Monday, June 27, 2011

Reusable (green) Shopping Bag Tutorial

I have several different shopping bags from various stores in my collection. In the back of my mind I have thought of making some of them for myself. I kind of wanted them to all match each other. (Ooops, is my OCD showing again???)

Anyway, a few months ago, one of my girlfriends showed me a magazine with this cool idea for painting a monogram or initial onto canvas. Right away, I thought it would be the perfect fit for my matching shopping bags.

It took me awhile to get that project to the top of my “to do” list but here’s the “how to” for you.

I started with about a yard and a half of unbleached, heavy cotton utility fabric (thicker than muslin). Washed and dried the fabric for pre-shrinking.

Cut the fabric in half and make two bags. To make the straps you will need to cut 4 strips of fabric that are at least 25 inches long (longer if you like long straps) and 1-½ inches wide

Then make a template for pressing the edges of the straps over. I use a piece of cardstock when I make purse straps. Cut a strip of cardstock the width of the strap. Here it is about an inch wide. Then place that on the center of the fabric and fold the sides over and iron.
Watch out for that steam!

Now take two of the strap pieces and place the raw sides toward each other and sew them together. Try to stitch as close to the edge as you can.

Stitch the strap on both sides. Then do the same thing with the other two pieces and set the two finished straps to the side while you work one the bag.

You should have a piece of fabric that is around 16 – 17 inches wide and about 40 long. I like to make my hems on the bias edge whenever I can. Fold and press the edge over and then fold again so that you will end up with a one-inch wide top to your bag. Do this on both ends of the fabric, as you will be folding in half and closing the sides to make the bag. I stitch along the edge that was folded over as well as the very top to give a little more stability.

Here you can see how the top is stitched as well as how the straps are attached

Before I close up the sides, I like to put the straps on. I measured the center of the strap in from the edge of the bag at 5 inches. The top of the bag has a good one inch hem, place the end of the strap to cover all of that top width. Once the strap is in position, sew around all four sides and then sew an “X” through the square. This will give the handles extra strength when your bag is full of goodies. Make sure the strap is not twisted when you sew the other side onto the bag. Once both straps are on then you are ready to close up the sides.

Fold the fabric in half to form a bag and line up the top and the straps to make sure everything is squared. The first seam is done with the bag right side out (yes, that’s right). Sew both sides together. Start at the top and go down the side until you are about 4 inches from the bottom.

Then bring the bottom of the fabric up to meet the end of the stitched edge and sew each side so it looks like an inverted Y. This will give the base of the bag a true “bottom”.

After you have completed this on both sides then turn the bag inside out and do the same thing again over the first seam. This will give the bag a finished look.

Now for some monogramming fun.

Use paper doilies and a little fabric paint to stipple a design onto the bag.

Cut your initial out of a sheet of cardstock (unless you have letter stencils) and stipple the fabric paint on your bag.

Here’s an extra idea for those of you with a website or etsy store.

I used stickers to create a negative stencil for my web address. Sponge on some fabric paint then remove the stickers.

Now you can really multi-task…Shop and advertise.

Have fun crafty people!!!!
For more fun ideas hop on over to see Jen at Craft-o-maniac

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Clever Ideas 2

Way back when…I did a post about some of my clever ideas. It was a fun post and I started jotting down more ideas right away, for a second post. Um, it’s been awhile and I could only come up with a few more ideas. Sadly, I must be all tapped out of “clever ideas”.

Anyway, here are the additional ideas that I came up with.

If you’re having a hard time hiding that extra long electrical cord try coiling the cord. Wrap the cord around a pencil to shape it into a spring. After a minute you can slide the pencil out and the cord will lie down nicely.

This one is to help with those wire rack shelves. I have them in my pantry and it’s can be hard to get a can to sit right on them without tipping. Cut a sheet of poster board to fit the size of your shelf and then cover that with some contact paper. The contact paper makes the new shelf insert easy to wipe off and keep clean.

Did you ever come up short on silverware? There are times when the dishwasher isn’t full yet but I’m out of spoons. Or when you have extra people in for birthdays or the holidays and you need a few extra sets of silverware to go around. You can get some nice silverware at most discount stores and hold onto them for times like these. I bought two draw organizers and put the second set in one and then stacked them on top of each other.

This one was on my list but I already did a post about how to flavor popcorn.

Don’t forget about making coffee cubes for you iced coffee too.

Okay, I’m out. Do you have any clever ideas to share???

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Powder room Makeover

Here’s the latest addition to the whole house makeover. You might remember that I started re-decorating everything at the beginning of last year. You can go back and check out the living room here and don’t forget the ceiling fan too. Then there is the kitchen here, right down to the magnets. Around here, if it stands still it’s getting painted.

So this spring, I decided that the powder room needed a little freshening up. It was one of the first things I decorated when we moved into this house. I always liked the way it looked with the rag roll treatment on the walls. I just wanted to give it a facelift with a new color.

Rag rolling is a paint treatment that literally rolls the paint on the walls with a rag. It gives the wall a patterned effect that almost looks like some sort of wallpaper.

To rag roll you need:
A plastic container with a lid.
A rag (I used a piece of old sheet)
Latex gloves

Mix equal parts of glaze and paint. I used sample size jars of paint and still have a little bit leftover. A little really goes a long way.

Stir the glaze and the paint together in the plastic container. Get your gloves on and wet the rag with water. Ring out all the excess water and then dip the rag into the paint. Make sure it is covered with paint and then squeeze the extra paint off back into the container.

Now crumple the rag up in a ball. Place it on the wall and then slowly roll it along the wall in random directions. You can go over the same area as you move the rag from section to section. As the rag is rolled it leaves paint behind in its path. Go as light or heavy as you want, just try to be consistent in the room.

Here is the before when it was a sage green. When we moved in I just put the green over the existing beige that covered every wall in the house.

For the re-do I had to cover the green and give the room a new base coat.

This time around I went with two shades of blue. (Go figure)
When using two colors the technique is the same you just do all of one color. After the first coat is dry move on and do the same thing again with the next color.

Now, I couldn’t just paint and change any of the other details….
So I spray painted the Light and turned it from the standard brass in all the houses on my street to a hammered silver.

I also hit the towel rod, the outlet cover and the light switch plate.

I even put a coat of paint on the silver hook to make sure it had the same finish as the rest of the fixtures.

I hung an empty frame from the hook to jazz up that boring mirror.

Even the candle got a new dress. I didn’t think that Yankee candle would make my favorite scent in the color I wanted and the green did go with the new paint color so I cut a placemat and wrapped it around the candle. Vola. It matches!!!!

I have a few ideas for the wall decorations but I might need a little time to get to them. Don’t worry; I’ll be sure to share them with you as soon as I get them done.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Random thoughts, ideas and comments

Did you know I have a blog???
Yep. Sure do. I left it blowing in the wind for a month but I have one. You’d think I could be a little more attentive to the poor thing and post something new a little more often. Geez. Slacker.
Let’s just say there are times when life is a circus act and I’m juggling way too many things. I know you all can relate. Many thanks to you for sticking in there with me!!!!

I’m out of my rhythm so I thought I would just toss out a few sporadic and disconnected thoughts running threw my head. Lucky you….

Poor planning…

Sometimes the best-laid plans get de-railed. Did you ever feel like no matter how hard you’re trying things are just not coming together the way you’d like? There is a new development going in, not too far from my house. When I pass by this road with the pole in the middle, it strikes me funny. I’m sure it’s temporary with some sort of plan to move it or at least I hope so. But there are just days when I feel like this. “Huh, seemed like a good idea but this isn’t exactly what I had in mind????” Lesson learned… Always have a plan B.
(BTW~~ Iggy did ya see your friend in the photo?)

I think everyone should witness a full military funeral at some point just to witness the honor and protocol, not that anyone should have to feel that kind of loss of a life. We loss our Pap-paw the week before Memorial Day. He was my husband’s grandfather. He had almost 30 great-grandchildren (3 of them are my kids). He was a good guy and lived a full and long life. He was 92. On a moments notice we packed up and drove out to Central PA. The emotional toll was heightened by having to teach our little ones about death. To verbally go through what was happening and what to possibly expect before it happened and then to process it for their little brains after the fact was extra difficult on us. Getting the kids threw it all was one thing but being there for the formality of a color guard, 21 gun salute and a bugler playing taps off to the side, just brings every man to his knees. The folding and presentation of the flag is beyond words. If you never have before, say a prayer for our military men and women and their families.

To do, to do, to do…
Is it me or does the “to do” list grow by 2 for every one thing that gets crossed off???
I now have so many lists going that I think I might need to make a list of which list I should do first.

Trapped in adolescence.
Did you ever watch someone repeatedly go from one bad relationship to another? Makes you wonder when they will finally grow up. It’s like that starry-eyed teenager that changes who she is to try and make a boy happy or ditches her friends because he wants to go out. How long can you hold onto a lost youth before you wake up????

When did sleep get so illusive?
Remember when we were kids and you never wanted to go to bed because the fun would stop. Now as an adult you start thinking about going to bed earlier and earlier in the evening.

Laugh like a kid.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could bottle up some baby giggles and open it up anytime you wanted something to smile about? Better yet, let’s find a way to bottle up the energy that children have so you could run and jump and scream and laugh and play all day long… and still not want to go to bed. J.

Glass half full.
There will always be people who hurt those around them again and again. Thankfully, there are even more people around who just make you feel good. I so glad to have so many wonderful friends in my life. You guys rock!!!!

Taking all bets.
So anyone want to guess how long it will take me to post to my poor little blog again???