8.17.2012

From Trashed to Fabulous

I rescued this dresser from the curb last Friday and have been busy working on is all week. I have a super busy day today, but I wanted to share the before and after photo.dresser redo before and afterThis is Little Miss’s new closet, can you believe how cute it turned out?!? I’ll add more details and photos later, I was just so excited to share :)

8.06.2012

Lucky Find

Last weekends yard sales yielded this lucky find, two unassembled wooden tool boxes (and a still unassembled sail boat) for a dollar! They are the perfect size to hold three small terra cotta pots. Say hello to my new kitchen herb boxes.herb tool boxesI used a nail set to sink the nail heads, patched the holes and imperfections, and gave everything a good sanding before painting a bright turquoise. Not sure if I’ll leave them like this or distress/paint them more. All that’s left is to get the pots and decide which herbs to plant.

7.31.2012

Robes for Swim Lessons

Three weeks ago Little Miss, Little Sir, and Little Man started taking swimming lessons and I had big plans to make them all matching robes to wear after they got out of the pool. I had been wanting this robe pattern from Dana at Made ever since it came out and even though I knew it wouldn’t be big enough for Mr8 and Ms6 I still had to have it.
I altered the pattern to fit Little Miss and Little Sir by adding extra length in the sleeve cap and in the body. I could have also added width, but Little Sir is so slim I didn’t bother. The pattern went together smoothly, I did have a hard time matching the sleeves up to the bodies (even on the one I didn’t alter), but it may have been because the pattern shifted when I was cutting it. I ended up just cutting off the excess and every turned out fine. I would recommend that you use the alternate directions to attach the sleeve before sewing the side seam instead of setting them in.robes 1 Making my own bias tape turned into a big production for me. I have made bias tape before, but never on this scale. I used this bias tape tutorial so that I could sew everything first and cut it all to have one long piece (I also found the chart here (scroll down) helpful for knowing how much fabric to use to get the amount of bias binding I needed). It was all my fault, I didn’t have a large enough binding maker and I mis-measured the first round of tape and it was 1/2” to narrow. I ended up buying a larger binding maker and a clear ruler and that helped a lot. robes 2I did feel like this project to FOREVER and they only get to wear them for their final week of lessons. However, I do think they turned out super cute and we have already gotten a TON of compliments on them. We will also be taking more lessons this fall after school start, so they will get plenty of use and they will look super cute hanging in the bathroom too!

7.13.2012

Friday [the 13th.] Favorites

ram skull papercut 6oz. STAR JAR // upcycled constellation nightlight
Primitive, Raw Owl- 12.5 x 12.5 inch Print of a Reproduction of the Original Mixed Media Painting Take Flight by Juliette Crane pleated cuffs wander
ancient goddess kali candle wrapper twisted silhouettes
Clicking on the thumbnail will take you directly to each item for a description, price, and seller information.
Have a super crafty weekend!

7.06.2012

Snarky Magnets

Another project from my never ending list of fabulous crafts to try was snarky magnets on tin can lids. I even bought a new can opener to get the smooth edges and I have been saving lids for months. When I saw this quote going around Facebook I knew it was time to dig out the supplies and craft up my own version.100_7845I cut out everything and lightly glued down the words. Using a fine tipped pen, I outlined each word and then used Mod Podge to glue my collage to the lid and seal the paper. Once that dried I topped it with a layer of Dimensional Magic (from Mod Podge) to make it shiny and smooth (like resin, but water-based and not stinky). And finally, I added a magnet to the back and done! This was a quick little project that was really fun and art-y, I might soon cover my entire refrigerator with new magnets!
BTW, it says: “I feel a spree coming on. It’s either a shopping one or a killing one. The choice is totally up to you.”
Have a super crafty weekend!!!

7.03.2012

Vintage Zinc Lid Pincushion Tutorial

I love using plastic bottle caps to make pincushions, so when I saw one made from a vintage zinc canning jar lid I knew I needed to make one to match my sewing machine set. I thought you might like to make one too, so I made this tutorial to share.zinc lid tute You’ll need:
  • vintage zinc lid
  • scrap fabric
  • fiber fill
  • a matching button
  • coordinating embroidery floss and needle
  • misc sewing toolszinc lid tute 1
I measured my lid and decided that a 4” circle would be the perfect size to cut my fabric (cut 2). zinc lid tute 2Sew right sides together, all the way around (yep, all the way, do not leave a space to turn the fabric).
Clip seam allowance all the way around. Carefully and cut a small clip between the edge and center on the back side of the circle. It needs to be large enough to turn the fabric through and stuff stuffing into.zinc lid tute 3Stuff generously, when you think that it’s full enough add another handful(notice the stuffing, it’s puffing out of the hole). This will make the pincushion nice and firm. It will also make the cushion fit perfectly into the lid.zinc lid tute 4Get your floss on your needle and make a large knot about 3” from the end. Make a stitch through the center of the cushion, pull as tight as possible and knot.zinc lid tute 5Use the floss to divide the cushion into sections(I made 8 sections), pull the floss tightly and tie off again, but do not cut thread.
Sew the decorative button to the center to cover all the stitches, knot tightly again, and trim threads.zinc lid tute 6Use glue (or not) and stuff cushion into lid, it will fit perfectly with the seam lining up with the top of the lid. Admire your new pincushion! If you make one using my tutorial, I’d love to see a picture, share a link with us.

6.29.2012

Fabulous Friday Find

The best thing I have found recently was a copy of Lutterloh’s The Golden Rule from 1969. I was buying lots of sewing notions and tools on ebay and it came in a lot of patterns, thread and other such items. It’s a simple red binder, but once I opened it up I knew I had something special.the golden rule of sewingThis is a manual of pattern illustrations with the pattern pieces shown in the back with instructions on how to enlarge them to you size (based on only two body measurements). The company is still in business and you can order current designs from them. I have paged through this book numerous times and there is almost nothing that I would not wear. Everything seems to have a timeless quality about it. I am very excited to make something from this book, but there are so many designs to choose from I am having a hard time deciding.
Have any of you hears of Lutterloh’s?

6.27.2012

The Jump Start Creativity Tour

The Jump Start Creativity Tour came to Lincoln and had a fun art making event. (Read about The Creativity Tour Here). jump start creativity tourWe made post cards(upper left) and mixed media booklets(center). Everything else it from the inspiration packet that Jess(from Seek Your Course) gave us at the end of the night. I added my other project to the tour sketchbook. It was a fabulous way to spend an evening!
Slightly related, this event was hosted by Signature Bindery/Porridge Papers and I spotted this lovely hand printed sketchbook(designed by Sarah Blacksher, L2 Design Collective) in the store and HAD to have it. create your own fortune notebook It’s printed with a gorgeous copper ink, I love the print so much I am thinking about taking the cover off and framing it.
The moral of this story is: get out and make art! and while you're at it support local artists!!!

6.25.2012

Photo Emulsion Screen Printing

One of my favorite thing about new clothing is screen printed fabric labels. For someone who makes clothing it is also a great way to brand your creations that looks very professional and bonus,can’t be cut out. I love the look of screen printing and have tried it with Mod Podge and contact paper, but the photo emulsion method that produces the fine details for labels seemed really intimidating. There is chemicals that have to be properly mixed, special fabric that has to be used, and a special light source to expose the screen with fancy charts and tables to figure out the exact times for the size your a working with. It was overwhelming and seemed like a lot of work for something that was going to be on the inside of a garment.
I had this mini screen clothing label tutorial from LilBlueBoo bookmarked forever and finally just decided to bite the bullet and do it…and it was easy!!! It was quick to use the sun to expose the screens and I didn’t have to spend money on lighting equipment that I wouldn’t use a lot. The lines are so crisp, I can’t wait to use them (waiting for nap time)! I still need to tape the edges, but that won’t take long at all.screen printed labels 2I used a small one piece box to hold my “sandwich” and it worked perfectly. It was super easy to just flip the lid open to expose and flip back shut to carry inside.screen printed labels 1 I do have a couple of suggestions if you’re going to do this project:
  • Make sure that you get a nice even coat of the emulsion. It is hard to get it even, if you absolutely can’t get it even make sure the “excess” is near the edge and not right in the middle where your design will be going. A thick spot will be exposed differently and the emulsion will be harder to remove in that spot spoiling an otherwise good screen.
  • Once you uncover your screen to expose it do not move anything thing, no small adjustments, tweaking, or messing around!!! You’ll end up with a blurry design.
  • Two transparencies are enough, splurge and go to the office supply store and get them made if your printer sucks. The more layers of transparencies you have the harder it is to keep them all perfectly aligned. Tape them together in more than one place to keep them from shifting.
  • Don’t worry about exact times when exposing, when the color has changed it’s ready.
Finishing the project made me feel like a rock star and it has also made me super excited to make some more custom designs, I have plenty of emulsion left. I’m thinking sugar skull “craft of die” totes and t-shirts. Do you have any requests?

6.11.2012

Summer Update

We have been having so much fun, I can’t believe that this is my first blog post of June, time is racing by! Our big news is we had some work done on our house and they are finished! I really think you need to see the before and after side by side (to get a better look open this picture up full sized). House progression And this isn’t really the after, it’s the construction is finished, but we still need to paint, hang some trellis, put the new(old) storm door on, and generally cute it up a bit more.
The front looks great, but that’s not the best part:house progression - fence gateYep, that’s a brand new gate and a brand new privacy fence. I have wanted a fence since we moved in and now I have it! We are outside all of the time now, we have plans for a garden and a fire pit and who knows what else (we have a really large back yard). bike washToday we’ve had a bike wash, later we’re going to go for a ride and work in the front yard some more. How is you summer going? It is speeding by like ours?

5.29.2012

Button Sorting (another button post)

If you follow me on twitter, you already know that I bought 19 pounds of buttons and they arrived on Saturday. I have to say that this is the BEST button collection I have ever seen, there are a lot of fancy buttons and I have to look at them all!button sorting The buttons arrived in zip-loc bags, to sort them I put a handful on the gold lid and look at them. Once I am finished with that batch it gets dumped into the gold tin and another handful is added to the lid. When I finish a bag the tin gets dumped back into the original bag and I start a new bag. I have been picking out all the glass, fancy plastic, fancy metal, carved mother of pearl, and other random interesting buttons. I am also picking out marbles, beads, pennies, pins and tacks (it’s a very interesting collection). I am not even half way done, but it is sooooo much fun!
Am I the only one who could sort through buttons all day? What is you favorite kind of button?

5.23.2012

End of the School Year Crazies!

Wow, there has been a lot going on, I’m going to blame it on the end of the school year and my mad rush to do EVERYTHING before the kids get out of school.
First, we have adopted another cat. Our kitty, Kiki, has seemed lonely since the loss of our other cats (we have lost 3 in the past 5 years to old age) and we felt it was time to get him a new companion, they are still adjusting to each other with supervised time, but I think eventually they will be best friends. We have also (finally) got our fish tank up and running and have welcomed Bubble, Goink, Rex, Stabby, Mysterio, The Collective(of 3), and Zoidberg. They have been great fun to watch.
Second, I have been madly knitting baby hats in preparation for professional photos to be taken, I can’t wait to share the finished results.
Third, starting in June I will have booth space in a local vintage store. That is where all of these fabulous button projects will be available. I have been watching the X-Files on Netflix and embroidering hoops.button hoopsI have also been crocheting these garlands:button garland finishedI used my foam marshmallow button stamps (using this technique) to make the custom display cards. I also have been hitting every yard sale I see and I have found some fabulous stuff!!!
Fourth, working in the yard, there is so much to be done. We are having a privacy fence installed very soon and I am hoping to spend a ton of time in the back yard this summer, but now we must do prep work, removing bushes, relocating flowers, and picking up all the fallen sticks (nine bundles so far).
And fifth, random life stuff - appointments, meetings, and haircuts. We won’t even discuss cleaning, there has been very little time for that.
Tomorrow is the last day of school for Little Miss and Little Sir, I can’t wait, there is so much fun stuff for us to do. This summer vacation is going to be GREAT!!!
Do you find yourself spending less time on the computer when the weather is nicer or is it just me?

5.11.2012

Baby Cowgirl

Tiny little hats are so fun to make!
cowgirl baby hatPink sparkly cowgirl hat made from a NellyBeanCo pattern. Very unique construction and the brim curls up by itself, you just have to “arrange” it a bit. Coming soon to the CrafterellaCupcake store!
Have a super crafty weekend!!!

5.09.2012

Embroidery + Buttons

Finally, this has been on the to-do list for a while. An embroidered button display for those special buttons, to showcase them more than just with the common buttons in a jar.
Still a WIP, my embroidery style is definitely folks-y, but I’m okay with that, I think it looks great with these vintage red buttons.embroidered button displayI was heavily inspired by this post on doe-c-doe I wanted more of a sampler look. I used a circle template to trace four differently sized circles onto my fabric (I know they look a little wonky, I hope to fix that when everything is properly stretched) and I embroidered each size with a different stitch. The stitches used were the split stitch, the chain stitch, the fly stitch and the palestrina stitch (here's a great stitch resource).
I need to sew the buttons in place and finish the back of this piece, it will remain in this hoop. I could see having a wall of these in different colors.
*Also, bonus points for using an embroidery hoop from my stash of what seems like a thousand!

5.07.2012

Button Garland

Oh how I love buttons. I am launching a new idea at the beginning of June and it’s all about vintage sewing notions and especially buttons, so be prepared to see A LOT of new button projects (and some old ones too).
Today it’s a crocheted button garland. There are always plenty of white antique buttons in every lot I buy and this garland is the perfect way to showcase them.button garlandI used white crochet thread to make the chain and a teeny tiny hook to pull the thread through two holes in each button. I love how it turned out! I used a variety of sizes of buttons for this one. I think I’m going to make one that uses all the same sized buttons from that button rope in the center of the picture. The varying shade of white and cream should make it really interesting!
This would look great draped across a mantle, over a curtain rod, or on a Christmas tree.

4.30.2012

Quick Fix Craft: Plant Labels

There is nothing like a quick craft project to tide you over when you don’t have time to drag out all the supplies and start a new, epic project. I found these copper labels stashed away in some drawers, no idea where I got them (maybe Walmart?). I bet you could make your own, especially if you know someone with a die cutting machine :Dplant labels You’re supposed to emboss the copper using the enclosed stick…yeah, that didn’t go so well. I used a dye ink pad and stamped them with stamps from the dollar bin at Walmart. plant labels 2 Quick, easy, done! They are going to be super cute in my little herb pots!

4.25.2012

Tassel Hat

I love the design of this hat, so creative. The shaping of the ear flaps is really nice and the way it hugs the head is great.tassel hat collage This was a quick and fun hat to make, I want to make it in a bulkier yarn the next time, make it a bit more hood like. I also want to add an applique, like the sample hat on the pattern.
If you’d like to make a hat like this the pattern can be found here.

4.20.2012

Getting the MOST from Kids Clothes

I have a confession: I don’t spend any time pre-treating stained clothing. Everything gets sorted, washed, and dried, if it ends up stained oh well! I know that a lot of you are probably appalled, but the reason I am like this is because I almost NEVER buy new clothes for the kids, almost everything is used or home made. Once in a while I will buy a “character” shirt or they will receive new clothing as gifts. The majority of their (and my) clothing comes from the Goodwill ($.99 sale) or yard sales.Just because I don’t worry about stains doesn’t mean that I want them looking like they are wearing second hand clothes, so thank goodness I can sew.
Now that spring is here it’s time to dig out all of the holey jeans, (second hand pants do wear through the knees a little quicker) and make some shorts. While one or two pairs of actual cut offs are okay, I will not just hack the legs off of all of their pants and let them fray. Today I re-did two pairs of jeans in two separate ways with almost the same results. The finished shorts look like they have always been shorts and will last through the summer (and may even be resold when they’re outgrown).
jeans to shorts P1I have three pairs from Little Miss to fix, today I’m going to do a simple hem.  Her pants were easy, cut off the legs and cut the hem off of the bottom of the legs. Sew the old hem to the newly cut shorts edge and topstitch over old stitching.
jeans to shorts P2 On the right you can see the finished pants compared to just cut on the left. Sewing that hem back on really makes all the difference.jeans to shorts D1Little Sir’s pants were in the same shape. I like to make his shorts longer, it’s just a better look for him. I cut the pants off right at the holes and cut the hems off of the pants, but OH NO, these pants are tapered at the bottom and there isn’t enough to just match and sew!!! (This happens a lot) First I turned under the raw edge and hemmed the pants, then I cut the hem apart and sewed it on like trim. Once it is sewn on I trimmed the raw edge close to the stitching, there will be a little fraying, but it should just look like wear.jeans to shorts D3I know that it looks odd when I point it out, but if you don’t look closely (and most people don’t) it looks fine.jeans to shorts D2 See? Hard to notice, right?
So this is how I really get my money’s worth out of pants. The top pair I got for a dollar AND she wore them all winter before I made them into shorts. Little Sir’s pair I got at a bag sale, a whole bag full of clothes for $2.00 (pretty sure there were at least 8 items in the bag), so $.25 for all winter wear and now all summer too!
I have a stack of pants to finish up today, Little Miss will be getting some stenciled (to hide some stains) shorts and Little Sir will have some patch-y (to cover some holes) shorts. Look for finished pictures on the Facebook page. Now I just need to come up with some shirts!
How do you get the most value out of your kids clothes?

4.18.2012

Pasta Jar Lanterns

I love the look of Moroccan lanterns, but I have yet to find any in my price range and they aren’t really the sort of thing you see at a yard sale in Nebraska. When I saw these lanterns on DesignSponge I envisioned a backyard filled with them!pasta jar lanterns 1I had plenty of jars on hand (yay, recycling!) and I decided to try some different paints. I picked gold and black puffy paint and I also got some liquid leading. For the glass tint I used stuff I had from a kit in iridescent purple, PermEnamel in rooster red, and PermEnamel Shimmers in blue ice. My tips for this project are:
  • Be generous with the puffy paint, the jars that have a thick coat of paint look the best.
  • You can use a sharpie to evenly divide your jar and make guide lines to follow (any mistakes or lines that show can be cleaned up with rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip).
  • Use a sponge brush to apply the glass paint on the inside of the jars and don’t use too much, it will run and look bad (see the blue jar).
  • If the color on the inside isn’t dark enough or is uneven another coat of glass paint will help.
  • any brand names embossed in the glass can be easily hidden with the puffy, plan your pattern accordingly.pasta jar lanterns 2
I am very pleased with the results, I like the pattern of the gold jar the best and the blue glaze the best. I was not really impressed with the liquid leading (I do still like the jar), it was hard to squeeze out of the bottle and it is a gray color when dry.
This was the test, seriously I want a large collection of these for my back yard. I have a large selection of different sized jars and now I need to get some more of the shimmers glass paint and some sponge brushes. I am anxious to see if the paint will peel off the jars after being out in the elements.
I’m curious, do you use candles outside a lot or is it more of something that is just for show? What kind of out door decorations do you have in your yards?

4.13.2012

Friday Finds

I have had a super busy week of random appointments and meeting, I usually have one crazy week a month where I have what seems like a million things to do. I did find time yesterday to sneak into my favorite antique store. I had Little Man with me and I didn’t get to browse around as much as I would have liked, but I did find a couple of treasures.
When I saw this apron I may have squealed, how adorable is it!?!weenie apron
This weenie apron is just too kitschy, appliqu├ęd and embroidered it is definitely a treasure. weenie dog applique It’s going to look great in my kitchen.
As I was leaving I spotted this little case tucked in a corner and the price was right.blue caseThe finish is pretty beat up, but the case is still very sturdy. It is a bit musty on the inside, so it will need to air out. There are so many possibilities with this case I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
I’m feeling lucky I may have to hit a few yard sales this weekend. If you’re in the Lincoln (NE) area I will be teaching a free class at Indigo Bridge Books on making Styrofoam stamps, I’d love to see you.
Have a super crafty weekend!

4.11.2012

Thrifted Sheet Dress

A week and a half ago I decided to cut into my favorite thrifted sheet to make a maxi dress using this youtube tutorial. It did not go well, the tutorial is very clear and easy to follow, but that much fabric on my curvy figure was a really bad idea, so bad that there are NO photos. It is a good concept and with some tweaking it could work, definitely less fabric than the width of the sheet. Basically it’s an adult pillowcase dress.
So my failed dress laid on the floor next to the ironing board all week and finally, this Sunday, I decided to start over. I picked McCalls 6114 (out of print. See, I knew I would need it someday). I am VERY excited with how this dress came out, so excited that I took bad My Space like pictures at 11 o’clock at night because I HAD to show you RIGHT NOW!!!
m6114 finishedBoobzilla is looking a little rough, but she’s still an okay model when I don’t have a photographer handy. The reason that I am so excited is that I was able to sew this pattern directly out of the envelope, no alterations needed. Normally all tops must have a bust alteration because of the sizing on patterns (B cup, really?!?) This dress was different, the most fitted part is the high bust area and then it widens from there. Selecting the size that matched my high bust measurement gave me a dress that fits wonderfully in the chest/armpit area and is full enough (just barely) to fit over my full bust. Believe me, that whole perfect fit in the chest/armpit area is HUGE, normally there is some sort of gapping, pulling, or wrinkling involved in the bust area of my tops, hand made or store bought.
It lies flat and there is no gapping, there is also no giant cleavage showing.m6114 detailThe only “major” alteration I made was to position the casing for the elastic differently than was marked on the pattern and that was easy. I also made sure to mark my pattern, next time I’ll just trace it on.m6114 tissueThe top, upward slanting line is the original suggested placement. The darker wavy line is my custom placement.
I can’t wait to make this pattern again! I need at least one more maxi dress and a couple of tops. The great thing about this pattern is that if you use French seams on the side seams all of the raw edges are completely enclosed, I LOVE that.
The most difficult part of this pattern is sewing the “V” part of the yolks together in the front, it took me a couple of tries and it’s still a little pucker-y. I also really like the use of bias binding to make the casing on the inside for the elastic. I currently have my elastic sewn loosely (trying to de-emphasis my tummy), but it can be easily adjusted.
Now to find some fabulous fabric to make more!