Thursday, March 3, 2016

Another Misting Fountain

Yet another water feature added to the house.

Look at the mist rising in the center!

I strongly identify with Gollum from The Hobbit.  I, too, have precious things.  This computer is, in fact, officially named My Precious.  The difference between Gollum and me is that I have many precious things while Gollum was satisfied with one.  Yes, I should be ashamed.  No, I am not.  Techie toys, fabric, sewing machines, and water features--I love them all.  Right now, I'm on a misting water fountain kick.  I love the sound of the water trickling in the background and the mist rising and floating away.

After my sister gave my first misting fountain,

 the obsession began.  That one even has lights that change colors--or not.

The one problem with using the large vase is that it is too deep to see the mist which dissipates rather quickly. You need a fairly shallow container for the water if you want to see that mist.  To get around that issue, I bought a giant cocktail glass and plunked it in the center. 
Ashland Grande Margarita Glass

You can see the upper edge of the glass piece in the photos above.  Dissipating mist dilemma solved, and I still get to use my beautiful vase.  Between the pink pine cones and this, I've had my crafty fix for the month.  One more project off the list.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Story of the Pink Painted Glittery Pine Cones

Pinterest sent me a notice that they were removing one of my pins for copyright infringement or something of that sort.  Fortunately, they also sent a photo of the pin.  It was pink painted glittery pine cones in a glass bowl sort of like these.
just imagine them in a glass bowl

I can't believe anyone has the rights to pink painted glittery pine cones.  The photo was nice, but just in a crafty photo--look what I did kinda way, not in a professional photographer can sell this way.

The point here is the the pink painted glittery pine cones were about to disappear from my life.  I could not let this happen.  I liked those freakin' pine cones!  I wanted to keep them on my Crafty-Things-I-Want-To-Do-Someday board because my memory isn't worth the powder to blow it to hell.  I would definitely forget them if they were not pinned. 

This project was supposed to be done when I could find the perfect pine cones that would be painted outside on an eighty degree summer day with no wind.  Instead, I picked up some leftover pine cones while out walking on Sunday.  Then today, I was out in 30 degree weather with high winds spray painting in order to have something to pin on my board.

So that is the story of the pink painted glittery pine cones that had to be made and blogged about so that they could be pinned.

The End

String Storage

Still reorganizing the kitchen, and I was about to throw out these cutesy little glasses with tops and straws.  When I bought them at Michael's last year I was absolutely sure that I would use them.  They were going to keep bugs out of my drinks.  Never happened.  If it's that buggy outside, I go inside.  No need for these things.

But those little holes...where did I see that before?  It was a Pinterest pin where someone put grommets on something to hold string.  Here I had two perfect little string containers and two kinds of string sitting in the cabinet.  

These are so freakin' cute!  Justifying my frivolous spending habits is probably not a good idea, but it's nice to have one of these  dumb purchases work out after all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Kitchen Reorganizing - The Knives

I've been on a reorganization binge in the kitchen. My idea of making fabric boxes for the silverware did not work at all--too floppy, but I kept going with some store-bought things.  My drawers are oddly narrow making this simple white plastic organizer a HUGE find!
This and the most of the other items worked out. Like this
 and this

Everything except the knives.  I was too cheap to pay for a nice wood holder when my lovely husband has workshop tools up the wazoo.  I sent him downstairs with a mission and got this piece.

The fat one in the middle is for the ceramic knife because I refused to give up the cover that came with it.

All the other knives fit in the other slots,

and it all fits right in the drawer.
On to the junk drawer!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pinned It - Did It - Pants to Skirt

Finally!  I've been wanted to try this for years.

After reading and/or watching the tutorials on my Pinterest board, I took a few ideas, tweaked a few things, and got to work. First thing:  lots of seam ripping to open the center seam.

 There are tutorials for mini skirts, straight skirts, and pleated, but I wanted to do a simple one with the triangular inserts in the front and back.  Most tutorials I saw for this insert bent the center seam to the side and sewed it down like this:
I don't like that look.  Instead, I made a small cut on each side of the center seam and sewed it under. So, from this:

to this:
The long seam piece was cut down once it was turned under and sewn in.

I serged all the inside edges, turned up a half an inch twice for the hem, and it was finished.  I'm looking forward to try it again on some jeans next week.

The back

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gift Wrap Transition

I'm in the midst of trying to transition from expensive wrapping paper and ribbon to less expensive options, preferably reusable.  That is not as easy as it sounds beginning with the fact that it is hard to know what size packages one is going to have for gifting.  This year was a mix of old and new wrapping options.  It was a combination of regular wrapping paper, brown craft paper, cloth, wire-edged ribbon, satin and grosgrain ribbon, tulle as ribbon, and decorative holiday picks.  Here's what worked and did not work.

The brown craft paper that many said would be less expensive was okay.  I couldn't find any great buys on it, though.  So, while it was less expensive than the stupid-expensive wrapping paper I had to buy, it was not nearly the deal I was expecting. The craft paper is also harder to fold around packages and required more tape.  I guess it could be reusable to some extent as wrapping paper or for pattern tracing, but that would be a pain.  I did like that I could write on it eliminating the need for a gift tag. I guess another plus would be that it can go in the paper recycle bin.  In the end, however, I have decided I will not use it again.  Other options are easier, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly.

The tulle as ribbon was a win.  I bought it by the bolt and cut strips.  Can't beat the price which comes down to about a dollar a yard without a coupon.  It's 54 inches wide at Joann's.  That makes lots and lots of easy-to-cut tulle strips.  It was a fun look and easy to use.  Since it doesn't hold the wrinkles, it can be reused.  Downsides will be storing it and keeping track of the different lengths.

I've used picks before and love them.  They are easy to tuck into the ribbon (or tulle) on the package and give a nice pop.  After unwrapping gifts,  I poke them onto the tree as a decoration.  The picks get packed away with the ornaments for use the next year.  They can be bought for a pittance either close to Christmas or right after.

I love how the wire-edged ribbon looks and the ease of use.  Downsides are that it isn't as forgiving with the wrinkles as tulle and saving it for reuse has the problem of keeping track of the different sizes.

Using plain old fabric worked well.  It's a bit hard to see in the above photo, but I wrapped that rectangular package up like a piece of candy--bunching each end and using grosgrain ribbons to tie the ends up. That was one of my favorites.  Sometimes I fold the fabric to hide the unfinished edges.  Sometimes I serge it.

I like the simplicity of using squares of fabric.  Not one of my giftees sews, so all the fabric goes right back into my stash--another plus.  Only downside is that I sometimes have to cut the fabric.  I don't think I'm the only sewer who has trouble cutting into a piece of fabric.  I might want to use it for something else someday that will require a large piece of fabric, right?  I have somewhat solved this problem by buying fabric remnants at Joann's. 

One last things that worked out this year was buying little inexpensive name ornaments that I used in place of gift cards.  LOVE this idea.  It's a gift on a gift cuz they get to keep it for their own tree.  I picked up a few of these when they were down to 70% off just before Christmas.

I am slowly heading in the right direction with this wrapping stuff.  We shall have to see what next year brings.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Lemonade from Lemons

When my son came back from visiting his Peace Corp volunteer fiance in Mongolia a few weeks ago, he brought back a bunch of men's ties for me.  Sweet Melissa had thoughtfully decided to ask a local woman to make ties for all the guys.  They were beautiful!  Honestly, there is not one photo that shows the glory of the fabrics.  "Kyle, why are you giving me all these ties?"  Then he put one on.  It came about mid-chest.

Okay!  What to do with a bunch of beautiful wee ties?  Pinterest to the rescue.  Anyone else remember seeing the apron made from ties?  Here's my version.

This was the first time I've tried butting fabrics together with a zigzag stitch.  I didn't think it would be strong enough but figured that it would hold the pieces together for backing.  It held them together tightly.  No need for any backing.  Wish I had tried this method long ago.  I can think of a dozen projects that it would have worked on.

Piecing for the top and ties required taking remnants apart and some fancy piecework.

All ready to go back to Melissa.  I hope she will like their reinvention.