- SkitzoLeezra sends Mallys a really cute and sort-of easy looking pattern for a reusable grocery bag, based on those noxious plastic bags.
- Mallys reads the directions, which estimate about a yard of face fabric and a yard of lining per bag.
- Mallys decides to buy some cut-rate fabric to try it out - no need to spend tons of money if the pattern doesn't work.
- Mallys finds two complementary patterns on the $2/yard shelf at the Evil Empire. Mallys thinks the frogs are cute and the bright pink is festive.
- Mallys pre-washes and dries the fabric, and every time she walks past it, the froggies make her giggle. "How cute those frogs are, " Mallys says to herself several times a week, "Won't they make a cute bag?"
- Mallys makes bag #1 for her pal Suki, in which to place thank-you bowls for feeding the kitties while Mallys was on vacation. The sewing of the happy, bright frogs goes smoothly, and except for a little issue with the gusset, all is well. The bag is cute, and Mallys has used the lining fabric for the pocket on the outside of the bag so as to avoid the stripe-matching issue. The stripes are loud and attention getting, and the solid pink pocket is a funny contrast to the stripes.
- Mallys make bag #2 for Mom because, after all, there's a whole lot of pink frog material left, and because Mom is looking for ways to avoid the plastic bags. Mallys switches up face fabric/lining - the stripes as lining are also cute, but also are getting a little old. This has now been hours of staring at pink and purple frogs - during the washing and hanging, the ironing, the cutting, the sewing. The frogs are sort of like other people's well-behaved children: they're all right for awhile, and then you want them to go home.
- After two bags, Mallys is dismayed to see that there are, inexplicably yarrrrrrdddddssssss of this material left, and it's getting the tiniest bit tiresome: the frogs get happier and the pink gets brighter with every stitch. Mallys has never been happy nor bright. The material is challenging her self identity and gnawing at her already limited patience.
- Mallys buys a pattern for gift bags to help use up some of the fabric. She sews a wine bag. The frogs are working on her nerves. There is still too much material left.
- Mallys another wine bag. That frog is going to send her over the brink. There is more of the goddamned ugly fucking left, and Mallys - whose great grandmother used to tie her hair back with a worn out bras strap and whose grandmother won't throw away 10-year-old Swiss Miss instant cocoa because the fake marshmallows only taste a little musty - can't bring herself to throw away a swatch of material that is big enough to "make something with."
- Mallys sews a shorter version of the wine bag. She'd like to pack that short gift bag with the guts of this fucking frog who won't stop smiling at her, if only she could get the frog off the fucking fabric and make it real so that she could exact her craft vengeance on this frog who is driving her crazy. AND THERE'S STILL MORE FUCKING FABRIC LEFT.
- Everything is pink. Everywhere Mallys looks pink, pink, pink. Here a frog, there a frog, everywhere a mo-fo frog. Mallys is muttering in her sleep, dreaming of stripes of happy anthropomorphized frogs that won't leave her alone. There is still more fabric. Mallys sews a drawstring bag and finally, has sewn every last bit of fabric.
- Mallys is disgusted by the items she has sewn. Too much pink. Too bright a pink. Too much purple. Too many frogs. Frogs frogs fucking frogs.
- Mallys - embarrassed at the obnoxious choice - gives the "thank you" bowls and froggie bag to Suki. Suki assures her that the bag is hilarious, that the frogs are pink and funny and not - in fact - gunning for Mally's last shred of sanity.
- Mallys breathes in through her nose, out through her mouth, and employs logic to convince herself that the frogs do not have some sort of $2/yard vendetta against her, actively trying to make her crazy.
- But now Mallys sees that she has another bag to send her mother, two wine bags, one short gift bag, and one drawstring bag. She will send one wine bag to her mother. She can't unload a second bag on Suki - who claims to like frogs - because drinks wine out of a box and doesn't take wine to friends' houses. What the hell will she do with annoying froggie wine bags galore?
- Mallys knows there has to be someone to blame: who is responsible for the frogs? Who should pay the price for the frogs? Who owes it to Mallys to take the frogs off her hands? And then it dawns on Mallys.
- See item #1.
And that, Leezra, is why you will find in this envelope some really fucking bright, really fucking perky frogs on assorted bags that you may or may not have anything to stuff into.
In short, I am making you pay for the mental anguish those frigging frogs have caused me. Now you get to share at the fabric that's so frigging bright I think it has done irreversible damage to my rods and cones. Or, you can do what I've done, and you can pass the bags on - for some "good reason" of course - to someone who you think deserves the happy, loud frogs.
And the wine bag pattern is actually kind of cute in something other than frogs, dressed up with come ribbon, some buttons. I have now sewn waayyyyyy too many wine bags out of leftover fabric, and have purchased new (remnants). Somehow, I pixilated enough to send them to Mom, who starts doing craft shows in mid-September through early December (she paints), and who thinks she might be able to sell some wine bags at those shows. 39 bags later (with another 17 cut out and fabric for 2 more left to sew), I think that, perhaps, I should wait and see if the wine bags actually sell before I buy any more fabric and sew any more stitches. After all, a wine bag is always a handy item to have sitting around for those last-minute hostess gifts, but let's be real: how on earth is Mallys going to get 39 invites anywhere that call for a wine bag rather than a plastic cup and frothy head of beer?
The boyfriend has taken to calling me "The Wine Bag". I tell him that the joke will be on him when I make my fortune from crafts fashioned out of remnants and leave him high and dry, wishing he had a stylish gift bag in which to carry his hostess gift . . .