Welcome to my blog!

Up until recently I blogged mostly based on local photos about my neighborhood or Washington DC or other places I visited. But I took a break from the blog for a few months and find myself now posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing, with most involving recycling, re-use and other frugalities. I've left up the previous blogs. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Turning Old Shoulder Pads Into Something Useful: Pincushions

I've snipped out a lot of shoulder pads from dresses I've refashioned but can't bring myself to throw them out. So one use I whipped together in about 20 minutes was to turn two pairs of them into pincushions I can use while sewing.  I just took the pair and stitched them together, leaving an opening for stuffing. I stuffed them with some left-over cotton wool from pill bottles (another item I've accumulated that was looking for a re-use!), trimmed the edges with some leftover decorative edgings and also inserted some ribbons as ties so I could tie these pincushions into useful places. I used a wooden dowel to help shove in the cotton wool, but not packed too tightly or it makes it hard to push in the pins. One pincushion ended up on my left arm for those pins I remove as I sew, and the other is now attached to the sewing machine for quick pin pick-up.  Some people use elastic to tie these types of pincushions on but I don't as I find the elastic itches my skin.  Anyway, I was quite happy to find a use for these old shoulder pads, the cotton wool and the odds and ends of embellishments.

Old Light Bulbs Become Christmas Decorations

I'd accumulated some old light bulbs that I didn't want to put in the trash and hadn't found my way over to the recycling center, so I decided to turn them into Christmas ornaments. A quick couple of sprays with the silver spray paint and then I glued on some ribbon as a way to hang them and eh voila, nine light bulbs have a new use. Now I didn't finish them before Christmas so they didn't make it to our Christmas tree this year, but I'll be storing them away for next year with the other glass baubles and will hang them then.  Over the year I may think about adding other decorative elements to these, such as gluing on some shapes in bright colors or putting red or green strips of ribbon on them or some white snowflakey things...... well I've got 11 months to think about this.  Just glad to explore re-use of used light bulbs!

Gingham scraps become lunch bag

Someone saw my blue gingham lunch bag and asked me to make them one so I scrounged around in the fabric stash and found the last of the pink gingham and blue gingham fabric leftovers and made this cute little lunch tote bag. It is lined with the pink gingham and has a little pocket on the outside for a teabag or pack of nuts or something.  The hardest part of this little fabrication was making sure the zipper in the top was set right as I inserted the fabric handles between the zipper and bag wall.  Anyway, this is the only photo I have of this item and I'm quite proud of continuing to bust through my stash of cloth and make useful items for me and others.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Kleenex Box Make-Over for Advent

This was a quick make-over of a Kleenex box that had autumnal images on it and just didn't look good now that it's Advent. So I found the Christmas cards from last year and said "hmm what can I do with these rather than THROW THEM OUT AND HAVE THEM END UP IN LANDFILL?" So I cut out some of the images to fit the sides of the kleenex tissue box and glued them down with some Elmer's glue that needed using before it dried out. Then, since I'd snapped up some shiny tape from the Dollar Store, I used that to trim the rough edges of the box. And eh, voila! A decorated tissues box from ole stuff. All it took was used cards, glue, scissors and some tape.   If only 15 minutes like this every day could help with re-use, reduce and recycle of everything else......

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Cheapo Chalkboard for the Kitchen

Inspired by all the chalk paint projects on Pinterest, I decided we needed to have a blackboard in the kitchen for lists and notes and stuff.  So I picked up a cardboard-backed picture at a Salvation Army thrift store for $4.99 and lugged it home. After giving it a good clean -- and it was very dusty -- I took apart the picture from the frame, pulling out the very old and rusty nails that held the picture to the frame. After re-gluing the frame corners with E6000 super glue as they too were on the old and rickety side,  I then sprayed several coats of some left-over green paint on the frame, letting them dry overnight. Then using the spray chalkboard black paint I coated the picture over several times, during the course of several days, letting them dry overnight. All of this I did outside as the fumes were plentiful. I then re-glued and tacked the image back into the frame and hung it up in the kitchen for our use. The hardest part of this project was hanging this at the right height so we could easily write on it without it wobbling about!  It's great to have a chalkboard in the kitchen for shopping lists, notes, etc.