Sewing Workshop #3: Reversible Tote Bag

Join me this Saturday, Oct 10, 2014, at The Uptown Studio, to make a simple reversible cotton tote bag, with the option to extend the straps to a cross body version.  You’ll leave with your finished bag, a pattern to create more at home, as well as refined skills in stitching straight seams, french seams, topstitching and pressing.

Read the details and pay tuition here.

Children with sewing machine experience are welcome, but students aged 13 or under must have an adult present to assist them.

I made this sample tote using an Alexander Henry fabric.  I can’t wait to see the fabrics my students will select.  See you soon!

tote bag

Win Tickets to the Home and Garden Show!

I really like searching out ideas and images on Google.  I don’t do Pintrest, but Google and I have had a long lasting, typically late night, love affair.  Sometimes over coffee, sometimes over a bowl of cereal, but the truth is I spend more late evenings with the Big G than I do my husband! It’s a wonderful design tool, to be able to seek out visual information instantly. But it lacks texture, touch, smell.  Reaching all the senses is an important part of successful design, and that involves getting out of the digital world and into the light to see some ideas in action!

San Antonio has a great chance to put this into practice with the upcoming San Antonio Fall Home & Garden Show from September 26-28 at the Alamodome!  Now in it’s 28th year, this event is the perfect place to meet other DIYers, local professionals, and even television celebrity designers! HGTV host John Gidding, as well as Chip and Joanna Gaines (“Fixer Upper”), will be on hand to share their knowledge and secrets.

AA Home logo

AA home 1

If you know me at all in real life, you know that I don’t really “do” the outdoors beyond patios and convertibles.  Which is why I am excited to see all of the interior home DIY and design ideas covering entertainment systems, storage, kitchenware, and much more.

AA Home 2

AA Home 4

It’s also a family friendly event, featuring a special Kids Zone that features kids cooking classes, pumpkin activities, cookie and cupcake decorating and a petting zoo. And what would a home be without a furry friend or two? If you’re missing this key design element in your living space, find a forever friend at the Pet Zone that features live pet adoptions. Project Rescue Runway and Kirby Animal Care Services are teaming up to change the lives of shelter pets with a dog and cat fashion runway show!

I’ve partnered with my sister, Morena, at Morena’s Corner, and she has a wonderful easy way for you to win tickets to this event! Simply click the rafflecopter link below, there are multiple ways to gain entries into the giveaway. Then check out her blog for lots of great DIY home crafts!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Attendees will also receive a free tote bag and a pack of Texas bluebonnet seeds.

Tickets are $8.50 for 17+, and Senior Citizen tickets are available for $6.50. All active duty military and 16 years and under receive free admission. A single ticket is good for the entire weekend. For more information and coupons, visit and

H&M is happening (and it’s finally not a rumor)

My little European styling, bargain hunting, on trend but not too trendy heart is beating a little faster today, y’all.



Sorry about the caps.  I’m excited, but to be honest, the store opening isn’t even the most exciting part for me.  But I’ll get to that later.

I remember my first trip to H&M.  Marc and I were visiting LA, walking down Hollywood Blvd, admiring the, uhhhhh…”wonderfully” costumed characters walking around, when we found ourselves standing in front of the store we had heard and seen but never experienced.  An hour later, we were debating what we couldn’t live without, because suitcase space was limited.  And so began a cycle of finding an H&M on every trip we went on.  Philly. NYC. San Francisco.  LA (again). Tucson. Dallas. And finally…finally…

The Shops at La Cantera! If you’ve never been to an H&M, at this approx 27,000 sf location you can expect to find collections for ladies, men, young ladies and young men, with separate “store within store” sections for accessories, lingerie, sports apparel, maternity and its plus-size line, H&M+. I am especially excited for the children’s collection, which features unique, stylish clothing for kids of all ages, from newborn to fourteen years.

“But you said there was something more exciting, Susie! Stop holding out.”

It’s no secret that I am big on both natural living and recycling.  And so is H&M! They are one of the largest users of organic cotton in the world. And the sustainable designs for Summer 2014 are just the start, as H&M is committed to using only organic or better cotton in all of its collections by 2020.

In addition to responsible harvesting, H&M offers a garment recycling program. Through this initiative, H&M customers at The Shops at La Cantera can help save natural resources and contribute to a reduced environmental impact by donating old and unwanted pieces of clothing from any brand while in the store. Customers will receive a voucher for 15% off their entire purchase for each bag of donated clothing.

But wait, there’s more.

To kick off the recycling program on opening day, customers who bring garments to be recycled before the store opens at noon will also have the chance to win H&M gift cards valued between $50 and $100 in addition to receiving the 15% off voucher.

And more:

In celebration of opening day, H&M at The Shops at La Cantera will offer the first 300 shoppers in line an H&M t-shirt and Access to Fashion Pass, valued from $10 to $300, hand other exciting opening offers for the whole family!  The party is being hosted by SA’s own fashion icon (and wonderful friend), Tori from The sToribook


So clean your closet, tweet to win, and get in line for swag.  I’ll see you in the dressing rooms!  Be sure to tag me in some pics of your finds!

The Shops at La Cantera is located at 15900 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 25190, San Antonio, TX, 78256. The store can be reached by phone at (855) 466-7467. Store hours will be Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Disclaimer: I received an outfit rom H&M for my services. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Help bring Night of the Living Dead to the stage in SA!

I am thrilled to be reuniting with local director Bryan Ortiz on a new project. Last year, I worked with him on the feature film Sanitarium. This time, we’re headed back to the Overtime Theatre to create a unique in-the-round stage experience of George Romero’s classic film, Night of the Living Dead. I will be serving as the Costume Designer for this project. Check us out on Facebook here



We have big dreams for this, and a great creative team.  Robert Jerdee and Suzanne Markova (two other long time friends of mine, in fact Suzanne helps me produce 4-5 shows a year for our other project!) are on board as producers, and this event is sure to be a highlight of your Halloween plans.  BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!



We’ve started a kickstarter to help raise the needed funds to cover our set, makeup (zombies are high maintenance!), and designer fees-and we have some AMAZING rewards! You can buy your way into being a zombie on stage during the show, or round out your night with hunted house tickets! Please head over and watch the promo video, and if you’d like to help us achieve all of our goals on this new endeavor consider giving a little bit. Check it out here.   Thanks for your support of the Arts in San Antonio!



I’m having a flash sale thru 11:59 pm Sunday, August 18!  Place your order by using the form below.

Enjoy 15% off custom ordered Essentials bags.  Choose tote or messenger strap, on sale for just $55.25 (regularly $65). Outside drink pockets can be added for an additional $5.

Fabric choice must be from the following album:

This handmade bag is created with a cotton canvas outer layer, and heavyweight duck canvas lining and pockets. It is sturdy, but not stiff, making it comfortable and smooth against your body.


-14″ Tall, 10″ Wide, 5″ Deep

-2 Pleated Outer Pockets, lined in water repellent duck cnavas, are large enough to hold water bottles or sippy cups

-Interior Divider features two flat 5.5″ tall pockets

-4 Large pleated pockets, 2 on each side of the divider; each measuring 10″ high and 7.5″ wide when fully expanded.

-Durable, double stitched seams and reinforced stress points.

-Designer Outer Fabric

To order, please respond to the form below. You will receive an invoice from me confirming your order, this must be paid by 11:59 pm Sunday, August 18, to claim the 15% discount. Any trim used will be at the designers discretion. making sure your bag is truly one of a kind.

Keep up with the day to day happenings of Free Rose Studio by liking us on Facebook!



DIY Up-Cycle Day 4: Wood Guitar Pedal Board

All this week, I’ve been posting about DUY Upcycling projects that my husband, Marc, and I have worked on in his home music studio.  So far, I’ve shown you how we turned a cabinet door into a shelf, repurposed upper kitchen cabinets into a compact, organizational workspace, and organized small guitar parts with recycled glass jars

Todays project was one Marc did on a whim, and it’s so easy I can explain it in 3 steps and one photo. 

Step One: Grab an old, discarded wooden shelf or other finished piece of wood.

Step Two: Apply pre-cut adhesive strips of Velcro to both the board and your guitar pedals; evenly spacing the velcro strips across the board.  If some of your pedals are wider, you may wish to place one or two pieces off center.

Step Three: Stick pedals to board.  Add cables, amp, guitar and jam! 



This streamlined, simple board blends in with the decor of the room and keeps everything orderly, which is so important when working in a small space! Join me tomorrow for the end of DIY week, I’ll explain how we came into the fun, striped floor in this room.