So, anyway, we had an exchange with Valentine's Day as a theme. We could use any craft medium that we wanted. I was all excited about this and was determined to create something... but I didn't know what...
all I knew was that it would be a decorated tote bag...
I ordered a plain tote bag from Amazon...
and then I got an idea...
I drew a picture freehand on the cloth, with pencil...
then I embroidered. I had to embroider fast because the pencil marks were quickly fading!
It looked like this.
As I continue embroidering the picture, the images start to get color. The thread that I use is embroidery floss. I use two strands of floss because... um... that's how my friend Ellen taught me to embroider!
Once the embroidery is completed, I have what I consider to be an outline. I also added some beads to make the design more three-dimensional.
Here is a closeup of the butterfly, with beads to make the wing stand out a little more.
I start the process of adding fabric paint to the tote bag. I choose bright colors to make the tote bag fun because it's a Valentine's Day project. In Ecuador, Valentine's Day is called "el dia del amor y amistad," which means the "day of love and friendship." Love and friendship is about happiness and fun!!!
Once I finish the first coat of paint, I add glitter paint to really add to the fun factor because there is little that I think is more fun than a good dose of glitter!
So, now, I need to think about the inside of the tote bag. What kind of fabric do I want to use as a liner? Well, I really enjoy butterflies... so I choose this cool fabric. Besides, the fact that it has a snail mail theme and the fact that the words are in French can only help. French is romantic!!! Unfortunately, I can't really remember much of my French. I'd love to be able to speak French!
I get the sewing machine out and I start making the lining. In the past, I did all of the sewing by hand and the process was interminable! I am grateful to have a sewing machine and even more grateful that I know how to use it, thanks to Jinni, who taught me how to use the sewing machine.
I added two pockets to the tote bag to make it more practical and useful because it is annoying when small objects get lost on the bottom of a large tote bag.
I also added Velcro to the tote bag so that it would close because having all your stuff spill out of a tote bag is no fun.
Here is one view of the completed tote bag.
Here is another view of the finished tote bag. Notice the little hearts in the corners. I noticed that I had a little bit of red paint in one spot. Since it was too difficult to simply remove the paint, I decided to cover it with a little heart but one little heart looked silly so I added a bunch of little heart... which made it look more like a Valentine.
Happy Valentines Day!
And happy creating!!!