random, plus handmade Christmas shopping bags

1. Yesterday was my birthday. I'm 37 now and you know what? I have never felt better. I can run 5 miles, bike to work in the freezing rain, come home and make dinner. Like a boss, as my son says. I have a few more wrinkles and gray hairs, but those represent confidence and experience. Life is good.

2. I'm trying not to think about how I'm now officially in my late thirties and the biggest career move I've ever made was to take a part time teaching job that pays a pittance 18 months ago. Welcome to balancing parenthood with the performing arts in modern American, am I right?

3. We were in Kentucky for a week over Christmas. We had a lovely time with my mom and dad, plus my brother Joe and his wife MJ (plus baby belly!), who flew in from Boston for a couple days. It's just too bad we all live so far apart, but that can't be helped. We made the most of our time together.

4. We drove back today, thankfully avoiding the deluge of rain from the drive down last week, and 6" of snow that fell here in Madison earlier in the week. Reading/hearing news of the dreadful flooding in Missouri, Texas, Illinois is so heartbreaking, especially over the holidays. Climate change is here, people. It's real and it's only going to get worse.

5. Aside from the sweater and blanket for our niece-to-be, I didn't do any Christmas knitting. I did a bit of sewing, however. Here are some photos of what I gave my mom and my SIL, a roll-up reusable shopping bag:

The pattern/design is from the book Zakka Handmades, which I keep checking out from the library because the ideas are all so cute, if not entirely practical. This shopping bag is the only thing I would seriously consider making (except for maybe the Sashiko coasters; I have a thing for Sashiko).

I bought the fabric from the sale shelf of Stitchers Crossing (which sadly went out of business earlier this year). If you know me, you won't be surprised that I found giant vegetable graphics  so appealing.

I had a little fun stitching around a few of them and playing with the different settings on my machine.

I think I need to make more of these.

What should have been an easy project got a little complicated when I found myself rushing and sewing the wrong ends of the handles together. It was easily fixed, and I got the bags done in plenty of time to pack up for our trip to Kentucky.

6. Tomorrow is the last day of 2015. Holy cats that came fast! Here's to new beginnings and a fresh start for 2016.


Julie Crawford said…
Happy belated birthday!! And I hope Kentucky was great for the holidays, I always imagine Kentucky is hot all year round, but my knowledge of American geography is pretty dismal. Your shopping bag looks great! Love the springy fabric.

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