Thursday, December 29, 2011


A majority of my inspiration for our made Christmas gifts came from Pinterest.  This place is where time goes to die.  Seriously you will log in at 8 and next thing you know it is 11 o clock.  There is soooo much “crap” in one place its unbelievable.  

I found many things that I tried to make for gifts and they just didn’t make it.  One of them is  the recycled can covered in a tie  transformation into a cute little bracelet. 
Picture via Pinterest

Ya well as cute as it is in that picture I couldn’t for the life of me make it work.  Once I got the can cut and glued the tie on the cuff became huge and unwearable.   
Next up on my unable to create list would be these beautiful roses.
Picture via Pinterest

Take a good look at them....they are coffee filters??!!! Ya looks simple enough to recreate.  Off I went to the store and picked up some coffee filters sat my little helper down and we painted some filters. Then mommy cut and rolled like the pictures showed and there was no possible way the mess in my hands was going to magically turn into those pretty things.  
Ahhh... thankfully it takes A LOT to make me discouraged and I tried yet another of my pinned items.  
Picture via Pinterest

These cute little stools caught my eye and I couldn’t stop thinking about them.  Because the link on Pintrest led me to a site from another country that I couldn’t read I decided to wing it.  My husband found small legs at a local thrift shop and attached them to circles he cut from random wood we had from construction projects.  I took a vintage sheet ripped it into strips and used that as my crochet thread.  I was very happy with my results and so was mommy when she opened them on Christmas morning.  

Stay tuned,  I had more projects that turned out nicely then I had bomb.  ;) 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Twine Cowboy Lamps

A friend at work sent me a link to a site that made twine lights. I thought I would give it a try and make them gifts for Christmas.

What you need:

Twine: There are two kinds of twine. The cheap stuff for a dollar and the polished twine for five dollars at Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart twine is open stock which is nice because you know if you run out they are always going to carry it. What is nice about the polished twine is it is easier to work with and with the twine lights I noticed that the polished twine dries harder. The twine for a dollar I found at my local Dollar General store. This stuff is thinner and is not polished...more of a rough feel. However, it does not dry as hard as the polished twine but it does instead have a more finished look to the lamp when it is complete.

Glue: I used Tacky Glue and I would like everyone who buys this to get it at Wal-Mart. It runs about three dollars cheaper than Michaels or JoAnns charges.

Balloons: I used cheap balloons from the Dollar Store. The bad thing about balloons are it is hard to find a perfect round balloon. This sucks if you are making more than one lamp (light fixture perhaps?). You can also use a round ball from the kids section of Wal Mart. They sell these balls for about a dollar and they are a perfect round shape.

Next you will need to dump some glue into a bowl. Blow up a balloon to your desired shape or size. You will then moisten the twine with the glue. I just dipped my fingers in the glue and then ran it along the twine. This helped with there being no excess glue clumped all over. Wrap the balloon with the twine. When you like what it looks like stop and let the balloon dry overnight.

To make sure the balloon dried without sticking to anything, I hung it on a hanger to dry overnight.

I left a small opening at one end of the balloon for placing a light bulb/light fixture.

After 24 hours take the balloon and pop it. If you use a balloon this is easy because after the balloon is popped it will then be easy to remove. If you are using one of the child toy balls it will be harder to remove the ball.

Now your twine ball is ready for a light! I upcycled an old window light (friendship light/candle) and placed the twine ball on top of it. This made a nice table lamp. I also used my twine balls to replace old lamps on a lighting fixture I had. You can also see that picture above as well. The candle table lamp was made with the polished twine and the ceiling fixture was made with the unpolished dollar twine.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gifts, Christmas, and the lack of a camera.

Hello!  We have been gone for a while, a long while.  I have no reason for it really, mostly because I forget to take any pictures when I make something.

MOVING on, Christmas is close, yes it is only the 2nd, but this year we are doing things a bit different in my family.   Our gifts we are giving are all going to be made and or upcycled, well except for the gifts Santa leaves. :)

Im going to try to share as many as I can on here, before Christmas so maybe you will wanna try some too.   Some will have to wait so that all members of the family won't see their gifts. :) I have to tell you this has been the most fun I have ever had shopping for Christmas.  There is real thought going into each and every item.  Our weekends are filled with thrifting at second hand stores and our weeks are filled with construction.

I have been scouring the internet getting ideas for many many gifts and together we work through them.  Some we scrap even though they look great on other peoples sites, when we try it and rework they just don't work.

Today I am going to share 2 items, the first is an infinity type scarf I made for my mom's birthday.  I again didn't take any pictures  but the site I will post has nice ones and my project turned out exactly like hers aside from the color.  I used lion brand thick and quick in an eggplant color.  This was a very easy pattern and I think even a beginner could make this.  I highly suggest this as a gift or for yourself!

Picture and pattern from The Crimson Owl. Great site go visit!
 Ok so next up is something I really wanted to work but just didn't.  I found this project on Pinterest and couldn't wait to try it.  The site has a great set of instructions that make it look so easy.  Its so hard to believe that those cute flowers are q-tips!  YES Q-TIPS!  I have found other sites that recreated these little numbers with no problem so I am thinking it was just me.   My q-tips kept falling out.  Im pretty sure I am going to give this one another try because I really really like them.  AND even though I am having problems with mine, I still suggest this one to others!

Picture and Instructions from Homemade Ginger, check them out!

Well that is all for today.  Ill be back in a day or so with some things I am making using vintage sheets!  Im excited! Fingers crossed that what is in my head turns out just as great!

Happy gift making!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

t-shirt upcycle

You have old t shirts you dont want? DONT THROW EM OUT!  lay them flat take out your handy dandy cutting device of choice and slice into strips. Take your loops stretch em out. With a little extra scrap of t shirt wrap around all your loops. POOF a necklace!  I glammed mine up with some sequins but you can use anything!

See mor pics or buy this lovely here, T Shirt Necklace with Black Sequined Accents by bighead417 on Etsy . 

Im going to make more and list them this week so if you like this one in black check back for more in different colors...unless I decide to keep them for myself.  :)  Happy upcycling to you! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I live in Ellwood City, PA and once a year we have a junk day. Junk day is when you put anything that is larger than normal out for trash day. Junk day should be a holiday where I live because anyone who is anyone goes out looking for antiques, junk, or just about anything that may catch the eye. This year I skipped out on the event but my sister found an old iMac G3 for me. She brought it home for me and I decided to turn it into something useful.

First I took the bottom screws off the iMac which then exposed the heat shield. Depending on which iMac model you have, there are two ways to dismantle it. If you are unsure which model you have, I would go to YouTube. There are several videos that show you how to take the unit apart. Below is a picture of the first piece I removed. The second picture is the unit with the heat shield exposed.

Next I then took the hard drive (which I would recommend doing before you throw it to the curb for junk day), and then you will see the logic board. After you see the logic board you just have to focus on getting out the CRT. CAUTION!!!! CRT display's can carry a charge for years which can shock you if you do not handle it correctly. Please make sure you know what you are doing before removing it. I had my brother in law help me with this step since I didn't know about the shock risk.

After all the parts were torn out I then put the case back together. I added a towel and now my cats use it as a cat bed! Below you will see Miss Kitty checking out the bed. She is a little on the large side but I have caught her in the bed...just not at the right time to take a picture. The iCat is now a great hideout for my cats.

Please note: Do not throw away your computer on the curb without removing or wiping the hard drive. When I got this Mac it was in great shape. There was still plastic from shipping on it and the person who threw it away didn't realize their information was on it. Please do not make the same mistake when disposing of electronics.

Also, you can not throw away CRT monitors in your trash unless it is trash pick up day. Instead of waiting another year to toss it out, I took it to Best Buy. For ten dollars they will recycle it and they will also give you a 10 dollar gift card. So its an even trade.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Wow its been a while since our last post. I am apparently a horrid blogger. I have done many lil projects since my last post but I fail to take ANY pictures as I go. Hmm...

In an attempt to redeem myself somewhat I have a small project that I have done recently with odds and ends from my summer vacation to Lake Placid NY. Lake Placid is the home to two winter Olympics and unbelievably beautiful views. It was my sons very first vacation and he was partial to.... sticks?! Ya, I know, sticks. Well being his mom I didn't want to get rid of his special sticks from his first vacation, but what to do with em so they didn't get thrown in the fireplace.

After a little brainstorming I came up with the below vacation keepsake. A shadowbox that holds his sticks around the frame, raw gems from High Falls Gorge, and the back is a portion of a map the city had in all of the shops to help you navigate the area.

I had a crappy shadow box from a yard sale that I tore apart, cut my little map to fit the back board glued in place painted black and hot glued the gems and sticks. Super easy and a beautiful reminder of our first vacation to Lake Placid.