Tag Archives: upcycle

My Poor, Poor Fingers!

18 Mar

If you ask my doctor I’ll be 35 weeks pregnant next week.  If you ask my sister’s doctor (who counts differently), I’ll be 36 weeks pregnant next week.  Either way, my belly is swollen, my shoes don’t fit, and my poor little fingers haven’t been able to tolerate more than ten or so minutes worth of hookery lately.  Boo.

I miss you, yarn!

Solution?  Some non-yarny crafts!  I know, I know – they’re not nearly as awesome (or as dragony) as I’d like, but until my fingers stop looking like hot dogs it’s the best I can do.

So.  Check this out:  An old, ugly cork board I inherited from my brother when he went away to college (in 1998), a pillow case that didn’t fit any of the pillows in my house, and various & sundry craft supplies!

ok, so there's a little bit of yarn.  *grin*

The only logical thing to do was to use my crafting superpowers to somehow turn this pile of crap…err… craft supplies… into a useful item: one of those quilted picture board thingies that all the frou-frou Cornflake Girls like to make.

Step Two: slit the seams of the old pillow case, cover the batting & pull it tight around the edges, then hot glue gun it to the back of the cork board. Try not to hot glue your fingers to the cork board (also difficult).

Step Three: do some measuring & string some -gasp- yarn evenly to create a quilty pattern. I'd tell you my measurements, but unless my cork board is the exact same size as yours it really won't help. Just make sure it's even.

I’m pretty sure the frou-frou crafty Cornflake Girls would have used some sort of fabulous ribbon for the stringing, but, well.  I never was a Cornflake Girl, so… black hemp yarn it is!  If you look closely you’ll also see that I actually drove tiny nails the entire way through the cork board to mark each cross-over.  I could do that because it was soft cork, and I recommend it if you use a pillow case with any sort of straight line pattern (like mine).  I *did* drive the nails the entire way through the cork, and here’s why:

Because Nina! Yay!

Uhh, I mean… because of the buttons.

Step Four: Sew a button over each cross-over on the board, making sure your yarn (or thread) goes the entire way through the cork board and contains both sides of the yarn you've already strung. In other words, don't just sew the button to the top of the pillow case or it won't work.

If you do the sewing right you’re going to either need a thimble or some serious finger first-aid.  I recommend the thimble.  Finished product:

It's my boy!

I sacrificed my vanity to make room for a bassinet in Husband & I’s bedroom, so the trade-off is this new creation… a cool place to display the pictures and whatnots that used to be attached to the sides of my vanity mirror!  Hooray!

Two quick notes:

1: I couldn’t just toss the pillow case because my moM made it for me.  When I went away to college she made me a t-shirt quilt with all the shirts I’d acquired from various musicals, plays, and other high school events.  The back of the quilt is made of the two fabrics you see in the picture – a dark blue with glitter and the little rain squares.  FUN!  I used the pillow & quilt the whole way through college, and still use the quilt to snuggle up in when I’m feeling sick.  The pillow part of the pillow wore out, but I couldn’t just throw the case away now, could I?

2: You’re going to love what I did to the vanity mirror… stay tuned for a new post soon!

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Good Lord! I Have A Blog!

13 Sep

How do you like that?  A BLOG!  I should probably post some things occasionally; I hear that’s how this whole blogging thing works.  AAAAAnd, since I really failed at posting this summer, I’ve got a ton of cool project stuff to show you, so the posts will be prolific for a while! Yay!

Let’s start with this. It lived its first life as a horrible (HORRIBLE) fake oil painting of a little boy that our neighbors unceremoniously dumped in the trash.  Can you guess what it is now?

Well, friends, I’ll tell you.  It’s a triple threat: part wall-hanging, part earring holder, part AWESOME!

And SOMEONE will be getting it for Christmas (although I’m keeping my owl earrings – they’re too awesome to share).  =)

I made a free standing earring holder too:

No tiny pictures to display? No problem!

I’m not sure you can see the earrings in this shot, but they’re my absolute favorite pair – they’re little olive trees – Husband got them for me when we were on Honeymoon in Spain & Gibraltar, and I wear them *almost* every day.

I found a pattern to make these on Ravelry (here’s the link: http://www.stitchdiva.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=FREE011), but I ended up using my own pattern in the end – it’s the same general idea, just a different stitch.

I may make a few more of these – they’re a really cool way to use up frames that don’t match your decor (or frames that have weird shaped picture slots) and they work up really quickly! Upcycled organizational gifts, hoooooooooo!  =)

Sweet Mother of… erm… Babies.

22 Jul

My friend is going to have a baby soon, and since babies tend to like, you know, toys and clothing, I made the following:

the cutest hat in all the land

 

the cutest bunny lovie in all the land

 

the cutest baby shoes in all the land

 

Uhm, so, yes, as usual, I found all of these patterns for FREE. You can find them here:

PIXIE HAT

BUNNY LOVIE (you’ll need a LionBrand login for this one)

BABY SHOES

And as usual, I shunned wrapping paper (SHUN!) and transformed a regular old paper bag into a lovely little gift-giving device with a hole punch and a bit of ribbon:

 

Congratulations, Brandee & Richard!!!

Well, *someone* had to try on the hat!

Kevin’s New Clothes

21 Jun

I got a new little skin for Kevin… isn’t it pretty?

 

After peeling out the frame I had a whole inside’s worth of sticker left, and since I’m my mother’s daughter, I couldn’t bear to throw it away.

I also had these, which I made a while back, and whose color scheme was starting to annoy me:

adorable, but not so much with the matching of my kitchen.

 

Outdated Bottle Cap Magnets + Leftover Sticker Cover = WIN!

Here’s a close up of my favorite fortune ever (I’ve had it since…uhm… well, I’ve had it for so long I can’t remember)!

And there you have it!  New clothes for everyone, a fun way to use something that otherwise would’ve been thrown away, and some excellent advice! Enjoy!

Oh, and FYI: we don’t really keep pictures of shoes on our fridge.  That’s a reminder of what Miss Nina looked like way back in November 2010 when we first brought her home.

a picture of a picture of a picture of a...

Enviro-Kitty Got Me Thinking

9 Mar

Since Nina’s been so in to saving the planet lately (and also since our old laundry sorter was very anti-kitten), Husband and I recently upgraded our flimsy, mesh laundry hamper to a fancy woven one (which is decidedly more kitten-friendly).

No, this isn't Nina, but it is an example of why mesh bags are decidedly non-kitten friendly.

Poor Nina spent many an evening attacking our meshy laundry area, getting her tiny claws stuck, then crying pitifully until we came to rescue her.  I don’t have any pictures of it because frankly, it seemed mean to take a picture of a poor, scaredy, stuck little kitten instead of rescuing her.  Plus, the camera always seemed to be in the other room.  Humpf.

The problem now is, what do I do with this?

the bottom of our old hamper

the bottom bit of mesh from the old hamper

I kept the three sorting bags – they’ll be good for sorting laundry on trips (and decidedly better than the pillow cases I currently use to organize trip laundry).  The plastic tubing, which was cracked and taped back together in several places anyway, we recycled, leaving just this bottom bit mesh to deal with.

So, I channeled my inner enviro-kitty and poured myself a glass of champagne.

yep! thats one of my happy bead wine glass charms!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Drinking champagne has absolutely nothing to do with being an enviro-kitty.  Kitties probably shouldn’t drink champagne, actually. Champagne is only for adult human enviro-kitties, kk?

So.  Here’s what I did:

1. I folded the meshy mesh in half.

2. I sewed up both sides with my trusty embroidery needle and some scrap yarn.

3. Then, because that’s how I roll, I pretended my stitches were a foundation chain, got out my trusty J hook, and double crocheted up both sides of the bag.

4. I added some handles, which because of the already existing loops in the mesh, I was able to string through the top of the bag, and ended up with this:

practical, but not very pretty...

5. And, since I had a bit of yarn left over, I added a groovy little flower.

And… VOILA!  I  now have a lightweight little bag to carry produce in!  Hooray for no more plastic produce bags!

Enviro-Kitty is proud of me, as evidenced by the fact that she’s sitting on my desk, watching me write this post and purring.  YAY!

Happy Beads are Happy!

28 Feb

So, what’s a girl to do with a whole bunch of sentimentally important beads she recently cut out of their hempy, hippie homes?

WHY, make wine glass charms, of course!

…can’t make wine glass charms without a *little* bit of crochet…

And the best part?  These little bad boys are hinged, so they’re easy to remove!

(Why, yes, OBVIOUSLY I had to drink a bit of wine while I made them…)

And, because I never, EVER get carried away, I absolutely did NOT go digging through my craft supplies for more beads, which I ABSOLUTELY did not turn into more wine glass charms.  Nope.  Not even a little bit.

 

these beads used to be a bracelet...

 

I removed this butterfly from an anklet to make it bracelet-sized. Let's face it... grown ups don't wear anklets, either.

 

these guys are from The Bead Mine in Pittsburgh... gosh, I miss Pittsburgh.

AAAAAnywho, no more sad comments, okay friends?  I have now upcycled, repurposed, and otherwise transformed my very favorite beady beads into functional, pretty, *way* more adult-ish type things.  YAY!

Pinot Noir, anyone?  =)

Prolific Prolifery

1 Feb

Things I made by candle light while snuggled under 57 blankets during our three day power outage (some of which are now available on my Etsy shop, dontcha know!):

A funky, lacy set of fingerless gloves for one of my Pay It Forward friends:

I kind of wanted to add glittery skulls...

This super cute plarn tote bag, complete with vintage button:

Hi ho, cheery-o!

And this wooly, awesome bag just waiting to be stuffed full of whatever it is we women absolutely *NEED* to carry around with us when we leave the house:

what the heck do we need all that stuff for, anyway?

Yesterday I found a grocery store that was closing, so everything was half off:

store closing = I will buy ALL THE THINGS for 1/2 off, thank you!

Which was good, because I also stopped to buy some yarn, which was *not* half off:

decidedly NOT half off. Good thing I saved on that yeast!

I got enough for three projects:  one custom Etsy order, which you’ll be seeing shots of later in the week, and two mystery projects, which I’ll save for later.  Here’s what the rest of the week looks like in HAPPYlandia:

Wednesday: Custom Order Shots

Thursday: Cupcakes!

Friday: Free Pattern Friday: fingerless gloves of fun

…and that’s what happens when you can’t shower, do laundry, wash dishes, or really do any meaningful chores for three days!…