Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Institches: July

So, like I was saying, I am here to present you with the unmeltingest Toiletries Bag in all the land.

In a moment of great wisdom (or perhaps I was fresh out of Stupid from a morning of vinyl wrestling) I chose to create my second iteration of this month's bag from my unending swath of canvas and hot orange fabric that Lera sent me back when we were engaged in wristlet swapping.

Obviously this bag turned out better. And not only because I was being normal and using materials meant to come face to face with a sewing machine.

I feel this bag is superior to my previous efforts because it is actually fulfilling a purpose that had been going unmet in the garage. That purpose being, getting all my crap off the potting bench so that I could actually, say, pot something there.

Sure, I didn't fill it with the most essential and fabulous cosmetics so that they could be beautifully displayed in my boudoir. But since I already have my make-up so meticulously stowed in a very fancy Lancome gift with purchase bag ala 2003 and I don't really have a boudoir, it seemed to make more sense to organize an area that I spend actual time in and could use some serious cleaning up.

I mean, really, we can't have my three pairs of proprietary use work gloves (dainty poking gloves, mainstream smashing gloves and full-strength clubbing gloves) strewn about haphazardly. And there sure were a lot of half-used seed envelopes getting lost beneath the rubble of daily garden minutia.

So, crafted thus was the Garden Things Bag. Not a particularly catchy name, but much like my clubbing gloves, it does the trick.

Interestingly enough, and perhaps I will photograph this someday, it appears my garden accessories hail from the same place on the color wheel: The Orange and Canvas Place. So, without trying I've managed to color coordinate my otherwise rough-edged gardening hub with orange garden clogs (they're orange beneath the layer of filth muck, really), canvas gardening apron with orange bias tape trim and, now, canvas and orange Things bag.

I have no idea what this means, but there you go.

Also while I was experiencing a not horrible moment at the machine, I decided it would be a good time to craft up a designer dog bed for Ms. Jada (a girl can't be lazing about at the office on a store-bought dog bed, come ON) and make fancy an Anthropologie bag for a co-worker's birthday pressie.


and See?

I splurged on some Amy Butler fabric during a recent Moment of Much Happiness when I discovered a new great fabric shop. This is probably the only kind of time I could justify spending that kind of money on fabric that will soon be covered with dog hair. But, it does look hot on the floor of my cube, so I'm thinking of it now more as a double-duty Dog Bed/Cube Rug which, in turn, makes me feel less like The Crazy Dog Lady who special sews expensive fabric into beds upon which furry beasts will lie.

Before I retired the sewing machine back to it's hairy home at the bottom of the bookshelf (between Rocket, Jada and myself - our house is a hair tornado which I have to constantly Swiff lest it pile up at the base of things like the bookshelf), I tossed the last bit of my energy and creativity into reusing a store bag from Anthropologie.

I'm pretty proud of myself here since this was my second try at matchmaking my machine with a material other than fabric. Thankfully this time there was less failure and killing of ducks and more straight seams and pretty results. Plus, I managed to discover a new stitch that had since gone unnoticed by simply being retarded and never swiveling the wheel that far to the left.

Huh. A fancy dotted zigzag stitch. Neato. Glad that came out nice since I was clearly not paying attention when choosing my stitch and could have just as easily chosen a random elastic stitch and fucked up the whole thing.

Seriously people, I'm a loose cannon with this machine sometimes.

Anyway, I managed to use up some scrap red leftover from May's project and reuse a shopping bag that I didn't ask for to make for a fairly cute presentation of an otherwise mundane gift of scented something or other. Sweet mother - that is some HOT reusing.

And while we're on the topic, am I the only one that finds it stupid when a gift is wrapped really nice and it's insides are not as fancy as the wrapping says it is?

I feel I may have tread unknowingly into this situation here. Honestly, I thought the bag reuse project would come out not as cute, but it didn't. So now I'm in that awkward phase of trying to decide if I should either jam something else in the bag to bring the gift up to the standards set by the pretty bag or perhaps spill a beer on the bag and lower it to the contents held within.


  1. You're so funny. I'd like to recommend not choosing the spill-a-beer route. For the sake of those who might think you've lost it. Just a thought. Did I miss something here? Do you work in one of those cool places that let you bring your dog? I'd have me a new dog if my employer were that cool! Great recovery on the boudoir bag -- although I'm still hoping you'll give the vinyl another try -- I think that was a really cool idea!

  2. Um you have brought up one of my pet peves here! I get a lot of presents as a teacher and often the wrapping is better. Once I got a package fit for a queen. I spent days before Christmas imagining what splendid thing would have been so delicately gift wrapped at Neiman Marcus. It was paper plates! Yes a package of pretty paper plates, but still just paper plates. I wanted to cry. I could have just kept that pretty present for a decoration for the rest of my life, but I tore the paper and I could never get the bow back on right. So now when I see a REALLY nice gift wrap job, I hardly want to open it!

  3. I like your repurposing of the bathroom caddy to a garden caddy. Orange is my colour of choice apparently. It's just been this year, I used to steer clear of orange or yellow, and now I like them both. A lot. And even more together.

    The fabric is gorgeous. I haven't seen it before.

    And you get to take your dogs to work? That's cool.

  4. Your garden caddy looks so great Fin -- I may have to blow past protocol this month and just say you are the winner right this very second. Love it!
    And seriously, Jada is the most spoiled child on earth. She is laying on Amy Butler fabric? Does Rocket know?

  5. Wow. SOMEone has been very crafty lately.

  6. OK, first: LOVE the gardening bag. The fabrics, the whole general idea - very sassy indeed. As for the fancy gift bag filled with less fancy gift? I say the wrapping can bring up a gift rather than highlight its lesser-ness (or whatever.) By the same token, crappy wrapping can detract from what was a great gift. Well, at least that's how I feel when I throw my crap-wrapped fine gift at someone: somewhat deflated. So good for you all around!

  7. Thimble- Yeah I will not be drowning this gift in a beer. It's too cute! Plus, I like the gift and it wasn't free, IYKWIM.

    And yes, the job does let me bring the pooch in. It's fun and she gets to take a lot of naps in between playing with all the other dogs.

    Jane - I am horrified that someone would A. buy paper plates and B. waste paper wrapping them and C. Consider them a gift.

    Tinker-I love orange - and lime green. Together. And it's apparently cropping up all over. Love it. Yeah - we bring our dogs in and let them shed all over the office. :)

    Kell - Rocket does NOT know. But that's ok, I gave her a bed and she still chooses to sleep on the Goodwill pile in the back of the closet OR right on my pillow.

    Meg - I'm glad you feel that way about the gift wrap - I feel like the wrapping is part of the gift now. Did I mention I made a matching card with sewed on fabric and monogram? It's cute, too.

  8. Mental note: no paper plate gift for Finny this year.

  9. ....forget the bags...looks like you have a bottle of Image herbicide....maybe those are long handle shears made by Corona....and an unused bird feeder in the far right corner..put some seed in that bad boy !!!!

    Bottomline, wish my "tool/garden supply area" was so neat and tidy.

  10. Oh bombshell, you are a little crafting wizard! I haven't yet told you but I have been secretly extracting advice from your equally crafty counterpart, aka Donk, about *possibly* buying a sewing machine. You two ladies have inspired me. Who would've thought that back at the LJ, we foul-mouthed reporter/advertising folk would turn into domestic goddesses?


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.