My friend Palmer is amazing, and creative, and productive, and she has started her own online magazine. It’s pretty badass. And who has two thumbs and was asked to write for it? This chick! Here’s my super great article. Read it and praise me!
I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It’s great for finding crafty ideas and inspiration, and I even found a wonderful board showing how much photoshop is really used in magazines; it is eye-opening. But there are also things that make me roll my eyes so hard I need physical therapy afterward.
complain about discuss tagging etiquette. For the love of Poseiden stop saying “Yes, please!” at the end of everything. You are not shopping on Pinterest. No one is going to hand you the food/crafted item you see. I cannot express how prevalent and obnoxious this is. It makes me want to stab you in the eyes so you can never pin anything ever again.
If you are pinning something, do not write crap like this (taken from an actual pin):
Chef Robin White Aka @canapes45 of @Chatterworks teaches: How to Corn Your Fresh @DArtagnan_Inc Corned Beef. Your INVITED to Pin and Tweet Chat with us: @Chatterworks – @Canapes45 – @KatieSheaDesign – @TheDailyBasics Tweet/Pin with HashTags: #ChatwrksStPat #stpatricksday Tues 3/05 4pm EST Celebrating St Patrick’s Day in #recipes, #drinks, #entertaining and #traditions!
If you are pinning this and don’t delete this garbage you deserve to be slapped with an entire ham. This is impossible to read, packed with useless information, and someone tell me I’m not the only one to notice the glaring spelling error? You are taking up room on my pinterest with your textual garbage. If I wanted to see that I would read yahoo.com (ooh, burn!).
I admit, I am a confirmed cranky old bitch. Phrases like “These kids today have terrible grammar!” complete with impotent fist shaking, are commonplace in conversations with me. I can no longer contain my mockery of pinterest, however, so I created a whole board simply called “Why?”, where I pin terrible things and add my commentary. Follow my journey of snark and ridicule through crafting and recipes. I hope you find it as humorous as I do cathartic.
Hubby and I have a ridiculous Halloween party every year. It’s our favorite holiday, and we try and come up with something new whenever we can. This year, we may have reached the pinnacle. The whole house was decked out like a mad scientist’s lab, and we crafted things for months in advance.
Bloody thift store sheets!
Shelf of specimens! (including baby parts in jars!)
This is an underwear mannequin we own, and what better use for her?
Bloody surgery gloves and tools!
Torture table!! (Complete with Justein Beiber CD!!!)
Unhappy dogs in costume! (Flapjack’s arrived later that night)
Evil surgeon and patient, with happier, de-costumed dogs!
A non-costumed person, vampire, hitchhiker, me, and Batgirl!
My wonderful Hubby was the robot David from Prometheus!
I even used my surgery scar as part of my costume! I super glued metal bits over top to look like staples. We had such a great time, and I have no idea what we’re going to do next year!
As you might know, Mi Madre has a tiny quilting hobby, and that hobby creates a lot of mess in the form of fabric and thread scraps. Being the thrifty, eco-friendly (aside from her GIGANTIC PICK UP TRUCK) lady she is, she came up with a method to use all those scraps. I don’t create nearly as much detritus as she does, but I eventually had enough scraps to use for this project.
Loyal readers/stalkers may remember that my sweet, cutest-dog-until-the-end-of-eternity Flapjack already has a handmade dog bed. They may also remember that he once did this to my carpeting:
He basically did the same thing to the bed in his crate. So we’re going to start with a new bed, and toys while he’s locked up, because he obviously needs something to do other than dig.
You will need a thrift store or other unneeded pillow case, and a bunch of crap to stuff it with. If you are reworking some of your t-shirts, save the scraps for this type of thing. This is a great way to reuse holey socks, stained undershirts, or other fabric that is too messed up for the thrift store.
Stuff it with all that crap you’ve been saving (you can even store scraps in the pillow case while you’re hoarding them up), and make it nice and fluffy. Then pin it shut like so:
Sew that beast shut, and BOOM dog bed! I even wrapped Flapjack’s in another thifted pillow case so I can wash it:
What if you don’t have a dog, or all your dogs already have beds? Make them anyway and donate to your local shelter or pet rescue organization. Dogs can be destructive, as my sweet angel pie has shown, so they need that stuff constantly.
It should be no surprise to anyone that I, and most of my friends, are giant nerds. We love everything from Star Wars, to Harry Potter, to Doctor Who, to obscure, terrible sci-fi B movies. Some of them even profess to like Star Trek, although I really don’t believe anyone can actually enjoy it. In the spirit of nerdy friendship, I decided to make a magic wand for Kornberg. She made me this fantastic cross stitch to give to my surgeon after the Giant Fibroid of Doom. (Kornberg even sells the pattern on her Etsy, so you can make your very own uterus!)
Being the wonderful person I am, I made her an awesome gift, AND recorded the event for all of you wonderful minions. First, get a stick of appropriate length. Try to find one of durable thickness, with as few twigs coming off of it as possible. I used a knife to whittle down as much of the twigs stumps as possible, then sanded the lumps down viciously. I also peeled off all the bark. It helps to find a dog to pose with your future wand.
We had a tiny bottle of gel wood stain laying around the house (it was like $2 at Hobby Lobby), so I used that to stain it. I like that look because the wood grain shows through, but you could easily paint it instead. It also took awhile to dry.
Once it was dry, I used some shirt paint to draw magical symbols and incantations on it. Actually I just made pretty designs. I don’t know anything about magic or magick, and I was too lazy to research any runes or other legit stuff.
Before starting that step, make sure you have a way to prop the thing up to dry, so you don’t end up just holding it like a jackass. Which I did not do. I held it like a lady.
There’s the finished product! It was a fun project that took an hour, plus drying time. If you’re going to do this with kids I recommend preparing the sticks ahead of time, because that was the most time-consuming part. I love getting to trade crafts with my buddies!
As you probably know by now, some girlfriends and I are on a trivia team called the Cupcake Bitches. The name comes from and old inside joke. A couple weeks ago, I was crocheting while hanging out with Kornberg, and since she knows that I am fascinated with anything cupcake related, she told me about someone she knows who crocheted a cupcake. I wondered if I could make one, and her response was “She’s really dumb, so you can probably do it if she can”. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
I have a ridiculous stash of yarn I’m attempting to work my way through, and there just so happened to be some pink and tan that were perfect for a cupcake. As regular readers know, the other basic craft supplies you’ll need are scissors, a crochet hook, trashy TV, vodka and Diet Coke. But that’s pretty basic; I don’t want to insult your intelligence.
Mushroom decided he was going to help by sitting on top of the ball of yarn, and trying to eat it when I pulled it out from under his bulk.
First things first, I crocheted the base. I made a flat circle first to be the base, then a long skinny strip to be the sides. I turned that piece on its side and sewed it shut, and sewed the side to the base. I did it this way because the crochet texture looks more the the ripples on the side of a cupcake paper. I used tan yarn, but you could use white, or some other color to look like those paper cup things.
Here’s the inside of the base. I left some long yarn ends in there for this:
I sewed a jar lid inside to the bottom to help keep the shape flat. My plan was to stuff this thing, and I knew the stuffing would make the bottom bow out if I didn’t have something rigid in place. I just punched holes in the bottom with a nail and hammer, threaded the yarn through, and tied it in knots.
I crocheted the cupcake top separately until I had a size and shape that I liked. Since I don’t know how to use a pattern, that means I ripped it out several times and started over. This process also requires lots of swearing. If friends and pets leave the room because you’re screaming too many profanities, you’re probably doing it right. At one point the stupid cupcake had what appeared to be a nipple on top, so I put a stop to that. This picture is me testing the cupcake top to make sure it fits properly, which is why there’s a crochet hook sticking out of it.
Once I decided the top was complete, I used some multicolor yarn I had laying around to sew tiny sprinkles on the outside. That multicolor yarn is ubiquitous. I swear it’s the result of the rest of my yarn breeding, because I have no recollection of purchasing it. But I finally found a use for a tiny bit of it! Once the top was sprinkle-fied to my satisfaction, I started sewing it to the base. This also took several attempts before I was happy with the results. And I was almost out of vodka by this point, so things were looking grim.
But you know that I rarely show my mistakes (unless they’re hilarious), so you know already that this post ends well. Here is the finished cupcake! I sewed it about half shut, and then put a bunch of stuffing inside (just basic polyfill). I shaped the polyfill for the top into a little dome so it would fill out the cupcake evenly. I also discovered that if you make the cupcake top a little too long, and then sew it tightly to the base, you get an adorable little ripple along the edge. Hooray for drunken crochet! So now the Cupcake Bitches have a new mascot, and I have proven I am at least the equal of a random dumb girl I don’t even know. Mission accomplished.
I love crafting things for my buddies, and I have suspected more than a few of my friends of hanging around for just that reason. But most people are just so excited to get something, it totally makes it worth it. Hubby and I had silk screened the t-shirts for my trivia team, The Cupcake Bitches, awhile back, and our Geeks Who Drink quizmaster, Evelyn, was enamored. She had always dreamed of finding a specific t-shirt that didn’t seem to exist. She then asked if it was something we were capable of. Aww yeah, girl, I can make yo’ shirt. This is her design, made from plain old clip art:
Look how happy she is! Totally worth it. She’s also lost like half her body weight since this was taken (because she’s awesome and working really hard), and so a new t-shirt might be in the works soon.
This is gnome 2.0, and I forgot to take pictures of him before handing him off, so she very kindly sent me this badass picture. He’s about 6 inches tall, and I am super proud of him. Good job, me!
I found this dress at the thrift store, and loved the pattern immediately. I grabbed it so I could turn it into an apron, but it actually fits me! And it fits really well (I mean, I know I’m gorgeous, but in this I look amazing!), I just wasn’t enamored of the neck line. It reminded me of terrible 1980′s, tacky, overly-tan people for some reason.
I used my seam ripper to removed the neck strap, and separate the two booby cups. I then ripped open the end of the strap (which was one long piece), and I pulled out the giant, terrible, uncomfortable beads that were inside it. Yeah, because I want giant chunks of plastic rubbing on my collar bones.
I folded the strap in half long-ways, then cut it into two pieces to be two separate straps. I sewed the ends shut, including the extra hole I made to remove the beads, which wasn’t actually necessary since I was cutting it open anyways. I see that now.
Once I had the strap detached, I put the dress on and pinned the cups until they were the same size and shape. My goal was to create a more 1950′s-style sweet-heart neckline. And I think I succeeded:
BAM!!! See, hotness! I told you! I took the two halves of the original strap and attached them to the top of each cup so I can tie it around my neck. Again, I acheived this by putting the dress on, looking in a mirror and pinning it, then wriggling out carefully, and swearing a lot when I stabbed myself on accident. If there’s a better way to sew, I don’t know it. Hopefully, I’ll learn soon.
There are multiple people in our house who run the dishwasher (JEALOUS?!?!). This often leads to conversations like this: “Are these clean or dirty?” “I’m not sure, do they look clean?” “I think so. Is that garlic smell coming from you or the dishes?” and on and on. I decided to turn to crafting, as I often do, for a solution.You will need:
A large, free magnet, some scrapbook paper, pencil, scissors, and mod podge. I used punch-out letters, but you could draw, stamp, or paint them on. Shirt paint would be easy to use. This is a good project to use up smaller pieces of scrapbook paper. Lay the magnet down on the paper you’ve chosen, and trace around it, then cut it out. Coat the magnet in mod podge, then stick the paper to it. Make sure the edges are glued down.
Once that’s dry, arrange your letters to make sure they fit, then glue them down also. If you’re using the punch-out letters, make sure you have all the ones you need in the right color before you start punching them out.
Coat everything in mod podge, then let it dry. You could also do a second coat, or even use clear spray paint to make it water-proof. Just stick it to the dishwasher with the correct word facing upward to let everyone in the house know the dishes status. The whole project took about 30 minutes, including drying time.
I have lots of cool t-shirts that I love, but don’t love the fit. I’ve attempted to remedy this by turning several into tank tops, but I needed another option. If the design is too high on the chest, or the shirt is too small, the tank top method won’t work. I decided to make this t-shirt into a v-neck. You little minions may remember that I’ve done this before, but this time I’m doing away with the whole t-shirt collar.
This is the collar of my awesome shirt. I made one cut about an inch long in the middle of the front. On each side, right in front of the shoulder seam, I cut just through the collar. I did the same on the back, opposite of the fron cut.
I then tucked all the edges in, creating the v-neck, and rounding out the rest. Keep in mind, you don’t have to hem on this project because the collar edges won’t unravel, so you just plain old fold the edges under. I then pinned it all in place, and sewed it by hand while watching the old X-Men cartoon.
And viola! It is so much more comfortable now that the t-shirt isn’t chocking me to death.
I can comfortably, and atractively (if I do say so myself) show off my nerd cred. I’m getting ready for Star Wars Celebration VI! Who’s with me?!
Like most people, I have clothes laying around that I kind of like, but don’t “like” like. I have taken it upon myself to do something about this. Why are they taking up closet space, when they’re kind of “meh”? This one is a men’s button-up shirt I decided to turn into a tank top. Yes, I’m a huge fan of tank tops, but this is Texas; they’re a necessity, just like iced tea.
I used my seam ripper to remove the sleaves:
Then I used a ruler to cut the top off. I cut it above the top button I wanted to use, so I wouldn’t have to go back and add a button or button hole. You’re going to be hemming the top edge down, so make sure to leave extra fabric for that. I left about an inch.
Fold the top down and pin it, and make sure the front and back are relatively equal. To make sure your top seam is straight, measure the distance above the armpit on each side. I also used the front pocket as a guide. You can also use a light-colored, washable marker to make some guidelines for yourself. If you plan to do this, I would make small, light dots, and maybe even test it in an inconspicuous area, then run it through the wash, just to make sure it won’t stay on your shirt. Hem the top of your shirt.
I took each sleave and cut it in half length-wise:
To get these:
Then fold them in half, longways, inside out, and sew down the long edge. Flip this inside out and you have a tube. Two of these tubes are used for the straps, and you have the option to use the other two for tie-backs, if your shirt is a little too big, or you just like the look.
Here’s me trying it on, about mid-way through the process. I had pinned my straps too long, and the whole thing was too baggy. I’m nowhere near being a real seamstress, so I end up trying my creations on many times to get everything right.
Since it was too baggy, I decided to take it in along the sides. I just eyeballed it, and ran it through the sewing machine.
I used a ruler to make some dots to bring it in about an inch on each side.
The fit was much better after this, but I hated the neckline.
I folded the upper corners down and in to make more of a sweetheart neckline.
I’m much happier with this than I was, and it will look much better once I iron it. The good thing about getting most of my clothes at thrift stores, is that I don’t worry about experimenting on them. If you have a specific clothing item you want to alter, but you’re scared to try, try to find something similar at a thrift store you can gleefully destroy and use as learning experience. Finding something with similar material and cut would be the most useful, but altering anything will give you good experience. I just love how cute my hair was that day! Look at that instead of the wrinkles on the shirt. I know I am!