July 31, 2012

Christmas in July: Ceramics

Stephanie, Krista, and I had a crafty girls date early in July. We met for a quick dinner at a local deli and then headed to The Firehouse, a local ceramics studio. I painted a Christmas ornament for one of the many weddings that I have left this season. Krista painted a maple leaf candy dish and Stephanie painted a beautiful pink and blue spotted vase.

My ornament before paint.

Maple leaf before paint.

Krista painting her dish.

Doesn't this color just look like a burnt leaf?

Marissa painting her ornament.

Stephanie painting her vase.

Adding holly leaves.

All set for one lucky couple!

Marissa and Stephanie with their pieces painted.

Krista with her painted piece.
It took a few weeks for our pieces to be fired and ready for us to pick them up. We were glad for another opportunity to meet up for girl time. I live for quality time with these ladies!
Finished ornament.

Stephanie and Krista with their finished pieces.

Stephanie and I with our finished pieces.

July 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: My First "Refashion"

I remember my first clothing refashion like it was yesterday. My mother took Krista and I to Goodwill to find sweaters that we could decorate for our first 4-H "Recycleable Wearable" projects.
My sweater smelled like moth balls!

Krista "loved" having her picture taken.
To decorate the sweaters we cut out Christmas ornaments printed on cotton, sewed them near the neckline of the sweater, and outlined them with glitter fabric paint.

I can't tell you how many Christmas parties I wore this sweater to!
Modeling my sweater at Spring Achievement!

Yup, those are velvet pants.
What was your first clothing refashion/upscale?

July 24, 2012

Interlock Headband

Marissa and I had a ton of fun helping our mother upscale a few thrifted shirts into a summer dress and found a great craft for some of our left over material. See the Honeybee Vintage's DIY Twisted Turban Headband post for detailed and easy to follow directions.

Marissa cutting t-shirt into strips.

Finished product!

I LOVE my new summer staple!

My friends liked my headband so much that I went to Goodwill
to buy knits so I could make a few for them.

Like daughter, like mother...

I was so inspired by Marissa's floral dress re-do here that I just had to make my own version.
I found this beautiful coral tee shirt that was super soft and a nice fit. I paired it up with this men's large polo. I knew that I would have more than enough fabric.

Because Marissa is frugal she had saved the bottom of her tee shirt from her dress re-do so I planned on using that for the middle band of color.
Marissa and I sort of "mocked" up what we wanted the end result to look like.

I am so short that we decided it would be most attractive to have a higher than natural waist, band of solid color.

Marissa is giving me some good advise.

Here is what the finished product looks like. It is really comfortable to wear and easy to care for. I wore it for the first time to a baby shower of a dear niece that will be having her baby girl in August.

I found that the vee in the neck of the tee shirt was a little too low for me to feel comforable. I used one of the sleeves to create a small accent in the vee for better coverage.

I have a little more gathering/puckering where the solid black joins the other two colors than I would like. That is because I pulled ever so slightly while I was sewing. This is a bad habit that I developed years ago. So here is my word to the wise. DO NOT try to pull your fabric even a little bit while you are sewing. You might get away with it on wovens but not on knit.  (Do you see my finger wagging?)
What do you think I might have done with the bottom of MY tee shirt after this refashion?

July 22, 2012

Oodles of Ribbon

So much ribbon!
I was recently given oodles of ribbon and am trying to think of crafts for my newly acquired gifts! I can really get creative because there is a wide array of ribbon, some thin satin and some wide with wire.

Last Christmas my friend Emily and I made ribbon wrapped trees similar to the ones below by Landee See Landee Do. I think I may use some of the ribbon to make my own Christmas tree decorations.


Do you have any fun ribbon crafts? Please share!

Candle Rehab

Bag of somewhat melted candles
 When I found this bag of candles at a garage sale marked to half price I knew they were supposed to come home with me. We have been having quite a heat wave this summer and those poor candles used to be nice dinner candles. They were really sort of a mess when I found them. I just knew they were going to need some "rehab".
Preparing candles to melt
 The first step in the process was to decide what I was going to do with a bag of melt-y candles. I decided I would do what my mother always did with the small little bit of candles that were left in the candle holders at church that could no longer be used in the church. She taught us to never let something go to waste that could be re purposed for more productivity. I started this rehab by cutting the candles  into pieces that would melt easily. The wick needs to be removed at some point so now is a good time. If you are careful you can reuse it for another candle.
Melting  process
 I keep things quite low tech. I put the string bean can into a sauce pan with water in the bottom so I have basically made a double boiler. Then I put the pieces of red candle in to melt.
First pour
 When the red wax is melted I pour it into the prepared jar. I have saved one of the wicks and attached it to the center bottom of the jar with a piece of tape. Mom taught me to wrap the extra wick around a pencil or some other tool to keep the wick upright and in the center of the jar.
Getting top layer ready
 The second layer was just plain white wax so nothing special about getting that ready. It is important to let the first layer get cool enough so that the colors don't mix. Then I got the blue candles ready to melt. Because dinner candles have a white core I needed to add a bit of a blue crayon to boost the color value.
Finished product
When the white layer had cooled sufficiently I added the blue layer. Each time that you pour wax it is important to let it cool some so that you don't have a big dip in the center of your candle. That happens if you pour your wax too hot and it creates a giant crater in the center as it cools. I was really pleased with this little project and how it turned out. It was a nice festive touch and a good way to reuse something that might have been thrown in the trash otherwise.

July 18, 2012

Wedding Veil Series: Cathedral Length with Lace

I had the pleasure of meeting Kate through our husbands, who were best friends in college. In fact, Michael and Paul were each other's best men in our weddings!

I had a lot of fun making Kate's veil for her and we got to know each other a lot better during her fittings. Kate's veil was my first Cathedral length veil and it was trimmed with a elegant lace trim that accented the lace on her dress beautifully.

Father of the bride and Bride.

Exchanging vows.

Lighting their unity candle.

First kiss!
Thank you for making us a part of your special day and here's to wishing you two a life time of happiness!

Photography by Metts Photography.

July 13, 2012

Custom Kitchen Curtains

I've been having a lot of fun decorating our first place. Today I decided to tackle the kitchen by adding custom window treatments to my bare windows. Of course I had to do dishes and wash the windows too!

Kitchen windows before.
To begin I measured each window's width and added 5", 2" for the depth of the curtain rod on each side and 1/2" seam allowance for each side. You can add more width if you would like your valance to be more full and gathered. I also estimated how long I wanted the valance to be and added 4", 3" for the top and pocket and 1/2" seam allowance for both the top and bottom.

Left curtain pattern.
I began sewing by hemming each side 1/2". Then I hemmed the bottom of the curtain 1/2". Finally I turned over 3 1/2" on the top and made two seams, one 1 1/2" down from the top and one 3" down from the top.

The whole project only took me about an hour!

Looking home-y!

July 12, 2012

Have Courage, Have Strength

This Bleeding Heart was given to my mother by my grandmother. I love that our history is in our garden as opposed to a dusty ole' attic.

July 9, 2012

Jersey Refashion

As I mentioned last Monday, Paul and I are on a Monday evening rec. softball league. I love playing, but I didn't love my "jersey."
Marissa (in original jersey) and Paul.
I have seen a lot of people online use fitted t-shirts that they like as patterns so I decided to give it a try. Since I had so much extra material I also decided to shape the bottom of my jersey like a traditional baseball jersey. I used sewing chalk to trace my fitted t-shirt as well as the shirt tails from another blouse, plus 3/4" for the seam allowance. However, if you don't have a blouse that is rounded at the bottom you could easily fold the shirt in half length wise and trace a wide bowl.
Original t-shirt.

Fitted t-shirt pattern.

Rounded shirt tails.

Chalked cutting lines.

Chalk outline.
 Then I cut along the chalk lines, turned the t-shirt "inside out" so the right sides were together, and pinned and sewed up the side seams. Finally I hemmed the bottom of the t-shirt and sleeve arms. I decided to leave the sleeves longer, again to resemble a real baseball jersey. My jersey turned out a little bit tighter than I would have liked. If I do this again I would leave at least 1-2" for the seam allowance instead of just 3/4". Remember to use a stretch stitch and ball point needle for sewing on knits!
Cut out jersey material.

Pinned side seams.

Wearing the finished product!