r-anne-dom : a place for me (anne) to leave random blog posts.
Such as:
..knitting, sewing, and other random activities pursued
..Girl Guides of Canada : yep, Guiding Lives Here
..the 4 shops on Etsy : one features quality handmade items; the second has lots of patterns, & crafting supplies; the third is stocked with Vintage; and the fourth is guiding flowers.
Enjoy the r-anne-domness!

May 13, 2017

Saturday Spotlight: ENVE

Saturday Spotlight


1. What is the name of your shop or business and what do you sell?

I'm the sole owner, operator of ENVE HIDEWORKS, handmade leather. 
I design all my patterns original to my style. I hand cut, and hand make all my products beginning to end. Sometimes including hand hammering personalized monograms. Hand dying and edge finishing. I also do a lot of work with other small businesses & custom one of a kind jobs. 

2. Where are you located? or where do you sell?

I'm currently located in Brantford On. I rent a studio space and have a small shop there. 
I also sell directly through my Facebook page: facebook.com/envebynickvaneck 
OR my instagram page: @enve82. 
I own "enve.ca" but we are still working on launch. 

Most customers love the experiences of coming by the shop and getting to pick their own leathers, threads and styles, some even get to watch their product being made. 

3. How long have you been doing your craft/art and how did you get started?

I've been doing leather work for about 25 years. I started ENVE HIDEWORKS about 5 years ago but have been working on it full time for the last 2 years. 
I was born into a family of leather workers. My dad behind the cutting Knife and my mother behind the sewing machine, both expert pattern makers and true artists. I learned so much from them. 

4. Who or what inspires you to create?

There are so many different sources of inspiration. It could be a funny character in a movie that make you wonder what kind of wallet he would carry or a nature scene full of beautiful colours that all work perfectly together and become a piece of art for a moment. 
Even seeing a beautiful painting. Music can also be very inspiring for me too. 

5. Do you listen to music when you work, and if so what kind?

When I'm at the bench I must have my speakers going. 
Lately I've been listening to a lot of folky blue grass, raw old school country songs. 
What I do is an ancient trade, one of the first trades ever. Listening to that old music brings you back a bit and makes you ask so many questions about how things use to be. 

6. What do you like least/most about your craft?

What I love most about my craft is when the customer (usually turned friend) receives their product and they instantly fall in love. As they use their product they fall more in love daily with the quality. I've made many valued friendships doing what I do.  The only thing I struggle with sometimes but very rarely is trying to get my vision of a project across to a customer. 

7. Describe your workspace?

My workspace began with me on my bedroom floor with a 2×2 wooded cutting board on my lap chopping wallets until my legs went numb. Now I work in a large well lit with natural light finished space. I couldn't ask for more, it's the perfect inspiring place.

8. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting their own craft business?

All I can say to anyone who would like to start their own business is...  you have to WANT IT!! you have to BELIEVE IT'S ALREADY YOURS!! you have to PUSH and work harder then you ever have in your life. 
And I promise you will feel greatly rewarded.

April 01, 2017

Saturday Spotlight: Cement Gators

Saturday Spotlight

Cement Gators

1. What is the name of your shop or business and what do you sell?

My shop name is Cement Gators.

...also known as Garden Gators  

2. Where are you located? or where do you sell?

I live in london and I started selling my gators on Etsy and letgo, but a lot of my sales are by word of mouth or when someone sees one of my gators in someone's yard or garden.

3. Do you have your own website/store or online link?

4. Who or what inspires you to create?

What inspires me to make them is seeing that people enjoy them! 
They send me pictures of where they have put them in there gardens, by their pool or how they painted them and how much they like them, I even have people who have given them names . Lol Wally gator is a popular one??

5. Describe your workspace?

My work space started out with a small section of my workbench and now has taken over the whole space plus !! I need another bench for myself!

6. What is one of your best moments as a crafter/artist?

The best moment I had and still have is when people see my gators for the first time and say things like that's awesome or that's cool I've never seen anything like that before ! Makes me smile??

7. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting their own craft business?

My advice to anyone starting out is to find something you really enjoy doing! Get feedback from friends and family, they will be honest!!! Lol, they are trying to help you out with your new business! It's a great feeling to be able to say I made that!

March 20, 2017

Tutorial: Crown Royal Coasters


Crown Royal Coasters

My nephew sent me some Crown Royal bags and asked me to make coasters.

First I carefully cut the fabric from the bags.

Next I cut a square from card stock as my "pattern".
It is 4.5 inches (11.5cm) square.

I first cut the plain fabric squares for the back of the coaster.

Here are all the plain squares.

I had some white terry cloth fabric (think towels) so I cut those into squares too, to ensure the coaster would be absorbant.
Here are the white squares.

Then I realized that my card stock pattern would not allow me to make sure the words "Crown Royal" were centred in my squares.
I needed something I could see through.
So I found a pink plastic bag and cut a 4.5 inch (11.5cm) square.

Now I could see what I was cutting.

Some of the bags were larger than others. I always got the words centred left to right, but sometimes the words were lower in the square because of the size of the bag.

Here are all the Crown Royal squares.

Now, time to stack for sewing.
The Crown Royal square and the plain square are right sides together.
Add the white square outside the plain square.

When pinning, mark where you will leave an opening.
This is to turn the coaster right side out.
My green pins mark my opening.

I started sewing at the bottom green pin.
My seam was a scant 1/4 inch seam.
And I sewed all the way 'round to the other green pin.

Trim your corners.

Turn right side out.
This is an example of one of the Crown Royal squares where the words are lower than centre.
It is because the bag was smaller than the others. 

Fold in the edges at the opening.
Pin opening.

Topstitch across the opening and all 'round the coaster.

Ta da!
All done.

March 16, 2017

Pattern Review: The Tohoku Tote

Pattern Review

The Tohoku Tote

I've had this tote pinned on Pinterest for quite some time. 
And this past January I made it!

Here is my first one.

I was SO PLEASED with how it turned out that I made 17 more!!

I had lots of this lovely tropical fabric!!
I did underestimate how much coordinating fabric I'd need but I managed.
The photos do not show the true colours and they coordinate much better than they appear.

Now, for the review.

The pattern instructions are very well written.
The pattern pieces were right on.
It was easy to follow along.
She states "I have tried to be extremely thorough in this tutorial for those of you who are new to sewing. If you are a pro, then you'll be able to skip some of it."
And although I sew a lot, I'd recommend everyone read through the entire instructions at least once.

Click here for the Tohoku Tote tutorial.

I did line my bags but I chose not to use interfacing at all. 
My bags did not need to have the structure and I am pleased with how they turned out.

I did make adjustments to how I attached the bow to the bag.
That is probably the only change I made to the instructions.
For my bows, I inserted the pieces into the small loop.
Then I sewed them into place.

Also, on some of my bags, I replaced the bow with other decorative accents.

I highly recommend this pattern for anyone looking for their next tote bag project!

Pockets. Check!
Handles. Check!
Magnet Closures. Check!

Here are my completed bags.

They were all given away as gifts.

March 13, 2017

Tutorial: Baby Blocks


Baby Blocks
Made these when my daughter was a baby. 
I was one bell short so didn't put a bell in one block. 
Every morning that block was on the floor outside her crib. 
She knew a defective toy when she saw [or didn't hear] one!

What do you need?
Scraps of fabric

I started by creating a pattern from a piece of paper.
It is 4.25 x 4.25 inches square.
(11 x 11 cm)

Cut squares with your pattern. You will need 6 squares per block.

Here are sets of squares for 3 blocks - 6 squares each.

Pin the squares right sides together.
I usually start by choosing one square and pinning 4 others around it.
Then add the last square as in the photo below.

I sew with a 1/4 inch seam. You want to start sewing 1/4 inch from the edge. Do not sew right to the edge at each corner.

Beginning with that one square that has other squares on all 4 sides.
Sew one seam, being careful NOT to sew right to the edge of the corner.
Lift your sewing foot.

 Now position your next square of fabric for the next seam.
Again, start 1/4 inch from the edge in the corner.
Sew that seam.

 Continue in this manner for those 4 seams around the main square.
Now pin the remaining seams to make your block, being sure to leave ONE SEAM OPEN.
Check now.
Did you leave one seam unpinned?
Okay, sew those seams.

Here is what the block looks like with one seam left open.

Turn the block right side out.

Now, add fibrefill into the block.

Add a bell in the centre of the fibrefill.
Make sure you can hear it.
Don't stuff too tightly around it.

Pin that last seam closed.

Either sew it with your sewing machine, close to the edge.
Or hand sew to close.