Sunday, September 25, 2016

Penny's bag

Our boxer Penny loves the beach. But living in Florida is HOT! We take a cooler with a 32 oz bladder filled with cold water in addition to a 16oz bottle of water that gets refilled from the bladder as we walk. Up until today, we have had to backtrack on our walk in order to refill her bottle. Not only is it inconvenient, imagine a 5 year old kid that thinks we're leaving ever time we turn around for refills and that's Penny..."are we going home already?"... she's been known to park her fanny and look at the 2 of us as if to say "I'm not ready yet!".
So I thought I would put my birthday present to good use. My wonderful husband (and Penny) bought me an embroidery machine. I found it on Craigslist. If we had not run into a great guy named James I would have never been able to have one of these...
Here's how I made Penny's bag:
I used 2 small terry cloth towels, some insul-brite batting, a crab embroidery pattern and the comic sans font. I've been doing a lot of reading and video watching (thank goodness for YouTube 😀) because the first time I tried the embroidery part I didn't realize that the thread would sink into the fabric without the proper stabilizer. I found a website that used Glad brand press'n seal  as an inexpensive alternative to water soluble. And it works!
Now we have an insulated cover for Penny's water bladder we can use without having to turn around on the beach...and it even has a handle that makes it easy to hold.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Travel bag

I've needed a new travel bag for my "bathroom stuff" forever. However it's been impossible to find just the right thing. I take lots of medicine and wear contacts in addition to the normal stuff a girl needs when she travels. 

And that led to this...via Pinterest and Craftsy of course! I don't have a true tutorial for this 'cause it was one of those "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of project. I can tell you that it turned out larger than I thought and only took 4 fat quarters. And it's lined too! 

I used two fat quarters for the outside (don't you love the print!!) and 2 solid colors for the outside, one 28" zipper (didn't know what size I needed but they're pretty easy to cut to size) and Pellon 70 ultra firm stabilizer. 

I made a cardboard template from a letter size piece of cardboard that was an insert from something.
I traced my medicine container to get the overall length and width and measured my tallest item (contact solution bottle) to make sure that everything I needed fit height wise. I had enough fabric with the 4 fat quarters to add a pocket in the top inside for my meds that I can be sure are gonna stay where they should. 
Once I decided how big I needed the bag (mine is 10" tall overall), I started measuring pieces before I cut anything just to make sure I could use the fabric I wanted. (I bought the skull print months ago and knew that I wouldn't be able to find anymore.) I found the directions for the zipper installation and the construction of the sides in a class on Craftsy called "Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers" by Annie Unrein. The travel organizers in her class are made for taking to sewing or quilting class. They're very easy to follow and she gives great instructions which made it easy for me to adjust the size. 
It took me a little while to work out the pattern in my head and I was also smart enough to put it down when I was getting turned around in my brain. Which meant not too many seams had to be undone...yea!!
And if you never looked into Craftsy classes you really should. The ones I have are very easy to follow along with and you have the opportunity to ask question as well as see what others have made. Really good ideas on the site and they have some great sales. And they have sales a lot...fabric, supplies and classes are all put on sale at one time or another. If you sign up for the email notifications, they'll send you an email when sales happen! 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Napkin rings!

I will admit that I am cheap...not thrifty... cheap. After I finished the placemats, it was time for new napkins and napkin rings. I thought about making the napkins but the price of fabric makes it not the best price choice. I found new ones at Kohl's... clearance priced... paid for with Kohl's cash... meaning FREE! Love that!
Then I picked up the napkin rings next to them. $5.00 each for plain wooden rings. Not in my world 😞 I just can't do that.
So I looked through all the craft "crap" as my hubby lovingly calls it and found some thick cardboard tubes. Don't know why I saved them but I did. And thank goodness I did.
I cut the tube into 8 1-1/2" sections. Using just regular white glue spread all over each section, I wrapped each piece with cotton string and then glued a shell on each finished piece. From start to finish it took about an hour. Spreading the glue was messy but they sure we're worth it.
 They look great with the placemats and dishes and the best part? They were pretty much free since I had everything I needed on hand.
Love these!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

New place mats!

We finally bought new dishes! Then I realized that we needed new placemats to match 😞. It's also one of those times that my frugal habits would make things difficult. Sooo... I kept thinking that I would come across the exact match AND find them on sale. Six weeks later and nothing. Not even a "kinda match".
I ended up shopping the Joann website to see what kind of fabric I could find on sale. I found this great batik fabric that I had used a while ago to make some hot pads. It wasn't on sale that day. $12  a yard. Not happening in my world cause I would need 8 mats. Quick math told me that I would need close to 4 yards. I would also have to pay shipping. These mats were gonna cost a small fortune!
And then I checked my email. JoAnn had sent me a 60% off coupon!
And when I went back to the website, the fabric had been marked down to $9 a yard. I bought 4 yards and the site let me use my 60% off coupon. I didn't think it would work but it did!! (Most of the time those coupons only work for regularly priced items which I understand.)
I bought 4 yards and spent around $30 including shipping. Nice right? 😎
It took me, start to finish, roughly 2 1/2 hours to make 8. And they were finished in time for dinner with guests at the house. And they match our new dishes which makes me very happy. AND they were cheap!!
I also have enough left to make some more hot pads.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Penny's travel bag

We have become one of those couples that include our dog in everything possible including travel. She's become a wonderful companion for me when I have a bad day.
BUT...she didn't have her own travel bag. The last time we traveled with her, I used an old tailgating tote. She deserves something special,  don't you think?
I found this pattern and thought it would make the perfect bag for her. Beach bag
The sides on Penny's bag go all the way to the top and I lined her bag instead of binding it.
Her directions are very easy to follow and I think makes the pattern pretty simple to complete.
Let me know if you make one! I would love to see it!