June 28, 2013

MIG Welding- not for the faint of heart...

Photo credit (Flickr) - neoplatonistking
     Hi there! So, I just took another class - this time in MIG welding.  It was at the same hacker space as before, but with a different instructor.

     I liked him a lot, but he wanted me to just jump into welding while having 5 ft. spark arcs shoot at me, which was on top of worrying about massive amounts of heat from
the welding tool and possibly getting UV sunburn on my eyeballs. Needless to say, it was a little hard for me to focus on just welding in the beginning. After all, our instructor did spend the first 30 minutes of class describing all the ways you could injure yourself during welding.

May 31, 2013

Look, I made a Bench!

    So this post is really just to brag about this awesome woodworking class I took in Houston, TX rather than to share any insightful tips or crafts with y'all. I've always wanted to take a woodworking class- in high school, I took sewing instead of woodshop, and in college, while I took a slew of other art classes, my schedule never lined up for me to take any of the wooden variety. 

May 20, 2013

How about Earring Storage? I've got you covered.

    Give all your dangly earrings room to spread out with this easy to make this spinning earring caddy.

     I have seen a lot of the mesh earring holders that are 1-Dimensional frames that hang on your wall; I think they are pretty neat. However, when I turned 16 and got my ears pierced, I went a little bit crazy in the earring department (trying to make up for lost time or something) and had a bit too many sets of earrings for a single hanging earring holder. But when I got up to three of those on my wall, it was taking up too much space. So my mom (shoutout!) helped me come up with a nice solution that stands about 6" tall and 7" wide and....dun dun dun....spins!

April 29, 2013

Necklace Storage Needed? Look no further.

Clips added around the rim of the plastic apothecary jar to hold necklaces.

     A quick project, using a plastic apothecary jar. I'm still getting used to the new job and what I need now more than ever is better storage capabilities and organization. I went out and bought a hanging organizer (thanks Ikea!) for my closet because all my undershirts were all over the place, but I wanted to try and use something I already had for my necklaces. For all my earrings, I have a lazy susan/metal upside down organizer that works perfectly, but I was running out of space for necklaces, so I came up with this easily removable craft.

  • apothecary jar OR another type of wide lipped jar (made of or any hard surface)
  • Picture hanging clips (mine are from the Ikea wire picture hanging kit- as seen here) or any type of clip that won't slip off of the lip of your container- Jumbo colored clothes pins or wooden clothes pins would work well if you have a larger jar. 

March 23, 2013

Herbed Bath Salts

Spiced bath salts
     Hello again! I'm going to share another project I worked on during my crafter's break. The last few months for me (as well as for a lot of you, I'm sure) have been somewhat chaotic in my life. I am in the middle of switching jobs and wanted to give a token of my thanks to the lovely ladies I have been working with since I got to Texas.

     Since I work at a spice store (and I love a good bath soak), I got interested in making bath salts for my coworkers. I had all the spices I needed for this project on hand already, but I did need to pick up a few extra things at the store- unscented Epsom salts and powdered milk aren't things I normally keep on hand in my pantry/house. However, they were fairly inexpensive and added a little bit of extra spa-luxury to the bath tea's I made. Spring break might be over, but you can still relax and enjoy!
  • Epsom salts (1/2 c.)
  • salt (1/2 c.)
  • powdered milk (1.5 c)
  • baking soda (1/8 c)
  • corn starch (2 tbs)
  • spices (cracked rosemary and lavender (1/8 c. each); cinnamon (1 Tbl.) and vanilla bean)
  • muslin/silk draw string bags 
  • glass or plastic containers (optional)

March 10, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Stock

     This week is spring break in Texas (also known as SpRrianNnnNnngggG BreEaaakkKkkk for those still in college).  I am not going anywhere exciting this year, so instead I am going to try and have a "crafter's-break" instead; do a craft once a day or so and hopefully document it here. Please chime in if you have any good ideas for quick crafts that I can try!

      I see food as craft, so for today's post, I made chicken stock. Luckily, it was very hands off after the initial chopping of the vegetables and putting them in the crockpot, so I had time to make baklava, fix lunch, clean, and do some laundry while I was waiting for the stock to be done.

     To make a stock, you need only four simple categories of ingredients: a carcass, vegetables, herbs, and water. There are some traditional ingredients (carrots, onions, celery), but I often use whatever I have on hand (in this case, fennel stalks, asparagus ends, and braising green stems). Each stock turns out tasting a bit differently this way, which I like.
     After the stock was finished, I let it cool then poured it into muffin pans and popped them in the freezer for perfectly portioned (2/3 c.) chicken stock popsicles to use in future recipes.

March 4, 2013

Scrapbooking Demo- easy double page spread

   In high school, I was forced to scrap book as part of a team bonding for, of all things, volleyball. It was something I dreaded doing as I have never been much of a girly girl (as I wrongfully assumed all scrapbookers must be.)

finished scrapbook 2-page spread
     However, once I actually started scrapbooking, I realized it was something I could really get into. After all, I love stickers, bright colors, and organizing information. I did two more forced scrapbooks during high school and a couple of scrapbooky things during college, but didn't have time for more than that.

     Now that I have left college however, I find myself with all sorts of paper junk that I collected over the four years I was there. I sorted it all by year, month, then event and began the process of making scrapbooks for each year I was in college. I finished my freshman year and thought I would share my process for making a scrapbooked double page spread, my way (aka re-purposing leftover pieces of paper and having a unified color theme to create a cohesive look and feel to the pages).

February 7, 2013

Crafter's Block

 Yes, much like writer's block syndrome, I currently have crafter's block.

    In the hopes to get my crafty self motivated as well as to actually write a post, I have decided to let you in on the secret of which blogs I read to inspire and motivate my crafting-self. I know none of these crafter's personally, but they each have a style that speaks to me; if we are lucky, they will speak to you as well. So here goes:

For Clothing and Accessories:
     I love looking at the new creations from the blog Made By Rae (http//.www.made-by-rae.com). Rae is a sewing pattern maker who posts about her creations. She has the most adorable children's patterns that are also very wearable (at least I'm guessing, since her own kids wear them!)
A purse I made w/a Rae pattern
  • One of the neat things about her blog is that she encourages reader feedback through pictures of what they have made with the patterns she sells and gives away. These pictures are then posted to a flickr.com page so that everyone who is looking to use/buy one of her patterns has the advice and modifications of everyone else who has made that pattern.
     For when I want to feel girlie, I head to P.S. I made this (http://psimadethis.com/). This one is pretty famous and honestly, most of the time this blog is too trendy for me fashion-wise, but I appreciate how she re-purposes everyday items into a higher fashion calling.

January 13, 2013

A-Door-Aborable Wreath: Tech Edition, Part 2

    Hello again! Just wanted to give the second half of the LED jingle bells wreath project. The first half of the project covered the creation of the wreath itself, using cardboard, a craft knife, glue, and a few other materials. The video is the conclusion of the second part of the wreath project: adding song and lights!

    Though I liked the wreath when I first made it, it is much more interesting now that my brother incorporated LED lights and an arduino code to make it play "Jingle Bells." To get the code he wrote as well as some read through instructions on how to get started, click here. Some basic info on the project, in his words:

"To make a similar project, on your breadboard, wire two LEDs in series on each Arduino out pin called in the "LED PIN" array, and include a 330 Ohm resistor on each pin circuit to ensure that you stay under the maximum current draw for each pin.  The piezobuzzer is wired as usual, and the pushbutton has a pull up resistor to prevent any erroneous 'low' signals. "

January 4, 2013

A-Door-Aborable Wreath: Tech Edition, Part 1

      I know it has been a while since I've written a post (the combination of being in my best friend's wedding and the holidays), but I have another - perhaps now less timely- Christmas wreath project. This project is unique in that my brother and I collaborated on the design and implementation of the wreath. I also knew that I wanted to use cardboard in some way because I have a bunch of it at my house from work and it is a cheap material to work with. This post will just describe making the cardboard wreath. The next post will cover how to install LED lights and set up the arduino code to play Christmas music.

  •  cardboard, lots of cardboard
  • wood or white glue (Elmer's or other brand)
  • An exacto knife or a box cutter
  • marker or pen
  • surface to cut on (one that you don't mind getting scratched up or marked on)
  • (optional) acrylic paint (red, green, white)
How To:

1.  The basic plan was to create a wreath of interlocking triangles. So, the first step was to cut out a bunch of similarly sized triangles in three different sizes. (I needed about 60-75 total for the project)
Triangles- so many to cut out. Get a cushy exacto knife or your hand is gonna kill you afterward