Posts tagged ‘DIY’

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

tossed and found

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

That’s a pretty good adage when it comes to making the most of our possessions.  But what about the re-make aspect?  To me, that’s where the real fun lies.  I think the Wary Meyers agree.

They found not only the use-ability but also the humor in their used up stuff.  Their new book, Wary Meyers’ Tossed and Found Book is definitely on my Wish List.  I especially love the how-to sketches and behind-the-scenes planning pages.

By scrounging through flea markets and trash bins the Meyers have found items that lived a great life and given them a whole new existence.  Basketball hoop turned side table anyone?  From garden to dining table – ceiling?

If you’re inspired, check out a great article about John and Linda Meyers on Design*Sponge.

via Make

Monday, October 26, 2009

hang in there

I know I went AWOL.  This past week has shown me the true challenges of having small children.  It’s them or this.  I’m sorry, I chose them.  I don’t get on the computer when Toddler L is at home unless he’s sleeping.  When he sleeps I need Baby S to be cooperative and either sleep or sit comfortably so I can work.  That didn’t happen this week. 

Someday I’ll figure out how to work in my sleep.

On a completely unrelated note, check out this idea…


I have always really liked the look of an eclectic grouping of pictures.  Now that grouping can be useful as well as beautiful.

Grab some thrift-store frames, fiberboard and lovely paper.

Cabinet knobs and pushpins hold necklaces and bracelets. Earrings dangle from lengths of ribbon hung horizontally across a frame.  Brooches and pins slide easily into a corkboard backed frame.

I’m thinking yes. 

Now if only I could get my hands on that gorgeous bag too.

via DIYIdeas

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

fashion weak

Angela, over at My Year Without Spending, wrote a post about The Skirt.  The skirt that tempted her to break her Compact resolution.  She didn’t do it.  But she did pose the question about how to avoid the temptation (and high price) of fashion.  Her closing comments included the statement:

“there’s no reason you can’t be stylish without spending tons of money. You can buy less trendy clothes and wear them longer. You can shop secondhand. Or you can eschew fashion altogether. That’s probably the most effective way to break the addiction.”

This made my head rear back in affront.  (Not really, but doesn’t that sound like a great effect?)  It did make me think though.  I am certainly not addicted to shopping.  Even when I could shop in any store I wanted I never really liked the act of it.  And I’m not sure I’ve ever really been in fashion.  But I do like to appear fashionable.  So the idea of eschewing fashion to save money just made me shake my head.  Nope can’t do it.

Lucky for me, the next blog post I read was over at say YES! to hoboken where Liz modeled this gorgeous tee.


Best of all, she made it.  I love the look and it affirmed my belief that fashion doesn’t have to have a price tag.  Although I won’t be making one for myself as I look ridiculous in ruffles.

If Angela is staying out of the fashion houses to ease her addiction I guess I’ll have to put away the computer because seeing pictures like this one


just make me crave a new camera lens like nobody’s business.

*no animals were harmed in the making of this post but I did take a portion of Angela’s post out of context.  That’s the way my head works.  And if it weren’t for secondhand I’d have no cashmere.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

concrete tumblers

concrete tumbler

These truly have my design wheels spinning.  Thick glass with a concrete base.  If any of you get creative and try this at home I’d love to hear about it.

via Charles&Marie

Monday, August 24, 2009

fashion basics


If you have, or love, a little girl you simply must try this project.  I am exempt as I have boys but I sure think it’s fabulous.  The ingenious Ashley, at Make It and Love It, shows all it takes to have the cutest, simplest little skirt and leggings.  Two old t-shirts (your own or from a favorite thrift store – how Compact) and what looks to be a very short amount of time.

What little girl wouldn’t love this for the new school year?  I know I would, but I don’t think the sleeves would fit.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

enveloped in style

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m a huge fan of making things.  Granted, I’ve shown you lots of things I’d LIKE to make yet haven’t actually gotten around to yet.  I have a list.

I’m adding these to my list.

First up is a simple DIY on making envelopes out of whatever you have lying around.  For all you recyclers that could be quite the mother-load.  For the rest of you, dig out that adorable cat calendar your great-aunt sent you that you couldn’t bring yourself to hang up on January 1st.


BrujaHa created this tutorial for the folks at instructables.  I love instructables.

Now you can take the junk mail and create something useful out of it.  I like the idea of mailing the gas bill payment in an envelope made from a circular sent by the electric company.  Or send your great-aunt a wonderful birthday card in a certain cat print envelope.



Just follow BrujaHa’s instructions with her nice pictures and you’ll be at the post office in no time.


If making envelopes isn’t your thing, or you have more than enough already how about this little lovely…


I love the idea of an envelope book.  So many uses.  Take a trip and bring this along for all the mementos your bound to collect.  Keep clippings of kids’ haircuts for sentimental reasons.  Or clippings of your own hair to see the changes over the years (green from those early punk days, the “natural” blond of summer, that horrible red your stylist talked you into right before your sister’s wedding…), or not.  Keep whatever.  But what a cute way to keep it.

Again for those great folks at instructables.  This time the tutorial is by Donovan Beeson and she really knows how to tute.  Lots of great detailed instruction and photos will take you through a step by step of how to create a book of envelopes for any occasion.


I bet you have the supplies for this one too.  Or at least a trip to the thrift store for a fabric scrap, some envelopes and a stop by the grocery store for a cardboard box will net you what you need.


I don’t have pretty blue vintage envelopes but I’m thinking I can find something.  Or I could make a bunch of envelopes BrujaHa style and use those.  That’s two…two projects in one!

Be creative.  It’s good for you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

friday forum

No picture.  You’d think that means I didn’t have any food waste.

But you’d be wrong.

All having no picture means is that I didn’t get one of the food the husband pointed out smelled a little (okay, a lot) funny before it got tossed.  Good thing he noticed before he gave it to Toddler L.  I can’t say I would have.  I’ve been a little preoccupied.  But I’ll get to that later.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah…  Food waste.  What was it?  Pasta.  Plain, boring, no sauce pasta.  I had made a batch last week for Toddler L.  It’s one of the few things he will almost always eat.  Right out of the fridge.  Cold.  Dry.  Takes after his father.

Unfortunately, Toddler L wasn’t feeling much like pasta this past week.  I could have used it for an adult meal but I kept holding onto it thinking it was for the kid.

Now it’s for the dump.

Not a lot of dollars down the drain on this one but still unfortunate all the same.  Mostly because it was one of those interestingly shaped pastas that hold the sauce so nicely.  Oh, well.  The good news is that Toddler L wasn’t eating pasta because he was eating my homemade pizza.  That means he ate a vegetable.  Ha!  And he didn’t even know it.  I’ll tell him when he’s twelve.


So what has me so preoccupied that I don’t even know I have bad food in the fridge or what my son is eating?


Pretty exciting huh?

That’s one of the “thank you” bags I made for the labor and delivery nurses that will be in my life sometime in the very near future.  We had such great nurses with Toddler L and I think it’s in part due to the goodies we handed over on our arrival.  No, not really.  They were great, but just because they were.  This is just our way of acknowledging it.

The bags toppers were made on the computer, printed on paper and stapled to the clear bags.  I did the labels the same way but printed them onto label paper we had in the closet. The husband made some of his awesome oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (they’re sitting in the freezer waiting for the moment we head out), they will go in the smaller white bags.  Everything goes in the big white bags and off we go.  Like Little Red Robin Hood with her basket of goodies.

I’ve been creative.  I’m happy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

DIY – Father’s Day Tie

I promised some creativity, and it’s time to deliver.

I love a good tie.  It’s such a great opportunity to show some flair and style, I almost wish it was more de rigueur for women to wear ties.  (But then I wouldn’t have an excuse to steal from the husband’s closet when I need a fun belt.)


It’s Father’s Day on Sunday.  What’s a more obvious Father’s Day gift than a tie?  But what’s obvious about making that tie yourself?


The Purl Bee has created an entire DIY tutorial on how to make a simple tie.  The instructions are clear and there are lots of pictures to follow along.  I think this is such a great project and I think it’s pretty do-able, even for the basic, beginner sewer like me.  I had the best of intentions to actually make one of these ties in the past couple of weeks (and show you all the step-by-steps of course) but I just didn’t get to it.  Somehow having things ready for the impending arrival of a helpless, needy, very small human being has taken over most of my time and thoughts.

And now that I’ve posted this project for all of you I probably won’t.  At least not for Father’s Day.  The husband actually reads my blog so I can’t talk about him or any surprises without losing my edge.  (I’ll take the readership and find my surprises elsewhere, so don’t stop reading Babe.)

This is basically an exercise in ironing more than sewing.  A majority of the sewing is by hand so a quiet evening on the couch should net one great accessory.  The list of materials is pretty basic too:

  • 3/4-yard cotton fabric for tie front
  • 1/4-yard white or alternate cotton fabric for tie interior
  • 1 1/2-yards heavyweight sew-in interfacing
  • 1 yard light weight fusible interfacing
  • 100% cotton thread to match the front fabric
  • One Father’s Day Tie pattern,available free here, printed out and assembled.

Think you’re up for the challenge?  If you decide to try this out please let me know.  I would love to showcase your efforts and achievements.  And I will post some pictures when I get around to whatever number this ends up being on the project list.  I think that list grows faster than any other around here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

friday forum


Food Waste.  Not too much but I’m yearning for the old days when I had nothing to photograph.

Technically, this pasta could probably be eaten.  I packed it for Toddler L when we went out to dinner one night.  Of course, he didn’t eat it.  When we got home I forgot it in the diaper bag, so it went unrefrigerated until sometime the next day.  Probably fine, but for a few bow ties – not worth the worry.

Better luck next week.


This is going to be a very short forum today.  I’ve spent way too much time finding great project ideas and free downloads.  I will be sharing some of them with you.  Hopefully soon.

Until then forum amongst yourselves.

BTW, if you have great free downloads or DIY project ideas (of the creative bent) you want to share let me know.  All credit goes directly to you.  I may just add it to my personal projects-to-be-done-one-day file.

I’ll just leave you with this hint of things to come…


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

karma, pizza and online shopping

I’m not a fan of online shopping.  I know it’s a great way to get deals, but it’s also a great way for me to get really frustrated.

Two days ago I was really frustrated.  Luckily, yesterday, karma was on my side and my world spun right again.  Tonight’s dinner is pizza.  Or at least I thought it was going to be, then I thought it might not be, now I think it’s back on.  I’m really quite excited by the idea because the husband (okay, yes, and I) loves pizza and to be able to make it at home seemed like a real treat.

(Karma?  Pizza?  What in the world does this have to do with online shopping?  Wait, I’m getting there.)

Last week I started my eBay search for a used pizza stone.  Good gracious, almost immediately I found one.  And the bidding time was almost up.  And it seemed really quite cheap.  So I jumped in.  I was going to get my pizza stone and still be out of the house in time to do all my errands.  After a brief bidding war the stone was mine.  I was feeling pretty good because even with shipping I paid less than what a stone would have cost me at Crate and Barrel.  (The only store I could buy new from as I had a gift card.  My rules, remember?)  In fact, I had just bought a pizza stone and peel with my gift card and was going to head right back to return the stone now that I’d found a Compact solution to my pizza problems.

Long story longer, my newly acquired, used, stone arrived.

Unfortunately it was not at all what I thought I was getting.  It was as advertised.  (Not like the time I ordered a used book from Amazon and got the correct title by the wrong author.)  It just wasn’t what I wanted.

I got caught up in the bidding excitement and overpaid for an item that I hadn’t done enough research on to be buying without supervision.

Local thrift store to the rescue.


The large, perfectly flat, pizza stone in the above picture was purchased for $5 (with stand) at a favorite thrifty up the street.  The much smaller, lipped, baking stone was overpaid for and required shipping.  (Sorry, it’s too embarrassing to tell you what I did end up paying.)

Can you see why I was less than thrilled with my initial score purchase?  As the seller did not specifically list this as a pizza stone, merely described it as perfect for baking and making pizza, I cannot fault her.  So for now I will hang on to it.  To remind me of the cost of acting in haste.

Yet somehow, I’ll still be making pizza tonight.  A nice, big pizza.


I really think we’re having pizza tonight because of a decision I made yesterday morning before even going to the thrift store.  I decided to tackle another creative endeavor.  When I let the creative juices flow I am usually in such a great mood.  How could the day not go well from there on?


Here are the wooden bead bracelets I made for the husband and myself.  (Typically husband won’t touch anything jewelry related.  He won’t even wear a watch.  Good thing his wedding ring is such a symbol of love and devotion – no restriction there.)

Wood = Earth.  It’s amazing the sense of calm afforded by connecting with the elements of nature.  I almost feel ready to take on childbirth.  Well, maybe not quite yet, I have to re-arrange the nursery one more time.