>Misadventure in Sewing – Floral Skirt

>Hello Crafty People!

     You may remember my floral skirt that I made from a dress recently. I thought it was adorable and I couldn’t wait to wear it! I thought it would be best to wash it first. I threw it in with my clothes, fully intending to remove it when I put the rest of the load into the dryer. Because it is rayon. Well, I forgot. I threw my new skirt into the dryer with everything else and let it run for about 15 minutes before I remembered. I didn’t get a pic of this because it will look the same anyway. Unless I wear it for the pic. No Bueno. That would be a really bad picture! I washed it again, maybe I can stretch it. Or go on a severely restrictive diet. What a bummer.

>Lining a Basket

>Hello Crafty People!

     Well, today’s post clearly shows what a perfectionist I am NOT. Since I moved to my new home, my unmentionables have been living in a box in the top of my closet because I decided that I didn’t want to take up space in my bedroom with a dresser. It clearly wasn’t a well thought out plan but I am slowly getting things organized. I found this super cute basket at the Salvation Army and thought it was a good basket for my socks and undies. Since I don’t want my things snagging in the basket I decided to line it. I wish I had taken before pics of this project but I just wasn’t thinking that far ahead. The lining is an old linen blend curtain (also from the Salvation Army). I put it into the basket, tucked the fabric all the way in and then cut the fabric around the basket allowing some length to hem. I machine hemmed the fabric then put it back into the basket. After some tucking and arranging to make sure it was all even I hand sewed the fabric to the basket. I decided to use the contrasting orange thread to give it a little personality. Here is the hard part – getting the needle through the basket weave was much harder than I thought it would be! So much for my vision of cute, little, evenly spaced orange stiches. So, I did what I could to make sure the liner was attached to the basket. I like how it turned out. Something only a mother could love…..

Here is what I should have done in the first place!
Burlington Baby Large Cherry Willow Basket Set with Liner, White
Happy Crafting!

>Misadventures in Sewing

>Hello Crafty People!

     Today, all I can say is “Oops!!”. You have seen that I love to change dresses into skirts or cut and redo skirt lengths to make something new and current. One piece that I love is my leopard nightgown into skirt.
I wore this skirt to work and loved it. It was so comfy and I thought it looked cool. But, when I washed it, I noticed that the elastic twisted inside. NOT comfy! I need to fix this before I wear it again.

This next skirt is going to be a little more difficult to rework. At least, for me it will be. This is a peach colored skirt that I shortened. I didn’t cut straight and the back of the shirt is a little shorter in the middle, making a slight A shape in the back. I already have a problem with pregnant butt under my skirts, the shorter hem in back is not good! The problem for me is, I will need to go a bit shorter to get it right. I am not sure yet if this new length will be suitable for work….
If you remember the original post, you might remember the stains on the skirt. I am happy to say, they came out!!
Oh, well, we live and learn from our mistakes, right?
Happy Crafting!

>Where Do I Find My Energy?

>http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=crafgeor-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002JM2V9K&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr     Hello Crafty People!

     I have never mentioned how packed my days are. When I bought my house, I had to go far to find something for the price I wanted to pay. I work full time in Santa Clara, California and I purchased my home in Los Banos, California, 80 miles away, half of it over a mountain pass. As you can imagine, I have very little time during my day for such things as healthy meals. But, I do have breakfast tackled! And, it tastes like chocolate ice cream!!!
     Every couple of weeks, I look for bananas on sale. This week I found them for 3lbs/$1.00. I packed four bags full of bananas. I also got some over-ripe strawberries and papayas on sale. I peeled the bananas and broke each into three pieces, bagged them and put them in the freezer.

If you have a regular blender, make the pieces a bit smaller.
On Sundays, I make big batches of smoothies using my Euro-Pro Ninja Master Prep Blender and Food Processor. My Ninja can handle about 8-10 pieces of banana at a time. I love that my Ninja can do this, I used to break blenders in the past! I add this and add enough almond milk to almost cover the bananas. Any kind of milk is delicious in this recipe. To add beneficial fat, I use a couple of tablespoons of organic peanut butter. This week, I plan to try walnuts instead of the peanut butter. Then, the most important part, a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder (the kind you use to bake your brownies). Blend, adding more milk if needed. I split this into multiple plastic cups and freeze. Then, in the morning I grab and go. I usually wait about an hour after removing from the freezer to eat. It is the consistency of ice cream and tastes delicious. You can also forgo the freezer and drink right away as a smoothie.
     My daughter is not a fan of the cocoa powder so I skip the cocoa and add frozen strawberries instead. I will also replace some of the milk with orange juice, this never fails with her!

>Skirt from a Dress – Floral

>Hello Crafty People!

     One of my treasures that I found at the Salvation Army this past Friday was this cute green floral dress. Okay, the style wasn’t so cute but the pattern is. This dress is a throwback from the ’90’s, sleeveless with a back tie and a high waist. I tried it on and although it “fit”, it highlighted all the wrong curves.

     I put the dress on and, looking in the mirror, decided what length would look best. I cut the skirt off, adding an inch at the top so I could turn it to sew in the elastic.
This was really super easy. I measured the elastic around my waist for a real custom fit. I then pinned into the waist of the skirt in four places equal distance apart. Then I stretched the elastic and pinned into the skirt in several places between the original four pins. I machine sewed directly onto the elastic, stretching the elastic as I went along so the fabric would pucker evenly with the elastic. Here is the finished project.

I made it knee length because it has a rather long slit in the back. I like it knee length, I think it skims over my hips just right. It will look great with my denim blazer!
If you want to get this look without stalking the thrift stores, you might try this rayon fabric from Fabric.com.

Stretch Rayon Blend Jersey Knit Floral Turquoise
Stretch Rayon Blend Jersey Knit Floral Turquoise

The Bossa Nova skirt is now a free pattern dowload! 
    Bossa Nova Skirt
Happy Crafting!                                          

>Skirt From a Dress – Brown and Green – Fun!

>Hello Crafty People!

     Happy Friday! It was certainly happy for me because my Salvation Army had its storewide 50% off sale today. Yaaaay! I picked up lots of new project stuff. And, the smokin-est deal was my suede jacket with sweater sleeves for only 5 dollars. Loving this jacket and I expect to get a lot of use from it as the weather gets colder.

$5.00 Suede Jacket!
     One of the great things I got today was a super cute tank dress in brown with a ruffle near the bottom and some really cool embroidery.

     This didn’t need much. It already has an elastic waist. I cut the top off, staying close to the elastic. The dress was lined and the lining wasn’t attached to the skirt so I hand sewed the lining on to the elastic. Really, the only reason I hand sewed was so I could hang out on the sofa and watch tv….. I don’t know yet what I will do with the embroidered part.

     I plan to wear this with a lime tank and a brown cardi. This skirt is so comfy and I think it skims over my hips and bootie just right. Can’t wait to wear it next week.
I also cannot wait to get started on my other projects!
Happy Crafting!

>Dresses and Skirts, Oh My!


Hello Crafty People!

I recently went on a shopping expidition at the Salvation Army where I got lots of loot for not a lot of money. I had a blast changing other’s cast-off dresses and skirts into something cute and stylish (and comfy!!)
When I saw this skirt, I just loved it! What can I say, I’m a child of the ’80s. It was long and flowy and a great summery coral color. But, now that I am 29 years old (for the 12th time), I like my skirts a little shorter. Go figure that it would take me this long to feel comfortable showing a little leg. Anyway, I went from below the knee (unfortunately I lost my before picture) to this cutie. All I did was cut it to the length I wanted, pin the hem and run it though my sewing machine. Super easy!

Now, this is embarassing but I’m going to say it. At the upper left hand corner of this photo, the skirt shows some blue-ish staining. I actually made this stain myself when I put it through the wash. I accidentally washed a black skirt with the load :-(   I’m hoping some pre-soak spray will do the trick to removing that stain!
This next dress looks so cool and tropical. But, as a girl with boobage, the top was too snug.

Since I couldn’t wear this cutie as it was, I cut the top off. I then turned the top of the skirt over and stitched to create a space for a tie or elastic. Don’t forget to leave an opening in the inside so you can feed your tie or elastic in. I went for a tie waist using extra material, however I found this tie to be a bit bulky. I am going to add elastic to the waist instead before I wear this skirt.


I think that this weekend I plan to recover some throw pillows. Looking forward to that! And, maybe a little Salvation Army shopping tomorrow.
Happy Crafting!

>Embarassing Problem with the Pool

>Hello Crafty People!

     Today there is no craft. 😦
     Actually, my daughter and I are both home sick today. She is the one truly sick, I am getting over a cold but I really needed a day home after not sleeping well last night. So, I have been alternating my time between managing the pool problem and playing on the computer. And, catching bits of HGTV!
     The pool we have is an above ground Intex pool that I picked up from Costco early this summer. When I was searching for a house to purchase, we were looking for one with an inground pool. Apparently, the inground pool wasn’t in the cards so I got this Intex pool as a consolation prize for the family.

Similar to this but long, not round.

     We love it! We got a saltwater system for it. And, everything was going well for a while.

But, the novelty wore off and our long days of school, work and commuting got in the way. So did my beautiful roses and crepe myrtle trees.

     When the cover comes off, it goes back to this side of the pool. It began knocking the leaves from the plants into the pool (And, the wind blew them right into the pool when we forgot to replace the cover). The worst part of the pool saga began when I accidentally overflowed the pool. I was topping off what was lost to evaporation and splashing and I forgot I had the hose in it and I left the house. For 6 hours.  Luckily there were no problems with the neighbors. I had to empty quite a lot of water from the pool to bring it back down to the proper level. A lot of the salt in the pool (for the saltwater chlorine system) went down the drain too. So…..the saltwater system started beeping to warn of the low salt situation. So…..I unplugged the whole system until I could get more salt. Bad, bad idea. After only a week, the pool became a big, funky science project. Eeeewwwwww. I spent this past Sunday morning skimming the funk from the top of the water and brushing the funk from the bottom so the filter could clean it out. We added some salt to bring it to the proper level and have been letting this work for a few days. So, today, since I am home during daylight hours, I decided to take a closer look at the pool. Much improved but still with some debris at the bottom. And, the water level was a bit low. Hmmm. This is starting to sound familiar. I topped off the pool, this time remembering to turn off the water when it was finished. And, we thought ahead and had an extra bag of salt at the ready. But, I had to turn off the saltwater system to allow the salt to dissolve first. Note to self: turn system back on tomorrow!!! After all of this, I am really hoping to get a little more mileage from this pool before winter sets in.

Still deciding if this pool is worth the trouble.

     Happy Crafting! I’m hoping to join you all later with a new project!

>Change it up with a new finish!


Hello Crafty People! 
     We have all heard the phrase “it has good bones”. “A diamond in the rough” is another favorite phrase that I use a lot. By taking these phrases to heart, we open up so many possibilities for ourselves when decorating our homes. When you do find that special diamond in the rough piece, there are many possibilities for updating it and making it your own. One of the ways I like to update wood is to stain it a different color. To do this, make sure you lightly sand the piece. Unless there are flaws that need to be sanded down with heavier sandpaper, a fine sandpaper should be all you will need. You’ll want the color to coat evenly. After sanding, use a damp cloth to remove the dust, let dry and you are ready for color! Any hardware store should have a good selection of stains available. Make sure you pick the stain according to where you plan to put your furniture. There are good waterproofing stains available for fences and decks, these are a good stain for a piece that you will use outside. I made the mistake of accidentally choosing a deck stain for my indoor wine rack. No worries, though. It still turned out beautifully and now I can take the piece outside if I want to! There is also a wide range of colors available for interior pieces. When you apply the color, use a paintbrush to coat the wood. Once you have it well covered, let the stain sit for about 15 minutes, then use an old, disposable rag to remove the excess. This is all you need to do to have a beautiful, new to you, piece of furniture.
On its way to becoming a shelf above my bedroom window.

Previously unfinished wine rack stained dark for the new house.

     Painting is another easy, inexpensive way to update furniture or other items. You can use spraypaint or paint that you brush on. There is a wide array of paints that you can use. In my previous home, I used an interior satin finish paint to change my old, dated bathroom vanity. I removed the doors (you will only need a screwdriver for this) and lightly sanded the entire piece, including the doors. I rolled on the paint with a small roller and brushed the areas where the roller wouldn’t cover. It was super easy and looked great when I finished. There are also products to spray or brush on that can cover wood, metal and plastics. I have done this with several pieces. I have a great shelf unit with glass shelves that a friend had given to me. My friend, sadly, lost her home and most of her belongings to an early morning fire. I salvaged several pieces from her home that the fire restoration company said could not be restored. After cleaning off as much of the oily smoke residue as I could, I painted over the piece with a beautiful lavender brush on paint formulated for metal. In hindsight, I should have primered the piece first. Now, I know better. When I moved to my new home, the lavender didn’t “go” anymore so I changed it up to flat black. This time, after a light sanding with fine sandpaper designed for metal, I primered the piece first, using an automotive grade metal primer. All of these supplies are inexpensive and can be found in any big box hardware store. Then, I followed it with the flat black color. I love it!
Black shelf had been rescued from a burned home.

As long as you have the vision, you realize the potential of any item with a little spray paint.

This pot rack used to be a red bunk bed ladder that should have been headed for the trash…..
     With just a few dollars, a few hours and a little bit of elbow grease, you can take that item with good bones and change up the exterior to fit your tastes and decor.
Happy Crafting!

>Last RenFaire Costume

>Hello Crafty People!

As you already know, my family and I went to the Northern California Renaissance Faire this past weekend. We ate good food, rode a giant swing, took in a parrot show, saw the Queen’s Parade and had a great time.
My boyfriend, Chris, already has a costume that he purchased several years ago. This made it easy for me because I had instant inspiration for my son’s costume!

For my son, Glenn, we bought a white turtleneck, black elastic waist pants and a poly-suede men’s casual shirt from the Salvation Army.
I cut the neck plus a little bit extra from the turtle neck shirt. I had some leather cord in my craft supplies which I sewed around the new neck of the shirt. Then, I cut the collar from the poly-suede shirt and used my seam ripper to remove the sleeves and the front pockets to make a vest. The pants needed no work at all. Except for the time it took to hand sew the leather to the white shirt, this was super easy to make and I love the results!

The Queen’s Parade
The Queen
Okay, so I am done with RenFaire posts (until next year!). We had a blast and I highly recommend summoning your creative side and making costumes with second hand clothing and/or craft materials you have. It was inexpensive and easy!
Happy Crafting!