Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Make an iPhone Dock (charger) Using a Vintage Camera

Last year I bought an adorable retro Brownie camera made into an iphone dock for my computer on Etsy for about $50. I wanted to get one that I could use to just charge my phone at the office (I don't connect it to my work computer), and when I went looking, I found that they had gone up to $100 and up.

Since I have a large collection of vintage cameras, I decided to grab one and figure out how to make it myself! It turns out to be quite easy! You just need a camera, a drill and drill bit that is as wide as the USB end of your cord (that is what you will thread through) and some good glue (I used E6000.)

I will admit that it was a little painful to drill into this camera. I chose this one because it is low and wide so I wouldn't have to worry about it toppling, and because my family used to have one just like it when I was a kid. It reminds me of family vacations to Hawaii!

First, open up your camera and make sure there is nothing extra sitting in the film compartment. Decide where you want your doc to sit, and then begin to drill. I found that I had to drill through plastic, thin metal, and more plastic. It wasn't as easy to get through as I expected, because you are drilling through the main housing for the film and lens. 

I drilled three holes and then drilled in between until I had the width I wanted. When I tried to thread the usb cable through, I realized  that the outer hole was the right size, but inside the housing I had to make it wider, so I went back in and drilled some more, being careful not to widen the outer hole.

Once it was through, I threaded it through and then glued the iphone attachment end into place.

Next you need to decide where you want the cord to come out of your camera. I decide the door was the easiest spot, so I drilled a hole in the side of the door so that it would close without crimping the cable. (Sorry I didn't get a photo of this with the door open). I used the side of the drill bit to just drill a little "U" shape in the side of the door panel, and kept trying to close the door until it would close easily. Then I chose to just close and lock the door normally, rather than gluing it shut.

And here is the final version sitting on my desk at work! I love it, and it is both a conversation piece, and something I love to look at when I'm working!

Monday, March 11, 2013

State Pride Pillow

When I'm not giving into my yarn obsession hobby, I do still work as a portrait and landscape photographer. Recently I was asked to have one of my landscapes featured on a local phone directory! That was very exciting!

So, in my vast amounts of spare time (ahem), I took a part-time job working with our local Chamber of Commerce. I did it for a couple of reasons; first, I think using your talents to give back to your community is an important thing. In addition, I work alone so much that I knew this job would be the perfect way to meet people in my little town, and hopefully use my skills to benefit them.

For those of you that don't know, I'm one of those people who have done a million things; I am a licensed lawyer in California (on inactive status as I live in OK), I have published three books, I've been on TV many times demonstrating arts / crafts, I was CEO of a technology company for five years, and I taught New Media Marketing for UCLA and Cal State Long Beach extension programs. As a result, I have a pretty good skill set to help people in business, and since the job was only part-time, it seemed like a perfect fit.

I've been doing the job for a month, and so far I am loving it. Of course, you know that I am redecorating the office . . . slowly, but surely! Someday I'll show the before / after photos, but I wanted to share a quick project.

I purchased these plain red lumbar pillows on

I found a map of Oklahoma online and printed it, and traced it onto card stock  Then I used the card stock to trace the design onto white felt and cut it out. Using black embroidery floss, I stitched the design on unevenly, as I wanted it to have a little bit of a homey-rustic air to it.

Finally, using a heart-shaped pin I found dirt-cheap on eBay, I placed the pin where our town is located in the state. 

Voila! For just a couple dollars, I embellished two pillows for the guest chairs in my office! Perfect for a Chamber of Commerce office, I think.  I love it. What do you think? 

I'm Alive - And Yarn Has Taken Over My Life

Just after Christmas, my very good friend (and partner in crime), Tammy,  decided to take up crocheting again. Like me, she had learned as a child, and so she showed me how to make this simple treble crochet infinity scarf. Then I started getting "fancy" and adding trim on it.

Okay, I know if you are a long-time "hooker", this isn't all that impressive, but for someone who hadn't touched a crochet needle in 30 years, I was impressed with myself . . . 

And then I discovered that YouTube had all these videos on different stitches, so I started experimenting. Here is another infinity scarf with a different stitch:

Below is my first attempt at a hat - which looks pretty good, until you know that I was trying to make an adult hat and it turned out newborn sized! Yeah, that's when I started reading about gauge and needle size and taking things a bit more seriously . . . which, of course, required more yarn . . . and needles, and cases for yarn and needles . . .

Talullah, btw, contributed nothing to this process except a bit of dog hair - which I figure just makes the scarves warmer.

And then I thought . . . I don't have to do infinity scarves . . . I could do a regular scarf with fringe . . . this one is made with a chenille yarn. 

The good news is that I finally mastered hats . . . and then everyone wanted one .  . . so I made about fifteen in a row. No joke. I'm a whiz at the magic circle now!

Yes, here is the fancy scarf / hat combo . . . with trim!

Scarf and hat combo with no trim (who said I can't be flexible?)

Eventually, I made several scarves for Talullah. As you can see, she was very impressed.

Then my friend Tammy said, I really want to learn to knit, and I said "Me, too!" Seriously, Tammy and I should not be allowed to be together . . . we are dangerous . . . however, we are definitely good for the economy.

Tammy jumped right in and made a full length scarf. I decided that knitting is a little too slow for me (or I'm too slow for it), and since I felt like a baby giraffe trying to use it's legs for the first time holding the knitting needles, it took me a while to warm to it. As a result, I made several full length dishcloths!  (Tammy is a show-off, anyway! ha!)  On the plus side, however, I have discovered that knitted dishcloths are GREAT!

Did I mention all that with all the yarn I had to buy, I also had to buy a new shelving unit for my recent Craft purchases (left), and added that jumbo metal crate unit for my yarn. I took this photo before I put all of my yarn in it because at some point I realized that it was getting embarrassing. Let's just say that where you can see space in the crates in the photo . . . not so much now.

Oh, I have also branched out and made a couple of handbags. This one was made with yarn my mom found at Big Lots! 

Here is Talullah in a babushka I made to keep her hears warm. I know you can feel how much she loves it. Or not.

In addition to dozens of scarves, and hats, a couple of handbags, a cell-phone carrier, and a few other goodies . . . what I'm working on now is lap afghans for the residents of the Nursing Home where my mom works, and where I take Talullah to visit every two weeks. Here is a photo of Talullah visiting one of the residents, and the shawl around the resident's shoulders is the first one I made for the home. My mom says she just lights up when they bring it out to her - and that makes me feel great about this new obsession, er, hobby of mine!