Feb 26, 2015

A Biker's Bikini

Round and round it goes..
Tire Tube Bikini

I am the proud parent of four Sons.
I have paid my dues if you will.

Minor Hockey Fees, 
local Baseball fees, 
School Volleyball fees,
the Bike Club Whistler dreams, 
the field trips
and yup, even the magazines 
has all led me right to here. 
or is that Fed me up right up to here? 

Our garage has consumed almost as much equipment as the boys have food.

 Some of the things do manage to get chewed up and thrown out 
but a large assortment of almost useful pieces 
continue to be found laying lifelessly around on the floor or
can be otherwise located quietly hanging around. 

A local radio station contest prompted the motivation for this creation.
$1000.00 was up for grabs for the best, original, homemade Bikini.
 I headed to the garage on a mission.

 Fashioned from used tire tubes and hockey laces this Biker Bikini
 was an easy sew on a basic machine. The tubes were lovely to cut and work with and the laces were the perfect answer for the trim.

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 One tire tube was sliced open,  the full width of which was employed for the Bikini top.
  The four metal eyelets on the top front were punched through the tubes and set with a hammer.

The Bikini bottom required an extra width. Two tubes were stitched together before cutting.

 The skate laces were utilized as trim by stitching them directly to the bikini.
 The side straps were left long so they could be tied in a bow.
The air valves were utilized as adornments on the bikini bottom. 
They were to infer that the waist tube could be inflated, transforming the bathing suit into a life saver!
It was later suggested that perhaps the air valves should have been used to create an inflatable chest?!

 Bike Tube Bikini

First place was awarded to a Bikini original
titled Guns and Roses. 

Second place was given to a creative Bikini
crafted from Lego! 

The Biker Bikini secured third place.

Feb 21, 2015

Suck it Up.

A clean vacuum is essential in the process of vacuuming with purpose.
 Unfortunately the cost of  replacing  vacuum bags can run as high as $10.00 a piece.

Re Use your Vacuum bag

To re-use your vacuum bag, care must be taken to ensure that the cardboard hole
for connection is not damaged or destroyed in the process of removing the bag from the vacuum.

With a package of Velcro and a half hour time invested
 it is possible to triple the life of a "disposable" vacuum bag.


Re-Use a "Disposable" Vacuum Bag
#1. Cut 1/4 inch off the bottom end of the vacuum bag,
This cuts off the seam and allows
 the bag to open.
This was a used bag.I emptied the contents and turned the bag inside out. I gave it a good shake out and turned the bag right side out.

#2. Trim an additional 1/4 inch
off of 3 sides of the vacuum bag.
The front and both sides.
The back of the bag is left uncut.
It remains approx.1/2 inch longer
than the front and sides of the bag.

Remember Velcro has a front and a back.
I recycled the Velcro on this bag so it happens to be stitched  on in 2 inch strips.

Velcro is attached.
  #3. A piece of Velcro Front  
is stitched to the OUTSIDE of the bag.
Sew along the front edge and down both sides
TO THE CENTER of the folds on either side only.

 #4. Onto the back (remaining) part of the folds
a strip of Velcro Back  is attached.

The velcro front and velcro back create a good seal in the bag folds.

#5. A piece of Velcro back is then stitched to the INSIDE on the (longer) back flap of the bag.

Lillian the Domestic Engineer

      #6. Tuck in the side
 meeting velcro front with velcro back at center fold.


#7. Fold the back flap over the front of the bag.
       Re insert bag into vacuum.


Turn it on and Suck it up.

 Oh Kirby!
 I have now worked at the feat of sucking it up for over 40 years!

 Canisters, uprights, built in, bag less, useless, wonder less and hopeless...
 Like it or not Vacuums are a part of us.

I remember the day a door to door salesman arrived on our doorstep lugging his shiny upright vacuum.
It was red hot. It had a light on the front of it. It had a cloth bag with a scraper built in to clean itself and it came with a handful of cool tools. It was 1975.
 I remember him coming in and dumping a line of dirt on the carpet in an effort to impress.
 I remember him claiming that there was nothing out there that could compare to the likes of his

  ... KirbyVacuum

And then he turned it on.
I remember the noise of it. You couldn't hear yourself think.
I remember the power of it. The dirt disappeared.
I remember that the weight of it and the improbability of carrying it.
I remember the cost of acquiring it and the payment options
that came with that.

I remember the proud look of ownership on my Mothers face.
I recall the cleaning schedule that she then made.
Saturday would become my vacuuming day.
I remember her request that we follow up the vacuuming
with the combs of a rake!
Yup,we were to groom the shag carpet for heavens sake!

Recently I ran into old Kirby at my work place. The moment I turned him on he blew dust at my face.
The bag was filthy and the zipper was out of place.
Suck it up suddenly meant something else to me.Mean, mean machine.

Kirby whined and Kirby wurred as the memories of his success became more blurred.
I parked him back in the closet with my fond memories and got out the compact Kenmore
 that was next to it. Sometimes size does matters!

The tools of the trade may be changing but the fact remains
that with a dirty vacuum bag one will work in vain.

Feb 15, 2015

Wired for Display

 Craft away!

Craft a Wire Picture Stand

  These Great Stands are made

 using 9 gauge, coated bottom wire for chain link fencing.
 Use of pliers are required to bend wire.

* Pictures *Cards * Recipes
 *Lists *Note Holders.

Coat hanger wire will work but a heavier wire is preferred.
Use a coated wire hanger for a finished look.
OR try spray painting the wire for an awesome effects.
 Spray after forming the stand to avoid scraping off paint with pliers.

 For the added adornments
 you are limited by the diameter of the wire. 
The hole in the adornment must be big enough to fit over the wire.
Above I fed on beads and jewel baubles.

I created paper beads to thread on which were coupled with plastic beads
in the knotted and looped stands above and below.

The stands are all created with a single length of wire.

Potato Stamp Card

Feb 7, 2015

Make your own Greeting Cards

  The gift of greeting agrees with me.

The enjoyable experience of crafting and posting a greeting cards
 is only compounded by the recipients joy of the experience.

Greeting Cards are in season every season.  
A reason is not required.

Through the love of another we are inspired
to share the words that transpire
on the greeting card of your hearts desire.

I have been crafting and selling Greeting Cards for over 30 years. 
                              The production of same has been a great source of pleasure for me. 
                                                         FOR CREATIVE FREEDOM TO ROAM

Craft Blog  DIY Cards
 The brown corrugated cardboard above left on the card was rescued and recycled from a box of biscuits.
 The black corrugated card was taken from a box of chocolates.The gift tag with coin, is a sticker that I mounted on foam core before gluing into place. The ribbon was saved from a satchel of sorts, somewhere along the way and glued on top.The writing is done with fabric paint that comes in fine tip bottles.

             Keep it simple. Limit the writing on the front of each card. Personalize to perfection.

Greeting Card DIY
#1Gold corrugated cardboard.#2.Pink and yellow Dollar Store card/scrapbook accessory. #3. Buttons and Feather. #4. Wire bangle.
                                                Work to a finished card - one layer at a time.

Greeting Card @ Lillian the Domestic Engineer
#1. White paper square. #2. White corrugated cardboard. #3. Red parcel Dollar Store item,
#4 Fabric paint writing and parcel tree glitter.

Greeting Card DIY Craft
#1.Sketch out your thoughts lightly in pencil.  #2. Detail outline in fine black pen. I used a water soluble ink so I could smear it slightly with a wet fingertip. I did the writing with a black fine tip sharpie. I did not want it to smear.. #3. Pink crayon.

Simple can be super too.
Sometimes a little humor is necessary.

Simple black and white with a touch of Gold Metallic Foil.

Paint between the lines.
The following two cards are painted on a water color paper.

Best Craft Blog -Cards

 Greeting Card- Water Color
Using strips of masking tape, create a border shape to paint within.
Make sure the tape is pressed firmly against the paper to avoid having the paint bleed under the tape edges.
Once the paint has dried carefully remove the tape. Don't forget to sign your original artwork.

Stamping it out. HERE
 One potato - two potato

Lillian the Domestic Engineer.Blogspot.ca

Life is a great bundle of little things.

Create your own Potato stamp and stamp away.
Make Greeting Cards
Embossing Tinsel is a simple, effective way of bringing a degree of shine and professionalism to your card.
Sprinkle tinsel onto wet stamp print and set with a warm iron. Click above on Stamping it out for details.

Recycle.  Recycle.  Recycle.
Make use of the marvelous 

Make your own Greeting Cards

                                                                Think inside the box.
The following three Cards are created using the marvelous selection of papers and prints from old greeting cards. The bits and bows were all dug out of the drawer where I keep the little, shiny things that hold the promise of commitment to card.

                                                          Put your Heart into it!

                              Give it a Gift Tag

           Pretty pastels pieces of paper, pinking shears and gift tags help turn the simple into the superb.
          Fabric paint finalizes the thought behind the project.

    Pop it up a bit....

Although pop up cards do require some fore thought and a little more work,
 I am always thrilled with the results

More Cards HERE

Don't let the blank slate intimidate. Build up your card one layer at a time.

Feb 1, 2015

Jewelry Display Frame DIY

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I've had this old frame for years.
For a long time it hung near the front door where it was used as a post it place.
Kids photos, artwork and notes were tacked or pinned onto the front of it.

 For as many years and longer, I struggled with a practical way to display the collection of costume jewelry that was amassing in every little box and bowl in my room.
It was always difficult to dig out two of the same earrings to wear for the day so typically I wore
 the same 2-3 pair of earrings day after day.  I would just leave them on the bedside table
instead of stuffing them into one of my jewel boxes or bowls.

For the large part otherwise, I had resolved to be happy with wearing two different earrings.
I don't know who or why the rule was made that insisted the earrings need to be the same but I
did know that the system wasn't working for me.
I was surprised how many people were quick to point out the fact that I was wearing
 two different earrings.

 In an effort to organize my piles one afternoon, I moved the large frame that had been stripped of the photos and notes it once held and delegated to the floor, where it sat for several months, before being motivated to get organized on this particular day prompted me to pick it up.
 It finally occurred to me what a great Jewelry Display the frame would be.
 I set out to transform the frame into a practical, beautiful wall display for my jewelry. Instead of putting it
in the closet, I put it up on my work table.

I began the transformation by hot gluing a framed cork board to the lower front portion of the frame.
It was a perfect fit.
To the front of the cork board, I then hot glued a black piece of screen window mesh that I had laying around. Many years ago I had first used the mesh in the production of funky, fashionable earrings. It would now work perfectly for hanging earrings.
To the top portion of the frame I hot glued a piece of black silk fabric. I had first folded back the edges to avoid any fabric fraying. The Black would serve as a wonderful back drop for the jewels I would pin onto it.

This photo is sideways. The black fabric area is at the top of the frame.
 The cork board is glued below the fabric.

Craft Blog

I then searched through my collection of broken jewel bits, fabric and fringe trim and buttons to find pieces that could be hot glued on, to trim the tiny gap between the cork board and the frames edge
as well as to finish the outer edges of the black silk area .

DIY Jewelry Frame

               The trim at the top of the frame was created
    with a broken string of fake pearls and the three round buttons. 

                                   Both sides of the frame as well as the bottom
                  were covered and filled in with an assortment of buttons and broken jewel bits.

                      A thin broken chain was hot glued to the inside edge of the cork board frame itself.

                            Earrings with a hook can be easily slid into a mesh hole and hung.
                            For earrings with a stud back, it was necessary to be able to lift the mesh
                             to secure the earring backs.
                                                           As seen at bottom here.
                 As it were I found at least a half a dozen Kilt Pins in my treasure collection,
              several of which were used to secure a separate piece of mesh over the first layer of mesh.

                                    This allows me to lift the mesh and secure the earring back.

To top it all off
I used a sewing strait pin to hold this lovely ladies head to the wall. 
It is pinned so that it sits on the lip of  the framed Jewelry display.

 I am thrilled with the over all appearance and ecstatic about the practicality of the project.
Now at a glance, I am able to select the piece of jewelry that I chose to adorn myself with.

My jewelry no longer lays lost and forgotten  in containers.
I can now appreciate the beauty of my collection, after all that is why I collect it.

Check out The other things I do for the love of Crafting