Saturday, January 30, 2010

Carter's Birthday Shirts

To go along with his Thomas chair, I made Carter two applique shirts. One is Cars themed to wear to his party tomorrow and the other is one of those cute tie applique ones. The Cars one turned out super cute:

I bought the t-shirt at Hobby Lobby for $3, the Cars patch there too for $2, and got the race flag fabric there for $.50 for 1/4 yard. I already had the red, black, and Wonder Under. I simply cut rectangle sized pieces of each fabric I was using and then ironed on the Wonder Under to the back (on our couch while watching a movie), I then made templates on cardstock and traced them onto the Wonder Under once it had cooled, cut, and ironed. I used my machine to stitch a red zigzag stitch through out the entire thing. I got excited because it looks pretty darn good for a beginner sewer.
The tie one was SUPER easy. I got the template for free offline and just expanded it since he is 3 and not wearing a onesie like the original template called for. I got the gray shirt at Dollar Tree (its Hanes though), and the fabric at Wal-Mart $.50 for 1/4 yard also. I followed the same steps, just switched to a bright blue contrasting zigzag stitch... I really like a good zigzag.

I have all of my Valentine's projects done and put up... but as you can see from most all of my blog pictures- I need to wait until daylight to photograph them. Since my average arrival time home Monday-Friday is 6:30, I never hit daylight. But, I will take some pictures of Carter's big party tomorrow. Hopefully my mom can take some deep breaths and chillax some. Geez- I don't know where I get my type A tendencies... It's so weird. Well- more to come.

Talk soon!

P.S. Hit up the Salvation Army today for some bday gifts for Kara. Got more new projects to start! I love the SA!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

From Purple Monster to Cuteness

Carter, our adorable nephew, will turn 3 on Sunday. With his birthday being just a month away from Christmas I found myself in the usual gift giving dilemma. Do we get him MORE toys... well since my dad was taking his unwrapped Christmas gifts to save them for his Birthday since he got SO many, I think not.

Instead, my friend Kim gave me this chair...

Which I lovingly dubbed the Purple Monster. She had got it Savers for $7 and had planned on re-covering it for her daughter, but never got around to it. Since she loves me and I give her son the gift of wisdom each school day she bestowed it upon me.

Now- I won't lie. It sat in my garage for over a month... collecting dog hair from the broom and looking pretty sad. But, I was scared. What a BIG project... a scary project. But- with his birthday looming closer, I sucked it up and started getting to work. I bought my Thomas fabric at Wal-Mart for $4.44 a yard. The kid loves his tank engines... he was Gordon for Halloween and must own at least 50 of them. I started optimistically with 1 1/2 yards... and went back for another yard later.
It was horrible ripping everything out. Whatever sweat shop made that sucker did a great job! After two bloody cuts and lots of cutting and ripping- I was ready to reattach. That part was fun. It was so easy to transform something not so cute into something great. I started with my Dad's staple gun... which is what I call a man gun... it was horrible. After hearing me grunt and watching me use my body to get the torque to push the staples in, Mr. P mentions we own a staple gun! A nice, sleek, girl gun. So- after a week and a half of pulling staples out of my hair, here she is!

Total Cost:
Chair- Free (thanks Kim)
Fabric 2 1/2 yards - $10.00 even
Staples- already had
Felt for Bottom of Chair- already owned
All said and done- SO worth it to see a smile on his face! Years from now any toy we would give him would be at Savers- but I am sure he will remember the time his Aunt Ashee made him a special reading chair (complete with book pocket).

In case you're wondering about this AMAZING Halloween costume- yeah I made it... just saying! And he's Gordon the Tank Engine... NOT Thomas!
**Disclaimer-- I look like a wildebeest in this picture- uh! I was so brokedown that day!
I will show you the rest of his handmade gifts tomorrow- I am tired and have staples to vacuum up!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tulle Valentine Wreath

I wish I could take all of the credit for this supercute, supereasy Valentine wreath, but my mama actually came up with the idea. I showed her a picture of the black Halloween tulle wreath from another blog and she said to just make it with a heart and Valentine colors for February.
To make this you need a heart wreath form ($3.99 at Joann's), tulle (2 yards for each color if you want it to be two colors, or 4 yards total if one color), spray paint, ribbon, hot glue gun

This wreath was for my mom (she's the brains I am the creator). She chose red and bright pink for her colors. I spray painted her wreath form bright pink in case any tulle spots were not covered. Then get ready for your tulle by keeping your tulle folded in half, but cutting it into 8 strips, each about 5 inches wide.
After you have 8 strips per color ( you should have a small amount left from your 2 yards), cut each strip along the foldline; making two strips from the one piece. Then, cut the two strips into thirds. This does NOT have to be done perfectly... its a messy wreath. You should end up with 48 pieces of tulle in each color. (haha college algebra...)
Two piles: ignore large glare from kitchen table and flash!
Then, just start tying your tulle around the wreath in an AABB pattern. I doubled up so it made the different colors very apparent. Go all the way around and then fluff when you are done to make it look like this.
Simply add some ribbon by hot gluing it to the back and voila! Cute, cheap, no sewing, and easy!
Well- I have a LOT to do this week:
1. start recovering the purple chair for Carter's birthday ( I am scared)
2. finish making puffy Valentine hearts
3. finish all valentine projects (wood blocks, banner, etc)
4.make Carter a cute shirt to wear for his party
5. Still work, tutor, cook, clean, and be my usual adorable self!
Talk soon-

Monday, January 18, 2010

Crafternoon Kick Off

This Saturday Me, Michelle, and Kara (another lifelong friend) and I all got together to start our biweekly crafternoons. We meet at Michelle's house (which needs to move 20 miles closer to mine) and do a craft project together. We decided to have one person choose each project and then tell everyone what to buy so that way we can get right to work without going to the store for materials. Well, I chose the first crafternoon project: A Valentine Tree.

Michelle and I became obsessed with seasonal little trees around Halloween time. They showed up at Home Goods and Real Deals and we snapped them up. Once we really looked at them we realized we could easily make them ourselves. Here's what you need:

Large woodsie heart shapes and small ones, brushes, acrylic paint, glitter, and 20 gauge craft wire

A small pot (mine I got for 90cents on Michael clearance over the summer), a branch positioned in the pot with Joint Compound or cement and some moss.

Start by spray painting your pot, I chose red pot color and a pink branch. We let our branches sit in joint compound overnight, but they really could have used up to three days to dry all of the way.

While your pot/branch combo is drying, simply lay your heart pieces out and start painting both sides, and edges.

After the paint has dried, use some fine glitter and Elmers glue and "paint" it on each heart, we only did the front side.
While waiting for your glitter/paint combo to dry, start using wire clippers to cut your 20 gauge wire into pieces. I did each piece about 9-10 inches long. I then twisted it around my branch so that one piece made two branches on the tree. Then, I curled the wire around my finger and released it so it was cute and curly.
After your hearts are dry, hot glue them randomly to the end of a craft wire. I added some randomly to the middle of branches. Then, fill your pot with moss (Dollar Tree) and then hot glue the rest of the hearts onto it so it looks like they fell off the tree and landed there.

Hmm... I really need to learn how to rotate pictures... just flip your head sideways- you'll get it!
Total Cost: Pot -$.90, joint compoud-already had, moss- $1 we all shared 1 bag, paint-had, glitter-had, branch- our custodian found them in a riverbed, hearts $2.90 at Joann's for both
Wire- $3 at Walmart- we shared one roll
Per pot cost: about $4
Tomorrow should be busy- 100th day of school, then going to spend our savings on another textbook for Mr. P.
Day 15 Carbfree... fell off the wagon Friday night, got back on Saturday... 5.5 pounds total lost!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To Die For Pillows Sort-of Tutorial

I had to redo that title 4 times because it was too long to accurately describe this so here goes the real one:

"Super Cool VERY Big Pillows That Are Too Cute and Made Out of Napkins"... if that doesn't just intrigue the crap out of you I don't know what will! And here they are...

So I saw on another blog someone stitch some cute pillows out of little dinner napkins. They were really bright colors and pretty small. I thought that this would be a great idea for my first all by myself sewing project because napkins are already measured, seamed, etc. So- off to Kohl's I went in search of some napkins.

I found four of the black napkins in the Clearance section. They are plain black, but were for Halloween, only the inside tag says this. They were 44 cents a piece- take an extra half off! So- 22 cents a napkin or 44 cents a pillow. The khaki and black were still cheap at $1.29 each take half off.

I then went to Joanns and bought some black, white, khaki, and patterned fabric. I got a half yard of each, but it was WAY more than I needed. If you are doing this on the cheap and don't want left overs, just do 1/4 yard.

I decided to use the patterned fabrics for rosette pillows and the solids that match the ruffled ones. I cut all of the pieces using my rotary cutter and mat. I cut the ruffle strips into 2 inches and the rosette pieces into 2 inch or 3 inch depending on how big you want them. I cut 8 khaki strips for one ruffle pillow and 8 black strips for the black one you Have to make sure that your fabric for ruffles is double the width of your napkin so you have room to ruffle it. I cut 8 pieces for the rosettes.

Here's the part where I call it a sort of tutorial... I got so excited to bust a move that my directions (and photos) get challenged here. :)

I took all of my piles of rosette fabric and pressed it down the middle and followed this tutorial

I chose to do 4 rosettes on 2 black napkins, so 8 total. I then handstitched them on the top corner of one napkin... see the first picture and it will make sense.

For the ruffles I did a baste stitch through each piece of fabric. I then pulled on my string to ruffle it until I liked the look of it and placed them across the top of the napkin so that they stretched across and looked right. After I did all 8 of them I pinned them evenly on the top of one napkin. I then straight stitched them onto the napkin.

After you have the tops of all 4 napkins (almost pillows) stitched on the way you want them, you are ready to stitch your napkin tops to the bottoms. I simply lined them up, pinned them every 2 inches, and straight stitched about 2cm away from the seam the napkin already had. I left a 5 inch hole in the bottom corner of each to allow for stuffing.
Now here comes the genius part.... get ready:

I was looking for stuffing at Wal-Mart and was being super cheap... hey, we got tuition and books to pay for... I was about to get the big box of poly fill for $10 when my GENIUS of a mother pointed to the 50% off clearance snow. It is the SAME thing as polyfill. So I paid $1.50 a bag, which would be about $4.50 for the same amount as the box. I simply stuffed all 4 pillows (which are really big pillows) and used 2 full bags ($3 total). (sidenote: don't worry about my supply running low... when they went to 75% off I bought 12 more bags... just in case).
After they were pretty full I simply picked up my straight stitching to finish them.

I put one black with rosettes and one khaki in our guest room on the window seat

Two pictures... just because I am THAT excited that we no longer have a junk room but a real guest room!
The two black ones that were the first picture, now sit on the once naked white couch in the bay window of our bedroom.
So that all said this project cost me exactly $2.35 a pillow. Can't beat that with a stick!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Skinny Pants

Dun Dun Dun Duh...

Here are the skinny pants! You all know you have that pair tucked into your closet somewhere that you just hang onto because someday they WILL fit. You will get the flu, a tapeworm, or something and then BAM! Skinny pants fit!

Sadly, my mom gave me these a year ago because they were too big for her. Yes, these are technically my mom's fat pants! They are the same size as all of my other 7 jeans... but I would need vaseline, pliers, and a Reeeaaallly long shirt to wear these ever! So... sadly I have given up any meals that have more than 5 grams of carbs in them to hopefully fit in them. Michelle is also getting married in May and I am in the wedding. Her maid of honor is lovely and nice but looks like this-

and I have to be the wildebeest next to her!

This morning I rolled over and Jarrod looked like this...

Yum! Potatoes... a potato man... even better!

Well 7 days of no carbs and 3 pounds later, it's back to this:

Geez... the things I do for this weirdo-

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Quick Repurposing Idea

I found this at Goodwill. I got really excited because I thought it was from the scrapbook organizing stuff at Michaels. You know, that cool white wood stuff that is about $40 for a pencil cup and a million dollars for a paper caddy?

It was only $4 after using a coupon (yes, even at Goodwill). I was with Michelle and she was laughing at me because we realized it is a bathroom organizer. Imagine it flipped the other way with toilet paper, a stinko-room deoderizer, and some folded up washcloths in the cubbies. The bar is for a towel to hang off of.
Well- no problem here. I took it to my dad and he made a notch on one side so the bar was removable. I then sanded the sides lightly, painted them with black acrylic paint, and picked some cool back and white scrapbook paper out that matches my other desk stuff. I ripped it all up and then mod podged it on the back and sides.... and Voila! A cute ribbon and supply organizer for $4.
Take that Michaels!