4.30.2012

Quick Fix Craft: Plant Labels

There is nothing like a quick craft project to tide you over when you don’t have time to drag out all the supplies and start a new, epic project. I found these copper labels stashed away in some drawers, no idea where I got them (maybe Walmart?). I bet you could make your own, especially if you know someone with a die cutting machine :Dplant labels You’re supposed to emboss the copper using the enclosed stick…yeah, that didn’t go so well. I used a dye ink pad and stamped them with stamps from the dollar bin at Walmart. plant labels 2 Quick, easy, done! They are going to be super cute in my little herb pots!

4.25.2012

Tassel Hat

I love the design of this hat, so creative. The shaping of the ear flaps is really nice and the way it hugs the head is great.tassel hat collage This was a quick and fun hat to make, I want to make it in a bulkier yarn the next time, make it a bit more hood like. I also want to add an applique, like the sample hat on the pattern.
If you’d like to make a hat like this the pattern can be found here.

4.20.2012

Getting the MOST from Kids Clothes

I have a confession: I don’t spend any time pre-treating stained clothing. Everything gets sorted, washed, and dried, if it ends up stained oh well! I know that a lot of you are probably appalled, but the reason I am like this is because I almost NEVER buy new clothes for the kids, almost everything is used or home made. Once in a while I will buy a “character” shirt or they will receive new clothing as gifts. The majority of their (and my) clothing comes from the Goodwill ($.99 sale) or yard sales.Just because I don’t worry about stains doesn’t mean that I want them looking like they are wearing second hand clothes, so thank goodness I can sew.
Now that spring is here it’s time to dig out all of the holey jeans, (second hand pants do wear through the knees a little quicker) and make some shorts. While one or two pairs of actual cut offs are okay, I will not just hack the legs off of all of their pants and let them fray. Today I re-did two pairs of jeans in two separate ways with almost the same results. The finished shorts look like they have always been shorts and will last through the summer (and may even be resold when they’re outgrown).
jeans to shorts P1I have three pairs from Little Miss to fix, today I’m going to do a simple hem.  Her pants were easy, cut off the legs and cut the hem off of the bottom of the legs. Sew the old hem to the newly cut shorts edge and topstitch over old stitching.
jeans to shorts P2 On the right you can see the finished pants compared to just cut on the left. Sewing that hem back on really makes all the difference.jeans to shorts D1Little Sir’s pants were in the same shape. I like to make his shorts longer, it’s just a better look for him. I cut the pants off right at the holes and cut the hems off of the pants, but OH NO, these pants are tapered at the bottom and there isn’t enough to just match and sew!!! (This happens a lot) First I turned under the raw edge and hemmed the pants, then I cut the hem apart and sewed it on like trim. Once it is sewn on I trimmed the raw edge close to the stitching, there will be a little fraying, but it should just look like wear.jeans to shorts D3I know that it looks odd when I point it out, but if you don’t look closely (and most people don’t) it looks fine.jeans to shorts D2 See? Hard to notice, right?
So this is how I really get my money’s worth out of pants. The top pair I got for a dollar AND she wore them all winter before I made them into shorts. Little Sir’s pair I got at a bag sale, a whole bag full of clothes for $2.00 (pretty sure there were at least 8 items in the bag), so $.25 for all winter wear and now all summer too!
I have a stack of pants to finish up today, Little Miss will be getting some stenciled (to hide some stains) shorts and Little Sir will have some patch-y (to cover some holes) shorts. Look for finished pictures on the Facebook page. Now I just need to come up with some shirts!
How do you get the most value out of your kids clothes?

4.18.2012

Pasta Jar Lanterns

I love the look of Moroccan lanterns, but I have yet to find any in my price range and they aren’t really the sort of thing you see at a yard sale in Nebraska. When I saw these lanterns on DesignSponge I envisioned a backyard filled with them!pasta jar lanterns 1I had plenty of jars on hand (yay, recycling!) and I decided to try some different paints. I picked gold and black puffy paint and I also got some liquid leading. For the glass tint I used stuff I had from a kit in iridescent purple, PermEnamel in rooster red, and PermEnamel Shimmers in blue ice. My tips for this project are:
  • Be generous with the puffy paint, the jars that have a thick coat of paint look the best.
  • You can use a sharpie to evenly divide your jar and make guide lines to follow (any mistakes or lines that show can be cleaned up with rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip).
  • Use a sponge brush to apply the glass paint on the inside of the jars and don’t use too much, it will run and look bad (see the blue jar).
  • If the color on the inside isn’t dark enough or is uneven another coat of glass paint will help.
  • any brand names embossed in the glass can be easily hidden with the puffy, plan your pattern accordingly.pasta jar lanterns 2
I am very pleased with the results, I like the pattern of the gold jar the best and the blue glaze the best. I was not really impressed with the liquid leading (I do still like the jar), it was hard to squeeze out of the bottle and it is a gray color when dry.
This was the test, seriously I want a large collection of these for my back yard. I have a large selection of different sized jars and now I need to get some more of the shimmers glass paint and some sponge brushes. I am anxious to see if the paint will peel off the jars after being out in the elements.
I’m curious, do you use candles outside a lot or is it more of something that is just for show? What kind of out door decorations do you have in your yards?

4.13.2012

Friday Finds

I have had a super busy week of random appointments and meeting, I usually have one crazy week a month where I have what seems like a million things to do. I did find time yesterday to sneak into my favorite antique store. I had Little Man with me and I didn’t get to browse around as much as I would have liked, but I did find a couple of treasures.
When I saw this apron I may have squealed, how adorable is it!?!weenie apron
This weenie apron is just too kitschy, appliqu├ęd and embroidered it is definitely a treasure. weenie dog applique It’s going to look great in my kitchen.
As I was leaving I spotted this little case tucked in a corner and the price was right.blue caseThe finish is pretty beat up, but the case is still very sturdy. It is a bit musty on the inside, so it will need to air out. There are so many possibilities with this case I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
I’m feeling lucky I may have to hit a few yard sales this weekend. If you’re in the Lincoln (NE) area I will be teaching a free class at Indigo Bridge Books on making Styrofoam stamps, I’d love to see you.
Have a super crafty weekend!

4.11.2012

Thrifted Sheet Dress

A week and a half ago I decided to cut into my favorite thrifted sheet to make a maxi dress using this youtube tutorial. It did not go well, the tutorial is very clear and easy to follow, but that much fabric on my curvy figure was a really bad idea, so bad that there are NO photos. It is a good concept and with some tweaking it could work, definitely less fabric than the width of the sheet. Basically it’s an adult pillowcase dress.
So my failed dress laid on the floor next to the ironing board all week and finally, this Sunday, I decided to start over. I picked McCalls 6114 (out of print. See, I knew I would need it someday). I am VERY excited with how this dress came out, so excited that I took bad My Space like pictures at 11 o’clock at night because I HAD to show you RIGHT NOW!!!
m6114 finishedBoobzilla is looking a little rough, but she’s still an okay model when I don’t have a photographer handy. The reason that I am so excited is that I was able to sew this pattern directly out of the envelope, no alterations needed. Normally all tops must have a bust alteration because of the sizing on patterns (B cup, really?!?) This dress was different, the most fitted part is the high bust area and then it widens from there. Selecting the size that matched my high bust measurement gave me a dress that fits wonderfully in the chest/armpit area and is full enough (just barely) to fit over my full bust. Believe me, that whole perfect fit in the chest/armpit area is HUGE, normally there is some sort of gapping, pulling, or wrinkling involved in the bust area of my tops, hand made or store bought.
It lies flat and there is no gapping, there is also no giant cleavage showing.m6114 detailThe only “major” alteration I made was to position the casing for the elastic differently than was marked on the pattern and that was easy. I also made sure to mark my pattern, next time I’ll just trace it on.m6114 tissueThe top, upward slanting line is the original suggested placement. The darker wavy line is my custom placement.
I can’t wait to make this pattern again! I need at least one more maxi dress and a couple of tops. The great thing about this pattern is that if you use French seams on the side seams all of the raw edges are completely enclosed, I LOVE that.
The most difficult part of this pattern is sewing the “V” part of the yolks together in the front, it took me a couple of tries and it’s still a little pucker-y. I also really like the use of bias binding to make the casing on the inside for the elastic. I currently have my elastic sewn loosely (trying to de-emphasis my tummy), but it can be easily adjusted.
Now to find some fabulous fabric to make more!

4.04.2012

Book Review: Print and Stamp Lab by Traci Bunkers

I was already a fan of Traci Bunkers, you’ll remember how I raved about the moldable stamp tutorial she shared and I love watching her journaling videos on Youtube. I have to admit I was a little hesitant to buy Print and Stamp Lab thinking that I already knew pretty much all I needed to know about making stamps. I was on twitter and heard/saw/read(uh, it’s twitter) SamanthaKira(Journal Girl, also awesome journaling inspiration) mention making stamps with craft foam and a wood burning tool and was super curious. Traci Bunkers joined our conversation mentioning that there was a tutorial using pipe insulation and a wood burning tool to make a roller stamp in her book and THAT is when I knew I needed to get it.
print and stamp lab coverI was really excited to see all of the projects in this book and I was not disappointed, there is a wonderful, creative, exciting selection of projects to choose from and they are very frugal too.
My favorite part is how each stamp that is made is shown stamped with a stamp pad and with paint alone and then an example is shown with other stamps/finished project is shown. A few of the stamps that weren’t that exciting to me became a lot more interesting when I saw them used/layered with other stamps.
I was also really excited to see several different ways to make rolling stamps.print and stamp lab reviewThe ponytail holder block was the first thing that I wanted to try, it reminds me of the suckers on octopus tentacles. Super easy and great results. I used a peanut butter jar lid for my stamp base and it makes the ones on the edges print darker (what a happy accident).
I would definitely recommend this book and I can’t wait to try a few more projects. Don’t forget to stop by Traci’s blog to see some of her other great projects (the 30 days of carving is my personal favorite)