Saturday, August 9, 2014

Eight Week Challege

School is getting ready to start in four days (FOUR DAYS!!) and I have to admit I'm a little sad.  Probably the biggest reason is because I've been enjoying sleeping until 8:30 every morning and not having to worry about when I go to bed.  I'm going to miss that.

One of the things I was going to do this summer was to clean up and clean out.  I tend to hang on to things far longer than I should and I also collect weird things to use in my crafting.  Since my daughter has started crafting, our house could probably qualify for a episode of "Hoarders in the Making" or "How It All Starts."  Not really what I'm wanting.

Of course, I waited until much too late to do my cleaning up and cleaning out.  This is my way of telling you I didn't do it.  At all.  I barely did laundry each week.  I enjoyed my summer.  A whole lot.

Of course, now that I'm ready to buckle down, I have to go back to work and the kids are back in school.  I need a way to do this that's somewhat painless.  I decided to put my family through an eight week challenge.

Like the graphics??

Here's how it's going down in our house.

Each and every week for the next eight weeks, we are going to fill two GINORMOUS trash bags.  One will be filled with things to donate.  The other will be filled with trash, the things I've been hanging on to "just in case" but can't be donated: things like broken crockery I was saving for mosaics and the holey shirts I was saving for the fabric.  Obviously, if it can be recycled, we will do that (three dozen sour cream containers, anyone?).  We have to do this EVERY WEEK for eight weeks.

I am hoping this helps put things into perspective for me.  I have a tendency to hang on to things that I really shouldn't.  For example, I always buy two pair of snow boots every year at garage sales for my kids.  Do they need two pair?  Sometimes.  Realistically, it's two days every winter when school is canceled for two days in a row and they spend the entire day outside.  But, with a bit of pre-planning and a bit of organization, I can DONATE that second pair of boots and the kids can set their boots out to dry when they take them off, instead of kicking them into the corner.  There are lots of kids that could use that second pair.  We don't need two.

I've already filled half a bag full of clothing that we don't wear often enough to warrant keeping.  I'm hoping this helps keep me accountable and purging. 

Good luck to me!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Picture Frame Memo Board

I've been busy getting my classroom together for back to school.  I took my new step stool in, and it looks fantastic!  I also LOVE the orange fabric that was used on the seat part, so I decided to use it to make a memo board.


I found an old photo frame and spray painted it with the leftover green from the stool.  I happen to love the green, too!





While it dried, I took the glass and added a layer of glue.

 I SHOULD have spread it around, but I didn't.  Next time I will spread it around so there's a layer over the whole glass.  Smooth your fabric over the glass.

Now add the glue to the top of the fabric. . .

. . . and paint it on.  We're trying to make it really stiff and somewhat waterproof.

Let it dry.  When it dries, it will be stiff, like cardstock.  You can trim it at this point to the edge of the glass, or if you are lazy like me, fold it under.  Put it into your frame and put on the back. 

I was pretty lucky.  The back of this frame had loops to hang it so I just threaded some ribbon through.

You are done!  Hang and enjoy!
I wanted to be able to showcase different quotes and change them out weekly.  I thought about adding a clip to the fabric but I decided to just go old fashioned and use tape, instead.  I have some fun washi tape that I will tape a quote inside weekly.

It's not as convenient as a clip, but it's easier!




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Utility Step Stool ReDo

I promised an awesome project and I am delivering that RIGHT NOW!!!  This is a project I did with my daughter this weekend and it was under ten bucks.

Here it is:

This one was super fun and super easy.

We found the stool at a garage sale for a dollar.  It was covered with paint and rust and actually had a smell.  We started by taking it apart.  Lots of it was riveted on and I didn't know how to take it apart without ruining it so we rethought our color scheme. . . I didn't want to have to tape anything.

We ripped off the rubber cover on the bottom step.  It was icky and smelled.

I took the ripped vinyl seat off.  It actually hammered in with little button thingies.

The fabric is a piece of printed duck fabric.  It's thick and will handle being stepped on.  I recovered it using my staple gun.  I also used a piece of an old mattress cover I saved to use as a liner when I needed one.  

We spray painted with two and three coats.  


Spray Paint was on sale at ACE Hardware for three dollars a can.  Yeah!

I couldn't find an old rubber mat to cut to fit into the place where I pulled off the stinky rubber.  I used a placemat I bought at the dollar store and cut to fit.  I glued the pretty side down and left the non skid side up.  I also gave it a quick squirt of the gray spray paint we covered the chrome with.

I love the result!  I plan on taking this to my class.  It will be a good stool for the front of the room and a great thing to have when I need to reach something higher than I can reach.

I'm pretty excited about this one! 

Linked here:
Elizabeth and Co.
Photobucket

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I'm Back. . . .

I had a lovely vacation a few weeks ago.  I piled the kids in the car, drove 1200 miles and stayed with my folks.  We went camping, inner tubing, sledding on the sand dunes, ATV riding, shooting and, pretty much, had a blast.  When I lay in my old room, in my old bed, I can't remember WHY I ever wanted to grow up and leave home. 

I'm home, and up to my elbows in laundry, preserving and getting my classroom ready for school in three weeks.  I took a break and the kiddo and I managed to almost complete a project today.  

It's not quite done, so this is a teaser.  It started like this: 

And took a little bit of this:

And is turning into something fabulous.  I will post SOON!!!

I'm really pleased with the result and with the final cost.  Total cost of this redo was less than ten bucks, and that includes the cost of the step stool.  I found that piece for a dollar at a garage sale!

I am sad my vacation is over but glad to be home.  Thanks for hanging in there and checking to see if I've posted recently!




Sunday, June 29, 2014

T-Shirt Refashion #2

One more. 

I'm actually very happy with this one.  The shirt was a quarter at a garage sale.  I tossed it into the dye bath after tying a few knots in it.  I was just playing around.

I liked how it came out but the shirt was a man's XL and I am big, but not that big.  I liked the length but wanted some shape.

The sleeves hung at an awkward length, so I went ahead and flipped the shirt inside out and tucked the sleeve back inside.

I then sewed around that seam, effectively pulling up the sleeve and the entire shirt in.

I then altered it like I altered the shirt in the previous post.  I laid a t-shirt that fit over the top, drew around it and took it in. 

I might have taken a tad too much because this cotton isn't exactly loose and flowing cotton like my nice fitting t shirt.  However, I tend to hang my clothes to dry so it will probably be just fine.

This was definitely a more drastic refashion and I'm pretty pleased with the results.  I'm also done sewing.  Done.  Very, very done.  The machine is put away and I am not going to pull it out for a few months!



Thursday, June 26, 2014

T-Shirt Refashion: Dyed and Cut

Remember how I said that I got out the sewing machine?  I got it out because I had a t-shirt that I really wanted to take in.  I bought it online through JC Penney and it was too big.  It made me look dumpy.  Since I'm six foot tall and wear a size fourteen, I usually look dumpy and I don't need any additional help.  I had intended on returning it.

Four months later, I pulled it out from beside my nightstand where I had placed it to take to the store the next time I was going.  I hadn't gone.  At all.  (The last time I was at the mall was 2012.)  It was too late to send it back so I really had nothing to lose if the altering didn't work.


I was dying a t-shirt of my daughter's that had some bleach stains on it, so I decided to toss this in with it.  I wasn't a fan of the gray.  It looked a lot better on the store model than it looked on me.  This is what I started with:

After I dyed it, I washed it and dried it to set the color.
I flipped it inside out and then laid a t-shirt that fit me well (and gave me some shape) over the top, lining up the necklines.

Here's where I should have pinned.  But, because I'm lazy, I didn't.  I used a sharpie to draw the outline of my good shirt on to my dumpy shirt.

I then sewed the line. 

Use a loose stitch because if you have to unpick it, it will take FOREVER if you do a nice, tight stitch.

If it fits, sew the line again, this time with a zig zag.  I do this so that it has a bit of stretch to it, since it's a t-shirt.

Trim the excess fabric and you have a better fitting t-shirt!

I am actually thinking I can wear this with a pair of khakis for work.  We shall see. . . I am going to show it to my daughter (who has a LOT more fashion sense than I do) and see what she thinks!




Monday, June 23, 2014

Easy Sew, No Pin Sofa Pillow

I got out the sewing machine to do a few projects this evening.  You all know how I feel about sewing. . .

The thing is, I really do have the best of intentions.  I look at fabric and see so many possibilities.  For a moment, I forget that I hate to sew and that I do a very, very bad job of it.  Before I know it, the fabric is cut an in my cart and there's no turning back.

I've been pretty good lately but I recently saw a remnant that was the perfect addition to my sofa.  Not as is, of course, but after it was made into a cushy sofa pillow.

Start with a hunk of fabric.  When it's folded in half, it should be a tad larger than the size of pillow you want to make.

Fold right sides (the good sides) together.

Stitch three and a half sides together.  I like to leave my opening in the middle of a side.  It makes it easier to do the corners.

Cut off the corners, but don't cut over the line you sewed. 



Flip it inside out and poke out those corners until they look right.  Stuff it with cotton batting.  Or, if you're like me, stuff it with fake snow.  I bought bags and bags of it when it was on clearance at Michaels after Christmas.  I paid twenty five cents a bag and it's just like batting, except with a little bit of sparkle.

Take your opening and fold in your fabric and pinch it closed.  Start sewing it closed with your sewing machine.  Or, if you're not as lazy as I am and you want it to look nicer, hand sew it with a hidden stitch.  You will have to Google hidden stitches because I stink at those.

Huzzah!  You have a pillow!
Add it to your couch where you have painstakingly placed other pillows.  Know that it will look like this for less than thirty seconds before a kid or a husband will come along and rearrange it so that they can lay on them.





Friday, June 20, 2014

Kids Can Make It #6: Fringed T-Shirt Bag (No Sew)

This is the last one in the "Kids Can Make It" series, folks!  I had a lot of fun thinking these up and executing them with my daughter.  There were some fails, yes, sir, there was!  But, we had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun failing!

In three days we'll be back to our "normal" postings.  Normal is relative.

Today we are making. . . . (wait for it. . . )

This one is quite versatile!

You start with a t-shirt or some other knit clothing.  Knits don't unravel like cottons, so a knit is a good choice.  We used an old sundress.

 Cut a square out of the fabric.  We decided to leave the bottom hem intact.  The square needs to be half again as big as you want your bag.  It will be smaller when you fringe it.
The square doesn't have to be perfect, as you can see!

Cut a fringe around the entire bag.  I cut my strips about 1 3/4 inches long.  I wanted extra room to knot.  That weird square that's in the corner?  Cut that out and throw it away.

Don't fringe the top.  We kept the top where our hem was.

Tie the fringe together all the way around.  You're tying the top of the bag to the bottom of the bag.

Almost done!  You need a strap!  Cut a strip of fabric from the scraps of your shirt.  You might need to tie pieces together to make your strap long enough. That's okay.  This whole bag is knotty!

Tie the strap under the first few knots on each side.  Knot it tight and trim the end.

You are done!  This bag won't hold anything small, because there's tiny holes all the way around.  It would be a good bag for a book and a towel, or a great bag for someone's art pad and the pouch she keeps her pencils in.


The fun thing about this bag is that you can make it any size, depending on the garment you are cutting up!  It would be fun to do this with a logo t-shirt and to use the bag for groceries or produce when you are shopping.  Possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kids Can Make It #5: Glitter Pendant

We're half way through June!  I'd like the month to slow down a bit. . .

This is what we're making today:

Supplies and Cost:

One Bezel.  I like the cheap ones.  You can get them for a buck or two. . . this one was $1.47
Glitter
Glue
Dimensional Magic Mod Podge  (Did you buy this stuff, yet?!?!  It's about $6 a bottle and you can use a coupon!  You will get a ton of projects out of this.)

Ignore my photo of the Magic Gloss.  I thought I was going to use it but it needs sunlight to cure and today was definitely overcast.  I used dimensional magic.

Put a layer of glue in the "cup" of the bezel.  Press some glitter in there.


You can use different colors or stick with one.  I decided to use some big glitter.  It's not a very fine powder, but rather quite chunky.  I tried to get a close up photo and it didn't work out.  I don't remember where I got it but it's lasted me YEARS!

Let the glue dry and dump out the extra.  Fill up the cup with your dimensional magic.

Lay it flat and let dry.  Add a chain and wear!


The total cost for me on this was $1.47 plus tax.  I had to buy the bezel but I had the glitter, the dimensional magic and the chain.

It's also quite fancy.  This is going in my rotation to wear to work.

Check back in three days for another "Kids Can Make It" project!  Thanks for sticking with me!