Bougainvillea Bags

It is so much fun when one cool idea leads to another.

I finished my tapered wool bag a few days ago. I was pleased with how it turned out after felting and loved the bright springy colors. I still had a little yarn left when I got done, so I decided I could probably make one more bag.

I really liked the way the diamonds in contrasting colors looked, but this time I wanted to make a bag that used all the same size of diamonds instead of tapering. I also wanted it to have a different type of closure, like a flap to fold over the opening. One more change, the strap. This time a single knit strap instead of two crocheted straps.

After calculating the size I wanted the bag to be, I set off knitting with my bright pink and green wool again with thoughts of springtime, flowers, and warmer weather.

Same yarn, different result.

As I was uploading the pictures, trying to think of a title for this post, I looked out the window and realized exactly why I was so drawn to this funky color combination. It reminds me of bougainvilleas. We have a bunch in our yard, and the bright colors always make me smile. Hopefully these bags will make someone else smile, too.

The bags are both posted in my Etsy shop, thechillydog. Now I'm off to decide what to make next!

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Bottle Cap Magnets

Super Bowl Sunday is a great time to collect materials for this super easy project. Bottle cap magnets are perfect for posting a honey-do list or vacation pictures on the fridge. A set of four or six magnets would also make a fun gift.

  • Bottle caps - Make sure to remove them from the bottle carefully so the sides don't get bent much
  • 3/4 inch diameter magnets
  • Hot glue gun

Before you start making your magnets, make sure to wash your bottle caps.

Turn the bottle cap upside down and squirt in some hot glue. Carefully, I repeat, carefully, place the magnet into the hot glue. It's called hot glue for a reason. You don't want to burn your fingers. Let the glue cool completely.

Your kitschy, upcycled magnets are ready to go up on the fridge.

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As I've said before, I love to design and make things. I'm a little bit artist, a little bit engineer. It is so exciting for me when I have that "Aha!" moment where I realize that a technique or design element that I have used in one kind of craft could be used in another. It's even more exciting when I get an idea that combines two very unlikely partners.

A couple weeks ago I had just such an experience. My vision was simply the combination of two of my favorite designs. 

Both have a great diamond pattern. The purse has eye-popping colors and a fun shape. The scarf uses a knitting style called entrelac that makes the sections appear to be woven (like the bag) yielding a rich texture.

My idea was to make a knit purse with bright yarns that is tapered in the same fashion as the bag. I'm still in the process of knitting, but here's how it looks so far. I used wool yarn, so when I finish I am going to felt it so it has a tight, fuzzy finish.

It's still a work in progress, but so far I am satisfied with this combination. I'll post a photo of the finished product before I list it on Etsy.

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