Monday, June 16, 2014

When you're having fun...

I must be having an awful lot of fun lately, because the year is whizzing by.  Blink and another month has passed.  This time, I've barely taken a photo (so here's some I took while I was writing The Better Bag Maker... ahem... 18 months ago...).

I have had every intention of keeping my dear blog-readers up to date with upcoming classes and blog tour dates (and I'm yet to update the website with the class schedule for the next few months).  It seems that I get as far as Facebook and Twitter and somehow think that everyone has been informed.... .  Apparently, I have adapted a bit too well to the gnat's-attention-spanned world of social media.

So... The Blog tour for THE BETTER BAG MAKER....
We've had Pattern Review, Blogless Anna, Sew Mama Sew and Creative Bug so far. Check them out for some different views and reviews of my book.

The next blog to watch for the tour will be The Littlest Thistle (and of course, I'll pop notification up on Facebook and Twitter when the post is up and running).  It will give you another chance to win a copy of The Better Bag Maker (hard copy in the USA, digital elsewhere).

I also have to mention that Carmel wrote a lovely post about her pattern-testing for the most advanced bag in the book, the Toronto Convertible Backpack/Tote.  She isn't part of the official blog tour, but her beautiful work really ought to be seen by as many people as possible! While you're there, check out her modification of my Chunky Purse pattern.  She's a bit of a clever-clogs, that Carmel.

Fiona has also written a nice little review of her first bag project from the book.  Thanks Fiona! Glad you like it.

I've been happy to see that my book was briefly an Amazon #1 Bestseller!   ...ahem.. in the FASHION CRAFT SECTION. 

It's now sitting at #8 in the Fashion Craft Section.  Yes, that small niche section of the Amazon book market is narrowing down the field a tad in my favour.  The book is currently lurking around the lower end of the top 10,000 bestsellers of general books.  Let's be realistic.... but still, the #1 thing looked a bit nice there for a second or two!

Exaggerated self-congratulatory declarations aside, I've been truly touched and heartened by the lovely reviews on Amazon and the emails I've received from people around the world, who have bought and loved the book.  It takes time and effort to give positive feedback to someone you don't know (me), and I truly appreciate it when people go out of their way like this.  The book took more effort to write than most people can imagine (insert several background real-life stories here) and it's good to know that it was worth all the pain.  It's also heartening to know (after all these years of writing and teaching bag-making) that yes, I do know a thing or two about making bags.

The last month has seen me in a lot of classrooms

I've been teaching for private sewing groups, the Colac Quilters, CAE, Crumbz Crafts and my own YOU SEW GIRL gigs at GJ's.   There are more dates coming up at Handmaker's Factory, Patch 'n Quilt in Gisborne and Cotton Factory in Ballarat.


There have been bags and zips and purses and pattern-free garments...
 I've also been teaching in my new job as a Fashion Degree lecturer, and having lots of flashbacks to my own time as a fashion student

It's been a hectic few weeks of adapting to a new schedule: juggling school pick-ups and drop-offs and dinner-cooking and wholesale-business routines, reacquainting myself with my bicycle (the most efficient mode of peak-hour transport) and getting my head around what I need to teach (and how) to fit in with Fashion Degree assessment requirements.  It has been challenging, exhausting, inspiring and rewarding, all in one go. 

In between, as always, I'm squeezing in bits of real life simplicity and relaxation - hanging out with my girleen, harvesting and planting and weeding in the garden, knitting, dyeing yarn (my new thing!) and occasionally catching up with friends.
Below is what happens when blokey mates shrink their favourite jumper in the wash.... Felted, embroidered stubbie-holders made while-you-wait (or while-you-design-stuff-on-AutoCAD).  There are now 2 stubbie holders finished, with more jumper left for a couple more... or beer mats... or something.  I'll have to visit again.

 And I have plans for lots of knitting....

...before too much more time passes.


amy @ ladybugs and daisychains said...

I'm loving your book and have my first pattern ready to sew. Hoping you have a purse class coming up soon.

A Peppermint Penguin said...

I'm just waiting for that 9 day week and 27 hour day to kick-in to make something from le book. Been more than a little short of spoons lately.

that green yarn looks so yummy!

Melisa Jane said...

I've just made my second Lahti bag :) Just fabulous!

Katy Cameron said...

Shrunken jumper beer coolers, I've now seen it all lol

Anna said...

Snapped up one of the signed copies at GJs during my Quilt Guild day on Sunday :)