Tuesday, September 30, 2014

No Jumping

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bye, Summer

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hanging Around

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Puzzle Frame

Ever wonder what to do with old picture frames, or jigsaw puzzles you've put together already or lost some pieces to?

Here's an idea that combines both:

I layered the puzzle pieces on the frame and fixed them into place with a mini hot glue gun. Because I had that big space to fill on the right side of this frame I put together part of the puzzle to show the peacock, which I thought was a neat effect. Also, sorry for blurring the actual photo in the frame, but that's me and my kid, and I prefer to keep family pics off the internet. :)

I picked up a bunch of these frames on sale for $2 at Dollar General, and I already had the used puzzles, which were originally $1, so this one cost three bucks.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hospitality Bowl

This isn't really a craft, but it's a nice, no-work-involved recycling idea. It started with a pretty ceramic bowl I bought for a floral arrangement project; when I got it home I discovered it was too shallow for my purposes:

I liked it too much to return it, so for a while the bowl lived in the guest room as a pretty object. One night, when we had a guest who forgot several things staying with us, I finally found a new purpose for it. I always keep spare/new tooth brushes, manicure kits and other toiletries on hand for just such reasons (we regularly have a lot of guests at our house) and that night I put everything they needed in the bowl so they could find it easily.

Now I keep the bowl stocked with guest stuff:

Most of these items are unused extras from my own travel kits; I picked up the cute little owl manicure kit from Dollar Tree, so I'll estimate the total cost to be under ten dollars.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pirate's Pincushion

My friend Jill makes gorgeous jewelry, and for my birthday she gave me a beautiful pendant in this lovely little wooden box:

I never throw out interesting containers, and while I was recycling that china cup into a pincushion, I thought I'd try the same with Jill's box:

Total cost: zero, everything is recycled. The nice thing about this is that with the locking latch the box will work perfectly as a traveling pincushion. Now all I need is a ship, a parrot and some mateys! Ha.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sharps Can Holder

A pretty solution to a practical problem:

When I'm working between the sewing machine, the ironing board and the cutting table, I tend to lose track of my tools like scissors, seam ripper, rotary cutter, sharpie marker, etc. I often end up finding them only by stabbing myself with them as I reach under some fabric or they fall out of something.

To deal with this, I made this sewing tool holder by wrapping an empty vegetable can with some leftover fabric, ribbon and trim scraps from a current tote bag project. It holds all my most frequently-used sharp tools, and it's easy enough to grab the can and take it to wherever I'm working. Total cost: zero; everything is recycled.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In Progress

Now that I can see well enough to handle a hot glue gun I was able to get started on this vanity keepsake box project:

This is an antique glove box (yes, a box in which women used to keep their gloves. They were quite handy until we stopped wearing gloves, I think.) It originally came to me as a container for some trims I bought on Etsy, and was just too pretty to discard. The exterior quilted fabric covering was stained and dinged, however, so I needed to rehab it. I'm trying to get over my dislike of all things pink, so I went with a pink/green theme.

Here's a look at the original interior:

It has a bit of a musty smell to it, so I'm probably going to line it with rose-scented drawer paper to help deodorize it. I really like how the top came out:

The pink flower at the upper left hand corner was a brooch that I accidentally broke while trying to pin it to one of my Victorian totes, and I'm very happy I found another way I could use it. Aside from the cost of the lining paper, which I don't know yet, all the trims were leftovers from other projects, so the cost so far for this is zero. :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Repurposing Week

Lately I've been doing a lot of experimenting, creatively speaking, with repurposing and recycling objects. I thought I'd share some pics of my results, so first up, an elegant spin on a pincushion:

For this I used scrap fabric and leftover fiberfill I already had on hand. Total cost: fifty cents I paid Goodwill for the orphaned china cup.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Live Roof

Saw this little barn outside a ranger station while on a day trip to the forest:

Promptly added the pic to my "cool buildings I have to write into a story someday" file.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting Arty

One of the things I did a lot of while I was recovering from surgery was hand beading and quilting, which I discovered I can do strictly by touch (as long as someone else threads the needles for me.) This art quilt tote was one of the more interesting projects I worked on:

I got this cute hand-dyed venise flower as a little extra from one of my lace suppliers, and let that inspire the entire piece:

It didn't come out perfect -- quite the opposite -- but perfection wasn't the point. I love all the shades of violet, and I wanted to celebrate that love, so I did. It also kept me from going crazy while I was vision-challenged. Here's a detail from the back of the tote:

I think I must have used a million beads on this one, but it was excellent therapy.

Monday, September 15, 2014

At the Vineyard

Now that I can actually see well enough to use my camera again (more details on that over at my author blog today) I thought I'd reopen the photoblog. As I'm still recovering I probably won't be posting every day, but I should have some interesting things to share on a semi-regular basis.

Here are the first three pics I took once I could manage the camera; these were at a vineyard we visited for an art show: