I hope you all are doing well busy with summer holidays and bustling with activity! Is it just me or is summer as a grown-up is just not the same as it was as a kid? So much responsibility and if you have kids, it’s all about them, isn’t it? Thank GOD for teachers! It’s this time of the year when you whole-heartedly know that they are underpaid.
With end-of-school events and activities, I have been the busiest I’ve ever been. Living an expat life means you get to meet amazing people and develop these friendships that are temporary by nature of the situation we are all in. There have been many goodbye parties and many hopes that I will see these wonderful friends whom I’ve met. My family and I are still in Viet Nam for perhaps another nine months or so. Our path ahead is unclear. On top of that, I’ve been sick. I don’t know if it was by some Grand Design, but I got dengue fever therefore missing out most of the tearful goodbyes. It felt like I had the flu for 4 weeks, but with worse headaches and body aches! The flu would have been a walk in the park.
Then my paternal Grandmother just passed away this week. No, this is not the maternal Grandmother who raised me and whom I visit weekly and whom I blog about. My paternal Gram, “Ba Noi”, lived in Da Nang and we visited her twice a year. Nonetheless, in the short time that we’ve been here and the times my kids got to spend with their Great Gram of Da Nang, she really enjoyed them and they loved her. They were quite sad to hear she had passed but I had prepped them in the previous visit regarding her condition. They handled it quite well. My son Ethan summed it up best, “Well, at least she had a long great life”.
So this afternoon, I will board the plane to attend the funeral for her. But I will go knowing what Ethan had told me. I will be with a lot of family, many aunts and uncles and dozens of cousins and nieces and nephews. So I’m okay. The beach will have to wait for another time. And I will be back to blog about clutches soon enough. :)
In tribute, here are some pictures of her. RIP Ba Noi.
Hope you and yours have a great weekend.
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As mentioned before, I’ve been working on some new designs using the same basic Clutch Instructions PDF tutorial. Without having to tweak it too much so that it required a brand-new tutorial, I made up a new clutch that can be worn as a cross-body clutch (look, Ma, no hands!) or a wristlet. With the great expat community that I am currently living in, I’ve formed some amazing friendships and we tend to go out a lot living in this great city. The City life is quite different from the Suburban life. Both great, but just different! With all the restaurants and bars that we frequent, I needed a slim profile clutch to carry my essentials: my phone and my Samsung camera phone. Why two phones? I haven’t had time to move all my contacts over to the Samsung and with my terrible telephone carrier, my friends sometimes get some texts and sometimes they don’t. Mama needs a back-up!
So here’s the fabric that started it all.
The above pic is so adorable. Oh, it’s the little things that bring a smile to me! So I was sewing and made an error (as we all do) and had to take the stitches back out. When I did that, look at what was staring back at me? I found this to be quite funny! And I found that I am in need of a manicure …
And yada, yada, yada … (name that show), look what I’ve got!
Here’s the clutch in other fabrics. Hover over the photos to see the captions describing it or click and see the gallery.
Here’s how to make it:
You will notice in the above picture that I did not use fusible fleece for the outer fabric. Fusible interface was used for the inner fabric only to give it some body and heft. For the outer fabric, since I wanted it to maintain its flat slimming profile, I used Pellon’s 809 Decor Bond. Using fusible fleece for both would have made this clutch a little bit more bulky and fluffy, which for its design and function, I did not want.
Sometimes you just need a break from making clutches. As wonderful and exciting as finding new fabrics and the creative process, once you do it for a living, just like all things, you need a break some times. One of my customers reminded me of that when she commented on a blog post that she was getting back into making clutches after taking a much-needed break.
Speaking of finding new fabrics, look what I just got. I’m working on some new patterns right now. It’s a lot of refinement, but I’ll get there.
Oh, do you guys remember me mentioning about this amazing fabric below? This is a skirt. For a 20-year-old. I’m not 20.
Well, I had envisioned this on me, but as a cross-body clutch. Here’s a preview below. I’ll post about this soon to come.
This clutch is a hit with all my friends especially with summer coming up. I still have some more of this fabric and will be working with it to make an 8-inch clutch. Oh what was my point?
With fabric strewn about the house while designing and pieces of thread hanging from my *ss, I just needed a break. Obviously my mind is quite loud and disorganized — unorganized (?) – so I needed a break.
I really encourage that – taking a break. When I take a break, it usually involves any or all of my 3 kids. Can’t just leave them at home to fend for themselves… not for another 8 years! :) A lot of my breaks from work involve traveling. And you know that while we spend our money on having experiences (through travel) and not through accumulating things, vacations are spendy. So a cheap mental break for me that I also have found to ramp up my creative juices is painting figurines with my daughter. It costs me a dollar — one dollar — per figurine for some creative bliss. In the moments that I paint, I cannot focus on anything else but the painting itself. All the other noises seem to fade. It takes me many hours to finish one figurine, so I get to stretch my dollar even farther — further (?)! (Grammar Police can feel free to comment below.) I usually paint for a 45-minute stretch. That’s all I have time for, but it’s still 45 minutes, so I’ll take it!
This is what the figurines look like before they are painted.
Most of the time, I do what I call “rescues”. Rescues are the figurines that my daughter painted but no longer wants. She just turned seven, and is improving her skills, so let’s just say her figurines need a lot of rescuing! Instead of throwing them out and spending another dollar (OMG, I am tight with money), I use her painted ones and try to fix them up.
Here’s another “before” of the original.
Well, Hayley decided to paint it bright pink, because now that she’s out of the tomboy phase, she loves all things pink, princesses and tiaras. Of course!
So why I am blogging about painting figurines? Well, it’s just my cheap mental escape from work that also fuels my creative fire. When you are in business for yourself, you can get lost in just work, and you can work untold hours. I’ve done it. I know you’ve done it as well. Whatever way you can find to get a break, do it. You’ll feel better and more refreshed. Enjoy this creative break. :)
That “heart” was a chip in the figurine. I decided to highlight it by painting it red like a heart. Doesn’t it look like it’s either a tattoo on Winnie the Pooh, or like he’s puckered up like a geisha or Betty Boop?
Now go and enjoy a break!
I want to send out a Happy Mother’s Day wish to all of you who are Moms. Whether you are a mom of the human kind through birth, adoption or fostering, or a mom of the animal kind be it dogs, cats or a whole farm … Happy Mother’s Day! :) On this Mother’s Day, I had a glorious start by visiting the head Mom in our family, my Grandma! For those of you who have been with me through the years, you know that I visit her every 7-10 days, taking that bumpy ride that makes my middle son throw up from the motion sickness. I still visit her 3-4 times a month, but I only bring the kids once a month due to the bumpy ride. Although still bed ridden, she is currently in good health and as keen as can be. She absolutely adores the great-grandkids and their visits really bolsters her spirits.
Here are some pics of Mother’s Day.
So thank you to all who have sent kind thoughts and notes about my Gram. She says she’s got another month on this Earth, but she has said that before. We never really know, do we? Until then, I will savor my time with her and try to give her back all the love that she’s given me.
Happy Mother’s Day!
xo ~ Winn :)
This is such a fun, fun post to do! Prom time and if you are in need of a clutch, I hope these will give you great ideas. They are all made by Sellers and you can see what’s all available in their individual shops! These clutches will either go with gowns such as these shown, or they are reminiscent of some of the gowns based on the color or style. Enjoy!
It’s a big bouquet of
flowers clutches! :)
Check out this selection of clutches for Mother’s Day, May 12th. Each clutch has been lovingly and expertly handcrafted by women for moms in mind. Be sure to go to the shop to see other clutches also available and ready to ship in time for Mother’s Day.
In every color and style imaginable, these clutch sellers will have a clutch for that special woman in your life. If you want a custom-made clutch, there’s still time! Go get yours!
What do you know? This classic nautical look is here in Vietnam, of all places! While shoe shopping with my daughter, I saw some cute shoes. So many cute shoes, but I only managed to snap a couple of pics. Me and my camera always gets shut down. I always go shoe shopping when the rest of me is a little bit bigger. Can’t fit into my fat clothes, but I can fit into my shoes!!! :) Really, who moves to Vietnam and gains weight??? LOL.
I wear the nautical look every year. I know, it’s a bit preppy to some, but it’s classic Americana to me. Love it. Check out my shop for my nautical themed clutch kits.
This nautical look never goes out of style. Check out this Etsy treasury.
You can get this look with clutches for your outfit. Complete kits to make clutches at the shop WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com.
I am sold out of one of these kits, but all the others are still available. Do you have a clutch with a nautical look?
… a university student! Who here doesn’t have starving college days that they can recall? Man, I used to make it work for the weekend when my cheap meal plan didn’t cover it. I’d get a rotisserie chicken for $3.99, a lime, and a cucumber and make it last for all my meals for the weekend! That’s $5 for food for the whole weekend. I just remember being hungry during all my university years.
I couldn’t be happier for her because she was timely and also “played it” well. Knowing that the shop was within sight of hitting 10,000 Doryn went ahead and bought many different frames to try out along with the PDF, thereby securing her spot! Her cart totaled $145 so she got the 10,000th item – the PDF! – free as well as $100 off her cart.
And wouldn’t you know it, but Doryn is from New Jersey! What a coincidence. I had asked some questions about Doryn, so read our Q&A.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about you?
A: I am studying environmental law and policy. The curriculum prepares me for law school if I decide to become an environmental lawyer. I can also become an environmental consultant for a company and then my job would be to ensure the company is functioning within current federal and state environmental regulations. I’ve loved Star Trek for as long as I can remember and I’m also a Patrick Stewart fangirl :) I’m naturally more of a ‘thinker’ than a ‘doer'; I’d rather ponder over ideas and theories than test them. I’ve also been told that I’m highly analytical, though I don’t think that’s true (I’m just good at pretending I am, ha!)
Q: Do you have a shop?
A: Not yet, but I do plan on launching one within next few months.
Q: Do you like to craft?
A: Love it, it’s nice to let creativity flow. In addition to sewing, I knit, crochet and draw/sketch. I’m relatively new to sewing, I’ve only been sewing for a year and a half. I find it to be therapeutic and I use it as a way to de-stress and focus when my mind is jumbled. I also love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I’ve finished a project that is unique and completely me. I will be using these frames to make bridesmaid’s clutches for my cousin’s wedding and prom clutches for my younger friends.
Q: How did you hear about WhileBabyNaps?
A: I was searching for frames that I could use to make the bridesmaid’s clutches for my cousin’s wedding. I came across your shop on Etsy and I saw how much pride you take in your items and the amount of work you’ve put into making these frames top-grade. When I realized you supported those businesses who use your frames, that you were a jeweler, AND from New Jersey, I knew I had to have them!
Q: How did you hear about the 10,000th item promotion?
A: I’ll admit I’m one of those people who puts tons of items in their cart, and leaves them there so I can mull over the possible purchase. I was finally preparing to checkout when I decided to look over your shop again and I saw the 10,000th item banner! It was an opportunity too good to pass up! Thank you, Winn!
Congrats, Doryn. I hope you enjoy making your clutches for your cousins and friends. We all look forward to seeing your shop of sewn good and crafts. My thanks to each and every customer on Etsy (and from the webstore)!
It’s been 12 years since I started my LLC and my businesses, and it’s been a little over 3 years since I’ve been on Etsy, but I just hit the 10,000th item sold!!! We’ve got a winner ladies and gents. I could not be any happier to celebrate this huge milestone with you all. Details will come soon on the winner. :)