Summer diversions

July 10, 2012

I love summer. Yes, it’s hot, but it’s also quiet and mostly relaxing. I thought I’d give you some idea of what I’ve been up to.

I made myself a messenger bag/purse using the tutorial here as a guide. I used an old pair of Paul’s cargo shorts and couldn’t be more pleased! What do you think? That’s the bag at the top of the post.

I had gotten inspired to do some sewing from this wonderful website ReFashionista…. she takes thrift store clothing and refashions them into more modern and interesting garments. I had to follow her lead and take a look through my closet for clothes that didn’t fit well and now I have what seem to me to be a bunch of new clothes!

I’ve been knitting a fair bit. Right now I’m making a bag for myself. (below) The pattern is on Ravelry as Summer Sachel. I plan on lining it and probably using it for a purse for myself or a knitting bag. I (ahem) have a bit of a bag fettish, you can never have too many, can you?

Knitted Bag
I also finished a little capelet for my granddaughter. (picture below) The last time we were in Mexico City she picked out the yarn and I have been told she just loves it and wears it all the time. The pattern is on Ravelry as Vines Capelet.


Paul and I also treated ourselves to a new painting. The painting, by Mazatlán artist Lucila Santiago spoke to both of us and we feel lucky that even after the show had closed the painting was still available. Lucila is an amazing artist and this work joins another work of hers in our home. Her work is available through Luna Arte Contemporáneo. A photo of it is below.


I’ve been reading a lot, too. Below are a few of my favorites from the last few months.

The Lower River by Paul Theroux – I always love his travel books, but this novel is absolutely wonderful. The themes of aging, friendship, love, and family and how we can try to find the best in people sometimes in spite of their actions.

Anabel by Kathleen Winter – This book will stay with me a long time, it is a beautifully written book about a hermaphrodite child and his interpersonal relationships. Really wonderful.

After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell – This book is a remarkable book. I don’t want to say too much, just read it. She is a wonderful writer, there is another great book of hers below, too.

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton – A mother and daughter mystery with a supernatural theme. Really good.

Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy – These short stories made me shake my head with the writing talent she possesses. I loved this book!

Oh Mexico! by Lucy Neville – I love books written by people who have moved to Mexico so this was a sure thing. I liked this book a lot – a young woman moves to Mexico City and finds love and more.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This is an amazing magical circus that you need to read to experience.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach – An old hotel in India turned into a retirement home for Brits? Yes, a fun read and it feeds my love of expat stories!

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson – I am a huge Atkinson fan and this one was great.

Sister by Rosamund Lupton – This book that details a woman’s search for her sister’s killer will entertain and surprise you. Fantastic writer.

The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell – Two stories working one backwards and one forwards connect. Wonderful writing and a really excellent book.

Right now I am reading:
Science of Being and Art of Living by Maharashi Mahesh Yogi – Since I recently learned Transcendental Meditation I was anxious to give this book a try. It is a bit heavy going but I am enjoying it so far.
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa – I loved his Bad Girl and this is starting out almost as well. Takes place in Peru in the days of radio serials.

So that’s what’s going on over here this summer, hope you are having a good one, too!

Share and Enjoy !

More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Love the “cargo” bag. Now if I can successfully follow the tutorial.

    1. I saw the messenger bag tutorial on Pinterest-what a cool way to do a bag-think of the pockets you don’t have to make! I just tripped over ReFashionista’s blog the other day and realized it was the same gal I saw on Rachel Ray! This girl is amazing! As a child, we were always remaking clothing-we were way ahead of today’s recyclers.

      Your granddaughter looks darling in her capelet.

    1. Thanks for all the book recommendations! Do you use a Kindle or other reader to get these books down there?

      1. Kathie, Thanks! I had to make mine smaller since I just had shorts to use, not pants. You can do it!

        Marty, I wish I could have seen the whole segment on Rachel Ray – how did the refashion of the prom dress come out?

        Susan, I read on my Kindle or iPad 100% of the time, haven’t read a paper book in ages. I can even knit while reading since I can prop the Kindle up, make the type larger, and just tap to forward the page!

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