Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SYTYC is over for me...Sad!

So, after a 5 week run, I got last place and was "voted off" last week. Sad! The 5th, 4th, and 3rd place people were only separated by 3 votes, but my time was up this round. I loved competing and will miss it, but it'll also be nice to just craft for fun instead of deadlines, etc, which turned out to be way more stressful for me than I thought it would! Anyway, here's what would have been my entry for the Kids Can Do week which is taking place right now -- go on over and vote for your fave! And now I present: Genesis' Swimsuit Cover-Up!

When I was 8 years old, I spent a summer with my grandma learning to sew. She was a fantastic seamstress and I loved spending time with her just to soak up all the knowledge she seemed to exude. My own daughter turns 8 this winter and so I decided it was high time for her to learn the basics, and what better opportunity than the Kids Can Do week at SYTYC! She's been wanting to make a swimsuit cover-up for herself and here it is!
She picked out the fabric and buttons and did about half the sewing (until Phineas & Ferb came on tv and I lost her completely). I made the design as easy as possible so she could follow my instructions:
The swimsuit cover is made of lightweight fleece to absorb the water but not be too hot, and it was perfect for her to sew because it doesn't fray like terry cloth or knit. The front is held closed by stick-on strips of Velcro so she didn't burn out on button holes on her first project. The three buttons that are across the top are functioning but since the fleece doesn't fray it didn't need a fussy buttonhole. Now she's desperate to get to the lake and try it out. And she's got a notebook full of sewing projects to try before school begins again!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week 4 - Upcycle

My favorite part about summer is the colors. All the stores have bright displays out and I love to browse and see what the new color schemes are for housewares and fashion. My sister recently sent me a care package in which she included several fantastically bright placemats. And while I love how this yellow one looked on my table:

I decided I wanted to be able to enjoy it more than just at mealtimes so I made it into a summery bag!
I added a double-sided (for added stability) ribbon for the handles and mitred the corners so it will stand up on the table by itself. It's fully washable and dryable and stain-repellant because in real life it's still a placemat. It's just big enough for an on-the-go summer -- my wallet, keys, phone, and a granola bar for the kids. I could also toss in a magazine or novel for those long hours by the pool.
I love how it looks hanging on my kitchen chair and can't wait to give it a try!

Ruby Red Grapefruit scarf

Made it another week! Here's my entry for Knock-off Week:

I have a new hero -- and her name is Twinkie Chan! She designs and crochets a whole line of food-inspired scarves and accessories, selling them on Etsy and Ebay as well as other places. (You can find her at Her designs make me happy and since I recently lost 40lbs, it's safer for me to merge my love of food with my love of (almost) all things crocheted. I thought this grapefruit scarf of hers was so crazy cutethat I decided to make my own version.

I made my grapefruit slices a little smaller so there were more of them going around and they have 7 sections instead of her 6. I also prefer Ruby Red grapefruit to the plain kind so I chose my colors accordingly. When I was a kid, grapefruit eaten at my grandparents' house was always sprinkled with sugar on top so I sewed on irridescent beads for a sparkly finish. It's my new favorite scarf -- and I hope you like it too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Week 3 - Dollar Store tutorial

I was really happy with how this project turned out, and it was really easy to do, too! Here's a step-by-step description of what I did:
1. First, I used the nail polish to add some small dots and lines to the glass candle holders. I chose nail polish for 2 reasons; first - because I could find it at the Dollar Store and didn't have to make a separate trip for paint, and second - because if I made a mistake on the glass, a quick swipe with polish remover takes it all off.

I used it on all the glass pieces in some way or another but you could just leave them plain if you like it better.
2. I put the glue (E-6000) around the edges of the candle holder and glued it to the bottom of the smallest plate. Tip: Glue every piece upside down so that there's not a balance problem while it's drying. It's hard enough to get the glue to set without the plate falling off the top repeatedly. Firmly press the holder onto the plate until a tiny bead of glue squeezes out around the rim. This makes sure that there are no air bubbles along the rim. Repeat this step with the middle plate and candle holder (at the end of this step, you should have three items: the smallest plate and holder, the middle plate and holder, and the bottom plate by itself.)3. Once the holders were attached to the two upper plates - and DRY - I put glue around the bottom rim of the middle holder. Because E-6000 bonds better when both pieces to be attached have glue on them, I used the holder to "stamp" a ring of glue onto the center of the bottom plate. This also helped mark where the center was so it wouldn't be cocky-waller.Reapply glue to the bottom of the middle holder and press onto the glue ring "stamp". Press hard to squeeze out any air bubbles.4. When step 3 is completely DRY, repeat step 3 with the smaller top plate and holder. Allow to dry completely - usually at least 24 hours.

5. Glue the bases onto the smaller dip bowls in the same way -- upside down, apply glue to rim of glass, press hard to squeeze out air bubbles, let dry.

That's it! Now it's time to try them out. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I made it again ~Week 2~

Thanks to all who voted over at! I made it through to Week three; the entries are up so come on over and vote!

Here's my entry for the Week 2 Make Believe:

My son's favorite person in the whole wide world is our mailman. He loves him so much that he waits at the window every day, rain or shine, for the mailman to come just so he can wave to him. I decided it was time for us to have a mailman outfit of our own: I found an old pair of navy pants at the thrift store, along with a blue broadcloth button-down shirt and a tiny navy blue beanie (we live in the cold most of the year and our mailman wears a ski cap). I printed out some post office insignia and a "letter carrier" name tag onto iron-on transfer sheets and sewed them on to the hat, the shirt and the bag. The bag was just a remnant of fabric I had around the house which I fashioned into a messenger bag and added the stars and stripes ribbon strip. And because the mailman needs letters to deliver, I made some felt postcards and envelopes to go in the bag. I used various ribbon strips for the addresses and return-addresses and cut hearts and diamonds for the stamps. Some of the envelopes open and close with velcro so he could write his own note and letters.When the outfit was done, my son ran out to show our mailman -- and was rewarded with a ride in the mail truck! Love that little Mailman!