Category Archives: DIY

do it yourself projects

Kitty Tower

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OK so my 23 in 3 kinda flunked. Can I blame field work? I didn’t mention this earlier, but about a week ago I got a cat. He’s a 13lb rescue tabby mix from the humane society. He’s got himself a little ‘tude since he’s been living with us but he’s pretty awesome otherwise. Never having owned a cat before, I’m getting used to him as he’s getting used to me.

His name is Schrodinger.

This weekend, Keith and I made him a kitty tower so that he could be in his rightful place: above us, looking down on his subjects. Like I said, he’s gotten a little bit of an attitude since he’s become the only kitty in his domain.

Project 4: Bottle Lamp

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About a year ago, I made this for Keith. He liked the way the bottle looked so much, I figured we might as well make it useful instead of just letting it sit around and get broken somehow.

He liked it so much that he bragged to his buddies about it and it didn’t take long for his roomie to ask me to make him one too. However, I somehow failed to snag a pic (imagine the above only with a Three Philosopher’s bottle instead).

At a dinner party not too long after that, another friend ask me to make him one as well! Only problem with this one is that it’s made with a vodka bottle (much thicker than beer bottles) and it came from somewhere outside the US (a.k.a not easily replaceable by a trip to the liquor store). Also, if I remember correctly there was some emotional attachment to the event the bottle was gifted to them. *EVEN MORE PRECIOUS TO THE OWNER AND TERRIFYING TO WORK ON!*

Anyway, I’ve kind of been putting it off because I’ve been a little afraid of cracking it. Recently, the same friend allowed us to stay at their lake house for the weekend, so I figured I should get it done and give it to them finally as a thank-you if nothing else! Me and my procrastination skills (oh yeah, isn’t that why I’m writing these posts today :P)…

So, materials!

  • Bottle you want to make into a lamp
  • Wooden base
  • Stain for base
  • Clear sealant (not pictured)
  • Felt for bottom and adhesive spray (also not pictured)
  • Lamp kit
  • Lamp shade
  • Light bulb
  • Clear stik’n seal adhesive
  • Dremel
  • Diamond tip dremel bits
  • Goggles or other eye protection (so that’s why I kept my Organic Chemistry equipment!)
  • Newspaper or a towel to collect glass particles so you don’t get them all over you kitchen floor
  • vacuum/broom/mop just to make sure you don’t walk through a field glass dust in bare feet!

That list is a lot larger than it seems it should be, but I think I included everything. I had everything except the stain and base already so it made for a quick project. You can get pretty much everything at Lowes or Home Depot or any other home improvement store, ‘cept the bottle of course. (I can only imagine… “Hey honey, while we’re working on the deck, lets get some booze to keep us motivated!” *weekend project fail*).

First things first, you need a hole for the wiring. I drilled straight through the back of the beer bottles, but the vodka bottle had a nice little nook that the wire fit in perfectly so I just went through the bottom of it. Make sure to drill slowly. Or rather, have the drill on a high speed but stop frequently to let the glass cool. I’ve seen videos on YouTube where people had the bottle full of water, in a tub full of water to keep the whole thing cool however I don’t like the idea of getting electrocuted so I didn’t do this. I also cracked the bottom a smidgen and the Dremel got away from me a couple times. It was a lot thicker than I expected! Fortunately, it’s all on the bottom.

I already have my lamp kit assembled in the first pic. The directions on the back of the packaging are super easy to follow. I promise, I am not an electrician and I have made three of these now…and have yet to burn down a house!

Then, I stained the base. I used wood-sheen which you paint on and then wipe off. It’s dry and usable in an hour so it’s great for someone with as little patience as I have. My base is in two parts so after they were dry I lined them up and glued them together. I started to attach the bottle and then decided that it would be easier to put the felt on first. I sprayed both pieces (felt and the bottom of the base) and glued them together and put it felt side down under some newspapers and old text books.

 

Attach the bottle with the Stik’n Seal and let it set for 24+ hours. Finally, sit down in your favorite easy chair and read a good book by the light of your own, awesome, one-of-a-kind lamp!

Project 3: Well, hello…

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Oops. So some things have come up (like field work being super stressful this summer- why did I start my master’s program the year before a drought?!? Ah…hindsight…). Anyway, now that summer’s over, I want you to know that I haven’t given up on my 23 projects in 3 months goal. I have still been doing my crafty-things however I have neglected to post ANY OF THEM. So in an effort to procrastinate getting ready to back to school on Wednesday here I go!

 

 

Project 3 (bubble necklace) was started a long time ago. Then, I moved and it went in a zip lock bag never to be seen again until today. At least all the pieces went in a zip lock, which is more than I can say for the majority of my projects.

Anyway, you start out with this!

  • I used green (986), cream(822), and black(310) embroidery thread (school colors) which I kept intact instead of pulling apart into individual threads.
  • plastic “bone rings” of different sizes (I ripped off the tag and apparently threw it away so I’m not sure on the size)
  • I’m pretty sure I used a size 4/2.00mm crochet hook, as this is the only one that was missing from my kit… (>.< NO WORRIES! IT HAS BEEN FOUND!)
  • Some sort of ribbon, rope, string, wire, or chain for the necklace. I didn’t know right away what I would end up liking so there’s a variety in the pic.

Single crochet around each of the rings and tie off. To get something like this.

Tuck your ends in (I was having some issues with this as I crochet super tight for no apparent reason)

Then arrange and sew together. I just crochet them together with slip knots (again, make your life easier by making your single crochet looser than mine!).

bntogether

Attach your choice of necklace. I used chain and jump rings. I need to go get a clasp but right now it’s large enough to fit over my head so I might just leave it like that.

All I have to do now is tuck in my ends!

bnfinal

What do you think?

If you guys would like a more in depth tutorial just ask! I’d be happy to show you how to single crochet or slip knot the rings together.

Project 2: A b-day present for a buddy

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First things first, my Anthropologie knock-off was pinged on one of my favorite sites to get inspiration from!

 

Ok. I’m not sure if I should post this, or pictures of it, until I give away the birthday present but who’s to say the friend in question is going to look here before I give it to her? She doesn’t follow me, and this doesn’t post to my facebook so hmm… Also, her birthday was a month ago yesterday (yes, I’m a bad friend) so I figure she should at least see it if I’m not going to see her for a month or so…

hmmm….

Okie day. So a long, long time ago (Christmas 2010? lol) I made this quilt and I can’t believe I never posted a picture! I was so proud.

So since this was my very first quilt, I wanted to do several different things and so I did the little yarn knots in all the corners (the name of this has left my brain, perhaps permanently) and, you can’t really see it in this picture, but I quilted green bubbles all around in the black area. Also, and I’m pretty stoked about this, notice how the majority of my corners match!

For those of you unfamiliar with 1980’s video games, this is the bubble dragon Bub, of Bubble Bobble. Only the best game EVER. It’s a platformer arcade sort of game (similar to Pac-man) only you run around shooting bubbles at your enemies and then jumping on them to pop ’em, “killing” the bad guys. Unfortunately, if you trap an enemy in a bubble and don’t have a chance to pop it, they turn red and get super angry and super fast and kill the crap out of you- unless you’re pro…like me… or probably my friend Murph… not to brag ;P  So, awesome game which has sucked hours of my life away from me (thank God for teleportation umbrellas). Anyway, I made this quilt and Murph really liked it when she saw it for the first time so insert light bulb.

It took me a week and a half to make that quilt. I get bored easily. So I figured, “no quilts that takes too long, but a pillow…” in my head pillows were smaller, less fabric, and as 1+1=2, I figured, easier.

Nope.

I swear that pillow took longer than the freakin’ blanket to finish up (I measured it to end up with 1/2″ squares and I’ll never do that again) and some of my corners are WAY off :(. It still looks pretty awesome if you’re not an amazing quilter and frankly, I’m not. Also, for the second thing I’ve ever quilted, I’m still pretty proud of it. 😛

Happy birthday Murph!

Project 1: String art

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Hey all,

How’s your summer going? I’ve been working on everything except the things I probably should be working on so far. Oh well! One of the things I have been working on is string art. You’ve probably seen them posted all over pinterest and etsy and everyone’s blogs so I thought I would try my own.

Here are a couple that I’ve found on the internet that I really liked (I didn’t save the name of the people who did these but whoever you are I promise I’m not taking credit – you’ve inspired me!)

Love it.

Anyway, I now know why no one has ever done West Virginia – squigliest state lines ever thank you rivers.

Here’s what I did.

First, wander around your favorite craft store until you find a treasure like this

(Sorry for the quality, blame my phone :P)  These are natural wooden slabs with the bark, lichen, and moss still clinging to to the edges making the coolest frame. I think these were $9.99 each. In this picture I’ve already painted the inside of one green and I’ll explain why in just a second.


Wow. I need to look at getting some better lighting.

So first things first, I met Keith (my fiance) at West Virginia University where we bled blue and gold for our school on game days *Let’s Go Mountaineers!* Since then, we’ve graduated, gotten engaged, and ended up in Michigan where we aren’t going to the same school but we still ended up with the same school colors-green and white. So the plan is to do one of WV in blue and gold which says “Where two people met…” and one of MI in white and green that says “…and fell in love.” The result of this project is probably going to be Keith’s birthday present because despite his hard, tattooed exterior he’s more of a push over for the lovey-dovey things than I am 😛

So in order to do what I’ve done so far is run to the library and print off a nice outline of WV and MI and then to Jo-ann’s where I picked up the following.

3 bunches of embroidery thread

300 picture hanging nails

(I had paint and paint brushes and a hammer)

wood slab

picture hanging kit

I painted the slabs and let them sit over night to dry. In the morning I tapped the state outline over the slab and hammered in the nails along the outline. You could cut it out and use it as a stencil if you wanted to. I then ripped the paper off the slab and all my nails were very squiggly in the beautiful, familiar outline of WV. I wrapped the embroidery string around each nail to make an outline first and then I started filling in the center – tying a knot only around the first nail. When I ran out of the first set of string it wasn’t nearly enough so I just tied the next bunch on the end and continued until I felt it was covered well enough. To finish I tied the string to a nail again and tucked the ends in. I probably did it and re-did this about five times before I was satisfied with the way it looked so experiment a little bit. Mine was too small to do the heart for Morgantown but that didn’t keep me from trying.

I’m also still debating on the letters. I feel like the nails make it almost too messy. Part of me really likes it, but then another part of me wants to take it down and get the calligraphy pen out.  Let me try to get a better picture.

Much better.

I’ll post Michigan when I get it done.

Not bad for the first of twenty three. Let me know what you think.

23 projects in 3 months

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Alright, I have come across a couple blogs recently and I’m convinced that if you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s a rule that applies to almost everything. Your mind, your muscles, the remote to the TV…. your creative talent?

Classes are out for the summer so I won’t be teaching for the next three months. I’ll be taking a summer class, doing a little research and working on processing salamander DNA, and (of course) working on my etsy store and blog.

In the next three months I’m going to finish -key word there- finish 23 projects. Why 23? Because I turned 23 in April and it seemed like a doable number. The rules are there are none, with the exception of my etsy store. Those pieces do not count. Other than that, I’m using this summer to finish everything I’ve started over the last year or so as well as finish some of the projects I have in the folder on my desk top labelled “things to do.”  Yes, I do have a “things to do” folder on my desktop and it’s full of pictures of different crafts and it’s gotten rather large. 

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated for sure. Post if you have a particular project you would like to do or see done and I’ll see what I can do 🙂

See you again soon!

Razzmatazz Part 2

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So, based on my friends, fiance and everyone commenting on that post, I’ve decided to reopen my etsy shop and sell these crayon art canvases. In the next week, expect great things as I buy out all of the crayons from the surrounding toy stores and hobby shops in the surrounding area and get busy! Here is the other canvas I made for my fiance at the beginning of the school year. This is officially the last one I’ve done until Wednesday when I hit Thanksgiving break. I also have to complete a trade that I promised a long time ago (Don’t worry crochetycrochetlady I haven’t forgotten about you!) as well as write a couple term papers and grade about a million papers. It’ll be a busy break for sure but it’s going to be a much needed escape from the norm. Two days left before I have all the time in the world – I can not wait!

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