Placemat Tote Bag Experiment…at least I learned some things…

I love, love, love crafting but my visions do not always turn out.  Even when following a tutorial.  Take tonight for example.  I had purchased two placemats on clearance at Khol’s for $.79 each.  What a bargain!  I started to follow this tutorial ( –> CLICK HERE ) to create the bag.

Here are the things I learned in this experiment.

  • Accurate measurements are important.

I measured out the bag and cut the corners per the instructions which said to draw a line 3” in from the side.  That line that I drew as my sew line looked way too far in.  I went with my gut and my keen observation skills (I referred to the example in the tutorial) and ended up drawing a second line only 1 1/2” in.  I also marked in PEN which is really never a good idea either.  


  • Check to see what stitch setting you are using.

I hadn’t used my machine in FOREVER.  As in years….many, many years.  I *thought* I had the stitch set to straight.  I did not.


I pressed on though!  I mean, who was going to inspect the seam anyways?  This was just my test bag and I was using it to work out the kinks.  As it turns out, there were a few more kinks to come.

  • Consider the pattern of the material you are using.

In the tutorial, and where my keen observation skills failed me, it was not mentioned that I should have maybe checked the pattern of the placemat.  I was just so thrilled that it was $.79!!!  So when I sewed it together and turned it right side out…I saw this.


{ sigh }

And I was trying to be all fancy and making a gusset and everything! 

  • Again, accurate measurements in relation to the size of the project, are important.

When you peek inside the inside, you will notice the seam that I actually reduced, still looks way to big. 


I’ll have to recalculate next time I make a tote bag.  Which may be a while because of the next thing I learned.

  • Check the size/type of needle you are using for your machine *before* beginning your project.

Otherwise, you are likely to end up with this…


A broken needle. 

There ya have folks….my awesome crafting/diy/sewing tips for the evening.

You welcome.  😉

Stay awesome!! ~lisa


High 5 Friday!!

Another week has already passed?  My how time has flown by!  We’ve been a little under the weather at our casa but we’ll be just fine.  How’s everyone feeling in your neck of the woods?

high 5 friday 06.27.14

1.  My middle triplet, Sarah, graduated from Columbia Basin College last Friday.  We were not able to make it for the festivities but we were able to watch it live stream!  That was pretty cool!  I of course had to google the link but it was a pretty cool thing.

sarah at graduation

Do you know what this is??


It’s a pair of FRINGE scissors!!!  I seriously did not know they even existed!  I saw it mentioned on one of the many mini piñata tutorials I read through so I had to google them to see if it was true…and it was!!  They are pretty inexpensive and I’m contemplating buying a pair.  Yes, even though I have no real use for them.  Well take that back.  I actually am going to be making another piñata so that’s it!  Problem solved!  Purchase justified…haha!

Do the items in this pic look vaguely familiar?

cut up toilet paper rolls

If you guessed cut up toilet paper rolls…you were right!  When I was googling for projects made with toilet paper rolls I came across a really cute wreath.  After reading up on how to do it I decided to create a toilet paper roll “rose” wreath.  I think it’ll look pretty awesome when I am done.  I am about to paint my other project, Toilet Paper Roll Wall Art, and I will post a tutorial to go along with it.

You may have heard me mention a time or two…or twenty…that my little grandson loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Well, I decided to try another pinata project and I am going to make a TMNT pinata!  I needed a pattern to cut out the head so I googled it.  🙂 


Last but not least I remembered seeing a tutorial on making tote bags out of placemats.  I was in Kohl’s the other day and these were on clearance for $.79 each!!  What a steal!!! 


Since I have never tried this before these are my “test placemats” so in case there’s an oopsie, it will be okay.  I hope they turn out though…I’m pretty excited!

Anything interesting going on where you are at?  Leave a comment and tell me all about it! 🙂

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

Mexican Grabbits

You are probably wondering what they heck they are!  Well, wonder no more.  Mexican Grabbits are a tasty version of meatloaf on a corn shell with a Mexican twist.  When my mom first made this recipe for us, she used mini taco shells.  Old El Paso doesn’t make those anymore so we’ve had to improvise. 

We now normally make them using Tostitoes Big Scoops, but tonight I decided to change it up a bit and made them in regular size taco shells.  They turned out pretty good and here’s how you can try them out for yourself!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 egg
  • Bread crumbs
  • Taco shells or tortilla chips

the ingredients

Here’s what you do:

Mix all the ingredients together except for the shells or chips.

mix it together

Pop them in the oven at 375 for 25 minutes.  Flip them over to the other side and back for an additional 25 minutes.  If you are making them on the chips you’ll of course adjust and reduce your cooking time.

bake them

After baking let them cool just a bit and then they are ready to eat!


We usually serve ours with hot sauce and sour cream but there are lots of options!


Let me know if you tried them and how they turned out!

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

diy – a mini piñata!

I love ALL things miniature.  I’m not sure why, but I do.  Maybe because I am only 5’ tall?  A subconscious bonding with things that are small? 

I came across a pic of a miniature piñata and immediately knew I had to try it.  It was just one of those things that called my name and I was more than happy to answer.  I was looking for some fun things to send my youngest triplet daughter who is on staff at a Christian camp this summer, and this looked like a super cute idea.  

After I decided I was going to make one, I found several blogs that had ideas to help me bring my mini piñata to life.

I had all the supplies for this project on hand, so there was nothing really stopping from getting my creative action on! 

You will need a cereal box, or other similar box

cereal box

Some tissue or crepe paper.  I saved some tissue paper that came in a gift bag.  It was a little wrinkly but for this project, it was perfect!

tissue paper

The pattern for my piñata came from, A Blackbird’s Epiphany.  More thoughts on that in a minute.

pinata pattern

Other items needed are tape, glue and scissors.

I cut out the two sides of the piñata out and then cut a long strip to use to put the two sides together. 

putting the sides together

Just before I had it completely closed up, I put in a couple of pennies, a small Hello Kitty rock that I had painted and a bottle cap.  It was more for the sound effects than anything.  If she does decide to bust it open I wanted at least a couple of little things inside.

Once I went completely around and taped the two sides together with the strip I was ready to add the tissue paper part.

finished base

It’s at this point where I was kind of thinking that this didn’t really look like a donkey so much as a dog.  The legs are a little chunky but I had already cut and taped everything so I figured that there was no going back now.

I cut several strips of tissue paper and then cut those to make a fringe.  I did not know this but they actually make fringe scissors!  Who knew?  They are actually quite inexpensive but since I don’t own a pair, I cut my fringe the old fashioned way. 😉

cutting fringe

Once I had all the fringe pieces ready to go, I started gluing it on, section by section.

adding fringe

Continue that process until your piñata is completely covered. 

Now…we can be completely honest with each, right?  I mean we are friends after all.

This is my finished piñata.  It is *supposed* to be a donkey.  But I think it looks more like some sort of colorful sheep dog or something.  So I guess I will tell folks that it is a sheep dog piñata!  Yeah, that’s it!!  That way folks will think that it was supposed to turn out this way!! 😉 

finished pinata

For my first attempt at making a piñata, I was pretty pleased with the results.  Next time, if I try to make another donkey, I’ll look for a little bit different pattern.  I actually plan on making another and *hopefully* it will resemble what it is supposed to look like.  We shall see!

Have you tried to create anything different lately?  I’d love to hear about it.

Stay awesome!!  ~lisa

High 5 Friday!!

This week I must have really had crafting on my brain because a lot of my google searches involved future craft project ideas!

High 5 Friday 06.20.14 

You may be saying to yourself, WHAT IS THAT?

neck wrap

It’s actually a heating pad!  It has rice or beans or something in it and is lavender scented.  You toss it in your microwave and heat it up and then wrap it around your neck.  Pretty cool and I thought to myself, it should be pretty easy to make!  I googled it and sure enough, it is pretty easy to make and I will be making some in the near future.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a half-shell
Turtle power!!

I have a super cute grandson who is almost 3 and he LOVES the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

Ben as a TMNT

Yeah – that’s him.  And as you can see, he is super cute.  Well I was sending him a summer survival package full of TMNT goodies and was googling the logo and when I googled it this was one of the search results.

Ninja Turtles Nails - Alexandra Tremblay

Pretty freaking awesome if you ask me.  I have to admit…I was pretty amazed.

I had a glass jar and figured that it would look pretty cute upcycled with twine wrapped around it.  So I googled to see how other folks made similar twine covered jars to read about their ideas.  This is how mine turned out and if you’d like, you can read the tutorial by CLICKING HERE.

twine wrapped glass jar 2

I started collecting toilet paper rolls after I saw a friend create some cool looking wall art with them.  Since I have so many now, I decided to search for a project to make.  Once I found some ideas I asked my friends for their input on which I should try first.

toilet paper question    

The one in the top right corner looks extremely intricate and detailed, but it also looks soooooo awesome that I really wish I had the patience and attention span to do it.

I decided I am going to make the birdseed one when I get more peanut butter.  Seriously though, who runs out of peanut butter?  Oh, and I’m not sure if we have birdseed or not.  I’ll have to check.

I am also going to try the rose wreath one but first I am going to try this one:


Actually, not ALL of them but I am going to make the one on the bottom left.  We’ll see how it goes and how hard it is to make. 

You can find the super cool tutorial to create the ones you see in the pic above over at Suzy’s Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom.

A friend posted on Facebook about needing ideas for home remedy antiemetic.  What the heck is an antiemetic?  I had really no clue so I of course googled it.   


/ antēəˈmetik,ˌantī-/
     1.  (chiefly of a drug) preventing vomiting.

aaaahhhhh…..well that explains that.  And you are welcome for me not choosing a different, perhaps a more visually defining pic than the one I did. 😉

What have you googled this week?  Anything interesting?  I’d love for y’all to share!

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

DIY – Twine Covered Glass Jar

This is a pretty easy project and is a great way to upcycle those glass jars you have been saving! 

twine covered glass jar

For this project you will need:

  • Glass jar(s)
  • Twine
  • Craft glue
  • Hot glue
  • Embellishments

I chose a glass baby food jar.


If you look closely you will see that I did not get all the label off of the jar.  No worries as it is about to be covered by the twine.

I chose a smaller size twine as the glass jar I was working with was smaller in scale than say, compared to a spaghetti jar.  It also depends on the “look” you are going for.


I tied the twine around the top and put a few dabs of the craft glue down to help anchor it.  I then began wrapping around the jar being careful to keep the twine pulled tight and keep the rows close together.  After every three or four rows of twine, I would add a small line of craft glue and wrap over it. 


After it was completely wrapped I cut the end off and glued it down with craft glue. 

I then used my hot glue gun to add a flower to the front of it. 


I think it still needs a little something…what would you add?  Maybe some ribbon or lace around the middle? 


I am using mine to hold my hot gun glue sticks so they are close by but not falling out of the  bag and all over my work table.  🙂


What have you created lately?

Stay awesome!! ~lisa

Mickey Mouse Washer Necklace…”experiment”

In my mind this necklace was going to turn out sooooo cute!  The original plan was to have this ready for my nieces’ 2nd birthday party but as you will see…not quite how that worked out.

Here are the inspiration pieces on the top half of this pic.  They look downright adorable.  The bottom half were the washers I was going to use.  I ended up going with the larger set and was going to use the polka dot paper as my print. 


The process was plugging right along and I decided to put a resin on them called Enviro Tex Lite.  It was going to make them glossy and more durable.  Really easy to use and I allowed them to cure for several days before going to the next step.


To create the mouse ears, I planned on gluing the smaller washers to the bigger washer.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Based on some informal research of other folks’ experiences, I chose E6000 as my adhesive agent of choice. 

{ CONFESSION – I did NOT read the package clearly and purchased the E6000 in BLACK.  I also did NOT read the package to see if would work on resin.  Note to self:  read the package before purchasing…just in case.}

I glued the pieces together and left it to dry.


So far so good until…


I went to add the wire connecting the “ears” to the “head” and realized it felt a little loose.  And then I was able to lift it back without much effort.

I also noticed you could still see the black color of the E6000.  Not exactly the look I was going for.

Here’s where I need some input, I really like the look that the resin gives.  Do you think that I could make them again, use E6000 (this time I will buy clear/transparent one) to glue them together and THEN put the resin on?  Or should I just forget the resin altogether?  What are your thoughts about all of that?       

Stay awesome crafters! ~lisa