Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Odds and ... More Odds Actually

Lately I have been getting some minor heat about not posting more often. 

"Surely, you're doing more than working on your tan mum?" was the gist of the complaint.

In my defense, summer in the desert is more about going to the lake than projects (tanning is a natural by-product of lake fun - even wearing 50+ SPF).

But you know me - I can't resist a small project here and there. I hadn't posted them because..well...they're odd projects.

Tell you what - I'll let you be the judge.

Here's a few of my odd little projects (you can decide if the emphasis should be on "odd" or "little" - cast your votes wisely).

Project #1 New Wallet Pen Holder

My niece and her husband came to visit for a week and on our way back from the Grand Canyon (#1 desert attraction) we stopped for dinner.
Aren't they cute? It's their 7th anniversary.

The restaurant had a small attached gift shop and I found a lovely wallet.

I love that color and it matches my car!

It was perfect - except it didn't have a pen holder.

I tried just wedging a pen in there for a few days but every time I opened my wallet the pen would fly out leaving me scrambling on the floor at the checkout...some people get mad when you take too long to pay at Walmart :(.

I'm lost without a pen so...some elastic and a few stitches later...success!

Nice and neat - I should be a wallet designer...

Project #2 Reattached Elastic on Seat Cover

Desert heat is destructive.

I don't just mean paint fading and candles left in the garage melting - EVERYTHING disintegrates.

Check out the candle on the far right - how crazy is that? Our garage gets between 100-110 degrees F.

Mostly things dry out and then collapse. For instance the elastic that holds my car seat covers in place literally transformed itself into hundreds of little white balls...at first I thought it was "snowing" in my backseat. Once I figured out what was going on I replaced it with fresh elastic.

The before picture of my first repair job.

Unfortunately I did a crap job on the part where my left arm touches the sheepskin. It had been driving me crazy for a couple of weeks because every time I got in the car it scratched my arm. It just needed folding under and a few whip stitches.

Why did it take me weeks of arm scratches to fix this annoyance???
Remember I warned you that these were odd projects...

Project #3: Replacing the Non-Skid Daisies

We are lucky enough to have a large walk-in shower. I love it...well mostly. It seems that the previous owner (probably an ex-ice skating champion) decided to tile the shower floor with the slickest tile known to man!

Seriously - these suckers could help with the space shuttle's re-entry drag issues.

Anyway, after a few falls (I'm guessing) the previous owner packed up her crutches and went to Walmart to buy non-skid daisies. Not exactly a design statement (at least not one I'd like to make) but they do the trick. Except when they are brittle and peeling up that is.

So I scraped them up. Then I scraped up all the adhesive. Then I used Goof Off on the residue. Then I realized that my 10 minute project had become a 2 hour project!

This may be one of my favorite inventions of all time.

Finally the daisies were gone. I tried the tile. Maybe they weren't so slick now that I'd cleaned them so well...

One step. One slide. And one screech later I was back at Walmart in search of more non-skid daisies. Luckily, times have changed and modern design has found its way into the non-skid market.

Yep - they carry non-skid 1960's era Mod Squares. I kind of like them.

Makes me feel like "That Girl" when I shower.

Project #4 Sewing Machine Cover

As you know from my last blog - I had to make an early morning run to Walmart and buy a new sewing machine to finish my last couch project. I really like the new machine but I hate the cardboard box it came in. Sure I could buy a generic plastic case for it ($29) but I really just need a dust cover for it...

So I started rooting around my fabric cache and happened across that Trapunto quilt block from a class I took last year. Originally I had visions of a beautiful tone on tone quilt that would be handed down through the generations. (I can hear you laughing you know).

Reality has squashed that vision like Lucille Ball tromping on a thin-skinned grape.

I really liked the idea that my one completed square would finally serve some use so I whipped it up into a quilted dust cover.
It was roughly the right size already thankfully.

Unfortunately, it meant that I had to quilt the other pieces as well or the weight of the Trapunto piece would pull everything out of alignment. I'm not exactly sure why this mattered to me but it turned a 30 minute project into a whole morning of quilting.

Then I had to add a pocket for the extended table, foot pedal and manual of course.
All that's left to do is bind the edges...
Not exactly "heirloom" but kind of functional in an artsy sort of way - don't you think?

Do you see now why I haven't been posting??? My life is filled with these itsy-bitsy projects. Now cast your votes - I'm headed back to the lake!