Nov 2, 2012

Altered Couture—Winter 2013

I'm excited to announce that my pajama jumpsuit turned dress is featured in the winter 2013 issue of Altered Couture!  It was chosen as part of their "Slip Into Sleepwear" challenge.  It hit the newsstands on November 1.  As an added bonus, my sister-in-law, Kathy, has also been featured in the same issue!  How cool is that!?  She created a beautiful necklace by repurposing a pair of leather sandals.  You can check it out on her blog,

Sep 28, 2012

Layered T-Shirt Dress

The other day while shopping at the thrift store, I came across some men's t-shirts that coordinated well together.  I thought they would be perfect for a layered dress that I had been envisioning in my mind.  I also found a navy blue half slip that would be perfect as the base of the dress.

I brought them home and got to work.
I first put the slip onto my dress form and pinned the sides.

I then trimmed away the excess.

The next step was to cut my strips with a rotary cutter. 

I cut several strips 3" wide.  

I could have left the edges raw since t-shirt fabric doesn't fray, but I opted to go with a small serged edge.   It finished it off and gave a slight ripple to the edge.  Now it was just of matter of stitching the strips to the front and back of the slip.  I followed the curved hem of the slip and and placed each layer about 1/2" over the previous layer.

Once they were all attached, I set the front and back skirt aside and worked on the top.  I used a commercial pattern that I already had to make the bodice.  I trimmed the neck and sleeves with the black t-shirt material.

I attached the front and back skirt to the bodice before stitching the side seams.  The t-shirt fabric had some stretch, but not enough to go with out a zipper, so I placed an invisible zipper in one of the side seams.  Once the zipper installation was complete, I pinned each layer to make sure they would match perfectly and then stitched the sides.

Here's a close-up of the layering.

I'm really happy with the results.  Its super comfy and cost about $10 to make.  The necklace was a last minute addition to the outfit.  I'll post about that in the near future.

I like to link to these great parties.

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Aug 21, 2012

Girl's Camp Crafts 2012

I recently returned from Girl's Camp and thought you might like to see what we did this year for crafts.  At the end of each project I will give you some tips and my honest opinion of the success of the craft. We tried to be frugal and use some of the existing supplies from previous years.  This is what we came up with...

"Let Your Light Shine" Lanterns

The girls brought a recycled jar to camp to use for this project.

Some girls added colorful stickers to their lanterns.

Some added ribbons and fabric bows.

Glass beads were a big hit for the wire handles.

Tips and Review

This was a popular craft for the girls.  
Give clear instructions on the proper way to use spray paint.
A couple of light coats of spray paint are better than one heavy coat.
Sometimes the paint would peel off when the stickers were careful.
Be sure the wire handle is fastened securely to the rim of the jar, if not,
the jar can slip out and come crashing down!
We used battery operated tea lights from the dollar store.

For a full tutorial, click on the poster below.

T-Shirt Totes

We used an idea found on Skip to my Lou and tweaked it a little.  The girls brought their own t-shirt to use, plus we had some donated t-shirts on hand.  These are a no-sew project if you choose to tie the straps together instead of sewing them.

Tips and Review

The girls really liked this project.
If you tie the straps together, it is a no-sew project.  But, it also makes the straps shorter.  
For longer straps, sew them together and cover the seams with a t-shirt tie.
This is a great, lightweight, tote for bulky things.  Small items, though,
could fall through the bottom holes where the fringe is tied.
The more even the fringe is cut (width and depth) the better the final project.

For a full tutorial, click on the poster below.

"Get Your Shine On" Lip Gloss

We started with this recipe and tweaked it a little.  Our flavors were orange, strawberry, and peppermint.  We printed several labels onto 8 1/2" x 11" adhesive paper and punched them with a scallop-edged punch.

Tips and Review

The girls really liked this project.  
It tastes yummy on your lips.
It can be a messy project when measuring the vaseline and coconut oil.
The girls were not very precise when measuring the ingredients...keep an eye on them.
The containers could leak when the lip gloss gets too to keep the filled containers in a zip lock baggie.

For a full tutorial, click on the poster below.

Spoon People

What do you do with 900 leftover wooden spoons?  Well, you paint spoon people!  The girls were encouraged to paint them, embellish them, sign them, trade them, then glue them all together to display them.  

After the faces and bodies were painted, yarn, felt, and beads were used to embellish them.

Tips and Review

This wasn't the most popular craft offered...probably too time consuming!
The girls really enjoyed talking and painting, though.
Leave the lower 3/4" of the spoon unpainted so that it will adhere better to the wooden circle.

For a full tutorial, click on the poster below.

Melted Pony Beads

We had LOTS of plastic pony beads left from previous years.  This project was a fun (but stinky) way to use many of them.

Tips and Review

This was a popular and very easy craft.
You can either dump a bunch of beads into the mold and see what happens,
Or, you can carefully place the beads in an organized manner...tweezers help!
It smells when you bake the beads so do it outside.
I picked up inexpensive thrift store toaster ovens for this project.
Glass beads don't melt and provide a nice hole for a future chain or ribbon.
Clear beads make a nice sun catcher effect.

For a full tutorial, click on the picture below.

Well, that wraps it up for this year.  All in all, I think it was a success!

I like to link to these great parties!

Jul 30, 2012

Wedding #2...A Beach Theme

In case you didn't read about wedding #1, this is wedding #2...just a week apart!  This one had a completely different feel, being held outside in my Mom and Dad's backyard, and having a whole different theme.   It was a whirlwind of excitement and lots of work at our house.  Plus, add in visiting family (including five grandkids at the house) and things were really hopping!  Once again, thanks to everyone who helped make both weddings successful.  I will be forever grateful for wonderful friends and family!

The Dress and Bouquet

My daughter wanted a simple, lightweight dress since this was to be a summertime wedding.  We really couldn't find an exact pattern so we had to wing it a bit.  She chose white chiffon over satin.  The top is ruched with the chiffon.  The waist is embroidered lace over satin ribbon.  Small ribbon flowers with pearl and rhinestone centers were used as embellishments at the front of the waistband.  A satin ribbon bow adorns the back.

The bodice gives the illusion of being wrapped in the front.  Narrow crocheted lace trims the edge of the sleeves.  The beautiful bouquet was made by my talented sister-in-law.  She even put wire stems on some shells and added them into the mix.  You can check out her creative jewelry at

The back of the dress also had ruched chiffon over satin.  A simple satin ribbon bow completes the dress.

The Guest Table
In keeping with the beach theme, the guests could sign-in by putting a message in the bottle for the bride and groom.  The tabletop shutters, used in the first wedding, take on a nautical feel when draped with fish netting.  A sandcastle, shells, beach umbrella, and starfish-encrusted planter complete the look.

 The Buffet Tables
We got double duty from the table skirting and vinyl lace tablecloths used in the first wedding.  We kept the hot food hot with chaffing dishes, and the cold food cold by building a shallow frame with 2x4's, covering it with inexpensive plastic table covering, filling it with ice, and setting the bowls of food in place.  It was simple and effective.

This time around the tables were decorated with a seashell and raffia garland. 

The aqua blue starfish were made using Sculpey clay and a candy mold.  I pierced a hole through the top before baking so they could be strung onto the garland.  I used the regular colored sculpey clay (the bulk packaging was cheaper than buying colored clay), then brushed some watered down paint over the starfish after first baking them in the oven.  Raffia bows were tied onto the garland.

The dessert table was filled with varying heights of dishes filled with cookies, brownies, and cream puffs.  

Salt water taffy was also a big hit at the dessert table.

This multi-level stand is actually used to hold pillar candles.  We used glue dots to secure the plates.

The Centerpieces
The centerpieces were very economical, considering most of the parts were purchased from the dollar store, including the fluted glass vases, candles, shells, and two candlesticks—one tall, and one short.  The candlesticks were secured to the vases with glue dots.  The dark brown, round place mats were purchased on clearance for 75¢ each.  

The Gazebo
The gazebo has made the rounds for several receptions and even my Mom and Dad's fiftieth wedding anniversary.  Once it even traveled from Oregon to Utah to be used at a reception.  This time I added some sheer lace-trimmed curtains to the front to give it a more elegant feel.  I picked these up for cheap at Value Village.

I found these nautical tie-backs on clearance at Michael's for $6 a piece.  (I don't have a full picture of the tie-backs, but the following two pictures shows the upper half of the tie-back, and the lower half of the tie-back.)

The Cake
Having never done fondant before, I was fortunate to have a neighbor who had...and was willing to help!  We decided to cheat and make only the top layer edible.  The bottom two layers are actually fondant covered styrofoam.  We just figured that Costco sheet cakes would be easier and more economical.  I purchased a 2'x4' sheet of 2" thick styrofoam from Home Depot and cut the circles on the band saw.  I then stacked and glued them together.  My neighbor baked the top layer and then covered everything with fondant.  I placed the whole cake on a clear crystal serving platter.

I had previously made shells using candy molds and almond bark.  For the starfish, I sprinkled a little brown sugar in the mold first to give it some color.  The coral was made by placing some melted almond bark in a bag and squeezing it onto wax paper.  It was then placed in the refrigerator to set.  I attached all the shells with frosting and then sprinkled the whole thing with some organic sugar (only because it was coarser than regular sugar and not as white in color.)

The cake sat atop a clear, upside-down glass bowl with straight sides.  Before doing so, though, I placed some sea glass under the bowl which almost gave it the look of water.  (Actually, I had previously bought some green, aqua, and blue vases from the thrift store, broke them into pieces, and threw them into a rock tumbler.  The effect was homemade sea glass.  I have future plans for it, but for now it made the perfect addition to the cake stand.)  A fishing net was placed around the bowl and various seashells and starfish were added.

The Hair?
Okay, this has nothing to to with the reception decorations, but unbeknownst to me, the photographer took a picture of my hair, so I'm including it, along with the story behind it.  Having been at my Mom and Dad's all day finishing up the final preparations, and as the groom's side of the family were showing up for pictures, I figured it was time to clean up and get myself ready.  To my dismay, the bag that I had packed for myself was nowhere to be found.  Well, actually, it was to be found...back at home!  My sweet brother and his wife offered to travel all the way to the neighboring town and back to retrieve the forgotten bag, but I felt that surely someone from my house could bring it sooner.  Needless to say, by the time my bag arrived I had about 15 minutes to the start of the ceremony.  I was a mess, and my hair was definitely a mess!  So, my girls came to the rescue.  I felt like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality when she was left on her own to finish the competition...remember how all the girls came to her aid?  Well, I knelt on the bathroom floor and my girls were in a frenzy curling and pinning.  They finished in record time and I attended the reception feeling much more presentable as the mother of the bride!  Thanks girls!

I have to say that doing two weddings a week apart was A LOT of work, but it was good to have family and friends around and we have come away with great memories!

I like to link to these great parties!