I’m Denise, if you receive our weekly Etsy Store newsletter you’ve probably received some communication from me, either in an Etsy conversation, or an email. I am only half of Bagmarker Supply. George is my brilliant husband and partner. He’s the level-headed one who keeps the wheels of commerce turning here!
I am taking a new approach to this blog. I tried to do sewing tips and tutorials. I quickly realized that I am not nearly as good at it as my incredibly talented customers. I am going to be attaching this blog every week to our newsletter. I want to focus on you. I love talented people and I have met so many amazing, cool people through our Etsy store. This was initially going to be our Easter post. As many of you are aware, a family situation necessitated my flying out of town. So, we had to close the store for a while. I suppose it’s become a post-Easter post! Wow, the outpouring of support we received from you, was phenomenal. Thank you so very much. You, our customers, are what our business is all about. We love “talking” with you, sharing ideas, and we really are so moved by your kindness and good wishes. Generosity is the theme of this week’s post. Kathy Troost of Kathy’s Keepsakes is the embodiment of that spirit.
Kathy has been working with and supporting strong, motivated women for years. She helps them face some incredibly difficult challenges. Kathy helps women who are struggling with addiction problems, homeless women, and those recently released from prison. They’re all people who are looking for second chances. She helps them find a chance, and build their confidence by sharing with them her skills and craftsmanship. She teaches purse making to the disenfranchised. Most of her hopeful clientele have never sewn before. The Detroit Rescue Mission is where Kathy does her important work. It’s a Christian organization in Detroit, Michigan. She calls her classes a “sewing experience” in three hours her students make an item that they can use and take away with them.
Kathy’s Etsy store is what mainly funds her important work. She sells fidget mats and other clever items in her store, Kathy’s Keepsakes. We hope you’ll support Kathy, either by looking at her Etsy store, or sending a donation to her through PayPal. The Mission itself does great work too, but it doesn’t fund her sewing room (you’ll find links to all at the end of this page) You will maybe even consider sending her some “misfit” hardware or fabric that you’re not using. Here are some photos of some happy people who have completed the sewing experience. Kathy’s work really, truly matters. I love it so much when someone is using “our craft,” that of bag making, to make such a difference.
You can also be generous in another way. Great, quick, easy project ideas and tips for things that even an absolute beginner can be proud to make in an afternoon. I know that our customers are a great bunch of people. You can definitely give back, even if you’re only giving back with your great ideas. Once your Etsy store is a huge success, we know you’ll send a generous endowment! But until that time, the gift of a project idea or a fantastic tip will be most welcome. Please try to help this great sewing room any way you can!
Since this is a weekly blog, I do want to share a couple of other things that have been on my mind this past week, one is irritating but unavoidable, the other makes me both happy and a little melancholy.
As all of you who own small businesses are aware, last week the tax man came calling (if you didn’t guess, that was the BAD thing!) Oh, I guess it’s not that bad. But it sure is annoying to drop everything and get all of your ducks in a row (in this case, I guess it’s more like getting your docs in a row, huh?) for Uncle Sam. We got through it with flying colors. And I really have to admit, the aforementioned brilliant husband did all the work, save providing some of those documents, and signing my half of the (finally!) finished return. Whew!
Finally, the happy / sad. This time of year always reminds me of my mom, Rosemary. Her birthday was last month. Sadly, this past week was the 7th anniversary of the day she passed away at 87. I miss her every single day. She was always funny and quick-witted. Mom taught me to sew, as many moms do. She endowed me with a love of all sorts of creative pursuits. She was an expert at many kinds of needlework -crocheting and embroidery, etc. She also liked to paint landscapes. I inherited her love of words, puzzles, and reading. My mom was a spitfire as a young girl, here’s a photo. On the left is my mom. On the right is the herb, rosemary with which she shared her name. If you know anything about flower and plant “meanings” Rosemary is for remembrance. Kind of fitting, huh?
These are some links that will help Kathy: You can buy great items in her Etsy store, 100% of her profits fund her classes: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KathysKeepsakes To send her a financial gift, you can reach her at email@example.com please consider a donation using PayPal, or she’ll send you an address to mail a check. The Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries houses Kathy’s project, but does not fund it. Please think about supporting them too. Here’s their site: https://drmm.org Finally, Kathy’s beautiful sewing room was built by another great organization which we didn’t touch on. But they deserve a mention for the unique services that provide to many charitable organizations: Enchanted Makeovers, please check out the very cool, things they are doing. This is their Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/enchantedmakeoversmission
This week’s blog post was more personal than most. We are going to be showcasing some beautiful hardware, looking at the work of some extremely talented designers and pattern makers. We want to share some cool tips and tricks. Also, we want to introduce you to some other interesting people, who have helped us. We are sure their expertise in various fields will be of value to you and your business. We hope to provide some inspiration and ideas that will help you, and of course, your business, thrive and grow.
Metal corners add a nice finishing touch to a purse flap or wallet. One of my customers advised me that there is a bit of a learning curve involved in applying them. So, I thought I should write a tutorial to demonstrate a fairly easy way to install them.
First, gather your materials. You’ll need:
- 2 metal corners.
- Your project, ie, a purse flap or wallet on which to apply the corners.
A strong, clear craft glue. I use E 6000, GS Hypo Cement also works well.
- A Q-Tip
- A hammer. You can use a wooden or hard rubber mallet if you prefer, I just use a regular old (and I think it really is old!) carpentry hammer, straight out of the toolbox.
- A block of wood, a soft wood, like pine, works best.
Lay out the metal corners on your work table and identify the front and back sides:
As you can see, the front side has a smooth, finished look. The back has two flanges at right angles to each other.
Now, put a drop of glue inside each corner:
With your Q-Tip, spread the glue around the inside of each corner, giving them a thin, even coat. Put them aside and allow the glue to set up for about 10 minutes. After waiting 10 minutes or so the glue will still be tacky, but not oozy (is that even a word?)
Now, take the corners and position them on your project. In my case, it is a purse flap. Put them so that the front side is on the front of the flap, and the back side is on the back (I know, you didn’t need me to tell you that!):
When the corner of your project piece is firmly sandwiched in the metal flap corner, take your block of wood and position it over just one of the flanges, like this:
Now, hit the wood with your hammer. Don’t be afraid to hit it pretty hard. If you’re using a soft wood it won’t scratch the corner:
Now, this will have bent one of the flanges inward, tightly enfolding your flap. This is what it will look like with just one of the flanges bent in:
Now, turn your project ninety degrees and repeat the process on the other flange:
When you’re done, it will look like this on the back:
… and like this on the front:
Now, just repeat the process on the other side, and you’re done!
Here’s the finished product. Front:
… and back:
I think it came out well. Now I just need to find the time to make a purse to which I can attach this lovely flap!
Oh what an unfaithful blogger I’ve been! It’s mid-February and my last post was wishing you a happy holiday season! Oh well, I’ll try to do better! So far it has been a great new year here at Bagmaker Supply. We have added hundreds of new items to our inventory (and there will be more every day.) And … finally I’ve completed a new tutorial. We started carrying zipper by the yard about a month ago, and I’m really excited about it. You can make such nice purse zippers, much nice than the kind you see at the store. And the best part is, they’re so much less expensive than the store-bought kind.
See? Pretty nice, huh? But I’ve noticed that some people are a little bit daunted by the prospect of making their own zipper. Well, it does take a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s super-easy. To demonstrate how to do it, I’ve put together this new tutorial with step-by-step instructions. Soon you’ll be making your own zippers, start-to-finish, in ten minutes flat!
Yes I am. We got in the coolest purse handles this past week. I am especially enthused about this bead-able handle:
I put the beads on it. But you could give it tons of different looks, depending on how you embellish it. How about this:
Oh, one more thing…if you NEED these bead-able handles, you can get them right here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207271081/
Okay, I’ll stop now. Besides, this week I’m going to be waxing rhapsodic over zippers… Yeah, I know, I have a real problem…sorry.