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11  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Starry Starry Quilted Grocery Bag/Cut down the Stash! Also INTERFACING ideas. on: November 20, 2009 10:50:27 AM

Tha bouquet is combination of Mexican Sage and Cotoneaster. Both grow really well in SF Bay Area yards
Our community chorus is singing songs that have a star theme for our December concerts. Isnt that a pretty idea our director had? I thought so. I was so pleased when I found this star print fabric in my garage rafter stash (see Garage Rafter Stash Busting Story below).

I did simple one way diagonal quilting  in pretty yellow rayon thread that shows up the stars nicely.

PATTERN is my own but pretty similar to a narrower Jordy bag (a t-shape flat bottom).  

INTERFACING I really like to use or give a grocery bag that can STAND UP EMPTY. This one does nicely. I use TWO interfacings.
1)   A thick quilt batting that fuses on BOTH sides
2)   A piece of the stiff stuff that the Joannes sales staff calls CRINOLINE. It is NOT sold with interfacing at my Joannes. I have to ask for it.

I fuse one side of the batting to the outside (part that shows) of the bag and the other side to the crinoline. Then I sew my big T together in one piece, leaving the top and bottom open. I then turn my one big piece right sides out.  Then I do my simple quilting. After that I sew seams and the bottom gusset.

After that I do any trim at the top. Here I added a piece of the bag inside material, along the top and folded it down inside the bag. Its a simple blue pin dot that was in my rafter stash too and doesnt show much.

Then I INTERFACE my strap or straps with a length of the CRINOLINE and sew them onto a keychain ring from the hardware store. I attach that with either another piece of fabric or with grosgrain ribbon or whatever looks cute and I have. Usually I insert that last piece into the top of the bag but I couldnt do that here because Id done a foldover top (which I had to do because I interfaced too far out well call that a feature not a bug).

Usually I do two straps but it turned out I didnt have 4 rings the same size so my chorus director only gets one strap on her bag.

I will put in a loaf of home made bread, add a note about its connection to our concert. Also something that says its intended for groceries but I wont mind at all if she passes it on as a eco-friendly present giving bag. Some people are not take-your-own-bags to the store people and I just want it to be used.

Garage Rafter Stash Busting Story

I was working through some boxes in the garage rafters you know those boxes dont you? Yes, we put them there when we moved into our new house. That was 18 years ago now. I finally committed (of my own accord not because my husband bugged me to which is a lot better) to going through those boxes. I do 2 a week. How hard is that? Its embarrassing to have goodies that could be rottingm when the economy is blue.) I stood over the donation bin (thank you Moses that the donation pickup truck comes by every month or so) and put about half the box contents in there. I hope some crafster/sewer/teacher/costume creator is happy to find those nice big pieces of material.

The rest I committed to turning into grocery bags for holiday presents. And they have to be pretty bags, worthy of being presents.

Whatever is left, unused but still useful for somebody, after the winter holidays goes into the donation bin.

12  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / How to frame very, very old magazine/paper manual so they can be used? on: November 13, 2009 08:34:48 AM
I have two very old (over 100 year) items that I want to be able, every once and a while, to take out and read from. One is actually an old guitar manual so it's somewhat thicker than a regular magazine. The other is a Ladies Home Journal from 1893. It has some substance to it and is fairly long and wide - more so than a modern mag.

Most of the time I want to keep them from falling apart any more than they have.

I'd like to be able to put them up on a wall, like a picture, so that I can enjoy seeing them, and also so that I know where they are and can get them out and use them.

I think they are too thick for a regular photo frame. I need something like a glass or clear plastic box to put them in, but something that supports their back so that they don't fall apart worse than they have.


I guess I could put them so they are laying flat on a counter in some kind of glass/plastic box to keep them in good shape and have less gravity pulling on them.

Is there some standard kind of (not horribly expensive) container that you get from a standard kind of place? Or do I have to construct something in a special sort of way? If so how do I construct it.

When I see things like this in a library display they are in a glass case like a deep table. I don't have room for another piece of furniture like that (plus I bet it would be a fair chunk of change). I do have a counter in our incredibly over-stuffed family room/craft room/office that could probably take a flat display but it would have to be water proof. The rest of the house has even less table and counter space. In magazines and on tv people always have spare storage and wall space. We don't.

Thank you for your ideas

13  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Grand Canyon Day Trip requires new bag w/ Moms Vintage art. canyn pics, story on: August 31, 2009 09:59:58 PM
How could I go to see the Grand Canyon and Walnut Canyon cliff dwellings without a new bag? For this small ipod/cell phone/credit cards/Tylenol holder, I used some more of the tarantula and cactus fabric I had printed at Spoonflower.com using my mothers vintage art work. It hung across my body and worked well for easily pulling out boarding passes, cell phone and ipod on the plane as well as just walking on the the Bright Angel trail in the Canyon.

Previously I posted the tarantula wallet and tarantula drawstring backpack (I made for my father) in this forum. The tarantula wallet hung inside my backpack but the cute little folded card holders I made didnt work so well. So I just used it for money (bills) and receipts. Its still pretty gosh darned cute, just was  not as useful as this small bag.

We had only a few hours to see the canyon. In case you havent been, as I hadnt, I found out its really there and it really does look like the Disney movie with Brighty the Mule. And yes, I did play the Grand Canyon Suite on my ipod while I was there.

Once my daughter and I got our bearings we headed down into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. We knew we werent setup for a major excursion but hiking down about a half and hour and then back out made us feel like we were really there.

These Native American pictographs are pretty old, possibly 800 years old.

I wonder how many times this particular mule has starred on the web?

Although the views were as good as we could have imagined, it was the details that gave us the most pleasure.

MegRose is back home
14  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Tarantula and Cactus Wallet: More Mothers Vintage Artwork on: August 24, 2009 03:20:06 PM
Once again Ive sewn from fabric I had printed at Spoonflower from my mothers vintage artwork. Both of these designs are from the seventies. They are a celebration of our 1960s life in rural Arizona where we lived amongst prickly pear cactus and the tarantulas.

I am repeating the story here that I put into my recent tarantula backpack posting. I recently scanned some of my mothers art work from the 50, 60s and 70s. I had some of the scans turned into fabric at spoonflower.com (yeah spoonflower!)

We lived in a rural part of Arizona when I was a kid in the 60s (dirt roads), no neighbors. My parents built (like with their hands not paying somebody else to do it) a nice big cement block house for the 4 of us. We used to get tarantulas coming into the house, also lots of other insects. My sister and I didnt find that so neat when it came to bath time and they had come up the drain. My mother always said, "Oh put a shoe box over it and I'll come get it outside in a minute." as we shrieked. My parents always liked the bugs, spiders, and tried to get us to appreciate them. Now my sister and I are glad that they were there too.

Ive sewn this as a simple travel wallet to celebrate a one-day trip to the Grand Canyon. I always wanted to go when we lived there and never got to. Im going to focus on enjoying whatever I can see in the one day I get, and hope to take lots and lots of photos!

A keychain sewn on a tab allows me to hook my wallet to the inside of purse or backpack. I use a caribeanear from the hardware store to hook it to a loop or other keychain sewn into the bigger bag.

I used some ideas I found in this forum, and now cant find the postings to attribute to the right people. Im sorry. They deserve credit. One was the idea of folding fabric to make a wallet. Ive been playing around with that a lot using paper to create different patterns.  The other is the idea of using my daughters old ponytail stretchy bands to loop over a button for a closure. Both GREAT ideas.

The Vintage Ballerina Bag from some of my mothers 1950s work is at


The full tarantula backpack posting is at

15  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Little Paint Makes a Lady What She Aint (recycling and a Tutorial Too!) on: August 20, 2009 07:50:23 PM

OK the original old saying is really A little powder, a little paint makes a woman what she aint. Its a pretty OLD  saying, I would guess it came about when my grandmother was a flapper, which she was. Complete with a binder !! I dont recommend wearing one of those because, when I was little I peeked in when she was dressing, and you do NOT want to know what that does to your figure by the time youre in your 60s. Wear proper foundation garments!

Oh yes, the chairs..

To start with, these chairs looked a little like my grandmother did in her sixties. They were six typical OSH plastic chairs that had been around the block a few times to many. Somebody loaned them to us for a party and didnt want them back. They sat stacked up in a corner of our driveway for 2 years looking uglier and uglier. Nobody wanted to sit in them. They were no longer white they were mottled with brown streaks and dirt, just really, really unattractive.

Tute- A pretty straightforward project, given a set of ugly old plastic chairs.

Tools and Supplies and Method:

1)   Well scrubbed use a scrub brush, pail, hose and some cleaner like simple green or dish soap- One to N ugly old plastic chairs. I have also done ugly old black plastic nursery pots. Great to use for plants for a party (uhhh take the nice bright  geraniums out first, paint the pot and then put them back after it dries) or if you can score a 5 gallon size nursery pot, line it with a plastic bag for a party garbage/recycling can. I did one that migrated into the house and is now our garbage-night collection garbage can. Its a good size for walking around the house with and hollering out Where did you put your bedroom garbage? or Im doing it! Im doing it!

2)   Several cans of Krylon Fusion Spray Paint. I tend to run out halfway through the second chair.  Choice either buy another can or decide that I liked the look of streaky paint. Hey they are plastic chairs for outside use. I went with the streaky look. You can do better I know. Go ahead back to the hardware store for another can. I used teal blue, light pink, yellow, orange, and green - just for the leaves on the lemons yes those are lemons, not PacMans. No Im not going to explain to those of you under 45 what PacMan was. Google it.
3)   For the polka dots - Big round stickers from the stationary supply store that are labeled Garage sale
4)   Masking tape for the stripes and those little diamond shapes. You could also use the stencil idea (below) for little diamond or other cute shapes.
5)   A new sponge to cut up if you want to do something cute like those leaves
6)   A paper cutout of some stencil/shadow shape. I searched for lemon stencil, found one I liked, printed it on regular paper and cut it out.
7)   If you can find where you put it (I couldnt) you can use a can of ADHESIVE SPRAY MOUNT  to temporaritly glue down your sticker. If you LOST IT LIKE I Did you can benefit from my experience. I have now learned I can simply use a GLUE STICK. No problem when I went to take it off the next day! Yippee that is easier and cheaper. And that adhesive sprary mount smells scary, though its great for spraying the back of paper doll dresses for easy on off. Well my little girl is grown up now anyway. And yeah to that! Now I get to play with all the paper dolls myself.

Work outside. Use newspaper and old cardboard underneath. You may want to use a breathing mask I didnt, but probably a good idea. Make sure to shake your paint for about 2 minutes first. You can count to 60 twice. Heck, you can count to 20 unhhh, ok just count to 60 twice. Make  sure to spray lightly Im learning to do that otherwise it drips and runs down. This is a good project for perfecting your spray paint technique, because plastic chairs or nursery pots, who is going to care about your technique?

Note that multiple color layers are nice. The blue stripey chair is just white underneath with two layers of blue on top, but I think the prettier ones are where I did half my spots, then painted a pale pink layer, then after that dried did the other half of the spots and did a blue layer. And Im rather partial to the blue with the lemon. It was supposed to be a third orange and yellow BUT! I ran out of orange and voila! Same concept with the yellow and orange chair the one with the pac man oh I mean the lemon- its yellow first, then orange.

You may want to do some sponging stenciling. This was a new idea in plastic painting I hadnt done before. I experimented with different things. I cut the sponge with scissors and sprayed the paint into an old plastic margarine tub, then dipped the sponge in there fast. Also tried spraying it on a plastic safeway bag yes mostly I do bring a lovely home made bag to the store (Ive been much busier posting in the purses and bags forum) but sometimes I forget

Over time, after a few years, the paint can tend to flake. A lot of my black plastic nursery pots are looking like they need a good scrub and a new design. Well that happens with regular paint too. Something to look forward to and I dont have to feel guilty about tossing the pots and chairs out when they are still PERFECTLY GOOD.

Have fun!


P. S. The little buggie-eyed space alien type dog is Roxie. My daughter and I just nursed Roxie back to life last week after what may have been a stroke. Boy was that scary. She is all better now and out barking in the front yard! We thought shed never bark again. OK, we thought she wouldnt be with us anymore by now. I highly recommend cans of tuna and chicken, fed by finger fulls when you are trying to get a semi-paralyzed staggering dog to eat and drink. Of course then for several days I over fed her, because she got better so quickly, and she enjoyed all that tuna and chicken, and it was so good to see her eating normally again OK she is back to her little bowl of dog food again and used to it.
16  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Vintage Ballerina comes back to life for Laptop/Book Bag on: August 12, 2009 03:33:19 PM
I recently scanned some of my mothers art work from the 50, 60s and 70s. I had some of the scans turned into fabric at spoonflower.com (yeah spoonflower!)

Fabric printed through spoonflower.com, using the mirrored repeat option.

My mother did this charcoal sketch of a ballerina in the late 50s. I had a heck of a time picking out lining for this laptop carrying/purse type/book bag/grocery bag. I kept shopping my stash thinking I was going to have to break down and go to JoAnnes. But what would I look for? Then I opened the stash box up again and thought outside of the book bag.

We had a lot of little plaid skirts, jumpers and fluffy dresses in the 50s and 60s. I also remember either having or yearning for (see you dont always remember what you didnt get!) a red plaid book bag. Red has always been my favorite plaid, and I bet it is my mothers too because she sewed me a lot of red plaid stuff. Boy I love it with the ballerinas.

I made this purse/bag using the same pattern I created for the black and white toile bag I made myself (I posted it a few months back). Its a great bag because it will hold laptops, books, long music books, large notebooks or- in a pinch- groceries. Its basically a flat-bottomed grocery bag, stretched out with a flap added.

. I gathered the red plaid lining and let it peep out over the top. Here you can see the rectangle of oilcloth slipstitched onto the bottom. I have good experience doing this.

I channel quilted on the bag part and outline quilted the ballerinas on the flap. I used half a layer of batting in both flap and inside the bag. I also used a layer of fusible interfacing in the flap and I sewed a rectangle of oilcloth in the bottom to help it stand up. The red plaid strap is lined with fusible interfacing. I use keychain rings from the hardware store to run the handle through. I like the look better than sewing them into the bag. I always make a little tab to run through them into the bag. I used brown gros-grain ribbon here, which I also used as support, cover, etc. in various parts of the project.

I made the flap too long a long flap looked good on my toile purse. That flap had a lot of ornament and also the fabric was the same on both flap and bag, but on this you couldnt see the fabric underneath with the smaller ballerinas. So here, I used the extra to pull down into the bag and just created a long narrow pocket w/ a side opening.

In this picture you can see the part of the flap that extends down inside and forms the long narrow pocket, also the keychain strap ring.


17  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Tarantulas get tofurkey home safely on: August 12, 2009 03:27:52 PM
I recently scanned some of my mothers art work from the 50, 60s and 70s. I had some of the scans turned into fabric at spoonflower.com (yeah spoonflower!)

We lived in a rural part of Arizona when I was a kid in the 60s (dirt roads), no neighbors. My parents built (like with their hands not paying somebody else to do it) a nice big cement block house for the 4 of us. We used to get tarantulas coming into the house, also lots of other insects. My sister and I didnt find that so neat when it came to bath time and they had come up the drain. My mother always said, "Oh put a shoe box over it and I'll come get it outside in a minute." as we shrieked. My parents always liked the bugs, spiders, and tried to get us to appreciate them. Now my sister and I are glad that they were there too.

I made this drawstring backpack with quilted tarantulas for my father. He rides his bike to the store for groceries to sneak in extra exercise. Hes also always good about using anything you make even stuff other fathers would find girly. When I made him the heart shaped, purfume scented paper sachets (you stapled the paper around the cotton balls) in kindergarten for his underwear drawer, he used them. He didnt think it was odd at all, I know because my mother told me years later. A clue for marital longevity.

I channel quilted the bag. I used half a layer of batting in both flap and inside the bag. I sewed a rectangle of oilcloth in the bottom to give it some structure. As I have used the drawstring backpack I made myself, it takes on the structure of my body. I gave my father a note about cinching up the casing regularly to encourage that.
18  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 41 ENTRIES / Purses: Where did you get that fabric and pattern? on: August 05, 2009 12:34:27 PM
Where did you get the pattern?

Thats the most common question in the purses and bags forum. 

The pattern came from the free tempting templates at the Stampington website

It had to be purses, because the purses and bags forum is where I hang out and post. Recently I made a paper purse (for a gift of cds) and I still posted it in the purses and bags forum. And when Ive been really, really busy and let myself goof off for 10 minutes before bed, I slip into that forum just to see what cute stuff others are making.

Where did you get that fabric?

. My favorite of the marshmallow treat (http://www.ricekrispies.com/Display.aspx?recipe_id=1605&kic=true) purses I created today. My (now 19 year-old) daughter bought me these Sweedish fish at Ikea. When she was little she used to like to eat uncooked pasta so I celebrated that, by using vegetable pasts for the waves and sea fronds in the fabric of the purse.

 . Appliqued flowers are one of my favorite embellishments on anything, including a purse or bag. Wow is it fun making an appliqud rose out of sticky, sticky marshmallow goo. I used a lot of Pam spray on my hands and still kept getting stuck.

. Just like in real life I ran out of material, or in this case the polka dot sprinkles. So just like in real life I rummaged around for something else to coordinate and found the multi-colored shot-style sprinkles. After wiping marshmallow goo off the cupboard, my hands, my skirt and the counter I thought the coordinated purse flap and bag turned out pretty nicely.

Though I'd like to carry one of these shopping I don't think they'll last that long.


19  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Mom's Vintage Artwork inspires Marie Antoinette Gift Purse for cd's &mini-tute on: August 01, 2009 05:15:14 PM

I thought about posting this as a paper craft but it is a little purse and also I usually post my projects here. I identify more as a purse creator, though I like to make cards and paper stuff too.
In the late 50's my mother drew very large historical paper dolls for my sister to play with. I later played with them too. Amazingly, despite being played with a lot, a few survived. (OK their clothes did not survive). They are too big for me to scan in entirety - though I have plans to visit a place a few cities away where maybe I can get them scanned.

My sister immediately recognized Marie Antoinette when I made her a little note-holding paper folder using Marie's head. My mother is also pleased that her work was saved, though she is no sentimentalist and will not make a big fuss.

I made this little paper gift bag for my sister to hold cds of some recordings I made especially for her.

I used a template from stampington.com. Boy they have some cute templates at that web site. Lots of little boxes and stuff. I also used scans of vintage wallpaper that they mailed access to in their free web newsletter. I would like to figure out how to do all of this in Photoshop but I did it more by hand. My goal is to get more PhotoShopp'y as  I do more like this.

Here is the back

Here is the inside with the cds ready to go. I'm meeting her this afternoon to see the new Harry Potter movie and giving her the gift bag then. I am excited to see what she thinks.

1) First I took a piece of cream colored postcard stock. I used PhotoShop to size a vintage wallpaper scan to the printable part of a regular piece of paper and printed one side. Turned it over and did the same with another wallpaper design.
2) I fooled around sizing and resizing the little gift purse envelope on regular paper until the cd's looked like they would fit. It took a lot of fooling around and measuring and reprinting. I then realized I would need two pieces of printed up card stock and made another just like I did in #1. I fooled around with the paper pattern just like I would with a fabric pattern. The original sized one was useful just for planning and thinking.

3) I figured out what size Marie head would fit well on the front of the purse. I filled up another piece of cream-colored postcard stock with Marie heads and the remainder with a strip of the wallpaper scan just to get as much as I could out of one piece of card stock. I used that piece on the back and under Marie, I thought it gave her more the sense of being in a place.

4) I cute out the purse with an x-acto knife and my self-healing pad (the kind I use for cutting quilting squares) using the template as a purse pattern. After gluing and folding I found I had some nice corner scraps which, as you can see, I used to make a kind of little window. Again more of a sense of place.

5) After gluing and folding I weighted the pieces down with some heavy books for a couple of hourse.

6) Then I laminated with some self-laminating paper I bought in a stationary store.

7) I then sewed up the sides and put the cd's in. I'm really happy with the result!

20  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Clock Tutorial Ideas? on: July 29, 2009 11:41:21 AM
I've been looking around crafster and not found idea on making a clock (using some existing clock, clock kit or parts). Am I just missing the great tutorials? Are the right under my nose? My searching either turns up tons (and nothing looks right) or else things that don't apply.

Thanks for pointers

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