Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tutorial: Bicycle Basket Liner

I've been wanting a bicycle for awhile now (wonder if I still remember how to ride?). The boys love to ride and I spend my time trying to keep up with them afoot and we'd love to go on longer ventures but my ole legs just can't keep up. When I found out my Grandma was getting rid of hers, I was thrilled. I had planned on getting a basket so we could pack a lunch, snacks, camera, etc. and was even more thrilled when it arrived at my house with a basket!!

Now I just needed a liner so the goodies we tote don't fall through the wire.Link
Inspired by several designs on Etsy, I got busy digging through my fabric bins to find the perfect colors for my liner. I selected a vintage feedsack piece in reds that match my bike and a natural tone linen. I would have liked a heaver canvas for the outer shell, but my machine just doesn't do well with heavy weights.

Next I took some measurements to be sure my liner fit properly and drafted a pattern on some larger packing/filler paper.

My basket measured 9 x 14.25 inches at the top and 6.75 x 11.5 inches at the bottom with a depth of 9 inches.

My edge pieces ended up being slightly trapzoidal with a rectangular bottom.

Here is a draft of the front piece to get an idea of what they look like. The back piece has a cut out so it can wrap around the bicycle attachment with a grosgrain ribbon tie.

After cutting the pieces and assembling I'm ready to roll!

What do you think?

and more handmade bicycle goodness from Etsy sellers...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

From Log to Bar: Product Branding

Ever wonder about what goes on behind the scenes of a crafter/artist/soap maker? I thought I'd share with you some of the behind the scenes so you can have every confidence that my products are indeed made by me...the artist/soap maker.

Making soap is a real creative process. From developing scent combinations, bar formulas, and putting it all together in a beautiful bar takes time and more time. But I love the process!

When I'm making soap, I wear protective gear from beginning to end (measuring ingredients, mixing, and cleaning up) and often mix my lye and water outside to keep the fumes outside. I had the help of my 9 year old to take these pardon some of the blurriness. He's not a professional, but is always a willing helper.

here I'm blending the color into a portion of the batch for a two layered soap
(and I always make a mess when I'm's just the way I am)

pouring the two layers

making the top pretty

after the logs have been cut into hand-sized bars, it's time to put my personal touch to them with my custom logo stamp.

The bar is just the right texture to apply the stamp. The stamp has been cleaned and sprayed with a light coat of vegetable oil so it won't bring up bits of soap when I lift it up.

I added the arrow to my custom Anhoki stamp to be sure I never put the
logo upside down on the bar.

I love applying this really makes it MINE and I like sending
my bars around the world with that little signature.

How do you make your product yours?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Projects: Iron Work Complete

Last week I had high hopes of finishing painting the fence, but the weather just hasn't been cooperating. I did manage to finish my little iron piece and get a plot de-weeded and some new plants put in.

Deciding the color was the most difficult part of the project. I took cue from another recent project. I also have some wooden trellis that needed painted and used the yellow for that. I'll find a couple nice vining plants for those.

And I was so thrilled to see that the spray paint I chose had the nice big spray nozzle that doesn't kill your finger while spraying.

What do you think of the results?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Projects

Well, summer break is officially in full swing. We don't have any major vacations or trips planned and I rather like it that way. The boys want to go to a cave or two so we'll work that in. The rest of the summer is up to us on a daily basis. It's a summer filled with books, out door adventure, home projects, popsicles, and supposedly fort building! I plan on squeezing in some soap making and finishing a quilt for a particular niece-to-be.

Aside from the daily routine and activity I've got several outdoor projects to accomplish this summer while I have my helpers readily available.

Project #1: Mission Paint the Fence
Our new neighbors acquired several buckets of leftover outdoor wood stain from the previous owners and graciously offered it to us to paint our side of their fence. It really is in desperate need of paint. We already have half of it accomplished and a whole set of clothes ruined. I think we need to get out Tom Sawyer...the boys would love to hear that story and fits right in with our theme.

Project #2: Refurbish Iron Work

is one of my own...I'm not sure I'll get much help, but that is ok. I found this fabulous iron garden piece oh....maybe 2 or 3 years ago and it has been gracing the weed infested flower row along the above mentioned fence. In its mild rustic state it looked quite nice...3 or so years later and up against a freshly painted fence...not so much.

I've sanded the rough spots and loose paint and applied a coat of primer. Now to decide what color I want to paint it. Typically I would go with black or maybe white, but I'm feeling the need for some color. What color should I paint this beauty?

  • Black
  • White
  • Cream
  • Light Blue
  • Green
  • Other