Sunday, October 10, 2010

Left Holding the Bag!

 I just had a few precious days visit from my cousin full of WAY too much really good food. (silly remark! There can never be way too much good food!) and not NEARLY enough thrift store shopping!

In the course of eating way too much good food vis a vis some butternut squash soup and focaccia bread with cornmeal at Ettore Cafe, we spotted a sign that said Consigner Designer, or Designer Consigner and decided to check it out.

It is the coolest little shop filled to the gills with barely used top designer brand clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry. And nobody in there was snobbish. I find it so thought-provoking, though, to imagine a lifestyle in which a woman buys a designer t-shirt for $250.00 and then never wears it. Designer Price Tag still in place, she throws it into the 'take to the consignment shop' pile and goes on her merry way to shop some more.

I'm in the 'if it's not under $5.00 with a big stain and some holes under the armpit I can't possibly afford to even LOOK at it' variety of shopper!

Well, there is no use bemoaning the fact that Poverty knocks on my door far more often than Opportunity, and what can I do but invite it in for Tea?

What I did notice at this cute shop and all around the town as we dined and lunched, is that women are carrying the HUGEST HANDBAGS I've ever seen. They dwarf the old fashioned gigantic diaper bags by quite a mile! The bags I saw women carrying were large enough to obliterate entire bodies from view.

Now I thought my last year's Nan Satchel was a really Big Bag but after seeing what I saw, I decided it was time to make myself a REALLY BIG BAG!!!!
So I grabbed a couple of pieces of my feed sack fabric and whipped up this adorable Big Bag!

And then I made it fully reversable!

With lots of pockets of course!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Today, the neighbor of the lady I care for asked me if I'd like a box of fabric. Since I had just mentioned to God the other day that I would like some more fabric, I of course said a resounding YES.

I didn't even ask what I was being given.

When I got there, I was handed a huge box from a sweet smelling old cedar chest. The box was fully loaded with FEED SACKS! Beautiful, woven, 30's and 40's print feed sacks! Some still put together as bags and not opened out yet.

Most of you know that in the olden days before plastic wrap and such, flour, salt, wheat,--whatever--came in cloth sacks. Someone got the bright idea to make that fabric be printed fabric and farm wives all across the nation rejoiced.

It is quite collectible and also still quite usable. This batch I just got is in primo condition and doesn't even smell dusty. The colors are as bright as when it was brand new and full of chicken feed!

When I brought it home I took it out piece by piece and looked it over and refolded it.

In the bottom of the box was a fragment of a very old apron! SCORE!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Chicken Innards

 The Innards of the Chicken!

What to do, what to do? It's time to start the conveyor belts and start cranking out some Christmas presents! Early, I know, but I've learned in the past that if I want this to be FUN, I have to do it when I feel like it. And I have been feeling like it, like crazy! I just don't have enough FABRIC I need MORE and MORE.

A while ago I found some fun patterns while out thrifting, and among them was a pattern for some animal theme teapot cozies. I'd show you but I can't find the picture.

I made the chicken one today.

Now, the thing about a tea cozy is that in my world, it has to be functional! Once you have that, you can be as serious, whimsical, silly, architectural, floral, etc; as you want to be.  But the thing must function as a working tea cozy!

And that means be able to hold in the heat of the teapot. So a person can sit around with a teapot at their elbow and a cup needing refilled in her hands and can get a hot cup of tea without budging from her big, lazy, comfy easy chair.

NOTE: If you drink tea from a mug using a teabag, this entire informative section is moot.

Now, this little adorable tea cozy pattern was a cinch to whip up but I noticed instantly it had a fatal design flaw! Namely, it was not INSULATED in any way! It was just meant to be decorative. Who needs a decorative tea cozy in the shape of a chicken just lying around? Well, I do,but that's not the point. The point is, I quickly had to re-engineer this little chicken so that it had some stuffing in it's innards!

I am not going to post any pictures of the final, final product because I don't want to spoil anybody's surprise or anything, but if I don't blog about my crafts between now and Christmas I'll go mad! MAD I tell you! So here is the binding being stitched onto the chicken body.

 And finally, here is a LONG DISTANCE shot of the tea cozy, awaiting some eyes and a beak and the final hand-stitching of the binding.

Identity of this chicken has been disguised in order to protect the innocent.