Aug 30, 2010

"Soup"er storage idea

Ok, I've been known to re-purpose things before like when I made a tote bag out of business cards for a friend.  Or when I made candy dishes from gladware packaging. (I'll show that one soon - stay tuned!) You get the idea.  Anyway, it's just the way my mind works, I see something for what it is but then my mind switches gears and starts designing what it could be. 

That's what happened with my project for today.  It actually came out of need.  I don't like stacking my cans.  They never stay orderly.  They always fall over.  Or they get pushed to the back of the cupboard and I forget what I have and it BUGS me.  So, I made this.

Yes, I know you can by self-rotating Can Stackers for food storage but the small ones are $32 and frankly, I'd rather make my own and so that's what I did.  I had everything on hand except for the soda so the out-of-pocket expense was $3.50.  Here's how I did it....

 1- First, I needed an empty fridge pack of soda.  My kids were thrilled to find rootbeer in the fridge.  I  bought it specifically for the packaging - is that wrong?  Not really, just backwards, I guess.

2- On the back end of the container I cut out a space that is large enough to put a can of soup in.

3- I grabbed some decorative paper (I used about 3 sheets of 12x12 scrapbook paper)  and folded it into place to cover the box.  I put everything in place, creased my edges and cut out my opening to fit the one I had cut in step 2.  Then I just took some Mod Podge and glued all the paper into place.  I did the back end of the box first and let it completely dry.

4- Once the back end was done drying, I grabbed another piece of paper and repeated the steps until the front part is covered.  And, just to make it more decorative, I used a coordinating paper for the front.

5- Then I added a label to the front and added a coat of Mod Podge over the whole thing - this gives it a little more strength and will keep the papers from tearing.

So, that's it.  To use it, I just always add my soups to the back and take from the front, that way they are properly rotated.  And, the best thing, I don't have to stack my soups anymore.  Plus, each soup flavor is kept together which means no more hunting through my pantry for the flavor needed.  I can have a box for chicken noodle, cream of chicken, corn, peas, whatever... And, I can make as many as I need and my cupboard is organized.  Yahoo!

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Aug 27, 2010

Just can't wait

So the conversations went like this:

Miss M:  What are you going to put on your blog next?
Me:  I'm not sure, I'm thinking about some fall stuff
Miss M:  MOM!  we're not Hobby Lobby or Walmart!
Me:  (confused look)  huh?
Miss M:  You know!  They always put their holiday stuff out waaay early, like in July.  It's still August, DON'T  be like them!

Guess what?  I didn't listen!

I'm going to post a fall themed project anyway.  After all, September is just 5 days away AND these are last years projects anyway so I will save the new stuff for September 1st, that's fair right?
I was first introduced to today's project when the twins where in 1st grade (that's forever ago) when one of them brought home a request that every child bring in a roll of toilet paper.  That was a new request for me.  I'd had requests for tissues, pencils, and paper towels but toilet paper?  That was odd!   However, I'm so glad I sent her on her way to school with her roll of TP because a few weeks later she came home with this....

Would you have guessed it was made with a roll of toilet paper?  Nope!  Me neither.  So, all you do is get a square of orange fabric and place the TP on top of the fabric, in the center, then wrap the fabric up and tuck the ends into the center of the roll.  Then to finish the look, add a stem and a leaf and you're done.  This is so easy for little crafters to do and it's fun because it's an I.G. project  (Instant gratification) with very little mess or tweaking needing.

However, if you want to step up the level of difficulty just one notch you can make the same thing but out of paper instead.  I like it both ways but I lean towards liking the decorative paper options slightly better just because you can mix pattern papers and add texture.

Here's a quick visual on how I did the paper pumpkin.

Easy right?  Just a few tips and other ideas.  I wanted a little texture so I crinkled up the strips of paper before tucking them into the tube.  Also, to get them to stay in place I did use a little scotch tape in the center of the tube to hold them down.  And, if you want to make it look more distressed and a bit rustic you could always ink the edges.

Fun right?  These little pumpkins have become a must-do craft tradition for us and we will make them every year.  Oh, and if you make your own.  At the end of the season, the fabric comes off really easy and you can just save the fabric square so it's ready for next year.  The paper versions tends to get a little brittle in storage so I usually make them with new paper strips each year.

P.S. I just joined the Saturday Night Special

Aug 25, 2010

A past favorite

Right before we left Maine I was packing up kits and writing a tutorial for this little scrapbook project.  I had agreed to participate in a fund raising auction the year before for a program called Youth Arts.  It was a non-profit organization that was run by moms who wanted to keep the arts in the school.  Honestly, it was a really cool organization and I enjoyed what little role I played.  I worked as a photographer for them for a while, but that's a story for another day...

Anyway, back to the auction.  I agreed to design a project and present a class to the winning bidder and 5 guests.  It reminded me so much of my days when I taught classes for Judy and also when I worked for Simple Scrapbooks Magazine and traveled to conventions.  I was in my element.  However, for whatever reason, life I guess, the winner was never able to schedule a time for the class before we moved.  So, I packed kits and gave her a tutorial instead.  Here's a brief run down of how the project looked in the end.

Back of cover & Page 1:   The cover is made from using two pieces of transparency and sandwiching decorative papers inbetween.  The heart looks like it is floating but in really isn't.  Page 1 lifts to show a place for journaling.

Page 2 & 3:  Just a couple of photos I love and then different ways to journal the memories about each one.  It might be hard to tell but the red part is actually a card that opens to reveal the photo of the twins on the inside.  You can get so much more design space by using lifts and pull-outs.  It's fun to see how many ways you can add more to an album.  This album was really only 4 pages but with all the additions and lifts, it turned into like 9 design surfaces.

Transparency:  I love transparencies.  They just add a little element of surprise to a project.  The photo under this transparency is actually a really "happy" photo.  My kids are running and playing and there are bubbles floating around, it totally captured a very happy moment. So by using the transparency, some paint and alpha stamps, I could very easily tell what was showing underneath in an artful way.

Additions:  I wanted to add a little more to the book so I tore apart some thin cardboard (you can see the torn edge) and created another page.  The littel red square is actually another card that lifts.

All in all, it was a fun project to make and I do hope the winner of the auction was finally able to get together with her friends and make the book.

My chairs

Life's too short for boring chairs!

Many, many years ago I loved the movie When A Man Loves A Women.  Partly because it was a Meg Ryan flick and I was a huge fan but also because I loved the house they lived in.  Silly to love a movie based on the props and home decor, but it's true, I did.

Specifically I loved their dining room table.  It was beat up with a reclaimed wood top, and that was waaaaay back in the early 90's long before using reclaimed wood was the trend.  The table was cool but the best part?  It had several different colored chairs surrounding it - I was in love and I knew someday I'd have my own version of that.

I still haven't found the table.  Kent's been drawing up plans and we will eventually build one but until then, I can celebrate that I do have my chairs and I love them.  They make me smile.

I found the basic chair at Ikea for way cheap, like $20 bucks cheap, and I had to have them.  Here's one in it's naked form (gasp! how immodest!)  I really like simple, no frills, furniture.  If it's decorative, Victorian, or traditional, it's really not for me so when I saw these chairs, they were perfect.

Once we got them home, I took a few trips to Lowe's for paint chips and settled pretty quickly on the colors shown above.  This summer I've developed this weird love affair with the color orange - I've always hated orange so I'm not sure why I changed.  Perhaps color preferences are like taste buds and they change every 7 years.  hmmm?  Maybe.  Anyway, the girls really wanted purple too but I just couldn't do it, maybe a plum, but purple? ummm, NO!

The really great thing about Lowe's is that Valspar paint has test samples that you can buy for about $3.  They will mix it any color you like, which is awesome.  Plus, it was the perfect amount of paint and the perfect price.

In the future I will make some colorful chair pads and I may even add a glaze and distress them a bit but for now, we are just enjoying the fact that we are no longer using metal folding chairs and that the colors add some fun to our dinnertime routine.  And that is what I made over my summer vacation.

p.s. - This table isn't bad.  It's a family heirloom and once I cleaned it up and repainted the base, it looks ok. I like thinking about all the people in my family, some I didn't even know like my grandpa, who have eaten their meals and played games around this table.  It's a hundred years old so that is pretty cool.  However, it will eventually be moved to a different spot in our home and replaced to make way for my reclaimed wood creation.  Can't wait!

p.s.s - I've joined Saturday Show and Tell at Be Different... act normal