You'll notice I added another link. Click on the Hello my name is Heather link and scroll down to the green, yellow and orange crochet hooks in the March 2007 archives. Pay attention to the colorful buttons, thread and other things as you pass. This is a site Louise sent to me and I love the topics and the photos - especially her predilection for lime green and those pinks and pastels. I like her baby booty patterns and the candy looking crochet hooks. Face it, anything that looks like candy has to have something going for it.
I love to make and do - always have. Although I never got around to creating an internet business or "officially" designing, I continue to search out and be inspired by other-people's-patterns. And every once in a while, I make up something original all on my own.
A couple years ago I started making my own gift bags for Christmas presents. I don't know where I got the idea - it was probably inspired by a combination of sources. And the fact that I save everything because it is guaranteed to be something I desperately need within 13 minutes of the garbage truck picking it up once I throw it away after holding onto it for the last 18 years "just in case".
I save paper. Seriously. Lately some companies have been using brown kraft paper as packing material. Long, long sheets of it, crookedly torn off at the ends. I guess they don't have it in a roller with a cutting blade. I can't bear to throw it away. It's better than any old brown bag and NO PRINTING ANYWHERE ON IT!!!
To make a bag, I cut the paper to size, cut a long strip for a handle, wrap the bag section around an appropriately sized box, fold in and glue the bottom so the bag will stand up, and let dry. Then I fold over the top two times (for strength) and fold the strap piece in half twice (for strength), gluing each fold. I tuck the ends of the strap under the folded over top of the bag and glue that, and glue the strap so it stands up pertly from the top of the bag.
It's done. But you can decorate it if you want to. Stickers, glitter glue, scraps cut from wrapping paper or old greeting cards, cut 'em out and stick 'em on. If the brown paper is a little crinkly, the fix is easy. Just smoosh the whole thing and then smooth it out again. Now it looks like you meant it to be that way!
I guarantee even you mother-in-law will like her present if you stick it in a hand made paper bag. I mean, who else in the world bothers to MAKE A BROWN PAPER BAG FROM SCRATCH???
Listen, this is how I keep my sanity. This is why they make jokes about basket weaving and knitting as therapy. Seriously, there comes a point when you are working something out when part of your brain just turns off . . . "let's see, if I cut this piece this long and stick this part under here . . . "
Next thing you know you are in a zone and when you "wake up" you have a beautifully hand crafted brown paper bag. It's amazing!
I was trying to come up with an idea for something to give some of the "girls" in my life - nieces, friend's daughters, children and young adults. The past few years I have saved make up bags - the kind you get free-with-purchase when you buy something at the Clinique or Estee Lauder counter so you can get a free lipstick.
I have filled these bags with everything from candy to cosmetics to baseball cards but I was running out of ideas. Then I decided I wanted to crochet something. Probably 'cuz my crochet hooks and some thread were in the room. What did I come up with? Lip Balm Cozies. You read that right.
Lip . . . Balm . . . Cozies . . .
If I had a digital camera I'd post a picture of them.
Here's how I made them. I crocheted a few stitches to see if it was going to be the right size then I just went to town. Oddly enough my little finger is just about the size and shape of your average chapstick. As I crocheted around and around the thing just kind of fit itself over my pinkie, like the finger of a glove. When I got near the top I worked in a few beads (which I had strung onto the thread beforehand) around the top. Then I crocheted a l - o - n - g string as a sort of a handle and added a few beads into it as well.
Note to self: make handle longer - everyone who got one tried to loop it around their neck like a necklace.
Why a lip balm cozy? Probably because I've never seen one. And everybody knows that the best gifts are things that are unique and have virtually no practical use whatsoever. And when they take up no space and pretty-up some mundane object most people take for granted? All the better!
Maybe next time I'll melt some bees wax, add some lavender or peppermint oil and make my own lip balm. Maybe.
Quotable Quotes: In the category You And What Army?
"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it". Clint Eastwood