Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Repurposing a Skirt

One thing I love is shopping at thrift stores.  There is one near me that is the thrift store of all thrift stores.  Each day of the week everything in the store is a set price.  On Tuesdays everything is 50 cents.  A few months ago I found this purple suede skirt.  It was not my size but I thought it would make a great handbag.  Here is the before picture.
The skirt was a medium weight suede.  It also had a nice lacing detail down the front.  I removed the zipper from the back center and stitched up the seam.  The top of the skirt became the top of the handbag.  The skirt did not have a waistband which allowed for a clean look.   The skirt was lined already, this became the lining of the bag.  I used the bottom portion I cut off to form the straps and embellishments.  The straps even have some of the lacing detail which I left in place.  I attached a magnetic closure to finish.  The whole process took about an hour to complete. 
Here is the finished handbag.
So the next time you are in a thrift store and find a really cute skirt that is not your size.  Think -- handbag instead.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall is in the Air!

I live in Texas so "seasons" is a term we don't use very often.  Here we usually go straight from summer to winter.  If we have a fall it only lasts about a week.  But this weekend we celebrated my sons 18th birthday and it went from 105 degrees to 70 degrees overnight.  That my friends in Texas is known as our Fall.  Today it was back to 100 degrees!

So, in the spirit of the brief weather change I decorated my living room mantle in Fall colors.  If we can't enjoy the cool weather outside at least we can pretend inside (by turning down the AC to 50).  I pulled out all of my pumpkins, leaves, etc.  I have seen on Pinterest and other blogs where people have used all kinds of items and spelled out the word FALL on them.  I found some extra stone tiles and decided I would do the same.  My husband came home and ask what I was going to do with the tiles so I told him.  He said okay but just don't use a dark color to spell the word.  He did not want it to take away from the picture above the mantle.  (Which is one of my fathers prints - he is an artist). 

Okay, change of plans.  I had intended to use black vinyl on the tiles.  I began to create my "Pink Lemonade Idea".  Using clear contact paper I cut the letters out on the Cricut.  When you are sitting down you only see the blank tiles.  But, when you stand up the letters pop out.  The final product turned out to be really cool. 

Hopefully, your area has a longer Fall season than mine but if not create a season of change inside.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Mug Rug Card

Attached to all of my mug rugs is a card with an explanation and washing instructions.  Since I did not know what a mug rug was I wanted to make sure that others were informed.  I print the cards on card stock and fold it over to make a small card.  I then stamp something on the front and attach the card with a small safety pin. 

Here is what my mug rug cards say: The Mug Rug has a place for your favorite mug and room for a sweet treat.  Machine wash cold Tumble dry

Maybe some day I will come up with a catchy poem to attach.  But for now a simple explanation will do fine.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mug Rugs - the perfect scrap buster!

I hate having scraps left from projects.  I am a very frugal person and can not throw away scraps that could be useful.  Several years ago I was searching for ideas on ways to use up my fabric scraps when I came across mug rugs.  A mug rug is basically an over sized quilted coaster (6"x8" or 6"x9").  It is large enough to hold a drink and a muffin or other snack. 

The rugs are the perfect scrap buster since you can create any pattern as long as the pieced top is either the 6"x8" or 6"x9" size.  I also piece my backs most of the time in coordinated fabrics making them a two for one look.  When I found these on the Internet I had just been given my free motion quilting foot for my birthday. (Loving husband is very supportive and tolerant of my craft/sewing addiction.)  This was a terrific size to practice free motion quilting. 

You can search Google images for mug rugs and come up with tons of pattern ideas.  I made some in smaller versions of traditional quilt patterns and also designed a few myself.  Applique and machine embroidery is another way to add a design detail to these miniature "quilt" creations. 

A mug rug makes a great gift for anyone who has a desk.  I gave them to alot of my teacher friends and family for Christmas. 

Here are some pictures of some I made in the past and some new ones I made for my up coming craft fair.  So, go right now and dig out your scraps and have some fun creating your version of the mug rug.  I would love to see pictures of your creations and ideas/comments.


 The circles are stitched on top with raw edges.  I saw a whole quilt done this way and it was really cute.

These are two more traditional quilt patterns I made.  The purple flowers are appliqued and the yellow flowers are hand embroidery. 

The Scottie dog mug rug is scraps left from a quilt I made.  (I will post more about the quilt soon.)  This fabric was just tooo cute to throw away any scraps. This is actually the "back", I used the left over pieces from the quilt blocks to make the front side.

I love  bright colors.  On this mug rug I machine embroidered two flowers in variegated thread.  It turned out alot cuter than I thought it would.

Here are 16 mug rugs I made for my upcoming craft fair.  All of these were made from scraps only.  I used small pieces from quilt blocks, the ends of strips cut for quilts etc.  Most of the binding was left over from other quilts I made.  I only had to cut binding for 2 or 3.

Green is my favorite color.  I paired it with the black scraps to give it a more sophisticated look.  This is a simple pattern of different sized strips sewn together in a row.
The appliqued "R" and piano keys made this one very unique.  The binding is a music staff fabric.  I made several with the appliqued initials for teachers.  Of course this one was for a music teacher. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dish Towels

I am working on items I plan to put in my booth at a local craft fair in November.  Since finances are rather tight at the moment I am going through my vast array of craft and sewing items to see what I can make up for the fair.  I came across three pieces of dish towel cloth that a friend gave me a while back.  The pieces were finished on the sides but they were cut short on the length.  Therefore they were a good bit smaller than your traditional dish cloth.  Oh my, a Pink Lemonade opportunity.

Since the toweling was red I decided to go with a "holiday" theme and made one for Christmas, Valentines and July 4th. I added about 4 inches of cotton fabric to each end of the red toweling.  I attached it the same way you do the binding edge of a pillow case so all of the seams are on the inside.  (If you don't know how to do this search on You Tube for making a pillowcase and there are tons of videos.)  I then added some detail to one side of the towel. Along the edge of the seam where the toweling and cotton fabric are joined I added a decorative stitch.  This is a simple detail and makes the seam lay flat.

Three holiday dish towels

 On the Christmas towel I added a button wreath. (Use up that button stash I have!)

 The July 4th towel I appliqued some simple stars.  Applique is a great way to add some interest.

The Valentines towel has a heart machine embroidered in variegated thread.  I also added a button to the middle of the heart. (Once again, use up that button stash!)

As I work on more projects for this craft fair I will share my "Pink Lemonade" opportunities.  I always find that my creative juices flow better when I use what items are on hand rather than purchasing specific supplies for a project. 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

25 Years!

My husband and I celebrated (quietly) 25 years of marriage this week.  Some days I can't believe it has been that long and then others it feels like a whole lot more.  Some people say that a marriage that has lasted 25 years is becoming a rare thing.  I am certain that our strength does not come from either one of us.  It comes from our devotion to our Lord and Savior - Jesus and putting Him at the center of our marriage.  He has given us the ability to weather many storms but also enjoy many blessings and a whole lot of laughter.  We have made alot of "Pink Lemonade" out of situations we have faced.  My prayer is we will enjoy many, many more years together. 

Some of our friends sent us a really cool cake to help celebrate.  It is a pink and green camo cake.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fun with Kindergarten!

In my school system all students K-12 must log onto the computer with a student ID log in.  This is a real challenge for Kindergarten since the log in requires numbers and letters.  At the beginning of the year they do not know their alphabet very well.  So, this year I came up with a fun game to play with a GIANT keyboard rug that my husband and I made.

The students were given a card with a letter and they then matched that card to the key on the keyboard rug.  My hope is that this will help them learn where the letters are on the keyboard when I begin to teach them their log in information. 

I made my rug by using half of a canvas drop cloth. My husband then helped me draw the keys with a sharpie.  The most challenging part was to figure out how large the keys needed to be.  I made mine 5" x 5" square with about 1" in between each key.

The students I had this week really enjoyed playing the keyboard letter game.  Next I will teach them the location of the numbers and the major action keys (i.e. Enter, Shift, Tab etc.)   After we played the game with the rug they then went to the computers and used alpha strips to locate the keys on their individual keyboards. (The computers were turned off of course).

The full rug is half of a 6'x8' drop cloth

A close up view of the keys

The students matched the letter cards with the key on the keyboard
I am looking forward to determine if this method will help them learn their letter locations. I would love to hear your comments on ways I could improve this process.
Making Pink Lemonade with Kindergarten!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More Classroom Ideas

As I told you in my previous post my classroom is full of windows and short on wall space.  Here are some of the ways I have expanded my wall display areas.

The wall in the stairwell that leads down to my classroom I put up signs about the computer programs we use.  This is also visible for parents from the above hallway.
This short wall is just big enough to put some small posters.  This year I put up shortcut
tags for the Microsoft programs.  I hope these will remind students and teachers that you don't always have to use the mouse.
I have two cabinets in the back of my room that are tall.  I use these to display my computer lab rules (picture in previous post) and my Technology Word Wall. 

To help add some color to my windows I made buntings for two of my walls. 
Since I have 10 windows this was much less expensive that making curtains. 
I hung the buntings from Command Hooks.
I would love to hear some ideas on ways you have created display areas in your classrooms. I am always looking for new ideas.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Classroom Theme - Owls

I operate the computer lab in an elementary school.  I see Pre-K - 5th grade students once or twice a week.  I believe teaching technology is an important part of a students education.  I love the fact that I can see all grades in the computer lab.

This year I decorated my classroom with an Owl theme.  It really got my creative juices going putting this theme together.  I only wish I had some of the owls my aunt collected for over 30 years.  She had an owl collection that was incredible.  I do have a few of hers but I did not want to take them to school, they are very precious to me.  Anyway, here are some of the areas of my classroom.  My room is in the "original" portion of the 100 year old building.  It has had many modifications over the years.  It was the first cafeteria in the building.  One blessing is I have 3 walls with windows.  But this also does not allow for display wall space so I have had to get creative about expanding my display areas.

This is the door leading to the lab
 I have two full bulletin boards.  They are actually white boards that I cover with
paper to create bulletin boards.  This particular board I will change throughout the
year to different technology lessons.
Close up of Crazy Clicker Bulletin Board
My theme bulletin board 
 Lab rules on cabinet doors
  My owl collection.  I spent a total of $7.00 for all the owls.  They came from garage sales, Target, JoAnns and the 3 fabric owls I made. The link for the Youtube and pattern is here Owl pincushion
 This bulletin board I got at a garage sale for $1.00.  It had a silver frame that was ugly.  I covered the frame with green checkered Washi tape.  It was the perfect width and really easy to apply.
 This is the inside door to my lab.  I posted my schedule so everyone can see
when the come to the lab.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Painting my Shoes!

While cleaning out my shoes I came across several pair of white (well once white - now dingy white) flats that were very comfortable.  The shoes had a lot more wear left but they looked really bad.  I had seen on Pinterest that you could paint shoes.  Why not try to salvage my old dingy white comfy shoes?  I washed them in the washer and let them air dry first.

The first pair was a white canvas shoe.  I used Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in Lime Matte.  Since the front was gathered I left it white along with the top edge.  I let them dry for several days to make sure the paint had a chance to cure well.  I then sprayed with Scotch Guard to hopefully keep them somewhat clean.  I think they turned out pretty well. And I can get at least one more seasons worth of wear out of them, hopefully more.


The blue pair are a mesh type fabric.  I used Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in Turquoise Matte.  These were a little more challenging to paint.  The paint bled through to the inside but has not been a problem.  I painted the elastic on the top and it doesn't show any white when I wear them. 


It was fun to have a "new" pairs of shoes to wear in really fun colors.  And they only cost me about $5.00 in paint for both pair.  So get to digging around in your closet and see what shoes you have that need a new color.  I would love to see what you come up with.
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Friday, September 6, 2013

Donation Quilts - what a Joy!

I am a member of the quilt group at our church.  It is always more fun to quilt with a group of friends then by yourself.  We work on our personal projects but we are also a ministry based group.  One of your major ministries is to make baby quilts for a local pregnancy crisis center.  A quilt is given to each mother for her new baby.  Each time I make a baby quilt for donation it is a joy.  I really have fun picking out the fabrics and pattern.  It has pushed me to try some new patterns and fabric combinations.  Here are some picture of a few I recently finished.

Log Cabin - This quilt was the second log cabin pattern I made. 
 It is bordered with a wide print of bears in the woods. 

Fence Rail - This is the first Fence Rail I have ever done. 
This was a fast and easy quilt especially since I used a
portion of a jelly roll. ( Coming soon the other quilts I made
with the other portions of the jelly roll)

Orange Strip Quilt - This was the leftover scraps from a Log Cabin
Quilt Kit.  The wide orange has fish in the print.  It is a really
bright quilt which I thought might be good for a baby boy.

Challenge quilt - Every month or two someone in the group puts forth a challenge. 
Sometimes the challenge is to use a particular fabric (like this one), or sometimes it is
to use a certain pattern.  It is always exciting to see what each member creates during
the challenge.  We always have some really neat ideas sparked.

Bright Blocks quilt - A quick and simple pattern to highlight the black and bright
patterned fabric in the center of each block.  We only had a small
piece of this fabric, it has chili peppers in wild colors.  I love to
do bright colors especially for baby quilts.

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Time flies when your having fun! Is that what I have been doing?

Where has the time gone?  It has been over a year since my last post, sorry for the long delay.  The time has flown by and alot has happened around our house.  I am not sure all of it has been fun, but most of it has.

But the time has come to get serious about this blog.  For over eight years I managed a blog at work and had a bundle of fun.  We even won an award for that blog.  Now that my job has changed I can devote that dedication to "my" blog.  I don't expect to win awards but maybe I can pass along some of my creative ideas and inspire some creative thoughts in you.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will check back often, leave comments and share your creative "pink lemonade" ideas. 

Remember, when life gives you lemons don't just make lemonade - make PINK LEMONADE!

See you soon!

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