Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rather slow week

With it being the first week of school I have been rather slow at getting around to things this week. I finished this shirt last week for back to school. It is a bigger slightly modified version of this one I made for my ape baby here. I love the material. On top of it being the first week of school the Young Ladies in our youth group started back at making quilts for the Jesus House (a local homeless shelter). So I had to get refocused on putting quilts together and making sure we had enough stuff to keep everyone busy. They have 80beds and are usually packed come Christmas time. We are trying to finish as many as possible and are hopeful to give everyone a quilt. Last night was our refocus night. We organized our quilt took stock and started a few more. We have 9 completed and another 6 just needing the binding done, three quilt tops and another four tops out with some of the ladies from church helping us out. They are turning out quite cute. All of our material has been donated by church ladies with the exception of a few backs. I will be spending a few nights working on this project each month to help contribute a few more tops for the girls to tie.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I am looking forward to sleeping in and doing some crafting this weekend. Hopefully I will have some fun things for next week. Need to create something that will help clean out a few inches of my fabric/craft area. It has exploded!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back to school blunder- cleaning shoes

My flittering butterfly has really wanted to get a pair of these. Blue is her favorite color.
My husband has a pair, my MIL has a pair, so naturally she wanted a pair. I wasn't about to spent $60 on a pair of kids shoes for back to school! She will have grown out of them in a few weeks/month and need new ones. My husband made her a deal. We would pay half if she paid half- that way if she really wanted them she would have to work for them. Sure enough the girl announced last week she had enough money and wanted to go pick some out. We made a trip into the city and found out no one in a four hour radius sells or will even order them in kids sizes! UGH!

We went home with a crushed little girl! So we immediately ordered some online. Unfortunately, they won't be here in time for the first day of school- you know the day you have to look your best, wear your favorite new outfit, sporting your new back pack, style your hair just the right way, and run around in your new SHOES. My fashion conscious girl voiced this concern. I am not about to go buy her another pair of shoes right now! She has several other gently worn used that will suffice for the first few day of school, she will most likely wear them sooner or later anyways. So last night I googled ways to clean-up and enhance her old shoes. I came across this link PERFECT!!!
With a little of this
I got this
The lighting is bad, i know! Its midnight and under my energy saving light bulbs that cast a yellowish hue, its hard to get a good picture.
I had to adjust the recipe a little. I couldn't get a good paste consistency that stayed mixed so I doubled the baking soda.

1Tbsp Vinegar
1Tbsp hot water
2Tbsp baking soda

It took less than 4minutes to run the water, scrub the shoe and rinse it. What a difference! Hope my fashion conscious flittering butterfly will accept these until her new shoes arrive next week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ape baby's Peasant top

I am definitely in a sewing mood. Needing to keep myself moving and occupy my sleepless nights, I recently reorganized my sewing drawers and boxes. I have a bit too much fabric! Great beautiful prints just waiting for the right project.
I came across several patterns I had purchased back in the day when my flittering butterfly was a wee Lil one. The Copyright on the packages says 2001. When I came across this pattern I decided I had just the fabric to use.
Walmart always has a bunch of discount material packets in town. I found a packet for a purse but thought it would make a perfect shirt for my 'lil ape baby. For two yards of each material and a great purse handle it was $5. Steal! I have been holding on to it for over 6months waiting for just the right thing.
I love it when I can make a project without having to go shopping.
I love peasant tops! I, of course, sewed this late one night while my babes were sleeping. I cut out the size 2 shirt, and followed the instructions. I left out the elastic on the sleeves because I didn't want to make them too tight but once she had it on I decided I liked it better without the puff sleeves. I have always been intimidated by store bought patterns. They easily confuse me. However this one taught me a few new sewing tricks I'd have never thought of.I love the scrunchy gathered top piece! It is a wonderful detail!
I will make a few minor adjustments to lengthen it but all in all I LOVE this simple pattern! I am thinking of making another top for winter, with the short puff sleeves and adding a knit cotton full length extension giving it a layered look. What do you think?
My lil ape baby wore this on our Zoo outing this week. I was thrilled when I had several ladies who had lil girls about the same age ask where I bought this shirt- a feel good creative moment. This pattern is a keeper!I think I like to sew.

Monday, August 8, 2011

True learning to b me moment

My sweet flittering butterfly loves to design outfits. She loves to coordinate her clothes, and changes a dozen times a day to get just the right outfit. Two summers ago I promised to make her something. I took her to the fabric store and let her have free reign, first mistake!

Later on that summer she designed the outfit I was to create with it. I tried to recreate it last summer but with little success. I threw it in a drawer and never wanted to touch it again.Here are her different variations of it. Now she wants me to make a matching skirt HAHA!
The material is stretchy, almost swimsuit like material. I have never sewn with such material. I don't want to do it again, anytime soon! Maybe after I get a serger, maybe under the eye of a trained professional, and I suggest not trying new techniques out on material you are unfamiliar with.

I am happy to say I FINALLY kept my promise and completed her creation! I altered my originally pattern and went for something more simplistic this time and it worked out much nicer. I see all the flaws. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong in this project- threads breaking while I was gathering, material not being caught on the backside while I top stitched, cut limited material too short, running out of thread with only ten inches left to sew, material constantly getting caught in the feed dogs, and someone suggested using a zigzag stitch instead of a straight stitch, didn't work! the material was too flimsy)! But it was all worth it with her excitement over the finished product. She is going to wear it until the first day of school. :-/ Atleast I know she appreciates all the effort I put into it!
She is such a poser, didn't have to ask her to do anything. She does it all LOL
I used this site for a pattern. I made both sides the same length and the same width. I had to cut the arm cut outs a little deeper than on this tutorial and made the width of the top band a little bigger. My Flittering Butterfly wanted rounded edges on the ends of the ties, so I sewed them inside out and up the side about 8inches. I then turned them right side out and sewed the black band all round, encasing the flower material which I had already sewn to the underside of the black piece, thus fully encasing the flower material within the black band. (Hope that makes sense. No photos to demonstrate.)

I learned that with a little patience and a little advice from more seasoned sewers it is possible to create the impossible. "If at first you don't succeed, try try again."
Double fist pump! I took my Flittering Butterflies creation and made it her own!

Side note- I recently tried my hand at drawing a few designs. I started by recreating this top. THanks to my soldier boys cousin and her tips, my daughter and I are having so much fun creating all kinds of new outfits (that I will probably never sew but enjoy drawing). Here's my first sketch.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Need to redecorate

Ever have one of those weeks/months you decide you are tired of the way something looks but just don't know what you want to replace the old.
A few weeks ago I decided the space above my fireplace had to change. Since we painted our living-room two years ago the painting above the fireplace seemed to blend into the wall too much. For a large part of the day the wood frame looked almost the same color as the wall. I wanted something more drastic but not over powering.My soldier boy was in the field and I needed some alone, adult time. I hired a sitter and made a run into town to Hobby Lobby. I walked thru the store at least ten times, up and down each isle without having to run to the potty three times, losing a child, or having to pick up things my children have taken off shelves. I love the discount isle! Especially the picture frames. I came across a large black frame for $9, it stands lengthwise as long as I am tall almost. Who could pass that up?!I roamed the store for something to go with it, plates, picture, prints, more frames, or material. As I was about to give up I came across a metal wall hanging that was also discounted due to paint peeling, $14. I took it home and covered the metal that was showing thru with some acrylic paint.Now I need to find the right balance of stuff on the mantle. I keep rearranging my trinkets to see what looks best but no right combo says "finished" yet.
The new home for our old painting is perfect. It pops more and we notice it more each time we pass it on our way into our room.
Now I am itching to start on the master bedroom, it lacks character! But everything I want to do requires the use of the garage and painting. Not happening anytime soon! Triple digits as far as the weather man can see.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Love your state?

I work with the youth group at our church. We recently had two new girls moved in from out of state. We were looking for something simple to give them as a welcome gift, when I came across these again on EtsyI have been dying to order one, but never have...We were a bit crunched on time so ordering one would not be an option for these girls. After searching for something super cute to give the girls and coming up empty handed, I decided to try my hand at making it myself.
I found a clip art of our state.I imported my image into Pages and used the create your own card setting, I was going to make a few, may as well not waste card stock.
As I lined up my white card stock in my printer and hit print I selected the flip horizontally button which prints them backwards.After they were printed I cut out my card stock with my kindergarteners scissors, and flipped it blank side up. I approximated where our town is on the map and put a heart with a sharpie pen there. Then I distressed the edges a little with an ink pad to help it stand out a bit and cover some of the cut lines. I found out what each of the girls favorite colors were and with double sided tape adhered both pieces of card stock together and put it in a frame.
I wrapped them up and included a card that saidSuper simple and easy! I love them and so do the girls. In fact all the girls want one now!
Thinking of making one for each place we have lived and making a wall of them.

Live to create!

The winner is...

The winner of our PinksNaptimeEscapes is...

WAHOO!!! Congrats Fokxxy!
I am finishing up a few projects for back to school then I should be back. Lots of projects planned for this fall, I just need the heat to die down a little so I can get out to the garage to start building.
Live to Create!