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…one of many answers to “what have you been doing!?”

My friend here is designing bags/purses from burlap, hemp, and local embroidery (some machine, some hand). The main fabric is recycled burlap sacks, so the bags are very environmentally friendly! She wants to know what foreigners think about her work so please comment with your thoughts.

Bag #1: Black Teddy Tote
Bag #2: Local Embroidery & Buttons
Bag #3: Rainbow Teddybear Tote
Bag #4: Local Embroidery Messenger Bag
Bag #5: Hand Embroidery & Hand-woven Hemp

You can see more photos here.

I’m having a great time working on projects that our baby will one day soon enjoy. Finding the right materials can be a challenge, but I’m learning lots of crafting terms in Chinese and locating the best stores to buy the various supplies I need!

I began my first project for baby in July, and am finally done! I found the pattern “Nightingale Lap Quilt” in Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching book and, though I liked the overall idea, I didn’t like the specific style: it’s all creamy pinks, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the pink nightingale.

So, I sketched it out in my craftbook with the colors in fabrics I found at a local shop, used the “Two Trees” embroidery pattern from a different part of the book (a pattern for a scrapbook cover), and combined them all into the blanket you see above. I’m so glad it’s done, and cuddling with it gives me one more reminder of the little one we’ll have in our home next year!

You can see more photos of the process and finished quilt on flickr.

I’m not sure if it qualifies as nesting, but pregnancy sure has peaked (if that was possible) my interest in making things. I ordered a baby knitting book in the same shipment as my pregnancy book, and dog-eared all the baby projects in my other craft books (embroidery, patchwork quilting, general knitting). I only have to complete 7 blankets, 7 toys, 4 stuffed animals, 6 diaper covers, 3 sweaters, 2 sets of leggings, 2 sets of sleepwear, 1 baby hat, and about a kazillion washcloths! Good thing the baby’s not coming for more than 5 months. Even better thing: I’ve prioritized the baby projects and don’t expect to actually complete more than 9 of the projects listed above. One for each month, right?

I’ve added a page where you (and I!) can keep track of Baby’s Projects. Comment with encouraging words of motivation!!! Or, to share even more projects for me to add to my list!

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