Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Jewelry Conversion

I picked up this necklace (actually two) from a store here in Puerto Rico...I think it was called Rainbow actually...anyway, the necklaces(s) cost $2.99 (each). The construction looked pretty easy to deconstruct, so I happily bought the only two rainbow bead necklaces they had.

I started by taking the clasp off, and all the jump rings that connected all the strands of beads, and chain, together.
Here are all the bead strands, a pile of chain pieces, the clasp and extended tab.
Something about blue and yellow together makes me smile, and adding orange is also a nice touch. I used a few of the existing jump rings and the original claps and extender tab to finish off the necklace. It was hard to find the center of the bead strands (being all a little different in length), but once I put a know in the center I proceeded to tie another knot on each side of the middle.
I like the way the knots look stripe-y with the three colors of beads.
With the aqua and green strands, I made this necklace using more of the original jump rings and another closure I had on hand (in my stash). You may notice I also added some of the original chain to the piece.
I had these awesome things...maybe we can call them bead my stash as well. The centers are all large enough to string at least two stands of beads and one chain through them. And, the closure also fits through the bead spacers, so I can wear the necklace with or without my silver and black accents.
Have you tried and DIY jewelry conversions yet?

*P.S. Make sure to come back next week for How Do U Like Them Apples?'s blog-iversary (or is it blog-aversary???) I have a whole week of giveaways planned-it will definitely be exciting :) Thanks for your loving support!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Faithfull Friday: Sand Carving

This week has been...well, not so much fun. We took Widget to the children's hospital, last Sunday, for a weird skin rash. Turns out she has impetigo (a bacterial infection) and has thus been on a strict schedule concerning creams and oral medication. Because the creams makes the child feel and look like a greased pig, Widget has not left the house (other than for a walk around the neighborhood) since we got home from the hospital...which means I've been grounded, too. We are now starting the 5th day of treatment (out of 7) and her skin is looking much much much better and requires slightly less cream to cover her 'spots' so she is much less greasy (Yeah!) and she has all her energy back, like bouncing off the walls (not so Yeah!). I'm so glad we are getting slightly back to a normal around here-especially since tomorrow will start our almost month long guestcapade...we will be having about 3 weeks of straight guests (technically 4 different guests).

Well, onto the Faithful Friday post. While looking through some past beach pictures, I found these beauties. Some of the beaches here in Puerto Rico have a 'rock ledge' at the shore line, but most of the 'rock ledges' are really sand stone (or very similar)=meaning the 'rock' is softer than rocks found in the Rocky Mountains. Anyway, other beach visitors have carved their names into the rocks; and when the tide rises, the water helps cut the carvings even deeper.
This fun picture was also carved into a rock nearby the other names. Think of the time spent meticulously carving all the little details. Then think about how much longer it would have taken if the artist wanted this result without the help of the ocean. I think that would be a really long time, right? Maybe near impossible?

Bro & Sis-in-law visiting the beach with us. We are so very glad that we have had family and friends want to come visit us in Puerto Rico. Wave hello to Tasha from Third Thursdays with Tash! Oh, and Spence too :)
Just like these rock carvings, our lives are also works of art. We can spend copious amounts of time 'carving' and shaping our life into something wonderful. But, without the trials and blessings that ebb and flow during our time on Earth, we may not reach the extreme beauty that God has planned our lives to be. Our hardships and other experiences, like the ocean, help to cut and enhance our strengths and smooth over possible weaknesses-increasing our emotional and spiritual depth while heightening the beauty that lies within.
This picture kind of looks like Widget went swimming, then the water all dried up...leaving Widget stranded with her floaties and goggles (pink no less). But, it really is just a picture of the beach, without the water in the frame :)
I truly hope you remember how beautiful you are, on the inside and on the outside. I know that I need to be reminded occasionally (okay, like all the time), but it doesn't make it any less true. Hope your weekend is spent basking in the wonderful light of you and your families beautiful lives.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Third Thursdays with Tash: Swimsuits and Stitches

Hello everyone. Did you miss me last week? I sure missed you. I was going to tell you about my swimming suit ordeal, but my honey’s appendix just had to throw a tantrum. Well if it was going to act so badly we didn’t want to associate with it any more. So my week looked like this…

Spencer is recovering well. He even helped me with this post by taking some pictures of me and lovingly editing them. Photoshop and I are still getting acquainted.

Like most women I struggle with finding a swimming suit that is cute, modest, and fits. I had no idea I was asking too much, but I found one online that looked perfect. When it finally arrived I tried it on. It fit great, and then I looked in the mirror. Let’s just say that the model was not nearly as voluptuous as I am. Here’s a before picture. I know I’m not in it, but trust me nobody needed to see that much of me.

Instead of returning it I decided to add some white fabric to raise the bust line. Spencer calls it my bust accent, I call it modesty. I started by making the insert on my sewing machine. Once the proper shape had been achieved I tacked it down on the corners to check for fit. When I had it positioned properly I then moved to sewing it on. This was the hardest part. How was I supposed to sew in a curvy place, keep it stretchy but not stretch the material too much or the insert pucker, and get it to match on the other side? My sewing machine broke a brand new needle just thinking about sewing it.

Solution: sew it by hand. Hand sewing sounds arduous, but it worked great. I simply followed these four S’s: Smooth, Stretch, Shape, and Stitch. I used a pseudo zigzag stitch by following the original double stitch on the front and crossing over to the opposite line in the back.

Here is the finished product!

After wearing it for a while I discovered that a halter hurts my neck. So I added a white strap in the back and tied the original straps trough it. It is so much more comfortable.

Now I have a swimsuit that I can proudly wear to the beach, or the pool, and most importantly, I can wear it in public. And in the words of Widget, "Woohoo!!!!"

*Thanks Tash for another great post. Did you see me and the Hubs photo bombing Tasha's picture at the funny is that?!?!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Only Two Seams!

Okay, so this shirt does only have two seams (sewn up the sides)...but it also has sleeve hems, shirt hem, bias tape neckline and a whole bunch of shirring :)

But even with all that sewing, this shirt was fairly easy to put together. I used the new shirt pattern I made by tracing an existing shirt (see the mini tutorial here).  I folded my fabric in half then half again, then placed the pattern as close to the top fold as possible (and the pattern is made to be cut on the fold).
However, because I wanted to sew as few seams as possible, I altered the pattern a bit...I used the center fold to line up the middle of the shirt (edge of the pattern) and the top fold as the shoulder seam(s).

I cut the pattern, where a bust dart would be, and extended the shoulder in the pattern to the top fold of the fabric.

I traced the original pattern onto the fabric so you could see the difference...ish. One of the orange lines is the original pattern, and the other line is the alteration to the pattern.

Here is the shirt with almost everything finished: just needs the neck completed.

Here is the finished shirt, neckline and all!

Now here is the back of the shirt. I put a pleat in the back for design and to make the neckline a bit smaller.

And here is Widget enjoying her new shirt. I didn't need to bribe with candy or treats, just Rainbow that is why Rainbow Dash is in the pictures. After all, the fabric used for the shirt has rainbow colored circles all over it-so the 'girls' match...right?!?!
Funny thing about these pictures: We had a rainy morning, but as soon as the sun came out of the clouds I snapped a handful of shots in front of our neighbors house. And as soon as we got back inside the house and locked the door, the rain started again...and it didn't stop raining the rest of the day. So we were lucky to catch a few rays when we did :)
If you cannot tell, she absolutely loves 'My Little Pony'...

Sometimes she is so precious....
And a view of the back of the shirt while on the, model.

A bit closer view of the neck line. I used a more decorative stitch to liven up the red bias tape.
And some more random shots. I love making clothes for kids; they move to fast for an adult to study the imperfections of the garment. Widget loves that I make her things, I get to use my creative juices, and I do not need to make perfection = perfect project.

Have you made any clothing for your kids this summer? What kind of patterns do you like to use most often?