It's difficult to type this column. My fingers are tacky from the shellac I just used to coat a new project, and I'm afraid I may end up glued to my computer keys.
Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in craft projects.
I just put a coating on a tiny wood orange crate to turn it into a planter — we ate the fruit in the winter and for some reason I saved the box. It was too cute to chuck. Now it's a planter, well almost. I just have to wait for it to dry, fill it with soil and plant something in it.
When the craft bug bit me, it infected me with a terrible sickness that I just can't shake. To understand how ill I am, you should know that one of my projects involves sewing, and I HATE SEWING!
I had tried to convince a friend who sews to make a special purse for me. It's made from a hardcover book. She said she wasn't a crafty person, so she didn't think this project was for her.
On the Internet I found book purses for sale, but they didn't suit me. First, I wanted one made out of one of my books, and no one offered that. Second, I figured I could make it myself. The next search on the Internet led me to instructions.
Sewing the insert to make a book into a purse was difficult for me since I haven't sewn in a long time. But the hardest part was cutting the pages out from the hardcover. It just seemed sort of sacrilegious, but I did it. Then I decoupaged the dust jacket to the cover. This was another way to get glue all over myself.
While the cover dried, I dragged out my old sewing machine, cut fabric to fit my pattern and started sewing — that came after I dusted off my machine. I've been using it as a night stand next to my bed.
This is an old machine. It only does one straight stitch. If you want to go backward, all you can do is turn your material around.
It took me a while to get used to sewing again. I had to remember how to put the thread and bobbin in, and threading the needle was so frustrating that I left, had a cup of tea and then returned.
To my surprise, the machine actually sewed, but the belt was so old and cracked I was afraid it would break at any minute.
I measured the little belt that went from the motor and tried to find one. Finally, I called Singer to see if they could help me — this had been my mother's machine, so it had to be at least from the 1950s.
I told the woman the serial number, and she looked it up in their archives. My machine was made in New Jersey in 1910! And it still works! They actually had a universal belt that would fit, so I ordered two and went back to my sewing project.
My handmade pattern needed tweaking, a lot of tweaking. After the purse pocket was sewn, I added handles and then glued everything between the cover of the book. I ended up with glue all over the place and my fingers stuck together — I'm almost as fond of gluing as I am of sewing.
To my surprise, after everything dried, I had a purse made out of my very own novel. Oh, it's not perfect. Some glue is visible, and it's rather thin because my book was thin, but I have it and I did it myself.
There's a problem though. As I said, I've been infected. I didn't stop at one book purse. I'm making more from thicker old books! I've got to get this bug out of my system so I can get back to normal life again. Help! OK, really help. I have two fingers glued together.