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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / New Little Purse & Babyangel Wallet on: February 15, 2011 08:31:03 AM
A while back I made a tie-dye hobo bag.  I love the idea of the bog, but i decided it was too big and bulky for every day use. I had to make myself another.  This time with accessories!
First, the purse:

There's a big pocket on the front that i use for my cell phone.

And the inside:

I carry the music with me wherever I go.  Cheesy  There's 6 card slots and a zipper pocket. The other side has 2 "regular" pockets.

Inside the zipper pocket:

Rainbows! This make me ridiculously happy. Grin

And the wallet to go with it:

My last wallet was HUGE! It could have been a purse all on its own! This one is cute, lightweight and just big enough to fit my everyday needs. I followed babyangels's tutorial, making small adjustments to fit my needs.

I also made a tissue cozy with some lovely fabric I received in a swap:

Mom's always need tissues in their purse, right?  Wink

I'm working on a gift card/business card holder, too. I'm trying to keep everything organized.
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Cupid Heart Valentines on: February 11, 2011 11:24:44 AM
I found out at 7:30 last night that my son's Valentines Day party at school is TODAY. Why didn't I get anything home telling me about this? I didn't even have a list of names of the other kids! How is he supposed to address them? More importantly, what am I going to do now? I thought I had the entire weekend to make valentines with the kids and their parties would be on Monday. I was totally unprepared!
I knew I wanted to make hearts with a pencil through them (like Cupid's heart) but I only had the pencils.  I briefly thought that craft foam would be a good idea, but found that I didn't have enough to make 28 hearts. The only solution I could come up with is index cards. Thankfully they were just big enough to make a fair sized heart for the pencil.
I cut a template, traces 28 hearts, punched 56 holes, realized those holes were not big enough for the pencil, cut slits so the pencils could fit through, wrote cheesy sayings and stepped back to decide what I thought about them.

I decided they looked a little plain.  I added some red hearts and stepped back again. Still too plain! I added a little black border so they looked like they were stitched.  Now I love them!

Finish up the other 23 and do a happy dance - I am done! They probably took me 2 hours.

Things I would do differently next time:
  • Find out the date of the party so I have plenty of time to prepare!
  • Print out the words before I cut out the hearts. My hand was all cramped by the time I finished.
I like how they turned out.  I think they are cute. Hopefully not too cute for a 10 yr old boy. Roll Eyes

For more of my frantic crafting night, you can check out my blog post.  The basics are here though.
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Stay-put draft dodger on: January 13, 2011 10:05:06 PM
... or twin draft guard, or under the door draft blocker... or whatever you want to call it!  Cheesy
For some reason my pantry is FREEZING and there is a giant gap between the door and the floor. I have been thinking (for 2 years Roll Eyes ) that it needs a draft dodger to block the cold, but wanted something that would stay in place since we are in and out of the pantry all day long. I couldn't wrap my brain around how to make one of those draft dodgers that slip under the door... until today!  Suddenly, the light bulb went off and I was inspired! I had this finished in probably less than 30 mins (though I wasn't paying attention to the time).
Enough jibber-jabber. Here's pics:

Sitting on the floor, ready to be installed.

It just slips under the door.

Oliver was attacking it as I opened and shut the door. I guess it doubles as a kitty toy Wink

See? It blocks the draft very nicely!  Even Oliver approves.

I made it out of fleece and filled the tubes with dried corn.  Why?  No reason; it's just what I had sitting around. I bought dried corn to make heat packs as Christmas gifts.  It only comes in 50 lb bags, so I have tons left over. Roll Eyes  Plus I like the weight of it. It makes me feel like it is more likely to stay put and keep doing it's job: blocking those drafts!
It doesn't match my kitchen, but that's okay. It was my prototype, and now my toes don't freeze every time I walk near the pantry!
So what do you think? Smiley
4  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Tie Dyed Hobo Bag on: January 12, 2011 12:48:25 PM
I am very excited about this bag.  I've been carrying the same purse for a year and a half! I got it in a swap from an amazing partner and I love it to pieces, but after a year and a half I was ready for a new purse.
I bought this pattern off etsy and slowly worked on it over a few days, finally finishing it last night. I was encouraged by the Craft for ME craftalong and the Fake Swap craftalong.

I tie dyed the fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces.  I was hoping it would turn out darker, but I am still happy with it. There are 4 pockets on the outside and a TON of pockets on the inside. I kind of went pocket-crazy!

I was impatient and already put some of my crap in it. Wink
Here's the other side

And a close-up of the tie dye.

I was trying for a rainbow effect, can you tell?  Cheesy So, what do you think?
5  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Tie Dyed Mandala on: January 10, 2011 07:59:20 PM
I made a tie-dyed mandala today! I found this and just had to try it out!
It was supposed to be rainbow, but I got lazy and tried to mix the colors I had on hand (red, blue, yellow) instead of going downstairs to grab the other colors I needed. I'm still pleased with how it turned out.  I don't know what to do with it yet. It measures about 18x18.

What do you think?
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Tatted Ornaments on: December 26, 2010 03:03:52 PM
I started tatting a few months ago.  I quickly learned that needle tatting is easier for me than shuttle tatting. Wanting to explore my new-found obsession, I decided to make tatted ornaments as gifts this year.  I found this tutorial.  I did have to alter it to fit the ornaments I had, and also accommodate the thread size.
The ornament on the left is closer to the original pattern, and the one on the right is more altered to accommodate using a needle instead of a shuttle.

Each ornament took over 2 hours to complete and totaled about 1070 double stitches (is that 2140 stitches?).  It was well worth the effort though.  Grin
7  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Tie Dyed Onesies and T-shirts - UPDATED! on: December 23, 2010 10:04:33 AM
I haven't tie-dyed since my sophomore year of high school, but the other day I got it stuck in my head that I NEED to tie-dye.... right NOW!  I had won a contest awhile back so I have tons of Rit dye and 3 onesies that I wasn't sure what to do with.  The onesies will go to a friend who just had a baby.
The first 2 onesies were just scrunched up then dyed.  

They were fun and all, but I wanted some swirl patterns, so I dyed the last onesie and a white t-shirt I found.

The colors washed out.  I'm not sure if I didn't leave the dye on long enough (I was impatient), or if I should have washed in cold instead of warm, or if it's because I didn't soak in soda ash, or if it's just the nature of rit dye.

Son and Daughter were intrigued after seeing the first few attempts, and ran to grab me white t-shirts.  They got to pick the colors for the last batch.

Daughter's came out okay, but son's washed out.  
Any tips for getting those vibrant colors?  Is Rit dye not a good choice?  I used it because I have a ton.  I washed out the sizing from the clothes before dyeing so the only things I can think of are: water temp when rinsing/washing, my lack of soda ash, or the type of dye.
I'm still pleased with the results, and I had tons of fun in the process, but I was hoping for more vibrant colors.

Update: Microwaving when tie-dying with RIT dye makes a HUGE difference!

After reading some comments I decided to try a new technique - the microwave! I did not use soda ash.  I squirted the dye on the shirts, let them sit for a couple mins (long enough to wash my hands and rinse out the squirt bottles).  Then I put them in gallon size ziplock baggies.  I closed the baggies and microwaved for 1 minute. My microwave is pretty powerful, so if yours takes longer to heat food you might want to go for longer.  Keep an eye on it though. One of the bags melted a little at the top corner. Didn't make a hole, thank goodness! I then let the shirts cool back down to room temperature before rinsing out and tossing into the washing machine.
The picture I posted shows the difference the microwave makes! I was surprised. The colors are rich and dark (the overall color scheme was supposed to be dark, by request) and didn't fade much when washing.  I did wash on cold and will tell the guys who get these shirts to wash on cold also.
What do you think??
8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Pirate coin with Kraken on: June 29, 2010 08:34:21 PM
Hey all! It's been a long time since I have posted here.  I made this for zigg13pra for a OTT swap. She received, so it's safe for me to post here Smiley

I made a mold of a plastic pirate coin out of polymer clay. After pressing the raw clay into the mold, I rubbed it with mica powder and baked it. While it was baking I made the tentacles with suction cups.  I kind of curled them around the coin, added the head and baked a second time.  

Here's another pic to show size

What ye be thinkin'? Be it some look ye would plunder?  Or would ye make it walk the plank?  Wink
9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Jambalaya on: June 07, 2010 10:13:09 AM
After some gentle nudging from an awesome swap organizer, pinkleo, and her partner in crime, jennieingram (who says she enjoyed this recipe), I am posting my hubby's version of Jambalaya.

(teaser image for thumbnail)

1 large chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1.5 lbs Cajun sausage (smoked sausage may be substituted), sliced
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onoin, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
1.5 cups converted rice
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 envelopes Lipton Onion Soup Mix
7 cups water
1 lb shrimp, no tails, no shells, deveined
2 Tbps vegetable oil

- Heat oil in large stock pot over medium heat
- Add chicken and sausage. Cook until starts to brown, stirring occasionally

- Add celery, onion, garlic, spices/herbs. Cook until the veggies start to sweat, stirring occasionally

- Add tomatoes with juice. Cook until "they get a little juicy" (a couple mins)
- Add soup mix and water. Stir and bring to a boil. This is where i add the bay leaf, but you can add it at any time, really.

- Add rice. Continue boiling until most of the liquids have been absorbed. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot when stirring after the rice starts to absorb the liquids or it might burn.
- Add shrimp and continue cooking until shrimp are cooked (about 5 mins).
-Remove from heat and serve! Keep an eye out for that bay leaf. It's not poisonous, but it does not soften while cooking and could cut your mouth or throat. You don't want to hurt anyone with your cooking, so remove it! Wink

I find it difficult sometimes to find cajun sausage. Jewel used to carry it, but the one by me stopped for some reason. Now I find it at Dominick's. If you can't find cajun sausage, you can substitute smoked sausage, it just won't be as spicy.  This is the brand I use:

If you do not like or cannot eat pork, this sausage also comes in a chicken variety.

The packages of sausage come in 1lb, so I use 2lbs of sausage. For this batch I also used 2 med chicken breast instead of 1 large. It's all i had and I like chicken.
I also kind of guestimate the celery and onion. For this batch I used half of a large white onion and 4 stalks of celery.  When hubby cooks, he guestimates the spices as well.
You can really substitute any meats you like (or don't like). I am not a huge fan of shrimp, so we normally don't put in the shrimp. I did use shrimp for this batch; partially because i knew I would be taking pics, and partially as a treat for hubby. Smiley
With the cajun sausage and the cayenne pepper, this is a spicy dish. If you don't like spicy you can eliminate the cayenne and use smoked sausage instead of cajun. If you want more heat, add more cayenne!
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Cardboard Laundry Folder on: February 24, 2010 09:24:24 PM

Thumbnail for the preview Wink

I saw an instructable that had a ton of different ways to reuse cardboard. One of them was for a laundry folder, like the FlipFOLD.
I decided to give it a shot. I used 3 pieces of cardboard measuring 7"x18". I used the crease in the box as the fold for the center panel. For the side pieces I reinforced any creases with packing tape on the back. I then taped the center to the sides, only taping halfway down. I folded in each side, one at a time, and taped the back to reinforce.

All you do is center the shirt (or towel or what have you) on the center panel. Fold up any excess that hangs off the bottom. Fold on first one side, then the other. Finally, fold the center panel up. You're done! Perfectly folded shirts in no time flat.

Here is what is left of the box I started with. It probably measured 10x11 all folded up.
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