Hello scrunchie (I hear they’re back. Quick tutorial)

The idea and inspiration for this post comes from my mom.  She is visiting from Bolivia and as we were chatting and catching up she asked me what I was going to blog about for Monday.  I hadn’t thought about it yet (probably because I was too excited over her visit to simmer over any ideas.)  She had a sewing idea ready to pitch — THE SCRUNCHIE.  What?  But before I totally shelved her idea, I googled  “are scrunchies making a comeback”  . . . and sure enough, they have made their comeback.  You can even buy this fancy Marc Jacobs scrunchie for $32.

Here is a quick tutorial for my mother’s version of the scrunchie.  This one is a two-poofed scrunchie which enhances the scrunchiness of the scrunchy scrunch.

My mom completed this sewing project for me.  I just took the photos.  So she gets full credit for this one.  Thanks mom!

All you really need is

  • some scrap fabric.  (mine was 10 inches by 22 inches)
  • elastic
  • sewing machine (my mom hand sews hers back home)
  • safety pin

scrunchie fabric

Then turn it right side out, mark the middle and sew two straight stitches on both sides of chalk mark to create a “channel” for the elastic . . .

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You can hand sew to join the ends together.  Here it is . . .

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It’s totally scrunchalicious . . .

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I always throw my hair in a bun, so I just wrap this right around.  I’ve worn it every day since.  Thanks mom!

Until next Monday!

Jennifer

Make your succulent planters look fuller instantly

After my post last week on making succulent arrangements I found myself chomping at the bit to give my sad looking patio planters a succulent makeover.  So I did . . .

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I paid a visit to a local garden center to gather some succulents for this project and quickly realized that the amount that I needed to fill my planters like I wanted to (full looking) was going to be costly.  Darn.  Then I came across trays of succulent ground cover.  These are normally used for landscaping but in my case they are perfect for adding softness and fullness to succulent planters.  The garden center had several different choices of these ground cover trays but I chose this one because it had the most variety of little mini succulents.

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This tray was $23. A couple of days later I saw the same exact tray at larger home improvement center for $14. Grrr.

This was how I was going to get that instantly full look for my succulent planters (I just don’t have the patience to let those succulent trimmings grow in to fill the planters).  These trays are super easy to work with too!

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Remember to use cactus soil for your planters then simply tuck your succulents in and water nicely.  I put together five succulent planter arrangements with the help of the plentiful tray of succulents.  (I still had half of the tray left over!)  I mixed in a couple of other varieties of succulents to give the planters some variety and texture.

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succulent mini urn

If you need to give your patio a quick makeover for those summer BBQ’s, this is a great alternative to filling your planters with traditional outdoor plants.  Succulents are low maintenance and can tolerate that hot summer heat.  Let’s see how mine do!  (Who am I kidding.  I live in Santa Barbara, they’ll be fine;)

Until next Monday!

Jennifer

Arranging eco-friendly succulents (Video)

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I’ve been on a mini-mission to become a little more eco-friendly when adding some greenery and flora into my home.  Succulent arrangements are considered eco-friendly simply because they are a longer lasting “arrangement” to keep in your home.  Recently I did some window shopping at a few of the local nurseries and fell in love with some gorgeous succulent arrangements.  P.S.  The nursery is a fun toddler outing too.  My little one loves exploring the different “jungles” and especially the fountains.  And if there is a mermaid garden accessory within reach we can spend a good hour there.  (video below)

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I picked up some cute little succulents and brought them home to try my hand at planting / arranging them.

What you’ll need:

  • A container or planter 
  • A variety of succulents depending on the size of your container.  Get more than you think you will need especially if it’s a wide container.  Best to have a full arrangement than a sparse one, but you can always fill gaps with small stones.  Try and mix different textures and color shades.  I chose succulents that grow low and ones that can drape over the side of the container.
  • Cactus soil.  This is important especially if your container does not have a drainage hole like the one I used.  You don’t want the soil to remain too wet, this could lead to the roots rotting.  Cactus soil is light and fluffy to promote aeration.
  • Tip:  after planting, the little succulents can end up with soil in their nooks and crannies so I used a dry paint brush to gently dust them off before watering.  Give them a light watering and a light misting too if you have a misting feature on your hose.

Here’s how I arranged these little succulents:

This was an easy and fun way to satisfy my curiosity of arranging flowers.  It’s quite addictive too I might add.  I foresee growth in my container hoarding problem.

Until next Monday!

jennifer

*video* marbles, one alternative to wet floral foam

In a recent post I mentioned that I was going to stop using wet floral foam since it is not eco-friendly and it also contains toxic elements like formaldehyde.  Yikes.  You can read more about that post here.

It seems like I favor short containers for flowers so I thought that I would see how glass marbles would work in this particular arrangement.  You can find glass marbles or glass beads at the craft store.

The marbles worked nicely.  Here, I’ll prove it to you in this video:

Lucky me, I have a ton of these beauties blooming in my backyard . . .

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Continue reading

A felt cake for a tea party

My new sewing machine has been pestering me to practice my sewing skills lately.  I just haven’t felt very inspired to sew.  That is until recently when my little one started playing make-believe with cakes.  She would just hold her empty hand out to me and say “want some cake mama?”  “How does my child not have any make-believe cakes!!!”  So I got right to it …

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I found an awesome tutorial for a cute felt cake at the blog Sew Sweet.  You can find the link to the tutorial here.  Great pictures and she even includes the pattern.  It’s a great project for sewing novices like myself.  Follow her tutorial to get it just right!

First I did a test run using fabric from an old pillowcase…

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Phew.  That was easier than I thought.  Now it was time to try it out with the felt and other embellishments.  I found some cute felt with swirlies on it.  I thought it kind of looked like fondant you see on fancy cakes.  I didn’t have a printer set up, so I crudely traced the pattern off of my monitor (that actually works if you enlarge your screen) and cut out the pattern.  (The pieces cut below are for one slice of cake, I cut enough for 4 slices).  Then I sewed my embellishments on each piece (this was trim for the “top frosting” and satin lace for the “frosting filling.”)

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Determine what triangle piece will be your cake slice top and cake slice bottom and align like so…

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Pin all the way around to create a corner.  Then sew.   The corners were tricky for me and required some fiddling …

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Then do the same with the other triangle piece…

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Now sew the “back” of the cake.  This was the trickiest part for me because I had such a hard time thinking backwards and inside out about that lace embellishment.  I finally got it right, and my sewing machine needle actually made it through intact.  Sew the short sides first.  Then sew the long sides to the curved edges.  (Again, please refer to Sew Sweets tutorial.  She knows what she is doing.  I fiddled my way through most of it…

short edges

P.S.  This is how the pieces look as it’s coming together.  Make sure you leave an opening big enough to turn right side out.  Stuff it with filling and hand sew the opening closed … or jam it into your machine like I did and let it do the hard work for you…

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Phew.  Now for the candle.  I didn’t have yellow felt for the flame so I used a couple of metallic streamers from my little one’s pom-poms.  I gathered and taped some strands together and used hot glue to adhere the “flame” in the candle.  I rolled up the felt (like a cigar) and sealed it with hot glue.  I attached a circular piece of sticky-back velcro, wrapped a red thread around it and called it a candle…

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I put the other piece of sticky back-velcro on the cake slice and placed the candles.

What a happy looking cake for playtime :)

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The metallic streamers make it fun to actually blow the candles out!  Handmade doll even got invited to the party!

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Until next Monday!

Jennifer

linking up with:  Today’s Creative Blog, Not just a housewife