My second little bag is almost done!

I just need to attach a shoulder strap.  Even managed to line this bag with black cotton, which is WAY above my pay grade.  The first lining was far too small, but I figured it out.

 

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Front of purse

 

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The back.  I’ve ordered tags that say “Crafted by Beatrice Bee.”  They will get ironed into each item.

 

 

Yesterday I went to the thrift shop and bought scads of 100% wool coats at half price.  A Nicole Miller pale pink waffle weave.  A gorgeous winter white cashmere.  Black, red, camel hair, bright green.  They have all been boiled and are now drying on chairs by the pool.  Next step to chop them apart.  The black wool one will provide a shoulder strap for this pink, black and yellow bag.  I’ve saved all the linings to use for inside my purses.

I also shrunk the doll hair. Kind of a failure.

 

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Neighbor Lynda saw these and thought they looked like dog doo.  I guess they kinda’ do.

 

The shrunken heads are now pincushions.

 

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Voodoo dolls!

Today I went to Walmart and purchased a couple of sets of plastic drawers for all the wool I’ve collected.  Now, back to the sewing room to complete my third piece.  Also lined!  Under that button is a pocket to fit a cell phone.  Tomorrow, when the black wool is dry, this will get a shoulder strap.

 

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This used to be a man’s vest.

 

 

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The back.

 

 

 

Another day, another strange purse.

The second purse completed!

I’ve been sending “What do I do now?” thoughts into the Universe, and as always the Universe delivered!  I have been invited to show/sell my funky little handbags at the Anna Maria Island Community Center during their annual Housewalk.  So between now and March of 2019 I’ll be chopping up shrunken woolies and combining them with all the random junk I’ve collected over the years.

This little purse is a combination of a navy Nordstrom wool sweater Jim donated to my cause. The blue denim bits are pieces of a scarf I began fourteen years ago for my son. But I screwed up the casting off part (my knitting skills leave something to be desired). It’s been living in a plastic baggie all this time.

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The yellow parts came from a thrift store cashmere sweater. $2.99 and dammit I’m worth it.  It used to be an extra large; now it would fit an American Girl doll. Beads are part of my stash from when I decided to make jewelry. Buttons are my passion. These three lived with the navy blues in my button drawers.

All my items get a bumblebee, as I stated before. Next, I plan to purchase tags the say handcrafted by Alice Jay Tate. I’m off and running, again! New year, new Alice.

Money from this little venture is ear-marked: twenty-five percent to a cause near and dear to my heart, twenty-five percent for my grandson’s college fund, and the rest for greedy Alice. Yay! I’ll probably spend it on more thrift store junk to shrinky dink.

I learned that every other Wednesday the Dunedin Main Street Thrift store sells all clothing half price.  You know where I’ll be twice a month.

 

What’s on my drawing board

New Year, new creative passion. I am having a blast buying wool sweaters, skirts, and coats then tossing them into a hot washer and dryer and turning them into wee-teeny shrunken doll size clothing.

I plan to chop them apart and turn them into wacky purses. This is a great thing because I can incorporate the mountains of other art supplies I’ve accumulated over the years. I have jars of beads, piles of fabric, an ocean of buttons, and an extremely patient husband who supports whatever wild imaginative flight of fancy that strikes my interest.

Yesterdays finds–

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The first weird purse includes a vintage handkerchief that was part of my former Etsy inventory, a wool scarf I began years ago for my son but screwed up casting off, random blue beads dug outta’ my bead hoard, a navy wool sweater Jim donated to the cause, and a silver bumblebee charm because all my artwork gets a bumblebee.

 

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You can kinda’ sorta’ see the bee on the upper right near the strap.

 

Why the bee? Because I once read scientists cannot explain how a fat fuzzy bumblebee can keep itself aloft with such small wings. It’s impossible. Every time I complete a creative venture I feel as if I’ve overcome my own impossible odds.

Now, on to iron my miniature cashmere sweaters, hack them apart and begin making more whimsical handbags.

And I have to give this house a lick and promise in preparation for book club tonight.  We are discussing Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers. Good read. I have to skim it again today. I’ve read several other books since then. My gray matter can only retain teaspoons of information these days. The joys of getting old.

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Elderly is good because people expect weird and sketchy from the aged.  I’ve got heaps of weird and sketchy.

Somewhat related blog posts:

Knit Wit

I’m Back!

Wonderful to be Weird

The War of Art

I’m Back!

I’ve been MIA since Thanksgiving. My fan complained and demanded a new blog post. So fan (you know who you are) this one’s for you.

Christmas was lovely.  We spent it with our sweet neighbors, Rusty and Lynda and their extended family. Then on New Year’s Eve, we took a short cruise with other friends. Following that, I got sick. Cough. Sniffle. Sneeze. Headache. I finally broke down and took myself to the doctor.

We had to get on an airplane. I didn’t want my head to explode.

He diagnosed me with a sinus infection, prescribed antibiotics, and off we went to Southern California to check out step-daughter Amy’s new home and life.

She took us to the Chapman University, in Orange, California.  She works there as Assistant to the Dean of the Law School. I fell in love with the town of Orange. Small, quaint, charming stores and restaurants. If it weren’t so far away and expensive I’d want to relocate there.

I also fell in love with Magna Tiles! Amy’s kids, Deven and Mishri, have vast quantities of the creative magnetic shapes.  Magna Tiles are the next gift I’m buying for my cute grandson, Tate.  Mo and Stephen, don’t tell him. I want them to be a surprise.

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When we got home from California we headed to Anna Maria Island to pick up Bronson the Wonder Dog.  He was staying with his surrogate parents, Brookie and Earl.  While there I saw colorful felted scarves used as a wall hanging. I immediately decided my next creative endeavor would be knitting wool and then felting it.  I would reinvent myself as felter extraordinaire.

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This is a felted scarf I found on Etsy.

 

What’s felting, you ask?  If you’ve ever accidentally thrown a 100% wool sweater in the wash and shrunk it, you have felted.

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The following day I drove to JoAnn’s Fabrics, plunked down thirty-five big ones on six skeins of Paton’s Wool yarn and set out to knit my first felting project.

First I made a small test patch. I boiled it on the stove top until our kitchen smelled like a barnyard. The wool shrunk.  A lot. That’s when I realized I do not have the patience to create a super long scarf only to have it turn into half its original size.

But what to do with my yarn?  I couldn’t return it, I’d already ripped the labels off and tossed the receipt.  Therefore, I made dryer balls. Easy as pie. (Which isn’t that easy, therefore the expression is dumb.)

I made twelve in total. Here’s how. I wound the yarn into balls, stuffed them into knee-high stockings and tied the sections between with string.

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Looks like this artist used socks.

 

I dumped them into the washer on the steam setting. Then thru the dryer at the hottest temperature.

Voila! Wool dryer balls. Supposedly they make your clothing dry faster, eliminate static, soften clothes and are earth-friendlier than fabric softeners.

Now I just hope our clothes don’t come out of the dryer stinking of wet sheep.

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