Monday, February 21, 2011


I cracked under the pressure. Forgive me.  Creating something everyday was just too much for me to handle.

  Before today I have not even looked at this blog since the last day I posted back in November.  I felt shame for starting something and not finishing it.  

A little backstory to fill you in and then I will get back to the business of creativity.  As stated in my profile, I was in sales and lost my job over the summer.  I felt a plethora of emotions ranging from elation over being free from the rat race, to panic at how I would provide for me and my daughters.  I decided to finish my teaching credentials, something I had started before getting the sales job. I am very close to being done with two special education credentials.  I re-enrolled in graduate school and around the time of my last blog entry, panic started to set in as I had several papers/projects that were coming due and I had been putting them off.  Can you blame me?  When given the choice of making a hair fascinator and batch of to-die-for cookies, or writing a 10 page paper on differentiating instruction for english language learners.... I always chose the option that was more fun.  Not always a wise choice.  So, between Thanksgiving and Christmas I was doing research and writing papers.  I suppose I could have posted those things on the blog, as I did create the papers myself, but I would have lost the throngs of followers who frequent this blog. 
 So, here we are in February and I have only today found the courage to forgive my lapse in consistently blogging.  I think that I am starting to feel in control a bit more these days as I am once again gainfully employed.  I am this close (hold thumb and index finger one inch apart) to being done with my 2 credentials, but cannot afford to finish.  I am a little disappointed to be so close to something and unable to finish, but it is just something I will have to complete later. There are massive layoffs in teaching right now, so I guess I don't feel like I am turning my back on a sure bet as far as job security goes. At the beginning of the year I sent out resumes and finally got a job back in the wonderful world of sales.  So, feeling immense relief that my girls and I once again have health insurance, and once again can afford our pimpy lifestyle of paying rent and eating 3 squares a day - I am back to the world of creativity and blogging about it.  I will go easier on myself this time and commit to creating at least one new thing a week- daily is just not going to happen.  I have missed the world of blogging, both the writing of and reading of blogs that inspire creativity.  I hope you can forgive my absence and find it in your heart to once again tune in to see what I make from scratch or what treasures I find at the local thrift store.

Now on the creative part.  I got the Instagram app on my iphone and have been having fun taking pictures lately.  Here are a few of my favorites:

My kids at the beach.
Taken from the end of the Santa Monica Pier.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 26: The good, the bad, and the ugly

I'll start with the good.  
Hannah and I did a little shopping at Target and when we returned she showed me how fashionable a Target bag can be.  Who would've thought a grocery bag could double as a water resistant tank top!?!  

The shirt begged for a coordinating skirt.

She decided that this outfit was perfect for puppy washing.  I agree.

Still under "the good" category, I cracked open this great book I bought over the summer.  Hannah requested that I make a lunch bag for her, the picture is on the bottom right corner of the book cover.

We are now transitioning into "the bad".  Although, it's more annoying than bad.  The book comes with pattern pieces tucked neatly into a little envelope. I pulled out the pattern paper and unfurled it.

 The pages are giant and could easily cover a queen sized bed, which means there is no way, once folded back up, that they will ever fit back into the envelope in the book.

Time to load the bobbin with thread.  I have done this a thousand times before.  I can do it with my eyes closed, or, at least looking out my window at the rain falling.  Apparently I should have been watching the bobbin, because I loaded the metal stem beneath the bobbin with thread.  Oops.

The lunch bag is quilted, so I put some warm and natural between my two fabric pieces, quilted the layers, and cut the pattern pieces.

I had a lot of trouble with the instructions in the book.  They really weren't written very well and were a little confusing at times.  I had to ditch the book's instructions and just construct it the way I thought it should go together. 

This is where we transition into "the ugly".
The bag was way too big for just a lunch.  She could actually carry lunch for herself and several friends in this bad boy.  I think it is a combination of too small seam allowances with deviating from the instructions.  
Pocket on the back side.  I put a pen in to give perspective.

It looks okay in the picture, I know.  But that is after putting it in several different positions and picking the best of all the pictures I took of it. 

Hannah and I decided it would be her bag for knitting supplies.  The kind of bag you keep stuffed in a closet.

Oh well.  Can't win 'em all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 25: Cozy Day

The first real autumn storm rolled into Southern California this weekend and I was looking forward to the cold, wet weather.  I also had the weekend to myself, woo-hoo!!  I went to a local scrap booking store to learn more about paper crafting.  I have not really done any paper crafting and I want to learn a bit more about it.  There were some beautiful examples in the shop, but I felt a little overwhelmed.  I ended up buying an over-priced magazine because it had some really cute projects and instructions included. 

Located conveniently next door to the scrap booking store is a great local bar/restaurant called The Press.  With a chill in the air, a great magazine in hand, and a rumble in my belly I headed over to The Press.  
I ordered some chili and my favorite locally brewed beer, California Black Beer by Dale Brothers.

After my lunch and leafing through the magazine, I headed home ready to get a fire going and make something new.

Since I wanted to relax downstairs by the fire with the TV on I had to work on something that didn't require a sewing machine or an ironing board.  So, I brought some felt and thread downstairs.  
I tried making different felt flowers but they looked goofy, so I started on a project inspired by one in the magazine. 

 It is a personalized felt hair clip.

I started by cutting a rectangle of felt then with a sharpie wrote Mallory's name.  I embroidered over the sharpie, then added some embellishment.

I also decided to add some holiday cheer to these little mittens I got for $1. at JoAnn's Fabrics.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 24: Moo-Moo Remix

I have enjoyed following the new dress a day blog so much that I decided to try repurposing a thrift store dress myself.  If you have never seen the blog you should check it out.  The author buys dresses at a thrift store from the $1 bin and transforms them into something more stylish.

 Here is the moo-moo that I picked up at the thrift store yesterday.  It has a very Mrs. Roper feel to it.

It was so large that I decided to make two different pieces, a blouse for me and a skirt for my daughter.  I also had enough fabric to make a sash belt and a rosette for a hair clip.
Let the deconstruction begin.

For the skirt, I wanted to make it simple with a gathered waistband.  I read earlier in the week about how easy shirring is, so I thought I'd give it a try.  Shirring is when you load the bobbin with elastic thread and create gathers as you sew.

I hemmed the skirt and voila!!!

The bracelet is from a thrift store too.  I know, I am out of control!

I originally tried making a pull over blouse but couldn't get it right.  Had to undo my first stitching.

 I decided that this blouse would be best as a wrap around. 
  I really like wrap style blouses like this one from Anthropologie. 

Here it is!  It's not perfect but I had fun making it.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 23: Thrift Store Thursday

I decided to make Thursdays, "Thrift Store Thursdays".  Every week I will post some pictures of odd things seen at thrift stores and more importantly, I will repurpose something I bought at a thrift store.  I love shopping at thrift stores and estate sales.  I have found some real treasures in my shopping.  I have also found some amusing stuff that makes you wonder what people are thinking.

Let's start with this.  Velvet art + clown = extra creepy.  When I was growing up my mom had this exact same "artwork" on the wall between her room and mine.  Which meant that when I was scared during the night and needed to climb in bed with her, I had to pass ... him.  Scary stuff.

I always have to check out the patterns and I found this one that I think I may make for my guy.  He will look so swanky in the high wasted snug cargo pants and matching knapsack.  I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for some platform shoes in his size.

Luckily I found a little something I can whip up for myself.

And then I found these pants.  Wow.  It raised a lot of questions in my mind.  I am pretty sure there are no justifiable answers.

I also found some really cute vintage kitchen furniture for a little girl.  It brought me back to kindergarten, I think we had the same green furniture.

So cute!

I decided to buy the pieces and paint them and maybe add some stencil designs or something decorative to really make them unique.  I really like the green color but a little girl may not be into the hipster retro green, so I decided to white wash over the green, still allowing a little of it to show through.

I didn't want to rush this and just finish it for the sake of finishing it, so it will be finished in the next day or two with the decorative touches and I will upload the completed pics this weekend.

I also made some more of these cute dessert stands from plates and candlestick holders:

And to top off my day of thrifting and crafting, I baked some magic cookie bars at the request of my girls.

I am tired!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 22: All about the hair

I don't know what these are but they sure are interesting and pretty.
I had so much fun in the city of angels yesterday that I had to go back today.  I wanted to venture into places that I didn't see yesterday.  I parked near the Flower mart, which is a giant warehouse of amazing flowers that are available to wholesalers.  I didn't make a purchase because I knew the flowers wouldn't do well sitting in my warm car.  It was enough to simply walk through and marvel and the sights and smells.

Black calla lilies. Stunning!

Back out into the streets looking for crafty things!
Shops are even set up in alley ways.
Same alley as shops, just looking a little closer at the artwork.

I went into the toy district in search of headbands and craft flowers.  After looking in a few shops I hit the jackpot and found exactly what I was looking for.  I loaded up on headbands and headed to the next store.  The smell of bacon wrapped hot dogs filled the air and I was getting a bit hungry.  It was lunch time so I went to Phillipe's for one of their famous beef dip sandwiches.  It was delicious!

Headed home to get crackin' on my projects!

Todays creations were all about hair accessories. I was inspired by this blog posting and wanted to make some accessories myself.  I have so many ideas for headbands and clips it was hard to decide where to start.  

I made a bunch of headbands for little girls.

I made some clips too.

This one is so cute!  It is attached to an alligator clip.

Love this fascinator that I made!

The fascinator was made from some feather trim I got downtown and a rosette I made from a strip of beautiful burgundy and black fabric.  The fabric is from a thrift store of course.  :)


Perhaps my favorite creation tonight is this bridal headband made from a stunning rhinestone trim and stretchy velvet ribbon.  I hand stitched the ribbon to the ends of the trim and created a simple, elegant bridal headband.

So pretty!
Would you believe that I made more hair accessories?!  I did, but won't overwhelm you with hair stuff tonight.  I don't want to wear out my welcome.
I am tired, off to bed and to think about what I may create tomorrow.  I think this recipe will be at the top of the list.