Category Archives: Sustainability

To Mom, With Love

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If you recall, my sister purchased a cross-body satchel(I get a kick out of that word) that I admired.  I couldn’t get enough of all the pockets.  So with an old pair of men’s short shorts I created my own.

Well it just so happened that our Mom loved the bag as well.  She searched high and low, but nary a purse was found.  To be honest I don’t know how hard she looked, but she couldn’t find one.  This is were I came in.  I figured I would make one for her, using salvaged material.

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The leather is from an old jacket I found at Goodwill and the lining is from a thrifted skirt.  When I gave it to my Mom she exclaimed “Oh I have been looking for a bag like this!  Thank you.  You did a really good job.”  So I think it’s safe to say she likes it, and not just because her daughter made it.

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Another Diddie

A couple weeks ago I posted a necklace I made for my oldest friend.  In this post I mentioned also making her another diddy.  Well, I finally finished it and sent off the package.  I decided I would make her a small cross-body satchel.

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I want to open an Etsy store(I have been saying this for a while, but once I figure out what I want to call my brand, it’s totally happening) with the different bags/purses I have been making.  I wanted to get her opinion and I figured what better way than to give her a bag I made.  I insisted that she be honest, I am all for constructive criticism.  She was and it was all good.

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I dyed an old pair of R’s jeans, hand painted the gold stripes(although I came up with a more time saving technique if I decide to do something like that in the future)  and used part of a second hand leather jack for added detail.  Even though I bought the lining at Joann Fabrics, it was from the remnant pile so I feel like it still sort of remains true to my idea of recycling the materials.  The chain and zipper’s are new.

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I thought it turned well. Maybe not every ones taste, but structurally I feel it is pretty sound.

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Tell me what you think.

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Taking Shist For Granite! Project 10 of 52

DSCF1752My sister E is a geologist at heart.  Although she teaches Life Science she went to school for Geology.  She loves rocks!  She has a travel mug that says something along the lines of “We don’t take our shist for granite.”  Clever little plays on words those geologist have.

Anyways, when she saw this project she squealed.  Okay she didn’t really, but she liked the magnets nevertheless.  Although she did have a few critiques.  But that is okay because they were the same ones I already had.

So let’s get to it.  I purchased the the magnets from Michaels.  I also wanted to grab some glitter while I was there to really make these gems sparkle, but Crayola’s air-dry clay got me so distracted that I forget the glitter.  Ah well, they shine pretty nicely regardless.

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So these are my tools.  The rocks I grabbed from my parking lot underneath the cloak of darkness.  As a result some of the rocks were a little smaller than I wanted.  But after crouching around the parking lot three separate times, I worried the neighbors would grow suspicious.  So I stuck with what I had.

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I added a few coats of paint to each rock.  Once they were dry I added a coat of clear nail polish.  This gave the rocks some needed luster!  I then used some E-6000 glue(not pictured) to glue the rocks to the magnets.  And there you have it!

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I plan to paint the magnets with the corresponding color, so that they blend in with the rocks.  But I like them.  I have spiffy new rock magnets for around $2.  I’m going to call this a success.

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Shoe Mat Redo: Project 9 of 52

DSCF1723 R and I like to take our shoes off upon entering the door.  It keeps the floor cleaner and tracks less dirt and germs throughout your house.  We previously had a rubber mat with little nubbins to collect any debris that may be on the bottom of our shoes.  Unfortunately these little nubbins started to fall off.  It looked like rabbit turds sprinkled across our floor.  Yuck!  So I grabbed this old mat that used to sit in front of our door until we realized it was too small.

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It’s stained, dirty, and I didn’t want it out for all eyes to see.  So I grabbed some blue spray paint and a few bottles of craft paint.  I added paint to certain areas of the rug that remained a lighter shade of blue after spray painting.

DSCF1727 DSCF1724 I am pleased with how it turned out.  Plus I get a little enjoyment out of solving a problem with items I already have.  Total win!

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Peeping Eyes: Project 8 of 52

In our little abode, R and I have a teeny bathroom window.  I like having a window in the bathroom because it lets light and fresh air in.  However, this window has a flaw.  It overlooks a neighboring parking lot, not to mention it is directly across from another buildings window.

Case in point:

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and let’s not forget the window across the way.

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Don’t let the screen deceive you.  It is a clear shot into the bathroom and to where I hop naked into the shower.  Who knows what kind of Peeping Tom or Voyeur is out there with high-powered, long-range binoculars.  Leering at me while I try to undress behind the shower curtain.

So I came up with an idea.  I would creat a screen to place on top of the screen.

I started out by measuring the window.  With dimensions in hand, I used some leftover lace my mom gave to me.  I liked this lace, because the pattern was dense.

I added a half inch to each side to allow for a seam and cut.

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I then got to sewing, nothing fancy.  I wanted a simple panel that I could tack up to the window.

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Once the panel was finished, I used a few beads of hot glue to glue the panel in place.  And just like that it was up.

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Now, I know you are probably thinking, “Lady you can still see through it.”  Exactly.  I wanted light to still shine through without it shining on all my lady bits.  I feel the lace makes the window translucent and not transparent, which is what I wanted.

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You too can keep those peeping eyes at bay with a little lace.  And if you don’t have any on hand, check your local thrift stores.  They sometimes have it.

Later.

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Catching Dreams: Project 7 of 52

Okay this one might be a stretch, but I had a left over wooden embroidery hoop that I wasn’t using anymore.  I hated throwing it out, so I looked for something I could do with it.

I came across a few D.I.Y dream catchers and I thought I would M.Y.O for the window above our bed.  But I didn’t want to buy anthing for it so I decided to get thrifty up in this piece and use what I already had.

Embroidery hoop, floss, twine, beads, and anything else that I thought would jazz it up a bit.

Some of the tutorials I saw used doilies as their center piece, but I wanted some color and I didn’t have a doily I could use lying around, so I grabbed some floss and using the first three steps in this tutorial(by the way, those flowers are the bees knees and would look amazing as the center) but I did my own easy thang, because sometimes I like it easy…and breazy.

Here are my basic steps…

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Once I had the center ring completed, I created a geometric flower pattern using a series of knots.  Then I secured the floss between the embroidery hoop and trimmed the excess.  I added some fringe, beads, and some leather feathers(made from the scrapes of a second hand leather jacket).

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It looks a bit sparse, but I didn’t want it too busy.  I like how it turned out, and once we get some curtains I think it will look pretty swell!  Later.

The 24 Hour Quilt…NOT:Project 6 of 52

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I first stumbled upon this quilt through Pinterest.  I’m pretty sure it was this blog, because the images look familiar.  I have a tendency to store ideas in my head and then forget where I originally found them.  It’s something I should work on.

Remember in my post from last week, I stated my inability to find quality sheets.  Well this is another project to come out of all of those sorry execuses for bed linens.

I loosely followed the instructions from the original source.  I have a hard time following instructions.  I like to figure things out myself, no matter how many headaches I endure.

First I threw the sheets in the dryer to toss out some wrinkles.  Then I sandwiched the batting in between the sheets and pinned in place.

To add some color, to the very neutrual sheets, I choose bright colored thread that I thought would complement the quilt.  I used different colors for the top thread and the bobbin thread.

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And let me just stop right there.  Once i started sewing, I immediately began cursing the darn thing.  24 hour quilt my a**, maybe for a quilting expert, but not this novice.  I grunted, I yelled, I said words that should not be repeated on this blog.  I was forcing the thick quilt through my little machine praying that I wouldn’t break it.  I soon regretted ever taking on this project.  I was about to scrap the whole thing, when my mom said “well, it can just be a blanket for you and R.  No one has to see it”, except you fine people.  So I soldiered on.

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Then came the binding.  I went back and forth on whether or not I should make my own binding.  After the time I had with the quilt, I went for store bought bias tape.  I picked a bright teal/turquois that I thought would look good against the brown.

Here are some great tutorials on binding quilts, which I only loosely followed.  I would suggest following these if you want better quality.  To sew the back side of the binding I used a zigzag stitch, I did not hand sew it.  This was supposed to be a quick quilt, so I wasn’t down with handstitching the thing.

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Now that it is all said and down, I love the quilt.  It may not look that put together but it sure is warm.

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P.S. I sort of feel guilty calling it a quilt. I’m sure I am insulting all the fine quilters out there by calling this paultry blanket a quilt.

 

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Rub-A-Dub-Dub:Project 5 of 52

While getting readying to move, it made me cringe thinking of all the other little things R and I would have to buy, like curtains, rugs, lamps, etc.  So I decided to M.O.O. (haha moo, Make Our Own, a variation of Make Your Own) with some of these items.

For project 5 of 52, I don’t have any before pictures.  But imagine a white queen size top sheet, and that is what the before would look like.  I seem to have the worst luck when it comes to buying bed linens.  The pockets are too deep and I end up swimming in excess fabric, or the sheets pill up after a week, or the elastic gives out and I’m sleeping on the bare mattress.  Ugh.  See my misfortune when it comes to sheets?

As a result I have a plethora of unused linens hanging about, so I decided to repurpose them.  First up is a shower curtain, hence the Rub-A-Dub-Dub, but there aren’t three men in this gal’s tub.  Just one handsome man.

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I used one of my mom’s shower curtains as a template to gage the length and the distance between the ring holes.  I left my sheet it’s original width, because the less hemming I had to do the better.  I wanted this easy-peasy.  I could have gone a little shorter, but at the time I made this I did not have the shower dimensions.  So I erred on the side of caution and left it a little longer than the template.  I can always go back and shorten it, but for now it stays.

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Dang! This pic is grainy.

I made holes using the button hole stitch on my sewing machine.  I could have used plastic grommets to give it a little more strength, but I was lazy and didn’t feel like going to the fabric store.  The button holes are durable and I suspect will hold up.

And there you have it.  One more item saved from the landfill.  Peace.

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Rags to Riches-Project 4 of 52

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That’s what this rug should be called.  Because it started out as rags (more like t-shirts, sheets, pants, and fabric turned into rags) and then crafted into this wonderful crocheted rug.  I completed this a few weeks back, during that weekend of productivity.  I will admit I rolled around on it a bit.  You know, testing it out and what not.  It passed.

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When I first started this project there wasn’t many D.I.Y’s on Rag Rugs.  But now they are all over.  If you haven’t, you should check out some of the rugs on Pinterest.  Wow.  If there is a next time, maybe I too will be a little more organized and create a more cohesive look.  But I think this rug is fantastic in its own way.  I like the different colors mixed throughout the white.  I am half tempted to not let anyone walk on it, because it took some time to complete.  That would defeat the purpose though, so I shall grant little piggies permission to walk across this masterpiece.

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Catch you later!

No More Wire Baskets!

Like many others, I like the look of wire baskets.  They have an industrial feel and lately I have been digging the warm industrial vibe.  I’ve been trying to talk R into making a shelving unit with me that consists of metal pipes and wood.  Super cool, but I’m not sure he thinks it’s as cool as I do.

So when my parents had to redo their bathroom due to some broken pipes, I snagged this brown wire basket from the rubbish pile and hid it in the garage for future use on Project 3 of 52.

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It’s just your basic brown basket (woah woah woah, check out that alliteration) but I saw potential.  I didn’t think it would fit the aesthetic I want to achieve in the new place.

So here is what I did, that you can do too.  But only if your basket is bleh.

I grabbed some silver paint I already had on hand and gave it a couple of coats.  That’s it.  I wasn’t too worried about the coats being even, because as I went I saw some of the brown showing through and I thought it gave it a worn/vintage look to it.

All in all I am pretty pleased.  I had originally intended to use it to hold my yarn, but it is quite large and feel as though it will hold blankets nicely.

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All in all it’s a quick and easy project, that kept a rad wire basket out of the landfill.  Double win.