Monday, May 6, 2013

Home Made Grid-it (no-sew version) Tutorial

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I think a post on Lifehacker.com alerted me to Grid-it organizers.  They’re a brilliant way to store cords and other things that can get lost in a backpack or bag.  I needed one to corral my “cord drawer.”  So I knew that it only need to be one sided and I didn’t want to sew. 

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1.Book cover and fabric.  This is a good time to cut out the corners of your fabric.
2. Using lots of random elastic I started to make my grid. 

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3.  pinned my elastic to the fabric (I realize now I should have just stapled the elastic to the fabric and avoided this ridiculous step.).  Do you like the FEDCO elastic from the 1980s?  My mother only paid a $1.07 for it!
4.  The elastic going perpendicular to the elastic in step 2 are being placed. 

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5.  Woven and rewoven to get the right spacing of elastic
6.  Stapled all the elastic to the fabric

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7.  For extra security, adhere Hello Kitty Duct Tape to corners.  Wrap one bookcover with fabric/elastic grid.
8.  Hot glue to matching bookcover. 

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The cord drawer is no longer a nest of tangled cords! 

I have since made several other grid-it organizers using this method (sewing machine needed):  http://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-cheap-grid-it-wrap-organizer/

And if you really want to take it to a new level:
http://www.designsponge.com/2011/08/diy-project-vintage-book-travel-tech-organizer.html

Monday, April 29, 2013

Speech Tournament Board

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A friend whose daughter was doing a speech on Apple wanted to revamp her display boards.

The monitor screen is actually a box and smaller boards pull out as she delivers her speech.  For the mouse and keyboard we added some old telephone wires. 

A fun project and a great speech!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beaded Safety Pin Bracelet

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The Klutz book strikes again.  A fun project to do while watching tv.
Haven’t had the opportunity to wear it out – not sure what to wear it WITH!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Neck Warmer

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Crocheted with Lion Brand Yarn
Birthday Gift for Grandma who loves blue. 

Someone said the colors reminded them of the foam layer under carpets. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crafting a Mid-life Crisis: Part 1

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I think I’m having a Mid-life Crafting Crisis.  I have dabbled in too many crafts.

Here is the evolution of my adult crafting career:

Scrapbooking combined lots of things I like – paper, stickers, fun colored pens, sharp cutting tools, and double-sided adhesives.  It was a good thing to preserve memories on acid-free, lignin-free pages.  The result:  a 15-lb tome on the first 6 months of the first-born child. 
I think I eventually made about 20 12x12 fully loaded albums, 10 5x7 albums, and a couple of 8x10s.  People talk about what they would take if they had to evacuate their homes and they always mention their photos.  A scrapbooker is in deep yogurt. 

The thing that made this hobby even more insidious is becoming a consultant or representative of a direct-sales company.  It totally fed the habit.   And it was nice to be making a few extra bucks to dump back into the habit.  (This is beginning to sound like a drug addiction.)  Making minimum orders sometimes means “filling-the-cart-with-my-own-orders” and next thing you know you have a great surplus.  And eventually you see the light and the empty wallet and need to quit.  I still have stuff from my consultant days.

I was pretty current on all my albums.  I needed something else to fill my time and stumbled upon another hobby:  Stamping.  Again, this hobby combine the things I liked:  paper, stickers, fun colored pens, sharp cutting tools, and double-sided adhesives.  Cards were nice because they were tiny finite projects.  Scrapbooking involved a continuum and long-term design.  It also helps if you take good pictures.  I churn out a couple hundred cards a year.  Most of them are given away.  It’s easy to do in front of the tv.  No concentration is involved for writing something meaningful or lasting.  The worse thing about making cards is finding enough envelopes.  And then it got crazy buying new stamps every month as part of a hostess club. 

I do love all the pretty stamps out there and all the pretty ink pads.  Stampers are a pretty creative lot.  They do some amazing things – pop-ups, spinners, etc.  It’s nice to add lumpy and bumpy pieces.  They use glitter! Pretty ribbons!  Twine!  Adhesive jewels!  Buttons!  Prima flowers!  I’m collecting it all!  I began saving lots of really odd and end pieces:  ribbons, metallic paper, cording, etc. 

Collecting weird objects will lead you into Altered Objects.  In crafting ages past, this was called decoupage.  Find something which could be more interesting by gluing stuff to it.  Now I was on the lookout for interesting tins, clipboards, cool boxes, compositions books.  And now I’m collecting more adhesives – shiny, matte, spray, glittery.

Somewhere in all this papercrafting I’ve picked up a couple of big tools for die cutting.  I think die With the right dies/software/tools you can create some spectacular things.  Regular humans who live at home can cut vinyl and cut felt precisely.  I have two workhorses:  The red sizzix machine and the original Cricut (“Baby Bug”).  I also have the sizzix sidekick, but hardly remember it.  With the cricut I also have Craftedge’s Sure Cuts A Lot.  What can’t be designed now?!?!  

I thought the steel rule die cuts were miraculous When the embossing folders and Spellbinders dies became widely available, I couldn’t diecut/emboss enough pieces of paper. 

I could also justify collecting all this stuff because of Lapbooking.  If you’re a homeschooler, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s like scrapbooking with file folders and it’s usually about something the kids are studying in school.  It involves copious amounts of colored cardstock and folding (enter paper-scoring board).  It’s really educational, so go ahead and order more paper online!

Part 2:  leaving Papercrafting

Easter Stained “Glass”

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This was a great project for our mixed age co-op group. 

Materials:  
Contact Paper – Clear (cut larger than your sheet of black construction paper)
Black Construction Paper
Assorted colors of Tissue Paper
white chalk

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Closer-up pictures

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Quick Instructions:

1.  using white chalk, draw a design on your black construction paper.  Be sure to have a frame on your black construction paper.  Keep in mind that this side of the paper will eventually become the back of your project.  So if you are planning to use letters, make sure they are reversed. 

2.  Cut out your design. 

3.  Remove the wax liner from your contact paper sheet.  Place it adhesive side up on table. 

4.   Place your black construction paper (with the chalk side up) centered on your contact paper. 

5.  Apply tissue paper to adhesive.  Some of the kids tore up the tissue paper and stuck it to the contact paper. Other kids filled each stained glass “chunk’ with one color of tissue paper (see angel).  One kid cut out a heart and placed it behind the cross. 

6. Either fold or cut excess contact paper

7.  Place in window and enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby Sweater

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This was one of my first crochet projects.  It is a super-easy and cute baby sweater.  I made about 8 of them before I realized I didn’t know that many babies.  I made Star Trek ones.  And then I made white ones which needed finishing so it would be ready for any upcoming new baby. 
The pattern I used can be found here:  http://www.crochetme.com/media/p/88283.aspx

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Personal Library Checkout & Bookmark/Reminder

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I love sharing  books with friends.  It gets pretty bad when I can’t remember who I loaned it to.  The bottom half is detachable and is a bookmark for the borrower.  The top half reminds me who has the book. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

My First and Last Quilt

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I call this my first and last quilt.  It was a craft idea from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Christmas issue a couple of years ago.  It is a lap quilt for my grandmother.   So it’s about 4’ x 4’.  In concept it is pretty easy.  But I learned a couple of things: 
1)  I am not a precise cutter
2)  I do not do well with precise seam allowances
3)  Quilting involves all sorts of precise cutting and seam allowances. 
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I know it is a little presumptuous to call it my first and last quilt.  I’ve seen another pattern I’d like to try someday.  I live in fear of becoming a quilting fabric collector.  (Yeah, I’m talking about you, Laura and Irene).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rocks, er... Paperweights with Melted Crayons

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It’s a long story involving someone’s 50th birthday and her obsession with rocks.
This craft involved heating rocks in the oven (yes, the very oven I cook food in) and then pressing crayons onto it.  I see some interesting possibilities for making giant gold nuggets and earths if one is patient enough.
I don’t know what the birthday girl did with her new rocks….

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Tea Bag Party Favor

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This was made for a Birthday Tea party.  An assortment of teas are in each bag. 
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