Spring is on it’s way and I am thinking about bags. I am completely in love with the bags and accessories offered by Vera Bradley. Aside from the vibrant fabrics and pattern variety, I find that Vera Bradley products are durable and the craftsmanship is of the highest quality. Just by studying any one of the Vera Bradley products, you can feel the sturdiness of the fabric and see that the stitching is impeccable.
The Vera Bradley site has already launched it’s new line (I know because I am on it every day). I LOVE the Frill line! It is so feminine and I appreciate the attention to detail that is characteristic of Vera Bradley products. If you are contemplating a piece from Vera Bradley, I highly recommend starting your collection with one of the smaller pieces. I love the functionality of the Clip Zip ID Wallets. These are especially great for someone who does not like to carry a bag. The wallet allows you to stash your driver’s license in the front window for easy viewing (like when you are asked to show it for that bottle of wine) and hide your other cards/cash in the zippered compartment. I also love that the wallet has a beefy ring to attach my keys for easy carrying.
Another great accessory that is similar to the Clip Zip ID Wallet is the All In One Wristlet. These highly functional and fashionable carriers provide a pocket for your phone/music player, three credit card slots in a zippered compartment, and a clasp strap so it can be attached to a bigger bag. These are perfect for travel or times when you want to go lightweight instead of carrying a bag.
Ever need a splash of color? Check out the Reversible Belt that features a coordinating fabric on each side. The buckle allows the belt to be adjusted by a simple loop, so no need to worry about growing out of it by going up or down a size.
I want to share this idea with you because I think it will completely bless anyone you may know who has a husband in the military. Last year, I wanted to do something for my sister-in-law as she prepared for her husband to go out to sea for five months with the Navy. I don’t usually get gifts shipped out on time, but was proud of myself when my gift showed up the day his ship set sail. The gift idea entailed buying a white paper gift bag and titling it “Sara’s Deployment Kit”. I also glued various road maps to the outside of the bag to reflect a travel theme. On the inside, I put a variety of goodies that I thought would help her get through those months. Inside the bag I included a note with a list of all the items and how to use them. When using this idea, change up the items to reflect the interests/needs of the person you are giving it to. Here is what I used:
pocket calendar-to count down the days
slippers-to wrap yourself in comfort
package of mesh bags-for easy clean-up (my sister-in-law has three kids)
ceramic cup with tea bags-to help you relax at the end of a busy day
stuffed frog prince-to remind you of your true love
tissues-when you miss him even more
aspirin-when the day didn’t go so well
book with daily devotionals (from Billy Graham)-to remind you that God is always with you
small garden kit (seeds and those soil discs that expand with water)-to brighten your day
I have to admit that I rarely use place mats on my dining room table. I do, however, think they are absolutely adorable (on other people’s table) when they reflect a particular season or holiday. Last Christmas, I decided I would make some festive place mats for my loved ones and their children. I picked a fun design with ginger bread men on one side and a solid brown fabric for the reverse side. I chose brown with the hope that the place mats could be used in autumn and then flipped to reflect the Christmas season. FYI, the brown did match the Christmas fabric due to the brown in the ginger bread men. (I felt I needed to mention that since one does not typically think of brown as a Christmas color.) Because I consider myself a beginner sewer, I followed a pattern and the directions for a simple place mat provided by craftandfabricslinks.com . This site is a great place to find FREE patterns, sewing lessons, sewing project ideas, and links. Here is how my place mats turned out. The fabric was purchased at Joann Fabrics.
I thought I would share this cute little pin cushion I made for my sister-in-law a while back. I simply cut out a piece of denim that included the pocket from an old skirt. I then paired it with some red fabric that had some country style. I think it turned out nicely. The pocket can then be used to hold embroidery floss, needles, buttons, a thimble…the list goes on and on!
A couple of summers ago, I wanted to pick up sewing. My goal was to purchase a book that would teach me some basic techniques through the creation of various items. I love handbags (what girl doesn’t), so I found a book that offered several different designs.The Sew Everything Workshop book is a must for anyone who loves to sew. It is especially useful for beginner sewers because the book actually offers patterns for the multitude of projects it teaches how to make. Projects include various clothing items, handbags, a doggy coat, a quilt, and a children’s stuffed elephant. I particularly love the “Tokyo Bag” offered in this book. Here are a few pictures of the ones I have made using various fabrics. Once you make this bag, it is a breeze to make. You can then alter your pattern to make a bigger bag.