Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Big Goodbye Project: Something Even Cooler

Yes! I'm back! I know, I know...I've been gone for a while. What can I say? I've been busy. Vacation. Post vacation laundry. Tax holiday shopping. Back to school. Sick kitty. You know, all that "life" stuff that sometimes interferes with blogging. But the main thing that kept me away was the Big Goodbye Project.

Our good friends moved back to Germany last Friday. This makes us very sad. With a daughter Ladybug's age, a son Buddy-boy's age, interesting perspectives and conversation that revolved around more than sports and the latest movie...well, they were just perfect for us. Saying goodbye was something no one was looking forward too. So like any good handmade-junky, I threw myself into creating meaningful mementos for our friends. The brain damage involved in creating the perfect gift from scratch can really keep your mind off your troubles.

You may recall my fused-bag project from a couple of months ago -- if you don't, you can check it out here: Something Very Cool (June 28). I've been dying to try my hand at this again (fusing plastic shopping bags into a sewable "fabric"). I decided this would be the perfect way for the kids to create going away goody bags for their friends. Last time I tried the fused-bag thing, I used Sharpie markers to add color to white shopping bags. Since the idea of my kids playing with permanent markers gives me the vapors (which has to be pronounced VAY-puhs -- like a good southern woman would say it), I decided to try something else...acrylic paints.

So I got my supplies together, taped down a couple of Target bags and gathered the kiddos around the playroom table. Buddy-Boy painted surfers, sand & the boardwalk (still fresh in his mind from the previous week's trip to Santa Cruz). Ladybug? She's really all about the pink these days. Pink, pink, PINKALICIOUS!! (and if you have a girly and you haven't check out the book, you really ought to.) Me? Well, I just got all sentimental and patriotic (in a Texas kind of way.)

After the paint dried, I sandwiched 6 layers of shopping bags (the white backs of 4 target bags, the painted bag, and a clear produce bag) between two sheets of parchment paper and "fused" them together with an iron set to medium heat. It took about 10 minutes, working in 60 second intervals to get the bags completely fused together. I then ironed a layer of fusible interfacing to the back sides so the finished goody bags would be crisp, strong and have a nice interior. I added some coordinating trim and handles.

Voila! Something even cooler!! Just wish I'd remembered (or had time) to take some good pictures of the finished products before I had to give them away. Or that I could just call my friend, go over to her place, drink a cup of her fantastic coffee and take pictures of the bags. Actually, what I really wish is that I'd never had a reason to make the them in the first place. I just hate saying goodbye.

Next up... The Big Goodbye Project: Photo Albums the Hard Way

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Bear Hugs"

That's it! Bear Hugs. The name of my new semi-regular customer appreciation feature. ("Semi" because you know I'm way too lame to commit to anything regular.) I like it. It works with the Teddy-thing, and it's got the word "hug" in it. Hug. The word just makes me smile a little. It gets right to the point. It's short and sweet -- unless of course you're talking to me after a couple of margaritas -- in which case I can easily turn "hug" into a 3-syllable word. (Yep, I'm fluent in Texan after a margy or two.)

"Bear Hugs" was TZel's suggestion. She chose the Love Birds pendant from my FlutterbyGirly shop as her prize. Her daughter loves chickadees, so she's going to give it to her as a gift. A quick email exchanged with TZel revealed many interests and passions: photography, healthy cooking, home schooling, ecology, and travel among them. But high on her list is juvenile diabetes. Her daughter has diabetes and is soon to receive her own Diabetes Alert Dog. Everyone knows dogs are fun and useful, but did you have any idea dogs could help individuals living with diabetes? I sure didn't! You can learn more about these amazing dogs here. Diabetes runs on my husband's side of the family, so I'm always interested in learning more on the subject. So thanks to TZel, I have a feature name and a new insight into managing diabetes.
I want to say thanks to everybody who responded. AlyGatr gets an honorable mention here for providing me with the "out" of not tying the feature to a specific day of the week. Now I can be my inconsistent best! (BTW, if you haven't checked out AlyGatr's blog, you really should -- it's always lots of fun.)I really appreciate all the suggestions and your willingness to do the brain damage for me. I'm seriously thinking about solving all of my bothersome little problems this way. I'll never have to think for myself again! As a matter of fact, let's start now: what should I make for dinner tomorrow night?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Etsy Oops!

OK, short post tonight. Not because I'm lame or anything -- because we've pretty much established that I can be very lame at times. But tonight, I just want to see if you're on your toes. So, tell me what's wrong with this package.