Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cranford and crafts.

Today was a very lazy day for me. I watched "Cranford" (well, all of it except the first two hours, which I watched last night) and "Return to Cranford."

I loved these two mini-series! I liked "Cranford" better, but the sequel was amazing, too. Honestly, I thought they might be a little boring, as they're stories about women who live in a small English village. But they weren't boring in the least. They were hilarious! And filled with drama. :) I can *so* relate to the ladies resisting change.

I loved Miss Matty- she was my favorite character. She was so sweet and kind. Quite a change from the only other character I've ever seen Judi Dench play- Lady Catherine de Bourgh in "Pride and Prejudice." :) I also loved seeing Simon Woods play such a likable person. As Mr. Bingley in P&P, he's sort of a goober, and he's the slimy jerk Edward in "Penelope." Oh, and I think Imelda Staunton's character was probably the funniest...I just loved her!

While I watched, I did some embroidery. This little gnome and mushroom from Aimee Ray's "The Motif Collection." You can download the pattern free here. Sorry about the wrinkles! I tried to press it, but it's very stubborn.

And this Eiffel Tower, which I'm probably going to frame in a hoop and list in my Etsy shop. Though I'm tempted to keep it!

And here is the book handbag. I went by this tutorial, in case you want to give it a try. But this is not a craft for the faint of heart. It seemed simple at first, but I really struggled at the last step!

Here's what my book looked like to begin with. I browsed through Goodwill for a hardback with a pretty cover and finally found this one, "The World's Best Fairy Tales," for $2.50. Do you know how criminal I felt looking for a book to buy, knowing that I was going to go home and cut it up? I felt very suspicious and half expected the police to show up.

After I cut the pages out (I saved them, still all bound together and want to sew a cover for the book):

^That's the glue I used: Amazing Goop-Craft. Ha. Glue and I do not get along at all. This glue was good in one way, because of the fact that after you use it, you can shift the two pieces around a little if you need to. It doesn't hold instantly. But it smelled terrible. And it had to set for hours and hours before it started to hold well. And it was very messy! My tube got a hole in the middle, and halfway through the final step I found my hands completely covered in glue. I was still peeling it off two days later!

For the closure, I just hot glued a little button on the front cover, in the center, and then hot glued a piece of string to the back (before I glued the lining in). I wish I had come up with something better, but I was so desperate to finish that this was the best I could do.

The lining fabric is just brown broadcloth. It was the only fabric I had that matched. I made cloth handles instead of using premade ones, because while they're pretty, I find them uncomfortable to use. I topstitched the handles with that yellow thread that's used for topstitching in jeans, because it added a little color and matched the golden/yellow on the book cover.
I also added a little pocket to the inside.

This is the point where disaster set in. In the last step, where you glue the lining and one of the side panels to the cover all at once, I had a complete mess. My hands were covered in glue, and I couldn't get everything set in right. So the bottom of the sides of the bag look like this, all nasty and gluey:

I had to touch some spots up the next day with a hot glue gun. I was hoping the ugly glue spots would blend in overnight, but they didn't. So...this project was harder than it looks, mostly because the last part is fiddly. It doesn't look too bad from a distance. But it didn't turn out nearly as well as I hoped it would. Here it is, in comparison with my little iPod nano, to show the size:

If any of you decide to make it, I wish you luck. :) And I would love to see pictures!

Until next time,


  1. So, so happy you enjoyed Cranford! :)

  2. Oh, I love the bag idea!! --although I would feel guilty cutting a book up as well...
    I just may have to try to make one once I have the time. =D

  3. Oh my goodness! My mom and I love Cranford. :)

  4. Hello. I don't know if you'll remember me at all but I was DaydreamBeliever at TDL.

    I was over here looking at a friend's blog and I thought of your's, and wanted to stop by and say hello. You have a really beautiful layout and I love your stuff.

    Here's my LJ in case you have one (it's the only place I'm on much nowadays).:)

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years.:)

  5. I LOVE Cranford! Its so nice to find another girl who enjoys them :) A lot people assume that the movies are boring and silly but they really are humorous and have really good values! I love the Eiffel tower embroidery!

    with love,


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