Monday, April 20, 2015

Easy Fabric Bracelets

I'm finally getting back into blogging again, and what better way to do it than with an easy tutorial for fabric bracelets.

This little pattern can be made to any size.  This fits my wrist nicely, while I have made some to hold Scrunchies.  I love Scrunchies!!!!  At the end, I will tell you how to make a strap to hold all the scrunchies you can make.

Items needed:
Scraps of Fabric
sewing machine
Wonder Clips/ Binder Clips/ pins (your choice)
Kam Snaps or fasteners of your choice.

To start off with, grab some material.  Just about anything laying around will do.  I used part of an old sheet to make this green one.  Now, before you get to cutting, you need to measure your wrist.  Mine came in just shy of 8 inches.  It's best for the math (I heard those groans!!) that you keep the numbers rounded to 1/2 inch.  Now, where mine measured 8 inches, I needed to add 2 inches to that for a total of 10 inches.  Pretty easy, now wasn't it.  Now, back to the material chosen, you will need to measure a strip on it your wrist measurement + 2 to get the length.  The width will stay the same at 3 inches. Need a visual?  Here you go: 

Next thing you want to do is press it in half.  I just finger pressed it here, but you could use the iron and ironing board if you want to:

Nicely pressed and about ready for the next steps. But while this next step can be skipped, I would advise against it.  You need to turn the short ends down about 1/2 inch.  This will give your bracelet a nice, finished edge:
These next two pictures show the next step, but I had forgotten to turn down the edges.  Trust me, you want to do that turning down first before doing these next steps. 
At this point, since you already have them open to fold the ends down, now you need to fold the long sides in to meet in the middle.  They don't have to completely meet, just come close.  And those cute little clips in the picture are called Wonder Clips By Clover.  I can't imagine using anything else now.  But in the past I have used binder clips and regular pins (still do in fact on some things).  When you get the edges folded to the center, then fold the whole thing in half again on the long edge.  Most quilters will agree that this is how bias binding is made:

 Make sure you pin/clip the open edge or all that folding will spring apart.

Now, time to go to the machine and let it do it's magic.  I sewed this with about a 1/8th seem allowance.  I say about because I didn't measure it, just kept the stitching close to the edge all the way around:

And when I meant around, that includes those folded ends.  Just pivot on the corners like this:

Here it is, all stitched up!!!  Sorry for the background change, was having lighting problems at the point.

And a close-up of the stitched end:

But what is the point of all this hard work if you can't attach it to your wrist?  I've never been great at making button holes, but if you can, WONDERFUL!!! Go for it.  My personal preference is Kam Snaps.  They go on easy, very washable, and come in an array of colors.  I first seen them recommended for cloth diapers, but they are sooooo versatile in anything.

 The Kam Snaps website has tutorials for how to attach them, but if you use them on this project, one thing you need to remember; You need to place them on opposite sides to lie flat.  Here I have one side installed, and starting on the other.

Now both snaps are on.  Can you see what I mean about having them on opposite sides?

And Tada !!!!!!  You now have a bracelet to match your outfit!!  One thing I should note, the white bracelet on the left, if you noticed, doesn't have the nice, finished end that the green one does.  It was the first one I made, and I just cut the length to fit my wrist.  I actually prefer the finished end of the left one now.

Now, at the beginning of this tutorial, I said that you can make these almost any length.  Here is my scrunchie holder.  All I did was do the strap just like I did for the bracelet, but made it bout 3x as long as the bracelet (the length is totally up to you).  Then attached snaps at both ends, but made sure they were on the same side to make a loop.  Snapped it around a hanger, and I can keep the scrunchies off the floor and clean for when I need one.

I hope you enjoyed this simple little tutorial.  Just remember to let your imagination run wild with color choices.  If you make your own clothes, then just make sure you have enough material left to make a bracelet.  If you want to make a scrunchie to match, may I suggest you go to my favorite tutorial for scrunchies on Instructables.

Friday, April 10, 2015


I will say this now, I almost forgot about this blog.

Lately, I've been getting into quilting, and neglecting my knitting and crocheting badly.

But for those that are still following me, be on the lookout for some sewing patterns from me.

For now, my list of sewing to do:

Bionic Gear Bag with Needle parking lot
Fountain drink cup covers
Stuffed toy balls for the animals.

Off to work on this list!!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sorry Folks

I'm sorry to have to do this, but I have to moderate all the comments that come through here.  Lately I've been bombarded with spam comments, and I'm getting tired of coming back and having to delete them.  I love the comments, and almost all are welcome, but I'm just not happy with the robo comments about seeing other websites.

In other news, I've been busy trying to get a business started, and working on a doll house for a friend's granddaughter.  Maybe later I will post pics of the doll house when it's done for all to see.

TTFN everyone.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Revisiting Keurig and Homemade Soda

I thought I would come back and revisit what I wrote about the Keurig Coffee machine and making homemade soda.  Some discoveries recently made me feel like I need to shout out to the world about what I have found out.  And I think I'm going to start off with the homemade soda first.

I just recently gotten (like yesterday) a keg and a picnic tap to make 5 gallons of carbonated water so that the kids and I can make our own choice of flavors for soda.  Spent most of the day setting it up and carbing the water.  My son made the first soda this morning and it turned out better than when we were using the 2 liter bottles and the Carbonator Cap. We are still working on how much syrup it will take for a glass of soda, and I need to get a better pump system for the syrup so we can measure it better, but the results, so far, exceed what I had hoped for.

As for the Keurig, we are still in love with it.  I know I suggested to get the My K-Cup that Keurig makes for these machines, but been having problems with it.  One of my biggest issues is that we have to pretty much take the machine apart to use it.  I'm going to put mine away for emergencies.  Solofil works wonders, but you need to have 2-3 on hand as constant use clogged it up and it had to be soaked in bleach to clean it. In my stumbling around on the internet, I ran across this site My-Cap.  If you don't want to follow the link, these are reusable caps and cups that you can get.  I ordered the sample pack and couldn't be more happier.  They are just like the ones you can buy in the store, only you can fill them with what you want.  We keep coffee in 3 of them, and the rest have tea bags just sitting in them. Much easier to use when half-asleep than trying to fill a Solofil or one of the others. They did sell a template for folding your own filters, but after looking at the site, it looks like they don't offer that anymore.  We are still working on it here, but if you buy the 4 cup sized basket filters, you can shove one in the reusable cups, trim the top off and try that.  But the first one we tried, it overflowed the cup, so need to work on that one some more.   It's nice to be able to reuse these over and over again and not have to worry about running to the store to get more cups for the machine.

Sorry for my rambling, but when I get excited about something, I need to shout it out to the world.  At least I'm trying to do my part with these 2 products/ideas so that my family won't add too much to the plastic waste heading to the landfills.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Keurig Coffee Machine

Well, here it is, a new year.  With all that has happened in the past year with losing a sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and my oldest brother, I need something new to redirect my life.  There have been some good things in my life happen this year already, but are so personal, I can't relate to them on here.  Here's to hoping 2013 will be the year we can turn our family and life around.

One of the things that did happen was a small, helpful bonus of money.  Since they came out, I've kept my eye on the Keurig Single Serve Coffee maker.  With this bonus money, the kids and I decided to go ahead and get one.  It was love at first cup!!!!  My boy loves coffee, my girl loves cocoa, and I'm a confirmed tea drinker.  I did used to love coffee too, but over the past few years, coffee has given me terrible heartburn.  Before getting this machine, coffee was going to waste in the pot, and all day long there was impatience with waiting for the kettle to whistle saying the water was hot enough to make tea and cocoa.  The link above actually shows the model we did buy.  But I do want to share some hints for everyone that would be helpful if you think this is a waste of money.

First hint:  get either the My K-CupEkobrew, or Solofill Cup Filter. I have both the My K-Cup and Solofill and like them both.  Don't know much about the Ekobrew filter, but from other sites I've read, it works the same as Solofill.  With any of these three, you can fill them with your own coffee and save a bunch of money by using MJB or Folgers ground coffee.  You can even get small samples of coffee and try different flavors without wasting an entire pot if you don't like the coffee.  The whole reason I suggest it is that those K-cups you buy in the store that are pre-made is expensive.  We bought some when we bought the machine and I was in shock that it cost $22 for 36 of those cups.  I could spend that much buying a pound can of coffee and 4 boxes of teabags and still have change left over.  Here's a little bit of math for you-- 36 K-cups or 600 cups of tea and coffee (round figure, since I don't know how many cups of coffee could be made from a one pound can).  I think you can see where I'm going with it.

Hint #2:  and this is the big one.  Being a tea drinker, I was searching the web to find out if anyone was able to use tea in this machine.  Several people say just run it for the hot water and drop a teabag in the cup.  I actually used both the My K-Cup and the Solofill with Red Rose Tea bags, pulling the string off and stuffing them in the filters of those 2 cups.  The tea comes out tasting like it's sat and brewed for 10 minutes on the counter.  The beauty of it is that I didn't have to wait that time for the kettle to heat-- or the 10 minutes for the bag to sit in the cup to brew.  About 90 seconds (if that, I don't time it) I have a hot cup of tea, throw some sugar in it and I'm back to doing whatever I was doing.

We also have been successful with filling a Cup of Noodles cup with this machine.  So that's makes it a win-win-win for this family.  Everyone is happy with being able to choose what they want to drink and when.  With winter in full swing here, we need all the hot drinks we can handle right now.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Homemade Soda-- I'm in heaven!!!!!!

OK, as I sit here tonight, I keep looking into the kitchen and marvel at the new toy this family just got today. What is it, you ask? It's a soda maker. Now I know most people look at that and think that we got the Soda Stream. Well, you couldn't be farther from the truth. I went with this soda system from Keg Connection. It consists of a CO2 bottle, something close to a welding/air pump guage, a hose with a connector on the end and a little gadget called the Carbonator. But before I go on and explain this system, I would like to give you all a background story on the reason we switched from Coke to this system.

As I sit here, I'm comtemplating about getting the LapBand put in. I try to eat right, and do what I can, but my weight has ballooned out of control. There were no diets that were working, and now I'm sitting at over 300 lbs. I've been told I need to cut out sodas, chocolate, anything that would have sugar in it. Someone would have to shoot me if I totally cut them out of my life. Then I sat back and realized, some of the weight problems began when they started bringing out convience foods and putting that high fruitcose corn syrup in sodas. That was around the start of the 80's when the microwave also came out. Before that, food was almost always cooked from scratch, and soda was still made from sugar. Maybe my family needs to take a trip back in time. Or maybe I can bring those days to the present.

So, now we are back to the soda maker. I did look at the Soda Stream, and just couldn't justify the cost of it when the CO2 canisters cost $15 for a tiny bottle. There are conversion kits out there, but they cost just as much as the machine does, so I started looking for alternatives. For what I would have payed for a Soda Stream and at least one extra CO2 bottle that might not last, I got the above setup, including extra bottle. These bottles hold 20oz of CO2 and I can get them refilled for only $4 each. Well, there's some savings, $4 vs $30 for the Soda Stream. You do the math. Another bonus-- I can mix the soda in some old 2 liter bottles, or 20oz bottles, where with the Soda Stream, I would be stuck with their 1 liter bottles.

I'm still on the search for syrups for it. I did make a decent root beer that rivals A & W and Hires Root Beers. For those that want the recipe, all I did was mix 1 cup each of sugar and water on the stove until it boils and all the sugar disolve, then mix in one teaspoon of McCormick Root Beer extract. Let cool and then put 1/8 of a cup (2 tablespoons or 1 ounce) in a cup and add ice and the carbonated water. Stir gently and enjoy. I'm also working on an “energy drink”. But we are planning on ordering the syrup concentrate and some 32oz bottles with pumps (like what you see at those sno cone shops) so we can meter out the syrup. We also tried the cola from Soda stream, even though we had to make 2 liters worth of it. It wasn't bad, tasted like Coke even though the syrup smelled like crap.

When we get more ideas about syrups, will come back and post them. One thing for everyone to remember if you get either system; Don't expect to carbonate your water/beverage to bubble like the commercial sodas do. But the taste so far competes with the commercial sodas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Going Green???

I've sat here for the past few nights and really thought about what "Going Green" really means. I mean, everyone is into saving the planet, use less packaging, blah blah blah, but if you really think about it, most of that is what our grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on had been doing for generations. Don't get me wrong, I like some of the new convenience things out there, like the Swiffer Sweeper and Clorox Ready Mop. But I'm wondering if we are getting the wrong picture when we say we are "going green".

In an earlier post, I made mention that I was starting a soap-making adventure. I've completely given up on bar soaps, mainly because I don't like using the bars. I really prefer liquid soap. I found a wonderful book, Making Liquid Soaps by Catherine Failor. Her instructions could have been more clear, but in a nutshell, it's well written. Using her recipes, I've made 100% Liquid Castile soap, and one of the shampoos. I will say this about the shampoo; it did not thicken on me, and the one time I did use it as a shampoo, it left a greasy, waxy lump on the back of my head. I'm not sure what I did wrong, if my hair went into shock from using pure soap, or it's the residue from the store bought shampoos, but won't try it again on my hair until I figure it out. But it does turn into a very nice body wash. Both of my kids love it.

And that doesn't stop there. The Liquid Castile is now being used in many recipes I found on the net from a degreaser spray to window cleaner and will be using it in my ready mop. If you start on the Edentia Farms youtube page, this gal will show you how to make liquid laundry soap and even has a link to the amounts she uses. A little deeper search will also find her recipe for dish soap. I have made the laundry soap, and will be trying it later on this weekend, but the dish soap is to die for!!!!! I was getting grease and other gunk off of pans that I didn't think would ever come off, so I will believe her claim that it will get Sharpie Marker off of almost anything.
* Just wanted to come back and say that I did try the laundry soap this weekend, and throughout the week and we love it as much as the dish soap. Had to wash blankets and pillows over the weekend, and my daughter is complaining now that her blankets and pillows are so bright she can't sleep w/o sunglasses. One of the pillows is one she made and it's brighter now than when she made it. Those two recipes are keepers in our household!!!!

But back to the "going green" thing. We are starting to view this as if it was good enough to do for our ancestors to keep clean, then why shouldn't we do the same thing?? If making soap was just using wood ash from the fire filtered with water, then combined with grease, no one would have to worry about running out of soap ever again. Though I try to take the easier road with this. Instead of trying to filter wood ash, I buy my KOH (Potassium Hydroxide) online. Some of the recipes (see the dish soap) call for organic oils, I just use what I can buy cheaply at WalMart or Winco. Borax is my choice for a neutralizer and thickener rather than anything else out there because it's cheaper and has a two-in-one punch. Our ancestors used what they had at hand to make their soaps, then why shouldn't I do the same thing?? I'm just going about it in a little bit of a lazy way. I just can't bring myself to rend the grease from what I'm cooking to make soap out of. EEEEWWWWW!!!!!

Give it a try, you might just like the results that come out of making your own soap. It sure surprised us with our savings, as well as how clean everything gets. Watch the videos that youtube has, so you can get an idea how it's suppose to look and act when making. Try doing the bars first, like I did, then expand onto the liquid soaps. It does help, and get a copy of Failor's book. I treat mine like a bible. Though I will say one thing, you don't need a double boiler system, the crock pot does even better. Plus, you don't have to worry about making sure there is enough water in a double boiler to keep it going.

And if you are wondering about those savings, for around $20 I was able to get the KOH, oils, borax, and distilled water. Out of it all, I've made approximately 2 gallons of Castile soap, 1 gallon each of the body wash (just can't call it shampoo), laundry soap, and dish soap. You tell me, can you get all that for around $20 and have it last for about 4 months?? 5 gallons of soap. I think our ancestors were on to something there.