Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Craft A Week: Week 18 - Shirt Refashion, Staff Bling, Creations & Creatures

Browsing through pins on Pinterest I saw this shirt refashion.  I threw down the iPad and sprinted in to the closet and rummaged through Hubby's shirts.
I found a few and asked him which one I could cut up.  This is the one that he said was mine to play with:
I read through the tutorial and it seemed basically the exact same steps as I've been using on my t-shirts.  First cut off the sleeves leaving the seams:
Then slice off the neck.  The tutorial mentions to first cut off the collar and then cut off the whole top of the shirt.  I'm not sure I understand the point of cutting off the collar first.  I did it, but I think you can skip that part.  Also, the tutorial has you create a new hem for the sleeves.  I didn't do that either, I just made a clean cut when I cut off the sleeves.
The next step is to create the drawstring casing, one on the front and one on the back.  

Using the fabric from the sleeves make your drawstring and a belt for your shirt.  I did this step totally wrong.  I cut strips from the old sleeves, sewed the ends together then folded it in half lengthwise to sew.  This is where I went wrong.  I made the strips too narrow so I couldn't have sewn them and turned them inside out.  I just sewed them up and made it work.

(Going back in time a little...)
On a walk along the trails down by the river, Chase found a long walking stick and had the idea to turn it in to a wizard staff with feathers, topped with a painted rock, held in place with some of my bead wire.  On Wednesday night Chase and I sat down to work on the staff and in walks Blake with his walking stick.  I can't recall if Blake found it on the same walk, but it's a neat looking stick.  While Chase was painting one of the rocks we brought home from our last ocean trip with blue paint, Blake asked me to make some wire swirls to wrap around his wizard staff. This is how it turned out.  I rather like it!
Strangely, I didn't get a single picture of Chase's and now that they've been playing with them, it's been destroyed: rock smashed and broken, wire unraveled.

On Thursday I pulled out the Martha Stewart Craft Station so Chase and Blake could test it out.  They tried embossing and tracing using the light board while Reed and I made paper flowers, then paper chickens and aliens, then the glue came out and some sea shells and a weird collage happened. 
 Soon the flowers morphed in to feather heads for a chicken and a multi-eyed alien!
On Friday Reed asked for more paper crafts!  I pulled out some white paper and made him a skull.  I want to make a few of these around Halloween, perhaps make a Skull Garland?
On the weekend it was haircuts and oil changes and car washes and cleaning the backyard, playing with our chickens, spraying the hose at each other, building forts with lawn chairs and toys, turning on the sprinklers, drinking a beer with Hubby while BBQ-ing.  Summer here we come!
Memorial Day Monday we went back to the ocean for some more SHARKS!!  Of course I came home with more shells, no rocks, but I did catch 2 little ocean fishes and a SHARK!
Hubby-Daddy caught a baby shark for Reed for holding, but Reed was too scared to touch it.  I don't blame him, other than being excited we all kind of scream when we pick them up.  As small as they are they are amazingly strong!
I think one day soon I should take a day off work to stay home and CRAFT!  I have too many half started projects and/or I've been collecting goodies to turn in to a craft.  Although... it's almost summer and the kids will be home with Hubby all day every day... maybe I should take a day off, still go in, and craft from my desk.  HAHAH!  Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Craft A Week: Week 17 - Refashions, Monster Bookmarks, & Fishing

It was Friday night.
I was home alone.
No wait, Reed was with me.
And it wasn't night yet, it was late afternoon.  It might even have been Thursday.
Ok, nevermind.  The point is I was crafting!  I had grabbed 3 t-shirts from my closet, my cutting mat and rotary cutter, my little LadyBug friend (does she need a name?), and sat on the floor with Reed to cut and sew. 
Then I cut the arms off each shirt.  Snip, snip.  And a straight line to cut off the collar of each.  Snip. Snip. Snip.
Then Reed and I played dress up in all the "armpits" and "necks"!

Out comes the "pokies" and I pin down an edge on the front and back of each of the shirts, this is where the straps will be thread through.
Stitch it closed, but don't let your three-year-old help otherwise the line will definitely not be straight (honestly though, it doesn't matter because the top gathers and you can't see the thread anyway).
Now you just need to thread through your choice of ribbon or tarn or whatever you want to be your straps.  I don't think you can see it on the right side of the picture below, but it's one long piece of ribbon threaded through the front then the back and tied to it's other end.  It creates adjustable straps for the shirt.  I used the same ribbon for all three shirts because it was cheaper to buy in bulk :)
I suppose I could have washed the mirror first.  Yikes!
Saturday, May 17th was my very special 36th  birthday.  My Dad and Momimi sent me a Martha Stewart Craft Station:
"Its versatile design and included high-quality accessories make it easy to expertly cut, trace, stamp, and emboss in one convenient station. Perfect for creating holiday greeting cards, scrapbook pages, party invitations, and decorations, the Craft Station also makes a thoughtful gift for the avid crafter." -
Very cool!  The Craft Station includes: LED light box with 12-by-12-inch scratch-resistant glass, stamp alignment guide, embossing stencil and tool, craft knife, five tracing and cutting templates, movable ruler arm with blade shuttle, and two replacement blades for the built-in blade shuttle.  The LED light box with the scratch-resistant glass with cutter is my favorite, but I also really can't wait to use the embossing tool on a project.  Fun, fun, fun!
Mike's Dad and Mom-Gumi sent me a $50 gift card to Joann's Fabrics.  I feel so Blessed!  What should I get?  Maybe something to emboss or cut?  YAY!  Fun, fun, fun!
I was remembered and wished a Happy Birthday by so many wonderful friends and family, my day felt truly special.  Hubby had to work all day, but when he got home he made us a nice dinner and gave me a delicious cake!
Then I relaxed with a glass of wine and we sat down to watch Avatar the Last Airbender while learning to fold Monster Bookmarks with Origami paper.
I just realized at this moment that I didn't take a single photo of the process of making these cute Monster Bookmarks, but the tutorial is pretty straight forward and we didn't get nearly as fancy as they did.
Chase was working right along with me.  He made a few different ones.
When Blake saw our first Monsters done, he decided he wanted to make some too.
And of course Reed had his own agenda.  He used every scrap piece, whether it was really a scrap piece or not, to make his creature.  I think it's actually pretty stinkin' cute.  He glued all the pieces on himself and asked me to draw eyes and a mouth.
On Sunday, Hubby gave me the birthday present I asked him for: a trip to the beach to collect shells.  He took us all to Bolinas, CA.  I have never been to a beach LOADED with shells!  We couldn't possibly carry all the shells we found in the first 2 minutes.  Mike told us we weren't allowed to collect anything, we had to walk to our "spot".  We passed beautiful shells, amazing tide pools, super cool drift wood branches, we walked forever!  And we found the perfect spot!  Nobody was around, tide pools all around us, and the perfect place to fish for sharks!  We caught 4 sharks, 2 different kind of perch, and Chase caught a skate.  We let them all go of course.  I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the tide pools we were playing in, I was trying to preserve the battery life in my phone as well as protect it from water.  I did get these photos:
Fishing is a craft, right?  :)
Then we all got severely burnt, almost didn't make it back because the tide was coming in, but we still got a whole heaping bucket full of beautiful shells!  It was all worth it, what a gorgeous day and a spectacular way to spend time with my guys.

Momma Lady Beetle

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Craft A Week: Week 16 - Fabric & Foam Decor

We did a lot of crafty things during Week 16 of my (our) challenge.  Chase said he wants to do the same project I do each week, it will be almost like I am teaching a craft class... oh joy.  Just kidding, but I knew he was saying that and wouldn't make the time, silly pre-teens.
Anyway, this week was also National Don't Use Electronics, or something like that.  On Monday Hubby took the kids to the park to throw around the baseball.  On Tuesday I played board games with the kids.  On Wednesday night we planted a garden!  That's crafty!  Right?  The day prior Reed told his daddy that we wanted to plant flowers and Chase said we needed a garden.  So Hubby went and bought a tomato plant, a bell pepper plant, a basil and strawberry plant as well as some flowers for Reed to plant.

On Thursday night it was just me and Reed so we hacked in to some lobsters!!
Ok, not really.  We painted sea shells red and it just looks like the poor dears are bleeding to death.  As I was cleaning up after painting the shells blood red, Reed decided to open the gold glitter and spill it out on the hardwood floor.  Ergh.  So I cleaned up what I could and then sprinkled some on the wet paint (turned out pretty cute actually).  Then we used some thick floral wire and wrapped red yarn around it (because Momma didn't have pipe cleaners) and we hot glued one end inside the body and one end to the claws.  The last step - Googly Eyes!!

UPDATE!!  I finally got those red pipe cleaners and added legs to my Shell Lobster.  Then I glued him to a framed decoupage monogramed "M" piece I made a few weeks back.  Check out how I made the "M" here:
On Friday, Reed and I ironed our fabric squares to cover our 12x12 foam boards to make some wall d├ęcor.  Reed bravely held my arm and helped me move the iron around the fabric to get all the creases out.
 Then we cut the fabric to size.  I think I cut them to 16x16 to cover the front (12x12) each 1" side, and have enough room to glue to the back.
I wrapped the foam board with the fabric and, using the glue gun, glued the fabric in place.  I did this to four foam boards, all different fabrics.
Not great photos AT ALL, too blurry.  I knew before I hung them they would need something more, but here they are.  Maybe I should glue a bud vase on the bottom right square and put a flower in it?

Maybe something like this... This idea is advertised on  I was thinking just one bud vase with one flower.
Or this idea with branches from my garden or from a hike down by the river.  Then I can make some sweet paper flowers too!
Or maybe I could make this bunch of faux flowers and glue them on.

I've shown this next picture before, it's another option, to put a monogram (I'm obsessed with monograms), or spell out something as a welcome since this is hanging on the wall right next to my front door.
For Craft Week 17 I spent a lot of time helping Chase with a project for school, gluing and re-gluing and making paper streamers for a float on a skateboard he had to make about Georgia.  We also spent a good time collecting bugs for Reed's new pet lizard Larry.  Hubby and Reed found him on a hike down by the river and brought him home... oh joy.  Larry is a blue bellied lizard.  He is actually pretty cute, but... why do we have him in our home?

So this I have some ideas for tomorrow night and Saturday to get a craft done.  On Saturday is my 8th 29th Birthday, so who knows what I'll actually be able to make (I have a couple t-shirt refashions I want to make, but I've done this style already so I won't count them as my Craft A Week Craft).  On Sunday morning we are all getting up SUPER early and going to Bolinas CA to collect sea shells and shark teeth and drift wood and what ever ocean treasures we can find.  Next week I was thinking about tackling dying my kitchen rugs with some indigo blue dye.  I need to buy a bucket.  Maybe I should find some t-shirts to tie dye along with my rugs.  Any who, it's getting late and Reed is hitting me on the head with LEGO people, time for bed!

Momma Lady Beetle