Archive | June, 2011

Sugar Plum the musical purse

21 Jun

On a cross-country road trip to Minnesota last year, we had several old cassette tapes along to listen to in our 1993 van’s cassette player with the intention of discarding those we no longer liked. After discarding several tapes along the way, I remembered seeing items crocheted from cassette tapes on the web. So into the bag they went with my supply of plastic bags for plarn. I figured since I had some on hand I might as well try it out and see if it works for my crocheted plastic bags.

So the experiment began. My first thought was that they might be sharp on the edges and cut my hands since the plastic is stiffer than most grocery bags. My second thought was that plastic strips are really skinny, way skinnier than the plarn I normally crochet with. Since I don’t want to make miniature purses I decided to try adding the tape strip to a regular strip of plarn as additional accent color.

Somewhere on the long drive I tested out my new material. The pictures show the test-run bag I made adding cassette tape plastic into the mix. The combination of the two materials gave an extra shimmer to the colors of the purse.

Turns out the cassette tape strips are very easy to crochet with and even added extra shine and shimmer to the test purse. From the purple, lavender, and gray bags I imported from plastic bag paradise (Belize) I created this purse. My cousin in Texas saw this shoulder strap purse, Sugar Plum, on my Bags2Bags facebook page and purchased it for a Christmas gift for her sister-in-law.

The tapes once played some wonderful music for our ears, but now bring some shimmer to our eyes.

Note :: One thing I discovered is that some cassette tapes are a gray color and others brown, so I realized I have to have plenty on hand to make sure I have the right color for my project. Remember to check the colors if you ever decide to recycle your old cassette tapes as plarn.


TOTES: Pretty in Pink

16 Jun

I never realized how popular a pink plastic tote bag could be.

Back in 2009, my daughter asked me to make a pink tote for a gift for her friend in England who’s wedding she went to. I agreed, but then had the hardest time finding pink bags. When I run into this, I usually ask friends and family if they can help me out with my dilemma. One friend told me she had large pink garbage bags that I could have. Obviously, that means the pink plastic I used for the tote was new and not repurposed, but sometimes getting the right color means I need to use some new material. Since the bag is not solid pink,it still has a high percentage of recycled materials. The light gray recycled bags with the pink and the black trim turned out really cute and Miss England loved it.

The previous year, I attended a Valentine’s day luncheon at church, and when it was over I asked if they would be reusing the pink plastic table cloths. They said they planned on throwing them away, so I rescued them to cut up for plarn (making sure they were food-free first!) and crochet into bags. For one of these new pink bags I added blue, lavender, red and clear recycled plastic bags and the end result was a cute pink trimmed handbag.

I had quite a lot of pink plarn left after that so I made another tote, but this time added some burgundy plarn to the mix. The burgundy came from plastic bags and another plastic table cloth.

Before our spring 2010 vacation to Belize, to visit my son and daughter-in-law (who owns a B2B tote), I received a message that a friend of theirs was requesting her own B2B tote. And wanted one in pink. So the pink/burgundy tote was packed up in my suitcase and left behind on Ambergris Caye, Belize in its new home.

A few days later, while still in Belize, I received an e-mail from my daughter-in-law’s aunt in Ohio who saw the pink tote on the Bags2Bags Facebook page and wanted to purchase it! Now I have a new dilemma…more than one person wanting to purchase the same tote. I never thought that pink bags would be in such high demand.

Even when I use the same color of plarn, each B2B creation is a one-of-a-kind unique bag or tote so when someone falls in love with one I have made that is no longer available I offer to create a new custom order bag that is as similar as possible (with a lot of luck on the hard-to-come-by colors). And that is definitely the case with pink plastic bags. Ohio Aunt Tassie patiently waited while I gathered pink plastic to add to what I had left and made another tote for her.

Ugg baby slippers

7 Jun

I do sometimes make things from material other than plastic. There are actually several other projects I have been working besides my crocheted plastic B2B purses. Here is one of them:

a knitted yarn version of Ugg booties for babies

I was searching for fun baby bootie patterns and came across this pattern for Ugg booties. The site could use some design help, but the pattern is worth it.

These are knit (all my plastic purses and totes are crocheted) and I found the pattern pretty easy to follow so you can make your own adorable little ugg boots for your baby (or for a gift). I used left over brown yarn and had some textured cream color yarn that makes the fluffy part look like the real fleecy lining. These are going in my box of gifts to be ready for the next baby who comes along.