I know I love you because of this toilet paper…

I can’t say that I came from an outragously wealthy family or anything, but growing up, we always had really nice toilet paper. I never realized this until I started dating my husband (well, now he’s my husband, then he was just a guy that used bad TP). Anyway, when people first start dating–I can generalize here because I know everyone does it–we adopt certain things that our partners like. Sometimes it’s music, sometimes clothing…but for some reason, for me, it was toilet paper. It was a gradual adoption. After we moved in together, I resisted. I still bought good paper for the bathrooms that I used and his less reliable brand for him. At some point though, I lost all hope for him. In his head, he had put this thin, falling apart toilet paper on a pedestal (probably one shaped like a golden toilet). It was the best, and no amount of brainwashing would change his mind. I gave in. I’ve now been using that brand for nearly 10 years. I’m not proud of this. And don’t worry, this post is going somewhere crafty. Soooo, as I restocked the paper the other day, I looked on the back of our toilet where there was a stack of magazines piled up. I thought to myself, “I will use this paper, but gosh darnnit, I am going to have a magazine rack!”

A few years ago, I bought this little “ball holder” from Target’s dollar spot (love that part of the store!) and we used it for a long time in my old house. Eventually it made its way out to the back porch, the fabric got moldy, and then when we moved this past fall, it found a permanent home in our new garage…until yesterday.

Before. Just a plain old ball holder.

I cut off the old fabric. Not neatly, but neatly enough to use this as a rough pattern.

I used the old fabric as a “pattern” and cut 2 coordinating pieces of some extra duck cloth that I had from another project.

Next, I covered the table (warning: don’t do this when you’re hungry or you will be craving Hardee’s ice cream sandwiches during the whole rest of the project) and cleaned off the old rack with a clorox wipe.

I used some paint that my neighbor gave to me to try out and painted the old frame a “bluish” white. Thanks Christina!

My little squirrel helpers.

I pinned the 2 pieces of duck cloth together (right sides facing) and sewed about 1/4″ around 3 of the sides leaving one short side open so that I can turn it inside out.

I folded the ends in, ironed them flat, and pinned them. I then sewed that end together.

I, being a crazy smart person who doesn’t fully think out projects ahead of time, sewed one side on to the rack itself then got stuck with the other side. I ended up making 2 button holes and attaching buttons to the other side. Save yourself the trouble. Do buttons on both sides!

AND…THE FINAL PROJECT IN IT’S NEW HOME!!!! It almost makes the toilet paper tolerable 🙂

New rack in the bathroom. It’s also reversible (and yes, I’ve already switched sides so that the buttons show on the outside).

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New Twist on the Classics

I am a fan of vintage design. I love the way that the classics look and the way that I feel when I put them on. Over the weekend, my husband cleaned out some bins that had been stored away and found some of his old shirts from high school and his youth. I have adopted one of them as my own 🙂 It reminded me of those old baseball shirts, you know, the ones with the different colored 3/4 sleeves and collar? Love those. I remember having a few when I was young and loving them back then too. Now if I can just get my hands on some vintage tube socks (My Miami Dolphins colored ones were my favorite back then, what I wouldn’t do to have a pair of those right now!)…

So I started thinking about my crafts and the projects that I’ve done that I love the most. I realized that those projects that are the most fun are ones that have that vintage inspiration OR ones where I take a classic and add a little something to it. Here are a couple that I’ve recently done.

1. Classic Pillowcase Dress. Sooooooooo many of these are around these days. You can find them in stores, on etsy (or other handmade store sites), and pretty much everyone I know (that can sew) has made a pillowcase dress. It is simple and beautiful and–best of all–very versatile. A true classic. So I still love to make these, but what I like even more is adding just that little touch of unique by crocheting a simple trim embellishment. Here is one of my latest that was a custom order and I just love the way these 2 dresses (for sisters) turned out.

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Adding this trim is very simple. My only advice (if you want to try this on your own) is to make sure you crochet a length of trim slightly shorter than the length of the hem of the dress. The crochet trim does stretch and the last thing that you want to do is finish the entire trim, go to pin it and sew it on and find that you have an excess…trust me, getting to that point and having to start over is no fun! So about 1/2″ shorter than the hem is good.

2. Classic #2 and so simple to make is the dishcloth. In this day and age, people are starting to get back to being a little more earth friendly. I think for a while everyone just wanted easy and disposable and forgot that we had to take care of our earth (that is my very gentle tree-hugging reminder to everyone: reduce, reuse, recycle). So if you wash as many dishes as I do and are sick of throwing away those stinky old sponges every couple of weeks, consider making your own (or if you know me, asking me to make you some) dish cloths. I hope that the Red Heart Yarn people will forgive my next comment, but this is about the only thing that I will use their “super saver” yarn for (it is far too rough for me to ever use on a hat or anything else that someone will wear). It is cheap and just the right texture to do an absolutely wonderful job as a dish/pot scrubber. So thank you Red Heart for that 🙂 The best thing about these is that they last SO much longer than sponges. You just throw them in with your towels once a week and wash and dry on hot and you can reuse these things for months and months! I love to make these little scrubbies instead of “dishcloths”, but that is just a personal preference.

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So these are 2 of my favorite takes on the classics. What are some of yours? I would love to hear!