Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I've been busy, but this blog has been on my mind. I have plans for it!! This tree is a sneak peak-I don't have it listed anywhere yet. I'm thinking of a give away-but I worry there's no one really reading this blog anymore.... BUT- in case there is a reader out there...leave a comment for this tree to be mailed to you on December 12th. It's about a foot tall. I'd love it if you'd take the photo and tell others about the give-away. Thanks!!! Give away deadline-December 12 at 10 am!
Here are the things I've been toiling away at-but with pleasure! Don't mean to sound like I was in some awful cave somewhere!! I wanted to make something useful and arty at the same time, and to also use recycled stuff. I love tote bags. When I was 15 years old, I made a bunch of burlap bags (history repeating itself!) and decorated them with tiny beads. I actually sold them at school. Five bucks! I made about a dollar an hour! Oh well....
The burlap for these bags is used coffee bean bags. This is an old idea, I know. There's lots of these around-all of them nice, I think. I love the printing too. Some of the bags have wonderful graphics like crowns. You can get them at any coffee roasters. I got 10 tote bags out of 2 whole coffee bean bags. They smell good. There is a little dust(a LOT)-more than plain burlap-so I had my trusty Shop Vac handy after each sewing session. You will need to oil your sewing machine and clean it frequently too.
I used recycled wool for the appliques, and a plain embroidery stitch around the edges. Then I lined the burlap with used but cleaned poly-weave feed bags. I have saved them for ages. We feed wild birds, and of course, I feed my geese corn. If you are going to re-use feed bags for a lining-let me save you a little trouble. The ones that DO NOT have paper on the outside are MUCH easier to work with. Bird seed bags from Wal-Mart are very pretty with the birds on them, but the paper makes them very stiff as a lining. They would work fine as a tote by them selves.
The feed bags are very easy to cut and sew. I didn't use a heavy-duty needle on my machine, but it would be a good idea. I thought they would shed little pieces of plastic all over when I cut them, but it was very clean. I was able to get two tote linings out of one feedbag.
My bags are at my Etsy store. I will be making more, and probably doing a tutorial. The handles on these totes are from an old hammock we had to stop using because the iron stand broke. I'm a salvager from childhood-so when I saw all that lovely rope-I knew I'd use it somehow.

5 comments:

Riverwood Primitives said...

I love your art and the tree is too cute. I'd be so happy if I won!

the Inner 'I' said...

Hi there, I am reading your blog tonight and getting that wistful 'wish I celebrated Christmas' feeling I had as a child...Love your tree. Love, Ilene

WhiteStone said...

Count me in. I love this little mop-handle Christmas tree. Or is it a broom? It would be dangerous to have you living next door for you would greatly encourage my hoarding of all things possibly useful... especially little things. I love my button collection, too, clipped from many, many shirts that have since gone into a quilt. I separate them into three groups. Whites. Colors. Blacks. And keep them in bottles in the living room for display.

Debra said...

Well, my hoarding is going to make you laugh, but I actually bought a bundle of old mop and broom handles at a 50 mile long yard sale this summer. I knew when I saw them that I could make lots of neat things. Recycling is creative because you never know what will come out of it.

Baggaraggs: said...

That lovely tree is Mine!!!!i am crazy for those trees. have been tweeting the tree on your Etsy Bean, and your bags too. Love u. Baggy