Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Carnival Time

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!! Here in Dallas it's just another Tuesday, but my spirit longs for the days when I walked out of my door on Tchoupitoulas Street at 8am on Carnival Day and being greeted with all of humanity dressed up and partying outside my front door. The truck parades lined up there, and my mother and sister lived within two blocks of us,this was back in the eighties. My mother always had an open house with her home made hot tamales and gumbo, it was always very mellow except every year one person would make an ass of themselves. Not always the same person, but you could count on some one to make the day. I won't say if that was ever me!

Here's my Mardi Gras earrings and necklace, made from the dollar store necklace beads and paper clips.

Throw me something, mister!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Deconstructed Earrings

Today I'm showing you how I made use of a portion of the dollar store earrings from the Feb. 10 post about what I spend actual cash for. I used the outside silver hollow hearts from said earrings, combined with another red pair I was getting tired of wearing. Those red earrings were recycled from a thrift store, I think, they used to have a horrible pattern on them until I painted them red. I added some chain links from an old broken bracelet, and wore them for probably at least a year. Now, ta da, new earrings! I painted the silver heart with clear nail polish since it was such a cheap, I mean inexpensive, ornament in the first place.

Have a swell day, and remember Mardi Gras is Tuesday! Throw me something, mister!!!

Oven Mitts and Pot Holders

There was a lot of excitement in my kitchen the other night. I accidentally left a Pyrex pan on high , and when I saw it I tossed it onto the counter where a damp dishtowel was. The pan EXPLODED. Some pieces flew almost four feet and blew a hanging mesh basket off it's hook. Good thing only beer huggies were in there, or I might have been injured by potato shrapnel.

Of course, the contents of the pots on the stove had to be thrown out so as not to poison my roommate with ground glass. Luckily, I had chicken stock in the freezer so I did eventually finish the corn bread dressing I was making. Because I don't throw anything away, I had stock from wing tips and necks, very handy freezer item.

So in honor of the detonating Pyrex pan, here's my kitchen related post. All my kitchen gear came from Landa's largess when I moved into my apartment in 2005. My oven mitts and pot holders finally wore out, so I reupholstered them. Then I had an idea to make a t-shirt and jeans pot holder/mitt set. So there.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why can't I throw anything away? Do I need a 12 step group?

What we have here is a portion of quilting hoop that stretched it's last fabric sandwich. It was a cheap one, and it came apart in layers. I soaked some in the sink and formed this heart shape when wet. Don't know where it's going from here, but you'll be the first to see what comes of it

Another ring

Here's a doorstop spring I found at the bus stop. A piece cut from it, polished up, with some wooden beads from the dollar store, and voila, a ring.

Here's what became of the plastic beads from the aforementioned necklace. I made the rings by threading the beads on large sized plastic coated paper clips, then curling and twisting the clips. I tried some with smaller paper clips, and they did accept smaller beads, but the wire insides are flimsy, and I threw away a lot of my first tries. Too, I needed the larger clips to fit my sausage shaped fingers.
I made about 6 rings so far with lots of beads left, and that's from a dollar store necklace and paper clips, under $3. So another purchase well worth it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What I do spend a few dollars on

I still can't figure out how to put which pic where, so I'll start off topic. This is a valentine I made for my friend JJ, out of scraps most of which were 4 to 5 years old. I never throw anything away, bless my heart.

Sometimes I'll buy junk I want just for the fun of it, if it's under a dollar. Below, my Transformer watch for 75 cents, and the fake doorbell shocker for 99 cents. I laughed at the doorbell shocker for one entire day, and still giggle every time I spot it, so it was definitely a worthy purchase.

I mostly use what's on hand and given to me, but when I have a little extra cash, I head to the dollar store on the corner and see what I can find. Today I bought three bottle of nail polish, two packages of hair beads, a pair of earrings, and a bead necklace and earrings. That last will be separated for use in earrings, the pony beads I plan to make some kind of My Aim is True Elvis Costello thing (because the album background is tiny black and white squares, I always refer to this pattern as EC checkerboard), and I use the nail polish to paint frames, charms and whatnot. The big black heart earrings I wanted to actually wear, but they are the kind that make a lot of racket, so I can't. Those jangly earrings drive me mad. So they will be cannibalized for parts too.

Next time, what became of the plastic bead necklace.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Here's My Deal

I've been making something out of nothing as long as I can remember, and that's a good thing; since 1999 I have been on a miniscule fixed income and art supplies are a long way down the list after important things like DSL and food. I am ever so lucky to have a dear friend who is downsizing, and lately she brings me loads of goodies to transform. Also havings so little ready cash has forced me into things like making my own shoe lifts--one leg is longer than the other--because the shoe shop charged $60 for one pair. And although I am not a shoe nut, I did want a few choices in footwear. So I learned how to do it myself with things like Shoe Goo, the bottoms of flip flops, epoxy, and in a pinch, hot glue.

Another example of making something out of nothing happened while I was a live-in Mother'a Helperfor a 6 children family. One of the younger boys, Ethan, wanted to made a dream catcher. I cut the center out of a margarine lid, poked holes around it, and strung embroidery thread every which way across it. Then we raided his sisters bead collection for decorations, and went to town. Ethan was very happy and always had sweet dreams.

So that's how I roll, making stuff wise.

Some of the 50 birthday cards

Okay, my first something out of nothing to show is a portion of the 50 birthday cards I made for my ex's fiftieth birthday. I used mainly manilla folders, drawing paper and markers from the dollar store. Of course, I save everything, and I used up some cardboard and I did splurge on some colored card stock from a regular store, and I was given a gift of Avery half-fold cards and glossy photo paper on my birthday. It was a fun project, and I felt sad when it was done....