Continuing From Earlier: Let's Meet Some Little Friends:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Remember this guy? My hootin' little sanity saver?

Well, he belongs to this:

My new purse/bag/carry-all!

I have been toting around the same fun, funky green Old Navy bag for a few months now because of the convenience of the over-the-shoulder strap, but it was starting to get kinda BORING to me. And the green? TOO AUTUMN-Y. I was starting to crave a new purse.

And since my sewing machine and I have been getting better acquainted this season, I got a bee in my bonnet that buzzed to me, "You could MAKE your own new purse. You could! Bzzz! Bzzz!"

Crazy bee. But I couldn't get the idea out of my mind, so after mulling it over for a few days, envisioning how I would do it, what materials I would use, if I was brave enough to attempt a lining, etc. etc... I sat down to sketch the darn thing and make it so.

And yes-- I attempted the lining! Yikes!

So I made the whole thing up... except for a little tutorial on finishing the top of the lining, found here. (And I really only turned to that after everything else had been done and I was kinda stumped on how to get the top to look "finished".) I used my green bag for the size measurements of this one, and for the length requirements for the strap. (Since the thing is made of fleece, I reinforced the strap with a strip of duck cloth inside it-- then stitched the heck out of it. It keeps the fleece from getting too stretchy when my purse is FILLED and heavy...)

I also made up the inside pocket-lining thingy on my own and I'm delighted with how it turned out...

I devised the button-hole adjustable strap out of necessity-- I loved that my Old Navy bag's strap could lengthen or shorten as necessary, but knowing I was going to use fleece, I was not eager to make a separate trip to the fabric store (since I had every single scrap of supplies for this project right here in the Mason Attic) to find something to thread the fleece through. So I pondered and mulled and eventually came up with this:
A reinforced side loop to pull the strap through. At which point, I was just going to knot the thing and call it good.... But then the button idea popped in my head and I tried to brush it away-- ("I can't do buttonholes!! And Mom didn't answer her phone to tell me how!")... But it nagged... SO I pulled out my sewing machine manual (I know, GENIUS!!) and figured it out on my own. And the whole owl bag became a zillion times cuter.

And the owl? I knew I wanted to applique one out of patchwork fabric... But when I went through my oollllld stash of fabric, stuff I hadn't pulled out in YEARS, I found my collection of naugahyde!! (Old car seat vinyl). Heck yes, let's do a vinyl owl!

And slowly, in bits and pieces, the whole thing morphed into a usable, fun little winter bag for me. Yay!


And since my sewing machine and I have been getting to know each other better, let me share some of the fruits of my labors.... My other "friends":

This plush "ugly" monster was lovingly made for my bessie Genny for Christmas:

(it's kinda hard to tell, but he has a "grafted-on" leg... Tee-hee!)

And his "close-up" (His eyeball is a sock remnant. Love it!):

Genny, what did you end up naming this fella?


Genny's "ugly" was so satisfying to do, that when Mary came to town from Iraq, I decided she needed a smaller, more portable one to take back with her to protect her. And "Frank" was born:

Frank is only a little bigger than your outstretched hand... So easy to take along!
(And can you tell I am kinda loving grey fleece? I want ten more yards of it. Seriously.)


And then there are the monkeys. These were my November project, but I couldn't debut them because they were destined to be Christmas gifts. (Remember Nacho? He was just one of the many sock experiments and attempts I made that month!)

Ah, but did you spy the imposter?

Yeah... that's the Frog. It just didn't feel right to make a monkey out of all that green... So the frog brainstorm came about. I like him! (Though he looks a little shy and insecure in that photo, doesn't he?)

So my house has been teeming with monsters and monkeys all holiday season. So fun! Such good company! (P.S. While Target brand socks have lots of FUN patterns, I was NOT fond of how thin and flimsy-feeling they ended up being. These guys are cute to look at, but not really DURABLE, ya know? Lesson learned. But I still love them. :))

And while most of these guys have found a happy home, monsters, monkeys and frogs alike, Mr. Polka Dot in the upper left corner is still looking for someone to take care of him.

And since this post has been about friends and fun, let's have some MORE fun, friends! Who wants the polka dot monkey? He's lanky, awkward, and a bit uptight in social situations, but I think his neuroses are part of his charm. He's also pretty prim when it comes to etiquette, so make sure you don't chew with your mouth open in front of him.

If you think you can handle the responsibility, I'd love to share the wealth and let you take him home. In fact, I'll throw in a fun, eclectic mix CD befitting a polka dot monkey, just for fun.

So, if you feel like adopting one of my friends (and gaining a few new tunes), leave me a comment telling me what your favorite animal is and why, and I'll put the names in a hat and pick one next Wednesday, January 14, at 8:00 p.m. CST.

What say you?


Anyway, thanks for indulging my sewing side.... It really HAS been an outlet for the winter blahs, and I have many more projects up my sleeves that I can attempt when the next wave of YUCKS strike.

Hope your weekends are helping you to renew and regroup for another week ahead.


  1. Stephanie R8:21 PM

    Those are absolutely adorable. I love the idea of little happy makes them not so scary. Those monkeys are incredible...the patterns are supper cute and they just look so dang friendly!!! Back to the task to win, I have soooo many fav animals but one of them would be an octopus. They are intellegent, and graceful.

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  3. my favorite animal....LADYBUG for sure! They are small, they are red and polka-dotted, and they mind their own business (are not aggravating or smelly)...and they love the spring time! so do i!

    hey- on the same note...what did i win for naming Nacho? what about a cute animal?

  4. Judie8:48 PM

    Oh, Em, that's a no-brainer. The rottweiler, without a doubt!

  5. You're so crafty! I love it! And love your bag - that owl is AWESOME!

    Favorite animal ... sea turtles. They're so fascinating!

  6. Oh, I am loving your monsters and monkeys and the froggy too. I just kept thinking, oh can I have one too! Well, maybe I'll win. I do love dragonflies best. I think they are such beautiful creatures and one time I was wearing a dragonfly charm and a man told me that dragonflies were part of Indian legend that symbolizes Christ. How cool is that!

  7. you are so beyond UBER talented...ach and every one of those creations came out PERFECTLY!

    my favorite animal? monkeys--they groom each other and look so dang cute doing it...and their cheesy grins? TDF cute! :P

  8. AGH! Cuteness overload! Your bag - incredible. The buttons are genius. I've had a big thing for mismatched buttons going for a while now, and haven't managed to work them in anywhere yet.

    Favorite animal? Manatee. Hands down. Best animal ever.

  9. So, the insecure frog already lives with me. . . so I probably shouldn't steal mr. polka dots from anyone else. . . But let me say 2 things.

    1- He's really kind of a party frog at our house. Maybe all those monkeys were just making him nervous.

    2- You are a crafting GENIUS. I LOVE all of it. The bag. . . I have no words for how much I love it and how thoroughly YOU it is. GREAT job. Seriously.

  10. That is too funny that Mr. Polka Dot is looking for a forever home. If you checked out ELW lately he (along with Ms Pinky Stripes) is one of my faves! I only wish I could be even 1/10th as talented as you (maybe someday ;) )

    My favorite animal is, at the moment, the elephant. Simply because Anna LOVES making elephant noises. She roams the house all day trumpeting at every animal she sees. She knows the other animal sounds, but they just aren't as much fun to vocalize I trumpeting it is. Very cute.

  11. Wow! A great photographer, but SO crafty, too!! I didn't know you had such sewing talent, too?! That bag is should open a etsy store.

    My favorite animal has always been the chimpanzee, because they are so amazing. However, last week I saw a show on Discovery about crazy chimps and I'm having to rethink them as my favorite because they can be nasty & violent!

  12. Anonymous3:03 AM

    Dear "My little World'.
    You are so incredibly crafty and amazing. If I had half your talent when it came to sewing and photography, I would be in debt to you forever my 'cyber-friend'.

    My favorite animal? A beagle puppy. (How original, right... a dog). My Bella is the epitome of the beagle breed. Those floppy ears, cute face, and incredible personality.

    I would be honored to win Mr. Polka Dot. He would sit comfortably on my craft table inspiring creativity to those around him. He and I = two peas in a pod. Neurotic and awkward with a teeny weeny touch of class.


  13. I love how you have become a sewing queen, like Mom. It makes me want to overcome the fears/frustrations straggling in my brain from my last attempted sewing project (a sparkly spandex shirt for One Voice- Sarah and Mom could tell you stories about it...) Alas, I don't have time for it right now. Perhaps over the summer?

    Anywho- I don't really NEED another stuffed animal, but darn it, those monkeys are so cute (especially Mr. Polky-Dotty). I would have no problem making a home for him. And you may remember that my favorite animal has always been a horse (though in recent years, I have come to love penguins! They are just so fun to watch as they slide and dive and waddle around...)

    Thanks for sharing your creativity. It really helps inspire us all to do a little more with our own imaginations.

  14. Thats it. You have inspired me. I got a hand-me-down sewing machine recently, but for the last 3 weeks or so it's been sitting in it's box on a shelf. I'm taking it out. I will figure out how to work this thing. Maybe 7th grade home ec. will come back to me. Finding a place to set it will just become another factor to consider in my rearranging efforts. I LOVE the purse. Really I just LOVE aplique (sp?). So thanks, im sure my grandma will be tickled to see me take it out and use it.

    ok favorite animal... recently changed due to the move. I love cows! Not fake ones on kitchen platters- REAL Cows! They are so big. So solid. And so stupid. But I see them more as blissful. Just strolling through the fields all day... basking in the sun.No worries, just content. No wonder some cultures worship them!! haha

    Also- way to be frugle. Every one's belt is tight right now, and you still manage to have this super cute new bag, and it in no way broke the bank. Way to go!

  15. So remember how much I used to love Zoobooks? Those animal magazines? ever since those, my favorite animal has been and always will be Humpback Whales!!!

    Okay, I;m just trying to get in good with the boss of this contest. I do love humpback whales, especially because of Star Trek IV.

    But my favorite animal really is and always will be cheetahs. They're beautiful, awesome, and the fastest land animal alive!

  16. I would love to make polka dot monkey a member of our home! He is adorable, just like all of his friends. My favorite animal is a duck billed platypus. They are awkward and beautiful in their own way. Much like people in general. Plus, I think this animal shows us a glimpse of God's humor.

  17. I got an old sewing machine with no manual for Christmas. I don't even know how to thread it, but I love it. :)

  18. Okay, I guess I'll graciously exempt-myself from the contest because I have the best em-made-ugly-doll EVER (Neil loves him too--he's currently napping with another Ugly, Abima, on our padded bench. They've been asleep for 3 days--the new ugly, not Neil). But I'd love to come up one day and make a monkey/frog/turtle with you...pleeeeez??

    We've been thinking about names, but haven't settled on one yet. We just named our Dyson yesterday, so I hope it's okay that we're taking our time...I've found that names just need to COME. By inspiration. If I ever have a baby, that poor child may have to wait years before being named.

    (P.S. the Dyson's name is Kevin.)


  19. I soooooo want that adorable monkey. My favorite animal is probably a dependable lab or golden retriever. They have such loving eyes and can be so caring and gentle.

  20. Emily, you are just so incredibly talented! I saw the owl bag today at church and it is FABULOUS!!!!!

  21. Since Mr. Stripey Pants already resides at our casa, I do not need to claim mr. polka dots. But, you know me, I love me some turtles! And your other friends who said they love sea turtles, well they might just be my next best friends! :)

  22. oh wow. Wouldn't that sock look fantastic in my dorm room. Great at giving me complany on those long nights I stay up studying :0)
    So what the heck why not go for it. My favorite animal would have to be a dog. So boring, I know but true. They accept you for who you are, comfort for you no matter what you look liked that day or how you smell (eww! haha). They are always giving, give you company on long walks and want nothing more than just to lay right next to ya. So a fun, playful, loving dog is my favorite animal

  23. No fair. Other people get to see you at church. *sigh* Perhaps we'll see each other when our kids attend BYU and we're dropping them off at the same time.
    My favorite animal is the turtle because to get anywhere they have to stick their neck out.
    Your sewing endeavors are incredible.

  24. My favorite animal is the snow leopard. Why? Well, he's gorgeous, shy, and sleek - and when he's too cold he can wrap his decadent tail across his face to keep warm.

  25. Ummm, not sure what to say except WOW!!! Do you have a place where I could order one of those purses? I'm dead serious.

  26. I am pretty much in love with everything that you make lately. If I can become 1/4 the mother/artistic genius you are I would be ecstatic.

    As for MY favorite animal it will always be the wolf. So majestic, graceful and intelligent. One of the most beautiful creatures in all of Gods creation. I dream of one day being like that one couple that lived with wolves. The woman was so accepted by the pack that she got to go in the den and see newborn wolf pups! That has never happened! Anyway, there are a couple birds that are climbing the favorite animal ladder (piping plover, killdeer, swallows) but wolves will ALWAYS be my favorite.

    Love ya!

  27. I heart whales. I heart frogs and turtles too! Most of all, I love your monkey ZOO! GREAT work, Em!

  28. I've got to agree with Judie - I'm a sucker for a friendly dog. Especially the big, lumbering, cuddly ones. My favorite dog ever was Mike, the blue and brown eyed 200lb Bernese Mountain Dog who hung out at Niketown on Newbury Street in Boston. That dog was a rock star - people used to line up to pet him. And he was always so happy, so relaxed, and so huggable!

    And I have to say that I find it pure genius to name one's Dyson. My poor Dyson has spent it's entire life named "The Dyson". Kevin is so much more intimate and perfect a name for such a valued member of the family. This will be discussed over dinner tonight to be sure!

  29. You're amazing, simply amazing!

  30. You so could sell these things. How absolutely genius! I am very intimidated by you. I don't even know if that is how you spell it. Anyways, my favorite animal or rather bug is the cockroach. Really offensive, instills fear, and scravenges (is that a word) on anything it sees. A true annoyance. It describes me perfectly! :-)

  31. I don't know if I missed my mark on this or not... but I wanted to tell you how AWESOME the monkeys are. My favorite animal happens to be.... a MONKEY! Yep, Noah's room is done in monkey's, as was his first birthday party. As a child I always told my parents when I got big I'd have my own monkey... Uh, not real feasible. But Noah is a little monkey!

  32. I am blown away by your owl purse!!! Love it!

    My favorite animal is a turtle, probably because they can hide so quickly and easily when the world gets to be so much. They are all safe and cozy in the dark while the storm rages around them.

    I love your monkeys and monsters! I want the polka dot one to come home with me since I too am awkward and suffer from social anxiety. We can work through it together.

  33. 32 comments so far! Holy crap, Emily you and your site are popular. Well, these little guys are cute and I am very impressed (as always) with your creativity and craftiness.

  34. Beautiful , the monsters are awesome!!!! I would love to win the monkey for my daughter.... Our favorite animal is a hedgehog... They are cute as buttons!!! Prickles & All LOL

  35. You are so creative and talented Emily! I'm sorry I've been so bad about commenting lately. It seems like Google Reader has a down side...I don't comment like I should. But, I wanted to let you know I've been keeping tabs on y'all (stalking, I guess - sorry). :) You are so inspiring. I love how you had an idea and WENT FOR IT. Often times I find I stop at the idea. Thank you! I LOVE your cute purse and everything else for that matter!

    BTW, y'all going to the reunion this summer? I hope so!

  36. Right now my favorite animal is an elephant because it's Sterling's favorite. He makes the cutest elephant noise. We're working on others so we can mix it up a little though! :)

  37. Yea! I finally get to see them (darn work firewall)! Wonderful :-)


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