Thursday, June 30, 2011

Scavenging for DIY Junk Supplies

Dear Lord - please send me a sign that I'm not the only one obsessively scanning the landscape for DIY-supply-junk while driving around these days. I will be looking for a Scavenger's Anonymous group very soon!

Today while out running errands, I asked my husband to "bear with me" and pull over to a junk pile area I had spied from the highway. Having just decided to start carrying my camera around more often, I was prepared for a little blog eye candy goodness. Plus, I already knew in my heart of hearts that I would find a little somethin' somethin' to take home.

Here was my quick 5-minute stopover:

First of all, having grown up in the middle of the U.S. with no natural lakes or ocean, I am a sucker for seagulls. I like them. I like what they stand for. If there are seagulls, then big water is near!  Now I live on the west coast of Sweden - so I get to enjoy lots of seagulls these days. This little guy caught my eye as soon as I hopped out of the car.

This was the pile I spied from the highway. We didn't pick up the pallet today...but I know where it is :-)

This little heavy metal guy did find his way into my car and is now waiting patiently out with my marble slap bits until inspiration hits.

Do you also make random and sudden stops by the side of the road and think..."I can do something with that!" ? If so,  please leave me a little comment sympathy and tell me about your 'condition'.

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DIY Creative Genius

It's not only the sun and warm weather here in Sweden today that is making me happy! Look at these brilliant minds and their DIY projects. I'm BLUSTing (my new term for blog lust-ing) for each and every one of them!

It's appropriate that I start with Rebekah at A Bit of Sunshine - and her 'makes-me-smile' 4th of July banner made from paint chips. Makes me want to break out into patriotic song-singing right now!

Grey Luster Girl got my attention with her cereal box 3D stars. I'm a sucker for repurposing...not to mention free decor! She even tells us how she did it with an easy tutorial.

Have you seen these barefoot sandals yet? A touch of glam at the pool? Brilliant! Just type in 'barefoot sandals' in Etsy and be ready for a windfall of eye candy!

If anything were going to make me consider having another would have to be these Bald Baby Hats! Seriously! I cannot keep the corners of my mouth down when I look at this photo! Sarah at Tots & Bottoms shares her yarn hair pattern if your little bald one needs a little hair-in-waiting.

There we have it. My goal to spread a little happiness today is complete.

Until next time...

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Favorite Things - 4th of July

My procrastination = a wonderful collection of July 4 inspiration for you!

Truth be told...I am a expert procrastinator. I'm also the mother of two young kids that seem to leave a line of destruction behind them wherever they go, leaving me to clean I sometimes cut myself some slack. But seeing so many July 4th projects out in cyberland right now has me absolutely chomping at the bit!

My procrastinating ways are the reason my house stands bare today of any 4th of July spirit (other than in my head). So I've gone hunting across the web these past couple of days to find the most inspiring 4th of July decorations and projects - and I have the most fabulous collection of patriotic eye candy to share with you! There is definitely something in this collection that I can accomplish in these next couple of days. Perhaps there is something for you as well?

Let's start with some freebie printables. I know for sure some of these will be on display in my home this year!

Barn Owl Primitives provides this fabulous 16 x 20 printable...just in time for the holiday!

The sisters at The Letter 4 give us this super cute printable that can be made into a Tshirt for your little one. Or why not print it out and give a card to your SO?

Landee See, Landee Do gives us this clean design. It makes me happy just looking at it.

Bits of Everything - another group of sisters - are sharing the joy of this holiday with their super cute printable below. I really like the typography they used on this one.

Every Creative Endeavor says it all with their free printable.

Not 1...but 11 different color schemes come with this 4th of July printable from Today's Fabulous Finds.

They know how to throw a July 4 party at Piggy Bank Parties and they are sharing printables with us.

This isn't a printable-ready project, but the letters look simple enough to print, with a  flourish of patriotic-colored paper fans for good measure. Projects by Melissa Neufeld at Country Living.

 Martha Stewart's team gives it to us nice and clean - effective!

Fabulous porch bunting and poms are from Centsational Girl - does it get better than this?

All You brings us another patriotic porch full of low-cost ideas. Click through the slideshow to see up-close shots. Isn't that red fabric that runs through the porch rails so effective?

Love this new take on bunting from Second Chances by Susan - very creative!

Anyone that can make something beautiful from scrap cans has a special place in my heart. These tin can windsocks from Random Thoughts of a Supermom are just too cute for words.

Martha Stewart uses oatmeal containers for these fun windsocks.

The Scrap Shoppe mixes burlap, denim, and one of my favorites - buttons - to make this wreath of patriotic loveliness.

 Craft Jr gives us a fun and colorful rag wreath that even the kids can help with.

More July 4 colors from All You with this cocktail umbrella wreath.

 You've probably seen this stunning felt wreath from Nap Time Crafts - time intensive but oh-so-worth-it!

Thrifty Decor Chick gives us a welcoming flag on their door that is super effective. Love the door, too!

Organize Your Stuff Now offers this fabulous ticket the idea!

The 36th Avenue takes an unused roll-top part of a desk and turns it into one of the best flags I've seen. Check out the step-by-step evolution of this keepsake.

Jess's Journey Through Life, Love and Motherhood gives us this flag made this from old wooden pallets as a Father's Day gift, but I think it works perfectly for the 4th...don't you?

I have a weakness for repurposed things - so I just can't pass on showing you this bottlecap flag that was made as part of the Int'l Plastic Quilt Project. 

One little hand and one little foot are on the list of supplies for this flag from Serendipity. Super cute!

Patriotic pizza? Try this fruit pizza from Taste of Home.

Now I've got more food on the mind with Whimsical Creations marshmallow pops - decked out in the colors!

Hungry yet? I like to think these strawberries at are 100% healthy. I know they are 100% fun!

This star table runner is actually for sale and featured at Unravel Shopping Tips & Tricks, but I know that one of you brilliant DIYers out there can get this done yourself!

All You has used mailing tubes to create these firecrackers...but why not try them with paper towel and toilet paper rolls?

Martha's back with super simple cans that can be used for Independence Day.

A ribbon runs through this wonderfully whimsical patriotic topiary at A Diamond in the Stuff.

Finally a way to make the simple carnation look like a million bucks! Just one more blue carnation poof and you've got your centerpiece covered! There's a short how-to at Country Living.

Uh...Yum! Rice Krispie treat popsicles...MUST TRY this at home! Thanks Twig & Thistle.

If you have a little time on your hands in the next couple of days...perhap you can try one of these fun and funky birdhouses from Holiday Crafts and Creations.

This project gets my vote for the most creative with the smallest cost. It's flour...sifted on the lawn with a star stencil that you can make yourself. Brilliant fun from Pink and Green Mama.

Wouldn't it be fun for your little ones to run around on that star-covered lawn (above) in their own stars and stripes Tshirts? Try these from Make It and Love It.

It's from Urban Outfitters....but I see a repurposed dress opportunity here! Now I just have to find three shirts in my closet with the red-white-blue motifs.

I have serious BLUST (my new word for 'blog lust') for this dress...LOVE LOVE LOVE! And Heart Break Kids says she can't sew!

Whew! What  a collection.

As an American living in Sweden, opportunities to run to any store and pick up 4th of July decorations are limited (OK, they don't exist at all!) - so your talents across blogland have brought me a shower of inspiration for some red-white-blue DIY activities this week as I teach my mixed-culture kids about Independence Day. A HUGE thanks to you all! God bless America...Land that I love!

Want to see this splash of inspiration on one page? Check out my 4th of July Pinterest board.

Until next time...

p.s.  If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll become a follower of my blog and a fan on FB.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to Sew a Vintage Scarf Dress and Save the World - Part III

(för svensk versionen, se nedan)

It's my third go at making my daughter a repurposed summer dress - albeit the word 'summer' is a relative term in Sweden given our current temperatures of about 60 degrees (15 celcius).

I am absolutely thrilled with the result...and I think it is the first time in my life that I am halfway thinking that maybe I can sew after all! If you have seen my  "How to sew a dress and save the world"  experiment with M's summer wardrobe (part I and part II ), then you'll know that my style of sewing has been more about kamikaze and less about formality. But this time I stumbled across a fabulous video tutorial from The Crafty Gemini and she led me right through the process of making professional seams...easy-breasy.And I love her for it!

In my continued efforts to use what is already out there in the world, I found two scarves (2nd hand) that I thought had a nice complimentary color scheme. Plus, I have a weakness for souvenir scarves - you know, the ones that have tourist sites and the place printed on them? I really want to make some pillows out of them sometime. Ok...focus! Back to the dress.

I chose to imitate one of those pillowcase dresses that have been all the rage these past years...adding my own sense of kamikaze sewing to the process of course. They seemed simple enough for an amateur like me. My cuts are all still done by eye (because I can't be bothered with the measuring stuff), but this time I did use more pins to keep the materials in place while I sewed...a big step forward on my part towards better sewing methods.

Find any easy-to-follow instruction for making a pillowcase dress and use that as your basic pattern. I used one of M's existing dresses and laid it on my scarves to determine where to cut for the underarm seams.

Then it was a quick watch of The Crafty Gemini's video on how to sew a french seam. Thank you, Vanessa! You really upped the anty for my project. I won't go through the details on this - but instead invite you to watch the video to see for yourself how I tackled all of the dress seams.

The Crafty Gemini also had another video where she made her own straps for her pillowcase dress (instead of using the traditional ribbon). Well, not being able to let my cut scraps from the scarves go to waste, I used her video to make my own coordinating ribbon for the dress. Yeehaw! Worked like a charm with the exact effect I was hoping for...long flowing ties on the dress.

My kamikaze style in this dress comes in the fact that I wanted the back side to be lower than the I chopped off some inches on the scarf that would be on the back before I started sewing any seams.

The result? A silky summer dress for M that has the perfect amount of 'flow' to it - no stiff fabrics on this one. And I absolutely LOVE the souvenir scarf surprise on the back side. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get one of these for myself!

Until next time...

p.s.  If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll become a follower of my blog and a fan on FB.

Detta är tredje gången att göra min dotter en repurposed sommarklänning - även om ordet "sommar" är relativ i Sverige med tanke på vår nuvarande temperaturer på cirka 15 grader.

Jag är absolut nöjd med resultatet ... och jag tror att det är första gången i mitt liv som jag tänker att jag kanske kan sy i alla fall! Om du har sett min "How to sew a dress and save the world" experimentera med M: s sommar garderob (del I och del II), då vet du att min stil har varit mer om kamikaze och mindre om formalitet. Men den här gången snubblade jag över en fantastisk video tutorial från The Crafty Gemini och hon ledde mig igenom processen att göra professionella sömmar ... lätt och snabbt. Och jag älskar henne för det!

I mina fortsatta ansträngningar att använda det som redan finns där ute i världen, hittade jag två halsdukar (secondhand) som jag trodde hade en fina färgschema. Plus, jag har en svaghet för souvenir halsdukar - ni vet, de som har turistattraktioner och platsen tryckt på dem? Jag vill verkligen göra några kuddar av dem någon gång. Ok ... fokus! Tillbaka till klänningen.

Jag valde att imitera en av dessa örngott klänningar som har varit i ropet de senaste åren ... att lägga till min egen känsla av kamikaze sömnad till processen förstås. De verkade enkel nog för en amatör som mig. Mina nedskärningar är alla fortfarande görs genom ögat (eftersom jag inte orkar med att mäta saker), men den här gången användade jag fler pinnar för att hålla materialet på plats medan jag sydde ... ett stort steg framåt från min sida mot bättre sömnad metoder.

Hitta en lätt instruktioner för att göra ett örngott klänning och använda det som grundmönster. Jag använde en av M: s befintliga klänningar och lade den på min halsdukar för att avgöra var att klippa till underarm sömmar.

Då tittade jag på The Crafty Geminis video om hur man syr en fransk söm. Tack, Vanessa! Du höjde verkligen mitt projekt. Jag tänker inte gå igenom detaljer om detta - men i stället inbjuder dig att titta på videon för att se själv hur jag tacklas hela klänningens sömmar.

The Crafty Gemini hade också en annan video där hon gjorde sitt eget band för hennes örngott klänning (i stället för den traditionella band). Tja, att inte kunna låta min klippa rester från halsdukar gå till spillo, brukade jag hennes video för att göra mina egna samordna band för klänningen. Yeehaw! Fungerade som en charm med den exakta effekten jag hade hoppats på ... långa flödande band på klänningen.

Min kamikaze stil i den här klänningen kommer i det faktum att jag ville ha baksidan vara lägre än framsidan ... så jag högg några inches på halsduken som skulle vara på baksidan innan jag började sy några sömmar.

Resultatet? En silkig sommarklänning för M som har den perfekta mängden av "flow"  - inga stela tyger på den här. Och JAG ÄLSKAR absolut överraskning souvenir halsduken på baksidan. Nu ska jag försöka lista ut hur man får en av dessa för mig själv!

Tills nästa gång ...

p.s. Om du gillade detta inlägg, jag hoppas du kommer att bli en 'follower' av min blogg och ett fan på FB.

linked to these great parties and:

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