Category Archives: General

Recycled Jars: The Perfect Storage Containers

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originally posted September 2011

Hello. My name is Jennifer, and I’m a jar hoarder.

It all began innocently enough. I bought some pasta sauce and liked the shape of the jar so much that I could not bring myself to part with such a nifty container. Pretty soon a pattern developed. Each week I bought that same pasta sauce, whether or not pasta was on the menu, just for the jar. Soon, I branched off into different foods – olives, salsa, jelly, pine nuts – and before I knew it a small collection of jars accumulated.

I soon realized something needed to be done with them. These lovely glass vessels were taking up precious space in one of my kitchen cabinets, so I decided to start putting them to good use as storage containers.

The larger pasta sauce jars were perfect for storing dried beans, lentils, and grains like rice and barley. The screw-top lids afford an airtight closure, so these items stay fresh for a long time.

An added bonus is the organization these jars provide. I no longer have to sift through bags of beans, rice, and lentils to find what I need.

Storing craft supplies is another great use for recycled jars. In addition to being a hoarder of jars, I’m also a craft supply addict. It’s probably safe to say that most crafters have almost as much fun buying craft supplies as they do making crafts.

Most of my supplies are housed in boxes that sit in stacks on the shelves in my craft room. I wanted a way to display some of these items as well as easily access some of my supplies. The jars provided the perfect solution.

I use them for buttons…

beads and sequins…

and rhinestones

These particular jars serve a dual purpose in that they are both practical and decorative at the same time.

Just about anything you can think of can be stored in a jar. So, if you’re not currently hoarding them like me, it’s time become a member of the club. You’ll be reusing something your hard-earned money paid for and creating less waste at the same time.

So, what’s up with this blog anyway???

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By now some of you may be wondering what’s the deal with this blog. New readers are probably wondering why all of my posts up until now begin with the phrase “originally posted…”and you long-time readers are probably wondering why I’ve moved this blog yet again! Clearly an explanation is in order, so here goes…

Back in 2009 when I first started this blog, I used Blogger as my platform. After a couple of years I grew tired of the limited capabilities that Blogger had to offer and the unpredictability of that particular platform. I wanted to try out a self-hosted site. I really had no business going in that direction since I am the least tech savvy person I know, but I decided to go for it anyway.

In the late summer of 2011, I launched my new site. There was very little confusion in the move, and I managed to transfer most of the subscribers right along with me to the self-hosted site. Soon I was posting fairly regularly, adding new project posts and other crafty tidbits.

Now, lets fast forward to sometime after Christmas of 2011 and into 2012. I took a break from blogging for a month. It was during that break that something very bad happened. Some jerk HACKED my site. At first, I couldn’t believe it. Then, I had no idea what to do. I contacted my web hosting company to see if they could help. They couldn’t – or wouldn’t. I explained that I was deficient in all things related to running a self-hosted site, which probably irritated them. They told me what I should do, but since I don’t speak techno babble I had no idea what they were talking about. This all relates back to me having no business trying to run a self-hosted site.

Anyhoo, I decided to delete the site as soon as possible to avoid causing any kind of problems for readers visiting my site. I did lose quite a few posts in the process, but I was able to transfer most of the original posts from the old Blogger site. I actually cherry picked the more relevant posts from that  Blogger site and chose not to transfer every single blog post. I did lose some of the newer posts from the self-hosted site. However, I do have  a handful of projects and posts that were saved and will be added here in the near future.

The whole hacking incident really threw me for a loop and for a moment I decided not to bother with the blog anymore. I’ve stopped crafting and haven’t been writing either. In fact, this is the first thing I’ve written in months. I’m feeling a bit rusty and trying to get back into the swing of things. A few months ago, I began getting emails from people requesting instructions for many of the projects I’ve posted in the past, so I decided I should at least create a new blog and re-post the projects and the more helpful crafty posts. I hope to create new projects in the future, but for now I’m going to continue adding old posts and projects and then go from there.

So, in a nutshell, that’s the story of The Craft Floozy.

 

Crafts Gone Wrong: Transparency Film Image Transfer Disaster

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originally posted June 13, 2011

Today I was going to bring you a tutorial on how to create your own wall art with an image transferring technique using transparency film. I saw this project in the Summer 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Do It  Yourself magazine. It seemed easy enough, and I thought it would be the perfect way to create some artwork for an empty wall in my bedroom. Most of the supplies I had on hand already. I just needed to buy the transparency film.

For this project you need the following:

  • Artist canvas
  • Gel Medium
  • Transparency film – comes in either Inkjet or Laser – buy the kind suited to your printer
  • A spoon or bone folder
  • Sponge applicator or paintbrush
  • One of your awesome photos

I decided on one of my photos. This daisy to be exact.

I boosted up the color saturation a bit. Then I followed the instructions that came with the transparency film and printed my photo onto the film.

Next, I applied a thin layer of the gel medium to the canvas.

Placed my transparency, ink side down, onto the canvas and…

…rubbed the entire photo with the back of a spoon. I did this several times to make sure the image was transferring to the canvas and then slowly peeled back the transparency film to reveal my masterpiece.

Drum roll, please…

Ta da! Whoa, wait a minute. Seriously??? That’s it? The result is supposed to be a distressed looking image, but come on. This is a far cry from the original photo. I decided to try it again, boosting the color saturation a little more, and transferring it to a larger canvas.

Again, seriously?? The bigger one looks worse than the smaller one. I’m not sure what I did wrong. Maybe the photo I chose wasn’t suited to this kind of project, or maybe it just takes practice. It seems that the image on the smaller canvas is a bit more defined than the larger one, which looks like a red blob, so it might be that one type of canvas works better than the other. The smaller one is a gesso primed canvas. Maybe the gesso is the key. Or maybe I just suck at image transferring.

I did find this video on YouTube for image transfers using the transparency film, as well as some videos listed in the sidebar on other ways to do image transferring. I may try this project again or I might just try completely different projects for my transparency paper.

If you decide to try this image transfer project yourself, please let me know how it worked out. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the process.

Happy Crafting!

Weekend Crafts, DIY Projects, and Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

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originally posted June 10, 2011

I spend a good deal on the internet reading blogs and searching for crafty inspiration. The blogs I seem to gravitate to the most have to do with crafts (uh…duh), food and photography – my three main interests in life at the moment. Whenever I happen upon something that piques my interest I’ll save it to my favorites. I do this a lot. Like every freakin’ day actually. The result of this incessant link-saving habit is information overload. I am overrun with about a bazillion links to websites and I need to start sorting through them. So I’ve decided to start sharing some of my finds with you every Friday so you can spend your weekends gettin’ your craft on.

This week’s lineup is a mix of crafts, knitting, food, and photography.

  • Try this Tapestry Cuff Bracelet project from the Mirrix Looms Blog. Seems a little advanced but a very cool project nonetheless.
  • Knit a Slipped Stitch Kindle Cozy by Lisa Beamer. This has been on my list of things to knit – hopefully soon.
  • Whip up a batch of Recipe Girl’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream, and have a scoop for me please. I’m weight watchering at the moment, but I will make this eventually.
  • Learn how to make Origami Stars with this nifty tutorial from Zen Crafting. These look like a lot of fun to make.
  • Find out how Kiki Creates made over an old lamp with paint markers, and then make one for yourself. Very cool idea.
  • Do-it-yourself heart-shaped bokeh tutorial from DIY Photography – I’ve wanted to try this!

Have a wonderful weekend my crafty friends!

9 Ways to Beat Crafter’s Block and Jump Start Your Creativity

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Crafter’s block. It’s happened to even the most creative crafters at some point in their lives. This phenomenon is an ailment that can strike at any time, and without warning. One day you’ll be groovin’ along, working with your favorite craft products, making all kinds of cool stuff, and then – Bam! – the next day all of those great project ideas you had are gone. There’s no reasonable explanation for this, it just happens.

At first you struggle with it. You may go through all of your craft supplies, maybe try to force yourself to create something – doesn’t matter what, just anything to get that spark back. But that almost never works because you can’t force creativity – you just can’t no matter how hard you try. But fear not my crafty friends, there are easy ways to end crafter’s block.

Here are 9 ways to get you back in the swing of things:

1. Pinterest. If you’re a visual person – and let’s face it, most crafters are – inspiration abounds on Pinterest . Members create virtual pinboards with images from all over the interweb. Request an invite to become a member. Once you’re a member you can start creating your own virtual pinboards and follow the boards of other members as well. It’s a great source of creativity.

2. Join a Crafty Community. Whether its an online community or a local Stitch ‘n Bitch meetup, checking out what your fellow creative types are making is a sure fire way to inspire you to get in on the fun. Check out my sidebar to the right and you’ll find a list of a just a few online crafty communities available to join.

3. Thrifting. Go to local thrift stores or garage sales and find objects that can be made over into useful decor for your home.

4. Magazines. Pick up a few craft or home decorating magazines. They always have great project ideas, and are also a wonderful source when you’re lacking in the inspiration department. Oh, and don’t throw them out when you’re done. Try to come up with interesting ways to recycle those magazines.

5. Expand Your Knowledge Of The Craft You Specialize In. If you make jewelry by way of bead stringing, why not learn wire wrapping or metalsmithing? If you’re a knitter and just can’t bring yourself to make another dropstitch scarf, learn a new technique like cables or entrelac. Learning something new about your craft will lead to all kinds of creativity and keep those juices flowing. Check your local community college or art studio for classes in your field of expertise.

6. Go to the Craft Store. I could spend hours at Michael’s or Joann Fabrics. The next time you go to your local craft store, take the time to go up and down each aisle just to see what other crafts are available. Buy a few new crafty bits while you’re there. Sometimes the smallest thing like a piece of ribbon or a bead can ignite a fire storm of creativity.

7. Learn a Craft Based on Your Heritage. This is not only a great way to inspire creativity, but it’s also a wonderful way to learn about your ancestors.

8. Yesteryear Crafting. If you’re into retro crafts, seek out craft magazines and pattern books from the 70s and 80s – or even earlier. Not only are they good for a laugh, but they’re also filled with really cool craft projects.

9. Challenge Yourself. Go through your craft supplies and select a handful of random items. Now make a project using only the items you’ve picked out. See how many different projects you can come up with using those supplies. Then take lots of pictures and upload them to the crafty communities you’ve joined and show them off to your new crafty friends.

So, how do you keep that creative spark alive? Tell me what you do to get over crafter’s block.

Crafty Project Links

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originally posted March 18, 2010

Once again, work is keeping me far too busy to fit in time for crafting, hence, the reason I haven’t posted in awhile. Since I don’t have a new project for you, and since I haven’t worked on any of my ongoing craft projects – like my bee embroidery that I’ve yet to finish – I thought I’d peruse the interweb to see what other crafters are up to. I found some great projects, both old and new, that I’d like to pass along to you guys.

How to Restore a Lampshade – Craftstylish

Super Simple Rick Rack Card – All Things Paper

Orange Blossom and Rosewater Cupcakes – Peas Love Carrots

How to Make a Yo-Yo Pincushion – CraftyPod

Make your own Playdough – LucyKate Crafts

Mojito Bath Bombs – The O’Neil Sisters

Button Crafts – Martha Stewart

Hope you enjoy these project ideas, and, as usual…

Happy Crafting!

Project #9: The “Leather” Jar

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originally posted March 8, 2010

If you were a crafter back in the 70s, chances are you probably made one of these lovely “leather” jars. Please don’t ask me why anyone would ever think masking tape coated in shoe polish would resemble leather…I honestly don’t know. I made one back in elementary school that I gave to my father, probably as some cheesy Father’s day gift. He humored me by keeping it displayed on his bureau for years to house his spare change.

Not too long ago I was eyeing up my collection of recycled jars. I’ve become a jar hoarder over the past few years and they are beginning to pile up, so I felt it was time to do something crafty with at least one of them. I decided on an empty salsa jar, and of course the first thing that came to mind was the “leather” jar.

So, on my next trip to the grocery store I picked up a can of shoe polish and a roll of freezer tape. I wasn’t sure if the freezer tape was the same as masking tape, but it worked out just fine. The only roll of masking tape the grocery store had was a gianormous roll the width of duct tape, which they were selling for seven bucks. The freezer tape was a much smaller width and cost under four bucks. I wanted this to be a quick and simple craft and CHEAP, too.

Guess what? Now you too can make your very own “leather” jar, and I’m gonna show you how…

Materials:

○ Empty jar

○ Masking tape or freezer tape

○ Can of shoe polish – I used brown

○ Mod Podge or similar sealer/varnish

○ Sponge brush or old paint brush for the varnish

○ Paper towels or old rags

Instructions:

1. Begin by tearing small pieces of tape and randomly placing them on the jar. Make sure to overlap the pieces. When tearing the tape, be sure to tear so you have jagged edges as opposed to perfectly straight edges.

2. Cover the entire outside of the jar including the bottom. When covering the mouth of the jar, be sure to fold the tape over the lip of the jar.

3. Next, take a paper towel or rag and begin applying a liberal amount of shoe polish on top of the taped areas of the jar. Once you’ve applied the shoe polish to the entire jar, take a clean paper towel or rag and buff the jar. This will take off any excess shoe polish in the cracks and crevices and kind of set the color into the tape.

4. The final step is to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge or varnish over the entire jar and let dry. I only put one coat of Mod Podge on mine, but put as many coats as you think you need, letting each coat dry before applying another one.

Once the varnish/sealer has dried, you’ll have a brand new, handy dandy, decorative storage jar made from recycled materials and cheap supplies.

Happy Crafting!