Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Another Week

I wish I had a more enticing headline, but all I can say is another week has gone by and we got more things done.  Now we just have a lot of little things to do and a lot things to get rid of!

One of these days we will look around and say "OK it's time to list" and just do it.

I no longer feel stressed out about "when."  I know Craig wants to be done with it as much as I do, and we will be done when we are done!

Meanwhile, I have enjoyed many hours working on my latest needlepoint project.  If I can't be posting pictures of where we are, or what we are doing on the house, I guess I will just have to post pictures of my latest crafty project.

I don't know about what is happening in the rest of the country, but here in California more and more stores are not giving you bags for your purchases anymore.  You can buy bags or bring your own.

We have several reusable grocery totes that we keep in the car and van.  The problem is we almost always forget to take them into the store with us.  Then when we get to the check out, one of us has to go back to the car to get them.  

So I decided to make a needle point reusable grocery tote that I wouldn't forget to take in with me.  I didn't have a design in mind when I started.  I just knew I wanted to use bright colors and a black background.  Each panel just evolved.

This is the first side panel. 

It's a bit flat and the elements are stiff.

But by the time I had finished with it I had established the theme elements: birds, butterflies, and flowers.

On the second side I explored butterflies a bit more. I used a very old design technique of moving from small to large and warm colors to cool.

On the first large side, I played with fun, colorful, imaginary birds.

I like them all except for the rather dopy looking parrot, but I needed something in that corner. 

I am pleased with the way the tiger lilies came out on this the last of the four sides.

Instead of making the handles with the stiff needlepoint canvas, I lined the tote with a reusable bag from Walmart. It is held in place with a retaining strip and Velcro. This way the handles of the Walmart bag will take the weight of the groceries. The needlepoint becomes more of a shell and will be less likely to get deformed. 

When the Walmart bag becomes dirty or worn, I can easily replace it with a fresh one.

I figure I am less likely to forget this tote after all the hours I spent making it.  It will also be a good place to keep the other reusable bags we normally have strewn on the back floor of the car.  It should keep them cleaner as well.Although they are not shown here, I have found something to use as a hook so I can hang the tote from the cart handle instead of putting it in the cart and covering it with groceries.

I do have work to do around the house that I have been avoiding. I'm not going to allow myself to pick up a needle until I have dealt with all the papers piled up in the dining room.  I've been ignoring them for weeks, but they won't go away or be sorted by themselves.  

Do you put unpleasant jobs off? How do you get yourself motivated?


  1. your bag is very pretty Merikay. Did you design it yourself or did you have a pattern for each panel? I love the theme...

    I would rather get the job done! I hate dreading the "I don't want to do it" jobs so if I go ahead and get it done, I can move on to more fun things.

  2. I haven't figured out how to stop procrastinating. Still do it. Its like I need the adrenaline rush of a deadline. I like your original designs.

  3. That's a beautiful bag, Merikay, and practical, too. I am so impressed with your designs. We first ran into the "no bag" phenomenon in San Luis Obispo County during our winter stay in Pismo Beach. Except for Costco, of course, which has never given out bags.

  4. Great design and execution! Love it. In Eugene, plastic bags are banned and if you want a paper bag you have to pay a nickle. Not so just across the river in Springfield. We're getting better at remembering to take bags in. We got a large caribiner hook and hooked it to the last row seatbelt guide in the van, near the ceiling. Then we put all the bags in one bag and put the handles through the hook. Keeps the bags neat and in place and no one rides in the back seat anyway. If they did, our hook does not interfere with the seat belt operation. I have a ton of fabric scraps and want to make some of my own bags.

  5. That bag is beautiful! I especially love the last side you pictured. I have never been to a store that made you pay for bags. Some stores around here give you a couple cents off if you use the reuseable ones. We tried to use them but never remembered to bring them in with us, so I think we may have gotten rid of them.

  6. We've had to pay for bags here for years. It is a good idea, but I wonder how hygenic those reusable ones are. I always pay for the extra bag for meat.

    Love the pattern. I'm glad you have found an outlet for your massive artistic talents!

  7. Jim and I are pretty good at remembering our bags. We keep them in the seat pocket that's on the back side of my seat in the truck. I am a procrastinator. I hate cleaning the bathroom and I have to force myself to get in there and get it done.

  8. I am the queen of procrastination when it comes to house work. Haven't found anything to energize my cleaning genes.

    I'm getting pretty good at remembering my cloth bags now.

  9. Gorgeous work! When I have something I dread doing, sometimes I'll set an alarm for 10 minutes and promise myself that I'll just work on it that long and if I'm miserable, I'll quit. I find that usually I get absorbed in the task and keep working.

    Look how much progress you've made!

  10. Your grocery tote is gorgeous. I don't understand how you could just start working and have no idea what you were going to design and end up with something so beautiful!

    Here is what I do when I have a nasty job that I keep procrastinating. I tell myself I will work on it for 15 minutes and I'll go like crazy for 15 minutes. I set the kitchen timer and bust my butt for 15 minutes. Most of the time, I keep on going....but I don't have to. I can stop if I want.


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