Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Salvaging a shrunken sweater

My mom accidentally shrunk her wool sweater.  Not a whole lot, but enough that it didn't fit her anymore, so she brought it to my daughters to see if one of them would like it.  It isn't their style and they both find wool to be too itchy.  Mom suggested that if the girls didn't want it, to pass it along to someone who would, or donate it to a thrift store.  I decided that instead of donating it to a store, I would make it into something that Mom could use.  After all, she bought the sweater in the first place because she liked it, so I thought that she should keep it and continue to enjoy it.
But, what could I do?  I turned to the internet and found a tutorial here to change a sweater into a bag.
So here is what I started with.  Well, not quite.  This was taken after I washed it a couple more times to felt it.  It REALLY shrunk then! 
I meticulously followed the directions I found.  The only thing I did differently was the pocket.  I didn't think that a small outside pocket would get used, so I decided to make it a decorative heart.

And here is what I ended up with!

I like bags with flat bottoms.

See?  It is a pretty little pocket.  More for decoration than anything.  I thought about sewing it all the way around, but went with a pocket just in case she does have a use for it.

Wool sweaters sure do shed a lot!

Then I took some of the scraps and made my cat a new catnip mouse.

Thanks for looking!
:) Pin It

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Watermelon "cake" Or What a Mean Trick!

I saw this amazing looking "cake" while roaming Pinterest and had to try it.
The pin lead to this site

My youngest daughter and I really wanted to try this.   And weren't we lucky?  We were having visitors in the very near future  What an awesomely amazing dessert to have after lunch!!

We didn't follow the ingredient list or directions on the website.  We just did our own thing, using the basic idea.

We had lost our internet for a couple of days, conveniently when I needed to shop for this, so I did it out of memory.  A watermelon, some decorative fruit, and whipped cream.  I had forgotten all about the almonds, but, even if I had remembered them I would have skipped them this time because toddlers were coming and I don't think toddlers typically like almonds.

So, while I was cutting the rind off the watermelon, and slicing our "cakes" into wedges (we opted to make two shorter cakes as opposed to one really tall, awkward one)  my daughter was busy preparing the whipped cream.  Then I sliced fruit while she decorated.

Slicing up the melon into wedges ahead of time makes it so easy to serve too!  I am so glad I remembered that step.

I think we make a great team!  Here is our version.  Not quite as pretty as the original, but we were happy with it.  It looks like a regular cake, I was a tiny bit worried that the kids would be disappointed to discover it was fruit.  Turns out, it wasn't a child who was disappointed.  Oops!

Will we do this again?  Definitely!
Thanks for looking!
:) Pin It

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cleaning Containers With Acetone

I have filed this idea under "Things That Are Not Worth The Time And Effort".

Does it work?

Is it worth doing again?

I have seen all over the internet (especially Pinterest) that you can clean the paint off of used yogurt, margarine and ice cream containers using acetone.  All you need to do is get yourself some pure acetone (sold with the nail polish removers.  My little bottle was $1.64)  Then you just pour some acetone onto a cotton pad (or ball, whatever you have) and rub the paint off the container.  Sounds so easy.

I started with this:

After some scrubbing, which required more elbow grease than I expected, I was left with this:

That is not what I was I was going for at all.  So I got more acetone on my cotton pad and scrubbed even harder.  That ended up working. 

So I did  end up with a clean, white container, but it took about a third of my bottle of acetone and a whole lot more work that it was worth.  Not to mention quite a few cotton pads.  I was expecting it to be about as difficult as removing nail polish, not to have to press really hard and scrub a lot.
So, while it does work, I'd rather have yogurt containers for storage.  Or recycle the container and buy a plain one from the dollar store, if I really need one.
I will leave this information with you and you can make your own choice.  As for me, I think I will let my daughter have the rest of my acetone to use on her gel polish.
Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Earrings and sewing and T-shirts, Oh my!

I'm not focusing these days.  I have completed several small projects though.

I've had these beads since about November and finally got around to making earrings with them.
The crystals in both pairs glitter beautifully.  Unfortunately, it is a bit overcast today so there isn't any good light for them to reflect.

I made myself a geektastic Iron Man 3 t-shirt.  Too bad I haven't seen the movie yet!
I gave up trying to take a good "selfie"  I took lots and this was the best.

Hopefully Robert Downey Jr. would be impressed.

And I sewed my self a swimsuit cover-up.  I got the tutorial here, at Grits and Giggles.
My only problem with this was that I eyeballed it.  Don't do that.  Use a tape measure.  I had to pick the seams and redo them! 
I think it is really cute.

Next up,  a tablet cover.  Hopefully that will be done within a week.
Thanks for looking!
:) Pin It

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Tip for Ironing a Freezer Stencil

While making a Walking Dead shirt as a gift for someone, I realized that stenciling words can be a pain in the butt.

This still needs a final wash to soften up the paint and get the cat and dog hairs off it.
Letters can be tricky when freezer stenciling a shirt.  Especially when the letters have holes in them like "D", "a" "e" "R" and "O", all of which are in this shirt!
But, through practice, I have learned a little trick.
I make my stencils by printing what I want out on a piece of regular printer paper.  Then I tape a larger piece of freezer paper, shiny side down, to my cutting mat (I have graduated from a piece of cardboard to a real cutting mat!  What a difference!) and I tape my print out onto the freezer paper and cut through both pieces with an exacto-knife.
It is tedious, but worth it.
Never throw anything away!  You need your freezer paper holes, so keep track of them.  You also will want your plain paper letters.
In the following photo, I have ironed down the big piece of my stencil and most of my holes.  I still need to iron the holes in place for my "R" and my "O". 
I saved my plain paper "R" to use as a template for properly placing my hole. 
See? I carefully put my plain paper "R" in place and then, even more carefully, placed my freezer paper hole (shiny side down! That is very important or you will adhere it to your iron!) 
Then, even more carefully than before, iron over your letters. (and marvel at the way I was able to iron with one hand and take a photo with the other and never scorch my project!) 
You will iron the hole in place and just remove the plain paper "R" with no trouble! 
 Perfectly positioned!
 I did the same with the "O" and have lovely letters.  Now I am ready to paint.
 Don't forget the teeny zombie on the back of the shirt!

I am very happy that the recipient of this shirt really likes it.  I have even seen him wearing it!  And I don't think he put it on out of obligation either.  ;)

Thanks for looking!
:) Pin It

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monster Books of Monsters ~ FINISHED!

Finally done!  Hooray, hooray!!!!!!!
I started these almost a year ago, it's about time I got them finished! 
If you'd like to see the progress, you can see part one,  part two and part three by clicking the links.
 They still look pretty cuddly, but I am happy with them.
After getting them all sewn together, all that was left to do was put their titles on.  I wanted it to look like gold embroidery.  I started by trimming the fur to give myself an area to paint on.

Then I practiced on some leftover fur that I had saved. I had gold glitter paint that I was planning to use, but it doesn't show up by itself.  I tried painting the letters in black, brown and yellow first, then went over them with the gold.  I liked the look of the yellow the best.  I have so many smears of yellow on my practice fur, it is difficult to see what I have here, but it is all my practicing.
Then I painted my titles on.
"Monster Book of"


A front view.  He has a little fur blocking his leftest eye, I see.
Maybe I won't give these to the kids...
Now that I finished these, I can make my Iron Man T-shirt!
Thanks for looking!
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Monster Book of Monsters: Part Three

Just held together with pins at the moment
Well, my high hopes for fabulous teeth were temporarily dashed when this is what I created.
This will not do at ALL!
I had decided that I was not going to make any sort of template or pattern because I want both books to look different.  So I picked up a piece of fabric and folded it in half and just stared sewing teeth.  It actually didn't look too bad... Until I tried to turn them right-side-out.

Back to the drawing board.

After some thought, I decided that making each tooth individually was the way to go.  Again, I didn't use any sort of pattern.  I just sewed what looked like a tooth.  Just one at first.  It looked perfect! So I went all out and sewed up a whole bunch.  Then I arranged them on the table and switched them around until I thought they looked right.
Then I put a little stuffing in each one and pinned it to the "gums".  I put a piece of batting between two layers of red to plump them up just a bit. 
 Made myself a tooth sandwich and sewed it up.
 I also made the tongues using red and a little batting for substance.
 And here is where my Monster Books of Monsters sit now.  All pinned together.  I need to sculpt around the eyes a little more.  Both of the girls just want to hug these guys, and they are supposed to be a little menacing.

Here is what they are trying to look more or less like. 
These images were found on a Google Images search for "Monster Book of Monsters"

Next I need to sew these together and come up with a way to get the title on them.
Thanks for looking and following my progress!
:) Pin It

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monster Book of Monsters: Part Two

I've lost my crafting mojo.  I just haven't been in the mood to craft.  Today, however, I decided that I need to finish these Monster Book of Monsters.  I've only been working on them for about ten months!!!  You can see the start here, if you'd like.

So, I got out my eyes and chose suitable ones.

I made little pillows to put them on, and attached the eyes.  These are very lightly stuffed so that they can be sculpted under the fur.
I carefully slit the fur after determining the position of my eyes.   Then I sculpted a little around the eyes. I will probably do a little more sculpting detail later.  He's going to have trouble seeing with all that fur in his eyes! 

 So I trimmed a little around the eyes.
This is where my Monster Book of Monsters stands at the moment. 

Next up: The teeth. I'm making them soft.  These will make or break this project, I think.
I have high hopes for this.

Thanks for looking!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Solid Sugar Scrub

In a convienient single use size!  And only three ingredients.

I used the directions I found here, at Homework.  Carolyn used canola oil, I used coconut oil instead, along with sugar and grated soap.

 I just made a small test batch.  The amounts listed in the instructions made six in my little mold.
 How cute are these???
They hardened up over night and I stored then in an old plastic container.  I don't like glass in the bathroom.  That is a disaster waiting to happen in my hands.
The only thing I would change about these is the soap I used.  I found the Pears to smell kind of medicinal and I don't like that.  Other than that I just love these.  I don't even require a moisturizer after my shower because of the coconut oil already in there.  My daughter loves them too, so I need to make a big batch next time! 
Thanks for looking!
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