Lady Macguyver – Craft Storage Edition

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about finding ways to use things I already have to decorate my home. I have a whole bunch of art supplies in one of my hall closets, but it all just sits behind the closet door and doesn’t do anything. With that thought, I resolved to get some of my pretty things OUT of the closet and into the house. So I bring you TWO quick and easy projects!

First, behold the lovely Fabric Ladder! Want to know what I made it from?

The rail from my daughter’s old crib!
I’m definitely not the first to think of this – I am positive I’ve seen this idea around the wubs. I think it makes a great addition to my hallway – it’s rather narrow and bare, and this ladder adds a big punch of fun and color.
If you don’t have an old crib in your garage, I bet you can find one like this for free on Craigslist! Drop-side cribs were recently outlawed for sale in the US (I think that was dumb, but that’s not important.), so there’s bound to be lots of people near you with one that they can’t sell and are encouraged to not use. Place a quick want ad on Craigslist for a drop-side crib, and mention that you’re not going to use it for a baby. I’d be willing to bet that someone gets in touch with you and you should be able to pick it up for free. Each crib should give you two long rails like this to hang with fabric (for those of you with tons and tons of fabrics).
(I’ve got an idea up my sleeve for the springy mattress support piece, as well, by the way.)

I wanted to actually hang the “ladder” on the wall, but it ended up being far too heavy, so I just arranged my fabric and leaned it against the wall. I suppose with proper support (screws into studs, for starters), you still could hang it if you wanted. I suspect this idea would also be great for displaying things like quilts and other pretty fabric things, as well.

Secondly, behold the amazing Ribbon Rail! It’s fitted into a narrow strip of wall between my two hall closets, and it really livens up the joint.

You’re never going to guess the materials on this one. The rail is a simple metal dowel that I got at Home Depot months ago. I used it to wrap wire to make jump rings (but now I have a real mandrel so I don’t need it for that). It was cheap.
The rail is supported by… you know those little things you get to screw onto cabinet doors so that kids can’t get into the cleaning supplies? Those.

I had these laying around and they just happened to be the perfect size. I haven’t been able to look, but I bet you can find a proper L-bracket at a hardware store. The child-lock-thing was great because it has a small dent close to the end, which holds the metal dowel nicely. They are designed to bend a little, so if I want to take a spool of ribbon off, I can simply lift the top bracket and pull out the entire dowel. You can’t see it in either of these pictures, but the setup with the lock-thingie is the same at the top, just upside down.
Take care to test the weight of your Ribbon Rail, making sure that your L-bracket will support it. The things I used have no problem with the weight of my ribbons.

I am so happy with how these turned out. My hallway is now brighter with color, and I can change them on a whim!
Do you ever wish you could make some use of all your extra craft supplies instead of leaving them in the closet? Share your ideas in the comments, or better yet – go make it and share it!

Web Weekend #2

Hello again! I’ve got 292 subscriptions this week, although I must confess that I added like 20 of them just yesterday. Sadly, it seems that there weren’t any good recipes to pass on, but that’s okay, because I’ve got a lot of other things to share. πŸ™‚ Check out the new category at the bottom, featuring things I found cute or just plain funny. πŸ™‚

Image from Craft
Crochet Succulents – So cute and even harder to kill! (Photo from Craft)

How to make a wooden sword (Art of Manliness)
Toddler Totoro! (The Uniblog)
Great Doctor Who shirt, but I think there’s 8 Doctors crying somewhere… (Fashionably Geek)
This origami pillow cover is simply amazing. (Knock Off Decor)
Quick roundup of hearts and dragons stitching patterns (Feeling Stitchy)
Crocheted Succulents – bright and not covered with thorns! (Craft)
Of course you want a handmade felt TARDIS (Craft)
Felted zombie candies for Valentine’s Day (Craft)
Beautiful lacy wooden earrings (Pioneer Woman)
Magnetic Nail Polish?! Get me some NOW. (Chloe’s Nails)
I am in awe of this feathery stitchery (Feeling stitchy)
Mmmm, beautiful textiles (CasaSugar)
The LOTR MiniFigs! (Topless Robot)

TV-inspired nail art! Some of these are kinda amateur, but some are awesome. (Flavorwire)
How to add a Pin It button to your WordPress blog. I’ve gotta get on that… (BlogHer)
Upcycled kid’s craft organizer – bright and fun! (Knock Off Decor)
These storage bins are awesome and I think I might make some similar ones (Treehugger)
Fun and cute way to use up little leftover ends of embroidery floss. (The Smallest Forest)
Large mesh “needlepoint” – really great for a big sign! (Craft)
Crochet-edged valentines
– also cute for “framing” art on a wall, I think. (Craft)
Cute sewing-area decor idea (Craft)

Photo from Craft
Mesh Needlepoint (Photo from Craft)

The Cook’s Thesaurus. Bookmark it.

Articles and News
How to Prepare for a Pelvic Exam if you’re a Sexual Assault Survivor – I hope none of you need this, and I wish nobody ever did, but here it is, just in case. Also a good resource for someone having their first. (Jezebel)
Part of a series of articles on mature male archetypes. Nerd glee! (Art of Manliness)
Lord of the Rings geekery at its finest: a comprehensive Middle Earth family tree. (io9)
Why we need a permanent Moonbase (io9)
A love letter to the Internet (Bent Objects)
What your favorite blog says about you (Slacktory)
Five stupid stereotypes about girls that need to be unlearned (Mommyish)
Let’s talk about brand loyalty (Apartment Therapy)
Words! Glorious Words! (The Mary Sue)
Let me tell you why you should support the Arkh Project (Arkh Project)
Clean and Beautiful Nails: A Sign of Class (Capitol Couture)

Entertainment News
Are the Oscars even about art anymore? (BlogHer)
I didn’t know these! Which actors popped up more than once on Doctor Who? (Anglophenia)
Happy Year of the Dragon! Have some info about Smaug. (The Mary Sue)
IMDB’s top 10 of the last 10 years – an excuse to ogle. (Flavorwire)
A 10-minute supercut of WHO! (Topless Robot)

I can’t not share Stasia Burrington – I love her art. This one is no exception. (Stasia Burrington)
These miniature Lego creations are amazing. (Colossal)
You have to see these papercut birds and flowers. (Colossal)
Adorable little baby Spiderman (Cute-sturbing)

Photo from the Uniblog
ADORB! (Photo from the Uniblog)

Weekly Greatness:
PUPPIES (My Junk Drawer)
When did THIS…? (Definitely the best medicine)
QC is a great comic, but this strip stands alone as awesome. (Questionable Content)
Haha! These make me want to watch First Class again (Erin knits, nerds, exists)

Did you see anything cool around the internet this week? Is there a blog I should be reading? Share your own thoughts and links in the comments!

Organizing, Downsizing, and New Things

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been realizing that I’m very unhappy with the layout and working of my home. I can’t do much about the physical form of the building, of course. But I feel like my furniture is wrong and that the “flow” of the house just isn’t working. The main symptom of this is that it’s very very hard to keep it clean and organized, because it just doesn’t WORK.

I’ve been talking to Jonathan about it over the past couple of days, thinking and talking and passing ideas around. Trying to come to some decisions and conclusions about how to improve it.
Also playing into our discussion is the knowledge that we will be moving later this year – knowing that we have to pack, we have a desire to downsize and pare away the excess, as well as organize things now so the packing is easier later.

Here is a list of what I’ve got running in my head, about what I want to do with my house:
– rearrange the living room (but it’s long and narrow so I don’t know how)
– buy an e-reader and begin to pare down the books and clean the shelves
– better organization of our movie collection
– buy shelves and baskets to create “hidden” storage for the stuff that accumulates around the rooms (dining and living rooms, specifically)
– find a way to incorporate a “landing strip” where keys, wallets, mail, etc, can be dropped on the way into the house (no room near the garage door where we generally enter)
– organize the vast amounts of paperwork we possess. scan and shred as much as possible.
– downsize some of the dishes, upsize some others (I know that makes no sense)
– decor is not satisfying – change it!
– get a coat rack or two
– down size the “stuff” – is it important to me? If not, why do I have it? If yes, then is it being used to the best advantage?
– install shelves in various places (above microwave, in bathroom) for storage and display
– purchase large airtight containers, so we can buy large (warehouse-size) amounts of staples like flour and sugar

That’s all I can assemble in my head at the moment. I’m constantly scouring the internet, so I have a ton of ideas in my head for new decor, new organization, etc, and I am looking forward to beginning. (When we get our income tax return, I’m hijacking part of it for specific use on these projects.) So you can consider this list to be a preview of things to come on this blog.

A Tuesday Tip

My husband and daughter are both sick. (And I was sick last week, so our house is REALLY messy.) I haven’t had time / motivation to write any of the posts in my queue, but I did think of a tip to share. Ready for it? Here it comes.

The crockpot. Magical food ready for whenever anybody wants to eat!


Also, just wanted to direct your attention to the sidebar, where you will find a list of different places you can find me! I just started the Pinterest, so it’s pretty bare. Google + is where you should go if you like my Web Roundups. πŸ™‚

Web Weekend #1

Welcome to the relaunch of my internet roundup! I used to do it on Wednesday, but the weekend makes so much more sense, really. Look for this post every week, sometime during the weekend (probably Sunday). Follow the blog or my Twitter for instant updates!
I’ve got like, months of stuff to share, but I just couldn’t go back that far here. I’m sad about all the things I had to leave out. In the future, this will feature only a week’s worth of stuff. There should also be a section of “Just for Laughs” but there was no way I could do that one today.

A short roundup of geeky necklaces. I can’t decide whether to make or buy that Snitch one. (GeekSugar)
Needle felted Mushroom Terrarium? Yes this exists. I have been wanting to learn felting. (CRAFT)
A “branding kit” for crafters, for making cute labels and the like. Oh, and it’s free! (CRAFT)
Old jeans into spare pockets – greener and cuter and more customizable than a standard toolbelt. (Recyclart)
Play doughnuts. I like toy food, and these are super cute. (BlogHer)
I want literally everything in this post. Must see. (Design Mom)
Mmmm, I love citrus scrubs. This is on my to-do list. (Curbly)
A leather holster tutorial. Great for cosplays or just because it looks cool. (CRAFT)
I love nail polish. I love the Hunger Games. Put them together and just take my money. (The Gloss)
Pretty and fun postage-stamp bracelet. (Unconsumption)
An adorable ruffled skirt. I so need this. (Sweetie Pie Bakery)
I love this whimsical spaghetti measure. (The Kitchn)
Art with bicycle gears. Really intricate and pretty. (Knock Off Decor)
Make your own stuffed Hobbes. (CRAFT)
Denim whale made out of old jeans. (Recyclart)
Nerdy Nail Polish! I am definitely buying like… all of them. (Fashionably Geek)

Photo from CRAFT
Satsuma candle! Photo from CRAFT

Recycle bottle caps into a small container for tiny things. I like it. (Recyclart)
I really like this space-saving idea for a table. Will use in the future. (Knock Off Decor)
Great idea for an old purse! (We Love French Knots)
A simple candle from an orange peel. It must smell heavenly. (CRAFT)
All these valentines are cute, but my favorite is the superhero lollipop. (LilSugar)
I didn’t know you could mail things in bottles. Great for storage too! (Apartment Therapy)
Reuse your old board games! (Unconsumption)
I keep meaning to make some text art for my house… (decor8)
BUTTONS! BRB, gotta go buy more. (LilSugar)
I really want a vintage mail sorter. (Apartment Therapy)
Cute tiny Valentines. (CRAFT)
Re-use the spring from an old crib as a memo board. (Apartment Therapy)
A simple way to display and store earrings. (IKEA Hackers)

I know it sounds gross, but Mayo definitely is the trick to chocolate cake. (Lifehacker)
Reese’s Popcorn. Yes, please. (Two Peas and their Pod)
Buttermilk Quick Bread with variations. I made it – it’s super good. (The Kitchn)
I love applesauce cakes. (The Stir)
Carrot-Ginger soup. Something about this just sounds delicious. (Blisstree)
brb, drooling over these french fries. (Pioneer Woman)
Deeeeelicious-looking chocolate cake. (The Kitchn)
Taco Cupcakes? YES. (The Stir)
A Harry Potter Cookbook exists. To the bookstore! (GeekMom)

Articles and News
A short-ish list of grocery must-haves. I think this is a good start, but my list would be different. What about you? (Pioneer Woman)
This whole Girl Scout controversy has me frothing at the mouth. Here’s a nice response to it. (BlogHer)
When do you get rid of your old technology? (Apartment Therapy)
The last word on SOPA and PIPA? I hope so. (PopWatch)
When is your favorite food going to be on sale? Useful list. (Lifehacker)
I love The Bloggess, but I am going to steal her Tardis. (Bloggess)
Thought-provoking article for those raising GeekChildren. (GeekMom)
Teeeeeeeny tiny frogs! (Gawker)
Thoughts on raising a daughter with this body-focused media. (Mommyish)

Photo from The Mary Sue
Seriously, is this movie out yet?! Photo from The Mary Sue.

Entertainment News
This still from The Hobbit makes me wish it was already December. (The Mary Sue)
This article about River Song might make you cry. (Anglophenia)
A Hunger Games parody of Grenade by Bruno Mars. πŸ™‚ (Topless Robot)

The Cursed Flute Boy from Link to the Past. (Ben Draws Life)
Beaker of the Lost Meep. (James Hance)
Postage stamp paintings – omg gorgeous (Dude Craft)
Birds in Books (Colossal)
The Adventure of Link – really unique, I love this. (Gorilla Artfare)
Amazing paintings with a Date Stamper (Colossal)

Did you see anything cool around the internet this week? Is there a blog I should be reading? Share your own thoughts and links in the comments!


I’m migrating! Bear with me. I’m planning lots of changes for the future, and I can’t wait to get started. πŸ˜€ Watch out, world, here I come.

You may know that I’ve been having computer problems lately. So if I’m scarce, that’s why. Hopefully that will soon be over. I’ve taken the time away from the internet to re-assess what I want out of blogging, and that’s why I’ve started this new site. So far, I’m planning to keep my Textbook Leftovers site as-is, but I may decide to change it too. Time will tell.

I really enjoyed the schedule I set up last year on my old blog, and while I think I’ll schedule again, I think the schedule will have some changes. Haven’t really hammered out the details there yet.

The main thing I want to focus on in all my blogging is my desire to really connect and engage with my readers. I know there aren’t many of you (yet), but I really want to have discussions and conversations. I encourage you to comment, on any post, whenever, about anything you feel like saying. I’ll enact some basic courtesy rules, but hopefully you all know how to act like human beings. πŸ˜‰

Something else I want to mention – I frequently share things on my Google Plus account, which you can feel free to follow. I share all kinds of things. Some of those will make it into my weekly web roundup, and some won’t. Conversation encouraged there as well. πŸ™‚ I’ve also got a Twitter (look over on the sidebar), and I’m thinking about maybe Booking some Face publicly. Lastly, you may know that I have an Etsy shop. I’ve currently only got a few items available, and they’re all going to expire soon. Buy them if you like! I’ll be ringing in the new year there with a short amount of downtime and plan to come back in the spring with a new lease on life. πŸ™‚

So, I think that’s all for now. I’ve been busy the last few days with some cool projects that I just can’t wait to share, so I hope to be back real soon! I’ve got some goals for the upcoming year, and I just can’t wait to start achieving them!