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Yellow tote finds a home

4 Sep

My husband and I volunteer with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry. Yellow is our uniform color. I do much of the paperwork for our group and decided to make myself a yellow tote to use when volunteering. I worked on the tote while traveling and it was completed when we returned home, but I found it wasn’t large enough for what I needed. So it ended up in my inventory of completed bags and I wondered if I’d ever find anyone who would want such a bold yellow tote.

On a trip to MN, I brought along several completed purses and totes I had on hand. My family and I were hosted by my cousin Eilie for a few days. Her home is near the nursing home my dad was in, she works there, and she had graciously opened her home for us to stay many times while we visited my dad.

For work, Eilie often wears a very bright yellow pair of Croc-style shoes. She had noticed that many residents feared stepping over a threshold to a different type of flooring, thinking there was a step. She found she could calm their fears by standing in the threshold with one foot on each side. The bright color of her shoes helped the residents easily see and identify that they were not stepping to a different level. Since discovering that, her yellow shoes have become part of her uniform.

In thanks for her loving hospitality I wanted to gift her with one of my Bags2Bags creations. I let her select from all the purses and totes I had with me. She didn’t hesitate over which bag to choose. “You know”, she said, “I think I’d like the yellow one to go with my yellow shoes.” I think God’s hand was in making it for her. The yellow tote was the obvious choice! When Eilie selected it and shared her story, I was as excited about it as she was. That yellow tote now travels to Villa Vista with Eilie.

How fun that she chose something that would catch the attention of the nursing home residents. Now her shoes and her tote bag can be quite the conversation pieces at the nursing home.

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Kari’s Mesh Tote

30 Aug

This past June on our roadtrip, I worked on completing Pam’s mesh tote. I worked on it while we stayed for a weekend in Minnesota with my niece Kari. She mentioned that she really liked it and I said I would make a mesh tote for her.

When we arrived home, I found some bags to make plarn for a similar color effect as Pam’s tote and got started on the new mesh tote for Kari. Then I came across a larger mesh tote I started way back last winter—a couple inches bigger and with solid color plarn mixed with the basic white (with color flecks). Since it was already started I figured it’d be easiest to keep going on this one. So, I sent a picture to Kari asking if the color on this one is OK and she said “I do like the one with a lot of color! That would be great!”

So I continued crocheting this more colorful mesh tote and recently completed it. Now it is on it’s way for Kari to use before summer’s end.

“I love it, I think the size is great! Thank you so much.” – Kari

B2B impresses at Family Reunion

16 Aug

In 2009, my husband and I traveled to Minnesota for my family reunion.

My older sister Elaine had been searching for a Swedish recipe for rye bread and one for a beet-herring salad like our grandmother made when we were growing up.  Since I have a few Swedish recipe books inherited  from my mother-in-law, I packed them before we left on our road-trip so she could look through them.

It just so happens that I packed them in one of my Cardinal (red & white) totes. When I gave the recipe books to my sister I handed off the tote with the books inside.

After looking at the books, Elaine returned them to me the following week, in the tote, but mentioned in passing that she had been tempted to keep the tote. The recipe book borrowing event was the tote’s first use. Since I’ve made quite a few red & white bags and can always make more, I casually said she could keep the tote, which caught her by surprise. She happily accepted and I stashed my Swedish recipe books somewhere else.

This just goes to show that it always seems to turn out that the right Bags2Bags tote (or bag) has been created for just the right person, even though I don’t always know who it’s for when I’m making a bag.

Belize Bag and Mesh Tote x2

9 Aug

Earlier this year I received an email from someone in Ohio requesting a custom Bags2Bags purse and tote. It was fun to log-on to my email and see a message from Pamela, a complete stranger, saying: “I stumbled across your blog and adore your totes!!!!! I want one. “

I directed her to Bags2Bags facebook page where she viewed several of  my bags.After viewing them, she wrote, ” I am really interested in a custom reproduction of 2 of the tote bags.”

She loved the Belize bag & the mesh beach/market bag , so this spring I recreated the Belize bag for her. Finding all of the green bags I used in the original was not possible, but I had enough to make a very similar purse. I sent photos to her a few times throughout the crocheting process and she said,”It looks awesome!!!! Thank you so much.” She sent me an e-mail after she received it saying,      “I LOVE IT!!!!! and have been using it ever since.”

left: the original Belize bag   right: Pamela’s bag.

Then I moved on to re-creating the mesh tote bag I originally made a few years ago. White plastic bags with color printing on them are the easiest to come by, so matching the colors on this one was not a problem. I completed the mesh market/beach bag and mailed it to her in the middle of July so she could enjoy it for the rest of the summer.  After it arrived Pamela sent an e-mail saying,”I received the tote on Thursday and I really like it!!!!! Thank you so much. I’ve used it at the grocery store and am taking it to the pool today!God truly has given you a great and creative talent.”

left: the original mesh tote   right: Pamela’s market/beach tote

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.