Better late than never gift bags.

Procrastination and chaos got the best of me and I didn’t get these gift bags finished until this morning even though they’ve been half done since Thanksgiving. 

Large gift bagLarge gift bag

But they are done, listed and will ship within one day until Christmas Eve, as will all of my completed (not made to order) items in my shop.

Medium gift bagMedium gift bag

 If you live in the Fort Worth area and would like to pick up your order, contact me for arrangements.

Small gift bagSmall gift bag

All are available in my Etsy shop here: http://sophiecls.Etsy.com

Quick Drawstring Bag Tutorial or How to Reuse Your SubEarthan Cottage Soap Wrapping

I wrap my soaps in fabric because it looks nice, it allows the soap to breathe (read here for why), and because it feels better than plastic. I often wonder what happens to the wrapping. I’m sure there are some that toss it. I know of one person who collects the fabric for quilts. For those of you who, like me, don’t want to throw away something that could be useful but don’t know what to do with it, I have a tutorial for a drawstring pouch, just for you.

This is done with the wrapping from one of my soaps, but you could make it in any size you like.

Materials
Cloth wrapper from soap (roughly 8×11 inches)
Jute string from soap (about 29 inches)
Thread

Tools
Needle or Sewing machine
Safety pin or Bodkin
Scissors
Iron

First, iron your fabric flat. Then, fold down a long edge about 3/4 of an inch to one inch and press. This is for the casing. It doesn’t have to be super precise.

Sew a straight seam along the bottom of the flap to form the casing. All the sewing can be done by hand or machine. I have no time or patience, so I choose machine. Fold your material in half with right sides together like a book.

The fold is at the bottom of this photo.

Next, starting just below the casing seam, sew down the side and across the bottom. I use anywhere from a 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam allowance for this. Again, it doesn’t have to be precise.

With scissors, clip the bottom corners, being careful not to cut your stitching. You could probably skip this step, but it helps the corners look square and crisp. Turn your bag right side out.

Now it’s time to thread the string. Tie one end of the string to a safety pin, large paper clip, or attach a small bodkin. This makes it easier to work it through the casing. Thread it through the casing, safety pin first.

Once you get the string to the other side, remove your safety pin or other tool and adjust the string so that the ends are even.

Knot the ends together once or twice to keep it from coming out.

Ta-da! It’s done! Perfect for organizing your purse, storing jewelry or other small items, or as a small gift bag.

Or holding your favorite bar of soap.

Tutorials are always a little complicated to write because it’s easy to overlook small steps in things you do frequently. If something is unclear, please ask. 🙂

If you have any other creative uses for a SubEarthan Cottage soap wrapper, I would love to hear it!

Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 11


Today’s Quick Takes are going to be extra speedy because:

— 1 —

I only have seven days to get everything ready for Christmas before our trip.

— 2 —

Beckett turned 10 months today. He’s not walking yet, but he’s already into everything and as fast as if he was on two feet.

— 3 —

I still have a bare Christmas tree.

— 4 —

I am a crazy person who insists on making most of our Christmas gifts.

— 5 —

The few things I planned on buying are mostly out of stock or require trips to multiple stores.

— 6 —

People won’t stop making clothes and dishes dirty. They also want to eat frequently, thus interrupting my Christmas prep time.

— 7 —

It is possible to have too much coffee. (Shocking, right?) Apparently the amount of coffee it would take for me to have the energy to get everything I need to done in a day is more than the “too much” threshold.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 8

— 1 —

Thanksgiving was nice and relaxing, for the most part. The turkey was yummy, although the bacon prevented the skin from getting crispy. But, there was bacon. We kept things fairly simple. I didn’t even have a pumpkin or pecan pie. None of us LOVE them, and Blue Bell was on sale, so we went with ice cream. Last night, though, I oddly craved pumpkin pie. Must be some weird turkey association. If we’re crazy enough to leave the house today, I may see if Kroger has any pumpkin pies left.

— 2 —

Sweet moment I caught while setting the table.

— 3 —

Beckett has developed a way to critique food. If he likes something, he holds it up in the air and babbles about it for a few seconds. Foods he’s less than fond of get dropped unceremoniously off his tray. He approved of the turkey and disapproved the dressing. He seemed to like the cranberry sauce, but it was too slippery for a full, over-the-head approval.

— 4 —
Beckett had his 9 month check-up Wednesday of last week. He’s doctor likes to do blood work at that check-up to check for anemia and lead and maybe some other things. I missed a call from her Friday evening, so I called the office Monday to find out the results. Normally they leave an “everything’s fine” message if the results are normal, so I’m assuming something is up. Her nurse returned my call Monday afternoon to tell me that the doctor wants to discuss the test results with me, the doctor is out of the office until this coming Monday and no, she can’t tell me anything, I have to wait for the doctor. Fun times. Last year at Thanksgiving I was hoping that Mr. B wasn’t anemic. This year, I’m all “Fingers crossed for anemia!”
— 5 —

I woke up this morning with another sinus headache. It’s beginning to become a Friday tradition. 😛 Today I was lucky in that Chris was here to watch the kiddos, make me coffee and start a shower for me so I could attack it with hot steam and caffeine since the Sudafed and ibuprofen weren’t working. It has calmed to a dull ache, as long as I don’t bend over, or move my head in general. Thank you crazy Texas weather.

— 6 —

I’m thinking I need to do a “5 Quick Takes Friday”, since I seem to lose steam after five. I know my life has to be interesting enough to post seven random, interesting things every Friday. I suppose I could go to Walmart for five minutes. That should give me enough material for all seven posts today. The only problem is that I am not insane.

— 7 —

I can’t decide where to put the Christmas tree. We have a nice, fluffy, big tree that is huge in our house, and we have a smaller, slightly Charlie Brownish tree that I bought last year thinking it would work better. I would really like to go all out and do the pretty tree, but I’m having a hard enough finding the room for even the Charlie Brown tree.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!