"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

DIY: Flowers and Bangles from Waste Materials

When I look at the items I try to save and/or reuse, I find I saved lots of TP rolls, cans and jars, carryout containers, advertising phamplets, travel magazines, newspapers, milk and juice cartons, and more.

Once this DIY project began, the carry-out containers were great as a places to let a variety items dry in various stages of preparation, all around the salon.

The cans and jars helped sort the bits and pieces, including lots of bread bag twists.

Then, I started to look for projects to use these items.

I am not one of those people who has to look trendy, I tend to favor off-beat ideas. Many of the flower ideas were appealing and I like bangles, so, I will probably be making lots of these items.

I was amused. In just a few days, I went from struggling to make one newspaper roll to feeling like a pro.

Credit: Large newspaper flowers

Large Flowers

While the artist uses newspaper and watercolors, I did not have any watercolors, so I choose to use magazine paper, it is a bit heavier and has more color.

Used a TP roll to cut out front and back buttons. Cut bits of colored paper to color “button.” Used a bit of twisted bread bag tie to secure the front and back of the button.

Made 2 flowers and 1/3 of a jar of confetti for future party favor projects.

I really like these flowers! They are large, colorful, and easy to make.

Can you feel my confidence growing?


Credit: Newspaper Bangles

Magazine Paper Bangles

After looking at so many DIY videos, I am not surprised, I confused two videos and adapted their ideas into my own creation.

Again, one artist uses decorative "wallpaper" to customize her bangles, and the other artist uses newspaper and ribbon to make bangles.

I choose to use two types of paper, one, magazine paper for the shape, and two, a glossy menu pamphlet from my “memorabilia” collection, from one of my trips, for a ribbon-like decoration.

I used one of my bangles in my search for a jar or container to use to shape the size of the bangle.


DIY: Garbage Bag Dispenser

Rolling along, got the idea from this video:


I used an empty wax paper dispenser and taped over the “saw” edge. 

Then, I tried to determine where make the cuts in the back of the box by eyeballing it. I made the cuts, then after marking the top of the box to indicate where the holes were, I used the box to determine where to affix the hooks. 

Unfortunately, I had to glue the hooks to the wall, after affixing the adhesive backs alone, they fell off the wall in a few minutes. 

Glued the hooks and waited an hour then hung the box. 

Got to be gentle with the box when I pull out a bag.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

DIY: Glitter Water Bottle

Credit: http://www.kidsomania.com/diy-magic-bottles-of-water-and-confetti/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCaI-5WVRlY&feature=youtu.be

I had fun making this.

My motto "Use What You Have" came into play, here.

The instructions called for colorful rubber bands. I happen to have a set of NPS special rubber bands in the shape of NPS symbols.

No glitter, so I cut up some aluminum coverings from empty pill packages, instead. I challenged myself to cut these little tabs into pieces as small as I could cut them.

No food dyes, I am still working on making some natural dyes. My spinach green was too light.

Used hand bacterial gel in place of glycerin. Also, I used more than I thought the original hack suggested.
I dropped in a variety of beads from my jewelry craft box.

My kitchen is a strange place now, part kitchen, part chemistry lab. I worry I might use the DIY jewelry cleaner as dressing.

Monday, August 24, 2020

DIY: Plastic Cup Coasters - Use Caution

Caution: "Baking" plastic releases chemicals into the air.

I tried the plastic cup coaster hack at:



I don’t consider plastic cups “waste” because I wash and reuse them but was curious about this process.

I placed wax paper on my toaster oven tray before I baked the cup.

I baked one cup at 400 degrees for 2-5 minutes. It was quick, but I kept waiting for the cup to flatten out further. I pulled it out before it began burning.

It never flatten out enough to become a coaster.

I tried it again with a lighter weight plastic cup. This time I oiled the wax paper because I wondered if the cup got stuck on the wax paper and could not flatten out.

While it flattened out better, parts of the edge were uneven. It could be used as a coaster but its imperfections made it unattractive.


Boy, that statement says a lot. That I would find imperfections unattractive, whew!

I know we seek symmetry in all things. But, imperfections is part of our DNA, it's what makes each of us different.

Got to learn to love the imperfections.

Oh, I won't be making any more plastic cup coasters, the kitchen smelled strongly of chemicals after only "baking" two plastic cups. I have no idea what chemicals were released into the air but I don't think they are good for your health.


DIY: iPhone Stand

There are dozens of iPhone stand / tripod hacks.

I chose the coffee carry-out cardboard cup method and it works pretty well.

Credit:  https://youtu.be/TTtJovKtujo


Saturday, August 15, 2020

DIY: Bag Closure Clasp

When you shop these days, in my experience, and you find an item you like, you stock up because the item may not be restocked in the future.

I had bought a few bag closure clasps and really liked them. I do use them but they are too long for some bags and I had not seen any more bag closure clasps in the stores.

So when I saw a plastic straw bag closure clasp hack in a DIY Crafts/Hack YouTube video, I decided to give it a try.

I get a lot of ideas from "5 minute Crafts" videos, this idea may have come from one of their videos.

Basically, you slice the straw open by cutting one side.

Then, you fold the bag closed and slide the slit straw over the fold and store the package.

Because I was using a small straw, I struggled a bit sliding the straw into place.

DIY: Reuseable Coffee Filter

Well, I have found a passion, for awhile, in some wild DIY Crafts and Hacks YouTube videos and great How-to websites.

While looking over my endless to-do lists, I found a note to look for a reusable coffee filter.

While I have a French Press, they are messy and time-consuming to clean hence the search for a reusable coffee filter, so I could make a cup or two of real coffee.

I saw the note and thought, hmmm, I'll bet I could make one myself.

After a quick internet search, I found:


Now, I do not recall the exact instructions. But, in my sewing crate, I found a sheet I had intended to mend. After looking at the various areas that needed mending, I decided to put the sheet to other uses.

I was in luck, the cotton sheet was a low-thread variety, so it would work for making a coffee filter.

As I followed the directions, I made a mistake. I was so proud that I used sidewalk chalk to mark the size of the funnel, I did not calculate that the filter would need to dip into the well of the funnel, so this filter would be too small.

I hemmed the diameter of the circle and realized I had a smaller funnel.


It fit it perfectly.

I made a cup of coffee and it worked great.

I saved the coffee grounds for plant fertilizer, washed the filter and hung it up to dry, ready for the next time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

DIY: T-Shirt Conversion - Grocery Bag

One of my favorite grocery bags was made of a stretchy cotton. So, when I saw videos about making grocery bags out of t-shirts, I jumped in.

I credit FashionbyAli's videos, again. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUEYYJcRNeI&feature=youtu.be)

 I used her ideas and ideas from other videos and made my own version. It required just a bit of hand sewing. All I did was hem the bottom of the t-shirt (inside out).

You will see me say, I am not crafty, often, because I am not. But, I do find the creative ideas of others inspiring.





My First DIY T-Shirt Conversion - A Bubble Skirt

Ok, I had avoided the DIY YouTube videos.

 But, with a lot of time on my hands, I decided to tackle some projects I had on my To Do List #Z, the one with all the projects I never got around to.

 I have a few favorite t-shirts I had wanted to make into pillows, so since I am not crafty, I needed guidance. I did a search for t-shirt pillow on YouTube and wow! there were a lot of creative videos to choose from.

 I viewed several videos and choose a few and sorta combined the ideas to make a pillow.

 The pillow conversion was going to take some time, so I investigated some other t-shirt conversion videos to get more ideas.

Some of the other t-shirt conversions were easier. I mean so easy, you didn't even need to do any sewing. I decided to try a few.

 This video, FashionByAlly:


 is amazing. I could make a skirt without any sewing, so I did.



I used a large t-shirt.

 As with all things, I forgot to take a picture of the t-shirt or any of the steps.

I did not begin to save the videos with ref notes regarding what I made using the videos. So, my next DIY YouTube projects will be more informative.


From COVID19 to DIY YouTube Adventures

I have not been blogging much lately. COVID19 has changed all our lives.

To attempt to blog about my experiences seems trivial because I am better off than many.

But, I have experienced a range of emotions.
Concerns about my family and friends. Concerns about everyone.
Distressed reading about doctors, nurses, paramedics struggling to help their patients.
Scared and sad seeing underpaid “essential workers” facing illness or potential illness.
Shocked watching those in power, some who fail to handle the situation and those who struggle to help their constituents.
Stunned observing the effects the pandemic is having on the global economy.
Proud so many people are taking this situation seriously and following the health guidelines.
Amazed at the innovation businesses are developing in a constantly changing environment.
My days are upside down. I often don’t sleep. I am not cooking much or trying any new recipes. I am sticking to my basic menu choices, mug recipes, toast toppings, pasta dishes, overnight oats, chicken, salmon, and potato salads, basic chicken soup and some fruit, and the infamous PB&J.
Grocery shopping is erratic. Sometimes store hours change. Store inventories vary. Occasionally, I get home delivery from nearby cafes or restaurants.
But, I am also becoming a recluse. I walk in circles in the parking lot late at night to avoid people. I don’t leave my home for weeks at at time. Then, try to schedule errands on one day to limit my exposure.
My attention span has shrunk and it wasn’t that long to begin with. Luckily, my health is ok most of the time. But, I have weeks where all I do is sleep and that wrecks havoc with my health.
Luckily, my family and friends are doing ok.
Recently, I began exploring DIY YouTube videos. I had always wanted to make pillows out of some favorite t-shirts. That search also brought up dozens of sites about various t-shirt conversations and more, and that began my DIY YouTube Adventure.