Moving Out and Moving On

Yucca bloomsMoving Out and Moving On

I got to see my yucca plants bloom one last time before I moved out of my house. It was a bit sad, but also a relief. Someone finally made an offer on my property, at a bit of a loss, but I took it. I had to get out of the situation and away from my ex. I had to get out of a situation where he had power over me and as long as I was still in my house, as much as I had enjoyed living there, he had power over me, so I had to leave.

I saw the irises, peach trees, yuccas, and apple trees bloom one last time.

Moving was difficult. I couldn’t find a place to go. There was literally nothing to rent. Apartments were getting snapped up like crazy. There were no duplexes for rent. There was nothing. I had nowhere to go. I finally found a place to go, paying more than I wanted to, but it’s a nice place to transition to a new life.

I had some very nice people, and my family, help me move to my new place. Organizing was the first thing in the line of business when I moved.

Organized Spice DrawerOne of the first things I organized was my spice drawer. I used to have spices on my wall. In my old house, before I redid the kitchen walls, I had bars mounted on the wall and my spice jars sat between them. In my new place I have a drawer big enough to hold them. All my spices are in uniformed 4-oz mason jars with the name of what the spice is written on top of each lid with a dry-erase marker. The marker just wipes off so no one lid is doomed to always be one type of spice.

You have to admit that various sized mason jars are just about the handiest thing in the world.

My spices are currently organized alphabetically, makes them easier to find. I also have other spice paraphernalia in the drawer, such as vanilla extract and a nice set of measuring spoons.

KitchenI put some artwork up in the kitchen, which makes my kitchen a bit nicer. I have actually added more artwork than this and at some point I will take photos of everything in its organized state and post it all online.

One thing I have learned from living in this place is that high ceilings are good for displaying artwork. So if you happen to have some nice tall ceilings in your place, put some artwork up there.

The next line of business was my closet. For the first time in my life, EVER, I have a walk-in closet!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have organized it with origami shelves, tensions rods and curtain rods. It’s pretty awesome. Tension rods are just wonderful. In my closet tension rods are used in several places.

I have used tension rods to store hats and shoes, but also my head scarves and bandanas. I have used curtain clips to clip each head scarf and bandana. I have used cheap shower curtain clips to store my knit hats as well.

For the scarves, I have used curtain rods through rings. You can go to Wal-mart and buy an entire bag of metal bits, called findings, from the craft section and they’re just good for all sorts of things. I ended up making a chain out of them that I could put curtain rods through, then I put my scarves on the rods and hung the rods/chains from one of my closet shelves.

Having an organized closet is wonderful. The closet was one of the first things I did when I moved in and it’s still that way. Pretty awesome, huh?

There will be more to come on the status of my organizing, but these are the first highlights. I think organizing things has definitely helped me to feel grounded in my life, if that doesn’t sound too cheesy. It helps me make sense of where I’m at in life right now.

I’ve had some awful experiences since I’ve moved out of my old house, but I’ve also had a lot of good experiences. Being able to take charge of my surroundings has really helped. Things are organized how I like them. I don’t have someone else telling me that I can’t decorate how I want to decorate or telling me I cannot organize things a certain way and it’s pretty great.

I’m slowly getting out of the controlled type of mindset that I used to be in. I think I’ve made excellent progress. Control is such a fleeting thing. Things always change in life. I didn’t have control over anything for such a long time. Throughout the entire divorce, I didn’t have control over anything. Nothing went my way, nothing, because my ex called the shots and got things his way and it was just easier to let him have it. Even after the divorce was over, and selling the house, I had some health issues, still do, which I can’t control. I can’t say one way or the other to be well or not be well.

Organizing my new place has helped me feel some sense of control. This is where my clothes go. This is where my spices go. This is where the couch goes, which I totally have. I have an actual couch that I picked out. I decided where to put my bed. My books have a place they live and nobody is complaining about it. I have a studio set up, but that’s another post.

This is my place and things are how I like them. It’s a small piece of the world to have control over, but it’s my domain and that’s what counts.

Advertisements

Papasan Chairs, the Addams Family, and a Cold

Papasan Chairs, the Addams Family, and a ColdPapasan Chairs, the Addams Family, and a Cold

The past couple of months or so have been really crazy for me, like seriously, awful crazy. I’ve had to get divorced, sell my house, move, work a big event at work, and go on a business trip. There have also been assorted doctor’s appointments thrown in along the way, on multiple days. I’ve taken more vacation time and sick time in the past couple of months than I have in a while.

I did manage to do a project.

I went to the thrift shop one day, on a day I was actually supposed to go out that same night. In the thrift shop, I saw two papasan chairs and a stool. I really like papasan chairs and I had nowhere to sit, so I asked how much they were. The guy there gave them all to me for twenty-five dollars. The whole deal.

The problem was that they didn’t exactly fit in my car on first try. They wouldn’t fit in the trunk, even if I folded the seats down. I almost thought I wasn’t going to get them home, but then I stuck them in the back door and pushed, and pushed, and pushed and finally they just kind of popped into my car. During this whole thing the thrift shop guy was watching me push papasan chair bowls into the backseat of my car. It was kind of odd, but whatever.

I took the chairs home and dumped them in my living room because I was actually supposed to be going out that night.

A nice guy took me to Greenville and we watched a musical about The Addams family. It was pretty great. The particularly theater company, Center Stage, used video mapping as part of the set. There were traditional props as well, but the video mapping was nifty. The play was very good, so kudos to all the actors, and also, whoever did that video mapping. That was impressive.

Just a side note, if you do go to Center Stage and see a play using video mapping, sit more towards the middle because it’s difficult to see on the side.

After my date, I went back to my house. The next day was crafting day for me. I had to tackle the chairs.

Papasan Chairs, the Addams Family, and a Cold

I decided to spray paint them blue. Do you know how much paint this took?! It took at least four bottles of spray paint. FOUR! Someone else may have a better way of painting stuff like this, but I used at least four bottles of spray paint.

The big dilemma over this whole thing was cushions. Papasan cushions are expensive. I got the bright idea to make them myself, and it mostly works.

I ordered a big box of foam pieces from Amazon, which you can do. I found fleece throw blankets at Wal-mart to use as my fabric and I set to work.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see, I have cushions now. Each side is a different pattern, because I couldn’t find a good combination of patterns, so if you don’t like it, that’s your problem. The throws are 50″ X 60″ and if I had this to do over again, I would use a bigger piece of fabric. I would probably go for 60″ X 60″ or even 70″ X 70″. This size of fabric creates a cushion narrower than the frame. It still works to sit on, it’s just not as pretty as I would like.

Filling these cushions was awful. The foam stuck to everything. EVERYTHING. The cat kept coming into the room and getting into stuff. You can see her investigating in one of the photos. I swept foam up for days after this. Foam here. Foam there. Foam in my underwear, well, not there, but you get the picture. It’s like when you go to the beach and you still find sand in your underwear four months later and you didn’t even take those underwear to the beach.

I tried to funnel the foam into the cushion shells with the bag, but it didn’t work very well. Foam was just sticking to me from all over. I finally got the cushions sewed up and then I tufted them.

Tufting cushions gives them a bit more firmness than they would usually have were they not tufted; it also looks nice. Tufting is not hard, but you need a big needle and strong fingers. I used yarn to tuft my cushions, probably not the best choice, but it worked.

The next thing I wanted to do with my cushions was to make covers. I ordered cheap mandala wall hangings and zippers. I ended up being awfully sick though. I got an awful cold-throat sort of thing. I was miserable. I felt so awful. I was just stuck at home all weekend, feeling puny.

I watched an entire season of a show about people who lived in interesting houses. Some guy got mad at me because I wasn’t giving him my full attention when I was sick, but whatever.

That Sunday, I finally felt well enough to do a little bit of work. I decided to make the covers for my papasan cushions. I wanted to make cushion covers so I could swap them out easy and wash them easy. I chose red mandala patterns and blue mandala patterns.

The tapestry wall hangings are actually cheap as far as fabric goes and is sturdier than you would think. It’s actually a great buy for the amount of fabric that you get. So keep that in mind when you have projects to do. I added a zipper as well because I wasn’t going to seam rip the covers every time I wanted to wash them or change them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Getting the cushion in was the hardest part. I rolled it up like a giant colorful burrito and then straddled it like I was trying to ride one of those fake bar bulls, and slowly got the cushion into the cover and zipped it up.

The results are what you see.

One side is red and the other side is blue, so I can change my mind, if I want, about the overall feeling I want to put off.

I haven’t gotten to making a cushion for the foot stool yet, but I will.

I ended up making two papasan cushions for around the same price as one papasan cushion would cost.

Keep in mind–if you use that foam, it will get everywhere, your children’s children will find it, still, lingering around, and clinging to everything with static electricity so strong, it’s almost satanic.

Christmas Cats and Button Pins

Christmas Cats and Button Pins Christmas Cats and Button Pins

Christmas came around again and as such, so did my annual pilgrimage to the mountains of north-east Georgia to spend time with my family. I took the last day off of work before Christmas vacation to get a head-start on my way to Georgia. I packed the rabbit up with me and headed down the freeway.

I made pretty good time and arrived in Georgia to find the outside cat inside the house. This was the first cat I encountered.

The first item of business for my family was to go and see the new Star Wars movie for my brother’s birthday, actually it was a joint birthday outing for my brother and his girlfriend as her birthday was only a few days later. We first went over to my grandparents house so they could see my niece. This was only after my family taking FOREVEEEEEERRRR to get ready.

Look, if you want to go anywhere with my family, you better tell them the thing starts like two hours before it actually starts so they’ll actually be there on time.

Seriously, if there was a freaking fire, you could run in the house and shout, “Fire!” and they’d probably still take forever to get ready to get out of the house.

“Wait a minute, my pants are still in the dryer. I can’t leave yet.”

Well, your pants are about to be on fire because the house is burning down. Alive in sweatpants or dead in the dryer pants? Seems like a simple choice, but hey, I’m not in their brains.

Christmas Cats and Button PinsAt my grandparents house I got to hold my niece. She drooled on me and farted on me, a lot. I was farted on multiple times by my niece. She likes me pretty well so that’s a plus. We then went to drop the baby off where we had to wait on my brother and his girlfriend. This took another eternity, we’re up to two eternities now.

My step-dad proclaimed, “I don’t understand how it could take anyone so long to get ready.” Really?! Really?!

I said, “You guys do the same thing.”

He said, “No, we do not.”

Yes, you do. You totally do. It takes them forever to get ready.

We went to dinner at Longhorn, where my brother pulled off his hoodie, but ended up pulling up his shirt as well, so he was practically topless in Longhorn. He ordered a Long-Island Iced Tea, but he didn’t have his ID, because he lost it, and my mom had to get it with her ID. The drink was passed around a bit, my mom took a sip and she hasn’t drank any alcohol in years.

Christmas Cats and Button Pins
Darth Vader Cat

Anyway, we finally made it to the movie. We all had to pee. So we peed. Then we went into the theater where there were thirteen year old girls dressed up as Star Wars characters in the row behind us. Weren’t these girls like two-years old when the last prequel came out? The girls proceeded to squeal when the movie started. Really, these girls don’t know anything about Star Wars.

My mother was disappointed in the events that happened in the movie and she let us know it on the way home. I suggested milkshakes, so we went to get milkshakes. Everyone went home.

The next day I followed my mom around shopping, everywhere. We went everywhere. EVERYWHERE. She hadn’t done her Christmas shopping really and I was basically with her when she did it. She even grabbed most of my presents while I was with her. She told me they were for my brother’s girlfriend, but they were really for me.

I got to visit with my grandparents for a while at their house. Their cat was scared of my phone. He’s the orange cat in this post.

Christmas day came around and there was a ton of food as usual. Food, food and more food. My granny made way too much, as usual. There were pies galore. Pie here, pie there, everywhere a pie. There was also turkey, and ham, and pork. We had it all. We had cake. We had brownies. We had corn. We had carrots. We had green beans. If you can think of it, we probably had it. We ate it and then we ate some more. My family knows how to eat and make delicious food.

Seriously, just show up at my grandparents house one holiday and be like, “I’m here with so-and-so,” and there will probably be a so-and-so there, because my extended family is so large, and we’ll invite you in for food. You could eat until you were ready to burst.

Christmas Cats and Button PinsWe finished eating and went back to our respective homes. I made progress with my brother’s cat Binx. He was scared of me, but now I can pick him up and pet him. That’s Binx in the picture. He is a very large cat. He’s heavy. He’s like three or four of my cat, but my cat is a miniature.

On Sunday, I drove home. I attempted to drive home. I thought nothing of my drive home, until I was pulled over by a state trooper. Nice. I got pulled over. I got pulled over for speeding. Apparently, I was going too fast, but it was a speed trap. There were several state troopers in the same area pulling people over like crazy. There was someone pulled over behind me and someone pulled over in front of me.

When the state trooper came to my car he said he pulled me over for speeding, but he looked in my backseat and says, “Bunny!” Yes, I had the bunny in my back seat. Luckily, and very nicely, my ticket was reduced, a bit; it’s still an *ouch* but not as bad of an *ouch.*

Christmas Cats and Button PinsI drove home, doing the speed limit, and started to clean things up. Somebody had contacted me about the bunny, which I was very glad of. I finally got together with her and gave over the bunny I caught in the backyard. She had three kids and they had had a bunny before, but it died of old age and the children missed the bunny. I was glad that the bunny could go somewhere that he would be appreciated and taken care of.

It was odd that I randomly found a rabbit in my backyard, and caught it on top of that, but if a family can have a bunny to love because I went through that, then I guess it’s a good thing.

On New Year’s Eve I accompanied my friend to the vet’s office with her kitty who had a very unfortunate eye problem. That day my Google drive arranged the photos I took while in Georgia and put them together in a story and it asked me to add captions to the photos. As it turns out, almost all the photos were of cats. I went to Georgia and took a bunch of pictures of cats. Cats here. Cats there. Here a cat. There a cat. Everywhere a cat.

I like cats, but my story about going to Georgia makes me look like a crazy cat lady.

Christmas Cats and Button PinsOn New Years Day, I didn’t have a whole lot to do and I had to vacate my house for a showing, so I went shopping. No one was out. Everyone must have been hungover. One of the things I decided that I wanted to do was make myself some pins. I have a few pins, but they don’t always match what I want to wear. I use scarves in a variety of ways and my few pins just weren’t doing it.

I picked up some pin backs, they’re two-dollars at Wal-mart for forty. I also picked up a pack of large assorted buttons. I used hot-glue and a glue-gun to glue the pin backs to several buttons, but I remembered that I had some pendants that I hadn’t worn in a while because they’re broken in various ways, well, I glued those to pin backs as well. Now I have some pretty cool pins to secure scarves and wear whenever I want.

And so my holiday vacation goes…I will return to work on Monday ready, or not ready, to start a new year.

Patching up a Bad Week

Patching up a Bad WeekPatching up a Bad Week

On Monday morning, on my way to work, I was hit by a person who ran a stop sign, just down the road from my house. The car, a new car, no longer has a front-end, the air bags deployed, and the car is so messed up I couldn’t even put it in park. If someone tells me it’s fixable, I’m going to ask them what crack they’re smoking.

I’ve been back and forth with Elco, the company who handles Enterprise’s rental car insurance. Let me just go ahead and tell you now–if you can at all avoid a wreck with someone driving an Enterprise rental car, do so. It turns out they’re not so easy to deal with.

As it seems now, my car looks totaled. I had no way to get around until this past Saturday evening when my mother brought up my old car for me to drive until Enterprise decides to give me a rental car.

Patching up a Bad WeekOn Friday, someone was viewing my house and somehow, someway, don’t know how, a pipe underneath my house was broken. I had water that morning and I don’t know when this happened or if it happened while people were looking at it. Why they were looking under the house I don’t know. Maybe they check every house they look at to see if there are any visible dead bodies underneath each and every house they view?

So the realtor calls me and says there is a broken pipe. I have absolutely no way to get home from work. I already got someone else to take me to work, for which I am very grateful. So I told the realtor this. He decided to call my husband, whom I am separated from. To no one’s surprise, but the realtor, I got two nasty voicemail messages from my separated husband. I mean, they were mean.

The whole gist of the thing was about how I knew where the water cut offs were to the house and he shouldn’t be dealing with this because he has already told me that I am supposed to take care of everything dealing with the main house as per our court order, which isn’t true. We’re supposed to split costs for any repairs that the realtor deems necessary to sell the house, if reasonable, but whatever, I’m not my husband and I don’t make up his mind.

As I have been having anxiety issues, all due to my separated husband, I had a mild anxiety attack because of these voice mails. I end up shaking and almost bursting into tears when I call the realtor back asking him not to call my husband about anything dealing with the house as far as repairs go. I ended up losing my appetite and ate nothing all day long until dinner time.

I called around and sought the help of anyone I could think of to get this repaired. A very nice man and his wife, who go to church with me, came over, in the dark, and the cold, to fix this for me. I am so grateful to them for taking their time to come over and help me. It’s people like them that prove that there are still good people in the world.

So I had water, hooray!

Bad things are over right? Wrong…

So Saturday morning, I get up and I’m doing housework. I put my comforter in the washer to wash it, because it’s kind of dingy. I had spot cleaned off smaller things. Turns out the washer tried to eat my comforter, and it’s a nice comforter. I’ve put it in the washer before and it’s been fine.

There was a giant hole ripped in the side of my comforter. Seriously, after all the other crap that happened during the week, I had to deal with this too.

Before I could patch this though, there were other things that happened, but these were relatively good things. My mom drove up my old car for me to drive until I got a rental car. It’s a 2007 Hyundai Accent, the first car I bought and it’s trashed now, I didn’t do it. There are stains everywhere, the inside lights don’t work and the driver’s side visor is broken, but it goes!

Patching up a Bad WeekMy cousin came down from North Carolina to get my Ginger cat. As I will have to move in the near future, most likely to an apartment, my cousin is taking charge of my Ginger cat as she likes to go outside. I’m hoping her transition won’t be too bad. She is a good cat.

Later, after everyone was gone, I decided to patch my comforter, which you can see, in my pictures. I used two quarter pieces of fabric from Wal-mart, an off-white piece and a light blue piece, to patch my comforter. The design is oil based permanent marker, which I drew straight onto the fabric. I copied the quilted pattern as best I could. The patched piece stayed, even after going through the dryer again, so I guess I did a pretty good job.

My night wore on and I started to feel awful. It turns out I kept feeling awful and I felt awful into the night. I couldn’t go to sleep for the longest time and I felt awful Sunday morning when I woke up.

Sunday morning also held something else…a rabbit.

I looked out the window and I saw a rabbit. It was a big rabbit, too big to be a wild rabbit for the area. I thought maybe it kind of hung out around the area after someone had let it out and figured it had been what my cat had been chasing outside. I took a couple of pictures of it.

Later when I looked, the rabbit was gone. That afternoon, after feeling poorly all day, I looked back outside and saw the rabbit again. I had already contemplated catching it with my Have-a-Heart trap, but I decided to go outside and see if I could catch it with my hands, which I could, and did. So now there’s a rabbit inside of my house. It’s a male rabbit who doesn’t seem all too bothered by being around people or cats.

Seriously, I went outside in my pajamas, while sick, and caught a rabbit with my bare hands…how productive were you on Sunday?

I really hope this week is calmer. In the end, I’m still alive and going despite someone running a stop sign and almost killing me and dealing with an angry and bitter man. It will take more than that to kill me. Hopefully the saying is true,–“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Living Out of the Pantry-Pumpkin Puffs

Living Out of the Pantry-Pumpkin PuffsLiving Out of the Pantry-Pumpkin Puffs

Recent events have left me both broke and car-less. If you haven’t read about the loss of my car, read about it here.

Basically, I’m stuck at home. I’m catching rides to necessary appointments. I’m bumming rides to work. I’m contemplating lawyers. To top it all off, I can’t even drive to the store. On a day I have more time, I can certainly walk to the nearest grocery store; it’s not too awfully far away, but I can’t walk there in the evening because I would have a difficult time getting back home in the dark.

As it happened, I was out of sweets. What could I eat that was sweet? I’ve had headaches from the car accident and wanted something with a little sweetness to sweeten the whole situation.

I looked around in my pantry for something to make. As it turns out I had gluten-free pancake mix from Bob’s Red Mill. I also had canned pumpkin. If you don’t know, pumpkin cookies are awfully good.

This is a thrown together recipe, so modification will be necessary to fit your individual preferences.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1&1/2 C Gluten-free pancake mix(or regular it doesn’t really matter)
  • 1/2-1 C Canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 C + Brown Sugar
  • An Egg
  • 1 tsp + Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 Tbsp Butter

Sugar Glaze:

  • 1 C + Powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp(plus or minus) milk
  • Vanilla extract(to taste)

Set your oven to 350 degrees.

Put all your dough ingredients in one bowl and stir it together. The dough as written, will not be too terribly sweet, but if you would like it sweeter, use more sugar. If you would like it less pumpkin-y, use less pumpkin. The pancake batter is a dough in and of itself so you don’t necessarily have to worry about leavenings and other additives you’d generally have to add various doughs.

Plop the dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with regular granulated sugar on top, if desired, for a bit of crunch on the top of the puff. Bake for 15 minutes. The dough will spread and poof up, a bit, thus why I called them “puffs.”

If you want them fast, stick them in the freezer for a few minutes to cool.

Put your powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add just a bit of milk and whisk. Continue adding milk and whisking until it’s the desired consistency. Drizzle over your puffs.

Eat and enjoy.

Use up all those cans of pumpkin you have in your pantry.

mmmm…….

A Spoonful of Sugar

A Spoonful of SugarA Spoonful of Sugar

For quite a while I haven’t felt as if I could dress up for Halloween. There were certain gloomy voices that said Halloween was stupid and it should not be celebrated, probably because it was the Devil. I’m paraphrasing of course, but the idea was, “We don’t celebrate Halloween.” It was only this past year, 2014, that I began to ignore those voices and dress up again.

A Spoonful of Sugar
Lady Doctor Who-4th Doctor

Last year, I was Lady Doctor Who, the 4th doctor to be exact. I dyed a coat of a similar shade to the 4th doctor’s, I made my own very long multi-colored scarf, and I picked out a hat. Ultimately, I think I did well. I even curled my hair to be curly like his. Everyone kept asking me if it was my real hair; yes, it was my real hair.

This year, I didn’t really have anything in mind. I thought about being Mary Poppins, the thought just sort of popped into my head, much like Mary Poppins pops into places. I thought about doing a traditional Mary Poppins, but then I thought about what kind of earrings Mary Poppins should wear. She should definitely wear earrings made of spoons. Regular Mary Poppins wouldn’t wear spoon earrings, she was much too classy for that, and thus, the idea for Hipster Mary Poppins was born.

A Spoonful of SugarHipster Marry Poppins is unimpressed, how ironic.

Hipster Mary Poppins came to life with the help of spoons, a towel, some ribbon, and some strategically chosen pieces of clothing.

Look here, if you’re dressing up for Halloween and pulling together your own costumes, buy items that you can wear other times of the year. Try to find accessories and shirts and shoes that will work on other days than Halloween. It’s fun to dress up, but it’s always good to be thrifty.

Pieces of the costume:

  • Pinstripe Fedora(I already owned this)
  • Glasses(because hipsters where glasses. These were my backup pair.)
  • A grey blazer(purchased from Cato and wearable most of the year)
  • White shirt(I already owned it)
  • A red camisole(I already owned it as well)
  • Dark blue jeans(already owned. Mary’s skirt in the movie is actually navy colored, so it’s a good approximation.)
  • Black boots(I already owned these as well)
  • Spoon earrings and spoon necklace(I made these. More on that in a bit.)
  • “Carpet” Mary Poppins Bag(I made this as well. More on that in a bit.)
  • “Flowers” for my hat(They’re made of bits of ribbon I had lying around.)
  • Umbrella(not pictured here, I carried it around all day. It was my usual umbrella, but I have an umbrella with the crook on the end, so it fit.)

“Carpet” Mary Poppins Bag

The “carpet” bag isn’t actually a carpet, although I did think about making it out of an actual throw rug. when I was shopping for thin pliable rubs, I never found anything that really jumped out at me and the name of the game was thrifty, so I wasn’t about to pay anything over ten dollars for my materials. This is where an ugly orange towel came into play. It was the most carpet-y looking towel I could find and it was only $7.99 at Ross.

As you might be able to tell, this towel isn’t really orange anymore, that’s because I dyed it. I took my Scarlet red Rit dye and mixed a bit of black in with it to create the color you currently see on the bag. There are obviously still orange undertones, that’s because the bag was orange to start with. When you dye material and it’s not white or light-colored, whatever the color is will still exist in the finished product to a degree.

I did not cut the towel at all to create the bag.

I folded the towels in thirds, because I wanted to make it like a messenger bag, very hipster-ish. I sewed up the sides creating a pocket, which would be the bag part.

I then folded the sides of the bag to get those triangle points you see in the third picture. The purpose of this is to create a bottom to the bag. You don’t have to do this step, but your bag will have more of a shape if you do. Get your corners and sew across each one, horizontally. You might be able to see where I put pins as my guide of where to sew.

I then turned the bag right-side out and sewed a few pleats in the top, because the flap is obviously wider than the rest of the bag now. The pleats are to give it some interest and take up some of the extra material.

For a strap I used a cheap belt I never wear. I plan on altering this bag in the future to be a little more usable than it currently is adding an adjustable strap and altering the flap a little more and also possibly adding a closure device.

You could use any towel to make a bag.

The Spoon Jewelry

This jewelry was made of real spoons and this was the first time I have ever made jewelry out of silverware. I have worked with metal before, but not many times. Marking artwork with metal is a bit more difficult than paper or fabric arts. Metal working can be dangerous so if you set forth to make yourself jewelry out of spoons, be careful.

Materials for this project:

  • As many spoons, forks, whatever, that you want
  • Wire
  • Earring hooks
  • Small jewelry loops
  • A bit of chain
  • A clasp
  • A power drill
  • A rotary tool aka a Dremel with heavy-duty cut-off wheels and engraving bits
  • Safety goggles
  • Ear plugs

For the spoons, I went to Wal-Mart, where a trip down the kitchen utensil aisle will net you four spoons for 88 cents. I bought three packs of spoons. The earrings are made from the teaspoons while the necklace is made of tablespoons.

I used my rotary tool, which is totally not a Dremel tool, but a rotary tool from Chicago Tools; it’s much cheaper than Dremel and I got a ton of attachments and bits with it. You can find it at RadioShack. I used heavy-duty cut-off wheels and my rotary tool to cut off the spoons where I wanted them cut off. This can be dangerous; sparks may fly. It gets hot. The cut-off wheel is sharp and they often fly off into ten different pieces, so be careful.

For those of you who don’t know, the cut-off tools are used with multiple passes. You cannot cut straight through something with these thin wheels. It will take at least ten passes to cut through each spoon. The best idea is to clamp the spoons to the edge of your work table with a C-clamp so they don’t move.

One of the things I did with my spoons is use the engraving bits on my rotary tool to draw a design in the spoon bowls. Engraving is very loud. Use the ear plugs.

I then used both my rotary tool and my power drill to drill holes in the spoons. If you’re doing this, use the power drill. The rotary tool will work, but takes much longer because it isn’t as powerful as the power drill and you may very likely burn through several bits doing this. Save yourself the trouble and just use the power drill. A regular drill bit will work fine. Don’t do this on your nice table–work bench or piece of scrap wood only.

Once I had holes in all my spoons I strung them together. The earrings only had one hole each and I used earring pieces in those, fairly simple. The necklace is in a bib style. Notice I cut my spoon at different lengths. I also used the handles of the spoons in my design.

In the end, I learned how to make some jewelry from silverware and I now have a pretty fierce spoon necklace and pair of earrings.

Overall

I believe Hipster Mary Poppins was a success. It was a unique idea that was fun to execute.

 

 

 

Living Out of the Pantry-Pizza Hummus

Living Out of the Pantry-Pizza HummusI’m a little broke…ok, pretty broke. I’m trying to live on less than $50 a week food wise, and it hasn’t worked out well so far. Until the first of the month, I’m stuck living on what’s in my pantry. Luckily, I have a few things.

I happened to have some chips, but I didn’t have any dip. I thought to myself, “What kind of dip do you make out of junk from your pantry?”

Well, if you happen to have some chickpeas, you make hummus. I thought on various hummus flavors. Curry hummus? Multicultural, but I wasn’t sure how that would turn out. Maybe I’ll try it some other time. Hummus made with mesquite seasoning? Tuna hummus? Pumpkin hummus? As you can tell, I’m essentially thinking of random things in my pantry.

I looked in my pantry and I happened to have a small jar of pimientos, which are red peppers. First, I thought, “I’ll make red pepper hummus.” Then I thought, “No, I’ll make it taste like pizza.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans(it doesn’t necessarily matter what size can you have as long as the seasonings match up to the amount of beans)
  • Pimientos/roasted red peppers
  • Black olives-to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Cheese for the top(if desired)
  1. Rinse the beans. It gets all the gunk off of the beans and takes away some of that “canny” flavor.
  2. Put the beans, black olives, pimientos and seasonings to taste in a blender or food processor. You do not have to have a fancy food processor to make hummus. Your blender will work just fine.
  3. Drizzle olive oil in as well. Only use enough to make your hummus the consistency you want.
  4. Use the puree setting on your blender and pulse. Stop and stir, pulse again. Puree until the consistency is as desired. I left mine a little chunky.
  5. If you want cheese, put the hummus in a bowl and sprinkle cheese on top. Put your hummus in the microwave for a bit to melt the cheese.
  6. Eat it, or put it in the fridge and save it for later. It will probably also freeze.

Hummus is inexpensive to make. So if you’re a little short on case, it can make good eating.