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1  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Antique Carpet Loom? on: June 29, 2011 09:35:23 PM
My uncle has gifted me with an antique carpet loom that is supposedly in good condition except for needing new heddles.  I learned to weave on an antique loom when I was a girl, but it's been a long time and I don't know what to do with it.  Where can I get heddles for such an old loom?  How do I learn to weave on it?  My uncle was the one who taught me to weave on the other old loom, but he has dementia and can't teach me anymore.  I was told it will fabric about 3' wide.
2  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Plastic yogurt/applesauce cups? Little metal fruit cocktail cans? on: December 02, 2009 07:03:22 AM
The kids are enrolled in an after-school snacks program that gives us LOTS of pudding, yogurt and applesauce in little 4-oz cups.  Nothing has a lid, otherwise it would be bead storage galore!  We have so many of these things!  Some get used for paint cups, snack cups, or salsa/chutney dishes but we still have a rapidly growing stack of them sitting around. 

The cups are different shapes.  The pudding cups are taller, with a square-ish brim.  The yogurt cups are shallow, and the applesauce cups are more rounded with a "quilted" jelly-jar texture to them.

We also have lots of the little cans that fruit cocktail comes in.  I've been using the pull-tops to make painted Solstice ornaments, and wanted to make tea-light holders with the cans, drilling little holes in the side for the light to shine through, but the cans always dent around the holes, making it look misshapen and awful.  I've tried putting a small block of wood inside, doesn't help much.  Any ideas on how to punch or drill better looking holes in the cans, and/or other ways to use them?
3  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / plastic six-pack rings? Hammock? on: November 14, 2009 06:34:02 PM
I read in The Tightwad Gazette that those plastic connector rings from 6-packs can be used to make a hammock, tied together with fishing line.  Has anyone ever tried this?

I did find this:

and the semi-tutorial from the hammock:

I can't quite understand how the folded rings go together, though.  It seems like this may hold more weight than one that's made by just tying the connector rings together with nylon.

A worker at a local health food store overheard me talking about this once, and so she asked the other employees to start saving the rings from the beverage cooler and their own drinks so that I could try this.  She just gave me a bag full of them and there's more where they came from.  I want to keep these deadly things out of landfills and waterways, and put them to good use.  Any other suggestions, either for making better hammocks, or for other projects using the rings, would make me grateful!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / trying to add patchwork in side of jeans on: November 10, 2009 07:38:56 PM
I'm getting really frustrated.  Maybe I'm wording my searches wrong.

I have gained a little weight, and I want to alter my old jeans by ripping up the sides and inserting a patchwork panel to make them a little bigger.  What do I do about the waistband?  Do I just cut it where I'm ripping up the sides?  I had found instructions in a blog or something online and I've been searching for hours and am coming up with how to make bell bottoms and maternity jeans and inserting gussets and everything else except what I'm actually looking for.  A friend of mine had a pair of cords like this and it really looked great.  I should be able to add a few inches to the sides at the same time, right?  What about the pockets?  Will they be in the way?

If someone has either advice or a link I'd be so grateful.
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / small space, lots of clutter, mismatched furniture...HELP! on: November 08, 2009 09:39:22 PM
It's been 2 years since a fire claimed most of our possessions.  We're still living with donated and thrift store furniture.  We have a small cottage, and storage is a problem.  I have few book cases and dressers right now to keep stuff in, and because the kids' room is small their dressers are in the living room.  Nothing matches, and it's pretty garish.  The bookcases are crammed with stuff in cardboard boxes, board games, and of course books (which seem to reproduce faster than coat hangers.)  A lot of this stuff was donated and so I felt guilty about getting rid of it, and really, decorating has been on the bottom of my priority list.

I still have very little money to work with.  However, I do have a gift for repurposing and fixing old things up.  I also realize it's going to be a slow process: decorating is still nowhere near the top of my priority list but its getting to the point where a makeover may help me feel better about my situation and move on.  I do have about a gazillion pairs of jeans, and I was thinking about using them to make furniture covers, shades, and/or a braided rug.  (In my fantasy, I'd like rustic furniture made out of logs with cushions made out of jeans in traditional quilt patterns.)  But I don't know what to do about the storage problem and all the ugly boxes on the bookshelves.  And while I wish I could make the ugly mis-matched furniture look better while I work on buying and making better things.

Suggestions?  This place looks awful!
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