Runaway Bunny doubles as an iPad case.

Apologies in advance, I wished I had taken more photos and was able to provide more step by step instructions. I wasn’t completely happy with the end results and am actively looking for another book to do this again, and I will take additional and more detailed photos.

I ran across this board book – the hard paged books designed for children – at one of my favorite local thrift store. Children’s books are priced three for a dollar, so this book cost me a whopping thirty-four cents. It has large colorful illustrations and is large enough and thick enough to accommodate an iPad. I have the first generation iPad, so am not absolutely sure, but fairly certain this will work for the iPad 2 as well.

First, I flipped a couple of pages in and placed the iPad face down on the page and drew an outline around it. I then cut the top page. This would serve as the top page. If I do this again, I would wait and do this as one of the last steps to make sure that it was a nice clean cut edges.

I then glued all the pages together, leaving the last page and back cover loose. You may want to choose a page with an illustration that especially appeals to you, because it will be what is displayed when the iPad is not in the book.

I then clamped the pages together and headed for the garage. First, using a 1/4 inch bit, I drilled holes in the four corners of the outline to make nice rounded corners. I drilled one more off center on the upper side to use as a finger hole to lift the iPad out of the book. Then, using a jig saw, I cut along the marked lines. I made the mistake of keeping on the inside of the line so that when I was done, the result was slightly too small for the iPad to fit and I had to try to enlarge it using the saw (not a good idea) and then resorted to much sanding.

Once I had the cutout large enough and had sanded all the edges smooth, I then glued the final page and back cover together. Each time I glued pages, using E-6000 glue (white glue did not work on the very slick pages), I would clamp the whole thing together and brace them between pieces of plywood and let them sit over night.

One of the mistakes I made was that although I had included a finger hole to life the iPad out of the book, I didn’t account for the power switch on the iPad. I had to try and retrofit an additional divot to accommodate it and it didn’t turn out that well.

Once it had dried over night, I did a little bit of additional sanding on the outside edges and dropped the iPad into it. Fit like a glove and ironically, the book weighs about what the original book did before cutting away most of its pages. So it adds an element of security as well.

Well, that about does it for this post. Like I said, if I do manage to find another book like this suitable for use, I will include many more photos and more detailed steps. Feel free to contact me with any questions about how I did this.

I hope this gives you ideas and you’re enjoying the blog.

Happy Crafting!

Large Wall Scrabble Tiles

If you know me, if you know anything about me, you know that I have a deep love for words and anything to do with words. That includes games about words. Mostly Scrabble. So when I saw an idea for large Scrabble tiles to display on the wall, I knew I had to put the idea on my short list.

The first thing was to define the specific words that I wanted to display. My and the Kid sat down and came up with a few words that reflect our interests and who we are. There were a couple of inside jokes that we wanted to use, but they were phrases rather than words and I wanted to stick to the rules of the game.

After defining the words, I made a list of the letters and the number of times that they appeared. Then I bought several 1×6 lengths of pine, but nicer pieces that didn’t have too many knots and had a pretty clear grain. Then I had them cut into squares, based on the width (since wood isn’t actually the measurements listed, for example when it says 1×6, it is really more like 1/2 x 5 1/2. So I cut the boards into squares and ended up with enough tiles plus 2. I sanded the cut edges and wiped all the sawdust off the pieces.

To mimic the Scrabble letters, I used the font Franklin Gothic Book. Next, I printed out each letter that I would need on a sheet of paper. It took a little to get them to the right size, basically I just ‘eye-balled’ it until I had the size that I was happy with.

Over the course of many episodes of ‘The X-Files’, I sat and using a stylus, I traced the letters onto the block. Using Elmer’s Painters pens, I outlined each letter using a fine point. Then using a medium point pen, I will fill each letter in.

I then added the Scrabble value on the lower right hand corner, just using a photo of the real Scrabble tiles. I just freehanded the numbers onto the tile. Usually, each letter would require at least two coats of paint. I would rotate the grain from tile to tile to mimic the actual tiles found in the game. Once they are displayed on the wall, the randomness of the grain direction will appear much like it does when you’re playing the game.

In total, I created 32 tiles. I do plan to mount them on the wall using either magnets or velcro. This way it will allow me to move the tiles around although I don’t have the proper number of tiles included in the actual game. I had thought about painting a Scrabble board on the wall in my home theatre, but have since changed my mind. I thought about painting the board with magnetic paint and then could mount the tiles with magnets.

However, I think I am going to wait until summer and build a board in the backyard. I may go with slightly smaller tiles, using 1×4’s so that the tiles are 3 1/2 x 3 1/2. I think it would make for some great summer backyard parties and cookouts.

Here is a photo of the finished tiles. I think they came out pretty good. I am not sure if I am going to finish them with clear sealant or not. The wood did soak in some of the paint and I want to see if the paint fades easily. If it doesn’t look like it will require another coat of paint, then I may seal the tiles to maintain them for the long term.

This has given me some ideas for future projects. With one of the two leftover tiles, I stenciled a more elaborate letter. I had a little more paint bleeding, so I may need to seal or paint the tiles before stenciling. I thought about using this format for names or addresses. It is a relatively inexpensive project and it could really lend itself to a lot of opportunities. Even the use of multiple colors. All while being able to spend time with your family or watch television.

I would love to see variations on this from other artists or crafters. This definitely will be an oft repeated craft for me. I hope you check back to see more.

Happy crafting y’all!

 

 

 

For my Dad.

My Dad stumbled onto one of his collections completely by accident. Maybe we all do, someone starts it by giving you something and all of a sudden, people think you need more of them. This is what happened with my Dad’s model car collection. My Dad had always loved cars, even sold used cars for a while, but always talked about his first car and how much he loved it. So when this person (I don’t remember who) happened to see this particular car in model sized, he knew my Dad would love it. Cut to 30 years later and my Dad has a whole wall devoted to these models. So when he passed away, he willed these cars to his youngest grandson, my son – the Kid.

These weren’t ‘playing with’ cars, but show cars. So, they had to have a place of honor and be showcased yet not take over my house (or clash with my decorating style). So what better place than in the sports television room. Yes, I had to have a place where the men in my family could go and be comfy and watch sports and be loud and I could close the door and not be bothered!

So, we built shelves just deep enough to fit the cars and then horizontal shelves and varied them to be visually pleasing. Rounded all the corners and assembled them, and painted them the same white as all the trim in my house. Before putting them up, though, we wallpapered the wall behind it with maps from old atlas maps, to tie into the theme and to celebrate that my Dad was a long haul truck driver for over 20 years.

Then we went about putting the cars on the shelves. There are a few things related to cars, like a gas pump or two and a camper and obviously a truck or two. Dead center is a photo of my Dad in front of his first and favorite car.

I kind of goofed with the photos, because I didn’t take the top or bottom of the shelves, it actually goes all the way to the ceiling but there is a gap at the bottom and has ‘bun’ feet to make it look more like a piece of furniture. It really looks great. And of course, the bottom photo is a little out of focus. I might retake these at a later time and update the post.

So, February marks the second anniversary of my Dad’s passing. I miss him everyday. I hope he is up in heaven hanging with his brothers and his brother-in-law and some of his truck driving buddies and drinking a beer and having fun. I miss you Daddy, and love you.

It’s Friday and I am looking forward to completing a couple more projects this weekend. After I catch up on some sleep.
Happy Crafting y’all!

My “To Get Done” List, Part II

So, I wanted to be complete in my list of craft projects that I have started but haven’t completed. Keep me honest, so to speak.

14. Block of wood: I actually seen this in the waiting room of my doctor’s office. It was much larger than the block I am working on, his was about 24″ square but about 36″ tall. It was absolutely gorgeous, finished with a natural stain that highlighted the grain. I hunted the surrounding towns and found a nice chunk of oak (still had some leaves attached) and had a friend with a chainsaw rough cut it down to about a one foot cube. Still needs some clean up, I think I need to invest in a planer to get it down and then some serious sanding. Then to finish with a clear stain. There is some real physical labor ahead of me in this project.

15. This I actually saw on Etsy.com (check it out if you’re not a crafty person and just want to get crafts already complete). There are some really seriously talented people on this website. Be prepared to spend some serious time on this site, you will see lots and lots of wonderfully constructed and imagined projects you will ever see in one place. I have thought about selling quilts on this site, except that at my last count, there was at least 18,000 quilts for sale on the site already.

So, I thought this false front box would be awesome in the Kid’s room, a place to stash his cool stuff. And it looked relatively easy to do. Wasn’t the first time I was wrong, won’t be the last. I have the box constructed and found the 8 books for the front. The trick is figuring out how to cut the books down without destroying them and then attaching them to the front. I figure this one is about 50% complete.

16. Doily Chandelier: My maternal grandmother Bertha used to crochet and loved to make doilies. Had them everywhere in her house – back of chairs, on the dining room table, in the bathroom. I inherited some when their estate was distributed. I love them. I have been collecting a fair amount as I have been going to estate sales and I thought I would use them in a couple of projects. One of them is for a chandelier for my guest bedroom. Something like this one. I have purchased all the components, now it is just a matter of putting them altogether and getting in hung. About 25% complete.

17. Doily Lamp Shade: This is my other doily project. This would also be in the guest bedroom, on a lamp on a bedside table, would tie the lighting altogether. This is pretty easy as well, all that stands in the way is time. Always about time. This one is barely started, only about 10% complete.

18. Brass Chandelier: This piece is actually a conglomeration of two pieces of brass pieces, one a candlelabra and two wall sconces. This is going to take some real work, maybe even some welding to get this where I want. This will be a light fixture for my future master bedroom make-over. It will be in a dark brown metallic color with touches of dark turquoise. Still figuring out how to wire it for lights.

19. Crochet Rug: This is a matter of finding someone who will make this for me. I have made all the t-shirt yarn already. I think I have enough, more than enough. I don’t know how to crochet, but I tried to learn how to knit and figured out that knitting was just not in the cards for me. I am sure it is the same with crocheting. I am even willing to pay someone to do this for me. But when I saw this, I knew I had to have it for my master bathroom.

20. Colored Pencil Clock: A couple of clocks in my house have recently stopped working. Yes, it would be easy to just go out and buy replacements, but what is the fun in that? So, I saw somewhere a clock that was made from colored pencils, much like this design but with a clock as a center. Again, I have all the supplies, just haven’t really started.

21. Carousel Horses: Last but not least, two carousel horses. I picked these up from a wonderful lady after seeing them on freecycle, free of charge. The larger of the two is destined to become a quilted horse, that is, she will be hand painted as if she were wearing a quilt. I have done this to a number of items already: a fish, a piano, a little chest of drawers, a teddy bear, big woodend letters that spell QUILT that hang in my sewing room. I think this is the most ambitious to date. Thus far, she has been stripped of her elaborate costume and primed white. I found a new based and a top finial. This will really take a lot of work. She sits in front of the fireplace and television, front and center, constantly reminding me that it requires work. It also allows me to imagine the different quilt patterns that I might use, and what color to complete her saddle and mane and tail. Project completion, about 20%.

So, that I think is the complete list. Now that I have it right there in front of me it is a bit daunting to think about the amount of work that is waiting. But I am serious about completing as many as possible before beginning any new ones. I can do it when I set my mind to it. I promise to post photos as I complete them here.

Hope you are enjoying your crafting as well.

My “To Get Done” list

I am one of those crafters that has more plans and supplies than time for projects. I seem to enjoy the planning portion and getting the supplies more so than the actual crafting. From time to time, I have to sit down, write a list and then vow to complete them before I begin any more. I will try not to acquire any more supplies unless I need it to complete one of the items on the list or if it just is too good to pass up. And it really has to be too good to pass up. Once I decide this, I am pretty good about sticking to the plan.

So, drum roll please:

1. My felt tree: Pinterest.com has been both a positive and a negative influence on me. Yes, have found some wonderful projects to do (positive) but that means way too many I want to do (negative). Recently, I’ve gotten into working with felt and had a lot of it leftover from Halloween costumes and past projects. This was one I thought I could do while watching television. I worked on this one almost all day and it is about 75% complete. Will post actual photo of my project when done.

2. Scrabble Board Boxes: Another one found on pinterest.com. This speaks to my love of board games – especially Scrabble. I plan to make these and give them away. This one comes with a confession that I almost hate to admit, but I bought 25 Scrabble boards on eBay just to do this. I completed one as a test, but found that I had created it inside out (the game side on the inside), so I use that one to store supplies in for myself. I need to work out some sort of clasp as the lid tends to lift slightly (much like the one in the picture).

3. Updating an old school desk: Picked this up at an estate sale a week or so ago for a measly two bucks. I couldn’t say no. I have spray painted all the metal a high gloss candy apple red and am going to varnish the wood seat and backrests with a natural color (aka clear). This is about 75% complete as well. Not sure what I am going to do with it when done, but it does match my kitchen color, and I could possibly use it as a step stool. I have seen the ones with the attached arm or desktop painted with chalk paint, which is an marvelous idea, but the one I have is sans arm. Think I am going to have to keep my eye out for more.

4. Wall Scrabble tiles: I bought two 2×6 lengths of a beautiful knot-free wood and cut them into squares, ending up with 34 tiles about 6×6 (more like 5 3/4″ square). Sanded and rounded the edges of all the tiles and finished them with the same natural stain that I am going to use on the school desk. I just need to figure out what words that I want to spell out on the wall and then paint the letters onto the tiles. This is about fifty percent complete. I am planning on painting a large Scrabble board on the wall in y home theatre room and then mount the tiles with either velcro or magnets so that the tiles can be moved around. Did I mention I love Scrabble?

5. F-Bombs: Ha! I saw this on pinterest.com as well. They were just way too funny. I worked on these this weekend as well, going Saturday afternoon and got the hardware I needed to finish. I think these are about 50% complete.

6. Angry Birds Bowling: Another pinterest.com project. I have the ball complete and just need to finish the cans… and they are close to completion. I am estimating this project at being about 85% complete.

7. TP Art: Haven’t gotten the final project designed completely, but have been saving tubes and tape rolls for a while now and I suspect that inspiration will guide me once I start working on it. Not sure where this will go, when done, but I will think about that later. I have seen some amazing things done. This project is not yet started, but I have the materials.

8. Light Bulb Projects: I have been collecting burnt out light bulbs  for a while as well. The people that I work with are a pretty ‘green’ bunch and have come through for me in spades! This is another project where I think I have a general idea what I want to do, but don’t have the final plans. Here is an example of the kind of thing I want to end up with.

9. Denim Rag Rug: started this one quite a while ago and actually thought I had finished. Until I washed it! The washing resulted in a very nice soft, ‘fuzzy’ texture, but also caused the strips to lay in such a way that there seems to be ‘bald spots’. So I want to fill in those areas and run it through the wash again. This requires use of the sewing machine and lately my projects have been outside my sewing room, so I will just have to dedicate the time to sit and finish it. This goes in the home theatre room, which is outfitted in a denim sectional sofa and oversized chair. Love the laid back look and feel of that room. (The only thing missing is a digital television and an AppleTV.)

10. Needlepoint pillows: I have completed two fairly large needlepoint projects – one of a cupcake and the other a pre-printed pattern that says ‘Family’. I want to make these into pillows. Picked up the pillow forms and needed material to finish these about a week or so ago, so it comes down to just making time to sit down in front of the sewing machine. Can anyone ever have too many pillows?

11. iPad Case from a child’s book: I found this awesome hard paged book at a thrift store for thirty three cents (3 for a buck) that will make the perfect holder for my iPad. Amazing and bright graphics – a wonderful story about a bunny. I have already cut the pages out and glued it. I just need to do some sanding to make the inside nice and smooth and then paint the inside edges. If you can’t picture this, think of all those old westerns where the ‘preacher’ had a gun tucked into a Bible, and you get the basic idea. This one is about 80% complete.

12. Six Foot “Ruler”: I saw this and knew that I had to have this somewhere learning against a wall to show that I have DIY  skills. I bought the board, sanding and routed the edges and put the first coat of clear varnish on it. Now it’s gotten so cold that I can’t do any painting or varnishing outside or even the garage. Sometimes the delay is Mother Nature herself!

13. Sweater mittens: Ran across this pattern and ‘how to’ instructions on pinterest.com (again). This should be so easy to do and fun. Picked up a couple of beautiful sweaters at a thrift shop just for this (and probably will use the rest of the sweaters for some other project), but again, just need to lock myself into my sewing room to complete it. I suspect part of the lack of motivation has been the nice temperatures we’ve been having in this part of the country and the lack of need to have to wear mittens.

I have the makings for hundreds (well, maybe dozens) of bracelets and necklaces, the irony is that I usually don’t wear much jewelry. I just love the creative process, so I will probably give them away as I complete them. That is my M.O. with the quilts that I make as well. I mean, how many quilts can two people use?

So, that’s a lot of the projects that I have on my ‘To Finish” list. I have to admit that isn’t all of them, thought of more as I was writing, but I will have to do a ‘Chapter 2′ on another day. I hope to do lots more posting to this blog, I have been very lax as of late and promise to be better. I hope you will came back and visit again really soon.

Happy crafting, y’all!

More plans and projects than time!

Was a quick weekend and didn’t get a whole lot accomplished. I have been slowly working on redecorating  the master bedroom and I think I have new fabrics and color scheme picked out. I’ve been living with the current colors for the last seven years and I need something new and fresh.

The good thing is that it matches the loveseat that I have, so I don’t have to replace any pieces of furniture. I won’t be able to change the arrangement of the furniture, but am planning on replacing the carpet and painting the walls a deep chocolate brown and having one accent wall using the turquoise. I might get really ambitious, thinking about painting a very large paisley shape on the accent wall. I dunno.

I’ve already picked up a couple of pieces from estates sales, a mirror that I’ve already refinished and a rocking chair that I am going to use the same dark brown finish and then reupholster. I’m actually getting kind of excited now that I have the color scheme picked out. Just a matter of getting things moving. I think the hardest part will be having the carpet installed, means all the furniture will have to be moved out of the room… and I have some serious huge pieces in there.

Here is the mirror that I finished today, it cost $5 at the estate sale and I used a can of spray paint ($3.99):

The other project completed today was something I was just goofing around with and was a suggestion from the Kid. He has been hanging onto a Monster energy drink can because it was ‘cool’. So I found a design for a battery online and used it as a design. A little spray paint and some hand painting with a paint pen (love the Elmer’s Painter pens) and viola!, here it is:

So, other than spending way too many hours on Pinterest.com and catching up on missed episodes of “Saving Grace”, that’s all I finished of my crafting projects. Just have too much going on, I guess.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting, y’all!

More bracelets… using unique charms.

Been a few days since I last posted, but have been working on getting organized and figuring out what I wanted to do next. I also had a visit from one of my favorite little people, my grandniece “S” (I probably shouldn’t use her name here). I think she has become one of my biggest fans of the crafting and she loves the bracelets I have been making. So, I decided to make one for her.

And since I was making one for her, I have to make one for her little sister. But since she is younger, I decided to make it large pink buttons to make it simple and sturdier.

While I was at it, I finished up my bracelet with the mini-Scrabble tiles. This one was for me and has my son’s name. I like it’s simplicity.

And last but not least, this is a bracelet recycled from Macintosh keyboards. I actually bought non-working keyboards and took them apart. The strap was made from three USB cables braided together and the charms are made from keys from the keyboard, actually two glued back to back.

I need to find a better way to seal the ends of the braid and I wished I’d used sliver jump rings and clasp instead of the copper. I have lots of keys left, so I may try another one.

So that’s it for now, hope your new year is full of special arts and crafts, but mostly special people.

Happy Crafting, y’all!

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