Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Everyone Needs One

I know this is a long, rambling post, but bear with me. It seems important not to leave anything out!

How many of you use rechargeable batteries? My camera takes four AA batteries, and I take a LOT of pictures, so we got ourselves a little battery recharger soon after the camera arrived. But picture this: I am in the middle of photographing Isabella doing something cute and that empty battery thing starts flashing on the screen. Annoying, but I'll just change the batteries. Uh oh. The charger is empty. But what are these batteries strewn on the counter? Are they charged? Uncharged? Commence trying different combinations of batteries, looking for four that are juiced. Now that's REALLY annoying.

I realized a while ago that we needed a system. Maybe two ramekins labeled with my P-Touch? Then I became obsessed with finding one container with two compartments. Our kitchen is small, and it would be neater. I found several dual-compartment vessels at the thrift shop, but I felt like Little Red Riding Hood: too small, too big, too shallow, too expensive, too ugly.

The other night I started flipping through Amanda Soule's new book, Handmade Home. There's a lot of emphasis on using what you have. That made up my mind. I would figure something out, using what I already had.

Probably due to the influence of the book, I was in a fabric frame of mind. Maybe I'll use a tea towel? Something from my refashioning pile? Whatever I did, I figured it would involve bias tape. I pulled out my scrap bag of trimmings to take a look. Do you have a bag like that? I have a little bag looped over my doorknob where I keep all the short pieces of leftover tapes and trims. If I need to trim the raw, inside edge of a pocket or something, I can usually find something to use in there, rather than cutting into a big piece (which, inevitably, would then be too small for whatever I needed next, right?).

Now, I knew I needed to mark the two compartments somehow. I thought about using faces or words or pictures, but that seemed to suggest embroidery, and I am not a very good or patient embroiderer. But how about a plus and minus? In red and green? And I had tape scraps in each color!
The fabric. If I'm going to go with the + and -, I should probably stick to something not-too-busy. This navy and white dotted fabric happened to be on my sewing table (after riding around in the trunk for a few months), and it seemed just the thing. The + and - really show up on there!

Yep, I use Scotch Tape to hold things in place. Zippers, usually. Things that are hard to pin. Or not. Depends on how lazy I feel. Speaking of lazy, the white thread wasn't an artistic choice. It was in the machine.

You know what it was starting to reminded me of? Those felt and burlap yardstick holders people used to make in the Seventies. With owls? Or daisies? And a little ring for hanging? Hmm. I like that.

Can you feel the love? It wasn't easy to get a picture of this in its intended habitat, but here's the best of the bunch.

The reason it's staying flat like that is because I stuffed a piece of plastic needlepoint canvas between the layers. I can't remember why I had a piece of plastic needlepoint canvas, but I did!


Carrie Me! said...

Oh I can feel the love....must have recharged batteries!
Trying to teach my son to recharge, no more throw aways. This would be great for us. Thanks for the inspiration =)

Snowbird said...

We use rechargeable batteries...they last longer than regular! I'm with you, I can't remember if I've charged them or not! I really love your idea, I'm an extrememly practical girl & this is perfect!!

betsyann said...

Wonderful! Love this.

Angela said...

Great idea, and nice work!

I end up using empty salsa/pickle/olive jars for alot of my storage needs, but making a fabric organizer that I could hang would provide me so much more space!

Thanks for sharing.

P.S. - I also have a "scraps" bag, but it is much too big to fit on a doorknob. I wish I wasn't so fussy about throwing away fabric. :)

Christy (Columbia Lily) said...

that's really cool!!