Home+Decor

I have been interested lately in all the creative ways that people find to recycle and reorganise the little things and the big things. I constantly battle with disorganisation in my house – I blame the kids! But seriously it is a problem that we need to tackle together – I live in a house full of messy people. We have tons of book shelves and yet books find their way onto every spare surface. I have a filing system for paperwork and yet there is a pile of to-do papers on top of my desk, on top of the piano and on the kitchen bench. I have lots of drawers and boxes and jars for craft supplies and yet they never get put away. I have coat hooks on every possible spare wall and yet coats and bags and hats still get tossed on the entryway floor. What is with that?

So hence my research to find out how others are solving their organisation issues – check out my creatively organise board on pinterest – here are some of my faves though:

  • I love the use of old pottery or old tins as pen and paintbrush holders
  • I love how they have winched up these old crates and used them as bookshelves (and scrolling up a bit – don’t you just love the world globes used as light shades). On thea’s blog she also uses crates in a much more ordered and colourful fashion.
  • I love a chalkboard calendar – we have a much simpler version than this and it works so well to keep track of our weekly schedule – our weekly planning board is a bit like this chores board (great idea too). I think the idea here is to create a family command centre - don’t you just love that! Here is an organizador (available on etsy) that combines the command centre approach with the blackboard planner – love it.

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Seaweed Soap Tutorial by Lisa Maliga

Lisa Maliga has been crafting soap since 1998. She’s the author of the e-book The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting. More information about soap, bath & body products and ingredients can be found at her blog.

Seaweed Soap is fun and easy to make. This recipe was created due to loving anything oceanic! Dried seaweed contains lots of minerals so it’s good for you. It can be found at any Asian market. Nourishing extra virgin olive oil is suitable for all skin types. Lavender and lemon essential oils add a touch of zest and make this soap smell clean and fresh!

Ingredients:

  • 32 ounces clear soap base
  • Dash of green mica
  • 6-8 pieces dried seaweed
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons lemon essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil

Equipment:

  • Double boiler OR two cooking vats. The larger one will be on the bottom and contain the water and of course the smaller one will be used to melt the soap.
  • You can also use a saucepan and a glass measuring cup.
  • Kitchen scale
  • Teaspoons
  • Cutting board
  • Large knife
  • Paring knife
  • Wax paper
  • Cling wrap
  • Wooden spoon OR chopstick
  • Alcohol in a spray mister
  • Wavy edge soap cutter
  • Mold: 3 part Ziploc divided rectangle mold

Instructions:

  1. Place broken up pieces of seaweed into mold.
  2. Slice the soap base into small cubes.
  3. Just before the soap is almost fully melted, add the green mica.
  4. Add extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Add essential oils. Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  6. Pour slowly into molds.
  7. Spritz away bubbles with rubbing alcohol.
  8. Allow soap to harden in fridge, freezer, or remain at room temperature.
  9. Remove from molds and place on sheet of waxed paper.
  10. Make sure soap is at room temperature before cutting and wrapping.
  11. You may want to cut the largest chunk of finished soap into 2 to 4 slices. A wavy edge soap cutter is recommended.
  12. Wrap in cling wrap and label.

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Seat sack tutorial by Liz Noonan

Liz Noonan is an artist and crafter working north of Boston.  You can read about her on her blog, and see what she’s crafting lately in her Etsy Shop, here [Liz is offering whipup.net readers a 10% discount off their total purchase in her shop use this discount coupon code: WhipUp10

Thank you for having me over on Whip Up today! My second graders classroom has very little space, so we came up with this idea for making a bag that hangs over the chair, for each student. Each “Seat Sack” has a large pocket for notebooks and other large items, as well as a smaller pocket, on the front, for pens, pencils, markers or other smaller supplies. I made about 50 of these total, since I made some for my other daughters’ kindergarten class as well.  The tricky part was figuring out how to do this in as few steps as possible. I’m offering this tutorial today to show others how to make them as well.

Supplies needed for each “Seat Sack”:

  • 1/2 yard (45 cm) heavy weight fabric, cotton twill or canvas
  • 9–11 inch (22–29 cm) piece of heavy fabric for a pen pocket on the front, optional.
  • Thread
  • Each finished sack will be approx 15 inches wide by 14 inches long (38 x 35 cm)
What you need to do:
  1. Start with your 1/2 yard of fabric, press and finish top and bottom edges.
  2. Stitch your front pocket about 2 inches (5 cm) from the top of the front pocket, and center it.
  3. Press your 1/2 yard into approx thirds: the pen pocket section should be about 12 inches (30 cm), and the other two thirds will be about 14 inches (35 cm) each, these measurements will vary depending on the width of the fabric you buy and includes a half inch seam allowance.
  4. Fold your front pocket up, so that it measures 12 inches (30 cm) and press the bottom.
  5. For the rest of the fabric, the middle is half the distance of the rest of the fabric, so measure up halfway (about 14 inches) and press so that the end of the fabric covers the front pocket. It will look like a kind of sandwich – it should cover the pocket.
  6. Sew this side seam with a small straight stitch or serge so that it is strong. I reinforced the bottom seams for good measure.
  7. Turn your “Seat Sack” inside out and you’re finished!

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So much is always going on – do you find it difficult to keep up?

This last week I launched by book at the local bookstore and the blog tour finished up. Its been a busy week and then some. Personally it has been busy too – we are gearing up for the end of the school year here in Australia, plus holidays and Christmas – plays and concerts – decorations and cooking – no wonder I feel a bit overwhelmed. So its time to slow down – spend time with family, not go crazy with shopping and over indulging – instead remember the important things in life – family and health, love and creativity.

[On that note - happy thanksgiving to my USA readers.] 

Here are some back to basics ideas to keep you grounded leading up to this busy and stressful time of the year. Grab a cuppa and follow along…

In other news:

  • My crafternoon book series blog tour is still on – follow along for a chance to win and to see what’s inside these fabulously creative craft books for kids. Also if you were a fan of the Sewing Crafternoon book – the Limby dolls on the cover – designed by Lizette Greco and family are available for sale.
  • I didn’t have time to properly review a fun new kids book that I had the pleasure of being sent – but I highly recommend this book for little ones – its sweet and fun – the kids will adore it – Parrot Carrot (by Jol and Kate Temple and Jon Foye, published by Allen and Unwin), is a wonderfully illustrated picture book – with its own iphone app (developed by Leo Burnett)- check it out.
  • Another book I wanted to tell you about -  ’Love injections‘ about extraordinary ways to surprise the one you love.
  • I am excited about Dana’s new book
  • Shhh … EcoMilf has 12 days of giveaways coming up (28th of November to the 9th of December) - and you have a chance to win Action pack over there too – amongst lots of other cool things.
  • This Holiday season Loeffler Randall is partnering with creative New York women who inspire them – this week Denise Porcoro, owner of Flower Girl NYC, shows us how to make this beautiful DIY Holiday Wreath.

 

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Kat Roberts is an artist living in Brooklyn, NY, who stays crazy busy as a mom, professional accessories designer, teaching people to make shoe and handbags, writing for BurdaStyle, creating comics, and avid crafter. She’s most happy when able to combine as many of these things as possible into a single project. Her other great passion is creative recycling. Her blog, We Can Re-Do It, catalogues this obsession with repurposing and includes free tutorials.

As much as I hassle my daughter to put her old, too small clothes into the giveaway pile, I’m often the one with the trouble seeing them go. There always seems to be at least one garment in the bunch that I find I’m unexpectedly nostalgic about. It’s even worse when the garment is stained to the point that no one else will want to use it.

This simple bunting project was designed to be a happy compromise between letting go and still getting to hang on, at least a little bit. By using her worn out garments to create the bunting I was able to recycle the clothing while also creating something very sentimental.

Materials needed: file folder :: old clothing :: piece of yarn :: small amount of felt :: cute buttons
Tools needed: ruler :: pencil :: craft knife :: awl :: sewing machine :: double stick tape :: needle and thread

Creating The Patterns: This project requires making two different sized symmetrical diamond patterns. It’s easiest to do this using a spare file folder and drawing half the pattern on its folded edge. After cutting out and unfolding the paper, the patterns are finished and ready to use.

Step 1: Place the folder so its folded edge is at the top. Starting several inches from the left hand side, use a ruler to draw a 6″ line down from the top. Use an awl to make a pin mark in the folder at the 6″ mark.

Step 2: Now make one pin mark on the fold, 2 1/2″ to the left of the pencil line, and then another 2 1/2″ to the right of the pencil line. Connect all pin marks with a pencil. (You’ll end up with a triangle with a line drawn through its center.)

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the right side of the folder. This time creating a smaller triangle that measures 4 1/2″ long and 4 1/4″ wide at the top.

Step 4: Now that you have two triangles drawn out, add 1/4″ allowance around the two outer sides of each. Angle in at the points of the triangle to create a blunted tip.

Step 5: Cleanly cut out the triangles using a ruler and knife, followed by scissors to snip off the blunted tips.

Preparing The Fabric

Step 1: Use a pen to trace out the two patterns on your fabric (be careful to avoid any stains in the material). Cut out on the line. Repeat step 1 until you’ve cut out plenty of pieces to make the bunting.

Step 2: Lay each piece of fabric face down, then fold back and iron the 1/4″ allowance on all sides.

Assemblage

Step 1: Lay one of the diamonds face down and gently drape the yarn between the two points in the middle. Place a piece of double stick tape directly over the yarn to keep it from shifting.

Step 2: Fold the diamond in half, so that it now forms a crisp triangle. Make sure to press firmly over the area where you placed the double stick tape.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 alternating between the two different sized pieces as you like until the bunting has reached a length you like.

Step 4: Now the pieces are all secured to the yarn, sew each triangle down both sides and then across the top, just beneath the yarn.

Step 5: The last step is to fold a piece of felt over the places where two triangles meet one another and secure it into place by hand sewing a button over top of it. *This final touch is optional, but it’s a good way to unify everything, especially if your bunting is like ours and full of different patterns.

We love the finished results! It’s an extra cheerful and colorful touch to her happy, eclectic room:)

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