Friday, January 31, 2014

Arm Band Leftovers - there has to be a use for them!

As you have already figured out it is hard for me to throw away any piece that could possibly have a future use.  Well I had made several of the t-shirt scarves for my daughter and myself.  You use most of the t-shirt in that process but there are a few pieces left. 

I had saved the armbands and put them in my jars of strings thinking there just had to be a good use for them.  At then end of the Christmas break our youth group does a discipleship retreat and my college age daughter was a leader this year.  She had about five 7th grade girls she taught for the weekend.  She wanted to make something fun yet useful for the girls for the retreat.

We pulled out some blank note cards we had and we divided them into groups of about 10 each.  Wait for it -- yes here comes the arm bands from the t-shirts.  We used the armbands to wrap around the cards and a clothespin clip with each girls name attached to the center.

Here are the finished groups:

She made a set for each girl and herself of course.

Since the t-shirts were tie dyed they were really fun colors.
Here are some pictures to help you understand just what part of the t-shirt we used and how we wrapped them.  To learn more about the clothespin clips see this post Christmas Countdown - 5 days left!  These only cost us about 10 cents each to make since the t-shirts were only 50 cents at our favorite thrift store.  You could use 3x5 blank index cards instead of the larger ones.
We cut the hem just above the stitching on each arm.

Here is the band removed
Some were a little too big so we split them and stitched them back up.

Then I simply wrapped them around the cards.

All the bright colors really popped against the white cards.
So remember the next time you are about to throw away a piece that you just know in your heart could be used for something.  Dig down deep and find that Pink Lemonade Idea.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Washi Tape Holder

Washi Tape is one my new loves. It is easy and fun to work with and perfect for many different projects. Here are links to some I have done in the past.  Washi Tape & Christmas Countdown 21 days left!

But with all new additions to your craft room the big question is how and where do you store it. Since I am a visual learner and organizer I like items that are all the same size to be stored neatly in rows if possible. I have seen on Pinterest several different ways to store Washi tape everything from the rolls on dowel rods to pretty jars.

I started to put mine in a pretty box inside the cabinet but then it struck me that the tapes themselves were too pretty to store in a box. Also, I wasn’t sure where I would put said box since my cabinets are bursting at the seams. (Maybe it is time to purge some items – is there ever a time to get rid of craft items, you might need it soon). So here is my solution:

I had the mug tree stuffed in the back of my kitchen cabinets. You never know when they might come back in style or you may need it for a completely different purpose. Boy, I was glad I kept that tree mug. The tapes fit nicely on each of the branches and I can group them by color or sets.

When things are out and organized in an attractive way I am much more likely to use them. I know I can’t have everything out in plain sight but it is nice to have a few inspirational pieces to stir those creative juices.

So if you are looking for a unique way to display your items, start by digging in the back of your kitchen cabinets. Who knows what treasures you will find.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sorry for the delay

I know it has been a while since I posted.  Life at our house has been rather crazy. 

Our son made the All Region Band, All Region Orchestra and advanced to Area Band in January.  This was his third time to advance to the Area Band.  But this year he made the Texas All State 4A Band!!!!!!

He has worked hard to meet his goal of making the State band before he graduates.  He finally made that goal.  With this accomplishment comes the many rehearsals and concerts.  It has been fun but extremely busy.  We have finished all the Region Band and Orchestra concerts now we have a few weeks break before we travel to San Antonio to the All State Band Concert.  Wow, what a ride. 

It is a blessing from God to have the gift of music.  Our family has been richly blessed.  Everyone in our family is musical to some degree.  My husband has a degree in Music Education, our daughter plays the violin, our son plays percussion and I love to sing. 

I hope to post more over the next few weeks.  I will share some of the pictures from the State Band concert when we return. 

I hope you will continue to use the gifts and talents that God has blessed you and your family with to share your creativity with the world.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nightstand Reborn

If you liked the previous post about my bathroom cabinet you are going to love this one.

Years ago when I was single I needed a nightstand for my bedroom. I found an old piece that was once attached to an antique vanity. It had two drawers and was tall and narrow. It was just the right size for my apartment. It did have one rather large issue. The top was curved in the front and had several “chunks” missing. Since my brother does wood work I knew that he could repair it with wood putty. I assured him that since I was going to paint the piece white it did not matter what it looked like. He did a nice job repairing the top and I used it this way for a long time. I covered the top with a crocheted doily and it looked okay.

When we were redecorating our daughter’s room she needed a nightstand. So, I pulled out my old one and thought the top really needed to be updated. I began to tinker with some ideas but the main curve ball (no pun intended) every time was the curved front. Everything I thought of was not going to conform well to the curve and I really wanted to do some kind of a tile that would hold up well in a kid’s room. Then one day when I was at home with my son who was sick I got out the nightstand and started playing around with different items around the house. I had seen where someone had glued pennies to a floor and then grouted around them. I tried the pennies but once again when I got to the curve they were too big. To the craft room I went. There had to be something in there that was the right size and in abundant supply. Here is what I finally found:

This is the back edge of the nightstand

Buttons. Yes ordinary white buttons of all shapes and sizes. I put a row of the same size buttons at the bottom to give it a finished edge. The rest were glued down with Alene’s Tacky Glue in a random pattern. I used another straight row on the curved edge and they conformed nicely. I then grouted around the buttons in a white grout.

The buttons really transformed this discarded find into a beautiful piece.

The first straight row is at the top of the curve.

Adding another straight row at the bottom edge gave it a nice finish.

This piece is one of my favorite things in my house. It is still in my daughter’s room and when she moves out it will stay in my house. I was very excited it turned out so well. All of the buttons I had collected at garage sales or friends had given them to me. I think I might be addicted to buttons. I love the variations of color, size and texture. There are even some on the nightstand that came from my Grandmother’s collection. So not only does the nightstand look better it holds memories of precious people in my life.

Remember that there are always more options in the creative world. Don’t settle for what others have tried or the newest trend. Start digging around in your craft room and who knows what solutions will emerge.


I party with Remodelaholic

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bathroom Cabinet - a diamond in the ruff

Sometimes a project that starts as an eye sore can become a diamond in the ruff. Several years ago we were having a garage sale when our neighbor who was moving showed up with an armful of items. He did not want to purchase our junk, I mean treasures, he was bringing his own. He had a pile that was destined for the Goodwill truck but he decided to bring it down the street instead. In that pile were several items that went straight into my house.

I was thrilled when he brought down the small green cabinet that is now in my kid’s bathroom. I had been looking for a small narrow cabinet to use for extra towel storage. The cabinet was not anything to write home about just a simple inexpensive green cabinet. My husband at first did not want to keep it because it was not “real wood”. I said that would be perfect for a kid’s bathroom because if it fell apart it would be easy to get rid of. So, in the bathroom it went.

For several months I kept looking at the top which had seen better days thinking there has to be a way to make it look better. I loved the color of the cabinet since green is my favorite color, so I did not want to repaint the cabinet. Then one day at the hardware store I came across a clearance rack of small glass tiles. The packages were marked 25 cents each. I could not believe it when I started digging and found the perfect green and pearl tiles. Well, the Pink Lemonade Idea burst out with excitement. The tiles would dress up the top of the small cabinet and not cost a fortune.

From drab to Fab!
I brought the tiles home and started playing around with designs. My first thought was to do a simple checkerboard pattern but the space did not break evenly. My husband suggested what was finally agreed upon, alternating squares and then the last group being a section of 6 tiles. This made an augmented checkerboard that was staggered. (Say that 3 times fast) When we laid out the groups it worked out flawlessly.

On one side the 6 tiles are green and on the other they are the pearl.

Now onto grout. I kept looking at the tiles thinking to myself that a bright white grout was going to detract from the green and pearl colors. So, to the computer I went to do some research. Did you know you can color grout with paint? I did not. I found several good tutorials on how to color grout. This is one from YouTube Mixing and Coloring Grout for a Hand Mirror.

My grout is a very pale green.
Now I had a plan. The tiles were left attached to the mesh backing as much as possible. We used tile mastic to glue the tiles to the top. I mixed my grout and began to fill in the spaces. The final result was BEAUTIFUL.

It turned out soooo much better than I thought it would. Sometimes I am a little nervous to try things because it “might not turn out right”. My prevailing thought while working on this project was “If it doesn’t look good you can always tear it off and paint the cabinet.” I wish I had taken a picture of the top before the tile was applied.

The next time you are looking at something in your home that needs a little fix up don’t be afraid to give any idea a try.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tic Tac Boxes to the Rescue

Being a frugal crafter provides opportunities to reuse items most people would toss in the trash. I also desire that uniform look that comes from having the same size and color container for items. With both of these criteria I have designed a way to store my small beads and pre-punched shapes.

In a previous post Printers Trays for Small Item Storage I showed you how I keep my small seed beads divided and stored. Using the small Tick Tac boxes has made this very functional. But now they have made larger Tic Tac boxes. Oh, the dilemma of what I could do with these. As usual this became a Pink Lemonade Idea.

I have several paper punches that I use on a regular basis for all sorts of crafts. When I am creating a card, decorating a paper bag etc. I try to use up the paper scraps. One way I do this is to use the paper punches and pre-punch items. This allows for a quick embellishment at any time. This created a problem of storing the pre-punched shapes. At first I stored them in a plastic bag along with the rest of the small paper scraps in that color family. (Remember I store everything by color groups) The problem with this solution was I would lose the small punches in the bottom of the bag and I was not able to quickly find them. Then the pink lemonade idea burst in my head – the larger Tic Tac boxes would be perfect.

Now the pre-punched shapes are stored in larger Tic Tac boxes separated by shape. (I will eventually separate by color I am sure but I do not have enough boxes yet) The larger boxes would not fit in my printers trays so I keep them lined up in a desk caddy. They fit nicely in the sections and are easily pulled out when I need a quick embellishment.

The Tic Tac boxes are a perfect size and
I love the fact that they are clear.

I only have a few boxes now, but working on getting more.

They look nice and neat in the desk caddy. 
When I get enough the whole tray will be full of boxes.

These are the pre-punched paper shapes.

Each box holds a bunch of shapes.
Also stored with the pre-punched shapes are some words I cut out of books, stamps and small paper scraps that I use for my collage jewelry. Since the boxes are clear it is easy to see what each box contains. Fortunately, I have several friends and family members that keep me supplied with boxes. My kids get several in their stockings each year and are happy to eat the Tic Tacs and give me the box.
These boxes have other small items I needed to
organize for my collage jewelry projects.

So the next time you need a storage solution that won't break the bank head down the candy isle.  Who knows what sweet idea will be formed.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cork Squares = a Tidy Kitchen

I am sure your family like mine has a multitude of flyers, informational notes etc., that need to be kept handy for quick reference. I have always used the front doors of my refrigerator for this purpose. But it bothered me that they looked messy all the time. When a friend gave me some cork squares she no longer needed it hit me that I had an area I could use to post those notes, the inside of my pantry doors.
This door has three squares of cork.  

A closer look at the door.
This is the second door where all the frequently referenced schedules go.
My husband and I used a heavy duty double stick tape to attach the cork squares to the doors. This will allow for easy removal later. I added names to several of the squares so I could post each person’s notes to their area. On the second door the last two squares are used for the most frequently referred to notes. In our house those are the notes for the high school band and church. This keeps these from getting buried and everyone knows where they are located.

To make the name tags I used some marbled cardstock paper I made and rub on scrapbooking letters. I first attached the name tags with double stick tape but they did not stay. So I now use thumbtacks to keep them in place.

Now my refrigerator is tidy and clean. I could not believe how much better it made my kitchen look and feel to have the refrigerator doors cleared off. So, if you are having trouble finding a place to keep your notes tidy look for an open space behind closed doors and add some cork squares.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Look inside the cabinets!

Sometimes the most obvious answer to a question is right in front of you.  Several years ago I was looking for a way to get information I used frequently in a more accessible area.  I had everything from phone numbers, cooking references and recipes etc.  Then it hit me that I had a lot of cabinet space I was not using.  The cabinet doors.

So my husband and I put rolled cork on the inside of several cabinet doors.  We purchased a roll of cork from Hobby Lobby for less than $20.00 and did four cabinet doors.  Now my frequently used phone numbers, recipes etc. are literally right inside the cabinet.

My husband was concerned that if we glued the cork to the cabinet door when it needed to be replaced it would be hard to remove.  So, we used small nails around the edge on some of the doors.  Since my cabinets are different widths some of the cork goes all the way from edge to edge while others have a small gap around the edge. On the doors with the gap we did use a heavy duty double stick tape to secure the cork.

Here are some pictures:

The is where I keep my cookbooks.  I posted some of our family favorite recipes on the door.

This cork goes all the way from edge to edge inside the door.

The is by my spices and has measurement charts posted.

This is the spice cabinet door.  See how the cork does not go all the way to the edge. We used the double stick tape to secure this cork.

What a mess!  Inside this door is where I keep my frequently called phone numbers.

Now, that is better.  I did a little 2014 cleanup.  Why do I keep so many numbers that are no longer correct?  Maybe I need to purge this door more often.
I have seen in magazines where people have put cork or chalkboard paint on the outside of the cabinet doors.  For my personal taste I wanted my notes and information behind closed doors.   Apparently, since my phone numbers were such a mess I need to keep it behind the doors.  I hope this will spark some useful ideas of a way to keep information handy and tidy. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Well, another year has come and gone.  It is hard to believe that 2014 is here, ready or not.  The start of a new year calls for resolutions, goals and reflection.  I am not one to make a long list of resolutions that I know will be discarded by the end of the first month.  I typically try to pick a few areas of my life that need some extra attention and focus on those areas.

Continuing to develop and grow this blog is one area I plan to concentrate in 2014.  I have decided one way to do this is to focus on a particular area or theme each month.  I hope this will keep me on track on what I post and spark some new ideas along the way.

January for many people is a time to "Get Organized".  So, this month I will post some organization ideas from my craft/sewing room, home and classroom.  Most of my organization tips will be very budget friendly (because remember I am a frugal crafter). 

I look forward to a new year and hope you will join me along the way.