Thursday, July 25, 2013

stupid easy office chair cover

turn ^ one evil thigh flesh eating (free) executive vinyl office chair
into a thigh flesh friendly soft geeky office chair.

So, its summer, that means I wear shorts occasionally. The other day I was working on my massive research paper (the research paper that is my graduation ticket, roughly 10,000 words on distance education, properly cited in APA format) as I normally do these day. No, as I always do these days.

Anyway point being after sitting on my butt for several hours researching and writing I stood up.
Apparently I screamed, because my husband downstairs, and several rooms away--far enough to be past that magical sound gap no one can hear through between the living room and the kitchen-- heard and asked if I was ok.

I was astonished I wasn't bleeding. It felt like all of the skin on the back of my legs was ripped away.

So, I was thinking about taking a towel and placing it on the seat part of the chair, not pretty, but functional. This morning at the fabric store sale I decided to acquire some Trekke fleece and fix my chair.

1 yard of blanket fleece, cut in half. Some tucking and some duct tape:  tah--dah

Just dont ask to see the back

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Candy Melt pops-- a review

I am not a super candy melts person. I can barely get single colored candies made.
For an even for my kid's derby team I made a slew of candy mustaches.
I've made them before, but this time I took notes, and learned lessons.

What I was doing:
I attempted to make purple, pink, green, and chocolate mustaches over the course of three days.

Using a pyrex measuring cup I melted the purple in the microwave. The candy did not melt, I put it back in, I burned the bejeezez out of the candies.

I switched to the double boiler method, still using the pyrex cup (I mean its pyrex for a reason). This worked ok, but the purple candies just would not work. I thought maybe I didn't clean out the cup and there was still some of the burned candy in there. I managed to make 1 tray of the mustaches (3 large mustaches in a tray I used this one: out of the purple, they were horrible. The candy was full of bubbles, and they crumbled coming out of the mold.

I next tried it with the pink.
The pink melted mostly, even stirring it up, it just did not melt into s nice smooth pourable consistency.
I managed to glob the candy into the molds.
It took about 1 cup worth of melts for 1 tray of pops.
Since the candy did not melt smoothly it did not easily transfer into the molds, and I wasted a lot of candy. I got 11 pops from 1 bag.

The pink did melt enough to smooth out in the molds once I gently dropped the tray on the counter a few times to  get the bubbles out.

I globbed some extra candy onto the sticks and they set nicely.

I did find that freezing the trays made it easier to remove the pops.

The next day I moved on to chocolate. WOW what a difference. The chocolate actually melted into a nice smooth pourable consistency. I was able to make nice smooth pops, with out a whole lot of candy around the edges to chip off.

I made 25 pops out of 2 backs of chocolate. Almost no waste, much to the chagrin of my kids who enjoyed "cleaning" out the bowls and spoons when I was done with the pink.

On the last day I started working with the green. It was terrible. The consistency was like working with the purple. I think there are some colors that just do not work well. Purple and green are on that list for me.

Lessons learned:

lesson 1: do not microwave this stuff, it will burn, it will be useless and smell bad once its burned

lesson 2: some colors actually do work better than others. Any of the ones that are actually chocolate melt nice and smoothly. Unfortunately they are also ├╝ber easy to melt and with melt in your warm car, turning into piles of goo, most likely not on the stick.

lesson 3: it takes about 1 cup of melts for 1 tray of 3 large pops

lesson 4: lightly drop the tray on the counter to knock out bubbles BEFORE you at the pop sticks. The sticks jump out otherwise

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Storage and clean up

We all know keeping your beads organized is a pain.
They do not want to stay organized!

I think it generates an entire additional hobby of sorting and cleaning and rearranging of supplies, just to keep your stuff organized in a useful fashion.

So I decided I needed to upgrade my storage to make staying organized easier (I know funny right?).

I had been using these things:

They do not transport easily and they take up a lot of space, but I started with them because 2 of them were a gift, and it seemed like a good way to limit my supply growth (I know funny right?).

Well I have 3 of these and a whole bunch of photo/shoe boxes.

I sort of inherited this thing from someone who was tired of making beaded jewelry, so she passed it on to someone who passed it on to me. I holds a few different brands of a standard size divider case.


Fortunately one of the containers still had a label on it. I decided this was a better storage system, I could swap in and out the things I needed and have a handy carrying case to boot. So I did some online research. Apparently you cannot purchase Plano boxes from Plano, you have to find a retailer. I had found one with wholesale ordering, and was seriously considering a minimum purchase of 100 of these things, then sharing them out with my friends. As soon as I asked if anyone would be interested in doing this with me that web page disappeared. No joke. Bookmarked that sucker then BAM Error 404 not found.

After some comparison shopping I found that I could order from wallyworld, so I ordered 10 of these little tackle boxes.

I had also purchased some other containers from in the craft section, but they don't have adjustable sections.

Ok So my new system takes up less space, and I averaged moving 2 of the previous containers into 1 of the new tackle boxes.


I was also able to create some new containers, like one for just copper findings, and my favorite: one for just my skulls:

And in 12 boxes I was able to get rid of all of this extra stuff:

But I already need more boxes!

Im using Plano 3650 prolatch boxes (thats what I ordered), and some other brand that I found in the craft section, that are the same size 11" x 7.25" x 1.75"
I think having a modular system with various cases is going to work. you can find info on their website, but you have to purchase elsewhere.