Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'll Admit it...

Yeah...I used to be one of those people. You know the type. When I went to the craft and art shows, I would often look at one or two of the items for sale, check the price then do a mental (or maybe not so mental) eye roll. I'd then think something along the lines of:

Are they kidding me with this??? I could make one of these for a tenth of the price. I probably have half the stuff sitting at home right now just waiting for me to make this thing-a-ma-bob. In fact, I may just scurry back there right now and craft fifty of these just to prove that it can be done.

Snarky, right? To my credit, I never said this aloud in the presence of the vendor. I like to think that I'm a little respectful even when I'm being all superior. But this is still an attitude over which I now have some regret.

I'm much better about these things now. Honest. Having been privileged to be included in the world of the fiber artists has had an enlightening effect on me.

Note: The fact that my inclusion in this inner circle is limited to my sort of hovering on the sidelines and cooing appreciatively has not escaped me. I know my spot in the hierarchy here. I'm just glad to be invited to the party now and again.

Nowadays, I am more aware of the difference between, "I am able to make this" and "I am going to make this." Sure, I can sew a seam with a certain degree of straightness (if you look at it at an angle and squint a little) and I can wield a glue gun with the best of them (as long as there is a bucket of cold water nearby into which I can immerse my fingers after they are encased in molten adhesive). I am also a bit more comfortable with the fact that my interpretation of a certain handmade item my be a bit less polished than that of the vendor. There's some stuff that I don't do so good...

The fact that there is someone out there who has the love for making a certain something that exceeds my affection for the activity is a very, very good thing. I may love something enough to covet it but not necessarily enough to make it myself. It is worth the price to pay someone else for their time and attention to detail. Even if it is just a pom-pom caterpillar with googly eyes and a magnet affixed to the back (and there were a few of those to be seen at yesterday's craft fair) it may be just the thing I need at a certain time and I might be better off simply forking over the dollar.

This is the attitude with which I approached yesterday's trip to the United Maine Craftsmen show. There is nothing like a sunny day, a few extra dollars set aside for shopping and the company of Mommy Sheep. And you know what? I love everything that came home with me. I love these things enough that I am even comfortable with telling you the price I was willing to pay to make them mine. You can't put a dollar value on happiness...except when you can.

First up: A lovely print from an artist in Lewiston, Maine. I spotted this on the way back from a stealth trip to purchase a Christmas gift for Mommy Sheep and while I was trying to unobtrusively make my way back to her. There is nothing about this particular piece that fits in with my usual taste or style. But, I found it compelling. And that's the beauty of art, people. At $28.00, it seemed like a reasonable purchase.





I'm wondering if maybe I was thinking about something to inspire remembrances of summer...


As Mommy Sheep and I were staggering about in the ungodly heat and humidity a little something-something caught my eye. This is one of those items that you have to be willing to put a little forethought into before you can see the possibilities. With temperatures in the low nineties, the future need for warm wraps is a little hard to visualize. But, visualize I did. It was hard not to once I ventured into the S&S Stitching booth. I was visualizing so danged hard that I became overcome with the need to own the wrap that the vendors were using as a display piece. The visualizing forced me to pretty much dismantle their display in order that I might make it mine. Is it my fault they used the most gorgeous wrap for that purpose and that they had no others like it? I think not. It is also not my fault that they were offering me a Berber fleece wrap (two layers, mind you) for $25.00. They were good about my need to snag this little beauty. So good that I added a patchwork blanket of the same construction at $60.00.



I performed the rigorous and disturbingly thorough Sheepie Nap Test with the patchwork blankie this afternoon and am pleased to report that it is fully functional. So much so, that I was actually a bit too warm for late summer napping.


Now, here's the one that makes me a little weak in the knees. It is the thing that I spotted immediately upon entering the show. Being a responsible shopper, I didn't leap upon it right away. I made a mental note. Mental notes are good. They cost nothing and are a reliable barometer of the love. If that thing upon which you've made note is still rattling around in your brain after an hour or so, it's a pretty good indicator of your need to have it. And I did. I really, really, really did. I will fight you on this one. It was a matter of life and death. That's right. Possible death. If I did not go home with this I would have died of loss and sadness.




This is my Boot-E Bag.

Having made a few bags over the years, I know what I like. And the designer (who is a delight and then some, by the way) does this thing that I also like to do. She just does it better. Let's take a look at the lining:



Pretty, no? I think so...

What you can't really see is that the longer sides and bottom of the bag are reinforced with foam core. Thus, the bag, which is made from a sort of standard pattern using recycled jeans, has structure and shape. Because I selected a bag with leather handles, the price was a bit higher than some of the others. But, as they say, God is in the details. And if you, like me, hear a chorus of angles when you see the right bag (or shoes, for that matter) then $58.00 is something you are willing to pay. If we hearken back to the beginning of this post where I wax philosophical about cost being a relative thing, then this purchase could be considered a pretty good example. I have the skills to make this. I also have the means. What I don't have is the will to do so. And you know, getting to chat with the vendor was almost the best part of this purchase. And that was free...

I love my Boot-E bag. I love it unreservedly and with a fierceness that may cause me to sacrifice my very life if that is what is needed in order to keep it safe. How do I know that my love is true?


The bag told me so.

There were a couple of other things that made the trip home with me, but they were of the giftie persuasion and not bloggable. This, of course, is how any good craft show shopper justifies the whole matter. "I bought gifts for those I love! Hence, any little token I may have purchased for myself is really just a reward for a job well done and an an acknowledgement of my giving nature."

The Boot-E Bag didn't tell me that one. I made it up all by myself.

SA

13 comments:

Julie said...

Sounds like a very successful day!

Love your Boot-E Bag!

Beth said...

Very nice purchases, SA! I'm glad you had a nice day with your mom.

Mia said...

Good haul Sheepie! Sounds like a great day.. and that little tag on the booty-e bag is just too cute. You're right.. the details make the difference!

Anonymous said...

You did good!! Your Boot-E bag is lovely!
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Teri S. said...

The Boot-E bag is wonderful. Other than the gifts that weren't bloggable, I suspect that was your best purchase of the day. Have a great week!

trek said...

You sure did make that last line up all yourself!

Sounds like you and Mommy Sheep had a very fun day.

Bobbi said...

wow! you got some great stuff! I hear what you're saying i used to be the same way, now I just accept I will never actually make any of those things and gladly hand over the cash! :)

Donna Lee said...

That's one of the nicest bags of that style I've seen. I love the lining and the belt through the loops is a great finishing touch. Made it worth the price.

Ronni said...

I love your Boot-E bag! I am envious of it to an almost alarming degree. I better go distract myself with chores.

Diana said...

Wonderful purchases and it sounds like you had a great time with your mom. Hope the school year goes smoothly for you!

mehitabel said...

Okay, your bag has seriously given me an idea of what to do with The Daughter's beloved but long-ago-outgrown dinosaur jeans. All I need to do is find them... and an appropriate lining...and the sewing machine...and a flat place to set it up...What is that person's name? Do you think she'd take a commission if I provided the jeans??

catsmum said...

the devil IS in the details. Yes you could've made a boot-e bag - there are certainly enough patterns/versions floating around on places like crafster.org - BUT [ big but ] would it have been so beautifully crafted? Would the finishing be so superbly done? would it have had the nifty foam core walls? would it have been thrown in a corner when the lining didn't go right for the third time ?
Goodness knows.
Some things you should just buy and be done with it. Leaves more time for napping, cat snuggling, pedalling and writing brilliant self deprecating humour. :]
btw exactly how many days ARE there till the next vacation?
also btw luuuuurrve the print

Denise said...

Darn, now I want a Boot-E bag too! Love that paisley print lining!
::jealous::