Friday, May 18, 2012

Faithful Friday

Wow! What a week this has been?!? I mean, packing up my house so some friends can inhabit the place while we are gone, trying to pack our suitcases for 6-8 months stay in Puerto Rico, and trying to keep myself healthy has been quite a feat. But, life goes on (as it should) and things will all work out (crossing fingers now!).

Why does it seem so hard to 'slow down' when there is so much to do...Especially since we weigh down our schedules with things that are important to us, not necessarily things that are important to our Heavenly Father.

Through this busy time in my life (REALLY, when is it not busy in one way or another?), I must stay in-tune with the spirit and listen to what the Lord needs me to do for my family and others-instead of just focusing on myself. True, it is important to make sure my needs are met, so that I can stay healthy and prepared to perform Heavenly Father's will, but I shouldn't be selfish.

I still have a lot of work in the area...trying to see past the end of my own nose (so to speak).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Third Thursday with Tasha

Remember, every third Thursday, there is a series on the blog called, Third Thursdays with Tash where my sister-in-law, Tash, will post something creative every third Thursday of each month.

Closet of tools

Hello again!  I hope you have had a good month of crafting.  This month I want to share with you a project I have been working on for two months.  It was supposed to be a simple, easy, but ultimately useful sewing craft for my husband.  No, it was not simple and it left me frustrated many times, but it’s finally completed. 

Meet my closet.  It scares me.  My husband likes tools, a lot, but he doesn’t have a good space to put them.  So they pile up here.  Really it’s not too horrid, it’s just impossible to find things.  We decided that it needed some serious organization help.  A tool box was our first idea, but it would just be another big box for tools to get lost in.  That’s when we thought of an over the door organizer. 

The first thing I knew had to be done was plan, and map, and plan, how this was going to look.  I gathered all of the most used and consequentially most lost tools, and laid them out on grid paper.  Where do you find large one inch grid paper?  Why on the back of Christmas wrapping paper!  Honestly that was the best idea for planning this. 

I recycled a pair of jeans and a shirt that would never be worn again.  The legs were still in good condition, so they became the back.  Using the leftover denim and the shirt, I sewed on pockets and loops. 

Then I took off the pockets and loops and did them again… and again.  Then some pockets were too big, or too small, and had to be redesigned and sewn on again.  Finally I bound the edge like it was a quilt, inserted the dowels to keep it straight-er, and called it good enough.  Phew!

Here are the remains of the jeans and shirt.  It’s a good thing nobody will be wearing them!  Oh, and the tools won’t be hanging off of those tiny strips of fabric.  It’s my honey’s job to attach it to the door properly, and he’s not home from work yet. ;)

Have fun sewing your own crafty items! 

Let Birds Fly

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Girl's Best Friend?

We all remember the lyrics, "Diamonds are a girls best friend" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes/Moulin Rouge...well, I thought glittery shoes would be the equivalent of diamonds for a four-year-old girl.

When I made the spray paint purchase, I already had these shoes in mind-they started off as mary-jane style purple patent leather kicks, and my daughter really loved wearing much so that she scuffed up one of the toes royally.
 Here is the before:
 I tried taping the bottom of the shoes so they didn't get glittery, but as you can see, the tape didn't exactly stick to the shoes.
 My hubby thought it was because the tape was 'getting old'...but I think it was because the tape was conspiring against me. My hypothesis makes more sense. So I tossed the tape before it could pull anything else over my eyes...
While I was out shopping a few months back, I spotted some Glitter Blast spray paint (which had been all over blogland in the last year) on clearance at Lowe's. I scooped up a couple of cans, including the spray sealer, and bounced home happy.
 Before starting, I made sure to tuck a lot of newspaper into the shoes so that the insides did not get glittered also.
 Then I sprayed the puppies like there was no tomorrow...and then again, and again, and again...It's difficult to see in these pictures, but the shoes still have a purple hue about them-they did not turn completely silver from the loads of glitter.
 But, my spray job was not perfect-however, when I tried to spray them again a couple of days later, the spray paint can only fizzled and spit clear liquid in random spurts (along with make an ugly hissing sound). "Great," I thought, "Now the spray glitter paint is conspiring against me with the great tape!" I'm onto them...
I figured the Widget was going to be moving too fast for anyone to notice that the glitter was a little thinner in areas, so I went ahead and sprayed a couple of coats of the sealer. Then, I let them dry for a week (which may or may not have been because I forgot the shoes were still out in the garage).
I had Widge wear the shoes for our Jr's shirt into dress photo shoot...they're both purple, right? I actually had her wear the shoes all day long, not just for the photo shoot, and that turned out to be a bad decision.

I assumed I would lose little flecks of glitter here and there until the shoes became bald, so to speak, but I never imagined what happened next.
The glitter paint is literally falling off the shoes in chunks...I didn't get a really great shot of the shoes, but the one above doesn't show all of the damage. Nearly all the paint is gone from the arch area of the shoe (inside of foot and out) and the straps look like old leather belts that's about to break (even thought the strap itself is really intact). Sigh....I have to consider this project a Craft Fail, even if I will probably still let her wear them until the day they completely die, or she grows out of them.

Have you tried spray painting or spray glittering your shoes? Did you prep the shoes in some way? Did the 'paint' stay better than mine? Please give me some help! Thanks :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Shirt(s) to Dress-Widget Size

So I decided that I better use up some of the 'Garage Sale Stash' that I've been collecting since last August, (another project from the 'Garage Sale Stash' is this tank-top). I'm sure I only spent around $0.50 on a this strapless Jr's shirt with a wide band of shirring across the chest area. I figured it would make a decent skirt for Widget, but the shirred band (Shirring=lines of elastic thread running parallel across a garment, normally done in multiple rows) was too wide for a waist band for the her little in the Craft Graveyard it sat, until a couple of days ago!

I came up with this great idea (awhile ago) to use the strapless Jr's top as a dress for Widget...I mean, I've done it before. But instead of just adding ribbon straps, I thought I'd make something that she can wear on it's own (not layer...because let's face it, who wants to layer knits while living in Puerto Rico???).

Here's what I did to make a Upcycled Junior's Shirt into a Little Girls Dress:
What you'll need:
1 T-shirt or tank-top to fit your child
1 strapless Jr's top or skirt (shirring detailing prefered to make it easier to get the final dress on and off)   
Sewing Machine & Thread (matching thread is also nice)
Scissors and Pinking Shears (optional)
Time...but not a lot of time, I promise
So grab your shirt(s), then cut open the first two inches of the side seams on the Jr's shirt (which I will now call your 'new skirt'). Turn the edges under along this cut, then stitch in place.
You will be using these new slits to go around the arm's eye of the t-shirt. Make sure to clip the same distance on both sides of your 'new skirt'-it helped me to use the shirring lines as a guide, clipping only to the fourth line from the top (for instance).
Then slip the t-shirt info the 'new skirt'. Line up your side seams and slits for the sleeves. I also tucked the edge of the sleeve area on the 'new skirt' under again-to make sure it matched the t-shirt sleeve-then pinned everything like crazy so it stayed in place during sewing.
Front pinned & back...
I used a zigzag stitch all the way around the shirt to secure the 'new skirt'. I zigzagged over the first row of shirring which gave me a guide straight across the fabric. I also, stitched around the arms/sleeves with the zigzag making sure to stay on the 'new skirt' fabric only...t-shirts can be temperamental if you put a needle through them (alone)...leaving big gaping holes or all other nonsense.
After everything was sewn together, I flipped the 'new skirt' up over the top part of the t-shirt and clipped the bottom part of the t-shirt off with pinking shears. I did this for two reasons: (1) the 'new skirt' fabric is super clingy and it climbed the t-shirt underneath (meaning it didn't lay flat), and (2) I didn't want the extra layers of having a long t-shirt under the dress (which is why I chose to sew the dress this way in the first place). You could serge the t-shirt when cutting it short, or zigzag/hem the edge with your sewing machine...I do not have a serger, so that was out of the question, and I'm kinda lazy - pinking shears was the quickest option. And it has held up great during play and in the wash...that makes this dress a SUCCESS!
And she loves it, too! (and yes, those are little fish on her leggings-since there are many different colors of fish on a white background, the leggings go with nearly everything in Widget's closet).
This makes a great summer dress that is short enough to play on the play ground without getting in the way, but long enough to cover the little butt that likes to wear brightly colored underwear under light colored leggings. It's a Win/Win situation, really...No craft fail here!
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy! And this tutorial could be used to turn plain t-shirts into a fun baby doll style shirt for the older girls, or turn a strapless shirt into a modest shirt for the teens. There are so many possibilities.

Things to think about:
This project works best if the t-shirt fits your child.
The t-shirt and strapless shirt/skirt should be really close to the same width (this makes the process a whole lot easier)-but you could always use a larger strapless shirt/skirt and cut it down to fit your child as well.
The length of the final dress is directly related to the length of the strapless shirt/skirt and where you want it to sit on your child.
I needed to slit the shirt to go around the sleeves so that the front of the purple shirt covered my daughter's chest. Older girls may not need to have the front of the 'new skirt' to be quite so high on their t-shirts, adjust placement accordingly.

 And, do you see those awesome shoes of Widget's? I painted them with glitter! That tutorial will be posted tomorrow :)

Now isn't it fun to upcycling clothing? Happy Sewing!

The Southern Institute
Let Birds Fly

Friday, May 11, 2012

Faithful Friday

I wanted to talk a little about Mothers, being a Mom, etc...but I've been swamped with technology junk, packing up my home in MO and cleaning. I did, however, read a fabulously written blog post about Motherhood by Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss. And let me just say, "Amen!" to everything she said-I wholeheartedly agree!

Also, because it's been a tough week, I needed some inspiration-so I hopped on a friend's Facebook page and copied a few she has posted. Here are a few quotes from some awesome General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

"The most important cause of our lifetime is our families." -M. Russell Ballard

"While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
--Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Come What May and Love It, Ensign, Nov. 2008

 "So the bad news is that family breakdown is causing a host of societal and economic ills. But the good news is that, like any cause and effect, those ills can be reversed if what is causing them is changed. Inequities are resolved by living correct principles and values. Brothers and sisters, the most important cause of our lifetime is our families. If we will devote ourselves to this cause, we will improve every other aspect of our lives and will become, as a people and as a church, an example and a beacon for all the peoples of the earth."

—Elder M. Russell Ballard, Living Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ, April 2012

May your Mother's Day be filled with all the love you deserve, and possible less chaotic than normal (one can hope, right?)!

And a little something to brighten your day (and mine):