Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween, the "Happy Apple" and the Mad Hatter

Have a happy and safe Halloween!  I will be spending my weekend refinishing my latest antique shop finds.  The items in the picture below I purchased at an antique shop for a amazing total of $17.  It was like American Pickers north country edition.  Of course I had to make a trip to Lowes and I managed not to scare anyone.  I think they are getting use to me! All three pieces need work but are totally salvageable.    The dresser is cherry, the headboard is oak and I'm not sure what the cupboard door is but it was heavy.  I am hoping to turn the cupboard door into a headboard for our bed!  Look for finished photos hopefully next week!

Also in the above picture is the Mad Hatter hat I made to go with my costume.  I will share more pictures of the finished costume next week.   At first we weren't going to go out and then I found out yesterday we would be going, so it was a "mad" dash to put it all together with items I already had in the house, but I think it turned out amazing.

I just wanted to share the "Happy Apple" I added to my t-shirt yarn iPod cozy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Totally Fantastic Recycled Yarn

Recycled yarn has limitless possibilities.  It can be made out of just about anything, I have used old bed sheets, old sweaters, leggings, wool items (blankets, jackets), newspaper and even plastic bags (i haven't tried this yet but soon).  Just about anything you can cut into strips can be made into yarn.  Here are some examples: 

Newspaper basket w/ a t-shirt yarn mat (BF's old tshirt)
newspaper basket again w/ spring butterflies
The newspaper basket was made by cutting sheets of the newspaper into long strips (I used the funny pages b/c they have good color) and then spinning it on a drop spindle to create thin "yarn-like" peices.  Then I crocheted it into a basket and sealed/stiffened it with a glue/water mixture.  It is now on my desk at work filled with post-its, and what not.  It makes a great conversation piece at not cost!  

Here is a really great tutorial to make tshirt yarn .  Even the oldest t-shirt (like the orange one above looked rather worn out before) still makes nice recycled yarn.  Just a word of warning though before you start raiding your BF or husbands t-shirt drawer asked for permission b/c for some reason they are crazy attached to their t-shirts.  I was able to get my BF to part with 5!  Thrift shops are also a great place to find lots of old t-shirts! If you do not like the color, it is really easy to dye them with RIT dye, just cut it into strips and follow the directions on the back.  For darker colors you may want to use the RIT color remover first, which works great and then dye.  Below is an example of a rug I am working on using thrift store t-shirts I dyed.

This started out as 4 shirts (lime green, gray, red, bright blue)
One "failure" that I don't really mind with this, is when I was dying it, I left it in "hanks" which I don't mind the  variegated colors, but if you want solid colors dye your yarn loose, I have done this too, you just have to untangle it when it gets out of the dryer.  This rug is about half done and i have used 2 1/2 shirts.  To crochet it you would have to use a large crochet hook, the one pictured above is the largest I could find at 16 mm.  It is a double crochet oval.  So raid your old t-shirt draw and start creating!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rustic Candy Cane

After creating this A Peppermint & Mercury Glass Christmas Treasury List, I was really inspired by all the candy cane items I found so last night I sat down on my living room floor with my pile of bed springs and created:

I then had to paint each spring separately and put it back together but I think it turned out super cute.  It is available for sale in my Etsy Shop

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

♥ Vintage Soda Box Love ♥

I love vintage soda boxes, coke, pepsi whatever brand.   The hardest part in purchasing one is what to do with it.  I know they are great for organization, but I don't really need anything like that.  So I decided to try them out as wall decorations. 

So once I got them up on the wall, yes I actually hung them up myself and didn't get hurt :) (I'm a little accident prone)  It was time to figure out what to fill them with.  The sections are rather small, so small trinkets would be needed and since I am not a big knick knack person I didn't really have anything.  Vintage letterpress blocks would have been awesome but they are so expensive.   So I had a chunk of balsa wood hanging around and had just recently bought a thing of chalkboard paint.  I cut the balsa wood into small blocks, then sanded them down and painted them.  Chalkboard paint is one of those crazy awesome things, that once you get you aren't sure how you crafted without it before, the uses are endless.  So now I have small chalkboard blocks to put messages in my vintage soda box wall decoration.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ode to the Magic Eraser: My Crafting Savior

I have always loved the mr clean magic eraser for cleaning, but since I am horribly messy and accident prone while crafting it has become my savior. Last night while spray painting I must have gotten orange spray paint on my foot and not realized. I had a few small tracks in my kitchen. I grabbed my trusty magic eraser with hopes of cleaning it up before my BF saw, and of course I was not let down it cleaned dried paint off the floor easily!

Also if you happen to accidentally dye your hand purple it works on that too! Even when paint thinner fails!

Magic Eraser, Original

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bubba's little snack

So I got home 2 nights ago after forgetting my iPod touch on the coffee table, to find it on the floor out of the case and my nice pink leather case chewed up by my dog, Bubba.

Instead of buying a new one a creative recycling idea came to me. I had a ball of red tshirt yarn hanging around so I chose to crochet an iPod cozy!

Crocheting it was very quick and easy, all I did was chain 7 then start double crocheting all around the main chain row, continue double crocheting around until you reach the height you want and tie off the yarn. I didn't add a button b/c mine turned out to be tight enough without it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My first post and scaring the workers at Lowes

So this is my first blog post.  I figured I would start with a very funny crafting story from my first trip to Lowes to buy crafting supplies.  I was on a mission to get things to make stuff out of punched tin (i.e. lampshade, candle holders, butterflies, stars...the list goes on)  I could not find the aluminum flashing, which works wonderfully for punched tin.  I stopped a Lowe's employee and he showed me where it was, all the time I know he was wondering what the heck I would be doing with it.  I was looking through several of the different options (sizes, aluminum vs. copper etc) and the guy looks at me and says "you are doing roofing?", I'm like no I am going to make a punched tin lampshade.  Then you know how people give you that look that they totally think you are crazy, well thats what I got.  So after the punched tin, I need to get tin snips and I think I managed to confuse another employee.  Then upon checkout, my weird assortment raised some eyebrows by the cashier as well, I had chalkboard paint, a roll of aluminum flashing, tin snips and a piece of molding.  This is apparently not a normal mixture of items, but ohh well I created this: