Sunday, June 26, 2011

On Friday, On Friday, I made shirts on Friday!

 My friend and I are extreme Harry Potter fans!   Yes, my name is Misty and I love Harry Potter.  So, that being said....the final movie is coming out and for those of you who are HP fans you understand the excitement and the sadness.  So, we decided we had to make our own HP shirts for this final movie.  After researching the different photo transfer paper to get, we set out to find shirts.  We both wanted to have black shirts, so I purchased photo transfer paper for dark fabrics.  Here is a link if you are interested in purchasing it too.  My plan was to reconstruct a plan black shirt into something not so plan.  Here is what I wanted my shirt to look like before we transfered our HP pictures onto them.
I love the braided effect and I was only planning on having a small quote of the front and a picture on the back.  So, I figured there would be enough room for them.  Well, I'm not going to get into that shirt right now other than the fact that it was a big fail.  I only did the front so far and I was not liking it at all.  It puckered in weird spots.  I will definitely post the shirt at a different time.  And I plan on going back to try to fix it.  But for now, I still needed a shirt for my HP shirt.  So, I decided to use a regular v-neck shirt and put the transfer photos on it first then add fabric flowers on the collar. 
I didn't take any before pictures, but it was just a plain black v-neck shirt.  The first step was to find a quote that we liked.  I went online and search for Deathly Hallows quotes and quickly found what I wanted.  Then, I searched for Deathly Hallows images.  Once I knew what I wanted, I simply followed the instructions and printed the images onto the transfer paper and let it dry.  Once dried, I cut the image and quote out the way I wanted it.  Then, I peeled off the backing and stuck it onto the shirt where I wanted it and put the rice paper (that comes with the transfer paper) over the transfer and ironed on the hottest heat for 2 minutes.  And viola it was done.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can you hear me now?

I would just like to say that I am not getting anything for this post, no money and no gadgets...nothing.  Unless, they decided to all of a sudden sponsor me.  Yeah, not so much.  Anyway, let me give you a background story on this.  I live 30 minutes from the closest town and I'm not sure how far away I live from the closest cell phone tower.  So, needless to say my husband and I did not use our cell phones in our house.  And if we did it was in select areas of the house in the most uncomfortable position.  Go ahead and imagine me scrunched up in the bottom of our closet trying to talk on the phone during the winter because it was too cold to go outside and stand by the road where I know we have service.  Or every time I send a text, I would have to walk outside for it to send.  And we have tried almost every carrier out there to see if we could get better service.  No such luck....we had the same problem with all of the carriers.  It was very annoying.  We definitely were not going to be one of those families that could save money by getting rid of their land line. 

Until Tuesday.  My husband came home from work with the biggest smile on his face and a box in his hands.
After prying the box out of his hands, I found out that is was something called a MicroCell from AT&T. 

So, of course I asked him what it was and how much it cost (since I have not been working we have been really trying to spend our money on only the essentials).  After finding out that the gadget was $199, I immediately freaked  requested him to return the item.  But, after he explained what it does I asked him if we could return it if it didn't work. 
So, are you curious about what the magic box does.  Well, here it is.  It connects to your broadband Internet service to create a strong, secure, sharable 3G signal in your home.  Up to four AT&T 3G or 4G phones can be used at the same time. So, what does that mean.
"The AT&T 3G MicroCell device acts like a mini cell tower in your home, and connects to your existing broadband Internet service. You receive improved cell signal performance for both voice calls and cellular data applications like picture messaging and Web surfing. Special Unlimited MicroCell calling features are also available."  So, in other words.....I went from have 1 bar of service in very few uncomfortable spots or no service at all, to 4-5 bars of service.  So, yes....that means no having to go out in the cold winter or hot hot summer to use the phone or send a voice mail.  And definitely not scrunching up in a ball in the bottom of my spare bedroom closet. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

These Shorts Are Made For Walking

I had a minor break through on my laziness today!  While going through my clothes, I found 14 pairs of khakis!  Yes, 14 pairs.  I had that many because at my last job I was a manager and we had to either wear khakis, black pants, or navy pants.  So, my wardrobe consisted mainly of khakis.  While going through them, I found a pair that I had purchased at the Goodwill.  They were loose fitting on the legs and while wearing them at work I some how got a black marker mark on my tush.  I was going to throw them away, when I started thinking of all the black shorts that I see and have been loving the last couple of months.  So, I decided I would try to dye the pants and make them into shorts.  Here is what the pants looked like before I started.
As you can see on the right leg, I started to cut the lower part of the pants off.  I just wanted to have the least amount of fabric to dye.  I would recommend wearing gloves when dying, but if you do not have gloves you can use a ziplock bag.

I made sure to follow the directions on the container of black dye.  After letting the fabric soak in the dye for 30 minutes, I hand rinsed the shorts.  Then to be on the safe side I washed the shorts and dried them. 
This is what they looked like once dried.

They came out brown! With a purplish tone...but mostly brown. 

I like that the stitching didn't dye.  It made for a good contrast

I wanted my shorts to be about 5" long from the inseam.  I plan on making them longer so I can hem and fold them over.  I figured an extra 2" would be enough length....but it really wasn't.  I would suggest that if anyone is going to try this they add 3" to the length they want.

I cut off any excess and then turned the shorts inside out and folded the shorts over about 1 1/2" and pinned it down. 

Then I sewed a straight stitch as close as I could get to the edge.

At this point, I turned my iron on and needed it to warm up.  So, while it was warming up, I decided to fix the awful pockets on these pants.  They were all huge and the back pockets made me look like I had a lump of poo in my pants.  Take a look at the photos to see how big these dreadful things were.

One of the front pockets before fixing it. 
one of the back pockets before fixing it. 
To fix them, I just sewed a straight stitch across the bottom.  Then, I cut of the excess and did a zig zag stitch on the outside of that.  Seen here.
my stitching is not pretty, but no one can see it. 
the back pocket.  Now I won't look like I have a lump of poo in my pants. 

After this, I ironed my pants and this is what I ended up with.  I could have left it like this, but my stitching was awful because my bobbin thread was acting up on my first leg I sewed.

See, you can even see where I didn't sew all the way around on that side.  So, it's a good thing I was planning on folding the bottoms up.  Once I did that, I put a small stitch on each side seam to hold the fold up and two stitches in the front and two stitches in the back to also hold the fold up.  I just made sure to not stitch through the top layer.  That way, you can't see it.  Then, I ironed the shorts again. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mamamamoooo Cows Mamamamake Milk

I have been on a streak of laziness.  I have a few projects that I have started on and I just can't seem to get motivated to finish them and post them. So, I decided to write about something that has plagued me for as long as I can remember.....Lactose intolerance.  Yes everyone my name is Misty and I am lactose intolerant.  I have lived a life of drinking skim milk with my cereal.  Something my husband loves to make fun of me for.  He refers to it as water.  I can't remember when I have been able to drink chocolate or strawberry flavored milk!  Oh just reminiscing of those days brings a tear to my eye. 
For those of you who do not have a lactose intolerant problem.  Let me just give you a very brief idea of some of the symptoms of being lactose intolerant.  (I don't want to scare you off so I won't be too descriptive) In normal cases, one usually starts showing signs anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours after digesting something with the enzyme lactase in it.  The symptoms are
  • abdominal bloating (not that big of a deal if this was the only thing there was)
  • abdominal cramps (I'm talking about the ones that make you bend over almost)
  • gas (yeah, here we go with the embarrassing parts)
  • diarrhea (told you)
  • naseau
Now most people can get away with drinking 2-4 oz of milk and be ok.  Me on the other hand, not only do I start showing signs after drinking milk with my cereal.  I start showing them almost immediately.  So, you maybe asking me why in the world is she telling everyone about this.  Well, I finally got smart and starting drinking almond milk.  Before trying it two months ago, I was scared to try it's something new and I was scared of the unknown.  So, I bought the Silk Vanilla Almond Milk. 

The first time I tried it, I will not lie, it was a little too sweet for me in my plain Special K cereal.  And it has a yellowish brown tint to it.  But, when I drank it alone, all by itself, it was fantastic.  And do you want to know the best part?  No lactose intolerance!  I decided after drinking the first carton that I would get the plain Almond Milk for my cereal, which actually tastes better than milk to me.  The fantastic thing...they have chocolate Almond Milk!  Which is fantastic. 

Oh Oh, and guess what else.  Here are some great stats. 

Plain Almond Milk
  • 60 Calories
  • has 50% more Calcium than dairy milk
  • has an excellent source of vitamin E
Vanilla Almond Milk
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs: 

  • 60 calories
  • calcium 45%
  • vitamin D 25%
  • vitamin E 50%
  • vitamin B12 50%
  • sugars 7g
 Skim milk looks  like this

  • 137 calories 
  • vitamin D- none
  • calcium 45%
  • vitamin E- none
  • vitamin B12 25%
  • 18.8g
So, if you are lactose intolerant.  Don't be afraid of change.  In the words of Nike....Just Do It!  And if you are not lactose intolerant, look at the stats.  The Almond Milk is soooo much better for you!  The only thing that cow milk has more of than almond milk is protein.  But, I really feel that the almond milk just kicks cow milk's behind!  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration. ~Lou Erickson

Still keeping in form with my original promise of not helping Louis with our garden (other than taking pictures and reaping the benefits), I went outside with him to take some pictures of him pulling up the potatoes he thought we dead. The plants were very sad and looked like the heat and sun had gotten to them.  But, once we  Louis dug them up, we found the potatoes were fine.  Score!  I love to eat potatoes, but I try not to eat them that often.  Louis on the other hand loves potatoes and could eat them and chocolate and be the happiest man alive.

I am more excited for my peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and most of all baby corn.  Thanks to my dad, who ate salads all the time, I love veggies.  I actually eat at least one salad a day.  I sound so healthy don't I....yeah, not so much!  My other meals usually are not as healthy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Starry Night Renovation

I don't know if anyone remembers my last Swirlz Art outing where we painted the Starry Night by Van Gogh.  It was labeled as advanced with a disclaimer stating that the only reason they considered it "advanced" was because it was going to take an hour longer than the normal two hour long classes. My friends and I were excited to do this painting for a few reasons.  One, it was the Starry Night painting from Van awesome would that be to actually have that in your house.  Two, we would be able to hang out with each other and drink wine for an extra hour.  Three, we could say we were actually good painters if the painting looked good. 
Needless to say, I was not happy with my painting at all.  I even have a picture of me starting to pout because I was not happy with my painting.
I mean really look at those sad eyes!

Now, I know when it is my own painting I can be a bit critical.  I have always said (well, since I have attended Swirlz Art) that my painting looks so much better when I get it home and away from everyone else's. This painting did not look any better to me when I got it home.  The more I looked at it, the more I thought it looked like a 5 year old painted it.  As a matter of, my sister has been asking me for one of my paintings and I told her she could have this one...she asked me if she was suppose to tell everyone that my 5 year old nephew painted it. 

 I only had three options.  One, hide it in a closet where no one could see it.  Two, throw it away and feel like I wasted the money and time it took me to paint it.  Three, buy some paint and brushes and fix it as much as I could.  As much as the first two seemed to be a much easier and less time consuming option.  I decided to go with the third option on this.  After purchasing some paint and brushes from amazon.  (you can check out what I purchased from my amazon shop here)  So, I looked at my painting to really critic it and figure out what I needed to work on.  And what I needed to leave alone...if anything.  After a quick assessment, I decided I needed to darken up the majority of the painting.  I liked the color of the milky way, but the rest of the sky's color was too close of a color to it.  Plus, my husband told me my mountain looked like a big mountain of fire heading for my village.  I had to make a joke about it after that by telling him that the ugly village needed to be burned down!  So, yes I needed to fix my village too.  So, after three more hours of painting this is what I ended up with.

I love my village so much more now!  And my sky is definitely darker, but my mountain still looks like fire about ready to burn down my village.  I may go back and still try to darken the sky and mountain a bit more, but for now I am happy with it.  At least now, I can send it to my sister and it doesn't really look like a 5 year old painted it.  Right........?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mens Button Up Shirt reconstructions

Last week, Louis and I did some late spring cleaning.  I cleaned out my shoes and he cleaned out his clothes.  I refused to clean my clothes out because you never know what you can use to make something better.  While Louis was cleaning his side of the closet, I started to get sad because there were quite a few shirts he was getting rid of that I liked.  But, then I started to get excited because my pile of reconstruction clothes was getting bigger and bigger.  After I had looked through the pot of gold pile of old clothes and found my favorite shirts, I went online and started looking for button up shirts that I liked that I could try to copy.  After only a few minutes I found this shirt.
from the Buckle
 I really love the ruffled bottom and the band across the waist.  So, I set out to try to come close to this shirt.....I won't keep you in suspense.  I failed miserably!  I had these two shirts I was going to use to convert into the Buckle shirt.

I was going to use the brown shirt for the ruffles on the bottom.  I didn't plan on doing the  ruffles on the sleeves or the fabric around the collar.  So, it seemed like an easier reconstruction.  To start off I took the sleeves, pocket, and collar off with my seam ripper...ok maybe not a seam ripper but I have not been able to find my seam ripper in over a month!
 So, this is what I had left after taking those seams out.......
body of shirt minus the sleeves, collar, and pocket

collar pieces...I will be using these again
My next step was to take the body of the shirt in so it will be fitted.  My plan was to take the sides in just a tad and then put some darts in when I got to my next step.  I put the shirt on inside out and pinned the sides leaving some wiggle room.   After pinning I sewed where I pinned. 

I then found the verticle center of the shirt and the middle of the collar and pinned the two together.
This next part I kinda reverse the belt part compared to the inspirational shirt.  The only reason I did this was well.....because it was easier for me to do.  I created it in two parts.  Here is the first.

find the center of the back of the shirt
I pinned it so I knew where it was

found the center of the piece of collar fabric

pinned the two middle spots together

Then, after I measured from the bottom of the shirt to the safety pin I measured the sides the same way to make sure the piece of collar was going to be straight across.  I then pinned the sides of the collar fabric to the sides of the shirt.
pinned the side after measuring from the bottom

pinned the other side

pinning the collar fabric to the back left side you want to do this on both sides

pinning the collar fabric to the middle of the back of the shirt

I then pinched what extra fabric there was in the middle and pinned
After I had the collar fabric pinned to the back of the shirt I used a straight stitch and sewed it down.

  My next step was the sleeves.  They were probably the easiest thing for me to do!  I used the existing sleeves and folded them in half like this and stuffed them into the shirt.

Yeah, I know poor picture, but here is a video to hopefully help you see it a little better

The next thing I started to work on was the collar.  I was originally just going to make it more like the inspiration shirt by rounding it just a bit....but I took my shirt in too much!  Yeah, a newbie mistake.  So, to keep myself from busting out of the shirt, I had to alter my collar and the front of the shirt.   I started by putting the shirt on inside out and pinning it trying to make it look cute and even.  Then, I sewed it using this foot which folded the seam over for me 

It was as simple as that.  Here is the picture of the pinned shirt.
I actually cut of as much as I could before sewing it. 

Remember that belt? Here is how I made the second part of the belt.  I cut sections of the left over fabric from the sleeves and sewed them together making 6 strips long enough, if attached to my side, it could reach past my other side if stretched across the front.  Then I took 3 of those 6 strips and braided them together and sewed the ends to make them look a little prettier.  I repeated the braiding on the other 3 strips.  Then I sewed them to the sides of the shirt where the collar fabric that was sewed to the back of the shirt touched.  I sewed a button on each side to add a small embellishment and that completed my belt.

  Remember that brown shirt at the beginning?  I was going to make that the pleats on the bottom of the button up.  Well, that was the part that I failed miserably at.  After cutting up sections of the fabric and trying and trying to make the pleats, I decided I didn't have enough fabric to make the pleats the way I wanted them to look.  So, I trashed the idea of the pleats but still wanted some type of girly aspect to the shirt.  So, I decided to go with a fabric flower using the brown shirt.  Here is the tutorial, from Tea Rose Home, I used to help me make my flower and here are some pictures of my flower while I was making it. 

 After making the flower I sewed the flower onto a safety pin and pinned it onto my shirt.  I thought making a pin would be better than sewing the flower onto the shirt.  This way I can take it off to wash it separate from the shirt.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fun with glass bottles

I will not lie...I need an intervention!  I am addicted to pinterest!   While I was browsing some of the pictures that other folks have pinned I found this one that everyone else was repinning.  It is just absolutely adorable.  Here is the picture and the link to the awesome blogger.

Great Quick Wedding or Baby gift

Still addicted to pinterest I have been scouring the internet trying to add new pins to my board.  I don't know why, but I get so excited when people repin something that I have found.  I just feel so....accomplished.  Sad I know.  The worst is when I have someone actually follow me.  It is such a honor to have someone like my taste.  (I am chuckling right now about how corny that sounds).  Anyway, I found something I just thought looked so cute.  It is quick and simple and really easy to make.  I probably wouldn't give it as a main wedding gift, but I think it would be so cute to give as an extra gift.  So here is the picture of it.
It comes from this cute blog I am in love with.  Our Humble A{Bowe}d