Leather Wallet

I made a leather wallet for my hubby!  He used a toy ray gun as inspiration and drew a couple images that I transferred to the leather.


I found out later that I was doing this wrong, but it worked for what I was doing right now.


I wish I had read more about diluting they dye, but too late now!!


I guess he gets lots of comments and compliments, so that works.  My favorite is the moon with it’s craters. I do wish the dyes weren’t $8 each, I might have gotten one more, but I couldn’t see spendig that for just a couple touches of color.




Flash diffuser

I saw on Pinterest someone had used Styrofoam bowls as diffusers on their camera. So, after a meal with Styrofoam  take out boxes, I made one for my little Sony.

Drew around the lens onto scrap paper, cut out a hole:


Testing the scrap on the lens – looks good:

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Transfer hoe to Styrofoam:


Cut that out and tested on camera:

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Random photo with no diffuser:


Diffuser cut out and on camera:

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Random photo with diffuser:


Now, to try it on people!!

Spinning lamp attempt

I wanted one of those lamps that spin around and cast light against the wall (like the lantern in Sleepy Hollow), but I didn’t like anything I saw online so I decided to make my own.

Bought a lamp at Goodwill:

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Took it apart:

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Put it back together with the light directly against the base:

2012-08-24 13.51.32Made a top with vents to allow for spinning:

First try-


Second try, which worked (this photo does not have the vents cut).  I also found that I couldn’t screw it down like one might do with a normal lamp shade. Instead, I taped a thumb tack to the vent and balanced the pin tip on the lampshade post-



Made a shade out of foamie. I thought paper would be too flammable and any metal would get too hot and burn little fingers-



This turned out to also be a poor choice – the foamie got hot, soft, and smelly with in seconds of the light being turned on, it was too heavy for the spinning action to happen, and light did not show on the walls in clear shapes (the rocket was too big and the bottom needed to be enclosed).

And, by now I have gotten tired and bored with this project, so it’s going to Goodwill!






Notebook covers

I needed to prettify some notebooks so I used some fabric and sewed them up. I did not use a pattern, but I used the notebook to fit it.

1) Tear strips of 45″ wide fabric the height of the note book plus two to three inches.
2) Fold the salvage edge to the wrong side of the fabric and stitch down.


3) Use the notebook and wrap the fabric around it how you’d like it to fit, pin. If you’re using a binder withe the rings on the center, wrap your fabric wrong side out so your pins are where they need to be to just sew them together. If your rings are on the back of the binder, wrap with your fabric right side out, pin, and then mark the pins so you can take them out and turn the fabric to wrong sides together and pin again.

4) Clip the center panel seam allowance nearly to the stitch line.

5) Sew your seam, folding the center clipped seam allowance to the wrong side.

6) Clip corners, turn to right side, top stitch as close to seam as possible.

7) Turn wrong side out and cut the seam allowance as close to seam as possible.
8) Repeat steps 3 – 7 with bottom.

To add a vinyl label pocket:
1) Cut vinyl. Be sure to allow 1/4 inch on three sides for stitching.
2) Measure or use a template and measure up from the bottom to place your vinyl.
3) Use painters tape to tape three sides down on fabric. I taped it down while on the notebook because I thought it was easier and more accurate. Remove the cover from the notebook again.

4) Tape along the edge of the vinyl the side you are stitching so the presser foot will not stick. Alternatively, tape the bottom of the presser foot! (Hindsight is great!)
5) Stitch, being careful to not sew through both layers of your cover. I used an invisible hem stitch. As you turn each corner, pause to reposition the tape to just the edge of the vinyl (or remove completely if you taped your presser foot).
6) Pull thread ends to back, tie off, and clip.
7) Put your cover on your notebook!

Check out the finished notebooks here!

UPDATE: Only use the vinyl along the spine – it sticks to itself on the bookshelf or in stacks and makes it a pain putting them back on the shelf!

Robin’s bird mobile

I started this while Robin was in the hospital.  With a few tweeks, I made these based on local native birds.  Here are some photos!


Western Robin


Western Meadowloark


Red Wing Blackbird


Western Blue Bird


Western Tanager


Dark Eyed Junko


Black Caped Chickadee


All for size comparison.  While they aren’t true-to-life size, they are sized relatively.

I’m having the pattern tested now and hope to have it available in my etsy store soon!

Google conundrum

Google used to be such a great package.  I am not as happy with it anymore, though – especially since they are tying everything (specifically Picasa Web) into Google +.

I have met my photo data limit and, if I want to add any more pictures without paying their monthly fee, I need to delete some photos. But some of those albums have copious notes with the photos. A brief search reveals no solutions to this.  :/

I guess I can copy each comment caption to a text file and put it in the folder with the photos, but sheesh … it took lots of time to put those comments in in the first place, so that’s even more work now.

And on top of that, I get a warning that some of the photos are linked to a blog (mainly this one) and they will no longer show up in that blog now that they are deleted. Although those changes won’t show up for 24 hours.  I’m sure it’s very much true if those images were used on a Google Site (which is where my Epic Summer Cross Country Train Trip notes are) … so here’s the flip side to the benefits of such an integrated system. :/

UPDATE: Yup … the photos no longer link up in my posts here.  So there’s another time sink …  Blerg.