Friday, April 29, 2011

{this moment}

a moment from this week that I want to smile, savor and remember
inspired by Amanda Blake Soule at soulemama
feel free to leave a link to your moment in the comments.

have a wonderful weekend! 

a peek into my studio

This photo was taken by my little guy while my friend, Amylynn, and I were working. He took the one of me below too. It's getting interesting in my studio, no doubt about it!

The t-shirt was in the stack to be revamped, and I took the great artwork from one of my old t-shirts. It was from the good old days in Grand Rapids and was illustrated by a friend with a very creative family. I taught his girls to sew in their first sewing class! Rose has become quite a successful entrepreneur at the Fulton Street Artist's Market. Pearl is a gifted illustrated already, so I hope she keeps drawing and painting! Check out the Wonder Wagon when you are in GR!

Wait until you see these great obi-style belts! I'm so excited about them b/c they are comfortable!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

work in progress - wip wednesday!

 Here's a little preview of what's coming out of my studio for the "From Women's Hands" show this weekend. Over 150 talented local female artists are coming together to sell their wares at the newly renovated Streeters Center on Garfield in Traverse City. In addition, 20% of all sales will be donated to breast cancer research at Munson Hospital.  There's a party (with food, live music and dancing!) on Friday night from 6-10pm if you want to get in on the action early. I'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

rock rainbow

Something simple that makes me smile.  It also reminds me of the concert we saw last weekend, when Rachel Davis sang "Somewhere over the Rainbow" a capella, of course. That girl has some voice!

It's been raining for a couple of days here, but our seeds are starting to sprout. Surely we will see a rainbow soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

make your own cleaning products party!

One of my good friends had a little party a few weekends ago, and it was so much fun! We made our own cleaning supplies using simple ingredients - baking soda, borax, castille soap, vinegar, dish soap and some essential oils.

Stirring up the laundry detergent. I love that I can add my own essential oils! When I got home, I made some dryer balls out of yarn. I saw it on a blog somewhere and can't find it now... At any rate, you wind balls of yarn (a great way to use old acrylic) and then wind some nice wool yarn to cover it up. Put in a stocking, tie a loose knot and wash in hot, put in dryer. Works great, uses old stuff that nobody wants and it's fast!

I found some plain spray bottles at the store and filled them up! To keep myself from getting confused, I added a drop or two of food coloring to each one, orange for all-purpose and blue for window cleaner. There's a shaker too, which I didn't show. It's a large mouth mason jar and the top has holes which were made with a hammer and nail (on a block of wood). I added a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda and stirred it up. Now I can use it on my stainless sink, bathtub and those tough spots on the tile floor.

Now, the question is, keep the cleaning lady or enjoy it all to myself? (Just kidding, Julie, we love you too much to let you go, but we will share our cleaners and recipes with you!)

recipes for homemade cleaning products

Here they are!

All purpose cleaner
1 quart warm water
1 t liquid soap (dish soap or castille soap)
1 t borax (powder)
1/4 c vinegar
5-10 drops essential oil (tea tree is good disinfectant)
1-2  drops food color
Mix and put in spray bottle. Good for walls, countertops, carpet, upholstery, tile floors and more.

Glass cleaner
1 quart warm water
1/4c vinegar
5-10 drops essential oil
1-2 drops food color
Mix and put in spray bottle.

Laundry soap
Grate 4oz castille soap into 4c hot water - stir to dissolve.
Fill 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full with hot water, add melted soap.
Add 1c washing soda (baking soda works too) and 1/2 c borax - stir to dissolve.
Fill bucket full of hot water and let sit for 24 hours.
Fill soap container 1/2 full and add more water.
Add essential oil (10-15 drops).
Use 1/2c per load.

Monday, April 25, 2011

a handmade birthday gift surprise!

While shopping at the local co-op last week, stocking up on supplies for another holiday weekend away from home, I bumped into one of my crafty blogging friends, Amylynn McDevitt from little farm studios. She handed me this sweet little package for my birthday. I enjoyed so many things about it, starting with the kraft bag, box and washi tape. Inside was a tiny envelope with a card, and there was stitching on the earring card. The earrings are just the right style and color for me. I wore them all weekend!

Thank you very much, Amylynn! You are a kind and thoughtful friend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

{this moment}

a moment from this week that I want to savor, smile and remember
inspired by Amanda Blake Soule at soulemama
feel free to leave a link to your moment in the comments.

have a wonderful holiday weekend with your families and friends!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

art party - paper nests

It was another fun day for the girls and me at art party! Marcy planned the craft and brought all the materials. We made paper nests using recycled paper and white glue.

The instructions suggested using a bowl covered with plastic wrap as a form, but I tried this one using a paper bowl, and covered both sides with paper. It did get a big soggy from the glue/water mixture, but it turned out all right in the end. I'm hoping to grow some grass in it using wheatberries.

First we did a test run using some pre-made paper shreds. They worked pretty well, and the small ones I made were the best, made on a sauce cup and embellished with some glitter.

It's a bit gooey, but it was fun to get our hands messy! We put a big bowl of water and a towel on the table for wiping our hands. In retrospect, the flannel backed vinyl tablecloth my gram used to put on the table for crafting would have been ideal. We used newspaper, which worked pretty well, but took a little scrubbing to get the newsprint off the painted surface of the table!

All in all, it was a very successful day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

this moment - taking yaya for a stroller walk

One extraordinary moment from this week that I want to savor and remember. What was the most memorable time in your week? Share your link in the comments.
Inspired by Amanda Blake Soule at soulemama.

community sewing studio clothing swap

Welcome to the clothing swap! We had so much fun, imagining what could be made with some of the things that were donated. Thanks to all who came and to those who dropped off donations!

Here are teachers Nadia, Sonja and Amy Daniels Moehle along with Gretchen and Gwen Eichberger, enjoying their swapped goods.

This was a turtleneck dress that we converted into a robe for Sonja. All it took was a scissor and a few minutes of conversation! She will toasty warm now!

 Kari is wishing these were a bit larger...

Checking out some of the gorgeous fabrics that have been donated to the studio. Perhaps this would entice you to come visit us?

When all was done, we donated a few boxes to BACN and sorted the rest into categories for our projects - t-shirts and knit materials, wool sweaters and pants, cotton pants and skirts to make into kid's pants and dresses.

When you get to Grow Benzie, come around to the back and you will see the door here!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

community sewing studio kicks off spring schedule!

 Want to learn to sew? Beginning classes are held on Wednesdays from 4-6pm starting April 11 and Mondays from 6-8pm starting April 13. A 6 week session is $40 and there is still room to join us at the Community Sewing Studio at Grow Benzie, for ages 8 -80! You can join our group on facebook too.

Just need a machine so you can work on a project? Come by for our open studio. It's only $10 and there's one this Sunday, April 17, 1-4pm or Sunday, May 15, 1-4pm. Grow Benzie is located at 5885 M115 in Benzonia. You can get a complete schedule here. We need to prove that our community can support this venture so tell all your friends, or better yet, bring them along and sew with us!

This is Mary Ann Hendricks. She has spent hours and hours making this dream a reality! At our clothing swap she was hanging up the recycled valances and has been known to vacuum when everyone else was ready to leave. She is amazing!
Special thanks to my dear friend, Marcy Patterson Grudzien at mecca who helped us paint and get things organized for the big open house! And to Pam Smith for her help too, helping us clear away the dust and refold all the clothes. There are so many other who have helped us out and I want to thank them too!

There are sewing bees too to make the wooly veggies that we are selling for $5 to raise $$$ for the studio and new sewing machines. Join us on Friday, April 15, 7-9pm and Friday, May 13, 7-9pm. This is also a great time to stop by and make donations of clothing, fabric or sewing notions.

Look for us on the lower level in the back of the house at Grow Benzie. There's a sweet little deck by our entrance!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

our community sewing studio gets some press!

From the Traverse City Record Eagle on Sunday, April 3, 2011

revamped wrap skirt with pockets

Here it is, in action. I love having pockets for my camera, phone and handkerchief. And I LOVE my new boots! They were a christmas present, and I've been waiting for the snow to melt so I can wear them.
The river was gorgeous, not as high as it was yesterday. The road was graded yesterday, and that was quite exciting for little f. A dump truck and a grader working on the road. We spent a long time just watching them work. Today, it's a tray of flour in the kitchen with some matchbox trucks. It's been good for hours of play!

This is one of my favorite jackets, and it had a rip on the hood, so I made a little wool bunny patch for it. Our snacks are tucked away in a mesh drawstring bag with a fabric top and cordlock.

Friday, April 8, 2011

revamped jeans to skirt

Here's a tiny version of my favorite jean skirt. It's comfy with plenty of pockets (of course, I love them so, you know!). It's especially fun over a pair of leggings with some groovy boots. On Sunday, I'll be teaching a class at our Community Sewing Center - the dream has become a reality! We have two new sewing machines so far, and are raising $$$ for four more! Back to the class, which is at 1pm. Bring your own pants or choose from the stash we have collected. Better yet, join us tonight, Friday from 7-9pm for a clothing swap!

This one is serged on the hem, but it can be left raw, and just stitched with a straight seam so it won't unravel.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

revamped tanks to tunic

Three tanks for revamping. The tie dye is my favorite, it's from an art fair a few years ago, brightly twisted is the name I think...

First I cut the top of the aqua tank off, just below the trim. Then I cut a band of the green tank and made sure it was close to the same width around as the aqua tank. Since the aqua tank had a bit of a curve, I decided to keep that when I stitched it onto the band from the green tank, using a stretch stitch on my machine.

Then I cut off the top of the tie dye tank with my rotary cutter. It was quite a bit larger than the green and aqua tank, so I sewed it up a bit on the side seams and then slid it inside the other two tanks, right sides together, so I could stitch them up. Since the tie dye part was wider, I had to stretch the green part as I sewed.

If you are new to this technique, you will probably want to pin at the sides and then stretch to pin the front and back, so you have pins in four places. This is also how you would attach elastic if you were making something like underpants. (Yes, Ashlea, I'm thinking of you!) Then you just stretch each section as you sew to make it even.

Then I topstitched both the top and bottom with a stretch stitch to get them to lay a bit flatter. I could have ironed it a bit, but didn't get that far yet...

Monday, April 4, 2011

revamped wool wrap skirt with pockets!

A friend gave me a long wool skirt, so I took it home and washed it in hot water. Then I cut off the pockets and hem and used a wrap skirt as a pattern to cut out a shorter skirt. The pockets were sewn back onto the front. The hem was sewn onto the top for the ties. I left the edges raw, since they are felted and they won't unravel. Then I saw a similiar skirt in a fashion mag with some chunky tights and went digging in my sock drawer to find something comparable! I like the brown zig zag stitching on the pockets and waist, since it adds a little detail to the otherwise plain skirt. And you might already know about my love for pockets!

What have you been making?