Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scrap Letters

Motivated by Earth Day, I challenged myself to come up with something eco-friendly AND stylish.  What I eventually came up with was "Scrap Letters", using exclusively materials I had on hand....I didn't have to run out to the craft store ONCE!  They came out much much better than I had hoped and I plan to cut out the rest of my name using the same fabric.....and later on, in different fabrics, the names of my husband and son.  The fridge is never going to look the same.

It is a very easy process, but here is the tutorial:

Advertisement fridge magnet
Craft knife
Mod Podge
Spray adhesive (or you could forgo this and be super careful?)
Strong adhesive

 Take an advertisement thin fridge magnet, (the ones with the cheap paper toppers are infinitely easier to work with versus the more expensive laminated kind), and remove the top layer of paper carefully!  It didn't take long but I worked slow as to not to pull or distort the magnet backing. I wet the paper several times to loosen the surface and used a scraper for the tougher bits. 

Next, print out on plain paper the letters that you want, making sure that the size you choose FITS the magnet you have just cleaned!  I used Cooper Black typeface in size 175, I thought that the roundness of the letters would be easier to cut.  Glue the selected fabric to the magnet using super strong glue...(on a side note, I would like to add that the fabric scrap I am using - I scored from a friend. It's vintage, and I think that the design is from or about the year of my birth and I can remember having a similarly looking fabric on a chair in my room as a kiddo...not that I am saying I am vintage - JUST the scrap, heh ha).

Moving on! With a craft knife, cut out the letter and with a smidge (technical term...!) of temporary adhesive place on the fabric/magnet and trace the letter onto the fabric, remove paper and cut out the letter, also with the craft knife.

To finish, cover the entire thing in Mod Podge, let dry and then stick it on your fridge!

Glorious!!!  Now onto the rest of the letters!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011

Hello everyone, I hope that you all went to Starbucks with your refillable mug today to get your free coffee?  I certainly did!  And don't forget that if you go to Lowes tomorrow, they are giving away free trees.....yep, FREE TREES! Of course I had the wrong information and went this morning.....but at least I got to peruse the vegetable plants in relative peace and quiet. 

I have had a brainstorming session recently with ways to reuse and recycle some common household goods but in the meantime I will leave you with some ways to get ecofriendly with your morning Starbucks order...

1. Did you know that you can order your drink in an actual ceramic mug!  Of course, this only works if you are going to be drinking your beverage in-house but I thought I would voice that option.

2. And if you are drinking your beverage in-house, then that muffin you ordered can be put on a ceramic plate instead of in a paper bag.

3. My local branch has a basket at the end of the counter filled with used grounds for your garden.  Best part is that it is FREE, like all the time.  Go and look to see if you can score some.

4. Ask a crafty friend or yourself to knit/make/create a hot beverage holder.....just reducing that small piece of cardboard can make all the difference.

5. If you are getting a second cup, get a refill....not only will you save money, (refills are cheaper!), you save the wastage of the second cup.

6. Bring your own travel mug.....you save money (about 10 cents a cup) and you will feel amazing about not using a disposable one!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chocolate and Easter

Being an English lady in the USA, I tend to miss most of my very long list of missed food items right around this time of year and in turn I get a little homesick.  (Not that the tornado weather we are having in Texas is nothing but fun fun fun!) You see, this is the time of year that we english brave the weather outside long enough to have our first barbeques of the season, even though approximately 30 minutes afterwards, all go inside and have copious amounts of tea, but that's not the point.  (BTW, that's hot black tea - with milk - with sugar AND with a biscuit).

What is so different you ask?  Well I'll tell you....at Easter, all the kids (under the age of about 20) get a huge over packaged name brand chocolate egg filled with yet more chocolate from possibly every relative they know.  (I think one year I managed to collect over 10!) Which have to sit on the shelf until Easter Sunday, when (after sunday roast dinner of course!) we gorge ourselves on said eggs until we cannot move.  There are no Easter egg hunts with small plastic eggs hidden in the garden, in fact I don't think I had heard of hunting for eggs until I moved to Texas.  But I do have to admit that I find the egg egg hunt more endearing and a whole lot healthier!  (Something that I will continue, even if I move back to the homeland.)

For the adults, the shops are filled with hot cross buns and everyone around you is shaking off the winter doldrums (even though the weather is still the same from January). Which go nicely with a cup of tea...have I mentioned the tea yet?  Oh how I miss those hot cross buns.....toasted if you please and covered in butter....hhhhmmmmmm.

But the best best best thing of all is........almost everyone has Good Friday and Easter Monday off from work!  Yep, practically the whole country has a glorious four day weekender every year!  Now if you add in the fact that the following weekend is ALSO a four day weekend because of the upcoming royal wedding.  You get a super duper couple of weeks??!!!  Ingenious...no?  It is the perfect time to pack up the kids and the suitcases and have a nice holiday somewhere in Europe......no wait....hold the phone.....that's is exactly what the entire country does end up doing....ah well, we can always stay at home and have a barbeque...or some tea.

For more seasonal ideas check out my blog post for Halloween Craft Ideas

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swift Dust Socks

As I was wandering around blogland on the internet highway, I came across a "more complicated that it really should be" post on how to turn discarded/cheap chenille socks into resuable static swiffer cloths.  Wanting to recreate those socks, my first stop was of course Biglots and as luck would have it, they were selling what I can only think was their christmas stock chenille socks at a really low price.  So I managed to score 3 pairs at $3....$1 a sock!

BUT instead of a laborious cutting and sewing session...I simply pulled the ever-so-stretchy sock over the swiffer base and voila! One instant machine washable swiffer static cloth!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What to do...

I still (if I can) hang my washing outside to dry, especially in the summer.  So when I saw these at the dollar store, I just had to buy them.  But now the dilemma is what to do to make them pretty??

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Picture Placement

Being an Interior Designer - you get to learn some some neat tricks sometimes, tricks that make you really look like you know what you are doing! Well this trick takes the guess work out of hanging anything on your walls without the need for multiple nail holes or hours of frustration.  I use this method especially when I am hanging multiple items and need to artisically arrange the grouping.

It's quite simple really but I will share it with you now.

First, pick your wall space and the picture/mirror that you wish to hang.

Then gather your supplies...scissors, tape and newspaper.

 Cut, shape, tear and tape the newspaper sheets in the EXACT shape of your chosen wall hanging.

Place the shaped newspaper on the wall with some low-tack tape and move around to your heart's content.  Stand back and check the positioning several times and WHEN you are ready and only when you are ready - you can put the hook in the wall using your favourite method. (My favourite are the hercules hooks that leave minimal damage and need no tools whatsoever).


Ta dah!

This method also works when you need to choose or reposition large pieces of furniture or to redesign a room's layout.  (Note, it helps enormously if you have each piece of furniture's dimensions before you start) With a completely empty room, lay sheets of newspaper on the floor (no need to tape this time) in the rough shape of the sofa, coffee table, TV unit.  You can then move around the newspaper until you get it how you like it - take a photo from a good vantage point and then get to moving the real furniture!

This way you can double, triple, quadruple make sure that you can move around in the space and if everything fits PLUS you save a lot of back ache!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I am still here....

...but am struggling with some personal issues.  Please bear with me as I still have a whole host of ideas just waiting to share with you....I promise!