Monthly Archives: June 2016

Sewing, Day 2


Last week, I wrote about the easy-to-do mat I made for my new sewing machine. The day after my success (?) with that project, I tackled a dust cover for my machine. I used an easy tutorial from My Decoupaged Life ( (Are you noticing how often I’m using the word “easy”?  Don’t believe it!)


In the end, it turned out acceptable though homely, and I had a few significant lessons along the way. CRAP ALERT: Avoid these crapsmanship mistakes!

  1. Measure your fabric ahead of time to make sure you have enough.  I had to piece two smaller pieces together.13457557_10209541632248076_483046079_n
  2. Don’t do a beginner’s project using stripes. They’ll never come out straight.13479410_10209541631968069_314194320_n
  3. Make sure you understand the tutorial. I blindly followed (or thought I was following) the instructions for sewing the ties into my seams, but all my seams ended up inside my piece, with only a little tag on the outside.  Duh!  I cut off the small pieces and cursed by stupidity.13479242_10209541632168074_47693931_n
  4. Use crapsmanship as a last resort.  I was unwilling to rip out the seams and re-do the ties.  So I sewed the ribbons on the piece directly, leaving stitches that stick out like a sore thumb. But you really can’t see them much because they’re on the inside of the cover; I hope I’m the only one that notices the crapsmanship.13453770_10209541632528083_380932332_n

Now my sewing machine has a happy-but-not-professionally-or-prettily-made home to keep it free of dust.  Sure beats dusting!

(Hi, Mrs. Andrews!  It was good to see you Sunday.😃)


Sewing Machine Mat



I bought a new beginners sewing machine a few months ago. I haven’t really sewed since college, and sewing isn’t a good craft for this crapswoman.  It requires too much precision for my style and generally frustrates me beyond measure.  But having arms and legs the length of most eight year olds, I have often regretted not having a machine to easily shorten hems.  And when I saw this Singer machine on Amazon for less than $60, I pulled the trigger.  When it arrived, I unpacked it, set it up on the desk in the grandkids’ bedroom, and let it sit gathering dust until yesterday.

I learned how to fill a bobbin and thread the machine. (It amazed me how much I remembered from so long ago.)  I organized my notions drawer and experimented with the different stitches available.  Fortunately and unfortunately, the machine doesn’t slide much.  That’s a good thing if you want it to stay in one place; it’s a bad thing if it’s hard to move when you want it to slide a few inches.  So the first order of business was to make a mat that the machine could sit on.

With one fat quarter (a new term for me), I ironed, folded in half, stitched two sides, turned the material, pressed seams, and then zigzagged around the whole piece for a decorative edge. Though it was a project for a newbie and probably the easiest job in the history of sewing, I’m ridiculously pleased with how it turned out!

Decoupaged Bracelets, Part II


13459509_10209541029433006_1550319988_nYes, I’m obsessed.  I made another bracelet this morning.  This time, I painted the bracelet purple and stuck on some pansy stickers I had in my craft collection. The stickers were designed for scrapbooking.  I had to finagle the flowers a little to get them to remain flat, but once that was accomplished, I gave the whole bracelet three coats of gloss ModPodge.  I love it!

If you’re interested in making some bracelets, here is the link I used to order them from Amazon:

Decoupaged Bracelets



I love, love, love this project! Using plain wooden bracelets, I transformed two into high fashion!


My first project was the green and yellow one. Using an old calendar page with some impressionist art, I cut out small strips of color.


I then painted on gloss ModPodge to the outside of the bracelet, about 1/2″ at a time, and glued down the strips. Messy but easy. I let the strips hang, not yet gluing them to the inside. I gave the outside one good coat of ModPodge to ensure the strips were glued down well.  I went on to another project (pickling cukes from my garden!) as they bracelet dried.


Then I tackled the inner part of the bracelet. I first trimmed the strip ends to make them more uniform. I forgot to take a picture of this step until I worked on the second bracelet.


About an inch at a time, I glued down the ends with ModPodge. I used my fingers to press and rub them until they were well stuck.  I then used two longer and wider strips to glue along the inside, making sure to cover any wood they still showed. I gave it all an additional coat of ModPodge to seal it, and set it aside to dry.


For my second bracelet, I used a map of Louisiana from an old atlas. I made sure I cut some strips so that place names would show. I glued the “Louisiana” label to the inside after following all the procedures described above.


I’d be hard pressed to tell you which one I like the best, but I know I’ll do this project again soon.  Cheap, easy, and attractive?  My kind of project!



Salted Cherries


CherriesToday I made an old family recipe that brings back the flavors and smells of my Grandma’s kitchen. She used to pickle bing cherries in a recipe she called Salted Cherries. They’re one of those you-either-love-’em-or-you-hate-’em relishes, and my dad and I used to go nuts over them. They’re easy to do when cherries are at their peak.

You first wash the cherries, and I always take the stems off.  In they go into a quart Mason jar. For each quart, you sprinkle 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt over the top.

Salted cherries

Fill the jars half way with plain white vinegar, and then top it off with tap water.  Screw on the lid, turn upside down, and store in the refrigerator. They should be ready in about 3 weeks.  Yum!

Here’s the original recipe, in my teenage handwriting, as dictated by my grandmother.


T-Shirt Scarf


It’s been five months since I’ve interacted on the pages of this Crapsmanship blog. My paid writing job has come to an end, and I’m raring to get back to this. I know my six followers will be thrilled to have me part of their weekly dose of Internet nonsense!

T-shirt necklace (2)

I made this t-shirt scarf today. I’m one of the leaders of a state conference in October, and we’re looking for cheap ways to hand-craft some door prizes.  This scarf was simple to do, took only about 20 minutes, and cost $0.00.  All good attributes. I used this easy-to-follow video tutorial from The Thinking Closet:

I can’t improve much on the video, so I’m not sharing a how-to here. Little crapsmanship was involved in the scarf’s making, though my cutting was uneven due to my left-handedness-and-I-can’t-cut-worth-a-damn syndrome.  My poor cutting  skills didn’t show because when you stretch the material, it rolls into itself, thus eliminating any obvious sign of cutting crapsmanship.

I’m unhappy with the loops, though; they’ve got too much variance in their lengths. In my next iteration of a t-shirt scarf, I will make sure I stretch the pieces as one (this will make sense when you watch the tutorial) so they will turn out equal length in the end.

But for a cheap and easy project, I guess it will do.  And it feels good to be back in blog-dom!