Drawstring for the Mesh Bags

Drawstrings improve the functionality AND look pretty cute!

Earlier I posted about the mesh reusable grocery bags I was making. There was one problem with them, which was that when you filled them all up, then sat them down in the back of your car or on you kitchen sink, the opening would just flop down and everything in it would go spilling out. I tried tying the handles, but they wouldn’t stay tied very well.

Reusable mesh grocery bag without the use of drawstring

Reusable mesh grocery bag without the use of drawstring (There IS a drawstring here, but I’m just demonstrating what happens when it is not used. I never got a picture of this before I put the drawstrings on.)

So I just made 2 foundation chains slightly longer than the circumference of the bag. To show you how I installed the drawstrings, I have to resort to this crude little sketch—since I forgot to take pictures while I was doing it! But I think the sketch gets the job done.

Instructions for installing a drawstring.

How to install the drawstrings.

And then, voila! ( I noticed I’m using that word a lot. I’ll have to think of some alternatives…)

Cinched drawstring on reusable mesh bag.

All cinched up! No need to tie the drawstrings; they stay closed, at least with the yarn I used.

Reusable mesh market bags, cinched tight with drawstrings.

Super secure and tidy groceries in your reusable mesh bags! Notice how there are TWO jugs of milk in that one bag. And I could still jam a BUNCH of stuff in there. Sure makes hauling the bags into the kitchen from my apartment parking stall a ton easier.

Let me know if you try adding these nice little drawstrings to your mesh bags, and if you come across any pointers along the way, please share.

Happy grocery shopping!

P.S. FYI, the purple and “mango” bag is Caron Simply Soft (I tell you, I have a ton of the stuff, left over from my hexagon afghan.) and the other two are Red Heart Super Saver. You really can’t beat the cheap price, and the acrylic is super strong. Not to mention a great selection of colors. I like the look of cotton, but it is not as strong, and more expensive. Hemp is supposed to be the strongest… but a bit too pricey for my budget. (-:

I usually use my US K / 6.5 mm crochet hook.


Lacy Bunting / Banners


I made up this pattern awhile ago, and made several of the triangles… and now this project is on my list of crafts to finish! I was organizing all my crochet and knitting patterns tonight, and came across the pattern I had scribbled on a pad of paper, and thought I’d share. I really like these lacey-ish bunting triangles. Someday I’ll finish them. (:

So here is a picture of several of them that I did finish:

Crocheted lacy bunting / banners

Crocheted lacy bunting / banners.

Here is the visual pattern that I scribbled out when I created these:

Lacy crocheted bunting - pattern diagram

The pattern for my lacy bunting.

OK, I’ll attempt to write the pattern out:

I used Caron Simply Soft in Sunshine and Pistachio, mainly it was what I had. I can’t remember what size hook, but it was probably the recommended size on the skein label.

Start: Ch 30.

Row 1: Ch 2 more (counts as dc). Dc in 4th chain from end, then dc all the way across  in every ch (29 dc + the ch 2 = 30 dc).

Row 2: *Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2. Dc in next dc. Dc all the way across*. (28 dc + the ch 2)

Row 3: Repeat from * to *. (26 dc + the ch 2)

Row 4: Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2. *(Dc in next dc, then ch 1)* 11 times. Dc in next 2 dc.

Row 5: Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2. Repeat from * to * 10 times. Dc in next 2 dc.

Row 6: *Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2*. (Dc in ch 1 sp, dc in next dc.) 10 times. (20 dc + the ch 2)

Row 7: Repeat from * to *. Dc all the way across. (18 dc + the ch 2)

Row 8: Sl st in 2nd dc, then ch 2. Dc in next dc, ch 2. (Sk 2 dc, dc in next dc) 5 times.

Row 9: Sl st in ch 2 sp, dc in same ch 2 sp. (Ch 1, sk next dc, dc twice in next ch 2 sp) 4 times. Dc in next dc.

Row 10: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2. Dc in next dc. (Dc in ch 1 space, ch 2, sk 2 dc) 3 times. Dc in next ch 1 sp, Dc in next dc.

Row 11: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2. (Dc twice in ch 2 sp, ch 1, sk next dc) 3 times. Dc in next dc.

Row 12: Sl st in ch 1 sp, ch 2. Dc in next dc, ch 1, skip next dc. Dc in next ch sp, ch 2. Sk next 2 dc, dc in next ch 1 sp. Ch 1, sk dc, dc in next dc.

Row 13: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2.  Dc in next dc, Dc twice in ch 2 space, Dc in dc, dc in ch 1 sp, dc in next dc.

Row 14: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2.  Dc in next 4 dc.

Row 15: Sl st in 2nd dc, ch 2. Dc in next 2 dc.

Row 16: Sl st in 2nd dc. Fasten off and weave in ends.

When all the bunting triangles are done, chain however long you want the tails to be, then single crochet across the top of each triangle, connecting them all, then chain an equal number for the other tail. Then I like to do another row of single crochet all the way across. I believe this is how I did it when I made the bunting in my bedroom.

Voila! Let me know if you try out my pattern, and if you see any problems I will fix it.

File Cabinet Refinishing Project

The project

Well, I just moved my office space into my living room. (Desks are IKEA Vika Amon with Adils legs in red.) So now my tiny living room duals as my office as well. I just wanted my office OUT of my bedroom. I’ll post complete pictures of the office space later when I’m done setting it up/decorating, etc.  But for now, I want to re-finish my old blue filing cabinet. Here she is: (you can see a sneak peek of the room she sits in, which I’m still working on)


I’ve been looking for ideas on the Internet—there is not as much as I thought there would be. Here’s what I found out there:

My thoughts

I looked at a bunch of stencils, and I’m leaning towards spraying the file cabinet green, and using some sort of floral, damask, or paisley stencil on the front. Something large, that will not be just on the drawers, but maybe overlap beyond the doors, and maybe even have it go around a corner to the side… Here are a few quick sketches that I’ve done so far for ideas:

I like this stencil. I was thinking the flowers you see on the front would overlap over onto the sides, but other than that the sides and top would be solid green.

Same idea

I like the zinnias… But I would do it in greens instead of yellow. I will also have to find the stencil… This was just a picture of a wall painted this way…

I love this one… I’m still a sucker for sunflowers… I like how it’s simple and leaves a lot of green.

What do you think? Any ideas?

Jewelry Inspiration: Blue-Aqua-Yellow

I found this picture on Pinterest, and I love, love, love, this color palette. (You can find it in my Color palettes board.) I’m planning to make some jewelry based on the colors you see here. For now I’m collecting beads, which you’ll see if you keep scrolling…

I already have all of these:

… and I just bought these tonight and I can’t wait to get them:


And… I’m thinking about buying some of these; they are glass floral cabochons, with antique brass settings:

Of course, I won’t use ALL of these things in one piece of jewelry… but I like to have a lot to choose from when I’m creating…


What do you think about mixing the glass floral cabs in the brass settings, with the blue and aqua butterflies? Let me know!

Little Lacy Gift Pouch

Little lacey gift pouch

Little lacey gift pouch

I found this on Ravelry, called Shell Pouch and Gift Bag by Carola Wijma. (Her website is Carola Mania (you’ll have to use Google translate.) I made it with DMC perle cotton/#5, and an E/3.5mm hook. It’s a little tiny thing! The finished size is 2 5/8″ wide x 5″ tall. It’ll make a nice little gift bag for some earrings or some such.

Crocheting with sore ol’ hands

When I first started crocheting, I had real trouble crocheting with tiny yarn and small hooks. Ugh. I have big hands and felt oh so clumsy. And trying to hold the tiny thread’s tension with my little pinky was killing me. I had a little bit more luck this time around; I wrapped the thread around my pinky an extra time, and that seemed to give me more control without having to squeeze the thread—which is what hurts my joints. (Even with fat yarn I re-taught myself to keep my pinky and ring finger held out straight instead of curling them around the yarn… I was getting to where I couldn’t OPEN my fingers back up, after just a little while of crocheting! But keeping my fingers straight and just squeezing the thread between my pinky and ring finger, held out straight, seems to work—for the fatter yarn, like sport weight through bulky.)

Anyway, here is my little pouch. I really love it.


Openwork Lace #2049 Purse

A Pinterest Find

I recently got into Pinterest, and I’ve gotten addicted to it. There are so many inspiring images there, and many of them lead to great blogs and tutorials out on the WWW. I found some really great crochet patterns on a site called MyPicot.com. They are basic patterns that you can adapt in whatever way you’d like—for scarves, handbags, apparel, you name it.

MyPicot.com's Openwork & Lace #2049

MyPicot.com’s Openwork & Lace #2049

So, I chose to try out this pattern, #2049. I just used some Caron Simply Soft yarn I had around. The pattern shows 13 rows, but I continued on until I’d done 20 rows. Then I thought hmmmm, maybe a cute little handbag? So I made a gusset all the way around 3 sides which consist of multiple rows of  9 half double crochets. Then I made the other side consisting of another 20 rows that I will slip-stich on to the other side.

Here are some pics of my progress so far:

Before blocking. I find it saves time if I don’t try to smooth things out too much while I’m crocheting… I used to get anal every few stitches and figured out that was tripling the time it takes to finish something!

After blocking—I just smoothed it out by hand.

After blocking—I just smoothed it out by hand, and pulled the clusters of 3 double crochets away from each “flower” center so the flower petals, created by the empty spaces, would show up more.

With gusset crocheted onto the first rectangle of 20 rows.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten so far… I’ll keep you posted on my progress! I have no idea yet what this will turn out to look like… I’m thinking of making an insert of contrasting fabric, maybe a cream color. To show off the pattern. We’ll see!

Nights ‘o Beading

Lately my sister and I, and sometimes my niece, Hye Soo, get together for a night of beading. I go down to their house in Lehi, and we put bright lights on their big dining room table, get out all our beads, and we make stuff. It’s something my family has done for years. Even my brother has gotten in on it and made some cool stuff. Here is some of the stuff I’ve made recently:


It’s kind of a long-held tradition, started by my mom. The bead-love, that is. I can remember her making jewelry from the time I was a little girl. Then later, as an adult, she took my two sisters and I to the greatest bead store of all time, in Arizona, called Beads Galore. Back then it was like a huge warehouse of beads. It was great. It’s still huge, at a newer location in Tempe. It still has beads, beads, beads, from floor to ceiling. I love going there. Next time I go down to AZ I’ll have to take some pictures there.