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 . . .

finished scrunchie

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

White florals with a subtle valentine wish

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I seem to be more and more inspired by the holidays these days . . . I think my little one has something to do with it (and this little blog.)

Hearts, hearts, everywhere hearts.  Initially my inspiration for this blog post was a brown bag from the grocery store.  The sides of the bag were covered with cute little red and white hearts of different shapes and sizes.  The crafter (slash hoarder) in me thought, “hmm, I could craft something out of this.  Possibly incorporate it into a flower arrangement?”  Well as it turns out, after buying a couple of white flower bouquets from the grocery store I ended up being most inspired by the huge banana palms in our backyard. . . I’ll let the photos do most of the talking . . .

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(The beautiful flowers were inspiring too of course . . .

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I started with a short, round glass container from my stash in the garage.  I cut the banana leaf to line the inside of the container.  Then cut the wet floral foam (half dome) to fit. . .

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Now for the arranging.  I start with the fullest flowers and cut the stems short and at an angle to push into the wet floral foam. . .

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PS our neighborhood trees are blooming with this white flower (Manchurian Pear tree) so I thought I could incorporate that too . . .

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I also couldn’t help but notice the abundance of this cute little weed with heart-shaped leaves growing everywhere.  So I incorporated it into the arrangement.  It’s called Shepherd’s purse  . . .

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After all of the flowers were arranged, I simply hand cut a few heart shapes from the banana leaf and kept them soaked until I was ready to use them.  They seem to get brittle pretty quickly.  Then I used floral tape to attach the heart to a bit of floral wire . . .

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After I tucked the hearts into the arrangement it seemed that the hearts looked a little dull.  So I just rubbed a tiny bit of olive oil on the surface and edges. . .

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So it’s not your standard red and white Valentine color scheme.  But I think it still kinda says “pssst, Happy Valentines Day.”

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I’m glad I have this little blog.  What a great excuse to take the time to do little things like this that make me happy.  I get a kick out of taking affordable grocery store flowers and doing something special with them (exhibit A, B, and C to name a few).  My 2 year old daughter saw it and said, “it’s art mama.”  My best critic!

Maybe next week I’ll do something special with that brown bag.

Until next Monday !

Jennifer

linking with Skip to my Lou

Old chairs with a French twist

Well Happy New Year!

I have my little blog through WordPress and they did a cute summary of my blog activity over the last year.  That was very nice of them.

Here are just a few highlights:

I’m looking forward to continuing turning ideas into projects in 2013.  Thank you kindly to family, friends, and strangers for reading!

Over the holiday break I began a mental list of  little projects to tackle over the next little while.  One of them that I got pretty excited about was “re-upholstering” a pair of pretty hand me down chairs.  I finally took a good look underneath the chairs and realized all that was holding the seat down was four screws.  This will be easier than I thought.

Here they are before.  As you can probably see the fabric is worn and stained.  Time for a makeover.

before

The hardest part of this project was deciding on what fabric I wanted to use.  Just so many options.  I kept noticing a cute french script fabric in a Ballard Design catalog.  Low and behold I stumbled upon a scrap of the fabric at the local fabric store (Your Remnant Store, Santa Barbara).   I believe it was 22 or 25 dollars per yard (off the bolt) but I found a yard and a half piece for 17 dollars. Just the right cost and measurement for my cushions.  If you are curious I believe the fabric is by Lacefield Designs (by the way very cute stuff on their site.)

Here is a quick visual of the simple process.  More detailed pics below too.

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First I decided which part of the pattern I wanted on each chair:

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I cut the fabric leaving about 3 inches on all sides.  Then secured fabric:

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Start with a corner.  Aside from deciding on a fabric, the corners are the trickiest part.  You kind of have to fiddle with them a bit before you staple the fabric in place:

staplecorners

I was pretty pleased with how the stapling went when I realized the new fabric covered the screw holes.  Oops.  No problem I just used an awl to poke thru the screw holes in the chair and punched thru the fabric.  Then I screwed the four corners down:

find screw hole with awl

The finished pair with their new French inspired outfits:

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details

I thought these pillows softened the chairs up a bit.  Just borrowed them from the couch.  Believe it or not they are from Costco.  Well you probably can believe it since you probably have them too:

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What a fun and easy project to kick off the new year.

Just a few tips:

  1. Pick a fabric that will be easy to work with.  Sturdier than a bed sheet but not too bulky.  Keeping it tidy would be a little trickier with a bulky fabric.
  2. When using the staple gun press the tip of the gun very firmly into the wood.  Otherwise the staple might not get a good grip.
  3. If your corners seem like they have several folds to secure, staple each fold.  Don’t just use one staple crammed into the folds.  It might not secure it enough (hope that makes sense.)
  4. If there are creases or wrinkles in the fabric go ahead and iron those out before you start.  Even though you’re pulling the fabric taught while stapling, those pesky creases might still show. 

See you next Monday!  Hopefully earlier in the day.  (That should be a new blogging goal I suppose?)

Jennifer

PS I got a pretty cool sewing machine for Christmas.  From the bit of tinkering I’ve done with the machine so far I’m not so sure why I was so intimidated.  What am I going to do with all of my new-sew tape?   REAL sewing projects to come!

Linking up with:  Skip to my Lou, Sue Bee Crafts, LilLuna, Southern Lovely

Christmas carnation tree

It’s the holiday’s and what a great excuse to get crafty and make pretty things.  I decided to do have some holiday fun with flowers.  Carnations again.  This time red.  I’m hooked on using wet floral foam to make arrangements. I found some cute miniature red carnations at the grocery store for 3.99 a bunch.  Seems so inexpensive for flowers.  And when you group carnations in a tight arrangement I think it really shows off their often over-looked beauty.  For this arrangement I also peppered in some bright green mums.

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I wanted to create a Christmas tree shaped arrangement but the store was out of cone floral foam so I fashioned my own tree shape from two blocks of wet floral foam (before I soaked it) . . .

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I used the flower vessel from my wedding day  (again) that I also used in a previous post about arranging with wet floral foam.  I filled the bottom of the vessel with pieces of soaked floral foam (sculpting remnants) to fill the hole up a bit so the “tree” would have flat (ish) surface to perch upon.  I also secured the tree with some light weight floral wire.  You know, so the tree wouldn’t split down the center and collapse.  FYI once you soak the foam in water it becomes surprisingly heavy and sturdy.

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Then I just started pushing the carnation tips into the floral foam.  (Remember cut the carnations at an angle and pretty short.  You can read more about that in one of my previous posts).  Hmm, hope it doesn’t just end up looking like a party hat . . .

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I started realizing that the four bunches of mini carnations I bought were not going fill the entire tree.  Woops! (again) So I had to steal some carnations from the bottom of the arrangement and think of a way to fill that space!  See?  Even crafting requires mild problem solving skills!

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At first I thought maybe Christmas tree trimmings would look nice at the base.  But I didn’t really like where that was going . . .

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So I decided to just shorten the arrangement by carefully trimming off some of the base.  Yay!  Problem solved.  Then I added the cute bright green mums.  Keep these stems long so that you can tuck them nice and snug in between the carnations.

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Then time for some Holiday sparkles!

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These I just got at the craft store and used floral wire to push them into the arrangement . . .

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And the finished product:

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The little silver glitter balls were trying to talk me into adding some lights too.  I do have a couple mini battery operated ones.  But I just decided to keep it simple.  Didn’t want to get all Clark Griswold with the arrangement . . .

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I wonder how long this arrangement will survive.  The last time I used wet floral foam and carnations (for my daughter’s b-day) it lasted two weeks believe it or not.

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I also had a chance to use a cute mini candy jar (a thrift store find from long ago) and filled it with the rest of the little glitter balls.  My husband was all, “Wow, is that candy?”  No, you weirdo.  Those are mini glitter balls.  Duh.

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PS Get creative!  Holidays are the best excuse to do so!  Just ask Martha Stewart.

Until next Monday 🙂

Jennifer

Linking with:  Skip to my Lou, Today’s Creative Blog, Somewhat Simple, The Shabby Creek Cottage

Complete cowgirl cutie

A couple posts ago I shared a little cowgirl tutu tutorial (say THAT one out loud).  I recently finished part 2 of the tutu outfit — the cute suspenders.  No-sew of course . . .

I also whipped together a bow and hot-glued some embellishments and hot-glued it to a hair clip . . .

This is how I made the suspenders . . .

First, cut out the length and width of fabric to work with the size of your onesie or shirt.  I cut a piece long enough to run from the front all the way over the shoulders and to the back.  Before you place the iron-on tape, fold the edges of the fabric strip inward to meet in the middle and iron that flat …

Then place iron-on tape in the middle and iron down to adhere.  Then remove the backing . . .

Then iron down the folded edges onto the tape.  Here’s the front and back  of one “suspender” . . .

Then simply apply iron-on tape along the seam to run the entire length of the “suspender.”  Remove that backing and iron on the “suspender” to the front, over the shoulder and down the back of the onsie or shirt.

Yee-haw, cowgirl toddler . . .

We had the chance to get out in the full outfit this weekend at a Halloween even at the zoo.   I must say I felt so proud hearing a few sweet comments about my little cowgirl’s outfit and it was fun answering their questions about how I made it.  I think it actually sparked a fire inside me to take my no-sew skills to the next level.  Is there a next level to no-sew?  Yeah . . . I think it’s actual sewing.  Maybe next year I’ll actually sew my daughter’s Halloween outfit.  And maybe a few other things in between.  SO I think I might start investigating sewing machines.  Light weight and easy to store is key.

PS this is such an easy project.  If you’re really in a bind you could use an old sheet cut into strips.  I read somewhere that a headband even works as a waistband.

Happy costume making and Happy Halloween!

Until late next Monday,

Jennifer

linking up with:  skip to my lou