Monday, February 25, 2013

Thrifty Crafty Girl Goes Green Update

I made a resolution this year to use only reusable bags for shopping.  NO MORE PLASTIC BAGS, I TELL YOU.  So, how am I doing?

Awesome-sauce.  If I entered that sauce in a sauce contest, it would win the award for 'awesomest sauce'.  On an unrelated note, if anyone knows of a sauce contest in the area, give a shout.

I have not brought home A SINGLE PLASTIC BAG since I made my resolution.  I know, I'm just terrific.  My husband went shopping one day and didn't have any bags and brought home paper bags.  After I beat the crap out of him gently reminded him of my goal, we recycled them and moved on with our lives.

And my reward, as I plainly stated in my resolution declaration, was a trunk organizer for myself.  I likes to gets little treats.  Here she is, in all her glory:

It's actually pretty large but it was really cold outside when I took the picture and I didn't want to spend a billion hours trying to fit the whole thing in the frame.  'Dedicated' was not the word of the day that day.

And I took my 'going green' a step further: I have eliminated all paper towels from this house.  THIS HOUSE IS CLEAN.  You know, from "Poltergiest"?  Let's all watch that movie tonight, it'll be great.

I bought a whole bunch of bar towels and put them all over the place.  And then, I just stopped buying paper towels.  I just stopped, cold turkey.  Sure, I had some initial withdrawal... but I persevered and no longer even look for a paper towel to clean up a spill.  And I've saved quite a bit of money not buying them, even if I use coupons and if I count my extra towel investment.  Love it.

It's almost March, have you all kept up with your resolutions?
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hanging Crochet Hooks

This is such a little thing, but it has made me so happy.  I spent no money on this project, very little time, and came out with my favorite thing for the moment:

I used ribbon to make a crochet hook holder.  I know, I know... it IS awesome.

So, I have all sorts of crochet hooks.  And a handy little pouch to house them.  Only see, the pouch is not actually holding all my hooks.  The little loops that they go through are only pretend apparently, since half of my hooks won't fit in them.  Bummer-sauce.

As you can see, something had to be done.  It was truly a crochet hook crisis up in this hizzy.

I took a length of ribbon and pinned it around each of my hooks (in order of size, of course) and pinned it in place.

Yes, I do need a manicure, thanks for noticing.  Please send all complimentary manicure gift cards to my home address, thankyousomuch.

Then, they were all pinned:

After that, I sewed up near the pin.  I had to take out the hooks for this part, but whatevs... I still pulled it off.

This ribbon is intended to let me hang my hooks on the inside of my crafting cabinet.  Yes, I have a crafting cabinet.  Her name is Bernice.

I used Command Picture Hanging Strips to put the ribbon on the door.  Those strips are so amazing, there are no words.  OK, there are words: amazing.  Also, awesome.

Done and done.  Here are my hooks, hanging happily in their little cabinet:

I'm in love.  Now I just have to weed through the eleventy-billion crochet projects I want to tackle and pick one...
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Storing My Vinyl

I know, I know... all my posts lately are about storing things and organizing things.  I agree, it's getting ridiculous.  But, my husband has started to twitch every time I bring in another crafting whosit into this house.  So I've been trying to find places for all my stuff.  'Cause I like my stuff.

I collected a billion Pringles cans, which didn't take too long because Pringles are awesome-sauce.  I cut the little ring at the top off and started to work.

I also cleaned out the insides of the Pringles can because I didn't want my vinyl to be crumb-y.  Next, I used double-sided tape to put some pretty paper on each one and I stacked them together. I did glue them as well, but added a ribbon to tie them together too because I like extra pretty on my Pringles cans.

And after several minutes of diligent work, I had vinyl storage.  I am so good at projects that take less than an hour.

This system is way better than the one I had before: putting vinyl wherever I was and having to look for it all over.  Progress.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Scrapbook Paper Storage

Let me start this post by confessing that I've been SOOOO out of focus lately.  I started a diet (cutting out sugar and trying to eat less processed stuff) and it's going so well that I want to die.  I mean, I just love eating bowls of air for dinner.  The first week of a diet is always the worst and I need to suck it up, but man... I WANT DAIRY QUEEN.  NOW.

Anyhoo, I decided to craft through my hunger pangs.  I have a vast amount of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper but no place to store it.  It was sitting in a stack in my desk and it was such a production to find suitable paper for a project.  I decided that this madness must end.

I bought some legal-size file folders at Staples.

I got the 100 pack and when I was done, I had 50 scrapbook-paper sized folders... here's what I did:

I cut two inches off each side of the folders:

Amy from While Wearing Heels thinks that I do all of my crafting in front of the television.  I'm not going to prove her right this time... instead, I will tell you that I cut all these folders up while learning Chinese and playing the fiddle.  TAKE THAT, AMY. :)

Once I had all the sides trimmed from the folders, I cut half of them in half on the fold.

I pieced together an uncut folder with two halves of a cut one... does that make sense?  Basically, I turn two folders into one taller folder.  I just taped them together at the edges with packing tape.

So, my folders were done... but I needed something to put them in, otherwise they'll still be stacked up to oblivion.  I bought a 13x13 Itso box from Target to put them in... then I needed to figure out how to arrange them in there nicely.

You can buy 12x12 hanging file folders on Amazon if you like... but the price was too steep for me.  Also, they weren't pretty.  I like pretty.  So, I decided to buy some fabric and wood dowels and make my own hanging file folders.

I cut my fabric into long strips at least 13" wide and lined it with some white broadcloth.  I pinned it up to size 12x12.

I sewed a seam on each side...

And for the ends, I folded over the fabric.  I wanted to be able to make these bigger if I get more paper, so I didn't trim those edges to give me lots of room to grow.

I used a 5/8" seam allowance which was perfect for the 3/16" wood dowel I used.  I slid the dowels through the seam and had hanging file folders.  BOOM.

I'm planning on labeling all the file folders in a pretty way, but like I said earlier, this hungry crafty girl is unfocused this week.  Once the sugar cravings leave my system, I'll be back to normal, I'm sure.  Until then, SOMEONE NEEDS TO BRING ME AN OREO BLIZZARD, PRONTO.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Turntable Awesomeness

I am still trying to organize my world around here and I'm making some progress.  I had an idea for a project that needed a small turntable... so I bought one.  And then I was all, "This turntable is cool, I could use this for a bunch of other things."  So, my crafting ADD forced me to use the turntable for another purpose.  And now, I have to buy another one for the first project I was working on.  I'm gifted, I tell you.

I took my new turntable (which was only a few dollars on Amazon, score) and put some scrapbook paper on it.  Then I put three pails from the dollar spot at Target on the turntable and filled it with things that I find necessary: patterned scissors, colored markers, and pens.  Lots and lots of pens.

Now, I just sit at my desk and spin the turntable because apparently, I'm a five-year old.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Snack Organization in the Pantry

I don't really have a 'pantry'.  I have a cabinet that I bought at Lowe's that I call a 'pantry'.  It makes me feel good just saying the word 'pantry' to people.  And the cabinet has been great for adding storage space for food and whatnot.  But It was getting difficult to keep it organized without a little help.

I decided to Rubbermaid it up in here.  I bought some Rubbermaid containers to organize the snacks... now, those containers aren't really cheap.  If I had bought them all at one time, it would have cost me about $50 to buy what I needed and $50 is needed for important groceries, like milk and Midol.  So, I bought one container every budget period until I had myself quite the little collection.  Along with the containers, I bought some chalkboard labels and a pencil sharpener.

I sharpened the chalk.  I KNOW, I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS POSSIBLE EITHER.  It was a gamble, but chalk is cheap.

I put the labels on the containers and labeled 'em up, using my sort-of-fine tip chalk.

We eat large amounts of Chex Mix in this house.

Now, I have tons of containers for all our snacks:

This is what Rubbermaid happiness looks like.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Argyle Wreath

Argyle wreaths are totes popular on Pinterest.  And I'm a follower.  So I made one.

Here's a little warning for you: The first step in this project is to wrap a foam wreath in yarn.  So easy, right?  YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG.  Wrapping the yarn around this friggin' thing took HOURS.  I mean, actual, real, MIND-NUMBING hours.  Take heed, my crafty friends.

Once that part is over, the rest is quite simple... once the feeling comes back to your hands, that is.

I cut some felt diamonds and put them on the wreath.  Then, I wrapped some more yarn (SWEET MOSES, HOW MUCH YARN IS ENOUGH FOR YOU, VALENTINE'S WREATH?) around the diamonds in a criss-cross pattern.

I added a felt heart or two, and admired my pretty wreath.

The last part took like, five minutes.  If it hadn't been for the soul-crushing hours spent on wrapping the wreath in yarn, I would make a million of these, they're so cute.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentine Hexagon Art

It's about to get all geometric up in here.

I saw this pin on Pinterest that showed a project using scrapbook paper cut into hexagons.  It was adorable, and could be done for any ol' holiday you can think of.  So I did it for Valentine's Day.

I bought some pretty paper and used the Silhouette to cut out hexagons.  I just love hexagons.

I took some pink foam board (I know, I didn't know it existed either) and sat down in front of the television while I put the hexagons together like a puzzle.  This was actually kind of fun.  Once I had them where I liked them, I used double-sided tape to put them on the board.

I thought this was going to take a billion years.  It didn't.  It took like, 20 minutes.  Twenty minutes of hexagon joy.

I put it into a frame and called it a day.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, February 4, 2013

"Knot" Valentines

I saw this on Pinterest and wept from the cuteness.  Or the weeping could have been because my three-year old insists on not leaving my side for one second, even to tinkle.

At any rate, I saw this pin and hopped over to the blog it led to.

I know, tears of cuteness taste salty.  And the best thing about this? THE BLOGGER LETS YOU DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE FOR FREE.  I believe in angels now.

I made some for my son's classroom Valentines, using the school colors for the bracelets, and in an afternoon, they were done.

I told you, it's adorbs.  And there's one more thing I can knock off my to-do list!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Valentine's Day Rag Quilt Runner

Ah, Valentine's Day... a holiday completed invented by companies so they can meet their profit goals.

Any excuse for chocolate and jewelry is OK in my book.

I found this great rag quilt project over at Country by Design and just loved it.  The runner she's got is a Christmas one and that's what I had intended to make as well... and then anemia struck and I slept through November and most of December.

I decided to make one for Valentine's Day because I'm adaptable like that.  I'm ever so easy-going, just ask my husband.  There is a tutorial over at the Country by Design blog but it doesn't have any pictures, so it was challenging for me since I've never made a rag quilt.  So, because I love you, I've taken a million pictures of the process because YOU HAVE TO MAKE ONE OF THESE.  THEY'RE SO FUN.

First, I bought some Valentines' Day fabric and some batting.  You don't need much of each pattern, I got 1/3 a yard of each and that was plenty.  I chose six different fabrics and they're all just delicious.  For the batting, I chose some mid-weight stuff so it would be fluffy.  If you're not a fluffy kind of crafter, you pick something different.  Go with your gut, my crafty friends.

You're going to cut the fabric and the batting into 5" x 5" squares.  How many?  I don't know... so, you should make a runner that fits wherever you want it to sit.  And depending on that place, your runner might be ten squares long or a million or a scrillion or even a real number.  Do a little estimating and make yourself a plan, Stan.

If your name is really Stan, you are going to be so psyched that I included you in this.

Anyhoo, you'll cut out your squares and stare at them, wondering what to do next.  At least, that's what I did.  You're going to make yourself a sandwich... a fabric sandwich.  Top fabric, right side up, batting, and then bottom fabric, right side down.  I used all six patterns for the top fabrics but chose two fabrics for the bottom.  And then I made a whole bunch of sandwiches:

Next, sew an X on each one.  Easy-peasy... honestly, if I can do this, anyone can.

Next, lay out your squares in a pleasing pattern.

Once you have your pattern set, you're going to start sewing your sandwiches together.  Take the first two in the top row, line them up, back to back, and sew them together on one side with a 1/2" seam allowance.

You're going to sew all your sandwiches, row by row and then you'll sew the rows together the same way.  The raw edges are going to be facing you and you're going to think you've done something horribly wrong, but you haven't.  You're almost done and you look so pretty.

Once the sandwiches are sewn together, you need to press the raw edges.  You can do this as you sew the rows and then do the horizontal lines when you finish sewing, whichever is easier for you.  Spread the sandwich edges apart and iron them, like so (or sew! I'm too adorbs.) :

You'll do that for each of the inside seams, but you're a hard worker so you'll be just fine.  Once the raw edges have all been pressed, grab yourself a pair of scissors and sit down to a good movie.  You're going to clip all those raw edges that are sticking up.  Clip them about every 1/8" or so.  You're cutting through the all the fabric and the batting.

You will start to feel your hand cramping.  You may become dizzy or cranky or both.  Persevere, my dear friend!  Carpal tunnel will heal in time.

Once you've clipped all your inside edges, you're going to add some fabric to the sides to give it a better edge.

Cut one-inch strips of fabric in two patterns, long enough for each side.  Once you've cut those strips, lay them face-down on the edges of your runner and pin 'em in place.

 Sew through the strips and the runner with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Fold the right side of the fabric over the wrong side and press with the iron...

And then clippity-clip those edges.  Put that movie back on, this will take a while.

Once you've finished the clippity-clipping, throw the runner to the ground, victorious, and shout to the heavens that you're finished.  You may also do some sort of end-zone dance if your knees are up to it.

Take the runner outside and shake it.  Shake it a lot.  There will be thread flying everywhere, take heed.  Once you've shaken it pretty well, throw it in the washing machine.  It will make the clipped edges fluffy.

And there's your Valentine's Day runner.  It took a few hours to finish it but IT WAS SO MUCH FUN.  Honestly... I can't wait to do another one.  Oh, and here's the back side... it looks like a quilt.  I'm going to start calling myself a quilter.  I enjoy pretending.

So. Much. Fun.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!
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