Sunday, November 29, 2009

Puffy Pouch & Penguin Gifts


Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.
I went on a little trip to Santa Cruz with Joe,
and had lots of fun walking by the beach, listening
to sea lions and sea gulls, and being in some place different.

Thank you so much for those of you
who helped me find out what those frames are called.
I updated the previous post with the links to the
online shops you guys had recommended for me, so if
you happen to be looking for shops that carry the frames,
scroll down a little to get to the previous post!
I've already ordered a set of 5 of 5" flex frames from
ArtFire. I can't wait to get those
now that I love making these pouches!!


This one is for my friend's friend's B-day gift.
I think it turned out pretty lovely.
I was thinking that it might make an interesting pattern
if the opening part does not involve any gathering
but the shell part of the pouch has some
fun fabric hiding, which kinda pops up when the pouch
is opened or is filled with lots of stuff inside.
And I am in LOVE with this pattern that I came up with!!


Now I have lots of ideas for those flex frames and
I am dying to try out a bunch of things with different fabrics!


On a separate note, I want to thank some folks who were
extremely nice to have given me *penguin* gifts!
This is a handmade stamp from ako of BeachField.
She was so nice to custom-make this cutest stamp for me.
You can't see this in this picture, but a piece of
hand-curved eraser is attached to this wooden block on the back.
Isn't it indescribably adorable?! I've been using this stamp
to create my original linen coasters. During the winter
break, I might make a whole bunch of PinkPenguin coasters
for future gift ideas. By the way, ako is a really popular
stamp maker in Japan. Her first book came out pretty recently
and I was so happy to see her book in Kinokuniya in San Francisco.
Thank you so much again, ako!


What's been much loved here is this knitted pink penguin
that was in a surprise mail from AJ in Scotland.
I can't believe how thoughtful of her to knit such a
cute pink penguin for me and how professionally this is made.
The hat and the scarf are removable. You have no idea
how many times I've taken off the hat and put it back on.
This fits so perfectly that it gives me some therapeutic
feel to do this. I am really in love with this plush.
It sleeps next to me every night.
Thank you so much, AJ!!


Here comes another lovely penguin gift,
a bundle of penguin fat quarters from Carolyn in Arizona!
Penguin print fabric is so hard to find, and
finding a bundle of matching penguin print fabric
is like almost impossible! Those penguins on fabric
are so cute! I think it will make a nice boyish baby
quilt, but I can hardly ever think about cutting
any of these fabric. Carolyn is just so sweet.
The letter from her was so warm and touching.
Thank you so much, Carolyn!!


The last one is this very rare penguin rayon
fabric from Leslie of 36OldsGal
This is like everything I love combined-
Penguin + Navy + Pink + Dots/Circles.
Leslie has the best fabric selection and
I can't believe how generous she was to share
her precious fabric with me. Again, I don't
want to use it for my crafts yet.
Let me adore it for a while before putting it into use..
Thank you so much, Leslie!!

I've been thinking a lot these days about what is
important in my life and what is not.
I've realized that trying everything at once
doesn't work at all. At some points in life, I need to
give up on things and focus on what I can do now
to specialize in what I really enjoy. And what I know for sure
that I truly enjoy, besides friends and families is
crafting and blogging. I especially enjoy meeting
people like you guys who have the same interests
and who can mutually inspire each other.

I'm so grateful I've met such nice people who
have spent some time reading my blog, trying
out my tutorials, and letting me know that
they enjoy coming here. I feel like if I know
there were nobody to share my projects online,
my desire to get crafty might have been a lot less..
so if you are one of those who've been wondering
about starting a craft blog, please go for it!
How much the simple first step can influence
your life is like... amazing! Trust me!

I am so appreciative of the opportunities this blog
has brought for me. Thank you again for all the
beautiful and thoughtful penguin gifts!

Thanks for coming and reading!!
Have a wonderful week!

Note: The pattern for the knitted penguin is by
Jean Greenhowe


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Linen + Patchwork Pouch


I must admit that I have to catch up with my crafting life.
There are lots of projects I've been wanting to work on
but it has been just so busy that I couldn't really commit
to work on a big project. Christmas is just a month away, isn't it?
This makes me happy and sad at the same time. I'm happy
because I might visit Joe's family for Christmas which will
for sure be fun as it has always been. I am sad because
it looks like I won't be able to make handmade gifts for
as many people as I was hoping.. too little time left
for a super slow crafter like myself.. I've seen lots of
fabric baskets filled with Christmas gifts this year again.
Thank you so much for making those ;) I might have to make
some for my folks too since you guys' baskets look so inspiring!
Let's see how many baskets I can make...


I'm glad I finally made a pouch using this metal opening.
I bought a few of these in my last trip to Japan.
This is such an interesting material; the only thing you do
to open the pouch is to squeeze the ends. so quick and convenient!
I thought some of you may be interested in getting those, so I was
looking for some websites that sell these metal opening
thingies, but I really couldn't find one, since I have no idea
what these metal opening thingies may be called in English.
Googling with random attempts didn't help.
I'm very sure there are etsy shops that carry these though!
Does anyone know what these are called..?


Those are called Flex Frames/Hexagonal Purse Frames!
(Thank you so much for those of you who let me know this
and share with me some cool online shops!)
It seems that those flex frames are available
in many different sizes in the states, and here are
some of the online shops you can find those.
-Artfire (Thanks to Beth & Tessa Van).
-Tall Poppy Craft (Thanks to Natalie)
-Fabric Tales (Thanks to Cecili)
-Ghee's (Thanks to Dot & MaryEllen)
-Retrosaria-Portugal (Thanks to Anacrafts)
-PeacockPatterns (Thanks to SueAnn)

And check out these cool tutes on how to use them!
-Fuzzy Felty Flex Frame Purses by Nikki
-Flexi Stash Coin Purse by Lisa
(Thanks Sarriet for sharing these links ;) )


I really like how it turned out. I love all the fabric
I used for this project. Most of the fabric is from Japan,
but the plaid print is a feedsack I snatched at ebay.
A French theme + a vintage twist + little craziness +
Japanese influence = too cute!

By the way, the pouch has been listed in my shop ;)
As always, let me know if you come from here to snatch
an item in my shop - I'd love to include a little gift!


The linen I used for the right and left sides of the
pouch comes from this stash. I got this extremely quality
from this shop. (Sorry this is only in Japanese, but
it looks like they ship internationally.)
When I got this stash in my mail, I was so super excited
that I couldn't stop touching it, smelling it, and taking
photos of it. I even started dreaming about starting my own
business by building a linen factory or something. How crazy? I know!
I just sometimes wish I could get my hands on good linen
like this much easier in the states. haha.


Here is a set of fabric that I kinda want to do something with.
Maybe another pouch? ... with linen? Any ideas..?

Thanks for coming and reading!!