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 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. 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 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.