Save trees, only print what you need
We are choosing not to print our instructions, to reduce waste and our impact on the environment.
With that in mind, we are going to put instructions for our various Colour-Cut-And-Sew projects on the blog instead.
Here's how to make this bag - lined, and unlined.
A - your CCS fabric - includes the body of the bag, and two straps. You can colour this in first, or afterwards. Choose whatever colouring media you like, and be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to set the colour.
1 - the 'good' side, or printed side, also showing the seam allowance
2 - the 'bad' or unprinted side
3 - new stitches to sew for this step
B - when lining the bag, these two pieces can be cut from your own stash, or from Copper Catkin fat quarters. You will need two fat quarters, cut to x by y, where x = the width of A. and y = half the length of A plus a 2cm seam allowance
Step 1 - make the straps
Folding the fabric so that the good side is on the inside, form a tube. Sew all down the open side, then turn inside-out. Press neatly with the seam down the middle of one side.
Step 2 - attach the straps
Pin the pressed straps to the good side of the bag, and stitch in place along the top.
Unlined bag - step U1
Fold towards the "bad" side and press along the top edges, then stitch two more rows to secure the straps.
Unlined bag - step U2
Folding the bag in half with the good side facing inwards, sew the two side seams.
Unlined bag - step U3
Turn right-side-out, and press. Your unlined bag is finished!
Lined bag - step L1
Complete steps 1 and 2 as above.
Attach your lining along the top edges of the bag.
The two lining pieces should overlap a little - this will form the seam allowance for the bottom of the lining.
Lined bag - step L2
Flatten out the bag and sew along the top edges, below your previous stitches, to reinforce the handles. Ensure you are not sewing the lining as well at this stage.
Lined bag - step L3
Fold the whole length of the bag in half, good side inwards, and sew up the sides and along the bottom of the lining, leaving a gap at the bottom of the lining.
Lined bag - finishing
Turn the bag right-side-out by pulling it through this gap, then stitch gap closed, and press if desired.
And here's an example of a finished bag for reference:
How did you get on with yours? Pop over to our Facebook page and send us a message with photos, if you like!
Decorating the house is awesome
In New Zealand, we really only have one major "holiday" a year - Christmas. Even though a great many New Zealanders do not identify as Christians, it's still a holiday that many of us celebrate.
At Copper Catkin HQ, we are a secular household who love to decorate the tree and exchange gifts - particularly when they give us an opportunity to purchase from other small businesses - and we begin planning and shopping for our gifts towards the middle of the year.
2018 was supposed to be our last Xmas in NZ, so we went all out - here's a small selection of gifts we gave, because I really enjoy looking at them again.
My mum collects ornaments for their tree, so it's the souvenir of choice when we travel, or when we visit Xmas markets.
One thing that we (well, I) really hate is when it's time to put the tree away - so this range of decorations is designed to be suitable all year round. There's nothing religious, and nothing seasonal - you can use them anywhere, any time.
Here's how we designed them.
I started with the idea of my popular designs as a starting point, but simplified to suit the laser-cutting requirements.
At this point, I handed the concept over to El Huz, who developed the images into vectors, then into between one and three of the following options:
We sent off a test file to Atomik Laser, who cut our previous laser-cut-designs, to have them recommend a suitable material, based on their experience, and give us a quote. They recommended acrylic, and we chose clear as the range of colours available in NZ is frankly disappointing.
This is how we received the sheet, with the protective coating still in place.
They actually look fantastic once they are all peeled and cleaned up - I am really excited to launch these tomorrow!
OK, so at first glance, this just looks like "a duck". Like, a normal duck.
Oh dear, there are multiple species called "toroa" on this list, and I didn't realise. Ok, let's make sure that we get the differences between them really clear!
Current thinking divides the albatrosses into four genera. The number of species is a matter of debate. The IUCN and BirdLife International recognise 22 extant species (listed below), ITIS recognise 21 (the 22 below minus T. steadi), and one recent paper proposed a reduction to 13 (indicated in parentheses below), comprising the traditional 14 species minus D. amsterdamensis.
We have already covered the Antipodean albatross, aka toroa.
Today, we are looking at the Gibson's wandering albatross/toroa, and we still also have to cover the Salvin’s albatross or mollymawk/toroa, too.
Based on the species information from NZ birds online article about the Antipodean albatross, pictured above, the Gibson's albatross is actually a subspecies - and I have already drawn two birds with Gibson's markings.
DOC also lumps them together in their article - and given that we have so many birds to cover, we are going to call this one done (because it is!) and move on to the next.
My first thought was: "Magenta petrel" sounds amazing... but the bird is not at all pink or red...
"At sea, one bird was taken as a specimen in 1867 and named the Magenta petrel after the Italian expedition’s ship" - oh.
Today has been a busy day, with errands and earrings taking up most of the daylight. As I finally settle down to draw, El Huzbando is already making our dinner!
Shags have a very distinct silhouette, and, with their amusing name, became one of the only non-forest birds that I could recognise easily - but there are so many species!
The watercolour image below shows the importance of tiny details in making sure each species is correctly represented.
Every day, another bird
It's sometimes hard to get started on a drawing. Generally, I just let myself choose another task, and come back to the drawing when the mood takes me - but I have committed to a bird every weekday, so here we go - my first attempt at overcoming "drawer's block".
Not that long ago, I found out that black-billed gulls were actually endangered. I hadn't ever really looked at the seagulls at the beach except to protect whatever I was trying to eat*, or avoid being pooed on, as happened on a recent walk along Petone foreshore.
*Never feed gulls any food or scraps – some of our food is harmful to them.
Kakii, or black stilt, is a native wading bird only found in New Zealand. It is regarded by Maaori as a taonga species, a living treasure.
Once the common stilt of New Zealand, the black stilt is now critically endangered with a breeding population confined to the Mackenzie Basin of South Canterbury and North Otago. Adults are distinctive in having entirely black plumage, long red legs and a thin black bill, but juveniles and subadults can easily be overlooked amongst pied stilts, while hybrids add to the plumage confusion. Black stilts frequent the wide open braided rivers and associated wetlands of the Mackenzie Basin. There they favour shallow waters of invertebrate-rich sidestreams and pools, wading out into deep water if necessary. Some birds migrate to northern New Zealand harbours.
NZ birds online
The kakaruia - a tiny birb
Robins in general are tiny creatures, straining at the seams to encompass enormous personalities. From what I can tell, the Chatham Islands black robin is no different.