Covering Lamp Shades

20150812 - lampsI’ve wanted to cover my lamp shades for quite a while. I bought them for their size and shape and price in Ikea’s As-Is section… but they don’t really match my décor, the pink ones especially. With Pinterest I looked into covering them with fabric, covering them with wall paper, decoupage, removing the fabric to use the frame, even painting them!

In the end I opted for the path of least resistance, and decided to just re-cover them with fabric. I love how they turned out, especially my bedroom ones where I used leftover curtain fabric (thrifty and matching, yay!), what I was not counting on was that when the light is turned on… the original color/pattern shows through the new fabric. Had I known that I might have been more careful when hot gluing the edges down, lol…

20150812 - more lamps

Mermaid Beach Blanket

A while ago I embroidered some mermaids onto blocks cut from an old fancy sheet I got at a yard sale, the mermaids are from the site Sweet November, here is how they turned out:

click on it to see closer detail

click on it to see closer detail

I was really unsure what to do with them, I knew from the start I wanted them incorporated into a beach blanket, but how? Eventually I just decided to go for it! I used some cotton gauze scraps leftover from my skirt sewing to make blocks, sewed it all up simple quilt style. For the backing I used a very large piece of plastic fabric (the kind you make diapers out of) because we have damp beaches here in Oregon :D, and edged it all in brown and black scraps of more cotton gauze. Crude, but effective, and kinda hippie ;)

beach blanet

Little Felt Starfish

The little town of Seaside holds an annual treasure hunt around the city every summer. At the beginning of the summer they release nine picture clues with a matching written clue. If you enter the contest in the most creative way you can think of, you could win a paid vacation to Seaside for four! So I made a little seastar out of orange felt, we bought him a stick, and we took a photo of him with each clue so he was our little friend for our whole vacation while we searched for “treasure”!

Since the seastar is Seaside’s logo, I started researching felt seastars, and the one I loved best was at the blog While She Naps, that gave me the inspiration to do one with wavy arms instead of strait like when they are dried. I googled starfish outlines, and came across a pattern by Kid Spot, you can download it here: Starfish Pattern

I used the larger of the two patterns, cut one side out in orange felt, the other out of yellow felt, and added the eyes and mouth. I blanket stitched them together with orange embroidery floss, stuffing it as I went, and left a little hold near the bottom for the stick. Easy!

Variation of a Cabbage Patch Hat

I had a rush request on etsy over the weekend for a halloween costume hat… I started it this morning on the commute train, and finished it on my lunch break, using an adaptation of my free Cabbage Patch Hat Pattern, here is what I ended up creating…

Crochet Hat, “Abby from NCIS”
Size 2TBlack Hat
Hook: Size H crochet hook
Yarn: Vanna’s Choice Soft, Black
Round 1: ch 3, join to form loop, ch 3, 11 dc
Round 2: 2 dc each dc around. Place a “marker yarn” in a different color to keep track of rounds.
Round 3: *2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc*, repeat from * around.
Round 4: *2 dc in next dc, dc in next 2 dc*, repeat from * around.
Round 5-9: dc in each dc around.
Round 10: hdc in each dc around
Round 11: sc in each stitch around.

Making Pigtails
Cut 32 strands of yarn, 20 inches long. Tie a 10 inch string in the middle of the strands with a double knot.

Attaching Pigtails
Use the top loose string ends to join to the hat between rows 3 and 4, toward the back. Trim the pigtail so that it just reaches the shoulders, but don’t trim too even so it still looks realistic. Repeat for the other side!

Attaching Loose Bangs in the Front
Cut about 46 strands of yarn, 8 inches long. Tie two at a time to the front 16 stiches of row 7, and to every other stitch of row 8, the row underneath to add depth. (Do a loop tie, by holding the yarn in half, then using a crochet hook to pull the loop through, and drawing the two loose ends through the loop.) Trim the bangs very even, just barely above the child’s eyebrows.

Umbrella Table Cloth

I’ve been meaning to make a table cloth for our new patio table, but I could not think of the color I wanted.

I suddenly realized that I’d picked up a free table cloth at the end of a yard sale last year! It had a few holes, and was not something I wanted to actually use as a tablecloth indoors, but as an outdoor table cloth it would work just fine!

I had to cut it to fit around the pole through the middle of the table, and then used my new snap press to make sure it could go back together! Free tablecloth! Yay!!

Snap Holder

We were so excited by our new snap machine that we bought snaps in all kinds of colors! But then I was presented with the dilemma of how to store them without buying plastic… I considered making little pouches out of scraps, but that seemed time consuming, and then how would I store those? A bigger pouch?? Then I remembered a bunch of tiny bottles that I’d picked up free at the end of a yard sale one time. I almost didn’t take them since they didn’t have lids, but now I’m so glad that I did! I rubber banded them in threes, and tucked them into one corner of my sewing notions drawer! Perfection!!

Snap Hand Press

There have been a few projects that I’ve wanted to put snaps on, the metal sew on kind are cumbersome, so I looked into getting a snap press. The reviews about most of them are quite terrible, until I found this one:
KAM Snap Pliers Hand Press Setter Tool
and it works wonderfully!

DIY Kindle Cover

I love the smell and feel of books, and just would not consider trading those for another screen in my life, however, I have finally broke down and bought a kindle.

It’s hard to hold onto a heavy book when you are standing on the train, and often there are things I want to read that are not audio, but are in ebook form. However, the main reason that I finally agreed to a kindle was to replace my recipe book in the kitchen. I was forever printing new recipes, or making changes to a recipe and reprinting it. So now I store my cookbook files on my kindle and access them without running all the way to the computer or wasting paper by printing them. It’s a system that is working very well!

The one thing I could NOT agree with was wasting money on a cover. So using scraps I had around the house, I made a soft cover.
1. Measured out a scrap of flannel, and a scrap of cotton.
2. Hem the cotton.
3. Pin the cotton inside to the flannel outside with a layer of felt in the middle for padding.
4. Also pin in the straps.
5. Sew a finishing stitch around the edge of everything.
Simple :)

Shoe Bag

My grandpa was from the Ozark mountains in Arkansas, “barefoot arkie” was proudly used as a common term in my family’s household, and possible for that reason no one in my family suffered shoes unless necessary. I was raised barefoot , or in sandals, during Arizona’s nearly unbearable summers, and after my brief three year stint in elementary school, returned to being barefoot as much as socially acceptable. So I was no stranger to the practice of being barefoot, what changed was my perception of why we should be barefoot, and why it’s healthier for our feet, from the book Born to Run, and since then I’ve worn shoes less and less in public. Carrying my sandals in my backpack to put on for stores, but enjoying every textured sidewalk between my home and my destination. In my last backpack I had a pouch dedicated to housing my shoes. I now have a new-to-me lighter weight backpack I got at a yard sale for 75 cents, but my shoes will have to go where I put my lunch, that’s a no go! Hence, a shoe bag! I started with a circle and 6 double crochet, then increased rounds until I got the size base I wanted, next I did 1 double crochet per double crochet up until I got the height required for my sandals. Another quick easy project for the train ride!!

Plastic… Socks?

I saw this great idea at Instructables to apply plastic to the bottom of socks, as a little protection against the continuing cold of spring, before I can really walk barefoot everywhere this summer, and I LOVED the idea. I found the liquid plastic at a hardware store, and Meg and I tried it out. Our first go went terrible, we tried to use a cardboard cutout inside the sock to hold it open, and the plastic seeped through the knit and stuck to the cardboard. We had to toss the whole mess in the trash. The second try went minimally better… I researched it a little more and saw someone who put their foot in a plastic sack then put the sock over that, so the plastic sock would mold to the foot as it dried. I took a book out to the patio, applied the plastic, then read for an hour or more before removing the socks to finish drying in the garage. Sadly, the plastic made the socks shrink and now they don’t fit me right. I’ve seen several websites where this project works, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I probably will not try again since I’m out of the liquid plastic, but it was a fun project to attempt! And I can’t wait to be able to go barefoot soon!

Fabric Paint. A whole new world!

I’ve really love the unique look of painted fabric, however I’ve been too timid to try for a long time. After reading Alabama Channing’s books, and seeing the way she paints fabric, I began researching it again the other day, really meaning to do it this time. I spent a dreadfully long boring hour looking at stencils at JoAnn’s and eBay that clearly had not been updated since the 1990’s, they all looked so blah and drab, I just could not stand it, so I moved on and kept searching styles of fabric painting. When I came across a blog article at Craft Critique, I realized that I’m not bound by typical store bought stencils, and suddenly remembered that the wonderful point of Chain’s chapter on stenciling was that she made her own! And that is something that I can easily do with Photoshop, so I got to work! I tried out of the stencils on a simple black skirt, and it turned out okay, I think you used the wrong brush, but more practice and I think I’ll get it, I’m just getting started!!

Here is a free pattern download: Stenciled Skirts Patterns

Leather Jump Ropes

When I can’t get to the gym, or just for fun, I’ve been trying jump rope. I got a book about jump rope for exercise from the library called “Jump Rope Training” by Buddy Lee. My rope is strong cord with wooden handles that I got from Goodwill for $3, and I like it a lot, it’s well weighted.

Jared wanted to try a leather rope, so we put some research into one, apparently it’s a good idea to oil the rope before use so that it doesn’t dry out and crack. The tip we got was from an reviewer to put the leather rope in Wesson Oil for three days, then wipe with a rag, and let dry for a couple days. We did that exactly and it seems to be working fine!

The Spring View

I took a couple days off for spring break last week, and finally had time for a little sewing. Not much, some hemming and mending, and a new reusable bag, but oh I enjoyed the new view out my window, now that it’s SPRING!

Crocheted Rainbow Bracelet

Just wanted to quickly share this little bracelet that I made for Kaylee in rainbow colors…

Rainbow Bracelet Crochet Pattern
Gather the rainbow in embroidery floss:

Starting with red, chain until you have the right size for the wearer
Still with red, sc in second chain from hook, and in every chain to the end
Sc a row in each color until you have completed the rainbow.
Tie the ends into a secure knot!

DIY Ottoman

I’ve always wanted an ottoman large enough to fit the couch blankets in, but refuse to put a couple hundred into it. So, I don’t remember where I saw this idea, but I love it! I bought the fabric during the crazy black Friday sales, and picked up the largest tub Target carried, and presto! A huge ottoman for under $30!

I used about two yards of Felt by Yard in gray for the tub, and about a yard of Faux Fur in black for the lid. I took notes as I winged this pattern, but I lost them! If I ever find them I’ll update this post.

This was my little helper during this project: