Tutorial

Because They Have Gooey Fingers, I Have Fabric Dye (How to Mix Custom Colors)

Ok, that title is somewhat misleading.  It puts the blame for my not being able to have “nice things” far too much on my children, when in reality, my husband and I are nearly as bad as they are.  …in this instance, the boys are only half to blame.

The Mr. and I have a beautiful duvet cover that we were given for our wedding.  It was pale blue, high thread count cotton and I loved putting it on the bed every fall (we change our comforter in the spring to a lighter-weight one, so this one is only used half the year).  Unfortunately, some time last year, G wound up in our bedroom with chocolate all over his face, and decided to face plant into our bed.  …that’s the part of the blame I can place on “children”.  The rest of the issue came from me.  Thinking I was being clever, I immediately stain treated the cover, washed it and then, here’s the awful part, lay it out to air dry.  …that doesn’t seem so bad, until I tell you that I lay it out using my husbands weights to support portions of it.  …they left giant, dark orange rust stains all over the cover.  I cried.

I tried and tried to remove the rust stains to no avail.  Nothing was getting them out.  I gave up and tried to just ignore them.  A year later, with the stains still upsetting me, I turned to dye.

The picture above is what the comforter looked like before I started.  It’s also the background for these pictures.  Very, very pale blue.

And this is what it looks like now:

The photo doesn’t capture the color exactly…it’s more purple than this shows…sort of a grey lavender.  The little scrap of fabric is part of the process I used to mix the dye (which I’ll explain in a second).

I’m still trying to decide how I feel about the color.  It changes enormously depending on the lighting.  I love it when it’s more grey…not sure how I feel about it when it’s uber purple, especially with my not-intended-to-match-lavender linens…

Anyhow, if you hadn’t already guessed, this is a custom dye color.  Every once in a great while, RIT will have a dye in just the right color for what I want…but it’s not often.  I’m a color snob, what can I say.  Luckily, back in college, I took a costume design class that included a section on dyeing.

To make this particular color I used RIT’s Royal Blue and Black dye in my washing machine.  I wish I’d have had the foresight to have bought a little bit of green to add in, but, *sigh* such is life.  I filled my machine with the hottest water it could muster, dumped in my cup of salt (since I was working with cotton) and started putting in the dye.  The blue I bought was powder, while the black was liquid.  …I would suggest going the liquid route if you want to do this, as I found I had FAR more control with the black than I did the blue.  Basically, I added a small amount, allowed the machine to agitate for a second and then swished a scrap of cotton material around for a bit.  Once it was good and saturated, I rinsed it and dried it with a hair dryer.  Obviously, since my cover was light blue, it was going to turn out a touch differently than true white fabric, but, as you can see from the picture above, the difference was pretty negligible.  Make sure that if you don’t love the results from your first dye bath, you don’t just re-swish the same scrap fabric.  Start with another white piece.

The dried scrap fabric will show you what color you’ve created in your dye bath.  If you have a bedroom with lots of natural light (like mine), make sure you don’t just look at the fabric in your dark, poorly lit basement and be like “YUP, that’s good” like I did, or you may wind up with a bright purple surprise.  Also, obviously make sure that when you’re adding dye to your water, you use a light hand.  You can ALWAYS add more dye, but once it’s too dark, you’re pretty much screwed unless you want to empty the machine and start completely over (hoping you have enough dye left to get where you need to).

This was actually my first time using the washing machine method to dye something…and I’m pretty dang happy with it.  I did wind up with a few little dark splashes of dye on it (because apparently I’m not allowed to have a spot free comforter) but I fear that’s because I was in a rush, and being careless and got dye on the sides of my machine…that then got on the cover when I went to move it to the dryer.  THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!!!  As a result I’m considering running it through another bath with just black dye to darken it up some.  We’ll see.

If you have any questions about mixing your own, custom dye colors, let me know!!

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Quick and Dirty Macro Effect, without a Macro Lens

  Wanna see the new photography trick I learned?

  BAM.  Enormous G eye, GO.

  So you remember how I said that I needed to work on it a little more before I shared it with you guys?  That’s cuz I was trying to use this technique on the baby…and the cat.  Heads up, this doesn’t work unless you can get your subject to hold super still while you focus (by leaning backwards and forwards with your camera and trying not to shake while you take the shot).  Doing it with a 4 yo took a LOT of patience on both of our parts, and many, many tries before I got a decent shot.  Pretty sure I’d have to tranq the cat (or the baby) to actually get the pictures with them.

  I found this tutorial on Pinterest, pulled the lens off my camera, turned it around and started shooting.

  I’ve only tried it with my 50mm so far…need to break out the 18-55mm and mess around with it, but lordie are there not enough hours in the day right now.

  As I already mentioned, this works best when you’ve got a subject that will hold perfectly still.  I can’t wait to use it for flowers this summer.  Keeping the lens pressed tightly against the body of the camera makes a huge difference…you get a bunch of ugly “noise” if you don’t.

  The tutorial talks about a “bonus” to doing this, to help make more of the pic in focus, but I haven’t figured out what button on my T3 equates to the “DoF” mentioned.  Again, not enough hours.

  Either way, it’s a super cool trick that I’ll be keeping tucked in my back pocket while I’m tooling around with my camera!  If any of you with a T3 try this and figure out what the DoF is, let me know, would you?

Altered Maternity Tops

I haven’t been doing a whole heck of a lot of sewing lately.  The boys have been crazy, I’ve been sick, we’ve been trying to institute some new, better habits when it comes to keeping the house clean and frankly, with the winter refusing to end, I haven’t wanted to do much but hide under a thick blanket and glare at the sky.

That being said, I have done some alterations to clothes…but I haven’t posted about them, because, to be honest, I really haven’t wanted to take pictures of myself.  It’s overcast, so the lighting for pictures has been awful… also because it’s overcast, I’m grumpy…it’s cold, so I’m generally wrapped in at least 7 layers of clothing, which looks, and feels, extraordinarily frumpy.  My hair is a wreck because of all of the new growth making a poof ball of fly-aways, and hormone changes and the weather have wreaked havoc with my skin.

Basically, I’m vain…and I feel like I look like crap lately, and haven’t wanted it documented.  Go go gadget-ego.  I won’t insult you guys by pretending these haven’t been photo edited.  I have 2 small children, allergies and the photoshop know-how to make the dark circles under my eyes disappear.  Of course I take advantage of it.

Anyways, SEWING!  You guys didn’t come here to hear me talk about how winter sucks and makes me want to crawl in a hole, right?  I finally got around to altering a few of the maternity tops I made when I was pregnant with R.  (You can click on the links below the pictures to see the pre-altered tops)

  With both of these tops, I simply slashed the side seams up to about an inch away from the armpits.  That left the front of the shirt about a foot longer than the back.  I picked the hem out of the back of the shirts, pinned the side seams to my current size and ran the seams through my serger.  Once the seams were attached, I snipped the front panel to match the length of the back.
  For the grey top I used my good ol’ double needle to hem it again.  For the blue top I got to use my new toy!  I’ve desperately wanted a cover stitch machine for years now.  I actually thought that my serger was going to do what cover stitch machines do when I bought it.  I love my serger, but it just can’t handle everything I needed it to.  My Mr. decided that this Christmas was time for me to finally get one.  …except we didn’t get around to, you know, ordering it, until March.  Whoops.  I’ll (eventually) write up some information about the machine, but for now, just know that I used it to make a decorative line of stitching over the side seams on this top, and then hem the bottom.  Both of these tops are already back to being heavy in the rotation…because I like boring, neutrals.  I’m exciting like that.

This is a pretty straight-forward alteration, I know, but, as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment or email!

How to Make a Leotard from a Long Tanktop

Man I haven’t been looking forward to publishing this post.  It’s been bitterly cold here and, despite brainstorming for weeks, I couldn’t figure out any way to show you guys the finished product without posting a, more or less, bathing suit shot of myself.  On top of the whole, “hey world, these are my thighs” aspect of it, getting this picture was FRIGID.  I’d be fairly pleased with myself if I didn’t know the only reason I look so toned is because every single muscle in my body was clenched in the act of shivering.  So without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, my pasty self in a leotard:

  I may have photoshopped my legs to be slightly more tan to avoid actually blinding anyone.
  On to how to make the leo.
  First off, WHY am I making leotards, right?  Well, like I said in my post about the things we’ve been doing around the house, I’ve been doing a lot of aerial classes.  If you’ve ever tried aerial, you know that there are certain parts of your body you have to protect to keep from getting horrible rope/fabric burns.  One of those places is your lower back.  I’ve tried just tucking tight sports tops into tight leggings.  It only works if you want to tuck your shirt into your pants AND your underwear after every trick.  Not really ideal.
  I guess I could have gone out and found a dance shop and bought real leotards, but, uhm, I’m cheap, so I did this instead.
  I stopped by our local thrift shop and grabbed the longest, stretchiest tank tops I could find and dragged them all into a changing room with me.  I tried them on and made sure that I could pinch the hems of the shirt together between my legs.  With my crazy long torso, not many shirts made the cut.  I walked out with 3 that worked and spent like, $1.50.  You could, of course, do this with new shirts, but keep in mind that they might shrink, so make sure you leave yourself more than enough seam allowance at the bottom.
  When I got home, I used my seam ripper to pull out the bottom hem of the shirts.  Once it was out, I broke out my safety pins, threw the shirt on inside out and pinned it together where I wanted the crotch seam to sit.  …this was also a good chance to be certain I was going to actually be able to get OUT of the thing once it was sewn up.
  I stitched shut that portion of the seam and then put it back on.  Next I used my safety pins to “draw” a leghole, using my underwear as a general guide.  Obviously you want to start with more modest legholes and then cut more away if you want later.  Since I’m planning on wearing leggings over these (knee backs are another part of your body you want to protect) I didn’t get too finicky about it, just enough to make sure I was comfortable and not restricting my motion any.
  I rolled the leghole edges and stitched them down with a double needle and called it good.
  3 new, one-of-a-kind leotards for less than a cup of fancy coffee.  Not bad huh?

Everybody likes to smell nice (except maybe little boys, who prefer beans)

  I’ve mentioned before that our house is old.  I love our old house.  It has charm, character and history.  But, unfortunately, it also has cracks and crannies that let in critters.

  Some time over the winter, it let in moths.  I’ll give the sewers, knitters and crocheters a minute to flinch and hiss at the m-word.  I felt the same way.
  Thankfully (I guess?) they started in the pantry.  It was obnoxious, and a little creepy, but throwing away the occasional bit of food didn’t get to me too badly.  Until I saw one in my closet.
  That meant war.  You can take my graham crackers, but you stay away from my textiles!!
  After doing some research, I found that my options were pretty much limited to nasty chemicals or lavender.  Not wanting to bring any dangerous nonsense into my house and kind of digging the idea of everything having a nice floral scent, I decided to take the lavender route.
  Luckily for me, the Purl Bee had just done a tutorial on lavender sachets.
  If you’ve never seen their site, do me a favor and don’t click on those links til you’ve thought to yourself what pretty little sachets I made, and how nicely my picture turned out.  Once you click it’s going to be obvious I’m a rank amateur.  The materials they use are incredible, the end products are beautiful and the photography is gorgeous.  I sincerely doubt there are any toddlers in their lives.
  Speaking of toddlers; I made two sets of sachets and when I’d finished, G desperately wanted to play with them.  He begged and begged to play with the “pillows”.  Him using them as a new toy wasn’t really going to work out for moth control, so I had to take them away, but I used the same general idea to make him a couple of bean bags and now he’s happy as a clam.
  For either bean bags or sachets, start by cutting yourself 2-4″ squares of fabric.  I loved the look the Purl Bee sachets had with the plain canvas on the back, so I used muslin for mine, but complimentary fabrics could be absolutely beautiful as well.
  If you have the time and ambition for hand sewing, I suggest you follow the directions for treating the hem in advance of putting in your filling that is in the link above.  If you’re stealing moments while your tiny dictator(s) nap and think hand sewing sounds like it will be lovely to have time to do when your little one(s) gone to college, you’re with me.
  Start by placing your squares, right sides together, and stitching 3 of the 4 sides.  Turn the pocket right side out and iron.  Next, fill about 3/4 full with either lavender or dried beans.  Turn your hem allowance under, iron flat and sew shut.  …it may actually be easier to turn your hem allowance and iron it before you fill the pockets, but what can I say, I prefer ironing dangerously.
  If you’re making bean bags, you’re done.  Go throw it at somebody you love and have fun.  If you’re making sachets, you’ve got one more step.  Start by using my knot free technique to attach your thread to the center of your muslin square.  Push your needle through the center, moving the lavender to the edges with your fingers and creating a long stitch in the middle.  Pass the needle from front to back a few times until the pillow puckers in the middle.  Tie it off (again knot free) and you’re done.  If any of that is confusing, click over to their tutorial where there are lots more pictures.
  This is an incredibly quick project, and a rather satisfying one.  I finished a dozen of them fairly quickly and am planning on making another dozen soon.  It’s a great way to use up scrap fabric, and I love that on top of making my house smell nice, the lavender will be keeping my yarn and fabric stashes safe.
  As always, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know!  I love hearing from you guys!

How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

If you’re still tying a knot in your thread to start your hand stitching, today’s tip will change the way you sew forever.  Seriously.  I used to knot my thread, and it made me crazy that half the time that knot would just pull right through, and even if it didn’t, it left a lump in my garment where the knot was.  Ugh.  This method solves the issue of loose weave fabric and doesn’t give you the “this was made by a third grader” look that a big honkin knot in your thread does.

  Here’s how you do it:
How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

 

Incredibly poor choice of thread color so you can see what I’m doing.
  Start by picking up 3-4 threads of your fabric with your needle.  You want a small piece of fabric, but 1-2 threads, depending on the fabric, may be too fragile.  Pull your needle and thread through the fabric, leaving a thread tail of around 2 inches.
How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

 

  Pull your needle around and put it back through the exact same spot, making sure not to pull your original thread tail through.
How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

 

  Start to pull your thread through.  Before it is completely pulled through, a loop will form.  Thread your needle through this loop and then finish tightening your thread.  This method works somewhat similarly to the Chinese finger traps you can find in dollar stores.  The more the thread is pulled on, the more it tightens around itself.
How to start hand sewing without knotting the thread

 

  Once you’ve finished tightening this, you can trim off the excess tail.  You can also use this method to tie your thread off when you’ve finished sewing.  No more knots, no more bumps and far less frustration.
  Now isn’t that better?
  If you’ve just found my blog, please, check out some of my other posts!  All of my sewing how to’s can be found here.

How to make your own headband

  I can’t wear store bought headbands.  I don’t know if I have an abnormally sized/shaped head or what, but they just don’t work.  The traditional, plastic ones push on some kind of pressure point behind my ears and give me a pounding headache and the elastic band ones just shoot right off my head.  It’s a less than ideal situation.

  Like, I’m pretty sure every other woman in America, my hair has layering in it.  Face framing layers are a great thing…except when you don’t want hair in your face.  Then you pretty much have to have a headband.
  So, this summer, desperate to get my growing-out hair out of my face and off my neck, I started making my own headbands.
If you want to make one too, here’s what you need:
Length of ribbon, chain or other material for band, elastic, needle and thread
  Wrap the ribbon you’re going to use for the main part of your band around your head, making sure the ends will reach to behind your ears.  Keep in mind that less elastic is prettier if you want to wear your hair up, but so long as it tucks behind your ears, it will be a cute headband for most uses.  For my band I used a ribbon that was about 17.5″ long.
  Sew your ribbon onto your elastic BEFORE cutting any elastic off the roll.  Because I was using wide ribbon, I wrapped it around the elastic for a prettier finish.
  Wrap the ribbon around your head again and pull the elastic across the gap in the back to secure a comfortable fit.  Hold on with your fingers just beyond the un-sewn side of the ribbon (to give yourself some space to sew them together) and pull the whole thing off your head.  Snip the elastic where your fingers are and sew the elastic and ribbon together.
  That’s it!  You’re done!  Enjoy your new headband while you look for other stuff you can use to make more.  I’ve used ribbon, wired ribbon, jewelry chain and twine so far!
  They stay on, don’t give me a headache, and it’s a great way to use up tiny bits of leftover gift ribbon.

A failed experiment in kool aid dyeing

  Hi Everybody.  I’m Erin, and I have a problem.  (Hi Erin!)  That problem is called “Pinterest“…and if you’ve discovered it, you know what I mean.

  I’ve tried very, very hard to not let my boards turn into the stereotypical collection of crafts I’m never going to do.  Problem is, that means I’ve got to find the time in the day to do the 3,000 things that I think I can get done!
  A little over a week ago I found this:
Gaaaah…must have preeeeetty
  It was connected to this tutorial for kool aid dyeing, something I’ve been meaning to try out for a while.  I was headed to the grocery store anyhow, so I decided to add yarn and kool aid to my list.
  Now…the first mistake I made in this process was to read “wool yarn (or a blend with other animal fibers like alpaca, angora, cashmere – a small percentage, like 15% or less, of something man made, like nylon or rayon, would be ok) in hank form” and get overly smart.  “Oh, any natural fiber should be fine” I thought to myself…and grabbed cotton.  …if you go back later and read the comments (because you’re confused as to why it didn’t work) you will find that she specifically says it doesn’t work on plant fibers.  …that’s okay.  I’m going to show you what happened anyhow.
  This is what I started with:
I used grape, berry blue, lemon lime and lemonade
  First, I wound my balls of yarn into a hank.  I used the back of a chair and then just slid it off when I had finished.  I decided that two of the balls of yarn were going to be plenty for the first experiment.  I tied strands of a polyester yarn around the hank in 4 places to avoid the nightmare tangling I got when I did my tarn dyeing project.
  Next, I dunked the yarn in the water (make sure you don’t have it heated up for this, you’re going to have to push your hand into the water to get the air bubbles out of the yarn so it’ll sink) and let it simmer for a while.  I’m not sure exactly how long I let it sit…certainly longer than 15 minutes…I ran outside to get the last few bulbs planted in my garden…so probably more like 45 minutes.  I also added 1/3 c. vinegar to help the color set.
  Once the yarn was good and soaked, I started adding kool aid.
  I added the green and blue first and let it soak for an hour.  The water never got entirely clear (probably because I was using the wrong type of yarn) but I lost patience and turned it over.  I added the purple and yellow and let that soak for an hour too.
  After two hours soaking in the crock pot, it looked like this:
Not exactly the vivid colors I was looking for
  I threw it in the sink, wondering what had gone wrong and rinsed it out.
  After it was rinsed, I hung it up to dry in my shower.  It looked like this:
  I was disappointed.  The very subtle, greyed out blues and purples were very pretty, but it wasn’t at all what I had been trying for, and I was afraid that as it dried, it would lighten even more.
  You can imagine my surprise when I checked on it two days later and it looked like this:
  By the time it was completely dry, the blues had come back in full force.
  Only problem now is that there’s still a lot of not very colorful yarn in there.  And though it’s hard to see in the picture, the parts that aren’t blue have a funky pink tint.
  Not to worry.  I got more kool aid and will be putting it back in the pot soon!  I’ll let you guys know how it goes…and when I actually do it correctly (using wool yarn and all), I promise, I’ll show you that too!

Faking "well rested" with makeup, with time left for a nap

  Not long after G was born, I was perusing my local library.  I’m kind of a book addict, so even though most people probably don’t get a whole lot of reading done when they have a newborn, I get withdrawl shakes if I don’t get my regular “fix” of literature.  Fiction, non-fiction, novel, magazine…whatever.  I just need something in written form.

  Because it was right after G was born, I was…uhm…slightly less bright than usual from the lack of sleep.  I picked out this book and brought it home:
  …this wasn’t the book I wanted it to be.  I’m 29…if I looked ten years younger, people wouldn’t let me buy wine and I’d be getting hit on by high schoolers.  Yuck.  No thanks.  The book I was hoping this would be was this:
Seriously…somebody write this…please?
  I read it anyways.  Thought maybe I could use some of the tricks not to look younger but to look more well rested.  She certainly has good advice…it’s just that a lot of it isn’t applicable to me yet. 
  What this book DID point out to me that I have done something about is that we have to be really careful to not fall into habits with our makeup.
  
  …I already said I don’t want to still look 19, so why was I still doing my makeup the same way?
  I think most girls start using makeup for the same reason.  They want to look like women.  They want to look more mature and adult, as well as more beautiful.  Ok…fine…but while looking 21 or 22 when I was 19 was a desirable thing (especially because at 19 I looked about 15), looking older when I’m nearly 30 isn’t really what I want.  It was time for some changes.
Toooo much makeup.
  One thing this book (and any “don’t age yourself with makeup” article) will tell you is that the fastest way to make yourself look older is to wear too much makeup.  I was definitely in this camp.  I love theater and one of my best friends is a photographer with whom I’ve done many photo shoots with fantastical makeup (see above).  I treated makeup like it was finger paint and my face the canvas (in the picture above, it actually was poster paint).  …that stops working when you stop wanting to add years.
  I took a long hard look at my (bucket of) makeup and decided what I couldn’t live without and what was best put away as “special occasion” stuff.  I pared my routine down to these four items:
Ok…five if you count the business card
  It’s not about looking older and more worldly now, it’s about looking healthy and well rested.  Besides, less makeup products and a more streamlined routine for putting it on means you get to be more well rested, cuz you can sleep in!
  Here’s how I use my streamlined makeup:  (warning, picture of me with no makeup and little sleep coming up)
The face that launched 1,000 ships…in the other direction
  This is me, about half an hour after waking up, nothing on my face but my daily spf/moisturizer (you are wearing sunscreen right now, right?  No?  I’ll wait.  Go get some.  Seriously.).  My skin is all red because I just finished washing my face, but as you’ll see as the pictures go on, that fades pretty quickly.
  …it took some serious self control, but the only photo-editing I did on these pictures was to remove red eye or crop photos to a more manageable size.  If Jessica Simpson can do it on the cover of Marie Claire, I guess I can do it on here.
  First things first, I put on mascara.  This is the single item that makes the biggest, most dramatic change in appearance for me.  I use a business card (or hotel key card) held at the base of my lashes (against my eyelid) to allow me to coat the lashes from root to tip without coating my eyelids in black goo.
  I really resisted the business card trick for a long time.  It sounded like a pain in the butt and I couldn’t quite understand where they meant to put the card.  Pictures would have really helped me.
I think nobody put up pictures because you look ridiculous doing it…
  Try it out.  Once you get the hang of it, it makes a HUGE difference.  Pharmacy mascara very quickly starts looking like department store mascara and because all your roots get coated, you get a sort of faux eyeliner without any harsh line.
I promise, I didn’t take a 2 hour nap between this and the first shot
  So if I needed to, I’d be good to leave the house like this, but if I have the time, I’ll keep going.  My next step is to darken in some patchy spots in my eyebrows.
  This is a really subtle, finicky one.  If you’re doing it right, nobody will notice your eyebrows, but they’ll open up your eyes more and make you look more awake.  I definitely advise taking pictures of yourself with this one until you get the hang of it.  …after taking this picture I recognized that the pencil needed to be blended in better.  If you’re going to skip a step, this would probably be the one…just make sure your brows are well maintained otherwise.
  Next up is stain.  I use Benetint’s rose colored stain.  It multitasks, looks pretty and I don’t have to worry about getting lipstick on G or the Mr. when I kiss them.
  The stain goes on both my lips and cheeks.  For my cheeks, I dot 3 small dots of liquid on the apple of my cheek and then smear it around and up my cheekbone before repeating it on the other side.  For my lips, I cover the entire lip with a thin layer and then concentrate the color in the very center.  If you imagine sucking something off of your finger, the color should be concentrated on the parts of your lips where your finger touches.  Apparently young, especially healthy people have darker centers of their mouths.  Fake it!
  The last step I take is to smear rosebud salve all over my face.  …well, I guess not technically my whole face, but it’s absolutely another multi-tasker!
  The rose balm goes on my lips for chapstick, my cheeks (to fake that dewy, glowing skin everybody wants), a touch to smooth my eyebrows into place, and in a couple strategic places around my eyes to fake that “I go to bed at a reasonable hour and drink 3 gallons of water a day” look.  Highlight with the balm by smearing a little right under your eyebrows (I usually do it at the same time as smoothing my brows down) and a touch in the inside corner of your eyes.  If you have deep set eyes/a tall bridge of your nose like I do, it’s not a bad idea to dab a bit up in the valley your nose creates above that inner corner too.
  That’s it!  4 products, not a lot of work and you’re ready to head out the door, a fresh faced, healthy looking, beautiful adult woman!  
Do you have any great tips for looking well rested and healthy when you’re not?

Scrap Necklace

  As a seamstress, I always have scraps of fabric laying about.  Bits of things that are just too pretty to get rid of, but aren’t really big enough to make anything out of.  Having a baby helps with the problem, because their things are of course teenie tiny, but some scraps are even too small for baby clothing.

  You might have noticed that I really hate throwing things away when I can find a use for them.  In my mind, using stuff I already have means not spending money on those things, which means trips to the tropics!  ….it doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s the process in my head.  (Just gonna keep reusing things til I wind up in Tahiti…it’s gotta work one of these days)
  This necklace is a great re-use for two things that otherwise would have gotten thrown away.  Scraps of fabric and an old necklace that I wasn’t wearing.
  Here’s what you need:
Fabric, chain, jewelry rings, ribbon clamp ends, closure, scissors and jewelry tools
  Really sharp eyed readers may recognize that necklace.  We’ve seen it before.
I’ve been staring at it for a month trying to decide how to use it
  So first things first, we want to cut our fabric and necklace into pieces.  We want 3 strips of each, we’re going to braid them together.
  You can sew the pieces together at the top if you’re worried about them coming loose, or just clamp all of them in the ribbon end and call it good.  
  Channel your inner friendship bracelet making 5th grader, safety pin the whole thing to your leg and braid it together.  Clamp the other end shut with the other ribbon end when you finish.
  Don’t be afraid to let the beads hang a little loosely through the braid.
  Attach your chain to one side and decide the length you want for your necklace.  I liked mine best at a choker length, so my chain is very short.
  Once you’ve attached your chain and closures, you’re ready to go!  Toss on a neutral top and let your new necklace shine!
  Do you plan to make this?  Do you want to help send me to Tahiti?  Either way, leave me a comment and let me know!