Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sneak Peek-Fall 2010

Take a "sneak peek" at some of the OOAK handmade handbags and hand crocheted accessories which will be available at http://www.franciebagsetc.artfire.com/.

If you love getting or giving unique handbags, hats, and accessories that no one else will have, then this is the shoppe for you!
I'm using my stash of felted wool sweaters and soft genuine leathers to design some OOAK treasures.
This Fall's crocheted hats include slouchy styles and the popular brimmed newsboy.  Quality yarns, brims lined in felted wool, and shaped,(not flimsy) styles are a few reasons you will love one of my hats.
Stop In!  New styles of bags and accessories are added often.
Always happy to answer your questions; contact me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's September! Already?

I'm trying to think where the year has gone, so far.  So, I decided to look through some of my photos to see just what I've been up to.  One thing that was accomplished was the reorganization of my studio, along with fresh paint and new windows.  Love it!
Next, are all the new ideas for my shops and the craft shows.  One of which are the upcycled leather bags.  See them at http://www.franciebags.com/
Rose Bouquet
Made many flowers.  One customer asked me to make her a bouquet of a dozen roses.  Happy with how it turned out, so made a couple more.  These are only three of many photos, guess that's where all the time goes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Plum Crazy!

A few weeks ago, my neighbor's tree was overloaded with beautiful, sweet plums.  You can eat only so many, so I decided to try my hand at plum jelly.
I followed the recipe on the pectin package, and to my surprise was rewarded with three jars of the best jelly I have tasted in a long time!   

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Coming from a "no waste, no want" family, I've always upcycled and repurposed.  Back then, it didn't have a specific title.  You just did it to get what you needed and in some cases "wanted".
So, it's no surprise that I am fascinated with the many beautiful fashions and articles created from otherwise "throw aways".
Today, I thought you might like to see a couple of my creations available at http://www.franciebagsetc.artfire.com/.
Until next time, I'll be reaching for the highest level of style and workmanship in HANDMADE.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who'da Thunk?....these were once wool sweaters!

The pink bag is my newest addition to evening and wedding bags.  I just love when a 100% wool sweater turns into the perfect piece of felt for one of my bags.  This one is all hand stitched, (lining is machine stitched).  Even the rose on the front was made by me out of the same charmeuse as the lining.  This looks like the perfect Mother of Bride or Mother of Bridegroom bag.

I've also included a picture of another evening bag, work in progress.  I was fortunate to get a wool sweater in an ivory color, completely covered in hand stitched,(no pull out chain stitches), sequins and seed beads.  The pic is kind of what it will look like when finished.  I usually don't do more than one of a kind, but I have plenty of sweater for probably three of these.  So maybe I'll do these for a wedding party.  We'll see.

Until next time, don't dispose of wool sweaters.  There is so much you can do with them. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chicken Mole`--For a Cold Winter Day

I know I should be blogging about handbags and crochet, but today I'm making my husband's favorite meal, Chicken Mole`, and I wanted to share my easy way to prepare it.  This method is in no way meant to compare to any authentic recipe or come close to how my dear mother-in-law would have prepared it, along with her "to die for" hand rolled tortillas.
Nevertheless, my husband loves it.  Following is my easy recipe; which in no way lacks flavorful taste.
   Two large chicken breasts simmered in low sodium chicken broth.  I use the box of broth or 3 low sodium  chicken bouillon cubes in about 5 cups of water.
    Remove the chicken, when done, and shred in pieces with two forks.  Set aside.
    To the broth, add 1 pkg. of McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix (hot or original).  Blend with whisk.
    Simmer for about five minutes.
    Make a pourable thickener for the mole` with three or four teaspoons of cornstarch and a little water.
    Pour slowly into the mole` and use a whisk to keep it smooth.
    Put the shredded chicken back into the thickened mole` and boil uncovered for 5 minutes. That's it!
    Serve over your favorite Spanish Rice recipe.
    Scoop up with purchased 8" flour tortillas which have been browned on a grilling pan or skillet.
We usually have sliced avocado and cilantro on top but, with all the snow, the supermarket didn't have any.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

It's a snowy Saturday, indeed.  We have 16" to 20" as of this morning and it's still snowing.  My husband shoveled the walk from the house to the truck.  Don't think we'll be going anywhere, just in case of an emergency.
The electric lines are really drooping, but as long as we have electricity, I'll just be content with my computer and sewing machine today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tunisian Crochet-Star Stitch

Wanted to share this summer top I crocheted for myself, using the Tunisian method of crochet.  I found this pattern in a leaflet from the year 1966!  The directions didn't refer to any style of crochet, only that an afghan hook was required.
I love the star stitch used, hadn't seen it before.  Only wish I had used a better yarn, but wanted to see how it looked and fit, first.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Felted Sweater Bowls

I love making and selling my felted sweater bags, but sometimes it's fun to dabble in other ideas for upcycled wool sweaters.

Remembering a millinery class, I thought, "Why can't I do something similar with wool sweater scraps?" We would stretch wool hat forms over a block to get the desired finished hat shape.

That's when I decided to try making little bowls.

A square piece of felted sweater was wet and dipped into a fabric stiffener that I purchased some time ago.

Plastic wrap was used to cover a glass bowl, and the stiffener soaked wool was stretched over the plastic wrap, smoothing all wrinkles and adjusting the top gathers.

White string, wrapped several times around held the gathers in place.

It took forever to dry indoors even with the use of a hair dryer every so often.

When it finally dried, the stiffened string was carefully cut and the bowl removed. Trim the top with scissors, and finish with some trim and a felted flower, of course.

Shown are two I kept for myself. Several others were sold at a summer craft fair with potpourri included in a small cellophane bag.

Try one!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Work In Progress

Thought you might be interested in seeing what I try to accomplish in between business, hubby, and home. This sage green sweater, I have been doing for about two years, now. I only have one and one half sleeves to complete and would really love to wear this. It is a nice cool cotton and would be great in the Spring. If it gets done, I'll post a completed picture of it.

See you next, time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Valentine Listings on FranciebagsEtc

Just can't believe February 14th is fast approaching! Just listed several items suitable for Valentine's Day. I've included two of my felted sweater wristlets to show you. It's time to think about listing Spring and Summer, but I still have many Fall and Winter items I'm going to list this week on http://www.franciebagsetc.artfire.com/. There's still more cold weather to come, in many parts. Plus; hats, scarves, and wool sweater bags sell at the Craft Fairs in very hot weather. Soooooo--we will see?