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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Color me... well... colorful!

Most of you already know how proud I am of my daughter Christy.  She graduates from NAU in two weeks with her degree in education, emphasis (or whatever!) on special education.  It's been a long and busy road for her to get here.  She could have given up on it a bazillion times over the last few years, but she didn't. 
Christy is pretty patient with me and my little projects.  She lets me experiment on her with bag sizes, yarns, weird strap configurations... and she's learning to give me honest feedback on what works and what doesn't.

In celebration of both of these points, I made the ultimate Teacher Tote for her.  In her retro 1969 heart, we all still have harvest gold appliances in our kitchens and flowers in our hair so I thought this "flower power" beach tote pattern might fit the bill.  The pattern called for bright summery pinks and blues but anyone who knows Christy, knows the autumn colors are her favorites.  Here we are... with autumn flower power!
The inside is just as groovy.  Big pockets on both sides, and smaller pockets on both ends.  I even made one out of a flower power square thinking that in a bag that size, there needs to be one for essentials like keys that catches your eye among all the stuff.  :oP
It's hard to tell in the photos, but the lining is actually two layers of fabric with a layer of buckram in between.  Buckram is the material ladies used to use 75 years ago when they made their handbags.  even though it is made of cotton, it is stiff enough to hold it's shape and in fact, makes this tote stand up all by itself... it's magic stuff!

My aim while taking pictures of myself is horrible... but at least this gives you an idea of the size of this Teacher Tote.  Christy... you're gonna haul a lot of teacher crap with this one!!!

Still in a flowery sort of mood, I decided to try my hand at cotton thread.  I used thread for some small projects years ago and decided it was just too tiny to work with. 
But recently I wanted to give it another try after seeing this rose doily on Ravelry.  It's pretty darn colorful, isn't it?

I cheated a little bit and used size 3 thread (the biggest size for thread).  It's about the size of embroidery floss before you separate the strands.  It is being 'blocked' in this first photo.  Blocking is the process of washing and shaping an item.  Once dry, it will lay flat and hold it's shape.

Here's what it looks like actually on the table... with my chocolate easter bunny.

Next I was looking for a simpler project after all that tiny counting. I asked Amanda if I could make something for her and she asked for a black or red tote.  I decided to use black nylon because it will wear well.  Nylon cord is just nylon utility rope on a finer scale.  It doesn't have as much stretch as yarn and should take a pretty good beating.

I also used two strands of the same cotton thread I used on the flowers to make the red strappy bag.  It's a good size for hands free phone and cash carrying, and gave me an excuse to try a vintage bag pattern from the 1940's.  Ok, so I altered it a little bit!

That said... there will be more vintage pattern projects coming soon!

In order to remain guilt free however, I have to work through some of my leftover yarn stash.  First on the list is some great lilac leftover from Megan's make up tote.  I decided to practice a cross stitch and made this durable but cute bag.
Then.. there is the first lilac yarn I bought, that ended up being waaaaay too soft for what I had in mind. I turned it into a cute butterfly cap, shrug and purse combination. Yes, I know it looks like a skirt, but trust me... it's a shrug (goes around the shoulders)! The lacy look comes from a stitch called 'love knot'.

And after all that... all I can say now is that I need a life  Good thing the racing season started Saturday!  (um, oh yeah, I also made a black and white tote to match my racing hat - but no photo.  I think this is enough!)


  1. Dear Lord! I wish I had that much motivation, energy and Time! Those are all beautiful!

  2. It always amazes me just how much you manage to get done... my ripple blanket is still unfinished due to headaches and ickiness, but I can't wait to add those last few rows to get it a bit bigger so I can move on to something else (I'm thinking maybe a bassinet bag for my friend's daughter who will be 3 when her younger brother or sister is born!) Still, when I see how much you manage to do so quickly it just amazes me!!!

    Oooh also HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Christy xx What an achievement... she must be so excited to be nearly there after all the hard work. I have never felt such joy and such relief as the day I graduated from uni and realised all those years had amounted to something!

  3. Thanks ladies! I think Christy is ready to 'be done and move on' and I'm sure you can relate to that feeling. Andrew graduates at the same time so it's really a double celebration - but I didn't think he'd want a flower tote!

    The bassinette bag will be PERFECT for big sister. Then she can care for her baby while Mama cares for the other one.

    Interestingly enough, I tend to crochet more when I don't feel well... because it means I'm stuck in the chair and bored out of my mind. It's either keep those hands busy with crochet or go nuts! :oP

  4. I LOVE IT!! My tote looks amazing! I'm so excited to fill it with.. notebooks, and my lunch for the day.. hahahhahah!! Thank you thank you thank you
    :) :) :) :) :)