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 and may occasionally revert to those topics again. May your days be blessed with miracles, surprises and creativity too!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Images That May Influence Something I'm Making

Well, although I said I was going to use this blog for all the sewing and artsy-craftsy things I've been doing lately, I still take photos of stuff that catches my eye that I use for artistic inspiration or to spur my creativity.  Recently, inside the GAO building on H Street I noticed all the decorative embellishments all over the doors and walls. There's a castle of some kind of shiny metal on the marble walls that I think is used as a symbol by the Army Corps of Engineers. There's eagles in the parquet wood along the tops of the panelling in the elevators. And then on the elevator doors are stamped metal images of all kinds of American motif things, such as corn stalks bending in the wind.  I'm not exactly sure how these images are going to inspire or enhance my sewing or other projects but I think they all go into that vast visual imagery software in my brain and that somehow some of them will find a way to influence whatever I'm doing.

Old Towel Turned Into Kitchen Apron

Well, I haven't put much up here lately as I've been really busy busting through the fabric pile and finishing several big scale sewing projects. One of the smaller, quicker projects was a re-cycle or re-use of part of a green towel that got frayed out on one end and was really raggedy and headed for the landfill. But no, I just had to turned the untorn half into something useful. So I hacked off the torn up part and made it into an apron using some left-over green bias tape to make the ties more interesting and to bind the pocket. I always put pockets on my aprons for cell phone or keys or candy or something.  I've already used this green towel apron a lot, hence the stain on it already! But it's totally washable as it's an old towel!

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.