Summer Clean-Up

Hi guys! I just spent some time in my craft room (yes, my mom was so gracious as to let me have a craft room here!) culling beads to be donated that I will likely never use (about 4 pounds of them) which cleaned out several containers. Now to now rush out to find more beads to fill them up…. LOL.

I also took the time to really look at my creations and take anything not quite perfect and pull it from my shop. A lot of this was stuff that I was still learning a new technique when I made them, or they were made with not quite the usual quality materials, or I just didn’t feel they were up to par.

These have either been put into bags to be donated, or added to the small pile of designs I want to reclaim the components of to make other lovely creations.

And when the weather cools off, I’ll be going through my knit and crochet creations the same way!

Ahoy Maties! Thar Be Treasure!

Okay, maybe not. But there will be a treasure chest!

When our renter moved out, he left a few things behind, most of which we threw out. But this I rescued from the garbage and knew I had to clean it up and save it.



Its a wooden chest, without a lot of distinguishing marks that you can buy at any craft store. I have a much larger one that I use for storing my knitting needles and crochet hooks in that I keep next to my chair in the living room. This one is smaller, with the internal space measuring about 10″ wide and about 5.5″ across. Its not very big.

It was covered in grease, and was badly painted this awful black all over. Don’t get me wrong. I wear a ton of black, but it just looks bad on this poor little wooden box.

The first step was to sand it down a bit and help its new primer and paint stick and to scrub off those grease spots, so I loaded up a sponge with dish soap and gave it a good once over then hosed it off and left it to dry in the sun. Then I got the sanding block we had purchased to use for some home repairs we still haven’t gotten to, and I gently sanded it all over.



I wasn’t worried about it being perfect. I want to look good when I’m done but I want this to be a fun project too and not one that I rip my hair out over. The wood is uneven in spots, which you can see because of how th paint sanded off completely in some areas but not others.

Then I hit it with some primer. My good friend Nikki gave me primer, paint, all sorts of stuff along with the larger chest I have and I was supposed to give it this treatment but I never did.



I let the primer dry for about an hour, and then while dinner was cooking, I gave it a quick spray with the bright metallic gold paint. I initially missed a spot on the inside but got it later in when I was doing the lining.



I sprayed the inside and the outside, making sure everything was shining and bright! The paper underneath the chest is just white kraft paper I bought off of Amazon for using in pattern making but so far its been used for everything else. Its not overly expensive and comes in really handy!



I let that dry for a good hour and then measured the inside to get an idea of how large a piece of fabric I needed for the inside. Unfortunately I did something really, really wrong and ended up with a piece about twice the size of what I needed.I ended up trimming it and gluing one side down into the box, then moving to the the next side, trimming it to fit and gluing it, and working my way all the way around. I used E6000 to glue it in place. I love that stuff, but make sure you use it in a well ventilated area- preferably outside!

I was going to call it good at that point but after Tracy brought up doing the inside of the lid with fabric, I couldn’t resist, so I carefully cut pieces and glued them in place as well. That went a lot smoother than doing the bottom did.



The next step was making this into a real treasure chest and covering the top in jewels! I busted out my Amazing Clear Cast Resin, my colored mica powders, and I started mixing and pouring. Finally, after working on them for a few days and gluing them in place in small groupings, I had this.

The resin is super easy to work with. Just mix it at a ratio of 1:1 and mix very thoroughly- the package recommends mixing for 3 minutes and I’ve found that to be about right. If its not fully mixed, it won’t set up properly and you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands. Mica powders can be added in small amounts to color the resin or you can brush it onto the molds before you pour- I mixed mine in.



I used 6 different colors of gems, some of which were single colors of the mica powders and some that I mixed to suit. Pink, yellow, green-gold, blue, purple, and a deep amber color. I used a mold I bought that had tons of shapes in it that were perfect for this, letting me mix it up with lots of options. One of my gems slipped a bit before the glue set and I didn’t catch it in time to re-position it, but otherwise it turned out just like I envisioned it! I’m so happy with it!

And that my friend is how you get your very own treasure chest! Now I just have to decide what to put in it. 🙂

You Need More Yarn!

This is a conversation I had with Mattie a few days ago:

Me: You know I have the whole rainbow in Red Heart cheapie yarns including black and grey except white and brown.
Mattie: You should go buy more yarn.
Me: I need to use up some yarn first.
Mattie: You should go buy it now so you have it when you need it already.
Me: Stop encouraging me!
Mattie: I’m being supportive.
Me: I keep saying no more yarn until I use some. Them I buy a bunch more.
Mattie: But you have room for more yarn!

I’m pretty sure I have a yarn problem and Mattie is totally enabling me. I don’t think I really mind though and I like I needed to buy some yarn after we had the conversation. That led me to eBay (just to look of course!) and had me searching for lots of yarn. Maybe someone wanted to clean out their stash and had a mess of yarn with a cheap bid. It doesn’t hurt to look, right?



These are the six hanks of recycled silk sari yarn I ended up buying Monday night, which was shipped out Tuesday, and arrived on Wednesday afternoon. Because I still don’t have a yarn swift, it was an exercise in tangles, but I finally got all six hanks neatly wound up into cakes. And as you can see, each cake is a different set of colors, though reds and oranges really dominate most of them. All the colors are lovely, and even the one cake that is more muted tones is so pretty! They are so gorgeous and I can’t want to find the right project to use them. So lovely!

A Recycled T-Shirt into a Tank

I had this old t-shirt a friend gave me that was okay, but the fit was terrible. The fabric is old, permanently stretched out, and there was an elastic sewn into the waistline which I was unaware of because it too was hopelessly stretched out. I was thinking about throwing the shirt away, but decided to cut it up and make something new and see if it could be made wearable again. This is a recycled t-shirt project and it was super easy.

I started by cutting it down the side seams, and across the tops of the shoulders so I had two pieces, front and back. Then I busted out my Kwik Sew 3740 and pulled out the pieces for front and back. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to cut the arm- and neck-hole bindings out of this fabric, but decided to worry about it when I got to that point. The original shirt hadn’t been cut in any manner that really centered the print, which would have made it look a lot better, but there was nothing I could do about that.



I ended up just hemming the neck- and arm-hole edges and not binding them, but it really didn’t make a difference. The bottom edge was hemmed, but I had to trim it a bit first because it was a little wonky. I’m not sure if that was because I wasn’t careful cutting it or if the original shirt was actually wonky.



The pluses of this newly refashioned top is its super lightweight, and very comfortable, but I’m still not sure if I’m crazy about the print. I do really like the colors in it though, especially the turquoise-green color. What do you guys think? Is it a win or a flop? I wish I had taken a photo of the shirt before to compare to, but I didn’t think of it until I had cut one entire side seam out.