Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stash and Dash

I bought Amy Butler's Stash and Dash pattern a while ago, rediscovered it the other day and decided to give it a try. I made the medium size, the Makeup Bag, but added a nylon webbing strap so that I could use it as a wristlet. It's made out of a regular old inexpensive, medium weight, black canvas and a fun map print (poly, I'm sure), that I bought for a steal ($2.25 for at least a yard, it wasn't marked) at the Knittn' Kitten in Portland, OR last summer. If you ever find yourself in Portland (I happened to be there on a business trip), I highly recommend that you bring extra luggage and visit Knittn' Kitten. It's a craft thrift store, a concept that I have not heard of or seen since! It's a pretty small place, but packed to the gills with fabric, yarn, beads, sequins, notions, you name it! I ended up with just the yard or so of fabric, I was overwhelmed and didn't have much luggage with me. It also happens to be conveniently located on the way to downtown Portland from the airport. An interesting business concept, no? While I don't see myself opening my own thrift store, have been considering ways of getting rid of excess craft items. Perhaps a swap meet? But I digress...
This little bag went together pretty quickly, although the instructions did seem a little fiddly at times (but it could just be me, given my profession I find the quickest and easiest sewing method to get things done) and I wish that pockets had been included. So after trying my hand at the "Makeup Bag", I'm going to give the bigger size, the "Toiletry Bag" and probably add some credit card size pockets to the lining, so that I could fit in my ID and debit card without having to stuff in my whole wallet. Perhaps a cell phone pocket too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Map Bracelet

I've been rather under the weather this week. I'm fairly certain I caught a virus from an airplane over the weekend. But a rather long and difficult day business trip to Allentown on Wednesday did me in. This too shall pass, but it has kept me home more than I would like. This afternoon, after I finished my work (I ended up working from home, given that it's difficult to conduct business with laryngitis), to keep my sanity, I decided to do a little crafting. I had picked up two wooden bracelets, covered in rather garish "asian" printed polyester, in the Target Dollar Spot for .50 each a few weeks ago, knowing that something could be done with them. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of them in their original state. I was too anxious to see how easily the fabric would come off. It came off very easily. They sat here uncovered for a few weeks until tonight. I decided to decoupage one of them with some map scrapbook paper. Just cut it into 1/2" wide strips, brushed some modge podge onto the back of each strip and wrapped them around. Then gave the whole thing a couple of modge podge coats and let it dry. Now...to think of what I should do with the other one...

Jack's Birthday Weekend

I headed back home last weekend for my nephew's 4th birthday!! Jack is my only sister's first born and also my godson. He's incredibly special to me. It has been such a joy to see him grow up. He is so smart, funny, hard headed, but also very sweet and thoughtful not to mention gorgeous. He was quite upset (cried and cried) when Grandma Lucy and I had to leave to go to the airport. It was incredibly sad, but touching.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sort of "Grownup" Hair Accessories

Hair clips, as purchased from Forever 21.
Flower glued onto ponytail holder.
Two on an alligator clip. Would have more impact if pictured on my head, but do you know how hard it is to take a picture of your own head?
I had thought that the only people I would be making hair accessories for would be my little nieces, but that was before I somewhat regrettably signed up to donate my hair for Locks of Love. A completely worthy cause and when I was convinced to start growing it out about a year ago, for a work contest, I figured it'd be a piece of cake. The deal was, you had a year to grow it out. The standard Locks of Love donation is 10". At the time my hair was fairly short, sort of a bob length. And it's grown ALOT. (I'm told that hair grows about 1/2" a month.) But not quite long enough for a 10" donation. I guess I could go forward with cutting it off next month as planned, but then I would have really short hair. Which I don't want either. My hair stylist, who I still see every 4 months or so, for a teeny trim, just to keep it healthy, thinks I have about another year to go. Ugh. You see, I have incredibly thick hair. Which is definitely a blessing, except for when you are challenged to have really long hair. And it gets really heavy. Not to mention hot. But since I've committed to this, I'm going to keep growing out until at least January and then reevaluate. It's a noble cause, but I don't want to look like I've joined some weird religious sect. So in the meantime, since it's still very warm here in Maryland, I've been wearing lots and lots of ponytails. Figured it was about time to dress it up a bit.
While at Forever 21 this weekend, I saw these oh so cute little hair clips. 6 of them for $2.50. Could not pass them up. Brought them home only to discover that won't stay in my hair. It's just too thick. Time for plan B. I ripped the little flowers off of the clips they came on, glued one onto a ponytail holder, using E6000. (My favorite crafting adhesive. Every crafter needs this glue. Once it dries, it PERMANENT. Which isn't always the same with hot glue. But you do have to wait for it to dry.) Decided to get over my fear hot glue (I always burn myself) and glued two of the little flowers onto an alligator clip, promptly burning myself in the process (have a blister on my finger this morning to prove it). But ending up with 3 very cute somewhat grown up hair accessories for under $3.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hello, Cupcake!

Since I try not to use too many paper towels, I keep my kitchen and bathroom fully stocked with LOTS of dishtowels. I use them for everything-cleaning surfaces, wiping up small spills, drying hands, drying dishes, drying produce and am surprised how little I really use paper towels. I usually buy very inexpensie "tea towels". They usually come in a large pack of 5-6 for something like $2.50-incredibly inexpensive, especially since they can be used over and over again. But knowing me, can't just leave them plain white! I love embroidery and you can find tons of free patterns on many, many blogs. I espcially like the free patterns on Wild Olive. These particular free cupcake patterns can be found here on DMC's website, but created by Wild Olive's author-Mollie Johanson. Oh so CUTE!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Summer Recipe

What month is that on my calendar? September? Thankfully, we have a few more weeks of summer left-doesn't officially end until September 22nd. So soak up the time remaining and if there's corn on the cob still available on your produce aisle, try this recipe! I found this Corn Salad recipe on The Cottage Home and have been enjoying it along side my turkey sandwich in my lunch box all summer. Of course, it would be perfect at a BBQ or a picnic. Especially since it's mayo free. I ADORE corn on the cob, so this is an alternative way to eat up some of summer's bounty, rather than eating it straight off the cob (although that's fun too.) I boiled the cobs, instead of grilling and it turned out fine. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!