Always, always cranking out the gift bags!


These are just right for wrapping up a pattern.

I ran out of the fancy ribbon, so I made a few like this:


If you want to make your own, here’s a tutorial.

And on a larger scale:


My little girl scout is scheduled to go camping this weekend.  The girls have enormous quantities of lightweight items (paper towels, tp, cereal, etc.) to haul back to the cabins.

I’ve made a lot of these over the years.  When my eldest was young, we needed to use cloth diapers.  We live in a rural area with no diaper service, so I made nylon diaper pail liners like this.  Just a giant bag.  Then when I washed the diapers, I threw the bag in the wash too.  We still use the bags for hauling stuff, but we don’t tell anyone about their sordid past.  Hey, they’ve been washed in hot water about a million times, people!

For my daughter’s camping bag, I put some handles on the top.  I re-purposed them from a broken lunch bag.  Close-up:


DIY Boot Scraper from Scrap Lumber and Toilet Brushes

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Just in time for the winter weather around here, I made up a boot scraper.

I used some leftover wood scraps and some toilet brushes.  I used the old-fashioned kind, with a wire loop twisted with plastic fiber bristles.  I cut the wire loops and straightened them out, then poked the ends through some holes I drilled in the wood.

I probably made this unnecessarily complicated.  I didn’t know what I was doing, so I copied a boot scraper I saw at a store.  But now that we’re using it, I can see that the side brushes are unnecessary.  A flat piece of wood with a few brushes attached would work just as well.

In case you’re worrying, I bought NEW brushes at the dollar store for this project.  But that got me thinking…I’ve seen toilet brushes at the thrift store.  Who decides they don’t need a toilet brush any more?  And who buys used toilet brushes at the thrift store?  If I bought one, would I boil it before I used it?  And then would I have to boil my pot in another pot?  And then what about that pot?

Just something to keep you awake at night.


**Update:  Mom, here is your evidence.  You can see it didn’t sell yet so they marked it down.

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Still more than the dollar store.  But look!  It comes with a spoon rest for the kitchen!

Music Stand Carry Bag


My daughter is in her school band, and they had a concert last week.  Of course, it was wonderful.  Our whole family went, and we had a great time.

My daughter’s band teacher gives the students extra credit if they bring in their music stands before the concert.  When we bought her music stand, it came in a cardboard box.  Practical, but boring.  My daughter is into all things origami and all things Japanese.  I used an upholstery fabric remnant to crank out a quick little bag for her music stand.  I put 2mm polyester satin ties along the side with the seam near the top so that she could snug it up.  I also attached some loops to the top so she could carry it easily.  It may have been more practical to put the handle along the long side so that she could carry it without the bag dragging on the ground.  But oh well, she seems to like it enough to be a little careful.  If it doesn’t work out, I can always change it.

Thanks for looking!

Science Fair Project Bag

If you have kids, you need to make one of these as soon as the science fair assignment comes home.

When your kid has worked and worked and worked on that project for a month or more, and then the night before it’s due sees that rain is in the forecast for the big day, you will be the best mom/dad/grandparent/aunt/uncle/friend/whatever EVER when you pull out this baby!  It’s big enough to protect that giant tri-fold display AND it has handles so it’s less likely to get dropped in a puddle at the bus stop.


I threw this bag together out of a piece of somebody’s leftover nylon something-or-other fabric I picked up at the thrift store.  I made it like I make my little gift bags.  I used one of the fabric selvages for the top so I wouldn’t have to hem it.  I’m lazy that way.  I made the handles out of a leftover bit and sewed them on top.

You could get awesome by making one out of school colors.  You could add an applique of some sort, or embroider your kid’s name on it.  I didn’t make it awesome – I just made it fast, which is its own kind of awesome.

Thanks for looking!

Needle Felting Some Old Sweaters


I’ve been wanting to try needle felting for a while now.   I bought a felting kit a few months ago.  My daughter tried it out right when it arrived, but she wasn’t into it.

I had a couple of sweaters that I bought at the thrift store.  They had some holes, but that’s OK because I bought them for the wool.

I washed them in hot and then dried them on the hottest setting.  Then I cleaned out the lint trap and dried them again.  Wow, those sweaters shrunk!


I picked out a nice big piece of sweater and some contrasting trimmed-off seams from another sweater.  I got out the kit and figured out how to put the needle together and started fooling around.  After about a minute, maybe less, my daughter came and took over.  Look at her hands flying around.

Between the two of us, we broke three needles in about five minutes.  Rookies!

She casually mentioned that she thought serial killers probably enjoyed needlework because they get to stab stuff, and they get lots of practice, which maybe improves their aim.  So I casually went over and locked up the knives.

She has got to cut back on those mystery books!

I saw where this was going, so I went to the computer and ordered another one of those kits.  And a few more needles.  Then I saw that someone had ordered some yarn (purple!) and I got that all ready to go.  Then back to the kitchen and I poked wool while my daughter got herself a bedtime snack.


We stabbed and stabbed and this is what the sweater looked like at bed time.

I thought the third thingie from the right needed a little more curl, so I cut a bit more sweater.


I just set it down where I wanted it and poked it in there a bunch of times.  I like being able to wing it a bit.  I guess I prefer some things in life without a pattern.

We’ll work on this some more tomorrow.  I guess we’ll have to decide soon what we are making.  I thought maybe a pillow or a little bag.

Happy Thanksgiving!




Ridiculous Cabbage Patch Kids Snow Globes

I stopped by a rummage sale the other day and picked up the most awful pair of earrings I have ever seen.  Here they are: CPK earrings!


They were completely dirty, maybe a little bit chewed-on, and one of them was broken.  But they only cost me a quarter.  I bought them just for the experience of it!

My daughter and I decided some crafts were in order.


I cut the top off the earring that wasn’t already broken, and that left a little white spot on top of her head.


A little red nail polish took care of that.

You’ll have to (please) excuse our blurry photos.  Were were laughing so hard, we couldn’t hold the camera steady.


All better!  Well, not exactly all better, more like a little better.  After the polish dried, we scrubbed the dirt off.


We had some cheap little containers we bought at the dollar store.


We put some contact cement on the lids and on the feet of the dolls.  Then we waited a few minutes so they would get tacky.  Tacky like sticky, I mean.  The CPKs were already tacky like cheesy!


Then we stuck the dolls onto the lids and let them dry for a few hours.


We put some nail polish tiny glitter into the cups.  It didn’t look tacky enough, so we also dumped in some regular big glitter.


Then we filled the cups with water.


We put contact cement around the edge of the cups…


…and around the lids too.  We waited a few minutes until they got tacky.  Same joke, but I’m too lazy to type it again.


Then we stuck the lids on and waited for the glue to dry.


Wow!  How glamorous!  How exciting!  How…interesting.


But look what happened a couple of days later.  Looks like the glue holding the dolls to the lids dissolved in the water.  Now we have Cabbage Patch Glitter Snow Globes with Unconscious Girls, how excellent!

My daughter’s girl scout service unit is decorating a tree at the mall tomorrow, and she is supposed to bring a couple of homemade ornaments.  Do you think these look homemade enough??

Rainbow Beaded Memory Wire Bracelet

I didn’t drink enough coffee yesterday.  So I got a splitting headache.  I should have had a little something with caffeine late in the afternoon, but I thought I was too busy.  So then it got horrible right around 7:00, which is too late for caffeine.  But I had some anyway because I didn’t want to cry in front of everyone.

That means I was up after I normally would have been zonked.  So I made a little bracelet.  Tadaa!


I’m going to sell this one.  I’ve got it on eBay now, and so it will be on Bonanza for a little less tomorrow.
What have YOU been making?


What is this thing???


Well, the good news is that I finished a crochet project, and it’s very…interesting.  The bad news is that I don’t know what I should do with this thing.

I have this enormous stash of Spark A Doodle yarn.  I love this stuff!  It’s so very, very soft.  And sparkly.  It would probably be completely tacky if it weren’t so doggone soft.

So I was fooling around and fooling around and I decided to add a row of fluffy Spark A Doodle to the edge of a sheer red scarf I had lying around.  The scarf had a problem with the hem, and so I figured if I covered it with fluff, that would be good.

I sewed around the edge of the scarf with some plain yarn so that I would have somewhere to crochet the Spark A Doodle.  Then I added a row of Spark A Doodle in single crochet.  But somehow, the edge of the scarf and the crocheted fluffy stuff don’t quite match up in terms of stretchiness and that sort of thing.  So sometimes it looks like a sexy red jellyfish.


It looks a little more normal in this photo, but I think you can still see the problem.


When it’s tied around the neck, it looks like this.  Hmm, a little strange,

What the heck, I’m going to wear it anyway!  I’m calling it my sexy jellyfish scarf, and I dare you to make one too!

Thanks for stopping by!  Maria

Crafty Quickie: Memory Wire Bracelets


My daughter and I had a few minutes at the end of the day and she was feeling crafty, so we knocked out a couple of memory wire bracelets.  I chose some glass beads that were purplish and greenish and goldish.  She chose some plastic beads that were sparkly green and gray/blue pearls.  She is a faster beader than her mother.  When we ran out of time, she was already done and I was not, so I clipped the wire and ended it early.

When I conned her into posing for a photo, she wanted to cover her hands because her nails were not at their best.  I just laughed.  Her skin is so beautiful and she doesn’t even know it!  She looked at the photo when we were done and wondered why I had so many splotches and wrinkles on my hand.  I told her it was because I was 46.  The awesome thing is that I know in another 40 years, I may look at this photo and think how young my hands looked.  We never miss it until it’s gone!

DIY Cheap Recycled Outdoor Hanging Ghost Decorations

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I made this little ghost from a thrifted sheer curtain panel, an empty milk jug, and some scraps of vinyl fabric.

I cut out face shapes from the vinyl and glued it to the curtain.  I tossed the curtain over an empty milk jug and tied it to the tree.

Bonus: the curtain already had a little hole, and that saved me some time.

I tried to make my ghost scary, but he just looks worried.  Poor little guy!


For advanced crafters: I keep a huge stash of these light-up glow sticks on hand.  I buy them at the Dollar Tree.  They are nice for when the power goes out so the kids don’t get scared, and they come in handy for decorating too.  Just crack a stick and drop it in the milk jug.  It glows for a few hours, so one stick per night is all you need.

Don’t worry, that’s not a real rat.


Ooo, spooky!


I made this ghost last year.  I sewed the face bits (made from rags) instead of gluing them.  Sewing may have been easier than gluing if you can believe that.  When I used the glue, I had problems with the glue leaking through the sheer curtain and sticking to other things.  Maybe next time, I’ll use glue dots.

If you’re wondering what I was trying to do with that mouth, I’ll tell you:  I have no idea.  I think I was trying to make it look scary, but I don’t remember.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Clearly, I need help!

At the thrift store, sometimes I can get sheer panels for only a dollar or two.  Sometimes they have holes in them or they’ve been clawed by pets, but that doesn’t really matter for making raggedy ghosts, does it?

I tried to do the same thing with white garbage bags, but they weren’t as cute.  The plastic wasn’t as floaty and it looked like a bag of garbage hung from a tree.

I think you had better try this and send me some pictures.  Or at least tell me what I’m doing wrong with these faces!

Thanks for checking in!  Maria