What I did on my Summer Vacation

Last week, I was on vacation. The week before that I kind of took a vacation from the blog as well, and I have been kind of slow getting back to it. I have been thinking of you all, but things like farmers markets and Harry Potter movie marathon have got in the way. (Did I mention I made an Athrun-friendly version of Butterbeer?) Since we have no extra money to speak of, and I generally find travelling stressful enough to need a second vacation, I stayed home, slept in, probably drank too much wine, and made things.

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Minerva in a baby Sweater

As mentioned in the previous post, I knit a baby sweater, and as promised, Brock put it on the cat. She is asleep in this picture, so deeply so that she allowed herself to be posed.

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I do think magenta and orange are her colors, don’t you?

While that was a fun little lark and it kept my hands busy in the evenings, in reality, I really spent the better part of three days sewing. The first project was the cute little tote bag in the previous post. The second was another handbag, for me to actually use.

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The Reversible Bucket Bag

This is the second pattern in The Bag Making Bible and the bag featured on the cover–a big part of the reason I wanted to buy the book. I am very smug with myself that I finally managed to sew it. It’s not perfect. The seams are a little more crooked than I used to sew, and I pretty much made up how to attach the bias tape because the instructions in the book were too dense, but I really like how it came out. I especially like the fabric–the perfect mood and combination of patterns. I generally find pattern combinations (like the one on the cover-ay yi yi yi) in books like these to be a bit to bold for my taste, but I was able to find some patterns that I though complimented each other instead of fought for space. (They were all quilting cotton from JoAnn.)

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I am especially in love with the silver calico I chose for the lining. It’s so special, it’s only for me. (Yes, while the bag is technically reversible, I don’t plan to use it that way.)

Spending some time sewing this past week, I learned something important about myself. While knitting and spinning are productive, enjoyable ways to spend my time, I can perform them while doing other things: listening to an audio book, watching tv, socializing. Those fiber arts don’t take my full attention (most of the time). When I sew, however, I jump head first into a deep, dark tunnel from which I may not emerge hours, days, or weeks, and if anyone comes in looking to find me, they are likely to get bitten. Seriously, hours passed in what seemed like minutes, and I had no idea. As I shake the rust off my old sewing hinges, I think it unlikely that this mindset will change. Hopefully it will take me fewer hours overall, but I seem to be capable of sewing with a single-mindedness I seldom spare for any other activity–and it scares me enough that I realize I won’t be allowing myself to descend into that sort of madness too often. But don’t expect this handbag to the last sewing project you see on this blog.

And a teaser:

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Wedding invitations have been produced, assembled, and mailed. Next time, what’s in the envelope and how we made them.

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