Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oh baby, baby it's a wild world!

Ok so it was a crazy weekend! Extremely busy with the family - Easter dinner and all the trimmings! Of course I completely overdid it and now I'm back on bed rest for 3 more days! Doctor's orders!! But the most exciting news from the weekend is that not only did I have 5 sales from my Etsy shop - yes, that's right 5 sales, I also had a request to allow one of my poems to be published on Sea of Tears facebook page! I'm beyond excited!
First of all 5 sales after nothing for weeks was such a boast and then to have one of my poems recognized was the icing on the cake!
I found the Sea of Tears people after reading an article about them in my local paper. I checked out their website and discovered that they have monthly contests so I submitted one of my poems. The rest is history...

Jewelry designer pays tribute to Titanic

Cape Breton artist Brenda Reichel has used sea glass from beaches near Inverness to develop a series of commemorative Titanic-inspired jewelry pieces, such as the one pictured, to be sold during the centennial celebrations of the ill-fated ship. (CONTRIBUTED)
A fascination with the Titanic and a love of the Victorian-era was all the inspiration Brenda Reichel needed to create her new jewelry line.
Using sea glass from the beaches near Inverness, the Cape Breton artist has developed a series of commemorative Titanic-inspired jewelry pieces to be sold during the centennial celebrations of the ill-fated ship.
The Tears of Glass vintage-style pieces, which include earrings, necklaces, pendants and bracelets, are available at Maples Gallery at Bishop’s Landing in Halifax and at various galleries throughout the Maritimes for as long as Reichel can keep up with the demand.
The idea came when she explained the origin of sea glass to tourists visiting her studio, Reichel said Thursday. It’s believed that much of the glass that washes ashore comes from old shipwrecks and coal mining ships that once dotted the seaside.
“As soon as I mentioned shipwrecks, they got so excited at the thought that it could be from the Titanic,” Reichel said from Inverness. “Probably not ... but the romance of it all is fun and with the anniversary coming up and my love of that era of jewelry and the story itself, I knew I was onto something.”
Reichel said she and her sister, for as long as they can remember, have talked about, researched and fantasized about the grand ship and the tragic fate of its 1,514 passengers.
Through her years of research, Reichel discovered one woman, Rhoda Mary Abbott, whose story she feels deeply connected to and to whom her Titanic-inspired jewelry collection is dedicated to.
Abbott, the story goes, jumped from the sinking vessel in order to save her two teenage sons but was the only one to survive.
Reichel recently lost a son to drowning and it was the time she spent walking the beaches of Cape Breton after his death that she re-discovered her childhood love of beach combing for sea glass. Four years ago, she founded Tears of Glass and began creating jewelry as a form of healing.
“I could feel for her and relate to her because I, too, lost a son,” Reichel said.
With thousands of tourists expected to descend on the Maritimes over the next month, Reichel said orders are pouring in from every province. She has enlisted a helper to keep up but with each piece taking at least two hours to complete, Reichel said shes working around the clock to meet the demand.
Each piece comes with a reproduction of the original Titanic boarding pass and features pearls, crystals and imagery popular in the early 1900s like dragonflies and birds.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sending Easter Flowers!

Happy Easter everyone! I've created a treasury of Tulips and Daffodils to help celebrate! Enjoy!

Tulips and Daffodils

Friday, April 6, 2012

50% Discount!!!!!

Happy Easter from By A Thread Bags! Please enjoy an Easter Savings on me! Enter the word EASTER at the checkout and you will receive 50% off!!!!
Let's see if the Easter Bunny can top that! This offer is available until 12 noon April 9, 2012 - HAPPY SHOPPING!!!
All sales are final on this offer!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Little Prince Treasury

Today I wanted to commemorate a very special event. My son has completed his thesis based on the translations of the well known and much loved children's book, The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. He is about to graduate university on the Dean's list with an honors degree. If you haven't read it, I urge you to do so. It's filled with lovely metaphors that we would all do well to remind our selves of each day.

The Little Prince

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Here are a few of my favorite things!

Today is such a glorious day here in Halifax and I wanted to share just a few of my favorite things!

1. This is the absolute best lipstick out there, I promise! It has amazing staying power and there is a great selection of colors!
2. Now being always the thrifty one, I like to make my own body scrub. This is the best recipe I've found, compliments of Condo-blues blogspot. This scrub leaves your skin feeling soft and supple.

Basic Sugar Scrub Recipe

All of my sugar scrubs are based on this basic recipe. The key is to make the scrub in small batches and use it fairly quickly because it doesn’t have any preservatives in the mix.

An empty jar with a lid (a small jelly or condiment jar works great for this project)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
Label (if desired)

Make it
1. Pour the granulated white sugar into the jar.
2. Pour the olive oil into sugar and mix thoroughly until the ingredients are well blended. (I prefer the screw on the lid and shake method to mix my ingredients.)
3. Label the jar as desired.

3. This one I can't live without. I've tried everything - pure shea butter with gloves overnight, L'Occitane, Body Shop butters! I'm so happy I stumbled upon it. I've always had such problems with my hands - dryness, itchy, cracking skin - not now those days are long behind me now that I use Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Hand Lotion! I apply just before bed everynight and my hands stay nicely moisturized all day!

4.  And my new fav for my hair - Moroccan Oil. A same amount of this warmed between your hands and applied to damp hair gives you amazing results! My hair is so smooth and silky soft!

5. And my last favorite for today - my newest favorite from Etsy. I love the look of these earrings! Very simplistic yet oh so elegant design! Be sure to check out Alibli's shop!

That's all for today. I hope you enjoy my favorites and please, please pass on some of yours!!!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Handbags! For the Love of the Bag - Part 3

Hi Handbag lovers - sorry again for being an absentee blogger! I do, however, have a good excuse this time - I was actually in hospital. Yes, unfortunately, my appendix burst and I was operated on and hospitalized for 4 days and then on bed-rest for 2 weeks. So......just now getting my sewing legs back!

While in hospital, I did have my trusty Iphone with me and was able to check my email and was so thrilled when I heard back from my client that she had presented her friend with the bag that I had made out of her husbands' jacket and she was absolutely thrilled! Big sigh of relief from me - even though it hurt - a little appendix humor!

So now that I'm up and about again - I can't wait to get in motion! Whilst in bed, I came up with more and more ways to recycle and lots of new design ideas that I can't wait to get off the paper and into fruition! One can only watch so much TV - so stay turned for some great new handbags! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tears of Joy - Love is in the Bag - Part Two

So my client came to pick the bag up last night! I was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs! But it was all nerves for naught! As soon as she saw the bag, she started crying. Thankfully they were tears of joy! She absolutely loved it and thought it would suite her friend to a T! I was so relieved and so pleased! It just felt wonderful to have been a part of this project.
The handbag will be revealed tonight over dinner and I have a fervent promise to be updated on the reaction. So stay turned...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Love is in the bag!

So it's been awhile since I've sat down at the sewing machine. There's been a number of reasons - of course I was away for 2 weeks and upon returning home I was met with a couple of personal incidents that will more than likely have some lasting effects and may change my life in more ways than one. Having to deal with the fall-out from this has caused my fibromyagia to flare up terribly. So at best I'm getting about 4 good hours out of each day.
And I've also been remiss because the project that I had before me was a difficult one. As many of you know, I  try to salvage peoples cherished items. I was approached by Bev, who had a dear friend who lost her husband in a tragic work place accident. She has held onto his favorite suede jacket for many years. Bev commissioned me to use the jacket to make a handbag for her friends upcoming birthday. Well, this project really threw me off kilter - firstly because I hadn't met the person for whom the bag was to be designed. Secondly it was the situation itself that kind of staggered me. And thirdly because Bev told me her friend  doesn't ordinarily carry a purse!!
I spent many hours pouring over the design of the jacket so that I could best utilize it. Why I didn't take a picture of it is beyond me - sorry! I'm still new at this whole sharing thing! I didn't have alot to work with as far as design ideas - Bev didn't want a cross body bag and she wanted me to use the jacket lining which was a beautiful satin, to line the bag. She and I poured through my photo album of bags I've designed and she decided this one would be a good shape and size but without the ruffle detailing.

I kind of felt that if she didn't carry a purse she probably wouldn't want anything too feminine or anything too large.
So after many hours of thought - I grabbed my scissors and began the task of dissecting the beloved jacket. I must have re-worked this design a dozen times in my head, which is normally not at all my process. I usually contemplate the over-all design of the article and work to keep as many elements as possible, pockets, zippers, buttons, etc and from this, a design is born!
Why was this such a stumbling block for me? - I think because I envisioned how much this jacket had originally meant to someone. And then how much it had come to mean to someone else. I haven't had to design based around such emotion before. I felt that this bag needed to be just right - it needed to reflect love and life and the spirit of two people who's lives it ensnared. I finished the bag last night and I still didn't feel that I'd accomplished what I'd intended and it wasn't until I'd slept on it that it hit me what was lacking.
LOVE. Plain and simple. Love. Even though I'd treated that jacket with the love and respect it deserved. I wasn't feeling it. Because I'm not meant to.  It's not about me or evoking feelings or emotions from me. I can't intrude on the relationship formed by these two people. All I can do is what is asked of me. My hope is that this bag will be passed from generation to generation and that the love and sentiment that surrounds it will always be apparent. And with that said this is what I came up with -

The metal tags read "Live" and "Love".

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I don't want to wait for Fall to get my hour back!

So I completely forgot about the clocks going ahead! Thank goodness for my Iphone automatically updating my settings! None-the-less, I'm still starting my day waaaay behind!!!! Now don't get me wrong - I love daylight savings time - aside from the robins that have begun appearing in my yard, this is the most significant sign that warmer days are on the horizon!
I'm already dreaming of lazy days at the ocean with my nieces, vases with flowers harvested from the yard, tiring Floyd out with long breezy morning walks in the park and the birds - the birds really speak to my soul!
So I guess lagging a bit behind today isn't so bad after all - not when I think of all I have to look forward to!