Everyone has one.
That one friend for which you dread (or altogether avoid) making them a gift. Not because they won't think your gift isn't good enough (although, if that's true, dump them right now . . . no good can come of it, trust me!). You dread making them a gift because they are so sickeningly talented that you feel the need to achieve their level of excellence even though you are certain such a feat is impossible.
Lindsey is that friend.
I know I mention her a lot on this blog. As I've said before, she's been one of BiblioBags' biggest supporters. I'm not sure I would've had the guts to start an Etsy shop without her encouragment and influence. So, the time had come for me to make her a BiblioBag.
I kept my eyes peeled for unique books. Lindsey is an amazing painter. She loves to paint quirky things like outrageous desserts and mohawked mermaids. As you can imagine, I didn't find anything unique, quirky or downright cool enough. Sigh.
A couple of weeks before Lindsey's birthday I found a copy of "Moby Dick" and bought it with a shrug. "It's an underwater creature, it's close enough," I thought with resignation. I brainstormed with my hubby (an excellent woodworker) on a way to make the purse more unique. We came up with a cute design for purse handles shaped like whales. I was so excited . . . until it became clear the design wouldn't be ready in time (or work at all). With even more discouragement than ever, I decided to use bamboo handles and a matching toggle.
For the fabric, I picked a white, navy blue and cornflower blue swirl print. This is actually decorator fabric on a 45" bolt from Hobby Lobby. The print was graphic, abstract and didn't scream "ocean." This is one of the things I love about making these purses. I turned the fabric on it's side to make it look like waves. Technically, the print is too big for such a small purse but because it was supposed to suggest waves, it worked. I'm all about making fashion, not props. Sure, a nautical print with anchors or whales would've been obvious. I hate obvious. To be literal minded is death. The print merely "suggests" waves and ocean. The cliche is a "fashion statement" . . . in reality (my reality, at least!) good fashion doesn't "state" anything . . . it merely "suggests."
Normally I would've never paired bamboo handles with a silver book. I was in a bind (a little book pun for ya--I'm a dork), so I just went with it. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised with how it came out. I really love the color combination. Happy mistakes, right?
My other fun friend project was making cookies. My friend Rochelle came into town last week and so I knew I had to make her snickerdoodles. She loves them and says they're the best snickerdoodles ever (how could I not make them for her? I'm a sucker for flattery). Here's my recipe:
3 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar*
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
Stir flour, soda, cream of tartar. Beat butter for 30 seconds; add the 2 cups sugar and beat till fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, beating till well combined. Form dough into 2-inch balls (I use two spoons to make the balls--you can use a cookie scoop but the cookies will be small); roll in a mixture of the sugar and cinnamon *(This recipe doesn't call for nearly as much sugar and cinnamon to roll the dough in. I usually eyeball it and make about 1 1/2 cups of mixture. . . plus, I prefer more cinnamon so I just add it until I like how it tastes). Place balls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet; flatten slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass (I spray the bottom of the glass with Pam and dip it in the leftover sugar-cinnamon mixture so the cookies don't stick) until they are about half an inch thick. Bake in a 375 degree oven about 8 minutes or till light golden. Once the cookies are out, leave them in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then scrape them out . . . if you try to take them off the pan when they first come out, they'll fall apart. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies (it'll make more if you use a cookie scoop--but I think the bigger ones come out better).
Movie Pick: I've decided to start a new segment to each blog post. Since movies and screenwriting are really my first loves, I thought I'd recommend a movie that goes along with the theme of each post. In honor of the Moby Dick purse and all white monsters of the deep, I'm going to recommend "Jaws." A 35th anniversary edition of the movie just came out and I hope you'll take the time to watch it, especially if you've never watched it. It's such a wonderful film. It's suspenseful, funny and thoughtful. The acting is great and the characters are really what make this movie. Check it out!
I have several promotions coming up so keep an eye out! I have some giveaways planned as well as a "Christmas in July" sale starting next week. Keep up to date on my Facebook page (just search "BiblioBags" and hit "Like"). Have a great 4th!