Friday, February 27, 2009

What tampons? [TUTORIAL & PRIZE]

I think I might have some bathroom issues. Like issues with how the bathroom looks, not how things go down in there.

Don't be nasty.

Like, I used to be irked by the grodiness of the naked trash cans, so I made some nice upcycled Tshirt liners for them, and that helped me deal with that particular bathroom issue: grody trash cans.

But then there's still the issue of the HELLO! I'M A BOX OF TAMPONS RIGHT HERE!, which is almost as annoying. Not that it's grody to see a box of tampons in a bathroom, but it just seems, well, so OBVIOUS HELLO and plus, whose bathroom decor matches teal blue and yellow?

Yeah, not mine.

(And don't just go matching your bathroom to your tampons, that's bizarre.)

So, because I like to create things to make pretty other things in situations where prettying is probably not necessary, I set out to make a not-obvious tampon storage device to un-ugly the teal and yellow box lurking near the trash can in my bathroom.

Because I guess I just couldn't go on another day with that box hanging out there behind the trash can just being all teal and yellow and HELLO! TAMPONS! in my black, white and beige bathroom (aren't I the lively decorator) and just had to find a way to conceal it so I could take My Crazy to a different room in the house.

Again, scary look inside my head. Apologies.

But, if you share this particular nugget of Crazy and would like to soothe it with a quick project that you can probably source from thisnthats around your house, try it out. Really, this thing took no time and barely any fabric, math or patience.

Covert Bathroom Storage
(I get it. Not everyone is YAY! for tampons.)
Print this thing

1 8.25" x 23" piece of cotton fabric
1 wire hanger (I recycled a white dry cleaner hanger)
1 30" package white or coordinating 1" Velcro (you won't use the whole package)
Coordinating thread
Wire cutter
Fabric marker

To make

Make the box:
Fold your fabric in half, wrong sides together, matching short edges. Sew the long sides, creating a pocket. Place a small dot 2" up from the bottom on both long sides of the pocket.

Fold pocket in half vertically, so that seams run up the middle of the pocket and bottom corners point down into triangles. (You create the triangles by pushing up at the middle of the bottom of the pocket and folding the corners down.)

Pin through all layers to keep this in place.

Sew a straight line across the corner, lining up your stitching with the mark you made in the previous step.


Fold one corner flap up and sew the first line, then flip pocket over and, holding up the now-sewn corner, sew the other corner, lining up your stitching with the market you made in the previous step.

Turn your pocket right side out. Those folded corners now fold down inside the pocket to form a box.

Fold over about 1/2" at the top of the box and sew to create the top hem.

Make a small cut in the center of one of the long sides of your hemmed box top and zigzag stitch around the cut to keep it from fraying later.

Attach the Velcro
Separate your Velcro and line the short end of one of the Velcro sides up with the cut you made in the top hem.

Keeping the Velcro lined up with the top edge of the box, sew Velcro along the top edge of the box completely.

With the corresponding strip of Velcro, add about 1/4" space below bottom edge of top Velcro and sew this strip below the top strip of Velcro so that when the top of the box is folded over, the Velcro will match up.

Fit the hanger
Using your wire cutters, cut the bottom rung of the hanger off by making two cuts before the wire begins turning toward the bottom rung.

Straighten out the wire completely, leaving the hook intact.

Lay hanger on box and line hook neck up with the notch in the hem.

Begin bending the straight part of the hanger so that it will turn the corner at the edges of the box when the hook neck is centered over the notch.

Then, using the box as a guide, bend the arms again, forming a rectangle.

Place one hand over the rectangular portion of the hanger and, with your other hand, bend the hook upward, toward the rectangular portion of the hanger.

My hands look all manish here. I don't know why. They're very shrimpy in real life.

Holding the rectangular portion and neck still, twist the hook so that it points away from the rectangular part of the hanger.

Fit the bag
Hold the hanger with the neck at the notch in the bag and fold the top of the bag over to stick to the corresponding Velcro on the main portion of the bag.

Rework the bends in the hanger if necessary and add your accessories.

Then hang it on the trash can (underneath the liner, obviously) next to the toi and admire your great covertness.

You're like 007 of the bathroom!

And now we can pretend like it's not all HELLO! TAMPONS! back there. Or whatever you hide behind your trash can.

Oh, about that prize...See, I already made one of these deals a while ago, but my camera died half way through the tutorial making process, so I never posted it, and then had to make it again (this time) so that I could post a tutorial.

So, now I have two of these covert wonders and only one bathroom (sad). So - if there's anyone out there who'd like one of these things, but doesn't have the desire to craft one, you're welcome to it. Just leave a comment like, "I want your tampon box!" or whatever, and I'll pick one person with the random name generator thingee to receive it.

Sound good? And don't worry, the one you see in the photo is actually the one I made the first time, so the one featured in this tutorial has never actually seen any bathroom time. In fact, that's a new box of tampons in the picture, so those hadn't even gone into the bathroom at the time of the photo. What I'm saying is this storage box doesn't have any toi cooties or anything, so don't be afraid or start anti-bacterializing yourself. It's safe.

OK, that's enough about my bathroom for now.

And also please notice the "Print this thing" link at the beginning of this tutorial and on some of my other tutorials and also along the sidebar there. Yeah, right there.

This is so you don't have to, like, set laptop near your sewing machine or, lord help us all, print out my entire mind-numbing wordy blog post just so you can make a bag for your tampons.

I mean, really now. That's something a crazy person might do.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No more guessing required.

I like you fearless people that guess without fear of me mocking your guesses. You're very brave since you know what a snarky bitch I am.

Brave or not, though, no one guessed right. Sorry, Charlies.

'Member that other thing I planted when the arugula went in? That thing that was supposed to restock the nitrogen in the soil and also make vegetables that I could turn into nuclear green hummus?

My roots are magic.

Yes, it's fava beans. They're blooming! Although not at the rate of my neighbor's plants, which pisses me off since her plants are about 20 feet from mine (with the fence between them), but I can't get too wrapped up in that since some magic is always going down over there anyway and I just don't have access to her magic wand all the time, so boo.

But the plants are blooming and I'm now waiting impatiently for them to start sprouting pods so that I can get to eating the tender little nuggets inside as though I've loved them all my life, even though I only met them last year.

I'll be awesome. You just watch.

We won't tell them that I threw out/composted two bags worth before I figured out how to eat them, OK? Forgive me. I was not wise in the ways of fava back then and I have some shame about it.

OH WELL. New day and all...

So, the favas are blooming and hopefully making future pods so that I can make future hummus and then rip the plants from the ground to make room for one of the beds of tomatoes.

Because you know I'm going to have TWO beds of tomatoes this year. That's FOUR plants. That's DOUBLE the amount of tomatoes I've ever had in a season. Big times, again, big times.

Also, the daffodils are doing a good job trying to pretend it's spring in February and I think you should see this.

We're wicked cute.

And now I don't have any guessing games left to play. But, you do have a few more days to vote on Adopt a Crop 2009 before I crush 3/4 of you with the winner. And right now the Lemon Cucumbers are winning because you're crazy and want me to make pickles again as though you didn't get enough last year.

Hey, fine by me, I actually might know how to make pickle chips at this point and HEY! thanks to my sister I realized that I do have a chopping mechanism in my possession that can make the pickles into chips. WEE! For a while there, I thought I'd have to cut them by hand or else risk losing that hand by using my POS mandoline THAT I HATE no matter what Cook's Illustrated says, to get the pickles into chip form.

Thankfully my sister knows the inventory of my kitchen and also that my food processor came with a device that will make chips from cucumbers. She's a smartie, that girl with her double masters.

SO - go vote on your crop of choice and I'll come back soon with the final tally so we can get to planting. Last frost date around here is Sunday. WOO!

Fuck you, frost. You're SO five minutes ago.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Running Update: Totally *that guy*

When I started with this running stuff I kinda didn't think I'd take it too far. Mostly because I always hated running and said that I'd never be a runner and other things that now make me look like a jackass.

But then I started running regularly and started signing up for and running races and, well, now I'm in too deep to pretend I'm not a runner - even though I'm slow and am more concerned about men in American flag shorts than I am about my own well-being.

You'll be glad to know, however, that I've made more progress in the I'm a Total Jackass department, and so I thought I'd share that with you now. You know, to kick of Running in 2009, which is officially happening now that I signed up for my first race of the year and have a list going of other races that will go down in '09.

See, when it became clear that I was going to be, at least, running one race and needed to be out and about training for it, I started making promises to myself to keep from becoming one of *those guys* that were out running when I was out running and making me feel like some kind of loser for not being as extreme as them.

I just had it in my head that there are some things about these Extreme Wraparound Sunglasses Runners that I just never ever wanted to be a party to because it'd make me feel like a sell-out or a poser or some other unsavory reincarnation of my previous Real self who'd be ashamed of the big faker I'd become. Or something. It's hard to tell what's really going on in my head.

Anyway, two of those things to which I never wanted to be a party were fluttery running shorts and tights.

And let me just give you a minute to guess WHO of all jackasses has both of those things now and also now understands why runners wear them and can totally justify owning and wearing them even though she feels like a total douche bag for becoming *that guy* who owns (but rarely wears) fluttery running shorts in the summer and tights (TIGHTS! Idiot!) in the winter.

Go on...guess...

Yeah, sorry people, it's me.

See, one of the first times I was out doing more than the entry level three mile run, I came face to face (because this man was running against traffic in the bike lane, hello) with a very Extreme Wraparound Sunglasses Runner Man who, I felt, was taking his shit a little too seriously.

He had on one of those breathy hats with the side vents and, of course, the obligatory wraparound sunglasses and those fluttery shorts that leave very little to the imagination and he was COOKIN'. Like, running with all his might down my neighborhood street as though his fruity fluttery shorts were on fire. Which is fine, except that he didn't even smile or recognize that I was there like other people had and that pissed me off.

Who was he? In his fruity Extreme I'm too good for you with your running capris to even nod in your general direction as I fly by traveling just below Mach 10. Who, I ask?

Well, regardless of who he actually was, he became, in my mind, *that guy* who I don't want to become because he's obviously a jerk-off and the shorts must be the root of all his evil because look how silly they are.

And then I finished my first race and went on to sign up for my first half marathon which had me training in the hot sweaty months of summer and HELLO shorts are a good idea when it's supah hot out and HEY GUESS WHAT those fruity extreme fluttery shorts are really nice because your legs and parts can breathe and not be confined to the pukey hot stretchiness of running capris.


So, there, I became *that guy* who has fluttery running shorts that just show off the whole leg and most of your ass when you hit your stride and that's that. Except that I caught a glance at my ass cheek in a store window at one point and immediately went home and bought a pair of these
(I now have 3 pairs) and haven't gone back in the drawer for the fluttery shorts because, well, I don't need to see my ass in a window. Yew.

The other thing that, I felt, was going to always set me apart from *those guys* was the whole tights issue. Because who in the whole wide world is so extreme with their running that they need to put on tights, of all things, and then go run around in public for all of the neighborhood to see?

I think this issue got hammered home with me when some beotch in tights flew past me during my first Turkey Trot and I had to bear witness to her speed and the fact that I could see her supah buff calf muscle flexing even beneath the barfy tights. GAH! So annoying.

And, at the same time, SO different than my running capris because, well, they were tight to the ankle rather than split and flared at the calf and that fact in itself made them the douchiest things ever. Like wearing a unitard or one of those puffy Jane Fonda headbands. You know what I mean.

I swore I'd never wear tights.

And then, it became winter in NorCal and I went running at 6am in shorts on one of our sub-40 degree mornings and suddenly understood why tight to the ankle tights might be a fun idea. Fun like when your skin doesn't go numb and begin to break off in frozen chunks as you charge past Starbucks.

So, I broke down and got some tights. And I do love them, when it's cold. Like, frost on the roofs and 30 degrees cold. And I still feel a little ridic when I'm out in these babies, but then when I take a post-run shower and my legs don't feel like they're on fire from the warm water hitting their frosty coldness, my ridiculousnessocity wears off and I can understand why running tights exist.

I don't like them, but I get it.

So, there you have it.

And I told you all of that so that I could tell you that this morning I broke back out the shorts for a bare-legged run and it was AWESOME.

Also, I signed up for my first race of 2009 and am planning to ratchet my shit up a little bit this year and run two half marathons instead of my historic one.

Big times.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some stuff is growing and it's not all vegetables.

Thanks for playing along with my supah mature guessing game but I'm sorry to say that nobody guessed exactly right. Which is important to me, the exact-ness, because I'm A/R.

I do appreciate the fact that you think I could be growing raspberry bushes (thank you, Shannon) even knowing what a maniac I can be with prickly berry bushes. But, no, I'm afraid that there is a shoot-on-site alert from my mom posted at all Bay Area nurseries warning them against selling anyone fitting this description a prickly berry bush of any variety.

I am a very accomplished klutz with the bushes, dontchaknow, and I think my mom worries for my life when I get too close to them. Especially since I'm typically wearing flip-flops and shorts at those times.


I'm also not planting any new variety of citrus (already have the one Meyer lemon), since we have a ton nearby and that ton is good exercise for the Jada, so growing it at home would be silly and the dog would hardly get any backpack time taking it from the yard to our kitchen.

And LORD NO I am not having chickens around here. The idea...I can not would be too...the dog would massacre...Aaaaaaaaaargh! Anyway, so, No on the chickens. But thanks for playing!

However, Kris did say "fruit trees" - which is pretty close, so let's just go with that.

Would you like to hear the story of the fruit trees? It's short. Here we go...

Bubba and I like to give each other trees as gifts. A few birthdays ago he gave me two Japanese maples for our front yard and for his birthday this year, I gave him an apple tree. A Gravenstein one, to be precise. The End.

Like that? I try hard to please you can't you write a shorter post? people, OK. Please appreciate.

So, for this momentous birthday-that-shall-not-be-named, Bubba got his long-desired apple tree and we planted it in the backyard with just enough hi jinx to be considered celebratory.

And because we are also silly, in addition to being oddball fruit tree-coveters, we then named the tree so that we can refer to it during future landscaping conversations without confusion.

We call this tree, Skinny, and I think you can see why.

One day, we will pick an apple from this twig. One day...

And then, in a totally birthday-free tree-giving event, our fabulous ,wonderful, generous neighbors gave us their cherry tree.


To give you an idea of how fabulous, wonderful and generous these ladies are, allow me to paint a picture of the tree-giving moment. If you are of the can't you write a short post? mindset, I suggest you look away. This might take a minute.

We were across the street at their house one morning, sharing some homemade waffles (theirs) and freshly squoze orange juices (ours), when they asked us if we wanted a cherry tree.

I'd be shocked if she didn't see the answer leap off my face because YES, obviously I've wanted a cherry tree all my life and how could you know that? GET OUT OF MY HEAD CRAZY WAFFLE LADY.

Well, apparently, they had a cherry tree WITH MULTIPLE GRAFTS HELLO!, living in a half wine barrel in their backyard and it needed a place to go in the ground where it would get adequate sun. Except, that sunshiney place didn't exist in their backyard. Sad. Poor tree, living in half a wine barrel with no sunshiney hole to call its own.

It sounds kinda porny, but really what this meant was that they thought a sunny spot existed in our backyard and wouldn't we do them the huge favor of saving their tree from this half wine barrel by taking this tree off their hands and planting it in our yard where it could have sun and a place in the ground to call home.

Um, kay.

I thought for a minute that they were joking, because of the too-good-to-be-trueness of the whole scenario, but no. They were being serious. And also fabulous, wonderful and generous as always by gifting us with a very nice and multi-grafted cherry tree that would fulfill all my fruit tree hopes and dreams.

That's all, just all my hopes and dreams in tree form, no biggie.

Howdy, Neighbor.

So, the tree's still pretty young, but one day it will produce a good crop of Bing, Black Tartarian, and Van cherries so that we may stain our faces (clothes, hands, dog) red from a prone position on the lawn.

I hope.

And, in the near future, we may also have the pleasure of a blossoming cherry tree in our very own yard.

And that is the dream, people.

My very own cherry blossoms which I can just stand in my yard and stare at without anyone walking by asking me exactly what the hell do I think I'm doing standing in their yard eyeballing their tree.

Yeah. I'm a total cherry tree gawker. I have ONLY ONCE OR TWICE stopped mid-run to admire a blossoming cherry tree because I'm a totally humongous dork. I don't know what it is.

I will stare at you. Prepare yourself, tree.

So, yeah, that's the story of the fruit trees. The long and short versions. And now we have two fruit trees living it up in the backyard and I've also been moving and planting some other things so that the trees won't be all alone as they get used to their new homes.

I mean, it'd be awkward otherwise, right?

So I relocated the strawberries so they'd be close to the cherry tree. Help it get up to speed on backyard gossip, I guess.

These strawberries are so snarky.

And I put in an artichoke near the tree so that it could feel graceful by comparison.

I'm not ugly, I'm exotic.

And because I was feeling adventurous and the camera was already a-snappin', I went out to the front yard to check on the bulb and wildflower progress.

Good job, pee hole!

Told you I saw a daffodil. And now there's three.

Ok, so those last two don't have anything to do with fruit trees or companion click social circle planting, but I look at them a lot, too, and they're doing a lot of growing without any attention from me which makes them awesome.

And if you want to keep going with the supah mature guessing games, just go ahead and guess what's blooming in the vegetable beds right now.

Go on then, guess...I won't ridicule you publicly for your wrong guesses or anything.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Adopt a Crop 2009

No, it's not too soon, people.

The cherry trees are blooming and I saw a daffodil this morning so it must be time to order seeds and get going on the vegetables for 2009.

(Also, WOO! I saw cherry trees blooming and I LOVE cherry blossoms and I squeeeeee like a little fruity girl when I see them which Bubba totally loves! Maybe.)

And, no, I haven't had any fava beans from the winter garden yet BUT THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT. What's important is that we get the empty garden section all adopted out so that I can begin adequately stressing out about starting seedlings, amending soil, turning compost, fixing irrigation, praying for rain and just generally losing my mind with regard to produce.

You remember this process. My crazy is not new.

Last year the Adopted Crop was pickling cucumbers (good job) and the goal was go to from seed to jar of pickles and then send the jar of pickles on a visit to one lucky Adopt a Cropper. And since that worked out so well (Minus certain attempts at pickling that came out like sour mustardy poo. Wow. That was gross.), I thought I'd adopt out this year's crop with the visitability (new word alert!) of the end product in mind.

SO - each of this year's choices have shippable end products which I will include in the choosing/adopting description so that you can do your adopting based on how much you'd really want to visit with its final state.

I mean, who knows, Winner 2008 might have really wanted pico de gallo instead of pickles but how would she have ever known?? Ok, it was obvious last year, but still.

And if you need a refresher or didn't play along last year, here's how you play Adopt a Crop:

Choose from the list of vegs below and then I do all the work to make your choice turn into food.

All you have to do while I'm sweating it out in the garden trying to make this whole seed to food thing happen is sit back and laugh at my tight hamstrings and sombrero (do not mess with the sun, people, he is not fucking around).

And in the end, the only thing you're really adopting is, potentially, the veg as its final product, which I will describe shortly.

Shortly's here!

Bicolor Cherry Tomatoes could become a canned Bicolor Tomato Sauce.

Black "Carbon" Tomatoes (standard size) could become Scary Salsa.

Lemon Cucumbers could become Pickle Chips.

Tricolor Basil could become Tricolor Pesto.

Which crop would you adopt?
Bicolor Cherry Tomatoes/Cherry tomato sauce
Carbon (black) Tomatoes/Scary salsa
Lemon Cucumbers/Pickle chips
Tricolor Basil/Pesto
Free polls from

So, choose away! You have until 3/1 to place your votes, which, coincidentally, is our last frost date here in merry San Jose. Love it here!

Then you can all begin the ritualistic finger-crossing that is my favorite gardening tactic. (Companion gardening and neem oil, pfffffft!)

Ooh, and I can't wait to introduce you to some of the other new garden faces around here. Clues: They produce food (duh), they don't live in the raised beds, they aren't vegetables.

Voting and guessing in the same post? Perhaps Spring Fever has arrived early.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bag Issue. Cont'd. [TUTORIAL]

So, I'll make this short since I'll be ashamed of myself if I spend too much time talking about discarded Tshirt sleeves, but in case you're making one of those Tshirt Trash Can Liners - save the sleeves!

Why, why would you do that?

Well, to make miscellaneous pouches for things and maybe a little digital camera sleeve, of course.

I'm sure you can figure these things out for yourselves, but since it didn't dawn on me until I was done with my trash can liners and staring despondently at a pile of soon-to-be-doggie-footwipes, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you guys, as I'm known to do.

Plus, I took pictures, so can't be wasting those 1s and 0s.

Tshirt Camera Sleeve
1 discarded Tshirt sleeve
Fabric marker
Seam ripper

To make:
Slide your digital camera into the sleeve and pull the long side of your camera snug against one side of the sleeve, with the shirt's hemmed edge along the short side of your camera.

With the fabric pulled tight around your camera, and using your camera as a guide, trace around your camera on the fabric with your marker.

Sew these lines to enclose the sleeve.

Slide your camera into this new pouch you've created to make sure it fits snugly and that it's long enough to cover your camera completely.

Cut the camera pouch free from the rest of the sleeve, trim corners and, using your seam ripper, rip a few stitches in the middle of the short end of the pouch for the camera strap.

Turn right side out, pull camera strap through hole and sleeve over camera.


Push the sleeve back to take photos, slide it back over the camera to protect it from evil keys stabbing around in your purse.

See, I barely used any words. I mean, compared to what I usually do.

And, while this may not be the fanciest OH MY LOOK AT HOW AWESOME AND CUTE THAT IS thing I've ever made, it's endlessly useful and will provide many pouches for many scratch-prone things.

See, I tried to make this same simple ass thing twice before from regular cotton fabric to no avail because I can't measure and/or I had lost patience with sewing by the time I got to this project, so it's the closest incarnation of my original design (which was meant to be way hotter) and, as such, is pretty plain and boring.

But, this time perhaps HOT is in the practicality. And the fact that I might save my camera from my mean stabbing keys.

And while I'm thinking about it, some other scratch-prone things that will get probably get protective Tshirt sleeve pouches: Ski goggles (sewn horizontally rather than vertically), sunglasses, FlipVideo cameras, shoes (for travel), jewelry, fancy utensils like my real silver pie server thingee.

Plus, imagine all the possibilities of things I could protectively sleeve if I used that hem as a drawstring strategy? Oh hell yes.

The dog will just have to wipe her feet on towels like a normal dog might.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Bag Issue. Solved. [TUTORIAL]

About five years ago, my sister gave me my first reusable grocery bag.

Well, I guess I could have used a number of the random canvas bags lying around my house as a grocery bag instead of taking the plastic ones Safeway was giving me with my food, but it wasn't a part of my life then, and so, I consider the one my sister gave me, all hand sewn with a cute wine bottle applique on the front (nice that she printed my shopping list it, I thought), my first official reusable grocery bag.

My mind isn't all that much of an original thinker, so I guess it took having a thing presented to me with its explicit purpose sewn to the front in order for me to deal with the plastic grocery bag issue.

Because, I will say, it was truly an issue.

I had a variety of ways of dealing with The Bag Issue, as Bubba called it, and one of those ways included filling one bag with all the other bags and shoving it under our sink so that it could pop out every time I went down there for the Cascade. To say that I hated this Way of Dealing With the Bag Issue would be understating it slightly. I used to flip it off every time it happened. That bag of bags. JERK.

Another way I dealt with the overabundance of evil white plastic grocery bags with the big annoying red "S" was to shove them down into the bottoms of my trash cans, below the one presently being used as a trash can liner, so that I'd never EVER run out of liners.

Except, sometimes, there'd be so many fucking bags down there that the Bag In Use had very little space inside which it could accommodate any actual trash.

The trash was really underneath the trash, is how I see it now, but then it just seemed like stability - I'd always have a trash can liner. Yay. Problem solved. ISH.

That was five years ago.

Since then, I began actively carrying and using my own bags (including that original one) for all my shopping; grocery, hardware, clothes, Target, vacation souvenir, etc. On the rare occasion when I've already used my purse bag and the other bags from my car and I'm left without a reusable bag in which to carry my purchases, I'll usually just hand carry whatever it is out with me or shove it right into my purse.

My life now involves almost no icky white plastic bag with the red "S" touching, and not only because I rarely shop at Safeway (thank you farm share), but because I just have adjusted to My Life Without Plastic Bags and don't feel like reverting. It's stability, that I never have to deal with The Bag Issue anymore, so the problem is solved.


See, now I don't have any trash can liners. And that is a problem. Because trash cans are grody in there. Especially bathroom ones (we still have a giant bag liner in our kitchen one because whoa - messy otherwise) with all the cotton balls and Qtips and empty bottles of shampoo I throw across the bathroom from the shower when they run out mid-shampooing.

It just gets all grody in those cans (yes, I can hit the trash can with a shampoo bottle from the shower because this is the one time in my life where eye/hand coordination comes together) and, really, they need liners.

But I'm not about to go back to taking my Target purchases home in icky white plastic bags with red circles on them NO. And I'm certainly not going to be buying actual plastic trash can liners to carry home in icky white plastic bags with red circles on them. That'd be, well, ridiculous.

My initial thoughts involved using one of my, now many, reusable shopping bags in my trash cans, but like the bag I used to use in the car for trash, it didn't seem aesthetically pleasing enough for my apparently beloved bathroom trash cans, and so I scrapped that idea.

And then we went commando with our trash cans for some time. No liner, no trash bag in there, no nothin'. Every now and again our cleaning lady who I love would put a bag in there, probably all the while thinking we were living like wild animals, but it would irk me that I was again interacting with icky plastic bags even though they were hiding the grodiness of the cans.

Getting too close to the scary roots of my brain? Probably.


It dawned on me during one of my eight yearly nights of insomnia (I heard this is the average number of nights per year that any person has insomnia) - a way to fix this whole crazy bag issue that shouldn't be using up so much of my brain power:


That's right - what if I continue down my obsessive path of upcycling Tshirts into useful things by fixing them up as trash can liners. Reusable, washable, durable trash can liners.

And also that would get them the fuck out of my bottom drawer so that I could close it without having to do the shove-your-hand-in-there-and-push-everything-down-but-pull-it-out-fast-enough-so-that-it-doesn't-get-slammed-in-there-when-you-close-it-with-all-your-might thing.

Yes. This could work. And OH it would be so easy because just sew the neck and sleeves shut and BOOM - you have a bag.

But, since it was insomnia I was dealing with, and not just a moment of sleeplessness solved by rolling over and pulling some more covers off Bubba (sorry, love), I had to make it fancy.

And that is where the Hem Turned Drawstring came to be. And that is when I decided fancy would also mean incorporating a cord stop, some shoelaces and some white electrical tape (optional).

So, if you have a grody naked trash can in need of a liner or are trying to break yourself of a similar Bag Issue but can't imagine your life with naked trash cans or you're dealing with an overabundance of race Tshirts, this might be a project for you.

Also, it's so easy you'll get that great feeling of satisfaction in, like, 10 minutes, and get to go on about doing nothing the rest of the day because, TAH DAH! you were productive already.

Tshirt Trash Can Liner
Tshirt (I used a lovely Presidio 10K shirt in a women's small)
1 yard of shoelace string (or enough to wrap around your trash can with approx. 6" remaining)
Coordinating thread
Coordinating electrical tape (or whatever tape you have on hand)
1 cord stop
1 small safety pin

To make:
Turn your Tshirt inside out and sew the sleeves and neck closed, like this:

Then, with the shirt still inside out, cut off the sleeves and neck, outside the seams you just sewed.

Cut into the bottom hem of the shirt, being careful not to cut into the hem's surging, and zigzag stitch at the base of the cut you just made.

Are you seeing how this is going to become the perfect channel for a drawstring?

This is so that hole doesn't rip all apart. Later. When you're doing the drawstring-ing.

Attach a safety pin to one end of your shoelace and insert, safety pin first, into the hole you just cut in the shirt's hem. Using the safety pin as a guide, pull the string through the hemline and out the other end of the cut you made.

TAH DOW! Drawstring in a hemline you didn't have to sew. LOVE that.

Place your shirt in your trash can, former neck and sleeve ends at the bottom of the can and wrong side out, and fold the shirt's bottom hem (with the drawstring) over the top edge. (This way the right side of the shirt's hem will show on the outside of the can.) Pull the cord through the hem until the shirt fits snug on the can. You should have about 4-6" of shoelace hanging out of either side of the cut in the hem, if not, pull it through until you do and cut to fit. Wrap some tape around either end to secure the cut ends.

Insert both ends of the cord into the hole in the cord stop and tie the ends in a knot on the other side of the cord stop.

You have to squeeze the cord stop mighty hard to get the hole to line up.

Pull the drawstring tight with the cord stop. You're done!

Then put it back in the bathroom, you know.

This went so fast, I made two, since I have a pile of race shirts now and they do nothing other than sit in my drawer and make it full.

And now I don't have any naked trash cans. WOO!

That's something. To me.