Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Holy Wow...

It's been over a week since I blogged.  I had actually forgotten that I had the blog for a little while.  The past few weeks have been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, and I haven't really known what to say.  Joy has turned to frustration, which has turned back to joy, then into anxiousness, then to a little fear, then to some relief, and back to frustration and somewhere in between, big bouts of "I'm too tired to have any emotions right now." 

The main part of the rollercoaster for the past month or two has been my job.  As most of my loyal readers know, I work second shift at a hospital in the lab.  I love what I physically do.  I hate, with a passion, my hours.  I also hate the fact that I am always having to cover for some lazy bum who doesn't want to do her job (I worked 15 hours Sunday before last).  Covering for someone who is really sick or has had surgery or has had a baby...fine!  I'm happy to help those people out.  Covering for someone who is just playing the!  But anyway, I've been looking for a way out, and my mom offered it to me.  She has fibromyalgia, and has trouble getting going somedays.  She is also my dad's office manager, so she needs to be at work.  So, to remedy my problems and hers, she offered me her job.  And I took it.  October 27 will be my last day at the hospital.  I'll finally have a first shift job where I can go home and cook supper for my husband.  We don't hardly ever eat a meal together because of our schedules.  We also don't get to spend too much quality time together.  I also feel like the prospects of starting a family are better now.  Especially since Mama said that if she stayed home, she could babysit.  She'll be a stay at home Grandma when the time comes.  The stress of "negotiations" with Daddy (he was afraid that he would insult me with what he could pay me, after all I have two bachelor's degrees, but that didn't really matter to me), trying to find a nice way to tell my supervisers, missing my friends here at work and the general ups and downs of all that had gotten to me.  But as of yesterday, it's official, and I'm on my way to some normalcy.  And I am very happy about that.     

As stated above, since I worked the 15 hours Sunday before last, I was practically useless on my 3 days off.  Monday I went shopping and got a pedicure, which made me happy, but I didn't do any sewing in all those 3 days, which has set me significantly behind.  I did clean out my closet, but now my bedroom is a mess. 

The reason I went shopping Monday is because I found a new love the weekend before.  Fashion Blogs.  So now I am officially on a quest to blog about my fashion and help petite women, like myself, find clothes that fit.  And if I can't find clothes that fit, I'm gonna learn to alter my clothes so that they do fit.  I am not paying $30 for a shirt and then another $20 to make it fit.  I won't pay $30 for the shirt to begin with.  I have high fashion tastes and a low budget, so I'm going to start documenting this quest.  When I have the time.  Which may be never. 

I feel like I have so much more to say, but I don't know where to start.  Maybe I'll just post some pics of some stuff I scored at Old Navy today.  I've got to get over this shopping bug, or else make more money on Etsy...
  It's Flannel!

This will have a yellow cami underneath with a sparkly silver skinny belt.

And I kind of want to do a knock off of this one, though at $15, it's more for the challenge than for the price.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm Being Featured!

Hey everyone!  Today I'm being featured over at Ask Away!  Ellen does a little feature every Monday called "What's in My Bag" and this week she's got what's actually in my bag posted!  Hop on over to her blog to check it out.  Check the rest of her blog out too because she has great product reviews, giveaways an advice posts too!

What's in Evan Becky Bryant's Bag

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It's Saturday Night Again!

Have you been eying something in my Etsy shop?  Waiting for it to go on sale?  Wait no more!  It's Saturday night and I'm offering the biggest discount I can.  Just enter coupon code SNS25 at checkout for 25% off your order from Evan Becky.  Also check out the other Saturday Night Specials on Etsy.  Everyone offers a little something different.  Stop by and show some love! 

Click here for all the SNS Sales

Check out some items from my shop below.  Click to go to that item in my shop.  It's all 25% off!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Late Night Genius

Today, I am very tired.  Very...tired...  Ok, so there are probably more of you out there more tired than me, but my tail is dragging today.  I will be going to bed early tonight.  But I have good reason for it.  The reason I didn't go to bed until 4 AM this morning is because I was making this:

This is my flap top, clasp closure zebra zipper bag.  Excuse the crappy pictures on my sewing room floor.  I have been dreaming about this thing for the last 3 weeks and I finally just had to do it.  The design has shifted in all different directions.  The little extra elements have come and gone.  And yesterday evening at work, I finally drew it out and wrote out the steps and came up with what I wanted.  I'm just so excited, despite my level of tiredness, because it came out how I had dreamed!  In my eyes it's just gorgeous!  I know I'm blowing my own horn here, but this doesn't happen to me much!
I put a little flat zipper pocket on the back using this tutorial from Creating My Way to Success.  The zipper around the bottom isn't functional, for trim only, and I bent the heck out of a sewing machine needle on it.  Learned to do that part by turning the wheel by hand.  It's amazing what uses you can find for zippers when you have a whole hoard of them.  The strap is double interfaced with fusible fleece to give it some structure and padding.  This comes in handy when I throw my Daddy's copy of John Steinbeck's East of Eden in there.   

I took a picture of the inside, but I just noticed that my camera decided to focus in on my arm instead of the bag, and it looks quite crappy.  I'll redo that one for later.  But the inside is lined in white cotton, so I can find stuff in there.  The only closure to it is the clasp closure on the front, there's no zipper under the flap, but that's so I can just chunk stuff in there. 

This bag was a great learning experience, as well as a great new product for my Etsy shop!  And on top of all of this, I have something cute to carry around!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday To Do, August 16, 2011

It's that time again when I lay out what all I have to do.  I don't have much interesting going on in the way of anything else, and I don't have any pictures, so this post will probably be boring, but that will be ok.

First of all, what I got done recently:
~Took up the skirts that I made for my nieces over the summer
~Gave one of the graduation gift wallets to Morgan (finally) and because of this...
~Made 3 more wallets (with two more on the way) for her friends :)
~Started the Carolina (USC) purses for my nieces
         *My sister-in-law somehow came into possession of about 21 handbag straps that are ribbon wrapped around cotton webbing and gave them to me!  So in return, I'm making the girls purses with them.
~Made another wallet last night for an Etsy sale
~Got my fabric for my dress and a market bag prewashed/preshrunk

I've been fairly productive

Now To Do:
~Finish Carolina bags
~Buy more key rings, somehow I've gone through over 20 of those things.
~Make a market bag
~Make a jewelry case
~Make my dress
~Make my jacket
~Make my hat
~Finish the dreaded duffel bag
~Due this week sometime--Make the Zebra Zipper Bag--I'd like to have this done before Saturday since I'm going to be featured in a "What's in Your Bag" post by Ellen over at Ask Away, and I think it would be nice if I used my own design.

The sad thing is that most of this will not get done before next week.  I'm working the weekend again and a 12 hr shift on Sunday.  Good news is that I will have 3 days off next week, and hopefully I will get a lot accomplished.  I've been drawing designs and thinking really hard about things, but until I can get behind my machine with my fabric, none of that does any good. 

What's on your To Do List?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Zipper Flower Tutorial

So as you may remember from my last post, this past weekend I bought 2 pounds of zippers for $4.  When zippers are that cheap, you can afford to play with them.  So I had bought some metal ones, and decided to make this.  And now, out of the generousness of my heart, I am going to share the tutorial with you! 
Zipper flower by me, bag by Vera Bradley

Materials needed:
~1-20-ish inch long metal zipper, shorter if you want a smaller flower, longer if you want a larger flower 
~Low temp* hot glue gun.
~Fabric scrap big enough to cover the back of your flower in the same color as your flower.  I used broadcloth because it's what I had handy.  Felt, cotton, canvas, or other fabrics are fine. 
~Pin back, barrette, headband, or anything else you want to glue it to (not completely necessary)
*I highly recommend the low temp since you will be holding some pieces together and I got glue on my fingers more than once. 

To start, cut the ends off of your zipper and unzip it to take the pull off so all you are left with half a zipper like so.  You'll acutally have two half zippers.
You might not want to use your fabric shears for this.

Fold over one end of your zipper about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch and glue in place  

 Now start wrapping the zipper around this center, glueing in place along the way. 

Now we'll look at how to make a little loop without a big hole.  Find where you want the center of the loop to be and put a small dot of glue there

Then mash together and hold in place until the glue sets.  If you don't hold it in place, you'll end up with glue showing, and trust me, it is noticeable.  When it's dry, it should look like this:

 Now glue that down as you're wrapping.  Just keep wrapping however you see fit.  You can double back too if you like.  But wait.  Uh oh.  Looks like we're running out of zipper.  That's ok.  We can fix that.

Just glue the end of the zipper down somewhere on the back.  Like this.

Then start the other half of the zipper by glueing it to the back.  No one will ever be able to tell the difference.

So I'm done with my flower here.  It's got some loops and a couple of double backs.  It's mostly symmetrical (which I like, but you don't have to do it that way).  I've got a little piece of zipper left that I just don't want to use.

I'll just glue that little stinker down and trim off the ends.

 Well dang.  Now I have some holes.  The big ones like this I'll just glue down a little better.

The little ones like this will need a little something something extra.

That's where the matching fabric scraps come in.  Cover the back of your flower in a few strips of glue and then stick it down to the fabric.  If your fabric is thin, like mine, make sure you don't accidentally glue it to your work surface.

 Now just trim off the excess fabric on the back, but be careful not to cut your flower. 

The trimming doesn't have to be perfect as long as you aren't going to display that side of your art.  Just functional.

There!  The little hole isn't so noticeable.

I decided that I wanted mine to be a pin, since I was going to pin it to my old black Vera bag.  So I just glued a pin back to it.  This is the part where you can glue it to whatever you like, or nothing at all.  Just your preference.

Now just pull off all the little hot glue cobwebs and there you have it!  Something cute to put on a bag, or sweater, or t-shirt, or hairband, or...whatever!  The possibilities are endless!   

I would LOVE to see some of your interpretations of this little flower.  If you make one, upload a picture to my Flickr group at so we can all see!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Glorious Weekend!

This past weekend was one of those that you hate to see end.  God knew that I have been having a hard time here latetly (of course He did, He's God, He knows everything).  There's been a number of different factors between my job, happenings at church and just not getting to see my husband enough.  I was off on Friday, Hubs unfortunately was not, but that gave me an opportunity to go to All About Fabrics in my good ol' hometown of Williamston.  Williamston, like many good southern towns, was big into textiles.  There are at list 3 different textile mill buildings all in one place.  But like many good southern textile towns, the mills have been closing.  A company called Phoenix of Anderson bought one building, though, and moved in their wholesale cost fabric store! 
It's a massive expanse of fabric at wholesale, or below, prices.  Most of it it heavier weight fabric, like upholstery, canvas, outdoor, and vinyl, but there are some good selections of flannel and fleece.  If you're looking for quilting cotton, you're probably better off going to the fabric store when they have a sale, but if you use designer quilting fabric, they have a pretty good selection (I don't like to pay designer prices when there are other things that are just as pretty).  So I went Friday when I had a lot of time.  I decided to head straight for the zippers, because I needed some.  They sell Coats and Clark zippers for $0.50 for zippers under 20 in and $1 for zippers over 20 in.  I had roughly $11 worth of zippers by the time it was all over with.  So I decided to move on.  I headed for the back where they sell remnants by the pound.  I needed some heavier weight stuff for my market bags.  Decorator remnants are $4.50 a pound, so I gathered up a zebra print, a turqoise damask on white fabric, a white polka dot on pink fabric, and a grey and yellow damask (I still don't know what the obsession with yellow and grey is, but as long as it will sell, I'll buy it).  Then I decided to look around a bit more.  I found velvet remnants for $4.00 a pound.  This will be perfect for putting in the jewelry rolls.  I also found, in all it's shining glory, cheetah print micro plush for $5 a pound.  I bought the 3 pound mass that they had there (only one!).  When I measured it at home, it was roughly 5 yards of 60 in fabric!  That will be lining the jacket I wrote about in the last post instead of flannel.  When I was done (read afraid to spend any more money), I went to the register to have all my stuff weighed and tallied up.  I set my mass of zippers on the counter top and prepared for the girl to start counting.  Instead she picked them all up, put them on the scale, then wrote "Pound of Zippers--$2.00" on the ticket.  Are you kidding me!?!?!  I bought 21 zippers for $2!  That's how much I pay for ONE 7 in zipper at Hancock!  I went back the next day and got another pound of zippers.  My zipper collection is ridiculous right now.

Friday I also got my hair highlighted by one of my best friends.  Tabatha's in cosmetology school and I went up there to get me some awesome highlights.  She did a great job!  I'll have pictures soon.

Between Friday and Saturday I finished the wholesale order.  I'm gonna take some more pictures before I ship them off because I have extra fabric of some of them.  I'll put those in my shop I suppose.

Saturday night, Hubs and I went on a date for the first time in a while.  We went to Texas Roadhouse (because Hubs says they have the best ribs ever) and then Yogo Express in Anderson. 

  We also picked up some bones for Ike Beast at Tractor Supply Company. 

Sunday was the most amazing because Pastor Joe, our senior adult pastor, preached.  Preacher Mark, our usual pastor, was on vacation.  Pastor Joe talked about seizing the opportunites that God gives us to witness to people and to draw people in to church.  One of my favorite quotes was, "Church is not a country club, it's a hospital."  People who know God and feel they have a good life don't need church like people who are searching for something more and hurting.  It's our job to take care of those people.  He also talked about how when we are in line with God, He will give us the desires of our heart.  Exclusive of that, on Sunday night, Tyler, our summer youth pastor, talked about the same thing.  When our desires are God's desires, then God gives us what we want.  This has helped me make a big decision that I've been struggling with.  After church Sunday night, we went to Zaxby's and went bowling with the High School Youth.  We normally take care of the Middle Schoolers, but the high school, and high school leaders begged us to go.  It was a lot of fun and very encouraging.  I honestly haven't felt God in the church like I did Sunday in a long time.  It was nice to know he's there.   

Wow.  That was a lot.  Anything good from your weekend? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Studio Makeover on a Budget

I finally got my studio made over and it is functional!  Many of you may remember these pictures from This Post:

It was a mess of unholy proportions.  It was to the point that it was losing it's functionality because it was such a disorganized mess.  I looked at a lot of pictures of different studios online, got insanely jealous, and decided to do something.  Unlike a lot of the studios online, though, this space is not only a studio.  It's our "office" too with the computer and such.  And on top of that, if things go according to plan, will be a nursery in a year's time or so.  So I couldn't install a beautiful wall of shelves.  Or custom track lighting.  Or custom work bench/counter tops.  Plus, I had a budget.  So after a trip to Fred's, (if you don't have a Fred's in your area, it's like a small town Wal-Mart) about $30, and some serious cleaning and organizing, I present you with my new studio!
 Ok, I will admit that there is still a bit if a mess on the table top.  But I'm in the middle of a wholesale order, and it is organized chaos.  But I got rid of the pile of fabric and got a little magnetic dry erase board (about $4) so I'll know what projects I'm working on.  It's also helpful for math.  And Hubs did bring home some custom lighting for me!  A friend gave him a 100 watt halogen desk lamp with a swiveling head and extendable arm!  Things that people just don't want anymore are great.  In the meantime, college desk lamp is hanging out under the table until I can find a good use for him.   
So the Gorch Fock is still there.  That belongs to Hubs and there's nowhere else to put it, so it can stay.  But I got rid of that pile of scrapbook paper and shopping bags lurking under the ironing board.  The duffel bag (or what I've started) is still hanging out on the chair, but oh well.

I cleaned my junk off the desk, most of it shipping info and created a shipping center to the right.  I'll write more about that on the bottom picture.

This is my crowning glory of this project.  I spent about $5 each on the shorter hanging organizers (and Hubs had the middle one) and I put my fabric, notions and yarn in those.  Everything is organized by type.  Smaller stuff up top, all my interfacing together, odd certain projects put together...All my scrapbook stuff is in the middle hanger.  That was a project that had spilled into the guest bedroom.  And the beauty of this, is that when I get ready to move it, I just move it.  No rearranging and packing!

I also made a ribbon hanger.  It's not very stable, but it gets the job done.  It's made from a dowel rod cut in half (about $1 if not less, I can't remember because I bought it for something else a long time ago and never used it) and a piece of ribbon that says "Nuestra Boda."  Since no one in my family speaks Spanish, I don't think I'll ever be using that ribbon scrap. 
I got these little stacking shelves for about $5 each.  They give me some more tabletop space where I can put notions that I use all the time.  The neon buckets came three to a pack for just $1 at the Dollar General.  I got three packs in the color that I use on my business cards.  How convenient!  I also bought the little jewelry organizer at Michael's for about $2 for my elastic, snaps, keyrings and so on.  It has made all the difference.  And yes, I do use a lighter on my work.  A lot cheaper and easier than Fray Check on satin ribbon. 
Here's a better view of the buckets and what I have in them. 
And here's my shipping center.  I found my old Yaffa blocks in the basement from college (I think when I bought them about 7 years ago they were only $15-$20) and cleaned them off.  I've got a few boxes, my bubble mailers, cello bags, stickers, string and scales all in one place, right by the computer for printing out shipping.  I used more of those neon buckets to hold business cards.  You can't see it, but I got a poly folder for all the business cards that I recieve from different sellers too.  Some of those things have coupons on them! 

So it's not as shiny and girly as some of the studios on the internet.  The walls are still plain, they don't have inspirational quotes pasted on in vinyl.  And a lot of the stuff is repurposed in here.  But it's functional and organized and most importantly CHEAP!  So many of us don't have the luxury of being able to spend what we want on our hobby or even business.  But with a little ingenuity, and some old college storage stuff, I now have something that I would be proud to bring someone in.  It's a start.  I'll keep dreaming about that shiny studio that I'll have one day.

Do you have any tips that you would like to share about studio organization? 
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