LastMinuteLucie and the search for time

Posts tagged ‘upcycle’

Laptop Luxury

I am supposed to be sorting paperwork, but as I was up as early as usual, I have spent 2 hours finally making the laptop case that’s been in my head since Christmas.

I had been carrying my little laptop round in a padded envelope for a while and I thought to myself,  ‘why not make a case from it?’

Of course, lovely as padded envelopes are, I am a fancy fabric girl and ( a shock to you I know) I had kept a dress of my daughter’s, (already upcycled from Lovely Husband’s Great Aunt’s skirt) that she had grown out of. The fabric was too gorgeous to give up so I decided to use it for this project.

I discovered some co-ordinating lining fabric in my stash and basically made a pillow case to slot the opened up envelopes into. Then I folded and sewed the edges together and turned it right side out to make a pretty padded envelope before topstitching some of the edges to hold them in place. A piece of elastic I’d saved from the waistband of a garment too worn to give away was perfect for holding the flap closed and to finish off I raided my braid box.

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The bonus is that my little laptop can no longer lurk in dark places, laughing at me while I search for it – this bright wrapping will make it easy to find!!

 

 

No new stationery allowed

I have a house full of notebooks.

Ok that is a bit of an overstatement, but I certainly possess a lot of notebooks because I can’t resist buying them whether I need one right now or not PLUS I can’t let a free one pass me by.

Is there a word for stationery fetish? I am certainly suffering from it…

In a bid to save some money and use up my stock I had a good look through and decided that part of the reason I am not choosing to use some of them immediately is because they are not the most beautiful  notebooks in the pile. I decided to give them a makeover!

I was using duct tape recently for another craft project and thought to myself, ‘ I know I could use a bit for this!’

Here are the results:

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this one was hardback – I simply added a band of orange, some Sharpie patterns and orange paper ends inside.

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This one I strengthened the cover of as it was just a paper front. On  top of the weighting I used duct tape to go round the whole book – even over the spiral binding which I had covered with an old advertising leaflet. It still opens and shuts well and looks much more appealing!

I almost can’t wait for my current notebook to be finished 🙂

Thought for the year

I’ve been having a bit of a tidy – as you do when there is a million other things you MUST get done before the beginning of term – and I came across this piece (instructions I think came for Guiding Magazine) that I made as an example for the Guides.

Each of the girls made one, thinking about the part of our Promise that is about being true to yourself. There were various quotes available to add or they could write their own.

With the New Year in mind and the committment and creative thinking that will be required of me in 2015, this seemed even more appropriate.

heart

nail art, but not as we know it

I was tidying my bedroom today and I came across an old handbag mirror. It still opened and shut but the silver outside was horribly tarnished, so I got my nail varnish out and prettied it up.

mirror mirror2

I will use some proper varnish to try and protect it, but however long it lasts, it looks so much more attractive now!

a silk purse out of two sows ears

I have continued to have a lovely time going through my make do and mend box and now own several more wearable pairs of trousers and shorts after some mending and cutting – it’s amazing how easily you forget what you own when the items are languishing out of sight.

In amongst the waiting items were two of Lovely Husband’s old grey t-shirts. He had a habit of buying lots of the same item in the past which turned out to be great for me when he put them out for the second hand bag.

With Oldest Daughter on her summer holiday earlier than Youngest Daughter I decided to find her something creative to do, so I gave her a heart shaped stamp, some fabric paint and the t-shirts (with cardboard inside) and told her to stamp away.

When the pattern was dry and ironed to fix, I used the t-shirts as fabric to make her a new summer dress. I literally laid her favourite dress onto the t-shirt; first the top half (adding a few inches as she is ever-growing)

dress4

and then the skirt part onto the second t-shirt. I had to wiggle it about here to make it fit, so the swish is slightly less, but it still works.

I then simply sewed the pieces together and hemmed the skirt, neck and armholes.

dress dress2

As you can see it looks pretty and fits well. I think oldest daughter is pleased.

 

busy busy busy

I cleared out my craft corner (again) recently, trying to make space for the paperwork I know will be part of my new course.

This meant I unearthed my sewing machine from its corner and yesterday I set to on my make do and mend box.

In one day I managed to:

shorten/adjust two dresses

fix and line my favourite handbag

adjust a t-shirt for a better fit

repair my horribly torn pyjama trousers

hem smallest daughters school trousers for next year

In addition I rediscovered a much loved linen jacket. It had torn and worn cuffs so I hand pleated 5 metres of cotton ribbon, cut off and reapplied the cuffs and then applied the ribbon to the bottom hem and cuff ends. Here is the gallery of work:

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Am very happy.

Painting again-at last!

Entirely appropriately, on my 100th blog post, I have been working on something for one of the celebrations of the Brownie Centenary in our area.

I was asked to paint a Brownie for Starquest on Saturday, so that our District could run a ‘Pin the badge on the Brownie’ game during the day.

I love to paint, when I have the time, and having been reminded that I’d said yes to this request, I threw myself into it – and here is the result:

brownie brownie face

I am particluarly pleased with her face:

I tried to make her as generic as possible while still going for the 1970’s girl vibe. I think I have been successful.

Anyone need any illustrations done? I’m on a roll and I’m probably not expensive enough 🙂

 

not exactly Speedy Gonzales

For the last few weeks I have been using my network to collect plastic milk bottle lids for Brownies.

‘Why?’ I hear you cry. Well, I’ll tell you.

We have been using the clauses of the Science Investigator badge this term for some of our activities and one of the clauses is about making a vehicle – so essentially I was collecting wheels.

My daughter’s book ‘SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS’ by Robert Winston gave us the instructions for a racing type car powered by rubber band and that’s what we did last week.

Because we only have an hour for the actual activity I spent time drawing and roughly cutting out the car in cardboard (35 in total).  I also wrote and drew an instruction sheet for each six. This meant the Brownies had only the final trim and the shaded areas to cut out and then they could get on with adding the wheels and rubber band and having a trial run, plus we could refer them back to the instructions instead of having to explain too many times over.

car

I warned them at the beginning that we weren’t looking at 0-60 in 3 seconds and this was proved. However, shiny floors, slippy wheels, dodgy cutting out, trapped rubber bands notwithstanding they seemed to enjoy it. 🙂

 

Summer Skort – an upcycling challenge

It’s Half Term! Huzzah!

In reality this just means I am only working two days instead of four and have had to organise childcare, however, it does involve a Bank Holiday, so all is good.

I am a winter skirt wearer – when tights can be worn without comment. The reason for this is comfort, but I love the idea of summer dresses and skirts.

Halfway through yesterday I decided I had time to try and make something that has been rolling round the creative space in my brain for a while – a skirt with shorts underneath; so I took that pair of trousers with inside leg wear (aka a hole) and a top that I no longer love as much (but still love the material) and made it.

Here’s what I did:

First, I cut the legs off the trousers at the point where they had worn. Fortunately for me this was at a short shorts, rather than a hotpants point  🙂

shorts shorts3 shorts4

Then I cut each of the detached legs open at the inside seam and opened it out and cut the top at the underarm point – I ironed them after this photo…

shorts5

The next step was to create a piece of material long enough to give me the opportunity to try a pleated skirt, so I cut the top into equal pieces and sewed the pieces together alternately, then trimmed the length.

shorts6

Joining the pieces gave me a circle of fabric to pin to my shorts. This was the most time consuming part. I pinned and unpinned several times using my trusty dressmaking model. The hardest part was deciding how high to pin the skirt so I got a flattering length. I basted the pleats and, after a few try-ons, I pinned and sewed the skirt to the shorts using a zigzag to try and flatten the top edge a bit – I have enough bulk of my own…

shorts8shorts9

I am pleased with the result. It looks the way I imagined it and it is comfortable to wear. I won’t worry about the summer breeze and flashing my knickers and I have the comfort of a pair of shorts. I won’t be wearing it to any events, but it will be great for ordinary days out and for popping to the beach etc. Roll on proper summer.

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lollystick chore pot

Over on’ Taking The Path I Took Yesterday’ I have been ruminating about housework and divvying up chores – http://takingthepathitookyesterday.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/making-chores-less-of-a-chore/

I decided to use lollysticks in a jar – each of us take two lollysticks after dinner and do the chore written on it. It’s been running three days and our house is already looking as if someone takes care of it. It also seems to be making people think twice before they leave stuff around – after all they might have to clear someone elses stuff up later!

If you want to have a go, this is what you will need:

jar2

Choose the chores you want done after dinner and write them on the lollysticks. I chose things like ‘pack the dishwasher’ and ‘sweep the floor’ as well as other chores on the ground floor like ‘swish and swipe the downstairs loo.

jar3

Using the rotary trimmer (because I couldn’t find any scissors…) I cut a piece of sticky backed plastic and applied it to my clean jar.

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Eh voila! The chore pot is so far causing great hilarity after dinner, seeing who gets the ‘easy’ and the ‘rubbish’ chores, but it’s making a difference.

jar6

 

 

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