"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crocheting Green!

I bought a few things at my local Ralphs store the other day. To my amazement, I was charged for the bags my groceries were in! I usually purchase my produce at Trader Joe's; who by the way have not yet charged me for bags.
I have always saved my plastic grocery bags for lining my wastepaper baskets, but I have found a new use for them: Years ago I made a large purse out of plastic bags, I used it for bringing groceries home in. I got so many complements on it, that I started using it as a summer beach bag. Recently, I wondered if I could remember how to make another one; here is the product of my efforts:
 I just cut up plastic bags in strips and then I tied the strips together,
 rolled the tied strips into a ball like yarn, and started crocheting.
 I used 17 bags to make this purse. The dark stripe is Albertsons, the lighter is from Ralphs, and the red flower is the part of the bag that says, "Ralphs".
I used a large red button from my button box, a large snap behind the button to open and close the purse, and some scrap yarn for the embroidered stem and leaf. I cut up an old curtain to line the purse and there was enough fabric left to make a glasses case; which is sitting at the bottom of my purse.
Hey Ralphs! You have nothing on this girl, I can make all my own shopping bags from your own plastic bags :)

In case you are interested in making your very own grocery bag purse, here is a pattern I found on-line to give you inspiration!
I made this purse (above) without a pattern.   
Years ago, when I made my first plastic purse; I didn't even own a computer, so this will be easy for you, good luck!

Materials Needed: numerous white, blue and yellow plastic grocery bags, M hook
Finished Size: 15 inches high x 16 inches wide not including the straps
 Note: Do not use hook that you don't want to break or be stained. I have noticed that my hook has numerous stains of dye on it from the bags, also this is hard on the hook so you don't want to use your good Brittany hooks while crocheting with plastic bags :-)
with white bags
ch 28
Round 1 - hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each remaining ch, working around the backside of the ch hdc in each st, join with a sl st to 1st hdc (54 total)
Round 2-5  - ch 1, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc  at the end of round 5 change to yellow bags, do not cut white bags
Round 6-7  ch 1, with yellow bags, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc,  cut yellow bags, at end of round 7 pick up the dropped white bags
Round 8-10 - ch 1, with white, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc, at end of round 10 change to blue bags, do not cut white bags
Round 11- 13 - ch 1, with blue bags, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc, cut blue bags, at end of round 13, pick up the dropped white bags
Round 14-20 - ch 1, with white, dc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc, at end of round 20 change to yellow bags, do not cut white bags
Round 21 - ch 1, with yellow, hdc in each st around, join with a sl st to 1st hdc, cut yellow bags, at end of round 21 change to white bags
Round 22- ch 1, with white hdc in next 7 sts, ch 24, sk 8 sts, hdc in the next 19 sts, ch 24, sk 8 sts, hdc in next 12, join with a sl st to 1st hdc
Round 23 - ch 1, sc in next 6sts, work 28 sc around the next ch 24 sp on last round, sc in next 19 sts, work 28 scs around the next ch 24 sp on last round, sc in next 13 sps, join with a sl st in beg sc (94 total)
Round 24 - ch 1, sc in each st around  (94 total)

Happy Crocheting!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Back . . .

Well, I have not posted since last December! I have been extremely busy with Parties, Weddings, Graduations and Funerals; not to mention my art and my sewing AND especially; my darling grandson, Robbie! I am also working on replacing much woodwork around my old house. It has been sweltering hot here in California. I find myself working in my backyard late into the evening when it is finally a little cooler.
I wanted a swing to have when my little grandson visits, however, a new one like this was well over $250.00. I found this one while just driving down a street. It had my name on it. I got it for $60.00. I washed it, tightened up some loose screws and it is wonderful.
The canopy with new cushions sides and bottom/ brand new would have been $320.00.
While visiting a Thrift store one day, I found a bin full of fabric. I wasn't being picky because purchasing such a large amount of fabric at a thrift store is a rare blue-moon!
I found this salmon colored cotton all rolled up and taped shut; for $7.00!!!!!!!!!!!! There was 8 yards. I purchased it, hurried home and made my two pillows along with the canopy that evening!
I had a problem with the wind blowing the canopy around, so I made a straight curtain casing in the back and I put an old rod which I found in my garage, through the back which weighted down the canopy. I also made 2 small sand bags for the front to balance the front from wobbling around.
For the pattern; I  just laid the fabric over the swing top and I used a dinner plate to draw the scallops. I folded the front part of the canopy over about 10" to make it look like lining so the scallops had no raw edges. I had a little bit of fabric left over, so I made some bows to place on the scallops.
Oh! How I love yard sales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 During the summer months, I like to make cool dishes like, cold Pasta salads, cool grape salad, potato salad, or just slice up some vegetables with dip. I have found a wonderful secret for keeping food cool. I came across a platter at my mother's house after she died. I only took it because it belonged to her. I actually thought it was ugly; not sleek like pottery. The good aspect of these dishes is they weigh so little and they blend with any color of other table wear.
The back of most of these pieces says: "Wrought Farberware" Brooklyn New York. One piece says: "The Crown, Pure Aluminum" with the picture of a beautiful crown embedded on it. Still, another one says "Farber & Shlevin Inc." Hand Wrought. They are serial numbered pieces. They look like they have been pounded. I have seen imitations of these at many stores, but they are much heavier and shiny. There are beautiful scrolls of roses on some, while others have Lillies, Primroses, Pine Cones, or Daisies, etc...
The handles on two of my platters are like vines/ so cool! It looks like the aluminum was stretched, pounded and twisted like Taffy.
I have never spent more than $10.00 a piece. I don't hunt them they find me by chance at yard sales or thrift stores. I really like these!
                                                    My Wild Mural

A dear friend of mine took me to old Town Dana Point for lunch one afternoon. We ate at a quaint backyard of someone's home.The name of the restaurant is called; The Ramos House. The chef lives there. His backyard almost touches the train as it unloads passengers. As we were enjoying our lunch, the sun fell brightly in my eyes. The owner pulled down a piece of Burlap- like a make-shift curtain/shade. The simplicity touched me. I came home a few days later and off I went to purchase a piece of Burlap; only, I wanted to paint something pretty on mine. I used acrylic paints and I had a blast. Now, when the sun gets in my eyes at home, I use my painted outdoor shade. COST-$4.75.
If I find/make the time, I have lots more to share. I am working on a Rose Afghan for my guest room and I just finished a Quilt in my bedroom.
More tomorrow....