Monday, December 17, 2012


The Kindle case project left me with a bunch of book pages.  I sat there and tore out chapter after chapter.  This book had been a freebie I picked up for wedding decor.  Better I use it for parts than have it hit the bin, huh?


These simply had to be used further, so I decided to make a paper flower wreath.  First I freehand drew 4 sizes of petals out for templates:

 Here there are, large all the way to little.  Instead of attempting something more puffy and elaborate, I'm going to have flat flowers.  Each bloom will have a charm or some beads for its center, easy to assemble with hot glue.  If the gods of spare change are kind to me, there will be some iridescent glitter purchased to put on the edges.  Extra pizazz is very important. 

I have a freebie embroidery hoop I'm going to use for the wreath base.  There will be a lot of flowers, since this was a several hundred page history book.  I'm cutting them out about 5 or 6 pages at a time to speed up the process.  This also ensures there's a little variation between batches to look cuter.  

This wreath will take a while, since it's tiring on the old paws to cut out petal after petal after petal!  But it's something I can work on here and there, like in the evenings when it gets too cold and quiet.  They're great to do when watching some old repeat on Netflix!


Kindled Spirits

An emotionally-exhausting December has given way to a little spurt of creativity.  Even the simplest projects are renewing for me.  I decided to finally make a Kindle case for the family Kindle (well, the one I let Himself use once in a while ;))  And here's how I did it!

First, I pressed the fabric I wanted to use.  It's been folded into a drawer for who knows how long, so I thought it'd be good to drag it out, instead of using newer stuff. 

Next I gutted a book that was damaged and destined for crafting anyway.  I needed the covers only, so I even took out the spine, because it was far thicker than the Kindle.  The pages are going to another project.

Next, I measured out the exact fabric I needed.  I would have done this first, but it was so wrinkled that I didn't think I'd get an accurate figure.  So out came Ma's old sewing box and this handy doodad:

Next, it was time to start gluing.  I tacked the corners down with hot glue and then the edges, pulling it taut, but not tight, since I wanted to be able to close the thing:

Some scrap booking paper served to cover the seams:

The straps were a bit tricky, and I needed both my hands, so I didn't photograph the steps.  I pretty much eyeballed it.  I wanted 2 ribbons where they wouldn't obscure the keys or screen.  I held them around the kindle itself to trim them to a length where they were *almost* too short to go around it, plus 2 extra inches to fold under the device.  I pinched an inch and glued it to the cover, repeated it for the other side, until I had restraints for the Kindle.  Luckily, I got it right, and I was able to slide the reader in under the ribbons and have them hold.  I wouldn't waggle the holder around a lot, but for regular use, the ribbons work.

I glued some more of this pretty cotton ribbon down the "spine" to cover the little fibers from the book covers. I may replace this with wider ribbon in the future, since I dind't anticipate how much the covers would distort the spine area when folded back. 

And here we are, with a little "bookmark" plume at the top!  Almost done...

There we go!

And it's working pretty well!  If I ever make another, I'll play around with ways to reinforce the spine, since that's the most vulnerable part of the design.  But for an afternoon's whimsy, this ain't so bad :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

How to spice up a boring day...

Hair has always been the achilles heel of my look.  I've got really, really thick and wavy locks, so it seems a sin to complain about them. But I do, sometimes. As much as I love my hair, I can't do anything with it.  After a certain length, I can barely keep it in a bun, because of the weight tugging at my poor scalp!

So I've been cutting it shorter over the years, trying to make it easier to manage.  Since I'm in "pretirement", I don't have the funds at this moment to go for a regular haircut.  Last one was in May, right before my wedding.  I started trimming it up myself not too long after, to clean up the edges a bit and keep my bangs out of my eyes.  But yesterday, I looked in the mirror and realized it got to the point of looking like a mushroom.  It was time for something!

I've been flirting mentally with a pixie cut for ages, wondering if I had the gumption.  I googled tutorials for this style, and one of the first to pop up was Rachele, of The Nearsighted Owl.  Rachele's a proponent of the pixie for full-figured women.  What really got me tho, was that she and I are pretty similar in frame and face shape.  This made me decide!  If she could pull it off, I could, too!  So I sharpened my sewing scissors (the closest I have to real haircutting scissors) and I went to town.

I went from this....

...To this in an afternoon!

It actually didn't take that long.  I was in the bathroom, snipping away for about an hour and a half.  It's a little puffy right now, because the hairs have never not been weighed down, but I expect it'll calm down in a day or two.  

I felt a little nervousness as the first large lock hit the towel, but I was committed, so I kept going.  And it worked!!  It's great, I can wear regular hats now!  I have a vintage cap from goodwill I've never been able to get on my head properly, but now it fits.  My husband has more fedoras than any one man can wear, so I think I'll be borrowing some for the sheer fun of it. 

What fun this was.  Now to bundle up and go about the day's errands :)