Clutch-Me.Com

Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

Oscar(R) gowns and clutches

OMG, if you guys could see my site stats during the Academy Awards show!  It looks like ALL of you are watching it ‘cuz you can hear a cricket chirp on this blog.  🙂

I was inspired by the colors, textures, cuts and styles of the many beautiful women.  So of course, some clutches came to mind while I was watching the show.  Yes, they telecast it here live as well.  It’s the only awards show that I can watch on TV live in Viet Nam.  All other shows like the Golden Globes(R) and Grammys(R) are not televised here so I watch it on my Mac via a live stream that I dig on the net to find. I watch zero sports and ALL awards shows (Country Music, Emmy, People’s Choice… all of it).  Eye candy.

As a huge movie fan, the Oscars is the biggest night for me.  I love seeing the film clips, hearing the speeches, watching the “In Memoriam” piece (hey, wasn’t Esperanza Spalding great?)… hey pretty much all of it.

So here are a few of my favorite gowns for various reasons along with some clutches that popped into mind.  They are not meant to go with these gowns rather I’ve paired them with clutches whose characteristics are evoked by the gowns featured.   Check out the gowns and I hope they will inspire you to create some great clutches for the spring and bridal seasons!

Click on the images for a bigger view.  Please note that all photos are courtesy of Getty Images.

Louise Roe.

Best contrast (black blunt hair, white dress, red lips). Clutch by http://www.etsy.com/shop/pennyroyalty

Rooney Mara.  First movie in ages that I had to fast forward through a scene because I couldn’t stomach it.

Michelle Williams slays me in every film she’s in.  Time for a comedy, Michelle!

Best beading. Clutch by http://www.etsy.com/shop/ClutchChic

Octavia Spencer looks amazing!  Have you seen “The Help”?  It’ll stay with you long past the viewing.

Jane Seymour looks amazing at any age!

Best bejeweling (bedazzlin'!) Clutch by http://www.etsy.com/shop/BelleJouJou

I love this woman more than the dress, but the bejeweling brings some sparkle to an odd-colored gown.  Miss her as Sookie!

Best spring - green. Clutch by http://www.etsy.com/shop/AnOrangeBlossomBag

Viola Davis.  Granted I haven’t seen Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady but Viola was incredible in The Help.  She is equally stunning in this green color, especially with her au naturel red hair!  🙂

Best simplicity. Clutch by http://www.etsy.com/shop/MadeByPoppet

Gwyneth Paltrow.  My favorite look for this body type.  Both the cape and floral embellishment enhance the simplicity in the dress and clutch without overpowering either.

The fun is over.  Until the next Oscars!  🙂

February 27, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Woman in Business

As you may know, my company’s motto is “Putting Women in Business”.  And here’s an amazing woman who has been in the news lately.  She has been really inspirational to me over the last ten+ years.  Kathy Ireland has become a global brand through her hard work and providing solutions to busy moms everywhere.  In the latest Forbes magazine, it notes that she outsells Martha Stewart’s empire by more than double – to the tune of $2 billion worldwide.

Grab a copy of Forbes from your newstands or get this article for free by clicking.

I remember the first time I saw her in an interview and heard her talk on TV.  Kathy was just on the latest Sports Illustrated cover and she had a cast on her leg.  This was in the late 80s I think.  She had an extremely high pitched, squeaky voice at the time.  The male anchor could not stifle his snicker and laughter after her segment ended.  I don’t remember what he said, but it was something akin to “She sure is pretty, but with a voice like that …”  *ugh*

But as you will read, she’s been smart and she’s been successful despite the naysayers.  No one took her seriously because of her looks, her modeling career, and her voice.  I was flabbergasted when Kathy’s company surpassed $1B, but she’s through the stratosphere now.  You know who else is following Kathy’s mold?  Jessica Simpson.

While her net worth is not as high as Kathy Ireland's, her licensing of her image to many brands is breaking the $1 billion barrier.

And they both started small and they both got rejected and not taken seriously.  But they kept at it.  That’s tenacity for you.

I hope you will get inspired by them too!

February 26, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

Helpful Hints: URLs contained in the Clutch PDF tutorial.

Thank you to a wonderful and loyal gal who brought to my attention a problem with one of the two URLs listed in the tutorial.  It seems that when it’s straight copy and pasted from the PDF, something is amiss in the translation and you end up in the “It seems like you are lost” cul-de-sac.

No, I'm not lost. You took me here.

The URL in question is here on page 23.

Troublesome URL highlighted in blue.

The problems:

1.  What you see on screen and highlighted in the PDF is not what gets copied and subsequently pasted into a new browser window.  Adobe’s copy/paste function is omitting one key character “-”  the dash between “helpful” and “hint”, and also adding extra spaces …. which then routes you to a dead end.  I’ve taken a screen capture below of what is exactly pasted.

Something got messed up ... See how this doesn't match to the URL highlighted in blue above?

2.  Going the other route to access the URL — when you highlight the URL and click on the highlighted portion (in blue) and open in a new browser, Adobe adds a stem at the end for no reason (other than to mess with you).  It adds “Sides” to the end of the URL string.

The solutions:

A.  Type in the URL exactly as you see it.  But this is cumbersome, however, it will work.

B.  In the blog, search “Gutermann glue” in the Search box.  Lots of previous posts will appear, but look for the one with that title and date.  All my blog posts are listed and can be found by date, name, search terms, tags, etc…

C.  OR Follow the steps below:

Step 1.  Highlight the URL in the PDF and click on the highlighted portion as shown.

Step 2.  A pop-up box will appear.  Click “Allow”

See how it adds a stem at the end and doesn't match what you highlighted? This will also lead you to a dead end.

Step 3. When you get to the dead end, go to the URL at the top and erase the word “Sides” that was added at the end.  Hit enter.

I've highlighted the entire URL here in green. Erase just the last portion "Sides".

Step 4.  Now it will lead you to the right post as shown below:

Once the "Sides" wording has been removed, you end up at the right spot.

The other URL is not at all changed by Adobe.  Not sure why one works as-is during the copy/paste, and one doesn’t.

Hope that helps!
Winn

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , | 2 Comments

Minor edits to 3 pages. Get it now!

Hi ladies –

There are 3 minor revisions on the following pages that were not caught in the previous go-arounds. If you are among the 500 or so who just grabbed the latest updated tutorial, please go to the post here and download the tutorial again.  The 3 pages that were changed ever so slightly were pgs. 13, 21, and 22.  You can just print out those pages if you like.  I hope these minor, yet important, changes will help to provide clarity.

Please note:

*that the most recent version is always at my blog at the password-protected post.  Any time I make changes or additions, I also let everyone know ahead of time and give you the go ahead to access it via this blog.

*please copy and paste the URL in its entirety to access the posts referenced (interface and glue) in the tutorial.  I’ve tested the URLs several times and they will lead you to the correct posts mentioned.  I’ve not removed those posts.

Now that my eyes are completely cross-eyed from looking at this tutorial for all these weeks and hours, I think I’ll give them a rest.

Thy just made a clutch trying the Bottom Seam way with the new Shortcut.  It took her 40 minutes from start to finish to make a clutch using our aunt’s old sewing machine at 1 in the morning.  (Hey, you work when you can and the kids were sleeping!)  🙂  You moms know how it is …

She found that the Shortcut way made it easier to invert the clutch right-side-out (fewer wrinkling) and made for easier insertion into the purse frame.  Try it out let me know how it works for you!

Have a great weekend!

Winn

February 25, 2012 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , | 2 Comments

“Go” – Updated Clutch PDF is up.

Ok, guys.  It’s up and running.  As per my last post, the updated PDF is up.  Again, this is FREE to those of you who’ve bought the clutch PDF tutorial before.  Please note that this is NOT free for those who bought different PDFs like the Reversible Patchwork bag or the Snappy Wallet Clutch(TM) as those are entirely different tutorials.

Click here to get to the post.  Enter your password and start your download.

Get to the latest PDF version through here! Enter your password.

With this new major update of the main tutorial, you will learn how to make a clutch with a seam (my preferred way that will show your great craftsmanship and will work with any fabric) and without a bottom seam (great for quick easy work or for non-directional fabrics).  It also incorporates a short-cut, an entirely different way to finish the clutch so that it will reduce the wrinkling and is a bit quicker to do when you are making a lot of clutches.  I also have pictures on how to glue it into the frame.

I spent over a hundred hours re-doing this.  This is all free to you as long as you have your password.

What if you don’t have your password?  (eg. computer crashed, laptop stolen, forgot to print out the email that was sent to you, emptied the email in your trash…) Please buy the $5 password resend listing at my shop and give me your original purchase date of the PDF and Paypal buyer account so that I know you had bought it back in 2009, 2010, 2011 or earlier this year in 2012.  If you cannot retrieve this, then you will need to buy it again.

Please consider this as fair since I’ve explicitly told you to keep your password.  I value my customers so much and spend so much time on this $8 tutorial without getting additional pay each time, so please don’t email me and say that it’s unfair that you have to pay $5 to retrieve your password especially when my email’s subject line is “PLEASE KEEP/PRINT! $5 charge to resend it in the future “. I do all this while my kids are at school and after I put them to bed at 8pm. Also, please consider the following:

*All other tutorials show you how to make 1 size clutch – I offer how to make ANY size clutch with 2 distinct tutorials for the same price.
*They only offer 1 pattern and I offer 6 patterns.
*They are priced $8+ and mine is also at $8.
*Other tutorials and kits prohibit you from setting up a shop on Etsy or go into business. Mine do not. In fact, I actively promote and try to find buyers for my clutch makers.

*I could’ve made separate listings and charges for every new template.  All other PDFs show you how to make 1 clutch in 1 size only.

*I could’ve made a completely new listing and charge for a new tutorial “Now learn how to make a clutch without a bottom seam” for $8 like other sellers have right now.

Every time I add new templates/updates, over 500 of you get on and download.  So there is value to what I provide to you far beyond the initial $8 that you paid for.

I still get customers who bought this $8 tutorial in 2009 when there were 3 templates. They got another 3 templates for free. Could I have charged them by making an entirely new listings for each one? Sure.  But I didn’t. They also contacted me with “What’s my password”?  I have sold hundreds of these. How do I know who bought and who didn’t? Sometimes, the person contacted me used their spouse’s Paypal account and I have to search for that. Before Etsy co-mingled the accounts, you would have multiple usernames and it was bought under a “purchase” account which was different from their “seller” account. Multiply this by 100+ people. Every time.

This is what I think my value is: it takes time for me to retrieve their records and then email the password. So it’s $5. It’s also a deterrent from all the emails that come because when people know it’s going to cost them $5, they’ll print out a hard copy and keep it. I’ve had people whose computers crashed, laptops stolen, email lost in the the junk mail, accidental deletions, you name it.

So, sorry that I’m on my soapbox.  I’m officially off.  🙂  Thank goodness:  it gets dizzying from the lack of oxygen standing up high on soapboxes!

I want to encourage you to try the tips and the “Shortcut” option that is in this new tutorial.  This is after years of making clutches…  Try it with just 1 clutch and see what you think.  Ever since I’ve done it this way, my clutches are not wrinkly and the bulkiness from the interface doesn’t affect how I insert it into the frame.  It goes in easily.  I love it.

I’m working on a template for the 12×3.5 frame that will print out – without scaling- on regular desktop 8.5×11 paper. This will also be free as long as you have your password. This will take a week or so. Why? I make the design, sew it, refine it, make new adjustments, sew that, refine that, and so on … and then rework the template to fit your 8.5×11 papers.  Who wants in?  🙂
Cheers and happy sewing!

~Winn

February 22, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming this week: PDF revision for the clutch tutorial – free update with your password

I like to think I’m ahead of the guys over at Rovio who make Angry Birds.  Do you know how they give you free updates such as “Ham ‘O Ween” as long as you purchased the original Angry Birds?  Except when it’s completely new and different, like Angry Birds Rio, then you have to buy that new game.

So where am I going with this, other than you all now know that I play Angry Birds?  Well, I just updated the clutch tutorial and wanted to let you all know first!  I’ll be back with a post when it’s updated on this blog, but it’s coming out this week.  PLEASE wait until I say “go” to download.  It’s not up yet so I don’t want you to waste your time.  🙂

The hard copies will not be available for another week.  We have to send it to our guy, a professional printer.  He uses 70# ultra-white paper.  His ink is incredible.  The booklet is so thick that we have to use a commercial stapler to staple it together!  Yes, every booklet is cut and assembled by hand.  As always, the tutorial and templates are formatted to be printed on regular 8.5×11 without any need for you to rescale.  You just click on the links, download and print.

I have been working really hard to incorporate some of the hints that I have blogged about here.  I have rewritten almost 80% of the entire tutorial and I have 95% new pictures that are bigger and more detailed.   What I’ve written in the new updated tutorial are basically the shortcuts and time-saving tips that I employ in making clutches myself.  I think they will help you.

What you will get with this update:

*Tips to improve your craftsmanship and productivity.

*2 options on how to make a clutch:  with a bottom seam (my favorite way), and without a bottom seam (makes for quick work and good for smaller clutches)

*A shortcut that will minimize the wrinkling of the fabric and allows for easier insertion into the frame

*Pictures on how to insert the frame

*Tips on what interface to use

Take a peek:

More pics, more tips, and learn how to make a clutch in 2 ways!

The new updated tutorial has also been formatted as a booklet as was before.  This was designed so that it will allow you to flip each page per step and not take up a lot of space at your sewing table.

How do you get this update?  If you bought the PDF tutorial, you were sent the password with your order.  It’s a really detailed (some say long-winded) email saying “Keep your password” as all updates to this tutorial and templates are free as long as you have your password and if you don’t have your password for any reason, it will cost you $5 to resend it.  So I hope you heeded it.

If your laptop was stolen (yes, that happened to a customer last week), it crashed and you didn’t back it up (PCs all the time…), you lost it or for any other reason, then order this listing shown here:

This is only for previous buyers who need their password.

These updates, revisions, and new templates are always free to you as long as you keep your password!  I am working on a template for the 12×3.5 size frame.  It’ll be a big bag – perfect for winter and overnights – and I’m trying to make sure the template can be printed out without any scaling on regular desktop 8.5×11 printer paper.  Quite the task since the 10×3 required splitting it into 2!  🙂

So be on the lookout and I’ll be back to give you all the “go”.

Warmly-

Winn

February 20, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Of Interest: Pinterest

I have just started a new page for WhileBabyNaps at Pinterest.  This will work in concert with the promotions that I’ve been currently doing for Sellers to promote their clutches on the Facebook fanpage and Twitter.  The more eyeballs to your shops, the better the chances of you selling your clutches and getting your name out there.  If you are interested in being included in my marketing and promotions, you will first need to become listed as a Seller.  I choose clutches that meet the themes that I am coming up with (for example: red clutches for Valentine’s Day) from amongst the current bags from the shops on the Sellers page.  I only choose clutches that I know are made using my fine frames.

For all current shops on the Sellers page, please remember to note my trademarks for customers looking for clutches made from my frames.  As I’ve only made clutches for samples, kits, or for family, I do not make or sell clutches with my frames.  I always refer them to find a clutch maker on the Sellers page.  Customers will look at the list and the links contained the pics and names will take them directly to the Seller’s shop.

I just started this Pinterest page.  It takes a lot of time for me since my internet connection here is spotty.  Wah-wah.  😦  If you are not already on Pinterest and would like to join and create your own page, convo me for an invite.  I will need an email address to send invites to.  This is the email address that you will be using for your Pinterest account.  It’s in the beginning stages so I am just starting and learning as I go myself.  If you are already on Pinterest, convo me so I can check your boards and Follow you!  But here are a few things you should know:

1.  Pinterest is about pinning things you really love. So it’s not the same as say, Talbots or Ann Taylor putting their coupon codes and sales on their respective facebook fanpage or Twitter feeds.  But you, as an Etsy shop owner, for example, can pin up clutches that you’ve made so others can see and (hopefully) like and repin.  Then the people who see their pins might like and repin, and so on ….  Don’t just pin about your clutches or shop.  Remember to pin other things in your life that you really love!  This is a fun place that you can mix your work and your personal favorites!

For me, I love clutches.  So I’m going to pin clutches that I love.

I love my dog, Pax, a goldendoodle.  So you will see pins about Pax, like you’ve seen on my blog posts!  🙂

I dream of peace and quiet and white interiors are a favorite of mine.  Check out my pins of Katherine Hepburn’s house.  Its interiors are to die for.  It’s my forever home … as in it’ll be forever until I can own a home like that … LOL.  And when I do, it’ll be much smaller, not on a waterfront (cha-ching), and old and will need years of toil to refurbish it.  But I digress…

*Swoon*

2.  It’s a highly visual medium and it’s awesome for visual learners, like me.  (You can also experience a huge time warp when you’re on it, so mind your time!)  Where Twitter is great for 140-characters on your iPhones and for when you are mobile and not on your laptop/desktop, Pinterest really allows me to showcase your clutches well.

3.  Follow others and repin others.  The more you interact, the more exposure you will get, and hopefully your pins will be re-pinned by others.

I'm working on these!

4.  Pinterest is about giving credit to where you found it.  So when I pin your clutches, guess what?  The credit goes to your shop where I found it!  Users who see your clutch and like will click on the “from” and it leads them to your shop.  Note that all have been truncated to “etsy.com” by Pinterest, but go to my Pinterest page and try clicking on several clutches and you will see that it leads to the individual clutch maker’s shop.

Several clutches have had "likes" and "repins" 🙂

How to pin and how to create boards are easy.  One thing that really helps is getting the “pin it button” by clicking on the About menu.  When you come across something that you like, click on that on your toolbar and it automatically adds the link to the site.

Makes for easy work!

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!  I got the loveliest bouquet from the hubby.

Love the bright punches of color!

Talk soon!

~Winn

February 14, 2012 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

I am seeing red.  😉  Take a look at the new album I put on the Facebook fan page for Valentine’s Day.   Pretty huh?

I soooo covet these and I know others will too!  Whether or not you have a honey, muffin, or sweetheart, know that I treasure you and send you wishes for a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

~Winn

If your sweetheart doesn't get you something, go treat yourself to something decadent!

February 13, 2012 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting Women in Business – another avenue for some

Hey y’all!  (That’s my Oklahoma in me coming at ‘cha!)

Hope you are doing well.  While I’m trying to live stream my annual free concert, aka The Annual Grammy Awards, I thought I’d do a quick post on a news article I just read.

As you know, my motto is “Putting Women in Business” and that’s what I’ve aimed to do these past years.  I know how few and far between the jobs are for part-time workers.  This is especially true for stay-at-home moms who want to work while the kids are napping, in school, or at nights.  I also have many nurses, teachers, retirees, and college students as customers trying to exercise their creative freedom while making some side income during evenings and weekends as well.

So for those who are English teachers, in this article posted in USA Today Tech section, the tech writer has vetted 3 online companies that will allow you to make some income.  Give it a read and find out if this is something that you would be interested in doing.  I know, this has nothing to do with making clutches but it will benefit some of you.  This industry is rapidly growing.  And after having traveled recently to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, and Japan, I can attest to how many people know some English on this side of the globe.  Do you how in the US a lot of our kids in public school learn Spanish as an elective? Well, the Vietnamese kids here all start learning English beginning in the 3rd grade.  I am AMAZED at the number of people who speak 2 (or more) languages in the places that I have traveled.  The American culture (good and bad) is imported to all corners of the world.  One of these days, I’ll snap a pic of those American cultural snippets that I see during my travels.

Have a great week!

~Winn

February 12, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Helpful Hints: How to put glue into U-channel purse frames

It’s really hard to capture the clear liquid glue of Gutermann’s glue on camera, so I’ve taken pics of the inner views of new purse frames and used a painting tool to demonstrate how I apply glue into the purse frames.  Everyone has their own techniques and these are my tips:

*Only apply glue to one side of the frame at a time.

*When you take the cap off, upend it and leave it sitting with the cap ready for you to reinsert the tube.

*Remove any dabs of glue on your frame by “rolling it” like cement glue.  Any thin excess can also be gently picked off by your fingernails.

*When done gluing, gently wipe off your fingerprints with your cotton shirt sleeve or a damp cloth.  Yes, you will leave fingerprints (see pic below) on it because we all have lotions and natural oils.  That’s why my frames have 2 coats allowing you to wipe your fingerprints off with ease!  🙂

*If you are a novice, pre-tape your fabric to protect it from excess glue.  Tape the areas where you don’t want glue to end up.  When done gluing, simply remove the tape.

Use masking tape or Scotch(R) tape. Tape along the frame borders, shown in purple.

*After inserting the fabric on that side, let it set for 5 minutes before starting the other side.  I always make my clutches in batches so while side 1 of clutch #1 is setting, I am gluing side 1 of clutch #2 and so forth.  When done with all side 1s, I go back to clutch #1 and start gluing side 2.

Save time and improve your craftsmanship by making clutches in batches.

*When working with small frames that have a narrower U-channel, start with the corner and move outward.  Gutermann glue’s thin and pointy tip will fit into all of my frames.

Start your tip at the corner and move outward. Makes for easy work!

*You can go heavy and apply one thick strip of glue at the bottom of the channel.  When you insert the fabric into the channel, the excess glue will be pushed and moved up onto the inner walls of your clutch covering the walls.  However, I only recommend this for expert clutch makers who have done this many times and can gauge just how much glue to put in.  For others, you risk putting in too much glue so that there will be a lot of excess that will be pushed out onto your fabric.  (You can mitigate this by pre-taping your fabric.)

This method is best for experienced clutch makers.

*My favorite way that ensures 100% coverage without wasting excess glue and wasting time to pre-tape the fabric is the following:  apply the base of the u-channel with enough glue to cover it, then apply the side walls.

My favorite way to apply Gutermann glue!

With the above method, I do not have spillage onto the fabric yet I know that the glue has attached all surfaces of the fabric when I insert it.  This also means I never have to apply glue onto the fabric either.  (It gets very messy and tricky when you’re inserting fabric with glue all around the edges!)

*The glue sets quickly, which is great for your production time, but it means you need to insert the fabric in right away as well.   So for bulky edges, press and/or do a dry run by inserting it without the glue.

*Wipe off the tip after you are done and before storage.

And I also use Gutermann glue for other household projects including re-gluing a broken guitar neck!

February 4, 2012 Posted by | Helpful Tips | , , , , | 4 Comments

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