I was going to add this little rant (it’ll probably turn into a monologue), to my creative page. Then I thought why not, a post with a technology lean, slap some creative writing on the end and KAPOW we have integration.
My unique IT bag
(Work in Progress)
Identify a Need
I have a thing about bags, an obsession of sorts. I’ve felted bags, sewn bags, embellished bags with all manner of things.
- I have arthritis in my hands, crocheting eases the pain.
- I want an IT bag, without the price tag. Could I make my own??
- I need an activity to busy myself with in the evenings.
- I can crochet, the internet has a vast array of patterns, YouTube has tutorials
- My trusty Bernina sewing machine will be useful
IT bags are high priced designer bags, that became very popular in the 1980’s. The bags are creative, innovative and imaginative. They are a status symbol, you had to have one if you were rich or were prepared to go without food for weeks to pay the thousands they cost. The IT bags I particularly like are colourful, verging on outrageous.
My inspiration is a crochet bag I spotted on vibrantdaze Word Press.
My bag needs a 3D element. The base of the bag will be formed from afghan squares, strengthened with a rigid felt inner.
The upper edge of the bag will be decorated with 3 dimensional crocheted flowers. The bag lined on completion to give it a professional finish. My overriding desire is to use vibrant, garish colours. I do not intend to use the bag; I hope my finished product will be a work of art. The time frame for completion is flexible.
- The bag should be reasonably inexpensive, I have crochet hooks, a supply of wool, any other wool can be purchased cheaply from $2 Dollar shops. The heavy felt for the inner was also a vintage shop find, only $3 a metre.
- The bag is expected to take quite some time to finish. Six to eight months, I’m flexible. I want to be happy with the finished product, displaying it with pride.
- Patterns and tutorials will be found on the internet. I do not have an expert to help me, I’ll have to problem solve as I create.
A mock up is an essential component of the technology process. Unfortunately the nature of my project does not lend itself to creating a prototype. As my bag is being made there will be problems, they will have to be solved as I create.
Nineteen afghan squares were crocheted, then carefully stitched together to form the base of my bag.
A wide variety of flowers have been crocheted, some were reasonably easy to make, many have been difficult. The majority of my patterns have come from the following web site.
YouTube tutorials have also been a valuable resource.
At times this little project of mine has been very rewarding. It has also been challenging, half finished flowers have been tossed aside in disgust when they ‘didn’t turn out right’. Not one to give up, I’ve often come up a quick fix in the early hours of the morning. Patterns are modified, written down in ‘Sharyn speak’ so I can understand them. Yes, I am constantly analysing the situation, looking for solutions and modifying my practice to produce a successful outcome.
There is still work to be done, more kowhai, roses, daisies, butterflies and many leaves to be crocheted. Finally everything has to be attached to the top edge of the bag. I want the finished bag to sit upright on a table, I’m concerned that the flowers will be heavy and the bag will need to be reinforced with a stiff lining.
Updates and Reflection to follow
July 6th: A recent internet search was very fruitful, I discovered Attic24 an inspiring blog for creative types. The patterns for the flowers below, hellebores and small roses came from this web site.
I have finally starting sewing flowers onto my bag. I’ll update photos as things progress.
Update 27th July
Hooray, only two flowers left to sew on. I’m not completely happy with how some of them look, rather than obsess over it I’ve decided to let the project rest for a few days. As you can see from the photos below the bag is not sitting upright, it’s a bit saggy. So on with my thinking cap. I have some ideas I’ll experiment with.
Update August 31st
My bag has finally come together. Once all the flowers were sewn on, the top edge sagged. I have no intention of using the bag, it will gather dust in a prominent place, on display! In order to make it sit upright, I made an inner lining from two layers of heavily stitched, thick felt. The inner lining was then hand sewn in place.
After months of crocheting and endless problem solving my battered hands will get a well earned rest. I’m very pleased, in fact tickled pink, with my IT bag. Would I have done anything differently, probably not. However, I have decided that it needs a few more flowers. A delicate daisy chain winding it’s merry way around the upper edge of the lining will be the icing on the cake. Watch this space.
‘It’s in my bag’
(Inspired by Brigid Lowry)
This is an excellent way to introduce a character in a narrative, a character study of sorts. The focus of the juicy writing is the student’s school bag. The style of bag we have, decorations on it and the contents, be it books, food or rubbish slowly decaying in the bottom all say something about the owner. a character analysis of sorts. Here is mine, I’ve used my red shoulder bag.
Your expert writers might like to use the same strategy to create a unique character by describing the contents of their bag. Brigid Lowry suggests that our characters shouldn’t be too nice, they need to be mildly flawed.
The lesson follows the same format as previously discussed, ooze enthusiasm for the task, the rewards are huge.
Learning Outcome: Use descriptive language to add impact to your writing
- Write a minimum of five lines
- Record ideas in a list format
- Use at least one new descriptive word
- Avoid using dead words
- Make an honest attempt when spelling unknown words
- Write from the heart
- Revisit Success Criteria
- Share exemplar, encourage class input and write class exemplar on white board for all to see, adding adjectives to give it a WOW factor!
- Identify six new adjectives that could be used to support students writing. Solicit input from class. “Are there any adjectives that you would like me to write on the whiteboard to help you?”
- Independent work, work the room
- Conference with the teacher, mark drafts, correct spelling, give positive feedback, feed forward
- Share work with class
Often students would ask me why we did Juicy stuff. My response was to inform them that they were learning invaluable skills that would make them stunning writers. I vividly remember the day when my Year 8 class returned from their end of year assessment to determine their placement in Year 9 classes. They burst through the door and enthusiastically informed me that they had used juicy writing in their writing assessment. The pieces of the puzzle had naturally fallen into place. Their new found confidence was heart warming.