Monday, July 09, 2007

Not for me

When I made mention of making a purse, another purse, Bubba looked at me like one would a toddler on a motorcycle - with concern and fear. As though saying with his eyes, "Do you think that's wise?" and "What the hell?" all at once. Plus I'm sure there was an undercurrent of "What item of mine shall I remove from the closet to make room for another one of your bags?" in there somewhere.

The poor man has been left no room at all in our closet. If he could fold his shoes to make more space, he would. Meanwhile I adopt shoes, bags and clothes of all types on a whim without a thought as to where they might go when they finally reach home.

It's a problem.

Back to the another purse thing though. I was able to stop the sweat beading on his forehead by assuring him that this bag would not be for me. No! It wouldn't be staying permanently in our home, taking up precious closet space and edging out his last pair of pants going missing amongst my ever-growing wrap dress collection.

Not to worry my fair lad - this purse is for mum!

My dear mum. Her purse has a broken zipper and she is trying ever so hard to jam all of its contents into a purse only half the size. And now this wee purse is getting stretched to lewd proportions from having to endure the stress. It's a bad, bad scene. And, I feel bad for the little purse. It had no intentions of ever carrying the complete contents of a true Mom Purse.

And, my friends, my mom invented The Mom Purse and she sure does know how to stuff it full of everything one could ever need.

Example: My mom had a stroke back in '01. Very, very scary - but she is AOK and we've moved on. Purse story here was that when I was staring at her every movement while she lay in the hospital bed (I'm a low-grade psycho) and in walked the nurse with meds, my mom quickly directed me to the exact location in her Mom Purse where I could find a zippie bag full of her meds AND a complete and accurate handwritten list of every medication AND it's dosage.

Had I also needed to dress a Christmas ham, neuter the dog, indulge in a paperback mystery, give myself a pedicure, get the address and/or phone number of any of our relatives/friends/neighbors/casual acquaintances/window washer, had a light snack, applied advanced first aid or blown my nose - I would have been well taken care of.

There is simply nothing that woman's purse is missing. Just not a single thing.

Back to present day where she is currently running around with a tiny stuffed meatball purse that can only carry half of her Mom Purse belongings due to her standard handbag being torn asunder. Dangerous territory.

Also dangerous is the fact that this standard handbag (and it's meatball counterpart) was handmade by my talented sister and, as such, is that much more valuable, coveted and perfect. She loves it very much - to the point of zipper failure.

And what did I volunteer to do? Why, put my ass right on the line and replace it of course!

I tell you, folks, I do not know when to shut my mouth or go quietly through a conversation without offering up some sort of solution. What am I? A man?

Oh, tee hee, that was a funny one.

Anyway, I opened my big fat girl mouth and offered to make her a new purse as the old purse was going to be retired (her decision, not mine) with its irreparable zipper and threadbare lining.

[Insert anxiety]

What if I make her a new bag and she:

  1. Hates it but has to spend the next few years pretending she likes it because she is a Mom and that is what they do while staging an elaborate zipper failure so she can go back to my sister and request a real new purse
  2. Loves it, but so much so that my sister feels like I've tried to upstage her when really all I wanted was to give my mom a place to stow her emergency response team
  3. C. Starts to load it up with all of her Mom Necessities and it shreds to pieces due to my poor design/execution/fabric choices

Seriously, I'm sweating right now.

Regardless, I forged ahead and came up with a bag, designed and executed to my moms specifications which were few but precise:
  1. Not too big (read: Also not at all small)
  2. Pocket for keys
  3. Zipper top
To which I added my own specs:
  1. Built in organizer
  2. Adjustable strap
  3. Reinforced bottom and sides (to account for any, ahem, extra supplies)
After a surprisingly successful and swift (hello, rare) trip to the fabric store where I found, what I consider to be, fabric perfectly suited for me mum, complimenting D rings, matching zipper and a so-so (not my super favorite, but it matched) lining, I managed to design and craft a decent execution of the vision in my mind.

And for anyone familiar with the importance of My Visions, you know this is a big deal.

Anyway, it's done. And after some re-reinforcing of seams (I'm really afraid of the destruction/failure factor here) I will hand it off to Mom with my fingers crossed.

And I'll thank you to ignore the erratic stitching on the zipper lining.


  1. Replacing a Mom Purse, specifically for one's own mom, is a brash, bold declaration of love. Seriously - not for the feint of heart. Well done you!

  2. Way to go. I like your "What if I make her a new bag and she..." lists. Number 1 is always a big concern when I am making something for someone else....What if they hate it, but have to spend the next few years pretending they like it?

  3. I love it! I think you put a lot of thought into making it the perfect "mom purse" and you succeeded. Make that EXCEEDED!

    Good job. (or Good "gob" as Spenser would say.)

  4. Your man joke made me laugh out loud. Great purse by the way. I couldn't have done it.

  5. Great purse! Excellent job! And loved the what if list -- especially number 2 -- having a sister of my own, those worries are very large! ;-)

  6. Damn, Finny, I gotta tell ya that you are on a roll lately--your blog is just even more rockin' than usual. I've even forwarded to some friends. I mean, it's good reading. Maybe you should write a book (I'm not kidding). Your writing is so casual, hysterical, easy to read...

    Anyway, the purse rocks also. Gorgeous. It's not a beach bag, but I'll be happy to add it to the purse gallery this month if you so desire. 'kay?

  7. Um, it is perfect! Truly perfect. And I know your mama. She is going to rock that baby!

  8. woozer! I love it. That's a lot of detail and organization, so I'm impressed! I definitely understand your worries, esp #1. It's always that fear that someone's not going to like something you made! She's going to love it though.

    You need to enter it in the Sew,Mama, Sew bag month contest!

  9. Sis, this bag rocks! Can I just say how relieved I was when I'd heard you offered to make a new purse for mom. So nice to have that anxiety transferred to you. :) So, no worries on #2. Plus, the bag is truly lovely and the organizer inside is fabulous! Wanna make me a bag?

  10. That bag looks great! Your mom will love it!

  11. Bravissima, cara mia! Tua mamma sarà molto contenta, ne sono sicura. C'è qualcun'altro che fra un po' avrà bisogno di una borsa di proporzioni più grandi del normale...

  12. meg - seriously, I was sweating this project big time. Fingers crossed!

    tinkerblue - Always a concern. Like, I know *I* like it, but what if she's like, "Oh hunnie I love it!" and in her head she is saying, "Oh lord, what am I going to do with this thing?"

    lera (and spenser) - Coming from a superstar mom, I'm taking that as a huge compliment. I'll also take a "Good Gob" any day. In fact, I may start using that phrase around the house. :)

    wendy - I'm hoping I get more laughs than divorces out of that comment.

    thimbleanna - Yes, and with the crafty ass sister of mine, it's always a concern.

    woof nanny - you are too kind. I'm always glad to find people not offended by my commentary. It offsets the comments that come up in my reviews at work. Sorry I was so late on my project!

    Kell - You think so? I hope so. If not, I have more of that fabric. Perhaps Jada needs a purse. I'm only partly kidding.

    Katie Jean - Thank you! If I enter one more contest I think Bubba will lock me in the closet. However...

    Travel Monkey Sister Who Crafts - WOO! Ok, phew. I mean, she's been rocking your purse forever and I know how much she loves it. So, fingers crossed! What kind of bag do you have in your mind's eye? No promises, but I'm always up for a challenge...

    Lynn - Lord I hope so. Otherwise I stabbed myself hand stitching those straps for no good bloody reason.

    Shelley - Grazie mille! La borsa: Penso cosi`. Forse piace una borsa come questo? Posso farlo di tessuto roso or azzurro, secondo. Conocete che cosa sto dicendo, no? Scusa la mia povera grammatica.


[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.