And Now I’m Back From Outer Space

I’m BACK! Can you believe it?!

Okay, I suppose I have some ‘splainin’ to do. The past couple of months have been crazy. I’ve gotten a new job, interviewed for a fantastic opportunity that could turn into a wonderful career, and stayed busy. I’ve been awful at posting and such, but I’ve made tons of things lately.

Today I’m just going to tell you what I’m sure you already know: Pinterest is an idea Mecca. I’ve pinned nonstop since the day I finally buckled down and made an account. It’s been a lifesaver for my naw job, teaching crafts to kids, and I have so many ideas for when I get my own place.

I’ve been thinking about color schemes for my future place for a while. I really gravitate towards neutrals like cream, gray, and chocolate, with rust and dark teal accents. I thought about painting the plethora of empty candle glasses I have accumulated. I bought several martini glasses from the thrift store a couple of weeks ago, and was given two vases by mom. Figured I’d paint those too.

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I love the results of them. However, the vase I tried to paint ended rather atrociously. I decided to try something new. I found some great yarn covered vases on Pinterest and decided to take a crack at it. I decided to use the yarn left over from a blanket I’m knitting (still in progress) to keep the color scheme consistent. Using a hot glue gun, I wrapped the yarn around the vase starting from the top down.

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It did take a couple of hours with Joan Jett, Queen, and Adele for company (my Pandora is so very odd). Don’t you love it? I made a random striped pattern, giving it an almost tribal look. Perfect for my eclectic collection! Have fun taking a crack at this easy, albeit time consuming, craft!

Make It Monday, Er, Tuesday: Wooly Mammoth Dad Scarf

Oops, totally forgot to post a Make It Monday yesterday!

The weather is getting to that perfect place when I wear a sweater, scarf, boots, and a plethora of layers. It really is my favorite time of year! And what better time to knit the family all sorts of goodies?

For my dad, I decided to make a scarf. I found a nice manly-looking Red Heart worsted yarn in Aran Fleck.

So manly 🙂

I then cast on 52. For the first row, knit two, purl two, and repeat. On the second row, purl two, knit two, and repeat. You will then repeat these rows until the scarf reaches the desired length.

I’m still in the process of completing this project. Dad requested an extra-long scarf. I will post the final result soon!

As you can see, this scarf is getting ridiculous. Watching Futurama while workin on it!

Make It Monday: Great Balls of Denim

Sometimes you have a craft that completely surprises you with how amazingly it turns out. Something that friends and family gush over when they see it, like my Omigod You Five Guys Apron from last week’s Make It Monday. Something you are just so ridiculously proud of showing off.

And then you have this week’s Make It Monday.

I have seen so many amazing crochet and knit rugs posted on Pinterest and wanted to try one myself. But I had no idea what to do. When I saw this one from Heartland Living On A Budget, I couldn’t help myself. I had to do it.

 

Don’t you love the pastelness of this rug? I just want to curl on it with a good book!

 

I didn’t have extra sheets to chop up. I did have two pairs of jeans that didn’t fit. And that is when I should have thought twice. Not me.

I spent the vast majority of Sunday evening cutting the first pair of jeans into strips, ranging from about a fourth of an inch to an inch wide. In all fairness, I was watching the first season of “Battlestar Galactica” during this time and failed to understand the complications from such differing sizes of jean chopping. I then sewed these strips by hand together. Yes. I was lazy and did not want to set up the sewing machine, thus I took over two episodes to sew these strips together. You may yell “Idiot” at the computer screen whenever you wish.

For some odd reason, I was making perfect stitches on these strips. Perfect stitches that will never be seen and thus did not need to be perfect. I am very dumb sometimes.

By eleven, I had a lovely little (unfortunately, quite little) ball of denim yarn.

I hold the world in the palm of my hand. If your world consists of knitting or crocheting. I think that may be stretching it a little.

I went to bed, figuring I would be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning. No, that is not a euphemism, it is a real saying. At least among my family. And so, I woke to begin the project. As detailed on the linked website, I first tried a double-crochet. This did not work out well. The denim is very bulky and cumbersome, much more so than I had factored into the equation. I started over, trying a single crochet this time. By the time I was nearing the end of my ball, what was supposed to be a rug was more like a, oh, I don’t know, a placemat.

“What is this strange thing you are staring at?” I’m fairly certain Scooby asked as he photo-bombed me. “It’s so puny. I don’t like it.”

I’m not certain if I’m showing off the size of the rug or my slightly grotesque Abraham Lincoln had a baby with a hobbit and this is their lovechild feet. Or my hole-y Batman PJs. “Holy strawberries, Batman, we’re in a jam!”

At this point, I was frustrated. I had errands to run and did not have the patience to cut the second pair of jeans yet. I waited until the afternoon to tackle that particular monster. And, like the idiot I am, I did the exact same thing: making lovely little straight stitches on those dumb rags. I began the process again. I made two more rows and was almost out of jean-yarn.

The product of two days. I cannot say I am pleased.

At least this was a bit more rug-like.

The moral of the story: sometimes crafts go wrong. You can’t always gauge how well something will go beforehand. And you can’t beat yourself up about it, though it probably seems I have in this post. I simply need more materials. I know things now, many beautiful things- wait, sorry for the “Into the Woods” moment. I do know how to handle this project now. I’m simply going to wait until I see cheap jeans (let’s say $1) or take whatever old jeans people throw out and work on this project slowly but surely. I would love to see it reach five feet in diameter; I think it would be pretty impressive. I’ve seen several examples of these on Etsy and have to say that I am impressed by their results. I think this will be a work in progress that I’ll just have to keep you up to date on in the future.

 

Overwear, Underwear, Any Time, Anywhere Lace High-Low Top

This next craft was certainly unexpected. I bought some lace on sale to make the Robin Sparkles Jean Jacket for a Make It Monday segment but had no plans for using it afterwards. And you know I can’t just not use fabric that’s hanging around the house!

Don’t you just love this floral lace?

I was out shopping the other day and noticed that practically every store has their take on the high-low (slightly cropped in the front, trailing slightly in the back) blouse, many in lace.

Like this one found on Amazon (from GO Jane, as one of our terrific readers pointed out! I love the contrast of length with this one)

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Or this one from Forever 21, a bit more restrained but still cute.

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While perusing Pinterest, I stumbled upon Cotton & Curls, a wonderful DIY blog, and her “Super Easy Square Top!” It was exactly what I was looking for, a super easy way to make a shirt with any material. And what better material than the adorable lace I already had? I decided to switch up the how-to a smidge in order to make a high-low top and here’s how!

First thing’s first, I had to cut a rectangle of lace out. I didn’t use any specific measurements, just held it up to my chest and gauged how wide it would need to be to fit, then added a few more inches on each side to be careful.

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I then folded the fabric, putting the right sides together, until the front was significantly shorter than the back. I then pinned the fabric, leaving about a fourth of the top unpinned on both sides. These would be the armholes. I also cut a neckline, and a little off the back to make a nice neck hole.

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Because my thread perfectly matched the material, I zigzagged the side seams down, then zigzagged over that, to ensure it would stay together. This is what it looked like at that point. See, already shirt-like!

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As per the instructions on Cotton & Curls, I folded the neck portion down twice, just to make certain that there would be no unraveling. However, I didn’t do that with the arm hems or the bottom, simply because I think sewing over it twice was sufficient. For the hems, I did a straight stitch.

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My workplace. As you can see, I had my iPad blaring the whole time, rocking to Bon Jovi, Queen, and Billy Joel. Love Pandora!

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In order to make the high-low work, I trimmed the back to make it more circular, and pinned the front to the back in a diagonal fashion. This probably sounds ridiculous but I can’t explain any better. I then hemmed it down! After this picture, I ironed down the edges, putting a cotton shirt on top just to make certain I didn’t put too much heat on the lace.

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This could be my favorite craft yet! I can’t wait to pair it with just about everything in my closet, dresses, turtlenecks, tanks, you name it! Since I had nothing better to do today, I decided to put a couple of looks together for you!

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For the first look, I paired the top with a dusty rose Fossil tank; cropped, fitted Old Navy brown trousers; and leopard printed H&M flats. I also wore my hair up in a bun, using spare lace as a headband, and wore clip-on rose earrings from Forever 21.

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Same look but with G Star Raw skinny jeans.

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For this look, I switched into my Sam & Libby Fiddler boots and did an impromptu braid with the same piece of lace. I tied the lace onto a segment of hair, braided it, then used that braid as the third piece of standard braid. I also wore a golden leave necklace I bought a few years ago at Bijou in Germany.

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These aren’t that drastically different but show you a little of what you can do with this versatile piece! I hope you enjoyed this DIY as much as I did and would love to see your take on the high-low trend!

Talk To The Hand Maxi Skirt

I fell in love with this green, pink, neutral floral. Despite the fact that I couldn’t wear the dress it was attached to!

Have you ever bought something based solely on your love of, oh, let’s say its floral pattern, only to realize that it is two sizes too small? And you wore the item, let’s say a maxi dress, under sweaters and button-down shirts to hide the fact that you couldn’t zip it?

No?

I guess I must be the only person to do that. I just had to get this dress from H&M last year, knowing full well that I would not be able to wear it. Every time I did manage to wear it, I received compliments. Go figure.

Since there is a trend of turning maxi dresses to maxi skirts, I decided it was high time to do the same with this dress. Now my favorite, unwearable skirt will be my favorite, constantly worn skirt! Here’s how!

As you can see, the dress was just too cute to pass up. That and five euros on sale meant I had to nab it. On to the chopping!

 

Honestly, there is nothing easier than this DIY. Simply cut the dress around the natural waist. You will then fold over once, sewing a straight line about an inch down but do not sew completely around. Leave a small hole. With elastic, measure how large (or how small) your waist is. Cut the elastic to that size. Put a safety pin on the elastic and feed it through the hole.

After you have gotten the elastic through completely, sew the two ends of the elastic together. Then sew the hole up! And then you are done! Seriously that easy!

 

I love the ’90s look, skirts with combat boots. I feel like I should be an extra in “Before Sunrise.” Or “Buffy.” We should bring back some ’90s phrases. Like, “take a chill pill.” Or “you go, girl.” But say it in a way that we’re winking at it?

 

Love the new skirt! I’ll pair it with just about anything now!

 

Make It Mondays: Omigod You Five Guys Apron

I love using a restaurant’s shirt to make an apron for home. The unfinished apron as modeled by myself.

Of all the foods in the world, burgers are my eighth favorite. Right after lamb, chocolate, ostrich, beef Wellington, moussaka, ice cream, and caramels. In that order, I believe. I have had spectacular burgers and atrocious ones. The best ones I’ve ever had have, naturally, been homemade. We grind our own meat, which makes a far better burger. I may do a burger for the blog, just to share my love.

 

I had to preface this Make It Monday craft with that little tidbit. If you haven’t had Five Guys, you are missing out. Yes, it is ridiculously greasy and may put you in a food coma. But something about it just screams America to me. It is far better than most fast food burger joints, allowing you to add fixings like grilled mushrooms (yummy!).

 

I came by this Five Guys shirt through my brother, who used to work there. I snatched it up, thinking I would take it in and girly-fy it. Monday morning came around and I had nada for the blog. While on the way to the fabric store to get thread for several other projects, I suddenly remembered a t-shirt apron featured on Ruffles & Stuff, via Pinterest. It was perfect! I decided to spin off that idea and, since the shirt was ginormous on me, make a full apron.

 

The back of the shirt was so excellent, I couldn’t have asked for more. I love the placement and size of the phrase.

 

First thing I did was use my seam ripper to take the sleeves off. I had big plans for these, as you shall see.

 

I then chopped the back from the first, making a large rectangle of fabric.

 

To make an apron, I folded the rectangle in half and cut a triangle at the approximate spot of my chest.

 

Using the back of the shirt, I cut two identical strips the entire length of the shirt. They were about three inches wide. I then pinned them to hem, just making the sides nice. The third piece was for the neck. I cut a piece about five inches shorter than the others, and sewed a straight stitch down the side before flipping it inside out.

 

Next came the pinning. I pinned the neck piece to the top, and each of the tie pieces to one of the sides. I also sewed down the sides, to ensure clean lines. At this point I took a picture of myself wearing the apron. You are more than free to stop at this point, if you don’t want any pockets. I just figured, I have the material, might as well!

 

I then decided to put the sleeves on the bottom of the apron. I could have cut them into squares but I rather liked the trapezoidal shape.

 

My lovely model, my mother, showing off the finished project. She then proceeded to wear it while making a homemade mushroom soup and pretzel rolls. I love when things actually get used!

 

What is your favorite burger place? What shirt would you use for this Make It Monday?

 

Halloween Conundrum

Halloween is far and above my favorite holiday. It could be that it was the only time my mother let me leave the house dressed as a princess or Batgirl as a child. It could be the candy. Theatre always appealed to my love of dressing up.

This year, I was considering a Marvel-inspired costume, like Jean Grey/ Marvel Girl from the ’70s or Rogue. However, when the local fabric store had everything 70% and I saw this Butterick pattern, it was love at first sight. I found a gorgeous blue satin (I actually wanted an emerald green but settled) and a golden brocade for the underskirt. And that’s when the problems started: just who am I going to be for Halloween???

I’m going with the pattern on the left; it will be form fitting yet modest, perfect for either a party or just handing out candy!

The lighting doesn’t do the fabrics justice. Each has a richness that will be perfect for the costume.

The pattern is medieval, narrowing the choices only slightly. I have two major loves: the Arthurian myths and “Game of Thrones.” So here is where I’d like your feedback:

With my brown/auburn hair and blue eyes and sense of family, House Tully is a perfect fit. I was thinking of making a Catelyn Tully costume, perhaps something she would have worn to meet Brandon Stark. I would make a Tully fish-embroidered belt for this costume.

Margaery Tyrell: lovely yet slightly dangerous. Far more intelligent than other characters give her credit, Margaery is certainly a possibility in terms of costuming. I would have fun making a stag and rose belt for the Baratheon and Tyrell houses.

Morgan le Fay has always been a favorite character of mine but Eva Green’s rendition in “Camelot” was a favorite. I tend to gravitate towards the more villainous characters, which is why I am hesitant to choose her.

Igraine, Arthur’s mother, is another possibility. As with Catelyn, I would make a younger version of the character, certainly prior to her marriage to Uther. In terms of the pattern, this is the closest of the four choices.

Anyone would be fun to make/ play. I’d love any suggestions!