Happy Memorial Day

I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend. We are finally moving and while you are reading this we are loading everything we own into a truck. I will be taking the week off, because I will not have Internet access (gasp)! I want to thank everyone for reading my blog and if you need something to do visit some of my favorite sites, listed in my side bar! See you next Monday!


How to Arrange Furniture on Paper

Have you every wanted to rearrange you furniture, but were afraid to waste all that time moving your furniture to hate the arrangement or have things not fit right?  Here is my simple and inexpensive solution:  arrange your furniture on graph paper.  All you need is graph paper, pencil/pen, and a tape measure.graph paper floor planMeasure you room and graph it onto the paper, on my example 2 squares equal one foot.  Don’t forget to mark the windows and doors.  I also like to mark electrical outlet, cable outlets and phone jacks.

Now you’ll need to measure and graph your furniture using the same scale as you room drawing, for this example: 2 squares equals one foot.  Cut that furniture out and start arranging! 

I have got a bit of a problem, my furniture is to big for my space.  New furniture is not in the budget and I have to get this stuff to fit.  I have three different options:

graph paper floor plan 1Option 1 – Sofa floating in the middle of living room and not really room for end tables.

graph paper floor plan 2  Option 2 – Flipping living room and dining room.  There are no outlets or cable outlets where I have put the entertainment center and I would have to run cords!  Living room is basically just leftover furniture storage.

graph paper floor plan 3 Option 3 – Entertainment center blocks half of French doors and one built in, plus cords would have to be run as there are, once again, no outlets.

The long term solution is to move the entertainment center and sofa to the basement, where we are planning to have a family room and buy new, smaller furniture for upstairs.  I am not ready to do that yet and I would like to have our TV on the main floor for now, what do you think would be the best way to arrange everything?  I don’t have to use all of the furniture, but we need to have places to sit.


18 and Life

So, my mom and I are talking and she tells me that since we bought a house she’s going to bring some of my things from high school that she has been storing.  She mentions “that picture of that lady with the words” and some other stuff.

Hmmmmmmm…that lady with the words?…

I would like to present Sebastian Bach from Skid Row (if you need a refresher, Skid Row wiki entry)18andlife This was a high school art project that somehow has survived for over 15 years, it is a little rumpled at the bottom and the edges have masking tape residue on them, that’s pretty good for some drawing paper and sharpie markers.  I spent some time looking for the original picture, I know I probably got it from Metal Edge, but I gave up after about 30 pages.

18andlife detail Yes, those are the words from all the songs on their self titled album.  There were some other interesting pieces in the collection that she brought me and I will be sharing more “finds” in the near future.  So, what was you favorite band in the late 80’s, early 90’s?


Harmonic Mosaic Washcloth

Yes, I am still knitting washcloths, this time I used the harmonic mosaic pattern from Ribbed For Your Pleasure (I love the name of this blog!!!)Harmonic Mosaic Cloth

This pattern reminds me of DNA for some reason.  I love the pattern, but I don’t know how I feel about the color of the variegated yarn, its Peaches and Cream Pink Lemonade, it will grow on me, right?  I think I have enough left to make two more washcloths and some facial scrubbies, I must use up the entire ball!  I guess I’ll go to Ravelry (my username is crafterella, add me as a friend) and find another washcloth pattern to try.


The Big DIY

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was going to start working on the biggest DIY ever and today I would like to share a bit more about that.  A week ago we closed on our first house.  The house has been a rental house for years and the last tenant and her five children did a lot of damage to the home.  The majority of the problems are cosmetic, a bit of hard work and elbow grease and we should have a very nice house!wood flooor corner before

So, what have I been up to this weekend you ask, scrubbing floors, I think I have scrubbed all the floors at least five times.  The corner of floor pictured above has some sort of gooey crud on it, I spent a couple of hours scrubbing and scraping and ended up with a fairly clean corner of floor.wood flooor corner after

Almost the entire first floor has hardwood floors that all need to be refinished, but we just spent all of our money buying the house!  I discovered Rejuvenate Floor Reviver and it works fabulously!!!, if your floors are worn and no longer shinny this stuff is for you!  I also tried Orange Glo and while it did improve the surface of the floor, the Rejuvenate made a bigger impact and it can be used on many different types of floors.  diningroom damaged wallI have also been working on the walls, there are a lot of dents, dings, and some larger holes in the plaster (on the left beside the doorway the black marks, yes those are bicycle tracks!).  Patching plaster walls is interesting, but easy enough for a beginner, a nice lady at Home Depot helped me find everything I needed.  I am now getting excited about painting.panoramic livingroom

This is a panoramic shot of our living room and it shows why this house is so great, there are miles of beautiful wood work and somehow it has never been painted.  Those French doors lead to my future craft room, where I will be making curtains and slipcovers and other fun household stuff plus all the other crafty stuff I like to make.

Now I just need to decide what colors to paint everything!


Knitted Washcloth Gift Set

I have been on a bit of a stash busting mission lately and instead of just making a couple of washcloths and then rolling to remaining yarn into balls and storing I decided to knit until I ran out of yarn.wash cloth gift set I did make my washcloths smaller that usual, but really how big do you need your washcloth to be?  I was able to get two ballband washcloths, two circle cloths, two tawashi flowers and one scrubbie(a ravelry download).  I’m almost out of turquoise, just the tiniest bit left, less that 2 yards, I may try an eek one more scrubbie out of it so I can have a complete matched set!  I do have a bit of the red and white yarn from another project, I wish I knew how to make the bath puffs, but every pattern I’ve looked at seems to be written in some strange and foreign crochet language, I definitely need to work on my crochet pattern reading skills.

Now I just need to make a matching bucket organizer and I can save this set for a Christmas gift, I’ll just have to add some lotion and shower gel and it will be good to go!


Finds: Vintage Aprons

I’ve said it before, but I just have to say it again, I love yard sales!!!  I haven’t had a chance to go to any this season, but my Mom has been going every weekend and she got me the cutest vintage aprons last week.apron 2The first one is a light weight, almost sheer, half apron with a scallop hem.apron 3 Apron number two has an interesting use of rick rack, it’s hard to see, but squares of the patterned fabric have been outlined with rick rack and applied to the plain waist band and pocket.apron 1

This one is my favorite, I love the shape of the waist and the zig-zags on the bottom and pocket are really unique.  I also like the dark patterned fabric with the bright yellow.

I was very impressed with my Mother’s bargaining skills, she paid $.50 for all three.  I am excited to add these to my collection and I might have to make a copy of the black and yellow one, if I can figure out how they make those zig-zags!


Christy’s Craft Challenge for May Entry

When I looked at this months supplies all I could think about was a purse!  I know that a paper purse is not the sturdiest of things, but this one seems pretty strong.craft challenge may 3I used the clear contact paper to reinforce the papers, adding a sheet to both sides.  When I finished weaving the strips together I added another piece to the back side and then basted everything onto the fabric.craft challenge may 2The floral wire became the beaded handles that I attached to the purse using ribbon clips.  The buttons make up a small decoration and the flowers became a removable, beaded pin.

Once again, I had a lot of fun working on this and I look forward to seeing the rest of the entries.  If you would like to give it a try, get your packet here and to see all the entries check out the flickr group!


Christy’s Craft Challenge for May

Last month I was awarded a free month of the Craft Challenge, my packet arrived one week ago and the brain storming began.craft challenge may packetThe packet contained a 12” x 12” floral print paper, five blue fabric squares, four flower buttons, two artificial flowers with leaves, and two pieces of green floral wire.

I added clear contact paper, mixed plastic beads, ribbon ends, a 12” x 12” paisley print paper, and thread.  Here is a sneak peek:craft challenge may 1It’s turning out exactly like I planned, anyone want to guess what I’m making?


Suminagashi (Marbling Paper with Ink and Water)

I was so excited about my recycled paper factory that I decided to use is again. This time I used the tray that holds the paper pulp and water mixture to make suminagashi. I just filled the tray with water and after a little experimenting with pigments that I had on hand I was making marbled paper.suminagashi 1I had some walnut ink on hand, but the effect was too light. I found that watercolors worked perfect. India ink also works well, I just didn’t have any handy. I did experiment with several colors, I decided that I like the high contrast of the black.suminagashi 2This technique is super easy, just load one brush will water color and touch it to the surface of the water, then touch the surface of the water with a clean, wet brush in the center of the color to make the rings. The color can be swirled with a brush, blown with a straw, or left how it dropped. The paper is then laid onto the surface of the water and the print is made! I used basic printer paper, but almost any type of paper will work as long as it doesn’t have a glossy surface. Basically this is mono-printing on water. Rinse off excess pigment and hang to dry.suminagashi 3A resist can be made by painting shapes on the paper with plain water before making the print. I was able to get some interesting results, I like the effect, but the shapes aren’t perfect.

suminagashi 4

This was a fun and quick technique that gives great results without investing a lot in materials and yields some unique papers for other projects.

I also wanted to share pictures of the finished paper.paper recycling factory 6

I love how they turned out and since I stuck them on the counter to dry one side is super smooth and the other side has that traditional handmade paper texture. Expect to see more handmade paper and other crafts made with the paper recycling factory soon!


Product Review: Paper Recycling Factory from Bill Nye

I bought the Bill Nye Paper Recycling Factory on clearance after Christmas last December for $10.00.  When I saw that there was no need for batteries or expensive “refill packs” I thought this would be a great investment.  I have made paper before and have also been lucky enough to take papermaking my first two semesters in art school, I was hoping this would be simple and fun.bill nye I was really impressed with everything that was included in the kit, I especially liked the simple press that was included and that there were several different shaped deckles to use.

I started soaking my paper at dinner time using the scraps from my cereal box journals and some newspaper.  I am thinking that I could also use the blender to make paper-mache pulp(or mix up pudding) and the press can be used for pressing flowers and leaves or small bookbinding projects.  I also think I will be using the tray to do some simple marbling with ink.

paper recycling factory 5The directions are simple and to the point there are a few tips and some fun facts too.  I highly recommend getting one of these microfiber sponges from the dollar tree, it made it really easy to remove the excess water from the paper.

paper recycling factory 1 I had a little trouble using the blender, the paper kept sticking in the blades, but after adding more water it started working great.  The newspaper was easier to break down in the mixer, the notebook paper was chunkier, but I was still able to mold it.

              paper recycling factory 2      paper recycling factory 3

I had to try out all of the different shapes and while the heart and star are fun I preferred the rectangle and circle.  I will probably just cut it into my own shapes after it dries, I definitely want to make some ATCs!

paper recycling factory 4 I really like how the newspaper turned out, the bits of words and letters really look interesting!  The notebook paper seem kind of plain, I bet it would be more fun with used(written on) paper.  I liked the lighter color of mixing the two paper pulps together. 

To sum everything up, I highly recommend this product, there are so many different things that can be done with the finished paper and different projects using parts of the kit.  The only reason I stopped making paper was because I ran out of counter space.  I’m really excited to see how the paper looks once it is dry.

I am really excited about this kit and I am sure I will be using it more.  I would highly recommend getting one of you own if you interested in trying paper making.  It was simple to use and the results are just what I expected.  The pieces seem to be made well and it was easy to set up and clean up.  I just can’t say enough nice things about this product!


Are Your Ears Cold?

Mine aren’t either, but I’m prepared if they do get cold.  I have resolved to use up some of my stash of everything, but especially yarn.  You may remember this yarn from the swiffer cover and dusting mitt, well I still had some left and so I made an ear warmer.

earwarmer It’s just a tube with some 2 X 2 ribbing around both edges.  I still had a bit of yarn leftover and I have a crochet project that I’m going to use that last little bit for.

I also decided to make an earflap hat.  I started out with this pattern and changed the earflaps a bit, left off the horns, and added twisted cords instead of I-cord.

earflap hat turquoise 1             earflap hat turquoise 2

I made the pom-pom using a doodle-loom that I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby.  The doodle-loom made it easy to cut the pom-pom, but overall I would have to say that I was unimpressed with it.  I was hoping to make big, full poms, but these ended up kind of limp and not as full as I wanted and I wrapped that loom until I couldn’t fit anymore yarn on it!

I don’t know what it is about earflap hats, but I can’t stop making them.  If you know of any good patterns let me know I’d love to try a new style!


I Made Some Cereal Box Journals

Whenever I’m in the mood to try something new I visit OnePrettyThing, there is always something new to try.  Last week I found this tutorial for making cereal box journals.  It’s crafty, useful, green, and inexpensive.  I used several different boxes, not just cereal boxes, so my books vary in size a little bit.  cereal box booksFor the inside I used printer paper (100% recycled) and lined paper from old notebooks.  I spent the afternoon cutting the boxes and papers to size (I made 20 of these, I imagine that making a couple would be pretty quick).  I have to say that rounding the corners is what really gives this project a finished look.  I decided to use my boxes with the printing on the outside.   I also used thread from old projects in my machine, it was a great way to use up those off colors of thread from old projects filling up my bobbins.cereal box books 2My books have 16 pages, just like the tutorial, but I think I may be able to get 20 pages in the next batch.  My sewing machine didn’t have any problem sewing through everything, although I did wear safety glasses incase I broke a needle.  I know I will be making more of these and with the decorating possibilities I will have to leave the plain side of the boxes out next time.cereal box books  scrapsI saved all of the paper scraps and they will be including in another recycling project later this week.


The Biggest DIY I’ve Ever Done…

…Is going to start a week from today.  I am so excited I just had to tell someone.  It’s been all I can think about for the last month.100_0888b

This is all I’m going to share for now, but more details are coming soon.  The regularly scheduled craftiness with return on Monday :)