Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wishing You a Happy and Magical New Year


Posted above is a photo taken about two years ago of my partner and I at the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz California. Mysterious and magical things happen there. We had a blast as you can probably tell by our big smiles. 
Wishing you all a healthy, happy, peaceful and magical New Year! 

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Peek into the Pesky Cat Designs Studio

A new batch of corduroy Wayfarer Purses are in production at the Pesky Cat Designs studio. They should be finished and available in the shop next week. The purse posted above sold a few weeks ago and was made from olive green cotton corduroy with an ultrasuede applique. I'm also waiting for a shipment of new fabric to arrive this week so I can begin another batch of handbags made from cotton canvas, cotton twill and ultraseude.  I hope to have these available in the shop very soon as well.  

Posted above is a peek into my studio where some new purses are being made from cotton corduroy in cerulean blue, chocolate brown, olive green and burnt orange.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A New Ironing Board

When I'm working on my handbags I need to use an iron constantly. Almost every step of the process involves stopping to press. I might actually be ironing more than sewing when producing a handbag. So this leads me to my next topic.....a good ironing board. The one I am presently using is a bit old and shaky. I've replaced its cover countless times. So I'm in search of a new one. Quite exciting! lol Actually, I am looking forward to a new professional model. My requirements are that it has a large surface area, sturdy structure and a stable iron rest. I would also like the tip to be narrow so I can easily press out hard to reach areas in my handbags. That might be too much to ask for so I will need to get a seperate "sleeve board" for that purpose. In any case, the hunt is on. If any one has a good recommendation I would really appreciate it. The Rowenta model posted below is one that I am considering. The "Iron Man" ironing board posted below is a unique design!





Saturday, December 27, 2008

Front Pager


My Semi-Circle Purse made it to the front page of Etsy on December 24th! Thanks so much Kelle's Kitchen for creating such a beautiful treasury and for including my purse. Check out her amazing vegan friendly soaps available on Etsy!

                         Vegan Friendly Soap from Kelle's Kitchen

Friday, December 26, 2008

Gift Certificates

On December 23th a lovely customer wrote to me via my Etsy site and asked if I could arrange a gift certificate for him to purchase from Pesky Cat Designs for his wife. She had purchased one of my handbags for a friend a while back and liked it very much. He asked if I could send the gift certificate to his wife via email and also send him a copy so he could print it, wrap it up and place it under the tree for Christmas. I was happy to arrange this for him.  I also realized what a wonderful idea this was! A gift certificate that you do not have to depend on the post office to deliver. Great as a last minute gift or if you want a gift to arrive a specific day. I have to thank this wonderful customer for coming up with this brilliant idea. Now there are gift certificates available at Pesky Cat Designs. Pretty much instant delivery!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Summer Inspirations from Etsy

Its been real cold here in New York City for the past few days. I've been daydreaming of summer days spent by the ocean so I decided to browse through Etsy to find some work inspired by the sea. Below are a few of my finds. Enjoy!


                        Summer Memories by Angie Muldowney


                                  Sea Urchin Ring by Star of the East


                             Murex Trappa Sea Shell by Shannon Amidon

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Little Break

Update posted on 1/6/09......The photo above is the finished Bakugan Battle Brawlers watercolor that I painted and gave to my nephews for Christmas. It was a big hit! Read my post below from 12/22/08 for more information.

Today I decided to take some well needed time off from sewing. Actually, I plan to take the rest of the week off! Besides my Pesky Cat Designs business, I also work 3 days a week at an outside job. This month has been quite busy for me since business picked up in my shop and I tried to keep up with demand by spending more hours in the studio sewing. I was even working in the studio after working my other job. But I am not complaining. I just need a little break. Yes it is work, but I love designing and creating handbags!
After I finish this post I am going to create a 22" by 28" watercolor painting of a character from Bakugan Battle Brawlers for my nephews. I had no idea what they were until today when my sister-in-law mentioned them in an email to me.  I did some research online and found out that Bakugan Battle Brawlers is a Japanese anime television series whose story centers on the lives of creatures called bakugan and the battle brawlers who wield them. Both my nephews love to draw and they are always asking me to draw various creatures for them when I come for visits. I plan to give them the bakugan painting for Christmas. Now I just have to figure out which character to paint!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Corduroy and Cherry Blossoms


Corduroy has been popular in my shop this season. It sews up well and I love its casual feel. I just received another shipment of it in olive green, burnt orange, cerulean blue and chocolate brown and I can't wait to put it to use. In the next two weeks I plan to create a new batch of purses using this wonderful fabric.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seashell Series

Below I posted some paintings of mine that were inspired by my visits to the sea. This series of works are improvised seashells done in watercolor on paper. Today I'm dropping them off with Patricia of Galeria Galou who is selling artwork and more from her booth at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in NYC. My first batch of works on paper already sold out! If you are in the neighborhood stop by Galeria Galou's booth,  A22, and say hello. There's beautiful artwork to peruse and lots more. I'm sorry to say but I do not have any more handbags for sale at the market. If you are looking for handbags check out my shop Pesky Cat Designs. I post new items every week.



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Heads Up


In the next half hour I'll be adding new handbags to the Pesky Cat Designs shop! 

NYC Snow

Yesterday I looked up for a moment while in the midst of sewing up a storm to find a storm outside my window! Well, it wasn't exactly a storm. It snowed for about 10 minutes and then it was all gone. The snow flakes were huge though. The biggest I've seen in long time. They were so big that they inspired me to run and get my camera. After snapping a few shots of this winter wonderland I returned to my sewing station. I finished a new batch of handbags that I will be posting either today or tomorrow. I'll post a heads up when I do so!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A New Batch

A new batch of Pesky Cat Designs handbags are in progress. Posted above are some that are almost done. Clockwise from top left, The Semi-Circle Purse in gray faux suede with a bird applique and vintage button, The Wayfarer Purse in cocoa canvas with an ultrasuede flower applique and a vintage mother-of-pearl button, The Wayfarer Purse in red twill with an ultrasuede  cherry blossom applique and vintage vegetable ivory button and The Wayfarer Purse in sage velvet with an ultrasuede  bird applique and two vintage vegetable ivory buttons. I should have these plus a few more added to the shop by the end of this week.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Handwoven Hemp

A while back I purchased some fantastic hemp fabric from a shop on Etsy called Rainy Day Supply. This 100% eco-friendly hemp fabric was grown, spun, woven and hand dyed with natural plant dyes by a fair trade collective of Hmong hilltribe women. I made several bags using this lovely fabric. Susie Robison, who has a lovely shop on Etsy, made a handmade daily agenda using it!

                                            Hemp Fabric from Rainy Day Supply


                                   The Wayfarer Purse in Hemp by Pesky Cat Designs
                     
                       Handmade Daily Agenda by Susie Robison            
                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sold

Yesterday a bunch of Wayfarer Purses sold from my Etsy shop.  They seem to be in popular demand for the holidays. If you are planning to buy a gift , all my US orders are shipped out in one business day after receiving payment via USPS Priority Mail Service. Packages usually arrive in 2 to 3 days. I'll be adding more Wayfarers to my shop next week so come check them out!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Velvet in the Studio

Posted above is a purse in progress that I am making from cotton velvet in sage green with an ultrasuede flap, applique and strap. I've worked with velvet in the past and it is always a challenge. It can tend to shift while you are sewing even if you pin it down with tons of pins. Because it is a pile fabric, velvet requires special handling. I found some tips on the internet that were very helpful such as how to establish the grain of the fabric, how to cut out your pattern pieces and which needle size is best. In the end it is still a challenge but worth the effort!

Below I posted some velvet handbags from last years collection for you to peruse. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Bags!


Some new handbags are being added to the Pesky Cat Designs shop in the next hour. Thought I would give you a heads up!

Columbus Circle Holiday Market Update



My first batch of watercolors sold out at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in NYC! Yeah! Besides designing purses I also work with paint. I've been painting almost all my life. I've chosen a water-based medium for my current work because its fluidity allows for spontaneous and unexpected results. I do not work with a preconceived idea. Instead, I let the improvised results of the initial painting process to guide the development of the final image. My works are left untitled to invite viewer interpretation and participation. The two pieces posted above are done in watercolor and ink. 
I do not have any more purses at the market. Sorry! But you can go to my Pesky Cat Designs shop to find a nice selection of my handmade handbags there. In case you are interested in my watercolors, I did drop off another batch at Galeria Galou's booth at the Holiday Market! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Front Pagers!




I had two Etsy front pagers yesterday! It's always wonderful to make it to the front page. I get many visitors to my shop and lots of feedback. Thanks Lilybrush and KatieBlairDesigns for selecting my work and creating such beautiful treasuries. They both have lovely shops on Etsy that you should check out. KatieBlairDesigns creates handmade original stationery designs. She's got beautiful notecards for the holidays and gorgeous flowers designs for sale. Lilybrush creates beautiful handmade designer clothing. Her garments have a retro chic look and are so unique. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In My Studio



I just added a new Wayfarer Purse to my shop. It's made from a cotton corduroy in steel gray with an cream ultraseude flap and applique. I'm in my studio working on more handbags and should have them ready to add to the shop by the end of this week. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sales on Etsy


My sales on Etsy have increased quite a bit this month. Big big thanks to all my customers! Posted above is one of many purses that sold this week at the Pesky Cat Designs shop. My inventory is getting low so I am trying to get a lot of new handbags finished up this week. I'll be adding them to my shop throughout the week. I wish I had prepared a larger inventory for the holidays. But I have to be realistic and remind myself that I only have two hands and one sewing machine. If you are planning to buy a gift for the holidays all my handbags ship in one business day after receiving payment. For US orders , I ship via USPS Priority Mail Service. This service is pretty reliable and packages usually arrive in 2 to 3 days. It includes a delivery confirmation number so you can track your package online. International orders ship via First Class Mail. OK, I better get to work!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More Hemp Coming Soon!

I just added the purse shown above to my shop. It's made from a fantastic hemp fabric that was grown, spun and hand dyed with natural plant dyes by a fair trade collective of Hmong hilltribe women. I bought a small quantity from a seller on etsy who has now sold out of this wonderful fabric. Darn darn darn. It makes amazing purses. I only have a small quantity left over, probably enough to make 2 bags, in a natural color and in peach. I am waiting for my last shipment of this fabric in cornflower blue. Once it arrives I will be able to make about 4 purses with it. I'll be posting new handbags in my shop throughout next week.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Treat for Myself

Yesterday, while heading out to a Christmas party, I decided I needed a new purse. I was wearing my  Grass B and W, Cape Cod skirt that I purchased from Aliason. By the way, you must check out her amazing shop on Etsy! I also had on a lilac silk scarf that I purchased on my recent trip to Thailand. What would look best with a lilac scarf and a skirt made with a nature inspired photographically designed fabric? My Wayfarer Purse in lilac with a leafed branch of course! So I decided to treat myself to a new handbag. If you had your eye on this Lilac Wayfarer Purse, check out the Pesky Cat Designs shop very soon. I plan to make more Wayfarer Purses with this lovely lilac cotton canvas and chocolate brown ultraseude combo!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cerulean Blue Corduroy

I just added some new Wayfarer Purses to the Pesky Cat Designs shop. The one posted below is made from a cotton corduroy in beautiful shade of cerulean blue. I lined it with a cotton print fabric I purchased at The City Quilter in New York City.  I just love how the  blue corduroy and the colors of the cotton print fabric complement each other!



Thursday, December 4, 2008

The City Quilter

Aren't these cotton print fabrics gorgeous?! I purchased them yesterday at The City Quilter in NYC. The City Quilter is located in Manhattan's Chelsea district and has more than 2,500 bolts of 100% cotton fabric for the urban quilter and sewer. The first time I walked into the store I was blown away. I have never seen such a large and beautiful selection of prints anywhere else. 
I use cotton print fabric to line my handbags. Selecting fabric for my handbags is one of my favorite parts of the creative process. If I am shopping for lining fabric and usually bring a few swatches of the exterior fabric that I plan to make my bag from. I will walk along the bolts of fabrics holding each swatch up to a print until one speaks to me. It's so exciting when one finds the perfect complement! 
Most of the fabric at The City Quilter is organized based on color. If my exterior fabric is blue for instance, I am initially drawn to the blue section. But from experience I know that I need to check all the sections because very often the best match is not at all what you would expect. Sometimes a mostly brown cotton print with just a touch of blue is the most striking match!
I've already cut out fabric for several bags using some of the cotton prints posted above. I decided to line the inside of the straps of these bags with the cotton print so the fabric peeks out from underneath. Can't wait to start sewing!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Market at Columbus Circle NYC

I will have a selection of handbags and works on paper for sale at Galeria Galou's booth at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market  in NYC from December 3rd to December 24th!  The market features 100+ vendors with a wide selection of unique and handmade gifts. Galeria Galou will feature a collection of affordable artworks starting at $20, perfect for unusual, inspiring and impressive gifts to go under the tree. They will also have textiles from Central Asia, wallets made out of recycled paper containers by Juicy Wallets and artsy toys made from natural fibers by the KOKO Company, among others. If you are in the NYC area stop by the  Columbus Circle Holiday Market and say hello to Patricia, owner and director of Galeria Galou. She is the sweetest person. The market is open daily from 10AM to 8PM. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Front Page!

Yesterday my Wayfarer Purse in Forest Green made it to the front page of Etsy! I got a ton of traffic on my site and made a few sales. Thanks so much to Etsy Administrator HeyMichelle for creating such a beautiful front page and for including my purse! 

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Cat Purse is in the Shop!

Here's my new Wayfarer Purse with a cat applique! I finished it a lot sooner than expected so I decided to photograph it and make it available in my shop today!

Cherry Blossoms on the Way

Today I'm finishing up some Wayfarer Purses with my newly designed cherry blossom branch applique. I was inspired by images of cherry blossoms and decided to create my own improvised version. I think it works perfect on the Wayfarer. The purses posted above are made of corduroy in olive branch and burnt orange and are adorned by a vintage button. As you can tell they still need to be finished. I should have them available in my shop end of this week.

Now I have a little secret just for my readers. I will also have a Wayfarer Purse available with a cat applique! I wanted to create one for a long time and now it has finally arrived. It will also be available in my shop end of this week. If it gets good feedback I plan to make more!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Applique Designs!


I've been busy working on new applique designs for my handbags this past week. I'm expanding on some of my original designs and creating completely new images. Expect to see lots of floral designs and more nature inspired creations!
To make an applique I start with a free hand drawing done directly on a piece of medium weight cardboard. Once I am satisified with the final image I cut it out to create a stencil. When I am ready to make an applique, I use the stencil to draw the image onto a product called HeatnBond. See this great tutorial for more information on how to use HeatnBond for you applique work. 
Improvised cherry blossoms and daisies are just some of the new applique designs you'll be seeing in my shop very soon!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Front Pager 11.27.08


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. For those of you outside of the United States I hope you had a wonderful day as well!
Thanks to Candyragz I had my Wayfarer Purse featured on the front page of Etsy yesterday! Check out her shop for handmade cards, vintage goodie packs and many other sweet items.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Bags in the Shop

                          The Wayfarer in Hemp

                              The Downtown Bag in Hemp

                              The Downtown Bag in Corduroy

Check out the new bags in the shop! The Wayfarer Purse is made from handwoven and hand dyed hemp and is perfect to take with you on all your journeys. I'm waiting for a shipment of a few more yards of this wonderful hemp to arrive. It has a linen-like weave and a beautiful natural raw quality.  I also used this lovely hemp fabric to make a two tone Downtown Bag.
I never worked with corduroy before so I recently purchased some in a couple of  yards to try out. It does have some similar qualities to velvet which I am familiar with although velvet is a lot more difficult to work with. Check out The Downtown Bag in olive green corduroy that is now available in my shop. More creations will be added to the shop very soon!