Monday, July 21, 2014

Beachcomber Bag

Every time I vacation at the beach I wish I had a open weave bag for all the shells and stuff I find, and every time I forget to make one when I get home.  Until this year.  Finally!


It's from a remnant piece of white cargo netting I found at Joann's a few months ago.  It should be perfect for letting the sand fall through and for air drying.  I thought about binding the edges with some pretty fabric but decided to go with French seams on the polyester netting so that it would dry out quickly.  Nothing worse than a damp smelly bag of seashells.  Wait, there was that time the 145- pound dog rolled on the not so freshly dead cat when we were out walking in the woods.  Yeah, that was definitely worse.  Turns out that some dogs still have that ancient wolf thing of rolling on the kill to bring the scent back to the pack.  The message got a bit messed up by the time it was passed down to my dog.  His idea was to quickly roll on anything dead and gallop gleefully back to me, his pack, to share the great news.    Loved that dog--most of the time.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just doin' the small stuff

I've not done anything particularly blog-worthy lately.  Just puttering around with the Silhouette making beautiful labels to turn my ugly, recycled Tide containers into zipper storage.  Look at those perfectly cut little zipper thingies!

 No,  the ugly containers will not stay on the shelf.  They are a cabinet,

 with the black, pumpkin looking one holding all the neutral zips,

while the zig-zag pink labeled one holds my colorful zips.

 I also made a little, everyday bag from old jeans.
Yeah, I stole Sandra of Sandra Sews little button eyes idea.  Cute and they're covering the uneven stitching lines I made at the top of the pockets.  That pen is supposed to look like a nose. No one else sees that but me, though.

We've also been trapping and releasing these guys in a lovely forest far, far away from our house

 because they have been doing this

to my newly sided house.  They are also gnawing on my lawn furniture, eighty dollar bird feeders, and anything else they can get their little teeth on.  Fifteen down and still have four more out there hanging off my bird feeders this morning.  I think I may have to stop feeding the birds to get rid of the problem.  That's a bit sad.  I do love watching the beasts.  I liked the squirrels, too, before they started chewing all my stuff.

Did some fun stuff like hiking at this beautiful place in the Huyck Preserve at Berne, New York
 with my lovely husband, Brian and daughter, Keegan.

Last, I started doing Nutrisystem this week!  When the last ten pounds I needed  to lose (for the last eight or nine years) turned into twenty, I HAD to try something different.  Why I could lose well over fifty pounds on my own, but not this last bit is beyond me.  I tried Weight Watchers, but didn't like all the time I had to spend counting and recording and just thinking about food.  I think I need these two things:  recognizing what an actual portion should be again and paying attention to the extra-eating triggers.  I figured Nutrisystem would quickly work well for both those issues.  It has already been an eye-opener on both counts.  I lost a couple of pounds  in the half a week I've been on the program.  Good start!  Wish me luck...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fixing a Painting Mistake at Last

About ten years ago, I painted my mantel brown.  You can see just a bit of that "brown" mantel in this old photo of my son and grandson.  It would be the bilious green strip at the top of the pic.

I swear it looked brown in the store! Somehow, in my house it looked like a pea soup green . By the time I accepted that it was not going to somehow turn brown if I just put enough coats of paint on, I didn't want to deal with it anymore.  I have spent the ensuing years telling people I thought it looked just fine, thank you.

Well, it may have taken ten years to get up the courage to try again, but I do love it this time. It's Behr's Dark Cavern. It's a deep gray with a brown tint, not blue.

I should have done this ten years ago.  Another job off the list!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

If You Are Looking For A Large Tote Pattern...

try the Totally Versatile Super-Sized Tote.  I got the pattern on Craftsy, but the designer has it on Etsy, too.


This pattern seems too easy to have gotten such an nice bag!   This is a BIG bag at 22"  wide, 14" high, and 8" deep.  It will make a great beach bag. There are two huge beach towels in there with lots more room for other beachy essentials.



There are pockets between the straps on both sides. I finally took the time to make the design on the fabric pocket match the  the base fabric.  If I keep this up, I may be able to say I'm an intermediate level sewer without feeling guilty. Look how those designs line up, well, almost line up!



Both sides of the lining have pockets as well.  You, of course, get to decide the size of the inside pockets.  I tested to make sure my Kindle in its case would fit in one. Gotta have my Kindle with me.


I only made one change--so unlike me.  I added that flap with a snap thinking it would hold things in if it tipped, but I'm not really happy with how it pulls on the fabric when in use.



It does look nice when it's not too full, though.


Last, it folds up nicely if your packing for a vacation.  



Definitely want to make a few more of these.

Linking to:  
  

Friday, June 13, 2014

I Have Blue Balls


Why?  What were you expecting?

So, about this batch of bath bombs---see those little crumbles?  That's because my first one fell apart!  All and I mean ALL tutorials on bath bombs say not to make them when the humidity is high.  So, of course, that meant I would go right ahead and make some during our third day of near 24 hour rain.  Yes, I will have to agree with everyone. Humidity does mess up the process.  I just do not understand why, though.  I would think it would be even better what with the air helping supply some of the liquid part.  In any case, I squeezed those little blue balls into submission.

(Sandra, about that double dog dare, I may have no class, but I believe I have won this dare twice over ;- }

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My U Albany Design Using the Silhouette

U Albany doesn't sell a sweatshirt with enough bling for me, so I designed my own.   Did I mention that I like bling and am a proud graduate of the University at Albany?  I think custom school shirt would be a great gift idea for those about to start college or high school.  A silhouette (as in a real silhouette) of the school building would be nice or you can use the state as I've done.  All states are available online.


The original map design from the Silhouette online store has a star for the capital which just happens to be Albany.  I removed that and put in the "at". You could move the star to the school's location or change it to "of", "at" as I've done.



I'm thinking of adding "School of Education" in smaller letter underneath Albany.  For larger universities, that might further personalize it.  Then again, at the rate people change their majors, you might want to hold off on that!  It would be great for someone who is or will soon be a graduate.

As for working with glitter vinyl on a Cameo, there are some scary stories out there in blog land about it.  I didn't have any problem, though.   I bought my glitter vinyl from  hhsignsupply.com, The backing plastic is sturdy and the glitter vinyl is soft and pliable.  That may well have been a key part of my success.

Freakin' cool to be able to design and make a shirt that looks as good as the ones the pros make!

Linking to:




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Third Time IS the Charm--Bath Bomb Success

Aren't these beautiful?  Yes! I just know you are saying, "Yes! Those are freakin' gorgeous!"  Third time trying and I finally got all the balls to stay together and not fizz or crack.  


 Look at that nice big container of fizzy bath fun.  

This time I used the usual 2 cups to 1 cup of  baking soda and citric acid, but I also put in 3 tbs. of kaolin clay, a third of a cup of  Epsom salt, the 2 tsp. of essential oil, and less gel food coloring than last time just about  an even 1/8 tsp.  I will bring that coloring back up to a big, heaping 1/8th in the future cuz I like to "see" the color in the bath water.  The eighth of a teaspoon just didn't have enough color for me.  I chose to leave out the other kinds of oils some people use such as almond or olive because if really don't like an oily residue left behind in the tub.   One other change that may have contributed to my success is the use of 90% alcohol in a mister.  I used witch hazel and 70% alcohol in my previous attempts.  

Since I wanted to try lavender, carnation, sweet orange, and bergomot essential oils (not all together, though), I did a number of batches. There are lots more bombs stored in the cabinet to refill this container when needed which will be often. 

On another note, look who I ran into while out walking!
 He seemed a little uppity at first what with keeping his back to me.  Once I came around to the front, he was quite sociable, however.  It's a Green Frog or, as I like to call them, a rubber band frog because that is what they sound like to me.
 I do love to come across little beasts (or big ones) while out walking.