Posts Tagged ‘yellow’

An Annuals Garden

Annual Garden_Cover

I don’t claim or pretend to have a green thumb. In fact, its probably any color but green. I can’t seem to keep anything alive for longer than 2-3 months (and that’s long for me). A few months ago, I decided to commit myself to maintaining a tiny little garden at the corner of my house. I wanted to start small since I have such a hard time keeping anything alive. Pretty sad considering a large part of my family’s business is selling live plants.

When we bought the house, the garden came with some cabbage head looking plants in it. I started by ripping those out. It was so gross and infested with snails. Barf. I threw them in the trash and the little snails started climbing up the sides of the trash can and onto the lid.

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Hours later…it was dark, but I was done (and sweaty and gross).

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The next morning, I went straight to my local home and garden store and picked up a bunch of annuals. I like the idea of being able to switch up the colors every year. Since I already started with yellow mums I planted next to the cabbage head things a few weeks before, I went along with the same color scheme and added some white impatiens. So cute, right?

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Two months later…

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Dead. All dead except one sad, lonely little clump. I’d heard about warranties on plants and flowers so I called the store. What they said was surprising. They provide a lifetime warranty on all flowers and plants. Which makes NO sense because these are annuals. They’re SUPPOSED to die. All I had to do was dig up the plants and give them my membership number to look up my receipt.

So, I dug up what was left of my pathetic little garden, shoved it in a plastic bag, and brought it in. I wish I took a picture of the pathetic bag of sticks. Amazingly, they just let me pick out new flowers and walk out the door. Honestly, I think they felt sorry for me. Don’t care. Free project, free things. I’m happy.

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Time to plant.

Here’s what you’ll need for about 12 square feet of space (I actually did the calculation as 0.25πrand rounded. Thanks high school math!):

  1. 10 6-packs of annuals (fewer if you want a less dense look)
  2. Gardening Gloves
  3. Small Shovel
  4. Optional: Potting Mix
  5. Optional: Mulch

Since I had done this once before, I already mixed in potting mix to amend the old soil (which basically means to add poop and nutrients to make it less terrible). It was what the garden people suggested. I live in Southern California where the soil is crap. Its basically a hard consistency that breaks up into fine dust. My soil needed all the help it could get. I also laid mulch down and most of it was still left, so I didn’t buy anymore.

To start, I laid out the 6 packs over the space to get a general idea of where I wanted to lay the flowers out in the space.

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To start planting, I removed the flowers from the 6-pack tray.

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I started by pulling them from the top, but these things are actually pretty fragile, so I started flipping them over and squeezing the bottoms to push them out. Learned this after I broke a few stems trying to pull it out from the top. Oops.

Next, I took my shovel, jammed it into the dirt, and pulled the soil to the side. Then I took one of the little flower pods and put it in the hole, making sure it was deep enough to barely cover all of the little pod.

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Next, I filled in the hole with the dirt I originally dug out and gently packed it down. All pretty intuitive. I went through one 6-pack at a time and planted them all in the space.

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Thirty minutes later, I was all done!

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Here’s all the flowers I picked out for this:

Annual Garden_12  Annual Garden_14  Annual Garden_15  Annual Garden_16  Annual Garden_17

Not pictured/only ones that survived the last planting: mums (the tiny dead looking sticks, but its still slightly green so I left it.)

Crossing my fingers and hoping these survive or there will be another blog update on how I had to replace them again. Can’t lose.

Thrifted Pants to Striped Tote

Pants to Tote_Summary

I’ve been on a mission to DIY my own tote, particularly as fewer grocery stores are providing plastic bags here in Southern California. I always forget to bring a bag and and am kicking myself as I’m checking out and shoving as much stuff as I possibly can into my purse. I’m hoping that if I make my own, I’ll be more excited to use it and actually bring it to the store.

In the spirit of recycling and reducing waste, I went to Goodwill to source my fabric. Thinking about what would make the most durable fabric, I went straight to the denim section and searched for the most colorful fabrics in the largest size I could find to maximize yardage. From $2.99 – 6.99 a pair, this was an awesome deal.

Pants to Tote_01a  Pants to Tote_01b

Here’s what I ended up with:

Pants to Tote_01

  1. Yellow stretch denim (BIG BIRD’S PANTS!)
  2. White stretch denim
  3. Medium leather belt

The checkout clerk looked at me kinda crazy because these pants were obviously not going to fit me. I’d judge me too, but that didn’t stop me from buying them. I was going to have a super cute tote! In addition to my Goodwill haul, I also used:

  1. Scissors
  2. Ruler
  3. Pencil
  4. Optional: Rotary cutter and rotary cutting mat
  5. Rivet Kit
  6. Leather Hole Punch Tool
  7. Sewing machine (mine: Brother SC9500)
  8. Optional: Serger (mine:Singer 14CG754 ProFinish)
  9. Rubber Mallet
  10. Optional/As Needed: Pliers

Okay, to get started, I flipped the pants inside out and started taking them apart in the largest chunks possible. First, I cut the hem off the bottom, then up the sides of the pants along the seams to get 4 large panels of fabric from each pair of pants.

Pants to Tote_02  Pants to Tote_03

Pants to Tote_04  Pants to Tote_06

I didn’t specifically measure how large I was going to make this bag, I basically cut the largest strip I could out of one panel and cut the rest of the panels accordingly. I ended up cutting each piece 7.5″ wide and did not cut the length.

Pants to Tote_07

Next, I pulled out my serger. This is my newly acquired toy and I have been looking for anything and everything I can use this for. I LOVE IT. You could easily use a sewing machine for this, but I love the finished edge the serger creates, especially when sewing a bunch of panels together that won’t be covered up. Not ambitious enough to line the inside of the bag.

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I have had my fair share of botched stitching, so I always, always, (almost) always do test stitching on scrap fabric. Whenever I don’t, that’s the exact moment my machine decides to freak out on me. Test stitch. So here’s proof that I did it…

Pants to Tote_09

Now that I know everything’s working fine, I’m ready to start stitching my strips of fabric together. I put the two right sides together, lined up the edges and fed the fabric through the machine. Look how pretty and clean it comes out! I’m so amused.

Pants to Tote_10  Pants to Tote_11  Pants to Tote_12

A, few panels later, I had one big piece of super cute yellow and white striped fabric.

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Next, I folded last strip I sewed in half, then sewed along the edge. I did this to give the top edge of the bag a clean finished folded over edge which I repeated on the other side as well.

Pants to Tote_15  Pants to Tote_11

Pants to Tote_16

Next, I worked on sewing up the sides of the bag. I folded the fabric in half, and serged up one side. For the other side (with all the jagged edges from the pockets of the pants), I drew a line down the edge as far as I could before hitting the pockets and serged along that line. I couldn’t sew the pockets into the bag so that was the part I had to cut off.

Pants to Tote_17  Pants to Tote_18

Since this edge of the bag would be under “high stress” or high risk of tearing/thread breakage, I reinforced the serger stitching with my sewing machine. I back stitched 3 times at the edge to make extra sure this was going to hold. I put my bags through a lot of stress and I expect for this bag to hold a lot of stuff! Stitch forward, backward, forward, backward, forward, backward, forward.

Pants to Tote_19

Next up, I wanted to create a square bottom. Nothing is more annoying than a bag that can’t stand on its own. Leaving the bag inside out, I took a bottom corner of the bag that formed a triangle and folded it inward. To make sure I got an even fold, I measured the same distance inward on both edges. For this bag, I did 6″ and drew a sewing line with my pencil.

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This is where I’d recommend you pin the fabric together, but I winged it. It worked, out but next time I do this, I’ll definitely use pins. Next, I cut approximately 1/2 from the sewing line to make it easier to feed through my serger. If you’re using sewing machine, don’t skip this step.

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Next, I took the fabric to the serger and stitched along the pencil line. Then followed up with the sewing machine, back stitching 3 times at the start and end of the sewing line and reinforcing the serger stitches. Since will be the bottom of the bag, I wanted to be sure this would not fall apart later.

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Now, that all the sewing is done, I trimmed all the extra thread hanging off the edges and flipped the bag right side out. Looking goo so far.

Pants to Tote_27

Now for my fancy leather straps. You can definitely do this by sewing straps with scrap fabric, but where’s the fun in that. I started by cutting off the buckle to the thrifted belt I got, then cut the strap in half. I used a medium sized belt because that’s all that was available at Goodwill. Apparently, nobody donates large sized belts.

Pants to Tote_28

Next, it was time to measure out the placement of the straps. I measured the midpoint of bag then moved outward an inch at a time until it looked about right. I stuck pins where I wanted the inside edge of the leather straps. I measured 0.5″ down from the edge of the bag and made a mark with my pencil. Next, i measured an inch outward and marked another dot. I repeated the same process on the other side of the bag.

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Next, I made corresponding dots on the leather belt, one inch apart and 3/8″ down from the edge of the belt and repeated on the other 2 edges of the belt. The last edge of the belt was pointed and I made the holes 1/2″ apart and made corresponding markings on the bag.

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Then I took my leather hole punch tool and punched a holes at all the markings on the bag and the leather belt using the 2.0 mm punch. This punch is amazing and has come in handy so many times.

Pants to Tote_36  Pants to Tote_37  Pants to Tote_34

Now to attach the straps to the bag. I bought a rivet kit which came with rivets in 2 colors (nickel and brass), a anvil (not that cartoon one you’re imagining), and setter. I used a rubber mallet to smash it all together. I thought a hammer might be too hard. You can probably use one, but I thought a mallet would work better so that’s what I used.

Pants to Tote_29  Pants to Tote_31

I poked the bottom of the rivet (the piece with the hole) and pushed it through the fabric from the inside of the bag outward. Then, I added the leather strap, right side (non rough side) up, and capped it off with the top of the rivet. It snaps shut to temporarily hold it together. I placed the bottom of the rivet down on the round anvil, and positioned the setter on top of the rivet and hammered/malleted down on it until the pieces came together.

Pants to Tote_38  Pants to Tote_39  Pants to Tote_40  Pants to Tote_41

I DIY, things go wrong and look here…things went wrong. My rivets went in all kinds of crooked. Its okay though. If you can put it together, you can pull it apart and try again. I used a pair of pliers and yanked the two pieces apart.

Pants to Tote_42  Pants to Tote_43

I reattached new (non-crooked) rivets and here’s the completed bag!

Pants to Tote_Cover

Nail Polish Keys

Nail Polish Keys_Cover

When we first moved into our house, we had all the locks changed. We hadn’t realized that the previous owners used a different lock brand for nearly every door, meaning a different key to every door. My house is tiny, but it sure has a lot of doors! I wanted to find a way to differentiate between all the keys that was cute and not those rubber things I’ve seen. My locksmith wasn’t about to cut me any cute printed ones I got from Home Depot.

So…back to my trusty Pinterest. I saw this pin by A Bubbly Life and decided to make my own version.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Rubbing alcohol
  2. Cotton ball/paper towel/cotton pad (whatever to use the rubbing alcohol with)
  3. Nail Polish (OPI Need Sunglasses, Essie Recessionista)
  4. Optional: Glitter Nail Polish (Essie Silver Bullions)
  5. Top Coat (Seche Vite)
  6. Keys (obviously)
  7. Toothpick or Dotting tool
  8. A place to wedge your key (more on this later)

Nail Polish Keys_02

To start, I prepped my key by using rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to remove any dirt/grime/grease to ensure that polish was going to stick to key. I lied. I used nail polish remover because I can’t find my rubbing alcohol. It all works the same. You just want to clean it.

Next, I painted my first THIN coat of yellow polish (OPI Need Sunglasses?). THIN is the key. Ha. No pun intended. Seriously though. Thin coat. Its like polish on your fingers. Many thin coats are better than one gloppy one. Make sure to go around the sides, the edges and the little hole at the top.

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Voila. First coat done. You’re going to need some dry time in between coats. The first time I did this, I walked around the house waiving the key around like an idiot. Lucky for you, I’ve found a better solution. This is the part I tell you about the place to wedge your key. I placed my key on top of my face cream (if you’re curious its Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar) with the painted part hanging off and my little tube of toothpicks on top to make sure they key doesn’t tip over. This image is after 3 coats.

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I know. I’m a DIY MacGyver. Kidding. This sure beats walking around like an idiot waving a key around.

Next, it was time for the pattern. I decided on hearts because…why not? I took my mauve colored polish (Essie Recessionista) and dropped a globby onto an old business card. You can use anything you have on hand. You just want something that isn’t going to absorb all the polish. You want polish to sit like little gobbies on top of whatever surface you use. Magazine covers would work great for this.

I took one toothpick dipped it into the polish globby and began drawing some hearts. To make these you dot two dots next to each other and then drag the polish down to draw the point. You can use a dotting tool or toothpick for this. I tried both, but I found the toothpick gave me a better point than a dotting tool, so that’s what I went with. A zillion hearts later…

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They hearts don’t look perfect and I didn’t expect them to. There’s nothing like some glitter polish to cover up some less than perfect painting. I painted a coat of a fine silver glitter polish (Essie Silver Bullions) to distract from all the imperfections. The more imperfections, the more glitter and polish with bigger glitter pieces.

Side note: This is also how I cover up a botched nail art attempt.

Another side note: This is the best type of nail art because you don’t have to figure out how to paint your non dominant hand.

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Let the glitter coat dry (if you used it), then slather on a top coat. This is where I say, thinner is not better. This is the protective coat that’s gonna seal in your design and make it last longer. It definitely extends dry time, but who cares? Maybe you do walk around waving your key around like a crazy person until it dries.

The other keys I painted have lasted well over a year. Here’s my newest key to add to the collection:

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