Saturday, June 27, 2020

And the gazebo on top

Hi friends.  In my last post, I showed you my new ink storage unit, which now houses all 120 of my distress and oxide ink pads.  I wanted to make some sort of cover over the top to keep the dust off the items stored there.  So I decided on an open gazebo.  Without going into all the detail, I made supports, both vertical and horizontal, from 2" wide chipboard, folded into a square tube.  I added decorative sides and a slanted roof, with a little decoration on top.  Not being an engineer, the roof was totally guesswork, and I was thrilled that it worked on the first try.  The gazebo lifts off for easy access to the supplies stored beneath it. 
This is the full unit.  My distress inks are on two sides, and distress oxides on the other two.  I store them alphabetically in vertical columns.  I have room enough to add 24 more ink pads.  These are the regular 3" pads.  So far stored on top are blending brushes and blender pens.  I'm not sure what else will go there yet, but most likely things that I use all the time, so they are within easy reach. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a great day. 


Monday, June 22, 2020

My new ink hotel

Hello.  I know it has been a long, long time since I posted.  Maybe my life is just that boring?  Well, I don't think so, so I guess I have no excuse.  I know I'm a big procrastinator.

Anyway, for mother's day my daughter made a new header for my blog as you can see.  I had completely forgotten that I'd asked her to make one, so that was a nice surprise.

Six years ago I created an ink pad holder for my distress ink pads.  You can see it here.  Well, it wasn't too long after that Ranger introduced some new colors, so all my inks didn't fit in the holder.  Then, they also produced all the colors in distress oxide inks.  These are the things I put on my wish list for my family to buy as gifts, so I now have the full set of those as well.

So I decided that it was time to make some new storage.  I wanted all the distress inks in one place, so I started construction.  Now be advised I'm not an engineer, and I design as I go, so the final product is certainly not perfect or even designed well, but that's OK by me, as long as it works.  My husband kept calling it a roach hotel, but I think ink pad hotel is a much better description, since we do not provide housing for roaches here.

I should warn you that this will be a long post with lots of photos.  I wanted to give a lot of the step by step procedure that went into the making.

I built the entire unit from cereal box (cracker box, pizza box, etc.) chipboard, corrugated cardboard, and tacky glue.  There is also a small amount of stamped cardstock.

I started by cutting pieces which would hold the ink pads.  These are cut 2-1/2"x8", and scored at 1", 4" and 5".  I taped the edges together.  The ink pads will hang out the front by about 1/2", so I can pull them out easily.  The total unit will hold 144 ink pads, so that's how many I cut and folded. 
Yes, that 2nd picture is the whole bunch!  Then I started gluing them into towers of 12 each.

The next step was to add extra chipboard on the sides for support and then glue towers together in sets of three. 
As I said earlier, I design as I go, at this point, I thought it would help if they were brighter, so I painted all the insides with white acrylic paint -- not spray paint, because I didn't have any -- with a brush.  A lot of work, but it made such a difference.  After I finished painting, I added a back panel.  These were already white on one side, so I didn't need to paint them. 
Because of the way I was going to put the towers together, one side needed some decoration, so I stamped white card stock with ultramarine stazon, and then sponged places with azure stazon, and coated them with matte mod podge to help keep them clean.  I attached these panels before gluing the triple towers together.
Now, since it's obvious that with four sides, the unit needs to turn, so there is access to all four sides.  I had an 8-sided lazy susan that I decided to use.  There is a small indented cavity on the top, so I decided to utilize that to keep the unit from sliding off the base.

Since the towers act like walls, there is a large open area in the center.  I did the same stamping procedure to cover the top around the opening. 

I built a base that fit into the cavity, as well as up into the open area of the storage unit.
The unit sits nicely on top of the base.

I thought it made sense to use that open area on top for additional storage, so I made a partitioned box to hold my blending brushes, and some other items (which I haven't figured out yet).
Since this box was going to be sitting at the top, I needed to add some braces for it to rest on.
I added an additional flat square made from two layers of corrugated cardboard on top of the braces, and the box sits on top of that.

Here is the completed unit.  The base is not permanently attached to either the unit or the turn table, and the storage box on top is also not permanently attached.
And here's a photo with some ink pads in it.  I did not fill it with all my ink pads, because I thought it would be too heavy to move, and it needs to go into a different room -- as soon as I clear a space for it.

Thanks so much for taking time to visit today.  I hope you enjoyed the process of building my ink hotel.

Edited to add:  Please see my next post to view the unit with the gazebo dust cover on top



Saturday, November 17, 2018

butterflies continued...

Well, hello!  I can't believe I haven't posted in almost a whole year - since January.  Shame on me!

If you remember, back in 2016, I wrote a post about a butterfly quilt that I was making using hand applique.

Well, a few months ago, I finally had all the blocks finished and ready to put together.  Once a month I get together with some other ladies at a bobbin lace guild meeting in Fort Atkinson.  We meet in a good sized room at the local library, so I knew I'd have some floor space.  I took all my butterfly blocks and laid them out on the floor in rows.  Then I played with the positioning of the blocks, trying to separate like colors, so that I didn't have a glob of one color.  Of course, it helped to have input from the other lace members as well.  There really isn't a "perfect" layout, because it's a scrap quilt, so at some point, I just had to say "done" and go with it. 

As you can see, I must have been having so much fun making the blocks, that I have four extra.  Or when I was counting, the fabric stuck together, and I counted wrong.  Hmmm... the beginning of new project?

Once I was satisfied with the layout, I took a few pictures on my phone, and then pinned a block number on each block (A1, A2, etc.), so I would know what order to put them together (just in case they got dumped - gasp! and all out of order).  I removed all the pins after the blocks were sewn together. 

Here's a couple of pictures of it on a bed. 

The blocks are sewn together, but I haven't decided what to do for the antennae.  I may just do those as part of the quilting.  I may or may not add a narrow border around the outside.  And I have yet to choose some backing material and put the layers together. 

And here's a close up of a small portion. 

I want to hand quilt this, so I'm sure it will be years before it's finished.

The extra blocks may end up like these pillows.  The pillow casing overlaps in the back so the pillow can be slipped in.  The band just slips over the pillow.  You can change the bands for seasonal decorating, and it makes for easy laundering.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  

Monday, January 8, 2018

another doily

Hi friends,

Our Christmas celebration with my husband's family has been delayed until after the new year, so I had time to make another doily for my father-in-law's wife.  I chose a pattern that didn't look too difficult, and decided to use one of my older crochet hooks this time.  What a difference that made. 

Here is the pattern I used. 
I really love the two colors on this, but also know that takes longer when you need to switch colors and then weave in all those ends.  So, instead, I chose a variegated thread.  This one was started on a Saturday evening and finished by late afternoon on Monday.  I actually surprised myself that I was done so quickly. 

Here is the full doily.  I sure does look different in this thread.  This one is 15" across.  I simplified the final round. 
And here is a closeup bit. 
Thank you so much for stopping in to visit today. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas doily

Hi friends,

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas and were able to spend time with friends and family.

I'm scheduling this post for after Christmas, because I'm going to show you a gift I made for my sister.  There are times when I just have to make a gift rather than browse the store aisles for something, especially when I don't know what to give.  I decided to crochet a doily, since I know she likes them.  I started this on December 7th... yes, THIS month!  It took me two weeks, working on it for a bit every day.  I actually crochet pretty fast, or I would not have gotten it done.  It measures about 21 inches across.

I pulled out some of my old crochet magazines and looked for a pattern that didn't look too difficult... in other words, no complicated stitches.  This one is mostly chains, single and double crochet, with a few treble crochet stitches.  Double crochet is actually the fastest for me, but I was using a new crochet hook, and I was having some comfort issues with it.  It's the same brand I always use, but it's slightly shorter, the shank (part above the thumb grip) is shorter, and the handle is longer and slightly thinner.  It just feels different.  I was probably half finished with the doily before I started to get used to it.  Here's a photo comparing my new one on the bottom and an older one above.  The differences are subtle, but I was not pleased with the new one. 


I also changed the size of the thread and hook from what the pattern called for.  The pattern listed size 40 thread and I was using size 10, which is thicker.  The pattern said about 500 yards.  I forgot to take that into consideration, and was a bit concerned that I would not have enough thread to finish.  That would mean trying to match the thread with another ball.  I bought this crochet thread at Good Will, and there was only one ball.  I 'may' have more that matches, but there are so many shades of ecru from one manufacturer to another, that it isn't easy to get a match unless you get the same brand and dye lot.  There was no label on this one, so it would have been totally guesswork.

Here's a small portion as a closeup.  

By the time I got to the final round, it was looking very likely that I would not have enough thread.  I did a couple of the points to see how much I was using, and knew I wasn't going to make it.  So... I had several options -- leave it without the points, try to match the thread, change the color completely on the last round, or change the design.  I opted for changing the design of the final round.  Instead of using treble crochet, I changed to double, and I left off the picot in the center of each point, thus using less thread.  And I made it all the way around -- just barely.  This is how much thread was left.

You can be sure I breathed a sigh of relief.

Thank you so much for joining me today.  I wish you all a happy and healthy new year.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

pop up cube card

Hi friends.  You may have noticed that I haven't posted anything in ages.  I think there are days (maybe weeks, even) that I completely forget that I have a blog.  Must be senior brain cells at work. 

Anyway, today I made a couple of birthday cards for the neighbor boy and girl across the street.  They have birthdays on consecutive days. 

I made a girlie girl card for her. 
The stamp is one of the Prima mixed media dolls by Julie Nutting.  I did paper piecing for the dress, shoes and crown, and colored the hair with watercolor pencils and blender pen.  I added some streamers, which were cut with deckle scissors, and added some rhinestones. 

Because he is very involved in baseball, I had to make some sort of baseball card of course.  Some time ago, I made a fun pop up cube box following this video.  It's really a fun card, but the thing I don't like about it is that it isn't flat, so it doesn't mail easily.  I did a little browsing online and found some ads showing more of a wrap than a box, so I decided to figure out how to use that instead of the box.  I did see a video that made a cube inside of a card, but the dimensions were smaller and the girl doing the video used a tool which I don't have, so I would need to refigure all the dimensions, and I really didn't have time to, if I wanted to get the card done today.  Instead, I realized that the 3" cube would fit inside a 3-5/8"x6-1/2" envelope, so I made the wrap 3-1/2"x6-1/4" to fit that, and the cube fits inside flat.  This is the front outside of the wrap. 
This is the back side.  I made a slit and a tab to fit in it, which holds the card closed.  My camera died last week, so I've been using my phone to photograph my cards.  I've no idea why this came out vertical. 
The paper is kraft, so I used a sponge dauber and white pigment ink to press and twist a bit to make the baseballs white.  I heat set them to make sure the ink was dry.  When you pull the tab out, the cube inside literally flies out - really fun.  I think it actually works better than in the box, because if you don't pull the box out quickly, you really don't get the pop.

Here is the card open.  

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

box with a secret drawer tutorial

Hi friends.  I have another tutorial for you.  I thought it would be fun to make a little box with a pull out drawer inside.  I started with a white one, and then added some pretty paper and a flower on the outside of the box.  I also made one from some heavy designer paper with a cream colored drawer inside.  The only tools you need are a ScorPal or other scoring tool, scissors, a 1/2" corner rounder & a 1/2" circle punch.


For the drawer, you need a 6-1/8"x7-7/8" piece of card stock.  Score each side at 7/8" and 1-3/4".  Marked in green on the diagram below.

On the short sides, cut on all 4 scores to the 2nd cross score.  On the long sides, cut on the outer scores to the 2nd cut; cut on the inner scores to the 1st cut.  This will remove the 3 corner squares, creating tabs.  Cuts are marked in black.  The highlighted areas are being cut away. 

The sides of the drawers will be double for added durability.  Cut the tabs and the outer sections at a slight angle.  It should look like this.

Valley fold all scores.  Bring the small tabs to the inside and glue them to the adjacent panels on the ends of the drawer.  Then glue all the remaining panels to the inside of the drawer.  The tabs will be hidden between the layers.  You can add pretty paper to the sides and inside bottom of the drawer, if desired. 

For the box, you need an 8-1/2"x7-1/2" piece of card stock.  On the long side, score at 1", 3-3/4", 4-3/4", and 7-1/2".

On the short side, score at 1", 5-1/2", and 6-1/2".

Referring to the diagram below, cut on the score lines as shown, creating tabs and removing highlighted areas.

Cut the small square tabs at a slight angle.  Valley fold all scores.  Use a 1/2" corner rounder to round the corners on the piece extending at the bottom of the diagram.  (I forgot to do that before taking a picture.) 

Fold the left edge in at the 1st score, add adhesive to that folded panel, bring the right side of box over to the edge and flatten to form a tube.  If you are decorating the outside of the box, it's better to do so before you glue the end closed.  However, it is possible to decorate after the box is all put together.  That's what I did. 

Glue the tabs to the outside of the end panel, and then glue the 2nd end panel over the tabs, hiding them between the panels.

On the open end where the flap tucks in, punch a half circle notch in the top panel.  This will make it easier to open the box and pull out the drawer.

I added a flower and leaves to the top of the box.

And here it is with the drawer tucked inside.

On the second one, I added the same paper to the inside and outside of the drawer.

Here they are closed.  When you open the box, finding a drawer inside is a fun surprise.  The dimensions of the box are 4-1/2"x2-3/4"x1".  The drawer is about 1/8" smaller in each direction. 

I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial and make lots of boxes with secret drawers inside.

Thank you so much for taking time to visit today.