What The Hay

Crafty Hayseed Goodness!

Purple Grocery Bag February 28, 2008

Filed under: projects — clothespin @ 10:36 pm

I love grocery bags.   OK, I love tote bags in general, but specifically, I love grocery bags.

Years ago, I made a bunch of canvas shopping bags, way before it was cool or trendy and when everyone thought you were a tree hugging hippie dippie for wanting to do something so strange as *not choose paper OR plastic*  (freak!).  Back in the day, I was a first year grad student and desperately poor, I made 5 bags per person and gave them to my family as Christmas presents.  My design?  I basically took a brown paper bag, opened it up flat, added a 1/2 inch seam allowance to it, and sewed the cut fabric into bags.  I even went so far as to double stitch the seams to make sure that they wouldn’t pull out.  They are sturdy – and ugly, and took a long time to make.  I still use them and they are far superior to the freebee canvas bags that I have gathered in other places.  Those tend to shrink into a useless size once they go through the wash (as if groceries don’t leak occasionally?) and are even uglier than my homemade ones.

Lately, there have been lots of trendy designs out in blog land and in the enviro land.  Google comes up with 139,000 hits when you put in “reusable shopping bag” – very few of which come from recycled or even sustainable products.  Some are very trendy and expensive, like the “I’m not a plastic bag”, others are ugly while others are cheap and promote a specific grocery store.


Ultimately, I’m rather cheap while at the same time I’m environmentally proactive.  Sometimes it makes for a difficult combination… And sometimes, I’m downright obtuse when it comes to a simple design.   So, recently, I chanced on this bag pattern from Wisdom of the Moon… Simple, recycled, and with a flat (and easy!) bottom!

In the end, I changed a few simple parts of her design… First, for my first bag, I didn’t use a sheet.  I had garage saled a piece of fun fabric for probably 25 cents – upon measuring it, it turned out to be the requisite 18 x 42 inch size.  This is also about the same size (for all ye other math brainiacs out there besides me) of a 1/2 yard of 45 inch fabric, just in case you, too, covet yard sale yardage.  Second change – I knew my fabric would ravel as it is 100% cotton and I’m lazy and didn’t want to hem the giant rectangle like she suggested.  My solution?  Go stash diving and come up with extra wide bias tape and sew that over the raw edges at the same time as sewing them together.  Easy breezy and added an extra degree of stability to the sides.  Plus, I had somehow missed the hemming part in her directions the first time I read them.  =)  Third change – instead of adding canvas in the seam at the top where the handles go, I cut a 1 1/2 inch width of pellon iron on fabric stabilizer (in the stash) and then ironed that a 1/4 inch or so from the top of the bag on the wrong side.  I ironed the 1/4 inch edge over the top of the pellon, then folded the entire edge over at the bottom of the pellon – so stable and no raw edges.  My handles are also garage saled canvas and I have to say, were easy to make and comfy!


 End result?  Hubby thinks that the bag is too girly for him to use… But I love it.  Way more fun than the beige canvas.  I have gone stash diving and found more fabric, some fun canvas even, that will become bags.



I also thrift stored some fun fabric for a quarter that I’m trying to convince myself to use for bags and not a curtain in the new house.  We’ll see what happens…


License Tag Bird Feeder February 26, 2008

Filed under: projects — clothespin @ 10:53 am
Tags: ,

Hubby had a birthday recently. Being a born and raised Texan, I knew that he missed home a lot… And, as we had to get Alabama license tags for both of our vehicles, we had 4 Texas tags hanging out in the porch.

I had seen license tags on bird feeders before and decided that as part of his gift, I would try to make him one. Armed with a tag in hand, I marched off to a local big box home fix it store to see if a pre-made feeder would accommodate my tag. Happily, Lowes had one on the shelf, and for less than $10! This Cedar Bird Feeder has a roof that is the exact same width as my tag is… While wandering the store after finding the feeder, I stumbled upon two small wooden stars – like the Texas star – over by the screened door section of the store. I can’t seem to find them on line, but I’m sure that Hobby Lobby or other craft stores would have similar items.


So, I painted my stars red with indoor/outdoor paint and used Gorilla Glue and some clamps to attach them to the ends of the feeder. I put some waxed paper and then some folded paper towels between the painted surface and the clamp just to keep the paint looking nice. After those had dried for a day, I put more Gorilla Glue on the roof and clamped those down to dry for another day. One bit of caution – Gorilla Glue expands, so try to stay away from the bolt holes on the tag otherwise the glue might ooze out!

Texas Bird Feeder

The end product is cute and easy and total costs were less than $15. Part of a fun birthday package… Now, to put it to use in our new tree!


The test… February 23, 2008

Filed under: family — clothespin @ 12:44 am

So, where have I been?

Hmm…. Well, I think I’ve been off in the land flippin out.  Around the time of my last post (months and months ago) I did a little experiment.

You see, despite being a yankee and theoretically having a genetic dislike for collard greens, I found myself nearly stalking the vendor of said greens at the local farmers market.  Not because he was cute, but because he had greens and I NEEDED them.  I had been convinced that all yankees were nuts and that greens were the greatest thing on the earth and why didn’t my parents feed these to me?  I ate vast quantities of these for weeks, along with pink-eyed peas and corn bread.  My husband thought that I was nuts.

I also had developed extremely sore boobs.  So sore that some nights, I couldn’t sleep on my stomach.  It was bad.

Despite having a degree or two in biology, I didn’t catch on very early.  Finally, one day, I bought the little experiment in a box and took the test… yes, the pee test.

I am pregnant!

Really, right now, I have my moments of excitement.  But, back then, I was seriously flippin out.  We had been not trying to prevent this for about 2 years by this point and I had convinced myself that it was just never going to happen.  I had become OK with this – to the point that we were even talking adoption.  But, to suddenly be possessed by this little creature that would change my life forever… well, it took a bit of adjustment.  And, I have been adjusting ever since.

Incidentally, she is a she and her name is Rose.  She is due the first week of May, so there may be more lulls in my posting.  Right now, our life is really busy.  Because, just to make life even more entertaining, we also just bought a fixer upper house.  Not that we’re nuts or anything.

So, now I’m in the midst of trying to make curtains for her room, paint her room, paint the kitchen, figure out how all of my craft stuff is going to fit into my new TINY office/craft room…   And, we have 2 more months to go.  So, stay tuned for the lunacy…