Thursday, June 28, 2012

Knit Dress

Mike and I have been traveling for almost three weeks now.  We drove from Colorado to Iowa to see my family, then continued on to New York to see his family.  I am exhausted!  But, I have seen some pretty cool things that I wanted to share before sharing my dress with you.  Check out these old sewing machines and forms!  I was in love with them and really wanted to take them home.  Sadly, the museum frowned upon that!

Now, onto the dress!  I made this dress a couple of years ago from a Project Runway maxi dress pattern.  I promise I will get the number as soon as I get home (I wrote it down, but of course have misplaced that note).  If I recall correctly, I followed the pattern exactly.  It was pretty simple and made a great dress.  I don't know exactly why I haven't worn it much since making it, but I do love it now!  It is very comfy.  The only thing I would change next time is to make it a little longer.  I like when it just touches the ground.  I usually wear it with a jean jacket, but it looks very cute without that too.  I wore this during our trip in Iowa to my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary party.  It was good to see the whole family!

Here is a picture of Mike and me.

Here is my mom, brother, and me.

All of us - clearly there was more than one camera to look at ;)

I hope you are finding some time this summer to do something you enjoy!  Happy sewing!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dress Muslin

Earlier this year I came across this site on pinterest: chevron dress

I loved this girl's style and have followed the blog ever since I found it. I really wanted to create my own version of the chevron dress and ordered this fabric from etsy: chevron print. I later found this one and think it may have worked better- but mine will just be a different color scheme. Another chevron stripe. I decided to make a muslin before cutting into the chevron fabric. So I dug up a blue fabric from my thrift store stash and this pattern:butterick 4443

Here is my first go at it. Overall I like the dress but the bodice is too big and I want the dress a tad longer. I need to make some adjustments and see if I can get the fit issues worked out so I can begin the chevron dress in time for summer. Hopefully I will have a completed dress to show you soon.

(Sorry for the horrible pic...I had to darken it as to not scare you with my paleness :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cricut Home Decor

I have this fireplace and TV cutout in my family room that I really hate anyone good at decorating these things? I never know what looks good because this cut out is so deep. I want it to look decorated but not filled with "stuff". One of the first things I try to come up with is the main wall decor. Once I figure out what I am going to hang there, I try to fill the rest in. I originally had an orange and cream color scheme. I had fabric wrapped around canvas hanging on the wall in a set of three. Then I changed the whole look at Christmas and had family silhouettes framed on the wall using holiday colored paper and white frames. After the holidays I felt like changing the family room color scheme. My couch is brown, the walls are tan, and the fireplace wall is an accent shade of brown. I wanted to add a little more color using softer blues, greens, and cream. I looked for pictures that would work for the cut out wall and found some I liked at Target. Unfortunately I can't find the product anymore so I have no picture to link up. At the time I think they were $30 each but I was trying to redecorate with items I had on hand, so I set to work scavenging around my home and here is what I created.

I found these frames in a stash of frames in our basement. They were originally maroon. I spray painted them a metallic bronze using spray paint I had left over from a lamp remodel. I then wanted the three main colors in the decor to be used so I created each frame insert with two solid sheets of card stock for the background (blue, cream, and brown) and used two more sheets of an alternating color (either blue, cream, or brown) to create the pattern on top. The pattern is from the Cindy Loo cartridge on the Cricut machine. Once it was done cutting, I lined up the sheets of paper to create one long image, taped it to the top of the card stock background and topped it with the mat and glass that each frame already had.

So in the end this project was FREE...I had all the supplies on hand. From there I dug around the house to see what else would fit in with this color scheme.

 I took 5 old books from a shelf and covered them in coordinating sheets of card stock. I placed these between two Restoration Hardware book ends that I purchased for a steal when our local store went out of business. Then I grabbed a blue photo shoebox I had and placed the large H on top of it for some height. The letter was cardboard from Joanns and I spray painted it with the same bronze metallic spray paint. I think the letter was a couple bucks with sales or coupons. I had an apothecary jar in my crafting stash from Marshalls and filled it with a combination of a decorative "mix" type product you can also buy at Marshalls and yarn balls in coordinating colors. I took styrofoam balls of various sizes and wrapped them in yarn. On the other side of the mantel I have changed this out a few different times but right now it is 3 vases that we already owned and some fake grass from Joanns. I had all of these things on hand except for the letter H so spending a couple dollars on a completely new mantel design was just the thing I was looking to do. I add and change things with the holidays and seasons but in general this is the base design I have going for now...maybe in a future house I won't have to mess with these cutouts- as they are so difficult for me to decorate!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sesame Street 1st Birthday Party

My son turned one over a month ago but we waited to have the party when both sets of grandparents could be in Colorado for a visit. A couple weekends ago we had the party and it was wonderful. When I started planning, I had no idea what theme I wanted, so naturally, I browsed pinterest. I just couldn't come up with anything on my own for this I had to use some great inspiration. As you will notice in the pictures below, I pretty much followed the ideas at mean when someone has done such a nice job, might as well follow their ideas rather than recreate the wheel. And that is exactly what I did...Please enjoy the pictures but head over to other blogs mentioned throughout this post for the original ideas and tutorials- they deserve the credit!

Invitations modeled from this idea: Invites  I liked the simplicity of the faces of the characters and had the materials and scalloped punch on hand. I decided to do just Oscar because I liked him the best :) Here is how I made my invites.
1. Took a sheet of 8.5 by 11 black card stock and folded it twice towards the center to create a sheet with three parts. In the center I placed my printed invitation (on yellow card stock) and trimmed down the black card stock to leave a small border around the yellow invite on the top and bottom.
2. I created the Oscars by using a 2.25inch circle scallop punch and cutting out green circles for his head.  I then loaded vinyl on my cricut mat, played around on Sure Cuts a Lot until I had the circle sizes I wanted for the black and white eye sections, half circles for the mouth and smaller half circles for the tongue. I then played around to create the eye brow shape. I stuck everything on to the green circles and mounted the circles onto blue card stock squares. Finally, I folded the two sides together to overlap and wrapped twine around the card twice and topped it with the Oscar.
The decor was created using Annie's Eats as the model. Unfortunately I never got a picture of the whole eating area with the birthday banner and you will just have to use your imagination :) I purchased the little hanging honeycomb balls from Target and hung them in the entry way. I have to say, this may have been my favorite part. The half wall from our family room became the buffet area with a table in front. I used crepe paper to create a backdrop on the wall. I also created the party favor cookies using Annie's recipes for sugar cookies and royal icing and I would highly recommend them both- they were delicious and kept a long time! I also baked some eggless chocolate chip cookies for the party (my daughter has an egg allergy) and they were so good I think this will now be my go to recipe. They stayed soft and chewy for days and everyone loved them- here is a link to the recipe: Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

For the party I wanted to learn how to make a cake with fondant icing. My friend Ami helped me create this cake...well, she did most of the work, I just tried to assist where I could. It was modeled from this cake:  Sesame street cake I think it turned out did start to fall the morning of the party so we had to make some repairs and it caused the fondant to crack...but it made it until the party. I am excited to try more cakes in the future.

In addition I made the same games as Annie and like her, my kids loved the bubbles the best- wish I had more pics! Here is my daughter enjoying the rubber ducky water and catching bubbles.

 And the guest of honor trying out a new toy...I think he had a good time!


Friday, June 15, 2012

In progress...

We have a large DIY project happening for our back porch. My husband has been working for several weekends to build some furniture that I somehow convinced him to make for me. Below are some previews of what is his part is done and the rest is up to me. I am buried under mounds of foam and fabric...I am starting to wonder what in the world I was thinking!!!! Hopefully this project will be done soon and I can post the final result!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daddy-to-be Gift

I was presented with a challenge this year when I was asked if I had any ideas for a Daddy-to-be gift.  I can't remember the last time I have even had to come up with a regular Father's Day gift.  So, I started looking around on the Internet, and this is what I decided to do.  I made a "Daddy Doodie" apron filled with all the essentials for the Daddy-to-be.  (I'm sure that name is trademarked somewhere; I promise I'm not trying to rip anyone off!)

I went to JoAnn Fabrics and found an apron on sale.  I already had stencils and fabric paint so I was set there.  I then headed to the Dollar Store to find the remaining essentials.  I did want there to be something useful in there in the end so I did go to a baby store and get a few different kinds of cloth diapers.  Here is what I came up with:

There were many varieties of aprons online, but I found this one and it fit my needs perfectly. I stenciled in the letters and then painted them.

Next, I needed to make a "Gas Mask" since I couldn't find one in my frugal budget.  I used scrap fabric and some bias tape.  I think it gets the point across.

Then, I just made labels for everything using my Cricut (I tried to come up with some clever names, but that is hard for me!).  I put it all together and wrapped it up for the Daddy-to-be.  

I hope he enjoys it - even though it is really just a silly gift!  


Saturday, June 9, 2012

DIY Beer Flight Paddles

Awhile ago I came across this link via pinterest: I immediately added it to my boards to make for my husband for Christmas. My husband, as well as, 3 of his brothers and 1 of my brothers, all brew their own beer. It has become quite the hobby in the family. Well, Christmas is still far away, so I thought it would be the perfect gift for Father's day this on the very slight chance any of my brothers or brothers-in-law are happening to see this post- look away, you will probably be receiving these for Christmas this year!

 We are fortunate to live in Colorado with so many craft breweries nearby and my husband and I often go to tasting rooms for a flight of their latest brews. He has now gotten to the point that he usually has 3-4 beers brewed and ready at a time and I thought he may enjoy a way to let family and friends taste his batches. I followed the original link's idea for chalkboard paint as a quick and easy way to label the different and ever changing beers. Here are the steps I took to create these beer paddle flights.

1. I had my neighbor create the paddles for me. He is a woodworker and I gave him the picture from the original link and in about 15 minutes he had these made for me...and for free!!! THANK YOU :) Now, I realize most people don't live next door to such sweet woodworkers but the original link does reference a website you can purchase these from too.

2. Next I sanded the paddles and sprayed them with a couple coats of spray paint. I used a light gray paint I had leftover from a nursery project. So again this part was free for me...woohoo!
3. Then I taped off the sides of the paddles with blue painter's tape and sprayed the tops of the paddles black using chalkboard paint. This is the first part of the project I had to pay for :(

4. When I peeled off the tape sadness ensued...there were marks in places that it had run...and I was out of spray paint. So I decided to mix my own paint using two acrylic paints I had in black and white. The resulting gray was not a perfect match so I ended up going around the entire side again with paint. Fortunately it went quickly and in the end looked good. Once all the paint was finished I decided to add cork "coasters" to the bottom of each circle. I bought a roll of cork at Joanns and cut out circles to fit each hole. I then filled the hole with a layer of modge podge and placed the cork on top. To help hold it down to dry I placed glasses, filled with water on top of each circle for about an hour.

5. The glasses I purchased to fit were from Ikea called REKO. I can't remember how much they were...but it wasn't much.
6. Finally I flipped the paddles over and added a couple strips of felt padding to the back side. This was to help make sure they wouldn't scratch up a table...if you know my husband, you would understand that this was a necessary step- he tends to be quite particular about such things :)

Overall I am very pleased with how they turned out and I hope he doesn't read this post until after Father's Day so that it will be a surprise :)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Interior Car Seat Cover

Phew!  May is over and summer has begun!  Finally, I have some time to work on some projects I've been wanting to get to, and I think I started way too many today! 

The BF and I needed a new car, and were very excited once the car hunt was over.  Our "new to us" car is exactly what we wanted except for one thing - light interior fabric.  Ugh.  So hard to keep clean with two dogs.  So, I went searching for the perfect solution and found this amazing idea.  But, as usual, I like to make things as simple as possible.  I decided to get  a shower curtain (which was actually the boyfriend's idea) and attach a few straps to it in order to make it work for our needs.  I made it so we could use it two different ways.  

Here is the original shower curtain I got from Target.

I made my straps 8"x19'.  I then folded them in half, pressed, then folded both edges to the middle, and pressed again.  Obviously it is time to make a new ironing board cover ;)

I then top-stitched around each strap - and I needed ten.  I put small D-rings on four of the straps.  I used a contrasting thread because I wanted to.  It's okay.  You can clearly see I am not a perfect sewer!

Next, I had to take it to the car to measure a few things out.  I needed to know where to put my straps so it would work for us.  I would love to tell you my measurements would work for your car, but chances are good they won't.  I put some straps in the middle on the back side about six inches in from the edge.

Then, I added the straps to the top and bottom.  This I just pinned in the car so that I knew it would fit.  I put one plain strap and one D-ring strap for each set.  

Then, I was all done!  Here are some pictures of the different ways we plan to use it.  The first one shows the seats laying down.  The second one shows how we will use it in the back seat. 

Now, our light interior is less likely to collect massive amounts of dog hair and anything else they may bring into the car!  Here is the hairy culprit, Stella.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Book Bag

Whew...Betsy and I have been stuck in the craziness that is known as May in the education world. Sorry we have been missing lately as the school year wrapped up. I have also decided to take on WAY too many things right now and am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Two weeks ago my niece turned 2. I packed the kids up and we headed two hours south to hang out with my sister and her family for the day. (My husband was left working on one of my "over my head" DIY projects...that is another post). I decided to make her a little book bag that she could take to the library or have around the house to carry all the large picture books children often enjoy. This idea is nothing new...just thought I would share my spin on it! Enjoy...

1. I purchased a pre made canvas bag...I think I picked this up at Joann's but I am not sure. Next, I used this as an inspiration and created a freezer paper stencil on my Cricut machine. (There are many tutorials on using Freezer Paper stencils- this was my first one and it was super easy to work with.)
2. I painted the words using Martha Stewart Craft paint that I won at the Denver Meet Up...thanks again ladies!

3. Once it was finished I thought it needed a little something more. I took a scrap piece of fabric and added a ruffle to the top. I wanted a more frayed look, but didn't want it to come completely unraveled so I left the edges unfinished and put on some fray check. I stitched the ruffle to the top of the bag and it was done.

This is a quick and easy gift, now I just need to make one for my daughter...maybe when I make my way through the 8 million other tasks I have taken on!