Monday, August 25, 2014

Blog Hop


This post is part of a BLOG HOP circulating the web right now.  If you are invited to join in, you will be asked to answer four questions about your blog/crafts.

I was kindly invited to join in by Christine from ChrisW Designs.  Christine is my favorite bag designer, so I was so honored that she chose to include me in this fun hop.  You can read Christine's blog hop post HERE.

At the end of my post, I will invite three more bloggers to join in on the fun!

Question #1:  What am I working on?

Right now I am working on filling two bag orders.  The first bag is a Lombard Street Bag (Pattern by ChrisW Designs)

and the second is a Conceal and Carry Handbag.  The Conceal and Carry Handbag is also based on a design by ChrisW Designs.

I am also working on developing a GCC Original Conceal and Carry Handbag.  On Friday I wrote a post on my first attempt at my own CC bag.  I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think. :)

Question #2:  How my work differs from others in my genre?

I have been thinking a lot about this lately.  If you type a search into Etsy for "handbags" you will get 250 pages of handbags!  How is a girl to set herself apart?  One thing that really sets me apart is that I make conceal and carry purses.  If you search for a CC purse on Etsy, the list will be considerably smaller.

I've also noticed there are very few bag makers on Etsy who use hardware.  My bags tend to cost a little more than most, because there is a lot of hardware on my bags.

However, to really set myself apart, I am trying to come up with a specific "look" for my bags.  A little something that makes you say, "Ahh, that is a GCC BAG"!  I'm still working on that one.

Question #3:  Why do I write/create what I do.

This question is easy!  I write and create because I LOVE it!

I opened Gina's Craft Corner back in 2001 to sell pressed flower items.

Back in January 2013 I decided that I needed to learn something new, so I made a resolution to learn a new handiwork craft.  I gave myself three areas to explore:
1.  Embroidery
2.  Quilt making
3.  Knitting

I actually tried the embroidery first.  I checked out tons of books and practiced and practiced.  I started working on making a tea towel with butterflies and flowers, but never finished it.  I got distracted with my sewing work, but it was enjoyable and it is a great craft you can take with you (unlike your sewing machine! LOL).

I then was forced to drag out my sewing machine, because my daughter needed a costume for her school. She wanted to be Laura, from the book, Little House on the Prairie, so she needed a bonnet!  It was the day before school, so I had to hurry!  Super Mom kicked in and even though I had never sewn anything, I decided I was going to make her a bonnet.  So, I found the sewing machine my Mom had given me for Christmas about five years prior, and opened it up for the 1st time.  I know!  It was pretty nice to have a brand new sewing machine just waiting for me in my garage.

Needless to say, I was hooked from that moment on.  Since I really wanted to make quilts, I started with two small doll quilts for my daughters to have as keepsakes.  Then, I started making rag quilts for friends who were having babies.  Rag quilts are so easy to sew up!  I have a great tutorial HERE to get you started if you ever want to make one.

I also tried my hand at sewing some clothes for my girls.  I made a skirt, a pillowcase dress and some princess dresses.  I do not really have a passion for clothes, however if I had more time I would love to make more things for my girls and for myself.

I soon found my passion after I stumbled across a free tote tutorial by Noodlehead.  I had such a great time making that bag and was so pleased with the results, that I KNEW this was something I wanted to pursue, so I did!  Here are some of my creations...


 As far as the blogging goes, that was something that seemed logical once I decided I might want to start sewing items to sell.  I had no idea what I wanted to sell, I just knew that I might be good enough at this to make some money on the side to help my family.  We are a one income home, so I am always looking for ways to help out.

Question #4: How does my creative process work? I HAVE a creative process???  (LOL!)  I guess I probably do, I just have never really thought of what that is.  I guess I would have to say that my creative process usually starts with other people inspiring me.  I love going to the library with my girls and while they are doing 'their thing', I will have a stack of sewing books beside me, just looking for inspiration.  Pinterest and fashion sites are also a great place to see what styles or colors are in for the season.

After I'm inspired I will either look for a PDF pattern that fits my taste and then it is on to choosing the fabric, which is my FAVORITE part.  However, sometimes I will just pick through the scraps of fabric I have and sit down and just design something as I go.  That is how my Casual Friday Bag came about.  It was a "design as you go" type of bag.

Well, that is for me!  I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about me and how I got started making handbags.  Now it is my turn to pass the baton on to three talented bloggers/artists.

*Joy from XOXOGrandma- Joy is a Grandma, of course, who creates the most beautiful clothes for her grandchildren (so lucky!), herself and 18" dolls.  She is a refashion fashionista!  She has such a talent for taking something someone else might throw away and making it into something beautiful!

*Sahana from Vikalpah- (Vikalpah means variety in Sanskrit.) Sahana definitely has variety on her web site!   She has everything from beautiful clay creations, gift wrapping ideas and fun sewing refashions. I think you will really love her fun and energetic personality that comes through in her post.

*Allie from Crafty Allie- Allie has so much going on over at her blog!  She has DIY tutorials, recipes, link parties, blog help, AND she is wonderful at crochet and makes the most beautiful items for newborn babies! Please check her out and don't forget to stop by her stores on Etsy and eBay!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!


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