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!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Easy Peasy Pencil Pen Scissor Holder

This little project took me almost no time at all, except for the paint drying part. It starts with a nuts can -- cashews, peanuts, mixed nuts come in this packaging. Once you've eaten the nuts (!) rinse and dry out the can. Take off the plastic lid and spray paint the can with whatever leftover colored paint you have. I used the apple green left over from some other projects. While the paint is drying, punch half a dozen slits in the plastic lid with a scissors blade and then cut across them to make X-shaped openings into which you will push pens, pencils, scissors, etc.   Once the paint is dry, you can decorate the outside of the can however you like -- in this case I had some gold-colored duct tape (an amazing product you should snap up every time you see it on sale in the Dollar Store or a hardware store).  I then weighted the can with some stones and put the lid on it and stuck in the pens and pencils.  Hey presto change, another item kept out of the landfill and made useful in my kitchen through recycling and re-use.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Transforming Cargo Pants into Small Cargo Bag

There seem to be a lot of jeans in the fabric stash, so once again I stitched together a bag using an old pair of my son's khaki cargo pants that were horribly worn in the knees and way too small for him.  I just hacked off the pieces that had the wonderful big pockets on them and made those the sides of the bag after opening up the pant seams and stitching two big pieces together.  I then made a strap out of the rest of the leftover fabric and found another piece of fabric in my fabric stash to make a lining. This fabric was something I'd hacked off the bottom of a pink dress that I had remade into a shorter version -- you can tell I hang onto all kinds of bits of fabric!  I then embellished this bag with some brown grosgrain ribbon left over from some other project and stitched in some Velcro snaps in the top so the bag could be closed. And, hey presto chango, I had a small cargo bag.  Now, this became a gift to my sister who thought it very useful to carry all those extra things she wants to take to work with her, like shoes, or make-up or lunch.  She noted that the outside pockets were great for cell phones or keys.  I said "the whole thing is washable too!"  I just love hacking through my fabric stash with these types of useful recycling projects!
Pink floral lining and Velcro "snaps" at top of bag

Spray Painting Trash Into Treasure

Several months ago I picked out of the trash from the alleys around here a little round wooden table and a plant holder. I've been hanging on to them and nearly threw them back out again (nope, I'm not one of them TV hoarders!) except I got some pink spray paint recently on sale ($2 a can!) and just knew what to do with it. After a quick wipe down, over about three days I spray painted these items outside with about three coats of paint, letting them dry overnight.  I put these items out on my front porch to join the other colorful chairs and plants there.  I'm quite happy about this recycle-reuse activity as I really did need a little table on the porch for cups of tea and cookies and that plant really did need someplace to belong other than the floor. That's the trick to not being a hoarder, you just have to do something with it right away! 

Turning Almond Milk Bottles Into Candlesticks

Inspired yet again by all the arty crafty things I see on Pinterest, I decided to do something with the shapely almond milk plastic bottles I seem to accumulate. So I stripped off the plastic labels from three Califia almond milk bottles and took them outside to paint them with some silver spray paint I'd recently acquired for $2 at a going-out-of-business sale at a nearby hardware store (Brookland True Value) and that was leftover from another project (spray painting used light bulbs as Christmas ornaments). Over a couple of days I did about two coats of this nice shiny silver spray paint on the bottles.  I then inserted some plastic candle holders I'd kept from a floral centerpiece that someone had once given me (yes, you can find a use for all those bits and  pieces you are hoarding!) and after also spraying them silver, put some bright orange candles in them. The candles I got at T.J. Maxx on sale, ten for $4!  I also weighted the bottles with some stones on their insides so there'd be no tipping over! Two of the candlesticks  I put next to my fall floral display in the dining room and the other one got a bit more gussied up with a green ribbon and silver paint sprayed fake flower for a kitchen shelf. I'm quite happy with these ornaments and know I can change out the colors, candles and embellishments once Christmas, Easter, St. Valentine's Day, or a birthday comes along. Who'd have thought painting ole plastic bottles and keeping them out of the dump could be so fun?