Friday, October 22, 2010

Bag mania!

Sometimes, I get a little tunnel visioned, and, well,  fixated (although Don likes to call it obsessed) with an idea or project.  Recently, it was bags.  Tote bags, purses, wallets, purse organizers...they all fit into that category.  It started with the tote bag I made for my mom for her birthday.  I also made one for myself:

Next, using 100% wool yarn that I had leftover from other projects, I found a bag pattern that I just had to try:
This bag is made up of 10 hexagons and 4 diamonds, all knited in one piece, then felted.  As I wanted to use up some yarn in my stash, I used EVERY color I had, in various combinations.  No 2 hexagons are alike.  My kids promptly christened this the ugly purse.  It was felted, then I lined it, added closures and handled, and was pleased with the results.  So pleased, that I.....

...had to make a wallet and cell phone case to coordinate with it.

Next came a felted mini messenger bag for my grandmother's birthday.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it, as I was afraid that I would forget and post it before her birthday.  I did, however make one for my mom as well.  My grandmother's was purple, and my mom's was black.  Although you can't really see the detail in this picture, the flap has a cable pattern on it.  Both were fully lined, with an interior pocket.

Next came this fun little bag.  I really liked the shape of it, and couldn't resist.  It was a really quick knit, and is also felted and fully lined.

This was another quick knit, and I thought it would be good for those quick little outings, when you don't really need a big purse:

I'm not much for beads and buttons usually, but when I saw that heart bead, I thought it would be the perfect compliment to the yarn.

And finally, I found a pattern for this bag.  The pattern came in 3 sizes, and I chose to make the medium one, which did not turn out to be as large as I thought.  I may have to make the bigger one eventually, but this will be big enough for smaller projects, or quick outings.  There is a braided cable on the front that extends into the handles.

This bag is also lined, but I added a covered cardboard bottom and some pockets, to give it some stability and to help keep it organized.  I'm really happy with how it turned out!

The crazy thing is that I'm not the kind of person that changes purses with regularity, but I think I will have to start, with so many cute options now.

The even crazier part is ....  I still have an awful lot of wool yarn!

P.S.  Remember the charity fundraising gift basket I made for my mother-in-law?  I found out that it sold for $75 at silent auction!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy...and about to get busier!

Yikes, time sure flies!  I've had the best of intentions for sitting down and writing to you, but before I know it, the day is over!

Two weeks ago, Katie, Maddie, and I went to MOPS.  It was Craft Day, which is one of my favorite things about going there.  Big surprise, right?  This month's craft was children's aprons.  Some moms worked on their projects there, but I took mine home to do with the girls.

We were given canvas aprons to color on, using regular crayons, then heat setting with an iron.  I had each of the girls pick out a picture from PrintShop to use:

Then, using my sliding glass door and a Sharpie pen, I traced the outlines for them:

This was a really good idea, but by the time I finished the fourth one, I thought my arms were going to drop off!  I used to have a glass topped dining room table, which was perfect for things like this.  On that day, I missed that table!

The next step was to get the kids busy with their crayons:



and Katie.

Maddie didn't get to help, but she was there "supervising" while I made one for her.

The next step was to heat set the design, and make it washable.  Using an iron on high heat and a sheet of computer paper, you iron the design until the wax starts to bleed through the paper.

Proof that I own an iron, even if it is only used for craft projects!

And now, the finished aprons:

Super fun, super easy, super quick!  Do kids' projects get any better than that?

On a quick side note:  in my title, I say I'm about to get busier.  NO, not baby #7.  Two nights ago, I signed on to be a Daisy Scout Troop leader for the kindergarten and first grade girls at our elementary school.  So far, we have 11 girls signed up to participate, and could get more.  As if that won't keep me busy enough, last night I participated in a Children's Ministry Vision meeting, and it looks as if that will be an ongoing project also.  I'm excited about both of these projects, and hope that I can balance everything, without having to give up much of what I'm already doing.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm back!

I've been gone for a while, which you might not have noticed.  I got a rare treat (although my family will tell you it's not as rare as I think it is!), and got to go out of town without any of the kids.

My last post, I wished my grandmother a happy 90th birthday.  The real truth is that on that day, which was her actual birthday, my mom, sister, and I were on a plane bound for New Jersey.  My mother and two aunts had planned a surprise party to celebrate, and part of the surprise was that the three of us from California were going to be there.

Once a month, my grandmother goes out to dinner with a group of people from her church.  The dinner was scheduled for Friday night, so my aunt planned the party for that particular night.  The plan, of course, was for everyone to be there ahead of time.  My sister, cousin, and I got to the restaurant to set up a little early.  We placed the members of her regular group at the first table she would see. 

My grandmother walked in, saw them first, and greeted them.  The next table was more of the usual group, with some of her local family.  We figured she would be surprised to see her grandchildren and great grandchildren there.
The lady in the front left corner is the pastor at my grandmother's church, seated next to a member of the Adults Dining Out group.  Next to him is my aunt and uncle, with my grandmother at the head of the table.  On the right side of the table is my cousin, her husband, and their two daughters.

At the last table was the rest of the family:  my aunt, uncle, and cousin, my mother and sister, and my cousin, his wife, and their daughter.  Oh yeah, and I was there too!  My grandmother walked in, and looked at my sister.  She looked away, looked back again, and repeated the scenario again.  Finally, it occurred to her that she DID know my sister, and that she wasn't some random stranger, crashing dinner.  Here is the expression on her face when she realized that the three of us were there:

Needless to say, it was totally worth the difficulty in keeping quiet about our plans.  THAT is one of the main reasons my blogs last month were so few and far between....I was afraid I would spill the beans!  By the way, my grandmother mentioned that this was the first birthday party she had ever had that was not a family party.  My aunt did a fabulous job...planning the party, cleaning her house so that she could host the three of us, planning events for my grandmother, so our presence would be undetected for the 19 hours we were there before the party, and keeping it all quiet.  Great job, Aunt Jill!

My sister was able to stay for 5 days, my mom and I were there for 11.  Here are a few more pictures of our trip.  Not many, however, we were kept too busy to really use the camera!
My mom and aunt, with 2 of their nieces.

Me, Gam, and Becky, around dessert time.

My cousin, with his niece and his daughter.

My grandmother, with her 3 daughters.  This picture was taken at the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City.

My sister, me, Gam, and my cousin, also at the Tropicana.
We had a great visit with family, good food (and lots of it!), shopping, great weather.  I couldn't have asked for anything more.  But it was good to get home!

Take care, and I'll talk to you again soon!