DIY: NO SEW Clutch

Christmas was a bust. Not for me...but I had all these grand plans and ideas that never quite happened. I was just determined not to stress myself out. I sent not a single Christmas card, though I managed to purchase a super cute set that I'll be sending out next year. I made my friend's gifts...but never sent them, so now they're just because gifts.

I was determined to stick to my budget and I love to buy gifts, but I feel like I do everyone a disservice if I don't make them things, so this year I decided to do clutches for everybody. I usually buy clutches and simply embellish them, but this time, I wanted something different. The blank ones at the craft store are just TOO small. Especially with these TV sized smart phones. I wanted something bigger, but I don't sew. Womp. Of course my friend Google saved the day and I found a couple of DIYs to help me pull it off. None of them was just right for what I did...so, I'm going to give my own instructions in case anyone wants to try it.
I apologize in advance for not taking pics...but, I'm usually so focused on what I'm doing, it's the last thing on my mind. I'll try to be as detailed as possible.

You'll need:
1 placemat, I got ours from the holiday collection at Target. FANCY.
Coordinating fabric (for the inside) I had some already.
1 poster board
Binder clips (at least 16 medium)
1 magnetic clasp (get this in the sewing section at the craft store)
Glue (I used Gem Tac, spray adhesive, and Gorilla glue. I'm sure you could get away with one, but I had my reasons)
a broach

Step one:
Trace the placemat onto the poster board and cut it out a little smaller than the actual area that you traced. **If you are doing more than one bag, trace and cut each placemat separately. All those placemats are NOT the same size. I found that out the hard way**

Step two:
Now, cover the poster board with the fabric. Cover the poster board with glue. For this part, I used the spray adhesive and the GemTac. Then gently spread the fabric over the poster board. Flip it over, and glue the edges down in the back. Use the binder clips to hold it in place...then weight it with a book.

This is what the front should look like.

This is what the bakk will look like. 
No worries. We're going to cover this part with the placemat.

Step three:
I messed this up the first time. Luckily, I made one for myself first. Once the insert is dry. Lay it face up on the back side of the placemat. This will be the inside of your bag. The top part of the clasp needs to go THROUGH the FRONT of posterboard in the center portion of the top of the insert. This will be your top clasp.

Now, gently fold the two pieces like an envelope, w/ the clasp coming over the bottom third. This is where the other clasp should go. The bottom clasp will go THROUGH the placemat but NOT the posterboard.

Step four:
Now once the clasps are set, you can glue the insert to the placemat. I used GemTac for the center and used the Gorilla Glue on the edges. I really wanted it to stick. Hold it in place with the binder clips, then put some big books on top to make sure it stays in place.

**for one of the bags, I did a cute feather charm. I should have added the ribbon at this step. Just a small looped piece glued between the layers at the top portion of the middle section.

Step five: Now, fold the bottom portion a third of the way up, and glue on the sides. I used the Gorilla Glue for this part. Make sure the clasps still line up before you glue it down. Also make sure the edges are lined up too, because not only are all placemats not the same...they also aren't evenly cut. *sigh* I also found this out the hard way. Once you get the glue on, clip it on the edges and wait for it to dry.

Step 6:
Now that the bags all dry, you can carry it as is, or you can add a broach. Some of the blogs suggested gluing them on, but I like the idea of my girls being able to take them off and wear them separately. So I just bought broaches and attached them to the outside. And not necessarily where the button is. That's so expected.

Now that I know how to do this, I may never buy another clutch. These are large enough to make a statement and still fit all my "must carry" items...including this smart phone. Also, assuming I can find the perfect placemat, I can have one to match any outfit and I can accessorize it any way I want. Let's not mention how inexpensive it is to make. It's actually pretty sturdy too. YAY!


Art Adventures: Bucks on the Street

I went to Lenox Mall today. I wasn't planning on being there, but it turned out to be a fun trip. I didn't even buy anything! While walking around I saw these rather large buck (I said reindeer) statues all uniquely decorated and lined up in a row. They were each decorated by local artists and will be auctioned off to raise money for something......I can't remember. Luckily, the zoom on my camera works. The proceeds will be given to "Livable Buckhead" and will be used to create parks, trails, and green space in Buckhead.

Because I knew I was going to tell you about them, I took pictures. Take a look.

Aren't they cute? 

This one has quarters for buttons. It was sponsored by 5/3 Bank. 

He has a completely custom outfit.
They even gave him some chest hair...AND a furry tail.

I love the color treatment they did for his "fur." 
To see the rest of the bukks, or to bid on your own go to the Bucks on the Street website. It gives bios of the artists and the story behind each piece. Bidding starts at only $250, but you've gotta transport your buck yourself.


My Tree: 2012

I thought I wouldn't be in the spirit too much this year, but I was wrong. Christmas is going forward as usual. I finished the tree on Friday night, and decided to go light on decorating the house. Simply because I didn't want to spend two months trying to pakk everything up by myself. It's just too much for me. I did a good job. 

Mommy and I have had some interesting trees over the years. Purple and ivory. Red. Blue and silver for the millennium. We did red, white and blue, after 9.11. The last few years it's been candy colored. So when I told bf to pikk from the colors we already had, he said red, white and blue. Another patriotic tree. Well, I wasn't in a patriotic mood and I definitely wasn't going to buy a single thing. AT ALL. So, I switched the colors up a little and ended up with something I'm very happy with. 

Mommy, Grandma, and I (and maybe Auntie, I can't remember) made these red velvet bows for our all red tree many years ago. Since mommy and grandma are both gone, I decided that it was really important to included these on the tree this year. Unfortunately, some of them haven't survived the years and I had to toss quite a few, but I had enough to make an acceptable impact on the tree. I was also sure I'd use garland this year. I had teal. But when I put it on the tree, I didn't like it. I tried half teal and half silver. Didn't like that either. Settled on all silver. I went with the silver. I put it on first. TIP: Always do the garland first. Some of the lights were out on the tree, so the garland gives a little sparkle and reflects the lights that do work to make up for the dark spots. Then I added the bows. Then I grouped some silver and teal bulbs and placed them in bunches on the tree. 

Followed by the teal sequined bulbs auntie made. I finished with my not royal blue doves and topped it with a big red bow. 

I'm done! 

I wanted to show you all Friday, but it looked naked with no gifts underneath. So, I had to wrap a few before I could take a picture. ANOTHER TIP: Everybody get's their own wrapping paper. I think this would be especially useful if you have small children who can't read yet. Also, it allows you to customize the paper for the person. We've been doing it for years...one kind for mommy, one for me, and one for people who don't live here. My gifts are in red. :o) 

P.S. I put my painting up on the mantle. It matched. Sweet! Oh, and yes, I hung mommy's stokking. 


"Beauty and the Sea Beast"

Well, I'm into octopus right now. It is what it is. I started and finished this one just before mommy died. Maybe a month before. I painted it in her bedroom. On the floor. And I stored it under her dresser, along with the paint, when I wasn't working on it. I hung it on my wall many months ago, not sure if I felt like it was complete. I made one change. A very small change. Oh and I signed my name. That makes it official. This is finished and available for purchase...

"Beauty and the Sea Beast" 
So, what ya think? I love the colors on this. Loved the octopus...that's the reason why I did "8th and O."


PURPLE: Again...but new

I had the pleasure of making purple gifts for two special events that occurred over the weekend. How convenient. Now I only have to write one post. 

One was a set of gifts for a baby shower. I did the onesies, bib and the picture frame, but didn't have to decorate the box this time. For baby Judith:  

What do you think? 
I also painted this for a wedding. I learned a lesson w/ this one...no more pearl paint! But it came out nice. Chekk it out: 

The couple chose to use it on their gift table...and I FRAMED it! It was easy. But still...lol. So, now they can take it home and hang it up to commemorate their special day. I love when things do double duty. 


Other People's Art: SoulCraft Productions

One day, I stumbled upon SoulCraft Productions on facebook and immediately found something I liked. Unfortunately, it had already sold. Womp and *sad face*

However, I spoke with Christie and she agreed to do something similar. About a week later, this came in the mail:

Initially, I was a little iffy, as I had planned to put this particular piece in a room that I had already pikked the colors for. I liked the painting...but I'm not big on having things and not having places to put them. That's...bakkwards. After sharing with Christie my iffy-ness, she asked if I would like to exchange it for another piece as she wanted me to be happy with what I had chosen. However, after actually putting the painting in the (unfinished) room along with the fabrics I had chosen, she looks great! I'm glad I decided to give her some time to grow on me...and into the house.

One day I'll have to do a full blog on my room makeover, but admittedly, I haven't gotten very far. Nothing to see here folks. It, as is everything in my life, seems to be a work in progress. i'm not complaining...just stating the facts.



That oversized book of everything is coming in handy and I still have over 200 pages left!

This time, I used The Declaration of Independence to form the white portions of the flag. And this beautiful brown fro is ridiculous! When it was all done, it reminded me of Jay and Kanye standing in front of that HUGE flag in the "Otis" video. That song gets me HYPE every time and just seeing them all happy and playful just warms my entire SYM heart. It makes me so happy! Maybe that's why I love the painting so much. Then, I photographed it on top of my scrabble board. Love those pages!

This item is currently available in the SYM1 store.