Tag Archive | craft

Trip Preparation Projects: Slip and Kindle Fire Case


I’m going to be honest with you.  I started this blog entry last year when I was going to Santa Fe with my mother, and I totally forgot about it until recently.  Oops!  At any rate, I was going on a trip to a memorial service for my mom’s cousin, and I had the little problem of needing a slip but not having one that was wearable.  I also needed more protection for my Kindle Fire, so I wound up doing a few sewing projects before my trip.

First, the slip.  I found the elastic in the only slip that fit me was completely shot.  As I didn’t mind losing an inch or two of length and I was in a hurry, I simply cut off the old elastic.

As I’ve mentioned, I was in a hurry, so I really didn’t want to monkey around with stringing the elastic through a channel I’d already sewn, so I tried a different technique:  I cut the elastic and sewed the ends together, then pinned it into the channel before sewing.

Sewing the channel was a little tricky since I didn’t want to get the elastic with my seams, but it turned out okay.  It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s functional.

My other project was a case for my Kindle Fire.  I took more time with this, but as I was in a hurry, I didn’t think through how much extra fabric I really needed on the edges.  It is really tight, and a couple of the seams are not as pretty as I’d like, but overall, I’m happy with it.

I wanted the Kindle to have both hard and soft protection, so I cut two pieces of cardboard about the same size as the Fire and two pieces of batting that were slightly larger than the Fire.

Cardboard

Batting

And this is as far as I got in this blog entry when I could actually remember what I actually did.  I sewed the cardboard and batting between layers of fabric (and I love the fabric).  I do recall, that I should have given myself a bit more room, as it was hard to sew the final edges together to house the KF.  I used velcro to close the case, but I should not have planned on the self sticking velcro.  I wound up having to stitch it down in places, and that stuff is heck on a needle.  Also, I added a decorative button to look like the actual closure, but that was kind of loose.  If I’d had more time, I might have taken another stab at the whole thing, but it still served it’s purpose for the length of my trip.  Here’s the final product:

Looking at this fabric still makes me happy!

Looking at this fabric still makes me happy!

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Where I Practice My Craft


Do you like my title?  Makes it sound like I’m doing witchcraft, doesn’t it?  Well, I’m not.  Somehow Hogwarts never sent me a letter.  😦  I guess I’m not gifted enough.

Okay, enough silliness.  A while back, I took some photos of my craft room (when it was semi-clean).  I thought it would be fun to share the place where I do most of the stuff I blog about (except the cooking–and I will probably never post a picture of my kitchen; even when the countertops are pristine, they’re cluttered as all get-out).

The room also doubles as a guest room (if I can clean it before the guests arrive).  Ideally, I’d like to have a murphy bed so I could have more room when guests are not here (which is most of the time), but they’re expensive.  So that’ll have to wait.

Anyway, onto the room:

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The guest bed and artwork.

The guest bed is a full-size bed.  I would like to make it a twin if I can’t have a murphy bed, but my most frequent guest (aka Mom) likes a double.  Also, my daughter sleeps there with her friends when she invites them for a giggle-fest sleepover.

The artwork over the bed consists of a cute print my former stepmother (who will always be part of my life) gave to me (head of the bed), a painting I did, and a glued-together-puzzle.  The painting was an attempt to recapture what I did in junior high art with pastels, but it never quite got where I wanted it.  I also never got quite the right color green in the background, so maybe it is good that you can’t tell the sage green wall color in the picture (it isn’t the most complementary matching).  One of these days, I will take a stab at making something I like better for over the bed.  Glued-together-puzzles always make affordable artwork, especially if you and your husband spent the first three to five years together (dating and before children) doing many puzzles.  We just used push-pins that matched to hold them up on the wall.  I actually have a lot of puzzles decorating the walls of my house.

This rolling cart is a pretty new addition to the room.  I love having some flat storage space so I no longer have to dig through all my flat items to find what I need.

A rolling storage cart contains paper, pencils, and other supplies.

A rolling storage cart contains paper, pencils, and other supplies.

My sewing table is an old student desk. When I started using the room, I wanted to be able to watch the TV while sewing. I stopped using the TV, so I got rid of it, but I like that the desk is facing the door. At any rate, I made a velcro curtain to cover the ugly backside of the desk so that my room still looks pretty when you enter it (assuming, of course, that it’s clean–big assumption).

Sewing table with curtain open.

Sewing table with curtain open.

Sewing table with curtain

Sewing table with curtain

I wanted a bulletin board in my room, but all I had were some old “kiddie” ones from my childhood.  I took the Snoopy one, painted it white, and covered it with the same fabric I made the curtain out of.  I used ribbon accents to make it prettier.  It sits right behind my desk/sewing table.

Prettified bulletin board.

Prettified bulletin board.

There are two areas absent in this entry.  One is the wall contains the former TV now printer stand and the closet.  The closet is scary messy.  I keep telling myself I’ll clean it to take a picture.  But I have sooo much stuff–fabric, wrapping paper, old boxes that I’m going to do something with one day, etc.  Because of that, I don’t have a picture.  If I ever get it clean enough for a picture, I will take one.  The other item missing is a storage cupboard, which I’d really like to take a picture of, especially since I built a custom shelf insert for it to hold my craft paint bottle holder.  However, I’m mid-project right now, and this blog has waited long enough.  So, I will have to add it some other time.

I hope all of you enjoyed seeing my space.  I’d love to see yours, so if you’ve got pictures posted somewhere, please feel free to leave the link in the comments!

You Might Be a Craft Addict If…


I was attempting to organize my craft/guest room, and I started thinking as I looked at groups of object “you might be a craft addict if…”  Ding, ding!  That’s all it took for me to abandon my organizing and start a list.  So, here it goes.  Feel free to add your own in “comments.”IMG_2103

You Might Be a Craft Addict If…

  1. You more colors of thread than you thought possible.
  2. You have enough piles of fabric to be mistaken for a fabric store.
  3. You visit your local craft store once (or more) every week.
  4. You have at least one entire container full of ribbon.
  5. You cannot pass clearance craft items without buying some of them.
  6. You have craft supplies you’ve never used but “know” you will, eventually.  (Yes, I will start scrapbooking.  And quilting.  And…)
  7. Your “guest/craft” room has no place for a guest.  (Um, there’s a bed in there, somewhere.)
  8. You are constantly buying and/or making more items to help you store your craft supplies.
  9. You need to re-organize your craft supplies monthly to accommodate new items.
  10. You spend hours pinning “pins” you will probably never get to on Pinterest.
  11. You spend even more hours re-organizing your Pinterest boards so you can find things when you want to eventually try to do them.
  12. You have a bunch of blank canvases, yet still buy more when they are on sale.
  13. Your paint rack is overflowing and you probably should buy a second one.
  14. You consider co-opting portions of your children’s closets to store some of your craft items.

If any of the above apply, you might be a craft addict.

In Search of a New Sewing Machine and Possibly a Serger


For a while, I’ve known that I need a better sewing machine.  I’m currently using this old Brother Walmart special I bought back in college.  It’s functional, and does the job, but I want something with more because, for one thing, I’m tired of having to go to my mother’s house if I want to sew a button hole.  I would like some fun features like pretty stitches.  In short, I want more.

Today while at JoAnn‘s, the hubby and I decided to peak at the machines as I have no idea what model I might want.  We wound up staying and talking to one of the women there for at least 30 minutes.  I got to play with the Singer 8763 Curvy and the Singer One.  I like them both.  I am leaning towards the Curvy as it has more stitch options, but I was wondering if any of my readers had any experience with these machines and would like to share their experiences.  Any input would be welcome.

I am also considering buying a serger as I want to do more clothing sewing.  I know the Curvy has a serger stitch, but I’m wondering if it is as good as a true serger stitch as sergers use more than one spool of thread.  Does anyone have any advice or recommendations?  It would be much appreciated!

Update 7/23/14:  I now have two new pieces of equipment!  I wound up buying my friend’s gently used Singer Futura CE-150, which also does embroidery (haven’t tried that part out yet).  I also got a Singer ProFinish Serger on sale from Amazon for Mother’s Day.  I’m just starting to experiment with that and will hopefully post on it soon.

Fabric, Fabric, and More Fabric


I was talking about fabric with a couple of friends on Facebook, and they said they wanted pictures, so I thought, “Why not blog it?”So, here’s the deal.  I have fabric hoarding problem.  I told them I have two boxes of fabric in my guest room closet.  After going in there to take pictures of some of the fabrics, I realize it is now three boxes.  Some of these are remnants from actual projects.  A lot of these are just remnants or clearance fabrics that I saw and said, “Ooo, pretty.”  So here, without further ado, are some pictures of the fabrics in my closet, along with a few patterns I bought on sale today:

Two fabrics I want to use to make shirts for my boy, along with my $.99 pattern I bought today at JoAnn’s.

A pretty remnant I bought today.

The two reversible quilted fabrics Mom gave me yesterday when I went snooping in her boxes of unused fabric.

A silky Asian print and a beautiful floral. I keep pondering the possibility of adhering the yellow floral print onto a canvas because I love it that much.

Two celestial fabrics (the one on the left is satin with velvet objects) and a pretty purple flannel with multi-colored spots. I used some of the flannel for a case to put my daughter’s ski goggles in.

Zebra print cotton and kids’ jungle animals.

Complimentary floral prints I found on clearance, so I grabbed a yard of each.

A bunch of clearance cotton florals.

Pink with white polka dots (cotton) and another silk print.

Leftover Nemo fabric from the curtain in the kids’ bathroom and purple with butterflies.

Care Bears on clearance, Halloween clearance, and leftover fabric from a pants outfit I made my daughter (which had a hot pink solid for an accent color).

Top: Leftover butterflies from my daughter’s curtains. Bottom: leftover frog prints and lime green from a dress for my daughter and leftover orange from a dress for my daughter.

Top: Blue with circles; I think I used some of this to make a case for a PSP or Nintendo DS or other small device. Bottom: Pretty pink and green in a thicker weight fabric, pretty fabric with sayings all over it, and a red with multi-colored stars, which I’ve used some of to make a holder for a Leapfrog book and cartridge.

Pooh Bear and butterfly remnants that I fell in love with.

Sea creature fabric a friend bought and never used, so she gave it to me. I have used some to cover shoe boxes to be used as storage boxes. I will blog about that one of these days.

A soft, stretchy fabric covered with lots of colors and hearts. I got it for REALLY cheap at an estate sale (maybe $1.00 for many yards of it). I’ve used some of this to make cases for small electronics such as the Nintendo DS.

 

 

A Post-Beading Mess


I previously posted about a trinket box that I had worked on for a friend, put aside, then picked up again.  It seems that I forgot one part of my prior attempt at making this box:  the beads.

Back when we had cable TV, I saw a show on HGTV where a woman had strung beads on thread and glued them to the box.  I wanted to do the top of my friend’s box in this way.  I was using two blues and two neutrals: clear and silver.

Beautiful, right?  The problem was that when I was trying to apply them, I had trouble keeping them in straight lines.  They wound up going all over the place, and I eventually stripped them all off and repainted the top of the box.  Then, I removed any paint and glue stuck to them, and wound up with this mess:

Now, I am stuck trying to figure out which beads are light blue and which are dark blue.  Which beads are clear and which are silver.  They look somewhat different in the tray, but when I start sorting them, they start to all look alike.  I have learned my lesson:  until I get good at pasting beads to boxes, I will only use very different colors.  This way, if things go wrong, I can sort them with ease.

Does anyone out there have any tips for gluing beads to boxes?  If so, I would love to hear them, as I would like to be able to do this successfully some time.

A Trinket Box to Hold a Birthday Necklace


This year is the 40th birthday for many people I know, including myself and one of my best friends, who was the Maid of Honor at my wedding.  She and I both LOVE the ocean/sea, and I found this cute aquamarine sea turtle necklace on line for a great price, but how to package it?

I was in the process of cleaning/organizing my craft room when I found the solution:  a sea-themed trinket box I had started making for her several years ago but was never happy with.  Time to give it another try I decided.   Unfortunately, I can’t give you pictures of all of the steps as I never took pictures when I initially worked on it.  I had painted it a color called “Caribbean,” which was perfect.  However, there is a shadow box area that I could never get right, so that was where I began my second attempt.  Image

On my first attempt to paint the insert for the shadow box, I covered with with “Coarse Pumice Gel” to give it a sandy texture.  I then painted over it with paint that was the color of sand, but the color was too consistent and did not look right.  On top of that, the shell I had chosen kept blending into the background.  That was when I gave up on my initial attempt.

When I began this second attempt to make this box the pretty item I imagined in my head, I noticed that the insert for the shadow box had expanded and no longer fit.  So, first I had to sand down two edges to make it fit again.  To fix the color, I got out several different “sandy” colors and a sponge, and gently sponge painted in several layers, being sure not to get too much of any color in any area.  Once I felt like the color was right, I got several other shells out and found the one that looked best.

ImageI wanted the sand to sparkle, so out came my glitter Mod Podge (love that stuff)!  One layer over the sand, and I was able to call that area done.

After several years in storage, the glass needed a good cleaning, so I cleaned that up.

I wanted it to have a velvet lining, and I found a pair of velveteen black pants no longer fit—perfect!  I cut down the fabric to insert in the box.  I must not have measured as well as I had thought, though, because the edges stuck up over the lip.  I also noticed that the fabric was prone to fraying, so I put some Fray Check around the upper edges and let that dry.  Then, with the help of some small, sharp scissors and a good Exacto knife, I was able to trim the edges nicely.

By this time, I noticed that I had gotten a few nicks in the paint, so I made a few touch-ups.  When the paint was dry, I checked how the necklace looked in the box.  The fabric wasn’t cushy enough.  So, I sewed a small pillow to put in the bottom for the necklace to rest on.  I also decided that the paint was too matte to represent the sea.  I debated between gloss varnish and glitter Mod Podge.  I decided the glitter was a little too much and went with the gloss.  Here is what I finally wound up with:

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When I gave the present to my friend, she loved it.  I’m glad I finally was able to finish this project for her!