Fabric covered buttons

I made many many fabric covered buttons over the weekend.
Almost all of them (with an exception of few) are made of Japanese fabrics.

I am waiting for the magnets to arrive, to make these buttons into fabric covered button magnets. 

Thanks for visiting and happy crafting to you all :)

Pyramid sachets with linen and cotton

Here is what I made recently - a set of pyramid shaped lavender sachets.  The sachet is filled with dried lavenders, and the exterior is made of cotton and linen.  

Give it a squeeze, and you'll love the aroma of the dried lavender...  

I just listed them in my shop today.

Or, if you are interested in making on your own, here is the tutorial that I wrote up some months ago.

BTW... here in southern California today is so HOT and DRY, with temperatures reaching record high (113F or 45C in downtown L.A.) and those without air conditioners (me!) are literally baked...

Well, hot or cold, my crafting passion continues!  I hope... ;)

Hanging lavender sachets (matryoshka)

I made a few of these hanging lavender sachets with a matryoshka girl stamped on to the front of the sachet.  This matryoshka stamp is a handcarved eraser stamp carved by me earlier.

The back side of the sachet is natural linen.

The sachet is small enough to sit on my palm like this.

The lace strap is attached so that it can be hung on to the bag handles or anywhere else easily.

Whenever I work with dried lavenders, its soothing scent fills the room and I just love it!!

If you are feeling stressed or having hard time relaxing, you should try the good old aromatherapy of lavenders... It works miracles!  BTW these sachets are in my shop right now ;)

Thanks for reading and hope you have a great weekend!

Two granny squares


First of all, thank you so much for your nice comments and encouragements on my last post about opening of my new etsy shop

Today, I wanted to show you these
granny squares that I crocheted last night...

I self taught how to knit when I was still a teenager (it's been a while since then!), but I'm fairly new to crocheting.    Just like knitting, I taught myself how to crochet only a few years ago, from reading many, many crochet books out there.  And I'm totally hooked ever since!

Using these granny squares, I made a simple pincushion.

First, I quickly whipped up a square pincushion using cotton fabric and filled it with a poly fill.

Then, I sandwiched the fabric pincushion with the two granny squares, and crocheted them together using the gray yarn...

Here is the end result.
  Pincushion made of two granny squares.

Front side

Back side

Which side do you like?

I had been busy... for Etsy debut!

Bird coin purse

This week, I made a major decision in my life...  I finally opened my little handmade shop on Etsy!   I'm sure many of you are already familiar with Etsy, but for those who are not, etsy is a global online marketplace for handmade supplies and goods.

I had thought about this for a while, but I never had courage to give it a try.   But lately, with a few of my friends' (and my daughters') encouragements, I finally did it!   Thank you, friends, for your warm words and continued support, especially to my blog friend and fellow etsy seller, cocostitch!
BTW I named my etsy shop "chick chick handmade".   And here are some of my handmade items I listed on my shop so far...

Bird coin purse (red polka dots)

Bird coin purse (floral)

Passport case / organizer (Echino ornament wreath in purple)

Passport case / organizer (leaves on linen)

Pencil pouch with handles (apple)

Crochet/Fabric drawstring bag (pale blue)

... and more items will be showing up in the shop soon ;)

As you already know, making handmade items, especially from sewing and crocheting, is my passion.   I just hope that some of my creations make others happy, as much as I do.

However, I noticed already that making handmade stuff and selling them is a totally different story...  It's not always easy for me to advertise my handmade stuff on the internet.   This week, I've spent long hours sitting in front of the computer, try to do my best to write up item descriptions and to design shop banners, etc...

I don't know how well I can do, and finding time to do all this is another issue for me, but I'll try to enjoy every aspect of it and do my best as etsy seller.   Come visit my little shop if you have a chance!

Thank you for reading and hope you continue to have a great weekend :)

More back to school sewing (Messenger bag for my girl)

Our kids are back in school from a week ago, and we are back into our normal (crazy) mode...  

Over the summer, our girls asked us to buy them new backpacks and/or messenger bags for the new school year in fall, but I really don't like the idea of buying more school bags unless their old stuff are in really bad shape (and they aren't).

So, instead of buing new school bags for our girls, I decided to make one.  This messenger bag was an requested item by my eight year old daughter. 

For the outer bag, my daughter selected this *glittery* pink fabric with her favorite "peace" signs on it.

The bag matches with the previously made lunch bags  that our girls take to school every day.

As with the lunch bags, I didn't have a pattern for this messenger bag, so I started with making my own pattern using old newspapers...  I tried to make a bag that is large enough to hold a three hole binder inside.

Making this bag required many small bits and pieces of pockets and handles that I had to create and sew together (all based on my daughter's request).   And to meet with all of the (customer) requests was a huge challenge for the mama!

Anyways, the bag has velcro opening on the flap...

A pocket to hold water bottle is sewn on to one side of the bag...

Inside the bag is a large zipper "sewn-in" pocket to hold small belongings such as erasers and hair pins...

More pockets to hold pencils and stuff on the inside of the bag flap...

The lining is light blue cotton duck canvas to add sturdiness...

Cotton webbing (in pink here) is used for the bag handle that is sewn between the bag flap and the back side of the outer bag...

 I borrowed a black shoulder straps from my hubby's old messenger bag to use for this bag.  Well at least I didn't have to sew this one... Phew!

All parts were being prepared and ready to be sewn together into one bag...

And here's the finished bag.
I know, the bag is too big for our 3rd grader, but that's okay, because I want  her to use this bag over the next few years (and not few months)!

So... after spending almost a full day Sunday (of last Labor day weekend) to finish this bag from scratch, my opinion is that it was a lot quicker, and even cheaper to go out there and buy one of these kids' messenger bags at our local discount stores...  I mean, I was shocked to see some of these kids bags from JC Penny (on sale for only $8.99!) or this one from Target for $14.99 online! 

But, our daughter seems very  happy carrying around the bag that her mama had made for her, so I shouldn't be complaining any more... I just hope that my older daughter will not ask me to make another one like this over this weekend! \*o*/ 

Thanks for stopping by and hope you continue to enjoy your week :)


Crocheted coaster and my Liberty of London collection (from Target)

 I crocheted another coaster one afternoon while I waited for my daughters' after school activity classes.

Our 10 year old takes weekly ice skating lessons, our 8 year old takes weekly gymnastics classes, and both girls go to  Math & Reading tutoring classes (twice a week) during the weekdays after school.  Oh, and they also go to the Japanese school on every Saturday mornings until around noon.  

On top of these activities, they like to schedule playdates with their friends, and  I am the minivan driver to all of the places they go to...
Give some break to the driver please!

Anyways, the pink coaster to the left below is the one crocheted earlier, and to the right (the blue one) is the one I made this week.  Both are made of 100 % cotton yarns.

Here's the close up.  I like the edging trims of these coasters.

I was planning to use these in our kitchen for everyday use, but my older daughter wants to keep them in her room.  She wants to use these coasters when her friends come over to visit her.  (And they don't even drink tea! )

And this mug is my recent favorite.  It's one of the Liberty of London collection from Target.

 Set of four mugs was $19.99... How could I resist?  

I guess I can't compare these "Target" Liberties with the genuine Liberty of London mugs sold at the original store in England... but I'm still happy with these "Target" Liberties!!   Very sweet and affordable.

Actually, besides these mugs, I've got more stuff from the Libery at Target collection lately...

Such as... cartons for storage...

and even curtains!

And my Liberty at Target collection may continue to grow (until my hubby becomes allergic to these bold floral prints all over in our house ;)

Back to school sewing (New lunch bags for our girls)

After eleven long weeks of summer, our girls are finally back in school from this week.  And I can't be happier.  Yippee!  From this fall, our older girl is in 5th grade and the younger one in 3rd.

As part of the back-to-school-sewing, I sewed up these lunch bags for my girls, using the fabrics they selected.  And guess what?  Yes, they chose pink again!  And this time, the fabrics they chose are not pastel pink, but they're GLITTERY pink, which were too flashy for their middle aged mama to deal with \*o*/

Just like many "tween" girls out there, our girls are into these peace signs now.  I picked up this fabric from our local Joann store.  It's 100% cotton.

And this cotton fabric is from Japan.  Tiny stars all over and the background is NEON pink!

You may recall this handmade lunch bag that I made earlier for my younger daughter using oil cloth (or acutally it was laminated cotton).  

She still likes this one, but this time, she asked me if I could make one that is smaller in size to easily fit in her school bag.  Also, she wanted the zipper opening, and not the drawstring opening, so I made the ones with the zipper opening this time.  (I told you that my kids are picky!)

Before I began sewing, I had to make sure that the new lunch bags can actually fit the thermos and the plastic containers inside.  So, I began with making my own paper pattern using scrap papers (old calendars).

The end result:  The new lunch bags were able to fit our girls' lunch boxes snugly :)

 I used laminated cotton for the lining this time.

For the bottom, I used black cotton fabric, because these bags can  get really dirty when they are taken to school!

Side view

And OMG the opening part was SO HARD to sew, with several layers of fabrics and materials to sew together.   The cotton for the outer fabric + the laminated cotton lining + cotton webbing for the handles + the  fleece batting + the zipper = sewn altogether at once!  

With some left over laminated cotton, I made these small pouches to go with the lunch bags. 
The girls plan to store hand sanitizers and (occasional) ice cream money in here.

For the first day of school, the girls brought some pasta and fruits in these new lunch bags (and they were completely empty when they returned from school!)


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