Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

  • A quick ruffle scarf

    Date: 2011.11.28 | Category: crafts | Response: 1

    Need a cute handmade (and cheap) gift for someone this year?  How about a scarf?

    My brother recently lost more than 100 pounds (ya, he’s totally awesome).  This meant he needed a new wardrobe.  Well guess who raided his donation pile before it was picked up?  That’s right… me!  I grabbed all of his tee shirts that were in good shape and I have several ideas percolating for them.  Thanks to Pinterest I have some cool projects that I can make for free with his old shirts.

    First up- a ruffled scarf for me!  Using this tutorial I cut as many  10 inch circles out of the tee shirt as I could.  I got 9 circles from a 2XL shirt.  Then I cut each circle into a spiral shape and lightly tugged on the ends to stretch it out.  I sewed the lengths end to end (I have 4 on one side and 5 on the other, but it doesn’t matter) and covered the stitching with a little tube of leftover tee shirt.

    And that’s it!  1 ruffle scarf in less than half an hour.

    I like that it’s extra long for lots of options when wearing it.  I played with tying it several ways throughout the day-

    And it’s nice and cool to wear, perfect for days that aren’t too cold!

    The only thing I can think to add is that this scarf would turn out even better if you started with a tee shirt with lots of stretch.  This shirt doesn’t have a lot of spandex or lycra or whatever it is that gives girl’s tees a lot of spring and stretch.  It still ruffles nicely, but doesn’t have a lot of bounce.  I also think this would be great using two different colored tees- I think I’m going to try one of those next!

    So that’s it!  Start cutting up those old shirts!

  • Taking myself a little more seriously (but not too much)

    Date: 2011.11.03 | Category: crafts | Response: 2

    Here’s the deal.  I don’t really take myself seriously as a blogger or a cook or a crafter.  I just thought this blog would be a fun place to share my adventures, mistakes, successes and progress.  So without any idea of what I was doing I started writing about whatever was on my mind. The longer I’ve spent in blogland the more I’ve come to realize that my blog will never be a huge success because I’m not willing to limit myself to just talking about parenting or crafting or cooking.  Nor am I willing to take 500 step by step photos of everything I do with a fancy camera and then spend countless hours sorting and editing to put together a detailed tutorial (not that most of my projects would require more than one or two steps anyway!).

    Then today I read a post on one of the blogs I follow about how some of her photos and tutorials have been claimed by other bloggers and about how once your image is out there on the internet it’s awfully hard to get the credit you deserve for it if you haven’t watermarked your pictures.  I decided that it was a good idea to follow her advice and start watermarking mine.  While I doubt anything I do will ever sweep the nation (or more importantly, pinterest!), it would still be nice to know that if someone likes one of my ideas they at least know where it came from.

    I followed a link on her blog with instructions of how to add the watermark using picnik– an online photo editor that a lot of bloggers rave about.  It was simple to set up a free account and I had added watermarks to my 4 jack o’ lantern pictures post and inserted them into my post in a very short time.  It will take me some time to go back and edit all of the photos of my crafts and whatnot, but at least I can start watermarking everything from here on out, right?

    So I guess I’ve decided to take my blog more seriously.  Of course there was really nowhere to go but up, right?

  • Easy Jack-O-Lanterns

    Date: 2011.10.19 | Category: crafts | Response: 3

    Years ago (1999? 2000?) some girlfriends and I had a little crafting party and made these cute jack-o-lanterns out of cans.  As I was putting them on my mantle this year I thought I’d show them to you in case you’d like to make some of your own.  They are super easy to make.

    Scrounge up some cans of varying sizes from your recycle bin.

    Clean and dry each can and remove any sharp edges from the lid.

    Paint each can with pumpkin orange paint and let dry.  Paint a face on each can with black paint.

    Stick some autumn picks in the top of each one and place them on your mantle.  Or make a large set and use them for bowling, or make a pumpkin pyramid, or stuff them with treats for friends and neighbors, or use them to hold your utensils at a party, or…

    These have held up surprisingly well considering they’re over 10 years old and I haven’t given them any special care; they have acquired just a few scratches and chips- which I think adds character.  I smile every year when I pull them out of the box and it always makes me think of my CA girlies (hey friends!)!

  • What have I been up to this month?

    Date: 2011.09.26 | Category: crafts, home improvement, homemaking, saving money | Response: 1

    I know I haven’t been blogging much lately, but it’s hard to sum up what I’ve been doing instead.  Hmmm… lets see.  Raising a 3 year old and an 18 month old.  Growing a human being (we just found out that it’s a boy!).  Napping as often as possible.  Hitting the fall consignment sales and garage sales for bargains.  Making more denim purses (apparently I’m taking orders and selling them now!).  Making more jewelry.  Swapping out Kate’s 12 month wardrobe for her 18 month wardrobe (yes, she’s 19 months!) and finally hauling all of her 6 and 9 month stuff down to the basement.  Swapping out my regular wardrobe for my maternity wardrobe.  Hanging out with my parents for 2 weeks.  Dealing with the stomach bug that worked it’s way through each member of our family.  Dealing with the cough/cold that’s still working it’s way through each member of our family.  Celebrating my birthday with week long festivities (lunch and pedicures with my sis in law, date night, Rockies/Giants game, family birthday party, party with girl friends).  Setting up the new sewing machine I got for my birthday (hooray!).  Watching the first 3 seasons of Bones on Netflix (I love this show, but sometimes there are serious plot flaws.  Really?  Addy?  Not to mention it’s pretty gross).  Grabbing a free dresser from the side of the road.  Grabbing another free dresser from a family at church.  Painting both dressers white.  Buying 2 bookshelves for $2 each at a garage sale and settling them in the basement closet for more storage.  Surfing the blogs and pinterest for inspiration.  Experimenting with styling my cute new hair cut.

    I don’t have pictures of everything that’s been going on, but here’s what I’ve got…

    JT made a “bee costume” and ran around the house buzzing for days!

    Silly Kate is reading a book upside down and through her legs!

    Pink and red necklace, earrings and bracelet.

    Blue and black set, I think it’s my favorite one that I’ve made!

    Turquoise (teal? aqua?)  The strands are separate so I can wear one or all three!

    First purse I’ve tried with anything other than jeans- I like how it turned out!

    So I made a second one that way!

    I also added these little bows that I made to coordinate.

    This bag is made out of toddler jeans- so cute and a great gift for his mom!

    Fabric for 3 more bags.

    Still looks good a week later!

    Go Giants!

    New sewing machine- it has so many great stitches!  I can’t wait to experiment!

    18 weeks

    It’s a boy!

    This dresser will go in Kate’s new room when we get the guest room cleared out.  We have crystal knobs that match her desk for it.

    This dresser will go in the nursery.  I picked it up from the side of the road on garbage day.  It had at least 4 (some had more) holes in each drawer for different knob configurations over the years- and no two drawers had the same configuration!  I had to fill a lot of holes.

    Cute blue and white hardware we picked up at Hobby Lobby (or potty dobby as JT called it!)- the knobs will go on the tall dresser that’s already in the nursery (since I’m stealing the crystal ones for Kate) and the pulls will go on the new dresser.  I got the knobs on clearance- hooray!

    More storage in the basement for $4!  This closet now houses all of my wrapping supplies, birthday and Christmas gifts (I love to buy early), our 2nd crib, and some craft supplies.  We’re still in the process of clearing out the yellow room so Kate can move in.  These empty shelves won’t stay empty for long!

    The storage in the garage that I never showed you.  It’s so nice to have all of this vertical storage and get everything off the garage floor!  There are a few empty shelves behind the counter top (that STILL hasn’t been installed in the kid’s bathroom) for our Christmas decor- rather than hauling it up from the basement now only to move it back into the house after Thanksgiving we’re just waiting until we are ready to pull it out.  Behind the drape we have some of our tools and chemicals (up high and locked!) that we don’t want curious hands to get into.

    So that’s been my life lately.  I’ve missed you!  Thanks for checking in with me now and again.

  • It’s the little things

    Date: 2011.08.11 | Category: crafts | Response: 0

    We love to host gatherings at our house, and I’ve never had a good way to set out silverware for our guests.  A few years ago I was wandering through Target when I spotted something on clearance I had been wanting for years… a silverware caddy!  I picked it up for a few dollars and stuck it in the cabinet for our next party.

    A few months later as I was preparing for a shindig I pulled it out and stuck my silverware in it only to discover… wa wa wa…

    Hmmmmm, was it on clearance because other shoppers recognized it’s poor design and passed it up or had other schmoes actually paid full price for this thing?  Who designed a silverware caddy that doesn’t actually hold silverware?  Didn’t ANYONE actually try this thing before mass producing it and shipping it out to Targets across the country?

    Anyway, I stuck a few Christmasy disposable cups inside and used it that day, but I didn’t have any cups that would fit for events the rest of the year.  And then it occured to me… cans!  The openings are the perfect size to hold tin cans.  So I saved and  washed three cans and then it sat like that in my cupboard for several months.  (Fortunately I didn’t do any entertaining because that’s not a real cute look.)

    Finally I pulled out some leftover scrap paper and the hot glue gun and I prettied those cans up the other day.  Quick and easy!  I didn’t even do a perfect job, but you can’t tell since the seams are hidden by the caddy itself.

    And now when I stick my silverware in it stays put!  Hooray!

  • A Shirt for Kate

    Date: 2011.07.13 | Category: crafts, parenting | Response: 12

    I needed a new shirt for Kate- I had something specific in mind and I searched everywhere.  OK, I only made it to Kohls, Target and Babies R Us, but that was it, I was done looking.  At BRU I found a shirt on the clearance rack that I decided I could make work- it was super cute and would just need a little tweaking.  It already had several types of fonts and stitching, so I hoped my additions would look like they were supposed to be there.

    I found this shirt

    Then I opened up a word document and played with some fonts until I found one that coordinated well with what the shirt already had going on.  I printed it and cut it out and then placed it on the shirt to check the size and the spacing- I ended up reprinting it several times to get it just right.  Then I taped it to the inside of the shirt, held it up to the light and traced the letters.  Once I had the outline for my stitches I used two colors of embroidery floss to sew the word and symbol on the shirt and added a few other details to pull the color through the whole shirt.  I am so happy with how it came out!

    That’s right!  Soon Kate will be a big sister too!  We are thrilled to be expecting baby #3 in late Feb or early March.  Hooray!  And I think this explains my lack of posts lately… back to back vacations, pregnancy exhaustion, and extra work hours.  Whew!

    So, back to the shirt.  Here are a few close ups…

    The shirt already had embroidery- all I added in this shot is the word “Big” and the “&” sign.  Everything else was there.

    On this side I added the little green heart and the purple knots.

    The next challenge was getting both kids to smile for a picture while both shirts were visible and readable.  This proved to be completely beyond our abilities.

    Oh well.  Maybe next time!  If we couldn’t get two kids to smile, how will we ever manage to get three kids to cooperate for a picture???

    Thanks for reading my blog.  It’s fun to share this news with you!

  • I rock!

    Date: 2011.06.10 | Category: crafts | Response: 1

    Well, actually JT is the one who rocks.  That boy is rarely to be found without a guitar or drumsticks in his hand.  His very favorite thing is to wear one of his guitar or drum shirts.  Every day.  Lucky for him we have picked up a variety of (clearance) guitar and drum shirts, sweatshirts, and pjs over the past 6 months or so- thank goodness that the toddler rocker thing is cool right now!  So anyway, I was searching for flannel to make the burp cloths last week and to what should my wondering eyes appear?  Guitar flannel!  Of course I had to buy a yard even though I wasn’t sure what I would make out of it.  I finally settled on a pair of pj pants for my little rocker dude.  I mean really, it’s not like I’m going to make him a button down shirt- that’s a lot of work that I’m not prepared to take on.

    On Sunday night Chris took JT down basement to watch an episode of Blue’s Clues and I decided that rather than doing the dishes I would whip up the bottoms as a surprise for him to wear to bed that night.  I found another pair of pj pants that are a little big for him and used those as a template.  I just cut around one leg, used my new cut piece to cut out a second leg and then stitched them up.  I was just finishing the second hem when JT came upstairs to go to bed.  I had him try the pants on so I could measure the elastic for the waist and after a few more stitches they were ready to wear.  Bam!

    I decided to find a shirt with a stain or something that I could applique one of the guitars onto.  The next morning I cut out a guitar and some stars and pinned them in place on the best shirt I could come up with, a white shirt with green stripes (see above photo) and told myself that it would just have to do.  I took about 5 stitches and then got distracted by something (or someone) and put it aside.  Later that afternoon I popped into the Dollar Tree when what did I find?  That’s right!  A plain brown t-shirt.  For $1.  That’s what I’m talking about!  I ripped the stitches out of the other shirt, pinned the appliques onto the new shirt did some (purposely) messy sewing. (These pictures were taken after running the pjs through the wash.)

    And now JT has a new pair of pajamas!  These are plenty big, so right now we have to roll down the waist band.  Hopefully this means he’ll get to wear them for a long time.

    I am now officially qualified for Mother Of The Year.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

    I feel like poor Kate hasn’t been represented on the blog lately, so here are a few pictures of her with the most ginormous strawberry the other day.  Yum!

    Thank you for reading my blog.  I like you.  A lot.

  • 2 more diaper cakes and some burp cloths!

    Date: 2011.06.05 | Category: crafts | Response: 2

    Tis the season- for babies!  Two of the ladies in our Families of Faith group are due the first week of July and we decided to celebrate their little ones by combining our monthly family lunch with a baby shower.  I decided to go with the tried and true- I made each mom a diaper cake and 3 burp cloths.

    One of the babies is a boy- I found sweet little owl flannel for one side and blue dots for the other side of his burp cloths.

    The other baby’s gender will be a surprise.  Joann’s didn’t have much selection of gender neutral snuggle flannel, but I was happy to find these two sophisticated prints- a brown and cream and a brown and seafoam green.  (the colors aren’t coming out super well in the pictures, but I think you can get an idea in the second photo)

    For the diaper cakes I found coordinating ribbon for each set-

    I rolled up the burp cloths and tied them with some leftover ribbon-

    I think everything turned out darling.  Don’t you?

  • Quick Fix

    Date: 2011.06.05 | Category: crafts, saving money | Response: 0

    I wore a cute little flower pin on my shirt today.

    As I was lugging my daughter around church this morning she pulled on said pin and ripped a hole in my t-shirt.  Grrrrr.

    What to do, what to do?  I didn’t want to always have to wear a pin- I don’t have that many and it would limit my color choices.  I thunk for a few moments and then… “Aha!”  All I needed to do was sew on a permanent flower.

    As soon as the kids were down for their naps I dug up an old white t-shirt that had already been cut up for another project.  I cut out four squiggly petal shapes.

    I layered the petals and stitched them on with clear beads and ….


    The hole is hidden, the shirt was saved and now I have a cute little flower that’s still in white so I can continue to wear the shirt with anything!  Hooray!

  • Denim bag #2

    Date: 2011.06.03 | Category: crafts | Response: 1

    I made my second denim bag the other day for my girlfriend’s birthday.  This time I found a cute cargo skirt at Goodwill and some fabulous fabric at Joanns.  I added a garage sale belt and I love the combination!  Since the skirt had a bottom hem I just sewed right along the bottom edge and then created a flat bottom where the hem is.  This bag is much bigger than my first one- it’s more the size of a small tote- with lots of pockets.

    Unfortunately my sewing machine was possessed by an evil spirit during the making of this bag.  I don’t know what was going on, but the whole process took several times longer than it should have and I ended up hand stitching several areas so I could finish it and go to bed.  Of course when I used my machine today it was working fine, so I don’t know what the problem was- although I’m glad it’s resolved itself!

    Here’s my finished bag- didn’t it turn out great?  If I were a better blogger I would have taken a picture of the bottom and of the back.  But I’m not.  Sorry!

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