StudioKat News                August 2009

 In This Issue-
  National Sewing Month contest
   Aug "Handbag of the Month"
   New Pattern release info
   Southwest Decoratives
   Haan Crafts
   Project Runway-season 6
   Maria Calandra Designs
  Sleep Foundation Website
  Simplify Your Life Week
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Hello and Welcome-
Well summer has finally arrived in North Carolina. July was uncharacteristically cool & dry, but I guess the party's over, because so far, August has been miserably hot & humid. But that's OK. I'm chained indoors in my studio anyway, trying to finish up my new handbag pattern, the Lollapalooza, but more about that later. I hope you're enjoying these last few days of summer before settling back into your Fall routine.
And by the way, thanks for all of your feedback regarding this new format. It was overwhelmingly positive, so I guess we'll be sticking with it.
And as always, if you're having trouble viewing this newsletter, just click on the big purple button below, to view it in your own browser.
So whatcha say? Shall we proceed?
If you have comments or suggestions about our Newsletter or this new format, please feel free to let us know at
  If you're having trouble reading this email- Click HERE for the web version
Feline Quote for July-
"Everything comes to those who wait...except a cat."  Mario Andretti
New on my Website-
Thanks to Ann Horton of Wilson, NY, here's another fun video featuring Simon's cat! Enjoy!  Let Me IN!
Bobbin Around the Web- ReUse, Remake, ReStyle
 This year's National Sewing Month celebration is building on last year's "Sew Green" theme, challenging the world to "ReMake, ReUse & ReStyle". To add a little extra fun to the process, a challenge has been issued that will run thru Sept. 30th, 2009. They want to see creative ideas for implementing environmentally sound & resourceful sewing into one's life. Perhaps it's a thrift store treasure restyled into a bag, tote or a vintage-style garment. Perhaps it's a way to remake an everyday product into something unique & eco-thrifty. So click here for a set of rules & sew up your best ideas & YOU might just be a lucky winner! Go to or for more information.
 "Handbag of the Month" Gallery-
I love seeing the beautiful handbags you all are creating, and this has been the biggest contest we've had yet. It was an extremely close vote and I really didn't know who the winner would be until the last hour!  Our winner will receive a $10.00 SKD gift certificate & a permanent place of honor on our website. So without further ado, let's all congratulate Jenny Durey, of Sydney, Australia, our lucky winner in the July 09 Handbag Contest. Click here  to see her wonderful Trifecta!
This month's contest has several entries from my testers featuring the new Lollapalooza pattern,'s this month's entries (and they are AWESOME!)
  • Peg Rice of Westport Island, ME created this yummy Encore Purse Insert to go with the Lollapalooza she made while testing for me.  
  • Terry Denner of San Diego, CA has been making early Christmas gifts! (Don't you wish you were this organized?) This lovely Harmony Handbag will be going to... well I guess we better not say, in case she's reading this, right?
  • Judy Graf of Tyler, TX created two Lollapalooza's while testing the pattern for me. Both of them employed the embellishing technique discussed in my blog on July 16th. The animal print on this bag is alternated with pleather, while Judy intricately corded each seam on this red & black beauty!
  • Lori Gates of Tyler, TX also created two Lollapaloozas while testing.This cotton print Lollapalooza was "simply lovely". Lori also used the striping effect from the blog to make her 2nd bag, and threw in a matching Encore Purse Insert for good measure! 

     OK, ready to vote now? Just click on the link below to cast your vote.

    Only one vote per day, per email address is allowed.

        Click here to vote! 

       Come back next month to see who the winner is! 

Blog with us!-  "A Work in Progress"


Do You think you've got what it takes to be a designer? Would you enjoy seeing what happens behind the scenes as new patterns are developed? You can enjoy an insider's scoop on what's happening "In a StudioKat's Day", by signing up for our new blog! And if you missed any of this month's entries just click on the individual links to the right. 




Here's the entries
 from JULY
July 22-On Safari
New at StudioKat Designs- Countdown to the Lollapalooza!
The directions are written, the pattern-testing is complete, the cover is designed and at the printer, so we're close, very close to the release of my new pattern, the Lollapalooza. I've gotten several more samples made since the last newsletter, this african paneled print made a particularly pretty exterior. I also think that Kokopelli, (detailed below), has a paneled print that would work beautifully as well!
The Lollapalooza will be officially released with the next newsletter on September 5th, 2009. But at this point, it helps me a bunch to have a staggered release, (to spread the large volume of orders over a longer period of time). For this reason, the Lollapalooza will probably be available on my website sometime BEFORE Sept 5th, so if you're in a hurry for it, (and many of you have said you are), you might want to check back sometime before then. As usual, there will be a discount coupon available for you to use if you buy your pattern before Sept 30th. Just type LOLLAKAT in the coupon code box at checkout to get $2 off the $12 retail price. 
If you like to add Southwest flair to the things you make, then you need to checkout Kokopelli-Southwest Decoratives. Whether you quilt or cross-stitch, paint or craft, there's a taste of Southwest in everything! I love the pieced and appliqued jacket patterns, and my daughter would actually love a skirt  like this. There's also terrific fabrics and what would you think about THIS wonderful WildWest panel for my new Lollapalooza handbag? Does anyone want to try it?
A Cool Place to Shop- Haan Crafts
The kids will be back in school in just a few short days, & it's a perfect time to check out Haan Crafts. Whether you are a home economics teacher in a public school, a sewing instructor in a local quilting store, or a home-schooling Mom who is looking for a little educational diversity for the kids, you'll love this website. You can choose from a large variety of kits that your students will LOVE, whether they have sewn for years or are just getting ready to tackle their first project. My personal favorite is the Locker Caddies, but your kids may also love the large selection of stuffed animal kits & beginner quilting projects, to just mention a few!
Quote of the Month- 
"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."- 
George Bernard Shaw
Blog of the Month- Blue Ridge Blog- "All I need is an outhouse and a dream!"

I know I generally have cat-related items on this newsletter, but in truth, I love dogs too. Blue Ridge Blog is one that I check out on a regular basis because of the stunning photography and excellent writing. 

This piece in particular is truly one of the best I've read lately, so if you've ever had or loved a big dog,  read and enjoy!
Your Cat Might Own You IF- the Christmas cards you send out feature your cat sitting on Santa's lap? (You get extra points if your cat signs the card!)
Surf HERE for Neat Info- Make it WORK... finally
The long-delayed new season of Project Runway is set to debut on Aug 20th & I just can't wait! The hit reality program has been in limbo since early 2008, when it tried to move from BravoTV to Lifetime, but since the dispute was finally settled, it's time to "make it work" again! It seems so long since the Season 5 finale, that I felt compelled to go back & watch all of the previous seasons to catch back up. My little buddy Joba is just as addicted to Project Runway as I am. Here he is catching up on Season 2. Who is his favorite designer you might ask? Joba's a ladies man & he loves Hiedi Klum more than fashion I'm afraid, but I enjoy his company anyway, whatever his motive. And if you're into Project Runway like me & Joba, click here to get to the low-down on the designers for this season. So set your DVR's for Aug 20th & let the nit-picking & seam snipping begin!
New Word of the Month- Moronasaurus
Someone whose stupidity has, or should have, caused them to become extinct.
Love Handbags?- Marla Calandra Designs
Marla Calandra crafts her own custom design jewelry pieces which she creates from precious metal wires, Czech glass, Swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones.  (I love these tabby cat earrings.) She also designs and constructs handbags and totes from vintage & contemporary fabrics making many of her handbags one-of-a-kind originals. This precious little evening bag is one of my favorites, as is this toile slouch bag. I enjoyed looking at Marla's embellishing ideas and you may too. 
Sewing Tips for Beginners- 
When starting your first REAL project, use fabric that will not fray or ununravel.
Did You Know?...
...that adult frogs are carnivorous and will eat just about anything smaller than themselves, including insects, worms and even other frogs. Some frogs are tiny but the largest, the Goliath frog, can weigh as much as EIGHT pounds!   WOW! That's terrifying!
Surf Here for FUN!- Ace of Cakes
Art & cuisine meet on the fun new Food Network show, Ace of Cakes. The show presents the creations of Chef Duff & his staff as they decorate up to 20 cakes per week. The Ace of Cakes website features videos highlighting the show's sweet creations & cool cakes baked by viewers.
And speaking of cakes, the fantastic one pictured on the right was made by Monique Grandin (my cousin). I am in total awe of the cakes Monique makes. Click here to see some more of Monique's edible art. She just might be the best kept secret in Wilmington, NC so if you live in the Coastal Carolina vicinity  and would like a custom designed cake for a wedding, birthday, shower, or any other special occasion, you might email Monique at
Laugh Lines-
If you think there's good in everybody, then you haven't met everybody!
A Cool Internet Activity- Sleep on it!
The National Sleep Foundation website is packed with helpful information about sleep including articles, videos & quizzes. You can learn about the correlation between exercise & sleep, food & sleep, how medical problems can affect sleep, & more. This topic is of special interest to me, since my husband was just diagnosed with sleep apnea. (Once he gets his equipment, maybe we'll BOTH sleep better?!?) The site also lists international sleep care centers, & a variety of online communities to share your experiences with sleep & sleep disorders.
Question of the Month-

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?

Monthly Trivia-
There seems to be quite a few folks these days who for what ever reason, are searching for ways to simplify their lives, by cutting back on unnecessary spending, slowing down, & focusing on true priorities. For one person, this might mean working fewer hours, for another, it could call for cleaning out unused junk, & for yet another, it may mean just saying NO to the daily barrage of requests from other people. Did you know that this week (the first week of August) is officially called "Simplify Your Life Week"? For practical organizing tips, go to OnlineOrganizing.Com. You can sign up for the the FREE Newsletter, check out the Blogs and even get a Tip of the Day!
Today is also the birthday of one of our national heroes. Neil Armstrong, the 1st man to walk on the moon is 79 today. As a matter of fact, last month was the 40th anniversary of that "out-of-the-world" stroll. So if today is also YOUR birthday, here's a great big 'Happy Birthday to YOU' from StudioKat Designs. And if today is not your birthday, you can still celebrate by cleaning out a closet, by leaving work early to spend the afternoon with your kid, or maybe by just taking a little post-dinner stroll (there's no space suit required for YOUR walk).
Well, that's it for now, so until next month, remember!
Sewing Forever, Housework Whenever!
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StudioKat Designs,