Unorthodox Crafts
 
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I grew up in Maryland where picking crabs is an art. Getting the meat out of a Chesapeake blue crab requires patience and determination.  There is only about 1 ounce of meat in each crab, and you have to meticulously separate the meat from thin shelves of cartilage.  It is slow going! Although other types of crabs are easier to pick, the meat of the Maryland crab is especially sweet and tasty - worth the effort to those of us who grew up there.

When hosting a crab feast, some of my Maryland friends often ask that each guest pick a crab for the house for every crab that they eat.  The extra crab meat is then frozen for later use.  That way the host gets help picking the crabs, and the guests get to enjoy half of the crabs they pick (usually along with a fair amount of beer).  And then you can enjoy a fantastic crab dip at Thanksgiving long after crab season is over (at least if you have a sister-in-law like mine)!

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Four purses under construction simultaneously
How does this relate to purses??? Well, when I am making necktie purses or cases, I usually make 3 or 4 at a time - it is much more efficient to do it this way.  I also find that I am  more efficient when I am working on a custom order;  I am  anxious to get it done because I know it has a home.  Aware of this phenomenon, I have come up with a method of building up my stash of necktie products.   In the spirit of "picking a crab for the house,"  I sew several purses for my stash for each custom purse that I make.  And with 14 custom orders currently awaiting construction, I know I will have plenty of new purses for the upcoming holiday craft fairs.  And, if I am lucky, I will also get some of Sarah's crab dip...