Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My New Custom Kindle Fire Cover is Even Better than the Last One!

Recently I had a run in with a cup of coffee and the coffee won. I was sitting with my dad and a friend trying to get our day started at specialty products show, the lid of the coffee was not secured well (user error) and coffee spilled out. I didn't notice because my purse was on my lap, coffee poured into my purse and all over the contents, including my Kindle Fire Cover.

Coffee stained Kindle Fire Cover

The problem is not so much the stain, although that is annoying, it is the smell. I was pretty sure the cover was a gonner, and decided to ditched it. My purse on the other hand was not something I could ditch so I had to live with a stinky purse the entire time. Needless to say I was thankful I had a zipper to keep it closed most of the time.

When I got home I made a new cover, one with pretty, vibrant flowers. I love this fabric, it just SEEMS happy doesn't it?!

New Red Floral Cover, available on Storenvy!

I also recently had several custom covers, one for my dad for fathers day, one for my niece for her Galaxy tablet and one for her friend. Check out how cute they came out!

Father's Day Kindle Fire Cover

This one I made for my niece, she loves peace symbols. It fits her Galaxy tablet perfectly! 
Custom cover for my niece; this one is also available on Storenvy.

This one I made at the request of my niece for a friend of hers that recently got a Kindle Fire. I took photos of different fabrics and she picked out which one she wanted to use.
Custom Kindle Fire Cover
Most of these covers are available at my store on Storenvy. If you are interested in a custom cover, email me...or you can make your own with these instructions

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Repurposing a T-shirt Sleeve into a Makeup Brush Cover

Makeup brush from a t-shirt sleeve

I read somewhere you are suppose to wash your makeup brushes every once in awhile, then as if the world was conspiring against me I saw some mesh things that look like something you would see protecting delicate fruit that slip over your brushes so they keep their shape. They were more than a buck so I declined to purchase. I looked at them awhile though, thinking...why are these so expensive? They are just pieces of mesh that fit around brushes.

The idea of the mess was actually double duty. One, it keeps them in the right shape once you clean them; you slip the mesh on and they dry in the right shape. Two, they protect the brush bristles while they have an intimate party with the other brushes in your makeup bag.

I'm willing to pay good money for a lot of things...mostly Kate Spade, Tiffany and lately Trina Turk. Not willing to pay much for things I can do or create myself. Thus, the handmade makeup brush cover.

I recently flew to Los Angeles and needed to take my makeup. (Well, need is a strong word but since I hardly get to wear makeup anymore.. I do like to wear it when I get the chance.) As I was packing, I tried to decided what makeup I was going to take and realized I had thrown out the plastic bag my new blush brush had come in. EEKK!! In a moment of trying to NOT be a hoarder (see previous post), I threw away something I ACTUALLY needed!

Annoyed with myself I remembered the mesh brush cover and how I had thought I wanted to try and make one. I had seen in a Martha Stewart craft email how they had made a produce bag out of a t-shirt and cut slits in it like one of those mesh sort of lace like bags popular in the 70's...or was it the 80's....I can't remember.

Anyway......I thought maybe I could do that but on a MUCH smaller scale for my brush. As a million possibilities of how to accomplish this ran through my head in about a second I went to my trusty craft closest, cut off the sleeve from an old t-shirt and set to make a pattern.

The pattern is basic, I drew a line around the brush. I added a half inch seam allowance (only because it is easy, any size works) and cut the sides. The top has no seam allowance because the top is left open. I think the key is to not make the lines parallel. Why you ask? Here is my theory....if you make the lines the same distance apart as the widest part of the bristles, the bottom doesn't fit snug around the handle, lending itself to the possibility of slipping off and if the distance between the stitched lines matches the handle, the size is too small for the bristles and they get squished together, missing the point of the cover.

So, a small basic pattern is born...I used the hem of the sleeve as the bottom of the cover, this gave a nice finished edge.

I sewed the cover so the seams were on the outside, keeping the inside smooth as to not create a reason for the bristles to get bumps or lumps. After I stitched both seams and tested it, I trimmed the seam allowance with pinking shears.

I ended up not making slits. For my immediate purpose I needed something to keep the bristles in the right shape during travel and this cover worked great. Also, it keeps the random lint and rouge makeup specs lurking around the makeup bag off the bristles.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

At what point are you a virtual hoarder?

This might be a little like double dipping, I am about to add to my virtual hoarding by writing about virtual hoarding.

Drawing of an apartment, with all my things noted as to where they might go.

I recently posted on facebook an image of a drawing I did some years ago. It is a space planning design for an apartment I rented sometime in the late '90's. Why do I still have it? Who the heck knows. My standard answer would be because I come from a family that doesn't get rid of things..for fear we MIGHT need them...someday.

Why anyone would need a space plan from an old apartment is beyond me...but this was not the most bizarre thing I found, or scanned in and uploaded to google docs to save in my virtual hoarding place. I also scanned in all my apartment leases dating back to 1991. (Take a moment to laugh out loud.)

I started this project several years ago, scanning all my paper so I could have less clutter. I bought a Neat Desk Scanner and scanned in most everything. I scanned in all my condo docs and all my house documents, these are a pain to store because they are legal sized documents which fit just about no where! I scan in all my bills, not sure why but I have a feeling I might need to know how much I paid for electricity in 2000. I scan in most receipts, I might need to return something. I scan in instruction manuals, old papers from workshops and seminars, things I get from meetings, old Christmas lists, etc.

A friend of mine posted that it wasn't odd that I had saved this (the drawing), probably because she has known me since I was 15 and knows I save everything...but she did mention that instead of deciding to just throw it away, I had managed to save it again in the virtual world...thus becoming a virtual hoarder.

I don't think saving one document online makes you a virtual hoarder...but I started thinking about it. What DO I have saved in the virtual world and where? Here is a list.

Email. Did you know that Google gives you the option to basically never get rid of email? They have a trash folder for things you really want to get rid of; this folder typically holds things for about 30 days. They also have a great concept called archive. You can archive something and get it out of the inbox but it doesn't really go away. It sits somewhere in lala land next to the virtual pictures, blog posts and music out in the cloud. I've decided to just about NEVER delete email. Again, for fear I will need something. I only delete things that aren't going to be valid after 30 days like sale emails from stores. Other than that, they get archived forever.

I actually have a yahoo account too but I never use it, those email are just stacking up like a virtual leaning tower of Pisa.

Evernote. What a great concept, save your junk in a method where you can look at it quickly on your phone, computer or tablet...anytime you want. What do I save here? Articles online I want to read but don't have time. Receipts that are so important I might need them faster than I can look them up in gmail. They are saved in gmail too..so that is double the hoarding. Notes from meetings; I no longer carry around a notebook and pen, I have converted to a kindle fire and stylus. Web pages I might want to go back and look at. Recipes. Just about anything I might want quickly.

www.bikerunyoga.com. I have not one, not two but I actually have three different blogs. I only manage to keep up 2 and that is rare but these are also great places to store things. They are like newsletters I use to hand write in college and then copy and mail to my family. Now I type them and send them out faster....and they are all archived in the virtual world.

Facebook. I have pictures and probably a bazzillion posts of misc ridiculous thoughts. Hoarding because I never delete anything.

Twitter. Another great place to blurt out random thoughts and ideas. Hoarding because it never goes away, it just keeps stacking up.

Picasa web albums. Great place to store my photos....of which I have thousands. One time my sister-in-law and I went to Disneyland with the family and we each took more than 700 pictures of a week long vacation. All of those are online...even the bad ones...I might need them some day. I keep random,sometimes not in focus photos because I used one once as an accent piece on a scrapbooking page so now I take odd photos ON PURPOSE.

Diggs. I have an account here...so I can continue to add to my virtual hoarding of information.

Twitpic. I have pictures stored here that have been added to twitter...I am pretty sure that is double hoarding too.

Pinterest. If this isn't hoarding I don't know what it. Years ago I fell in love with the enormous fabric board above the desk of Rachel on Friends, so much that I made one myself. It now hangs in my craft room where I hoard my crafts. It is full of pictures and images of things I want. Pinterest is this online and on steroids.

Kindle Fire. I think this counts because I save documents on my kindle that I want to look at later. I also have books which seems like virtual "stuff" and I have books on the kindle that I have read but don't delete...they are just taking up space...a mild case of hoarding.

Amazon Cloud. I have music, books and documents here. Hey, they gave it to me free with the kindle fire, what was I suppose to do, not USE IT?!

I looked up virtual hoarding. Urban Dictionary defines it as:

A person who collects an abnormally large amount of useless, outdates, and or trivial files (music, movies, papers, apps, etc) that clogs up their computer's memory to the point that their virtual life is impacted negatively, with the unrealistic hopes that someday the useless data will magically be useful.
I'm not sure that defines me. I don't save much on my computer, it doesn't have a lot of memory, it is actually a netbook. My hoarding also isn't negatively impacting my life, unless you consider the time it takes to find something. (Probably no more time than it would take to search through a bunch of papers.) And unrealistic hopes the data will be useful?! Is there such a thing as unrealistic hope?
Virtual hoarding. Check. Task completed for today.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Crafting a Raised Garden Bed on the Cheap

Have you ever shopped at Aldi? It is a grocery store that has what I would call off brand items and their selection is limited to maybe one or two brands per item. The deals are good and they have "Special Buys" each week. This week they have gardening items and I picked up a few of them to start my gardening efforts. I've been wanting to grow my own vegetables for awhile now, this seemed like a good push in the right direction.

I bought two of the raised bed kits. They are less than $30 and perfect for a beginner gardener. They were easy to put together, I only needed a drill, everything else comes in the kit. The kit even shows you different configurations you can make depending on the number of kits you buy.

I chose to just do two simple 4' x 4' beds. I filled them with my own compost...and used a plastic wheel barrel I got from Aldi last year. They have the same one right now on sale for about $30.

I also bought four of the berry plants, two raspberry and two blackberry. I planted them along the back fence, something I have wanted to do for years.

After working in the yard for two days, it is finally looking a little more like a yard and less forgotten.

Here is the start to the beds, maybe I'll actually plant something soon.

Custom First Year Babysuits, One for Each Month

I recently made these custom one piece bodysuits for a friend that loves to take photos of her kids each month. I saw the idea on the Martha Stewart Show and loved it! I was so happy when I had the opportunity to try it out myself.

Martha Stewart provides templates for the 12 months, you can get them here.  I wanted mine to be more custom so I created my own, you can get my templates here.

This is a relatively easy process although I have to admit, it was quite time consuming to create the templates. I used a free program, Paint.net, to create the templates. It isn't the easiest program to use but it is free. I am sure if I had real design software, or Paint.net skills, I could have done it much faster.

Once the templates were made, the rest of the process was easy. I printed off the templates using iron on transfer paper. Then I cut out each circle. I customized each with the babies name (that is the blurred out part.) The name I cut out separately.

I used three 0-3 months, three 3-6 months, three 6-9 months, three 12 months. The bodysuits seem to come in quantity packages that don't correspond with this project well, on the positive side, it gives you a few to try and mess up on, or extra blank ones to give the mom.

If you make these or some of your own design, let me know, would love to see! Craft on.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Instructions to Make a Kindle Fire Cover

Kindle Fire Cover - Multi Blue Circles
Wow, I never knew a Kindle Fire Cover could be so popular! I pinned my creation on Pinterest and 34 people and counting repinned it! Someone even commented requesting instructions on how to make one. I wasn't prepared to write it up, my crafting isn't always good enough to share but I worked on it and made a few more and think I have created a pretty good pattern.

Here are the guidelines for making your own Kindle Fire Cover. If you aren't crafty and want to just purchase one, I have some on sale now at my store. Click on one of the images below to buy.

Fabrics Needed: 
  • Decorative fabric for outside
  • Fabric for the interior
  • Stiff interfacing, I used the heaviest iron-on I could find
  • Flannel fabric (padding)
  • Thicker craft fleece (I found this in the interfacing area.) (This is the thick padding)
Notions Needed: 
  • 3/8" Elastic
  • Thread

Creating the pattern: 

** Everything has a 3/8" seam

Cover Piece:
  • Cut a rectangle 11 15/16" x 8 13/16", mark the seam allowance, fold it in half and mark the half way point - draw a line on the right side of the center 3/8" in, this is the seam allowance for the right side. So the right side ends up being 5 1/16" wide.
  • Cut a 2 square and fold in half. 
  • Place the folded square in each of the corners on the right side of the pattern. Draw a line, this is where you will place the elastic. When you cut out the fabric, cut a small slit in the seam to note where the elastic should go.
  • On the right side, mark 1 3/16" in from the right edge, this is where the elastic band will be stitched.
  • Cut one fabric, one interfacing, one padding, one thick padding
Right Side Interior:
  • Cut a rectangle 5 7/8" x 8 3/4"
  • Cut one fabric, one interfacing

Left Side Interior:

  • Cut a rectangle 5 7/16" x 8 3/4" (note it is 5 7/16", not 5 7/8" like the right side!)
  • Cut one fabric, one interfacing
Middle Interior:

  • Cut a rectangle 2 1/16"" x 8 3/4"
  • Cut one fabric, one interfacing
  • Cut a rectangle 5 1/2" x 8 3/4"
  • Fold in half. From the center, measure 3 3/4" from the left side to the center. From that point to the edge, draw a curved line. While still folded, cut along the line so both sides are the same. I used a drafting tool, you can also use a large can as a guide. 
  • Cut two fabric, one interfacing 
How to put it together: 
  1. Iron on interfacing to all pieces. ** I trimmed the cover piece interfacing 3/8" all the way around. You could create a different pattern for the interfacing that was the correct size but I cut these out all at the same time and trim, I find that is easier. 
  2. On the Right Side Interior piece, mark the lines from the pattern where the elastic should go (on the right side of the fabric). The bottom of the elastic goes on the line. Stitch elastic down. 
  3. One the Cover Piece, pin the elastic. The place you clipped into the seam allowance notes where the right side of the elastic should go. Stitch it to the Cover Piece. 
  4. Take the Pocket pieces and sew just the curved edge, clip, trim and iron. Turn the Pocket right side out and stitch the two pieces together so they are secure. The piece with the interfacing should be on the top. 
  5. Sew the Left Side and Middle together, top stitch on Left Side. 
  6. Pin the Pocket to the Left Side. Stitch all three sides.  
Now you have a Cover Piece with the strap attached, a thick padding, padding, Right Side with elastic straps attached and a Left side with the Pocket and Middle attached.
  1. Put the pieces together in this order, flat on the table; padding, Cover Piece (right side up), Right Side (right side down), Left Side (right side down make sure Middle is on top of Right Side). Pin. Sew all the way around. Trim selvage. 
  2. Turn right side out and use a corner poker thing to carefully poke out the corners. Trim the thick padding so it fits nicely inside the pocket you just made. I found out this is not an exact science. I trimmed off a tad bit more than the 3/8" seam allowance. Insert into the cover and smooth out. 
  3. Once you have this smooth and flat, top stitch around the entire thing. 
  4. Now, measure the distance between your top stitching. Cut two pieces of card board. The right side piece should be approximately 7 1/2" x 4 5/8" and the left side should be approximately 7 1/2" x 4 1/4". I say approximately because it depends on how far in your top stitching is. 
  5. Insert the left side cardboard first, all the way to the right. You will have to wrap it around the Middle edge so it slides to the left. Stick you hand in between the pieces and push the cardboard to the left. It should end approximately where the top stitching is of the Left Side and Middle piece. Put right side cardboard in, it should end just shy of the Right Side piece of fabric, you need enough room to top stitch over the edge. Smooth it all out and test it with your Kindle. It should fold over nicely and the elastic band should easily come from the back to the front, securing the front. Once you are satisfied, top stitch the Right Side closed, stitching all the way through all the pieces, top stitching will be on the back. 
There you have it, your own handmade Kindle Fire Cover! If you make one, post your pics here! 

Inside of of Cover

Cream and White Scroll Cover

Inside of Multi Blue Circle Cover