Monday, June 21, 2010

Blast From the Past Shirt to Dress

Today I made a dress from a button up shirt for my older daughter. This time is was one of my old shirts rather than her dad’s. You may think I’m crazy that I ever wore a shirt like this, but I have to share that I wore it in high school, over 15 years ago—if that helps with why it looks so dated. Anyone remember when Tommy Hilfiger was first such a craze?!  It had such a fun print, I had a hard time getting rid of it. So it’s been in my fabric stash for a long time {don’t worry—I haven’t worn it since high school}. 


I first planned to follow the tutorial from Ruffles and Stuff on making a shirred sundress. I’ve also seen a similar tutorial at Martha Stewart.  When I first tried the shirt on my daughter, the collar looked cute on her so I thought I’d keep it. This resulted in much more of an alteration/experiment than I planned.  I used another dress as a pattern to cut the basic shape from my shirt. I ended up doing the shirring at the waist {I discovered that sewing with elastic thread in the bobbin is not something to be afraid of!}. I was hoping it might look like something I’d seen on MADE. Again, not perfect by any means, but hopefully I’m improving!




Another possibility for the Fourth of July!  I’m sharing this at the following parties:

The Girl Creative

Show and Tell Green

Friday, June 18, 2010

Seat of Hay

Ever think about removing the cushion when you recover seat cushions? Now I’m wishing I had! Recently I bought an old padded wooden stool I hoped to use next to my closet for putting on shoes, etc. The Portuguese vendor kept telling me how good a deal I got and that it was Art Deco (I think that’s what she was telling me).


I did not get any pictures before my husband tore into it for me. He pulled off 3 layers of fabric and found this for the padding!


Hey (ha!), how ‘bout that!  So glad we decided to re-do this one completely. Is this hay from the art deco era?  I have no idea, but 2 pieces of thick foam made a nice new seat cushion. Then a little fabric left from my curtain project, and wa-la!—a comfy spot for my putting my shoes on!



I’m sharing this at  Furniture Feature Fridays

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It’s Been a Year

Yesterday marked one year since we drove out of Germany. I don’t really like to remember the craziness of our exit (ie: many things not fitting on the moving truck, us packing every inch of our car, …


…tears finally coming as I drive across the border into France while everyone else is asleep in the car {sadness over leaving Germany--I really like France})


and our entrance into Portugal (ie: all of boxes put in our house in such a way that we couldn’t enter the living room or bedrooms, no hot water for 2 weeks,…).


It’s good to remember the good times too on that trip and how God has taken care of us so well in this adjustment. I hope you’ve seen a glimpse of that in my blogging over the past year!

Strange enough, we were doing some shopping for the retreat center yesterday and went to Media Markt in Lisbon. Media Markt is Germany’s version of Best Buy but all over Europe. It was my first time to go to one in Portugal. And yes, it made me miss Germany! Then we’re walking out to the car and see this (a hot dog stand I think):


Oh, how my worlds collide! Just the perfect picture icing on the cake to commemorate our transition. June 20th is not only Father’s Day (for Americans)and our 12 year anniversary, but also one year of living here. It feels nice to have one year in my back pocket! Thanks again to everyone who’s prayed for us and helped and supported us through it all!

Monday, June 14, 2010

First Dad’s Shirt to Dress

Saturday was a day of victory as my first “upcycling” a man’s shirt to a child’s dress/long shirt was completed! The process had it’s course of obstacles none the less.  I am a bit of a perfectionist, and multiple seam re-do’s and such make me wonder why I even try at times. I was determined to persevere in the end, and I’m thankful for all I learned in the process and to be ok with not perfect.

There are numerous tutorials online for repurposing clothing. For this, I used one from Lex at My Mama Made It. Here is my husband’s old shirt before the work began:


I decided to use another fabric I had for some of the pieces so it might work for a 4th of July outfit. I didn’t take any pictures in the process. You can check the link above for a nice step-by-step how to. So here our version on my youngest {it can be worn without the t-shirt underneath, but it’s been cool here lately}:


Wondering what Mommy did to get the pockets this way {next time I’ll understand what it means when it says line the pockets—not make double pockets!}.


My baby is looking grown up!


Now on to make a different style for my other daughter! I’m  linking this up to the following parties:

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Giant Cheetos and a Father’s Day Card Idea

Before I get on to the point of this post, I wanted to thank Beckie from Infarrantly Creative for choosing our coat rack as her favorite in last week’s CSI Project Hardware Store Challenge. Yea for a win!


Now on to Cheetos: Our family got a great kick out of the size of the Cheetos balls  we found at the store today. You see, when you see a new or different product in a foreign grocery store, you grab it since it may never localize again! It was actually my 5 year old who saw them; of course they’re right at her level. So, I figured these are normal cheese balls. I didn’t notice the word MEGA on the front—they are 1.5 inches in diameter!


Somehow Cheetos and Father’s Day seemed to go together! I thought the birthday card we made for my husband could be adapted for Father’s Day.

My husband received money towards a new IPod for his birthday from our parents. So I used my friend Emily’s Valentine IPod idea (which is from Family Fun) to make an IPod birthday card. My was a bit different in that I didn’t wrap a candy heart box (and honestly forgot to find Rollo’s for ear pods). I sewed a pocket to slip our “ICard”-ha!- into.


I used the Family Fun printable scroll wheel, but made our own playlist. I figured you could make your playlist unique for Father’s Day as well! We wrote birthday wishes on the back of the ICard. I’m sure there is a way to make one that looks more like an IPhone, but I haven’t tried that yet!

My oldest daughter (the one holding the Cheetos above) cut out the rest of the printables and found things to make her own IPod all by herself. It’s really cute! I’m sure she’d love to know I’m sharing her creativity!

DSCF6764 DSCF6766

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Homemade Heavy Duty Coat Rack

It’s been fun to look around my house and see what I have {or can complete} to enter the latest contest at The CSI Project. This week’s theme is “Hardware Store” projects.

Once again (as in my last CSI entry), visitors’ questions pointed me to what I could enter. My guests bent over to investigate the feet of the coat rack my husband built for me. They were surprised to see how we’d used bookshelf brackets for feet and a balcony post for the body!
This was definitely one of those long awaited projects to be completed. Years back, we’d found these great metal shelf brackets and hooks—can’t remember where, sorry! We were thrilled that they fit so well on a balcony post from a discount hardware store! All the pieces were shipped over with our stuff to Germany. My husband cut the ends down, stained the post, and assembled it there. He still wants to find a post topper for it the next time we’re in America.
It has lived up to its potential holding a gob of coats through the winter, and now we can see it/enjoy it a bit more in this season!

10 Happy Things

*Updated with correct link to the alphabet review idea below!*

Today I got a comment from Lynette at My Craft Discovery that she’d given me an award. So nice to be thought of! However, in light of the heightened busyness around here, I cannot really receive it since you have to list 10 things that make you happy and give it out to 10 other bloggers (sounds like a great “Do unto others…” activity). My time is limitado (I don’t think that is a real Portuguese word, it just sounded appropriate!). I am making an exception to write a few posts tonight as a short break!

As I was just washing dishes, I started thinking about what would I say are 10 things that make me happy. There are actually several today, and that is really good because my day didn’t start out too swell physically or emotionally.

1. Finding a tuna recipe that my family readily ate! Tuna is a major food staple around here (and cheap to boot), but thus far not so popular with the family—until today!

2. Smelling sweet nectarines as I work in the kitchen (before I opened the tuna cans!).

3. Seeing my silverware and glassware transformed after using a major brand dishwasher detergent! After nearly a year of using the generic {it takes a long time to use those HUGE boxes of tablets here}, we’d about given up hope for our utensils and glasses, thinking it was the water here. A-ha! One time it pays to spend more!

4. Finding cherries at the farmer’s market for 3Euros/kilo (about $2.00/lb). Amazing, huh?! I thought I’d never see cheap cherries again after leaving Germany!

5. Watching my girls enjoy playing with the neighbor kids even though they don’t speak the same language!

6. Connecting with friends and family today through email, Skype and Facebook!

7. Coming up with an idea to re-purpose the shirt I’m wearing that I realized has a hole on the front lower center. We’ll see if that happens!

8. Having a not too hot day and not too cold evening and just a gentle enough breeze that my clothes on the rack outside are not blown off! Yes, I know that is what clothes pins are for.

9. Having a great idea for reviewing the alphabet with the girls come in my email inbox {loving not having to search for it} using the above named clothes pins!

10. Seeing the willingness of my husband to help me in this new busier season of life—I am really blessed!

This has been a great exercise in being thankful in the little things.  How I am encouraged! I highly recommend this to you even if you even if an award wasn’t coming your way today!


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