Diverse DIY

A craft with jeans

It is already the 7th week of the Crafts Marathon organised by In my closet, which I am following this summer. This week’s task is to create something made by jeans. The idea comes from Serial Crafter Family. And for this week, I attempted something with sewing.

My craft with jeans: a sewing etui

It is the second time I participate in a Summer Crafts Marathon by In my Closet. The first time was a few years ago, while I was staying in the Netherlands. There was again a task with jeans and I found a brilliant idea for a sewing etui from jeans in a book. It was a cute way to upcycle old jeans and a brilliant organiser for my simple sewing kit, that I have been carrying around with me ever since.

Well. that etui does not look so good anymore and it was never perfectly done, as I sewed it by hand and I was an amateur 🙂 So I decided to make a new one this year!

My old etui, It is about four years old, if I am not mistaken.

I am not a skilled sewer, but the past year I have been trying it a bit and I think I have improved a lot. So this time I decided to use the sewing machine I have available.

The idea of the etui is simple. It looks like a book. You just need two pockets that are going to be the covers and then several pieces from the leg of the jeans that are the inside pages.

I sewed the two pockets each on a piece of jeans, so as to make it a bit rubuster, in order to have a bit more fabric for forming the final shape and because I did not like the colour of the jeans fabric from the back. I then cut big pieces from the leg of the jeans, so as to make several pages. I had figured out from my old etui that I like the thicker part where the two parts of the leg are sewed together. My needles can be organised much nicer through that part. So I made sure that I cut the “pages” in such a way so as to have that thicker part in different places. It is a good idea not to align these thicker parts in the “pages”, as it will be more difficult to sew through them. Don’t try to cut the “pages” in shape yet, as it is easier to do it in the end.

The different components ready for the assembly

Once you have two pockets and as many “pages” as you want, assembly the etui. I managed to sew with my machine through the seven “pages” I made, but it became far too thick to sew the “covers” too. These I sewed by hand. It is better to have a bit of space from the top, so that you don’t miss any of the “pages”. That was what happened to me in the first etui I made and I had to correct it afterwards, something that is far too difficult.

Once your “book” is sewed together on the top, start forming your shape. Make it as you want. I left a bit more space this time at the edges, as they tend to fringe with time . For that reason I sewed them with zigzag stitch too.

And here is a look into my finished seweing etui:

Cooking

A frozen fruits recipe for warm summers

We are currently during the 6th week of the Crafts Marathon I am following this summer. This week’s task is to create something cool for the warm summers. The idea comes from the original creator of the Summer Crafts Marathon, In my closet herself! And for this week, I prepared a rather fast frozen fruits frappé. It is something between a sorbet and a frappé, really.

Apricot – Banana frappé

But let me start with the ingredients. For two portions you will need:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 apricots
  • 1 spoon of lemon juice
  • 50 ml almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp liquid honey or according to will
  • some raspeberries and blueberries for decoration

Cut the banana and the apricots in pieces and freeze them overnight, paying attention that they do not stick together.

The next day, take the fruits out of the freezer, let them defrost for 7 to 10 minutes and put them in a blender together with the lemon juice, the almond milk and the honey. You can use as much as honey as you prefer, depending on the sweetness of the fruits too.

Blend them all together until they are homogenised and serve them in a bowl decorating them with a few blueberries and raspberries. Eat with a spoon as long as it is still frozen!

Diverse DIY

A craft where summer shoes are getting a new life

The 5th week of the Summer Craft Marathon I am following is over! The task this week was to modify a pair of sandals or flip flops. and it was inspired by Provato me kaskol. By the way the name of this greek crafter means a Sheep wearing a scarf 🙂 It sounds totally Native American to me and it is brilliant!

Anyway I started with an old pair of sandals that I haven’t wore for more than two years now. You know this pair that you liked some time ago, but now not that much, but you don’t get into throwing it. We all have such a pair of shoes no? Anyway, this is how my sandals looked before I started making them over.

My sandals as they used to be

I was searching in the internet for ideas and I thought I will try crochetting around it. Well it didn’t stick nicely to my eye, so I abandoned the idea. Then I saw some ideas with ribbons and they looked really nice. So I went through my ribbons and found a really nice blue one that kind of fits the colour of the back strap of the sandals. But making it all blue was lacking something, so I found a silver one that fitted nicely with the blue.

The two ribbons, the blue an the silver one before I sewed them together

I started folding the ribbons around the straps, so as to see how it looks. They were moving around and I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I decided that the best idea in order to have the same exactly continuation of blue and silver is if I sew them together. Unfortunately I left the sewing machine at my mother’s in-law, so I had to do the sewing by hand. In the end it proved to be good I didn’t use the machine, because I cut the sewed ribbons in four pieces and since I had used a running stitch and I hadn’t fastened off at the top, I could just drag the string a bit down at each cut and make a new knot. Does this make sense to you?

Anyway, I sewed the ribbons and ironed them so that they look nice. I roughly estimated how much I need per strap and I made four more or less equal pieces out of my long double ribbon. And then the disaster started…

I used a bit of hot glue to stick the edge of the pieces at the bottom of the strap and then started rolling it around the strap. The first round was fine, but in the second one they started overlaping and in the fourth one silver was disappearing! Did I already mention I am a perfectionist? So I unrolled and tried with a working knife to remove the solidified hot glue from the inside of the strap. Let’s do it again this time paying more attention to the angle of the ribbon versus the strap in the beginning. That improved the overlapping slightly, but not a lot. Then from the other strap, the problem was reversed: the silver part was overlapping the blue… Last Thursday I spent the day sticking, rolling and then unrolling and unsticking, until I got bored and annoyed and I quitted.

Ribbons, hot glue, rolling, unrolling,rolling again… Absolutely frustrating!!!

We have to complete each task until Sunday midnight. On Sunday afternoon I started panicking… The deadline will finish and I will be still sticking rolling and unsticking… I closed my eyes, took a deap breath and decided that oh well, the width of the colours is not so important. I also replaced the hot glue with a fast drying repear glue from my husband’s tool box.

I started the same way, putting the ribbon horisontal to the sole and sticking the edge of it folded to the inside. I then proceeded sticking a bit every time I was rolling the ribbon on the top of the strap. As I mentioned I had decided that overlapping is not a problem anymore, so nothing is symmetrical in this craft, except from the original strap. At the end towards the connection of the right and left strap I used only blue ribbon and I stuck it around the vertical part of the straps too. Because the middle always looks a bit messy, I found two nice dark metalling buttons and I fixed them around the connection of the straps both with string and with hot glue.

And I wore my new sandals:

The final result

Well, admittedly, it is not one of my most successful crafts, but I think they do look better than before. At least they gained another active year of life, instead of being closed in a box.

Have you tried modifying shoes yourself? Did you enjoy it? How did you do it?

In any case, thanks Provato me Kaskol for the inspiration and motivation, but I am sorry I don’t think I will try it again!

Cooking

Pizza with zucchini and zucchini flowers

This year my husband and I decided to create our own urban garden. I have talked about it a lot in my bullet journal, but it is about time to start mentioning it in my cooking folder too 🙂

This week our zucchini plants are blooming a lot! In case you don’t know zucchini plants have two types of flowers: male and female. The female ones are at the top of the baby zucchinis, while the male ones are only flowers without any vegetable on the bottom. Currently our plants have really a lot of male flowers and they look so nice, so I wanted to cook something with them.

In Greece there are several ways to cook zucchini flowers: you can boil them and have them as salade with a bit of oil and lemon, or you can dip them in dough and fry them, or you can fill them with rice or cheese and bake them or fry them. My mom used to make them the first way, which is the healthiest too. But it would have been the first time for me to cook them at home, so I decided to use only a few flowers together with something else, before diving to deep waters and cook a full dish with them. I then remembered that I had an amazing pizza during a trip in Rome. It was a zucchini and zucchini flower pizza! And I decided to make a pizza with them.

Here are the ingredients I used for the pizza:

  • a package of pizza dough (of course you can make your own dough too)
  • 130 g bacon cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely cut
  • 1 small to medium zucchini sliced
  • 8 zucchini flowers
  • 150 g grated mozzarella
  • 200 g taleggio cheese (or something similar)
  • pepper
  • chili flakes
  • a handful of pine nuts

Let’s start with the dough. I do not make my own dough, as I usually decide about making a pizza too late to prepare a dough myself. But you can always make your own if you want.

Peel the garlic and cut it finely or press it. Wash the zucchini and cut it in thin slices with the help of a slicer.

Concerning the flowers, I collected only male ones from my plant. But maybe you find only female ones if you buy them. In any case, remove the stalks and the stamens, as these parts taste usually bitter. What remains is the actual petals of the flower.

Begin by preheating the oven at 180 C in the air function. Then saut the bacon cubes without oil or butter until they are a bit brown and towards the end add the garlic.

Spread your pizza dough on top of the tray it will be cooked and scatter firstly grated mozzarella and then the taleggio cheese cut in pieces with the hands. As it is a white pizza and I know that zucchini flowers do not give a lot of flavour, I wanted to add something that has a bit of stronger taste: taleggio cheese. It is a semi-soft cow milk-based cheese with a strong taste. It is a bit milder than green cheese, but still stronger than average soft and semi-soft cheeses. You can add any kind of cheese you prefer, but as mozzarella doesn’t add in the taste a lot, choose something tasty that you like.

Place the sliced zucchini evenly over the cheese. If you have enough make them overlap a bit, as they shrink while baking. Then add the sauted bacon and the flowers.

Sprinkle the pizza with pepper, a few chilly flakes and a handful of pine nuts. I added only a little bit of salt, as the cheeses are salty enough. You can skip it totally if you prefer and according to the cheese types you have used.

Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned.

The pizza assembled and before cooking
The pizza cooked!
Diverse DIY

A craft using wood pieces

Yesterday was the end of the 4th week of the Crafts Marathon I am participating. The task for this week was to make something using pieces of wood you can find at the sea side inspired by Fountes Rountes . Unfortunately, there is no sea side in Switzerland, so I asked for an alternative, so if we couldn’t find wood from the seaside, we could use wood pieces we find in a forest or by a river. And this is what I made:

My small LED candle light Teepee

For my craft I was first planning to go along the Birs, the river that is closest to my home and find something. But the weather has not been the best and when I tried my harvest was poor. Towards the end of the week, time was pressing, so I asked my husband to go for a walk to the forest. With his help and after a bit of an adventure as the soil was muddy and slippery, my harvest of sticks was amazing!

The sticks we collected

So now I had to find something to do with them. I was brainstorming (thanks Pinterest!), when I saw this interesting craft: a small teepee by Blue Bear Wood for small LED candles.

The steps to make it are simple:

  1. Choose five sticks that are as long as you want your teepee to be and not too curved. Mine were a bit long , but I just cut them.
  2. Take the three of them and tie them together with your yarn. Then choose something appropriate ( I used a small espresso cup), so as to put it between the sticks and open them up at the bottom, so as to stand.
  3. Cut a cycle out of carton, with the diameter you have opened the sticks. It is better to cut notches where the five sticks will go, but before you do so, decide where the entrance of the teepee will be, so have bigger space at this point. It should be enough, so as to insert or remove the candle.
  4. Then glew the sticks to the carton. Start with the three that are already tied and then tie the other two to them too by rolling a bit of yarn around all five of them. This will help you glew the remaining two too. You can use any glew you think best. I used an epoxy glew.
  5. Then start rolling yarn around all five sticks. Continue at least until the point the two sticks around the entrance start separating, or until you would like your entrance to start. From that point on you don’t go all around the five sticks, but you roll the yarn around the entrance sticks and change orientation of rolling the yarn. That’s why it is better to have smaller pieces of yarns, so as to be able to pass the excess through the sticks. On the bottom part the yarn will be a bit thicker, as the middle of the back side fills faster than the entrances of the teepee.
  6. The trickiest part was to finish the rolling. When you are close to the carton, it won’t be so easy to put the excess of the yarn threw the hole between the sticks and the carton. I used a needle, so as to finish the covering of the teepee. Make a knot in the end so as to avoid unravelling.
  7. Get an LED tea candle and enjoy your teeepee. You should never use a normal candle, as there is high possibility of the whole teepee to burn down and that would be a disaster no?

I enjoyed this craft. It became a bit of a family activity, as my husband helped me a bit with the glewing and as I was making it after dinner with our parents, they also participated in choosing the colours of the yarns.

The teepee from the back

I think it came out quite nicely. What do you think?