Sharpie Mugs

Recently, I taught a Sharpie Mugs class at our library. I brought the Bee along so she could particpate, as well as help me. We had a blast! It was such a fun activity for adults and teens alike.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

AND they would make great gifts!

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

This one was mine. I took my inspiration from Pinterest, and married two ideas: this one and this one.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

Really that was the most time consuming part about this project; finding ideas. For the class, I pulled all sorts of interesting design books (the 20 Ways to Draw books- like this one, this one, and this one– are fabulous), and even Henna books, so that people could clarify their vision and get inspiration. I’d say everyone researched ideas for a good 30 minutes. Then I encouraged them all to draw it out on a plain ol piece of paper before attempting to do it on the mugs.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

I did this one too. Inspired by this pin.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

This was done by my Bee. She impressed me with her original design. This was one side.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

And this was the other. It is so happy. I love it.

gift inspiration: Sharpie Mugs

Any mistakes that were made, we just dabbed a little hand sanitizer on a cotton swab and it worked like a charm. There is conflicting info out there about how to set the paint, though. The library sent instructions to bake them, but when I got home and did that, the fumes were so toxic, I had to stop it halfway through (even with all the windows open, and a fan running). I went onto the Sharpie website, and there is no mention of heat setting the oil based paint. So, if we did it again, I would skip that part and see how they held up after washing.

Have you made these? What method did you use?


 This post contains affilaite links, and by using them to purchase items, you support this blog (and my sewing/creating habit). THANK YOU.

Transform a journal into a locking diary

Our tween has one request for her upcoming birthday: a locking diary. So this week my husband and I perused the stores looking for one. We found a few, but nothing we fell in love with. We then decided to look in the “adult” section of the store where the prettier journals are, and found a beautiful one, only it didn’t have a lock. Jim turned to me and said “you could totally make this into a locking diary“. And you know what? I did! Smart Man. And what’s more, I came up with a tutorial for how to transform a journal into a locking diary, so you can make one, too.

transform a journal into a locking diary

This is a super quick project (the longest part is waiting for the glue to dry- literally).

First, gather a few supplies:

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

  • strong glue (I used E6000 and went outside to use it with gloves on)
  • journal
  • lock and key (I wish we would have seen this one first!)
  • d-ring hangers (we used these)
  • *optional* small buttons or gems (these look fun) to cover the holes

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

Line up the d-ring so that the ring is hanging off the edge of the book (the hinge should allow the ring to swing down against the pages). Glue in place. Because some of the glue was coming through the hole, I also stuck the button on at the same time. Allow it to dry.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

Flip it over and repeat, making sure to line it up with the one on the front.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

When it is completely dry, you are done! Seriously, the most simple project ever.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

It is now ready for someone to write down all the secrets of their heart.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

Put the lock on, and don’t forget where you put the key! If your lock comes with an extra key, you may want to hold on to it, just in case your child loses things, like mine does.

transform a journal into a locking diary tutorial

I am considering making a necklace for our girl to wear hers on.

Who will YOU make one for?

*This post contains affiliate links. if you click on my link and purchase the product, I can earn a few pennies toward my ever-growing crafting habit. No pressure, though.

Attempted Beaded Wire Ornament

And just like that, we are on to Christmas (and tons of Birthdays around here). So I did what I normally do this time of year…peruse my Pinterest feed, looking for new ideas to try out. I happened upon this pretty craft by Everyday Art and decided to give it a whirl. I titled this post “Attempted Beaded Wire Ornament” because I will admit I struggled a bit with this one. It is deceptively difficult.

Beaded wire Ornaments

I used to be a floral designer for many years, so I happened to have spools of wire in my stash, and The Bee has an extensive bead collection that she generously let me raid. The only thing I actually had to purchase was a pack of balloons. My kind of craft. We were off to a good start.

Beaded Wire Ornament

My Falafel joined me and made a few of her own, but she also had a little trouble. I know there must be a trick to it, but we didn’t figure it out.

Beaded Wire Ornament

The most difficlut thing was keeping the wire from unraveling. On the second one I made, I began twisting it on top, everytime I went around with the wire. It held a little better, but still not perfect.

Beaded Wire Ornament

I hesitate to call this a “fail” because they are still nice to look at, and we always learn something. Quirky is good. I call that a success!

Beaded Wire Ornament

I love to try out new projects this time of year, even if they don’t turn out the way they are supposed to.

What have YOU made today?

Airdrie Bag PDF pattern Hack

You may remember the first Airdrie Bag I made for myself (here). I still LOVE it. This is one very large bag, though, and when I take my camera and all my stuff, it fits everything nicely. But I needed something a little smaller for my everyday life, while having it be large enough to carry all the supplies I need on a regular basis. What’s a girl to do??

Make another, (slightly smaller one) by hacking the pattern, of course! Airdrie Bag Pattern hack

I had all of the fabric in my stash, as well as the zipper. Really, since I am an impulsive sewist, I have to have an ample fabric selection, or I would never sew (at least that is my story, and I’m sticking to it).

Airdrie Bag Pattern hack

I love love love this pattern so much. It is not a quick sew, by any means, but it has all the things I look for in a bag, and it is highly customizable, as you will see.

Airdrie Bag Pattern hack

The first change I made was I shaved 4 inches off the main pieces (2 inches off each piece that was on the fold for a total of 4 inches each). The top zipper panel then also had to be adjusted, as well as the side gusset.

Airdrie Bag Pattern hack

I left off the back zipper pocket (since I rarely use it) and left out the separating pocket to reduce bulk. Instead, I made a removable zip bag to carry my medical supplies in (antihistamine, epi pens, bandages, etc). I did include the elastic pockets inside the bag (not pictured-you’ll have to trust me on this one) and left the bottom flexible.

Airdrie Bag Pattern hack

Like my last bag, I made a permanent strap instead of an adjustable one. I like to have it at a certain length, always. One less thing to choose. Ha!

Airdrie Bag Pattern hack

As the pattern recommends, I interfaced the heck out of this one. Every piece has some kind of stabilizer which makes this one sturdy bag.

Airdrie Bag Pattern hack

I’ve already taken it out for a spin, and LOVE my new bag. Now I am ready to focus on holiday sewing!

Runway Skirt Pattern

Sorry it has been quiet between posts, lately. LOTS going on behind the scenes, though. Today I get to share just one of them with you. My fellow VA (virtual assistant for those who don’t know) over at Project Run and Play just released her very first pattern called the Runway Skirt. What’s more is my Bee got to be on the cover (along with two other beautiful ladies)!

Runway Skirt Pattern review

Woot woot!

The Runway Skirt Pattern review

This pattern starts at size 00 and goes up to 24. How nice is that?! It has a vintage flair and comes in a three lengths. And LOOK AT THOSE GODETS! Seriously love the flair. Since the main fabric is knit, it really fits just about all body types.

The Runway Skirt Pattern review

You can check out Audrey’s post here, with all the details.

The Runway Skirt Pattern review

Right now, you can find it over on Upcraft Club (you know I love them) and this week only it is 20% off! Just in time to whip one up for Thanksgiving.

What are you waiting for??!! Head on over!

Holiday gift guide for Teen drivers

The holidays are approaching FAST, and I am starting to think about who we buy gifts for. Since my oldest is turning 17 soon, a lot of her friends (and our friends’ children) are driving now. One of my daughter’s friends came over our house a few weeks ago, and while they were sitting in her car, chatting, the two lovely young ladies drained the battery. Well, it was 9 pm, and she didn’t have any jumper cables. Luckily, we do. BUT out of my entire 28 years driving, I had NEVER jumped a car.

I know.

Luckily we were home, and since my husband was working a wedding that night, I called him up, and learned how to do it from him. And more importantly, I taught the two teens.

Since that night, I have been thinking about how a lot of our friends’ kids are driving around, unprepared for emergencies. So I came up with this gift guide for Teen Drivers for this Holiday season, based on the reviews for each product (and price). Click on the titles under the images to be taken to the individual listing. *this post contains affiliate links*

Holiday Gift Guide for Teen Drivers

emergency kit

Stalwart 75-EMG1053 Red Emergency Roadside Kit with Travel Bag, 55 Piece: This one has a little bit of everything, and most importantly, jumper cables. It also comes in pink.

first aid kit

Small First Aid Kit 100 Piece: Car, Home, Survival:

This is their best seller, and I can see why. It has all the basics covered and is small enough for any size car.

 

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Car Safety Tool – Window Breaker Seatbelt Cutter with LED Flashlight and Credit Card Tool – Auto Emergency Car Escape Tool (Red): This is one of those all in one tools that I think every car should have. Be aware, though, from the reviews it says it is VERY SHARP. Keep away from little hands.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Horizons Tec HT-747 Emergency NOAA Weather Radio. Solar & Hand Crank Powered, Mobile Cell Phone Charger & Led Flashlight. Paracord Survival Kit Bracelet Magnesium Flint Fire Starter Compass Whistle:

Oh this one makes my Mama heart happy. It is slightly pricier, but it has a cell phone charger (uh because I know my daughter is famous for leaving the house without hers charged) and other great supplies you would need in an emergency. Not only for a car, but great for power outages too. And it is solar powered. This one is definitely going in my cart for Christmas.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Hopkins 532 Mallory 26″ Snow Brush with Foam Grip (Colors may vary):

We don’t need one on this side of the mountains, but I know a lot of you may. Simple, inexpensive way to ensure you teen can get the visibility they need after it snows.

 

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Torin T10152 Scissor Jack – 1.5 Ton: Most cars are equipped with a jack, but some people consider having a spare, especially in older used cars. Essential.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Roadside Survival: Low-Tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdowns: This book is also going on my list. There are, sadly, a lot of things I don’t know, even as an experienced driver. I want our girl and her friends to be prepared.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival:
Basic First Aid book. Always good to have around.

holiday gift guide for teen drivers

Show Me How to Survive (Outdoor Life): The Handbook for the Modern Hero:
This one we have read, and I did a review here. I plan to get this for my daughter who took a liking to these books when we checked them out from our local library. Warning, though for younger readers, it does have some graphic images in it. Not just for drivers, but definitely an interesting book, cause you never know.

***

I hope you found my list helpful. I know you are now thinking of all the eye rolling and disappointed groans, and maybe even an unenthusiastic “thanks” when the teen in your life unwraps their own set of jumper cables. But they will appreciate it when they need it, and that is what counts. Besides, if I know one thing is that teens tend to surprise us when we least expect it. When I was compiling this list, The Bee was looking over my shoulder and exclaimed “Oooh can we get one for Christmas??” as she pointed to the car safety tool. She said that she has thought about how we would escape a car that has fallen in the water. Go figure.

There is another option, of course, of doing your own DIY kit with all the important supplies you want your teen to have. What I liked about these kits is, I don’t have to. Leaves more time to sew. Ha!

What is on YOUR gift list this year?

Split log table riser

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I figured it was a good time to make a little something to make the table (that I made) even prettier, while being functional. I’ve wanted a table riser for quite sometime. No time like the present to make one!

split log table riser

We happened to have this split log in the shed since we moved in. I don’t know where it came from, but it intrigued me. It has a rounded bottom, so I wasn’t sure it would work, but between my husband and myself, we figured it out!

split log table riser

First, we cut off the ends to neaten them up using my circular saw.  I sanded the whole thing with our mini electric sander. I didn’t want to lose much of the bark on the rounded side, though, so I went light there.

split log table riser

Since the bottom is uneven, we did this in an unscientific way. We evenly spaced the blocks, then placed the board (round side down) on top of them, then very carefully glued them, one at a time, making sure it was level. Then we waited while they dried.

split log table riser

My husband attached them each with two extra long screws. And it worked.

split log table riser

All that was left was to brush on a clear coat of varnish.

split log table riser

 Now it is ready to hold platters of food, or decorations, or anything we want! I can’t wait to use it.

Recovered violin case

My friend, Kirsten is the Executive Director of an El Sistema program called KIC. She has old cases for the vioins that the kids use, that have been damaged, and she asked if I could do something to save them. You can check out the first recovered violin case I did here.

I absolutely love saving things from the landfill when I can.

Recovered violin case

I began by seam ripping everthing apart. And I mean EVERYTHING. I made sure to label all the pieces and how they attach to eachother, using words, arrows, and symbols. I kept the original zippers, and unscrewed all the screws and placed them in a baggy, along with all the d-rings.

Recovered violin case

The inside of the case was perfect, so I left that alone.

Recovered violin case

I had this beautiful bottomweight in my stash, plus the black double fold bias tape. The webbing was taken from old straps I kept. Luckily I had a small tab of velcro that was perfect for that flap.

Recovered violin case

After cutting out all the peices, I sewed them together (wrong sides together), sewed bias tape around the edges, then reattached the screws. All while paying attention to where things were supposed to line up.

  Recovered violin case

It was not a quick project by any means. Definitely worth it, though. Now they have a brand new, old case to use.

Happy Halloween: Giant Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!

Every year my husband carves a 300+ pound pumpkin, and this year is no exception!

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

He actually carved two! This giant is the 375 pound pumpkin.

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

and this was the 235 pound pumpkin:

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

He calls this one “Space Cat”.

Halloween Carved Pumpkin

It lights up!

Halloween Bat

 In addition to seeing what he carved, we saw a tiny live bat. I love where he works, especially this time of year.

Halloween Bat

I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween, whatever you chose to do!