A Little Too Much

So pretty

Hi, there, dear reader.  Glad you could drop by after my long absence.  It’s been awhile, I know, so let the excuses begin!

The last several weeks I have been caught up in spring.  This season makes me feel light-hearted and yet, ready to take on the world.  Out in the garden everyday, buying flowers, potting soil, and seeds, spring cleaning, clearing out the fountain and raking away the tons of pine needles that threaten to take over my roses, and in general, just being outdoors; enjoying the sun after months of a typical gloomy Californian winter.  Granted, in just a very short while, I will be posting about summer’s relentless, grinding heat and moaning for autumn; however, in the meantime, I will bask in this mindset and weather.

I finally finished the flame stitch bag and gave it a strengthening liner to turn it from a bag to a purse.  I didn’t do the pom-poms because I am really tough on my purses.  They’d need to be taken off after a week!  For the handles, I purchased some at Joann Crafts and Fabrics.  Attaching the handles did turn out to be problematic, but I went with it anyway!

Malabrigo Sea Green yarn

I was supposed to get the $2.99 rings only. $65 later….eeesh!

With the temperatures climbing higher on the thermometer, all the fresh, new growth has attracted deer, especially to the aforementioned roses.  I’ve babied those bushes because they have to Floribunda rosesbe; the pine trees block all but about 5 hours of sun, even on the summer solstice, so I’m always sure to prune them, nourish them, ensure they’re disease-free.  Anyone who has had a serious interest in roses knows how hard this can be.  With the drought conditions we’ve been having, my roses have become a food mainstay for the hungry deer.  To combat this, I’ve been using Must Garden natural deer repellent.  During the winter, it didn’t work so well.  The deer were starving.  So my poor babies were beat up. I didn’t think they would make it this year.  But lo, and behold, they’re blooming.  Not a whole bunch, but it’s a start.

So pretty

Colors are Malabrigo Ravelry Red and Spun Right Round Newsprint

And now that we’re finished with my easy purse, I’ve moved on to another Malabrigo project.  I know, I know.  I love that yarn and it was on sale.  At least, today’s purchase was on sale….But I digress.  I’ve been working on a pattern for a sweater that I bought on Ravelry, Zweig, and I can’t wait to finish it.  I’m realistically shooting for November, when I’ll need it!  I intend to do some more planned pooling on a new brand of yarn – I will report the results!  I’ve also got some more fan art to do.  Never thought I’d be that kind of a fan at my age!  LOL  Life’s too short not to do the things you want when you can.

See you in the funny pages!

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Halloween Purse Pattern – Free until midnight of September 29th!

My Halloween Purse poll got such a nice response, I decided to write a pattern for it.  Be warned – you will need a sewing machine.  Follow this link:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/halloween-purse

and use the code “halloweenfreebie” to download the pattern for free until midnight on September 29th.  Don’t forget, if you like the pattern but would like to use it past Halloween, just change the colors.  It’s a versatile, sturdy tote that will get you compliments – this has been field tested!

Enjoy!

Front

Front

Halloween Purse Finished

I just love Halloween. The change of the weather, the beautiful foliage and the giving out of candy to cute trick-or-treaters all go to make this my favorite holiday.  Because I’m such a fan, I decided to design and make my own purse to reflect this.  I used a spiral square to get the most effect for the colors, and I found a Frida Kahlo/sugar skull material for the lining.  The crochet portion went quickly, but the sewing portion was a nightmare – of course.  I must learn how to use this machine if I’m going to continue making things that require stitching!  Anyway, I was disappointed in the interior, but overall, I’m glad I did it and I’m going to use it until Halloween!!  Below is a poll – please answer!

Freebie Purse Pattern for Christmas

I had removed this pattern from circulation quite awhile ago because I wanted to make revisions.   During that time, I used this purse for months and was continually complimented on it.  One of the revisions in the pattern I made was to use plastic (which can be purchased at craft stores) instead of using cardboard.  You can do either, but I used cardboard and now I can’t wash my purse, which is in great repair after much abuse, because the bottom will be ruined, and that was a big focus for me while putting it together.  This sucker is made to carry a a lot, and without a decent base, it loses its charm for me.  In the meantime, the pattern was languishing in my portable hard drive for well over a year; I made the changes that had required my attention and felt this would be a nice gift for the hookers in the crowd for the 2015 season; so, for a limited time, go to my Ravelry Store and use the code Free2015 to download it for free until January 2, 2016.

Enjoy!

Change of Perspective

Rachel goofing around at the World Market

Rachel goofing around at the World Market

When my daughter, Rachel, was spending her tax refund money before it burned a hole in her pocket, she and I stopped at the local Cost Plus World Market to ransack their wares.  We’d been to most of our usual haunts and couldn’t pass up visiting this perennial favorite.  There are items there that can’t be had anywhere else.  I like to buy the McVities Digestive Milk Chocolate Biscuits since it reminds me of living in England, and my husband really likes the German section since he was born in Germany.  And Rachel, well, she just likes the place!

While perusing the pickles, I noticed a couple about my age, in the same aisle.  Nothing spectacular, just your ordinary, middle-aged couple looking for some exotic pickles.  Almost immediately after seeing them, my eyes were drawn to the woman’s purse.  This purse was not your everyday purse.  No.  This purse was of a make and design that I have yearned and longed after for years.  Has anyone ever heard of Dooney & Bourke?  The Giraffe print? Yep.  However, being the absolute cheapskate I am, I refuse to

It's love!

It’s love!

pay retail on such designer products, so that means I go to eBay and look for gently used purses, and this particular design is about as hard to find as a great quality diamond at a department store. Yet here one was, in the flesh, looking oh, so pretty, and very well kept (angelic choir hitting high note).  I walked with purpose to the couple and immediately remarked on the woman’s purse.  I discovered she’d had it for 6 six years and how she loved it too.

I walked away, feeling I’d made a connection with another true Dooney & Bourke lover and didn’t think much of the conversation.

Later, (yes, we spend that much time there) I was approaching the couple again.  They were looking at the dining tables and had negligently left the cart, with the purse alone in it, in the aisle.  The husband saw me coming and, for no apparent reason, made a mad dash back to the cart as I walked by.  My brows creased in consternation…what was that all about?  And then, the only scenario I could think of popped into my head.  The husband was protecting the purse from…me.  I thought about our conversation and reviewed it for anything suspicious.  I looked at my once pretty crocheted purse,

It doesn’t look like this anymore. 😦

 

which is now battered up beyond belief because it comes everywhere with me, and it dawned me that, yes, in a parallel universe, maybe I would have thought of such a thing, but really, why would a thief alert their prey?  Was I too friendly?  Too jealous?  Huh?

I started laughing as I tried to imagine a scenario that involved me snatching the purse.  We were located about as far away from the exit as possible…well, that would be the wine section, but you get it.  There were displays, rows of products, and people milling about between me and the door.  That would just be damn stupid.  And as for a quiet switch, again, I would have to make my way out of the building before she would notice that her purse was missing.  There were so many others around, I don’t see how it could be done.

Am I not criminal-minded enough?  Am I a pigeon looking to be plucked?  Am I not careful enough of what I say?  Unfortunately to the last one, I believe the answer may be “yes”.  I saw a purse that I adored and thought I would remark on it.  I like when people compliment my purse, and yes, it still happens, but I don’t think they’re looking to steal it!  Maybe living in the sticks has changed my outlook?  Possibly.  Will I be more careful what I say to strangers?  I seriously doubt it!!  The moral of the story?  Don’t approach strangers and rant about how beautiful their purse is and how you’ve always wanted one, unless you’re going to anyway, then expect people to act strangely if you get near them again.

Lesson not learned.

The Contents of My Purse

I think it will be the bane and boon for every woman over the age of 44: the well-stocked purse.  You know…the middle-aged woman who works with you in your office; the go-to lady when you have a headache, an acidic stomach, or your button has fallen off and you’ll get either a safety pin, or some highly skilled tailor services for free and said button is repaired.  When disaster befalls your office, she is the one with some chocolate to soothe the nerves, and perhaps, even, a book that materializes out of her magic bag to distract or inform the beleaguered office worker.

Ah, yes. A random pic of the interior of my purse to illustrate my point. Beanos, hand sanitizer, aspirin, cough drops, kleenex, and I know there’s Immodium and Tums in there somewhere!

After all the services you have received from her, there is still a little joke that runs around the office about her age. Yes, the old lady’s purse, and the more she carries, the older she is. And you will never do that, because you’ll be young forever…Or something to that effect.

Yet here I am, carrying, in effect, the contents of a pharmacy. (See image) I have also come to the conclusion that, as I grow older, I don’t care what the young ones think; I’m a middle-aged woman who doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable just so I can be hip, because that’s not happening no matter what I do!

So go ahead and feel smug in your youth. Make the jokes, because I’m going to laugh at them also, knowing eventually, the joke is ultimately on all of us!

Really Cool Pattern for a Really Cool Purse/Tote!

Here’s another one of my lovely creations available at my Etsy shop!  Really, I was proud of myself for making this.  I wanted a sturdy purse to carry all my necessary junk, so I had to make it up as I went.  I think I will make another one with multi-colors!  I’m thinking of making this a freebie here on WordPress for about a week.  If I hear some feedback, I’ll definitely do it.

See you in the funny pages!

My purty purse!

My purty purse!