Just For Fun is my way of sharing all the little things I like to do... from crafty things to thoughtful things!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"I'm on vacation!"

I have no exciting projects to show you today.  My aforementioned lilac beach inspired tote is crocheted, but I have yet to line it with the Little Mermaid material that has been sitting there for two weeks now. Since we had a cold snap I started an acrylic blanket for myself.  (I still love my Wool-Ease blankets, but my allergies are such at the moment that I cannot use them.)

We had a great weekend with friends visiting and then Steve and I were off work last week.  Unable to travel, we were actually able to spend some time just hanging out together.  It was so enjoyable!  We actually had time to talk with each other and do things like go to the local zoological sanctuary to talk with Cassie the Tiger - it just took the staff explaining what the different sounds meant for us to understand her. I took a bit of video with my phone of her saying hello, but of course I've no idea how to post it here.  I did learn that if you wear beige (like the staff does) all the animals greet you warmly, because they think you are carrying their breakfast!

We had a scary movie marathon day... well actually mini series day because we always have to start with Stephen King's "It".... and finally got Steve over to OliveU Naturally, a store that sells nothing but naturally flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  Makes me hungry just to think about it and Steve enjoyed taste testing. 

We stayed up late and slept in (8am!) and did not get any of the chores done that we had on our list.  Oh well, that's what vacation is all about! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


It's been one of those phases of 'leftovers'.  You know, the phase that always comes just before cleaning out the closets?  The one where you refuse to buy another package of anything until you've eaten what you have, where you finish up the last of that smelly shower gel you don't really like so you can recycle the bottle, and even the summers dying flowers get yanked from the pot?  Yeah, that phase.

That phase also applies to crochet in particular because there is always leftover yarn from other projects.  I always squirrel away bits and pieces, just check the hat boxes in my office next time you visit.  :oP  But recently I had larger quantities of leftover yarn which allowed me to actually use them for items rather than an emergency stitch or two. 
I made several hats... from summer floppy sun hats to winter 'keep my ears warm' hats. 

The yellow one is cute because it reminds me of the nightcaps/bathing caps my grandmother's generation wore, with just a little fringe around the face rather than the extra coverage of the full blown sun hat.

It's hard to tell in the photo but even the winter hats have different finishes.  The light cream hat is two strands with a rolled edge, and the darker is a more traditional beanie style.

I also made four scarves out of leftover yarn as well.  Most of the hats and scarves will go in the "send to Swati" pile.  Every so often, she takes/sends things to India where the children's needs are larger than their resources.  Hats and scarves in particular will always be put to good use there.

I was also able to make some bags out of my leftovers.

The green tote is one of my favorites for when you just need an extra carrying hand.  At about 10 inches square, it can easily be a shopping bag for a handful of items, or carry water bottles to a hockey game.

The yellow 'packpack', as Amanda would have called it when she was younger, has all the things you expect in a backpack... large double thick shoulder straps as well as a small handle for carrying or hanging, a separate front pocket and a drawstring top closure.  Because I am picky about buttons, I used magnetic closures on both the top flap and the pocket flap.

You may be wondering about those little pouches.  They are literally 'hand bags'.  Think back to old photos or movies about Victorian times for example.  Ladies had hand bags... not big purses and totes like we do nowadays. 

While I doubt any of them would have carried orange cotton, they might have carried deep purple velvet.  The pouch on the far right is made from purple suede style yarn.  I liked it so much I made another one just for myself.  They are great for carrying your phone, ID and a couple dollars.

I use small bags like this a lot when we walk the craft fair or go to a concert or sporting event where I don't want to have to carry, store, or keep track of my regular purse. Most recently, I used one when we went to the museum.  No knocking over sculptures for me!  Well, at least with my purse!

If I don't want to carry it by hand, I just loop the strap through a belt loop on my jeans and let it hang.  It keeps me 'hands free' and I can still easily open and close it when need be.

I used to try and use my pockets, but for whatever reason (probably because I am unused to using them!) I always lost things by pulling out everything at once and dropping it all over the ground.

For me, these 'hand bags' are just the ticket.  If you want to try one, let me know... because I certainly have plenty to share!

Don't be afraid to put those leftovers to good use.  When I do, I feel better because I'm not wasteful, but also perhaps because I was able to breathe new life into something that might have otherwise gone unloved.