Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pink Tutu: A How-To

For the longest time, I've wanted to use Plumtickled's Tutu Tutorial to make Charlotte a tutu. Now I can cross it off my list. It's really quite simple. But, for those of you who don't like to click over, I am showing you the step's that I learned from Plumtickled.
First, get some non-roll elastic (3/4" or 1") and two spools of tulle: 6 inches wide x 25 yards. (For one tutu, I did all pink. For another, I used lavender and dark purple alternated.)

Measure the length that you want the tutu skirt. Double it and cut the spooled tulle into strips of equal lengths. (Example: I wanted a 12" skirt, so I cut 24" strips.)
Measure your girl's waist (or your own!) and subtract 2.5"-3". Next, cut your non-roll elastic to size. Zig zag stitch the two ends together to form the waistband. (This can even be done quickly by hand.)

Place elastic band over your thigh. (Great for holding everything in place.) Slide a strip under the band and tie in a knot. Repeat.
Solid colors, two-toned or multi colors all look great. This is an easy and inexpensive, quick Princess-pink-me-up for any girl! These are also perfect for last minute birthday gifts.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Japanese Inspired Thrifted Clothing

Ever since Thrift Candy posted this about COTON, I've been so excited that I could hardly sleep. So many inspired ideas are running through my head. When shopping for clothes, I've been aimlessly searching for something and now I know what it is!

Finding clothing has often been just a chore for me. I get easily tired from overpriced, odd-colored, ill-fitting clothing. Also, I'm just not interested in tight, sheer or clingy clothing. Every two to three years, I manage to find enough pieces -usually all at once- to perpetuate a wardrobe. The last time I bought an actual bag of clothing was just before getting pregnant with my daughter - 3 years ago. (I guess that I tempted fate there, as I really didn't have time to wear any of it because I needed maternity pants at 7 weeks!)

So, over the last two days, I've thrifted with new eyes. Here's my first nod to COTON...
This shirt and cardigan are thrift finds. The jeans were already mine. The Mary Jane's are new and the scarf was a gift (thanks Ma!) Adding a splash of color with a new bag...
Green is a favorite color of mine. This Nine West purse was only $3.25. Next up, this comfy thrifted gray sweater dress, coordinating thrifted vest, along with my own leggins and MJ's.
Finally, a perfect print skirt and green sweater. The white tank with sheer ruffle - a la J. Crew style - was already mine.

In two days, I've spent just under $80.00 and come home with 18 new items. (Some still with new tags attached.) It feels great to come home with the greatest wardrobe satisfaction ever. I'm still on a mission for that white COTON dress... stay tuned :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ding! The Soap's Ready!

My soap strongly resembles butter. Mmmmm, buuuuutter. Anyway, my homemade peppermint soap is done curing. The results are in: we all came out squeaky clean.

- Not pepperminty enough as I didn't have enough essential oil. They have just a hint of peppermint fragrance to them, but they still smell very clean.
- The soap was cut to brick size. Ok, half a brick. But trust me, if this was the old west and the whole town only had one of my bars of soap, they'd all get clean.
- They take 4 weeks to cure.

- We have enough soap for the whole year (and maybe next year too.)
- The soap feels wonderful: not too lotion-y, but also doesn't strip our skin.
- Great lather. No sulfates!
- Cost effective.
- Self-sufficiency satisfaction.

Hands down, we love our soap. If I can do this, you can do this too. Best resource book: The Soapmaker's Companion.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thrifted Finds: Folksy, Asian and PJ's

Long overdue to be posted is this folksy short-sleeved sweater. I originally purchased it for Acorn Pudding, but haven't been able to part with it - and posing for the pic is the first time I've even worn it! It's a sweet little cropped number (trust me, I am super short-waisted) with emerald green stripes and flower motif. Here's the c.u. Next up, my asian silk top. It's the palest shade of minty green. Just picked it up today for $4.00.

Finally, another 'should I keep it?' top. It may be a vintage PJ top. The buttons have sparkly rhinestone centers. I wrestle with letting it go because I hardly ever wear sheer clothing.

Oh, and the long brown lace hemmed tank was .25 cents from a garage sale this past weekend.
I'm on the hunt for more spring and summer goodness...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Easter Legs - Another Baby Legs Tutorial

My latest sewing project is a pair of homemade Easter Legs. They have cute little chick faces at the top (available at Target).

I was in search of a birthday present for a sweet 4 year old girl when I ran across these socks in Target. The time had come to make some baby legs, so I picked up several pairs and made some for my Charlotte too.

There's a great tutorial here, but I got a little lost and found I had to wing it in several parts. So, here's a tutorial of how I made my baby legs.

First, get a pair of knee high socks...
Next, cut off the toes and heels.
Thirdly, take the "foot tube" and fold it in half, right sides facing out, raw edges on the same end.
Next, place folded tube over the "leg" part of the sock - keeping all the raw edges together.
Next, pin layers in place if needed (I didn't, but definitely wrestled with them a bit.) Stitch together first three layers (so as not to sew the sock shut) around the opening near the raw edges. I used a long running stitch for stretch.

Lastly, I used a zig zag stitch between my seam and the raw edges to keep the edges from fraying, and for durability. (A serger would be perfect for this edge.) Now, turn cuff right side out.
That's it! 10 minutes and you're done.

Friday, March 20, 2009

J. Crew Souvenirs

We just returned from our mini-vacation to Monterey. Since we have a thing for lighthouses, we stayed just a block away from Point Pinos lighthouse and listened to the ocean all night. The lighthouse really has nothing to do with this post, but I just liked this picture so - here ya go.A few days before our trip, my husband scooped up the latest J. Crew catalog. I flipped through it and found some lovely shirts and sweaters with chiffon trims. T-shirts, v-necks and cardigans, oh my!

While in Monterey, we passed a Goodwill. The thrifter in me does not rest, even on vacation. Dear H let me thrift 'til my heart's content. I immediately came upon this perfect little black t-shirt with chiffon trim - for only $3.25!

H left happy as well because I found him an actual J. Crew wool sweater for under $4.
Even though he's always warm, he's still a wool sweater kind of guy. Perfect for fishing, I suppose.

Good vacation. Good souvenirs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Verdict: Don't Drink and Drive

My civil duty as a juror ended yesterday. The trial lasted longer than anticipated. Let me tell you, it's good to be home!

The verdict was guilty for a woman accused of driving under the influence. Not only was she above a .08 (the legal limit) - but she was four times the limit. Her blood alcohol tested at a .33 after her arrest. At .3 a person is in a stupor. At .4 they're in a coma, at .5 they'll die.

How was this possibly contested, you may ask? The defense tried to discredit the only witness to the driving incident. In the end, we felt sure of the defendant's guilt. Sadly, after the trial, we found out that this is her second conviction for drunk driving. She's made a series of mistakes and we can only hope that she'll get help before someone gets hurt.

Though I was away from my daughter most days last week - and missed her terribly, I actually enjoyed my time on a jury. It was fascinating. There was law, there was order, there was humor and there was drama. It was highly educational and difficult to decide someone else's guilt.

As I sat eating lunch with my daughter today, she smiled at me while wearing her pink rhinestone-studded sunglasses at the kitchen table. Yup, there's no place I'd rather be. And I'm relieved to know that there is one less drunk driver on the road.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Employed Elsewhere

Today I got a job for which I never applied. Two words: jury duty.

Over the years, I have received three jury summons. However, I always receive them juuust as I move to a new county. The former county is continually out of luck. Until today.

After sitting through 4 and 1/2 hours of questioning... I was selected. It's supposed to be a short trial, so hopefully my crafty days will soon return. As part of our civic duty, we're obligated to pay attention. No reading craft books, and no sewing a pillowcase dress for C. The brochure even states that knitting needles are not allowed. (Drat, guess I'll have to finish that scarf another time.)

The grandparents are pitching in to care for our girl during the days that I'm away. I believe they may be hoping for an OJ length trial... I'm hoping more for a drive-thru Matlock trial.

Either way, I couldn't help but think today, "If that judge's robe was made of fleece, he'd look like he's wearing a snuggie!"

P.S. Thanks to One Crafty Place for posting about my Ivan The Blue doll! They feature a lot of great projects, be sure to visit them here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blogiversary Winner!

Congratulations go out to Katie of Katie Jean! She was chosen (at random, by Charlotte's little hand rooting through paper strips in a hat and pulling one out) as the winner of my blogiversary giveaway.

If I were Katie, due to her other recent congratulations, I'd consider picking up a lottery ticket this week ;)

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pasta Free Jewelry

This is the first necklace I've made that didn't include macaroni. Really, I don't think I've made a necklace since I was in Brownies. But recently, I saw BarkerBell's sewing machine necklace and was smitten with the mini machine. I just wanted it a little more spruced up. So, I ordered the dollhouse miniature sewing machine for myself. Then snagged this bag o' beads from the thrift for .50 cents.
I acquired the acorn and leaf charm at a recent yard sale - again for .50 cents (seems to be my favorite number as of late.) Finally, I put it all together on a craft store, antiqued bronze chain.

Having no idea how to put beads on a necklace, I found this link showing me how to make headpins. I McGyver'd it by using floral wire.

When I walk around, the necklace jingles like a little bell. I like to think of it as a reminder to get back to my sewing machine soon.

P.S. You still have until tomorrow evening to enter my blogiversary giveaway here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fox Fiend

Because of my current fixation with foxes, I'm sharing a few etsy finds with you. This handmade fox scarf cracks me up every time I see it. Seriously, I can't stop giggling. It's funny and it would keep me warm. Perfect! Shopowner celapiu is from Poland, and makes these foxes in a variety of colors and lengths.
This print from krisblues is called, "It's Going To Be A Good Day." With a fox on a swing, you can bet that's true.
And finally, "Phoebe And The Foxes" is art from littlebighead's blog. (She also has a shop.) Oh, I want to be Phoebe, just to have a little fox snuggled on my head. It probably looks like more fun than it is...
(All photos are property of respective blogs and shops.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Blog-a-versary Giveaway

It's my blog's 1st birthday! My blog actually began on February 29, 2008, but since this is not a leap year, we're celebrating today... and all week. As a thank you for your readership, you'll have the chance to win all that you see here...

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I love black and white. So, I've put together black and white goodies for one fortunate reader. The giveaway treasures include:
* 1 white ruffled pillowcase (for embellishing or crafting)
* 1 vintage black and white retro flower scarf
* 1 bar of my handmade peppermint soap
* 6 - 6 inch squares of white aida fabric
* 1 - 4 inch embroidery hoop
* 1 floral ponytail holder
* 2 vintage black and white napkins
* 1 white wool felt floral headband (made by me just for this giveaway)
* and 1 grey bracelet will be converted into one of my text bangle bracelets (upon winning, simply let me know if you prefer Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility or Twilight.)

How to enter the giveaway:
- Leave me a comment to this post and you will have 1 entry.
- If you have a blog, mention this giveaway on your blog and link back here. Leave me a comment letting me know you've linked and you will receive 1 additional entry.
- Visit The Little Birdie and tell me (in a comment) what your favorite item is in my shop. You will receive 1 additional entry.
- Visit Acorn Pudding and tell me (in a comment) what your favorite item is in my shop. You will receive 1 additional entry.

You have 4 possible chances to enter the drawing. The giveaway drawing is limited to the U.S. only and contest will close at midnight on Saturday, March 7, 2009.

Best wishes!
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