Best aunt ever

Well, probably not, since my niece's birthday was in December. These are her combination late birthday/kindergarten graduation gift. I was going to make some fabric strap flip flops, like THESE, but then I found all these little jewel beads (that actually used to be my daughter's dress up bracelets, but she broke them) and inspiration hit.

 Little bejeweled flip flops. So cute, right? Here's how I did it:

First up was gathering supplies. My daughter helped me sort out the pink, purple, and white ones.
{Upholstery thread, scissors, needles, the beads, hot glue. }

 The beads had two sets of holes in them, so I threaded them like this.

There they are. I had measured the flip flop straps before, so I knew how many beads to thread.

I used hot glue to keep the beads down at first, but knew a little extra something would be a good idea if I really wanted these to wearable. 

So I wrapped more threads around the threads that held the beads together. That sounds confusing. Here's the picture:

And then I was done. I sent them off one at a time and I can't wait for my niece (who is 6) to get them.


Thrift finds

So, there's a flea market in Utah County. It's called Fleaology and they have a blog HERE. I went with some friends a few weeks ago (they only have it quarterly or so, I believe) and scored some pretty awesome stuff.
I think this mirror is awesome. I think I'll probably give it to Mim some day for her dress ups, but I think I'll wait until she's a little older and I won't have to worry so much about her breaking it. For now it goes on my dresser, which is fine with me, since it totally reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, which is my favorite fairy tale/Disney movie.

 The brown scarf was a DI (Utah's Goodwill) find, but the red with white polka dots was from the flea market- 2 bucks!

These are my new awesome flour and sugar canisters. They're awesome. I only wish I had more counter space (since it's so limited in my tiny kitchen, they're usually in the cupboard).

 I did not happen to find any zippered pouches at the flea market, but I did get about 2 yards of this awesome strawberry/floral/polka dot for $9. I didn't get any pictures of it before I started cutting it up.
 This was not a thrift find. It's from the old swamp cooler that used to go in our living room window. That monster is out behind the shed, waiting to go to the dump, but I noticed this wheel on it a few days ago. I thought it might be kind of a neat little keepsake, plus it kind of reminded me of these from Pottery Barn:
PB Found Movie Reel, Small
They're no longer available, but I remember seeing them in a catalog and thinking they were pretty cool.

Anyway, I've been pretty pleased with my thrifty finds lately. Anybody want to go garage sale-ing with me?


Appliqué pillow covers

So this is beautiful, right?
A summer version of the fall tree pillow I made.  Excellent.
It's Anthropologie's Orimono pillow. I've loved it for awhile; it reminds me of THIS pillow I made, probably my favorite one ever.

Anyway, I finally gave it a try, so here's my version:
 I love it pretty hard. I originally wanted to have a lot of different fabrics on it (like the inspiration), but I looked at my fabric stash and I just didn't have what I wanted. I also didn't want to buy any fabric for it. So I used my current favorite fabric (from a set of bed skirts found at a thrift store for a few bucks).
For the design- I drew it all on the paper side of some Heat N Bond, cut out the flower as a whole, ironed it to the cloth, and then proceeded cutting a piece out one bit at a time and placing it on my cut out pillow front. It took some time. After I removed that paper bits and ironed it to the pillow, I did a zig zag around each little petal:
{That also took some time.}
So, like I said, I love it pretty hard. If I ever find the blue pom pom trim I bought to got around the edges of the pillow, I'll probably unpick the whole thing and add it in. Then I'll love it even more. Even more than a fat kid loves cake. But that's only if I ever find that trim.

After the red one, I made a few more. I'll probably sell them in my Etsy shop, but we'll see. They might end up as gifts.

{I would keep this one, too, but the greens look really gross with my wall color.}

I'm not exactly sure what I was going for with this last one. Maybe a wonky chevron/modern interpretation of waves? I still like it, regardless.

So, any opinions out there on what I should do with them? Or how much I should sell them for?


It's a sign

Like a literal, physical sign.


{Do your best, fetcher.}
No cool reclaimed wood story- these were brand spankin' new pine boards from Home Depot. I just cut them down, did some distressing, painted, and then stenciled.

The LAUNDRY sign:
I fulfilled my Pinspired quota for this week (it was actually last week, but my project to blog turn around is not great) with this aging technique found HERE. (HERE's where I pinned it.) In the tutorial, the author says that the vinegar with dissolved steel wool mixture smelled terrible. I didn't think so, but it's possible that my sense of smell is a little weirder than most people's (banana smell makes me gag). Then I did a freezer paper stencil with my Silhouette, waited for the paint to dry, then used a fine grit sandpaper to wear it all down together.
{Freezer paper stencils didn't bond super tightly, you can see how the paint seeped a little in this picture. I only used it on signs that I was going to sand and distress.}

The "wash your hands" sign:
You can't tell in the above picture, but the blue paint is a little streaky. I was mixing up my own blue and instead of mixing up the paints until it was all homogenous, I only mixed them together a tiny bit (it was a darker blue, a white, and a grey) and used a bristle brush to apply. The font for "wash" is Alphabet 05, found HERE for free. (hooray!)
{Love this font.}

I didn't use a stain on the board, I just used my vinegar/steel wool mix after it had sat for a few days. It was much more red and didn't turn the board grey like it did when I used the mix fresh (fresh=24 hours). I was just going to use vinyl lettering on this one, but then got it on and didn't like how fresh and clean it was, so I painted over it, let it dry, then pulled the vinyl off. Then sanded, of course. The font here is Market Deco (one of my new favorites) found HERE again. (also free!)
{These were actually drill holes. I was working on something else and I put the sign boards under it so I wouldn't ruin the bit.}

"You are my SUNSHINE":
Took a new board, added some nail holes in the ends (I did that with the other big signs, too), hammered around on the ends a little extra, then painted it white, then yellow. Then I used a stencil for the letters and sanded it all down.
This was the same process as for the other "DO YOUR BEST" sign, except with that one I did a blue layer, a red layer, another blue later, and finished with gray (because of a mistake I made, not because I really wanted to do 4 coats of paint)
{Probably my favorite sign.}


Easy zippered bags

These have been on my to-do list for awhile. I first decided to make some for my daughter's Polly Pocket things (so so tiny) and then I was like, hey, it'd be nice to have one for her crayons, too. And then I was like, hey, I want one for my make up. And then I told my friend I'd do a boutique with her, so I was finally motivated (a deadline!) and I made a bunch. Nothing sold (ahwell) and so now I have a bunch of pouches (over 20). I have several in use around the house and they're handy little things for sure.

So here's what I did:

First, cutting fabric. Most of what I used was quilting cotton, but I also used other materials I had on hand, like some vintage sheets and scraps left over from other stuff.

I made 2 sizes, a 5x9 and a 7x9. I cut everything an inch larger in each direction to give me plenty of room for seam allowances. For each pouch you need 4 rectangles, two for the lining and two for the outside.

After cutting, add whatever embellishments to the front. Some I sewed stuff to, some I freezer paper stenciled.

Then you make your first zipper sandwich- the front piece right side up, the zipper upside down, then a lining piece face down. Sew them all together along the top, staying right next to the zipper (use a zipper foot).

After that, do the same with your other lining and outside fabric pieces (you'll have to fold the first two out of the way in order to make the same sandwich).

Then you can open it up and make sure the zipper is in the right place and everything.

Then fold the front pieces right side together and the lining pieces right side together.

IMPORTANT: unzip your zipper at least half way. If you don't, it will make trouble when you try to turn the bag right side out. Sew almost all the way around that rectangle. Leave a gap of about 3-4" in the long side of the lining pieces. Clip your corners.
 Turn everything right side out through the gap

 Take the gap....

And sew it closed.
{Sorry to switch bags on you again.}

Stuff the lining back into the bag and TA-DA!

 Very easy. It gets even easier after you make about 25 of them:
{I had kind of a really fun time matching linings to outside fabrics. Like, it's kind of weird how much fun it was for me.}

Some freezer paper stenciled (tutorial from HERE).
{My favorite one is the alligator. Makes me smile every time.}
 Some I sewed embellishments to:

Here's most of what I did:


Anybody need a zippered pouch? If you need one (and even if you don't) and you're related to me/good friends with me, guess what you get for your next birthday. Go ahead, guess.

I hope you guessed zippered pouch, because really.

Even if you didn't...you will still get one anyway.


Not a party blog

So, I had thought I would take some pictures of the little party we had for my daughter's birthday.


{At least there werre still a few left.}

I got some of the important stuff: my daughter, her cousins, unwrapping presents, etc. But so far as decorations and craftiness and whatnot, the picture above is the only one.

And that's why this isn't a party blog.

Here's where I learned to frost the cupcakes- it was faster than spreading it with a knife.

3-tier aqua maxi skirt

So, my little Pinspired project is still in the works- it's taking a bit longer than I thought. I think I'll just count this skirt, since there are a few different maxi dress/skirt tutorials on my board here. I didn't really follow a tutorial for my skirt, since none of them were quite what I had in mind. So I came up with a little something on my own:
{In somewhat related news, Picasa has a new filter called 1960's.}

I love this skirt so much already. It's soft and comfy, doesn't restrict movement, and doesn't wrinkle in the wash. That last one's a big deal for me. I don't even know how many shirts and skirts I just love but hardly wear because they're always waiting to be ironed (I really almost never iron). It's a plain cotton knit, but if I make another one (I probably will) I think I'll use a knit blend that has a little more bounce back stretch to it.

If you want to make a skirt like this, you need 2 measurements- your waist or hips (wherever you want the waistband to be) and then down from where you want the top of the skirt to be to the top of your feet. Easy. After you know that, it's easy to figure out your skirt pieces. Depending on your measurements, it will take between 2 and 2-1/2 yards of knit fabric, give or take.

So, for the actual skirt pieces, decide how tall you want your waistband to be (mine was 4 inches). Then subtract that from your total vertical measurement. Then divide what's left of your vertical measurement by 3. Those will be the heights of your tiers.

This skirt is basically 4 rectangles, like so:

The waist band is 8 1/2" high because it will be doubled over, plus seam allowances.

My vertical measurement was 30" after subtracting waist band height, so my 11" tiers include 2 half inch seam allowances, since I only really needed the tiers to be 10" high. As the rectangles get longer and longer, you'll need to connect 2 or maybe even three shorter rectangles because the fabric won't be wide enough for one continuous strip.

After all your pieces are cut, use a simple basting stitch to gather the top of your 3 tiers. I learned how from my mother-in-law, but there's a great tutorial HERE at Make it and Love it.

Here's another excellent diagram (because, as always, I am terrible at taking pictures of my actual process):

There's 2 ways I've seen tiers on similar knit skirts sewn together. The first is right sides together, so the seam is completely hidden on the inside. The second (and the one I prefer) is to lay the right side of the
upper layer beneath the layer below, so it's right side to wrong side. Like this:
{I used a double needle and a straight stitch- whatever you use, make sure there's some stretch to it, since you're working with a knit.}

A tip for gathering- after you add the basting stitch but before you pull any threads, mark (with pins or a fabric marker) the quarters and halves of both of the pieces you'll be attaching. Then, as you start gathering, you can line up the marks on your gathered piece with the marks on the flat edge of the piece above it to help keep things even.
After all your pieces are sewed together, you can just do one seam up the back to connect things (this one you'll want to do right sides together) and that's it. It only took me a few hours to get the entire skirt done, tops. And that's including all the distractions a 3 year old and an eight month old provide. 

And voila! The 3-tier aqua maxi skirt!

By the way, I think it's pretty funny that right after I posted about having a regular post each week HERE, I totally didn't post for 3 weeks, and I still haven't finished the project I started on. (In my defense, we have been working our butts off in the yard, getting some big landscaping things done.)