Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plastic bags have eaten me whole!!!

You know, you can only put so many bags aside to use as mini-trash bags liners. Even with my resolve to bring reusable bags to the store, I seem to have an abundance of these things around! They are taking up valuable space, getting in my way, look trashy, etc. Why? Because I used these things for packing up items for storage, and as I unpack two years worth of squirreling, I find myself utterly over run! Except for the occasional biodegradable bag which shatters at the slightest touch... they weren't kidding about that biodegradable part.


What's a girl to do? Well, if she's this girl, she can look around and find out some new uses for bags that will give her hope that hanging onto the darn things will be worth it!

Fused Plastic Gift Bags-with tutorial! Found this awesome little tutorial on It's by Lillianpearl and she says it's her first tutorial but I think it looks pretty good! Way to go, lady :) My mom always saves gift bags too (who doesn't) so these things would get used over and over, it's the ultimate new life for ugly plastic bags.

I also thought this was a nice diversion from the more abundant tutorial of making a reusable shopping bag. Not sure how to fuse bags? Etsy's got you covered here.

While you're wrapping, you could use up some more plastic bags making pom-poms to decorate other packages, just like they do over at c.r.a.f.t. (i thought they were pretty cute, not to mention easy to make, always a win.)

I really enjoyed the look of these clutches over at Crafted by Us. These would make cute gifts too, not to mention they're a great way to use up cute bits and pieces of fabric or ribbon etc. that you just can't bear to get rid of because there's enough to do something it's just not a very big something. 

Not that I ever do that.

Quick! Look at the clutch!

And have you seen the tutorials on making iron-on's our of plastic bags? I wanna try this one, I could see this being really, really fun in a collage kinda way! Not to mention it's so personalized.

These get honorable mention for being cool and creative, but lets be honest, I don't have kids. And the light decor idea doesn't fit my needs...because I'm tall and live in a basement. I'd put my eye out. 

The Bedroom: My Favorite Things

I still have one major project to complete with the bedroom and then it will be all done and amazing! I have a vision of a giant collage type's complicated but fantastic. Till then, I am excited about everything else that has gotten done in there! So here are my favorite little nooks and whatzits of our new bedroom (**note** a lot of this decor was left over decor from the wedding. When I designed stuff for the wedding, I tried to make sure it was usable after so it wasn't wasted money and it has worked out wonderfully!) Enjoy!
Found this $50 shelf for $17 and then used dollar store bins

Gave our laundry sorter a little more character with a shower curtain from the thrift store

Repainted thrift store items=awesome decor

Add caption

The teeny closet we successfully organized!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Bathroom Makeover: Complete

Hello World! Ah, it's a beautiful day...why? because when I walk into my bathroom I see nothing but cuteness. I have spent all weekend scouring thrift stores, the hardware store, craft stores.... and last night, my husband helped me finish putting up shelves in both the bedroom and bathroom. You don't get to see the bedroom one's yet, the room's not ready, but the bathroom is one mat away from being done!

Here's some before shots:

My Aunt's grandsons' cat attacked this thing i guess...

See the lantern and the glass boat? Thrift store =D

Organized but not pretty

Yay for bottles that don't fit in cabinets!....

just cleaned my brushes :)
So, as you saw hints of, I had decided to do some sailboat theme's. I thought some hints at the nautical would give me some direction and work well with the yellow towels. I think I would have loved to do sea glass but the yellow just wouldn't have gone. And my aunt made those monogrammed hand towels with bold blue thread so that really wouldn't have worked. Another time maybe. But I like sailboats :) not so much to collect them but I enjoy them and they remind me of the bay's where I grew up. So I made a list of what I would need to change in order to integrate that feel, as well as some red and more blue.
  • new shower curtain (the one left here is beige)
  • cover the rip in the towel bin
  • new bath mats
  • cover organization boxes
  • shelves
  • baskets
  • rope accents
That was where I started. I went to the local thrift store and found this (as well as that cute lantern and boat cologne bottle you saw there):

Perfecto! Then I went to hardware store and bought some twine, rope, wire and super glue. Another trip or two to other thrift stores led me to some awesome little metal pails for putting things in, a wooden shelf that looks like it belongs on a ship, a mat for around the base of the toilet and a frame. I had to give up and go to target for the shower curtain because by that time I had such a specific idea of what I wanted i just wanted it. Now. Ever have that moment? So i broke and i don't much regret it because I got a finished bathroom! YAY! Here's the after pictures :) 

The whole much as i could through the door...

Now for a close up or two...

Lucky for me we got a calender with this "painting" on it's envelope. Win.

Hair doodad's up top, make-up down below.

 *These hanging baskets were inspired by Be Different, Act Normal, just oh by the way.

Think i might put some cute letters on this. When I'm not so tired.

In case you missed my other entry about making these cute guys :)
The pictures don't do it justice, i suppose, but i freaking love my bathroom. Everything has a little spot and clean up is oh so much faster! The bedroom is next to be featured, it's been making some progress. It's nice to have things actually feel like a room! Tomorrow is the big day, you know, if it doesn't rain. Like it is right now. Grrrrrr. Normally, I love rain, but right now it is preventing me from having all the stuff i have waited YEARS to have out of storage and so.... 

Rain, rain, go away. 
One Saturday afternoon is all I ask. 
Thank you.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Bathroom Makeover! How To: Cover Mini Milk Crates

I've had these mini milk crate things for years. I think maybe 5.

They got me through college :) and now they are a pretty perfect fit for the shelf that was left in the bathroom but they are kinda ugly. And not in my vision for the motif at all. So I decided they get a make over. To do this, I gathered up:
I had three containers, so I chose three complimenting fabrics. I have already used one of these fabrics to mat a picture for the bathroom as well. I measured the boxes height, added an inch for folding over the top edge, and then cut enough to wrap around the box entirely.

Then, using the Loctite glue, I glued the beginning of the strip to one side of the crate.

(By the way, you're not going crazy, I took different pictures with the different fabrics.) I let this dry for 30 min. or so. I then wrapped the crate with the rest of the fabric and glued the other edge down. I then tucked the remaining fabric down over the top edge of the crate, gluing it to the inside. This was trickier, I really wish I had thought to get clothespins the other day! The only problem with the Loctite glue is that it takes a while to dry, so I had to use what I had to hold it down: masking tape. Yeah.... not ideal. But it worked! And that's what matters.

As this was drying, I made my stencils. First, I looked up the images online, then using scrap paper, I drew them with the marker, making sure the silhouettes were solid enough to be cut out of fabric without too much trouble. You can probably achieve this exact goal by simply printing something out, but I don't have a printer right now (it's in storage). Then I took the paper, placed fabric glue on the back, placed it on the backside of the fabric I wanted to cut out, and let it dry. Once it dried, I cut out the stencil/fabric.

Sorry the picture's aren't so hot. I used my cell phone :P. Hey, I am excited and wanted to get it going! Well, that and I was doing this on Grandma's floor, chatting with her while she crocheted. I didn't want it to be in her way too long.

Next, I glued these cut outs onto the crates, and they looked like this:

YAY! I love 'em. And here they are on the shelf, OoooOoooooooo

More to come! The bathroom is almost done and I cannot wait to show you :) Till next time!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Blank Canvas that is my living space

Ok, i'll be honest, I don't know what to call it. Is it an apartment? a basement? a living space? meh... the point is it's mine and I have waited too long to let this moment go to waste! This potential will not be squandered! And by golly I will fit as much of my things in this area as possible without it looking cluttered and crazy. It will be functional and pretty. yay!

However, right now, it looks like this:

It's in a basement so the windows are kind of throwing me off... but that's ok, I'll figure it out. Those curtains are going though, I can tell you that right now. If it wasn't raining all weekend, I'd have some more furniture coming in, which would be helpful, but for now I have to be content to dream.....hmmmmmm.....oh and plan!!! Yeah, let me quote fieldstone hill here and say,  

"By creating a vision for my space, I can begin to prioritize and get creative with my purchases and projects."

I have given this some thought before, when Scott and I were engaged and we had to register for stuff. We didn't get a lot of things, more like a lot of gift cards, and we were cool with that because we like recycling and thrifting! It was perfect. Still. It's been 7 months and, I won't bore you with the details but this is the first time all (well, like 80%) of our things will be in one spot TOGETHER. Not just our bed and clothing. Our stuff. This is what we call a moment. And this is why I am excited. And it's not the biggest space ever, but that's fine. To me that just means being very intentional about what the vision is. 

We don't have a lot of money to blow and I don't like to waste anything either so that's another reasons to get things straight before I walk into a store. Again, I'm going to refer you to a woman who has already put it together in words so perfectly at fieldstone hill, Darlene. (Hey, when they say it so well, why try to one up?) I couldn't agree more with her outlook and advice on vision.

Soon, I'll have some things to show about bathroom =D And if can figure out how, I'll put together some kind of vision board and share that too. Till next time!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Cards: A lesson in composition

com·po·si·tion [kom-puh-zish-uhn] –noun

Fine Arts . the organization or grouping of the different parts of a work of art so as to achieve a unified whole.

It's about a month away from the holiday so I figure it's time to talk about the big V day.  I wish I had a better tutorial for this, however, when I made these last year I wasn't doing a blog or tracking how iImade things. I'm just glad I was proud enough of my little cards to take some pictures! I still wanted to write about it though, so I hope this at least inspires you to get creative with your cards. 

If you've never done collage work, it can be very mentally cleansing.  At least I think it is. I get in a zone of meandering through magazines with new eyes, clipping out the random snippets of wonder I come across in pages full of generally negative projections. This is the main part of my love for collage, transformation from something ugly (like ads that promote a poor perception of beauty) to something positive and uplifting. 

**IDEA ALERT! Collage can be really fun with friends! Have a get together, invite everyone to bring a stack of magazines and some scissors, provide some snacks, throw on some background music and make a social night of it. Super fun times. ALSO you can use this same idea for some really cute and unique invitations, though I'd keep it to a small party since collaging a lot of cards could get overwhelming... END ALERT**

Things You'll Need:
  1. Cardstock
  2. Something for the "backdrop"
  3. Some magazines to cut into
  4. Mod Podge (or your favorite adhesive for collage/scrapbooking)
  5. Accents

1* Last year, I came across a pack pre-cut heart shaped cards at Michael's and made them my canvas. I had so much fun with it because it was a mix of the traditional "building" of a valentine but used less doilies. Not that I don't love a good doily project but sometimes you just have to bust out of the norm, you know? 

2* I had origami paper left over from one of those 365 day calenders. You were supposed to do a project everyday, but I didn't like every project so I had a lot of cool paper to use for whatever else I wanted. You, of course, can use scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, fabric, felt, big photo, etc. for a good backdrop to the scraps you add. 

A larger magazine photo can make for a good backdrop.

3* Grab the magazines and look for whatever inspires you, cut it out to use. Just because it's V-day doesn't mean you have to get mushy. You can give a card to family, your kids, your neighbor, your friends....and with collage you can make it personal ( the recipients favorite color, theme, etc.).

A friend of mine bought this one for her son, a big John Lennon fan.

4* Before going nuts with the glue, arrange your selected cut outs into the desired affect. You don't have to cover the entire heart in words or images, though that could look really awesome too. Composition can play a significant role.  The easiest way to think of composition, for me, is in terms of music. Think of an orchestra, several completely different instruments (elements) playing one song (the piece). Or maybe a dance with several dancers doing different things at once to one song and yet it all flows together in one poetic, united, display of movement. 

Apply that concept to collage. You can have sequins, glitter, fabric, ribbon, bits and bobs of whatever come together to make a whole card and send one message. Alternate sizes (large fonts with small dots of glitter), use different shades or patterns of the same color, incorporate different shapes...but make sure you orient it all to the message you want to project. You want the balance of all of these elements to accent the main image or word you want to have as the focus.

The words "Open Your Heart" lead into the key to opening it.

5* This was pretty much covered in #4 use whatever will stick to the card :) Also, don't feel like you have to use magazines to say every word, if you have a stamp or a label maker that you can use to printout the word a different way then it can be a nice addition to the composition.

This card incorporates stamping and rhinestones as well.

What are you planning to do for Valentine's Day?

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