Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Upcycled Dinosaurs???

 No, I don't mean real dinosaurs, I mean plastic ones. I found these wonderful planters on Etsy, but I think I'll let the shop owner tell you the rest.

 Here at The PDF Files I sell a mixture of PDF printables for everyday use and recycled dinosaur planters made from children's toys. I came up with the idea about a year ago, when I was moving into my dorm room at school for the first time. It was a stressful time and I wanted something unique and fun to put in my room. My brother had some dinosaur toys that he was just going to throw out and I love plants so I came out with my first dinosaur planter.
 My planter was such a hit with all of my friends and roommates that I decided to try selling them in my shop and they took off. Now I offer all types of dinosaurs as well as Lions, Tigers, Elephants and other animals with over 20 colors you can choose from. They look great in dorm rooms or any room for that matter. You also can use these guys as other things besides planters. I have had teachers purchase them and tell me that they use them as pencil and pen holders on their desks and that the kids love them.

 I recommend succulents or air plants for these guys as they are awesome plants and thrive in these guys, but you can grow what ever you like in them. They even have a small drainage hole on their tails for excess water. The Dinosaurs make great gifts and I even have a mystery dinosaur option for those who are a little more adventurous or who cant decide on just one dinosaur planter.

If you want to see what all the buzz is about, check out my store on Etsy: PDFfiles

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Playing with (Sewing) Patterns

 I started my Deb's Patterns shop because the patterns were starting to overwhelm the fabric and supplies on Deb's Crafts. At that time I had over 200 sewing patterns and numerous booklets and patterns for other crafts. With the patterns I'll be listing today I will have over 700 items in my store with about 600 of them being sewing patterns, mostly women's clothing but men's, children's and craft patterns too.

 Some patterns are newer, like this evening gown from 2006, which would make an awesome bridesmaids dress.

 Some are much older like this men's pullover shirt pattern. I love finding the older patterns. I try to only buy and sell patterns that are uncut so finding an unused older pattern is sometimes difficult. I think I may have one pattern in my shop that's been cut.
 I've found some really awesome craft patterns on my search, I would love to keep a lot of them, like the one on the right. But I can't, I have to be realistic, I'm probably never going to actually use them and I want them to get into the hands of someone who would.
 I've also found a lot of costume patterns recently and sold a few. Halloween is in a couple months so I guess people are getting ready. This one will allow your child to be turned into a crayon or tube of toothpaste. I would have loved it when my kids were little.
Like I said earlier, most of what I have is women's dresses and separates. These patterns languish in thrift shops waiting for the person the right size with the right tastes in clothing to take them home.

I feel like I'm doing them and their eventual owners a service by taking the time to buy, scan, write and list them on Etsy.

Use the coupon code BUY15GET2 in my Deb's Patterns shop for you to get $2 off any $15 purchase or more. For readers of this blog I also have the coupon code BLOG4 to get $4 off a $25 purchase until August 31, 2013.

You can also win $25 off any of my shops by entering my Birthday Contest!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

An Unexpected Bounty

   My neighbor called yesterday and asked if I could use some vegetables out of her garden, she wasn't going to be able to use them and didn't want them to go to waste.
   Figuring there was just going to be a little bit I said yes, even though I have my own garden, we don't grow a lot of the same stuff. We've "traded" before for veggies the other didn't grow.
   This morning she brought them over. You can't see everything in the picture but there was a huge bag of swiss chard and beet greens. Another bag of sweet potato greens which I had never had before, a very large bag of yard long green beans, an eggplant, a tomato and about 8 pickling cucumbers.  So, although I had a bunch of patterns and fabric to list in my shops, today was turned into a cooking day.

So here's the game plan, pesto with the greens because I love it and it freezes so well.
Washing Greens for Pesto
 Washed the greens and added a large handful of basil leaves from my garden. Yellow split pea and greens soup. I added some barley and yard long green beans and it's cooking in the crock pot as I type. I have a potluck Saturday so a pasta salad with veggies and greens. Freezer pickles for the cucumbers, I don't have time for canning right now. And when all else fails, just blanch and freeze.

Oh, as a side note, I scrambled some of the sweet potato greens up with my eggs this morning and I am a new believer! They're really good. I usually use kale, spinach or collards but I like the sweet potato greens better!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Weekly Thrift Shop Run

 I find my "second chance" craft supplies, fabric and patterns, as well as my clothing and linens to upcycle in all kinds of places. Thrift shops, yard sales, estate sales, auctions, friends and family and more. The thrift shop pictured above, though, is a weekly stop. They have patterns and fabric for sale on a very regular basis. They bag up their fabric, yarn and other craft supplies in large bags and it's often a guessing game as to what is in the bag. I can spend several minutes per bag trying to determine if the bag is worth buying.

They have a system of coding everything by color. After a number of weeks they start reducing the items. I don't wait for the fabric and patterns to be reduced or I would miss out on a lot of good stuff but when I'm looking for items to upcycle, I look for the items that are 75% off for two reasons. One, because it's a lot cheaper and two because it's had awhile to sell and hasn't. These are usually the items that are worn, stained, have buttons missing or other problems and this makes it a prime candidate for upcycling!
And this is the haul for this week, lots of patterns that I'm listing now on Deb's Patterns. A bag of fabric and another bag of buttons that I still have to go through and take pics and list on Deb's Crafts. A couple shirts for pillows or whatever, a beach wrap with messed up fringe and a stained damask tablecloth, all candidates for upcycling, watch Deb Upcycles for the results once I figure out what I'm going to make.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Works in Progress and Other Sad Tales

I have a problem with a pile up of works in progress, it's not that I start a bunch of stuff that I never finish. Everything eventually gets finished. The problem is I start working on more projects than I finish in any given week.
So I made a vow to only work on those projects that were already started. Most of them were gift bags and plain pillow covers from decorator fabric. Those are just so easy to cut, I cut a lot of them.

The problem with this is;
A - I'm easily bored.
B - I keep coming up with new ideas

 The pillow cover above was one of those ideas. I finally decided that I needed to work on my ideas before they get stale. I was losing too many of them to trying to finish the "pile" of work. I know everything will eventually get done. I had several of these potholders in the pile

Finished the ones on the right the other day and posted them this morning.
This is actually a pile of  pillow covers I finished yesterday, all they need is to be turned right side out, ironed, put in the insert and take the pics.

So I do get things done, I need to stop "waiting" to start on new ideas and just do them.

What's the other sad news? Well, I need to give Fuuko her medicine and she hates it. Poor kitty.

Happy news is my birthday contest is still on, tell me about your works in progress on this post to be entered and see the contest post for other ways to enter.