Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DIY Star Wars Birthday Projects Update




As promised, more crafty updates from our galactic journey towards Tristens May the Fourth Be With You Party! Today is his actual 4th birthday, and it also happens to be the very first day George Washington took office as our first President. Did you know that?

I love surprising the boys with a special birthday wake up whether its filling their bedroom with balloons or hanging streamers in the door ways and when they get downstairs we enjoy ice cream and waffles for breakfast- extra whip cream and sprinkles. What type of birthday traditions do you have in your home? I can't wait to hear! This morning however, I went with the theme and we had Jabba The Hot Cakes with Blue Milk.

Last night I was up baking, way past my bedtime too! The boys and I started out with sugar cookie cut outs in the shape of Yoda, Darth Vader, and Storm Troopers. The cookie cutters are from Williams and Sonoma Star Wars Heroes & Villains, and they we're fantastically easy to use.
 

It got later and the boys were tuckered out by the time we finished up so I was left solo for the cupcake making. No complaints here- so naturally I took advantage and we ended up with these crazy rainbow cupcake insides.


If you're wondering how I did it?
Mix up your cake mix as directed, then separate into 4 bowls. Add coloring of choice- stir in. Drop 1 tablespoon per color into cupcake pan. Use toothpick to swirl. 


Here's how they turned out. (These are the cupcakes for today... there will be more for the party Saturday.) 

I'll schedule a post for tomorrow that shows you the many light saber projects we've done including the bubble wands which I sneak peeked last week, and it will include a template to make your own light saber frozen ice pop sleeve. 



Friday, April 26, 2013

Make Your Own Soap Tutorial


Sometimes I need to reinvigorate my creative juices, and the best way for me to do that is run away from the sewing machine & make something, do something, learn something new. A few months ago the boys and I tried our hands at soap making. That experiment of course, included Legos too. 
Today I'll show you how fun & easy it is to make your own soap, and remind you that Mother's Day is just around the corner! 

 

You'll Need: 
Soap Molds (Mine were purchased from Hobby Lobby but you could also reuse different types of containers like a milk carton bottom)

Pure Glycerine Soap (found at craft supply store)

Essential Oils for sniffing

Coloring (food coloring, natural dyes, or again I picked soap coloring available at craft store)

Add ins (I'll be included some recipes at the bottom of the tutorial for inspiration)

Measuring Cup

Microwave 


1.) Melt your glycerine in microwave safe container. Heat for no more than 30 seconds on high. Stir and continue heating in short intervals until soap is melted. 

2.) Once soap is completely melted, you'll add your coloring and scents. I used 5 drops of oil per bar of soap and added until it tickled my fancy.

3.) Pour melted soap into molds along with add ins. (Pictured here is my orange peel citrus soap) Oh and a quick tip I had some issues with my add ins floating to the top and asked my friend Liana of The Coconut Crush for some help, she said "pour a thin layer, let it set up completely, then right before you pour the rest at a cooler temp, spritz cooled layer heavily with alcohol"

4.) Allow bars to cool for 1 to 2 hours. Stick the soap molds in the fridge for 15 minutes and the soap will pop right out.



Citrus Herb Soap 
Lemon and/or Orange zest, Basil, Rosemary, Mint (or any herbs of your choosing!) Puree herbs in food processor and squeeze out excess water in paper towel- Add 1 tablespoon per bar.

Orange Peel Soap 
Orange zest, or chopped orange peel + 5 drops of orange essential oil (Great tutorial showing you how to make orange oil from orange peels from Condo Blue)

Sugar Cookie Soap 
Use 5 drops of Sugar Cookie Fragrance oil

Vanilla Soap 
Use 5 drops of Vanilla Fragrance, and here's another tip! Liana tells me that generally speaking anytime you add vanilla scent to soap it will turn brown. This is what I used and it did not turn brown.

Rose Garden Soap 
Rose petals (boil them in distilled water before adding to soap) and rose oil. Make your own rose oil here.

See? That wasn't hard at all. The boys love making soap, especially when we're putting toys inside. This tutorial can be tweaked to create really cool birthday party favors, customized gifts for teachers, family, and friends. It's recommended to use your soap (or gift it away) within a year- however it won't get rancid or grow mold. Eeew! It will just lose its moisture and appear crumbly. Until then store it in an air tight container or seran wrap and tape closed. Now get soapin'!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

May The Fourth Be With You

We're less than a week away from a birthday celebration here, with crafting crunch-time is in full swing. After seeing the cutest circus themed finds at Michaels I tried hard to convince him that it'd be the coolest party yet. Come on animals wearing party hats, bright stripes, and pop corn machines!? That's a good time. He doesn't agree & will do nothing less than use his Jedi powers to change my mind.


Instead? You might've guessed it. Lego Star Wars took over. I'll try to post up some of the progress as I go. Yesterday we grabbed all of the green and blue bubble wands we could find and using black & silver Duck Tape (and one red Sharpie) we transformed them into light sabers.


Ha, yes! Great idea until... There was an epic battle in my living room and 2 casualties. My yellow area rug sopping wet with bubble juice and 1 broken saber.


Countdown until the party... 10 days. (WHAAT?!)  Sewing cloaks now. Well, I mean after I hit publish. Why do I do this to myself? Do you ever wait until the last minute to line out party details too?





Monday, April 22, 2013

Top 10 Favorite T-shirt Upcycles for Earth Day


Happy happy day- what makes this Monday extra special is... it's Earth Day! You know how passionate I am about changing the way we consume and create + raising awareness about clothing & textile recycling so I thought it would be a great day to share my TOP 10 Favorite Tshirt Upcycles. I hope something here tickles your fancy. sparks a fire in your britches to craft, and maybe you too will think;  "damn why didn't I think of that?"




 DIY Printing on Fabric Tutorial // DIYU: School for Crafting Misfits via Sew Beastly

 Tshirt Necklace Pendant Tutorial // Retread Your Threads Series on Pellon Projects


Gift Wrap Tshirt Bow Tutorial // National Sewing Month Series via The Sewing Loft





So there you have it, my top favorite tshirt tutorials- if you're looking for more inspiration be sure to join me on Pinterest and follow the always growing Ultimate Upcycled Tshirt Tutorial List. Are you doing anything extra special in honor of Earth Day- I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Unplug & Talk to Strangers


I spend far too much time in front of the computer screen. I tell myself that it's necessary because I run an online business, because I need to edit photos, respond to emails, write copy, renew listings, or publish a blog post. And when I'm away from the laptop or sewing machine I am guilty of instagraming and tweeting from the park bench. Even when I'm unplugged, sometimes I'm not.

I'm guilty, and I feel it today. (and other days too)

Like last month when I attended the Hello Etsy event at Pratt Institute. There I was in room full of outstanding, thought provoking, and inspiring people. These are the types of folks I want to mind meld with- they are makers, tinkerers, thinkers, and world renown speakers: all within reach- all changing the world in their own unique ways. Imagine how disappointed I was in between workshops to find half the audience buried into their gadgets possibly (and probably) engaging online but totally missing out on the 'real' connections.

I love meeting new people... anywhere. Widening social interactions, having new and engaging conversations, making a human connection with someone; all that can add so much to "your" world and maybe someone else's too. And when we allow ourselves to set down the iphone, unplug from our gadgets, it begins with a warm friendly smile.

When is the last time you really unplugged & talked to strangers? Where were you & how did it make you feel? Did you learn something new, make a connection, or were you completely ignored?

Today and every day make a point of unplugging even for 30 minutes and meet someone new. Mentors are everywhere.











Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tshirt Tray Tutorial: Retread Your Threads


I've been having a lot of fun hanging out & hosting Retread Your Threads with Pellon® this month. If you missed last weeks tutorial- I had everyone playing with sharp scissors and fire. Interested? You can find the complete tutorial here. Erin joined the fun & posted a tshirt refashion, and on Monday I shared the latest how to: transforming a tshirt into trinket trays. What would you keep inside your tshirt tray?

Find even more inspiration with the Retread  Your Threads Earth Month Pinterest Board- and be sure to share your upcycled & repurposed creations with us using #retreadyourthreads on social media, we'll be sharing our favorites on the Pellon blog later this month!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Headline Reads: An Even Brighter Green



I'm very lucky to be able to do what I do, and I'm always grateful for the opportunity to sit down and talk about clothing recycling, entrepreneurship, and desire to make a difference in the lives of those around me. If you're local, I urge you to pick up a copy of the Easton Irregular : the good news newspaper April Edition.



Monday, April 8, 2013

Retread Your Threads Series with Pellon

 
I'm excited to finally get the opportunity and share that I've joined the Pellon® design team!! You may already know that I've diverted more than 20 tons of clothing from our waste stream, but what you didn't know... I've done so using more than 560 yards of Pellon® fusible interfacing! we thought Earth Month seemed like a perfect reason to celebrate. Today we kicked off a series called, Retread Your Threads where I'll be sharing tutorials for creatively repurposing clothing with a variety of Pellon® products. Today's project uses Pellon® 808 Craft-Fuse® in a rather unconventional way- Head over to the Pellon Blog for the complete how to: Denim Cylinder Sleeve Candle Holder/Vase


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