Saturday, December 10, 2011

White Elephants!

My family does a White Elephant Gift Exchange every year instead of a buy for everybody exchange. It tends to be loads of fun, with the recycling of favorite gifts from previous years (ex. a framed photo of a family friend holding up lottery tickets. It pops up each year with new tickets!). There is the occasional dud, but more often than not everyone is satisfied.
Last year, Artum, a relative made a last minute White Elephant. It was rather primitive elephant with newspaper paper mache body, toilet paper tube legs and a sock trunk. But it was insanely cute and a hit (even before the $50 gift card was revealed). Artum promised to build a better elephant for this year and challenged us to come up with something similar.
This year at Thanksgiving he reminded me, and he seemed rather disappointed that I already had purchased White Elephant gifts and that I wouldn't be making a White Elephant. After I got home, I tried to think of ideas that wouldn't intrude on Artum's original Elephant.
So long story longer... These are my White Elephants.

First, I found a cute elephant face stencil using a search on Google Images. Then, I bought a pack of 36x36 White Felt at Michaels and it provided me with just enough Felt to make two 10x12 Gift Totes. I used a 10 x 12 gift bag from the Dollar Store as my template.

This was my first attempt at applique and if you don't look too closely you won't spot my mess-ups.

All ready to be stuffed with presents!

I made each one slightly different. One has wider shorter straps, and the other has exposed seams. I found some red buttons in my Grandmother's collection (because White Elephants are albinos, right?) for the eyes.

Did I do good? I'm hoping yes, so that these are able to be re-used and will become a regular fixture at future Christmases.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Organize with Beer Carton Carriers!

My DH and a friend do a "weird beer" night a few times a month. They pick a beer they have never had and take pictures with a thumbs up and down. It' silly, but it's good memory tool.
This went on for months before I realize how many of those neat beer cartons were being thrown away. I had been in dining establishments and pubs were they reused the cartons as condiment carriers. So I decided to do the same thing to organize my cabinets.
I started in my pantry. On the top shelf is where I stored un-open condiments and seldom used bottles of oils. Because they were out of sight and hidden behind other bottles, I would buy things I had plenty of and they would expire before I could use them.
Now I can easily, grab a whole carrier and take a glance without having to shove bottles around and hiding even more condiments I didn't know I had.

Then I moved onto the bathrooms. I had so many bottles of hair products, shampoos, toothpaste and other toiletries just shoved under the counter. I would have to drag everything out to find one item and then shove everything back in.
In my master bathroom cabinet, it's shallow. So the Stewart's Soda Carriers were the perfect fit rather than beer cartons.

This is the carrier I use for bleaching and dying my hair Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink and Vampire Red.  I cut the dividers on a 6 pack to fit my dye mug and the petroleum jelly (FYI...this is must, because Manic Panic will stain your skin).

And in the other bathroom's under sink. I added a little cup to my hair product carrier to hold tweezers, clippers and little hair clips.

Extra bath soap, and toothpaste are easy to reach.

Pet Bath Supplies. because the kitties do get funky!

See how nice and organized everything is?  This was super easy and super cheap!

There are so many possible uses for these cartons! Don't want the world to know you love of beer, paint or decoupage the cartons! Use them as a gift basket and insert small gifts into the individual compartments! Use them to organize your art or office supplies!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Button Art

More Button Art. This time I made one for me, that now hangs in my bedroom.
Same as before, I used scrapbook paper for the background and framed it with an inexpensive frame from Michaels.
A little history about this one. My Grandmother was a Newfie. A very wonderful Goofy Newfie. What's a Newfie, you ask? It's the nickname for a native of the Canadian Providence of Newfoundland. They are crazy unique and most of them are Irish.
That in mind, I decided to do a shamrock for me. I am proud of my Irish Newfie heritage and I thought it was an appropriate reminder of my Grandmother.

Abbey's Button Art

As told in the previous post, I inherited my Grandmother's sewing kit along with her collection of buttons. I being the eldest Granddaughter decided to make keepsake button art for all the Granddaughters and this was the second button art I made. This one was for the youngest Granddaughter, the adorable Abbey.

Button Art

Okay, So I am not really abandoning this blog. I am just going to post the more normal stuff here, and the spookier stuff at Horrorcraft.
Back to the craft. When my Grandmother passed away, I inherited her sewing kit. She kept it in an old hermit crab plastic cage. It was a scary mess. There was thread, safety pins, rusty needles, patches and random items thrown in. There were also buttons, lots and lots of buttons. I don't think she ever threw a button away.
So one afternoon, I braved Tetinus and I sorted the items in her kit and disposed of what could not be used. I soaked and scrubbed rust from most of the buttons, and sorted them by color.
Now what to do with all these buttons? I decided to make Button Art keepsakes for all the Granddaughters (I still need to do one for Ashley).
The first one I made was a butterfly for Riley (the second to the youngest Granddaughter). It was pretty easy using scrapbook paper for the background, wings and body. Then I use an inexpensive Michael's frame.