Monday, August 26, 2013

I've Tried That: "Woven" Friendship Bracelet

Raise your hand if you made friendship bracelets as a kid. *raises hand* Mine were the spiral macrame bracelets with just 2 threads. I had a pink one and then a purple one. These are much more cool! Up to 7 different colors in one bracelet, look awesome as wrap bracelets, and hold charms relatively well.

And they're easy! The only things you'll need are: 1) A small piece of cardboard, and 2) Several different colors of embroidery thread.

This is small enough to fit in your purse or pocket, easy to pick up, and you won't forget your place if you put it down. I ended up taking it to work to do in my downtime.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I've Tried That: Indian Shisha Embroidery

This isn't a matter of working or not, but rather a matter of "can anyone do it?"

Shisha is the Hindi word for "little glass" and Shisha Embroidery is embroidering little pieces of glass (mirrors) to something. Here's what it looks like:

Photo belongs to Emily of Joyful Abode
My mom saw this picture on my Pinterest board and decided I needed to try it on a stocking swap she was doing with her quilt guild (lots of fun, that little project). My first one looked like crap, but the second and third ones looked pretty good.

The verdict:
Yep. Anyone who has at least a beginner's embroidery skill level and the ability to follow a picture tutorial can do this. Don't expect the first few to look this awesome, but don't get discouraged, either. It's fun and it looks really cool. I plan to do this around the bottom of an apron, actually... When we get the house unpacked and squared away.

Joyful Abode - Tutorial: Indian Shisha Mirror Embroidery

Monday, July 15, 2013

I've Tried That: Dandelion on Fire

By now, anyone on Pinterest has seen this image. It is a lie! My mother and I hunted down the first dandelion of the year in their yard and, with lighter in hand, gathered everyone around. *click-poof-gone*

There was nothing left.

The smoke didn't even last more than a second. If there were pretty colors, they were too fast for the eye to see. Whoever took the picture has a really good camera and really, really good timing. Or they're just really good at Photoshop.

In either case, don't waste your time and eyebrows on this one.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

You're confined to your bed for 3 months...

... due to a serious illness. What do you miss, and what's the first thing you'll do once they let you outside?

Wow. This year's flu really got out of hand. It wasn't this bad last time I had it. The doctors say I should be better next week. Better enough to get out of this damn bed and go outside for a few minutes, at least. I can hardly wait! Birds and rain don't sound the same through a window, and with the freaking equipment beeping nothing sounds natural anymore. I wonder if they'll let me go to the lake... I don't want to get it, I just want to sit next to it and listen. I've missed natural sounds and smells and the feel of sunlight on my skin. You know that feeling when you go out on the first nice day in Spring in a tank top? When the breeze sweeps across your back and the warmth of the sun feels so soft an inviting? Or the smell of the first mowing of the year, so sweet and strong? I miss the squirrels barking when I walk outside and the birds chirping as they pick their favorite seeds out of the bird feed or find a particularly juicy worm to munch on. I miss playing in the dirt and planting new seeds. I think that's the first thing I'll do when I get to go home; I'm going to find a packet of seeds and plant a flowerbed. I'm just so sleepy right now, though. Maybe a nap...

So I got this wonderful book called 642 Things to Write About. It's a book of writing prompts, and I've decided to use it to jump-start my blog again and work around this writer's block I've had for the last several years. Hope you enjoy what I come up with! If you'd like to get the book yourself, you can find it on Amazon. I bought mine at Anthropologie for the same price, though.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I've Tried That: Brine Your T-Shirts

Here starts the first post in a series: Things I've Tried from Pinterest. This week, you get one that actually works! Brine your T-shirts to make them super-soft without having to wear them for years first.

What you'll do:

Dissolve 1/2 cup salt in 4 cups of water.
Soak your shirt for 3 to 4 days, stirring occasionally.
Toss it in the washing machine with a little detergent.
Tumble dry.
 Enjoy your brand new T-shirt that feels vintage soft.

So, how did it work?

Remarkably well, actually.

I got a plain brown T-shirt from Michael's on one of their sales, soaked it in a bucket with salty water for 4 days, and then deviated from the instructions. I didn't have easy access to a washer (living in an apartment without hookups, laundry mat every week), so I washed it in the sink and let it air dry. DO NOT DO THAT! It came out scratchy and stiff. I gave it up as a lost cause and tossed it in the pile to wash. After laundry day, as I was folding all the clothes, I came across a brown T-shirt that looked brand new but felt super worn. Then it clicked: the experiment worked! Now when I get new shirts, I dig out a bucket and brine them all.

Have you tried it? Did it work for you? Let me know in the comments.



Friday, April 12, 2013

Adventures in Corsetry - Where I got the "Pattern"

I'm finally doing it. I'm finally drafting my own pattern from my measurements and using spiral steel boning and making a victorian-esq corset.

What I hope to get from my corset:
- An amazing outerwear costume piece
- Something I can coordinate with for years to come
- A workable pattern to make many more corsets
- KNOWLEDGE! Knowledge of the proper way to fit a corset and draft a pattern.

Now, a confession: I've already started. I have the pattern drafted, traced, allowanced, and cut (all together took 4 hours), the mockup shell pieced (1 hour), and the boning cut and tipped (1.5 hours). Time: 6.5 hours so far

And I have pictures of the whole process! Yippee! But the terrible part of that is that I have no way to get the pictures from my camera to my computer. My cables and card readers are all in storage and I don't have a clue how to get to them. So today you get the fruits of my research.

I wanted something that would give me some reduction, cover my hips a little, and go over my bust. This ruled out the conical Renaissance stays that seemed to be popping up in all of my searches*. After 2 full days of searching, I stumbled across exactly what I wanted.

Your Wardrobe Unlock'd.

On this wonderful website I found a .PDF file of 54 pages that goes in depth on how to draft your own Victorian corset pattern based on your measurements. Click here to download it yourself.

I took my measurements, wrote them down where I wouldn't lose them, and them went to have the document printed. Like I said, it's 54 pages long, and I wasn't about to subject my parents' printer to that. For less than $10 I had it printed, covered, and spiral bound. Go check with your local printer (mine is at the college) to see what kind of sweet deals you can get!

So, that should save you 2 days if you're trying to find the same thing I was. It's worth the time and the money to have a pattern this good. I'm so very pleased with my mockup at this point.

*This seems to be the go-to for drafting "corset" patterns. It isn't what I wanted, but I drafted one anyway and it looks like it would be a great one. This resource truly is a gem, if not quite the one I was looking for.