Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Failures and Triumphs

Wow, it has really been a long time since I've updated.

First off, I have failed my own challenge. I did make one top and one dress. The button on the top fell off after one wear (and I'm not much a fan of it, anyway) and the dress is lovely. But I have yet to procure photographic proof. I'll get on that.

Also, I wound up buying more fabric. With a garment in mind....but I've hardly made a dent in my current stash. I did manage to weed out the "grandma fabrics" as Ben so lovingly calls them and plan on donating them to my local 4-H for their fabric sale. (Ironically, I'm fairly certain that I bought most of those fabrics at the 4-H sale.)

And the last bit of my failure is that I bought a few sleeveless blouses in the summer. The A/C in my car was dead and we were in the middle of a heat wave. The best option, it seemed was sleeveless blouses with a light short-sleeved cardigan for the office. That way I wouldn't completely melt on my way home. I simply didn't have the time, but I did however, have a 30% off coupon for Kohl's. And I did end up mending what I bought to fit me right.

Now, that isn't to say that I haven't been crafting away.

I am especially proud of this tea tray that I customized for my dear BFF and her new husband. They are both music geeks, even more so than I. (In fact, the groom was a member of the YellowJackets, who are doing a smashing job on the Sing Off right now. You should really check them out.) And they love tea. So I wanted to make them a literal tea tray that featured their love of music.



The tray is from Target and beautiful as is. I printed out some favorite musical pieces, soaked them in tea, and baked them a little. Then I tore them, laid them out and Mod Podged the heck out of them.


They were ecstatic. I failed to photograph the finished product myself, so I borrowed the bride's own picture.

Now, I shall get back to my Christmas present knitting (I am as pleased as a peacock, but I can't show off!) and pattern design testing. I also have some painting projects underway that I should be able to share soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adding a little color

First off, welcome to any lovely Trac Changes followers who found me through Rachel's blog!

Now on to my color problem.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good white blouse. Crisp whites are so lovely, especially in the summer. At some point, it was at a picnic I believe, I spilled some barbecue sauce on this beautiful white sleeveless tunic:

Mediterranean blouse

It is hard to see in this picture, but there is a little yellowish spot on the right side under the "sun." (In my kitchen, everything has a yellow tinge to it, but it is the best lighting in the house for pictures.)

kitchen rug

I've also had this nice little kitchen mat for about 4 years. No matter how much I cleaned it and sprayed it with stain remover, the dirt from feet would not go away.

Thank Heaven for RIT Dye. (And inexplicable clearances! I bought this Navy Blue for $0.45 one day at the supermarket.)

The instructions were simple and the results were fabulous.

Mediterranean blouse2

(I promise, a pic is coming soon with me actually wearing it.)

kitchen rug2

And well, it stills has some dark spots, but they don't look like dirt so much as a change in saturation of color. I'm pleased with it. It goes with our blue glasses, too!

I think I've becoming addicted to dyeing... You can check out my forays into dyeing yarn with tea and kool-aide here on Flickr, or here if you are on Ravelry!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rosie Riveter Dress

Rosie Riveter

I don't know why, but this dress reminds me of Rosie the Riveter. Maybe it's the plaid. I bought it for under $5 at the Salvo (see below). All it really needed was a higher hem line and a better belt. I found the belt on clearance at Wilson's Leather for $6 and I can use it on other outfits.

Technically, I believe this fits into my "Make it Work" challenge because I bought the dress and belt back in December and just never got around to it until now.

Rosie Riveter 1

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Make It Work Challenge

I've been doing some thinking. Lately, I feel like I'm too busy to make my own clothing many times, so I scrounge for clearance items and sales instead. Often, I think I find something, but after only a few wears of the item I realize that the sleeves are too tight or the buttons pop, or it is shabby quality, etc., etc.

I don't have an easy body to shop for. Which is what I love the most about sewing. Which is why I have a drawer overflowing with fabric and 2 dozen patterns. That I haven't been using!

I've also been stuck in a materialistic rut of sorts. I think the solution might be to lock down my clothing budget to a minimum and to force myself to create with what I have on hand.

So, I'm starting a Make It Work Challenge for myself and anyone who wishes to join me. I've seen others out there do something along these lines, and I love it.

[Incidentally, I'm fairly certain I used this book in 4-H when I was learning to sew.]

Here are my rules:

1. Avoid buying new clothes. Force myself to get creative and savvy. Besides anything I make will fit so much better. This will also force me to improve upon my seamstress skills. Maybe I'll finally take that leap and sew my own swimming suit (one of the most difficult garments for me to find).

2. Avoid buying new fabric or patterns. Use up that stash! Save your JoAnn's coupons for quality notions and all the thread you'll be needing.

3. If I MUST buy a garment, get rid of something! This will help me get rid of the old, worn out clothing and help keep garment clutter to a minimum. I can either donate, or use the fabric to make something else.

Not only will this improve my wardrobe and barely effect my wallet, but it will keep me blogging. And if you don't see posts from me, bug me! Let's work together to keep each other crafting.

And hopefully, this whole project will make me more thankful for what I already have.

I'm in for a year, how about you?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birthstone Nest Pendant

Finished nest pendants

You may well remember back when I tried to duplicate the ~Ruffles and Stuff~ Family Tree Brooch/Pendant. The gift was well received, but I thought that the tree was a little too big especially for the petite women in my family that I wanted to give it to for Christmas.

So, I put my thinking cap on. And maybe it is because of the name of my blog, but I thought of bird nests and using the beads as eggs! I'm sure it's been done before, but even so I thought I'd share with you how I did it.

Nest pendant supplies

Ignore the glue gun! That was a proto-type. Hot glue and wire don't work together, it seems. However, you will want to gather:

-Wire cutter and needle-nose pliers
-Beading wire in your choice of metal
-Chain necklace
-Beads in the children's birthstones (Pictured here are Peridot/August for myself and Aquamarine/March for my brother)

I bought the beads at AC Moore. They have a large selection of beads in plastic tubes that are decently priced.

First, I strung on the the two beads onto the end of a piece of wire, and started coiling the wire around. If you look closely at the bottom of this picture, I think you'll get what I mean:


I continued that until I felt the nest was big enough. Then, I brought the wire up to the top of the nest and wrapped it around the nest a few times and then looped it through a chain on the necklace before snipping it and tucking it in.

Voila! Easy peasy.