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Posts Tagged ‘DIY project’

DIY Fabric Tags Late-night cravings and weight gain are taking their toll on my body. Tell me again, when is the baby due? With months to go, my daughter-in-law’s pregnancy seems to be progressing far too slowly for this excited Chinese grandma or Yin Yin, as I will be called. In an effort to curb my sympathetic pregnancy symptoms (did I already mention late-night cravings and weight gain?) and to use some of my anticipatory energy, I’ve started making things for my upcoming grandbaby. Not wanting to appear self-obsessed, but still wanting to convey the love that went into each handmade piece, I decided to create my own fabric labels. After a little online search, I came across a helpful article on the wonderful site lil blue boo. I don’t know and I don’t care whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but I do know that he or she has already captured my heart!

SUPPLIES
SuperSoft Inkjet Transfer Paper
Ink jet printer
Iron
Ironing board
Pillowcase
Scissors
Assorted ribbon, optional

DIRECTIONS
1. Design your tag, logo, etc. on a computer.

2. Fill a page with different sized fonts of your design to suit your purposes. My font sizes ranged from 16 to 36. DIY Fabric Tags: Positive image

3. Flip your page of designs on the computer, because you will need a reverse image to print on the transfer paper. DIY Fabric Tags: Reverse image

4. Print a test sample using plain paper.

5. Stick a sheet of transfer paper into your printer and print according to the manufacturer’s suggestions. The light blue side is the back side of the paper. Do not print on this side. SuperSoft Inkjet Transfer Paper

6. Using scissors or a paper cutter, cut into tag-sized pieces.
DIY Fabric Tags: Cut into pieces

7. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to transfer image to fabric.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used Pages to reverse the image, because I didn’t know how to do it using Word.

2. I recommend printing a sample of your design page on plain paper first, before printing on the transfer paper. Doing this, you will be able to see any mistakes, any need for color adjustment, spacing issues, etc.

3. Make sure to use an old pillowcase to iron on and to protect your ironing board, because scorching from the iron may occur and excess adhesive may stick to the pillowcase.

4. I purchased the SuperSoft Inkjet Transfer Paper through the Dharma Trading Company.

5. This particular transfer paper is soft enough to be used as a “tagless” tag. Transfer image directly onto fabric, instead of ribbon.

Add a nice finishing touch to your handmade gifts by creating your own fabric tags!

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DIY Gift Book Life is a series of bridge-crossings. We come to points in our lives where chasms, sometimes shallow and sometimes deep, appear before us. Questions swirl in and around our souls. Do we dare cross to the other side or do we stay in place? Will we be okay if we cross over to the unfamiliar and the unknown? Do we have the resolve and strength it takes to step onto the bridge? To cross a bridge is to make a commitment. It means we’ve decided to let go of where we stand and move forward.

As I watched a friend deal with back-to-back life-chasms, I witnessed the exhausting decisions she was forced to make. She bravely crossed one bridge after another, until she came to a big one: to sell her home, to leave behind memories, and to start anew. Knowing that this was a monumental step for her and knowing the memories that the house held for her, I gave her the only thing I could think of – a “bridge” book. My concept of this book was to link her memories with inspiration for the future. I accomplished this by taking photographs of beautiful and meaningful areas surrounding her home and paired them up with inspirational quotes. After informing her real estate agent about my project, I took most of the photos during an open house. On occasion, when I knew the lighting would be perfect in her garden, I’d sneak into her yard and snap a few more! With my friend’s permission, I’d like to share a few pages of her Bridge Book with you:

The Bridge Book: A n Inspirational Book for Moving On

Introductory Page

The Bridge Book: An Inspirational Gift For Someone Moving On

The Bridge Book: An Inspirational Gift For Someone Moving On

The Greenhouse: A Husband’s Hobby

The Bridge Book: An Inspirational Gift For Someone Moving On

Liquid Amber: A Father’s Gift

The Bridge Book: An Inspirational Gift for Someone Moving On

The Bridge

The Bridge Book: An Inspirational Gift For Someone Moving On

The Bridge Book: An Inspirational Gift For Someone Moving On

The Bridge Book: An Inspirational Gift For Someone Moving On

Closing Page: A New Beginning

As we cross the bridges that lie before us, may we remember to always move forward and to only look back for inspiration.

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T-shirt Gift Bag The wanna-be artist in me was delighted when one of my nieces requested manga drawing materials for her birthday. Rather than spend money on a paper gift bag to hold her art supplies, I thought it would be more fun to put them in a cute and sturdy t-shirt bag. A while back I posted the instructions on how to make a T-Shirt Bag, but since this bag was a gift, I made the finished product nicer by adding a few steps: I “boxed” the bottom and sewed bias tape around the raw openings. After transforming a black and white “History of Art” t–shirt (leftover from my art docent days) into a bag, I tied it up with a large colorful ribbon. My talented niece now has a reusable gift bag/art tote and I’m pleased that I re-purposed another item!

#1 – Art in Clothes and Clothes in Art

Art by Kaarina Kaikkonen

Kaarina Kaikkonen: The Blue Route

Finnish environmental artist Kaarina Kaikkonen re-purposes t-shirts and other second-hand clothes with a different creative goal in mind. She creates dreamlike art installations. The power of her work lies in how she ties her message to each site of installation. Ms. Kaikkonen says of her work, “My work talks about people, how people from different backgrounds are connected together, about life as a journey.” You can see more of her work here.

#2 – Clever Kitchen Ideas
Reuse broken hangers as bag clipss A hanger can be used for more than hanging clothes as seen by this photo. Check out these 10 Clever Kitchen Lifehacks.

#3 -Made You Smile
We can all come up with clever and creative ways to make our lives easier and more enjoyable, but how about coming up with ways to make each others’ lives happier, at least for a moment? It can start with a smile. Mark and Angel Hack Life have compiled a list called 88 Ways to Make a Stranger Smile and the first entry is “Smile often.”

#4 – Exploring Caves
Fingals Cave in Scotland Exploring caves around the world is not at the very top of my bucket list, but I can say that I’ve been to at least one of the caves featured in 23 of the World’s Most Insane Caves That You Can Explore. After looking through this series of photos of nature’s amazing creations, I am now adding visits to a few of them to my bucket list!

#5 – Creativity According to Rainn
“Everyone is creative in their own way and that, that creativity is a great thing. It’s a human thing and it needs to be nurtured and it can help us go down life’s path and help us to become deeper, richer, more satisfied human beings.”
Rainn Wilson

“If it’s a pure expression of yourself no matter what it is or what medium, it’s going to shine. It’s going to resonate. You could look inside of yourself and you could have a canvas and you could paint a dot in it, but if that is where your creative purpose is taking you then it needs to be that dot.”
Rainn Wilson

Let your creativity shine this weekend!

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Daphne

Daphne by Linnell Chang

If you walk up to my front door right now, there’s a gift waiting for you. For, at this very moment, the sweet fragrance of Daphne flowers infuse the air. Such a delightful way to be greeted, but how will you reply? Will you bask in the moment or will you move on?

#1 – Tolkien’s Ents?

Methuselah tree

Photo by Rick Goldwasser

From a flower-strewn bush of Daphnes to the sky-high tops of trees, nature’s gifts always impress. Mother Nature Network assembled this photo series of “The World’s 10 Oldest Living Trees.” Looking at these photos of ancient trees, one has to wonder if any of them were the inspiration for Tolkien’s wise Ents?

#2 – A Bright Idea
DIY project: Aluminum Lanterns Here’s a really clever decorating idea that was inspired by a creative person’s shopping trip to Home Depot. These lanterns are made from aluminum sheets and require minimal supplies to construct them. Looks like a fun project for the weekend!

#3 – The Skinny on Salad Dressings
Eating a salad for lunch or dinner is a nutritious and low-calorie meal, right? Well, that all depends on the salad dressing you’re pouring over those fresh greens. Not only do many salad dressings contain fat, many of them are also high in sodium. Here’s registered dietician Joy Bauer’s recipe for a low calorie (59 calories per 2 tablespoons) and low sodium (40 mg per 2 tablespoons) salad dressing:

Joy’s Skinny Balsamic Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp mustard
1 tsp honey
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
In a jar, combine all ingredients. Shake until everything is well combined. It’ll stay fresh in the fridge for five days.

Makes eight 2-Tbsp servings

#4 – Made Me Smile
Made Me Smile Just looking at this graphic made me smile, but I loved the introduction to Marc and Angel Hack Life‘s post “7 Things Happy People Say Every Day.” The introduction reads, “You have the right words within you to make every day a happy one.” Words have power – say the right ones!

#5 – Flowery Thoughts
Couldn’t decide, so here are two:

“The earth laughs in flowers. ”
e.e. cummings

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in Nature. ”
Gerard De Nerval

Get out and smell the flowers this weekend!

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giving an old chair new life
If you’ve got the urge to spruce up your place and don’t want to spend a lot of money, go shopping in your own home first. Odds are you already have something in your home or garage that can be upcycled into something fabulous. Two weeks ago the decorating bug bit me and I’ve been busy transforming my oldest son’s former bedroom into a guest room. Gone into storage are his Pez collection and other bric-a-brac that he hasn’t looked at for over a decade. A new bedspread and throw pillows turn a formerly male-feeling room into a much brighter space. By hanging a painting taken from another room and placing one of my chintz teacups on the nightstand, the room instantly becomes inviting and cozy. “A small chair for guests to sit on or to put their luggage on would be a nice addition,” I think to myself. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, though. That’s when I remember an old chair in the garage. Buried under a pile of crap and with water-stained legs and a flat sticky seat, I’d almost forgotten about the chair I purchased over 20 years ago for my first furniture refinishing project. Time flies while you’re raising three kids.

I wanted to give the chair a shabby chic feel, so I did a little research on glazing furniture and then went off shopping for supplies. It was a relatively easy process and I’m really pleased with the chair’s transformation. It’s the perfect addition to my updated guest room!

Paint Supplies:
paint supplies for glazing furniture Kilz Primer
Satin or gloss spray paint
Glaze
Test-size flat paint, tinted to desired color
Wood glue, if necessary
supplies for glazing furnitureSmall paint brush
Rags, old ripped up tee-shirts worked great
Plastic container
Measuring cup
Paint stick
Bucket of water

Supplies for reupholstering:
batting for reupholsteringThick batting for cushion and thin batting to wrap around the seat

fabric for reupholsteringUpholstery fabric for seat cover and black fabric for underneath the seat
Large piece of paper, pen, and ruler for seat cover pattern
Supplies for reupholsteringStaple gun, hammer, and safety goggles

Instructions on Glazing the Chair:
1. Remove seat.
2. If the chair is wobbly, remove braces, gently knock apart the chair frame just enough to apply wood glue into the spaces. Screw back on the braces or use a vise grip to hold the parts together. Let glue set.
3. Minimal sanding is required, because the chair is meant to have an aged look and slight defects and imperfections are desired.
4. Spray one to two coats of primer, letting each coat dry thoroughly.
chair after priming
5. Spray with base paint as many times as necessary to get even coverage, letting each layer dry sufficiently.
6. Watch instructional videos Glazing Furniture 101 at All Things Thrifty.
7. Mix together 1 cup glaze with 1/4 cup paint in plastic container.
8. Brush on some of the tinted glaze and wipe off with a damp rag. Repeat process until all areas of the piece have been glazed. Rinse off rags in water as you go along. Layers of glaze can be reapplied for a darker look. Chair after glazing

Instructions on Reupholstering the Seat:
1. Remove tacks or staples from the seat cover underneath the seat.
2. Make the fabric pattern: using the seat as a template, trace around it on a large piece of paper. Determine the thickness of the batting you are using for the seat. Add this amount to the perimeter of the seat tracing. Add another inch or so to allow for stretching and tacking the fabric onto the back. Seat cover pattern
3. Cut out the seat fabric using the outer line. Cut the thin wrap-around batting using the second line in from the edge. Cut out the black fabric (for underneath the chair) using the third line from the edge. And finally cut the dense batting the size of the seat tracing.
4. On a clean surface with the right side of the seat fabric facing down, place the thin batting over the fabric. Next add the thick foam batting and then the seat itself.
5. Staple through the layers along one side first and then pull the layers taut on the opposite side and staple them down. Repeat with the other two sides. Adjust the corners and staple them down.
6. With seat cushion facing down, place the black fabric on top of the seat. Tuck under the raw edges and staple all the way around the seat.
7. Screw the seat bottom back on the chair and stand back and admire your fabulous creation!
Completed glazed chair

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Words failed me when the dressmaker said, “You didn’t tell me you wanted to move your arms!” Had I been wrong to assume that a store designing mother-of-the groom dresses would know that dancing and hugging were an integral part of any wedding? Defensively, she went on to say that models and movie stars can’t move in their dresses either. Her ludicrous words still ring in my ears and with only two months to go until the wedding and no dress to wear, words fail me again.

#1 – Word Portraits
While a reading volunteer at an inner-city elementary school, artist Judy Gelles found that children’s real-life stories were more captivating than the stories she was helping them to read. After interviewing 4th graders from around the world, she created word portraits – the combination of an image of a child with their answers to specific questions. The accumulation of these word portraits yields an insightful social commentary aptly titled, “4th Grade.”

#2 – Pillow Talk
Surround yourself with your favorite words or sayings by stenciling them on pillows. Follow the easy steps for this DIY project. These pillows would also make great gifts – think graduation!

#3 – Word Ruffle
Word Ruffle is a game that that challenges your vocabulary and spelling. You are given a set of letters and must make as many words as possible. In order to qualify for the next level you must create increasingly longer words until you run out of time. For help, hit the “ruffle” button to rearrange the letters.

#4 – Watch the Words
Watch the movie. Find the words.


Were you able to find the different meanings and uses of words in this 3 minute video?

#5 – Meanings Behind Words

There’s always . . .
A little truth behind every “Just kidding.”
A little knowledge behind every “I don’t know.”
A little emotion behind every “I don’t care.”
A little pain behind every “It’s okay.”
A little fear behind every “Leave me alone.”
A little hope behind every “Goodbye.”
There’s always “something” behind every “nothing.”
Unknown

Enjoy your weekend!

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Zoom! Zoom! Ka-Boom! Aggression rages outside my kitchen window – thanks to one particular alpha male. With all his speed and might, this guy slams his body into another male. Zoom! He’s back to his guard post. This mighty hummingbird perches protectively on a chain that supports a sweet nectar feeder. A few seconds later, he spies approaching invaders and darts off to give chase. I watch as other hummingbirds attempt over and over again to reach the feeder, but alpha-bird will have none of that. I sigh, “Come on guys. Why can’t we all get along?”

#1 – Love Those Hummingbirds
In order to learn more about this hummingbird’s aggressive behavior, I searched the internet for information. From the World Of Hummingbirds and How To Enjoy Hummingbirds sites I learned:

♥ Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world and they are also the smallest of all animals that have a backbone.

♥ Because hummingbirds can rotate their wings in a circle, they are the only birds that can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways and hover in mid air.

♥ The bright flashing-colored feathers of the hummingbird’s neck is called a Gorget.

♥ A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.

♥ Hummingbirds are very smart and they can remember every flower they have been to, and how long it will take a flower to refill.

♥ Hummingbirds can hear better and see farther than humans, but they have nearly no sense of smell.

♥ A hummingbird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times per minute.

♥ A hummingbird baby is generally smaller than a penny.

♥ Most hummingbirds die in the first year of life, but those that survive have an average life span of 5 years.

♥ Hummingbirds are very territorial and will perch in trees, vines or bushes, between feedings to watch the area . . . and will attack other birds that might try to feed at their food source.

#2 – No Limitations
In another inspirational video from TED, activist Caroline Casey “tells the story of her extraordinary life” and “asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have.” Worth watching.

#3 – A Can You Can Hang

This repurposing idea from Brian Jewett is beyond clever. By attaching cleaned paint cans to a wall, he creates multipurpose hooks. A garment can be hung over the can, stuff can be stored in the can (I’m thinking keys), and something, like a scarf, can be hung on the can’s handle! Directions for this project can be found on Instructables. These can hooks would look great in a garage, an artist’s workshop, a child’s bedroom or playroom, etc.! There’s no end to creative ideas!

#4 – Yosemite HD
The talented combination of Sheldon Neill and Colin Delahanty, two young videographers, brings us this under-four-minute incredibly beautiful video of Yosemite National Park. Yosemite HD, a high definition, time lapse video, depicts the majesty of nature. Even if you’ve seen Yosemite with your own eyes, you’ll still want to see it through their eyes!

#5 – Every Moment
Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.
Thomas Merton

Enjoy every moment of your weekend!

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