Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hmmmmm. . . . . A lot of time has passed since my last post in April. Life has been busy, even though it is summer time and I am "technically" free from work. Between conferences, reading, cleaning, organizing, trips to the thrift store (and repeat to infinity), hanging out with friends and family, exercising, and some slothing around, this summer has been awesome so far! Still have one week to go and then back to work. I stopped today and thought about all the things I learned to make/made this summer and would like to share! Not all at once though, that would probably take the entire week!

Through trial and error (nice way to say "I encountered some frustration at times"), inspiration, and determination I made everything from changing pad sheets to shelves to aprons to boppy covers to blankets to burp clothes and my own sew-in labels. 

Anywho, check out this awesome tiered tray I made that can be used for desserts, appetizers, jewelry, or whatever you want to put on it. The best things about making this for yourself is that you get to choose the plates to match your decor/theme AND this entire piece unscrews and breaks down minimizing storage space. Just throw the pieces in a marked ziplock baggie to keep them together when you are done. I consulted a couple of tutorials, SkiptoMyLou & BacklessShirt, both of which were very helpful. Thank You!

You can also drill holes in multiple plates and change out plates as needed for different occasions. You just need the one set of thread rod, aluminum tubing, nut, washers, and knob. The total cost to make this tray was about 8 or 9 bucks. I got the plates from Target, but if you look at your local thrift stores you will be able to find plastic plates that will cost you a whopping 25 cents to a buck. 

From start to finish, this project takes ~45 minutes to one hour. I had to practice drilling in the cheapest plate (25 cents) that I had. I am glad I did though because I ended up cracking it. I changed up my technique and successfully drilled through the next two beautifully. If I have time, I will put together a tutorial for this including the tips that I thought would have been useful to know before hand. 

This tray is actually for someone. Shhhhh!, don't tell them, it is a surprise. If you ask my family and friends, they will tell you that 
"If she has just learned how to make, that is probably what your next present will be." So true, once I start, I have a hard time stopping! 

 If you want to see some more of what I have been up to, visit my Etsy shop, ThePensiveOwl or "Like" me on Facebook. Thanks for looking!!!

Aprons galore are housed there, such as: 

And Special Thanks to Dave for braving the heat to take pictures with me! Love you!

Thanks for looking, and keep your eyes and ears out for a new post again soon! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Tradition!

Earth Day Tradition from start to finish (almost finished)!!!

This is the third year that we have put a garden in our backyard. It all started with Esther, our old roommate, who has since moved away to sunny Arizona. If it had not been for her, we may have never started. Thank you, Esther! She essentially gifted us all the materials that made up our first garden that consisted of two 4' by 4' raised beds. Last year, we planted in those two beds. This year, we upgraded to two more 4' by 4' beds. In an attempt to rid the garden area of the evil wire grass, and thus to avoid much future weeding and muscle aches, Dave and I put in a long day yesterday. We began by borrowing his parent's tiller and buying topsoil, mushroom compost, peet moss, and plants.

Here is what our neglected back yard looked like early on Saturday morning:

Hidden in the masses of "grass", mostly assorted weeds, are the original two box beds.

The black bin in the picture on the right is our wonderful Earth Machine compost bin. 

Aha!, there is one of the box beds after clearing out some of the weeds. Notice how happy Dave looks! We discovered red onions, potatoes, and a leek amongst the weeds.

Once we had cleared out the original beds, it was then time to attack the weeds! 

We raked, shoveled, pitch forked, tilled, and jumped up and down on them! 

Snake! This guy kept popping up despite our attempts to re-home him. I even pulled him out of the tiller tines, miraculously unscathed!, due to all of the weeds stuck in the tines. Scroll down to see Dave working hard to remove weeds from the tines. . . . Thanks Dave! 

Scout and Speedy were very interested in our endeavors and lounged around the yard all day watching us.

Yay! Once we had the weeds cleared and the spot tilled up, we laid down the landscaping cloth. No more weeds (I hope!).

 At this point, our backyard was looking pretty messy.

And Dave took a break with the dogs. 

 To reduce the distance that we had to carry the 40 pound bags of compost and topsoil and to save our backs, we backed the car up to the fence and used a step stool to throw everything over the fence into our yard. Hence the heavy bag pile pictured below. 

Followed by another lay down break. 

And meditation on a garden as provided by Dave. 

To which I followed. 
 Then, in a flurry of action, we filled up our beds and began planting.

I am so excited for our plants to grow! This summer I am going to try to can tomatoes, make pickles, and make tons of salsa! So far our garden includes tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, eggplants, strawberries, basil, cilantro, and rosemary. More will be coming next weekend, along with mulch to fill in around the beds.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Free Day!

Sunday Funday!

Dave and the puppies are sleeping on the couch. I am camped out in my craft room determined to make something today. I ran across this tutorial while spending borrowed time on Pinterest.

This dress looks so simple and it really is! She even broke the steps down to be completed over 4 days, anyone can do this! Anywho, here is my interpretation. I did not add a lining due to limited materials. I found some seersuckerish material stashed away on my shelf that I had bought from the thrift store prolly' over a year ago. I think that I shall wear this dress while vacationing at the beach! Actually, maybe I will make five or six and then my luggage will weigh about 1/2 pound!

Good for parties or as a simple swimsuit cover.

The beagles were impressed and we were so happy that we decided to celebrate!

Versatile piece of clothing!

Dave agreed!

And then stood on his head!

Sunday Funday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Snow Day, Sew Day!

All the little snowflakes cause mass shutdown of the city! Yippee!

Check out this jumper I made today while hiding from the snow. You can get the tutorial here, from Smashed Peas and Carrots.

Such a cute summer dress!
I wish the snow would come more often!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sip & Sew

Love your teeth!
The Tooth Fairy is always watching and will tell your dentist if you are being naughty!
To other news. . . . .

My teacher friends from work and I have started getting together for an event we call "Sip & Sew". This involves one teacher who is very knowledgeable about sewing feeding the other "students" (myself and other teachers) helpful hints about the ambitious projects that we dream about making. It also involves "sipping" multiple types of fancy libations to keep us motivated! I have been very impressed with what we amateur sewers have created!

These are some more of the flowers that I learned how to make at one of our earlier events.
This a stash all bag that I created using this tutorial from Skip to My Lou's blog. Awesome tutorial, very easy to follow.
It was super easy and can easily be completed in under an hour.

So, I went ahead and made 3 more. These are nesting bags that will make a perfect present for my sister's birthday! I added handles at the ends of the zipper. I used duck cloth for both the outside and the lining. These should last f o r e v e r!

I anxiously await our next Sip & Sew! I need to find something else to make. Perhaps some pom pom flowers or a pillow case dress My friend made one hella cute pillow case dress yesterday at Sip & Sew! You can make these and send them to orphaned children so they have something beautiful to wear!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Making Fabric Flowers

This is Speedy who is laying on top of Scout, she is under the blanket. Speedy, Scout, and I all surfed the web today for fabric flower tutorials! We found some pretty great tutorials and collections of tutorials. Check out these sites for inspiration and instructions!

and here:

There are a ton more out there so don't despair if you don't see something that you like.

Thanks to my school teacher friend who taught me how to make these fabric flowers! They are so easy and fast to make, incredibly satisfying! My dogs helped me make these today.

You can use these flower on hair pins, headbands, as pins, bouquets, on necklaces, etc., etc. . . . .

I had to go out and buy some stretchy headbands so I could put a flower on one.

I love this simple flower! It would look great in anyone's hair and can keep you smiling all day long knowing you have a flower in your hair! So cute.

Then we moved onto felt flowers.

No sewing required! Just cutting and gluing with the trusty hot glue gun. Tomorrow, the dogs and I shall attempt to incorporate one or more of these felt flowers into a headband. Scout and Speedy are very excited about this.

As I continue to create, I would like to begin posting tutorials on the things I make. I just need to get a little more organized and find the time balance! Anywho, Goodnight to You! It is late and as we all know, puppies need their beauty rest!