Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pinterest Gift Jars

Oh pinterest... If only we spent as much time actually making/doing all the things we pin as we spend pinning them!

For the birthday of a friend I put together an assortment of "pinterest projects" in jars, because the important step between pinning and doing is getting the supplies together.

I selected projects that would fit into mason jars, and tried to find variety in the outcome (some sewing, some food, some fingernail painting... wouldn't be pinterest without overambitious fingernail painting!).  Some of the projects were things the recipient had pinned herself, so she'd better like them :)

Here's a very small but functional sewing project I selected:

And here are the corresponding supplies ready to be rolled up and jarred:

For food oriented projects focus on the non-perishables and let the recipient supply the rest.  If you can, provide the precise measurement of each ingredient they'll need.  If you are fortunate enough to live near a Winco Foods take advantage of their bulk food section to buy just what you need. Since it was a birthday I found a recipe for Birthday Cake Popcorn:

I took screenshots of the pins themselves and doctored in the pinterest logo, then printed to make a tag for each jar.  It'd also be fun to scale down the image to fit on the lid of the jar.

One final but very important note!!!!  Don't forget to give the recipient a way to access the pinterest links so they know what to do with their supplies.  You can email the links to the pins or websites, or create a special board on your account just for them.

Now what's the recipient going to do with all these jars? Hmm, I wonder if pinterest has any suggestions.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Timbuk2 Makeover

While there are many arguments for and against a consumer driven economy, here are the two issues that relate to this project:

#1 - When we (by which I mean me of course) want something new, we really really want it.  Wanting something generally has little or nothing to do with needing it.
#2 - There's little incentive for manufacturers to strive for durable products because it means we won't need to buy their products as often.  In the rare case that someone does make an awesome and durable product, it makes it harder and harder to justify the "wants" portion of #1.

I think Timbuk2 makes awesome bags.  I've had my trusty laptop/work bag for 4 years and other than the velcro needing to be cleaned, it looks brand new.   New... as in: there's no reason what-so-ever for me to even think about purchasing a new one.

Still looks just like this picture from the REI website:
Except for the neglected velcro area:

But, but... there's prettier ones, and I can like, design my own and pick out fabrics and they'll custom make if for me and I'd be supporting the US economy and stuff... (does that sound whiney enough?)

I'm serious about the designing your own bag part.  It's a fun interface to play with: CLICK HERE.

Below is the one I designed a few weeks ago (I'm told the available fabrics change every few months).

It's awesome
I designed it myself
Quality product (I know this first hand)
Made is USA
Ships in 2-4 business days!

It's $200! (I picked a lot of upgraded features, you can get a custom bag for much less)
I already have a functionally similar bag :(
The customizable bag options don't include one with a back passthrough for rollie-bag luggage handle and I use that feature all the time when traveling for work
It's still $200. (audible sigh)

Instead of being seduced by my lovely dream bag, I went to the fabric store and picked up similar fabrics and reflective piping ($9.92 with tax). I also used a zipper from my stash and ironed interfacing to the back of the fabric because that houndstooth-ish fabric was clearly going to fray.

I started by sewing 3 panels together based on the width of the current front of the bag, then used a rotary cutter to cut across the width of the panel to add a zipper from my stash (that is my one complaint about my current bag, there's no external zipper pocket for my phone/wallet/boarding pass)

I just traced the curves of the existing front panel of the bag with a marker (too lazy to make a pattern).

And that velcro cleaned right up with the narrow end of a hair comb!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Spray Paint Saturday: Rainbow Mirror

It seems that all passionate spray painters remember how they got hooked.  My post-college roommate introduced me to the world of possibilities than can only come in a can.  Her introduction to spray painting was much more interesting than mine, as she picked it up from her grandfather.  He liked to tinker in the garage and always had paint around.

My very first spray paint project was a thrifted lamp about 7 years ago.  I just recently donated that lamp back to the Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Store from where it came... but the silver paint was a serious upgrade from the condition it came in.

This sad old mirror came from the Youth Ranch's by-the-pound facility (think one man's trash is another man's trash waiting to be spray painted).  The frame is hollow plastic so it couldn't have been more than $1.50.  I don't have a photo of the mirror frame in its original 1970's brown color, here it was primed with white:

I used colors of paint already in my stash, with the exception of the yellow... $4 can of paint+$1.50 mirror, still a heck of a deal!

I had imagined that I would allow the paint to dry in between colors, but there was no need.  I dove right in.  The frame was already primed with white primer, so I sprayed glossy white, then went straight into the yellow, green, and blue.  I'm not sure if it's because the blue can was almost empty, or because the paint is thicker, but that layer of paint splattered a bit.  I grabbed the green and did a light spray over the color transition and covered the issue.

So there it is, guess I missed my calling to be do graffiti art.

Whats the first thing you ever spray painted?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Twin quilts from twin sheets (or full or queen)

Back in 2009 I participated in a vintage bedsheet fat quarter swap hosted by Rosey Little Things.  Around the time of the swap I was driving from Idaho to Washington state (you go through Oregon to get there, no really you do... sometimes you drive through Oregon and Washington to get from South Idaho to North Idaho but that's another topic altogether).  I learned that thrift stores in small Oregon towns were the most amazing place to find great old sheets for quiltin' and swappin'.  The years of washing cause the colors to fade a bit but that just adds to the character.  Also, they are incredibly soft!

It took my until 2011 to finally use the fabric.  I had seen a photo years ago of two twin beds with quilts made from vintage sheets (that was long before pinterest so it's not something I'll ever find again). But it stuck with me and I based these 2 quilts for twin baby girls on that photo.

Since twins are the theme of this post, it's also nice that I got to make these with the help of my middle-name-twin Holly, who is my oldest friend.  We've been sewing together since we were kids, and we cranked out these quilt tops in no time when she was in town for a visit.  Thanks Holly... and don't worry, there's a baby quilt coming your way soon!

The blocks are 4.5" by 8.5".  I picked a simple block design because the prints speak for themselves.  The backs and bindings came from the leftovers of the sheets I cut up to send in fat quarters for the swap.  The top quilting was simple too.

I wish you could reach in and feel how soft these are!

Want more vintage sheet inspiration?  Here's a couple of flicker groups: