Monday, October 17, 2011

A New Name

I have been making clutches for quite some time now, and I have come to realize that in business there is always change.  I named my business "My Creative Threads" to cover a broad range of items that I could potentially make and sell.  With the dramatic increase in clutch/handbag sales, I feel it is time to create a division of the business to cater specifically to customers looking for clutches.  I am planning to start a website, and I intend to give the site this new name.  My only problem is I can't think of a good name! 
There are so many options out there.   My current top choices are "Sew Clutch" and "Creative Clutches".  I like these options because they clearly define what I am selling, and the second option ties in with my original name. 
It would be easier to choose one of these names if it weren't for one teeny little problem....  let me paint the picture:

Big Burly Guy who hasn't shaved in a week and smells of grease and oil is sitting in front of the computer with cigarette in one hand and beer in the other.  He is desperately searching for something online, but he isn't terribly computer literate and is already pretty frustrated with his search thus far.  He pulls up my website and shouts at the computer "What the...." as he sees these beautifully handmade clutches.  At this point he gives up and decides to take the trip to the Auto Parts store to see if they have the part he needs.
And here I sit, on the "other side" of the computer feeling a little badly because the poor guy is just trying to fix the clutch on his car, and my website is obviously not going to help him.  But while I am feeling badly, I am kinda laughing (just a little) at the humor in the situation and feeling like I have fooled another one again!  (is that bad??- probably yes  insert sinister laugh here)

So the question still remains- Do I use the word "Clutch" in the new name/ domain name?  Or do I use something like Handbag or...?
I am open to suggestions, thoughts, opinions, commentary....

Monday, August 29, 2011


We had the annual ladies tea at church on Saturday.  As I prepared my table for tea I was quite surprised to see how it all came together.  I wanted to use what I had to make it pretty, so I found an extra large piece of gold-ish fabric I used for a previous clutch order.  I am not a super fan of gold, but I really thought it brought out the gold lined china nicely.  It was a little table this year which I quite liked, though it was hard to find an appropriate center piece.   I ended with with little centerpieces all around.  I LOVE having a reason to use my grandmother's china, teacups, and glasses!  I think she would be proud!

I was recently given some beautiful pieces of milk glass from a friend who was moving out of the area and trying to consolidate her home of 30 years.  I LOVE milk glass (as it is something my grandmother also collected), and these pieces are extraordinary!  I thought they would be the perfect addition to use for the food.  And there was a LOT of delicious food, and fantastic tea.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Getting Ready for Tea

Each year our church holds a Tea, and I like to host a table.  In effort to actually USE the fine china and delicate tea cups I inherited from my Grandmother, I like to host a table at the tea.  As I prepared my table decor I decided I needed napkins to match.  Unable to find some that I liked at the store, I decided to make them.  White Linen matches anything!

Getting ready for tea.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tutorial for Ruffled Pillow

You have got to check out this wonderful tutorial for a ruffled pillow from Jones Design Company! 

This pillow is so much fun to make and adds a lot of great texture and dimension to the room!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Baby Quilt

I rarely have time to quilt, but recently put together a baby quilt for a dear friend who is having her first baby in October.  My quilter friend Chris helped me with the quilt last week and we had so much fun working together on this little quilt!
Thank you Chris for your help.  They LOVED this quilt!


So a part of making clutches is gluing the clutch to the metal frame.  This is not my favorite part of the process, but an essential part!  With 80-100 clutches on my back-log at any given time I do a LOT of gluing.  The heat of the summer makes gluing a bit challenging.  I have to glue either in the morning or the evening (if it cools off). 
The best part of the glue is going to the store to purchase it.  I finally found a store that sells the glue locally for a good price. When I go I typically purchase about 10 tubes at the same time which always brings strange looks from the clerk at the register. The last time I purchased glue, the clerk asked if I was at least 18.  I am not making Meth people!
My least favorite part of gluing is wearing a mask to keep from breathing the horrific smelling glue.
My dear husband thinks the mask is cute so he decided to snap a couple shots of me at work gluing in the backyard.
Not my best look...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Packages in the Mail

There are a lot of packages going in and out of the house here lately. 
I order most of my fabric online, and I often get multiple packages on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.  No matter how many packages that arrive in the mail, they are always so fun to open.  By the time they get there I have usually forgotten what I ordered.  So it is like Christmas to open them and see what wonderful surprises (usually fabric) are inside.  Scott thought he was being funny to capture me being silly while opening the new treasures...

Online business is GREAT!

Monday, June 20, 2011


I do not claim to be very on-trend by any stretch... I am just too lazy and frankly too thrifty to want to keep up with the ever-changing trends.  However, trends fascinate me.  Especially now that I am working with brides who are always very interested in the latest and greatest trends.  Have you seen a bridal magazine lately.  (OK beware, I am about to date myself...)  The colors are so very interesting... really they bring me back to the 80's!  (Though some say they are 60's colors... I wouldn't know...?)   Bright Orange, Lime Green, Hot Pink, Deep Purple... and the list goes on.  Oh, did I mention all of these colors can often be used in conjunction?  At first I wasn't sure about the trends, but they have grown on me.  Use the right fabrics with these colors and anything is possible.
What amazes... truly stuns me, is that I will often get multiple requests for the same color palette in the same few days.  I cannot tell you how many times this has happened.  It is like there is a new trend report every few days and all of the sudden every bride wants that to be her color palette.  It does make it nice when selecting fabrics as I can gently persuade brides to use similar fabrics and it helps keep my costs down.
One of my recent favorite trends is gray and yellow.  Actually I cannot stop getting orders for this color palette.  If I were getting married again I would use these colors.

Or there is the shades of gray...
Then I might be persuaded to use the robins egg blue and gray... I am very partial to this too...

The Barn Wood Chalk Board

In the previous post I mentioned the Chalk Board that Scott helped me create for my sewing room.  We had some barn wood that I had taken a few years ago from the barn that sat on the back corner of the 2 acres I grew up on.  It was a GREAT old barn that we used to play in!  And before my parents moved we took as much barn wood as we could for future creative uses.  (Sad note... we SHOULD have taken it all as the new owners tore the barn down and probably threw the wood away... EEK it makes me cringe to think of all that good wood thrown away)
I had used a couple pieces of this beautiful red barn wood for a little creative decoration for a number of years and finally decided to re-purpose it for this little project.
I just love my new little chalk board (never mind my terrible penmanship).  And never mind the terrible picture.. hopefully you get the idea. 
I am ashamed to say it has been two months since my last post.  Where does the time go?
It is now officially summer (well actually tomorrow is the first day of summer).  And it is HOT here!
Summer is the time for weddings, and boy don't I know it!  Each week I have more and more contacts from brides, and more and more orders.  I was feeling quite overwhelmed by it all for a while until my fantastic father helped me get my business tracking organized.  My wonderful husband also helped me create the perfect and stylish little chalkboard for the sewing room so that I can have my "to do" list right there in front of me. It is all coming together, and this business is flying!
On a recent Saturday (or was it Wednesday? The days meld together), I was busy fulfilling two orders that just happened to be using similar fabrics.  (That is another strange phenomenon- how I can have three different requests all in the same week for nearly the exact same color palette...another post to follow on that one!)
Anyway, I thought I would take some pictures of the madness (or as I like to call it- Organized Chaos) in the sewing room.

Insides and Outsides waiting to be put together

Waiting for their final seam...

All lined up and ready for their frames...

Standing pretty ready to be shipped. 

Am I the only one that thinks it would be kinda fun to get married again just to plan it and decorate it all over again...?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just a few springtime flowers

In the busyness of creating so many custom orders I cannot stop coming up with new ideas.  In my spare moments this week (usually taking breaks from the mundane of creating multiples of the same clutch over and over) I researched fabric flowers online.  I re-created a few that I found.
What do you think of these springtime flowers?  Probably still a work in progress... just like me!

Too Busy to Post

You may remember that I mentioned a bride had contacted me to created custom clutches for her bridesmaids.  The first set of Hot Pink with white Polka-dot clutches (8 of them in all) were sent out weeks ago to one happy bride.  Since then the inquiries and the orders have not stopped coming in!  The first order inspired new "marketing" techniques and a new spin on my previous creations. 
Have I hit a niche?  Or is it due to the new, concisely organized sewing space? 
Whatever it is, I know in my heart of hearts that all credit goes to the Lord!  It is He that has given me the talents and passion to create!  It is He that directs my path and leads me to new creations and new business.  I am so thankful to the Lord for this business and I am beyond excited and so very fulfilled to see my long-time dream turning into reality.  Needless to say I have been busy.  I am so thankful for this busyness.  God is good!
Here are just a few of my most recent creations and custom orders:

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Work Space

I recently relocated my work space to a new room.  It is no small task to take an entire room of sewing and work space down to only part of a room.  One must be organized and minimalistic.  I was quite surprised to find that my new work space is not only functional it is quite efficient.  I wonder if less space is sometimes best?
New Work Space:

Old sewing room: can you say clutter???

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

They grew on me...

This is the finished product of the Hot Pink and White Polka Dot Clutches.  If you remember, I ordered this fabric from China as a special order for a bride who wanted 8 of them as gifts for her bridesmaids.  They turned out quite nice and rather elegant.  Funny how fabrics that I would not necessarily choose myself turn out to be rather stunning in the end.  This project definitely helps to broaden my fabric horizons.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hot Pink and White Poka Dot Clutches

A few weeks ago I got an order from a bride who wanted 8 clutches for her bridesmaids. I was so excited about my first bridesmaid clutch order, and I actually ended up getting another order just a few days later! 
Anyway, this bride found fabric online that she wanted me to use, and I ordered it for her.  The fabric was from China, and I was a bit nervous about my first international purchase, but it went very smoothly, and the fabric arrived quicker than I expected.  It is a cotton fabric, but it is soft and almost silky and very high quality.  The hot pink and white poka dots didn't appeal to me at first, but after putting the clutches together, the fabric is starting to grow on me.  I love that the poka dots vary in size, and I have never seen a design quite like this fabric.  I have all the clutch bodies finished and they are just waiting to be adhered to their silver clasp frames.  I thought they looked so pretty all lined up on my cutting table this evening.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jackies Chicken/Turkey Pot Pie

So I am not much of a cook, I can cook, but it is just not a priority in my life.  I do enjoy cooking, when I find a good recipe that is fun to make.  This is one of my most favorite recipes that I got from my mother-in-law.  It is easy and fun to make, and it is yummy!  I also like to vary the recipe and switch up the ingredients from time to time.  You can use Chicken or Turkey for this recipe.

Jackie's Chicken/ Turkey Pot Pie
1 1/2 Cup Mushrooms sliced
1-3 Carrots- chopped into small pieces
1/2 Cup Onion chopped
1/2 Cup Celery Chopped
1/2 Stick Butter
1/3 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Cup Milk
4 Cups Cubed Chicken
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 tsp Salt
Other seasonings to taste
(Optional ingredients: Broccoli, frozen spinach)

In a Large Skillet Saute Butter, mushrooms, Carrots, Onions, Celery, and Garlic (broccoli) until tender.  Sprinkle with Flour.  Stir in Milk and Chicken Broth.  Bring to Boil for 2 minutes until thickened.  Add Chicken, Peas, (frozen spinach), salt, and other seasonings.
Pour into Greased 2 Qt Baking Dish 
Top with Bisquits (see recipe below)
Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25min (make sure biscuits are cooked)

Baking Powder Biscuits  (taken from a 1933 recipe)
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
4 Tbspn Butter cut in cubes
1/2 tsp Salt
About 3/4 Cups Milk

Mix Dry ingredients, cut in butter (using your hands works really well).  Slowly add milk to right consistency.  Knead for 30 sec.  Roll into "tube" and cut discs to place on top of pot pie mixture.

Sorry I have no pictures of this right now, but trust me, it is yummy and easy!!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pineapple Pay It Forward

A few weeks ago my friend Chris posted a message on her Facebook Page entitled Pay it Forward.  She said that anyone who commented on her post would receive a special handmade gift from her.  Then those people had to post the same Pay It Forward message on their Facebook pages, and give special handmade gifts to those who commented.  Becuase I love giving and recieving handmade gifts, this challenge was right up my alley.  Well, I have not gotten around to making my gifts yet (we have the rest of the year to complete the challenge).  But Chris has diligently finished her gifts, and she gave me mine today!  I was so surprised when she presented me with this beautiful and expertly made Pineapple Quilt block.  She used the foundation piecing technique to make this beautiful little block. She also promised to teach me how to foundation piece, which I am very excited about.  I think this will need to be our next sewing day project. Thank you Chris for such a gift of love, it will be cherished forever!

A Productive Day

Today was a "sewing day" with my dear friend, Chris.  It had been months since our last sewing day, so we were long overdue!  I love sewing days becuase I can be productive while catching up with a good friend.  I also love sewing days becuase they are totally inspiring and I always learn something new.  Thank you Chris for spending the day with me!! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bridesmaids Clutches

Lately, I have been making more clutches. I have had two larger orders from brides for clutches for their bridesmaids.  It has been really exciting to work with brides and create something for their special day!
I have made a some other clutches in a slightly different style as well.
Here are a few of my offerings...