Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Delightful Sneak Peek

Simple Cotton Bags Filled With Wonder and Love

I promised a little sneak peek at the amulet bags I'm making to contain all the goodies from the charm/bead/clasp swap, so here they are! It was a lot of fun to work on them and play with some fiber for a little change of pace in the studio.

This weekend I got out the sewing machine, cleaned off a working area on my table.

It was the perfect excuse to clean up the studio, to make room for my cloth cutting board, rotary tool mat and fabric painting tools. So I moved some tables around, put the glass grinder in a different location for storage along with the box of supplies for the soldering, and did a massive cleaning on the worktable. Boy, did it need it! And it looks so much better! Even though I know it's only temporary, it's great to have a nice clean workspace for a while. And I will try to keep it cleaner, that will be one of my year-end resolutions.

When I had everything all tidy, spic-and-span, I started digging through my stash of hand dyed cotton to find the perfect thing to use to make the amulet bags that the charms for the swap will be sent out snuggled inside.

They're 6 inches across and 5 inches deep - generously sized to hold all the goodies, the cards and things from each person in the swap. I didn't want them all stuffed full and popping at the seams once they're loaded up with wonderful things!

I found some thick quilted cotton that I had dyed and decorated with blues, greens and yellows. And some thin organza with purple and rosey tones.

Both fabrics had been dyed and painted a while ago, washed and dried. So I knew they were all ready to go. When I put the color on the white cotton I didn't know what I would use it for. It's a thick fabric with a double layer that's already quilted when it's woven. I had one long strip of it that I made and saved, and it turned out it was just the right length and width for this project!

I stamped the word 'B-L-E-S-S-I-N-G-S' on the organza, and used fabric paint to add the heart-hand to the front of the bag. On the flap I zig-zag stitched the little word tag to the quilted cotton, and stitched them all closed on the sides. I wanted them to have a folk-art look, with bright and warm colors, but with the shapes of the leaves and ferns on the cotton to have a natural look.

The hand is facing downward from the word 'BLESSINGS' because it is spreading them, not reaching out to snare them - and above the heart shape is stitched a colorful rhinestone star bead. On the back is a blue five-pointed star hand painted on the fabric.

They are a celebration of creativity and the products of the hearts and hands of the swap participants!

Each one is slightly different because the hand-dyed fabric and hand painted images aren't exactly alike, but they are very close so each person in the swap will hopefully like them regardless of which one they receive.

What do you think of the little BLESSINGS bags?

For a while I was keeping a 'Blessings Journal' and jotting down each day something that I heard, or saw or that happened that felt like a good thing, that lifted my spirits. Simple things, like seeing snowflakes in the headlights of the car, or smelling fresh bread baking. So that when I'm feeling blue or weary, I can flip through the pages and find something uplifting, to remind me of all the sweet things around me all the time.

The season that is beginning can be frantic and hectic, even stressful. No matter what your beliefs or rituals, what the end of the year season means to you, it should be a time for blessings and remembrances.

I wanted to do this swap to highlight the blessings around us as Thanksgiving comes this month, a time for family, food and friends. Today is Veteran's Day - another reason to count our blessings!


Lorelei said...

So Pretty! Nice work Lynn!!

2 If By Sea said...

Oh Lynn! The bags are fantastic! Thank you so much for going to all that effort for our exchange...

Gaea said...

I am just about teary! They are spectacular! I just love a sewing project! Can't wait!

thebeadedlily said...

I love them! I want them! They've fabulous!

Erin said...

Oh Lynn! What a lovely and meaningful post! I'm balling my eyes out right now! The bags are so beautiful. I appreciate all the thought, love and meaning you have put into the bags as well as the concept for the exchange. Thank you for making this so special. I feel honored to be receiving such beautiful art from you as well as the other beautiful hearts participating in this exchange!

Heather Powers said...

ohh, it's our lucky day! thank you Lynn for sharing. I can not wait for these little packages to arrive. you are such a sweetie!

Lisa said...

Those are so amazing! I am very impressed that you did all that for us! Now I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

maryharding said...

These bags are so wonderful. You are so kind to make them and bring all our pieces together in such a meaningful way.