Friday, June 1, 2012

My Favorite Summer Tote

My Favorite Summer Tote

For the past several years the amazingly talented needle crafter Linda Nelson and her husband Ron make the long drive all the way from Michigan to Laguna Beach, California and have wintered in the guest house at Summerland Cottage.
The fist year as a thank you parting gift I gave them a little framed rendering I did of one of the paths in Heisler Park, our local park along the oceans edge that they they would walk their sweet dog Sammy through on their way into town.
The next year when they returned, Linda surprised me with a gift of a beautiful tea towel with a cross stitch flower border she had done in colors to coordinate with my kitchen curtains.
I was thrilled with it and when the towel began to wear I removed and saved the beautiful trim. Since then we have begun a friendly exchange of hand crafted gifts.

You can imagine how thrilled I was this year to receive the charming seahorse she had beautifully appliqued in my favorite ocean theme colors. Her husband Ron, the computer whiz, shrank the original pattern ( found @ from a 24" x 36" wall hanging to the size you see here.
It was the perfect size for a pillow or small wall hanging but I chose to show it off around town by sewing it to the front of a simple canvas tote and adding vintage buttons to the bubbles as accents. Then scraps of ribbons were added down each side to accent the colors and sewn in place with a little latch added to the top to attach the house keys to. Not having a fabric store in town I was thrilled to find an over sized blouse for $5.49 at a thrift shop in the perfect color way and cut it up to use as border trim along the top of the tote, and to create a pocket on the inside to hold a cell phone and cover the handles with.