Feeds:
Posts
Comments

048

I was at an expo Friday with a good friend when I saw an interesting jewelry hanger. I had been looking for a good way to store necklaces and earrings, and this is the first idea that looked useful. However, the ones at the expo started at $20 and didn’t look that interesting. That is when it occurred to me that it wouldn’t be that hard to make something similar. In fact, with my dad’s help this took about half an hour to make and we already had all the materials on hand. It even matches my rustic décor!

First I took a clean, aged stick about 18” long and about 1 1/2” in diameter. I held it at the ends to see which way gravity wanted it to hang, then I cut the knots off of the back so it could lay relatively flat.

043

I found a length of lamp pull chain that I liked and used an air stapler to attach it to the ends of back. Originally I was just going to tie twine around it and hang from that, but I liked this idea better. You can use pretty much anything that is sturdy enough to hold the weight securely.

Caution: tools can be dangerous if used improperly. Be extremely careful when using them. Eye protection is always good. Do as I say, not as I do.

Next we took nails and hammered them into the top of the stick about every 2” inches to hang necklaces on. I used 1 1/2” nails, but you can use pretty much whatever you can find.

045

After that I cut a piece of window screen a couple inches narrower than the stick and at a height I liked. I simply stapled this to the back of the stick with the air stapler and trimmed off any excess screen that stuck over the top.

046

Then all I had to do is put my jewelry on and hang it up. I suppose if I had real jewelry I would have to have something nicer than this, but luckily for me I like the cheap stuff and it looks really nice hanging on my wall. Now I can see what I have and get to it easily.

I considered putting upward-facing hooks into the ends of the stick to hang bracelets from, but I don’t really have any. This is certainly an option, though. There are many ways this could be varied to fit different decors. I hope this gives you some ideas. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. If you try making one of these, I would love to see pictures of the finished product!

049

tablet cover_edited-1

My birthday was this week, and my awesome parents went overboard and got me a Kindle Fire. This led me on a search for the perfect cover to protect it, since I’m now paranoid about its safety. Everything I found either cost too much, took too long to ship, or just wasn’t interesting enough. Thanks to ideas I found on Pinterest, I decided it would be quicker and cheaper just to make one. These directions can easily be adapted to hold any e-reader or tablet.

I learned a lot of things during this project. The main thing I learned is that it is always harder to make the first one, and it is probably better to have a complete plan to start with, and to measure things more. I kind of just winged it. Hopefully some of my issues will save you some trouble if you try this, or at least help with your project.

002001

I found two pieces of this cute fabric at a thrift store for $0.50, and got an appropriately sized, nicely bound hardcover book for $1. All the other supplies I had on hand. I started by carefully removing the pages of the book with a box cutter. Then I created the lining, as shown below.

004

I took two pieces of black fabric I had and cut them an inch or more wider on all sides than the cover of the book. Then I cut a strip of the fabric about 1” wider than the book’s binding. This could all be one piece, but I wanted the loop and pocket, and I thought it would be cuter this way.

I cut a small piece of black elastic and looped it to the proper size to hold a stylus or pen, then sewed it between the middle and one side, sewing the whole sides together. On the other side I cut a piece of the cute fabric the same size as a black piece, folded it in half, sandwiched it between that side and the middle strip, and sewed the sides together.

After that I laid the Kindle on the side it would lay on and used a fabric pencil to plot out where to put the elastic bands that would hold it in place. Then I sewed it on, making sure the length of elastic gave the appropriate tension to hold the Kindle securely. It isn’t pretty, but the Kindle covers the loose ends.

006

Next I used spray adhesive to glue this lining to the inside of the book. I don’t know if it will stay permanently stuck, but it keeps it from moving while working on it. When it is finished, the binding holds it in place. As you can see, the “pocket” is only sewed on one side so far.

007

I flipped the book over and cut 3 identically sized pieces 1.5” wider or so on all sides than the book. One piece is the cute fabric, another is thin quilt batting, and another piece of black to hold it together. Unfortunately, my fabric wasn’t as tall as the book, which made it difficult.

The important thing now is to remember to sew on the button. I didn’t remember until I sewn around 3 sides, and it made it much harder.

Now, apparently a sewing machine has a zipper foot, which would have made this next step much easier. Use it to sew through all layers of the fabric, inside and outside, making sure to sew down the remaining 2 sides of the pocket. Stay as close to the book cover as possible without sewing it in. Remember that the cover will have to be wider to accommodate the book’s movement when it closes and plan for this.

This is also a good time to sew the loop for the clasp. As you can see, I didn’t. It can be added with the binding, but doing it now would make it more secure.

008

I sewed a 2.5” wide strip of fabric on the inside and added the clasp loop. Then I hand-sewed the outside of the binding. For those who don’t quilt, there is a great binding tutorial. I can do it well enough to get by, but certainly not well enough to teach it.

009

And here is the final product. It was quick and relatively easy. Concept to completion took about 7 hours of actual work, and now a have a totally unique cover. This project was aided by many. The button and needle I used were my grandma’s, the elastic and batting were my mom’s, and the lining came from my second mom, Kristi Medina. My dad gave input on the use of spray adhesive, and my mom gave me sewing machine pointers and a refresher on the binding. I hope this gives you some great ideas. Let me know if you try it, I would love to see pictures too!

Finally we have some snow again. So far this winter has been unusually warm and dry, with only a couple real snowfalls that melted quickly. This one probably will too, so I made the most of it while it lasted.

Today is gloriously sunny, but very cold with a wind chill in the teens. So, I went for a walk on the Paul Henry Thornapple Trail near Middleville. This is a great trail. It is a paved trail on an old railroad bed and it runs right alongside the Thornapple river. Today there were plenty of ducks, geese, and swans out, and they did not seem to mind the cold at all.

 The river looked so inviting, but I’m just not that hardcore of a kayaker. I prefer to enjoy each season differently and I’m not a fan of hypothermia.

I know there are many people in Michigan who do not enjoy the winter. I think it is because they have not taken the chance to experience the beauty and wonder that it has to offer; try it sometime. There are so many different things that you can do. Try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or just take a hike. The most important thing is to get out and experience it. You never know what you will find around the next bend in the trail. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls

Thanks to my reduced work schedule I have some extra time on my hands. I woke up this morning wondering what to do. Between Pinterest and Allrecipes, an idea struck me. I have always wanted a signature cinnamon roll recipe, and this would be a great way to start. Maybe someday I will move to the U.P. and sell huge cinnamon rolls, since no one up there really makes them anymore.

As it turns out, working with dough can be relaxing and helps you think. While kneading I decided that I should start this blog, so I felt obliged to make this the first real post.

Back to the rolls. Have I ever made them from scratch? No. Have I ever made bread from scratch without a bread maker? No. Do I have any real experience with yeast and kneading? Not really, but what could go wrong? As it turns out, not as much as I thought. I did remind myself that dough that isn’t thick enough does not knead well (or at all). It does, however, make a tasty mess. In fact, I managed to trash the whole kitchen and dirty twice as many dishes as I probably had to. At least there was plenty of time to clean up while they were rising.

I worked from the recipe for Mom’s good cinnamon rolls at allrecipes.com. I made some changes based on recommendations and others based on experience and preference. It turned out something like this.

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

  •                     2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  •                     1/3 cup white sugar
  •                     2 cups warm water  or milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  •                     1 tablespoon salt
  •                     6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  •                     2 eggs
  •                     1/3 cup vegetable oil
  •                     2 teaspoons vanilla
  •                     1/2 cup brown sugar
  •                     1/2 cup white sugar
  •                     2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •                     1/8 cup flour
  •                     Soft margarine

            Directions

  1.                     In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/3 cup sugar in warm water. Stir in salt and 2 cups flour. Beat mixture for 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and oil. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2.                     When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/8 cup flour, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; set aside.
  3.                    Roll out dough into a large rectangle. Spread some soft margarine over dough, then sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Roll up and cut into 12 rolls. Place the rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4.                     Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden.
  5.                     Frost or glaze as desired.
 I frosted mine with some brown sugar cream cheese frosting I had on hand. Overall, they turned out pretty good. I will probably tweak the recipe some and try again, but first, I have to find a way to get rid of the ones I made without eating them all.

Welcome!

Hi, my name is Meagan. I am at a transition point in my life and feel like I’m stalled on a precipice. I am 30 with 31 coming up in a week, and I’m still trying to decide what to do with my life. Do you ever feel like that?

Why “in the between”?

In a way, every part of life is in between something. At the very least, between birth and death, but there are also small and large stages and seasons that define you life. My professional life is in a transition stage. I have worked at the same job for almost 10 years, and it is clear that it isn’t going anywhere and I should be leaving soon. God willing, I will graduate at the end of April with a Bachelor’s Degree in finance and what I really need is a real job. My personal life is also stalled. I am currently single, but have sworn off dating for this season. I guess I am still waiting for God direction before I make any big changes on either of these fronts.

Why blog?

I suppose I am hoping that it will bring clarity to my life, and hopefully help others on their journey. Maybe it will chronicle a transition period. Maybe it will just be a place to post pictures to link to on Pinterest. Either way, I may not have a real direction but I have a start and that is often the hardest and most important part. I enjoy making crafts; cooking, baking, and canning; outdoor activities; and traveling to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. More than likely, a bit of all of that will make it into here. I can guarantee it will be a journey, and hopefully in the end we will find our way.

Ecclesiastes 3: A Time for Everything

1There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.