Sunday, January 29, 2012

Make a Beaded Watch Band

I am allergic to some base metals.  When I learned how to make beaded bracelets, it was easy to go one step further to create beaded watch bands, so that I could wear my watch again. This is:  "Make a Beaded Watch Band”, using some new beads I bought. 
Supplies:
Beads (of your choice, cost $3-$12 a package depending on what you choose)
1.0  mm Stretch Magic string ($2-$3 a roll)
4 lobster claws ($3 a pkg. of 4-6)
Pkg. 3 hole spacers ($4 a pkg.)
Piece of felt
Scissors
Super glue
Tape measure
A watch face with pins (to complete the watch, I used my old one, scratches and all)
Lay the felt out as your work surface.  It prevents the beads from rolling off your work surface on to the floor.  Cut a 15 inch piece of the 1.0 mm stretch string.
You are going to start at the center of the 15 inch string.  (This will be one end of the watch band.)  Put one or two small beads to keep the lobster claws apart. Add one lobster claw on either side of the center beads.  Make sure that the opening of each claw faces the same direction.

Place beads on each side of the lobster claws. When you have gotten 2 or 3 beads, place a 3 hole spacer on the two strings (place one string through one hole on one end, the other string through the other hole in the opposite end). 
Continue stringing beads, using at least 4 spacers to separate the beads.
When you reach the end of your pattern, on one of the two ends, add one claw, then add the same beads used on the other end (between the claws) then the last claw on the other string (again make sure these claws open in the same direction as the ones at the other end). 
Wrap it around the intended wrist and see how it looks.  If you don’t like it, restring in a new pattern.
Once you have it “done”, tie a tight square knot in the two ends of the string.  Cut the ends close to the knot and put a drop of super glue on the knot, this will prevent the knot from untying.  Let is set for one minute.
Clip the claws on to the pin at each end of the watch face. Done! Wonderful!
Things you need to know:
1.    The stretch string is thick enough that it is really hard to break, but it can stretch out. 
2.    You may hand wash the beads, but be sure to get it really dry like with a blow dryer.
3.    If it becomes stretched out, just restring on fresh piece of string.
4.    Like most pieces of jewelry don’t wear it to bed, this one thing wears out jewelry faster than anything else you do.
    
Now you are good to go.  Enjoy!





Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Green" Floor Duster Cover

“Green” isn’t something that just showed up, if you are old enough, you have lived it all your life, we just didn’t call it “green” back then. We put in new laminate floors this last August. How to take care of them has been an adventure. We bought a swiffer floor duster for the handle. I now use it for damp mopping the laminate and for dusting the floor. I made the damp mop covers out of microfiber cloth and now I have created reusable duster covers using fleece. Again, if you don't want to or can't make your own, go HERE to an Etsy shop to buy them.  Hurray! Let’s go. 
 Supplies: ( I was so busy creating, I forgot this picture, sorry.)
Swiffer dust mop handle
Anti pill fleece
Thread
Sewing machine
Sewing scissors
Paper
Paper scissors
Marker
First on paper trace the head of the swifter dust mop. Then trace around the head tracing 1 inch all the way around. Using paper scissors, cut out your pattern.
Using the marker, trace around the pattern onto the fleece.
Fold the fleece 3 layers thick and cut out 3 layers, all at the same time.
Set up you sewing machine. With 2 of the layers together, sew the 2 layers together with lines 1 inch apart (5 lines). Trim all your threads to make it neat.
Put the 3rd layer on top of the 2 (sewn together layers) and sew ¾ of an inch in from the edge. 
Fold the pattern in half, length wise and with the marker, make a line down the center of the top piece of fleece.
Use the sewing scissors to cut down this center line, stopping before the sewing line at each end. Slip the cover on to the mop head and push the fleece into the places that hold the fabric. It fits! Hurray!
Remove it from the mop head. Turn it over and using your sewing scissors, cut the (now) top layer of fleece half way between each of the 1 inch sewing lines.
Again, using the sewing scissors, snip little snips through the edges of the mop head, to the sewing line, (don’t cut through the sewing line) about 1 inch apart. Then make little 1 inch a part snips, down the rows you cut the length of the mop head. You have lots of little surfaces to help pick up dust.
It looks like it should work. Let’s try it. 
It works! (You can tell I needed this!)  Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Green" Duster Covers

Personally, I’m not crazy about stuff, that’s used once, for cleaning, then, it’s thrown away. To me it is an extra expense, that isn’t necessary. I have had this Swifter handle for years, unused because I refuse to buy more disposable covers. Then I came across a picture on Pintrest, of a reusable cover someone has created to sale. If you don’t want to make your own, go here http://www.etsy.com/listing/56270051/washable-hand-duster-refill-for-swiffer to buy some from an Etsy shop. They would love your business. Anyway, I have a hard time buying something I can make myself, so here is my attempt to show you “How to Make “Green” Duster Covers”.
Supplies:
Anti pill fleece (your choice of color, I will use the blue I already have)
Paper
Marker
Paper scissors
Sewing scissors
Sewing machine
Thread
Here is a picture of the pattern I created with the dimensions I used. I still haven’t quite earned the computer skills to make some things easy, although those skills are slowly, but surely coming. Use your paper and pencil to recreate the pattern. Use the paper scissors to cut out the pattern.
Trace the outer most line of your pattern on your fleece with a marker.
Draw a straight line down the middle and then,
create the box which will be the place that the handle legs will reside. 
Put 4 layers of fleece on top of each other and
cut them all out (at the same time) with the sewing scissors.
Go to the sewing machine and sew down the middle of the 4 layers. Then sew around 3 if the four sides of the box, the two long sides and the short side at the rounded top. Trim away all your thread ends. Make it neat.
Cut off the bottom of the top layer. See if the legs of the handle will fit it the places made for them. They fit!!! Hurray!! If they don’t fit, sew new box lines, 1/8 – ¼ inch away from the ones you sewed first. Remove the thread from the first box, and try again! Very good.
Next you will cut flaps from the outer edge of the fleece up to the sewing line. Don’t cut through the sewing line. Cut these flaps about 1 inch apart. They will provide lots of surfaces upon which to capture dust. Wow! I think this will work. Shall we try it? 
It worked. We know fleece washes, so it is a “green” duster that can be used and then washed, time after time. Don’t use fabric softener, in the wash, we want the static electricity to help attract the dust to the duster. Enjoy. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A GIFT

Yesterday, I was given a gift.  The opportunity to be in attendance when my newest grandson was born, Ender Michael Jones (Grandpa Mike is so proud, he could bust his buttons).  I  watched as my daughter did for him what I had done for her and my love for her grew to new bounds.  He is beautiful and his Mom, whom I have always known was beautiful, is one of the greatest people I know.  Happy birthday, Ender, welcome to our family. 
We all love you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Word of the Year!

"Have you chosen a Word of the YearApparently, a Word of the Year is the new New Years resolution.

Basically, you choose one word that has the potential to inspire you and create intention in your life, all year long."  says Layla from The Lettered Cottage.  Today she is having a word of the year link party.  I love her word, GO HERE, to learn what it is.  I would be tempted to  just use it ,but then, the right word for me popped into my head, and that word is...

GROW

As in, always green (my favorite color) and growing, always working my way toward the Sun and bring joy to myself and my family, and hopefully everyone with whom I come in contact.  

My family is growing. (Hurry up Ender and get here. Your Mommy and I are anxious!)  And my skills and abilities are growing (one year ago, I would never have attempted a post like this), and my Heart is growing in love for those with whom I have contact, even those whom I don't have contact. 
Yep, it's my eclectic life and I love it!

Here is something to color!  I found it here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

DIY Sock Monkey


My wonderful Daughter-in-Law was here with her family over Christmas.  Sock Monkeys are something she has made and sold at craft fairs and little gift shops.  I remember when she came to me with a poorly written pattern and a pair of knee highs to make her first Sock Monkey.  Now she has the whole process down to a science.  She shared all the little tricks she and her Hubby, (my son), figured out during their Sock Monkey adventure.  She encouraged me to share it with you.  Just so you know; I made 3 of the 4 monkeys in this picture.  So here we go, learning How to Make a Sock Monkey.
Supplies:
1 pair of knee high socks (for large monkey $2.50 a pair at Target, for smaller monkey use children’s socks for $2.00 a pair)
Polyester stuffing
Thread (to coordinated with the color of the socks)
Scissors
Sewing machine
Chalk (if your socks are dark colored)
Magic marker (if your socks are light colored)
Embroidery floss
Needles
Buttons or child safety eyes
Straight pins
First turn your socks, inside out.  Lay your inside out socks, out on your work surface.  Have one with the heel in the center and folded down toward the sock opening.  The other with the heel folded out (like a traditional Christmas stocking). 
Here is a drawing (I am still learning how to use the computer program) of the two socks.  The red lines show where you want to draw the lines on the inside of your socks.  
 So here is the sock that will be the monkey main body and legs.  Draw a line from the top of the sock to just below where the fold down of the heel is. 
On the other sock, draw a line from just below the heel to the end of the opening, draw another line over by the other edge of the sock from the opening to just below the toe.  You don’t need to draw a line around the heel, just be aware that this heel will be the monkeys muzzle/mouth and you won’t sew it down, just cut it out and hand sew it where you need it to be.  Draw the two ears, as is indicated by the elongated half circles.  My Daughter-in-Law indicated that the ears were constantly being changed as she developed the best way to make these monkeys.  These are how we made them this time.
The green lines indicate where you will sew the lines.  First you sew a straight line then you turn around and go back over the straight line with a zigzag stitch. This will reinforce the sewing so that you will not have to go back and hand sew close, a lot of little pops in the seams.
Thread your machine with the color thread you want (match or contrast, I used contrast so that you can see where I sewed).  First sew the legs, across the opening of the sock, back stitch and forward stitch at each corner and the beginning and end to reinforce those places.  When you get to the top of the line, reinforce, lift the pressure foot, turn 180° and change to zigzag stitch, then zigzag back over the straight line. 
Now sew the other leg the same way. 
 Follow the same pattern for the two arms.  Notice that one arm is wider than the other arm.  You want the arms to be the same size when you stuff them, and the one (middle) arm will have two seams instead of one like the arm on the right.  You will eye ball this and do your best to make both arms the same length.    Next you will sew on the very long and narrow tail. Sew almost to the toe of the sock and then sew back on the straight line with a zigzag stitch like you did for the arms and legs. 
Sew around the ears, leaving a little gap for a place to stuff the ears. Be sure to zigzag over the straight line for as ears, just like you did for the other body parts. The first monkey I made, I didn’t do that, and trying to sew it after it is cut is harder than sewing first and then cutting.  Now all the machine sewing is done.
I hope you have a good pair of sewing scissors for cutting the pieces apart.  Scissors that have cut paper are too dull to cut sock material.  Anyway, first you cut between the two legs, and ½ inch beyond the end of the stitching.  This little distance between the legs makes an opening between the legs, in the crotch, for turning and stuffing the body and the legs.
From the other piece, cut out the muzzle/mouth piece (the heel area of this sock).  Then cut out the 2 arms and the tail. Then cut out the ears. Be sure you cut the around so that the sewing for each piece will be inside that piece when you are done cutting. You will have a very small amount of sock left.  You may throw that away.
First start with the monkey body and legs, reaching into the crotch opening, pull the body part right side out. 
Now stuff the body with polyester stuffing.  The heel area will be the monkey’s bum. If it looks lumpy, roll the body between your palms, rolling up and down the body until it looks smooth.
Now to turn and stuff the legs, (this same technique will be used for the arms and tail), You start with the foot of the leg, using an index finger push the foot up toward the opening in the crotch, gathering the length of the leg material along your finger. 
Just when you get the foot showing out the opening at the crotch, stop, pull your finger out and start stuffing.  As stuffing reaches the opening, pull more leg down and keep stuffing the new area until the whole leg has been stuffed.  This is so much easier than trying to stuff a whole arm, leg or tail, once it has been totally turn right side out.  Again, roll the leg between your palms to smooth out any lumps.  Repeat with the other leg, taking care to make sure the two legs are the same diameter and length. 
The body is stuffed. GREAT!
Repeat the process used for the legs, to stuff the tail, and the arms.  Again roll to remove lumps and make sure the two arms are the same diameter and length.  Turn the ears inside out and put a little stuffing into the opening for ears with dimension.
Get out the hand needle and thread.  Now is the time I should explain how to use a blind stitch. If you already know how to hem, a skirt, pants, etc., this is the same stitch, but since there are people who are out there who have already done a great job of do teaching it, I will send you to their link here:  http://www.ehow.com/video_4407403_hand-hem-skirt-blind-stitch.html.  Using the blind stitch, close up the crotch opening.  Much better.
Using straight pins, pin the top off the muzzle down, leaving the bottom open.  Fold under the edges and use the blind stitch to sew the top of the muzzle to the body.  Remove the straight pins as you go. 
 
Stuff the muzzle, and then close the bottom of the muzzle, by folding under the edges and again using the blind stitch to close it off.
Now you may sew on the button eyes.  Place the buttons in the places you like them best and sew the buttons on (I am assuming you know how to sew on a button, if you don’t, you can learn how here:  http://www.ehow.com/how_2271722_sew-button-hand.html). (If this monkey is for a small child, you may want to use child safety eyes, which will need to be put in place before you stuff the body.  Then you will need to place the muzzle to fit the eyes.)
Next we do the ears.  Blind stitch the little opening in the ear closed.  Whip the two bottom corners of the ear together. Then whip the bottom center of the ear to the place where you whipped the two corners together. 
 Blind stitch the ears to the head a little below and behind the eyes. 
Next we fold in the ends of the arms and the tail.  Figure out where on the bum of the monkey you want the tail and blind stitch it in place. 
Do the same with both arms.  Try to eye ball it, and make the arms level/even with each other.
One final step, using embroidery floss, embroider a mouth.  You and use a running stitch, or as my Daughter-in-Law did, just one long piece of thread, with it tacked down in the corners and in the middle.  DONE and DONE!  Isn’t it cute!
If you want your monkey to be a holiday gift, use holiday patterned socks.  The possibilities are endless!  Enjoy!