Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

Sad start to Summer

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.

Ethan has an amazing love and connection with older people.

Ethan has an amazing love and connection with older people.  Here he is communicating with his Great-Gram.  He doesn’t speak Vietnamese and she doesn’t speak English.  It works somehow.

BN 1 IMG_1284

Since I’m always the one with the camera, I wasn’t able to take a great pic. But this captured the love just as much. Here she is kissing my hand.

From April, 2012.  Hayley, Noah, Great-Gram Khuong, Ethan.

From April, 2012. Hayley, Noah, Great-Gram Khuong, Ethan.

Hope you and yours have a great weekend.

xo Winn

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June 28, 2013 Posted by | Winn's General Updates | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Free* pattern: The Slim Clutch(TM)

*This template is free to all previous PDF purchasers.  Just use the same password given to you when you ordered it initially to access it and download.  If you have questions, please contact us at our Etsy shop through your order (which helps us verify that you’ve purchased it previously) and we’ll send you your password.

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.

blue sequins skirt

Not to be used as a skirt if you are over the age of 30 IMO. It’s the size of a Band-Aid, for Goodness Sakes!

blue sequins skirt purse frame

But I immediately saw its true self as a clutch!

blue sequins skirt

This is the only time you can look up my skirt! :) Just kidding … I am showing you the lining that I used inside the clutch. It came with the skirt! How handy.

pinot noir

At my place of work, there is always a glass of wine involved. :)

blue sequins

I had to do some cutting and that meant murder to the poor sequins! It was a crime scene.

blue sequins

The looks on their faces. They knew I had to cut them off! :)

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 …

blue sequins

OFF with their heads! Much cleaner.

And yada, yada, yada … (name that show), look what I’ve got!

blue sequins

Voila!  My new wristlet using only one loop with the 15″ nickel-free chain.  You can make a smaller loop by hooking up the links with the lobster claw.

blue sequins skirt

Much cuter like this, don’t you think? :)

blue sequins clutch

There is no bulk!

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:

6x3 Slim Clutch

Download the new template using your password.

The Slim Clutch

Since this is designed to be slimming on the body, skip pages 12-14 in the tutorial. You do not need to square off the corners.

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.

The Slim Clutch

Tuck in as usual.  Sew the clutch same as Pages 16-20.

The Slim Clutch

Sew across to close.

The Slim Clutch

Glue into your 6×3 inch metal purse frame.

The Slim Clutch

Take it to go!

May 17, 2013 Posted by | Winn's General Updates | 4 Comments

A creative break from making clutches.

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.

blue, white, green fabric

Beautiful fabrics in blues, greens, and whites.

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.

blue sequins skirt

NO way am I getting into this! Maybe – maybe – 20 years ago. That’s a big maybe.

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.

blue sequins clutch

Much better!

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.

paint figurine bear camera

For $1!  The “before” look. Kinda boring …

paint figurine bear camera

This is the “after”…. after hours of painting and layering the paints.

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.

paint figurine bunny rabit water can

Cute bunny watering into an empty basket?  And it has no discernible mouth.  Poor bunny rabbit.

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!

paint figurine bunny rabit water can

I did the best that I could. This bunny is really pink! Incidentally, I had made a little mistake with the black paintbrush and it made a mark by the eyes. I went ahead and did that to the other eye, and it makes the eyes look more alive.  The use of brown to soften the pink and to provide depth really made a difference.

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.  :)

Winnie the Pooh figurine

This was another rescue.

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?

geisha

One way to get that puckered up look …

Betty Boop

I think Winnie the Pooh’s reminds me more of Betty Boop’s pucker!

bears figurine balcony

Awww, love these cute bears!  I don’t love my color combination so much…

Santorini house

This could have gone a completely different direction. It could’ve been a pink castle as the hearts and flowers indicate, but I saw Santorini instead.

santorini

What do you think?  Santorini is on my bucket list just so I can see the blue!

Red labrador and puppy

And my favorite figurine is this one. Look at these two guys! I made them to be reb-brown Labs. If this figurine comes back in again, I think I’ll try a lighter look on the dogs and house. How cute are the eyes of the top dog?

Now go and enjoy a break!

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Winn's General Updates | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day!

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.

Mother's Day

Hayley taking a rest on the ride to see Great Gram.

Mother's Day

The ride has gotten much shorter with this new bridge!

Mother's Day

The new sections ends soon …  I didn’t even notice the guy carrying the window(?) on the scooter until after I saw this picture!  They transport a lot of things on scooters!

Mother's Day

And this is where that nice bridge ends, cue bumpy one-lane road. See the two trucks heading toward us?

Mother's Day

It’s not even rainy season yet. It’s going to get ugly!

Mother's Day

But we don’t mind all that in order for her (and us) to get this: love!

Mother's Day

My mom passed when I was six, so she couldn’t be in this picture. This is still pretty awesome, nonetheless.

Mother's Day

My two favorite girls: Hayley and Gram. This is a girl pile full of cuddles!

Mother's Day

Hayley took a picture of us for our Glamour Shot! :)  She’s working on her picture-taking skills, but this is alright.

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  :)

May 12, 2013 Posted by | Winn's General Updates | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Prom clutches!

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!

May 7, 2013 Posted by | Winn's General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Mother’s Day gift of clutch handbags!

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.

The whole album can be found on the WhileBabyNaps Facebook fan page.

The whole album can be found on the WhileBabyNaps Facebook fan page.

Mother_s Day Blooms! 1

Mother_s Day Blooms! 2

 

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!

April 23, 2013 Posted by | Winn's General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The nautical look in HCMC?

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.

Hayley said "Mom, take a pic of me next to these purses!".

Hayley said “Mom, take a pic of me next to these purses!”.

Ummm, how cute are these?  White capris pants, navy shirt, red scarf, red bag, and either of these shoes?

Ummm, how cute are these? White capris pants, navy shirt, red scarf, red bag, and either of these shoes?

Hamming it up ... posing like the model in the poster!

Hamming it up … posing like the model in the poster!

Love these wedges.  This is more subtle is better suited for my tastes.

Love these wedges. This is more subtle than the heels, and I love the leather trimming and stitching.

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.

IMG_5599KIT

6x3 Tea Time Clutch - with chain.

6×3 Tea Time Clutch – with chain.

April 14, 2013 Posted by | Winn's General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Time for the yearly nautical look!

This nautical look never goes out of style.  Check out this Etsy treasury.

It's a yearly classic look at this time of year.

It’s a yearly classic look at this time of year.

You can get this look with clutches for your outfit.  Complete kits to make clutches at the shop WhileBabyNaps.Etsy.com.

Timeless classic clutch handbags!

Timeless classic clutch handbags!

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?

April 12, 2013 Posted by | Winn's General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our 10,000th Etsy cart winner is ….

… 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.

A wristlet by Doryn.

A wristlet by Doryn.

Doryn made this pen roll.

Doryn made this pen roll.

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!

I like her spunk!

I like her spunk!

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)!

~Winn

April 10, 2013 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We did it! 10,000th item on Etsy sold!!!

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.  :)

Thank you, thank you, to all.

Thank you, thank you, to all.

April 7, 2013 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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