Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Creating Success around the World - Marie at Madwestdesigns

Welcome to

Creating Success around the World
The worldwide blog hop tour, that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the globe.

Creating my way to Sucess
Every Wednesday our hosts on each continent will introduce some inspiring creativity from their corner of the world.
Here's how you can take this worldwide tour with us:
You can follow all the hosts to support them and keep up to date with the fabulous posts they will share every week.  Then if you are inspired to join, just link up your own blog to make some new international friends.
Remember to leave us a comment when you follow us so we can follow you back!
And of course we'd love if you added our button to your site to help spread the word!
Here's the hosts:


Today's guest is Marie from Madwestdesigns in
Victoria, Australia

What do i create??
mmmm good question i think i have to answer by saying "whatever takes my fancy at the time" however i do spend most of my time Knitting or Crocheting by trade i am a dressmaker but tend to sew when i get the urge  or  just a change of scenery at the moment i have a Quilt i am working on in between all my other items on the needles.

Why do i create.
I always have, right back to my early childhood i guess it is an addiction of sorts and like any drug i suppose,i have withdrawals if i don't at least get to pick up something each day to work on, it may just come down to reading one of my books or doing a little research into a particular technique i want to know a little more about. I always travel with several projects and these are the first items packed.

My items are sold in my  madwestdesigns etsy store   and on facebook for those who wish to buy this way you can find all my creations that i have for sale some of which are OOAK.
one of my crochet designs in a OOAK wool
another OOAK due to the wool being a self patterning type

I am also lucky enough to be a stockist at our very own Viewpoint Handmade Gallery this beautiful Gallery is owned by the lovely Jess and is right in the CBD of my hometown. Jess hopes to expand soon on the retail side of things and make it into an artist mecca.
I also give them away as well, the little girl featured on my Facebook page tends to go home with something each time she comes to visit her grandma who is one of my neighbours.My other neighbours little girls have both received blankets for their beds and other items as well. They are different ages so are perfect for trying things on for me, so like all good models they get to keep the stuff.

My little Model

Have i made any money well no, not a profit anyway , i have sold some things though, so that is quite encouraging and lovely to think that someone thought enough of my items to buy one or two.
Most people just don't understand the time that goes into creating something handmade so i think we all do it for about $3 an hour.
I had a lady ask why i was charging $80 for a scarf which was OOAK , i had used hand spun,  handdyed wool and had spent about 30hrs knitting it as it was quite fiddley even though it looked quite basic, i kindly pointed out that i didn't think i would get $300 for it if i charged $10 an hr :)

OOAK hand dyed wool

 Mistakes... l'm sure i have made plenty and probably still will but it is nice to have other people admire your work and comment on it other than those within your own circle of friends. I find Facebook great for this as i can  generally ask a question and most times have it answered by someone.Most people are great and willing to pass on information about how things work.The same can be said about Etsykids Team of which you need to be a member, but i have made new friends here and also hope to make more.On the creating side of things they are not mistakes, i class it as getting it right, i am really quite fussy and won't sell something i am not happy with or give it away.

Success: There are so many different levels i wouldn't say i had reached the top yet maybe when i sell a few more items  and i can give up my day job.
Success to me at the moment is when i finish a garment and have it listed in my Etsy store or i finish a blog post or just finish any number of things that are unfinished including the ironing which i detest.
                        The biggest success to date is my wins at our local show this year
                           you can read more about this on my Blog

What's next for me is to keep going with all that i am doing and finish of some new designs, it is all very time consuming but i love it, i have being doing it since i was a kid so i can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

 Thanks Marie for your wonderful answers!  Please do go and say Hi to Marie at her blog, and do visit her fabulous etsy shop too, where she has some gorgeous items for sale - including my absolute favourite - an adorable crocheted turtle!
Now that you've seen some of the talent we have to offer Down Under, why not visit the other hosts to check out more talent on the other continents!
Make sure you visit them all to see the inspiration and creative people
every corner of the world has to offer:
Europe - Mike @ Blue Velvet Chair
The Americas - Suzy @ Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom
Asia - Divya @ Jewels of Sayuri
And don't forget to add your own link below!  It's all about meeting new friends worldwide!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Homemade in December Link Carnival

Welcome to the
Homemade in December
Link Carnival!

Come and link up all your homemade Christmas crafts, recipes, arts and projects!
Revive last year's posts and let's share as many ideas as we can!
Please do grab a button for your sidebar or post, and we'd love if you followed the hosts too! Me here at Creating my way to Success, and..

By linking up your project here - you are giving the hosts permission to use photos and information from your linked post in features on our blogs- we will always link back to you and give you full credit!
Link away!!

Please note this linky party will be open until Dec 23rd - to find it again easily I have a separate page dedicated to it !  see the top of this blog for the purple title to click on the link!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homemade in December - host Danielle from Blissful and Domestic

In the lead up to Christmas 2011, a few of us have come together to bring you "Homemade in December"

Each week I'll introduce you to one of our hosts.
This week's highlighted host is:
Danielle from Blissful and Domestic.

Danielle has such a beautiful blog - about sewing, crafts and cooking.  I first found her through all her amazing clothes upcycles!  Like these cute 'sweater skirts':

She also has heaps of fabulous tutorials, like this

Just now - Danielle is running a
Christmas Pyjama-Rama Competition.

So do head on over there and join in the fun! There are some amazing prizes up for grabs!

And Danielle's answer to the question I like to ask everyone -

What, to you is success, and how are you creating your way to success?
I think if you can go through each day and say you did your best, that in itself is a success. Each day I am striving to create and do new things and that is wonderful in my book.

So head on over to Danielle's blog and say hi!
And don't forget to link up your Christmas projects to our
 Christmas Carnival Linky Party

here - starting TODAY!

This post is sponsored by the Homemade in December hosts:

Please do go and see what they are up to each day throughout our month long Homemade Christmas Celebration

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Blog Award

Last week I was very kindly passed on a blog award by
She has a wonderful blog with lots of great tutorials and recipes!
She always comes up with something fabulous and links it to my weekly Round Tuit party.

So - the award!

Me being not big on rules - I thought I'd just tell you something about myself - then pass this on to someone else!

So - erm,

I LOVE spicy food - despite the fact that curry was one of the things I used to insist I hated as a child - it's now my favourite!

I'm afraid of cows! 

and I STILL believe that one day I'll come from nowhere and win an Olympic something....  At age 38 my sporting options are becoming increasingly limited, but I am the eternal optimist!!

Now I would like to pass this award on to a lovely blog full of fabulous upcycling and creative crafty ideas:

If you've never visited her blog - then go now because you are missing out! She is totally awesome!!

Practical Patchwork Tote tutorial

This month I entered a Solids Only Tote Challenge.  The idea was to make a tote using either patchwork, applique or  reverse applique or any combination of those.

I chose to make a tote that really represents me and what I do!
I love recycling and using what I have on hand to sew with - and so decided to use my very large bag of scraps - perfect for a patchwork project!
I also appliqued some words onto the tote - not just to demonstrate that skill for the challenge - but to represent my philosophy of sewing and indeed life!

Here's the bag:

 Fully lined - also with patchwork - and a couple of pockets added:

So here's how to make one - if you have your own bag of scraps that you'd like to turn into something practical and useful!
No amazing sewing skills are involved! If you have a sewing machine and are willing to have a go - then you can do this!
I used lots of different types of fabric in this bag - some stretchy, some silky and some plain.  This means that when you patch the pieces together it may not look flat or straight!  But the aim is to make a practical bag - with character!!! So don't worry about this!  Anything goes!

First get your scraps - choose which ones you want to use (I'm not great with colour co-ordination so just picked out all the solid colours !) and iron them flat.

Then cut them into rectangles, squares, strips or triangles - whatever you can out of the shape of your scraps!

If you do have long strips - then use those for the straps/handles - but if not - don't worry, you can always piece bits together for those too!

The next step is to start sewing.
I just picked the fabric up piece by piece and stitched them right sides together along edges that were approximately the same size.  You can stitch triangles together to make squares, and just trim off any edges that stick out!

Stitch pieces together to form several larger blocks:

Then rearrange these to form 2 large rectangles for the inside and outside of your tote bag. You can make these whatever size you choose depending on what size bag you want - or how many scraps you have!
Mine were approx 35 x 57 cm (14 x 22.5")

Now sew the blocks together to secure those larger rectangles.
Don't worry about the edges being straight - or both rectangles being the same size - by nature of the random patches you cut - they probably will be different!

Now trim the edges of each rectangle to make them even and the same sizes:

Then turn the rectangles over and press to flatten the seams.

Now to the straps.
I was lucky enough to have long strips in my scrap bag - so I cut 4 strips approx 58 x 6cm (23 x 2.5")
If you don't have long strips - you can sew together smaller pieces until you have the required length!

Then take 2 strips and sew them right sides together down both long edges:

Trim the edges,

Then using a large safety pin or nappy pin - turn this tube right sides out:

Then press and top stitch down both sides.

Repeat this with your other two long strips to make your second handle.

If you want to have pockets inside your tote - cut 2 scraps (for 2 pockets) into rectangles of the size you'd like your pockets.
To prevent fraying - double turn all four edges and stitch:

Then pin the pockets onto the large patchwork rectangle you have made that you'd like to be the inside of your bag:

Then stitch around 3 edges of each pocket - remember the pocket openings will be at the top and bottom of the large rectangle.

I stitch a small triangle at the top corners of each pocket for added strength.

Now if you want to add some applique to the front of your bag here's how.

You need some fusible webbing - here in Australia I use a brand called Vliesoflix, and I know in the UK there is Bondaweb.  Basically you iron this onto the back of the fabric you want to use for the applique - then cut the shape you want, peel off the backing paper and iron onto the fabric where you want it! 

Whenever I use this - I keep the scraps (yes, I do keep everything!)
So I looked in my scrap bag - for some plain white pieces of fabric which already had the fusible webbing ironed onto one side:

Once your fusible webbing is ironed onto the back of your fabric, then on the front (right side) draw the shape you want to have.  In my case it was the lettering "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE".

Cut out the letters or shapes you have drawn - and peel off the backing paper before placing onto the front rectangle of your bag and ironing into place using a damp cloth
 (follow the manufacturers instructions for this).

Then either use a tight zig-zag stitch, or the applique setting on your machine - and stitch around the edges of your applique pieces:

Now it's time to put your bag together.

Take your lining rectangle and fold in half right sides together like this:

Then stitch down both sides.
Repeat with your outer rectangle.
Then turn the outer rectangle right sides out - and pin the straps to the top opening - evenly spaced:

Make sure you match them up on the front and back of the bag:

Then stitch the handles into place.

Now push the lining of your bag into the outer part:

Then fold the top edges in on each other to hide the messy raw edges - and pin together:

Then top stitch around the top of the bag: I did two rows of stitching for extra strength:

You're done!!

If you would like the PDF version of this tutorial - click here!

If you enjoyed this tutorial - I have over 100 more available here on my blog - on My Tutorials page.

Or you could even sign up for my newsletter - and receive even more patterns and tutorials free and exclusively available to my subscribers!