Crafts, Saturday Somethings

Saturday Somethings

My dear blogging friend E.C. recently posted a little tutorial/pictorial on how she made her own DIY soap dispenser from a mason jar. I’ve been in need of a couple nice soap dispensers since I moved but could never find anything I liked that was also within budget. Ok to be fair nobody truly NEEDS a soap dispenser. But they do look nicer than the “single use” type plastic bottles liquid hand soap tends to come in. I always refill mine from the big refill bottles to get the most use out of them even if they aren’t the prettiest things in the world to look at.  

Her idea was so simple it made me wonder why I had not thought of it myself. Granted I still needed to buy some of the supplies. Ok, almost all of them. And I confess to buying new mason jars for the job too. 😶 In my defense I left all my mason jars behind when I moved and the couple I have since acquired in one way or another either still have food in them that I’m not ready to open yet or were much too large. So. It’s justified, right? 

I chose the blue half pint jars as they were closest to the height I needed for the soap pumps I had at home and also they seemed the ideal size for how much counter space they would take up. And I like blue.

I simply followed E.C.’s instructions – the most tricky part being getting the pliers started with removing the punched out center of the lids – and a short while later I had two pretty new soap dispensers – one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen –  ready to go, that I actually like! (Yes J I am aware of the built in soap dispenser my kitchen sink has. It is recently refilled and I do use it. But I still like having the pretties around.) 

I did add some silver glitter tape to the rings of the jars, because it’s me and when do I not add glitter to something if it is even the slightest bit possible to do so? Unfortunately, through many attempted projects, I have learned this particular tape (Duck Glitter Crafting Tape) is NOT very adhesive. The only thing it seems to adhere to somewhat well is paper and I am honestly not sure it would even hold up well for that based on what I have seen in my experimenting with it.  After less than 30 minutes it was coming off the rings already. I haven’t yet figured out what to do instead since the tape is clearly not going to hold. (I used this tape on my homemade makeup brush holders which can also be seen in this picture but on those I had glued the tape down and even then I had to keep fighting with it to get it to stay down while the glue dried. I don’t feel like dealing with such a battle on these!) 

If you’d like to know how to make your own mason jar – or similar – soap/lotion dispenser just click here to see E.C.’s post about how she made hers. 

Until next time. xoxo

Crafts, Thursday Things

Thursday Things

My shoulder feels ok at times but is often still hurting. It kept me awake much of the night last night. I was sure I had brought a heating pad with me when I moved but I’ve been unable to find it. So this morning, after a painful and nearly sleepless night, I went to the store to get a new one. It’ll be going back to the store as soon as I feel up to venturing out again, probably some time tomorrow. Unless I decide it is sufficient for other aches and pains despite not working for the current shoulder pain. I had the heat set on high for half an hour and it was only slightly warm, nowhere near warm enough to help. I read some reviews online for the same one as well as each of the others that are currently on the local store shelves, and they ALL have negative reviews saying they don’t get warm enough to be helpful. So I don’t know if I will try another one or not – seems like a gamble on whether or not it’ll actually heat up enough to help that I’m likely to lose, based on the reviews I’ve read. 

I decided to try making a homemade heating pad. I had all the supplies needed – thread, cotton fabric, and rice (of which I did buy more while at the store this morning, cause I didn’t want to be left without rice for the intended use of food lol). I ironed my fabric then just draped it over my shoulder to determine the size I wanted, then ironed the fold for a crisp crease there and cut off the excess length. Then I sewed up the two sides from the folded edge to the open edge, trimmed down the seams as, then sewed across the final open edge, leaving a couple inches in the middle open. I flipped the little pocket of fabric right side out, pushing out the corners, and again ironed the seams for nice crisp lines. Then I filled the bag with rice. I wasn’t sure how much to use so just had to wing it. I ended up putting a full 2 pound bag of rice in (finished size is about 7 x 8 inches). Then I sewed up the remaining open bit, and it was done.

I’m not sure how long it is meant to be reusable, but I’d imgine as long as it stays dry it should last a good long while. I’ve found in my microwave one to one and a half minutes gets it nice and hot. It will hold enough heat to help ease the shoulder pain for about 15 minutes or so, then it needs reheated. Heating it up longer makes it too hot to use. Though you could wrap it in a towel, which might help it retain the heat longer as well as then keeping the very hot pouch from being too hot against your skin – I’ll have to try that later but for now I have some other stuff I need to do so am just placing it directly against my skin as is.

Rascal is fussing wanting outside so I’m off to take the dogs out then need to get to some other tasks for the day. 

Until next time. xoxo

Crafts, Melting Pot, Saturday Somethings

Saturday Somethings

I finished my project that I recently bought more paint for. But first, a brief back-story: several years ago my dad got me a “paint your own piggy bank” kit. We had gotten one for my oldest niece for Christmas and she had wanted me to paint it with her. I had so much fun with it my dad got one just for me shortly after. Fast forward to current times, because I had neglected to seal the paint on in any way my piggy bank had seen better days. It was time to repaint. I removed all the old paint and then left it alone till I figured out how I wanted to paint it this time around. My inspiration finally came, and now it’s complete, other than wating it out a bit longer to be sure the polyurethane is completely cured, since this time I did seal it up for longevity. 

It is a bit stormy here, since yesterday afternoon. On one hand I don’t mind storms, provided they are not too severe. I’ve always liked rain and thunder. At this point in time they offer added benefits of drowning out the noisy neighbors far better than any method I have tried, and often they just chase the neighbors indoors and make them quiet. It’s nice to get a little peace for a while. On the other hand, the rain has been more severe – enough that my roof decided to leak yesterday. Thankfully nothing major but still something that will need to be addressed. 

But it still meant that beyond the “natural noise” I had a nice stretch of peace and quiet yesterday. The noise in this neighborhood is near constant, with very limited breaks. It does not matter that my windows are all closed, does not matter what room I am in or what I am doing, I still hear the noise the neighbors make. Sometimes if I am in the shower that will give me some reprieve. But only sometimes. Some people are not bothered by such noise levels. Obviously I am not among those people. To put it in perspective for you, with the above description of the noise in mind… I hate fans because they’re too loud/noisy. Ceiling fans are fine, they’re typically quiet. But floor fans or little tabletop fans etc? Nope. I can not stand the noise they make. Now with that comparison in mind… it’s no wonder I have a constant headache and have turned into a perpetully cranky bitch since moving here. The noise is only one part of it too. There is so much more to it. Some of which is probably better left unsaid. In my less emotional moments if I look at the whole picture like this, honestly I am more surprised by how long I kept it together before I started to really crumble in the last couple of weeks. Truth: I’m miserable. I’m doing all I can but getting nowhere. For numerous reasons though I always divert back to old habits: if anyone asks (though they almost never do) smile and say I’m fine, wear a mask to hide all the pain and chaos inside. Shrug. Just what I do. But we’re not gonna open that can of worms today. 

I’ve still not found a new set of cookware. I have a couple sets in mind, but I can’t decide which one is most worth the risk of trusting the information when it says it is dishwasher safe. Reading reviews is of little help in this regard, since some folks just hand wash their cookware by default for whatever reason and of those who do trust the info and use the dishwasher, some say everything comes out fine while others say not so. It is going to be a gamble no matter what set I end up deciding to get. I just can not seem to convince myself that any of them are worth that gamble right now. 

And when I put it all that way… my search for cookware sounds like my search for a special man friend: been burned already, now trust none of them, much as I want one I just can’t seem to convince myself any of them are worth the risk of getting burned again. Heh.

I think I need help, the places my mind goes sometimes. 

J invited me to hang out this weekend if I want. I’m undecided at the moment. I want to – I’m lonely. But the way my emotions have been I can’t trust myself to not lose it at some point – it’s one thing for me to fall apart when it’s just me and the dogs but another to let that happen when someone else is around. The weather looks questionable as well, and I don’t particularly like driving much even on a good weather day. I don’t like driving in the rain.

Either way this has been one of my more random, rambly posts so I should probably shut up and try to do something at least somewhat productive. And by that I mean maybe I will finally get around to getting out some hanks of yarn and set up my swift and winder and get them wound into cakes/balls/whatever you want to call them. I always just call them balls of yarn but apparently the specific way in which they are wound they are called cakes. Which is ok. But it makes me want cake. 😜

Until next time. xoxo

Crafts, Crochet, No Filter Friday

No Filter Friday

I wanted to take a little break from all the moving things around and cleaning, so yesterday was a relax and do whatever day. My arms and shoulders in particular are very sore. I did still do a few little things (like attempting to clean the outside of the back door. I guess it is technically clean now since I scrubbed and scrubbed… it just still looks filthy. 😒) but mostly I took the day to rest and recoup before trying to get more done over the course of the weekend. 

I felt like perhaps knitting or crocheting a little something but I couldn’t decide what. Granted at the moment I have no idea where most of my hooks and needles are anyway. But I have some of them available and ready to go. I hopped on Ravelry and spotted this simple little pattern for a flower pot hanger. I had been wanting to make some of these anyway, just had not seen any patterns I really liled yet. This one I liked so I grabbed a hook and some yarn and got to it. 

It was a very quick project to finish up, done within a couple hours, including a couple breaks to take the dogs out and such, including a significant break to remove yet another tick from poor little Rascal. Damned arachnids. Both girls now have their much overdue Seresto collars on now though. They take about 4 days to be fully effective initially, so just a couple more days of just trying to be speedy and avoid taller grass outside and they ought to be safe for the next 8 months!

But I digress. Because my yarn was a little lighter weight than the designer used, I used a smaller hook to ensure a sturdy gauge. This also meant my resulting piece, because I did still follow the instructions exactly, is a bit smaller but that is ok, that was what I wanted. It is a very easy pattern to adjust in terms of sizing. The finished piece holds this little 4″ pot quite nicely (though some might argue it is a tad too small but I like how the pot sits in it!). I just need to figure out where I want to hang it. Then, you know… HOW to hang it up, exactly. Lol For the pictures I had to just hold it up. While taking the pictures. Talk about tricky! 

This was the first pattern the designer wrote for others to use so it is a little rough, but if you are an experienced crocheter you should not have any trouble following it at all. (Just don’t forget to convert it to US terms if necessary, as it is written with UK crochet terminology!) If you’d like to check out the pattern for yourself you can find it on Ravelry by clicking here

As for the plant… if you don’t know or can’t tell, this is my lovely little Christmas Cactus, propegated from a plant my dad got for me a couple years ago. He still has the parent plant. I am happy mine is doing so well. Hopefully later this year I’ll get some blooms from it. 

Until next time. xoxo 


Makeup Brush & Pen/Pencil Holders

While packing for my upcoming move, I have of course had a lot of fragile things that need to be well cushioned for the travel. This meant a trip to Sam’s Club for a big box of bubble wrap. I used up the last of it recently and upon reaching the end of the bubble wrap I discovered the cardboard tube that had been at the center of it. I was set to just toss it but the more I thought about it the more I felt surely there was a way I could repurpose the tube. It was a nice size and pretty sturdy. I took some time to think about it and figured out the perfect way to turn it into something useful! With a ~3-inch diameter, this tube is (in my opinion) a really great size for pen/pencil holders and also for makeup brush holders! Because I have several mini makeup brushes with shorter handles that tend to get lost in taller holders, I decided to make one for the standard brushes and a shorter one for the minis, and with the third length of tube a pen/pencil holder. 

I started out by cutting the tube into three sections – two that are a bit taller (and almost the same length) and one that is a bit shorter. I held some makeup brushes and pencils up to the tube to determine where I wanted to make the cuts and marked them with pencil. I used a serated knife to cut them by hand, but if you have a table saw and want to zip through the cutting a lot faster by all means you can do that. This particular tube is not made of the thickest cardboard so it was easy to get through with the knife but if you were using a heavier tube (like mailing tubes perhaps) the saw may be preferable. Either way, just remember to be careful while cutting, and keep those fingers out of the way of the blade. I didn’t quite get my cuts perfectly straight around the tube, but close enough it wasn’t a problem.

Once I had the three sections, I then traced the outside diameter on another piece of sturdy cardboard (I used a mailing box that I didn’t need for anything else) to make a base for each tube. I used my hot glue gun to glue the circles to the tubes. You could use a different glue but the hot glue sets within minutes – if you use something else you’ll need to give it plenty of time to dry/cure before moving on, and clamp the pieces together in some way to ensure a solid join. Once the glue set I used an x-acto knife to carefully trim away any uneven sections of the base circles as well as any glue that had squished out when pressing the bases to the tubes. Voila – one tube of cardboard is now three cardboard cups!

Primed with white gesso and ready for paint

I primed each of the cups with three layers of white gesso as per the instructions on my jar of gesso. This is probably not necessary, but it depends on how you plan to decorate the cups and how picky you are about things. I felt like priming with the gesso would give me a better base for truer paint colors when I painted them and the gesso prevents the cardboard from just soaking up the paint, hence the decision to prime. 

Final layers of paint, pardon my messiness. Lol

Once the final layer of gesso was dry, I moved on to painting. I used water based acrylic paints mixed to the colors I wanted and applied a couple coats, letting each one dry before applying the next, till I was happy with the coverage.  (Three coats on the light blue, four on the red.) I let the last layer of paint dry completely then moved on. 

All glittered up waiting to dry before sealing

Being me, I wanted to accent the painted cups with glitter. I considered other options – lace, rhinestones, free hand painting some flowers, stenciling etc – but good ol’ glitter was calling my name. I decided I wanted to do glitter gradients. For the blue ones I just wanted top to bottom. I mixed some craft glue (most important thing here is just choosing glue that dries clear) with water just to thin it out a little to make it easier to work with. It starts to dry fairly quickly so you need to work fast with this part. I used a paint brush to brush this glue all around the top of the cup and used downward strokes toward the bottom – the whole cup does not need to be covered and you don’t need to be precise since the aim is a gradient effect anyway, but I made sure to take the glue almost all the way to the bottom of the cups. Once the glue was all around the cup, I carefully poured glitter, working in small sections, along the top edge then just blew on it to get rid of the excess and create the gradient. Yes, this part is messy and means glitter everywhere. Everywhere. You can minimize the glitter mess by doing this outside if weather permits or over a sink if you have to work inside. Or if you’re like me and the glitter does not bother you, just keep on working at the table and don’t worry about it. 😉 For the red cup I wanted the gradient to be on both the top and bottom of the cup so I worked in the same manner but started with the bottom edge and only applied the glue about half way down the length of the cup from both bottom and top edges, so there is a heavier concentration of glitter on the ends but minimal glitter in the middle.

Once the glitter was applied I let the glue dry completely. Then I again mixed some water and craft glue, this time just a tiny bit thinner than before, to make a sealer to seal the glitter onto the cups so it will not come off when they are handled. I used a paint brush to dab the watered down glue over the heavier glittered edges, then brushed lightly over the rest of the surface. I let that dry overnight then applied another layer to really be sure all that sparkly prettiness is locked on there! 

Top edges taped, and lacquered for a glossy finish

At this point they could be done, but I felt like the very top edges needed a little something to finish them off. I applied some glitter tape to finish that edge. Then I really wanted them to have a glossy finish, so I gave each cup a couple layers of lacquer to finish them up.

All done!

The final result is, in my opinion, very pretty.  😊

I got my second box of bubble wrap to finish my packing. I will have to think up something else fun to do with the tube from that one!

Until next time. xoxo 


Yarn Basket

As I have been going through my things and packing, I came across an old storage basket that had seen better days. It was nothing fancy, just one of those simple cloth covered metal frames, a cheaper old thing from Walmart. The fabric was stained and it didn’t look very nice anymore. 

I cut the fabric off the frame, and had planned to try to sew a new cover for it. I ended up choosing a no-sew way of renewing it though: yarn! 

I worked single crochets around the top edges and situated the stitches so that the tops are facing down, so the top of the basket has a smooth appearance. Then I wrapped yarn across the bottom of the frame in a couple layers, and slipped some cardboard cut to fit inbetween the layers of yarn to give the basket some stability. (I used a double layer of cardboard cut from a mailing box.) I added one more layer of yarn around the bottom to conceal the carboard a bit more. Then I grabbed a skein of another color yarn and started wrapping around the sides, over and over. I used the entire skein; if you look at the right angle you can see the sides still have some openness to them but it covered the sides pretty well. Throughout this whole process I used hot glue to secure the yarn to the metal base, and also glued the yarn used to wrap the sides to the free edge of the single crochets used to cover the top edge of the frame, as well as to fasten the ends of the yarn so everything is held together. 

I finished it off with a few lines of hot glue on the bottom of the basket, to prevent it from sliding on the counter. 

It is not perfect, but I like it very much. There were numerous ways I could have done this, some that probably would have been faster, easier, and likely would have used less yarn… but this was what gave the look I was after. It took several hours over a couple days from start to finish, but I would say it was well worth it, and since I already had all the supplies it cost me nothing to do it. 😊

Until next time. xoxo 

Crafts, Melting Pot

When A Crafter Gets Bored…

… and has an itch to use her hot glue gun, she WILL find something to accomplish that task, no matter how small that something may be. Case in point: 


A scotch tape dispenser. Pink with some embossed flourishes, pretty yet sorta plain. 

Till some nutty redhead with rhinestones and a hot glue gun gets an idea in her head…


😁 It is a small thing, but I like it. I just added rhinestones where some dots were in the embossed design. And one just where a flourish curls up. If I could have found my smaller nail art rhinestones, I would have incorporated some of those too. But I could only find the larger crafting ones. 

Now I just need to get a refill of tape for it. 

Until next time. xoxo 

Crafts, Crochet, Melting Pot

Yarnie Frustration

I have been wanting to crochet an afghan for quite a while. I’ve not made one in several years and it’s been on my to do list but I could never find a yarn I liked that I could afford to get the necessary yardage for an afghan, or I could not find enough of the color(s) I wanted for a given pattern etc. Earlier this year I was browsing the clearance section on Craftsy and saw an acrylic yarn that is a GREAT choice for afghans, because they are jumbo skeins (lots of yardage = not many individual skeins need to be purchased) and being on clearance, the price was right, and they even had colors I would be happy with for my chosen pattern. I was able to double up on the yardage (I like to make my afghans bigger than the average pattern will make) so that I can make it bigger, for under $40 shipped. You really can’t beat that!

After I got my yarn, it took a while to start working on the afghan. I was on nanny-duty at the time so down time was a rarity and when I did have it, I was usually too sleepy to do anything but, well, catch up on sleep! I did manage to get three squares finished just doing a little here and there. Since being in my current location I’ve managed to make three more, but getting a seventh square completed is proving to be an incredible challenge. I have the time. I have the desire. But I CAN’T get it done.

I am prone to tendonitis is both wrists. It’s been an issue for me for enough years I’m used to it, I recognize when my wrists are getting tired and if I’m smart I listen to my body and stop before they start to hurt. Sometimes I push because I’ll be close to the end of a project (or a part of a project, like a square for an afghan for example) and I REALLY want to get it done before I take a break. Used to be even when I pushed like that, a couple days of rest and my wrists would be good to go again for a while. That is apparently no longer the case.

You see, I pushed to finish afghan square number six. I knew I shouldn’t have, but I was almost done with it and really wanted to be able to finish those last couple of rounds. I should not have done that. It’s been a couple weeks now and my wrists are only now kind of back to normal; I still can’t manage to do much. A few days ago they were feeling good so I started square number seven. Before I was even done with round 2 I could tell I needed to stop. I pushed to finish the round then reluctantly set it aside. Tonight I decided I would try to get at least one more round finished. The pattern uses two colors and the first three rounds are done in one color then you fasten off and the rest is finished up with the second color, so I was kind of hoping to at least finish up the portion of the pattern that uses the first color.


I only managed to get about half way through the round before I had to stop. I was tempted to push to get the round finished but given how long I have been struggling with my wrists just not wanting to get completely better since I pushed to finish the sixth afghan square I know at this point I really truly HAVE to stop as soon as my wrists start feeling tired. SIGH. At this rate this afghan is going to take years to finish. =( Not to mention what a depressing thought it is that I am clearly also going to have to start really taking my time on ANY crochet or knit projects from this point on. It really sucks when your favorite hobbies become things you can’t really enjoy as much any more due to physical pain/limitations. I suddenly feel very old, thanks to this issue/complaint. I’m only in my early 30’s, dammit!


No-Sew Sock Snowmen

I can scarcely keep my eyes open today. Lack of sleep is catching up to me and my body seems to want to try to play catch-up, but sleeping during the day is sure not going to help me sleep at night. So, I am fighting the urge to sleep right now and hoping that I can get to sleep at a reasonable time tonight.

I have been busy this weekend, though not at all with what I had planned to do this weekend. I have done some crafting between the other things though so while not what I planned to take care of this weekend at least I have done some stuff I wanted to do.

It took me quite a while in the local craft store to find the poly beads I couldn’t order from Amazon. They moved things around a bit since my last visit so I had to hunt for everything on my list, and like that wasn’t enough the poly beads were in a different aisle than the polyfil where I was expecting it to be. I was about to give up on it when I saw it by chance on one last trip down an aisle I had been in three times already. I wasn’t looking low enough to see them on the bottom shelf. Figures. lol

As for what those poly beads were needed for: some cute no-sew snowmen decorations! My mom shared a video tutorial on facebook recently (video linked below) and I just had to make some for myself. I did do a few things differently for mine, however. I also have some ideas for other things that can be made with this same basic idea, for other holidays and seasons. I will share those once I have made them though as they will take a little thought on the variations in how to achieve what I want.

Here is the tutorial for anyone interested:

What I did differently, besides the decorative bits which of course you can vary however you please:

Obviously, I used poly beads instead of rice to fill mine. I know rice is probably seen as a more economical choice but, two things: 1. I worry about bugs getting into it if used for decorative purposes such as this, and 2. I am not keen on wasting food in this manner. You may not see this as wasteful, and if not and you want to use rice go right ahead, I am not judging. Just saying that for me personally I would rather not use a food item for this purpose when there is a crafting item available that can be used instead.

I just used small clear hair elastics to close them up and to section the head and body. It just seemed a little faster and easier to me. Plus I already had them and thus did not have to spend money on string.

I didn’t want to use pins for the faces on mine. I am clumsy. I am absentminded. I am the kind of person who is going to forget about those pins and just grab the decorations to move them and stab myself in the process. Instead I used rhinestones for the eyes. I even lucked out and found black rhinestones, perfect for the traditional coal eyes of a snowman! The smallest size was perfect for the full-size snowmen I made but too big for the “baby”, so for that one I used a couple smaller blue rhinestones.

For the noses, I had planned to use orange rhinestones. But while I was browsing the craft store I stumbled onto adorable little carrot noses. No further explanation needed here! I did have to hold the noses in place till the glue was set, which took several minutes. Totally worth it though. (I did use a rhinestone for the “baby” snowman nose, however, since the carrot nose would have been too big.)

For the hats, I did plan to use the cuffs of the socks as in the tutorial. But again, my casual browsing of the craft store led me to felt top hats in just the right size! I also hand crocheted a hat for the “baby” snowman (which I made out of the cuff of a sock) and I knit and crocheted the scarves for each of them to wear. This was a great use for smaller bits of scrap yarn leftover from other projects.

Everything got glued on – except the scarves – with my trusty E600, which if you’re not familiar with is an awesome glue that works on almost everything. If you have never used it before two warnings: it loves to ooze out of the bottle especially when it is still a full tube so be very careful with it in this regard. If you are quick and careful you can manipulate the tube a bit to cease the oozing before it makes a mess. Do a little magic with the tube to stop the flow then cap it before you set it down between uses to avoid any potential disasters while you are crafting. Warning number two is to be aware that if there is glue residue left on the nozzle when you close it, and it is allowed to dry with the cap on… you will be lucky to get the cap back off. Always wipe any residue from the nozzle before capping. When you are done with the glue and will not need it again till the next time you craft, wipe any residue off then coat the nozzle with a thin layer of Vaseline. The Vaseline ensures that you’ll be able to get the cap off just in case you missed any glue residue.

So with all that said, here are my adorable little snowmen:


An FYI on this: Obviously you can use any size socks you like for this. I didn’t want these to be enormous decorations nor did I want them to be too small. I used some size medium socks from the girl’s department. You can adjust their size a little bit by where you cut the sock as well. Mine each stand about 5″ tall including the hats. The “baby” was made with the cut-off cuff, and is about 3″ tall. I think this is an ideal size for them. Another FYI note is that one 1 pound bag of poly beads was enough to fill three “adult” snowmen and the “baby”. Obviously the amount of beads you will need will vary based on the size socks you are using and how much you choose to fill them. But I thought it would be nice to offer up how far I got with them so this paired with the size socks I used can help give you a general idea of how many bags you’ll need if you plan to make some of these for yourself. 🙂

I am probably going to make another baby to round out the little collection, because I don’t like odd numbers. Yes I know, I am weird. lol

I did a couple other projects but this post is pretty lengthy so I will save sharing those for another day.