Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tutorial : Vegetable Garden Markers from Old Spoons

Today I am going to show you how to make markers for your vegetable garden, using old spoons.

You Will Need:
Some old silver spoons
A hammer (or rubber mallet)
A black permanent market
A set of alphabet metal stamps
A piece of steel wool
A piece of steel, or something hard to hammer the spoons flat on

As these markers are for the garden, it doesn't matter what condition the silverware is in. I used some pretty crusty ones I picked up at a garage sale. I got 30 spoons for $3!

First you will need to flatten the spoons. I did this by placing my spoon on top of a piece of steel and then whacking it with a hammer:

Hammering it in this way will leave marks (like in the picture below), so if you don't want the marks you are best to use a rubber mallet instead and wrap your spoon in a piece of cloth (which is how I flattened the spoons for the coat rack)

You will need to turn your spoon over periodically to flatten it out successfully. I sometimes need to turn the spoon over a good 8 or 9 times, so don't give up too early! Eventually it will be flat, like this:

Once your spoon is flat, grab a black permanent marker and place large dots where you want your letters to be. This helps the letters to stand out once stamped in. As I am making a marker for 'lettuce', I have placed 7 dots on the spoon.

Next, place the spoon on top of the piece of steel. I clamp it all to the bench so that it doesn't move around too much during the next step.

Take your metal stamps and your hammer and punch the word into the top of the spoon.

Next, get a piece of steel wool and buff away at the black marker until it disappears.

Now make as many markers as you need and then pop them in your garden!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Sale

Just a quick note to let you all know that until December the 25th 2010 you can get 20% off all items in the Etsy Store, by entering the coupon code 'CHRISTMAS' at the checkout!


Friday, November 26, 2010

The New Vegetable Garden

I am taking it easy now that the redwork quilt has been pieced together. It's on it's way to Murray Bridge in South Australia to be quilted by Matty's very talented Aunt. I can't wait to see it when it's done.

Anyway, I thought today would be a perfect day to show you how my veggie garden is coming along this time round.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember my failed attempt at growing veggies earlier this year. I'm happy to say that this lot is going much better, which is funny since I went to a lot less effort and simply planted the seeds directly into the raised beds:

As you can see the snow peas are growing out of control:

And I think some of the lettuce is almost big enough to harvest:

I can even see some little tiny onions:

But unfortunately it looks as though my broccoletti has gone to flower:

I'm not sure how that happened. I'm out there every day and it didn't look like it was ready to harvest, then BAM... flowers!

I also have some zucchini, tomatoes and capsicum in the beds, but they don't look like they're really taking off.

So long as I get to eat one thing out of my garden this year, I'll be a happy chappy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coat Rack

Do you ever have a brilliant crafting idea only to find when it comes to the execution, it doesn't turn out as awesome as you thought it might have?

That's exactly what happened with my idea for a coat rack.

The original plan was to include my paper ephemera collection on the backing board and use a set of spoons I found while 'thrifting' as the hooks.

Turns out that the ephemera really looked quite awful. So awful in fact, that I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture for you! The spoons, however, were an awesome idea!

Anyway, as per usual, I focused on other projects constantly thinking about the coat rack and trying to find something that would be more suitable on the backing board. I couldn't seem to stop thinking about using stuff from my travels, so when Matty mentioned that I could use my coin collection, I thought it was a swell idea!

First I made the backing board for the coat rack from a piece of pine that I spray painted black:

I then washed and dried my coin collection before stacking the coins in order from smallest to largest, to make it easier to locate the right sized coin:

Meanwhile we flattened out the spoons by putting them on a piece of steel and banging them with a rubber mallet. We then drilled holes in them to attach them to the board at even intervals:

Once the spoons were attached, I had fun arranging my coins onto the backing board (this actually took a lot longer than I expected it would):

I then carefully glued them in place:

To fix it to the wall, Matty removed the spoons on each end and bolted the board directly into the wall studs. Once the spoon handles were bent, the coat rack was complete!

There are so many interesting coins on there, from countries all around the world!

Just perfect for a mummy-sized coat, a daddy-sized coat and a Little Snicker-sized coat:

Guess I better find another project for the ephemera!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The last stitch

Well it's official... the redwork on the Christmas quilt is finished!

I was so excited I took a picture of the final stitch:

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the stitching part being over.... Elated, relieved, forlorn? Possibly a combination of all of those.

I'm actually wondering what I'm going to do of an evening now that it's all over, but I'm sure I'll find something.

The next task is piecing it all together and then having it quilted by machine. I'm hoping it's going to look as good when it's done as I think it's going to!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Cards

Last year a most treasured friend of mine gave me this book titled '50 Christmas Things to Make and Do':

Every time I flick through it, I am always drawn to this one particular page featuring printed snowmen (I'm really not sure why!):

Since it's time to start making Christmas Cards, I decided that I would try the technique out:

I'm pretty pleased with how the first one turned out. In fact, I think I like it much better than the version in the book!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vintage Truck Pincushion

This morning I turned this vintage truck:

Into this super cool pincushion:

Want one of your own? Find the instructions on the Just Something I Made blog

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

100 things about me!

Just for a bit of fun, I thought I'd put together a list of 100 things about me.

1. My favourite colour is red
2. I would eat chocolate every day if I wasn't worried about what it would do to my weight
3. I can sing well enough to carry a tune
4. I am in the process of writing a children's storybook
5. I can't hold a grudge against people for long
6. I was considered 'obese' in my teenage years
7. I have travelled to 17 different countries
8. I can play the guitar, not well, but good enough
9. I always lie about who my first kiss was with
10. I find it difficult to make and maintain friendships
11. If I had my time over I'd be a baker, specialising in slices, cakes and biscuits
12. I've only had 4 boyfriends in my lifetime
13. Technically I am an only child, but I have 2 brothers and 6 sisters
14. I performed in a local musical production of The Producers (that's me in the middle)

15. I was hospitalised with appendicitis in 2008 but it turned out it was a tumour the size of a grapefruit in my belly
16. I am constantly thinking. My mind never stops
17. I believe that moths are butterflies who have had their souls sucked out by the devil (hence why they have no colour)
18. I will not eat sausages, even though I love the smell of them cooking!
19. My favourite all time movie is The Labyrinth
20. I had a childhood crush on David Bowie as a result of The Labyrinth
21. I think that liars are worse than thieves
22. My favourite band is Tool, or Pearl Jam... I can never decide.
23. I have only just realised that it doesn't matter what you look like in photos. Your kids aren't going to care about whether your hair or make up were done, just that there are photos of you!

24. I have never had a pet that I haven't accidentally killed or lost
My favourite milkshake flavour is chocolate
26. I have a list of over 100 craft projects that I want to do and that list keeps getting longer
27. I still have contact with numerous friends that I have known since I was 11 years old
28. Rolf Harris's song, Two Little Boys, will make me tear up every time
29. I once took acting classes because I was convinced that one day I could be on Home and Away.
30. I spent a year living in the UK
31. I like unexpected acts of kindness
32. I believe in God
33. The scariest movie I have ever seen is Clown House (I was 9 at the time though)
34. I really like watching car racing
35. I am pretty good at Dance Dance Revolution
36. I am a certified Park Ranger
37. My nickname at primary school was 'fly swat'
38. I only take calculated risks
39. I like to take photographs, but I am yet to work out how to use my camera properly
40. My first car was a Nissan Bluebird TRX
41. I am constantly working on becoming a better person
42. I drink too much pepsi max and coffee
43. I am working towards my family being semi self-sufficient

44. I enjoy problem solving
45. I once hang glided off The Remarkables while holidaying in New Zealand
46. I am not a strong swimmer
47. I wish I had a breakfast machine like Pee Wee Herman in the movie 'Pee Wee's Big adventure'
48. I have only started caring more about the environment in the last 2 years
49. I am a project manager in my professional life
50. I once killed a yukka plant which was given to me as a housewarming gift, apparently because it couldn't be killed!
I like motherhood more than I expected I would

52. I moved out of home for the first time when I was 16 years old
53. I have always been able to save money
54. I have a Bachelor of Computing degree, which has actually come in handy
55. I wish I had a pet lamb
56. I have no idea what I'd name our next child if it were a boy
57. I get annoyed when people let others down
58. I view sleeping as a recreational hobby
59. My hair is naturally grey *sigh*
60. I am always threatening to run away to join the circus
61. I am inspired by other crafters in the blog world
62. I used to participate in public speaking competitions
63. I tell my husband I love him at least twice a day
64. I always carry my sense of adventure in my pocket

65. I would like to learn how to screenprint
66. I am always cold
67. I like to walk long distances
68. I am a terrible procrastinator
69. I have a strange sense of humour which is often lost on people
70. I once wrote a classical guitar piece
71. I am currently working on a problem I have with being grumpy a lot of the time
72. I always sleep with socks on and my ears covered, but never with socks on my ears!
73. I think I would be a good cheese-maker
74. I never go to bed angry
75. I refuse to spend any longer than 15 minutes cooking a meal
76. I tend to take on too much. Waaay too much!
77. I once wanted to become a NASCAR driver, because I thought I'd be a better driver than Cole Trickle (in the movie Days of Thunder)
78. The only concert I have ever been to was Indecent Obsession when they came to Ballarat. I went with my mum - lol!
79. I don't like rollercoasters
80. I really enjoyed reading the Twilight Series
81. I like to make fresh pasta but don't do it often
82. I am a morning person
83. I really love hugs so long as they are good ones!
Christmas is my favourite holiday
85. I like freshly cut flowers but I don't like the price of them
86. I have only recently started buying things for myself because I like them, not because I need them

87. I have a Singer sewing machine that I hate!
88. I would really like to have a daughter
89. I like my mother and father in law and enjoy spending time with them
90. I don't recycle as much as I could
My favourite season is spring
92. My favourite book is "Oh, the Places you'll go" by Dr. Seuss
93. I have never bought a tattslotto ticket and probably never will
94. I have terrible skin
95. I like traditions
96. I buy organic fruit, vegetables and meat because the taste is better

97. I would like to live on acreage
98. My favourite animal is an elephant
99. I would put satay sauce on everything if it wasn't so bad for you!
100. There is nothing more important to me than my family and friends

Did anything there surprise you?

Wishes in My Pocket

Late last week a parcel of Pocket Wishes arrived in the mail from the States. Pocket Wishes are small wooden disks that are passed from person-to-person as a way to say 'Thank You'. You can read more about them here.

The first (and only) one I've given away was to my sister Dayle. I really wanted to give her one as she has continually kept me inspired to continue with my blog.

I often contemplate shutting the whole thing down, but the fact that Dayle bothers to read it and will then discuss my current projects with me, makes me think that the whole blogging process is at least a little worthwhile.

So thanks Dayle! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Distressed Chair - With a Quote!

About 6 years ago a 'friend' left a pair of wooden kitchen chairs at our house after one of our parties. I figured that since I'd reminded her about the chairs a good 10 times (and she didn't come and get them), they were mine for the keeping.

So I took one of the chairs (the one on the right) and sanded it back before I painted it with a primer:

Then I painted it a brilliant shade of blue:

I was about to start the 'distressing' process, when I decided I wanted to stamp a quote into the top rung on the back of the chair. I spray painted that rung black, so that the letters would show up once they were stamped and the black paint had been sanded off:

The quote I chose was from Albert Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world".

To stamp the quote into the wood, I used metal stamps from the automotive shop. They are typically used to stamp VIN numbers on engines, but they worked a treat on the wood. If I was going to do this again, I wouldn't have bothered with spray painting the rung on the chair. I would have simply stamped the letters and then coloured them in with a Sharpie once done.

Once the distressing process on the chair was finished (I used a mouse sander to cause the distress), I gave it a coat of a non-toxic clear coat and popped it in Little Snicker's room:

This is about the only picture I have where you can't see Matty's hands ready to spring into action if Little Snicker even looked close to falling!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Upcycled Letterbox

I have been complaining about our ugly letterbox since we moved into the house 4 years ago:

So when Matty's dad advised me that he'd 'sourced' another letterbox for me, I should have been delighted. I probably would have been too, if it wasn't just as ugly!

Now the photo above doesn't really show you just how ugly and HUGE this letterbox is, but I actually considered converting it into a three bedroom condo rather than using it as a letterbox - THAT'S how big it is. But in the interest of reducing landfill and saving us money in the process, I decided to work with it.

So I spray painted it red using automotive touch-up paint:

Then I fixed some aluminium stripping (that I painted black) to the front to cover up those nasty pre-existing screw holes and screwed the number '8' to the front. Here is Matty putting the letterbox up:

It's been up for 3 days now and we have received absolutely NO mail! *sigh*

Although I guess I should be glad. At least that means there have been no bills!

Handmade Gifts Ideas for Christmas

If you're looking for ideas for handmade gifts for Christmas, pop over to Craft Stew and take a look around.

They have links to some great projects and have even included a link to the Polymer Clay Buttons Tutorial I wrote a while back.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cigar Box Storage

If you haven't ever visited Cathe Holden's blog in your internet travels, I suggest you pop over there and take a look around....stat! This woman has more talent in her little finger than I could ever hope to have in a lifetime.

I think I first came across Cathe's blog when I was searching for ideas for my craft space (which I am still getting nowhere with by the way). Check out Cathe's space and you will certainly understand why I became inspired.

One of the things that caught my eye in her craft room, was the use of cigar boxes to store her supplies. I find I often mix my craft supplies together as I don't have enough of some things to justify it's own storage box. My punches and stamps are just one example of this. They are mixed in with the glitter and the quilling tools.

So, I got myself some cigar boxes at the local market:

Added a bookplate to the front to hold the label:

And this is what I ended up with - clearly labeled supplies:

in a box of just the perfect size:

I think I might have to make some more of these for sure!