Local Places, Local Faces
I’m a pretty bad golfer but still enjoy going out just to enjoy a beautiful day. Last week Terry and I played at Twisted Oaks in Beverly Hills. We were pleasantly surprised with the rolling hills and course.
I recently made 48 bags for our daughter’s wedding. The first 29 were all unique, with different embellishments, handles, and facing. But when I hit a time crunch, the remaining 19 bags were made quick and easy.
You might remember my post from making 20-minute totes for Lauri’s wedding. They turned out really nice but I didn’t like the unfinished edges. It was just a matter of time before those babies unravel. So I now have a new method to make totes and all the edges are finished. This takes longer than the “20-minute tote” but I think the clean finish is worth it.
Because all of the totes were denim and there was no special one-way print on them, I was able to get rid of that bottom seam.
Small Tote, 12″ x 13.5″ bag
Cut a piece of 14” x 30” denim
Cut 2 22” pieces of webbing for handles
Attach handles 3 inches from each side
This is when you should put any embellishments like pockets, appliques, or yo-yos on.
Turn under ½ “, stitch 3/8” from edge
Turn under 1”, stitch 7/8” from edge , Make sure the handles are pushed up when you stitch them.
Put WRONG sides together
Stitch ¼” from each side.
Turn wrong sides out, press.
Stitch ½” from edge on both sides
Turn right side out, press.
Way back in October 2012 I made several totes for gift bags for Alan and Lauri’s out-of-town wedding guests. I used a tutorial from the Purl Bee website. They have numerous easy and fun sewing, crocheting, and knitting instructions.
Jessica and Andrew asked for 50 totes for their guests for their recent April wedding. Zowie! And I managed to make 44 before my machine had a stress attack and had to go to the clinic. Fortunately I had my old sewing machine tucked away and it came to the rescue for the next 4 bags–didn’t quite make it to the 50 mark.
I decided to use denim for the totes. I thought it fit in with the bluegrass, blueberries, and blue gingham theme. Plus I had stacks of old denim that I’d been saving from jeans that have seen better days or just gone of style (You’re not going to catch me in high-waisted mom jeans). I knew that I would still need to get more denim but I waited for it to go on sale at www.fabric.com and then for it to arrive.
Meanwhile, I made 29 unique bags and came up with a better method to make them.
Here’s a few of the totes:
When I finished bag 29, I started to panic–running out of time. No more special bags with embellishments or different handles. This is what the next 19 bags looked like!
I like to consider myself the Mistress of Mediocrity. I do many, many things pretty well – I don’t do anything particularly well enough to be considered a Master of the subject. One thing I’ve always known that I am absolutely terrible at is floral design. Yea, I know…but I love my flowers and gardening, etc. And, oh yes there’s that extensive pottery collection of, you guessed it, flower vases and pots! Ahhh, to have one of those ‘still-life’ looking artsy arrangements. Oh, no, if I bring home flowers from the store they end up looking about like this.
Just tossed in a vase. Or trimmed and trimmed like the proverbial ‘haricut’ ending in stubby stems and looking for a much shorter vase. Ugh – I quit. If it didn’t fit in my Rose Bowl, I didn’t bring it home. One day, not long ago, while reading a cooking magazine (yes, cooking), I spotted a new book coming out called The Flower Recipe Book.
Really? I can follow a recipe. So, they had a pre-order special with Amazon and I went for it. Besides, I had the Jubilee Luncheon to decorate for (a good excuse). I’m so glad I did. Turns out, in addition to doing it poorly, I’ve been doing it backwards all these years ! It was fun to just read thru it.
OK, so here’s the odd part, I bought a couple of grocery store bouquets for the bridal luncheon and was all set to make little arrangements. Then the weather and other events put me so far behind the 8 ball that they never got done. -sigh- They were sitting lonely in the corner when Kathy pointed them out to me and I knew they’d be wasted. Noooo. Afterward, (like 4 days later) I got out my new book and was determined to make them lovely. I think I did ok for a beginner. Here’s what I did.
I’d planned to put flowers in my Mother-in-Laws old silver service, and it was all polished and ready to go. I also gathered my old favorite rose bowl. This was a $5 flea market item of depression glass. If you see one, buy it. They’re a easy way to display roses, and other flowers, that have short stems. Which are what you’ll find in most landscapes. They’re small and look sweet on a small table or night stand.
The book is written by some nice ladies that have a fabulous floral design shop in San Francisco. That means they have access to unbelievable fresh stems! I don’t…or do I? The bunches I’d picked up were the standard roses and alstroemeria, along with a mixed bouquet of whites. What I needed was something of interest. I walk by interesting flowers every day and never paid attention! That honeysuckle that I planted to greet my visitors with smiling blooms and wonderful scents, has tendrils extending out calling to be loved.
The hedges, as I forget, are loropetalums, that have burgundy leaves with sweet fuchsia blooms and they need trimming anyway…get a basket and the scissors.
I give The Flower Recipe Book 5 stars! The book explains what they use and why (maybe other books do too, and I just wasn’t paying attention). Then gives you a simple recipe to follow. Three styles for each flower they selected to showcase. It talks about using tape to hold stems upright – a lightbulb idea (why didn’t I ever think of that!).
That’s really all I used, along with my clippers. I made 7 arrangements that morning and the flowers lasted another few days. There were roses at my bedside, flowers in the kitchen, and more for my desk. I also got one of those ‘still-life’ artsy groupings I’d always admired…it won’t make a Hermitage exhibit, but least it’s artsy to me.
Michelle at Badzoot.com