Friday, August 31, 2012

Custom Made Designer Laundry Hamper

 Since Princess number three was headed off to college and she would be needing a laundry hamper to take her wash to the laundry, I had this old Laundry hamper hanging around from the other two princess's apartments. It was just holding some of their stuff being used more as a bin than a hamper. 

Princess number three's room at college has an African theme since she brought back some fun things from her service mission last year. Click here to read about her going. Click here to read about her after going.

I found some cheetah print fabric I had and thought it would be cute to match the laundry hamper to the theme of the room. I basically just folded the fabric in half to the side measurement of the hamper. I needed the back side to be longer (similar to an envelope flap) so I could wrap it over the lid.

I just stitched the side of the fabric with right sides together as you can see on up above. It was a bit loose when I stuck the hamper in the bag so I just sewed it in a little further to make it more of a snug fit getting the hamper in the bag.

I turned the fabric with the right side out and stuck the hamper in the bag. Once it was in the bag, I just used black thread and folded the flap edges over onto the bottom like you would with the wrapping paper on a present. I just threaded some stitches through with a whip stitch to secure the flaps and make the bottom square as you can see on this close up on the right. 

I then once again, took the fabric off after sticking the lid inside the flap of fabric left over. I measured how far down the seams would need to be to make it fit snugly. 

Once the fabric was off the hamper, I folded right sides together on the flap section and sewed it in so the lid would fit in snugly. You may have to take it in a few times to make it fit tightly but just keep trying to fit the lid in the "envelope" and when it fits snugly, turn the envelope right side out. 
Put the hamper back in the bottom section pocket making sure the bottom is on square. I thought at first I would have to put a draw string on the inside to hold the fabric on but since I sewed it so tightly, it fit snug and I didn't need a draw string or elastic to hold it on. 

Lastly, slip the lid into the envelope pocket you sewed and stick it in the hinge slots. Test it and make sure you can open and close it easily. I like this because you can take it off and wash it if starts to smell. 

We looked at buying a laundry basket that had a zebra print draw string on it and it was $15 or more. This basket cost me nothing. I had the fabric from a "Pebbles and Bam Bam" costume I made years ago and the laundry hamper was recycled from her sisters. It took all of an hour and I wasn't working on it the entire time so it was quick, easy, inexpensive and the best part, it matches her room better than on we could buy.

You could even just use a bin and make a draw string bag that fit the bin or laundry basket inside and draw string it up to take it to the laundry room. So many options.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Peg Board Jewelry Holder / Hanger - Custom Made

I went to my friends house a few weeks ago and saw the cutest jewelry holders in her twins rooms. 

She took peg board, and chair rail / molding and made them into custom jewelry holders.  

She got hooks and pegs along with some baskets of different sizes at Home Depot so they could customize their jewelry boards for their individual needs. 

I was fascinated with the idea only because I had this jewelry holder that had a hole in the middle of it. I think before I bought it at a second hand store, it probably had a mirror in the center but when I purchased it for a dollar or two, it just had an open area in the center. 

I came home after taking a photo of each of her girls boards (the second and third photo shown,) and got out our holder (top photo above) and pulled out some peg board that I had for some other projects I have been doing. We walked it down to my neighbors wood working shop to cut it to fit into the space provided where the mirror was supposed to be. 

It is just regular peg board. You can make the holders any size you want but since I wanted to use the jewelry holder I purchased which had a basket at the bottom and holes for earrings all the way around, I cut mine to fit that holder. 

My friend made hers square about 1 1/2 feet square. She painted hers black and I used the hammered Rust-oleum bronze color but wished I had used the "Hammerite" rust cap bronze that I used on some of the wedding decorations last December and also on some other projects recently. It gives a thicker coat and is less likely to chip or scratch as easily. The spray paint did work and was quicker. 

I bought some hanging hooks from Ikea second hand as well and hung them off the basket at the bottom so we could hang a few more rings and bracelets off the sides that would have been dead space.  

I did notice that my friend used single hooks but I only had the two pronged hooks on hand which took up more space and only allow you to use every other hole. I think I may get some of the single hooks if she gets more jewelry. 

We hung it in Princess three's college room and she isn't into jewelry as much as some of the other girls so it is enough for her. 

The reason I like it so much is that all the jewelry is easy to find and easy to put away. If they use their jewelry boxes, they don't always put it away and it sits on their dresser or desk for a few days. This way, it is just as easy to hang it. 

If you aren't sure you could make a frame from moulding or chair rail, you can just go to a second hand store and buy some old frames. Spray paint them and then paint the peg board a different color and put the board into the frame. 

Go to the local hardware store and buy what pegs, hooks and baskets you want, and you are in business. It wouldn't be hard at all to make. 

Princess number five was a bit jealous of Princess three's new holder and said she would like one. I told her I would keep my eyes open to see if I could find one similar. The reason she liked that one rather than making one is that hers has little holes all around the edges and on the basket which holds earrings. She also liked the basket and hooks on the bottom. 

If I can't find one soon, I think I will make them for the girls for Christmas. The girls all have jewelry boxes but most don't use it like they should, I can see the ease of these. 

Share with us if you decide to make one and how it turned out and any innovations you make. Happy Crafting!        

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Squished Penny Destination Necklace - Designer Jewelry

 Here is another fun thing we have done with coins. 

When we travel, we always look for a "penny squisher" wherever we go. Most tourist sites have them somewhere. 

Since before most of the girls were born, I have gotten these wherever we travel. I remember the first time I saw these. I was at the statue of Liberty in New York and there was a man there with a mobile unit and we bought one. Since that time, I have never seen a mobile unit but have seen them change and grow over time to become self cranking and with up to four different pennies to choose from for each site.

I always wanted to make jewelry out of them but never got around to it.... Until last year. I was working on it and Princess number one said she would help me make them for the girls for Christmas. 

I bought several types of chain and several different fixings and copper beads. I then drilled holes in each penny with the 1/16 bit and let Princess number one at it. 

Each girl had their "stash" of coins that they had collected and we had a few nickles and quarters we acquired at Disneyland but most of the girls didn't want the silver on their set so we thought we would use them for something else. 

Princess number one asked the girls if they wanted more on the necklace or the bracelet etc. She then went to work and designed a different necklace, bracelet and earring set for each princess using the coins they collected over the years. Some had more than others depending on school trips etc. 

You can see by the photos of the two princesses that are home that the sets are very different. The other three have their sets with them so I couldn't show you but Princess number five wears her set often. She can't wait until she is 14 so she can get her ears pierced and wear the earrings. It is tradition that we don't get ears pierced until the girls are 14 and old enough to take care of them themselves. Also, 12 they advance to the young adult group at our church and at 16 they get to drive so I always thought it was a nice thing to look forward to at 14. 

Hope you enjoyed the ideas of things to make with coins. I still have another project I am working on but probably won't get to that for awhile yet so I will share that project when I finish it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homemade Tomato Soup - Garden Fresh

I was going to post about some other coin things we have made but it was such a busy day, I didn't have time to take the pictures so it will have to wait. 

 I had a neighbor give me a large bag of tomatoes and I didn't have enough to make salsa or spaghetti sauce so I thought I would make some homemade tomato soup. I have made it before but couldn't remember the recipe so I thought I would alter one that I found to suit our taste buds. 

My girls don't like chunks of tomato in their soup or spaghetti sauces so I knew I would have to blend it. Sometimes it is easier to do that after you have blanched the tomatoes, easily removing their peels so there isn't any texture in the tomato, but, I don't mind texture so I blended the tomatoes first and then used them. 

About 15 medium tomatoes stemmed and blended
2/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion sliced
2 tbs butter
2 tsp chopped garlic (I use store bought)
2 chicken broth squares (not made into broth)
1 tbs dried basil
1/2 cup cream or milk (optional)
1 small slice of a hot red pepper (optional)

In a large stock pot (I used my pressure cooker) saute the onions in the butter. Add garlic, oil and the small piece of hot pepper. (optional) 

After a few minutes when the onions are getting soft, drop in the chicken broth squares and let them dissolve in the oil. Then, add the basil. I poured in the tomatoes at this point and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Before it gets really hot, I poured half into the blender (Vitamix) and let it blend for at least 2 minutes. I poured that into a bowl, pour the second half from the pan into the blender and start it mixing. 
I then pour the mixed half out of the bowl back into the pan. Pour the second half back into the pan once it is fully blended. Salt and Pepper to taste and let it simmer for a few more minutes. 

My family has always eaten tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches so of course, the girls wanted those as well. They finished those, had a second helping of both except for my daughter that doesn't like tomatoes but she actually finished it and said it wasn't too bad. 

Personally, I thought it tasted like a fresh tomato and will be making it again. I think I may make some and freeze it as it would be good in the middle of winter on a cold night. 

Two things. Mine is more orange because we had several large yellow tomatoes that are orange in color when ripe. Second, I used the hot pepper but you couldn't taste it as spicy at all. If you like it spicy, you can add more fresh pepper, or just add some dried pepper when you are sauteing the onions and that will add flavor as it will be blended up in the end as well which makes it flavorful all the way throughout the soup.

Hope you enjoy your bounteous garden this fall!

Monday, August 27, 2012

In God We Trust - Lucky Money Jewelry

 I told you last week that I would share some of the fun things we have done with money, coins or jewelry this week. I told you last week about my double rainbow and stressful meeting and moving my third princess to college. 

The rest of the week was stressful for many reasons. I had company come from out of state and moved my friends daughter to college, I baby sat a 6,4 and 1 year old for two days and over night. The other princesses started school and we were headed to an extended family function out of town. 

With all that going on, you wouldn't believe how many coins I found in that stressful week. One day, I found 7 pennies. The next day, I found a dime and 5 pennies, the next day about five pennies. However, the places I found them were so odd. My out of town friends began to laugh as I found money every where we went. 

Another friend came to visit the out of town friend and they wanted to go and get some shakes at the local dairy so they pick a booth, we sit down, I look at my friend who is sitting diagonal across from me in the booth and sitting on top of her ear, is a penny. I laughed and pointed it out to the out of town friends and they couldn't believe it. Right behind her on the chair rail on the wall, was a penny. When I looked at her, it looked as if it were sitting on her ear. 

I think Heavenly Fathers Angels were working over time that day placing that penny on that chair rail and having them sit there so I would see that penny and know that I need to trust in God in all things. Not just the easy things. 

I took a picture of the penny on the chair rail with my cell phone and wish I had my better camera with me as I would have liked to have a picture with the penny "sitting" on her ear but didn't think she would have been comfortable with me taking one of her so I just took it of the penny. 

This is so weird but just now, I texted the picture from my phone to my email so I could add it to this post and when I opened the email to capture and save the picture, you won't guess what time the email was sent..... Yes, 11:11. 
Someone is really trying to tell me to trust in God at this point. I am trying to trust that things work out His way but sometimes, fear creeps in and I forget to continually trust in him but what a nice reminder as I blog just now.... Here is a photo of the email and I hope you have as many blessing reminders as I do.  

Well, back to the craft.... After having that fun experience, I thought to myself that I would like to make some jewelry that I can wear out of some of the coins that I have found over the past few years since I started picking them up.

I pulled out my money jar that I put all my "found" money into and started looking at the coins to find some that weren't the scratched up run over one's I have found. I didn't know that there were so many types of pennies. I never really looked but there are five different backs that I have found. Most of the backs were new to me.

The only coin that wasn't "found" and picked up on the jewelry was the one with the heart in it. I bought that one and thought it would make a cute center for the necklace. 

First, to make your own, just lay them out and see what order you want them in. Then, use a 1/16 drill bit and drill a hole in the edges if it is for a bracelet or the top if it is for earrings. There are so many options but just lay it out first to make sure you like the way it looks before you drill. I drilled them in a box to keep the little metal shards from getting all over and from keeping the drill from going through into where I was drilling.

I used a similar pattern to the token necklace and earring set I made in my last post. Here is a link to that. I didn't have a center one hanging down on this necklace, but I did like the earrings hanging down with one just longer than the other. 

Put on jump rings to hook them together for the bracelet and earring set. You can do all pennies and buy copper fittings or you can do silver and copper as I did and use the silver fittings. I actually used a necklace I already had for the chain and clasp as we had a few the girls weren't wearing so we recycled the clasp and chain for this set. If it is a weird color or you want copper, you can get them at the craft store. Use needle nose pliers or jewelry pliers to open and close the jump rings. 

I got several compliments on my set as I wore it for the first time. I LOVED that I got to share how the coins came to me and what they represent and several people said they liked that I don't leave the coins on the ground due to God's name being on it. They asked more and I was able to share my blog "card" made by my eldest princess with them so they could look up the posts "In God We Trust" and read about it in more detail. Click here to read the first post about that.

The funniest thing that happened was that half way through the day, my sister saw me at a store and as we were talking, I looked down and laughed telling her "I found a penny." and she said, "Of course you did!" smiling. My sister then asked, "Why are you wearing two different earrings?" I had grabbed them off the dresser in the dark and put two dangling earrings on but one was the penny/dime and the other was black. lol 

That will tell you what kind of week I had last week! We will laugh over that for years. May you be so blessed in your life as I am in mine!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Designer Coin Jewelry - One of a Kind Gift

 I have a niece who works as a manager at a fun center. On our road trip, we asked if we could spend a day there. I tried to think of a cute way to thank her for getting us in for free. I asked if she would like some jewelry made out of the tokens that they use for the games at the center. 

She said she thought that would be fun as she could wear the necklace to work. We tried to find newer, shiny tokens so that the color would be uniform. 

I went to a large craft store and found some fittings, chain and jump rings that were the brass color of the tokens.

I bought some 1/16" inch drill bits on clearance and bought the entire lot on sale because I have used them for so many similar projects that I knew they would get used. You can use a drill or a dremel but I like holding the drill better than the dremel so I use my drill. 

I used one token as a test and ended up throwing it out. I was thinking about doing two jump rings between each token but didn't like the way it looked so I stayed with one between each and used one as a pattern so I could keep the holes in the same place for each token. 

I used the chain I bought and shortened it so I could use a little on the earrings and bracelet.

On the earrings, I made one side a little longer than the other so they looked cute and on the necklace and bracelet, I alternated between the top and bottom side of the tokens to give it a bit of variety. I also had one token hanging down on the necklace. 

The entire necklace cost me less than $10 to make and is one of a kind. You can do this with anything. I will show some cute things we have made next week but here is a link to the necklaces we made for Africa. And, here is a link to charm bracelets we put coins on doing a similar thing by drilling a hole. 

I have fun creating new things and will show you one I made for myself next week as well. For those of you starting school soon, I hope this year is wonderful!  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Move Over Johnny Depp - Salt Flats - Room For All

 Well, I have been writing about all these fun destinations on our road trip. It wouldn't be complete if we didn't include the Salt Flats. 

When I tried to explain what they were to our exchange princess, I had to use the movie "Pirates" as a visual. There is a part in the movie Pirates 2 when Johnny Depp is pulling the boat with a rope on white sand looking stuff. 

I told her to imagine that and take out the boat and the hot actor to imagine what the salt flats is like. 

It is about an hour drive from the west side of the Great Salt Lake. It is extremely large and flat. The land speed races take place there. 

There is a view area where they have rest rooms and a few coke machines as well as a foot wash. 

If you want to have some experience driving on the flats. The first time we went, we went to a gas station just Utah side of Wendover and pulled off into the flats and had the kids drive. 

This time, we just went off the highway but were told after the fact that you can get a ticket if the police catch you. So, we were glad they didn't as there are no signs posted telling you that you can't pull off and drive. There are tire tracks all over so you know it happens often. 

It is VERY bright as the sun reflects off the salt and it is like snow. It can burn you quickly if you stay long. It is also very hot. There is NO shade anywhere. 

I had to laugh at a few things people have taken out and left. There is a fully decorated Christmas tree there. Someone took out AstroTurf, plastic flowers, a short palm tree and a sun chair and left it out in the middle of nowhere. It is like a little oasis but I would hate to be there for more than a few seconds. It almost looks like someone took it all out there for a model shoot and left it. 

To save on gas, I took the little car on our road trip but that made the girls have to drive with a stick shift if they wanted to drive on the Salt Flats. It is VERY bumpy. I will try to upload a video here but as you know, my internet is so slow on the upload that you may get nothing but I will finish writing this and let it upload while I go do something else in hopes you can get an idea of how bumpy the flats are. I would hate to be setting a land speed record on that bumpy stuff but I am sure they flatten it with a roller before doing anything dangerous. 

I was proud of the girls. We didn't have any stalls as they all started out and shifted to second. We did have a stall on the break as she forgot to hit the clutch while stopping but for a first run driving for three of the four princesses, I thought they did a wonderful job. They LOVED their trip to the salt flats. 

If you hadn't noticed, please take another look at the huge smiles on all the girls faces. It was worth the trip. The girls really enjoyed driving and seeing the flats. The salt is terribly sticky and wet and I suggest you don't let anyone sit on the salt as my youngest princess did as it got our seats very salty. 

Also, we didn't wash off our feet before getting back into the car and I had to clean it after the trip. Actually, I beat the rugs on a dumpster in Wendover trying to get some of the salt off as it really sticks to everything. It looks hard on the flats and is somewhat hard but the top layer is soft and sticks to everything. 

Most of it came out with the beating but it would have save the trouble had we used the foot wash available at the rest area. Take sun glasses with you, use the foot wash and enjoy your trip!