It’s my birthday, and I have present for you! – Recycled Doorstop tutorial!

This is a super easy, super fast way to make a cute decorative doorstop!  In my house we have these additional bathroom doors that separate the toilet from the rest of the bathroom.  These doors never stay all they way open, and when changing the toilet paper roll one day I discovered they make the best door stops!  A bit of a fabric remnant makes them pretty and they can match your decor.

You will need:
-Empty toilet paper roll (or a cut down paper towel one)
-a stapler
-fabric remnant that covers the paper tube all the way around and about 4 inches longer on the ends

-thread (I used embroidery floss)
-cellophane tape or Scotch tape

-(optional) dried beans, pebbles, or other heavy filler.

Step 1. Staple one end closed on the paper tube.  Leave the other end open.  The stapled end is the one that will go under the door.

Step 2.  Take the fabric and wrap it around the tube. Make sure the cut/raw edge end of the fabric gets tucked under and ends up on one of the flat sides of the tube.  Use a piece of tape to hold it in place while you sew.

Step 3.  Fold the end of the fabric on the stapled side and stitch along that end to close up the fabric.  It may slide off the end of the tube, and that’s ok, you can just push the tube back in when the edge is sewn up.  You can use a decorative stitch, or even take this to your sewing machine and sew the line, I chose not to because I was lazy.

Step 4.  If your tube shifted, now is the time to push it back in all the way against the new seam in the bottom.

Step 5. About an inch away from the top of the cardboard, make a running stitch in the fabric.  You will be pulling this thread to gather the end of the door stop.   If you have heavy doors, now is the time to add the pebbles or beans to weight your doorstop.  

Step 6.  Pull the thread to gather the fabric and tie a secure knot to close your ruffle.  Remove your tape placeholder on the side of the tube.

Step 6.   Put your doorstop under your door!  The fabric gives a little tooth to your stop, and the tube bends slightly to keep from marring your floors or door.

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Recycled Weekly Quilts

Here are the last two week’s “recycled” themed quilts. Sorry they are late being posted online, but I was having SOOO much fun at IQA, I didn’t have time.
This quilt is made from Ramen noodle wrappers. I don’t really think about packaging much, but when you are trying to reduce your carbon and plastic footprints, things like these mundane wrappers do contribute. I don’t think to ever recycle the plastic on wrappers like these. These slippery devils are applied to a kunin felt batting. They bubbled up a bit, but I kinda like that.
This week’s quilt is made from my program from IQA. I had such an amazing time, and I have lots of memories, but one more program is one less thing I need to keep around. So I made this quilt out of the things I liked from the program. I intentionally did not use any quilt imagery from the program as that artwork is copyrighted by the artists whose quilts are shown. The one non-program thing is the little hippo drawind I sketched on a piece of mail after talking with Melanie Testa. The hippo represents the friends I made at the show and whom I shared the show with while I was there.

I have an idea in mind for next week’s hope it comes together as I expect.

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Ephemera- Another Recycling Theme!

I love the concept of recycling in art projects, things that would be trash becoming something beautiful. Even moreso, I love “ephemera”. Ephemera is material not intended to be retained or preserved. Vintage ephemera could be advertisments, candy wrappers, empty soda or beer cans, and so forth. More recently it’s greeting cards, comic books, trading cards, and the like. Some ephemera is valuable, like comic books or other collectibles.
I’m of the “keep everything to remind me of things later” types. I keep cards and letters well past any meaning they may have held. If I have a memorable moment, I keep something from it; a ticket stub, a flier, a receipt, or shopping bag.
This month’s theme is a recycling effort to use up some of the goofy ephemera I have been keeping for a project like this. I hope you like them.
This week’s is scraps of Japanese newspaper that I got as packing material from one of my Japan purchases. Newspaper is not meant to be saved, per se. Especially newspaper that is used as packing material. But I love this stuff, and carefully fold the sheets I get from their crumpled up state in my boxes from Japan.
My painting, well, I’m happy and not happy with it. First of all, this is about as close to my true art style as you will see without me posting sketches. I’m not that great an artist, figure drawing or painting-wise. But these little eco-characters were in my sketchbook, and I thought I could use them effectively for this theme. My husband likes the “happy little dirt” in the lower left.

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Part of my New Year 2009 Resolutions

One of my big New Year Resolutions is to be more eco-conscious. This year, my resolutions were a bit broad, with each having 3 specific goals. So, “Be more eco-conscious” has the following 3 goals for this year:

-Reduce the amount of plastic I bring home. This means plastic bags, plastic containers, etc., including food containers, which DH and I recently discussed. During the holidays, I gave almost all of the “gladware” I had away to my dad, and we recently bought some glass “refrigerator dishes” from Goodwill. On eBay these things go for over $20 each, mine were $3.99 each. And we recycled by not buying new!
-Recycle and repurpose. If you don’t have to buy new, don’t. We can also make a better effort to recycle anything that can be put in the recycling bin.
-Continue to “Use It Up”. While I was able to buy shampoo and regular soap because I needed it, I am still not buying lotion or handcreme until I use up my stores.
Now, one of the coolest things I did to recycle came this weekend. I’m trying not to continue to buy boxes of tissues, because I go through a lot of them. So last month I decided to buy some hankies and use them instead. I had been eyeing some in a catalog for $30 for 12, but stopped by and antique store yesterday, and found some for $1.50 each. A quick wash and dry, and they are just as nice as the ones from the catalog. (Yes, I could make them also, but there’s a whole time issue there…for now).
While at the Antique place, I spied an old treadle machine, cabinet and all, price tag $65. The machine appeared to have been electrified, so the treadle parts would not work anymore to power the machine. But, DH and I have been thinking about getting a table for our newly remodeled library for a lamp that I “freecycled” from dad’s garage. $65 is not bad for a nice table, so off to the antique store I went today to purchase. Included in the deal was a second sewing machine “head”, should we want to convert it back into a working treadle. Not many parts were in there, but the cabinet is in great shape, though refinished/restained by the previous owner. The second machine head is very cool, and will make a neat sewing room decoration for now. Take a look!

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What I did on my Winter Break…

Picture heavy!

Our tree, with my gifts under it.
Bastet, doing what I did on vacation, lounging around.
One of my Art Quilt Workbook exercises, finally done.
The project from the workshop presented by Rosalie Dace, called “Close Up”. This is some bacteria magnified a bazillion times.
My version of “close up” was Pomegranate seeds.
And the Cloth, Paper, Scissors article on making these snowmen was just too cute to pass up. The bottles are small plastic shampoo bottles from all of the hotels I went to and used up this year. I pulled these bottles out of the trash thinking they would be good for beads or pins, and found a better use for them. I recycled!
More to come! Lots of cool stuff coming up!

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