Thursday, May 30, 2013

make a denim fair pouch

The day before we left for Maker Faire, I decided I did not want to carry a backpack and so I whipped up a simple denim pouch that perfectly held my essentials; water bottle, camera battery, phone, inhaler, lip balm, cash & ID.

Having just pulled out a pile of thrifted denim I knew what I was going to do.

Cut off the bottom of one leg on a pair of jeans. I cut a piece about eight inches tall. To create a contrasting design, cut out a square of denim or other fabric you have on hand. Pin and stitch on front side of cut leg piece. I used a bunch of contrasting threads in a combo of straight and zig-zag stitches just to add a bit of oomph.

I also added a pen pocket to the front. To get all the bits stitched on the front, I removed the storage compartment of my sewing machine leaving just the arm in place for easier maneuvering. If yer not so comfortable with a sewing machine, you can cut up along one side of your leg piece thus opening it up to a larger rectangle. Laying the piece flat, pin your pockets and patches on the front, over to one side leaving about two inches for the side seams to be stitched up again.

Once my pockets and patches were stitched on, I turned the pieced inside out and stitched up the bottom using a small straight stitch, going across the bottom twice to make sure it sticks. Eyeball or measure a width that would accommodate your water bottle and stitch up from the bottom to the top of the bag creating two pouches, one for your water bottle and the other for the rest. My "for the rest" side was a bit snug and so I measured up a bit from the bottom and stitched across making it less was a bit tricky trying to allow for my already-stitched pen pocket but I made it work.


The straps were made by liberating the waistbands from two pairs of jeans and trimming as needed to fit over my shoulder. I used the button end of one band and buttoned it onto the  other before stitching each end to either side of the bag.

It still felt a little plain to me so I added a granny square accent by using a hefty drizzle of Tacky Glue and then it was finished!

I wore it all over the faire and back home and have even used it for errand running around town. I love my little denim pouch!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

bay area maker faire 2013

Words simply cannot describe...


From robots, robots, everywhere, Doctor Who references round every corner, giant sculptures, motorized cupcakes, cardboard and duck tape village to more creativity than you can handle before you are are inspiration overload, Maker Faire is something you really DO need to see. For years friends have been telling me how amazing it was and now I wish I had listened the first time and that this wasn't my first go. So, so, so VERY cool! See more Maker Faire Pics here and our Mini Maker Faire pics here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

hands off the wheel

i'm currently enrolled in a nifty cognition class. it's all about how the brain works and how to work with people and children for maximum benefit. actually, that isn't true but that is what i am taking from the class.

i love school. i love class. at least, i love the school i am in and the classes i have been taking. you know how you've got your method actors who immerse themselves in their characters? well, i'm a method student. i'm a gal who becomes a walking, talking, thinking analyzer of...fill in the blank here. i have always been this way. i'm fine with it now but back whenever, when i was younger and those around me just as so, i came off as smarmy or a know-it-all but really what i was doing was real time application. i can only learn through the process of taking it in and playing around with it. my thought process eventually goes live and that little censor in my head that usually keeps my thoughts all tucked away and in perfect behavior, takes an extra long lunch hour and i'm careening forward with my hands off the steering wheel.

the week in review: may 20-26

Most of last week was spent wrangling the kiddos at the preschool, and wrangling with the chaos that is allergies. It's been a windy week and all the pollens are back and they are quite attracted to me. What can I say, I am a pollen magnet.

Other than worky work, there was a visit to my local community college to see if I could take some classes to get my teaching permit, a lot of fruit consumption, a smidge of crafting, and some waiting around for a handyman to come fix our leaky faucets (they were ultra leaky).

Saturday was an epic errand day with some fruitful thrift scores (lookie the girlscout patches!), and a large pile of library reads. I squeezed in an ultra-mini downtown photo wander whilst the mister hit the trails for a hike with the nephew a-go-go and his a-go-go Dad. I even managed a quick round of baking (which involves a little story coming soon) and the breaking in of a sort-of new pair o' slippers.

I'm fighting a sore throat that may be a cold, may be a virus, or may be allergies...I'm hoping it's allergies, so this week will be more worky-work, and a lot of resty-rest, with a bit of all that other everyday stuff that needs to get did. Happy almost June!

**likey my fabulous necklace? Thank you to Joy for the lovely bit of handmade mail goodness, I adore it!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

it is quite possible the mister was correct...

Lookie who came back for another visit...seriously, what is with our bathroom and large, quick, spiders? It is possible that this is some other very large, and very quick spider but methinks this is the very same one that partied with the chickens. S/he came back to taunt me...s/he did!

fiesta diy: tiny crepe paper lantern garland

Oy! Well, this was supposed to be up before Cinco de Mayo but since it is still the month of May I won't beat myself up too much. Here is another fun garland project you can make in a jiffy, and even your kiddos can whip up a few.

Follow the same instruction for the crepe paper papel picados but instead of using large sheets of paper, use smaller, narrower sheets. I did not manage any progress pics but you can fold a sheet of plain white paper into fourths from top to bottom, cut strips out then layer your scalloped streamers on top. Once dry, cut each strip into thirds and roll those into tubes, sealing with  dab of glue. Use a needle and thread to string up and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

a very large and extremely quick guest amongst the chickens

The new tiny casa seems to be home to a great number of spiders. Perhaps there is some sort of arachnid yelp out there that lets them eight legged critters know we are a 5 star, traditionally non-squashing-of-spiders-kind-of-place. Truth. We're not spider squashers unless there is evidence of danger (those black beauties with the red markings sadly DO get a smoosh or two).

Now that the word is out there that the tiny casa is an arachnid nirvana the hordes have been popping in to visit with a few overstaying their welcome. The old tiny casa had oodles of spiders as well (don't tell my sister though, she's not a fan) and most of those spiders were of the same family. You know the kind...the delicate dudes with the small bodies and long legs that liked to get their sauna on in the shower. The new tiny casa however seems to be a cruise ship destination and the variety is astounding.

Often the ceiling in the living room it a favorite destination for dark jumpy types. They tend to camp out and camouflage themselves into looking like a raisin which is silly because for one, we're not raisin eaters and two, why would a raisin be stuck to the ceiling? Oftentimes I will spot it and think "Is it dead?" and then a few days later it has moved a smidge or two in another direction. If I look up again and notice it gone moments later, I am certain it is sneaking up on me and I have to do a thorough search of the sofa to make sure it isn't up to mischief.

You might wonder why we don't go all smoosh-crazy and smetimes we wonder as well but really, the only other insect problem we have is ants. Ants really like the tiny casa when it is wet outside. Ants do not get the same consideration as the spiders do, ants get smooshed or vacuumed and the whole time I'm smooshing and vacuuming I'm apologizing. One or two here or there is fine but when the masses move in the vacuum comes out. Recently however I've been smooshing some singles as a two weeks ago they were getting a bit bitey and I'm just not into that.

And now I am rambling and you may be wondering what the heck do chickens have to do with spiders and other than both of them residing in our bathroom, nothing. Oh no, not real cluckers mind you, faux fowl. If you know me at all you will know of my fondness for chickens (and now it seems, spiders). In our tiny bathroom above the twahlet hangs a pallet shelf mister hammered together when we first moved in. On the pallet shelf resides a platoon of chickens in a variety of mediums; featherd, ceramic, chalkware, plastic, you name it...

The other night I stepped into the tiny bathroom to brush my teeth when I noticed the large resident spider was no longer in residence under the sink a smidge and next to the mouthwash. I gave my toothbrush a good tap to rid it of water, tucked it back into the squirrely mug in the cabinet and turned around to leave and startled. We had a new resident spider much larger and long legged than the last and this one was socializing with the chickens. Like I have previously stated we don't get all smoosh crazy here and generally, we leave the arachnid army alone but when said arachnids are quite large and in a location that is a perfect launch pad for landing on our persons we tend to take offense and remove the critters using something not unlike the bee catcher aka cricket catcher. I alerted the mister with a hearty laugh (okay, maybe a yelp) and he arrived with a wee empty yogurt container and our cable bill. As he gently tried to coax the critter into the container without damaging any critter-limbs the darn critter kept zipping this-way and that. One by one, mister kept handing me chickens which really were in need of a good dusting, and tried to get closer to the very large, extremely quick and now pretty agitated arachnid.

By this time I am in the doorway of the tiny bathroom and mister is facing me as he is attempting the delicate procedure when suddenly the damn thing jumps off the shelf and straight at the mister. With a squawk and a bok, the mister jumps back and does a little dance asking m if the critter is on him. It is not and I'm certain I did not see it jump but mister swears it did. We admit defeat and go back to whatever it was we were doing. The mister returns to the computer to see if he can solve the mystery of our very sick hard drive (knock on wood) and I return to the washing and dusting off of chickens. Though there was a moment when I looked at mister again and thought I saw the critter ON him and I might have "eeped" which made the mister jump like a fool and I felt so bad but I laughed so hard.

After the chickens were dried and um...photographed I moseyed on back to the bathroom only to discover the return of the very large and extremely quick arachnid. He or she was camping out on the bottom shelf next to the chicken puzzle and when I called out to mister to return with the catcher she or he tried to pick a fight with me as I removed the remaining chickens from the the shelf. Man, that critter was super speedy...wait, no, that critter was super-dee-duper speedy. Eeps!

Eventually the damn thing was liberated to the front lawn. Mister began to carry it out to the street but I hollered it should be placed near the pots and plants so that it might find sustenance on whatever chewy insect was decimating my plants. Mister hollered back that it will just return to it's roost and I stood there in the doorway laughing as we hollered over where to free the very large and extremely quick visitor from another world.

Monday, May 20, 2013

the week in review: may 13-19

A little crafting here, a little tea drinking there, with a couple of fun mail packages and a wee road trip up to the bay area for the Maker Faire. Fun stuff! This week is a heavy work week, if I'm lucky I may get some laundry done...among other things.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

fiesta diy: painted doily garland

This happy bit of color is so simple it is silly. I cut my doilies in half and taped them to their yarn. To make it even more simple fold your doilies in half, add a line of glue on the fold and fold the doily over your length of yarn. These pretties can be painted up any which way you choose. I went for bold fiesta-happy colors.

I think I might just keep a bowl full of painted doilies hanging around as they make me that happy! Have fun!

Friday, May 17, 2013

maker faire bound!

Last weekend mister participated in our local mini maker faire and this weekend we're off to see the sites in San Mateo for the main event. Here are oodles of photos from our mini maker faire adventure and if you are on instagram try searching for tinkers damn or SLOMMF# to see some fun pics of mister's ukes!

aren't they gorgeous?

the goods...

wine bottle slides for the canjos...

our neighbors...freakin' sweet knots!

the nephew a-go-go made this!

mister, keeping it fun...

he needed no instruction...

using the slide...

hummingbird play puppet theater

our first visitor took a turn...

our youngest fan...

he got into the groove...

I got to play this wee washboard...

From cookie tin ukes to knot tying to robot making to puppet shows, there was a lot to make and do at our fine mini event. We can't wait until next year, I'm going to join in the fun a well, what shall I teach people to make?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

fiesta diy: crepe paper picado

I think I can officially be called a garland-maker. Maybe it's my calling. Stringing up bits of arted up paper makes me very, very, happy. For Cinco de Mayo, I created three different garlands. I am a big fan of the beautiful papel picados that hang all over Olvera St. in Los Angeles and wantd to infuse that kind of happy into the tiny casa.

To create this garland, you will need a few different colors of crepe paper which can be found in the party aisle at most supermarkets, drugstores, big box stores, party stores, etsy, and online. I used a large sheet of white paper to start (you tend to have these things when you teach kiddos art) but I think this could translate onto index cards as well. Truth told, the large sheet of paper will create four flags quicker than using index cards but any type of paper will work...even old magazine pages will suffice.

*11 1/2" X 17" paper or other large/scratch paper
*5-6 colors of crepe paper streamers

Gather up your large sheet of paper and cut in half lengthwise. Roll out a length of streamer so that is matches the length of your paper, cut. Gather up the remaining colors of streamer and trim to match.

Roll up a length of streamer so that is about two to three inches across. Use your scissors to scallop, fringe or zig-zag the bottom edge. When you unroll it, the whole length of streamer will be happily festive. Repeat for each color and vary your trimming. I made a few scalloped, a couple trimmed and one was left alone.

Working from the bottom up, apply a line of glue about an inch from the bootom that travels from one end of your paper to the other. Gently press down your first choice of streamer. Next ,add another line of glue in the same manner about half and inch from the top of the first streamer and press your next layer down. Repeat for all of your colors. If your paper is too tall, simply trim the top blank edge. Set aside to dry.

Once dry, flip over paper and trim excess crepe paper. Next, cut fringed sheet in half to create two happy flags. Repeat entire process until you have the number of flags you like. To create your galrand, stitch across the top of your flags with a sewing machine or staple a length of ribbon or bias tape across the top. You can also glue a wide width length of bias tape or ribbon along the tops. There are many ways to turn your flags into a banner. Take a look at what you have available and run with it. Clothespins and paperclips will work as well.  Dîas Felices!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

diys aplenty...

I've got three garland diys and one cupcake project coming yer way! Prep your doilies and grab some crepe paper, it's gonna be a festive week!