Please pardon my mess I am doing a little blog makeover.
Do you have a favorite t-shirt or pair of pant? You know the go to item in your closet that you choose for both comfort and style? Well I have a few such items in my closet and this top was one of them. I love the square neck line and the drape of the fabric and perhaps most importantly the way it disguises my middle age ever expanding waist line.
But, as with all well loved clothing it was showing some wear in the form of the dreaded armpit stains that made it suitable only to wear as an undershirt. But the other day I noticed that practically all of the stain was on the sleeve and not on the shirt itself. So with just a little bit of cutting and sewing an old shirt is new again. :-)
I do hope the you have a wonderful 4th of July weekend. And as always...
Just a quick post today.
I am working on a bigger project but I didn't quite get it done this week. Happily I thought of this fun quick little project. If you follow this blog you may already know that I have worked on some different jewelry project made from old watch parts. I made some bracelets here. And some earrings here and here. Today I have another new project using the old batteries from these watches. All you need for this project is a ring base E6000 glue and some old batteries.
A while back, let's call it March 13th, I shaved my head for St Baldrick's to help fund children's cancer research. If you have followed this blog you are already painfully aware of some of the hand wringing that I did leading up to this decision. Well it is now June 19th and I am well into the portion of this adventure that caused the most angst.
Let's call it the clown hair stage.
I do say this somewhat in jest but it is, in all actuality, a fairly accurate description. It has just been the last week or so that I have been able to, if I use the term very loosely, style it. And by style it I mean squirting fistfuls of heavy duty product into it and slicking it down as best I can.
Now I am not going to say that I made bald look great but the first month of baldishness I at least felt that I looked somewhat exotic but somewhere around the beginning of month two, when the men in our head shaving group were getting the hair re-cut and the women in the group were sporting cute little short hair styles that lay in pleasant lines, albeit short ones, upon their heads, looking something like this.
my hair was and is doing this.
Now I think we can all agree that Mr. Einstein managed to make this Look iconic, on me, however, it is just plain silly. Still Albert was a proponent for curiosity and one of my reasons for shaving my head was a strong curiosity about, not only what it would feel like to be bald but what I would look like as my hair grew back in. And while the outcome so far is a little ridicules the experiment is ongoing. :-)
But let's get on with today's project shall we. It started with a large tin can and the need for a place to store some of my cooking utensils.
I have been wanting to try using this home made embossing paste recipe since I found out about it and while I originally thought that I would use it on an art journal page it occurred to me that I might work for this project. All you need are the three ingredients in this photo and detailed instruction are in the link above.
So I mixed some up.
And started slapping it on my tin can.
Once the can was completely covered I set it aside to dry.
Now here is where it gets a little weird. But for some reason I decided to make a design out of spaghetti, puffed rise and split peas. Maybe I was reminiscing about some third grade craft project, anyway I laid out a pattern.
I knew that I was going to have difficulty attaching the straight spaghetti noodle to the round shaped can so I thought, what the heck, and cooked them. :-)
Once the noodles were soft and cooled a little I cut them to the length I wanted and commenced gluing my pattern onto the can with more of my homemade embossing paste.
I used a hair dryer as I went along to help speed up the drying process.
Once the pattern was complete I covered the whole thing in another coat of embossing paste.
Added a coat of white paint
Once the paint was dry I added some accents by dry brushing on two different shade of gray paint.
The last step is to seal it with some polycrylic glossy finish.
"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."
You can understand why I like this quote as I feel it supports my crazy project making. And while Albert Einstein is better known for his theory of relativity than for any experiments with pasta, it would be re-miss, I think, to conclude that he had never done any. Hence I feel a new connection to this brilliant historical figure and aspire to stretch my imagination as far as it will go. I will probably never receive a Nobel Prize for creative pasta uses but I feel that I have Albert's full support and if nothing else we will always have the hair.
So while you may not have any interest in using last nights leftovers for your next craft project I say dive in and make some spaghetti sauce finger paint. :-)
I do hope that you are having a lovely June where ever you are. As I have mentioned in a few previous posts we have had an unusual amount of rain this spring and summer. I guess that officially summer begins on June 21st this year but in my mind it begins on June 1st. Be that as it may, we have still had a lot of rain in May and June. If you follow this blog you may know that I had cleared a small area to plant my first vegetable garden but due to all the rain I didn't know if I would ever get it planted.
I finally got a few seeds in the ground last week and this morning my tiny garden looks like this.
on with today's super simple project. A few weeks ago I made this bird feeder
For part of it I used a gallon paint can lid which left me with and empty paint bucket and the idea for another project.
I don't have a real flower garden in my back yard but I do have lots of pots with flowers and I do like all the pops of color around my yard so I decided to make a few more small pots for the patio.
Empty paint can
Metal Candle Stick
For this simple project all you need to do is clean out your paint can. Punch a few holes in the bottom of the can with the hammer and nail, glue the candle stick to the bottom, allow time for the glue to dry and fill with some flowers.
It is a beautiful sunny morning here and I have just a few hours to get this post done before I am off to all my other daily activities. I do hope to get back on a regular schedule of posting on Fridays but the summer does seem to draw me outdoors and add several more activities to my days. So no promises but I do at least have a few more projects in the works that I am excited to share with you in the next few weeks so we will see what happens.
This weeks project or projects were inspired by my need to get more on top of all the summer activities. It was fairly simple to do but did take a little while to put together. I started with an old shadow box that I had purchased years ago and never use for anything. Below is a quick time lapsed video of how it went together.
For the calendar squares I used some 4 x 6 photo paper cut into 4 x 4 squares. The paper came with my printer when I bought it and I still have a stack of the stuff but little by little I am finding uses for it. The yellow colored squares are painted / dyed with orange and yellow home made alcohol ink which I wrote more about in a previous post here.
After I finished the dry erase calendar I decided that I needed another space for a "to do list" and groceries so I bought this frame for a couple of buck and painted it to match.
The pen holder is made from an old shampoo bottle and attached with a plastic suction cup I had laying around the house.
So here is to hoping that these will serve their purpose of helping me to stay more on top of things.
The hubby is always supportive of my projects but he has complimented this one several times although he admitted that he likes the calendar with all the fun activates more than the to do list. :-)
It took exactly 1 month 2 days 32 hours and 10 seconds (Ok I totally made that up it was really approximately 4 weeks) for my neighborhood squirrel population (or maybe it was just one squirrel) to make this........
and while I am feeling a little hostility toward the afore mentioned squirrels for the total demolition of yet another bird feeder (see first bird feeder Here and second attempt Here) I am also suffering a few pangs of guilt for the probable plastic bottle squirrel poisoning. I do hope they have strong stomachs and suffered only minor side effects.
I have read some articles that indicate that animals can't pass plastic which doesn't make a lot of sense and after having cleaned up the dog poo for years I can only say......well maybe my dogs are just special. Not that I have every purposely fed them plastic but.... well they are dogs and sometimes they eat things when I am not looking. And let's be clear here, I don't spend a lot of time analyzing the stuff on the other end but sometimes you can't help but notice, and quite honestly be thankful, that they were able to get ride of whatever strange / gross thing they had in their stomachs. At any rate I am certainly not proposing that is it a good idea to feed plastic to anyone, human or otherwise. But in an attempt to assuage my guilt of feeding 13.27659 grams (this number is a completely fabricated estimation) of #2 HDPE plastic to a 1 pound squirrel (this is the average weight of a squirrel according to a Google search.) I set out to find a little more information.
After about ten minutes of investigating, I concluded that my head might explode.
I know that plastic is a hot button item with the environmentalists and I would agree that our US consumption of the stuff is too high, but I can't quite get myself to demonize it as some do. And while the plastics industry might want us to believe that the stuff is made with such harmless ingredients as sunshine, rainbows and butterfly kisses I do realize that there are some harmful effects. But trying to figure out the answer to any specific questions gets quite complicated. For instance, bottled water bottles. Some say that they are for single use only because when you reuse then some of the chemicals migrate into the water. But why didn't they migrate into the water the first time the bottle was used? And what chemical is it that might have migrated into the water? And how much of it migrates and how fast does it migrate and how bad is it for you really any way? And what makes reusable plastic bottles better? And how much better are they? And if you can't find the answers to these questions how likely are you to find out any real usable information on the effects of plastic consumption in squirrels.
So after reading a list of some of the possible side effects of plastic on humans and the environment ranging from cancers to learning disabilities to birth defects and death. I abandon my search and decided that in this case I would be happier if I adopted the sunshine, rainbows and butterfly kisses version of plastic. Of course if I find a 6 foot radioactive squirrel in my yard tomorrow I reserve the right to change my mind.
Anyway, after three failed attempts to make a squirrel ready bird feeder you might think that I would move onto more promising projects but you would be wrong. :-)
First of all because I am stubborn.
Secondly because I am competitive (not so much with humans but it is hard to capitulate to a small furry creature that is less than 1% of my body weight)
And Thirdly because I still want a bird feeder.
So here it is Bird Feeder number 4.
Empty Plastic Bottle
8oz Tin Can
Empty Paint Can Lid
Metal Candle Holder / Stand
Spray paint the plastic bottle lid and the paint can lid.
Remove the can lid and punch holes on the bottom of the can.
Use a small hammer and sandpaper to flatten and smooth the openings.
Cut the plastic bottle to the desired size.
Use E6000 glue to attach pieces together.
And decorate as desired.
Happy Memorial Day. l do hope you had a lovely weekend.
The sun has finally come out after an extremely long stretch of clouds and rain and l am hopeful that the worst of the weather is past and we can get onto sunnier days.
Today's project is super simple but I have already found it quite useful. Those are the. best kind of projects aren't they? l am sorry if you are tired of the tie dye projects but I just couldn't help myself. l kept finding things to throw in the dye. Rest assured that l have finally dumped out the dye so next week l will have to move on to something else.
If you missed my other two tie dye projects you can find the shorts here and the dress here. They were somewhat more impressive projects but given the recent whether conditions here I have gotten a lot more use out of this little project then the other two.
All you need for this project is a wash cloth and two hair bands or rubber bands. You don't have to use the tie dye. l did because as you can see my washcloth had gotten greyish and well still had this big pan of dye.
To make the soap saver first fold the washcloth into thirds. Wrap the hair bands around each end and then place all your little soap pieces inside and you are ready to go. Once the soap is gone it is easy to turn your soap saver back into A regular washcloth.
Awhile back l made some picture charm bracelets from old watches and since then l have been looking for ways to use the leftover parts. So l made some earrings from the watch buckles and some necklaces from the watch faces.
In one of my other lives when I am not crafting or working on my Ebay Store, I am a waitress. It is not glamorous but it helps pay the bills and allows me the time to pursue my other interests. Most days it is a perfectly pleasant way to earn a living but inevitably there are those times when folks are rude or unkind and I do dream of a time when I will no longer need the income from this endeavor.
For now I accept that it is part of my portfolio, to put a ridiculously fancy name on what I do. :-) But the real truth is that without this humble career choice this weeks project would never have come about.
You see I found myself with some of my clean but completely stained white work shirts. They were yellowed from too many bleach washes and there were other stains that the bleach just couldn't remove. If you know anything about my crafting you know I like a challenge and the more trashy an item is the more rewarding it is if you can actually make something out of it. Well these are heavy weight oxford shirts so the fabric itself is still in good condition and since I still had the dye bath from last weeks project sitting in a pot I set out to re-fashion my unsightly old work shirts.
I started by cutting off the collar and sleeves.
Then I marked and cut off the bottom at a slightly dropped waist length.
Since I was planning to leave a lot of the raw edges I decided to add some more by slitting the front edge.
To make the pattern for the skirt I took the bottom measurement from the shirt and doubled it. I was planning on having 16 skirt piece so I took the doubled number and divided that by 16 and then added the seam allowance on both sides which gave me the top measurement for my pattern piece. I decided to make the length 17 inches and then I added 2 inches for the bottom measurement.
Then I started cutting up my second shirt.
But I knew I wasn't going to have enough fabric so I also cut pieces from these pants that also had a small stain on them.
This is the general layout. In the end I only had enough fabric for 14 pieces of skirt which worked out fine.
I sewed all the skirt piece together and finished the seams.
At this point I decided to test out the dye bath before I wasted anymore time sewing. There was some dipping and knot tying and rubber banding and rinsing.
When the pieces were dry they looked like this. I was satisfied that the stains were well disguised but the whole effect was a little too pink for my taste.
So I tried this.
I threw some old coffee grounds on my creation, which believe it or not, is not the craziest thing I have ever done to a project.
I once put crisco on my shoes. Sadly and similarly to the crisco experiment the coffee did not really work. It washed right out and left me with the same very pink result I had before.
So then I tried this.
The result was still pretty pink but better so......
I gathered the skirt and sewed the pieces together added some belt-loops make from the sleeve cuffs and added another strip for some length.
Greetings from wet and soggy Colorado!
Really, it has been crazy wet here for the last several days and is going to continue on this way for several more, with possible snow tomorrow for Mother's Day! I shouldn't complain since any kind of precipitation is appreciated in our arid state but really I would like not to have it all at once.
It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I decided, albeit, a little too late that I wanted to plant a small vegetable garden this year. The spot I selected was full of gravel (yes perhaps that was a questionable choice from the start.)
I worked diligently for a couple of days to remove the gravel it was rather labor intensive work but I did eventually devise a system that worked pretty well.
I have one little section left and if it ever stops raining I may be able to complete the rock removal and plant a vegetable or two.
All this moisture and forced indoor time has at least lead to a new upcycled sewing project.
One that will also need warmer dryer weather but I trust it is on the way.
I started with this pair of shorts.
They fit pretty well. But they were kind of short and out of style. So I set out to make them longer. I had some denim pieces left over from this denim skirt project.
Adding same strips of denim for length.
Stitching side seams.
Adding rubber bands for tie dye effect.
RIT Red Dye Bath
I removed the top part of the shorts from the dye bath to have a less consistent color result.
The first rubber band comes off.
I liked how the dye turnout but never liked the waistband very much.
It was too plain and flat and didn't have any belt loops.
I had a waist band piece left in the denim scraps so I dyed that too.
And sewed it onto the shorts Frankenstein style.
The finished shorts.
For the last few years I have been going through this little ritual of making a bird feeder. Although last summer I surrendered to the squirrel population and just didn't feed the birds. My first two projects looked like this B.S.
I spent a lot of time on these first two feeders and the squirrels didn't waste any time chewing them and smashing them. So after my last two heartbreaking experiences, this year I have made a much simpler more plan vanilla version. I am pretty sure the birds don't care what it looks like even if I do. :-)
It isn't as decorative as the other two but hopefully it will be a little more durable.
Start with an empty creamer bottle.
And the lid from a coffee can.
Remove label. Measure and mark hole placement.
Use a heated cutting tool (I have a stencil cutter) to cut holes.
Use E6000 glue to glue bottle to coffee lid.
Make decorative braid out of plastic bag "yarn" (plarn)
Use E6000 glue to secure braid to bottle.
I hope you have a lovely weekend and....