Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stamped washer necklace

When my granddaughter was here in December she was looking for something special that she could make for her mom for Christmas.  My granddaughter makes a huge effort to make every gift something memorable for her mom. They have an incredibly close relationship and it's absolutely wonderful to watch them interact.
We decided to do what all good craft addicts do...we hit Pinterest and came up with this:
A stamped washer necklace. The ones we saw were all made with sterling silver but the only washers I had on hand were stainless steel from the hardware store. The stamps were given to me by my dad years ago and had been sitting in the garage for a while.

This whole project took us about 30 minutes and was incredibly easy. Once you've figured out what you want stamped on the washer, lay out the stamps in order. We put the washer on a metal anvil and used a hammer to stamp each letter. Once the letters were stamped, we used a fat tipped black Sharpie marker to "trace" each letter. The excess ink was cleaned off with alcohol and a soft cloth. I strung 3 beads, one for each of the kids in their birth month color, to hang with the washer. (Sorry about the photo quality...I'm trying to get better at it but like other bloggers they seem to be an afterthought once the crafts are finished.) We strung both pieces on satin cording long enough to be worn but could also be cut to use on her key chain.

I would imagine that using sterling washers would be easier because it's a softer metal than the stainless steel but the stainless will probably hold up longer due to the hardness. You can find the stamp sets in 3 sizes at Harbor Freight along with coupons and locations in your area.

All in all, she was very happy with the way it turned out. And again another "instant gratification" project for us to complete in our week together!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sharpie tile tabletop

 Thrift store table with "Sharpie painted" tile top

I found this table at a local thrift store. I loved the iron legs but the top is made from a pressed board that had started to rot. I've seen Sharpie markers used for painting before but had never tried it. I thought this would be the perfect place to try it because the top of the table fits a 12 x 12 tile perfectly. 
I went to our local big home store and bought a 12 x 12 matte finish porcelain tile for about $1 and came home and went to town with the colors. Once the ink had set, I used an eye dropper and some rubbing alcohol which causes the ink to "run". If you drop salt on the tile before the ink has a chance to dry, it causes the spots that you see on the tile. I used sea salt on this tile and the size of the salt crystals will determine the size of the spots. Regular table salt will make smaller spots. The salt needs to be left on the tile until the alcohol completely dries and then brush it off lightly.
So to make this tile, you'll need:
1 12 x 12 matte finished porcelain tile
Sharpie markers
eye dropper
rubbing alcohol
Salt - either sea salt or table salt depending on the effect you're looking for

Here's a picture of the tile after it was dry.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Holiday canvases with my Silhouette cutter Lighted Holiday canvas

I made this back during December when my granddaughter was visiting from SC. We ended up making 3 all together. We used the Silhouette cutter and some vinyl along with battery operated lights, acrylic paint and glitter glue from the dollar store. Once the pattern of choice was cut from the vinyl and applied to a plain white canvas, I used an eyelet setter to make the holes for the lights. Once I added the glitter glue to help hold the lights in place, they stood out even more. I used double sided tape to hold the battery box on to the back of the canvas. We made 2 others using the vinyl outlines as templates instead of the vinyl itself and painted them. The holes were made before painting just to make sure we had the placement right with the templates and to make sure that the canvas would hold up with the eyelet cutter. All in all, this was a very simple project and took 2 afternoons just to allow for the paint and glitter to dry. My granddaughter made a large Christmas tree that she gave to one of her other grandmothers as a Christmas present. And I'm sure it will be treasured as another of her handmade gifts. We really enjoy our time crafting and I look forward to her visits every few months!  


Friday, January 16, 2015


And this is our shiny Penny!
Snuggling and napping
Definitely not an early morning person!!

She's been an absolute joy to have here and just like us, is full of quirks...(I always say I'm not crazy I'm quirky!) She likes to kiss you awake in the morning and no man is left safe in the bed. Everyone has to get up and out of bed. Once she's been out to do her morning routine, she's very quick to jump on her quilt, snuggle under the closest blanket to make sure her head is in the dark, and is soon snoring again...UNTIL 8:00. Then it's breakfast time and she'll be pacing the floors looking at you like "Don't you get it?? Didn't you look at the clock? Where's my food?"
But we do love her dearly and she's a lot of fun to have here. She plays "hide and seek" with my husband in the house and what I've come to call "Get off the porch Penny" with me in the yard. It's our version of chase with her using the back door as her "base". We have a large yard that was slightly intimidating to her when she first got here so it took some encouragement to get her "off the porch" and running around. She seems to have picked up the phrase as a sort of invitation to play chase with me...which can make getting to the door interesting at times because she's a fast runner and loves to sneak up behind me and cut me off right before I hit the concrete! 
Like I said, we love having her here and she's been a wonderful attitude adjustment for me!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Party lights!!

This is our bar room known to normal people as a dining room. When we bought our home back in 2005, we had 2 main requirements. My husband wanted a large kitchen and I needed a space for this bar. (He did the majority of the cooking at the time.)
My father was a contractor in Charleston for years as was my grandfather. He did some renovation work at one of the old yacht clubs in Charleston and was asked to remove the antique mahogany bar (why??). My mom fell in love with this corner piece and asked that my dad bring it home for her. He did. It was all good until they moved and didn't have enough space for it. She was going to ditch it until I begged her to hang on to it for me until I had a place for it...little did she know it would take years!
I really love this room...and the party glasses...and the lights...and just about everything in it makes me happy. I keep/make a party glass for just about any occasion as well as a great supply of fun party napkins.
I keep my wine corks as do most wine drinking crafters. I also have a tendency to pick up items at craft stores that are clearance items. (You never know when you might need them!) Going through my "stash" one day, I found a string of indoor Christmas lights that I had bought on clearance. When I did a search for "wine cork crafts" I found nothing that included lights. So here's what I did:

I took the lights, some eye hooks from the hardware store, jump rings, school glue and my corks and made me some party lights! I dipped the ends of the eye hooks into the glue and "screwed" them into each cork. I let the glue dry over night and then, using the jump rings, attached each cork between each light.

I used Command hooks to hang the lights to avoid any damage to the bar. It will also make removing the lights easy if I ever decide to change pong balls maybe? I've seen those done on Pinterest and think they would be awesome on colored lights! Maybe I need to look for a string of outdoor lights?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Reconstructed sweatshirt 
I love this sweatshirt!!
I had a plain grey hoodie in my drawer that I very rarely wore. It needed something on the front and sometimes the hoods on these things drive me crazy! I was considering cutting the hood off and adding some sort of collar but daughter came to visit and brought some SC Select Club Whiskey that came in this nifty velvet bag.
She left me the bag when she went back to SC and I thought I would see what I could do with it. 
This was a really simple project and is a great way to keep those leftover bags that hold special weekend memories and not just throw them in a drawer as we all have a tendency to do. 
The first thing I did was cut the front and top off of the bag. Once it was centered and pinned to the front of the shirt, I used a zig zag stitch to attach it making sure to leave the pockets free. (The zig zag lets the knit of the sweatshirt still move.) I may still end up cutting off the hood but for right now I love this! I think about her every time I wear it! 
The whole thing took about an hour from start to finish and I was able to wear it to a neighbor's party that evening.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New dog collar for Penny!

                                   "Dress up" collar for Penny!
 First let me say we never thought we'd be the type of dog owners that needed to dress up our dog...HOWEVER...when I started looking at a new collar for Penny, I found nothing that really stood out as "Penny" and what I found was EXPENSIVE! So I got online and started looking for collar patterns. The pattern I used came from here. She has several dog related patterns. I found Country Brook Design that carries everything dog collar and leash related hardware and webbing to make your own. Not only do they carry a variety of sizes and styles, but their shipping is absolutely fantastic! (I received my order 2 days after it was placed.) The instructions are included in the package which makes this a complete "no brainer, instant gratification" sewing project. Perfect for a Saturday afternoon sewing project! With the exception of the buckle hardware, I did complete the whole project with leftovers from my sewing stash.
Included in my package was the following: 1" side release buckle, 1" triglide slide and 1" D-ring. (I ordered a 10 pack knowing that if it was really as easy as it looked, I could make several of these not only for Penny but for friends in the neighborhood as gifts.) The package also includes the measurements for the webbing or ribbon that you want to use and sewing instructions for the different stitch patterns you will need to know how to do.
This one was so easy that Penny can now have "party collars" just like I have a stash of "party cups"! The whole project took approximately 30 minutes from start to finish and was incredibly easy. If you decide to try this, my only suggestion would be to use your zipper foot. It made getting close to the buckles and slide much easier than using a regular sewing foot. I used some leftover felt flower "buttons" that I had left from another project just to dress it up a little. And it does give her a little "attitude" when she wears it on walks around the neighborhood.
My daughter has asked me about trying to use a heavy grade hook and loop tape on the base so she could use the same base but change out the ribbons along with the calendar. I think this is certainly doable and will keep you updated on the progress!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Penny's jar

Custom "cookie" jar for our new adoptee!

We recently adopted a 6 year old boxer named Penny. She's been an absolutely wonderful addition to our home. Due to some health issues, I'm not currently working and having her with me during the day has brightened up my attitude immensely! Although Penny has added some work and time to my days she's been worth every minute. She seems to sense when I'm having a bad day and doesn't mind snuggling on the couch with me and plays like a new puppy on the days we can hang out in the yard together.
Needless to say, since she's an "only child" (we're empty nesters) she's quickly becoming spoiled but in a good way. She needed the one on one attention as much as I needed the company. She's also become a huge "princess" for my husband. Since he's never had a true pet, he really didn't understand how quickly they can take over your heart.
I've been slowing learning how to add some custom Penny items to her "stash" of necessary things. One of the first items I made was a customized cookie jar. I used my Silhouette cutter along with some contact paper, etching cream and white paint to personalize it. The etching cream is simple to use but I have found with other projects that if you paint on a thin layer of white paint then wipe it off with paper towels the etching really stands out. I've never tried other paint colors but I would guess that you would get the same results.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Coffee can yard lights

ICoffee can lights for the yard!

I've been saving metal coffee cans for a while now without having anything in mind to really do with them. I just knew I could use them for "something". (I know I'm not the only one out there that does that, right?)
I finally pulled them out the other day. I pulled out my Dremel and starting thinking about designs. I managed to drill our last name into one and once I put a candle inside, the effect was just what I was hoping for!
I first washed and dried the can. I used a fat Sharpie marker to write on the can knowing I would be spray painting the can later. I used the Dremel to drill holes for the outline of our name and some drainage holes in the bottom. Once the drilling was finished, I used a BBQ rated spray paint for the outside. Using sand to weight the can down, I inserted a candle and since I left the inside unpainted, the light really reflects well. I've done 2 others with just drilling holes in random areas that work well. I still have 2 others to play with and I think I need to find some easy shell designs for those. I plan on using some solar lights that way they can stay in the yard all the time.

Tshirt remake

I saw this shirt about a year ago and absolutely fell in love with the idea. So like a lot of you, I promptly pinned it thinking that it would be one of those instant gratification projects that I love. But then I put the idea away but kept going back to it with the thought that I have plenty of scrap fabric and she really made it seem pretty straight forward.
Last week I was cleaning out some old clothes to donate. One of the first things I grabbed was a Tshirt...and then...I said NO! Now I can do that Tshirt makeover I saw! My normal "m.o." with these sorts of projects is not to measure and just jump right in. In this case it worked out perfectly!  I'm pretty broad shouldered and hate tightly fitted shirts. I hemmed what would become the sleeve end first, sewed the sides using a knit zigzag stitch and then hemmed the bottom of the cotton fabric even with the Tshirt. Since the fabric is stripped,  it's going to match several things in my closet and is loose fitting just like I wanted.
All in all...a win for me! And a big thanks to marieC on for the original post. It's filed under "fix for a too small tshirt".