Tag Archives: DIY

DIY dry laundry detergent

I’ve had this recipe kicking around for years now and started using it again months ago, when I realized how much I missed making my own detergents and cleaning supplies. With the inevitability of most of us having to tighten our belts and do things a bit differently, I wanted to share this really simple DIY dry laundry detergent formula.

You will need:

  • Box of Borax
  • Box of Washing Soda
  • Bar of soap – nothing fancy (I use Dove’s sensitive skin bars)
  • Container with a lid
  • 2 tbsp. scooper

If you’ve never used Borax or even know what Washing Soda is, you can find it in the aisle with the other household cleaners. They seem to be up on the top shelves.

Instructions:

Mix 3c of Borax with 3c of the Washing Soda. Grate the entire bar of soap and then mix it all together.

…and that’s it! I store my laundry detergent in a glass circular container that has a lid. You will use one 2 tbsp. scooper per full load, decreasing it to half for a smaller load. My detergent lasts over a month, with 4 people in the household, who also use cloth napkins for our meals and scraps of fabric for most of our every day cleaning. So, yeah, we do a lot of laundry!

Borax and Washing Soda can be used for other things, too, which is another reason why I like this recipe. Most of my cleaning supplies incorporate ingredients that have more than one purpose, making it an easy way to save money.

***Check out THIS LINK for other everyday ideas for Borax, and THIS ONE for Washing Soda!

Finances got very tight for me back in 2015 when I left a full time, steady job for a part time kickboxing instructor position. To say it was a significant decrease in salary would be an understatement, but it came with a huge increase in happiness. We made do and I learned how to stretch a dollar pretty far. I was happy to do it because I was doing what I loved, finally.

I can say now that re-entering the office lifestyle back in 2017 was the best thing I could’ve done. No gyms around us are open now and I’d be out of a job, without question. Leaving the law office I went back to in 2017 (which I stayed until October of 2018) was also a good choice because I don’t think I’d even be granted this work from home option I have now with my current job. It’s funny how shit happens – I am grateful for it.

 

Is that what you think I do?

When I found out about my mom’s diagnosis, I came back to work the next day a little upset. When co-workers asked me how my mom’s surgery went, I broke down and told them they found cancer. One cried with me and asked me if there’s anything they could do to help me, even glue twine on bottles and sell them…

It has me thinking: Is that all it appears I do?

I don’t think her comment was belittling; she just knows I enjoy crafting and that I’m trying to run a fledgling Etsy shop. It was just one of the ideas tossed out there as a way to help. But it just has me wondering if that’s what’s perceived of me – simply wrapping some rope around things and then trying to sell it. I mean, I suppose so, if you want to look at in a very simple way.

What is the purpose of my crafting and having an Etsy shop?

I am a chronic recycler ~ it is what it is. I feel good about filling up my recycle bin at home, knowing (hoping?) that those items aren’t going to be in a landfill somewhere polluting the earth. With items that I feel I can re-use myself, I love taking an empty jar and turning it into something that can be used again in a different way. Take these small jars for example – they used to be clear bouillon jars.

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If you love these, you can find them in my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/688720627/teal-trinket-jar-bathroom-storage

Sure, I could have put these in the recycle bin along with other items, but why not paint them up and make them more decorative? It gives me something to do, it brings me joy, and it allows me to express myself creatively. Hopefully it will resonate with someone and they’ll be like YES, I NEED TO HAVE THESE! I mean, instead of re-using these somewhere in the kitchen, they can go in your bathroom, office, bedroom…wherever. They be what you want them to be instead of what they were originally intended. That makes me happy ~ the ability to do that. To turn something plain into something pretty and functional. See beyond what it was and give a glimpse as to what it could be with just some attention and work; inspire others to do the same with the objects they’d normally just toss.

Sales have been very slow, admittedly. I am still unsure if Etsy is the right demographic for me because it seems so very hard to be SEEN there. But I’m continuing to work, learn, and create at the same time. Where do I ultimately want to be? I would love for this to take off, become a hit, and have it be a sustainable part-time gig. YES, I do want to make money. Right now I’d be happy for it to simply cover the costs of me continuing to fiddle fart around with painting and decoupaging glassware. Everyone has to start somewhere though.

Follow me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/WeirdGlassArtStudio

Follow my Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

 

Good at ideas – not so great at execution. Kitchen update!

I’ve come to terms with the fact that my skill set is more on the creative, dreaming side of things than the execution side. For the most part. I mean I am able to make some pretty cool stuff but I’m not always successful. Sometimes the hardest part is taking an idea and bringing it to life – translating it from a wisp of brain-smoke into a tangible, finished product.

Thankfully, the kitchen dream turned out SUPER AWESOME.

[“Before” picture thrown in for proper comparison.]

This project was super fulfilling and such an inexpensive temporary solution to our out-dated kitchen. The cabinets are in very questionable shape; I’d guess they are 30 years old and the kind of quality you’d see in a lower-end apartment somewhere. However, they will see us through (in style!) until we can afford to renovate the way we like.

I’ve been debt-free for a couple of years now (besides the basic stuff like a car, a house) and I don’t intend on creating more debt, if at all possible, for household things we can feasibly plan for. That’s why it may take us longer to get there – my stubborn refusal to finance the finer things in life that truly can wait. It also feels more amazing to wait and pay for things in cash – like achieving a goal. Unlocking a new level.

Back to my ideas though sometimes not translating well – this fucking basket idea.

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Before we painted, I had three of these baskets (which were a natural color – not the sprayed gold as shown in the picture) hanging over the kitchen sink on a tension rod. Those baskets held our dishcloths because sponges are ew. Theresa didn’t want to go back to the tension rod because she feels it blocks too much of the window; she’s right. So I had the idea of screwing the baskets into the side of the cabinet so we can still utilize them, while not taking up as much space.

I see now why my ex-husband didn’t want to allow me to hang pictures and stuff in our old house: I’m not really good at it. I don’t have a solid grasp on the mechanics and engineering of hanging things and often mess it up. Measuring is tedious, leveling is even more tedious – ugh. Can’t I just flick a magic wand and it be perfect?

So I attached one basket and you should see my kitchen counter – I apparently needed to bring out every single tool we own and guess who put a screw too far into the cabinet? Me. It poked into the other side, messing up the inside paint job of the cabinet. Oops. And then guess who didn’t think far enough ahead to realize that the drill is too large to fit into the mouth of the basket to put the screws in? And that we don’t appear to have a short screw driver that I can fit inside of there to manually twist in? That’d all be me. I was using the drill bit head to twist it in, along with my red grippy pad I use to open stuck jars. High tech.  I mean, it’s up and it’s holding the dishcloths but it’s not exactly professional.

Let’s just say I have not hung the other two baskets because I need an adult. There are engineers and artists in this world and I am the latter. I’m detail oriented when it comes to my job but when it comes to household projects or crafts – nah, son. I don’t want to be bothered.

 

The second week in January is trying my resolve.

It’s only the second week into the month of January – January’s motto being “stick with it” (see THIS post for details on that) and I’m entering into this week feeling like no real progress on my goals this month have been made, but I know it is too early to really tell. It’s January 7th for crying out loud. Chill, Stacey. Chill.

When it comes to my weight loss goal, I’m up one pound despite cutting out about 80% of all my added sugar intake. It’s a little discouraging, to say the least. I was not expecting to lose 20 lbs, but putting a kabosh on the excessive sugar I had been consuming since Thanksgiving should account for something on the scale, right?

One thing everyone needs to remember (including myself) when they are trying to lose body fat is that progress isn’t always reflected on the scale. Keeping the sweets and soda to a bare minimum has taken away my constant feeling of fatigue. I am more alert, less bloated, and feeling more emotionally even-keeled. Those are awesome, awesome things after just over a week of making that change. While I would have liked to have seen the scale down a pound, it will happen if I just stick with it.

Over the weekend, I had a couple of low-ball offers on some items I am selling – one of which is handmade – and I declined. Later on that day, I reconsidered because #goals, right? Unfortunately, the potential customers had already moved on with their lives. I’m not sure how I feel about that – did I foil my own opportunity to get closer to my sales goal this month? Or did I do the right thing by saying no to offers that felt a smidge insulting?

Sitting here and considering that, likely it is the venue of where I was trying to sell the thing. Wrong audience. I don’t know ~ I’m still learning. 

Around painting the kitchen cabinets this weekend (picture below of updated progress), I was able to finish my latest vase. I hand painted each and every flower on there in different patterns and I am pretty proud of the weird, unique result. The mood of this piece, to me, is “overwhelmed” ~ lately I feel like I have been flooded with ideas and inspiration. So this “overwhelmed” mood isn’t negative. Instead of mindlessly scrolling at night, I’ve done less of that and more of reading various articles related to owning and managing a successful Etsy shop, SEOs, and DIY ideas for materials I have laying around – you know, productive brain bleaching.

(Link to my Etsy Shop —–> https://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

And now for the kitchen progress:

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We are absolutely in love with this beautiful, easy, and inexpensive kitchen transformation! This is why I love owning a home; it can be customized to whatever we want. We don’t have to get anyone’s permission to swap this or that or to get real wild by painting a room bright green! (No, we will not be doing that. But…we could if we wanted to!)

So, in summary, the plan this week is to keep on keepin’ on. Go to my classes, keep working on the kitchen, love my family and myself, and keep learning (and not truly in that order). One week of solid dedication to something doesn’t always yield instant results. Perseverance often does.

Kitchen face lift – on the cheap!

Kitchens and bathrooms are usually the most expensive upgrades. Our home in Niskayuna is in desperate need of many updates ~ which is why I paid around 80k less than what the other homes in the neighborhood are going for. Not many people nowadays want a project; they want something more updated that’s move-in ready. Something as small (I consider it small, anyway) as ugly-ass kitchen cabinets can deter a sale.

Even if Theresa and I weren’t crafty people, we wouldn’t be able to afford a home already just the way we want it. Thankfully neither of us are afraid of hard work and using our imagination.

We’re embarking on a kitchen journey ~ a temporary kitchen journey ~ which began on New Years Eve. On NYE, I was like “Hey, let’s take off the doors to the top kitchen cabinets!” and, to my surprise, Theresa was like “Sure; it’ll only take a few minutes!” So, we did. Then the broken lazy-susan was exposed, which Theresa has since created new circular shelves for.

Now we’re getting a bit crazy with our face lift – we’re are painting the cabinets blue and we will be lining the insides with patterned vinyl. (Pictures of that progress to be shared later.)

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The blue on the inside of the lazy-susan cabinet against the out-dated faux-oak (“foak”)

We are going to keep the top cabinets open and exposed; the bottom cabinets will be remain to deter pet hair and dust/dirt from settling on the items inside. The lazy-susan is being sprayed an oiled bronze so that it will match the knobs of the cabinets, which I will also be spraying. These small upgrades cost us less than $100 to do and, while temporary, will make us hate our kitchen less until we can afford what we truly want to do – which will take time and professional assistance with design and labor.

I love having someone who is into trying crazy household projects with me. Someone who’s open to exploring DIY options that don’t cost thousands of dollars. I love trying to use what we have by giving it a fresh look. Less money out of our pockets and less trash polluting the earth.

 

 

——->A link to my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

 

 

Find the beauty

Sometimes I order a box of random vintage jewelry bits online. The last batch I ordered was around $20, including shipping, and I got some amazing stuff! I was surprised that much of it was wearable, as I was only buying it for crafting purposes.

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I like to do this type of stuff with them, because I think vintage jewelry wine bottles are the shit. This set is in my office and I like looking at them because I remember being so freakin’ excited receiving the jewelry lot in the mail and spreading it out on my coffee table. I matched things up by color and decided that since I had these bottles already sprayed for another project, I’d deviate from that project and make something else.

I have never really been into any color or item you would consider “delicate”, but as I get older, I’m enjoying softer colors much more. I also love the idea of making something beautiful out of things that nobody wants anymore. It’s kind of like your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend – they’re in your past for a reason but perhaps to someone else they are amazing and wonderful; worth holding on to.

And now a shameless plug to my Etsy shop, because it fits: Weird Glass Art Studio. Making the boring glassware that you have been hoarding under your kitchen sink into something unique. Trash to treasures.