Saturday, June 15, 2013

About Delays...

It has been more than a month since my last update, and boy have we been busy here!
My son finished third grade and we only have 8 weeks to celebrate before he goes back to start the fourth grade.

Summer has been filled with exciting adventures so far.
We had an impromptu ice cream social on the last day of school. It was great fun!




The kids and I enjoyed a trip to the zoo with friends where we saw flamingos,

zebras,
we petted sharks
 and pointed at jellyfish.
 We also enjoyed a dolphin show
 

and a dog show!

 My four year old even participated in the dog show. She took her hat to the center of the ring so that the performers could show us how sensitive the dog's noses are. After she left the ring, a dog came out, sniffed her hat and walked around the crowd until he found her.


It was a fun day for all of us!


 We took a trip to a strawberry farm, where the kids were able to pick their own berries!





These fresh picked, organically grown strawberries are the sweetest, 
most delicious strawberries I can recall ever tasting!


When we couldn't go outside, we found interesting activities to do inside.
My son created a costume out of boxes from our recycling bin.


My daughter asked me to make her toenails fancy and she now has polka dotted toe nails.

While the kids played, I created. I pulled a box of quilt pieces, that my Great Grandmother cut more than 47 years ago, out of the garage and sorted through it to create a few squares of my own. In so doing,  I have stumbled upon my newest project.

This is my BIG story. It deserves its own post.
I hope that you have found ways to make your summer enjoyable as well. :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This Magic Moment

We recently celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. We were going to invite all of our friends and family and throw a huge party, but we scaled it back and decided to spend the day together as a family with a photographer to capture the memories with us.
I am so pleased we did, she caught so many special moments of our morning. This one, with me and my son, for instance.
Our photographer is Leslie Ann Grubb, of Photography by Leslie Ann, in case you are in the Indianapolis, IN area and looking for a photographer yourself.  
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10 Projects in 10 Days: Project 1 complete

As per my usual, I went off the plan and made a different project for day one.
My daughter (a size 6 or 6x in little girls) received an XL tank top from a friend.
It made a decent little dress as it was, but hung around the neck and the sleeves kept slipping off of her shoulders.
I made a few adjustments to the length of the straps and added ruffles (my first successful ruffles!) to the shoulder straps. Now she has a gorgeous little summer dress that she is quite proud to show off!

On a sad note I broke the tightening screw, that holds the needle in place, off of my machine in the process.  Now I won't be able to sew anything for at least three weeks while the machine is repaired.
I am going to check with one of my computer savvy friends and find out why I am unable to add photos to my posts.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by my little space on the internet. Have a lovely day!
Until next time,
Beth

I will post a photo of the completed dress soon. 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Project 8: alisaburke Petticoat Tutorial

 Petticoat Tutorial: For the last year, I have been looking for a petticoat-
Materials required,
two or more coordinating fabrics
scissors
sewing machine
pins
elastic

Cut front and back of skirt pattern.
Cut several strips of fabric (the more strips, the fluffier the skirt) twice as wide as the panel (this is where you may alternate the colors to add interest to the skirt)
Sew a long straight stitch in the fabric
Pull the top thread to create the ruffle
Pin ruffle so it is even on the skirt panel
Repeat with every fabric strip,
sew to skirt
sew front and back panels together
Add elastic to waist
Enjoy!

Newspaper in the flower beds

I am a weekend warrior! This weekend, I mulched along both sides of our modest driveway, around the side of our house, and three large flower beds. It took me three days and a lot of muscle to complete, but I feel quite satisfied with the results. Instead of pulling up every single weed (I pulled up most) that had popped up last week during the thaw, I placed newspaper over the flower bed, leaving the flowers exposed, and mulched over the top of that. It is very rewarding to look at and (hopefully) the weeds won't sprout again! I'd love to post photos, but am still experiencing the photo upload issue.


I changed browsers and solved the photo upload issue. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Project 7: Toothbrush Travel Case

See this Pin for plan
What you will need to complete this project:
Hand towel
Sewing machine
Ruler
Fabric Marker (chalk will work)

Project 6: Bean Bag Toss Tutorial

Sugar Bee Crafts: Bean Bag Toss Tutorial
What you will need to complete this project:
 Fabric
beans
sewing machine
thick cardboard or wood
a saw
alternatively, two buckets (for targets)

Project 5: Rolled Fabric Flower Headband

Sugar Bee Crafts: Rolled Fabric Flowers
What you will need for this project:
Headbands
Fabric
Hot glue

Project 4: Knotted Headband with tshirt yarn

Sugar Bee Crafts: Knotted Headband with tshirt yarn:
For this quick and easy project you will need"
t-shirt yarn (cut strips of t-shirt and stretch them until they roll in on themselves)
a piece of t-shirt for finishing the band
to watch the tutorial on how to make the knot (unless you already know how)
hot glue or sewing machine (recommended)

Project 3: Handprint Pillow (or shirt, or bag)

Sugar Bee Crafts: Handprint Holiday Pillow:
What you will need for this project:
Sewing machine
scissors
fabric (at least three coordinating fabrics)
Iron on vinyl or cut out traced handprints and applique, or fabric paint kids hands and press to fabric

Project 2: Easy Knit Skirt Tutorial

Sugar Bee Crafts: Easy Knit Skirt Tutorial:
What you will need for this project
Sewing machine
knit material
scissors

Project 9: Side Gathered Shirt - t-shirt refashion

Sugar Bee Crafts: Side Gathered Shirt - Tutorial - men's shirt refas...
What you need for this project:
Oversized t-shirt
elastic thread
steam iron
fabric marker of some sort (chalk will do)

Sewing Project 10: Shirred Pillowcase Dress

Link to directions for making the shirred pillowcase dress
For this project you will need:
 a pillowcase
elastic thread
fabric scraps
a sewing machine
scissors

Sugar Bee Crafts: Upcycled Tshirt Skirt

Sugar Bee Crafts: Upcycled Tshirt Skirt
This is a fabulous blog created by a lady who seems to think I do. "If I can do it, you can too!"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Project 1: T-shirt Refashion

Cute Collared t-shirt refashion

For this project you will need:
2 t-shirts
scissors
patience/time
needle and thread or sewing machine


In Over My Head

Today I had the humbling experience of tackling a task for which I am not yet prepared. I attempted to sew a pair of shorts with an inner lining...without a pattern. Yes, that was too much to expect from a beginning sewer I will get it though. I will get it.
Tomorrow I begin my quest to select the top ten upcycle projects. :)

10 Projects in 10 Days

I have a new challenge for myself, to take the upcycle tutorials I have pinned to pinterest, pick 10 and complete them on materials I have saved. I want to complete this challenge in 10 days.
Step one:
Select the 10 projects I wish to complete from the hundreds of pins I have saved.
Step two:
Gather the materials out of my stash to complete each project.
Step three:
Lay out each project next to a printed set of instructions, post each set of instructions in its own blog post.
Steps four, five and six:
Take photos of each project before, during and after.
Step Five:
Celebrate my accomplishments, even if all ten projects don't happen, or I switch to a more doable project.
I think I can do it! If you have suggestions for an upcycled t-shirt or jeans project you would like to see me try, please post it here in the comments. 
For now, thank you for stopping by my little space on the internet, and have a lovely day!
Beth

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gearing Up

Here it is, 4 AM and I am awake, blogging. Please accept my apology in advance for any meandering that may occur. You may blame it on my tired mind and carry on.

Recently, my time has been monopolized with gathering information to create new items using all of the old fabric I have saved. The options are endless, and overwhelming. Perhaps the best place to start is with a project my DD, who is 4, can assist me in completing. We might just begin with making coasters, which is not a sewing project, but is a necessity in our house. Our coasters seem to keep disappearing. Now, we don't want to name names here on who might be the culprit in the case of the disappearing coasters, but I think her name begins with "Little" and ends with "Miss". Not to worry, she can help me make more, and they will be so much cuter than what we had before.

Over the weekend, there seemed to be a problem with my sewing machine, after some fiddling, I found that I just needed to reinsert the needle.  I broke my first needle (yes, it was denim)! I try to learn something new, regarding this fabulous machine, every day. Did you know that if your needle is not inserted deeply enough, it will create a "kachunk" sound when you are sewing? The sound is not dissimilar to the sound your car makes when it is low on oil. Also, if you insert a needle backwards, it will both weaken the upper thread, and refuse to pick up the bobbin thread. These little tidbts may be as obvious to an experienced sewer as, plugging in the machine if it won't turn on, but a new sewer needs to learn them, and why not do so the hard way? :) We have to keep life interesting!

For myself, and to let you know why I might not post for a few days, I am going to create a "To Do" list here.

Projects currently in que:
Trademark my business name
Refinish master bath vanity
Research better blogging options
Make a standing trash receptacle for sewing area
Create a project with Little Miss
Make Aprons for each kid
Transplant flowers from potential porch area
Create this list somewhere else so as not bore my readers to death, as it goes on, and on, and on...

Hopefully the next time I blog, I will be able to upload photos. We all know pictures make the story more interesting.

Thank you for taking a moment to stop by my little space on the internet. Have a lovely day!
Beth

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sew Productive!

What I Have Accomplished This Weekend (so far)
I am very excited (again, or is it still?). I received a cast off king sized headboard from a dear friend and neighbor on Friday. Yesterday, I purchased the perfect fabric for it, and, with the help of another dear friend and my DH, re-covered it!  
 We even accomplished the task of putting the headboard in its new home at the head of our bed! I feel like a real adult now!
 I would really like to upload a photo here, however, for some unknown reason, my photos won't upload.

I am considering moving all of the info I have created to another blog (while mine is still new). I Want to have more ability to add content and create separate posts on pages that are not the front page of my blog. As of yet, I have not been able to figure out how to do that here. If Any of you readers, yes, I mean YOU Sunny, know how to resolve my problems here, please post a little link or a tutorial for me. I have read what I can find through the links on Blogger's FAQ page, but have not been able to sort it out (yet).

I also put together the fabric I cut so long ago (in the 6th grade), and made a shirt! It is not quite finished yet, but I am so happy to have a start! I learned something very, very important as I sewed this shirt...you have to leave the sleeves open, otherwise, you just have a funky shaped pillowcase, which can be fun, but was not what I was going for here.

I finished up the bathroom vanity and posted more about it on the DIY tab. I'd love to tell you to take  a look at the finished project, but I discovered the photo upload issue when attempting to post these photos the first time. 
 Just for fun, I m going to try again right now. NO, still not working.

I am back to the sewing table! Have a lovely Easter and thank you for stopping by my little space on the internet.
Beth

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Skirting the Issue

I did it!
A polo refashioned into a skirt!
 Before

After

I'm feeling quite proud of myself for creating this new piece of clothing. 
I think I know what I'm putting in my etsy shop!
 I went to the garage to find the drawstring for this skirt and discovered my box of sewing projects instead. I am so excited for tomorrow to come so I can begin to conquer them all. First in the que is a sewing project from my first and only sewing class back in the 6th grade (It's been a while kids). I have the material all cut out and ready to sew, time to see the completed project. Who knows, it might even fit my little girl (someday). I hear a Pointer Sisters song coming on, sing it with me folks, "I'm so excited!" 
Thanks for stopping by my little space on the internet. Have a lovely day! 

Thrilled!

Yesterday, the unthinkable was accomplished, my sewing pile was completed (and I didn't even have to pay anyone)! My nine year old son had a pair of jeans with a huge hole in the knee. I had tried to patch it with a hand sewn patch, which looked pretty good, but he came home, after the first wearing, with a huge hole in the knee. The patch was still in there, but he had fiddled with the stitches all day until the bottom of the patch had come undone. I learned two things, the boy loves to have something to play with (alright, I already knew that), and I would need to create a more permanent patch if I expected it to stay put. Here is a picture of the patch after the sewing machine. Sorry, I forgot to take a before photo.
I love the way the inner stitches look, not so fond of the outer (straight) ones. 
I learned a few new techniques with this experience. I think my next patch will look pretty cool (I fully expect there to be a next patch, and am happy to oblige, as that means my DS is playing hard). If you look closely at this photo, you can totally see my learning curve. I started with the outer patch perimeter. I used a straight stitch and did not have a clear idea of how to move the leg around the machine fluidly, so that my straight stitch is not at all straight. Then I stitched the bottom of the interior patch (the actual hole), using a new type of stitch. I am very happy with the results of that stitch, but saw that it became very bunched up near the end. I learned how to adjust the pants on the machine to allow the material to flow fluidly under the needle during sewing. I completed the project with the top of the hole and am very pleased with how it turned out.

I also hemmed three pairs of jeans for my DD, who grew no less than 4 inches in 4 months beginning in November last year. I decided to skip a size (since I had begun the season with a slightly large size, and now all of those pants are too short) and purchased several pairs of pants that ended up being about three inches too long on her. Rather than return them, I put them in my sewing pile, where they sat for two months. I am delighted to have them hemmed! I also darned several pairs of cute socks she really likes.
All of that added up to a completed sewing pile! Even better, what would have taken me three days to complete took me about an hour. I'm thrilled to mark that off of my "to do" list.

Monday, March 25, 2013

In Stitches!

I did it! I sewed a few stitches! Actually, I sewed more than a few. I tried and failed several times before realizing that the reason my thread kept breaking was that it was not good thread, so I re threaded the machine (this time it only took about 15 seconds) and began sewing. First, I created two bags for my sewing table, one for scrap threads (trash), and one for...whatever. I used some old pajama pant legs that were left over when I cut them off to make the pajamas into shorts. I am so happy! I even sewed handles onto the bags so that they could hang on the knobs of the drawers of my desk turned sewing table.
I also sewed an edge around an old t-shirt sleeve I have been using as a hair Kerchief for my little girl. For this experiment, I tried a new, more involved stitch. I liked it enough I decided to embellish the band closest to her face with some pretty flowers (another pre-programmed stitch). It was coming along nicely until my bobbin ran out of thread, at which point I consulted my instruction manual and learned to fill a bobbin with thread. It went very smoothly, and I was set to go again in about three minutes. During my three minute learning time, I lost the head band on which I was working. I still have not found it, and have decided that one of  Dobby the House Elf's friends has taken off with it and is now a free elf. If the elf happens to make it reappear, I will take photos and share them here. I also plan to take photos of the rest of my first sewing projects and post them for your perusal.

I have been sick with a cold, so have been quite tired, and am not moving quickly on finishing up my bathroom project. I did get the knobs and drawer pulls all in place today, and the drawer fronts are reattached to their respective drawers. I am still reluctant to attach any more hinges, as the ones I purchased seem to be for flat doors, and ours are beveled. Photos to come.

I am feeling more confident about the opening of my etsy shop. I now have many ideas of makeovers I can do with the ninety men's polo shirts that I purchased along with the sewing machine.  This purchase was of an embroidery business, so it came with many spools of  nice embroidery thread and the a fore mentioned polos.  I initially thought I would embroider the shirts to suit the customer's desires, but am now filled with ideas of how I can re-purpose these shirts for women's wear.
All in all, I am still quite excited!

Thanks for stopping by my little place on the internet. Have a lovely day!
Beth

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hodge Podge and Mixed Thoughts

You know how sometimes, when you are really tired, you think you hear something, but it was not what the other person said at all? This morning my DH (pictured above) was searching for his pocket items for the day, checking multiple pockets in his nice winter coat and said, "Too many pockets in this damn coat. Michael Jackson, I'll never forgive him!" I looked up, tilted my head to the side, and said, "Did you really just say you would never forgive Michael Jackson?" To my surprise, and amusement, he replied, "Yes."

In other news, I could not wait any longer and I put some of the hardware on the bathroom vanity 4 days early, just to see how it would look. It looks fabulous! I will post a series of pictures of the transformation I am doing under my DIY tab. I found the tutorial here http://www.monicawantsit.com/2012/02/staining-oak-cabinets-espresso-color.html I'm staining mine a deep cherry and they look gorgeous! Now I need to research how to put hinges on doors and have them hang straight and close completely.

I m still doing some research on my (new to me) Bernina Artista 170. I learned how to thread it in a quick 30-45 minutes (the pictures in the manual are really small, at least they are in my eyes). I re-threaded it yesterday because I had used the wrong thread on my first threading attempt. Next step? Brave a few stitches.

I have so many projects in my que, I think I need to be four people to get them completed in any reasonable amount of time, you know, like everyone does. Oh, and did I mention? I have two children, who are the smartest, funniest, most adorable children in the world -end gush. They rank higher than my projects and my blog, which I must now leave, due to the calls of my dear  four year old. Thanks for stopping by my little space on the internet. Have a lovely day!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Blog Post

Just Starting out...

I am so excited! I have just purchased my first Bernina sewing machine and am ready to make my dreams of sewing clothes for me and my little girl come true! If all goes well, I will also make a go of selling said clothes on etsy (look for my shop under the name "BethGenuity").
I enjoy searching Pinterest for new ideas I can tweak and make my own. 
Look for my reviews on DIY tutorials I have found through my Pinterest searches.
That is all...for now.