Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

Get some swag – $200!

As mentioned before in a previous post, when I get asked to be a sponsor, I really have to weigh the value of what I give to what I get in return.  I’d go broke if I said yes to everything.  But as my company’s motto is “Putting Women in Business”, I always find a way to make it work when it comes to workshops that teach women a new skill.  I was asked to be a sponsor for an inaugural sewing event that took place a couple of weeks ago in North Carolina.  Though it was a small group, Sew South made a big impact for all attendees.  The enthusiasm from these ladies is amazing and you can see the skills they learned, the friends they met, and the good times they had at this sewing retreat.  Check out all photos at this Flickr group.   Here’s a snapshot of some of the photos:

Flickr_ The Sew South Retreat Pool

Take a look at the new clutches made from the attendees, most of whom were new to making clutches.

The demographics of the group that attended:
  • women of all ages  (25-65)
  • women of all skill levels (some sewing for 6 months, some for 20 years)
  • women from around the country (from California to North Carolina, Wisconsin to Florida – even someone from San Juan Puerto Rico!)
  • over half of the attendees are bloggers

sew south DSCN7836

Even though this retreat was limited to 50 participants, Jennifer, the founder, has opened up a free swag drawing for everyone — including you, my customers and blog readers.  Enter here at Sew South Retreat website to win this loot worth $200.  There will be 3 lucky winners.

sew south swag DSCN7876

Good luck and I hope one of you get it!!!  If you do, let me know.

Winn 🙂


April 5, 2013 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clutches with hand-finished OOAK fabric

Ok, so you want a truly unique gift for the holidays?  As part of my series to bring you the best collection of clutches, today I am highlighting two women who not only make their own clutches, but also hand finish the fabric with their own unique finishes.

Jan, of Jan and Paul Creations, is known for her butterflies on her clutches, pillows and scarves.  These are not ordinary pictures of butterflies though.  The ones on her fabric are enhanced digital prints from original photos that her husband, Paul, has photographed.   Customers absolutely love her original creations!

This reminds me of the blue Morpho butterfly. Gorgeous iridescent blue on this original hand-made clutch and fabric.

This is made with golden thread using four different layers to achieve this magnificent sheen.

The next clutch seller that I would like you to meet is Delores of Lella Rae.  The work that she puts into her clutches are simply mind-numbing.  She has clutches made from fabric that is hand-dyed, hand cross-stitched, and hand-embroidered.  My fingers and wrists are numb just thinking of the work that she lovingly puts into her clutches!

My friend Kelley, a dragonfly fanatic, would absolutely love this clutch! Look at the delicate hand-beading and lace work!

Have a music lover, pianist, or piano teacher in your life? This would be the perfect gift for that lucky person on your Christmas list!

There are many more clutches at both of their shops!  If you would like to see Jan’s and Delores’s selection of clutches available for sale, simply click on the pictures to get to their respective shops.

November 26, 2012 Posted by | SALES and PROMOTIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New URL for the blog.

I’ve gotten a new domain to try to make it short and sweet for my blog.  Now, it will be known as  Not to worry, if you type in the previous URL, it will redirect you to this domain, so it will not impact you negatively. One of the other reasons this one done was so that in the future, I can start running ads on the sidebars of my blog due to the increase in traffic volume.  I spend a lot of time on the blog and I love it, but I would like to monetize it and have ads directly related to the content that I am writing about.  This had occurred to me as I was reading other blogs and noticed relevant ads that I was interested in and clicked on.  So I hope the ads will be of benefit to you as well.

I will also update the Sellers page.  If you are an existing Seller and want a new screen snapshot of your shop, please rearrange your shop and convo me.  I’ll take a snapshot and update it for you.

If you would like to be listed as a Seller, convo me and let me know.  My promotions and marketing centers around the Sellers’ inventory of clutches made using my fine purse frames.  I usually pick a theme and go “shopping”.  🙂  I then promote the clutches on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.  All hyperlinks lead back to main shop page of the respective Etsy shop.  I have found that doing in tandem on all social platforms greatly increases the number of redirects to my Sellers’ shops.  More eyeballs means more potential sales.  All this is free to clutch handbag makers who use my fine frames and honor my trademarks.  If you are successful, then I will be successful.  Simple as that.  🙂

Lastly, most of you have followed me and my family regarding my grandma’s health.   I hadn’t mentioned it in a while because the grave illness had past, life happens, and the next thing you know it’s already March.  Thank you keeping her in your thoughts and asking about her.  I really believe that prayers and positive thinking pulled her through.  We have been very blessed and she is in relatively good health for her old age.  She can sit up to eat meals now and her keen mind is back.  I still visit her once or twice a week and I bring the kids twice a month to visit her – their Great Gram.  (It’s a bumpy hour-long trip and the carsickness has gotten worse for them!  Roads are so bad here.)  What I am most heartened about is how my kids mention her when they see something they think she would like.  The relationship has deepened between my kids and their Great Gram and I am grateful for it.

Spanning the ages: 5, 98, 9, and 7.

With my winter clutch kits, I had been bringing the fabric and fusible fleece to trace the templates and cut while I’m visiting with her.  Hey, you’ve got to grab time when you can!  Her mattress is on the floor so I just plop right on the tile and cut.  She rolls on her side and helps me by holding down the edges of the fabric so that the oscillating fan doesn’t blow it up!  🙂  I finally brought a finished clutch for her to see and she was very happy.  She says I got skills!  🙂  I keep her involved on what’s going on so that she feels included, alive, and sharp.

I had also been busy painting her walls.  They hadn’t been painted in over 7+ years.

This is the "after" shot of the same walls as shown in the previous photo. I chose a light green called pistachio to usher in spring and brighten up the room that has only one light.

Here in Vietnam, there is no such thing as a Home Depot or Ace Hardware.  It is either your profession (painter, carpenter, etc…) or you hire them.  So imagine the looks and comments I got when I went to get the painting supplies.  (I had left all my brushes, rollers, extenders, etc… in storage in New Jersey.  I had started an interior painting business in late 2010 in New Jersey – two weeks before finding we are moving to Viet Nam.)  So the condescension was palpable “look, little lady …”  LOL.

Sample of my work. I used a 20-ft. metal ladder to paint up high! Don't look down!

She was very happy after my cousins and I finished.  She said it was like she got a new house.  It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do to your moods.

So thank you for your very warm and kind wishes for my grandmother.  If I’m not working on the business, I’m usually sitting on my grandma’s mattress talking to her.  I don’t know how many days she has left (none of us know how many days we have left ourselves) so I don’t take anything for granted.  If anything, my spending time with her only affirms what blessings I have in my life and how I want to spend that time.

Blessings to you and yours!

March 14, 2012 Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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