A Week In Pictures….

It’s been an interesting and full week in my neck of the woods.

It began like this:
week start
Made a mad dash to the craft store. Forgot I was in my slippers until I got out of the car. Pajama bottoms and no bra would have put me in full blown Oklahoma podunk territory.

My mad dash was for supplies for a custom order luggage cover:
lad
I just love it and I hope my customer does too! (please forgive the flower bed)

Then I started on a new item that will be in my Etsy shop very soon:
bins
I’m venturing into home storage products. VERY EXCITING!! These fabric bins are not quite complete. I haven’t put the finishing touches on them that will make them stand out from the crowd. That’s the thing about having a shop on Etsy…or any place you sell your handmade things…you may or may not be reinventing the wheel. You look to see how you can make things from your vision. Wait until you see what I do with these babies!!

So I declared my New Year Resolution this past week and put my resolve to the test the following day:
plants
I resolved to plant everything I buy. I didn’t resolve that I had to plant everything I buy on the same day…or the next day…or the next day. Nothing here is going to die.

While on that shopping trip another impulse buy was made:
luck charms
It was a toss up between Lucky Charms and Capn’ Crunch.

The ‘Charms won out because I felt it would go better with:
breakfast
Breakfast of Champions…..:-)

By Friday I had more fabric bins sewn up:
bin sets
I’m using fabrics you cannot find at your local stores. The owls are so cute. The middle big bin is called Tree Party. I love it! My plan is to buy yardage of several designs from a designer’s theme so they can be mixed-and-matched. What do you think? Good idea? Another type of bin is in the works that I don’t think you’ll be finding on Etsy. I’m super excited about it!! Again…this is not the final product. They will ROCK!

On Friday we found our boat trailer had a serious safety problem:
trailer
This is called a square U-bolt. We’re not sure what happened but what I can tell you is the boat is secured to the part of the trailer that is about to come off the main frame. I spent Friday night going from place to place to find a replacement bolt. Never even heard of a square u-bolt until then. Learn something new every day…..

Saturday was spent with my honey on a local river fishing for sand bass:
sandbass
Sand bass are spunky fish. They flop and jerk all over the place. Every Spring when the sand bass “run” you just have to cast your lure into the water and these suckers bang into it. It’s fun fishing! Don’t ask me what’s up with my thighs being two different sizes or why I’m holding this fish with my pinky out….I dunno…

The week ended like this:
week end
White socks bulging out from leather slip-ons.

I promise….I typically think about footwear a bit more than I did this week. Notice at the beginning of the week I was in capris and at the end of the week I was layered up. That’s because Spring left us for a few days….as I knew it would.

Thanks for reading!! I so appreciate it. Please let me know if you have something to say!

cin

 

Luggage Cover Hints and Tips

The original post date for this entry was December 04, 2015. My bright idea to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org resulted in my most recent posts not transferring. After hours of thinking I could wear a programmer hat produced nothing but cuss words and the realization the high tech world is passing me by, I was forced to go old school and re-post manually. Without further adieu…here is Luggage Cover Hints and Tips, republished.

Hey there,

This is a short blog regarding fit for the luggage covers I’m selling in my shop on Etsy: sheislivinoudloud. I want you to really get the full benefit from using one.

  • My cover gets banged up with every trip I take. But my suitcase looks brand new. This is an important point: Your cover will get banged up too. It’s meant to take the hit so your expensive luggage lasts longer.
  • For best results place all zipper pulls toward the top of your luggage or an area where there’s a gap between the luggage and cover. Your cover will last a lot longer if you do this:
    zippers up
  • As stated on Etsy, the cover size is intended to accommodate 22x14x9 inch luggage. The cover dimensions are sewn to 22x16x10. Some luggage brands will take up every bit of the cover length while others call for you to roll up the elastic one or two times…typically on the back side. Roll the elastic under; roll toward the case. Or, you might be able to get away with just positioning the elastic band up away from the wheels a bit:
    Elastic is scrunched up a bit to clear the casters.

    Elastic is scrunched up a bit to clear the casters.

    Elastic is rolled up and under.

    Elastic is rolled up and under.

  • Pay special attention to the elastic band with an inline wheel design…as opposed to caster wheels. Inline wheels will probably require you to roll up the back side of the cover:inline view
  • The cover will fit a little baggy on an empty or lightly packed case, as shown on the Etsy photos. It’s supposed to so that when you really pack it the cover will accommodate the extra girth:
    This Samsonite is packed to the gills. In this photo, the depth is about 12.5 inches. The seams will not unravel!

    This Samsonite is packed to the gills. In this photo, the depth is about 12.5 inches. The seams will not unravel!

    Inline wheel style packed full. Notice the bottom edge is rolled under to clear the wheels. Inline wheel designs typically do not have front wheels. The front of the cover is simply tucked under the front of the luggage top much like how a fitted sheet is tucked under a mattress.

  • This brings up another important point: It IS a universal fitting cover. It fits most brands pretty darn good. You may have a small amount of bagginess or tightness in an area depending on the design on the front side of your luggage. Or, it may fit like a glove. Maximum carry-on luggage size for the big US domestic airlines is 22x14x9 except Southwest. Some other carriers allow for a larger carry-on. So please know your luggage dimensions before you buy.
  • As stated on Etsy, there is a plastic buckle that fastens a strap on the bottom of your case. You do not need to crank this down as it is not needed to keep the cover in place. Securing it too tightly will pull the fabric down causing it to get caught under the wheels. The intent of the strap is to keep the cover in place when the beating begins…when other luggage is forcibly pushed up against yours. A small amount of tension is all that is necessary for the strap to do its job.

Care instructions: Fabric is 100% nylon. Wash cold to warm water; no hot. Best to air dry but could get away with low dryer temp for a few minutes only.

Enjoy! You’ll get a lot of people asking you about it. And thank you for buying; its much appreciated.

Safe Travels!
Cindy

The Tale of Luggage Covers

The original post date for this entry was December 01, 2015. My bright idea to switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org resulted in my most recent posts not transferring. After hours of thinking I could wear a programmer hat produced nothing but cuss words and the realization the high tech world is passing me by, I was forced to go old school and re-post manually. Without further adieu…here is The Tale of Luggage Covers, republished.

Ever hear of one? I mean, who slides a cover over their carry-on? Me. Who has a banged up cover but a brand new looking carry-on? That would be me too.

I have yet to travel through an airport without being asked, “Where did you get that cover?” On a trip to Houston last summer, after five fellow flyers asked me this question, the light bulb finally lit up. All this time….I felt like so many people were staring at me and I didn’t know why. I’m not Cindy Crawford. Just naming this supermodel must show my age. Do I have tissue stuck to my shoe? Why are you looking at me?? Ah ha!!! My luggage cover! Mystery solved.

Being a very detail-oriented person this blog post could be pretty dang long telling you the tale of luggage covers. I mean, I left no stone unturned.
• Fabric: It had to be sturdy but lightweight; the cover can’t take up a lot of space when not used.
• Airline luggage size requirements: Googled it; got them all.
• Different luggage sizes and styles: Googled it; head spinned.
• Construction: I can top the cover for my suitcase by a long shot.
• Sourcing materials: I’m a small fish in a big pond who wants big fish pricing. But I can’t do a 5,000 minimum order. Sourcing materials is always a challenge.
• Prototypes: Many.
• Manufacturing: How can I Henry Ford them?
• Quality: Always in the front of my mind and the top of my list.
• Offer monogramming: Need a new sewing machine. My husband might argue this is why I chose to make luggage covers.

Here is the tale is pictures:

Trying my cover on luggage at Kohl's. See the black spots at the lower right corner? They are tiny rips from rough handling. And the seam is about to rip out

Trying my cover on luggage at Kohl’s. See the black spots at the lower right corner? They are tiny rips from rough handling. And the seam is about to rip out.

Another view, Check out that skid mark. On my cover but not my case! Trying out my cover on other luggage showed the modifications needed for a universal cover fit.

Another view, Check out that skid mark. On my cover but not my case! Trying out my cover on other luggage showed the modifications needed for a universal cover fit.

First prototype. Tried it on my husband's suitcase. Long and baggy. That's my pristine case in the rear.

First prototype. Tried it on my husband’s suitcase. Long and baggy. That’s my pristine case in the rear.

Back at Kohl's. Much better fit.

Back at Kohl’s. Much better fit. I promise, my legs are shaved even though it appears there’s a little Grizzly Adams action going on.

Another view. Kohl's security cameras know me by now. Although I liked the fit on top I didn't like the front. Another prototype was made. It took a few more modifications before I was happy.

Another view. Kohl’s security cameras know me well by now. Although I liked the fit on top I didn’t like the front. Another prototype was made. It took a few more modifications before I was happy.

I braved Walmart. Thought for sure I'd get busted. This suitcase is smaller than the most common size of 22x14x9 inches. That's why its so baggy.

I braved Walmart. Thought for sure I’d get busted. This suitcase is smaller than the most common size of 22x14x9 inches. That’s why its so baggy. But by rolling up the bottom elastic I saw that it would still work just fine.

Have you ever tried to sew inside mitered corners using double seam binding? Don't. Trust me on this. I racked my brain for another way to enclose the nylon fabric edges because it frays really bad. Nothing met my standards. I spent SO MUCH time on this part. After several days I just walked away from it with a few choice words. When I was ready to tackle it again...the craziest thing happened....I started sewing them like a pro and using only one pin at each corner.

Have you ever tried to sew inside mitered corners using double seam binding? Don’t. You must trust me on this. I racked my brain for another way to enclose the nylon fabric edges because it frays really bad. Nothing met my standards. I spent SO MUCH time on this part. After several days I just walked away from it with a few choice words. When I was ready to tackle it again…the craziest thing happened….I started sewing them like a pro and using only one pin at each corner.

!!!!! SCORE !!!!!

!!!!! SCORE !!!!!

Photo shoot. I couldn't think of a backdrop that really worked. So I used a white tablecloth draped on my fold-up cutting board. Then I edited the photos removing all the background and laying the luggage image on top of another background. I hope it works. Photography is hard and time consuming.

Photo shoot. I couldn’t think of a backdrop that really worked. So I used a white tablecloth draped on my fold-up cutting board. Then I edited the photos removing all the background and laying the luggage image on top of another background. I hope it works. Photography is hard and time consuming.

Big Time Sangria. This has nothing to do with my luggage covers except that it reminded me the times when a happy hour cocktail did me good will sewing inside mitered corners. We made this for Thanksgiving and already have it on our Christmas and New Year's Eve menus. Love my fellow Okie and fairly close neighbor Ree Drummond...aka the Pioneer Woman. Here's the link:

Big Time Sangria. This has nothing to do with my luggage covers except that it reminded me the times when a happy hour cocktail did me good while sewing inside mitered corners. We made this for Thanksgiving and already have it on our Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus. Love my fellow Okie and fairly close neighbor Ree Drummond…aka the Pioneer Woman. Here’s the link:  P-Dubs Sangria. If you looked beyond the sangria you might notice that I have a thing for knives.

Now to get them posted. All pics are ready except for my monogram color and font options. Tomorrow. Although tomorrow is in one minute. 11:59pm.

Thanks for reading!! I do appreciate it.

Please check out my shop if you’d like:

sheislivinoutloud

Facebook and other social media…who has the time??

I stopped the production line on my luggage covers to listen to a webinar on Facebook marketing. I’m telling ya…you truly don’t have to spend a penny on promotion these days. It’s great. There are so many people out there who came before me and want to share their knowledge…for free. My favorite price! But the kicker is: you HAVE to put in the time and sweat.

For the past few weeks my time and sweat has been consumed with mastering the art of mitered seams using double fold bias tape:bias tape hell

Which is a component of these bad boys:
A pile of nearly completed luggage covers

The webinar lost me right at the start when I typed in my FB address to chat: facebook.com/sheislivinoutloud. It didn’t work. How did I not know this? So while trying to listen to and grasp the concepts of fan page promotion, affinity, weight, and time decay I kept going back to “why the heck doesn’t my fan page link work??” First things first man.

By the time the webinar ended I really didn’t hold on to much of the info presented. Sorry Tim! You’re still my Etsy hero!

But !!

The link to my fan page works. Try it: sheislivinoutloud

And !!

My fan page is linked to my blog so now my blog will automatically post to FB.

Bam !!

All was not lost during the webinar. I truly do not know how much of my time and sweat will be allotted to all that is Facebook but I’m really loving this blog thing and now that it’s linked to FB…I’m doing pretty good.

Back to my luggage covers. All they need is elastic on the bottoms. And straps. And photographing. And photo editing. And posting to my shop. And a drink. For me.

These covers ROCK! My son and I ran up to Kohl’s last night….whose security cameras know me well by now…for a final fitting on several different luggage brands. It fits so well. I really did my homework and my design has turned out great. I’ll be posting on the whole process soon. And selling them in my shop. This link works too!: sheislivinoutloud – the coolest little shop around