Please pardon my mess I am doing a little blog makeover.
Greetings from snow covered Colorado!
If you have been following this blog you may already know that I am planning to do something sort of crazy on March 13th. When I first mentioned that I was thinking about this I hadn't decided one way or the other. There were obvious reasons for my hesitation but one that may not be so obvious is this. I want to enjoy this process but I would feel horrible if it appeared that I was in any way trivializing the experience to anyone who had no choice in the matter.
The best way I know how to make this event mean something is to ask for your help. If you have already donated you have my deepest gratitude. If you are thinking of donating I hope you will take the next step here. No amount is too small really. I am trying to reach as many folks as I can who are willing to part with just 10 dollars.
If you have no idea what I am talking about you can find the beginning of the story here.
And now let's get on with the Upcycling shall we?
Start with a light weight maxi skirt with a full silhouette.
You will also need
A Plastic Lid (I used a coffee lid)
A ball point pen (the kind with a softer straw shape shell)
Step 1 - Disassemble the ball point pen and cut the shell piece into 30 small ring pieces.
Step 2 - Using the plastic lid cut six oval pieces approximately 1 1/4" by 7/8"
Step 3 - Cut two slits in each of the plastic oval pieces. The slits should be the width of the ribbon that you are using and spaced about 1/2" apart.
Step 4 - Divide your skirt into 6ths and sew plastic rings on following the diagram below.
I spaced my rings about 4 inches apart as I worked from the hem toward the top your spacing may vary.
Step 5 - Loop ribbon through bottom ring and hand sew in place.
Step 6 - Lace ribbon through remaining rings toward top of garment.
Step 7 - Thread ribbon though oval plastic piece. Extend skirt to full length and tie off end of ribbon.
Step 8 - Repeat this process for the other five cinch lines.
Step 9 - Sew a short ribbon loop at the waist line for each of the cinch lines. This is to hold the long end of ribbon out of the way when the skirt is fully cinched.
Try it on and cinch it up to the length that fits your mood.
Week two of my hair love affair.
Since I decided to wear the short puffy version of the skirt I thought that the puffy "Jasmine" ponytail would go best with this outfit.
I am a product of the "Friends" generation and I still enjoy watching the re-runs on late night TV. In one of the episodes Joey and Phoebe have an argument when Joey declares that there is no such thing as a truly selfless act. The rest of the episode centers around Phoebe trying (and failing) to do something good for others that doesn't also make her feel good.
Last week I announced that I was going to shave my head at the annual St Balrdrick's fundraising event, to help raise money to fund Children's cancer research. I am not trying to imply that my choice is completely selfless because I know that I will benefit from this in many ways. But, I will tell you that I am quite nervous to do this and while I hate to ask people for their hard earned money that is the point of the whole thing. So I hope that you will consider donating a small 10 dollar donation to this worthy cause. It only takes a couple of minutes to be a hero to kids who need your help. (Oh and let's be honest. It would make my day too. ;-)
To donate please click here.
Upcycled - Men's Dress Shirt Make-Over
This project was so fast and easy.
Start with a men's dress shirt that isn't too big in the neck and shoulder area but fits loosely around your hips.
Step 1 - If desired swap out buttons. I went from brown to pink.
Step 2 - Add some decorative stitching in contrasting color.
Step 3 - Take in the sleeve and side seams.
Step 4 - Use excess sleeve fabric to make a rectangular cinch piece for the back.
Step 5 - Attach the cinch piece to the back waistline with more buttons and your done.
True confessions (I am having little four week love affair with my hair before I have to say goodbye to it.)
What do you think of my flash back to grade school look?
Thanks for stopping by and of course
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was wrestling with a decision. Today with part excitement and part trepidation I am sharing what I have determined.
For the past several years the hubby has participated in the St Baldrick's Foundation's fund raising event and I have been there to support him. Each time I have watched on the sidelines as hundreds of men, women and children have had their heads shaved and raised thousands of dollars to support children's cancer research. I have stood as a spectator and felt that perhaps I should participate, someday.
Someday is that day that is never today and ambiguously guarantees to come or to not come. We feel comfortable in the knowledge that it is our choice to make someday happen or to forever leave it out there in the future. A promise to ourselves that we have yet to keep. One we may never keep. Someday is a safe day it is the void between doing and not doing.
I like someday. It is the day that I can pretend to be amazing without ever having to be brave enough to follow through. But living life is about having real experiences and not pretend ones. Someday is really just a facade that can become a horrible trap. If we let it persuade us that it is a real day. If we don't own up to the responsibility to make someday actually happen.
And so. I am joining the ranks of shavies this year.
Yep. I just said I am going to have my head shaved. It feels pretty weird to write that.
The event takes place at Fido Irish Pub on March 13th. Exactly one month from the date of this post.
At this point some of you may be thinking what is the big deal? While others of you may be thinking you would never in a million years do such a thing. For both camps I can only offer.....
One of my "Somedays" is here.
One of my hesitations to do this of course is the actual being bald part. But I am equally intimidated by the idea of asking people for their financial support. Again some of you may be thinking "What is the big deal?" All I can say is that for me it feels awkward. But, the fund raising part is of course the real point of the whole thing. To help find cures for children literally fighting for their lives.
So I am asking. I am hoping to reach 100 people who are willing to donate just $10.00. If I do that I will reach my goal. If you would like to be one of my 100 please visit my fund raising page here.
Thank you for reading this and considering a donation.
And now on with the Upcycling
Upcycled T-shirt Patchwork Kaftan Dress
It's horrible to admit this but ever since I broke my foot, and even before that I guess, my weight has been creeping upwards at a slow but steady pace. I am trying to head in the other direction but currently still enjoy wearing the soft and stretchy knit fabrics the best. And while you may never want to leave the house in a garment that could fit two people in it, (I have no such aversions) you can't beat a kaftan for all around comfort. Pair the styling with knit t-shirts and it's practically P.J's.
AKA - Delightfully compfy!
By the way whoever invented leggings was kind of an evil genius. Don't you think?
For this project you will need:
Two men's t-shirts of the same size. They should be big enough to fit very loosely around your hips. Collect any other knit scraps as desired. You will also need a sewing machine and basic sewing tools (tape measure, pins, scissors, etc)
Step 1 - Mark and cut t-shirts as diagram shows below.
Step 2 - Set the bottom pieces aside. Trim the sleeve hems off of the open sleeves.
Step 3 - Line up the two top pieces with center fronts and sleeve edges. Use a non permanent fabric marker to mark the sew line on both pieces at the same time. Use marker to mark a cut line 5/8" from the sewing line. Be sure to mark the cut line on opposite sides of the sew line on the two pieces. Carefully cut along cutting line on both pieces.
Step 4 - With wrong sides of fabric together pin the "keep" sections from the diagram together matching edges and shoulder seams. Sew with a 5/8" seam.
You should now have the top portion of the kaftan looking like this diagram. Write down your measurements for A and B as described in diagram.
Step 5 - Now it is time for a little math and creativity. Gather all your fabric scraps and left over t-shirt parts and lay them out in a pattern that you like. It is easiest to work with squares and rectangles but you don't have too. All you have to do is end up with two large pieces that match your A by B measurements. Any time you are planning to sew two pieces together just be sure to add your 5/8" seam allowance to both pieces before cutting.
Step 6 - Once you have two patchwork pieces that measure A by B you are ready to pin and sew them to your shoulder / neck piece. At this point you should have one big rectangle with the t-shirt neck hole in the middle.
Step 7 - Finish raw edges by pressing and stitching approximately 1 1/2" fold around all four sides.
Step 8 - Fold garment at shoulder seam with wrong sides together matching side seams and bottom hem. Follow stitching pattern in diagram below. If desired add two button hole slits in front only for optional belt.
Thanks so much for stopping by and as always,
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor touched but are felt in the heart. – Helen Keller.
I am running a little late today so let's jump right in to the upcycling shall we? I have been wanting to come up with an Upcycled Valentine's Day project so here it is.
For this project you will need one empty plastic shot bottle, some newspaper, yarn, masking tape, white glue, hot glue gun, polycrylic, paint and paint brushes
Start by wrapping a single layer of yarn around the bottle neck, secure with hot glue as needed.
Continue wrapping until bottle is completely covered.
To shape the bottle wrap several layers of yarn around bottle, secure with hot glue as needed.
Continue until desired shape is achieved.
Tear several strips of newspaper into thin strips.
Use white glue to cover bottle with paper strips.
Allow bottle to dry.
Use masking tape to form several long twisted strips and several small ball shapes.
Attache the tape strips and balls with hot glue to decorate the bottle.
Coat with white glue and allow to dry.
Paint in desired colors.
Once paint is dry coat with a layer of polycrylic.
In the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that I am not very fond of my painting job. Also I think I might use something other than masking tape to decorate the bottle if I did it again. Maybe puffed rice and split peas similar to the mask project I made some time ago.
My experiment was not a complete loss though because I love how well the yarn worked to reshape the bottle.
Thanks for stopping by.
Nothing to report yet on my big decision but my deadline is one more week so more on that in my next post.
I have been struggling with a decision. It is not a huge decision. Not a life altering decision, in the scheme of a persons whole life. But it will effect my life for several months and I think more importantly, be an indicator as to what kind of person I am. When I say what kind of person I don't mean good or bad, I am referring more to a personality type or a way of being. I think that is what I mean. If I choose this thing or don't choose this thing it will not change the core of who I am. It is more about choosing to be an active participant in the game or choosing to be an enthusiastic fan on the sidelines. If you know anything about me you can guess that I am more comfortable on the sidelines. I have lived my predominantly happy life avoiding the spotlight and on occasion feeling that I did not get the attention I thought I deserved. This strange circular thought pattern has me pondering the selfish nature of deciding either way.
I am not trying to string you along so I will tell you right now that I haven't quite made up my mind one way or the other and so I am not going to disclose what it is I am trying to decide. I will have to make up my mind one way or the other in the next couple of weeks and I will finish the story at that time. For today I can only offer the my thanks if you are reading this. Writing these words has helped me to gain some clarity.
But let's get on to the Upcycling shall we?
A few weeks ago I posted a tutorial on how to make a picture charm bracelet from old watches. I have enjoyed making the bracelets enough to make quite a few. I am even hoping to make enough of them and or some other things to be able to participate in my first real craft show.
Well all this bracelet making has left me with some extra watch parts. Many of the actual watch faces are quite pretty and decorative so I knew I needed to use them for something.
Tools and supplies
2 Pair of needle nose pliers
Use the hammer and nail to punch a hole in the watch face. The small hammer can be used to gently tamp down the rough hole from the back and sand paper to smooth off rough edges. Assemble earrings with jump rings using the needle nose pliers.
I don't know about you but I actually like the fact that the earring pairs are similar but different.
Hello from cold and snowy Colorado. I have a quick post, a few days early this week. We are heading to Phoenix a little later today where we plan to enjoy some warmer temperatures and relaxation.
You may recall that I went to the Recycle Santa Fe Arts Festival with my sister in December, she uses this little train case as a cash register when she is at shows.
The inside is pretty plain.
So she asked me to make it a little more useful with some pockets to hold a few things.
You may already know that she makes purses and women's accessories out of post consumer plastic bags if you haven't seen her stuff watch this video or check out her website. Anyway I thought that I should use some of her "fabric" for this project.
This is what I came up with.
The fused plastic was so great to work with much easier than working with fabric that frays. I just cut out the shapes I needed, sewed the pockets in place and then I used some duct tape and E6000 glue to hold everything in place.
Well I had better get going. I still have to pack and take care of a few things before heading to the airport. I am excited to take my tiny make up tin on this trip. If you missed the tutorial you can check it out here.
Wishing you all a lovely week and as always....
Have you heard of the tiny house movement? I have become a little infatuated with the idea myself. Not that I have any hope of fitting all my junk into a 200 or less square foot home. Still, I love to see how they have used the small spaces so efficiently and I am mildly envious of their clutter free lives. If you are curious, or already have a little of the tiny house bug, like I do, you might want to check out these free video's on Hulu.
Tiny House Nation and the Film Documentary Tiny.
Even if you aren't ready to get ride of all your worldly possessions it is inspiring to think about using the space that you have in a more useful way. Case in point my night stand drawer which I will be cleaning out some time later today.
Any-whoo on with today's tutorial.
I had so much fun with this project. I love all the DIY health and beauty tutorials out there. Last year I made some lip balm and I was hooked. I don't think I will ever buy lip balm again.
So when I stumbled on to some make up tutorials I had to give them a try. I don't know which part I am more excited about. The fact that I made my own make up or the part were it all fits into an Alotid tin.
These are the things I gathered.
Make up mirror (removed from old compact)
Small pencil sharpener
Emery board - cut down to fit in tin
Plastic gift card with duct tape tabs (for divider)
Lip liner (cut to fit in tin)
Eyeliner brush (cut to fit in tin)
Eyebrow pencil (already almost too short to use :-)
These are the things I made.
Lip Balm in a bottle cap
Colored lip gloss in a bottle cap
Powered foundation in a bottle cap
Blush in a bottle cap
Mascara brush from old mascara
Mascara / Eyeliner in a ball point pen case
Read on if you are curious.
Lip balm - I love this stuff! It is really easy to make with just two ingredients. 1 part beeswax to 2 parts almond oil melted together and poured into a bottle cap to cool. I am assuming that anyone doing this will have cleaned and sterilized to what ever degree they feel is necessary. So onward. Here is a more detailed tutorial from Family Home and Life. It is for hand lotion bars but the process and ingredients are the same.
Colored Lip Gloss - I did this as an experiment but I am happy with how it turned out. Use the lip balm instruction above but add a few drops of red food coloring to the melted beeswax and oil. Then pour into a small container and stir until the wax cools enough to hold the color. If desired move to a smaller container while mixture is still soft and before cooling is complete.
Blush and Foundation - For these items I made my own combination from these two tutorials. Homemade bronzer from Thank your body and DIY Homemade blush from One good thing. Once I had a color I liked I pressed the mixture in the bottle cap and let it dry out over night.
The mascara brush was cut from an old mascara bottle which is harder than you might think. Use wire cutters not scissors. Wrap a little tape or something else to make a better grip. Protect the brush end with a small piece of ball point pen tube left over from Mascara / Eyeliner bottle below.
First the "bottle" and then some thoughts on homemade mascara / eyeliner. Remove the ink portion from a ball point pen. Cut tube to fit in the tin with the cap on. Cover the holes in the cap with small piece of duct tape and your tiny container is ready.
Some thoughts on home made mascara. First I tried this tutorial. It was weird because the aloe vera gel doesn't stay mixed in, but I was experimenting so I use the goop that was left and it didn't really stick to my lashes which was disappointing.
Then I tried this tutorial. It was better. This mixture actually put some color on my lashes but it didn't do much to thicken my lashes and it didn't stay on very well. So I thought what the heck and I mixed the two concoctions together in a 50 50ish manner. There was some improvement but still no real thickening of the lashes.
So I did a little research on mascara which some how lead me to try this. Starting with a clean mascara brush I applied my lip balm (love that stuff even more now) to my eyelashes and then I applied the mixture of the two mascara recipes to my eyelashes and it was remarkable how much fuller (thicker) my lashes were after the lip bam under coat. It still doesn't wear quite as well as my store bought mascara but it is a huge improvement.
As far as the eyeliner goes my mixture of two mascara's seems to work quite well.
So while I am not quite ready to move into a tiny home at least I know I have some make-up that will fit in it. :-)
Actually I made it as a travel kit.
If you have been following this blog for a while you may be aware that I broke my foot last August and was non weight bearing for 2 and a half months. One of the consequences of being fairly immobile, is sadly, in my case anyway, weight gain. I am happy to report that I have lost 8 pounds by just being ambulatory again but that leaves me with several pounds to go. As it is the beginning of a new year it seems appropriate to set some personal goals, but so far in my life I have made a pitiful showing of keeping my weight loss goal every new year. The problem is the consistency factor. It isn't about finding something that works, it is about finding something that works for you. Or in my case me. And for me that means sometihng that I don't have to think too much about, put too much energy toward and most of all it better not make me hungry. :-)
At any rate my only resolution at this point is to keep periodically posting on my progress here. Sorry if that is super uninteresting to you folks but I am hoping it will help keep me a little more accountable.
But lets get on with today's project.
It all started with this watch bracelet that I made a couple of years ago. I have had a lot of folks comment on it when I wear it so I thought that I would make a few more to give as gifts and sell in my Etsy shop and Ebay store. But if you are here I know you want to know how to make your own. So scroll down to the bottom for the video tutorial.
I don't know about you but I am a day planner person and a list maker. So every December I buy or make myself a new day planner. There is something wonderful about all of the dated empty pages and the promise of days to be filled with both routine and unexpected activities. I don't know if I would say that I am big on making New Years Resolutions but as I thumb through the pages of my empty day planner I do like to think about the things I would like to accomplish in the coming year.
Following are my goals for upcycling and this blog for 2015. I share them here in the hope of being made more accountable. It is a short list in order of difficulty. In all honesty the last two scare me a little.
1) To reorganize my blog to make the content easier to access.
2) To continue to post new projects every Friday.
3) To participate in two Recycling Craft Shows (Pallet Fest in Denver CO August and Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival in November)
4) To design and write a rough draft of a Recycle / Upcycle T-shirt Book.
I do hope you all had a lovely holiday season. The hubby and I attended a murder mystery party on New Years Eve which gave us the chance to use these masks that I made a couple of years ago.
Here is the video tutorial.
Wishing you a happy and healty
We were meeting some friends for dinner when there was unexpectedly a third couple whom we had never met invited to join us. I was informed just prior to the official introductions that this new couple was quite well off. The husband hand inherited a family business and they were quote unquote "well to do."
So of course when asked by the wife "What do you do?" I completely froze. In some previous private moment I had determined to describe my profession as a crafter, blogger, ebay seller, waitress, but faced with these real life muckity mucks I buckled under the weight of my ridicules and shameful, made up job description and resorted to the non answer of "well I don't do anything because I recently broke my foot and........awkward silence... pause......and then the blessed subject change.
I am 51 and I should be mature enough to own up to my life and the way I live it but I am still not always able to be openly and authentically me. I joke that I will some day have purple hair and not care a wink what other people think but perhaps I will never really be that eccentric. Which is why later that night I stealth-fully tucked my drinking straws away in my purse careful not to draw any attention to my strange behavior. Just what kind of crazy would it make me if I were caught stuffing the trash from the table into my purse? Imagine the awkward silence that followed my non answer to what do you do, and quadruple it with stupefied looks as I announce that I need the straws for a dress I am making. (see dress here)
I could be wrong but something makes me think that folks that drive BMW's, live in big fancy houses and travel the world might not understand my propensity for playing with trash. Of course I don't know anything about these new people, the house they live in or where they have traveled. I just made certain assumptions about them based on the little information I had been given. It is actually possible that they would have been interested to hear about my dress made from trash. I guess I will never know.
I am happy to let you know that since that evening I have been able to unashamedly ask my friends to save their straws for me because I needed them for a dress. Most of them complied without even giving me any weird looks. I am also planning to bestow on some of my girlfriends, my little made from trash gift baskets as Christmas gifts. I guess it is time to let a little more of my closeted blogging and crafting life out into the real world, especially if this is true......
My Trashy Christmas Tree and Upcycled Wine Cork Ornament DIY
I guess the idea to decorate my Christmas tree with trash started as a challenge to see if I could come up with anything remotely attractive. It ended with the added benefit of being a cat friendly tree. I haven't put up a tree for the last several years mainly because of our feline house mates. But this year none of the made from trash ornaments are breakable and therefore they are quite safe and double as great cat toys.
Here is the re-cap of my "Trashy Tree"
6) And today's project painted wine cork ornaments.
To make cork ornaments
Step 1 - Cut corks into slices (I cut mine into four sections)
Step 2 - Use E6000 glue to make desired shape
Step 3 - Paint and embellish as desired
Step 4 - Screw eye bolt into the top of ornament and hang