recycled bath mat

recently the towel that my husband has been using since college (!) sustained some injuries that made it unusable:

unusable as a towel, that is. as the base for a new bath mat, it was perfect. and so i embarked on a project to dress up our bathroom.


- an old towel
- a yard or so of fabric that you'd like to place your just-out-of-the-shower feet on [i used the ruffle from an old bedspread]
- pins
- needle and thread, or sewing machine


1) cut your towel into two equal-sized rectangles, at whatever size will fit best in your bathroom.


2) iron your fabric, and cut it into strips that are 4-1/2" wide, and 4" longer than the sides of your rectangle in length (so, unless you've cut squares out of your towel, you'll have 2 strips of one length and 2 strips of another).


3) iron down a 1/4" fold on each of the long sides of the strips, then fold in half and iron the whole strip flat, until it looks like this:


then fold back 2" at the short ends of each strip, and iron down.


4) place the two rectangles of towel on top of each other, lined up neatly. then place the strips of fabric under the edges of the towels and fold them over at the crease that you ironed in, so that they create a border. follow the photos below to make neat corners:


5) if you like the way it looks at this point, just sew a straight stitch along the inside edges of the border, being sure that you catch both the front and back edges, and you're all done!


6) however if, like me, you're not crazy about the color of your towel, or just want more of the fabric in the design, or just want to make life more difficult for yourself, you can keep going. i decided to fill in the middle with a lattice design, like the back of an old lawn chair. if you are going to go this route, don't sew that broder fabric down just yet....


start by cutting a bunch of strips of fabric in a width that looks appealing to you (i used 2"). remember to add a 1/2" to that width for finishing the edges. measure the open space of your mat that you need to fill, and figure out how many strips you need to cut to fill it. for length, cut them an inch longer than the open space, to allow for them to overlap (or, acutally, underlap) with the border fabric.

iron down a 1/4" on each of the long sides of the strips, then sew them down with a straight or zig-zag stitch.


**if you are working with a fabric that's prone to fraying, add 1" to the width that you decide on for the strips, and fold the edges of the fabric over on themselves again before sewing down.

7) weave the strips together...

CIMG1098 them around the edges, and baste them to the towels.

8) then put the border fabric back in place, fold it over the lattice, and pin it down. sew a straight stitch along the inside edges of the trim, being sure that you go through both the front and back edges.


and that's all!


- cakehouse

What inspires you to be creative?

What inspires you to be creative in your artwork and/or crafts?

For me, nature is a constant source of inspiration. Many trees fascinate me, as do cloud formations.

Even though I live in Brooklyn, I am lucky enough to live on a tree-lined street and I choose to walk places where there are tree-lined streets. Also, I live very close to a large and beautiful park!

Wherever I travel I sketch and photograph trees and landscape settings.

My imagination is probably the largest source of inspiration for my artwork, since everything I draw and paint is imaginary, even though it is initially based on phenomena in nature.

Here is a drawing I created very recently, that is loosely based on bare trees I have seen in nature and in photographs:

What are your sources of inspiration for your creations???


Nina Kuriloff

Crafty Inspiration in India

I just got back from a whirlwind 10 days in Northern India - Delhi and Agra. Here's me at the Taj Mahal in Agra. It was truly spectacular. Beyond the wonderful sights and food, I got to explore the strong craft tradition that India has, it was truly inspiring.

One of my most memorable days was spent at the Craft Museum in Delhi, wandering through its galleries to see its wide range of metal work, sewing, pottery and painting. Though this museum was actually set up by the British during their ... ahem ... stay, it covered a wide range of India's crafts. Below is a photo of a small piece of a wall full of paintings that narrated the Ramayana. I usually imagined the famous miniature paintings of India when I thought of it's painting tradition so this was a departure from that. This was an extremely large appliqué that hung on the ceiling of the main gallery. I loved the patterns on it - very beautiful. All of the textiles that we saw during our stay were beautifully patterned in bright eye catching colors with many floral motifs like this one on the appliqué.

There was such a focus on decorative elements and details in everything, from textiles to wood carving, embroidery, masonry (see above photo of the semi-precious stone work inlay on the Taj Mahal) to even your body! Their wonderful tradition of mehndi is a henna dye technique that is applied to you hands and feet. The tradition began as a decorative ritual for weddings, but has spread to be more widely used for other celebrations as well.

I can feel the wheels on inspiration going already!
So much pattern and decoration, really inspiring, i see paisley inspired tee shirts in my future with bold colors and an emphasis on natural forms.

I found some of these items from the {NewNew} using the techniques I saw in India; applique and embroidery with rich colors and floral patterns.


Wai Sze Designs

Hi! My name is Wai Sze and I'm a new member to the group. I'm so excited to be here! Growing up, I've always been into crafts - be it knitting, cross-stitch, paper, polymer clay and even jewelry. At the current stage of my life, I can say that I'm finally focused and right now I'm all about scrapbook paper and everything I can do with it! I make greeting cards, altered tin favors, scrapbooks & gift tags! My etsy shop has given me a renewed sense of how great life can be once you've realized what your passion is. To all those that have been struggling to do something, either big or small, find your passion and focus on what makes you happy. That's really all that matters!

Here's a few of my recent work that I am very proud of.

A wedding scrapbook done for a client as a gift. The theme: pink and each page included the pre-planning and stages of the brides wedding.

I dated my boyfriend for 8+years and finally got married last September. These wedding favors epitomized all the DIY work I did for our big day. Now I offer these to other brides for their weddings.

Gift tags are so fun and you can use it for anything. I really love how these turned out and by far one of my favorite in my collection of tags!

Hope you've learned a bit about me. Again, I'm thrilled to be a part of New New and hope to be an integral part of the team.

All the best, Wai Sze

Friday Night Beauty Tip

Beauty, it is said is "in the eye of the beholder". Living in a culture and working in the fashion industry where external beauty can become an obsession I was pleased to find an anti-fashion designer. “Ma Ke, a chinese designer, abhors assembly lines. The trademark of her majestic line is based on burying the clothes in dirt to allow nature and time to put the finishing touches on her work.” There is a movie debuting at the Toronto film festival about the contrast between mass produced and her garments entitled ‘Useless’. I found her through a short clip on the selvedge website, she speaks about hand made objects containing emotions, emotions of the crafters. This was so poignant I wanted to share, beauty is not only the external of the objects we create but also the quality of our emotions while we create them.**selvedge, is a textile magazine focusing on non traditional forms of textile. It also showcase unique crafters and crafts.