Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Blog Tag... I'm it!

Lori from Bleak 2 Unique tagged me in a blog tag. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this (I see it like a chain letter, blog style) but I have to admit, I’m excited she likes my blog enough to send this to me and I’ve had fun answering the questions.

1.  You must post the rules....duh!
2.  Answer the 11 question that the tagger posted for you, and then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged. (I have to ask...why 11?)
3.  Tag 11 people and link them in your post.
4.  Let them know you have tagged them (otherwise they will never know, right?)
(It is not a rule, but it would be nice if everyone followed these great bloggers...share the love)

Below are the questions from Lori, along with my answers.

1. On a “free” day where you can do whatever you want (pretend this is possible), what would you do?

Can I magically be somewhere else on this free day? If so, I would be in Newfoundland and my fiancĂ© and dogs would be with me. We’d spend the day hanging out with my most amazing nephew and the rest of the family… in pyjamas. I have a love of pyjamas. If I’m not in public, I promise you I am wearing pjs. If I can’t magically be somewhere else, I would be happy to waste the day, in pyjamas of course, watching tv and playing games and wandering the internet and cuddling with J and the dogs.

2. Home Depot or Lowe’s?

Of the two I’d pick Home Depot, although I actually prefer Home Hardware. We don’t have a Home Depot where I live so Home Hardware gets most of my business. However, if I need something I can’t get locally I go to Home Depot about an hour away.

3. What silly thing are you afraid of?

My basement after dark, specifically the area under the stairs. It’s creepy and because it’s unfinished there aren’t light switches – I actually have to walk to the middle of the room to pull the string for the light. I avoid it when possible.

4. Do you own, or have you made anything “Chevron”? If so, what?

No. I quite like chevron, but no.

5. Does your husband or significant other support your blogging? How?

J does, in his own way. He’s not the type to read my posts or comment on things. With that said, he’s willing to do anything I ask, lets me craft up a storm (and a mess), and cheers on my projects, even if they flop.

6. Have you taken the Myers Briggs test? If so, what are you?

I vaguely remember taking it in high school but I don’t remember anything about it. Sorry.

7. Tell us one of your quirky habits.

Oh goodness, what to say…. This is a hard one… Perhaps my classroom binder thing? I have a need to organize things in binders. Everything. Each subject has to have its own colour. For that subject, all binders must be the same colour and size. No other subject can then use that colour. The binders have to be labeled and the cover sheets have to coordinate. I realize this doesn’t seem overly quirky but I swear, it’s bizarre. As if my love of organizing my binders isn’t strange enough, I’ll also organize other teachers’ binders (only if I’m close with them and they ask me to. I wouldn’t break into their classroom and do it Mission Impossible style). Also, all my binders have to be the better binders from Staples. They make me happy. Does that count as a quirky habit? If not, lets chalk it up as an example of my neuroticism and move on.

8. If you could choose any career, what would it be? Is it the one you have?

I love my job. I teach junior high school and I think it’s the best job in the world. Yes, I might be slightly insane, but I’m ok with that. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

9. Favorite TV show?

I don’t really have one… The TV is often on in the background but I rarely actually know what’s on.

10. Do you do “Craigslist”? If so, what was your favorite find?

Nope. I know this will cause some people to recoil in horror but second hand things skeeve me out.

11. Does it bother you that there are 11 questions, instead of 10?

Yes and no. It does bother me that there are 11 but I’d be ok with 12. For some reason 11 seems wrong.

And now for the bloggers I tagged....and their 11 questions... I hope you don't hate me for tagging you. You don't have to answer if you don't want. The reason I've chosen you is because I enjoy reading your blogs and thought others might as well.

Angie     Crystal     DaNita     Gen     Ginger     Halsey     Janet     Jen     Katie     Lindsay     Melinda Ann

1. Let’s start with an easy one… What’s your favorite colour?

2. What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?

3. What’s the favorite craft or project you’ve ever made?

4. If you could only make one type of craft for the rest of your life, what would you make?

5. How has your blog changed since you first started? Is there anything about it you wish you had done differently?

6. What are your thoughts on things like this blog tag?

7. Morning person or night owl?

8. Is there anything you hate? If so, what is it?

9. What’s your favorite food?

10. If you had one day left to live, what would you do?

11. Why do you suppose there are 11 questions on this quiz? Why not 10… or 12?

Okay, that's all for me. Thanks for reading along. Enjoy and share the fun… or don’t… your choice. 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Glass Magnets

I’m sure you’ve all seen the glass magnets on Pinterest. After seeing several different photos, I was really keen on making my own magnets in colours and patterns that appealed to me.

Supplies I used:
Clear glass stones
Scrapbook paper
Modge Podge
Sponge brush
Glue gun (with hot glue)

First I went to the dollar store to find some glass stones. I actually really liked these larger ones with the white lines in them. I thought they were different and elegant and decided to use them.

I cut out pieces of scrapbook paper the shape of the glass pieces. 

I put Modge Podge on the back of each glass piece and stuck the paper to it.

Once the Modge Podge was dry, I recovered the whole back in more Modge Podge and let it dry again.

These were made from one package of glass stones.

Next I used my glue gun to attach the magnets to the back of the glass pieces.

Once the glue was dry, the magnets were done. I threw away a bunch of ugly free magnets on my fridge and replaced them with these. I think they look much nicer!

Tickets J gave me for my 30th birthday. The show's tonight and I'm excited!

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Positively Splendid 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

How To Pass an 8.5 Hour Flight (Knitted Ruffle Scarf)

I’ve been away for the last few days. I actually flew back home to Newfoundland to surprise my family (with the help of my mama) and finally meet my adorable nephew who turned one last month. While there I was much too busy playing blocks, reading stories and watching the birds to do much crafting. However, while visiting my Aunt she showed me a different kind of wool she’s been using to knit ruffled scarves. Of course I wanted to try so I headed to the wool store and bought myself two balls of yarn.

Step 1: Open and stretch the yarn.

Step 2: Cast on 9 stitches, using the top side of the yarn, on size 6 needles. The amount of stitches or size of needles could be easily adjusted. In between each stitch leave about 1 inch of yarn. This creates the ruffle.

Step 3: Knit. I find I’m slower with this wool than with normal wool but I’m also not much of a knitter.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten. You see, I was knitting away the 8.5 hour flight and my first ball of yarn ran out. When I went to get out the second ball to finish the scarf, I remembered I left it on top of the piano at my parent’s house. Of all the things to forget…

Step 4: Cast off like you would with normal yarn. When you get to the last stitch, thread the yarn all the way through the last stitch and tie it in a knot. Seeing as I haven’t done step 4, I obviously don’t have a picture. Instead, here’s picture of my little man and I at the park. You can't tell but he's looking at the birds (ducks). Isn’t he just perfect?!?!

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Embossed Wedding Invitations

I had planned on posting these yesterday (because it was the day of love) but I was too busy eating greasy Chinese takeout and watching movies with J. Yes, that was our idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day. So here they are a day late, my homemade wedding invitations.

I have to give serious credit to Deanna, a fantastic colleague who helped me design and create these. She’s amazing at scrapbooking and cardmarking and is teaching herself to crochet! Given that we only needed 8 invites, we made them after school one day in her classroom and had them done in just over an hour.

Supplies we used:
Purple cardstock
White cardstock
Paper cutter
Clear stamp pad
Black embossing powder
Tray and embossing accessories
Heat gun
Glue tape

I printed out my invites and names for place cards before we got together. I’m aware that, according to proper wedding invitation etiquette, I should have spelled the numbers but I didn’t want to. I’m going with a “who cares what etiquette says, I’m doing what I want” attitude about most things with this wedding and these invites are no exception.

We cut the purple cardstock down to 8.5 x 5.5 and then cut the white slightly smaller.

Next, Deanna stamped the corner of the white page with clear ink and coated it with embossing powder. I had never embossed before so it was neat to learn how. For example, who knew a paintbrush could be used to get rid of extra powder? Not me, until she taught me.

My job was to man the heat gun (Is it called an embossing gun?). I held it until the powder was shiny and beautiful. I managed to successfully heat all of the invitations and not even burn myself. Those who know me know this is an accomplishment.

We then used this two sided glue tape stuff that probably has a real name to stick the white paper on the purple paper. I'm so pleased with how they turned out. We're going for "casual elegance" at our wedding and I think these fit very well. I also like how each one is slightly different and they are obviously homemade.

We used the same steps for the place cards. I have little silver frames that the name cards will be placed in. The plan is to do something similar for the programs and maybe the menus (if we print them) once those things are finalized.

P.S. Mom, if you see this before your invite arrives… sorry. I hope you enjoy the sneak peak.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Upholstered Bench

When trying to find a way to tie my new fabric into the whole house, I decided to upcycle an old coffee table into a bench for our front entrance. This isn’t just any old coffee table. It has history and means a lot to me. You see, my first year teaching I taught in a small, northern community. It wasn’t a good fit for me and I only lasted one year but while I was there I had some amazing students. I lived in a furnished teacherage but it didn’t have a coffee table. Because furniture was difficult to find and very expensive to buy, I had a couple students make this coffee table for me in shop class.

Anyway, enough of the reminiscing and on to the “how to”…

Here’s what I used:
The coffee table
Spray paint
A foam mat (camping style)
A marker
Tacky glue
Glue gun and glue
Exacto knife
Staple gun

I started off by spray painting the bench. This should have been quick but took quite a while. The table was purple and it took more coats of paint than I expected to get full coverage. Unfortunately, on my last coat I ran out of paint with about 2 square feet left to cover. Because I live in a small community I couldn’t buy the colour spray paint I needed and had to wait until a colleague went to the city a week later and picked some up for me. I got her to get me two cans, just in case. I didn't bother spray painting the top because I knew it would be covered.

Next, I placed the table upside down on my foam. I was going to buy foam at the fabric store but the awesome sales associate informed me it would be much cheaper to go buy a foam camping pad. I found this one, which is 3 inches thick, on clearance because it had been discoloured by the sun. I love saving money! Anyway, I traced the top of the table on the foam and cut it out.

Once the foam was cut out, I glued it to the bench, turned the bench upside down and let it dry overnight.

Next, I spread my fabric out on the kitchen table with the right side down and placed my bench on top on the fabric.

I used a glue gun to attach the fabric around the cushion to the bottom of the bench. I did the two long sides first and then the two short sides, folding the corners like I was wrapping a present. I used an Exacto knife to cut off the excess fabric and then stapled it down with a staple gun to make it extra secure.

The bench is now in the front entrance, waiting for company to sit on it while they tie their shoes - we use the kitchen door but that's another post. In order to protect the bench but still allow us somewhere to store shoes I put an old rubber mat on the bottom shelf. That way we don't lose storage.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Infinity Scarf Version 2

I was wandering through the dollar store today and saw a t-shirt for $2. Seriously, who knew you could buy shirts at the dollar store? Anyway, I have been wanting to make another version of a t-shirt infinity scarf so I figured I’d give it a try. I didn't actually refer to any other website for this so there might be other ways to go about it, but below is my version.

To make this I used a t-shirt, scissors, a needle and thread.

First I cut the bottom seam off the t-shirt and then cut it off at the arm pits. I put those pieces to the side and was left with the torso.

I cut the torso in strips about 1 – 1.5 inches wide.

Next I stretched the strips. As they stretched, they rolled in which totally hid the fact that the edges weren't perfectly straight.

Once the pieces were stretched I wanted a way to hold them together. I cut a piece of the hem from the bottom (because it’s reinforced with stitching) and sewed it around all the strips.

$2 + 15 minutes = a new accessory for me!

Above is the scarf doubled up.
Below is the scarf wrapped once.
I can't decide which look I like better
so I thought I'd share them both

On a side note, I got my hair cut just after these pictures were taken. Is it just me or is a fresh haircut one of your favorite things?!?

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Monday, 6 February 2012

A Creative Attempt at Lined Curtains

I made my first set of curtains. Woohoo! In case you haven’t been following, I decided I needed more colour in my decor so I got fabric to redo curtains and accessories (pillows, bench cover, etc) in my entrance, living room, kitchen and eating area. Happy birthday to me!

My finished curtains which I totally love!

I should explain that not only do I not know how to sew well, I quite dislike sewing. With that said, I love things that are homemade and being able to customize the look in my surroundings so I decided to suck it up and sew. If you’re look for precise instructions, you may want to look somewhere else. However, if you want to read about how I successfully guessed my way to completing a set of lined curtains, read on.

The former curtains. They served the purpose but were nothing special.

Supplies I used:
Lining (I used room dimming)
Measuring tape
Sewing machine
Ironing board

My sewing machine. It's a hand-me-down from my mama dearest.
I think it's older than me but it works and I like it.

Although I made two panels, I did them separately. The first thing I did was my cutting. The fabric was the right width but I needed to cut the length. To get my measurements I figured out the length I wanted and added 8 inches (because I was worried I’d mess up). I then placed the fabric on top of the lining and cut it to the same size.

Next I sewed up my bottom. I would like to give you exact measurements but I didn’t use them. Instead, I used specific elements in the fabric pattern, like the middle of the x. I’ll guess at measurements just for fun and to make it easier to explain… I folded the fabric and lining about 3 inches, pinned it and ironed it flat. I then folded it another 3 inches, ironed it again and pinned it. This gave me a think, neat looking bottom. I sewed a seam a few inches up from the bottom to hold the hem in place.

The bottom, after the first fold was ironed into place.

Hemming the bottom. See how neat the edge looks?

After the hem was the sides. According to the interwebs I was supposed to turn my fabric so right sides were facing each other but I couldn't figure it out. Instead, I followed the same steps as the bottom but with smaller folds. First I folded it in about half an inch and ironed it. Then I folded it in about an inch, ironed it, pinned it and sewed it.  It seemed to look ok for the first side so I continued to do the second side. The only downside is you see the stitches, which I actually kind of like.

The side, ready to be sewn.
Finally I was on to the top. I folded it over about half an inch and hemmed it so they messy edges were hidden. Then I folded it over about 3 inches and sewed it to create a rod pocket. With that I was done my first panel.

The pocket rod. As you can see, I'm not good at
keeping my speed consistant so it's a little (or a lot) uneven.

I’ve learned a few things, the main one being not to do the panels separately. It was not fun to try and line up the two panels to make sure the plad looked right. I think I did a good job of making them line up but next time I’ll do all the bottoms, then all the sides, then all the tops.

The first panel done, waiting for it's twin.

So there you have it, my first set of curtains. I still have 5 more panels to do for 2 more windows so any suggestions about the proper way to make them would be welcome!

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