last night after the kids went to bed, I quickly whipped up this small pouch with handles for the birthday girl.  The birthday girl's favorite color is green (according to my daughter) so I chose green polka dots fabric, along with the cheerful strawberry fabric that I think is perfect for this spring season.

The pouch will be used as a pencil case (most likely).

The handles and the inside are bright pink.

My daughter joyfully left for her friend's party just now.  And I was so glad that I was able to finish up the gift by this morning.  Few!  Now, I just hope the girl likes the gift :)

More crocheted flower bag charms

I crocheted three small flowers in different colors using the cotton yarns, and made it into a bag charm.  For my first attempt, I connected the crochet flowers and lace on to the chains.  My girls call this charm the "dangling" charms : P   If I make the chain longer, I guess I can make this crochet flower charms into a necklace, maybe? 

This is how the bag charm looks like, hung on to my bag handles.

more close-up

 Below is the previous version of the crocheted flower charm...

Even when I don't have enough time to sit in front of my sewing machine during the day, most of the time I can somehow find time to crochet simple projects like these flowers.  I love the sense of accomplishment that I get from making these small things in my crazy life :)  It's amazing how a simple crafting like this one fulfills my day like magic!

Liberty tote bag and a Japanese Liberty prints book

I made this tote bag over the weekend.  The fabric used is Liberty of London floral prints...

It can be used as reversible, too. (It has a linen lining).

But actually, I did not make this tote bag from scratch... The (finished) tote bag came with this Japanese book that I recently purchased. 

Book title: LIBERTY PRINT 1875-2010 SPRING

ISBN-10: 4796675604 

Inside the book are images of various Liberty prints, the Liberty designers, and some craft tutorials on how to make sewing projects using Liberty prints.   It's a beautiful book, and I'm loving every page of the book.

However, the Liberty tote bag that came with the book was a really thin bag (just like a pillow case!) with cheap lining and no batting whatsoever!   I didn't think the bag was sturdy enough to hold my everyday stuff
: (

Therefore, I did a minor makeover of this tote bag by pulling the bag apart (as shown below), using my seam ripper.  I then added some batting, linen lining, and a few pockets to the inside of the bag...

And this is how the inside of the bag looks like, after the makeover.  With a medium weight batting,  linen lining,  and a couple of inside pockets, the bag is now sturdy enough to be used  everyday by me (not a pillow case anymore!) 

another view

I also handmade this crochet flower charm, with organic cotton yarn, with a linen covered button and some lace.

I think it goes well with the Liberty tote bag... what do you think?

Handmade coasters

For a quick gift to my girlfriend, I made these coasters using linen + some fabric scraps.   To add  some personal touch to them, I stamped five different stamps on to each coaster... stamps of rose, ribbon, clover, cherry and a musical note.  These are hand carved eraser stamps that I carved a while ago. 

Close up of the stamps

And here are some pics of my niece's favorite polar bear guy... I sewed a simple clothes (or quite simply, a "tube" wear) and a scarf (with pom poms) for this guy, using fleece.   According to my niece in Japan, this polar bear guy's name is "Jun".  But I totally assumed that he was a dog, and not a polar bear, while I sewed up a clothing for him ;-)  lol

He's looks so comfy, sleeping on a handmade crochet blanket, made by my mom (my niece's grandma), while wearing a fleece wear, made by me (her aunty)!  

By the way, today is my niece's birthday, and I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to her!  Hope you have a great one, sweet girl.  ジュンと楽しい誕生日を過ごしてね♪

Crochet + patchwork fabric bag

This is what I had been working on in my spare time.  Crocheted bottom + patchwork fabric = drawstring bag.   For the fabric part, I picked up small pieces of blue-ish fabric and linen squares from my fabric scraps and pieced them together. 

For the crocheted bottom, I used two cotton strands of yarns (light blue and white) to crocheted them  into a round shape with some depth.   This is my second attempt to combine crochet and fabric into a drawstring bag.  The first one was a smaller pouch than this one. 

View from another side.  

Bottom round

I placed a handmade "ribbon" tag on the side.  I stamped a ribbon stamp on to a cotton tape, and the stamp is a handcarved eraser stamp, made by me a while ago.

Inside is light blue/white gingham check.

It's a pretty tall drawstring bag, measuring about 9 inches or 22.75 cm in height.  I placed my cell phone next to the bag to give you an approximate size of this bag.  It's roomy enough to easily carry my cell phone, wallet, and car keys inside.

I can put my wallet, keys, and my cell phone easily into the bag.

View of the drawstring opened.

I really like the spring taste of this bag.  Hope you have a relaxing weekend :)

More granny squares by our granny

Do you remember my earlier post about this handmade granny square bedspread crocheted by my mom in Japan for our younger daughter?   Well, this granny square bedspread shown above is also handmade by my mom, this time for our older daughter's tenth birthday that we celebrated a few weeks ago.  

I haven't had a chance to count all the number of granny squares on this crocheted bedspread, but I think there are about 200 of them...  What amazes me is her crocheting speed, it only took her about a week or two to crochet this entire bedspread!!  And she normally makes a couple of these large crochet projects for her family members and friends in one (winter) season...  That's why I call her the "crochet machine" =P

Another view (placed on sofa)

More view (spreaded out on the carpet)

By the way, this winter has been a rainy and chilly one even here in Southern California, but look what I found today in our backyard.  Our peach tree is starting to blossom!  Spring has come, which makes me in a really good mood  :)

Organic cotton flower charm

I had a chance to spend few hours crocheting with my mommy friend at our place over the weekend .  While our kids ran around the house playing and giggling, us mommies watched our kids, chatted over some coffee, and we even managed to make one of these crochet flower charms together.  It was very relaxing and fun!  The flower charm shown above is made from organic cotton yarn, and I placed a fabric covered button, rick rack ribbon, and lace on to the charm.   Too bad I forgot to take a pic of my friend's finished project : (

Before I started this blog, not many of my close friends and family members knew that I was a craft addict of this extent ;P ... But now people around me know about my addiction, and it's great because I am able to find more crafty buddies around me with mutual interest! 

Happy crafting and hope you have a good week :)

Patchwork placemats

Besides the hanging tissue box cover I made earlier, another (sewing) project requested from my younger sister in Japan was to make her some placemats.  So here they are, some patchwork placemats made of linen + colorful cotton prints from my stash. 

Oops... I just noticed that the linen part is a bit wrinkly, maybe?  I should of pressed it more nicely... sorry, sis :P

Back side is Amy Butler fabric

And I made a couple more (solid) placemats, for the messy eaters over  Hope she likes them :)

Patchwork tissue box cover

Over the weekend, I made this patchwork tissue box cover with a drawstring opening.  Remember this hanging tissue box covers I made earlier for our minivan?  These tissue box covers are convenient because it can be hung in the car, in the kitchen, or anywhere else where space is limited.  Well, this time, I made this tissue box cover for my sister in Japan, to fit the Japanese tissue box sizes.

View of back side

Did you know that the tissue box size is so much smaller in Japan than it is in the U.S.?  As you can see below, shown to the right (the taller one) is the U.S. tissue box size that we use in our household, which is 4 inches or approx 10 cm tall, and to the left is the Japanese size, which is only 2 inches or 5 cm tall.  

So before I made the Japanese size tissue box cover for my sister, the first thing I did was to create a Japanese size box using the U.S. size that we have in our house.  I guess I am so used to the everything-jumbo-American sizes now, from a large meal serving at our local restaurant to king size beds and even big people (!!) around here, the Japanese size tissue box seem really small to me now... Although I'm a small Japanese girl with only 5 ft 1 inch or 153 cm in height... :P


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