February 28, 2010

Sunshine Sunday

So today is my first "Sunshine Sunday" and I'm going to tell you one thing I'm thankful for.  Today I am especially thankful for my husband - his sense of humor and his willingness to support me.

Let me first answer the question you currently have in your mind.  NO, my husband doesn't always have a porn-star mustache like the one he's sporting here.  There's an explanation.  My little boy has been really interested in mustaches lately.  He thinks there are really cool, so my hubby decided to show him that he can grow one.  Luckily the stache is leaving tomorrow, but I get a kick out of the fact that he'd do that for his son.  I've had quite a few laughs over that one.

Can you see here how he humors me and all my crazy schemes?  He let me dress him up as a vendor for Halloween to match the boys' costumes.


We just celebrated our 5 year anniversary this week.  Yes, I caught a good one :)

....and the mustache on this little guy will make another appearance this week.  I'm pretty excited about this project.  Stay tuned.


February 27, 2010

Soapbox Saturday

First of all, thank you so much to all of you who have stopped by this blog and a big thank you to all of you who are now followers.  I am really trying to get this blog rolling and I appreciate your support.

Today I want to tell you about another blog because this is something I don't want you to miss out on.  May I present.....
This is not a craft blog.  This is not a tutorial blog.  This is a laugh-your-little-head-off blog.  I think we all need something to laugh about and this happens to be my daily dose.  Leca tells hilarious stories, writes product reviews, and does give-aways.  She just gave away a box of the world's most amazing chocolate.  Now tell me you don't want a piece of that!  Her blog is fairly new, so get on the bandwagon now and you'll be able to say..."I knew her before she was big."  Become a follower and make her day.  That's all.  You're excused now.  Go on over.  Go on.  That's right.  Click right HERE now.  Have a great day!

February 26, 2010

Feature Friday - bowties and sweater vests

So, I've decided that every Friday will be "Feature Friday."  What does that mean?  I will still post something I've made, but it will be something I didn't think up.  I will use someone else's tutorial and link it here.

Today I'm showing you the vest and bowtie inspired by the "Celebrate the Boy" month at Made and Made by Rae.


You can find the vest tutorial here.  I made this one from an old cardigan.  It's not perfect, but lucky for me you can't examine it up close :)


You can buy the bowtie pattern here.  It's a great, simple tutorial and the bowtie doesn't take much time or fabric.


I'm pretty lucky because right now this little 2-year-old loves anything I make for him and wears it proudly.  I just can't get enough of that face with a bowtie.

February 25, 2010

Layered Tee minus the Layers

First of all, this is more of an idea-giver than a tutorial.  I promise to be better about more thorough tutorials, with lost of pictures, but this one seemed pretty simple.

I love the look of layers, but I hate wearing five hundred shirts.  On this shirt I sewed in a mock tank top.  I just took a V-shaped piece of fabric and sewed it in.  Then I added a little tab with a button so I could gather up the tank.  Then I added a ruffle around the edge.  Tadaaahhhh!


You might be happy to know that I am also getting better at taking pictures of myself in the mirror.  That way you don't have to wonder if I have a wandering eye.  That first shoot was pretty bad.  AND...I even did my hair for all of you.  I know - you're touched.   
Happy sewing!

February 24, 2010

Wrangle Me Tee

I don't have any girls, so a lot of my ideas are boy oriented.  This is one of my newest embellished boy shirt ideas.  I call it the "wrangle me" shirt.  Here it is:
Here's the back:

Here's the one I made for my oldest:
The back is always my favorite.
Here are the basic steps:

1) Buy a polo shirt.  (In the picture of the first shirt, I took a t-shirt and added my own collar.  However, that's a tutorial for another day.)  You can take an old one and spice it up.

2) Buy "heat 'n bond."  If you haven't used this stuff, prepare to be amazed.  I love it.  It has simple instructions on it.  It's basically going to fuse your two fabrics together. 

3) Hold the paper (heat 'n bond) over the shirt and trace the shape out.  Cut out the shape you want. It's a simple "V." It's just like how you used to draw birds in the sky when you were little. Trace round the rest of the lines of the shirt (along the collar, accross the shoulder).  You'll have two pieces that shape - one for each side of the front of the shirt.  Do the same for the back.

4) Iron them on.

5) I still like to sew the edges, though it's not really neccessary.  I like to sew two messy lines around the edges to give it some character.  I also like to use a contrasting color thread.

6) Optional: You can sew on little strips over the shoulders using a different fabric, as I did in gray on the second shirt.  (Truth be told, my fabric was a little short, so I improvised.)

Extra Info: The edges of the fabric may fray a little, depending on how well you did the heat 'n bond, but I like a little fraying. 

That's all for now.  If you have questions, let me know.  Also, feel free to follow the blog or grab a button.  I sure appreciate anyone spreading the word, as this blog is pretty new.  Thanks!


February 23, 2010

The Quest for the Perfect Playroom - Part 1

We've been in the house we currently live in for a little over a year.  When we moved here I was so excited to have a playroom in the basement.  It looked like primary colors on drugs and gave me a headache to be in, but I knew I would give it a makeover.  It has been a slow process, because I want it to be perfect.  I want it to evoke creativity and keep my kids happy for hours :)  Is that too much to ask?

I painted over all the walls and chose a light blue.  I decided to paint trees and other things on the walls, but I also wanted them to be interactive.  The first part was this apple tree.  I painted the tree and then bought some sticky velcro.  I sewed felt apples and attached them to the tree by the velcro.  Kids love it because they can take them on and off.  I am planning on making a little ladder that attaches to the wall so littler hands can reach them.  A ladder in a playroom?  Yes, I'm nuts.  BUT, I have boys and boys like to climb.  If I don't give them something they can climb, they'll be standing on the fireplace mantel.
Next up is this little owl.  Who doesn't love owls these days?  All the felt stuff is SO easy to make.  I just cut out shapes, sewed them up most of the way, stuffed them, and sewed them shut.  No inverting.  Nothing fancy.  I hot glued the details on (face, stems on apples, etc.).
Here's a close-up of some of the details.
The playroom is not complete, but I will continue to post parts of it here and there as I complete it.  If you don't have a playroom, these ideas could still easily be incorporated in any child's room.

February 22, 2010

Spice Up Your Closet

It's always fun to have a shirt that makes a statement.  I have enough plain shirts in my closet.  Time to spruce it up.  Today I present the "leafy spring tee."  Once again, the possibilities are endless once you grasp the concepts.
1) Find a plain shirt you like.  Find some old scraps from clothes you don't wear anymore.  About a year ago I started saving my old clothes in a laundry basket in my craft room.  I now have a ton of things to drawn on when I need some scrap.  I recommend this.

2) The scraps should be knit (stretchy fabric) so they won't fray.  Cut random strips of it.  Be messy.  They can be thin and then thick and thin again.  It doesn't matter.  We're going for the free look.

3) I sewed on these white strips using an old, thin sweater as my scrap.  Perfect.  As you sew, twist and turn the fabric.  Let it run anywhere, but follow it all with your stiches.  Keep adding until you're pleased with how it looks.  There's no right or wrong here.

4) Find another color fabric and cut out leaves.  Sew them on.  I sewed one line down the middle of the leaf.  That's all.  I like the floppy look of it.
5) Add fun buttons.  I liked mine where the leaves come out.  I think they'd look good almost anywhere, though.

That's pretty much it.  I didn't use any backing, since nothing I added to the shirt had much weight to it.  The shirt washes really well - I just like to invert it so the washing machine gives it less wear and tear.  If you have questions, ask them in the comment area and I'll get back to you.  Good luck!

PS - Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself in the mirror without showing the camera?  That's why I have a weird, slightly unfriendly look on my face in the picture.  Didn't do my hair yet, but I DID get dressed today.  Nice!  (We really like our PJs around here.)

February 21, 2010

Dressed to Impress

In case any of you have missed it, there has been a lot of buzz in the craft/blogging world about making things for boys.  There are a billion ideas for little girls, but it's a little more work to find a fun project for boys.  I found a bowtie-making pattern on "Made."  I had already made some tie-shirts before (like the one on my little guy), but I thought it would be fun to make another to match big brother's bowtie.  There's a great tutorial on making the tie-shirt at Saltwater Kids.
Who doesn't love a cute little guy in a bowtie?  They are so easy to make!  Who knew?  I'm now set on making all my boys' ties (unless I see a completely irresistable one) from here on out!
These little guys are ready....for church...for a wedding....for a political career...you name it!

February 19, 2010

Hurley-Inspired Hoodie

I love all the Hurley, Quiksilver, and Volcom clothes.  They are so cool, but the price tages aren't.  So, what's a girl to do?  Make your own.  Here's how I made this one.

1) Buy a cheap plain sweatshirt.  This one was $6 at Target.

2) Pick a word you want on the front and find a font you like on your computer.  Print out the word the size you want it to be and cut out the letters.

3) Tape the letters to your shirt how you want them to appear.  (Use tape loops so the tape doesn't hang over the edge.)

4) Buy a Clorox bleach pen (I recommend a new one) and make some designs around your letters.  Remove letters when done.  Click HERE to see my in-depth video tutorial on the bleach pen.
5) Let the shirt sit for a while, so the bleach can really do it's magic.  Then wash your shirt.

6) I chose to cut out one letter from some knit fabric I had and I sewed it on to add interest.  This is clearly optional....as is making the sweatshirt in the first place.

7) Have your boy strut his stuff in his new, original masterpiece.  Smile everytime you see him wear it.
                        
Here's the letter "e" I added.
Here's a close-up of the stitch-mark design.  I took it all around the hood.
Feel free to comment with any questions you might have if you want to take on the project.  The options are pretty endless with this project.  Here are a couple sidenotes and extra tips:

- The bleach pen comes out as a gel.  You won't see the fabric change color immediately and the gel will spread a little as it soaks in.

- Be sure to use a new pen.  An old one might not bleach your fabric and you will have wasted a lot of time.

- If you choose to add a letter or sew something on you can use "Heat 'n bond" to make it easier.  I didn't but it's a nifty product to help you, so the fabric doesn't shift around as you sew it.

- Put some cardboard under the layer of fabric you are working on so you don't bleach through multiple layers.
Good luck!

I received information about Clorox’s Bleach It Away campaign and am sharing my messy moment/craft fail/bleach project for the chance to win prizes from Tatertots & Jello and Clorox. You can find out more information about this campaign –  www.BleachItAway.com.  If you share YOUR messy moment story, you can enter to win $25,000 and daily prizes, and you can get a coupon for Clorox® Regular Bleach.

Frames With Personality

While you may or may not be into scrapbooking, you can't ignore the fantastic materials they make now days. I made these frames, utilizing a few scrapbook materials.
1) Scrapbook paper. I decoupaged (that means taking Elmer's glue, watering it down and spreading a few coats on) these plain frames. There are some gorgeous papers available. Something for everyone. You can definitely find something you like.
2) Hardware. You'll notice each of the frames have some type of metal on them - corners or a buckle. I got these in a pack in the scrapbook section. I plan to use them in all sorts of unconventional ways.
I like to take an ink pad and rub the edges of the frame to give it an antiqued look.
I think they look best when paired together with some other coordinating patterns.
Pretty simple project. Pretty low-cost as well. I've seen similiar ones in boutiques for high prices. Final step: Birth a child, take lots of pictures of him or her and fill the frames with the pictures. (That part isn't simple. Or low cost.)



A Room Fit for a Rockstar

A couple of months ago my sister was decorating her sons bedroom in a rockstar theme. She asked for some ideas for the walls and I suggested we make posters of him, as if he were a rockstar. She took a couple pictures and e-mailed them to me. This one.....
...became this.
This one.....
became this. I turned it into a concert poster. Fun, huh?
Now, you might say, "Oh Cheri, I don't have fancy editing software or any way to do this!" That's where you are wrong! Neither do I. Go to http://www.picnik.com/ and fool around for awhile. This site is AMAZING and SO easy to use. I love it. Now go! Really! Go upload a photo and play with it. It's fun and free. Happy editing!

Cozy-Shmozy

I saw this a few months ago and wanted to give it a shot. I don't have any girls, but I do have nieces. I took my old shirts and cut them into strips. I sewed them on to form a scarf. (Wooh! That was a lot of zig-zagging!) Then, I thought a winter wonderland shirt definitely needs a winter wonderland hair clip. I made this little snowflake clip from felt.

From Teeny-Bopper to Sassy-Classy

So, you've seen a lot of these little teeny-bopper dresses around lately? I think they are really cute, but I don't do sleeveless or miniskirts these days. I'm not Miley Cyrus - I'm a mom. So, I wanted to find a way to make a more modest (but still fun) dress to wear.
Here's mine. The recipe? Pretty simple. I'm not an expert seamstress (just a wanna-be). I took an old shirt I had that had shrunk to become too wide and too short (a constant problem) and I cut it off. I went to the fabric store and bought a remnant for $1.99. I laid out a dress I have that fits me and cut out the a-line shape. I sewed it on and added a chunky belt and TADAHH!
While the dress is a flattering look, it doesn't promise to make you any tanner. Yikes, can you tell it's winter? (Though I don't look much better in the summer!)
Feel free to comment with questions. I will take more in depth pictures next time.

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