Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An embroidered tee

 When I was in 4th grade our school had explore, which simply meant that for the last class of the day we got to sign up for an activity that would explore a talent. They had tons to choose from, juggling, drawing, calligraphy, and embroidery (there were more too but I don't remember them all) Can you guess what I choose? Yep even in 4th grade I had a love affair with needles and thread. I made a pillow case with an embroidered monkey on it. I LOVED that class and I still today LOVE all things embroidery. Have you ever noticed if something is embroidered it seems to cost twice as much? Ridiculous! Well not really if it is done by hand but most of the time it is just a machine. So why pay for it when you can do it yourself? Catch up on a show one evening and embroider away. (this tee was done in about 3 hours)
 Then you can be proud of your handy work, and well, just love the pop of interest. Who would have thought this was a 2 dollar tee? (or you could make your own, but this cute tee was just too cheap)
 Embroidery adds the perfect pop to an an outfit! So let's get started shall we? I have a few tips for adding embroidery to a tee (you know since it stretches)
 Start with interfacing. Lightweight interfacing has one direction stretch to it so you don't ruin the stretch of the tee but it does offer stability to the tee while you are stitching. You don't want the tee to get all warped when you are adding your design. I use the fusible kind since it is easy peasy. Just iron it down to the inside of the shirt where you want your design to be. (I traced the interfacing so you could see where since white on white is hard to see. Also I reversed sides later incase you think your mind is playing tricks on you it's not)
 Next draw, print, or trace your designs on to some paper. Words don't have to be reversed since you will trace them on the shirt from behind. I drew out some flowers and then cut out the designs.You could get some supplies at Office Depot crafts and print, cut and design it on paper.
 Place the paper cutouts behind the shirt and trace them onto the front using a fabric marker or pencil. (anything that the marks will come off) I like the disappearing ink because if I change my mind about the design a little water erases the marks. With the white shirt I could see my designs through the shirt quite well but if it is hard to see you can hold it up to a window to see the designs better.
 Next use a hoop. You don't want to stretch your shirt to get it in the hoop you just want it to be in the hoop nice and snug so the fabric doesn't pucker as you stitch. Move the hoop as you go making sure it is always snug but not overly stretched.
 Next let's talk thread. You CAN embroider with any thread really. I use embroidery floss usually and there is a difference. My favorite to use whenever I am going to do a satin stitch (filling in a design with really close stitches) is the cotton perle.
 It is a little more exspensive then the run of the mill floss but the strands are thicker and twisted together better so the finished look is a little better in my opinion.
 Then stitch away. I used a combination of stitches (shown in this post if you need help) The only stitch that wasn't shown was the satin stitch which is basically the same as the back stitch only they are next to each other side by side you just go back and forth close together to fill in the design (like you would if you were coloring)  In no time at all your design will be done.
 since I always wonder what the back should look like I thought I would show you, that for the most part the back looks like the front, especially for the satin stitch.
 That's all there is to it. A cute new tee.
 all perfect for a spring outfit... now if only spring would come.
 Abbey got upset during the photo shoot. She wanted me to take a picture of her "bracelet" (which is actually a hair thing she wears on her wrist) not a picture of her shirt.
So here you go. A photo shoot decided by Abbey...
Got to love her.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Link Party #9

Ready for another great link party?? 
You guys always share the best things! Which is great because everyone needs a little inspiration sometimes. Especially when I spend the day sitting in my craft room staring at the piles of fabric feeling zero inspiration. Something finally "clicked" late last night... but I had a week of projects started, then stopped when I just didn't "feel" it. Hopefully I am out of the rut now. It happens you know? So it was great to see such amazing links last week!

 Like this one from Nest full of eggs. She always shares the most beautiful and thoughtfully put together clothing. This darling outfit is no exception. I LOVE that skirt.
 A couple of craft addicts shared these cute headbands she made. I love that they are made from scrapbook flowers. So pretty.
Last Melly Sews shared the cutest ensemble for her kids. I love the his and hers henleys with that hounds tooth print... so cute. The fact that the pants are made from the nowhere man pants pattern is also awesome, you need to check out the back pocket detail, they are so cute! It is nice finding supplies in Walmart fabrics and designing outfits.

Thanks for sharing so many great projects! I can't wait to see what you have come up with this week!

New to link parties? That's totally fine here's what you have to do:

Find a entry on your blog that you want to link up.
It can be ANYTHING (unless it's an ad or something let's keep it spam free)
Say it is a great new project you just made and have been dying to share it with the crafting world. 
the link should look something like this:
http://(your blog adress/website)/(the post you want to link).html
Linking to the post is the easiest way for people to get back to that post.

Then click where it says "click here to enter" 
follow the steps to link your post and create a title, and select your picture.
Keep in mind the picture will be small thumbnail so pick a picture that shows it off the best. 

Lastly if you were so kind to add our button to your page or post, or where every you store your link party things that would be super cool. You don't have to use the button to link up, it's just there for you if you can't live without it. 

cool? cool. Let's get the party started!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The "Shwin" Skirt by Ruthie Pearl

Ok as an awesome reader (yes you) you know how awesome our readers are. Well Lauren of Ruthie Pearl is no exception. When she saw this post (that happened to feature my first attempt at crocheting something since learning to knit and crochet over the summer)she saw that while I am getting into knitting and crocheting I have NO idea how to create a pattern or read on for that matter. Lauren does! Not only can she create a knit patter but they are beautiful fresh modern and amazing! (unlike so many others which is why I mainly sew) So she emailed me with a great idea to collaborate on a design for a knit skirt and she would create the pattern for it. Not only that but she offered to make one for Abbey (you know since I am still learning and I would likely have it done sometime next year :) So we had lots of fun emails where the creative and cute Lauren put together a dream skirt!
Big fat rugby stripes, pockets for treasures, buttons (since everything is better with buttons) and it is in Abbey's favorite color... purple! Although I am already dreaming it up in every color of the rainbow!

I LOVE everything about how the skirt turned out! It is so comfy and soft! The size was perfect for now and with the soft stretchy waistband she has room to grow. It would be great for the cooler spring weather with the thick tights of legging underneath or come summer even worn plain, since it is a skirt it wouldn't be overwhelmingly warm. 

I love layering is with different designs and patterns, the bold stripes add that perfect mix-matched look that kids look so dang cute wearing.
I just picked up the sweater she is wearing at a clearance sale at the GAP (my favorite place to find a bargain I LOVE their clothes)I have to say I kind of love the knit wear from head to toe. Makes me want to snuggle with her.

Funny story...So during the photo shoot, I thought we would have a little "fun" you know something other than getting dresses going in the backyard snapping pictures and then being done. So we went and picked out some balloons and we were headed to the park with the mountains in the background amateur photographer me was excited I had it all planned out in my mind. Then we got to the park... there was mud everywhere. I mean everywhere. So back home it was to the backyard, (you know because I am NOT a real photographer and the park was the only idea I had) the balloons were great anyway I love kids and balloons in pictures. Well about 10 pictures in Abbey figured out how to get the knot untied of her wrist... and just like that the balloons were gone. (a few pictures before they were gone you can see that the slip knot had slipped up so it was super loose on her wrist, something I did not notice until editing the pictures later) It was a fun idea anyway.
So If you want to see more details about the skirt from the lovely lady who designed it (and knit it) Visit her post about it here
If you want to follow a new and cute blog about knitting, life as a momma, and many other cute things follow along with Ruthie Pearl
Seriously you should check out her other patterns... they are so dang cute!

And if you are like me and dying over the "Shwin Skirt" (and the awesome name ha!) Check out the pattern for yourself!
Here on Craftsy
Here on Raverly

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Instagram Friday {on Saturday} and a winner!

First real quick we have a winner from the KK Children's Designs designs!

Kendra L. who said: I pinned 2 of her dresses! Love Tree and Summer Totem. 
Thanks for pinning! You will be getting an email from me shortly!

Now welcome to Instagram Friday {on Saturday}
A little glimpse into life beyond crafting...

 Jude goes to Preschool 3 days a week for 2 and a half hours and I love the "girl time" it provides. Hanging out with Abbey is such a joy to hang out with.
 Jude thinks he finally figured out how to wink. It's more of a "double wink blink" but he looks tough when he tries.
 Abbey LOVES to play with toys I love when I catch a glimpse of her imagination. Like when I see her little "family" cruising around in the mini van. My favorite is the monster dad and cowgirl mom.
 I made some banana bread this week then I introduced it to the new bananas since I am sure that will be the fate of the new bananas as well. (no complaints from the kids of course)
 The weather treated us to some lovely weather perfect for tree pruning. Now we are ready for spring to fill the tree with blossoms.
Abbey was a pirate this week. Among other dress up items she likes to be, the pirate is my favorite.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Playroom Reveal {Before and After}

Well today is the day of the "big reveal" 
I am even sharing before pictures but let's not judge. The playroom had zero effort put towards it since we moved in until now. Which was fairly obvious as to why the kids didn't really like to play in the the playroom. It was pretty bad. 

 As you can see plain white walls. (let's pretend they don't look pink in the picture) Toys just scattered about. The kids playroom is in the basement and even though it does get a lot of sunlight from the window it is still a basement and that always has a "creepy" feel to me, but since the basement is fully finished and accounts for 1/2 the square footage of the house I really wanted the playroom to be as cheerful and welcoming as any other room in the house. So the walls got a fresh coat of paint in a pale earthy green. (with a small splash of white as an accent above the wall to wall shelf)
 Yes those are kids in Pajamas, (yes Jude's pajama's are 3 sizes too small have you ever tired to tell a 4 year old he has out grown something?) yes that was also improved in the "after" picture where they are fully dressed. The new curtains and removal of the cardboard moving boxes as toy storage were a huge improvement right off the bat.
 Now all the toys are stored neatly away in bins, dolls went in a new toy box, baby toys were stored away and toys they no longer play with or broke were thrown away or donated. (I think we got rid of half their toys in the process it was good :) The closet has floor to ceiling cubbies that store all of their books (sorry no pictures of the closet) The closet also stores the large play-sets (other than the doll house) that can be pulled out when in use and put away when they are done. So here are the details:
 I used my silhouette machine A LOT I went a little vinyl happy, but it was fun and I like the outcome. I created labels for all the drawers so they clearly knows what belongs where. It also helps learn reading along the way which is a plus. I put the alphabet on the wall just above their slide, and I put their names above their desks to clearly mark their workplace.
 One side of the room is their art and creating side. We hung a wall to wall shelf. I cut out vehicle shapes using the silhouette, I just cut them from colored cardstock and stuck them on to a piece of white paper. Stuck them in some frames and placed them layered on the shelf. We hung a wire with clips just below the shelf so they could hang their art. (as soon as it was hung Jude filled it up with art) That is also where I hung the sight words, which we work on at the desks. On the shelf I also added a cross stitch picture I made from one of my kids favorite books "Mary had a little Ham" I sketched it out from a drawing in the book. I may share a tutorial on that someday but I made this one long before the blog was around.

On the opposite side of the room is their "play area" it is also the wall with the wall mural, playful and fun. 
So in the end I had one goal in mind for the playroom, a place my kids could create, play, and learn. I wanted it to be bright, colorful and inviting. Since it is now one of the most favorite rooms in the house (by everyone) I would say it was a success. Thanks for letting me share the playroom!

Tutorials from Playroom Series:
Butterfly Pillow
Beetle Pillow
Sight Words Printables
Wall Mural

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Be Nice" Wall Mural

Playroom Makeover Series
In case you missed the other posts from the playroom makeover check them out here:

Today I thought I would share the last piece before the "tour" of the playroom makeover. There was a large blank wall that I wanted to make a statement on. I wanted the kids room to be fun and playful and whimsical. The "be nice" is from a rule we have in our family and probably the thing the kids hear the most throughout the day. 
 The playful butterflies? They were inspired by all the pretty butterflies I found popping up on pintrest (which have also been popping up all over blogland good minds must think alike) and they tied in really well with the specimen art pillows which pulled everything together and added a fun pop of interest on the wall. I love the Girly aspect of the butterflies with the masculine color or the "Be Nice".  So here is a quick breakdown of how I did it.

For the "Be Nice" I bought paper mache letters. Then using acrylic paint I painted the front and sides of each letter. Let them dry and then I hung them on the wall with 3D foam Stickers, about 4-6 on each letter but 2 would likely do the trick just fine. I don't know how rough they would be on the wall if you are thinking of removing them sometime but I plan on leaving mine up for a good while. If you are worried about it you could use a 3M command strip or something close to that. The letters are super light weight so they hang well.
 Next for the Butterflies. I used my Silhouette to cut out the butterflies since it was easy peasy. You could cut them out with scissors just the same. Fold the paper in half and you will have a symmetrical butterfly. I used a variety of colors and sizes using all heavy cardstock. I like the textured paper found at the craft store. It added a great element. Then I folded up both wings so the middle was flat.

 I stuck on a foam sticker and they were good to go on the wall. Nice and secure. Much like the letters if you are thinking you will want to remove them, or if they are temporary then you could use tape or 3m command products that are easily removable.
I just scattered them around mixing up the colors as I went. I love the 3D effect from the wall.
As they take off across the wall.
It makes me happy to see, and I love the very simple reminder to just "Be Nice"

Tomorrow will be the "grand tour" of the new playroom. See you then!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beetle Specimen Art Pillow

Remember the Butterfly Specimen Art Pillow from Monday? Well naturally I needed to make a pillow for Jude as well. I wanted the pillows to "go together" enough so I was thinking about what kind of specimen art I could do when my mom suggested Beetles. Well since I am fairly obviously a Beatles fan, I was of course on board with the idea of another beetle. Plus Jude loves all things creepy crawly. The bright colors make them a little less creepy. 
 The pillow was made the same way as the butterfly pillow. If you need a refresher I cut out 3 21X21 inches squares from a plain white cotton. Also one 15X15 inch square from interfacing and then ironed the interfacing onto the center of one square for the front piece.

 Then for the beetles I cut out some legs a body (with a curved top for the head) and two wings. I cut out 6 from 6 different colors and same with all the pieces then I mixed and matched them.
 Stack all the pieces on top of each other and sew some wide zig-zags through the wings to get the texture the wings usually have.
 Then line up all the beetles and sew them in place right down the middle of the wings. (yes we will pretend they are sewn in place in the picture even if they are not)
 Next for the embroidery. Here are some tips. I printed out the words that I wanted to embroider on. In this case the numbers and some general information about beetles since Jude likes to learn about anything.
 Then with the paper behind the fabric I used a disappearing ink pen to trace the words on.
 A tip for better embroider is to use a hoop. They make the fabric nice and tight so your stitched can be tight without puckering the fabric.
 For the basic back stitch that I use to trace the letters you come up where you want the stitch to start and then stitch back to the last hole. Simple as that.
 The other thing I use is a french knot. Pull the thread up where you want the knot.
 Wrap the threat around the tip of the needle 2 or more times. The more you wrap it the larger the knot will be.
 Then while holding the thread that is coming up tight push the needle through right next to the place the thread came up. Then the front should be done.
 For the back fold the end under an inch and sew in place. Then it down again 5 inches.
 Then with underside of the fold (the side with the flap) facing down overlap both back pieces at the fold so that they make a square that is the same size as the front piece.

Place the front piece face side down and sew all around the edges. 
 Clip the corners and then turn the pillow case right side out. You will have a nice little envelope style pillow case. Put the pillow form in and you are done.
 A cute little pillow perfect for a boy.
 With creepy crawly bugs that are cute enough they kind of make me smile.
 Goes perfectly with the Butterfly pillow to add some fun color and education to the kids playroom.
 And the kids love the big oversized plush pillows.
Perfect for curling up with a good book.