Thursday, March 15, 2012

Plastic Bag Holder

Our plastic bag situation was getting out of control.  While I am highly in favor of reusable grocery bags, it's very handy to have a stash of bags around for walking the dog and garbage bags.  Also, I forget them in my car a lot.  However, a reasonable sized stash of bags has ways of taking over spaces.  I've done some crafts with plastics before: plarn baskets, pot scrubbies, and even some full on purses with plarn (eeks!  Must get a picture!) but I've never made anything to control the stash.  I once posted on my college message board that I was looking for plastic bags and ended up going to an apartment that had dedicated the entire area under their sink plus a few other cabinets to plastic bags.  They were trying to be responsible and not throw it away, but they clearly needed to stop collecting bags.  My mom used an old cardboard container, an old roommate bought a plastic ikea contraption, and until a few weeks ago, we were using a wicker basket.

The basket had issues.  Namely, it didn't fit well near the door and bags tended to float out of it when it got too full.  I thought about buying something, but since I have free fabric, why not use it?

bags easily come out the elastic bottom
I used The Accidental Crafter as my technique guide for properly casing the drawstring and elastic and wound up with something that matches the cover I made for the dog bed, pops on my white/cream walls, and fits perfectly in narrow space by the door.

drawstring doubles as a way to hang it to the wall. 

The drawstring top allows us to periodically add bags to the holder easily and the elastic bottom allows us to draw out single bags as needed when headed out the door when an excited pup in tow.

Were I to do it again, I would reposition where the drawstring comes out because I have a prominent seam right in front that I am not a fan of looking at all the time.  Alternately, I could add a ribbon/band between the seams so that the seams are on the side instead of lazily using my drawstring as the hanger.  Also, I would loosen the elastic at the bottom to a size I could more easily fit my wrist in to grab bags that are stubbornly not falling to the bottom.  It works as is, but one of these days I'm probably going to get annoyed and fix that. 

awkward narrow space + tall, narrow bag holder = awesome

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Baked Pizza Pockets and Veggie Sweet Potato Burgers

I know the "about me" on my blog says it's to keep me busy while underemployed, but I have been BUSY lately.  Underemployed really refers to the type of job and minimum wage I'm earning despite having a bachelor's degree, not the hours I work.  My paychecks are pitiful despite working a decent amount of hours, so I've been doing some freelance graphic design work to supplement my income.  My house and this blog are suffering due to my lack of free time.  I'm slowly making progress on a few projects, I just haven't had time to write up anything about them!

In the last few days, we tried the pizza pockets from the last post.  They were delicious!  We have plans to pick up more pizza dough and make more.  Yum.  They don't brown very well on top, I think a bit of olive oil or an egg wash just before popping them in the oven would fix that though. 

I also made this Veggie Sweet Potato Burger the other day.  I halved the recipe and spiced it with oregano, red pepper flakes, and and garlic.  It was delicious!  It reminded me of a hummus made with sweet potato - which isn't surprising since tahini is one of the major flavors in the burger and I topped my burger with spinach, tomato, and cucumber, just like I would for a hummus wrap.  Half a recipe made four giant burgers so we'll get to enjoy it again in a few days.  I believe due to my use of garlic in it, it is not doggie-scrap safe, which is unfortunate because our Puppy was super excited when we made it.  I think she likes sweet potatoes.

Here's a sneak peek into a project we're currently working on.  It's taking a while to finish because the weather isn't always cooperating when I have time off to work on it. I'm hoping it'll be functionally finished this weekend though.

project supplies from a big box store