Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meet Penelope Robin!

I am so happy to post the new Penelope Robin Bag, photographed from the safety of a Goose-less location.  She is joining the line-up of new Mitzi Cornelius Handbags on the Lula Belle Tassels website, and I'll probably have to have one myself to take to the Surtex Show in New York in a couple of weeks.

Here are a couple more views:

This handbag is shipping out tomorrow morning to a new customer, along with one of the Butterfly Bags that you saw on one of my earlier posts.

Next up - Turtles and Polka Dots.

Also wanted to pass along this link to a really fabulous blog that I'm following daily: that is written by a talented designer named Maria Killam.  Lots of beautiful interior design photos,  and great information on the use of color.

Sorry for the short post, but it is Dinner Time!

Goose Throwdown

Well.  I never.  Will you just look at this and tell me if this is bad behavior, or what??  I was on my way out the door to shoot the Penelope Robin Bag, and caught the beginning of this goose fight on our idyllic little pond:

This couple LAUNCHED toward the other two.

They trumpeted taunts and goose curses all the way across the pond, with me and Penelope Robin hanging on to our hats.

Screeches and Honks and Bedlam as the fight begins, with Lucy Goosey egging them on.

It only got worse...

Words were flung that should never have passed those goose lips.  Never.

Then, realizing I was taking pictures of all this rude behavior, they climbed out of the pond and took the fight off behind the little boat house where I couldn't see them.  When husband went to see what the heck was going on back there, they chased HIM back around the boat house at a fast little clip, then resumed the yard fight.  It was, purely and simply, a Goose Throwdown.

As a result of all this bedlam and ill will, I was unable to get to the spot where I was going to photograph Penelope.  She simply refused to enter an arena that was filled with hissing, honks, lingering rage, residual goose-cursing, and damaged serenity.

So I guess we'll try again this afternoon, but I may have to hire security.  Good grief.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lovely Chocolate and Squishy Goose Poop

As promised, here are better images of the newest Mitzi Bag - MC839:

Now, I'm sewing up a Penelope Robin Bag, and will post those images after photos in the LATE AFTERNOON light.  No more 1:00 photo shoots.  And, FYI- don't walk barefoot in the yard after the geese have hung out all day. 

Squishy Goose Poop Between Toes will result.  Just Saying.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Loving Chocolate, Loving Leather

So, here is the newest addition to the line...  I knew when I saw this brown fabric that I loved it, but had no idea how very much I was going to love it made up.  This is my new favorite bag - at least for today.


Here is another shot - I know that mid-day isn't the time to take outdoor photos, but I just HAD to show you this bag.  Better photos later for the website...

MC839 Peek at inside

In between packing up my Ocean Isle cottage for some badly needed repairs/renovation, zooming back to Atlanta to clean up the debris from Saturday's storms, and sewing like mad,  I also managed to snag an appointment with a leather cord manufacturer for tomorrow.  Hang on to your hats, LEATHER HANDLES may be coming to Lula Belle!

Here is a sneak preview of the cord I would use for handles in natural brown:

Natural Red Brown Round Braided Bolo

I'll know the minute I see it tomorrow if it will work for our bags - there are many colors to choose from - even pink! 

Pink Cord before being Braided

So, fingers crossed that it doesn't look too heavy; I've always wanted my Mitzi Cornelius Bags and Satchels to have leather handles.  Love the lightweight Bamboo, but we do need a different look on some fabrics, and especially our Fall Bags. 

Back to the much to do!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bo. Da. Cious Bags

Well.  Despite an overloaded day yesterday, I polished off these two new bags to add to the Mitzi Cornelius line, and shot them on the Rosemary Steps leading up to the  kitchen.  Now I can't wait to sew up the Chocolate Vine bag!  I think these look, well, Bo. Da. Cious!

Here's the inside fabric:

And, here is my own Butterfly Fabric on Oatmeal Linen, sewn up with dancing ruffles!

Now I'm off for breakfast, and some fast sewing before the carpet and tile  measurer man gets here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Time Out for Strawberries

So, now that we are "at the beach", time changes in odd little ways from the way it works in Atlanta.  It's almost as if you are on a game board, and the roll of the dice determines what you will do, and at what speed!

I discovered that Tideline Fabrics is now closed on Mondays to give Todd and Sally a break, sew up some window treatments, and tend to their beautiful store so it will be ready for the Tuesday-Saturday dance.  Being unable to go take photos for you, I used Monday to pack up more of the studio for transfer to Atlanta, cleaned out my closet in preparation for the upcoming renovation, and strolled on into Tuesday, hoping for more control over my day.

Delightfully, I lost all control again, this time to Strawberries and another Grandma party!  Visiting Holden Brother's Produce out on Hwy. 17 yielded baby lettuce, baby spinach, and these lovely berries:

Husband and daughter-in-law, Amy, had declared an impromptu party over at Grandma Mac's, so I sliced these beauties up and headed over to the event with those yummy little retro shortcakes that come in a cellophane pack - and of course, some squirt-on whipped creme.  We had a take-out sushi feast, followed very quickly by a dive into the strawberry bowl.  Just yummy!  Of course, the squirt-on whipped creme was exhausted very quickly, and licking fingers was the order of the day.

Then home for some couch time before bed with a regular spur of the moment visitor -  Old Grand Dog:

Who demands his own blankie for the wood floor, and position right under the TV so that he can listen and doze at the same time...

Today, I am declaring a studio day.  Period.  More later to show you the progress on the bags!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ruffles, Blessings & Gratitude

Now that I have the Binding Blues behind me, I feel like tackling some Ruffles...I have Handbag orders, and the perfect ruffle color for my Back & White Houndstooth bag is eluding me.  I've searched high and low at my favorite trimming haunts, and pure-T black just isn't doing it for me.   Not happening.

So I decided to have another go at Ruffles, Ruffling, Ruffled.  Not pleated, not gathered...Ruffled.

Here is what evolved out of my shopping trip:

I'll sew it on, and see how THAT looks.

Meantime, I want to tell you that the young couple who bought my store have simply blown my socks off.  Last night, they staged a Grand Re-Opening for after hours, complete with Ribbon Cutting,  Catered Food, Open Bar, and the most fabulous display of Home Decor, Fabrics, and Window Treatments and celebratory Floral Arrangements I have ever, ever seen!  They had a huge turnout,  and as I wandered through the crowd and listened to the happy hubbub and bright laughter, I just kept getting wave upon wave of chills up my arms to see what they have done.  It's as if they sent my old store off to Finishing School!  Simply amazing.  I will go tomorrow and take photos of the store and post just have to see it to believe the transformation they have achieved in such a short time. 

And to look at all my former employees, lined up and dressed up so beautifully - receiving every attendee with such charm and regal grace --- well, I was flabbergasted to think that such royalty actually worked for ME for six years.  I am truly, truly blessed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Turf Battles Before Daylight

Just another quick note before I head off to the workroom...out the window of my graphic design nook, I can see out over the pond.  Very early in the morning, it is beautiful as the sun begins to lighten up the sky and wake up the day. 

In the pre-dawn glow, the water ripples and sometimes, literally churns with the morning activities of wild life of various sorts; geese, ducks, frogs, fish, and... the most irritable hawk I've ever seen. 

Yesterday morning, I was startled out of my reverie by an explosion of wings, water, and outraged quacks erupting from the pond.  Thrusting myself almost through the window to see what was going on, I beheld this soppy-wet guy coming in for a landing on the swing cross-bar:

and, this huffy duck, who was circling under him with indignant strokes of his paddle feet and who was giving him the business with all the duck curse words he could remember:

Turf Battle.  Before full daylight.  Geeze.  Some days just get started off on the wrong foot...

Binding Blues

Well.  I am here to tell you that binding ANYTHING, whether it is a napkin or a quilt is NOT my favorite thing to do. However, after searching the internet from stem to stern, watching about a dozen binding videos, and applying myself rigorously to learn how to do this - since I love piecing things together and they have to be finished somehow - I have cobbled together a binding for my runner.

After all my research, I decided that bias cut was the only way to go.  I worked furiously on Sunday to cut, piece together, and press mountains of binding:

And then thanks to Julie, over at, I picked up the following fabulous tip:

Hair clips to hold everything together!  Here's another shot:

Feeling pretty smug with the clip trick, I began sewing the binding to the back...after which I brought it around to the front and machine stitched it close to the edge to finish...I am NOT into hand stitching anything.  What resulted was a roller-coaster edge, wavy and just ugly.  So, rip out, press again, and start over.  After two rounds of that battle, I wound up using Steam-A-Seam to attach it to the front.  Nothing I did would remove the waviness, and it is still slightly wavy (although pretty) on my dining room table.  I've resolved to go with straight cut seam binding from now on - I think it was too stretchy from being cut on the bias!

Here's a link to Julie's tutorial on binding:     Binding tutorial at Jaybird Quilts

Now, back to the workroom!


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