Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Almost No-Sew Non Couture Shopping Bag

I wanted one more shopping bag for the car but I didn't want to go to the trouble I went to with the last bag I made so I went almost no-sew on this one.

It's functional but definitely not couture! 

To make your very own Non Couture shopping bag you need a t-shirt.

Cut off your sleeves on the outside of the seam.  This makes your handles stronger and less stretchy.

Smooth your neckline and find something round.  You can use a dinner plate or a bowl.

Put it over your neckline and trace.


Flip it inside out and sew along the bottom. 
Add your gussets if you want. . . we all know how much I like gussets!
Flip it right side out and it's ready to use!

If I do it again:

I will cut it a little bit smoother around the arms.  It's jaggety on this one and it looks very half-hearted.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

T Shirt Shopping Bag

We are trying SO HARD to remember to bring our own shopping bags into the store with us.  We needed a few more, though, and wanted ones that would fold up small to minimize the space they take up when empty.  I took a T-shirt out of the "to donate" bag and turned it into a nice tote.

Warning:  This is a sewing project.  I don't sew well.  I don't measure.  I rarely use the proper stitches.  I don't use a pattern.  I cut too much and have second thoughts.  If watching me do this will give you an ulcer or cause chest pains, stop reading.   My mother tried to teach me right but I refused to listen. 

If you have the stomach for it, read on.

Here's what it looked like before I started:

I cut off the top, right under the arms.

Flip inside out and sew up the cut end.

The hem of your shirt is now the top of your bag.

I like to add a gusset.  It's not necessary but I like them!
Match your bottom seam with your side seam and sew across the triangle on each side.

You have gussets!

It needs a few handles. . .

I cut off the sleeves.  This was a 1/2 sleeved shirt so the sleeves were a bit longer.

Flip one of the sleeves inside out and put it over the other sleeve, right sides together.  Sew up that seam.

Turn it right-side-out.

Cut it length wise into two pieces.  You should have two long pieces with the two ends finished.

Fold right sides together and sew into tubes.

Flip right-side-out and pin them on to the bag where you want the handles.

Sew then down.  I decided to have the handles on each side.

It's lightweight and doesn't take up much space.  It's not pretty but it is functional.

If I do it again:

I'd make longer handles.  I like these handles but it won't go over my shoulder so this is strictly a grocery tote.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cookie Monster T Shirt

Time to brag on my lovely and talented daughter!

She bought a white t-shirt at a garage sale for a quarter.

With two Sharpie Markers, she turned it into this:
It kept her occupied for an hour and she had a lot of fun!  Remember to heat set your markers on the fabric if you don't use the Rub-A-Dub Sharpies.  Toss your t-shirt into the dryer for ten minutes on high or iron it.  It will help keep the colors bright and keep them from bleeding.

She's very proud of her creation and I'm quite impressed!

Like the kerchief?  We made that!  Stay tuned. . . a tutorial is coming on August 6th!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Success! Removing Gum from the Carpet

I had an ick moment today.  It was gum.

I think one of the kids stepped into someone's gum at the grocery store and brought it into the backseat of the van.  Somehow I managed to step in it, too, and take it into the driver's side floor mat and grind it in.

Want to see a close up?

Ick, ick, ick.  It was a lot worse but I was able to peel some of it off with my fingers.  I then washed my hands very, very well.  Again, ick.

I wasn't sure what to do.  I haven't had much luck with commercial products getting gum out but I had this stuff in the cabinet that I thought I'd try first.

Guess what?!?!?

This stuff was amazing!  I squirted it on and waited a few minutes.  I then took an old washcloth and rubbed it.  The gum balled up and brushed right off.  Am I thrilled?  Yes!!! 

I have to say I'm impressed with Goo Gone!  I didn't have high hopes. . . I bought it to get off some stubborn labels and it didn't work.  This stuff has been sitting in my cupboard for a year or so where I banished it after it failed.  I'm glad I didn't toss it!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

And We Have a Winner!!!

Remember my 100,000 views giveaway sweepstakes?

We have a winner!

I didn't count my comment so I had a grand total of . . . . wait for it. . . . FOUR!    Either I have crappy prizes, my mom did most of the views or I have blog stalkers.  All are possible.

The winner is the author of the first comment.  Thanks for the first comment!  I will be sending you an email and mailing out your earrings shortly!

Thanks for your patience!  I have been enjoying myself immensely at my folks' house and haven't been online in quite a few days.  Very liberating!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Our Yard = Battlefield

When the temperatures soar, the kids bunk down inside the house and turn on the electronics.  That's okay. . . sometimes.  But sometimes I want them up, running around and having fun.  

My husband and I spent a half hour filling up a bucket with water balloons.  We didn't tell the kids; they were so enthralled with their Minecraft game they didn't notice.

We loaded up two water guns and hid them in the front yard.  This bucket was taken to the corner of our back yard and left with this note:

I called the kids down, sent them to the backyard to find it and my husband and I took off for the front yard.

A battle ensued!  TWO HOURS later we called it quits!  Most of us were soaked.  I had a few dry spaces left that my son took care of with a well timed, devious hug with his sopping wet self.

The kids are already talking about doing this again, but they get the water guns this time!  As I was cleaning up all the little pieces of balloon that were everywhere, we had neighbors coming out to comment on our family fight.  It seems that we made an impressive amount of noise and had an impressive amount of fun.  

There wasn't much prep time and it was a lot of fun to do.  I will be keeping my eyes out for some other fun ways to get my kids out from in front of the computer this summer (says the one on the computer right now!!).

If I do it again:

This is a request from my daughter and something I didn't know!  Turns out, if you leave AIR in the water balloon it bounces instead of breaking.  She asked that I squeeze the air out before tying the water balloon next time so that she could have more hits.   There was a time where she nailed me right in the arm with a water balloon and it bounced off and landed on the ground before breaking.  I had no idea that was why!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DIY Soda Slush

It's hot outside!  This is a great project to do with the kids.

For every slush, you need an UNOPENED bottle or can of soda.

Shake it up.  Shake it hard.  You want a LOT of pressure to be built up in that can.

Toss it into the freezer for at least four hours.  A half hour before you want to eat your slush, put a cup or bowl into the freezer, too.

It's time!

Open your can or bottle VERY slowly.  Crack it and let the pressure slowly seep out.

Pour it into your chilled bowl.  A black bowl was not a good choice for photographs!

Your soda will slush up when it hits the chilled bowl!  If it doesn't, toss in an ice cube.  That will be the bit of cold it needs to slush.

There is a scientific reason that this happens.  When you shake the bottle or can, you are increasing the pressure inside the can.  When it's in the freezer, you lower the temperature of the liquid to below freezing but it won't freeze because of the pressure!  When you release the pressure and pour it into a chilled bowl or cup, it will freeze.   As you have probably figured out from my description, I'm not a scientist and this is an over simplified explanation! 

FYI - if you release the pressure too fast, it will slush up in the bottle or can.  If it's in a bottle, it's not a big deal because you can squeeze the bottle and get it out.  If it slushes in the can, you can stick a straw in it and sip it but it's hard to squeeze out!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pencil Dispenser

Lookie what I found!!!

While I love the idea of having a straw dispenser in my kitchen (I LOVE straws), I decided to turn this into a pencil dispenser instead.

At school, when a student has a birthday, they bring treats.  If they have any extra they get to take them around the school and gift them to other teachers.  Traditionally, those teachers hand out "birthday pencils".

Last year, I had some really cool and fun pencils for the kids to choose from.  Unfortunately, this meant that they were back at my desk looking and deciding for quite some time.  If I didn't have class, this wasn't an issue.  If I did, it tended to disrupt the class because the kiddos were all craning their necks, trying to see into my birthday pencil box. 

This year I am going to load up all the pencils into this handy straw dispenser and the birthday child will get to dispense one.  That's their pencil!

Of course, I needed to make it a bit more fun.  I used my sizzix to cut out some vinyl letters and shapes.

That's better!

Note:  Vinyl is crazy expensive at the craft store and you get one color in more than you need.  Try looking online at or  There are oodles of people out there that will sell you a variety of colors in smaller sizes (think 8x11 or 12x12) for about the price it would cost you to buy two rolls at Joann's.

If you read my other blog,  Teach the Bits and Bytes, you will find this project on there.  I just had to share!!!

If I do it again:

I will have to WD40 the mechanism inside before I load it up with pencils, I think.   It sticks a tiny bit.  I should have tested it before I put the stickers on it!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One Hundred Thousand Views Fine Silver Giveaway!


Yeah!  My blog has had one hundred thousand views!  I am sure half are from my mom and sister but the rest might actually be legitimate blog readers!  Hurray!

Because of this and because I'm so excited, I am offering a giveaway!  Technically, the legal term is SWEEPSTAKES.  That's what this is.  A Sweepstakes! Yeah!

Since this is a DIY blog and I'm pretty big on DIY stuff, I DIY'd the prize.  (Follow that?!?)

This is what I made to give away:

These look so much nicer in real life.  The silver is shiny!
The rectangles measure a little more than an inch long.  They are fine silver - more pure than sterling.   Sterling is .925, these are .999 .  (The hooks are NOT silver, just silvertoned.)  I made them using PMC - a fun hobby but hideously expensive!  

As with any sort of sweepstakes, there are some legal things that I have to say.  Here it is!
*No purchase is necessary.  (Technically, it's not possible since I don't sell my stuff on this blog.  Whatever.)
*Odds of winning are based on number of entries. (duh)
*Sweepstakes starts today (July 10, 2013) and ends in exactly one week (July 17, 2013).  In one week (or so. . . I have a life outside of blogging so I'll get to it when I can), I will number the comments (first comment = #1, second comment = #2, etc.)  I will generate a random number on to find the winner.
*One entry per person, please!  (This one is on the honor system. . . I'm not going to go through and compare email addresses to names to determine if anyone entered twice.  Be nice.  Play by the rules.)
*To be entered, leave a comment at the end of THIS post.  Leave a comment about anything you want. . . the weather, your dog,  how much of an inspiration I am to you (tee hee). . . anything.  You also need to leave a way to contact you if you win!
*Prize is worth $35 USD. No cash is awarded; prize is pair of earrings only.
*US residents, 18 and older are eligible.   Sorry, I won't ship overseas.  Too expensive.
*Winner will be notified via email (if provided) and prizes will be mailed via USPS to the address provided.  I will also name the winner and their comment on my blog.  If you choose not to provide an email in the comment section, you must provide me a way to identify you when you email me to claim your prize (a name would be nice :)  Winners have one week to contact me to claim the prize. If the winner has not contacted me within a week of the winner being posted, I will randomly generate another winner.  This means you either need to check back, subscribe or follow me so you can see if you are the winner!!!

Good luck, all, and thanks for the one hundred thousand views!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Leave In Conditioner/Smoother/Detangler

After the birth of my son, my hair started thinning and got wavy.  After my daughter's birth, it got really thin and really curly.  It's never gone back to the nice, thick, straight hair that I spent my high school years spiral perming.  Nice visual, huh?!?

I would be fine with it if my curls were nice, smooth, soft curls and my hair was thick.  They're not and it's not.  My hair has frizzy, dry, yucky curls in my thin hair that I can't cut short because my face is long and fat.  I spend more money in conditioner than I like to admit.  I also have to use a cream gel to keep it from being fuzzy in the winter; in the summer I have to use a smoother and leave in conditioner because it's crazy humid in KC and the fuzz creates a halo around my head!

While blog hopping, I found a recipe I decided  to try, partly because I had all the ingredients already.

I mixed these:

with some water in a spray bottle.  It turned out quite thick.

Looks like snot!  I took about a quarter sized and rubbed it into my wet hair right out of the shower.

These curls are air dried, no gel, no smoother.  The photo is by my much shorter daughter!

I'm very pleased! The front of my hair still needs some work but the back makes me very happy!

I used the Garnier Fructis Smooth and Sleek conditioner and the Garnier Fructis Moroccan Oil.   I mixed about 1/8 of a cup of each into 2 cups of water. Technically I didn't measure but I cook so I am pretty sure my measurements are close!  You can check out the blog I got the idea from. . . she actually measures!  I use a lot more of the Moroccan Oil than she does. . . HERE IS THE ORIGINAL.

If I do it again:

I would measure so I can duplicate it exactly!  Hopefully this will last through the summer humidity.  Today is hot and rainy so there's a good chance!