Welcome to my blog!

I used to blog here mostly using 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 then found myself posting about crafts and sewing projects I have done or are doing. These involve fabric recycling or re-use and refashioning of clothes, or 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!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Battered school buses? Fender-bendered children?

yellow school bus with hood open
DCPS yellow school bus behind fence in parking lot with otherstwo yellow schools buses, one with front door open, other with rear door openSo what's with the seemingly abandoned District of Columbia school buses on the 1400 block of New York Avenue NE? Every time I drive by on this stretch of road -- which is across from the old 'Streamline Moderne' Hecht Company Warehouse -- I see more than half a dozen disabled-looking yellow school buses just parked. Nearly all of them have either the front or rear door open, or the hood of the engine up or a bumper half hanging off or some serious-looking dings and dents or other defect showing them as unusable. I am assuming too that if a door is left open it means the door doesn't work (and surely this is an invitation to homeless people to stay in them at night). On the other side of the street are what I presume are the usable unbattered buses in an alternate parking lot; this lot of buses seems to be thinning out as the battered buses end up across the street. I seem to recall that the local school system bought a bunch of new buses recently -- sometime in the past 5 years -- and most of these buses look pretty new as the bright yellow paint seems fresh. However, the buses in the train-track side parking lot do look pretty battered up as if either the drivers aren't any good and/or they get into a LOT of fender benders. Or is that there's no maintenance? On one attorney company solicitation website they wrote that the "factors that commonly contribute to school bus accidents include: hazardous weather conditions; faulty vehicles; driver negligence; intoxicated drivers; defective roadways." It's pretty nerve-wracking to think that this number of school buses have so many accidents and that these may be caused by some serious driver bad behavior when our children are taken back and forth.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Corking Good Time Crafting

4 by 6 inch trivet made of 7 rows of plastic wine corks, 3 corks per row
4"x6" 'cork' trivet
14 in diameter red painted cardboard wreath covered in 45 wine corks
cardboard and cork wreath
interior door with wreath hanging on top of frosted glass portion of door
cork wreath hanging on door
Recently, I came across a box-load of wine corks that had been accumulating in my basement for years. I just don't like to throw things out but watching those Hoarder shows on TV has had an effect on me and I've become more serious about throwing things out. Or, in this case, getting a bit creative with some of the old rubbish lying around.  I sorted the corks by type, that is, whether they were real cork or that new plasticky-cork stuff that you find.  I used these plasticky ones to make a hot plate trivet. I arranged them in some semblance of order and just glued 'em together with some clear transparent super sticky type glue that I found in a tube in a drawer in the kitchen. Yes, I'm dehoarding kitchen drawers too!  Then I sorted all the real cork corks and found a lot of them had lovely little pictures or numbers or words or letters on them.  After finding a wreath-shaped piece of cardboard (yes, I'd saved that too and it was up for either the trash, re-cycling or crafting!) which I painted red with some, you guessed it, left-over craft paint I found in another drawer. I used red paint as it was the only little paint can that was still wet enough to use! Once the paint dried on the cardboard I started to arrange the corks around the wreath, first a lower level and then adding other ones on top, in a sort of higgledy-piggledy design.  I should say here that I went out on the Internet first and searched "What To Do With Old Corks?" and found numerous websites where people had pictures and descriptions of making stuff with old wine corks. So, suitably inspired by their ingenuity, I made a wreath and hot plate rest meself and feel quite satisfied with the final results.  I've already had some compliments from house guests about them, including questions. One asked about "how long it took to accumulate all those corks?" from my brother who is clearly checking up on me to see if I'm a wino or not.  The answer is "about 10 years of tippling," which seemed to disappoint him somewhat.  Another person asked "if the corks smelled?" which was an unexpected question.  The answer is "no as all the corks were quite old and dry when I used them." So, I will use these items for as long as I like and then I can either trash, re-cycle or upcycle them again whenever.  These items really didn't take long to make nor were they too complicated to put together as I had everything at hand somewhere ('hoarded'). And I do take pleasure in keeping things out of the landfill as much as possible though, don't you too?


Monday, July 1, 2013

Thanks to all the people who put the bloom in #Bloomingdaledc

on W St NW


alley behind Adams NW
on 1st NW
on Thomas St NW
I think it's great that there's so many people in Bloomingdale who are putting the bloom back in our neighborhood!  From window ledge pots, to small groupings of pots, to overhanging garages to planting around street signs and in tree boxes, even a short  walk about the streets shows a myriad of flowers and plantings.  Roses, petunias, vines, begonias and geraniums seem to be favorites and so many others I still enjoy despite not knowing their names! I'm just hoping none of them get destroyed in the July rains!