Thursday, March 15, 2012

Loose Tea Teabags

I was never much of a tea drinker but ever since David's Tea opened up shop here last fall, I've gotten into a huge tea drinking kick . They have so many great flavors and all different types of tea. I love that they offer samples and have such knowledgeable staff. I got the diffuser and a bunch of teas to try. Have been totally in love with it ever since. The only issue I have is tea on the go. I didn't want to spend $30 on a special travel mug. It's trendy and cute but a waste of money for me. So I decided to spend a lot less money and a little time to make tea bags for my loose tea. Now I can have yummy tea in my regular old travel mug whenever I like. Also, I can throw a few teabags in my purse and take them wherever I go.

First thing I did was buy some cheap round coffee filters for less than $2. I cut two squares of the same size (one from the center of each filter). I cut the squares about the size of regular tea bags, but how large you make yours really depends how strong you like your tea I suppose. I find 1 full teaspoon is usually enough for me.

Next you'll want to sew three sides. You can hand-stitch but it would be much, much quicker with a machine. Leave the fourth end opened to spoon in your tea, then stitch that up as well.

That's it! The tea bag is finished. But if you want to add a little something extra you can attach a string (I used cross stitch floss as it is a little thicker than thread). Fold the corners in, place the string in the middle of the fold and staple it. At the other end of the string, attach a piece of scrap paper with the flavor of the tea written on it. You may find that you need to make a knot in the string at each end around the staple, unless you get a good hold first time around. always I forgot to to take 'during' photos. Someday I promise I will remember and show you proof that I do, indeed, own a sewing machine. :)

And of course, being who I am, once I'm done with a teabag I remove the string and tag and reuse it on the next ones I make.

Now you, too, can enjoy a great cup of tea everywhere you go, without the bother or the mess of a diffuser...or the expense of a special travel mug. :D

As always, comment and subscribe. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cutest pincushion ever!

I have been complaining for the last few weeks that I have no pincushion and I can never find my stickpins immediately when I needed them. That said, I don't sew much and therefore, don't have many pins to find. Ha! Nevertheless, I had a few minutes today and all the supplies I needed so I got to work.

As much as I would love to, I can't take credit for this idea, though the work is entirely my own. And by now, any of you following my blog knows I'm terrible at 'before' pictures and not so great at 'during' pictures either. At times I'm lucky to just have the follow through and finish the damn project. So expect pretty things but not many pictures! :D

As I said, the idea was not my own, though I did change it up just a bit. I got the idea from this wonderful blog that I follow!  Make It and Love It

I started out with a little Mason Jar that used to hold a gorgeous smelling soy candle that I bought from a local retailer. The candle was all used up so I washed out the jar and air dried it.

I grabbed a piece of cotton batting, balled it up and glued it to the top of the lid (right side up). Found two small scraps of fabric that were just bigger than the lid. Wrap one of these pieces around the batting and lid. Secure with glue on the underside and make sure the fabric is taut, remember you still have to place the ring around this and screw it back onto the jar. Too much bulk and you're gonna have issues. You don't have to glue the batting to the lid but it's much easier to wrap the fabric around something that doesn't keep moving. Now the underside of the lid is gonna look rather messy. If you're ok with that, then all the better. However, if you aren't then you can cut a circle (like I did) just smaller than the lid from the second piece of fabric and glue it to secure and cover the messiness.

*Behold a picture!

All done! Now fill your jar with whatever you like and put it all back together. Stick your pins on the top of your brand new cute-as-a-button pincushion! :D

As always, comment and subscribe! :D

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pillow Talk ;)

Got an old body pillow ya don't use or don't have room for? Don't have enough regular pillows? Cut the sucker in half!

OK I got ahead of myself on this project and I apologize. I forgot to take a before picture. But if you don't know what a body pillow looks like, chances are you don't already have one and therefore are not going to cut it in half. So, that said...let's carry on with the project shall we?

This one happened to be filled (and I do mean filled) with feathers. A whole lovin' shitload of feathers. 
For a minute my craft room was looking like a pillow fight scene from a movie. Maybe yours will be filled with polyester...or anything else that, once cut into, your cat doesn't try to leap in thinking you're making lunch and it's fair game. In that case, congratulations! Your job will be much easier. That or you don't have a cat in which case, just ignore my ranting.

So to start, I folded the pillow in half and shook the bejebuz out of it. This helped to settle the feathers into either side and away from the center which I would be cutting. Less mess, I thought, until the cat found me. Anyway, shake it...a lot. Then, if you need to (I needed to) draw a straight line where you want to cut, to keep you on track. Feathery pillows tend to move and frustrate you as you cut and you spend more time poking feathers back in than actually watching where you're cutting. If your pillow is kinda flat and lifeless, you can always make one really nice, plush pillow out of it by letting it all sink to one end and cut off the excess.

Once you get it cut and poke the 3 million feathers safely back inside of the pillow, you will want to fold the cut ends in, making sure to allow enough for the seam. I left about an inch or so, to be safe. Stick a bunch of pins in it to hold the fabric in place. Oh and I forgot to take a photo of that bad! This is also about the time where I realized I do not have a pin cushion (*gasp* who doesn't have one of these delightfully useful things?? Me!).

Clear off lots of space to start sewing. I used my machine (which is a useless box of plastic and metal, hopefully you have a better one) or you could also sew it by hand. In hindsight, sewing by hand probably would have taken me less time and made straighter lines than my machine. Ahh well! C'est la vie! Last thing...if yours has feathers, take the finished product outside and beat the life out of 'em. Against the side of the house, a tree or with a broom...whatever works for you. But get all those loose feathers off the pillow and out of your house!

Now you have two new-ish pillows! Or a bunch of feathers with a cat laying in it! Either way...happy weekend! Now go take a nap on your loverly, squishy new pillows...or snuggle with the cat. :)