School started for my girls last week and per our annual tradition (2011 here), I made each of them a new lunchbox, or lunch bag, as the case may be. This year I even got ambitious and made myself a new purse! Moms like to start the school year feeling fresh and new too! The materials I used for each bag are upcycled(except the pink webbing strap) and now living a second, highly functional life. My greatest challenge this year was making a lunch box out of a paper Hello Kitty bag from our local Super Cool toy store, Toy Joy. I laminated the bag and doubled up ‘the fabric’ at the seams and so far it is holding together. It is kind of hilariously large but my Little One wanted a ‘Hello Kitty one’ and I aim to please!
At the end of the summer I spent some time reorganizing my crafting supplies and cleaning out my grandmother’s sewing chest that was gifted to me after she passed in the Fall of 2002 at 102. It had become the repository for all things calico, stringy or pointy. Searching through the drawers brought back memories of the black, white and red speckled linoleum on her kitchen floor, the warm golden caramel color of her beautiful custom kitchen cabinets and the delicious homemade sausage with tiny knots in the ends of the casings that used to actually pop when I pierced them with my fork. So many things have contributed to my love of making of all kinds. The smells in that room, the cool corner cabinets that had special two piece hinged doors that revealed double decker lazy susans in the corners and the pull out cutting boards that were just my 7 year old height were just a few of the intrigues in that magical land of discovery and invention. As I was sorting the contents of the sewing chest I found needles piercing swatches of the same fabric that I have known forever in pictures of my mother as a toddler. There was an old wad of beeswax that surely my grandmother used to help her stiffen the thread so she could get it through those pesky needles. Needles small and fine and large and fiercely curved. Tiny wooden spools of silk thread and large cardboard spools with fine darning thread. Neutral colored because she was darning my grandfather’s socks. And an incredible stash of zippers. One white metal zipper is keeping my Big Girl’s lunch tucked into her bag everyday. My Grammy would be so proud.