December 14, 2011

Plaid Skirt: Wardrobe Update

I recently decided to spice up my wardrobe with a new skirt to wear to some of my up coming fall and winter events. I used one of my mother's old patterns because older patterns seem to fit me better and the style was classic.

My mother's pattern.
I used a woven plaid print for the skirt; it was my first time sewing with a plaid. My Aunt Karen, Helen's oldest daughter, taught me to aline the plaids before cutting out the pattern pieces by sticking a pin through the middle of the plaid.

Pin at cross section of plaid.
Then she flipped over the material and make sure the pin exited at the same location of the plaid as it entered.

Pin through cross section of both layers.
Adjust accordingly and pin material in place before cutting out your pattern.

Secure both layers once aligned.

Finished product!

December 10, 2011

Christmas Stockings

My next project is Christmas stockings to match my new Christmas tree skirt. I started by tracing an old stocking. You can do the same thing, just remember to add 5/8" for a seam allowance.

Stocking cut out.
I chose a busy print, so I wanted to add cuffs to embroder our names on. If you also choose to add a functional cuff you will want to make sure that it is slightly wider than the stocking itself and that the material is doubled over.

Stockings with cuffs.

Before sewing embroder the cuffs as desired. I embrodered our names on the cuffs in red and green.

Embroidering the cuffs.

Once I finished embrodering the cuffs I sewed them at the side seams, right sides together. I also sewed the stocking panels, right sides together, and turned them right side out. Then I pressed both the cuff and stocking seams. Next I ironed 1/4" of the raw edge (top) of the cuff to the back and 1/4" of the raw edge (top) of the stocking to the front. With the cuff on top of the stocking top stich 1/8" from the top. DON'T FORGET TO ADD A HANGER!

Sewing cuffs to stockings.

December 3, 2011

Goodwill Rehab

Isn't this little tree sad? I found it one day while I was shopping with my cousin at Goodwill. It was calling out to me to be rescued from the hum drum life that it had been living. So I purchased it and brought it home. It got a little bit of paint, a little shoe polish, and some stain that I found in the garage. So here it is all dressed up ready to go. It is going to the craft show this weekend where I hope it finds its new owner.

December 2, 2011

Christmas Tree Skirt

This is my first Christmas at my own place, with my own Christmas tree and decorations, so naturally I would need a Christmas tree skirt. I was fortunate enough to find a tree skirt lining and a large piece of holly print material in my mother's sewing room. I used the lining as a pattern for the holly print. Once both the top and bottom were cut out I ironed the seams open and sewed the right sides together leaving a small opening to pull the material through.

Skirt lining.
Skirt top.
Then I pulled the material through the opening, turning the right side out, and ironed the seam.

Ironing the seam.
Next I pinned ribbon loops along the slit in the skirt. I top stitched around the whole skirt, up the slit, and closed the opening left for turning.

Top stiching along the outside of the skirt.
Now all the skirt needs is three decorative buttons alined with the ribbon loops to create the closure.

Finished product!

Our beautiful Christmas tree.

December 1, 2011

Advent Is Here

Hello all, this is Sheryl, one of the mommas, Mom to Marissa and Krista and daughter to Helen.
Over the years one of the family crafts that we have enjoyed has been the advent wreath. Some years it has been a real wreath. Some years it has been an odd shape or unique material. The main requirement was that we all slow down enough to meditate for a bit on the real meaning of Christmas. This year I didn't have small kids to "help" make the wreath or give input so I got crafty on my own. While I listened to the old and familiar scripture and songs of the season I thought about Emmanuel, God With Us. With out being weird I just sort of saw what I wanted to make while I was singing Emmanuel. I didn't really think about it, I just could see a vision of what I wanted to make. I hope that it will be an encouragement to you and those that enter our home during this season.
I started by stenciling the letters onto a piece of corrugated white plastic that I had at the house left over from another craft project. Then I cut the letters out with a combination of scissors and Exacto knife.

Next I spray painted the word white just to freshen it up a bit and painted on some silver glitter.

When it was dry I added it to the mantel arrangement. I have it arranged to be our Advent "wreath" The Christ candle is in the center of the mantel and you can see it in the middle of the word.

November 29, 2011

My Goodwill Haul

I'm so glad that I stopped by Goodwill recently! All of these fall/winter additions will really help to balance out my wardrobe and were a TOTAL steal at about $30 for all eight pieces. I purchased a blue turtleneck sweater by Twenty One, a grey and white striped turtleneck by Mossimo, a tan cardi, a hounds-tooth blazer by George Me, jeans from Target, cheetah skirt by Guess Jeans, black satin pencil skirt with bow by Twenty One, and jeans from GAP.

At original prices I probably would have only been able to buy one or two of these pieces for $30!

November 28, 2011

Wedding Crafts

Hello Everyone,

I'm Marissa, Krista's older sister, Sheryl's daughter, and Helen's granddaughter. As you all know crafting has been both a necessity and pleasure for our family. I was married just three short months ago and kept wedding costs low by making a lot of my own wedding decorations. But wedding crafts aren't only a money saver, they are fun!

In keeping with the tradition of my closest girlfriends I recently hosted my friend Amanda's bridal bouquet making party. It is so much fun to get together with friends, eat pizza, and make crafts and memories. Amanda liked my home made bouquets so much we made hers very similar.

Paul and I on our wedding day!

I saw this idea in a bridal magazine and just HAD to do it. Want to learn?

  1. I hot glued a piece of ribbon flat to both sides of the stems.
  2. Starting at the bottom of the stems, wrap a long piece of ribbon (I used three feet) from the back to the front of the stems.
  3. Twist the two pieces of ribbon together, 180 degrees and run them to the back. Do this all the way up until you reach the top and tie it off. I also secured it with a little bit of hot glue. Volia!
Flat ribbon lining.
Tying the ribbon.

Amanda's bouquet.

November 26, 2011

Shop Local- You won't regret it !

Mom's gift!! LOVE IT, but I had to blur it out
 because I don't want to give it away...
This year I have decided ALL of my Christmas gifts will either be bought locally or contribute to a charity. I am SO passionate about this topic. The meaning of CHRISTmas been lost and in doing so small town business have been handed a large slap in the face. So me, being the little activist I am, set out shopping on Black Friday with one sole purpose in mind- spending time with Marissa and Mom. Today on the other hand was set aside for SHOPPING, SHOPPING, SHOPPING!!! Did you know that the Saturday after Black Friday is called Small Business Saturday? Yup, check out their facebook page!

I scooped up today.
I love all of my gifts. 

I urge you to buy local this year for Christmas. Here are a few tips:
  • If you don't know what shops are local then "google" your local Chamber of Commerce and see what their directory has to offer. There are often small "Ma n Pa" shops that are over looked. 
  • While on their site see what specials they may have to offer. Often the small businesses will work together and have a "Downtown Open-House" type of event. 
  •  Don't be afraid to call the Chamber! My sister, Marissa, works at the local Chamber and loves knowing that people are interested in shopping down town. 
  • I would suggest going with few expectations. Let the items come to you. I know, I sound like a hipster when I say that. But seriously, the items often found in these stores are so unique and I doubt you would ever dream them up on your own.
  • Go with a friend, and don't give yourself a time limit. 
  • Plan to go to a local bakery when you need a shopping revival.
  • Walk though all the shops first, then buy on the second round through the stores. There is no reason to commit to a gift when you don't know what's around the corner. 
  • Stop in ANTIQUE shops. Vintage is SO IN!
  • Make it a tradition and keep each other accountable to shopping locally.
Enough reading, here are a few images of my fun Small Business Saturday. I hope you are inspired :)

Well if this doesn't get you in the Christmas
spirit I don't know what will!

One of the beautiful shoppes I walked through.

Nativity scenes are my favorite. :)

Such a cute shop!!

More enchanting than Wal-Mart folks. Am I right?

SO precious inside.

Found Mom's gift for 30% off. I caught a quick picture of the gift being finished.

Hmmm... Just as I posted! They are hosting an Open-House!
I would consider my last picture to be the best buy of the day. I found many spices that were not only sold locally, but made locally! WHAT'S UP!?! CHA-CHING! My brother-in-law is going to love this!

And so it begins...

My mother, my sister and I are three of the most different people you will ever meet. There are however a couple of things tying us together, one of which is our love for creativity. Yup, we can't deny it and if you are reading this my guess is that you can't either.

But who is to blame? Nature or Nurture? This one we are calling nurture. As different as we are, we can all preach this --> "I got my crafty from my mama!" Creativity has been passed down for at least three generations now. The head of this hierarchy is none other than Helen herself.

Isn't she gorgeous?
 Here in the picture Helen, a child of the Great Depression, is in her prom dress which later served as her wedding dress. The material is Dotted Swiss. She got married during World War II when conserving was a must. Perhaps that's where the original craftiness came from; a need for honest ingenuity; for thinking outside the box. Her circumstances eventually changed, but the joy of creating something never did. Instead it was passed down to my Aunts and Mother, and eventually to my sister and I. See, like the title says, we really did get our crafty from our mama's!