Sunday, 26 July 2015

Teachers' presents - bags!

So here are the presents that did get made in time!

One bag - I think this would be a good beach bag.

Predictably, it started off as a find in a Charity Shop. Two napkins, just like this...

Which got built up, log cabin style, with a few scraps, then a thrifted bright pink curtain for a lining and handle, a bit of elastic at the opening and it became a bag.

It's funny, I can't really imagine wanting these 2 napkins as napkins, and I definitely wouldn't want the shocking pink curtains as curtains and yet I think they work as a bag. (And we all were sure these colours were perfect for the intended teacher.) For me, thrifting is all about seeing the potential in something.

And then Venetia and I made some fabric 'baskets':

I'd seen a post about, and a link to, a free Craftsy class on bag making on The Artful Parent (find the specific post here), one of the bags was a bucket bag that looked perfect for an idea we had in mind. So my plan was that Venetia and I would watch the class together, and then she could make most of the bags herself with a bit of help from me where needed. Unfortunately our internet connection is so terrible that trying to watch the class was driving us potty before we got even 5 minutes into it. I think it had frozen getting on for 50 times by then, and I was desperate to give up on it but had managed to keep quiet, I was very happy when Venetia decided it would be best to think again though.

So basically we winged it! But if your internet connection is a bit more respectable than ours, I would recommend watching the class (free remember!), it did look good, and our baskets were definitely floppier than the class ones looked!

These baskets turned into cream tea baskets - with some home made scones, a jar of home made jam and a pot of clotted cream added to them.

Thrifted fabrics for the insides on both these bags, but the outer fabrics were both new ones I'd picked up in sales quite a while back.

There's another patchwork bag which we didn't get finished, but the teacher is a very friendly one and we already have a precedent with her for giving late presents!

It is feeling lovely to be into the Summer holidays now, and despite fairly atrocious weather we have been enjoying our wild swimming. In fact setting ourselves the challenge of swimming every day is perfect for days like these (think wet, windy and not overly warm!), because without that challenge there would definitely be a temptation to stay holed up inside! Yet when you make the effort to swim on days like these, it always feels amazing. There's something about being in a slightly wild sea, not even being able to tell whether or not it's raining because of all the spray, which just makes you feel extra alive and almost part of the sea itself. Not great for photos though, the best I have today is a fresh out of the sea selfie before we made a dash for the car and turned the heating up on the way home!

It was a bit too wild for Maria today unfortunately.
Hope you're enjoying Summer wherever you are (or Winter down under!).



  1. What wonderful gifts, so much thought and care went into them. So happy you guys are enjoying your summer. Love the pic :)

  2. Wonderful photo, and really great teachers' gifts. I particularly like the napkin tote bag,you have such a good eye Sally, and put together colours so well. Happy holidays to you, miserable weather up here in Scotland too. X

  3. What a wonderful use for thrift found napkins; the first bag really does look perfect for a beach outing. And I love that Venetia is already developing your skills for making things up as she goes along!

  4. Oh I love the idea of cream tea baskets - I may have to pinch that when our time comes! And yay for swimming in the rain - it's the proof that you're a local!!

  5. I agree that the pink would perhaps have been too much as curtains. I love how you've bordered the napkin with it, though. You really have a skill for seeing the potential of different fabrics together. Lucky teachers who received all of these gifts.

  6. I think that bag is gorgeous - the colours are perfect.
    I really must try the fabric buckets - i've seem loads and just never quite got round to making one - but they look so useful!

  7. How wonderful to see your face my friend! Those bags are amazing. I may have to sit down and watch the video. What a great idea for Christmas presents. :-)


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