Sunday, July 31, 2011

Anthropology Inspired Ruffle Shirt

I came across a tutorial on the Busily Spinning Momma blog and I had it on my Pintrest in about 2 seconds. I loved it and the tutorial is so easy to follow! 

This shirt started out as a long sleeved t-shirt. I found one on the Old Navy clearance for $3.49. With the buttons it cost about $5. Way better than the inspiration that costs $148, huh??

I have seen so many things while window shopping or surfing the web that I would have loved to be able to buy that I haven't due to lack of fundage, but after seeing this tutorial, I am gonna have to try making my own versions of things!!! Stay tuned! :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Confessions of a Beauty School Dropout

My only claim to fame in high school is that my senior year I got voted "Best Hair". Somehow that year the "Senior Personalities" didn't make it to the year book so you are just going to have to take my word for it. ;)
Growing up with 2 younger sisters, I developed a passion for styling hair. I taught my self to french braid when I was in elementary school and I was constantly begging my sisters to let me practice on their hair. I started doing updo's for friends and neighbors for school dances and took every opportunity I got to style someone's hair. When I got to high school it just made sense for me to go to beauty school. I went part time for 2 years while I was a junior and senior in high school. 
Now for the confession... I am a beauty school drop out.

I know you all just started singing "Beauty School Drop Out" from the movie Grease in your head now- sorry.. ha ha ;) but- that's pretty much me, except that I did graduated from high school so I guess it's not all bad. I dropped out because I wanted to become a dental assistant. I had plans of going back and finishing beauty school later in life and just never have. People ask me if I ever will and honestly I can't say yes. It taught me a lot and I had a lot of fun with the girls at school, but I don't think doing hair professionally is for everyone. I love doing hair, but somehow when I was training and gearing up to do it as a job it started to loose it's appeal. 

I try to finish all the things I start in life. So obviously the fact that I never finished beauty school goes against the grain on that one, but I guess I justify it because I at least learned a skill that I can apply in my life and the lives of my family. (I cut my husbands and my kids hair and have saved our family hundreds of dollars over the years because of it.)

There have been ups and downs as far as my hair styles go over the past 7 years since dropping out of beauty school... And I would have to say right now is kind of a down time for my hair. For those of you that are moms can probably understand why- when you have kids, sometimes styling your hair and taking care of yourself are the last things that get done! So most days you can find me with my hair in a pony tail.
I have 2 friends , Mallory and Meryn, that just happen to be sisters (not mine) that do hair blogs. They have inspired me to step it up a little as far as hair goes. They are each doing a challenge of wearing their hair different everyday for 30 days and they are blogging about it. Check them out. They are amazing!

I've decided that I have about 5 hairstyles that are my "go to" hairstyles... And I do them each in about 10 minutes or less. Each of us can take 10 minutes a day for ourselves right? 

The first thing you need to know is that these days I am all about easy. So I let my hair air dry pretty much everyday except Sunday since I have church at 9:00am. Some would probably call it laziness, which in reality it probably is, but I like to call it taking care of my hair... Ok who I am kidding here- I am just lazy! I wash my hair either the night before and sleep on it wet (sometimes not a pretty sight when I get up in the morning) or I spend half my day letting my hair air dry while I take care of the kiddos or do things around the house. After it is all dry then I tackle it. With that said- here are my 5 ten minute hairdo's. 

1. The frizzy curl
To do this style I use a 1/2 inch curling iron and I wrap my hair around the outside the barrel and hold it there until it's ready and then unwrap it. It takes only ten minutes because I only do the top layer of my hair. The underneath is just crazy hair that dried on it's own while I slept. Sometimes you just gotta embrace the crazy, right? After I do the top layer of curls I rake my hand through it to get the frizz. and voila you have frizzy curls! These last for days in my hair and I think it looks even better after I sleep on it a time or two because the curls get looser. I can get 2 maybe 3 days out of this hair before I wash it out... If you take the time to style your hair and it looks fine the next day just roll with it! 

2. Little Bit of Body Curl

When I let my hair air dry it gets a lot of body. It is wavy and has parts that are weird curliness and other parts that dry straight. So for this hair style I pretty much just go with what my hair is doing that day and throw in a handful of curls using my flat iron to make it look like I styled it. 

3. Tip it under

Sometimes it's nice to just have your hair flat ironed and not really do more than that- I just tip my flat iron as a go to slightly curl it under but not too much. This is one of my favorites because it's just soft and sleek and I can tuck it behind an ear and go. If you want it to look a little more finished you can back comb it a little to make it fuller and get more of a "styled" look.
P.S. That is my super duper hottie of a husband in the picture with me:)

4. Diffuse it

I mentioned that my hair is kinda funky- some of it is a little curly and other parts are stick straight. So when I want a 5 minute hairdo I put some gel or mousse in it and put my diffuser on my blow dryer and flip my head down and dry it using my hand and diffuser to scrunch my hair as it dries. Sometimes it turns out curly enough to just wear it down and if it turned out kinda weird I just throw it in a pony tail and it looks like I put a little more effort into my hair than just putting it in a pony.

Now for the hairdo my hair is sporting most these days... Drumroll please....

5. The Lazy Hair

With the heat of the summer and all the play dates at the park I do with my kids, this is how my hair looks most days. Pretty isn't it?? JUST KIDDING! This hairdo takes approximately 1.2 minutes depending on how many kiddos are hanging on my leg. I braid the front part to keep the shorter pieces out of my face and also for my peace of mind that I didn't just pull it all into a ponytail without putting any effort in- But who am I kidding?? ha ha It's just plain lazy hair...  but with the help of my friends blogs, I am freshly motivated and inspired to put a little more effort into my hair these days. Who knows- I might go crazy and go a week without a ponytail. :)

Linked up here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rolled Flower Shirt

I love those rolled flower necklaces that are popular right now and I wanted to make one for my little girl, but knowing her- she would take it off in about 2 seconds. So I came up with another idea that would give me the look but would't tempt her to take it off. 

I just hot glued the flowers to the shirt so it looks like a necklace- but it's not:)

I had been toying with this idea for a couple months now and I had actually made one for my little baby and it turned out cute, but the shirt that I had been planning on using for my 2 year old was a white Downeast shirt that was kind of a staple in her wardrobe. Last night she got into my permanent markers and colored on the top of the shirt... I tried my hardest to get the marker out, but it wasn't budging. So my decision was made easier. It was either throw the shirt away or cover up the marker somehow. 

It turned out great and you can't see any sign of marker. Perfect!

Plus- no outfit is complete without a matching hair bow, right??

And of course we had to make one for little Miss T to match- so here is her version.

I got this onsie at Children's place on the clearance rack for $2.99. It had a little pocket on it that I took off to fit the flowers.

It was cute before but I am liking the after a lot better:) Plus now I have a shirt to go with the Rick Rack Skirt!

I am linked up here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Add a little rick rack

I found this skirt on the clearance rack for $2 at Children's Place and couldn't pass up the sale! Once I got it home though I realized that it was pretty plain and needed some pizazz. 

I just happened to chance upon this idea on the icandy blog and it was the perfect solution to my plain skirt problem.

I sewed medium sized rickrack along the edges of the skirt to give it some flair.

Amazing what a little rick rack will do, huh? :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rockin' the Pendant Banner

My favorite room in my whole house is my little girls room.

I love being in there because it is so bright and sunny and happy.

When we moved in I was planning on putting up curtains in their room, but over the past year I have gone back and forth between what I wanted to do... I had finally decided that I didn't want to put up curtains because I didn't want to loose any of that yummy light and brightness, but every time I passed by their room it just looked unfinished to me. 

So I decided to use a pendant banner as faux curtains.

I loved pendant banners! I had been racking my brain as to where I could use one in my house so I am so glad that I finally came up with a place for one!

I used paper and then I stitched with my sewing machine around the edges and across the top to create a casing for the paper rope(from World Market) to go through. I love the way it turned out. When you get up close you can see the light coming through the paper where I stitched. 

I am sure somewhere the curtain police are shuddering- but we're kickin' it new school in our house and we are totally rockin' the pendant banner!

I am linking up here

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family Ever After

My sweet friend Rachel is one of the coolest, adventurous, talented, most crafty people I know! She is so good at everything she does. When I met her, I knew we would be fast friends. I just love her!

Check out her blog. It's called Family Ever After. It's so cute! I love it!

I am pretty much obsessed with this wreath she made. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thrift Scarf Makeover

As I was perusing one of our many local thrift stores, I came upon this beauty... 

This silk scarf was only $1.98! I snatched her up as quick as you can say "BARGAIN" and came home and washed her and prepped her for crafting... And turned the her into a skirt.
I had seen this idea on the Made blog and I loved it and couldn't wait to try it out myself.

I think it turned out so cute! It's lightweight, cute, and was SUPER cheap- about $2.50 to make total. Can't beat that! 

I am linking up here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Polka Dot Dress Tutorial

Ok... I am being brave. I am going to attempt my first real tutorial...

Keep in mind that I am still very new to sewing (I just started sewing 2 months ago) so I am still working on sewing in a straight line and am working on getting my techniques down. :)

I have had a few people ask me how I made this dress- so here you go!

I originally got the idea for this dress on the Elle Apparel blog (so awesome- check her tutorials out). She has a tutorial to make a dress very similar to this one and I made it but ended up having to tweak it a little to get the fit right for me. So this is what I came up with.

Here is what you need:
1 yard of fabric
2 inch wide elastic

I started by trying on my t-shirt and figuring out where I wanted to cut it off to add the elastic and skirt. I wanted the waist band a little higher so I cut mine off high to make an empire waistline.
So lay your t-shirt out flat and use a straight edge to cut off at the desired length.

Next cut out your skirt. There really isn't a pattern for this part. It's totally up to how you want your dress to look. I will show some different variations of this at the end of the tutorial, but for now I will just show you what I did for this dress. 

So the t-shirt I was using was 15 1/2 inches wide when laid out flat. So I wanted my skirt to be that same width. So I cut the top of the skirt out at 16 1/2 inches wide (allowing for 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side)
Next- I wanted the skirt bigger at the bottom so I used a straight edge and tapered it out so that the bottom of my skirt was 10 inches wider than the top. Again- this can be whatever you want it to be- as full or not full as you want it.

Make sure you have 2 pieces for the bottom of the skirt that are the same exact size. 
(when I made my mellow yellow dress I cut the back side of the skirt in the middle of the fabric not really thinking it through and I ended up having to improvise on the front piece of the skirt to make it work)

Next turn the fabric for the skirt so that they right sides of the fabric are facing each other and pin the sides together so you can sew them.

Next it is time for the elastic. My favorite thing right now is to dye my own elastic to match my dress. (Most elastic comes in white of black so it is nice to have a color to match) I used the tutorial on the Made blog (one of my favorites- Dana is pretty much a genius in my eyes!) to dye mine. 
Here is my only tip- I have used both the Rit powder dye and the Rit liquid dye and I recommend using the liquid to get a more even dye. The first 3 times I tried the powder and I didn't get it all the way mixed up and ended up getting some dots of unmixed dye on my shirts (kinda looked like ink spots) so it was frustrating... Spend the extra dollar for the pre mixed one! I totally think it is worth it.

So with this project I used 2 scraps of leftover elastic from previous projects to make my waistband so I sewed them together on the sides- but usually I use a fresh piece of elastic so I just have one seam instead of 2.
Measure your waist and add once inch to it and cut the elastic to that measurement (this allows for 1/2 inch seam allowance on each end of the elastic. If you are using 2 pieces of elastic like I did, you will have to allow for seam allowances on each side so cut accordingly.

Next, turn your skirt and sewn elastic waistband right side out and and pin the elastic all the way around the skirt. Line up the seam or seams with seam on the side of the skirt.

After it is all pined, sew the elastic to the skirt. I think it is easiest to sew on when the "right" sides of the of the fabric are facing up (if that makes sense) So that you can eyeball the edge of the elastic as you go to make sure you are sewing in a straight line.

Next do the exact same thing with the t-shirt. Make sure it is facing right side out and pin the elastic onto the top of the shirt. Make sure that you line up any seams in your elastic with the seams in the side of the t-shirt- it looks better and it helps you to make sure you are sewing the skirt on evenly.

Next try on the dress to make sure it fits properly and then measure where you want the hem to be and hem up the skirt.

And you are done!!!

Now you have your own version of my Polka Dot Dress!

Here are some other variations I have done with this dress...

With this dress I used seersucker fabric instead of a knit fabric like the Polka Dot Dress and I wanted the skirt to be fuller so the top of the skirt measured the same as the bottom. Then when I sewed the skirt to the elastic I had to stretch the elastic as I sewed to create the gathered skirt.

This dress has a tiered skirt on it. I made this one by skipping the first step of cutting off the t-shirt... Just leave it long for now. 
To make the skirt- I started by sewing the bottom layer of the skirt with a basting stitch at the top of the skirt so that I could pull the threads and create the gather and then pinned it evenly around the shirt and sewed it to the t-shirt. Then I followed the regular steps for the top layer of the skirt and then sewed the elastic onto the shirt just above where the bottom layer of the skirt was sewn on. After both layers of the skirt are sewn to the t-shirt, then you can cut the access of the t-shirt off from underneath the skirts to reduce the bulk. I loved the way this one turned out! The fit was so cute and I loved how puffy the skirt was! 

This dress was the same idea but I didn't use a t-shirt. It worked out because you can unbutton the buttons to put it on since it doesn't stretch like a t-shirt does. So keep that in mind when choosing a shirt to make this dress with!

There are so many variations that can be done to make this style of dress. That is what is so fun. There really aren't any rules- no pattern. Just go with the flow and see what you can come up with!

Linked up here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Little Sailor Dress

Blue is one of my favorite colors! I love all different shades of blue and I always gravitate toward blue clothes, blue fabric, etc. I think it is so cute on little girls too. I just love the nautical look of blue and white stripes... Makes me wanna get on a sail boat and sail away... Maybe one day! :)

Last night I decided to make a dress for my oldest daughter to match the dress I made for my littlest gal to wear to church today. I love having them coordinate- but I like making their dresses just a little different from each other so they aren't exactly the same. I think it is so darling! 

So I made a mini version of the Polka Dot Dress but I added another layer to the skirt it so it was more of a tiered look. 

This dress is so easy to make. We all have old t-shirts that need a little revamp and who can beat $3 for a yard of fabric at Hobby Lobby? This dress cost less than $8 to make and the Thrift Store Shirt Dress cost less than $6 to make. That is why I love sewing. I feel like I can make a super cute dress or skirt or whatever- and if I am thrifty and use coupons when buying fabric or shop sales and clearance bins for fabric, the things I make really don't cost very much and I have so much fun in the process! ;)

Stay tuned for my tutorial coming soon so you can make your own Polka Dot Dress!

Linked up here

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thrift Store Shirt Transformation

When I was pregnant with my first little girl, I was in the D. I. (a thrift store in Utah) and I found this little shirt.

 I thought it was darling, plus it still had the original tags on from the baby gap so it had never been worn... Since it was only $3,  I decided that I needed to have it! ;) So I took it home, washed it, and hung it in the closet among all the other precious outfits I had collected over the past 9 months. Once my little gal was here I realized that this shirt was never going to work for her. It was super short and really wide. It was 3-6 months size, but with my tiny gal it just never fit right- even when she was older. By the time the width would have worked- it was a belly shirt and the sleeves were an awkward length. Bummer! 

When I had my next little gal I thought maybe it might work for her, but since she is even tinier than my first- it definitely didn't work. 

One of my favorite ways to sew a dress is just to use an already existing shirt and just add a skirt to it to make a dress like I did with my polka dot dress and my mellow yellow dress . So I used the same idea to turn this into a dress too.... I cut the sleeves off and added elastic to make little puff sleeves. Some elastic around the waist to bring in the width a little, and added a fun bouncy skirt... I liked the look of the frayed finished edge of the skirt so I didn't hem it- I just left it unfinished. 

So now at 11 months- this little shirt finally works for my daughter. I am so excited to have her wear it to church this sunday!

Now I just need to make some matching bloomers to go underneath!

Linked up here

Monday, July 11, 2011

Make-Up for a Princess.

Not sure who the first person was that came up with this idea but whoever it was was one smart cookie!
My friend Heather is the one who gave me the idea so I am thanking her-

I was at a dinner party with some friends and out of the corner of my eye I saw my little girl playing with real make-up-- or at least what looked like real make-up! I about had a heart attack! I took a closer look and my friend calmed me down before I totally freaked out and I realized that it was just "play make-up"... It looked so real and my little girl was loving it! So I decided to copy the idea and share it with you all...

Here is how you do it--

1. Go to the dollar store and pick out a pallet of eye shadow and one of those little tiny bon-bon nail polishes. You could also just reuse an old make-up case or polish bottle too, I just didn't have any empty to use.  

2. Next- empty the eye shadow and nail polish into the garbage. Clean them all the way out so there is no trace of make-up or polish in them (you can use nail polish remover to rinse out the bottle and clean out the little brush so it is all the way cleaned out)

3. Then pick out some acrylic paint to fill each one of the eye shadow compartments- each a different color.

***Tip*** I wanted my make-up colors to look real so I bought a metallic pearl acrylic paint that I mixed with each one of my paints to give it that "real" look... It took probably 3 times as long, but I liked the way it turned out better than just the regular flat acrylic paint that I tried in another make-up palette.

4. Next- squirt some paint into the empty bottle of nail polish and shake it around to coat the inside to give it the illusion that it is painted. (Make sure you don't stick the newly cleaned brush back in to shake it. Just put your finger over the top while shaking) Then dump the excess out and let the paint dry before putting the lid back on.

5. Let dry for a LONG time. The last thing you want is to give the make-up to your little gal and turn around to find wet paint on her face, furniture, or the wall. Ekk! 

There you have it---  you're done!
Your little princess won't believe her eyes when mommy hands her her very own make-up!  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Patio Make Over

About a month ago while I was at World Market and I was admiring their adirondack furniture and thought how fun it would be to have some on my patio to relax and read a book in. I looked at the price tag and instantly made a bee-line for the door. WAY out of our price range. 

Then a couple weeks later I got an email from World Market saying that their outdoor furniture was 75% off! I jumped on their website and found the pieces I wanted and frantically called the World Markets around my area to locate them. 

My loving husband drove with me to muscle the big boxes into our car and then we were home to start building! They came unassembled in boxes. It was quite the ride home in our little 2 door civic!
If you know me- you know that this is one of the things that I love about buying cheap furniture- You have to put it together. I LOVE IT! Make me feel as if in some way I had a part in creating it- even though I maybe only put a few screws in it to hold it together! But if you are like my friend Tiffanie- this is one of her worst nightmares! ha ha So I guess putting together furniture is not for everyone- but I think it is worth the money I save in buying it unassembled- plus I like a challenge. 

So we got it all together and arranged it on my patio. LOVE IT! 

I love all the bright bold colors. I love that the lanterns are battery powered and have no hanging cords. I love that they were less than 12 dollars for all 4. I love that my little picky eater eats everything off her plate when I let her eat at "her" picnic table. I love that I have a place to sit while she eats. I love that I can sit next to my hubby on the same chair and snuggle. I love everything about it! :) 

So here are my 3 tips for buying Outdoor Furniture...

1. Go with bright colors. Outdoors is one place you can get away with any color, any look. Even if colorful isn't necessarily your style- step outside your comfort zone and go for it! :) When my sister came into town and saw my balcony she said it looked like I was having a birthday party up there since it was so festive! ha ha I love looking out and seeing the lanterns. Totally not something I would put inside my house, but my patio is the perfect place! So step outside your comfort zone... you will be glad you did- or at least I am!

2. Don't buy it the first time you see it. Wait till it goes on sale, or even buy it at the end of a season when it goes on clearance and use it next year. I saved 75% because I was willing to wait a month and a half for it. 

3. This is just an opinion, but don't put too much money into it. It is going to be outside and could possibly get rained on, fade in the sun, your dog could chew on it, a bird could poop on it, etc. If your furniture costs an arm and a leg, then you will be too scared to let your kids eat a popsicle on it, or cringe every time your neighbor plops down too hard on it--- you get my drift.  So make it something that if needs be can be replaced in a year or two and you won't have a heart attack over it. 

So there you have it. Happy Summer!