Thursday, August 24, 2006

Crafting Like Crazy

Part of my personality is that when I find something I like doing, particularly something creative, I do my very best to learn as much as I can about it and I tell myself that I have to master it. Over the past couple of months, I've developed a great interest in sewing and crafting. It all fits with my domestic aspirations and, if you are more than a casual reader of this blog, you'll know that I consider myself somewhat domestically impaired.

It all started with a few simple sewing projects, mostly customizing my own tee shirts and making easy projects. After checking out a few websites like Punk Rock Domestics, Super Eggplant,, Phoenix's own Crafty Chica (Kathy Cano Murillo) and reading a great book called Super Crafty, my interest blossomed into a full-blown obsession. I don't miss a single episode of Stylicious.

On a tip from a woman I met in a thrift store in Prescott, I discovered a great thrift store which had a motherlode of vintage dress patterns from the fities and sixties. I picked up dozens of them for just a couple of dollars. I started shopping online for vintage fabric and began making my own dresses. So far, I've made 3 dresses, two nightgowns, several skirts and a cute kimono top (she says, proudly). They're all far from perfect, but I don't care. My husband HATES my hokey dresses with lopsided hems and tons of rick-rack, but too bad. He's stuck with me.

Yes, I wear this out in public.

Lately, I've begun making my own custom tote and handbags. Here's my latest project, which I call my Mexi-Bag.

I downloaded Mexican folk images from the web, tweaked them in Photoshop and printed them on fabric, then sewed them onto a bag I made. It's all rasquache. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to turn a Lil Homie doll into a button for the bag closure. Any suggestions?
Lil Homie beats the craft out of a regular button!


Pyrophorus said...

I would go with a small hook and eye minus the hook(you can get them in really small sizes for the back of frames). You can scew the eye into the back of the lil homie and sew it to the bag with that gnarly thread for say carpets. Should hold pretty well.

The mexi-bag is awesome and the lil homie is an excellent idea.

darkside777 said...

i want to buy bag from you!

how much and where to I send the $$$

Anonymous said...


Don't ask how I got here... cuz it's a twisted road but when I look at the round, rather large pea sized scar on the right side of my left wrist I reel back many years ago to a party at Hal Negro's house in the valley, getting pinned down while you initiate me into the Germ's fan club... it was all up and down hill from there. But goddamn it was the best ride ever! I am so happy to find all of this and so grateful to you for sustaining it... it's exceptional how our lives interweave. You can reach me at

With great fondness and love,

Rick (Jaffe, Morrison, Catholic Discipline, B-People, Middle Class, Canterbury etc, etc, etc) Brodey

Anonymous said...

Hey Alice I can help you to get real mexican funny stuff for bags or whatever. Why? Cuz I'm mexican, agree about the Shakira spanish singin' and wasn't born by the time you & several friends started the punk stuff.
Just let me know if you read this.

B. Harakiri

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm a girl.
B. Harakiri

Alice Bag said...

Pyrophorus, thanks for the tip.The eye worked out well.

Darkside, I'm hanging onto this bag, but thanks for being supportive.

Rick, I remember that party, but it wasn't me who burned you. I was probably on the sidelines laughing at you.

Harakiri, I would love to get real Mexican funny stuff. I'm thinking of driving down to Mexico to buy some oil cloth.

Jockohomo said...

Crafts are HUGE in Japan, it's like a second renaissance in that country. It's actually more popular with working professionals and adults than it is with children. Studies have shown that relaxing by doing crafts thinking about color, spatial representations, making something is soothing and has the effect of a mental workout. I have a theory that the Japanese embrace their hobbies so intensely because of Wabi-Sabi. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist assertion of the first noble truth — Dukkha, or in Japanese, (mujyou), impermanence or just for pleasure. They believe that if making an object can bring about, within us, a sense of serenity, melancholy, bliss, happiness then that activity or making of an object could be said to be wabi-sabi. Because we made the object it is said to be authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. The wabi and sabi concepts are religious in origin, but actual usage of the words in Japanese is quite casual. Let's face it, crafting is fun! Love the objects, the dress reminds me of the house dresses my Grandma would wear, when she would tire of them, she would cut them up and make crazy quilts. It's like a secret hidden history of my grandmother and a special object indeed!

Anonymous said...


Keep up the good work, it's the one source of for faded memories. And I concur the Weirdos (and Screamers) were 2 of the best bands ever... and you absolutely had to see 'em live.

Be well, Rick

darkside777 said...

what if i sent you the material?
& the hommie?
let me know....

Anonymous said...

All right, so let's find out a way to do this. And of course if you drive down here, it will be great. Are you coming to Mexico City (where I live) or another city?
B. Harakiri

Alice Bag said...

I wish I could go to Mexico City, my Tia and primas live there and I try to go as often as I can but probably won't happen this year. I just drove to Nogales but that's not quite the same thing...
Email me at and we can work out our own little cultural exchange project. Check out Gimme Your Stuff blog at
to see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

I want a mexibag...

Anonymous said...

Hi. How do.
115 E. Jackson St, #201 fri nov3rd till 10pm & sat 12 to 4.
paintings and veddy interestin' gangu. wish I were there.
~ canajun Marguerite (pal o' Trudies)
oh and nice woik. yours I mean. esp cutters piece. nice.