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Plain to Pretty Black Umbrella Makeover

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Thursday, March 31, 2011


I’m not normally fond of red when it comes to my wardrobe.  Cranberry red, yes.  Ronald McDonald hair red, no.  But this Sunday, my church is having a very special event that involves everyone wearing red t-shirts to show unity.  So I have to oblige.

PICT0005 (5)I forgot to take a before photo of this shirt, but you aren’t missing much.  I got it for less than a quarter at a small thrift store and it was alright except for being too big for me and painfully plain.  Didn’t take much to fix that.  I removed the sleeves before taking it in and cutting off the neckline and bottom hem.  I re-hemmed the bottom and stitched lace on the neckline before turning it and stitching it.  After re-attaching the sleeves, I stitched some lace on them and elastic to gather them.  The final touch was some ribbon on the neckline to tie across my neck.  Now I have a pretty t-shirt that will still work for church.  It sometimes amazes me how versatile an old t-shirt can be.

Here’s the updated list:

  • Red shirt
  • Red skirt
  • Hair bows
  • Clock
  • Yellow shirt
  • Headband
  • Bag
  • Big bunny
  • Wristbands
  • Little bunnies
  • Easter dress

One down, ten to go.  The next one is just about done, but it may have hit a snag.  You’ll see what I mean later.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Up to Sixteen


Finished writing up my new project list, and I am almost finished with the first project already.  Always good to get a jump on these things.  Wouldn’t want what happened with the last list, I still can’t believe it took an extra month to finish that one.  Not happening this time.  Here it is:

Craft Project List #16

  • Red shirt
  • Red skirt
  • Hair bows
  • Clock
  • Yellow shirt
  • Headband
  • Bag
  • Big bunny
  • Wristbands
  • Little bunnies
  • Easter dress

I expect to finish it by Easter at the latest, kind of have to considering the last one on the list.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Spring is here, which always make me think of how important it is to live environmentally friendly, at least as much as we can.  One of the easiest and fun ways to do this is to reuse and recycle throwaway items into things we can really use and enjoy.  Here are a few tutorials I found that help with that.

  • Cardboard Cuff bracelets – These were a real surprise for me, jewelry made from corrugated cardboard.  Despite all my work with the stuff I had never thought to make accessories.
  • Newspaper Favors – Want to put together some cute party favors, but don’t want to shell out the cash for those decorative plastic bags?  Why not make these ones from old newspaper, save some cash and reduce your trash. 
  • Heart Pouches from Envelopes – These were intended for Valentine’s day, but the idea is brilliant for anytime you want to show someone you care.
  • Envelope Mini Album – Another use for envelopes.  Could make a cute gift to go with the heart pouches, or would that be too much?
  • Flowers from Paper Towel Rolls – I love finding unique ways of making flowers.  Nothing more unique than paper towel rolls, looks like it might work for toilet paper rolls too.
  • Storm Trooper Helmet from Milk Jugs – Here’s something fun for the kids, and for Star Wars fans of course.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It Finally Came

Remember that grab bag I won from that giveaway at Organize and Decorate Everything (see I Won!!), it finally arrived.  Well, technically it arrived yesterday, but they delivered it to the apartment office.  I went over in the rain to get it, and they were closed already. Crying face 

I decided to go for a walk in the rain instead to check out my new neighborhood.  I would have taken pictures but I forgot my camera.  I will have to do that some time, this area it quite beautiful.


Anyway, it didn’t take long to tear open the box.  Inside was…


…A sweet little note for me thanking me for entering the giveaway and checking out the blog…


…Some clear flower stamps that look really cool and cute wooden alphabet stamps (I love stamps)…


…Sports themed chipboard pieces and pretty papers…


…a small clipboard (can’t wait to decorate it)…


…an accordion style album and a journal…


…four fat quarters (can’t decide on a favorite)…


…a pack of note cards (been needing some badly)…


…some metal tags (these are SO Cute!!!)…


…and the surprise.  I found it at the bottom.  I love the way it was wrapped, how come bows never look that perfect when I tie them?  Guess what was inside?


Isn’t it a beautiful necklace.  The pendant is made from a large washer, that’s just so cool.  Overall, the whole package was wonderful.  Now I just have to find uses for all these new goodies.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All Done, Finally!

I got my craft supplies unpacked (mostly) and finally finished my list.  I still feel bad that it took like a month longer to finish than I planned.  But at least it’s done.


First up, I thought I had been neglecting Midnight craft-wise.  It had been a while since I made anything for her.  So I made this simple sundress for her.  I would have got a picture of her in it but for some reason the second I picked up the camera she disappeared.  She’s never been one to sit still for a camera.  Anyway, the dress gathers at the neck with the ribbon ties making it fairly adjustable if I want to put it on a larger cat.  Speaking of larger cats, we have a new member of our household.  One of the stray cats that hung around our old place got pretty attached to us, and we got attached to him as well.  So we took him with us during the move.  His name is Angel, he is larger than Midnight and much quieter too.  He is pretty laid back and easygoing.  I’ll probably post some photos of him later with more details.


There have been times that I wished I had a needle and some thread in my purse or a more convenient way to carry sewing supplies while traveling.  A travel sewing kit is the perfect solution for this.  I made the case with scraps of red and white fabric.  It closes with a loop of elastic that wraps around and over a button.


On the inside is a section for pins and needles that’s clearly labeled and a flap with pockets for thread that I wrapped around cards.

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The last bit has some elastic to hold a small ruler and a pair of scissors.  I wanted room for a decent pair of scissors, I can’t stand those cheap tinny tiny little scissors that come in store bought kits.  Those always break on me and hurt my fingers.  Now I have a simple sewing kit that’s ready for action.

PICT0002 (5)

I found this tutorial for making a cute bunka doll and wanted to try it at least once.  It was a little harder for me than usual since the tutorial is in Japanese.  The assembly was fairly simple, it was cutting the pieces that I had problems with, not sure if I got the proportions right. 


What I like about it is how much it reminds me of those old Holly Hobby dolls.  I never had one at least that I recall, but my older sisters had several.  They have a certain charm you don’t see much in dolls anymore.  I’m not sure how to describe it.  Anyway, I will probably try this one again soon, she did come out so cute.  Maybe I could make little bitty ones.

Here’s the updated list:

  • Case
  • Skirt
  • Pink Dress
  • Cat dress
  • Altered t-shirt
  • kit
  • bunka doll

Seven down and out.  I still need to finish unpacking everything else though.  Darn.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Won!!

I got a little behind on reading my blog feeds again.  So when catching up this morning I was surprised to find that I won a random drawing on Organize and Decorate Everything.   I started shrieking, then ran down the hall with my computer in hand to tell my family, then started dancing for joy.  I can’t wait for it to get here so I can see everything, there’s a picture of it here and a list but there’s suppose to be a surprise in it too.  I’ll definitely post photos when it arrives.  Open-mouthed smile

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Moving Update

When are you officially “moved in”, when you moved everything to your new location or when everything is actually unpacked?  Right now I am living amongst several boxes of seemingly random stuff.  There are boxes in my room that are supposed to be in the kitchen, boxes in the dining room that are supposed to be in the bathroom, etc.  I can’t do any sewing because my sewing machine is on the dining room table and the cord is in a box that is who knows where.  Plus all my craft supplies are still in boxes all over the place.  At least we’ve managed to find the boxes holding the essentials.  Food, clothing, dental products, and dvds/videos to distract my niece and nephew.  You’ve got to love our priorities.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Packing or Procrastinating?


I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects.  I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects. I will not procrastinate on my unfinished craft projects.


I can just keep telling myself that, but knowing me it probably won’t do any good.  I still have those last few projects from my list and I haven’t even touch my sewing machine in so long.  Been mostly working on packing.  The movers are coming Saturday and I still have so much to pack.  It’s strange, every time I try to pack I keep on finding stuff I don’t want.  Stuff that don’t fit anymore or I just can’t stand or whatever, plenty to send over to Goodwill.  Speaking of which, the bad news is my favorite Goodwill store is closing.  Apparently they are closing several locations in the area and opening a few bigger ones.  There is one huge one nearby my favorite one, but it’s a little more out of the way for me.  Sad smileIt could be worse I guess.  The good thing is that where I’m moving to has two Goodwill locations nearby and several independent thrift stores too.  Plus my favorite fabric store is within a few miles, on a nice day I could walk to it.  Yay!  Now excuse me, I should get back to work.  So far I’ve finished a couple suitcases worth of clothes and about 4 boxes of craft supplies.  All the essentials.

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