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Christmas Crafts: Diy Elf on a Shelf with Outfit Tutorial

This post may contain affiliate links, please check out my disclosures page for more info.  Thanks! For my first project for Christmas, her...

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #142

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #142

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:

  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.
  • Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back. ---->
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Simple Flower and Lace Headband Tutorial

This post may contain affiliate links, please check out my disclosures page for more info.  Thanks!

As promised yesterday, here is my headband tutorial.

Simple Flower and Lace Headband Tutorial

I will show you how to make this simple head band, accented with a pretty fake flower.

Materials needed to make a flower lace head band.  Wide lace, blank headband, ribbon, flower, glue gun, and scissors.

Materials needed:

  • Glue gun with glue.
  • Ribbon.
  • A large flower.
  • A lace rosette, check out my video tutorial if you don’t know how to make one.
  • Scissors.
  • A plain headband, I prefer metal ones because they can be adjusted to fit your head without breaking.
  • Any other embellishments you want.


Making a flower and lace headband.  Wrap ribbon around the headband, glueing as you go.

First, glue the end of the ribbon to the end of the headband to start covering it.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Wrap ribbon around the headband, glueing as you go

Proceed to carefully wrap the ribbon around the head band, applying glue as you go.  Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot glue.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Wrap ribbon around the headband, glueing as you go.

When you get to the other end, cut the ribbon and glue down the end.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Wrap ribbon around the headband, and when finished you may wrap more ribbon on the ends for a polished look.

If you want,  you can wrap a little extra ribbon on the ends of the headband.  This will give it a more polished look, but I’m too lazy for that.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Add the flower to the lace rossette.

Now for the flowers.  If your flower has a wire stem like mine, you will want to stick it through the center of the rosette.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Add the flower to the lace rossette.

It looks kind of cute like this. :)

Making a flower and lace headband.  Add the flower to the lace rossette.

Then you twist down the wire, so it lies flat and add some glue to secure it.

If your flower doesn’t have wire, you can just glue it to the center of the rossette.

As an alternative to the large flower, you can use a cluster of three or more smaller flowers.  Use whatever you like.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Use some ribbon and glue to attach the flower piece to the headband.

Moving on, glue the end of the piece of ribbon over the center of the back of the flower and rossette piece.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Use some ribbon and glue to attach the flower piece to the headband

Wrap this ribbon around the headband…

Making a flower and lace headband.  Use some ribbon and glue to attach the flower piece to the headband

…Then glue down to attach the piece to your headband.  Make sure it is where you want it on the headband before you glue it.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Use some ribbon and glue to attach the flower piece to the headband

Now it is ready for more decorations.

Making a flower and lace headband.  Add a ribbon bow and anyother embellishments you want, then you're done!

I added a ribbon bow with long tails (check out my simple bow video tutorial if needed), because I thought it looks pretty.  You can add jewels, strands of pearls, or anything else you want.

Enjoy the headbands and have a happy Easter.


Give it a try:

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Clothing Makeover: Altering a Pink Bodyline Dress for Easter

Normally, around Easter I work myself haggard trying to design and sew a lovely, ruffly new dress to wear on Easter Sunday.

This year, I decided instead to work myself haggard trying to alter a dress that needed work.

The before photo for the slightly ugly pink Bodyline dress

Here is the old dress that badly needed a makeover.  I got it in a lucky pack I bought from Bodyline.  The price was really cheap, but I’m not sure how “lucky” I was with this one.

The before photo for the slightly ugly pink Bodyline dress.  Close up of the collar with discoloration.

You can see here that the collar had odd stains on it, but that’s okay because I immediately thought it had to go anyway.  The lace looked kind of cheap and the collar overall was unflattering.

In addition to the collar, the elastic on the one of the sleeves was shot, the lace on the sleeves was horrible, the hearts down the front of the dress were overkill, and surprisingly I thought it could stand to have a little less lace and ruffles.

So after some time with a seam ripper and sewing machine…

The after photo of the madeover and improved pink dress, so much cuter now.

…Here’s the new dress.

Close up of the new neckline.

I chopped off that horrible collar and added a touch of lace to the new neckline.  You can see that it’s the lace from one of the hearts on the bodice.  It helps to tie in the whole dress.

Close up of the new dress bodice and neckline.

Obviously, I removed two of the hearts from the front of the bodice.  One is plenty, plus I can probably make something cute with the other two later.  I also removed two of the vertical strands of lace.

Close up of the new dress hemline with underskirt ruffle.

I removed one of the bottom ruffles, then realized the skirt was too short without it.  Oops. 

So I made a white underskirt to replace it.  It’s better this way, and I can wear the underskirt separately.

Close up of the puffed sleeves with new lace.

And finally, I replaced the elastic on the sleeves and switched the bad lace with the lace I ripped off the bodice.  The sleeves look much cuter now.

The new matching flower headband.

And just for fun, I whipped up a cute flower headband to go along with my new dress.  I think flower accessories are perfect for Easter, which is why I'm going to make a tutorial for the headband.

Here’s the updated list:

  • Dress makeover
  • Doll undies
  • Cameo and Hearts
  • Blouse makeover
  • Phone case
  • Outfit
  • Mother’s Day
  • Costume fix
  • Jammies
  • Bonnet

One down, nine more to go.  The next project should be up in a few more days, but the head band tutorial will be up tomorrow!  Look forward to it.

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #141

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #141

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:

  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.
  • Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back. ---->
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Friday, March 23, 2018

Q Box Unboxing: Late Clearance Box Opening

This post may contain affiliate links, please check out my disclosures page for more info.  Thanks!

Here’s something super late.  Last November I stumbled upon Q Box.  It’s a subscription box, sort of like Kawaii Box, which features cute goodies mostly from Japan based on a monthly theme.  Some past themes include Pok√©mon, Sailor Moon, Alice in Wonderland, etc.

Q Box Clearance Box Unboxing

Anyway, I discovered they were having a special box, their clearance box.  Packed full with more items than normal at a cheaper price.  Plus, they were having a special sale, buy 2 get 1 free.  Hard to resist that.

Cute packaging for Q Box, the cute subscription box

So not long later, this adorably cute package showed up in the mail for me.

Three cute Q Box boxes, waiting to be opened.

And inside were three “boxes”, I think the last one was packed in the cute heart bag to save space.

Close up of a cute Christmas sticker on a subscription box.

It was close to Christmas at the time, so they put cute little holiday stamps on the boxes.  Most fitting since I actually used many of the goodies inside for Christmas.  I stuffed those pouches I made (see Sewing Pouches, Lots of Them) and gave them as gifts.

Close up of the Q Box logo sticker on the box.

Anyway, the boxes and all other packaging also had Q Box’s special little logo sticker, in case anyone forgot where this stuff all came from. :)

The inside of one of the Q Box clearance boxes, they can fit of lot of cute stuff in each one.

And a lot of stuff there was, each box was crammed full of fun surprises.  I had originally intended to open one box at a time, you know, take my time with it.  But I ended up ripping through all three at once.  I did take the time to make a video, which was then pushed to side due to holiday preparation.

But finally, here is my Q Box unboxing video.



Enjoy!
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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Looking Back, Blogging Then and Now

Blogging Then and Now, How My Blogging Has Changed over the Years.

I mentioned that one of the things I did over my break was go through several of my old, old posts.  It would surprise some of you to realized that this blog is actually almost 11 years old. 

That’s right, I’ve been blogging off and on for over ten years now.  There have been a lot of changes over the years with blogging both big and little.  I won’t dwell much on the big changes, since we’ve all heard them.  It’s the little changes though, the ones I didn’t quite notice myself until I went though my old posts.  Things I started doing or not doing in my own blogging. 


Daily Posting?

When I first started blogging, I posted something everyday, whether it was necessary or not.  Mostly because blogging was so new and fun and I couldn’t hold back my enthusiasm.  That kind of went down hill though. 

Life gets in the way, and going to school was higher priority.  I was constantly going several days without posting anything, something I do now too.  But I kept on apologizing for it as if I thought there was something wrong with not posting something almost daily.  I saw many blogs doing just that, and many still today. 

In fact, I used to follow a few blogs that posted multiple times a day.  The keywords there is “used to”.  Some of those blogs disappeared, possibly because the author couldn’t keep up their daily schedule. 

As for the ones that still exist, I stopped following them because I couldn’t keep up.  Too many posts to read, and not all of them were ones I was interested in reading.  I have since learned that you don’t have to read absolutely every post written by your favorite blogger. 

Anyway, it’s difficult to read the posts you are interested in if they get lost in the sea of everything else going up on a blog every single day.  So, the daily posting thing is definitely not mandatory.


Commenting

It’s funny how back then people left comments on blog posts more often even if some of them seemed a little more “spam-y” then intended.  It’s also funny that despite receiving more comments on posts back then compared to now, I still managed to reply to most of them.  Nowadays, it sometimes takes me weeks and even months to reply to some comments.  If I reply at all.  Why was it easier before? 

It wasn’t, I just felt like I had to, like replying was mandatory just like with daily posting.  It’s not, just like how it isn’t mandatory for people to leave comments on blogs.  It’s just a nice way of showing appreciation (I wrote a whole other post about that).  It’s one of many ways to do so now. 

Over the years, more and more social media sites have popped up, meaning more and more ways to show your favorite blogger that you like their stuff.  And it works both ways.  For example, when someone pins one of my posts or videos on Pinterest, I can check out their boards and re-pin their stuff too.


Spam?

Just a bit of a rant.  Way back when, many commenters were pretty borderline spam-y, but unintentionally so.  Just many innocent people who got it in their head that commenting on other blogs is a great way to get traffic back to their blogs, etc. 

However, lately the spam comments make no sense at all.  Many don’t bother to leave a link, so what’s the point?  I have receive spam comments that were several paragraphs long about topics like Game of Thrones or random tech stuff.  Stuff that never appears on any of my blogs.  If the point is to make me laugh before I delete them, thanks.


Photography

Good news! I’ve notice that my photos, though not exactly perfect have definitely improved over the years. 

poor photos

Many photos from my older posts are so blurry or way too small.  I’m surprised people could see what I was trying to share at all.  Many years of practice and checking out tips on other blogs have paid off.  So if you think your photos stink, check out one of my old photos and know, things will get better.  You will improve. 

Another problem was most of my posts only had one photo, which is fine for posts that are mostly rants and such.  But craft and sewing projects should have more pics to show off the projects.  People like seeing little details, the cute lace on the edge of a hem and beading on a neckline.  The more photos the better.


Formatting

See all that nice space between the sections and paragraphs on this current post?  See the cool looking headings?  That’s proper formatting, it breaks up the post to make it easier to read.  Now compare it to the one in the photo.

bad formating

In my early days, I didn’t do much in the way of formatting at all.  My post were huge blocks of text, sort of like high school essays and we all know how much fun those are to read.

I also had issue with my photos, not just in how they looked, but where they were placed.  They cut off sentences and squeezed those blocky paragraphs in odd ways.  I surprised people could read my posts at all.  And if people can’t read your posts they aren’t likely to come back for more.

Thankfully my newer posts are a bit easier on reader eyes.


Post Titles

The first few years, I liked to be “creative” when writing titles for my posts, titles that by today’s standards would look a little too vague.

An example of a too vague post title.

As in they were sometimes a little hard for readers to even understand. 

Enter SEO or search engine optimization which requires titles with relevant keywords.  Harder to get “creative” titles, but easier for readers to know what your post is about and to find a post they actually need when they need it. Easier for me too, since I frequently have to look up my own blog posts too.

These are just a few of the changes I noticed.  Veteran bloggers, how many of these applied to you?  And what other things have you seen over the years.  Please share.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #140

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #140

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:

  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.
  • Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back. ---->
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Craft Project List #43

Pretty Vintage Flower Clip ArtAs promised yesterday, here is my new project list.  Several projects carefully selected and planned out.

Craft Project List #43

  • Dress makeover
  • Doll undies
  • Cameo and Hearts
  • Blouse makeover
  • Phone case
  • Outfit
  • Mother’s Day
  • Costume fix
  • Jammies
  • Bonnet

At ten projects it’s is longer than my last few.  I plan to have it all done by the end May.  Better get cracking.

Read More »

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #139

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #139

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:

  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.
  • Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back. ---->
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Friday, March 9, 2018

What I Did On My Blogging Break

My little break from this blog has officially ended. Yay!

To get things going, I want to share with you all what kinds of things I did while “away”.

What I Did on My Blogging Break

What I Did on My Blogging Break

  • Still kept the blog hop going.  Thanks to all of you who attend regularly. :)
  • Sorted through my closet, got rid of a bunch of stuff in the pile of junk I referred to as “mending”.
  • Started an actual mending box, with notes pinned to the pieces describing what needs to be fixed.
  • Took an inventory of my stash of toothpaste, lotion, laundry soap, etc..
  • Did some thrift shopping, didn’t get many photos. :(
  • Did some online shopping, got tons of photos. :)
  • Got a new phone.  It’s got super long battery life, I’ll share more later.
  • Downloaded all the apps under the sun.  Including Homescapes.
  • Got addicted to Homescapes.
  • Finally bought a copy of Howl’s Moving Castle on DVD.  One of the best animated movies ever.
  • Finally hung up the cute bathroom rack I bought ages ago.
  • Got foaming pump bottles from Amazon.  Just fill about 1/4 with your product of choice, fill the rest of the way with water, screw on the top, and shake.  Then you have your own diy foaming soap, shampoo, body wash, etc.
  • Went to the Arizona Matsuri, a festival for Japan.  I will post a video soon.
  • Re-read most of my old, old posts for this blog as well as the other two (ah, memories).  Sorted out ones that need updating (pretty much all of them!).
  • Did some other work for the blogs.  Updating pages, fiddling with ads, etc.
  • Reorganized my photos and video clips to make it easier to make my videos and blog posts. :)
  • Fully drafted and planned my newest craft project list.  It will be up tomorrow!
  • Sleep!

And that’s mostly it.  As mentioned I will be sharing more about some of these things in the future.

Look forward to it. :)

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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #138

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #138

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:

  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.
  • Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back. ---->
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »